Thursday, 1 March 2018

Everything's On Hold

There will be a short break in my painting schedule, due to a self-inflicted injury!

I can't even claim it to be an honourable wargames-related injury. I was cutting up strips of fabric for my wife's patchwork, my attention wandered, as did the rotary cutter I was using! End result was I took a half-inch long slice off of the side of my fingertip.

My wife was not sympathetic, as she had to clean blood off her cutter blade and I left a slice of finger on her cutting mat! Apparently I should have cleared up before rushing into the house to clean the wound and try and stem the bleeding, I'll know better next time.

Friday, 23 February 2018

A Confederate Army for the War of the Spanish Succession 5

Every army needs a commander, so here is my Confederate general, together with some of his staff and bodyguard. At the moment I'm not sure whether it is the Imperialist general Count Guido von Starhemberg (a cousin of Prince Eugene of Savoy), or else King Charles III himself (perhaps it's both, with von Starhemberg pointing out some issue of importance to His Most Catholic Majesty). The command group is the excellent LOA38 'Dismounted Command Group in Tricorns' from Pendraken. The bodyguards are a couple of spare cavalry I had lying around.

And a quick look at the command stands for my two Dutch regiments with their new banners. Many thanks to Phil Carrington for providing information on the Friesheim and Bruhese Regiments.

I've got some Imperialist infantry on the painting table, I'd better get on with them!

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

A Confederate Army for the War of the Spanish Succession 4

Now for the start of the mounted contingent. A unit of dragoon and two cavalry units, these three units were painted by Marching in Colour. First up a unit of Aragonese dragoons, both mounted and dismounted. Their uniform is speculative on my part, based on a unit that was formed in Navarre in 1695. The figures are from Pendraken's excellent League of Augsberg range.

After taking these pictures I realised that I had not painted the edges on all of the mounted the bases (Doh!)

And now two units of Catalan cavalry. These figures are Swedish cavalry from Pendraken's Great Northern War range.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

A Confederate Army for the War of the Spanish Succession 3

This time two Dutch battalions, one from Bruhese Regiment and one from Friesheim Regiment. Dutch regiments in Spain consisted of two battalions, but it would be a bit dull to field two identical units, so I've done one from each. No flags at the moment as I haven't been able to track them down yet. I may have to end up going for something a little more generic, but we shall see. A few of these are some secondhand figures I picked up and I painted the rest to try and fit in.

A closer shot with the Bruhese battalion in front.

And one with the Friesheim battalion to the front.

I'm currently basing some cavalry, so they will be up next.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

A Confederate Army for the War of the Spanish Succession 2

Four more pro-Carolean Spanish infantry for my new army. These were painted for me by Will Denham.

Two Catalan infantry battalions. The front unit is a regular battalion, the rear battalion is the unit known as the "Esquadra Nova". In 1713 this formed the core of a new regiment of mountain fusiliers, the Regiment de Sant Ramon de Penyafort, and as I cannot find out what their uniform was in 1710, I have gone for the 1713 blue with yellow facings.

Two units of Catalan Miquelets. These were semi-irregular volunteers units, that were raised on an ad-hoc basis when required. They did not often take a place in the formal battle line, but were renowned for their skills in irregular mountain warfare, they often carried a sword and a pair of pistols for close-in work. Their main use was in sieges and protecting and/or raiding supply lines. In 1713 many Miquelets were adopted into the Catalan army on a more formal basis as mountain fusilier regiments. Again, not knowing what uniform they wore in 1710, if any of them even wore uniforms at all, I have gone for their 1713 appearance.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

A Confederate Army for the War of the Spanish Succession 1

In the latter part of 2017 I found myself in that common wargamer's situation, that of pondering what to do next. After all, I only had 3 major projects on the go and they were all nearing completion (or at least what would pass for completion until I saw something new and shiny for them). So I decided to construct an opponent for my War of the Spanish Succession French army. There was no desperate need for this, three guys at my local club have opposition armies, but, having been caught out in the past, I now make it my policy to have a usable force for both sides in any period/scale I collect. all three opponents were geared towards the Northern European theatres, being an Anglo-Dutch army, an all-British army and an Imperialist army. After staging a re-fight of the Battle of Almanza earlier in the year, I was rather taken with the somewhat neglected Spanish theatre for this war, so decided to base my new army there. The Confederate effectively had two field armies in the peninsular, one based in Portugal and one based in Catalonia. I decided to go for the army based in Catalonia, as I had already had 5 battalions of Catalan infantry.

Compared with Marlborough's army in Flanders, sources for the Spanish campaigns are scarce (at least in English) but I did find the excellent book by Nicholas Dorrell "Marlborough's Other Army, The British Army and the Campaigns of the First peninsular War, 1702-1712". Despite the title, this does not concentrate on the British forces in Spain, but covers all the Confederate units fighting there. It is almost an ideal wargamer's book, as it details the war year by year, with extensive orders of battle by regiment and battalion, maps of all the major engagements and organisational and uniform guides (where known) for each nationality involved. All that is missing is a few Osprey-style coloured plates for uniforms and flags. I also had already discovered the wargaming guide "Catalonia Stands Alone" by LluĂ­s Vilalta. This superb little pdf booklet really covers the period 1713-1714, but was still a very useful guide, plus it included a sheet of 10mm flags!

The Confederate forces in Catalonia consisted of a fascinating mixture of nationalities. At the start of 1710 the total forces comprised of 51 infantry battalions and 60 cavalry squadrons. Their break-down was  as follows:
Imperialist 14 battalions, 6 squadrons
Spanish (mainly Catalan and Aragonese) 15 battalions, 12 squadrons
British 13 battalions 10 squadrons
Dutch 2 battalions, 6 squadrons
Portuguese 2 battalions, 18 squadrons
Palatine* 5 battalions 8 squadrons
As the war progressed the Dutch became increasingly reluctant to commit troops to Spain, so hired units from the Electorate of the Palatine to fulfill their obligation to provide troops.

I decided I was not going to create an army for a specific battle, but a more general one to cover the campaigns of 1709 and 1710. The figures are going to be from Pendraken, mainly their Marlburian range, supplemented by figures from some other ranges, like the Great Northern War, Seven Years War and League of Augsburg. The latter range are absolutely gorgeous little models, probably some of the best Pendraken produce.

So on to the first units, these are Catalan infantry. Due to real-life pressures I have found a lack of painting time of late so I have had some of the figures painted for me. These five battalions were painted by Turbil Miniatures.

                                                              5 Infantry battalions

                                       The foremost battalion is from La Ciudad Regiment

           The battalion on the left is from the Reales Guardias Catalanas - The Catalonian Guards

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Wild West Terrain

On one of the wargames forums I was recently pointed to where I picked up some plasic succulent plants and was pleasantly surprised at the quality. I thought they might give me some interesting terrain for my Wild West games.

Two plants cost me about £4 including shipping.

Step 1. Unwind the stem and and separate the plant pieces, this gave me 8 pieces from one plant.

Step 2. Clip the pieces off of the wire stem, leaving a small length of wire on the end.

Step 3. Drill a hole in a mdf base and glue the plants to the base.

Step 4. Texture the base.

So from 1 plant I got 8 nice looking cacti, about 4.5" high, for my Western Gunfight games for about £2.50 in total.