zondag 20 december 2015

Calling in artillery!

Another piece of the load of lead I got at Crisis 2015, not mentioning the mountain of plastics.

Two pieces of metal Perry's artillery with crew; one for the Swiss and the other for the Burgundians.
Nothing fancy has been done to them apart from two headswaps for the Swiss.
The Burgundians got one headswap and a palissade that hopefully looked like a piece of the Grunhag at Morat. ( Lifted the idea from Mick_in_Switzerland on the Lead Adventure forum ;p )

vrijdag 11 december 2015

Burgundian Pikemen

Taking a small break from the Swiss resulted in this unit. A lightly armoured group of pikemen led by an important knight, perhaps a Household one (going by the looks of his splendid outfit and helmet).

All of them are plastic Perry Mercenaries with bits from the WoTR and MaA boxes.
The standard bearer, without a standard, is an ordinary plastic pikeman with strategic cuts to both wrists to get the current flag-waving pose.

You might have noticed that I took a note or two from that excellent blog "Je lay emprins", go check it out if you haven't already.

One final note; it took me a while before I realised that my ancestors lived in the Burgundian Low Countries; Duchy of Brabant to be exact. And I still do today, what made me kind of sad that I don't know more of my country's past. But then again, these are not the things they focus on at all here in the history classes in school.

zondag 6 december 2015

Swiss vignettes

Two vignettes I made this last month after doing my shopping at Crisis 2015.

One's a standard bearer, supported by two arquebusiers. He carries the flag of the Swiss confederacy and awaits the company of two others; one who will carry the flag of Solothurn and the other the flag of the Herrschaft Rotberg. These are already painted but are left off the vignette until I'll have the flags in question.
The figures are all plastic Perry's with the flag being from Brody's Banners which I got from that lovely couple of Redoubt Enterprises at Crisis.

The second vignette was, although simple, a lot of fun to make. A Swiss champion hacking a bloody path through the Burgundian opposition. He himself is a plastic Perry Foot Knight while his victims are from the metal WoTR casualties, with extra tidbits added.

I tried to give the falling victim a spinning movement like you sometimes see in the movies. The arrow which he was cast with was of course cut away.

 The Man-At-Arms was given a scabbard, sword and buckles, although it didn't do him any good against a Swiss broadsword. The other got a leftover plastic arquebus from the Mercenaries set and the last one an emptied out plastic Burgundian helmet.

maandag 12 oktober 2015

Road trip to Azincourt & Crécy-en-Ponthieu part 2

A continuation from part 1

A half hour drive down further south from Azincourt and we arrived at Crécy-en-Ponthieu.

There is a tower from which you can overlook the battlefield and I believe it stands on the spot where there used to be the windmill from where Richard III coördinated the battle. Atop was also handy plaque with the English deployments and the French advance.

I kind of crapped this up when taking two seperate photos
There seems to have been another informative panel next to the tower, however this was destroyed. There was a simple monument, a stone mosaic portraying the English and French coats-of-arms, of which its spotlight was sadly broken and the tower itself too looked like it had seen its best time already.

"To John of Luxemburg, king of Bohemia,
and his valiant comrades-in-arms who died
for France at Crécy on August 26, 1346"

In the centre of town, apart from a monument commemorating  the blind king John of Bohemia, there is not much to remeind anybody of the battle. The town as well its small museum looked dilapidated, even the office of tourism seemed shy to mention the battle of Crécy. Which is somewhat understandable however it's just bad business. There could be much money to be had if they would let go the foolishness and capitalize on their defeat. I had the same feeling in Azincourt, there could be just so much more. Both towns could make their entire living on those two battlefields if they just wanted to capitalize on it...

Now the museum itself, if it warrants to be called a museum, was somewhat hidden away in a small street near the main road of town. Located in what must have been once a little school, the museum consists of three chambers. What? I hear you ask. Yes, three classrooms is all you get. However the entry price was only 2€ so that evened things out.

The first room was dedicated to the battle of Crécy, with the obligatory maquette, battlefield finds and replica's. If there's one thing they need bad, it's a decent Perry's diorama of the battle :D

The second room Held for some part other local finds not connected to the battle itself and gifts from a medieval reenactement group.

It also had this, and it sort of made up
for the crappiness of my Crécy experience

The third room contained a lot of stuff from World War II, mostly things that probably belonged to the locals or maybe smalltime collectors. If I understood correctly there would have been a V1 launch facility nearby.

And since I was there I also went by the nearby town of Domvast because of this article.

It was also posted on the TMP messageboards.

