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Path of Conquest 2020 : The 100 Kingdoms – The host of the Iron Wolf

Path of Conquest 2020 : The 100 Kingdoms – The host of the Iron Wolf

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Project Blog by Nyckeau

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About the Project

Getting in the #PathofConquest 2020 challenge. I'm going to build an entire 100 Kingdoms army, and I'll post here for each step I take.

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Planning for the first Milestone

Tutoring 11
Skill 10
Idea 11
2 Comments

First: sorry for my English, I’m French…

I watched a few “Let’s play” on Conquest in late 2019 on Youtube (It was through those that I discovered OTT). I found the game very interesting and hesitated to order it. I was getting back into the hobby after 10 years without painting a miniature, and I finally decided to focus on more “mainstream” games.

But when the Path of Conquest started a few weeks ago, I decided to take another look and finally jumped in. I got the starter box and decided to try the challenge. I don’t really know why, since there are no players of Conquest in my area. But anyway, it appealed to me.

I like to build an army and spend some time thinking about it. For practical reasons, I decided to start with the 100 Kingdoms, since they are already included in the box, and painting them should not be a problem (the Spires are quite different and would take more time to find the proper color scheme). With two starter sets and a steel legion box, I figured out I would have a strong core for my army (and I would have a lot of spare miniatures to build a Spires army to fight against with my son).

I decided to increase my army by 500 points for each milestone.
For the first 500 points, I picked:
– Noble Lord (cavalry)
– Men at arms (3 stands)
– Mercenary crossbowmen (3 stands)
– Household Knights (3 stands)

You can find the liste here : Link to the army builder

This was the easy part: it’s almost 500 points, and it’s already in the starter set. And I’ll have 3 stands of Men at arms for the next milestone.

But then, I had to face the inevitable: painting.
Along the years, I have developed my painting techniques more in the speed painting area, but I didn’t want to have just a tabletop army.
I wanted an NMM army, which is a bit harder to paint, but there are a few techniques that can be applied.

When you speed paint, one of the most important parts is having a plan and sticking to it. When I build an entirely new army, I think a lot about the way I want it to look, and how effective I can be at getting that look.
I always try my painting scheme on a single miniature (a Man at arms here).

The starting plan was:
– Base coat Vallejo Black Primer with a bit of Vallejo White Primer to have a dark grey
– Zenithal highlight Vallejo White Primer
– Armor and metal parts: Citadel Contrast Basilicanum Grey
– Gold parts: Citadel Contrast Ianden Yellow (thin coat)
– Gold, gambison (twice on it) and a few other parts: Citadel Wash Agrax Earthshade
– Armor, gold and metal parts drybrush: Citadel Dry Praxeti White
– Armor, gold and metal parts highlights : Citadel Base Ceramite White
– Leather: Citadel Contrast Snakebite Leather
– Wood: Citadel Contrast Wyldwood
– Clothes and shield: Citadel Contrast Flesh Tearers Red
– Clothes and shield highlights : Citadel Base Mephiston Red
– Flesh: Citadel Contrast Darkoath Flesh
– Base: Citadel Wash Coelia Greenshade
– Base highlights: Citadel Dry Etherium Blue
– Base details: a few leaves (birch seeds from my garden) and winter grass tufts (Green Stuff World)

It ended up like this :

Unfortunately, I took the picture late at night, and with not enough light. I promise the next pictures will be better !

I decided to add for the cavalry:
– Horses fur: Citadel Contrast Gore Grunta Fur

And there are going to be a few more things for the noble, but I still don’t know exactly what yet.

It took about 25 minutes to paint (not counting the drying time). I think I can have my 500 points painted in less than two weeks. I can assemble all the army in about 3 hours and prime it with the airbrush in 1 hour. If I count about 20 mn per soldier, 40mn per knight and 1 hour on the noble, it’s going to take about 15 hours to paint everything for the first milestone.

Now that I have a plan, let’s do it!

Work in progress...

Tutoring 9
Skill 7
Idea 8
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Second report in my progress on the Path Of Conquest.

First, I changed the name of the army: I first chose “The Lions”, but things happened (I’ll explain what in another update) and I have changed it for “The host of the Iron Wolf”.
You’ll know why later…

About the progress in painting, there’s one part I hate with miniature games: assembly. Cutting the parts off the sprue and removing flashes and mold lines. On those first 500 points, I thought it would take 3 hours or less.
It took more than 4 hours…

There’s a lot of work on those, especially on the mold lines which, in some cases, were really thick, and since the miniatures are bigger than others and come in many parts (especially the 100 Kingdoms cavalry), it took even more time.

