Tuesday 3 January 2017

28mm Portuguese Army

Just a few pictures to mark the end of this project, with a group shot of the assembled army:

The Front Rank figures were a joy to paint as usual. I am happy I went with the barretina as this accords more with my mental image of Napoleonic Portuguese troops, even though these were pretty much all replaced with the British-supplied stovepipe by 1811, a year before the British started replacing the stovepipe with their version of the barretina with what would come to be known as the Belgic shako:

I have always found this ironical and have often wondered if the Portuguese felt a little annoyed that the British were ultimately wandering around in headgear based upon their own barretina design, while they were sent the abandoned stovepipes:

I remember some early army lists I had read portrayed the Portuguese as solid, if unspectacular, troops but it is interesting reading Oman and others to see how much they were relied upon by Wellington. Indeed, he was one of their early advocates and I can recall a letter from him to one of his subordinates after Bussaco stating how pleased he was with their performance.

This is reflected in many of the order of battles where one can see that the Portuguese were initially distributed among the English brigades, to then be reformed in their own separate and at times independent brigades. It is quite enjoyable reading some of the accounts of the fragmented skirmishes and smaller battles in Northern Spain and the Pyrenees, and there are many accounts of how well the Portuguese and, in particular, the Cacadores performed during this time:

GMB remain my flags of choice and provides a nice touch of colour to the army, in particular the regimental colour of white, red or yellow, dependent upon which division they were nominally allocated to:
The line battalions are probably a little large and, in retrospect, I could have done them as smaller units and placed both the King's and regimental colours on the same command stand, but on the basis that I can cut these down if necessary I decided to stick with two battalion regiments of twenty figures each:

I was quite happy with the Foundry British artillery colour for gun carriages pieces, in that it provides a nice soft grey with just a hint of blue:

I probably haven't done enough command stands with six in all, but can always augment them with a few British when I get around to completing the latter. I know I have a Beresford figure buried in the lead pile somewhere:

In total then, the army is comprised of the following:

20 line battalions of 20 figures each
6 Cacadore battalions of 20 figures
1 Loyal Lusitanian Light battalion of 20 figures
3 cavalry regiments of 12 figures each
6 artillery pieces with four figures each
6 command stands

Which provides a total of 611 figures, 44 horses and 6 artillery pieces:

I'm still trying to decide what to do next - I have some lovely Empress Miniatures English Civil War I wouldn't mind attempting for something different, but suspect it will be some old Perry-sculpted Foundry French I have had lying around for the best part of twelve years. I have always had a bit of a blank-spot when it comes to painting Napoleonic French, so might try and give it a go before any more time slips away.

Besides anything else, it might give me an excuse to segue into some Calpe Saxons and Murawski Badeners along the way.


  1. Most impressive army, congrats!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Rodger, it has kept me busy for well over a year.

  3. Stunning. Now some photos of these armies in action on the table top please :)

    1. Thanks Brian. The group I game with mainly play 15mm, but are keen for a few 28mm Peninsular games if I can provide the armies and terrain.

      That's why I thought I'd get stuck into a few 28mm French next, including allied forces for some variety. I'd like to think we could get a game up before the end of this year, but am enjoying myself moving through the various projects nonetheless, or save myself the trouble and bring them to the Woolshed on my next trip to NZ!

  4. That is really stunning, "Lorenzo"!

    Of course, I vote for Badeners as a future project!

    1. Thanks Peter, and I have never minded the nickname Lorenzo!

      Needless to say, I have already visited your excellent page on the Badeners and will no doubt be back there again, once I can remember where I have stored them.

  5. This is lovely, more 28mm Portuguese than I've ever seen in one place before!
    Di you ever game with them, be great to see some in game shots.
    Best wishes,

    1. Thanks Jeremy. The 15mm armies get a regular run with the group I game with, but I am the only 28mm player out of the five or six of us so it is up to me to get the figures together.

      They are keen for a game, so I am get cracking with some French. Mind you, I should post a few pictures of our next 15mm game, as they can be quite a lot of fun and I am missing a few decent AARs.

  6. Awesome display of your work (painted regiments/battalions) Lawrence!

    looking forward during this year? some French Peninsular units and/or German Allies....

    Also, God knows what Wellington would have archived with the Portuguese (which he wanted them so much) during the 1815 Belgium Campaign!?

    Saxons? who mention Saxon's here :o) If I was in your area/home town I would be dropping in every weekend at your place with my Napoleonic Saxons and play battles until you had enough of me!.. :o)

    All the best,

    1. Thanks Phil and, yes, I have a bunch of Badeners, Poles and Confederation of the Rhine figures to keep myself interested as I work through the French.

      Your Saxons are superb though Phil, and I wish you did live in the area as we could get a game on without me having to wait another twelve months.

    2. "archived"! oops...sorry about that :o) the word should be "achieved" :o)

      I have a few projects to work on during 2017, one is 28mm Perry Miniatures, Napoleonic Bavarian's 1809-1812


    3. I'll look forward to seeing those Phil. I have some Front Rank Bavarians in the pile somewhere that I'll be keen to get to at some stage, and it will be good to use yours for inspiration.

  7. Lawrence, what a fantastic looking army

    1. Thanks Mark, and I'm loving the work on your scratch-built railway station. Marvellous stuff.

  8. Replies
    1. Thanks Anthony, and also for your encouragement along the way, both here and on LAF.

  9. Awesome - great to see Lawrence !
    Gustav /Mark

  10. Thanks Mark. We really must catch up some day soon, especially as we probably live within a few k's of each other.