Okay, I know I'm not exactly lighting the world on fire with this post but hey, it is what it is.
Earlier this summer I visited Phil's great blog Diary of an Infrequent Wargamer and found that Capitan Miniatures has this great painting competition where they will send out a sample figure you paint it and email back a picture of the finished product. 'Cool, I'm in!' says I, and about a week later an envelope duly arrives from Spain containing a 28mm infantryman awaiting some paint.
Being the typical uniform nerd I wanted to do something a little off the beaten path and so I decided to paint the figure as an infantryman from the army of that ill-starred 'King of Spain', Joseph ('My Little Brother is a Bit of a Pr*ck') Bonaparte.
So what we have here is a poor dogface from the 3e Regiment d'Infantrie de Ligne (volunteers from Seville), circa 1808.
From what I understand, the available information on uniforms from this period of Spanish history is notoriously sketchy and difficult to verify. I came across the above Knotel watercolour in John R. Elting's exhaustive 'Napoleonic Uniforms, Vol. III'. In it Elting states that two sources describe this regiment as having black facings, but the inclusion of brown trousers is up for debate. The only thing that is reasonably certain is that Joseph adopted Spain's traditional red cockade (Okay, sure, big help guys). Nevertheless, I decided to go with the brown trousers with the yellow piping as I thought it looked quite spiffy. (Note: After I published this post Rafa ('Archiduquerpc'), an excellent hobbyist from Spain, kindly provided me with more information about this unit and it's uniform. Thanks Rafa - much appreciated!)
As Joseph apparently insisted on topping-up the ranks of his army with deserters and prisoners from his opponents one can only imagine the reliability of the forces supporting his regime. Well, at least they looked sharp!