Friday, 27 January 2017

German Noble





This chap has been sitting on my desk since God knows when, which is a real shame as he is my favourite medieval figure of all time.
Not sure who he will be representing yet.

I'll take a better photo when i have some darker backing material. 

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Gaudenz Von Matsch


 Well its been a while since I updated my blog, so I thought I would start with the first figure of my latest project.
Here is Gaudenz Von Matsch, Landeshauptmanner of the Tyrol, the last representative of his powerful noble family. He was close counsel to the Arch duke Sigismund of Austria and the Tyrol and most importantly to me leader of the Imperial army at the beginning of the War of Roverto in 1487.
I have been researching this war on and off for the last couple of years, sadly there is not a lot of information in English, but i feel I have enough on the main players to start putting my plans to the the paint brush.
The war against the Venetian city Rovereto in the valley of the river Adige in the Trentino region of Italy, started with the imprisonment of Venetian merchants and their goods in Bozen, Tyrol in April 1487. The Austrian military commander was Gaudenz von Matsch, who at that time was in high favour with Sigismund of Tyrol. The Imperial army consisted of lots of soldiers of fortune of all classes, nobles and freemen mainly from Swabia and also some Swiss infantry. Only a few infantry were from the Tyrol, like those from Landeck. After a long bombardment by artillery the city fell on the 30th May 1487. It was the sack of this city that alarmed the Venetians and they send their best commander Roberto di San Severino (you'll here more about him later) to deal with the situation. 

This is what his coat should look like, a little tricky to paint on a 28mm figure especially when you have the flu.
 
 
Gauntlets and Sallet created by the armourer Kaspar Riederer (active 1455-1499)  in Austria (Innsbruck), around 1480-90
The helmet comes from the armoury of Churburg Castle in the South Tirol and was presumably made for the lord of the castle, Gaudenz von Matsch (1440-1504), count of Kirchberg.  The original lining of padded fabric is preserved." 
Sadly Gaudenz Von Matsch was not present for the main battle of the war, as he was identified in August 1487 as one of the “evil councilors”  who were plotting to pledge land and castles to the dukes of Bavaria. He left the army with his personal troops to secure his own lands. From what i can gather he failed and his lands and properties were confiscated and given to the Von Trapp family.

The figure itself is from perry miniatures war of the roses range, with a head from gripping beast plastic dark age warriors box set. As you can see i've tried to find a suitable figure to match ny research and its great to see some of his armour still survives in the Metropolitan Museum of Art 

Sunday, 24 April 2016

R.A.G.E


I popped along to RAGE at the Royal Armouries in Leeds yesterday to hang out with friends and see the Agincourt diorama, which i hadn't seen since last August





There is plenty to see at the Armouries, but most of my day was spent pushing toy soldiers around, not that i'm complaining. Especially as I was there to help Simon with with his Agincourt 'The French battle plan' display game, using his amazing collection.  
deployed and ready
Michael Perry helping with a rules query
 We used Hail Caesar rules, dropping the French leadership a point in order to slow the advance across the muddy field. Simon led the English and Stuart  and I led the French.

French left wing advances rapidly
nearly in longbow range...

French camp

the English wait patiently
 The French stumbled and fumbled their way across the field, with the left flank making it to the English line first, or more accurately almost making it to the English line before being seen off by a storm of arrows.


the men at arms clash!
 followed by the French high water mark as the center battle charged the English Men at arms. Sadly for the French they were soundly beaten and routed as the French right wing hit and bounced off the longbowmen.

French rout
With the French retreating faster than they advanced, a cry of ST GEORGE! was fittingly heard (it being the 23rd april).
perry miniatures lion rampant game
There were quite a few other games going on themed on the 100 years war, as well as a presentaton by David Marshall and Alan and Michael Perry about the making of the diorama.
 I had a great day and came away very impressed by the Royal Armouries, there is lots to see there and I hope to pop back in a few weeks with the family.

Monday, 26 October 2015

80s Citadel Miniatures Dwarf

Most of the figures i have painted lately have not needed basing, so no photos i'm afraid.
Except for this short bearded fellow, the first of my adventure party for Otherworld skirmish.
More soon!

