Sunday 25 October 2015

Agincourt - 600 Up

Seems appropriate to post today, it being the 600th anniversary of Agincourt. A victory which placed the longbow into English folklore (assisted somewhat by Shakespeare 175 years later), but which was as much a result of weak French kingship and divided government, combined with poor tactical decisions on the day of battle, as it was the ‘we band of brothers’.

Unfortunately I’ve not managed to get sufficiently organised for an anniversary posting which has anything new (or even work in progress) as content. I think the next scheduled additions will be when the Perrys plastic French Army box will be available – the ‘greens’ look particularly good - hopefully early in 2016. Hopefully next year will bring an opportunity to play another HYW battle that I’m yet to do with this collection – Bauge, Patay or Rouvray (The Herrings) perhaps.

Some months ago I took a few pictures for WSS magazine to depict Agincourt. So here are some that were not used in full in the magazine, as my 25th October 2015 offering…

Finally, am sure everyone's seen pictures of the completed Agincourt diorama at the Royal Armouries Tower exhibition? It looks very impressive in situ. I'm just a little concerned however that images of the French nobles I contributed, look like they've been displayed around the edge (to assist identification, on the left of the photo below) at a magnitude of about 500%. So f you go, please be kind when you inspect them, they were done against a  deadline!

Friday 2 October 2015

Agincourt 600 - Royal Armouries Diorama

As most will now be aware from the coverage this week on some social media and wargames publications, as part of it’s Agincourt 2015 exhibition the Royal Armouries commissioned a large battlefield diorama from Dave Marshall and Perry Miniatures.

Here are some pictures of the diorama, taken in its almost-ready state a couple of months ago in Dave’s workshop. Although it’s about half the size of the original plan from the Armouries, it is an impressive and wonderfully made model, which we spent over an hour inspecting and gloating over.
I was aware of the commission's progress and kindly asked to make a very modest contribution (to the total of 4,400 figures) in painting a dozen of the French leaders - all of whom are portrayed wearing their coats of arms - their places marked on the table by their flags.

The final model creates an effective impression of the battlefield, the positioning and size of the two armies (with the French only marginally the larger force) and the moments just before the French nobility reach their English opponents in their attempt to kill or capture Henry V. The French cavalry are shown retiring after their unsuccessful attacks on the English wings of bowmen. The table will certainly assist visitors reimagine the battle, as [part of the overall exhibition. I believe some creative 
lighting may also be added to the final model to give an impression of an arrow storm?

I hope that Alan is able to put into production some of the extra figures done for the display – crossbowmen at ease, trumpeters and carts being unloaded with supplies of arrows. All would be really useful for the AO range. Also the additional flags designed by GMB would be great to purchase too.
Obviously the final model was determined by the RA committee – my only disappointment with the final scene is the complete lack of flags and pennons in the rear two French battles. It looks unrealistic, but I understand that the RA only wanted the French leader’s flags to be shown, nearly all of whom 
were in the leading battle, so that visitors can easily identify where they were on the battlefield.

There is an excellent article on the model’s development on the Royal Armouries blog, written by David Marshall. I’m planning a Tower visit for next month – including the Agincourt display which The Wallace Collection are putting on – and the permanent relocation of the model to Leeds next year will also be a good excuse to make a revisit there too.