Friday, 29 June 2012

Switching gears to Saxons

I have two commission projects that I must do before I can start the Imperial Austrians. Both armies are of the 11th century, one Saxon and one Dane.

In the photo you see the Saxons. These are a collection of Essex for the general’s bodyguard, Alain Toulier Figurines for the warband and Metal Magic warriors for an expansion. The Essex 15s appear robust in comparison, but ATF and MM are true 15s, yet the latter have a good variation of poses to satisfy a barbarian collector.

I like painting barbarians and over the years have developed a painting sequence that saves me time. Before I bring paint to the brush, I will list possible colour combinations on a card and sketch possible shield patterns. Checking the WRG reference books, I found the Saxons had a greater range of colours of clothing than other barbarian nations.

I adjusted the sequence to paint the shields ahead of the clothing as I eight possible colours for breeches, tunics and cloaks I wanted the shield colour to work as a benchmark. I wanted to avoid a random sequence of painting that resulted in clashing colours that screamed Ouch!

Next step, cloaks, the breeches and last the tunics.


Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Pikemen added to the Bavarian army

Rather than post a work in progress, I took the time to complete the Pikemen and extra generals. The Pikemen represent three contingents; those in blue and white are royal units, those with two colours are militia from the cities and lastly, the Swiss mercenaries in three colours. All three contingents will have flags added to further distinguish each type.

This brings the total number of elements to 36 plus 2. The two extra are generals with only an aide or herald; the vacant spot will be filled with foot command figures which will be ordered today.

I spent more time painting these as the foot figures required clothing with multiple colours; half of each tunic a different colour as well as each pant leg. Thinking ahead, if I  were to collect Italians I would most likely add a fourth colour or use stripes. I remember browsing in a “paper” boutique in Florence and finding pamphlets illustrating city heraldry. Each city divided into “quarters”, it was the responsibility of the guilds in each quarter to organize, arm and cloth the militia for its defense.

I have two DBA sized armies to paint up on commission, so the Imperial Austrians will have to wait a week. I will not use pastel colours for the Austrians, but yellows and blacks will certainly be present among the foot.  


Sunday, 24 June 2012

Knightly colour

As I described in yesterday’s post, I used six theme colours for the knights, three light and three dark. Not only the lance, but horse harness was done in the same colour theme. Further highlighting and lining were added to “tighten” the general appearance.

In addition to the 24 knights, there are 6 Coustilliers that will offer a support role for the Kn. All that needs be done is to varnish the figures. Legio Heroica offer horses with appropriate barding, but these I have reserved for the Imperial armies.

The first batch, completed last week are now based as 2 generals, 2 x 3Cv, 4 x 4Bd, 4 x 4Cb, 4 x 2Ps Handgunners and 2 x Artillery elements. All that remain to be done for the Bavarians are 8 x 4Pk.

The three Bavarian armies are modeled after the proposed Book IV/13c list. The DBA 3.0 list differs from the DBA 2.2 in that double based knights and war wagons are no longer required. Later, I shall add a few wagons as an optional camp.   


Saturday, 23 June 2012


I have slowed my painting tempo to put more thought about how to simulate painting armour without using metallic paint. Using the Renaissance masters as a guide, ground colour varied from light grey or blue to dark grey. To simulate the variation in quality or manufacture of the knight’s armour, I too used different shades of grey to dark grey. With four plinths full of knights to paint, I mixed four different shades for my basic armour.

The next photo shows the result of highlighting the edges of plate armour with white. This is less evident with a light grey ground colour, but stand out nicely with the darker grey.

The next stage is to add colour to horse harnesses and lances of the knights. I plan six colours which will run diagonally through each plinth to take advantage of the variation in rider and horse. This should take another day. My first batch have been varnished so adding the knights, I will have 28 elements done. I only lack 8 elements of pike and my first three commands of Bavarians will be complete.

I have a commission project to do first before I can start on the Imperial commands, but that will not stop me from ordering more Legio Heroica before the end of the month. I want to take advantage of their 20% discount.


Monday, 18 June 2012

Short update - Medieval Bavaria

Taking a break from painting at the moment as I wanted to add a few pictures and a bit of text. This first batch of medieval figures are done with the exception the two general whose horse trappings lack colour.  

This has taken longer than I expected as background information for the armies is also in a state of evolution, that is “speculation” based on plausible evidence. At the moment I am working on a 15th century Bavarian army, with Household troops accounting for one third of the total force. With blue and  white as theme colours the “uniforms” will follow the fashion of the time; a patch work of colour. The remaining Bavarian troops will represent provincial and city militia collected from other regions.

Theme colours I have taken from the coat of arms of the major cities within the provinces. So you will note a portion of the crossbow and Billmen are painted in household colours while the remainder have two colour combinations.

The second batch will consist of knights, Coustilliers and Pikemen; some of which will be Swiss mercenaries. The rest are Pikemen from various cities. When completed, the Bavarian army with options have 40 to 45 elements.


Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Legio Heroica - Burgundian and Swiss 15s

You might describe this purchase as a “controlled impulse”; something planned for the long winter days but brought forward as a result of unforeseen circumstances. I had ordered more SYW French infantry from Old Glory early May, but after three weeks my paint brushes were itching to work again.  

While near completion with three DBA armies, I had been online looking for suitable figures for a late Medieval army. Old Glory had the right figures for the infantry, but the mounted figures were not in correct armour. Searching further, I found Legio-Heroica and I knew these were to be my next army. One problem, I had to act fast as they were planning to move and by early June would not be able to ship figures. I also knew, most of Italy is on vacation during the month of August, so the long range plans suddenly became high priority. As an extra incentive, Giuseppe was offering 20% discount for orders placed prior to the move.

I usually do not purchase one DBA sized army when the postage will cover the weight of three, so I ordered enough Burgundian and Swiss for a big battle sized army. With a bank transfer the registered  package arrived five days later.

The quality is first rate. Detail I would normally expect on a 28mm figure could be seen on these 15s. The online catalogue photos do not do these figure justice. Plenty of character, poses are natural and the figures are near an 18mm height, while they do mix with OG or similar sized figures, I would not mix them on the same base as these are beautiful figures. One minor quibble, all weapons are separate; bills, crossbow, pike and lance, even the improvised weapons for the peasants are seperate.

The last photo shows a mix of foot and mounted crossbow with a command element at their first stage of painting. Here, you can clearly see the variety of helmets and weapons for the figures. I should be finished with these by the weekend.

Did I mention that I was pleased with the purchase? So much so, I took advantage of Giuseppe’s latest offer as posted at TMP: LegioHeroica is Moving. I made nearly a duplicate order so I would have two matched big battle armies for the Late Medieval period.

This one arrived in three days. Enough keyboard work and now back to the paint brushes.