Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Burgundian Coustillers - second contingent.

Second contingent of Coustillers for my Burgundian Ordonnance army are complete – without any 
basing nightmares I’m pleased to report!

These are Perrys from the Late Medieval Light Cavalry plastics box, with the exception of one metal flagbearer. Several have head options selected from other plastic sets, one figures from the Men at Arms (with riding boots added) and a couple have plume castings added too. The torso and legs option in the 
Light Cavalry box I've sculpted longer riding boots, rather than the shoes which he has.

Composition reflects my plans for all these bases of three riders, with the central one bearing a flag or pennon, with others armed with light lances or spears. All of these will be interchangeable to form a three-base unit, except where I add company-specific captain’s flags (which I’m yet to do). One of the pictures shows them ‘in situ’; supporting the men at arms as a second rank, which should give them added punch against the Swiss!

So, two units down and four to go. I’m enjoying assembling the figures and working my way through the huge range of permutations, plus looking for other arm options and easy conversions that can extend the variety of poses etc. The task that really is onerous is painting all the horse flesh.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Burgundian Coustillers - first contingent

Completion of the first contingent of Burgundian Coustillers has taken a little longer than planned – when it shouldn’t have. Although I’ve started assembling and painting riders and horses from the Perry Light cavalry boxes from Salute, I decided to take a short cut to get the first group done, eager as I am to have a completed unit of mounted troops (as these will form the supporting row for the men at arms). So most of these figures are not my paintwork; the left and right hand bases are models I was able to purchase from Stefan, whose fantastic painting and modelling skills are on show on Xututec blogThey are a mix of Perry plastic and metals, with a lovely finish on the plate armour. 

The figure bearing the Burgundian arms in the centre is a Perry herald, with head and hand swap, who was completed some time and finally found a place with this unit. The metals fit quite well on plastic horses, as long as you cut away the back part of the saddle on the horse.

The delay was entirely down to my loss of concentration when basing. Having prised Stefan’s figures from the bases he’d attached them to, I then glued them to my bases. After some deliberation, I’d decided to mount them on the same size bases as the men at arms, which is an 80mm depth and 60mm frontage. Figures were attached and filler, stones and sand glued, ready for painting – when I realised that I’d attached them using the long side as the front! At this point I lost some traction, as I was so annoyed with myself I couldn’t immediately face the prospect of removing them again and repeating the base work.

All sorted now however and hopefully a second contingent will be along very soon; most figures are all 
done apart from marrying riders to their mounts (…and the basing up!)


The inclusion of some crossbowmen among the rear rank, reflects the composition of mounted troops in the contemporary illustrations attributed to the Master WA from the last quarter of the fifteenth century. I’ve referenced these engravings before and they are almost the only images of late mediaeval soldiers in formation that I'm aware of. A front rank of spear armed cavalry are supported by two rows of crossbowmen. Whilst they may have fought as a mixed arms unit, with the crossbows supporting, on the wargames table (when this army finally makes an appearance) I plan to treat them as spear/lance 
armed cavalrymen. However I’ll probably include some more crossbows in another Coustiller group.

More along soon, I hope.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Burgundian Coustillers - on the paint bench.

I don't usually post pictures of work in progress, unless its at the ready-to-base stage, partly as the painting table is a distinctly messy place - well overdue for a deep clean.  However, since Salute my time for sitting at the painting table has been very limited, largely due to family matters which have rightly been a priority for me.

So here are some Burgundian coustillers in various states of progress - some pretty much finished and some with details to be added, as are their mounts. I don't usually start on such a big group, but I got into a creative groove in assembling them straight after Salute and so decide to try and get through a batch of fifteen of them - in total I'll need to complete nearly sixty, so quite some way to go just yet.

They are not attached to the horses, just perched for the moment and I'll decide how the riders match up to the horses at a later date; in fact it maybe some time before they are based, I may do quite a few before I make any decisions on basing. There will be 3 bases, of 3 figures each, per contingent to support the men at arms.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Ducal Bodyguard - Light Cav conversions

I'm likely to use the boxes of Perry's Late Medieval Light Cavalry that I have recently acquired, as coustillers for my Burgundians. This means using the arm options holding light lances/spears, perhaps with a few crossbowmen added in, so I'll have plenty of spare arms and related bits for the mounted bowmen. So I have used these to create some additional dismounted bowmen, to vary the poses of the Perry's metal longbow castings, who'll form a contingent of the duke's bodyguard.

The main parts used have been the bows wrapped in covers, arrow sacks and the arms holding or carrying bows. Adding these to plastic bodies from other Perry boxes is straightforward and has only needed the addition of some straps for arrow bags from putty - which has been done to the metal billmen too. The other conversion uses a pair of couched spear arms, with mail sleeves, from the Light Cavalry sprue to create a banner/flag bearer, who'll probably end up on a vignette base - not so easy to see as I've undercoated him, but I think it works as a decent pose.

All have plumes and orbs (from small beads) added to helms, to add some gravitas to their role as ducal bodyguards and they'll all wear tabards of St Andrew's cross and steel and flames, as per the sample figures I did some time ago. The conversions will be en route to Spain soon, to be painted for me.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Perry Light Cavalry - previews.

The Perry Miniatures Light Cavalry 1450 – 1500 have officially broken cover and will be 
released at Salute show in April.

I had the opportunity to paint samples provided from the test production sprues to denote troop types that Michael requested; which have been used on the Perry’s website and I believe in the box 

As previously with the Perry's late medieval range, this box provides great figure options to create spear-armed coustillers, hobilars, crossbowmen, longbowmen, et al - most useful for European armies but I’m sure that many mounted longbowmen and hobilar types will be finding their way into WotR armies too. There are more variants of helmets too – my favourite is the onion shaped kettlehat – but there are several helms and heads which will be used in my future Swiss army. Also the arms for the crossbowmen and longbowmen, plus the separate arrow bags, can be used to create more variations of plastic foot figures, which I’m already planning.

Here’s some pics of the painted light horse, before their foray to Nottingham.

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!).