Wednesday, 18 May 2022

My 30 Years War French army so far.

 Hi friends,

This month I present to you the current state of my 30 Years War / TYW French army, an small force today, but bigger in the near future (I hope!).

 As you know, I am more orientated to later XVII century conflicts, but I still did not want to neglect my Thirty Years War forces, so in order to force myself to paint more units for this army, I took all the units for a "family photo".

If you want to see the origin of this army, you can just search in the blog the tagged words "French" or "30 years war" and you will easily find the other 3 or 4 posts about this army and its units.



Just to name the parts of the army, there are so far painted (either by me or by other painter):

-regiment of foot "Turenne"

-regiment of foot "Picardie"

-squadron of horse "Dauphin Gendarmes" 

-Army command base

-artillery piece (an ex Swedish gun, now French)









This army is primarly for Catalonia and Flanders, and I also have a painted English regiment, that can be also a Rebel pro French Catalan tercio, because Catalan also used St. George cross in red over a white background... So that unit can fight as English in Flanders with the French in mid 1650' or as Catalan in Catalonian front in 1640-52.

Appart from those previously shown, I have already in my list, semi painted or just started :

-1 more artillery piece

-regiment of foot "Lyonnais"

-squadron of horse (I have not decided which one)

-enfants perdús/forlorn hope



Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Civilian gun and militia for the siege of Gerona 1684: PART I


 Hello guys!

Following my project on the siege of Gerona in 1684, I came up with the idea of ​​making a unit, which consists of an old cannon or saker operated by civilians and militia, led by a popular hero from the ranks of the common people or maybe, an hidalgo (lesser nobility).

                                                        


                                                        


                                                        


In order to do this I am going to use a spare gun that I had stored somewhere, a couple of gabions, a palisade and other defenses, and behind all this, the defenders.

I am using miniatures from various brands, especially Front Rank, but also Bicorne, North Star 1672 and Tercio Creativo.

I did not want to paint these guys very uniformed, in order to give them a more civilian appearance, and I have tried to use different shades of brown, gray and green. But also some regular troops like the musketeer with the plug bayonet, I have painted the complete uniform in green,  just like the Tercio from Granada city, present in the battle.

                                                     


                                                     



And I will paint one of the artillerymen inspired by the fantastic illustration of Bruno Mugnai in his book about the Spanish army

This is just a teaser since the whole  unit won't be finished until early May, but the idea is that it counts as a cannon-supported by militia. 

If the hero who inspires the defenders dies, the unit loses leadership and if they are unlucky with the dice, it could be melted away... But if the hero remains, the countrymen will fight for Spain, for the king and for San Narcissus, patron saint of the city. The cannon fires shrapnel at close range, making it deadly against French infantry storming the  breaches of walls that have already been demolished.


                                                    


                                                    

For this I painted a few months ago French assault troops with armor, grenadiers and a petard assault team...

Now, some context:

in the first post of the Siege of Gerona 1684 project :

https://spanishleadpainting.blogspot.com/2021/01/new-campaign-project-siege-of-gerona.html

you have the complete text with the details of the fighting, but I want to share here with you some notes for this unit:

"after the French bombardment, two breaches were made in the walls, one 20 feet (6 m) wide and an even larger one easily climbed by fallen rubble. To prevent the assault, the besieged raised a fortified barricade from the Santa Clara bastion to  the Governor's crescent, pulling people from both crescents to place them in defense of the barricades. This was protected by the 2,000 best musketeers in the garrison.


In the 2 breaches of the walls, the aformentioned barricades were built, with fascines and gabions, and the Spanish put 8 guns aiming to the wide breaches, the Germans of Von Bek, did a great job in those works. The Bishop of Gerona sent the troops good food and wine, because they did a good job during the bombardment days, building defensive works."

Also

"The Germans in French service who took Santa Clara's bastion, were inmediately counterattacked by a student company from the walls, and regular troops, using a bronze cannon  loaded with musket balls, inflicting the Germans great damage. That bastion was near a fountain with a statue of Saint Narcissus, the protector of Gerona, so the Spanish, according to contemporary documents, started to shout "fight the heretics!, Viva España, Viva San Narciso! Victoriaaaa!" and charged the confused Germans, who finally lost their position and run away without their weapons."






