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....


Thursday, 5 October 2017

Steel Fist Miniatures

As some of you will know by now,  I'm the new owner of the Steel Fist Miniatures business.

I've known Oliver, the business founder and sculptor, for a few years as he's made and converted a few figures for me for my Burgundian & Swiss collection. I have admired his sculpting style since seeing his first figures and like many others in their craft, the quality of his work is continually improving in my opinion. Oliver also shares an interest in both the history and the armour, equipment & clothing of the periods he sculpts, so his figures look just right.

The good news is that Oliver will continue as main sculptor. We will expand all the existing ranges and have lots of ideas for new figures, as well as other areas that we can cover in due course. This is an exciting opportunity for me to get more closely involved in the hobby business and work closely with Oliver.  I will be getting to grips with the sales process as soon as I can, including getting a new website, hopefully next month.

Here's the announcement from Oliver, which sums up where we are at the moment.

I'm very pleased to announce that Simon Chick is the new owner of Steel Fist Miniatures.

Simon and I have worked together before. He has a great interest and sensitivity toward the historically accurate details that I like to put into the miniatures. Simon's medieval collections can be seen on his blog 

Customers will also be pleased to know that there are plans to expand all the current ranges that Steel Fist produces, with me continuing to act as sculptor. This means that the 28mm Samurai, Renaissance and Later Medieval ranges will all see new figures being added.

For the time being the business will run as usual, but we have exciting plans for the future which we will advise on in the next few weeks.I would also like to take opportunity to thank all the customers who have supported the business and my vision of producing highly detailed miniatures from the very beginning until now.

I'm sure that Simon will continue this vision with the new miniatures.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Swiss - castings for sale.

As previously posted, I have had some Swiss figures in full harness sculpted by Oliver of Steel Fist Miniatures for my own use. I now have some spare castings, if anyone is interested in buying them for their own use.

Assembled Swiss pack

I can offer two packs:
1. Swiss front ranks. This is a pack of 4 figures (2 different bodies), 4 pairs of different arms, 4 heads, 4 halbards, 4 baselard daggers and 4 swords.

Swiss front-rankers pack
You should be aware that these figures need assembly. The arms will fit on both body types, although there maybe a little work need to drill and fill any small gaps (with glue or putty). The heads can also be used on Perry Miniature plastics, and visa versa. The Swiss head with the large plumes maybe best drilled and pinned, as its a very large casting.

Price: £12 per pack, plus £1.20 UK post or £2.00 for Europe/World

2. Arms and weapons.  I can also offer the 4 pairs of arms and 8 weapons, as they'll fit OK to Perry Miniatures plastics, once you have drilled a hole to fix them before glueing. (One pair of arms creates a weapon being held at about 60 degrees, on a Perrys body.)

Arms and Weapons Pack
Price: £5 per pack, plus £1.00 UK post or £1.50 for Europe/World

The payment process:
Please send funds via Paypal, to
Make sure that I have your delivery address too - as Paypal do not always provide this to me!

If you want to pay by other means, or contact me, just drop a note to the same email address.

Arms attached to Perry Miniatures plastic bodies by drilling and superglue
NB: Whilst these are designed for use in my Swiss army, as they are sculpted in full harness they can easily be used as any well-armed soldiers for most Western European armies, circa 1460 to 1490. Giving them different choices of helmets or heads, can give them a 'regional flavour'.

Many thanks,

Post Script.
Stefan has some more examples of assembled figures and arms on Perry plastics on his blog. 

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Berne Pike Block (III)

One step backwards and two steps forwards.

After some self-cogitation, I've taken onboard feedback from folk on last posting of the Swiss front rank bases (thanks Stuart!). I've also been looking at other's ancient and renaissance pike blocks and borrowed an idea from Curt of Analogue Hobbies for some interesting bases he'd had done at Warbases (thanks Curt!).

The result is another row of levelled pikemen added to the front rank bases. The aim is to create a more tightly packed group on each base, attacking shoulder-to-shoulder. Again these figures are a mix of Perry and my own castings; including a few Perry plastic bodies with my own open-handed metal arms attached, which seem to work quite nicely and create some new poses.

Now moving on to the supporting row, who'll have pikes held at a 45 degree angle, before I commit to any gluing and basing.