Monday, 29 November 2021

French Knights for Patay (III)

 

Some more progress - Étienne de Vignolles and another kastenbrust.

Etienne de Vignolles appears to be the primary leader of the French mounted vanguard at the battle of Patay. In the previous posting, I showed the horse conversion for this figure and the rider is just a standard Perry knight from the Agincourt plastics box. The caparison is hand-painted, in an attempt to match it to the printed flag.



Vignolles acquired the knickname of La Hire at some point. One explanation for his nickname of La Hire would be that the English had nicknamed him "the Hire-God" (Ira Dei: the wrath of God). Alternatively, his name may simply come from the French "hedgehog" because he had a prickly disposition.

He joined Charles VII in 1418, when the English army invaded France. Although not a noble, La Hire was regarded a very capable military leader as well as an accomplished rider. Three years later, in 1421 he fought at the Battle of Baugé.  He was a close comrade of Joan of Arc and an important leader in winning the victories against the English in 1429. 


I've started his banner bearer and the flag is from the excellent GMB Designs. They'll be based up with another knight alongside them.

When looking for references for the kastenbrust I found this image of St George from Cologne museum and its dated circa 1430. So I have attempted to replicate it by adding green stuff breastplate and the 3 overlaping plates at the shoulders - not unlike a small crinnet worn by horses at this time.




I think this will do for now on germanic breastplate conversions!

More anon.

PS - not sure why the fonts have gone awry on this post - I'll try and come back and fix it....


Friday, 12 November 2021

French Knights for Patay (II)

 

So as we are nearing the Christmas season (and for shops in the UK it is already Christmas!) I give you....Five French Sergeants!


These are all the riders I can make up from the remaining spures that I have. Two of them are made up with cut-down bodies from the Perry French Foot pack, which enables a bit of variety with the kettlehats, instead of the bascinets which you get in the Agincourt Knights pack. 

The horses are all painted in the same tones for speed - but these sergeants will be placed on different bases as supporting ranks, so the uniformity will be lost...and uniformity is not what you want in a medieval army.


More anon. Cheers for now.


Sunday, 7 November 2021

French Knights for Patay (I)


There's life in the old blog yet!

I recently had the opportunity to join other 'Bodkins' and replay the Battle of Crecy as a demo game at Partizan show. Apart from the joy of gaming and meeting folk again after 18 months of lockdowns, it reignited my enthusiasm to do more to my HYW collection. I'd made up several perry plastic Mounted Agincourt Knights for the Bauge game, but wanted to do more of them. So my winter project will be to create sufficient French knights to refight the Battle of Patay 1429 - a key turning point in the recapture of English-held territories by the French.

So the current plan is to create at least 10 bases of knights, which can be added to the 'agnostic' bases I have done already.

The first conversions for these are using horses from V and V Miniatures, which wear caparisons. Horses with caparisons (cloth coverings) are shown in early 15th century illustrations. However it is probably unlikely that they were worn in battle at this time. They are a useful artistic device to show leaders in imagery of the time - and this is exactly how I'm going to use them for some of the leaders on the gaming table.

I purchased a few of the horse models direct from A&A in Russia in the first lockdown period. They are resin models and are a remarkably close fit to older Citadel style horses. So thankfully the overall size fit with the Perry plastics is pretty good. I could use the assembled horse bodies and easily attach a Perry head instead of those provided which really relate to the Crusading era. The riders just needed a little more width in the gait of their legs - easily shaved off with a scalpel - to fit the horses OK. 

The second conversions are to add a few knights wearing kastenbrust cuirass. For a battle set in 1429, it is just possible that the kastenbrust style of armour was starting to make an appearance. Although most of the illustrations depicting this style are dated from c1430-1460 and derive from Germany or Flanders, it gives me an excuse to add a bit more visual variety and create some unique figures. I recently visited the restored Van Eyck 'Lamb of God' altar in Ghent, dated to 1432, which has the Knights of Christ all wearing kastenbrust, so we're close enough on the dating for me to be happy with attempting these figures.



I've added the angular cuirass with green stuff and I'm happy with the results. However when I attached the riders left arms, those holding the horse reins, and they pretty much cover up all the putty work! But I know (...and you dear reader also know) that they are there. Consequently I've selected right arms which try to avoid covering up all my work.  Next steps will be to paint all of the new figures, before picking up some more Perry boxes at Salute.


More to come...

All the best, Simon


Tuesday, 25 August 2020

HYW photo

I've been fiddling with my camera to create some pics of a specific battle - more anon.


This is one I edited out to not use - English attack on a French defensive camp - the stream disappearing to nowhere just didn't work.

Simon.

Monday, 4 May 2020

Shepherd's Hut (wheeled)

A few months ago I discovered about the existence of medieval shepherd's huts on wheels - a chance encounter on a Pinterest account which I follow.


It appears that images of these huts occur with some frequency in the background landscapes of medieval illustrations, mainly those showing Angels announcing the birth of Christ. They take different forms, but they're often just a square wooden shed with 2 or 4 wheels attached. Presumably they were pushed or hitched, as flocks were moved about in the open countryside (enclosed sheep fields were a 16th century creation) and as a place for shepherds to take refuge and probably sleep in.

