Saturday 24 September 2016

A Bombard

This is a piece I finished a while ago, but didn't deem dramatic enough for post number 100! It is the Perry Miniatures Wars of the Roses Bombard with a few tweaks to the crew to make it more suitable for the start of the 16th Century. I was having a look at contemporary images while I was working on this, and my mantlets and gabions. It was a surprise to discover that, alongside the more "modern" culverins and basilisks, bombards seem to have seen use well into the first two decades of the 1500s. I included some images to demonstrate this in a recent post Some more images follow to further highlight this.

The first is a great sketch of the Siege of Älvsborg by Paul Dolnstein, a favourite soldier artist of this blog, which quite clearly shows an older style bombard in use alongside other guns on carriages. Secondly Maximilians Zeugbuch of 1502 has a wealth of detail in terms of guns in the early 16th century. In a previous post I linked it in the comments but in case you haven't seen it here is the link again. Have a look as it really is a goldmine of images: What is interesting about a lot of the bombards in the Zeugbuch is that they seem rather more "up to date" than the Perry miniature, being cast in bronze and in a style more of 1500. They look to be whole cast guns rather than iron staves linked together by iron hoops. It would be great to see a manufacturer sculpt one of these pieces.

This is a Sketch from Paul Dolnsteins Diary in 1502 showing the siege of Älvsborg in Sweden. Note the old style bombard at the bottom of the sketch, just left of the centre. Apparently the text at the top right hand is a recipe for Pidgeon written by someone else!

Bombard from Maximilians Zeugbuch 1502.

Another Bombard from the Zeugbuch 1502.

Bombards from the Zeugbuch, these two look slightly older than the others shown above.

The final three contemporary images are from the Weisskunig, another favourite source of images for this blog, detailing siege guns in the mid 1510s. While in the first image the central guns look like older style bombards, what is interesting about the following two images is that the guns being used without carriages look as though they may well be simply culverins in use without carriages. This makes sense as in siege warfare where some of the guns could afford to be relatively static I can imagine these pieces being used without the need to have a carriage.What is also evident from the images shown here, and in my mantlets and gabions post, is that the bombards are always shown in use alongside guns on carriages. I am guessing the guns on carriages were included as much to defend the besiegers in a sally as to further damage the walls or earthworks that were under siege. They could quickly be moved to fire on attackers from the fortifications if need be.

Image from the Weisskuning, 1510s, showing bombards in use in the centre

Another image from the Weisskunig showing what looks to be a more contemporary barrel being used without a carriage in the top right.

Again more contemporary guns being used without carriages.

Some images of the bombard and its accompanying mantlet follow. It really is a beautiful kit but it is also quite clearly for the late 15th century. In order to bring it into the 1500s you will notice I have head swapped the gunner with the linstock and have switched one of the crew for an old Citadel Miniature who is more suitable for the early 16th century. One of the chaps hauling up the mantlet has also had a head swap. I didn't go too overboard on the crew though as I imagine that a lot of the men working on the bombard would simply be civilians pressed into service and not always the most "fashionable".

I have also added some bits and pieces from Front Rank. A wood axe leans on the blocks of wood behind the gun to prevent recoil. I got this idea from Simon who did a beautiful job on this miniature for his Burgundian and Hundred Years war collections I did toy with the idea of basing the crew on sabot bases like he has done as well and painting four Landsknechts as the alternative crew. Maybe one day I will do another gun as I can use the 15th century crew for other projects, they are really useful figures.

The mantlet is on a separate base, the same size as the other mantlets I painted up. They are all interchangeable and can be switched to other artillery pieces as I have based all my guns on an 80mm frontage. I have taken photos of some of the other guns as part of some siege works and will hopefully get these images up in my next post.

The bombard as part of some siege works.

The front of the bombard.

Image without the mantlet.

The bombard and mantlet.

The gun from behind showing the detail of the crew.

Monday 5 September 2016

Landsknechts and Gendarmes, Blog Post Number 100

So this is my 100th blog post. Unbelievable though it may seem I have managed to find one hundred different, well slightly different, things to ramble on about in relation to collecting miniatures for the 16th century. It's actually my 101st post as I did write one supporting the Pro Gloria Plastic Landsknechts Kickstarter which never happened in the end so it was deleted. I'm not sure if that project will ever see the light of day, or if the figures were entirely accurate either to be honest, but they would have been brilliant for conversions at the very least.

I have really enjoyed writing the blog so far, and have found it's really focused my efforts to a greater extent than if I was just painting and not posting up pictures of stuff I was working on. For example the rebasing may never have happened had I not had a blog. That's an undertaking I am still scarred by! Please let me know in the comments if there have been any particular projects or posts that you have enjoyed, or disliked for that matter. The great thing about blogs is the way everyone can share ideas and inspiration, perfect for a hobby like miniature painting.

Despite 100 updates so far, there are still at least another 100 projects in the pipeline! I am currently working on some English Billmen for my early 16th century Tudors. Petes awesome 1513 English flags were what finally forced my hand to have a go at this army: The Billmen may not be up to the incredible standard of Stuarts 1513 English and French figures,, but I am quite pleased with the 6 I have completed so far. The archers will be more tricky I feel. Also In the pipeline I have the fantastic dismounted 16th Century Knights by Oliver at Steelfist Miniatures to tackle at some point. Ideally I would like some kind of command or unit base for each figure, which means other figures to accompany each knight will be needed. I am also keenly watching his current Kickstarter, the mounted Gendarmes,, and will be working on some of them if it funds.

Then there are the early Landsknechts that The Assault Group have had in the pipeline for a while now, Of course a large block of these will be required to add to my early Italian Wars Spanish army. Some "Northern Staves" or "Border Horse" for the early Tudors will be necessary. Some more artillery would be nice as well as some casualty bases, for some reason I have been putting off casualty bases for years despite having figures for them. Who knows, one day I may even have a wargame with some of these figures and do a post on that!

To mark my 100th (or 101st) blog post I thought I would show some pictures of what I feel is the classic wargamers Italian Wars Army, lots of Landsknechts and lots of Gendarmes. The pictures below are of an army intended to represent that of Maximilian I, for the 1510s, although to be honest they would also be fine for the start of Charles Vs reign as Holy Roman Emperor. If you have read this blog for a while you will know I love to set the various units out together to really try and give a feel for a certain army and era. Landsknechts and Gendarmes always seem to get more attention than any other infantry or cavalry in a lot of the contemporary images so maybe it's no wonder miniature manufacturers have focused more on them in the past. Once lots of banners bearing Habsburg Saltires and Imperial Eagles have been added to the figures the army really does start to look like those seen in many of the woodcuts from the early 16th century and I guess for me that's what it's all about.

The Imperial Army of the Holy Roman Emperor Elect, Maximilian I

Lots of Landsknechts and Gendarmes

Imperial Light Cavalry behind the artillery

Fuggers Landsknechts follow up behind the skirmishing Arquebusiers

The army in front of the town gates

Marching Landsknechts follow up behind the mounted crossbowmen

An Imperial Commander

The mounted Crossbowmen

Standing Landsknechts

And lastly a view inside the town