Wednesday 25 January 2012

Swiss conversions

Whilst I'm awaiting the next Perrys WR range metal releases so I can complete a couple of bases, I've been reviewing plans for my Swiss Confederation army. I have one pike bloc nearly completed, using the Foundry figures and I'm going to rebase these to match my 180mm Impetus frontage. I need a few extra figures, particularly for command and flagbearers.

I've therefore been fiddling about and have created a few new ones utilising the Perry Swiss heads pack. They've been attached to Citadel 'Alcatanti Pikemen', from their Dogs of War box set (which were designed a few years ago, but are still available). These figures wear late fifteenth century attire in the main, plate armour on body and arms (or mail sleeves), with some rather fanciful barbutes and are designed by one or both of the Perry brothers, so the size and style appears to compliment nicely with the current Perry WR and EA ranges, once the slotta tag is replaced with a plasticard base to match the height of the figures. A quick beheading with hacksaw and drilling of a hole to accept the replacement metal head, plus removal of the cast-on pike for the flagbearers or the addition of a halbard head, and hey presto, we have some new poses for the Swiss. They can equally be used for Burgundians with the application of heads from the Mercenaries plastics box - and probably will be.

That's all for now...

Monday 23 January 2012

Burgundian Bombard on the march - WIP

I have an image of a bombard on the march, alongside Swiss troops, taken from the Tschachtlan edition of the Bern illustrated chronicle of circa 1470 - shown here. When the Perrys released their wagon packs recently, the opportunity arose to try and re-create one of these for my Burgundian army. This is a WIP posting about the model.

It appears that non-wheeled larger artillery pieces were loaded onto large carts for transportation. The wooden frames that the barrels rested on were either broken down into parts or even rebuilt completely as circumstances required at the point of use. I'm using the open sided wagon and swopping horses for oxen, as the bombard barrel is relatively large and was therefore likely to have needed the extra pulling power of two pairs of oxen (plus I like the models!). According to Smith and DeVries book on the Burgundian artillery, a gross bombard barrel recorded in 1445 at Namur for instance, weighed 8,200 livres (which I estimate at about 4,000 kilograms).

The work in progress picture shows the oxen attached to the base; I've used a small chain to link the two pairs of yokes. The wagon itself will have to be attached last, when all the basework is fully completed. The bombard is a Foundry one, to which I've added small wedges of wood for the transportation. The box and barrel will also be loaded on to the wagon. I'm aiming to reproduce the wooden cover by cutting down and adapting a Kingmaker Hussite wagon side I have left over. The Perry drover will be added, as will one of the labourers currently on the 'greens workbench' on the Perry website. I'm expecting these to be released at the end of this month, so until then this model will go on the to-be-completed shelf (with some others). I'll post final pictures when it's all done.

Tuesday 17 January 2012

Ordonnance Pike - front rankers

I've added a row of bases of front rankers for my Burgundian Ordonnance pike unit.

These are all Perry metals and will be used as an option to extend the size of the pike bloc. I may add targes at a later date, so that they can be used with my other planned pike bloc, who I intend to model carrying targes & bucklers (as required by the Ordinances set out for Charles' army). I may also use them alongside archers - as it appears that Charles trained units of pikes and longbows to work together, with the pikes providing close protection from cavalry attacks for the archers. Some kneeling open-handed figures from the Perrys in the WR/EA ranges would be really useful for these ('s hoping).

Thursday 12 January 2012

Burgundian Ordonnance - handgunners (II)

My productive painting spell continues - largely as a consequence of being between work contracts since Christmas.

I have completed the second handgunner unit that I started working on about a month ago. Not much to add to the December 2011 post which showed some of the plastic handgun arms from the Mercenaries box that I've added to selected Perry metals to achieve a bit more variation in poses. The remaining figures are straight-from-the-box plastics.

This now almost completes the 'shot' units, with the exception of another crossbow unit that I will do, using the pavises from the mercenaries box along with the wonderful Little Big Man Studios transfers (why paint St Andrews crosses when someones already done it so well for you?).

Saturday 7 January 2012

Artillery limber

The completed limber,with accompanying crew, discussing the best route towards their new destination. As previously blogged in the WIP on this, I've taken a slightly anachronistic approach to creating a late fifteenth century limber for a typical field piece - a crappaudeau or veuglaire as contemporary Burgundian accounts refer to them as.

The horse team are from the new Perry Wars of the Roses baggage wagon packs and the limber is a converted ECW piece with box and barrel added for storage. The crew are Perrys with slight alterations. It ended up being put on a slightly wider base than planned, to accommodate the figure of the man at arms issuing instructions, so theres a bit of hedgrow added to fill in the spaces. The roadside cross is from a set made for model railways.

I'm happy with the final composition. I also managed to re-use the chamber that I'd removed from the gunner's hand, it's hanging from the elevating mechanism (which I had to replace with a plasticard one as the casting is too fine and broke) as I'd seen done by the Company of St George re-enactors last summer. After all this work I've put in, no doubt the Perrys will probably bring out their own casting next month!

I'm now considering doing a larger bombard in transit using one of the Perry wagons, attempting to re-create an image in one of the Bern illustrated chronicles that I've found.

Thursday 5 January 2012

Burgundian Ordonnance - first array of arms

I've had a couple of requests to show my progress to date with this army. As 5 January is the anniversary of the death of Charles the Bold at the battle of Nancy, it seems as appropriate a date as any other to line them up for the camera.

So here's the current state of play - excluding any that are not fully complete, i.e. painted but not yet based, and the siege bombard. Lined up like this it doesn't seem very substantial. I would estimate that, ignoring any baggage and markers, I'm about one third of the way through what I plan to do. I've adjusted the composition and the overall size of the army since my initial plan, due to each unit being comprised of three bases of figures. The largest element of whats to come are the mounted men at arms, for which the Perry plastics box will provide most of the figures. Until they're released I'll press on with as many foot troops as possible in the first quarter of this year.