Sunday, February 27, 2011

... in which I dicuss a rare eBay treasure.

Ok, so I may be exaggerating. I only spent $15 on it, so it may not exactly be a "treasure" but I am thrilled with it. I found a listing on eBay for "Old Bretonnian Questing Knights x4" and it was going for $6 at the time. I figured, why not? I can always use more nights.

The package arrived after about 4 days, and enclosed was a strange box. It was a hard plastic shell, the type you would see on collectible cases.

At first I was concerned I got ripped off with some bootleg mini's, since the horses looked like they were made out of white plastic resin. Upon closer inspection of the package, sure enough, this was made by Citadel Miniatures, and the GW logo was at the bottom of the card.

About this time was when just how "old" these knights were. The foam padding inside the box had long since deteriorated, leaving some stuff behind on the minis. Upon inspection, it was no big deal, scraped right off. Inside was 2 different knights, with 2 different weapons, so a combination of 4 knights could be made. When I removed the spears (They didn't actually come with lances), the metal immediately felt different. I can't be sure, but I am pretty confident these guys are actually lead. The metal is extremely pliable, and the horses are a sturdy plastic.

The horses aren't the barded warhorses either. They look like regular horses, similar to the ones the damsels ride.
The coolest part about this set, in my opinion, is the shields. They have 4 sheilds, each with a different shape. The shields have a hole in the center, so that they can fit over a peg on the knights arm. I'll have to use some green stuff to even out the shield, so I can have a smooth surface to paint the heraldry on.

The torsos look really good. Two have crests like knights of the realm, and the other two have the flat tops like the knights errant. I figure I'll put one with a sword, and one with a spear, so all four knights are as different as possible.

The crest on top of the helmet is the lady holding a sword. Very unique look to them.

Overall, I'm really excited about these minis. They may be old, but unlike the other "old" Bretonnians I've seen, these look like they would fit into the modern army, and the crests aren't too flamboyant. I'll post pics as I paint them up.

Friday, February 18, 2011

.... in which I have an idea for a new Bretonnian unit.

So I've been browsing all of the WFB army lists since the announcement of the new Tomb Kings units. I've also been oogling the new Orcs and Goblins Arachnarok.
Not only does thing look incredibly evil/awesome, it comes on a 100mm x 150mm base.  That's freakin' huge!!! I wants one, and I don't even play Orcs & Gobbos!

Anyway, while I was oogling all these huge and monsterous units, all these Dragons, Spiders, Daemons, War Machines, and Giants; I realized that Bretonnia was the only army without something truly huge.

I know what you're thinking, but they have Hippogryphs! Yes, that is true, but a Hippogryph (and even my monsterous sized mod Hippogryph) still fits on a 40mm base. I'm talking something BIG. Hippogryphs can't match a dragon. They can't take on a Stegodon, and I'm sure they won't be able to go toe to toe with the Arachnarok.

Maybe I just have giant envy. The actual Giant and Skeleton Giant aren't on that large of a base, but their height is what makes them impressive. This got me to thinking.... what could you put in a Bretonnian Army to "beef" up its models?

It came to me real quick. Just look at the army theme already. Sure, you have the noble knights riding into battle, backed up by their peasant foot soldiers, trebuchets, and even a King on a Hippogryph. None of this really lends itself to "BIG", but the Arthurian legend roots (heh) that run through the army does. The Green Knight is a living embodiment of the Forest spirits. The Fey Enchantress is herself a spirit of nature. The Prophetesses of the Lady are similar to druidic priestesses. They use the Lore of Life and the Lore of Beasts.

In my opinion, Treants (or Ents, whatever you wish to call them) would fit the bill perfectly.

Being another extension of the living forests and their spirits wanting to protect the balance of nature, these behemoths of wood and lichen would add some much needed brawn to the forces of Bretonnia.

To be clear, I am not talking about importing the Wood Elves' Treeman. While the Treeman is a cool model and it fits right into the Wood Elf army, I want something more the size of a Giant, like the Ents from GW's LOtR line. The Treeman is slightly taller than Beaquis, King Louen's Hippogryph.

Army's don't have a monopoly on creatures either. Dragons are present in many armies, as are Giants. A lot of the "greenskin" armies share the giants for heavy support.

I haven't yet given much thought to what the stats would be like for these Treants, but I shall ponder this idea over the next bit, and see what I come up with.

In the mean time, I did pick up the generic Ent from the LOtR line, and depending on how well he goes together, I may just pick up a few more and see what I can do to further my tree-huggin' hippy of a cause.

Maybe even Treebeard will make an appearance on the field of battle with the Lords of Bretonnia... We shall see.

Monday, February 14, 2011

... in which I discuss an Incoming! e-mail...

When I awoke this morning and checked my e-mail, I got a very unexpected surprise. A little note from GW talking about new releases for the Tomb Kings.

According to the Newsletter, coming this May, the Tomb Kings will be receiving new models and a new Army Book.

A new Army Book for them is desperately needed. Now, it is no secret that I will grab cool looking mini's just to paint, and I have long considered picking up some Ushbati or a Tomb Scorpion. After looking at their current Army Book, I actually decided to pass. To call them the "red headed step-child" of the WFB universe would be a step up. Not  single area of their book could be used to make a viable and cohesive army. Sad.

I really did dig the undead Egyptian theme too. So, I put aside my Tomb Kings aspirations, and started working on Orcs and Goblins for a secondary army.

