Monday 8 April 2013

French colonial Spahis Marocains

A huge part of what I get out of my hobby is building odd and unusual units. The planning, modelling and painting (none of which as you`ve already seen is anyway top class) is what I`ve come to enjoy.
I found these pics on my harddrive and thought I`d post them up here.

General sketch of a mounted Spahis trooper 

Painting showing Spahis Marocain

Sketches of Spahis officers

Now the options for these troops are very limited among commercial ranges, in order for me to build a unit I needed to think "outside the box".
I built two troops enough for a complete squadron within the rules we use.

Batch 1

The bulk of the unit from Warrior Miniatures SCW Moroccan cavalry (left) plus their mounted infantry with Raventhorpe Spahis heads and Irregular Miniatures SCW Moroccan cavalry (right) 

A few simple conversions L-R
Warrior mounted infantry bugler (with Raventhrope head); Raventhorpe mounted French officer; Combat Miniatures mounted Japanese trooper (Russo-Japanese War) with Raventhorpe Kepi head

After basing and undercoating, my next job was to add cloaks to each figure, I did this "old school" using that old modelling favourite - Plasterscene. I tried my best to create a unique cloak to each figure.

After the modelling was completed I once again undercoated everything before painting, in my usual fashion of colour blocks and detailing. Until I`d finished -

Now I`m very happy with the look and they are different and unique to my collection, but I got thinking they look to "cloned", so a few months after I finshed this batch I began to look around for other suitable figures to convert into a second troop.
Tom`s Tins (now Early War Miniatures) Spahis. These are kitted out for Europe with greatcoat and Adrian Helmet. There are two rider and two horse poses, the horses are particularly good as they are tacked "colonial" fashion. you also get loose scabarded rifles and swords to add as you wish. 

Combat Miniatures Chinese (or could be winter Japanese?) for Manchuria

Raventhorpe Spahis trooper with their two variants of horse

First conversion, one of the Combat Chinese with new head (Raventhorpe again!) and added slung rifle

The EWM Spahis now with turban heads (much better IMHO)

The other two Combat Chinese with turban (actually Rexa) heads, came out quite nicely.

Various shots of the WIP adding cloaks, undercoating, etc

Second troop complete, far more individual and interesting in my opinion.


  1. Interesting and unusual indeed! I like posts like these because I usually get very confused and frustrated when trying to search on units like these.

    Thanks for posting this, and excellent conversions!

    1. Richard - very informative post - I've been meaning to ask you where/ how you came up with your excellent Spahis. They aren't a commonly sculpted figure but are a must-have for French generals for 1880-1943!

      Very nice job on conversion efforts - already off to order some more figures! Well done.


  2. Very kind comments guys, much appreciated.

  3. Lovely conversions, I am discovering these for for first time! It seems crazy nobody has made a sword drawn charging figure in flowing cloak for 20mm! But you have made lovely conversions that fill that void! CarlL from Sotcw forum

  4. Thanks carl
    I had a lot of fun building these, they were the start of tinkering, now as you know I convert figures all the time :)

    I wish you a great Christmas and New Year :)