I got free Desert Rats sprue from Wargaming Illustrated magazine (the other one available was their nemesis Afrika Korps) so I painted them up, possibly as a start of new army for Bolt Action. They’re stunning figures, the sprue is packed with tons of ammo pouches, backpacks, canteens and some other stuff like shovels, and the poses are customizable. Definitely best 28 mm Desert Rats, beating bland Perry’s.
When it comes to weapons, there are full array of everything you need to wage war on the desert against Germans & Italians (and don’t forget Vichy French). There are SMLE rifles and submachineguns for every miniature, pistol for officer, light mortar, Bren machineguns and even Boys anti-tank rifle (which wasn’t the best weapon and was replaced in 1943 by PIATs in British army, but that’s what they had in the desert).
Poses are dynamic, and various arms options, accessories and most importantly heads will let you combine your plastic soldier with limitless capabilities. There are 4 sets of heads:
– Standard, default helmeted heads, that you can use for any soldiers from 8th Army,
– Heads with Scottish Tam o’ Shanter berets – obviously for Scots that were too stubborn to wear helmets,
– Mosselman (Muslims) Indian heads with distincts turbans from today’s Pakistan,
– And Sikh heads with big turbans and beards – which I decided to use.
Sikhs on the Italian front
Presenting captured flag in the desert
In Bolt Action you can field Indians using standard British forces from Great Britain army book, or excellent Western Desert book to field them as Commonwealth Indian Platoon. The latter replaces standard British abilities, allowing you to get free 10 man squad. I think it’s the same ability that USSR has and it reflects huge manpower available to this British colony.
Onto the minis:
Typically, they had white officers though. The thing in his left hand is whistle.
Prone mini is Boys rifleman.
The poses are very dynamic and customizable. Flash is minimal and assembly is easy. As I said before, one of the latest plastic Bolt Action set by Warlord Games, that looks great on the table!