Sunday, 27 October 2019

Age of Eagles (AoE) - 1810 Battle of Bussaco in 20mm (part 10) - Solignac's Division

Solignac's Division also stayed in reserve, behind Moura, throughout the battle. I tried to use as many figures I could marching or standing as they didn't fight this day. 

The Division had the Brigades Gratien and Thomieres, the last one particularly interesting as it had two green clad foreign regiments. 

This post concludes the French Infantry side only missing now some reserve French cavalry and the artillery park. 

Jean-Baptiste Solignac is another figure coming from the Italeri Austrian/Russian command box with a head from StreletsR. The ADC is Italeri. 

Solignac is an interesting figure as he fought for the French - against Portuguese and British- in the 1st and 3rd Invasion and later returned in 1830 were he fought in the Portuguese Civil  War, choosing the right side, the Liberal, against D. Miguel absolutist forces. He even became Grand Marshall of Portugal and was awarded with the Ordem de Torre e Espada, one of our highest state awards! In fact History never finishes.

The Irish Regiment is made of Hat figures with a few sappers from Esci.

The Prussian Regiment is mostly Esci in the Fusilier companies and Hat in the Elite companies.

The 65th de Ligne was the largest regiment in the battlefield with over 2700 men. All figures are Hat. 

The last French line regiment I'll show you was in fact the first I built many years ago. Its a full Esci unit with the famous wrong habit (short turnbacks). The Grenadier company has Airfix Grenadier heads. 

Next: wether French artillery  Bussaco or more 1940 Dragons Portés.

Saturday, 26 October 2019

Age of Eagles (AoE) - 1810 Battle of Bussaco in 20mm (part 9) - Clausel's Division

The 8th Corps of General Junot was kept in reserve for the length of the battle. To the front you can see Taupin's and Godart's Brigades and to the back, Ménard's. I opted here to represent only two regiments per brigade and expanding them to the size of the full brigades, otherwise each regiment would be represented by an average of three stands as this Division had mostly the 4th battalion of each regiment. 

The veteran leader of the 1st Invasion of Portugal, Jean-Andoche Junot, the Corps commander can be seen here to the left. The basis of its model is an Italeri General from the Austrian and Russian command set. A few additions were made in GreenStuff and here is Junot probably cursing Massena for leaving him out of the battle. The ADC is Italeri. 

General Clausel is again Italeri with a StreletsR ADC.

Led by the 15e Legére here comes Taupin's Brigade. The General itself is the mounted Airfix French officer. With a sash and new head it was easily promoted to General!

The 15e Legére is a full Zvezda unit. Not the same for the rear ranks, the 46th de Ligne, with figures from Hat and Zvezda (elite companies), Italeri 1st and 2nd box, some Italeri veterans with bicorne from the 1805 set, and a mounted officer from Waterloo1815. 

One of the largest regiment of the Armée du Portugal was the 22e de Ligne with four battalons that on its own constituted the full Godart Brigade. 
The regiment is made of Italeri, converted Esci and a few Hat and Ykreol as Voltigeurs. 


Ménard's Brigade has, to the front, the 19e de Ligne, with plenty of Esci and Italeri figures and a few Hat. To the back stands the 28e de Ligne with mostly Hat and a few Italeri. In this brigade I also included some sappers from Esci in the regimental command stands. 

The converted Esci figures I was talking about are the kind you can see in the first row of this stand. I took out the tail of the short coat (yes, those famous ones that left many people sad when opening the boxes in the 80s - Damn, these guys are not Line!!) with an X-acto and glued the longer tails of the Esci and Airfix Grenadiers. Like this I managed to use a few dozens of the Esci 'Line' infantry, otherwise only useful for a very few number of Guard units. 

Next: wrther Solignac's Division for Bussaco or more 1940 Dragons Portés.

Friday, 25 October 2019

Age of Eagles (AoE) - 1810 Battle of Bussaco in 20mm (part 8) - Lamotte's cavalry Brigade

This post concludes Ney's 2nd Corps, and regards the Hussar and Chevaux Légeres of Lamotte´s cavalry Brigade.

Let's start with something wrong. This Hussar Regiment is the 4th while Lamotte's brigade had in fact the 3rd (grey uniform). This unit was made before I concentrated all 1808 uniforms in the Bussaco project so they have a wrong uniform.

The figures  are from the Esci British Hussar set and have Shakos from Esci French Line Infantry, minus the elite company which kept the original Colpack.

