Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The Earl of Oxford's Retinue

This may be my last post for a little while as I hope to be buying a house next week. Time will tell, these things are never set in stone!

The main reason for this post is to show off what one contingent would look like for the battle of Exeter. Each battle has three contingents or retinues. I am still deciding whether to replace Oxford's bowmen with the crossbowmen sitting on my painting table or keep his bowmen. The bowmen may form part of Jasper Tudor's mercenary retinue.

John De Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford (14443 - 1513)
John was the second son of John De Vere, the 12th Earl of Oxford, a prominent Lancastrian, who together with his eldest son Aubrey De Vere, was executed in February 1462.

John was attainted, but two years later was restored as the 13th Earl. His loyalty was suspected, and for a short time he was at the end of 1468 he was put into the Tower of London. He sided with Warwick, the Kingmaker, in the political movements of 1469 and accompanied him in exile the next year. He assisted the Lancastrian restoration of 1470 - 1471. As Constable he tried John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester who had condemned his father nine years earlier. At the Battle of Barnet Oxford was victorious in command of the Lancastrian right, but his men got out of hand and before they could be rallied Warwick was defeated. Oxford escaped to France.

In 1473 he organised a Lancastrian expedition, which, after an attempted landing in Essex, sailed west and seized St. Michael's Mount in Cornwall. It was only after a four month siege that Oxford was forced to surrender in February 1474. He was sent to Hammes near Calais, whence ten years later, in August 1484 he escaped and joined Henry Tudor in Brittany. He fought for Henry in high command at Bosworth and was rewarded by restoration to his titles, estates and hereditary office of Lord Chamberlin. At Stoke on the 16th June 1487 he led the van of the royal army.

(This information has been take from the Luminarium website without permission. Please see the link below to take you to this very informative site about the War of the Roses)

Oxford was the perennial thorn in the side of Richard III. He was perhaps a better tactician than Richard or perhaps he commanded more respect from his retainers, especially as he was of the old nobility. As at the battle of Bosworth Field for the battle of Exeter Oxford has high command of Tudor's mercenary army.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Mercenaries and Men-At-Arms

Today's post is on some work in progress. I am currently finishing off eight Partismen for Henry Tudor's force. There are plenty more to follow though.  I have twelve crossbomen sitting on the painting desk ready to be primed. More on them at a later date.

As you can see from the pictures I need to complete the painting of the miniatures and finish off their bases.

There is a little work to do on the miniatures with the arming jacks and I need to lighten the armour, which leads me neatly to the next part of my post.

Painting armour

I tend to use Wargames Foundry paint range. I bought their starter sets when they came out back in the early 2000's. I must say i am still using some of those original paints. That's either due to a lack of painting or quality paints. Probably a little of both. I must say that I never got with the metallic colours in their paint range other than the bronze colours. For the metalwork on these models I have used Games Workshops paints, in particular Runefang Steel, Leadbelcher and Nuln Oil (ink/wash).

After I have removed any mould lines or flash I base the model with a sand mix. This is made from two varieties; children's play sand and GW sand mix. I combined the two to get the right mix for what I was after. This is applied to the base before the undercoating. I use Army Painter Grey Primer as it gives the best undercoat for the miniature. I used to use white or black but it made the model either too light or too dark.

The grey is perfect to my mind for creating the subdued colours which are generally associated with the medieval era. Not everyone was walking round in the latest Lincoln Green! I appreciate as well it is a matter of taste. I really like the work of Captain Blood. The quality of his painting and the colour range he uses are fantastic but I prefer something a bit more moody.

Once the model has been undercoated I then paint on the leadbelcher colour. Once this has dried I apply the Nuln Oil wash and finally pick out the detail with the Runefang Steel and it's as simple as that. Occasionally if I have the time I will add thin layers of brown to the bottom of the armour to create dirt, not rust - these soldiers had servants to clean their armour at regular intervals. Once the metal has been completed I pick out the rest of the miniature using the colour range I have given myself.

The base is then painted, for this I use GW Karak Stone with a wash over the top of Agrax Earthshade. I then highlight using Foundry Linen (lightest of the three) before adding the static grass. Once this has dried I add the Silfour grass tufts and flowers/weeds.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Scurrours and Mounted Men-At-Arms

Hi Folks,

I have updated the blog again today with a few pictures of the cavalry I have painted so far. Originally I intended to put on a display game of the Battle of Bosworth Field. I painted up some mounted Men-At-Arms in the treacherous livery of Sir William Stanley.  I have a mind to repaint the lances in a more subdued colour or back to the original wooden colour, which may suit my painting style.

These horses were painted using only acrylics. Although I am pleased with them, I have subsequently using enamel and oil paint to base coat and wash the horses. I will explain how I did this in another post.

