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!!!

Tlaxcalan Novices, Elite Warriors, and Command Group

The Tlaxcalans were a Nahua people that were at a constant state of war with the Aztecs of the Triple Alliance for decades. The Aztecs never fully conquered the Tlaxcalans, as they found them to be a far more useful source of slave labor, sacrificial victims, and resources than as a vassal state. The Aztecs were able to take these captives and supplies by allowing the Tlaxcalans to merely exist – and by challenging them repeatedly to a series of “Flower Wars”. Flower Wars were basically ritualized arranged gang-like “throw downs” where usually the Aztecs would emerge victorious, as they were a larger and far more powerful empire based in Tenochtitlan. Certainly, with this level of abuse, there was no love lost between the Tlaxcalans and the Aztecs.

Into this theater of conflict came a new revolutionary factor in the early 16th century. Hernan Cortes and his Conquistadores arrived in Mesoamerica in February of 1519. In September of that year, he encountered the Tlaxcalans and briefly fought them – as the Tlaxcalans were unaware of who the Conquistadores were or from whence they came. Both sides came to peace terms relatively quickly after some tough fighting – during which mutual respect was gained for their respective courage and capabilities in battle. The Tlaxcalans informed Cortes of the vast riches (especially in terms of gold) of Tenochtitlan and their emperor, Montezuma II. The Tlaxcalans happily joined the Spanish on their march to Tenochtitlan and indeed were staunch allies for them. Indeed, without the Tlaxcalans who formed the bulk of Cortes’ forces, the Spanish would never have been able to defeat the Aztecs during their conquest of New Spain.

I have been working on building Aztec, Tlaxcalan, and Spanish forces for the upcoming launch of my rules supplement for Buck Surdu’s Feudal PatrolTM skirmish tabletop war game. My supplement will be a free download from the website and will be called Civilizations Collide. The supplement will cover many aspects of the Spanish Conquest to include the Aztecs, the Inca, the Maya, and more. Back in August, I began to work on the Tlaxcalans. I was working on my Tlaxcalan Archers, (which you can read about here), and quickly realized that the level of detail that I wanted to achieve on these figures could not be achieved if I was to work on too many at a time. Therefore, I broke up the project into two phases. The first phase was the completion of the 8 Tlaxcalan Archers. For the second phase – which this post concerns – I had 18 figures, all from Outpost Wargames Services via their US distributor, Badger Games. Eight were from TX2 “Tlaxcalan Novice Warriors in Padded Vest”; eight were from TX3b “Elite Warrior in Feather Costume”; and two were from TXC01 “Tlaxcalan Captain and Conch Blower. These are all 28mm in scale and metal. Still, this two-phase approach took me a lot longer than I had expected to take to finish these – primarily as there were (as you will see) multiple shields, weapons, and backbanners to paint and assemble. As source materials I used both multiple Osprey books and especially the two blog posts from Steven’s Balagan blog on Tlaxcalan painting and especially his post on shield painting and design. These are fantastic resources and I recommend them highly for anyone interested in the period in addition to the Osprey books. I also recommend Badger Games as a source for these figures as well as those they sell from other manufacturers.

I will generally show some WIP stuff and discuss some of the aspects and challenges of the project and how I dealt with them. I’ll end with a recap of where the overall project progress is now, and what paints and stuff I used here. I did not take as many WIP shots as I normally do because while I have tackled more figures at a time previously, this project phase kept me very busy (and as this was during golf season, that took some hobby time too!). If WIP shots are not for you, just scroll down to the “Eye Candy” section to see how they all came out. With all of the photos – just click on them if you want a bigger view.

TX2 “Tlaxcalan Novice Warriors in Padded Vest” WIP Shots

The TX2 baggie of Novice Warriors as received
The painting plan for the Tlaxcalan Novices. I did find that I needed to change the weapons selection after painting as some of them did not fit quite well into the figures’ hands or did not look as good. I chose specific shield designs from Steven’s Balagan and the Osprey books. The numbers you see are applied to the base bottoms and help with my ability to make game menus and aids later on.
Here you see the novices mounted on 1″ steel washers on specimen jars with poster tack for ease of painting. I also labeled them (and all the figures) with their numbers, their future weapons, and their planned shields. The Tlaxcalan Archers behind them were completed in phase 1 (a previous post described them.

I chose to try to paint all of the separate components (figures, shields, weapons) before assembly. I did find that I had a bit of difficulty getting certain the weapons to fit easily to some models so I ended up switching between issuing a macuahuitl (broadsword/club-type with obsidian edges) or a tepoztopilli (obsidian-edged thrusting spear) for a few. I should have tried to widen the figures’ hands a bit more than I did. Certainly, I think using Citadel “Apothecary White” contrast paint on the white ichcahuipilli (quilted cotton vest armor) was a big win.

