Goonhammer Historicals: Bolt Action Alpini Review

This August has been an Italian-focused month for Warlord Games, seeing them release both the new Italian Alpini Mountain Troops and a new campaign book focusing on the second half of the Italian Campaign, titled Tough Gut (review coming later this month!).

What’s in the box

The box art is great, showcasing the Italian mountain warfare specialists in action poses. Inside the box are the instruction manual & painting guide, six identical sprues, and the transfer sheet, along with the little card indicating who packed the kit. Mine was packed by Fred. Thanks, Fred.

The kit is designed to build 30 infantry models. The modularity of the kit is fantastic – the modeler is able to make the infantry as encumbered or as barebones as they’d like. Alpini squads can be anywhere from 5 men to 11, with the NCO having an option for a Sub-Machine Gun along with the squad having access to a Light Machine Gun while another man becomes the loader. Each sprue comes with 10 rifles (a mixture of M38 Carbines and M91/41 Carcano Rifles), two SMGs (M38A Beretta SMG), and 2 LMGs (Breda M30 LMG). To go along with the LMG there are several bits for the loader, including a backpack with some spare barrels and hands carrying ammo boxes or a magazine. In addition to this, the kit also comes with several additional items, like two different marks of Gas Mask Bags, the 1933 and the Type 35, daggers and hatchets, separate goggles that can be glued onto the helmets or hanging from the neck, pistol arms, grenade chucking arms, binoculars, maps, extra pouches and, most importantly, a left arm making “Italian gesture”. For head options, there is a mixture of heads wearing the M34 Bustina Cap, heads wearing the M33 Steel Helmets, and heads wearing the Capello Alpini.


The kit is pretty par for the course when it comes to the plastic infantry that Warlord Games produces. Really well-detailed bodies & uniforms along with a plethora of kit options. The kit had a standard amount of mold lines, nothing too painful to remove. Most of the face sculpts are fantastic with a few of them being not so great. But overall, the level of detail on the models themselves is top-notch.

Some important notes I learned while putting these together – there are two types of feathers included on each sprue. One is very thin and doesn’t include the Nappina while the other is large and has the Nappina and tab below it. The instructions list them all as item 35: Cap & Helmet Feather, but I found the ones with the Nappina didn’t fit into the groove of the Capello Alpini heads. I found that the thin ones are designed to glue into the Capello Alpini and the ones with the Nappina are designed to glue onto the side of the M33 Steel Helmeted heads.

You can see the groove here where the feather is designed to slot into.

The one without the Nappina slots in perfectly. Also, “Italian Gesture”.

When compared to other mountain troops like the Gebirgsjager Squad, the Alpini are very lightly encumbered. In order to make them more heavily encumbered, you can do what I did and use both marks of gas mask bags as utility bags. They don’t fit together on every model, so you’ll need to play around with them to see how they fit best.

Carrying two gas mask bags.

Lastly, I put the LMG loader backpacks on backward. They should be placed with the barrels facing outward.

How I Painted These

I wanted to paint these quickly but wanted them to look decent, so I decided to do my standard batch painting style, which is to do all the base coats followed by an all-over wash and then highlight. My color choices were inspired by the box art but deviated slightly from it. A quick tip here – I have a huge range of paint ranges and really just eyeballed which ones I wanted to use. You don’t need any of these specific paints – for example, the AK Dark Sea Blue can easily be swapped for Pro Acryl’s Dark Blue Black or Vallejo’s Dark Sea Blue. If you only have Citadel you could achieve it by mixing a bit of black with either Kantor Blue or Night Lords Blue. Make sure you hang onto the assembly guide after building these because the opposite side includes a great little painting guide for these troops in both tropical & non-tropical climates. It also has the Nappina colors for each battalion/officer (green for 1st, white for 2nd, red for 3rd, and blue for 4th, with officers being gold or yellow).

I started by priming the models with Chaos Black primer from Citadel, followed by an overall coat of Grey Seer from Citadel. For the blue uniforms, I used a basecoat of AK’s Dark Sea Blue (AK11190). For the boots and feathers, I used Vallejo Model Color Black (70.950). For the greenish-tan coats, I used a 1:1 mixture of AK AFV WWI French Milky Coffee (AK11302) and AK AFV Australian Camouflage Green (AK11348). For the helmets, they got a base coat of pure Australian Camouflage Green. The gas mask bags and cross straps were base-coated with pure WWI French Milky Coffee. For the leather pouches, straps, and rifle slings, I used the Duncan Rhodes Painting Academy Two Thin Coats’ Cuirass Leather (10028). All the rifles were painted with the Citadel Contrast paint Garaghak’s Sewer while the nappina (the round things on the base of the feathers) was Citadel Contrast Paint Blood Angels Red. The final base coat was the flesh, which was painted with Citadel Kislev Flesh. Once these basecoats were done, the entire model got a liberal application of Aly’s Brown Liquid. To highlight, simply mix in a little white with each of the previous colors and highlight as much or as little as you’d like. I generally did 1 layer of highlighting. The last step was adding in the Fiamme Verdi gorget patches, which was done by adding Citadel’s Warpstone Glow in two vertical lines side by side on the gorget, with the outer one being taller than the inner one. A final dot of Citadel’s Grey Seer was added to represent the star.

As I paint up more parts of this Italian army, I’ll post some more in-depth painting guides including a step-by-step process.


Questions, Comments, Suggestions? or leave a comment below!