Sunday, 22 February 2015

Spanish Infantry

Next up in my rebasing project come the Spanish Infantry. I painted most of these before I started this blog, although some figures were added to the collection later. They are mainly a mix of Wargames Foundry Conquistadors and The Assault Groups Neopolitan Spanish and Conquistadors. The pike are based six to a 45mm by 45mm base while the shot and sword and buckler armed Rodeleros are four to the same sized bases. A lot of The Assault Group figures are based on the image shown below illustrating the Conquest of Oran by Cardinal Franciso Jimenez de Cisneros in 1509. There are a few TAG Spanish miniatures that are near exact copies of some soldiers illustrated here. It seems these figures are for around 1495-1520 but I would be happy to use them up to around 1530. If the flags are changed and the Rodeleros are removed they can also work as French or Italian infantry so this is a versatile set.

Conquest of Oran 1509, Juan de Borgona c.1514

Spanish Arquebusiers with Rodeleros behind

Spanish Pike

Spanish Arquebusiers and Rodeleros

Spanish Infantry formation

Completing the Spanish Infantry means I have rebased everything I currently have out of storage. I have taken a brief (and needed!) break from rebasing and painted a few more Landsknechts in preparation for when I turn my attentions to rebasing the hordes I have already painted. Firstly there are a few Captains and Dopplesoldners I had not got round to painting but I'm keen to fit in amongst my other Landsknechts. Secondly I painted another set of Foundry Landsknechts marching in their Waffenrocks. They are beautiful figures and a real joy to paint. The addition of these will mean I have 8 bases of Landsknecht pike marching with their pikes and halberds over their shoulders.

Doppelsöldners and Captain

Old Glory Landsknecht Captains

Wargames Foundry marching Landsknechts

Sunday, 25 January 2015

The Rebasing Continues....

Following my initial attempt at some new bases with my lighter guns here are the heavier pieces crewed by Landsknechts. Most of these miniatures were painted before I started this blog although some of the Old Citadel figures in among the crew were done more recently as were all various bits of gun paraphernalia on the bases. As with the first guns I am really pleased with how they turned out.The figures lend themselves beautifully to the little vignettes you can make on each base. I am not sure anyone will every top the Landsknecht Figures the Perrys did for Wargames Foundry. I thought about putting Gabions on the bases but decided against this as I would rather be able to add them to the front of the bases but then remove them if I want. I already have some old resin Gabions I bought off ebay but I may do some specific bases that can be added to the front of these in the future.

Landsknecht Gun Battery

"Have a care!"

Aside from the four heavier guns I have also based up a lighter piece by The Assault Group. It's a beautiful miniature, with great attention to detail. The crewman with the linstock is by Old Glory while the other two are by Citadel, sculpted by the Perrys in the early 90s I think. I have to admit I am not so keen on a lot of the Old Glory artillery crew models, I think I will sell most of mine, but a few of them have real character. I especially like this guys large hat!

Smaller Landsknecht field piece

Regarding the guns the last piece I based up is to go with the other 5 guns I showed in my last post. It's an organ gun, by Old Glory I think, with generic early Sixteenth century crew. It's a pretty useful model as the crew could represent Spanish, Italians or French.

Ribauldequin or Organ Gun

I have also rebased a big infantry block, the Reisläufer. I spent ages trying to decide what size bases to use but in the end I went with the system James Roach uses on his blog,, as I think it looks very effective and I like the idea of my pike blocks being in very close order. I wanted the banners to be on command bases surrounded by Halberdiers, Officers, Drummers and Pipers. The photo from above shows these two bases in the centre of the block. These two command bases were quite hard work as I wanted to show these figures off without them being completely covered by the flags. As some of the command figures are in dynamic poses it made putting them all in very close order a complete nightmare!
I still have 24 figures for the very front of the block to rebase. The pikemen were a pain to get off the old bases without all sorts of pike breakages and entanglements. I am not looking forward to redoing my 250 or so Landsknecht pike!

The Swiss with Skirmishing Arquebusiers to the front

The Reisläufer

The Reisläufer from above to give an idea of how they are based up

Below are my first rebased Cavalry, the Men at Arms for the very early 1500s. A mixture of Wargames Foundry and Assault Group figures with all the horses by The Assault Group. This is one of my favourite units in my collection and they were pretty easy to rebase.

Milanese Men at Arms

Milanese Men at Arms

Finally a unit of mounted crossbowmen, Perry Miniatures with a few head swaps. The method of putting horse in looser formation on deeper bases really works well and also allows for a bit more modelling scope on the actual base. Unlike the close order Cavalry and Infantry they are not so crammed on. I am looking forward to putting my Stradiots and Jinetes on these style bases.

