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"Looking for mounted Archers" Topic

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Father Grigori24 Feb 2018 4:52 a.m. PST

I'm reorganizing my 15mm Italian Wars armies, and I'm looking for good figures for French archers – the mounted lancers, not the infantry. To date I've been using some gendarme figures on unbarded horses, but they're not really satisfactory. Can anyone suggest suitable figures – with or without bow, but ideally with open face helemts and half armour. All my figures are Essex, so something that mixes well with them would be best.

Many thanks.

timurilank24 Feb 2018 5:12 a.m. PST

From your description I would have thought MER24 Late Medieval: Mounted Archer would do, but then maybe not?


IGWARG1 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian24 Feb 2018 5:29 a.m. PST

I would suggest Mer20 or 23 as so called "archers" were just more lightly armored knights as you suggested.

If you are meaning later period, than use demilancers mer110.

HANS GRUBER24 Feb 2018 6:08 a.m. PST

I use MER23 for lighter cavalry. Some figures are painted in full armor. Simple conversions are easy in 15mm to reduce the amount of armor. The simplest is paint. You can paint the feet and hand armor leather brown, and you can paint some of the inside leg and armor in a clothing color. One conversion I did on some figures simply involved white glue. After priming, I simply extended the knee armor back a little with white glue, and made the area look like the top of a boot. Optionally, you can scrape down the foot a little to make it look more boot like. On some figures I painted the breastplate to resemble quilted or padded armor.

Depending on the number of figured you need, as mentioned MER20 & 24 are also very useful. Personally, I remove the Lance's and spears and replace them with Xyston spears.

Daniel S24 Feb 2018 1:59 p.m. PST

French Ordonnance Archers wore their equipment that both on paper and in reality was quite diffrent from that of the Gendarme. This was true even after they adopted the lance as their primary weapon. Even in 1552 they only had half armour (breast & backplates, arm harness and open burgonets). It is only in the Wars of Religion that the two types merge and become very hard to distinguish from one another.

The problem wargamers face is that no one does a proper Archer figure, not only is it very hard to find the right level of armour but you also can't find a figure with the livery jacket that the French ordonnance troops wore over the armour.

Among the Essex figures the easiest choice would be the MER31 "Late Medieval Demilance", the lance is the right size and shape though the figure is too well armoured. A more ambitious choice would be the REN110 "Early Reiter with Spear" which has no pistols or holsters. Use a head from the Medieval range in a sallet and you have a decent Archer.

Other choices would be to try and convert Mer24 and Mer 27 into lancers for an early period (1494-1503 but possible to stretch to 1510) army or Mer60 for a late period army.

Father Grigori24 Feb 2018 9:12 p.m. PST

Daniel S: Exactly. And thanks for the figure suggestions. I should say I'm quite happy to think about other manufacturers' figures, I just want them to be more or less compatible with Essex.

Personal logo Dervel Supporting Member of TMP Fezian25 Feb 2018 6:36 a.m. PST

you might check out Donnington miniatures new era line?

Personal logo Swampster Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2018 11:57 a.m. PST

Donnington's shop seems to be offline at the moment. There is a mounted archer figure in jack and open helmet, bow on his back and a hand positioned to take a lance.
The coustillier figure doesn't have the wrapped bow but is other wise quite similar.

Midlander6525 Feb 2018 2:11 p.m. PST

I'm looking for some suitable figures for French Ordonnance Archers too and it isn't easy. There is a really good post on Army Royal, here link (with a contribution there from Daniel S, of this parish) and I wanted to do something similar in 15mm. I'm not a huge fan of Essex but I've not so far found many suitable figures.

If I was doing this with Essex figures, I'd use a mix of the demi-lancer MER110 and some MER81, MER11a and MER50a then get busy with the file and Miliput/Greenstuf to give some of them riding boots rather than full armour, add a few skirted coats and do some head-swaps. If you are also willing to replace/make lances then you could mix in other non-lancer figures to get some slightly lighter armoured figures too, like MER83.

Or you could wait a bit and see what Blue Moon and Khurasan release.

Father Grigori26 Feb 2018 3:59 a.m. PST

Swampster: How compatible are the Donnington figures with Essex?

Midlander65: In the absence of good figures, hat sounds like the best solution, but I'll probably pass on the Miliput – I'm not much of a modeller.

Personal logo Swampster Supporting Member of TMP26 Feb 2018 9:43 a.m. PST

"How compatible are the Donnington figures with Essex?"
Fairly similar, going by the figures I have. The Donnington somehow look smaller but the height of the figures on horses is about the same.

Having actually looked at the figures, the coustillier has a sleeved jacket and sallet. The mtd archer has a quilted jack, including the sleeves. The top of the sleeves are puffed in a later style.

Another possible is Minifigs. They do mounted archers in the Burgundian and Italian Wars ranges. They are pretty nice figures and would probably be okay with Essex though they a) are carrying bow rather than lance and b) you would probably want to swap the horses for those from another company. The Minifigs horses lack variety and while some are quite nice, others are a bit ropey including those with some of these archers.

Minifigs aren't a bad match for Essex in height, though they are slighter – this shows most with the faces but not alarmingly so.

Incidentally, there are quite a lot of nice figures in the Minifigs range which would work for the Italian Wars. The mounted have quite a good variety and some nice touches such as how they hold the lance. Shame about the lack of variety with the horses.

Supreme Littleness Designs28 Feb 2018 12:32 p.m. PST

I used this figure:


Bow on back. Open face helmet. Half armour. Seemed perfect.

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