Rinforzi in arrivo (Reinforcements arrive*)

A couple of boxes of goodies arrived in the post this week. Peter Pig was the quickest, followed shortly by a box of Zvezda from Wonderland Models in Edinburgh. What I should have done this weekend, is get the plastics made up and onto bases for spray painting. What I actually did was to reorganise my existing Italian infantry bases in anticipation of a Command Decision order.

For anyone who is wondering, quite legitimately, why the author of umpire guidelines that specify no base sizes, is rebasing his toys, the following explanation may help :  Real estate and manpower.

My Billy Bookshelf Boxes are of a size that is a fraction too small for most armies’ early war divisions at full orbat. Now that I am modelling mid war divisions, tactical units (platoons and companies) are usually smaller than they were at the beginning of the war. Whereas 30-plus sized platoons were common, now they are more like 20-25 men strong. I use roughly 30mm square (or round) bases a lot, but now 25mm is becoming more common with two figures per base; so smaller base sizes and a bit of judicious thinning of the orbat is enough to squeeze a quart into a pint pot.

A quick Excel template was useful for making sure that slots in the Orbat were not missed inadvertently, but my orbats are not usually full anyway. Italian XX Corps is coming along nicely. Modelling two armoured divisions, a motorised division, and an infantry division with both colonial and metropolitan troops in it, should suffice. I may be able to get away with just one Besaglieri and one Blackshirt Legion regiment each, as I don’t expect that both armoured divisions will be dismounting their infantry and attacking at the same time. I may well be wrong. A few quick conversions of LMGs into 45mm mortars were required to balance the orbat.

More senior viewers could be forgiven for not spotting in this scale the elegant conversion, with brass rod, of the two prone crew in the front row and the two chaps in the second row behind the MMGs! This qualifies as a ‘not-pointless project‘, defined by Phil Steele, as Peter Pig makes a perfectly good 45mm mortar. However, I have an excess of LMGs, for which NQM doesn’t differentiate, and more 45mm mortars are needed. So that’s that!

* This translation was just plugged into Google translate, so if anyone knows the correct Italian, I would be grateful to hear it.


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Filed under Italian Army, Modelling, Orbats, Western Desert, WWII

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