vrijdag 30 mei 2014

"Tha mo bhàta-foluaimein loma-làn easgannan!"

That's what he shouted at me as he staggered out of the bushes towards us, or at least, that's how it sounded to me.
Several of my men had already drawn weapons and were ready for him, or any hidden friends of his, to attack us. 
As he noticed the movements of my retainers, he twitched and fell over flat on his back. As he lay immobile, a tense second of silence stretched into several seconds, then a minute. My retinue exchanged confused glances. I quietly instructed them to keep their positions and remain alert, but not to do anything...yet. This standoff was broken by him suddenly thrusting a bottle at the sky and laughing uproariously for a full five minutes. 
Still chuckling, he stood up, but broke his bottle in the process. His face turned red and contorted in rage. My men shuffled nervously, as the goblin drew a deep breath. Before they could decide on their actions, he launched into a indecipherable roaring goggle-eyed rant, seemingly aimed at his broken bottle, the skies, the woods behind him, and anything in between. 
I believe, could it understand but a single word of it, this stream of (I assume them to be) profanities would have greyed my hair and bleached my heraldry, such vitriol was behind it! 
At some point, seemingly halfway into a sentence, he suddenly fell quiet, sighed deeply, and started to sniff. Seconds later he was sitting on the forest floor, hands limply in his lap, crying as if all the grief of the world suddenly was on his shoulders.
He cried for quite some time...
All this time me and my men stood there, astounded and confused by this strange specimen of the goblin species, and his indecipherable actions and language.
Just when we were at the point of deciding to move on and leave him be, he suddenly jerked his head upright, wiped away his tears and stood up.
He looked around until he saw me. Then he walked towards me and looked me straight in the eye. He shouted something at me, "Tha gaol agam ort!" I believe it was. At that he seemed himself to blink in confusion, and then said "Is mise cliamain" or something like it, in a more quiet voice.
Muttering under his breath, pointing at various member of my retinue or items in our baggage train, he walked to the rear of the column, and sat in the grass until we departed. When we left, he walked after us.

He has followed us ever since. At least, until 5 months later, when we met another group of traveling adventurers on the road and he apparently decided to follow them along instead. 

Sometimes we encounter him again, always with another group of heroes. Sometimes he joins us, sometimes he doesn't. We still don't know why.
Drunk or sober (rarely!), he hasn't been any more intelligible than on that first day.
He always knew to find the best loot and booze, though...

Gilbert D'Abelard, traveling knight, recounts his first meeting with the goblin adventurer known only as "Mad" McHaggis the Fighting Drunk.

The man himself, along with his three favorite things in the world: A heavy blunt instrument, whiskey and gold. He is well known to be an intemperate and enthousiastic user of all three.

This is the second miniature I got in a gift package from fellow Lead Adventure Forum member Elprez. It's Hasslefree Miniatures' Sparr.
I knew the triangular whiskey bottle is specific to a small family of brands, namely Grant's and Glenfiddich. Of the two, Glenfiddich has a green bottle, and as there would already be a fair bit of green in the model, I opted for Grant's, in their clear bottle. Specifically, he is holding a bottle of Grant's Family Reserve.
Tying in to this theme, "Mad" McHaggis is dressed in the Grant clan tartan, or at least as close an approximation as my eyesight and painting skills will allow.

Here is a shot from the behind:
 Thank you, Elprez, he was a lot of fun to paint!

The treasure chest is from the old GW Mordheim accessory sprue, and will be part of my wife's Warhammer Quest set. I painted it to look old and dirty, but still solid. It's fairly subdued in colours, so that it would set off the richness and colour of the gold. Have to make sure the riches draw the eye...

maandag 26 mei 2014

Bone of contention

Having finished the Knight and his retinue, it was time to give some attention to the opposition.
So, the next group of my dungeon's deceased denizens is done.
Here's a quick workbench snap of them:
What's still left to do is 5 spearmen skeletons, 2 Skeleton Leaders, 1 Skeletal King's Champion/Dread Knight, a Banshee, two Wraiths (In time I'd like to add a 3rd) and the Lich King and Necromancer to lead them.
I needn't get bored anytime soon, I guess...
Currently on the painting table is a belligerently drunk goblin in a kilt.

Until next time!

maandag 19 mei 2014

Tinctures and Metals, Charges and Blazons...

Or, in other words, the stuff of heraldry!

If you're painting knights you can't get around it. To make my life easier when designing heraldry for my knights, I made a little colouring-book style sheet to work out how designs for heraldry would work. Not only on the shield, but also on the horse's caparison or in the livery of a knight's retinue. I didn't want to discover halfway through painting that a certain combo or design didn't work out after all. I'd rather waste 10 minutes and some paper, than spend hours on a miniature and having to strip it...
I mentioned this sheet on the LAF and offered to scan it.
So I thought I might as well put it up here.

