Dogs have been used in warfare for centuries. The Conquistadores used perro de guerra (war dogs) extensively in the Americas. They proved to be dreadfully effective weapons against Aztec and Inca troops. The Aztecs had only ever seen little Chihuahuas that they used primarily used for food.
By contrast, the Spanish had huge mastiffs, molossus dogs, deer hounds, and greyhounds. Many of these dogs were absolute behemoths – up to 250 pounds and three foot high at the shoulder. They were bred for war, and often wore armor with spikes and even spiked collars, and were more than capable of disemboweling an enemy with fangs alone. Here is an excellent post on these war dogs that does a nice job of summarizing the history of their employment in battle by the Spanish – I think it’s worth a look.
In addition to the horrific physical damage that they could do to opposing human beings, these war dogs caused opposing forces great psychological damage – to include inducing panic. The war dogs were new to Mesoamerica and quite deadly. In my supplement for Civilizations Collide (for games of Feudal PatrolTM ), the war dogs can both augment the attack of their owners and cause panic among their foes. Also, they can defend a fallen master against being dragged away for ritual Aztec sacrifice. To sum it up, they were viciously effective historically and can add quite an interesting element to a game.
A few years ago I remember playing one of the previous versions of the Sid Meier’s computer game Civilization – and the Spanish had Conquistadores as special units. It always struck me as interesting that the Conquistadores had war dogs with them as part of the animated unit icon in the game. When I began this project, I knew I’d have to find some 28mm war dog figures. I did find two sources for them: Outpost Wargames Services CONS6 “Wardogs” (available in the US from Badger Games) and Eureka Miniatures #100CON13 “Dog Handler and Dogs” (available in the US from Eureka US). The OWS SKU has 8 armored war dogs in two poses. The Eureka SKU has a dog handler armed with a pike and 4 different (and mostly smaller war dogs. Unlike what I wrote in my previous post, here I found the Eureka figures to be the better sculpts. But both are fine – we are talking about dogs. But BIG dogs. As far as basing, I needed to use a 1.25″ washer with some plastic card to cover the hole for four of the OWS and one of the Eureka models.
So then the issue was how to paint them. I looked at Osprey books, and on-line research on the different kind of dogs that were used. The picture below shows how I chose to proceed – more or less.
I decided to airbrush the different base coats and then go from there. The OWS ones were all armored with what appeared to be a braided cotton blanket. Half of these were made leaping forward (the leaping ones reminded me of Krypto) so there was a pillar underneath four of those models that needed obscuring. The second four OWS looked as if they were running. The Eureka ones had only spiked collars, but looked much meaner. My painting of these models took a few turns as I experimented with contrast paints, different dry brushing, and shading, as well as pigments.
I then dry brushed the dogs’ coats. Then I ran into a new issue – how to paint eyes on a dog? I decided to use an off-white background with a ruby-red ink for the pupil – and leaving some of the off-white paint visible. I then made sure that the dogs’ faces were distinctive as the sculpts allowed me to be. I think my success was mixed, again these are dogs – but you can be the judge.
For the armor blankets (or whatever they were supposed to be called), I tried using contrast paints, then washes, and I was not happy as the dogs needed to be dirtier. What dog doesn’t roll around in the dirt and get dirty?
Therefore, I then went with a heavy use of pigments over the contrast paints and fixed the pigments with water. When I went to remove some of the excess pigments with Vallejo thinner and a cosmetic brush, some of the contrast paint started to roll up and come off – NOOOOO! After this, I just used water and a much lighter touch (though the first model I had to dirty up more to cover the damage as you’ll see below) and it worked ok. The next issue was that now after I had applied the pigments that the different colors that I had given the bands holding the armor on became pretty much brown. This meant that I needed some other way to distinguish them in games from a tabletop player distance – so I used some differently-colored flowered tufts. We older gamers need some help seeing ya know!
I numbered the war dogs as CWD1-8 for the OWS models and CWD9-12 for the Eureka models. The pikeman is CPM1. All of the dogs are slightly different in paint scheme – I hope. Click on any image for a bigger view:
Outpost Wargames Services CONS6 “Wardogs”
Eureka Miniatures #100CON13 “Dog Handler and Dogs”
This group counts as my second entry into Dave Stone’s Painting Challenge “PAINT WHAT YOU GOT CHALLENGE”. For those of you interested in the progress of the “Mark’s Conquistador Contest” – and as always I do hope that you enjoyed reading this post – and please let me know your feedback in the comments section. After adding these 13, I have completed 36 figure and I now have 53 more figures to go. I am trying my best to get them done quickly and well.
