Sunday, 12 September 2021

A Different State of MInd

Well it's been over a month since my last post, but let's face it - there have been much longer gaps recently. This is practically frequent posting. And what's more, I actually seem to have rebuilt some hobby momentum. In my previous post I had painted 7 Teutogen Guard, and it was the first real painting I had done in months. Well since then, I have painted another 7 Teutogen Guard. I was going to do more (there are 11 more that already have a bit of paint on them), but I got sidetracked. Here is what my unit now looks like with all the painted stuff together...

49 Teutogen Guard, counting the obligatory unit filler. Most of these guys were painted long ago and need a clean up. Maybe they'll get it at some point. For now they can just rely on my poor, lazy photography taken with them sitting in my lap.

As I say, I got sidetracked. I was starting to feel the grind of painting the same things, and rather than risk pushing and burning out again, I looked around for something to inspire me. This resulted in me going off on a tangent and started painting Empire models for a new province - Talabecland! They have snazzy red and yellow uniforms, and in my mind it's one of the classic colour combinations you'd see in multi-state armies. Before this post I had literally no Empire models with this colour scheme, but now I have... some. More than none, but far from an army.

Talabecland represents the 4th distinct state or colour combo in my Empire army, with the others being from Krakenberg (in Sylvania, but basically a made-up place), Ostland (though technically not with the right colour emphasis), and Stirland (these are about what they should be. Very boring). Although I had sort of planned to add more sections from other states, I would have said my next most likely would have been the red and green of Hochland, mainly because I have the model for their Elector Count already painted up, and he seems lonely. I also have Marius Leitdorf without an entourage, which seems a shame (good thing I have so many models lying around awaiting paint, hey). I had no specific plans for Talabecland, but I made the choice based on the MOM miniatures greatswords.

Look at these guys. What style! What feathers! I'm not 100% sure any of them know how to actually use those swords, given every single one of them is holding them upside-down, but they do look the part. Only problem is I only have these 10 guys, and have not yet worked out how to pad them up to something approaching a useful unit size. Call that a work in progress.

I really like the character of the MOM empire models, but they are quite exaggerated and cartoony in their expressions and the intense puffiness of their clothes, and I felt they didn't really align that well with my other stuff. I have no real problem with them fighting alongside the other stuff, but I don't think they'd look right in the same unit. And if I was going to be setting them all out in their own units, they might as well be their own province entirely, right? I'm just giving you a little insight into my madness, so that you can watch for similar signs of insanity and maybe nip them off in the bud before you end up like me...

Anyway, now I'm painting stuff in red and yellow. In keeping with how I've done this previously, I'd like to get enough stuff done so that they could pass for a small army in their own right. Unfortunately I don't have unlimited MOM stuff at my fingertips, but I do have enough models up my extravagantly puffy sleeve* to field units of handgunners, halberdiers and some knights, as well as sundry characters. Oh, and a group of ogres with handguns, who might end up having to do duty as either unit fillers or mercenary leadbelchers. They look cool. I had to get some. Anyway, it all doesn't quite add up to enough to feel like an army, so I've been looking around at other options that would fit a similar vibe, and decided the Duncan Shadow halflings would fit the bill.

10 Duncan Shadow halfling archers, resplendent in their new state colours. Halflings don't specifically come from Talabecland, but I'm sure they have their share.
The Duncan Shadow range includes females for both the archers and swordsmen, which is great. They add more variety to the units, which would otherwise likely suffer from only having a few different poses. Unfortunately my regular painting style doesn't seem to have done these lasses any favours on their faces. I don't know if it's the sculpts, or my expectations being different, or what... They'll look fine in a unit on the table, but as I was painting them I was not overly pleased with my efforts. If I find something changes in my approach with future batches, I'll let you know.

Halflings are not normally what I would choose as a building block for an army, especially given they have been a bit of a grey/forgotten area in terms of the Empire list since the start of 6th edition. But needs must, and they have the look I was after. I have a fair swathe of these little guys to print and work with, so there are spearmen, halberdiers and swordsmen working their way along the production line toward the pointy end of my brush. It could be that my Talabeclanders are all just a little on the short side.

Actually, I say that but then I have things with which I can compensate...