Source: Medievalists.net
I have no pictures of the proposed battlefield because I fudged up again like I did at Azincourt a few hours earlier. Drivind down the Rue du Mont de Foret I was looking at the right side instead of the left side... I should have taken the D12 route into Domvast, to really get a good look at it however that road was closed for reparations and I ended up driving aimlessly around only to admit defeat in my search. Well, at least its a good excuse for a second visit at another time.

From there we drove onwards to the seaside, halting for a while on a small beach town called Stella-Plage, before going to Montreuil. As you can see in the next photos is a fortified city from a much later age than  Crécy or Azincourt. By the location of the sun you can also see that we were just too late to enter the citadel which housed a museum of the local history. For the interested, the citadel was built in 1567 on the place of an older 13th century castle, its ramparts were built in 1670.

A last note for the interested is that the city of Montreuil has a pub, "Le Douglass", on its main square. But instead of getting any Irish; English; Scottish; or even Welsh drinks, you could only get imported Belgian beers and a few local ones. Weirdest 'pub' I've been too so far. Nice people though.

zondag 11 oktober 2015

Road trip to Azincourt & Crécy-en-Ponthieu part 1

This saturday me and the misses went on a trip for the 600th anniversary of the battle of Agincourt. I know I'm early but who cares right? A three hour drive later we found ourselves in a little known place called Azincourt. Where we were greeted on the outskirts of the village by a rather wooden Henry the Vth.
Reminded me of the Mr Bean movie for some reason.
The Medieval Historical Centre is the only lively place in town apart from a restaurant a bit further. A funny detail of the converted farm-turned-museum was the entrance, as you can see in the next photo. Also many of the doors were similarly decorated.

Inside the museum you have a fair collection and informative panels about the Hundred Year War and the battle itself and three interactive films as well.

The first one was a room with two mannequins dressed as Henry V and Charles VI respectively. Each spoke and gave their reasons for the conflict however it was difficult for me to understand. The voices were in whispered French with a louder English speech over it and the narrator blabbing in between made it nigh incomprehensible. (although I'm not a native English or French speaker)

The second film was about the battle itself in a birds eye view and was much more intelligable.

The third piece was just nonsencical and gave no historical purpose. It was a shallow self-glorificating film that seemed to say that without the battle there was no English pride; and that Shakespeare, Olivier and Branagh would never had a career without it. I'm overembellishing a bit, but the film did just the same.

There was a piece of the museum were you could feel the weight and force required of pulling a longbow; and the weight of knightly arms. It allowed you to feel the weight of chainmail and of leather armour; and you could look through different types of helmets so you could see what the French knights probably saw... Absolutely nothing ;-p
English longbowman
mounted French man-at-arms
Man-at-arms on foot
No French allowed or Duke Jean of Bourbon?

French looking cutlery
Height might have contributed to the French defeat
No museum is complete without the obligatory Osprey art
And wouldn't you know, I already saw the Perry's diorama of Agincourt first and whatever they might say it's not located in England, but right here :p

The French cavalry charge on the English left flank
'Well have we done, thrice valiant countrymen:
But all's not done; yet keep the French the field.'
A view of the French left getting ready to mudwrestle
The misses cursing herself when seeing the odds turning against the French
Further there was a small room with some archeological finds in the area such a spur from the battle itself among other things, also was there the small collection on display of a private collector. All in all it is a nice small museum, kid friendly and informative for even the laymaniest of the laymen. Although I don't understand why they don't sell any books (french or English) about the battle or the war in the gift shop.

The trip continued around the battlefield which is still the same after all these years; grass and farmland.
The castle of Azincourt no longer exists, it was torn down in the 1500s and its site is now occupied by a large farm.
Beyond Maisoncelles on the crossroads to Blangny and Tramecourt you can find a small monument commemorating the battlefield. with two informative plaques. Although the metal one looks incorrect.

Rear view of the English first position

The road from Blangny to Tramecourt. The English
moved from left towards the forested area on the distant right
The English advance rightwards. Azincourt forest on the right.
Turning left at Tramecourt you come upon Rue Henry V, which passes right next to the battlefield on the right of the next picture. Stupid me thought it was on the left side so I have no photo of the site of combat itself. The photo above of the English advance I mistakenly took as the site in question. Ah well...
Rue Henry V
Near Tramecourt is also a monument commemorating the fallen French soldiers. The plaque itself was covered with plastic and seemed brand new. Probably it is to be revealed on the anniversary day itself. I didn't want to look like a jerk so no photo of the plaque with the platic torn off.

And here's a funny road sign we passed in the village of Azincourt, which I didn't want to leave out.

Continued in part 2 - Crécy.