Monday, December 29, 2014

Aymer de Valence, 2nd Earl of Pembroke

Here is another figure from the FireForge Mounted MAA set - painted up as Aymer de Valence, the 2nd Earl of Pembroke. He served under both Edward I and Edward II in Flanders and Scotland. He defeated Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Methven in 1306.
He tried to keep the peace between Edward II and his opponents headed by Thomas of Lancaster. When Edward's hated favorite Piers Gaveston was exiled and later returned to England, it was Aymer de Valence who captured him. Lancaster had Gaveston removed from his charge and executed. This breach of protocol seriously damaged the relationship between De Valence and Lancaster.
The Earl was at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, where he led Edward II to safety after the English defeat. A few years later while on a papal embassy he was captured and released after paying a financially ruinous ransom. In 1324, he was in France on diplomatic mission when he collapsed and died, possibly of a heart attack. However, some say he may have been murdered as retribution for his role in the execution of Thomas of Lancaster in 1322 for treason.
Those red blotches about his arms are supposed to be little birdies - or martlets in heraldic terms. The mail is rather nicely sculpted too.
Although I had mentioned in the previous post that those mounted yeomen would be my last painting project for the year, I felt compelled to paint Aymer up as I really like his arms.
I painted up a 120mm Velinden knight in the same arms some years ago. The colors and pattern are simple yet striking.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Mounted Yeomen w/Bows for Lion Rampant

Here is a unit of Mounted Yeomen with Bows for Lion Rampant. Granted it is unlikely the longbow was fired from the saddle, but I wanted to have the "look" for the game. These guys will be upgraded as Expert and will be able to Skirmish move and fire without the -1 Shooting penalty.
The horses and riders are from the Fireforge Mounted Men at Arms kit with Perry WotR and GW Empire Huntsmen arms and bows. Their long swords were scalpeled off. The mail from their lower legs was also shaved, and Testors glue applied over it to smooth it off, and painted as riding boots. Several of the mail coifs were also similarly converted to look like cloth hoods.
They were painted rather quickly with basic colors and followed by Minwax staining. The riders' coats were given a bit of highlighting afterwards. They are a decent match with Black Tree Design as the horses are on the taller side. The kettle helmets are particularly nice too.
These are likely the last figures to be painted for 2014. I have several projects already in mind for the new year - one being a 1/8th re-release of an old Aurora kit picked up off of ebay. The original goes for a ridiculous amount, but this one was less than $30 USD with free shipping. The intention is to build the kit to represent Richard III - a crown will have to be fabricated. Here's the still wrapped box with some OG 28mm figures in front of it for scale.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Notre Dame Guesclin!

Here's a Perry figure painted up as the standard bearer for the famous former guerrilla leader turned  knight, and finally Constable of France, Bertrand du Guesclin. Bertrand du Guesclin was the eldest son of a minor Breton noble who took to the martial life from an early age. He initially served under Charles of Blois during the Wars of Breton Succession (1341-1364). During this time he also fought against some of the more famous English knights, including the Captal de Buch, Hugh Calveley, Sir John Chandos, and the Black Prince.
Du Guesclin defeated the forces under the captal at the Battle of Cocheral in 1364. The battle cry for the French forces was, "Notre Dame Guesclin!" as he was nominated by his peers to be the overall commander. At the Battle of Auray, where Charles of Blois was killed, du Guesclin was captured by Sir John Chandos.
The arms of the standard bearer are conjectural - being made up the arms of Brittany and France Modern. Du Guesclin's arms are a two-headed eagle with a red bend. The excellent flag was downloaded from the free site Dansk Figurspilsforening. This flag as well as numerous other HYW flags was created by the talented Rune Kramer.
At the Battle of Najera in Spain, du Guesclin was once again captured - this time by the Prince of Wales. King Charles V of France ransomed him and later made him Constable of France. Du Guesclin died of illness during a siege in 1380.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sir Henry Percy aka Harry Hotspur

Here's an old GW Bretonnian knight painted up as Sir Henry Percy, called Hotspur by the Scots for his eagerness on the battlefield. He was knighted by King Edward III in 1377, the same year the king died. He served under King Richard II and campaigned in Scotland and France. He was captured by James Douglas at the Battle of Otterburn in 1388, and later ransomed by King Richard II. After Richard II was deposed, he served under Henry IV and fought at Homildon Hill in 1402, where he captured Archibald Douglas. Sir Henry died at the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403 while leading a rebel army against Henry IV.
The horse's armored head is from a GW Empire knights set. This is actually the first Bretonnian knight I've painted up - although I've used parts of them for various other projects, including helmet crests for Mycenaean standards,
Sir Henry's horse trapper has the quartered arms of Percy (blue lion rampant on a gold/yellow field) and de Luci (three white lucies, or pikes, on a red field). His tabard and shield bear just the Percy arms with a red label as the eldest son.
Although I've seen Sir Henry's helmet crest depicted as a lion standing as the one belonging to the Black Prince, I figured the upper half of a lion rampant would be appropriate as that is type of his coat of arms. Besides that's the way the GW helmet is made :)
I was inspired to paint up Sir Henry after a stein I just picked up off a ebay which has a depiction of him. I need to get some dark beer to test out the stein.
Finally, here's a nice 19th C. illustration of Sir Henry at the Battle of Shrewsbury, after receiving a mortal wound to his head or neck.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

