Friday, 17 December 2010

French Coustillers

A few more gaps filled with the French army. These are 'coustillers', sergeants' or mounted retainers carrying their lords flags and banners, which I'll be using either as a second rank supporting the mounted men at arms, or as a seperate unit for lighter cavalry tactics.

They have been painted by Jim Bowen and based and flagged by me - all GMB Design flags, except the French arms banner which is a free download from the excellent Kriggspill site. These now complete my planned mounted French troops, unless there is the need to ad a few more for the Salute game next year?

This will probably be the last posting on this blog for this year. It's been a pretty good year as far as progress is concerned, taking into acount the amount of time I've had, although I didn't get to the planned finishing post with these HYW armies. However that post does seem to be coming into view and the Salute venture will be sufficient to motivate me to finish early next year.

I'm now busy assembling plastics for my next Burgundian figures and ready for the new figures and useful pieces in the Perrys 'Mercenaries' box.

Toodle pip....

Friday, 26 November 2010

Armagnacs (Part Deux)

Well, any of you who may just have been patiently awaiting the follow up to the last Armagnac blog entry ( December 2009) I can tell you that your perseverance has finally been rewarded!

Here are another group of eight bases of French Armagnacs, representing noblemen, men at arms and their retainers advancing on the English formations. Pictures are a bit dark, due to the lack of natural light here today. These are all Perry figures and were either painted by me (some months ago now) or Oliver James. The delay was not a planned anniversary blog entry from the last one or down to my usual lethargy, but primarily due to an absence of suitable flags and happily I've purchased some of the recent GMB Designs and used them here.

I did a little work on the mounted figure of the Bastard of Orleans; the casting wears a soft hat, and as as I wanted him to be more dynamically leading I simply exchanged this for a visored helm (a Mirliton casting I think, which is lacking a little in crisp detail however the overall effect seems to work OK). I also changed the GMB French coat of arms flag by painting on a label argent and a bend sable for the Bastard's arms, which are very finely sculpted on the casting.

I have a final number of almost completed French to finish off; hopefully amounting to six or eight more bases - once again they'll have to await a supply of related flags.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Henry - Triumphant

This is my after-the-battle vignette for Henry V.

The mounted Henry and Sir Thomas Erpingham are actually the first figures from the Perrys AO range that I painted up, probably over 3 years ago, when I purchased them just with the intention only of "it'll be nice to paint and base up that lovely command set" whilst I'm doing something else. Here I am many months later finally finishing them off, with the bulk of an English army and part-completed French one behind me... ho hum!

The only interloper here among the Perrys is another Citadel Bretonnian, who seems to play a regular role as the enthusiastic banner bearer, this time holding the Holy Trinity banner that Henry had at Agincourt. This and the English Royal arms are from the LBMS HYW flag sheet.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Henry - Belligerent

This is the command stand for my English army when used for the Agincourt period, showing Henry V in battle. The royal figure is the Perry mounted one, cut at the waist and re-attached to legs from man at arms figure; the shield was carefully liberated from the page from the same personality pack using a fine hacksaw blade.

Other figures are Perrys, except for the trumpeter who's an older Citadel Brettonian. Flags are from GMB Design (arms of England and France) and LBMS (Henry's personal banner).

This is one of two Henry V figures I've worked on - other one to be posted imminently.

Monday, 25 October 2010

St Crispins Day

The 595th anniversary of the battle of Agincourt would seem to be sufficient excuse to post some pictures of my English army in it's current near-completed state. The photos were taken in a bit of a rush and had to be done indoors, so never as good with flash as with natural light.

As readers of previous posts will know, nearly all the figures are Perrys AO range, with some Citadel older Brettonian range sneeked in for added variety of poses. When I've lined the figures up like this on my table, for the first time, they don't seem to be as numerous as I'd thought (although I'm more than happy with the quality). If I manage to create a little more spare time, I'm minded to add a couple more men-at-arms bases, using up odd figures that I still have, probably as generic ones that I can use as Norman-raised troops (ie unspecific to any English nobleman). I'm also planning to add some archers on skirmish-type bases, as well as command vignettes, baggage and casualties before this army will be deemed as in a state of completion.

I've just received some of the newly released GMB flags for my French, so this should allow me to start basing up some more already painted troops.

Friday, 8 October 2010


A bombard for use with either the English or French armies. Although it's probable that bombards of these huge proportions were not produced until the mid fifteenth century, much of the campaigns for Normandy in the secound quarter of the century were characterised by castles, strongholds and towns falling to either the actual, or the percieved, threat from besiegers who arrived accompanied with a siege train of artillery pieces. I have another smaller bombard casting, the old Citadel one, which I'll paint up and which will be more appropriate for this period.

