Monday, April 8, 2013

1:32 Desert Rat

Shown is one of my painted 8th Army Desert Rats from Airfix in 1:32 scale. The 8th Army was one of the best-known formations of the British Army during World War II, fighting in the North African and Italian campaigns. The "Desert Rats" was a British formation, always commanded by British officers, with personnel coming from throughout the British Empire and Commonwealth and complemented by units composed of exiles from Nazi-occupied Europe. Subordinate units came from Australia, British India, Canada, Free French Forces, Greece, New Zealand, Poland, Rhodesia, South Africa and the United Kingdom. I'm in the process of converting some Sikh troopers as well as some Gurkhas. I hope to display these soon.

The figure is lying prone and getting ready to fire his Bren gun. The Bren is best known for its role as the British and Commonwealth forces' primary infantry light machine gun (LMG) in World War II. The Bren was a gas-operated weapon with a rate of fire between 480 and 540 rounds per minute (rpm), depending on model. In general, the Bren was considered a reliable and effective light machine gun, though in North Africa it was reported to jam regularly unless kept very clean and free of sand or dirt. It was popular with British troops, who respected the Bren for its reliability and combat effectiveness.

the sculpting is a bit chunky and the details are a bit soft. The Bren is recognizable in form but loses a lot of detail. These figures are a bit dated compared to what 1:35 makers produce nowadays but are perfect for the roles they were designed for -- plastic toy soldiers. Hurrah for plastic!

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