Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Vive la France

The ‘V.I.P.’ prisoners of Schloss Itter, found themselves the temporary caretakers of the castle on the morning of 4th May 1945.  The guards had fled and so it was that some of the most influential former, political leaders of pre-war France were left to ponder their fate.  Not unsurprisingly, given the differing political backgrounds, tempers became frayed during their tenure at the castle, but when they realised that they were at the mercy of the marauding SS Troops their resolve suddenly galvanised.
When help did finally turn up they were reported as being somewhat disdainful of the size of the relief column and with the first shots of the battle ricocheting off the stonework, the suggestion of them taking cover with the wives and children was met with Gallic outrage, the gentlemen preferring to stand their ground on the battlements rather than cowering in the castle basements.
I have decided to field a unit of French V.I.Ps. as part of the game and as you will see their shooting is ineffectual, but bravery remains high.  The castle defenders will have to decide if it is better to have them hide or add to the melee, in a bid to thin out the SS Troops?  Given that the game is effectively over if the unit is completely destroyed this is not a decision to take lightly!
When it came to selecting miniatures, I started with 'Artizan Designs' and stumbled across some likely candidates lurking in the Maquis and Partizans sets.  The addition of a couple of chaps from the Department of Paranormal Studies helped to fill out the unit, but felt they needed a little extra to ‘sell’ the idea of them being armed, yet doddery.  Fortunately I had a plastic sprue of ‘Warlord Games’ Germans to hand which offered up a few pieces of equipment that seemed to fit the bill.

I haven’t named the individual detainees as part of the game, but may revisit this nearer the time, instead I envisage them supported by characters such as Hauptsturmführer Kurt-Siegfried Schrader, a convalescing SS Officer who was persuaded to stand and fight with the French Prisoners.


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53 comments:

  1. Fantastic additions Michael, the painting really sells the story, and great additions of the weapons

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    1. Thank you so much Dave, could have added a few more weapons, but decided less was more.

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  2. "De bien beaux personnage cher ami, salutations de France!"

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  3. Lovely. Possibly one in a yellow vest..go, I dare you ;-)

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    1. Not sure I'm that brave, but thank you Paul. :)

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    2. I´m considering putting a small band of medievals together, just yellow surcoats and caparisons and calling them Gillet´s Jaunes :-)

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    3. Genius, I may need to give this some more thought then. ;)

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  4. Absolutely brilliant stuff Michael! Really like your weapon additions :)

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    1. Thank you Ivor, started to have doubts when I was drilling into a perfectly goos miniature, but the final result seems to have worked.

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  5. I really like these figures. It's like a Dad's convention with guns. In particular I like the figure with the panzerfaust.

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    1. That was certainly the feel I was going for. :D Might add a couple more when I can.

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  6. O yes, these are perfect for your little tale. Especially loving that stripey sweater!

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    1. Thank you Dai, the stripey sweater was inspired by the miniature on the companies website, so I can't take credit for that one.

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  7. Wonderful characters, excellently painted as always. I look at them and can't help but recall the coded radio message in the Longest Day, "John has a big mustache" :)

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    1. That's brilliant Dean, I would never have remembered that. Moustaches definitely seem to be in with this group.

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  8. Excellent choices one & all painted to the high Awdry Standard!

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    1. Thank you so much Terry, that's ver kind of you.

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  9. Delightful figures, sir! They're full of personality.

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    1. Thank you A.J. Hopefully they will add some much needed colour in amongst all the olive drab.

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  10. Lovely work on these chaps, Michael :)

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  11. They look very French. Bien, Mon Brave.

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  12. Marvellous work from the maestro 👍

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  13. It is always a pleasure to look at figures from your marvelous project, and these guys are no exception!

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    1. Thank you so much Mr. Nimrod, really enjoyed the change of pace with these chaps.

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  14. Nothing says business time like a cardigan and a 'faust! Love em.

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    1. So wonderfully absurd, I just couldn't resist.

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  15. Fantastic work Michael: +1 for the cardigan and 'faust!

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    1. Thank you Paul, one of my favourite miniatures this year.

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  16. Brilliant work - love the jumper especially.

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    1. Thank you Mike, quite fancy one like that myself.

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  17. Such great chaps, they fit in perfectly. Glad to see there's at least one with a french hat, though I feel the one with the panzerfaust (or whatever he's carrying) should have a baguette instead 😁.

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    1. Oh Wouter, I wish I had thought that! What a fun idea. Thank you.

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  18. Lovely job Michael. Nice subtle conversions that fit in well with the original models poses.

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    1. Thank you so much Simon, just wanted them to have weapons as they are going to be combatants.

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  19. I like these, a lot; especially the guy in the cardigan - mainly because he looks a lot like me (cardy et al, but minus the panzerfaust).
    It's characters like these, even if only in a back-ground role that really lift a demo game above good to excellent imho.

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    1. Thank you Joe, I have to say that I quite fancy that cardigan myself.

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  20. I've not seen the chap in the cardi before, you've done a great job with them all.

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    1. Thank you so much, the Artizan Designs sculpts really are a joy to paint.

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  21. Very nice painting and you have chosen just the right figures for this. Great stuff!

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    1. Thank you so much Martin, I think you can take some of the credit for my renewed love of the Artizan range follwing the 'Allo! 'Allo! diversion.

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  22. Wonderful bit of painting Michael, those are great looking figures.

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  23. That elderly professorial looking man holding a bazooka is a wonderful creation Michael. Looks great and grabs ones attention for sure.

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