Tag Archives: Peninsular War

42nd “Black Watch” Highlanders

I have been dreading painting these Highlanders ever since I brought the Victrix plastic sets off Trademe over a year ago. Probably more like two years ago. I think that the kilts were what was giving me conniptions.  As it turns out it was not the kilts but the damned dicing on the bonnets. I just couldn’t get it right and after stuffing it up and repainting about four times I just left it as is. As long as they are identifiable from wargaming distance as Highlanders I am sure that people wont mind don’t care now.

As far as the tartan goes I knew I could never paint as detailed as some that I have seen, so went with what I could to approximate the 42nd’s tartan.  In the end I am pretty happy with how they turned out.

The miniatures are Victrix with a smattering of Perry Miniatures parts (loading arms, a sergeant’s pike arm and a few other bits and bobs) and a single Westfalia Miniatures ‘Rude Highlander’.  Will save the other one in the Westfalia set for the 79th. I have a matching casualty base from the Perry Miniatures British casualty set I painted a year or so back.  The flag is the post-Peninsular one that comes in the Victrix Highlanders box.

“Los Colorados” The Beunos Aries Battalion


The Beunos Aries Battalion was constituted from Spanish prisoners taken during the British attacks on Spanish Argentina in 1806. These prisoners had been transported to Britain and were held in hulks in the Thames Estuary. When Spain became an ally they were shipped back to Spain, landing at Coruna, and due to a lack of Spanish kit were outfitted with standard British uniforms and equipment – hence their nickname, “Los Colorados”. They were attached to General Joaquin Blake’s Army of Galicia. At the Battle of Medina del Rioseco (July 14, 1808) they were taken in the flank and ridden down by French Cavalry and destroyed as a viable unit.

I would have liked to think that the Beunos Aries battalion managed at least one volley before they were destroyed so I have modeled them as a firing line – the only one so far in my Spanish army which is all currently March Attack infantry.

As you can see the infantry are standard Perry Miniatures plastics (I know – I swore I would not do any more plastics) but the heads are all from Victrix.  I prefer the Victrix heads to the Perry ones and I have hundreds of the buggers from a bulk buy of Victrix sprues I did a few years ago in an internet trade with a local wargamer. There is a solitary Victrix officer as well.  I replaced the plastic flag poles with metal. I decided to do the plumes and cockades in Spanish red. I included a Grenadier company (why not) but the rest are fusileros.

I have no idea of the flags this short-lived unit carried, if any, so gave them two ‘generic’ Spanish standards mostly because I think that they look cool with two flags. The flags themselves are old Captain Miniatures flags that they once gave away free off their website when they were still in existence.

Basing is my standard Napoleonic mix – Selley’s Permafilla, some ballast for stones, painted in three shades of housepaint (light brown, some darker splodges and dry brush of an off white (actually it is the exact shade of GW Ubshanti Bone except comes in test pots that only cost $NZ4.00 for six times the volume of paint)  and some flock and shrubbery added.

In doing this battalion I also had the notion of doing another command stand and a light company stand, I could use it as a militia battalion for Canada 1812-15 – red plumes not withstanding.

Spanish Reina Dragoons – Elite Miniatures

Got these yellow coated Dragoons finished. A lovely cold but clear early winter day at the Woolshed meant I could take some pics outside where there was some light. The Woolshed lighting leaves a lot to be desired at the moment.

These are all Elite Miniatures. Only one pose of trooper is available, along with a single officer, standard bearer and trumpeter. I think that they still look quite dynamic despite that. With the horses available they don’t all sit the same way on their mounts so that even without repositioning sword arms they look like a regiment at the canter/gallop. Which direction I will leave up to your imagination.

Look, for the life of me I do not know why WordPress re-orients pictures that were taken in portrait and that I have modified to be landscape. I cannot get the them right way up so either tilt your head or your monitor.   Figured it out!!

