Wednesday, 13 June 2012

The Brass Band of Brothers

Caution is a useful instinct. My first decision with this paint job was to re-undercoat the lot with Chaos Black and work up silver detailing from there. Remembering that this is only the first unit of a very long clear-the-cupboards project, I dug out my pot of Devlan Mud to see what some of the old liquid talent could achieve first.

Ricco's Republican Guard
Perfection is just £2.30 away.

Quite a lot as it happens. I’m really happy with the way it has turned out: a brass/bronze look of tough plate armour (the spear tips and sword hilts have been left the original gold – so you can see the contrast). The full process: White primer – Burnished Gold base – Chestnut Ink wash – Burnished Gold drybrush – 1st Devlan Mud wash – Mithril Silver drydrush – 2nd Devlan Mud wash. That may sounds like an involved process, but the models are pretty much nothing but armour (and finely-detailed armour too), so it didn’t take too long.

Ricco's Republican Guard
Before ... and After. (You see the improvement? He even looks bigger)

Liche Purple for the headbands and favours, which also took away some of the overall redness. I did try to repaint the spear tassels white (to match the plumes), but it actually looked better to leave them pink (actually Red Gore).

And after kvetching that the unit doesn’t rank up properly, I discovered that it was my fault: by chance, I do have the right number of third-rank, second-rank and front-rank pikemen. So with a bit of realigning on their bases, everything is pointing the way it should.

Ricco's Republican Guard
"But sir ... what if they attack us from the side?"
"Don't complicate things, Stibbins."

I also did some rearranging of the Republican Guard captain, ‘Ragged Ricco’. Rather than having his left fist raised, as originally designed, I had modelled him so he was holding a spare pike in that arm. Except he wasn’t actually holding it in his fist, more cradling it in the crook of his elbow like a drunken man putting his mate in a headlock.

Ragged Ricco
"You're a skinny bastard, but I bloody love you!"

So I removed the pike and tore the arm off (discovering a pin and green stuff – so I clearly put a lot of work into pursuing a bad idea), and repositioned it in a more dramatic fashion. Now Ricco looks like a proper captain.


As for the weapons, my original intention was to replace the spear tips with scythe blades (scythes counting as great weapons in … 4th edition rules?) and paint them along a ‘Templars of Morr’ theme (where the black armour would come in handy). But when I tested it out, the stance of holding the polearm was off, and it looked more like they were going fishing. So I’m sticking with the pikes (‘Greatspears’ perhaps?) and will have to find another use for my HeroQuest Skeleton.

HeroQuest Skeleton
Now bugger off and annoy Texas Pete.

Following my cosmetic-based standards of army selection, they’ve gone from being a unit I was happy to see mothballed, to one that I really enjoyed painting, and can’t wait to get into the field. So it turns out it wasn’t a bad paint job, just an unfinished one.

Not quite pikes and not quite greatswords...
say hello to the schiltrons.


  1. Interesting to note that the skeleton is in fact holding the scythe the wrong way round. If you want to do proper reaping, the blade should face out, pointing behind you as you swing, I have recently learnt. Oh, those silly skeletons.

    1. It's almost as if the reanimated composites of flensed bones and dark magic aren't even INTERESTED in gathering wheat in an efficient manner.