Tuesday 27 December 2016

Landsknechts in French service II

As the title suggests here we have the second instalment of the Landsknechts in French service that I have been working on over the last few months. Together with the last I can now field a modest pike block to support my Growing French forces.

As with my Imperialist Landsknechts my collection is made up on a model where the upright pikes have banners and appropriate field signs which can then be supported / interchanged with my existing bases of levelled pikes that don't have banners or field signs to create a larger unit with some menace.

Here they are in support of French infantry;

Below are some individual images of the figures prior to basing. I explore my approach and source material for Landsknechts serving the French crown in the previous Landsknecht post which you can read here.

Further to my observations there the banners were taken from examples in both the Marignano and Pavia painting / tapestries. The banner on the red background tends to be used as a bit of a generic catch all for French troops in quite a lot of sources so I was a bit reluctant to use it at first however I considered the unit would look a bit more balanced with a plain and striped banner - the dilemmas of composition !

Anyway, I'm really pleased with the way the red banner complements the figure and I'm quite glad I opted against the figure being entirely in red. This technique of a predominant anchor colour with complimentary striped or alternative colours is my standard formula for painting Landsknechts, you can read more on that and many other techniques over on my Painting Landsknechts blog.

I generally paint Landsknecht command figures in a bit of a riot of colour and stripes to reflect their wealth and to help them stand out from the rank and file figures.

The pikemen are then approached as being either fairly plain - which tend to be in the side or rear ranks (remember that some at going to be obscured somewhat) or a bit more adventurous.

Even with the more colourful figures there are still formulas to use to get an authentic look which I have applied for this unit;
  • You can use a limited palette so blue and yellow stripes as with the centre figure above or the just plain green and white as below.
  • Another approach is to use a base colour anchor as mentioned above which is accompanied by stripes in a complimentary colour as per the two figures on the right below.

Here endeth the current chapter of Landsknechts. I tend to do at least one unit per year to build them up slowly in support of my Tudor and French armies or indeed to serve as a force in their own right. Of all the ranges this is a firm favourite and I don't get bored with them. I think I shall add some more arquebusiers in future as I only have 3 units at present.

That's all for now and a colourful post to end 2016.

All the best for the forthcoming year



  1. Wonderful brushwork! Another inspirational lesson in painting Landsknechts!
    Happy New Year!

  2. Thank you Start, these are real eye candies :)
    Happy New modeling Year!

  3. Hello,

    Superb paintjob !! (as usual)


  4. Absolutly superb, wonderful painting!

  5. More awe inspiring loveliness - great brushwork on the figures Stuart. Like the fleur de lys on the hose.

  6. Really stunning and inspiring work,the whole group together is worthy of a woodcut.