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Saturday, September 25, 2021

On the Road to Vimiero

After holding the British as long as they could, what was left of the French force from the battle of Rolica fell back to Zambugeira, and from there on to Lisbon.  At the same time the French forces at Santarem were marching west to join Delaborde and Junot at Lisbon.  Outside of Lisbon some of the survivors from Rolica have gathered to watch the troops pour in from Santarem.

Gendarmes de Espagna (Hinton Hunt FN/314 on FNH/3) clear the road for the approaching cavalry, while the brave troopers of the 15th Chasseurs-a-Cheval, heroes of the retreat from Rolica, have lined up alongside the road to cheer on their fellow cavalrymen..

The Gendarmes de Espagna were greatly feared and operated not only as a police force, but also in the battle line.  Thanks to Aly for these Hinton Hunt originals!

The 16th Dragoons are one of four Dragoon regiments in the Tennant collection, each of twenty figures.

The trumpeter in white bearskin hat had to have been a glorious sight!  Likely a conversion of Hinton Hunt FN/313.

Here we have a Major of Dragoons and guidon bearer of the 16th.  The cavalry were pretty beaten up by their treatment across the ocean, no thanks to Fedex, and truthfully an inadequate packing job, but somehow the delicate foil flag of the 16th survived.  Several of the horses had broken ankles and there was a lot of chipped paintwork to repair, but in the end they came out better than ever.

Some survivors of the decimated 39th line battalion watch the arrival along with their fine looking Colonel.

The elite company (Hinton Hunt FN/313) of the 16th Dragoons.

The troopers file by.

As they pass by, the 6th light infantry survivors have formed into line to watch the spectacle, barely sneaking into the frame are the yellow and green plumes of the elite voltigeur company.

Helping to keep order, some more Gendarmes de Espagna file by, preceding a battery of horse artillery.

The artillery a cheval was probably the most damaged in transport, and putting such a delicate and complicated model back together was challenging to say the least, but once again, I felt like the end result was spectacular and a tribute to the original work by Mr. Tennant.

The collection includes two batteries of line horse artillery, which is pretty impressive considering Marcus Hinton never offered line horse artillery!

Mounted gunners

Colonel Grouvel of the 16th dragoons has pulled off the road to discuss a matter of some importance with the Gendarmes.

Since each of the regiments of dragoons in the Tennant collection has twenty figures, I am able to pull out the Colonel and mount individually while retaining the core unit of 18.  Having one extra trooper was a good thing in this case as one of the horses was simply irreparable without significant solder work.

Colonel Grouvel and the Gendarmes clear out of the way, making room the the artillerists to unlimber across the road and shoot of a salvo to honor the efforts of Delaborde's survivors from Rolica.

Since Line horse artillery is not part of the Hinton Hunt range of figures, Mr. Tennant used a variety of figures and a 20mm Hinchliffe canon.

I would love to know if anyone can ID these figures.  I'm guessing the one on the right is an SHQ figure, but the one on the left with the rammer has a tiny base.  So though the figures look very similar, I suspect they came from different ranges.

The trumpeter has a base that is very distinctly characteristic of Alberkan figures.  I suspect an elite horse artillery figure customized by Dick to include a trumpet.  FN40?

Hinton Hunt - Artillery command FN/30?

Both SHQ figures?  Please leave a comment if you think you might be able to shed any light of the origin of these figures.