Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Princesa Regiment - 1st Battalion

Isabelino forces comprised several elements, including the regular army, provincial and national militia and the foreign auxiliary units. Line infantry regiments each consisted of 3 battalions up to January 1835 and then 2 battalions henceforward. In 1835 there were some 21 line infantry regiments, the oldest of which could trace their origins back to 1537. An infantry battalion had 8 companies each of about 90 men: one of grenadiers, 6 of fusiliers and the a final 8th company of light infantry cazadores. This gives a theoretical total per battalion of about 720 men, but of course it is extremely unlikely that this strength was seen on the field. At a ratio of 1:20, 8 companies would equate to 4.5 figures each, so providing a battalion total of 36 figures at full strength. I have decided that I want to limit a "full strength" battalion to 20 figures (basically for painting turnaround and game size reasons), which would provide a nominal ratio of 1:33 or thereabouts. For aesthetic purposes, I want each battalion to have separate bases for the grenadier and cazadores companies, and so I have orgainsed each unit into 5 bases fo 4 figures, with 3 bases of fusiliers and 2 each of the flank companies. That is bending the ratio somewhat, but I'm assuming that it won't matter if I apply the same principles across all the armies.

The general lack of readily available information on regimental combat histories means that line regiments can be used quite generically. The uniforms do not, generally, have regimental distinctions, although the flags were different. For my first Isabelino line regiment I chose the Princesa Regt simply because it was known to have been present at a couple of the battles described in the Cairns/Perry book. The full-dress uniform for regular army line, in most cases, was a deep blue ("turqui") coatee with white piping and trousers that were white in summer and grey in winter. Company distinctions were yellow for fusiliers, red for grenadiers and green for cazadores. The shako, either cylindrical or bell-topped, would often be swapped for a cap when on campaign.

This is the first of two battalions I have painted up for the Princesa Regiment, both in the standing at arms pose. I went for the grey, winter trousers largely because it makes a pleasant change from painting white! The 25mm figures are of course from Perry Miniatures. The flag is by Adolfo Ramos, available in the UK from North Star.

20 figures. Painted April 2009.


littlejohn said...

Really great unit! beautifully painted!

legatus hedlius said...

Stop it, stop it! You bad person!

Greg Sapara said...

Outstanding work!

Sire Godefroy said...

Neat, very neat. *top*
Thank God, can't do anything with shakos in line (yet). Otherwise, thanks for the insights in this somewhat unusual period.


Matt said...

I am finding it harder and harder to resist this war. I am going off to cry now!


Anonymous said...

Lovely stuff and very distracting for me too :-) Just out of idle curiosity, I wonder what size the bases are; they look as though they've a thinner frontage than depth.

Steve Gill

Giles said...

Thanks for the comments, chaps.
Base siezes are 30mm x 40mm - the standard 15mm frontage for Napoleonics (I think). I'll put more detail on this in the next infantry post, on the British Legion.