Thursday, 23 August 2012

Oh Captains, My Captains

I think it reflects well on my egalitarian spirit that I spend so much time converting and painting the humble rank-and-file of my armies, and yet when it comes to the heroes, I'll crap out any old thing.

Yes, that must be it. My captains are rubbish because I'm such a nice person.

Lorenzo Lupo
"Are you not entertained? Are you NOT entertained?"

This is Lorzeno Lupo, merchant prince of Luccini and one of the special characters in the Dogs of War book (although there's really not much special about him - he gives a +1 combat bonus and gains a randomly-determined characteristic bump). So he gets to be my Empire General, by virtue of seniority (and the fact that I couldn't scrape up a model I preferred).

I must have liked the model originally (especially since I picked up two of them) and it's a decent sculpt. I think there are problems with the design: the head is slightly tilted back, and combined with the flat-facing crest, it pushes the inclination of the model backwards, almost if he's falling over. The big round shield also distracts from the nice detailing beneath. I tried to remedy both these problems in my converted Alcatani captain, and I humbly think it's better for it.

Lorenzo Lupo
From this angle, frankly, any one of us could be Spartacus.

My other problem was actually what drew me to the model in the first place: the Roman centurion style. I like a bit of historical flavour, but this turned out to be too faithful in its depiction. It could have easily been a model from a range of historical miniatures, with no fantasy or unique twist at all.

I didn't stray far with the colour scheme: the bronze armour got White primer – Burnished Gold base – Chestnut Ink wash – Burnished Gold drybrush, and then Devlan Mud as an afterthought. The leather straps were Scorched Earth and the cloak was Red Gore with a Red Ink wash.

With his centurion's mini-skirt (there's probably a manlier name for that), it meant no chance for Shadow Grey trousers - one of the few models in the army not to have this - so maybe that's what I've got against the model. I simply INSIST on Shadow Grey trousers.

The only other captain in my army started life as Bronzino, commander of the Galloper Gun battery. As I'm now proxying these as cannons, and I already have an Engineer (which would have been the obvious choice for him), he gets a battlefield promotion.

"Fire! No, what do you say for cavalry - Charge!"

I like this captain a lot more than his general. His pose is dynamic and shouty, he has the forward-facing crest to his helmet (matching the other soldiers), the peg-leg is a nice detail and there is a great 'crossed-cannons and flaming cannonball' motif on his armour, helmet and horse harness. The horse's head was another metal addition from the Gallopers, so gets to stay in proportion (although without a thick draught collar, the join between metal and plastic is more obvious than my modelling skills could cope with).

He does look a little under-equipped for an army hero (the horse especially - it would be quite a leap to count that metal cap as 'barding'), and he totally doesn't match the likeliest regiment he'll lead, but I dare say I'll find uses for him.

"Just because I have a peg leg, please don't make a pirate joke.
Tharr ain't nothing funny about prosthetics."

The bronze armour had the same treatment as all the other pieces in the army, with extra Devlan Mud added to make it extra-bronzey. As he was originally painted to lead the Galloper crew, the crest was Regal Blue and the trousers Shadow Grey (yes!). The horse was Space Wolves Grey with a thin wash of Black Ink, then drybrushed.

And so you have it: Colonel Lorenzo and Captain Piolo - the senior managers of the Enterprise of Campogrotta!

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