Wednesday 23 December 2009

fiddling about...

One of the great benefits of plastics is the potential for conversions. I can recall past days of 'Military Modelling' magazine when obscure figures were created from basic Historex or Airfix plastics. Well, whilst not truly conversions, I have been fiddling about to slightly alter some figures to make them a tad more 'continental' in appearance. Using Duro putty I've added some scarves tied on helmets and a 'bend' to one figure, all to be painted in ducal colours. On others, using the excellent Osprey 'English Longbowmen' as my guide, I've added bags to the arrows that hang from the waist belts, some which were opened at both ends to enable easy access to the arrows. Some Burgundian longbowmen (probably English in Charles service), are shown in Schilling's Chronicles, carrying large semi-rigid arrow bags, so I've had a go at a couple of these - whilst they seem over-large they are roughly to size. This is the extent of my current skills with putty, so I'll probably do a few more along similiar lines, if they look Ok when painted up.
I also want to add plumes to the sallets on my Household Guard figures, but I'll wait and see if the Perrys do separate heads such as this, as they have said they plan to do.
Any other ideas to 'Burgundianise' the figures are warmly welcomed.

Wednesday 16 December 2009

Plastic WIPs

A renewal of activity; due to the long awaited, and much anticipated, first release of the late medieval range from Perry Miniatures. I'd not purchased any of the new generation of 28mm plastics until now and I am overwhelmed by both the detail of the sculpting and by the crispness of the moulding on these figures, every rivet on the brigandine is well defined and the figures in full harness are little works of art. Others have already reviewed the contents of the plastic bills and bows box, so I won't repeat that here. To me the figures seem more slender than previous Perry figures; whether this is a consequence of the 3-up sculpting, a result of the fineness which plastic production can give or merely an optical illusion I'm not sure. It will be interesting to stand them alongside the first metals for this range. Overall great value for money and surely they'll be a glut of Wars of the Roses games in 2010 and hopefully others who'll adapt he range for mainland European armies too.
Pictured above are the first ones I've done since they arrived last week, photo'd quickly under the desk lamp, and the start of the upgrade and replacement of my Burgundian Ordonnance army of Duke Charles. The figures wearing jacks have had sewn-on crosses of St Andrew added for recognition and I've attached wire bowstrings. Next step to finih and base up a couple of longbowmen units.

Friday 2 October 2009

Basing and Planning

Some progress (at last I hear someone cry!). A brief break from my HYW has allowed me to base up, and part complete, another Swiss pike contingent. These represent Zurich and Lucerne cantons. Both were part of the Confederation of eight core cantons - the Eidgenossen - that with allied cantons (and some neighbouring feudal and civic allies) fought Duke Charles of Burgundy. They provided significant numbers at Grandson and Morat (second only to Berne) and I've banded them together anachronistically on the basis of similiar blue and white cantonal colour schemes. I'm currently organising my Swiss along canton colour lines, so that theres a nice balance of colours to distinguish each of the main units and to give me a painting framework too. However I'm drawn to the idea of representing a central mass of mixed flags, as shown in the Schilling chronicles, soI may also make up a base of these for when all are collated together into a large Vorhut.
These figures are Foundry and were exquisitely painted for me last year by Gareth McCullagh, who is an even more talented sculptor of small figures than he is a fantastic painter. The final Zurich/Lucerne pike bloc will have another 3-deep line of bases added, to form the centre of the bloc with a base of flagbearers and halbard escort on the second row. Alongside the canton flags I plan to add a small flag for each leader; for Zurich this was Hans Waldmann, whose green and yellow flag will provide some contrasts in colour.
This is probably the last basing up I'll get done for the Swiss before the Perrys WofR range is released, as I need to decide whether the new range will be used for my remaining Swiss, or do I use up the Foundry lead pile that's been hanging around for some time?

I've also sketched out the Burgundian Ordonnance army plans, where I will use the new Perry range. The structure and troop ratios are based on Charles' ordinances for his army between 1471 and 1475. Each contingent will be put on large bases, like the Swiss and roughly each represents 300 foot or 125 cavalry.
So, I have the following in mind:
Household troops:
1 x Charles, Duke of Burgundy - commander (mounted men at arms & coustillers)
1 x Antony, Bastard of Burgundy - sub commander (mounted MAAs & coustillers)
1 x Count of Campobasso - sub-commander (mounted MAAs & coustillers)
1 x knights & chamberlains (foot MAAs)
2 x longbowmen

Ordonnance troops:
8 x mounted men at arms & coustillers
6 x longbowmen
2 x crossbowmen
2 x handgunners
4 x halbardiers
5 x artillery pieces

Feudal troops:
2 x mounted knights & coustillers
6 x Picardy/Flemish pikemen

This gives a tabletop force of just over 300 figures, plus some vignettes, casualties & baggage camp, which is probably well over 18 months painting work for me, and is broadly proportionate to the more numerous Swiss force I'm gathering too. I'm sure it'll be amended as time goes on, but for now I'm happy that I have a decent target to aim at. So first plastics out of the box will be done as Ordonnance longbowmen.

