I took part in a Black Powder mini-competition a month or so back at Call to Arms, the annual convention of the venerable Wellington Warlords club. We had five games over two days using a point system devised by a couple of the competition organisers. I decided to take a Spanish Army but had to settle for Spanish with a brigade of British supports because I did not have enough Spaniards painted. I didn’t get too badly whomped (2 losing draws, one winning draw, one hiding and one win).
What I decided though was that I needed more good Spanish infantry. So this last week I painted and based a battalion of Walloon Guards. These are my usual Elite Miniatures from Nathan at Elite Miniatures Australia. Getting these from Nathan is a no-brainer for me. He is a great guy to deal with and the AUD and NZD almost have parity.
I am pretty happy these guys turned out seeing as they are my second unit in three years. I mean, close up they are alright but they look cracker from Wargames Distance. I also painted most of these guys while away last week for work and when I am away I am now staying in my camper trailer. Internal lighting is OK as I have three 24v LED strip lights that provide good overall illumination but not great for fiddly work like miniature painting – but I am working on that. A 2400 lumen work lamp (solar or usb charged) is on it’s way so should not be a problem much longer.
The flags I just used images off the internet of Spanish flags and resized. After I did this I found an envelope of flags, including some I was sent many years ago by Lawrence from This Life in Lead blog. Among those were two Ramos fabric flags for the Walloon Guards. Oh well – that is life’s way of telling me to paint another battalion of Walloons. I am still missing finials and cords – will order some soon as I have about six battalions in need of them. I had heaps but ran out – well – about four years ago.
EDIT – I forgot to add that the standard bearers are Front Rank figures. I am pretty sure that Lawrence gave me them as well. Thanks Lawrence.
And yes, the chickens came up to see what I was doing and one tried to peck my miniatures. Vicious little bastards are chickens.
Elite only make two poses for the Spanish light infantry in bicornes. A kneeling firing and a standing loading pose. So I added a regular Spanish officer and a couple of drummers (one of which is in a shako).
While I have been doing no painting recently, have gotten a few games in here and there. Some pictures from a Western skirmish game. Six teams of four. Each group had their objectives. Won by the Pinkertons who defended the bank against Mexican bandidos. The other teams didn’t really achieve much apart from turning on each other. Rules used were The Rules with No Name.
A few months back I saw this picture on my Facebook feed. I immediately thought that was a Wow! unit. Bonaparte’s sister Elisa was Grand Duchess of Tuscany and something-or-another of Lucca and Piombino (Princess I think). She authorised the raising of a bodyguard regiment from her Luccan and Piombonese subjects and given the uniform I am guessing she and her ladies-in-waiting had some hand in the design. I am not sure that the unit was ever raised in it’s entirety before she had to abdicate and retire to private life. But I knew that I wanted to try to paint it.
However I did not want to buy any new figures so decided to do this unit as a ‘What If’. What if it were raised and Napoleon, with his need for manpower had called it to duty. To that end I decided to model this regiment on campaign. I have half a dozen boxes of Perry French plastic infantry and the spare Carabinier heads from the Perry Cuirassier/Carabinier box set. I needed some more heads and I got these from TMPer Virtualscratchbuilder who posted them to me from Denton, Texas. A couple of weeks later I have got them as finished as I ever get anything.
I have modelled them as a French Infantry Battalion with a Grenadier and Light Company. Also a couple of separately mounted voltigeurs and a custom casualty base for the unit. The flag was too complicated for me to bother with so I went with a simple tricolour in the colours of Lucca and Piombino. Oh yeah – and I gave them an Eagle – why not I say. There is also a solitary Victrix officer in there.
They will be joining some of the other fictional and almost fictional units in my Napoleonic armies in the cabinet. Hope you like them.
Well, not really a mystery. Just my interpretation of a unit that never saw action as far as I am aware. A guard unit. I am working on the assumption that if they got called to serve in Spain or somewhere, they would have lost some of their spit and polish and taken on a more campaign worn look. They are doing my head in a bit. To think that I thought British infantry were annoying to paint.
My ‘inside the house’ painting desk. I have another one in the Woolshed but I am working over at the casa today. Along the top a unit of Hinchliffe and Connoisseur Hussars that I have not managed to get finished since I brought the minis in the 1980s. One day.
