Thursday, August 23, 2018

Steel Fist Miniatures: Italian Wars Landsknechts Reviewed!

Today we will take a closer look at the beautiful Steel Fist Miniatures 28mm Landsknechts for the Italian Wars (1510 - 1538) when these stout soldiers formed the core element of the many armies that fought wars for control and influence in the Italian States.

"This range covers the battles to control and influence the Italian city states in the early sixteenth century between the French Valois kings and Hapsburg leaders of Spain and the Holy Roman Empire. These wars began with the invasion by King Charles VIII of France and our figures are suitable to the Treaty of Nice in 1538.

These wars were synonymous with German and Swiss mercenaries, mounted nobility in full plate armour and the rise of gunpowder on the battlefield. Our figures have separate heads and weapons to maximise variety amongst units on the wargames table. Figure designs are based on existing armour and weapons as well as contemporary illustrations and drawings."

As with all miniatures produced by Steel Fist Miniatures, these new 28mm Landsknechts are finely detailled sculptures based on contemporary images, weapons and armour and are therefore very historically accurate representations of these popular soldiers which featured heavily as core troops during the Italian Wars.

The miniatures as shown in this review are a small selection of the seven different Italian Wars Landsknecht packs (not counting their previously released Renaissance Knights) already available from Steel Fist Miniatures but are only the first releases with more new miniatures already planned by the owner Simon Chick and sculptor Oliver James. The following Italian Wars Landsknecht packs are already available for purchase from Steel Fist Miniatures and can also be seen in the pictures below.

- 4 Front Rank Armoured Pikemen (Open Hands - Pike and Halbards)
- 4 Front Rank Unarmoured Pikemen (Open Hands - Pike and Halbards)
- 4 Middle Rank Armoured Pikemen (Open Hands - Pike and Halbards)
- 4 Middle Rank Unarmoured Pikemen (Open Hands - Pike and Halbards)
- 4 Landsknecht Command (Captain, Drummer, Fifer and Standard Bearer)
- 4 Landsknecht Mixed Shot (Open Hands - Arquebusier and Crossbows)
- 4 Landsknecht Close Quarter Melee (Open Hands - Two-Handed Weapons)

As mentionned above all of these metal cast miniatures are supplied in packs of four different miniatures with loose heads allowing you to easily interchange the heads between different packs, and swords in scabbards.  Some weapons needs to be bought in individually weapon packs being either pikes or  halbards. The miniatures are casted with flat metal bases and can easily be attached to all desired bases. Individual packs currently retails for €7.50 per pack and are available from the Steel Fist Miniatures shop

The Italian Wars Landknecht Assembly

The Steel Fist Miniatures Landsknecht are supplied with loose and individual heads, weapons and scabbards so will need some minor cleaning and assembly before painting. As most of you will probably already have experience in assembling multi-part metal miniatures, I won't be doing a step by step assembly as the used techniques and tools are quite straight forward.

Note although the miniatures are sold as open-handed as in ready to be assembled with their choosen weapons, you might need to drill out their hands as the casting process could have closed these pre-sculpted holes. You can easily drill these holes out using a hand driven hobby drill or an electric drilling tool. As you can see nothing more or less during the assembling than with other metal minatures.

The Italian Wars Landsknecht Conclusion

After careful consideration, these new Steel Fist Miniatures Landsknecht miniatures must be the most accurate and lovely representations of the stout Landsknecht soldiers currently available on the wargame miniature market. With magnificient sculptures by talented sculptor Oliver James based on contemporary images, weapons and armour of the period, these miniatures are both dynamic and full of character. Steel Fist Miniatures is currently working on a second release of Landsknechts, which will add some rear rank pikemen/halbardiers, more command and extra arquebusiers. Next in line after those releases are some ‘Light Cavalry’ for the Italian Wars.

The wise decision for separate heads and weapons allows you to further personalize your pike formations so that none of your miniatures looks identical yet still forming a cohesive looking iconic Landsknecht battle formation. Next to the great character of the miniatures, the detail and quality of the casting is superb allowing you to quickly assemble the miniatures without too much cleaning and swearing. Make sure to also check the most excellent Samurai Wars and Later Medieval miniature ranges from Steel Fist Miniatures which feature equally lovely and characterful miniatures.

Disclaimer - We received these miniatures from Steel Fist Miniatures for reviewing purposes. Please note that this doesn't influence our review as we always strive to supply you with our own independent and honest opinion about the wargame products reviewed.

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