This new period caught me more-or-less unawares. Whilst I’ve always liked the renaissance era as such, particularly novels set during this period (especially if they feature Leonardo da Vinci – I can thoroughly recommend ‘The Medici Guns‘!), I never thought I would ever collect a renaissance wargames army.
But my latest painting project has indeed been a renaissance one – Bavarian landsknechts, commanders and a gun – and I plan on adding to this army in the near future.
This new fad actually started two years ago, when on a whim I bought and painted a box of Warlord Games landsknechts. My intention at that stage wasn’t to build an army, but just an interesting one-off painting project to keep me occupied during New Zealand’s first covid lockdown.
I was happy with how they came out (as you can see above). But even then I never gave any thought to expanding my one unit into an army.
I don’t really know what it was that led me two years later to suddenly decide to buy another box of Warlord Games landsknecht pikemen, and then to order a few extra metal landsknechts from Steel Fist Miniatures. Whatever it was, it came hard hard and fast, as I had them all assembled and undercoated tout-suite!
This despite knowing absolutely nothing about the period (other than the afore-mentioned novels, and watching a season of ‘The Borgias’), nor even how a renaissance army should be organised.
And here is the result: the second pike-block in my little army. I chose to give them Bavarian flags to differentiate them from my first block.
I have probably shot myself in the foot for using these figures for gaming in my area. Rather than the 40mm wide bases that come with the Warlord box, and seem to be accepted as the de facto base-size here, I though they should be on 30mm bases to give more of a packed-in appearance. So that’s what I’ve done, games-standard sizing be damned!
However, I am sure that (once I eventually find an opponent) we can fudge a bit to play our respective base-sizes in the same game.
I was especially pleased with how Games Workshop’s Contrast paints worked so easily to replicate those colourful uniforms. Their flesh tone also does a fantastic job on the beautifully sculpted Warlord faces.
The armour was done with basic silver paint, followed by a black ink wash, then a Humbrol gloss varnish followed by a satin varnish – though the gloss varnish was probably an unnecessary step. It has certainly turned out looking like real metal.
I mixed in some Steel Fist Miniatures figures to provide a little more variety. Here you can see a Steel Fist officer drawing his sword on the left, and a drummer on the right. These figures are a smidgen bigger than the Warlord plastics, but as you can see, they fit in OK.
I also got this impressive gun and its crew from Steel Fist Miniatures.
This photo also reveals that whilst my figures look reasonably good from a distance, from close-up you can see my style is very impressionistic! But overall I hope I have achieved the effect of a team of scruffy, gun-powder-coated gunners.
The gun comes with two barrels – this one with the ragged burgundy cross, and one with fleur-de-lis. I have only lightly glued this barrel onto the carriage, so I can interchange it if I want a French-aligned force.
“You call that a hat?! Now THIS is a hat!” The first of these two Steel Fist commanders sports a big hat, the other an even bigger hat!
Here’s my whole landsknecht force so far – two pike blocks, a gun, a handful of arquebusiers, and the two commanders.
I also have a box of Warlord arquebusiers undercoated and ready to paint, so the ‘shotte’ part of this pike-and-shotte army will soon be extended to 36 figures. Keep watching this space!