The reason why it took more time than expected...The reason why it took more time than expected...

But it’s done and here is what it looks like for now.

I went then to the next step: preparing the bases before priming. I simply use PVA glue with sand and rocks form various origins. Here is what I use for this.

Basing materialBasing material

I then apply a coat of diluted pva to make sure nothing will get off the base while painting it. It took about 1 hour to prepare all the bases.

I then primed the models with my airbrush. First with black (I found it simpler than trying to get a dark grey), then a zenithal highlight with the white primer. If done correctly, the miniature is ready for the NMM part which will be much easier thanks to the zenithal highlight.

The priming part took 1 hour.

The primed ost !The primed ost !

So far, I’ve put 6 hours in. I intend to batch paint the entire army step by step (and I’m going to do that while playing D&D on Roll20 with my friends). The plan I outlined in the first post of this project is solid, and I intend to stick to it.

I also have another project going on, related to my 100 Kingdoms army. I’ll just put a picture below, you’ll understand that The ost of the Iron Wolf needs an opponent…

The spiresThe spires

Milestone 1 complete !

Tutoring 3
Skill 7
Idea 5
1 Comment

quick update : I finished milestone 1 just before the Weekender got out last Friday.
There are a few things I could have done better, but I consider it finished and playable. I haven’t done the highlights on the armor (just the drybrush), and I didn’t do it either on the red clothes of the crossbowmen, and Ill still have the opportunity to do it later.

One thing Ill have to do is to put some water transfers of the shields of the Men at Arms. Ill explain which water transfers in the next update since it‘s closely related to the lore of my army.
Speaking of the loreIll have to put some snow on those bases

Here is what it looks like now.

What it looks like.What it looks like.

The lore of the Host of the Iron Wolf

Tutoring 3
Skill 5
Idea 7
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The lore of the Host of the Iron Wolf

Sometimes good ideas come out of nowhere, or from tiny details and expand into great stories.

That’s what happened with my 100 Kingdoms army. I named them “The Lions” at the beginning, because lions are great animals and I didn’t have a better idea (yeah, I know…).
I thought I was going to figure out the lore of the army later. I just didn’t imagine it would turn out like it did…

While trying to figure out the paint scheme for my army, I thought the shield of men at arms was a bit empty. Since it was about speed painting, I didn’t want to make a freehand for each one, thus, I wondered about water transfers.
I saw some sheets on sale on amazon to print my own, but I decided to go through my old box of water transfers, and I found a bunch of space wolves water transfers.
That’s when it came to me.

The Iron Wolf.

The name came out of nowhere and stuck with me, and I had since then glimpses of knights mounted on giant wolves (heavy cavalry), hordes of wolves led by huntmasters (militia), and so on…
And the Iron wolf would be no Jon Snow…

In a nutshell, the lore that follows came from the following simple facts:

  • I don’t have much time to paint minis (I’ll use transfers sheets)
  • I don’t like spending money when I can save it (I already have space wolves transfer sheets)
  • Red is a good color (I like the contrast paint flesh tearers red), and is the color of rust
  • I had just ordered snow for my bases from Green Stuff World…
The Host of the Iron Wolf at war.The Host of the Iron Wolf at war.

There’s a kingdom, far in the east of the 100 kingdoms, where life is even harder than everywhere else. High mountains, covered with snow. Vast forests of pine trees. Pack of wolveshunting those foolish enough to travel alone. Bears with a fur as dark as night and able to tear apart a knight in his armor with a single blow.

Nobody would live there willingly if it wasn’t for the mines. Hidden deep in the mountains lie vast quantities of iron, and it is the blood of the Kingdom, that made it so rich. Despite the harsh conditions, there’s a good living to make out of it, if you have what it takes to endure the climate, the beasts, the hard work in the mines, and, probably, worst of all, the Iron Wolf.

The Iron Wolf is nickname known throughout the Hundred Kingdoms. Old men tell tales around the fire in winter. Old women say to children to behave, or the Iron Wolf will come for them.

The Iron Wolf is a brutal Lord. Mercy is not a word he knows, and weakness is what he hates the most. He has no love for his people and accepts only one thing : strength. Nobody even knows how old he is. The Iron Wolf seems to be a title that the kings have given themselves, otherwise it would mean he is centuries old

Rumour says he rides a giant armored wolf and hes probably the only person strong enough to wander alone in his kingdom. People have met him, and all those who can talk about it ended up fighting fo him on the battlefield. Probably because fighting in his army is the only thing that earns more than working in the mines. He is always looking for brave and strong men, and some of them end up as Nobles, fighting in his Wolf Guard.

