Category Archives: A Song Of Ice And Fire

House Stark – Part 2

I’m not usually one for batch painting but if I’m honest the House Stark Sworn Sword miniatures I have are both straightforward to paint and not very interesting so I decided to just power through without delay. 

Stark Sworn Swords ASOIAF Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Stark Sworn Swords ASOIAF Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)Stark Sworn Swords ASOIAF Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)Stark Sworn Swords ASOIAF Wudugast ConvertOrDie (4)

With this little lot done the squad was almost complete and just needed a man with a banner to help them stand out in the thick of the fray.

Stark Banner ASOIAF Wudugast (1)Stark Banner ASOIAF Wudugast (2)Stark Banner ASOIAF Wudugast (3)

With him done the unit could actually be called complete, as Robb Stark will be taking the final slot and acting as the leader. However there will be days when I feel like having someone else in charge of the army, or Robb will be attached to a different unit or busy doing something else like helping Uncle Edmure to plan his wedding. At such times I’ll need someone else to take charge of this unit – enter the Sworn Sword Captain.

Stark Sworn Swords ASOIAF Wudugast ConvertOrDie

The unit still isn’t done though, to be called complete it needs a movement tray so I got that painted up as well. 

ASOIAF Movement Tray Wudugast ConvertOrDie

And as I was doing so I realised I still hadn’t painted the movement tray for Grey Wind either, so I painted it at the same time.

Grey Wind ASOIAF Wudugast ConvertOrDie Game of Thrones Wolf CMON (1)

Here’s the full squad of Sworn Swords, ready to take to the field.

Stark Sworn Swords ASOIAF Group Wudugast

In theory my next move will be to paint up some more units from the Stark vs Lannister boxset but having painted these Sworn Swords I’m in the mood to tackle something a bit more fancy from the wider Stark range so I might veer off and do that instead – watch this space I guess!


House Lannister – Part 1

The barbaric bannermen of House Clegane have their place but my Lannister army is mostly going to be made up of the house’s own (rather classy looking) troops. I don’t often get the chance to paint some nice, opulent looking colour-schemes but the Lannisters provide it in spades. Whilst the rank and file of House Stark prefer to look grim and austere as they march into battle the Guardsmen of House Lannister know that if you’re going to war you ought to do it in style!

Lannister Guardsmen ASOIAF Wudugast (1)Lannister Guardsmen ASOIAF Wudugast (2)Lannister Guardsmen ASOIAF Wudugast (3)

These were a lot of fun to do and I’m looking forward to working my way through the rest of them. However whilst the troops are taking to the field someone needs to be manipulating things from behind the scenes; enter the queen of paranoia and rash decisions herself, Cersei Lannister.

Cersei Lannister ASOIAF Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Cersei Lannister ASOIAF Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)Cersei Lannister ASOIAF Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)Cersei Lannister ASOIAF Wudugast ConvertOrDie (4)

Like several other models from the starter set, the original miniature for Cersei isn’t the best, the sculptor has done a fine job conveying her expression but it feels like a sketch, not a finished piece, which leaves a lot of the work in the hands of the painter. Still it’s a nice enough miniature in my book, and definitely counted as an easy win (once I’d figured out how to paint blonde hair that is!).

Cersei is joined by her little brother Tyrion Lannister, who’ll be the second of the non-combat characters for my Lannister army. They’ve done a good job of capturing the character with this one and, especially compared to some of the other models in the starter set – like his sister for instance – he’s quite well sculpted too.

Tyrion Lannister ASOIAF Wudugast (1)Tyrion Lannister ASOIAF Wudugast (2)

All in all I’ve been enjoying painting these brightly coloured, smartly turned out models, they’re a nice change from the grubby-looking individuals I usually paint. Alongside the Starks, painting up an army of them is one of my key goals for the year so expect to see plenty more of them in the coming months.


House Stark – Part 1

This month I’ve mostly been concentrating on painting the Lannister half of the Starks vs Lannisters starter set for A Song of Ice and Fire (expect to see them here soon!). Lately however I fancied a bit of a change of pace so this time we’re going to be looking at the hardy northerners instead of their fancy-pants rivals.

