Sunday, January 8, 2017

'Armour' from Curt: Francis I at Pavia, 1524

I've returned to the Italian Wars with a vignette of Francis I of France overseeing the investment of Pavia, October 1524. 


Francis is seen here with his helmet under his arm, discussing the proposed dispositions of the French siege with one of his advisors, Montmorency, Marshal of France. The two men have recently arrived in front of the city and have placed a map of Pavia on a makeshift table made from a wagon wheel placed on a tree stump. A pair of Francis' hunting dogs, alaunts (a breed now sadly extinct), are at his side.  His banner-bearer stands at the rear, holding the Royal Standard. Royal attendants have brought out a stool with a refreshment of wine in pewter goblets.


Francis' figure is roughly based on a oil on wood painting from an unknown artist done within a few years of the battle. He is depicted wearing gold armour with a red surcoat emblazoned with a cross. 


I kept the red surcoat but instead painted him in his tournament armour which is detailed with representations of fleur de lis on the knees, elbows and helmet. The armour can be seen today at musée de l’Armée, Les Invalides. 


The figures of Francis and the knights are from the very talented Oliver James at Steel Fist Miniatures.  


The two alaunts were sculpted by Steve May as a small commission to Simon over at le Jay Emprins, who kindly provided me a set (Thanks Simon!).

Alaunts at the kill of a wild boar from The Grimami Breviary 1490
The tree stump, wagon wheel, stool, wine bottle and goblets I printed off my 3D printer (I LOVE that thing).


Francis' brave banner is from Pete's Flags.

As a historical proscript, the French siege of Pavia went on too long and a Imperialist relief force was dispatched to attempt to lift the siege. In a bold night attack, the Spanish Imperial army smashed Francis' forces on 24th February 1525. As the ultimate disgrace, Francis himself was  captured and sent to Spain as a prisoner. 

Thanks for visiting the gallery everyone! Please take time to cast your votes for your favourites.



42 comments:

  1. Lovely work, Curt! I am green with envy of your craftsmanship!
    (I'm also red with embarrassment at missing another deadline, and purple with rage at my own incompetence).

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    1. Thanks Ev, I hope you can make the next one.

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  2. Excellent entry Curt! Really need to learn the style that you use, its very nice fo a lot of these historical figures.

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    1. Thank you Byron, delighted you like it.

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  3. A one of a kind display piece. Thanks for sharing the historical research and details of how you acquired all the figures and components. Stunning modelling and painting as always!

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    1. Cheers Jonathan, very kind of you.

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  4. Fantastic crisp and clean work Curt, bonus points for "casting" some of it yourself too ;)

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    1. Very kind, Jamie. Yes, the printer is a godsend for these types of things.

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  5. Great composition and painting, bravo!

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    1. Cheers Iannick - it's all about the dogs. :)

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  6. I like the fact you include the dogs. maybe a dog bonus round is yet to come in challenges yet to be . Or maybe I can offer a side challenge next year to get a dog in each of the bonus rounds. That sound like fun to you?

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    1. Oh, I love dogs and try to include them when I can. I think a Dog Side Challenge would be brilliant!

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  7. That's a lovely looking vignette Curt! You always manage to tell a story with how you compose your scenes. Here one can almost smell the wood smoke drifting across from the nearby camp, hear the dogs of the hunters foraging in the woods around Pavia and see the colourfully dressed... err... courtesans vying for the attention of bored soldiers.

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    1. Haha! I think your imagination is better than mine, Nick. ;) I'm delighted you like it.

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  8. That is a very very impressive little diorama. Love the details, the dogs, flowers, wine... never mind the detail on the figures. Very well done!

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    1. Thank you for your comment, James, I'm very happy you like the vignette - it was great fun to work on.

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  9. Absolutely stunning command stand Curt. Love the dogs! When do we get to see this bad boy on table?

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    1. Thanks very much Peter. I hope we can run him out soon - perhaps when Byron comes out for a visit?

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  10. Very nice indeed Curt. I'd love to get tips from you regarding how you photograph your miniatures, as you really bring out the colour (exposure, lens setting, light etc.).

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    1. Well, I'm embarrassed to say that I just use my iPhone with a black velvet background (it has a nice sheen but also swallows up light). Cloudy days are best but I also shoot at night with adjustable 'warmth' LEDs. I take a TON of shots to have a good selection to work from (40 images is not uncommon)I do my cropping, light adjustment and colour correction using my Mac's 'Photo' software. For the final image I never go above 800 pixels across as my painting doesn't warrant any better. :)

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  11. Grat command unit indeed, the composition, basing and paintjob are all top notch as usual.

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  12. Fantastic! You're really nailing this era in all its splendour.

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    1. Cheers Phil. I think my enthusiasm for the period helps the work along. It's nice to have a new romance for the brushes. :)

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  13. Excellent painting AND in addition really enjoyed the detail of the overall post with the painting picture and armour picture. Think the Ashmoleum Museum Oxford online site sell the booklet with the Pavia Battle painting and it is great to see that in full colour.

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    1. Thanks very much Jez.. Yes! I think you're right on the painting. I'd love to see it in the flesh, so to speak, as the online colour images look fantastic, which means the original can only be better.

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  14. Great entry Curt! You're definitely making good use of that 3D printer. Seems like an excellent tool for scenic additions like that

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    1. Thanks Samuli, yes, it's a very handy (if temperamental) addition to the hobby toolkit.

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  15. An absolutely phenomenal entry, Curt! Really fantastic! I love everything about it, the dogs, the pewter goblets, the map, Francis, the historical research. All wonderful! Well done indeed!

    And as for a Dogs Side Challenge for next year, please count me in!

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    1. Thanks very much Sidney. It was one of those times where you look at a set of raw figures and the story just unfolds in your mind's eye. Then it's just a matter of stitching it all together the best you can.

      I look forward to the future'K9 Side Challenge'

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