Below are the more recent cavalry I have painted. The scurrours wear the livery of Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham. I have not yet finished the bases. I need to add some Silfour clumps of static grass and some flowers/weeds to finish them off.

The last picture is of the combined horse. I wanted to get a feel for the size of the overall base width and depth and to give me a gee up, no pun intended to get more painting completed.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham

Well I had a good day today at my local war games club. I have managed to take a few photos with which to populate my blog. The pictures have been noticeable by their absence recently. However, up first is Henry Stafford, the Duke of Buckingham. I have included a couple of his entourage including his standard. The Duke himself and the Man-At-Arms are Wargames Foundry models with the other two being from the current Perry Miniatures range.

The standard is from Freezywater and the decal on the longbowman is from Citadelsix. Both the standard and the decal have been overpainted.

Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham (1454 - 1483) was the son of Humphrey Stafford, killed at the first battle of St. Albans in 1455. Buckingham in right of his mother, was the son of Edmund, 5th Earl of Stafford and of Anne, daughter of Thomas, Duke of Gloucester, youngest son of Edward III. Henry's mother was Margaret Beaufort, daughter of Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset, grandson of John of Guant. Thus he came from both sides of the Blood Royal, and this coupled with the vastness of his inheritance, made the young duke's future important to Edward IV.

He was recognised as Duke in 1465, and the next year was married to Catherine Woodville, the queen's sister. On reaching manhood he was made a knight of the Garter in 1474, and in 1478 was high steward at the trial of George, Duke of Clarence. After Edward's death Buckingham was the one of the first persons worked upon by Richard, Duke of Gloucester. It was through his help that Richard obtained possession of the young king (Edward V) and he was at once rewarded with the offices of Justicar and Chamberlin of the North and South Wales, and Constable of all the royal castles in the principality of the Welsh Marches.

At Richard's coronation he served as Chamberlin, and immediately afterwards was made Constable of England and confirmed in his powers in Wales. Richard might have well believed that the duke's support was secured. But early in August Buckingham withdrew from court to Brecon. He may have thought the he deserved even greater reward, or possibly had dreams of establishing his own claims to the crown. At all events, at Brecon he fell somewhat easily under the influence of his prisoner, John Morton, who induced him to give his support to his cousin, Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond. A widespread plot was soon formed, but Richard had early warning and on the 15th October issued a proclamation against Buckingham. Buckingham, as arranged was prepared to enter England with a large force of Welshmen. His advance was stopped by an extraordinary flood on the Severn, his army melted away without striking a blow, and himself took refuge with a follower, Ralph Bannister at Lacon Hall near Wem. Bannister betrayed him for a large reward and on the 1st November Buckingham was brought to trial at Salisbury. Richard refused to see him and after a summary trial had him executed the next day, even though it was a Sunday.

(This information is taken from the Luminarium Website. You can find the link below.)

Sunday, 10 August 2014

The Battle of Exeter 1483 Part II

As I mentioned in my previous post I have decided to build armies for the fictional 'Battle of Exeter'. I have discussed some terrain ideas with a fellow gamer and the battle will either take place outside the city walls or close by to the important city of Exeter.

In 1483 Richard, Duke of Gloucester, Protector of the realm and regent to the child, King Edward V took the throne for himself. His nephews would eventually be murdered in the Tower of London and Richard III, the last Plantagenet king of England would die on the battlefield at Bosworth.

However, the years preceding his eventual demise are very interesting. In the same year that he was made King of England, his staunchest ally would throw in his lot with Henry Tudor and raise the south of England in open rebellion. Henry Stafford, the Duke of Buckingham also had a right to succession through Edward III youngest son, Thomas of Woodstock.

Buckingham’s rebellion simmered through the summer months, plotting and scheming took place, but it wasn’t until October of 1483 that the rebellion was revealed to Richard III. The forces began to gather, with those loyal to the King meeting in Lincoln and Leicester before marching south to confront the rebels at Exeter. Meanwhile Henry Tudor was planning to sail from Brittany with 5000 mercenaries. It was important that the rebellion be crushed. As it happened the rebellion was over before it began, with Richard’s loyal followers suppressing the rebels from Kent across to Devon. Henry Tudor who had sailed to Plymouth at the beginning of November sailed back to France with his mercenaries and the Duke of Buckingham was executed for treason. But what if events had been different?

What if Buckingham had gathered enough support to meet the king in open battle? What if Henry Tudor had landed in Plymouth and had been able to march the aid of his new ally? Could have they deposed Richard III in battle? Or, would Richard have proved victorious and killed off the Lancastrian/Tudor line for good?