TX3b “Elite Warrior in Feather Costume” WIP Shots

The Tlaxcalan Elites would be a bigger challenge – primarily because in addition to the figures, weapons, and shields, each had a huge (and relatively heavy model-wise) feather backbanner. I ended up using a wooden jig to hold them during the project in between painting colors. According to my research, there were other types of backbanners – and even this type (TX3b) was supposed to have the white egret backbanner as an option. All I had were 8 of the same type of backbanners- so I diverged a bit with color selections on the center section to aid with tabletop identification. I also decided to paint them a bit differently. I used Citadel “Nuln Oil” as a wash immediately after priming white. This allowed me to get better shading – especially with subsequent uses of contrast paints on the feathers. After I painted the backbanners, I applied a satin varnish to preserve the brighter colors as I used a final matte varnish at the end of the assembly. Clearly, between the costume and the feathered backbanner, these elites had a lot of “battle plumage”! Historically, fighting in melee with the backbanner on must have been tough. I do wish I had had one of the egret backbanners, but not enough to buy any more…yet.

I did paint the elite figures a bit differently as well. I find that dry brushing over contrast paints leads to too much abrasion and wear on the contrast-painted areas. These Tlaxcalan elites have a nice feathered costume, and I wanted to bring that aspect out. So, I painted the figures’ flesh first, then similarly applied Citadel “Nuln Oil” as a wash. Then I dry brushed the costume with Citadel “Hexos Palesun”, followed by an wash-like application of Citadel “Iyanden Yellow” contrast paint thinned with Citadel “Contrast Medium”. My only change going forward would be to paint the flesh base after as of course I had to cover up some errant dry brushing.

Left is an elite figure after dry brushing but before adding the contrast paint. The right one has had the contrast paint added as I described above.
A finished Tlaxcalan Elite figure – more to see in “Eye Candy” below.

TXC01 – “Tlaxcalan Captain with Conch Blower”

Finally, I wanted to add some leadership for the group. For painting, I followed a similar path as described above for the elites and the novices.

TXC1 as received. I ended up giving both a tepoztopilli (spear).
Gotta have a plan!
Fast forward – and the Captain completed. I do like the way he came out – and more eye candy below.

Notes on Painting Shields, Assembly, and Basing

As discussed, this project took a lot of time on details. Each figure had its own distinctive shield design. After free-handing these, I used a satin varnish similar what I did on the backbanners.

The shields were affixed with a “sandwich” of E6000 epoxy and Gorilla Glue. The weapons were attached with Gorilla Glue. Assembling the backbanners was trickier. They weighed a lot, and I wanted to make sure that they would be set up for both tabletop survival and looking good. I used Gorilla Glue on them, and then finished off the mount with green stuff. This necessitated yet another wait for curing. I primed the green stuff black and left it black as I liked it better than the brown I originally planned. Better yet, it is solid, and will support the figure as it is picked up!

Figures painted – need weapons, shields, backbanners, and bases flocked and finished!

As for basing, I probably do too much, but I think bases are so important. This time I did the bases before affixing any weapons, shields, or backbanners. I used Army Painter Brown Battlefields with PVA (Elmer’s) glue. I then add two kinds of Vallejo pigments with Vallejo airbrush thinner. Once that is dry (again a wait) I drybrush the base with four different shades of tan. After varnish, the last step is to add some static grass with PVA, and gently vacuum that mix (once a bit tacky) so that the grass gets a little frilly.

The absolute last thing I do after final matte varnish is added and static grass is to highlight the obsidian-edged weapons with some Vallejo Model Color “Glossy Black”.

Eye Candy

For shots here, I got a new background from previous posts – and added some cacti that I had flocked and washed. Hope it adds to the shots!

Tlaxcalan Novices

TXN1 – has the red-striped-over-white war paint and is armed with a macuahuitl.

TXN2 – has the red-striped-over-white war paint and is armed with a tepoztopilli. Also has the “thick-lipped” shield.

TXN3 – has the black mask war paint and is armed with a macuahuitl.

TXN4 – has the black mask war paint and is armed with a macuahuitl.

TXN5 – has the red-striped-over-white war paint and a different head cover, and is armed with a macuahuitl.

TXN6 – has the red-striped-over-white war paint and a different head cover, and is armed with a tepoztopilli.

TXN7 – has the black mask war paint and is armed with a macuahuitl.

TXN8 – has no war paint and is armed with a tepoztopilli.

Tlaxcalan Elite Warriors

TXE1 – has no war paint and is armed with a macuahuitl. The center of his backbanner is tan.

TXE2 – has no war paint and is armed with a macuahuitl. The center of his backbanner is yellowish-tan.

TXE3 – has the red-striped-over-white war paint and is armed with a macuahuitl. The center of his backbanner is yellowish-tan.

TXE4 – has the black mask war paint and is armed with a tepoztopilli. The center of his backbanner is light green.

TXE5 – has the red-striped-over-white war paint and is armed with a tepoztopilli. The center of his backbanner is tan.

TXE6 – has the black mask war paint and is armed with a macuahuitl. The center of his backbanner is bright white.

