1940 Campaign French - Part 1: Aux Armes, Mes Amis!
As the tempest gathers in the East, it's clearly time to marshall the brave French forces. In case you haven't read about it in WSS 116, I'm delighted to be one of a small number of hobbyists building a force in 28mm with the specific intention of playing a campaign based around Fall Gelb or 'Case Yellow' - the rapid invasion of the Low Countries by German forces in 1940. For my contribution, I have the honour of fielding the French. This is particularly fun for me because (a) I absolutely adore the range of minis available (more on that shortly), (b) having grown up in Portsmouth I've always felt close to our cross-Channel brethren, and (c) we're planning to use Bolt Action rules, as it's a popular game locally and plays swiftly. This is a great opportunity for me, because the rules and nuances for the French forces in Bolty will allow me to try a very different style of play to normal... ...and I do love a challenge! In this post - hopefully the first in a series as I track my progress - I shall start to outline the range of minis I've accumulated so far in assembling the force: in future posts I intend to discuss painting, basing, particular units, force composition, storage, "tactics" (ha!) and go into more depth about my thoughts behind the scenes. First, though, the miniatures, some of which were bought privately; others of which were graciously donated by the manufacturers. These aren't fancy studio photos, by the way - these are all very much real-life work-in-progress pics. Here is a mix of Warlord Games (HQ and support units and cavalry on foot with carbines) and Crusader Miniatures (cavalry, again à pied) in the process of receiving their rattlecan white primer and the start of basing:
These are all Warlord minis - command, mortar and a Hotchkiss machine gun from their 'Support Group' bundle (link above)
Next, the mounts for the cavalry - again, a mix of Warlord Games and Crusader Miniatures. Cleverly, I wrote on their bases which manufaturer's horses went with which riders. Uncleverly, I then sprayed primer over the writing, so I had to re-do this underneath for now. It's certainly a great indication of how well the minis work alongside each other!
As an aside, I haven't yet primed the actual riders, mostly beacuse without bases they're inevitably more fussy to prime. It's on the To-Do List, though... Finally, for this post - and also from Crusader Miniatures, I have my favourite minis so far, just because they look so cool: the mounted and dismounted motorcycle troops! Not pictured here are the dozen-or-so dismounted individuals I have. Please note that I'll explore what may well appear to be strange basing decisions in a future post.
Thank you for your time - I am genuinely very, very excited to be putting this eclectic army together! In the next post, I'll be showing more of the metal minis (including Senegalese Tirailleurs), a whole pile of plastic infantry and soon therafter, some fun French vehicles and big guns. - Chris