Another project for 2012 which I shouldn't really start, but can't really help myself.  I've had an interest in the Italian Wars of
the early sixteenth century for more years than I care to remember.     My personal interest started with a series of articles
on wargaming the sixteenth century, which appeared in the new
'Miniature Wargames' back in 1983.   The pictures in MW
were truly what my gaming group calls 'wargames porn' featuring lovely figures of amongst others, Swiss pikemen, French
Gendarmes, Spanish Arquebusiers, Italian Crossbowmen and the ubiquitous Landsknechts.  The bright colours, interesting
costumes and flags were very unusual but most attractive to behold for a young lad who was still very new to this
interesting hobby of wargaming.  I went down the local library in the hunt for reading material, and then of course ordered
lots of Minifigs, Warrior, Essex and Tabletop Games Renaissance figures.  In the late 1980's I was lucky enough to have even
studied for a History A level in Renaissance Europe, which helped me to put all the military stuff into a wider and broader
political context.  

I spent the best part of the next fifteen years playing Renaissance wargames and amassing a collection, which though not as
nicely painted as those in MW, made up for lack of quality in quantity of their numbers.  By the time I sold the collection in
the late 1990's there were almost 5,000 figures, and I moved on to pastures new with WW2 and Napoleonics.

My recent
Wars of the Roses project for using with the excellent Impetus rules set brought back memories of my old
Medievals and my mind wandered sadly to the Italian Wars collection I had sold.  One of my gaming mates, Clive, has a
budding French army for the Italian Wars, and another chum Max, and I have always said we'd do it one day.  Well this day
has definitely arrived.

Figure manufacturers have come a long way since the 1980's and there are a multitude decent ranges out there for the
discerning gamer looking to start in the period amongst which Venexia (available in the UK from
Vexillia) are probably the
best sculpts.  However, economic climate as it is, cash is tight for everyone at the moment.  I am determined to budget for
this army.  

Recently I rediscovered some of the old Freikorp15 figures (available from
QRF) when looking for figures to add to my WotR
collection, and found some real gems in there for the Italian Wars.  I decided therefore to base the new collection around
Freikorp15 foot figures with Venexia for the mounted and Generals.  As the majority of figures will be based in close order
units on Impetus
Warbases I reckon I can get away with slightly lower budget castings for the mass, with nicer Venexia
figures for stand out individuals.  I am not scrimping on the mounted troops though and so it is Venexia all the way.

I made a decision to start off the new collection with Maximilian Imperialist, and Spanish armies as they share many of the
same troop types and I am most definitely a Francophobe.   I am a much better painter than I was twenty years ago, though
there's always room for improvement, so the prospect of painting lots of
Landsknechts is not one I shy away from.  I'm pretty
sure that most wargamers would welcome Landsknechts in their collections, whether they have the desire, or skills to paint
them up is another thing entirely.

To be honest I don't really know how many figures this collection will run to, but knowing me it will eventually cover all the
main protagonists.

Tried and tested formula for completing an army for me is to start with Generals and artillery followed by mounted and then
the mass of foot.

































These are excellent castings from Venexia.  Crisp, nicely animated and really take dry brushing and washing techniques well.  The chap above
on the left is accompanied by the double-headed eagle Imperial battle flag; the Reichsturmfahne.  The Commander in the middle flies the
Rennfahne of the Arch Marshall, senior field commander of the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I.  The commander on the right is escorted by
the red ragged cross, on a white field, of  Burgundy.  Maximilian I married
Mary of Burgundy in 1477 and the red saltire, or ragged cross, was
often a feature of Imperialist flags and occasionally worn as a badge on clothing.  The flags here are all Freezywater Flags available also from
Vexillia.  I make my flags all removable allowing me to change them for specific battles or on a whim.








































More Imperialist Landsknecht command bases.  The base on the left, with a dramatic flag twirling scene, features an early Ragged Cross of
Burgundy, whilst the right one carries the personal banner of
George von Frundsberg.  






































Von Frundsberg (1473-1528) was a Swabian nobleman and known as the father of the Landsknechts.  In 1509 he reached the pinnacle of his
career in the service of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, as highest field commander of the Landsknechts.  He served the Emperor
faithfully in the
Swabian and Italian wars and in particular at the Battle of Bicocca in 1522 when the Swiss were defeated by Spanish infantry and
Landsknechts  led by Frundsberg.  He commanded the Lansdknechts at the
Battle of Pavia in 1525 when the French King Francis I was
captured.







































The Imperialist heavy artillery above are formerly originally Asgard, then TableTop Games, and now called Altuos Renaissance figures available
from
15mm.co.uk  .  Whilst not as numerous as their French enemy, Imperialist artillery were a significant part  of the armies of Maximilian and his
grandson, and heir, the
Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.









































