Sunday, 30 July 2017

Tudor Great Bombard Part 2

Tudor soldiers and pioneers arrive upon the aftermath of an ambush and hurriedly set to work limbering a mired gun.

Following the creation of the Tudor Great Bombard I was keen to create a vignette to illustrate the events of 27-28 July 1513;

'The (King's) middle ward once outside the English territory of the Pale were subject to repeated harassment on its way to join those already besieging Therouanne. On this day a force comprising troops from Bolougne and Montreuil under the command of Bayard and de Piennes engaged the English, apparently with a view to capture or kill Henry himself. 

The ward stood its ground and whilst Henry took safe haven among the ranks of his mercenary Landsknechts the attackers were engaged with artillery, with none of their own to reply the French left the field. When the ward moved on again some of the guns began to fall behind, one of the heaviest pieces, cast with the image of St. John the Evangelist, came to grief and slipped from its limber into a stream. This was a brand new gun and had hitherto not fired a shot, she weighed 3 tons and it was clearly going to take some effort to recover her. 

George Buckemer, a master carpenter from Calais reckoned he could get the gun out, the ward pressed on and he and a hundred workmen and a skeleton guard set to work but a powerful French force had been waiting from a safe distance and fell upon the scene with lance, crossbow and arquebus. The party were mostly slaughtered or taken prisoner but the gun remained mired, the carpenter was later blamed for his over confidence as one 'who would work all of his own head without counsel'.

Henry was somewhat annoyed at the loss of his beloved Apostle, sending Henry Bourchier, the Earl of Essex and Sir Rhys ap Thomas back to see if they could rescue the stricken piece. Lord Berners, master gunner was able to secure the gun to a limber but before they could make off a large French force appeared attacking the rear of the party as it moved off. The English responded with great spirit and forced the French to retreat leaving St John to nobly return to Henry's arsenal.'

I used this event previously as a Lion Rampant scenario, a most entertaining game and one that I've been keen to re-visit ever since.  I had this in mind when I built the bombard so I made a press mould from the original piece prior to painting, here they are together;

Despite a few attempts I couldn't quite get the end of the barrel to mould properly which was a shame but the cut down version on the mired cart still looks good.

The other catalyst for doing this piece was the Tudor dollies, they were ripe for conversion so I set about cutting them up to represent wading in the river and interacting around the Artillery hoist, a chance find from the League of Augsburg site.

The terrain board with a bend and ford in the river was also commissioned with this in mind so it's been very much a slow burning project which lends itself to a few variations on a theme.

Bye for now



  1. Superb work Stuart! Very keen to have a game on this new terrain at some point.

  2. Quite amazing work, Stuart. Very impressive!

  3. Great looking bombard and conversions,lovely painting as always!
    Best Iain

  4. Great piece of modeling and vignette composition. As others have said, amazing work.

  5. Nothing short of spectacular!