Friday, 31 July 2009
I have been unable to find out much about the regular army Marines. There seem to have been 3 battalions and they were trained to fight on land as normal infantry, not on ships. The Cairns/Perry book shows the marines in line infantry dress, with red facings and shoulderboards and sky-blue shako trimmings. I wanted to add a single battalion of marines to my Isabelino army as I was attracted by the sky-blue pompoms on the shakos and also by the lovely purple flag. A battalion of marines was present at the battle of Oriamendi in March 1837, which is the orbat I am generally working towards. At that battle the strength of the marines seems to have been about 500, so a bit smaller than other regular battalions. Therefore, this unit has 18 figures rather than my usual 20.
The figures wear the standard early war infantry uniform. I posted a query on the FCW Yahoo group about the marines' uniforms and received some interesting replies. A chap called Antonio said: "The Real Order of 12 February 1833 specify the following uniform of the marine infantry: turqui coat with nine gold buttons; turqui collar with gold lace in each side; turqui turnbacks with three gold laces; yellow epaulettes with red fringes; red cuffs and turqui cuff-flaps; turqui trousers for summer and winter and black short boots. " This fitted perfectly with the look I wanted - troops that looked like marines (i.e. all in dark blue) rather than line infantry with a sky-blue pompom. With this in mind, I used a darker blue than usual for the coatees and trousers. There is some justification for that as the colour of turqui probably varied throughout the war. In order to ensure all the figures had two epaulettes, I had to sculpt ones on to the drummer and one of the officers; it seemed odd to have command figures without them if all the rank and file did.
18 figures. Pained May/June 2009. Flag by Adolfo Ramos.