Der Resin Kavalier

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Viva Espana, part 2

Follow-Up to Yesterday's Post

 Yesterday, I wrote about my conversion of some ACTA French Line into Bourbon Spanish infantry. I left you with some primed figures which unfortunately didn't convey the final product. I hope to rectify that today. Below is the "master figure" for my Spanish contingent (see my September blog for an explanation of "master figures"). He represents a soldier from the Regiment Grenada. The colors and details came from the long out-of-print Funcken book: Uniforms and Arms of Soldiers of the First Empire. If you can pick up a copy somewhere, it is well worth it. It's a two volume set, published originally in the late 1960's. I have had this set for some fifty plus years now, and I find it still valuable.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Viva Espana!

In my last post I displayed some pictures of my French and Allied figures that would make up my armies for the Peninsula Campaign to be played using the About Bonaparte rules. For those who might be thinking about such a campaign, real or imagined, the availability of figures for both the French and British armies is truly spectacular. Likewise the range in price varies from relatively low  ( Armies in Plastic or AIP) to moderate (A Call to Arms or ACTA, HaT), to the relatively expensive (Expeditionary Force, or XF). The general quality also varies with AIP being moderate at best, ACA and HaT being more highly detailed, to XF with its exceptional detail (and cost accordingly).

Similarly, the figures necessary to make up the various allied troops/auxiliaries are more or less a different paint job on one of the above existing.  For example, AIP British can become KGL or Portuguese; AIP can be painted as the various German States, Italian, or Neapolitan forces. 

Cavalry requires a bit more seaching, although both ACTA and XF have wide selections. Those figures sold as Napoleonic cavalry by AIP, are basic at best. Artillery is easily available from XF or AIP.

All are there for the painting except for one major power...the Spanish. But there is an answer and that, of course, is conversion! The cut of the Bourbon Spanish Army was essentially French, but with a bicorn and plume.  Now, in the early 19th century, European uniform design, as in the SYW of the previous century, boiled down to a couple of styles: French, or British. (Austria, Prussia, and Russia were more or less unique.) So this provides the starting point.
While I'm the first to admit that I am not a good photographer, these pictures should illustrate the conversions. The base figures for the infantry originally started out as ACTA Series 17 French Line Infantry. After removing the original head, I replaced it with one from Irregular Miniatures' line of  military heads. The plumes were taken from AIP set #5803/4. Using a pin vise, I drilled a hole in to both the base of the plume and the bicorn, then inserted a 0.020 brass wire fixed with CA. There was a bit of judicious carving and trimming with an Xacto knife with a #11 blade. And, yes, a bit of blood was spilled, but that is another story for another time.

The results were satisfactory and when painted up should provide a reasonable Spanish Infantryman. 

One further note: the officer is also from the AIP set. What I find, however, is that the Irregular heads don't look quite right on most AIP or HaT figures. ACTA figures are a bit slighter in build and a hair shorter. So they fit the figures almost by design.

Next time, I'll post some pictures of the initial French and British forces. The Brits you've seen before and the French were featured individually in my last post.