Friday 22 December 2023

Mounted Longbowmen (I)

 Just managed a quick post, before the Festive break.

This is quick update on the Burgundian longbowmen, who are a work in progress. I decided that these should be wearing long riding boots, as they represent mounted English archers in the service of the duke and this is how they are shown in the contemporary illustration by the Master WA.

This means a bit of work on nearly every figure, with scalpel and file to remove the existing shoes and the addition of greenstuff to build up the long boots. Mainly the putty is needed to add the roll-over of the top of the boots, to add the gusset of leather which enables the boot to put on/off and the straps which hold down this gusset. It all takes me time on each figure, with my limited precision, as the putty needs to dry once you've done one of those steps on each model.

So this picture are of the most progressed figures to date. There will be 15 on 3 bases and most will be in shooting/loosening poses, as I want to depict a combined unit of longbowmen shooting over kneeling pikemen. This was a drill covered in the ducal Ordonnance of 1473:

In like manner (they are to exercise) the archer with their horses, to get them used to dismounting and drawing their bows. They must learn how to attach their horses together by their bridles and make them walk forward directly behind them, attaching the horses of the three archers by their bridles to the saddle-bow of the page to whose man-at-arms they belong, also to march briskly forwards and to fire without breaking rank. The pikemen must be made to advance in close formation in front of the said archers, kneel at a sign from them, holding their pikes lowered to the level of a horse’s back so that the archers can fire over the pikemen as if over a wall. Thus, if the pikemen see that the enemy are breaking rank, they will be near enough to charge them in good order according to their instructions.

Image by Gerry Embelton (Osprey publications)

Whether this formation was used in battle is unknown, but it'll be interesting to try it in a game. Figures are mainly Perry plastics, with some Steel Fist bodies used.

I'll press on with the rest and post them up.



Sunday 17 December 2023

Swiss - new 28mm figures for 2024

Well, a little unexpected revitalisation for the blog.

As you may know, I run Steel Fist Miniatures as a hobby-business. The sales so far have all been reinvested to create new figures and I've long had a hankering to expand the modest Late Medieval range. As the result of a combination of serendipity and planning on my part, I've finally reached the point where new figures are emerging. These are 'dollies' to compliment the excellent Perry plastics, so provide bodies to which arms and heads from the plastic spares box can be added.

Early in 2024, I will release the first Swiss figures. These are inspired by the Schilling Chronicle illustrations. These figures have been a long time coming - as I actually had the sculpts done early thisa year and have been tinkering with how I best turn digital imahes into metals, with a few false starts along the way. First releases are packs of  open-handed figures in advancing poses, to bulk out the middle and rear ranks of pike and halbard blocks. Heads are separate, to maximise options for different versions and the head sockets should accommodate nicely more Perry plastics, so the overall visual of a block of figures should be a lot of variety.

I'm hoping that the skilled sculptor will be able to find time to add a few handgunners, crossbowmen and command figures next year too.

So I'll be using these - along with other manufacturer's figures - to build up my Swiss pike units and restart my collection. I also have commenced a new Burgundian longbow unit, with some conversion work as usual and I'll share these in the next post.

Toodle pip,