Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Work in Progress

It's been a while since my last post, my progress has slowed considerably over the last couple of months due to a mix of work and family commitments along with a general loss of inclination to go near the workbench, a bit of artist's block unfortunately but I've taken a day to myself to get this blog is back in business.

I'm mid project and it's going to take a while (enormous tasks are a bit off putting - perhaps there's a lesson there); I am putting together a unit of French cavalry but as ever I've wanted to do something a bit different, I'm working on a complete unit or lance, so; Gendarme, Man at Arms, Ordonnance Archer(s) and Coustillier. 

The figures are a mix of Foundry and Perry, I did consider using the Perry plastic horses and the Foundry Gendarmes with sculpted armour as I did with my Tudors below but I do quite like the Foundry Caparisoned horse which comes with their Gendarmes, it's only one pose but it's a very nice one. In order to not make that look like a pony all of the rest had to follow suit and use the other Foundry horses so that was an early decision. Perhaps I may do the next unit of cavalry differently, we'll see.

The Foundry packs adequately cover Gendarmes and MAA though there are no Archers, I've never been able to work out if that was an oversight or simply a timing issue, anyway it precipitated a need to fill the gap and with my recent forays into sculpting I considered myself at a point where I'm able to do it so I'm working on these elements of the lance first as comparatively speaking they will be the hardest to do.

If you're interested in the French Lance of the early 1500's I put together a short essay of my take on it in a previous blog post here.

Inspiration wise I've used a number of sources but ultimately the key image is a Flemish tapestry depicting the tale of David & Bathsheba, it's dated around 1520 and was either commissioned or at least purchased by Henry VIII. You can view it in the Musee de la Renaissance just outside Paris or buy the lavishly illustrated accompanying book, one notable piece is the assemblement des chevaliers;

This features what I believe to be the elements of the lance from Gendarmes to Coustilliers with a mix of contemporary and older armours, it's a fantastic piece which I know I'll return to again and again.

I began with the medium armed men at arms; sculpting skirts and being creative with head-swaps on the Perry MAA bodies, I was keen to depict older armour with contemporary clothing as per the tapestry (and other sources such as the Triumph of Maximilian). I'm not quite finished with these but here's a preview;

You can see a pre-painted photograph of these figures via the link mentioned above. 

Next up are the Ordonnance Archers to which I've applied the same approach using the Perry Light Cavalry torsos as sculpting dollies;

This chap is complete and awaits some comrades who are presently mid-sculpt;

Base coat just about done with hair and cloth cap to do (the head is from the plastic Ansar sprue)

Arms and head from a Foundry Landsknecht with sculpted torso.

Also, as I tend to have a few figures on the go sculpting wise here's an arquebusier awaiting some colour;

That's me up to date, it's been good to get back into the saddle, hopefully more to come soon.

All the best



  1. These look fantastic Stuart and I love the fact they are based on the contemporary tapestry, my favourite is the man at arms with lance and feathered cap. The "Schweizerkrieg" from c.1500 shows a similar style of cavalry with older style sallets and armour and the skirts and "base coats"(?).
    Any idea when these sculpts will be available to the public?

    1. Thanks Oli, I thought you'd like them. One day I might be able to sculpt a whole figure who knows!

  2. Marvelous attention to detail. I am enjoying your work, posts and progress very much. The conspiracy of life against your project I identify with completely. I believe I mentally stall at the half way mark on almost everything I do and I'm in the process of forcing myself. I find that Blogging is in itself a great motivator. Keep going - it is much appreciated.

  3. Very nice update Stuart ! Love your work, very inspirational!

  4. Fascinating project, looking forward to seeing the results. I often find real life interferes with my hobby time, the fact that the local beer garden looks so inviting doesn't help either.

  5. Great to see the commitment to your passion returning Stuart :>)

    you've been missed!

    The sculpts are coming along really nicely mate- keep up the excellent work and keep posting WIP pics of the sculpting (if possible of course!) so I can copy some of what you do!! Seriously! :>)


  6. Excellent stuff, really interesting looking cavalry. Your sculpting is definitely coming on. Nice

  7. Excellent stuff, really interesting looking cavalry. Your sculpting is definitely coming on. Nice