Monday, 2 August 2010
Guipúzcoa infantry - 1st battalion
These troops are my first formed unit of Carlist troops, supporters of Don Carlos and opponents of the Christino/Isabelino regime. In contract to the Isabelino troops which included most of the Spanish regular army, Don Carlos' supporters were volunteers, largely recruited in the northern provinces of Spain. These are painted as a battalion of Guipúzcoa infantry from the Army of the North. Guipúzcoa is a province at the very north of Spain on the Bay of Biscay. The Basque country generally was a Carlist heartland and saw much heavy fighting - the British Legion operated in this area around San Sebastian and Hernani, so painting up some Guipúzcoa regiments seems a logical place to start with the Carlists. I intend to do 4 such units - 2 marching and 2 firing. As with my Isabelino regular army battalions, Carlist units will comprise 20 figures. I have seen some references to Carlist battalions being larger than their Isabelino counterparts, but given the absence of easily-accessible combatant numbers for the battles of this conflict I decided at the outset to standardise unit numbers at 20 figures, save for those units that are known to have been of a particular size (e.g. the Isabelino militia units).
I decided to use the same colour scheme that I used for me trial Carlist skirmishers earlier in the year. So the greatcoats were painted with Foundry's "German Late Field Grey 78" palette, the berets with "Deep Blue 20" and the trousers with a variety of reds and browns. I kept these figures looking quite smart - other Carlists units will have lots of parches, worn clothes and stubble. The buildings in the background are by Touching History. I picked up a box-load of generic Mediterranean buildings a few months ago; useful for Spain, Italy and probably a few other places as well. I note that Tablescape have released some more items in their ready-painted Mediterranean series, which I will pick up at some stage. I will then have enough buildings for two villages/towns, which will be sufficient for most Carlist War engagements. The flag, as usual, is from Adolfo Ramos (obtainable in the UK from North Star). The Ramos range is expanding into lots of other periods and the quality of the flags is getting better and better.
I am trying to speed-up my painting at the moment. I confess I have been seduced by Napoleonics and am having great fun with the Perry plastic French infantry. As I've said before, when you get a sudden urge to paint a particular period, you just have to give in and go for it - you never know when that urge will return (I last painted Napoleonics in 2008!). My rule of not being able to buy any more Carlist War figures until I have completed the ones in the leadpile means that the next Carlist War offerings will have to be British Legion cavalry or more Isabelino infantry. If readers have a preference, then please let me know as I'm having trouble deciding!
20 figures. Painted June/July 2010. Flag by Adolfo Ramos.