Thursday, 29 September 2016

Anthony, Bastard of Burgundy and men at arms

Anthony of Burgundy men at arms contingent - completed.

This is my most ambitious unit for this army; in terms of the amount of conversion and putty work that's been done before the paintwork (pics of this are in previous blog posts). They represent the peak of Burgundian nobility supporting the Bastard, all armed in quality harness and barding for their mounts. Looking at the completed unit, it may have been good to add a figure in blue finish armour too, to add to the impression of  fine quality harness, but too late now. 

As per all my other men at arms, they'll have a supporting row of coustillers, a trumpeter and more flagbearers - which I'm planning out the prep for now. I then will have just a handful of extra bases to do for the Burgundians - aside from vignettes and casualty markers - so can maybe (just maybe?) start thinking about the prospect of Swiss.

Anthony was the illegitimate son of Duke Phillip of Burgundy and Jeanne de Prelle. He was therefore the half brother of Duke Charles and was a pivotal member of the ducal household, fulfilling a number of military, diplomatic and advisory roles at the court. He fought for his father on several campaigns, from at least 1451 onwards, and in 1464 left for a crusade against the Moors when he helped raise the siege of Ceuta.  
Anthony was at the battles of GrandsonMurten and Nancy, taking a prominent role in commanding troops on the field. At Nancy he was taken hostage by RenĂ© II, Duke of Lorraine, and delivered to the King of France, for whom he was to serve after Charles's death.  He married Marie de la Viesville, and the entwined A and M painted on the horse bard covering is my attempt to portray this, applying an artistic device  which is shown for Charles and Mary on surviving pieces of fabric.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Bastard of Burgundy - WIP (2)

More plastic and Green Stuff, covered with paint.

The second base, which will be the left hand one of the three, all done and ready for basing. I'm progressing rather slowly these figures; having to do them in short painting sessions, as I'm getting a bit of Burgundian fatigue - which has been relieved by doing other terrain bits and a small group of Greek Hoplites too (!).

Central group of three men at arms including Antony of Burgundy is underway, so completed group should be along quite soon.
Thanks for all your generous comments so far. Simon

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Bastard of Burgundy - WIP (1)

First part of the three bases that comprise this contingent are painted - basing will be done as one task at the final stage.

All held together with Blutac at the moment. The personal pennon of Antony of Burgundy is another wonderful one from Pete Smith.

Next group of three are underway... more soon.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Casualty Markers (I)

Whenever I've managed to play games with my armies, there always comes a point where we're scrabbling around for more casualty markers. I'm not a rules guru, but do prefer the aesthetics of showing casualties and/or morale impacts with model figures (rather than other options such as dice etc). So I've started some models as markers for my Burgundians - first one is done.

It shows a fallen/wounded Burgundian man at arms about to be despatched by a Swiss. The Burgundian uses plastic parts from the Perry Foot Knights. The Swiss is a plastic figure from the Bills & Bows box, with legs repositioned and gaps filled. The dagger arm is cut down from plastic Perry Beja and then dressed with green stuff. I'm happy with the overall composition.

More coming along soon....

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

The Bastard of Burgundy is green...

...and ready for painting.

All the men at arms and their mounts are converted and to be undercoated for painting. I've spent a fair bit of time in converting, partly as the process to add putty is a slow one (several mistakes have been redone). These pics do show the amount of additions etc made to the Perry Miniatures plastics. The figure to the left of the duke, is a conversion by Oliver at Steel Fist Miniatures and kindly sent to me - so he'd been reserved for this unit.

I 'borrowed' a couple of horses which I've fiddled about with last year and added cloth coverings over the bard (as Italians), as I've never gotten around to adding paint. Two figures on each side base will carry a flag/pennon and they'll be a row of supporting coustillers etc, in due course. I think that this will be the final composition for the three bases, all held with Blutac as the moment.

On to the painting stage - I'll post when I have done each group of three figures.

Cheers, Simon.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Burgundian barding conversions - work in progress

The next unit I'm working is planned to be the last mounted men at arms for my Burgundians. I've saved the contingent of Antony, Bastard of Burgundy as the finale - partly as I wanted to keep back a visually strong unit, and I've felt that my conversion skills have not been up to the tasks in hand until now (thanks to some sculpting coaching session I was fortunate to have).

