(Two of them may be just seen in the top right hand corner of the blog header picture. Apparently they are camera shy since I am having trouble finding good pictures of them from their first 10 years of service)
Ever since I took the rash step four years ago of painting my first WW1 troops since my pre-wargaming Airfix days, and then resurrecting my 54mm Toy Soldiers, I've been torn about what to do with my redundant late 19thC units . I did try mixing the drab and coloured units but it never felt convincing. Both the shortage of shelf space and the presence of more active wargame periods than my brain can handle has been bothering me so I have been slowly de-converting and rebadging various units to earlier or later periods but the Blue Guard have remained. Until now!
|The Blue Guards in their new uniforms, |
waiting for the grass to grow.
Since I need at least one more German unit for Huzzah! I decided to modernize them. The obvious, technically correct, and logical step would have been to strip the paint but, well, logic and I don't really get along unless a debate is in progress. If I stripped them, it would probably be as easy to just melt them down and cast new ones but either way, their little faces would be changed and they would no longer BE the Blue Guard. They would just be another anonymous field-grey unit.
Once again David Nash came to my rescue with a picture of a German soldier in a parade version with field grey uniform with red facings very like the Blue Guards wore, with the same black belts, boots and uncovered helmet. All I would have to do is paint over the tunic and trousers, touch up the leather and facings and there they would be with the same cheery, weathered faces shining up at me.
|Archive photo of various Oberhilse uniforms including a Guardsmen in front.|
OK so a little incongruous in action in 1914 but no more so than any clean, glossy, toy soldiers and very much in keeping of my vague idea of opposing armies based on what someone had found on the shelves in Eaton's or Ogilvy's back in the day.