Saturday 12 September 2009

Perry Plastics

Hey, some news and a post!
I'm sure that the majority of the gaming fratenity have seen the latest pics on the first Perry 28mm plastics for their new Late Medieval range, to be released pre Christmas.

These will form the majority of my new Burgundian Ordonnance army, along with the metals that are released too. These have fantastic potential, I'm sure they'll be used for fantasy as well as all the English & European historical options. Loads of variations look possible with the seperate arms and heads.
One of the great things with the new phase of hard plastics is the huge number of variants that can be obtained from a box, be they Perry, Victrix, Warlord, etc . That, plus the low cost relative to metals of the same quality, and the conversion potential, if you're feeling brave enough to get out the scalpel, glue and filler.
Looks to me from these pics that they'll be seperate swords/scabbards plus arrow bundles for the archers on the sprues. I particularly like the arrows pushed into the ground too – hope they'll be lots of them – very useful for seperating and using as arrows shot into the ground for attacking Swiss pike and halbard bases.
Basically, all options well thought out as with other Perry plastics and can't fault them (other than we'd like 'em sooner!).
My plan will be to do an 'out of the box' contingent or two of English archers in Charles' service and then perhaps some Ordonnance halbardiers, with a few modest conversions to add plumes & scarves on some helms and even a sewn-on cross of St Andrew.
Roll on Christmas!

Tuesday 2 June 2009

Swiss - the story so far

Pics of the Swiss that I have done to date; those that are painted and based.
These are Uri and Berne cantons, the latter will be three times this size when completed, to reflect the fact that the Bernese provided the majority of the Swiss army at both Grandson and Morat.
Flags are to be added. Figures are all Foundry. Painted by me and Dave Imrie (who did most of the Uri pikemen and shot).
Basing is on 100 x 50mm bases and 50mm square for the 'sleeves' of shot and halbards (who can be seperated off and conjoined to form halbard blocs).

Sunday 17 May 2009

Catherine's pics

Some more detailed pics of the same figures. I left the models in my conservatory after the previous posting(where I take my pictures to utilise the natural light) and my youngest daughter used her own camera, with close-up setting, and took some pics. So I thought they shouldn't go to waste. Minor intake of breath from me however, having seen these in mega close-up, as they're not the standard that I strive for now, but I should remember these were done a while back now. Not bad pics though - for a 14 year old with a cheap camera.

Friday 1 May 2009

Ye old Burgundian Ordonnance

Some selected pics of my existing Burgundian army.

Figures are Foundry/Citadel castings in the main, painted by me over many years in the early 90s. All my figures are based on large 100x50mm bases, not for any specific rules, but (I have to admit) heavily influenced by Dave Andrews collection, which I rather slavishly followed at the time.

In all there are the following bases; 12 men at arms, 6 pike (as 2 units), 8 longbows, 2 handguns, 4 crossbows, 2 halbards and 6 artillery, plus a couple of command groups. Flags are a mix of handpainted, Freezywater and some scanned images.
One of the main attractions of this army, apart from trying to 're-write' history and attempt to co-ordibnate the various troop types andactually beat the Swiss, is the visual appeal - they are very colourful; with the blue & white livery and St Andrews cross, Burgundian flints and saints adorning flags.
Will post some more soon.

Friday 3 April 2009

I have undertaken it...

...what exactly? well to complete my 28mm wargame armies covering the Burgundian Swiss wars of 1474-1477.

First, a little history. The origins of these armies goes back to the late 1980s/early 90's when I completed my existing Burgundian army, mainly using the Citadel late medieval range - a very nice set of figures and top of the range for historical accuracy and variety at the time. These were completed based, then rebased but I was never really happy with the quality of the flags. The Swiss Confederation army had an abortive start several years ago, using the same figure range, supplemented by various other manufacturers. As most of the Swiss carry pikes and the Citadel range didn't, this meant many hours of conversions and so progress ground to a halt. The army was then revivied by the arrival of the Dave Andrew's designed Foundry figures - the first accuarate figures that looked like the contemporary Schilling chronicles. to date I've completed about a quarter of the pike blocs I'm planning and units are yet to be provided with cantonal flags.

Back to the present, or indeed the future. The forthcoming Perry late medieval range of plastics and metals is the impetus to revisit this collection, in a major way. The Burgundians will be completely replaced (with the existing figures probably being sold off). The Swiss will be continued and completed - I have a mound of Swiss Foundry castings and will see if any of the new Perrys can be utilised - I believe that there will be 'continental' troops which will reflect Swiss dress.

So, next up some pics of the existing collection, just for old times sake.