Saturday, 6 December 2014


"Hero" is surely one of the most over-used terms in the English language. I guess the problem is that it means different things to different people.

Scoring the winner in a major final? Saving a child from danger? Charging the guns at a crucial point in a battle? This is just the tip of the iceberg.

But one character I would proffer as a true "Hero" is the guy I have depicted here, painted specifically for the "Mayhem in the Med., c.1565" game we Wyrley Retinuers are taking around a few shows this year, Jean Parisot de la Valette.

Finished just a couple of days before last Sunday's Wargamer show (photos to follow of that event when I can download them!), this small piece of metal alloy is a miniature version of the Grand Master of the Order of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem, who led the Christian defence of Malta when the Turkish attack came. That a chap in his seventies could lead a Military Order was one thing, but he was no shrinking violet or desk-jockey during the siege and assaults, being wounded in combat at one point. This was an old fella with the fire of youth still burning strongly in his bones! When the besieged towns of Birgu and Senglea were rebuilt after the successful defence of the island against the Turks and North Africans, they were renamed Valetta in his honour, and that is the name they still bear to this day, a lasting testimony. He inspired respect in his contemporaries, awe in his enemies and his judgement during the siege was spot on.

And if that is not enough, when his "mini-me" got into combat last Sunday, he took all before him and promptly threw the assault back single-handedly. But that is a story for another time...


An Old Glory figure from their "Wars of Religion" range, his shield is my interpretation of a drawing in George Gush's "Renaissance Armies" book, published by PSL.

This is the drawing from page 31 of Gush's book that is the inspiration for Valette's shield. I have coloured it how I think, so my interpretation is a little conjectural.

His base is a 40mm Gale Force 9 magnetic one. As he is destined to feature probably solely in the "Malta" game, I am not concerned with him having such a large and non-generic base. The other troops I have for the game are almost all based on 20mm squares, so I can place them together within a movement tray for more conventional games.

1 comment:

  1. Nicely painted figure of a very interesting character.

    Your efforts for the show didn't go unnoticed: