Thursday, February 1, 2024

Rough days

2024 started pretty badly on the family side, and I had to stop the OWAC army painting challenge rather abruptly. 

On the plus side, it means that I have now some spare time to complete a few things pending for too long. Maybe a few citizen from Pfeildorf, some mercenary dwarves from the Grey Mountains, or a couple of additions to Castle Wittgenstein. Or maybe (let's be crazy) some new miniatures. I don't know...

In the meantime, here are the spearmen painted for the White Lady. I don't think I'll be able to finish this project any time soon.



Sunday, December 10, 2023

A new army project (part III)

The 7th edition of the OWAC is approaching. Below two new regiments prepared to join the army of the White Lady.

The Guard is composed of imperial foot knights designed in the early nineties by Michael Perry. Since GW released only 8 different models, including the leader, the musician and the standard bearer, I have added a captain, and made a few changes, gluing icons and candles wherever I could, and swapping some heads. Interestingly, the oldest plastic sprues (the Empire Soldiers Regiment Box) provide the finest and more realistic faces. 





The Death Crier of the regiment is based on the Reiksguard standard bearer model: the left hand now holds a bell-mace instead of the original sword, while the right hand brandishes the second attribute of these mysterious characters, the lantern, guiding the souls of their fallen comrades. 

The Mourners are based on the flagellant models released in the 2000s. Again, I had to deal with a limited set of models (6) to build a whole regiment. On top of that, I wanted to change their traditional imagery into something closer to the god of the dead. I have tried to remove the obvious references to the cult of Sigmar, and replaced the flails by tools more fit to the Gardens of Mòrr: gravedigger's shovels and pickaxes.








 

I guess a Death Crier was kind of redundant among Mourners, but I still made one, using the hand holding a lamp cut from an old Citadel F5 paladin, Sir Osram, and some bits from the flagellant plastic sprues. Below the four death criers prepared for the army.


I still need to work on the characters and the war machine. See you next year for the first painted regiment!

Sunday, October 22, 2023

A new army poject (part II)

One thing that I find strangely soothing when building a new army is the whole preparation process: rummaging through the boxes of lead and unfinished projects, clipping off the tabs, pining the feet, scraping and filing the mold lines. And of course... the conversions, to make sure that each model has its own personality.

For the White Widow, I have decided to pick some rarely seen models in an Empire army: the spearmen. I guess they simply sucked in terms of game, plus the fact that GW had released only four models... which doesn't help to build full regiments. Below my rather basic conversions: I have used spearheads of undead warriors, skulls, imperial heads from various boxes, and a few bones stolen to the ghouls. Two gunners have also been transformed into a spearman and a standard/shield bearer.

The more demanding model was probably the Death Crier of the regiment, who's in charge of shouting the losses and chanting the exploits of the fallen brothers in arms. Starting from the illustration of a "clocheteur", I have used the body of a standard bearer, replaced the hand holding the sword by another one holding a bell from the flagellant sprue, and the hand holding the standard by the hand of an outrider, complemented by a small handle from the Kruelboyz, and an old Bretonnian lantern.

Les rues du vieux Paris by Victor Fournel

The second unit to join the White Widow will be archers. Since there are 9 different models, I have only played with skulls and arrows, to tie the regiment to the general theme of the army. No Death Crier here, just a horn blower converted to also bear the sinister standard of the company.

 

To conclude, here's my second attempt to refine the army colour scheme. 

  • The leather coat has received a basecoat of VMC Chocolate Brown, darkened with a mix of black and Chocolate Brown, then highlighted with VMC Flat Earth, and VGC Bone White;
  • The belt and the pouch have received a basecoat of VGC Heavy Sienna, darkened with a mix of VMC Dark Sea Blue and VMC Mahogany Brown, highlighted with VMC Cork Brown, then flesh tones;
  • As for the shirt, the basecoat is pure GW Dawnstone, slightly darkened with Mechanicus Standard Grey, and highlighted with GW Grey Seer, VGC Light Grey and purre white.   

And a last model. Not convinced by the armour, I need to rework the NMM...


Sunday, October 1, 2023

A new army project

At the end of OWAC VI, I have to admit that I was considering building a brand new Cities of Sigmar army. But the visit of the château of Chenonceau last summer, and in particular, the gloomy bedroom of Louise de Lorraine, rekindled the "oldhammer" flame. 

After the assassination of her husband, King Henri III, Louise de Lorraine fell into deep depression, and began to dress in mourning white clothes, being nicknamed the "White Queen". In the château of Chenonceau, she covered the walls of her room with black, only decorated with shovels, cornucopia shedding tears, thorns, and white feathers (in French, "penne", for feather, sounds like "peine", for pain).  

