March 09, 2023

Baggage train part 2

Progress with the baggage train - a cart and the limbered artillery piece painted and based.

These two are designed to go together, the cart holding artillery equipment. I decided to put two wagoneers on the base, which I really like the look of. 

The horses, cart and limber are a mix of Perry parts from both their Wars of the Roses and American War of Independence ranges. See the previous post for full details and my thoughts on how 15th century artillery could have been transported. The two cart crew are both Perry (one metal and one plastic), and the one on the artillery base is from Eureka Miniatures, with a slight arm conversion. The gun itself is from Old Glory.

Stay tuned for more additions to the baggage train!

February 25, 2023

Assembling the baggage train....

Work has commenced on putting together a full baggage train of carts, wagons and limbered artillery!

Something I've been considering whilst planning this is what 'story' do I want these figures to tell? Of course you can't go wrong with scattering some carts on the battlefield just for fun, but rather than having them being calmly unloaded, the wagoneers having a chat together.... I want them to appear as they would if they were actually on the battlefield, close to the action. The most obvious reason for them being there is if a marching column is being attacked, in some sort of ambush. So I want to try and model them as if they are under attack, with the wagoneers perhaps looking a bit panicky, some soldiers rushing about on the same bases maybe...

With that in mind I would probably prefer the horses in stationary poses rather than walking, but as there is a limited number of suitable draft horses in the Perry range, it's going to be a mix of both. 

Here's three I've got assembled and in the painting queue. Two are from the Perry Wars of the Roses range of course, but the third is actually from their American War of Independence range (link). As far as I can make out  cart and draft horse harness design didn't change much over the centuries, which means various 17th and 18th century carts, horses and wagons can be used for earlier periods. If anyone can point out any anachronisms here, I'd be interested to learn about it, but I won't be changing anything - I definitely think it's a case of 'close enough'! I swapped the WOTR and AWI horses around, just to blend things in better.

I'm going to need to convert multiple extra wagoneers. I glue them to the base in advance where they won't get in the way of painting, but some I'm keeping separate for now. I'm thinking I might use more than one per base.

I've also wanted some limbered artillery - the guns had to be transported somehow! This will also make the scenarios more interesting, the attackers trying to capture the artillery for their own use, or prevent it reaching a nearby siege. Simon Chick put together a great limbered gun which can be seen on his blog here. I'm daunted by the idea of modelling traces and such (the ropes that connect the horses to the limber or wagon), but equally wouldn't want to leave them out, so was curious if there was any evidence of simpler one-horse arrangements for transporting artillery.

I then found that the wonderful artist Graham Turner had depicted just such a thing in one of his more recent Wars of the Roses paintings. I don't know what his source for this is, but he clearly puts a lot of research behind his paintings, so if it's good enough for him it's certainly good enough for me!

Simon has since pointed out to me that there are also similar one-horse arrangements depicted in the Swiss chronicles.

To model this proved ever so simple - turning to the Perry AWI range again, it seems they have a limbered 'butterfly' gun that has a more or less identical arrangement (link). It was just a case of replacing the gun with a suitable 15th century one - the one I chose comes from Old Glory. Handily this can be put together in the 'folded up' transport position, and also has an iron hoop which I was able to put a bit of plastic offcut through to represent a wooden pin. Clearly there would have to be some other form of attachment underneath though, as this pin alone wouldn't work by itself! Looks good though.

I'm planning to do probably two more limbered guns and a big wagon, and will return to the AWI range for more parts. I'm still going to avoid the full four-horse setup to preserve my sanity, but the AWI range has some two-horse arrangements that I could make use of, and I'll try my hand at making some traces out of twisted wire. The reason the four-horse setup scares me is I'd want to glue it all together before painting, to avoid getting superglue all over the painted components when it comes to putting it together - I'd rather get the glue everywhere first, and then paint over it! With four horses that would be too tricky, but a two-horse limber or wagon could be done this way.

February 18, 2023

A humble wagon

A change of pace now - here's a wagon. [edit - ok, I suppose it's not a wagon but a cart!]

I really enjoyed painting this. I've painted several of the Perry wagons in the past to make some 'wagon fort' bases, and found it a real hassle to be handling them as I paint them before they're glued down to the base. This is the first time I've done one complete with horse and handler, and decided I would just glue it all together on the base first and paint it as one piece. Definitely the way to go - any awkward-to-reach areas like the underside of the wagon aren't going to be seen anyway! Only the baggage I did separately and then glued on afterwards.

I've put off painting wagons for years, as it seems time spent on them is time that could be spent building up new units, which are of course always a priority. But now I've got enough completed units under my belt I'm going to spend some time on wagons of various sorts, which I see as terrain pieces for specific scenarios. Though this one is just more more or less put together straight from the box, I've got some plans for others to include limbered artillery, enough to form a whole baggage and artillery train, for various ambush and 'capture the guns' type scenarios. More on that in future posts!

February 12, 2023

Some more skirmishers

I've finished another small unit of skirmishing missile troops. As before, these are designed to be used as Germans or Swiss. Most of them feature 'kettle hats' in various Germanic forms.

They are a mix of some old miniatures painted years ago, a blend of Perry metals and plastics, with a few new ones added. Three of them are also 3D prints from the soon-to-be-released Warsteel Miniatures range, which at the time of writing is currently running as a kickstarter campaign. I was kindly sent a few samples to try out.

They scale well with Perry, as the picture below should demonstrate. Note that they don't come with integral bases, so I've glued them to 2mm Renedra bases first to compensate, and then these themselves are stuck to the unit bases.

Overall they are quite thin and delicate, especially the handguns, crossbows and feathers. They come with separate heads, which are very nice - one of the Perry figures here has also been given a new Warsteel head (the crossbowman with green sleeves). It's interesting to compare that particular head (a kettle hat with a scarf and feather) to a similar Perry one worn by the crossbowmen in the middle - the 3D prints allow for much finer details. The rim of the helmet is much sharper, the scarf is narrower, and the feathers are more delicate. This isn't better or worse in my view, just different! But they mix in just fine, and I will definitely be using a lot of these very useful heads extensively for upcoming units.

I now have three units of ten skirmishers each for the Burgundian/Hapsburg side, which is more than enough.