I've started preparing and planning a Swiss pike block. This will represent Bernese 'Gewalthaufen' pike, along with allied regions and towns of Solothurn, Fribourg, Thun and Schwyz. At present the plan is to create a 'double sized' unit using the same base sizes as for my Burgundians; this would produce a contingent with a 36cm frontage and depth. I like the idea of the square formation, which should be visually attractive, with flags and halbards in the centre.
These figures are my first ones to test out colours and style - I need to adopt a quicker-than-normal approach as this unit will be about 175 figures. I've decided to start with the rear ranks, where less painting detail should be required. Also as the only dedicated Perry Swiss figures available to date are the marching/walking figures. I've made a few minor modifications to these; a couple of headswops for plastic ones, adding a plume and bend, and helmets and a tankard hung from belts. I will add in plastic figures too, using the metal Swiss heads and do some head swops on the Swiss figures so that some have helmets (not every figure shown in the Berne Chronicles wears a turban!), but the rear ranks will overall be unarmoured. I'm optimistically hoping that the Perrys will produce some more Swiss figures by the time I need to move to the command bases and other ranks(!).
I've decided to paint them in small batches, largely of the same pose, using the same colour pallette. This will speed things up and I'll ensure that these figures don't get based next to each other, to avoid a uniform look. On which subject, I'm going to avoid the option of attiring my Swiss in cantonal colours. There is evidence that some Swiss Confederation towns issued clothing of specific colours; St Gallen sending it's troops to Grandson in red coats with Confederation white crosses attached. However, I'm pretty sure that this was not sufficiently widespread to create the types of 'uniforms' of later centuries. So I'm going to attempt to have red and black, representing Berne, more prevalent among coats and hose - hopefully to create an overall impression, with full cantonal colours being largely limited to captains, flagbearers and musicians.
Therefore, expect a few more 'work in progress' posts to be forthcoming for this pike bloc!
Saturday, 4 January 2014
Berne Swiss Pike - WIP
Posted by painterman at 05:06
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Some really nice colours there. I particularly like the bend you have added, looks like it has come straight out of the chronicles.ReplyDelete
I agree on the cantonal colours. I think some may have been in them but probably not the majority. I remember reading that by the 1500s it was only really the standards and musicians who would be in them.
Greate paint work !ReplyDelete
175 minis a quite a few...but it vill indeed be a impressive sight on the wargaming table. Looking forward to follow the pikeblocks progress.
best regards Michael
Phew, 175 figures, that is going to be some sightReplyDelete
Great minis Simon, can you tell us a bit more of your "quicker-than-normal" painting approach?ReplyDelete
And have you seen tomorrow id a great day ? The 537th Battle of Nancy day ! ;-)
I'm painting over the main colours with a wash - black on darker tones and brown on lighter ones. Then adding 'highlights' with the main colour again. No 3-colour shading on these.
Many thanks for your explanation !Delete
I'm absolutely looking forward to seeing how it turns out!ReplyDelete
May I ask why you plan to put the halberds in the center? From the bits of reading and museum model watching I did while in Switzerland, I thought the halberds were on the outer bits of the pike squares.
Either way, it sounds smashing!
Rob, yes, you're correct - some figures with halbards will be added to protect the vulnerable sides of the pike block. Also halbards were often placed in the centre to protect the flags.Delete
175 figures! That sounds like quite a challenge but your approach could work out well. Good luck with it! Looking forward to see more!ReplyDelete
Beautifull figures - and again a very nice project!ReplyDelete