Blast from the Past: French Foreign Legion Paratroop – Voltigeur, 1erREP, Algeria, 1958

Creating the figure (Created in the last decade of the last century)

This “Casbah Sweeper” is lightly equipped for street patrol with the following:

Beret – scratchbuilt; badge – photostat and silver painted.

Camouflaged “tenue leopard” 48/56 type BDU – scratchbuilt, handpainted lizard camo pattern, elasticated jacket seam. This pattern is based on the green-hued lizard camo pattern BDU. The camo patterns were painted first onto the fabric before sewing, then touched up where necessary. I dunked the completed BDU into a tub of light leaf green dye, this “softens” the contrasty painted patterns, giving a more weathered and well worn effect to the fabric. It’s also an optical effect because of the intrinsic scale involved, thus what is smaller should not be glaringly contrasty when compared to 1:1 scale.

Web belt and straps – scratchbuilt, acrylic painted elastic, scraps of webbing

Scarf – tissue paper (okay… from the toilet roll!)

MAT 49 quadruple pouches – scratchbuilt ammo pouches based on photographic and illustrative references. Painted and weathered with acrylic paints and pastel chalk.

MAT 49 SMG – scratchbuilt, bits of balsa, sculpy, card, plastic rod, cotton bud rod, “twistie” wire, leather strap. I scoured the whole of Singapore for a 21st Century MAT 49 SMG, to no avail; and had no choice but to scratchbuild one based on images from the internet. It’s quite a learning experience.

Boots, bayonet, sunglasses, canteen and holder – standard 1/6 scale manufacturers’ gear.

Figure – Dragon, repainted headsculpt.