Friday, January 10, 2014

The Swordsman


While a bunch of minis are still waiting on the desk to be revealed, I am using todays blog entry as a stopgap presentation for a side-project.

As a former practitioner of Historical European Martial Arts (and hopefully soon-to-be again, as I´m planning to get into this occupation again) I´ve sometimes been appalled by the poses of some (not all!) fantasy or medieval miniatures, especially in skirmish type games. I can´t blame the sculptors or the producers, as they usually don´t know any better - hollywood and bad showfighting has all but destroyed the legacy of the traditional and hightly effective fighting styles of medieval and early renaissance swordsmen of europe. Fact is, real combat does not look as good for the untrained eye as the hollywood show fighting with wide swings and swords clashing. It´s just too fast for "ordinary" observers, and the fight is usually over in seconds as one combatant is either dead or combat ineffective.
Another problem is that european martial arts has been dead for centuries. In contrast to japanese or chinese martial arts, there is no living tradition that survived the era of gunpowder (Interestingly enough, most miniature Samurai are depicted quite accurately, as the Japanses have an unbroken line of martial arts practitioners.) What was left of european swordplay transformed into modern fencing, which uses different weapons, different movements and has been heavily codified as competitive sport in the recent century.

As you can see, the real thing has nothing to do with your typical hollywood style depiction of swordplay:

And accordingly, many of the posing heros would be dead within the blink of an eye when facing a capable opponent. 
 So I´ve decided to build my own swordsman to defeat all those incompetet heros :D

I´ve tried to give him some medieval garment of decent quality. Someone who owns a longsword or is capable to use it properly is either a wealthy man or born into an important family. I still didn´t want to overdress him.

If you have a trained eye, you can see that I let it slide there - the stance is unbalanced, his left leg should be further left to support the full weight of the body. Seems like he is not as professional as I wanted him to be :D

He has some pouches, probably something valuable in them that attracted robbers...

The right boot needs some cutting back, but that´s stuff for the finalisation - it´s still hardening, so I won´t fiddle with that right now.

Hope you like him!

And don´t forget that Igor still needs your help!
Still looking for the right headgear, so far it seems like he´ll get a wooly cap...

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