Tag Archives: wargaming the Franco-Thai War

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.

Elhiem Thais

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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.

Thai Machine Guns

Two “Type 66” (Browning M1917) teams from the wargaming world’s first ever range of WWII Thais. It was my intention to do up the battalion heavy weapons company in one go, but the late arrival of SHQ’s 37mm Bofors meant that these were done first.*

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These were originally slated for completion on the heels of the staff officers, but an avalanche of work resulted in their being left to languish in a semi-finished state on the workbench for ages.

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Don’t like the basing? Well neither do I! Not only was adding the tufts and clump foliage a right utter pain in the backside, but they ended up ruining the overall look. Basing is definitely a talent all on its own, and I shall henceforth stick to my static grass (I should also point out that some of the greats – Steve Dean, Andrew Taylor, and Kevin Dallimore – similarly eschew such extravagance).

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One more reason I’m not too particularly chuffed with these is the fact that whilst Matt is a highly talented sculptor, the machine gunner is light years away from his usual (i.e. high) standards.

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Note the unseemly short legs (the deformed shoes on the right figure is a miscast I noticed too late) . But as is the case with the Adrian helmet, when viewed from the side the defect is less glaring.

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Well there you have it. Next up are a pair of battalion guns, to be followed by a bunch of tanks and the rest of the infantry. I’m saving the heavy artillery and trucks for last.

*While the Shell Hole Scenics version I first received is a beautiful little kit, I wanted a more curved gun shield and so ended up ordering another from SHQ.

Thai Command Group

Elhiem’s Thai higher-ups are absolutely stunning sculpts that effectively capture the debonair hauteur inherent to staff officers the world over.

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