Wednesday, 1 December 2010

PC Units

Before I start, here's a picture of the start of the Fascist Hordes. It's a Skytrex Panzer 1a, and is part of a 3 model unit, with an HQ vehicle as well. It has Spanish mottled camouflage, aerial recognition marker on the turret and a small Nationalist flag on the front. At a push I can use them for Condor Legion, although they were probably panzer grey with green mottling.

Anyhow I've had a few further thoughts about Los Americanos. I was rooting through the books to get inspiration for their flag and it occurred to me that whilst I want an American battalion it probably isn't the one I just finished painting.

Why is that I hear you cry? (I have good hearing) Well it's because I don't think I've got the racial mix right in the unit. I was reading "Homage to Catalonia" and Orwell refers to units containing numbers of "coloureds"*, and then I noticed a few pictures of the American battalions and again African-Americans were prominent. Thinking about it that's fairly obvious. If you spent your life fighting the fallout from slavery you're going to be pretty well motivated to fight Fascism. All of the figures painted so far are definitely caucasian, even after I've applied layers of varnish.

Luckily I've got another couple of units to paint so one of those will be come my Americans, complete with a proper racial mix. There'll be called the Jack Daniels Battalion, named after the American 19th Century Socialist, not the other Jack Daniels**.

Most of the armies I've painted recently don't have this as an issue, - for example the ECW & Wars of the Roses are pretty racially homogeneous. However I think I'd have to observe that most modern armies that should have a racial mix don't tend to when you see them on the table top. Of course that could simply be laziness, - after all I prefer to paint a strip of figures as simply as possible so one pot of GW Bronzed Flesh does for all.

On the other hand my XIVth Army units are West Africans supported by Rajputs.

And my Numidians are, well, Numidians.

* Interesting tactical snippet. When the Nationaliusts were hunting down non-Spaniards who fought for the Republic they arrested people in brown corduroy trousers as that was what was most commonly worn.

**Except Jack Daniels the 19th Century American Socialist is a made up person.


  1. I know when I painted my American Vietnam War Platoon 20 figures back in the early 1990s I painted 30% of the figures as Black, as I had read somewhere that was about the proportion of Blacks in the front line combat units. Like you said most of the armies we paint tend to be homogeneous affairs.

  2. I remember back in the 1970's Tamiya produced an M113 with an African-American crew man. I think that was the first time ever.

  3. Aoarently about 3% of the American volunteers were non-white. Hmm. Pretty difficult to represent in a unit of 22 figures.