Friday, 7 April 2017

Early and Later Polish - Part 1

Feudal & Medieval Polish - Part 1

After spending the last five years working through Project Lead Mountain and having mined out all of the mother lodes I was finally forced into making the decision on which new army to build from scratch. Having read the army list books far more times than I care to think about I decided to go outside my comfort zone and looked into the two Polish army lists in book 3 and 4.

They are quite large armies and have a lot of options and changes depending on the historic era chosen. The Early Polish army list has three distinct equipment eras in its 375 year span and the Later Polish army list two distinct equipment eras in its 190 year time span. This means for me to properly cover both lists I will need to effectively build five different armies with some overlap as styles change with the progress of the decades.

I have started out by purchasing lots of cheap remainders on EBay at knock down prices. Some of it bare metal and other bits just purchased for next to nothing because it was so badly painted. I then put in some orders from Minifigs, Irregular, Donningtons and QR Miniatures. I am still finalising the figure mixes and have two orders outstanding to ensure I end up with what I believe is a series of Polish armies that look fairly accurate. I have spent much more than I planned to but I am actually building five different armies in all.

Having started painting some of the first batches of figures in March I finally completed some of the figure options from both lists. I am not working on a specific part of one list and will prefer to work though bits and pieces  of the armies as takes my fancy. This way I wont get as bored like if I was painting up for example 160 identical spearmen castings!

First up are a few of the knights for use from 1200 AD onwards. The Kingdom of Poland had started to adopt the Western style of armour and fighting styles by this time. The spread of Western armour was quite slow to reach Poland and they tended to use older armour styles at first which means I can use 12th C figures alongside 13th C figures as the styles took a while to catch up at first.

Polish nobility was organised in Herbs [Clans] and the Herbs all carried the same coat of arms rather than every individual adopting unique arms. This means that there's only about 400 coats of arms by 1500 AD and lots of these are minor families of recent creations. Prior to 1200 AD there wasn't much in the way of what we would recognise as heraldry and they preferred to paint their shields a plain colour, this mostly being red of course. Another constant thing running through Polish heraldry is the use of the colour red, lots of it in fact!

The use of red makes by painting a bit easier even if it can sometimes look a bit strange facing walls of red clad knights. I have used Vallejo Carmine highlighted with Vermillion to gain a very strong looking finish.

12th C Minifigs ZC302 Knights with a modified ZC304 Knight with sword and a new kite shield added to match. 

13th C Minifigs ZC305, ZC306 and ZC307 with Polish Eagle waterslide transfer I created.

Irregular Miniatures do a nice selection of mounted figures suitable for the Polish army so I also ordered a small batch of their knights for variety. These are for the 13th Century and consist of code HR44 flanked on either side by code HR49 castings.

I still have lots more figures to paint and this is just the first instalment for this army.

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