Aztec Warrior Priests (painted as Tlaxcalans), Ral Partha 42-302, circa 1988

Ral Partha had a historical line of 25mm figures that were cast and sold back in the 1980’s. One of them was the “1200 A.D” line, which included Aztec figures, and one of their blister packs was “Aztec Warrior Priests”. It had 6 figures with two poses. Also supplied were 3 different weapons, and shields for each figure.

On my previous post on Tlaxcalans, I mentioned that I needed to have some warrior priests for their army. Unfortunately, I could not find a suitable 28mm version for the Tlaxcalans. I do have some Wargames Foundry Aztec Warrior Priests in the painting queue but they were not going to be right as Tlaxcalans in my view.

I did have (among several other blisters from that era) a single blister pack of 6 figures of Ral Partha 42-302. Now these were Aztecs, not Tlaxcalans, and 25mm size, not 28mm. Generally 28mm figures are 1:61-1:68 range, and 25mm figures are 1:68-1:71 range in scale. So from a gaming distance, I think that they will work. I have already incorporated other 25mm figures such as the historical Eagle Warriors from Tin Soldier and the ahistorical Ral Partha Arrow Warriors into my Aztec forces for the upcoming launch of Buck Surdu’s Feudal PatrolTM skirmish tabletop war game. (as a side note – my Civilizations Collide supplement will cover this period, and will be a free download from the website).

Getting back to filling the Tlaxcalan ranks with some Warrior Priests – I chose to paint the 42-302 figures up in Tlaxcalan colors and war paint. It allowed me to make use of the figures – which have been waiting 32 years to be painted anyways – and to not add any more to my unpainted stuff. Sometimes you just have to find a way to liberate the unpainted hordes! When they get deployed in my supplement, Warrior Priests are add-on troops that get individually attached to units. They have the ability to help keep a unit they are attached to from breaking morale, and also can cause a defeated non-Spanish enemy to be more likely to want to flee the battlefield.

The six figures were more than enough to round out my Tlaxcalans. It’s always a challenge to go smaller than usual in painting, and these figures were no exception. One initial issue was the height, which I “leveled” by adding a 3/4″ x 1/8″ small washer on the 1″ washer base. This was to make the height disparity less noticeable. I also gave the somewhat pliable weapons a light coat of Gorilla Glue to stiffen them up a bit

Primed, mounted, and ready for painting.

A second challenge was capturing the delicate details on the figures. Here, I decided to steal an idea I have seen on Chris Palmer’s blog on the H.A.W.K.’s combined blog site – that is to prime figures white and use a dark wash over that to help with details. I think it helped – see the examples of WIP below.

Here is a second example:

The Tlaxcalans favored red loincloths and headbands – so those were easy to add. The war paint design mix that I used was similar to my previous group – a red-striped over white design or a black mask (or none at all). As for shield, I perused Steven’s Balagan and my Osprey books for inspiration (while modifying the colors a bit).

The shields as completed – I used different contrast paints for the feathers and denoted on the plate (because I might forget when I went to paint the other sides!).

Three of the models had a lovely little (ok, tiny) engraved skull at their waists on a bone necklace. I was unaware of this engraved skull aspect of Mesoamerican “art”. You can see a modern interpretive example from Amazon here and shown below:

Maybe not a Mother’s Day present…

I tried out my new Army Painter drybrush (the smallest one) and was very happy how well it performed, especially on the skulls. The bristles are round and it is just the right stiffness. Here is the link and the photo below if you are interested:

I bought this set and liked them.

Back to painting the models, my goal was to get a nice blending on the flesh before varnishing the figures. They do end up shiny from the Army Painter Flesh Wash, but with matte varnish the shine goes completely away.

Before varnishing – a bit shiny. You can see the extra washer here too.

Once I added the extra washer, you could see that the elevation on the base could pose a flocking issue – such that it would look “rounded” under the flocking. To deal with this, I glued some very small pieces of modeling talus on the washers to more or less camouflage the underlying round shapes. I would leave some of that exposed as well once flocked.

A model with the added talus pieces.

So let’s see the finished models! As usual, I gave each a number for future reference and creation of gaming aids:

Eye Candy

TWP1 – armed with a tepoztopilli (obsidian-edged thrusting spear), and no war paint. Interestingly this pose of the two types in the blister was a lefty!