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

The Battle of Chalons, 451

Last weekend i popped to my friend Daves for a game of Hail Caesar. We used his 24'x10' table promptly covered it with beautifully painted 28mm figures.
The Battle of Chalons was fought during the Hunnic Invasions of Gaul.

Battle of Chalons Summary:
In the years preceding 450, Roman control over Gaul and its other outlying provinces had grown weak. That year, Honoria, the sister, of Emperor Valentinian III, offered her hand in marriage to Attila the Hun with the promise that she would deliver half the Western Roman Empire as her dowry. Long a thorn in her brother's side, Honoria had earlier been married to Senator Herculanus in an effort to minimize her scheming. Accepting Honoria's offer, Attila demanded that Valentinian deliver her to him. This was promptly refused and Attila began preparing for war.
Attila's war planning was also encouraged by the Vandal king Gaiseric who wished to wage war on the Visigoths.
 Marching across the Rhine in early 451, Attila was joined by the Gepids and Ostrogoths. Through the first parts of the campaign, Attila's men sacked town after town including Strasbourg, Metz, Cologne, Amiens, and Reims. As they approached Aurelianum (Orleans), the city's inhabitants closed the gates forcing Attila to lay siege. In northern Italy, Magister militum Flavius Aetius began mustering forces to resist Attila's advance.

Moving into southern Gaul, Aetius found himself with a small force consisting primarily of auxiliaries. Seeking aid from Theodoric I, king of the Visigoths, he was initially rebuffed. Turning to Avitus, a powerful local magnate, Aetius finally was able to find assistance. Working with Avitus, Aetius succeeded in convincing Theodoric to join the cause as well as several other local tribes. Moving north, Aetius sought to intercept Attila near Aurelianum. Word of Aetius' approach reached Attila as his men were breaching the city's walls.
Forced to abandon the attack or be trapped in the city, Attila began retreating northeast in search of favourable terrain to make a stand.





Reaching the Catalaunian Fields, he halted, turned, and prepared to give battle. On June 19, as the Romans approached, a group of Attila's Gepids fought a large skirmish with some of Aetius' Franks. Despite foreboding predictions from his seers, Attila gave the order to form for battle the next day. Moving from their fortified camp, they marched towards a ridge that crossed the fields.


Playing for time, Attila did not give the order to advance until late in the day with the goal of allowing his men to retreat after nightfall if defeated. Pressing forward they moved up the right side of the ridge with the Huns in the center and the Gepids and Ostrogoths on the right and left respectively. Aetius' men climbed the left slope of the ridge with his Romans on the left, the Alans in the center, and Theodoric's Visigoths on the right. With the armies in place, the Huns advanced to take the top of the ridge. Moving quickly, Aetius' men reached the crest first.

 Taking the top of the ridge, they repulsed Attila's assault and sent his men reeling back in disorder. Seeing an opportunity, Theodoric's Visigoths surged forward attacking the retreating Hunnic forces. As he struggled to reorganize his men, Attila's own household unit was attacked forcing him to fall back to his fortified camp. Pursuing, Aetius' men compelled the rest of the Hunnic forces to follow their leader, though Theodoric was killed in the fighting. With Theodoric dead, his son, Thorismund, assumed command of the Visigoths. With nightfall the fighting ended.

 The next morning, Attila prepared for the expected Roman attack. In the Roman camp, Thorismund advocated assaulting the Huns, but was dissuaded by Aetius. Realizing that Attila had been defeated and his advance stopped, Aetius began to assess the political situation. He realized that if the Huns were completely destroyed, that the Visigoths would likely end their alliance with Rome and would become a threat. To prevent this, he suggested that Thorismund immediately return to the Visigoth capital at Tolosa to claim his father's throne before one of his brothers seized it. Thorismund agreed and departed with his men. Aetius used similar tactics to dismiss his other Frankish allies before withdrawaling with his Roman troops. Initially believing the Roman withdrawal to be a ruse, Attila waited several days before breaking camp and retreating back across the Rhine.

 The armies are reputed to be huge. between 30000-50000 on each side.
We didn't quite match that, but a rough guesstimate is around 5000 figures in total!

 There were 3 commanders on each side, with each commander having a personal objective














 My objective was to take the hill on the right and attempt to kill the opposite commander. in the above picture you can see my mighty horde about to defend the high ground from their hated foe.