Saturday, June 02, 2012

Fridericus Redivivus: Italian Infantry

Another day, another progress. This time, we are again with some footsloggers. Bring on the mercenaries.

These men are marching under the banner of the Scaligeri or della Scala family. The Scaligeri were the new kids on the block, so to speak, the ladder emblematising both their name (Italian for "ladder") and their 'social scaling': For by political acumen one of their premier members, Mastino della Scala, had come to power in Verona. He became head of state in 1260, succeeding his patron Ezzelino, one of emperor Frederick's II sons-in-law. As such Mastino also gained a leading position among the Ghibellines, that is the pro-Imperial or pro-Hohenstaufen faction in Northern Italy. Eventually, he was a natural supporter of Konradin's cause and quickly assembled like-minded backers from all over Italy, welcoming the juvenile 'redeemer'. However, plans began to falter, when in 1267 pope Clement IV excommunicated Konradin, his entourage and everybody even vaguely linked to him.

Following that, quite a few followers feared uprisings at home, and so they started to drop out of the venture. Though Mastino stayed with Konradin, relying on his family to suppress any turmoil that might arise. (Actually, one of Mastino's brothers got killed in such a riot – but there you go.) It is likely that Mastino even joined the army as it went on south the following year. After all, he was a battle-hardened condottiere himself. The Scaligeri are likely to have provided material and ideational support, even more considerable, after most of Konradin's German 'investors' had backed out.

Hence, this unit, on the one hand, represents the Scaligeri's fair share of 'borrowed' troops in Konradin's army. On the other hand it stands in for all the other Italian financiers contributing to his campaign. So, by the majority the men are equipped with round shields, a distinct Italian fashion of the time. They bear devised designs, though some might resemble actual blazons of North Italian cities (which, for the most part, weren't in use yet). Again referring to the Codex Manesse, mercenaries or servants are usually shown there in striped clothes, so I adopted that here for a prominent figure. Others are just wearing muted colours, with a few gaudy clothes thrown in, perhaps provided by their employers.

As I said earlier, the Legio Heroica figures are a bit limited in poses. Unfortunately(?), the musician's trumpet snapped, thus I was left with one playing a flute or something. That inspired me, however, to this little scene with the captain addressing an assembly, accompanied by a cheerful tune. Hopefully they will remember in the heat of battle…

I'm still undecided what's next, so you may choose: some more knights or other fancy stuff? Tell me what you like to see and read here!

Miniatures by Legio Heroica.


Dalauppror said...

Very nice looking unit !!! Realy impressive !

My vote are for some pesant levys next...if you have the minis:)

Best regards Michael

moonshadow said...

I thought the historical notes painting and basing of your series of Roman centurions was superb. I did not expect you to surpass it with 15mm figures.I love your use of colour. You create extremley colourful figures but still manage to potray troops who have been in the field and already seen service not just been to the local theatrical costumers.

Sire Godefroy said...

moonshadow, that truly humbles me. Thanks for your kind words!

Dalauppror, unfortunately, there are no levies on the list. But I have two other infantry units that may be a stand-in. If you refer to my project site, I've linked the BI army list there, and you can have a look what's yet available in particular.


Maxamillian Walker said...

Nice unit, your making me want to get some 15mm!
Some more knights light be good, see as they are the most numerous unit in the army. Maybe some poorer knights/sergeants or a general scene?

Ray Rousell said...

Really beautiful painting!!! I'd go for some fancy stuff!!

Cyrus said...

Superb base of figures- it's like a diaroma in 15mm!

moonshadow said...

Forgot to mention earlier. Have you seen the colour plates at He showed on his blogspot back in 16th May 2011 13 colour plates and various maps covering Montaperti's campaign in 1259- 1260. Unfortunately he has not provided the key for the plates of banners and shields

Sire Godefroy said...

Thanks again for your comments and suggestions.

moonshadow, thanks for the link, I've probably come across this before via an online search. Might be useful, indeed.


Thomas said...

Another great base! I like the very shiny colours, especially in contrast to the poorer archers. I'm looking forward to see more units!


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