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The Eighty Years War

The Eighty Years War

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Project Blog by Umbra

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About the Project

For the past two years I wanted to get into historical wargaming and I finally did! I bought my first historical miniatures for the Eighty Years War. Never heard of this war? The extremely short description: a war between the Netherlands and Spain from 1568 till 1648. I want to paint two forces, one for each side. While this is more a painting and collecting project than a gaming project, I will follow the rules Pikeman’s Lament (Osprey Games) for unit size, shape and size of the bases,… The goal is to paint them as historically accurate as possible. I’ve been reading a lot about this war and other wars in this period over the past two years. My miniatures will represent soldiers from around 1600. This will be reflected in their look and armament as well as the composition of both forces. This project isn’t my main project for this year. It will go on hold once the miniatures arrive from a kickstarter I’ve backed.

This Project is Completed

Spanish pikemen

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Armoured pikemenArmoured pikemen
Unarmoured pikemenUnarmoured pikemen

The end

With this entry I’ve reached the end of this project for now. At some point in the future I’ld like to return to the Eighty Years War and reopen the project. But that won’t be soon.

Lone Spanish trumpeter

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Lone Spanish trumpeter
Lone Spanish trumpeter
Lone Spanish trumpeter

Dutch armoured pikemen

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Dutch armoured pikemen

Dutch mounted arquebusiers

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Dutch mounted arquebusiers
Dutch mounted arquebusiers

Dutch cuirassiers

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Dutch cuirassiers
Dutch cuirassiers
Dutch cuirassiers

At last the Dutch receive cavalry! Warlord Games lets you arm them with swords, pistols or hammers. I’ve used a combination of all these since cuirassiers made use of all three these weapons.

I painted them in black armour as was customary. They were sometimes called “Schwarze Reiter” in German, meaning “Black Riders”.

Flags of War doesn’t have any Dutch cavalry flags, so I took one of their infantry flags and cut it to the right size and shape for a cavalry flag.

I've added a new type of basingmaterial te create a forest-in-autumn-look.I've added a new type of basingmaterial te create a forest-in-autumn-look.

Inbox review – Cuirassiers from Warlord Games

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The box says “metal and plastic miniatures”. The horses and bases are plastic, the cuirassiers are metal.The box says “metal and plastic miniatures”. The horses and bases are plastic, the cuirassiers are metal.
Inbox review – Cuirassiers from Warlord Games

There are three different sculpts of the cuirassiers. A fourth sculpt for the musician.

The right arms off all the miniatures comes separately, allowing you to arm them defiantly.

  • 6 swords
  • 6 pistols
  • 2 war hammers
  • 1 pistol held by the barrel as a club.
  • 1 lance / flagpole

For completeness: 4 clusters of feathers (I may be missing one)

The horses come on a sprue. They allow you to build four different horses.The horses come on a sprue. They allow you to build four different horses.
Inbox review – Cuirassiers from Warlord Games
Inbox review – Cuirassiers from Warlord Games

The leaflet contains:

  • a short description of cuirassiers
  • the statistics of the unit for use in Pike and Shotte from Warlord Games
  • flags from the Thirty Years War and English Civil War.

Historical accuracy

These miniatures look like a good representation of cuirassiers to me. Warlord Games sees them as seventeenth century cavalry. While this is correct, cuirassiers looking like this, appeared much sooner. The served in the Dutch army of the Eighty Years War as early as the 1570’s. This type of cavalry must have served in the Spanish army of the Low Countries as well.

Inbox review – Cuirassiers from Warlord Games
Inbox review – Cuirassiers from Warlord Games

Spanish command

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Spanish command

The captain in command of my Spanish force is a miniature from Zenit Miniatures. The hospital knight came as part of a group of miniatures I bought. It doesn’t fit in this war, but since I had the miniature I painted it and added it to the Spanish force.

Spanish armoured pikemen

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Spanish armoured pikemen

Spanish arquebusiers

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Spanish arquebusiers

Walloon mercenaries

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Walloon mercenaries
Walloon mercenaries
Walloon mercenaries

It’s been a month since my last update: I must have been working on a cavalry unit.

Walloon mercenaries are often mentioned in the literature as part of the Spanish army in the Eighty Years War. They are always described and depicted in paintings as dressed in red. Some of the Walloon mercenaries were light cavalry. I gave them black helmets to look a little different from the Spanish troops.

The cavalry miniatures have a large 40mm round base, which gives more space to decorate the bases. I added tree stumps from Kromlech, some lichen and off course the flowers I’ve already used on my other Spanish miniatures.

