Sunday, 11 December 2011
King's Spears complete !
It's been a tough 8 weeks !
The King's Spears comprised of 50 picked men of noble birth (each with three supporters making a total of 200) whose role was to act as mounted bodyguards for Henry VIII, in a sense one of few 'regular' troops in the army alongside the Yeomen of the Guard whom they complemented.
The King's Spears existed in the years 1510-1515 and accompanied the King in the rear ward during the 1513 campaign. A similar body of 'Gentlemen Pensioners' were created in 1539, they still exist today as 'the Corps of Gentlemen at Arms'.
The sources I have used for inspiration with these figures have principally been the following two paintings from the Royal collection;
There appears to have been a loose uniform of red and yellow of which contemporary descriptions and the above paintings confirm in the plumes, skirts and horse caparisons. I have adhered to this as I feel it helps to identify the figures as being part of a unit. I also added some other uniform aspects such as the sword scabbards, St George cross' on the breastplates of the knights and the cross design on their skirts.
The one exception to this is the trumpeter who is based upon this image from the Westminster tournament roll;
I really wanted to make this unit quite special and devoted quite a lot of time to each figure, in honesty, probably more than I lavished upon Henry !
The barding, as discussed in the last post, represented the biggest challenge. Having found some damask designs I then looked closely at the sources available and the figures to work out how each 'panel' would look, after that it was just a case of a very steady hand and a lot of patience - needless to say I don't want to paint another caparisoned horse for a while now! Here are some close ups;
I am rather pleased with the unit, it has hands down been the toughest paint job I have done, it really has tested my ability and dare I say I think I have become a better more patient painter for it.....along with honing my champion procrastination skills !
Here are a few more shots, the unit looks particularly stunning fulfilling its role alongside the Yeomen guarding the King.
I'm off for a bit of a rest now and will definitely be doing some nice easy infantry figures next !