Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Crossbowmen comparison

Here are some painted 15mm crossbowmen.

The stand on the left is Black Hat and Touller, the next stand is Essex and the stand on the right is Mirliton.

This is a close up of the Black Hat and Touller figures. They mix well, including the crossbows which are different styles in the other makes. The outer two are Black Hat, the centre two are Touller

One of the distinctive features of Italian warfare was the wide use of pavesarii, shield bearers protecting the crossbowmen behind.

These are Mirliton figures. The Mirliton figures with pavise, CO11, are the same as the 'Assorted infantrymen' CO10. I decided to replace these with the ones attacking with lanze longhe - CO12.

The pavises were marked in the colours of their state. http://www.heraldica.org/topics/national/tuscany.htm has some information from Villani. Much of the information is in Italian - unfortunately for me only some of Villani is easily available in an English translation.

Before the Battle of Campaldino, the shortsighted Bishop of Arezzo is said to have asked "Whose walls are those?" receiving the reply that they were the enemies' shields. Dino Compagni's account is here

If you can get access to a copy of Sercambi's illustrations they are chock full of examples of painted pavises. They are from the later 14th century but are still useful. My local university library has a copy.

Incidentally, David Nicolle says that the Genoese at Crecy had spear carrying pavisarii with them and that it was their pavises which were left with the wagons. His essay is here
I haven't read much about Crecy, so I don't know how secure this idea is.


Rune said...

Love the parvises. Have you copied Sercambi's illustrations? If so the it's interesting to see that the Italians are more uniform in their parvise design compared with the more individualistic design from Bohemia.

Also I've looked at your first post comparing crossbowmen and I just can't see what makes Legio Heroica unsuitable?

Swampster said...

The Legio Heroica helmets are pretty conical with a nasal, which pretty much faded out of use by the time I'm looking at. Some out of the way places like Scandinavia :) might have used them for longer but even there I think the kettle hat became pretty much universal for infantry.
LH do some crossbowmen for the 13th century too which I may well get even though I already have masses of crossbowmen.

The Sercambi illustrations do show lots of identical (or nearly identical) pavises together, bearing the arms of the city. The Compagni quote also suggests they are all painted the same.

I have some photos I took of some Sercambi illustrations. They aren't very high quality and I'm wary of copyright so I won't post them but I can send them to you if you like.

Rune said...

Yes things did indeed move more slowly up north. It took the Renaissance a couple of centuries to reach Scandinavia. If you have to look for noseguards, Sweden is the place. They were always a bit backwards with the latest fashions...
OK, the last part was a bit of Danish chauvinism for our old arch-enemy ;)

I would be interested in pictures of illustrations of parvises. I have considered painting a Bolognese army. They were in the Ghibelline camp IIRC.

I have also seen pictures of the Sienna army and they had similarly a uniform painted parvises.
It does seem that the Italians took more pride in their city at that time than the rest of Europe

Mail me at pollekanon@yahoo.dk

Swampster said...

Mail sent!