Conquistador Cavalry

I started painting figures for my for Civilizations Collide scenarios for games of Feudal PatrolTM  nearly a year ago in April of 2020. I had spent the month of March 2020 and part of April 2020 doing my research, for the supplement and looking at sources for appropriate miniatures. I decided to initially build forces Aztecs, Tlaxcalans, and Conquistadores. The last group I worked on were the Conquistadores – and I am ending with cavalry. As I shared on my last post, Hernan Cortes made exceptionally effective use of his cavalry during the conquest of New Spain. The best example is at the Battle of Otumba, where Cortes used his cavalry to save his entire force against overwhelming odds.

After having been initially driven from Tenochtitlan, Cortes and his Tlaxcalan allies had lost half of their number. They were being pursued by a massive Aztec army, trying to escape to the safety of Tlaxcalan territory. These outraged Aztecs were hell-bent on capturing every one of them for ritual sacrifice. At Otumba, Cortes was surrounded on two sides and was vastly outnumbered, and his men were exhausted. Opportunity presented itself. Cortes saw that the Aztecs’ formations were being controlled by highly costumed priests and leaders with drums, horns, and large banners. He personally led a mounted attack with five cavalry.

Yes just five, including himself.

This attack went directly at the Aztec leaders. They killed them, and the Aztec attack fell completely apart. Cortes lived to escape, regroup, and eventually return to defeat the Aztecs. Were it not for the “shock and awe” effect of a relatively small cavalry attack, history would have been greatly different.

Therefore, to be representative historically, I needed to find some cavalry for my forces. I did find two groups of 28mm metal ones – 4 cavalry (eight riders and eight horses) from Outpost Wargame Services (via Badger Games). These were #CON5 “Conquistador Cavalry in Light Armor 1” and #CON6 “Conquistador Cavalry in Full Armor”. In reality, even the first group were pretty well-armored. I also decided that I wanted to have some dead horses as markers – and to this end I procured eight horses from Eureka Miniatures #100ANM05 and removed them from their bases, and painted them as wounded/incapacitated horses, replete with battle damage. All together, this made for 24 figures for this post (yes, I count horses as figures though they marry up with riders!).

I decided a couple of things with regards to the painting of the group. First, my horses would all be different shades and colors (greys and browns). Secondly, I decided that that the wounded horses should match the colors of the unwounded ones. I had not painted any horses for decades. I did use my regular Iwata Eclipse and Neo airbrushes to prime and base coat them, and I used my Iwata Micron airbrush to do the faces and eyes. After that it was all brushwork (except for final varnishing). I experimented with different color combinations – and it actually helped to try out these combinations on the dead horses first as trials!

I also painted the shields first and gave each of the riders different shields. The riders themselves could be assembled with different arms. They could get a sword or an empty arm for a lance – but the lances were not included. Luckily, I had some 100mm from North Star Miniatures to cut down for lances. Each of the four would get two swordsmen and two lancers. For bases, I had some 25 x 70mm Secret Weapon Desert Mesa and Desert Wasteland that were designed for motorcycles. I found that by flocking over the bases (and hiding some tire tracks) that these were perfectly-sized for my cavalry. I added some 3/4″ steel washers underneath the bases to help with their storage in my magnetically-lined Really Useful Boxes.

These cavalrymen will be very expensive relative to other figures – and for good reason.

I had a few WIP shots that I can share below – then the final cavalry pics will follow afterwards.

I had these pics as guides over my painting desk.
My rig for painting the riders. Doubtless, it was painful for the riders…
First horse base coated.
All the horses ready for riders and final flocking.

The first group is the ones in “light armor”. I numbered them CVLA1 to CVLA4.


And the casualty marker…


And the casualty marker…


And the casualty marker…


And the casualty marker…

Group Shot

Charge! Here you can see they all have adarga shields (kidney shaped).

The second group includes the ones in “heavy armor”. I numbered them CVFA1 to CVFA4.


And the casualty marker…


And the casualty marker…


And the casualty marker…


And the casualty marker…

Group Shot

Here is a good angle to see the different shades of brown I used.

These are the LAST figures in “Mark’s Conquistador Conquest”. This makes 230 figures – of which 89 were Conquistadores (painted since 12/14/2020) – which was the contest I ran. I will make a final contest post– and announce the winners in the next couple of days. All I will say is that these were completed before February 21, 2021. BUT, when I share the results I will also be announcing a similar second contest for you – my followers! Potentially free stuff for YOU!

