Tuesday 27 November 2018

The Irish Horse and Conversions

I have been looking for some Irish horse for my Elizabethan project with limited sucess. They look very particular with their mix of English and Gaelic dress, no stirrups, padded seat instead of saddle, over arm javelins etc. Dark age Irish horse might do, but head swaps required so at least a couple have Tudor helmets. Redoubt do a range but I wasnt too happy with them, in the end I decided to get them and see what I could do with them.

This first figure came out OK, I dont mind the horse and the riders body looks fine, but the head....

His moustache runs from ear to ear for some reason and I just cant get my head around his helmet, it doesnt look like any images of the period I have seen. Still I painted him and he looks OK. What about the other four that redoubt do?

For the next one I decided to do a head swap and added a Burgonet helmet from the redoubt English Civil War range, now this looks a little better, but only a bit f I am honest. I think the new head I have chosen is not the best, the Irish were quite Hirsuite, this chaps neat moustache is perhaps not quite enough I may at some point end up changing it which is a shame.

At this stage I was tempted to give up, instead I took the next one and did a head swap with one of the Perys Kern, now I am pretty happy with how this has come out. 
It shows that the body of the rider is just fine, it just needs a nice head to make it work. This gave me a bit of hope that I could actually do something with these figures.

I also painted the Irish cheiftain straight as he comes but he is not a patch on the ones with a Perrys head, what to do?

I decided even though he was painted a head swap was in order, I wasnt thrilled about hacking at a finished figure with a modelling knife, but if I am not happy with the figure I need to do something about it. I chopped a couple of the Graven Images Galloglass heads off, you can see them in the background. I wasnt keen on these figures and I added the Morion helmet to the chieftain.

So here he is with a new head and two more figures prime for a head swap as I am getting a bit head swap happy. I particularly like the Demi-Lancer, I will reserve judgement on the Pikeman until he is painted I think.

Having got into the head swap thing I decided to try a foot figure, this Crusader Kern had already lost his head so a swap with a Maroon with a statute cap followed. Again looking slightly odd at this stage, reserving judgement until he is finished.
So here is the cheiftain in all his glory the, I quite like this outcome and I think he looks the part with his modern but slightly battered helmet.
The hatless Light cavalryman also looks the part now he is mounted, possibly my favourite of all of them so far. The light cavalry that is.
Here are the pair together, I think they match quite well.
Now the earlier light horse man after a head swap. I used a Graven Images Gallowglass head so the style of helmet and moustache is right. Not the best figure I have but a vast improvement on the original I think.

And finally all four of them together. I think they look OK. I have ordered two more from Redoubt lets see if they turn up, not hearing good things at present. Headswaps for both and thats my 6 figure unit for Pikemans Lament.

If Perrys get around to releasing some I may get rid of these and replace them but for now I am happy with my little band of Irish Light Horse.

Onwards and upwards with the English horse next I think.


  1. Nice work. I’m sticking with Timeline Miniatures Elizabethan range for my horse on both sides. They’re not ideal, but they paint up well.

    1. Have used their Demi Lancer for the English, I dont like using the same figure so used Perry Horses and head swaps to get some variety. Post to follow.

  2. Nicely done, especially the head swaps.

    The helmet you are unhappy with could be remedied with a bit of green stuff in each of the panels between the metal frame. Once on just cross hatch each panel with the edge of a blade. Stick a little curve of green stuff on the end of the nasal and you will have a very fine representation of an Irish helmet. Mind you that might seem a lot of trouble for something few will notice.

    The shields though need replacing with targes which is a shame as you've painted them so nicely. I'd be tempted to cover them with green stuff and give them a central boss. But, they look very fine as it is and I'm sure they would be appreciated on any war games table.

    1. I am not sure I want to change the sheilds, even flattednad a boss added they would be the wrong shape and size. As they are loulded on I dont see me being able to remove them either. As I may yet swap them out if Perrys do some I ewont bother too much. I love the idea with the helmet. That said I dont like the shape of the helmet or the face of the figure so I would be more tempted to to try the cross hatching on a new helmet. I will give it soem thought when the last two come.

  3. It’s frustrating when you can’t find exactly what you want... but these conversations have come together nicely...

    All the best. Aly

    1. Cheers Aly, two more to do for a finished unit of 6. They will do I think.

  4. Just had a thought Roger, Old Glory 25mm do some mail clad Irish cavalry in their War of the Roses range. You can see a pic on their US site. They don't look bad from what I can see, separate shields too and variants. They might be smaller than newer ranges but, as a plus, Irish horses were smaller. If the Perry bros don't deliver they might suit.

  5. Just had a look and these might be an option. I can always stick them on larger horses. Cheers,