Tuesday, 9 September 2014

African Autumn and Partizan 2014


It’s been a busy week at Roundwood Towers. I’ve been busy preparing the first wave of Tirailleurs Sénégalais, and finishing off the last of the horizon bleu coated Metropolitan French infantry. I’ve posted a work in progress shot below of just about the the last of the Poilu.


As you can see, there’s a small number of spare French infantry, a battalion command group (which somehow kept being missed from the painting queue), a couple of 37mm trench guns and another Crapouillot trench mortar. All the figures are 28mm, and come from a mixture of Brigade Games, Scarab Miniatures and Old Glory.

Readers of this blog will know my love of the Brigade Games late First World War French range, sculpted by Mike Owen. These figures are really splendid. I strongly recommend them. I’m also a fan of the Scarab Miniatures command ranges, including the kneeling field telephone operator in the command group. The late war French range from Old Glory doesn’t get as much love online as it might do. The figures are very slightly smaller than Brigade Games’ figures, and certainly do not have the heft and weight of Scarab figures. But they are well proportioned, and in small groups of figures (such as the 37mm trench guns above, or the Crapouillot trench mortars below) they look very fine. On the table top, on a shell-pocked terrain, they really fit perfectly with Brigade Games’ and Great War Miniatures’ French and German figures for the 1916-1918 period. 


 
As for the Tirailleurs Sénégalais, these are next on my project list, along with a demi-section of the Legion Etranger. I’ve been reading as extensively as I can about l’Armée Coloniale and the Tirailleurs Sénégalais. I’ll be bringing the most relevant information for wargaming to the blog over the course of the Autumn, along with the work in progress conversions of a section of the Brigade Games’ standard late war French figures to Tirailleurs Sénégalais.

The vague, as yet not fully formed idea in my mind, is to stage a game at the club in late November or December featuring the African troops of the French Army. Finding the right scenario for the disparate elements is going to be interesting! I like to imagine my wargaming in terms of projects, with the thought in my mind of moving from the “Verdun Project” to an “African Autumn”.


Finally, it was the Partizan show in Newark, England this weekend. I was not able to go for family commitment reasons, but my chum Richard Clarke and Nick Skinner made the trip north. They very kindly provided me with some fine photos of the wonderful early Great War game staged by Aly Morrison and Dave Andrews. Both Aly and Dave have long been hobby heroes of mine, and to my mind they consistently set the bar of excellence with their amazing displays. From the photos, you can see that their game on Sunday was no exception. More photos are available at Phil Robinson’s excellent blog, News from the Front HERE.








34 comments:

  1. Could we have a tutorial on painting skin when you are done with the Tirailleurs Sénégalais, please? Senegalese artillerymen made a big enough contribution at Dien Bien Phu that I want to paint a bunch of them for Le Coq Indochine.

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  2. Thomas, absolutely yes. I will be updating the "French Late Great War Painting Template" to cover my colours for painting North African skin (as on the Zouaves from last month). I'll also be adding the skin tones for the Tirailleurs Sénégalais, as well as (hopefully) some suggestions as to the paints to use for their slightly tricky mustard ochre uniforms. I'll hopefully be uploading the new templates in early October when I've settled on the "right" colours. Thanks very much!

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    1. Lovely! I guess there might be some presence from Régiment de Tirailleurs Algériens and Régiment de Tirailleurs Marocains in my project too. Will you be doing the 6th Battalion Tirailleur Tonkinese as well, they were at Verdun it seems?

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    2. Thanks again Thomas. Nice shout-out on the 6th Battalion of the Tirailleur Tonkinese. I've found less on these troops than on the West and North Africans. I would certainly consider doing them if there was a useful head-swap for the figures. In any event, I certainly hope to get around to the French in Indo-China one day, specifically at Dien Bien Phu.

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    3. So, we need to tell the Red Star gang that we need Viet head swaps too.
      http://www.redstarminiatures.eu/shop_DBP.html
      Any idea what headgear the BTT wore in WW1? Regular caps or helmets? And what about the Annamites? Looks like they could be done with a Viet Minh or Viet Cong headswap.
      http://lagrandeguerre.blog.lemonde.fr/files/2014/02/SPA-54-K-2963.jpg

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    4. Hmm....good question, Thomas. I have a well illustrated French text on all of the Armee Coloniale, with some photos of the Tonkinese troops. Let me have a look this evening!

