Sunday, December 12, 2021

Ridge and Furrow project ~ first step

Since my First Barons War figures saw action this year after thirty or so years languishing in the lead pile, I thought it high time I made some 15mm medieval scenery to match.

The ridge and furrow method of agriculture was one feature common to most of medieval Britain and lasted until the advent of large-scale field enclosures. Serfs living on their lord's land were given a ridge in a manorial field on which to grow crops. The ridges with their accompanying furrows were used year after year, and often handed down through families - with the lord's consent. The system made a permanent mark on the British landscape, to the delight of students of medieval history and the lamentation to those of older periods because of the destruction the ploughs caused to older archaeological deposits - especially Roman mosaics.

I had a piece of large corrugated cardboard which, when stripped of one side of paper, is about the right scale for the ridge and furrows. The tattered bits of paper will disappear when I apply the filler and paint.

Step two, reinforcing the back with strips of wood to prevent warping. 

I've used a piece of card to cover the wood strips while they dry, and a large heavy book to press it all down. More on this project in the next few days.

In the meantime my wife and I came across this charming little chap at a fund-raising sale yesterday.

He's not a nutcracker, but is in that style. The legend on his beer stein is Löwenbrau, Munchen, so I believe it's a promotional piece for the brewery. Inside is this rather alarming spike arrangement. Can anyone suggest what it might be for?

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