Friday, 31 July 2015

Long Lost Friends, Warlord Games

In the (electronic) post today I received the latest newsletter from Warlord Games (click [here] for the link) and noticed a few figures that looked familiar.

One of the articles advertises Pike & Shotte Star Fort [here] which shows a bunch of brave/daft Scots Covenanters attacking the fortification. I recognised them because I happened to paint them for Warlord a few years ago. It feels like bumping into long lost chums that you haven't seen in ages.
It's nice to see they are still getting a run out. They must be popular because they also popped up on the back of the plastic ruined hamlet box a while ago which can be seen [here]. The yellow saker cannon which can be glimpsed in one of the photos was also one of mine which you can see/buy [here].

If you want to see vastly inferior quality images some can be found [here] and [here] from my blog.

If you want to see images of a real sconce click [here]. The Queen's Scone in Newark is probably the best preserved Civil War fortification to be seen in the UK.

If you want to see images of a tiny (miniature) sconce click [here] and [here].

I haven't painted any ECW figures for quite a few years now but this may have just tempted me to get a few more units back on the work bench and hence onto the tabletop.

I don't work for Warlord but if you don't blow your own trumpet then who will? ;)

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Medieval Chapel, Tabletop Workshop

I received this model was a gift from a regular reader (cheers Derek) but as usual it has taken me quite a while to complete it.

This model depicts a small chapel which I feel is more appropriate to skirmish style games rather than a larger church model (said someone who made a castle great tower) and as such it will eventually form an essential focus for a scenario based on a real life event that took place in the 1432 and directly involved Lord Dudley and few of his retainers (or henchmen, it depends which side you were on).

The interior of medieval churches would often be a riot of colour as can be seen with a rebuilt medieval church such as an example at St Fagans Wales [here]. A smaller version can be found [here] but because I'm lazy I have left the interior plain.
Interior detail
Interior detail
Corner detail showing filled in location holes
Although the model is perfectly acceptable straight out of the box, regular readers probably won't be surprised that I couldn't resist altering it in some form (I was about to say 'improve' it but that's a matter of option) I wanted to give the impression that the church had been rendered and whitewashed. This is a feature rarely seen nowadays mainly because, ironically, the Victorians tended to remove it in an attempt to make the churches appear more medieval. To achieve this look I used Milliput to roughly fill in the gaps on the exterior walls but leaving just enough of the original surface detail to show though. I used Milliput rather than greenstuff because basically its the same stuff and a lot cheaper. Milliput is made from the same materials as greenstuff but has been mixed with chalk to bulk it out.

I made the model so that I could remove the roof and two walls. This was relatively easy. I initially glued two of the walls in place and then filled in the location holes that were visible from the outside. I didn't cut away any of the location pegs but I did covered the location walls on the over walls with thin pieces of greenstuff. 
Wargames Foundry Friar
shown for scale reference.
Unfortunately it appears that the manufacturer, Tabletop Workshop, no longer trades but it looks the model can still be bought online or possibly from old fashioned bricks and mortar stores if you're lucky.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Boris and Bobby, Perry Miniatures

Here finally side by side are the two similar figures mentioned previously. How I constructed the plastic figure is detailed in a previous post which can be seen [here].

One is a figure I made from plastic parts taken from various Perry boxsets and the other is a standard metal figure available from Perry Miniatures.
Front View
Rear View

All I can say is, if you're going to copy or steal an idea from someone than make sure it's from the best.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Street art, Heath Town, Wolverhampton

And now for something completely different...
I noticed this street art (graffiti doesn't really seem appropriate term for this) walking back from New Cross Hospital through Heath Town towards Wolverhampton. Anyone knows the area will already know that Heath Town doesn't enjoy the best reputations but this piece caught my eye, if only because it reminds me of someone I used to know.

A few more examples of the street art in the area can be found on this graffiti artist's site [here]. I don't think the same person created the image shown here as this appears to be a completely different style plus there's no identifying tag.

It caught my eye because the artist has managed to create a 'blended' effect using only spray cans which is a pretty impressive achievement. 

