Tlaxcalan Archers

The time had come for me to get some opponents painted up to oppose the Aztecs of the Triple Alliance from Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City). In this case, these opponents are the Tlaxcalans, a Nahua ethnic group that never was conquered by the Aztecs. They did briefly fight Hernan Cortez and his conquistadors before allying with them against their longtime-hated enemy, the Aztecs. They were noted as being a major part of Cortes’ forces, and for having excellent archers. In my Tlaxcalan figures, have a group of veteran archers, a group of novices, a small command group, and a group of elite warriors for games of Feudal Patrol™ using my supplement called Civilizations Collide. All will eventually be shared here. They all are 28mm scale metal models from Outpost Wargames Services acquired from Badger Games in the US.

After the Zoom play test that I had described here, it was time to get some Tlaxcalans into the fray! I start her with TX4 “Tlaxcalan Archers”, an 8 figure set.

The TX4 “Tlaxcalan Archers” baggie of 8 figures as received from Badger Games.

I chose to start with these archers as they had no shields to paint (time saver) – but also because the Tlaxcalans had a couple of very interesting types of war paint on their faces. From the Osprey plate in one of my books, one style resembled a black “superhero mask” around the eyes. The other one was a series of fine red stripes on a white background. Not all Tlaxcalans had war painted faces, so I could mix in some regular tanned skin as well. Given that some of the 8 figures were similar, this would aid in tabletop differentiation as well. Lastly, painting this unit would allow me some good practice on the faces with war paints as well as the common color themes of the Tlaxcalans according to the Osprey plates (which themselves were based on the various historical codices of the period). I chose to paint 4 figures with the black mask war paint, 2 with the white and red-striped painted war paint, and 2 with no war paint at all.

It would be appropriate for me to make a few more points on paints here. While I do list all the paints that I used at the end of this post for those interested (and for me when I forget and want to know I ended up using when I have another similar future project!), I want to share a few key items.

First, I tried a new tanned flesh paint that I really liked – Army Painter “Tanned Flesh”- and it worked well. I thinned it appropriately as a base coat and used other lighter paints, contrast paints, and washes over it as shades and highlights. Second, I also want to give credit to Faust at Double Down Dice as I had not tried Citadel “Gore-Grunta Fur” for wood – as I did here for bows. I had seen his work on his blog here and was impressed enough to give it a shot. Third, I used Citadel “Averland Sunset” and Vallejo Model Air “Black” to recreate a slightly different color pattern on the quivers to represent them being made from jaguar hides. And lastly, I gave the steel washers a different color – Citadel “Caliban Green” – than the tan undercoat that I had given the washers under my Aztecs. It only shows on the rim of the bases, but I think will help with tabletop differentiation. Many of the poses are similar, and a few are the same (6 poses and 8 figures).

I assign each figure a number – which helps with the painting plan as well as for later when prepping for games. The numbers go on a spreadsheet and are also on the bases of the figures. I did drop the dash though!

Overall, I loved the figures, but painting them was a bit more challenging than I had thought. The main difficulties were around getting the flesh to where I was happy (again working with a new flesh tone), and the bright reds, black hair, and dark flesh next to bright whites – especially on the headbands. You can judge my efforts, though I did not do as many WIP shots here. You can click on all the images here for a better view.

Here you see the black mask war paint and the effort on the jaguar-hide quiver. In the game, I give the Tlaxcalans a high rate of fire with their bows.

So let’s get a look at the completed models!

Close up shot of the completed TXB5
Close up shot of TXB1.
All 8 figures assembled for battle

I hope that you found this post enjoyable. Let me know – and stay safe out there!

