Thursday, 24 October 2019

Wargames Illustrated - words and pictures

Just a short post, to say that I've an article to be published in the November 2019 issue of 'Wargames Illustrated' magazine (number 385).

It's about how I've assembled my army of Charles the Bold over the last few years, largely using the Perry Miniatures range of figures, along with the conversion and modifications that I've done, in an attempt to recreate the look of a Burgundian army based on the evidence that exists and that I've been able to access.

For those who've followed this blog for any length of time, there's probably very little that is new to you. Writing the article this summer however, has prompted me to revisit this collection - ahead of putting more time and focus on building my Swiss Confederation army - and so the recent bits and pieces that I've done (the mounted longbowmen and their horseholders), or which are now planned, have been a result of this.

Anyway, happy reading for those of you who do buy the magazine...

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Burgundian Horseholders (III)

The second horseholder base is complete.

I like the composition of this one and although getting the reins lined up in the page's hands took some time, but I'm happy with the finished base.

For the third base I need to ideally find a slightly different variation on a theme. Current preparation on the horses has removed the reins and added the saddles (stirrups to be added). The page I'm considering is a plastic Perry figure - his top half is from the Foot Knights command sprue, with his armoured legs removed and replaced with one from the Bills and Bows box. Head will probably be another soft hat, which seem most appropriate.

Toodle pip...


Saturday, 28 September 2019

Burgundian Horseholders (II)

The first base has been painted and finished.

The trickiest task was attaching the reins to the spare horses, once I had glues all the models down to my usual 60mm square base. I drilled small holes to accept the wire and I think I've finally got most of them in and glued. I'm happy that the idea has translated OK into the first base.

I've now started work on the second one. The horses are Perry Agincourt and Wars of the Roses, with the page being a Steel Fist Miniatures model, with replacement head. Reins and stirrups were to be added, when I took the picture.

Will post when this one's painted up.
Cheerio for now.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Burgundian horseholders (I)

So to complement my dismounted Burgundian longbowmen,  I've started on the first of three bases of horseholders.

According to the Ordinances of Charles the Bold, it was the role of pages to manage the horses when longbowmen dismounted to shoot. Pages appear to have been the only non-combatants within the composition of the Burgundian lance.

For the first base I've decided to have a page sitting on his own mount, tending horses. You can probably see the Perry castings I've used here and the extras that I've added with green stuff putty. The page is from the plastic Light Cavalry box set, mounted on a metal horse. The other horses are from Perry Wars of the Roses and Agincourt ranges; I have to select those in passive poses of which there aren't too many. Reins have been removed from the horses and saddles added with putty. The trickiest work was the stirrups - these are bent from thin wire, which has had a thin layer of putty added, trimmed to length when dry and then glued on.

Think the overall composition works OK, as I want to do these on my usual 60mm square bases so they align behind the longbowmen. Painting is next, but I'm not looking forward to attaching the replacement reins to those horses!

More anon,

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Burgundian Mounted Longbowmen

Following on from the last post, these are the painted and based unit of mounted longbowmen.

I decided not to add a captain - I did create and paint a figure holding a glaive in half-armour (with added riding boots), but decided that as my other units don't have one, that I'd be consistent and leave him off. One figure is gesturing forward so he's in charge...

Need to have a review of the army and see what else is needed. I'd like to do some horseholder bases to sit behind these, just to complete the unit. I have some ideas based on finding suitable horses who are static - looks like Perry WotR Heralds and their HYW Mounted Sergeants may fit the bill?

Rear view - or the Swiss Confederation view!


Saturday, 31 August 2019

These boots are made for walking (and riding)

I'm back tinkering with a new unit for my Burgundian Ordonnance army.

This came about from reading some of the Ordinances of Charles the Bold again. I realised that in relation to the proportion of troop types raised, via the lance system,  I'm currently a little light on the total number of units of longbowmen. There were 3 longbowmen for every crossbowman or handgun and I have about equal proportions. Also many longbowmen were classified as 'mounted' in the Ordinances. This I am sure refers to their capability to ride alongside mounted men at arms on campaign, with all fighting done on foot.

Closer observation of the troops by the 'Master WA '(or 'Master W with a key') which is usually assumed to show Burgundians, clearly depicts all the archers wearing long riding boots, suggesting mounted troops. Riding boots were stipulated in the Ordinances of Charles the Bold for the mounted longbowmen - "Knee length boots should be worn with short spurs and without piked toes, in order to let him walk freely".  So an additional unit of liveried bowmen wearing riding boots it is then.

I used the Perry Miniatures metal bowmen for most of them. I've used these figures already for my ducal bodyguard, but as they had been modified with plumes etc and wore different colour scheme on their jackets, I thought they'd be sufficiently different.

I removed the cast-on shoes and then used knedatite to firstly add the turned-over tops of the boots, then the extra leather which allows the wearer to put the boots on and which is then pulled tight and held down by straps and buckles. (I added the straps but cannot attempt to sculpt buckles!!) A couple of figures have boots which are rolled down further from the knees. I also beheaded the figures wearing a soft hat and replaced with helmets for some extra variety.

On some plastics I added arms with the covered the bows and arrow bags, from the Perry WotR Light Cavalry and Agincourt Knights boxes. I've selected figures to denote a captain and flag bearer, which are work in progress right now.

So they're almost ready for painting and I will need to select a suitable new Ordonnnace flag. Will post them up when done.

Cheerio for now,


Monday, 29 January 2018

Flemish town buildings (I)

So we're back! A long enforced hiatus between postings, as I've been focussing my time on transferring the Steel Fist Miniatures business from Oliver - who's been absolutely fantastic in helping out and so it's all up and running. I'm not going to include anything about the hobby business on my blog, unless there's an overlap with my Burgundian Wars wargaming topic.

This thread is the start of a modest project to make some urban buildings to populate inside my castle walls. I've an aspiration to set up a game that uses all my castle walls and Neuss siege of 1474/5 by Charles of Burgundy is an obvious choice, so I'm compiling a list of requirements for this.

I'm not a great model maker and seem to have a natural inability to cut straight lines etc. So I've been looking for pre-made models to use where I can.  In my search for options, I've discovered the highly detailed resin models by Artitec of The Netherlands. They are HO scale and made with model railways in mind. They make a small number of low relief fronts of 16th century architecture, which I'm using to construct small rows of town houses. The benefit of HO scale is that the Hudson and Allen castle walls are 25mm and so not too high; therefore most 28mm models would risk looking too large by comparison. If I ignore the height of the doors, then these look fine re overall dimensions; most importantly the rooftops are not higher than the town walls.

First task is to try and knock 150 years off the models and make them more like medieval abodes. So I have added wooden shutters and doors with bass wood and glazing to the upper windows with fine metal mesh. I'm using Flemish late 15th century paintings for my references - there are amazingly detailed street scenes in the backgrounds of several religious subjects who are painted sitting inside Flemish rooms, plus this recent find below.

Seven Works of Mercy by Alkmaar, 1504 (Rijksmuseum)
Pictures show work in progress on the first block of three. The fronts are attached to a polyboard frame and I'll probably add backs too - walls and roofs will be covered by sheets of Wills flemish bricks and tiles. Others fronts will have some timber and render added to vary the overall look and to try not to locate them all as North European, as they're going to be used for a town on the Rhine! So far, so good....