Sunday 5 May 2024

The Quest-Seeker Court of King Merryjohn

I'm deep into two "main" projects, and of course I had to add another side project into the mix. What if the Flesh-Eater Courts... were nice? They certainly think they are, and I wanted to indulge them in that. Pics and info about the Court of King Merryjohn below the jump...

Firstly is a half-strength unit of Courtguard, who are self-explanatory. Half of the fun of this project was coming up with alternate names and purposes for each unit "behind" the delusion. They're a mix of modified Bretonnian Men-at-Arms and Cities of Sigmar heads with modified tall helmets. The aim was to make a medieval foot soldier who doesn't look like any established civilisation in Age of Sigmar, and also go for a more "naive" style than the usual dark fantasy feel. The colour scheme changed around a little - the yellow was originally stronger but it wasn't working for me until I made it more pale and pushed the pink into a deeper cherry colour.

The iconography on the shields was one of my first ideas - heraldry of hands, smiling faces and eyes that of course might suggest that "behind" the ghouls' delusion, these might all be real severed hands etc. The banner also bears a smiling face and two hands, deliberately mirroring the Flesheater Courts' Cryptguard banner - which is flayed skin. The banner-bearer's two handed stance and the drummer's pose are both imitations of the Cryptguard command models' poses.

Next is a hero: the Bannerscroll Herald. This is a take on the Marrowscroll Herald character. A herald character is a good fit for a medieval court, so I went about translating the "gory version" into something fantastical that would work for "good guys". While fishing for sound-alike names, I decided a banner that is also a scroll would be a cool idea. This kit is a mix of pieces from over ten different kits - including individual tiny pieces like the ornamental hand holding the banner (which is from the Cities Cavaliers), and the strap it's holding onto (which is from the Kharadron sky-mines), and the ornamental star that strap attaches to at the other end (which is from the Empire Hurricanum).

I also carved out a Nighthaunt helmet to fit a Bretonnian head into it. The scroll itself is a thin strip of plasticard that I bent into shape. I'm pleased with the dynamic flow it gives to the model. The painting is a little unfinished, since I started to run out of patience with this side project toward the end.

Finally is another hero: the Varghulf Vigil-Warden Courtier. For this, I wanted a knight in shining armour whose horse seems to sprawl out over the base, in roughly the way the tremendous new Varghulf model does. I was kind of going for a Dark Souls -esque knight for this one, totally covered in fancy shiny armour. I started to give him a blue-green sheen for a Dark Souls vibe, but that didn't really fit with the overall colour scheme so I half-abandoned that idea.

I also would have liked to adorn him with many heart icons (the implication being that these would be real human hearts behind the delusion), but that idea didn't really have room to coexist with the shiny suit of armour. The horse is a Vampire Blood Knights horse, with its pose squashed as much as possible, and a Bretonnian horse head. The knight is a mix of parts, again its pose is squashed into a quite extreme position, to suggest that maybe the horse and knight are all of one piece.

I had an idea for King Merryjohn himself, who would surely be a jolly but intimidating figure. And perhaps some other analogues of the FEC models too. But I'm shelving this side project for now so that I can finally finish off my long-running City of Sigmar project, and also the starter set for the Old World Bretonnian release. Not to mention a few new things for my MORI setting.


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