I've been working on these figures off-and-on since the start of the Painting Challenge. I was hoping to get them done last Friday (Feb 24th) for the anniversary of the Battle of Pavia, but it just wasn't in the cards. Nonetheless, I'm still happy to see them off the table and awaiting orders in the display cabinet.
These are Spanish Rodeleros or Escudados. Translated as 'shield bearers', or simply shield-and-buckler men, they were an interesting troop type which saw brief prominence during the late 15th and early 16th century.
The rodeleros usefulness was being able to break the deadlock between contesting blocks of pike (and in this respect they were very similar to the halberdiers of the Landsknetches and Swiss). Once the rodeleros maneuvered past the hedge of pikes, and got in tight with their foes, their half-plate armour, long swords and small shields made them superior to the lightly protected pikemen.
Nevertheless, the rodeleros, like most classes of infantry, were particularly vulnerable to cavalry, especially light cavalry and so had to be cautiously employed and judiciously commanded.
Though they had a short time of glory in Italy, Cortes' campaigns in the New World was largely made possible by having a host of rodeleros at his back.
This unit is made up of an assortment of 28mm figures from The Assault Group (TAG), Foundry and Eureka Miniatures. I really like the Spanish/Portugues conquistadors from Eureka. They have a great sense of spirit and animation - the commander exhorting his men, seen below in the center, is from the Eureka range.
The TAG castings were somewhat smaller than the rest, so I made a small rise for them running along the center of the base to serve as a crest, to help mask their slight statures.
I often try to put a boulder or stump at the rear of my large bases so players have something to grip on to when moving them on the table. For this base I've used a 3D printed stump that I scaled down to a useful size (this same design was used for my Francis command stand).
Historically, these bravos probably wouldn't be carrying their own banner, but I like my units to have flags, so they've been gifted one from Pete's Flags to hoist in the breeze.
There you go! Thanks for visiting folks, I hope you have a great week!