Cuirassiers with Blackened Armour

I am quite pleased with the way these 17th Century Alsatian cuirassiers have turned out — their blackened armour set off with a limited colour palate of red and white (the colours of Alsace), and buff.

They will form part of Ernst, Graf von Isenburg’s Alsatian right wing of the Spanish army at Rocroi.


The figures are Old Glory (the rank and file) and TAG (the command figures). They are mounted on a variety of horses from Front Rank, Warlord Games and TAG.


Blackened armour was probably much more common than bright shinny polished iron and I think it can look very impressive. It is, however, quite difficult to get the look right since pure black provides no definition.

After much experimentation with earlier Wars of the Roses knights, I find the most effective result comes from first giving the armour a metallic blue undercoat with a black ink wash on top. This gives the highlights a bluish sheen peaking through the black which settles into the grooves.


I have added an illustrated armour painting guide to the painting tips section of my website which explains how I go about doing this in more detail. This includes chain mail as well as blackened armour.

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