WIP Marcel Bigeard

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by Nap, May 5, 2020.

  1. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Hi folks

    Also on my bench is this depicting Marcel Bigeard , I currently have plans to not do the camo version wanting to allow the medals t be seen more ...but who knows as this progresses

    Here's some pics of boxart

    image.jpeg image.jpeg

    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg


    image.jpeg

    And the man himself the first shows with the rank of general

    image.jpeg


    ZXA.jpg image.jpeg

    image.jpeg image.jpeg

    He is now all basecoated with the eyes completed

    WIP 004.jpg


    Stay tuned

    Happy benchtime

    Stay safe

    Nap
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  2. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Hi folks

    Thought I would post done camo refs as well if anyone has this bust ..another option of course


    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.png

    With a bit of conversion ...this option as well

    image.jpeg

    Nap
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  3. Dr Bison Active Member

    Country:
    Germany
    Hi Nap,

    I have always been very interested in the French paras of the Indochina/Algeria period and am really looking forward to seeing what you'll do with this bust. But there's one caveat:

    Those windproof sets were used as field uniforms in Indochina, mainly in the early days, while in Algeria they were very popular as a barracks dress. Bigeard (and others) did wear quite a number of re-tailored "sausage skins" uniform, but to the best of my knowledge not with the full set of full-size medals, but only the bars as in the photo above.

    If you want, I can provide some detail photos of the beret and the veste de saut from my collection.

    Cheers
    Karl
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  4. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Hi Karl

    Great to have you post I would welcome any reference pictures you have on him or his uniforms/ medals

    Agree ref no medals with the windproof as well but would make a nice piece as well

    Thanks for looking in

    Happy benchtime

    Stay safe

    Nap
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  5. captnenglish Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    If non camo is an option for painting this bust, I might consider it as I like the look of a chest full of medals.
    Nap likes this.
  6. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England

    Non camo certainly an option as in the box art ...and there's certainly a chest full of medals !...and a rather nice beret

    Happy benchtime

    Stay safe

    Nap
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  7. Viking Bob PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Your a brave man Nap, nice bust to paint and I can see you doing the cammo jacket.
    Nap likes this.
  8. Cannonball A Fixture

    You’re not going to get withdrawal syndrome are you Nap? Looks like all the medals are done on this one or have you slipped one in there I’ve missed. Like the look of this and watching for with interest.

    Neal
    Nap likes this.
  9. Dr Bison Active Member

    Country:
    Germany
    Done with home schooling for today...

    A couple of remarks on the uniform:
    The bust depicts Lt.Col Bigeard on 14 July 1957 in Paris, the day that the then French president Coty pinned the silver cross of a grand-officier de la Lègion d'honneur onto his right chest.
    [IMG] [IMG] [IMG]


    On that day "Bruno" - his nom de guerre from the days of la résistance - wore a slightly modified (the windflap was removed) jump smock veste de saut mle 1947/54 camouflée.
    This means, that if you want to go for historical accuracy you would have to paint him in this camo pattern:

    [IMG] [IMG]
    ...or you make it easier on you by depicting him in the khaki version of the smock, which he also wore often:
    [IMG] [IMG] [IMG]
    I will have to eat my hat, I'm afraid, for my foolish claim that the full bling was not worn on windproof smocks, as can be seen here - and with the man himself contradicting me:
    [IMG] [IMG]
    Tomorrow I hope to provide some infos on badges and medals. Home schooling permitting, of course.
    Karl

    Attached Files:

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  10. Joe55 A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Camo and medals, that's the ticket. I'll be keeping an eye on this one Kevin!

    Joe
  11. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Cheers Bob .......it is a nice bust ....trying not to think about camo ...thinking green....lol

    LOL ..no withdrawal for sure ......following the thread by akyaru as well Pierre's got it on the bench as well

    https://www.planetfigure.com/threads/a-view-from-the-crowded-bench.224510/

    You'd do a good job on this

    Cheers Joe

    Stop saying CAMO ....lol .....medals yes ...getting a cold sweat about the jacket !! .....do quite like the contrast between green and that bling!

    Stay tuned

    Happy benchtime

    Stay safe

    Nap
    Viking Bob likes this.
  12. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Hi Karl

    WOW!!!....Thank you for the pictures ......and now we have a Kharki , Green and Camo option!

    Appreciate your time look forward to further details when possible

    Interesting the DSO appears in different places as well

    A nice option also would be to dremel off medals ( did I really say that !! )rework the tunic and put the ribbons only on

    Have fun home schooling

    Stay safe

    Nap
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  13. Dr Bison Active Member

    Country:
    Germany
    Fun with home schooling? Not really...

