Thursday, July 18, 2013

English Knights for Hundred Years War

Quick post up of the last of my HYW figs before I hit the road. These are Perry metals from their Agincourt line. Did I mention that Perrys come in small black boxes, with the figures swathed in cotton?  No? Unpacking them felt a bit elegant so I did it with my pinkies raised.  Seriously thought, it's a nice touch that sets them apart from the crowd.

The heraldry was sourced from the Joan of Arc's Companion in Arms website.  In this round, I cut the AP dip with mineral spirits to keep the knights a step brighter than the foot levy.

Two historical bits for you.  As a huge fan of ancient history, and Roman history in particular, I was fascinated to discover that Vegetius' De Re Militari and Frontinus' Strategemata (Roman classics on military strategy and tactics) were widely read and discussed by knights during the HYW.

Also, men-at-arms fought on foot as often as on horseback. Sometimes, it was due to the loss of a mount but often it was a tactical choice. English armies were generally horsed during the HYW but as a tactical choice, knights and men-at-arms generally dismounted for battle.  

The fellow I'm painting HYW for is a hardcore medieval reenactor.  In a meetup in France this year, three fellows were knocked out cold and had to be revived with smelling salts.  Even a metal helmet can't save you from a hard knock upside the head! Helms off to the crazy fellows entertaining the crowds here.  

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Two peas in a pod - Pavisiers and Crossbows

My Hundred Years War commission is moving along!  First up are 12 French pavisiers.  A pavisier is a spearman carrying a large convex shield called (surprise!) a pavise.  These fellows were a feudal militia raised by a French nobleman, city or place.  The heraldry on the shields reflects they were raised in the cities of Paris, Lyon and Soissons. Crossbowmen typically operated behind the protection of the pavisiers, with the large shields providing them cover during the long reloads.  

These are Perry metals paired with the superb LBMS transfers.  They're done in a dark and dirty style befitting their low position in life.  I brought the red and blue shield colors into the livery on some figures to tie the unit together just a bit.

Pity the poor French crossbowmen.  These fellows suffered in head-to-head matchups with the English longbowmen.  Crossbows had a rate of fire of 1–2 shots per minute while the longbow could manage 5-6 or arrows in the same time with superior range. Insult to injury, crossbowmen were also known to suffer at the hands of their own side.  At Courtrai and Crecy, French knights rode down their crossbowmen, first because they feared they'd take all of the glory and in the second instance because the crossbowmen performed poorly. Able to kill the greatest knight with a single bolt, crossbowmen could expect no mercy if they fell into enemy hands.  

These Perrys were painted and dipped to be dark and dirty.  That just might describe their tenuous existence on the battlefield!  

I've got a stack of knights to finish out the HYW commission and then its back to Saga painting. We're hitting 90 degrees lately, turning my painting room into a painting sauna.  If you pop by for a visit, knock before entering as I'm likely stripped down to my skivvies. I might need to put up a sign that says "No shoes, shirt, pants...No Problem!"

Monday, July 8, 2013

Matthias Corvinus & his Black Army commanders

4 command stands for my Later Hungarian army command and with this, my Later Hungarian army is finished!  All 15mm Essex figs.  King Corvinus turned out quite nicely, thanks in large part to the great sculpting.

My Later Hungarian army started with great promise, only to go cold out of the gate.  Our Field of Glory group is small and we've been unable to add any new players for some time.  With a Maurice campaign and Saga under way, it's a rare weekend that we get together for Field of Glory.  I'm quite jealous of those of you who get together for weekly games!

I paint a lot of figures but I've avoided becoming a collector.  When the stacks of armies in my closet gets  too high, I'm compelled to move 1 or 2 out. If I can't get these fellows onto a tabletop, they'll be off to the market as well.  I'm fairly careful about choosing my projects so I have to ask, what was I thinking when I decided to paint up the Later Hungarians for a 2nd time?  That's right, I got a bit caught up in redoing them in a darker style.  They are different than my first version but not all that different.  Ah well...

Jonathan of the excellent The Inevitable Spark  posted on the science of painting horses some months ago.  In his post, he shared a link to the Guide to Horse Colors and Patterns.   I have books on horse colors but  it's hard to put them to use with a wet paintbrush.  I did some digging and found the Guide in poster form HERE.  I've had it up on the wall next to my painting table for months now and it's a great reference.  THANKS Jonathan!