Doubling Down – Aztec Veteran Warriors from Wargames Foundry

Readers of this blog have seen that I have been building a large force (Aztecs, Conquistadores, and others) for the 16th Century Spanish Conquest of Mesoamerica for the upcoming game of Buck Surdu’s Feudal Patrol™.  This game is exciting for me as I got to write the supplement for this period (“Civilizations Collide”).  I invested in a number of figures, and I have a need to push myself production-wise, without sacrificing quality.  I had two blisters each (AZ017 “Ixtlilxochitl’s Veteran Warriors” and AZ023 “Cuauhtli’s Veteran Warriors”) from Wargames Foundry.

Those Aztec names just roll off of your tongue so easily don’t they!  There were two Ixtlilxochitl’s – Ixtlilxochitl I was a Chichimec leader who fought against the Aztecs of the Triple Alliance, and Ixtlilxochitl II was his grandson who fought against Montezuma II.  So they were Aztecs – just not the ones that fought Cortes and the Conquistadores.  Cuauhtli means “Eagle”, but these so designated are not Eagle Warriors.  So, the names chosen by Wargames Foundry for the blisters sound Aztec, but are a bit off historically.  Still, the sculpts are great.

These metal figures were sculpted by Josef Ochmann and are 28mm in scale.  They are available in the US from Badger Games and from Wargames Foundry internationally.  Each of the two blister packs had 6 figures leaving me with 24 figures – with 12 of them being duplicates.  Similar to what I did with the Novice Warriors, I decided to differentiate them by both a color theme and by their shield designs.

As I had finished 24 figures previously, this project would effectively double my Aztecs – hence I am doubling down.

I also had a few technical goals here for this project.  One was to improve upon my painting of flesh tones on the models.  The second goal was to attempt to improve my shields by freehand painting historically accurate and authentic shield designs.  The last goal was to try better to use contrast medium to thin contrast paints on these figures.  As always, dear reader, you may be the judge and jury on that – and I am open to how well or how poorly you think I did here.  I find that sometimes when I am doing a platoon-sized project, I can easily overlook mistakes that would not be overlooked when doing a smaller group or even an individual figure.  Hopefully, I was able to catch any errors.

This will be a photo-heavy post.  I’ll share some WIP and some eye candy of the finished figures, along with the list of paints used here.  To do 24 figures at a time can make quite a list as you will see at the end of this blog post.

Figure Prep and Priming

1 mounted group for painting
The group here is mounted for painting.  I label the vials and the base bottoms, and I had a matrix for keeping the colors straight on all of these so as to make them realistic enough and to help with tabletop identification.  I needed this as historically each Aztec warrior’s uniform was unique to the status of that warrior, and based upon his individual accomplishments in battle, as opposed to the unit to which he belonged.  The elite units were the exception to this – these are of course veterans warriors, not elites.
2 Contrast painting blending
I must give a nod and thanks to my blog buddy Azazel’s suggestion as to how to use contrast medium, I did the above.  Basically I placed a drop of the contrast medium next to some of the contrast paint on the palette, and drew them together to get the shade I wanted.  I did this with flesh here (also used Gulliman here as the main flesh contrast paint instead of Fyrestarter) as well) – and it really was helpful.  Check out Azazel’s blog too – his stuff is really good!

There were a few problematic mold lines – most I caught and filed/fixed but some were on the figure’s faces like below.  To eradicate some mold lines, I would have had to nuke the face, which I did not want to do.  In the end, I think I minimized most of the more egregious mold lines.

The shields that came with the blisters was more than sufficient.  For the 24 figures, I needed an additional 18 shields for figures that did not have one.  I also had leftover shields from the Novice Warrior project that I saved – so I ended up painting 29 shields.  It was a good chance to try some new techniques and practice with some different Aztec designs (of which there are many luckily).  The most difficult type to paint were the type that were cloth-covered types with “crenelated” surfaces (as on those the paint flows into the shields’ low areas).  I also had to be careful when painting both sides so as to protect the previous coats of paint.  Using diluted satin varnish between side swapping helped to protect the work, but I still did need to go back over the shields and touch them up.  In the end, I was happy with the results and will save the extras for future use.

