Thursday, 27 September 2012

Men at Arms WIP - casualty

For the second base of the Burgundian men at arms I’m stretching my modelling capabilities to try and create a falling horse and rider, as the company will be charging the enemy.  The Perry plastics make this conversion attempt possible of course and it’s one of the joys of the ‘plastic revolution’ that I can regress to past days of admiring this type of model conversions (typically more advanced than mine and usually in a larger scale) in Military Modelling magazine and have a go myself. Others have already done great plastic conversions with this range – notably ‘Captain Blood’ and ‘Admiral Benbow’ on the Lead Adventurers Forum.

Firstly the horse – some hacksaw surgery involved here. After assembling the two body halves, both front legs were cut off and repositioned further under the horse as it’s falling to its knees after being hit by a crossbow bolt or handgun shot (so far I’ve resisted adding an arrow/bolt shaft into the horse’s chest, but I may yet do this). The repositioned legs were pinned, glued and the gaps filled with Procreate putty. The horse’s head and neck were realigned. The head was cut from the neck and then a largish wedge of neck cut away. Head and neck were then re-united with plastic cement. The attachment of the neck to the body was also repositioned and glued further forwards after the joining ‘lug’ was trimmed to fit, to get the head as low as possible. This left a gap at the joint near the saddle, which was filled and the mane extended over the new neck extension with more putty. The cast-on reins were removed with a scalpel and replaced with fuse wire. This created the wounded horse.

I initially wanted the rider to be dramatically falling in mid-air over the horse’s neck – having found pictures of race jockeys falling from their mounts. However it proved too difficult for me to achieve a convincing pose with the figures (and my capabilities), so I post-rationalised that a man in full harness was less likely to be shot through the air as a smaller modern day jockey! Therefore he’s still in the saddle – but pitching forwards with the velocity of the horse’s fall, arms out to try and protect himself from imminent impact with the ground.

I used the legs from a plastic man at arms, cut off at the waist. These were joined to the torso of a fully armed figure on the command sprue in the Perry Mins ‘Bills and Bows’ box. Some filling was required to cover the join of the armour plates. The rider’s left arm is also from the same command sprue as the body. The right arm was selected from the mounted men at arms box, with the angle adjusted slightly (pinned and filled under the armpit) and with fingers grafted from a spare plastic longbowman’s hand. I’ve chosen an open barbute, as the face has an open mouthed expression which should work nicely to reflect the shock of the impending fall – I’ve given it a wash of GW Green Stuff as I’ll probably paint it as a fabric-covered helmet.

I’m happy with the result - given the extra time that it’s taken to assemble. Not too many parts were wasted in the trial-and-error approach; it’s been great fun and given me encouragement to perhaps try some more ‘ambitious’ poses with the plastics.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Men at Arms - WIP

I've decided to post some work in progress of my next base of Burgundian Ordonnance men at arms - so this should hopefully result in more regular postings.
So here's a current state of play for the command base, the first of the three. I've decided to make these into a more active unit, advancing at the charge - as the Perry plastic horses assemble at the gallop or steady trot. It comprises of company captain wielding an axe (the metal Perry 'duke of Somerset' figure), a man at arms in Flemish style harness thrusting with his lance (Perry plastic figure) and a flagbearer - with flag to be added.

The flagbearer is a plastic figure who's had some conversion work done on him to create a different pose. The body has been cut from the Mercenaries box figure and added to legs from the man at arms wearing the coat, with some filling undertaken to hide the joint. Long riding boots were added with putty. The mail sleeves also come from the Mercenaries box; on his right arm I've removed the forearm at the elbow (which was holding a polearm) and replaced with one cut down from the mounted men at arms box, so I can add the flagstaff to the hand. The open barbute is from the  mounted man at arms box set, with scarf added with Procreate putty. There's a picture I took of the assembled version, before paintwork (sorry about the poor lighting).

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Ordonnance Pike (II)

The second and final Ordonnance pike armed contingent for my army of Charles the Bold. Given my usual pace of painting, completing a 36 figure unit is a bit of a major undertaking; so most of the front two rankers have been painted for me by Rafa – who’s painting style and detailing is exquisite. I’ve hidden most of my more humble output in the rear ranks!

They are a mix of Perry plastics from the Mercenaries box and some metals from the WR and EA ranges. The captain is one of the newish Italians with a headswop and plastic buckler added; he fits in quite well.

The unit represents an Ordonnance unit raised by the duke from his Flemish territories, specifically Flanders. They are compliant with the ducal ordinance of Abbeville in 1471 which required pike armed soldiers to wear the ducal colours and cross of St Andrew, as well as carry a buckler. The flags are the Burgundian ducal arms, banner of Flanders and flag of the Guild of Silversmiths that originates in the Lowlands.

The Ordonnance foot are now gradually progressing towards a state of near completion. The only outstanding units to do – based on my initial army list which I’m still working to – are another handgun-armed skirmishers, a second halbard unit and ducal guardsmen. All of these I’ve started work on, in some form or another, although I'm unlikely to complete them until we hopefully get some Franco-Burgundian command figures for the Perry's EA range. I’ve plenty of mounted Ordonnance men at arms to do however and these are currently top of the painting pile.

Toodle pip....

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Burgundian Ordonnance crossbows (II)

A second unit of Burgundian Ordonnance crossbowmen, which have taken some time to be completed. Most of these figures were painted for me a couple of months ago by Chris Thompson and I’d been dithering about how to base them, knowing that the Perrys were working on metal Italian crossbowmen. I’ve painted up some of these new figures, but then decided that they really needed was a casualty figure – which I added to Chris’s lovely figures. I wanted to create the unit advancing and under fire and using pavises.

It’s probably unlikely that pavises were used in this way in open battle; they were certainly employed in large quantities in both sieges and on board ships to add protection on the decks. However I’ve given myself some margin for historical reinterpretation as the LBMS transfers are so wonderfully detailed  and really look the part, being based on surviving examples – despite being just a tad too small for the plastic pavises and so requiring some paint to be mixed to match and blend the edges a little.

The figures are mostly plastics from the Mercenaries box, with a couple of minor conversions that were done on metal figures from the EA halberdier pack and the WR artillery crew.

I’m now planning to do an additional mixed crossbow and handgun unit of skirmishers – partly as the Italian figures are so nice (and completely usable as Charles employed large numbers of mercenaries from Condottieri captains) and as I have acquired a lovely Ordonnance crossbow flag to use.

I’m  at the basing stage with another Ordonnance unit, so they should be along quite soon…