Using non-GW models in an Empire Army

Landsknecht Dopplesoldiers as Greatswords

With the advent of 8th edition, Great Swords have gone from being over priced (points wise) to being a useful unit.

I wanted to add some Great Swords to my army but was not prepared to pay for the Games Workshop "Gold Sword" models. In addition, I started my Empire army at the end of Warhammer 6th Edition and many of the the latest models from GW don't even match the look of the older models.

A web search found the Artizan Designs Renaissance REN010 Landsknecht Dopplesoldiers models, which looked about right. They come as 8 metal 28mm models for about AUD$20.00.  In each pack there are 4 distinct poses, with two models in each pose.

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There is also the Artizan Renaissance REN011 Landsknecht Dopplesoldiers Attacking models.

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I got one set of each REN010 and REN011 packs. These come in blisters a little bigger than the GW ones with 8 models per blister, at AUD$20 (compared to AUD$69 for 10 plastic GW models).

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The models had a little flash but almost no mold lines. The appearance of the models fitted in very well with my largely 6th edition set of GW models.

The hands seem to match the GW 6th edition state troops okay, but are a little smaller than the militia and a plastic Flagellant's hands. The two handed sword on the Artizan models seem to be about half way in size between a 6th edition swordsman sword and the two handed sword in the militia box. The only downside I've seen so far is that long thin metal swords standing away from the body tend to be bent or wavy. At least with metal you can straighten it easily enough. All in all, pretty happy at what you get for the money.

The models rank up nicely. This is probably at least partly a result of that fact that the two handed swords are to scale rather than heroic size.

The models had a cast base joining their feet, and I did have to trim the cast bases on about half the models to permit them to fit on the 20mm base facing in the direction that I wanted, but the metal is soft so it only took about 1 min per model using a hacksaw.  The models don't come with plastic bases, but from eBay I was able to get 100 square 20mm bases for about AUD$10.

Rather than having the cast base visible on top of the 20mm square base, I used some terracotta modelling clay and pressed that around the metal bases of the models. This is intended to give a smoother and more natural effect.

The models are shown below next to a couple of Games Workshop models. The spearman is from the 6th edition Warhammer box set (which had rulebook, Empire and Orks) and the swordsman is from the 6th edition state troops box set.

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(REN010 - note I accidentally photographed two models with the same pose)

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(REN011 - Attacking Landsknecht)

In the end I went with 2 packs of REN010 Landsknecht Dopplesoldiers and one of REN011 Landsknecht Dopplesoldiers Attacking, to give me 24 rank and file models. My preference for the "non-attacking" models was based on the fact that the models should be more robust without the relatively fragile swords sticking out well away from the bodies.

For the command models my plan was to convert some of the GW state troop models, or to user Reaper Miniatures models.

Postscript - I have since sold my Empire army to support my Flames of War habit. The Landsknecht models were the easiest ones to sell, with a buyer snapping them up 38 minutes after I put them online.

Notes: Article originally written September - December 2010, and prices were correct as of that time.  Models were purchased from my local Good Games store.  As of February 2012 the Artizan models appear to have a price drop.