According to Oman, ('A History of the Art of War in the Sixteenth Century'), and Taylor, ('The Art of War in Italy'), German Men-at-Arms of the
Italian wars wore little armour and frequently used no horse armour.  I decided to allow myself some artistic license by including a full selection
of all the packs sold by Venexia as Gendarmes, as I like lots of variety in my units.    There is a high proportion of figures sold as Light
Gendarmes however.  I tend to use brighter armour to indicate social rank in my knights so the lighter gendarmes tend to be wearing dark or
blackened armour.














































German knights often formed deep, dense formations and under Impetus can form
Large Units.  The flags are a mixture of those available on the
internet from
DMWS and Warflag.















































It might come as no surprise to anyone who is familiar with me and this site, to hear that I have plenty of light horse in my Italian Wars forces.  My
like of light troops, particularly the mounted variety, is a reoccurring theme which runs through almost all my gaming periods.  I enjoy painting
and playing with light horse far more than any other troop type.  In the Italian Wars lighter cavalry might consist of Stradiots and Ginetes/Jinetes,
or Genitors, and also mounted arquebusiers and crossbowmen.









































In the Impetus Imperialist army list the Mounted Arquebusiers are rated as Medium Cavalry with Handgun, whereas the mounted crossbowmen
are true light horse.  I based them all four figures to a base allowing the Mounted Arquebusiers to stand in for either light or medium cavalry, with
different armies.  At this point in time I have two units of each in my army.








































These, in my opinion, are some of the nicest Venexia castings in their Italian Wars range.  In particular I love the mounted crossbowmen, which
comes in two variants, one in a Barbute and the second in a cloth hat with a plume.  Truly lovely to paint.











































Leaving aside the mounted troops for now Imperial German armies of the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries were formed around the
Landsknecht an, often mercenary, footsoldier primarily armed with the pike or two handed sword, polearm or arquebus.  The Landsknechts
were formed as a copy of, and repsonse to, the rise of the Swiss infantry, the premier footsoldiers of the late fifteenth century.  Typically
recruited from Swabia, the Rhineland and the Low Countries, Landsknechts were dressed in a flamboyant and highly colourful dress which is a
challenge to any painter of toy soldiers.  That said I discovered
Stuart Mulligan's fantastic site which makes the task of producing Landsknecht
units a much easier task.













































Under Impetus the above formation consists of three units of pike forming a
Large Unit.   Accompanying them are a unit of  skirmishing
arquebusiers and a unit of Doppelsoldners, also in skirmish order.  
Doppelsoldners were literally soldiers in receipt of double pay whose job it
was to break into, or through, enemy formations creating weaknesses which could be exploited by their comrades.  They were armed with
mostly Zweihänder (two-handed) swords and sometimes polearms.  I have planned, and ordered, enough figures for four such formations as
above which will look very imposing on the tabletop.  The above unit is my first of the four planned.  I have used the excellent
flags from Stuart
Mulligan's site.  The unit carries flags for Memmingen, an important Swabian town.  I painted some of the pike shafts red to tie the unit together
with the flag designs.

As mentioned at the beginning the great mass of my Landsknechts are Freikorp15's from QRF.  When wargaming, most people, myself included,
are visually drawn to Generals, mounted troops and nice flags.   Whilst not as individually nice or detailed as Venexia castings, Freikorps figures
used en masse are nice enough and very effective.  It is difficult to differentiate between manufacturers much above two feet and I'm trying to do
this project on a tight budget.  Also I want my Landsknechts to fit in with my
Wars of the Roses collection which is by Peter Pig.  German
mercenaries, under a Martin Schwarz, fought at the
Battle of Stoke Field in 1487 .  Freikorps fit nicely with Peter Pig figures.

When painting an army, or a new period I try to adopt a holistic approach to keep my enthusiasm; reading contemporary and secondary
sources, historical novels, uniform guides and also listening to music of the period.   I'm sure many of us do the same in this nerdy hobby of
ours but I really paint better listening to period, or relevant music.  Here are some good  You Tube Landsknecht Songs:





















































Another couple of units of light horse mounted crossbowmen and arquebusiers.  The arquebusiers were painted with black mourning arm
bands for the deceased
Pope Leo X, and also blackened armour and sombre clothing to differentiate them from my other mounted
arquebusiers.  









































Giovanni de Medici's Black Band (Bande Nere) was an elite Italian unit of arquebusiers, both mounted, and on foot.   They're a bit later than the
Maximilian Imperial Army being part of the Spanish Imperial Army list instead.  I already have my Spanish army waiting for attention after I've
finished the Landsknechts.  The Bande Nere are a rarity in Impetus Italian Wars being rated as A Class.










