Guess who is the most dangerous...Guess who is the most dangerous...

It was even colder than usual. 
Maria stumbled on a stone, hidden by the snow. And the wood she was carrying ended up on the floor.

Mom, are you all right ? asked the boy.

Walder was her last reason to live. He was ten, and her last child. Mirella had died 3 years ago, after catching a bad cold. Brenn and Evan had died last year, deep under the mountains, while digging for the iron. And her beloved husband, Egron, had been killed three months ago in a tavern fight. Only Walder remained, and he was so smallso frail. She took him in her arms, then looked him in the eyes.

Walder, it’s just that I am tired. Life has been unfair with us. Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you.

Then she noticed. 

Walder was paralyzed. 

He was looking above her shoulderright behind her.

She then felt the warm and foul breath of what was behind. She turned slowly and faced the biggest wolf she had ever seen. It had dark eyes, and could obviously kill a horse with a single blow. His head was just a foot from her face.
His fur was covered with an Iron armor, and an armored man was riding on his back. 

A Knight. 

He was also staring at her, and she could feel the coldness of his gaze.
She started to move away, driven by fear, but Walder moved forward. 

He had his knife in hand and was facing the wolf and the knight.
She wanted to move, to protect him. But fear was stronger.

Womanyou deserve to die said the man.

You are weak, and you can‘t take care of that boy, because you can‘t even take care of yourself”.

Then he turned his head towards Walder.

“Do you expect to beat me with that knifekid ?

“No” answered Walder, his voice shaking.

Then what are you trying to do with that ?

“My dad said that inevitable death was no reason to stop fighting“.

The man didn’t move. The wolf didn’t either.

Then a strange sound broke the silence. The knight was laughing

He stopped and looked again at Walder.

“Where is your dad ?

“He died three months ago.”

Walder was still pointing his knife at the knightOnly the breath of the wolf was breaking the silence now.

“That’s a shame, but he left something valuable behind him…”.

The knight moved his hand and the wolf moved a few feet away.

“What’s your nameboy ?

Walder”.

Walder, if you want to liveyou have to get away from that weak woman. Come tomorrow morning at dawn at Fort Balgron. You‘ll get an opportunity to train. If you don’t die while in training, you‘ll become one of my Men at Arms.

Then the knight turned away, and a few seconds later he had disappeared, hidden by the trees and the snow.

Maria realised then what had happened.

She had met the iron Wolf, and she had lost her son. She talked to himtried to convince him not to do something stupid like going to Fort Balgron, but the boy remained silent.

Next morning, when she woke up, he was gone.

She never heard of Walder again and died three years later beaten up to death in the brothel she ended up in to survive.

Planning for Milestone 2

Tutoring 4
Skill 4
Idea 6
1 Comment

For the next milestone I decided to do things in a different way. Since I worked on the lore for my 100 kingdoms army, I’ve had a lot of ideas coming out of nowhere.
I also had a problem to take into consideration : cost. Conquest miniatures are great, but not cheap, and this month, my wallet is almost empty.

I still have in mind to buy a second starter set along with the Steel Legion, but I will wait for this..

Thus, I decided, for this second milestone to do things differently and add some very special units to my army. I limited myself (considering cost and available time) to 800 points for this second Milestone (300 points more than what I already had).

I already have 12 Men at Arms remaining from the starter set I bought. I built a standard bearer using spare parts for both units (the new unit and the previous one).

I used two of the men at arms, and spare parts from the household knights and my bitz box (for the standards, and I had to work on one). Here is what it looked like before assembly.

Planning for Milestone 2

Here is what it looks like after 20 minutes of work.

Planning for Milestone 2

I decided to add a noble lord (infantry), and a unit of militia. The noble on foot is there to provide some strength to one of the Men at Arms unit. I didn’t chose an Imperial Officer since the Iron Wolf is not really fond of the empire…

And for the militia, there are not many men in this Kingdom, and most of them dig for Iron. But what about a pack of wolves hunting those stupid trespass on the Iron Wolf’s land ?

I ended up with my 800 point army list : you can find it here.

