Friday, February 26, 2021

OWAC IV - The pikemen - Part II


Standard bearers are probably the most time consuming models in a regiment, and this one was no exception. 

Chronicon Helvetiae Part I - Page 230

The emblem of the BlackHorns clan being the famous auroch of the Grey Moutains, I've searched for inspiration in the existing banners of the Canton of Uri (left: Sempach banner, 1386 - right: Julius banner,1512)...

... and finally used as a starting point the coat of arms of the Warhammer Ostland :) 

Painting on curved surfaces while keeping the proportions can be tricky sometimes. Below a few pictures (shot with my smartphone, a little bit dark I'm afraid) showing how I have processed: 

  1. Copy the model on a square paper; 
  2. Draw a grid on the flag (based in white); 
  3. Draft the silhouette, using some reference points on the grid; 
  4. Fill the silhouette; 
  5. Clean the messy paint strokes and the grid with several layers of the basecoat (here Vallejo Model Color Filthy Brown)

Still a few additional hours to spend on shadows, highlights, and all the tiny little details (the tongue I had initially forgotten). And you're done!

 The back is far less glorious :p

 

Another idea I found in the illustrated chronicles Luzerne Schilling:

Luzerne Schilling - Page 123

These naked hairy men are "woodwoses" or wild men of the woods, and they were sometimes used in medieval representations to present coats of arms (in our case, Lucerne and Uri). Anyway, these beards tinted in the colors of the Cantons is a nice touch I had to try... with mitigated results I would say.


Next post, I'll show you the other models painted for the BlackHorns clan.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

OWAC IV - The pikemen - Part I

One of the pleasures of searching inspiration in historical references is to browse old books online. Lucky me, the history of the Old Swiss Confederation was covered by several chronicles, including the Tschachtlanchronik, the Chronicon Helvetiae (Part I, Part II and Part III) and the Illustrated Chronicle by Diebold Schilling of Lucerne (Luzerner Schillling). Hundreds and hundreds of illustrations to contemplate, find colour schemes, ideas for banners, and more generally, anything that can make your regiments stand out. 

For this second month, my initial plan was to paint the content of the MB1 box as is, using a very Swiss color scheme, white and red. But I've learnt two things from my unit of halberdiers: red is not an easy color, and the black & yellow couple works quite well. I have therefore opted for pikemen from the BlackHorns clan, whose coat of arms shows a black auroch's head on a yellow background... yep, you've probably recognized the coat of arms of the Canton of Uri. 

Once decided for Ur... sorry BlackHorns colors, something I couldn't avoid was the famous hornblower, wearing the bull outfit!

Luzerner Schilling - Detail of page 74

My first attempt is a conversion from the hornblower of the MM11 command group: I have simply swapped the original instrument for a bretonnian bit, and added two horns stolen from a Chaos Marauder. 


 

The second model is based on an MB1 pikeman: I have trimmed down his hat, given him horns (again from a Marauder's helm) and greenstuff ears, and equipped him with a small horn (another bretonnian bit). Et voilà!

 
I think the second model better captures the original idea. In any case, both will join my regiment of pikemen.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

OWAC IV - The halberdiers


First month and first regiment for the OWAC IV: the halberdiers. Inspired by Nico's regiment, I have converted a few models, as the halberdiers are rather rare in the Marauder Miniatures range: two MM10 and two MM 15 references, and that's it! You may recognize the loader of the splendid siege gun MM13, the seargent of the mythic MB1 regiment and one MM10 clansman usually equipped with a two-handed hammer.

Regarding the colour scheme, I had in mind a vague parallel between these dwarf mercenaries coming from the Grey Mountains, and the formidable Swiss, fighting to protect their Old Confederacy, or going down the Alps to sell their services to foreign armies. 

