Cerro Manteca, 1811 is an episodic Peninsular War campaign using the rather splendid Sharp Practice 2 rules from TOOFATLardies (reviewed by me here).

Most of the figures for Cerro Manteca, 1811 have been painted by commission, something I was a bit hesitant about more than dabbling in, but was the only way I was realistically going to get enough figures on the table before my death.

Blunt’s Rifles are from the 1/95th Foot and were painted by the talented Matt Slade of Glenbrook Games. Matt has also painted some of the Guerillas, the Caçadores, the lovely Mameluke cavalry and the Front Rank voltigeurs that feature in the later battle reports. Prices are very competitive, the painting is to a good standard and Matt’s a lovely bloke. His wife’s company, Saddle-Goose Designs produces the world’s best custom-made dice/chip bags, prices for which are astonishingly reasonable. The various civilians and the lovely Cantinière, Isabelle Bitche (well-beloved by all the men of the 69e Ligne) and her wagon are Matt’s handiwork too.

Rifles Painted by Matt Slade

Capitaine Pépin’s French are men of the 69ème Ligne. They were mostly painted in very quick time by Emperor Toad’s Emporium. Matt (are all commission painters called Matt? Is it some kind of union thing?) offers an extremely cheap service and I was not expecting works of art. However I was very impressed with the quality for the price. The Emporium is most certainly an ‘army painting’ service; but if you want serviceable-looking troops on the table very cheaply and quickly, you won’t go wrong with Matt. They are supplemented by Grenadiers bought at an absolute bargain price from ebay, and various officers and supports also from  ebay at more or less bargain prices.

French Painted by Emperor Toad

Just over half of the guerillas of El Hombre Sin Nombre’s band were purchased in an ebay ‘flash sale’ from Battle Studios Miniature Painting Service. Amazingly nobody else bid for 24 very nice Front Rank models painted to a standard way above what I’d have expected for the price. I therefore ordered some Polish Lancers from the same source, which even at Steve’s full rate, were also astonishingly reasonable.

Guerillas Painted by Battle Studios, Female Guerilla Painted by Matt Slade, Voltigeurs by Emperor Toad

Buildings are largely by Tablescape. These come pre-painted to a very acceptable standard and are light and robust. The only real disadvantage is that you can’t place models inside them. But given they compare very favourably in cost with pre-painted mdf kits, and are much less prone to damage, I’d recommend them all day long. The exceptions are the windmills by Grand Manner, which are just lovely. Grand Manner are the Rolls Royce of miniatures terrain with some of their smaller pieces not too bank-breaking. If I were a rich man, or even a moderately well-off man, I’d buy far more of their range.

Church by Tablescape

The rather impressive river and most of the trees are from Last Valley Scenics who unfortunately have no web presence, bar a dead Facebook page, so I can’t give a useful link. Their stuff is good value and robust and to my mind amongst the best off the shelf practical terrain available. He goes to a lot of UK shows and does very brisk business (go early and buy what you want straight away).

River and (most) Trees by Last Valley Scenics, Roads by Fat Frank, Windmills by Grand Manner, Other Buildings by Tablescape, Game Mat by Cigar Box Battle

The mat underneath everything else is by Cigar Box Battle who are now distributed in the UK by North Star Military Figures. North Star both manufacture and distribute a good range of figures and rules. I’ve used some of their Highlanders and French in my French and Indian War Campaign, and some of their African range for my Congo games.