Burgundian Men-at-Arms.  These are riding fully barded horses to make them stand out from my other mounted knights.  Burgundians are an
acceptable part of the Maximilian Imperialist Army list as Maximilian married Margaret of Burgundy and inherited the lands upon her death in
1482, much to the
French King Louis VI's annoyance as he had absorbed Burgundian lands on the death of Mary's father Charles the Bold, in
1477.  A significant part of Burgundian territory, namely the Low Countries, formed part of the
Hapsburg dominions and were the cause of two
centuries of trouble between France and Spain.











































I have just two units of Burgundian Men-at-Arms for my Imperialists as they are very expensive points-wise, though you can have up to six units.
 The flags used are available online and free from DMWS.  These are really for the earlier
Swiss-Burgundian Wars but probably changed little.  
They were so nice and colourful I just had to use them.  














































My second Landsknecht 'Square' features the blue and orange/yellow Fleur de Lys of the Fugger family.  
The Fuggers were and Augsburg
based prominent european banking family of the sixteenth century.  They were the incredibly powerful having taken over the
De' Medici assets
and power, and the top bankers in Europe bank rolling much of the Hapsburg Empire, until the after the
Thirty Years' War .  












































For this second Landsknecht 'Square' I painted some pike shafts blue and orange to tie in with the units flags.  One of the nice things about the
lack of uniform in the early sixteenth century is that figures of different nationalities can be mixed together for greater variety.  I routinely mix in
Freikorps command figures from their Tudor Wars in my Landsknecht units.













































The Impetus army list allows for a variety of open or loose order arquebusiers.   As I had some left over Landsknecht arquebusiers I decided to
use these for a couple of loose order units.  The majority of my unit T arquebusiers for Impetus will be Italian however.



































I decided with this project that each individual non-skirmish unit would have its own flag.  I've long been of the opinion that if you give a unit a
nice base and a colourful flag, the overall impression is better than gorgeously painted figures with poor bases and sad looking flags.  The flags
with the units above are from DMWS and are hypothetical based upon modern coats of arms of
Aalen and Bamberg.  I loved the religious look
and feel of them and decided to use them for my Landsknechts.




































The Freikorps Italian arquebusiers are wearing sajones, typically Italian loose flowing tunics worn particularly in the early sixteenth century.  The
skirmishing arquebusiers are wearing a variety of coloured sajones whereas I chose to depict the loose order units in livery.
























































The flags are from DMWS and were chosen just becasue I liked the designs.  The sajone colour is linked to the flag colour hence blue for
Cerignola and red for Otranto.







































































With Venexia Miniatures currently undergoing a 're-structuring' getting your hands in the UK on their wonderful castings is tough.  I was
fortunate enough to buy the last of their artillery through Vexillia.  Unfortunately one came without a gun barrel but Martin Stephenson at Vexilia
was kind enough to supply a suitable replacement via his Ottoman range, and threw in a couple of piles of much appreciated cannonballs by
way of an apology.






































From what I've read Imperial artillery was frequently painted with black carriages and red metalwork.  However, I decided to paint one gun a more
wooden finish for a bit of variety.  The guns are loose on the base which I decided looked better on a 6cm depth.  I really hope that someone
buys the Italian Wars range from Venexia.  The figures are truly wonderful, evocative of the period and are well detailed and cast.  It would be a
true shame for this marvellous range of figures to disappear from the wargames market.






































I absolutely love the Venexia light cannon castings.  Bags of detail and character.  In Impetus they are rated as Artillery B and I like to mount
them on 4cm depth bases for Impetus and in pairs .




































I painted my next two units of Venexia Gendarmes as Spanish Men-at-Arms.  There seem to have been a preponderation of red and yellow, the
colours of the Spanish flag, in the livery of the Men-at-Arms.  Also there seems to have been a dearth of horse armour.  Accordingly I used mostly
unbarded horses and also a higher proportion of figures listed as 'Light Gendarmes'.









































Flags are available free on the
Venexia website.  With flag swaps the identity of these figures can be changed to any nationality required.







































For the compulsory loose order FL Italian Mercenary Foot, a feature of most of the Italian armies, I decided to use Freikorp figures listed as Light
Infantry/Marines.  I then added a shield from my spares and bits box, trying to use heart shaped,
bucklers and Ardagas where possible.








































With the Landsknecht foot finished I thought I'd take a few pictures of them en mass.  First, the business end, with Doppelsoldners to the fore to
break up the enemy.





































In Impetus, as in real life, the flanks of such a large column are the weak point.  Below, arquebusiers protect the flank.













































I really like the way the Freikorps Landsknechts have turned out.  Although the figures themselves are very colourful I am pleased the way the
mix of coloured pikes and different wood shades look together.  Unfortunately, the pikes cast shadows on photographs and you'll have to trust
me that they look nicer in real life.  Nice flags and grass tufts finish off the units.  Apart from the ones mentioned earlier aficionados will notice
flags for
Kempten, Ravensberg and Nuremberg plus two from Ruprecht Heller's famous painting of the Battle of Pavia.



































