Category Archives: WWII

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.

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

Back in 2015 I made an unplanned trip to Taipei, during which I managed to squeeze in the briefest of visits to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. As luck would have it, my presence coincided with the hosting of a modest exhibition commemorating the 70th anniversary of Japan’s defeat in WWII.

On display were paintings of the sort favoured by Asian military museums (which is to say their inattention to historical accuracy and general shoddiness would in all likelihood preclude their inclusion in Osprey books) highlighting some of the Sino-Japanese War’s greatest hits:

Of greater interest to wargamers such as us were the smattering of 1/35 afv kits the organisers had very kindly commissioned:

My favourite, though, were the even smaller batch of action figures on show:

And to end it all, a bloody big diorama of the China theatre of operations. Funnily enough I didn’t feel all that bothered about capturing the thing in its entirety.

Battle of Koh Chang

Thailand’s best-selling daily has put out a short animated video on the Franco-Thai War’s best known battle. It can be viewed here.

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WWII Thailand on Youtube

Some idle soul has done the world a favour by amalgamating wartime newsreel clips from the British Pathé and Japanese NHK archives.

As the running time is quite substantial, what follows is a breakdown of the bits of most interest to wargamers (not that the rest isn’t worth watching, particularly for those wishing to see a leafy Bangkok unsullied by today’s congestion):

00:04 Primary school members of the Yuwachon youth movement participating in irredentist marches.

0:54 Arrival of a Laffly S15R bearing Japanese mediators.

00:59 French troops, including one cheeky-looking chap in a non-regulation beret.

01:42 Thai reservists presenting arms to the Franco-Thai-Japanese armistice commission.

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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.