And the trick is that I have a resin 3d printer…

I already had decided that the militia was going to be a pack of wolves led by a hunter (no standard bearer for the wolves, despite its usefulness, because it doesn’t fit the spirit of this unit, and I really wanted a hunter as a leader). I looked for suitable wolves models and found these : 3 wolves for 3$…

I also found a suitable hunter to lead the wolves : The perfect hunter to lead a pack of wolves
I had to remove his gun, but otherwise he looks just as wild as I wanted.

For the noble lord, I found this one : “Noble” lord…
His tough look and the fur on his cape fit perfectly with the lore of the army. He does not seem very noble, but he looks badass.

I bought the models (in fact, just the three wolves for 3$), scaled the miniatures (they were too small), and launched the print.
I also designed bases to print on my FDM 3d printer while the resin printer was printing the miniatures.

Thus, I’ll have two new units. Here is what the men at arms look like with the noble lord leading them.

Planning for Milestone 2

But I must say that I really like the “Militia”…

Planning for Milestone 2

In next update, I’m going to focus on the speed painting techniques I use to create a step by step tutorial for painting the wolves.

Persistence is the key to victory...

Tutoring 4
Skill 4
Idea 2
No Comments

OK, almost two months without an update.
The French lockdown has taken its toll on my hobby time (I’m of those who have to work twice as much during a lockdown).
But I haven’t given up.
So I’m back at it.

The enemy is going to sh*t his pants, the Iron Wolf is angry !

Since I’ve been painting miniatures, I’ve always been on the speed painting side because of the time it requires to paint those small things.
I’m not lazy, I’m smart : there’s a difference. 😉

I still like good looking miniatures. I’ve then used techniques optimising the ratio time spent/result.

Here is a quick tutorial on how I proceed when I have to paint an army, and this example will be on my “militia”, which means the pack of wolves.

First some general rules :
1. Zenithal highlight is your friend : trust it.
2. Have a standard paint scheme for all bases (not necessarily all miniatures). It brings the army together visually.
3. Have a plan
4. Test the plan
5. Optimise the plan
6. Follow the plan

Zenithal Highlight does not need an explanation, but I have to address one of the most important parts : which colors to use.
On my Men at Arms, I used a black primer and a white zenithal highlight. It’s simple, and it creates a great contrast between shadows and light, very useful when you do NMM.
On the wolves, I already knew I was going to use the Contrast Paint Space Wolves Grey for the fur. Despite the fact that fur is no metal, I decided ti keep the black primer instead of using a grey one. I then highlighted it zenithally with pure white.

For the bases, I already had my plan, which is very simple :
– After glueing the miniature, PVA glue with sand and small rocks
– Once dry, another coat of diluted PVA glue, just to make sure nothing is going to get away
– Then the airbrush, and finally the steps I already outlined in a previous post :
– Base: Citadel Wash Coelia Greenshade
– Base highlights: Citadel Dry Etherium Blue
– Base details: a few leaves (birch seeds from my garden) and winter grass tufts (Green Stuff World)

Then I had to think of a plan to paint the wolves. They were going to be grey wolves, but I had to put som red on them to bring visual coherency to the whole army (I have red on every miniature so far). The red would be in the eyes and slightly on the mouth, since no other parts were eligible for it.

You can see below the detailed stages for those wolves.

I primed the miniature in black and added a zenithal highlight of pure white.I primed the miniature in black and added a zenithal highlight of pure white.
For the fur, I simply used Citadel Contrast Space Wolf Grey. It's a great way to efficiently add shadows, and keep the zenithal highlight.For the fur, I simply used Citadel Contrast Space Wolf Grey. It's a great way to efficiently add shadows, and keep the zenithal highlight.
I then dry brushed the fur with Citadel Dry Etherium BlueI then dry brushed the fur with Citadel Dry Etherium Blue
I painted the mouth with Citadel Contrast Flesh Taerers Red, since it's the same red I use on some of the fabric in the rest of the armyI painted the mouth with Citadel Contrast Flesh Taerers Red, since it's the same red I use on some of the fabric in the rest of the army
For the teeth, I dry brushed them with Citadel Dry Wrack WhiteFor the teeth, I dry brushed them with Citadel Dry Wrack White
Then it was time for the eyes, with a base of Citadel base Mephiston Red (I added a few strokes around the mouth) Then it was time for the eyes, with a base of Citadel base Mephiston Red (I added a few strokes around the mouth)
I added a small dot of Citadel Foundation Macharus Solar Orange (it's an old reference)I added a small dot of Citadel Foundation Macharus Solar Orange (it's an old reference)
And then with the base with the borders in abaddon black and coelia greenshade.And then with the base with the borders in abaddon black and coelia greenshade.

