Saturday, 19 October 2013

Somerset's Contingent, 1471

The first contingent for my 1471 Lancastrians is now complete. It's taken a long time, with simultaneously painting figures for my Saga army, but I'm hopeful that things will begin to move along a bit more swiftly from now on.

The figures are from various boxes of Perry Miniatures plastic 28mm boxed sets. This particular livery banner is from Freezywater, which are available from Vexillia Miniatures these days. To be honest, I find the paper that Freezywater flags are printed on could be much better quality, which is why I produce and print a lot of my flags myself. Once you start to put folds in their flags, the ink tends to crack and makes the flag look shabby. The banner above was painted to cover up the imperfections!

The contingent is made up of 4 bands, each of 3 figures. As they are Retinue men, there are 3 archers on each of the two archer bands. In 'A Coat of Steel', Retinue are differentiated from Shire Levies, by the number of figures to a band. I'm also trying to make sure that Retinue men are wearing some kind of livery, be it a jacket, hat or nice fluffy feathers!

I re-arranged the figures on this base, so that the Duke is now giving orders to his musician, while the standard bearer looks on in the background. The livery standard is taken from those contained in the Wars of the Roses bills and bows set. They are much better quality than the Freezywater ones and they are huge, which I think is a vital criteria for wargames flags.

The bases I am using for my Lancastrians are laser cut MDF board from East Riding Miniatures. They are absolute top quality, accurately cut and I would recommend them, whether you are basing individual figures or multiples. Compared to other materials I've tried, they take the basing medium I use superbly well and are thick enough to ensure that there is no warping or misshaping of any kind.

As you would expect from the Perrys, their Wars of the Roses plastics range are really top quality. The two infantry sets, bills and bows and mercenaries are completely interchangeable and give a wide range of options when putting the figures together. The mercenary set has proved particularly useful, as most of my senior commanders had been in exile on the continent prior to the war of 1471, so they certainly would have brought European soldiers with them, or, indeed, have adopted a more continental style of dress themselves.
Although they don't quite score a maximum ten; they require a bit too much green stuff around the joints for that, they are wonderfully created figures and enable the building of a great looking Wars of the Roses army relatively cheaply. If you want medieval artillery in your army, and let's face it, who doesn't, then you will have to resort to metal and the associated higher cost. That part of the project lays some way off in the distance at the moment but, based on the pictures I've seen, I can't wait to get at least one of those guns supporting my retinues.
Coming next ...