Saturday 31 December 2011

Artillery limber - WIP

I've started work on a base for a limbered Burgundian artillery piece, utilising the new draught horses from the Perry baggage packs. It will depict a field piece about to set off for a campaign or siege. This is a work in progress post.

There is not much specific information on how late medieval artillery was moved and exactly when separate limbers were widely used. The barrels of larger bombards appear to have been loaded onto wagons and their wooden frames possibly rebuilt on site, by travelling carpenters, specific to the requirements of their location. There are some later fifteenth century illustrations of limbers, a couple shown here, and so I've taken the liberty to try and reflect this type.

I've used an old Foundry ECW limber casting I've had for ages as the basis. To this I added the frame for the traces from a Perry baggage wagon and a central shaft from balsa. The artillery piece is a Perry one, with a small mantlet added. These are shown on contemporary illustrations, presumably attached with hinges at one end. When erected they afforded the gunners some protection and when lowered covered the barrel against the elements for travel. This has been constructed from standing shields in Perry AWI artillery packs, re-cut to size and attached together at a 45 degree angle - the shields will have a civic coat of arms to denote their origin. The two gunners have had some simple changes; one has had the breech he's holding replaced (and saved for usage elsewhere) by a bucket and a headswop for a soft hat. The other is a Perry WR halbardier who's now carrying the powder scoop and ramrod.

Should post the completed model soon, awaiting a larger mdf base from Warbases to arrive.

Monday 12 December 2011

Handgunner variants

I've created a few different poses for my next unit of Ordonnance handgunners. These use some selected Perry metal halbardiers. These have had arms carefully removed with a hacksaw and plastic ones added from the Mercenaries box. A bit of filling was required using ProCreate to cover small gaps and also to add some powder bags for those who've not one them on the original casting. The remaining figures, they'll be nine in all like the previous 'skirmish' unit, will be assembled from the plastic spures in the Mercenaries box.

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Halbardiers - more WIP

I've painted the figures that I currently plan to use as an attacking Burgundian Ordonnance halbardier unit. The pics are taken quickly on my painting desk, so aren't the best quality. I've decided to hold off fixing them and completing the basework, just in case new figures that lend themselves to these get released. I'll probably come back to them in a couple of months and see how the land lies.
The additional bases are both metal and plastic Perrys, to which I added a couple of scarves to helmets. I'm pleased with the overall composition which I was seeking to achieve. It's nice to do a unit in fighting poses rather than the usual two ranks deep and bases such as these attracted me to Impetus and so I'm now sketching out what others I could do in future.

Monday 21 November 2011

Halbardiers WIP

These are figures intended for the command stand for my first unit of Burgundian Ordonnance halbardiers, of two that are planned. They will have a stand added to either side to form the completed contingent. The figures are on my usual 60mm square bases and are a mix of Perry plastics and metals. The figure at the rear in the green coat will carry a banner. The mounted conducteur has had some surgery; he's a WR range 'scurror' with a plastic head from the Mercenaries box added as well as his open hand for lance replaced with a plastic sword holding hand.
The new metal halbardiers are very useful detailed sculpts, but yet again they are let down in the mouldmaking or casting process and details on the hands in particular are either distorted or lost altogther. This is very disappointing when you see the lovely greens on the web and then get to paint the castings.
I now am confronted with the dilemma, when I finish the planned figures for this unit, of to base or not to base? I'm hopeful that the EA range will be added to, specifically with foot command figures for Franco-Burgundians (as well as Swiss) and casualty figures. Any of these would potentially fit well into this type of unit and so I'm tempted to hold off gluing and basing these and await future releases. Therefore it maybe some time until these are finished. No doubt - new figures or not - I'll fiddle around with the final composition a bit more. I'll post the other accompanying figures when done.

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Burgundian Ordonnance pikes

I have finally completed the first of two Ordonnance pike blocs; these have taken longer than planned, partly as I've not been working on them exclusively and as work commitments have been heavy and so not much painting has been achieved over the last 2 months (hopefully this will be rectified before the end of the year).
Most of the figures are Perry plastics, straight from the Mercenaries box with minimal modifications, with a few of the recent metal marching billmen added. I've not spent so long on detailing each figure as they are somewhat lost within a larger unit. According to the Burgundian Ordinances pikemen should have carried a buckler too, however I've left them off these and will add them to the other pike unit, to create a subtle visual distinction. I have aspirations to add another front rank of bases for them, using some of the advancing metal figures and a company captain, although I'm happy with the overall size of the unit as pike units can appear to lack the required bulk and depth sometimes (my Swiss ones will probably be at least twice the size of these).
Most wargame army lists for the period cite Charles the Bold's pikemen as Flemish or Lowland, presumably based on the use of pikes by such armies in the Burgundian territories earlier in the fifteenth century. It is not clear to me how the recruiting of each of the Ordonnance Companies related to geographic or regional boundaries. We do know that the duke contracted with mercenary leaders for specific numbers of troops to form Companies and that others would have been raised directly from lands within the dukedom, such as Flanders. Equally we know that companies comprised of different arms, such as pikes, crossbows, handguns etc and that certain territories were more likely to provide certain specific arms, notably England for longbowmen. Therefore it seems to me that on the battlefield company organisation would need to be sufficiently flexible to re-arrange the differing arms within the companies into larger fighting blocs of similiar types, i.e. pike blocs and handgun units and so a mix of nationalities could compose a fighting unit?
However, for this unit I've reverted to assuming that these are Flemish sourced troops and hence they display arms of Ghent, a flag of the stonemasons Guild for the city and the Burgundian arms. Painting and posting should speed up a bit now, as I have more free time, and will be starting on a halbard unit.

