Monday, 21 April 2014

Elizabethan Small Wars: Part 10: Irregular Wars - Portuguese, Hollanders and Spanish Colonial

Whilst awaiting the release of the Khurasan English and Spanish for the Elizabethan Anglo-Irish Wars, my figure collecting for Irregular Wars has now refocused on the Dutch-Portuguese War (1602–1663) which takes me somewhat beyond 'Elizabethan' in both time and place. The figures are Grumpy's Miniatures Colonial Portuguese. They are depicted in cotton armour and will be doubling as both Portuguese and Hollanders. They will also be recycled as Spanish for lining up against the Mapuche or against my English rebel army in their guise as English Adventurers.
Targeteers, crossbowmen, arquebusiers and pike

The pikes are North Star 'Spears for 15mm Figures' (NSS101)

Another view of the ensemble

Portuguese African slave targeteers, half-pikes, and arquebusiers.
Depending on slave troops sounds odd, but they fought well.

The figure in the bottom left-hand corner is a grenade thrower

Guns and ships crews from Grumpy's Bucaneer range reinforce
the Hollanders. The cavalry are Essex lancers and will be my
fidalgos (Portuguese) or hidalgos (Spanish). The mastiffs are from Museum Miniatures.

More cavalry and halberdiers. The cavalry are Viking Forge
reiters (left) and herreruelos (right) supplied in the UK

The original halberds were a bit scrawny so I added some
Donnington ones (EQ16)

One of the most appealing aspects of IW is the modest number of figures you need for an army, and the corresponding opportunity for collecting lots of interesting and colourful ones.  Another army currently in my sites is Mughal, using Essex figures, as I'd especially like an army with elephants. IW author, Nic Wright, is also now threatening to add a Barbary Corsairs list, another opportunity for exoticism. Barbary pirates raided the coasts of Britain and Ireland for slaves in the Sixteenth and later centuries so they could be plausibly lined up against my English or Irish armies at the scale represented in IW.


  1. Thanks for the pics, as I do not believe I have even seen pics of Grumpy's work before. Nice figures!

    1. Hi Buckeye

      You can find some painted examples on the Irregular Wars blog, but I thought it would be helpful to publish some comprehensive pictures of the range.


  2. Very nice, an impressive set of troops!

  3. I'm looking forward to seeing some paint on them once I've stripped off the bad undercoat and resprayed them.


  4. What kind of flags - if any - will you use for the dutch? I have some info on them, you can drop me an emial on: or through

    1. Hi Rampjaar

      I was planning on doing what I understand to be an appropriate flag for the Dutch East Indies Company. Thanks for offer of help. I'll be in touch by email.


  5. Great to see those pictures.

    Can you answer whether the Portuguese are cast with pikes and halberds or open handed.
    I'm not one of these crazies who fancies drilling out a bunch of 15mm hands to accept weapons.


    1. Yes. They're open-handed. Pictures of original castings here

      I've drilled many 15mm figures but 10mm are beyond me.