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  3. You are a poster boy for great WWI mini's so I should the afore mentioned guys who you admire so much probably have the same view of you :-)

    Ian

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    1. Ha ! Ian, that's a crazy notion ! But thank you, all the same!

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  4. Lovely figures Sidney! I really admire your bold style of painting - the figures almost seem to glow from within. Inspiration indeed!
    Thanks
    Matt

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    1. Matt, that's very kind. I hope you like what's coming soon. I am very excited about doing the Tirailleurs Sénégalais. I kind of feel that the whole French Great War project has been leading up to this. Thanks for dropping by, mate! Hope to see you at Derby.

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    2. Alas, cannot make it to Derby. But we'll catch up at one show or another I'm sure. :o)

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  5. Lovely work Sidney. Mike Owen is one of my very favourite of sculptors, and everything he turns his hand to looks wonderful. It's shame that Brigade Games miniatures don't get the air time they deserve over here. A few stockists but never the whole range of figures.

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    1. Thanks Mark! Mike is a very fine sculptor. I like the simplicity and robustness of the late war French he did for Brigade Games. They paint up, and convert, very easily. The figures have just enough (but not too much) detail, and are very forgiving to paint. In my mind, they are just about perfect wargames figures. In an ideal world, there might have been a few extra figures in the late war French range, but that's never stopped me from using other manufacturers to fill in the gaps.

      I've purchased all the Brigade Games miniatures directly from Brigade Games in the US. Over the years, Brigade Games have given me exemplary service, and I'm very grateful to Lon and his team for always going the extra mile to ship the figures quickly. I'd thoroughly recommend them as suppliers.

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  6. The quality and quantity of your British and German WW1 collection must be one of the very best in the hobby Sidney. The way you have been adding to your French it looks like you are doing the same again, getting yourself a hat trick.
    Looking forward to see what you come up with for African Autumn

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    1. Thanks Pat. I can safely say it's the best collection in my house, but any wider afield than that I can't say! (But thanks anyway!) It's a pleasure to share whatever I've collected both here and at the various games we stage (sadly infrequently) around the wargames shows. A wonderful dream would be to take the colonial French on tour next year, but its a bit early for plans like that!

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  7. I love the way you pack each unit with the drama and visual appeal of a vignette - you've really perfected that basing with the different tones of dirt and gray, with the brick red to complement the horizon blue French. My Francophile heart skips a beat each time you post your Poilus, simply wonderful - looking forward to those Tirailleurs :0)

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    1. Søren, that's very cool of you to say that! The horizon bleu of the French does look good against grey and brown terrain, and the (at least slightly unrealistic!) brick red colour of fallen masonry. I'm hoping (multiple fingers being crossed) that the Tirailleurs' ochre coats will look good as well.

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  8. Those bases are things of beauty...love the subtle shades.

    :O)

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  9. Fabulous stuff Mr. Roundwood. I always enjoy looking at your amazingly painted figures.

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    1. The admiration is mutual! But thanks very much!

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  10. Beautiful work Sid! I love that 'punch' of red with the brickwork and the command stand is ace as well. That image you've chosen for your 'La Force Noir' project is wonderfully haunting. Where is the location of that photo?

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    1. Curt, thanks very much! The photo is taken from the remarkable set of sculptures on the Chemin des Dames called "Constellation de la Douleur". The sculptures are hewn from wood, and represent the fallen Tirailleur Sénégalais from the Nivelle Offensive at actions such as the assault at Craonne. More on the sculptures, Craonne and the actions of the Tirailleurs in future posts!

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  11. Wonderful stuff again, keep them coming.

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    1. Thanks Phil. And thanks for the great photos - sterling job, Sir!

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  12. Sid some great additions to the collection.

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  13. Outstanding WWI work from you yet again Sidney!

    Christopher

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