All of my Conquistador figures!
And finally, all planned figures are DONE!

This group of cavalry count as my last entry into Dave Stone’s Painting Challenge “PAINT WHAT YOU GOT CHALLENGE”.  In honor of the project, I will share the most famous song about Conquistadores – from Procul Harem in 1967 (and yes I remember it – though I was indeed quite young – though I heard it often in the 1970’s too). Here are the lyrics from the song (authors are Gary Brooker and Keith Reid) and a YouTube link:

Conquistador your stallion stands in need of company
And like some angel’s haloed brow
You reek of purity

I see your armor plated breast
Has long since lost its sheen
And in your death masked face
There are no signs which can be seen

And though I hoped for something to find
I could see no maze to unwind

Conquistador a vulture sits, upon your silver sheath
And in your rusty scabbard now, the sand has taken seed
And though your jewel-encrusted blade
Has not been plundered still
The sea has washed across your face
And taken of its fill

And though I hoped for something to find
I could see no maze to unwind
And though I hoped for something to find
I could see no maze to unwind

Conquistador there is no time, I must pay my respect
And though I came to jeer at you
I leave now with regret
And as the gloom begins to fall
I see there is no, only all
And though you came with sword held high
You did not conquer, only die

And though I hoped for something to find
I could see no maze to unwind
And though I hoped for something to find
I could see no maze to unwind

And though I hoped for something to find
I could see no maze to unwind

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Gary Brooker / Keith Reid

Conquistador lyrics © T.R.O. Inc.

Total figures completed to date for this project: 230 figures:  109 Aztecs, 32 Tlaxcalans, 89 Spanish Conquistadores (ZERO more to go in Mark’s Conquistador Contest!)

Stay tuned…I will have more on the game in terms of terrain and game aids. Please let me know your thoughts about this post!

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 Cavalry (this post). 24 figures total: Outpost Wargame Services #CON5 “Conquistador Cavalry in light armour 1” (4 horses & 4 riders); Outpost Wargame Services #CON6 “Conquistador Cavalry in full armour” (4 horses & 4 riders); Eureka Miniatures “Moving Horses” #100ANM05 (8 horses used as casualty markers).
  2. Conquistador Falconet and Crew (Artillery). 3 figures total: Outpost Wargame Services #CONA1 “Falconet and Crew”.
  3. More Conquistador Sword and Buckler Men. 8 figures total Outpost Wargame Services #CON001 “Sword and Buckler Men”.
  4. Conquistador Sword and Buckler Men (Wargames Foundry). 18 figures total in three blister packs: Wargames Foundry #SB015 “Swaggering Swordsmen”, #SB016 “Brutal Sword and Buckler Men”, and #SB017 “Bold Bladesmen”.
  5. 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)
  6. 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)
  7. Merciless Adventurers (this post) – Wargames Foundry #SB014 (6 Conquistadores with arquebuses)
  8. Audacious Arquebusiers! – Wargames Foundry #SB012 (6 Conquistadores with arquebuses)
  9. Mark’s Conquistador Contest – for my loyal blog followers!
  10. Montezuma and Chieftains – Wargames Foundry #AZ011 for Feudal Patrol – 6 Aztec figures (Montezuma, 4 Chieftains, 1 Warrior Priest)
  11. Aztec Shock Troops – Cuachic Warriors aka The Shorn Ones – 8 Aztec cuachicqueh warriors
  12. Tloxtoxl and the Priests of the Great Temple, Wargames Foundry AZ021 – 2 warrior priests, 1 priestess, 1 priest, 1 leader, and 1 signaler
  13. 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!
  14. 18 Aztec Novice Warriors for Feudal Patrol Walk into a Bar – 18 Novice Warriors
  15. Aztec Warrior Priests (painted as Tlaxcalans), Ral Partha 42-302, circa 1988 (this post) – 6 figures – 6 Tlaxcalan Warrior Priests
  16. Tlaxcalan Novices, Elite Warriors, and Command Group – 18 figures – 8 Novice Tlaxcalan Warriors, 8 Elite Tlaxcalan Warriors, 1 Tlaxcalan Captain, 1 Tlaxcalan Conch Blower
  17. Tlaxcalan Archers – 8 Veteran Tlaxcalan Archers
  18. Aztec Game for Feudal Patrol across thousands of miles – via Zoom!
  19. Aztec Snake Woman and Drummer – 1 Aztec General, 1 Aztec Drummer
  20. 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
  21. Doubling Down – Aztec Veteran Warriors – 24 Aztec Veteran Warriors
  22. Aztec Arrow Knights, Ral Partha circa 1988 – 6 Aztec Arrow Knights
  23. Aztec Eagle Warriors from Tin Soldier UK – 6 Aztec Eagle Knights
  24. Aztec Novice Warriors and a few Frinx – 12 Novice Warriors

