Sunday 26 March 2023

On a roll...

 ... a Swiss roll.

For my Italian Condottiere project, circa 1480ish, I have included a Swiss mercenary pike block.

Under the 'Never Mind The Billhooks' rules, this represents 2 companies of infantry.

Whilst in the deluxe rulebook there are many special rules appertaining to fielding a Swiss army, I have decided to simply count these as Veteran pikemen. They are dressed in the livery of the canton Uri, and carry that flag too.

Figures are Perry Miniatures (metals), flag was downloaded from an online image and then overpainted.

That completes the first army for this project.

Thanks to all who have commented and encouraged, both here and on Facebook. 

Right, what's next? The enemies of these chaps I suspect...

Monday 20 March 2023


Next up, the skirmishers in the army, starting with the mounted crossbowmen:

These are metal figures on plastic horses. Perry miniatures.

And here is a unit of skirmishing handgunners:

Again, Perry miniatures from their European mercenaries plastics box.

I've also done an artillery piece, again a Perry pack:

This was a little tricky to assemble. Under the rules, only three crewmen are required, but I painted all four that come in the pack.

That completes the Italian contingent in this army, all laid out below.

This week, I am finishing up a mercenary pike unit that I will show in the next post.

Until then, I hope your brushes are being wielded to good ends too...

Thursday 16 March 2023

Ducal Infantry

The Duchy of Bavetta maintains a professional company of Halberdiers under the command of Marco Baggio.

Note the blue cross as a replacement for the traditional red cross of Milan.

Flags were downloaded from the Outpost GY Facebook group and overpainted.

Figures are metal Perry miniatures from their 1450-1500 European range. 

Each unit in the army has its own 'Disarray' token in the form of a casualty figure.

Tuesday 14 March 2023

Heavy Horses

Firstly, thanks to those who commented on the previous post. I'm glad this little project is hitting a spot, so to speak!

The plastic Gendarmes are the strike force of this army. Two units done.

First up, the Ducal Gendarmes (raised amongst the nobility and knights of the Duchy of Bavetta).

Next, the Condottiere Gendarmes, provided by Guiseppe Maldini.

I was sparing with the hoop-coloured lances as I am not convinced these were 'a thing' in the earlier period and perhaps came along later with the Great Italian Wars fashions. 

Billhooks is one of those rules sets that has an established style, which seems to include movement trays. Given the figures are plastic, it does make sense to use such trays for ease of movement. I am yet to get used to the lack of heft in the plastic figures so the trays should prevent any major accidents when playing.

Other news - I popped in to the Alumwell show on Sunday and enjoyed a meander around for an hour or so. Some nice games (from a variety of periods), a good chat with a few folk, and some small purchases, mainly for the enemies of the Duchy of Bavetta.

By the way, for those who saw the title of this post and clicked on it expecting to find Jethro Tull related "Heavy Horses" references (I'm looking at you, Tradgardmastere, amongst others!), my apologies. 

Just to set you off, think "Iron-clad feather-feet, pounding the dust... etc." Go on, have a listen. You know you want to.

Till next time... all the best.

Thursday 9 March 2023

The Duke

It's 1480.

Roberto, Duke of Bavetta, head of the ruling Mancini Family, knows that war is just round the corner and has been busy mustering his army.

The famous Condottiere Captain, Guiseppe Maldini, has arrived in Bavetta to once again enjoy the fruits of the Ducal warchest.

Yes, it's Imaginations, Italian Renaissance-style.

More to come...

Monday 6 March 2023

Never Mind The Condottiere

Having been aware of the rules for quite some time, at the turn of the year, I decided I wanted a quick burst of painting to result in an army for 'Never Mind The Billhooks'.

About 20 years ago, I "did" the Italian Wars proper, with Landsknechts and Gendarmes and the like, but this time I wanted to go earlier to the 1480-ish period and create Italian Condottiere armies (I quickly decided I would need to paint both sides). Somehow, it feels more in keeping with the core set of rules, rather than heading for the Italia section of the new shiny Deluxe rules edition and focusing on The Great Italian Wars post 1494.

This is an army based on a Milanese force circa 1480ish. There will be no surprise to you, dear reader, to learn that, of course, the City States involved will be imaginary! More details of this in an upcoming post. 

So, here we are 2 months later and most of the first army is finished. 

The blue theme is deliberate.

Flags were downloaded from the excellent Outpost GY Facebook group, and overpainted/repainted in places (some field colours were altered to fit the theme).

Many of the figures are plastic (some are metal on plastic horses). I found it all a bit unusual as I don't paint many plastics and the construction of the figures seemed to take a frustratingly long time before I got to the actual painting, but that's probably more due to my unfamiliarity than anything else. More skilled modelers would have done it in quick time, I'm sure, and would have made a better fist of it!

I will be posting details of the individual units over the coming weeks, rather than making this an overly long post.

I have a 24 figure veteran pike block currently being worked on as the final unit. Then it will be onto the enemy force.

So, despite my silence on the blog, I have managed to do a fair bit of painting over the past few weeks.

Hope you are having a great start to the year too!!