Miscellaneous details and references for those interested:

Posts on Games and Units for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest Supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide”

  1. Tlaxcalan Archers – (this post) – 8 Veteran Tlaxcalan Archers
  2. Aztec Game for Feudal Patrol across thousands of miles – via Zoom!
  3. Aztec Snake Woman and Drummer – 1 Aztec General, 1 Aztec Drummer
  4. A June and July Jaguar Warrior Frenzy (plus some Aztec Veterans and a Warrior Priest to Boot) – 3 Aztec Veteran Warriors, 17 Jaguar Warriors, 1 Aztec Warrior Priest
  5. Doubling Down – Aztec Veteran Warriors – 24 Aztec Veteran Warriors
  6. Aztec Arrow Knights, Ral Partha circa 1988 – 6 Aztec Arrow Knights
  7. Aztec Eagle Warriors from Tin Soldier UK – 6 Aztec Eagle Knights
  8. Aztec Novice Warriors and a few Frinx – 12 Novice Warriors

Total figures to date for this project: 79 figures:  71 Aztecs, 8 Tlaxcalans


  1. Gorilla Glue
  2. 1/8″ x 1″ Everbilt Fender Washers
  3. Poster tack
  4. Vallejo “Surface Primer – White Primer”
  5. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  6. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  7. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  8. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Contrast Medium”
  9. Vallejo Model Air “Weiss” (off-white)
  10. Army Painter “Tanned Flesh”
  11. Vallejo Game Air “Black”
  12. Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” (shade)
  13. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Basilicanum Grey”
  14. Vallejo Game Air “Dead White”
  15. Citadel Air “Evil Sunz Scarlet”
  16. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Gore-Grunta Fur”
  17. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Terradon Turquoise”
  18. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Flesh Tearers Red”
  19. Army Painter “Red Tone” (shade)
  20. Vallejo Game Color “Bronze Fleshtone”
  21. Vallejo Model Color “Sunny Skin Tone”
  22. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Darkoath Flesh”
  23. Army Painter “Flesh Wash” (wash)
  24. Citadel “Caliban Green”
  25. Vallejo Model Air “Tire Black”
  26. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Apothecary White”
  27. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Blood Angels Red”
  28. Vallejo Model Air “Moon Yellow”
  29. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Warp Lightning”
  30. Battlefront “Chocolate Brown”
  31. Vallejo Model Color “Glossy Black”
  32. Citadel “Lamenters Yellow” (glaze)
  33. Citadel “Biel-Tan Green” (shade)
  34. Citadel “Seraphim Sepia” (shade)
  35. Citadel “Averland Sunset”
  36. Elmer’s PVA Glue
  37. Army Painter “Brown Battlefields” (flocking)
  38. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  39. Vallejo “Burnt Umber” (pigment)
  40. Citadel “Steel Legion Drab”
  41. Citadel “Tallarn Sand”
  42. Citadel “Karak Stone”
  43. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  44. 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!

43 thoughts on “Tlaxcalan Archers”

  1. Usual great post Mark and very nice work on the figures indeed. Nice faces and great bright colours going on make these look excellent. At the risk of sounding very ignorant I never really thought of Aztecs in battle, I always saw them a peace loving and temple building!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Dave. It’s fun to do these different colors. I default to the French verb ignorer which means “ to not know” in cases like this! The history of all humans of any origin is replete with war, barbarism, and savagery, and the people’s of Mesoamerica, were no exception. This includes the Aztecs who practiced cannibalism, and waged war incessantly for resources, especially to get captives for human sacrifice. The Conquistadores defeated the Aztecs in 1521, after a series of very bloody campaigns and also introduced smallpox to a population with zero immunity killing tens if not hundreds of thousands. Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City) at the time of the Spanish Conquest was larger than any contemporary European city. There were huge temples there and the Spanish described how the walls of sacrificial areas was black with the old blood of thousands of victims. So peaceful it was not for sure!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So too were the Conquistadores who also were responsible for several massacres as well as enslaving many natives and gathering gold and jewels for themselves and the Spanish Crown. The history of so many eras are full of horror. I’ve been finding this history fascinating.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely work on these as always Mark, I have to admit when I saw the bare metal figures at he start of the post, I wasn’t overly impressed, but you finished pictures at the end are gorgeous, just goes to show what a top notch painter can do!

    Cheers Roger.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Roger! I think that I have really found these Outpost Wargames Services figures to be a lot of fun to paint. They are different in approach from the Wargames Foundry line, but I like them both. Appreciate your comments as I do try to do the best I can, though it does make me a slow producer. I do want to get better still, and this project is a good journey for that too. Looking forward to hearing you on IRO’s podcast!

      Cheers right back at ya, Mark


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