Kiwis in Italy – Steven’s Wargaming Project

They have been on my to do list for years – Kiwis in Italy or, more technically, 2 (NZ) Division in the Italian Campaign of 1943-45. I’m thinking a Crossfire Battalion of infantry and some armour to support them. Here are my overly extravagant Kiwi plans for 2020.


Steven’s Aspirational Order of Battle

Nothing like a bit of excess to start the year. So here is what I’m intending to collect

Steven’s Kiwi in Italy

  • 4 NZ Armoured Brigade
    • 20 Armoured Regiment
      • Reconnaissance Troop, Regimental HQ, 20 Armoured Regiment [Mud-grey with Blue-black disruptive pattern]
        • 3 x Stuart V
        • 3 x Stuart Recee
      • A Squadron, 20 Armoured Regiment
        • Squadron HQ, A Squadron, 20 Armoured Regiment [Dark Green]
          • 2 x Sherman IB (M4/105) [15,16]
          • 1 x Sherman VC (M4A4/17pdr) [17]
          • 1 x Sherman III (M4A2) [18]
          • 1 x Canadian Built Ford Lynx Scout Car
        • 1 Troop, A Squadron, 20 Armoured Regiment [Dark Green]
          • 2 x Sherman III (M4A2) [3,4]
          • 1 x Sherman VC (M4A4/17pdr) [5]
        • 2 Troop, A Squadron, 20 Armoured Regiment [Mud-grey with Blue-black disruptive pattern]
          • 3 x Sherman III (M4A2) [6,7,8]
        • 3 Troop, A Squadron, 20 Armoured Regiment [Mud-grey with Blue-black disruptive pattern]
          • 3 x Sherman III (M4A2) [9,10,11]
  • A Troop, 31st Battery, 7 Anti-Tank Regiment [Dark Green]
    • 4 x M10 Tank Destroyer [A1,A2,A3,A4]
  • 23 NZ Battalion + No. 1 Platoon, 27 NZ (MG) Battalion (Leg Infantry Battalion 1939-45)
    • 1 x BC (+1)
    • 1 x SMG Squad
    • 1 x Battalion Support Company
      • 1 x FO for off-table 3″ Mortar
      • 1 x 6 Pounder ATG with optional Tow
      • 1 x Engineer Platoon: PC (+1); 3 x Engineer Rifle Squads
      • 1 x Carrier Platoon: PC (+1); 3 x Rifle Squads; 1 x Carrier [Mud-grey with Blue-black disruptive pattern]
    • 4 x Infantry Companies [A,B,C,D]
      • 1 x CC (+1)
      • 1 x HMG (drawn from No. 1 Platoon, 27 NZ (MG) Battalion)
      • 1 x On-table 2″ Mortar
      • 3 x Rifle Platoons: PC (+1); 3 x Rifle Squads
  • Extra elements if infantry are from 22 NZ Motorised Battalion
    • +2 x HMG in Support Company
    • +2 x Carrier Platoons integral to infantry companies: PC (+1); 3 x Rifle Squads; 1 x Carrier [Mud-grey with Blue-black disruptive pattern]
  • 3 Troop, C Squadron, Divisional Cavalry [Mud-grey with Blue-black disruptive pattern]
    • 2 x Staghound I
    • 1 x Staghound II

Stage 1: Armour in Mud-grey with Blue-black disruptive pattern

I’m starting with the tanks because I can get somebody else to paint them. And I’m going with this Sherman IIIs because they can stand in for Shermans through Italy and Northwest Europe. I’ve gone for the interesting camouflage to make my Shermans stand out from everybody elses.

Kiwi Sherman from Cover of 4th New Zealand Armoured Brigade in Italy

Kiwi Sherman from Cover of 4th New Zealand Armoured Brigade in Italy


Here are the tanks. I’ve given both the British designation (Sherman III) and the American (M4A2).

When they arrived in Italy the Kiwi Armour had camouflage with a Mud-grey base with Blue-black disruptive pattern (see Kiwi Vehicle Camouflage during WW2):

  • Using Vallejo Paints: (115) 70.988 Khaki with disruptive pattern in a mix of (167) 70.995 German Grey / (169) 70.950 Black
  • Using FoW Paints: FWP327 Military Khaki with disruptive pattern in a mix of FWP303 Panzer Grey / FWP300 Black
  • Using Tamiya Paints: For Light Mud mix 4 parts XF-55 Deck Tan + 2 parts XF-49 Khaki + 1pt XF-66 Light Gray. It could take up to another 1/2 pt of XF-55. Use XF69 Nato Black as the disrupter over this.

In this period the Kiwis used the British air recognition symbol (not the Allied white star; the earlier one) painted on both turret roof and the engine deck. The Kiwis resisted the introduction of the Allied white star air recognition because it was seen as American.

