Sunday, May 10, 2015

Entry #4 to the 9th Lead Painters' League: 'Berne Baby Berne' - Swiss Mercenaries, 1476


My friend Peter and I were both bitten by the Italian Wars bug this past winter and so agreed to work together to get some miniatures done for the tabletop. 

For my first unit I thought I'd cut my teeth with some Swiss mercenaries as I reason that they could be used for any of the bewildering number of factions that fought during the period.

These figures represent halberdiers from the Swiss canton of Berne.


All of these figures are Perry metals from their rather vaguely titled 'European Armies' range. These are fantastic models with loads of animation and character. That being said, they did require a fair bit of prep work to get ready for painting (something I have less patience with especially when you pay a premium for the castings themselves and other manufacturers are now providing products that are virtually pristine out of the packaging). 


I decided to go with Berne for no other reason than I had this great pot of orange paint I wanted to try out and I knew the colour featured prominently in that canton's banners. Yup, rather lame, I know.


I chose to arm these guys with a variety of halberds and pole arms as I knew I'll probably use the boxed set of Perry plastics for the my future pike-armed figures. 



I based the models in groups of three on 40mm rounds as I wanted the ability to create quasi mini vignettes, and it also allows me to use them for a variety of rules systems depending on how I decide to mob them up.


For the unit's banner I scanned one provided in the Perry boxed set, printed it off on decent quality cotton paper, molded it to shape using diluted white glue and then repainted it using the same tones I used for the figures.


I often use this approach with my 'homemade' flags as I find that if the colour medium of the flag is the same as the figures (i.e. paint as opposed to laser-printed ink) then they somehow work better together. This is the same reason why I always paint my groundwork instead of leaving it as raw bits of stone, sand and talus. It's weird but it oddly jives with my whacky sensibilities.

I'll add a few more stands to beef up this unit and then try a group of pike and perhaps some Landschneckts. 

Thanks for dropping by!

Next up: Something both Simian and Steampunk...

27 comments:

  1. Curt
    Lovely stuff, putting mine to shame. I am looking forward to seeing these lads on table this summer. FYI did you check out the Perry Swiss command and bear handler packs yet?
    Cheers, PD

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    1. Thanks Peter but I really like your lads, especially how you've embraced using the different plastic boxed sets.

      Oh wow, those Swiss command packs are amazing! Ordered!!

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  2. Superbly done

    A real "Swiss Inferno" (my apologies to The Trammps....)

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    1. Haha, good one! I was thinking 'Trento Inferno' in a weak attempt to rhyme with 'Disco' (I actually looked at a map to find 'o' names)...

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  3. Great painting work. That orange is fantastic!

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    1. Cheers Juan. It's not a colour I'd regularly use so it had to come out for a debut.

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  4. Those canton colors are lovely.

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    1. Thanks very much Dean. One thing about the Italian Wars: there's no shortage of garish colour!

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  5. Very fine. I'm with you on perry prep time but I find they're worth it in the end. I don't find them a premium price for it though?! Am I missing a swathe of cheaper historical retailers with better quality control?

    Really liked these, interesting period for you to dive into, lots of colours and you've nailed them here.

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    1. Oh, I love Perry stuff, make no mistake, but they are not cheap for us in Canada what with our punishing exchange rate and shipping, also their metal ranges are almost never carried by other retailers at comprehensive stock levels so there is very little opportunity to take advantage of sales or promotions.

      Also, I did not say that there are other manufacturers offering 'cheaper' models than Perry's, just better quality control. So, who IMO has better casting quality and so less cleanup in 28mm? Quickly, off the top of my head there are Kosta Heristanidis (from Eureka), Richard Ansell (from Fife and Drum / Minden Miniatures) and the ubiquitous Paul Hicks (seen, well, almost everywhere). There are more of course but these are stand-outs for me. I've found that all of these require very little preparation before priming, just a light filing.

      Then again we live in a golden age for the hobby where people like me can winge about such things! Perhaps the truth is that I'm just getting more lazy as I get longer in the tooth! ;)

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    2. Oh, and thank you for the thumbs up!! Very much appreciated.

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  6. I have to agree with your regards the prep required for Perry stuff but what you get at the end is a wonderful miniature. You'd think they would take a bit more pride in it though surely.

    Love the banner, it really ties everything together and rewarded your effort. Nice one mate.

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    1. Thanks Millsy, much appreciated.

      I agree, when cleaned up the Perrys offer some of the finest figures on the market today. I just wish their casting/finishing process was more polished.

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  7. Great job on that bunch. They look awesome.
    cheers

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  8. Very fine work as always my friend.

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    1. Cheers Adam, very kind of you to say.

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    1. Thank you Mr. Verd, I'm glad you like them.

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  10. Well done dude. Full agreement on the Perry Prep rage...

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    1. Thanks Greg. They offer absolute top-notch sculpts (just ordered some more this evening) - just wish the finished product was cleaner.

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  11. Great work Curt! While I'm not really into the Italian Wars I always liked the eclectic mix of colourful uniforms you managed to catch perfectly. I'm totally with you on the Perry castings. In fact I dislike their casting that much I abandoned my whole AWI project just because I couldn't stand to get those buggers prepped. While they have some very nice ranges on sale I decided not to buy anything from their metal ranges anymore until they sort their casting problems out.

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    1. Thanks Nick! Yes, this project is a bit 'out there' for me but as you say, you can't argue with the amazing colours of the troops.

      I'm a big supporter of the Perrys, but I do wish they would do something about their casting/finishing process.

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  12. Wonderful work Curt! It seems many folks are being bit by the Italian Wars bug, but not really surprising when one factors in the period is beautiful and plentiful figures to choose from.

    I can only agree with you on the Perry's casting issues which seem to get worse rather then better. Their lovely sculpts and indeed the buyer deserve better.

    Christopher

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    1. Thanks very much Christopher. Yes, I think Warlord Games' acquisition of the Pro Gloria range has definitely heightened the profile of the period.

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