Most of the Impetus Italian armies of the Italian Wars include units of Heavy Infantry (FP).  I decided to portray these two units as Pavisiers as
they look a bit different.



































The Pavise, was an overly large shield, often carried by crossbowmen in the 15th Century to offer protection whilst loading, or by a spearman.  
Often pavises seem to have been highly decorated with painted religious images .  I toyed with this idea, then settled for a simpler red/yellow or
yellow/white colour scheme.  My pavisiers will probably see service more usually with my Papal States force and these are both colours of the
Papacy.
































The majority of Italian troops seem to have been primarily crossbowmen or arquebusiers.  These typically fought in open order screening
friends or harassing the enemy or occasionally in loose order.  I used figures from almost the entire Renaissance range offered by Freikorps to
provide lots of variety.



































French armies of the period contained lots of crossbowmen.  These are described variously as Gascons, or 'Aventuriers'.  I painted my
crossbowmen in varied colour schemes allowing them to be used for any nationality or Italian City State.


































































Italian pikemen from the
Romagna area of Italy are described as wearing red tunics slashed white.  They fought in Venetian and Papal States
armies.  Again I used figures from Italian/French, Swiss, Burgundian and Early Tudor ranges to provide variety and differing levels of armour.  


































As well as carrying the flag of St George, my pikemen carry religious standards sold by
Little Big Men studios as Russian Banners.  These look
in keeping with the period and add even more colour to their units.  Pikemen in Impetus must fight in 'large units' either two or three units deep.
































I painted two generic mounted commanders for my Italian/French armies.  The striped orange and green flag on the left is that of
Teodoro
Trivulzio, who fought for Venice and France, being made a Marshal of France in 1526.  The blue standard with orange tree on the right is that of
Francesco Maria Della Rovere, Duke of Urbino, commander-in-chief of the Papal States forces through much of the Italian Wars.  The command
group on foot represents
Prospero Colonna, Papal States, Spanish and Imperialist General.






































A feature of particularly Venetian armies, but also to an extent of French forces, were
the Stradiots.  These were mainly Albanian light cavalry
recruited in the Balkans who proved to be incredibly useful in harassing the enemy and for scouting, screening etc.   







































Armed with a double ended light lance, or spear, called an Assagaye, mace, and wickedly curved sabres early Stradiots wore distinctive tall felts
hats and quilted kaftans, often over armour.  Later they tended towards helmets, jacks or even breastplates.  Stradiots continued to be of service
to the French throughout the sixteenth century often referred to as Estradiotes or Argoulets.








































I used some suitable Byzantine flags from Little Big Men Studios to add a bit more colour.  































The Venetians were fairly unique in respect that the composite bow could still see service amongst the infantry of their armies.  These figures
are Venexia and though a simple pose are really quite lovely.  I like skirmishers, and light troops in general, so the prospect of having some
bows amongst my arquebusiers and crossbowmen was too hard to resist.  What can I say?  I am weak.






































By now I decided that I really ought to make a French army for those lovely Landsknechts to find employment in too.  I started again with
commanders.  Using Freezywater flags the chap on the left is
Odet de Foix, Vicomte de Lautrec, who had his arse thoroughly kicked at Bicocca
when his Swiss attacked unsupported across a sunken road, and lined by a rampart manned by Spanish arquebusiers and Landsknecht
pikemen.  The commander on the right is
Jacques de Chabannes, de la Palisse, who seems to have been present at almost all the major battles
before being captured by Landsknechts at Pavia, then executed a few days later.









































For me, nothing better sums up the French army of the period than massed Gendarmes.  The French had the most numerous, best equipped
and superior heavy cavalry of the day.  By having removable flags any of my mounted Men-at-Arms can stand in for French.  However, I decided
to grab some of the last Venexia Gendarmes available in the UK to paint up specifically as French.   









































These are quite lavish compared to some of my other Gendarmes.  I used my full palate of metal paints to give great variety in the styles and
colours of the harness, ranging from black, and blued, right through to very shiny silver, and including some bronzed and gilt armour too.  I also
picked out lots of bits in a contrasting colour to make them look very showy indeed.  The flags are mostly downloadable free on the DMWS site.






































Most of the French infantry of the period seem to have been crossbow armed though their seems to have been a significant number armed with
the pike.  These chaps carry the flag of Picardy, a white cross on a red field, which was an area particularly known for producing good pikemen.  





































These figures are Freikorps and a mix of Burgundian, Swiss and French/Italian packs, with the odd figure from the Wars of the Roses.  The
colours I chose are very muted in contrast with the showy colourfulness of the Romagnol Italian and particularly the gaudy Landksnechts.  
These figures fit in nicely with my Peter Pig Wars of the Roses pikemen allowing them all to serve alongside each other in a variety of late 15th
and early 16th Century conflicts.

