Vichy infantry

These chaps can double as both foreign legion and colonials, the Indochina garrison having undertaken to standardise its combat troops’ appearance during the mid-1930s (to the extent that even the Vietnamese tirailleurs’ iconic salacco hat was replaced by the Model 1931 sun helmet).

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The wargaming world’s first-ever range of such troops (predating the Perrys’ own 28mm offerings by several years), Elhiem Figures’ WWII French in tropical uniform can also be used to defend France’s honour in places as far apart as Madagascar, Gabon, and the Levant – a very versatile bunch if you ask me!

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The painting pretty much follows the recipe outlined in the previous post, though the bread bags have been given a 50:50 mix of VMC Iraqi Sand and Foundry Boneyard C as a mid-tone to offset the jarring near-whiteness of Foundry Boneyard C on its own.

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Water bottles were done using an improvised VMC British Uniform – VMC Khaki Grey – VMC Khaki Grey + VMC Iraqi Sand triad which I would like to think came out rather well.

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5 responses to “Vichy infantry

  1. Some salaccos were still visible in a early war period, see https://i62.servimg.com/u/f62/18/75/34/56/captur14.png

    • Great picture! But are you sure this wasn’t taken earlier? I’ve not encountered any signs of it in photographs that can be directly attributed to the actual period, be they of troops on the parade ground or prisoners taken by the Thais and Japanese (think I will dedicate a post to reference materials when I can muster the energy, but that will have to wait till I sort out the motorised detachments).

      • Well, it’s hard to be sure of anything, since documents from this time and place tend to be scarce, fragmentary, or even mistaken.
        But.
        The vehicle there is a Citroën Kégresse P104, a later version of the P16, ordered specifically by the ministery of colonies for Indochina in 1933. Twelve units have been manufactured during 1934, then sent for a monthes long travel.
        We can’t imagine those arriving there before 1935. Futhermore, the earliest data we have from the army is the P104s being incorporated in a motorized detachement of the 4th Régiment d’Artillerie Coloniale in 1938.
        So, the Salacco may still have been part of at least garrison dress in the late 30ies. However, that indochinese tirailleurs have been sent to combat with salaccos and not a colonial helmet is doubtful to say the least.

      • I stand corrected! Though for what it’s worth, all of the photographs I have seen of the halftracks feature the sun helmet, so you can’t entirely blame me.

      • I’m not blaming anyone, good Lord ! This is the only photo I’ve seen that let me think like that. But have a look there too : https://www.troupesdemarine.org/traditions/uniforme/pgs/un000020.htm … At least there are documents that let us think that salaccos and sun helmets coexisted at this time. That’s all I need to induldge myself in crafting some green stuff salaccos on a handful of models. The rest will be wearing colonial helmets.

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