Well, the completely uncharacteristic nice Easter weekend weather here in the UK, combined with me having leave to use up, has meant I’ve been able to sit in the sun for a bit at the caravan and write up my next blog post! Since the last post was all about me trying to get tanks finished for this month’s community painting challenge, it’d be nice to think this post is an update on progress but, sadly, it’s not!
In between painting buildings and failing to paint tanks, I’ve been trying to catch up on odds and ends for different periods and armies. A long-standing project has been building up French troops for use in various 19th Century wars, both colonial and European. Latest to get finished were half a dozen Algerian Tirailleurs, known commonly as Turcos, and these are the six individually-based figures shown in the picture above. The figures are 1:72 scale plastic ones from Strelets, sculpted in their usual “chunky” style, which makes them reasonably easy to paint.
Since the figures have decorative “piping” on their trousers, I’ve painted the latter blue with yellow details. These represent the “service dress” trousers and in the past I’ve trimmed off any details and painted them as the plain white trousers issued for summer wear. With this latest bunch the piping was a bit heavier and harder to trim away, so I just left it and (badly) painted in the yellow decorations! The two figures on the larger base are older Qualiticast American Civil War zouaves painted as Turcos over 20 years ago and now mounted on a new base to represent a command element.
My Turcos have been mustered over a twenty year period that has seen them added to in fits and starts. The original figures were ten Qualiticast ACW zouaves that I painted for use in wargames set in Indo-China in 1885 and the Boxer Rebellion in 1900. I then re-shuffled soldier-to-figure ratios and went from a ten-man company to a 16-man battalion, making up the numbers with SHQ Miniatures ACW zouaves.
Since I’ve now changed to a simple set of published 19th Century wargames rules (see here for more details), the next step was to increase the Turcos to a regiment comprising three 10-man battalions and a command unit. The extra figures are all Strelets plastic figures, some wearing turbans, but they all fit together quite well. Since painting the original figures I’ve changed from using enamel paints to acrylics, so there is a very slight difference in the light blue uniform colour of the newer figures but not enough to draw attention to them.
I’ve got a long term aim of fielding a French force for the Franco-Prussian War and the Turcos form the first regiment I’ve been able to complete for this force (so I’m pleased I’ve got them done). I can use them with early WW1 French infantry to represent a later Republican FPW French force, but I still need to paint some “proper” French infantry to represent the uniforms of the earlier Imperial phase of the war. But best get some tanks painted before then!