Monday, 4 March 2019

1540s Artillery Pieces

Following on from the 1540s Landsknechts I posted up at the start of the year work has continued on the Mid-16th Collection, the most recently completed figures for which are a couple of artillery pieces and crew. The guns and crew are by The Assault Group, one crew is from their Tudor range and the other from their Valois range. The Fleur De Lys badges have been removed from the French figures. As with a lot of the collection I was keen for both guns to have fairly generic crewmen so that they can be used for a variety of armies.

While I really like the TAG figures I did reposition these a little as the artillery crew all come open handed, ready to hold the various artillery swabs, powder scoops or ramrods which TAG also provide. While a few figures look great holding these I'm never keen on the whole team doing so. Both crews have a figure with a linstock. These are easy to make by simply gluing cotton around a piece of wire so it looks like the match wrapped around the linstock. One crew is in the process of repositioning the gun after it has recoiled, as gamers and modellers I think we often forget the fact guns would fly backwards when shooting. One crewman reaches for the bucket to swab the gun before the next charge is loaded. The other crew are in the process of ramming the shot home, having loaded the powder charge.

I think the crew work well in fairly drab outfits and complement the other TAG figures for this era. A pike block with marching shot in front has been included in the photos to add a bit more flavour. Period wise I would use them for the 1530s through to the early 1560s at a push. I have also finished another 16 shot for this collection and am currently working on some later Gendarmes. After these will hopefully follow a couple of Mid-16th Century command bases. This 1540s side project has moved slowly along in the background and it would be good to add some more bits and pieces to the collection so I can start using it for some later Renaissance Rampant games. Hopefully the "Camisade of Boulogne" is not too far off!

Mid-16th Century heavy guns and artillery crew by The Assault Group. The Watermill in the background is also a new purchase.

The artillery open fire as the Pike and Shot begin to move forward.

One team are in the process of rolling the gun forward after it has been fired while the other team are pushing the shot home as part of the reloading process.

The Assault Group guns and crew from behind.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

The Battle of Stoke Field - 1514?

This weekend I was visited by one of my fellow reenactors Jason Flint, who portrays a 15th Century Galloglass. His efforts can be seen on his instagram account which is well worth a look: . We are of course both well aware that the actual Battle of Stoke Field was fought in 1487 but we wanted to do a game that featured lots of Irish troops and as the actual 1487 Battle of Stoke Field was quite unusual for the Wars of the Roses, featuring the FitzGerald Irish and Martin Schwartz's mercenaries, we thought it would be fun to do a 16th Century version of the battle. Yet again the indomitable Richard de la Pole, already seen a few times on this blog,, was on hand to provide the perfect veneer of historicity. We played out a scenario that saw the son and younger brother of the two lead protaganists of 1487 face each other in scarily similar circumstances in 1514!

As always I used the adaptation of Lion Rampant that Stuart Mulligan and myself have slowly been writing and rewriting for our games. The figures are more representative than anything and we used casualty markers to note the deterioration of units. The photos were taken during the game by myself and Jason and a good way to get a sense of the ebb and flow of the battle is to read the captions below them. I have to admit that when the game got especially dramatic in the centre fight I stopped taking photos for a while but I think a good flavour is given nonetheless. Jason took control of Richard de la Pole and his rebel army while I commanded the Royalists under Henry VIII.

The two armies deployed for battle. In the foreground are De la Pole's Landsknechts with some Enlglish rebels. Further up the hill and in the trees are the FitzGerald's and their Irish troops. Opposite De la Pole is Charles Brandon with his retinue infantry and some hastily raised levies, while most of Henry's troops are deployed in the field on the hill.

The Second Battle of Stoke Field - 1514

Following Henry VIII's invasion of France in 1513 and the death of France's ally, James IV, at Flodden, Louis XII has struck back at England by despatching Richard de la Pole and a force of Landsknechts in an invasion attempt. In a rerun of events 26 years before where De la Pole's elder brother John was killed, the last Yorkist heir has sailed from St Malo in Brittany to Dublin where he has allied with the 9th Earl of Kildare, who's uncle died in the original invasion attempt. With a mixed force of German Mercenaries and Irish Auxiliaries they have landed in Lancashire and been joined by addtional troops rallying to the Yorkist cause.

