Sunday 22 May 2011

Vignettes et al

I've been using up some of the remaining castings I have, to create a couple of vignettes and another marker.

The first is a man at arms uttering a prayer for his own salvation at a wayside shrine; perhaps citing 'Charlemagne's Prayer' which was a popular one with noblemen and soldiers for their personal safety during the fifteenth century. The shrine is a model railway item from a Faller HO scale chapel kit. The marker portrays the earl of Salisbury, one of the English contingent leaders at Verneuil; the flag is by GMB Flags.

The other vignette is a mounted man at arms with retainers surveying the field of battle. Two of the foot soldiers are older Citadel figures from the Bretonnian bombard set, which was proably released originally in the 1990s, with the ramrod hand drilled out to carry a seperate flag - so that I can therefore adapt for either side (as pictured) whilst the other has been positioned holding the reins of his lord's horse. Again their attire is out of date, but they're nice figures that seem to fit well together as a small group

Plan is now to move onto to add some non-combatant/civilian types for the town and elsewhere.

Sunday 15 May 2011

More casualties

The rest of the casualty/disorder markers have been done.

Again a mix of figures from different ranges; the horse is a Perry AO range with the base cut off and the saddle added from plastic card - I realised after painting it that I'd failed to add a stirrup - too late now.

I've been rummaging through the rest of my unpainted HYW castings and have come up with a couple of vignettes that I'm happy with, to use up some of the spare figures and I'll do a few individually based ones too.

Sunday 8 May 2011

Casualties of War

For the Salute game I had intended to paint up some casualty figures, to denote unit disorder for the Impetus rules. Regretably I ran out of time and it was a shame as we ran short of markers, only having the very nice pieces that Darrell brought along - for which see here. So I've managed to add an initial ten casulaty bases and have a few more to do (when I get some more circular MDF bases from Warbases).

Figures are mix of Perry, Foundry and Citadel; some with anachronistic armour styles and some with rather old fashioned dress for the 1420s, but at the end of the day these guys are the dead and dieing! I fixed most to their bases and added the stones and sand before painting.

Should post the others soon.

Friday 6 May 2011

Bosworth - the alternative to the royal wedding

In 1981 I'd avoided the TV coverage of the royal wedding and taken myself off somewhere. So to keep up my traditional response to such events, I spent last Friday at the new Bosworth Battlefield Centre. I say new, as it was actually upgraded and re-opened a couple of years ago and although it's less than an hours travel from my front door I'd not visited yet.

As I expected it wasn't busy (!). Little from the original exhibitions appears to have been retained - although for those of you who have been before those excellent 'Action Man' size figures dressed in finely made armour are still there (but I'm afraid I forgot to take photos of them). The centre is now more 'hands on' and interactive, as is the approach these days. Information is provided in many different formats; one being short films of charcters, some actual some fictional, played by actors in contemporary dress who, at the touch of a button, share their feelings and thoughts about the events before and after the battle.

The political events of the Wars of the Roses are briefly covered, as they relate to the lead up to Bosworth battle. Medieval life and warfare are also portrayed; plenty of reproduction weapons, artifacts and armour are on display. Theres also extensive use of the excellent colour illustrations from related Osprey books, those by Gerry Embleton and Graham Turner. These are displayed overized and it's amazing how impressive they still look at a much bigger size. There's replica armour to try on and an interactive task of arming a knight, even using the option of French terminolgy for the pieces. The battle has an audio commentary, supported by film of re-enactors and an animated display of the main movements of the forces of Henry, Richard and the Stanleys. There is then a considerable amount of space given over to the Tudors (all of them), which I suppose is probably as this is the main point of referecence for most visitors and particularly school children who study them.

The highlight for me were the rooms which covered the archeological project undertaken in the last few years on the battlefield site, which has resulted in the finds and the likely relocation of the battlefield site towards Dadlington, rather than Ambion Hill where the Centre is. This is covered in some depth and all the finds appear to be on display there, including the artillery shot, the boar badge and other metal items.

Outside the centre there is an established walk, which is currenly being upgraded and which is due to complete in 'Spring 2011' - anytime now really. The walk covers the old traditional site on Ambion Hill (possibly still where the royal army encamped on the night before the battle) but it takes you away from the revised site somewhat, through Ambion Wood and past 'Richard's well'. A new sundial and viewing point is under construction, which will give a vista across towards Dadlington and the revised battle site, but as this is about 2 miles away you only get a slight sense of the battlefield layout.

Overall it's a high quality museum and succeeds in giving a very accessible understanding of the battle and wars, indeed it's won a recent award as best small museum. I spent a very enjoyable couple of hours there and my only disappointment was that the shop didn't stock boxes of Perry plastics, so I couldn't use my Battlefield Trust discount to increase my stockpile - Nick at North Star should take note of a sales opportunity!