Monday, 4 January 2016

Swiss Arquebusiers

I finally finished the arquebusiers to screen my Swiss pike keil over the Christmas holidays, in time for a FOG-R game yesterday against a German States army. 

The figures are from Khurusan, the same as most of those in the keil. Like the other Khurusan figures, they are quite slender (or realistically proportioned, compared with the stocky cartoon figures from most other manufacturers) and well detailed but maybe not the easiest figures to paint. 

The Swiss banners are based on information from Massimo Predonzani’s book on the battle of CĂ©risoles. He states that by 1525 infantry flags were 3.7x2.8 m. On the basis that 15mm (in reality 16-18mm ground to head) is about 1:100 I tried 37x28 mm but that looked far too big. For the pike block I reduced the flags to about 24x32 but even that seems big - to the extent that they interfere with the pikes in the third rank. If I had realised before basing just how big they would be, I would maybe have used a double-depth base for the centre of the keil and put all the flags on that. I further reduced the flag for the Aquebusiers to 20x27 mm - it still looks big but is rather more manageable. 

The Swiss flags were drawn using the basic drawing tools in Microsoft Excel (not an obvious choice, but I use spreadsheets a lot for work and it was to hand) and printed out on an inkjet so it was easy to play around with sizes.

Does anybody have other information on likely flag size for the Swiss in the 1520s and 30s? 


  1. I really like the arquebusiers, they fit in well with the pike. The banners look good as well, the size question is difficult, I think the skirmishers sometimes carried really small flags, certainly at the end of the 15th century, by the 1520s however I am not sure.

  2. They look great, can't believe they're not 28mm, nice clean painting without being garish.
    Best Iain

  3. Thanks very much.

    I posted some pictures up on TMP which led to some really interesting discussion and information on banners. I summary, it seems the huge bedsheets carried by the pike block are about the right size but the aquebusiers should probably have no flag at all - I'm going to paint an extra arquebus figure and the standard bearer can be figure No. 1 completed for my second Swiss pike block.