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28mm Napoleonic War Gaming - Spanish Unit


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After doing very little modelling for too long, I've had a resurgence of motivation.


Some background information of how I got here.  I've had a gaming friend group from work for some 20 years or so, which started out as getting together once a week to play Magic: The Gathering card game, and it evolved into RPG's on PC from home (like Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, and Dungeons & Dragons Online etc), then recently we've been using Discord to video chat online and play old school Dungeons & Dragons but using an online web browser based system.


Now we plan to start meeting up in real life again next summer and play table top wargames together.  The chosen subject was Napoleonic, though I personally would have preferred Warhammer as a subject matter.  However, either way I was excited for all that this will bring, getting together in real life, painting models again, and trying something I've never done before in the form of table top wargaming.


For context, we are doing this very casual to keep it relaxed and fun.  So rather than doing hours upon hours of research to get exact colours and uniform types etc, its a case of anything in the range of 1805-1815 (though 1805-1811 is preferred), and some brief time on Google to get colour schemes for our chosen countries roughly right.  I chose Spanish.


As ever, I'm always open to feedback, constructive criticism, and pointers on accuracy etc, but do bear in mind we are doing this casually for fun right now, so I'm not stressing about inaccuracies, but will welcome any information that can help be closer historical accuracy to some degree, within the limits of what I have.


I am initially starting with just one unit, which comprises of 24 infantry, 8 cavalry, 1 artillery, and a unit commander.  I have already finished the artillery piece before I thought of starting a thread, and I didn't take many pictures of the process.  But lets start basic.  I order a plastic box with a clipped lid, and made an insert to stop everybody moving around in transit.




Pics of the artillery build to follow.  Thanks for looking.

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Artillery Unit


So, another first embarking on this project for me is working with metal.  The artillery was purchased from Perry Miniatures, and consists of an 8lb cannon and 4 men to operate it.




I primed the cannon parts, and painted them an approximation of the blue I had seen online (using the example painted model from the Perry Miniatures site for reference).




Then I forgot to take progress pictures, but all the metal work I mixed brass with black to make a very dark mucky brass, added some yellow/grey paint fade on the wood, then gave the model a wash of black on the metal work and brown on the woodwork.




I primed the men in light grey, but later realised this was a poor choice as it was annoying to make sure it was all covered.  Going forward the rest will be primed in black, so any missed nooks and cranny will look like shadowed areas.  This is a learning curve on many a level for me.




I then quickly realised sticking them to a stick didn't work for me, so I set about making a better process.  Some corks off Ebay, and old scrap of wood, and a flat drill bit, and I had a crude system of holding them to paint individually, and keeping them upright when painted.




I then over the course of a week or so got all the colours on, but only took one photo at the end.




They would then receive a wash of various colours to compliment the base colour, followed by a matt top coat.  The only picture I have of that stage was when I was laying them out on the base and took a photo to remind me where I wanted them.




Never done basing before, or any form of diorama work so more new stuff to get my teeth into.  Using some Wickes all purpose filler left over from decorating the stairs and hallway, I added texture to the base below where the cannon would go (as I didn't want to try and do it under the cannon when glue in place), painted it Vallejo Flat Earth, and added some tufts of grass I got off Ebay.  This picture was me reminding myself the rough position of the stones I had selected for the base, small chips of slate also from Ebay.




The big chips of slate were painted grey, dry brushed highlights and washed the shadows.  I used more filler to give the whole base texture and bring it level with the bases the men were cast with.  I also added some coarse sand (also purchased from Ebay) for texture, and some smaller rocks (large bits in the coarse sand) that were unpainted.  Added more grass, and there you go.  My first base.  Very pleased with it, but welcome feedback if I can improve anything going forward.




I'll get some better images, and do an RFI of this piece later.

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Next on the bench are the Dragoons.  Again, in metal from Perry Miniatures, I got one set of the standing models.  The one on the left will be used for my unit commander (not necessarily with the horse he's above) as I only need 8 Dragons.




And I got two sets of the riding into battle models.




I'm starting with the horses, and I quickly learned that my cork holder v1 was way too tightly spaced for anything larger than a man stood upright




I was catching them on each other and scraping primer off when putting them back.  So a better piece of wood was drilled and holder v2 was ready.  All the horses are now primed in black.




And this is where I'm currently at, so updates will come a little slower now.  I've never painted horses before so I'll need to research colours.  I plan to do the main Dragoons in basic horse colours, but my give the unit commander a more exotic colour scheme if I'm feeling brave.  To be decided...

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Some really nice work there  


Only a couple of points,


you're going to wargame using a Spanish Army........while their uniforms are really nice, I take it you never fancy winning a battle......?


And as for the undercoat colour. I was doing a fair bit of 20mm Napoleonic at one point. I always used Halfords Black Primer.  And I swore if I ever re-started that I would white undercoat and use a wash

to pick out the shaded areas.   

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  • 1 month later...

Not a lot of progress but I have decided on the colours for the horses.  The brigade commander will be on a Palomino horse (pale yellow/brown, blonde mane/tail, white socks), and the Dragoons will be on Bay (brown, black main/tail and socks/stockings).  I just lightened my Vallejo flat earth brown for the Bays and then custom mixed my pale yellow/brown for the Palomino.  Colours approved by my eldest daughter, who has ridden horses in some capacity since she was about 5.  The Bays look darker under normal lighting.



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So the Brigade Commanders Palomino had its mane/tail painted in a very pale yellow (probably more like off-white), and a sock and stocking added.  Never blended colours before, looks reasonable in real life, a bit ropey on close up photos.  I'm happy enough for now.





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I wasn't happy with the colour of the Bay horses.  So I mixed up some new paint darker with a smidge of red.  I'm a lot happier with the colour on the right



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  • 2 weeks later...

So I made a wet palette, mixed up black with a smidge of brown so its not 100% black and began the mane/feet detail on the Bays.  Got 2 of them done, but they might want a second coat on the manes, and one of the socks needs the blending fixing









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  • 1 month later...

Been a while, lots going on so little time for painting, then I made more work for myself.  I initially painted the leather work black (well off black), but I wasn't happy.  Too much contrast on the Palomino, and none on the Bays against the black hair.






So I mixed up some brown instead, which in hindsight was too light, but when painted over the black made the perfect colour.  So I had to paint all 8 Bays black first, then go over with the brown.  Happy though, the colour looks very good compared to my daughters riding tack.





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We're all also helping out with scenery for the table.  I began construction of a farmhouse on Thursday




Then today I finished the roof off, which is removable.  You can see in the foreground my test to make sure the filler stuck securely to the cardboard, which it seems to have.



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So I began etching the roof tile detail on some 1mm plasticard.  I should have enough at the top to miss out the squiffy line across the bottom :)




That's the small roof finished, just need to do the same for the main roof on the big sheet 😐




Oh, and I have started to get regimental colours on the horses



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