A clever propaganda campaign launched by the De la Pole and the French has led to confusion for the Tudor regime. Henry's forces have been distributed throughout England fearing multiple landings and even a possible attack from Scotland, a nation which has proven particularly resilient following Flodden. Knowing Henry and his army to be in the centre of the country, at Nottingham, De la Pole has headed straight for him, and as fate would have it they have met close to the River Trent at Stoke.

De La Pole knows how his brother faired all those years before but feels this time God is on his side and things will go differently. In a few days he could be Richard IV, King of England...

A closer look at Richard de la Pole's Landsknechts and English rebels.

The 9th Earl of Kildare's Irish prepare to attack in the cover of the woods.

The Scenario for the game is a variant of Blood Feud, L from Lion Rampant, page 56. Henry must try to kill De la Pole and De la Pole must survive. Each army composes of two retinues for Lion Rampant. The two retinues in each army act indepently:

Richard de la Pole's army

Richard de la Pole - The White Rose

1 Unit of Foot Knights (Richard de la Pole and retinue)
2 Units of Landsknecht Pike                             
1 Unit of Landsknecht Shot                                   
1 Unit of Shire Archers                           
1 Unit of Shire Billmen                                         
1 Culverin                                                         
1 Unit of Border Horse 
The Geraldines

1 Unit of Foot Knights (Gerald FitzGerald, 9th Earl of Kildare)
2 Units of Galloglass                                                       
4 Units of Kern                                                           
2 Units of Horseboys                                                   
1 Unit of Shire Archers                                 

Sir Rhys ap Thomas's cavalry hold Henry's flank while the retinues of the Marquis of Dorset, Lord Herbert, Baron Audley and the veteran Sir Edward Poynings take the field in support of the King.

Henry VIII and his Gentlemen Pensioners. Cardinal Wolsey can be seen organising the army's logistics in the next field, perhaps he is a little premature in wearing the red of a cardinal - he wasn't made one until 1515!

The Royal Army of Henry VIII

Henry VIII's Retinue

1 Unit of Kings Spears (Henry VIII)                     
1 Unit of Demilancers                                         
2 Units of Garrison Archers
2 Units of Garrison Bill                                  
1 Culverin                                                           
Sir Charles Brandon, newly appointed Duke of Suffolk

1 Unit of Foot Knights (Sir Charles Brandon)
1 Unit of Garrison Archers                     
1 Unit of Shire Archers                           
1 Unit of Garrison Bill                             
1 Unit of Border Horse                           
1 Culverin                       
The Kern begin proceedings with a spectacular charge....

.....which falters just as they are about to unleash a rain of arrows and javelins on the Royal forces.

Initially things look daunting for the thin line of cavalry on the Royal left flank.

The clash started with a surge from the FitzGerald Irish with the whole of the Earl of Kildare's army charging forward. De la Pole was more cautious, waiting to see how events turned out on his right before committing his forces fully. Unfortunately for the rebels just as the Kern looked as if they would be able to unleash a hail of arrows, javelins and arquebus shot into the ranks of Henry's army, they faltered. The brief pause was all the time the Royalist forces needed to compose themselves and send a storm of arrows in the direction of the oncoming Kern and Galloglass.

While the arrow storm caused destruction similar to that of 1487 it also brought down an unexpected high ranking casualty. Despite the Earl of Kildare being in the full harness of an Anglo-Irish Lord he was caught by a chance bow shot and felled. The rebel right flank was shaken and began to fall back without even reaching the Tudor lines. Most of the Irish retreated but some of the Galloglass refused to flee only to be trapped at the hedgerow by the Royalist arrows. De la Pole had to do something if he wanted to achieve success where his elder brother had failed.

As the Geraldine Irish falter it gives the Government forces a chance to slaughter them with a hail of arrows...

...and through sheer bad luck their heavily armoured leader - Gerald FitzGerald, the 9th Earl of Kildare, is struck by an arrow!

As most of the FitzGeralds fall back a group of Galloglass take refuge from the arrow storm behind a hedgerow.