Tuesday, 12 April 2022

Le Roi Soleil : Louis XIV command base for Franco-Dutch War 1672

 Hello guys

I have just finished a new command base for my French army 1668-78 , this time, the King of France, Le Roi Soleil Louis XIV on horseback, with another two miniatures, from North Star 1672 range.

The miniature is a conversion of Wargames Foundry's Louis XIV and North Star 1672 Monmouth miniature, that is for the rider, the horse is from 1898 miniatures. 

I roughly sculpted a sash with green stuff, in order to hide the seam/joint of the two halves of the body (upper part Louis XIV and lower part Monmouth). 

I got my inspiration for the colors from contemporary paintings and other painters/wargamers like Mark Allen, who is a real master of the conversion works on miniatures for this period.

I also added a sergeant or officer from the Gardes Françaises in its early uniform (prior to 1685 blue and read coats), and another officer using D'Artagnan miniature from North Star 1672. I personally don't like very much the size of his swords and it is not the most beautiful miniature from that range, but I used it anyway.

Although I have several commanders for my French army, I wanted to have Louis XIV in 28mm as he was common in the sieges during the War of Devolution 1667-1668 and also during Franco Dutch War 1672-1678 in Flanders.







I used mostly Wargames Foundry and Vallejo paints, I particularly like the "Conker Brown" triad for horses, I used for the first time here on the horse. Also the Scarlet triad is great for red coats, in the case of the sergeant.  I also repeated the new matt varnish by Greenstuff World, this product is top notch ultra matt varnish, applied by brush.



Helion's book by Rene Chartrand "the Armies and Wars of the Sun King  Volume I The Guards of Louis XIV " was also an invaluable source for information about the uniforms and equipment of the miniatures involved in this command base.

some more pics:









Thursday, 24 February 2022

3rd Century Romans project

 Hello guys,


I have a semi abandoned project since 2015 or so...  The III Century Crisis / Middle Imperial Romans. But now, I got some inspiration and started again the project. 

Recently I bought Wargames Atlantic new "Late Romans" plastic miniatures, but they are indeed Mid to Late Romans, so I decided to use the box for my now resurrected project, and also for my other Roman army (Late/Patrician).

I had already a bunch of excellent A&A Armorum & Aquila miniatures, almost the whole army, although unpainted. My idea is to use them for Impetus or Hail Caesar, and I have a lead pile that consists of 4 legionaries unit, 2 Lanciarii or Auxiliares, 1 Unit of armoured archers, 1 unit of equites and some extras.

It is not my top priority project, but I will slowly be building up this army to fight against my Sassanids or even fight between themselves, as III century Romans often did !

I show you here the first unit I painted a while ago,  A&A Miniatures, with Littlebigmen transfers, based on the design of scutum/shield found at Dura Europos.
















And now some test models of Wargames Atlantic and A&A miniatures with other design of scutum with Littlebigmen transfer, and with a hand painted shield of Legio II Parthica.





Here you have some artwork by several painters of the shield design I have used for this new legion :)











Sunday, 6 February 2022

Warhammer Empire: Supreme Patriarch of Wizards, Thyrus Gormann

 Hello guys,


This time I have painted anothe miniature from the good old Warhammer box "Heroes of the Empire", Thyrus Gormann, the Supreme Patriarch of the Colleges of Magic... Well, he was the Supreme Patriarch in the times of 4th and 5th editions, now in the current editions he is the ex Supreme Patriarch, being the current one Balthasar Gelt. In the present day he is Patriarch of the Bright Order

the miniature is a joy to paint, with a lot of detail, sculpted by the Perries (I don't know who of them!) and I followed the painting scheme of the box art and the 'Eavy Metal studio.





My Empire army had only 1 wizard (borrowed from my Warhammer Quest) so I needed a more powerful wizard to counter my friend's Vampire Counts forces, and Thyrus Gormann was a good solution, armed with the bright sword and the the Staff of Volans. So now my army is quite strong in magic power!


