login   |    register

Italian Alpini, Graian Alps, June 1940

  • move
Historical Context:

A little known part of WWII was the Italian invasion of France in June, 1940 through the Graian Alps where the Italians fought against some of the Maginot line forts that were built in the mountains. The Franco-German armistice was signed before things got too hot and heavy along the Italian-French border, but still, the Italian Alpini got their WWII baptism of fire there.

The figure and vignette represent one of the Italian Alpini, or mountain troops, as those forces advanced from Italy through the southwestern end of the Alps towards the border with France. He's depicted wearing the Alpini's special felt hat with its distinctive black crow's feather. The red cockade signifies the 2rd battalion of his regiment, and in the bottom center of the hat's insignia, is a small sky blue disk which would have had his regimental number. The green collar "flames" and gold stars are the Alpini versions of these standard Italian infantryman's insignia.

The figure is also equipped with the Alpini rucksack and the shortened M1938TS Carcano carbine, a shortened version of the standard M1891 6.5mm Carcano rifle. The rest of his uniform and equipment are the standard versions used by other Italian infantrymen.


The Hornet Italian Alpini, WWII, stock number IH1, is a classic 1/35th scale white metal figure, but as with all Hornet figures, the sculpting is outstanding, and I particularly liked the pose and subject. Roger Saunders is one of those sculptors who makes figure painting a joy, and this one was no exception.

The figure is pretty much stock. I added the rifle sling made from lead foil and sling swivels made from fine copper wire. I had to add the battalion cockade at the base of the feather because I lost the one included with the figure. For this I used two-part epoxy putty. Other than these two small additions, the figure is stock.

As usual with my figure painting, the figgy was cleaned-up, primed with Tamiya flat white and undercoated with various Vallejo acrylics for the uniform and equipment colors. I used Citadel / Games Workshop Bronze Flesh as the undercoat color for the face and hands. On top of the acrylic undercoats, I used artist oils for the actual painting, blending these wet-on-wet. The basic flesh colors are made from titanium white, yellow ocher, and burnt sienna mixed at a ratio of about 3:2:1. Burnt umber was used for the shadows, and white was added for the highlights. A touch of burnt sienna was added for the "warm" flesh areas. The lower lip is the basic flesh color with a touch of alizarin crimson; the 5 o'clock shadows are done with a touch of Payne's gray blended in.

The peculiar stone-gray color of the uniform was per my references which were color photos of period uniform items held in contemporary militaria collections. The camouflaged roll on his rucksack is the standard Italian issue M1929 tent section / poncho.
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move

About the Author

About Mike Roof (SdAufKla)

I started modeling when I got a 1/72 Dauntless Dive Bomber for my 6th birthday in 1965 and havn't stopped since. Like many, I got my "serious" start when Monogram began putting Sheperd Paine's diorama "how-to" pamphlets in their kits in the early '70's. It was then that I realized that there co...


Beautiful build. The figure and terrain tells a simple yet effective story in itself. Great painting of the figure. Thanks for sharing
JUL 11, 2012 - 01:24 PM
Thanks for the kind words, Jesper! Happy modeling,
JUL 16, 2012 - 12:03 AM
Mike, Masters-level work, in my opinion. EXCELLENT. And you slapped this together from a figure painting demonstration. I think I'll go crawl under a rock now.
JUL 16, 2012 - 03:57 AM
Yep, I think I need to give up now after seeing this! outstanding! Gary.
JUL 16, 2012 - 07:09 AM
What everyone else wrote X 10!
FEB 26, 2015 - 12:21 AM
To all of my Armorama friends, both real-world and “virtual:” It with a heavy heart and much sadness that I must say to you all that as of today I can no longer, in good conscious, remain a member and active participant here on Historicus Forma or any other KitMaker Net site. For many years, I have enjoyed my time here and on Armorama. I have spent countless hours sharing my own builds and works with you, my friends. Over many hundreds of hours, I have tried to repay the debt I owe to modeling by sharing my techniques and methods while also answering questions. My intent has always been to try to help others to achieve their own modeling goals and to realize their own modeling potential. Through it all, I have tried to remain civil and respectful – To disagree without being disagreeable and to always be tactful. I think that in the main, I was able to do these things. I have especially enjoyed viewing and commenting on the works that you, my friends, have taken the time to share. It is this interaction and social contact with you that I will miss the most. Unfortunately, two recent incidents here by one of the official staff members have made Armorama a place where I cannot remain. Many of you may be aware of these two threads started by staff member Kevin Brandt, aka: SgtRam: Armorama::Armor/AFV::Ode to Rivet Counters Track_Link::General and Site News::Just Curious Although I was willing to overlook the first of these threads as a momentary lapse of judgement and civility, when Brandt pursued the targets of his vicious personal attack to another forum, I could no longer rationalize nor passively accept and condone his behaviors and actions. As an official member of the staff here on Armorama, Brandt holds a position of responsibility and represents both the site and its publisher. His behaviors are no longer the acts of a lone, anonymous internet voice; they become an extension of Armorama and its publisher. It does not matter that he (or anyone else) performs his functions here as a volunteer. As a staff member, he, his actions and his behaviors are inseparable from Armorama. I sent PMs and emails to some of the staff and the publisher to protest Brandt’s behaviors and to ask that the publisher, Jim Starkweather, aka: staff_jim, take responsibility for Brandt’s actions. Unfortunately, my protests fell on deaf ears. You may read Starkweather’s open reply here: Armorama::Site Talk::staff_jim post We are all judged, to some extent, by the company we keep, and at the time of my protest, it was my intention to simply cease any participation on any threads or topics that Brandt started or posted to. That intention, however, has shown itself to be impractical. I cannot separate the staff member from the site. The real issue here is one of personal and corporate responsibility and civility. As long as the publisher refuses to take responsibility for his staff members, or as long as Brandt refuses to accept and show remorse for his own actions, Armorama is a site that condones and supports such behaviors. To remain here, to continue to participate and contribute to this site’s content, is to effectively lend my own support and endorsement to what Brandt did and said. My personal ethic will not allow me to do so. I suppose the possibility remains that the publisher, Jim Starkweather, and or staff member, Kevin Brandt, will do the right thing. It is possible that one day they might take responsibility for Brandt’s behavior and demonstrate some remorse by publically apologizing to Kurt Laughlin and Christophe Jacquemont for Brandt’s aggressive and viscous personal attacks on them. Accepting responsibility and apologizing would do much to restore this site’s reputation and establish some reasonable boundaries for civil behavior by all. However, unless and until that day happens, I am afraid that I must bid you, my friends, farewell and… Happy modeling! Mike Roof, aka: SdAufKla
MAR 29, 2015 - 06:13 PM