Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The pre-tournament push

Works in progress: Knights Snow Leopard
Axemaster is in 2 days now, so the pressure is on to make sure everything is ready. As usual, I decided to use the tournament as motivation to get something painted. It remains the single most effective way for me to paint, as it provides a sense of urgency (thus getting me to paint far more frequently than I normally do). It also gives a deadline, so I (and my wife) know that the push is for a finite period and won't go on forever...

In this case, I committed myself to painting a unit of 14 knights, along with a hero to lead them into battle. Everything else in the list was used in the last tournament, Book of Grudges. Painting the knights ties in with my ambitions regarding the Kislev game, however this tie-in meant I was initially assembling 40 knights at once, rather than the 14 + 1 I needed for Axemaster. I was even planning to paint all 40 at once. After all, they're knights - how hard could it be? They're all armour...

It should be noted here that I have made this mistake before, on several occasions. The first I can recall was about 10 years ago, when I decided that painting 80 Night Goblins at once would be easy (I was planning to leave their black robes untouched after the black undercoat, so there wasn't that much to do). That wound up being a soul-destroying effort, even if they were indeed simple to paint on an individual basis. The next time I can remember biting off more than I could chew was 40 of the plastic multi-part Black Orcs. Again, they're all armour - how hard can it be? In the end I finished 20 of them, and the other 20 remain mostly done (requiring some detailing and highlighting). They have remained mostly done for well over a year now...

Thankfully this time I realised the folly of my plans before I started to paint the knights. It was actually having to construct the panther cloaks out of green stuff that was the breaking point. Even using moulds, I was limited in terms of the speed I could produce them, and I started to realise that I was running out of time. I had put cloaks on enough models for Axemaster, but there were still more than 20 to do, and I only had 2 weeks before the tournament. I decided to cut my losses there, and just painted those models with cloaks. This ended up being 19 models in total (18 knights plus the hero). So a few bonus knights get in on the deal, which will make the second sweep slightly less painful.

I got too little painting done last week, including rather foolishly playing Halo on Saturday night when I should probably have been working on the knights. As a result, I have been doing at least some painting every night this week, and will probably be working right up until the end of Friday night. Of course, painting late on the night before a tournament is tradition, so this is not such a big problem. A special mention must be made of my long-suffering wife helping me on Tuesday night - her first painting in quite a while (maybe the desperation of my plight was apparent to her)...

At this point I have done most of the work on the models. I still need to paint the horse flesh, reins and saddles, I need to highlight the faces of those knights with open visors (most of them to be honest), I need to choose a colour of sword for the hero (I like pretty glowing weapons on my heroes - makes them stand out), and I need to work out what to do about the banner. Oh, and they all need a bit of tidying of the white on their cloaks, as well as the addition of leopard markings. No problem...

Another shot of the whole batch. The hero is on the near end (the old Grand Master of the Knights Panther model).
Much the same shot, without the flash.
I'm using the old metal Knights Panther standard bearer, which means he had no banner on his standard pole. Of course, this only occurred to me partway through painting. The banner was butchered from a 6th edition state troop one (a square banner with a tail at the top), then I used green stuff to wrap it around the pole.
A closer look at some of the knights. As you can see, they're not far off done.


  1. Christie is hereby declared a Hero Of The People's Republic for her painting efforts. She is also pushed to the top of the list of possible cloning subjects when the infamous Dr. P. W. Restlier's Patent Clone-O-Mat is completed. We could do with more women of her calibre.

  2. This is high praise indeed.

    I have passed on the news of her new status in the cloning plans.

  3. An exceptional unit of Knights, very nice work Hoodling. I know what you mean about needing a deadline - I need one for everything otherwise it never gets completed !

    PS. thanks for joining our forum, would you mind if I posted some of your mini pics there ? I'll credit you and your blog in the image captions.

  4. Hi Sigmar, thanks for the welcome.

    Feel free to use whatever pics you like.