So far I’ve not done much with the Starks but what I have done is tackle a couple of the key characters for the faction and a few troops. The leader of my Stark army, for now at any rate, will be Robb Stark so he seemed like a fine place to start working on the faction. When Lord Eddard Stark is called away to the capital King’s Landing he leaves his eldest son Robb to command the North in his absence. Soon garnering the title “the Young Wolf” Robb proves himself to be a capable leader and a cunning and determined tactician.

Robb Stark ASOIAF Wudugast (1)Robb Stark ASOIAF Wudugast (2)Robb Stark ASOIAF Wudugast (3)

I really like this miniature, it’s not fancy but it contains a lot of personality and really suits the character of the young northern lord. However anyone who’s read the novels will know that the younger Starks seem to get into trouble the moment they’re separated from their pet dire wolves, so I reckoned I’d be wise to paint Robb’s canine companion Grey Wind as well.

He’s better sculpted than pretty much any wolf Games Workshop has managed over the years but he’s still not the greatest model, the head especially is really poor and from some angles looks quite squashed and misshapen. In the end all he needed was a fairly quick and dirty paint job, and to be honest that’s all he really deserves as well. 

Grey Wind ASOIAF Wudugast ConvertOrDie Game of Thrones Wolf CMON (1)Grey Wind ASOIAF Wudugast ConvertOrDie Game of Thrones Wolf CMON (2)

Just a boy and his dog, going for a walk… to King’s Landing…

Grey Wind Rob Stark Wudugast ASOIAF

Of course even these two stalwarts aren’t going to defend the North without a little help and as it happens I’ve got a whole heap of Sworn Swords on my desk ready to heed their liege lord’s call. These are not the most visually interesting sculpts by any stretch of the imagination – they’re not bad but they’re not all that exciting either. I do have a lot of them however so I went for a scheme that was quick and easy to replicate but nothing fancy.

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All being well I should be able to rattle through the rest of the squad in short order – but first; some Lannisters!


The Mountain’s Men – Part 2

A handful of Ser Gregor’s men emerged from the towers to watch him dismount; hard-eyed, hard-mouthed men, the lot of them. They would have to be, to ride beside the Mountain”
Jamie Lannister – A Feast For Crows

Four more House Clegane thugs join the two I painted last week.

Mountains Men ASOIAF Game of Thrones Lannister Wudugast ConvertOrDie (5)Mountains Men ASOIAF Game of Thrones Lannister Wudugast ConvertOrDie (6)Mountains Men ASOIAF Game of Thrones Lannister Wudugast ConvertOrDie (7)Mountains Men ASOIAF Game of Thrones Lannister Wudugast ConvertOrDie (8)

I’m quite enjoying painting these guys, they’re nice and straightforward. I reckon I should be able to bash through the squad fairly easily, but before I do that I turned my attention to “the Mountain” himself, the infamous Ser Gregor Clegane. 

Gregor Clegane Lannister Mountain GameOfThrones Wudugast ASOIAF (1)Gregor Clegane Lannister Mountain GameOfThrones Wudugast ASOIAF (2)Gregor Clegane Lannister Mountain GameOfThrones Wudugast ASOIAF (3)Gregor Clegane Lannister Mountain GameOfThrones Wudugast ASOIAF (4)

In many ways this model is a bit of a missed opportunity. He’s a big lad – the character is always described as being an absolute giant of a man – but there are a lot of blank spaces on the model and the size of it only emphasises this. I’m not suggesting he should have been bedecked with skulls like a champion of Khorne, but adding something in all those spaces, particularly something characterful that reminds us of his barbarity, would have been worthwhile. Likewise obscuring his head behind a full helm seems like a mistake, it’s very accurate to descriptions of the character from the novels but this is surely a miniature who is crying out for a bare head on which to display an expression of furious and bloodthirsty rage. Instead we have a knight in House Clegane livery modelled at a larger scale than the rest of the range, and if it wasn’t for his sheer size there would be nothing at all to tell us that this is the feared Mountain himself. Overall the model is chunky and crude, which admittedly also described the character. There are a couple of new versions of the character which have been made since this one but without seeing them in person it’s hard to say how much this issue has been resolved. Still, stand him next to his troops and there’s no doubt why he’s been nicknamed “The Mountain”.

Gregor Clegane Lannister Mountain GameOfThrones Wudugast ASOIAF (5)

Brutal bastard that he is, he’ll be taking charge of my Lannister army – at least until I get around to painting Jamie Lannister.


