Modelling Irish WOTR/Medieval Cavalry Part One

Following on from my last blog, here are some notes as to how I went about modelling my Irish Cavalry. I am producing units for use in the game ‘Never Mind the Bill Hooks’, Specifically, the Hibernian section. I already have an Irish army but it was a bit light on points – I needed 120 points of troops to fight in the Bill Hooks BASH day coming up in April. My infantry contingent consists of 96 points of Kern and Gallowglass, so two units of light cavalry, at 12 points each, would give me a nice looking fast moving army. In NMTBH’s, Light cavalry come in units of 8 figures. Irish cavalry are allowed to ‘skirmish’, but also to dismount and form a 6 figure unit of Gallowglass, or with two cavalry units, a unit of 12 Gallowglass. The spare riders are assumed to be holding the horses.

A unit of Gallowglass emerges from the wood!

That gave me the idea that I would build 6 armoured figures in each unit and then have 2 ‘horse boys’ or Kern that would act as the horse holders. This reflected the nature of Irish Cavalry, although in reality, I suspect that there would have been more ‘Horseboys’ supporting the lords in the unit – they were tasked with supplying replacent javelins and if necessary, remounts. All that said, there is evidence to suggest that the ‘horse boys’ weren’t mounted but ran along side the cavalry or were simply the boys that looked after the horses back at camp. Regardless, I decided that I would have some ‘kern’ types mounted on horses!

I had already settled on using the Gripping Beast Goth Cavalry as being a close match to the later Irish cavalry. They are equipped with long mail shirts, conical helmets and there are no saddles on the horses.

Goth Noble Cavalry

With 12 figures in the box, this would give me just enough to make two units, if I could find a way of making the horse boys or Kern.

The sprue from the Gripping Beast Noble Cavalry

As I have previously said, The heads supplied with the Goth Cavalry look just like Goths….and not like Irish Lords. In addition, they all had flowing Plumes, not at all in the Irish Style. However, the heads in the Wargames Atlantic Goths set looked much better for my purposes. I am lucky enough to have a small group of gaming buddies who are happy to swap up their spares and Andy Callan kindly gave me a couple of sprues from the Wargames Atlantic set that was sitting in his lead pile.

I chose the heads without the plumes and shaved down the nose guards and replaced them with a upturned guard that I had made from bending a small strip of Evergreen 0.25mm x1.00mm around a paper clip to get the curve. Plastic card that is this thin is easy to bend, particularly if you gently warm it first. It is a fiddly operation but it works.

Goth Warrior modified with nose guard

The nose guard is probably exaggerated and I did cut them down a bit more when the glue had dried. I thought that I might as well have it as an exaggerated feature rather than it not being seen. I removed the leggings with a scalpel and sanded them down. The reference pictures show the ‘Lords’ in leggings with spurs on their shoes. The cushion was simply a ball of green stuff pressed into place.

Six Irish Lords ready for painting!

I varied the head gear by including some heads from the Perry’s WOTR sets. I tended to use what I thought were the older style of helmet that seemed to match some of the other images that I had seen on the internet. I also mixed up the shields. The references that I had seen referred to ‘targes’ or shields made from ox or deer hide over a wooden base and decorated with nails or painted with a basic design. To be fair, none of the references showed a shield with a large boss. However, when I google ‘targe’ there were a number of examples of targes with a boss. Most of these were definitely of Scottish origin, but as I have previously noted, there was a great deal of Scottish influence on the Irish troops. Again, although most of the references showed the Targes as being quite small, there were other pictures that showed a larger targe in use. I had also been told that the Irish used Wicker shields. I could only find one reference to this and it seemed to be regarding an earlier period and in respect of the lower ‘caste’ of warriors, not the Lords, so I discounted their use for my troops

The ‘Rambling Kern’ explains all you need to know about Targes in Ireland!

The video above will give you a great deal of information regarding the Irish Targe and for those of you interested in wider Irish history, I would thoroughly recommend that you have a look at his channel.

Irish Cavalry on the painting desk

So the three photos above the video link show the first six of my Irish Lords assembled and ready for painting. The picture above shows painting in progress. I decided to paint the horses as either ‘greys’ or light brown. This was a nod in the direction of the Connemara pony, which are descendants of the smaller Irish Hobby pony, around at the time of the WOTR. However, the real reason that I chose these colours is that I wanted the units of Irish Cavalry to look very different to my standard WOTR light cavalry. It also is an indication of my poor sense of humour – they really are Light ( coloured) cavalry. Incidentally, the horses are probably a bit too large but I wasn’t going to try to source smaller ponies!

The first three figures are finished – just the basing to complete

The Riders were fairly straight forward to paint. I used army painter plate mail for the armour and helmets. I tended towards Yellow Ochre for the under shirts and the shields were painted in Burnt Red, Reflex Green, Red Leather or Dark Blue and ‘dotted’ with either gold or silver for the designs. I went a bit mad on the cushions, painting a diamond or tartan design on them just to add even more colour to the figures.

Six Irish Lords are ready for battle!
The rear view showing the posh cushions!

The basing was completed using my usual method – I’ve covered this in many of my previous blogs. So with six cavalry finished, I needed to get on with the next six lords and the four ‘horse boys’ that would support them. I then realised that I would need a Leader…. You will have to wait for the next installment o see how I solved these challenges!

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I hope that you all enjoy your hobby as much as I do – our web site will have much of what you need! Click here to see our shop.