Thursday 20 October 2011

Archers encore plus Bourguignon

The fourth and last unit of Burgundian Ordonnance longbowmen. These are the balance of the figures painted so well by Rafa of Archiduke Painting; one of the figures painted by me is tucked in at the back of one of the stands. The flag is a temporary one for the purposes of the photo, until I decide which Company these will represent.
The remainder of the Ordonnance companies will comprise of either pike, handgun, crossbow or halbards (the latter is at an early stage of prep). However I do plan to complete a unit of Ducal Guards, which will be represented by longbowmen, either exclusively or in a mixed unit with halbards. These will wear the Charles personal livery and be well equipped - I'm going to see what other metals get released in the Perry WR range before deciding which models to use for these.

Friday 14 October 2011

Two Burgundian Conducteurs

These are the first of my vignettes for the leading captains for the Burgundian Ordonnance army. Each Company of the Ordonnance were led by Conducteurs, personally appointed by the duke. Records of these men are known for most of the companies in Charles the Bold's reign, either from extant appointment records or other documents forwarding them ducal instructions.
First captain is Josse le Lalaing, a Flemish nobleman, who was appointed as conducteur of the 14th Company of the Ordonnance in 1473 when the company was established. The company is known to have taken part at the siege of Neuss in 1475 and was at the battles of Grandson in 1476 and of Nancy in 1477. The figures are all Perry. Lalaing is a wars of the roses personality figure with a plastic sallet and plume added. The fist-pumping halbardier is a plastic from the Mercenaries box and the banner bearer a metal.
The other conducteur depicts Giacopo Galeotto, who was one of the many Italian condottiere mercenaries that Charles employed within the army. Galeotto was from Naples and appears to have been appointed to lead the 11th Company in 1475, where he was recorded as being the conducteur at the siege of Neuss. One can assume that his appointment would also have been linked to him providing a number of fighting troops for the company as well. He led the company at the battles of Grandson and Morat, and at Nancy where he was killed. Again the figure I've used is another WR personality figure. I've added a mazzochio with some modelling putty - this is an Italian style of chaperon, which can be seen in the Rout of San Romano paintings worn by condottiere. His plumed barbute, ready to be donned should combat arise, hangs from his saddle. The banner bearer is a Perry scurror figures, again with a plastic barbute headswap, to given him a more Italian flavour.
Both have flags downloaded from the web, which I plan to upgrade to printed ones in the future.

Friday 23 September 2011

Ordonnance Longbowmen (III)

I've based up the figures that Archiduke painted for me to complete my third Ordonnance company of longbowmen. The large arrow bag, based on ones shown in the Berne Chronicles, was made from ProCreate putty. The company flag is a download and is reflects a common layout for Burgundian Ordonnance flags used by Charles the Bold's army, encompassing saint, Burgundian flint device and Charles' personal motto. The saint illustrated is St Bartholomew, but the specific company that carried this flag is unknown. As the flint device is pierced by arrows (or possibly quarrels?) I'm happy to use it with longbow troops
Sorry that pictures aren't too good - unexpectidly sunny day here! I have the other figures painted and to be based for another longbow unit, which will complete the Ordonnance ones. These will be done very soon.

Monday 12 September 2011

Good things will come to those who wait...

As you're very probably aware, the new Perry Miniatures website has added more images of the 3-ups for the forthcoming plastic box of mounted men at arms for 1450-1500 period. The sculpting of these figures is quite outstanding - the rendering of the armour plates, helmets and weapons (as well as the destriers they ride on) is beautifully done.
As it now appears that we'll have to wait longer than hoped for the release of these figures (possibly Salute 2012) I thought I'd look at the images released so far (via TMP & Perry Mins site) to try and build a picture of what the box will contain and try to scope some of the permetations for assembling different figures (putting to one side the opportunities there will be to mix with the exsiting plastic sprues).