The battle of Exeter 10th November 1483 gives us as war gamers the opportunity to play out a ‘what if scenario’, using 28mm Perry Miniatures. The battle would bring together 3 intriguing characters of the latter period of the War of the Roses. The battle itself would involve many of the Dukes, earls, lords and knights who would fight the real battle of Bosworth in 1485.

It gives us the opportunity to create a fictional game outside the medieval market town Exeter. The board dimensions for such a game would be 12’ x 6’ or 10’x 6’, with over 600 miniatures on the board. 

The likely rules of choice for this game will be The Perfect Captain's 'A Coat of Steel'

This is a big game for a big event.

The orbats for the battle are as follows;

The Royalist Host of Richard III

Army General: Richard Plantagenet, King Richard III

King Richard III
12 x Mounted Knights of the Body

Sir William Catesby of Ashby St. Legers
12 x Scurrours

Battle Commander: Duke of Norfolk

John Howard, Duke of Norfolk & Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey
16 x Dismounted Men-At-Arms
16 x Retinue Longbowmen

Sir Francis Lovell of Minster Lovell, Viscount Lovell
16 x Dismounted Men-At-Arms
16 x Retinue Longbowmen

Sir Walter Devereaux of Weobley, 7th Baron Ferrers
8 x Dismounted Men-At-Arms
8 x Levy Billmen
16 x Retinue Longbowmen

Battle Commander: Earl of Lincoln

Sir John De La Pole of Wingfield, Earl of Lincoln
16 x Dismounted Men-At-Arms
16 x Retinue Longbowmen

Sir Robert Brackenbury of Denton
16 x Dismounted Men-At-Arms
16 x Retinue Longbowmen

Sir John De La Zouch of Ashby-la-Zouch, Lord Zouch
16 x Dismounted Men-At-Arms
16 x Retinue Longbowmen

Battle Commander: Earl of Kent

Sir George Grey, Earl of Kent
16 x Dismounted Men-At-Arms
16 x Retinue Longbowmen

Sir John Scrope of Bolton, 5th Lord Scrope of Bolton
8 x Dismounted Men-At-Arms
8 x Levy Billmen
16 x Retinue Longbowmen

Sir Richard Ratcliffe of Wymersley
8 x Dismounted Men-At-Arms
8 x Levy Billmen
16 x Retinue Longbowmen

The Duke of Buckingham's Host

Army General: Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham

Battle Commander: Marquis of Dorset

Sir Thomas Grey, 1st Marquis of Dorset
16 x Dismounted Men-At-Arms
16 x Retinue Longbowmen

Sir Richard Beauchamp, Lord St. Amand
16 x Dismounted Men-At-Arms
16 x Retinue Longbowmen

Sir John Fogge
16 x Levy Billmen
12 x Levy Longbowmen

Battle Commander: Duke of Buckingham

Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham
16 x Dismounted Men-At-Arms
16 x Retinue Longbowmen

Sir John Cheyne of Falstone Cheyne
16 x Dismounted Men-At-Arms
16 x Retinue Longbowmen

Sir Thomas St. Leger
16 x Dismounted Men-At-Arms
16 x Retinue Longbowmen

Battle Commander: Sir Richard Woodville

Sir Richard Woodville, Earl Rivers
16 x Dismounted Men-At-Arms
16 x Retinue Longbowmen

Sir Edward Courtenay of Boconnoc
8 x Dismounted Men-At-Arms
8 x Levy Billmen
16 x Retinue Longbowmen

Sir Richard Guildford of Haldon
4  x Dismounted Men-At-Arms
12 x Levy Billmen
16 x Retinue Longbowmen

The Host of the Earl of Richmond

Army General: Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond


Sir John De Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford
8 x Dismounted Men-At-Arms
8 x Breton Partisanmen
12 x Crossbowmen

Sir Edward Poynings of Southwark
32 x French Pikemen
8 x French Hand Gunners

Sir Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke
8 x Dismounted Men-At-Arms
8 x French Partisman
16 x Retinue Longbowmen

Cavalry Wing

Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond
6 Mounted Men-At-Arms

Sir John Savage of Clifton
6 Scurrours

In addition to this there will be several pieces of artillery, although as yet I haven't decided on how many. It is almost certain that the royal host may have more than the rebels.

That's all for now, other than I am working on the bulk of my metal Men-At-Arms. Some of the character models will be painted up as the contingent/battle commanders for this battle. As I mentioned in my last post, I have a club meet this coming Saturday and I plan to take some photos of the current work I have been doing.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Horse Painting Part II

It's been a little while since I last posted something on this blog, however I have not been idle. Between the melee of real life I have managed to paint up six scurrours in the livery of the Duke of Buckingham. I don't have any pictures at the moment but I will try to take some later in the month at my local club meet.

