Thursday, 11 April 2019

King Richard III Army at Bosworth Field - Part 1

My Take On King Richard III's Army - Part 1

Following on from my previous post about what Richard III would have looked like when commanding his army at Bosworth Field here is my take on him and parts of his army.

This project came about because Kevin Baker wanted a practice game using his Henry Tudor army and since he is based at The Cowards Wargames Club in Hoveton we arranged for him to come and visit me at Essex Warriors on the 2nd June. I foolishly agreed that I would deploy King Richard the Third's army against him and I then realised that I can throw together the army but it would be a bit of a Heinz 57 army so I decided that it would be a good excuse to use some of the spare metal in Project Lead Mountain to fill in the gaps in my collection. I have had to order more metal to make up some of the missing elements which I will be blogging about in the next instalment for this army.

I purchased lots of this metal many years ago and it is a mixture of Gladiator Games, Minifigs, Essex, Lancashire Games and probably a few other makes too.

Her is my Richard III element, I have done him mounted as well as on foot. I removed the cast on metal flags and staffs and replaced them with plain metal spears where possible so some of the figures are modified. As usual the based are MDF with magnetic sheeting underneath, coated with Vallejo Earth Brown Paste, edged in Raw Umber paint. Finished off with gravel, static grass and flower tufts from Micks Bits. The flags were found via Pinterest and printed off at home. Because Richard has Scoliosis his armour was hand made in England by the finest armourers available. The Shakespearean lie about him being a hunchbacked cripple can safely be ignored as he was a skilled rider and swordsman and his armour designed to hide any deformity that people might notice.


Argh - when you complete something to be told that the flag is wrong. The yellow flag was from the previous Yorkist monarch Edward IV. Richard used The Royal Banner of England in addition to his own Royal Standard. So out with the scalpel, off with the yellow flag and on with the replacement flag.

As the legitimate and legally crowned king Richard raised a Royal Bodyguard of mounted knights. He ordered 150 suits of Italian made armour for them. He didn't order Italian armour for their horses so I did a mix and match order from Essex Miniatures which I collected at Salute last weekend. I settled on MER49 Gendarmes riders on MER12 English style armoured horses. The MER49 come in a mixture of poses some with lances and others with maces but I wanted them to look like an elite body of troops so elected to use the same casting pose and put them on identical horses. I painted them to match Richards equipment so it was clear that they were a specially selected body of troops.

They can of course dismount as elite fully armoured infantry so I used Essex Miniatures MER36 Dismounted knights. Again they came in a mixture of poses using swords or maces so I selected all the figures with swords.

Richards army was divided into three Battles, commanded by Richard, Norfolk and Northumberland.

John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk was closely aligned to Richard and died during the battle. Since I am modelling the army for Bosworth Field I needed the main commanders elements too. So here is Norfolk's elements, mounted and on foot of course.

Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland was considered as not entirely reliable and when ordered to intervene in the battle failed to move prompting Richards final fatal charge to try and kill the traitor Henry Tudor and win the battle.

Because I didnt have any Northern Border Staves Irr LH O in my collection I had considered ordering some more cavalry figures but then found four elements of Irr Cv O with shields and spears which I decided I would rebase as the six missing Light Horse elements so that was a quick fix. They are all Essex Miniature castings of some sort or other.

I was short of some English mounted Men-At-Arms for this army so I also painted up six Lancashire Games Code M27 Knights to fill in this small gap. English retinue knights were considered poor troops when mounted but this is because they preferred to dismount and fight on foot where they had a well deserved reputation as excellent heavily armoured Swordsmen Men-At-Arms 

Final part of this blog is some older knight elements I painted up many years ago as Retinue Troops for Richard when he was Duke of Gloucester. They are Museum Miniatures MD24 Men At Arms [SHK] Lance. 


  1. You have been busy!

    Here's my post on the Tudor commanders at Bosworth.

    Just for balance you understand.

    1. Happy to balance Henry Tudors head on a pike for you!

  2. It's all excellent will make rebels look a bit scruffy. Playing DBM again tonight but not with my army.

  3. Kevin, looking forward to our game on 2nd June.

  4. That's some good looking knights you have there. Good luck with your game.