Sunday, December 6, 2020

The Apaches of Paris

Les Apaches de Paris was an urban criminal gang movement, which flourished at the Fin du Siècle in France's largest city and capital. Their specialty was violent crime, often targeting the bourgeoisie with assault, mugging and other, more sordid, crimes.

From Le Petit Journal, via Wikipedia
Apaches battle Paris Police 14 August 1904


 The term was coined in 1907 by journalist Victor Moris, in describing the furious war between two rival gangs. For their part, Les Apaches embraced their nom de guerre, battling both police and each other with equal enthusiasm. Their worker's areas in the outer regions of Paris became a no-go area for the police, and upon nightfall, they seemed to rule the city.

The cover of Le Petit Journal from October 1907, depicting a "classic" French Apache - clad in working class flat cap, neck scarf, workman's short jacket, striped shirt/vest, and a red sash. The red sash was a well-known symbol of the Worker's Revolution.

Miniature Sources

While this is not a particularly fertile ground for miniatures manufacturers, there are several sets of minis that will serve for Les Apaches:

Brigade Games: River Pirates. I painted up a batch of these a few years back.
The three chaps in the centre would work well - the one in the middle is spot on.

Figures by Brigade Games

Northstar Miniatures: Anarchists. These were originally released (in part) as the Brick Lane Commune for In Her Majesty's Name. They're now available from North Star in smaller packs. The knife-wielding figures are particularly good.

Figures by North Star Miniatures

Old Glory: London Thugs. I've just placed an order for these; once they arrive, I'll put up a picture for size comparison purposes. Old Glory has a lot of miniatures, and often, the photo is either not very good or lacking altogether. This one is taken from the OG website and is rather good: 

Figures by Old Glory Miniatures

Again, the figures in short jackets and worker's caps look spot on. Adding the odd revolver or "Apache Gun" (a barrel-less revolver with a shiv attached) would complete the look.

I'll be working on painting up some of these, hopefully before Christmas. Probably....

- finis - 

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