The Goonhammer Review: Wargames Atlantic Conquistadors

To say that the Conquistadors have a complicated legacy is perhaps an understatement. There’s absolutely no doubt that their actions led to colonial genocide and subjugation, but that doesn’t mean that there can’t be interesting and exciting projects to engage with using miniatures depicting them. As we’ve talked about many times at Goonhammer, problematic aspects of history are a difficult subject, but the solution isn’t to whitewash or ignore them. Instead we always try to engage with them with understanding and authenticity.

However it was with some trepidation that I approached this and I was delighted to discover that though the box says Conquistadors, the contents are far more varied and comprehensive than this. It would be better to say, instead, 16th Century European soldiers. This is because instead of just being restricted to the weapons and outfits you would expect from the Conquistadors themselves, there are heads, arms and weapons to turn this unit into almost any renaissance era European force, from the pike and shot armies of the Landsknecht to the English army of Henry VIII to the Spanish Tercios back home across the Atlantic.

Before we get started, we’d like to thank Wargames Atlantic for providing the kit for this review.

What you get

The box contains sprues to allow you to build 24 miniatures depicting European soldiers of the late 15th and 16th Centuries, with a wide variety of weapons and additions to let you really customise them to portray your chosen force. Though the kit does lean towards the Spanish forces and Conquistadors in general, there’s a lot here and it’s worth going through in detail. There are no bases included in the box, so be aware of this.

The box contains two types of sprue: a large main sprue with the bodies and the core Conquistador weapon and head options (including the iconic helmet design), and then a small supplementary sprue with alternative heads (with caps, hats and other elements to let you represent a wider selection of European models) and some extra weapons and options to expand the kit considerably. These sprues are repeated four times to give you the full 24 models in the set, so there are only 6 body poses. However, these are compatible with enough weapons and the heads are characterful enough that I don’t think it will be that obvious when you have duplicates.

Main Conquistador Sprue. Credit: Wargames Atlantic

Secondary Conquistador Sprue. Credit: Wargames Atlantic

In terms of weapons you get a wide variety and though you cannot build every model as every option, there is a good selection and a few of these boxes would let you build large units of each of them. For every six models you can build:

  • six pike
  • five musket
  • four sword and shield
  • four sword and buckler
  • three crossbow
  • three halberd
  • two greatsword
  • one musician
  • one banner bearer

No one option precludes any of the other options with the exception of the swords, so this represents the maximum you can build in every six models, and you can build them in any combination you see fit (other than how many swords you get). You could therefore build the entire box with pikes, or create two smaller units, or, like I have, create a varied warband with no issues. Two boxes would be enough to build out 24 model blocks of halberdiers, crossbowmen, and so on.

This is a great selection and lets you cover an enormous number of different units from the single kit. You could easily buy five of these boxes and use them to create an entire Landsknecht army, or other Renaissance force. Genuinely impressively flexible, this makes this box far more than just Conquistadors – in fact, it’s hard to not see the Conquistador label as misleading, and probably means a lot of people are going to gloss over it rather than see it for what it is.

Build and Paint

The models are clean and crisply made, with minimal mould lines and good, sharp detail. It’s hard to fault the technical aspects of this kit in any way, though some folks may not like the integrated bases (though the new base set from Wargames Atlantic neatly solves that issue). The arm joins are flat and well formed so you can get good range of poses without odd fitting, and it’s a doddle to get them together. My only minor quibble is with the fit of the heads, which if you’re not careful can lead to some odd joins with the neck. However, this is going to be barely visible when gaming, and can be overcome with care.

The models themselves, when built, compare favourably with models from other lines – they’re probably a halfway house between smaller 28mm historical ranges and older Games Workshop miniatures for lines like Mordheim (more on this in a moment), meaning they can fit reasonably well with both. They scale almost exactly with the Warlord Games Landsknechts which is handy if you’d like to use these to expand that army.

For the most part the models painted up very nicely – the detail is rich and there’s good texture on a lot of the fabrics that takes washes and other methods very well. The faces in particular are great – really striking poses and expressions, that avoid the classic “constant screaming” issue while being extremely dynamic. My main complaint is something I’ve seen on a number of Wargames Atlantic kits: the smoother fabrics are very smooth, to the point of having no texture or detail on them at all, and it leaves you with some odd flat areas to try and bring life to. This makes the smooth fabric sections by far the weakest, but this is a minor quibble when so much of them are truly excellent.


If you’re looking for Conquistador miniatures it’s hard to find better, and this is a real contender for a much wider range of historical settings too. I think this is easily the match of the Landsknecht kits Warlord produce, with crisper detail and less clean up needed, plus much more dynamic poses. I can think of a dozen different historical settings to use these in, and the flexibility of the kit while maintaining historical authenticity is a tour de force. Better yet these fit remarkably well with the scale and style of classic Mordheim miniatures, and I think there are an incredibly good fit for warbands for that game (or modern interpretations). I built my little group for Lustria campaigns, but you could easily stick to the more Germanic styled elements and great a brilliant mercenary warband for the core game too.

All in all this is one of the strongest kits I’ve had the pleasure to work with recently, and it shows a clear leap forward for Wargames Atlantic that makes their future very promising indeed.

Have any questions or feedback? Got some great ideas for how you’d use this kit? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at