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Burgundian Knight - 15th Century

  • Kit Manufacturer: MiniArt (Ukraine)
  • Major Material: Plastic
  • Model Specifications: 1:16 Scale
  • Work Experience: This all plastic kit contains 44 parts, but only 30 are used on this figure. I think the extra parts are for other kits of the same line. As this is my first attempt on figure building and painting and this is the only kit that I have bought so far, I have no way to compare the quality of this kit with that of other brands. However, based on my experience on plastic kit modeling, I would say that the mold of this kit provides some appreciative details, but the parts are not very well injected. There were debris on most of the parts which must be carefully cleared by using a hobby knife before assembly. The assembled parts are also needed to be puttied and then sanded to eliminate the otherwise inevitable slits due to misalignment of the molds and distortions of the parts. The included decals are bright with sharp profiles, but they are pretty delicate and can easily be torn apart when applied onto the model. The kit also contains a plastic display stand, but I have discarded it and scratch turned a wooden stand from a scrap wood on my wood turning lathe. I have also filled the hollows of the legs with fishing lead to add weight and lower the center of gravity such that the figure can stand firmly on the stand. On the basis of two to four working hours per day, it took me about one week to build this kit, most of the time were spent on painting.

Historical Notes: Although I have been fascinated by the legends and romances of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table as well as the history of the Knight Templars since childhood, I don't have the slightest idea about the history of Burgundy or Burgundian knight. But nowadays one can find just about anything that one wants to know on the internet. Among the historical accounts that I have found on the net, a story about a fifteenth century Burgundian knight is particularly interesting, and which, I fancy, may be related to this model. It is a French historical tale entitled "The Career of a Knight-Errant," compiled by the American writer Charles Morris. The opening two paragraphs of the story are quoted below:

"Medieval history would be of greatly reduced interest but for its sprightly stories of knights and their doings. In those days when men, 'clad in complete steel,' did their fighting with spear, sword, and battle-axe, and were so enamored of hard blows and blood-letting that in the intervals of war they spent their time seeking combat and adventure, much more of the startling and romantic naturally came to pass than can be looked for in these days of the tyranny of commerce and the dominion of 'villanous saltpetre.' This was the more so from the fact that enchanters, magicians, demons, dragons, and all that uncanny brood, the creation of ignorance and fancy, made knighthood often no sinecure, and men's haunting belief in the supernatural were frequently more troublesome to them than their armed enemies. But with this misbegotten crew we have nothing to do. They belong to legend and fiction, not to history, and it is with the latter alone that we are here concerned. But as more than one example has been given of how knights bore themselves in battle, it behooves us to tell something of the doings of a knight-errant, one of those worthy fellows who went abroad to prove their prowess in single combat, and win glory in the tournament at spear's point.

Such a knight was Jacques de Lelaing, 'the good knight without fear and without doubt,' as his chroniclers entitle him, a Burgundian by birth, born in the ch�teau of Lelaing early in the fifteenth century. Jacques was well brought up for a knight. Literature was cultivated in Burgundy in those days, and the boy was taught the arts of reading and writing, the accomplishments of French and Latin, and in his later life he employed the pen as well as the sword, and did literary work of which specimens still survive."  -- Click here to read the full story.

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Recommended References:

  1. Armies of Medieval Burgundy 1364-1477
  2. Painting Ancient and Medieval Warriors (Schiffer Book for Hobbyists)
  3. The Art of Painting Miniatures: Faces & Figures (Compendium Modelling Classics)

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