TWP2 – armed with a cuauhololli (round-headed club), with no war paint.

TWP3 – armed with a macuahuitl (obsidian-edged club/sword), again no war paint.

TWP4 – armed with a tepoztopilli (obsidian-edged thrusting spear), and the red-stripes-over-white war paint. This pose of the two types in the blister was right-handed!

TWP5 – armed with a cuauhololli (round-headed club), wearing the black mask war paint.

TWP6 – armed with a macuahuitl (obsidian-edged club/sword), and the red-stripes-over-white war paint.

Here’s a scale comparison with a 28mm Tlaxcalan Archer figure:

I think that they can safely share the same gaming tabletop!

Here are the three left-handed figures together.

Here are the three right-handed figures together.

All of Ral Partha 42-302.

This project also allowed me to help with one of my favorite websites, the Lost Minis Wiki, which is a fantastic resource for OOP stuff, especially from the 1970’s and 1980’s. Here is the entry photo for this blister.

So, my Tlaxcalan forces are done – I have now 32 figures for their army. When added to the 71 Aztecs that I have done, that brings me to over 100!

All of my Tlaxcalan troops.

Thanks for taking a look – below you’ll find my updated details list for the overall project and this particular one (paints, etc. used).

Miscellaneous details and references for those interested:

Posts on games, units, and other projects for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide”

  1. Aztec Warrior Priests (painted as Tlaxcalans), Ral Partha 42-302, circa 1988 (this post) – 6 figures – 6 Tlaxcalan Warrior Priests
  2. Tlaxcalan Novices, Elite Warriors, and Command Group – 18 figures – 8 Novice Tlaxcalan Warriors, 8 Elite Tlaxcalan Warriors, 1 Tlaxcalan Captain, 1 Tlaxcalan Conch Blower
  3. Tlaxcalan Archers – 8 Veteran Tlaxcalan Archers
  4. Aztec Game for Feudal Patrol across thousands of miles – via Zoom!
  5. Aztec Snake Woman and Drummer – 1 Aztec General, 1 Aztec Drummer
  6. 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
  7. Doubling Down – Aztec Veteran Warriors – 24 Aztec Veteran Warriors
  8. Aztec Arrow Knights, Ral Partha circa 1988 – 6 Aztec Arrow Knights
  9. Aztec Eagle Warriors from Tin Soldier UK – 6 Aztec Eagle Knights
  10. Aztec Novice Warriors and a few Frinx – 12 Novice Warriors

Total figures to date for this project: 103 figures:  71 Aztecs, 32 Tlaxcalans

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE THAT I USED ON THESE TLAXCALAN WARRIOR PRIESTS:

  1. Gorilla Glue
  2. 1/8″ x 1″ Everbilt Fender Washers
  3. 1/8″ x 3/4″ Everbilt Fender Washers
  4. Plastic plates
  5. Poster tack
  6. Vallejo “Surface Primer – White Primer”
  7. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  8. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  9. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  10. Citadel “Nuln Oil” (shade)
  11. Vallejo Model Air “Weiss” (off-white)
  12. Vallejo Game Air “Dead White”
  13. Vallejo Game Air “Black”
  14. Army Painter “Tanned Flesh”
  15. Vallejo Game Color “Bronze Fleshtone”
  16. Vallejo Model Color “Sunny Skin Tone”
  17. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Darkoath Flesh”
  18. Battlefront “Chocolate Brown”
  19. Army Painter “Flesh Wash” (wash)
  20. Citadel Air “Evil Sunz Scarlet”
  21. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Wyldwood”
  22. Battlefront “Sicily Yellow”
  23. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Black Templar”
  24. Vallejo Model Air “Tire Black”
  25. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Terradon Turquoise”
  26. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Skeleton Horde”
  27. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Contrast Medium”
  28. Battlefront “Wool Brown”
  29. Army Painter “Red Tone” (shade)
  30. Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” (shade)
  31. Vallejo Model Color “Glossy Black”
  32. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Blood Angels Red”
  33. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Iyanden Yellow”
  34. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Apothecary White”
  35. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Warp Lightning”
  36. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Aethermatic Blue”
  37. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Akhelian Green”
  38. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Ultramarines Blue”
  39. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Leviadon Blue”
  40. Secret Weapon Washes “Sunshine” (ink)
  41. Citadel “Ushabti Bone”
  42. Citadel “Seraphim Sepia” (shade)
  43. Vallejo Model Color “Dark Blue”
  44. Vallejo Model Air “Moon Yellow”
  45. Vallejo Game Air “Satin Varnish”
  46. Vallejo Mecha Color “Turquoise”
  47. Citadel “Caliban Green”
  48. E6000 Epoxy
  49. 4Ground small talus pieces
  50. Elmer’s PVA Glue
  51. Army Painter “Brown Battlefields” (flocking)
  52. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  53. Vallejo “Burnt Umber” (pigment)
  54. Citadel “Steel Legion Drab”
  55. Citadel “Tallarn Sand”
  56. Citadel “Karak Stone”
  57. Americana “Desert Sand”
  58. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  59. Army Painter “Grass Green” (flocking)

