The dreadful weather over the bank holiday weekend at least gave me the chance to finish off some figures which had been on the painting table for some time.
First up, the small detachment of Zouaves, which could easily double as Tirailleurs Marocains. These were basically “left over” 28mm figures from Brigade Games when I was painting up the mainstream Metropolitan French infantry for the Verdun games earlier this year. I had bought some Woodbine Design Company Zouave heads a while ago, and it seemed like a perfect chance to swap out the Adrien helmets for something more exotic and characterful.
I can’t believe it was almost a year since I made these figures up – my blog post on these figures is way back in October 2013. I also cannot believe it has taken me so long to realise how much fun these conversions would be to paint. If I had known how much fun the Zouave chéchias would be to paint, I'd have painted them a long while back.
The Woodbine heads are an absolutely perfect fit for the scale of the Brigade Games figures. While the removal of the Adrien helmets is slightly tricky (using a very fine jeweller’s saw), once the Zouave heads are on, the painting is a real pleasure. And swapping heads opens up a world of possibilities, especially for the lovely Brigade Games late French figures with their accurate field packs and equipment.
Here’s some images from the work in progress, and the final painted figures.
All being well, in future posts there will be some Legion Etranger and some of my favourite French army troops of the period, the Tirailleurs Sénégalaise. And its on the latter, the West African troops of the French army, that I'd like to spend a few blog posts, exploring some of the remarkable background, myths and battles of these soldiers, as well as painting up some of the converted figures I've been collecting. It's been a while getting here - so thanks for your patience so far. I can (cautiously) promise that you will enjoy what's coming!