The Lanciers of D. Julian at Fuentes de Oņoro (1811)

lanciers of don julian "el charro"

D. Julian Sanchez (a.k.a El Charro o Don Julian) was a guerrilla leader that acted around Ciudad-Rodrigo near the Spanish-Portuguese border. He collaborated assiduously with Wellington acting as scouts and  providing him with a invaluable collection of captured French officers or dispatches. His cavalry, known as the 'Lanciers of Castilla', was included in the regular Spanish Army around 1813. In the battle of Fuentes de Onoro, the Guerrillas of D. Julian occupied the extreme right of the Allied line around Nava de Haver.
These Guerrillas were uniformed from the beginning. The most famous pictorial representation is the included in the book of Goddard and Booth, published in 1812: ('The military costume of Europe; exhibited in a series of highly-finished military figures, in the uniform of their several corps; with a concise description, and historical anecdotes; forming memoirs of the various armies of the present time. London 1812'). This plate (see below) shows the Guerrilleros wearing a grey uniform and has been adopted by J.M. Bueno in his books. However, the Chartrand and Hook's Osprey book present them with deep-blue uniforms, probably basing upon contemporary views  cited in the book. I have chosen a grey-blue uniform


British Library
Images On Line
Batalla de
los Arapiles
Uniformes Militares Espaņoles    1800 - 1980 Osprey-Publishing
Goddard and Booth J.M. Bueno J.M. Bueno R. Chartrand/R. Hook


Obviously, there are not commercial figures available for such as unit. I have used an ITALERI 6008 French Hussar for D. Julian Sanchez himself and several REVELL 02576 French Mounted Guard Chasseurs for the trumpet and the men of the Guerrilla. Neither D. Julian nor the trumpet were modified (only painted accordingly to the references) but the rest of the men were transformed by eliminating (with a X-acto knife) their carbines, belts, sobretaches and cartridge-boxes.
The more striking feature of the rank and file men, the Spanish 'charro' hat, was simulated by cutting the colback of the chasseurs and fixing a cardboard on the head with a pin and cianocrylate glue. The cardboard was then rounded with a scissors and the rest of the hat made with a bit of plastilline (children's modelling paste).  All the zone was then fixed with white-glue. See the pictures below.

The cardboard is fixed on the heads with a pin and super-glue The hat is finished by rounding the cardboard and adding a bit of modelling paste

After priming in black, the figures were painted using acrylics (Vallejo) following a scheme of blue jacket, grey-blue trouser, red facings and yellow lace. The round hat was painted black. The lances were made with wire (from office clips) and the paper flags were glued with cianocrylate glue and painted red.

Don Julian (1) Don Julian (2) Lanciers (1) Lanciers (2)
Don Julian himself Rank and file Trumpet
Lanciers (3) Lanciers (4) Lanciers (5) Lanciers (6)
All the gang