Monday, 31 December 2012

CoE Xmas Challenge

Having problems posting photos on the Clash if Empires site. So here is my Fallschirmjäger platoon HQ ready for action:

and some of my earlier stuff:

Dux in a row...

Some of you may have picked up on Thorbjörn and my thread on the Lead Adventure Forum. However, at the risk of repeating things, here is my work to date:

Noble 1 - the son of a centurion, Iago is a man mountain with the constitution of an ox.
Iago (now with his shield) leading the Commitatus
Pueri 1

Pueri 2

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Liebster do dah

I am the grateful the only non-Swedish recipient of the Liebster Award courtesy of Dalauppror (

His nomination said:

"If you were an Englishman in exile in Denmark you would also need and deserve an Award for your blog. Stephen isn’t only a very talented miniature painter, he also a very good friend that, out of the blue, offered to guide me around in London during this years Salute, be sure to make he’s blog Janner´s Jaunt a visit."

Then out of the blue came Jim Hale's:

"Stephen is another medievalist, whose blog doesn't get the attention it deserves. There are some really well painted miniatures on his blog."

The rules are very easy:

• "Copy and paste" the award on your blog, and talk about it a bit.

• Select for the award your five favourite blogs with less than 200 followers, leaving a comment on one of their post to notify them that they have won the award. You need also to list them in your own blog.

• Enjoy the moment, knowing that you have just made someone´s day.

Of course, there is no obligation to pass on the award, but why pass up the chance to recommend 5 great sites.

Now, I seem to have come late to this one and most of my favourite's have already picked up something. However, Dr The Viking has just relaunched his blog: - still early days with our new Dux Britanithingy project, but lots to see on past projects. - Taking of Dux, Phil has a slowly, but beautifully building collection. - for a reminder of the fun part of gaming, as well as some great ideas. - Guy Halsall in good form. - Stephen May putting us all the shame with his productivity levels.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Last unit almost done

Okay, have to be quick as I'm meant to be getting ready to go out ;-)

Last formed unit for HYW English force c.1415 (just the flags to finish):

Got to run...

Thursday, 18 October 2012

HYW - Lights, Camera, Action!

Unfortunately my camera skills were not up to the task yesterday. So only two images are even close to being worth posting  :'(

The two armies in all their (slightly out of focus) glory

Much needed medical help for the French after the Mounted Knights are dispersed after becoming entangled on stakes and their dismounted colleagues are whittled down and break before they can make it to the English front line.

Victory to Dr.The Viking  :D

Good run out for the draft HYW lists I'd done for CoE with stakes nerfing the Heavy Horse nicely, pavises providing great protection, and the dismounted Men-at-Arms taking a lot of shooting from two large expert archer units before breaking.

Forcing the English to redeploy and getting those pesky archers out from behind their stakes will make all the difference  ;)

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

John Holland

John Holland (18 Mar 1395 - 5 Aug 1447) was the second son of John Holland, duke of Exeter and earl of Huntingdon. His father had been implicated in the revolt against Henry IV, was executed for treason in 1400 and all his lands and titles were forfeit. John's elder brother, Richard also died in 1400. As a grandson of John of Gaunt, John Holland junior was Henry IV's nephew and, therefore, Henry V's cousin.

Although only twenty years old, John distinguished himself at the siege of Harfleur and the battle of Agincourt leading a retinue of some 20 men-at.-arms and 60 foot archers. As a result, he was restored in blood, regained the earldom of Huntingdon and was made a Knight of the Garter the next year. He was to go on to become one of the English commanders in the latter part of the HYW, being made Lord High Admiral of England in 1435 and regaining the Dukedom of Exeter in 1439, the same year he was made the King's lieutenant in Aquitaine.

On his death, his son Henry became Duke of Exeter, but two of his natural sons (the 'bastards of Exeter') were to be active members of the Lancastrian cause, but are believed to have fallen at Towton (1461). I think they may well make an appearance in my planned WotR army ;-)

Sunday, 26 August 2012

How about now...

Some good guesses, but no correct answers so far:

The heraldry should be a giveaway...

