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"54mm French in Algeria 1830-1840" Topic

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756 hits since 25 Sep 2016
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Comments or corrections?

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2016 1:20 p.m. PST

This thread got me wondering:
TMP link
I can't think of any manufacturers who make suitable troops in greatcoat, belly pouch and cylindrical shako/early tall kepi

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2016 1:28 p.m. PST

Nick, Your best bet would be to use Alamo era Mexicans as a starting point for a minor conversion. No greatcoats though.

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2016 2:47 p.m. PST

Thanks, Nick. Heck, I could just use Alamo Mexicans as is. Just paint their trousers red.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2016 2:59 p.m. PST

You could always add a belly pouch from some thick card.

Botch B23 Dec 2016 3:37 a.m. PST

AIP FFL for greatcoats just need to build up the kepi into a shako? TSSD Mexicans for the tail-coat, as suggested.

The period has been an interest and 'goal' of mine for a very long time. I actually started putting a set of possible figures together to see what might work.

Earliest invasion there would only be Metropolitan line troops, infantry, cavalry and artillery, until local units (the origins of the Armee d'Afrique) started to be raised and then there are some lovely uniform variations on the classic Zouaves, Turcos and Chasseurs d'A.

AIP for Zouaves and Turcos, with turbans added to the chechia; AIP and TSSD figures for cavalry conversions (first C d'A uniform was a lancer style, so WWI German and/or Crimean War British Lancers!)

Go on Nick, have a go! If you do, I might do so too…

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP24 Dec 2016 11:37 a.m. PST

Darn you, Botch B! I had successfully put this project on the far back burner until I read your post. I've been struggling to put together an Indian Mutiny collection in 54mm this year and I need another under served period like I need a hole in the head. But there is a real allure to the first conquest of Algeria that is hard to resist. I am fine with leveraging my Maximilian/Crimean Zouaves and Chasseurs d'Afrique. The French infantry in greatcoat and tall kepi is the stumbling block. AIP FFL are close, but cutting off the head, including the sun curtain is going to be tricky. I would even be willing to spend on metals if they were good looking figures.

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP24 Dec 2016 11:51 a.m. PST

Hat French Elites in Greatcoats have the right silhouette, but they have the cross belt for the sword, which was not carried by the Legion. Just need to cut down the shako. I use "just' advisedly as I am crap at freehand carving.

Botch B19 Feb 2017 4:58 a.m. PST

I've come back to this one, visually inspired after a couple of games (FFL in the 1950s and WWII LRDG) on some simply beautiful scratch built terrain by Lucky Pete Reynold of the Skirmish Wargames Collective. The buildings, city walls, gateways etc, with his lovely big mosque and minaret just cried out for red legged French infantry and multicolored Algerians to be whirling bayonet to scimitar!

I have my box of Conte, CTS etc Mexicans out and am about to start on my first unit of French infantry. I am going for 12 figure units, 4 grenadiers, 4 voltigeurs and 4 fusiliers. (I know this is not historical but it will look great IMHO, so please no pedants). Wrong belting detail doesn't bother me either (sorry) but I will replace weedy pompoms on helmets, and add epaulette fringes.

I think a unit of FFL, either from the Conte but with casquette d'afrique in place of the shako, or perhaps AIP FFL with the kepi built up ditto and a unit of Light Infantry (probably anachronistically in the 1834 regulations uniform rather than 1830, which is too like the line IMHO, to distinguish them more, ie all dark blue with yellow trim) should be enough for the 'ordinary' infantry.

Does anyone have a source of especially inspiring visual eye candy?

Nick a tip from a pal (Les White, the Lone Warrior) drop figures into boiled water to soften them a little before attempting to carve off bits the slightly softened plastic is easier to cut and manipulate.

I have some AIP Zouves left from previous projects, but am picking some bargains from Andy Harfield in his Retiring Sale to do some more infantry. I reckon 1 unit in the earliest Tirailleur Algerien 1831-41 red fez, brown trimmed black jacket and shirt and grey trousers; 1 in the 1841-5 uniform of green jackets (shirt colour?, and red trousers; and 1 of Zouaves with red turbans should be the next tranche.

