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Author Topic: French Foreign Legion questions - uniforms and suggested reading?  (Read 835 times)

Offline Munindk

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I've got the TMWWBK rulebook, 36 legionnaires and a crewed artillery piece on the way from Unfeasibly Miniatures (via Colonel Bills).

I'm now looking for more information on the legion, preferably something that covers the late 19th century period, as thats what I plan on gaming. I'm specifically looking for information about uniform colours, as the color of the kepi and pants seems to change quite a bit, at least in the pictures I've come across.

From what I've seen the greatcoat should be dark blue (how dark varies though), the kepi either white or red (possibly red, but with a white cover?), and the pants either white or red. But which colours are appropriate for which periods/regiments/campaigns?

I'm not a stickler for historical accuracy but I'd like to get at least some details right.

Unfortunately I dont have the time to read large historical volumes, so references to Ospreys and websites will be most welcome :)

Online Plynkes

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Re: French Foreign Legion questions - uniforms and suggested reading?
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2018, 02:56:59 PM »
Standard uniform was blue jacket, red trousers and red-and-blue kepi. Parade uniform same colours. White linen fatigues were worn in hot weather and that became the standard campaign dress in North Africa (along with a greatcoat and a white cover on the kepi). Pith helmets and khaki uniforms followed as we roll into the first and second decades of the 20th Century.

That's the basics off the top of my head, maybe not 100% true in every time and place, but near enough if as you say you are not a stickler.

I guess the Osprey on the Legion 1890-1914 might be a good starting point.

Something always told me they were reading Tommy wrong...

Offline Driscoles

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Re: French Foreign Legion questions - uniforms and suggested reading?
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2018, 07:24:06 PM »
...and the www is full with info!
, ,

Online commissarmoody

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Re: French Foreign Legion questions - uniforms and suggested reading?
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2018, 07:37:51 PM »
I am posting some links to other threads on this forum that are focused on the era you are looking at.
http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=106257.0

http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=105502.0

"Peace" is that brief, glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading.

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Offline skirmishman

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Re: French Foreign Legion questions - uniforms and suggested reading?
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2018, 07:45:07 PM »
If you can find it there is a one volume history and uniforms of the French Foreign Legion by  Martin Windrow and of course the old Airfix magazine guide to the Foreign Legion  a small  blue book .

Offline Will Bailie

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Re: French Foreign Legion questions - uniforms and suggested reading?
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2018, 08:50:07 PM »
History, shmistory.  This is the book to read:



Or watch any of the films based on the book!

Or this one:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_or_Die_(film)



« Last Edit: February 02, 2018, 04:34:47 AM by Will Bailie »

Online Plynkes

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Re: French Foreign Legion questions - uniforms and suggested reading?
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2018, 09:13:01 PM »
Personally, I wouldn't bother with March or Die. It is a terrible movie.


Offline ARKOUDAKI

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Re: French Foreign Legion questions - uniforms and suggested reading?
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2018, 11:56:57 PM »
Quote
I wouldn't bother with March or Die. It is a terrible movie.

What are you talking about, that movie is loads of fun. Gene Hackman does a great job of it, and the other characters are all very interesting. Ian Holm is oddly cast as the Arab, and there are some other odds people in it (the lead, Terence Hill just disappeared...probably back to Italian spaghetti Westerns)...but it is fun.

There is also Burt Lancaster's 'Ten Tall Men' for inspiration.

I still have my Redoubt FFL and Arabs...and even a big resin fort from somebody (Village Green?)....one day....

Offline Will Bailie

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Re: French Foreign Legion questions - uniforms and suggested reading?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2018, 12:03:31 AM »
If you don't like March or Die, no worries.  Plenty of versions of Beau Geste to look to for inspiration :)


Offline Etranger

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Re: French Foreign Legion questions - uniforms and suggested reading?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2018, 04:52:01 AM »


Including the definitive one. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076297/  ;)
"It's only a flesh wound...."

Offline Munindk

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Re: French Foreign Legion questions - uniforms and suggested reading?
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2018, 08:06:54 AM »
@Plynkes: I'm thrilled that I can get out of painting white pants!
@Driscoles: yes it is, so full in fact that its a bit daunting when starting from scratch.
@commissarmoody: very helpful links, all those coloured drawings are just the ticket for someone as time-impaired as me :)

Watching a movie or two while I paint might help things along and if I'm staring at the miniatures I wont notice a few plots :)

Offline FifteensAway

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Re: French Foreign Legion questions - uniforms and suggested reading?
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2018, 08:18:36 AM »
Hmm, here I was thinking white pants for North Africa was, well, de rigueur.  The red pants were certainly common earlier in the 19th century.  Personally, if I ever paint my FFL figures, white pants for sure for most legionnaires - and red pants for a few.   

Online Plynkes

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Re: French Foreign Legion questions - uniforms and suggested reading?
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2018, 09:27:46 AM »
I never said paint the pants red. I wouldn't do that for troops in action, not for the period we are looking at. Check what I said: white linen fatigues were the standard campaign uniform.

The only time you see them in the red pants and blue jacket in photos from the period is in posed portraits and the occasional shot of legionnaires mooching around the barracks, and even in those most of them are usually in white fatigues with just the odd guy wearing the normal uniform.


Online Plynkes

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Re: French Foreign Legion questions - uniforms and suggested reading?
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2018, 09:59:42 AM »
I have, however, seen photos taken in the field where the men are in white fatigues but the officer is wearing the proper uniform, red pants included.

Offline Hu Rhu

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Re: French Foreign Legion questions - uniforms and suggested reading?
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2018, 10:07:31 AM »
Here's my take on the FFL. Quite tongue in cheek but there are some examples of painted legionaries in both greatcoats and white fatigues. And a different sort of film that inspired me.

http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=72065.0

 

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