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....