Saturday, February 24, 2018

Spanish Horse Grenadiers of Fernando VII

I had wanted to paint up a few Spanish light horse, and had some unused French Hussars from the Itlaleri French Command set. So a quick look at my Pinterest page for Spanish cavalry came up with these guys, technically horse grenadiers but hussars in everything but name (and eventually in name as well!)
Trooper 1808

Officer 1812

Because the figures I wanted to use had pelisses rather than the short coat it placed them later than I really wanted, at 1812 when they received new uniforms from the British. But they were close enough to the older uniform that I thought it worth the trouble. To make them a little more generic, I sculpted campaign dress riding trousers for the bulk of them, leaving the officer and trumpeter in their post 1812 lemon yellow riding breeches. I was pleased with a solution for the riding trousers' buttons, using the tip of a .5 drawing pencil (minus the lead) to imprint the sculpting compound. Other than that, alterations were few: I carved off the colpaks from all but the officer, swivelled a few heads as there were only two poses in the nine figures and switched one to a trumpeter with the use of an arm from some other set of cavalry. I lacked horses from the command set, however, so I used instead horses from the Italeri Prussian Currasiers set (1806/7). The shabraque was all wrong, so I sculpted a more pointy configuration and, added a pack on the back of the horse. A bit more work on the officer's mount, giving it a sheepskin saddle with wolf teeth fringe, and a longer shabraque, using my reference as a guide and I was done and ready to paint.

The nine Italeri figures on their remodelled horses.
One of the troopers with modelled campaign trousers. The buttons I inscribed with the hollow tip of a '5 mechanical pencil.

The officer and trumpeter I left with the breeches of the original figures but modelled a sheepskin saddle and elongated shabraque for the officer.

The trumpeter got an arm and trumpet from a different set.

And here are the finished results:

Hussars of Fernando VII.

Commander and trumpeter. The pelisses and lemon yellow breeches make them 1812 or later.

Commander and trumpeter.

Troopers with modelled campaign trousers.


Digging a bit into their history I had begun to suspect that they had been sent overseas to Venezuela, one on line entry having them listed as sent in 1808, which would have been too bad as I really wanted to use them in Peninsular scenarios. But further research of this elusive regiment found them posted in a Nafziger orbat as present on the east coast of Spain in 1812, so I'm thinking the second overseas date, 1815, is probably the accurate one.

And here is information recorded on the invaluable Little Wars blog, ffm which I also retrieved some of the above visual reference:
Granaderos a Caballo de Fernando VII - Húsares de Fernando VII
Raised by Coronel Fernan Nuñez on 15 September 1808 initially as the Regimiento F Nuñezas with 3 squadrons totalling 540 men. They soon became the Horse Grenadiers (Granaderos a Caballo de Fernando VII) and despite what their name might suggest, were light and not heavy cavalry. They were renamed Hussars (Húsares de Fernando VII) on 1 May 1811. They were one of the four regiments to remain after the 1811 reorganisation and existed until the end of the war.


  1. Original subject, great conversions and excellent painting (as usual), I like them a lot.

  2. Your grenadiers fought at Almonacid and Ocaña in 1809 - did rather well at the former, but as I am sure you know the Spanish cavalry performed abysmally at Ocaña and helped lose the battle.

  3. Thanks, Brian. You've given me another piece of this puzzle.