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


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

1809 Spaniards - Milicias Provinciales


Just a couple of prototypes, to see how the paint would look. My proposed OOB for the Spanish army of 1809 includes 4 battalions of provinciales (to say nothing of the mooted provincial grenadiers, of whom I hope to say more on another occasion), and I have been experimenting to see how these might look.

The provinciales were clothed, in theory, very much like the line regiments, but in a slightly simpler uniform, with red facings for all units and brass buttons. It seems likely that some of the units at Ocaña in 1809 wore outdated versions of the uniform. In particular, supplies of local brown cloth being both cheaper and more plentiful than the official white jackets, there were a number of brown-clad battalions, so I have painted up one in the official version and one in the brown variant.

I'll proceed with these two styles, using line infantry castings. I am thinking of having a white battalion, a brown one and two mixed ones. All command figures will be in white for all units, I think.

I have two relevant books on order at present, both coming from Spain. My experience of buying stuff online from Spain is fairly poor, I regret to say, even without including the remarkable Falcata episodes. One of these books is coming from a military model supplier, and it is about the provincial regiments of the Guerra de Independencia - I could do with having it here now for these painting experiments, and I am assured that it has been heading my way since April Fool's Day, which I'd rather not think about too carefully. The other book was obtained through Abebooks - it is a copy of Muzas' book on Spanish flags, and it is coming from a shop associated with a military museum. I bought it on 14th March, and the earliest estimated delivery date on the order is 26th April. That isn't awfully impressive, is it?

Postage from Spain is not cheap, either - maybe mule fodder is expensive at present.

 

15 comments:

  1. I think the brown version in particular looks good - will you be painting these yourself?

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    1. That is the plan - Lee has done wonders on the painting front for this army, but I am starting to look at estimated completion dates in comparison to the UK Mortality Tables, and I've decided that I need to get a move on...

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  2. The brown coats were issued to the Urban Militia. These were dreadful quality troops even worse than the conscripts. The Provincial Militia and the Provincial Grenadiers were called up in 1804 when Spain went to war against Britain and was never stood down so they should be as good as any regulars by 1807.

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  3. Are these some of the figures you had commissioned? I like them!

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    1. Hi Jonathan - no - these are OOP NapoleoN castings - I was lucky enough to collect a pile of the beggars! My first unit of the commissioned cavalry is next in the Elite Class painting queue.

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  4. They're quite lovely, Tony. The brown and white mixed will look especially nice. They'll look fine, even if their historical reputation was dodgy.

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  5. What is the title of this book about the Provincial regiments? Sounds interesting...

    cheers
    uwe

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    1. Hi Uwe - Book is Los Regimientos Provinciales (1734-1876) by Francisco Vela Santiago & Luis Gravalos Gonzalez - I tried a number of bookshops, who found they had no stock, and placed an order for it with Euromodelismo / Panzer Aces, who sell online. Book arrived today, by the way!

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    2. They look sharp. I have some of the HAT plastic infantry in top hats. They will do for US Militia for 1812 as well, which raises all manner of intriguing, albeit expensive possibilities.

      You're absolutely right about mortality tables and getting a move on though.

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  6. I am hugely impressed by your attention to detail with regard to an army that has so little available information and such an uninspiring record. Re you building a matching French opponent?

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    1. Hi Roy - the Spanish Army was not conspicuous by its success on the battlefield, but it was a beautiful army, and no mistake (if the uniforms turned up), and there is more info on them now than there was. A number of people have asked me why bother with the Spanish army, since it was not very good, and I don't really understand the question.

      My French army is very large, and it involves a mixture of pre and post 1812 styles - I draw a discreet veil over any inaccuracies there - if the French jacket styles are a bit out of whack for Ocaña then i shall remove my glasses, the more fully to appreciate the fog of war!

      I already have a sizeable 1812-vintage Spanish army, but I accidentally collected enough bicorned chaps to do an 1809 one as well - and Mr Kinch persuaded me that i had always really wanted one. I have done a lot of head-scratching over which of the extant militia and voluntarios will do for either period, and the 1809 OOB is now looking very promising.

      People rarely get asked why they are collecting troops for Naples or Saxony, so I'm not sure why Spain bears such a stigma! My wargames are mostly solo, so defeat on the tabletop is an academic matter. If that puts me outside the mainstream, then i am delighted to hear it.

      Regards - Tony

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    2. Don't get me wrong, I have a Spanish army. I intend to use them to fight Napoleon's German troops in Spain as I can give the Germans fairly poor ratings to create a balanced game.
      Roy

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    3. Yes, some of your HH Spanish conversions are very famous - I even have some! Spaniards in Germany is interesting - also, didn't Romana's lot actually fight on the French side before the unpleasantness over King Carlos? - didn't they get involved in the Siege of Stralsund and suchlike?

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  7. Love the brown coated chap, its a very under-used colour and always looks good. good luck with the stuff from Espana, I'll cross my fingers for you!

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