At the other end of the field De la Pole sent forward some of the English troops that had rallied to his banner, still not committing his professional Pike blocks. While light horsemen attempted to out flank Henry's right flank, a group of rebel archers waded into the river and began to shoot at the Duke of Suffolk's troops. To start with this looked to have no real effect so the Landsknechts were finally sent into the fray. As the Landsknecht artillery began to the fire the Pikemen and Arquebusiers marched towards the Tudor army.

At the other end of the field some of the English troops who have rallied to De la Pole's cause attempt to outflank Brandon's men. As light horse ride into the village to attack...

...Longbowmen wade into the river with De la Pole's state of the art light artillery starting to fire on the Tudor Army. 

So far the action has been on both flanks, finally De la Pole's centre advances.

What is left of Kildare's army rallies in support of Richard de la Pole.

As most of Henry's army races to reposition from the hill as the Landsknechts advance on the thin Royalist centre, held by Sir Charles Brandon and his men.

The Royalist Gunners panic under the pressure of the assault - repeatedly failing to fire the gun after a couple of longer range shots.

De la Pole's men lead a disciplined attack on the Royalist centre.

As Henry's troops descend the hill the fighting can be seen in the distance.

The scene just before the biggest clashes of the battle. 

Initially Richard de la Pole's attack on the centre met with success. Sir Charles Brandon's troops that held the right flank of the Tudor army finally broke under sustained pressure from the rebel archers and artillery. While the shire archers Henry had hastily levied kept up a withering rain of arrows from the cover of the cornfields the Royal artillery got off a few shots at the advancing Landsknechts but as the pressure of the enemy advance built the gunners panicked and repeatedly fumbled any attempts to blast the pikemen at close range.

As the White Rose's men advanced Henry's main force realised it was not in a position to aid Brandon's forces. They started to redeploy and move to the centre of the field to support Brandon. The remaining FitzGeralds saw this and, having rallied, led a second charge at Henry's army. The veteran of both Bosworth and the 1487 clash at Stoke, Sir Rhys ap Thomas, led the Royalist Demilancers into the Irish to hold them back but he was quickly defeated by Kildare's retinue and sent fleeing back into the fields! Some of the Galloglass got to into the Royalist positions and crashed into the Royalist lines. They had brief success but the numbers against them told and they were brought down by more archery.

Sir Rhys ap Thomas leads his Demilancers in an attempt to finally rout the FitzGeralds - they still have some fight left in them and, despite the loss of their leader, the Earl of Kildare's retinue sends them fleeing back towards their own lines!

Emboldened the remaining Galloglass attack the Royalists across the hedge. They send the archers reeling but once they have composed themselves the archers strike back and once again the Irish fall prey to the warbow.

In the chaos at the centre of the field Sir Charles Brandon engages in a one on one with De la Pole - echoing his fathers clash with Richard III nearly 30 years earlier. Unlike that fight this was not to be a mortal struggle as the two are separated in the melee and De la Pole lives. In the distance one of De La Pole's Pike Blocks assaults Henry's troops across the hedgerow. It is a savage fight but the combination of armoured billmen with archers in support defeats the German Pike.

The battle reached its climax in the centre with half of De la Pole's Pikemen leading an assault on Henry's forces as they moved to support Sir Charles Brandon and the other half crashing into Brandon's centre. In the chaos Sir Charles Brandon and Richard de la Pole briefly exchanged blows fighting amidst the carnage in the cornfields. They were soon separated and Brandon rued his failure to bring down his King's enemy. The Landsknechts attacking Henry's men through the hedgerows became disorganised and though they pressed on for a second attack they were pushed back and defeated. De la Pole's men in the cornfields had more luck overunning Henry's cannon as well as Sir Charles Brandon whose retinue was smashed in this engagment.

The White Rose was no fool. Although his men briefly held the centre of the field with Henry's guards closing on him and the Irish a spent force he knew it was time to flee. As his professional infantry made an orderly withdrawal his horse was brought foward and he set off to find a ship back to France. Henry VIII had spent the entire encounter at the rear of his army surrounded by his elite Men-at-Arms and had hardly covered himself in glory. While Sir Charle's Brandon had been brought down having traded blows with the infamous White Rose, Henry had never even had to move.

