The Manpower of the Empire – Part II

Project Overview

Happy New Year hobbyists and welcome back to The Manpower of the Empire, my series on preparing Commonwealth forces for the Bolt Action events at Polar Vortex on Feb. 18 and AdeptiCon on March 23 and 24. The Early-War forces I’m bringing to these events are inspired by the battles of Nibeiwa and Sidi Barrani where Indian infantry, supported by armor and artillery of the British Army, attacked Italian positions in Egypt.

Progress Update – Jan. 1

The project schedule from Part I of this series showed that by Jan. 1 all of my infantry should be built and all of my vehicles and artillery should be printed. In hindsight, that was an ambitious goal. I failed to consider how the holiday season would impact my hobby time so I haven’t made as much progress as I would have liked. The bulk of my infantry is built and I have started printing my vehicles and artillery, but there’s no denying that I am behind schedule. Fortunately my project scheduled has some built-in wiggle room so I can still get back on track. No need to hit the panic button quite yet!

Infantry

Staying true to the historical inspiration, the core of my forces will be made up of Regular Rifle Sections – including the free 10-man section granted from “The Manpower of the Empire” Army Special Rule. I’ve currently built two 10-men sections from Warlord’s 8th Army infantry box and a third section using the metal Sikh infantry models from Aritzan Designs. All of my infantry use 3D-printed scenic bases. I haven’t yet printed the oval poses for the prone models.

The Warlord plastic models came together nicely without much trouble. There was flash to file down and mold lines to scrape off, of course, but overall I’m very happy with this kit. The Artizan models are a great supplement to Warlord’s. They are well-sculpted and finely detailed. They are less “heroic-scale” that Warlord’s, with thinner limbs and less bulk overall, but models from both ranges can stand side-by-side and still look like a cohesive unit.

The only pain-point assembling these models was removing the Aritzan models from their metal bases so that I could put them on my printed bases. I used clippers to remove as much of the bases as possible and then filed down the bottoms of their feet.

In addition to the rifle sections, I also assembled a Sniper team, artillery spotters, and my Lieutenant and his assistant.

I built the Sniper by removing the AT rifle from the 8th Army prone AT rifle arm and replaced it with a scoped Lee Enfield from a spare Commandos weapon sprue. The rifle is positioned a little awkwardly, but I think the conversion still works. I gave binoculars to each of the three spotters, also pulled from the Commandos weapon sprue.

I’m very happy with how my infantry came together. I still have another Rifle Section to assemble, and then I will move on to painting the infantry.

Artillery

No progress. I will be printing my artillery pieces and crews, but I am currently working on printing the vehicles.

Vehicles

The first vehicle I printed is a Cruiser Mk IIA. The hull printed successfully, but the turret needs to be reprinted.

I am currently printing a Chevy 30CWT Truck which will serve as a transport for one of my rifle sections. After the truck I will print a Marmon Herrington armoured car.

Next Steps

In the next two weeks I plan to finish building my infantry and, weather permitting, I will prime them for painting. I will also print all of my remaining vehicles. The artillery pieces will be the last thing to print.

Updated Schedule:

  • Assemble all infantry by Dec. 18. Jan. 8.
  • Print Polar Vortex vehicles by Jan. 1. Jan 14.
  • Print Polar Vortex artillery and crews by Jan 22.
  • Chicago Dice Hobby Weekend – Jan. 28
  • Paint Polar Vortex force by Jan. 22. Feb 5.
  • Build Polar Vortex display board by Feb. 5. Feb 12.
  • Paint Polar Vortex display board by Feb. 17.
  • Polar Vortex – Feb. 18
  • Print AdeptiCon vehicles by Feb. 26.
  • Paint AdeptiCon force by March 5.
  • Build AdeptiCon display board by March 12.
  • Paint AdeptiCon display board by March 19.
  • AdeptiCon – March 23 & 24

There’s still a lot to do and I don’t have much wiggle room left, but I’m still confident I’ll have everything ready in time.

2 thoughts on “The Manpower of the Empire – Part II

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