Monday, 15 August 2016

French light artillery & crew

This project has been a slow burner as I began work on the crew some time ago, I abandoned the unit for a while as I wasn't sure how best to convert the master gunner but inspiration has since provided the result.

Here are the conversions bar one member who I neglected to photograph prior to basing;

Left to right, the chap with the breech was perhaps the simplest conversion; I added green stuff to his arms to give more voluminous sleeves typical of the early 1500's and did a head swap from a Wargames Foundry Landsknecht (also Perry sculpted), he wears the red & yellow livery of Louis XII.

The master gunner wears a woollen base coat in national colours, the base coat was added after the figure was prepared; I filed away about 1-2mm off the torso and created a GS fill between the legs, allowed it to dry and then sculpted the coat on top. The filing / cutting in the gap between the arms and body was quite fiddly but I think it's turned out OK.

After this photograph was taken I added a few more things to the painting. Master gunners were much in demand and were spread throughout the French armies of the period, serving wherever they were sent, I thought I'd add a red and yellow Bishop's mitre livery badge of the city of Therouanne to demonstrate his allegiance to his current role.

To further mark him as a master gunner with the experience of a long siege I painted small powder burns and marks on the front of his base coat, hand and sleeve, a little touch but it adds to the character.

Finally, the chap with the sponge was perhaps the most difficult sculpt, the puffed sleeves are quite hard to get right in terms of how much volume there is in the material and how much I can emphasise the fold in each pull of material. The head is a plastic Ansar head with added GS cloth hat, I've had so much use out of that box of plastics, they're a veritable hive for conversion and head swaps in particular, very expressive.

I also built up the breastplate a bit and altered it to look like a Maximilian style breast plate in the latest fashion.

In contrast to the other light culverin I painted the wood and iron work of the gun in red. There are various examples of gun frames whether natural or painted in different colours. German pieces for example tended to be black with red ironwork, the latter a protective layer to prevent rust as is shown here.

This now concludes my work on the conversion of both of the Perry light guns, here they are in defensive position on the outskirts of a ruined village - the fencing and gabions are from Renedra with a few bits added and the ruined building is from 4ground - they do a nice version of this with red daub which I must get some day.

Here they are alongside a larger gun on a section of Therouanne's walls;

I think I'll eventually get the bombard and convert the crew in this manner to add to my Tudors, pieces of that nature though dated were still being put to use well into the 1520's. This work has also served to remind me that my Tudors are bereft of artillery at present so I shall get to that too.

Bye for now



  1. Awesome stuff Stuart, your skills with the greenstuff are coming on leaps and bounds. The effort has really proved worth it and given a collection that is spot on for 1513. I can't wait to see what you do with the bombard. I've just had a go at it myself, it's a fantastic kit that can easily be brought into the 1500s.

  2. Great looking gun crew and the folds on the chap with the sponge are just awesome, so I can add Perrys bombard to my early 16th century list of things to get?!
    Best Iain

  3. Very nice indeed!

  4. Artillery crew look oh so nice! First rate workmanship!

  5. I am really impressed by the quality of the pictures, terrain, and, of course the splendid figures...Thanks for sharing!

  6. Fantastic, again. It's the combination of research and artistry that is so impressive. Have you considered doing a book of this? It seems to me that you have the makings of something really good to fill a need in a much neglected period with a lot of research and information as well as some great images that would be very hard for anybody else to achieve.

    1. Thank you, a book has crossed my mind before, who knows I won't rule it out

  7. Coincidentally, I had started some more artillery for my 15mm French army - your post made me paint-strip them and set to with file and putty to get something less generic and more like the French artillerymen and infantry in La Voyage de Genes.
    My worry is that if you do produce that book, I'll be back to zero with my whole army.I hope you do do it though. :-)

  8. I think you're safe for the moment, I've got a French army to complete ! speaking as someone who is now converting / redoing an existing Tudor army a return to zero isn't too bad

  9. Great stuff ; looking forward to seeing more French,