ARCANE SCENERY

You can see the range of miniatures that we think are suitable to for the Wars of the Roses, along with the rest of our Never Mind The Bill Hooks range here:

NEVER MIND THE BILL HOOKS!

You can find all the Vallejo Model colour paints here. If you don’t want to browse, just enter the paint number into the shop search bar;

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You can find Gamers grass here:

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If you need Milliput or other fillers, click here:

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Happy Modelling!

Researching Irish WOTR/Medieval Cavalry

Having painted an Irish War of the Roses Infantry force, I decided that I needed to add some cavalry to complete the army. I had originally intended to use my existing English Light Cavalry but after some thought, I decided that I wanted a ‘pure’ Irish army. My first port of call was google, in order to research the nature of Irish Medieval Cavalry. This image caught my eye. Captioned as a ‘IrishHobelar’, I thought that a unit of these would look great!

As it turned out, research seemed to indicate that this style of Hobelar had disappeared by the time of the War of the Roses and it was based on the ‘Anglicized’ version of the Irish light horse. I would have to think again. My research did lead me to read the Osprey Men at Arms book #256, ‘The Irish Wars of 1485 – 1603’ as well as finding a rather good blog (Camisodo), both of which explained how Irish Cavalry had developed ( or not!) by the time of the WOTR and into the Renaissance period. The link to Camisado ‘s blog is here:

http://camisado1500s.blogspot.com/2018/02/irish-chieftan-and-noble-cavalry.html

It’s a very good read and the author has done a great deal of work digging up references. I thoroughly recommend that you read it!

A contemporary illustration of an Irish Cavalry man Circa 16th century

In brief, it would seem that Irish cavalry were in the main, small groups of the Irish nobility and their sons, mounted on light ponies or Hobbies (the Connemara Pony being the modern version). The Irish tended to wear mail shirts rather than plate armour and used their lances or spears in an overhand style rather than in the couched position that the English preferred. This differing style may be because the Irish did not use harness and saddlery but were sat on cushions. The result was that they were easily knocked off of the horse in a collision with a heavier rider firmly sat on a saddle. That said, they were usually nimble enough to avoid the collision in the first place and if knocked off, quick to remount the smaller ponies that they were using. There is also a hint that the spears used were more like a javelin or dart as there is at least one account of a lord retrieving his ‘spear’ from a wounded enemy using a wrist strap.

Woodcut from the book ‘The Image of Ireland’ by John Derricke 1581

In the picture above, the English, or Irish/English cavalry are shown on the left, pursuing the Irish cavalry on the right. A few other details can be made out from this image. The Irish had strange, upturned nose guards on their helmets, the cushions that they sat on were quite decorative, the helmets were generally conical and they were carrying shields or ‘Targes’. The shields are shown as being worn on the back (riders on the far left) and held ( downed rider in the foreground). I felt that I had enough information to go about making a unit or two of Irish Light cavalry and enough information to justify making them look a bit different to standard English WOTR light cavalry.

One final recurring item of interest was that the Irish seemed to be very much influenced by their Scottish connections rather than the English. Of course, the Gallowglass warriors were originally from Scotland and there are the ‘Redshanks’, Scottish mercenaries from the Highlands and Western Isles that were contracted to fight in Ireland. Although in widespread use in the 16th Century, they were first hired in 1428 for the siege of Carrickfergus castle. This Scottish connection would give me an excuse to use a bit of licence when it comes to painting my troops.

Despite this research, I feel the need to issue a disclaimer. I am building a wargaming army, not a museum exhibit. Nor am I trying to write a treatise on the history of Irish Cavalry, so please excuse any inaccuracies. I am well aware of the liberties that I may be taking! For a start the limited picture information that we have is dated well beyond the period that my troops are operating in and the pictures are of course, artists impressions, not photographs, so they may be as inaccurate as the models that I am making.

In summary, what I have learnt from my limited research is that:

  1. Irish Cavalry were in the main made up of the minor nobility and their personal retainers.
  2. The riders did not use stirrups
  3. They sat on cushions/pillows that appeared to be decorated.
  4. They used their lances or spears overarm rather than in the ‘couched’ position.
  5. They carried Shields or Targes of varying sizes. The targes appeared to be made from leather skins (deer skin or ox hide) over wooden frames.
  6. The targes were painted and decorated with metal pins or nails to form a pattern.
  7. The helmets were generally conical with up-turned nose guards. Some had plumes.
  8. The riders wore legging and shoes although some may have been bare legged.
  9. A cloak or ‘brat’ was worn by some of the riders – particularly the lords.
  10. The were attended by ‘horse boys’ who had spare mounts and additional/replacement spears.

So how do I replicate these details on my cavalry? I wont go through my entire decision process, but I wanted plastic figures rather than metal and I thought that the Gripping beast Goth Noble cavalry were very close to the look that I was looking for. All that was missing was the cushion that the riders sat on. I was happy to ignore that some of the strapping/harness on the horses was slightly incorrect and I would sand down the leggings on the riders to remove the leg bindings. The only other issue for me was that the heads looked a bit too ‘Gothy’ which is great if you are building goths….Strangely, the solution was to use the heads from the Wargames Atlantic Goths.

They had helmets without plumes and the features were not so pronounced. And of course, I had the option of using the Perry war of the Roses heads, of which I had plenty spare!

Now that I had my base figures, it was just a question of putting everything together. I will cover assembly and painting in my next blog but here’s a picture of my first attempt!

