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"How do paint landsknechts ?" Topic

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Comments or corrections?

cantbeatdavy02 Dec 2020 2:17 p.m. PST

Just about to start a lot of blue moon 15mm landsknechts…I don't want them looking like clowns and equally not looking to boring.
Any help would be great

Martyn K02 Dec 2020 3:12 p.m. PST

I totally get what you are saying. When I painted my Landsknechts I wanted to capture the color of them but not have a neon pike block.
I tried to use a lot of reds, blues, greens but more subdued tones. I stayed away from some of the brighter shades.
It is difficult to explain but if you go to the following link I have an after action report which shows one of the pike blocks.

The second picture shows the block and the ninth picture shows it a bit closer.
I know that the Landsknechts can have a lot of stripes. But my painting skills are not up to that even in 28mm, so I stayed away from too many of those details. I imagine that you may want to do the same in 15mm. I still think that the overall effect of the block gives the appearance of a Landsknecht unit.

Perris070702 Dec 2020 3:20 p.m. PST

1. Purchase Landsknechts.
2. Send to professional painting service of your choice.
3. Base Landsknechts.
4. Enjoy.

timurilank02 Dec 2020 3:45 p.m. PST

You may find these useful. I certainly did.
Flags and banners:

cantbeatdavy02 Dec 2020 3:57 p.m. PST

Thanks again guys

I am not looking forward to this!!

I wish I could afford a professional painter but sadly no

T Corret Supporting Member of TMP02 Dec 2020 4:41 p.m. PST

One way to unity the colors is to use the darkest color on the figure as a start on the shadow tinting on the light colors, and likewise the lightest color as the start of the highlight on the darkest colors. Tinting like that will generally form a tertiary brown. Rather than pure black and white to get the final shades, try a deep brown and a pale tan (sepia) to get the final dark and light shades to complete the tri-tone color variations. Blending is your friend, and much cheaper than 600 bottles of various paints. One thing to think about is artist quality acrilic medium for your palate. If you use oils or enamels, white spirits will do.

Legionarius02 Dec 2020 6:40 p.m. PST

I recommend that each pike block be painted with two or three primary or secondary colors, snd the equipment in shades of neutral khakis and browns. Undershirts may be off-white or tan. You may have a pike block primarily in blue and white with some red, another one mainly in red and yellow with black accents, and yet another one in a burgundy shade of red with light blue and neutral tan accents. Remember that in pre-industrial times, many dyes, especially greens and some yellows, were prone to fading. Use these sparingly. Painting Landsknechts is not fast but the process can be fun and the results spectacular. Enjoy!

cantbeatdavy02 Dec 2020 11:59 p.m. PST

Thanks again…I appreciate your help

timurilank03 Dec 2020 1:01 a.m. PST

You have some good suggestions and I would add the following.
Take paper and make sketches of socks, trousers, tunic and hat to plan your work.
Four to six sketches should be enough.
I use a minimum of colour (Red, yellow, blue) but paint different combinations to maximize variation.

Breeches, same colour for both legs, sleeves in two colours.
Breeches in two colours, sleeves painted in same colour.
Same colour (cross wise) for one leg, one sleeve.
Socks, same colour as breeches or white or grey.
Experiment with stripes for half your sketches, but use other colours.
Hats, mostly brown, grey or black as the plumage should stand out.
Small number of hats, same colour as breeches.

This should be enough to cover the entire figure.
I have eight figures on a plinth to paint.
Same colour, paint breeches (both legs) of the first two, both sleeves of the next two, paint cross wise a sleeve and leg of the next pair and alternate for the last pair.
Continue with next colour.

Now the details.
Stripes for 15mm, no need to paint a continuous line, apply as a dotted line.
Paint stripes for every other figure and one or two stripes might be enough to suggest a pattern.
Paint stripes only on breeches for one, sleeves only for next, both sleeve and leg for next and alternate for last.
At this stage I use the three primary colours, but mix two of them and add some white or black.

This should produce variation of clothing pattern with a minimum of stress.

These were recently done.

cantbeatdavy03 Dec 2020 2:18 a.m. PST

Excellent…really appreciate the help

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP03 Dec 2020 4:57 a.m. PST

I agree with timurilank, whose results look good. But do remember you can mass produce to a degree: eight figures painted the same are lost in a mass of 100, and a dozen different patterns appear as variegated as though you'd done them individually.

John the OFM03 Dec 2020 8:39 a.m. PST

I found Landsknechts much more tedious to paint well than Highlanders.
Just my opinion.

Swampster03 Dec 2020 9:45 a.m. PST

There are period pictures showing individuals with many colours but there are also a lot where one man has a much more limited range – sometimes only really one colour.

The Triumphzug of Kaiser Max shows both the multi-coloured fellows and the more mono-chrome ones.

olicana03 Dec 2020 12:17 p.m. PST

Italian Wars games are fantastic fun. Consequently, you will never regret the time and trouble it took you to paint Landsknechts.


First thing of course, pike blocks are big so you'll need lots of figures to fill units. This actually helps because you can break them down into doable amounts and keep pallets simple. Let me expand.

1. Sort the figures for your landsknecht contingent into batches: five or six is about right.
2. Decide what pallet to use for each batch. Normally a mix of three strong colours (black, red, blue, green, pink, yellow, etc.) plus white works well. You can split certain colours, like blue and green further into light and dark. Obviously colours for leather and the like are additional for all of the batches.
3. Paint each batch using your chosen batch pallet.
4. When all the batches are painted, mix the figures up and base them up.

This is pretty much how I did mine except that I'm a strong painter so I did mine three biggish batches at a time (3 x 18 figures) to speed things up.

When it comes to how to paint individual figures, well this will depend on your skill level. Personally, I advise anyone who finds painting difficult to choose their figures wisely. There is no point buying figures dressed in exquisitely sculpted slashed clothing if you can't paint it. For example, Foundry figures actually have very few figures in their range with a lot of 'have to paint' slashed clothing (most heavily slashed sleeves are done so that they can be painted in a single block colour they look heavily slashed because of the sculpting perhaps with one half of the figure one colour the other half another (harlequin fashion). Likewise a lot of Old Glory are pretty good for the 'block painting' approach.

The easiest thing to paint stripes on are stockings, so you might choose to do a fair bit of that to make the figures pop a bit.

Here are some of mine, I like my Landsknechts to be colourful without being too gaudy, and the link to my blog at the end has a lot more pics. Hope this helps.




cantbeatdavy03 Dec 2020 4:32 p.m. PST

Cheers guys .. loads of useful info .. if they turn out half as good as those above I will be delighted.

Benvartok03 Dec 2020 11:51 p.m. PST

Good advice above and don't forget a brush and paint!.

About to paint some myself so thanks for this thread. Have a look at following blog as well. I am doing 15s but found this interesting. It's called painting landsknchts……


Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Dec 2020 3:40 a.m. PST

Fantastic landsknechts, James.

takeda33312 Dec 2020 3:03 a.m. PST

96 Highlanders was enough for me, couldn't imagine doing this. Lovely, lovely minis here and a great period to game.

Whatisitgood4atwork21 Dec 2020 10:50 p.m. PST

In my case, badly. But I don't let it stop me.

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