Friday, February 13, 2015

Authentic Medieval Fighting Methods for Realistic Miniatures

People have become so enchanted by the Asian fighting arts that they forget that we had arts of our own. In the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Warriors did not merely swing their weapons any which way. They were trained in a variety of techniques for the weapons of their day. There were distinct systems of fighting and respected master teachers of these arts.

Several Medieval fechtbuchs ("fight books") have been preserved into modern times. They show the fighting methods of their day. Most had been written as manuals for training warriors. Here you will find authentic information, with illustrations, on how men fought in the olden days. Imagine how much more satisfying your Medieval and renaissance figures will be if you make them in poses and with the weapons of their day.

One good manual from 1612 is the ‘Jacob Sutor". It contains materials from several older texts, hence its inclusion of later Medieval two-handed swordsmanship and Renaissance sword and dagger. The text also shows use of pole weapons and other techniques. Though the drawings may seem crude, they can serve as a reference for the miniature maker

Next is the Fencing manual compiled from the works of Talhoffer, a 15th century master. The abridged version includes sword play, polearms and various dagger and unarmed techniques. Talhoffer wrote at least three works, and they can be found online in pdf format. One must be careful with his work to separate techniques for battle from those used for organized dueling in his era. The duels used stylized weapons and had peculiar rules of fighting.

Fortunately, we compiled a section of Medieval warfare that draws from a variety of manuals. It covers Medieval broadswords, arming swords, lances, fighting from horseback, spears and daggers and other weapons. The old drawings show authentic poses that can guide the Medieval miniature enthusiast in creating more realistic figures. They also give a better idea of what European fighting was like in those times.

An authentic miniature is a better miniature. Using authentic weapons and techniques as your guide, you can make your Medieval and Renaissance miniatures all the better.

By the way, we also compiled a section showing fighting methods of later armies, from the days of Pike and Musket on up to the present. These are drawn from authentic military sources. This link takes you there:

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