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