Monday, 14 November 2022

Megiddo 1457 BC - Through the Aruna pass

Historical Background

In the first year of his reign the young pharaoh Thutmose III. was confronted by a large revolt in the northern provinces of Egypt (mostly modern day Syria and northern Israel) under the leadership of the king of Kadesh. The pharaoh decided to crush the uprising in person to stabilize his own position and lead his army north to Megiddo, the center of the revolt. In front of the city lays the Carmel mountain range, which blocks the way. There were three possible routes, to the east or the west of the mountains or - the most dangerous - through the small Aruna pass directly over the mountains. As Thutmose predicted that the easy paths around were blocked by the enemy he decided for the gamble on the direct route. The pass is very narrow and the Egyptian army had to cross it partly in single file for several hours, with the danger of getting ambushed every second. But it didn't happen. So the Egyptians come out of the mountain directly in front of Megiddo, where only a part of the enemy army was around - the blocking forces still on the other routes. The resulting battle was a victory for Thutmose but not a total one, so the city had to be put under siege, which lasted for several months. Finally Megiddo capitulated and the pharaoh showed considerable mercy when not killing the enemy leaders.

The moment depicted is the march of the heavy Egyptian infantry through the narrow defiles of the Aruna pass. Every moment the enemy can appear and defeat the army in detail.


The diorama

The figures are from Zvezda, the mule from Matchbox. As I had only 4 infantry poses available a little creativity was necassary to achieve a satisfying marching column. Much is unclear about this battle, even the exact year (also possible 1482 or 1479 BC). The equipment of the heavy infantry was maybe somewhat lighter - without upper body armour, which was slowly beginning to appear. The famous striped head cloth (Nemes) was definitely a later invention and had to be removed on every single figure.

The groundwork was made of plaster, MIG light earth ground, gravel, coffee powder, some colour variations, Faller grass and a little reindeer moss.


Photos (click to enlarge)










































Video (Youtube)



Sources

Mark Healy - Quadesh 1300 BC (Osprey Campaign 22)
Mark Healy - New kingdom Egypt (Osprey Elite 40)
Terence Wise - Ancient armies of the middle east (Osprey Men-at-Arms 109)
Nic Fields - Bronze age war chariots (Osprey New Vanguard 119)
Nic Fields - Soldier of the Pharaoh (Osprey Warrior 121)
S. Anglim, ... - Fighting techniques of the ancient world 3000 BC - 500 AD

Tuesday, 4 October 2022

Bosworth 1485 - Bloody will be your end

 Historical Background


The struggle for power in medieval England culminated in the Wars of the Roses (1455 - 1485), the name derived from the badges of the two leading parties - the house of Lancaster (red rose) and the house of York (white rose). In the year 1485 Richard III. of the house of York was the king of England and had to deal with Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, of the house of Lancaster. The two armies met at Bosworth for the decisive battle. After a bitter fighting Richard lost his life and throne and Henry became the new regent, founding the house of Tudor (the badge being a white rose within a red rose), which ruled England for the next 118 years.

The moment depicted is the charge of the Yorkist cavalry with Richard III. leading. After the setback on his right flank Richard was induced to charge directly against Herny Tudor in person and kill him, to end his claim once and for all. At the head of his cavalry he attacked downhill and he nearly succeeded when killing his standard bearer, but this was the high water mark of the charge and the Yorkist having many casualities had to retreat, where Richard was killed.


The diorama

The figures are from MiniArt, some of them very flat and therefore difficult to convert. So the positioning of the figures was essential for not creating a strange looking effect owing to their flatness. Conversions on this flat figures is very difficult and I avoided it whenever possible - simple headswaps and changing of the weapons was mostly sufficient. Except for the horse furniture - only 6 horse poses need a little diversification. The cavalry lances had all be replaced by self made ones because the original lances are too thick and too short and interestingly are not thick enough to fit in the given holes on the figures.

The banners are Richard III. and Henry Tudor, the flag in the background is Rhys-ap-Thomas. All flags are made of paper and are handpainted.

The groundwork was made of MIG texture dark mud, some colour variations and Faller grass.

The subtitle of the diorama is the second line of a quote of Shakespeare's play "Richard III.".


Photos (click to enlarge)



















































Video (Youtube)



Sources

Christopher Gravett - Bosworth 1485 (Osprey Campaign 66)
David Nicolle - European medieval tactics 2 (Osprey Elite 189)
Michael Hicks - The Wars of the Roses (Osprey Essential Histories 54)
Terence Wise - The Wars of the Roses (Osprey Men-at-Arms 145)
Terence Wise - Mediaval heraldry (Osprey Men-at-Arms 99)
Christopher Gravett - English medieval knight 1400-1500 (Osprey Warrior 35)
Clive Bartlett - English longbowman 1330-1515 (Osprey Warrior 11)
Gary Embleton - Medieval military costume (Europa Militaria Special 8)
Jens Hill, Jonas Freiberg - The medieval fighting man (Europa Militaria Special 18)
Liliane u. Fred Funcken - Historische Waffen und Rüstungen
M. Bennet, ... - Fighting techniques of the medieval world 500-1500