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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Bolt Action - French Colonials Painting Guide


Hey guys! I've just added a couple of squads of Colonial troops to my French platoon, so here is a guide to who these machete wielding blokes are and how you can paint them step by step.



The history
With the fall of France in May 1940, it in no small part fell to the men of France's African colonies to fight on and eventually liberate her. The army of the French empire was made up of a myriad of exotic, locally recruited forces. One of these, the Senegalese Tirailleurs, though not well known in the English speaking world, are famous in France for providing thousands of hard fighting troops in both world wars. Originally recruited from Senegal, the name refers to all the infantry recruited from France's West and Sub-Saharan African colonies. Typically these troops were known for their ferocity in close combat, wielding their traditional machetes, known as a 'coupe coupe'. Battalions of Senegalese Tirailleurs saw action in the battle for France itself in 1940, North Africa, Syria, Italy, Corsica, southern France and even Germany in 1945.



In Bolt Action they are rated as Regular but have the Tough Fighters special rule. At 11 points a model these squads are an excellent choice for your French army. They can dish out some decent firepower being armed with rifles but are really most effective in assault. I am planning on running 3-4 squads in my army, at 88pts for 8 men, dishing out 16 attacks in assault they are a bargain. On top of this, they just look cool! I love the look of these troops, despite their funny Fez hats, they mean business.


The miniatures


There are not a huge variety of manufacturers making miniatures for the Senegalese. In fact none for WW2 in particular. However, Gripping Beast offers a WW1 range which is almost perfect, as the uniforms and equipment changed little between the wars but for the colour. The range offers 8 unique one piece sculpts, 4 firing their weapons and 4 in very aggressive poses wielding their machetes. On top of this is a 'squad pack' of 8 figs, these have separate heads, so you just select Senegalese ones. I really recommend this range, the sculpts are fantastic with hardly any clean up or assembly is required. I also recommend adding in some extra separate Senegalese head sprues when you order your squads. These are useful for making up units that the range doesn't cover like AT-rifles, mortars and other support weapons you may want in your platoon.

Painting prep

Ok, let's get on with painting a squad of these guys! After assembly, I used polly-filla (fills cracks) from the hardware store to cover the base and hide the tab between the models feet. I then pushed small rocks into this to give some extra texture, before this was set. The rocks were then sealed in with watered down PVA glue.

I saved time by putting the main colour down in the undercoat with a spray. I actually used two different sprays as some figs are wearing greatcoats and others 'summer' tunics, so the main colour is slightly different. You don't have to do this but I was trying to save as much time as possible. The great coat figures are undercoated with Plastic Soldier Company's infantry spray 'British Khaki' and the summer tunics with Army Painter Skeleton Bone spray. 


Step 1, base colours*

Flesh: Black
Summer tunic: 914 Green Ochre
Greatcoat: 921 English uniform
Trousers: 847 Dark Sand 
Puttees (leg wraps): 
921 English uniform
Bread bag: 
847 Dark Sand 
Webbing: 
847 Dark Sand 
Rifle: 
Black
Machete sheath, water bottle: 
921 English uniform
Boots: 
Black

Base: 876 Brown Sand
*Any areas that are 921 English uniform or 847 Dark Sand may already be painted by the undercoat spray.


Step 2, base colours

Flesh: Dark Brown (Rhinox Hide from GW)
Webbing: Dark Brown (Rhinox Hide)
Rifle: 
Boltgun metal
Boots: 
Dark Brown (Rhinox Hide)

Fez (headgear): 908 Carmine Red


Step 3, Wash

Wash the entire model (including the base) with Army Painter 'strong ink' wash (not the dip), water it down 80% wash and 20% water.



Step 4, highlights

Flesh: 50/50 mix of Dark Brown (Rhinox Hide) + 847 Dark Sand
Summer tunic: 60/40 mix of 914 Green Ochre + 837 Pale Sand
Greatcoat: 60/40 mix of 921 English uniform + 837 Pale Sand
Trousers: 847 Dark Sand 
Puttees (leg wraps): 
60/40 mix of 921 English uniform + 837 Pale Sand
Bread bag: 
847 Dark Sand 
Webbing: 
984 Flat Brown
Rifle: 
984 Flat Brown
Machete sheath, water bottle: 
60/40 mix of 921 English uniform + 837 Pale Sand
Boots: 
Dark Brown (Rhinox Hide)

Fez (headgear): 60/40 mix of  908 Carmine Red + 847 Dark Sand



Step 5, highlights

Flesh: 30/70 mix of Dark Brown (Rhinox Hide) + 847 Dark Sand. Then wash with strong tone ink to get some colour back as it will look a little pale.
Summer tunic: 30/70 mix of 914 Green Ochre + 837 Pale Sand
Greatcoat: 30/70 mix of 921 English uniform + 837 Pale Sand
Trousers: 837 Pale Sand
Puttees (leg wraps):
30/70 921 English uniform + 837 Pale Sand
Bread bag: 
837 Pale Sand
Webbing: 
60/40 mix of 984 Flat Brown + 837 Pale Sand
Rifle: 60/40 mix of 984 Flat Brown + 837 Pale Sand
Machete sheath, water bottle: 30/70 921 English uniform + 837 Pale Sand
Boots: 
50/50 mix of Dark Brown (Rhinox Hide) + 847 Dark Sand
Fez (headgear): 30/70 mix of  908 Carmine Red + 847 Dark Sand. The wash with a watered down red ink.
Eyes: White, then a small dot of black for the pupil.
Base: Drybrush 876 Brown Sand847 Dark Sand  then 837 Pale Sand to finish

To finish the models off I gave them a coat of matte varnish spray (Testors Dullcoate) and then added basing material. Specifically I use the "winter" tuft flock from Army Painter, the parched grass flock and some lichen from a model railway store. 


 

Have some painting questions? 
Head over the forum and ask away!



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