The miniatures are mounted arquebusiers from Warlord Games. One of their releases from last year. The flag is once again from Flags of War.

More Dutch pikeman

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More Dutch pikeman

More pikemen. Together with those I painted earlier, they are another complete unit. The one with the blue and white stripes looked draws so much attention, I made him another ensign. The flag is once again from Flags of War. I’ve got a lot of Dutch flags from them. 😊

Two pikemen are from Warlord Games Armoured Pikemen box. They are 17th century pikemen, but fit in well with the late 16th century ones, I think. I will mix in more of these among my Spanish pikemen.

I’ve got to miss my ussual camera for the moment, so the photo doesn’t look great.

Dutch infantry

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Dutch infantry

New infantry for the Dutch. The arquebusier with a feather on his helmet and the armoured soldier with twohanded sword are from the Hospitaler set I reviewed earlier.

The flag is from  Flags of War. They have a large range of Dutch flags for the Eighty Years War. These flags are bigger and a little to big for these miniatures, but I’ve put one on anyway.

Charge!

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Spanish cavalrySpanish cavalry
Charge!

Painted miniatures! Al last! The first cavalry unit in this project and the first cavalry I’ve painted in… ten years? Must be about that long ago when I was painting my Bretonians.

This is another release from Warlord Games from last year. Warlord Games calls them “Gendarmes”. The flag is from Flags of War.

Review - Knights Hospitaller

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Finally! New miniatures begin to reach my mailbox! I had nothing to paint for weeks. ☹

This is a set of four miniatures Warlord Games released last year named “Knights Hospitaller” (also know als the Knights of Malta and the Knights of Saint John). They were designed to replay the Siege of Malta. I will add them to my Spanish and Dutch forces.

Out of the blister.Out of the blister.
Assembled.Assembled.

Each miniature is armoured and armed differently:

  • Pike
  • Harquebus
  • Twohanded sword
  • Sword and shield.

The last one wears a tabard with a cross on the front and back. Not sure what to do with this one yet. It’s the wrong cross for the Spaniards (the Burgundy cross has diagonal lines). The Dutch didn’t use crosses as their symbol.

This blister comes without bases.

Dutch armoured pikemen

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Dutch armoured pikemen

And I have painted all my 16th century miniatures! Now I’ve got to wait until my new miniatures reach my mailbox. 😊

Spanish armoured pikemen

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Spanish armoured pikemen

Spanish unarmoured pike and drummer

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The box Wars of Religion infantry from Warlord Games came with twelve pikeman: ten armoured and two unarmoured. I have no idea why Warlord Games decided to put two unarmoured ones in there, but here they are along with the drummer:

Spanish unarmoured pike and drummer

Firepower!

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Dutch arquebusiersDutch arquebusiers

Spanish reinforcements from Brother Vinni

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Hmm, I don’t manage to properly paint faces yet.Hmm, I don’t manage to properly paint faces yet.

On a convention in Antwerp last year, I bought these two miniatures from Brother Vinni. Brother Vinni has a small range of historical miniatures from the 16th century. He calls his Spaniards “Iberians”. The woman with the skulls on the base, is probably meant for fantasy games. The style of her clothes fits in well in the 16th century though.

For some reason I wanted to give the man a blackened helmet. Either he bought a more expensive helmet then the other Spanish soldiers or he got it form a Dutch soldier he killed.

Spanish reinforcements from Brother Vinni

On this photo you see the swordsman from Brother Vinni beside a miniature from Warlord Games. Brother Vinni’s miniature is taller. The miniatures from Warlord Games are exactly 28 mm from the ground to the eyes. The ones from Brother Vinny are closer to 32mm. Ah well, in the real world people don’t all have the exact same height either and they are very nice models. The difference in size is less evident after painting them, then when unpainted.

The Ragged Cross

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The Ragged Cross

And here they are: my first Spanish soldiers! Yes, except for the ensign, they are the same miniatures as the Dutch ones painted differently. This will often happen in this project.

The colour scheme:

  • Shiny metallic helmets and armour
  • Red sashes and feathers
  • Red and different browns for the clothes. Some black here and there too.

The time of year

The Ragged Cross

The basing materials I ordered a while ago, have arrived. This lets me finish the bases for both the Spanish and the Dutch. The Spanish bases reflect spring: bright green grass, flowers, rim in bright green.

The Dutch bases reflect autumn: mixture of dark green and brown grass, fallen leaves, dark brown rim.

