Tuesday 9 February 2016

Picard Pikemen

It is finally finished! I have completed the extra pike bases that I have been working on for some months now and here are the results. I have entitled the post Picard Pikemen as I chose to photograph them as such for this post. The flags are all interchangeable so these troops could be used to represent French, Spanish or Italians, although having said that I think they are most suitable as French or Spanish. They are best suited for the late 1490s into the early 1510s - after that clothing styles change significantly but at a pinch I would use them for infantry up to the 1520s.

The first photos show two pike units of 16 bases each, around 96 figures per block taking off a few for the command bases which only have five figures on some. I have then included some more detailed images of these command bases as I enjoyed working on them and was really pleased with the results. I have swapped the banners in some of these. In fact it is annoying as I think the rear bases of the pike blocks are better sets of figures than the front attacking bases! Finally I created a big block of 30 bases which is shown in the last photos.

The Perry Miniatures plastic late 15th century sets were really useful as I have done loads of head swaps with them, especially on Assault Group figures. Amidst the Pikemen are also pipes, drums, two handed swords and a nasty selection of polearms. My aim was to create a set of infantry that did not look too much like a late medieval pike block, I wanted enough early 16th century clothing and armour styles present to help set them in the early Italian Wars and I hope I have achieved that? What do you think? Ideally I would like to have units in the collection that could specifically represent Spaniards, Italians and French but this is achieved by other figures - the Italian Infantry with the painted shields, the Spanish Jinetes and Rodeleros and so on, so having more generic pikemen does not detract from the flavour of the armies - especially when they are marching under the correct flags.

I'm going to work on a few smaller projects next as painting this many figures did become quite a task, especially when I was doing minor conversions and head swaps on a lot of them. Six figures per base in close order creates the look I want for the pikemen but it also means you have to paint a mountain of figures!

French Early Italian Wars Pikemen

Picard or Gascon Pikemen

The sharp end of the Pike Block

French Pikemen

French Captains

Another command base this time under the Hapsburg Saltire

The third Command base, under a Spanish flag

A captain and drummer

One of the Pike bases.

Another pike base, these figures are in more Spanish Styles of dress

The big block - 30 bases of Pikemen

French Pikemen from the Italian Wars

French Pikemen c.1500

The block from above

And finally a picture of the big block from the side


  1. What a great post! They look really nice and not in the least late medieval, they are clearly renaissance figures I am also going for 6 figs a stand I think it is the right density and I thought I'd painted a lot of French /generic pike but they are nothing compared to these. Always look forward to your posts but this one is particularly impressive.
    Best Iain

  2. Very nice. I'd echo the comment that they look decidedly 16th C rather than late medieval. The dense basing looks good too. Your work-rate of painting really puts me to shame.

  3. I don't know much about the period but the figures are stunning!

  4. Most impressive (and pointy!). Your work is my inspiration.

  5. I think you've done a great job of them too Oli. They look like what I would expect a turn of the 16th Century force to look like (others' mileage might vary).

    More importantly the whole looks like a pike block! You cannot get that impression from 24 figures in four ranks... another seven of those and a couple of hundred crossbows and you'll have a whole Bande. ;-)

  6. Wonderfully painted! Always a joy to see so many pikes, congrats on your impressive determination!

  7. Quite Spectacular, Oli - both in detail and en masse!

  8. Really amazing!The first image looks like a painting.very impressive.

  9. Wow! Really impressive. That's a proper block of pikes!

  10. Superb Oli, great use of all the different manufacturers minis and head swapping, you have certainly achieved the early italian wars look!

  11. Stunning and very impressive job!

  12. Very Impressive- a solid block of colour and sharp pointy bits!!

  13. Excellent looking figures. Job well done.

  14. Gorgeous figures and terrain! Well done!