8th Army Infantry Platoon

8th Army infantry platoon per the description at Bayonet Strength. This site provides invaluable indformation on the organization of battalions, companies and squads/sections in the main armies during WW2. In this particular case, the rifle squads in the desert have only 9 men instead of the usual 10.

Platoon Command : 1 officer (lieutenant; subaltern in British army lingo), 1 sergeant with Thompson SMG), 1 orderly, 1 batman and 1 driver for the platoon's single 15cwt truck. All three enlisted men carry SMLE rifles.
3 sections each with a corporal (SMG), 1 Bren gunner and 7 riflemen.


The figures are from the three main 8th Army sets: Airfix, Revell and ESCI, plus useful figures form the Revell Australian set. "Useful figures" is defined as "not in weird or unusual pose". Some figures were converted from the ESCI battledress infantry and commando sets to provide more riflemen. As with most plastic sets there are too many NCOs with submachine guns and not enough riflemen.


1/2 of the platoon done.


Progress pics of the project. I took pains to harmonize the size of the MkII helmets. Unlike German and Soviet helmets the British MkII's (and US M1's) come in a single shell size. The ESCI helmets were used as the reference and quite a few ESCI figures were scalped to provide replacement helmets.The slings are made from thin strips cut from lead foil wine bottle wrappers stuck in place using CA glue. They can be difficult to put in place as the CA glue seems to have its own prioritization of where to set first. It invariably sets on skin first, then your tweezers and finally binds the sling to the figure.