I painted him in over 10 days, painting just a few minutes (to half an hour) in every session. The horse was painted with an airbrush, in yellow tones, and then with a little bit of oils as highlights, the horse flesh in Foundry triads (conker brown).

The rider was painted mostly with Vallejo and Foundry paints, following the bright scheme of the Oldhammer and Middlehammer period, in reds and yellows. I tested my skills with an attempt of painting TMM "True Metallic Metal" on the sword, as I usually paint historical miniatures in a quicker way.

I hope you like it!














Monday, 31 January 2022

Wargaming and painting Late Spanish Tercios / Review of WARS AND SOLDIERS IN THE EARLY REIGN OF LOUIS XIV VOLUME 4 The Armies of Spain 1659-1688


Hello guys, this is the same blog entry I have done for Helion & Company blog

 This post is some kind of review of Bruno Mugnai's excellent book : WARS AND SOLDIERS IN THE EARLY REIGN OF LOUIS XIV VOLUME 4 The Armies of Spain 1659-1688

                                               Wars and Soldiers in the Early Reign of Louis XIV Volume 4 : The Armies of Spain 1659-1688


you can buy it here: 

https://www.helion.co.uk/military-history-books/wars-and-soldiers-in-the-early-reign-of-louis-xiv-volume-4-the-armies-of-spain-1659-1688.php?sid=748f5d4ace837638de79a074ca583d56 

If you are interested in military of XVII c.  This books is definitely for you, Helion has produced for the first time in the world, a book dealing with the last Tercios of Habsburg Spain, and it does not disappoint!

Bruno has done (as he usually does) a fantastic job with this volume, it is a long book, with more than 360 pages, full of maps, pictures, paintings, color plates, flags, orders of battle...

It is structured as follows,

1. Spain, or ‘the Resiliance’ 

With the structure of the Spanish Monarchy,  territories, economy, personalities, politics,  military situation...

2. Soldados del Rey 

The different armies, nations of the Spanish empire, types of troops.

3. Spanish Warfare 

Strategies, battles, campaigns, etc.

4. Uniforms, Equipment and Flags 

Well, The most complete description of this subject in English :)

Appendix I: Spain Orders of Battle

Appendix II: List of Tercios, Trozos and Regiments, 1659–1688 


The Spanish Army of Charles II Habsburg “The Bewitched” (1665-1700) was not the army that had dominated the European battlefields in the first decades of the century… Decades of uninterrupted war, famines, bankruptcy and diseases had decreased Spain’s ability to field and train soldiers in the same numbers of Philip IV, but despite the evident decadency,  The Spanish tercios, with the inestimable aid of his allies, mostly held their ground in the face of a much stronger French army during 30 years of almost permanent aggression, at the cost of some territories and cities in Flanders and the loss of Franche Comté, but The Spanish Empire survived almost intact until the next dynasty and War of Spanish Succession.

This army (or theatre of operations) have been neglected in our wargaming world until very recent times,  even in Spain, but thanks to the effort of several publishers and historians including the the new book on this subject by Helion Publishing and Bruno Mugnai, the interest in late XVII century and particularly Spain in this era, is increasing.




                                                                Spanish cavalry 1660-70





(Tercio of Toledo, "Old Blues")





(Spanish Marquis of Castel Rodrigo, 1668, Flanders. conversion)








(Spanish Standard Bearer 1660', Foundry conversion)


                    (Front Rank officer and flag bearer, also a couple of individually sculpted soldiers)
(Front Rank and North Star conversions of Officer and rodelero)



                (Front Rank Spanish Dragoons of Tercio of Vanderpit/Valanzart in 1696, Flanders)


                                                (North Star Spanish Officer in Flanders, 1670')


                                                

                                    

(mixture of figures; Firelock games Spanish officer with Front Rank converted miniatures) 


Spain had in these times three (four If we include the Army of Extremadura until 1668) standing armies, the Army of Flanders, the Army of Milan and the Army of Catalonia, apart from smaller armies and garrisons in African “presidios” ,  Naples, Sicily, Sardinia and the Americas.

