Old Contemptible
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About Spasm

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    Hardest Rock this side of Mars
  • Interests
    Now living in Bristol with a mate.

    Apparently I draw a bit - other people have told me I do, so there.

    Have tunnelled through most parts of the UK and still haven't made it out.

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  1. Owen - Great stuff. Sometimes ebay is well worthwhile. And they will be a really nice addition to the collection. Result. Steve
  2. Andy - yep, I'd go for French too. Also doesn't seem to have had a lot of artillery action. Does that mean not near the front line? Newly dug in the territory just taken? Not an important area? Hmmmm. It does seem to be a bit behind the front lines as the communication trenches start at roadways, these would have been quite long before the front or even second lines were reached. So I would say a rear area that has been prepared quite well. Cheers Steve
  3. He was born in India. I think there's a couple more available on ebay at a very reasonable cost if you look him up on there. I'll just check...... yep, still there, his Hercules and Flora designs.
  4. Sherman tanks - Yanks - Those of the colonies
  5. Strong points would be constructed on both ends of an attacking line to protect the flanks or as a base of operations etc, covered by machine guns in the main trench line. They could also be constructed as a rallying area or defensive 'fort' behind the main line in case of retreat or threat of attack. A sort of bastion that could hold out and divide the attacking lines of troops. Andy - It's the Shermans who write 7-29-16, English is the more traditional 29-7-16, but I reckon it's French as the 7s are crossed, not an English thing, and the loop of the 9 below the base line, again English would most likely have a straight backed 9. The strong points look as though they were constructed at the time of the main trench line, given the looks of the excavated chalk. Could be the Somme area given that it is almost all chalk there. They are very well set out, unlike the similar construction at the very top of the photo. Much more 'messy' and not so well set out. So, looks like this was a prepared defensive line to protect the road and whatever those 'sidings' are behind the line.
  6. Are these 'strong points', built as defensive positions
  7. I was struck how cool the Patton movie poster looked when I was finding pictures of him to paint and put it on the others. They're only practise sketches that'll be binned at some point and some of the older Geezers (Lionheart, Saladin, Henry III, etc) would be pretty hard to recognise
  8. Very impressed with your skills Brian, outstanding other than measure twice before cutting strings as they look to have taken some time to make. I agree with your thoughts on attacking a heavily defended position. The English were pretty well sorted with the terrain. I have also heard that there was a quite steep embankment/bund (that is still there) which forced the heavily armoured French into a fairly narrow avenue and thus a fairly compact target for the warbows. Having watched a few videos on crossbows it seems that it was a fairly easy operation to change the strings. There's a miniature 1/6th scale world record holder (go figure) - the youtube video is called "miniature medieval crossbow world record part 4" if you'd like to see it (I did put the link on here but it sort of took over the blog) - it clearly shows how the strings were removed. Perhaps the winch shown came slightly later than Crecy but they certainly had the goat's foot lever. And, as you say, they didn't have to do this all by themselves. My thoughts are still that the French Noble Knights, having seen the much smaller English army, convinced themselves (and their illustrious leader) that they could trample the enemy into the mud. Hotheaded they also ran over the Genoese while they were retreating and they themselves being cut down by the arrow storms. So believing in their righteous victory they charged over and over unthinking that they couldn't smash the English. The French hadn't learnt from the day before when the Genoese (with their shields) and Knights had been mauled by the English while forcing the river crossing. The Nobles just couldn't believe they wouldn't mash the invaders. Their tactics went out the window. Your crossbows show that the range wasn't the issue either. So, I agree, the loss and deaths had to be blamed on something that couldn't possibly be the French's fault. Anything than admit they properly binned it. As I also suspect any admittance of bad leadership or tactics may have resulted in other political come backs. I'm half expecting (hoping) that they'll be some more pictures of you two Brians shooting at targets and reloading. The crossbows must look pretty good in the display.
  9. Thank you Gents. Here's the one to finish the pair with Monty. Colours look a bit weird but I just trust in the camera.
  10. This one will be a pair
