Thursday 5 October 2017

Steel Fist Miniatures

As some of you will know by now,  I'm the new owner of the Steel Fist Miniatures business.

I've known Oliver, the business founder and sculptor, for a few years as he's made and converted a few figures for me for my Burgundian & Swiss collection. I have admired his sculpting style since seeing his first figures and like many others in their craft, the quality of his work is continually improving in my opinion. Oliver also shares an interest in both the history and the armour, equipment & clothing of the periods he sculpts, so his figures look just right.

The good news is that Oliver will continue as main sculptor. We will expand all the existing ranges and have lots of ideas for new figures, as well as other areas that we can cover in due course. This is an exciting opportunity for me to get more closely involved in the hobby business and work closely with Oliver.  I will be getting to grips with the sales process as soon as I can, including getting a new website, hopefully next month.

Here's the announcement from Oliver, which sums up where we are at the moment.

I'm very pleased to announce that Simon Chick is the new owner of Steel Fist Miniatures.

Simon and I have worked together before. He has a great interest and sensitivity toward the historically accurate details that I like to put into the miniatures. Simon's medieval collections can be seen on his blog 

Customers will also be pleased to know that there are plans to expand all the current ranges that Steel Fist produces, with me continuing to act as sculptor. This means that the 28mm Samurai, Renaissance and Later Medieval ranges will all see new figures being added.

For the time being the business will run as usual, but we have exciting plans for the future which we will advise on in the next few weeks.I would also like to take opportunity to thank all the customers who have supported the business and my vision of producing highly detailed miniatures from the very beginning until now.

I'm sure that Simon will continue this vision with the new miniatures.

Friday 22 September 2017

Swiss - castings for sale.

As previously posted, I have had some Swiss figures in full harness sculpted by Oliver of Steel Fist Miniatures for my own use. I now have some spare castings, if anyone is interested in buying them for their own use.

Assembled Swiss pack

I can offer two packs:
1. Swiss front ranks. This is a pack of 4 figures (2 different bodies), 4 pairs of different arms, 4 heads, 4 halbards, 4 baselard daggers and 4 swords.

Swiss front-rankers pack
You should be aware that these figures need assembly. The arms will fit on both body types, although there maybe a little work need to drill and fill any small gaps (with glue or putty). The heads can also be used on Perry Miniature plastics, and visa versa. The Swiss head with the large plumes maybe best drilled and pinned, as its a very large casting.

Price: £12 per pack, plus £1.20 UK post or £2.00 for Europe/World

2. Arms and weapons.  I can also offer the 4 pairs of arms and 8 weapons, as they'll fit OK to Perry Miniatures plastics, once you have drilled a hole to fix them before glueing. (One pair of arms creates a weapon being held at about 60 degrees, on a Perrys body.)

Arms and Weapons Pack
Price: £5 per pack, plus £1.00 UK post or £1.50 for Europe/World

The payment process:
Please send funds via Paypal, to
Make sure that I have your delivery address too - as Paypal do not always provide this to me!

If you want to pay by other means, or contact me, just drop a note to the same email address.

Arms attached to Perry Miniatures plastic bodies by drilling and superglue
NB: Whilst these are designed for use in my Swiss army, as they are sculpted in full harness they can easily be used as any well-armed soldiers for most Western European armies, circa 1460 to 1490. Giving them different choices of helmets or heads, can give them a 'regional flavour'.

Many thanks,

Post Script.
Stefan has some more examples of assembled figures and arms on Perry plastics on his blog. 

Sunday 17 September 2017

Berne Pike Block (III)

One step backwards and two steps forwards.

After some self-cogitation, I've taken onboard feedback from folk on last posting of the Swiss front rank bases (thanks Stuart!). I've also been looking at other's ancient and renaissance pike blocks and borrowed an idea from Curt of Analogue Hobbies for some interesting bases he'd had done at Warbases (thanks Curt!).

The result is another row of levelled pikemen added to the front rank bases. The aim is to create a more tightly packed group on each base, attacking shoulder-to-shoulder. Again these figures are a mix of Perry and my own castings; including a few Perry plastic bodies with my own open-handed metal arms attached, which seem to work quite nicely and create some new poses.

Now moving on to the supporting row, who'll have pikes held at a 45 degree angle, before I commit to any gluing and basing.