The most professional and trained army was the veteran Army of Flanders,  active from 1567, it numbered 62.500 men in 1668, at the end of the War of Devolution, 48.000 men in 1675 during Franco Dutch War, and even during the League of Augsburg War, the Spanish army of Flanders fielded 25.000 men in 1690 and 15.000 in 1695.

We can conclude that the French would have overran the Dutch Republic in 1673 without the aid of the Army of Flanders. 

In Milan, the Spanish maintained between 10.000 and 20.000 (at its peak) during the last quarter of the century, and was the backbone of the allied army during the League of Augsburg War,  aiding the Duke of Savoy, along the expeditionary forces of the Holy Roman Empire.  Moreover, the army of Milan provided most of the artillery to the allies during that conflict.


In Catalonia the Spanish had the weakest of the three field armies, composed by only 5 veteran tercios … and some cavalry trozos (regiment equivalent), the rest of the army was of lesser quality recruits, and their performance in battle was worse than in Flanders and Italy. That was because of the secondary role of that front during all the wars, considered secondary by both, the French and the Spaniards.


I think this army has been mistreated by historiography until very recent times, in part thanks the “new“ (and current) Bourbon dynasty in Spain, who wanted to present themselves as the modernizers of an outdated and inefficient Habsburg military structure, but this claim was not true, despite the propaganda, which lasted until the last century. 

Although most field battles were won by the French in all  late XVII century wars, the allies and the Spanish in particular had successes too  in all these wars, we can just mention a few like:

-Battle of Dendermonde 1667

-Siege of Bellegarde 1673

-Battle of Maureillas/Morellás 1673

-Battle of Saint Dennis (draw) 1678

-Reconquer of Sicily 1678

-Siege of Gerona 1684

-sieges of Ceuta, Melilla, Oran… against the Moors and Algerians

-French invasion of Catalonia 1689

-Siege of Casale 1695


                                

                            (North Star 1672 musketeer, Foundry engineer with Warhammer head)

Apart from that, the Spanish role in the Allied war effort was inmense, and often neglected. As Flanders was the main front of all the conflicts, both French and Spanish invested there their best units, but also had to withdraw thousands of men and resources in order to assist fronts in Catalonia and Italy thus relieving pressure on the Netherlands. Moreover, several German regiments and auxiliaries were paid by the Spanish crown. 

In terms of logistics and artillery, The Spanish army of Milan supplied the Allies in Savoy with the vast majority of the artillery train in the different campaigns during the League of Augsburg War, especially during the siege of Casale Monferrato in 1695. 

In Flanders, the Spanish supplied the English Expeditionary army in 1678 with hundreds of charts and artillery, as the English had no logistical system available to that campaign.

Spanish cavalry was highly regarded by both , friends and enemies, in general terms it was superior to French cavalry, and during Franco Dutch war and League of Augsburg War, always fought in the right wing of the Allied army, as this was the place of honour in the battle line. William III and Waldeck made continuous requests for help in terms of cavalry units to the Army of Flanders, in order to relieve his relative weakness in that field, in exchange of Dutch infantry to man the Flemish frontier’s fortresses.



                            

                            

(Tercio of Cavalry of Vaudemont, Flanders, League of Augsburg War  and Trozo of Extremadura, same conflict, Catalonia, all Front Rank miniatures)


As you can see, this army is very interesting to paint and play, because you can use it in several conflicts and several locations, Flanders, Alsace and Rhine, Savoy, Sicily, North Africa, and Catalonia.  You also can field Spanish tercios in your Allied armies of Franco Dutch War and League of Augsburg War along Dutch, English, German, Austrian or Italian regiments.

In my opinion is one of the most colourful armies of the period, with uniforms of almost every colour possible (even purple!) also the flags are interesting too, they usually carry the classic Burgundy cross in different backgrounds, from plain white, to intricated geometric forms.










Talking about the miniatures, I have been using a lot of different manufacturers since I started collecting  some years ago (more or less in 2013) When I saw for the first time an advertisement of Barry Hilton's Warfare Miniatures and ex Copplestone North Star 1672.