Saturday, 25 August 2012

and some more

6 more to join their comrades in the butts:

No correct answers as yet.

So first clue:

His surname was not in England...

Friday, 24 August 2012

and more archers...

Red and Blue livery, umm which captain with these archers be fighting under?

more to follow...

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Sir Robert de Umfraville

Sir Robert de Umfraville KG, c. 1363 - 27 Jan 1436

Governor of Roxborough castle 1399
Knight of the Garter 1399
Vice Admiral of England 1410 – 1436
Lord of Redesdale 1421 – 1436
Lord of Kyme 1421 – 1436

Son of Thomas de Umfraville, lord of Redesdale and grandson of Robert de Umfraville, earl of Angus, Robert is perhaps the most famous of all the Umfravilles and certainly one of the most vigorous.  His brother, Sir Thomas fought at Otterburn. Sykes claims that Robert was appointed Vice-Admiral of England by Richard II (1377 -1399), but Hedley believes he attained this position in 1410 and seems to have kept the title for the rest of his life.

In 1399 Robert was made keeper of Roxburgh castle and created a Knight of the Garter after routing a Scottish raid near Fullhope Law. In 1400, Robert smashed a raiding party of 500 Scots who had come to raid, some 200 of whom were slain outright. Hedley says that on his appointment as Vice Admiral, Robert was given command of 10 ships with which he landed troops and plundered the Firth of Forth for 14 days. Also in 1410 he had sacked Peebles and burned down the market town in the company of his 18 year-old nephew Gilbert. In 1414 he was made receiver of customs at Berwick for life and given Warkworth castle as part of the attainder against the Duke of Northumberland.
Robert fought at the battle of Yeavering on 22 Jul 1415 before sailing to France to join Henry V at the siege of Harfleur. He, of course, took part in the battle of Agincourt - perhaps fighting alongside Gilbert with the vanguard and then right hand battle.

Robert would have inherited Redesdale and Kyme on the death of Gilbert at the battle of Baugé in 1421. Robert was the last of his line to hold Otterburn hall and the last Umfraville Lord of Redesdale. Elsdon Pele tower (which dates from the late 14th century) bears the Umfraville coat of arms and the inscription 'R. Dominus de REDE'. The 'R' probably stands for Robert.

Hedley, W. Percy, Northumberland Families, Vol. I (Newcastle, 1968).
Sykes, J., Northumberland and Durham Local Records, Vol. I (Newcastle, 1833).

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Some bits and bobs

In between finishing off the Lancastrian HYW army, I'm working through some other bits and bobs from the 'pending shelf'.

This weekend it was some crossbowmen for my Third Crusade army in the colours of the Lusignans.

and a musician and man-at-arms for the Valois HYW army. Hopefully by squeezing these in between the English, I'll have the French finished off this year summer as well.

I also had a splurge of basing, undercoating and lining up the next several months worth of figures. Here's a glimpse of something for later. You never know James, I might even finish off the Sammies!

As another taster, the Umfraville foot are now done and I'll get some photos done later in the week.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Men-at-Arms and stuff

Having found some batteries for the old camera, here are the results of last weekend's work.

First up are some pavises. I did twelve in total for a unit of crossbowmen in the service of Marshal Boucicault c.1414. I bought these pavises long from Front Rank long before the twins had produced the Mercenary box set.

Next up are a couple of men-at arms to finish off a unit of English foot for the same period. I'd originally planned on an eighteen strong unit, but with the new AoA lists and spare figures (one of which was already painted), I took the unit to 21.

Next some more men-at-arms. This time for a new 21-man unit in the livery of Sir Robert Umfraville. there will be more on Sir Robert in my next post when you will see the unit in all its glory! So this is just a taster:

Monday, 30 April 2012

archers 2!

