Early-war French uniforms questions

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Early-war French uniforms questions

Jakko Westerbeke
Jakko Westerbeke

July 17th, 2004, 5:42 pm #1

A few years ago, I bought an old F.M. Beneito 30-mm vignette of French troops after the battle of Saint-Privat (18 August 1870), with the intention of converting them into 1914 French troops on their push into Alsace-Lorainne. Now that I've taken the box out of the spare kits cupboard and have started cleaning the parts, I took a closer look at the uniforms, and that leaves me wondering if some of them need more drastic conversion than I'd like to perform.

I know the differences between the 1870 and 1914 uniforms is mostly in the personal equipment; if I add Y-straps and a few extra cartridge pouches to the infantry figures in the vignette, I think their uniforms will pass for the 1914 type (someone please correct me if I'm wrong ) and I can convert the one rifle in the set to a Lebel.

My main problem is that there's a mounted officer or trumpeter type in the set (I think he's an officer, but he holds a trumpet which, on the boxtop photo anyway, he is supposed to look through...?). In any case, he has riding boots that come up to above his knees, which is not an item of dress that I've been able to find in my references on the French army. Is this a possibility, or do I have to hack and file them down so they come to below his knees?
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Grzegorz Mazurowski
Grzegorz Mazurowski

July 17th, 2004, 8:00 pm #2

Hi!
Don't know these 1870 guys, but the pretty good idea to get French 1914 infantry in 1/72 is to buy old ESCI "French Foreign Legion" set - there are not many things you have to modify (mostly these sheets of fabric attached to kepi caps, and some details of equipment)
Cheers!
Grzegorz
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phil radley
phil radley

July 18th, 2004, 7:04 am #3

the excellent Plastic Soldier Review have this to say about ESCIs FFL:

http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Rev ... C&code=237

personally, i think if you want french infantry then why not buy HATs remake of the old Airfix set? loads of different poses and historically accurate. i've also considered and tried to buy the out of production Revell set

...AND i've been pestering Revell on their site for suggestions!

good luck

phil
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Jakko Westerbeke
Jakko Westerbeke

July 18th, 2004, 9:18 am #4

Hi!
Don't know these 1870 guys, but the pretty good idea to get French 1914 infantry in 1/72 is to buy old ESCI "French Foreign Legion" set - there are not many things you have to modify (mostly these sheets of fabric attached to kepi caps, and some details of equipment)
Cheers!
Grzegorz
Thanks for the ideas, but I'm not looking for 1:72nd scale French infantry ? I have a 30-mm vignette of an event in 1870 that I want to convert into 1914, and in any case the 1:72nd scale figures would be too small to use with this
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Mike Cooper
Mike Cooper

July 19th, 2004, 2:27 pm #5

Have you tried teh Osprey MAA on French Army 1914-18? Compare with the plates in their two on teh same army in Franco Prussian War - should do the job I think.

In 30mm I think a file should do the job on the rifles, but I can't recall uniform details off the top of my head.

Mike Cooper
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Grzegorz Mazurowski
Grzegorz Mazurowski

July 19th, 2004, 9:33 pm #6

Hi!
Don't know these 1870 guys, but the pretty good idea to get French 1914 infantry in 1/72 is to buy old ESCI "French Foreign Legion" set - there are not many things you have to modify (mostly these sheets of fabric attached to kepi caps, and some details of equipment)
Cheers!
Grzegorz
I mean that Airfix set (reissued by HaT) is good to covert into 1914 French line infantry.
Sorry for mistake.
Grzegorz
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Jakko Westerbeke
Jakko Westerbeke

July 20th, 2004, 9:15 am #7

Have you tried teh Osprey MAA on French Army 1914-18? Compare with the plates in their two on teh same army in Franco Prussian War - should do the job I think.

In 30mm I think a file should do the job on the rifles, but I can't recall uniform details off the top of my head.

Mike Cooper
I don't have the MAA book on the Franco-Prussian War, but I do have the 1914-18 one; by comparing the figures to the photos and color plates I also came to the conclusion that little needs to be changed, except for a few additions like kepi covers and extra ammo pouches. My main "problem" is the boots the officer-type is wearing, as these seem far too tall, but reducing their height to below the knee seems like a fairly complex job to get right — which is why I'm wondering if anyone knows if boots that came to above the knee might have been used in 1914...?
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Mike Cooper
Mike Cooper

July 20th, 2004, 9:52 am #8

Sorry - I had an attcak of the Kiplings!

Never seen officers in above the knee boots in 1914. Is it boots or boots and leggings in 1914?

Anyway - in 20mm I've found a couple of strokes with a file and a bit of Miliput usually do the job fine. I've gone from Battledress to shorts and puttees and from puttees to jackboots Ok this way.

Best of luck

Mike
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Steve Willoughby
Steve Willoughby

July 20th, 2004, 7:24 pm #9

A few years ago, I bought an old F.M. Beneito 30-mm vignette of French troops after the battle of Saint-Privat (18 August 1870), with the intention of converting them into 1914 French troops on their push into Alsace-Lorainne. Now that I've taken the box out of the spare kits cupboard and have started cleaning the parts, I took a closer look at the uniforms, and that leaves me wondering if some of them need more drastic conversion than I'd like to perform.

I know the differences between the 1870 and 1914 uniforms is mostly in the personal equipment; if I add Y-straps and a few extra cartridge pouches to the infantry figures in the vignette, I think their uniforms will pass for the 1914 type (someone please correct me if I'm wrong ) and I can convert the one rifle in the set to a Lebel.

My main problem is that there's a mounted officer or trumpeter type in the set (I think he's an officer, but he holds a trumpet which, on the boxtop photo anyway, he is supposed to look through...?). In any case, he has riding boots that come up to above his knees, which is not an item of dress that I've been able to find in my references on the French army. Is this a possibility, or do I have to hack and file them down so they come to below his knees?
The most pertinent change would be the deletion of the epellettes as French Imperial infantry had those red fringed epellettes (sp?).
Other than that the uniform is close enough in 30mm with the modification of the rifle, kepi covers, and the additional back ammo pouch.
The mounted officer should have boots below the knees. If he is a dragoon or curiassier he would have knee boots. The trumpet was still used by infantry for signalling in 1914, but would not have been held by an officer, I think the figure in question may be a cavalryman.
Hope this helps.
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Jakko Westerbeke
Jakko Westerbeke

July 21st, 2004, 8:52 am #10

I guess a mounted officer would be the easiest to convert him into, even with the trumpet (who says he can't have picked it up and is now looking at it in a dazed state wondering if the signals did any good? ) but I don't think mounted troops wore greatcoats...? This because the figure has one draped over his left shoulder, completely obscuring his arm ? so removing it would require me to sculpt a complete arm
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