samedi 25 mai 2013

More conversions!!!

More miliputting!
The latest batch, still drying, loaded the pictures up while having a cup of tea.

Here we have a couple of finished figures, and some new creations. The man swinging a poleaxe was in the last post, now fully finished after working on him all last weekend and this afternoon.

The right hand man has his legs wider apart, simple but makes him look more ready for combat than simply standing around. Other than the legs and miliput, he also has gauntlets taken from the mounted MAA arms.

The new creations. The left hand figure is wearing pretty much a full harness, but the jupon is hiding the torso armour so he could be wearing mail or a breastplate. The two handed sword is effetive, i think.
The right hand figure is wearing a padded jacket under a breastplate and fauld, and added coif.

Some WIPs. Left; padded jacket, nothing amazing but nice to mix up the look a bit.
Middle; some knee caps, will do the arms some time.
Right; leg armour, knee caps and boots for a dismounted soldier. I also extended the jack, hope it blends in properly when i paint it!

lundi 20 mai 2013

What's this?

To break up a bit what i'm working on, i decided to get out the miliput and do some experimenting.
These are made for my medieval world, the one i've mentioned a lot but never done anything with :-D. So, i decided to do something, a case of get up or shut up perhaps...

At first i did little things; camails (or aventails, the mail neck armour), boots and helms, but now i'm being more creavtive. Chain mail hauberks, arms and below the waist, leg and arm armour (both plate and the 'splinted' type, where the armour is made of strips of iron and leather), a coat of plates on one that i really hoped worked as i cut off loads of the coat to made it snug.

Below right: That one is destined to be a leader, with a long flowing surcoat of some sorts under his armour. It took me a while to get to this stage, first doing the padded jacket you can see on the lower body, then the lower coat, then the arms, each time leaving the stage before to dry fully. I've ruined enough sculpting to know to let things dry.

Some common soldiers, the crossbowmen have boots, simpler than the first ones i did. The sword and buckler man uses Wargames Factory arms, that are perfect for this.

More soldiers, mostly just added camails, but two use modified pike arms to hold their spears level.

jeudi 9 mai 2013

Ormond - making a start

Here are the first men built for my Mortimer's Cross battle, and my third historical retinue (the first where i've actually done some research though).
These men belong to Ormond's retinue, the man charging with a poleaxe is James himself. I've only done armour, skin and some base colours, but i've tested out the livery on one archer to see how it looks. Seeing as i've never really painted yellow, i like how it came out (easier than white!).

I have three more archers assembled for the moment, and these will form the 'English' part of the retinue, and will be supplemented by Irish foot and horse.

As you may have noticed, i've changed games room. It's quiet and out the way, but a bit dark and taking photos isn't easy so they're a bit rubbish for the moment.
I'm trying to be inventive with the poses, seeing as i've already got a large number of these men. I'm also using some Wargames Factory heads to add some variation. Below is a mustached head to make the archer look a little more Irish (like the Gallowglaich) and the militia will have bare heads. One even has a classic bowl cut. Perfect!

Below on the right is James Butler. I had sure his armour was nice and shiny, he has plenty of squires to clean it and a high ranking noble can't go around in blackened armour, can he? The others will have dirtier armour, of course.

Although for the Battle i'll only need around 12 men and 6-12 Irish, i'll make more so i can use them for my skirmishes. I read that Ormond lead a raid on Warwick 
while he was at Calais, perfect for some small scale coastal raids!

lundi 6 mai 2013

Commanders at Mortimer's Cross

Right, i've finally decided who will lead the right and left battles of Edward's army for my Mortimer's Cross project.

On the left, the leader shall be Sir William Herbert, lord of Raglan.
Why him? Well, he was one of the older men present on the field, about 38. He had lands in those parts too,  and later he became the earl of Penbroke when Jasper Tudor went into exile.
As for his coat of arms, all i could find were these; a shield, and some pictures of shields and heraldic devises at Raglan castle.

Not too bad, so i'll work with what i've got and say William's men will be wearing red and blue, like Edward. As for a badge, they can either wear one taken from a devise above, or use Edward's.