So what we do know for certain from information provided by Michael Perry, is that each box will contain 12 mounted figures, comprising of four different body armour styles - Italian, Italian with coat, German and English/Flemish - which broadly covers the main styles of armour manufactured in the later fifteenth century Western Europe. Each figure will have 3 different weapon arms. The critical design feature is that the fingers will be cast attached to the various weapon shafts - this appears to allow any weapon to be used with any arm (although the couched arm position will really only take a lance). In the 3-ups the seperation of fingers and wrists appears to be just discernible. So far the weapons shown are lance (which presumbaly they'll be plenty of), hammer, axe, mace and sword. Most arms should also be interchangeable with the bodies, with the exception of the German fluted armour.

We have already been shown a good number of the new heads - usable with other plastic and metal figures. I've identified eight so far (bascinet, barbute, sallet with raised visor, sallet with raised visor and pennant (for Burgundian conductors), chaperon, bare headed, deep sallet without visor and an armet with plumes - taken straight from Uccello's Rout of San Romano painting). Hopefully the number of heads on the sprues will exceed twelve and alos include some sallets with plumes too.

The horses are composed of three parts - two halves and a head/neck - which I believe follows those in other Perry plastic cavalry boxes. So far there are 2 left and 2 right halves and a total of six heads - one with chamfron and two armoured, one with plate and one with mail neck protection. The 'coup de grace' with these figures for me are the additional bardings, to apply as options on the horses - one German style (based on the Wallace Collection armour of c 1480 and the other Italian barding of c1450 from the armoury in Vienna. Perhaps we'll have to wait for the Burgundian armour on some future metals?

The sculpting is simply wonderful and for me they are the best of Michael's designs for plastics to date - all the figures are very convincingly portrayed and as they'll form the backbone of my Burgundian army, the release date can't come soon enough...

Friday 9 September 2011

Ordonnance Pikes - WIP

These are pictures of work in progress for the first of two Burgundian Ordonnance pike units. These are figures for the rear three bases, at a painted but not yet varnished and based stage. They are all Perry plastic figures from the Mercenaries box, with just a couple of metal Tudor & Swiss heads added. As these are rear-rankers they've been done as speedily as I can and so do not have the usual final highlight stage painted on. Also for padded jacks I've brushed on Army Painter dip onto a light buff colour and let the dip do the shading work. I plan another set of three bases as front-rankers, which will be a mix of more plastics and some metal Perry figures. Burgundian and Flemish flags will probably be located in the middle rear rank base.

You may notice some wobbly looking pikes - although the castings are fairly sturdy and flexible too, I packed some to take away on holiday in an old GW carrying case lined with foam etc, but despite the extra care taken some still came home with non-straight pikes. A lesson learned. More soon...toodle pip.

Wednesday 24 August 2011

What I bought on my holiday...

...were these.

I had originally intended to keep this blog to be related purely to 'things medieval'. However I will break this self-imposed rule, as I want to share some images of these military-related items that I purchased on a market stall in France when recently on holiday.

They are glass slides for an antique light protector, showing various figures from French armies of the Seven Years War and Napoleonic periods. They are about a foot long by 3 and 1/2 inches high and are fairly fragile things. There are six of them, which were sold in a thin wooden case. There's spare room in the case, to suggest that originally there may have been ten or a dozen different slides. The quality and fineness of the painted images done directly on to the glass, are really excellent and each has a description for example 'fusilier' and some have a date for the figure too. I've only done a little digging on the internet and would love to know more on these and to try and date them etc. My guess is that they are late ninteenth century, when such lightboxes were around, either for private use or for public viewings before the advent of cinema. The box has a label on it for Au Nain Bleu, which is a toyshop in Paris, opened in 1837 and still in business, which could be the provenance for them.

If anyone has any more background info, I really love to know more?

Wednesday 17 August 2011

What I did on my holidays...

well...not a lot of painting of wargame figures unfortunately. A combination of very warm weather (which I find dries the paints too fast when working 'al fresco') and the distractions of good food, a swimming pool, my books and local attractions meant that much less than planned was done.
On the latter here are some pictures of a visit to Castlenaud which was nearby and is perched on the Dordogne river. Since my first visit to the castle about 15 years ago, the exhibits of arms and armour inside the castle have increased significantly in both quantity and quality. I have no idea where all these items have been acquired from, but if they are genuine, they are most impressive and make the trip there more than just a walk around an old stone building.

You'll hopefully be able to see that the open sallet has the distinctive manufacturing marks of the Missiligia armourers workshop and the collection of crossbows, which are often rare items, is excellent. Another intersting item is the archer's brace, which I assume is a decorative one - as it's beautifully carved from bone - rather than for practical use. Outside are a variety of reconstrcuted trebuchets, which are demonstrated each day in the summer, as well as a bombard and mantlets. The castle itself has been partially restored from semi-derelction since the 1960s, and it has a nice example of one bastion having been 'updated' in the sixteenth century to accommodate bigger artillery. It's strategic position is clear, whcih great vistas up and down the river and guarding a crossing. Consequently in the Hundred Years War it's occupancy changes hands amny times between the English and French.

I'll be back very soon with some figures - to ensure that this blog doesn't become 'castle visits' only content - no more planned for this year!