Stage 1a: Troop 2 and 3, A Squadron, 20 Armoured Regiment

Regiment Marking: 20 Armoured Regiment had a regimental symbol with the fern leaf over the number 52; at front left, near track

Squadron Marking: A Squadron, 20 Armoured Regiment, had a blue triangle squadron symbol painted on sides of turret. The inside of the triangle was highlighted in white.

Hull Number: The tank numbers were on the side of hull. In A Squadron they were blue edged white.

Kiwi Armour 1 - Rear - Sherman III - A Squadron - 19 Armoured Regiment, Nov-Dec 1943

Kiwi Armour 1 – Rear – Sherman III – A Squadron – 19 Armoured Regiment, Nov-Dec 1943

Regiment Marking Squadron Marking Troop Marking Hull Number Vehicle Name Type of Vehicle
Fern leaf over “52” Blue Triangle with inside edge highlighted in white 2 “6” blue outlined in white Sherman III (M4A2)
Fern leaf over “52” Blue Triangle with inside edge highlighted in white 2 “7” blue outlined in white Sherman III (M4A2)
Fern leaf over “52” Blue Triangle with inside edge highlighted in white 2 “8” blue outlined in white Sherman III (M4A2)
Fern leaf over “52” Blue Triangle with inside edge highlighted in white 3 “9” blue outlined in white Arkansas Sherman III (M4A2)
Fern leaf over “52” Blue Triangle with inside edge highlighted in white 3 “10” blue outlined in white Sherman III (M4A2)
Fern leaf over “52” Blue Triangle with inside edge highlighted in white 3 “11” blue outlined in white Miss Marlborough Sherman III (M4A2)

Stage 1b: Carrier Platoon(s)

Many universal carriers also stayed in the 1943/1944 camouflage colours. This was Mud-grey with S.C.C. 14 Blue-black disruptive pattern (see Kiwi Vehicle Camouflage during WW2):

  • Using Vallejo Paints: (115) 70.988 Khaki with disruptive pattern in a mix of (167) 70.995 German Grey / (169) 70.950 Black
  • Using FoW Paints: FWP327 Military Khaki with disruptive pattern in a mix of FWP303 Panzer Grey / FWP300 Black
  • Using Tamiya Paints: For Light Mud mix 4 parts XF-55 Deck Tan + 2 parts XF-49 Khaki + 1pt XF-66 Light Gray. It could take up to another 1/2 pt of XF-55. Use XF69 Nato Black as the disrupter over this.

Stage 1c: Destroyed Sherman III

I like destroyed markers, or at least the idea of them as objective. So I’ll add a knocked out Sherman III to my collection.

My chosen vehicle is that of Major Parkinson, the OC of C Squadron, 18 Armoured Regiment. This Sherman was disabled in December 1943.

Regiment Marking: 18 Armoured Regiment had a regimental symbol with the fern leaf over the number 91; at front left, near track

Squadron Marking: C Squadron, 18 Armoured Regiment, had a red circle squadron symbol painted on sides of turret. This was fairly small on Parkinson’s vehicle.

Vehicle Number: The vehicle had a small number “1” above the squadron marking on the turret.

British air recognition symbol (not the Allied white star; the earlier one) painted on both turret roof and the engine deck.

Camouflage at the time was Mud-grey with S.C.C. 14 Blue-black disruptive pattern (see Kiwi Vehicle Camouflage during WW2):

  • Using Vallejo Paints: (115) 70.988 Khaki with disruptive pattern in a mix of (167) 70.995 German Grey / (169) 70.950 Black
  • Using FoW Paints: FWP327 Military Khaki with disruptive pattern in a mix of FWP303 Panzer Grey / FWP300 Black
  • Using Tamiya Paints: For Light Mud mix 4 parts XF-55 Deck Tan + 2 parts XF-49 Khaki + 1pt XF-66 Light Gray. It could take up to another 1/2 pt of XF-55. Use XF69 Nato Black as the disrupter over this.

Stage 2: 23 NZ Battalion + No. 1 Platoon, 27 NZ (MG) Battalion

I’ve put the infantry next. I’m going to paint them. That is the problem. My motivation for painting is sooooo loooowwww. The Kiwis have been on my painting table for a year now as “Next up”. But I’ll do anything in preference. Specifically write my blog, write rules and make terrain.


Stage 3: Armour in Dark Green

I have chosen to get the HQ Troop and 1 Troop are from March 1945. This is because, at that time, they have Sherman VC (M4A4/17pdr) and Sherman IB (M4/105).

They are stage 3 because I don’t need them as much as the above.

The Kiwi armour at that time was Dark Green (Olive drab matt HA/NIV/3235 or 3145) (see Kiwi Vehicle Camouflage during WW2):

  • Using Vallejo Paints try (096) 70.894 Russian Green / Camouflage Olive Green;
  • Using FoW Paints: FWP348 Firefly Green

Stage 3a: HQ Troop and 1 Troop, A Squadron, 20 Armoured Regiment

Some details were like in the previous period:

  • Regiment Marking: 20 Armoured Regiment had a regimental symbol with the fern leaf over the number 52; at front left, near track
  • Squadron Marking: A Squadron, 20 Armoured Regiment, had a blue triangle squadron symbol painted on sides of turret. The inside of the triangle was highlighted in white.
  • Hull Number: The tank numbers were on the side of hull. In A Squadron they were blue edged white.

Allied air recognition symbol (white start in white circle) painted on both turret roof and the engine deck.

The long gun of the Sherman VC (M4A4/17pdr) had a false muzzle brake installed halfway along. And the front half of the barrel had counter-shading painted on.

Kiwi Armour 1 - Rear - Sherman VC - C Squadron - 20 Armoured Regiment - May 1945

Kiwi Armour 1 – Rear – Sherman VC – C Squadron – 20 Armoured Regiment – May 1945

here are the tanks:

Regiment Marking Squadron Marking Troop Marking Hull Number Vehicle Name Type of Vehicle
52 Blue Triangle 15 Sherman IB (M4/105)
52 Blue Triangle 16 Sherman IB (M4/105)
52 Blue Triangle 17 Sherman VC (M4A4/17pdr)
52 Blue Triangle 18 Sherman III (M4A2)
52 Blue Triangle Canadian Built Ford Lynx Scout Car
52 Blue Triangle 3 Sherman III (M4A2)
52 Blue Triangle 4 Sherman III (M4A2)
52 Blue Triangle 5 Sherman VC (M4A4/17pdr)

Stage 3b: A Troop, 31st Battery, 7 Anti-Tank Regiment

Markings: 31 Battery has a symbol of green diamond containing red over blue on the side of the turret. The vehicle number was superimposed on the battery symbol in white. The troop number was prefixed to the vehicle number, in this case “A”.

The Kiwi armour at that time was Dark Green (Olive drab matt HA/NIV/3235 or 3145) (see Kiwi Vehicle Camouflage during WW2):

  • Using Vallejo Paints try (096) 70.894 Russian Green / Camouflage Olive Green;
  • Using FoW Paints: FWP348 Firefly Green

New Zealand 4th Armoured Brigade 1944-45

Regiment Battery Marking Troop Marking Hull Number Vehicle Name Type of Vehicle
7 Anti-Tank Regiment green diamond containing red over blue A1 M10 Tank Destroyer
7 Anti-Tank Regiment green diamond containing red over blue A2 Hallie M10 Tank Destroyer
7 Anti-Tank Regiment green diamond containing red over blue A3 M10 Tank Destroyer
7 Anti-Tank Regiment green diamond containing red over blue A4 M10 Tank Destroyer

Stage 4: Reconnaissance Troop, HQ Squadron 20 Armoured Regiment

Stage 4 returns to the Mud-grey base with Blue-black disruptive pattern camouflage. I would include this step in Stage 1 but it requires conversions to make the Stuart Recce vehicles.

Regimental Marking: 20 Armoured Regiment had a regimental symbol with the fern leaf over the number 52. On Stuarts this was at front on the glacis, to the left, near the track.

Squadron Marking: The HQ Squadron was distinguished by a red diamond. On Stuart V tanks the squadron diamond could be on the side of the turret or on the hull. On Stuart Recce vehicles the squadron diamond and vehicle number were painted next to each other on the side of the hull. Both were red outlined in white.

Allied air recognition symbol (white start in white circle) painted on both turret roof and the engine deck.

Regiment Marking Squadron Marking Troop Marking Hull Number Vehicle Name Type of Vehicle
52 Red Diamond outlined in white “1” red outlined in white Stuart V
52 Red Diamond outlined in white “2” red outlined in white Stuart V
52 Red Diamond outlined in white “3” red outlined in white Stuart V
52 Red Diamond outlined in white “4” red outlined in white Stuart Recce
52 Red Diamond outlined in white “5” red outlined in white Stuart Recce
52 Red Diamond outlined in white “6” red outlined in white Stuart Recce

Brian Smaller, a mate of mine from my Uni days, has some cool conversions of 15MM WWII – STUART RECCE TANKS, KANGAROOS AND STAGHOUNDS


Stage 5: 3 Troop, C Squadron, Divisional Cavalry

I’ve made the Divisional Cavalry Stage 4 because I don’t really need them. Of course I want them. I’m looking for a troop with two Staghound Is and a single Staghound II. The Staghound II was a New Zealand conversion and substituted the 37mm gun of the Staghound I for a 3-inch howitzer.

The Divisional Cavalry stayed in mud-grey with blue-black disruptive pattern until turned into infantry in Sep/Oct 1944. This was Mud-grey with S.C.C. 14 Blue-black disruptive pattern (see Kiwi Vehicle Camouflage during WW2):

  • Using Vallejo Paints: (115) 70.988 Khaki with disruptive pattern in a mix of (167) 70.995 German Grey / (169) 70.950 Black
  • Using FoW Paints: FWP327 Military Khaki with disruptive pattern in a mix of FWP303 Panzer Grey / FWP300 Black
  • Using Tamiya Paints: For Light Mud mix 4 parts XF-55 Deck Tan + 2 parts XF-49 Khaki + 1pt XF-66 Light Gray. It could take up to another 1/2 pt of XF-55. Use XF69 Nato Black as the disrupter over this.

At the start of this period the Kiwis used the British air recognition symbol (not the Allied white star; the earlier one). I assume the Division Cavalry did the same as the tanks and painted this on both turret roof and the engine deck. The Kiwis resisted the introduction of the Allied white star air recognition because it was seen as American.

Regiment Marking: The Divisional Cavalry had a regimental symbol with the fern leaf over the number 77; at front left and near. The 77 was superimposed on the regimental colours of green over blue.

Squadron Marking: The illustration is for 3 Troop within C Squadron. The blacked edged circle shows it is C Squadron. The circle is divided diagonally with the regimental green over blue. This was always on the turret.

Troop Marking: The number 3 is the troop number. The troop marking could be inside the squadron marking on turret (as shown), or separately either on the turret or on the hull.

The divisional cavalry did not display a hull number.

Kiwi Armour 3 - Rear - Staghound I - C Squadron - 2 Div Cav - April 1945

Kiwi Armour 3 – Rear – Staghound I – C Squadron – 2 Div Cav – April 1945


Models

Flames of War where I can get them. Plastic Soldier Company where I can’t.

BR121 Sherman Firefly VC

Got them.

BR119 Sherman III

Got them.

US052 M4A3 (105) Sherman

Flames of War don’t do the M4/105 so use this instead. Got them.

BR310 Daimler Dingo (x3) (use for Canadian Built Ford Lynx Scout Car)

Got them.

BR151 M10 3″ SP (includes 17pdr)

Hard to find as no longer produced. But I’ve got three from a variety of sources and I think I’m waiting for the fourth.

BR009 Stuart V

No longer in production. I only managed to find one. I might have to go for Plastic Soldier Company, particularly as I’ll have to convert some to be Stuart Recee

BBX58 Stuart Recce Armoured Troop (Plastic) (released in April 2020)

For the infantry

  • BBX04 Rifle Company (Italy)
  • BR761 Company HQ (Italy)
  • BR762 Rifle Platoon (Italy)
  • BR763 Motor Platoon (Italy)
  • BR764 Machine-gun Platoon (Italy)
  • BR765 Mortar Platoon (Italy)
  • BR208 Bren Carrier Platoon
  • BR768 Commonwealth Rifle Platoon
  • BR511 6 pdr gun (late)
  • BR410 Jeep
  • BR277 Quad tractor

I have to find

  • BR766 Field Platoon, Royal Engineers (Italy)
  • BR769 Heavy Mortar Platoon (Italy)
  • BSO111 Command Team (Italy)

8 comments to Kiwis in Italy – Steven’s Wargaming Project

  • Norm

    Fantastic post – thank you.

  • briansmaller

    Hello Steve. And you are welcome. I have not played any WWII in ages – must give it a go again.

    • Steven Thomas

      Your kit is impressive. Be great to see more of it.

      And how is the biggest wargaming shed in the Mangamahu Valley, New Zealand, and, in fact, the whole world?

      • briansmaller

        it is full of crap at the moment. Emptied an elderly relative’s house out and half his kit is stacked up in there. I am trying desperately toi fill up the remaining space with 28mm ACW. It is really fun painting these – six weeks into the new year and I have two brigades of 5 regiments done.

  • Julian Donohoe

    Look forward to see how this goes. It would be impressive to see all these tanks in one game of Crossfire.

    • Steven Thomas

      I have a big collection of vehicles but they don’t ever hang out together on the table. Normal is 3 tanks per side. Occasional is six to nine. Rare is “as much as possible”.

      So you’re likely to see a troop or two of the Kiwis together at the same time, but unlikely to see more.

  • jon

    Hi, does anyone make decals for the division?

    thanks for re- inspiring a long ago started project

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