The Dutch have arrived

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The Dutch have arrived

And here they are! My first soldiers of this project. Following the images in the Osprey books on the Dutch army during the eighty years war, I’ve painted the armour black, the clothes blue and the feather and slash of the captain orange. This will be my colour scheme for the Dutch for this project.

I’ve tried to paint the captain in “black and white armour”. This means most of the armour is blackened, but some parts aren’t, mostly on the edges. This is a more expensive type of armour. On this webpage you can find photo’s of black and white armour: http://www.ageofarmour.com/blackwhite.html

Review Armoured Swordsmen – Warlord Games

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Continuing with the reviews, I also bought the armoured swordsmen from Warlord Games. They come in a blister with eight miniatures. Four different sculpts, two of each. Three of the sculpts come with a sperate sword arm. I’ve tried to attach the arm of one sulpt to another sculpt: that didn’t look good. You have to use the right sword arm with the right miniature. The shields come separately as well.

Review Armoured Swordsmen – Warlord Games

Style and historical accuracy

The miniatures look good and each sculpt wears slightly different armour and a different helmet. Just like the box with the War of Religion Infantry Regiment: still no feathers on the helmets! But no more sashes.

Review Armoured Swordsmen – Warlord Games

Don’t worry: in my next update there will finally be painted miniatures!

Inbox review War of Religion Infantry Regiment – Warlord Games

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Why do I start this project with an inbox review? Because there doesn’t exist one yet! I looked for a review of this box on the internet before buying it and couldn’t find one anywhere. So here it is: the worlds very first review of the War of Religion Infantry Regiment from Warlord Games:

The front cover of the box.The front cover of the box.
This is what you see when you open the box.This is what you see when you open the box.
And this is what you see when you turn it upside down.And this is what you see when you turn it upside down.
The box comes with this small leaflet with a bit of history, but more importantly: flags!The box comes with this small leaflet with a bit of history, but more importantly: flags!

One of the miniatures is an ensign who carries a flag. Warlord Games provided these seven flags:

  • France: white flag with yellow fleurs de lis
  • Burgundy cross (also: ragged cross, Saint Andrews cross): the flag of Spain. Also used by the Holy Roman Empire (= Germany). This is the flag I will use for my Spaniards.
  • Flag of Malta with Saint Elena. Perfect if you want to replay the siege of Malta.
  • House of Sforza: The dukes of Milan. I had never heard of them. 😊
  • Cross of Saint George: the English flag.
  • The double headed Eagle of the Holy Roman Empire.
  • The same eagle with a crown.

Let’s move on to the miniatures. There are 24 in the box:

  • 12 pikemen
  • 8 arquebusiers
  • 1 officer
  • 1 ensign
  • 1 drummer
  • 1 flutist

No bases? No, my box came without any bases. The box and the website say they are supposed to be in the box. Someone forgot, I suppose. Ah well, I was planning to put them all on different bases anyway. I’ll use round 25mm bases for this project.

The pikemen: 5 different sculptsThe pikemen: 5 different sculpts
The arquebusiers: 4 different sculpts. Also: the HQ miniatures and some metal spears.The arquebusiers: 4 different sculpts. Also: the HQ miniatures and some metal spears.
Metal spears. 14 in total, which means you’ve got 2 spare. A separate flag pole for the ensign.Metal spears. 14 in total, which means you’ve got 2 spare. A separate flag pole for the ensign.

Style and historical accuracy

The overall look of the miniatures captures the time period well (1570-1600). Some pikemen still remind of landsknechts, who were disappearing in that period but not entirely gone yet. The miniatures are nicely sculpted.

If we are very critical: I miss feathers. Soldiers used to put feathers on their hats or helmets in the colour of the army in which they served. In this set only the officer and the flutist have a feather on their headgear. Almost all miniatures wear a sash: only officers and non commissioned officers whore those. In this box only the officer and ensign (also an officer) should have a sash. Admittedly, these are details in wat is a very nice set of miniatures.

The pikes

At first I didn’t know how to put the pikes in the hands of the pikemen. Are you supposed to cut them in two? Then glue both halves to the hand? This won’t result in a straight pike. And there will be very little surface to glue the pike halfes to the hand.

No, that’s not how to do it. You drill a whole through the fist of the pikeman. I drilled a tiny whole first with my finest drill. This very fine whole then guides the bigger drill. This is the result:

Inbox review War of Religion Infantry Regiment – Warlord Games

Conclusion

This is a very nice set of miniatures. Recommend.

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