Military History |
Painting Guide for the Italian Wars
Posted 26 Feb 2003
Spanish and Italian Infantry
Infantry should look splendid”, with little uniformity.
During the Italian Wars the Spanish wore close fitting hose, loose tunic, and often Moorish boots of red Morocco leather (Gush, 1975). Most had helmets, either sallets, burgonets, or cabacete morions. Armour was also common amongst all arms and could be a plate corselet, mail shirt, studded brigantine, or leather jerkin.
Hair (their own)
Black or dark brown
Tunic & breeches
Early (pre 1560)
Bright red (most common), yellow (common), green, blue, but also white, black, grey, brown, etc. Heath (1997) says blue was unpopular, and brown shunned because it was associated with rustics.
Contrasts common, but not garish (leave that for the Germans to come).
Often striped or patterned; pre-1600, often slashed to show contrasting material beneath. Sleeves may differ in colour.
Shoulder wings of doublet often alternative colour, sometimes striped (may have distinguished units).
Hats (if worn)
Various (as above)
Base material: Various (as above); but often white
Cloaks (if worn)
Base material: Various (as above); often scarlet.
Sash (worn by officers, pikes and cavalry)
Base material: Red (always)
Base material: Brown or black. Boots sometimes red.
(Boots + straps + belt, etc)
Armour (if worn)
Mail: Iron or blackened
Linen: Probably white or off white given this idea was adopted from the Americans
Leather: Brown or buff
Plate (including helmets): Varied including steel, gunmetal, gilded, or blackened.
Shield (if used)
Face: Steel, iron or painted. If painted, then black, white or red, usually with simple patterns.
Boss (if any): Iron
Sword and dagger
Handle: Iron, ivory, or wood
Musket/Arquebus/pistol (if used)
Stock: Wood or blackened
Barrel: Steel or gunmetal
Pike (if used)
Spanish and Italian Cavalry
as infantry, plus ....
Plumes/helmet crest (if any)
Coloured; same colour for all trappings on each horse.
Lance (if used)
Coloured to match trappings, often striped.
On German artillery the carriage was always black with red metal fittings (Miller, 1976). The wheels were left their natural colour. Barrels were bronze.
Gush, G. (1975). Renaissance Armies 1480-1650. Patrick Stephens.
Heath, I. (1997). Armies of the Sixteenth Century: The Armies of England, Ireland, the United Provinces, and the Spanish Netherlands 1487-1609. Foundry Books.
Miller, D. (1976). The Landsknechts [Men-At-Arms 58]. Osprey.