Goonhammer Historicals: Wargames Atlantic WW1 British Review

We’re gearing up our coverage of First World War wargames in the Goonhammer Historicals Star Fort, whether that’s discussing why it’s a less popular war to game, looking at Weird War One, and the first of the plastic kits from Wargames Atlantic – the 1916-1940 French. It’s turned out not to be such a long way to Tipperary (about a ten hour drive from my house), so now it’s the turn of the British Infantry, another kit from Wargames Atlantic who appear to be catering to exactly what we’re looking for at Goonhammer these days, which is very satisfying.

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The Kit

This is another absolutely jam packed box – six sprues of five models making for a bursting at the seams thirty men in the box, all in (mostly) late war kit. Thirty men isn’t quite a platoon, but it’ll do you three sections, with enough weapons (more on that later) to kit them out as rifle, Lewis Gun or bomb sections. Detail is really crisp and nice, with no smearing or muddiness – easily the nicest Wargames Atlantic kit I’ve worked with and that represents a real upping of their game! They’re finely scaled too, beautifully sized, slim, much closer to true proportions in bodies and weapons than their sons are in most WW2 plastic offerings. They’re a little longer and lankier than my other 28mm WW1 British, Gripping Beast metals – but definitely within a realistic range of body size variation – see below:

Scale comparison L-R – Gripping Beast Bomber, WA Plastics, Gripping Beast Gurkha with WA gas mask head

As a kit designed for use to model just about everywhere British-uniformed troops fought in the First World War, the generic British uniform and webbing bodies are great, with the heads bringing in the options – Brodie helmets (with or without cover) give you 1915-1918 Western Front (and other fronts), Pattern 05 caps cover the early war, Pith Helmets for Gallipoli, Kut and Mesopotamia and, finally small box respirator gas masks and Brodie helmet heads for everywhere the gas was. That all makes for a pretty flexible box, pretty much a one stop shop for everywhere (and everywhen) the British Army fought from 1914-1918.

Heads L-R – Covered Brodie, Gas Mask, Pith, Broadie and 05 Cap

If it’s going to work for all those theatres, you’re going to need the weapons that made it to all of them, and the Lee Enfield SMLE is there in spades, eight per sprue, with options to hold them in the standard model kit rifle poses of aiming, at the charge and somewhere in between (see my pictures), as well as plenty of loose rifles with arms for slope, order and trail. There’s also a Webley Revolver and a Lewis Gun per sprue, along with Mills bombs and a Battye hand grenade (in the box you’ll get just enough grenades to make a bomb section). While the options are fantastic, I can’t help but wish they’d maybe dropped a set of heads to give us a few more trench fighter weapons – clubs, knuckledusters and knives – largely so that I could make a trench raider team out of the box. That’s just a bit of wishful thinking, and completely within easy conversion range.

Now lads, over here there’s too much gas. Lenoon needs to pull some off the base.

Once heads, bodies and guns are done, the rest of the sprue is filled with every single uniform-appropriate (as far as I can tell) pouch, bag, musette, holster and bayonet scabbard that loaded down the poor bloody infantry as they slogged up to Arras with Rifle and Pack. So far so good!


However! It’s a lovely kit, with lovely options. But oh man was it a job and a half to make them. The basic construction is simple – head, body (with legs), arms, pouches – but that very fine scaling makes getting some of those pieces off the sprue legitimately very difficult. Straps on anything – rifles included – and bayonets are both incredibly thin. Some of the choices around sprue design don’t help here unfortunately. The gas mask musette bags are a good example: The strap is translucently thin, and the sprue attaches directly on the thinnest part of it. I have no idea how Wargames Atlantic actually managed to make it work in terms of plastic casting, because in my box there wasn’t a single micron of flash even on components thinner than flash usually is. This made preparing some of these models really genuinely difficult – I snapped every single Lewis Gun ammo satchel before I gave up and just glued the two ends to my gunners shoulders.

Now that’s some appropriately scaled bag straps

Of course this is what we want in our historicals, right? Like weapons should be appropriately scaled and sized, we all want that. But here’s the legit result of it, and I wasn’t prepared at all. I think it’s very much scale modelling stuff, where accurate sizing is everything and ease of construction be damned. They were nice to put together, except all the straps – when I come back to put together the last section I’ll really, really take my time. I don’t think “you can’t smash these together in ten minutes” is a bad thing so this is less a reflection on the kit and more of a warning: These will take more time than you think!

The Pant-Shitting terror of adding the lewis ammo carrier to this model is difficult to describe

Construction issues go at least a little beyond the components, because unless you really know your WW1 uniforms, the lack of instructions is going to present some problems. There are three packs for every soldier, a bayonet scabbard and a couple of extras for officers and lewis gun ammo carriers. All great components and beautifully made, but where do they go on the models? I thought I knew my uniforms pretty well, but when it came to adding the pouches and bags I realised I hadn’t a clue where to put many of them. I’d strongly recommend buying an Osprey when you pick these up. I used The British Army in World War One (2), but even then I’m not sure I got everything right.


You might have noticed that I decided to do something a bit different with painting these, largely because I didn’t have a good brown basecoat for the right shade of khaki. Instead, I went greyscale, working entirely with four colours – black, grey, brown and white – to try for a contemporary footage feel. This took a few tries, and my initial attempts looked far too shiny.

I think these are the best I’ve done – Lewis Gunner and Ammo Carrier. Credit: Lenoon

After asking on our Patron Discord (hey, sub to our patreon and get good painting advice) about how to achieve this look, a second go around worked much better. I’ve since stripped and repainted my metals in the same scheme and added some black, shiny mud and cotton wool to the bases. It’s a fun scheme to paint but only in short bursts, sitting and doing ten models at once really started to get tedious, so progress on the platoon as a whole has been slow. Still, the models take paint well and the exceptionally crisp detail means that the greyscale look really works with only a little effort.

Over the Top

Overall this is a solid kit with excellent detail, fantastic scaling and very fine proportions. They look exactly right, have all the options you might want and open up a huge range of WW1 British (and British Uniformed nations) to a new plastic front. Compared to previous metal offerings they’re top quality, especially for your standard infantry. The construction issues arise from the fineness of straps and details, and you could easily overcome these by not being a fumble-fingered idiot who builds models incredibly quickly like me.

British Infantry. Credit: Lenoon

I’d love to see this range expanded at the same level of quality with a heavy weapons box – perhaps some Stokes Mortars and Vickers teams, or augmented with colonial heads, possibly shorts or kilt wearing bodies and the iconic and weird PH gas mask. While it’ll take me a while to complete the box, I’m excited to carry on and expand with a second and, if there is a follow up I’ll nab that one too!

If you like the look of the Brits – or any other WA box – pick them up while supporting Goonhammer at the same time via our affiliate link.

If you have questions, feedback, concerns for the mental health of a man who has decided to paint an entire British platoon in greyscale, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at