The commander of the right shall be John Stafford. Although the last son of a Lancastrian, he later became earl of Wiltshire, a title that James Butler of Ormond held, who happens to be at the Battle too.
Being part of the Stafford family, his badge is the Staffor knot.

Quite handy i have some men in black and red then! :-D

There were other candidates; William Hastings, but i discovered that before Towton he was a retainer to first Richard of York then to Edward, so probably fought will him. Humphrey Stafford was a retainer under John Stafford, so he was out. Then there was a certain John Grey of Wilton. Other than a coat of arms, i couldn't find out much about him. I know his father was still alive in 1461, so he was not a baron at the time, and seeing he was not really mentioned maybe suggests he was 'less important'. Still, i toyed will the idea that he was the commander of the right that got pushed back by Ormond's men so did not receive the attention or advances of the more successful Yorkists.

As for the Lancastrians, i found this, the arms of the Butler family.

So maybe Ormond's Anglo-Irish retinue will be dressed in blue and yellow?

As for Jasper and Owen Tudor, i'm tempted to do them in green and white, but i don't know if that's just Henry Tudor's colours. If i don't find anything, that will probably be the best resort. Many are militia though, so if they're not in uniform then no one will know!

As for the French and Breton mercenaries, well, they're a band of brutal cut throats, so maybe an old coat or coloured hose from when they fought for the French king!

Time to put my money where my mouth is and make some figures!

samedi 4 mai 2013

Orders of battle, 1st draft

After some research, i have managed to get a basic idea of the forces involved and what i'll been for the Battle.
So, let's start from the top...

The Battle pitted Edward and his men against the forces of Owen and Jasper Tudor. From some reading and  educated guesses, i've got the compositions of the armies for my game. Sort of.
Remember this is just my interpretation, so don't use what i say to justify a scholarly discussion. :D

Edward had around 5000 men, drawn from the Welsh Marches. He was also accompanied by Sir William Herbert (founder of Raglan Castle), John Tuchet (Lord Audley, son of the man of the same name killed at Blore Heath), Lord Grey of Wilton and Humphrey Stafford.
Owen and Jasper Tudor had less men than Edward, perhaps 1000 men less, and were accompanied by James Butler, Earl of Ormond who led a force of Irish, and some French and Breton mercenaries. The force is described being less experienced than Edwards force.
And, er... that's all the sources give us (and even there i've chosen the numbers as nothing solid remains). So what follows are my own ideas.

First let's deal with Edward's force. His force is described as being more experienced than the Lancastrian force, perhaps suggesting a large number of followers and their retinues. There was some militia in the force, but given the number of names of important men present at the battle i'm guessing the force has a decent amount of good soldiers (retainers).
Owen's force, however, is mostly composed of Welsh militia men, probably based around the retinues of Owen, Jasper and Ormond. Ormond also has some mercenaries, which might be of average or good quality.  Although being Welsh, i really doubt that the Welsh still fought like they did earlier in the era, with spears and daggers and whatnot. Although spears might be used instead of other polearms, i think that most would have fought like the English, ie in bodies of close foot. Being militia though, they wouldn't have had any training so might have fought in a rough, almost open formation (at Bosworth, the Earl of Oxford ordered his men to stay within 10 yards of their banners).

Time for numbers, ratios and how many little men i'm going to have to paint. I've done a couple of 'orders of battle', rather basic for the moment but it's a start. I'm using the Dux Bellorum rules, with a base representing around 200 men.

The Lancastrians
Central battle: Led by Jasper Tudor, around 1500 men (8 bases).
1 Men-at-arms base, 2 'retinue' archer bases, 2 militia archer bases, 3 militia archer bases
Mostly Pembroke militia, with the retainers being from Jasper's personal retinue. He is described as being an adventurer, so maybe i'll swap a militia base for a base of retainers.

Right battle: Led by Owen Tudor, around 1250 men (7 bases).
1 Men-at-arms base, 1 mounted men-at-arms or pricklers base (on the flank), 1 'retinue' archer base, 2 militia archer bases, 2 militia bases
Again, mostly militia with some cavalry on the flank (not sure if they existed but why not?)