I decided that I just HAD to have a
Carroccio for my Italian armies.   Basically this was a mobile war altar common, but not exclusively so, to
Italian armies from the Medieval period onwards.  











































My Carroccio is a real hotch potch of various manufacturers.  The basis of my Carroccio is that available from
Mirliton Miniatures's Communal
Italian range, in the UK via Vexillia.  With the wagon kit you get four oxen, four trumpeters and a cleric.  I relegated the trumpeters to the bits box
as they looked more Medieval.  I'll use them for some Wars of the Roses stuff.  

Rather than go for a Carroccio for a particular City State I thought I'd go for a generic religious look.  I used three religious looking banners from
Little Big Men Studios Byzantine Banner sheet.  The top banner looks distinctly Papal, the other two more like Saints. I replaced the mast with a
cocktail stick, with wire cross pieces, surmounted with a
crucified Christ (DD37), available from Donnington Miniatures.







































An altar was made from one of Timecast's 15mm tombs from their
Graveyard set (37/100), covered with a tin foil made cloth and a scratchbuilt
cross added. Actually,  I like to think that instead of an altar its perhaps a
reliquary containing the earlthy remains of some Saint.  Two kneeling,
and three following, praying monks came from
Essex Miniatures, (MFPE16 Assorted Praying Monks).  The two armed monks came from another
Essex Miniatures pack (MFPE14 Assorted Warrior Monks Advancing).  Leading the Carroccio is a crucifix wielding Priest, who along with a
mounted monk comes from
Irregular Miniatures (Pastor Humphries & Nils Shankspony) as part of their Peasants range.  Finally the halbardier is
a Venexia Spanish one.  




































I decided to paint the Priests and monks as members of the
Dominican Order.  I think the white habit and black cape ties in nicely with the white
of the oxen, whereas brown habits might not stand out visually from the Carroccio wagon itself.

Due to its size I mounted the whole assemblage on two bases each 8cm x 6cm.  The yolk pole isn't actually attached to the yolks allowing it to be
stored easier.  In the Impetus rules the Carroccio serves no purpose really, but will be added to the baggage park.  To be honest it doesn't
matter.  Its so big and colourful and I had real fun creating it.  Infact it was a treat to myself for painting almost 700 figures in six weeks.















































During the sixteenth century the phrase "Point d'argent, point de Suisse" (No money, no Swiss) was often applied to contingents of
Reisläufer
mercenaries supplied from the Swiss Confederacy.  In my case its a case of no money, lots of Swiss as I have spent the best part of a month
painting these fearsome warriors.  Up until the
Battle of Bicocca, the Swiss were the preeminent footsoldiers in Europe, seeing  a string of
victories in actions in the Burgundian Wars, Swabian Wars and Italian Wars.  As usual first I started with their commanders.



































With the, hopefully temporary, disappearance of Venexia's Swiss I decided to use figures from Mirliton's excellent
Swiss/Burgundian Wars range
for my commanders.  These are true 15's rather than large 15mm (read 18mm) of many manufacturers of late.  Left to right Niklaus von Diesbach,
Adrian von Bubenberg and Hans von Hallwyl.  Whilst these commanders were primarily commanders for the Swiss Burgundian Wars, they at
least all set foot in Italy at the end of their careers.   The figures and flags were all purchased in the UK from Martin Stephenson at
Vexillia, with
the flags from the Freezywater range.








































The mass of the rank and file of my Reisläufer are Freikorp15 figures available from
QRF.  Whilst not up to the standard of Venexia and Mirliton
there are some nice poses and they are considerably cheaper, which in this day an age of economic austerity is important.  The figures are really
for the Swiss Burgundian Wars but will serve in my early Italian Wars armies until I can replace them with Venexia at a later date.  In Impetus
Swiss 'squares' consist of 1 front rank pike unit, 1-2 rear rank units, 0-1 units of skirmishing 'Doppelsoldners' and Arquebusiers respectively.  I
have four such large units, with one of them consisting of Allied Swiss units for a bit of variety.  