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP19 Feb 2017 12:36 p.m. PST

Please share photos of the Lucky Pete Reynold buildings! I received the new Osprey: French Foreign Legion 1831 -71 for Christmas and it's re-inspired me and I recommend it for eye candy. I am still thinking about using the HaT Napoleonic French Elites in Greatcoats as a base. Maybe I will try to whittle down the shakos using the boiling water softening method (Thanks!)and if that doesn't work I try more drastic surgery. I am also looking at ordering some 1850's French shako heads from Irregular Miniatures

Botch B20 Feb 2017 10:09 a.m. PST

Will do – I will be posting some photos of the weekend games on my Blog soonish.

link is the best source of info, Al alerted me to it on the Colonial Wars yahoo DG. Superb.

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP20 Feb 2017 5:44 p.m. PST

Wow! What a goldmine of information! Thank you for sharing this. By the way, dare I ask: What are you using for Algerians? I have loads of AIP and Conte Arabs painted up, but I wonder if they should look more like the Barzso Barbary Pirates? I'll probably end up mixing the two.

Botch B22 Feb 2017 6:56 a.m. PST

Yes, pretty much Nick. I have just posted a couple of good sources on info on the Algerian forces, one on line the other a book, on my Blog at nudge nudge…

I have a load of Barzsos I got Ron to bring over to a Plastic Warrior show, saving the postage and risk of import duties. Have converted some how many guys with a pot of hot oil/burning pitch held up over their heads can you use!

The two sources show that there were a mix of types, including in Flaherty Berber Infantry, looking pretty much like those figures.

El Kader had regulars, of course, and their uniform was pretty much a Zouave outfit, but with a sleeved coat with a hood – I will use AIP (and possibly XForce) Zouaves with the sleeves painted to same colour as the jacket and a hood added at the back from mp. The cavalry look more of a challenge…I can see a TSC magazine article coming on.

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP22 Feb 2017 2:49 p.m. PST

The Barzso Barbary Pirate flinging the pot, HA! He's be great for a skirmish game set in a kitchen! I cut his arms off and used him as an artillery commander with Mike Lewis's separate artilleryman arms. Funny, I never visualized the North Africans as being in uniform. How Euro-centric of me! Well, fortunately, ACW Zoauves are easy to find. Are you using the "French" infantry figures with or without backpack? For me, that striped mattress ticking blanket roll on top of pack is what defines them – almost as much as the red trousers.

Botch B26 Feb 2017 9:09 a.m. PST

Nice idea – not familiar with the 'Mike Lewis separate artillery arms' though – what are these please? They sound very useful!

I understand what you mean but will just use the figures as they come, both with and without the backpack, as they come. I just don't think I could face casting up and fitting a pack and roll to every figure…

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP28 Feb 2017 3:53 p.m. PST

Mike Lewis of Black Hat Miniatures link
You can ask for just the separate arms of the artillerymen, either with tunic sleeves or rolled up shirt sleeves. Very handy for making Pathan/Mutineer/Boer artillerymen

Botch B05 Mar 2017 7:50 a.m. PST

Thanks Nick, will take a look.

Part time gamer08 Apr 2017 12:28 p.m. PST

I stumbled onto 54mm game posts a yr or so back (which I thought had gone the way of the Dodo).

Like @Nick Sterns 'so many periods to choose from' struggle, this is killing me.
I keep thinking "It would be great to play that scale!"
I 'have' to 'draw the line' at 28's. (

Botch B
I've come back.. inspired after a couple of games.. on some simply beautiful scratch built terrain.. The buildings, city walls, gateways etc, ..lovely big mosque and minaret..
Ive seen some beautiful terrain in British Colonial period games. Simply a few palm trees, tents, cpl of dunes and it looks great, but 54mm BUILDINGs I cant begin to imagine that table.
OH to only have been there!

Sorry for rambling, but this is what 54mm does to me, though generally 'the scale' before my time (55 now) every time I see it, it triggers those 'toy soldier'(green army men?) memories.

Nick, Botch,
I would love to see and hear how your projects are going guys.
Best of luck!

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