This is the Perry WotR castings with three of the crew on 'sabot' bases (5 pence coins), so that it can be used by my Burgundians too. Crew are an old Citadel Brettonian, Perry handgunner and the master gunner from the sadly defunct Empire Miniatures of Australia - I've been saving him for an appropriate opportunity and I think this is it, as he fits well into this semi-vignette. The equipment items are from various manufacturers, inc Bicorne, Front rank and Architects of War. The wooden pallisades are Kingmaker Hussite wagons sides, with wooden framework added. The colour tone for the new-cut wood is Foundry Canvas Shade (8A), highligthed with a drybrush and then dipped with Army Paint strong tone, then finished with a matt Dullcote varnish. Thanks to phil Hendry for suggesting this colour - I'll be using it again.

If you want to see the Burgundian version, with mantlet, it's here on my other blog

So -there you have it... two bombard bangs for your buck!!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Impetus markers

More of Oliver's figures, rebased as 'opportunity' markers for Impetus rules or to use as seperate vignettes. As with his other figures, all the heraldry on tabards and flags is handpainted. Figures are (from left), Michael de la Pole earl of Suffolk, John Talbot earl of Shrewsbury and Sir William Glasdale. They are mounted on large 'penny' washers, which have a relatively thin profile and add stability with their weight.

I will be doing more of these markers for both English and French, as well as some casualty markers too.

Friday, 17 September 2010

French Crossbows (III)

The last contingent of French crossbowmen, supplemented by some handgunners, are completed.

These are nearly all Oliver's paintwork, I've just added two casualty figures of my own to make them upto four bases, the same as the others I've already done. These can be used as they are or in conjunction with urban pavisers. The close-ups are as detailed as I can get with my camera, but I've tried to show Oliver's fine paintwork on these figures (as with all the others).

Now considering how to create some opportunity and casualty markers for use with Impetus rules, having just received a copy for their new army lists for the fifteenth century.

Two commanders for Verneuil

These are vignettes of leaders for the battle of Verneuil 1424; John, duke of Bedford for the Anglo-Normans and Jean d'Harcourt, count of Aumale for the Armagnac French.

I have already completed a fighting base that includes the duke of Bedford, wearing his combined English and French livery coat, however the acquisition of Oliver's figures meant I have another exquisite model that I couldn't leave sidelined. The figures on the Bedford base are Olivers, including the handpainted flag and some conversion work on one of his own castings. My only contribution has been to paint the musician and re-base them.

The count of Aumale was one of the senior commanders of the French in their campaign of 1424 to regain territory in Normandy. He had led a French victory at La Gravelle in 1423 against the English,which included French cavalry leading the attack (the tactics that were continued at Verneuil). His figure is one from the Perry AO range French command pack with the cast-on heraldry carefully removed with knife and needle file, so he can be repainted. The crossbowman is an old Citadel Brettonian figure, the flag a free web download and pavise transfer if LBMS.

I plan to do a few other vignettes for Verneuil, to hang around behind the battle lines.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Lombardy men at arms

As part of completing my French forces, I've added two more bases of men at arms mounted on armoured horses, who can be used as Lombards for the battle of Vernuil.

For the 1424 campaign, Charles VII had raised a large contingent of Lombard mercenaries, contracted to a Milanese captain called 'Le Borgne Caqueran'. The rationale for the armoured horsemen was to counter and break the English defensive positions and longbows, as they had apparently achieved in 1423 against a Burgundian force at La Buissiere.

At Vernuil the French may have had at least 500 and possibly upto 2,000 such mounted troops. Although there is debate about whether they were positioned on the wings or in the centre of the French army, their initial charge successfully broke the English line (although not win the day). More figures may therefore be needed for any refight of the battle; but I do have more castings and already have some similar ones completed.

The man at arms on the grey horse is a part-painted figure from Oliver James, which I've finished off and the others are done by me - all Perrys AO range.

Monday, 30 August 2010

La Journee

Just a quick post to promote Darrell Hindley's new blog.

Darrell and I are planning to put on a demo game in 2011, for the battle of Verneuil, Bedford's victory of 1424 using some of the figures that I've been posting here and Darrell's started a blog covering both the historical side as well as showing his great figures that he's painting for the game.
The title of the blog relates to the arranged battle site and date that was agreed between Bedford's Anglo-Norman forces and Alencon's Armagnacs. I'm sure he'll explain more on that in subsequent posts.

It promises to be great blog to follow.

Friday, 27 August 2010

New Contingents

And Lo, in the month of July, in the year of our Lord 2010, royal warrants were issued to the Count of Wymborn to raise goodly men of war, both spears and bows, to assist our noble king Henry in his rightous claim to the crown and lands of France....