Please let me know your thoughts and feedback in the comments section – I really appreciate learning any impressions or thoughts in general (or specific) that you have.

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!

30 thoughts on “Aztec Warrior Priests (painted as Tlaxcalans), Ral Partha 42-302, circa 1988”

  1. Great job Mark! The skin turned out really nice with your new technique. On minis that small, the GW method of base, wash, and highlight doesn’t always work too well. The glazed skin approach turns out quite nicely though. I’ve been doing similar on my models, though it’s still a lot of trial and error.
    Great historical background as always! Such a fun project to follow along. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks Faust. As a nonGW guy I am unfamiliar with any their approaches! I am always open to experiment until I get the effects that I want. Sometimes that is what I need to do I guess. I was pretty happy with these, we’ll see if it translates on the rest in the painting queue. Really happy you’re enjoying the project, it’s become pretty huge.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Very nicely done. They are an excellent addition to your forces. I presume the extra washes helps to make the figures look a little “taller”, and so more closely fit in with the 28mm ones.
    Question for you: The cacti in the pictures are matching, so I presume not scratch built. Where did they come from and did you add the flowers. (The saguaro)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, the washers did get my figures to the same height as the 28mm ones. While they are not as “hefty” as the 28mm’s, the base sizes are the same so as far as gaming there should be no difference. As for the cacti, they came from Hobby Lobby and are a JTT Scenery products set. I washed them with Citadel Biel-Tan Green and flocked the bases with Army Painter Brown Battlefields and Wasteland Tufts. I figured that they would help with my photography set ups and would be good on the tabletop as cacti vary in size (I think these are HO or 1:87 scale). The saguaro came either with or without flowers. The set is still available at Hobby Lobby and a similar one is available on JTT ‘s website – here are both links and thank you so much for the feedback!
      https://www.hobbylobby.com/Crafts-Hobbies/Hobbies-Collecting/Diorama-Figurines/Cactus-Plants/p/80974435
      http://miniaturetree.com/wild-plants-shrubs/108-cacti.html

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Really nice, Mark! 🙂 And great to see all the Tlaxcalans together! I sometimes have to add “spacers” under smaller figures to lift them up a bit, in which case I use milliput or Vallejo basing material to smooth out the base contours (I always do this on normal bases anyway), but your approach has worked really well!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks John as always – I truly appreciate that feedback! I have used those materials too as well as texture paints and I do very much put extra work into my bases. For this project, I am trying to have consistency among the bases for aesthetics.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. More excellent work mark, with your great attention to detail and history. For me the different sizes adds to the realism as in the real world were not all the same height

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes indeed! And I have a place in my heart for those who are not towering giants with the gift of height. I was the shortest kid in my class from 1st grade through 9th, and made it to 5′ 9″. Needless to say that my being “vertically challenged” had the unfortunate side effect of attracting cowardly bullies who thought they had an easy victim in me. They soon discovered that they were mistaken in that particular assumption. Plus, it did not help me in pursuing basketball! Thanks for the kind words Dave, glad you enjoyed the models and the post.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Roger – I have painted 131 figures this year so far but 103 were for this project alone. The bad news is I think I have another 119 or so to go (38 Aztecs and 81 Spanish). Some (8) of the Conquistadores are cavalry too plus I have dead horses to denote dehorsed cav. That’s assuming that I don’t paint any more old Ral Partha Aztecs – at least for now – there are some really beautiful figs in there to tempt me – but I’m focusing on what I need game-wise first. My goal is to try to finish all by the New Year, but I think that may be a stretch. Stay safe and painting Roger!

      Like

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