HYW English Foot Knights (Black Tree Design)

Here are the foot knights that will be part of an English HYW retinue for Lion Rampant. These are all BTD figures from their Early and Late-HYW range. As they were already posted individually or in pairs recently, I won't belabor their respective characters, but suffice to say they are all famous knights who served under Edward III and/or the Prince of Wales.
They are individually based on magnetic 25mm rounds from Gale Force 9. The movement trays are from Litko with steel paper inserts.
For Lion Rampant, foot MAA units cost 6 points per unit of 6 figures. They're pretty potent in melee - as they should be. You can have up to 4 units of the same type as long as the total points don't exceed 12 - so in the case of foot MAA, two units will max out the points - which is what this retinue will have.
Thanks for following this project, and hope you enjoyed the posts. I hope to get these guys in a game soon - although I still want to build a unit of mounted yeoman with bows for this retinue.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Guy, Lord Bryan, KG and Sir Thomas Norwich

Sir Guy, Lord Bryan, campaigned in Scotland as a young man with Edward III. He was the king’s standard bearer at both Crecy and Calais. He was not present at Poitiers as he was fighting in Scotland at the same time – part of the force that retook Berwick in 1356. He was later an admiral, and in 1371 fought a naval engagement against the Flemish. In his later years he served under Richard II and campaigned in Ireland. He died 1390, a Knight of the Garter, among other honors
The arms of Sir Guy are: Or (gold/yellow) three piles azure (blue). The "piles" motif has been described as either spear or arrow heads. The arms of Sir Thomas are based on the ones attributed to  John, Lord of Norwich.

According to Froissart’s account of the Battle of Crecy, it was Sir Thomas Norwich who reported the predicament the Prince of Wales was in to his father Edward III. To which Edward III is supposed to have replied to let his son win his spurs that day.
As I couldn’t find the coat of arms for Sir Thomas himself, I’ve used the ones credited to John, Lord of Norwich - also present at Crecy. A 19th C. illustration of the scene shows Sir Thomas with the colors of the field reversed.
King Edward III refuses succour to his son at the Battle of Crecy
Artist: James William Edmund Doyle
These two complete the 12 BTD foot knights for two units of MAA in an English HYW retinue.
Unit photos will follow.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sir Richard Pembridge, KG, and Sir Walter Paveley, KG

Two more BTD foot knights painted up as Sir Richard Pembridge, and Sir Walter Paveley. Both of these knights fought at Crecy and Poitiers; Sir Richard also fought at Sluys. Both were members of the Knights Garters as well. Interestingly they als both died in 1375, after long and distinguished careers.
Sir Richard is wearing the helm that is still preserved to this day in the National Museum of Scotland. The actual helm itself is one of only four surviving from the 14th C. It was acquired by a Scottish painter and collector of antiquities and arts in the late-19th C.
Besides the martial prowess of these knights, I also wanted to include them because of their blue (azure in heraldic terminology) coats of arms, to offset the many red (gules) colored arms of the others in the retinue. Incidentally, the blues are a bit darker than in the images due to the flash from the camera.
Plus the arms of Sir Richard are simple yet very colorful and striking. Very nice on the gaming table.
Just two more foot knights and the two units of six MAA will be ready to join the mounted MAA unit already in the retinue.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Earls of Warwick and Oxford

Two more BTD Early-HYW foot knights - painted up as Thomas Beauchamp, 3rd Earl of Warwick,  and John de Vere, 7th Earl of Oxford. The two earls were both long-serving senior commanders for Edward III and the Prince of Wales. They both participated in the Scottish campaigns, and  held important commands at Crecy and Poitiers.
Upon landing in France in 1346, the Earl of Warwick is said to have attacked 100 Normans with only one squire and six archers, and killed 60 of the enemy.
At Crecy, both earls were fighting in the Prince of Wales' vanguard division. At the Battle of Poitiers, the Earl of Oxford was responsible for the destruction of one of the French cavalry charges.
Interestingly the Earl of Oxford, for all his tireless and exceptional service, was never made a Knight of Garter. He was killed during the Siege of Rheims in 1360. The Earl of Warwick died in 1369 while on campaign in France presumably due to illness, although some speculate he may have been poisoned by his rival, Humphrey de Bohun.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Sir Reginald Cobham, KG and Sir Ralph Stafford, KG