The horses were base coated with Humbrol enamels. I left the models to dry for a couple of days so as the enamel paint could harden properly before applying the oil paint. This was wiped off leaving the oil paint in the recesses of the miniature. I put these aside for a another couple of days so as the oil paint would harden before finishing off the models with Foundry acrylics. I was really pleased with the look of the horses. So far only these six are fully completed but I have base coated about twenty to thirty more. The riders did not take long and I was happy with the decals I applied to the livery coats.

I have also completed six archers in the same livery. I am currently finishing off eight Breton/French Partisanmen mercenaries and another eight billmen in the livery of Richard III. I have also built thirty crossbowmen with another ten to go. All of these will be painted in French/Breton liveries.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Horse Painting

I recently spent some time reading over my copy of Kevin Dallimore's Wargames Foundry painting book. In particular I re-read the section on painting horses. I have about 160 cavalry to paint for my War of the Roses collection!

I have spent some time preparing the horses ready for their 'oil' coat. For the darker horses I'll be using a black oil paint mixed with a little whit spirit. For the lighter colour horses I'll be using a burnt umber. This is my first foray into using oils on horses. I am keen to see what I can achieve.

I will post a couple of pictures as they progress!

Monday, 21 April 2014

The Battle of Exeter 1483

For some time I have been reading the book Buckingham's Rebellion. The rebellion took place in 1483 not long after Richard had ascended the throne. Henry Stafford the Duke of Buckingham through in his lot with Henry Tudor. The rebellion did not last long, for although it had political clout, especially in the south of the country it did not have the military backing it needed in order to force Richard into open battle.

With this in mind I have thought about 'what if it did have the military support?' To this end I am re-focussing my direction for my late period War of the Roses on this fictitious battle which took place outside the walls of Exeter on the 9th November 1483.

I will update soon with the orders of battle for the three factions with a timeline of the events leading up to the battle.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Plastic Men-At-Arms on the Horizon

I saw this picture over on the TMP website. I am glad Perry Miniatures are progressing with this kit. Even though I have plenty of billmen and bowmen, I do still need some more Men At Arms. I do find them the easiest and quickest to paint!

It's going to be a little while before these miniatures are released, which is just as well, the lead/plastic pile is diminishing at an incredibly slow rate at the moment.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Beaufort's Waterloo

A couple of weeks ago I ran another game of A Coat of Steel at my local wargames club (The Jersey Privateers). Fortunately I was able to run the game with the same players as the battle of Sodbury Marsh. In the interim time between meetings I re-read the rules too to identify where mistakes had been made. The game ran smoothly, much better than the previous game. All in all it was an extremely bloody affair.

I pitched the game in the earlier years of the conflict, the year was a 1459 and Richard, Duke of York was facing off against the 3rd Duke of Somerset. Both armies were high in morale, perhaps too high for the battle. This is an area that I am looking at more carefully. Units with high courage will last along time, and this makes for a bloody affair when engaged in close combat.

The Lancastrians pretty much ran across to meet the Yorkist line. They dispensed with bow fire completely. I did think that they were going to have to return fire on one occasion, but they passed the necessary check.

Meanwhile the Yorkists poured bow and cannon fire on them. This was made ineffectual due to the prevailing winds. Perhaps God favoured the rash! The melee that ensued was a complete bloodbath, with Richard taking a wound and the Yorkist main ward losing their prop. However the Duke of Somerset met his demise in the latter stages of the battle. Despite this the Lancastrians held their nerve and kept on fighting to the bitter end.

It was an enjoyable afternoon with plenty of positive feedback, which I am really pleased about. I look forward to the next game. In fact one of the more seasoned gamers brought up his collection of DBA based War of the Roses miniatures for me to take a look at. He went away with the base sizes I use so hopefully in the not to distant future some larger games may be played.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Battle of Sodbury Marsh

Yesterday afternoon I had the pleasure of entertaining a few friends with a 15mm War of the Roses battle. It was a fictional encounter between Edward the IV and the old Earl of Oxford. The rules of choice were A Coat of Steel by the Perfect Captain. I hadn't used the rules for quite some time, however once play was underway the mechanics came back to me. Only one of the players had used the rules before but they all got with the rules pretty well.

I took a few photos with my ipad and I am reasonably pleased with the results. I haven't written up a detailed account of the battle as I am pushed for time. What I can say is the Lancastrians gave them a good shock initially, but after some time the more heavily armoured Royal army began to tell.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

A New Year Beckons

Happy New Year to you all! I have been busy over the holiday painting some more of my 15mm collection for an upcoming game on the 11th  January. I will endeavour to take photos and give an after action report. Maybe that should be my new year resolution!