Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Portuguese 1st Castello de Vide Cacadores

The first and possibly most highly regarded of the Cacadore regiments alongside the 3rd, the 1st Cacadores were present at most significant Peninsular War battles aside from Albuera. This included being part of the Light Division under Craufurd at Bussaco and Fuentes de Onoro, under the command of Alten at Salamanca and Vittoria, and present at most of the conflicts in the crossing of the Pyrenees and into France including the battle of the Nivelle and the series of encounters which formed the battle of the Nive:

I had a slight conceptual struggle with this unit before I began, in that most Portuguese Cacadores around the 1808 to 1809 period are represented with the barretina and with yellow lace, but Chartrand states that this was only a very short-lived phenomenon and that most very quickly adopted black, due to cost and availability, and possibly because it was quite conspicuous. This implied that Cacadores wore black lace with the barretina, even before the later adoption of the stovepipe shako:

In the end though I went with the yellow lace, with gold for the officers, on the basis that this is what is typically represented on the early Cacadores and therefore probably more recognisable:

I have figures for all six of the earlier cacadore regiments, and hope to have the remaining five completed this side of Christmas, in addition to some spares that might be enough to make up a seventh:

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Portuguese Artillery

Moving house is not something I enjoy and always seem to underestimate in terms of the amount of work and disruption involved, but after six weeks I have finally settled in enough to complete some Front Rank Portuguese artillery I have had on the go:

I have always liked Front Rank artillery, although I sometimes find the figure poses a little stiff.

That said, they do lend themselves to my rather old-fashioned and cramped bases. Here is a close-up of the 6lber, done using the Foundry British gun grey triad which I really like:

and a 5.5" howitzer:

I am still playing around with the lighting a bit, but hope to improve on this over time. Now that I have my workshop area sorted (which is a good-sized area and one of the reasons I fell in love with the new house), I hope to be able to get through the Cacadores before Christmas to complete the project.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Portuguese Generals and Staff

The command bases for my Portuguese project completed, including a brigadier general with his aide. I'm not sure the aide agrees with this particular decision:

A lieutenant-general and aide-de-camp in wet weather gear which is reminiscent of an old Hinchliffe Wellington figure I have packed away somewhere:

I used the excellent Chartrand Osprey books as a guide, and a few of the figures almost seem to have been tailor-made to suit the illustrations. I have also managed a few regimental officers, including two from 14th Tavira, which I have based with a some left-over figures for effect:

And two from the 17th/2nd Elvas:

I made a mistake in ordering one with a British-supplied stovepipe, where the rest of the army are outfitted in barretinas, but I'll no doubt just pass him off as an "early adopter":

I was reasonably pleased with the way these figures turned out. Front Rank are normally very satisfying to paint, and these were no exception:

The Portuguese artillery are next up, which I hope to have completed over the next few weeks.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Portuguese 11th Almeida Cavalry Regiment

The last of my intended Portuguese cavalry units, the 11th Almeida:

This unit was part of the Southern Grand Division as indicated by their blue piping, although in the case of the 11th Almeida they had a sky-blue collar as their main distinguishing feature:

They were fairly actively engaged throughout the Peninsular War, and saw service at Salamanca and Vittoria:

These Front Rank charging figures are slightly more dynamic than their "at rest" dragoons and were, as usual, a pleasure to paint.

Now to finish some staff, and then on to the artillery...

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Portuguese 4th Mecklemburg Cavalry Regiment

A quick post with a second regiment of Portuguese dragoons completed, this time the 4th Mecklemburg:

The regiment was apparently present at Fuentes De Onoro under Barbacena with (according to Oman) a mere 104 men, and weren't much engaged after that:

The 4th however represents another of the cavalry regiments from the Central Division, so it is possible that what few mounts they had may have been absorbed into other regiments.

The white piping is indicative of the Central Division, in this case with a red collar:

I have again utilised the Front Rank "at rest" figures for them, which I quite like even though the pose is perhaps a little less dynamic than some others:

That's two cavalry regiments completed now, with just the 11th Almeida to go. Hopefully I'll have them completed in the next week or so.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Portuguese 1st Alcantara Cavalry Regiment

The first post for a while as life does have a habit of getting in the way, luckily for all the right reasons so I'm not complaining. I managed to complete the first of three Portuguese cavalry units the week before last in the form of the first Alcantara:

The regiment was present at Albuera as part of Otway's brigade, and saw action at Salamanca as part of D'Urban's brigade under whose command they remained throughout the Vittoria campaign:

The Portuguese dragoon uniform is relatively uncomplicated, with the main distinction being the facing colour and piping. In the case of 1st Alcantara these were white:

Which indicated that they formed part of the Central Division:

That's the first of them done, with two more regiments to go. They are probably a little on the large size as far as Portuguese regiments go, but it is obviously an easy thing to remove a few figures when they are not required.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Portuguese 17th/2nd Elvas Regiment

This represents the last of the line regiments for the project, finally completed and assembled from the spares I had left over after having painted the other nine.

No matter how careful I think I'm being when I'm putting together orders, I always seem to have a large handful of spares left over (including another ten Portuguese GMB flags).

Consequently, while the first battalion is consistent with the Front Rank march attack figures:

There is a definite mixture of poses in the second battalion:

That said, I'm not unhappy that I have included this particular unit. The 17th was present at the battle of Vittoria and a number of the battles in the crossing of the Pyrenees and beyond, including the battles of the Nive, Orthez and Toulouse.

From Vitorria onward they were brigaded with the 1st and 3rd Cacadores, which I suspect may have been to provide a rallying-point should the Cacadores have needed to reform behind the line.

I gave myself a bit of a "free pass" with this unit in that, as part of the Southern division, they had red piping. Given that the collars and cuffs were also red this made them much easier to paint than most of the other regiments, where the piping on the collars and cuffs are in a contrasting colour:

That's the last of the line done, All four hundred and three of them, with the last three reserved for some command stands I have in the pipeline.

Now for some cavalry...