|15 mm mediaeval Florentine spearmen. All my 15 mm and|
25 mm pikemen/spearmen have been re-equipped with
wire/pins, but I wouldn't want to do that with 10 mm figures
unless they come open-handed.
However, I am completely put off large pike armies by the prospect of bent and broken pikes or the effort required to replace cast pikes with pins or wire. Replacing 10 mm cast pikes is very tedious and time-consuming, and not always successful. Replacing 6 mm pikes is probably not even an option.
I raised this issue on the Pendraken Forum but the prospects of getting open-handed pikemen does not look good. Allegedly, most people want cast-on pikes and seem prepared to live with the fragility. Providing both options would be costly.
Baccus 6 mm, however, do have some Ancients with a choice of cast pikes or open-hands, so I was hopeful that as and when they get round to redoing their ECW range and extending it to the TYW, open-handed pikemen would be an option. So next stop was the Baccus forum. It's a possibility, but most people prefer cast pipes and that remains the priority.
Somewhat discouraged I looked at the idea of going down to 2 mm, but the Irregular Miniatures pike blocks look too small to cover the sort of bases I am envisaging and don't really lend themselves to being combined. Then there is Magister Militum's 3 mm pike-and-shot strips. Their cast pikes are undoubtedly smaller and thus more fragile than 10 mm or 6 mm cast pikes but being shorter are possibly not as vulnerable to damage. 3 mm is a better option than 2 mm, but although they would look good 'as a formation' they would lack the distinct TYW character of the larger, more visible, figures.
Somewhat counter-intuitively I also looked at going up in size to 1/72 plastic figures. Plastics are often inaccurate, poor quality, come in silly positions and lack adequate range, but the Revell and Zvezda Thirty Years War figures covered on the Plastic Soldier Review look absolutely superb.
Unfortunately, the Zvezda figures are a little larger and not necessarily compatible with the Revell ones. On the other hand, there may be additional ECW figures which might be recruited. Now soft plastic pikes may have a bend problem of their own, but the PSR pictures are promising, and soft plastic pikes are less likely to break. Alternatively, they would be easier to cut away and replace.
Less extreme would be to consider the lovely Testudo 15 mm figures now marketed by Khurasan which are supplied open-handed. But I'm forgetting myself. I really can't be painting a mass army in anything over 10 mm, so the most likely outcome at the moment is that I will make up some counter armies and wait for the world to come to its senses.