The  15e Chasseurs à Cheval  are the Revell life Guards with French Esci Shakos. The Elite company have Colpacks from the Hat Voltigeurs.

As I told you about other Chasseurs à Cheval units in this plastic army the Revell figures are a good platform for conversions as the figures don't have too much detail and you can paint different units. Besides the Shako the only addition is a GreenStuff bedroll on the back of the saddle.

Next: Wether the 1940 Dragons Portés from Les Armées Oubliés or Soult 8th Corps for Bussaco.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Age of Eagles (AoE) - 1810 Battle of Bussaco in 20mm (part 7) - Loison's (AKA 'O Maneta') Division

Loison's Division after beating the Caçadores and British lights out of Sula Village turns left to face the British and Portuguese line infantry and artillery posted below the Bussaco convent walls...

Loison was one of those characters of the Napoleonic days. In Portugal he got a very bad name for a number of mass killings in places like Évora and Coimbra and plundering everywhere he went. As he lost one hand in an accident he was known here as the Maneta (one-hand person). Even today when  someone dies we say 'Foi para o Maneta' (he went to the one-hand).

I scratch built the ruined arm of Loison by cutting the right  arm of this Italeri figure and replacing it with a piece of GreenStuff.

The 66e de Ligne of Ferrey's Brigade has Grenadiers from Hat, Fusiliers from Hat and Italeri and Voltigeurs from Esci with Airfix Hussar heads. The mounted officer comes from the nice but stupidly expensive Waterloo1815 Napoleonic Line Mounted Officers.

The 82e de Ligne (also Ferrey's) is Hat and Ykreol. This unit should only be 6 stands as this regiment had 1236 men but I added two more instead of building the small 2 stand of the 2nd battalion of the 32e Legére (413 men) of this Brigade.

My favourite unit in Loison's Division is the Légion Hanovrienne from Simon's Brigade. The figures are mostly conversions using Esci and Airfix Grenadier bodies with Esci shakos. The Voltigeurs are Zvezda.

Small but with a nice brown habit comes the Légion du Midi.

All figures are Hat from three different boxes.

Last from Simon's Brigade is the 26e de ligne from the Hat coated French infantry box. I couldn't find any proof of the French still using in 1810 the white linen overcoat they used in the 1808 invasion of Portugal (Roliça and Vimeiro) so I painted the overcoats grey-blue and dark yellow as usual in the French Infantry. 

The Voltigeurs forming in front of the Division are a mixture of Hat and Ykreol. I use for their basing 1 euro coins... made of plastic and from superstores.

Next: Lamotte's cavalry Brigade to finish Ney's 6th Corps.

Monday, 21 October 2019

Rapid Fire! France 1940 in 20mm - Reinforcements for all Panzer Divisions in the making

A stream of German reinforcements is joining 1st, 6th and 7th Panzer Divisions, the three PD's I have in the making. Well, making the 1st PD allows you to make any other equipped with PzI/II/III and IV so it can be any of the other seven PD's in France 1940.

All models are MiniGeneral with the Hasegawa 88mmm and tow recently offered by my friend José Miguel Mendes. See? People that offers me stuff even get their names on my blog and become famous! What more can you expect?

MiniGeneral produces the PzI A (front) and B (rear). Only the usual antennae and stowage were added.

Two more PzII c were added with the usual extras.

As you can see in these PzIII E the lines that so much bothered the first 3D prints are nowadays negligible in the Minigeneral models.

These six Pz IV A, B and C finishes my needs for this model as I already have two Armourfast PzIV C. Eight is the maximum number of PzIV you need for a 1940 Panzer Divison, two per battalion in the 3rd company of each battalion. The figures are PSC and Hasegawa.

6th and 7th Panzer Divisons got a few more of these Pz35t and Pz38t.

A pair of PzI Bison, one company, is enough for the five PD's that had them. The model is great and the 150mm Sig guns inside are particularly well designed.
My main issue here was with the crew. I used 4 Fujimi converted figures as its artillerymen but I've seen pictures of regular Panzer uniforms in black mixed with others with long boots around and inside these machines. Were the crews of the Bison mixed, both Panzer and artillery crews? Maybe drivers and gun operators had different uniforms as they came from different services? I opted for the artillery uniform not being sure that I'm right. 

Finally the Hasegawa 88mm team built straight from the box. 

All these models were built at the same time. Sometimes this way becomes repetitive and a bit boring but when you get to camouflage you know you are getting there. 

Next: Loison's Division for Bussaco 1810

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Age of Eagles (AoE) - 1810 Battle of Bussaco in 20mm (part 6) - Mermet's Division

Standing in reserve in the outskirts of Sula Village stands Mermet's Division, part of Ney's 6th Corps. Due to its reserve status in this battle I used all standing positions I could from Ykreol and Hat miniatures.

Ykreol figures capture very well the campaign look of these veteran units that participated in the 3rd invasion of Portugal. They also go very well with the Hat figures with the 1806-12 uniform.

The divisional stand (L) has a Mermet from Revell with added EverGreen plume in the bicorne; the ADC is Italeri. The Corps stand has an Italeri Ney (figure in the extreme right) with StreletsR head and another general from Italeri.

Labasseé's Brigade has in front the larger 50e de Ligne, mostly Ykreol with some Hat, and to the rear the 59e de Ligne , mostly Hat with some Ykreol miniatures.

Bardet's Brigade includes the 25e Legére (in front, Zvezda figures) and the 27e de Ligne (Hat and Ykreol figures. Both Brigade commanders are my usual conversions.

Next: Loison's Division, that great SOB.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Age of Eagles (AoE) - 1810 Battle of Bussaco in 20mm (part 5) - Marchand's Division

This post starts Ney's 6th Corps. Its first Division was Marchand's, with three Line and one Legére regiments. 
The figures are mostly Hat with the Légere made out of old Esci figures. 

The 6e Legére is the Esci regiment. This figures are famous for being beautifully sculpted but inaccurate if you want to show Line or Legére units due to the short tail coats. The Porte Aigle is an Italeri figure from the 2nd box. The Grenadier company has new heads also from Esci and the Voltigeurs have Esci Hussar heads with a slight cut at the top. 

The 76e de ligne is Hat with some colourful Drummers for the sake of variety. 

The Tête de Colonne of the 39e de Ligne includes two sappers from Esci besides the usual Hat figures. 

The brigade and division commanders stands are conversions. The one to the left is the Italeri officer from the 2nd box with legs from Esci. Marchand is the AWI American officer with a StreletsR head and detail in GreenStuff. The figure on the right is a composition from a StreletsR head, torso from Italeri and legs from Esci. 

Next: yes, that's it, Mermet's division. 

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Age of Eagles (AoE) - 1810 Battle of Bussaco in 20mm (part 4) - The buildings of the Battlefield

Along the years I put together enough Bussaco buildings to represent the entire battlefield structures. Still missing is the mountain itself that will be built in styrofoam. 

This one is the famous Convento dos Carmelitas Descalços in the center of the walled forest park and also the place were the Palace Hotel grew leaning against its back. Wellesley stayed here before the battle and his horse was tied to an olive tree that still stands a few 5 meters from the cross.  Its a very old card Draper Model that existed for sale in the Military Museum of Bussaco decades ago. It was very easy to put together as many of its features, like the stairs, were only printed.  

This back view can still be seen from the Palace Hotel. 

This is another Draper Model that represents the Capela do Encarnadouro that served as an hospital during the battle. Nowadays its the Military Museum of the Battle of Bussaco. 

Its condition nowadays is quite pristine so I made it look a bit older and decaying as it probably looked during the battle. 

Also from Draper Models are the two next windmills. They are simple affairs and this one represents Sula windmill from were the famous Crawfurd directed the volleys of its Light Infantry Brigade on Loison's Division.

The other one is Massena's Headquarters at the village of Moura. 

This one already showed in the first two parts of this series and its the Capela de Santo António do Cântaro.

The model is scratchbuilt in card with some wood for the three crosses on the roof top.

This is Leith's windmill very close to the place were violent hand to hand combat ocurred in the eastern part of the battlefield. 

It was also scratchbuilt in card, wood and tissue. Unfortunately its nowadays a private building and its closed with a metal door. Besides it stands in a very difficult place to find in the battlefield due to the access and the damn eucaliptus that floods the area. 

Now for the local's houses. These ones are from Draper Models and were intended to represent Sula Village. 

This small lot was bought in Serra da Estrela, 100km from Bussaco, and are resin handicraft small houses. After a repaint they look quite similar to the houses that existed in the villages around the battlefield. 

Size is aproximately 15mm which is the size of most of these buildings, ideal for 20mm figures. 

This other group are some card houses from a very old Portuguese collection. Also simple to build I varnished them with Wood Glue, as I do with all my card models, so they can gain a bit of the plastic strenght and endure the years.

The two houses in the corner didn't have painted backs so I made some drawings there and placed some colour.

Next: The start of Ney's Corps with Marchand Division.