Sunday, 28 March 2010

The End of the House of Lancaster

...well, almost the end.
Henry VI and Queen Margaret, riding around at the edge of the battlefield, ready to either take flight in defeat or line up the captured Yorkists nobility to be attainted and executed in victory.
Figures are Perrys; the pennon bearer is a plastic figure with adjusted arms to hold a flagpole (though not at an exact 90 degrees ...theres a strong wind blowing you know!). Flag is LBMS taken from their HYW sheet.
Having now painted both plastic and metals from this range I fear that the plastics are now going to either spoil us with the extra crispness of the detail, or result in the casting quality of the metals needing to be raised. We get to see the lovely sculpting by both Perrys when they post WIP pics (on TMP or all too occasionally on their own website), but increasingly this detail seems to be getting lost in the mouldmaking and casting process IMHO. Case in point here is Henry's raised hand - the detail just wasn't there and the fingers had effectively fused together - and I'm pretty certain that Michael would not have designed the original figure so.
I say not quite the end of the Lancastrians, as Edward Prince of Wales and the duke of Somerset are still to come and are due to be released as mounted figures, anytime now. Henry's also due to be accompanied by a dismounted herald, from the plasics box which I'm still doing... but too much small-scale heraldry for one painting session.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Burgundian Artillery

Charles the Bold was reknowned for the funds he lavished on acquiring a substantial artillery train, both the very latest field and siege guns, employing master gunners from across Europe . Although partly an outward reflection of wealth and status, Charles did employ his artillery in both battles and seiges (such as Neuss and Morat), although without success - by 1477 most of his artillery appears to have been in the hands of various Swiss cantons. Wheeled field guns such as these had a wide range of names used by contemporary accounts; such as coulourine, crappaudeaul, veuglaire and serpentine. Neither their overall size or calibre appear to have borne any relation to any categorisation derived from their naming, although they were all breach loading.

These are the first of what will be a sizeable artillery train for my Burgundians. They are Perry WotR crew, with the addition of a converted plastic figure. Given the narrowness of my basing (60mm) I decided on crews comprising of just a master gunner and two assistants. Equipment is a mix of Front Rank, Bicorne and Foundry. Two of the guns are the Perry pieces, which are very fine castings that require careful cleaning and patient assembly.

The slightly larger gun is another nicely sculpted model which I believe has something of a rarity value as its from a now defunct, incomplete range of late medievals from about ten years ago... so can anyone try and identify the 'mysterie gonne' ?

No prizes, but I'll reveal the answer on my next posting...

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Earl of Devon at Tewkesbury

John Courtenay, 15th Earl of Devon, surveying the field at Tewkesbury on 4th May 1471, the day he would die fighting for the Lancastrian cause. The earl was the younger brother of the earl who'd been attainted and beheaded following the battle of Towton. He was restored to the earldom by Warwick in 1470 when 'the kingmaker' was effectively controlling the Henrician government. He led the Lancastrian left wing at Tewkesbury, opposite Lord Hastings, and died in the fighting.
The figures are Perry WotR; Devon has 'turncoated' from the Yorkist command pack (WR3) and the sculpted soft hat replaced by a visored sallet from the plastics box, to position him as being closer to the front line and ready for the fray - although of course it's most likley that he would have led his men on foot when the battle started. His coat of arms is from one of the new WotR flag sheets from LBMS.
This vignette was done over the last two days and is a welcome diversion from the rank and file I'm doing. Devon will be available for closer inspection at the Perry's Tewkesbury demo game at this year's Salute.