Since I was satisfied with it, I decided to optimise the whole plan. Had I not been satisfied with it, I would have to start over again and change what I didn’t like. This is why you have to make a test before applying it.

To optimise the plan, I had to reorder the steps to gain some time. In this case, I was using twice the Citadel Dry Etherium Blue (for the base and for the wolves). I placed that step at the right place :
– Base: Citadel Wash Coelia Greenshade
– Fur : Citadel Contrast Space Wolf Grey
– Fur drybrush : Citadel Dry Etherium Blue
– Mouth : Citadel Contrast Flesh Taerers Red
– Teeth : Citadel Dry Wrack White
– Eyes : Citadel base Mephiston Red
– Eyes : Citadel Foundation Macharus Solar Orange (old reference)
– Base details: a few leaves (birch seeds from my garden) and winter grass tufts (Green Stuff World)

It might be a small difference, but it saves me time (which is very precious nowadays).

This a very simple and effective way to paint large units and it took me less than an hour to paint the whole unit (apart form the leader who has a slightly different paint scheme).

Next update wille be for the planning of Milestone 3.

Planning for Milestone 3

Tutoring 2
Skill 2
Idea 4
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As I wrote in my previous post, I’m back on track and this time, the goal is Milestone 3. (yes, I know, I’m a milestone late, but the lockdown wasn’t compatible with hobby time for me).
To get it right for Milestone 3, I decided to catch up with the 1200 points, as scheduled at the beginning of this Path of Conquest, which means a 400 pts increase.

And it will be possible with a major regiment : steel legion !
I ‘m about to get those miniatures with the starting offer on the Para Bellum website (with the starter set and another box of Marksmen for the Spires). It’s a very interesting value for price set.

In order to put the Steel Legion into my army, I must have an Imperial officer.
I got a 3D model which was perfect for this role, from Titan Forge (and remember, “3D printing is the sh*t”).

More a fighter than a commanding officer, but it suits the mood of the army and I just like the miniature.More a fighter than a commanding officer, but it suits the mood of the army and I just like the miniature.

And instead of creating a totally new Men at Arms regiment, I decided to add a few miniatures to one of the already existing regiments (and the miniatures will be in the starter set).

This is what the army list looks like : army list on the Army Builder

Since it’s becoming a real army, I decided to add a few tactical thoughts.
– I have 3 light regiments, 3 medium, and one heavy : I don’t want to arrive too late on the battle field but I still need to be able to seize the objectives (light regiments can’t do that).
– The crossbowmen are perfect to deplete the enemy regiments as they arrive. Their V of 2 and the armor piercing rule makes them much more reliable than the militia bowmen, and much more effective against armoured opponents.
– The Militia will go as fast as it can to block the enemy before he reaches the objective, and expand the reinforcement zone as far as I can. It’s not the perfect regiment for this, but it’s the best I can do until I hire the mounted squires into the army (I have a plan for this).
– The two regiments of Men at Arms are here to seize the objectives in the long run, and block enemy regiments to let the Household Knights and the Steel Legion charge (flank them if possible) and wipe them out.
– The mounted Lord will go with the Household Knights, to add some impact
– The other Lord will be in one of the regiments of Men at Arms
– The Imperial officer will lead the other regiment of Men at Arms

Next entry in this project blog will probably either be a painting tutorial for the Steel Legion (if I get them soon enough since they are on the way) or a first look at “The enemy” (the spires from the starter set which I started painting yesterday).

I also have some scenery in mind to get a proper battlefield, and play my first conquest battle (against myself because of the lockdown and the fact that there are very few Conquest players in France), but that’s another story…

Changes

Tutoring 3
Skill 2
Idea 4
2 Comments

It’s time to change my plans.

I decided to modify Milestone 3. I’ve been reading the latest version of the rules (v1.0.3) to update what I knew about character rules. I first saw those changes on the Army Builder, and that’s what drove me to dig into it.

Here are a few problems I noticed :

1. Since the characters have their own stands, I will need special stands I don’t have right now

2. Having retinues is a very useful strategy, and helps to enhance visually the army, but I don’t have them right now

3. Visually speaking, I’m not satisfied with some of my miniature choices, and thus had to make a few changes

Now is time to bring solutions to those problems

1 and 2 : Stands for characters

I have 3D modelling skills, thus I decided to create my own character stands, since what I found of the internet was not satisfying. Nothing fancy, just plain stands, compatible with the official stands. Since characters can have retinues, I will need stands for 1, 2, 3 or 4 standard miniatures. I then designed them : you can find the links below.

