For a while I’ve wanted to paint some French Foreign Legion colonial-period figures and the publication of Sharpe’s Practice 2 a few months ago, got me motivated to start the project. Strictly speaking it’s a black powder rule set, but it looks like it could work for the slightly later era with some minor tweaks. So I figured I’d do something in the Conquest of Algeria period (c. 1840s). Like most colonial wars, this period didn’t feature a lot of pitched battles, and if they did they were fairly one-sided. What I’m ultimately looking to do is a skirmish around an oasis, featuring some sort of nomad ambush of La Legion. I’ll try to keep the site updated with my progress, first step of which follows.
I’ve shopped around a bit for figures and, since it’s a skirmish scenario, I can mix-and-match manufacturers more easily than I could with large formations. I’ve started by getting some Unfeasibly Miniatures from their Exotic Adventures range. (I actually purchased them via Black Hat.) I also got some from Askari as well as Artizan. These are the Unfeasibly Tuaregs.
Tuaregs traditionally dress in bright, Indigo Blue. In Tuareg culture, it is the men, not the women who cover their faces. Both of these facts simplify the painting immensely.I changed up a couple of turbans for variety’s sake.
The mounted figures were another story. I’d never painted camels before, and looking at pictures I realized that they are usually much lighter than “camel” colored. As a matter of fact , they are almost white, with some brown highlights, which is much more sensible for an animal living in the desert.
Next there was the problem of the blankets. Tuaregs camel riders use saddles wrapped in colorful woven blankets, which meant I’d have to do a bit of free hand, which is always a challenge for me.
And to top it all off, it looks like I put the shields on upside down.