Saturday 26 February 2022

Zuavos da Bahia

This is the last unit of my Brazilian army for now. I say for now because I am sure that the Perrys will produce some new codes that will be a ‘must have’ in the future. I will be definitely adding two more Brazilian gun sets, not that I actually need more guns, but I want some variety of gun types.

The Bahia Zouaves were a volunteer outfit formed entirely from freed slaves from the plantations from Bahia State. It’s history in the Great Paraguayan War was a short one, disbanding in 1866, after just more than a year’s service.

How could I could resist this uniform?

While on the subject of the Great Paraguayan War I am currently reading the two volume work by Thomas L. Whigham on the subject. Deeply researched and extremely readable, this is strongly recommended for anyone interested in this war. The two volumes are titled:

  • The Paraguayan War: Causes and Early Conduct
  • The Road to Armageddon: Paraguay Verses the Triple Alliance, 1866-70

Tuesday 22 February 2022

Nylands Jagarebataljon

When I was about halfway through this unit I though “what boring uniform!” I mean it is gray. It has gray turnbacks, gray collars and cuffs with dark blue piping. The belts are black and even the rifle strap that is red/brown for the line troops is black. How could I give these any vibrancy? Painting the collar, cuffs and turnbacks a slightly lighter tone made no difference. Even the green plume failed to do anything for them. The only item that distracted from the dullness of the gray was the brown haversack. Then I painted yellow cockade and suddenly they popped.


The battalion never seemed to achieve its full complement during the war with Russia, with only two companies listed in the orders of battle. In many cases single companies, and half-companies in some instances, we’re assigned to different brigades. So this unit has been done as a tiny unit and will 
be attached to the First Brigade. A second tiny unit will follow.


Saturday 19 February 2022

Régiment de Saintonge

This week sees the addition of  Régiment de Saintonge to the French AWI army. 

It was formed on 4 September 1684 from the ancient regiment of Navarre, its recruitment was from the province of Saintonge, north of Bordeaux. In 1775 the regiment was expanded from one to two battalions by incorporating the Régiment de Cambrésis. 

Between 1763 and 1768 the regiment served in the West Indies and French Guiana. Two years later Rochambeau selected it to participate in the French expeditionary force to America. Under the command of Col. Adam-Philippe, Count de Custine de Sarreck, Saintonge regiment distinguished itself at the siege of Yorktown, where it was brigaded with the Régiment Soissonaise (featured in my last AWI French post).

The regiment’s major, the Marquis de Fleury, had earlier taken a leave of absence to join the American forces as a volunteer, fighting at Brandywine and Germantown, further distinguishing himself at Stony Point when he was first into the British fort and secured the colours, for which he was given a medal by the U.S. Congress.

After Yorktown command of the regiment fell to Rochambeau’s son. Departing the United States from Boston in December 1782 for service in the French Antilles. It returned to France the following year. After the Revolution the regiment was redesignated the 82e Régiment de Ligne. 

The regimental colours were spectacularly colourful.

Wednesday 16 February 2022

More Prussians

Today saw the completion of another battalion, the tenth in fact, in my Franco-Prussian War Prussian army.

This one is the Fusilier Battalion, 1st Westphalian Infantry Regiment No. 13. If you are thinking it looks like the the last unit I posted, you are right, but there is a subtle difference…fusiliers have black belts, instead of white for the musketeer battalions.

There are fifteen battalions still to be built for this army.

Saturday 12 February 2022

Down South of the Border Again

 This week I have headed south…way south Paraguay to show a few more items for the Great Paraguayan War armies.

First up are the mounted Paraguayan commanders.

A higher command group:

And four brigadiers:

Then there are the three limbers for the Paraguayan artillery. For these I have used the Perry plastic ACW limber and to represent the level of poverty within the Paraguayan forces one has been painted green and the other two are in natural timber (replicating what I have done for the guns).

Also completed is the Uruguayan gun set and limber to round out the Uruguayan army.

These items complete the field forces for the Paraguayan and Uruguayan armies. The only Paraguayan items left to complete are four fortress guns that will sit in a redoubt. I have the gunners completed, but the fortress guns are still a couple of weeks away.

A unit of Brazilian Zouaves is waiting in the wings to be completed later this month.

Tuesday 8 February 2022

Régiment de Soissonnais

When I was in school in the early 1970s, in what is probably called Year 6 today, I can remember a school-wide test set by the principal. The test started with the instruction to read through the paper first then complete the test. Like probably 80% of the school I failed. It wasn’t the fact that the test was hard, quite the opposite in fact because these were the easiest questions you could think of and I probably answered every singe one correctly. The kicker was that the last line of the paper told everyone that now they had read through the paper, put your name at the top of the page and go no further. The objective was, of course, to teach us to read instructions thoroughly. I wish I had applied that idea before I started this unit.

Commanded by the Comte de Saint Maisme, brother-in-law to the Marquis de Lafayette, the Régiment de Soissonnais was one of four that Rochambeau brought with him to America. This force was to act as reinforcement to Washington's Continental forces during operations around New York City. The combined force was  quickly diverted to the southern theatre to bottle up Cornwallis at Yorktown. Additional French troops under the Marquis de Saint-Simon joined them there.

So how does this tie in with the opening paragraph? Well if I had read the reference information correctly (take that to read if I had read three paragraphs further on) I would have realised that the turnbacks for these 1779 uniform (that theses figures represent) should be white and not crimson. While this would normally been a relatively easy thing to fix, I had already fixed twelve figures to their bases by the time I noticed the error and could not get a brush in between the based figures to re-do them. So I will have to live with it.

The battalion showing off their incorrect turnbacks

The French flags on the whole are wonderfully geometric and simple to recreate on the PC. This one took a whole five minutes.

Saturday 5 February 2022

Prussian Infantry and Björn Borg

Last Monday saw the completion of yet another Prussian infantry battalion for 1870. Once again it is from the 1st Westphalian Infantry Regiment No. 13, the second battalion this time.

But how does the famous Swedish former world number 1 tennis player fit into this post? Well he doesn’t, but the Björneborgs läns infanterire regemente from the Swedish army in Finland does and the play on words on the name is far too good an opportunity to let go by.

Recruited in the Björneborgs region in  southwest Finland (surrounding the modern day city of Pori) this regiment was founded in 1626 by Gustav II Adolf and established a sound reputation in the Thirty Years War, fighting at Leipzig in 1642, and again in the Great Northern War, notably at Poltava and again in the Norwegian campaign of 1714-18. 

There were three battalions in service in 1807 and the regiment established a sound reputation, notably at the Battle of Jutas on September 13, 1808. At the end of the Finnish war the regiment was disbanded.

Here is the 1st Battalion, Björneborgs Regiment…and not a tennis racquet in sight.

Next on the painting table it’s back to North America for some AWI French infantry.