Sunday 2 October 2016


This post is simply to show how the Mantlet and Gabion bases I completed back in August,, look with my artillery bases. Although they are of different depths all my artillery bases have an 80mm frontage, and of course the gun is always in the centre of the base. This means that the Mantlets fit in front of all the artillery bases and can be swapped for variety.

You may notice a wooden tower in some of the photos. This is a terrain piece from Magister Militum I painted up a while back. In this period such wooden defences were quite common, used by defenders and besiegers alike. I have included a few examples of them in contemporary images. The first two are of a block house, I think its meant to be the same building in each image, that temporarily holds out against Maximilians forces in his Weisskunig. You can see the defenders meet a rather grisly end when they are finally burnt out. The second image is a salient reminder that these depictions were as much propaganda as they were efforts to "document" the Holy Roman Emperor elects campaigns. A warning to those who opposed the might of his armed forces. That is, of course, as long as he could temporarily borrow enough money to raise those forces!

A block house under attack in the Weisskunig.

The destroyed block house, by the looks of things Maximilian was not too happy with the efforts of the defenders!

The third image is a sketch by Paul Dolstein (another favourite of this blog along with the Weisskunig!) showing the siege of Montfort in 1491. As Dolstein was a bridge builder from Torgau I wonder if he served in these campaigns alongside the Landsknechts as much as a military engineer as a soldier. It is interesting that he included these images of sieges and the accompanying earthworks, in my last post I included his sketch of the Siege of Älvsborg. It does hint to me that he was involved in this aspect of campaigns regardless of whether he fought as a Landsknecht or not. All sorts of wooden towers and stockades can be seen in the below sketch and this is what I was trying to achieve with the wooden tower. I am not entirely happy with it though, it seems to look a little out of place.

A sketch from the diary of Paul Dolstein, showing the siege of Montfort 1491. All sorts of temporary defences can be seen , it's hard to tell which are the defenders and which the besiegers.

The set up in the below photos is a French force besieging the Venetians, I am guessing around late April, May 1509. The French are mopping up Venetian positions in the Terra Firma following their spectacular victory over the Serene Republic at the Battle of Agnadello, but basically its just a chance to show how the guns look combined with the siegeworks! I am happy with the results, they create little miniature dioramas when all the artillery bases and Mantlet bases are linked together. I was worried that perhaps the guns would be a little far from the Mantlets, as in contemporary images the barrels are often shown blasting out right underneath the Mantlets, but they seem to work pretty well.

Behind the attackers siegeworks

A bombard and supporting lighter guns fire as an assault goes in on the town walls.

The siegeworks

An Italian town under siege

The siegeworks from the defenders viewpoint, the wooden tower is on the left.
Mantlets and Gabions form defences for the gun crews behind

The siegeworks

Three of the French guns fire as Stradiots sally out of the town to attack the besieging force. I made the mistake of putting two bases next to each other with identical figures - the chap in the grey coat holding his bonnet in the centre of the photo appears twice!

The above  three guns from the defenders view point

The Venetian defenders crew a light gun in their earthworks


  1. Terrific job, wonderful pictures, excellent post...Thanks for sharing!

  2. Lovely and inspirational. A couple of days ago I was looking at some unpainted Gabions in my collection and couldn´t get the umpf to paint them..after seeing this I will.
    Great set of pics..I love the last one..the determined look on thier faces

  3. Magnificent stuff,you have done a splendid job on those artillery positions, great photos too, they capture scenes straight out of those old prints!

  4. Those defences look really good. But so do the guns and crews. Thanks for sharing them.

    Can I ask where the castle in the background came from. Thanks again.


  5. I think the timber tower works well, I'd say it's maybe a little isolated and could do with some other structures, maybe a little stockade around it or maybe another tower and some cheveuxe de frieze, I can't remember how to spell it but movable spiky things! All looks grand with your artillery, gabions and splendid wagons and carts.
    Best Iain

  6. Cheers for all the kind feedback guys.

    Iain I agree, the wooden tower does look a little isolated, thats probably why I felt it out of place. I may get some stockade pieces to accompany it.

    Richard the castle in the background is predominantly made of old resin pieces from the Battleground range sold by Magister Militum, this link should take you to them:[]=59634&cat[]=59613

    They are old pieces but spot on for the Italian architecture of this period. I really like them. The monastery is by the Grandmanner, I think from their Spanish Napoleonic range.

  7. Lovely looking work and photos all round. I never would have dotted the duplicate figure if you hadn't pointed him out. Even then ther is so much eye candy in the shot it took a while to find Waldo.
    Cheers, Peter

  8. beautiful result. Good planning paid off!

  9. They look wonderful, Oli! Great job!

  10. Wow! Fantasic - Which sieges are you now planning to play? Brescia? ;)

  11. Great job on the siege lines - interesting images of the wooden structures too, clearly quite common in use.