The Swiss contingents I chose to include in my army were based largely upon the look and availability of their flags, and very little to do with any
historical precedent.  That being said, one of my large units (right below) consists of the original three Cantons, largely rural,
Uri, Unterwalden
and
Schwyz and known as the 'Forest Cantons' which formed the old Swiss Confederation of 1291.  I also added a contingent from the
Urserental valley in Uri Canton as they had a nice attractive and unusual green flag with a bear and white cross which you don't often see on the
wargames tabletop.  The Schwyz flag in this period was often a simple red flag, however they often carried a red flag with an additional white
cross when serving 'abroad'.  This later became the de facto Cantonal flag.  The Unterwalden unit also carries the red/white flag with a key motif
of the then half-canton
Nidwalden.  The figures in these three units wear a variety of armour and dress though broadly they wear Cantonal
liveries of yellow and black (Uri), red and white (Unterwalden) and red (Schwyz).

















































My second large unit (left above) consists of men from the cantons of
Lucerne, Zurich and Glarus which joined the Swiss Confederation in 1332,
1351 and 1352 respectively.  I included the traditional Swiss Confederation flag of a white cross on a red field, and also the white cross on a blue
field of
Erlenbach (Zurich Canton) .   The men of Glarus largely wear their cantonal livery of black, red and white whilst those of Zurich and
Lucerne largely wear blue and white.  Glarus's Cantonal flag featuring
Saint Fridolin on a red flag for some reason is my favourite Swiss flag.







































The third of my Swiss large units is composed entirely of men drawn from the Canton of
Berne.  Berne joined the Confederation in 1332 and
having one of the largest populations seems to have habitually formed the most numerous Cantonal contingent.  Berne has a really nice flag of a
red flag with diagonal yellow band featuring a bear.  The Bernese cantonal town of
Biel (Bienne) and district of Thun are represented with their
additional flags.  The original black star featured on the white band of Thun's banner was changed to gold as a battle honour won by the
contingent at the
Battle of Morat in 1476.  A variety of coloured tunics are worn with a preponderance in the cantonal livery of red and black, and
often with yellow added to tie in with the Cantonal flag.
The Italian Wars

"Die Landsknecht Kommen"
"Die Drummen, Die Drummen"
Jörg von Frundsberg, führt uns an"
"Wir Zogen In Das Feld"
"Ich habe Lust, im weiten Feld Der"
"Vom Barette schwankt die Feder"
"Wir sind des Geyers Schwarzer Haufen"
"Das Kalbfell klingt"
My fourth and last large unit  (above) consists on 'Allied' Swiss, that is to say contingents from areas not then part of the Swiss Confederation
but 'Associate Member' or allies.  

Appenzell allied itself to Schwyz in 1401, the Confederation in 1411, and was such an 'Associate Member'  in 1452, before going on to join fully in
1513.  It is now split into two half-Cantons.
Schaffhausen became a Common possession of Unterwalden and Uri in 1454, and received full
membership of the Confederation slightly earlier in 1501.  Both of the flags are attractive featuring a bear on a white field for Appenzell and a ram
on a yellow field for Schaffhausen, with Cantonal colours of black and white, and green and black predominating clothing colours respectively.





































Basle (Basel) officially joined the Confederation in 1501, and is now infact two half-Cantons.  The flag features the black Bishop's crozier and is
today the flag of
Basel-Stadt half-Canton.  The flag of the largely rural half-Canton Basel-Landschaft is that of a red crozier.  I decided to use both
in my units who largely wear black and white, and red and white liveries, though at
Marginano the crozier is recorded as red on a yellow field.

The third unit of my Allied Swiss 'Square' is composed of men from the, now Canton of,
Graubünden or Grisons (Grey Leagues). This was
composed of a federation of three leagues: The
Gotteshausbund (League of God's House) formed in 1367, the Grauer Bund (Grey League) of
1442 and the
Zehngerichtebund (League of the Ten Jurisdictions) 1436.  Together they formed the Drei Bund (Three Mutual Leagues) in 1457
becoming associate members of the Swiss Confederation in 1497-1499.  The flag of the Gotteshausbund is particularly unusual in being a black
Ibex on a white field.  The men wear a variety of costumes largely adhering to the Cantonal liveries of black, white and blue.  This allows the large
unit as a whole to work well as a wargames unit with a similarity in clothing colours and flag colours.




































Apart from the skirmishing halbardiers of the Dopplesoldners, the Impetus army lists allows for up to six units of loose order light halbardiers in
a Confederate force.  These are very useful as they are less susceptible to the effects of close terrain, can manoeuvre faster and yet halve the
Impetus factor of enemy mounted units.   I have four such units in my Swiss Confederate force, from the Cantonal contingents of Uri, Berne,
Unterwalden and Schwyz.  The Unterwalden and Schwyz units fly variants of their usual Cantonal banners, with red and white keys and a small
crucifixion scene respectively.



































Before I started work on the Spanish I decided to finish off the Imperialists.  Two remaining Landsknecht arquebus units were finished.































Nice flags were the order of the day again so searching through the
online DMWS flags I settled upon the lamb and flag motif of Prum and the
unusual Capercaillie banner of the
Freudenstadt district.






