As the white cross was the major field recognition sign of the Swiss, I have tried to find a rune that would do a similar job for my mercenaries. Keeping in mind that it had to be simple, as it was made of white cloth sewn onto the hose or the doublet, or directly painted on the breast or back plates of armours, I haven't found anything satisfying. So far, I have used the white cross on only one model: I may rework this once the pikemen regiment is complete, as I should have more space on the clothes to figure out a recognition sign. Below, a few examples of the white cross, either sewn on the clothes or painted on the armours.

Diebold Schilling the Younger, Luzerner Chronik (1509–1513)
 

For the colours of the different regiments, my plan is to use some typical Swiss flags, slightly transformed to avoid any copyright issues :op

Diebold Schilling the Younger, Luzerner Chronik (1509–1513)

The halberdiers come from the Frostpeak Hold: their coat of arms consists of a black boar charging upwards on a yellow diagonal with a red background (yup, replace the boar by a bear, and you have the banner of the Canton of Bern). The main colours for this regiment are therefore red and black, with touches of (brownish) yellow and (dirty) white. Regarding the hats, after a test with a vivid blue, I've finally opted for peacock feathers, with more subdued tones of green, brown and blue.

OK, enough writing, time for pictures, by order of painting.

MM10 reference DW21

MM15
 

Same model, slightly converted to make a standard bearer:


The white cross mentioned in the introduction. I love his beaver teeth :)

MM10 reference DW26

MM11/7
MM15

MM15

Modified MM13 gunner

Modified MB1 seargent

Modified MM10 DW7

And the complete regiment:

See you next month with pikemen (hopefully).

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

OWAC IV Mercenary Dwarfs

All right. After the doomed crusade of Pieter the Pious in 2020, I needed to paint some winners in 2021. Yeah, you named them: Dwarves! And to be more specific: the Marauder Miniatures landksnechts.

Illustration by Paul Bonner

To prepare the 4th edition of the Old World Army Challenge (OWAC), I have carefuly read Stuart Mulligan's wise advice on the Painting Landsknechts blog and of course, studied Nico's splendid Dwarf army, as his conversions solved the other issue I have with the Marauder Miniatures: the range is unfortunately incomplete (missing some standard bearers and musicians), and sometimes tends towards Middle-Age rather than Renaissance in terms of clothing. Well, I'll see what I can do...

The army is mainly composed of young dwarfs leaving the Grey Mountains and their impoverished clans to seek fortune in the Empire. They band together in free companies, elect their captain, and offer themselves for hire. Some still carry the colors of their native hold or clan: the black boar of the Frostpeak hold, the crosier of the IronBones clan or the double-key of the SureFoots. 

The current employer of the army is the honourable Guild of Goldsmiths and Jewellers in Altdorf: its dwarf masters are more comfortable contracting mercenaries of their kind, either to escort convoys, protect trading posts, or claim distant lands with high mineral potential. As trust does not exclude control, it is not rare seeing the mercenary captain Borin Steelfist receiving direct orders from representatives of the Guild. In these occasions, the latters are flanked by hardened veterans, handsomely paid to protect the guildmasters with their lives.


Illustration by Dave Andrews (Warhammer Armies)

A few pictures of the preparation phase:

Characters

Halberdiers

Hammerers

Pikemen

Quarellers

Thunderers

I'm still waiting for a few models, and some conversions are not totally finalized... and last but not least... 50 bases to prepare 😣

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Marauder halberdiers

And that's two additional retinues for the City Watch: references F29 and F5 of the MM60 fighters range. Second time I paint these models, can be boring... 

I've been lazy with the shield, and used one of these old Marauder plastic shields to spare me an uninspired freehand.





In theory, I still have two halberdiers to paint to complete the Guild of the Lamplighters and Watchmen. I'll do my best to finish it by the end of the year, but the perspective of preparing dwarves for the next OWAC is much more inspiring :p We'll see!

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Empire halberdier

I'm still trying to paint all my Citadel fighters... this halberdier will also join the Guild of Watchmen and Lamplighters.





And the last 4 minis painted for the city watch:

The next step is still unclear. One additional set of halberdiers, or complementing the train baggage, or... preparing the OWAC IV!