Saturday, 13 July 2013

The Verdun Project: French Battalion Command (Part 1)


It’s been a while, hasn’t it? June and early July were pretty frantic for me with work, and I didn’t manage to blog anything and notably failed to keep track of everyone else’s fantastic blogs – so many, many apologies for that. It happens, occasionally, although this year has been particularly challenging in finding spare time to hobby in.

But, as all-round wargaming champion blogger and top bloke, Mike Whittaker, would say, “Never get off the bus, Sidney”. So I’ve been trying to keep the sacred hobby fires burning by painting up another section of French late war infantry and some very fine French battalion and higher command figures from Scarab Miniatures.


What you see here is at about a 60 per cent stage, with a lot of work left to do on the uniforms, helmets and metallic. I also need to add a few extras to the groundwork of all the figures. Barbed wire, shell fragments…..that sort of stuff.



The Scarab Battalion Command is a particularly nice set. I’ve combined a set of senior officer figures with a set of communication figures. I particularly like the pigeon being launched by the grizzled Poilu with a fine moustache.


I also painted up a small, prone Chauchat team from Brigade Miniatures. These have been fun to do, not least because the moulded face of one of the figures was….well, kind of melted and indistinct. You know the kind of figure – the one you see out of the pack and you think, oh dear, scrap heap for you old chap. However, one of the useful things about the French M2 gas mask is that it’s very easy to sculpt onto a figure. Basically a leather bag with two glass eye disks.



Making a mask for a figure is therefore pretty easy. Simply file down any features left on the face, add a blob of grey- or green-stuff for the mask, smooth it down and then add two small circles of grey-stuff for the eye disks and you’re just about there. The result isn’t Paul Hicks standard, of course, but it should pass muster at the three feet observation distance from the surface of the wargames table.



Next post, I’ll try to feature the scale comparison between 28mm French late war figures. I’ve got Scarab, Old Glory, Woodbine, Forgotton & Glorious and Brigade Miniatures to compare, plus a couple of extras. So fingers crossed for next time!

35 comments:

  1. We've missed you a lot!! Excellent work so far and very good idea the gas mask. Hope to see you more active in the near future

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    1. Benito! Thanks so much. I hope so too! Holidays coming up, so fingers crossed for more time then.

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  2. They look terrific! Gas mask is a fine idea.

    Cheers, Simon

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    1. Thank you very much. Very pleased you like them (so far as I've got!)

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  4. It have been a long time since the last post, but my word it worth waiting for! These are a triumph Sir.

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    1. Thanks Michael. That's very kind. It's taken a while, I know, so thank you so much for being patient!

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  5. Stunning work Sidney !!!

    If you don´t already have the ww1 book "Devil's Chariots the Birth & Secret Battles of the First Tanks WW1" which I asume you have...You can please have my copy. I´ll be glad to send it over the north sea to support you stunning ww1 project. Please drop me a mail at dalauppror@gmail.com and give me your adress if you want it.

    Keep up the good work !

    Best regards Michael

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    1. Michael, that's very kind indeed! I've actually got that one, and I very much enjoy it. It's really excellent - and gives a very different perspective on the industrial challenges in building a whole new arm of the war effort. I only which someone had written a similar book on the development of French tanks in the Great War! Thanks so much again, Michael!

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    2. Woulden´t expect that you dind´t have it:) Greate to heare that like it.

      Best regards Michael

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  6. Inspiring and just lovely to look at! Your painting and basing is truly a work of art.

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    1. Monty, very kind Sir. They're not done yet but thanks for the encouragement!

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  7. Lovely ideas and work so far my friend and as always inspiring!

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  8. Excellent improvisation with the gasmask, and all-round superb paint job as well sir!

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    1. Thanks Ed - thanks for dropping by and adding to the encouragement! Much appreciated, Colonel!

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  9. Some lovely work again! Makes me almost want to delve head first into WW1 gaming.

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  10. Great work Sidney, nice to see you back posting.

    All the best

    Airhead

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    1. Thanks very much - yes, getting back into the groove hopefully!

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  11. Outstanding as always, I love the gas mask conversion. It looks great!

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    1. Thanks Alex. The M2 gas mask conversion as so simple, I'm planning some more! Thanks!

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  12. Beautiful work Sidney!! Love the gas mask, very well done!!

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  13. Nice stuff! I love the pigeon guy!

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    1. The pigeon is going to be a lot of fun, Styx! Looking forward to painting that.

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  14. Some great work there Sidney. Will we see you and some of it at BLOG CON ?

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    1. Thanks Dave. I'd love to make it up to Blog Con - currently trying to work out if I can make it up to Nottingham that weekend.

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  15. Marvelous painting as usual Sidney and always worth the wait for the next installment.
    Good to see you're 'still on the bus'.
    Looking forward to your 28mm size comparison sometime soon.

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    1. Thanks Graeme! Definately "still on the bus" - sometimes it can be a bit tricky getting the time, but rest assured I'm not getting off!

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  16. Excellent work with these figures, sir; they are fantastic!

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  17. Thanks so much! Very glad you like them so far!

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  18. Great work with the gasmask, Sidney! (And you were very wise to place them on larger bases to protect those incredibly long French bayonets)

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    1. Thanks Curt! Yes, larger bases for the Old Glory figures are a must - they bayonets are quite bendy, so well worth protecting with a bigger base!

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