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"Jan Žižka, Teutonic Knight and Taborite Infantryman" Topic

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©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Ninjabread18 May 2018 5:16 a.m. PST

If you're into Czech action cinema you might already know Jan Žižka as the titular hero of the upcoming Jan Žižka film from director Petr Jákl – the man famous for films such as Pterodactyl and Born Into ****. If you're not, lemme walk you through this trio of classic 1988 Citadel Miniatures.

Left to right: Taborite Infantryman, Jan Žižka and Teutonic Knight.

Who are these miniatures? Welcome to my history lesson. A wise man once said, "Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it." And I don't want you, dear reader, to be doomed to fighting in a series of 15th century Eastern European wars.

Teutonic Knight (1412)

The Teutonic Knight was, for many years, the Holy Grail for Blandford Warrior collectors. Wargames Foundry had quietly reissued the other eleven Blandford Warriors across a couple of blister packs, making Teutonic Knight the rarest. Luckily they brought him back in to production at Bring Out Your Lead 2017, so we johnny-come-latelies can be completists.

A literal white knight.

Teutonic knight attacked by Lithuanian horse-archers at the Battle of Tannenberg, 1410.

At the start of the 15th century the Teutonic Grand Order had turned its crusading ire on the Baltic peoples, and invaded Greater Poland. Against these Catholic invaders the Kingdom of Poland allied with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and crushed them at the Battle of Tannenburg in 1410. A certain man was (probably) at that battle, and (maybe) got his left eye stabbed out of his face by the knights. This man was …

Jan Žižka

The cover star of the Medieval Warlords book. The Medieval Warlord. Angus McBride paints two colour pictures of him while medieval warlord Gaiseric, with his own whole chapter, gets none! Jan Žižka is sculpted as he would have appeared in 1423, after he lost his right eye to an arrow while besieging the castle of Rábí, and holding the famous fist-shaped mace he used in battle despite being totally blind.

"No one's ever really disabled so long as he has courage." – Chip Chase

Jan Žižka enters Prague with his Orebite Warriors, 1421.

Jan Žižka was one of the greatest military leaders of all time. He was never defeated in battle. He invented the war wagon – the earliest form of tank warfare. He stood against the power of the Catholic Church and served as an inspiration for the Reformation a century later. After he died he asked to be flayed and have his skin used as a drum so he could continue to lead his followers into battle. What more can a man achieve in his life? (Fighting a Pterodactlyl?)
Dirty advertisement. Ninjabread continues below.

Who did Jan Žižka lead into battle? It was people like…

Taborite Infantryman

The Pope as the antichrist, attended by a large number of Bleeped texts. The Pope celebrating mass, served by the devil, while an entourage of demons stand around the altar. These vivid religiously-charged images were served up by the Taborites, unhappy with the corruption of the medieval Catholic church, and wanting to spread their ideas to the illiterate peasant masses. For battle they decorated their shields similarly, like this tiny peasant behind earthworks squaring up to the Catholic knight – presumably evoking a David-and-Goliath narrative with the peasant's sling and relative size of the combatants.

The shield design is based on the design of a surviving pavise at the National Museum of Prague.

Taborite war wagons await the attack of Sigismund's Hungarian horsemen, outside Kutna Hora, 1421, Eastern Bohemia.

The Taborites were named after their fortified city in Bohemia, which was in turn named after the Mount Tabor of Biblical fame. They were a radical sub-faction of the larger anti-Catholic movement, the medieval equivalent of anarcho-communists who wanted to share everything they had – to the point where they even practised free love. Jan Žižka led them into battle numerous times against the Emperor Sigismund, but eventually found their theology (and perhaps their free love) too radical, and he parted ways to found the less hardline Oberite faction.

Pictured left to right: Alan Horseman, Biscuit Dude, Taborite Infantryman, Jan Žižka, Teutonic Knight, Sir John Chandos and Bertrand du Guesclin. Not pictured: Sir-Not-Appearing-In-This-Blog.

That's seven of the twelve Blandford Warriors painted. I almost included Vlad Dracula with this lot, as he was a member of the Ordo Draconis that Emperor Sigismund founded to stamp on people like Jan Žižka. At times like this I love history; it's like the Marvel Cinematic Universe – a shared reality with potential for crossover events.

Coming soon to Ninjabread – Big Trouble in Little Tang Dynasty.

More of my miniatures at:
More of my historicals at: link

PMC317 Inactive Member18 May 2018 6:40 a.m. PST

These are beautiful.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP18 May 2018 7:17 a.m. PST

Amazing work on that shield.

athun2518 May 2018 7:35 a.m. PST

Awesome figs, and looking forward to the film. I have the three part classic from the mid-50's. Thanks for the heads up!

JimDuncanUK18 May 2018 8:35 a.m. PST

There's a great statue of him in Prague.

Big, isn't it?


Thomas Thomas18 May 2018 9:11 a.m. PST

Great stuff. Always appreciate classic Citadel. Also loved the earlier films.

Need to add these Eastern armies to A Game of Knights and Knaves only covered the "western half" of the Hundred Years War era in the last expansion.

Interesting armies and great historical period.

Thomas J. Thomas
Fame and Glory Games

Part time gamer20 May 2018 11:08 p.m. PST

The mini's looked great. But also appreciate you adding photos of the historical artwork.
The 'war wagons' really caught my attention. Impressed that 'the designer' not only thought to reinforce the sides, but also to add 'shielding', if you will, below the wagons as well. No doubt not only hinged to the lower sides, but built to be pulled up and secured when in transit.

I have always found Wars of Religion both a (very sad) comedy and offensive. The comedy in that both sides, regardless of who they should be, all had the same 'battle cry'.
"We've got God on OUR side"

Could even -One- of those people honestly say; they actually asked Gods opinion, let alone IF he had a 'side'?

Thanks again.

FincasKhalmoril21 May 2018 9:48 a.m. PST

Awesome painting! I am beyond words when I look at that fine pavise!

Ninjabread24 May 2018 4:28 a.m. PST

Thanks for all the comments! Athun – I knew there was a classic film but not that it's a trilogy! That's now become three-times as difficult to persuade the missus to watch it.

The Warwagons are great, PTG. I don't know if any companies make a good model of them, Games Workshop's ott Empire War Wagon aside.

I tend to see the a lot of religious wars also in terms of the socio-econoimic conditions of the time, with religion only being the match that lights the conflagaration. Same with the Crusades. They're such complex things to boil down to "we disagreed over the Bible".

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