What the stands look likeWhat the stands look like

3 : Choices

I reconsidered my army and a few things were now visible.
My “Lord” looks a bit… strange… in this army. He looks more like a seasoned veteran than a real Lord in fact (and I’m not satisfied with the print parameter I used, especially on the shield : I did better since then). In the same way, the choice I made previously for an Imperial Officer does not really satisfy me.

You're a Seasoned Veteran, now !You're a Seasoned Veteran, now !

The men of the Iron Wolf live in a harsh environment, and Imperial miniatures should look more sophisticated. In the same manner, any leader for an Imperial regiment should be more “imperial”.
That’s why I ordered a few miniatures and changed my army list.
I removed the various Heirlooms and Weapon Arts I had given to my characters and instead chose a few upgrades for my regiments and some retinues for the Lord.

  • First, I chose the Drillmaster for the Steel Legion. The miniature is just awesome and I wanted to paint it.
  • Then I picked the official imperial officer, who looks more imperial than my first choice. The miniature I printed will end up as a leader for the a Men at Arms or the Steel Legion regiment, or as a retinue.
  • I finally chose the seasoned veteran, because… his gritty look is awesome and I definitely want to paint this miniature !

For the miniatures I already had, I’ll use my former lord as a seasoned veteran, since it is already painted and he looks just like it. I’ll just add the new veteran to one of my other regiment (when I’ll have enough points), he’ll probably go with the Steel Legion.

It meant I had to pick another Lord. Actually, I had already found him, and it’s what drove me to review the choices I had made. It’s another miniature from Titan Forge, and the wolf themed ornaments made me think “why the hell didn’t I pick this mini ?”.

That guy looks awesome...That guy looks awesome...

The enemy

Tutoring 5
Skill 4
Idea 4
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If you want to fight a Battle, you need an opponent. The Iron Wolf needs an enemy.

Since I already had two starter sets and a box of Marksmen Clones, The Spires would be perfect as the enemy.

I have to point out that the starter set is a really good offer. I bought the first one in France with a large discount for 68 € shipping included (£62) and got another directly from Para Bellum with a box of Steel Legion and a box of Marksman Clones as gifts, for 99 € (£91, shipping included). I even discovered later that there was a 10% discount code on underspire.net
If you want to start a 100 Kingdom or Spire army, that’s what you need.

I thus had enough to raise a 1400 pts Hundred Kingdoms army (if I add a miniature for the Imperial Officer, but it’s still possible to make a conversion with various parts of the minis you have in the starter set, and I didn’t include options like standard bearers that can help you to push up to 1500 pts), and a 1330 Spires army if you hire a High Clone Executor (you need him to hire the Marksmen).

A really good dealA really good deal

Back to the Spires : I didn’t want to spend much time painting them (it’s not my main army), but I still bought a High Clone Executor since I liked the miniature. I settled for a very simple color scheme for this army, and it would be mainly painted with contrast paints and drybrush.

I have a rule: I don’t play with a miniature if it is not painted.
It’s a simple rule, but it takes some energy to always abide by it.
I’m proud to say that my son (13) has played many battles in various miniature games, but has never played with an unpainted mini.

He got interested last week in Conquest and has asked me to play. He’ll probably play the 100 kingdoms, and I already have a small campaign with the Spires in mind.

The main goal is to have a visually different army from my 100K army, but still know they fight on the same battlefield (bases). I thus decided to use more “natural” tones, like brown and bone, to make those spires visually more organic.

I’m going to spend more time on the High Clone Executor, since he is going to be the warlord of this small army. I’m also going to add a few colors and change a few things depending on the rank of the miniature, as @Ulverbite did on his Spires army.

Drones will be bland (especially the Force Grown Drones), the brutes will have a few distinctive bits (their weapons mostly) but are still drones, the Marksmen Clones will have more colors, and the characters will get more attention and shiny colors.

Thus, I tried the following color scheme:

– White primer (cheap spray, it’s a lot faster than the airbrush)
– Citadel Contrast Skeleton Horde (whole body)
– Citadel Dry Wrack White (whole body)
– Citadel Contrast Space Wolves Grey (legs and arms and a few other parts)
– Citadel Contrast Gore Grunta Fur (fabric)
– Citadel Contrast Wyldwood (handle of the spear)
– Citadel Foundation Macharus Orange (drybrush on the fabric and the handle of the spear, old citadel paint)

For the bases, I decided to use the same pattern I used with my 100K army:
– Citadel Wash Coelia GreenShade
– Citadel Dry Etherium Blue
– Base details: a few leaves and winter grass tufts, and some snow from Green Stuff World

Here is what it looks like.

