Bit Of Sun (But No Tanks)!

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!


  1. Looking good mate. I’m always impressed by people who paint 1/72 scale. I’m also impressed with people with caravans. I want one, actually I’d love a campervan. Ideally a Kombi Campervan. 🤘🏼


  2. Marvelous-looking force you have there. Proof that different makes can be easily mixed using the same brushwork. You should consider doing a painting guide for these!

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    • Thanks Veroo, appreciate that! I think because the Strelets figures are “chunky” they fit in quite well with the metal ones. I’m more surprised I’ve managed to get them all together, given how long they’ve been on the go (when I started them in the 90s you couldn’t get either Turcos or French zouaves at all in 1:72/20mm). I think there’s enough uniform stuff out there on them, but some is contradictory so you do need to check up on everything you find (but I know you’ll have experienced that researching your armies)!


    • Thanks Pat! I really like Strelets figures! OK, some have flash, some have poorer detail, but the range of figures is brilliant – my favourites so far have been the WW1 French in gasmasks and since I’ve actually painted some I should maybe do a feature on ’em (cripes, I might have already, but me memory’s not what it used to be)!


  3. As usual, beautiful stuff. Your movement trays have been a good investment for you. I too am struggling this month to finish my tanks, though I am hopeful with 4 days to go. Still, better to do them well than rushed, and really enjoyed seeing these Turcos. Love the colors and the shading. Kudos on more great stuff.

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    • Thanks Mark! I’m actually a bit behind with blogging – the Turcos got finished the weekend before last so that I could try and get on with tanks! By planning ahead, I worked out I could take some of the tanks with me to the caravan this week and work on them. I actually made some progress and suggested to my wife it’d be nice to be back home this weekend to catch up with stuff around the house, so now I’m back I can get some tanks weathered and varnished with a bit of luck! It’s not as if anyone’s going to tell her I’ve planned it to meet the end-of-the-month painting challenge deadline! And if for any reason I fail to post any finished tank pics, I can just say it’s because I got bogged down with domestic chores! Win, win!
      Be nice to see any tanks you get done! And you’re right, better taking your time rather than rushing!

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      • Yeah, I’ve got 22 tanks in the queue half-primed (well, the bottom of the tanks – that seems to take a while as I need that to cure so I can mount them for painting). 17 Germans (9 for Normandy: 1 Marder III; 2 StuG III G, 1 Pz IVE, 2 Pz IVH, 1 Panther G, 1 Tiger I, 1 Ferdinand; 8 for Eastern Front: 1 Pz IVF2, 3 Pz IVH, 3 StuG IIIF8, 1 Tiger I) and 5 USA (for Normandy: 1 M3 Stuart; 1 M4A2 Sherman, 1 M10 Wolverine, and 2 M24 Chaffees for later war). I also have a Tiger II, a Jagdtiger, and 3 German scout cars on order. Doing a Normandy game of What a Tanker for 75th D-Day Anniversary.

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        • Crikey, that’s a heck of a list! I would imagine the priority’s going to be the ones for Normandy and a 75th anniversary game sounds good. You could maybe always just brush paint the bottoms of the tanks after painting if waiting for the paint to dry out is a problem.

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          • Yeah I do that as well, but I really like the bottom of my chassis’s primed so when I airbrush there is some overspray that gets in there. I like the way Vallejo primer bonds, and with the way I mount the tanks with poster tack and wooden dowels it’s nice to use – my primer paint doesn’t come off!

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  4. Glad to see you put your time at the caravan to good use by doing some painting. As always everything looks very nicely done indeed. Let us hope that after the Easter weather the summer has not been and gone. If it has then I guess that just leaves us with even more hobby time!

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    • Thanks mate! 1/72 = near enough same detail, quicker to paint, cheaper, easier to store etc. I’ve never needed persuading otherwise! I think my six FPW Prussian infantry battalions (60 figures) cost me about a tenner and I’ve still got enough figures left for another two battalions!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Azazel, appreciate that! I’m happy not counting this as an army, since it’s only one regiment in whichever army it forms a part of (French colonial or FPW) and they’re still in progress. It’s just coincidental that I happen to have them finished in April, but I wanted some figures to paint while I was away at the caravan and I hadn’t got far enough with my tanks at that point to take some of them to do!

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