Monthly Archives: February 2017

Bretonnian Week: The Peasant

Few things are as inherently Bretonnian as a grubby peasant, whether he’s labouring in the fields for his feudal overlord or forming a ragged line of defence against whatever marauding invaders are currently despoiling said lord’s lands. Sadly my knowledge of actual peasant life is almost entirely gleaned from Monty Python, interspersed with dim recollections of a professor of agricultural history telling me that’s completely wrong.

I’m also not sure where this chap originated. He came to me in a box of other miniatures donated by a friend who was having a clear out (expect to see more of them later). Where he came from before that is a bit of a mystery to me though – I’m not even sure he’s a GW miniature. If anyone has any ideas feel free to suggest them in the box below.

Whatever weapon he originally held has long since snapped off so I replaced it with a suitable spear for him to lean world-wearily on in the background whilst his betters gallop past looking glorious and probably trampling his ill-kempt rows of cabbages into the bargain.

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Bretonnian Week: The Knight

This week Warhammer: Total War sees the arrival of the Bretonnians as a playable faction (for free no less!). Having been unloved and under-supported by Games Workshop for a very long time before their crushing demise during the End Times this must come as rather good news to fans of chivalry, honour and the constant oppression of ugly peasants.

I must confess that my interest in the peoples of fair Bretonnia has been slight at best and, although I was half expecting them to be reinvented to cash in on the resurgent interest in all things medieval in the wake of Game of Thrones I wasn’t entirely surprised when they went to meet Madam Guillotine instead.

The trouble with the Bretonnians was the lack of a distinct Warhammer flavour that left them looking like the odd man out in the setting. The Warhammer world always suffered from being cobbled together from whatever ideas the developers fancied in the early days, creating a miss-matched muddle that later generations had to wade through . From that point of view it’s no wonder they decided to kill it. Over time however some of those races evolved into distinctly Warhammer-y creatures – casting off, to a greater or lesser degree, their influences and standing on their own two feet/paws/hooves/whathaveyou. Not so the Bretonnians who remained stubbornly the medieval French. Now that’s not to blame the Bretonnians, a few more updates would have helped a lot, nor is it intended to do down the French (I’m spending all week with them) – but they certainly stand out like a sore thumb when battling against a Tolkien-esque walking tree and a scheming bio-mechanical ratman.

Like the Dukedoms of Bretonnia itself the faction suffered badly from neglect, it’s models outdated and its background often feeling tacked on or cobbled together. Often one was left with the impression that Games Workshop themselves didn’t know what to do with it – was it a pit of decadence and corruption, as in the early years, or a shining beacon of heroism and virtue? The latter hardly seemed to fit in with the general grubbiness of Warhammer in general, both in the Old World and 40k, whilst the former might very easily have been taken as a pinch of cross-channel sneering on the part of GW. Too much of the Bretonnian history and map also owed its origins to real world history – a problem that was quite widespread in the Old World – mixed up with Arthurian legends in a way that did nothing to help it gel with the wider background. The Knights, for example, are often obsessed with questing after the Grail – presumably unaware that Corbulo of the Blood Angels has it. Yet it’s never been particularly clear to me how said Grail fits into Warhammer and the culture of a non-Christian people like the Bretonnians. And let’s not forget the time when GW decided to cash in on their Nottingham base by shoehorning in Robin Hood (plus Merry Men). The result was a nation that appeared to have escaped from Monty Python and sat rather uncomfortably on the edge of the limelight, the unwanted guest that GW regretted inviting but doesn’t know how to evict without causing a scene.

However, having bashed the Bretonnians severely, perhaps I owe it to them to give them a second chance. After all once upon a time, long ago now, I even regarded them highly enough to consider starting an army of them. That may never have happened but this week I’ll be trying to redress the balance with a series of models dedicated to all things Bretonnian. Continuing the theme I’ll be away all week in Bretonnia’s real world equivalent  – France – so don’t expect me to be that quick at replying to comments. Fear not however, put your thoughts in the box below anyway and I shall feast on them when I return!

In the meantime let’s set the ball rolling with this knight, the only finished miniature from that long abandoned Bretonnian project. Coconut shells at the ready – here we go!

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The Year of the Rat – February

Back at the tail end of 2016 I promised so add at least one new model to my Skaven collection every month in 2017. Last month I managed just two clanrats (which means, if I keep painting at the current rate, I should get the army finished at roughly the same time as the Horus Heresy actually happens…). This month however I’ve managed to add a whole squad of rats to my army!*

*wadyamean it’s not as impressive as I made it sound? Why are you always so mean to me?!

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Fair enough it’s not the largest squad, nor is it made up of the largest models, but the undead have been keeping me busy (not to mention preparing for the Chapel, plus another little project to be revealed next week…).

And yes, I know it isn’t really the year of the rat. But it is for me!


Daemons Are A Ghoul’s Best Friend

Before tackling the Chapel, or any of the other forthcoming projects, there’s still the little matter of the living dead to be dealt with. After the struggle to get the skeleton’s painted tackling the ghouls was remarkably uncomplicated. Partly it’s the fact that ghouls are a lot easier to paint than skeletons, partly it’s that I really like the models (not that I have any bones with the skeletons mind you) and partly it’s that a combination of the previous factors means I did a much better job of painting them last time I tackled this project so there wasn’t nearly so much work involved this time round.

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Although I first created this chap back in (roughly) 2010 he always makes me think of IRO, fellow blogger and fan of ghoulish jesters.

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I’m sure you know the drill by now but any feedback or suggestions you have are more than welcome in the comments box.


The Chapel is calling…

So I got a couple of little parcels in the post today. One of them was full of the bits I need  for a very special upcoming project, whilst the other contained this mysterious message…message-from-the-chapel

Adventure awaits…


Came Back Haunted

Rising from the ground to haunt the living, it’s one of my favourite of GW’s plastic character models – the Cairn Wraith. I debated for quite a while over what colour to paint him, considering both a ghostly off-white and a bloody red to match his vampire master. In the end I decided to go for a haunting green, tying him in to the bases of the army and hopefully creating the impression that he’s rising spookily from the cursed soil.

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All My Freinds Are Skeletons – Part 2

And with a final effort my shambling minions rise from their tombs.

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The ghouls are next (and hopefully won’t be such hard work) although I might treat myself to finishing off another undead character first.