by: Pat McGrath [ ]
While Allarmi do produce some German and Allied figures their main theme is the Italian Army and this figure of an Italian paratrooper is a fine example of their range.
The Italian Folgore Parachute Division distinguished itself at the Battle of El Alamein repulsing attack after attack and only withdrew when the Eighth Army broke through in another part of the line and they were in danger of being surrounded.
The Paratrooper wears a typical desert order of dress with a short sahariana jacket and shorts. He wears the M42 para helmet, or the tropical helmet, and we can see the wooden grip of his 8-inch M39 fighting knife worn behind his ammo bandolier. He carries the Italian Carcano Model M38. His right arm grasps the strap of his M35 Gas mask bag which is slung across his body.
The figure is posed with his left leg raised and his rifle balanced on his shoulder as if looking into the distance.
The figure comes in Allarmiís usual green box with a photo of the unpainted figure on the top. Inside, the figure is contained in a ziplock bag. The kit consists of four parts, three of which are needed to make the figure as there is a choice of two heads, one wearing the tropical helmet and sporting a beard, and the other wearing the parachutistís steel helmet. The break down of parts is the torso including the legs and with the right arm cast integrally to the body, the left arm holding the rifle, and the two heads.
Cast in a grey resin with almost no seam lines, and with no air bubbles or other casting flaws, the kit needs minimal clean up. There is a large resin plug attached to the figures feet which, as usual, I left in place to hold onto while painting.
The detail on the uniform, equipment and musculature of the figure is very crisp. The anatomy and proportions all look spot on. The figure is 48 mm tall from toe to top of helmet, but is leaning forward so that has to be taken into account when estimating scale height. I put him beside a dragon figure and he looked ok.
There are no assembly or painting instructions provided, and while the figure is simplicity itself to assemble, painting instructions would have been nice. I first cut the pieces from their casting lugs with a very sharp razor saw and a number 11 blade. There were seam lines on both legs and on the lower rear of the jacket which I cleaned up with the back of the no. 11 blade.
The M38 rifle is cast with the left arm and properly cleaned up fits almost perfectly to the shoulder. Both the heads are a good fit, and I went with the one wearing the Para helmet. I used CA glue to fix the head and left arm in place.
I like this figure, he has a very determined stoic look about him and would work as a standalone figure or perched atop a burned out British tank. Allarmi have attained a very high standard of casting and modelling with this figure comparable with any other figure manufacturer.
There is a conspicuous lack of information available both on the web and in book form about WWII Italian Army Uniforms, and it would have been a welcomed addition to have some historical background and painting instructions provided with the figure.