Breaking Lances: The French Connection

Hot Fleur on Fleur Action!

French Knights

As I get closer to having my Breaking Lances rules finalized (I both bless and curse editors) I've been working towards getting more variety in the choices of knights that will be available. These two are prototypes that will merge into the final model.

A three quarter view shows how challenging it is to make contact.


 Le Chevalier Azure

This design is actually a coat of arms of my good friend Stanislas. I've changed the colors of the charge to protect the innocent. (and in case he owes anyone groats).

Blue on blue was a fun challenge.

The inspiration for this knight's colors came from the Fantastic mind of the late Angus McBride
(in other words, I stole it from this painting)

Le Chevalier Blanc et Noir

This fine fellow is closer to what the final model will look like. I strengthened the Fleur- de- lys and simplified the design some, to make it easier to read and paint. The color scheme is from the Codex Manesse, but I couldn't find the source page to show you.

After looking at the pictures I'm going to bump up the contrast on the white caparison and mantle.
Both knights will be in a grand tournament I'm running at Dundracon Game Convention in February. Come by and show your jousting skills if you can!


Kings of War: Hand gunners

The Great Rebase-ining Continues

As work towards my upcoming Triumph of Death"late landsknecht" undead army to be ready for my kickstarter, I figured I had best have someone for them to fight against, so I've dug out my old renaissance army and started rebasing it.
Hand gunners  set up as troops so as to be flexible.
OMG how many shoes and stripped stockings did I hit with brown paint when basing these!

So- the kicker. I had "remembered" that these fine lads were all done and just needed to be rebased. What I soon realized is that in my zeal to field them, they had been painted to our gaming groups "3 color" rule, meaning that they had enough to look good on the field. A weeks worth of night time touch up and follow up, and they are now ready to rock official like!

 The over all effect of the rebase-ining is winning me over. :)


Triumph of Death: First cast sneak peak

Front rank shields are coffin lids, like in Breugel's painting
Say, what are those unpainted fellows in the background...

And the inspiration from Breugel's Triumph of Death.
 Got my first casts for review today of the 9 figures currently sculpted for my upcoming Triumph of Death 28mm line of models. Couldn't help myself to quickly get some paint on one. Really fun (and easy) to paint up. Maybe next one I'll even let the primer dry. :)


Kings of War: Heavy Pike

"All your base are belong to us!"

The great Re-Basening

Looking forward to my "Triumph of Death" line of undead landsknechts, I'll need someone to fight against them. I've got a half painted up "Empire" renaissance landsknecht army from my warhammer days, that are eager to be multibased. I figured that starting with a pike block made the most sense.

I have to admit I went into this with some trepidation, but once I let go and started building a "story" out of the unit, I became excited to do it- and to do more!

 All your Base

I've made the base  with a 5mm "deckled" edge to break it up and blend it in, as well as lock together with other bases. I think for future bases I'll only go 3mm over the standard Kings of War base size, as that jives with how if I had my minis on a Sabot/ movement tray the outer border would be.
By the way,  I totally got this (broken edge) idea from the great Simon Miller, aka Big Red Bat who does it for his awesome "To the Stongest" rules and game. Go check out his blog!

Mistakes were Made

I really do like the look of the unit, and it's kind of fun to be able to pick it all up on one base. In retrospect, I would have broken up the front line a bit more. They look almost as regimented as if they were on 20 x 20 bases.  Maybe they are just that well trained?! 


Triumph of Death: Musician Concepts

" It sounds like two cats mating in a gunny sack while someone is beating them with a stick!"
~  Anonymous music critic
What is more frightening than a army of undead Landsknechts? A Hurdy Gurdy!
Concept art for Triumph of Death musicians. 
 A couple of shots for some musicians to add to the command sets I'll have available for my Triumph of Death minis. 
This Woodblock print by Hans Holbein is an inspiration for the pieces.  


On the workbench: Introducing "Triumph of Death" 28mm Skeleton Landsknechts!

 "The Triumph of Death" by Pieter Bruegel the Elder is not for the squeamish. Commonly dated circa 1562, it ranks among the most terrifying paintings of the age, and the centuries since have only boosted its fearful currency." 
                                                 ~Richard B. Woodward
A first peek at some of my new "Triumph of Death" 28mm Renaissance skeleton greens.

Triumph of Death halberdiers greens

  What- you are doing Metal minis?

The first war game I played with miniatures was an undead skeleton army vs Romans using heavily tweaked WRG rules, and GM'd by the famous Alan Lucien.  The miniatures were old minifigs models from the late 70's or early 80's, with stylized Romans and a skeleton army (possibly the first skeleton minis ever made) modeled after Hans Holbien's "dance of the dead, or "Totentanz" woodcuts. They weren't the best sculpts, but man, they really did catch the essence of the period. That skeleton horde  and the "Totentanz" style of them has stuck with me like a first crush.  Older than old hammer, my bell had been rung!
Ranking up with traditional old school bases
A great piece showing the stylized skeletons of the 16th century
For years I've been drawing and making art around these Renaissance period stylized skeletons, usually half covered with their tight leather like skin, creating vignettes with skeletal halberdiers or Sweihanders. Looking back at my sketchbooks over the last decade and seeing how many times this idea has cropped up Renaissance skeletons, it really got me to thinking. Time to make some more toys. 
Concept drawing of a "attack mid" halberdier model

 I think in the back of my mine I've always wanted to recreate an updated line of minis in this style, but never had the sculpting chops to pull it off in metal. Last year became  friends with an amazing sculptor Drew Williams, who shared my passion of the idea and agreed to work with me to create a range of minis. This is how the "Triumph of Death" (or ToD for short) range of miniatures came about.  The goal of ToD is to create a  Renaissance period skeletal army in the flavor of period woodcuts and paintings. In a word, Skeleton Landsknechts!
The amazing Drew in his atelier

 Wait-  You are you going to share these, right?

