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.


  1. A very impressive article, in terms of painting, beautiful, and very interesting text! Really beautiful, bravo!

  2. Excellent post! The figures are very well sculpted and the painting is beautiful.

    Certainly a blog I never miss.

  3. Stunning work!!!!!

    Love your work with the CoA's truly impresive !!!

    Best regards Michael

  4. Man, I love your work. Always just gorgeous.


  5. This is breathtaking stuff, really lovely!

  6. This is not helping me resist the desire to start Burgundian and Swiss armies after my recent tour of Switzerland. Well done!

  7. Well, while I usuall would class any of your work as outstanding, I really have a problem with this one. I cannot think of any superlatives that would do this justice! ;-)

  8. Just outstanding, you've really showcased your skills with this base and knowing all of the details as well as the history just makes this all the more rich.

    How can you top this Simon? I think you should retire, it's a close run thing between this and the artillery wheeling into action for me.


  9. Another outstanding piece, lovely balance to the stand.


  10. Fabulous stuff Simon.

    The conversion work has come out brilliantly.


  11. Many thanks for the comments guys.
    Stuart - I think that by the time I finish both these and the Swiss, I will be at my retirement age!