Monday, 2 June 2014

The Birdie and The Emperor

Sounds like a terrible fairy tale, doesn't it? In truth it's really just a painting update. I was rushing to try to get things ready for Little Wars on Sunday, and this consumed my evenings for the previous few days. As predicted in my previous post, I ran out of time to try to get Karl Franz on Deathclaw painted before the game, but I really wanted the Emperor to make an appearance, given Archaon would be on the other side of the table. So once I got the second Griffon out of the way, I set about finding a barded warhorse for him instead.

First up we have the second of the Glorious Birdies I was trying to paint in a week (the third being Deathclaw, who obviously missed out). Having just painted a fairly bright Griffon with green and purple feathers and a rider to match the purple and white of my Krakenberg contingent, I decided that this guy would use more muted, natural colours and the rider would fit in with my Stirland regiments instead.
My second Empire Griffon, this time using the old metal model. 
The rider is from Stirland. The Griffon may hail from somewhere else - he didn't say. The paint on this model may be a little rough, given I undercoated straight over the coats of gold paint it was covered in during its decade as a forgotten trophy top. Hey, I was in a hurry...
So many browns. I more or less copied the colour palette from the GW paintjob on the current Deathclaw model, at least in terms of the wings. It's a little different, and a lot more rough. Looks fine on the table.
I'm not super-happy with the Griffon's features, but I couldn't come up with anything more interesting in the time I had available.
The model from the left.
From behind.
From the right.
And then we come to Karl Franz. As I say, he was going to be painted atop his favourite Griffon, Deathclaw. But I had deliberately not glued him down because I knew I might want to field him on a horse instead (it's the most sensible way to use him). So when I realised I couldn't get the birdie done but could probably manage the Emperor himself, I found the most appropriate horse I could, and worked hurriedly to make it happen.

I decided the best horse would be the rearing one from the plastic Empire Captain/General kit, as anything else would be too dull for such a fancy rider. Besides, it says Karl Franz all over the horse's armour. It was meant to be, right? Unfortunately the only one I had available was a fully assembled and painted model that I had obtained second-hand. And the rider was glued on super-well. Like, he really, really didn't want to come off. I nearly gave up. But in the end I decided I had no other options, and if the previous rider had to be broken into numerous small pieces, then so be it. At that point I think he gave in - so he almost survived.
Sore loser - the previous occupant of Karl Franz's horse. The head and sword fell off early in our battle for possession of his steed.
Once the rider was finally removed, I tried to fit the Emperor on his newly stolen mount. He was a long way from fitting, thanks largely to a fairly large piece of saddle that is attached to him. So I started hacking at the horse, and by the time I was done I had carved an enormous hole in the back of the poor animal. But at least he fitted.

Then I had to do something about the reins, because Karl Franz is totally doing The Creep with his left hand. The Griffon's reins sit right in his grasp, but it took some green stuff to fix the problem. And then, when that cured and bent the wrong way (stupid rubbery green stuff), I doused it in super glue to get it to sit where I wanted it. It's now close enough.

The skeletal headpiece on the horse was also somewhat broken. I tried to fix it, then broke it again whilst fighting with the saddle. The second time I decided I would have to pin it, but found it was too small, and impossible with the tools I had on hand. This prompted a bout of irrational rage, and the hobby knife came out. Suddenly the whole headpiece was gone. I went digging for something Griffon-related, and ended up hacking the top off a Demigryph rider's helmet and using that.

Anyway, here are some pictures...
What remains of the horse's saddle. It took a lot of hacking to make the rider fit.
The super glue/Viagra-enhanced reins. If they look a bit rough, that's because they are. Once they were coated in super glue, I couldn't really do anything to clean them up.
The new headpiece, created from a Demigryph Knight's helmet. Kinda liked that helmet. Pity.
The Emperor himself, Karl Franz, Prince of Reikland, doing something silly with his off hand. 
And the whole thing put together. I would have liked to raise the model up to help him stand out a bit more, but time was running out. I may yet go back and put a rocky outcrop under the horse's hooves. I could do that with minimal re-painting required.
From the side. Note that Karl has a fondness for sensible feathers. Probably plucked from Deathclaw himself.
The rider just sits pretty firmly in the saddle. Frankly he just about plugs in now, with that extra saddle and the hole in the horse.
I tried to get a shot of his face, but I think it's his hand that's in focus here. Ah well.
In other news, Little Wars has now been and gone, and we managed to play our 14,000 point per side game through 6 turns in the time we had available. I also took as many photos as I could, although it was a bit hard to do things properly. I'll post a bit of a report about the game later, although it will be more like one of my tournament reports than a full-blown battle report.
The Empire forces move to delay Archaon's invasion.
We are also now into June, which means month 3 of the Tale of Duelling Gamers. My schedule tells me I am to paint 16 more Quarrellers and a couple of characters. That won't be especially fun (stupid Quarrellers), but it will be practical for my Dwarf army.


  1. Huzzah! May Karl Franz be blessed by mighty feathers!

  2. The Karl Franz mini looks remarkably young for some reason but the whole mounted miniature looks good together. Deathclaw may have to have a more grizzled veteran version to do justice for such a big bird.

    1. Deathclaw is not necessarily old - he is just well fed. :-P