Friday, October 8, 2010

Mustering the Tercio - Part 1

I finally decided on the Later Imperial Spanish for my Field of Glory Renaissance army.  The Later Tercio formation used by many Spanish units in the Army of Flanders up through the Battle of Nordlingen is in my opinion modeled very well by the rules.  And even though I have only read the first three books so far, I certainly enjoy the Captain Alatriste novels by Arturo Perez-Reverte (this guy REALLY does get what a swashbuckler is supposed to be).  There is also something sadly romantic and melancholic about the story of Perez-Reverte's mercenary career soldiers trudging on in the employ of a sunset empire that adds an extra dose of spice to playing the army of Spinola, Olivares, and the Cardinal-Infante.

Now that that decision has been made, I have commenced work on building my first Tercio with the Testudo miniatures I recently purchased.  For a FoG Later Tercio, a total of 9 stands are required, 3 pike ones and 6 musket ones.  My Testudo figures are on the large size, so I will be placing only 3 to a stand (also a money saver), for a total of 27 figures per battlegroup.  I'm still getting up to speed on the rules, but several advantages this formation has are that it is immune to flank (but not rear) charges, shoots with 3 dice to the side, the odd number of bases makes the tercio more difficult to auto-break, and it also starts out requiring a total of 3 shooting hits to be made on it to force a cohesion test.

What I am planning to do here is to document my progress in constructing the Tercio, along each step of my process in bringing it to a tabletop, wargame standard, ready to play with.  Up until now, I have cleaned and assembled the figures, white-glued them to Popsicle sticks, primed them with a flat, brown spray paint coat, and then given them a somewhat heavy white drybrush.  I like the combination of the brown paint and white drybrush because I think that it helps to keep shading in the figure recesses, highlights on the raised portions, and is forgiving of any small spots where a bit of painting gets missed.  In addition, the drybrush is an aid to my aging eyes for picking out details while painting.

Below is a photo of the pikemen in their primed and drybrushed condition:

And here is a photo of the musketeers:

Next I will block paint colors onto the figures, and once I finish that step, I will then post the results as "Mustering the Tercio - Part 2".


  1. Hi, my name is Gonzo, I'm from Spain and I'm building a Later Imperial Spanish army too. I'll keep an eye on your blog to see your advances. I think it could be very inspiring. I wish you the best good luck with this new project.

    Welcome to the Spanish Army, pick a musket and show these heretic dutch how the Catholic King rule the world.



  2. Thanks for the best wishes, Gonzo. I'll be checking your blog out also.

    BTW - what do you plan to use for your Spanish army flags?

  3. I'm working on it. I have a good Spanish flags picture collection (taking from real flags exhibited in Spanish Army Museum, copied from 16th and 17th centuries paintings or supposed in descriptions from Spanish renaissance books).

    My plan is re-size them(using photoshop) and print them in high weight paper. I'll post the flags in my blog when I have it in 15mm scale with good resolution (they need some adjustment).

  4. Peter, I think the idea of the tutorial is great idea. I’m anxiously awaiting part II.