Friday, September 8, 2017

My Spanish Army

I think I'm finally done with the Spanish for a bit, having reached my goal to have enough figures to play the Tudela scenario I have waiting in the wings. A few of these units I've posted before, a whole lot more are new (or old), but half the joy of this hobby is putting everything on the table at once. So here are a few massed shots as well as all the units in detail. There is no real logic here - units are from across Spain and would not necessarily have fought together. Choices were more dictated by reference (especially bearskin embroideries on the Line!), doing a variety of uniforms to showcase the vast diversity among the Spanish at this point, and what miniatures were available.

The entire army, line infantry on left, light infantry in the centre and militia on the right

The Spanish line infantry were the regular troops, units established well prior to the Peninsular War

Fijo de Ceuta




Ordenes Militares

Ordenes Militares - I had to invent these bearskins in lieu of reference but I followed the usual pattern, piping colour with unit's coat of arms.

Walloon Royal Guard - these and the two following are units representing the foreign troops in Spanish employ.

Swiss (Reding)


Spanish Light Infantry - The first two of these are, as well, regular units. The Valencians were one of many light infantry regiments raised in 1808 or later.

Aragon (1st Regiment)


Cazedores de Valencia

Spanish Militia - represented here are both the regular militia (pre-1808) which were, for all intents and purposes, roughly the equivalent of the regular line in training (first two groups) as well as the masses of 1808 and later militia units, many of which arrived and disappeared from history's stage within a matter of months!

These fly the flag of Candas y Luanço and are uniformed in the official earlier militia colours, white with red piping and lapels.

Oviedo - Although still old school militia I've painted these in transitional uniforms but with the ubiquitous brown coat, common after 1808.

This grouping of three units are based on (from front to back) the Voluntarios of Victoria, Girona and Jaen and represent those militias raised in1808 and later.

Almanza Dragoons

Pavia Dragoons

Artillery and limbers



Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Westphalian Infantry

The newest addition to my French forces in Spain is infantry of the 3rd Westphalian Regiment. I had originally started painting these up as part of Morlot's Division at Tudela, and then read in Oman that the Westphalians (not sure which!) were left behind on garrison duty in northern Spain. And I'm now suspicious that these may have been the light battalion that I believe preceded the others to the Peninsula.
But as these figures were already well underway I continued, certain to get use out of them yet as the Westphalians were part of St. Cyr's 7th Corps in Catalonia until they were withdrawn in 1811.
The Westphalian regiments were raised in Jerome Bonaparte's newly founded Kingdom of Westphalia, a French client state created from the easternmost part of present day Westphalia,  and contributed the 2nd, 3rd and 4th along with the 1st Light to the war in Spain, fighting as the German Division under General Morio. (Westphalian Chevaux-Légeres also fought in Spain, with Victor's 1st Corps, and were present at Talvera.)
These painted figures represent the 3rd Regiment of the Westphalian contingent, mainly because I had available my French HaT figures for this unit and had reference (below) that showed the third in the French cut jacket for 1808-09.

Interestingly this reference shows the 3rd Regiment 1808-09 in the French cut jacket, which suited my purposes as these were the figures I had available

This reference supplied me with the colours for the drummer (Figure 3).

3rd Westphalian Regiment
Another view...

Commander and drummer are from the HaT Line Infantry set (1808), while the flag bearer (with some alterations on the pants) is from the HaT Light Infantry Command set.
After reading much debate as to whether the Westphalians would have had eagles or not, I opted for the conclusion that standards would have had a spear point.
The Westphalian regiments were built on the French model and reference shows the voltigeurs with the green and yellow-tipped plume and green shako cord.