Sir Charles Brandon has not only let De la Pole escape, he is now struck down by the disciplined German Infantry of De la Pole.

The Landsknechts then go on to capture the Royalist artillery but it is too late. De la Pole, in the top left corner, knows the day is lost and retreats with the troops he has left in order to make good his escape.

This was a really fun game to do and it all could have gone so differently. I think I may try it again, with possibly only a few minor tweaks. Jason was a great opponent, he is a keen wargamer as well as a reenactor and was unlucky that the Irish attack let him down really badly. The failure to activate the Irish Retinue's first unit two turns in a row really left the Irish open which was then coupled with the complete fluke of the Earl of Kildare being brought down by an arrow! I think there may be some more Tudor Rebellions or Anglo-Irish clashes to be fought between us in the future!

The "Generals" - A FitzGerald Galloglass and Tudor Captain!

Saturday, 2 February 2019

16th Century Gaelic Irish

Hobby wise this year has started the same as last, with more work on my Gaelic Irish army. I have completed some of the slighty later released Perry Irish from their Wars of the Roses range, we just need Michael Perry to finish the Irish cavalry! I was also inspired by Simon Chick's clever conversions of some of the Perry Miniatures Galloglass,, using the Steel Fist Miniatures Landsknecht heads and was keen to have a go at some myself. This is probably the third idea of Simon's I have shamelessly taken for my own collection!

Perry Miniatures Irish Kern with two-handed weapons from their Wars of the Roses Range

With regard to the heavier armed and armoured Kern and the handgunners I have done very little conversion work. Sculpting a few beards and moustaches onto some of the figures is all I have done to add variety to them. With regard to the handgunners Ian Heath, in his Armies of the 16th Century, states they were first recorded in Ireland in 1487 and were supposedly used in Knockdoe in 1504. When the English employed Kern to fight in Scotland and France in the 1540s some were armed with guns so these figures will be useful as mercenaries for my Mid-16th Century Tudor army or alternatively as enemies for them during the conflicts the Tudor Government had with the various Anglo-Irish and Gaelic Lords in the 16th Century.

The heavier armoured Kern are great sculpts and I am particularly impressed by the fact one of the figures has an armoured arm similar to the dart wielding figure in the Códice De Trajes, shown below. It's a mystery how this armour would have been worn securely but it's nice to see that attention has been paid to the historical images. A Kern in another image from Henry VIII's reign also wears some form of gauntlet and is shown in my original post on the Irish:, from the start of last year.

Irish from the Códice De Trajes c.1547. Note the arm armour worn by the Kern on the right - quite how this would stay on is another question!

Perry Miniatures Irish

From left to right, Irish Galloglass, Kern with some armour and two-handed weapons and Irish Handgunners.

Perry Galloglass with Steel Fist Miniatures and Warlord Games head swaps.

When it comes to the Galloglass I spent a little more time converting these using a variety of heads from both the Steel Fist Landsknechts and the Warlord Games Plastic Landsknecht kit.  The eagle eyed amongst you may also notice I swapped a couple of the axes as well, changing them for a couple of Galloglass axes I discovered I still had from the old Vendel Miniatures range of Gaelic Irish, now no longer available. I thought this was a nice link back to my first attempt at a 16th Century Irish army which has long since been sold on Ebay.

After a few of these headswaps the figures become even more evocative of the fantastic Dürer image shown below. As a quick digression, since my original post on the various types of Irish infantry, I have come across an interesting theory on this image. As this work is dated to 1521 it is likely that it was completed while Dürer was in Antwerp. Irish style swords were made in Germany and exported from Antwerp and Irish "Brats", the warm cloaks they wrapped themselves in, one is worn by the central figure below, were imported into the European mainland via the city so these items would have been available in Antwerp at the time. During this period Antwerp was famed for its processions at civic festivals where the citizens dressed as different foreigners and Dürer is known to have dressed up a young German as a Native American Indian for another piece.

