Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Fancy some Danish?

Next batch of crusaders:

Again these are from Perry Minis 28mm First Crusade range and represent a unit of Danish crusaders c. 1189. About 2,000 Danes and Frisians beached their fleet at Acre and marched almost immediately into battle under James de Avesnes – a hero of the tournament circuit who they had elected as their commander.

The unit commander, his standard bearer, hornblower and bodyguard (on the central stand of four figures) wear the colours of the royal house of Estridsen (Blue and Yellow). Although King Canute VI wasn’t on the Third Crusade, the size of the contingent and the lack of detail on Danish noble participation, led me to assume at least one knight of the royal household would have gone along.

The standard includes the Dannebrog (national flag of Denmark) on a field of Estridsen colours. Popular history tells of the Danneborg falling from the heavens during either during the battle of Lyndanisse (1219) or Fellin (1208), but it only appears in historical narratives of the 16th Century and some have suggested that it came from the strong Hospitaller presence in Denmark. However, a Danish crusader historian has suggested (over a few glasses of Carlsberg!) that the Dannebrog was based on a Papal banner given by Eugenius III at the time of the Second Crusade for the campaign against the Wends. So here it is – on the Third Crusade, but not yet in its modern form with similar schemes repeated on several shields. Flag and shields handed painted as usual.

Some titillation for the next batch (with a huge thanks to Soapy for doing the conversion work):

King Richard the Lionheart

and a couple of his household knights