Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Sir William Marshall & retinue, Curteys Miniatures

This group of figures are shown carrying the arms of Sir William Marshall, 1st Earl of Pembroke. The figures are produced by Curteys Miniatures and are taken from various sets within their medieval range. The majority are from the Crossed Lances range which was created to support a medieval tournament game (details here - Crossed Lances) of the same name. The mounted flag bearer is taken from the Curteys Miniatures Feudal Medieval Western range.
Sir William Marshall & retinue.

For detailed information about the life of the Marshall take a look (here)

Taken from the company website about the set:
'Sir William Marshall – Each set contains 1 mounted knight with lance and shield, 1 mounted knight with handweapon and shield, 1 dismounted knight with hand weapon and shield, HDF bases, and water slide transfers for all the figures.'
Code SKU: CLKSet01

Note that this set (£20 at the time of writing) contains two mounted figures and one on foot not the three mounted and two figures on foot shown here in this post. The 'Squire carrying sword & shield' is available separately (currently £2). The figures were original part of the wider Feudal Medieval Western range. Curteys gave the knight a jousting lance and made an all-you-need bundle which even includes the bases. The only thing you need to do is glue and paint the figures. Eagle eyed viewers may have noticed that the bases are not all the same, this is because the bases supplied in the set didn't match the ones I already had. As I intended to make a specific movement tray for this group I wasn't overly concerned. 
Mounted knight with lance and shield.
Also note that the set is supplied with water slide transfers for all the figures. A leaflet explains that the areas where the transfers will be applied have to painted (or sprayed) white. This is because the transfer is actually transparent and reveals the background colour when in place. I would recommend using a decal softener as the transfers will resist conforming to the curves of the horse barding and the surcoats. The shields have a slight curvature but the transfers adhere to the surface without any major problems.
Mounted knight with lance and shield
Mounted knight with lance and shield
The striped lance effect was achieved by initially painting the lance yellow and once dry wrapping a thin piece of masking tape around the lance as I rotated it in my fingers. Then I painted the lance green ensuring that the paint wasn't too fluid as it tends to seep under the tape. Once this layer was dry the tape was peeled away and any areas was touched up where necessary.
Mounted knight with hand weapon and shield
Dismounted knight with hand weapon and shield - front view
Dismounted knight with hand weapon and shield - rear view
As I had a spare shield transfer I applied it the shield being carried by the 'Squire carrying sword & shield' figure (Code SKU: CLH08) that I had purchased a while ago also from Curteys Miniatures.
Squire carrying sword and shield - front view
Squire carrying sword and shield - rear view
Squire carrying sword and shield - side view
Although this set of figures was initially designed for use with Crossed Lances I will of course be using the them for games of Lion Rampant. In order to maintain a similar look of previously completed units I realised I needed extra mounted figure to give me half (three models) of a Mounted Men-at-Arms unit.

Therefore I raided the lead pile and found an appropriate third mounted figure, this one is from the Curteys ME13 Mounted Knights-sergeants 1 set (lance upright, charging unbarded horses, currently £9). details (here) part of the Feudal Medieval Western range.
Marshall's flagbearer
Marshall's flagbearer
The flag was drawn on a CAD system and once glued into position was painted and highlighted with the usual acrylic paints.

Each of Marshall's five sons inherited the title but unfortunately the male line died out as none of his sons had children. The last son, Walter Marshal, 5th Earl of Pembroke, died in 1245. I mention this because the helmet of the knight design is more appropriate for later 13th century whereas the 1st Earl died in 1219.

The figures are easy to paint up with enough detail to warrant the extra time I spent on them. The heraldic transfers are a quick and easy alternative to painting them yourself. I have another similar set to this, depicting a member of the Beauchamp family, which I will attempt to finish before the end of the year. It is my intention to record the making and painting of these models and eventually post the results on YouTube via the Wargaming For Fun site.

After I mentioned to my brother that all of the sons of William Marshall had died without issue he asked if anyone one else carried these arms. I assumed that they did because they represented the arms of the Marshall of England. After a short bit of research (i.e. Google & Wikipedia) I found out that these became the:

'Arms of "Bigod Modern": Per pale or and vert, a lion rampant gules, adopted by Roger Bigod, 5th Earl of Norfolk, after 1269 following his inheritance of the office of Marshal of England from the Marshal family, of which these had formerly been the armorials.' (Wikipedia).

Given that the armour, particularly the helmet, is more suitable for the mid to late 13th century this figure is more appropriate to represent Roger Bigot, Earl of Norfolk.