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Renaissance Connections

Plastic started the episode. In the early Twentieth century plastic items were made to look like “real” natural items. Now, plastic allows credit, when once you needed gold. The story slips back to Charles the Bold and his Italian financiers. In order to link Burgundy with his bankers, Charles invaded the Swiss cantons. The pike armed and swift moving Swiss smashed Charles’ ambitions. Armies in Europe grew larger as warring states needed pikes. The Spanish deployed Arquebusiers to counter pikes and arquebuses developed into lighter and more accurate muskets. In order to break through lines of musketeers, French revolutionary armies used massed columns and skirmishers. Napoleon had to feed his armies and that meant cans; cans meant industrialised food production……..


As a ten year old boy, this one TV programme was fascinating. I was hooked; history, science, technology and heroes took me from Switzerland via Marengo to the British Empire. Regular readers will know that my areas of interest have not changed much from this one episode of James Burke’s “Connections”. Add to my early library, a Christmas present on military modelling, and my life was planned. Within the covers of Military Modelling was a wargames army; a Spanish Renaissance wargames army and my postal order was off to Minifigs in Southampton…..


Fast forward to 2020 and I’m in the mood for finishing projects. I had fifty Gladiator Spanish Arquebusiers but I’d bought a “few” more. Industrailisation was called for: apologies to the amazing painting blogs that I follow!  Four or five colours over a rattle can undercoat……..


The newer Venexia miniatures are a little taller and slighter but in a unit I think Incan get away with it. So I did another one…..


It is so much easier when you have a system organised. The Spanish maaxim of the ragged soldier and shinny musket helps. Too proud to accept rigid uniforms, each soldier can choose but martial pride means they want to look as part of the columella….


I intend stopping my collection at the 1530s so no 6000 man Tercios but I was pleased to get the “mangas” of shot done….


What Spanish unit would go into battle without the Almighty. I went for some Icons for the command groups. And yes I still have some sword and buckler men left….

 Santos James rides again!
I don’t quite remember why I bought eighty swordsmen but then again, I’m not quite sure why I bought a hundred and sixty Arquebusiers. In order to line the ditches and generally annoy, I finished eight Impetvs units of skirmishers…..


Quite a haul for a month. My advice to new collectors is keep your colour pallette subdued and go for an army that makes a virtue of a necessity, in this case some of the finest infantry the world has ever seen. Please don’t look too hard at the individuals but just one hundred sixty pikemen to start…..

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