The Waving Flag: 15 mm Medieval Russian Spear (Essex)

Wednesday 21 July 2021

15 mm Medieval Russian Spear (Essex)

Somehow I've ended up assembling a medieval Russian army for Art de la Guerre (ADLG).  I've already done a few generals, some hand-gunners and some light & heavy cavalry.  However, these were all really intended for use with my Polish & Litnuanian armies.  Now I've decided to do a full army as a spin off.

So far I've used figures from Roundway but for the spear (& archers in progress) I've switched to using mainly Essex with a few Roundway figures, where possible, for extra variety.  For those interested I've listed the figure codes below.

These are based on 40 mm square bases as this was the only way to fit all the spears in.   This makes them "true" ADLG heavy infantry units.  I suppose they could be used as double based elements for DBx games but one of the good things about ADLG is it isn't fussy about base depth.

The plain flags are those from page 177 of Ian Heath's excellent "Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 2" and suggest a Mongol influence.  I wanted something plain for the infantry leaving the more ornate flags for the cavalry and command.

I decided to stick to kite shields for the rank and file and use a variety of shield patterns.  I felt a uniform shiled pattern would be far too regimented for the period.

Information about shield patterns was hard to find and when I did they were far too ornate to paint by hand in 15 mm.  I therefore created simplified patterns that I hope will hint at the complexity of the historical patterns.

Basing scheme
I used this scheme and added some fine foam scatter for a more verdant look.

Tip for painting stripes
I found a neat trick to speed up painting alternate diagonal stripes.

Using a black undercoat, paint the shield with a thin coat of a darker shade of the colour you are going to use for the light stripe.  For example to paint light blue stripes I painted the whole shield dark blue.

You are not painting to achieve a dense colour; just a hint.  Craft paints are ideal for this as it often takes multiple thin coats to build up a deep colour so one or two thin coats will do for this technique.

I tried to use black with a dark grey highlight and the contrast was too strong and the stripes looked "too busy".  I routinely spent ages trying to get the lines to look parallel.  With this method it was much easier and quicker.

Figures used
The majority are EMED30 Russian 1300-1500: Spearmen with Kite Shield with the odd figure or two from XMED2 Generic Eastern European: Command.

I also used RKRU 4: Russian infantry with spear (Roundway) in the middle ranks.  As I didn't want the spears to protrude over the bases this was the only possible place for them.  They match well with the Essex figures and provide a third spear position as these pictures show:

List of all the project posts


Gareth Jones said...

Lovely work again Martin

Vexillia said...

Thanks. I've nearly finished the archers for this army. They should be ready at the end of next week.

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