This then brings up the question as to whether the image was based on genuine Irish soldiers, which it of course could be, or was it based upon some of Antwerp's citizens having fun and dressing as the Gaelic Irish! If they were genuine Irish troops from 1521, which wars were they serving in and how common were they on the mainland? Gaelic Irishmen certainly fought in the Dutch Revolt towards the end of the century but were they a presence much earlier? I quite like the idea they may not have been Irish at all but the Flemish in fancy dress! Or maybe they were drawn from a description given to Dürer. Who know's what the truth is but I always find these kind of questions fascinating when looking at these images from the past. I couldn't find the actual article which goes into detail about this but it is listed here:

Until those Perry cavalry make an appearance that is probably it for the Irish for now.  Finishing a few bits and pieces to round off my 1540s collection and accompany my recently finished Landsknechts is next on the agenda.

Dürer's image of Irish Soldiers, 1521.

The Galloglass - the front 3 figures on the left have plastic heads from Warlord Games Landsknecht Boxed Set and the front 3 figures on the right all have Steel Fist metal heads from their 16th Century range.

Another image of the converted Galloglass, or are they Flemings in fancy dress?

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Mid-16th Century Landsknecht

It's taken longer than anticipated but to start off the new year here is my 1540s Landsknecht Pike block. The figures are predominantly converted "Royal Swiss" from The Assault Group's Valois French range with a smattering of Steel Fist Miniatures and Warlord Games Landsknecht also thrown in. I was going to use most of the poses in this pack of Wargames Foundry figures to form the rear ranks: They were also sculpted by Nick Collier who did the TAG figures and they have a slightly later period feel than the other Foundry figures in that range. I painted some of these up but they didn't fit in with the look I was going for with the unit and in the end I used more figures from The Assault Group.

As discussed when I completed the shot for these mid-century Landsknecht: I have converted the figures from Swiss to Landsknechts by adding katzbalgers, the characteristic Landsknecht short swords, to nearly all of the figures. The Warlord Games plastic Landsknecht set has lovely plastic ones that were great for this but I also used metal ones from TAG. I added moustaches and beards using green stuff to lots of the figures as most of the TAG sculpts tend to be clean shaven and a quick look at contemporary images of Landsknecht from 1530 to 1550 will reveal that beards and big moustaches were certainly the thing, the chaps in the images below being great examples.

Códice De Trajes, 1547 Habsburg Soldiers. The Assault Group Landsknecht have armour and helmets that match the figure on the left. The Standard Bearer wears a mail "Bishops Mantle" and is in a clothing style that would not seem so out of place in the 1520s.

I have included a smattering of contemporary images in this post that I hope show how Landsknecht fashions were changing as they reached the middle decades of the 16th century. It's a tough one as the very early Landsknecht have a quite distinctive, more medieval, style of dress which I covered in detail here: . Similarly from the late 1550s onwards once they seem to universally start wearing pluderhosen, with characteristically later 16th century hats and helms, they are again very distinctive. When considering what I would call the "classic" Landsknecht appearance from around 1510 through to the 1550s it is harder to gauge the changes. Things definitely change while at the same time there is also more continuity, or at least there appears to be more continuity, with some of the styles. I hope the contemporary art work included here helps to demonstrate this.

Having a look at the first contemporary image, shown above from the Códice De Trajes, and the two images below from Jacob Koebel's "Das Reichs Fahn" you can hopefully see how the armour changes from the ealier 1500s. The helmets in particular start to slowy evolve into the styles more familiar in Elizabethan times and later into the 1600s. The helmet style that later becomes the "Burgonet" is clearly developing. As a side note the whole of "Das Reichs Fahn" is online and it is a great source, not only for the mid-16th Century Landsknecht fashion but also for various colour schemes of Landsknecht clothing: It is well worth having a look through this if you have the time, and a decent bandwith! What is also interesting is how popular mail continued to be into the mid-16th Century, especially the "Bishops Mantle" or large mail collar. A surprising amount of mail is worn in contemporary images, even a quick scan of the ones I have posted here should demonstrate that.

