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My wife is from Bolivia, and one day we were watching a documentary on the Chaco War on YouTube with her family. After seeing old footage of Bolivian soldiers, I turned to my wife and said, "They look like WW1 Russian soldiers!" Indeed, there are probably a number of differences between the WW1 Russian and 1930's Bolivian Army uniforms, but at this scale you could probably get away with using HaT or Strelets's WWI Russian infantry as Bolivians.
If memory serves me right, The Chaco Wars were seen as the "test area" for WW 2. Russia supplies make the Bolivians look VERY similar (I think the uniforms were based on Russian ones). I believe there were even picklehaub helmets worn by certain units. I'm guessing European companies liked the idea of a big war in various conditions where new gear could be tested.
I'll have to check You Tube and see what I can find and, at 1 inch in height, yes you can get away with a lot!!
That's a good point about the Chaco War being a sort of testing ground for new European weapons and equipment. Also, early on in the war, a German general was actually leading the Bolivian Army, although he was quickly replaced after the failure of the early Bolivian offensive into Costa Rica or Peru (can't remember which one exactly).
The anniversary of the war is still celebrated widely in Bolivia, and its veterans are respected and revered in much the same way as WW2 veterans are here in the U.S., but it took a terrible toll on such a small country. My wife's grandfather served in the Bolivian Army (as I'm sure all able-bodied men did). He survived the war but suffered from PTSD after he came home. Sometimes he would wander the streets in a daze, and for a long time he would only sleep on the floor because the comfort of beds scared him.
Just goes to show that all wars, no matter how well-known or not, have the same terrible effects on the men who have to fight them.
And people used to living at higher, cooler altitudes (and vice versa) were sent into marshes and jungle.
The one thing I keep telling anyone who asks is that I have the same opinion as H. G. Wells who gets a lot of stick for his "Little Wars" -I am PLAYING war with small plastic soldiers. Real wars involve real human beings who go through hell, horror and very few escape unscathed mentally.
Your wife's grand father's story happened to so many others all around the world and I think that old poster with the photo from the Spanish Civil War said it all -Why?
Montenegran Troops have been a problem but then I remembered RedBox Set 72034
Gurkhas. I used these as French Senegalese troops but suddenly thought that this set has them in the Pill Box hats. Four of the figures (well 1 x 4) have the Gurkha knives drawn. These could be painted as Montegregan troops. I cannot find any others that will work -unless anyone has any suggestions?
Basically, I just painted Gurkha trousers red and jackets blue. The pill box hats I was going to use Green Stuff/Milliput to extend but my eyesight is not great close-up even with glasses -a 1/72 scale figure at 3 feet I can see clearly but my arms can't reach! So after painting hair, skin I just painted the hats red. It works at that scale especially since, as you say, Colonial forces are somewhat lacking. I think the Red Box Gurkhas are vague-ish enough to get away with it. More dressed for Europe than Africa though.
Yes, I've been looking at the Strelets Ottoman Turks. I think they ought to work well and since there were so many revolts against the Ottomans in Europe in the 19th and into the 20th centuries I'd like to convert some.
The knives. Many years ago I saw a colour illustration -it MAY have been in an old comic book- and the caption read something like "knives drawn the Montenegran soldiers leapt into the gun emplacement. Lovely colour and fantastic illustration (wish I had it now) I just envisaged a few Montenegrans rushing a gun position. Pure nostalgia!
Re. Colonial troops I am hoping -hoping- that with all the 100th Anniversary of WW 1 (which seems to pick up then fade away)some soldier company might see that this IS a big niche in the figure market.
My way of thinking is WHY did Hat release German Jaeger, Austrians, German Infantry and French infantry when you'd think the Belgian infantry would be one of the better first sets of the period -it wasn't all attack France! But they are covering it BUT why WW 2 Japanese cyclists??? Hat don't make Japanese infantry. Even some model shops have asked what that is all about! I'm getting long winded, sorry. But why Japanese cyclists when some colonials or one of the more ignored European army's might have been a better choice?
While my old arthritic joints can still paint I'd like to see more colonials!
Thanks for the reply. It all makes sense to me. Well, with the possible exception of the cyclists!
But we have to give HaT credit for fulfilling what the promised - they said right from the start they would fill the gaps, and not produce what already is on the market. While I am sure we can list a whole series of exceptions, they have pretty much kept to that. So no Japanese infantry but cyclists, no 1916/18 German infantry but heavy weapons, etc.
Did you notice that HaT have shown a test shot of the WW1 Belgians just yesterday? Regards, Pa
Yes -hats off to...Hat. They have kept their promise. We are a funny lot, though -I'm sure we could all come up with big lists!
I've seen the roughs and line drawings on Hat site -have they uploaded more? Can't wait for the Belgians!!
Yes, they now have posted test shots of the two Belgian sets (inf / heavy weapons), see
This means the moulds have been cut and test-filled with plastic.
From this to til the final product hits the shops it usually takes some months but but sometimes years. Regards, Pa
They do look like something to get excited about but, as you say, it can take time before they get into boxes and shops.
I always wondered WHY it takes so long after you have the masters -you think of all the old 1/32 scale soldiers that appeared in shops in the old days and one of the designers years ago told me it took a year to get it approved, to the molds and out to shops. Could it take so long because they are afraid PSR might notice the right buttons are not on the coats?!
"A completed and painted example in Paraguayan service for the Chaco War. The Paraguayans are converted plastic Imex ACW Confederate infantry."
From here: http://www.guildwargamers.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?p=93054&sid=c69fc69f74ed564e32191ac379156db3
Hi.Yes, Imex Confederates would work but apparently are no longer available!I used slouch hat Confederates from other maker and Hat WW 1 russians in the couple games I tried. Fingers crossed someone may make figures for this one day!