Sunday 19 October 2014

Conductuer's Pavilion (I)

This is first step towards building a large tent, or Conductuer's pavilion, for my Burgundian army camp.  The aim is to produce an ornate centrepiece for the camp, representing the largest tent for use by a captain, with residential and meeting round tents joined by a wedge or wall tent. Swiss accounts of the Burgundian camp which they overran and pillaged at Morat, and Burgundian household accounts, depict that the duke had an enormous portable tent, designed resembled a castle with wooden sides and partitioned rooms, in which he could carry out duties, as well as eat and sleep. Re-creaeting this, even on a cut-down scale is beyond me, so this will be the next best thing on a more modest scale.

Contemporary images of tents are numerous in the later fifteenth century. Its clear that noblemen's tents came in various shapes - round, wedge, wall being the most common - usually mixed within a typical encampment setting.

To create a larger tent, I've used an anachronistic reference, deriving from English Tudor images of the 1520s, which show designs for substantial tents for the Field of the Cloth of Gold (taken from original images now lost). These appear to show conjoined round and wall tents, making either separate rooms or larger covered areas that you can move freely within. I've yet to find this joining of two round tents in images contemporary to the 1470s.

My construction is at first stage - nothing has yet been attached together.  I've had the round tents for some time; they are old Battleground ones, which I believe 'Magister Militum' now sell. The roof of the wall tent comes from the recently released medieval tents from '1st Corps' (very nice looking models). I've removed the zig-zag pattern hanging from the roof sections, which is poorly defined and which will be replaced by rectangular ones, running all along from one end to another. cuts grooves to enable them to be attached, and I'll smooth over the joins with green stuff. The metal props denote where the entrance will be, and I plan to cover the sides with thin metal sheeting. There will be two more at the back.

The central section roof will have Burgundian devices added that I've used on my horse barding and blended in, along with some colourful Burgundian flags. On paper its all worked out - the challenge is now to try and execute it to a reasonable level...!!  This will be a mid-term build as terrain pieces are an occasional foray which i have the first half of the winter to tackle, in between completing some more men at arms.  I'll post up progress as we go.

Friday 3 October 2014

Burgundian Household Knights

These are the a contingent of the new Perry plastic Foot Knights figures, representing knights of Charles the Bold's  household, fighting untypically on foot - perhaps defending in vain the Burgundian camp at Morat. There are a some of the new metal standard bearer figures included too. Many of the figures have been enhanced with plumes (my own castings) and St Andrews crosses (green stuff putty) added. The flags in the central base are downloads from the internet and the ones on the side bases are hand painted (Pete - don't look to closely at these please!)

As previewed earlier, these are very detailed sculpts with sharp mouldings, which produce high quality foot knights for the a 1450 to 1500 timeline. Those knights with coats represent knights known to have been in the duke's household at Grandson or Morat, including Signeur de Mont St Sorlin, Chef d'Escadre (killed at grandson), Phillipe de Croy a knight of the Golden Fleece (captured at Nancy), Jean de Luxembourg, a nother Knight of the Golden Fleece who was killed at Morat, and Bailly d'Aval a chamberlain in the household and Claude de Vaudray. All these references are taken from the invaluable Freezywater publication of 'The Burgundian Army of Charles the Bold'.

Very enjoyable to paint and they are thoroughly recommended - clearly a lot of thought and skill has been applied into making these figures. I think we're are in danger of being a tad blasé of the high quality of hard plastic figures that are now offered to us for only a few pence per figure.
I'm now moving on to the last of my planned mounted men at arms, using some of the new head options from the Foot Knights box.