Ral Partha had a historical line of 25mm figures that were cast and sold back in the 1980’s. One of them was the “1200 A.D” line, which included Aztec figures, and one of their blister packs was “Aztec Warrior Priests”. It had 6 figures with two poses. Also supplied were 3 different weapons, and shields for each figure.
On my previous post on Tlaxcalans, I mentioned that I needed to have some warrior priests for their army. Unfortunately, I could not find a suitable 28mm version for the Tlaxcalans. I do have some Wargames Foundry Aztec Warrior Priests in the painting queue but they were not going to be right as Tlaxcalans in my view.
I did have (among several other blisters from that era) a single blister pack of 6 figures of Ral Partha 42-302. Now these were Aztecs, not Tlaxcalans, and 25mm size, not 28mm. Generally 28mm figures are 1:61-1:68 range, and 25mm figures are 1:68-1:71 range in scale. So from a gaming distance, I think that they will work. I have already incorporated other 25mm figures such as the historical Eagle Warriors from Tin Soldier and the ahistorical Ral Partha Arrow Warriors into my Aztec forces for the upcoming launch of Buck Surdu’s Feudal PatrolTM skirmish tabletop war game. (as a side note – my Civilizations Collide supplement will cover this period, and will be a free download from the website).
Getting back to filling the Tlaxcalan ranks with some Warrior Priests – I chose to paint the 42-302 figures up in Tlaxcalan colors and war paint. It allowed me to make use of the figures – which have been waiting 32 years to be painted anyways – and to not add any more to my unpainted stuff. Sometimes you just have to find a way to liberate the unpainted hordes! When they get deployed in my supplement, Warrior Priests are add-on troops that get individually attached to units. They have the ability to help keep a unit they are attached to from breaking morale, and also can cause a defeated non-Spanish enemy to be more likely to want to flee the battlefield.
The six figures were more than enough to round out my Tlaxcalans. It’s always a challenge to go smaller than usual in painting, and these figures were no exception. One initial issue was the height, which I “leveled” by adding a 3/8″ small washer on the 1″ washer base. This was to make the height disparity less noticeable. I also gave the somewhat pliable weapons a light coat of Gorilla Glue to stiffen them up a bit
A second challenge was capturing the delicate details on the figures. Here, I decided to steal an idea I have seen on Chris Palmer’s blog on the H.A.W.K.’s combined blog site – that is to prime figures white and use a dark wash over that to help with details. I think it helped – see the examples of WIP below.
Here is a second example:
The Tlaxcalans favored red loincloths and headbands – so those were easy to add. The war paint design mix that I used was similar to my previous group – a red-striped over white design or a black mask (or none at all). As for shield, I perused Steven’s Balagan and my Osprey books for inspiration (while modifying the colors a bit).
Three of the models had a lovely little (ok, tiny) engraved skull at their waists on a bone necklace. I was unaware of this engraved skull aspect of Mesoamerican “art”. You can see a modern interpretive example from Amazon here and shown below:
I tried out my new Army Painter drybrush (the smallest one) and was very happy how well it performed, especially on the skulls. The bristles are round and it is just the right stiffness. Here is the link and the photo below if you are interested:
Back to painting the models, my goal was to get a nice blending on the flesh before varnishing the figures. They do end up shiny from the Army Painter Flesh Wash, but with matte varnish the shine goes completely away.
Once I added the extra washer, you could see that the elevation on the base could pose a flocking issue – such that it would look “rounded” under the flocking. To deal with this, I glued some very small pieces of modeling talus on the washers to more or less camouflage the underlying round shapes. I would leave some of that exposed as well once flocked.
So let’s see the finished models! As usual, I gave each a number for future reference and creation of gaming aids:
TWP1 – armed with a tepoztopilli (obsidian-edged thrusting spear), and no war paint. Interestingly this pose of the two types in the blister was a lefty!
TWP2 – armed with a cuauhololli (round-headed club), with no war paint.
TWP3 – armed with a macuahuitl (obsidian-edged club/sword), again no war paint.
TWP4 – armed with a tepoztopilli (obsidian-edged thrusting spear), and the red-stripes-over-white war paint. This pose of the two types in the blister was right-handed!
TWP5 – armed with a cuauhololli (round-headed club), wearing the black mask war paint.
TWP6 – armed with a macuahuitl (obsidian-edged club/sword), and the red-stripes-over-white war paint.