The more eagle eyed amongst you may recognise that some of the helmets shown in this art work are available from Steel Fist's 16th Century range of Landsknecht, They have a variety of different heads, some of which are great for the 1540s. The Steel Fist Landsknecht cover a few decades, some being in clothing suitable for 1500 with others being in outfits or armour that is more suited to the 1530s into the 1550s. I have used a few of their figures in later styles of clothing and armour as halberdiers in this block, shown below, and also head swapped some of the heads onto TAG figures for greater variety. The Steel Fist Landsknecht paint up really well and at some point I will certainly be visiting that range to paint up some more for the 1520s. After all you can never have enough Landsknecht in a 16th century collection.

Standard Bearer from Das Reichs Fahn published by Jacob Koebel 1545, note the armour and helmet.

Another Standard Bearer from Das Reichs Fahn published by Jacob Koebel 1545, again he has a distinctive style of helmet and armour.

Steel Fist Landsknecht Halberdiers. The helmets and armour work well for the 1530s-1540s. The figure on the right has a plastic head from the Warlord Games plastic Landsknecht set.

The armour and helmets give perhaps the most distinct change in appearance as we move into the 1540s. With the clothing it is tricky. As stated above at the start and end of the roughly 100 hundred years that Landsknecht marched across European battlefields and beyond they have more unique styles, it's during the middle years that the changes in these styles are harder to spot. I have included some images here to show how some styles of dress look little different from those of 1515, I think the Niklas Stör and Heintich Aldegrever pictures below are good examples of this. The big hats and baggy slashed doublets are still worn. A few of the chaps in the Stör images are still wearing the classic close fitting skull caps or coifs so popular in earlier decades. A couple of the TAG 1540s Swiss figures are sculpted in these and this lead me on a mission to check if they really were still worn in the mid-16th Century. There seem to be plenty of images with them still in evidence.

A word of caution to note when attempting to track the evolution of these fashion in the 1500s is that "The Landsknecht" was a very popular motif in the 16th Century and it is of course still an image that endures to this day. A trend in medieval art which persisted into the 16th Century was for artists to use other artists sketches and compositions, as well as their own (Dürer's "Knight, Death and the Devil" directly taken from his "Soldier on Horseback 1498" is a good example of this). The reusing or adoption and adaptation of existing art was not frowned upon at all and artists workshops would share all kinds of motifs for their production of paintings, woodcuts and altar pieces. When looking at the images of Landsknecht from the mid-16th century, and there are a lot, I can't help feel that sometimes they may simply be reused older images as they were so popular with their contemporaries, or perhaps notorious may be a more appropriate word!

Hans Doring's two portraits of Landsknecht Officers, see below, are quite clearly based on the same initial sketch of a figure. The more I have looked at the art from this period the more that kind of thing pops up. It does make me wonder how up to date the images may always really be. It may well have been printed or painted in the 1540s but was the artist using an earlier picture from the 1520s or earlier perhaps? It is something worth bearing in mind.

Council of war during the Schmalkaldic War 1546. Note how the hose are starting to move towards the style more familiar in Elizabethan clothing and how the style of hats is also evolving.

The caveat about the art aside and noting the fact it seems hard to spot the changes in clothing as they develop we can see things changing, perhaps in some images more than others. The image of the Council of War in 1546, shown above, hints at some of the styles of head wear beginning to change and certainly a more "Elizabethan" style of fashion, especially with the hose, starting to be perceptible. The tight fitting part of the hose is getting higher, with more of the knee being visible, and a more puffed and baggier top part of the hose is developing. The hose worn by the standard bearer in the last contemporary image from "Das Reichs Fahn", shown below, are a good example of this. Of course the adoption of the pluderhosen in the mid-1550s would radically change this move towards the "Elizabethan" style of hose, the Landsknecht never could follow the more universal Western European changes in fashion!

Landsknecht, Niklas Stör c.1538. This chap looks very much like Landsknecht from images of c.1515 through to the 1520s. Note he is wearing one of the cloth "skull caps" or coifs that were fashionable in earlier decades.

 Niklas Stör 1530s. Again these chaps fashions haven't changed that much from earlier decades. Mail "Bishops Mantles" and cloth "skull caps" under their hats are still evident.