3 finished shields
My shields completed and ready to mount.  Thankfully, I got a shipment of Windsor & Newton brushes (0000) which was a must for my freehand work here!
6 finished!
The group shown here freshly off of their specimen jars.  They have been flocked and are ready for some eye candy shots.

Eye Candy

First, here are Ixtlilxochitl’s Veteran Warriors – there are 6 poses with two of each painted.  One was “blue-themed” and one was “red themed”, mainly to add to tabletop differentiation in addition to the shields.

Ixtlilxochitl’s Veteran Warrior 1 – armed with an atlatl

Ixtlilxochitl’s Veteran Warrior 2 – armed with a macuahuitl

Ixtlilxochitl’s Veteran Warrior 3 – armed with a cuauhololli

Ixtlilxochitl’s Veteran Warrior 4 – armed with a macuahuitl

Ixtlilxochitl’s Veteran Warrior 5 – armed with a macuahuitl

Ixtlilxochitl’s Veteran Warrior 6 – armed with a tepoztopilli


8 AZ017 Group shot - red themed
Here are the warriors from the “blue-themed” blister pack of Ixtlilxochitl’s Veteran Warriors assembled for battle.
7 AZ017 Group shot - blue themed
The “red-themed” blister pack  of Ixtlilxochitl’s Veteran Warriors defending the temple.
9 all AZ017 group
Ixtlilxochitl’s Veteran Warriors (all 12).

Secondly, here are Cuauhtli’s Veteran Warriors – there are also 6 poses with two of each painted.  Once again, I painted 6 as “blue-themed” and 6 as “red themed” in addition to the shields.

Cuauhtli’s Veteran Warrior 1 – armed with a macuahuitl

Cuauhtli’s Veteran Warrior 2 – armed with a macuahuitl

Cuauhtli’s Veteran Warrior 3 – armed with a macuahuitl

Cuauhtli’s Veteran Warrior 4 – armed with a macuahuitl

Cuauhtli’s Veteran Warrior 5 – armed with a tepoztopilli

Cuauhtli’s Veteran Warrior 6 – armed with a macuahuitl

7 AZ023 Group shot - blue themed
Cuauhtli’s Veteran Warriors in the “blue theme” moving out.


8 AZ023 Group shot - red themed
Cuauhtli’s Veteran Warriors in the “red theme” form up for battle.
9 AZ023 Group shot - all AZ023
All 12 Cuauhtli’s Veteran Warriors in the desert.

I enjoyed painting these – though I do not think that I will be doubling down with a project of 48 at a time – “a man’s gotta know his limitations” as Dirty Harry so eloquently said.

Here’s the 24 all together:

All AZ017 and AZ023

Oh yeah, I also just got a set of Feudal Patrol™ cards from Buck as a gift – try and guess which deck backings are my current favorites?

0 Feudal Patrol Decks

Hope that you enjoyed the post and the minis – if not, let me know – if yes, the same.

Until next time – take care and stay safe all!
Posts on Units for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest Supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide”

  1. Doubling Down – Aztec Veteran Warriors (this post) – 24 Aztec Veteran Warriors
  2. Aztec Arrow Knights, Ral Partha circa 1988 – 6 Aztec Arrow Knights
  3. Aztec Eagle Warriors from Tin Soldier UK – 6 Aztec Eagle Knights
  4. Aztec Novice Warriors and a few Frinx – 12 Novice Warriors

