The Beauchamp Pageant is a document from c1485 which includes a series of fine ink illustrations depicting events in the life of Richard Beauchamp, earl of Warwick. These include several military and jousting scenes, which provide detailed images of contemporary arms and armour and are therefore a very valuable source. One of the illustrations depicts a chevauchee following the failed siege of Calais in 1436. One of the mounted men at arms wears an interesting combination of armour. His left arm is protected by plate, including a pauldron. However his right arm has a mail sleeve over plate rather than a matching pauldron. There is another figure in this picture, depicting a Burgundian, who appears to be similarly attired. I’ve not yet found another contemporary illustration showing this arrangement of only one pauldron – but I will continue my brief search to date.
Details from Beauchamp Pageant (The British Library)
I’ve never worn reproduction armour, but I assume that there may be some pragmatic benefit from this, namely that the right-arm has some degree of greater freedom of movement for wielding a hand weapon; both of the figures illustrated fight from horseback with swords. As the Pageant is regarded as an accurate portrayal of dress for the period, I thought I’d attempt to depict this figure to add to my Burgundian men at arms – using some of the options created by the Perry plastics – with his primary weapon of a lance.
I’ve taken an arm holding a pike from the Mercenaries box, with mail sleeve over plate, and built up around the lance grip using green stuff. This has been temporarily attached to the figure for the photo – I’m going to do more work on the helm later or use an open-faced sallet with a plume. It does look a slightly odd figure, but I’ll also use other arms parts to create a sword-armed version and see how that goes too.
Meantime I’ve also prepared a few horses to start painting whilst on the family's annual holiday in France. I’ve had little success trying to paint 'al fresco' whilst away in previous years, where the light is often too bright and the warmer weather (..here’s hoping!) dries the acrylics too quickly. So this year it’s horseflesh and I’ve fiddled around with green stuff on the tack on a few Perry horses – who’ll have coustillers added at some future date – to create variety. The rest of the dozen horses have been assembled pretty much out of the box – with the obligatory filling of the joint across their backs.