Saturday, December 23, 2017

First Painting Challenge Submission - 28mm French Imperial Infantry from 1870

28mm Franco-Prussian War French infantry from Eagles of Empire

The 8th annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge is underway! It's fun to be back at the brushes again this year, and I'm pretty excited to get going at the latest edition of the Challenge.  This year we have traveled to our cabin near Sault Ste Marie, Ontario for Christmas, and I was able to bring my paints and some primed figures along with me for the express purpose of getting an early start in the Challenge.  I was pleased to crank this opening submission out during a beautiful winter day at the cabin!

A lovely winter day at the cabin!
No swimming in December, so bring on the painting! Lake Superior in the winter...

These are Imperial French soldiers from the War of 1870, the Franco-Prussian War. These are 28mm castings sold by "Eagles of Empire", a fairly new provider that has brought some lovely castings to a period and setting that is otherwise (compared to subjects such as WW2, Napoleonics and others) somewhat-niche-and-neglected by sculptors and figure companies.

Lots of nice detail on these tall castings

I did a debut post on my interest in this period earlier in December. While I have a desire to play some "Black Powder" games in this period in 28mm, it will take a long time, likely at least a year, before I have enough figures gathered and painted before I can put on a game for our local group in Winnipeg.  While I hope this edition of the Painting Challenge will help me reach that goal, I still don't want to wait that long for a game, so I thought some 28mm skirmish gaming in the period would be a much quicker route to getting a game going on the tabletop.

I'm not so crazy about how narrow the "true scale" Chassepot rifles are...tricky to paint...
So while I am using the range from Wargames Foundry for my regimental/brigade/division gaming plans, I settled quickly on the range from Eagles of Empire for skirmish gaming purposes.  These castings are lovely - tricky, but lovely. 

The French sure seemed to carry a lot of cooking pans around in 1870...but of course!
What do I mean by "tricky"? Well, as hobby types we all have our own preferences, ticks and quirks - for me, sculpting styles is one of those things.  The figures from Foundry, sculpted by the Perry Brothers, have a sort of familiar and forgiving feel and shape to them. These sculpts, on the other hand, are from a very different sort of "school" of sculpting - these are tall, nearly 30mm tall, with slender builds and a more "realistic" proportion (in some ways) to them. The rifles are very narrow, the fingers very slender, etc. They do not, in my opinion, mix well at all with the figures from the Wargames Foundry range.

A first volley fired...hopefully more to come...
But they will do just fine for skirmish gaming! And I just LOVE the French uniforms from this setting. Red kepis! Baggy pants! And epaullettes everywhere!! These seven figures gave me 35 points against my target of 1000 points - an opening "skirmish" in the Black Powder side duel and inspiration to keep going on this project through the Challenge. And these fellows bring me closer to the goal of running a skirmish game of some kind set in this period very soon.


tim said...

Those figures are lovely, Greg. Nicely done!

Kind of reminds me I still have a unit of early Great War French to finish up. It's crazy to think they were still wearing essentially the same uniform in 1914.

Neil Scott said...

Lovely work

ByronM said...

Great looking stuff Greg, with a lot more to come I am sure!

DeanM said...

Excellent work on all of your FPW figures! I know this is a very, very late comment to your post, but if you do see it and have the time/inclination for a reply, would you be kind enough to give me your opinion on how these figures compare with current Perry sculpts? Particularly their plastic ACW Zouaves? I ask because I've painted some of these up for FPW. Kindest regards, Dean

Greg B said...

Hi Dean - thanks for the comment!

I do not have any Perry plastic ACW figures, unfortunately. The closest comparison in my collection would probably be my Perry figures from the Sudan.

On that basis, the EoE figures are a little taller and a little thinner than the current Perry sculpts. The rifles of the EoE figures are skinnier, and the infantrymen are a little taller and lankier.