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Hear yee, hear yee, the benevolent King has decree that Knights shall no longer be the sole sword and shield of the rhelm. We call upon the brave peasants to take up arms and show their valor, skill, and ability to stand and be slain by greater foes. The burdens of war must be shared, and all subjects are equally capable of giving their lives to this honor. Hence we share the wrath and horrors of war, for the Kingdoms of Equality-tane see no titles.

Except for the King of course...

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Since blogs are super in vogue, I am starting one up. I am starting a KoE army! Why might you ask? Because I have a huge mini addiction problem, and TBH I am already a little bored of dwarves' abysmal charge range. I wanted to flip this on it's head and over compensate with an army that prides itself on cavalry hammers. 

I am going with FireForge games for just about everything. The main reason is they are the easiest to put together and have the least amount of mold lines (both of which are my least favorite part of the hobby). They are about on par with Perry miniatures for price and have a reasonable amount of detail and diversity.

For now I am experimenting on production line painting and how I can utilize airbrushing to it's fullest potential. This first batch of 8 peasants I painted almost entirely on sprue, then clipped them out, touched up where the sprue attached to the bits, repainted those areas, assembled, and hit with strong tone.

46-CD1370-2-FDE-4-D10-8-A90-D000-C408-BD

Lessons learned: 

1) The arm attachments to the torso are not necessarily all interchangeable. There are a few torsos that have significantly larger army connection points than others. Therefore, I need to pre-plan what bits will go where before I just start randomly painting stuff on sprue.

2) Less is more - Due to the previous lesson I learned, I had peasants with different colored shoulders. This was fine as I just kep that split color scheme all the way down the model, but it caused some repainting headaches, and slowed down painting dramatically.

3) Masking shields is hard - I tried frisket (which is this like masking liquid that dries to something like rubber cement), and masking tape. The frisket is awful. Masking tape worked alright but I need to get a really solid bind between the shield and tape, otherwise paint seeps under the masking tape during air-brushing. 

4) Varnish early, varnish often - I never really used varnish before but I am seeing a lot of value to it. After laying down a base coat on shield specifically, I varnished them which helps seal in the paint. Then I apply masking tape without "de-stickying" the tape first. Normally, blue masking tape will have a tendency to pull your paint off after you remove it. With the varnish, no problems so far.

5) Strong tone on shields looks bad - It just muddies them up too much. The strong tone works great for anything with texture, but the shields just being flat it looks terrible. I didn't want the tone contrast to be too pronounced though (as everything darkens when you hit it with strong tone). Ill need to come up with something else that darkens the shield tone a bit, but that I can ideally spray through an airbrush for an even coverage.

6) Everyone has their own mound - This is just sort of annoying, every infantry figure is standing on an amorphous blob mount. Makes for easier build and application to the bases, but looks kind of weird. Need to think of a way to mask that effect with some floc.

Ill be timing the next sprue I build, so ill have better numbers for painting efficiency. With another 62 peasant type infantry to go, I am confident ill find the solution.

 

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Posted Images

Progress!

First of all, I for the first time actually took a picture of what paints I used for my test models so I don't have to guess what colors I used.

5 Primary colors (clothing/shields)

IMG-2389.jpg

5 Secondary colors (metal, shoes, wood, leather, skin)
IMG-2390.jpg

Mass production of the remaining 40 peasants is well under way. At 5 sprues each with 8 peasants, I used the 5 primary colours to make up their outfits. I decided to be as "equal-tane-able" (har har) as possible, and divided the 5 colours across the 5 sprues, so that I ended up with 8 torsos, 8 left arms, 8 right arms, and 8 shields of each colour. I actually ended up sort of randomly choosing pairs of arms and shields throughout the sprues to add in a bit more randomness in the poses. Next time, Ill just spray the entire sprue 1 color, which would be MUCH easier, and makes very little difference.

IMG-2483.jpg

Next I separated all the torsos out and paired to each torso matching coloured left and right arms (shoulders) that are of different colour than the torso. Since there are 8 of each torso colour, and 4 colours remaining (after discounting the torso colour), each colour is repeated to two torsos.

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Finally all was assembled...

IMG-2485.jpg

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Next step is a whole lot of paint brushing. I plan to go 1 color at a time to touch up all models which need that color (due to clipping from the sprue, and various spots I missed). Additionally, bottom of the torsos (the bottom fringes of the torsos) will take on the colour of the shoulders, and the forearm sleeves must take on the colour of the torso. 

After all of that, the heads which should be simple as they have no primary colors on them. They are just skin, leather, and metal.

Once heads are done and attached, its off to accessories.

Shoes, belts, weapon grips, blades, and hands.

Luckily these peasants have no personal belongings, so no pouches to mess around with.

After that will be basing, which I still need to decide on.

The final step will be the shields which will take some time to do all the masking.

