A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Monday, 1 May 2017

1809 Spaniards - Vaguely Familiar? - El Ducado de Fernan-Nuñez


On his recent visit to Chateau Foy, General Goya was kind enough to bring me an interesting spare figure - you may recognise the early Miniature Figurines (20mm) OPC casting of Murat. Now I don't need a Murat, but for some 18 months or so I have been keeping an eye open for a candidate figure to be this chap - the founder and colonel-in-chief of the Granaderos a Caballo de Fernando VII, who were not horse grenadiers at all, but a regiment of light cavalry. Later in the Guerra de Independencia they changed their title to Husares de Fernando VII, and jazzed up the uniform appropriately. The regiment had an extensive service record during the war  - they were at Ocaña, for example - and there are two plates of the uniform in one of JM Bueno's books.

El Ducado was mentioned in the comments to a post about this regiment, and I stated my intention to paint up a suitable figure to represent him - well, here he is - his uniform is basically that of the Husares, with the addition of the really silly hat. We must assume that he saw Murat during his time in Madrid, and was impressed enough to get an oversized titfer with a rude plume, just like Murat's.


The casting has a vintage, whimsical charm - the horse looks rather like a whippet - built for speed? El Ducado obviously has the wealth, influence and nobility to make an ideal brigadier of cavalry. Convinces me, anyway.

I have a couple more of these old OPC figures - my serving General Picton is one, and the other is the Rowland Hill casting (the one with a map on his knee, if you know this range) - I have intended to paint him up as a general of artillery, but he's still in the queue.

8 comments:

  1. Excellent post! I think the Alberken/Minifig command figures are wonderful. You should do a special feature on them, Foy.

    He's very nicely done. Convincingly cocky.

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    1. Than you WM - in fact, now I check, I also have a Napoleon from the same series (who plays the part of Brother Joseph in my army, though I may do something about that) and a Ney - whom I had forgotten completely. Ney is a spare commander (you just can't get the staff, you know) but he only gets used in extremis, since his horse has a strange malaise of the back legs, which means it is constantly trying to sit down - very odd, you can't see it move, but you find it has moved. Never seen Eugene, though I guess it's on Lazy Limey's blog somewhere.

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    2. I was going to mention - you reminded me that I had considered that this might be the origin of the phrase "cocked hat", but thought better of it.

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  2. Interesting about the whippet as I've always thought that Marcus Hinton based his horse sculpts on labradors!

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    1. I'm quite a fan of Marcus' horses - they are very distinctive (except of course for the fact that early Minifigs and DK copied them - allegedly) - only mild criticism from a veterinary point of view is they are a tad short in the wheelbase, so to speak. Pleasing though, and they are the default standard by which everyone else's 20mm horses are judged. Yes, I agree they are a little lumpen compared to modern Art Miniaturen or NapoleoN or Hagen, for example, but they are much stronger, and the newer ranges are more like diorama figures. Speaking of labradors - I have been keeping an eye open for a suitable 20mm poodle (big, unclipped) to accompany Prince Rupert on the battlefield - I've looked at all sorts, including a couple of very posh German model railway ranges - nothing. I still have to explore the world of 28mm wargame ranges, and accept that it was a very large poodle. Any thoughts? If I can get a dog for Rupert I can try to get hold of Lord John Byron's ferret (all right, I made that up - just wanted to see how long it took to appear as a fact on TMP...)

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  3. With all possible thanks and respect to Ron Marshall for his much-missed Lazy Limey blog, and to any other blogs which ever attempted to document the Alberken figures, here is a link to Ron's collection of pictures from his collection, which is a real treasure-house for these little chaps:

    http://lazylimey.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Alberken

    It looks as though only Ney and Murat had the whippet-shaped horses. I like the look of Eugene and Uxbridge!

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  4. John Cunningham does the Murat figure in his minifig recast range.

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