The Mountain’s Men – Part 1

Like many people, I suspect, I have a difficult relationship with George RR Martin’s series, A Song of Ice and Fire. For one thing the name transcends the usual pretentiousness of the fantasy genre to reach for something that sounds downright silly. That aside though old George has a knack for writing the most deeply flawed characters and making them engaging. You find yourself caring deeply about people that, if they were in a lesser series, you wouldn’t give a damn about or would gladly see bumped off as soon as possible. He nails the hard fact, that in real life – and especially in times of war – there are no straightforward “goodies vs baddies” (despite what the news media might like to tell us).

As the characters so the books themselves; Martin’s writing may be compelling but it’s far from perfect. The first novel, A Game of Thrones, still stands for me as amongst the very best the fantasy genre has to offer, but the sequels – despite some really powerful moments – sometimes fail to reach it’s giddy heights. Whole chapters drag by in which next to nothing happens. Pivotal characters appear to be abandoned whilst the misadventures of every peasant in Westeros are paraded before the reader’s glazing eyes. And then of course there are all the high points, the compelling storyline, engaging characters and powerful writing that keeps you hooked whilst George retreats to whatever distant citadel he lurks in whilst he twiddles his thumbs for another decade or so, counting his cash and leaving the rest of us to wonder if he’s ever going to actually finish writing the damn thing.

Then there was the TV show and, in keeping with the theme, it had its up and downs. To begin with at least it was great; they changed things from the books (generally for the worse unfortunately but it was all forgivable in the early days) but the acting top-notch, and on the whole they did wonderful job of drawing the viewer into the world. Those who’ve seen it will recall the wedding held at Kings Landing which was so beautiful even Joffrey got a little choked up. After a while of course it all veered wildly away from the plot of the books and the flaws in the last couple of series are so extensive, and have been described in detail so many times, that they really aren’t worth going over again now. In the end it all came crashing down as the surviving characters smashed their way through the fourth wall to lecture us, the audience, wagging their fingers self-righteously in our faces because we had cheered for the wrong people all along and everything that had happened was somehow our fault.

So yeah, A Song of Ice and Fire is a series which – and I know this is quite a common phenomenon – I will say that I love and then complain about for the next couple of hours.

When it comes to the ASOIAF miniatures game I sat on the fence for quite a while. I loved the Lord of the Rings (both the books and the films) – although admittedly without the uncritical passion of some of my friends – but I never really got into the miniatures games. I’ve painted the odd model here and there but nothing substantial. ASOIAF however captured my interest. In general the miniatures themselves are much better, and that alone should be enough, but I feel – without wanting to indulge in self-psychoanalysis – that there’s more to it than that, I just can’t put my finger on exactly what. The intricate world-building and vast cast of characters of the novels, which at times makes them so dense for the casual reader to approach, is perfect when it comes to creating background for a miniatures game. However as soon as I realised the game was made by CMON I backed off, and stubbornly refused to buy anything for the first few years. Burned once too many by their shenanigans in years gone by I sulked, until a deal too good to resist came along and my resolve crumbled – which brings me to where we are now. I’ve got a bunch of Starks and Lannisters from the original starter set, plus a few extras, so I’m going to start by putting together a couple of little armies, alongside my efforts to work through my other neglected projects. First on the table we have a couple of ruthless rascals from The Mountain’s Men.

There are some pretty damn dastardly scumbags in Westeros but few are quite as unpleasant as Ser Gregor Clegane, often called The Mountain That Rides, or sometimes Tywin Lannister’s Mad Dog. The men that serve under him are known collectively, and unimaginatively, as The Mountain’s Men and are, not to put too fine a point on it, a right bunch of utter bastards. Needless to say my Lannisters won’t be getting their hands dirty when they can call in their bannermen instead so my first step towards raising an army is to bring in a few of these thugs, starting with this unpleasant pair. Butcher’s boys beware! 

Mountains Men ASOIAF Game of Thrones Lannister Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Mountains Men ASOIAF Game of Thrones Lannister Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)Mountains Men ASOIAF Game of Thrones Lannister Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)Mountains Men ASOIAF Game of Thrones Lannister Wudugast ConvertOrDie (4)

I really enjoyed painting these two and I’ve already got a few more that I’ve started working on so expect to see more recruits appearing shortly.