Monday, 10 October 2016

My Irregular Wars Colonial Portuguese and Hollanders

General with Dutch East India Company flag
My 15mm Colonial Portuguese and Hollanders are finally finished. I first posted about these back in April 2014, i.e. two-and-a-half years ago!

The figures are mostly Grumpy's Miniatures and designed to be interchangeable between Portuguese, Dutch and Spanish colonial forces where appropriate.

As the figures came out rather dark I went light with the bases which looks good for the Tropics.

If you look closely you will see there is no facial or much other detail. The figures are designed to be viewed at playing distance. The 'realism' is achieved by (a) staining, and (b) the ground. The latter requires little time or effort but adds a great deal to the look. IMO this approach provides the most economical balance between effort and effect.

The inspiration for these armies comes entirely from Nick Wright, Irregular Wars author, and the pictures of his own beautifully painted figures which can be seen on his blog.

I gave the finished armies an outing in a game at the end of September. My regular wargaming partner and fellow IW play-tester, Ian,  commanded the Dutch while I took the Portuguese. There was a lot more firepower than in the mainly English-Irish games which we played previously. I concentrated my shot on my right flank and at one point it looked to me as if the game could go in my favour. Ian, meanwhile, had two artillery units on a hill on his right flank, i.e. my other flank. Despite a lot of misses these units eventually caused some critical hits and my army crumpled in a typical IW domino effect. This is the second time I've used and lost with the Portuguese. I must try the Dutch next time.
Portuguese Targeteers, Militia shot, Fidalgos, Harquebusiers, and Militia pike.
Portuguese Slave shot, Slave targeteers, Slave pikemen (with half-pikes), and Slave grenadier unit.
Dutch Militia shot, Merchant adventurers, Colonial militia pike, Ruijters, Targeteers, and Mercenary halberdiers.
 Dutch Crossbowmen, Ships' guns, Ships' crews.


  1. Very nice. Are those wire pikes and if so, do the figures come with them?

    1. I can't remember what they came with but I equipped them with the excellent wire pikes from North Star.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Ray. I used to attempt detailed realism. Now it's more trompe l'oeil.

  3. I do rather like Grumpy figures and you have painted and based them well.

    I have yet to paint my Portuguese, but enjoy getting the Malay figures out.

    1. Thanks. Yes, they are excellent figures in every way and deserve to be better known.