Greek Fire!

Back at the end of last year I worked out which of the armies/forces/conflicts that I wargame with that had been ignored over the time that I’ve been writing this blog (see here). One of these was/were my Balkan Wars armies, so I decided to remedy that and get to work on some 20mm figures (see here).

These figures are 20mm Greek Evzones by Early War Miniatures. The figures come with WW2 pattern steel helmets so I removed the heads and replaced them with Italian Blackshirt heads. I’ve been working on scenery for a couple of months and only just come back to painting figures. I painted the first two Evzones while we were at our caravan and really struggled to get them done, but once I got home I switched to painting them two at a time and got through them pretty quickly.

There are 12 figures in total, 10 riflemen, a light machine gunner and a soldier with a pistol (the latter was described as an officer on the EWM website but Evzone officers wore normal Greek infantry uniforms so I’m using him as part of the LMG team). The 10 rifleman can be used in any setting from 1912 through to 1941, but the LMG gunner can only be used in the period 1916 to 1923, since I converted his WW2 Greek helmet to a WW1 French helmet.

My intention is to use the basic 10-man unit for the 1912/13 Balkan Wars and then add the LMG team to use it for WW1 and the Allied intervention in South Russia in 1918/19. I’ve wanted an Evzone unit for ages so am really pleased at getting these done. I was a bit concerned that I found it difficult to get back into figure painting, but I’ve settled back into it now I hope. What I am going to do though is shuffle priorities and aim to try and get some of my almost-complete armies finished rather than jump around too many different (and probably newer) ones! We’ll see how long that resolution lasts!


    • Thanks Harry! πŸ™‚ I seem to think about a period/era/conflict and then wait about 20 years for the books and minis to come out! Osprey brought out their Armies In South Russia 1918/19 last year and it filled in one of the gaps in my Russian Civil War knowledge, so that I know I can now use Evzones there as well, fighting alongside French troops against the Bolsheviks!

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  1. I guess these stand apart from other troops of the period with those funky white legs!
    Or are other armies of that time also attired in more conspicuous uniforms than were used to today?

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    • Thanks for the comment, Frank! πŸ™‚ It’s the tasseled caps, tight white leggings and shoes with black pompoms on that make these guys distinctive, although the tassels and pompons were usually removed and the leggings covered with khaki trousers in action (although not always)! There are still some relatively colourful uniforms about in the first decades of the 20th Century though!

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  2. Really like the colors on these John! Nice looking minis! It is a bit weird to go from terrain back to minis. I’m firmly stuck in mini painting for a good long while now, but am feeling the itch to also do some terrain.

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  3. This squad looks great, John and I’m glad to hear you got back into the painting swing too. I often think similar thoughts when I haven’t painted for a while and to my surprise, the muscle memory kicks in right away without any trouble πŸ™‚ I wish you luck staying focused as well! It is never easy in our hobby as we all know.

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    • Thanks Jeff! πŸ™‚ I’ve got a small amount of figures in their base colours with faces painted that I’d prepared for painting at the caravan, so I’m finishing them off first. After that, I’ll hopefully just stick with figures for a bit I think!

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    • Thank IRO! πŸ™‚ I’ll probably think of him as an officer, since he looks the part (as you’ve described)! Without looking up the uniform references I wouldn’t have known that Evzone officers wore standard infantry-pattern uniforms – in many armies after 1900, officers adjusted their uniforms to more closely match those of their men anyway, otherwise they became obvious targets for snipers!

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  4. John, only on your blog do I get to see great looking minis and have a history lesson at the same time LOL! These chaps look great and I can’t wait to see them go up against those Martians πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks Matt! πŸ™‚ My plan for my VSF armies is to have a Balkan League that can make use of my WW1 Bulgarians and Greeks, plus some other 19th Century troops that will double as Romanians. That will give me a force to oppose my Central Asian Empire (Ottoman Turks and Afghans) and also those nasty Squids (i.e. Martian invaders)! There does appear to be an overall plan, even if it is a bit haphazard!


    • Thanks Lord Commander! πŸ™‚ These figures didn’t come with different heads – I had to find a pack of separate heads that would look about right, remove the original heads, drill out holes to fit the pegs on the new heads into and then glue the new heads in place! Considereing how fiddly that was I’m surprised that I didn’t make any mistakes. The white is a Vallejo Off White layer over Vallejo Light grey base, but it covers quite well!

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  5. Nice conversions and interesting insight in your process.
    Oh, and a good paintjob on top.
    Does that mean Soviet-Intervention-war-game-reports incoming? Will we see you rocking a Mark V or a A7V to drive over some Red Stars?! haha

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    • Thanks Anthony! πŸ™‚ I’ve got Russian Civil War and the Allied Intervention(s) on hold at the moment, given ongoing world events! The Evzones add to my Balkan War forces though, so it’s maybe time to try a game from that period. I do have both a Red Army and a White Army Mark V though, and my WW1 German forces have two A7Vs.

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      • Oh, ok.
        I would have no scruples when it comes to wargames, but I’m kind of a bad person anyways. lol
        I know next to nothing about the Balkan war. Is it the ww2 part of the front or its own thing before? I know only of the wars of the Rome, some of the Ottoman wars there and I think that’s basically it, even though I think Napoleon might have also something there.

        That’s nice, ww1 tanks are such fun, I think. You probably also have armored cars then.

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        • There have always been wars in the Balkans, East meets West and all that, and keeping track of them all would be a task in itself!
          Specifically, I’ve got Bulgarian and Ottoman troops for the First Balkan War 1912-13 (and now a Greek Evzone unit to fight with the Bulgarians) and this can also be used for WW1 in the Balkans (when the Bulgarians and Ottomans fought on the same side against the Entente powers).
          I like WW1 tanks and I do have some armoured cars as well – for my Germans I’ve got an Ehrhardt E-V/4, a Lanchester and an Austin for my Brits, an Autocar machine gun carrier for the Canadians, a White and Peugeot for my French and a Garford and Austin for my Russians (probably missed some out)! You can see some of them at

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