Sunday, 11 January 2015

Son of Frances

As I posted some time ago, I had planned to do a few more specialist pieces for the Wyrley Retinue "Malta" game, which began with the ladder bearers.

Well, ladders are all well and good for getting over a wall, but what could be better than a whole contraption to do the same, but bigger, with more men, better protection and less arduous climbing whilst someone is trying to drop a large rock on your head?

Cue, the "Son of Frances".

I built a cardboard core and then spent more than a few days' modelling time cladding it with coffee stirrers from sundry establishments...

The wheels are made from the green tokens Asda supermarkets give away when you have paid for your shopping. You are supposed to drop them in a box to say what local organisation you want the store to support (local football team, dieting club, etc), but I saw them and just thought "Wheels!"

The working drawbridge is a simple bamboo skewer into plastic tube affair and works very well with its "Gale Force 9" rope supports. A wash with some dirty brownish paint and voila.

I decided against cladding it in skins or whatever for Malta. Although the defenders had all manner of incendiary options, I felt the traditional flaming arrows were a thing of the past and dousing the wood in water as they drew near the walls would serve the same purpose. In the real siege, the towers were built perhaps more out of desperation to take the twin towns of Birgu and Senglea after numerous difficulties the Turks had faced up to that point. They were blown apart as they approached the walls by cannon cunningly concealed behind the lower stones at the base of the wall to be attacked. That was the end of that. So, my example is a quick-build, desperate gamble sort of affair too. I can always add to it later if I wish.

I can also buy him a Tardis to fly him between times, genres and worlds and use him to assault Crusader/ Saracen castles, French castles, Swiss-held castles, Scottish and Welsh castles, Minas all depends on which toys I want to play with next!


P.S. What else could I call a smaller tower after revealing Frances herself to the world all those posts ago?

He's a big lad at seven inches tall...
He is also big enough to hold a fair number of figures both on the top archery deck and in the "hold".

And ever eager for a feed, just like any baby. his mouth is often open...

Ladders from the same source as those carried by my ladder bearers, namely an old pirate ship toy rigging cut to size.

The "ingenious" drawbridge mechanism - insert one length of bamboo barbecue skewer into a couple of sections of suitable diameter plastic tube, add some "rope" from 0.8mm cable courtesy of "Gale Force 9" and away you go.

1 comment:

  1. Great looking piece of kit. Great use of the ASDA tokens, I've been looking for something to use as wheels for quite a while, thanks for the tip.