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"Aztec Elite Warriors "Uniform" Colors?" Topic

13 Posts

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Comments or corrections?

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP04 Apr 2022 11:47 a.m. PST

I am painting up a 1/72 plastic Aztec army and I have seen illustrations of elite warriors of the Quaquauhtin or Eagle Warriors, and the Ocelomeh or Jaguar Warriors in clothing and headdress that is more natural looking, light brown for the Eagles and spotted jaguar skin for the Jaguars, but I have also seen both in bright colors. Which is correct? Did they both exist separately?

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP04 Apr 2022 3:41 p.m. PST

Have you looked at the codices?

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP04 Apr 2022 4:09 p.m. PST

79thPA, No. Call me lazy, but I was hoping for a yes or no answer.

Glengarry504 Apr 2022 5:37 p.m. PST

So much of colour reproductions of historical costumes depends on the technique of the artist. While one might depict a redcoat in a "bright" brick red another would paint a muddy red-brown colour. Which is correct depends on the dirtiness wear and tear on the uniform. Like many people I imagine the Aztecs warriors became more brightly coloured as they increased in wealth and status, as display was important to their mode of warfare. I would lean towards brighter costumes.

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2022 2:11 a.m. PST

IIRC the colors denoted how many captives they took. So there would be a mix of colors in a unit. As for suit wearers I think they were fairly uniform ie: Eagle/Jaguar knights .

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2022 8:36 a.m. PST

Looking at my pictures from my trip to Mexico City, the more subdued colors seem to be appropriate for the uniform and headdress of these warrior types, although there is some color in the headdress feathers, and the shields are colorful.

This is John Jenkins take on them:


Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2022 10:20 a.m. PST

79thPA, Thanks! The John Jenkins miniatures are very helpful. Just read that other armies than the Aztecs had coyote uniforms, including the Spanish Tlaxcaltecan allies. At this point I think I will just go with my best guess and what looks good on the wargame table and take my chances with the experts.

evilgong05 Apr 2022 6:21 p.m. PST

Keep in mind that the nobles used featherwork imitation animal skin suits.

(Actual animal skins were for those who could not afford feathers.)

So feel free to mix – with feathers being as bright as you like.


Prince Alberts Revenge05 Apr 2022 7:27 p.m. PST

IIRC, someone (probably a gamer) went through the effort of cataloging the colors of different orders represented in the codices. I found them online and used them as a reference when I painted up my armies.

I think I found it (Steve's Balagan):

Druzhina06 Apr 2022 3:45 a.m. PST

The Chronofus site Balagan references is available at

Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2022 6:30 a.m. PST

@Prince and Druzhina, excellent links! Thank you.

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2022 2:05 p.m. PST

@Prince and Druzhina, thanks! This is exactly what I was looking for!

evilgong06 Apr 2022 9:16 p.m. PST

Many thanks,

The Chronofus site Balagan references is available at


I had found about half of his work, somewhere, some time ago.

Whoever Chronofus is, many thanks for your work on this.

David F Brown

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