Conquistador Sword and Buckler Men (Wargames Foundry)

The English term “Sword and Buckler Men” refers to what the Spanish called rodeloros (shield bearers) and espadachines (swordsmen). For those unfamiliar with the term, a buckler is a small shield held by the fist and used mainly to deflect an opponent’s blows (as opposed to mainly protecting against missile weapons). The Conquistadores were professional soldiers and veterans of many wars – and Sword and Buckler Men made up the bulk of their number. It is well-known that the Conquistadores had a major impact during the Age of Discovery/Exploration. They had fought extensively in the Italian Wars (1494-1559) and had the spirit of the men who had driven the Moors from the Iberian peninsula back in 1492 during the Reconquista. The Conquistadores brought their experience and their warfighting characteristics to the New World.

I have incorporated these into my games of Feudal PatrolTM ) using my supplement for Civilizations Collide. I definitely need the bulk of my Conquistador forces to be made up of Sword and Buckler Men (let’s call them SABM for short). To reflect their elite status and general all-around technological and tactical excellence, they are pretty expensive point-wise versus most Aztecs. This is as it should be – as SABM had better weapons, armor, and experience. The Aztecs had numbers – which the Conquistadores made up with allies like the Tlaxcalans.

For my SABM, I got three blisters of Wargames Foundry 28mm metal SABM from Badger Games. Each had 6 figures, all Mark Copplestone sculpts (who also sculpted the arquebusiers I posted about previously here and here). These are really beautiful sculpts – and I am glad I got them. The three SKU’s were SB015 “Swaggering Swordsmen”, SB016 “Brutal Sword and Buckler Men”, and SB017 “Bold Bladesmen”. After I finished my War Dogs, I decided that it would be best to do all of these figures together. They are by the same sculptor, and I wanted to have some differentiation among them. I jumped into painting these 18 SABM on January 12th and finished them on January 28th (and I have 8 more SABM to do from OWS but that’s a future post). I was pretty happy with that pace of production given that I had a few distractions on the way (like snow removal, Board of Health work, auto repair, etc.). I also need to catch up on blog posts I follow – and I will indeed do that too.

For the contest that I am running (“Mark’s Conquistador Conquest”) – in which people could try to pick the date on which I would finish 89 Conquistador figures, this group made up a big chunk. As I am trying to finish sooner than later, I did NOT take many WIP shots. And as I have 18 figures here to share, I am going to just focus on the final products. I’ll also share my regular reference section at the end here (which I do use myself by the way!). This brings my total for the project to 195 figures – 109 Aztecs, 32 Tlaxcalans, and now 54 Spanish Conquistadores (with just 35 more to go). I don’t know when I’ll finish, or who will win the contest, but it’s getting interesting to be sure. This group of 18 also counts as my third entry into Dave Stone’s Painting Challenge “PAINT WHAT YOU GOT CHALLENGE”

I’ll cover each of the three blisters below – click on any image for a better view. I did not do an overall group shot as – well – 18’s too many to get in one shot! I numbered these CSW1 to CSW18. I tried to do more freehand on some of the trousers and leggings, varying the colors but staying (hopefully) true to the historical aspects of the period. Maybe you have a favorite – let me know!

SB015 “Swaggering Swordsmen”







SB015 Group Shot

SB016 “Brutal Sword and Buckler Men”








SB017 “Bold Bladesmen”








Thanks for looking and I hope that you enjoyed this post – always am happy to read your feedback in the comments section.

My box of Conquistadores to date.

And now, to end, as is my habit, here is my reference section (so I might remember what the hell I have done on nearly 200 figures!):

Miscellaneous details and references for those interested in that sort of thing:

