The Manpower of the Empire – Part III

Project Overview

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 – 25. 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 – Feb. 6

I’ll start with the good news: everything I need for Polar Vortex is built/printed and primed and the bulk of my infantry is painted. We had a very successful Chicago Dice Hobby Weekend on Jan. 28 with five members of the Club sharing a table while working on various projects including Bolt Action, Age of Sigmar, and Saga. Andrew and I even snuck in a 450pt game of Bolt Action and I’m happy to report that my North Africa Indians performed admirably during their first battle.

Now for the bad news: Polar Vortex is less than two weeks away and I have a lot more painting to do. In order to have my forces ready for the table in time, I am having to scrap my plans for a display board. There just isn’t enough time to get it all done and sacrifices have to be made. I am still committed to having a display board ready for AdeptiCon in March, so my force will have its time to shine then.


The bulk of my force for Polar Vortex is made up of Early War Infantry Sections and I am pleased that all four of my squads are nearly finished. All that’s left are their bases, which I plan to do in bulk once I’ve finished painting the rest of the force.

I chose to give each section a slightly different turban color to help identify them on the table. I also gave my NCOs blue turbans to further aid in identification. This detail is not historically accurate but it does provide some additional color to an overwhelmingly khaki force. I was pleased with the result so I also used this approach for all the models in my force.

My rifle squads are supplemented with additional infantry in the form of a Sniper Team, a Med. Mortar Team, and my Lieutenant.


Using the 1940-42 Commonwealth Infantry Brigade Theater Selector from Campaign: The Western Desert allows me to take two QF 25-pounders (Light Artillery) and I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to field two of these versatile pieces. By giving each gun crew different turban colors I’ll be able to keep track of which Spotter is assigned to which gun.


One of the most fun aspects of fielding an Early War force is the inclusion of funky tanks and I’ve double-dipped by bringing two A10 Cruiser Mk IIAs.

I’m complimenting my tanks with a Marmon-Herrington Armoured Car.

The final vehicle in my force is a humble 30 CWT Truck. I wanted to be able to use this truck in a variety of roles so I magnetized the crew to represent different configurations. The machine gunner can be easily removed when I don’t have 15pts for the MMG upgrade, and the rear passengers show whether or not the truck is currently transporting infantry.

Next Steps

It is officially crunch time for Polar Vortex. I have 4 vehicles, 2 artillery pieces, and about 20 infantry/crew still to paint and less than 2 weeks to finish. It’s going to come down to the wire for sure. Wish me luck!

Updated Schedule:

  • Paint Polar Vortex force by Feb. 17
  • Polar Vortex – Feb. 18
  • Print AdeptiCon vehicles and assemble infantry by Feb. 26.
  • Paint AdeptiCon force by March 12.
  • Build AdeptiCon display board by March 18.
  • Paint AdeptiCon display board by March 22.
  • AdeptiCon – March 23 – 25

Read Part I and Part II

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