Thursday, 8 January 2015

A finishing line in 2015....

Firstly, sincere thanks for all the very kind words on the photos of the army, I do appreciate them; they provide great motivation to keep going with the conversion work and detailing. Here are a few more photos left over that I didn’t post before, to help get through that first week at work after the holidays.

Looking at the arrayed army, I’ve now been able to assess what’s required to get them to a finished state – not that they’ll ever be completely done and dusted of course.  My target is to have the Burgundian Ordonnance army done in 2015.

So the outstanding units required to be done are:
-       Pike block: a row of front rank figures with a Captain, advancing (10 figures)
-       Archers of the Guard: a new longbow contingent (18 figures)
-       Crossbow/handgunners: a mixed unit (9 figures)
-       Mounted Men at Arms: to represent Antony the Bastard of Burgundy’s contingent on fully barded mounts (9 cavalry)
-       Coustillers: a support row for all mounted men at arms, carrying lots of flags and banners, etc. This will be the main painting challenge, which the forthcoming Perry’s Light Cavalry plastics will be the main figure source for. Total of 7 units (63 cavalry)
-       Artillery:  one additional wheeled gun and crew.
-       Charles the Bold vignette – currently a WIP.
-       Vignettes – to add a bit of period flavor and dot around the table and campsites etc.

Getting to this finishing line should be achievable this year – allowing me a bit of time to paint some non-medieval figures on the way too - then it will be time to turn my attentions to the Swiss Confederation army, which needs to be about a fifth larger than the Burgundians (...ooh er!).

Saturday, 3 January 2015

First Array

So here's one of my New Year resolutions done already - to photograph my Burgundian army, as they currently are, en masse for the first time. I'd intended to do this for some time, but the holidays have given me the spare time and I've borrowed my daughter's Canon camera, as its better than mine. I also used the space provided by my wife's primary school hall, as the photo of the set-up below shows.

I'm happy with most of these - all of them have made a previous appearance on this blog over the last few years as they've been completed. I purchased a pair of value portable studio lights from Amazon which I think are essential to throw sufficient light for photos of model figures en masse - however don't look too carefully at some, as my makeshift sky is  not covering all the corners (sadly no Photoshop to tart them up). 

I'll let the pictures do the talking for now...

Toodle pip and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Burgundian Command - update

Just managed to sneak in a final blog for the year. This is entirely thanks to Oliver at Steel Fist Miniatures, whose taken time out from sculpting for his forthcoming Samurai Kickstarter, to convert more Perry figures as companions for Charles the Bold for my second command vignette. I'm really pleased with these and feel fortunate to have Oliver apply his sculpting talents to create some wonderful unique figures, which capture the Burgundian look I was after.

So first is a Captain recieving orders from the duke. He carries his sallet and is wearing elaborate pauldrons, as seen in Flemish sculpture and paintings, but which I don't believe there are any surviving examples of. This makes the armour style somewhat conjectural, however there are sufficient examples of this globular style with differing embossed patterns for it to have been contemporary and perhaps a style appropriate to high status armours. I have added embossed St Andrew's cross and flints to the horse bard.


The flag bearer is a metal Perry, to which Oliver has added a fur-trimmed coat, again a style seen in many north European illustrations from the second half of the fifteenth century. The references I provided are a lovely example that a re-eneactor Juergen (who I met in Switzerland this year) has had made. The horse is a Perry from the freebie figure which I think was offered with the Men at Arms boxset.

I have applied my limited conversion skills to create a pair of bodyguards - using plastics parts from various boxes (this is the joy of so many plastics figures and parts now available) with metal plumes attached, who'll be milling around on the final base.

Finally the duke figure (converted by Oliver and shown in an earlier post) has a mount. Oliver added the caparison and I have used a Perry horse head, but removed the mail, to just leave the crinnet - as this is to represent Charles in command of his forces, but not in full harness.

Now I have to find the ideal posing for them on a base and paint these to try to do some justice to the great conversion work....first up on my list for 2015.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Burgundian Men at Arms (V)

The Burgundian men at arms are based and completed.

This post is largely just images of the finished contingent. The hounds, which are in danger of becoming ubiquitous on all pieces I do from now on, have joined the charge towards enemy lines. I'm not entirely happy with the commander figure, not sure why, so he maybe prised off his mount and replaced on day.

Last picture is a man at arms originally planned to lead this group, but who failed to make the 'director's cut'. He's still a work in progress, but now proposed to join figures representing the Bastard of Burgundy's household. The reason for this change was a talk by Toby Capwell, of the Wallace Collection, that I was lucky to attend a few weeks ago. He's certain that fully gilded armour was rare (due to it's expense) and so restricted to kings and the richest of noblemen - hence the change. I plan to start prep on that group over the winter.

Burgundian Men at Arms (V) - WIP

This is my last planned unit of mounted men at arms for the Burgundians - aside from one for the Bastard of Burgundy, which will represent a command group. These figures are now pretty much finished and will be based in groups of three, with 60mm base frontage, as per the rest of my figures.

All are Perry plastics - most have had some additional work done on either the men at arms or their mounts - the addition of plumes, St Andrews crosses, horse tack, etc.  A few helms from the latest Perry Foot Knights have been attached to these too. Many of these were started several months back and the preparation fo these has taken longer than applying the paint, I reckon. The figures wearing tabards represent Troylo di Rosano, an Italian captain contracted by the duke who was present in the Morat campaign and battle. The other is Hugues de Thoisy who was one of the chamberlain in the duke's household and who may have been at Morat. The flag is a download from the internet and shows  the banner of the 11th Company, with the image of St Margaret.

The pics have been taken on my desk and a lot of the highlights tones, most notably on the reds, are not showing up on these photos. These should all have the base work completed later this week and I'll try to use whatever natural light there maybe next weekend to take some shots of the finished unit. Like all of the other men at arms, I will be adding a supporting row of mounted coustillers and more flag bearers to fully complete the units of Ordonnance men at arms, when the next Perry 'Light Cavalry' plastics are available.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Charles the Bold - take 2.

Oliver of Steel Fist Miniatures has sent me the second figure he's sculpted for me for Charles the Bold, based on Perry plastic man at arms parts. Oliver's sculpting skills are of the highest level and he continues to exceed my expectations - creating a command figure, based on Charles wearing a german style harness over a brigandine and wearing his hat of pearls (looted by the Bernese at Morat and included in Schillings illustrated chronicles after the wars).

The pose is exactly as I wanted and the rendering of the hat has caught the shape just right - the reconstructed version is on display at Grandson castle in Switzerland. I now need to sort out a mounts and some household companions for Charles to create a command stand - this will be more of a vignette, as I already have a base of Charles for gaming purposes. Am really looking forward to painting them and trying to do Oliver's craftsmanship justice. More of that anon.

No more progress on the captain's pavilion to date; I have had change of plans re the construction. I'm trying to be a little more ambitious with the final model (with assistance in making some bespoke parts) and hope to be able to show next developments fairly soon. In the meantime I have been painting horse flesh for another contingent of Burgundian men at arms, which I need to push on with to finish. Oh, and then there's those foot knight vignettes I've started to assemble - too many fronts opening up and nothing getting done....must focus!