Great. Now GW has to tell me this, and make me want to expand back out into the sands.
I really do dig the Ushbati (a few pictured here), and they do have a really cool skeleton giant. I do want to put together a giant for an army, and since the Bretonnians don't have anything of the equivalent, I'm kind stuck.

We shall see what the new Army Book holds, and perhaps the Bretonnians and the Tomb Kings may form a wicked alliance.....

Saturday, February 12, 2011

... in which I discuss Bretonnian Tactica: The Trebuchet

Knights can't do all the fighting, right? I mean, that's why they take peasants into battle with them. Well, mostly they take them as mobile meat shields, but sometimes the low-born can get lucky and kill and enemy or two.

Now, the noble knights of Bretonnia would never stoop to using something as dishonorable as missile weapons, but that doesn't mean that the peasants can't!

The knights of Bretonnia are a really up in your face army, closing the gap and putting the hurt on someone up close and personal. Not all battles can be won this way though. Sometimes you need ballistic support. So, what can we do?

We can throw massive rocks at them.

Trebuchets aren't just for throwing pumpkins. Load up a good size rock in one of these bad boys, and let it loose to cause some havoc on the ranks of enemy troops.

The Bretonnian Field Trebuchet can not move once it is deployed, however, it's massive range makes up for this. The range on a trebuchet is 12"-60". At close range the trebuchet is really vulnerable, so make sure to have adequate defense hanging around. The trebuchet can pivot on the spot, so firing arc is never a problem.

Unlike other stone throwers, the Brettonian Trebuchet is S 5(10). Meaning, once you roll the scatter and artillery dice, wherever that 3" template lands is going to be in a world of hurt. All models under the template suffer a S5 hit, and the unfortunate one under the hole in the template suffers D6 S10 hits (special rule of stone throwers + S from Brettonian Army book). This makes the trebuchet devastatingly effective against both rank and file troops as well as monsters.

Personally, my Brettonian army has been very light on range support. I recently picked up a trebuchet, and I am working diligently on an army list to support it. More on that when I develop the list and get ready to play test it.

Until then,

Watch out for flying rocks!
Or pumpkins.... either or.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

... which I am buried beneath the Ice Queen's wrath.

This is the view out my front door. Just for reference, the fence you see back left is about a four foot fence, and the snow is easily over 2' deep there. Winds have ceased blowing as hard as last night, where we had gusts anywhere from 30-40mph. Now, it's just dumping snow on us. We are expected to get another 4-6" of snowfall throughout the day. Needless to say, everything is closed for the day.
I can't even open the door, as snow has piled up against the house.  Looks like I got my wish to stay in and do some painting!

I did take pictures of my recent paintings, and here they are:

Monolith #2 I kept simple, and experimented more with weathering powders. I used a good rust color around the base of the Monolith, and a grimy black to simulate blast marks.
 I may have gone overboard with the weathering powder on this side, but hey, I'm experimenting here! I do like having the rust around the exhaust vents at the bottom of the Monolith.

 Heh. Double trouble. I hope I can make them as effective as I want them to be.
 I know painting up a Necron Lord is no humungous feat, but I do like the detail I put into his cape.
 Unfortunately, I don't think the camera caught the detail too well. From this view, you do get to see a good shot of the Resurrection Orb, and its glowy goodness.

 Ah, the Temple of Skulls. I really used a lot of paint on this one. I drybrushed a 3 tone color on the rocks, and added a layer of green on some of the facings to simulate moss. My favorite part was probably the easiest. I mixed up some red paint, flo-aid and just a touch of 'ard coat, put it in a medicine dropper, and pumped it out onto the base of the Chaos symbol. I had previously propped up the base slightly on some rolled up paper towels, so that the "blood" would flow down the steps. Couldn't have turned out better.
Lots of flock on this too. I used static grass, and multiple colors to really layer out the feel of the terrain.
I would really like to find an altar and a victim to put on top of this piece. I may have to just rig one up myself, but I think that would really complete the effect of the Temple.

Well, I think the heater has finally had enough time to warm up around my desk, so the paint can flow freely. I hope to have a really productive "snow day". LOL

Tuesday, February 1, 2011 which I have defeated hobby lethargy!

Ha Ha! Victory!!!

Not really, but to an extent. After my last post I finally got off my butt and got some work done. I painted up the Warhammer FB terrain of the "Temple of Skulls", my 2nd Monolith, and a Necron Lord. I'll go back and post pictures later, as I am at school right now, and do not have my camera on me.

I am particulary pleased with the Temple, I got to use a lot of techniques on a larger scale, and I really hammed it up with the effects of grass, moss, and blood. Somebody had a really bad day there...

In other news...
A blizzard is moving into my realm of the country, which really is no surprise, I live in Michigan after all... I think the only place colder than here is Siberia. Over the next 12 hours, we are supposed to get betweeen 14-16" of snow accumulation, winds in excess of 6omph, and mass power outages. We shall see... I never believe what comes out of the meteorologists, they are very inaccurate here. But, if what they say is true, I am going to have the next few days off of school, work, and life in general while we dig ourselves out. Sounds like some excellent time to get some painting done!!

I picked up some of the Discworld Miniatures from the Warstore, and I am anxious to get to painting these. It will be a welcome break from all of the GW stuff I've been doing lately, getting back to painting for the sheer joy of painting.

Photos to come! (and snow too!!!)