Thursday 31 August 2017

Berne Pike block (II)

A quick update on progress made. Three front rank bases of pike - of the nine planned - have been painted.

More heavily armoured figures are forming the front ranks, many in full harness, in my attempt to represent the images of the Schilling Berne chronicles.

Think I'm OK with the arrangement of poses, but will wait until the next supporting base are done, before I commit to using the superglue. I guess a few discarded weapons and arrows could fill the space in front of the pikes.

Sunday 27 August 2017

Berne pike block (I)

Now that my foray into the mid-fourteenth century has finished (for now), I've returned to progress the Berne pike block. This will be a big contingent, so there's plenty to do.

This was started some time ago with the rear ranks - worringly much longer ago than I'd remembered!  However I can now start to paint the front ranks, using a combination of Perry figures and the figures in full harness which Oliver at Steel Fist Miniatures designed for me.

The bases will be my usual 60mm frontage, with the front bases extended in length to reduce the potential damage to levelled pikes (always a thorny issue when wargaming pike blocks, from the Macedonians onwards, do you display all vertical pikes or not?). As the Swiss used pikes as an attacking body in these wars and the ensuing decades, my preference is to have the contingent range from levelled at the front to vertical at the back.

Here's the first one done, including a captain leading from the front (Perry metal standard bearer with one of my Swiss heads swopped and pinned on). The potential placement of the next two are also shown. I'll then work on the supporting ranks for these, where they'll be a slight reduction in the amount of plate armour. As with the rear rankers, I'm trying to run a colour scheme of predominantly red and black through, to reflect Berne's predominance in this block.

With these figures, I've also added some variations with Green Stuff, including a bend, half mail sleeves, gloves and tassets. I'll finalise poses and do the groundwork when I have a few more bases done.

Next ones are in progress...

Sunday 21 May 2017

Urban Outfitters

A year back I saw close-up the medieval town walls that David Marshall of TM Terrain had made for Stuart for his early Tudor collection. I was particularly struck by the finely detailed carved Flemish Bond brickwork and immediately started to collate ideas in order to place an order. The result are these late medieval buildings made by David, which I received recently.

The building style is Flemish, with most of the visual ideas culled from studying closely the many background details of Flemish religous paintings from the later fifteenth century, although they'll not be out of place in any northern European setting. It represents an upper class dwelling, either urban or rural, protected by a tower and high brick walls. They comprise of 5 separate buildings and 3 gate/wall sections and are intended to be used in a number of combinations and layouts, to maximise usage (as well as allow for future additions).

David's done a fantastic job on the brick and stonework, using laser-cut designed windows for the tower and rear of the hall. David's a talented modelmaker and works very consientously on the construction, providing lots of update pictures and checking details, to ensure that all the pieces aligned etc. I added some metal cast Tudor style chimneys to the hall and a brass weather vane to the stables.

The photos show some of the layout options I can use. I now need to make some occupants; a mix of civilian types and some military muscle with weapons angled for use on the tower and walls. Will ensure that at least some of these buildings get an outing in my next game.


Monday 15 May 2017

Lion Rampant engagement.

I was fortunate to have a day's gaming with Stuart of Army Royal blog this weekend. Our original wargaming plans were postponed and so we booked table at Battlefield Hobbies for a day gaming. First up was an AWI historical refight, which got many of my collection on the table for the first time in the 15 years that I've been assembling them. Pictures are here if anyones interested. We then used the same game boards, with appropriate terrain items and squeezed in a game of Lion Rampant, using some of my Burgundians.

The Burgundians deployed
The scenario was 'A gentle Stroll' from the LR rulebook and we applied some of Stuart's amendments to accommodate later period troop types and wheeled artillery, which really worked well. The setting was the revolt of Ghent and Liege towns in 1467/8 and the Burgundians had to cross the table diagonally, whilst harried by Flemish rebels - each side was about 30 points.

Burgundians facing the Flemish wing seeking to stall their progress

Flemish handgunners, with one of Stuart's wonderful casualty counters

The Burgundians move out
The Flemish were split across the other two table corners, with each wing containing pikes, shot and mounted troops and the single culverin placed with a line of sight across the Burgundian's route of advance. The Burgundians initially progressed well, with the English longbow keeping the Flemish at bay and a unit of Coustillers headed out at speed for the centre of the table. However they'd not yet encountered the Flemish mounted crossbowmen, who harassed and caused sufficient casualties to destroy them. This unit of models is now fast becoming notorious in the few games it's featured - having held up an entire wing of Tudor English men at arms in our Battle of the Spurs refight with the Perrys last year (it must be the witchcraft of David Imrie's paintwork on them!).

