The Waving Flag: 15 mm Italian Wars Artillery

Tuesday 19 November 2019

15 mm Italian Wars Artillery

I've just completed another mini-project.  This time it's a couple of artillery pieces for my Italian Wars army.  When I saw these figures I was struck by how characterful they were so they've jumped a good few places in the painting queue.

The following photos show a lot more detail but also highlight my persistent problem with depth of field.

Research & Painting Notes
Now I know the guns look a bit "1980s Heavy Metal" but it's based on the colour scheme in Douglas Miller's 1976 Men-At-Arms book.   On page thirteen he says:

"Concerning the colour schemes of the artillery, the carriage was invariably painted black and the metal fittings red.  The wheels were left in natural colours."

All in all it makes for an interesting colour scheme for the guns.

I suspect the black "paint" was actually pitch.  Resinous pitch was a well established means of preserving wood and protecting it from damp and rot.

The "natural" wheels puzzled me for a while until I realised that they were probably left unpainted because, on campaign, they did last too long and were always being replaced.

The red metal surprised me somewhat.  I assume that this was some form of red lead which has excellent anti-corrosion properties.  I expected red lead paint to be a dull reddish brown but red lead itself is a surprisingly bright orange/red pigment so I settled on a relatively bright red.

As to the crew, on page fourteen Miller says;

"Due to their immobility on the battlefield artillerymen were normally clad in greens and browns otherwise they would have been obvious targets for enemy sharpshooters."

This ruled out painting the crews in any of the typical outlandish and garish Landsknecht schemes.  Phew!

Figures Used
The guns are the last of my stash of over-sized 12 mm models from Kallistra.  They look great for 15 mm models and, because of the lack of embellishment, I would date them to the end of the 15th century.  The organ gun is a little speculative but not beyond the bounds of possibility.

The crews are based on two packs of REN046 from Fighting15s which  I bought second hand from one of the dealers at this year's Britcon.


  • Miller, D. (1976). The Landsknechts. London: Osprey Publishing.

1 comment :

Vexillia said...

Update: Found these photos of restored Spanish siege guns (1588) in red & black - File:Spanish Armada seige gun.JPG
& File:Spanish Armada seige gun 2.JPG

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