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


Wednesday, 11 November 2015

1809 Spaniards - The First of the Line Grenadiers


I've been very nervous about these chaps - the fancy embroidery on the flammes of the bearskins makes Spanish grenadiers of this period a bit of a nightmare for those of us who are rather below-average painters. In particular, this group from the Regimiento de Africa features yellow-on-black, which in my experience is one of the very worst colour combinations. They came out better than I had expected, and it was less work than I had feared, so I am encouraged to carry on with the next half-battalion. The drummer is a handsome devil, isn't he?

The Spanish system converged the two grenadier companies from each of two regiments in the same division, to form a provisional grenadier battalion. The other half of this lot will be from the Regimiento de la Reina, who have purple facings with white lace, so they should be a bit easier - they are undercoated, awaiting their turn.

Note the sergeant with the black epaulettes in the right hand group

The hats that make us painting imposters wake up screaming...
These are Falcata castings - I think they are officially OOP - if they aren't then they should be; Uwe recently commented that I was lucky to have so many Falcata figures left - maybe so - the original sculpts are excellent, but the uneven casting quality and the amount of mould damage mean that only a smallish proportion of the figures are useable, and the re-carving and dremeling required to clean them up to a decent state for painting is reminiscent of Hinton Hunt in the 70s!

Anyway, so far so good. Subsequent grenadier battalions will use marching poses, which seem to be in a better state.

14 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Since I don't really know what I'm doing, I improvised a system which worked well - I figured that I could get away with approximate detail on the pattern if the surrounding piping was accurate, so I did the piping first, cleaned it up and then did the detail using the same technique - pick out the lace in white, use a wet-brush method I call "blobbing" to flood yellow onto the white, then clean up the edges with black. I'm happier with the results than I expected to be!

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  2. Agreed. They are lovely. But can they fight?

    Best Regards,

    Stokes

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  3. Replies
    1. Swish is a great word - an email described them as "snazzy", which is also a good word, though the chaps themselves prefer "dashing".

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  4. Nice work, you made great job on the lace work on their hats.

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    1. If you knew how anxious I got about these damn hats before I started, you would laugh like a drain!

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  5. The lacework is top notch. I dread yellow, the pigments always seem to be weak, but you've done a bang up job. Even if they can't fight, I bet they march about very nicely, and have a way with the Senoritas.

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    1. The trick with yellow (I discovered, pretty much by accident) seems to be to do it in white first, then follow up with the yellow.

      They are also certain to consume large quantities of cigarillos, so the marching may be a bit wheezy.

      Those hats, of course, are fur on a leather former, with a big silk bag hanging down the back. Can you imagine what one of these would weigh in wet weather? I can only assume they kept them stowed away for parades - I know the flammes were detachable, and presumably were preserved for special occasions. The Suhr plates of Romana's lot in Germany show the grenadiers of the Regto Princesa wearing their 1805 white uniforms like good chaps, but still with the 1802 flammes. Another delight for the quartermaster and the regimental tailor...

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    2. I suppose the mix of regulation uniforms is not unfamiliar. The Russian grenadiers were reluctant to give up their mitres. Any item that gives the Spanish a sense of Esprit de Corps ought to be maintained for as long as possible!

      These headgear must have been very heavy when wet.

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  6. Nice crisp brushwork there Sir, the yellow really does look nice and bright and the patterns are extremely well done. You certainly are not hanging around with this lot!

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    1. Hi Lee - it's all fake bravado - if I stop and think about it, I'll freeze!

      Next batch are under way - La Reina - I found some Vallejo "Violet" for the facings, which looks a decent match - I just hope that my white paint covers it nicely, because there's a few rough edges to be firmed up!

      Biggest problem I've had over the last few days is my brushes are not in great shape - I have two mugs filled with brushes of all sizes and shapes, and there's probably only about 4 brushes left which are worth keeping. An expensive brush without a point is worse than a cheap brush which still has one - I think Canaletto said that...

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