Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Laffly's and Panhards (French Early War Painting)

The worlds first Technical? Brilliance.
Laffly's are sweet.

I mean, it's an armored truck with a giant gun on the back. Not like Bunkerflak big or anything, but still this little guy got more than his fair share of tank kills during the invasion of France and the low countries so it simply had to go into my army.

Also, it's a great piece of kit on your gaming board as well. It's speedy (but wheeled, so be careful), has a solid gun and an MG for when you need to focus on those squishy infantry dudes. In combination with Panhards, for lifting gone to ground or putting additional pressure on those lightly armored targets, this guy really sings.

Today I bring you a unit of 5 of these guys, along with 4 Panhards I just painted up as well. They end up looking like this:

And this:

For more glorious full color images (and some more historical ones of the Laffly's) get past the break!

I really wanted to get the roundel center of the windshield on mine, but it seems BF but the windows offset so you couldn't center it properly. 

For a future project I may try to do the fully enclosed version like this, though it will take some customization. 
Here they are! Note, these guys are a straight bitch to put together. Do not put the roof of the thing on until you've dry fitted it with the driver inside. More than likely you'll have to shave his head down to get the thing to fit properly. 

Also, paint the roof and gun separately  it will save you a ton of head ache! I did the roof, but was a moron and painted the thing with the gun on, which made getting into the body of the truck a pain in the ass. 

Laffly's and other light vehicles bore the Blue Diamond on a white square that signaled they were part of the cavalry. These decals don't exist, so I had to free hand them on to the front and rear left wheel guard. 

My second attempt at 15mm freehand lettering. I don't think it went poorly. You can see more examples below. 

Blue cavalry diamond and kill hashes. Also, the dudes on these trucks (especially the faces) have seem better days. I don't know if the mold they're using is old or what but these faces are some of the worst I've seen. 

More lettering close ups. 

Now, on to the Panhards. Confession: These did not turn out as well as I would have liked, but they're still serviceable. I tried a couple of new techniques (going from darkest base and highlighting my way up, being the biggest) and I still have some more skills to build in that area.

The markings on these indicate 2nd Platoon, 3rd Company 29th Dragoons. 


  1. Those Laffly's are sweet! I hope that Bolt Action covers them in the fall release. I would make one or buy one for my army!

  2. They were a blast to paint! And yeah, I'm looking for some cool stuff for the French coming this fall. I love the light vehicles for BA, I have this Puma I keep meaning to paint.

  3. Those BF Lafflys are nice...they blow my dumb old glory ones out of the water!

  4. I've been toying with doing a recon company based around 2 Hotchkiss platoons and 2 Panhard platoons, with Somua and Laffly's for backup. I love the models. My Panhards have been fun to paint up as well.
    Rustoleum earth brown cammo paint for a primer, and Tamiya IJA green for basecoat.

    The Rustoleum works well for the brown cammo color as well. I actually used some play-dough to do the striping, while I sprayed the brown. You do have to clear coat it before you do any washes though. The primer picks up wash better than the Tamiya paint.
    My 5-yr old daughter laughed and called them my pastry tanks (she saw them with the sprayed brown play-dough still on them). Somehow appropriate for the French...

  5. One thing to remember about French camo schemes is that they were applied at the factory. Vehicles from the same platoon were more likely to have different than matching paint jobs as they were just assigned to units as they came in with no effort to match the patterns. So while having identical paint schemes is great for unit recognition, if you want a full-on grognardilarily historically accurate force (I can't even believe I just typed that), mix the camo patterns up.

    Nice work by the way. I like the mud splatter and writing on the Lafflys a lot. Too bad the Flames of War French Foreign Legion army I'm building doesn't get either of these wonderful toys!

  6. Farmpunk: I've been looking for a good brown for my camo, I'm not super happy with the mix I used on my Somua's so I've avoided the brown schemes on my Panhard's so far. But the final batch is likely to be green/brown so I'll give that a try. Thanks for sharing your technique, I'm going to give it a try.

  7. Nick: Good historical tip! I thought it would be the opposite, where they were assigned in batches, but the piecemeal camo makes sense as well. I'd imagine it would also look cool on the table top! But I'm a little dumb, especially in tournament play :) so at least this way I can easily keep track of my platoons.

    Also, great blog man! I'm adding you to my blog roll.