Saturday, September 10, 2011

Brettonian Knights like Brettonian days...

Brettonians are another of my hangover armies, things I start after a night of particularly heavy reading. I'm working hard to get all these half finished projects done so I can focus

Last year I read Mallory's Morte d'Arthur and was absolutely blown away by it. Even though it was written in the 1400's it has this kind of intense unknown pagan landscape that really fires the Imagination. It is full of misty forests and strange fey wells and frozen snow covered hills. It's a great deal of fun as well, until the Holy Grail shows up to remind us that there is nothing so fine that it can't be messed up by sanctimonious moralizing. I've always been fond of the Arthur ledged although I prefer the more energetic 'Welcher' versions like Culhwch and Olwen. I guess its just easier to see Arthur in a Welch warband rather than in an English cathedral.

As if this wasn't a heady enough brew, I also acquired an audio version of Barbara Tuchman's The Calamitous 14th Century: A Distant Mirror. This is an absolute masterwork of bringing history to the wider world. Winding the story around the character of one man, Enguerrand de Coucy the seventh, it moves the reader through grand campaigns, peasant rebellions, marauding mercenary knights, worldly prelates, Italian internecine politics, trends in art and literature, crusades, the black death, the murderous Breton wars and a dozen other topics that are spectacularly diverse and come together to produce the best picture of the time I've ever seen. I must candidly admit that I have listened to it three times and it will probably not be the last.

Anyhow, you can see how I was practically forced to start a Brettonian army... Unfortunately, as with many of these literary sprees, the inspiration dosen't always last. I plan to sell what I have painted and hope for a profit. I'm trying vainly to clear out the backlog of fantasy stuff so I can address my backlog of historical stuff. Sigh.

I need to either read up on how to set up models for photography or, more likely buy a new and better camera. Even with the macro feature on this one seems to kind of grain out on me and pick up too much glare.

Anyway without further ado…

Knights of the Realm
One of the great things about Brettonians is that not only are you free to paint your army in any scheme you want, but you a free to paint each individual a different color scheme. I chose to keep the champion and banner man fairly similar to reinforce the idea that the members of the unit are feudally linked to the particular family whose banner they are following.

The Green Count
This particular character was inspired Amadeus VI of Savoy who makes periodic appearences in A Distant Mirror. He was reknowned for always wearing green, being accompanined by a body guard dressed in green and often lead into tornaments by ladies dressed in green. Where his nickname comes from I have no idea.

Black Guy

This guy is one of my personal favorites the inspriation behind him is Guy Du Bas-Tyra from Raymond Fiest's magnificent Riftwar saga.

Black Guy

This is another shot I tried of him. It was my first attempt at stubble on a model and I wanted to capture his face, unfortunately I failed.

Viney Knight
This was an experiment in using patterns. It worked ok but I think it makes him look a bit too fancy for a regular knight. Maybe for a character model.

Banners are awesome. You know it. I know it.


This is the unit champion. I really dislike the stretched out neck on the horse. I guess it would look ok on a galloping mount but here it just makes it look like the horse is having some kind of cardiac event...

Random Shot
This is a random shot.
So much for the knights. On to the artillery!

Trebuchets: Throwing heavy things since time immemorial.
Obviously it is missing its counter weight. I actually have this painted but am struggling to find a way to suspend an extremely heavy metal weight up in the air. I need some kind of hard core superglue I guess.

Side Shot
Other Side Shot

The Motley Crew
 And last but not least a shot of the crew of this incredible machine. Unfortunately the child/teenager/midget sitting on the wheel barrow suffered a terrible varnishing accident which completely screwed the paint job and it was a terrible shame because he looked AWESOME prior to that. Lesson learned go easy on the varnish.
That concludes my Brettonians for now (although I have to admit to having 2 more units of knights in need of painting). My full focus can now go to my Chindits who have been waiting so patiently...