 

As for the rest of the army, there is plenty to paint, with plenty more coming in a couple weeks.

48 peasant infantry

24 peasant archers

24 foot knights

12 "Teutonic mounted knights"

12 "Templar mounted knights"

12 mounted sergeants

2 mounted characters

2 characters on foot (from Reaper minis)

1 mounted magical person

I have some musings as to what I want to do with war machines, a part of me wants to scratch build trebuchets. Another part of me wants to say to hell with that and just buy the $5 catapults from D&D 5E scenery:

https://www.miniaturemarket.com/wzk73731.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&adpos=1o1&scid=scplpWZK73731&sc_intid=WZK73731&gclid=Cj0KCQjwiILsBRCGARIsAHKQWLNj9hUFNlvpJXdigm_cqkNwQSew59HhMaXrSPRtiZCPRbeCcr86resaAiNiEALw_wcB

It's slightly larger than scale, but pretty dang close. Its also a torsion device and not a counter weight design, which is totally nerd-heresy, but for only $5?! Pre-primed, and available at most FLGS! Did I mention they are only $5?

 

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When you say "Strong Tone", are you talking the stuff in a can, or the ink wash? If the stuff in the can, try just the ink wash on the shields. Or, in either case, try the corresponding Soft Tone.

I haven't had an opportunity where it would have been useful to try this, but a tip I heard for masking stuff like this is after you lay down the masking tape, lay down another thin coat of the colour that's underneath it. It's supposed to help seal the edges of the tape down so the colour you're applying next doesn't leak under.

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10 hours ago, WestRider said:

When you say "Strong Tone", are you talking the stuff in a can, or the ink wash? If the stuff in the can, try just the ink wash on the shields. Or, in either case, try the corresponding Soft Tone.

I haven't had an opportunity where it would have been useful to try this, but a tip I heard for masking stuff like this is after you lay down the masking tape, lay down another thin coat of the colour that's underneath it. It's supposed to help seal the edges of the tape down so the colour you're applying next doesn't leak under.

FDBE78-B1-3510-4-C15-AEDA-89650-B3718-E96-C982-ED1-470-A-4-DFF-A5-B7-1-CCE2-B42-0881-C39-D-7-AAD-4-DA8-A45-D-88-BF4-E225

here is the strong tone, so the wash stuff. Here’s also a couple close ups of the shields. Since I brush on the tone, it’s hard to get a move even coverage. The wash, although people claim it is water based, still smells like a petroleum product (or something noxious). I need to try watering it waaay down. Water does seem to mix in with small amounts, so it probably is still water based.

Ill pick up soft tone too. I am basically using the tone as a crutch for the entire army. It does an OK job, certainly TT ready. My favorite part of the tone is that it creates a nice protective layer, so I don’t get paint chipping or anything like that.

i like the idea to seal after masking, it would add another step, but it sounds well worth it. As it stands, maybe 3 of the shields I did came out with crisp lines, the other 5 needed touch ups. Thanks for the tip!

 

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11 minutes ago, Jason said:

I’m a huge fan of weathering powder. You can get a “dirty” or faded look without the muddy smear that washes sometimes leave. Might be worth trying. 

Huh, I don't really know what that is.

Stuff like this?

https://www.amazon.com/Vallejo-Dust-Dirt-Pigment-4x35ml/dp/B07193GYZQ/ref=sr_1_2?crid=229FT4DDPMKIC&keywords=weathering+powder&qid=1568825710&sprefix=weathering+po%2Caps%2C204&sr=8-2

Pretty sure I have seen this at GG.

22 minutes ago, Andrewgeddon said:

I usually mix my Strong Tone wash 50/50 with GW Lamia Medium; it dilutes the wash  without changing it's properties, helps it not "stain" raised surfaces quite as much. Not sure how much this will help on a flatsurface, but it might.

Looks like Lamia Medium is basically just a thinning medium? I have vallejo thinner, ill give that a shot!

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1 hour ago, TheBeninator said:

Interesting...I picked mine up at a model train store, but this might be the same thing. It’s literally a very fine powder. You can apply it with a dry brush. Just scoop some where you’d like it with the brush, then use the brush to rub it into the model where you want to see the effect. Use a tad more than you think you need, a lot falls off in the process (so do it over something like a box top so you can collect and re-use it) but what sticks really stays on well.

You get a really nice mat effect. I use it a lot for 40k vehicles and weapons (black and rust colored powders show nicely on metallic colors) but you could totally do the same with fantasy. Anywhere you want rust or dirt. It’s sort of a ‘softer’ effect than washes (which I also love).

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5 hours ago, TheBeninator said:

here is the strong tone, so the wash stuff. Here’s also a couple close ups of the shields. Since I brush on the tone, it’s hard to get a move even coverage. The wash, although people claim it is water based, still smells like a petroleum product (or something noxious). I need to try watering it waaay down. Water does seem to mix in with small amounts, so it probably is still water based.