Here is the design sheet I use:
(Sadly, scanning it has washed out the lower right area a fair bit.)

This is the one that I used in deciding on a colour scheme for my recently painted knight and retinue:
Like I said, colouring-book style...

If you need a primer on how to design heraldry, this one seems pretty complete and thorough: www.internationalheraldry.com

vrijdag 9 mei 2014

Crestfallen knights

a.k.a. Heraldic Surgery...

What's this about? Well, let me tell you:

Somewhere in the 90's I collected a small number of GW Bretonnian miniatures. I loved the Perry sculpts and the look and feel of the army, but it never really got off the ground, due to lack of interest in WHFB in the erstwhile gaming club. The army got mothballed, but I never could let the miniatures I did collect for it go. Which is much to my advantage now, as it provided me with the knight and retinue I've shown in my recent posts. In my opinion, the new GW Bretonnians just have nothing on those classic Perry sculpts and designs.
This week I had been digging through this small stash of Chivalrous mini's again, and had a lucky break:
I knew I had the classic Grail Knight on foot twice, as well as a mounted grail knight with a sorta-kinda matchin crest. My original plan was to use one Grail Knight on foot with the mounted one as a single character, and sorta gloss over the non-matching crest. Which didn't really sit all that well with me.
In my digging, I discovered I somehow also had acquired a second one of said mounted Grail Knight!

Which led to an enthousiastic bout of sawing and glueing. Because 2 foot knights, 2 mounted knights, and 2 pairs of matching crests plus some tools and glue lead to this:
(In this pic, the unmodified models are the two closest to the centre, the two on the outside are the "swappees")
I took a jewellers saw, and one each of the mounted and foot knights. I then carefully sawed off the crests on both of them, just under the torse (the twisted cloth ribbon around the helmet). There is a natural dividing line there, and the underside for the torse creates a sharp shadow over it, making it easier to fill any gaps and hide the join.
I then simply swapped the crests around and glued them back on. I still need to fill the gaps and resculpt the knots at the rear of the torses. But once that is done, I have two more matching mounted and dismounted knights. Which means two more potential retinues for a Chivalry/Chanson de Geste game!

Sadly I don't have enough of the old GW archers and men-at-arms to provide them both with a full retinue, and certainly no squires for them. But I'm not too worried about that. The old Bretonnian infantry still pop up on Ebay and second hand markets regularly, plus the Perry twins have their lovely Agincourt to Orleans range. And I'm in no particular hurry, so I could also just wait for their recently previewed/spoilered HYW plastics to be released. And if I'm not to worried to stay in the HYW/Bretonnian/Perry style and look, there are plenty of other nice medieval mini's to choose from.
I really should be concentrating on painting suitable monsters, beasts and villains for them and dungeoneering in general at this point anyway so I have plenty of time to make my choice...
All I can say is, it is, or soon will be, a good time to be a feudal lord!

maandag 5 mei 2014

Spring cleaning and glamour shots

I've been fiddling about with the blog a little bit.
For a while now I felt the header image I am using didn't really fit the blog anymore. While I like the Crimson Skies plane, I haven't done anything Crimson Skies related for quite some time.
Since I was taking pics of my Knight and retinue anyway, and I seem to be on a fantasy streak for some time now, I thought I might as well update the header.

I also altered the title text colour on the blog to match that of the header. This one is a bit more cheerful, and higher in contrast. I found I was regularly squinting and tilting my head to read the red on gray when I was on my laptop, especially in outside light. That should be fixed now... ;-)
 Maybe I'll fiddle some more in the coming days/weeks, I'm still undecided if this is overhaul enough.

Anyway, on to the meat and bones of this post.
I took some time to set up a few proper shots of my Knight and his newly finished retinue.

donderdag 1 mei 2014

Squire, bring me my sword!

Finally, my knight can shout such things. You see, I finished the squire today.
Like the knight, he has both a mounted and dismounted model, for maximum flexibility.
Here is the bold young man:

And the other side of him:
As I don't have a metal squire on foot, I had to use a regular plastic archer. I've sculpted a longer, scalloped hem to his houppelande, as well as wide sleeves, also scalloped. This way his garments match the metal mounted figure.

Painting wise, he is a bit of a break with the rest of the retinue, who are all dressed in the knight's livery. The squire is essentially his own man, although subservient to the knight for education and training. His clothes reflect this fact. As his status within the household is above that of the regular retainers, his clothes are of a more dashing and flamboyant cut and colour. He does, however, wear the knights arms as a badge on his chest to clearly show his allegiance (and whose responsibility he is, should he get in trouble...).

I've got a busy few days ahead, but I think I will put the whole fighting retinue in some nice backdrop/terrain for a few photos when I have the time. Sort of celebrate the completion of my first warrior band. (Now to start planning the next group... :-D)