By way of light relief at Christmas, it is time to revisit some of the more exotic troops on the Italian side. I wouldn’t quite call them pantomime troops, but they don’t figure prominently on the re-enactors’ radars, which is usually a good indication of perceived military ‘coolness’ amongst hobbyists.
Mussolini was enthusiastic about troops marching along with their shirts off to an extent that would raise eyebrows in these more politically correct times. Military fashions change, but in the search for 15mm Blackshirt Legion figures it occurred to me that a heap of Peter Pig ‘Japanese in Loin cloths’ figures that are currently unemployed ought to convert nicely.
Shorts, boots and a floppy fez – how hard can it be? I can hear professional sculptors chuckling already. The Blackshirts didn’t generally fight in buff order, but it should make the figures easy to spot without going down the whole fascist glamour route. From the shape of these smart chaps’ hats it seems obvious that the line legionnaire was just as capable of rogering a perfectly good piece of headgear in the field to annoy his superior officers as any modern squaddie. Is that a younger Mimi from Inspector Montalbano that I see on the left of the photo?
I’m not sure if this is the fez below with a higher crown that created a pouch hanging down the back of the head when worn. I chose to model these hanging to hide the ‘Jap Hat’ sun flaps, rather than ‘pork pie’ fashion as above. Photos of the little chaps in their shorts and fezzes to follow once I have scraped the Milliput off my eyebrows. Merry Christmas!