Ill pick up soft tone too. I am basically using the tone as a crutch for the entire army. It does an OK job, certainly TT ready. My favorite part of the tone is that it creates a nice protective layer, so I don’t get paint chipping or anything like that.

i like the idea to seal after masking, it would add another step, but it sounds well worth it. As it stands, maybe 3 of the shields I did came out with crisp lines, the other 5 needed touch ups. Thanks for the tip!

It is water based, but that doesn't mean there's nothing nasty in there. Plenty of uncool stuff is water soluble. It does thin better with a medium of some sort (I use GW's, but I assume Vallejo's would work just as well) than with water. Using soft tone instead of thinning down the strong tone will keep that protective layer more solid as well, even if still not as well as a proper sealing coat.

Another thing I like about using the Army Painter washes or something like that over the whole Model is that they give it a uniform finish, without some parts being shinier or duller than others.

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1 hour ago, WestRider said:

Another thing I like about using the Army Painter washes or something like that over the whole Model is that they give it a uniform finish, without some parts being shinier or duller than others.

Ya! I feel the same way. I decided to double down on the strong tone for this entire army so that it all looks unified.

Sounds like ill have to test the weathering pigments, a 50/50 strong tone / thinner, and a soft tone and report the results.

MORE PIX TO COME

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Looks great, just one minor critique: the second shield from the left in the picture isn’t allowed under the rule of tincture.

Gules a pale azure,  or “a red field with a blue bar down the middle on it” for those of you that haven’t been obsessed by heraldry since age eight, just isn’t cricket. Wot, wot.

To sum it up very briefly, you’re never supposed to put a color on a color or a metal on a metal. The heraldic metals are or (gold or yellow) and argent (silver or white). The colors are the other colors.

You can put a thin line of gold/yellow/white/silver on either edge of the blue shield (this is called fimbriation if you want to sound fancy) to make it kosher.

46-CD1370-2-FDE-4-D10-8-A90-D000-C408-BD

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Of course, the pedantic in me feels I should mention that heraldric rules did change over the centuries and that just like any other complicated system, there were exceptions. Depending on the century and the location, you get various changes in the rules. Different cultures had their own quirks too and students of heraldry can often pick out British, French, German, and Russian or wherever with just a glance.

But for the most part, the rule of tincture is the closest thing that heraldry has to a rule that is obeyed as close to universally as you can get. Heck, even “heraldry” systems that had no contact with Europe at all, such as the mon of medieval Samurai clans followed the rule.

The only well known break with the rule of tincture were the sovereigns of the Kingdom of Jerusalem (1099–1291) who famously used a golden cross on a white field... But, well, they were the kings of the most important chunk of real estate on Earth. 

Tincture is pretty easy to explain. Everyone has drawn with a yellow crayon on a white sheet of paper at some point in childhood, right? You just can’t see it, especially at a distance.

Now, these are all just toy soldiers for a fantasy game, so you don’t need to worry too much about historical systems — although I’m a nerd for this stuff, most people don’t care. But the rule of tincture is the one rule you should pay attention to.

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The main purpose of heraldry was identification. When everyone is wearing a helmet, covered in mud, and in a big swirling mêlée, you don't have time to try to puzzle out exactly what the hell they have drawn on their shield. The rule of tincture basically forces you into using either high contrast colors or high contrast shapes*, this makes them very easy to see from a distance and is aesthetically pleasing as an added bonus.

Here's a illustration of heraldic field divisions very similar to the one I use to teach basic heraldry concepts to new SCA people. Back when I had a Bretonnian army, I used this for all of the shields for my peasant infantry and Knights Errant. Replace the blue with any color** of your choosing, replace the white with a different color (and on those last three pick a third color for the red). These combinations are always legal no matter what colors you chose because none of these have anything "on top" of anything else.

They are also relatively simple geometric patterns that are easy to paint on tiny toy soldiers' shields. 

field.gif

* You can have metals next to metals/colors next to colors, just not like "on top" like. It's harder to describe in text than it is to demonstrate visually. See your guy with the quartered green and blue shield? That's legal. The colors are "next to" each other, not "on top" of each other.

** If you want to keep things really accurate, limit yourself to the colors used in the medieval period: red, black, blue, green, and purple; and the metals yellow/gold and silver/white. Bold, strong, and rich colors were the order of the day. Both due to limitations on paint-making technology and for easy identification. The British flag is Blue, White, and Red not ultramarine, eggshell, and carmine. 

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Cool, thanks for the shields diagram. The "on top" bit makes sense. 

I'm reserving purple and bright yellow for the knights. Which at first glance appears that I am going against the equality aspect of the faction. But we then just spin in the word "equity", do some hand waving, and its all explained away and copacetic.

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