Sunday 29 December 2013

Burgundian supply wagon (II)

My second Perry Miniatures supply wagon; this one representing a Burgundian wagon being unloaded at an encampment. A clerk checks off the contents, whilst an Ordonnance archer accepts beer from a camp follower.

This time I got the axle up the right way. However my capacity for dodgy assembly continues, as I attached   the chest on the wrong end! Hey ho. I've created a load for the wagon on a plasticard base (using pieces from Front Rank, Fenris, Ainsty, Mirliton & Foundry), which is removable and so can be utilised on my other wagon. Also the canvas cover can be swopped over.

This is my last posting of the year. Looking back I realise that I've managed slightly less postings than in previous years - but I think this was due to making scenery boards and some extras for this year's Cravant game at Salute.

Looking ahead to 2014, I'm both enthused and excited. I have aspirations to get my Burgundian army to a stage of near completion. The outstanding contingents are spear-armed coustillers/second rank for all of the mounted men at arms that I've done, which will be built around the forthcoming Perry 'Light Cavalry', bearing plenty of flags, pennons and some trumpeters, etc. A unit of mounted men at arms representing Antony, Bastard of Burgundy (as he's kindly graced the blog header for so long!) and using the wonderful new Burgundian flags currently being done by Pete. Also some dismounted men at arms comprised of knights of the ducal household, using the other forthcoming Perry plastics. Plus no doubt a few vignettes, using up some of the metal figures left over from other packs.

I may also be able to make a start on the Swiss Confederation too - as I expect to wait for the new Perry plastics to the Salute show - just hope I can keep my motivation going to paint large numbers of pike and halbard troops.

Many thanks for everyone's comments over the year, they are truly appreciated. All best wishes for 2014!

Friday 20 December 2013

Supply Wagon (I)

The first of a couple of supply wagons that I'm doing. Such wagons would feature in all of the duke's main battles, either where his encampment was overrun following his defeats or on the table edge supplying the Burgundian siege works. I've left off painting any Burgundian devices on the canvas cover, so that these are generic and can be used with any of my medieval armies.

The only slight adjustment I've made to this Perrys model is to have a three horse harness arrangement. This formation is shown in late medieval and early renaissance illustrations. The trickiest part was attaching the fuse wire traces and in concentrating on this, I realised afterwards that I've glued the front axle in position upside down - too late to change anything! Lesson learnt - which won't be repeated on the next one... The cover has been left loose and not glued on, so that I can swop it with the other wagon that's underway.

Sunday 15 December 2013

Burgundian men at arms (IV)

This is the fourth completed unit of men at arms to represent a Company of my Burgundian Ordonnance army.  All of these are from the Perrys plastic box. These will have a supporting rank of coustillers, carrying a few more flags and pennons; the production of which are largely dependant on the release of the Perry Miniatures 'light cavalry' plastics set (hopefully by the 'Salute' show in 2014?).  A Company flag will be added at a later date; not sure which one to represent at the moment, indeed the flagbearer figure is only currently attached with Bluetac and he may be reallocated to the second rank.

In retrospect, I'm pleased with how the addition of the plumes and cross of St Andrew have sufficiently 'burgundianised' these figures. The next mounted men at arms should be another command group, to represent the Bastard of Burgundy and I'm starting to compile some ideas and potential figures for these, but again am tempted to wait to see more Perry designs for the next plastics. In the meantime I've started on a couple of Perry waggons, for generic usage with any of my medieval figures.

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Men at arms - second base

Completed the figures for the second base; a bit slower than planned as having to limit time spent painting, as it's impeding the repair of my tennis elbow. I have however managed to start off a couple of other bits.  The horses are done for the final three riders, so am hoping that this week will see them posted here - all done and dusted.

Post Script: quick picture of the flag bearer for the other base - just completed - flag to be used for this Company is still to be decided. The eagle eyed will note that the horse was the sole output from my summer hols.

Wednesday 4 December 2013

Encore les Gendarmes.

