Saturday, 22 November 2014

The Walls of Therouanne part II

Part II; the Garrison 

Here's an in-situ photograph of the wall section, lightly defended by a militia watch. 

My efforts over the last two months or so have concentrated upon building an in action set of defenders for one side of the wall; the renaissance artillery tower on the right, 16 figures in all with a medium artillery piece and some added pieces of interest. The figures have been drawn from Perry and Foundry as well as Pro Gloria and a Brother Vinni (I think - the figure in question was given to me).

All were selected to complement each other in a hopefully coherent display of a section of the wall in action. In doing so I have created 3 vignettes which interact with their part of the wall as well as giving a good overall image.

First up, a Franc Archer sergeant rests on the wall to shout obscenities;

This figure was a bit of a kit-bash from the Perry plastics with the addition of some feathers from the Swiss heads, it was a bit fiddly to get the left hand to rest neatly on the wall, but it's turned out reasonably OK. 

Next, perhaps my favourite, some more Franc Archers fire down from a damaged section of wall;

Creating a French army was fairly inevitable, whilst assembling the Tudors I slowly began to build a burgeoning gallery of reference material and it was this feature of a tapestry depicting the 1513 siege of Dijon which really caught my imagination;


As soon as I saw it I was determined to try and recreate the crossbowman leaning over the wall to make someones day.

This figure is assembled from the Mercenaries box with a Tudor head which also has some feathers from the Swiss heads added (shortened slightly and cut at an angle). The body is an advancing pose with the legs bent a little more in an effort to achieve a leaning pose. The arms are built up with sculpted green stuff. Finally the figure was painted as a liveried Franc Archer, his feathers confirm his allegiance to Therouanne and the black and white hose to Seur Bournonville.

The remaining figures are also Franc Archers as well as a local militia bowman;

All are based on pennies built up with filler and painted a matt grey, some of these could be blended fairly well with the infantry as skirmishers or to give some more movement to future photographs.

Next up; a master gunner cautiously exposes himself;

The top of the artillery tower is defended by a modern medium artillery piece, cast in bronze with a long range of fire to exchange hate with Henry's heavy guns.

The embrasures are low, the crew have taken extra precaution with the addition of gabions for protection from stray arrows and shot, lansquenets are also in action around them.

Inspiration for this set up, and indeed the design of the wall crenellations were taken from this and similar drawings of Henry VIII's coastal fortifications;

Unlike the militia garrison and the Franc Archers the artillerymen are from Louis XII's army, I have tried to reflect this in their appearance;

Louis XII's red and yellow livery is loosely represented as well as the cross of St. Denis, the master gunner wears a rich base coat with a richly embroidered porcupine, a heraldic device of Louis XII. Here's a closer look and a reference from the illustrated manuscript of the 1507 Genoa campaign;

The artillery piece and gabions. The latter are from Battlefront Miniatures I think, I've added extra pieces of kit, I'm really pleased with the bronze - I ended up spending more than I anticipated on it but it's worth it.

Aerial view of the gun in action;

Lansquenet arquebusiers are busy keeping the heads of the English archers down, firing in support of the gun crew and the French bows, here's a closer look at them as they are pretty chaps;

I just can't get enough of these, I get so much fun from painting them, they're a joy. What's made this even more rewarding is my recent - perhaps overdue discovery of Pinterest, a free online image library where you can 'pin' whatever makes you tick, here's my galleries which have inspired these and many more;

Last but not least is a pair of Lansquenets with a hackbut, a large calibre arquebus;

The firing miniature comes as a set with the gun but I thought it looked better with an injured second crewman.

Here's a final photograph of the whole section in action. I have roughly the same amount of figures to convert and paint for the opposite section of wall. Owing to the aforementioned Pinterest I'm hungry for Landsknechts at the moment so there will be a bit of a break before I press on but I hope you like this second instalment of the defence of Therouanne.

Cheerio for now



  1. This project is definitively one of the best I have ever seen. Nice work on Thérouanne and his defenders.

  2. WONDERFUL!! Such a beautiful display.


  3. Absolutely wonderful! You know the one thing it needs? A plain blue shy or perhaps a few clouds behind when you photograph it. Even without it is a marvellous effort.

    1. It's on my list and I used to paint landscapes so I've no excuse but the figures tend to distract me !

  4. Everything here is perfect! I love this project, so beautiful and creative...fantastic job, congrats!

  5. Those are stunning; such attention to detail!

  6. Just so good Stuart, I´m very impressed by your work !!!

    Best regards Michael

  7. Well that post made my mouth water.....Thanks Stuart!

  8. Those are just brilliant Stuart - love the way that you've created them to complement the walls and fantastic paintwork (as always). Not sure about the master gunner 'exposing himself' ...perhaps a way of getting his message over to the English, but risky nonetheless - those archers can be good shots!

    1. Oh no! The omission of the words ' fire' changes the story completely. I fart in your general direction !