Pike And Shottember Challenge

Adam: Hi all, long time no speak! The reason you haven’t heard from me in so long is that I haven’t really achieved anything hobby wise. COVID lockdown and working from home have actually given me more hobby time, which seems like a bad thing as it’s allowed my attention to wander.

I’ve been slogging through the stuff listed in our Gentleman’s Agreement article from months back (here) and started a few new projects, none of which are completed. Sound familiar, fellow hobbyists? If you like you can check out our Instagram for some of the work in progress pictures and some finished Austrians.

So, to get me back into the mindset of finishing things, Rob suggested we do a challenge that lasts only a month: a definite start and end date and a manageable number of models. We’ve wanted to start Pike and Shotte for over a year since Rob bought a massive box of Landsknechts, so what better time?

Pike and Shotte by Warlord Games, a Renaissance rules set

I’ve been doing some reading and if you want to get into the period, besides reading the overview in the Pike and Shotte Rulebook, you could do worse than pick up a copy of The Italian Wars 1494-1559 by Shaw and Mallett. The first seven chapters look at the war chronologically, and then if you’re still hungry for more there are extra ones discussing the development of arms, tactics and leadership over the period. As an aside, you can probably get it considerably cheaper than the linked edition, I think I paid about £16 for mine.

As there are two Italian Wars lists in the Pike and Shotte rulebook and Rob had a massive Imperial Landsknecht force, it made sense for me to go for the French. We decided to keep it simple and go for one regiment in the first month.

For me, I have the choice of two Pike blocks either (French or their Italian allies- who most probably will be painted as Milanese, for my army), as I ordered some starter units ahead of time from the wonderful Assault Group‘s Renaissance range. I’ll also be painting one of my generals to make a target of 25 models in the first month.

Even with the non-uniformed nature of the troops, and the fact that I have tested myself by going for white undercoat (I’m much more comfortable with black), I reckon I can box these off in a month. I’ll start with the French troops and pick up with the Italians next month. It is a French army, after all. I’ll report back at the end of the month. Wish me luck!

Rob: Well the Landsknechts Starter Army from Warlord set me up nicely with more historic (specifically the Italian Wars) miniatures than I’ve owned before, and after our Gentleman’s Agreement where we’re both working towards actually completing some already owned armies (!!) I thought I really should pull my finger out, and start a massive force that I’ve not touched. So, the Landsknecht Starter Army from Warlord, when built, looks like this:

Warlord Games Landsknechts Starter Army

That’s 155 chaps there ready to paint the battlefields red, but it’s also a LOT of painting. In the box you get parts to make pikemen, zweihanders and missle troops, as well as having the officers and a light gun (not shown). My plan is to paint a regiment a month, which may end up being tricky as I’m not used to painting up a large number of individual troops! Each flamboyant, and each in different colours. It’s the main reason I chose them, but I think they could be an absolute pig to paint.

To start with, and so as not to bite off more than I can chew, I’m going to start on a unit of pikemen, then maybe break them up with a unit of something else in the meantime. Due to the numbers I’m wondering on the best method of painting, or whether to use a large amount of Citadel’s Contrast Paints. Time will tell…

The below are the chaps I’m starting with , and time will tell how I get on. Fingers crossed they’re finished by the end of September!


Wish us luck!

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