Irish cavalry – Work in progress.

I my next blog, I’ll detail how I went about modelling and painting my Irish Cavalry. In the meantime, here’s a picture of the first three finished figures.

Not quite finished. The basing is still to be completed

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Fire Forge Folk Rabble

I had wanted to add a couple of units of peasants to my ‘Never Mind The Bill Hooks’ army for some time. I thought that they would come in useful as levy troops and also I had a vague idea for a scenario involving an attack on a village where the villagers rise up and fight back.

The Fire forge Northern Folk Rabble looked as though they would do the job although I had a couple of misgivings. First of all they are not really medieval peasants ( not that I am any sort of expert in Medieval peasant dress) and secondly, they are a bit on the ‘chunky’ side. That all said, they certainly looked like an angry mob of peasants armed with agricultural implements rather than swords etc. I decided to ignore my concerns and bought a box.

A sprue from the set – there are three in a box.

I guess it’s worth pointing out that the figures have clearly been designed on a computer as some of the detail is a bit coarse. But that’s the last of my gripes. You get 18 figures on three sprues. There are 12 men and 6 women with a huge variety of ‘weapons’ and a choice of 15 different heads. The flail is particularly useful if you are intending to build a Hussite army.

The ‘Flail Man’ – ideal for a Hussite army!

I started by putting six figures together – there is just a bit of a mould line to scrape off, otherwise, the figures are straight forward enough to assemble. The arms holding the larger two handed implements are a bit tricky to put together and some problems were encountered in getting them to ‘sit’ correctly. I think the issue was me trying to pose them how I wanted them, rather than getting the best fit. If you use plenty of glue (polystyrene, not super glue!), a bit of patience, you will get a fairly good fit. The other thing that I missed on the first figure that I made is that the small wiggly bit at the top right of the sprue is actually part of one of the figures’ hood – the other three pieces below, being pony tails for the women. Incidentally. it was apparently not the done thing for medieval folk, particularly women, to go without some sort of head covering. However, when you are angry enough to rebel against your Lord, you might just forget to put your hat on….

The first six peasants completed.

Having completed one sprue, I moved onto the next one and was pleased with how easy it was to get plenty of variety in the figures. It was also apparent that I was going to have plenty of spare bits for my bits box! I decided not to use the flaming torches, I just wanted my villagers to be armed with sharp objects! The torches will be useful should I decide to build a bonfire party!

The revolt is growing!

When it came to painting, I just went through my different browns and greens for the men and used a few brighter colours for the ladies! I used a mixture of inks for shading and then re highlighted with the original colours where I thought it necessary. I had intended to make up the shortage in numbers for the final unit by mixing in some Perry’s but decided that this didn’t look right – the difference in sculpt style and size didn’t work for me. So I bought another box, having come up with a cunning plan to use the extra figures.

I decided that I would make two units of 12 peasants and one unit of skirmishing archers ( making 30 figures). I would then make a leader – ‘Jack Wood’ with his standard bearer, ‘Jill’ leaving just 4 spare figures. As it was, the two spare women were made up as working peasants for my village (under construction). Another spare was donated to my Granddaughter for a project that she was working on, leaving me one spare man who will end up in the fields at Little Bingham!

The archers as a skirmishing unit.
Two units of 12 angry peasants!
My Granddaughter Emily’s Sarrissa Caravan Diorama. Emily is aged 9!

To make the leader, Jack Wood stand out, I decided to give him a big dog from the DeeZee range. I also changed his bill hook to a big sword that I had in the spares box from making up the Perry Foot knights. It’s actually a two handed sword but it looks about right in Jacks big hands! I thought that a trouble maker like Jack would be an ex soldier! To make Jill’s standard, I simply stuck two of the larger handles from the longer implements together and trimmed them into shape.

The peasant commander ‘Jack Wood’ and ‘Jill’ his standard bearer – the dog is called Cuddles….

The banner was based loosely on a Wheafsheaf design (inspired by a pub in our village) and hand painted on paper. I keep practicing my free hand and whilst I wont be winning any competitions with it, it does save on buying decals! I painted the dog as a Rottweiler- I doubt that the breed existed in the middle ages but he conveys the idea that you would be a bit cautious about petting him! The dogs chain was from my bits box – originally an anchor chain for a boat. I also gave ‘Jack’ a wrapped bow from the Perry Light infantry set and Jill has an arrow bag from the same set. The idea was to convey that they are a team!

I’ve obviously taken a few liberties from an historical point of view. The whole project is a figment of my imagination, based on an imaginary uprising in the Village of Little Bingham! I now have a decent ‘ward’ of Levy or angry peasants for my ‘Bill Hooks’ collection, I just need to get them into battle!

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

I hope that you all enjoy your hobby as much as I do – our web site will have much of what you need! Click here to see our shop.

ARCANE SCENERY

You can see the range of miniatures, including the Fire Forge Folk Rabble, that we think are suitable to for the Wars of the Roses, along with the rest of our Never Mind The Bill Hooks range here:

NEVER MIND THE BILL HOOKS!

To see the full range of DeeZee animals, click here:

DEEZEE BEASTS

You can find all the Vallejo Model colour paints here. If you don’t want to browse, just enter the paint number into the shop search bar;

VALLEJO PAINTS

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FILLERS

Happy Modelling!

