Friday, 12 June 2015

Oltramarina Schiavoni - Venetian skirmishers in 15mm

While doing a bit of internet digging I discovered quite a lot of pictures of Venetian re-enactors in Napoleonic uniforms, so I've been researching the Venetian armies that fought (very briefly) against Napoleon.

Most of the imagery shows troops wearing Austrian style uniforms, mostly blue with white facings. But I also spotted some guys wearing red coats with dark blue facings and trousers. A bit more digging revealed these to be Oltramarina Schiavoni (or sometimes just referred to as Ultramarines).

Oltramarina translates roughly as "from over sea" and was the name given to Albanian and Balkan light troops that fought in the service of the Venetian, and other Italian, armies.

The re-enactors had really cool looking uniforms and I was inspired to try and recreate a unit of these. Here are some of the pictures I found...

 

There didn't seem to be very much in the way of easy to find contemporary illustrations, but I eventually tracked down this image.

 
I wished there were figures suitable for these, and while looking for something totally unrelated on eBay I spotted these listed as being Essex "Napoleonic Albanian Musketeers" on a Buy-it-now.
 
 
These looked close enough, so I placed the order, and two days later I had these drop through the letterbox. I painted and based two up this morning to see how they look, and they certainly work as the Oltramarina Schiavoni. The only issue is their size compared to other figures. I've also done some comparison images as well.
 
 
These are (from left to right) Blue Moon, Old Glory, Essex, and AB. As you can see, the Essex are tiny compared to Blue Moon and AB, but until someone does the correct figures I'm sure they are good enough.

1 comment:

paulalba said...

Well done Colin, another little gem of a unit!!! You could almost have used some ACW zouaves?