Monday, March 2, 2020

Zaragoza Light Infantry 1808

Continuing with a theme, I painted up another battalion of round-hatted Spanish infantry for my ever-growing Spanish army. The beauty of painting the Spanish, as a wargamer, is that you will literally never run out of new and varied units to paint! Especially in the myriad of units that emerged (and disappeared again!) in 1808 as a result of the Central Junta’s call to arms, virtually every region and municipality in the nation had its own unique uniform.
This week’s offering is the blue-coated light infantry formed in 1808 in defence of Zaragoza during its prolonged sieges over 1808-09. These were bloody affairs that resulted in the estimated deaths of 54,000 Spaniards (20,000 soldiers and 34,000 civilians). The French also lost terrible numbers during the siege, both in battle and from disease, although nothing close to the Spanish losses.

The figures are again from the HaT Spanish Guerrilla box. I had earlier decapitated a few of these for another militia unit so those figures received new heads, some bandaged or with different hats, giving the unit a more battle worn appearance. The uniforms on these figures, as stated in the previous post, also vary, with different coat cuts and leggings - the official uniform, according to the Osprey image, has the Zaragoza light infantry with full lapels and short tails with red turnbacks. But only a few of these figures have those. I would imagine in the privations and desperation of a prolonged siege, uniformity was probably not universal!

A bit of history...
There were two battalions of Zaragoza Light Infantry raised during the two sieges, the first on the 29th of May, 1808 and the second December 1 of the same year. At the conclusion of the second siege on February 21 1809 the first battalion had only 87 survivors and the 2nd 62, and on surrendering all were led into captivity in France.

Head swaps I made for a few of the figures to add more variety to an already mixed bag.

In skirmish formation with half the figures detached from their four-up magnetic bases.


  1. Brilliant stuff! I love to see a variety of obscure regiments like this. You've gone the extra mile with the headswaps and it has paid off. Then there's the fabulous peninsula backdrop...perfect!

    1. Thanks, Marvin. The head swaps were actually necessitated by the fact that I had stolen those heads for their round hats a year or two ago. When it came to painting these guys I was a few figures short of a battalion, so...
      Glad you liked them!

  2. Beautifully, beautifully done Bill. They are fine figures those Hat guerrillas, but your conversions make them look even better. Such wonderfully 'atmospheric' photography too. A feast for our eyes!

    1. Thanks for the kind comments, James. I do like the HaT Guerrillas - chunky detail but loads of character, and I find they paint up very well.