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


Sunday, 11 March 2018

1809 Spaniards - Light Infantry Completed!

This morning I have two new light infantry units ready for action, so I am pleased to note that the original planned four such units are now finished. Another little milestone (as opposed to a millstone, which is a different thing altogether).

With skirmishers deployed
In close order - skirmishers tucked away at the back
These are the Voluntarios de Gerona (yellow facings) and the Cazadores de Barbastro (red). The castings are Falcata, apart from the marching officer and the drummer in Barbastro, which are NapoleoN. The Falcata figures paint up nicely, but the moulds were suffering badly when these chaps were produced, and it took a lot of filing and re-carving to get them into shape.

According to my (expanded) target OOB for the 1809 Spaniards, the only things I still have to paint are 2 battalions of grenadiers, 3 units of line cavalry, 1 of dragoons, 1 foot battery, a few more generals and ADCs and a small group of zapadores (individually based). Apart from elegances like limbers and some garrison artillery that's the lot, so I hope I can finish them this year.

Cazadores de Barbastro
Voluntarios de Gerona
In case they are useful, here are the flags for these units, which I have produced with Paintshop Pro - if you print them at about 20mm high (cut off the green bits!) that's near enough 1/72 scale - I would not recommend them for anything bigger than that. Feel free to use them, but if you share them or publish any pictures, I'd appreciate a mention!

A quick word on Spanish light infantry flags - these units each consisted of a single battalion, which carried the Coronela national flag; if they still had a Sencilla (battalion flag) left over from an earlier regimental organisation, it would be stored away in a church or a depot somewhere. There is a very tattered sencilla for the Barbastro unit still in existence, but by 1809 it was no longer carried on campaign.

11 comments:

  1. Great figures. A pity that Falcata are no longer available:-(

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    1. It is a pity - there are still rumours that they will return, but it would need to be a fresh start if they did.

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  2. I wonder why the Falcata moulds got so badly worn. Did they sell enough figures for this to happen?

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    1. They were a funny range - in the first incarnation you bought a box of 34 assorted figures in a box. The box might contain maybe 12 or 15 different poses, but the mix was always different. I had a suspicion that some of the dealers cherry-picked figures that they wanted themselves, and filled the gaps with wounded men or faulty castings - I'm sure it's not true, but there was supposed to be a mounted officer in each pack of Spanish infantry, and often there wasn't!

      The range of poses was more suitable for diorama builders than wargames, and the moulds seem to have been constructed without consideration of maximising the run life - no limitation of pose to suit a simplified mould join, as far as you can tell. Classic weak spots in Falcata are (a) the overhang of a bicorne - the mould often broke below, so that there was a projection from the underside of the point of the hat to somewhere on side of the face, and (b) the ankle, especially on a figure with buttoned gaiters - these often tore along the buttons - I have recarved the legs of many a Spanish grenadier (isn't that a song, by the way?).

      Maybe the moulds were badly made? I guess they did sell a lot of figures, but it's still all a bit of a mystery. The last castings I got from Falcata - part of a much delayed order - were dreadful - poor quality alloy, with impurities and lots of bubbles, and it looked like gravity casting (though it can't have been). At their peak, the casting work was subcontracted, and I believe that they fell out with the casting firm later on and took it back in-house.

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  3. Tony, you're fair turning out the units this year. Will we be seeing any Bavarians soon?

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    1. Hi Ian - I'm still sorting out supplies of figures ("supplies" sounds a bit industrial, maybe) - I have most of the Bavarian infantry castings, and know what I'm doing about the remainder, but need to commission some converted figures for the cavalry. The first thing to do is try to get the decks cleared a bit, so I am consciously trying to get ahead of schedule with Spaniards etc so that the Bavarians can get some steam up when I start.

      I plan to do a couple of pilot battalions to get me started - probably in 6 to 8 weeks from now. I'll have a better feel for what's involved then. In the meantime, I'm pleased with progress - having recently whinged about failing eyesight, things are going pretty well o the painting front. I've also re-established contact with an excellent painter I used to use a few years ago, so that should help a lot.

      In recent(ish) years I started on the ECW and then started a ridiculous folly of a project to build a 20mm Spanish army for 1809, and both of these went extraordinarily well (by my standards, anyway!). I intend to use the same approach again - identify a target OOB, and then identify a half-way stage for that, so that the army can be used for a game when it is not fully developed. (E.g. don't spend 6 months doing artillery batteries to start!). The target OOB idea works well if I'm using low-prestige figures - I don't have to change the shape of the army if some interesting figures come up for sale on eBay!

      Bavarians soon? - yes - probably - maybe!

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  4. I can't keep up with your astonishing output, Foy. Lovely new battalions, as always.

    If only Minifigs had been nicer figures.....

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    1. Thank you, sir. Minifigs certainly seem to have pleased a lot of people over a lot of years, so I guess they can live with our disapproval! Ay least no-one sued them over the 25mm square-ass range for theft of intellectual property. I wonder what line of business they would have been in if they had? Discuss.

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  5. Prolific and very inspirational. Wish I could be as focused and structured as you 😀 My peninsular war collection will have to remain in 6mm I'm afraid.
    Failing eyesight just means a bigger desk magnifying lamp 🤣

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    1. Hi Graham - sometimes my OCD does come in useful! Just wish I had more energy...

      Bigger desk lamps are definitely where it's at. I think your painted figures are a lot more beautifuller tham mine!

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  6. I love these guys!

    But then I have a 'thing' for Bicornes and Black Gaiters. Never really got over my French Revolution thing I guess.

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