A Medieval Carriage

Now that I am comfortably moved into my new hobby room, my modelling output is beginning to outstrip my ability to write about it! I have at least four projects that are either in progress or completed and in the cabinet.

The completed carriage

One such project is my medieval carriage. As you can see, it is all but finished and is just awaiting the driver and his assistant – you will see why at the end of the blog! The model is scratch built using a set of ‘plans’ from Wargames Illustrated #395. I use the term plans in a very loose sense. The originals were sparse enough and designed for 15mm figures. In theory, it should have been easy enough to scale up the drawings to 28mm scale. In practice, it just did n’t work – the resulting model was far too big and even with my eventual reductions, I still have the impression that my model is over sized! Ah well, it looks impressive and is a nice addition to my collection. I also made another slight error, in that I cut the pieces from 60/000 plasticard – 40/000 would have been better and easier on my scapel but the resulting model is quite sturdy!

Using the plans as a guide, I cut out the main parts for the carriage using 60/000 plasticard.
I then started to assemble the carriage – note that I switched to thinner plasticard to make the sides with the windows.
The rear of the carriage assembled. Note that by now, I am measuring pieces as I go along – there is no plan as such!
The centre section fitted and the first planks added.

I used some soft wood strip to add the planking to the sides of the carriage. I then added the wheels and axles etc using some spare parts from a Trent Miniatures wagon that I had in the spares box. I know that when I read other peoples modelling projects, I get very frustrated when they say ‘I found this bit in my spares box’ and here I am doing the same thing. The truth is that the more scratch building that you do, the more bits and pieces that you acquire. I could have scratch built these bits but it would have taken a long time for me so I went for the easiest option!

Progress so for Sir Thomas Hawkwood also in painting progress!

The next part of the assembly was to add the roof. Again, I measured this against the model and cut it out of 10/000 plasticard. I used the existing wall pieces to make ‘formers’ to glue and bend the roof so that it sat nicely on the model.

Roof added and Trent miniatures Draft horses in position.
I have also added the drivers seat and foot rest.
All the planking is now added and the roof reinforced to improve the shape.

With the main assembly completed, I just need to sand down any obvious errors and start the paint job.

Before fixing the roof in place, I had primed the interior with matt black – I could have added some detail but was too lazy it’s not likely that it will be seen anyway…. I then roughly masked the windows and primed the wagon in Army painter leather brown.

After priming, the base coat of Burnt red was applied.

A sponge was used to apply the top coats of red

The next part of the process was to highlight/texture the base coat using various lighter shades of red. Dont ask me why, but I decided to use a sponge to apply the paint. I think that it looks different!

The wood work on the wagon was painted black.

I then painted the wood work on the upper wagon in black. The underside and rest of the woodwork was painted to look like wood, with the iron work either black or for the wheel rims, gun metal.

The main construction was now finished. I just needed to paint the horses and base the model. I followed my usual technique for painting the horse – I’ve covered this many times in previous blogs. The same goes for the base. I used one of the Sarissa terrain tiles, as my intention is to construct a full length road for my table, with the option of ‘dropping’ the carriage into it as required. I also like non uniform edges to the base, although my gaming mates are not so keen! I’ve also added some shields with ‘Lord Callans’ livery painted on. My freehand painting is, shall we say a work in progress! I have the impression that my white lion looks a bit like a white monkey…..Never mind, I just need to keep practicing and should I get any better, the shields are only blu tacked in place for the time being!

The last task is to make the driver and the guard. I was going to use the figures from the Footsore range but they were a tad small, or rather, my carriage is a tad big. So I set about converting some figures. They are yet to be finished. For now, here’s how to turn an Aztec into a medieval car driver – well nearly!

Some major surgery going on here!

Once I get busy with the green stuff, I’ll post the final pictures!

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PLASTICARD

Happy Modelling!

More DeeZee painted models

I have said that I would like to paint all of the DeeZee range for my own collection. I do have painted examples of all of the range for commercial use but some of them are showing their age and I didn’t paint them! I’m in no rush with this project but it does make a nice change from the military stuff that I am working on.

DEEZEE 33 White Rhino first coat!

The next model on my bench was the White Rhino, DZ33, a resin model. A bit of research shows that White rhino’s can be either a very pale grey or a light sand colour. I presume that the sandy ones are simply covered in dust and earth, although it does seem that the Southern Rhinos tend to be the Light Brown ones and the Northern Rhinos tend to be Light Grey. Just to add to my confusion, it turns out that White rhinos are so called because according to google:

‘Why is the white rhino not white?

Image result

The story has a few variations but it basically states that the early Dutch settlers referred to this rhino as having a “wijde lip” or wide lip. The English mistook the word “wijde” (meaning wide) for “white” and so assumed that they were being called white rhinos by the Dutch.’

If you google images of the white rhino, you will certainly get plenty of variation in colour. I decided to go for the Light Brown finish and after washing and priming the model painted it with Vallejo Light Brown. As you can see from the picture above, I need a few light coats to cover the model.

I then proceeded to add Iraqi Sand 70819 to the light brown and after a number of dry brushes , I worked up to pure Iraqi Sand. It really was that simple. I then gave the model a wash with very thinned soft tone ink and added a final coat of Iraqi Sand with white added. I then based the rhino and added plenty of Beige and dry tufts and some long yellow grass. Job done!