Lastly, our buddy TIM always ends his posts with a joke. I don’t always, but as a lot of you are from the UK, Australia, or other Commonwealth countries, AND as I am from NEW England, I thought I’d share the following picture from good old Worcester, MA – as it is too true.
Keep watching and hope you’ll stay with me!
And now my reference section (so I might remember what the hell I have done!):
Miscellaneous details and references for those interested in that sort of thing:
Previous posts on games, units, and other projects for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest supplement for Feudal Patrol – “Civilizations Collide”
- Perro de Guerra (Conquistador War Dogs) (this post). 13 figures total: Outpost Wargames Services #CONS6 “War Dogs” (8 war dogs); Eureka #100CON13 “Dog Handler and Dogs” (1 dog handler/pikeman and 4 war dogs)
- Conquistador Foot Command, Crossbowmen, and a Couple of Officers. 11 figures total: Outpost Wargames Services #CONC1 “Conquistador Foot Command” (a leader, a banner bearer, a drummer, and a bugler); Eureka #100CON04 “Crossbowmen” (5 crossbowmen); and Eureka CONC1 “Conquistador Officer” and an unknown SKU officer (2 officers)
- Merciless Adventurers (this post) – Wargames Foundry #SB014 (6 Conquistadores with arquebuses)
- Audacious Arquebusiers! – Wargames Foundry #SB012 (6 Conquistadores with arquebuses)
- Mark’s Conquistador Contest – for my loyal blog followers!
- Montezuma and Chieftains – Wargames Foundry #AZ011 for Feudal Patrol – 6 Aztec figures (Montezuma, 4 Chieftains, 1 Warrior Priest)
- Aztec Shock Troops – Cuachic Warriors aka The Shorn Ones – 8 Aztec cuachicqueh warriors
- Tloxtoxl and the Priests of the Great Temple, Wargames Foundry AZ021 – 2 warrior priests, 1 priestess, 1 priest, 1 leader, and 1 signaler
- Civilizations Collide – The Wars of the Aztecs, the Inca, the Maya, and the Conquistadores is now available as a FREE Download for Feudal Patrol – plus a Feudal Patrol review!
- 18 Aztec Novice Warriors for Feudal Patrol Walk into a Bar – 18 Novice Warriors
- 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 completed to date for this project: 177 figures: 109 Aztecs, 32 Tlaxcalans, 36 Spanish Conquistadores (53 more to go in Mark’s Conquistador Contest!)
PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE THAT I USED ON THESE CONQUISTADOR FIGURES:
- Gorilla Glue
- 1/8″ x 1″ Everbilt Fender Washers
- 1/8″ x 1.25″ Everbilt Fender Washers
- Poster tack
- Vallejo Mecha Primer “White”
- Vallejo “Flow Improver”
- Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
- Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
- Citadel “Nuln Oil” (wash)
- Vallejo Game Air “Wolf Grey”
- Vallejo Game Air “Black”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Cygor Brown”
- Vallejo Model Air “Weiss” (off-white)
- Citadel Air “Balor Brown”
- Vallejo Model Air “First Light”
- Vallejo Mecha Color “Off White”
- Vallejo Model Air “First Light”
- Vallejo Model Air “Dark Brown”
- Vallejo Model Air “Panzer Dark Grey”
- Vallejo Model Color “Neutral Grey”
- Americana “Buttermilk”
- Citadel “Runefang Steel”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Volupus Pink”
- Secret Weapon Washes “Ruby” (ink)
- Army Painter “Strong Tone” (shade)
- Reaper MSP “Grey Liner”
- Army Painter “Light Tone” (shade)
- Army Painter “Mid Brown” (shade)
- Army Painter “Tanned Flesh”
- Battlefront “Sicily Yellow”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Blood Angels Red”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Aggaros Dunes”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Flesh Tearers Red”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Dark Angels Green”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Ultramarines Blue”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Talassar Blue”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Gore-Grunta Fur”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Black Templar”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Militarum Green”
- Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” (shade)
- Vallejo Game Air “Bronze Fleshtone”
- Vallejo Model Color “Sunny Skin Tone”
- Army Painter “Flesh Wash” (wash)
- Citadel “Ironbreaker”
- Vallejo Model Color “Brown Rose”
- Secret Weapon Washes “Armor Wash” (wash)
- Battlefront “Flat Earth”
- Elmer’s PVA Glue
- Vallejo “Gloss Varnish”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Snakebite Leather”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Wyldwood”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Contrast Medium”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Apothecary White”
- 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)
- Army Painter “Meadow Flowers” (flocking)
- Shadow’s Edge Miniatures grass and flowered tufts (various)