27 February, 2010

Catalan Company

 This is a 15mm Catalan Company DBA army I painted during 2009.  Although it is far from a strong army in DBA, even against its' historical opponents, I really wanted to paint it for 2 reasons:  the history and the miniatures.  The core of the army, the almughavar infantry, consists of the new Eureka 300 club miniatures range; there are 19 different poses and they really give the army a lot of character.

I found the history of the Catalan Company fascinating.  The Company formed out of the War of the Sicilian Vespers.  They were left-over soldiers who had fought for Aragon.  They fought as a mercenary company for the Byzantines and the Romanian Franks from 1302-1311, before seizing much of Greece for themselves.  For more information, read Ramon Muntaner's 'Chronica', available on the internet.  Muntaner was a participant in the early days of the company and is a great primary source.  For a modern book, I recommend Kenneth Meyer Setton's 'Catalan Domination of Athens 1311-1380'.  I found a copy at my local university library.

The army list is: Catalan Company, IV/60, 1302-1388AD: 1x3Kn (Gen), 1x2Lh, 6x4Ax, 2x2Ps, 2x4Ax or 2Lh.

Click on the pictures for close-ups.

First up is a picture of the entire army:

 The general's figure is painted to represent Don Alfonso Fadrique of Aragon, the eldest (and illegitimate) son of King Frederick of Sicily.  He was Vicar-general of the Catalan Company from 1317-1330 and led the Company during the height of its' success.  The other 2 figures are painted with Aragonese heraldry from medieval rolls: the standardbearer as Le Viconte de Ille and the other figure as Le Viconte de Villomur.  The standard bears the arms of the Aragonese kings of Sicily.  Essex figures, 1x3Kn (General):

Below is the first group of almughavars, the Catalan mountaineers who formed the core of the company.  There are 32 of them in the army, and with 19 different poses there is little duplication.  The standard bears the arms of Aragon.  The side pictures give a good view of the various poses, with plenty of spears and javelins.  Eureka Miniatures, 4x4Ax: 

Next is the second group of almugavars.  The standard bears the arms of the Duchy of Neopatras, which was conquered by the Company in 1319 and added to the Duchy of Athens.  The Duchy of Neopatras was in southern Thessaly.  Eureka Miniatures, 4x4Ax:

The mandatory element of light horse are Aragonese jinetes.  Essex figures, 1x2Lh:

The 2 elements of light archers represent local Greek troops who have taken service with the Company.  Essex figures, 2x2Ps.

The 2 optional light horse represent Turks who have taken service with the Company.  You could use Albanians for the later period of the Company's history.  Tabletop Miniatures, 2x2Lh.

The camp depicts a Company detachment returning home through a pass in the Greek mountains after a successful raid.  They have loot, captives, and even some sheep.  This is probably my favorite of the camps I have made.  It has many layers of craft foam on a styrene base.  The figures are from a variety of sources.  The knight at the head of the column is Le Viconte de Roquebertin.