Monday, 16 June 2014

Cardinal Schiner

Cardinal Schiner, more than any other individual, brought about the Battle of Marignano in 1515. He incited the Swiss, who were on the brink of deserting the Duke of Milan, to attack a French army almost twice their number. After rousing them to action with a haranguing speech outside the Cathedral, he rode along side the Swiss to field of battle and, in company with a cross bearing monk, encouraged them in their attack.

So, when I posted my Swiss OOB here yesterday, it didn't come as much of a surprise when Oli posted his comment about fielding a suitable 'Schiner' figure. I was, when he posted, unaware of the Perry Miniatures mounted Cardinal figure. If I had known I might not have already taken the hint and started to covert an existing figure in my lead pile. Here is a painted version of the figure I started with:

He is a Landsknecht command figure by Wargames Foundry. I already have a few of these and need no more. Having looked at a Cardinal's costume on google, I knew this guy would do.

The first thing I did was to take off his head - Schiner had a very short beard (better painted than sculpted) and that hat would never do. Then I clipped off every piece of redundant clothing with some small, and vary sharp, wire snips; then I trimmed him down further with various modelling knives; then I filed everything down with needle files.

I think the trick when doing this kind of conversion is to 'round off' every sharp edge to where, where it will matter, the 'human' begins - it helps a great deal when adding stuff on top if there are no sharp edges to pare down to.The only thing I didn't completely remove were his sleeves. I needed to keep a remnant of these to poke out from Schiner's habit.

After filing, I glued a new head on him and him to his horse. This figure is a one off, and there were no casting issues, so I could sculpt him to his horse. I could use the horse as a 'hard handle' during sculpting. His head is from one of the new W. Foundry renaissance arquebusier sculpts (...less said...).

The rest as you can see, was a doddle. Milliput clothing is fairly easily applied with a sharp blade and various pin shaped implements. A filed down shield for a hat brim (Perry Islamic Crusades range shield) saved a lot of faffing around. It has a Milliput top and 'tassles'.

The habit with shoulder cowl was common dress for 16th Century Cardinals, as was the wide brimmed hat with thick cords and 'pom-poms'. Flowing robes are much easier to do than tight, or stylish, clothing. There was no equipment or weapons to do. I'm not very good at this kind of thing, but even I can manage a simple figure conversion like this.

The hat cord is a piece of simply wound brass wire from a tag on a posh (over priced) candle holder: Waste not, want not. Note the nose extension. Schiner had a nose you could ski jump off!

And here he is, giving his blessing, with his cross bearing buddy. The latter is from the Wargames Foundry Conquistador range (I think). When painted in red, I think this figure will do very nicely. As soon as he's done I'll post a picture.

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