While I was in the mood for painting animals, I decided to paint DZ pack 16, Crocodiles. There are three crocs in a pack and I decided to do all three and base them as a group. The models are actually identical so to get a bit od variation, I carefully bent the tails of two of the crocs to make them look a bit different. So long as you are careful when you do this, there is sufficient ‘give’ in the metal to make this a straight forward process.

I painted them using similar colours to those that I used when painting the DeeZee Giant crocodile. The only slight difference was that I used Army Painter bone to prime them and used the same colour for the belly. The basing process was also similar. I used milliput and some pebbles to make the ground work and then used clingfilm to protect the models as I pushed the into place to get the indentations. I could them remove the Crocs and paint the base without them being in the way. Here is the link to my earlier blog with details of how I decided to paint the Giant Crocodile along with details of the colours used:

CROCODILE ROCK – PAINTING THE DEEZEE GIANT CROCODILE

The finished Crocodiles in their new home!

I painted the base as per my usual ‘recipe’ using the emulsion colour ‘Dehli Bazaar’, which is my favbourite mud colour, added a dark tone ink wash for some depth and then added a variety of Gamers grass tufts, scatter and some spare jungle plants from my scenery stash. Once the crocs were added back onto the base. I used Vallejo water effects to finish things off.

DeeZee Crocodiles waiting for their dinner!

The final shots ready to add to the listing on my shop.

So that’s another pack added to my collection. Back to painting War of the Roses figures for now!

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You can find all the Vallejo Model colour paints here. If you don’t want to browse, just enter the paint number into the shop search bar;

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Happy Modelling!

Perry’s Napoleonic Flat Boat Part 3

In the last blog I had completed the painting of the boat and all of it’s crew. The final stage in completing this lovely model was to add the Flags, and make some sort of base. This was how far I had got with the basic model.

I ordered the flags from my favourite flag supplier, GMB. I couldn’t find quite what I was looking for but settled on the Coldstream Guards’ flag from the Peninsular period. I’m not sure whether they were involved in a sea borne landing in this conflict but as usual, I am more interested in making a model that looks OK that I can use for my wargaming rather than a museum piece of a specific event.

Whilst I was waiting for the flags to arrive, I made a start on the base. I am working at the limit of my artistic ability here and I have never attempted to replicate the sea on any base that I had made before! I choose a Sarissa terrain tile as they are reasonably thick and durable, and I like the fact that there is no straight edge. In the unlikely event that I decide to add to the ‘fleet’ the sarissa terrain tiles will lock together. After priming with matt black, I painted the base, first with a Vallejo Dark Sea grey 70898 and then added some Prussian Blue 70965 to slightly lighten it up. The base needed about three coats to get a consistent colour and a smooth finish.

I then placed the boat onto the base and painted around it using Off White 70820 and marked where the oars touched the base.

I then added some light blue streaks to give some idea of movement in the water (Again, way out of my artistic abilities here!) and then covered the base in 26230 vallejo still water.

By now the flags had arrived, so I could add them to my Ensigns. The boat was now complete. I added it to the base, that was now dry and to finish off, added some vallejo Foam/snow effects 26231 around the oars and stern of the boat. I may have been a bit heavy handed here but it does give the impression of the oars splashing in the water.

So the model is done and is now in my display cabinet rather than in a box in the lead pile. That’s a result for me!

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Happy Modelling!

Piers the Plowman and ‘Friends’

I had long admired the Piers the plowman set issued by Foundry Miniatures and finally acquired it at the Partizan show that was held last March. As well as the plowman set, I also picked up a set of Red Deer. The plan is to add both sets to my WOTR collection, preferably as part of a collection of scenery that I am working on.

The Red Deer are painted and you can see them in a temporary scenic setting in the pictures above. As you can tell from the bases, I still have to decide how to finish them – the idea is to make a small vignette that will serve as battlefield ‘decoration’.

So it was on to the plowman set. There are two parts to it really. A Tax collector and two guards confronting a hapless peasant family, obviously asking for more, as tax men are inclined to do. Then there is the Plowman, his plow and oxen team. It was a straight forward task to paint the Peasant and his wife and children. I had to smile to myself, the little girl looks a bit fierce and defiant compared to the rest of the family – she must take after my daughter!!

I haven’t got any more Sir!

Having started with the two easy subjects it was then on to the Tax collector and his men.

The rest of the set – painting in progress

As usual, I block painted the figures , shaded them with ink and then re –highlighted with the original colours.

The figures have now been block painted and await the ink washes.

I worked on these figures in sub sets. The taxman and guards first and then the plowman and plow.

Tax collector and guards finished – inked and highlighted – except for basing

Then final stage was to base the figures. The individual figures were very straight forward. The plowman needed a bit more thought and I used the Vallejo textured earth to create the plowed base – simply drawing a sculpting tool through the paste to create the furrows.

Peasant family based
The finished Tax collector and guard

So they are now finished for the time being. I have plans to create a home for the Peasants, a nice Medieval Carriage for the tax collector and a much larger plowed field for the plowman. They will all drop into ‘sabot base’ positions on the larger scenic pieces but for now, I’m calling them done and as well as adding these to my collection, I have achieved my aim of painting everything that I have bought at shows before the next show arrives!

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

I hope that you all enjoy your hobby as much as I do – our web site will have much of what you need! Click here to see our shop.

ARCANE SCENERY

You can find all the Vallejo Model colour paints here. If you don’t want to browse, just enter the paint number into the shop search bar;

VALLEJO PAINTS

You can find the texture range here:

VALLEJO MEDIUMS AND TEXTURES

You can find Gamers grass here:

GAMERS GRASS

If you need Milliput or other fillers, click here:

FILLERS

Happy Modelling!

