Saturday 15 April 2023

The Anarchy

This might seem an odd title for a post given the somewhat sedate poses of the models in the photo, but they are technically King Stephen and Empress Mathilda, the two claimants to the throne of England during the civil war known as 'the Anarchy' between 1138 and 1153.

These two miniatures were both picked up from the two Partizan shows in Newark last year. This show always seems to have a pair of matched complementary miniatures to encourage visitors to attend both events during the year.

I decided to paint these two as a palette cleanser after the orks as they're fairly simple miniatures and would allow me to get some quick progress.

King Stephen ruled from 1135 to 1154 and arguably usurped the throne from Mathilda despite having sworn to support her. He managed to get captured by her in 1141 and was only released as an exchange fore Mathilda's husband Robert, who also managed to get captured by Stephen's wife (also called Mathilda) in the same year after the 'rout of Winchester'.

For colours, I decided to base Stephen on this illustration from a set of cigarette cards that was collected by my grandfather. I feel that it's meant that he ended up brighter than had I just gone which what seemed right, but I quite like it. 

Mathilda was married to the Holy Roman Emperor, Henry V, until his death in 1125, and then was the named successor of Henry I of England (her father). Despite the royal court swearing an oath to support her rule, the throne was taken by Stephen of Blois who had the backing of the church.

Despite successes in war, she was never formally crowned Queen of England, but her son, Henry II, claimed the throne as Stephen's successor after Stephen's son Eustace died in 1131.

In terms of colours, most versions of Mathilda I've seen, draw inspiration from this illustration, leaning heavily on the red an black. I like that this leaves the two claimants to the throne with completely different colour palettes.

I can't imagine that I'm going to suddenly build and paint a pair of early medieval armies and so the only slight chances that these might hit the table some time soon is either in a 7TV Fantasy scenario, or possibly in MESBG using the King of Men profile that was used as a excuse to create miniatures for the single shot of the nine human ringbearers before they were turned into Ringwraiths.

It's always good to get a quick win, something that I've added to by passing a mule miniature I'm not going to use on to a friend. I'm edging ever so close to getting the Lead Mountain total below 500 at last.

Acquired: 38
Painted: 138
Lead Mountain: 501

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