Sunday 28 July 2013

Norman Train (strelets)

Nope, not the "choo choo" Train but the bagage one.
I´ve not put together or painted the wagons...I prefer to build my own and anyway, the 4 wheeled "Ladder" wagon in the set apparently didn´t really come into existance until the early 15th century so it wouldn´t fit into a norman set anyway. (Source - The Art, Science, and Technology of Medieval Travel by David H.Kennett 2008)
The 2 mules are also not to be seen, they´ve wandered off due to the Psaltery musik.
All the bods from the set having a rest. What could be better, a nice rest whilst having a Story with Musical accompliment.
The bod stting on the box. It Looks like he´s playing a Psaltery,  that or it´s an Abacus.
The wagon Drivers. What the bod on the lfet has got in his left Hand I don´t really know but it could be some type  of lute
The female characters
 The crazy old sheep hurder, Spike of Milligan  and "no further sir!" the norman Train guard.

The dray horses. This pair are very nice sculpts...probably among the best nags produced by Strelets.The question is, would htey have used such horses to pull wagons?
The origin of the Shire Horse dates back to a cold blooded heavy horse first mentioned in around 1066 probably brought into England after the Norman Conquest. From this developed the "English Great Horse" of the Middle Ages often spoken of by Medieval writers.
These are not for the lowly task of pulling wagons, this was only really started in the 16th century.
 They were more likely to have been used as war horses  and not drays.

Thursday 25 July 2013

Shaab with crusader crew (Strelets)

As part of thier arms range, Strelets have brought out two sets of catapults, an ancient Roman one and a medieval one.
A couple of noticable things.
1. On the box art it indicated that there are 11 Crew and one device, but the set Comes with 12 bods (ok,I suppose the two ammo carriers could be counted as one Piece) and there are in  two devices, the Shaab and a ballista. The ballista is shown on the back of the box, but not alluded to elswhere, even on the Strelets Webpage. (at time of writing)
2. What is a Shaab? The device is without a doubt a Petraria Arcatinus , a combination of an Onager and a bow. All attempts to create a working Versions with wooden throwing arms have so far failed so the device with wooden throwing arms is, as far as anyone knows, unrealistic. more Crewman is always welcome and the extra device certainly is!!

The "shaab" 14 Glueable Hard plastic parts, the kit fits together easily and takes paint well. I removed and replaced the hook at the back of the "spoon" and added a couple of bits like wheel rims, and some metal straps. The ropes are also extras.
I made the small mistake of adding the ropes at the bottom of the arm. This would only be added if the bow wasn´t being used as the power supply, and is obviously only intended for the Ancient roman catapult.

The 12 bods. Nice selection of poses, very little flash.
With this lot I´ve gone for a "uniformed" look, which I´ll slowly extend to the rest of the siege and artillery Crews.
"You can´t have scruffy unorganised sieges and the introduction of a colour scheme is one step on the way to avoiding that". (King John at the siege of Rochester)
Ammo for the "Shaab" The arms on the stretcher were a bit too short and had to be replaced. Also, a favourite mistake with two bods carrying anything as a pair....they are out of step!!!!!! This probably is the reason for the slightly offcentre pose taken by the bod at the back. A Stone is provided with the set but it´s way to small for the "shaab" as is the one being carried by the bod on the left, but he will find employment on another device so no waste there.
Commander and "gunner". The commander could, with head swop (or as he is) be used as a commander of archers and the "gunner" could have his hammer replaced with an axe.
"Shaab" crewmen pulling ropes or using Levers on the winding gear. The bod on the far left is interesting..the greedy bod has two helmets! He´s wearing a pot helmet and has a classic norman helmet hanging from his belt. The two hauling on ropes could be added to a ships Crew or have pikes added. Mr Two Helmets would make a good Standard bearer.

Crew in "attendance"

The "extra" device...the ballista.