Here is a close up of some of the fusiliers. I have grown fond of these chunky HaT French figures with their well-defined and easy to paint detail - but that's a bizarre nose on the figure on the left!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Vistula Legion Infantry

Continuing with my Tudela project I thought I would tackle some Vistula Legion infantry next. The set is the Waterloo 1815 set, 1812/14, which is considerably later than what I was aiming for (1808) but the uniform didn't change radically. And options for these in 1/72 are limited.
I've painted them as Vistula Legion Infantry more or less as their uniform would have appeared in 1808. I'm sure there are some inaccuracies. The figures themselves were a bit limited as they all carried sword and bayonet which would indicate grenadiers, but lacked epaulettes and distinctive houpettes. I opted to paint the majority as fusiliers with a nod to grenadiers and voltigeurs.
The czapka is also probably not right for the period as it appears the Polish in Spain were wearing shakos, but it makes them look distinctively Polish and I can't swear that the drummer would have this uniform at this stage in the war but wanted to give it a try. And finally I removed the generic Polish eagle flag that came with the set and gave it one specific to the Vistula Legion. Given all the inaccuracies and compromises, I'm still pleased with the results!

I based my colour scheme on image 3a.
…and based my drummer on this 1812 reference.

The entire regiment.

In line of battle.

Command stand.

The drummer in his distinctive and possibly anachronistic uniform. Such a small drum, sir!

The figures were nicely detailed, although missing some features like the occasional cuff flap and not overly varied for a box of 36 (8 poses, three of those command group poses).

There were four duplicate command stand figures (flag bearer, officer and drummer) so I liberated a few heads and placed them on the shoulders of my trusty greatcoated HaT French to round up the numbers!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Vistula Legion Lancers

Having written a scenario for the battle at Tudela, Spain, my summer project is to pull together the units I still need in order to field the two sides. One of those will be the Vistula Legion Lancers, Poles who fought with distinction in Spain and elsewhere with Napoleon's forces.

This set is the Zvezda Lifeguard Polish Uhlans set with a bit of the lace carved off the czapkas to make them more in keeping with the reference I was able to find for the lancers in Spain (which made them a bit lumpy in the close ups but they look fine from any reasonable distance!) By rights the horses' shabraques should probably have been sheepskin but I didn't have the energy or talent to convert all of the cloth coverings that the set comes with and was able to scrounge one or two references to justify them with the cloth shabraque.

Next up, Vistula Legion infantry.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Valencian Cazedores and Spanish Limbers

My latest edition to my Spanish army are these  unusually garbed soldiers, Valencian Cazedores.

They were another gift in the HaT Spanish Guerrillas sets that I had purchased in order to incorporate the top-hatted figures into three units of Spanish militia circa 1808.

My earlier top-hatted militia.

Also in this set were four figures that with a bit of research proved not to be guerillas at all but Valencian cazedores. The Valencian cazedores were raised in 1808 as part of the massive recruitment undertaken under the auspicies of the Spanish Junta in response to Napoleon's seizure of Spain.
The Cazedores were one of two regiments raised (the 1st and 2nd) of light infantry, the first serving from 1808-15, and the second 1808-12.

I was originally somewhat confused by reference for these Valencian Light Infantry but this image is almost certainly based on the Voluntarios de Valencia, one of the earlier Spanish Light Infantry regiments, part of the pre-war establishment, in this case established in 1794.

Reference was sparse for these guys - a few larger scale figures I found on line but the only illustrated reference I could find was the image below.

These soldiers seem to be wearing a hodgepodge of clothing including the "peasant pants" or skirt seen worn by the HaT figures. With only four figures in the HaT set there wasn't a lot of pose variety, and no command stand figures, so I converted two of the marching figures into a drummer and standard bearer and used a French light infantry figure with some embellishments to create an officer similar to the one in the reference above.

Command stand with converted drummer, standard bearer and officer.

These are the four figures included in the HaT set. The faces were a bit featureless and there was some flash but the detail was nicely elevated making for easy painting.

Spanish Limbers

Another gift from the Guerrilla set were drovers for my Spanish limbers. The Spanish were unique (I believe) in that their drovers and limbers weren't army establishment but contracted from the civilian population. One of the guerrilla figures from the HaT set, armed with a sword, neatly converted into drovers, with a head swap and arm relocation giving some variety. The limbers I had built previously using Pegasus cattle and some converted old Airfix French limbers with scratch built yokes. I would be curious to know how well the Spanish managed to move and relocate their artillery under fire using civilian drovers!

For more information on the development of the Spanish Light Infantry regiments: