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 !



  1. What can I say...absolutely georgeous!!!! Those caparisons are amazing...

  2. Wow Stuart, they are more than a bit special. Lovely paintwork and very impressive group of figures - certainly well worth the effort you've put in and appropriately magnificent as royal bodyguards.

  3. beautiful work stuart, i know just how you feel about needing a rest as i have done similar projects!

  4. Woooow !! These miniatures are absolutely wonderful !! O_O

    Congratulations Stuart!


  5. Outstanding work Stuart. Worth waiting to see the finished unit. Your allowed to have a rest now :-) . Good links too.

  6. Beautiful results, definitely worth the effort.

  7. Fab brushwork Stuart, well done. Great looking unit.



  8. Gorgeous...I am in awe of your work mate!

  9. Beautiful, absolutly beautiful...

  10. Beautifully painted and converted figures depicting a relatively unfashionable period. I don't want to depress you, but have you given any thought to modelling 'the other side of the hill' - the army of Louis XII of France?

  11. Thanks for all your comments, I gave myself a little breather from the brushes to do a bit of flag / banner research and now i'm firmly back to working on some more infantry, more on these later.

    Charles, In a round about way I will yes, I intend to paint up a small force to represent the rebel army which Richard de la Pole assembled in France in 1514, this was primarily a landsquenet force but it did have some gendarmes, if i like them I might branch out, it seems the logical thing to do(Scots are too infantry heavy for my liking) though there is frustratingly little out there on the French army unless anyone can give me a few pointers for books etc.

  12. thats amazing such detail what can one say butyour a master