Despite the panic to get something finished for the Jewel Of July challenge, I have been working away steadily on my Paraguayan War project. Last year I’d set myself a target of getting 120 figures finished by July this year, which meant I needed to paint 50-ish figures this year – doesn’t sound much, but they’ve had to be fitted in around quite a few tanks that have also been finished this year.
Just narrowly missing the June-it challenge was my first Paraguayan War cavalry unit, consisting of six Newline Designs 20mm ACW figures in slouch hats. Since the Osprey Men-At-Arms book on the war shows a Paraguayan regular cavalryman in a straw hat, I decided to represent this unit similarly attired and ACW cavalry in slouch hats are just right. I couldn’t really modify the boots and stirrups to make them less obvious, so just tried to paint them as unobtrusively as possible.
The plan had also been to finish an Argentine cavalry unit, but when it looked like I wouldn’t get this done in time I opted to finish an extra five generic Allied infantrymen in white uniforms (and I think these are Imex plastic ACW figures). I also managed to get four generic Allied gunners and a 12 pounder field gun finished, these also being Imex figures.
Since I had a spare Imex field gun I decided to mount it on a base to represent it being drawn behind an ox cart.
The ox cart is by Irregular Miniatures, although I made a plain, flat cargo platform for it so that it can carry crates, bales or barrels. I’ve had a couple of ox carts for years and they’re useful for any 19th century army. Since horses were usually in short supply during the Paraguayan War, oxen were used to draw guns and wagons. I stuck the gun onto a card base and built up a worn track surface from Milliput, fixing the gun at the right angle for its towing eye to rest on the cart. For horse-drawn guns I usually leave room on the base behind the limber to place a gun model to show it being towed, but the ox cart bases are too short for this.
So, after a quick count I’ve now finished 124 models for this project (120 figures and four guns), which I’m really pleased about! Hopefully the next post on this will show them all and list what’s going to get done next, tanks and other challenges permitting!