Friday 19 August 2016

Norman Army Camp - Strelets

Another themed set from Strelets along the lines of the Medieval britain set

27 bods (some as Groups of two´s or three´s ) 28 if the Babe in arms is included. 7 mounted bods (one, with the woman slung across the saddle,  is a double pose) two fighting/hunting Dogs and a wild boar.

One small annoying thing, the Nags. They are the same poses as in (off the top of my head) the Norman Knights, Military Order Sergeants and the Norman Cavalry on the March sets. Annoying because the Norman Cavalry on the March set is included in the box, and 3 of the mounted bods in the Norman camp set  are more suited to a Walking or stationary Nag.
Theorectically, you could pinch one Walking nag from the Norman Cavalry on the March set  but then they would all end up with Nags on the gallop, so hardly giving the semblence of being "on the march".
Fortunately  I´ve got a Tonnage of spare nags, so I can choose some more suitable poses, not so fortunate if you haven´t.  

Apart from the nag Problem, it´s a great set. Very little flash and as far as I can find out, historically accurate, they´ve even got some of the bods with the classic norman soldiers haircut.
I´d have liked to see more female poses but 4  (even if one seems to be being mistreated) is a decent number compared with other sets.
The Party revellers

Bringing home the Bacon Doe
As with a lot of pairs carrying something over thier shoulders..they are out of step which, if you´ve ever tried difficult to do for any length of time.
Exactly what the cook is doing with the big fish I can´t tell but...........
...maybe he´s handing it over..which explains the soldiers pose.

The bod on the far right is playing  a fiddle or lira/Vielle, or more likely a Rebec
The face. It reminds me of a 1960´s -70´s british actor..I think he played a Police inspector or detective in a series but who was it??
The mounted poses
As mentioned, I´ve swopped the nags for others, in this case from other Strelets sets, Italeri and HäT

Side saddle in a different style

The Hunting bird? It, like the rest of the Menagerie in the set, is big. Exactly what it is, no idea. After looking through any available data like the de arte venandi cum avibus or the  Boke of Seynt Albans , (the latter , which was  Published much later than the norman period, it does have a section on Hawking.) I found nothing approaching the size of the bird on his arm,  so I went for a Basic "Looks hawkish enough for me" paintjob.

Wild boar and hunters
I removed the chunk of  pike from the boars left flank, it just didn´t look right somehow.
At PSR they mention the almost vertical angle of the crossbow but with a bit of hot water Treatment and twisting, it aligns to a slightly more realistic angle.

Wild? Seeing as it´s being chased I assume it´s not just wild but  totally furious!!!

Why has he got an empty scabbard and sword belt hung around his neck? I remember reading somewher that the Franks considered the sword belt with it´s buckles and scabbard as a symbol of potency and to loose it was a profound disgrace,  so maybe the hanging it around his neck is something along those lines (?)
Anyway, the rope noose Needs twisting to get it at the right angle but it fits tightly so painting the prisoners face after Fitting is a good idea..I didn´t and had to re-touch the paintjob.

The females.

The one in the middle is playing a harp

How to paint up the Dogs? Digging about and reading loads of (often contradicted) articles on what the Norman war Dogs looked like, I ended up more confused than I started.  I found  a wide range of breed names like the  Alaunt de Boucherie (Butchers Alaunt),  Molossus, Agassian, Mastin, Alano, and Lebrel.
There were a couple which had nice colour schemes like the Dogue de Bordeaux or the English Mastiff  but the  earliest record for the Dogue de Bordeaux Comes from the 14th Cent and the English Mastiff is more than likely a decendant from the Alaunt line.
Most likely is the  Alaunt de Boucherie. Seeing as it´s an extinct breed and the coat colour is disputed, one of the Alaunt types, the Alaunt Gentil, is generally White but Looks like a´s  got a  dolichocephalic skull (narrow at base, long in length) as opposed to the Mastiff look which is brachycephalic (wide in base, but short in length), I went for the representation on the box art.
Dolichocephalic? Brachycephalic? I only found These words, along with mesaticephalic (it means moderate headed btw) when looking up the various dog breeds. The things you learn from painting up Little lumps of plastic !

I removed the straps from the Dogs, they didn´t really line up anyway,  and replaced them with (even if slightly out of scale) jewellry chains.

The Dogs, even for fighting Dogs, are BIG! Too big really but apart from  a couple of Fighting Dogs from various Valdemar sets or the Revell Conquistadors,  there aren´t many others..and they vary in size too much.
Pity really,  as a lot of armies, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and conquistadores   (to Name  a few) have used fighting Dogs in their ranks. If I were Strelets (or any other manufacturer) I would make a set of fighting Dogs, Mastifs, Wolfhounds etc.
Imagine, how would a large pack of Fighting Dogs look like in a wargame ? How would they be used?

Tuesday 16 August 2016

Fratres militiæ Christi Livoniae

A small Batch of Fratres militiæ Christi Livoniae (Livonian Brothers of the Sword) to add to the Teutonic 1329 dio. . They haven´t had the Emblems added on the nags caparisons as Dirk will add them later like he´s done with his Livonians HERE.

They fit into the dio as they  were incorporated into the Teutonic order in 1237 and became known as the Livonian Order.They continued to act as an independant  branch of the Teutonic Order, headed by their own Master (himself de jure subject to the Teutonic Order's Grand Master).

The First lead pile is nearly completed*.
All the mounted Kniggit** and thier aides.
Total; 24 nags, two of which are riderless, and 7 bods on foot.(Number 8  snook off and hid )
Apologies for the camera seems to have developed some sort of "blur" effect (?)

*   What´s left? 4 Oxen, a bod and his mule collecting Wood and a few more seated kniggits ** and There´s two more  mounted kniggits in resin to be painted.

Friday 12 August 2016

Another batch of Teutonics

Not the last of the bods, but nearly the last of the mounted kiggithood and nearing the end of the first lead pile..
I particually like the middle "reaching under his reins for his sword"  pose

Sunday 7 August 2016

Medieval Guards on Duty

4 sets of Valdemar-Miniatures: VA127 "Medieval guards on duty" for the 1329 dio. 
The should be 24 but one (the one on the far right on the pic below ) lost his Hand during Drilling and it pinged off into the never never land

The 6 bod poses thake make up each set

There´s not a lot of scope for alterations apart from adding different weapons. The bod on the left I twisted his arm so the spear is Held upright rather than over his shoulder.

Thursday 4 August 2016

Airfix StuH 42

As part of the Airfix 2016 Stug III/75mm Assault Gun Group Build I wanted to do two StuG´s, one a Fantasy based one, the other an OOB but as I started I decided on making  a Sturmhaubitze 42 (StuH 42)
The Fantasy based one is now on the "to do" list.

The 10.5cm Howitzer Comes from 30 plus yr old and now damaged  Hasegawa kit as do the track Frames and  the commanders Cupola.
Stowage rails on the back are scratch built, the stowage from various old and damaged kits, the ammo box is from a 1/32 kit.
Commander from ...unknown kit.
Towing rope from twisted wire, the starter handle bent paperclip wire.
Antenna made with  old brush bristles.

Track sag created by Putting the tracks on then using a pin, press the track down (to create the sag) and mark the spot with the tip of the pin. Drill Little holes (I used a hot pin with a cork handle which meant removing the track) insert a length of wire  and Bingo. Any adjustments (less or more sag) can be made by bending the wire with some thin nosed pliers.
Bit out of my comfort Zone and I´m not 100% satisfied with the end result..the cammo doesn´t look as I imagined, it looked better without. Building it was fun though and I got more out of it than the intended OOB.