Monday, 4 May 2015


I wanted a big keil, for FOG-R, with 12 bases of pikes and 2 of heavy weapons. I already had 32 pikemen painted (to varying standards, none too good) - a mix of three old Minifigs figures and an Asgard / TTG unarmoured pikeman and had some more unpainted but I wanted more variety for the pikes, some heavy weapons and musicians.

I bought some current Minifigs armoured pikemen to give more variety to the front rank and some Freikorps figures from QRF. The Freikorps figures mixed in really well and had good detail but some of the officers and halberdiers had very spindly weapons (probably accurate scale diameter, rather than the stubby telephone poles that most figures clutch) which had gaps in the casting. I made replacements for these with brass wire and solder. I also replaced all the cast pikes with brass wire.

I stripped and repainted the worst of the original figures but just tidied up the others. I had a lot of trouble varnishing these figures and it ended up with too thick, obscuring the detail and with a rather satin finish.

The start

More than 30 years ago when I started painting this army my plan was to have an army that could be used as either Italian Wars French or as French Wars of Religion Catholic - never mind the changes in appearance over that time. By the time I abandoned the project, I had only painted 32 landsknecht pikemen and 9 arquebusiers, 10 stradiots, some gendarmes, a couple of artillery bases and 12 reiter.

At the time I had been pretty pleased with my painting but when I picked them up again to start this project, most fell a long way short of the standard I aspired to. With so many great painting blogs showing fantastic painting, especially on 28 mm figures, my old school-boy efforts looked very poor. I was tempted to start again but I am a slow painter with limited time for painting so I settled on tidying up what I had so far, only repainting the very worst, re-basing for modern rules and trying to build on that.

The stradiots, reiter and artillery were easy enough - just a matter of rebasing though I also re-painted the stradiots' shields to add a bit more colour. 

Stradiots - Minifigs and Asgard / TTG

French Artillery - again a mix of Minifigs and Asgard / TTG

The previous project I had been working on was 15 mm World War 2. I had wanted the bases to be as unobtrusive as possible so based direct on 0.8 mm magnetic sheet. That worked well for WW2 - not so good for periods when one needs to move formations of multiple bases, not to mention the sheer labour and frustration of trying to cut the bases accurately so I soon swapped over to laser cut 2 mm MDF like everybody else.

Reiter - Minifigs.
Most of my Minifigs figures are from the first generation of individually cast 15 mm figures that they made, following on from the earlier generation cast in strips. I think it is a shame that these are no longer available as many were better figures than those which replaced them and are available today.