So this unit will be a high status one - representing the duke's half brother alongside other Burgundian nobles wearing their most expensive harness and horse bards. First steps have been to 'upgrade' and vary the barding, using some contemporary images as my guide. This posting is my current progress, mainly undertaken over the last couple of weeks whilst away on hols.

Searching for reference material for horse armour for this period has been an interesting exercise in itself. Starting with extant armour, there appears to only 3 remaining full bards form the second half of the fifteenth century - Wallace Collection c1480 (A21), Berlin c 1475 (W1052) and Vienna c 1450 - images below. Two of these are accurately represented in the Perry Miniatures Mounted Men at Arms plastic set.

Look beyond these bards however and there's a bit of a void, which I'd not expected to find. The items remaining in collections and museums, which can be accurately dated as reference pieces for a Burgundian army are very limited - mainly chamfrons, a few crinnets and odd pieces of plate.

This led me to look at contemporary images. Once again I was surprised by how few I have found to date. Most of the images and illustrations for the period 1450-1490 from battle scenes, saints, classical & Biblical tales, etc show no apparent armour on knightly mounts. Armour for the horse seems to be restricted to chamfrons and the occasional plate or mail crinnet. Its in the early 16th century when horse bard appears to be more in evidence in both museum armoury collections and contemporary imagery.  This leads me to conclude that it may have been the significant increase of gunpowder weapons f(hand held and wheeled) from c 1500 which created the need for men of high status to protect their mounts with plate (as its been argued that the increased power of crossbows from the mid 14th century hastened the development from mail to plate for knights on the battlefield).

So this leaves me with a relatively limited number of visual references to work from, some of which are here. There's a wonderful Italian bard from c 1470, some Flemish and Italian images and (thankfully for my purposes) plenty in the enigmatic scenes in the Berne Chronicles Schilling - showing exactly the troop types which I'm attempted to represent in 28mm.

So, here is the work done to date on the models. I've used the Perry plastic bards as my templates (mainly the Italian style one) and have removed with scalpel and smoothing sticks all the mouldings of the plates and rivets, before applying a thin layer of Green Stuff and shaping the details with variety of dental tools and clay shapers. I've also used moulds which Oliver at Steel Fist Miniatures kindly made for me some time ago and tried to smooth out a surrounding layer of putty. The challenges has been many; the main one being to create smooth edges when its necessary to build up the armour at different stages ands so hide the joins. Its a slow process doing one small area and letting that set off before moving to the next.

I'm fairly pleased with the results to date, which is giving me confidence to try to do more. But I am apprehensive that paintwork and washes will show up the limitations of my conversion work...we'll see. A bit more to do to get me to the required nine barded mounts, before I start on the riders.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Battle of the Spurs and a few new figures

Last Saturday brought the opportunity to put my Burgundians into the field again; this time masquerading as French, for a refight of Guinegate 1513 (better known as Battle of the Spurs, the only real engagement which involved Henry VIII). The hosts were Alan and Michael Perry and the English were Stuart Mulligan's astounding Tudor army. In addition to creating all the English contingents for the 1513 campaign - including many brilliant conversions - he's had terrain made for the walls of Therouanne (by Dave Marshall of TM Terrain, who also played on the English side).

A game report and pictures are on Perry Miniatures Facebook site. Whist I took some pictures, Michael's are far superior so I've grabbed a few to show here. You get an idea of the size of the forces assembled (including some from the Perry's own collection), about 800 - 1,000 figures on stunning terrain, 14 x 6 feet. I'm pleased to report that the army acquitted itself well, despite going incognito as French, with the men at arms who comprised the left wing finally getting the better of their English opponents and a narrow win for the French was the final result.

In preparation for the game, I managed to complete another group of Coustillers. All my Burgundian men at arms now have a supporting row. These are mix of Perry plastics and metals, with couple of conversions in there. The flags are from Pete's Flags - a new Burgundian sheet he's just done.

I've also made a vignette of hornblowers - based on contemporary images where I've noticed that such musicians are often portrayed together in groups (usually mounted), rather than singularly. I assume that the level of noise required on a battlefield required several chaps creating sounds at the same time. One is metal Perry and the other is plastic who has had some heavy surgery and Green Stuff to get the pose and puffed out cheeks etc. Those ubiquitous hounds have slipped in again too!

Hoping to start to prep the last Burgundian units next - men at arms for Bastard of Burgundy.
all the best, Simon.