This is a unit of uniformed Spanish Militia. I am sort of building units in my Spanish for the Battle of Medina del Rio Seco. I say sort of because in reality I tend to paint what I feel like painting and fit them into some order of battle at a later stage. So saying that, this is a ‘generic’ Spanish militia battalion. it could be the Salamanca, Mondenendo or de Tuy militias. I have given them Spanish brown coats. Some members of the this battalion have not received full uniforms so have gone to battle in fatigue caps and jackets. Once again I have given them two flags because they look prettier with two flags.
In my last order of Elite Miniatures from Elite Miniatures Australia I got two packs of “Skirmish Pack – loading and firing”. No picture on the website and I was not sure what the miniatures were but decided to get them anyway. Turned out to be two standing and two kneeling firing poses. I was wondering what to do with these and decided to paint them as Light Infantry. I also based them on 25mm rounds – had thoughts of using these for Sharpe Practice. In the pics below you will see I have also tried them out in some of my Zulu Wars sabot bases – and they don’t look too bad either. They can double up as a small unit of infantry for Black Powder games. To the eight figures I added a colonel and a couple of march attack fusiliers I had left over. That particular base can be used as a brigade commander or as part of a ‘unit” of light infantry depending on the game requirements.
When I was taking the pics I had some interested onlookers.
I thought I might get out what I have painted so far. I am quite pleased at how this army is coming together. Not so pleased with how long it is taking me. Mind you, I have done a British Peninsular army, some pirates, fantasy figures and Anglo-Zulu War armies in the middle of it so perhaps I shouldn’t be beating myself up too much.
The bulk of the figures are Elite Miniatures. I get mine from Nathan Vinson at Elite Miniatures Australia. Having a supplier so close and who is such a great guy to deal with is a god-send. I have been getting good use out of the standard Spanish March Attack figures – they are being used as line infantry, guard units and marine infantry. On the workbench at the moment is one being painted as brown coated militia.
The rest of the figures are Front Rank and some Perry. I have used Perry Carlist War figures for some of my Spanish Militia Battalions. Almost forgot – there is a single battalion of Brigade games Spanish Militia as well. Also a single Eureka figure and some East Ridign Miniatures Monks.
I really like the Spanish Army of the ‘early period’ up to about 1811. The myriad of uniforms and strange little units will keep me busy for some time to come I suspect.
A brigade Games Teresa figure
A Eureka monk
Front Rank, Elite and Perry
Elite and Perry Plastic Cavalry
Two Line battalins and a militia battalion
Brigade Games Militia
Elite Artiller – huge guns
Front Rank staff and Elite Line.
Brigade Games Militia
Some East Riding Miniatures Monks based with Perry Carlist War monks
If you counted the actual time I spent painting then this unit was knocked out relatively quickly. If you add procrastination time, about three months. These are Elite Miniatures Spanish 1808 infantry (from Elite Miniatures Australia). I have used them for just about all my Spanish Line Infantry and they will be also used for my Spanish ‘foreign’ regiments when I get around to doing them.
At least in the initial stages of the Peninsular War the marine infantry were one of the better formations in the Spanish army. For Black Powder I am going to rate them better than normal Spanish Line – by dropping the Wavering and Unreliable special rules.
They wore the same basic infantry uniform except in blue with red turnback, cuffs and collars. Technically the red plumes shouldn’t be there. Likewise this battalion is carrying two colours, when they should probably only have one. But you all know how much I adhere to a strict historical interpretation when it comes to my miniature armies. I have completely run out of finials for the flagpoles and I keep forgetting to order any whenever I do an order from overseas. One day I will get a stock in and finish the half dozen battalions I have that lack them – in the meantime they will serve without finials.
Next unit is an early war militia battalion in a mix of brown coats and stable jackets.
The Marines will see action in a game this weekend.
I finished the buildings I was working on a few weeks ago. Also finished a farm house and a barn. I really need to make a few that are not quite so Conflix-like but these are easy to do and quite cathartic to work on.
First off – a farmhouse and barn. When I took the photos I realised I had not painted the door of the farmhouse. D’oh!
The gate house building. Not sure what to call it.
The Tavern/Inn building. I quite like this one even if it is pretty impractical as a structure. The balcony just holds a couple of 25mm round bases.
Now I really have to get back to painting Napoleonics. I have three units in various stages of preparation looking at me with accusing lead eyes.