by: Costas Rodopoulos [ ]
My first touch with Viriatus Miniatures, was reviewing the “Christ of the Trenches” figure that I then painted and got a certificate in Athens Star Show competition 2005. It was one of the most pleasingly painting figures and one I will always remember.
Then here I have under scope another one that already provokes me to paint.
Officer , Cacadores 1834 Ref. 54F006
As told again the thing that amazes me most with Viriatus miniatures, now that I have closest encounter with them, and have browsed carefully their catalogue, is that all of them have to tell a story, of existing person, that played a role in Portuguese history. In this way I think u become more connected to the theme u paint.
Description of the figure
This figure represents a ‘Caçadores’ (light infantry) officer in the 1834 pattern great uniform, during the constitutional wars. In 1834, the ’Caçadores’ uniform was dark brown with a black front and a double breast row of eight brass buttons each.
The collar and the cuff flaps were the colour of the regiment which in the case of 1st regiment were red. The cuffs were also the colour of the regiment and in this example were black. The coatee had small turnbacks of the colour of the lining and were fastened by two small brass bugles. The fur felt shako was pointed in shape and 9 inches long with black silk strings and a green plume 5 inches long. The belt and the shoulder pouch were of black leather. The sword was made of iron and was 35.5 inches long.
After the defeat of the Absolutist forces of D. Miguel by the Liberals of D. Pedro in 1834, Portugal dives into a time of great instability provoked by revolutions and counter-revolutions that last until 1851.
The sudden death of the king D. Pedro just after the Liberal victory brought to the throne his daughter at the age of 15 years old. On the other hand, the lack of cohesion among the Liberals whom were composed of the radical ‘Vintistas’, supporters of the 1822 constitution and the more moderate faction, the ‘Cartistas’ that supported the 1826 constitution which was more favourable to the king. Moreover, despite having been defeated there were the followers of D. Miguel who were against any form of constitution. This explosive mixture of values set the scenario for the instability of the following years.
On top of the internal crisis, Portugal still had to commit a military force to help Maria Cristina of Spain and the Liberals against D. Carlos in the first Carlista War. However, due to the internal instability the Portuguese forces only stayed between 1835 and 1837.
Besides the already troublesome guerrillas of the followers of D. Miguel commanded by Remexido and that were devastating the south of Portugal, the confrontation among liberal factions for power followed one after another. In 1836, a revolution known as ‘Setembrismo’ puts the radical faction in the government.
In November of the same year, the moderate faction supported by the Queen fights back in an action known as ’Belenzada’ but the common people and the National guard made it fail and the Queen was protected by loyal forces and British forces that were stationed in Ships on the River Tagus. In 1837, the moderates try another revolt known as the ‘Revolta dos Marchais’ but fail again.
Despite the systematic victories, the radical faction recognises the need to write a new constitution in 1838 that mixes both former constitutions. However, the dissatisfaction remained and Costa Cabral adopted the moderate constitution in 1842.
In 1846 there was a popular rising ‘ Revolta da Maria da Fonte’, against several laws issued by the government of Cabral. The situation was so bad that led to a stage of effective Civil War known as the ‘Patuleia’ that would only finish with the foreign intervention of British and Spanish troops in 1847. Finally, in 1851 Marshal Saldanha after a military insurrection brought the much needed stability after 40 governments since 1834 .This new period became known as ‘Regeneração’.
Classic hard carton box with inside foam protection holds safely all 12 white metal pieces of the figure.
This carton box is inside an outer thinner carton box that shows the box art figure painted by Fernando Pires, which also has done the sculpture on this one.
In the box, is also included a 6 page leaflet that holds historical notes on the figure, reference information, 3 different pictures of the painted figure and a detailed color chart for every piece, with Vallejo acrylics numbers references.
Head: Nicely sculpted (though I might liked some more intense lines ) with fur felt shako
Torso with right foot
Iron sword with left hand on it
2 spurs for the boots
Plume for shako
a rounded base piece with some ground texture (rocks, dirt )
Quality and Detail
What I always remind people in Viriatus miniatures is that, they are made in only 200 pieces each. So this limited production makes them even more precious. My copy is 24/200. The white metal quality is very high, and the casting is in pretty high level . No mold lines to clean, or flaws to correct . It seems that Viriatus is really doing some serious work.
So to enhance the already good material u will just to need a soft touch with fine wire wool, to polish the metal. Then some washing in bath with a mild detergent – water mix to make it as clean as it gets before priming.
Sculpted Detail is crisp and clear but delicate also . All parts are nicely detailed and the thin figure will ask for careful painting to have a nice result with the proper degradation in all shadows and highlights.
This one is a medium difficulty figure for painting, since there are some details on the uniform and also the dark colors will need right choise for highlighting colors so that the result will stand natural and not forced.
Color combinations are standard since he wears specific grand uniform and the table that Viriatus suggests will be of great help I think
I will paint this one for sure, and I hope I get a nice result as the figure demands for .
List of Paints to be needed
References based on Vallejo acrylic colours
Flesh 921 - English uniform, 947 - Red, 927 - Dark flesh
928 - Light flesh, 929 - Light brown
950 - Black, 965 - Prussian Blue
875 - Beige Brown, 856 - Ochre Maroon, 913 - Yellow Ochre, 984 - Flat Brown,
877 - Gold Brown, 871 - Leather Brown, 950 - Black
984 - Flat Brown, 950 - Black, 939 - Smoke, 911 - Light Orange
950 - Black, 869 - Basalt Grey, 992 - Neutral Grey,
921 - English Uniform
997 - Silver. 950 - Black, 864 - Natural Steel
867 - Dark Blue Grey
Conclusion – Final Verdict
In case you are not familiar with Viriatus Miniatures, try to do so ! Theyre friendly figures, of existing persons of history and that’s attractive. This officer of the Light Infantry (Cacadores) is a good chance .
Alternative themes ease up the usual painting choices and add new attraction to ur showcase
Pedro Soares Branco (2000), Coberturas Militares Portuguesas 1740 - 1918, Edições Inapa.
Manuel A. Ribeiro Rodrigues (1998), 300 Anos de Uniformes Militares do Exército de Portugal 1660 - 1960, Exército Português / Sociedade Histórica da Independência de Portugal.
Collecção das ordens do Exército, Anno de 1834, ordem n.9
Gen. Ferreira Martins (1945), História do Exército Português, Editorial Inquérito.
Carlos Selvagem (1931), Portugal Militar, INCM (1999)
Manuel Themudo Barata (2004), Nova História Militar de Portugal, Círculo de Leitores.
Museu Militar em Lisboa
Special Thanks to Miguel of Viriatus Miniatures for the review sample
Stay tuned for more Viriatus Miniatures figures to be reviewed soon