Here are two more BTD foot knights - painted up as Sir Reginald Cobham and Sir Ralph Stafford. Their simple, and similar, coats of arms belie their fame on the battlefield. Both were long-serving and reliable commanders for Edward III and the Prince of Wales. Both knights served in Scotland and were present at Crecy and Poitiers. According to Froissart, Sir Reginald killed Sir Geoffrey de Charny, the bearer of the Oriflamme, at Poitiers.
Both are from the BTD Early-HYW range, and picked up when they were 50% discounted. Coincidentally, they are again on 50% sale at the moment.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

John Montacute, 3rd Earl of Salisbury

Here is another BTD Late-HYW foot knight; painted up as John Montacute, 3rd Earl of Salisbury. Although not a major participant in the HYW, his uncle, William Montacute, the 2nd Earl of Salisbury, served in most of the campaigns of Edward III. John Montagu was a loyal supporter of Richard II, the son of the Prince of Wales, and successor to Edward III.
The main reason I painted him up as the 3rd Earl instead of the 2nd is due to the nicer (to me) coat of arms. The green (or vert in heraldic terms) eagle looks nicer than the tri-leg charge of his uncle's pictured below left:
John Montacute was close to the royal household of England, and at one point was entrusted with the welfare of the future Henry V. Unfortunately he was later beheaded for conspiring to kill Henry IV and restore Richard II. Events which anticipated the War of the Roses. In any case, he'll still be part of the English retinue.

A Micron pen was used to draw the eagles - much easier than painting them for me.
Some years back I painted up a 120mm Velinden figure in the same coat of arms as they are very interesting and colorful. This figure represents John's eldest son, Thomas the 4th Earl of Salisbury, who fought for Henry V at Agincourt. He met his death at the Siege of Orleans, the result of injuries from cannon fire.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sir Ralph Basset of Drayton, KG and Sir Hugh Calveley

Two more BTD foot knights from their Late-HYW line; painted up as Sir Ralph Basset and Sir Hugh Calveley. Both served at Crecy and Poitiers. On the left with the large two-handed sword is the younger Sir Ralph, his father of the same name also served Edward III and fought at Crecy. Sir Hugh is wielding a battle axe and fought in numerous campaigns in France, Flanders and the Iberian Peninsula. He fought along with Sir John Chandos at the Battle of Auray in 1364, and was a leader of the Free Companies.  He also took part in the Combat of the Thirty.
Again, I am very impressed with these BTD figures. They are nicely detailed, and very robust which will be a plus when used in Lion Rampant skirmish gaming. They are on the larger side of 28mm and are a good match in size and style with the Perry Agincourt to Orleans range. These two are wearing houndskull visored bascinets and mostly-plate armor that would be common from the mid- to late-14th C., and still be seen up to Agincourt.
Sir Hugh's coat of arms are: Argent a fess gules between three bulls sable - that is on a white (argent) field, a red (gules) band (fess) between three black (sable) bulls. Sir Ralph's are:  Or three piles gules a canton ermine - that is on a yellow/gold (or) field, three red (gules) wedges (piles) with a square (canton) in the upper corner of the field with weasel fur (ermine). Fun with heraldry!
Three down, nine more to go for two 6-man foot MAA units for the retinue.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sir James Audley, KG

Here's the first of the BTD foot knights - painted up as Sir James Audley. He fought at Sluys, Crecy, and most famously at Poitiers. According to Froissart's narrative of the Battle of Poitiers, Sir James was granted permission to fight in the forefront of the battle line. There he was gravely wounded and saved by his loyal squires. After the battle, the Black Prince called Sir James the bravest knight that day and awarded him a pension. As the story goes, Sir James bequethed the Prince's gift to his squires. Upon hearing of this and verifying it with Sir James, the Black Prince rewarded him even more.
Sir James went on to become Governor of Aquitaine and Seneschal of Poitou. He died in France in 1369 and was buried at Poitiers.
The BTD foot knights were picked up when they discounted at 50%. I'm glad I got them as they are very nicely detailed and sculpted. I ordered a mixture of their Early and Late-HYW figures. They come in 4 figure packs with individual poses and variations in armor.
This is one from the Late-HYW set of two-handed weapons. The thigh defenses are actually sculpted as plate, but I painted them up as studded cuisses which were common during the Crecy and Poitiers period.