    And now to something completely different:
    The red beret that Marcel Bigeard is wearing in the original photos from 14 July 1957 is the Indochina version for the parachutistes coloniaux (Colonial paratroopers), which was made up of 3 parts. The seam along the crown is pretty visible, and it might be possible to just paint this on the model's beret.

    beret paras colos_c.jpg beret paras colos_a.jpg

    beret paras colos_b.jpg

    The close-ups below show the seams on the rear and the characteristic beret badge of the paras. On the bust this badge is slightly on the smallish side...

    beret paras colos_detail rear.jpg beret paras colos_detail badge.jpg


    Here’s a very brief detour into „French para berets of the Indochina/Algeria period“:

    Indochina War (1946-54)
    Clockwise from top right: dark blue (“métros”), black (“métros”), khaki general type, US camo, royal blue (“métros”), green (Legion), maroon (“colos”).

    berets Indo.jpg

    The paras “métros” (Metropolitan paras), i.e. those who volunteered from mainland France, initially wore dark blue or black berets, before they received “royal blue” ones from 1947. Those units were I, II and III/1er RCP (régiment de chasseurs parachutistes); 1er BPC (bataillon de parachutistes de choc) and 10e BCPC (bataillon parachutiste de chasseurs à pied).

    The paras “colos”, i.e. volunteers from the French colonies, wore the maroon beret. The colour goes back to the French SAS of WW2, as many of them served in the two bataillons de parachutists de choc SAS, the first para units to arrive in Indochina in 1946.

    The paras of the Foreign Legion wore a green beret – but theirs was not made “official” until 1957! A real légionnaire either wore the képi blanc or the Legion’s overseas cap…
    Some Legion paras even wore white berets, namely the locally recruited members of the two CIPLE (compagnies indochinoises parachutists de la légion etrangère): as they hadn’t undergone the full selection process, they weren’t entitled to the coveted white Kepi, according to the Legion’s top brass.

    CIPLE - d.jpg CIPLE - a.jpeg

    In Indochina, all the above berets were worn with the walking-out or parade dress. In addition, khaki berets were also used for barracks use (coiffure de répos).

    In the field, the paras wore either bush hats or a staggering variety of locally-made camo field caps, and a steel helmet in combat. Sometimes, though, berets made from British windproof or US camo cloth could be seen too.

    LIFE - camo berets_b.jpg LIFE - camo berets_c.jpg




    Characteristic for these “Indochina” berets was that they were constructed from three parts (see above) and made of cloth.
    The beret badge was in most cases the sword-clutching winged arm in a circle, but some units (early SAS, 1er BPC, Vietnamese Parachute Battalions) wore a different badge.

    Algerian War (1954-62)
    By the time this conflict broke out properly, only the royal blue (Metropolitan), maroon (Colonial) and green (Legion) colours had “survived”; and in 1957 the paras “métros” lost their blue berets and received maroon ones too, albeit with a nice new badge (sword-clutching winged arm on a colonial anchor).
    From 1953 on the construction (and material) of the berets was slightly changed – now made of wool, no more seams. (Left: Indo maroon beret; right: Algerian period para "métro" and Legion beret)

    berets Algeria.jpg

    Both the berets produced during the Indochina and the Algerian War were cut really big, particularly compared to today's smart berets. (Algerian period Legion beret with a 1980s para-hussards beret on top)

    berets comparison.jpg

    So much for today (and berets). Anyone has any questions: fire away.
    I hope to find the time tomorrow (or at the weekend) for some more info on Bigeard's various badges and medals.

    Cheers
    Karl

    Sources:
    - Patrice Pivetta / Eric Adam: Les paras francais en Indochine 1945-1954. Paris. Histoire & Collections, 2009.
    - Patrice Pivetta / Eric Adam: Les paras francais en Algérie 1954-1962. Paris. Histoire & Collections, 2012.
    - Denis Lassus (ed): Les troupes aéroportées francaises en Indochine 1945/1956. Paris. Gazette des Uniformes, 2004.
    - www.legion-etrangere.com
    - own collection
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  14. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Hi Karl

    Great details on the beret , should be able to paint the seams in , I can see the one around the top and at the back ...where is the other seam or are the 3 parts the crown , edging and the limiting ?

    Thanks for the fascinating details on beret types

    Stay safe

    Nap
  15. Chris Oldfield A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Some fantastic research going on in this thread! Thanks for sharing it all.
  16. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England

    Agree there Chris really appreciate it all

    Stay safe

    Nap
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  17. Dr Bison Active Member

    Country:
    Germany
    No, the 3rd seam is invisible when the beret is worn, as it's on the underside, so to speak, between the eyelets.
    beret paras métros_ detail seam.JPG
    (image nicked from here: www.selles-military-antiques.com)

    And then I forgot to mention in my last post - because other than some very stable geniuses, I'm not used to tweeting/posting in the dead of night - that in Algeria berets were not really used that much in the field. Instead the so-called casquette bigeard (named after - yes, you have guessed right) was used by most para units. Only the parachutistes légionnaires wore their green beret in the field, not to be confused with "ordinary" paras...

    casquette bigeard_a.jpg
    The man himself with "his" cap in Algeria.

    casquette bigeard_b.jpg casquette bigeard_c.jpg
    "Ordinary" Colonial paras in Algeria with Bigeard caps.

