Arquebusiers of the Thirty Years’ War, 1630–1648

Mars 1:72 Scale Figure Review

Arquebusiers of the Thirty Years’ War, 1:72 Miniatures Mars 72027.

Arquebusiers, light infantry of the 15th to 17th century. Armed with the arquebus, they served as skirmishers in front of the pikemen and musketeers of their regiment. If threatened by enemy horse, the arquebusiers would retire to the safety of the 15-foot pike.


48 Miniatures in 12 Poses – 23 mm equal 166 cm Height

  • Officer (4)
  • Ensign (4)
  • Drummer (4)
  • Pikeman, »charge for horse« 2nd rank (4)
  • Pikeman, »charge for horse« 3rd rank, pike hip-high (4)
  • Pikeman, »charge for horse« 4th rank, pike head-high (4)
  • Pikeman, fallen (4)
  • Arquebusier with Cabasset, standing firing (4)
  • Arquebusier with Morion, blowing match (4)
  • Arquebusier with Hat, loading Arquebus (4)
  • Arquebusier with Cabasset, clubbing with Arquebus (4)
  • Arquebusier, bareheaded, drawing Sword (4)
  • Pike (12)


Excellent choice of subject, the miniatures may be painted to represent arquebusiers of different armies of the Thirty Years’ War. The arquebusier with hat may be used as a dismounted harquebusier. The box contains arquebusiers, pikemen, flag-bearers, officers, and drummers, only musketeers are missing.

The box cover shows a scene reminiscent of the movie Alatriste with Viggo Mortensen, representing the fictitious tercio viejo de Cartagena. However, the soldiers shown in the picture are pikemen and musketeers without the customary field signs, making it impossible to say which army they might belong to. Two arquebusiers and the wounded pikeman are wearing long-sleeved jackets with the sleeves opened and hanging down the figure’s back. This fashion of »lost sleeves« was common practise among musketeers and arquebusiers, because it facilitated loading and firing. It’s important to remember that the lost sleeves need to be painted in the colour of the jacket, and the worn sleeves belong to the doublet underneath. In the painting instructions on the back of the box this has been done correctly in the case of the arquebusier blowing the match, who has been given a yellow doublet and yellow sleeves. The arquebusier in melee has been painted incorrectly, his jacket is brown, but the lost sleeves appear to be dark blue.

Mould lines on helmets, arms and legs need to be removed prior to painting. In addition, there is excess plastic between the ensign’s head and the flag, as well as between several weapons and the bodies of the soldiers carrying them. These areas may be hidden by painting, but it’s probably a better idea to clean them carefully.

compared to other miniatures made by Mars, these arquebusiers appear to have been carved with a scalpel. Folds in the clothing are sharp and deep to suggest slashed material. The pikeman with drawn sword has no scabbard. The flag sports an engraved design on the obverse, which makes painting this side much easier, but also severely limits the usefulness of the miniature. Carefully eliminate the design with a Rai-Ro ZEP-70 soldering iron and the flag is ready to accept a pattern of choice. The flag staff is too short for use on campaign; the missing length may be added by inserting a section of 0.6 mm piano wire into the ensign’s hand, making sure that the added section aligns with the upper part of the pole.

The number of poses my be increased by swapping heads among the arquebusiers, and with 1:72 scale miniatures from other manufacturers.

Historical Employment

  • Arquebusiers and Pikemen of the Thirty Years’ War, 1630–1648
  • Dismounted Harquebusiers of the Thirty Years’ War, 1630–1648

Mounted individually on small metal bases, these arquebusiers may be used as infantry skirmishers or dismounted harkebusiers in Wargames and role-playing games.