I then tried to do something similar on a Brute Drone, but I wanted to have them a bite different, since they are not “simple” drones and thus worked a bit on the weapons.

Next time will probably be a step by step on the Steel Legion : I have to paint my milestone 3 (and I hope the miniatures I ordered form OTT will arrive soon since I need them to complete milestone 3).

Love story...

Tutoring 4
Skill 5
Idea 5
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First, merry christmas to everyone !

I fell in love with the Spires yesterday. I’ve had a complicated relationship with them, since I didn’t really knew how to paint them.

I found a color scheme that was quick and easy (and that worked) for the drones but ‘ve been with how to the high clone executor. And yesterday I decided to try to paint the characters of the spires I had (Pheromancer and High Clone Executor). My OTT order that contains a few characters for the Hundred Kingdoms and a contrast paint I wanted to use on the Spires characters, has been stuck for almost a week at Roissy airport. I just hope I’ll get it before the end of the holidays. Thus, I had to find another way, and I jumped in not really knowing how it would end…

I wanted to recall the rest of the army and used the same color scheme, but I decided to make them stand out. I used various inks and a few contrast paints to get the purple I wanted and the bone/coral/flesh look I desired.

I also decided that the weapons and a few parts would be made of an otherworldly metal. For this one, I used the Colorshift Metal “Psychotic Illusions” from Green Stuff World on the mask and the blade of the High Clone Executor. It has a metallic blue/pink/weird touch, that fits the rest of the miniature and the Spires in general.

I’m very happy with how it turned out. I think my Spires army has now a worthy warlord.

Quick new year update

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About Milestone 3, my goal was to finish it before the new year.
I will not reach it how I intended, since my order has been stuck at Roissy Airport (because COVId and Brexit says the French Post Service).
Thus, I’ll use the miniature I intended in the first place as my Imperial Officer, and he’ll be demoted to combat retinue when my real Imperial Officer will be in my hands.
He’s painted and looks good enough (despite the speed painting)

He'll look fine as a combat retinue. Thise picture helped me notice a few mistakes I need to fix.He'll look fine as a combat retinue. Thise picture helped me notice a few mistakes I need to fix.

I hope to finish painting Milestone 3 before Monday. I wanted to finish it before but problems got in the way and I am behind schedule.
Most of the job is done, but I still have some work to do.

Steel legion is in progress, and approaching the battlefield.Steel legion is in progress, and approaching the battlefield.

I wish everyone a happy new year, with a good health and plenty of minis to paint!

Painting the Steel Legion

Tutoring 7
Skill 7
Idea 7
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The Steel Legion is one of the most impressive units of the 100 Kingdoms. They are surrounded with legends, and thus deserved a special treatment.
I used the very same painting scheme I had used on the Men at Arms, but since it was a heavy unit with full armour, I decided it was perfect to explain the technique I use to speed paint NMM.

Here is a step by step guide to how to do it.

I used the steps I outlined in my first post on this project (step by step below).

First I primed it in black with the Vallejo Black Primer. I had put some sand on the bases beforehand, to have them undercoated with the airbrush.
I then used a zenithal Highlight of the Vallejo White primer.
These two parts are KEY to the NMM : the zenithal highlight creates the reflection, but I couldn’t do NMM if the undercoat was grey, because NMM uses strong contrasts to create the illusion of the reflection of light on the metal.
That’s why I didn’t rush.

Zenithal highlight is your friend...Zenithal highlight is your friend...

Citadel Contrast Basilicanum Grey is perfect for Steel armour. One of the first secrets is to use a thin coat. You still need some paint to go into the recesses, but not too much.

Basilicanum grey is one of my favorite contrast paints.Basilicanum grey is one of my favorite contrast paints.

For the gold parts, is used a thin coat of Iyanden Yellow.
It took me a long time to master drybrushing. If you want to make effective drybrush, here is a simple method:
– Use a paper sheet.
– Your brush has to have firm bristles, that will put some pressure one the minature and leave some paint, even when the paint is dry.
– Pick some paint with your brush and brush on your paper sheet until you hardly see paint goin on the sheet.
– THEN BRUSH SOME MORE one the paper sheet
This is when you are ready to drybrush your miniature. If you want to do it right, each stroke will leave an almost invisible layer of dried paint.