TXE7 – has the red-striped-over-white war paint and is armed with a tepoztopilli. The center of his backbanner is bright white.

TXE8 – has no war paint and is armed with a macuahuitl. The center of his backbanner is light green.

Tlaxcalan Command Group

TXC1 – Tlaxcalan Captain, with no war paint, armed with a tepoztopilli. His backbanner has a serpent on it.

TXC2 – Conch Blower, with no war paint, armed with a tepoztopilli.

Tlaxcalan Command Group

Next up I need to add some warrior priests for the Tlaxcalans – and I have some old Ral Partha ones that will do the trick – I hope – stay tuned!

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

Total figures to date for this project: 97 figures:  71 Aztecs, 26 Tlaxcalans

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE THAT I USED ON THESE TLAXCALAN NOVICE AND ELITE WARRIORS AND THE COMMAND GROUP:

  1. Gorilla Glue
  2. 1/8″ x 1″ Everbilt Fender Washers
  3. Plastic plates
  4. Poster tack
  5. Vallejo “Surface Primer – White Primer”
  6. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  7. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  8. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  9. Citadel “Nuln Oil” (shade)
  10. Battlefront “Wool Brown”
  11. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Wyldwood”
  12. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Contrast Medium”
  13. Army Painter “Tanned Flesh”
  14. Vallejo Game Air “Black”
  15. Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” (shade)
  16. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Basilicanum Grey”
  17. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Volupus Pink”
  18. Vallejo Game Air “Dead White”
  19. Citadel Air “Evil Sunz Scarlet”
  20. Vallejo Model Air “Weiss” (off-white)
  21. Citadel “Averland Sunset”
  22. Vallejo Game Color “Bronze Fleshtone”
  23. Vallejo Model Color “Sunny Skin Tone”
  24. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Darkoath Flesh”
  25. Army Painter “Flesh Wash” (wash)
  26. Army Painter “Red Tone” (shade)
  27. Citadel “Caliban Green”
  28. Vallejo Model Air “Tire Black”
  29. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Apothecary White”
  30. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Blood Angels Red”
  31. Vallejo Model Air “Moon Yellow”
  32. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Warp Lightning”
  33. Battlefront “Chocolate Brown”
  34. Citadel “Biel-Tan Green” (shade)
  35. Citadel “Seraphim Sepia” (shade)
  36. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Iyanden Yellow”
  37. Citadel “Hexos Palesun”
  38. Vallejo Game Color “Livery Green”
  39. Citadel “Auric Armour Gold”
  40. Citadel “Nuln Oil GLOSS” (shade)
  41. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Terradon Turquoise”
  42. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Snakebite Leather”
  43. Citadel “Hexwraith Flame”
  44. P3 “Sunshine” (ink)
  45. Secret Weapon Washes “Blue” (wash)
  46. Vallejo Model Color “Dark Blue”
  47. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Talassar Blue”
  48. Vallejo Game Air “Escorpena Green”
  49. Vallejo Model Air “Cockpit Emerald Green ‘Faded’”
  50. E6000 Epoxy
  51. Elmer’s PVA Glue
  52. Army Painter “Brown Battlefields” (flocking)
  53. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  54. Vallejo “Burnt Umber” (pigment)
  55. Citadel “Steel Legion Drab”
  56. Citadel “Tallarn Sand”
  57. Citadel “Karak Stone”
  58. Americana “Desert Sand”
  59. Green Stuff
  60. Reaper MSP “Black Primer”
  61. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  62. Vallejo Model Color “Glossy Black”
  63. Army Painter “Grass Green” (flocking)

Thanks for looking!!! Please let me know your thoughts and feedback in the comments section – I really appreciate hearing what you think.

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

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

  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!!! 

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

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE USED ON THESE AZTEC VETERAN WARRIORS:

  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!!

Aztec Arrow Knights, Ral Partha circa 1988

In building a set of troops for the Spanish Conquest, I came across a couple of blisters of 25mm Ral Partha figures called “Aztec Arrow Knights”.  These were in my lot of unpainted lead for the period, sculpted by R. Kerr, and dated from 1988.  The blisters held 6 figures armed with huge feathered arrows – think javelins with fletching.  As I thought that they were interesting potential elite troops with unique weapons, I decided to add one of the two blisters to my Aztec forces, keeping the other in reserve for future painting.

1 Ral Partha Arrow Knights 42-305 in blister
The blister pack – waited 32 years to be opened.

As I discussed previously, I had been doing research on the Aztecs.  I looked for suitable color plates or guides to paint up this unit.  To my surprise, there is a bit of mystery and possibly even controversy about Arrow Knights.  History provides little evidence in the codices as to their existence – though there are clues here and there.

I suppose it’s not out of the question that an elite unit of Aztec warriors specializing in launching massively huge javelin-like arrows could have existed.  Perhaps there was some confusion with the atlatl (ot-la-t) a spear-throwing device?  Just because old Ral Partha made these does not mean that they did exist – but for the purposes of my games and my Aztec Army – they do now.

atlatl
Atlatl use.

Of course, painting them would be up to me for choosing the colors.  The only picture that I found was from a computer gaming site – and it did not match any of the plates.  I did like the markings known as “hawk scratches”.  I decided that I would give the unit a coloration similar to the cuahchic elites – that being a yellowish suit of tanned hide that would have been worn over their quilted-cotton armor ichcahuipilli (each-ca-we-pee-lee).

Aztec_Arrow_Warriors_old.JPG
From the internet – not likely historically correct but a start.

It was fun to break into this old blister from Ral Partha’s 1200 A.D.” line.  The figures were all in the same pose, but I figured that I could orient their arrows in slightly different positions, use slightly different colors on each , and give different shields to each for aesthetics and ease of tabletop identification and playability.  A familiar challenge was that the arrows were all lead – and vulnerable to bending and breaking.  I also wanted them to have two big arrows – one to throw and one to use in melee.

The problem with doing this were twofold.  First, I did not want to sculpt 6 little extra arrows – and second the little 25mm hands were too small to accommodate even the arrows provided.  My solution was to use some steel wire pikes I had gotten from Iron Winds Metals during my Rooman War Party project.  I cut the pikes to size and used super glue to affix them to the arrows.  They would be the “second” arrow, albeit without fletching or another obsidian head.  I think it worked – and you can be the judge.

4 Ral Partha Arrow Knights 42-305 shields and arrow sprues
One of the shield and weapon sprues with the “RAL PARTHA 1988” on it.

5 Ral Partha Arrow Knights 42-305 arrow fix
The arrows shown here reinforced by the steel wire.

6 Ral Partha Arrow Knights 42-305 mounted on washers
The Arrow Knights after affixing their “double arrows” to their hands and the figures themselves to the 1″ steel washers.  I would paint the shields separately.

7 Ral Partha Arrow Knights 42-305 mounted on washer, close up
Close up shot before painting.

10 Ral Partha Arrow Knights 42-305 tunic and hawk scratches May 4th
I used a series of yellow and tan inks, washes, and glazes over the hard-lined “hawk scratches” to get a good color that would darken appropriately but still show the markings.

11 Ral Partha Arrow Knights 42-305 tunic and hawk scratches May 4th close up
Close up shot mid-stage before darkening.

12 Ral Partha Arrow Knights 42-305 after shields added May 5th
After shields affixed and washes applied.

13 Ral Partha Arrow Knights 42-305 after shields added May 5th close up
Close up of  Arrow Knight prior to flocking.  I did like how the faces came out, and the uniforms as well.

14 Ral Partha Arrow Knights 42-305 after adding pigments to flocking May 6th close up
I flock the bases with Army Painter “Brown Battlefields”, then add pigments before varnishing.  After varnishing, I add static grass.  Here you see the pigments wet with Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner” which hardens up nicely.  Sometimes I drybrush the bases as well, but I opted this time not to and to instead use more pigments.

15 Ral Partha Arrow Knights 42-305 after adding pigments to flocking May 6th group
Dried and ready for varnishing in the spray booth.

Next, I’ll share some close up eye candy shots of each, a scale comparison, and some group shots.

Arrow Knight #1

Arrow Knight #2

Arrow Knight #3

Arrow Knight #4

Arrow Knight #5

Arrow Knight #6

Scale Comparison

17 scale comparison
Just for scale comparison – the Arrow Knight is on the left, a 28mm Wargames Foundry Novice Warrior is in the center, and a 25mm Tin Soldier UK Eagle Knight is on the right. I think they will work fine on the tabletop together.

Group Shots

18 group shot shield side
Good view of the six different shields together.

19 group shot shield front

I am also adding a new feature here.  I want to be able to share related posts on the larger Aztec project with folks who have not seen all of the previous posts.  Additionally, I need a way to help me keep track of my progress!  Therefore, the list of links below will accomplish both for me.

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

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

Total figures to date for this project:  24 Aztecs

20 army progress
Progress so far!

Thanks for looking and let me know what you think – I love the chance to learn your thoughts and to have a discussion!

Lastly, here are the paints and supplies I used on this project.

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE USED ON THESE AZTEC ARROW KNIGHTS:

