Monday, 30 March 2015

Marching Arquebusiers

In between the mass of glue, flock and brown paint that has become my rebasing project I have managed to get a few figures painted up. Above are eight Wargames Foundry Landsknechts. They are sold as pikemen or halberdiers but I have made them into arquebusiers with the simple addition of firearms from The Assault Group. The pouches, match and powder horns are from the old Citadel Empire Handgunner set which had figures with plastic bodies but metal arms holding handguns. The also included these pouches for the handgunners. They can still be tracked down on Ebay and are really useful for this kind of thing.
Arquebusiers are always depicted with the tools of their trade in contemporary illustrations. I felt just adding the handguns would not look right. The straps for the pouches are simply pieces of thread glued in place and painted. Some wear the pouches over their shoulders with others hanging them round their necks ready to use. You will notice a couple of the figures hold the arquebuses by the barrel, one even hanging his pouch and match from the butt. This was a little homage to one of the plates in the Osprey "Swiss at War" book where Swiss handgunners are shown going into action, some of them holding the guns by the barrel over their shoulders. I am not sure whether this is based on a contemporary illustration but I thought it was a nice addition.
I have painted these up as I am currently rebasing my marching Landsknecht pikemen and only had eight marching arquebusiers to accompany them. As they were all in the same pose I decided adding another eight would give more variation and give me four bases of shot, with four Landsknechts on each, to march alongside the dense ranks of pikemen.

Wargames Foundry Landsknechts. The  handguns are from The Assault Group and powder horns and pouches are old Citadel pieces

Marching Landsknecht Arquebusiers

Sunday, 15 March 2015

More Rebasing - Light Horse and Skirmishers

Another update on the endless rebasing that I am currently undertaking. I have completed three groups of Light Horse. The Spanish Jinetes, Stradiots in more Western European armour and clothing and some Mounted Arquebusiers. The larger Skirmish Bases really bring them to life. Following on from these I have rebased three groups of figures from The Assault Group. The Spanish Crossbowmen and then Italian Crossbowmen and Arquebusiers. These are all pretty useful units being quite generic early 16th century figures so could serve for Italian, French or Spanish Infantry at a push. If I was to paint them now I would definitely have added a few more striped hose. The first crossbow unit are some of the first figures I painted for this collection.
Not all the figures are skirmishers, I have also completed some Italian Sword and Buckler infantry, a mixture of Perry and TAG figures. I haven't mixed the two styles on the bases as the Perry Figures are definitely more "medieval" rather than early 1500s and I wanted the option to possibly use them in a 15th century Condottieri army in the future. The final miniatures are 24 Crossbowmen, Perry Plastics with some Old Citadel metal crossbow arms and head swaps to bring them more into the 1500s. Again If I painted these now I would do more striped hose and maybe add a few beards with Greenstuff. I have recently picked up another 16 of these metal crossbow arm sets on ebay so I will probably add to these at some point in the future. I think they work well with the Perry Plastic figures.
I still have a long way to go with the rebasing but I'm making pretty good progress. I now have a clearer idea of what is left and how I'm going to tackle it to make it more manageable. The Landsknechts will be broken down into batches - marching pike, standing pike, attacking pike, advancing pike. I will do some of the shot like the skirmishers shown above and some in closer orders like the Spanish shot I posted before. I'm actually looking forward to tackling the massed Landsknecht pike and shot!


Mounted Arquebusiers


Italian Crossbowmen

Italian Arquebusiers

Milanese Infantry

Milanese Infantry

French Crossbowmen

But it hasn't all been rebasing. Last Friday I visited the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth. It's been on my to visit list for ages and was not a disappointment. The amount of finds they have on display is really impressive. All sorts of things from kitchen utensils up to the huge bronze guns she carried and even one of the crows nests and the darts they hurled from these precarious positions. It was interesting to see how lots of old (by mid 16th century standards) breachloading hooped and barreled artillery pieces, were being used alongside state of the art bronze guns that were cast in one piece. Some of the bronze guns are really spectacular.
I was surprised at how much of the boat itself is preserved, it looks like about a third of the vessel, basically everything that sunk in the mud as she hit the seabed on her side. You can have a go at drawing a warbow (even half the pull of the ones found on board is not easy!) and pick up original bits of the rope and hand carved artillery shot. For anyone interested in renaissance warfare, or Tudor life in general, I would recommend a visit. It was pretty dark in the museum due to preservation, and flash photography is forbidden, but I did get a few (quite terrible!) snaps that give an idea of what is on show.

Linstocks from the Mary Rose

Cannon from the Mary Rose

Pewterware from the Mary Rose
Hailshot from the Mary Rose