The notorious mounted crossbowmen do their worst
The culverin then caused another Burgundian unit to leave the field, but thankfully never managed to complete a reload before the end of the game. In the end Burgundian casualties mounted and only a single unit of longbowmen got to their target of leaving the field edge. The Flemish had 4 units intact and so it was another defeat for Charles the Bold.

The other Flemish wing deployed
The good times - steady progress by the Burgundians

Flemish crossbows - foot and with horse
Lion Rampant is an great fun game - it rattles along and we were all done is just over 2 hours - thanks to Stuart's growing familiarity with the rules. This has now got me thinking what other late medieval armies I could assemble for future LR games.

Tuesday 2 May 2017

Burgundian captains (4 of 4)

So that the last planned vignette of a Burgundian captain all done.

These figures are a little more generic - as the guidon is one of St George (based on a captured one still held in the museum of Berne) and which was associated with the Ducal Guard.

Figures are Perrys - the Edward IV figure for the captain (garter removed), plastic man at arms for the guidon bearer, metal horses and an Italian horn blower. The gilding on the captain's armour is based on a carved and painted image if St Florian in a German museum.

Apologies that pics are a tad dark....

Wednesday 26 April 2017

Burgundian captains (3 of 4)

This captain vignette depicts Phillipe de Crevecoeur, Lord of Esquerdes.

Phillipe appears to have been a military man throughout his life and undertook lengthy service for the duke of Burgundy. He was governor of Picardy and Artois for which he received a salary of £3,000 per annum and he made a Knight of the Golden Fleece in 1468. He commanded the Burgundian army at the siege of Beauvais in 1472 and is known to had been at the battles of Grandson, Morat and Nancy. After the death of duke Charles he entered the service of the French king and fought at Guinegatte. He was made Marshal of France by Charles VIII in 1486 and campaigned in the wars against Maximillan. At the age of 72 he was one of the signatories to the Treaty of Etaples in 1492 with Henry VII of England, following the latter's invasion of France. He died just before the French invasion of Italy in 1494.

The model uses Perry metals on a Warbases sabot-style base. Philipe de Crevecoeur has had a headswop for a plastic open visored sallet and I've attempted to add something vaguely resembling a Golden Fleece on his chain. The flag is from the same source as the previous captains.


Thursday 20 April 2017

Burgundian captains (2 of 4)

The second captain all done - this is Nicola de Montfort, Comte de Campobasso, an Italian condottiere from Naples who was employed by Charles the Bold from 1474, along with two of his sons and 400 lances.

Campobasso was conducteur of the 16th Ordonnance Company and is noted as one of the main commanders at the siege of Neuss, although he became ill during the protracted campaign and was replaced. It appears that Campobasso had a turbulent relationship with his employer - by the battle of Morat in 1476 it was his sons who commanded the 16th Company, as Charles had dismissed Nicola from his employment. However by Nancy in 1477 the Comte was again leading the Company.  Perhaps anticipating another Burgundian defeat he deserted prior to the battle to the Lorrainers and took no part.

The figures are Perry metals again - I've done a headship on the figure of the Comte, for a plastic one and replaced the baton with a mace. Again the models are on sabot bases, so I can do a bit of juxtapositions with them, when they're all done.


Wednesday 19 April 2017

Burgundian Captains (1 of 4)

Ok, so I did say that my focus will now be on Swiss...
...however, I recently came across some very nice flags free to download via the Lead Adventurers Forum, which includes some Burgundian leaders. I then realised that I've enough castings to make stands for some captains - using the Sabot-style bases I had from Warbases. So four new captains are planned and the first one is done.

This depicts Jacques de Luxembourg, Signeur de Fiennes. He was born 1443 and made a Knight of the Golden Fleece. He was present at the battles of Grandson, Morat and Nancy and died 1487.  His coat of arms, made of silk and captured at one of these battles, remains today in the city museum of Solothorn in Switzerland. The figures used are Perry metals of Edward, Prince of Wales and a WotR man at arms.

The figures positions swopped on the Sabot base

Flag in Solothurn Museum