Thursday 9 October 2014

The Garibaldi Project

Last year I started yet another project (sigh!) ,this was using the new range of figures from 'Irregular Miniatures' . Like many gaming enterprises this has staled somewhat as other things have got in the way - the story of my wargaming life . However in a moment of serendipity I came across this book in an box of rather tatty books in a charity shop in town -

Rather dated by now - it was originally published in 1911 - but it got me thinking again , so I have decided to revisit this era and collection and give it another go . I have copied the original posts of my old defunct blog to recap and set the scene 

Oh No ! Not ANOTHER New Project !.

Okay so I need another wargaming period/project like I need another hole in my head !, I blame Christopher Hibbert - for years I have been avoiding this book because of it's potential wargaming ideas , then I got a second hand copy and the rot set in . I also blame 'A' for NOT talking me out of it ! - instead he positively encouraged me to go ahead !  by pointing out that Irregular do such a cute range of figures for it and then lending me a couple of books on the subject .

Then of course Irregular do such a good mail order service (following day delivery) that before you know it I'm cleaning up figures in the garden ready for spraying instead of cutting the hedge !.

The figures are very nice with a certain quirky style with them (Garibaldi himself mounted to the left of the photo) and I plan to use them with 'Black Powder' rules . I will use the orbat for Garibaldi's first battle with 'The Thousand' so not to many figures to start off with (oh I've heard that one before!). Well off to spray them up . Oh dear what have I started !.

First Fruits.

Have had a bit of a 'PaintFest' and got the first 12 of the Garibaldini done , the figures are very easy to paint and it's sort of like painting slightly more colourful ACW Confederate infantry . Got to 'Basetex'  the bases and paint the command and will post when this is done.

Garibaldi - The Man - The Biscuit !

My delving into a project knows no bounds , so in the name of research I had to purchase ( and eat  ) some Garibaldi biscuits . These were first produced by Peek Freans  in 1861 in honour of the man . To pinch a quote from Alexi Sayle ( comedian ) ---

'it's quite interesting, you know, the number of biscuits that are named after revolutionaries. You've got your Garibaldi, of course, you've got your Bourbons, then of course you've got your Peek Freans Trotsky Assortment." [sings] "Revolutionary biscuits of Italy / Rise up out of your box! / You have nothing to lose but your wafers / Yum yum yum yum yum!"'

Redshirts .

I have got the first unit of my Garibaldini done , I think 16 figures looks to small so I may add another base .

I will be using them with the popular 'Black Powder' rule set and will have 5 bases as my standard unit .

These have been painted up as Garibaldi's Genoese Carabineers and will count as a 'small' unit under the rules. I have got some of their Neapolitan opponents done but not quite finished as they need a flag and our printer has run out of ink and I keep forgetting to buy some .

Neapolitan Infantry

I've got the first unit of Neapolitans done to oppose the Garibaldini - the 10th Regiment. This will be a 'standard unit' for 'Black Powder' rules although I will add another base as I think 16 figures looks a bit small !.

I could have painted their trousers white (summer wear) but being a wargamer I could not resist the winter uniform of red trousers . The Neapolitan regimental flags have a complicated coat of arms on them but with modern technology and 'cut and paste' I managed to knock one up - and now nobody can see it on the model - rats!!! , the flag pole took several attempts to get right as well . I 've started on a second unit so I'm pleased with the way the project is coming on .

Garibaldi Update .

Its been a while since I posted anything about my Garibaldi/Red shirts project . It's been chugging along in the background slowly and it's nearly got to the point when I have enough for a game - using Black Powder. Here is a command figure for the Garibaldini , a Irregular figure of course .

Neapolitan command - CinC  in full dress and a subordinate in undress uniform , again Irregular figures.

A Neapolitan gun and crew.

Garibaldi's Sicilian Volunteers 'picciotti'. There are lots of references to these in his early battles but not much in the way of uniform/clothing description . I decided that Spanish Napoleonic guerrillas would be the nearest I would get , the next problem is size - the Irregular figures are quite small - true 25mm and lots of modern figures do not look right with them . I thought I would try Hinchcliffe - they do a limited range of Spanish , so I mixed in a few AWI  militia . They will count as Irregular skirmishers and be in 2 small units when finished.

Cavalry For The Garibaldi Campaign.

Neither Garibaldi or his Neapolitan foes had much cavalry at the start of the Sicilian campaign , the only unit the Neapolitans had was the Horse Chasseur Regt. , which is portrayed above . 

Garibaldi had even fewer cavalry , in fact at the start of the campaign the Guides were not even mounted !. I have decided to give them horses - both units will count as 'small' under the 'Black Powder' rules. The figures are of course from Irregular.


  1. The figures are very nice - not a period I know much (anything?) about, but looks rewarding. I'd be worried about being reliant on a single manufacturer whose figure scales don't match anyone else's, but that's just me. I was so impressed by the theme of biscuit references that I intend to have a Colonel Figge Newton in my ECW campaign. Thank you for this...

    1. Yes that is the problem with Irregular figures - however they do match Hinchcliffe and some of the Old Glory ranges , Col. Figge Newton had a illustrious record in the ECW if I remember rightly , Cheers Tony

  2. Splendid stuff! I read Hibbert's book years a go and almost, almost, went down the road you're on now. Good luck!

    Talking of revolutionary biscuits don't forget the volunteer British nurse with Garibaldi, Miss Diane Gestive.