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

  1. Conquistador Sword and Buckler Men (this post). 18 figures total in three blister packs: Wargames Foundry #SB015 “Swaggering Swordsmen”, #SB016 “Brutal Sword and Buckler Men”, and #SB017 “Bold Bladesmen”.
  2. Perro de Guerra (Conquistador War Dogs). 13 figures total: Outpost Wargames Services #CONS6 “War Dogs” (8 war dogs); Eureka #100CON13 “Dog Handler and Dogs” (1 dog handler/pikeman and 4 war dogs)
  3. Conquistador Foot Command, Crossbowmen, and a Couple of Officers. 11 figures total: Outpost Wargames Services #CONC1 “Conquistador Foot Command” (a leader, a banner bearer, a drummer, and a bugler); Eureka #100CON04 “Crossbowmen” (5 crossbowmen); and Eureka CONC1 “Conquistador Officer” and an unknown SKU officer (2 officers)
  4. Merciless Adventurers (this post) – Wargames Foundry #SB014 (6 Conquistadores with arquebuses)
  5. Audacious Arquebusiers! – Wargames Foundry #SB012 (6 Conquistadores with arquebuses)
  6. Mark’s Conquistador Contest – for my loyal blog followers!
  7. Montezuma and Chieftains – Wargames Foundry #AZ011 for Feudal Patrol – 6 Aztec figures (Montezuma, 4 Chieftains, 1 Warrior Priest)
  8. Aztec Shock Troops – Cuachic Warriors aka The Shorn Ones – 8 Aztec cuachicqueh warriors
  9. Tloxtoxl and the Priests of the Great Temple, Wargames Foundry AZ021 – 2 warrior priests, 1 priestess, 1 priest, 1 leader, and 1 signaler
  10. Civilizations Collide – The Wars of the Aztecs, the Inca, the Maya, and the Conquistadores is now available as a FREE Download for Feudal Patrol™ – plus a Feudal Patrol™ review!
  11. 18 Aztec Novice Warriors for Feudal Patrol Walk into a Bar – 18 Novice Warriors
  12. Aztec Warrior Priests (painted as Tlaxcalans), Ral Partha 42-302, circa 1988 (this post) – 6 figures – 6 Tlaxcalan Warrior Priests
  13. Tlaxcalan Novices, Elite Warriors, and Command Group – 18 figures – 8 Novice Tlaxcalan Warriors, 8 Elite Tlaxcalan Warriors, 1 Tlaxcalan Captain, 1 Tlaxcalan Conch Blower
  14. Tlaxcalan Archers – 8 Veteran Tlaxcalan Archers
  15. Aztec Game for Feudal Patrol across thousands of miles – via Zoom!
  16. Aztec Snake Woman and Drummer – 1 Aztec General, 1 Aztec Drummer
  17. 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
  18. Doubling Down – Aztec Veteran Warriors – 24 Aztec Veteran Warriors
  19. Aztec Arrow Knights, Ral Partha circa 1988 – 6 Aztec Arrow Knights
  20. Aztec Eagle Warriors from Tin Soldier UK – 6 Aztec Eagle Knights
  21. Aztec Novice Warriors and a few Frinx – 12 Novice Warriors

Total figures completed to date for this project: 195 figures:  109 Aztecs, 32 Tlaxcalans, 54 Spanish Conquistadores (35 more to go in Mark’s Conquistador Contest!)


  1. Gorilla Glue
  2. 1/8″ x 1″ Everbilt Fender Washers
  3. Poster tack
  4. Vallejo Mecha Primer “White”
  5. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  6. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  7. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  8. Citadel “Nuln Oil” (wash)
  9. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Gore-Grunta Fur”
  10. Vallejo Model Air “Weiss” (off-white)
  11. Citadel “Ironbreaker”
  12. Reaper MSP “Black Primer”
  13. Vallejo Mecha Color “Dark Steel”
  14. Vallejo “Satin Varnish”
  15. Vallejo “Gloss Varnish”
  16. Army Painter “Tanned Flesh”
  17. Citadel “Runefang Steel”
  18. Citadel Air “Evil Sunz Scarlet”
  19. Citadel “Nuln Oil GLOSS” (wash)
  20. Army Painter “Red Tone” (shade)
  21. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Black Templar”
  22. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Gryph-Charger Grey”
  23. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Contrast Medium”
  24. Vallejo Game Air “Black”
  25. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Flesh Tearers Red”
  26. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Akhelian Green”
  27. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Magos Purple”
  28. Citadel “XV-88”
  29. Vallejo “Thinner Medium”
  30. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Dark Angels Green”
  31. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Blood Angels Red”
  32. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Snakebite Leather”
  33. Battlefront “Sicily Yellow”
  34. Vallejo Mecha Color “Off-white”
  35. Vallejo Game Ink “Yellow”
  36. Battlefront “Dark Leather”
  37. Vallejo Model Color “Vermilion”
  38. Tamiya “Orange X-6”
  39. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Talassar Blue”
  40. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Militarum Green”
  41. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Nazdreg Yellow”
  42. Vallejo Model Air “Silver”
  43. Vallejo Model Air “Bright Brass”
  44. P3 “Blazing Ink”
  45. Vallejo Game Ink “Black Green”
  46. Battlefront “GI Green”
  47. Secret Weapon Washes “Yellow Snow” (wash)
  48. Battlefront “Chocolate Brown”
  49. Citadel “Drakenhof Nightshade” (wash)
  50. Vallejo Model Air “Light”
  51. Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” (shade)
  52. Citadel “Coelia Greenshade” (wash)
  53. Army Painter “Light Tone” (shade)
  54. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Apothecary White”
  55. Vallejo Game Color “Bronze Fleshtone”
  56. Vallejo Model Color “Sunny Skin Tone”
  57. Army Painter “Flesh Wash” (wash)
  58. Citadel “Seraphim Sepia” (wash)
  59. Citadel “Druchi Violet” (wash)
  60. Vallejo Model Air “First Light”
  61. Vallejo Model Air “Dark Brown”
  62. Secret Weapon Washes “Armor Wash” (wash)
  63. E6000 Epoxy
  64. Battlefront “Flat Earth”
  65. Elmer’s PVA Glue
  66. Army Painter “Brown Battlefields” (flocking)
  67. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  68. Vallejo “Burnt Umber” (pigment)
  69. Citadel “Steel Legion Drab”
  70. Citadel “Tallarn Sand”
  71. Citadel “Karak Stone”
  72. Americana “Desert Sand”
  73. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  74. Army Painter “Grass Green” (flocking)

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!