Finished despite an attempt by some nasty bug to bed me down for the last couple of days:

Along with Gilbert de Umfraville, Sir John Cornwall KG (aka Cornewaille, Cornwayl and Cornouayl) was one of the veteran commanders Henry V trusted with his advance guard and was also one of the most respected chivalric figures of his era. He served King Richard II in Scotland, fought for the Duke of Lancaster in Brittany, as well as for King Henry IV against Owain Glyndŵr during the Welsh Uprising. Henry IV made Sir John Cornewaille a Knight of the Garter in 1409. At the battle of Agincourt, Sir John captured Ghillebert de Lannoy, and Louis de Bourbon, Count of Vendôme, whom he ransomed for large sums for money.

Sir Thomas Wenlock was the only knight to be listed on Sir John's indenture for the 1415 campaign and here he is seen leading his lord's archers. Sir Thomas was a long term member of Sir John's military household and can also be found in the indenture for the 1421 campaign

and ouch, just noticed that I got some of his lip colour on the gorget - since sorted  ;)

Thursday, 26 April 2012


Task 2 on the Guild group build is a unit of 16 seasoned archers to join Sir John Cornwall's retinue. The deadline is Monday evening - plenty of time [ahem].

All under the dutiful eye of Sir John's trusted subordinate, Sir Thomas Wenlock - now where's hie heraldry gone. I know it's around here somewhere...

Monday, 23 April 2012

The Evidence...

Looking a little battered curtusy of the baggage handlers at London (yeah right!) Stansted and on James Sharpe's gorgeous terrain, we have the Honda clan:

Based for either WAB or Hail Caesar each unit was meant to have five bases of four. The clear plastic movement trays are also by James - and available here:

However, as can be seen, the last four dismounted Samurai weren't not quite ready in time:

and from the front. On reflection, the red on yellow sashimono is a little distracting. So I will tone it down a bit in due course.

Ashigaru with yari (another of these to finish off):

Ashigari with bow:

with arquebus:

back of the clan leader - Honda Tadakatsu with standard bearer:

Close up:

and the opposition - from James' collection:

and twelve mounted Samurai to go...

Saturday, 14 April 2012


Now, some of you may have been aware that I stupidly volunteered to be diverted from western medieval goodness to some blokes in flouncy shirts with banana swords - c.1600 to make things worse.

In support of James' annual Oshiro demonstration game at Salute, I've been putting together a Honda force from Perry sculpts - who else ;-)

The original plan of 80 Ashigari (four units of 20), 20 dismounted Samurai, 12 mounted Samurai, a command stand and various casualties, has dwindled through work commitments etc. (and the odd distraction onto proper medieval loveliness) to 60 Ashigari (three units of 20), 16 dismounted Samurai and a command stand (although the final stand of four sammies might still make it off the painting tray in time!)

So I'm down to finsihing the last few minis and the command stand (a conversion of the Perry Tadakatsu sculpt to put him on a horse on a base with his standard bearer) - all looking good to be finished tomorrow. All the rest are mounted on their bases with sand in place ready for an ink wash and some static grass before varnishing.

But no photos until after Salute - booo, hiss!

I know, totally unfair, but I need to use every last minute to finish painting, basing and varnishing the damn things before flying off to UK on Tuesday. Besides, they'll look so much nicer on James' beautiful terrain then on my desk.

So - watch this space for some photos a week Monday...

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Gilbert de Umfraville's scurriers - in a oner!

A small unit of nine light horse with full command. Given that my army is based on the Advance Guard from the march to Calais in 1415, I went for Gilbert de Umfraville's livery (to match a unit of dismounted archers under the good 'earl of Kyme' himself).

One figure type was scupted with a crossbow windless. So that obviously had to go and has been replaced by a longbow - well some brass rod wrapped in paper. Gilbert is listed as having 20 men-at-arms and 90 horsed archers at the start of the campaign. Now arguably this definition was possibly driven by how much they were paid and, as no mounted scouts are listed, I think it's reasonable to argue that some of those mounted archers were actually hobilars or scurriers - especially given some of the Umfraville family estates were up on the Scots borders.

These may well also be facing some of the lovely new Claymore Castings' Scots in due course  ;)

The buildings in the background are from the Grand Manner Dark Ages range, but are fine for rural France c. 1415.

Last of the pricklers

Well, finished off last weekend, but I only got around to taking the phots this am. Command base: