Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Gilbert de Clare - work in progress

I have been busy these past couple of months and many of the bits and bobs I have been working on have already seen the light of day on the blog. Almost all of the activity year to date has been for my 1314 project and, following that theme, I present for you here another specimen, namely the dashing, young Earl of Gloucester, Gilbert de Clare.

Young Gilbert (just 23 at the time of the time of the Battle of Bannockburn) was joint commander of one of the English divisions with the Earl of Hereford, Humphrey de Bohun (whose far more complex heraldry will be attempted at some point soon). The young Earl was also the brother-in-law of Robert the Bruce.

Anyway, having a horse killed under him on the first day of battle did not seem to deter him at all from charging recklessly at the schiltrons a day later. So keen, in fact, was he to teach the recalcitrant Scots a lesson that he even failed to don his livery for day two of the battle, charging in without his tell-tale surcoat.......

......which probably explains why, despite the massive ransom he would bring, he went unrecognised when felled from his horse and was killed. Thus ended the last De Clare Earl of Gloucester.

All is not lost, however, and the particular silver lining with this figure is that the arms stay the same into the Hundred Years War under Hugh de Audley, Earl of Gloucester, so I can stretch the figure's historical suitability should I so choose. The modern arms of my hometown of Gloucester are very similar to those borne on that fateful day in the summer of 1314, with the addition of some red bezants to accompany the traditional chevronels.

I have a 60mm diameter metal disc base ready for a mini-diorama of Gilbert with his standard bearer (courtesy of Magnetic Displays in the UK at least). I hope to finish that soon, but here is the work in progress.


The figure is, I think, from Black Tree;s Hundred Years' War range, with a brass wire lance. AS the Earl was a very rich man, I am happy to have him in the absolute latest armourial fashion compared with most of my knights.

The "B" side as it were, showing the absence of a surcoat as mentioned in the main text, which ultimately probably cost him his life. The lance is a departure from previous figures, being striped, simply because I wanted to distinguish him from the masses. I have since gone one further with a tri-coloured lance, but more of that in another post.


  1. It's difficult to paint yellow but that's a great looking figure, very nice.


    1. Thanks Matt. Yellow is a far better colour to paint after Games Workshop released their Foundation paints a few years back. Before that, it was a case of re-undercoating the relevnat parts and working it back up using several thin coats.

      That is probably why I never painted red or yellow if I could help it!