Sunday, August 22, 2010

A few pics of my Zaporozhians at the WCHS 2010 Show

Just a few pics of my Zaporozhian Cossacks from the Wells County Historical Society's Collector's Show.

I was a little disppointed I wasn't able to get the wooden pallisade that usually went around the villages to work, but the figures looked okay "defending the wagons" anyway.

Muscovites at the WCHS 2010 Collector's Show

Just a few pics of my Muscovites from the Wells County Historical Society's Collector's Show.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Zaporozhian Cossacks

My Zaporozhians Cossacks were so happy when they found out I was going to take them to Monday's Collector's show (along with my new Muscovite army) that they began singing and dancing and partying!

(These guys won't be much use in a fight, but they will help make a nice little camp scene for my Zaporozhian Cossack army!)

Muscovite Artillery

I finally got some artillery painted up for my Muscovite army. Two guns, ready to go!

Hopefully I will be putting the finishing touches to the army this weekend, just in time to take it to the Wells County Collector's Show Monday afternoon (at Bluffton-Harrison Elementary School on Spring Street. Open to the public from 5:30 p.m. until "a little after 8 p.m." if you can/want to go!)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Muscovite Streltsi

I posted an initial photo of theese a few months back, and have been busy painting more over the past few weeks/months. They are the backbone of the Musscovite army that I will be displaying at the Wells County Historical Society's Collectors Show at Bluffton Elementary School on Aug. 16.

The Grand Duchy of Muscovy was essentially the earliest form of what became the Russian "Empire". Prior to the Mongol invasion, the Rus lived in various small independent city states, although Kiev and Novgorod did emerge as slightly more powerful domains than most. Novgorod maintained its prominence through the period of the Mongol "occupation", but as the Mongol empire declined, Muscovy became a center of power.

Initially, the Muscovites were essentially a cavalry army, entirely mounted on horseback, as they had learned from the Mongols. The arrival of gunpowder, and muskets on the battlefield however, created the need for foot soldiers once again - muskets were difficult to manage on horseback.

Thus, regiments of "streltsi" began to appear in Muscovite armies, each in their own brightly colored uniforms. (My army will have four by Aug. 16 - just finishing the fourth now and hopefully will have all four ready for photography by the weekend.)

The Rus (including the Muscovites) still looked to Asia for their inspiration, and the streltsi were "inspired" by the Janissaries of the Turks - armed and organized in a very similar fashion. Their main weapons were the musket and the bardiche - a large battle axe which could be used as either a prop for the musket or as a battle-axe in combat - photos showing both are above.

Initially, the streltsi performed very well. As the years ticked by however, their commanders acquired political power and the body as a whole became conservative to the point of being lazy and backward. When Peter I ("The Great") assumed the throne of Russia in the early 1700s, one of his first jobs became the elimination of the streltsi, and the reform of the Russian army along European lines.

Once my Muscovites are complete, I will only have the army of Peter "The Great" to collect and paint up to be able to field any Russian army up to 1815. (And when I finish painting my Crimean War Russians, I will be able to bring that right up to the late 1860s!)