Friday, 28 August 2015

Maximilian on the Road

A couple of years ago, I decided to branch out a little from the two areas which this blog has covered so far.

Decades back, I had some Italian Wars figures and I decided I'd have a go at the period again. I wanted to include landsknechte, but they had to be suitable for the end period of DBMM i.e. 1515. I looked at various options and the most sensible would have been to go for something from around 1500, before all the slashing took hold. I wasn't even sure if this style of clothing would be within the period.

I looked around at the sources and kept bumping into three particular period pieces made for the Emperor Maximilian. These were the paintings showing the 'Triumphzug'* (a triumphal procession), the 'Weisskunig' and 'Theuerdank'. All three were from the end of his reign with the majority of the illustrations completed by 1515. While some of the pictures are fanciful, landsknechte were shown in the slashed tunics pretty much as worn by the figures from Old Glory 15s. Some of the armoured figures have helmets which are probably a bit late but I liked them enough to include them. The trousers in the prints tend to be more fashionably ragged than the OG figures but at least the figures aren't in the much later pluderhosen.

 The figures duly sat in the lead mountain for a while but I decided to paint them to use at this year's Burton DBMM doubles competition. I'll try to take some shots of those in the next day or so.

When I used the army, I had some generic late medieval looking cars for the baggage but I didn't think they suited the army. What they needed was some of the baggage shown in the Triumphzug. When I decided to take the army to Britcon, I used the time I would normally need for last minute painting to have a go at some conversions.

 The first two wagons are more or less straight out of the bag Magister Militum examples. The only change is that I have moved the axles - medieval and early renaissance wagons seemed to put the rear axle nearer the back than seen on later types, even though much of the rest of the construction is the same.

The horses are from Irregular miniatures. I was going to use some Magister Militum figures on foot to lead the horses but the pictures show the drivers almost always riding. I cast around in the lead mountain and found some Welsh mounted longbowmen in a suitable pose. They were given a variety of greenstuff hats, puffed sleeves and capes plus a wire whip.

I thought some street furniture would look nice and used some items from this print of Nuremburg. The cross has the 'arma Christi' -  the spear and sponge from the crucifixion. It is made from strips of wood - a first attempt in plastic strip looked like it would snap as soon as was inconvenient. The stone shrine is made of greenstuff and square section polystyrene.

The last wagon uses some spare wheels which I think may be Magister Militum left over from my Flemish wagon laager.  It carries the barrel of a siege gun. The original painting shows another cart with what looks like the carriage, wheels etc. The barrel is made from greenstuff though I'd have done better to start with a plastic or wooden centre. The ropes are made from twisted wire.

So many renaissance pictures show a rather gruesome side of life that I thought I'd have a go at portraying. Breaking on the wheel was used as a punishment for various things; the offenders being tied to a wheel while they had their limbs
smashed with an iron bar then being hoisted up as a warning to others, dying a lingering death if they had not been able to bribe the torturer first for a quick end.

The wheel is a Langley offering, the victim and ravens are greenstuff. I couldn't make my mind up what to do about the wire for the flying bird - it stands out less against a wargames table. I should probably have attached the wire to the wheel instead.

Several  scenes of the Weisskunig show execution scenes. I already had a spare swordsman so I thought I'd have a go at making the victim using a wire armature. He came out a bit chubby but I was fairly pleased overall. The header picture shows the end result.

There was one thing on the Triumphzug that I really wanted to do and knew that I couldn't have got right so I needed to buy the basic figure for a conversion. One of the last scenes shows camp followers and one of them is leading a pack goat which seems to be carrying pots and pans.
I haven't yet seen anyone with one of these in their baggage so I thought it was a must. I had to wait until Britcon to get one from Donnington. He came with a goat herd who became the figure next to the goat on the painting. He has been converted to have a bit more of a stoop as well as gaining a large pack. There is some kind of creature on the pack - I'm still not sure if it is a cat, a dog or even a fox as different versions show it slightly differently. Mine does have the animal but it is so small that you wouldn't really know.

Also on the base is a pack donkey. This is an Essex mule but his pack has been made larger to fit the look of the painting. I've also extended the ears though the attempts to make the mane look like a donkey's didn't work.

I had a couple of spare pack horses and these were given the pay chests. They should be mules going by the painting but I decided to keep them as horses. The horses are by Donnington with the chests coming from one of the Donnington wagon packs and the blankets made from greenstuff. Their driver is also from Donnington with a suitable hat added.

The last couple of items are Baueda tents.
The first is painted as shown for Maximilian's meeting with Henry VIII in 1513 as in the Royal Collection.

Incidentally, according to Stow, Maximilian's tabard in the above link is black for the mourning of the Empress. Maximilian, writing in 1512, asks his daughter to ensure that mourning is worn by his family and various officials in the Netherlands. He does not seem to have cared greatly for Bianca but at least gave the appearance of mourning.

The second has the arms of Austria and Styria as shown in  Maximilian's Book of Armaments.

*The link to the Triumphzug shows the version in Spain. The German version can be found here but a search for Maximilian or similar needs to be entered. The sketches used for making the print blocks can also be seen here, with some features which didn't make it to the final version.

1 comment:

Stuart said...

Excellent work, really commited to detail which shows a love for the period and the paintings. If you haven't already, pick up a copy of Maximilian and the age of Durer, a real find with lots of the works you mention.