Firstly thanks for the comments guys, I've never considered the piece to be anything more than a whim and I do not consider myself to be particularly artistic, no false modesty just a fact, for example the thought of sculpting the hand scares me rigid. Speaking of which I cant for the life of me work out why the hand was separate, I can only imagine that it was holding something but no bells are ringing, the voices are still there but no bells! I tried to find a source for poste militaire but it seems the company is out of business which is sad particularly after flicking back through my ancient Military Modelling magazines, they made some nice figurines.
A bit more about the paint job or more importantly the bits that aren't! The Breast Plate isn't painted I had read something about burnishing around that time which I had tried on my wargames figures with some success on the very few 25's I was able to afford back in the day.
On this piece I put the technique to the test using a piece of hard plastic rod, she who must be restrained insists I raided her knitting needles at the time, I cant actually picture her knitting myself! The burnishing technique used was simply a process of rubbing the plastic firmly over the breast plate etc. until it started to develop a sheen, not rocket science but very effective. This was followed by a wash of black oil paint (I only owned enamels back then as did most of us) and a coat or two of satin varnish. Looking back at it now, armed with hindsight and ability I would have tried a weathering of rust around the edges.
Same applies to the armour on the arm (yes I know there is a specific name for the armoured arm but I cant for the life of me remember it! pole arm?) and the head of the Bill. As for the rest of the painting I can only repeat what I said in the original post and that is "using oils particularly on larger figures to create well blended shading is not difficult" and for me was considerably easier to achieve than the techniques I have still yet to master for blending and transitioning with acrylics some 20 or so years later. The paints were a cheap boxed set so there was plenty of room for improvement.