Tagged: empire

Huntsmen of the Empire

The Empire Huntsmen/Archers kit might be the best human models GW ever produced, so I treated myself to a box of them last summer. These were painted quite a while back but were only recently based (I don’t like basing at all, you see).

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Realistic proportions, lack of skulls, plenty of options in the kit including a dead orc vignette – which I didn’t make use of as I want to use these models in a historical game as well. I used the heads with the fur hats, so that I can use the more normal heads among the rest of the infantry for greater variety.

 

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These were painted up in the same manner as the rest of the landsknechts, with the exception of their surcoats.  It’s a bit silly with their super colourful attire underneath, I know! No worries about camouflage though, as they will probably be used as cheap skirmish screens and charge redirectors in game. Poor sods…

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That’s all for today. I have one more blog post in the pipeline for this army and then it’s temporarily on hold in favour of my usual myriad of other projects. Tah!

Empire/Landsknecht Mortars

So I finally got a photobooth! It was a birthday present from my lovely wife, and so I decided to try it out forthwith and catch up on things a little. I have had a growing feeling of embarassment over the quality of my pictures these last years, which definitely had its impact on the frequency of my posts. What’s more, the hassle of gauging light sources and the correct angles was always a chore, and I could rarely if ever achieve any sort of consistency between sets of pictures. Nevermore!

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I got these Empire mortars NiB second hand for an absolute steal, which delighted me as as they still are excellent models. They were assembled straight fron the boxes, with the exception of a few alternate heads and arms from the bitz box for variety.

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As per usual, the crew were painted in flashy Landsknecht colours – no Empire State Troop uniformity!

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These relatively old plastic mouldings didn’t come with wood grain detailing on the mortar carriage, so I had to paint my way around that. The wood was painted Citadel XV-88, washed agrax earthshade and highlighted with balor brown.

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All in all, I have been rather busy with this Empire army over the last year. My previous blog post from quite a while back covered most of the army; as I am writing these words a number of unit fillers and a few extra townspeople are on the painting desk literally inches away from my keyboard, and then I’m getting really near to wrapping this project up.

Hope you enjoyed this update!

My hobby turns 18 – congrats, I guess!

 

Since I last posted, I have more or less gone back to where it all started, with fantasy wargaming. Together with the rest of my club I have been mostly playing A Song of Ice and Fire: The Miniatures Game since it came out, but I have also been collecting several Warhammer armies for Oldhammer, or more exactly, Middlehammer purposes.

Here, then, is my brand new Empire army. First, though, a little history lesson.

I was just a fifteen-year-old boy when I started the hobby. Back in the summer of ’69, pardon, ’01 I was walking around in Brussels with my wallet stuffed with Belgian Francs after passing my third year of high school, when I chanced upon a Games Workshop store with the usual displays of excellently painted models in the window. I thought to myself: “Hey, you can do that too!” and left with the 6th edition starter set and a paint set. From then on, every Saturday I’d take the bus to Brussels, spend my allowance on a blister or two, and be home for supper ogling my new acquisition at the table.

Empire was my first army, and let’s just say I learned a lot by doing things wrong – very wrong. Things like:

  • Thinking that I could wash every colour with black ink, because black is the absence of light, innit? No, it isn’t.
  • Trying to glue a metal Warrior Priest to a plastic base using plastic cement.
  • Using blood red on the back of shields.
  • Painting the inside of a model’s mouth blood red – because it really is!!!
  • Putting a broken pot of plastic cement in a spare GW paint pot, which began to melt, turning into a sort of Nurgle paint pot (and a health hazard, too)
  • Attempting to melt a blocked superglue nozzle by holding it over a flame. A bit of molten plastic fell onto my right index finger, producing a T-shaped scar which I carry to this day.
  • Unsafe cutting, clipping, ruining clothes, licking brushes, and so on, and so forth.

This time around however, I used my eighteen years of experience to produce somewhat better results.

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You already saw my Empire Elector Count on Griffon in a previous blog post, so here are the other characters. From left to right, we have a Captain, a Battle Wizard, the Battle  Standard Bearer, a Warrior Priest and another Captain. Apart from the Wizard these are all Warlord Games models.

