This is one last group from the new Strelets French Foreign Legion figures I’ve been tackling, but I’ve decided to paint them as something a little different.
The “French Foreign Legion XXth Century” box includes figures engaged in action rather than the marching and mounted figures seen in my recent posts. Some of these figures wear the sun or pith helmet rather than the classic kepi and it is the figures wearing the pith helmets which I’ve been concentrating on.
In trawling the internet, I managed to find a single illustration of the French colonial marines wearing the double-breasted coat (known as the capote) together with the pith helmet. I have since struggled to re-find it again and so have no idea where it originated but given the anchor badge on the helmet it clearly was intended to be a marine. I suppose it is entirely possible that the French marines wore the famous capote, but marines in this uniform do not appear frequently on the internet.
So, looking so similar to my French Foreign Legion figures, I set about recreating that uniform with the blue trousers and anchor cap badge. I’ve added a little straggly grass to give a marshy, far-east impression, perfect for veterans of the Tonkin Campaign in the 1880s.
I was first inspired to create some French colonial marines after seeing 28mm khaki-wearing later versions of these troops on Atomic Floozy’s splended blog.
I thought the kneeling figures were quite effective:
Standing and firing figures:
And when the fighting becomes hand-to-hand, the other end of the rifle becomes useful…:
En guard! Yes, I know, I’ve forgotten to paint those bayonets…
All in all, I am quite pleased with my small force of French marines and I’ll be sticking with the infantry of France for my next paint too…