The way into The Wars of the Roses

I’m sure you’ve seen the Perry Miniatures models for Wars of the Roses. It seems that with the start of the TV series, the hype for GRR Martins epic story finally took off and everyone and his grandmother is building a Lannister or Stark force with these models. GRRM used the British conflict between 1455 and 1487 as an inspiration for his (still) unfinished tale. So if you start researching this period, you’ll find quite a few names which sound vaguely familiar. Anyway, the real deal, the (blurry) 32 years of civil wars are much more complicated and exciting than the fantasy alternative. If you think Mr. Martin kills a lot of characters, you’re in for a surprise. Life proved to be even more disastrous and unmerciful for their real life counterparts. The wars were not a period of uninterrupted civil war. Instead, it was a series of battles, in which the participants switched sides more than a few times.

If you want to know more, I’d like to recommend these books:

A brief History of the Hundred Years War: The English in France, 1337-1453 by Desmond Seward. Many events leading to the Wars of the Roses have their foundation in the Hundred Years War.
The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century by Ian Mortimer. Explains life in medieval Britain in nearly every aspect and covers a few events which lead to the Wars of the Roses.
The Wars of the Roses by Alison Weir
A brief history of the Wars of the Roses by Desmond Seward

Military background and painting help:
English Longbowman 1330–1515, by Osprey Publishing
English Medieval Knight 1400-1500, by Osprey Publishing
The Medieval Soldier: 15th Century Campaign Life Recreated in Colour Photographs by Gerry Embleton and John Howe.
Battleground Wars of the Roses, diverse books covering specific battles, by Pen & Sword Books
– The best livery, banner and flag guides have been compiled by the Lance & Longbow Society!

You see, it’s not overly complicated, you just need to bring patience and time. Oh and of course you’ll need a couple hundred models per side, if you want to play a proper battle 😀
Because of this, we’ll start by using the SAGA rules (by Gripping Beast), there are some fitting battle boards in their official forums.

Here are the first units of my retinue:




4 responses to “The way into The Wars of the Roses

  1. Beautiful scenic pictures. In the second picture the transition between foreground and background photograph is almost perfect. The metal is also very nicely painted and the freehands on the knights and bowmen add the right amount of interest. I find in general that you achieve a high contrast with sharp deliniations between surfaces/materials. Very well done. If I may add one suggestion to improve the scenic shot: I would place the background slightly further back or the trees slightly further away from the background to avoid shadows being cast on it. This breaks the immersion a bit, but it does not detract from the overall amazing offerings.

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