Apologies for the recent hiatus here - I have returned to the service of the duke following a brief diversion to chip away at my AWI lead pile (one of my 'second tier' collections). I needed a break from doing medievals fairly regularly in one form or another, for the past few years. So refreshed somewhat - and most definitely inspired by David Imrie's Burgundians  - and with some potential spare time on my hands between work contracts, I plan to complete another front rank of men at arms, plus hopefully some baggage wagons.

No significant conversions with these, just a few more permutations that can be done with the plastic components. Most of the horses were painted in the summer and so its only the riders that I need to spend time on. Some of them have had St Andrews cross (green stuff) and plumes (my castings) added - a couple of the horse's tack have had minor adjustments too.

Figures for the first base are done, prior to fixing to the plastic stand, which I'll do when all nine figures are complete in case I fancy swopping any around to achieve a slightly different overall look. I also found some re-enactors as Burgundian men at arms on the internet - which is useful reference  - I believe they may be based in Russia or Ukraine? Not sure about those red and yellow plumes complying with the duke's ordinances thought!!


Onward and upward.

Sunday 29 September 2013

Duke of Burgundy's command contingent

I've added two bases of mounted men at arms to accompany the duke of Burgundy - these now create a completed command unit of mounted men at arms.

All the figures and horses are Perry plastics or metals and have had some element of conversion or additions to them - which have been covered in previous posts. A rear row of coustillers will support these, who'll be carrying a bigger selection of banners, to add a bit more 'medieval glamour'. It's most likely that these men at arms would have been composed of members of the duke's household; those who held positions within the duke's territories and the most prestigious administrative roles. The personal heraldry for many of these is known and whilst most of the figures don't lend themselves to showing this (as they don't wear coats) I may pack out the second row of coustillers and servants with a large number of personal banners for these individuals. Completion of these is now dependant on the release of the Perry's Late medieval Light Cavalry box set, which look like the ideal figures, but I'm guessing these will not be available until sometime next year.

Spending the time adding the Burgundian mouldings to the horse bard seems to have work well and I've got the finished impression that I wanted to portray. However I'm not totally happy with my freehand painting of the flint devices on the caparisoned horse. It's based on some remaining tapestry designs and it should have slightly finer detailing - I'll give it another go (using a different version of the device) on a horse for my other planned command base, which will be Antony, the bastard of Burgundy - Charles' half brother and a military man. I want to replicate the passive stance with this base too and have been searching for options with mounts - would anyone know if the Crusader Minis Wars of the Roses barded horses fit well with Perry plastic men at arms?

Will now take stock to decide on the next figures to do...or maybe it's time for some baggage train items?

Wednesday 18 September 2013

Another WIP, I'm afraid.

What I like best in viewing other people's blogs are painted figures. On this blog such postings are the ones which usually get the most interest and the comments - which are always gratefully received. So I apologise in advance that there are now finished models this time.  Life's has been a tad busy with my youngest daughter starting her University life and my eldest about to return for her final year. However painting has progressed on the barded horses, which I'll show when they have their mounts.

In the meantime here are the men at arms for the Duke's contingent, at the ready-to-undercoat stage. Doing the modest enhancements to these figures takes me longer than the painting stage will on 'white armoured' figures! All have plumes and saltires added, as I'm doing for all the Burgundian Ordonnance men at arms; those on the ACW horse frames have had saddles made from putty on the back of the figure too. I selected helmets which were not closed faced or with raised visors, as this unit will be posed in readiness rather than in the midst of any action.

The man at arms pointing is a metal with a headswop and his golden fleece pendant and chain built up from green stuff. I hope that the face wont look so crude when it's painted - sadly the Perrys men at arms sprue has a number of heads which are positioned with the moulding joint down the middle of the face - creating an inevitable ridge which is very difficult to entirely remove and I had to try and rebuild the bottom lip (...plastic surgeon for 28mm I am not!).  I really do hope that this doesn't get repeated on future sprues and that all heads laid out sideways on the sprue.

Shouldn't be too long before we're back with some finished stuff...

