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1940 Campaign French - Part 3: A Trial Run

Hello, Readers, and welcome back to the chronicle of my slowly-building forces for the magazine's forthcoming 1940 Battle of France campaign (click for part 1 and part 2).

For this installment, I've had a trial run at actually painting and basing my units properly - just to see if a bunch of my ideas worked - so here I'll showcase the results; the actual step-by-step processes of painting and basing I'll cover in a future entry.

Medium Howitzer

In this instance, then, we have two guns. First up is my 105mm howitzer - model by Warlord Games:

(In the second pic here, the crew are pulled more into focus.)

The 105mm is a 'medium' howitzer in terms of Bolt Action rules, so a category I'd never usually field in a 28mm game, but the French national special rules encourage it, and it's a really fab model, so I went for it. Plus, I've sworn to myself that I'm going to use this army to Try Out New Things, so...

Note the muddy, crushed tracks under the wheels from manoeuvring into position; these can also be seen behind them - although I think the rock-spades on the split-trails would've caught most of the recoil from firing...

Two of the crew are loose to help me track casualties, and I've pretty much copied the pattern of the example from Warlord's website, with the striking three-colour hard-edged camouflage so apparently typical of the French in this period.

The main colours I've used on the gun are Vallejo Model Colour ('VMC') Russian Uniform, VMC Khaki, and VMC Mahogany Brown, with the first being used also for the gun and trails as well as the Adrian helmets.

As for the crew, they are otherwise painted using Citadel Contrast Paints: primarily my own blended colour, which I'll detail in a future post.

47mm Anti-Tank Gun

As soon as I saw the gorgeous wheels of this beauty on Warlord Games' website, I knew I couldn't resist adding it to my force: it's all just so cool!

Again, I've generally copied the pattern from Warlord's version, but in this case, the colours used in addition to Russian Uniform are VMC Red Leather and then Army Painter Skeleton Bone layered over VMC Green Brown.

This time the camouflage colours lack the hard edges, and to my joy, the patterns used on both guns each seem to work very well independently of each other: they both serve to break up outlines and confuse identification, as well as helping them to blend in (especially the little 47mm which blended even better once the bush was added!):

The gun commander and the loader in this case are both magnetised for removal, but the gunner himself is stuck down - one of the reasons I needed to base and flock it all beforehand. The crew are painted as above, to be detailed later.

For those of you wondering about the whereabouts of the famous 'French 75', then I hope to unveil it at a future date; for now, though, I hope you enjoyed my meander around the gunline. I'm pleased with the way the contrast paint worked out, and I'm delighted to finally get some of my 1940 French painted!

- Chris.

NB: As noted in part 2, the rounded rectangular bases used here were custom-cut to 100x60mm by the entirely accommodating Fluid3DWorkshop.

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