  11. I was thinking that I need to get a bit better at portraits so using up some old board from the garage I've started to do a few. Just in case they are unrecognisable I've written their name alongside. Obviously the older ones don't have a lot of resource material (pictures) available: An on going project at least until I use up the old boarding from the garage. May last until I get bored or the living room is so full of portraits stacked about that the Admin Staff decides to tidy them up.
  12. Played around a bit with your picture and blurred up a silver war badge. The negative areas are very similar, so I'd go with Simon's details.
  13. One thing that I'm pretty sure about is that the bodkin (arrow tip) wasn't capable of piercing the quality armour and undergarments of the time. Maybe the lower quality armour to a certain degree. I've watched a heavy warbow smash it's arrow on armour at no farther than 20 yards without anything more than a scratch on the breastplate. I've seen armour made by modern blacksmiths that you'd have a problem getting a knife between the plates. The armoured gauntlets are just a work of art. I suppose it's therefore difficult to understand why the armoured men at arms and knights didn't just wade through the arrowstorms and cut the archers down. I really can't imagine what it would be like below a storm of arrows but given that the French changed their tactics back to shield walls and looking away from a volley it must have had a terrible effect on the advancing line. Lightly armoured crossbowmen, men at arms and horses were driven back by high trajectory and aimed level volleys. The heavily armoured were forced to march uphill over the dead and dying, horses stumbled into pot holes and trenches and then facing a hedge of wooden steaks, long pole arms and fresh armoured men just baying to get at you. It must have been terrible. Given that the French charged at the English about 15 times and fought from around 4pm until midnight, they were very worthy to bear arms for Phillip. I'm looking forward to seeing how your experiments went with those very nice looking crossbows.
  14. So, to add some more input and because you re-ignited my interest as to just why Crecy was such a one sided affair: Originally my thoughts were on the longbow, or rather the warbow, being a superior weapon than the crossbow. Easy, I figured, I'll go find out that the crossbow didn't fire as far. Surprisingly this doesn't seem to be the case with the heavier crossbows used at the time. Although I'm hoping that your experiences and tests will fuel that thought. So, roughly 6,000 Genoese crossbows against 7,000 English warbows. With a few French tagging along (about 30,000) and some English dismounted men at arms (about 6,000). But still a complete destruction of Phillip's army with about 12,000 killed. Figures do vary enormously depending on the source. I agree with your thoughts on both the French and the Genoese blaming each other rather than being truthful and admitting they were simply mashed by the English. The Genoese also blamed the first use of cannon on the battlefield. (Probably not the very first time they were ever used but maybe the first time they had seen Knights knocked off of their horses by them). I suppose the clues are there that, in fact, the French were soundly beaten by better tactics and a battle plan well tried and tested against the Scots. The line holding firm with massed arrow storms from English warbows. Edward himself used Genoese mercenaries with crossbows to subdue the Welsh some time before this trip into France. He saw the Gwent longbows in action against his mounted Knights. The greater speed of firing (particularly against the heavier crossbow) and the heavy draw weight that could be handled by an experienced archer. The mounted Knight changed to fighting on foot alongside the archer during the battles against the Scots. Falkirk and Berwick were won by prepared arrow storms. The crossing of the Somme two days before the battle at Crecy was achieved against well prepared Genoese crossbowmen alongside French Knights. The English lost about 250 against a force of 3,500 who were so confident they waded into the river against the English. Impatient Knights again. So, my thinking is that the impatience of the mounted knights controlled, heavily armoured men at arms in the centre with large angled wings of archers well trained and accurate with heavy warbows with the use of the lay of the land basically out thought, and out fought, the Scots and the French. The French being further hampered by unruly Nobles and Knights insisting that their numbers would crush the English and wading straight in when advised to wait until the following day. Now all I want to hear is that the effective range of a crossbow is less than that of a warbow. It seems that the 170 odd longbows brought up on the Mary Rose had pulling lengths for a 30 inch arrow and a pull of between 100 and 180 pounds. Most of us couldn't even think about a full pull on one of these bows. It seems that although claims of a range of up to 400 yards the first volleys were let loose at around 250 - 300 yards.
  15. GAR

    These are really nice. Fairly easily available and relatively cheap given what they are. I know basically a veteran's medal rather than a campaign but still... Here it is alongside my sketch of Uncle Billy Tecumseh