Monday, 26 May 2014

Week 20 Progress - British Casualties

At the end of Week 17 I'd completed 78 figures, and so was 92 figures behind schedule. My plan for the following week was to plough on with some AB French Legere - I'd done the Carabiniers and was pleased with how they had worked out, and thought I'd press forward with the rest of the battalion. Unfortunately, I'd run out of GW white undercoat, and in my eagerness, used the Army Painter white undercoat.

Now, the last time I used this was also the first time I used it. That was awhile ago when I pretty much ruined the BM French and British Line Infantry I had bought - the AP undercoat dried with a thick and "dusty" consistency totally unsuitable for 18mm figures (or 28mm come to that). They went straight into the Dettol - actually I need to get them out - that was over a year ago! Anyway, so this time round I followed the instructions absolutely to the letter and the result was better but still not  the quality of finish I get from the GW undercoat. And so I'm blaming the AP undercoat for my general lack of enthusiasm for painting the rest of the AB Legere - there was a roughness to the AP undercoat that obscured the fine detail on the AB figures and made my cackhanded painting "style" more difficult to achieve.

Apologies for the long-winded excuse for not completing what I said I would.

Instead, I painted some AB British casualties. In this I was quite inspired by a very kind gift from Paul Alba (Napoleonics In Miniature) of a battalion of marching AB British infantry and some late British cavalry. Clearly the casualties are way off the plan to carry on with Laval's Division and the 3rd & 4th Spanish Divisions at Ocana. However, I have it in the back of my head to do a British battalion in the midst of a heavy firefight (something similar to this French battalion  I did a couple of years ago) - they won't really fit in with anything else I've got as I tend to do my figures in march attack poses. My catalogue PDF from AB doesn't show much pose variation in the suitable British packs (B08 & B09) so my thinking was to add some interest with these chaps.

So there are two "deaders" (one flank, and one centre company), a "shortly to be deader" (those gutshots were fatal back then), an officer being carried on a musket by two fellow soldiers (I have visions of "gallant officer refusing to leave the Colours" for this one), one chap who has just stopped a French musket ball and is slumping forward, and a rapscallion heading off "to collect water" - he's British, surely he isn't "windy"? I'll not comment on the significance of his brown trousers... So eight in all (I'm counting the officer on the musket as three figures). So this would be 20 - 25% of the battalion - I figure add in a couple of standard bearers and a drummer and the command stand would be pretty much there. So one bag of AB B09 Flank skirmishing, and a couple of bags of B08 Centre Loading & Firing would sort me out - any vacant slots left could be filled by company officers.

And the marching figure is the one that started this off. It's fairly subtle - he's supposed to represent a chap just being shot. Before you ask I've bought several sets of British casualties folded in with AB figures bought from eBay - I could probably paint a battalion of casualties. I figure he will work as "filler" for Paul's fine gift of a line infantry battalion on the march. You may well notice a difference in stle on these figures - they were undercoated in black when I got them and I decided to go with them as they were - I'm not really happy with them but they turned out better than expected.

And here are the Spanish Militia that were almost finished three weeks ago - still almost finished as the basing needs to be done. The flag is by Adolfo Ramos (you can see the accompanying colonel's flag in the picture below) - being Spanish he has a very good selection of flags for the Peninsula War (and plenty of other stuff too in different scales). This pair are actually "generic" line infantry flags - provincial militia flags had the distinctive coats of arms for their province in the corners (as did line infantry).

This is the first militia battalion painted some months ago. Both battalions are wearing the standard M1805 uniform - the army that marched to Ocana was very well equipped by Spanish standards (and when I was originally researching the confusing mess that was Spanish army officialdom from 1797 to 1809 this uniform was one of the few things I could be fairly sure was "right") so I feel justified in not making them too hodge podge looking.

Having painted two units in white I quite fancy doing something like the Spanish Royal Guard (921 men from the 1st battalion served with the 3rd Division) - they had a rather spiffy dark blue uniform with with bright red facings. However, the Histoire & Collections book on Ocana shows them in a new uniform issued in 1809 (dark blue uniform, white lace buttonhole trim and shako). This is quite dull compared to the previous uniform (the Guerreros & Batallas book has the older outfit) - but I could see how a guard regiment could get new gear first. I had a look at the AB PDF (this has pictures of all the figures in the range) and the AB Spanish in shako still have the same sort of jackets as the bicorne chaps - so don't really work. So this one needs more research - I've ordered the new book on the Spanish Army by Stephen Summerfield and Ged Cronin so hopefully that will shed some light on the matter. In the meantime, as an alternative to white I'm rather thinking red facings and brown jackets - this was the uniform of the Regiment da Linea Voluntarios de Sevilla (a Cuerpo de Nueva Creacion according to Guerreros y Batallas ie formed after May 1808), and also one of the uniforms commonly worn by the provincial militia - so a possibility these guys could do double duty in the future.    
And here is the painting table - as you can see very little change, although front and centre are five companies of the Hesse Darmstadt Erb Prinz awaiting their command figures to be dealt with.

So, final results for Week 20 - 88 figures painted, 112 figures behind schedule. I'm hoping a return to Spanish infantry will let me regain some ground.


  1. Not to criticize, but I believe if the images are correct, you've painted some of those Spaniards with red waistcoats. The lapels can be red, the waistcoats were almost always just linen and would be white. For an example, you can see my Spanish on my blog here:

    Good to see gamers painting Spanish as most sneer at the idea. Good to see I'm not the only one who has an interest in Spanish armies.

  2. Actually the AB Spanish are wearing the 1805 pattern uniform (or variations upon it) so the underclothes aren't visible - see here for a reference

    I agree that units with this degree of uniformity was something of a rarity but I plan to make some of the next units look a bit more dishevelled! And I agree you need to be certain kind of wargamer to want to paint an army that is destined to lose regularly!

    Actually, looking at the pictures again I can only think how rough they look all round!

  3. Beautiful casualties, nice work!

  4. Hi Malc, on the British casualties, the guy on his hands an d knees has a LI shako, if you are worried about that stuff. You could always shave off the bugle and just paint on a plate. The bloke carrying the packs is designed to go with the officer being carried i.e. he is carrying the packs for the other blokes.

    You can do Spanish in the 1802 uniform which is a Royal Blue/black facings. One of the nice things about the Summerfield book is that it identifies which regts were still wearing the 1802

    John B

  5. How did I miss these Malc? Lovely figures!