Category Archives: Vichy French

More Vichy French

Very chuffed with how fast I was able to churn this second unit out. They may not hold up well in the face of the camera’s unforgiving glare, though at arm’s length on the tabletop they do look quite passable. Honest!

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Funnily enough, it was only thanks to these photos that I came to realise that the helmet badges still need to be painted. I am already looking forward to rectifying this with the next batch.

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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.

Vichy officers

Some chaps to lead the defence of Indochina.

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Though the uniforms have turned out a tad bit too yellow, I’m quite pleased with the overall result and will be sticking to the following recipe:

Uniform and helmet: Foundry Boneyard A – Foundry Boneyard B
Leather kit and shoes: GW Scorched Brown – VMC Saddle Brown
Bread bag: VMC Khaki Grey – VMC Iraqi Sand – Foundry Boneyard C
Puttees: VMC – US Drab – VMC English Uniform – VMC Khaki Grey

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The three helmeted figures are all from Elhiem pack FT04. The odd man out is from Shell Hole Scenics. Anoraks will likely note the sculptor’s attention to detail (particularly the extra canvas belt and shoulder aiguillette) as well as my completely ahistorical rendering of his kepi – because the right colours for colonial infantry are just abysmally dull, I instead went with those belonging to the Saharan companies, which meant that the band was given an undercoat of VMC Prussian Blue and highlighted with VMC Deep Sky Blue, while the crown was painted a bright VGC Bloody Red. And yes, I did omit the collar tabs. So shoot me.

French test figure

Apart from the bread bag I’m quite pleased with how he turned out, and shall be doing the rest of the unit this weekend.

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In other news I’ve got a few more Thai tanks lined up, as well as a couple of infantry guns. Here’s hoping nothing upsets my weekend plans.

dipped Foreign Legion

What little enthusiasm I had for these figures was destroyed while preparing and painting them, a process I found tedious and frequently infuriating. Why? Where to begin? First, there was far more flash than I had initially realised, some of which I failed to remove with my poor excuse for a modelling knife. I then proceeded to obscure the tiny details (well, they are tiny figures) by slathering  on an over-generous helping of PVA glue. This was followed by something much worse – in my impatience to get them finished I had rushed through the basing stage without allowing the glue sufficient time to dry, which meant that when it came time to spray prime the figures  five of them were instantly ruined. The surviving five can be seen here.

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And thank god for the Army Painter dip! Painting them with my usual layering method would have been a nightmare. And before anyone starts wondering, I do not intend to use these for Bir Hakeim or anywhere else in the desert. They are supposed to represent legionnaires of the 5e REI in Indochina – ignore the Tommy guns – hence the grassy bases.