Perry’s Napoleonic Flat Boat part 2

The work on this lovely model continues. As I finished each block of figures I placed them into the boat, ready for the final assembly. Once the sailors were completed, it was onto the soldiers.

The officers take their seats!

The next set of figures after the Officer party was the two sentry’s at the front of the boat, and the drummer and trooper to accompany the officer party. I had decided to paint the soldiers with dark blue facings as they will probably have flags from one of the guard regiments.

Sentries, drummer and trooper block painted and inked – they await final highlighting.

You can see from the picture above that the four blocks of sitting troops are primed and ready for painting. I once again tackled these in two small ‘bites’ – the two block of four troops first, then the larger blocks of five troopers afterwards. I found that this was easier and with each of the sub assemblies that I finished, the more encouraged I was to continue.

The two blocks of four awaiting final highlights and matt varnish.
The poor chap being seasick in his hat is particularly characterful!

The first batch of troops were then added to the boat.

next, the two batches of five troops were painted

These were then added to the boat. It’s getting a bit crowded!

I also took the time to repaint the boat itself, giving it a black gunwale and repainting the rudder white and black. With all the main pieces now painted, the next step will be to add the missing oars, The sergeants spontoon, flags to the ensigns and make a base. That will come in part three of the blog! I’m currently waiting on the flags but here is a sneak preview of everything else in place.

All aboard!

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

I hope that you all enjoy your hobby as much as I do – our web site will have much of what you need! Click here to see our shop.

ARCANE SCENERY

You can find all the Vallejo Model colour paints here. If you don’t want to browse, just enter the paint number into the shop search bar;

VALLEJO PAINTS

Happy Modelling!

More Partizan Personalities!

Having attended ‘The Other Partizan’ at Newark back at the beginning of October, I picked up the latest free personality figure, The Empress Matilda. Rather than putting the model into the lead pile , Matilda was promoted to the front of the painting queue! Whilst I was painting one figure, I thought that I might as well add another in from the lead pile. In this case, it was Rosa Luxemburg, the German communist revolutionary, otherwise known as ‘Red Rosa’.

Matilda on the left, Red Rosa on the right….possibly the only time she has been there….

Once the figures were cleaned up – not that they needed much in the way of cleaning – They were temporarily based and primed in grey.

I usually copy the pictures on the Partizan program but I wanted to paint Matilda differently and I didn’t have a reference picture for Rosa. (Although her nick name gave me a clue).

I went for a Yellow and purple scheme for Matilda with some gold edging to the cloak. The partizan model looks a bit angry (their own description), so I tried to give her a softer expression.

I gave Red Rosa a nice red dress and attempted to paint the hat as a Straw hat. I’m not sure that I actually achieved the effect that I wanted but it will pass for a first attempt.

The two finished models

I based the models as normal – perhaps Rosa would have been better on a paved base but there would have been a good deal of cutting and filing to get her to stand correctly and I should have thought about it before I painted her! I’m quite happy with the result and another two figures come off of the lead pile and go into the cabinet.

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

I hope that you all enjoy your hobby as much as I do – our web site will have much of what you need to finish your models! Click here to see our shop.

ARCANE SCENERY

Happy Modelling!

Never Mind the Bill Hooks Deluxe and Partizan

Before you ask, yes, we do have a definite date for the publication and release of the new Bill Hooks deluxe rules set, so read on for more information! And for those of you not familiar with what Bill Hooks deluxe is, here is the definitive sales pitch!

The cover of Never Mind The Bill Hooks Deluxe!

THE DESCRIPTION

Billhooks is a fast-action game of late medieval European warfare, set at the small battle/big skirmish level – think Nibley Green rather than Towton. 

You will need around 100 figures a side, lots of D6, and a 6 x 4 foot table – everything else you need to play the game is included in this book. A typical game can be played through in around 90 minutes (or rather less if the Dice Goddess wills it!).

Billhooks Deluxe gives you a ‘Core’ Wars of the Roses ruleset and then expands that to cover six new Theatres and Conflicts from across Western European Christendom c1350-1525. So you will find troop stats and special rules for Irish Gallowglass, Hussite War-Wagons, and Landsknecht Pikemen along with all the other troop types to be found on battlefields of the period, from 100 Years’ War France to Renaissance Italy.

The game uses a card-driven turn sequence and many tried and tested combat mechanisms to produce battles that are full of period flavour but always unpredictable.

Play one game of Billhooks and you’ll want to play another!

The following are the Theatres and Conflicts you can find in this book: 

Albion – The Wars of the Roses 

Gallia – The Hundred Years’ War 

Bohemia – The Hussite Wars 

Helvetia – The Swiss-Burgundian War 

Italia – The Italian Wars 

Northumbria – The Anglo-Scottish Border Reivers Lusitania – Late Medieval Portugal 

Hibernia – Warfare in Ireland

Finally, there is a Modelling Masterclass chapter with a comprehensive guide to painting, modelling, and kitbashing 28mm plastic figures. 

FORMAT

Perfect bound, Softback, full colour. 180 pages.

If that has whetted your appetite, your can place your pre order here:

NEVER MIND THE BILL HOOKS DELUXE RULES

Never Mind The Bill Hooks Card Deck

Never Mind The Bill Hooks Tokens

We expect to be shipping orders in the last week of November – please read the full listings for details.

