While I was searching for information about Bek's heraldry, I came across references to a sacred, corporeal cloth, which was attached to a spear and carried by the English forces which defeated the Scots and captured King David at the Battle of Neville's Cross in 1346. Although this was too late for the army I am building, a little extra reading lead to further information about this 'corporeal cloth', in particular, that it was a banner dedicated to the northern divinity, Saint Cuthbert. A Banner of Saint Cuthbert, not the one carried at Neville's Cross, was mentioned in sources dating back to the time of Edgar Aethling in 1097, so it seemed likely that such a banner would not be out of place in my English host of the late 13th century. Thus it came to be, that the holy Banner of Saint Cuthbert came to be the army standard for my Sword & Spear English host.
The banner itself was simple enough to construct using Page Plus and Gimp2 and I decided to make it into a hangar attached to a cross pole which, in turn, would be attached to a spear carried by the standard bearer.
The only other decision to make, was to whom should the honour of carrying Saint Cuthbert's Banner be given? While I was at Partizan earlier this year, I picked up a pack of figures from Curteys Miniatures, which included the figure I was going to use as the Prince Bishop, along with a standard bearer and a musician.
Battleflag, who produce wonderful transfers for all sorts of historical periods, make sets of heraldic transfers which are specifically designed for Curteys barded horses, so I decided to obtain a set and make up a standard bearer using their transfers. Of the sets available, I most liked the look of Sir Philip Darcy's heraldry, so he was duly appointed to carry the sacred banner!
The composite figure painted up very nicely, but I wasn't as impressed with the Battleflag transfers as I had been with the Roman legionary shield designs I bought from them last year. The transfers for the horse barding split when I applied them to the horse and the translucence of the transfer made it stick out like the proverbial sore thumb!
It takes a lot of work to blend the transfers in with the background colour of the miniature, as several coats of paint are required and the brush work has to be particularly carefully done. However, once the transfers have been touched up, they do look pretty good and they are certainly better than I could achieve by freehand brush work!