Sunday, 16 May 2021

Swiss Mercenary Band Types for Fornovo

It has been a bit of a week. A few days ago I somehow inexplicably managed to drop a large heavy Jamie Oliver wok crashing into my right hand! It was not hot, but it bruised my hand and it was too damn painful to lift a brush up until a few of days ago. Then just to add to my misery and from out of nowhere, a somewhat vicious cold suddenly came on within a few hours. I am officially Clinically Extremely Vulnerable so the anxiety took over and would not let go. I have had my two jabs, about three weeks since the cold hit me so at east I would have some protection if it was indeed Covid. I did manage by doing an hour here and and hour there over a three day period to complete more "speed painted" Swiss. The irony of using the phrase "speed painting" is not lost on me but it was the same technique I used on the "speed Painted" Swiss I completed a few days ago so I am stuck with the label.

These chaps have been given the "mercenary band" treatment in terms of their dress as illustrated by Massimo Predonzani in the book, The Italian Wars Volume 1, The Expedition of Charles VIII into Italy and the Battle of Fornovo

I have gone for the something close to the garish mix of colour as seen on Massimo's illustration above. I am not yet sure whether I will add all eight miniatures to one base or sprinkle them around in the 64 figure unit with their more conventionally dressed comrades. They might look a bit odd sitting in their own base so probably sprinkled around un the unit?

This cold has quite a lot to answer for as looking at the pictures on my screen I have just noticed that I have failed to add any crosses to the hose or tunics. Luckily these fine fellows have not entered into the varnishing process so there is still time to potentially save their souls!

Monday, 10 May 2021

Stratioti! Last Evenings Painterly Doings

In keeping with my somewhat crazy aim of "speed painting" as many miniatures as possible as fast as I can, hopefully without losing too much by way of quality, for my Italian Wars Fornovo 1495 project I managed to get six more mini's painted and ready for varnishing. Six Stradioti/Stradiots to be precise. I already have the horse flesh painted for these ruffians so that's three bases of Stradioti/Stradiots vis a vis one unit for Furioso, at present a very likely candidate for wargames rules for my Italian Wars projects. Furioso being fast play and easy to pick up, which means the rules ought to be very suitable for a large  display game.  I say that with the proviso that due to Covid I have very annoyingly not played a game as of yet! The choice was really made after watching Ken of The Yarkshire Gamer blog fame's YouTube video series that covers the basics of the rules quite nicely. Well worth a watch if you are interested in the Italian Wars and are looking for a suitable ruleset. 

Another word on the Stradioti. I intend to have roughly six of seven units of Stradioit/Stradiots to represent the rough 2000 the Venetians employed during the campaign. At Fornovo they were sent on a wide sweeping flanking manoeuvre making it to the French baggage train and looting in extremis. They are even said to have made off with Charles VIII's own private pornography stash! Actually reputed to be prostitutes that Charles had slept with and had small portraits made as a keepsake. They certainly filled their boots with tons of extremely booty. 

Stradiots by Jorg Breu the Elder:

The heraldry on the shields was inspired by the brushwork of John Bianchi and some of the images in his Warhammer Ancient Battles, Vlad the Impaler supplement which had an excellent potted history o Albania and a great army list for the same including that of the famous military commander Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg.

Pics of the six Unvarnished Stradiots:

Stradiots by Hans Graf

Sunday, 9 May 2021

Swiss Pike and (sort of) Stradiots

It has been a bit of an odd week. First, two posts in one day; I am not sure if I can remember that ever happening before. Second, I have been cleaning up some Perry European Armies  metals for my Italian Wars, Battle of Fornovo 1495 project. There were some spectacularly difficult lumps of metal on some of the miniatures and I am not talking flash or run offs here, which are both a good thing. I am talking chunks of the mould missing that creates ungodly lumps on the miniatures that are extremely laborious not to mention dangerous to remove, that is, without taking a digit off! I know, I have come very close to suffering this fate before. Definitely chunks of mould missing. I bought quite a few packs when the EU codes were first released and compared to the packs that arrived sometime in December of last year there is s huge difference in the quality of the castings. I realise that I am treading on hallowed ground here.....

I did manage to get the eight Swiss from a former post matted down after a long wait for the Gloss varnish to go off.

Anyway, enough of my whinging. I chose an all metal Swiss Bike Block of a total of 64 miniatures per block. That's quite a few to clean up so I really ought to be happy that I managed to pull it off, but, there is always that nagging feeling that I have not done enough painting at the back of my mind. If you're interested in what I have decided, or not as the case may be, for the Livery colours of the Swiss at Fornovo then hop over to this blog post for a brief discussion HERE. I have mixed in some of the beautiful Steel Fist, Swiss Front Rankers, some with the variations supplied and some applied to Perry Plastic European Mercenaries bodies. no pics as they are awaiting to be cleaned up with a bit of soap and water as I had to use some ProCreate putty to fill in a few of the gaps. I'll photo them as they are painted.

I also managed to complete four horses for the Stradiot Light Cavalry with three more including their riders in various stages of painting and varnishing.

The horses have been speed painted (i.e. at least fast for me!) and are not of the same quality as my Early Byzantines but hey, I have to get this lot painted before I pop off this mortal coil and this really is the only way! :>) To give you some idea of the speed, all eight Swiss were completed in one sitting last Sunday so I'm not sure in terms of hours as I was not counting. next time I will take note of the painting times.

Very Glossy and Still very Tacky:

Nicely Matted Down:

Early Byzantines on Parade and Future Plans for the Army

I took the opportunity to take some snaps of my Early Byzantine Army on Parade early this morning. I must apologise about the pictures, I seem to have altered the length of exposure without realising it; perhaps I should have waited until my morning coffee had kicked in before taking these pictures!

Without further ado here are the photos..... 

Formed Infantry Units

My plans are to add another unit of Dismounted Bucellarii/Extra Heavy Infantry (who will act as another Dismounted Heavy Cavalry unit), another Armoured Skutatoi and another unit of Unarmored Skutatoi too to fill out the ranks of the infantry.

Dismounted Bucellarii/Extra Heavy Infantry and Armoured Skutatoi

Skutatoi ,Attached Torsion Engine and Command Stand

I'm in the process of painting up an extra three command bases for the three other infantry units, two for the Unarmoured Infantry units and one for the Dismounted Bucellarii/Extra Heavy infantry.

Armoured Skutatoi and command Base

The Elites; Bucellarii and Dismounted Bucellarii/Extra Heavy Infantry

There is a heck of a lot more to come in the way of cavalry. I have two more units of Lancers  on un-barded horses, I will add another two on barded horses too! Then there is the Heavily Armoured Mounted Archers (these will also double as being placed in the back ranks of the army to move it forward in time a little toward the beginnings of the "Heraclian era". Oh, I forgot their Steppe Allies too so expect a few units of Horse Archers and a unit of Steppe Nobles or two!

Dismounted Bucellarii/Extra Heavy Infantry and Armoured Skutatoi and Army General Command Stand

I recently heard from Keith of Aventine Miniatures that Adam is sculpting some Army Generals so I suppose I will have to add another one or two Army general Bases too! It would be rude not to!

Psiloi with Slings

I will be adding the missing base of Slingers as well as two units of bow armed Psiloi. Possibly some Psiloi with javelins too.