House Stark – Part 4

The other day after I painted those Stark archers I made some noises about perhaps breaking up the rather austere Starks with some nice opulent Lannisters. Instead I’ve veered off my original plan altogether and decided to paint some Stark allies in the form of some very fancy looking Tullys. 

For a while I really struggled with the shields. The Tully colours are blue and red (paly wavy azure and gules, a trout embowed argent apparently, no I don’t know what that means either – ask The Imperfect Modeller, he understands these things). The trouble is the rest of the scheme is very blue, so too much blue on the shields and the whole model just turns into a blue blob. Too much red on the other hand and it would look like they’d borrowed some Lannister shields, especially as I’ve not painted any other parts of the model red. Trying to get a mix of both colours on there looked set to be a lot of work and most likely lead to a lot of freehanding, something I was keen to avoid because a) it’s hard, b) it’s a guaranteed way to slow the project to a crawl, c) it seems a bit counter-productive when the models already have such nice designs on their shields and d) have I mentioned it’s hard? Brainwashed as I am by Games Workshop my next thought was to try blue and white (if it’s good enough for the Elves of Ulthuan…). Here’s a rare WIP picture of how far I got before I decided to change tack. 

Tully Sworn Shield Wudugast ASOIAF

Blue and white conjures images of the sky, little clouds, snapping pennants and snow-capped peaks. Perfect for the Knights of the Vale in fact, should CMON ever make them, but not so good for river loving Tullys. 

Then I realised that the answer was staring me in the face. I had been thinking of the raging white waters of upland brooks, not the placid green depths and winding meanders of a lowland river. I even managed to mix in some nice muddy reddish brown after all.

Tully Sworn Shields Wudugast ASOIAF

These really are some of the nicest models in the range in my book, and very straightforward to paint as well. Part of me wants to drop everything and paint some more straight away, and part of me thinks it would be wise to make them a treat for after I’ve worked my way through some other stuff. We’ll have to see which school of thought wins out. 

Whilst we’re on the subject of Tullys, I’ve also painted that most famous, complex and divisive daughter of the house; Catelyn (that’s “Lady Stark” to the likes of you and me). Like her opposite number in the starter box, Cersei Lannister, she’s not the greatest miniature ever sculpted so I didn’t knock my pan in trying to paint her to perfection. She’s done, I’m happy enough with the results and that’s good enough for me.

Catelyn Stark ASOIAF Wudugast GameOfThrones Miniatures (1)Catelyn Stark ASOIAF Wudugast GameOfThrones Miniatures (2)

It’s not just about Starks and Tullys though. Something I want to capture with this army is the appearance of an alliance of Northern houses. In time I plan to include Karstarks, Umbers, Mormonts and Boltons. Maybe someday I’ll be able to add some Manderlys, Glovers and Hornwoods too (again that’s assuming CMON both make them and then decide to actually sell them in the UK…). Those who are familiar with the later books or series of the TV show often forget – I know I do – that the Boltons start out as allies sworn to support the Starks. In this case the men of the Dreadfort will be represented by a squad of the ominous Black Guard. As mercenaries these lads can also fight alongside my Lannisters (or even any other factions I might decide to paint – although as I’m a bit of a “book loyalist” I don’t really see that happening – unless the wildly unlikely happens and the Boltons join up with some other faction in a later book).

Bolton Black Guard ASOIAF Wudugast (1)Bolton Black Guard ASOIAF Wudugast (2)Bolton Black Guard ASOIAF Wudugast (3)

As with the Tullys I really like these models so I’ll aim to prioritise them in the near future. So long as I don’t invite them to any weddings everything should be fine…

17 responses to “House Stark – Part 4

  • Alex

    Aw, brilliant mate – I’m really enjoying this project 👍👍

  • Faust

    It’s been a good long while, but I guess I also forgot that the Boltons helped the Starks. I’ve only ever watched the show and the latter seasons just once. But I rewatched the early seasons a few times and it’s always interesting to see how things developed (and how many people died along the way!!).

    Ok enough about shows! Those are so damn fine minis! I liked the blue/white shield better, but you’re right on the design call. They are all looking good, maybe the the guy with the blood tears shield is my fave though. Yea, though I do really like the cloak and dress on Lady Stark as well. I hope we get to see a group shot with the different factions at some point. That would be pretty amazing. 🙂

    • Wudugast

      Yeah, you get so used to thinking of the Boltons as baddies that you forget that they were bannermen of the Starks in the early days. Then again they were still pretty unpleasant even then which I always thought made things interesting – it was never clear cut “Starks = good, Lannisters = bad” both sides had their villains and their heroes; just like in a real war.

      Aye, I’ve rewatched the early seasons once or twice myself, but the later seasons I only watched as they came out and haven’t really gone back to since. The early stuff was so damn good but then it started to loose it’s way. Not that I would say the later stuff was all bad, and I enjoyed most of it at the time, but the sheer, rich quality of the books and the early seasons was gone.