Left battle: Led by Ormond, around 1250 men (7 bases).
1 Men-at-arms base, 1 Irish light horse base, 1/2 Irish foot bases, 1 'retinue' archer base, 2 or 3 mercenary crossbowmen bases.
Ormond has his personal retinue with him, English is style with perhaps a few gallowglaich thrown into his men-at-arms. The Irish foot are tricky; many Irish still fought as kerns with darts and javelins, but mentions of polearms, swords, shields and bows are mentioned in later documents. So these will be a mix of men armed with some javelins but ready to get stuck in with their melee weapons.
The mercenaries are armed with crossbows, both the Bretons and the French.

The Yorkists
Central battle: Led by Edward, around 2000 men (10 bases).
2 men-at-arms bases, 2 'retainer' archer bases, 1 'retinue billmen' base, 2 militia archer bases, 2 militia bases, 1 mounted men-at-arms/prickler base (reserve)

Right battle: Led by ?, around 1500 men (8 bases).
1 men-at-arms base,2 'retinue' archer bases, 2 militia archer bases, 3 militia bases

Left battle: Led by ?, around 1500 men (8 bases).
1 men-at-arms base, 1 'retinue' archer base, 2 militia archer bases, 3 militia bases, 1 mounted men-at-arms/prickler base (reserve)

I will find a suitable commander for the above battles, there were plenty of them present so i guess the most powerful got the commands.
If i put 6 men on every base, i will need a total of 270 figures. I already have around 150, so not an insurmountable task! Some things need revising though, mostly the Irish as if they fought in loose groups, i should include more bases as each base would represent less men. Should there be a few more archer bases? And the million dollar question, what colour are the livery coats?
But that's for another post.

Any suggestions are gladly welcome!

Watch this space!

Ormond was said to have brought over some Irish with him to Mortimer's cross, so i decided to make some to go onto a man at arms base (quite convenient, there was a discussion on Irish armies in the 15th century on the Lead Adventure forum not long ago). 2 Gallowglaichs, ready to go chopping through Edward's army with their long axes.

Both have 'mail capes' (coifs) and mustaches. The left hand one is probably a minor chief or a veteran to be wearing a fancy brigandine and long mail shirt.

Research continues and soon, the orders of battle.

jeudi 2 mai 2013

An idea, a plan, a battle

I've wanted to do a real battle for some time now. So far in all my historical gaming life, i have never done a 'proper' historical battle. I have thought about it but never done anything solid. So i thought it was about time.

The question is what? Well, 15th century obviously, but there are several battles. The battle of Barnet would be interesting, but a blogger recently did it. Towton? Snowy, and all my men are on nice grassy bases. St Albans? There's two of them too, so i have even more choice. Or even Bosworth?

Then i thought; 'what about Mortimer's cross?'
For those who don't know loads on the period, Mortimer's cross was fought on the second of February 1461. It was the first major victory won by Edward, later Edward IV. Unfortunately for me, it is one of the least known battles of the Wars.

I began by looking though books on battles in Britain, and my men at arms books. Some maps, but nothing massive. I got the names of the battle commanders, so that's a start.
So, i looked on the internet. I don't like using the internet for research, as anyone can put on anything, but it has its uses and i found some articles on the battle that need reading properly and filtering.

I also found a list of people present at the battle, meaning i can have the fun task of researching them, finding their coats of arms and maybe a livery colour (unlikely).
The funny thing is the numbers; it wasn't a huge battle, but some books say the numbers are unknown. On the internet though, i found some numbers: 9000 in total, 2500 vs 3500, 10 000 vs 8000. Deaths vary between 3000 and 4000, so at first i put my guess at between 10 000 and 12 000 for Edward and 8000 and 10 000 for the Lancastrians, taking the casualties as about a third of the total force. In truth no one is certain, but hopefully i can make an estimated guess. I just need Edward to outnumber the Lancastrians.

What rules will i be using? Dux Bellorum most likely, based on single bases and placed on sabot trays. I will be using my current collection and adding some historical troops to my force, mostly the top dogs and have a sprinkling of banners in my own retinues to show their allegiance. The Lancastrians also had some Irish, French and Bretons, so that should be interesting.

Next post will probably be some info on the battle, and my 'orders of battle'!