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Hunting Party, Perry Miniatures

This set of figures came about as a exercise as to how I could use a number of models given to me as a gift. Why I made a sabot base especially for these figures will be detailed later. 
The pointing left arm was originally taken from the original Perry's 'Wars of the Roses Infantry 1455 - 1487 boxset but this was for a man-at-arms so was covered with plate armour. This was cut away and then greenstuff was used to remodel the cloth.
The second mod was so subtle that I'd forgot I'd actually done it until I came to write up this post. The right arm holding the spear was taken from the Perry's 'War of the Roses Light Cavalry 1450-1500' but as the set represents weapons for horsemen the lance looked too long for this figure. In order to correct this I cut off the spear tip, removed around an inch of the plastic shaft and glued the tip back on.
After (paint)
Before (paint)
I've used a sabot base because there are a set of special house rules available on the Dux Rampant forum which means the dogs can be used as a unit when playing Lion Rampant, which can be found [here].

The dogs were made for Simon Chick (aka Painterman) who has an amazing collection of late medieval figures and is mentioned on the Perry's Light Cavalry boxset as the 'go-to' reference for Burgundians, his blog can be found [here].

I was given these particular models as a give from a friend I met via this blog (hello Derek!)

Monday, 29 June 2015

(Medieval) Civilian Characters, Wargames Foundry

I bought these Wargames Foundry figures (Code: MED 209) a few years ago at a local show intending to use them almost as terrain pieces in games but for some reason never quite got round to painting them. 
Group shoot
With the advent of the Lion Rampant (LR) ruleset I've finally found a use for them. A number of scenarios for LR such as the Fugitive and the Messenger call for a few none military figures. You can of course use any spare knight or soldier miniature but I think it's more fun to use a dedicated/special figure plus it looks better on the tabletop.
Religious and  Lord of the manor characters - front view
"So you're collecting for the church roof?" 
Sculpted by one of the Perry brothers (I'm assuming Michael as he tends to favour the medieval period) these form part of the large range of figures produced by Wargames Foundry. Although these figures are more appropriate for the High to Late Middle ages (they are from Foundry's 100 Years War range) I've be using these for both my 13th century and WoTR games.

Contrary to popular belief and Hollywood the vast majority of people didn't clothe themselves in various shades of brown or filthy raps. It is true that there were strict rules as to what you could wear according to your social status but if you look at contemporary illustrations combinations of red, blues and greens materials are often portrayed. 
Ladies of various social class with the posh Lady of the manor on the right
Black clothes were also popular but idea of the colour being jet black isn't quite appropriate, with various shades of grey probably being more accurate description. What we today would consider true black was a difficult and expensive colour to achieve due to repeated dying process required to produce it. It is probably also this reason you occasionally see it chosen as livery colours by such wealthy people as the Duke of Buckingham for example. It was a deliberate display of wealth and would have indicated the wearer was a person of note or was employed by someone who was. It would have been immediately obvious to someone of the period to identify the class of a person by their choice of clothes and the colours they wore.

This, to a certain degree, still remains the case today whether we realise it or not. Most people will have preconceptions upon seeing someone dressed in a shell suit, baseball cap and trainers just as they will seeing a person wearing a tweed jacket, flat cap, corduroy trousers and Hunter Wellingtons.
Working types - front view
Working types - rear view
Fashions in medieval clothing changed considerably, although obviously not as rapidly as it does nowadays. For a insight into medieval clothing take a look through the famous [Luttrell Psalter].

There is a direct connection to Dudley illustrated in the Psalter but I'll detail this in another post.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Wilhelm Bremen, Modified Man-At-Arms, Perry Miniatures

Wilhelm, or Billy to his mates, presents a slightly less well off man-at-arms as indicated by the fact he has a lack of lower leg armour and is wearing boots. It's a nice touch from the Perry's as not everyone could afford a full harness. This armour is more Gothic (i.e. German) in style with it's distinctive fluted detailing.

Details of how this model was achieved can be found [here].
Wearing his lucky red leggings
The city of Bremen is unofficially twinned with Dudley. I say 'unofficially' because I believe the status is technically 'Befreundete Staedte' which means 'Friendly City' even though Dudley is actually just a town (one of the biggest in the country after Reading). It's probably better to think of the relationship as 'drinking buddies' seeing as both have a strong brewing tradition.

I also suspect that the fact that my old primary school sports kit [here] matched the home colours of the football team SV Werder Bremen [here] wasn't a coincidence either.