The Waving Flag: 15 mm Wars of the Roses Archer Command

Wednesday 20 January 2021

15 mm Wars of the Roses Archer Command

This is the first part of my mini-rebasing project.  In addition to rebasing I have repainted the faces and most of the legs and shoes as they were damaged during removal from the original bases.  Wherever possible I kept as much of the original paintwork as I could; it's over twenty years old after all.

In addition I stripped and repainted the two figures third and fourth from the left as I wanted to switch their livery colours.  I also added new livery flags and in doing so I replaced the standard bearers with new Feudal Castings figures from my lead pile.

The group contains figures from Gladiator, Essex, Peter Pig & Feudal Castings and they seem to mix well.

I've got a lot of retinue archers (four to a base, regular troops) and even more levy archers (three to a base, irregular troops).  This scheme is pure DBMM but I think it helps differentiate the two types on the table.  The back rank in the group are the levy command:

Peter Pig
There are only three in the twenty one shown above.   They were kindly donated by Patrick (I'm afraid I don't have his surname).  I had asked around for project leftovers.  I wanted to see for myself how they matched my existing figures. As noted above they fit well.

However, I must say that of all the figures the Peter Pig figures were the least enjoyable to paint.  They are generally excellent sculpts but contain so much, possibly too much, detail that I felt I was working against the casting.

Sadly, the figures just don't suit my current painting style.  I think they require more of a "block painting and wash" approach.   Even so the block painting stage will be fiddly.  I'll have to improve as I have lots in the lead pile albeit for other periods.

Next Steps
I have two or three useable figures left over and these will be repainted before I do anything else. 

Then I am going to convert some of of my (three to a base) levy archers to regular (four to a base) archers so more re-basing and touching up old paintwork.

When done I should have three, easily distinguishable, types of late medieval archers: retinue (superior/elite), regular (ordinary), and levy (irregular).

Having laser printed lots of livery flags at my local copy shop (now sadly closed) I kept running into a couple of persistent problems:

  •  Firstly, the designs were cracking when the flag was draped round the flag staff; this despite ensuring the paper was damp and soft.
  • Secondly, when I tried to paint the edges it looked rubbish if I got any paint on the face of the flag. Solid paint and laser print just aren't the same even if the colour is a decent match.

Luckily, I have now sorted both of these problems.

To prevent cracking simply varnish the flag before cutting it from the sheet.  The varnish I used is Windsor & Newton Galleria Matt Varnish.

It is superb at matting the paper flags and it protects the layer of laser toner so that, if handled carefully, the toner won't crack.  I hasten to add it's rubbish for varnishing figures so I'm glad I've found a use for my bottle.

As for edging the flags the solution is simple: dry-brush the edges with the closest colour you can manage.  The trick is to do this before gluing the flag and to only dry-brush from the inside toward the outside face of the flag.  This is quick and controllable allowing you to build up the colour gradually and to keep the brush away from the outside face.  Plus if you do get paint on the outside face it's not really noticeable as it's so faint.

Project Posts

  1. 07 Jan 2021 - Rebasing Thoughts
  2. 21 Jan 2021 - 15 mm Wars of the Roses Archer Command
  3. 21 Feb 2021 - Mission Creep
  4. 08 Mar 2021 - Rebasing 1 of 4 (Essex)
  5. 17 Mar 2021 - Rebasing 2 of 4 (Feudal Castings)
  6. 21 Mar 2021 - Rebasing 3 of 4 (Donnington "New Era")
  7. 24 Mar 2021 - Rebasing 4 of 4 (Feudal Castings)
  8. 28 Mar 2021 - Side by side comparisons

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