20 hard plastic parts and a bit fiddly to construct, one or two of the parts don´t fit exactly,  Tension ropes for the throwing arms for example. The locating Pins don´t fit in the holes provided so I removed them. Still, it builds into a nice Little device.
The rope, wheel rims  and Trigger I added.
The ballista Crew. The one winding up the device would fit if his base is removed. The one with the flaming torch is, I suppose lighting fire arrows but..................... 
..............he could be following  his hobby as an arsonist . Remove the brand and replace with a sword he´d make a great command figure.
All in all an excellent addition to the medieval 1/72nd ranges. The devices are nice solid objects and the crew has a wide range of possible other roles as they are and they have a lot of scope for conversions. IMHO, a great little set and hopefully Strelets will add even more to the range.

Monday 22 July 2013

More Welsh Archers and some "Wee Folk"

I did say I was leaving the bannockburn Project alone for a while but ......:-D
I couldn´t resist making up another  stand of Welsh Archers....

Sets used;
Ancient Germans ("Wee folk")
Army of Henry V
Army of Joan d'Arc
Medieval Levy (1)
Conversions. The bod on the far left had his "eastern" looking bow replaced, the two in the middle head swops and the one on far right was the top half from a mounted archer and the bottom half from the  arquebusier, both  from the Joan dÀrc set.
The whole of the english far.

Just so everyone´s clear on this..I know the "wee folk" were dressed and equipped like the rest of the army but  the Ancient german set has  got some dynamic running poses and with 3 stands of 15 bods each stand they should "dissapear" amongst the rest.
lots of Head, Shield and weapon swops all round

Not really my period of history but this looks (like the previous film) brilliant!

Friday 19 July 2013

Ancient roman wagon MkII

The last one was more of a taxi, this one is more a Family  wagon, a one door hatch back, 2HP.
The most complicated part was the Suspension. Even though The straps are black, they aren´t meant to made of iron but black leather.
All the Little rings were handmade using the "chainmail " method and all the "ironwork" is made from thin card.

Getting the cabin to sit evenly on the Suspension straps was nearly impossible but a solution was found....simply cut a sheet of plastic to size, insert between the straps and the undercarriage and the cabin could be glued on using quite a bit of force without tearing the straps off or breaking the holding Posts.

The "Sports" and the "Family" Versions next to each other.
Finally, it´s the Weekend, the order has been completed on time  and the carriage builders from the woodworkers firm Plancus et Filius can go home.

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Ancient Roman Wagon

An Ancient Roman travelling wagon. It´s Roman (latin) Name ?. Odemars (constructed and painted HERE ) calls thier four wheeled wagon kit a carpentum but mostly,  a vehicle refered to as a carpentum are two wheeled affairs.
Whatever they were called, the one from odemars is a bit fancy looking for my liking so I´ve built myself a test Piece. The next one (when I get around to it ) will have suspension straps added to the cabin, a bit more decoration, curtains etc.

As usual and because I like the idea of having bods travelling /interacting with thier  vehicles and if they are added inside, then I want to be able to see them,  I´ve left the Roof detachable.
Re-creating the front axle was a bit fiddly. The metal rings I made following a technique used to make the rings for chainmail. Simply wrap wire aound a pole, then cut along one side of the coil..Hey presto!, lots of little circles.
This (below) is the sort of wagon that turns up when you search for Roman Carpentum. Two wheeled.

Sunday 14 July 2013

Medieval army on Parade

Two years ago on the 14th of July I posted my medieval collection  as part of BIG ARMY DAY held at the Gloranthan Blog. Since then (this lot) the collection has grown slightly.
So, in celebration of  Bastille day I´m having a Parade :-D

Not all my medieval bods,  The El Cid Spanish/ Moors,  the Scottish/English Bannockburn armies are either not based or finished yet, a lot of other Odds n´sods haven´t been based and the civilians weren´t added to the "Parade" pics due to lack of space.
I also didn´t include  the Dioramas,  tents, houses,  Castles etc.
How many are there? I´ve no idea having never counted them :-D

Getting Close ups of the collected forces with the camera I own proved near impossible (and even now some of the pics aren´t that brilliant)  so I took pics of "themed" Batches and added the civilians as well.

Field Artillery / Siege Park
Hussites / Revolting Peasants / Guildsmen

The "Brotherhood"
Baggage Train

Blue Group (Loosely based on  a 100yrw French army)
Red Group (Also loosely based on an English 100yrw army)



If anyone is into having a Big army day next year then add your "Yay" to the comments and next year I´ll give you a reminder about it next year at the end of June.