Wednesday 30 January 2013

Medieval Philosophers and Thinkers

A set of  "men discussing" created by Alex. Available from Fredericus-rex.
They aren´t supposed to be Philosophers or whatever, but I´ve dug about on the web and found some names,  that fit (more or less and just for a bit of fun) to the bods.

The whole gaggle of wisemen...and cleaner
John of Głogów (ca. 1445 – 1507) with a couple of his pupils (maybe Copernicus is one of them ) at the University of Krakow
On the right, William of Moerbeke  (1215–c.1286) having a heated discussion with his friend Witelo (c.1230 -1280/?) about  Platonic metaphysics.

"NO!! In the book!! Not up there!!" William of Ockham (c. 1288 – c. 1348) in a bit of a row with one of the locals

John Duns Scotus  (c. 1266 - 1308) discussing Lombard´s  sentences with the  philosopher Radulphus Brito (1270 - 1305)
As always, the faces are excellent and great fun to paint.

Friday 25 January 2013

Johann von Bolchen and Friedrich von Befort

Johann von Bolchen and Friedrich von Befort, two knights from Luxembourg who fought alongside the french at Crecy. I´ve looked and looked but cannot find any references to exactly where they came from, their part in the battle, wether they died or survived.
The flags are taken from the Krigsspiel site and the only re-checking I could find was HERE. The devices are the same on both sites so as far as these pair go....job done :-D

Friedrich von Befort.
Horse and bod from  Accurate´s  French knights set.

Johann von Bolchen.
Horse and bod from Zvezda´s French knights set

With an estimated 35 Bohemian, 35 Luxembourg, 42 french and about 140 english flags and banners to go, the project to represent every banner used at Crecy could last a while.

Tuesday 22 January 2013

The Nithing Pole

"Here I place this "Nidstang" ("curse-pole"), and turneth it against King Eirik and Queen Gunnhild - turneth I this against all the gnomes and little people of the land, that they may all be lost, not finding their homes, until they drive King Eirik and Queen Gunnhild out of the country."

This was the curse that Egil Skallagrimsson spoke against King Eirik Bloodaxe and according to the legend it worked..they, Eirik and Gunnhild,  left.

During the Viking Age to put a "nid" on someone was to put very powerful verbal curse upon them. The idea is to raise the Landvaettir and Hel(a) against the person or people who the curse is aimed at.
The power of words was not taken lightly by the wikings, so to make a curse of this kind was very serious matter. It was the ultimate insult, and used only in extremis.

A horses head was placed on a long (usually hazel) pole and then directed to those who are to be cursed. The words of the curse are written along the pole, and sometimes the horses skin was hung over the pole as well.
Why a horses head? Maybe, and this is only my thought, is that the severity of the curse called for the sacrifice of a  revered animal, horse worship was common in a wide range of ancient societys.

What do you need to make one? Some insulating foam for the rocks, a toothpick for the pole, some tissue paper soaked in woodglue for the skin and any old horses head. 
Steingrim Oddløg and his men, set up a Nidstang and direct thier curses towards thier enemy, Thorbrand Steinthor.
THIS SITE is well worth a look, a 360° view of the inside of the 19th century Serbian Royal familys church,  St. George’s Church, Oplenac, Topola in Serbia.
Click on the picture and use the mouse to turn the picture, zoom etc (similar to google street) Also, the pics along the bottom are interactive...

Friday 18 January 2013

Bodstonian "Common Folk" (1)

A small group of Bodstonian workers and common folk using some of the figures from the Outcast Figures range available from HERE
Two market traders
An overworked trader and a salty sea dog
Father and son
There´s a couple of pics of them in thier "natural" habitats HERE
And for those of you looking for a cheap, and in some cases free, place to live then look  at THIS video. A community in northern spain that re-built a "lost" medieval village.

