Wednesday 22 December 2021

Gerona 1684 : General of the garrison, Juan Domingo Pignatelli

 Hello guys, 

This is probably the last post of the year,  a command vignette, well, mini vignette, with Domingo Pignatelli, the commander of the Spanish forces at Gerona in 1684, with a grenadier bodyguard.

The miniatures are both Dixon miniatures, one of the is converted into a grenadier using a plastic head of the ex Wargames Factory WSS range, now boxed by Warlord Games. Also shoulder ribbons were added. 

Juan Domingo Pignatelli was appart from the commander of the garrison, an Artillery General (general de artillería),  so I used a siege engineer for depicting him, in armor, with his red sash and a painted paper map.

He was Marquis de San Vicente (Amendolara,Italy , 7.III.1640 – La Coruña, 25.VIII.1703). He was member of one of the Catalan branches of the Pignatelli lineage, one of the oldest and most relevant of the Kingdom of Naples, he was the son of Jaime Pignatelli, lord of Casalnovo, Duke of Bellosguard. He lived in Barcelona since 1660, there he married in 1675 with Ana de Aymerich, a native of Barcelona, ​​like his parents Bernardo de Aymerich Cruilles, lord of the places of Rajadel, Ayguafreda and others, and María Argensola.

Domingo, started his military career in Milan, and also was a veteran of the Wars against Portugal and Franco Dutch War. he was appointed governor of Gerona, where he distinguished himself during the French siege of 1684. In 1686, Domenico became capitán general of the cavalry of the army of Catalonia, and successively was appointed maestre de campo general and viceroy of Navarre. He continued his career, holding the same office in Galicia

The grenadier is a Dixon miniatures musketeer from League of Augsburg War, with flintlock musket, converted after Bruno Mugnai's illustration featured in the book by Helion  featuring the Spanish Army. So a head swap was done with a plastic head from Wargames Factory.

"The presence of this kind of weapon in the Spanish arsenal dates back to the first half of the century, and the presence of a company of granaderos, under the Captain Don Pedro Ramos, is already recorded in Galicia in 1662. This unit served alongside the artillery as a free company raised for siege tasks. However, it was only between 1684 and 1685 that the first permanent companies of Spanish
grenadiers appeared on the battlefield.
 The initiative is attributed to the Marquis of Cabezudo, the author of a ‘memorial’ addressed to Carlos II, who asked the King to be appointed captain of the first grenadier company. The King sent the request to the Duke of Bournonville, Viceroy of Catalonia, who confirmed the request to raise companies of grenadiers, who were the first to receive flintlock muskets." 
(Bruno Mugnai) from book :
                                               Wars and Soldiers in the Early Reign of Louis XIV Volume 4 : The Armies of Spain 1659-1688


Saturday 4 December 2021

Speedpainting/Quickshade : Tercio de Barcelona (in its early uniform)

 Hello guys,

A couple of months ago I bought from a Facebook friend, Richard O' Connor, a bunch of (mostly) upainted miniatures from North Star 1672, but also 9 painted miniatures in green and yellow uniform, from Tercio of Barcelona in its first uniform for the early 1670's. They were based in round single bases, so I thought about rebase them on my regular 4cm x 4cm bases for infantry, and also painted the rest of miniatures in order to get a full unit (usually 16 infantry models in my armies). 

I wanted this to be made "fast" so I took several models I had, like the "French" grenadier on the left from Northstar 1672, a Reiver Castings new Spanish model, and new Spaniard musketeers from Northstar 1672.  

In order to paint them quickly, I airbrushed them all in green, and then just applied a basecoat of all the others colors. They were ready for the Quickshade application! I slapped on the thing all over the miniatures, lightly thinned with White Spirit, and then leave them to dry for 48 hours... Then I re applied the basecoat colours and some minor highlights (2-3 coats of lighter colors), then a matt varnish coat, and they were ready to fight.  

That is why this Tercio was speed painted...because I had half unit painted already by another painter, and the other part, quickly painted with the Quickshade method!

The blue flag with Barcelona´s coat of arms is from Minairons miniatures, a Spanish based company, the other one, generic with the Burgundy cross... I don't remember.

They are now ready to take part in Catalonian campaign against Schombergs' French forces, that were defeated in Bellegarde fortress and Maureillas field battle in 1673-4.  You can read that action here in the blog :

I have another post in this blog dealing with Tercio de Barcelona, but in its later uniform:

you can read it here :

Here you have more shots of the unit:

I hope you like it !

Thursday 28 October 2021

28mm Heruls / Heruli cavalry for my Early Byzantine army

 Hello guys!

