Thursday, May 14, 2015

Italian troops - Spanish Civil War and WW2

As intermittent as ever, a number of projects have been bubbling away. Here we have some recently completed Italian troops that have been a good while in the painting queue. 

These figures are mostly Perry Miniatures from their WW2 line of Italian metal figures. Very nicely proportioned and styled though the figures are a bit ‘rough’ when using the Army Painter style of painting I like to use. Up close their detail is not as crisp, sharp and smooth as those of Empress Miniatures although off course the M33 helmet figures are not made by Empress so unless doing head swaps tit was Perry all the way for this problem there!

I wanted to get double use out of the Italians ie usable for the Spanish Civil War as well as North African Campaign. After much looking about I settled for a paint scheme that was something of a hybrid as many of the uniform combinations were possible during both conflicts. A major reason for this was the parlous state of Italian logistics and supplying Mussolini’s ‘eight million bayonets’.

The story of the Corpo Truppe Volontarie, (CTV) is long and fairly superficially covered in English (unfortunately...come on Osprey!). A very nice primer of Italian armoured forces is located here. For those wanting to get a thorough treatment the best source in English is still Coverdale’s book ‘Italian Intervention in the Spanish Civil War’. This has been hard to find and costly over the years however a recent Google search uncovered what looks like a re release so its worth looking at the Google preview to see what it has inside. There is also this interesting site that discusses some of the impact of the Italian intervention in Spain as well…worth a read.

However back to the figures. As I mentioned in a LAF thread the reason for the two tone color look, or more correctly the mixing of the North African and European uniforms was so I could use them for both theatres. For North Africa such blending of uniform types was quite common and coupled to the M33 helmet look, the figures mostly give the feel of WW2 troops. 

However, the North African, or summer uniform, was used in Spain but is best taken to represent the reformed formations after the battle of Guadalajara.  So I intend to use these mostly to reflect those sort of troop organisations, such as the XXXIII March MVSN Division and the Spanish Flechas formations as well (which I described in the above LAF thread). With the constant reorganisations of the Spanish troops a fairly degree of latitude is appropriate in my view and no one really knows!

So without further ado, here are a good selection of action shots depicting a force size of a platoon as used in Chain of Command or Bolt Action.


"On to Madrid!"

Road column - the truck is a Lledo models AA Ford...a nice generic interwar truck for any army really.
There is a good review of Empress mini CVs vs the Perry CVs...worth checking out.

Republican Polikarpov on its attack run...time to buzz the tower!

Empress 75/28 gun....there is an excellent construction guide here...thanks to Mr Empress Miniatures himself...Paul.

Typical Italian gun group in WW2 - Breda, loader and three riflemen

Guadalajara all over again!!

An Empress Miniatures CTV figure for the earlier period leading up to Guadalajara.

He can off course be used for the whole war as well, as the Adrian helmet was in use throughout the conflict.

A Platoon HQ and one of the platoon squads as depicted for Chain of Command Espana rules by TFL for the Spanish Civil War... authored by Arlequin ( a must view site) and yours truly. 


  1. Nice post... even if I did get a mention into the bargain. :-)

    The Italians get too much of a bad rep in the Civil War, they were not as bad as is usually made out.

  2. Thanks Jim,

    ...nothing wrong with self promotion!

    The italians always seem to be the one army that gets neglected in the SCW. I think it's because the most gamed period is the one leading up to Guadalajara and and from then on most people start to understand the period less from there. Therefore the Italian contribution is limited to that point and thus associated with the loss at Guadalajara and roughly handled Italian armour at Seseña....combined with the WW2 bias of an 'incompetent' army and you get a force that generally gets bad press and overlooked.

    As you know, dig deeper and you find an army that fights well INSPITE of its problems and particularly at the lower level where bravery is present in equal measure to any other nation.

  3. Well worth the wait between updates.

    Lovely work on those CTV, I have troops for many SCW factions now but none of those, that may change as I always seen to be painting the Nationalists.