Examples of the symbols of mourning painted on the walls

This gloomy bedroom sparked my imagination, and I started to think about a bretonnian widow, refusing the death of her husband, and going to war with his remains. For nobles dying away from home, there is indeed an ancient ritual, the excarnation, where the body is dismembered prior to boiling in wine or water. The viscera are often buried at the place of death, but the heart and the bones are transported back to the deceased's home. 

I am still unsure about the baron's remains. After his skeleton was brought back from the battlefield, will it be installed on a throne, or lie in a coffin? That will depend on my (limited) conversion skills... What is certain is that it will not rest in peace in the family's vault 💀

As for her husband's heart, the baroness decided to keep it in a jar. And while she opted for white mourning clothes, she ordered her men at arms to wear black.

Source: Würzburg chronicle, by Lorenz Fries [1]

Source: Würzburg chronicle, by Lorenz Fries [2]

The sinister look of the White Lady's army is even exacerbeted by the generalisation of excarnation to ordinary men and creatures fallen on the battlefield. The skulls of the fiercest opponents are displayed as a warning to the enemy, while the remains of fallen soldiers are kept in portable shrines by their comrades, with the promise to lie one day in the Gardens of Mòrr.

And now some colours:

I have picked one of the imperial spearmen designed by the Perrys in the early 90s to make some tests:

  • for the black clothes, I use a basecoat of VGC Heavy Charcoal, highlighted with GW Eshin Grey, and sometimes VMC Light Grey, and darkened with pure black; I have also used GW Stormvermin Fur on the feet of the model;
  • for the skintones, nothing new: basecoat of VGC Heavy Skin Tone, shaded with GW Reikland Fleshshade, a deeper brown from the Andrea Flesh Paint Set (not far from the VMC Dark Fleshtone), VMC Black Red (sometimes mixed with black), highlighted with VGC Heavy Skin Tone and VMC Basic Skin Tone (sometimes with a touch of VGC Bone White). I'm also using some reds and VMC Tan to give some colors to the lips, nose and cheeks, plus thin washes of VMC Violet ink.
  • for the white clothes, I need to do more tests. Here, I have used a mix of P3 Bastion Grey and VMC Neutral Grey, which was way too dark. I then struggled with GW Dawnstone, and VMC Light Grey. Adding GW Grey Seer helped a lot to get a moother result, but I need to find a simpler way to have a clean result;
  • for the leather parts, the basecoast is VMC Chocolate Brown, darkened by adding black to the base, and highlighted with VMC Flat Earth and some VGC Bone White.

You'll recognize on the shield one of the symbols painted in Louise de Lorraine's bedroom.

That's all for the moment!

Sunday, August 27, 2023

More peasants

Can't help adding peasants to my Castle Wittgenstein army. The last ones. I swear.

 

Four brothers. Simple villagers, and a true cannibal.


An a total of 20 peasants:



See you soon with a new project!

Thursday, August 3, 2023

OWAC VI - Conclusion

Another OWAC, another army completed. After four participations, I realize that a strong background is the key (at least for me) to keep ideas flowing and renew my interest throughout the duration of the challenge. For the lost crusade of Pieter the Pious painted in 2020, I have looked for inspiration in John Blanche's illustrations for "Blood on the Reik". For the mercenary dwarfs painted in 2021 and 2022, the illustrated chronicles of Diebold Schilling were of great help. This year, flipping through the pages of "Death on the Reik", I have (re-)discovered an incredibly rich scenario, full of weird ideas, and nicely illustrated by late Martin McKenna.

Below the pictures of the resulting Castle Wittgenstein project.




Before moving on to the next project, I plan to complement a few things: more peasants (sigh...), maybe more crossbowmen, and probably a few riders. We'll see what I can do in the coming months. 

Thanks for stopping by on this blog!

Thursday, July 27, 2023

More cannibals

The 6th edition of the OWAC is over, but I had a few miniatures left I wanted to paint to join Castle Wittgenstein: some of them are particularly ugly (can't remember why I bought them 😝), and it was my last chance to find a use for them. Anyway, I present you the 5 last cannibals prepared for the challenge, plus a small Confrontation miniature. The Citadel models are C46 villagers, and F4 mercenaries, all slightly converted to try to improve their look, or to better match to the theme.


The resulting band, composed of 16 miniatures, can be split into two units of 8 fleglers, as allowed by the 3rd edition Warhammer Armies book.

 


 See you soon with the final shots of Castle Wittgenstein army!