Sunday 4 February 2018

Medieval Gunpowder Castle Artillery

Bit of a mixed titel but seeing as one of the guns seem to be fixed as if mounted permanently on a wall,  it sort of fits all the possible uses the set could be used for, both in defence or seige of a Castle or also, in the case of the handgonners, field warfare.
Made by Ultima Ratio, this is a very nice set. 4 sprues each with 6 bods, a pavise and stand alone Cannon. Flash is virtually non-existant. The Bod Holding the 4 barrelled Handgonne has a bit of excess plastic between his Body and the weapon´s handle but it doesn´t affect the Overall look.
Me, I give it 10/10,  simply for the Quality of the sculpts and the subject matter.

The Pavise has the message "In Vino Veritas" (In Wine, Truth) on it and a priestly looking type praying to a wine goblet. I´ve done a bit of searching around but found no Pavise with the Slogan on it so maybe it´s an Joke on the part of the scupltor.
The gunner holds a flaming brand to ignite the gun. A slow match or a heated iron would be more accurate but the brand is ok..
The Guns.
I´ve seen examples of them in print but I can´t remember where. They look  late medieval  or Renaissance.
Anyways..only one bod per gun? Surely the one with the enormous bipod gun wouldn´t be able to aim and fire the Thing?
OOB, the bipod is flat along the gun  so  it Needs warming up in hot water and twisting into a realistic Position..hardly any work at all.
The large gun on the stand would more than likely be a fixed weapon on a Castle wall but I´ve made it into a field weapon.
Again..the gunner has a brand
Cannon Ball Masons.
One is Holding a shot measuring board. The holes are numbered from top to bottom I-IV. Why four hole sizes? Possibly the availabe guns come in 4 calibres? Why he´s Holding an axe I´ve no idea.
The bod kneeling has a lot of chipping ahead of him if he wants the shot to fit even hole number IV.


  1. Unusual and superb as always, love the measuring board!

  2. Excellent painting, I particularly like the servants on the last picture. If I may ask (knowing that you are the authority concerning medieval history), I find it a bit unexpected that you use purple on both clothes and pavises. I think that it should be a rather rare color during the middle age, only affordable for very rich people. Moreover, it is very very rare on heraldry, at least in France. On which sources did you base your painting ?

    1. thanks Phil.
      The Purple..artistic licence, particularily as a Balance with the red scroll of the pavise and it balanced well with the red/yellow of the gunner´s clothes.
      I had a similar question way back when I produced medieval washday dio
      I reckoned (as an excuse) The female wearing the lilac Dress could have inherited it as a faded item from her employer
      There are paintings showing lower class People wearing purple clothes, the Italian painting 'De Sphaera' fol.11r The Fountain of Youth, 1470
      Obviously (or is it?) artistic licence

    2. PS..Viking Cloth colours
      Maybe..if they had such a rich pallette of colours then the medievals also ?

  3. These are very nice. I have been unsure as whether this set would be any good but I think I'm sold on it seeing them here!.

  4. OOH..another contemporary painting.
    Physician lancing a plague-caused bubo. Fresco from St. Sebastian's chapel, Lanslevillard, France, 14th century.
    The guy on the far left has a lilac (the highlights)looking top on

    1. More purple!!!
      The Emperor Sigismund Arriving in Siena 1460-70
      The hunt of the unicorn tapestries. Ok,late medieval early Renaissance but purple does seem to appear in the paintings of that period more and more..and the bods are late medieval early renaisance. The One Holding the shot board has a late 14th early 15th Cent italian style kettle helmet slung on his back

    2. I correct myself. I´ve found a painting with the style of kettle helmet but earlier than I wrote..almost 100 years earlier..
      The guy centre of pic on the lfet with the reddish / orange top

    3. and another...1370-1380

  5. most original and well painted Paul

  6. Great stuff Paul. By the way its monday morning here and the figures you sent just arrived (On my day off no less !). Thanks for that ! cheers Paul

    1. Thanks Jacko.
      Blimey..they took thier time!!!! Probably made a stop off in Hawai or where ever it is the plannes take a break. Loads of house renovation work lately but I actually thought about them on saturday and was planning to send a mail this week. I´m glad they´ve got there.

  7. klasse paul
    die farben passen optimal zueinnander

  8. Hi Paul, I didn't mean to challenge you :) - you found so much information! I will have a look at all these links this evening, when I'm back from work. Thanks à lot!!!

    1. No probs Phil. Research is for me part of the fun/interest of the Hobby and a challenge to justify why or what makes me Research all the more. I did think when I painted the purple about it not being 100% right, especially for the pavise. I I´ve used light purple (Lilac) on some of the rebox bods before..the Scurrers I think.
      The one bit I didn´t find was the Name of the particular type of kettle helmet but seeing as it was used well into the Renaissance it would (and the other set released at the same time as this one is Italian soldiers and looking at thier Equipment, both sets are late 15th century.
      TBH, I was amazed as to how much purple is used in paintings in the late medieval period. Early medieval for the church and kings but nothing for even rich People but later it becomes more and more used for Musicians, courtiers and even tradesmen. I´ll have to look into when the Pigment to create the colour purple for painting became available.

    2. Another, this time with purple hose 1475-1500
      Quintus Curtius Rufus, Faits et gestes d’Alexandre

    3. and another, purple headwear. 15th Cent
      Les choix éducatifs Barthélemy L'Anglais

  9. Lovely painted figures Paul!