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

Saturday, 5 December 2015

1809 Spaniards - Regimiento de Ordenes Militares

Regto de Ordenes Militares - the flags are in the pipeline (or maybe the pipes are
in the flagline - I forget)
More painting - a further two battalions are ready, apart from the flags, which will be following along shortly in a catch-up session. Ordenes Militares in 1809 were the 31st Line regt of the Spanish army - they were quite a recent addition - the regiment was raised as late as 1793 in the Madrid area.

The command figures have been waiting for a couple of weeks for the rest of the boys to arrive, so here they are together at last - the colonel with the huge nose is in evidence in the back row. There is another two-battalion regiment nearing completion - in the next week or so, I hope.

Things are really shaping up nicely now - to meet my original planned OOB (based upon a subset of the forces at Ucles in 1809), I am now just short of another 3 battalions of light infantry, 3 of grenadiers, 2 of foot guards, 4 regiments of medium cavalry (dragoons and line cavalry), 1 (possibly 2) more foot battery(ies) and a small force of sappers and workmen. I have all the figures I need. I also need maybe another 4 or 5 brigade commanders and odd personalities, and I am discussing the possible purchase of a converted unit of lancers in top hats.

When added to the section of the "1812" army which is suitable for both periods (basically the volunteer and other "new" regiments raised after 1808 - mostly in round hats - and the irregulars), the 1809 army is going to be very hefty indeed. Maybe even big enough to outnumber the French by a sufficient margin to stand a chance of beating them.

I'll post a proper set of OOBs for the 2 armies, once I've worked it out more completely, and once I think of a good way to present them.

Other topics...

(1) Following on from my previous post, I regret to report that there was a big shooting party on the farm here yesterday morning - the timing possibly influenced by the dodgy weather outlook for the coming weeks. Algernon the pheasant has not been seen since, and yesterday afternoon there was a new cock pheasant in our garden, so I fear the worst.

Late edit ---- Algernon has been seen today, hiding from the gales in our front garden, so rumours of his demise were incorrect. There is a dead hen pheasant outside our French window, though - the Forensic Dept have been called - a spokesman [me] said that fowl play is suspected [see what I did there?].

(2) You may have seen in the UK news that the Forth Road Bridge, which connects Edinburgh with Fife (and therefore with the major cities of Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen, Inverness etc) is closed for emergency structural repairs until after the New Year. Since the bridge carries some 70,000 vehicles a day, this is a major disruption; it carries a great deal of commuter traffic, so at the moment I'm not sure how things are going to work out. The first stage of the disaster involved closing one carriageway, which resulted in 2 to 3 hour delays in traffic queues. Now the bridge is completely closed, which means the Fife/Edinburgh traffic will have to detour via Kincardine Bridge (20 miles upstream) or people will have to get the train. [From a completely selfish point of view, I was also struck yesterday by the thought that Amazon's main Scottish depot and warehouse is at Glenrothes, which is on the north side of the Forth, which could be a major problem for my Christmas shopping...].

If you were unaware of this local problem with our bridge, I am confident you would have read of little else if the bloody thing had collapsed during the rush hour.

The good news is that the bridge boys are on the way with the gaffer tape supplies...


  1. Your Spanish Army has become a major undertaking and your latest white-coated regiment looks very fine.

    I suspect you are correct regarding the fate of that handsome pheasant. That is a different variety than we have in my part of the world, but just as delicious, I wager.

    1. I've been doing a lot of painting by my own standards recently - it's some years since I made such a sustained effort. I have to say that my confidence with the brushes has gained from the practice, but I'm starting to get slightly crazed as the end comes into sight.

      I really would like to get this army finished fairly early next year. I quite enjoy having a project to work on, but I'd like to have a lot of time left to play with the Spaniards when they are finished - once the army is pretty stable I can fiddle away with adding siege equipment and limbers and all that.

      At present, the figure painting is one of the chief things which keeps me from wargaming - not because I have no time at all, but because I try to limit the hobby time overall, in case I disappear inside the matchstick cathedral - see


      ..... :-)

  2. There's no lead shortage down your way, clearly.

    Lovely battalions. Can't wait to see the final result. Your Spanish Army is now bigger than a big thing that is very big!

    1. Plenty for soldiers and for bullets, that's for sure.

      Please don't ask what happened to the church roof.

  3. Sometimes its about knowing when to run away and hide.

    The pheasant I mean, not the Spanish.

    1. Yes indeed - applies to both, I'm sure. Decent strategy - keeps tomorrow's options open.

      The shooting really upsets me quite a bit, which is stupid. Our farm is part of a 2000-acre ranch comprising 4 farms which originally were separate - now all owned by the same family. Our bit of it is the smallest bit - when the farms were joined together, this bit was partly kept as a sporting estate, so the horse stables, the riding school and the bird shoots are based here. There is a resident ghillie (gamekeeper), who pings away at foxes and odd birds during the year, and he is the guy who buys in the game birds and provides feed for them. The big shooting parties are in December.

      I stay indoors and play with my soldiers.

  4. That's a great looking unit, Tony. The red plumes make them look very dashing.
    Most of what I know about shooting parties comes from British television shows, and they usually involve adultery, intrigue, murder, and detectives. In Canada surly men put on ridiculous orange vests and wander about the woods. The padre I replaced once at a small base was a hunter. When I first met him, he was butchering a deer hanging from a hook in his garage. He was a creepy, strange sort of man, and the first impression only made it worse.

    1. Hi Michael - yes, red cockades for the Spanish army, and red plumes for everyone except the light infantry, who had green ones. After 1810, when everyone was dressed in whatever they could get, or in British-supplied kit (made in the Lancashire mills), the plumes were harder to get, but red scarves, sashes etc etc were everywhere.

      I don't think there is a lot of adultery involved in our local shoots - no women involved, for a start - but they are a great social event. The family that owns the farms invites a great many guests - local VIPs, suppliers, friends and hangers-on. This is useful all round, since anyone (me included) can claim "oh yes, I know the Earl of Auchenshoogle very well - I shoot with him, of course", and there is no-one that can prove otherwise.

      Personally, I am scared of guns - most aspects of them. Let's not get into that - if someone needs to kill a creature because he needs the food, or because it is a threat to him, that is one thing. The pheasants are brought onto the estate here so that drunken inbreds can manage to kill a few. The beaters' main function on these occasions is not to scare the birds out of the woods so much as to get them to fly just a bit, since otherwise the pheasants are stupid enough to walk around and wait to be shot, which even by traditional standards would be regarded as unsporting.

      I've just thrown a the dead hen pheasant over the wall into the wood here - quite a big, attractive bird - shame really. Some prat will be disappointed he didn't get to keep this one.

  5. My good friend, occasional figure painter and lifestyle consultant, Francisco Goya, emailed to point out that Amazon would never have anything as vulgar as a depot - they have Fulfilment Centres, and don't you forget it. Please take careful note.

    Time was when Amazon was just a very cheap way to buy stuff - now they tell us what to do.

    By the way - if anyone wants to put a complete stop on my spending money on anything I need - even at a huge discount - please mention Black Friday. I have enough problems with secondhand US culture - going right back to Disney buying out and bastardising Winnie the Pooh, then Santa Flipping Claus, and now Black Friday. Please do not - anybody - bother telling me how I should spend my money - especially if it forms part of some mindless feeding frenzy.

    Rant over.


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