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Pikes! Pretty much all Warlord Games models, some with heads from old Empire models for variety, and a few Foundry models such as the one all the way on the right. I’ll be using these as plain Spearmen when playing vanilla Empire, or I could play a Marienburger Empire army using the back-of-the-book list from the 6th edition armybook and use them as Dogs of War Pikemen. I have two 30-strong blocks of them at this point, the other one is just more of the same.

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Halberdiers. I only got 12 halberd-armed Warlord Games halberdiers in my set, so I had to be creative to get a 20-strong unit. The musician and standard bearer add two models, the unit champion is actually Georg Von Frundsberg (what a demotion!), the model all the way on the right is the sleeping guardsman model from Warlord, and there is a unit filler on a 40x40mm base in there. Sorted! I do have 12 more Halberdiers on the way – Warlord was friendly enough to send me another batch of bits – and I can always try to convert some more with old GW bits.

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Handgunners, of course. This unit is almost completely Foundry with just two Warlord models, and I have another comprised entirely of the latter. As you can see here I went for some rather simple colour combinations – the tendency with landsknechts is to paint every little sash and puff and slash and hose and feather a different colour and then stripe it with yet another, but in order not to go mad I went for simple halved or quartered designs of contrasting but not clashing colours. Here and there I did add some stripes, but only sparingly. I think the models still look Landsknechty when ranked up into units.

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I wanted my Greatswords to look more armoured than the other guys, so I used the three arnoured bodies fron the Warlord kit, I also wanted a little bit more uniformity in these guys, so I gave almost all of them plumes on their helmets or hats and painted those a simple white and red.

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I also wanted me some Flagellants, but as the old metal models are hard to come by for a decent price, I went with the different vignette models from Warlord Games and rolled them into one chaotic 20-strong unit. If I do ever find an actual Flagellant unit these will instead serve as Free Company Fighters.

 

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These Knights from Foundry have been lying around in my drawer for years, but have now finally received a coat of paint (and therewith a coat d’arms, ha!). I have just the six models, so in order to buff their size I decided to use a vignette to fill it up for the time being. I’ll get more Knights from Foundry at a later date.  Although I had the greatest fun painting these models up, the riders kept detaching from their horses all the time, due to an imperfect join.

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The last argument of Elector Counts, eh? These Great Cannon are great models from Foundry. Still on the lookout for a Mortar though, and I should have an 18-year-old Helblaster somewhere…

So, what’s in store for this army? Well, as I’m writing this I have just played my first 2000-point battle with it against my friend Jonas’s Skaven. Despite having the worst of luck with the dice I managed a draw, but there was much fun to be had in returning to 6th edition Warhammer.

Another friend is gearing up to start a late medieval Swiss army, meaning I will be able to use my models as landsknechts and play games of Warhammer Ancient Battles and Hail Caesar with them.

At any rate, I have further additions in store for this army. Those extra Halberdiers are nearly done, and then I have some Archers, a 24-strong block of Swordsmen, some Crossbowmen, perhaps more Handgunners… I also have a Steam Tank lying around somewhere!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in 18 years of painting, it’s that the painting never stops…

 

Empire Elector Count on Griffon

With having moved house, my parents have been demanding I clear out my old bedroom and… It’s going a little slow! I already cleared out some boxes, binned a few unsalvageable abominations fromthe beginnings of my hobby years, and put aside some old models to be sold second-hand. I did,however, find a gem I’d completely forgotten about: an old Empire Elector Count on Griffon. I really like the sculpt – classic Trish Morrison griffon plus classic Perry rider, from the year of our lord 2000,
so I really wanted to give it another go. However, the model had become detached from its base, the rider was in a completely different box and had lost its shield… And, to top it off, I remembered I had once converted it into a High Elf prince on griffon, and there was a pair of plastic Silver Helm legs still clinging to the saddle. Snippety snip! I placed the model on a 50x50mm square base, gave the rider a new shield from the Empire Knightly Orders box (a kit which is soon to be 18 years old, too!) and
started on my quest to give the model a more decent paintjob.

