Painting Guide for the Eighty Years War

The Eighty Years’ War and Thirty Years’ War so the troops were similar. The painting guide or the main protagonists of the Eighty Years War, Spanish and Dutch, is given here. See the Painting Guide for the Thirty Years War page for Swedes, French, Imperialist, etc.

Spanish, Italian, Walloon Infantry

Infantry should look “splendid”, with little uniformity.

Hair (their own)

Black or dark brown

Tunic & breeches

Early (pre 1560)

Varied colours:

  • 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).

Mid (1560 – 1600)

The Spanish used the same general colour scheme (Gush, 1975), but by the 1560s their foot-soldiers tended to more sombre colours, at least less brilliant colour schemes than their English opponents (Heath, 1997). Red stockings were common although other colours were possible.

Late (Post 1600)

By 1650 a black hat, white shirt, dark brown doublet and breeches and buff coat was the norm (Gush, 1975).

Neck ruff (if worn)

White

Hats (if worn)

Various (as above)

Stockings

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)

Cartridge bag

White

Powder flask

Blue

Other leather

Base material: Brown or black. Boots sometimes red.

(Boots + straps + belt, etc)

Fittings: Iron

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

Point: Steel

Musket/Arquebus/pistol (if used)

Stock: Wood or blackened

Barrel: Steel or gunmetal

Pike (if used)

Haft: Wood

Blade: Steel

Spanish, Italian, Walloon Cavalry

as infantry, plus ….

Plumes/helmet crest (if any)

Highly coloured

Horse trappings

Coloured; same colour for all trappings on each horse.

Lance (if used)

Coloured to match trappings, often striped.

Spanish, Italian, Walloon Dragoons

Early dragoons had a white slouch hat with a red feather, buff coat, calfskin gauntlets and boots, and breeches decorated with red slashes and piping.

Dutch

Although they favoured German costume styles, in the 16th century Dutch “Beggars” are frequently showed dressed in grey which was also a common uniform colour in the 17th century (Heath, 1997).

An orange sash was used to indicate nationality (Heath, 1997).

Dutch Flags

First Revolt (1566-7)

The rebels had flags bearing a picture of a beggar’s scrip and the motto “Vive le Gueux (Long Live the Beggars)” (Parker, 1977).

Second Revolt (1572)

The Sea Beggars had a flag bearing 10 pennies referring to the Tenth Penny (Parker, 1977).

Third Revolt (1576)

The troops fighting the Spanish had mottos like (Parker, 1977):

  • Pro Fide et Patria (For Faith and Fatherland)
  • Pugno pro Patria (I fight for the Fatherland)
  • Pro Fide et Pace (For Faith and Peace)

Later

Spanish

The Spanish shunned uniforms but reds and yellow dominated. Sashes, if worn, were always red. It seems from the illustrations that red plumes were also standard.

The pictures are from the New York Public Library (NYPL): The Vinkhuijzen collection of military uniforms. Vinkhuijzen is not particularly reliable on his dates, but the illustrations are indicative of this period. I included some figures from an earlier period, but in the absence of pictures from the Thirty Years War they are something to go on.

1650 Piquero.jpg (35334 bytes)

1650 Pikeman


1633 Mosquetero, piquero, arcabucero.jpg (61097 bytes)

1633 Musketeer, Pikeman, Arquebusier

1650 Mosquetero.jpg (45556 bytes)

1650 Musketeer

1638 Dragon.jpg (40854 bytes)

1638 Dragoon


1632 Atambor, Pifaro y Alferez.jpg (53725 bytes)

1632 Drummer, Standard Bearer, Fifer


1650 Tambor; Pifaro. Infanteria de linea.jpg (45295 bytes)

1650 Drummer, Fifer


1576 Hombre de armas.jpg (43394 bytes)

1576 Hombre de Armas


1560 Hombre de armas.jpg (45244 bytes)

1560 Hombre de Armas


1632 ish Hombre de armas.jpg (41580 bytes)

1632 Hombre de Armas


1603 Caballo Coraza.jpg (49221 bytes)

1603 Caballo Coraza


1638 Caballo coraza.jpg (39720 bytes)

1638 Caballo Coraza

1632 Arcabucero.jpg (41516 bytes)

1632 Arquebusier
/ Herguletiers


1633 Arcabucero á caballo.jpg (51335 bytes)

1633 Arquebusier
/ Herguletiers


1560 Herreruelo ó Pistolete.jpg (52778 bytes)

1560 Herreruelo


1576 Herreruelo.jpg (39823 bytes)

1576 Herreruelo

This is what the guys wore:

Item Colour
Hair (their own) Black or dark brown
Tunic & breeches Various but yellow and/or red seem to dominate. Gush (1975) says by 1650 a black hat, white shirt, dark brown doublet and breeches and buff coat was the norm, although this is not born out by the illustrations.
Hats (if worn) The illustrations suggest white (or possibly light brown), with a red plume. Gush (1975) says by 1650 a black hat was the norm, although this is not born out by the illustrations.
Stockings Various but red is most common, or white.
Cloaks (if worn) Various, although scarlet was common in earlier period.
Gloves White or possibly Light brown. Dragoons, for example, had calf skin gloves.
Sash (worn by officers, pikes and cavalry) Red (always)
Cassock Seem to be grey
Cartridge bag White
Powder flask Blue
Leather (Boots + straps + belt, etc) Brown or black.
Plate armour and helmets Varied but usually bright steel. Could be gilded, or blackened. Helmets had red plume.
Buffcoat Buff
Horse Harness Brown leather, sometimes red. Saddle cloth variations on red and yellow.
Lance Wood with yellow over red pennant

Spanish Dragoons

Early dragoons had a white slouch hat with a red feather, buff coat, calfskin gauntlets and boots, and breeches decorated with red slashes and piping (Gush, 1975).

Spanish Flags

http://elhistoriador.es/imperioespanoltercios.htm

http://www.banderasmilitares.com/detalle_bandera.php?id=36

http://www.banderasmilitares.com/todas.php ( Column “año” means “Year”)

http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/es%5E1693.html

Website relevant to the Spanish

Some interesting stuff to have a look at:

Dutch

Some infantry regiments adopted a uniform colour (e.g. “yellow coats” and “red coats”) from at least 1600 (Brzezinski, 1991).

An orange sash was used to indicate nationality (Heath, 1997).

References

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.

Parker, G (1977). The Dutch Revolt. Cornell University Press.

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