Sunday, 3 December 2017

The Stanley Retinue and a Scenic Interlude

In this post I have a bit of a mixed bag to present. First off, some Tudor Archers that I've been working on for a while, well not that much actual work but it's taken me about 6 weeks as life has got in the way which it does from time to time !

Since having the Tudor dollies cast I was wondering if with some further conversion work whether I could create some standing poses for use as archers and it turns out that it's not too hard to do.

The method I used was to simply saw the legs off and carefully replace them with some standing poses from the Perry plastics sets or some of the Warlord Landsknecht plastics, the latter of which gave some pleasing results.

I used a Perry plastic standing figure as my guide to get the height right and it was a bit fiddly to glue the legs, especially in the drying but with some propping up I had some pleasing results. 

Note the third figure from the left is just a straight up assembly using one of the dollies.

While I was at it I also had a go with some of the Warlord and Perry mercenary arms;

Not bad at all, I particularly liked the marching pikeman and the purses and daggers in the Warlord sprues were really handy additions. 

Here are the painted archers with eagles claw livery badges of the Stanley retinue. Suitable for Flodden under Sir Edward Stanley or the French campaign under Thomas, Earl of Derby.

These are 3 of the dollies shown above after painting, the little bits of kit really help them to stand out. Below are two additional figures with Warlord legs and additional bits.

I also had a go at making a quiver which I painted in Stanley livery colours.

These were really easy to paint and though a relatively minor change the Warlord legs really help to complete the early 16c feel of the figures. 

If you're interested to have a go yourself I have some dollies in stock at £6 plus postage and Paypal fee for a pack of 6, just send an email stating your address and how many you'd like to have and I'll reply with a postage inclusive price.

I laboured over how to base these, whether all in base coats or intermingled with a few figures without and the latter gave a more convincing feel. With that in mind I re-based some existing figures and blended them in so for painting five new figures I achieved 12, that's win win for me !

What was doubly satisfying was that I now have a fully completed retinue in the early Tudor image with livery badges, coats and bonnets. This achievement has been 9 years in the making from starting from using figures that weren't quite suitable to simple conversions then self taught sculpting and finally casting figures. It's been quite a journey and I also had a child in that time (which took a lot less time to make !)

Also in the photographs above is the debut of a scenic backdrop that I painted this weekend. I have a collection of small railway modelling backdrops for photographing staged vignettes but since seeing the pleasing results that a large backdrop can bring during gaming I've really wanted to have something suitable.

I used to paint Landscapes for the noble task of creating of beer money whilst studying for an art degree and had a few solo exhibitions along the way but it's been quite a while since I dusted off the larger brushes. I do love a challenge so I thought I'd see if I still had it.

I bought a 24x48 inch MDF board and used acrylic paint, household brushes and my hands and a rag for blending. Owing to the size of the board and general mess I painted outside - though it was a bright day I soon found that cold temperature really focuses the mind !

It really brings almost a fourth dimension to my terrain collection, particularly the way different light conditions can enhance the colour in it and almost give the appearance of different weather. I got the chance to use it in some games of Lion Rampant this weekend and as the day's gaming went on the natural and artificial light in the room made for interesting effects;

Dark clouds gathering in the afternoon

A spring day

Gendarmes charge as sun breaks through the clouds

Assault on Tudor lines in the August heat of Henry's French campaign

Looks like rain is coming

The rain has arrived.

That's all for now, I'm not sure what will be next as there's a few things on the desk at the moment so I'll leave you guessing whether it'll be Valois or Tudor.




  1. Your paitned miniatures are lovely as always, but that background really steals the show! Love it and the wonderful game shots you managed to create with it.

  2. Great backdrop - you know what you have to do...!!!

  3. Outstanding details and great color scheme for these splendid figures, and the background is a masterpiece...what a post!

  4. Lovely toys as always....
    A fantastic backdrop old boy ... I can see the start of a small cottage industry...
    The Sky’s the Limit...😁

    Alll the best. Aly

  5. Great archers and superb photos with the backdrop. Of course what did get omitted from this post is how long the bloody backdrop had to be held up for! Joking aside it is hard to believe that most of those photos are from actual games - really impressive.

  6. Very impressive conversion work, and painting as well!

  7. Literally a work of art on so many levels
    Very impressed!

  8. Holy cow! The figures are awsome, and those background can not be beat!

  9. Lovely tudor archers, great backing too!
    Best Iain