Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Beards & Barding

I've started a prog rock band by the name of....

I'm lacking a bit of imagination today but I couldn't bear another 'WIP' title!

I'm presently working on 3 different bases of figures which may take a while to do so I thought I'd share my progress by way of an interim update.

To begin, I have started work upon the first of four bases of demilancers to complement those I already have; These were began some time ago but shelved whilst awaiting the release of the Perry plastic MAA set, you can view a previous figure by figure progress here.(click 'newer posts' after reading this one to see all four figures so far)

The way in which I will use the new plastics will be to have armoured men at arms wearing sculpted knee / thigh length boots and with lighter / poorer helmets or 'tudor' heads. Among these will be a scattering of better armed riders in more contemporary maximilian armour and light horse barding to which will represent those who were a bit better off and which will no doubt to be used as commanders.

I will use the early Wargames Foundry gendarmes (those the Perry's sculpted) for these better armed individuals which I have found will require the saddles of the plastic horses to be filed down and shaped a bit along with pinning the rider to the horse.

Furthermore, the horse caparison armour that comes with the boxed set is just that bit too early for 1513, so,  looking at a few sources but using this image from the Pavia tapestry as an illustrative guide I have filed, cut and sculpted the Italian horse armour from the set to something a bit more contemporary looking. The horse below is a bit of a hybrid of the two main riders shown in the tapestry;

Proof will be in the painting I guess but I think I've done OK so far; once I got into it I found it quite easy but I had to think about the processes involved and the order I'd need to do them, for the sculpting especially; one side had to dry overnight before I could start on the next for example.

On to the other, hairier project.

Spurred on by some beardy experiments in my previous post I gave a few more figures the facial hair treatment using milliput;

I'm not sure which of these units I'll finish first but that's a measure of it so far.



  1. Nice sculpting! astonishing work as always!

  2. Lovely work - the beards really take them from fifteenth century to the Tudor period...great work on those bows too!

    1. It really does doesn't it, they're a bit fiddly to do but i've made a 'beards!' note on my painting pile so I continue to add a few as I go along.

      The scurrer for example, i'd never used that head as I though it looked way too early but it just works - though he does look a bit like Dick Strawbridge!

  3. Great work Stuart, the beards are excellent but the chap with the tache is the best! Keep it up!!

    1. Taches are the way forward, though I have experimented in the past and look ridiculous!

  4. Really inspirational Stuart. The archer firing is superb. Excellent work too on the horses.

  5. Wow! Not what I'm into at the moment, but you sure make it tempting. An amazing Blog in general with some beautifully painted minis. What a colorful period - Well Done.


  6. great to see these coming together the beards look great really seems to make the difference between 15th and 16thcentury looks! ps did you get the email i sent you a couple of months back?

    1. Cheers buddy, I've sent you a (belated) reply

  7. Hi
    Really admire all your work, it's truly inspirational. I notice that on the above figures the green appears on the right instead of the left of the livery coats and was wondering what the reason was?

    1. I'd love to say that I simply mirrored the image for better effect but simple stupid mistake is the real answer, there's a few more dotted amongst my bill

    2. I have seen images where the green is on the right, rather than the left. One example is of a livery coat reproduced by the "Tudor Tailor" c.1510 which shows the green on the right and the white on the left. Do we know if this was definitely wrong. Lord Abergavenny brought his own retainers to France, might they not been clothed in this fashion given that the trim of his "red standard" is green and white, the same as the later 1530 illustration?

    3. My understanding is that the colour on the bottom of the standard is on the left but I don't know if this were a strict rule as such. Most depictions I have seen show the green on the left though for the period of around 1490-1530 English forces on the continent wore a white coat 'in the old fashion' with a cross of St George which was 'guarded in greene' for the 1513 campaign - i.e. a green border on the sleeves and bottom of the skirt or coat.

