Allied Forces in Blitzkrieg Europe, 1939–1940 British, French, Belgian, Dutch and Polish Forces

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Andy Singleton
Other Publication Information
Paperback (6.8” x 9.7”) 128 pages with 200 color photographs
Company: Pen & Sword - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Casemate Publishers - Website: Visit Site
Painting Wargaming Figures book cover

I was excited to review a Pen & Sword book on allied forces during the Blitzkrieg, thinking it would be part of the amazing Images of War series.

When I received "Allied Forces in Blitzkrieg Europe, 1939–1940; British, French, Belgian, Dutch and Polish Forces", I was a little surprised to find out that it is part of their Painting Wargaming Figures series. Author Andy Singleton gives a brief overview of the allied forces, then delves into painting the figures of the five major allied armies facing the German blitzkrieg. Since I want to become a (much) better figure painter, this book really spoke to me.

It provides a fascinating and remarkable insight into painting early WWII wargaming figures (15mm, 20mm and 28mm). The author gives a concise, introductory review of common tools for plastic and metal figures, covering knives, cutters, files, glues, filler, primers, paint, and brushes. For more experienced modelers, he also provides a good review of painting techniques.

The author’s credentials are summed up on the back cover and the Casemate website:

“Andy Singleton has been modeling and painting since childhood, having built subjects across a broad range of subjects, scales and genres. In 2014, Andy decided to stop having a proper job and picked up his brushes full time to become professional figure painter, with his business Volley Fire Painting Service. In addition to painting legions of figures, he has worked with many manufacturers across the industry and examples of his work can be found in many rule books, magazines and websites. Andy is also a co-host on the podcast ‘A Few Brits and the Hobby’.”

He has authored at least six wargaming figure painting books. This book proves his credentials are well earned.

The nice chapters contain a brief history of each allied army’s uniforms and gear. They are well appointed with color photographs and step-by-step figure painting instructions.

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1 – Tips and Tools
  • Chapter 2 – Polish Forces
  • Chapter 3 – Dutch Forces
  • Chapter 4 – Belgian Forces
  • Chapter 5 – French Forces
  • Chapter 6 – British and Commonwealth Forces
  • Chapter 7 – Skin Tones
  • Chapter 8 – Horses
  • Chapter 9 - Bases

The attention to detail is amazing and broken down thoughtfully. Andy also covers specialist forces such as Polish cavalry (and how to paint the three predominant horse colors: brown, gray and black) French Colonial troops, and Dutch Marines. One detail that really impressed me is the garish green color used on early war British webbing, which was treated with Blanco No. 97, sometimes referred to as Pea Green.

The face painting chapter is well articulated and supported with photographic steps. With subtle paint application, little details can reflect the environment the soldiers operated, stress, stubble, war inexperience and wariness.

I found the book to be greatly educational and entertaining. It will be on my bench the next time I attempt to paint figures to adorn my 1/35 armor. Anyone interested in figure painting, and brief, yet concise uniform descriptions of early WWII allied armies, will find this book beneficial.

Profuse thanks to Casemate and IPMS/USA for providing the review sample.


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