Sunday, 26 February 2012

Burgundian Ducal Guard - test figures.



































I've started a couple of figures that are planned to form a contingent representing Charles the Bold's household bodyguard. Charles is known to have established a body of guardsmen before he ascended to the dukedom. After becoming duke they formed part of the household, that group of officials who were closest to the duke's person and who performed tasks for the duke's administration.

Briefly, it appears that there were two bodies who were termed 'guards'. Firstly a group of bodyguards, recorded as numbering between 110 and circa 900 at different times during the duke's reign. These appear to have been led by Olivier de la Marche and were organised for battle (according to the documented plan of May 1475) with other members of the household, who I envisage being men at arms. In addition there was also a contingent termed 'squadrons of the guard', who were attached to form a larger fighting unit when required. It's likely that these were drawn from the 1st Company of the Ordonnance, who were also referred to as 'archers of the guard', and who were most likely to have been English in Burgundian service and who's captain was also de la Marche.

Therefore for my army I'm proposing the creation of a unit of ducal guards and a seperate unit of household troops (probably as dismounted men at arms).

The ducal guards will be a unit of mixed halbardiers and longbowmen, reflecting the illustrations of Burgundian troops by the 'Master WA' (one of which is seen here) with front rank of archers and rear of polearmed troops. For the bowmen I'm going to use the Perry metal archers pack, which are great figures, and I've started a couple of test ones here. I want them to look distinctively different and to be ones whose appearance the duke has invested his wealth on. I've therefore added plumes, attached with a pin and small bead (to represent the fitting device). It is known, from a description by Jean de Haynin in 1465, that the duke's guards had a paletot bearing the St Andrews cross in white on black and purple cloth. I've copied the drawing of the interpretation of this by Gerry Embelton (picture here) - although it's unclear if this was worn throughout the duke's reign - but it contrasts nicely with the other livered Burgundian troops and I can just about manage to paint it on the figures as a simplified version. I've kept some reference to the blue and white livery colours in the plumes and hose.

I want to carefully select the figures used for the halbardiers and command and so this unit will be collated gradually, as new usable Perry figures become available.




11 comments:

  1. Stunning work ! I´m realy impressed by the details !

    Good work, looking forward to see this unit build.

    Best regards dalauppror

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  2. Excellent, your Burgundians are very inspiring...

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  3. Great stuff! An amazing collection!

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  4. Wow! lots of details on these, they will certainly stand out on the table.

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  5. These look great mate! Brilliant work.

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  6. The test figures look terrific, should look great as a whole unit.

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  7. WoW! they look fantastic, I wouldn't fancy painting a unit of them!

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  8. that is going to be a cracking unit

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  9. Ditto all of the above ! Hopefully some figures may be released that are suitable as halberdiers or failing that some rather nifty conversions could be in order. Is there anything to go off for De La Marche's appearence or heraldry / livery?

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