I also ordered some more Landsknecht commanders, this time from the old Gladiator Miniatures range available from
Black Hat Miniatures.  They
sit nicely with my Venexia Landsknecht Generals and though chunkier do what it says on the tin.  





























The chap on the right is obviously
George von Frundsberg 'Father of the Landsknechts' and is clearly based on a famous portrait of him by
Christophe Amberger.  The chap on the left I decided to paint in Imperial livery.  I cheated this time using the double headed eagle decal sold by
Veni Vidi Vici, for the horse barding.  


So Imperialists finally finished onto my fifth, and last, army for the early sixteenth century; the Spanish.  Next to Landsknechts the Spanish are
my favourite army of the Italian Wars.  So the whole project was planned to start with Imperialists, and finish with Spanish.  This got me into the
project then helped to maintain my interest knowing the Spanish were coming.  


OK so lets get ourselves in the mood for painting the Spanish.  This
You Tube clip is of the battle of Rocroi but it gets you in the right frame of
mind and the singing is quite atmospheric.


My usual method of starting a new army is to work top down from the command structure, so Generals and commanders first.




































I was fortunate enough to pick up some of the last Venexia castings available in the UK for most of my Generals.  The chap on the left above in
the heavily gilted armour is
Ferdinand Francesco D’Avalos, Marquis of Pescara.  Pescara commanded light cavalry at Ravenna in 1512, and the
Spanish infantry at
La Motta in 1513, and Bicocca in 1522.  In 1525 he came up with the inspired plan to flank march which led to the victory and
capture of King Francis I of France at the battle of Pavia.

The command base in the centre flies the flag of
Pedro Navarro, Count of Oliveto.   Navarro was a thoroughly professional soldier with an
interest in engineering, fortifications and technology.  He commanded the Spanish infantry at Ravenna in 1512, where he constructed 'war carts'
covering the front of the army, but was captured.  
Ferdinand II of Aragon refused his ransom and in a fit of pique Navarro offered his services to
France, accompanying from 1515 to 1523.  He was captured at Genoa in 1523, released in 1526 and then returned to fight for France before being
captured again in 1527.

The third of my Spanish command bases is made from Gladiator Miniatures and carries the flag of
Antonio de Leyva, Duke of Terranova.  De
Leyva fought under the great captain
Gonzalo de Cordoba in 1503-04,  was wounded at Ravenna and commanded the garrison of Pavia at the
siege and battle in 1525.

All flags are by Freezywater and are removable.






























I had already completed substantial mounted elements of the Spanish armies of the period in my Spanish and Burgundian Men-at-Arms, Italian
mouted crossbowmen and arquebusiers.  Spanish armies however relied heavily upon native Spanish light horsemen known as
Jinetes.  This
suits me as a wargamer as I love lots of light horse in my armies anyway.  These figures are by Venexia.  I included a couple of figures sold as
Light Gendarmes, plus a couple of heavily armoured men at arms in their ranks for more variety.











































Also known as Genitors, Jinetes were formed in response to the massed light horse of Spanish Moor armies during the
Reconquista.   Javelin
and light lance armed light cavalry they fulfilled the same roles as the Venetian and French Stradiots mentioned earlier, namely screening,
scouting, harassing and pursuing defeated enemies.  
Sir Charles Oman rates Spanish Jinetes as the most superior light horse to have fought in
the Italian Wars, no doubt battle hardened in the conflict of many generations with the Moors. They certainly formed the majority of mounted
troops in Spanish armies and seem to have been extremely effective.





































Well armoured wearing helmets and Brigandines, most Jinetes carry distinctive
Adarga shields.  I replaced some of the Venexia supplied shields
with Essex Miniatures simple buckers, and even a few heart shaped ones for more variety.  Several shields carry decals of the blazon of some of
Spain's four military orders, available from Veni, Vidi, Vici.

The banners carried by my Jinetes all come from Little Big Men Studios Russian and Byzantine Banner packs.  These are quality products being
both vibrant in colour and suitably religious looking enough for the pious Spanish.  I decided to use yet more of these lovely banners for my
Spanish infantry, with others obtained free over t'internet.









































If the Swiss were considered the best footsoldiers at the beginning of the sixteenth century without doubt the Spanish were considered superior
by the second decade  This reputation was then carried into the seventeenth century.  Whilst the men of the Swiss Confederation stuck to their
traditional pike tactics, those adopted by the Spanish featured great tactical flexibility and a willingness on the part of their commanders to
conduct warfare in a thoroughly professional manner.   In particular it was the manner in which the Spanish embraced the arquebus, and
combined pike and shot tactics, along with skillful use of defences which saw such victories as Biccoca and Pavia.












































