Saturday 2 August 2014

Imperialist Pike

After what seems an eternity, in fact 3 months, I have finally finished The Assault Group Pikemen I started work on in May. They are fantastic figures, my favourite out of the Tudor range the Assault Group have done. They are also the most versatile as they are not in the mid Tudor Uniforms like the Billmen and Arquebusiers I have already completed. For this reason I have not painted the red cross of St George on them but have left them as generic pike. At a pinch these figures could be used from around 1535 up to the 1570s, and could represent Italian, English, Spanish or French troops. With an eye to what The Assault Group have on the way in terms of the French mid 16th Century stuff these could be the start of a collection that will represent the later Hapsburg Valois wars, the fighting in Northern France and Italy that Blaise de Monluc was so involved in. I could also see them being great for the Siege of Malta in 1565 or the Venetians defending Cyprus in 1571. It's an era that, apart from Redoubt Enterprises a long time ago, no one has really done figures for in 28mm so its great to see these.
For some reason I have this idea that as the 16th century wore on the colours become more muted and the troops less flamboyant. As Landsknechts were still very much on the scene I am not really sure where I got this from but I do know that black was the fashionable colour of the European nobility at this time. As a result of this you will notice these chaps are a bit more toned down in colour than the other 1540s figures I have done. I feel this will help them to fit more easily into the 1560s and 1570s. This also lets their harnesses stand out more and TAG have done a fantastic job on the armour. The arm straps, ties on the pauldrons and buckles are all clearly sculpted as is the detailing of the armour itself. The ridges and lines on some of the harnesses are brilliantly done. I would love to see the sculptor who did these do some full Maximilian suits for the earlier 16th century. I have included a picture below of 4 of the pikemen to show closely how detailed the sculpting on the armour is.
The pictures below show the Pike as Imperialists under a simple Hapsburg Saltire and then as Tudor troops with an English flag. You will also notice that an old Redoubt Enterprises figure has snuck into the TAG ranks as the Ensign. The range he is from is pretty old now and a bit hit and miss to be honest but there are a few gems in it and this figure is one of them. He is quite large but fits in well as the Imperial ensign brandishing a pistol which at this time was still a very new weapon. I have removed the St Georges Cross from the Tudor drummer and added on old wargames foundry buckler to one of the Tudor officers to create a more generic command group which is shown below, although the ensign in the English uniform is obviously specifically English.
I now have the English Archers to complete, I have only done one so far, with another 31 plus command to do. I am keen to see what the whole group, Archers, Pike, Arquesbusiers and Billmen, look like as a whole when completed though. I am hoping the mix of some in Tudor Uniform Coats and others in their own versions of these or just in their armour will create a more realistic look than all of them being in the white and red uniforms.

Imperial Pike, mid 16th century

Tudor Pikemen, 1540s

Redoubt Enterprises Ensign

Detail of the pikemens harnesses

Tudor Command Figures, 1540s, by The Assault Group


  1. Very nice sculpts, complimented by an excellent paint job, Oli.

  2. Great looking figures and painting....excellent job..well done!

  3. A very fine paint job on these nice sculpts Oli

  4. Beautiful paint jobs, they really look terrific.