Saturday, 21 August 2010

Arquebusiers (part one)

I have just finished painting some Landsknecht arquebusiers which I have been slowly working on over the past few weeks. The figures are all cast in the same pose with different heads and I thought that this offered a good opportunity to demonstrate how variety can be achieved in the way you paint a unit.

These will be based as two units and I have purposefully waited until they were all painted so that I could see which colours complemented each other the most. In my preparation I used the 'colour in' woodcuts from my Landsknecht painting guide for some of the figures, these and my sentiments further on this subject are stated here;

There are a couple of Imperialist field signs in the unit, such as simple crosses and the peacock feathers on the officer's cap, but after some thought I decided not to add a standard bearer so that effectively they're a free company which can act individually or in support of the pike block along with being useful as mercenary arquebusiers for my Tudor Army.

Also featuring on a couple of the figures are two new colours that I have recently added to my palette, namely; British Blue Grey & French Dragoon Green from Wargames Foundry's Napoleonic paint set.

I've really enjoyed painting these as I felt they represented a bit more of a challenge than Landsknechts usually do, being that they're all the same cast. I made an extra effort and scoured all of the source material that I have to inject some individuality and depth into each figure.

This was mostly achieved with the field signs and experimenting with colour as stated above but also in some of the smaller details such as;
  • the handles on the katzbalger's painted as wood

  • the lining of the officer's waffenlock and drummer & halberdier's doublets as canvas - (something I have noticed in a few contemporary paintings and in re-enactor's garb),and

  • painting the lace fastenings on the doublet as canvas or red

If this has been useful to you and you'd like me to photograph the next Landskechts I paint individually along with as a unit please say and I'll try and remember.

Coming up in part two will be these figures as a unit and no doubt a hint at the next item on the workbench.



  1. wow, those are something special Stuart - fantastic paintwork and colour schemes. I love the detail on the faces too, they all have character of being hardened veterans of the Italian wars. Like the individual pics too - makes you concentrate on the figures and your workmanship...great stuff, looking forward to seeing them based.

  2. Just stumbled across this blog. Absolutely beautiful renaissance figures and painting. Look forward to future posts. Stumbled across a book by Nicholas Carter "Knave of Swords" which I am reading just now. Set in 1520, with Landsnechts and other mercs roaming Europe causing trouble. Great book which has me interested in the period. If you haven't come across it, give it a try.

  3. Cheers Simon I use a red/brown wash for the flesh in addition to the normal process, it seems to give a bit more depth, this goes on after the basecoat of flesh and then the flesh is painted in the usual 3 step fashion.

    ElCid, I've added that to my Amazon wishlist, thanks for the reccomendation.