  1. Gorilla Glue
  2. 1/8″ x 1″ Everbilt Fender Washers
  3. Steel wire lances from Iron Winds Metals
  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. Vallejo Game Air “Black”
  11. Vallejo Model Color “Sunny Skin Tone”
  12. Vallejo Model Color “Light Flesh”
  13. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Fyreslayer Flesh”
  14. Vallejo Model Air “Moon Yellow”
  15. Vallejo Game Air “Escorpena Green”
  16. Citadel Air “Evil Sunz Scarlet”
  17. Vallejo Model Color “Dark Blue”
  18. Vallejo Mecha Color “Turquoise”
  19. Vallejo Game Air “Dead White”
  20. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Wyldwood”
  21. Army Painter “Flesh Wash” (wash)
  22. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Gryph-Hound Orange”
  23. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Basilicanum Grey”
  24. Battlefront “Wool Brown”
  25. Secret Weapons Washes “Parchment” (wash)
  26. Secret Weapons Washes “Sunshine” (wash)
  27. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Creed Camo”
  28. Citadel “Balor Brown”
  29. Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” (shade)
  30. Citadel “Lamenters Yellow” (glaze)
  31. Army Painter “Soft Tone” (shade)
  32. Vallejo Model Air “Armour Brown”
  33. Citadel “Praxeti White” (dry)
  34. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Aethermatic Blue”
  35. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Flesh Tearers Red”
  36. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Apothecary White”
  37. Vallejo Model Color “White”
  38. Vallejo Model Color “Glossy Black”
  39. Elmer’s PVA Glue
  40. Army Painter “Brown Battlefields” (flocking)
  41. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  42. Vallejo “Burnt Umber” (pigment)
  43. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  44. Army Painter “Grass Green” (flocking)

Thanks for looking – please let me know your thoughts and feedback!

 

Aztec Eagle Warriors from Tin Soldier UK

As shown in my last post, I have started building forces of appropriate figures for tabletop wargames using the soon-to-be published Feudal Patrol™.  These are Aztecs and other troops from the era of the Spanish Conquest in the 16th Century.  This is a major project for which I eventually hope to have over 150 painted figures.  I have a ways to go, as this project brings that total to a mere 18.  Still, the journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step…

I acquired a large lot of Aztec figures on eBay probably 4 or 5 years ago.  Most of them 25mm scale, and from Ral Partha dating from around 1988.  In the lot were also two baggies of 3 Aztec Eagle Warriors (#25 AZ4) – ostensibly 25mm as shown on the Tin Soldier UK website.    I was not familiar with Tin Soldier UK, but they have a pretty nice range of figures worth checking out.  Of course, 28mm is the scale that I am going for – and sometimes 25mm can work for 28mm.  While I was waiting for my order of new 28mm stuff to arrive (which I received this week), I decided to paint up some of the older figures and see if they could work with my 28mm figures visually.  To my eyes, the Tin Soldier UK Eagle Warriors looked close enough to 28mm to work.

1 Tin Soldier 25AZ in bags
The Tin Soldier UK baggies of Eagle Warriors.  Note the noodle-like tepoztopilli (obsidian-bladed thrusting spears) – more on that in a bit.

The Aztecs had two main elite unit types – the Jaguar Warriors,  and the Eagle Warriors (sometimes referred to as the Eagle Knights).  There were also the lesser-known Arrow Knights, which I will post about next time.  To be an Eagle Warrior, one had to have captured up to 20 enemy for sacrifice or equivalent deeds of valor (well, in the eyes of Aztec society anyways).  They were full-time professional warriors and along with the other elites were equivalent to nobility among the Aztecs.

Normally, Aztec Eagle Warriors would be armed with melee weapons, in particular the macuahuitl obsidian-edged club/sword.  All of these 6 had the same pose and were armed with tepoztopilli (obsidian-bladed thrusting spears).  They also had the weapons in a throwing versus a thrusting pose.  Therefore, I decided to go through the 25mm Ral Partha Aztecs that I had and see if I could get any macuahuitl or cuauhololli (round-headed club) as extra weapons.  The extra Ral Partha macuahuitl were way too small and bendable, but there were some cuauhololli that would work.  I ended up using two of the cuauhololli and four of the tepoztopilli as weapons for the six.  My plan was to orient each of  their weapons slightly differently and also to have different shield patterns and different colors for authenticity and ease of tabletop play.

Now, as for the spaghetti-like tepoztopilli, they needed a solution as they were made from lead and were as floppy and vulnerable to bending as most leaden miniature spears are unfortunately, especially those from the 1980’s and earlier.  The odd thing is that the model shown on the website indeed does have a macuahuitl instead of a tepoztopilli!  My guess is that they redid the mold at some point as these model thrusting spears were too weak for use in gaming.  In any case, I decided to try using a thin layer of Apoxie Sculpt on the shafts.  Apoxie sculpt is easy to use and can be made more workable when used with wet fingers – and it gets hard as a rock when it cures in 24 hours.  This process gave me much improved tepoztopilli, but still the underlying lead made them somewhat (though less) vulnerable to bend.

2 Tin Soldier 25AZ limp tepoztopilli
This bendy tepoztopilli will not do!

5 AZ4
From the Tin Soldier UK website – I definitely would have preferred this macuahuitl as a weapon for the models – but it is available now.

3 Tin Soldier 25AZ limp tepoztopilli Apoxie Sculpt
My set up for firming the tepoztopilli shafts – first I straightened them with a pair of needle-nosed pliers then rolled on wet Apoxie Sculpt.  Insert crass joke here…

5 Tin Soldier 25AZ Apoxie Sculpt limp tepoztopilli fix
New shafts reinforced with the Apoxie Sculpt after a 24 hour cure.

