Sunday, 23 July 2017

Bohemians, Hungarians and Poles

I have been steadily replacing the pictures which were stored on Photobucket. I thought I ought to add a few new things.

Some time a year or so ago, I thought I would add a few things to my 13th century Hungarians so that I could use them as 15th century Hungarians.

The knights were obviously ought of date, so I painted some new ones. I needed some Serbians, so that was new lead. 
In fact, by the time I was finished, there was nothing from the 13th century army which was going to be used.

This post covers the infantry I used.

The best description of the 15th century Hungarian infantry is from Matthias Corvinus. Matt Haywood's useful site on Eastern European armies of this period has the information so I won't repeat it.

This sounds to me very like the Bohemians portrayed in action against Maximilian just after the end of Corvinus's reign. This has been debated on the DBMM and DBM yahoo groups in some depth so I won't go into the pros and cons.

Bohemians found their way into a number of armies after the end of the main Hussite Wars. There were various opportunities for these experienced soldiers in Germany, Hungary, Poland and with the Teutonic Knights as well as in their native land which was wrangled over by the neighbouring states and local rulers.

Even though I think these men probably fought in a similar fashion for these various employers, the DBMM lists portray them in different ways. 

The Hungarian lists separates out the various parts described by Corvinus. The 'shield bearers' are spear elements. For these, I used Vexillia's own Polish pavise bearers. There are only two poses but it is enough IMHO. They are very easy to paint, with quite a lot of armour. 
The pavises are from Minifigs. Not only do you get quite a lot for your money but they have no stand to get in the way. The shield designs are a mix of Bohemian and Hungarian origin, including some from Maximilian's victory parade. Some have St George, St Michael or David fighting Goliath, though on the battlefield the designs are very hard to see.

Various pictures of Maximilian's battle at Schoenberg 
exist ncluding this: 

As well as the various engravings of Schoenberg (aka Wenzenbach or the Bohmenschlacht), Maximilian's tomb has an interesting representation. Maximilian and his men are shown in fashionable armour of some timeafter the battle but the Bohemian opponents are wearing more typical armour of the 1480s. The scene is dramatised but gives some idea of the variety of arms being used.
See here for another couple of portrayals of the battle as well as a discussion of the Hussite soldier (in German).

In the sidebar is a link to Uwe Tresp's work on the Bohemian soldier which covers their tactics, weaponry etc. through the 15th century.

The 'MM list also has some Blade elements. I'm currently using some of the Polish figures from QR miniatures which are part of their 13 years war range. The figures are pretty good though rather chunky compared to the Vexillia figures. Some of the other figures have what looks like a goedendag but I suspect it is an ahlspiess as shown on Maximilian's tomb. The QR figures may get replaced - I have a variety of Minifigs figures which match the size of the Vexillia figures better, and despite being old they have some character.

 The Polish, Hussite and German lists all have double based BwX with Bw behind. They appeared in the German and Hussite lists for the first time with the current edition and it caused a problem - they had inferior bow as a rear rank which isn't according to the rules. As it isn't clear what would happen in various circumstances, the tournament organisers have generally decided that they will cost and act as BwX/BwO.
For those unfamiliar with DBx terminology, BwX usually represents a thin crust of shield bearers with some kind of melee weapon protecting larger numbers of shooters.

As I had already painted the late 15th style pavises for the Hungarians, I decided to go with more straightforward heraldry for these. I could have made some sabot bases to turn the spear into the front rank of the BwX but decided to go the whole hog.

The shield devices are city militia devices according to the very nice sheets of Polish and Teutonic heraldry like here.
They have been made for the Tannenerg/Grunwald period whereas these figures are mid to late 15th century. Some are for towns which rebelled against the Teutonic Knights, allying themselves with the Polish king. In contrast to the rather busy designs on the later pavises, I used red and white designs almost exclusively.

The painting of the Battle of Orsha shows Poles using a pavise and shooter combination in 1514. There are some debatable points about the accuracy of the painting but it is good to look at anyway.

 I know comparison photos are often useful.
These are handgunners - from the left:
QR - QR, Mirliton - Donnington NE, Donnington NE - Mirliton.

The final Mirliton figure is noticeably smaller than the other figures which it came with. I think it was made for the Condotta range which has slightly smaller figures than the Swiss-Burgundian range.
 Crossbow men -
from the left:
Vexillia-Mirliton, QR - QR


Unlucky General said...

Lovely work. I always admire your research and your results.

Prufrock said...

Very impressive, as always.

Swampster said...

Thanks both.