Sunday, 22 September 2013

French Crossbowmen

Owing to the obscurity of this project I generally find myself turning over quite a few stones to get even a glimpse at whatever particular thing I want to look for and I don't think I'd be able to have a convincing output without doing that - i owe it to history to give as convincing a result as i can and to try and convey a feel for the period and this campaign.

I couldn't have done this to the degree I have without the contribution of you and also the breadth of information and ideas that is shared on blogs and forums; I've made good friends via these and I'm sure there will be many more.

Since starting the French I've had to leave my comfort zone a little and approach complete strangers via forums who are either French gamers or appear to be knowledgeable on the subject and overwhelmingly the support has been fantastic - I now have an expanding circle of 'French' contributors whom i regularly pester and indeed who just send me pieces of information or links to things that may be of use. I'm flattered by it and it really gives me the impetus to keep going.

So thanks, all of you !

One particular demonstration of the above was from Carl de Roo from Belgium who very kindly made me aware of the siege of Dijon, also in 1513 and for which there is a tapestry depicting the siege. In it we have depicted the above French crossbowman.

You can view a PDF of a booklet which was put together about the tapestry and its restoration here. There is also a book due to be published on the subject which might be worth a look.

It's strange how just one image can propel you to get creating but using the above as a starting point I got the green stuff out and started sculpting additions, headswaps, adding bits of kit and so on in an effort to modernise the existing Perry figures;

On these four plastics I have sculpted built up sleeves and slashings, using the tapestry image as a lead, as well as adding some long hair to a couple of them.

These two figures have some simple slashed additions to their legs as well as a foil strap for their shouldered pavises.

These are the first figures hot from the painting desk; both have had a simple headswap and the figure in red has had sculpted slashing on his right leg. Both figures are conversions of metal Italian crossbowmen.

I think these have the same French feel that I managed with the pike, perhaps even more so - what do you think?

More of the same to come soon.



  1. Of the painted figures I really like the gent on the right with the blue cap, definitely looks the part. Not so keen on the gent on the left, the chainmail and kettlehelm(to me, who most certainly is not an expert) doesn't quite look 16th century, looks older. As usual I love your painting and look forward to seeing the rest of the unit painted up.

  2. I think it's that "reaching out" component of blogging I like most of all.


  3. They both look the part - I'm not sure when certain older armor style would not have been worn if still serviceable and provided good protection. Particularly for the lower ranking troops. Best, Dean

  4. They look great, love the puffed sleaves and slashed hose. There is an old warhammer empire set with metal crossbow holding arms which are slashed and puffed, they fit the perry figures really well if you can find them on ebay. They would work well for this.

    I think chain shirts would still have been worn, there are pictures of landsknechts still wearing mail "bishops mantels" well into the 1550s and the early reiters also often wore chain shirts rather than the later plate they became more famous for.

  5. Great work with the putty-pushing Stuart - once again you shifted them very convincingly along into the 16th century. They look just right.

  6. I'm with Oli. Serviceable armour is serviceable armour after all. Military fashions were always in a state of flux, perhaps more so than general fashion due to ordinary soldiers and his respective army often being made up of a more cosmopolitan element on the continent especially.

    The conversions are great and show a real confidence which is reflected in the overall appearance of the mini's.

    As usual, absolutely fabulous stuff and I'm bursting to see more!! Keep 'em coming Stuart.


  7. They're looking good, I like the right hand figure the best, but the 'hand me down' look of the other is probably valid.. and looks good too!

  8. Excellent stuff Stuart and the link to the PDF on the siege of Dijon is fantastic. I've been looking for some better pictures of this tapestry since I bought the Pike and Shotte societies book on Marignano a few years ago. keep up the good work, cheers Pete

  9. Lovely as ever mate.....the French are looking good and i love the "modernising" of the Perry plastics......might have to try my hand at that as well!