Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mexicans!




Thanks to Paint Table Easter weekend I finished 14 more Mexican infantry for the Alamo.  So, added to the six I had already done, I have five out of the eight companies I need for the Matamoros Regiment.  Mexican units were split between permanente (regulars) and activo (militia).  The Matamoros were regulars so I am using Boot Hill Miniature's marching figures for them.  I have three more companies of four started, including the cazadores and the granaderos which will complete the unit.




Next its an Activo unit for which I will use the charging figures.  I have also based six out of my first nine cavalry so progress is good on the Mexicans.  Today I've ordered my first Texians and a few more Mexican officers.  I've also started painting the Alamo!  I did a bit more on my Mutton Chop BEF too, so it was my best concentrated painting sessions for a while!  Now all I have to do is avoid a foreign trip in three weeks time! 




There can be only one choice for the music to accompany this post: Dimitri Tiomkin's rousing score for the Alamo (1960).  I have owned the soundtrack CD for some time but it contains some dialogue from the film (I hate it when they do that!) and rather too much cantina music and sickly songs from the first half of the film.  Recently, however, I picked up the 3 CD complete score performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic orchestra and very splendid it is too; with significantly more martial content, including fanfares and drum music representing the Mexican army.  With an excellent recording it is mostly superior to the old original soundtrack recording, with the odd exception, such as the entr'acte where the fading drums at the end are more haunting than the new version.

28 comments:

  1. Very nice looking Mexicans there and nice to see you have had a decent weekend on the brushes

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    1. Yes, it was nice to be able to do more than just a half hour stint!

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  2. They look lovely - how many figures do you need for your Alamo scenario? Or shouldn't I ask?

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    1. Santa Anna had about 1500 troops at the Alamo so at1;10 that's 150. Not impossible, given I have nearly finished over 30. But that would give 16 defenders. So maybe I'm looking at a 1:5 ratio!

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  3. Oh those are lovely. I particularly like the 'opera singer' character in the middle. Superbly painted, by the way.

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    1. Definitely too many tacos! These are very easy to paint, compared with, say, Perry figures.

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  4. Legatus Hedlius, Ave!

    Several things, if you ever get to San Antonio you must visit the I-Max production of a film on the Alamo. This is the only place in the English speaking world where this film is available. The thing to get is the CD of the music for the film, a CD which is sold in the lobby - or at least used to be.
    Second, the model is huge. even if you go with aq 1-5 ratio, please dont be insulted but 36 defenders will absolutely look wrong. Now if you were going to play actions at various areas in the fort thirty or forty figures might look right.
    l;astly, you can always use the chapel area for a few different things besides the epic battle, Back in the day the film San Antonio starring everyone's favorite cowboy, Errol Flynn, had the climactic shoot out at the Alamo chapel. The second thing you might find this useful for is the defense of women and children against a raid of rampaging Cherokees. This was the initial purpose of the mission. Lastly, you might have the defenders be Mexican troops who were initially driven out by parties of besieging Texans (texians or texicans are other correct usages).
    All the best for the completion of a wonderful project!
    Salve,
    Gerardus Magnus
    Archbishop Emeritus

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  5. Thanks for this. I had thought about the original attack on Bexar as an option, I am thinking of moving bits of it up to California from skirmishes between Mexican Presidials and Mountain men too. Good thought about the Cherokees - always wanted an excuse to get some plains Indians! I think maybe breaking the action down into fights at individual walls might work too - so just using one wall on the table at a time. Lots of options! I just couldn't resist the model!

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  6. I must say you have done an excellent job there.

    The Mexican Wars (this one, the next big one vs the US and the one with that Austrian bloke) are very fertile ground for the wargames table. In, 10mm say, you could even do this one 1:1 !

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    1. I think 10mm is beyond me! I can barely manage 15mm!

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  7. Great to see you getting enthused over a project, its nice when you get both figures and terrain coming together like this. I must say when I think 'Mexicans' I think white shirts and pants and sombreros... to see these ranks of 'Napoleonic' troops takes some getting used to!
    Also, spotted Holsts Planets in your sidebar - one of my favourite first classical albums I enjoyed as a youth :-)

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    1. Do you know I think you have hit the nail on the head. It's when I can do something about figures and terrain that I get enthused!

      I never get sick of the Planets. I'd go as fas as to say that I think its the best and most original English classical work of the last 150 years.- maybe even of all time. It wasn't quite the first classical piece I owned (those were Beethoven's 3rd symphony and Dvorak's New World) but it was the first I owned which wasn't a hand me down. It was also the first cassette I owned - Bernard Haitink's version,

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    2. I think its the terrain and the whole show that gets me going and enthused... I still recall my very early days... playing with airfix toy soldiers, then one day seeing a 'proper' Hornby railway set up... but I didnt 'see' the trains, I saw the terrain... and all I wanted to do was put my toy soldiers on it; the rolling hills, trees , hedges etc etc... I think that feeling has never left me. I think its why I am enjoying getting back to LOTR at the mo', theres so much variety in the figures and terrain opportunities to make... I have just ordered four 8'x4' 25mm styrofoam sheets... stand by for action!

      I can only thank my folks for having some classical stuff in the house when I was a kid that got me interested... The 'Planets' is wonderfully moving, so many differing moods and feelings from it... Mars used to be my favourite for its build up and dynamism, now as an older man, I find more enjoyment from the slower more sombre pieces...

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  8. Just some thoughts on the scale of the game play... you obviously want enough defenders to look right, but rather than being forced to field all the possible attackers at the correct ratio, what if you just fielded a portion of them, but keep recycling casualties back on ?... they did this mechanism for fighting Helms Deep with GWs LotR SBG, and it works quite well...

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    1. Good thought about recycling the attackers. I've heard this suggested for Thermopylae and Rorke's Drift (battles with similar issues). I actually played a Zulu Wars game at the club with recycled Zulus.

      It works but apart of me says it's cheating! It's like using the dip or army painter. Sensible but cheating! I'm just going to have to paint 500 Mexicans!

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    2. LOL, yes indeed... if you need an excuse to buy and paint 500 Mexicans, I can think of none better! Who'd be a cheater after all!? ;-)

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  9. I really like those, Legatus, bags of character!

    There was a great-looking Alamo demo game at Salute back in the '90's; I think it was card driven.

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  10. They are stockier than I usually go for in figures but then the Mexican soldiers of the time were very small. Their average height was only about 5'2". The army contained a lot of ethnic Indians and they were smaller. Many of the troops were just five foot tall. Santa Anna at five foot ten would have towered over most of his command!

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  11. Great looking figures; I agree their physical build captures the "look" of the troops. I would also have no problem seeing them on Peninsular battle fields too.

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  12. Beautiful work, did you like the remake of The Alamo?

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    1. Yes I enjoyed it (accurate uniforms helped) and couldn't understand all the negative reviews!

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  13. Oh no! I love the remake of the Alamo & love your figures just had sneaky look at the Boot Hill website and they do Mexican sappers!!!

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    1. And they aren't selling, it seems! We have to buy them!

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    2. My orders going in Friday :)
      Can you recommend any good books on the Alamo, uniforms etc?
      Cheers

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    3. See my recent review on my America blog

      http://americaswargaming.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/books-on-alamo-part-1.html

      It's a bit of a minefield but the Osprey The Alamo and the War of Texan Independence is probably the best single source.

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