Saturday, February 6, 2016

Late 14th/Early 15th C. Transitional Armor in the Italian Style

Pardon my indulgence, but it's Armor Up! Saturday again. Here is an interpretation of so-called Transitional Armor of the Late-14th to Early-15th C. The pieces are based upon armor displayed in Churburg Castle. The segmented breastplate is commonly known by modern historians as Churburg #13 - the cataloged number of the suit in the castle.
Along with the breastplate, plate limb armor is worn with a mail haubergeon. A mail aventail also protects the neck and shoulders under a hounskull bascinet. The Mid to Late-14th C. was period where plate was taking over mail, but not completely, hence the Transitional moniker.
Note the half sleeves of the haubergeon being worn over the shoulder and upper arms. My long-suffering wife tied on the arm harness to the mail - as well as took the photos. I vacuumed the house and washed the dishes in return.
The hand and a half sword was popular during this period. I may someday get mail or plate sabatons, but my zip up ankle boots are stand-ins once again.
Out mushroom hunting in the backwoods of Puyallup.
Reflecting with the trusty falchion.
On campaign with the boys.
Remember to take your vitamins and say your prayers.
Thanks for bearing with me. The only painting I've been doing lately is with Microsoft Paint.net.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

15th C. Sallet

Got another armor delivery today - a sallet based on the one found in the church at Witton-le-Wear in Durham, England. The helmet and bevor are 14 Gauge steel, and weigh around 10 pounds together. It's well balanced, and once strapped on doesn't feel heavy at all. Putting on and wearing armor is how I get my cardiovascular work out and weight training.
Without the bevor.
Although it was found in England, it is believed to have been made in the Northern European style for export. The original is dated to the Mid to Late-15th Century.
With the bevor worn.
The thickness and weight of this reproduction is a bit more than the original, but not by too much. With proper padding this would hold up pretty well in full contact reenactments. The eye slits a little bit wider than the original, but thrusting and stabbing aren't allowed in full contact reenactments - go figure.

The helmet was listed as new, and the liner looks clean and never worn, but I think it laid around somewhere for a while as it had tiny spots that look like rust and the finish is a bit tarnished. Nothing a little bit of scouring with fine steel wool won't take care of. I think the woman who sold this on ebay didn't really know much about it - her ebay store had no other armor listings or anything remotely military. Everything else in her store was either ceramics or quilts and such. I can't say it was 50% cheaper than from a retailer, but it was close.
The over-sized brass rivets are actually authentically reproduced. When I first saw it I thought it looked odd, but here they are on the original sallet in the image below.
The visor stays up by friction if pushed up all the way. Saves me the trouble of trying to peen the rivets tighter, or replace them with lock nuts like I did with the bascinet.
The leather liner that is glued to the inside is not historically correct, but I don't plan on replacing it with a more correct padded fabric liner. I would just wear a padded coif in addition to the liner if I thought someone was going to clobber me on the head. I plan on dyeing the helmet straps a darker brown to match the one on the bevor.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Talhoffer Buckler

Came home from work early today to try out a "Talhoffer" buckler. It's 16 gauge steel and very nicely shaped - not bad at all for $35USD, free shipping. Note the faux "acorn hat" with Seahawks logo.
Anyway, this is one of the types of bucklers seen in the 15th Century illustrated manuscript authored by the fencing master Hans Talhoffer. The one on the right in the picture below has knobs or spikes around the edges.
Talhoffer was quite a man of his times with interests in several fields besides the martial arts - a few I had to look up as I'd never heard of them before, like onomastics and auctoritas. Spell check doesn't even know what they are. He also trained opponents for Trial by Combat.
As a buckler is mainly for parrying, it doesn't protect like a shield proper - as reflected by most rules. No missile saves!
The flanged shape and upturned ends were designed to deflect blows and thrusts.
The center hand-held grip also denotes its primary function.
Anyway, it's a nice mid-week diversion that is otherwise filled with work and fighting traffic. En Garde!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

It's Armor Up Saturday!

Well, I just had to get into the harness again, this time as a Late-14th/Early-15th C. French Man at Arms. The breastplate is worn under the padded jupon as was the fashion at the time.
I'm not wearing the arm harness or the arming jacket. Taking the suggestion from an armor site post, I used my old Army LBE - basically a pistol belt and Y harness to point (tie off) the leg harness. It actually works really nicely. I still need to get period foot wear; until then my zip up ankle boots are stand ins.
From what I've seen, the majority of folks doing reenactment chose English personalities to base their kit on. Personally, I like the French images of the time - as below:
They better not be talking about me.
Until I live next to a castle, Microsoft Paint.net will have to do.
On the painting desk there is another (and final) 120mm resin mounted knight. This one also has full cloth barding, but the fairly static walking pose, should make the painting a lot simpler.
Au revoir!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Ich Dien - 120mm Imperial Gallery 14th C. Knight - Finished

