Saturday, February 1, 2014

Bretonnian Army Crazy Project (5th edition miniatures)

Today I want to share with you a project that I intend to do.

Before I explain the project I think I need to do a not so little introduction. I started collecting miniatures when I was 13 years old during the summer holidays in the north of Spain. The first miniatures I bought were the 5th edition plastic Bretonnian Bowmen of Warhammer Fantasy. At the same time my twin brother bought for himself 8 5th edition Wood Elf bowmen. The reason of my nick being "Sir Skofis" is something pretty old of around the same time that I started collecting my Bretonnian Army. We also bought the Warhammer paint set that included 9 citadel paints and 6 Bretonnian bowmen, that was great for me even if my brother was the owner of 3 of them. After horribly painting the bretonnian and wood elf bowmen we go back to the same store that we have bought them to buy more miniatures. I don't remember what my brother get, but I get my first two plastic Knights of the Realm, adding them to my for the moment pretty small collection.

When we get back to Madrid we visited an official Games Workshop store for the first time. For a 13 years old boy it was an impressive view with the game tables and the lots and lots of the miniatures. That day I bought the White Dwarf magazine that contained the provisional Bretonnian Army List and the a model of the metal Grail Knights command group following the suggestions of one of the staff that told me that those were the best Knights of them all =). We went to that store a few times during that year and I kept adding miniatures to my collection as my income allowed me, so pretty slowly. I end up having the model of Louen Leoncoeur mounted on Hippogryph, two Damsel of the Lady, two Questing Knights heroes on foot, a Grail Knight, the Grail Knight hero with a two handed sword, the command group of the men-at-arms, 10 plastic Knights of the Realm (2 that I already have + 8 more) and around 30 bowmen, from which I only retain around 20, and only 11 of them without any damage or conversions. The first conversions that I did in this hobby using Green Stuff was to convert 3 of the Knights of the Realm into Grail Knights, lets say that they weren't great conversions, the yellow and black knight is one of them, the other two conversions haven't survive to this day.

With those miniatures it wasn't possible to make a valid army list but I didn't a lot of money and I was also invested in building a goblin army to combine with my brother orc army. So the "army" didn't grow for a couple of years until the renovation of the Bretonnian Army Book.

When the army was renewed I bought a Bretonnian Battalion, the one with 8 Knights of the Realm, 16 men-at-arms, 16 bowmen and 3 Pegasus Knights. After that I bought another box with 8 plastic Knights and my brother bought another to use for our Mercenary Cavalry, I end up adding those knights to my army when we change the mercenary cavalry unit with some second hand Knights of the Empire. After that and before GW changed the content of the Bretonnian Battalion I bought a second Battalion. With all this Knights and peasants, making a few conversions I had a decent and playable army. But in that Army I combined the old models with the new ones and that really didn't look rights as the size of the horses and of the knights is quite different.

With that I consider the introduction finished and now I will try to explain my Project.

Maybe because I'm a little nostalgic, but I always have wanted to have a nice looking Bretonnian Army with 5th edition Knights. Until recently I wasn't able to have one, first of all a cause of the money needed and second of all because to make a nice looking army it is needed and initial planning and spend time thinking about the colors and how they can be used together to make a cohesive army. I'm still not sure that I could do it but I'm going to try it.

There are really impressive painted knights but I know my limitations with the brushes so I'm not trying to make a great army of individual knights, I'm going to try to paint and army with tabletop level. That in the battlefield looks nice even if each model individually don't look as nice.

The first step of this project was to get more 5th edition miniatures as it wasn't possible to make and army with the miniatures that I already had. At beginnings of January I did a quick search of what was for selling in eBay, just to have an idea of the prices and how much money my project will cost. I really like what I found as there was a lot of offer and the prices weren't as high as I thought they would, with the exception of certain models. I found pretty easily everything I wanted in a couple of weeks and for a reasonable cost.

I end up adding to my collection 26 plastic Knights of the realm, a complete metal Knights of the realm command group, the champion of the errant knights and 3 Grail knights. So in total I end up having 47 5th edition horses with horseclothes.

The next step of the project is to strip down the paint of the painted miniatures (the ones that I had and the ones that I bought) and prepare them to be repainted. Curiously enough, the paint job of my miniatures where quite similar to the miniatures that I bought painted, flat and with lumps of paint.

I have already stated this step and Its coming quite nice. I already strip clean 16 knights and there are a few of them that were only primed or not painted at all.

The Knight distribution that I have in mind is the following:
  • 1 Bretonnian Paladin on horse with morning star. It is going to be a conversion as the model that existed like that was quite expensive.
  • 1 Bretonnian Paladin Army Battle Standard Bearer. it is also going to be a conversion.
  • 9 Knights of the Realm with command group
  • 9 Knights of the Realm with command group
  • 9 Errant Knights with command group. I'm going to make them with the Knights of the realm and the heads of the 6th edition plastic knights. I already had made this kind of conversion with two of them but I intend to improve the result by adjusting better the neck of the heads to the bodies.

  • 8 Questing Knights. This is going to be the most difficult unit to convert. I think they will have to carry a two handed weapon, as they do in the 6th edition army book because I have quite a few broken lances.
  • 8 Grail Knights. The ones that have made the count will say that I only have 5 original knights. to those Knights I intend to add two converted Knights of Realm with the bodies of the music and standard bearer and the other one is the Grail Knight hero with the two handed sword, but I'm not sure what I'm going to make with it, as it will look nice among the Questing knights.
There is an extra horse with horseclothes that I intend to use as the Damsel mount. With that distribution the army is compose of 5 cavalry units and a couple of mounted heroes. To complete the army there will be some peasants on  it: 20 men-at-arms with the plastic 6th edition men-at-arms and the metal command group, a unit of skirmish peasant bowmen, and a unit of peasant bowmen.

My first goal of this project is to finish the 9 Errant Knight unit before the 20th of March. To that purpose I have been working in some heraldic schemes using the shield and horseclothes outlines of the 5th edition Army Book. I made them simple, plain and unadorned as its fit for young knights that haven't earn the right to display blazons.

You can see that all of the designs are a combination of red and green mostly. I intend to use this to colors combined with yellow (gold) and white (silver) in all the Knights, so the army has a cohesive look. The actual shades of green and red are those that I used for my Army standard bearer of the 6th edition bretonnian models.

That Bretonnian hero conversion has some history behind it and I will told you about it in a future post.

To all of the people that have arrive until here thanks a lot for your patience =D

I will try to post updates of the project as far as I had something to show.

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