You know, that is a fair question. This being the season of giving and all, I'd be a Scrooge to say no. 
The plan is to roll these out as a KS with a couple of unit designs available with  some command choices, in mid  February. They will also come with Kings of War sized unit bases.  As the greens come on line I'll be showing them off here. 
 In the mean time, I'd love feedback and ideas on what you think would make for a good Triumph of Death unit type- and what you would use them for.  I'm planning to use mine for Kings of War.



Warmaster: Orcs vs High Elves

My secret dragon (or cav) whompers! the varnish is still fresh

 So many bows... so many...

So- my mate Simon has, over the last 6 months been building up a sweet high elf army. Like 4000 points of it! I figured I'd let them get their first battle in and get bloodied on my poor Orc and goblin army.  We reckoned on 2,000 points each and started to plot out our forces for some lunch time matches at work (yeah, I have that kind of a cool job where we have a game room!). Today at lunch we revealed our armies, I got to oogle all of his immense forces -so many bows- and then we got down to business of dicing for terrain, sides, setting up, and who goes first.

Dragon's eye view of first part of turn 1. My goblin cav causing mischief

I see a flank charge in my future. End of my turn 1

High Elf left flank at start.
My extreme left flank. using the hill to not get shot.

Secret Weapons

I was pretty sure that Simon would have a dragon, or at least some heavy cavalry, and that I would need something that could reach out and touch them without getting into that nasty bow range. I needed some serious whompers. I raided my 10mm Romans box for a couple of onagers (catapults), added some wheels and subjugated some crew for them out of the rank and file, and voila- Orc Whompers!
Orc General inspects his new toys. (don't tell him where the armor came from)

 As luck would have it, my worthy opponent thought it best not to bring a dragon to an Orc fight, so my whompers will have to be content smacking cavalry around.

High Elves have a leadership of 10... kinda

I started the ball by getting my left flank, 3 units of  goblin wolf riders deep into enemy lines and close enough to fire upon a unit of chariots, taking one out and driving them back. My wizards used magic rings and Gerrooof! spells as a dirty trick to drive two of the enemy cav units off the board- one with success and the other almost. Sadly the one unit driven off was able to return, but all alone in the way back.

Other than some positioning of a goblin line, that was all of my troops I moved in turn 1.

Then it was the High Elf's turn. with an amazing leadership of 10 my opponent was able to move a third of his forces down to his right flank. As he was moving his last heavy cav unit into place- it happened. The roll of boxcars- the fumble roll. 
fumble and that unit is now smack dab center of my whomper range
Now Simon is a savvy fellow who knows he has crap luck with dice. His foresight had him buy a magic septre that would allow him a reroll on command. which he did- and rolled an 11. Those guys were staying right where they were, which is pretty much dead center of the battlefield, and straight down the barrel of my whompers, which may or may not be out of range. Next turn will tell.

Now that he was on a roll,  Simon brought all his archers he could to bear on my goblin cav, firing 6 shots and landing 2, of which I saved 1.  Yeah- elf bows...  A small drive back, but nothing to worry about.

And that's where we left off.  Tomorrow we'll be back at it, and I think I get to start with a flank charge. Wish me luck!


Breaking Lances: Knights WIP

I generally paint the arms then assemble, but you don't have to.

 A Day for Knights

Busy holiday week, but I did find some time to redesign the tilting fences and then start work on a few more knights.

I didn't get a shot of the fences yet, but they fit together better with easy set up and take down. More on that in the next blog.

The blue fellow in the above pic is inspired by this page out of the Codex Manesse.  I'm working on a few more helmet crest and shield variants, and will have 12- 15 ready at launch.
 For those of you with the decerning eye, you can see some actual metal and resin minis lamenting in the wings. In particular some fantastic Halfmen goat knights from Westfalia Miniatures, and a couple of awesome French foot knights from Claymore Castings.  Highly recommend both!


Breaking Lances: More Knights for Tournament

  Two more knights for the tournament

Got these guys painted up over the week. Playing with new colors and patterning. One fellow is based off of a page from the Manesse Manuscript, the other a challenge of colors from my own imagination.

The models are a real treat to paint, and I'm keen on getting the rules and models out to you'ze guys soon.

That leads me to a few of questions:
Should I put the models up for sale now, and keep working on the jousting rules (set)  or wait till they are all complete?
Would anyone out there be interested in the knights coming with a sheet of color printed shield patterns and decorations for the barding, that you could cut out and glue on?
Thinking of making the knight a mounted dismounted set that you buy together. Does this appeal to folks or would you just like to get them separately? 

This design was out of my own head, and not historical (that I know of)

Using a mix of GW and scale color for the NMM golds.

Inspiration for the next fellow.

Fun challenge of colors. Need to work on that Heraldry a bit.
 Thanks- That's all for this week. Next time- actual non wooden minis !