Last of the recently painted and based Blacktree Design figures, the time of the Italian. Of the three sets of figures these are the least interesting as they have far less kit. This also of course meant they were the fastest to paint up.
I struggled with the uniform colour quite a lot. Plenty of information on the Desert but little on fighting in Russia. Finally found a mix of grey and green - grey pictures. This will be the usual, it fades to grey kind of situation. I painted these with a mix of German field grey and sky grey. Whilst the figures have less kit at least some of them have a look of movement about them. Nice to see them in active poses and not looking like they are ready to surrender as stereotypes kick in!
The Italians have an interesting pouch system that just loops around the back of the neck where all other nations seem to go down the back for extra support. I just can't help but think if fully loaded they would drag at the back of the neck.
These I have the green starting to fade to grey. A relaxed poacher style of pose which I rather like. The rifles on these guys are all big and chunky, must not have been fun to have to lug that around all day.
Told you that rifle was heavy! The poor sod can hardly bring the barrel up to point at his target. Overall I rather like the Italian figures and again Blacktree have a good number of different poses for this neglected force. I have to say that mostly the Blacktree sculps were relatively clear of flash and mould lines with just a few minutes each for clean up. On the downside they tended to have solid lead between such as rifle and body that I would expect to be a space. Not every figure but a few and it reminded me of early Airfix plastics rather than modern metals. At least the position of such fill in's was such that they did not shout out at you but it did take a bit of the shine off them.
Taking it all into consideration I would recommend them over both the Bolt Action and the Artizan ranges. The figures seem to be that little bit more proportioned and beat Artizan over all for pose (Artizan are stiff) and whilst Bolt Action have great movement in most of their figures the need to clean flash off them drops them below the Blacktree casts. That said I am happy to paint up both other suppliers and I have some Blacktree Germans that some of the castings look like they are not quite as good as the other sculps, so watch this space.