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For the griffon I decided to go with a very basic colour scheme; the lion part was basecoated zandri dust, washes with agrax earthshade, then highlighted first with zandri dust and then ushabti bone. The hawk parts were a bit more involved; I started off from a dryad bark basecoat, then drybrushed the brownish parts xv-88, the white parts rakarth flesh and then white, and the black parts grey. Finally, I applied agrax earthshade to the brown feathers, and a black wash from Vallejo to the tips of the wings to turn them black. Job’s a good ‘un, in my book.

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I had less of a blank slate to work off with the rider, seeing as how the 15-year- old me had painted him to the best of his abilities – such as they were in 2001! The face is practically unchanged, apart from a purple wash I applied to counteract the apparent jaundice – back then I painted skin with bronzed flesh, applied a flesh wash and highlighted with bleached bone, which is incredibly yellow! I applied a final highlight of kislev flesh which came out okay. Otherwise, everything was fairly standard. I washed the armour – which had been drybrushed with some old metallic – with drakenhof nightshade, added some gold detailing with retributor armour (a
great paint, gold with great coverage!) which was washed with druchii violet, and then highlighted everything with stormhost silver. Some guilliman blue was finally applied to the sword to give it a magical glow.

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So there you go, one model salvaged. I based the model identically to those of my landsknechts – the idea is that, if I ever touch Warhammer again, I can use my landsknechts as state troops. When pigs fly!

Warhound and Man-at-Arms for Frostgrave

Busy holidays mean a few updates get postponed, you know how it goes. Still, here’s a few Frostgrave bits and pieces that were finished some weeks back. More to come soon!

 

Official model by North Star.

Official model by North Star.

When I wrote up my starter warband roster for Frostgrave I always came up with 10 points to spend, and warhounds are the only option in such a case. What’s more, they’re fast and not much less fighty than your average thug or thief. These official models for Frostgrave are definitely on the expensive side, but in this case I couldn’t resist.

Quite a bit bigger than your average dog, this one has obviously been bred to survive on the streets of Felstad.

Quite a bit bigger than your average dog, this one has obviously been bred to survive on the streets of Felstad.

I painted the model more or less identically to the ‘official’ paintjob; being a cat person, I have but the vaguest idea of how a dog’s supposed to look. All in all I’m rather satisfied with how he came out, and he’s already gobbled up some thugs in my most recent games. Good boy!

An old plastic Empire Swordsman.

An old plastic Empire Swordsman.

Then there’s this chap – I found him back in my rearmost bits boxes. I’d provided him with a paintjob that had over the years become somewhat dated, to put it very mildly, and I’ve updated him with new lick of paint. It’s become a fairly thick layer with all the different coats I’ve applied to him, but I like how he came out.

Classic GW plastics: just the right amount of detail for rank and file.

Classic GW plastics: just the right amount of detail for rank and file.

I’ve added a few things of my own, such as to provide a bit of woodgrain effect to the otherwise completely flat back of the shield. It’s a simple but effective model and generic enough to go with plenty of different warband styles I have planned out.

That’s it for now. I probably won’t be covering Frostgrave this year anymore, but it’s one of the games I foresee to be playing a lot in 2016, so stay tuned!

Undead Great Cannon

It’s Wednesday again, and that means I owe you another look at one of my old models or paintjobs. Last weekend my girlfriend left her camera unattended so I took it to my local game store (Het Spelplezier in Halle) where some of my older army projects are gracing the display shelves. I didn’t get a whole lot of time to photograph my models nor were the lighting conditions optimal, but otherwise the results are decent.

Mostly a Vampire Counts Corpse Cart with a Great Cannon barrel on top.

Mostly a Vampire Counts Corpse Cart with a Great Cannon barrel on top.

As Games Workshop has become hideously expensive over the years, I started with this project for the simple reason of being able to play the same collection of models with two different armybooks – Empire and Vampire Counts. The basic infantry was simple enough to figure out; there was a hobbyist featured in the 6th edition Vampire Counts armybook who had done the same. What needed more pondering were the warmachines.

 

Least plausible model ever - just one shot from that cannon and it's curtains.

Least plausible model ever – just one shot from that cannon and it’s curtains.

