Codex Manesse – Frauenzimmer

Wow… Three months no update…shame on me…

Well, I’ve been extremely busy mostly with mundane things, also trying to dust off my drawing skills (perhaps I will show some of this in near future). But despite all that I finally managed to find some time to make another set of Manesse Minis.

The Frauenzimmer  was a generic term used since XV century in Central European courts (under influence of German imperial court I guess) used to denote the female part of the court – both chambers used by females and their inhabitants themselves. In Poland the term (localized as Fraucymer) was used almost strictly to indicate the mistress of a major court (a Queen, Duchess or other lady of higher nobility), and her closest handmaidens often also of noble (although lesser) blood. The term was coined much later than Codex Manesse, but I think it is a good title for a miniatures set focused on noble ladies. Anyway, here they are.

codex-manesse_frauenzimmer_lresAccording to medieval Christian tradition women wearing head scarves would be married women of respectable position and/or age (such as the lady of the court herself or her house-mistress – overseer and tutor of younger maidens and servants). Those wearing barbettes and fillets (these bonnet like things) would be maidens in age suitable for marriage, while servant maids, and young girls would go with their hair uncovered. Such rules were, however, not always and not everywhere respected and many women wore fillets even when married, at least until their beauty (and fashion) was more important for them than an image of a respectable matron. Anyway, just right click and “save target as” to ad the ladies of the court to your Codex Manesse collection :).

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Harnessing horse power.

This build was intended just to help me to layout shades when texturing, and test harness concept, but of course it resulted in some changes in the general design that i need to test further. Anyway this is where the horse design is now. Harness was designed by hand and I will now try to make it into vectors and add some details like buckles rings etc. I plan to make two harness types to choose from first with collar as and second with breast band. We will see if I make it.

As no wagon was ready yet, to test if the harness works this horse pulls an impromptu improvised spike harrow.

Scottish style blackhouse – using Meadow fences and Walls.

I was watching Rob Boy lately, (a  film  I recommend to everyone, even if only roughly based on real Rob Roy’s life) and that inspired me to make this:

RR_1Meet Robert Roy MacGregor and his wife Mary MacGregor (and his cow – Cow MacGregor :P) in front of their house in the Scottish highlands. The characters are of course just a 5min sketches to set the mood, as the subject of this post is the house itself.
I love the look of the Scottish blackhouses. It’s like they were grown or pushed from under ground rather than build, and they blend into landscape as if they were always meant to be there.

Such houses built with dry stone walls with earthen core,  roof covered with thatch or (as on this model) with turf, are actually one of the branches on an ancient tradition (reaching back to neolithic) of Central and North European longhouses where people and livestock were sheltered under one roof. Most these neolithic longhouses (where resources allowed) were build either of logs or  wattle and daub, but where wood was scarce (as in Scottish highlands or Islands) stone or turf was used. Germanic or Viking longhouses stem Read more…

Gabion gun emplacement – using Meadow Fences and Walls

Here comes another gun emplacement made using elements of Meadow Fences and Walls set (and a linen thread).

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This time it is more modern gabion emplacement. As the firepower and widespread of firearms and artilerry increased in renaissance period, medieval wooden shields and hurdles proved not to be enough to protect the artillery crews and were replaced with gabion fortifications. Esentially a predecessor of modern sandbags or steel gabion fortifications these early Read more…

Back on horse.

When you leave an unfinished project and return to it later, you will find that a lot of issues that were not bothering you when you left it, now turned annoying.

Actually it is rather that with a fresh eye you can see faults that were omitted earlier but still, having to improve things over and over again is annoying (I believe all designers of whatever know that). This time it refers to the horse. I’ve returned to this project last week, and already fixed some things that were not as good as they should (e.g. pasterns, ears and head) but still have to fix others. Especially neck-shoulder joint. My attempts to make it fully adjustable made it really difficult to assemble, so I’m going to simplify it retaining only slight adjustability. It should be enough to get a diverse horse team anyway.  There are some other minor issues, much easier to fix before I’ll get to texturing. Oh and there is still harness to design.

Below you can see the last build of the horse. It may be a little clunky but it was made to test some changes in the design so I wasn’t focused too much on overall effect.

20140409_kon_2   20140409_kon_1

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Medieval cannon emplacement – using Meadow Fences and Walls.

As promised, here comes the first idea of what can you do with Meadow Fences and Walls. – a medieval cannon siege emplacement.

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Shield lowered, as the crew is reloading the cannon

To be effective early cannons had to be placed and operated relatively close to the walls, often within range of bows or crossbows or other engines of defenders. To protect the crew against missiles and to hide operations from the sight of the enemy wooden hurdles and shields were erected at gun sites. Read more…

Walls and fences in the field.

I hereby announce that Meadow Fences and Walls set is up for grabs at Wargame Vault. As I have a lot (a LOT actually) of test prints made during designing this set scattered around, you can expect some tutorial or inspirational posts with examples of what you can make of this set beyond of what the name implies.