Saturday 29 June 2013

The Reisläufer front rank

Reisläufer attacking

To conclude my Swiss mercenaries I have finished my attacking front ranks with their pikes levelled. The figures are from the old Foundry range designed by the Perry Twins. I showed the conversions in an earlier post. I really enjoyed working on these figures, they are great to paint, and I think they do have a more Reisläufer "feel" to them than the Landsknechts. At some point I am tempted to have a go at turning more of these old Foundry figures into Swiss. All the swords have been changed so there is not one Katzbalger amongst them! If they really had such an antipathy to using this weapon so characteristic of their rivals is hard to tell but I like to think it further differentiates them.
Below are some pictures of just the front ranks, I painted 6 bases of 4 figures each in total. These are followed by some pictures of them with my Old Glory Reisläufer. Although I think the Old Glory figures are more suitable from around 1494-1509 while these Foundry ones would be better for 1510 to the 1520s I think they go well together and certainly look the part.

Swiss Pikemen front rank

Swiss Pikemen attacking

Swiss Pike with Schweizerdolch

 Reisläufer attacking

Swiss Pike attacking

The last few pictures are to show a good trick that I can use the figures for. By using them as the front rank of these Pro Gloria Landsknechts and changing the banners the Landsknechts are carrying they become a convincing Reisläufer block that could be used into the 1520s. Obviously if you look closely at the block there are lots of Landsknecht features but I think by having the ostrich plumed, turbaned front ranks and cantonal banners it helps to set them apart.
When I get the chance I will set up a block combining the Artizan, Foundry and Old Glory Reisläufer, it should be around 120 figures, to see how they all work together. After painting the Pro Gloria figures and then these Swiss, over 100 pikemen in total, I am working on some cavalry at the moment, its a welcome change!

Swiss with Pro Gloria Landsknechts behind

Swiss with Pro Gloria Landsknechts behind

Swiss attacking

Saturday 8 June 2013

Swiss Pikemen c.1494-1509

Swiss Pike Block

Following on from my last post here are some pictures of the completed first half of the project. The Old Glory Swiss or Reisläufer  pike block. There was quite a lot of conversion work involved but I am really happy with the result. As I mentioned before I think these converted figures are perfect for the early part of the Italian wars, from the French Invasion in 1494 up until Agnadello in 1509, however when mixed with other figures I will be happy to use them to represent the Swiss for slighlty later. The fashions changed rapidly in this period and they definitely would have dressed more flamboyantly by Marignano in 1515 though their fashions never became quite as outrageous as their rivals, the Landsknechts. 
As normal the banners are from Petes excellent cloth flags and represent Berne and Uri. There are also two TAG Italian figures in the block who have been converted to represent a drummer and captain. I think these are my favourite conversions of the lot. They are shown in the 4th photo below.
The final photo is of two of the old style Foundry Landsknechts that I am converting into Reisläufer. These are the only two I have so far painted, I have another 22 to do, some of which still need conversions. When finished they will form the front of the pike block and being dressed more flamboyantly with some in later styles of armour will help to bring the block into the 1510s and 1520s. I am going to paint them in slightly less garish colours than the Landsknecht with a few white crosses on some of them to make them feel more like the Swiss mercenaries than their German neighbours. I was pleased with the first two although I do feel the figure with the turban on to whom I have added a beard looks slightly biblical!
Reisläufer Pike Block

Reisläufer Pike Block

The pike block from behind

Reisläufer Command

Reisläufer Command

The first 2 figures completed for the attacking front rank