48 thoughts on “Conquistador Sword and Buckler Men (Wargames Foundry)”

  1. All very nice, Mark! 🙂 A lot of variation among them, which is really good. May favourite is CSW11 but it was a difficult choice. Considering the variation in the figures and the colours you’ve used, I think you’re getting through them at a pretty impressive rate – I’ve only managed one vehicle with two crewmen so far this year!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks John, and I’m sure you’re planning on painting several nations worth of stuff. CSW11 is cool, reminded me of Master Blaster in Mad Max Thunderdome. He definitely won’t be at risk of getting a sling shot in the face!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the figures – they look well detailed (my eye was drawn to the shields in most cases) and great poses/sculpts. Lots of excellent work there – particularly tunics and pants. Your stripes look great.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent work on these Mark, as John mentioned the variation on every figure adds extra interest and has something for everyone’s taste to draw the eye in

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks much and I very much seeing enjoyed the link you shared. Thanks for sharing it. Pretty cool to see old school style 54mm in that toy soldier style. Of course the Armada was a generation later than the Spanish Conquest, but those would do well in a fun game. I like what your doing and hope you’ll check out my other posts as I think you’ll like them. As you Brits say, cheers!


      2. Thanks Mark. I am fudging historical dates a little here through dual use of figures but the Conquistador armour and helmets hadn’t changed too much in a generation to the Armada, nor were the English army, militia and Trained Bands in out of the way corners like Cornwall that different 50 years earlier than the English Civil War pikemen figures. I’m sure many a rusty Morion, breastplate, sword and pole-arms were taken down out of store and polished up for use by the more poorly equipped troops on both sides on both occasions.
        I shall look out for your other blog posts. Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh yeah you’re quite right – things didn’t change greatly, but of course many if the Conquistadores “went native” and adopted the sandals and quilted armor of the Mesoamericans. Again, loved your post. I have all of my project posts linked in the reference section at the end of my posts (which helps me with coordinating future projects). I’d love a nice Morion for sure!


      4. Yes I found that fascinating that the Conquistadors abandoned so much of their Western equipment to adopt lighter tropical native plant or cloth armour or that their arquebus and crossbows failed fairly rapidly.
        If their other “shock and awe ” Spanish super weapons the war dogs and horses had gone the same way in the tropics, no doubt the story would have been “different” and the old MesoAmerican empires would have carried on, wiping each other out, feuding and allying against each other … different that is, apart from the Smallpox (and a small amount of Artillery). I look forward to reading your project posts.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice work on these Mark! Love the tones and colors, the armor turned out really good. Looks like you’re going to make TIM work real hard to keep his title of The Pimp of Pinstriping!

    It’s hard to imagine that these guys survived long enough to be veterans in combat. Sword fighting is not pretty, but to have lived through several battles, would be quite incredible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Faust! You honor me, but TIM has me beat 9 ways to Sunday. I do consider him to be my hobby older brother though. Yeah, these guys were quite the warriors. I read somewhere that they were the best, and both they and their foes knew it. In the end, they did not get rich and the Spanish Crown took all the wealth

      Liked by 1 person

  5. They look great, Mark! Especially liking the little details you’ve added on their shields and the freehand/stripes on some of their clothing. Mark Coppplestone has always been one of my favourite sculptors – right back from the early days and you’ve done them proud. They’re models that would easily find a place on my own paint table, and look like they would have been a pleasure to paint as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Az and nice to hear from you. I got these without knowing about Copplestone except mention on your blog. I definitely love his work. The shields were fun and far easier than Aztec designs to paint. Freehand is growing on me, but I dream of the day I can execute that like you, TIM, daggerandbrush, and others. Luckily they should do well on the tabletop, and the project is making progress. Appreciate the kind feedback!


  6. Well I think everyone else has just about covered all the beautiful details you’ve added to these guys. Top work as always.

    I both love and dread reading these posts, love because they are always so entertaining and informative, and dread because it’s another nail in my chances of winning your contest 😁.

    Cheers Roger.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Excellent progress, Mark! I really like the color combinations of magenta/purple, blue, and yellow on these latest conquistadors. Those colors aren’t used often across all kinds of different wargaming so it is nice to see them here. I really like the shields the conquistadors carried too. Bucklers are generally less impressive than bigger shields but I think the Spanish ones have a really cool design and they would be a bit intimidating towards their foes as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kuribo! It’s been fun trying to vary these colors while maintaining some level of historical accuracy. Luckily these guys were supposedly influenced by fashions during the Italian Wars, hence the purples etc. I actually painted all the bucklers that came with the blisters and they are nice small bucklers. My other group of 8 OWS SABM have shields that are definitely too big to use as bucklers. Now two of those models have two-handed broadswords so they won’t get shields. I will use the Foundry bucklers on them. But you’re right, who’d want a buckler in the face? Not me!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Wonderful painting Mark! I particularly appreciate the enormous amount of research you have done for this historical period. I am also starting to paint a company of conquistadores for the game Furor Mundi, a set of rules written by passionate players, and unfortunately only available in French at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

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