So making one seems both relatively easy and something which would add a little interest in a corner of a wargames table- those areas where you rarely get any gaming happening and so need a little terrain item to be placed.





A recent order from Charlie Foxtrot Models enables me to add their Derelict Shed, as I didn't want it to look too much like a modern garden hut.  This was made as it comes, apart from leaving off the door. Wheels are also mdf from 4Ground and the tiles are left over wooden shingles from an AWI build. It looks a little like a Regency period bathing hut, doesn't it!


So a quick, mobile terrain item which I should be able to use on any medieval game - however, I've realised that I have no sheep!!

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Saturday, 11 May 2019

Bauge replay at Partizan - grave undertakings


We're going to replay the demo game of Bauge 1421 at the Partizan show in Newark on 19 May.

Going to make some slight adjustments to the layout. This is to include more space around the village of Vieil-Bauge; up the slope from the river crossing, where most of the fighting appears to have taken place and where Clarence most likely died fighting. This means I'll have room for my church, which I forgot to pack for the trip to Salute.


To sit alongside the church I've made a walled graveyard - one of those terrain pieces which I've had in mind for such a long while and I needed a prompt to find all those purchased bits for it and so get it completed. Visual references for what a medieval graveyard may have looked like have been hard to find. The only ones appear to be from contemporary illuminations showing the dead rising up, presumably to collect souls of the living.



From these images walled cemetaries seem to have a mixture of slabs and wooden crosses. I understand that when cemetery space was full, that bones would be dug up and reburied, most probably inside the church crypt. In the medieval world it was the soul which travelled to Heaven and was proved for after death. Its only post Reformation that the bones of the dead gradually become the focus of remembrance and so graveyards become bigger in size, with carved headstones etc. The walls are from Debris of War, which I've rendered with fine Polyfilla, with Hovels pillars on the ends. The slabs are Renedra plastics, the larger crucifixion and small shrines from a Faller HO kit, other crosses are Hovels, and the smaller wooden crosses and gateway (top part of a well) are mdf laser-cuts from Petite Properties.





Along the open side of the yard, I've embedded small magnets. This will allow me to add/remove a temporary hedge, if I need the piece to be fully enclosed at any time. The church is a Vollmer plastic HO scale railway kit - it's of Strasbourg Cathedral, but works OK as a 28mm parish church! I love the fine moulded gothic details, which I've not seen in a war-games version yet. More on it here.

If you're at Partizan, please pop over to the game and say hello!

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Thursday, 25 April 2019

Battle of Bauge 1421, at Salute 2019.


Apologies for the delay in getting some words and pictures together from the Salute game.

So Lewis King and I set up on the Friday evening and spent a very pleasant evening eating and drinking, and chatting about the hobby with others staying at the hotel.
Table layout, looking from Bauge
Regrettably other members of the Lance and longbow Society who were going to join us to play the game couldn't make it due to illness. We did have Ian with us for the afternoon, who led a wing of the Franco-Scots. The game ran well with Lion Rampant. We basically used the rules as they are, jaltoigh we classed Clarence and his mounted knights as "Great" - this was to ensure that he attacked any enemy in charge distance and so reflect his recklessness on the day and to avoid him hanging about and waiting for Salisbury with his longbowmen arriving.

All units were treated as they would be in the rules, we just ignored the limit of 12 figures per unit. We used counters to reflect the rising numbers of casualties and removed a dice per casualty, to better reflect the growing injuries and fatigue in a unit. The Scots archers defending the bridge were a small unit.

So this is how it transpired. Clarence headed for the Pont Godeau over the Couasnon river and quickly dealt with the Scots archers. In hindsight we should have stiffened their resistance with some men at arms, to reflect the close melee that the contemporary records refer to. At this point the Franco_scots on the hill and in the town could be activated.

Clarence crosses the Couasnon

All the other English knights also followed over the bridge. At this point we started to dice for the arrival of Salisbury with his mounted archers, but they would take a few more tunes before they appeared. Clarence they headed for the town (in historic fashion) and attacked and defeated a unit of crossbowmen, whilst taking few casualties.

Franco-Scots left wing
On the Scots left, the crossbowmen and men at arms were reluctant to advance and shoot - they repeatedly failed their activation phases. This allowed the other English knights to charge Scots men at arms - a close melee took place over a number of turns, with the Scots being pushed back. However the English knights, still fighting on horse, were starting to accumulate casualties. At this point the English mounted archers under Salisbury appeared on the table and made for the river.


Crossbowmen in flight 
Clarence continued his heroic attack, forcing his way into the centre of Vieil-Bauge and defeating a unit of Scots spearmen. At this point we ran out of time and our energy was sapped too - plus some shopping was calling us!

Ian finally manages to get the Scots to attack

Many thanks for all those who came along and were very generous in their feedback on the game or who wanted to know more about a battle which seems to be relatively unknown - the English being good at hiding their defeats under their bushel!


One of the two mills




We hope to revisit this at Partizan show, Newark, in May - with some minor adjustments to the terrain and maybe the Scots.

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