Toasting Bruschetta

Product Review: IT706 Demolisher Platoon and and IT431
Dovunque 35 3-ton truck (x2)

This product review covers two Battlefront items from the
Italian range that I will be using as an early war and mid war demolisher
platoon for my Burning Empires and Eastern Front Alpini the latter of which
also have access to a pioneer supply truck.
(The other truck, will end up as part of the transport and
towing vehicles assigned to the mid war 100/17 Howitzers.)

Italian Flame Thrower!
Picture copied from:

The quality of these products was excellent and exactly what
I’ve come to expect from Battlefront Infantry whilst painting the three Italian
Infantry platoons I’ve previously put together. There was occasional flash and
lines that needed to be filed down or clipped away and one figure in the
platoon had a malformed back leg where metal had seeped, but this was no real
issue and isn’t noticeable once the model has been cleaned and painted. The
only unfixable problem was a miscast on one of the platoon command figures who
did not have a hand at the end of its extended pointing arm. To be honest
though, no one is going to notice unless I paint it as a bloody stump!

The trucks were also awesome and took a few moments to check
over and prepare for painting. They come with bases attached like many other
transport vehicles in the Battlefront range, but this is fine as I’ve been
basing all the vehicles in my collection.
Cleaned up, converted and based

After a few hours I had them cleaned up and i’d added the
feathers and bosses to each of the helmets. It takes me about an hour per
platoon of figures to get this done depending on how cooperative the modelling putty
is! By the end of the first evening I based the models thanks to the lack of
distractions and interruptions that the evening soaps provides ready for a
quick undercoat spray in the morning!

More Feathers and Bosses!

I wanted the demolishers to stand out from the other Alpini platoons in the army. This was easy in one regard because the bosses on their helmets for the 2nd Engineer Batallion will be a violet purple where as the infantry I have painted already have red bosses, representing the Tirano Batallion.

Different colour bosses on this regemental support platoon. 

However; Italian demolisher platoons were elite formations drawn from the units they supported. As the Alpini fought in cold conditions both in Greece and Russia I thought that having some of them issued with winter jackets and helmet covers would help them stand out. Other than that, the infantry were painted just like the rest of the collection.

Winter coats and webbing from the back.

The trucks were painted in dark green with a lighter green soft-skin as per guides for the Russian Front. They were based in the same way as the rest of the tanks in the army, but this was easier with the fillers i’ve been using lately. 

Supply Truck advancing with it’s squad. 
Flame Throwers!
With no recon to help the poor underequipped Alpini attack
against dug in opponents, this platoon with its flame throwers and good tank
assault rating gives the army a little punch to advance with,  especially with the Avanti rule to help them
get closer, quickly.
Even if the flame throwers can’t get to the guns and
stubborn infantry around the objectives I want to take they still have their
uses. As Adam went into when talking about his Canadian Wasps, the ability to
reduce defensive fire on armoured vehicles, especially when every rifle and
rifle/MG team in the mid war list have passaglia bombs when they rush in to
support the demolisher platoon.
When on the defensive, this platoon will be useful too. In
most Alpini it should be quite easy to field nine platoons meaning the
demolishers can act as a counter attack unit and give your opponent something
to worry about… and whilst they’re worrying about your (most probably) veteran
flamethrowers, they aren’t worrying about other units that might cause more
damage in the long run!
The section leader designates targets for the flamethrower.

Anyway, that’s enough from me for now. I’m off to the internet to look at AA guns and aircraft for the army and to paint and maybe a box of minefields in case that suply truck ever gets to lay one… though the fields will come in useful for another project!

Avanti Savoia

and happy hobby!


Category: Flames of WarItaliansMid War

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Article by: Mark Goddard