      On the home front this would not have exclusively been the case with troops more likely to be bearing badges of their captains, the stanleys did this (with permission) at flodden for example.

      Lord Bergavenny had a few standards, his red standard was taken to France and his indentured men wore the aforesaid white coat. However, at home this may well have been different. He's an interesting example as Henry VII fined him a huge sum for having liveried retainers at home (he was understandably none to keen on this), Henry VIII also imprisoned him in the tower for perceived Yorkist sympathies so many nobles at home, Bergavenny in particular may well have been keen not to do this without permission (as was given when troops were raised for the crown).

      Later campaigns of the 1540's have numerous liveries with the only common feature being the st. george cross.

    4. Lord Bergavenny is certainly interesting with regard to his flouting of the Statute of Liveries. You mention his indentured men in France were clothed in white guarded with green, I have seen this for Northumberland's men, but not for others. I would be most interested if you could tell me which source this came from.
      Many Thanks

    5. No problem, any excuse for a look through my books !

      The 'white coat' with St. George cross was an established feature of the English Army on the continent, though the green addition is certainly a Tudor embelishment.

      The Osprey men at arms book of Henry VIII's Army makes reference to Northmberland's contingent being liveried in this manner mainly I suspect for his imaginative use in displaying his own livery and badges. The same book refers to Tudor armies wearing white and green coats for most of Henry VII's reign and the first half of Henry VIII's again, this being a move away from liveried retainers and moreover 'coat money' had to be provided so why not legislate it.

      Heath's 'Armies of the XVI Century' also states this along with Cruickshank's 'Army Royal'.

      My most favoured direct source for this campaign as it mentions a very large portion of the army being clothed in this manner is the eyewitness source of Antonio Bavarin in a letter to Venice;

      (London : 9 April, 1513.)

      [69 ships sailed out of the Thames in Holy
      Week, 10 or 12 of 300 to 1,000 t., the others of 100
      to 250 t., 10 others were in Southampton. Besides,
      6 rowbarges, better for landing than galleys. 16,000
      soldiers and 32,000 mariners. Captains, pilots, sol-
      diers, and mariners have jackets and coats of white
      and green.]

      La setimana santa parti de qui nave 69, tra le
      qual n' e da 10 in 12 de 600 fin 2000 bote ; el resto
      de bote 200 fin 500. Altre 10 nave erano in
      Antona, che se hano conzonto insieme, che sono in
      tutto da 80. Hanno etiam 6 legni longi e bassi
      come gali e vogano remi assai, che tuti questi mari-
      neri Viscaini tengono, per questo mare, sarano
      meglio che galie per andar a la guara. Oltra i
      marineri per governo dei navilli, che sono al dopio,

    6. I have personally elected to represent a number of 'white coats';

      1. simply white with the cross of St. George
      2. white guarded green with St. George Cross
      3. white and green livery
      4. white and green livery with St. George Cross

      This works well visually and adds some variety. It also nods to the various sources, some specific, others less so. Also, the coats were not issued centrally, rather coat money was so there must have been variety within each contingent.

      Ultimately I wasn't there so this is the best I can do.

      Hope that helps.

    7. That's great, many thanks. The Bavarin letter is certainly informative.
      I look forward to seeing more of your miniatures, the flags in particularly make me very envious!!

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. No problem, you're very welcome. Do you have any ideas for a Tudor army of your own?

    1. With next year being the anniversary of Flodden, I'd like to put together a small force for that. Henry's 1513 invasion of France has always interested me, but there's no way I could compare to you so I'm not going to try, well certainly not on such a grand scale!! Then there's TAGs upcoming 1544 range which I am keen to get my hands on.....

  10. By the way, I have a copy of "Henry VIII's Invasion of France" by Cruickshank, do you know if his "Army Royal" differs in any way?

    1. Ah excellent and good luck! There's more source material on that campaign which should put you in good stead. The book you have is indeed Army Royal with a few illustrations added. Keep me posted on your progress.