As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve started painting my WW2 colonial French vehicles. Over the weekend, I got all the prep work completed. So today after work, I couldn’t resist getting out my paint-brushes and finishing two of the models – the two Berliet VUDB armoured personnel carriers by Mad Bob Miniatures (click on the pictures to see them larger).
As described by Martin Windrow in Military Modelling March 1981 (see, saving old those old MM magazines from my teenage years has paid off!), the VUDB was ‘a four-wheel drive car bearing a strong resemblance to a hearse … guns could be mounted in any of four ports at front, back and sides. With a crew of three and a box of grenades, these underpowered but reliable old buses proved their worth many times over’.
I’ve never painted WW2 vehicles before, so this was a novel exercise for me. I checked out some painting sites on the internet, and in the end went for a technique which uses old foam packing sponge to dab different colours on top of each other. Combined with ink washes, this worked out really well for these rather plain drab-coloured vehicles (though I wonder if it’ll work as well when I get more ambitious with my next vehicles and paint them with camouflage patterns).
I painted the commander with the colourful sky-blue and red kepi of the 1er Chasseurs d’Afrique. The badges on the sides of the VUDBs aren’t actually from this unit, as the French decal set I bought from Gaso-line didn’t include them – but the 16e Dragoons ‘pegasus’ isn’t too far from the Chasseurs d’Afrique centaur, so will have to do for now.
I just can’t decide if I’ll attach my vehicles onto desert-terrained bases. There are advantages of durability to do so, and off the table I think vehicles look good on bases. But on the wargaming table, they can look a bit silly, especially if the bases don’t match the terrain being fought over. Anyway, that’s a decision that can wait for now …
By the way, the apparent desert ‘terrain’ in these photos isn’t. It’s just my kitchen bench!