October Already!

Real life seems to have managed to get in the way of painting figures during September but at least I’ve been able to keep up with blogs and what everyone else is up to!

I have at least managed to finish another French infantry battalion for the Franco-Prussian War. Although there are ten figures, some were slightly re-painted figures, so I reckon I only really had to paint the equivalent of about seven figures, so it’s not a huge amount of progress! The unit is shown above on its movement base and below in a rough skirmish line.

Six of the figures were painted from scratch while the other four were older figures re-painted slightly to fit in. The two right-hand figures in the picture above (Irregular Miniatures 20mm early WW1 French) were originally wearing white kepi covers and trousers and formed part of my French forces fighting in Indochina in 1884 – since re-organising those troops, these two were re-painted with red kepis and trousers to allow them to be used in the Franco-Prussian War. The two centre figures (HaT 1:72 early WW1 French) were originally early WW1 figures also able to substitute as FPW figures – once again, a re-organisation of my early WW1 French meant these two could have their haversacks painted white so they could be transferred in to this FPW infantry battalion.

I should probably point out that French mobilisation and supply issues, coupled with transition from Empire to Republic, meant that there were variations in infantry uniforms. Greatcoat colours varied, the red epaulettes were frequently discarded and black gaiters could be worn instead of the more common white ones. This is handy, because it allows early WW1 French infantry to fit right in!

The two figures third and fourth from the right (B & B Miniatures 20mm FPW Garde Mobile) have not been issued with coats and are wearing the short veste with a light blue sash under their belts (not visible in this view). These two originally wore higher casquettes that have bee filed down to represent kepis.

The last four figures, on the left of the picture above, are all Emhar 1:72 plastic FPW French infantry, from the same set as the previous infantry battalion that I painted (you can see them here). I particularly like the two figures walking, one of which is shown below in detail.

This figure must be one of the best plastic figures I’ve seen (my painting excluded, of course) and seems to be advancing very purposefully! All of the Emhar figures have separate backpacks, which probably allows them more flexibility in the poses the figures can have.

Finishing this unit means I have now completed both my Prussian and French FPW forces, although I might add some extra French infantry at some point in the future. For now I need to work out what to paint (very slowly) next!


  1. Nice! More lovely 19thC French infantry, your collection is always a joy to behold. πŸ™‚ The very different manufacturers’ figures work surprisingly well together.

    Why have I never painted any Emhar figures, I wonder? I’ve definitely got some somewhere in the pile of shame in the loft, (Crimean era?) so maybe one day…

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  2. Any progress is good progress John, another unit is nothing to be down played, just remember it’s a hobby, no one will say ” Is that all you’ve done ! ” we all understand how real life can get in the way of doing what we would like to be doing, and having to do what must be done comes first, and in these strange times you never know what or when that will be !

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    • Thanks Dave! πŸ™‚ You’re right, and at least I can now say I’ve got my FPW French done after 30 years, so a slow month is neither here nor there! On the plus side, less time spent painting usually means more time reading up on my military history!

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    • Thanks Dave! πŸ™‚ Emhar only have a limited range of stuff, split between 1:72 and 1:35/1:32 so maybe not much for you. Given the thousands of plastic figures I must have bought over my lifetime, the walking guy really did stand out for me (although, to be fair, I’ll have forgotten most of them)!

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  3. I always enjoy watching your hobby progress because you’re painting something that I often don’t know much about. It is nice to see other sides of the hobby and to see what else is out there beyond fantasy and Sci-Fi. With that said, the sculpts and your painting really look nice. I love those pops of red on their uniform too. It makes the squad really eye-catching!

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  4. Looking pretty grand John, and you are right when you say the walking fellow stands out ,I like yourself have purchased heaps of figures that mostly look pretty good(along with some very undesirables ) but every so often you say wow he does stand out! I do like Emhar figures but like you said ,the range is limited which is a shame as they are so well made.

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  5. Very cool John. I really like your painting style. FYI I’ve only just learnt what a β€œgaitor” is as I recently bought one on eBay to protect my neck for work during summer. It gets mighty warm here in Australia and I never want to be accused of being a redneck haha.

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  6. Love your FPW stuff and congrats John for completing a 30 year project! Sad that chapter will end (though now I learned that 1/72 is 25mm scale which is the scale of my Ral Partha stuff). Also read the story of Sedan again today – what a debacle for the French. Of course, WWI is wide open for any poilu adds. Superb painting as always, and I had not heard of Emhar before so thanks on that too!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Mark! πŸ™‚ I might still add some extra FPW French infantry at some point! I tend to be careful when comparing figure scale still – I think what is now 28mm is just 25mm figures that have got bigger over the years and if you were to compare some plastic 1:72 figures with older 25mm metal figures I think you’ll find the latter still noticeably larger! Too add to the complication, such descriptions as 20mm and 25mm used to refer to foot-to-eye height, so whereas a 25mm high plastic figure is near enough 1:72, a metal figure described as 25mm is taller (since the 25mm refers to foot-to-eye)! That’s maybe got a bit long-winded I’m afraid!

      I’ve also been re-reading those FPW actions up to and including Sedan – I think Rezonville/Mars-le-Tour is my favourite, the Prussians expecting to encounter the French rearguard but then coming up against the whole army!

      I think with finishing FPW I’ll probably not add any more early WW1 French forces either, but that’s one of my armies I haven’t revisited for a while, so never say never!

      Liked by 1 person

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