Total figures completed to date for this project: 230 figures:  109 Aztecs, 32 Tlaxcalans, 89 Spanish Conquistadores (ZERO more to go in Mark’s Conquistador Contest!)


  1. Gorilla Glue
  2. 1.25″ Everbilt Fender Washers
  3. 3/4″ steel washers
  4. Secret Weapon 25mm x 70mm “Desert Mesa” beveled bases
  5. Secret Weapon 25mm x 70mm “Desert Wasteland” beveled bases
  6. Poster tack
  7. Vallejo Mecha Primer “White”
  8. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  9. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  10. Citadel “Nuln Oil” (wash)
  11. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Gore-Grunta Fur”
  12. Vallejo Model Air “Weiss” (off-white)
  13. Citadel “Ironbreaker”
  14. Reaper MSP “Black Liner”
  15. Vallejo Mecha Color “Dark Steel”
  16. Vallejo “Satin Varnish”
  17. Vallejo “Gloss Varnish”
  18. Vallejo Model Air “Brown”
  19. Vallejo Model Air “First Light”
  20. Vallejo Game Air “Black”
  21. Vallejo Game Air “Wolf Grey”
  22. Vallejo Mecha Color “Sand Yellow”
  23. Vallejo Mecha Color “Brown”
  24. Citadel “Balor Brown”
  25. Vallejo Model Air “Dark Brown”
  26. Army Painter “Tanned Flesh”
  27. Citadel Air “Evil Sunz Scarlet”
  28. Army Painter “Red Tone” (shade)
  29. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Apothecary White”
  30. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Contrast Medium”
  31. Vallejo Game Air “Dead White”
  32. Vallejo Mecha Color “Off-white”
  33. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Black Templar”
  34. Citadel “Runefang Steel”
  35. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Snakebite Leather”
  36. Vallejo “Thinner Medium”
  37. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Aggaros Dunes”
  38. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Flesh Tearers Red”
  39. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Akhelian Green”
  40. Battlefront “GI Green”
  41. Battlefront “Sicily Yellow”
  42. Battlefront “Dark Leather”
  43. Citadel “Nuln Oil GLOSS” (wash)
  44. Vallejo Model Color “Brown Rose”
  45. Vallejo Game Color “Bronze Fleshtone”
  46. Vallejo Model Color “Sunny Skin Tone”
  47. Army Painter “Flesh Wash” (wash)
  48. Army Painter “Light Tone” (shade)
  49. Army Painter “Mid Brown” (shade)
  50. Reaper MSP “Brown Liner”
  51. Reaper MSP “Grey Liner”
  52. Battlefront “Sicily Yellow”
  53. Vallejo Model Color “English Uniform”
  54. Vallejo Model Color “Neutral Grey”
  55. Vallejo Model Color “Light Brown”
  56. Citadel “XV-88”
  57. Vallejo Model Air “Bright Brass”
  58. E6000 Epoxy
  59. Army Painter “Strong Tone” (shade)
  60. Hataka “Terre d’ombre”
  61. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Volupus Pink”
  62. Citadel “Blood for the Blood God”
  63. Citadel “Bloodletter” (glaze)
  64. Army Painter “Blue Tone” (shade)
  65. Vallejo Model Air “Gun Metal”
  66. Citadel “Seraphim Sepia” (shade)
  67. Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” (shade)
  68. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Space Wolves Grey”
  69. Citadel “Drakenhof Nightshade” (wash)
  70. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Gryph-Charger Grey”
  71. Battlefront “Flat Earth”
  72. Elmer’s PVA Glue
  73. Army Painter “Brown Battlefields” (flocking)
  74. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  75. Vallejo “Burnt Umber” (pigment)
  76. Citadel “Steel Legion Drab”
  77. Citadel “Tallarn Sand”
  78. Citadel “Karak Stone”
  79. Americana “Desert Sand”
  80. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  81. Army Painter “Grass Green” (flocking)
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