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certain to get use out of them yet as the Westphalians were part of St. Cyr's 7th Corps in Catalonia until they were withdrawn in 1811.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:

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Oviedo Provincial Militia

Tackling the Napoleonic Spanish Army in miniature is always a bit of a trip down the rabbit hole, but the overwhelming variety and craziness of it all makes the trip that much more rewarding.
Having painted up quite a few bog standard line regiments in white, a couple of regiments of light infantry in blue, a smattering of foreign regiments and quite a few representing the militia raised in 1808 and later, I wanted to add to this some provincial militia. The provincial militia can really be divided between those raised before 1808 and those raised under the Junta in 1808 and afterwards in response to the French invasion. According to Oman and other sources, those pre-1808 militia were, in terms of training, equipment etc. not that different from the line regiments.
These are the troops I'm thinking this batch of militia could reresent, in the ubiquitous brown coat (which was prevalent in militia and line alike as the war wore on and supplies became difficult to obtain), even though their original unifrom would have been white with red facings, the same as almost all of the pre-June 1808 provincial militia regiments and many of the line regiments, and as shown in the image of the standard bearer below.

The figures are HaT Spanish Line Infantry, with the buttons on the sleeves carved off as well as those from the knee high leggings, because I wanted them to look more like the beige stockings in the images below.
Provincial militia second from left. It's interesting to see that the figure is still being represented with the bicorne, even as late as 1812.

I opted to drop the piping as well, to make them look a little less polished. The flag is that of the Oviedo Provincial Militia. I photoshopped the flag from this image and have included that here if anyone cares to use it.
Oviedo Provincial Militia 
It was one of a few unusual Asturian flags posted at Prometheus in Aspic and I liked it as it gave some variety to the normal corona or coronela. The Oviedo militia seemed like a good choice as they were one of the pre-1808 militias. These figures will doubtfully get use both as regular line and as the post June-1808 militia in future games.

The full regiment, (one battalion strong in the provincial militias) although these will doubtlessly serve in various brigades.

Monday, February 27, 2017

54th and 94th Line

Two newly minted veteran regiments for my Peninsular French army, the 54th and 94th
 I've been waiting for a long time for the HaT French in Greatcoats 1808 to be released and finally gave up. For quite a while I've been wanting to introduce a few greatcoated figures into my French Peninsular army, so I resorted to buying the 1805 set with bicornes. 
The troops making up these two regiments (based on the 54th and 94th) are from the HaT 1808 line infantry set and the HaT 1805 greatcoat set, with one standard bearer figure and sapper stolen from the light infantry command set and altered. I head swapped shakos onto the greatcoated figures, some heads from the line set, and then, after getting tired of destroying perfectly good plastics, from an old set of Airfix French artillery I had bought on a visit to England in 1975! So much for sentimentality…
But the Airfix heads were the right size, although the shakos a bit diminutive. As I planned to make them covered these were heightened slightly before covering them in modelling paste.

94th command stand. The sapper and standard bearer are from the HaT light infantry command set with some alterations and the captain is from the 1805 French greatcoat set - one guy who could keep his bicorne! The drummer is from the 1808 line set.
Other alterations were shako covers on some of the line, converting a greatcoated grenadier sergeant to a 54th Line standard bearer (I know, he should be a sub lieutenant, but he isn't - maybe a deuxième porte aigle who has stepped in?)
I also added the cloth on the back of some of the shakos to keep the sun off the soldiers' necks, something I've seen in a lot of images from the Peninsular War! This was simply a small piece of paper, attached with mat medium and then reinforced with a bit of modelling paste.
The painting I based on information gleaned from JJ's Wargames excellent blog as he has covered both these units in past posts. Anything I got wrong are my own errors!
All in all a lot of fun and now at least some of my French are looking like proper veterans. I still have half a box or more of the bicorne figures but may paint them as-is to mix into some pre-1808 scenarios.

Three greatcoated figures with head swaps, one with an added cloth to the shako. The one firing has a head from an Airfix artilery figure I bought in 1975!

54th Command. The staff ended up being a bit diminutive - it carried by a converted sergeant - perhaps a deuxieme porte aigle! Can see now it need a bit of touch up where I re-attached the flag staff after some battle damage.
Liked the greatcoated drummer!

Some grenadiers…