Italian soldiers in N. African uniforms?


Are these troops in N. African uniforms or Italian Front Russian Front uniforms? They seem like they would be too hot and uncomfortable in the desert?

Those are not the desert uniforms, they look like the continental uniforms for lack of a better term. I’m sure there are some pics of the early years of Italy’s campaign in North Africa that show a mix of uniforms before they could fully outfit there troops in desert kit.

Ok…I was thinking the same thing.

Here is the front box art…they are painted different than the paint callouts on the back…looks like a desert setting.

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I have several books on Italian uniforms from Osprey so I’d have to look at them to see if they just made desert uniforms in the same style as their regular ones. I’m pretty sure they made specific desert uniforms. You could get away with painting them a desert color of course , I don’t think too many people would know.

The one on the left belongs to the 1st San Marco Regiment (Italian: 1° Reggimento San Marco), which is an amphibious formation of the Italian Navy. They are the Italian marines.

The one in the middle is from the 17th Infantry Division “Pavia” and the last one belongs to the
31st Independent Assault Engineer Battalion.


The dude on the right looks like the MB uniforms…I may get them and paint them desert colors…not to many Italian figures out there that are not in action poses.

Thank you for the info.

I also have photos of Italian troops still in M1937 grey-green Continental Uniforms early on in the campaign, although I can’t seem to find them right now.


I may use them in a diorama for the 1942 campaign…so these work out…thank you.

Italian POWs, Tunisia, Spring 1943

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Great pics here guys. Just as I suspected, there was a mix of European uniforms and desert ones.

I think I read sometime that Tunisia is much more of a temperate European climate than the rest of North Africa…even the Germans wore their European uniforms.

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Exactly. Over the years, I have seen so many Afrika Tiger models with crew figures in shorts and shirtsleeves…

The Tunisian climate of the winter of 1942-43 wasn’t anything like say, First El Alamein.

Even a cursory examination of Tunisian campaign photos will reveal this.



Yes, Tunisia has a similar climate to Southern California. Late Autumn thru early Spring are the cold & wet season. The coastal areas are moderated by the sea air influence. Away from the shore, inland the temperatures can vary immensely. But in the spring, the temperature warms rapidly, and by May it does get quite hot inland. Not first Alamein temps, but easily hotter than most European Continental climates at that time of year.

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