Back in April I reckoned I’d like to get 70 figures for the Paraguayan War project finished for the end of 2017! Having got to July, I reckoned it was about time I made a start!
I don’t usually post work in progress, but this project hasn’t had a post for a while. Unlike my 1866 Austrian and Prussian armies, the troops for the Paraguayan War are a lot more varied as far as dress in concerned, so I’ve used a different approach in getting them started. I’ve now just finished the shade colours on the first 20 infantry, but I’ve picked ones and twos from most of the units so that I can see how all the figures will look. It means if I get this lot painted I can use them as reference figures so that I don’t have to go through all of my books each time I start a different unit.
I’ve also opted to paint shade colours and then base colours, as opposed to base colours plus washes. I’m hoping this will be quicker, since some of the figures can get a predominantly black shade coat. But since there is also a high proportion of figures in light colours, I’ve gone for shade and base colours – I’m bad enough with washes in the first place, but even more so with light coloured uniforms! And, even when I use washes, I invariably have to go over the figures afterwards in what is effectively a third coat, so I wanted to cut down painting time!
So, what have I got started with? Including the two Brazilian Zouaves painted years ago (who will need their blue uniforms tidying up with a blue to match newer figures), the test batch consists of, for the Allies, one early war Uruguayan regular, one Brazilian regular in the blue uniform, two Brazilian light infantry in light brown cotton duck uniforms and black slouch hats, two Brazilian Zouaves, one Argentine Legion Militar soldier, two Argentine National Guardsmen and three generic Allied infantry in white summer uniforms. These are shown in the photo below. The only infantry not included in this lot are from my second planned Brazilian infantry battalion, the figures for which will wear blue jackets with white kepis and trousers.
As far as Paraguayans are concerned, I’ve prepared six infantry in red tunics/shirts, from a mix of metal and plastic figures, and a further two infantry in blue shakos and jackets and these are shown below. If I keep painting a mixture of Allied and Paraguayan troops I need to keep the proportions about the same to start off with, but I’ll probably change to painting unit by unit!
Also found a new book on Warships At The Battle Of Riachuelo, what was effectively the only fleet action of the Paraguayan War. This book got some negative comments on Amazon, mainly over format and confusing reference tables, but I managed with it OK and it does have some nice line drawings of the ship’s involved!
Would be nice to see an expanded version of the book covering all of the Paraguayan War navies, particularly the Brazilian ironclads! That might be a lot to expect, but the author strikes me as being passionate about his naval history, so I wouldn’t rule it out! Like books, tanks and flying boats, you can never have too many ironclads!