The flag is a fabric Maverick Models “white” Spanish cavalry flag kindly donated to me by Lawrence at This Life in Lead.



And some pictures of the Spanish Cavalry Brigade I have finished over the last month or so.

WIP – Spanish Mounted Bananas

If there is one thing I hate more than painting Cavalry it is painting Cavalry in yellow tunics. What were the designers of military costumes in the Napoleonic period thinking when they gave Spanish Dragoons yellow coats, yellow pistol covers, yellow saddle cloths and yellow capes and portmanteaus? Certainly not about people like me who have real trouble with that colour.

This is where I am up to after a week of effort. One figure almost completed – more of a test than anything else. I am just not sure if it is too bright? I have not varnished it yet. I did base coat in GW Zamesi Desert, then a mix of Zamesi Desert/Sunburst Yellow (don’t know the new name) and then a final going over with GW Golden Yellow (old name).


Spanish Maria-Luisa Hussars 1808 – Elite Miniatures

Well first off, the astute among you will notice that these are not in fact Elite Miniatures Spanish Hussars because they don’t make any. They are in fact Elite Miniatures 1806 Prussian Hussars.

When I decided to include a light cavalry unit the only company I saw who made Spanish Hussars was Eagle Miniatures. Because I was already ordering a bunch of British and Spanish heavy cavalry from Elite Miniatures Australia I decided that their Prussian Hussars were a close enough fit for me despite the incorrect trousers, boots, mirliton caps and saddle cloths – but seriously – who notices that sort of thing? I will one day get some of the Eagle Spanish La Mancha Lancers after seeing them in the flesh, so to speak, on This Life in Lead blog so perhaps I may get a unit of their Hussars and do the Espagne Hussars at that time.

Nathan at Elite Miniatures Australia included another officer in my order so I have based him separately as a general or commander.  Despite my hate of painting cavalry these were not so bad to be honest. Maybe I am just getting used to them. I did all the horses, then saddles, then the base uniform colours, and then finished two figures at time until I had done them all. It was the only way I could get through them. Reasonably happy with how they turned out.

UPDATE: Well spotted Alejandro Quiles from TMP.

Sorry but you painted them wrong… they should be: blue pelisses, red dolman…

Yep – had painted six before I realised my mistake. I just couldn’t be stuffed fixing the error. Given I have the Loamshire Volunteers and the Real Compania Irlandesa in my Anglo-Spanish Army, a unit of incorrectly uniformed Spanish Hussars should fit right in.

Next up – Spanish Dragoons.


Spanish Line Cavalry – Calatrava Regiment

This week I have painted up the first of the three Spanish cavalry regiments I had in bare metal (a Line, a Dragoon and a Hussar regiment).

I was looking at the Black Powder statistics for these guys. Makes pretty impressive reading.

Type: Regular Cavalry

Armament: Sabre

Hand to Hand: 7 (good so far)

Morale: 4 (average)

Stamina: 3 (typical)

Special: Heavy Cavalry/D1 (OK, not as hard hitting as they could be), Wavering (Oh dear – take any casualty and they could turn tail), Unreliable (Only move on a command roll one less than the commander’s rating).

Why didn’t I just get some KGL Dragoons? Still, at least my Frenchy opponents will have something to chase across the board.

These are all Elite Miniatures from Elite Miniatures Australia. Nicely cast by Nathan for me some time ago and have been sitting at the regimental depot (a box in the Woolshed) since that time. The carbine is a separately caste piece that you need to glue on.  I am not quite sure what these guys are actually doing with their sword arms but it does look awkward.

The flag is a Maverick Models linen flag – a generic Spanish ‘red flag’ for Line cavalry or dragoons.  This flag (along with some other bits and pieces) was kindly sent to me a while back by Lawrence at This Life in Lead blog. Thanks again Lawrence!  I thought the trumpeter’s tunic should be reversed with the facing colours but apparently consensus is that they wore a red tunic. Honestly at this stage I couldn’t be fagged redoing it so he remains in a non-regulation tunic.

