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"15mm WWII US Airborne - Urban" Topic

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Action Log

08 Mar 2022 3:46 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "15mm WWII US Airborne - Urban- 2nd Try" to "15mm WWII US Airborne - Urban"

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©1994-2022 Bill Armintrout
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Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP07 Mar 2022 5:30 p.m. PST


Fresh off the presses, I literally just finished this force up this past weekend. I'm super proud of them; there's nothing in the photos I'm about to show you that I didn't paint and base myself, 100% the work of Jack. I'm very happy with how they turned out; I know, I pretty much always say that, but it's certainly true. The core of the force is built from Battlefront's US Airborne Company box, in the soft plastic, with a considerable amount of the heavy weapons coming from the old Battlefront metals, and a handful of the newer, hard-plastic Battlefront troops (from the 'Open Fire' set and the Airborne Rifle platoon pack). I'm not sure if you'll be able to tell in the pictures, but the company box paratroopers are much larger and much thicker than the other two, with the Battlefront metals being the runts of the bunch.

You see everything laid out on my bombed-out city/battle of Mars mat; yeah, it's a bit too orange-y, but I think it doesn't look too bad once you've got everything on it. I did up the bases almost in the same way as the three previous urban forces (Soviets, Germans, and British Paras), but they are a bit different as, of all things, my wife kept pestering me to drybrush more gray onto the bases. She maintains I should have put yet more gray on the bases. I'm not one to argue with the Missus, but I didn't want these bases getting too far away from the three forces I'd already completed.


The company, battalion, regimental, or divisional commander, depending on what rules I finally friggin' choose and what echelon I'm gaming at…


A bazooka team.


A nice, authoritative looking NCO pointing, with Thompson SMG.


A look at one of the machine gun teams.


And how about a look at one of the old metal 81mm mortar teams. While I think the new plastic troops are great, I much prefer the old metal mortars to the new plastic ones (at least in the US forces, no problem with the British and German plastic mortars).

To see a bunch more photos, please check the blog at:

In any case, there they are, prepared to go nose to nose with the German SS in Hunner Park, should be fun ;) I hope you guys like them. In terms of what I've got on the painting table, my US Airborne for the Med and North Africa are about 70% done, my Indians for the Med and North Africa are about 90% done, my Aussies and Bersaglieri for North Africa are about 95% done, and (as I mentioned above) my Urban SS are about 40% done. So, as always, more to follow.


pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP08 Mar 2022 5:50 a.m. PST

Nicely done, sir!

Bismarck08 Mar 2022 8:43 a.m. PST

You would have made two of my late uncles proud. One was
in the 82nd and the other 101st. These are great.

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP08 Mar 2022 7:58 p.m. PST

Thank you, gentlemen!

No kidding, Sam? That's kinda cool, but very lucky for your family's honor that you ultimately chose the right path ;)

Both of my grandfathers fought in the Pacific (one Navy, one Army), but one of them had a neighbor that was 82nd Airborne and jumped into Sicily, Salerno, Normandy, and Holland, and as a kid I loved to hear his stories from "The Big One."


Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP09 Mar 2022 1:52 p.m. PST

It is just incredible to hear of Bismarck and Just Jack's ancestors service and (presumably) making it through that, with elite units to boot!

My lot were Irish and neutral and armed with ancient bolt action rifles and their job was just to shoot parachutists of any army. Not Ireland's proudest moment was WWII. It is a long and sad story.

My wife's grandfather was a regular who served through 1939 up to Dunkirk, then North Africa, then a POW in Italy and Germany. However much I told him I was interested, indeed fascinated, he would not talk about it. Respect for those who have seen the real thing, not what we talk about.

Bismarck09 Mar 2022 4:56 p.m. PST

My Dad's side of the family was pretty big. There were
12 who served during the war. One uncle who was with the
1st Mar Div at Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester and Peleliu
and I are the only two "black sheeps" in the family.
Dad and the others but one were all Army in the ETO, his brother in the Pacific,
one Merchant Mariner. Some wounded, but everyone came home.

On Mom's side, two Army, her sister a career Army nurse, ret'd as a Major. whose first duty station was Okinawa after we took it, one uncle battlefield commissioned
in North Africa and later served in Korea. Retired as
a Lt. Col. in the USAR. The biggest character of all was
an uncle who served in the Navy. Master Chief Bosun Mate,
joining in 1928, yes that's right and spent 18 of his 37
years as a "China Sailor". He was in the Asiatic Fleet and
saw a lot of action. Had a lot to live up to when
I joined the Corps in '67 and headed to Vietnam.

