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Paul J S




Location: United States
Joined: 02 Oct 2019

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu 03 Oct, 2019 9:41 am    Post subject: Historically accurate early conquistador arms and armor?         Reply with quote

As an aspiring digital painter and a 16th and 17th century enthusiast, I wanted to create a historically accurate conquistador of the time periods of the conquest of the Aztec empire.

Based on some research (digging through equipment lists, and trying to find matching period artwork and photos of archaeological examples), I found that the commonly associated Morion (moros) helmet wouldn't be used until later, the basket hilted rapier wasn't a thing yet, and they also didn't wear the billowing pantaloons so common in popular cultural depictions.

Being that he's either an officer, well provided for retainer, or very fortunate veteran of the Italian Wars, I decided to give him what I hope depicts an early 16th century burgonet (burgonata) and cuirass. Mail was apparently very popular for those who could afford it, and armor on the arms and legs was often shunned due to the tropical humidity which gave even those from southern Spain a hard time. For weapons, I gave him either a lance or halberd (perhaps he's intending to fight on foot), and a side sword with a basic hand guard.

A few nagging questions I have:

1. I'm pulling my hair out deciding how to portray the finish, or lack thereof, on the helmet and torso armor. I've seen some heated arguments over the use of blueing or blackening for armor, and claims that the silver-white polish on most reproductions is based on the flawed understanding of Victorian-era museums. Would blued, blackened, or even painted armor be more likely?

2. I know based on his kit he would be able to afford a horse and have leather riding boots and leather gloves (at least) for hand protection. Based on the heat, would it make sense to forgo the gloves?


I would appreciate any corrections or suggestions!

Paul



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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Thu 03 Oct, 2019 12:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There have been several discussions, that lead to other threads.

http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=21883

http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=18755

http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=13755

http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=11915

I am not remembering my own notes and findings very well but one of the ship's manifest described the arms and armor as fairly varied, the armor especially run what they brung without an absolute uniformity.

Pikes, lances, shields and firearms perhaps the most uniform arms of the Tercio and cavalry.

It is really not something I had studied much aside from the various uses of the rodeleros and their being largely replaced by firearms.

There are a lot of accounts and journals with lots of articles and some art.

Good luck
GC
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Thu 03 Oct, 2019 3:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yep. There was no uniformity until the Spanish had been there for a while and started to replace the original gear with locally-produced stuff.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Paul J S




Location: United States
Joined: 02 Oct 2019

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue 08 Oct, 2019 10:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Glen A Cleeton wrote:
There have been several discussions, that lead to other threads.

http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=21883

http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=18755

http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=13755

http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=11915

I am not remembering my own notes and findings very well but one of the ship's manifest described the arms and armor as fairly varied, the armor especially run what they brung without an absolute uniformity.

Pikes, lances, shields and firearms perhaps the most uniform arms of the Tercio and cavalry.

It is really not something I had studied much aside from the various uses of the rodeleros and their being largely replaced by firearms.

There are a lot of accounts and journals with lots of articles and some art.

Good luck
GC


Thank you, I've seen some of those before, and used them as consideration. My main concern is the armor itself and the treatment it would have had (which determines color and clarity of the reflections). I haven't seen any specific mention in text, but some artistic imagery shows what appears to be blackened or blued armor worn by the likes of the expedition officers.
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Daniel Sullivan




Location: California
Joined: 02 Apr 2004
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Posts: 205

PostPosted: Tue 08 Oct, 2019 12:05 pm    Post subject: Historically accurate early Conquistador arms and armor         Reply with quote

Hi,

You might want to take a look at Arms and Armor in Colonial America, 1526-1783, by Harold L. Peterson. Published in 2000(?), it has about 300 illustrations. Haven't looked at it for years, but as I recall it was pretty informative. It probably doesn't cover the early period Dan Howard mentioned, of not much uniformity, just whatever equipment came to hand.

Regards,
Dan
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Paul J S




Location: United States
Joined: 02 Oct 2019

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed 09 Oct, 2019 6:10 am    Post subject: Re: Historically accurate early Conquistador arms and armor         Reply with quote

Daniel Sullivan wrote:
Hi,

You might want to take a look at Arms and Armor in Colonial America, 1526-1783, by Harold L. Peterson. Published in 2000(?), it has about 300 illustrations. Haven't looked at it for years, but as I recall it was pretty informative. It probably doesn't cover the early period Dan Howard mentioned, of not much uniformity, just whatever equipment came to hand.

Regards,
Dan


Thanks Dan, there are some interesting suggestions in that book, like the poorer Spanish wearing the barbute along with versions of the sallet and kettle hat. I always thought the barbute wasn't very popular outside of Italy.
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James Arlen Gillaspie
Industry Professional



Location: upstate NY
Joined: 10 Nov 2005

Posts: 546

PostPosted: Wed 09 Oct, 2019 9:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cortez had a motley bunch of merc's; there was even a woman among them who was NOT a camp-follower but a fighter, IIRC. Very exotic, that. For those who were actually from the Iberian peninsula, these helmets would have been very normal (minus the bling); these are on display in Toledo. They had a thing about bevors and gorgets, too, as though the Aztecs made a point of attacking the neck, IIRC.


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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,453

PostPosted: Sun 13 Oct, 2019 11:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

so, essentially, most light early 16th century armours used in the iberian peninsula would do for an early conquestador.

meaning, any reasonable combination of jacks, brigandines, bresatplates, and any amount of mail armour would be just fine?

i am vaguely curious as well.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Mon 14 Oct, 2019 12:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:
so, essentially, most light early 16th century armours used in the iberian peninsula would do for an early conquestador.

meaning, any reasonable combination of jacks, brigandines, bresatplates, and any amount of mail armour would be just fine?

i am vaguely curious as well.

Pretty much, yeah. Spain had just come out of the longest civil war in history (the Reconquista). The country was in ruins - its primary asset was a large army of impoverished, cynical, battle-hardened soldiers. The discovery of the New World came at just the right time for Spainís rulers; many ex-soldiers, who might have turned to brigandage at home, instead sailed for the Americas to seek their fortune.

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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