The models themselves were not too difficult to assemble.  I did need to clean up the mold lines and the hands needed to be drilled out carefully to hold the weapons.  I did pull out some of the molding rubber out of one model’s eyes, but overall I was happy with the quality of the castings.  I definitely liked that the shields were not separate.

I made a unit plan as there were many ways to do the unit – and I wanted to have something to refer to along the way.  In particular, one of my goals for this project was to give each Eagle Warrior a different shield design – and for that design to be historically correct.  Over at Steve’s Balagan, I found his blog to be a wonderful resource for Aztec and other shields.

6 Tin Soldier 25AZ the plan
Eagle Warriors primed and the painting plan – I did end up deviating a bit as I observed the colors of the models.

Most pictures that I have found on Eagle Warriors showed them in golden brown outfits – but some mention that there were possibly red, green, and blue ones as well.  I decided to make three in golden brown, and then make the others in red, green, and blue.  The accouterments and shields would also add to the differentiation on the tabletop.  Unlike the novices, the pics that I saw of Eagle Warriors all had orange loincloths, so that feature was common here.

7 Tin Soldier 25AZ April 29 progress
By April 29th, I had the basic colors down.  Citadel contrast paints were useful with these models, as their details for the most part were not really suited for dry brushing as opposed to shading.

8 Tin Soldier 25AZ April 30 progress
Progress by April 30 – still needed to paint the shields and weapons.

9 Tin Soldier 25AZ April 30 progress close up
Close up of April 30 progress.

My next big challenge was painting designs on the shields.  My handwriting is awful, and hand-drawing designs on shields has not been a strength for me – and these are tiny.  I decided to let the engineer in me break out.  I used an art template to trace a 9/32″ circle on a piece of paper, and then I cut that out.  It proved useful in helping me to lightly sketch the designs on the shields in pencil – as guides for painting.  I tried several designs that I saw on Steve’s Balagan blog.

10 Tin Soldier 25AZ May 1st shield template
Putting the template on the shield for marking up designs.

I wanted to get these done for the weekend, and my wife helped fuel my push with a home-made pizza (that tasted even better than it looked!).

11 Fuel to finish
Fuel for the finish!

Below are a couple of WIP shots after I finished painting the shields – for me, this was a result that I was surprised to see.

12 Tin Soldier 25AZ May 1st shields painted 1 to 3
Close up of Eagle Warriors 1, 2, and 3 showing shield details.

13 Tin Soldier 25AZ May 1st shields painted 4 to 6
Close up of Eagle Warriors 4, 5, and 6 showing shield details.

On May 1, I finished them with flocking and varnishing, ending with some static grass (all the materials I used are listed at the end for those interested).  This counts hopefully as my second entry into Ann’s Immaterium Painting Challenge “Paint the Crap you Already Own”.

14 Tin Soldier 25AZ May 2nd ready to go
The Aztec Eagle Warriors ready to come off their painting posts.

Here are some close up and group shots of the project:

Eagle Warrior 1, with tepoztopilli:

Eagle Warrior 2, with tepoztopilli:

Eagle Warrior 3, with tepoztopilli:

Eagle Warrior 4, with tepoztopilli:

Eagle Warrior 5, with cuauhololli:

Eagle Warrior 6, with cuauhololli:

Lastly, a couple of group shots:

22 group shot 1
Eagle Warriors attacking!

23 group shot 2
Close up shot – do you have a fave?

As for scale – here is a comparison between a 25mm Eagle Warrior and a 28mm novice warrior  – I think they will be OK.  Do you?

24 scale shot

What do you think?  Always wondering that – so let me know below in the comments section.  Now it’s back to painting more figures during the lockdown and beyond…

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE USED ON THESE AZTEC EAGLE WARRIORS:

  1. Apoxie Sculpt (White)
  2. Gorilla Glue
  3. 1/8″ x 1″ Everbilt Fender Washers
  4. E6000 Epoxy
  5. Poster tack and plastic plates
  6. Vallejo “Surface Primer – White Primer”
  7. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  8. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  9. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  10. Vallejo Model Air “Weiss” (off-white)
  11. Battlefront “Wool Brown”
  12. Battlefront “Dark Leather”
  13. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Gryph-Hound Orange”
  14. Vallejo Model Color “Sunny Skin Tone”
  15. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Skeleton Horde”
  16. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Blood Angels Red”
  17. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Creed Camo”
  18. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Aethermatic Blue”
  19. Vallejo Model Color “Basic Skin Tone”
  20. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Fyreslayer Flesh”
  21. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Iyanden Yellow”
  22. Army Painter “Light Tone” (shade)
  23. Vallejo Mecha Color “Turquoise”
  24. Vallejo Game Air “Black”
  25. Vallejo Model Air “Moon Yellow”
  26. Vallejo Model Air “Armour Brown”
  27. P3 “Sunshine Yellow” (ink)
  28. Vallejo Model Color “Red”
  29. Vallejo Model Color “Black Grey”
  30. Vallejo Model Color “Sunny Skin Tone”
  31. Battlefront “Chocolate Brown”
  32. Vallejo Mecha Color “Brown”
  33. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Flesh Tearers Red”
  34. Vallejo Game Air “Escorpena Green”
  35. Vallejo Model Color “Dark Blue”
  36. Citadel Air “Evil Sunz Scarlet”
  37. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Wyldwood”
  38. Citadel “Balor Brown”
  39. Vallejo Model Color “Glossy Black”
  40. Citadel “Seraphim Sepia” (shade)
  41. Elmer’s PVA Glue
  42. Army Painter “Brown Battlefields” (flocking)
  43. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  44. Vallejo “Burnt Umber” (pigment)
  45. Americana “Desert Sand”
  46. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  47. Army Painter “Grass Green” (flocking)