The last play test for these rules actually happened at Partizan in early October. Although the manuscript was completed and was actually about to be sent to the publishers, it was decided that we would have a couple of games involving the public to see if we had missed anything obvious.

We played two games. One involving the French/Swiss alliance against a Spanish army and a second game of Anglo/German/Irish against an rebel Irish army. Both games were played out by helpful visitors to Partizan and no major ‘glitches’ were found. As usual, as I was heavily involved in playing and ‘advising’ I forgot to take enough pictures, but here are a few samples.

A Block of Swiss Pikemen face off against a Spanish ‘Tercico’ formation. In the back ground French knights are about to charge down the Spanish light horse.
Battle is joined! The Spanish just edge the fight inflicting 6 losses for 5 of their own casualties.

The first battle went well with the Spanish initially gaining the upper hand but the Swiss mercenaries showed their resilience and despite being initially daunted and pushed back, their commander was able to rally them and they went on to route that Spanish from the field.

Irish vs Irish – Gallowglass already taking casualties from the Cannon

The second battle was based on a fictional scenario in Ireland. When Thomas Fitzgerald of Ireland gathered his Yorkist forces as part of the Lambert Simnel Rebellion, we supposed that before he left for Britain, he decided to use his army of German mercenaries, English and Irish troops to sort out his Lancaster rival John Butler, the Earl of Ormond. The Irish forces suffered from a lack of long range missile troops, so getting into combat as quickly as possible was imperative.

The German Mercenary’s lead by Martin Schwartz and his warhound!

It’s worth mentioning that the German contingent was represented by figures that I had recovered and refurbished from the late Duncan Mcfarlane’s collection and lead by a Partizan limited edition show figure – Martin Schwartz. Duncan must have been smiling down on the game as his pikemen were to be the unit that broke the Irish and put them to flight!

The irish Kern charge the English Bills. The German Pikes are about to do the same to the other unit of Kern.

The Irish were unable to get their Gallowglass into combat before losing too many casualties to Arrow storms and cannon fire. The Irish Kern did close to combat but were beaten back by the English Bill men. The Other unit of Kern, were driven from the field by the Pikes. Game over for the Irish. One interesting amendment to the rules was made as a result of this and previous games involving the Irish. It will no longer be permitted for bands of Irish kern Skirmishers to make a frontal charge on a formed unit. I had been using them as ‘Kamikaze ‘ units to try and slow the enemy and/or force a morale check if the Kern got lucky! As this is somewhat ‘gamey’ Andy decided to stop this! Quite right too! It was unrealistic and research has shown no suicidal tendencies in Irish troops! However, they can still cause mischief by springing from cover and attacking on the flank or rear of an unwary unit – the Irish were certainly opportunistic!

That aside, the game played well and the rules are now with the printers. If you would like to join in with the ‘Never Mind the Bill Hooks’ battles, you can pre order your rules set either by using the link above or the ones below. We will ship in Late November – the expected delivery to us is the 21st November – we will keep you informed if you order with us and ship ASAP.

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

I hope that you all enjoy your hobby as much as I do – remember that our web site will have much of what you need! Click here to see our shop:

ARCANE SCENERY

You can see the range of miniatures and accessories we think are suitable to for the Wars of the Roses, along with the rest of our Never mind The Bill Hooks range here:

NEVER MIND THE BILL HOOKS!

Happy Modelling!

Perry’s Flat Boat

For my 60th birthday present I asked for one of what was then a new release, the Perry Miniatures Napoleonic Flat Boat and full compliment of crew. I thought that it was a lovely model and would look nice in the cabinet as a display piece. As I am now approaching 66, I thought that it was time to get it painted!

The kit comprises of a resin boat with six of the oarsmen molded on board, six metal oarsmen, a midshipman, a party of 3 officers, a sergeant, drummer and three troopers and finally, four blocks of seated infantrymen – 18 in total. I know why I put off painting the model. It is quite an undertaking to paint, in effect, nearly 40 figures and a boat. That’s before you even think about to how to base it.

The metal compliment of crew await clean up!

As usual, the best way to approach such a project is to break it down into stages. Stage one being the clean up and preparation of the pieces. I’ve said before but I’ll say it again, I believe that the Perry’s are the best sculptors in the business. Unfortunately, the casting of their models is not to the same high standard and the clean up of the pieces was quite a job. In the event, I think that you will see from the pictures that I may have missed some mold lines but often removing some of the casting errors results in damage to the sculpts. Better to leave the lines and try to cover them with paint rather than file off the beautiful detail.

The assembled boat painted as detailed below.

That said, on with the project. I washed the resin boat in warm soapy water and when dry, glued the two halves of the boat together. Once primed in Leather brown, I painted the boat using my standard finish for wood. Base coat of Chocolate Brown, Wet coat of Flat Brown, Wet brush of Flat Earth, Dry brush of Orange Brown, highlight of Yellow Ochre. If this sounds a bit OTT, I do like the result, so I tend to stick with this method whenever I am painting wood effects. I’ve written a more detailed article on how the process of painting wood works for me in an earlier blog article. You can see it here:

Painting Wood – Trebuchet article

Once I was happy with the boat I started on the oarsmen. These are a bit tricky to paint as they are fixed into the boat so angling my paint brush was a challenge at times. As regards the colours, I simply copied the pictures on the Perry web site. I noticed that the resin oarsmen are more casually dressed than the metal ones, who are in uniform. I found the stripey trousers and shirts a bit of a challenge but my freehand is gradually improving. The secret ( apart from a steady hand) is to use well thinned paint that flows nicely off of the brush. And of course, a decent brush. Any ‘wobbly bits on the stripes are easily touched up.

