Friday, January 2, 2015

'Papa' - Bernez Carro - Brother, Soldier, Father & Smuggler

(Please excuse this cross-post from the Challenge blog)

This is a continuation of my background story of the Carro family which began a few weeks ago with a description of the older son, Donon

It was April 1916 and Bernez and Briec Carro were almost 20 years old when they marched down the Voie Sacree (the ‘Sacred Way’), to the inferno of Verdun. When they arrived at the front lines the twin brothers were assigned to different companies in order to reduce the chance of hard news for their mother. Nonetheless, the young men were inseparable and so they worked a few favours to get themselves assigned to the same squad. For the next few months they endured ferocious fighting in conditions that are best described as bestial. During this time they found that their own officers treated them and their comrades like cattle and so the brave Poilu died by the thousand.

On July 12th at Fort Souville the Carro bothers were part of a forward listening post that became overrun by a German assault unit armed with flamethrowers. Knowing what was about to happen, Briec pushed Bernez into a sodden shellhole and took the full brunt of the liquid fire. Made into a human torch, Briec died horribly. The water in the shellhole saved Bernez's life but was not deep enough to cover all of him so half of his body was lit aflame. After the German attack faltered and was beaten back Bernez was found and sent to an aid station in the rear. He had suffered severe burns to the left side of his body and so for him the war was over. 

Bernez was invalided out of the army and he returned home to Brittany to convalesce. His childhood sweetheart, Manon, looked past his burns and insisted that they immediately marry. Donon, their first son, was born nine months later and Briec, their second boy, a year after that. In 1918 Bernez and Manon took over the family fishing business. Soon after his cousin, Lois from Marsailles, convinced him to expand into smuggling and so the Carros began to flourish. When their sons became old enough they were brought into the business as partners.

In the years following the Great War Bernez has nurtured an understandable dislike for Germans, but most of all he hates officers – all officers. It does not matter what nationality: German, French, Spanish, he despises all of them. So when in the summer of 1936 Spain’s right-wing generals, with the help of Nazi Germany, staged a coup to overthrow the Republican government, Bernez sees an opportunity to not only make a lot of money but also, in a small way, to poke his finger in the eye of those he reviles.

Bernez is a figure from Lead Adventure’s post-apoc range. I shaved off his left ear, scored his face and painted his burn scars a livid purple/pinkish tone. I really like the pose of this model. He’s a commanding figure, straight-backed and taciturn but leans forward somewhat, stiff-jointed, like many middle-aged men do. He holds a Luger behind his back just in case matters go awry. I painted his coverall trousers yellow in order to tie him in with the figure of his first son, Donon.