Tuesday, 12 February 2013

What next?

After the excitement of Hel Fenn and then, less than a month later, the biggest event on the gaming calendar in Cancon, I am afraid I suffered a little bit from hobby burnout. At least, I assume that was my problem. In the few weeks since Cancon, I have achieved little in the way of modelling or painting, and I haven't played a game of Warhammer either (despite making it down to the club twice). The lull felt kind of natural to me and thus I didn't try to push myself to do anything much. But now I've had time to recover and it's back to work.

My painted Empire army continued to grow admirably last year, but there are still gaps I am yet to fill. The main one is Reiksguard Knights. Granted, I have a couple of different Knight units painted, and was able to substitute in the Knights Snow Leopard up at Cancon when I put Reiksguard into my list and didn't have time to paint any. However, the Reiksguard are an easily recognisable part of the Empire army, and so I actually want some dedicated models for them. It also happens that I am quite comfortable painting Knights (I've had a fair bit of practice now), so a unit of Reiksguard feels like a good way to ease myself back into the realm of hobby productivity.

Eventually I expect to be able to field a regiment of 30 Reiksguard, but that felt like too many to prepare and paint in a single go (I am trying to ease myself back into this, after all). Instead, I am doing about half of them at once. If I am enthused, I can then go back and do the second half of them when these ones are done. So, the first wave is 16 models. Below you can see their current state.
16 Reiksguard Knights, almost ready to be based and painted.

The standard Empire Knight box set includes details specifically for Reiksguard, so I figured decorating them wouldn't be an issue. Being the absolute cream of the Empire army, I figured I would go the whole hog and actually give their lances pennants, which is something I never bothered to do before. I'm also adding a laurel wreath to each steed, as it will add a bit more colour and detail to the unit.

These extra details might have been enough, but I felt compelled to do something about the old armoured steeds, of which I have already painted some 120. I didn't want to have yet another unit on the same steeds, so I decided to do something to make the Reiksguard mounts a little fancier. In the end, I settled for giving each horse a plume on its head. These have mainly been stolen from my practically limitless supply of unused Reiksguard heads, although a few came from the more elaborate horse head from the command sprue, and the odd one was stolen from a Knight Panther helmet. Some of these plumes look slightly ridiculous, but then the Reiksguard helmets are not exactly understated either. I think they'll fit in fine, and give me more colour on the horses.
This plume (and the tips of the ears - a straight cut on both this model and the donor head) comes from the champion horse head in the Empire Knight box.
For this model, I cut a wedge out of the horse's ears and slotted a plume from a Reiksguard Knight's head into the gap. The horses with their heads down can be hard enough to rank up before you add a ridiculous feathery plume to the front. This combination was destined for the front rank before the rider was handed a banner...
The conversion was done the same as the one above. In every case, I made a point of using a different plume from the one worn by the rider. I figured it might look a little silly if they were identical.
The final detail that I am still considering (and may well go through with) is the addition of a sash to each of the riders. This is inspired by the solitary old metal Reiksguard model that I acquired at some point, and who will eventually be included in the unit. A sash would tie this guy in better, add yet more colour to the regiment (although I do like steel), and make the Knights look more interesting from behind. I say I'm considering this, but frankly I am almost certain I am going to do it. Despite my general resolution to keep the rank and file models in the army simple. These guys are as fancy as Empire troops get, I guess...
Old school: This sash was a gift to him from the Queen of America... 
You may have noticed that the unit champion is the outdated Kurt Helborg model. I figured he could lead the unit, either as a champion or a hero. I've not yet done anything to his horse's head, as I'm not sure whether I want to give it a plume, or some wings to match its rider. The plume would be the easy way out and tie him to the unit, so I may go with that plan.

Oh, and I am about to start reading a new story, which will hopefully help stir my imagination and enthusiasm...


  1. Good luck with the Reiksguard. Some of the plumes on the horses do seem a bit dandy-ish but the unit certainly will stand out from your other knights.

    Love the 3 musketeers reference btw

    Lastly - I hope you like the Reiksguard novel. I quite enjoyed it. If you ever decide to make a "Knights of the Blazing Sun" unit, theres a great novel for that oo.

    1. Thanks Daniel. I'm enjoying the book so far, and may well end up reading the Blazing Sun one even if I don't do a unit of them (and let's face it, how many more knights could I possibly need?)...