Monday, 23 July 2012

Taking the Pistoliers

And now we come to the most tenuous part of my metamorphosis from Dogs of War to Empire army: the light missile cavalry.

Back in the old days, you didn’t have to be a Volga Bulgar (say that five times quickly) to carry a bow on horseback. So for my horse archers, I chose to utilise some Riders of Rohan from the Lord of the Rings range.

Riders of Rohan
Enemies from the left, we got it covered.
Enemies from the right, we got a problem.

And there were some good reasons: they were relatively inexpensive plastics; the bows and shields matched up to the then-equipment requirements; most importantly, they were sculpted by the Perry Brothers, so the realistic proportions of men, weapons and horses meant they were a better fit for my existing Dogs of War that any other range.

You’ll just have to imagine them carrying pistols…

Riders of Rohan
Could happen. Those are some spacious cloaks they're wearing.

The paint job was probably quicker and easier than they deserve. Undercoated in Chaos Black (unlike my infantry, who were all Skull White), then metals were drybrushed Mithril Silver, cloaks and boots Snakebite Leather (with a thin wash of Brown Ink on the cloaks), with trousers and sleeves Shadow Grey (old reliable). The horses were Bestial Brown with a heavy wash of Brown Ink.

Great detailing on such little plastics – the blankets wrapped around the quivers gives you the impression of an actual soldier on campaign. And the horses’ heads are not, unlike elsewhere, the size of elephants.

Riders of Rohan
The roses of Rohan always came up lovely.

The only drawback is the limited number – only two types of archer – so for the leader, I did a bit of modifying. Taking an axe-wielding horseman, I removed the weapon head and, using the haft as a handle, fashioned a bullwhip from Green Stuff. I kept its curly shape solid with a coat of superglue (something I always rely on when I don’t trust Green Stuff not to squidge in storage).

Riders of Rohan
"Sotek. Why'd it have to be Sotek?"

And because he’s a got a whip, I filed away the cheekplates of the helmet and gave him a hat brim made from Green Stuff. It’s a little narrow for a proper Fedora, but you get the idea.

He also has a scar on his cheek (because that’s what always happens when I am careless about filing). Of course, if I was being meticulous, he would have a little scar just above his chin.

Riders of Rohan
I don't know, I'm making this up as I go.

As Fast Cavalry, Ol’ West Virginia Jones will usually act as the unit’s Musician, rather than Champion. I imagine cracking a whip will bring a fleeing unit back into line as quickly as blowing a trumpet.

So there you have my (ahem) Pistoliers. Or if you prefer, horse-archers that can fire really strong, armour-piercing arrows. Twice in one turn.

No comments:

Post a Comment