I have yet to attach a finial and tassels to the flag pole as I don’t have any in stock at the moment – getting a number from Nathan at Elite Miniatures Australia when he gets back from his latest sojourn in PNG.

Photos taken on one of those rare cold wet days here in Mangamahu so the light was pretty crappy outside. Actually it has been raining all week and although you can’t see it, there was rain pouring down outside when I was taking these shots. Almost this time last year we had floods and land slips that cut us off for best part of a week so here is hoping that it stops – wouldn’t want a repeat so soon.

28mm Spanish Cordoba Regiment (Elite Miniatures)

This week while away with work I finished this regiment of white coated Spanish infantry. These chaps are painted as the Cordoba Regiment (red facings, collars and cuffs).  This is the last of the four battalions of Elite Miniatures Spanish infantry I got from Nathan at Elite Miniatures Australia a couple of years ago. Now to hit those three regiments of Spanish cavalry that are taunting me from their place atop my lead mountain.  I painted these in the evenings and early mornings before I started work. Being away from home for work means that at night one can either sit and watch TV or try to get something productive done.   I have yet to attach finials and tassels to the flags – I ran out of them – have to order some more – although maybe Scott will be able to get them for me at New Zealand’s only Pharmacy/Model Shop.  The eagle-eyed among you may spot a couple of Front Rank figures in there as well. Flags are freebies from Captain Miniatures.


My Spanish Ulcer so far. Actually they have been a joy to paint. I really enjoy painting Spanish – maybe that will extend to the cavalry I am about to embark upon.



British 10th Light Dragoons (Hussars) – Elite Miniatures

I really hate painting cavalry.  I mean I really really hate painting cavalry.  When it comes to cavalry I really really really hate painting Hussars. It is like slamming your fingers in a door – feels really great when you stop.

This week’s completed unit is the 10th Light Dragoons (Hussars), 1808. I chose this regiment because that is what is illustrated in my copy of the wonderful Military Dress of the Peninsular War.  Miniatures are Elite sourced from Nathan at Elite Miniatures Australia. I will point out that he does not just stock Elite – he has a great range from a variety of top line manufacturers.

As far as this unit goes they look a damn sight better from three feet away than they do in close up pictures, but I am reasonably happy with them despite the fact that they drove me batty.

Portuguese Cacadores – 2nd (Moura) Regiment

It is is Sunday here in New Zealand and I have just photographed the unit I finished last night. Three units completed this week. One was already started/mostly done by last weekend but still – not bad going.

These miniatures are Elite Miniatures produced in Australia by Nathan at Elite Miniatures Australia. If you have not visited his web-store you will almost certainly have seen his fantastically inspiring Lonely Gamer blog.

As I am theming my army as Early Peninsular War I have gone with Portuguese in the barrentina shako and early uniform. Elite only make one set of Cacadores in this rig comprising four poses (Kneeling Firing, Standing at Ready, Loading and a guy that looks a bit like he should be sweeping a broom – advancing I guess) who are all armed with muskets. In the 1812+ Cacadore range there are mounted officers, drummers and foot officers. I decided to go for a 24 figure battalion and just mix the four poses I had. I may get a few more and do some head swaps to get officers – or more probably just leave things as they are.

These were nice big minis. Nathan really cast these up well – they were pretty crisp and only needed a bit of cleaning up – a bit of flash in the odd undercut but that was about it. I have found that these older style figures that are more animated than most of the ‘modern school’ of figures often have more underarm flash but half an hour or so with an xacto knife and file isn’t much out of my hobby time.  I went with the red cuffs of the 2nd Moura Regiment – because I like the red and brown. I hate painting yellow so used GW Zamesi Desert as is for the tunic lace. Against the brown I don’t think it looks too bad. The brown itself is a 50/50 mix of GW Rhinox Hide/Doombull Brown.