|In the mid 15th Century French monarchs began establishing professional standing armies in order to reduce their reliance on inadequate old feudal levies and unreliable mercenary bands. For the heavy ‘shock’ cavalry royal ordinances were issued to recruit men of suitable social rank under formal contracts of employment. They were organised into “lances” of six mounted men: a noble heavy armoured cavalryman (Gendarme), supported by a more lightly armoured companion (coutillier), a page, and three mounted archers (who were originally expected to dismount and fight as infantry). |
By the Italian Wars (1494-1559) the French Gendarmes had established a ferocious reputation as the most formidable heavy cavalry force in Europe, while their accompanying archer mounted infantry had been converted to a purely cavalry role, fighting as a more lightly equipped version of the Gendarmes, but still referred to as “Archers” as a nod to tradition. In theory the Archers continued to form the second supporting rank behind the Gendarmes, but in practice they often fought as their own independent unit. Although they lacked the full flamboyant finery and ornate heavy equipment of the Gendarmes, the Archers were similarly armoured and identically armed with long lances and a variety of side arms. There was little to distinguish between the two cavalry types from a distance other than the general absence of armour (barding) on the Archers’ horses and their helmets lacked the ostentatious helmet plumes and feathers favoured by the Gendarmes.
As with our Gendarme figures, collectors can order their Archers with either their helmet visors open or visors closed. All Archer figures are supplied with a separate lance carrying arm or an open handed arm which will accommodate one of several alternative hand weapons (swords, maces, battleaxes and horseman’s picks - supplied randomly with each figure). Both lance arms and hand weapon arms can be attached to the figure torso at a variety of angles to make all your Archers different in appearance. Riders and horses are interchangeable allowing for further variety.
We are considering producing other miniatures for this colourful period of European warfare (c.1450-1530) if there is enough customer interest and support for them. The proposed figures are –
100CLUBAM21 1450-1530 Italian crossbowmen
100CLUBAM22 1450-1530 Italian hand gunners
100CLUBAM23 1450-1530 Italian pikemen
100CLUBAM24 1450-1530 Italian sword and buckler man
100CLUBAM25 1430-1530 Swiss pikemen
- and you can place pre-orders for these figures by going to our 100 Club. (To see how the 100 Club operates – click here.)
Here are the catalogue details for the new miniatures in the current release –
NEW 28mm Italian Wars Gendarme ‘Archers’
Sculpted by Alan Marsh
100RIW03 Italian Wars ‘Archer’, open visor (6)
100RIW04 Italian Wars ‘Archer’, closed visor (4)
100RIW05 Italian Wars ‘Archer’, sallet, open visor (1)
100RIW06 Italian Wars ‘Archer’, sallet, closed visor (1)
Figures are sold individually unless a set is indicated. The number in parentheses denotes the number of available variants for that product code. Variants are supplied randomly, but Eureka Miniatures will always endeavour to supply a representative sample.
New Release Special Offer
THE “Forget about the bow – just pass me that battle axe” DEAL
A complete set of all the Gendarme Archer figures in this release – 12 mounted figures, each with a lance and a choice of assorted hand weapons for the special price of au$60.00* (normally au$72.00)
* Excluding postage and ‘Goods and Services Tax’ payable by Australian customers only
Click here to see detailed pictures of the Archers, place an order, or take advantage of the special offer.
Click here to see more colour pictures of this range.