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"Basic Peninsula Questions" Topic

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tuscaloosa Inactive Member02 Dec 2017 2:24 p.m. PST

I'd like to move towards the Peninsula from Central Europe, and I have some basic questions:

- British Light troops (with the exception of the Rifles) look like they have pretty much the same uniforms as Line. Is this correct? What were the differences?

- Did British Guard regiments wear the same uniform as line infantry, with the only distinction being the regimental facing colors?

- I see major manufacturers like Essex don't even carry Portuguese figures. Is this because they wore British-supplied uniforms, and therefore Brit infantry figures can be used for Portuguese infantry? Surely the lights, etc were different?

- What kind of uniforms did the Spanish regiment(s) fighting for King Joseph wear? The earlier uniform of circa 1808, worn by the force that went to northern Europe? Or French-supplied shakos etc, like French units? Bearskins and uniform like the Old Guard for Joseph's Guard, or different?

- 9lbers were horse artillery or foot artillery? Were there frequently 9lbers present in the Peninsula, or did they serve just at Waterloo?

Thanks in advance.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP02 Dec 2017 3:11 p.m. PST

Welcome! The book you want is Uniforms of the Peninsular War, but I can fill in a little.

Joseph's Spanish look like French in cut, but were usually brown--the unbleached, undyed wool of the local sheep.

British light regiments still have the light infantry distinctions of plume and shoulders, but telling them from the light company of a line regiment with the same facings could be tricky. Similarly the Guards look a little more like the grenadier companies. There's a lot of slippage here depending on scale of figure and just how fussy the local gaming group is--and a lot of regimental distinctions.

Early Portuguese wore the Barratina shako--very like the later British "Waterloo" shako. Later Portuguese wore British-issue stovepipes. By and large, think British in dark blue uniforms, with the light battalions--cacadores--like British rifles but in brown.

Some RHA batteries had 9-pd guns, but they weren't an RHA monopoly. Generally, the Brits slightly up-gun over the course of the war, but if you need year by year specifics, I'm going to punt. Knowing TMP, someone will come by any moment who knows how many 9-pd guns were present each year and in which battery. I look it up as needed, and am more prone to specify than to re-equip. As in "Today, the guns of this battery are 6-pd guns."

But welcome again to the Peninsula and generally smaller more intimate battles.

attilathepun47 Inactive Member02 Dec 2017 10:15 p.m. PST

The grenadier battalion of King Joseph's Royal Guard was dressed very similarly to Napoleon's Imperial Guard Grenadiers, including blue uniforms. There was also a unit of Guard Hussars, (I don't remember the uniform colors for sure), and some other guard units, but I don't rememberir their identities.

There were differences between the British and Portuguese uniforms. The Portuguese had a brass band around the base of the shako, and shoulder straps which ended in a peculiar shape something like a downturned wing. Also, the Portuguese infantry had a different battalion organization than the British.

There were also some subtle diffences between British guard and line infantry uniforms.

So, the bottom line is: Go do some serious research in uniform books before organizing or painting any units.

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP03 Dec 2017 2:44 a.m. PST

British light infantry uniform was basically the same as the line. The distinctions were that they all wore 'flank' company shoulder wings and different plumes and cap badges.

Later Portuguese uniforms supplied by the British looked very similar, but in blue. They also didn't have all the fancy white lace on the front of the jacket.

You didn't mention what scale you are looking for, but there are several sources of 28mm Portuguese…


keithbarker03 Dec 2017 5:13 a.m. PST

I use Baccas 6mm. In that scale just use British figures for Portuguese and French for King Joseph's Spanish.

In 28mm you might want to be more fussy.

tuscaloosa Inactive Member03 Dec 2017 9:06 a.m. PST

Thanks. I do 15mm.

attilathepun47 Inactive Member03 Dec 2017 10:10 a.m. PST

Minifigs made 15mm Portuguese, but they were true 15mm, not this 15/18mm nonsense. Minifigs is still in business, but no longer have a U.S. distributor, so you would have to order from Britain.

Nine pound round03 Dec 2017 12:44 p.m. PST

Brickdust did Portuguese, and they are now offered by Alternative Armies. I think Capitan Games might offer them, too. Don't have any, so I can't vouch for their quality.

custosarmorum Supporting Member of TMP03 Dec 2017 5:38 p.m. PST

Both Old Glory 15s and Battle Honours (both available from 19th Century Miniatures) do Portuguese in 15mm. As I recall the OG15s range was pretty complete (line, cazadores, cavalry, and artillery).

Nine pound round03 Dec 2017 7:52 p.m. PST

Essex has some, too (they're lumped in with the Spanish on their website).

tuscaloosa Inactive Member03 Dec 2017 9:04 p.m. PST

Oh, listed with the Spanish! That explains why I couldn't find them. I'd rather get Essex, since that's what I already have.

Thanks, all.

ArkieGamer Inactive Member05 Dec 2017 12:12 p.m. PST

AB Figures has a range of Portuguese, available from Eureka in the US. link

They're very nice figures. I've only painted cacadores, so far, but the regular infantry look great in pewter…


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