Total figures to date for this project:  48 Aztecs

All Aztecs as of May 31, 2020


  1. Gorilla Glue
  2. 1/8″ x 1″ Everbilt Fender Washers
  3. E6000 Epoxy
  4. Poster tack and plastic plates
  5. Vallejo “Surface Primer – White Primer”
  6. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  7. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  8. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  9. Vallejo Model Air “Weiss” (off-white)
  10. Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” (shade)
  11. Vallejo Model Color “Sunny Skin Tone”
  12. Vallejo Model Air “Weiss” (off-white)
  13. Vallejo Game Air “Black”
  14. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Volupus Pink”
  15. Vallejo Model Color “Dark Blue”
  16. Citadel Air “Evil Sunz Scarlet”
  17. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Warp Lightning”
  18. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Contrast Medium”
  19. Vallejo Game Air “Moon Yellow”
  20. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Basilicanum Grey”
  21. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Nazdreg Yellow”
  22. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Aggaros Dunes”
  23. Battlefront “Dark Leather”
  24. Battlefront “Wool Brown”
  25. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Wyldwood”
  26. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Aethermatic Blue”
  27. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Flesh Tearers Red”
  28. Battlefront “Sicily Yellow”
  29. Vallejo Mecha Color “Turquoise”
  30. Vallejo Game Air “Dead White”
  31. Vallejo Game Air “Escorpena Green”
  32. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Blood Angels Red”
  33. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Iyanden Yellow”
  34. Citadel “Yriel Yellow”
  35. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Apothecary White”
  36. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Ork Flesh”
  37. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Talassar Blue”
  38. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Militarum Green”
  39. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Creed Camo”
  40. Vallejo Model Color “Glossy Black”
  41. Vallejo Model Color “Light Flesh”
  42. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Gulliman Flesh”
  43. Army Painter “Flesh Wash” (wash)
  44. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Fyreslayer Flesh”
  45. Citadel “Balor Brown”
  46. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Skeleton Hordes”
  47. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Terradon Turquoise”
  48. Vallejo Game Air “Sun Yellow”
  49. P3 “Cygnar Blue Highlight”
  50. Vallejo Game Air “Electric Blue”
  51. Americana “Desert Sand”
  52. Vallejo Model Air “Matt Varnish”
  53. Elmer’s PVA Glue
  54. Army Painter “Brown Battlefields” (flocking)
  55. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  56. Vallejo “Burnt Umber” (pigment)
  57. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  58. Army Painter “Grass Green” (flocking)

Thanks for looking!!

Author: Mark A. Morin

This site is where I will discuss stuff that I find interesting and that includes family, friends, golf, gaming, and Boston sports!

55 thoughts on “Doubling Down – Aztec Veteran Warriors from Wargames Foundry”

  1. As always Mark I love the detail in your posts and the level of organisation you put in. The painting turned out very well using contrast paints and that is a great job on all of those the shields. Nice badkdrop for the photos which all look great too. 😊

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Maaaaate. These are your finest miniatures to date in my opinion. I’ll be honest and say that when you mentioned painting Aztecs I wasn’t too excited. Thinking they’d be a bit mehhh to look at but you’ve blown that ridiculous thought out of the water. Fantastic work here man. I especially love those shield. The designs are great and the intensity of colour you’ve achieved is so cool. Great back drop. Great photos. Just great great GREAT! Well done on the skin tone too. I actually really enjoy doing skin tones. I have a whole bunch of wargames foundry minis tucked away somewhere. I should really let them see the light of day and get some paint on them. I don’t have Aztecs though.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Much appreciated my good friend! I have to say hearing your podcast on photography really made me want to bring it up a notch – so that you like them makes me happy! The history around this era is something that I know you’d like as you love David vs. Goliath – only during this era which side is David or Goliath changed a lot. The shields were a labor of love research-wise and a true challenge to paint. The good news is that I have many more designs to try (and many more figs to paint). The other cool thing is that the Aztecs were very colorful in battle – which makes for a fun painting time. Here, I just wanted a balance of authenticity and playability (ease of tabletop identification). I went a bit lighter on the skin tones purposefully – and I like the results here better. As you have been following my blog since 2015, this is high praise from ya – and I am honored my good Aussie friend/mate! Cheers!!!!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Dude, we have been following each other for a looong time in blog years. You started following me (according to WordPress) on November 25, 2016. I’m sure I was following you about the same time. Truly, we try to inspire each other right?