After a year without any posts about my late antiquity collection, now is the turn of a little update, a couple of bases of Herul cavalry, for my Belisarius army, based for Impetus.

My plan is to complete my Early Byzantine army of Belisarius at the battle of Dara, 530 d.c. and there was a Herul contingent commanded by Pharas "the Herulian", one of the commanders of Belisarius.

These horsemen were painted a long time ago (2014!), but never placed them on bases. Also my painting style have changed a little bit since I painted them.

Appart from being my Herul foederati, they also can be almost any generic germanic cavalry from III d.c.-VI d.c. in my opinion.

The miniatures are a mixture of Gripping Beast metals, some Crusader and Westwind.

The Heruli were often mentioned during the times of Justinian, who used them in his extensive military campaigns in many countries including Italy, Syria, and North Africa. The afordmentioned Pharas was a notable Herulian commander during this period. Several thousand Heruli served in the personal guard of Belisarius throughout the campaigns, and Narses also recruited from them. They were a participant in the Byzantine-Sasanian wars, such as the Battles of Dara or Anglon.

I used this miniatures because all the illustrations and reconstructions, like the previous one, I have seen so far, depict Heruls as (mostly) unarmored horse lancers.

In further post I will show here the complete Early Byzantine army I have so far for the battle of Dara 530 dc.

Saturday 23 October 2021

Terrain month: 28mm Artillery position

 Hello mates,

I read on Twitter that October was indeed #Terraintober, a month in which a wargamer should paint a piece of scenery, so I thought about my half built earthworks that have been laying around for months and started working on that unfinished project (from a long list of unfinished projects!).

So here it is, I just have finished the artillery position from scratch, made of expanded polystyrene, beach sand, wooden stirring sticks /balsa wood and Renedra's plastic gabions. I added Warfare Miniatures  "Chevaux de Frisie" and also some bits from good old Warhammer 6th edition Empire cannon.

It has been a pretty easy project, with just some basic airbrush and drybrush paintjob.


I added also some static grass because the whole thing seemed a littled boring to me, just in earthy brown tones. Also the details here and there break the monotony. 

the building was easy and fun, although not as quick as I initially thought, because of the 2 part plastic gabions. I built the artillery position before getting my 3d printed gabions... So next time I build earthworks, I will use my 3D printed gabions and my recently ordered Avanpost positions !

For the sand, I mixed PVA glue with beach sand from my area, and art store cheap brown paint and covered the whole thing (but the gabions and wood!) then just I airbrushed the main colours with Vallejo paints thinned with airbrush thinner (Ammo Mig) and It worked perfectly, the Vallejo Model Color range is fully "airbrushable" I recommend it for terrain and big things.

Here is the finish result with different miniatures just  to give an idea of the size 

I hope you like it !

Friday 24 September 2021

French pétard: XVII c. siege party for "Gerona 1684"

 Hello again!

This time I have finished another late XVII c. unit, a French Petárd team with storming party of grenadiers and pikeman. This unit is intended for my project "The Siege of Gerona 1684", shown previously in this blog (just tag "Gerona 1684"), although as the pétard is in a separate base, I can use it for games set in 30 Years War or English Civil War  or Franco Dutch War... 

The soldiers are French, from "La Reine" regiment, present at the historical battle, I like their uniform, so finally I went for them instead of other famous regiments that assaulted the walls of Gerona after a heavy bombardment.

These guys are ready to join my previously painted armoured enfants perdús and grenadiers to storm the breach!

The miniatures are a mixture of Wargames Foundry and Dixon's Grand Alliance, both ranges are quite old, but still very nice with a lot of personality, I love both of them although  they are more in the small size compared to more recent North Star 1672 or Front Rank.

There are also minor conversions; the officer with partizan is Foundry Marlburian officer, I cut and trimmed his tricorn, and put him a broad brimmed had and plume instead, also a shoulder ribbon from Front Rank and a partizan by Bicorne miniatures.

The other conversion is a Dixon's grenadier throwing his grenade, he had originally a tricorn too, but it was cut and substituted by a informal tricorn or slouch hat.

Finally the paints are a mix of Foundry triads and Vallejo, I like to mix different shades of light grey to my units in order to break the monotony, this time I used Vallejo neutral grey for some and Citadel Rakarth Flesh+Ivory for the rest.

 I specially like the the tones of some Foundry triads like Buff Leather and Dark African Flesh, I use them a lot for creamy tones and dark browns. 

Some close ups:

And now the unit in its full glory in different angles, by the way, the small scenery piece of destroyed cannon is casted in resin by a Polish company whose name I can't remember... but is quite solid and easy to paint.

I hope you like it!