Saturday 20 October 2018

Landsknecht Arquebusiers, Mid 16th Century

Todays post shows the first part of my current project, a set of Landsknechts to cover the mid 16th Century. I know for a lot of wargamers a Landsknecht is a Landsknecht which is fine but, as you may have noticed from my previous posts on this topic, I do love to obsess over the finer details of how their fashions, arms and armour changed from around 1500 through to the end of the 16th Century. I have had my eye on The Assault Group "Royal Swiss" figures for a while now and already having some Mid 16th Century Tudors and more generic pike and shot I was keen to get them into my collection somehow. A unit of Swiss was not really what I wanted and it doesn't take much to turn them from Swiss into convincing mid century Landsknecht.

So far I have painted up the armoured part of the pike unit, the unarmoured ranks and command are yet to be done. The shot are complete and shown here. Beards or moustaches have been added to most of them, as Landsknecht images from the 1530s to 1550s tend to show them with impressive facial hair! They also all wear Katzbalgers, the characteristic German short sword, at jaunty angles as seen in the contemporary art work. The extra bits and pieces on the Warlord Games Plastic Landsknecht sprues were really useful for converting these. Any of the stitched on crosses that the figures had sculpted on them have been removed. I think the pike and command will have more elements that clearly demarcate them as being from the middle of the 1500s so will leave a full discussion of the images and armour for when the pike are completed. I have included a couple of period images just to give an example of the look I am aiming for.

Assault Group Miniatures "Royal Swiss" converted into Landsknechts.

Landsknecht Arquebusiers for the Mid 16th Century.

Landsknecht Shot c.1530-1550.

The Landsknecht Arquebusiers in the tapestry image below don't differ that much from those of the 1510s and 1520s and at a pinch this arquebusier unit would be fine for the mid 1520s right up until the mid 1550s when the "Pluderhosen" become pretty much universal for the Landsknecht. If you have a look at the picture of the armoured soldier from the Códice De Trajes and the armoured "work in progress" figures the style of infantry armour of the mid 1500s becomes clearer. While the Arquebusier miniatures fit into a wider time frame I feel the armoured troops are more specifically for the 1530s and 1540s. I have 40 figures yet to paint for the pike and command and need to do all the pikes for them. Hopefully this shouldn't take too long despite Landsknecht being very time consuming. So far these have been a joy to paint though.

Landsknecht Arquebusiers during the attack on Goleta in 1535, the tapestries depicting the Tunis Campaign were made in the 1540s.

Códice De Trajes, 1547 Habsburg Soldiers

WIP - The Landsknecht Mid Century Pike so far, note the addition of beards to a lot of the TAG figures.

WIP - The Armoured Mid 16th Century Landsknecht so far

While on the subject of Landsknecht, last month I posted some pictures of my Reenactment kit and wondered if any of you would like to see pictures of the Wargames Foundry event at Stoke in June. Rather than put up any pictures here I am going to post links to some really good photos on Facebook that show the event in detail. All of the albums can be viewed without actually joining Facebook, even if it tries to get you to log in you don't need to! They show recreations of what the English, Irish and German troops who took part in the battle in 1487 may have looked like. I am well aware that the German troops in 1487 certainly didn't look like those shown in the photos but at least there was some acknowledgement that these mercenaries took part and I reckon they have made an admirable effort to look like the earlier 16th Century Landsknecht. I guess not everyone can be obsessive about the clothing of German mercenaries over 500 years ago.The albums can be found here here and here If you do take the time to look at these you will see that we were filming a documentary about the battle which can be viewed here . I will warn you now though it's a pretty bad documentary but you may find it fun.