Monday, 23 December 2013

Swiss in Spanish Service

I have managed to complete three more battalions for my Spanish project, representing three of the Swiss regiments in Spanish service at the time of the French invasion in 1808. The three battalions are from the Preux, Reding and Betschart regiments:

They distinguished themselves at Bailen, even coming up against fellow Swiss who had been pressed into service as part of Dupont's army, which caused the latter to defect from the French back to the Spanish side:

The figures are from Eagle Miniatures, and represent quite well the longer tails of the Swiss coats. Unfortunately there were no grenadier figures available, so I decided to pad the units out with fusiliers:

The rather distinctive-looking Swiss flags are from Adolfo Ramos in Spain, and I think they really serve to give the units a unique appearance:

The Eagle figures are quite nicely detailed, although they are a lot slimmer than my usual Front Rank and would not mix well in the same unit. They are around the same height however, and to my eye do not look out of place as a separate unit:

They also carry the French-style backpacks, which I believe also adds to the overall appearance:

Friday, 25 October 2013


Another unit which doesn't really fit in with my Talavera project, but one which I felt compelled to purchase. This unit of irregulars were composed of Spanish cattle herders, and distinguished themselves at Bailen:

The Front Rank figures certainly look the part, with the characteristic "Franciscan" straw hat:

I also replaced the standard Front Rank lance with some from North Star, which I think look a bit more in line with the Spanish "garrocha":

There were apparently between two to five hundred of them there, so a dozen figures at a ratio of 1:40 is probably at the higher end, but at least they provide something a little different:

La Mancha Lancers

This is a unit I hadn't planned on incorporating within my Spanish 28mm Talavera project, mainly because they weren't there. A combination of what little I have read about them and the fact that they were available through Eagle Miniatures at the same time as I was placing an order for Spanish hussars and chasseurs, meant I couldn't resist.

These are markedly different figures from the newly remodelled Eagle range which are very nicely done, and I am not sure that they are to everyone's taste, including my own when I first saw them. To my mind they looked slightly more Hinchcliffe than Perry on the notional continuum. That said, I quite like the result when they are painted, and they do make for a unique-looking unit:

One thing to mention about the Eagle customer service is that they are now under a new owner, Ian McCullough. When I came to paint these figures a year and a half after ordering, I realised that I had inadvertently been provided with incorrect arms (these are three-part pieces, or four by the time you add the lance). Ian kindly sent out the replacements that day, with a few extras thrown in.

The lances are from North Star, and the pennants from GMB flags:

One thing I really like about these figures is the raised insignia on the shabraque. It makes them much easier to paint and is a good idea which I wish more manufacturers would incorporate in their designs.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Voluntarios de Espana

Another unit from Eagle Miniatures, I like these Spanish Chasseurs as they add a bit more colour to my Talavera project:

As with the Hussars and Dragoons, I have reversed the trumpeter and put him on a grey horse.

There is certainly enough variety of colour in the Spanish cavalry to avoid the potential for monotony. As with Eagle's Spanish Hussars, these are very finely detailed figures and also represent part of their (as I understand it) reworked range.

The tops of the shakos are not actually blue, but caught a bit of the early morning sun from somewhere.

All things considered, nicely proportioned figures and I was pleased to add them to Talavera project.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Maria Luisa Hussars

I decided to add a couple of light cavalry regiments to my Spanish project, with the first of these being the Maria Luisa Hussars:

I purchased them from Eagle Miniatures who have a nice range of Napoleonic Spanish figures including many, such as the Hussars, which have not to date been addressed by other manufacturers.

The figures are slighter than my usual Front Rank, but in the case of the Hussars and others of their newer and reworked figures, are very finely detailed. Size-wise they are closer to Perry, although the riders are probably around 1.5mm to 2mm shorter eye-to-eye. When I get time I'll probably post another of those size comparisons in case anyone is interested, but I don't think they will look out of place alongside my other units.