Semper Fi,


Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP10 Mar 2022 5:50 p.m. PST

Deadhead – My mom's dad had a brother that was KIA in WWII, but I don't know anything about him, not even his service, my grandfather wouldn't talk about it, and my dad's dad had a brother who was a tanker in the Bulge and was severely wounded in the head, which plagued him until his early death. I never really heard much about my dad's mom's side of the family; she had a brother named Ernie and all he said was "I was in the Army during WWII" and not another world.

My mom's mom was actually from Bermuda and she had a bunch of brothers that I met at a family reunion. They all served in the British Army except one who actually emigrated and served in the Canadian Army. A couple of them never left Bermuda, but the rest of them all had non-combat stories from North Africa and/or Italy that they were sitting around getting drunk and laughing their asses off about.

My father and an uncle both fought in Vietnam. Sam and I are both Marines, but of different generations; he fought in Vietnam and I fought in Afghanistan and Iraq. I have ancestors in the military that go all the way back to the War of Independence, so I suppose it's kind of the family business ;)

Sam – Yeah, I know what you mean, I'm the only Marine in the family. My old man did fours years in the Navy, got out, then did another 16 years in the Air Force. Folks say "I can't believe you joined the Marines." I reply "someone had to be a real man" ;)

The ‘Canal, Cape Gloucester, and Peleliu, eh? My goodness… I hope it was home on points. But I don't know what's more impressive, that or the 18 years as a ‘China Sailor'!!! Sounds like my kinda guy (I spent 7 of my 10 years stationed in Japan). When I got to Okinawa I was the third generation there: my dad's dad, who fought there in the Army, my dad, who passed through on the way to Vietnam, and then me.

As always, Semper Fidelis.


Bismarck11 Mar 2022 11:22 a.m. PST

Your era didn't have the reputation that pre war China
Sailors did. Uncle Frank used to say if a girl found out
you were a China Sailor she wouldn't even walk on the same
side of the street!!! He had an old fashioned scrapbook,
the one with the heavy black cardboard pages that you
had to glue on angled holders to fit photos inn. Photos of
his younger days in a rickshaw in Shanghai and some incredible pictures from his long career. His first
duty station was on a gunboat ala Sand Pebbles. He was
quite a rounder. Once asked if he had ever had opium, he
replied, "no, but I drank some @#$% good liquor."

Uncle Howard had the worst of it of all. He rotated out
on points and severe malaria. Almost died. He was infantry
and his children, now my age, used to talk about him
waking them from his nightmares and sometimes waking
screaming. He even started back having flashbacks in his 80s. Other than talking about Australia he never
mentioned anything else. He was active in the church, had
a great sense of humor and humility to match. Never told him, but I always felt unworthy of having worn the Eagle, Globe and Anchor when I
was around him. Not sure what regiment he was in. Need to
ask his son if he knows. All those men were indeed the
greatest generation.

Not as far back as your family, we have provenance of our
family serving in WWI and the Spanish American War. Oral
history has it we had one in the ACW and another in the
AWI, but no written evidence.

You definitely come from a long military lineage.

Semper Fidelis,


Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP14 Mar 2022 6:25 p.m. PST


That's too funny about the China sailors, and don't be so sure I didn't enjoy a similar reputation! ;)

A shame about your Uncle Howard, for time to have not washed a lot of that away. I've had some struggles myself, but family, wargaming, and time seem to have helped me past most of it, though I still have my moments when a certain sound or smell will take me back to a place I don't want to be, but I better understand it (and myself) now, and I know what it takes to get through it.

I credit a lot of my ability to deal with the war to the fact I was older (27 when I deployed to Afghanistan and 30 in Iraq), so a lot more life experience and maturity to fall back on, and I've always marveled at how difficult it must be for all the 18- and 19-year olds. War's a bitch, ain't it?

Regarding the evidence, I only learned of about half that stuff about ten years ago when two of my mom's brothers spent a bunch of time and money doing a family tree and researching our lineage as far back as they could, going all over the country to view local records/holdings, hiring a company to assist, and even some private investigators. Not something I'd have had the desire to do, but pretty cool that they did it.

Hope all is well, old man, and Semper Fidelis.


Bismarck15 Mar 2022 10:48 a.m. PST

Hey Jack,
My uncle Howard was only 18 when he joined. Your point on
age making a big difference is well taken. I was an old
man of 20 when I arrived in Vietnam. Had some rough spots
for a while after returning to the world, but like you, family sure was a big help.
Not doing too bad for an old man. Nice to see some warm
weather on the way to warm these old bones. Best always
to you and yours.

Semper Fi,


Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2022 11:47 a.m. PST


"Old man at twenty," yes, exactly my point! At 30 I was absolutely ancient, one of the oldest guys in the company! That's what really aggravates me about war movies; the 45 year old Sergeant and the 50 year old Captain. If people only realized how young the men they actually send off to war are…

Semper Fidelis.


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