Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Tudor Longbowmen

With Henry done I thought I would start with the core of the contingent; Longbowmen.

I decided to use the recently released perry plastics WOTR boxed set, a little early but not too much and in absence of any decent figures by any other manufacturer i thought I would buy a box and see what i could do with it.

The first step was to do some research and the points of reference I've used are;

Osprey; Armies of Henry VIII & English Longbowman
Ian Heath; Armies of the 16th Century
Embleton & Howe; The Medieval Soldier
Charles Cruickshank; Army Royal / Henry VIII & the Invasion of France
A few books on heraldry

The main challenge was how to get figures designed for 1455-85 to look a bit more like 1490-1513 and 1513 ideally.

As this is an allied contingent on the continent I knew that these had to be wearing white coats with the cross of St George.

Given the amount of money that Henry VIII lavished on his army for his cross-channel invasions i opted for a relatively uniform appearance in that there would be some variation in the coat (be it long sleeved, short sleeved or sleeveless) but not in the cross and the fact that each coat would be 'guarded in green' as is described by contemporary accounts of troops serving both in France and at Flodden.

The rest of their kit is non uniform but i still wanted to give them a professional, well paid look.

The first unit (4 bases of 12 figures in total) will be based with a flag to represent the Duke of Northumberland who commanded a contingent in France at the time. His flag is shown in the Osprey MAA book but curiously without a St. George cross at the hoist which i think i will add - more on this as i do it.

With these troops representing his contingent there are elements of black and scarlet (the Percy family) in the hose, sleeves and accessories.

Here's the Longbowmen that I have painted so far;

I'm quite pleased with the results, they're not quite 1513 but certainly 1490-1500 so close enough as far as I'm concerned. Plus they were a joy to paint, there's a lot to be said for decent figures.

I am currently working on a trumpeter and standard bearer.


  1. Hello Stuart

    It's a good job, but these figures are certainly not valid for the year 1513 ....

    Bien à vous


    1. Bonjour Pascal

      Thank you, these are a compromise in the absence of any suitable figures. If you know of any I'd be very glad to know