The figures are all from Perry Miniatures and bar a couple of head swaps are painted straight out of the box - a rather pleasant novelty for me !
The sculpting is really characterful and well researched, I really enjoyed painting them.
To begin I was keen to get a basic understanding of the clothing and found this short video from a re-enactor to be really useful and informative, have a watch now before continuing;
The term Kern comes from the Gaelic "Ceithearn" to describe an able-bodied free man performing military service. The Scots Highlander "Cateran" comes from the same source. These were the native Irish infantry and the most numerous troop type to be found in every Irish army. Henry VIII used Kern as auxilliaries to his Irish expeditions as well as in France in 1544 for skirmishes and raids.
John Dymmok in "A Treatise of Ireland" c.1600, described them as follows
"The kerne is a kinde of footeman, sleigh tly armed with a sworde, a targett of woode, or a bow and sheafe of arrows with barbed heades, or els 3 dartes, which they cast with a wonderfull facillity and nearnes, a weapon more noysom to the enemy, especially horsemen, then yt is deadly ; within theise few yeares they have practized the muskett and callyver, and are growne good and ready shott".
Though later this describes their main armnament (less musket and caliver for the earlier sixteenth century).
Kern are characterised by their long yellow shirts 'leine croich' and short jackets 'ionar' as seen in these two contemporary sources;
For the commander I used Wargames Foundry Deep Brown Leather light tone as a base to which I then applied a wash comprising;
- Deep Brown Leather Light
- Citadel Contrast Snakebite Leather
- Citadel Contrast Technical medium
I then re-applied the Deep Brown Leather Light as a shade tone followed by the Wargames Foundry Ochre triad with a final highlight of the light tone mixed with a little white applied sparingly.
The process was the same for the other ranks but I started with Ochre mid tone as the shade, a wash with less of the contrast leather added and a highlight of the Ochre light mixed with light.
I painted most of the figures in pairs with slight variation in the wash as I went for tonal variety.
As an aside, I generally paint using a shade wash on all figures and i'm always evolving this. I have found the increased pigment in the Citadel contrast paints work well when used as a component of a wash as described above. On their own it's too much. The Technical medium is essentially the same medium minus pigment but it has more body and reliability than just using water. Liquitex Professional matte fluid is the same and much cheaper though it comes in larger pots.
The Ionar jacket was made very short and with sleeves open on the underside to allow the large hanging sleeve of the Léine to fall through. The jacket body and sleeves were decorated with lines of piping or fringing, sometimes both. The most decorative had embroidered medieval style foliage or Celtic decoration.
I used the above 'drawn from the quick' drawing as my main reference with some left relatively plain and others with added piping and embroidered designs.
Some of the figures have hose on to which I attempted to paint as trews with mixed results, i think a couple need to be a bit more muted in colour but they give a pleasing result nonetheless.
I hope you enjoyed that brief study of saffron in miniature form. I really enjoyed painting these and having recently gamed with them they are a joy to behold on the table. I'm keen to add more at some point so I can field an Irish host, at present these comfortably add an auxiliary element to my Tudor army.
I have a few projects on the go at the moment so i'm not sure what the next post will be. If you can't wait for a complete article please join my Army Royal Facebook group for updates as they happen as well as discussions and articles on the armies and enemies of the Tudor state.
Bye For Now and all the best