Just finished up the figure - the Super Glue is still wet holding the shield to the arm precariously. Ended up painting him as the Prince of Wales with his so-called Shield of Peace. I managed to write "Ich Dien" on the scrolls on the shield with a Micron Pen. This time I first sprayed the painted shield with clear acrylic. This made writing with the pen much easier as the brushed on acrylic tends to clog up the tip of the pen. This is something I couldn't have painted when I bought it about 10 years ago. Painting heraldry in 28mm gave me the courage to attempt it here and glad I did. Guess I can call him alternatively, "Ten Years After."
I added some "shrubbery" around the dowel holding up the horse. Not perfect, but better than the plain dowel.
Purist will note that I did not add the Prince's label over the Arms of England to denote his status as the heir to the throne. As in the previous post I didn't want to obscure the lions where the label would be placed over.
The shield that came with the kit was poorly molded and so thin it cracked apart when I tried to cut it from the excess resin. Heated plasticard worked fine for a replacement. Although as you can see in the photos above and below, I neglected to fabricate the padding and straps in the back of the shield. Chock it up to laziness. Life is too short for these things!
The sword, scabbard, tail of the chapeau, horse stirrups and bits are metal parts. The reins and stirrup straps are cut from left over paper from the Bengal Lancer project.
I kept the surcoat plain without displaying arms, but added an ermine pattern to the lining.
The pose reminds me of the knight crashing through the little boy's bedroom in "Time Bandits" - love the war cry - "Eeeeyaaaah!" Anyway, this is the third large figure I managed to paint this month which otherwise would still be sitting in boxes going on a decade or so. Cheers to all of you!

ADDENDUM:  I should've included an image of him next to 28mm figs for scale - so here he is ready to slay a myriad of them.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

120mm Imperial Gallery 14th C. Knight - WIP +2

Horsey is done. I had to use a wooden dowel to hold up the horse due to its spirited pose. The way it is intended to be attached to the base is with the two hind legs pegged into it. However, as one of the legs - the rear right raised one - is supposed to go in the broken limb of the dead tree was way too flimsy. Hopefully adding some tall grass around the dowel will hide it a bit.
Anyway, it's secured to the  base and won't topple over or worse break a leg...or two.
The ermine markings on the face covering were painted with a fine tipped brush. I tried using a Micron Pen, but it kept drying out. Maybe it's too old, but ended up using the brush which was faster anyway.
Under the head covering there is a plate chamfron. Never growing up around horses, I always presumed the open part of their ears face forward, but I now know they can twist their ears.
Well, now that the mount is done, I can start on the rider. I like to tackle the hardest parts of projects first.

Friday, January 22, 2016

120mm Imperial Gallery 14th C. Knight - WIP +1

Finished most of the heraldry on the barding. I'll have to clean up some stuff - like the scrolls on the quills. Might even try to write in "Ich Dien" with a Micron Pen. The covering for the head will be painted with an ermine pattern.
As always, painted for effect rather than precise accuracy. For instance, I tried adding lines for the barbs of the feathers, but it looked too busy so left them plain with just a line for the shaft. Speaking of the feathers, I moved the larger ones up a bit - they looked too low previously. The way the front half of the barding is sculpted made it a bit challenging to center and properly angle the heraldry - not saying I got it exactly right, but seems to look okay.
I decided to paint the figure up as Edward III, as I didn't want to paint the white label over the coat of arms :).

Thursday, January 21, 2016

120mm Imperial Gallery 14th C. Knight - WIP

Here is another resin and metal kit I picked up off of ebay many years ago. It's an out-of-production kit from The Imperial Gallery in England. The box art has the figure painted up wearing the arms of the Edward I. However, the armor is a bit later than Edward would've worn as most of it is plate armor. As the kit comes with several helmet crests, one of which with a lion passant, I will attempt to paint him up as the Black Prince. I've started preliminary work on the barding - the basic outline of the heraldry. Looking at it again, I think I'll move the bottom feathers up a bit.
The front half of the barding carries the ostrich feathers which the Prince inherited from the house of his mother, Phillipa of Hainault. There is also an oft quoted story that the feathers were adopted by the Prince after the Battle of Crecy. Supposedly the Prince found the body of the blind King John of Bohemia with a helmet adorned with a crest of ostrich feathers.
Here is the kit with the box and contents laid out.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

1:12th Airfix Bengal Lancer - Completed

Went ahead and finished the kit - kind of a rush job using a hair dryer to speed up the Dullcote finish.
The yellow coat is a bit warmer toned than in the image due to the flash.
The reins and other horse straps are cut from paper - actually the instruction sheet from the kit.
The flag came with the kit and was given some highlighting.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I picked up this kit intending to convert him into a Norman Knight. However, I'm glad I didn't, and happy to have him in honor of Skinner's Horse.
This last photo has him next to a couple of Front Rank Dutch Lancers. This is actually the first British Colonial figure I've ever painted.
Speaking of the Colonial period, I see Dan Mersey, author of Dragon Rampant and other rules, has recently announced a set of rules for this period - The Men Who Would Be Kings. I may have to look into this one.

1:12th Airfix Bengal Lancer - WIP +2

Here's the Lancer prior to Minwax staining. The turban wrap was the best part - trying to figure out the pattern using the box art.
And here he is after a near-fatal accident - as I was trying to insert the pencil into the bottom of the figure more securely, the tip broke off and he went flying up and hit the ground breaking off his left leg and prying off the lance. Luckily nothing serious and the leg can be glued back and lance squeezed back into the hand. The hardest part was wiping up the spots of stain on the floor and figuring what else to put the figure back on. The yellow is darker in reality - the camera flash makes it out a few shades brighter. The first photo is with natural light (well taken in normal overcast, rainy Pacific NW winter weather).
Once dried, he'll get a finish of Testors Dullcote and given highlights.