...or to put it in other words, I was extremely fortunate earlier this summer to have the opportunity of purchasing the HYW collection of Oliver James. Oliver has posted many of his excellent figures on Steve Dean's Painting Forum; they include many conversions, handpainted flags and his own designed and cast figures, all painted to the highest standard of detail. His plans are now to extend his designing work and move into a WotR collection, so I'm now in the position of intergrating these and complete my English and French armies using Oliver's figures, supplemented by my own.

Shown above are the remainder of the core English bases, 3 men at arms and 6 longbowmen. All are Oliver's figures and flags with the exception of the musician and six of the bowmen (the conversions that I did in July); a flag is to be added to the bowmen - I'm awaiting 'Battle Flag' to make some later HYW sheets very soon. Oliver had based his figures individually on mdf, which I've carefully managed to cut at about half of the depth with a small hacksaw, retaining his basework and then landscaped into my usual basing approach - grout & pva mix, sand and stones - for my 50mm square basing.

I will therefore be 'pulling stumps' on the English comprising of 10 men at arms and 28 longbowmen bases. I'll still be adding some vignettes, baggage, casualty markers and other extras.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010


I always try to combine my hols with some historical or military sightseeing, if there is any opportunity. So this year we left our holiday venue early one morning to drive the 90 minutes west to Carcassonne in the Languedoc region.

Carcassonne is a rare example of what would have been a common sight in the medieval world, a fortified town, complete with inner fortress and outer barbican in this case. It's military promimence came to the fore in the crusades against the heretical cathars of the region in 13th century, at one point being administered by Simon de Montford. It's position then was effectively to control the borders of medieval France and Spain. It consists of complete double-walled fortifications with 53 towers in all.

However all is not what it appears. After the fortication fell into disuse, it was extensively restored in the 19th century by Eugene Viollet-le-Duc, who infamously restored other French medieval buildings. Consequently much of the upper ramparts and walls are not original, but it is the overall impression of the place that is impressive and the closest representation of a walled town you may witness (without using CGI technology).

What struck me most were the walls where the wooden pallisading has been restored - this IMHO truly reflects what 15th century walled defenses would have been like, rather than the raw stone walls that we see on most castles - be they actual or on a wargames table - and reminds me that I must add them to mine, when the time comes for a HYW castle.

I also managed to paint a dozen more figures, although the finished quality was poorer than expected - a very warm climate for your holiday is what you wish for of course, but it plays havoc with painting al fresco when your acrylics are literally drying on the brush!!

Monday, 26 July 2010

Scots (II)

The remainder of the Scots, that I began posting in December last year ; these being archers and men at arms. As previously notes it appears that larger numbers of bowmen were deliberately hired among the Scottish levies recruited in the 1420s to counter the English successes.

The figures are a mix of Perrys and Citadel Brettonians, which go together quite well (as they are from the same designers). The Citadel figures are based on the armour and attire of an earlier phase of the HYW, however I've used them on an assumption (completely unfounded in any records) that the Scottish captains raised troops for the wars in France, from among the less-affluent tiers of society, who could not afford the latest in arms and armour ( for me anyway!). Also I've purposely used a high proportion of figures weilding axes and two-handed swords for the men at arms, based on the entirely anachronistic visual reference to Celtic Gallowglass and highlanders.
Figures are painted by Jim Bowen, Oliver James and myself, flags from Freezywater. The heraldry, either on flags or surcoats, includes Thomas Blair, Edward Lennox, William Stewart and the earl of Angus.
A holiday-induced hiatus will now follow...
...oops, have realised that couple of pics are a tad blurry - sorry (will re-shoot after hols)

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

WIPs - a little variety

After a hiatus, I'm now resolved to get my English and French armies to a position whereby I have all the key arms needed, in sufficient numbers, to have a small scale game. This will not prevent further longer term additions, such as Burgundian allies, but also mean that I can put them aside 'completed' with a clear mind, for when the next Perry WotR plastics arrive.

To get to this stage it looks like I need to do the following. For the English; a couple more longbow and dismounted men-at-arms bases, some command vignettes (inc Henry V), baggage & waggons and plenty more stakes.
For the French I have some completed Scots archers and men-at-arms to base up, several more men-at-arms bases, command groups and I want to have mounted coustillers as a second-rank to support the mounted French men-at-arms. If time permits some armed peasants/brigands would be useful, perhaps using a mix of designers (as the Perry ones appear to be permanently stuck on the workbench!).
So plenty to do.
Picture above is the starting point to fill in these gaps. Thought I'd see if I could get a little more variety by utilising plastic spares from the WotR's box. This range does not seem to lend itself to easy conversions, (the type that I can achieve!) but I'll keep thinking if there are others to do. The advancing longbowman pose came from a conversion that Oliver James has done on one of his figures, so credit goes to him.
These will be primed and then painted next month when I'm away on hols.