Tuesday, 23 February 2021


Mats Elzinga has very kindly made me up some beautiful Liégeois guild flags for my Low Countries Militia, who are clearly becoming more than a side-project. Above is the flag for the Meuniers (appropriately, the Millers) Guild- most of the minis are ex David Imrie.

Below the city flag with minis that are painted by me or Shaun McTague. Mats is going to do flags for the other guilds, too, so I will need to get a lot more minis painted! I don't mind this, though, as I have lots of spare plastic minis that suit this army rather better than they do Italian or Swiss hosts.

In other news, there's a palpable sense, here in the UK, that the tyranny of Covid is finally coming to an end. I'm busy dusting off half-finished projects from last year and planning events for Q3 that might, actually, happen! I am sifting through my lead-reserves and planning a real table-groaner.  :-)

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Low Countries pike

Last night I finished repainting these repurposed surplus Swiss pikemen who have signed up, instead, for the Liégeois militia. 

There's a cracking image of a soldier with a padded jacket with added metal arm protection (just like the Perry plastics, above) on the left in this painting of the Flemish School by Hans Memling (late c. 15th). He even has the red trousers that the militia wore.

At the moment I'm undecided as to whether I should base them, now, or paint up a bunch more to introduce more variety of poses. I might buy some Perry metals. We'll see what happens, next week!

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Busman's Holiday

Whilst building the Swiss army I have picked up a lot of figures that are really well painted but which look slightly less Swiss, to me, than most. This can be because they have padded gambesons, which one doesn't see a lot (any?) Swiss in, or have shields. The front rankers above were superbly painted by David Imrie but fall into this category. I also have quite a few other minis painted by Shaun McTague that look rather northern European.

I have decided to use a lot of these minis in a different army. They will become Low Countries city militia, from Ghent or Antwerp or wherever. Apparently these militia came to the musters dressed in distinctive colours city or guild colours, such as red and yellow, which is very convenient as I have a fair few in those colours. I can give them guild flags, the one in the image which is from the Perry box art. These will become a block of 48 in 4 ranks.

I can then use them in various armies within the Medieval Army List book that will suit- notably the Low Countries list, Burgundian and the Hapsburg Burgundian lists, so they should see some action! I have lots of similar unpainted minis, too, so other formations can follow in due course. I'd like to be able to field the armies for Guinegate 1479.

In other news I came across some rather well-written TtS! medieval scenarios on another site- well worth a look!

Sunday, 7 February 2021

Switzers XIII


I have broken the habit of a lifetime and painted a few minis from scratch. These are guide minis that will gone to Shaun McTague, in the next week or so, so that he can paint the final two contingents of Swiss pike. 

I like both sets of heraldry, although I particularly like the former with the unusual diagonal, which came out great on the right-hand figure. I'll definitely also want some Zurich arquebusiers, too as Flags of War do such a lovely standard for the Zurich skirmishers.

Also I read an interesting piece in the Swiss Osprey, which says that Bernese skirmishers carried an axe called a mordaxt, in addition to an arquebus or crossbow. I read that a mordaxt is a 2m long polearm, which seems somewhat incompatible with carrying an arquebus, but perhaps most had a missile weapons and some the polearm, to support the former? It's an interesting modelling challenge, anyhow.

I'm confidently moving towards finishing the Swiss, and have even been able to find time to start a new unit of Burgundian opponents for them, pics in a day or so.

Friday, 29 January 2021

Switzers XII

I've been busy over Christmas/January on the Swiss Project, but haven't posted any pictures. Here's an update. Above are the troops painted so far- mostly by Shaun McTague, and finished by me, but including contingents from David Imrie.

I've planned 18 contingents of 32 figures, each representing a canton or part of a cantonal contingent, plus command, heroes and lights. So far 8 are finished, 5 are mostly done, 2 are partially done and three haven't been started. I estimate I'm over 70% of the way there.

The new contingents are forming up...

...I've done roughly 2/3 in cantonal colours, and 1/3 in random colours. That's probably too high a proportion cantonal colours, but they look great, and I don't care!!

I've prepped most of the minis for the final contingents, but they aren't yet off to Shaun to paint. The group at the back are those in non-cantonal colours.

There are also four command stands, 18 heroes, 70 light infantry and 10 light cavalry to do- perhaps half of these are painted. I hope to finish painting the pike by the end of February and, I suppose, there is a month's work to do on the lights. After that there's the grouting and flocking. But it's all coming along nicely! 

I've started to think about a huge To the Strongest! game at a future show using these, the most attractive option is Morat 1476, for which I'll need perhaps 450 Burgundians. :-/

Friday, 22 January 2021

Hannibal and Chits

We've just started playing an online To the Strongest! tournament called Hannibal Ad Portas, this week I fought my first battle. That's my vast Italian Tribes army at the bottom; 16 victory medals - that's a whole lot for a 130 point army. I played fellow veteran blogger Monty from the US, who had Spanish. It wasn't a game of any great tactical subtlety; we just had at it!  I narrowly pipped him by one medal, once I eventually remembered how the rules work. Below is an in-game shot.


If you fancy joining the tournament, which is, I suspect, the only ancient big battle tournament running in the world, just now, please email me and I'll put you in touch with Antony, the organiser. Its very good natured and very international in its nature, and a really good way to learn the rules. Or you can just watch us play online, if you like.

In other news I've released some more coloured activation and stratagem chits, this time in red and dark blue. 

The new stratagem tokens are single sided (plain red or dark blue on the reverse).

You can find them, here.

Also I've received a major restock of bases. Pretty much everything that I'd run out of is now back in stock.


That's if for now- I hope to be able to show some more Swiss in a day or so, as that project grinds unremittingly towards completion. 

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Swiss progress


Over Christmas and New Year, I've been chipping away at the edges of my Swiss project. I prepped 100+ plastic and metal Swiss, and detailed the 84, above, that Shaun McTague mostly painted, the bulk of the next four contingents - Glarus, Schweiz, Schaffhausen and Basel. They will be bulked-out with un-uniformed Switzers. My plan is to get the bulk of the remaining 250-ish Swiss finished, and then base them all at more-or-less the same time.

This is my first post of '21 - let's hope we all have a happier year, with rather more wargaming than the last one! I'm very much hoping to be able to run some big games, once we are let out to play, and join in some competitions, too. In fact there's an online tournament starting on Monday- Hannibal at the Gates- mail me if you would like details.