Next up I have my Spanish infantry to rebase. I reckon the whole collection could take months, especially as a lot of it is currently stored away, but I am keen to persevere as I really think it enhances the figures no end.

Mounted Crossbowmen

Mounted Crossbowmen

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Field Guns

Here are the first 5 guns I have based up and completed. They are a mix of late 15th Century early 16th Century style artillery pieces. The crewmen are from a mix of manufacturers and could serve as Spanish, French or Italian gun crews. I am really pleased with the way they turned out. What surprised me is that when I was basing them it really made me think about how the miniatures work as part of a group on the base, something that I never gave that much thought to before except in terms of ranking up the pike blocks. The tufts off wild grass and various barrels, baskets and piles of shot really help to bring them to life.
I think I need to try an infantry block next to see how different they will look on these larger bases before I can decided whether to redo more figures. Positioning the figures on the bases and adding the final details are quite enjoyable parts of the process but the texturing and painting for the whole collection is still an enormous task so I think I will play it by ear and approach it one group of figures at a time.

A larger field gun

The most "modern" of the pieces here
All five pieces arrayed together

Sunday, 4 January 2015

WIP - Rebasing the Artillery

Over the festive season I have continued thinking about where to go with my collection next. Rebasing the entire lot seems a bit of a Herculean challenge, however I thought I would start by rebasing my guns as having all the crew separate was annoying me and the figures definitely lend themselves to little vignettes around each artillery piece. Simply basing the figures is probably a more accurate description than rebasing as the guns themselves never had bases, only the crewmen. The gun crews have all been removed from their bases and the flock has been painted over ready for them to be glued onto larger wooden bases. There are 2 groups, more generic artillerymen, a mix of Perry, The Assault Group and Foundry figures, and the Landsknechts, Foundry, Old Citadel and Old Glory figures. I am currently working on some more crewmen that I painted years ago and have stripped of paint, they were lucky to escape one of my many Ebay purges of the collection!
To accompany the miniatures on the bases I have repainted and newly painted lots of bits and pieces, shown in the first picture below. I really enjoyed this and think they will really help to add to the final look. The guns in the first picture will probably all go with the Landsknechts while the lighter guns in the last picture will go with the more soberly dressed crewmen, who could represent Spanish, Italians or French. There is a strong temptation when reevaluating the collection to start repainting loads of stuff, some of the Light Guns being a case in point, but I am trying to resist otherwise no progress will ever get made.
I will see how these turn out and then consider whether to do more of the old collection. Its made more complicated by the fact that I don't live in the same place that I keep the collection in, so it will require a lot of moving the figures back and forth if I do decide to do a mass rebase. I have some of my favourite sets with me though so may give them a go depending on how the guns look.
In terms of new stuff it's a bit of waiting game at the moment. I am looking forward to the Perrys light cavalry, 1450-1500, and also to the new Wars of Religion Range by Warlord Games: .
I painted up and sold an Elizabethan Collection on Ebay previously and think I will find it hard to resist the stuff Warlord have on the way. It will also mean that I can use a few of my TAG Tudors, many are too specifically for the 1540s, which is great. I am half way through the TAG mounted Arquebusiers at the moment. These later 16th century figures will all use the new bases.

Various gunners bits and pieces

Artillery Crew c.1500

Landsknecht Artillerymen

Guns c.1500

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Following the Herd

Something a bit different for this blog today. I am currently deciding where to go with my collection next and also whether I should attempt to rebase at least some of it. As part of the rebasing idea I thought I would have a go at a herd of cattle as a test for different basing materials. The figures are also really useful and could be used for a whole variety of periods as well as raiding or baggage train scenarios.
The cattle are by Irregular Miniatures. When I was looking online it seems a lot of African style cattle are availble in 28mm as are Long Haired cattle but I didn't really want either of these. The ones Irregular make now don't have horns but Irregualr very kindly cast up some of their old style ones with horns and I think they fit the bill perfectly. They are quite small, which is of course correct for cows in the later middle ages/1500s, they hadn't been bred into the huge beasts of today at this date. They are also really good value, costing around £1.05 each, a herd this size from some manufacturers would cost a small fortune! As the miniatures were all in the same pose I butchered them slighty (excuse the pun!) and altered the angles of the heads of a lot of them to give some variation. The pigs are by Gripping Beast, they are miniatures that are full of character, and a great addition. The cattle driver and swineherd are Perry late medieval figures. Seeing them all on the move inclines me to set up the baggage train again as these would look great being herded along with the wagons.
With regards to the bases I am still not completely satisfied with them. This style works on smaller bases but doesn't look as good on the large ones. I am tempted to move towards larger bases as I love the vignettes that can be created on them and I would also be more inclined to actually have games if the bases were larger as its so much easier to move everything around. On the pigs I used a lighter drybrush which I think looks better and on all the bases I used little tufts of grass which i really like the look of and have ordered some more since. I think next I will base up my artillery and crew as I don't like the figures all individually based. I have loads of bits and pieces, cannon balls, wheelbarrows, gabions and barrels, that I can use to make these interesting so I am looking forward to trying this.

Swine and Cattle

Irregular Miniatures Cattle

Pigs by Gripping Beast

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

A Tudor Infantry Company

Here is the finished company of Tudor infantry that I started back in February this year. The figures are all by The Assault Group. The first set up is of 100 miniatures representing an English Infantry Company of the late 1540s. I say late 1540s as most of the English troops in this decade were still fighting with the traditional English weapons of the warbow and the bill. The 1540s was a particularly bellicose decade for the Tudor army, one that saw them fighting on two fronts, France and Scotland, after nearly two decades of relative peace (a serious rebellion in Ireland and the Pilgrimage of Grace could have caused far greater problems than they did). It was during this return to more sustained warfare that Tudor Military tactics evolved. This intense period of warfare was possible as Henry VIII had taken over the Churches property in England which meant he could raise armies and hire mercenaries on a scale not previously possible.
By the end of the 1540s the Tudor military machine had adapted to the continental adoption of Pike & Shot in its own unique fashion, which these troops demonstrate. The formation is based on one in Gervase Phillip's excellent Anglo-Scots Wars,, which I have mentioned before. In this he explains how by the late 1540s the English had fitted Pike & Shot into the traditional English fighting style of bowmen and men-at-arms. During the Rough Wooing, England's attempt to conquer Scotland by forcing the marriage of Edward VI with Mary Queen of Scots, the Tudor Army under Protector Somerset occupied the Scottish Lowlands and attempted to hold them through a number of garrisons. In February 1548, a company was formed from the garrison of Broughty Craig, that was to land from ships and harry the Scottish countryside. It was a force formed of English troops and foreign mercenaries, numbering 308 in total. They were captained by an Italian Mercenary named Tiberio. The exact composition of this raiding force has survived. It contained 20 arquebusiers and 20 bowmen as skirmishers. A main battle of 4 ranks of arquebusiers, 7 ranks of Pike and then 4 ranks of Billmen at the rear. This main block then had two wings of a total of 40 bowmen supported by 20 sword and bucklermen or targeteers, these were the "Whifflers" I described in an earlier post.
While I don't have 308 figures here I thought it would be interesting to set the troops up to demonstrate this formation. So below you will see a mixed skirmish force of arquebusiers and bowmen, supported by a block with more arquebusiers in the front ranks backed up by the pikemen with the billmen at the rear. Unfortunately I only have 2 Whifflers carrying Swords and Bucklers so the "wings" of the battle are comprised only of further bowmen. While not being an exact representation of the landing force it clearly demonstrates the formation they used and shows how the continental styles of warfare were being adapted to fit in with the English fighting traditions. These troops would have been contemporaries of those that sank on the Mary Rose and having seen the size of some of the warbows that were brought up from the wreck I have no doubt the archers would still have been formidable opponents even if the archers time was coming to an end. Of course having firearms which were no harder to manufacture than a good warbow, could be used with very little training, required far less physical strength and packed a greater punch (no matter what physical condition the user was in) would soon mean that by the end of the 16th century the bow was no longer part of an English Infantry company.

A Tudor Infantry Company of 100 men

Pike & Shot and Bow & Bill

The centre of the company, arquebusiers in front of pike and billmen

The last photos are of an English company, possibly depleted by disease and desertion and the fact the captain has a lot of "deadpays" on the muster, with the traditional Bow & Bill. I think The Assault Group have done a fantastic job on these figures and I am keen to see what they release next for the mid-sixteenth century. I have also noticed that some of the Pro Gloria figures that may follow the plastic Landsknechts, if they get funded, will be carrying pistols and dressed in a style more suited to the 1540s than the 1520s so they may also be a potential source of figures for this period. The middle of the 16th century is really pretty badly served in 28mm despite the fact it is when some of the biggest clashes in the Hapsburg Valois Wars took place.
I like the look of the figures when they are all together. Strictly speaking the pikemen should have St George's crosses on their harnesses but as I may use them for other armies they have been left off. I much prefer the basing style I used for the archers, and will continue to experiment with my basing. I think when the figures are all on the terrain the different bases are not too obvious, which is a good thing as I think rebasing the entire collection is too much to face!

More traditional Bow & Bill

English Archers and Billmen

Archers and Billmen 1540s

English Archers and Billmen 1540s