Thanks for looking – please let me know your thoughts and feedback!

Aztec Novice Warriors and a few Frinx

Last month (March) was the first month in several years that I had not painted any miniatures at all.  This happened because I was busy early in the month looking for a job, and then the pandemic hit with all that that entailed.  I decided that I would take the time to honor a commitment made to my good buddy Buck Surdu (who attended West Point with me).

Buck has published many games, and as readers of this blog know, I am very fond of his Combat Patrol™ – WWII Skirmish card based system.  If you take a look at his website, you will see many different (and very well done) free supplements that have been written for other periods and conflicts – check them out here.  One limitation of Combat Patrol™ is that it does not adapt well to the periods before firepower became predominant in warfare – such as before the 17th Century.  Buck has developed a new set of card-based rules for these earlier skirmish battles called Feudal Patrol™ – and they should be published this year I believe.

So back to my commitment – I agreed to help Buck by researching and writing one of the free supplements for the upcoming Feudal Patrol™.  But which era?

When I returned to the hobby (back six years or so ago), I bought many miniatures that I found on eBay that were from the 1970’s to 1990’s.  It was my way of catching up.  One of the groupings I bought were Aztecs, so (without a fully developed concept – or an in-depth understanding of the history of the Conquest) I volunteered to write a supplement covering the Spanish Conquest of the Americas in the 16th Century – covering the Aztecs, the Maya, the Tlaxcalans, the Mixtecs/Zapotecs, the Inca, and of course the Conquistadores.  The research (reading 4 books and other internet material) for this took me the better half of March, and writing the supplement (about 30 pages) took up the rest – so no painting in March for me.  I have finished the draft and we’ll see where that goes – but so far it looks (to my biased eyes) pretty good.

1 books
Research, research.

The resources that I found were adequate I believe – as the authors are all subject matter experts.  Besides, I just needed enough to design a gaming supplement – not pursue a doctorate.  In any case, I now can start painting forces to use with the supplement and hopefully bring to club meetings and conventions.

I started with Aztec novice warriors.  A major aspect of warfare in this period was the overriding need to take captives.  The Aztecs would place the taking of captives at a higher premium than actually killing the enemy.  Rank and prestige in the Aztec army (and Aztec society) were dependent on two things – the number and the quality of the enemy warriors one had captured.  These captured were used for ritualized sacrifice or for making into slaves.  The value of all captives was not equal – capturing a high-ranking member of a strong warrior tribe was better than a weaker one from a less-respected foe.  Aztec troops were typically composed of a group of veteran warriors and an attached group of novices.  The novices were usually (but not always) in a second rank, following the veterans.  The veterans were supposed to be responsible for the novice’s training.  In the game, I match up a group of novices to an equally-sized group of veterans (not elite units).

Novice warriors advance by capturing enemy warriors under the tutelage of the veterans.  The first two blisters that I had were “Aztec Novice Warriors II”  and came from Wargames Foundry.  These are available in the US from Badger Games – here is a link to them.

2 In blisters
My first two blister packs of Aztec troops.

The metal models cleaned up easily enough – but I discovered that there were a few lingering mold lines that I missed.  Still, these would be a nice way to challenge my painting skills (and add to them) as I had not painted human flesh of any type in 28mm for several years – maybe these old 1970’s era Minifig neanderthals were the last similar types that I did.  As these novices are mostly wearing only loincloths, it would be a lot of skin to paint.

The packs also came with many shields.  Each blister pack of six contained 3 novices armed with slings, two armed with an obsidian-bladed wooden sword club called a macuahuitl (ma-kwa-wheat), and one with a a roundhead club called a cuauhololli (kwa-ho-lolly).  One of the macuahuitl figures had a quilted cotton armor tunic called an ichcahuipilli (each-ca-we-pee-lee).

As a side note – part of the research into this era was the major challenge of pronunciation and spelling for Aztec terms!

I filed and cleaned the models, and mounted them on 1″ steel fender washers for painting.  These were then mounted on specimen jars with poster tack for ease of painting.

3 each blister had these
The blister contents  – there were many more shields than I needed – as I did not think slingers should have shields.