        Amazing we get our photography from a phone though!

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Dave, and yes, I have many more to do. I did a spreadsheet and I have roughly 251 still unpainted (less if I don’t do the 76 Ral Partha in that number). This includes Aztecs, Conquistadores, Tlaxcallans, and one blister of Ral Partha Inca. So truly I plan on finishing these 157 remaining when I think of the project: Wargames Foundry (73 figs), Outpost Wargames Services (65 figs), and Eureka Miniatures (19 figs). This number will change as I have some in the mail coming as replacement blisters for one I had that was incomplete. I am aiming for 5 more months to finish!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Nice work overall but I think you need to find a better approach for the warriors who are fully clothed. The way you did the clothing looks sort of blotchy more than having highlights and shadows. As a non-expert on Aztec costuming, I also wonder if they would have had any embroidery or patterns/stripes to break up the solid colors. I think you ended up with a lighter flesh color this time than on the Ral Partha figures and a bit darker might be more apropos for people who presumably spend a significant amount of time in the Mexican sun.

    I definitely like the shields which are eye catching and probably the most outstanding feature for these figures.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very much appreciate your taking a look and especially taking the time for the constructive feedback. As you will likely command some of these whenever we get to game again, let me share some background as to why these are the way they are. I spent a lot of time as you know on the research for the uniforms, and I have progressed my techniques a bit I think. When an Aztec warrior got beyond novice status, he got to wear an ichcahuipilli – which was basically a tight fitting onesie/pajama that was made of thick cotton. This is what you see here. Looking at the Osprey books and the website for Wargames Foundry, there really are no markings on these until you get to specialized units (which I will be doing like the Arrow Warriors). In fact, having markings that were not earned would be considered like “stolen valor” and would get the offending Aztec killed. So my goal was to use colors (contrast paints) that would mimic folds on these tight-fitting cotton suits. Additionally, there were some very problematic mold lines that I tried to obscure – and that might have added to what you described. I also looked at the skin tones more closely as shown in my resources, and concluded that I wanted a shade lighter while still being relatively dark. This was purposeful – and what you saw here. Glad you liked the shields – and hopefully we will get to game with them sooner than later!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. These are brilliant, Mark (literally and metaphorically)! 🙂 The appearance and profusion of colour fits well with what I’ve seen of Aztec uniform reconstructions, although I’m no expert! And you’re very organised with the colours and shields! I couldn’t have done even half the job you’ve done with them!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Mark!
    These are a work of true genius my friend! The model choice is great and what you have done with them is superb!
    Have you read ( it’s in Spanish) Augusto Ferrer- Dalmau’s book ” Imperio!”? It’s great inspiration for Spanish forces .

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Aw man, thanks! There will be many more so I hope I can keep it interesting. I do speak and read French and am conversational in German, but not Spanish. And with my Massachusetts accent I have been accused of being semi-conversational in English btw. I do think I want to find an English translation of Diaz book as its a first-person account from one of Cortes’ lieutenants.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Absolutely superb work Mark! especially on the shields (made my eyes go wonky just looking at the pictures, let alone painting them!) I am in total awe mate!!

    Get little tutorial in how to use thew contrast paint too, I never even seen that for sale yet, but might have to have a look at some point.

    That is going to be one hell of a colourful force when you get done.

    Cheers Roger.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Cheers Roger! Citadel makes a whole line of the contrast paints and they are a nice tool. Some folks only paint with them, but I find you need to use them in conjunction with other shades and paints as under coats. I made a color palette of the range that I can email you if you need one.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Epic post, Mark – and I do love both the level of organisation as well as your overall output. As opthers have said, the real standout “heroes” of the post are the shields, especially so in the larger unit photos and the final mixed unit photo. Very similar to both Vikings and Greeks in that sense where their shields can really elevate the rest of the model. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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