These are some of the first miniatures I bought.
We used to play a lot of 25mm Medieval Skirmish games using a set of rules that Geoff Evans had written onto a large piece of card. The rules were very simple and we had a lot of good games. I didn’t know very much about the medieval period back then since I was still at school so I just collected medieval miniatures that I liked the look of and that fitted in with my vision of the medieval period. Perhaps not surprising that I tended to get 15th Century stuff since years later I got into Wars Of The Roses re-enactment (and still am!).
I keep these miniature in three boxes:
The Green& White.
These are mostly miniatures I bought second hand from Mike Dixon, he got some of them second hand from the bring and buy at Northern Militaire in ~1986. I have only painted the odd couple of these miniatures, the foot knights are by whoever sold them at Northern Militaire the rest are Mike’s painting. Mike had gone for a green and white livery.
The complete army is a bit of a mish mash of medieval periods for example there are 33 footknights in late 14th Century transisitonal harness with heater shields (back left) and 18 men at arms in typical late 15th Century full harness with poll-axe (back right). At the time I didnt know any better but since these got used mostly for fantasy gaming it didnt really matter anyway. (Sacrilidge I know!)
The Black & Yellow
These are the ones I collected and painted myself. I liked the idea of half-harness billmen because they classed as ‘medium armour’ in the rules we used. Also when I later got into fantasy gaming I converted some of these to spearmen. The livery colour was just made up because it was a contrasting colour and you will spot odd anomalies on the painted figures that show my ignorance of the medieval period of the time – such as archers painted with bare legs because I didnt realise hose were so tight – it didnt look like trousers so I thought the legs must be bare!
At least this lot is more contemporary, in that all of the miniatures are in mid/late 15th Century equipment.
I hate painting horse…I am also not very good at detail work, so I did my best to avoid having to paint heraldry on mounted knights. When I first collected my medievals I just stuck to light horse and I didnt get any mounted knights. Later on I started using these minatures for fantasy gaming so I bought a few knights and painted them with simple made-up heraldic designs.
The large group of mounted knights on the right are from the Northern Militaire bring + buy stall. They have suffered over the years and mostly have broken lances etc. They are also true scale 25mm as opposed to the modern 28mm. The miniatures themselves are ‘ok-ish’ but they lack the detail of modern miniatures. Also you might spot that the two at the back have a strange purple deposit on them – the subject of another post!
I currently have plans to re-paint all of these, re-base them, and re-organise them into some semblance of a 15th Century order of battle. I have a collection of unpainted billmen and archers waiting for me to get around to it…some rainy month, perhaps over the summer!
Recently photographing some of my oldest miniatures and I noticed that two of them have a strange purple growth on them!
I dont know what this is, but it feels hard and metallic/crystaline so I am guessing it is some sort of corrosion product that has grown out of the metal used to cast these miniatures. Odd that they have been in the same box (storage conditions) as a number of other miniatures of the same type and painting style etc but only these two are affected (so far.. ).
Its strange that I cant remember noticing this the last time they were out of the box a few years ago, but maybe I just didnt notice then.
Its dissapointing to see a miniature bite the dust but, as my Dad would say “They owe me nowt…” They were bought second hand at Northern Militaire in Oldham when I was about 13 years old by a freind of mine (Mike Dixon) who subsequently sold them on to me some years later. So they are ~25 years old that I know of and who knows how long the original owner/painter had them for.