Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Ocana 1809 & Desk Tidy

So, a couple of weeks ago I was looking at my painting desk, and for obvious reasons decided to have a bit of a tidy up (there is also a shelf you can't see that has various figures primed but not yet painted). My next thought was that I should clear up the numerous half finished projects (in 15mm alone there are Spanish ABs, AB French artillery, some AB early Austrian Chevau-Leger waiting to be painted as Spanish cavalry, AB Austrians and a few OG French).

As I returned some figures to the Bollinger box where they belonged I resolved to have a clear out. So a few figures were despatched to Paul ( Napoleonics In Miniature ). And since then I've been fitting in a bit of time whenever I can painting up odds and ends. One thing that has irritated me no end is the number of Citadel Paints (particularly the new pots) that have dried solid over the last few months.

I've also been admiring one of my new acquisitions - the French Histoire et Collections volume, Ocana 1809, this is a very nice English language volume in the same style as Hourtelle's books on Wagram, Austerlitz and so on. It has maps, reports from French officers after the battle, and the very useful uniform plates we expect. 

The other book (in Spanish) is also called Ocana 1809 and has better maps and some uniform plates - it also has an OOB with numbers for each battalion. It is an Osprey style of book - they have quite a selection of books on other subjects too - I picked up two of these while in Valencia in late September (Medellin 1809 and Almonacid 1809) but my Spanish isn't good enough to make much out of the text. I think if Guerreros y Battallas were to publish these books in English they would do really well - many of the subjects aren't covered elsewhere at all. 

Ocana was quite an interesting battle - at the end of 1809 the Spanish, emboldened by their success at Bailen, made a dash for Madrid with an army of 53,000 men. The French, taken by surprise, managed to concentrate 40,000 men under Soult - although smaller in numbers, the French units were mostly veterans, whereas many of the Spanish were freshly raised units. The French attacked against a strong Spanish position (there was a ravine across the front of much of their position), their dragoons drove in the Spanish cavalry on the flanks and the French infantry attacked, the Spanish broke, thousands were captured and Madrid was secured for Joseph for some years. Ocana was one of the pivotal battles of the Peninsular War and, because the British weren't there, mostly ignored by English writers.

I've started working on more Spanish infantry, and have bought appropriate flags from Adolfo Ramos, and recently a couple of sets from Pete's Flags - both of these produce very nice flags. I've also been looking at 15mm artillery for a review (this little project has turned from a short post into a very long post - but hopefully I should have something up next week), and now have a glut of guns to join the excess of everything else in my leadpile!

Have a very happy Christmas everybody!


  1. Happy Christmas to you too! I think I need a tidy up as well!

  2. Merry Christmas Sir!!! Thanks so much for the early Christmas Presents. Let's hope we get plenty of figures painted in the New Year.
    Best to you and yours