This is kind of weird, as I never planned to build a 16th century landsknecht army. I don’t know much about the period, I have never played any games in this era, and I have no-one particularly interested in building up opponents for this army.
Nevertheless, I now find that I have sort of organically reared a moderately sized landsknecht army.
It all started with one freebie sprue of Warlord Games’ plastic landsknecht pikeman. I painted them up on a whim, and then thought, ‘Why not buy one box just to see what a pike block looks like?’
Then the one pike block grew to two, then three. And when a fellow gamer mentioned a joint club order to Old Glory, I couldn’t resist seeing how a pike block of their more animated metal landsknecht figures would look in comparison to the rather staid poses of the Warlord plastics.
Along the way I realized I also needed some hand-gunners, then some zweihänder (two-handed) swordsmen and halberdiers, a cannon, some generals … and before I knew it, a landsknecht army had grown from no-where!
So for your delectation, here are some pictures of my latest additions to this unplanned army.
I mentioned above that I had been curious to see the animation of the Old Glory landsknechts. I had heard these were one of the better ranges that Old Glory put out, and I must say I was indeed quite impressed when I received them.
Apart from a couple of the officer poses that looked over-animated to my eye, the figures in general looked pretty realistic. And boy did they convey the famous panache of that slashed and be-ribboned landsknecht clothing!
I think I must have dipped my brush into every paint-pot I own to paint these guys, and even then mixed a few additional colours myself. I am really pleased at the resulting spectacular mélange of different hues and tones.
My painting style is pretty impressionistic. So from close-up the figures look a bit messy, but they do really pop when you stand back to normal tabletop height.
I rather like the officer in red in the above picture. The flags were made from images I found on the web.
This wee fifer is one of my favourite of the Old Glory figures. He looks like he has stepped right out of a renaissance-period print. Again, my slap-dash paint style is obvious here (from the GW Contrast paints that I like to use).
Above is the third of the Warlord Games pike blocks I painted. I intended that this regiment might hail from Bavaria, thus the blue and white flags. But to tell the truth I don’t know how realistic this is (as I said, I don’t know much about the period). But it is cool to look at, and that’s all I want!
For those intrigued to know how Warlord Games and Old Glory landsknechts match up, here are a couple of comparison close-ups.
As you can see, the faces of the Warlord figures are very realistic, even with no more than just a single wash of GW Contrast flesh paint. The poses are quite static, but look very natural.
Meanwhile the Old Glory figures have very active poses, and their clothing is much fuller and more flamboyant. I had to drill their hands to take the pikes (which are plastic spears from Fireforge Games). Their faces are not quite so finely sculpted, but still capture the look of the period.
A group of halberdiers, also from Warlord. The right arms are made out of metal, so they were a bugger to attach to the plastic figures. In the end I had to pin them, which was a bit of work. But I am pleased with the result.
These figures are from the same box as the halberdiers, but equipped with the plastic zweihänder swords, so a cinch to glue on compared to the halberds.
And of course I needed some handgunners. These are mainly by Warlord, but there are a couple of Steel Fist Miniatures metal gunner in there as well.
The handgunners look great defending this scratch-built farmhouse.
The cannon is by Steel Fist Miniatures. I like the way the figures are posed pushing the gun into position (though I imagine such a large gun would actually take more than just two men to move!).
Winners of the big hat competition are these two generals, the only mounted figures in my army so far.
I am currently mulling over what type of cavalry I should get. I don’t want to go overboard (famous last words?!), so just one unit. But should they be heavily armoured gens-d’armes, or maybe some lightly armoured pistol-wielding reiters?