In Impetus Spanish 'Squares' consist of 1 front rank, and 1-2 rear rank pike units forming a
Large Unit, plus two loose order (T) arquebus units, 0-
1 Rondeleros (sword-and buckler) and 0-1 skirmishing arquebusier units.  The figures are almost all from Freikorp15, available from QRF.  I have
three such 'Squares' or
Colunellas but have only painted the minimum mandatory two required by the army list.  I think I will prefer my Spanish
Colunellas to use only two units of pikemen initially, but we'll see how it goes on the tabletop.  I used a mix of figures from their Tudor Wars but
also some from their Renaissance ranges.  The more observant amongst you will notice several of Essex Miniatures warrior monks in there,
more often than not accompanying the religious standards.  This seems in keeping with the pious and highly orthodox Spaniards.  Also the
pikes are just a little shorter than those used in my Swiss and Landsknechts.  Brownie points to those that noticed.

Nothing screams Spanish more at you than the Morion helmet.  However, the helmet often associated closely with the Spanish, the
Morion,
wasn't worn until the last stages of the Italian Wars.  I've tried as much as possible not to have Morions present though there are a select few in
there, with the majority of figures wearing Cabassets,
Cervellieres, and Sallets, along with various caps.  A variety of clothing colours are used,
uniforms not existing as such, but there is a marked usage of reds and yellows, both known to be favoured by Spaniards, and prevalent on
Spanish flags too.  Again it helps tie the figures and flags together.  









































I decided to use yellow Silflor flowers on some of the Spanish unit bases.  I get these from Antenociti's Workshop and I find it really brings the
base to life.  Generally I've used red flowers on the bases of my Imperialists, purple on my Swiss and white on my Italians and French.  Its
another of my little quirks.

The
sword-and buckler armed Rodeleros were a peculiarity of the Spanish, though not exclusively so.  Their role was to break any deadlock
between units of opposing pikemen, by issuing between the gaps between the shafts, and on the flanks and hacking their way into the enemy
formation, much as the Swiss and Landksnecht Doppelsoldners. The Rodeleros moment of glory came at the
battle of Ravenna in 1512 when
they faced off against Jacob Empser's Landsknechts, then in French service, causing an estimated one thousand casualties.  












































It was the Spanish arquebusiers which caused the biggest shock during the Italian Wars though.  At Biccoca in 1522 protected by a rampart and
sunken road they shot down scores of Swiss, whilst at Pavia in 1525 it was the turn of the French nobles of the Gendarmarie to suffer from their
fire.  From 1519 Charles I of Spain became the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V.  Spanish troops along with Landsknechts mercenaries were the
mainstay of Imperialist armies from the late Italian Wars to the
Eighty Years War with the Dutch.  By the middle of the century the combined pike
and shot tactics of the Spanish, and the organisation of their
Tercios, provided the blueprint for professional armies for the next hundred years.















































Next of course, what does every respecting Spanish army of the Italian Wars need?  Answer: fortifications, lots of fortifications.  The ability of the
Spanish to chuck up fortifications in the field at a moments notice changed the way warfare was fought and was indicative of the Spanish army's
increasing professionalism.  Fortifications played a huge role at the battles of
Cerignola 1503, Ravenna 1512 and Bicocca 1522.   






































The Spanish army list in Extra Impetus 1 allows for enough permanent fortifications to cover the front of 6 units (48cm worth) at the cost of 5 pts
per unit frontage.   I have plenty of log barricades, gun emplacements and all manner of fortifications in my scenery cupboard but I wanted a
simple earth bank and ditch.  The ditch was provided by
S & A Scenics, but was painted and flocked to match my existing basing scheme.  The
earth bank was a bit of a revelation.  I was in a pound shop when I spotted a cheap 12"/30cm long ruler with a raised spine, sold as a magnifying
ruler (see below).  






































I bought the last two the shop, cutting one in half with a saw.  I first stuck card onto the cross sections, then added glue to the ruler, and stuck on
a light covering of railway modellers ballast.  I then covered the whole thing with lots of cheap superglue and sprinkled a mixture of sharp sand
and grit.  Once dry I sprayed the whole thing with black paint.



































I then heavily drybrushed chocolate brown and then several lighter drybrushes of lighter browns, ending up with GW Graveyard Earth as a top
highlight.  I wanted the whole thing to be slightly darker in colour than my usual basing scheme to indicate that it had recently been freshly dug.  
Finally I added some sparse static grass and the odd clump of Silflor.  Not bad, 24"/60cm for £1.98.

Ok with DIY now beckoning for the next few weeks my Renaissance project is at an end.  I might well add a few more units of lovely Venexia
castings now that the range has been picked up by
Sgt Major Miniatures of the U.S.  

Hopefully, now assembled, my armies will take to the table.  I can't remember when I last completed a project without the figures actually seeing
action at some point during the painting.  Rest assured I shall include battle reports of any games played though.