Friday, 12 June 2015

With Horse and Gun we gallop!

Hi folks, as I've been doing the sort of work on the Thunderbolts that takes all week and looks like nothing at all have changed in the photos, I thought I'd take a couple of hours and finish a project that has been languishing allllmost finished for a while:

Yep, it's been a while (remember this guy?) but the Averlander army is now officially begun! Being Averlanders - famous for horses, think a renaissance German Lincolnshire - I figured an early emphasis on cavalry would be a win to give them their "feel". So I started with these Pistoliers, the Averland Firstborn, first-born sons of noble families risking their massive wealth in dashing combat. Thrill seeking rich kids in other words. For those unfamiliar with the Empire army, these chaps are fast, manoeuvrable cavalry armed with braces of pistols to harry the enemy.

As I have quite literally codified the way I paint the Averlanders, it is going to be largely the case with this army that I talk predominantly about what is different about them or things that I've spotted and liked. I love these models, in fact I've decided that they are going to be the focus of the roleplay elements of the army (like the Dwarf Improbable Mission Force) and will eventually be making dismounted versions of them so that they can approach a target, dismount and creep forward on foot before letting go with a hail of gunfire.

The horses are obviously a major focus of these figures, like a lot of painters I like cavalry and even like painting them but dear god do they take a very, very long time. It's all the tack, I think at least, and for timing I'd give cavalry the sort of time you would give three equivalent infantry models. Despite all that I love painting animals and had fun with the horses. I decided that they would be riding their personal steeds and thus have a variety of breeds in the mix. More "professional" units - like the knightly orders - will have a single breed, most regimental cavalry units over the years have preferred one breed either for performance or a uniformity of appearance. The Royal Scots Greys were even named for their steeds colour. To get the markings and mixtures of patterning of the horses correct - you've seen thousands of horses in your life, even if you don't know it, and will spot if it is "wrong" - research is required. For horses, there is a brilliant site called Equusite that has lots of useful articles and a solid article, the linked one, on the common breeds and their markings. Sadly I painted these a while back and can't remember the mixes. I'll pay more attention next time. Promise.

Something I've found very challenging, read "irritating" was getting the colours of the slashed sleeves nicely painted in. I tried painting the lower colour first but it's a pain getting the upper colour neatly in place without messing up the lower. In the end I realised that the only way to paint the slashes is to paint, shade and highlight the upper colours. Only then do you bother with the slashes. Mix your paint roughly halfway between your normal consistency and a wash and then with a nice thin brush run the paint into the slashes. It'll quite nicely and neatly fill the slashes and prevent frustration.

So there we go, the first stage of the first thousand points. More to come, much, much more, it's an army that I've been meaning to do and picking up here and there for years... until about 5000 points is ready to be painted... Yeah... better get on that then.

In the meantime, more Thunderbolt soon.



  1. I really like the 'historical' yellow, rather than a brighter cadmium yellow type colour I would have gone with. Reinforces the realism of the horses.

    1. I've got a bit of an obsession with "realism" in fantasy. With the humans I tend to stick to dyestuffs that the equivalent "period" forces would have (onion yellow in this case). I find it helps the wizards go down to have those spoonfuls of sugar in the form of a bit of realism.

    2. And allows you to super saturate spell effects and fantastical creatures.