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.


  1. That's one impressive looking pike block! I'm looking forward to further developments.

  2. Amazing! I'm going to get back to my Swiss after seeing this!

  3. Dave
    Thanks - but please don't you dare re-start your Swiss just yet; with your productivity levels you'll rapidly overtake me (as well as keep all your other wonderful projects on the go)!!

  4. This is great stuff!!

    I'm currently finishing off the army of Bedford at Verneuil and next up are Duke Charles and his nemesis, the Swiss.

    Your blog will certainly serve as inspiration.



  5. Can I ask what base size you ar using for Pike, shot and halberds etc...

  6. Dave
    Bases for my Swiss are 100x50mm, with others (shot/halbards) on 50mm squared.

  7. Wonderful!!
    I plan on doing a Swiss army myself someday as you know and this has me feeling very jealous!:-)


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