4 prepped amd mounted for painting
Mounted for priming and painting.  I used a plastic plate to mount the shields for separate painting and later attachment to the models.

6 after base flesh
Early base coat of the flesh with Vallejo Model Color “Sunny Skin Tone”.

5 slinger with contrast paint on leg
I decided that I would try to paint a lighter flesh base coat and then use Citadel Contrast paint (in this case Citadel “Contrast Paint – Fyreslayer Flesh”) on that.  Here, I have only done one leg to show the effect.

7 after adding contrast paints
The Citadel “Contrast Paint – Fyreslayer Flesh” proved to be in need of thinning.  I painted these in order from left to right, and the ones on the far right came out way too dark and needed a redo.  By using Testors Universal Thinner with the Citadel “Contrast Paint – Fyreslayer Flesh”, I was able to get a better Aztec skin tone.

8 lightened slingers
The two slingers on the far left after the redo.

10 close up progress April 18
I tried to highlight and shade the flesh here such that from a distance the figures would look right.  I also gave each type of model a slightly different color theme on their accouterments for easier identification and better play on the tabletop.

11 start on shields
Moving on here to start painting the shields.  I had very little experience in panting tiny designs on tiny shields (as you will see).

By April 19th and 20th, I had gotten the models to where I could begin to choose which shields to use and affix.  I did this with first Gorilla glue, and then with E6000 epoxy – allowing to harden overnight.  At that point, I was able to use shading on the models and the shields – and flock the bases.

For flocking, I used Army Painter “Brown Battlefields”, followed by some pigments (see painting list below).  I then airbrushed the models with varnish, and after that dried overnight, I applied random grass patches to the bases.

17 after varnish
Finished models.

For better viewing, I will now share close up groupings of photos of each type of figure and some group shots as eye candy.

First, the slingers with cocked arms:

Next, the slingers loading their slings:

Next, the novice figures with shields and macuahuitl advancing.

Next, here are the two cuauhololli-armed novices.

The one type of figure with a macuahuitl , and a quilted cotton armor tunic called an ichcahuipilli.

The sixth type, a slinger with sling above his head:

And some group shots:

20 Blue themed warriors
The blue-themed novices

21 Red themed warriors
The red-themed novices.

22 Group shot
The twelve novices assembled.

I hope that you enjoyed seeing these figures and my processes.  I do believe that I can improve upon them and I hope to do so with subsequent projects for the Spanish Conquest – there will be several going forward.  I did want these to count for the Ann’s April 2020 “Paint the Crap You Already Own!” Painting and Hobby Challenge over at Ann’s Immaterium blog.

Lastly, as an add-on bonus , I also redid seven Archive Power-Armored Archive Frinx infantry that I found on eBay a while back.  I have a good number of Frinx and game with them often as shown in this blog – just search for “Frinx” on my blog and see what I mean!

I did not paint their original colors, but they were done well-enough with a dotted camouflage scheme, very different from my other brightly-painted Frinx.  But as they were based such that I’d never get them off of the bases that they were on, I just touched up the worn-away paint, used some shading, varnished them, and improved the worn bases.  I’ll use them as commando Frinx.  For fun, here they are:

1 after wash
After varnishing.

3 Done
In the desert.

5 Frinx Leader casualty card
Close up of the leader.

4 not a fair fight
How did this happen?

That’s it for now!

 

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE USED ON THE AZTECS:

  1. Gorilla Glue
  2. 1/8″ x 1″ Everbilt Fender Washers
  3. Poster tack and plastic plates
  4. Vallejo “Surface Primer – White Primer”
  5. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  6. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  7. Vallejo Model Air “Weiss” (off-white)
  8. Vallejo Model Color “Red”
  9. Vallejo Model Color “Black Grey”
  10. Vallejo Model Color “Sunny Skin Tone”
  11. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Fyreslayer Flesh”
  12. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  13. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Basilicanum Grey”
  14. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Apothecary White”
  15. Battlefront “Dark Leather”
  16. Battlefront “Wool Brown”
  17. Citadel “Dryad Bark”
  18. Tamiya “Copper (XF-6)”
  19. Tamiya “X20A Thinner”
  20. Citadel Air “Evil Sunz Scarlet”
  21. Deka Lack “Blau” (a survivor from 1987!)
  22. Vallejo Mecha Color “Turquoise”
  23. Vallejo Model Color “Glossy Black”
  24. Citadel “Balor Brown”
  25. Elmer’s PVA Glue
  26. E6000 Epoxy
  27. Army Painter “Brown Battlefields” (flocking)
  28. Vallejo Model Air “Moon Yellow”
  29. Citadel “Seraphim Sepia” (shade)
  30. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  31. Vallejo “Burnt Umber” (pigment)
  32. Americana “Desert Sand”
  33. Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” (shade)
  34. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  35. Army Painter “Grass Green” (flocking)

Thanks for looking – please let me know your thoughts and feedback!