Monday, 22 November 2010

Conquest Normans - Pictures

I have finished two boxes of these. Here are some pictures.

These have spurred (pun intended) me on to get some Norman foot (Gripping Beast) and turn this lot into an army. I think that about 40-50 cavalry, 50 or so close order infantry and a couple of 12-16 figure missile/skirmish units should be OK for WAB or the forthcoming "Hail Caesar" from Warlord (or one of the other new sets planned for 2011).

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Conquest Games Normans

I am currently painting up three boxes of Conquest Games Plastic Norman Knights.

They are brilliant. The Horses look better than any 28mm horses I have painted before. Well proportioned, nice poses.

The riders fit perfectly and have a good range of options.

The horses need something to eliminate the seam between the head and body. My usual glue for plastics is Revell Contacta with a paint brush. This is accurate and fast, but it doesn't fill gaps. After a few attempts with fillers I went back to the way I used to construct airfix kits 35 years ago. I bought some old-fashioned polystyrene cement in a tube. I used this to cover the surface on the body where the head is attached and then squashed the head on, letting the glue ooze out of the gap. I then left this to try for 24 hours. I then chipped off the excess glue with a modelling blade. The gap no longer existed.

I have painted the figures using a mix of techniques. All were sprayed with black primer.

The "brown" horses have been base coated with Cote-d'arms Horse Tones, then washed with Citadel washes (Devlan Mun or Gryphon Sepia), then highlighted with the base colour.

White horses have been painted with a triad of Valejo Sky Grey, Silver Grey and Off-White.

Black Horses with Valejo Black-Gray highlight over the black primer.

The knights were dry-brushed with Valejo natural steel, then washed with GW Badab-Black. Then I gave them a lighter drybrush with the natural steel.

Flesh (not much to actually paint here) was base-coated with Valejo cavalry-brown, then painted with Valejo flesh-base. I then gave it a wash of GW Ogryn-flesh and highlighted with the flesh-base.

For the small areas of cloth I used a two-colour (diad?) technique of a base coat and highlight. The exception to this was red. I do my reds by base coating with VJ Cavalry-brown, then VJ Red and finally VJ Scarlet.

Leather was done with VJ Flat-Brown, GW Devlan Mud wash and then high-light with the Flat-Brown.

I varied the leather by doing some areas in VJ German Camouflage Orange Ochre (my favourite Valejo light brown) or VJ Buff with GW washes and a highlight in the base colour.

For the sheilds I went for hand-painting. This is for a couple of reasons. Firstly, there are no transfers in the Conquest boxes. Secondly, I couldn't be bothered to try and find transfres that would fit, Third, I love the look of the painted crusaders on the Perry web-site, with hand painted sheilds. Finally, I like the idea of the shields looking like the ones on the Bayeux Tapestry (styalised and simple). I assume that real shield designs were more sophisticated than those rendered on the tapestry, but as my painting skills are on a par with the art on the tapestry (on a good day) this level would suite.

So I used triads to paint the shields. My triad painting is usually rather subtle and doesn't stand out much. For these shields I went rather more extreme than my usual style (greater variation between shades and larger areas of shade). It seems to have worked.

Basing was a challenge. I have not decided on rules for these yet (or even if they will become an army). The box includes a set of Renadra cavalry bases. These or 25mmx50mm and 50mmx50mm. I based all of the figures individually on 25x50's. I have found that these bases will glue together using Contacta so I can make them into 50x50 or 75x50 later.

The basing will work for Warhammer Ancient Battles and the Crusader rules. I think it will be OK for the planned Warlord Games Ancient Rules. With a movement tray I can get four figures onto an Impetus base (120x80). I don't expect to use these figures for DBA/M/MM.

Conclusion: Great figures, will mix with Perry Crusades. Good value. I am really enjoying painting them.

Pictures: Just realised my camera isn't available. I will try and do some soon.