Tuesday 26 August 2014

Zouaves (or are they Moroccans?)

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.

And that's just the beginning for the late summer project of l'Armée d'Afrique and l'Armée Coloniale.

 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!

Monday 18 August 2014

WBQ, Mud & Blood and "From Empire to Revolution"!

One of the items of news which I have been unforgivably tardy about is the much-anticipated and thoroughly wonderful first issue of “Wargame Bloggers Quarterly”(WBQ). This is a FREE community driven electronic magazine in PDF format composed of the best wargames and miniature painting content from the collective blogosphere.

It’s the brain-child of Michael Mills (Millsy) and many others and, in short, its absolutely terrific. The purpose of the WBQ is to help promote wargaming and miniature painting and ensure that the best material generated by participants in the hobby is available to the wider community in the long term. Kind of like a “Way Back Machine” for wargames blogging, if you will.

For a long time I’ve been bowled over by the talent of the wargames bloggers working on the internet, but the speed and sheer professionalism of the first edition of WBQ has blown me away. A wonderful community project, and one which I shall be supporting any way I can.

You can find Issue One HERE, with an Official Charter for the magazine HERE. Millsy’s own very fine blog, "Cannister & Grape", provides more details, HERE.  Submission guidelines for future issues are HERE.

Other news which might be of interest is that TooFatLardies have been updating their popular First World War rules, “Through the Mud and the Blood” in time for the centenary of the War. The rules have been out of print in hard copy for some time, and I know Richard Clarke is keen to get them back on the shelf as they have been a steady and popular seller for many years. The new printed edition rules have been updated for some errata picked up in hundreds of games and play-tests, and we’ve been busy preparing some new photos to grace the interior pages.

Here’s some images from a photo-session this weekend to hopefully help direct your mouse to the TooFat Lardies’ shopping carts.

Finally, and also in First World War mode, my friend Chris Stoesen posted on his blog earlier that his Eastern Front Supplement for “Through the Mud and the Blood”, “From Empire to Revolution”, is nearing final preparation. Chris kindly sent me a very early draft of the supplement a few years ago and even at that early stage it was an excellent piece of work. Accounts of low-level platoon-scale actions from the Eastern Front of the First World War are hard to come across, but Chris has done a great job of tracking down more than a dozen. All of Chris' supplements which I have purchased have been well worth the cover price, with his supplement booklet "The Coming Thunder" (for the ACW in Virginia) being a real favourite of mine.   I am sure that "From Empire to Revolution" will be no exception. 

Head on over to Chris’ blog for updates, but in the meantime, here’s a copy of the cover which looks splendid.

Next up ... wargaming with Zouaves, Tirailleurs Marocains and l'Armée d'Afrique ! 
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