Sunday, May 31, 2015

Entry #7 to the Lead Painters' League - 'Les Paras Francaise en Indochine, 1954'


For my seventh entry to the Lead Painters' League (LPL) I decided to return to my admittedly neglected but not forgotten French Indochina project which I started a couple of years ago.


Actually, it was really great to dig out these figures and get them done-up over the past week. Even though its been a while since I've worked on this project I found it was like putting on an old, comfortable sweater. This probably due to the fact that the Vietnam War served as the focus of my research for my graduate studies (back when dinosaurs strode the earth) and my shameless love for French culture (well, at least their cuisine and wine - hic!).

These 28mm figures from Red Star Miniatures represent the French paratroopers which became so iconic during that conflict. These are Paul Hicks sculpts and are absolutely superb castings, with almost no flash or visible seams to have to mess around with. Their overall animation is very dynamic and well-posed, with a nice variety of heads options available (soft caps, bush hats and helmets) - allowing a nice variation to the range.

These half dozen figures seen here feature a few specialists and some bog-average regulars. 


First up is a .30 cal LMG team firing from a prone position (sorry Greg, I know you hate prone figures!). I discovered that the pair, once assembled, have their M1919A6 Browning in a slightly elevated pose. So instead of messing around, trying to correct it (and invariably making a complete hash of it), I decided instead to mock-up a rotted log to place under the raised bipod in an effort to make the pose look a bit more natural. 

Below is a marksman specialist armed with a long barreled version of the oddly designed, aluminum-stocked MAS36 rifle with a scope attached.


Here we have a fellow fitting a grenade projector to the barrel of his MAS36 rifle.


And two regulars armed with MAS36 rifles, one is hustling forward while the other is giving covering fire.



Finally, a last shot to show the entire force to-date. Yeah, it's slooowly going, um, somewhere...


Thanks for visiting folks!

Next up: 3mm Napoleonics!


36 comments:

  1. Wonderful painting and a very interesting subject particularly as the French forces were in a state of flux regarding kit, they did love their tiger stripe camo though.

    Good stuff!

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    1. Thanks very much Dave! Yes, the French definitely used a motley assortment of kit in Indochina which only adds to my interest in collecting them. Most of these figures are wearing WWII British Denison smocks with some later period trousers (American and British). I really hope Red Star Miniatures fleshes out the range with other troop types such as colonial regiments, tankers, Legionnaires, etc.

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  2. Awesome work on these guys!

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  3. Wonderful stuff, Curt. I am painting some Red Star Paras myself at the moment and it's great to see your work, it's the perfect inspiration.

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    1. Ah, wonderful to hear that someone else is enjoying these figures. Thanks for dropping and leaving a comment, Thomas.

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  4. Great looking group Curt.
    Cheers, PD

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    1. Why thank you Mr. Awdry, much appreciated.

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  6. Great stuff! The "happy accident" of the 30-cal and the log really makes that base stand out. Love it when stuff like that happens. :)

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    1. Ha, you're absolutely right David, it's the unintended mash-ups are often the best figures on the table.

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  7. Very nicely done, what an iconic period to gale.

    john

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  8. Oooh very nice! Love the basing, what did you use for the log?

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    1. Thanks Iannick! The 'log' is actually a twig from our Virginia Creeper.

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  9. Beautiful painting, Curt! I love the way that they look really natural, fitting in perfectly with their basing (and log!) The camouflage must have been fun. The figures look fantastic, and you've done them justice!

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    1. Thanks very much Sid. The camo recipe is pretty much straight from the Red Star blog and very easy to crack off once you get a handle on the washes.

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  10. As I said on the LAF, stunning work, Curt.

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    1. Thanks again Verd - very kind of you to say.

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  11. Superbly done Curt!

    So glad to see you back at these - the French-Indochina War is a conflict I've always wanted to game. I have a few figures in various scales that I tried converting for the purpose.

    I'm not a huge fan of prone figures - but I come to tolerate them if there are at least a few figures in the line that are kneeling. What drives me CrAzY is when an entire line of figures consists solely of advancing/standing figures except for the LMG team - which is prone!?

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    1. Thanks very much Tim!

      Yeah, I have a love/hate relationship with prone figures. As you say they work well if they are amongst a mix of poses. Red Star did a nice job in having another LMG team in a creeping advance pose, firing from the shoulder - it's very dynamic and a nice counterpoint to the prone set.

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  12. Lovely work Curt! Nice to see you back in Indochina. The better with such great a paintjob! Maybe that's just the incentitive I need to gfinally get going on mine. I'm a little afraid of trying to paint the camo in greyscale...

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    1. Thanks Nick. Yes, it will be very interesting to see what you come up with for greyscale camo, though I know you will do a brilliant job of it.

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  13. Tufterrific sir! The miniatures are lovely as always but the basing is a corker.

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    1. Thanks Millsy! Yes, I probably went through half my tuft stock doing these bases. :)

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  14. these are probably the best painted figures I have seen on the topic for a long time. Very well done.

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    1. Very kind of you Braxen - much appreciated.

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  15. Wonderful painting work. They are perfect!

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    1. Thank you Juan. I was channeling your fine US WWII marines with these fellows.

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  16. Great work dude - these are fantastic.

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    1. Thanks Greg! At the rate I'm painting them I hope we can get a game in with them this decade...

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