Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Maximilian, the Landsknechte and the Swiss

As I said in a previous post, I have wanted to do some Italian Wars figures for a long time. 

One of the spurs was that Venexia were going out of production and the UK supplier was selling off the stock. Since these are some of my favourite looking figures, I decided to buy a good number of the various types of cavalry.

Hopefully, the range will see the light of day again but various issues have delayed their re-release by the new owners of the moulds.

The above photo is mostly of Venexia figures. Knights in sallets are from Mirliton. I gave some of these a green stuff skirt which was fashionable from around the start of the Italian Wars. 

The trumpeter is from Mirliton - he has a new hat and feathers added to give more of the 'Triumphzug' look. 
The 'candy cane' lance look is very popular with wargamers but may have been rather more restricted in reality. They do appear like this when used for banners such as in various of Diebold Schilling the Youngers illustrations.

My main sources for the troops of Maximilian are given in the last post. 

Landsknechte from Old Glory 15s. One feature that marks them as Hapsburg is that they have St Andrew's cross slashing on many of the figures.

Most of the standard bearers have the flags in a single hand as in most period pictures. Command packs are sold separately and are rather large. You may be able to negotiate buying smaller numbers with OG though if you are having a decent sized block then plenty of command adds to the look.
I mixed swordsmen and halberdiers into the front ranks for the visual appeal. They are also on some of the command stands so that the full blocks have mostly pikes to front and sides with halberds and swords around the banners and drums.

An attempt at peacock feathers.  

Talking of banners, the photography makes the shades of white stand out more than they do in real life. They also lose the texture. I've recently started using some water damaged tracing paper which has a nice crumpled texture. It also makes doing the opposite sides easier. They have sturdier than the strong tissue I used for my Byzantines. 

Old Glory crossbowmen. The red flag in the foreground was carried by the forlorn hope. The flag in the rear is carried by some of Maximilian's mercenaries in Schilling the Younger.

Luzern, Korporation Luzern, S 23 fol., p. 386 – Illustrated Chronicle by Diebold Schilling of Lucerne (Luzerner Schillling) (http://www.e-codices.unifr.ch/en/list/one/kol/S0023-2)

Old Glory arquebusiers. The flag is another carried by some of Maximilian's men in Schilling and here

Luzern, Korporation Luzern, S 23 fol., p. 521 – Illustrated Chronicle by Diebold Schilling of Lucerne (Luzerner Schillling) (http://www.e-codices.unifr.ch/en/list/one/kol/S0023-2)

Maximilian married Mary of Burgundy after the death of her father, Charles the Bold. Their daughter, Margaret, was regent of the Low Countries and was still using English archers in the early 16th century - 1500 were sent to help against Guelders for instance. (see Stow's Annals) where they joined an army of 10000. The DBMM list assumes that the Burgundian Ordonnance lance structure was still in place until the end of list in 1506, though with slightly fewer archers per knight. I think the 'MM list could be continued until the end of the covered period i.e. 1515 since Margaret continued as regent with a good deal of independence until then.

There are some archers in the 'Weiss kunig' though at least some are likely English.
The Camisado blog has a collection of Weiss Kunig plates showing archers. Some are carrying Burgundian saltires but may actually be English at Guinegatte in 1513.
In others, English seem to be shown in different costume, such as kettle hats. One plate shows the archers looking like Landsknechte.

I used Freikorp/QRF/TSS figures for these. I like them though they are slightly 'old school' compared to most of my figures. There is a mixture of Burgundian and early Tudor figures.

The yellow and red is said by Stow to be the livery of the Duke of Burgundy - perhaps Margaret's own. Poynings' men received new coats of this red and yellow along with Henry VIII's white and green. How this was arranged isn't clear, only that "these four colours were 'medled' together." They received these coats after campaigning in Guelders so did not wear them in action.

Old Glory artillery. The gun colours come from various sources including Maximilian's zeugbuch. 

When Margaret campaigned against Guelders, there were apparently 36 English serpentines as well as Poynings' archers. These are given individual names in Stow, such as the Antelope, the Cockatrice, the Mermaid, the Rose and the Normandy.

For much of the period, Maximilian and the Swiss were on opposing sides. Things particularly came to a head with the Swabian War which really ended any pretensions that the cantons were part of the Empire.

These are Khurasan figures. Some of the figures have Swiss crosses moulded onto their armour or as slashing.

Most of the standard bearers are converted pikemen. The way he holds his pike makes it easy to give him a one handed banner. Flags are hand painted.

The figures are rather smaller than the Old Glory landsknechte. This is exaggerated both by the slighter build and the very thin base of the Khurasan figures.

I only have enough Swiss to be able to provide an ally for the French. I have bought some of the Donnington Swiss for using in earlier periods. I shall paint these with far more use of cantonal colours as shown in some of the chronicles.

Some of the 15th and early 15th century Swiss chronicles:

Werner Schodoler, Eidgenössische Chronik

- Spiezer Chronicle
- Bern Chronicle 

Schilling the Younger
- Luzern Chronicle

1 comment:

Doug said...

These look splendid, and thanks for the links, which will be useful when I finish my Condotta for Ludovico el Moro of Milan, and his Landsknechts & Swiss mercenaries.