Monday 14 January 2013

Ben Yusuf's Black Guards

Ben Yusuf' (Yusuf ibn Tashfin) full name -  Yûsuf bnu Tâšfîn Nâçereddîn bnu Tâlâkâkîn as-Sanhâjî ( يوسف بن تاشفين ناصر الدين بن تالاكاكين الصنهاجي  ) created an elite group of soldiers, the  Hasham Guard made up of  2,000 African Infantry and named The Black Guard.
Not based as they are going to be added to with bods from the the Andalusian  and  command sets.
A couple of conversions.
Simple conversion..the bod on the right gets a new arm from the Andalusian light  cavalry set.
The top half of the bod on the left comes from the  Andalusian Heavy Cavalry set anf the body of the bod on the left from the HaT gallic command set
Hello to Drache Zaku. Thanks for following :-D

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Medieval Gibbet (How to)

Bit of a long one this, and I hope it makes some sense. Words and pics are ok, but better is with moving pics, but as any films I make turn out blurred etc, I´ll stick with this method.
Things needed. Scissors, sharp modelling knife, tweezers, darning needle, a pen (the diameter of which will decide the diameter of the gibbet, the bigger the pen, the bigger the cage) some thin black card and woodglue (not in pic)
Cut lengths of card as thin and as straight as you can. Basically, it´s just a matter of laying out a set of 8 (or any even mumber) of strips, then using the darning needle, dab a blob of glue on each horizontal strip and then lay a strip horizontally across.
The space between the "bars" I judged by eye and the width of a bod´s head. If it looks like the bod could squeeze through the bars, they are too far apart.
The first two strips can cause a bit of trouble as the horizontal strips tend to move about a lot, but when the first two are added it all solidifies. Occasionally check that the contact at the joins  by gently pressing them together with the tip of the darning needle.
On each cross I´ve added a bit more woodglue. This not only strengthens the mesh but it looks a bit like a  weld and gives a rough iron work appearance.

When glueing the strips together, it´s best to do this on a shiny surface and occasionally move the mesh about to prevent it accidently sticking down. 
Roll the mesh (when it´s fully dry) around the pen. When the mesh has taken up a rolled shape, wrap it around the lid of the pen..not the body, it will have too small a diameter for later on. Cut off the sides (the horizontal strips), leaving enough to overlap and glue together. 
At one end of the cage, cut all the strips off leaving a short tab above  top horizontal bar. Use the pen to curve 4 of the strips into crescent shapes.
Here I´ve removed the cage from the pentop to make it easier to cut the strips off. It gets re-inserted as in the pic below
The bottom of the cage is a bit fiddly. Basically, cut 4 strips off one side of the cage, flush with the horizontal bar leaving the 4 other strips on the other half of the cage. Using the tweezers, bend each strip over into an "L" shape, so that the foot of the "L" fits inside the cage. With the darning needle add a blob off glue, push the foot of the "L" in and hold it in place with the tweezers until it drys.
To make the hook for the top of the cage or for the rest of the Gibbet, take a  piece of the cut off strips, fold around the darning needle, add a blob of woodglue and hold shut using the tweezers.
When dry and still holding closed with the tweezers, bend the sides out, cut to desired length and glue to the cage. This technique is also usefull for making hinges.
Add the hook, and paint black, then add an anthracit drybrush...
OOPS!!!!! I forgot something!!
There´s no bod in the cage!!!! It would normally be added before the bottom of the cage is glued shut..and end up looking like THIS, but now it´s a bit late...but!!!.............

.....waste not, want not.....I´ve cut the cage into two halves, re-made the top,  added legs and bingo! Two Braziers! :-D

Saturday 5 January 2013

Medieval Gibbet

Gibbet (Gibbeting) is a bit of a cover all word as it basically means  "a gallows-type structure from which the dead or dying bodies of executed criminals were hung on public display to deter other existing or potential criminals."
There were quite a few methods and types, ranging from just dangling the excecuted /dying person from a rope to the specially constructed cages. Sometimes they were also used to punish the victim for a small crime.
In this case,  the person would only spend a couple of days in the cage, although depending on the time of year (weather) and the health of the person, this could lead to death.

A couple of pics against another background.

The construction of the cage (thin card) wasn´t as difficult as I thought it would be. The How to is HERE .

Wednesday 2 January 2013

Medieval Woodcutter

Although, so far no snow has fallen it´s still a bit cold and the fireplaces of Styrow-on the-Foam need more winter fuel.
Thanks to a good idea from Michael on the Dalauppror Blog, changeable loads,  he can either be a woodcutter returning from his work in the woods, his cart filled with logs or part of the baggage train.

The bod is from the Valdemar Medieval army on the march set. The dog is from Revell´s WWI German infantry and the Mule from Linear-b´s Roman transport set.
The wagon is scratchbuilt,  wheels  Redbox Hussite Artillery ones, the woodwork using the panels from the Orion Hussite war wagon,.
The changeable loads. Also usefull as camp accaesories.