I found out that there were no proper Spanish miniatures in the market a few years ago, except for the short lived "Phoenix Miniatures" XVII Spanish range, which was part of North Star, sadly that range was not complete and was withdrawn...  but now North Star 1672 has launched a new range of Spanish troops with their typical long coat with high cuffs and front lapels.

Talking about uniform colours, in Bruno Mugnai's book, you have the DEFINITIVE guide about painting them, because there is an appendix with virtually all of the known Tercios and their uniform if there are records of them.

In general terms,  Spanish troops in Spain were the most colorful, with a motley collection of colors available. In Flanders it was common to see Spanish troops dressed in grey with red facings, also blue. In Milan, Tercios had a tendency to be dressed in red and yellow.  Neapolitans and Aragonese usually wore blue... So there was no fixed parameter, but there were some local trends

                                    

(Tercio “Old Yellows”, one of the 5 veteran infantry tercios in Catalonia, Phoenix Miniatures, some conversions and some custom sculpted miniatures )

Those miniatures are suitable roughly from the War of the Devolution 1667-68, until the League of Augsburg War. But you can also use Front Rank miniatures and Warfare Miniatures for the League of Augsburg  War.    Also Dixon’s  Miniatures and Wargames Foundry are suitable, although smaller in size.

I can't tell what is the BEST range... It depends on the exact conflict you are playing and painting...

If you want to play Portuguese Restoration War and War of Devolution (mid to late 1660') I would go for a mixture of 30 Years War/English Civil War minis and 1670' miniatures like for example, the brand new Bloody Miniatures, Bicorne Miniatures with some Reiver Castings new range of 1670' miniatures, and of course North Star 1672 !!

If you go for Franco Dutch War, my choice would be North Star 1672 and Reiver Castings new range on that conflict. Also Front Rank miniatures to add some variety and officers.

                                  

(Front Rank, Warlord games (converted), Northstar/Phoenix Miniatures... Franco Dutch War, Spanish troops in Flanders)

If your choice is League of Augsburg, then go for Warfare Miniatures and Front Rank, they are my favourite for 1690' uniforms. Also some miniatures from War of Spanish Succession would be useful here, for instance Ebor Miniatures, which produces very nice miniatures that fits perfectly in 1690's like their Imperial Cuirassiers, Saxon cavalry, French Dragoons, or Spanish Grenadiers!

                                

                                                   (Warfare Miniatures' Officers)

Dixon's Miniatures and Foundry Miniatures are smaller than the previous ranges, and I like bigger figures BUT they are super nice and full of character, some of their miniature show their age ,but I am always happy to mix them in my units or making small dioramas and scenes with them.

I am sorry If I have forgotten some miniature ranges here, but with some conversion, you can use

                                

(Spanish militia unit in Catalonia, mixture of Warfare Miniatures, Warlord Games, Dixon’s…)



                                  

                                                    (Tercio of Barcelona,  1696)

                                    

       (Migueletes, Catalan irregulars, caused the majority of French causalities during the Catalonian campaign of 1695-96)



With all those great ranges, and flags from the internet, books and manufacturers like Adolfo Ramos, Flags of War and such, you can perfectly field a small contingent of Spanish allies to your Dutch or English army.

I hope you have found this little approach to the late Spanish tercios somehow interesting.

Finally, I would like to thank Helion Publishing, Charles Singleton, Bruno Mugnai and Barry Hilton amongst many others who, with their work and research, help to increase people's interest in this exciting period of history and this hobby.


Jose Maria Cagiga Mata


Bibligraphy:

- Bruno Mugnai : WARS AND SOLDIERS IN THE EARLY REIGN OF LOUIS XIV VOLUME 4 The Armies of Spain 1659-1688 (HELION)

-Maffi, Davide. Los últimos tercios. El Ejército de Carlos II. 2020

- (various) Desperta Ferro magazine: Los Tercios (VI). 1660-1704. 2019

-Espino López, Antonio. Las Guerras de Cataluña 1652-1700. 2014

- Giancarlo Boeri, Jose Luis Mirecki, Jose Palau, Robert Hall .Spanish Armies in the War of the League of Augsburg, 1688-1697. 2011

- Lynn, John A. The Wars of Louis XIV, 1667-1714. 1999