Here are the first painted test figures. They painted up quickly and easily despite my old eyes. The basic coat color is very dark blue, basically the same indigo dyes used for contemporary French uniforms. The officers have the 1832 coat with red lapels. I just used gold piping to show the lace around the lapels, cuffs, etc, but in reality the gold lace could be a fairly elaborate design, especially for colonels on up. The first officer in bicorne will be a battalion commander. According to regulations he should wear the shako when serving with his battalion, but has opted for a bicorne with gold laced decorations. Two of the other officers would command companies so wear shakos. On the officer’s shakos I used a bit of artistic license by having lace, shako plate, and chinscales as gold as opposed to the brass of the rankers. I have no proof that this is correct, but makes sense that the officers would wear a more elaborate kit. Officers are also wearing gold epaulettes, swords, and a crimson/red sash. The charging officer looking back over his shoulder to make sure his men are actually following him wears the stylish 1830s-style sombrero that was reported worn during the campaign. These hats were civilian items and could be any reasonable color. I opted for a common tan, but black, grey, brown are all possible variants. Officers also tended to wear privately purchased breeches. I painted two with white breeches and two with grey.
The three Fusilero sergeants are dressed in enlisted men’s uniforms with their rank being indicated by red fringed epaulettes. The solid red epaulettes would mark these NCOs as members of a Permanente battalion. In the Activo battalions NCOs had red epaulettes with green fringe. For Fusileros I tried to paint the shako pompons as the tricolor green/white/red but with only moderate success. They look okay at arm’s length. The trousers for enlisted men were officially suposed to be medium blue with red stripe in winter and white canvas in summer. I’m giving all Permanente soldados the mid-blue type, but these photographed as grey, but trust me, they’re medium blue. The brogans are painted black.
The standard bearer is dressed as a regular enlisted man and would be a Fusilero. I could not find any reference regarding the painting of the flag pole. I just painted it brown, but it’s possible that the pole was some other color-green? red? blue? As painted the bearer would be a private, but I think I’ll add corporal’s stripes to the lower sleeves. The drummer presented a bit of a problem since I have found references showing both blue coats and reversed coats. I went with Chartrand’s “Santa Anna’s Army” and gave the drummer a reversed coat (red faced blue), but chickened out on the sleeve lace. I’m considering having red-coated drummers in the Permanente companies, while the Activo drummers will have the blue coats.
In the Mexican Army of 1836 the Fusilero companies would have a pair of drummers, while the Cazadores and the Grenaderos had a pair of trumpeters. The last figure is painted as a Cazadore with blue coat faced green and green pompon. I had no luck finding out what color the trumpet cord should be so I just painted it green.
Overall, I’m happy with the results as they look fine at arm’s length, though the close-ups look a mess.