A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Friday, 8 June 2012

Spanish Army - Getting There

Since I made a decision to finish off my Peninsular War armies (or at least give them a finite scope), and start on the ECW before I disappear down the microscope, the effort to get things tidied up has kept spawning new subprojects and the flow of finished Napoleonic soldiers has actually increased. Strange but true.

There's always this faint anxiety that figures which are available at this moment will soon cease to be so, and thus a lot of feverish haste to get stuff finished off while the chance is there.

My Spanish army has always been something of a poor relation, not least because of the traditional lack of 1812-period figures on the market, and I have been working of late to get it up to a useful size. I'm very pleased to have a new division of line infantry ready. They will have to wait a day or two to get their flags, but otherwise they are finished and on the new-issue magnetised bases. Here are 4 line regiments - those of Leon, Bailen, 2nd Mallorca and La Union - and 2 light units - Voluntarios de la Victoria and Legion Extremena.

They also have an artillery battery in the pipeline, and I have some generals and ADCs on order from Falcata (just can't get the Staff these days) - things are shaping up nicely. My original plan for a Spanish force was just a wishful fancy, given the lack of suitable figures, and it's a real satisfaction to see the guys varnished and based and ready.

Since you can never have enough of a good thing, I've also ordered up some more voluntarios/milicias from Falcata's extending range, but the real shortage is cavalry - I have to get some cavalry. There was always a shortage of horses, so the cavalry brigades were small, but I do need more.

Falcata make some very nice 1808-period cavalry in bicornes, and I would love to have some yellow-coated dragoons on my tabletop, but they are not really correct for the later PW. Most of the units around by then seem to have been composites - squadrons from here and there, mostly provincial, variously called grenadiers, cazadores, perseguidores and mostly with shabby hussar-style affectations, as far as I can see.

Research isn't easy - until JM Bueno's lovely Uniformes Espanoles de la Guerra de Independencia, most reference works on the Spanish army took the easy option, and trotted out the 1806 regulations, with contemporary prints of Romana's Division and the works of Dighton and a few others. Things are a lot better now for the infantry of 1811-14, but the cavalry from that period is still pretty poorly understood.


Anyway - this is my version of Pablo Morillo's Division of 1812-13. A few educated guesses (or half-educated), and a pinch of wargamer's licence where it suits, but I'm pleased with them. The rank-and-file are Minifigs S-Range SN1s, the command figures are conversions from Art Miniaturen Belgians, and from Portuguese castings by NapoleoN and Kennington.


  1. Tony,

    very impressive indeed. You made the right decision getting rid of those Warrior Miniatures and replacing them. A colourful division you have there. May they roll many sixes.


    1. Thank you, Pjotr - there's nothing about Warrior that I don't like, apart from the fact that they don't match the rest of my armies. Warrior are great if you have lots of them, I think. Cheers - Tony

  2. Those Spaniards look great, I like the neat and crisp basing style you use, it really sets off those figures.


    1. Thanks, Lee - the basing style is just what I always did! If I keep my overcoat long enough, it might become fashionably retro too. Cheers - Tony

  3. Hi:

    I used to sell Falcata figures in the UK when they first came on the market but the two guys who originated the range vanished from the scene and I was unable to contact them. I still owe them a few Euros if they want to get in touch. I still have some of the old boxes of 34 Spanish infantry but, sadly, could never obtain any cavalry.

    I am a member of FEHME (Fora para el estudio del historia militaria de España) and have access to their database cataloguing the history of Spanish units (including those of new creation). I have made a study of the Spanish Army in the War of Inependence and have a large library of references, including uniform data.

    Spanish uniforms after 1809 are not the easiest thing to determine; in fact, "uniform" is probably a misnomer. They were obtained from Britain, plundered French supply trains and local manufacture. Bueno's books are probably the best source material but are out of print and now cost a fortune.

    If anyone would like assistance, please let me know at info@warmodelling.co.uk (I currently sell the Fantassin Warmodelling range of metal figures) and I'll try to help.


    Mike Oliver