What I did was to flip the Corpse Cart structure around so that the zombies would be pushing it instead of pulling. I cut a ‘gulley’ in the pile of corpses so as to make the cannon fit rather snugly, then added more arms from the Zombie kit to the corpse pile which would hold the barrel in place (yeah right!). The structure with the lanterns and bell was glued on backwards as well.

Ding-dong!

Ding-dong!

The painting techniques I used on this model – and project, really – were already decided before GW switched from selling inks to washes, so I used plenty of drybrushing on this. For example, all that zombie flesh was basecoated bestial brown then drybrushed with rotting flesh, before receiving a yellow ink wash. It’s not the kind of way I’m painting these days anymore, but if I ever continue work on this project I’ll have some adapting to do. This is a model I painted in 2006 or 2007, I can’t remember exactly.

There you – a look at a project I had never show you before. As always, there is more stuff coming up, but it’s been delayed somewhat as my health hasn’t been that good lately. Still, soldier on we must!

Empire Spearman Champion, first model ever

Time for another blog update on a Yesteryear Wednesday! This time I’ll take you back nearly twelve years in the past, to one of my first models ever. A note to sensitive readers: it’s so bad you might cry. I certainly did.

Oh my.

Oh my.

Twelve years ago, I passed by the GW store in Brussels, right after my exams in June 2001. There were some well-painted models in the store display, and I thought to myself “hey, I could do that too!” The result, of course, being the horrid spearman on display today. I bought the boxed set of the game (the 6th edition one with Empire versus Orcs) and the basic paint set (with those screw-top pots that dried out after one use) plus a couple of extra paints such as liche purple, shining gold and black ink, the results of which you can see above.

Probably my first conversion too, as the shield was pilfered from a Bretonnian Knight.

Probably my first conversion too, as the shield was pilfered from a Bretonnian Knight.

My reasoning was that a wash of black over the entire model would make sense, which it obviously did not. On this guy, I somewhat corrected the mistake by washing the skin with flesh wash instead, but the rest of the model is turned immensely dark and shiny by the dubious effects of the old GW black ink applied heavily and undiluted.

The back of the shield is really blood red, yes...

The back of the shield is really blood red, yes…

Beyond that, my choice of colour scheme was also terrible. Purple and green on an Empire state trooper, what was I thinking! As you can see, I also didn’t understand the 16th century type uniform at all either – why does he have a golden codpiece? Why are his leggings golden? Those aren’t knee-high boots! The main reason for the gold is that he was the champion of the unit and my teenage self had apparently felt the urge to denote this low-ranking sergeant by covering him in bling bling from head to toe. Shizzle.

But still, I can’t but feel nostalgia. Those were the days right after having wasted an entire year of my life on Diablo 2, and I was glad to have found a hobby that snatched me away from the computer screen. I saved up my paltry pocket money and went to the GW store in Brussels every Saturday afternoon where I tried my best at being taught painting skills by a unique french-speaking store staff (I’m dutch-speaking in case you were wondering) and from where I returned with a new blister and a paint pot or two. Those times are long gone along with the rest of my youth, but digging up a wayward test model from that bygone era, and one with such an abominable paintjob at that, does open the floodgates to a lot of beard-rubbing and moody humming. And waxing poetic about it, too.

Still, if that doesn’t immediately correspond with your own experiences, I hope this post will also be of aid to readers who are fairly new to the hobby and are let down by the quality of their first paintjobs. Don’t give up – it took me twelve years to reach the level of my recent efforts, and your first paintjob can’t possibly be worse than mine! The tools of the trade have advanced immensely in recent years, with woodstain dips, high-pigmentation paints and washes making life a lot easier for aspiring painters than back in the day.

As for my next post? Probably this weekend! I’ve been a busy bee these last two days and have made massive headway on completing the last 18 vikings for my starter army for Hail Caesar, and they should all be fully finished by Friday evening. The Anglo-Saxon player (Christian dogs! Cowardly turd-eaters! Worthless, beardless earslings!) has agreed to do battle with my Vikings (Shining sons of Odin! Brave axe-bitten fighters! Glorious silver-ringed seafarers!) next Thursday, and so they need to look their best. Haldebra, hai hai!