The keen eyed viewer may have noticed that there were some French civilians represented on the model of Pegasus Bridge. It only seemed fitting to do so, especially in the case of Monsieur Gondrée, the cafe owner. The only issue with this was that, try as I might, I just couldn't shift the idea of the cast of 'Allo! 'Allo! running amok on Pegasus Bridge. This, of course, was a ludicrous notion and it was certainly not my intention to belittle the memory of those brave souls that fought for our freedom seventy five years ago. That said it is a particularly British phenomenon to find laughter in the most direst of circumstances. Who would have though that a comedy program about a small French cafe in war torn France would prove to such a hit, but a hit it was. Running for ten years, 'Allo! 'Allo! was a firm favourite of Young Master Awdry. The absurdity of the plots, the murder of the French language at the hands of Officer Crabtree and let's not underestimate the allure of Yvette's French accent on my teenage sensitivities, but where to find the miniatures?
A quick bout of web based research threw up some promising leads, with 'Artizan Designs', proving a rich vein to mine. Martin Thornton, of 'The Life and Times of Mad Lord Snapcase' fame also proved incredibly helpful and was able to give me some suggestions for possible miniatures to convert to represent some of the other characters.
So it was that René Artois, Yvette Carte-Blanche and Michelle Dubois soon sprang to life. They were closely followed by Colonel Kurt von Strohm, Herr Otto Flick and of course, Gruber's Little Tank.
It wasn't long before the whole affair was bordering on the obsessive, but it was great fun, particularly when it came to converting a couple of characters. The first, Madame Fanny La Fan, saw a Hag's body chopped and then placed into a lovely resin piece from 'Charlie Foxtrot Models', the addition of some Milliput sheets helping to complete the illusion.
Officer Crabtree, the British agent working undercover as a French Gendarme, saw another 'Artizan Designs' sculpt used, but with the addition of a truncheon and Milliput cape. Finally the Resistance's master of disguise, Roger Leclerc, was created with yet another 'Artizan Designs' miniature, but this time with the addition of an MDF bicycle and strings of onions fashioned from some tiny beads.
With the addition of Flying Officers Fairfax and Carstairs, and a pile of stolen loot, sourced from 'Anyscale Models', and containing the infamous Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies* the collection was at an end, at least for the time being. That said if anyone can think of any suitable miniatures for the remaining characters then do let me know.
*Attributed to van Clomp.
So with a good proportion of the cast assembled, it seemed like a wasted opportunity not to take a few shots on the wonderful Pegasus Bridge model, the Café Gondrée, becoming Café René!
"I was pissing by the door, when I heard two shats. You are holding in your hand a smoking goon; you are clearly the guilty potty."