It’s been a while since I did a proper Paraguayan War post, but that doesn’t mean there’s been no activity! It’s tended to progress slowly, mainly with priming and base-coating figures, along with some units getting expanded and finally finished off! Having set myself the target of getting 70 figures finished last December (which I achieved) the next target was to have 120 figures finished by the end of July – at the moment this seems realistic, with 49 of the extra 50 figures being either finished, primed or base-coated.
Back in December I had a test game but had to use reduced strength Paraguayan infantry battalions, with my only Brazilian infantry battalion also being understrength. So the main effort this year has seen me bringing these units up to full strength. The picture above shows my second completed Paraguayan infantry battalion and the only one that will be wearing blue jackets and shakos (as opposed to the more usual red jackets). The uniform is based on illustrations and notes in the excellent Paraguayan War book by Terry Hooker and the figures are the usual mix of plastic and Newline Designs metal ACW infantry.
Next unit finished was my first Brazilian infantry battalion, having been increased from 10 to 15 figures. From what I can tell, the Brazilian army did not segregate soldiers from different ethnic backgrounds and the proportion of mixed-race and black troops was relatively high (slavery still existed in the Brazilian Empire until the 1880s). I’ve decided to paint roughly one third of my Brazilian infantry as black in the absence of any confirmed ratios on racial mix. I hand painted the Brazilian flag and afterwards realised that was dumb, since I’ve got at least another three to paint – future flags will probably be done using PowerPoint and painting in details afterwards, but not too sure yet how that might turn out!
Next unit finished was my third Paraguayan infantry battalion, and back to being in red. This unit was my only contribution to the Squad! March! challenge! Also shown in the photo above is my mounted Paraguayan General, a Newline Designs ACW mounted officer, who was painted in December but who so far has not had a mention!
Final unit to be brought up to strength was my generic Allied unit in white summer uniforms. Since this unit can be used to represent Brazilians, I’ve again included a third of the unit as black troops. Uruguayan units also contained black soldiers, but I’m not sure of the racial mix in Argentine units (although the latter included relatively high proportions of European immigrants). At this stage I’m not including flag bearers in the generic unit, but I might add some later. Also shown in the photo is my Allied mounted general, once again a Newline Designs ACW mounted officer.
This leaves with me with an infantry unit and a cavalry unit to paint for each side before the end of July (32 figures altogether) so I’m going to try and just plug away at them! Having said that, there’s another Neglected Model challenge just around the corner in May and I have no shortage of things that could be painted for that!