      As for the Tully shields I know what you mean about the white but sometimes you’ve got to murder a few darlings (something the Boltons take rather too literally!). I’ll find a use for that blue and white scheme somewhere sooner or later. I think the Bolton guy with the blood tears on his shield is my favourite of this set too, he just looks so grim and fearsome. As for a group shot I’ll aim to do that as soon as I’ve got some more squads finished, it should encourage me to keep my focus.

  • John@justneedsvarnish

    Definitely all very nice! 🙂 The final shield colours do look good, although the white and blue did to be fair (although I realise you wanted a more appropriate scheme)!

  • Kuribo

    The minis look great and I can see why you had a quandry with the color scheme as well. Does Blackfish got a model? He should have! I think he might be my favorite character on the show (outside of Renly). I don’t know why but I tend to gravitate towards the obscure characters for some reason 🙂

    • Wudugast

      Thanks man! Yes, as it happens there are actually two models for Brynden Tully – one on foot and one mounted. I’ve got the former and now you’ve reminded me about him I’ve dug him out and put him with the rest of the Tullys (might as well paint him at the same time right?). He can even be the army’s commander when Robb needs a day off.

      I know what you mean about the more obscure characters, I suffer from the same thing – I’m often as curious to find out what’s going on with them as I am with the big names (Moqorro, Marwen the Mage, Alleras, Alys Karstark and Patchface all spring to mind). I’m not necessarily cheering for them, some of them are clearly pretty villainous, but there’s obviously been so much thought put into these little side characters and they almost always pay-off in some way down the line – even if it isn’t always obvious. Anyway, you’ll also be pleased to hear that the Blackfish doesn’t die in the books when he does in the show and, as far as we’re up to anyway, he’s still on the run and being a thorn in the Lannister side.

      • Kuribo

        That is very good to hear and I can’t wait to see what Blackfish looks like! I’m not going to Google it and spoil it either. I ended up watching his scene from GoT where and Jaime talk before the siege. Its still great! 🙂

        I think the side characters really make you feel like this world is rich and lived in. Many of my favorite franchises offer that too so GoT and A Song of Ice and Fire and treading down a familiar but fun path 🙂

      • Wudugast

        You do seem prefer the characters who die in the show but survive in the books (and given how happy George is to kill people off that’s some achievement!). First Mance, now the Blackfish (before you get your hopes up poor old Renly bites the dust either way).

        Exactly, I think a rich cast of characters makes a setting feel very alive, especially as so many of them have their own little sub-plots that tie into one another. Sometimes it seems a bit hard to keep track of but that’s no surprise given that there are over 2000 characters in ASOIAF (according to some guy on the internet who counted them anyway) of which 26 are named John. To me it just means there’s more to be gained from re-reading it as you start to spot all the little connections you missed the first time around. Anyway, I’ll try to get the Blackfish painted soon – I don’t want to keep his fan club waiting after all! 😀

      • Kuribo

        You can see why I was disappointed as the show went on and all of the characters I liked died whereas ones I was ambivalent about like Sansa, Arya, and Daenarys all survived (until the second to last season anyway when I gave up)!

        Keeping track of names in books is definitely challenging and 26 John’s is an awful lot. I hope the John we know isn’t reading this or we may be in for a bit of trouble! 😀 The Blackfish fan club may only have me in it but I’m excited to hear that! 🙂

  • theimperfectmodeller

    Lovely work as always and the change of shield colours was the right move in my opinion. The hardest figures to paint are those based on real characters I think. So much depends on the quality of the sculpt as well as the painter. This is a great project for sure so keep them coming! Appreciate the shout out, just as long as nobody asks me! 😉

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! Well I wouldn’t have understood even a fraction of paly wavy with anything embowed (argent or otherwise) if it hadn’t been for your army of knights last year so when it comes to heraldry you can honestly say you taught me all I know!
      I know what you mean about real characters being the hardest to paint but at the same time I’m enjoying the challenge of researching each element and getting it “right” (or at least right enough that I’m happy with it, I’ve already made a few changes in the interest of creative licence and I’m sure I’ll make quite a few more before I’m done).

  • imperialrebelork

    Great work across the board there mate. I like the direction you went with the shields and I actually quite like the model of Lady Stark. There’s something ethereal and regal about her.

    • Wudugast

      Thanks dude! Glad you like Lady Stark – she’s not the best miniature on earth I reckon but I never half-arse a model if I can help it so I gave her my best shot all the same without stressing myself out over it, glad you think it paid off. 🙂

  • patmcf

    Another great set mate, I cant pick a favorite as they are all so good but If I had to it would be the fine Lady followed by the Knight before the blood tears guy.

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