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....


  1. Inspiring stuff Simon!

    Very much looking forward to seeing them painted up.


  2. Top work! Wish i had that talent (and patience) for greenstuff conversions ...

  3. These are Looking promising. Sculpting is hard going, I almost have to prepare myself for the process of doing it as it's alien and i feel a lot less in control of it.

    These should look the part when you're finished, very much looking forward to seeing what you can create with some imaginative brushwork.