This is an extremely well-dressed Empire giant, also from MOM miniatures. He's so fashionable. Look at him!
In truth, he's just a giant. So really not all that bright. Turned up wanting to join the army because he envied the uniforms of the ever-so-dapper greatswords, and nearly ruined the poor seamstresses as they tried desperately to accommodate his enthusiastic demands. His appreciation was made clear when he didn't eat any of them. Not even one.
Sourcing feathers of this size was not easy. In fact, the red feather was the single largest one that the quartermaster could produce. The giant himself went off and found the other two. Near as could be told from his garbled explanations, the yellow one came from something like an enormous yellow bird (maybe some sort of flightless canary) that had been hanging out with a weird mammoth of some sort.
Even more remarkably, the giant dyed the purple feather himself. After the seamstresses had tried in vain to explain to him how this process worked, the giant came back to the camp dragging a desperately struggling griffon, and proceeded to dunk the entire beast into a huge vat of purple dye. It clearly had not occurred to him that he could have just taken a feather and dyed that by itself. Scouts have since been on the lookout for a rather angry and magnificently purple griffon on the prowl in the area, but it seems it knew when it was beaten, and staggered off to sulk somewhere else.

Giants are yet another grey area in terms of including them in an Empire army. There was a period (probably in 7th edition) when just about any army could include a giant because GW had just released a new plastic model, and it's easier to sell things when everyone is allowed to use them. Anyway, that time passed, and giants in 8th edition were basically the province of Orcs and Goblins, Ogre Kingdoms and Chaos forces. I'm not too fussed. I can always find ways to make use of him, and there are easy excuses if I am playing Kings of War. And let's face it, he's so fabulously dressed. How could I say no? Look at those feathers!

Anyway, these units don't amount to much yet, but given they've all been painted in the last few weeks and I feel like I have some real momentum up, it all seems rather promising. By the time I'm allowed to actually meet up with people for gaming again (sometime in maybe 2025 - we've been in lockdown for months again, with little sign of things improving), I could have something quite usable to put on the table!

No, it's not really an army. Not yet. But it feels like a good start.

I think next on the painting table will be that silly steam tank I previewed last time. I'm actually pretty keen to paint that thing, and now I know what province it will belong to!

*Ridiculous puffy Empire sleeves are a nightmare to paint with, you know. But style is everything, and I'll not have it said that I looked anything other than immaculate as I painted my Empire models! Well, for the first few minutes until my sleeves started knocking everything over and getting paint all over them...


  1. I love those big swordsmen mate! Cheers!

  2. Good work, sir! Also a good call on MOM minis - hadn't seen them before.

    As far as blogging and updating.......I've been the same, but its a record of hobby work and ideas, not my job, so if it stews for a stew, it stews for a while!

    1. That's OK so long as it feels like it's stewing. But when months go by with little to show for it, it feels less like it's stewing and more like it's cold and dead. I'm not ready for it to be dead.

      I do like MOM stuff. It has a real character of its own.

  3. I have a talabcland army I'm working on . Including some MOM minis as well. Yours look utterly gorgeous! Keep up the hobby momentum!

    1. I like it as a colour scheme, and thus far it's working for me. Expanding beyond the relatively limited range covered by MOM (and these halflings) and maintaining the same vibe could be the challenge.

  4. I'm working on a talabcland army at the moment. How do you paint that much red and yellow without going insane? Looking forward to seeing how you get on.

    1. I don't mind the red and yellow - at least I use the same wash for both, so if I'm organised I can basecoat nearly the whole model before the wash and starting to think about highlights. It feels efficient. The puff and slash though - I've normally avoided putting a different colour in the slashes, but these models kind of demanded it, and now I have a feeling it'll be the death of me...

  5. So glad to have found an active WFB blog :) I just recently started a WFB army project- trying to get at least 2k points for each Fantasy army. I'll definitely be checking in for motivation and inspiration. Cheers!

    1. I'm not sure I feel active at the moment. More like a state of restless hibernation. Maybe once we're allowed to meet up and game again, things might liven up.

      A manageable sized army of each race is a noble goal. I followed a different path. I don't have every single army, but the ones that I do have are... not 2K in size.