Here’s a scale comparison with a 28mm Tlaxcalan Archer figure:
I think that they can safely share the same gaming tabletop!
This project also allowed me to help with one of my favorite websites, the Lost Minis Wiki, which is a fantastic resource for OOP stuff, especially from the 1970’s and 1980’s. Here is the entry photo for this blister.
So, my Tlaxcalan forces are done – I have now 32 figures for their army. When added to the 71 Aztecs that I have done, that brings me to over 100!
Thanks for taking a look – below you’ll find my updated details list for the overall project and this particular one (paints, etc. used).
Miscellaneous details and references for those interested:
Posts on games, units, and other projects for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest supplement for Feudal Patrol – “Civilizations Collide”
- Aztec Warrior Priests (painted as Tlaxcalans), Ral Partha 42-302, circa 1988 (this post) – 6 figures – 6 Tlaxcalan Warrior Priests
- Tlaxcalan Novices, Elite Warriors, and Command Group – 18 figures – 8 Novice Tlaxcalan Warriors, 8 Elite Tlaxcalan Warriors, 1 Tlaxcalan Captain, 1 Tlaxcalan Conch Blower
- Tlaxcalan Archers – 8 Veteran Tlaxcalan Archers
- Aztec Game for Feudal Patrol across thousands of miles – via Zoom!
- Aztec Snake Woman and Drummer – 1 Aztec General, 1 Aztec Drummer
- A June and July Jaguar Warrior Frenzy (plus some Aztec Veterans and a Warrior Priest to Boot) – 3 Aztec Veteran Warriors, 17 Jaguar Warriors, 1 Aztec Warrior Priest
- Doubling Down – Aztec Veteran Warriors – 24 Aztec Veteran Warriors
- Aztec Arrow Knights, Ral Partha circa 1988 – 6 Aztec Arrow Knights
- Aztec Eagle Warriors from Tin Soldier UK – 6 Aztec Eagle Knights
- Aztec Novice Warriors and a few Frinx – 12 Novice Warriors
Total figures to date for this project: 103 figures: 71 Aztecs, 32 Tlaxcalans
PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE THAT I USED ON THESE TLAXCALAN WARRIOR PRIESTS:
- Gorilla Glue
- 1/8″ x 1″ Everbilt Fender Washers
- 1/8″ x 3/8″ Everbilt Fender Washers
- Plastic plates
- Poster tack
- Vallejo “Surface Primer – White Primer”
- Vallejo “Flow Improver”
- Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
- Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
- Citadel “Nuln Oil” (shade)
- Vallejo Model Air “Weiss” (off-white)
- Vallejo Game Air “Dead White”
- Vallejo Game Air “Black”
- Army Painter “Tanned Flesh”
- Vallejo Game Color “Bronze Fleshtone”
- Vallejo Model Color “Sunny Skin Tone”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Darkoath Flesh”
- Battlefront “Chocolate Brown”
- Army Painter “Flesh Wash” (wash)
- Citadel Air “Evil Sunz Scarlet”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Wyldwood”
- Battlefront “Sicily Yellow”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Black Templar”
- Vallejo Model Air “Tire Black”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Terradon Turquoise”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Skeleton Horde”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Contrast Medium”
- Battlefront “Wool Brown”
- Army Painter “Red Tone” (shade)
- Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” (shade)
- Vallejo Model Color “Glossy Black”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Blood Angels Red”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Iyanden Yellow”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Apothecary White”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Warp Lightning”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Aethermatic Blue”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Akhelian Green”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Ultramarines Blue”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Leviadon Blue”
- Secret Weapon Washes “Sunshine” (ink)
- Citadel “Ushabti Bone”
- Citadel “Seraphim Sepia” (shade)
- Vallejo Model Color “Dark Blue”
- Vallejo Model Air “Moon Yellow”
- Vallejo Game Air “Satin Varnish”
- Vallejo Mecha Color “Turquoise”
- Citadel “Caliban Green”
- E6000 Epoxy
- 4Ground small talus pieces
- Elmer’s PVA Glue
- Army Painter “Brown Battlefields” (flocking)
- Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
- Vallejo “Burnt Umber” (pigment)
- Citadel “Steel Legion Drab”
- Citadel “Tallarn Sand”
- Citadel “Karak Stone”
- Americana “Desert Sand”
- Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
- Army Painter “Grass Green” (flocking)
Please let me know your thoughts and feedback in the comments section – I really appreciate learning any impressions or thoughts in general (or specific) that you have.
Thanks for looking!!!