The only criticism is that I found the metal to be slightly softer than what I am used to with other manufacturers and I managed to snap off a couple of the plumes, which I will have to address with some Green Stuff. They also have separate arms, pelisses and muskets which I initially found to be a bit off-putting, but in the final analysis I enjoyed the freedom to be able to glue things on at slightly different angles in order to provide some variety.

Ian McCullough is the new owner of Eagle Miniatures and seems keen to provide a high level of service which is great, and I hope that he manages to further expand the range. I should also say that these figures were purchased before Ian bought the company.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Villaviciosa Dragoons

I had been dreading painting the Villaviciosa dragoons as yellow is probably my least favourite colour to apply. I used a brown undercoat over an initial black spray (yes, I know), then a base colour of a deep yellow, and then went over twice with the top coat and a third time with some highlights. It probably doesn't show but at least the colour doesn't look washed out, which was my biggest concern:

I reversed the uniform for the trumpeter and put him on a grey horse, although I suspect that by the time of Talavera the dragoons were probably just happy enough to have a horse.

The figures are again Front Rank with the flag from Maverick models, this time a white squadron-style generic flag,

My base sizes are probably more a left-over habit from the 80's and with modern figures I find I do have to squeeze them on, which never seemed to be an issue with the older Minfigs we used to game with back then. That said, I don't mind the stirrup to stirrup look, so will probably continue with this approach, at least for the time being.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Regiment Calatrava

My second Spanish heavy cavalry regiment, again using Front Rank figures and a flag from Maverick Models, this one representing the Calatrava regiment:

I think the blue and the white makes quite a nice sharp contrast on these, and was quite pleased with the way they turned out.

I decided to go with just nine figures for this regiment, representing a unit strength of 360 men.

Regiment del Rey

The first of my two Spanish heavy cavalry regiments, I decided to paint these as the Regiment del Rey.


The figures are again Front Rank, and the flag is from Maverick Models.

I decided to go with all twelve figures for this regiment to give me one full strength regiment which, at a 1:40 ratio, represents 480 men.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Voluntarios de Cataluna Light Regiment

These are probably the fiddliest I have done for the Spanish, and the yellow piping and lace didn't help as I found I had to go over it three or four times to give it some depth:

While I wonder how many were still knocking about in this uniform by 1809, I am not altogether unhappy with the result and they do provide some welcome variety.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Regiments Reina and Sevilla

The last couple of my Spanish line regiments completed.

First Reina, with the high and low porte pose as modelled by Front Rank which I really like:

Flags by GMB, as with the rest of the line to date:

I finished Sevilla a couple of weeks ago, from left-over figures. I never seem to be able to order exactly the right amount, and for some reason I have also ended up with a surplus of fourteen standard bearers and half a dozen drummers. I'm really not sure what I was thinking at the time I ordered them:

This now equates to twenty-one line and two light battalions completed, which should be more than enough for my gaming requirements:

Now I have to get started on the cavalry and artillery, plus a few units of the Guard. 

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Regiment Toledo

I have always been a big fan of sky-blue facings, and the Toledo regiment is a good chance to utilise this:

I find that Foundry acrylic paints provide nice coverage and depth, and prefer to use them for the uniforms and facings, along with Vallejo for the metal shades and Citadel for the basic blacks and basing:

Regiment Leon

More Front Rank figures and GMB flags, but this time a firing line:

I have never been overly fond of these poses generally as they have always seemed a great way to lose bayonets, and a column formation of these on the table does look a bit strange. They do however represent a nice break from the usual attack or route march poses.

Even better was the fact that Front Rank accidentally sent me an additional Battalion Pack of these figures on a rather large order - I had ordered two, but received three. In typical Front Rank style, when I emailed them to point this out I received the response to simply "enjoy them". You can't argue with that for service.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Rey Immemorial

Possibly the most famous and certainly the oldest of Spanish line battalions. Again Front Rank with GMB flags:

I like the rather unusual violet facings, and have painted the drummer in the Royal livery. Thinking about it I have done most of my line battalion drummers in the Royal livery and, while I'm not sure whether this is strictly correct for all battalions, will stick with it.

I'll probably also stay with 16-figure units (at least for the time being), on the basis that Spanish battalions were typically on the small side anyway.