Landsknecht, Heintich Aldegrever 1540. This chap wears no armour save his "Bishops Mantle" and he looks little different from Landsknecht of the 1520s.

A technological development that clearly defined the mid-16th Century was the appearance of the pistol. A close look at the Reinhard V. Solms image below will show that tucked in by the Mounted Officer's leg is an early form of pistol. While these were certainly not the weapon of the common Landsknecht they were starting to be carried by the more wealthy Landsknecht Officers, probably if only for the fact they were new and rare as much as anything else! I was really keen to use the Warlord Games Officer carrying a pistol, not only because he brings the unit nicely into this period with the pistol but also because he is clearly modelled on the Landsknecht Feldwaibel by Hans Doring, see below. The miniature has been sculpted with a pistol instead of a halberd but other than that he is pretty much an exact copy. Of course this meant I had to try and paint him to match the art as closely as possible as well. Have a look below and see what you think.

Landsknecht Captains. The figure on the left is from Warlord Games and carrys a pistol, see the image below that the sculpt is based on but with a Halberd rather than an early pistol.
Hans Doring - Landsknecht Feldwaibel c.1545. Have a look at the miniature on the left above, apart from the change of weapon it's a pretty close copy.

Hans Doring- Landsknecht Hauptmann c.1545. Note the polearm as commanders weapon/symbol of office and also the similarity in pose to the above image. It's a good reminder that artists often copied their own or others images and shows that an extra element of caution must be added when trying to date how the fashions changed.

 Reinhard V. Solms, 1540. Note how the officer has a pistol by his leg, wealthier Landsknecht were carrying these by 1540.

As with the Landsknecht Feldwaibel I also felt that one of the Warlord Games Standard Bearers bore a striking resemblance to one of the chaps in "Das Reichs Fahn". I have tried to recreate him in his red and green to match the image as closely as possible. To his left is one of the Steel Fist 16th Century Foot Knights, a superb miniature. The harnesses that reflect the puffed and slashed Landsknecht clothing tend to be from around 1520 onwards and certainly this officers helmet is more suited to the mid-1500s than earlier. For this reason he had to be in this unit and I think fits really well into it. It's such a great miniature that I may have to use this command base with my 1520s Landsknechts from time to time as well.

While I have tried to place this unit as accurately as possible in the 1540s I understand for many wargamers any Landsknecht is suitable for the whole 16th Century. This is fair enough, I think it just depends on what you are trying to achieve with your collection. I made the effort with this block because I wanted a unit that would complement the other mid-16th Century figures I have completed, see: and Of course it also helps feed my Landsknecht addiction, if The Assault Group have been brave enough to sculpt such great figures for a rarely catered for period, that being the 1540s, then of course it would be rude not to paint some of them up!

 The mid-16th Century was an era of intensive warfare, even for the English who had managed to keep out of European Warfare for nearly two decades up to the 1540s, and I love the idea of having a collection that I can refight the engagements of the Enterprise of Boulogne and the Rough Wooing with. Another long term goal, furthering the Landsknecht megalomania, is to do a unit of Landsknecht for every shift in style during their 100 years or so of notoriety. The 1500s, 1520s and 1540s are all done. I just have to paint another 70 or so in pluderhosen at some point! That is a way off for now though. As always I have 101 other projects to be working on at the moment but I think some more stuff for the 1540s will be coming soon.

Happy New Year.

Landsknecht command base, the figure on the left is by Warlord Games and painted to match the image below. The superbly sculpted armoured figure is by Steel Fist.

A Standard Bearer from Das Reichs Fahn published by Jacob Koebel 1545. Note how the hose are starting to look more "Elizabethan" in style.

1540s Assault Group figures with added Katzbalgers and head swaps. The 2 figures on the right have heads by Steel Fist Miniatures while the other 3 have plastic heads from the Warlord Games plastic Landsknecht box set.

One of the bases of Landsknecht Pike, note the beards that have been sculpted on with green stuff.

Armoured Landsknecht Pike.

70 Landsknecht Pikemen suitable for c.1530 to c.1550.

1540s Landsknecht Pike.

The Landsknecht from the side giving a better view of the more colourful outfits worn under their armour.

The block from the rear.