    Sources: www
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  18. Dr Bison Active Member

    Country:
    Germany
    Hi Nap,

    Here’s my take on the medals of Lt-Col Bigeard, which are only something of a snapshot for the year 1957. You have to remembner that “Bruno” was the most highly decorated soldier of the French army ever, with 24 French and foreign medals and honours; he was also awarded 27 citations!
    So this is what is depicted on the bust:

    Neck orders:
    A) Commandeur de l’ordre du Dragon d'Annam (Commander of the Order of the Dragon of Annam)
    A-Commandeur du Dragon d'Annam.jpg

    B) Commandeur du Mérite civil fédération pays Thaï (Commander of Civilian Merit of Thailand)
    B-Commandeur Mérite civil Taï.jpg

    Right chest:
    a) Brevet de parachutiste militaire (para wings). By the way - they are way too small! So, get your putty out Nap…
    a-insignia jump wing.jpg

    b) Unit badge 3e RPC (Régiment de parachutistes coloniaux)
    b-insignia 3e RPC.jpg

    c) Plaque de Grand Officier de la Légion d'Honneur (Star of the Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour)
    c-Plaque Grand Officier Légion d'Honneur.jpg

    Left chest:
    Top row (left to right):
    1) Croix d'officier de l'ordre national de la Légion d'honneur (Officer’s Cross of the Order of the Legion of Honour)
    1-Croix d'officier Légion d'honneur.jpg

    2) Distinguished Service Order
    2-Distinguished Service Order.jpg

    3) Croix de guerre 1939-1945(War Cross 1939-1945) with 6 citations (3 stars, 3 palms)
    3-Croix de guerre 1939-45.JPG

    4) Croix de guerre des théâtres d'opérations extérieures (War Cross for Foreign War Theatres)
    4-Croix des TOE.jpg

    5) Médaille de la résistance (Resistance Medal)
    5-Médaille de la résistance.jpg

    Bottom row (left to right):
    6) Médaille des évadés (Escapees’ Medal), but in his case attached to the ribbon of the Croix des combattants volontaires 1914-1918
    6a-Médaille des evadés.jpg 6b-Croix_du_combattant_volontaire_1914_18.jpg

    7) Croix d'officier de l'ordre royal du million d'éléphants et du parasol blanc (the Laotian Order of the Million Elephants and the White Parasol)
    7-Croix d'officier elephants.jpg

    8) Médaille des blessés militaires(Medal for the War Wounded) with 5 stars - one for each wound

    8-Medaille des blesses militaires.jpg

    The last one I can’t really make out in the various photos of the bust. It could be any of these two:
    9) Médaille coloniale (Colonial Medal) with bar "Extrême Orient" or Médaille commémorative de la campagne d'Indochine (Indochina Campaign Commemorative Medal)
    9-Médaille coloniale EO.JPG 9-Médaille commémorative de la campagne d'Indochine.jpg

    Here's Bigeard's original medal bar from a couple of years later
    medailles Bruno.jpg

    Cheers
    Karl
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  19. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
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  20. Dr Bison Active Member

    Country:
    Germany
    Damn - I wasn't aware that Pierre had covered the same ground long before me...

    Anyway, here's the last bits concerning Bigeard's uniform that you might find useful (and which I forgot to add yesterday): The fourragère (lanyard) on his left shoulder and the rank insignia on his epaulettes.

    The fourragère was awarded to units which had been mentioned in despatches at least twice. Active members of the 3e RPC wore a lanyard in the ribbon colours of the Croix de guerre des théâtres d'opérations extérieures (No 4 in my last post) for actions of the 3e BCCP - whose traditions the regiment had inherited - in Indochina.
    It's the number "C" in the scan below. Bigeard wears a version with an extra "fantaisie" loop (as in "G").
    fourragères.jpg

    And then here's a quick look at the metal rank slides; "Bruno" wears the equivalent for lieutenant-colonels on his epaulettes (3 + 2).
    rank slides.jpg

    Hope this is helpful.

    Cheers
    Karl

    PS: What are you going to change on the uniform? Put the windflap on for the khakli version of the smock? Looking forward to your progress.

    Source:
    - Patrice Pivetta / Eric Adam: Les paras francais en Algérie 1954-1962. Paris. Histoire & Collections, 2012.

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