Painted crew – just the faces to finish highlighting!

Once the crew were block painted, I gave the flesh an Ink wash with vallejo flesh ink and the rest of the figures a wash with army painter dark tone. When the ink was dry, I then went back over the figures, highlighting with the original colours and tidying up any obvious errors.

The next stage in the process was to tackle the metal oarsmen and midshipman. Again, I followed my usual block paint, ink wash and highlight process. For the uniform, I just used the Perry’s pictures as reference although I also checked out my copy of Stephen Beisty’s Incredible cross sections book of the Victory!

As you will have noticed, the boat has been temporarily mounted on a base for painting and handling as I finish the crew. Talking of which, the Officers and troopers were next up.

Painting in progress!

I also decided that I didn’t like the wooden finish on the outside of the boat, so I’ve given it a white finish with a black gun whale. Here is the progress so far, with the officers taking their seats!

Officers in place
Progress so far

The next stage is to finish the individual figures – the drummers and guards and then it is on to the blocks of sitting troopers.

The next batch inked and awaiting re highlight

I have yet to glue everything in place but I am pleased with the way that the model is gradually taking shape. Hopefully, in my next blog, I will be close to finishing this lovely model!

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

I hope that you all enjoy your hobby as much as I do – our web site will have much of what you need! Click here to see our shop.

ARCANE SCENERY

You can find all the Vallejo Model colour paints here. If you don’t want to browse, just enter the paint number into the shop search bar;

VALLEJO PAINTS

Happy Modelling!

Partizan Personalities

My current collection of Painted minaitures from the Partizan Shows

No, I’m not going to discuss Richard or Laurence, the two organisers of the wonderful Partizan shows, or for that matter, the many ‘glitterati’ of the wargaming world that attend the show! No, my interest is in the free figures that are handed out as part of the entrance fee. In the past, I would accept these figures gratefully and they would simply end up in a box as part of my lead pile. However, since the lockdown, my ambition has been to reduce my lead pile and to paint whatever I buy or acquire at shows. My rule now is that I wont buy anything from a show unless I have painted the things that I bought the last time I attended that same show a year ago. That gives me a year to paint what I buy!

Edith Clavell

So far, I have actually kept to my promise, more or less….so when the first Partizan show opened after COVID in October 2021 I actually painted the free miniature within a week. The miniature was of the nurse, Edith Cavell who served in WW1.

Stephen le Blois

At the next Partizan in May of this year, the miniature was King Stephen. Once again, I painted him fairly quickly after the show. So now I had two painted miniatures from Partizan – Oooooo! the start of a collection! As it turned out, I remembered that I had a third figure, Martin Schwartz, from the Battle of Stokes Field. He was actually part of my War of the Roses army that I was using for Never Mind The Bill Hooks! I had painted him sometime ago.

Martin Schwartz – painted some years ago!

That find sent me scurrying out to the shed to see what else I had squirreled away! I also did some research on the web to remind myself of what figures were actually given out. I was surprised that there are actually 45 according the the lost mini’s web page. You can see them here:

PARTIZAN – LOST MINIS WEB PAGE

A quick dive into the lead pile to find past freebies!

So after a quick search through the pile of shame I found that I had 12 miniatures from past shows. It seems that the earliest figure that I had was number 26 King Edward VIII. I suspect that I have picked up other earlier figures but not kept them or they are hidden deep into the lead pile. I certainly wont have had them all but I thought it would be fun to paint what I have.

I started with figure Number 41 ‘Dulce et decorum est…’ It’s a lovely sculpt and very straight forward to paint. It also goes nicely with the Edith Clavell figure.

I then decided to paint the earliest models that I had, Edward and Mrs Simpson, numbers 26 and 27 respectively. Which brings my ‘collection’ up to six painted models! I’ll work through the others as a break from what ever else is on the workbench. As a collection, they will look nice in the cabinet and they chart a bit of my own gaming history through my visits to Partizan as a Customer, Trade Exhibitor and most recently, Games Demonstrator! I wont be actively seeking out the missing models from my collection, although I would like to get hold of the Lambert Simnel model for my War of The Roses army, and for old times sake, I would quite like to get hold of figure number two, Duncan the publisher.

Partizan is without doubt, my favourite wargames show, more so since it has moved to its new venue at the Newark Show Ground. I am very much looking forward to attending ‘The Other Partizan’ on Sunday 9th October, where I will be assisting with a Participation/Demo game of the latest version of ‘Never Mind The Bill Hooks’ or ‘Bill Hooks Delux’ as it will be known. With Andy Callan and his brother Ian, we will be showing off the rules for Celtic conflict in the WOTR era with a fictional prequel to the Battle of Stokes fleld set in Ireland! If you are at the show, please come and say hello!

I am of course also looking forward to getting the next figure in the collection!

THE COMMERCIAL BIT

I hope that you all enjoy your hobby as much as I do – our web site will have much of what you need! Click here to see our shop.

ARCANE SCENERY

To find out more about the Partizan show tickets prices and who will be there, click here:

PARTIZAN SHOW NEWARK

Happy Modelling!

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