Thursday 5 September 2013

Barded horses - WIP

To follow on from my last posting, these are the prepared mounts for the two bases of men at arms that will accompany the duke of Burgundy. At a future date a second row of coustillers and flag bearers will be added.

My approach is to try and easily denote the two command units - the duke and the bastard of Burgundy - by having them all on barded horses, whilst the Ordonnance men at arms will largely be on unarmoured mounts. The Schilling Chronicle illustrations show Burgundians on both types of horses (as exampled below).

All of the models have had some degree of conversion work on them. Firstly, I wanted passive poses to represent the command unit waiting as a reserve, prior to engagement. This required using alternative mounts to the Perry plastics which are sculpted at an energetic trot or gallop. So for half of them I used Perry ACW horses, which have standing and walking options and are of course a compatible style and size. It was necessary to carve away all the saddle and blanket roll, so that the Italian styled barding would fit and the halves meet up. All of the horses were decapitated and the armoured versions from the Perrys men at arms box glued on to replace them - these all fitted well enough.

Secondly,  I have 'burgundianised' the horse bard on several horses. I've added some of moulded devices of St Andrew's crosses to represent barding that has had such designs made by the armourer. Again the Berne chronicles appear to show this style of The horse armour, along with crosses and flints painted directly onto steel armour and on cloth coverings. The crosses are pressed into a mould using Kneadatite and then glued to the plastic barding, after I've removed some of the moulded details on the bard. More 'green stuff' was applied to try and disguise and smooth the edges of the joints. This has been a protracted process, as each stage requires the previous work to harden before the next stage on each of the panels.

One of the metal horses is from the freebie Charles the Bold figure that was available when the men at arms box was launched at Salute last year; I added the 'german' bard which is a good fit and in the same style as the chamfron. The plastic ACW horses also needed the saddles rebuilding, using plasticard and more green stuff to construct the front, whilst the rear parts I plan to attach to the riders before painting. The solitary plastic medieval horse used is constructed a different front and rear horse combination, cut and rejoined just behind the saddle.

All of this has taken a fair chunk of time - as well as pushing my modest modelling capabilities to their limits - but as these will represent the elite of the Burgundian nobility, it will hopefully be worth it. Now on to converting the riders....

Saturday 31 August 2013

Charles le Temeraire, duc de Burgoyne

The command base for my Charles duke of Burgundy; this will be flanked by two more bases of mounted men at arms on barded horses. Charles is accompanied by his flag bearer, a herald and an attendant holding his lance in readiness, as he surveys the battlefield.

Some work in progress posts have already been posted on both the figures of the duke and his flag bearer. Both of these figures were expertly converted from Perry plastics by Oliver the owner & designer of Steel Fist Miniatures. All the painting is mine and I based the design on the flag bearer's caparison on simplified designs from Burgundian tapestries that still remain in museums. The flag is a download from the excellent Burgundian flags and banners on the Krigsspil website.

Charles was actively involved in all his military affairs and engagements - as was expected of politcial leaders of the time. As well as creating and signing detailed military ordinances to raise and organise his armies and appointing it's captains; there is plenty of evidence to show that he was personally involved in all his campaigns, as during the siege of Neuss in 1474-5, when he was described as "fully armed from head to foot for fourteen hours continuously".  An Italian ambassador noted that "He always rides in his cuirass. All his pleasure, his every thought, is in men at arms; to make them look good and move them in good order". At the battle of Grandson it was Charles who devised the tactical approach to engage the advancing Swiss, with concentrated artillery fire followed by a mounted charge of men at arms. His attempt at an ambitious tactical manoeuvre on the battlefield to realign his forces to deliver this was a significant factor in his defeat. At Morat his involvement was restricted by the sudden and swift advance of the Swiss vorhut and its breakthrough of the Burgundian defences, which forced him to flee a battle already lost. At Nancy in 1477 of course the duke's fighting in the melee resulted in his death.

Moving on, the mounted men at arms who'll also make up my usual three-base unit, will be on barded horses in more passive stances. This means a degree of conversion work is required and I've started on this, and will post some progress soonest.