Do it again and always avoid rushing this step. Once done, all the edges will have been highlighted.

The picture isn't as good as I wished...The picture isn't as good as I wished...
Next step is leather: Citadel Contrast Snakebite LeatherNext step is leather: Citadel Contrast Snakebite Leather

It’s now time for Agrax Earthshade. I put it on the gold parts to deepen the shadows, and on the Gambison, just to taint it.
I also paint Wood (banner pole and some others) in this step, but it’s not visible on this model: Citadel Contrast Wyldwood

Washes are just another kind of contrast paint.Washes are just another kind of contrast paint.

Clothes and shield: Citadel Contrast Flesh Tearers Red
Clothes and shield highlights : Citadel Base Mephiston Red
Flesh (not visible here) : Citadel Contrast Darkoath Flesh

It looks good enough for tabletop, and I like to keep it simple.It looks good enough for tabletop, and I like to keep it simple.
Finally the base (I still use the same steps as for the rest of the army)Finally the base (I still use the same steps as for the rest of the army)

Milestone 3 update

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Skill 4
Idea 4
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A quick update : Milestone 3 is almost done (I have a 12 Men at Arms to finish, and a few finishing touches to the bases, shields and banners, but I hope it’ll be done tomorrow) !
I now have enough painted miniatures to enjoy a few battles.

You’ll find below a pictures of the entire army.
I’ll update soon about my plans for the next steps (Milestone 4 of course, but also a campaign and scenery).

Planning for Milestone 4

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Milestone 4 is an important milestone. After this one, there’s only 500 pts left, and I already know what I want to put in those 500 pts (if you want a hint, I think the Iron Wolf should lead himself a 2000 pts army…).

1500 pts is a pretty big army and should have big regiments.
I thus decided to expand one of my Men at Arms regiment and the Militia regiment of 3 stands each. If I add a Mercenary Crossbowmen regiment, it makes exactly 300 pts. I got the miniatures for the Men at Arms and the Crossbowmen with the second starter set, and I printed the wolves of the Militia on my 3D printer (I changed the printing parameters to get rid of the printing patterns I had on the first ones : the first Wolves were among my first prints on my resin printer, and those are much better).

One print, 3 stands, 5 hoursOne print, 3 stands, 5 hours

Here is the link to the list on the Army Builder.

There’s not much more to say about it, since the painting scheme already exists.
But next milestone will be an important one.

Very important…

Want another hint ?

Okay…

A few things to modify, but it's overall a decent mount...A few things to modify, but it's overall a decent mount...

Terrain and battles to come

Tutoring 6
Skill 7
Idea 6
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First I noticed only today that the team awarded a Golden Button to this project back in October ! Thanks guys !

I’m still waiting for my order from OTT. It has been stuck at Roissy Airport for more than two weeks by the French Post “adapting it’s procedures to Brexit”. That’s frustrating, since I really want to get my hands on those minis…

I wanted to show a piece I’m especially proud of : the standard bearer of the Steel Legion. The banner is really finely detailed, and it was a real pleasure to paint. It came out quite well and stands out naturally.

I play miniature wargames because I like miniatures.
Thus, a battlefield should be aesthetically attractive for my miniatures to fight in.

There are a few things that can make a battlefield great:
– Nice battle mat (fortunately, there are great battlemats nowadays: mine comes from Crank Wargames, a small French company)
– Scenery based on the army’s lore (that’s the goal of the next steps of this project, since the minis I’m painting right now are not really something new)
– Coherent : everything should fit well on the battlefield

I had already decided that the Iron Wolf lived in snowy mountains, and his Kingdom was rich because there were iron mines.
I really like the Let’s Play Justin did with Leo, and the snowy battlefield helped a lot to find inspiration.

Those few hints led me to have a few scenery ideas :
– Snow battle mat
– Scenery with a mine entrance
– Buildings that had the color of the bases (with the same techniques)
– Vast forests of pine trees covered in snow

I also had a few thoughts about the battles to come. I wanted to test the gameplay of Conquest in three parts :
– I want to first test a small encounter (around 600 pts) just to understand the game
– The next battle would be a small one (800 pts) where the local Lord faces the Spires. I thus wanted a Noble House, probably another house, and a few pine trees
– The third battle would be in the middle of the forest (1200 pts), with big rocks and hills
– The fourth battle would be at the entrance of a mine, with the 100K protecting the mine (1500 pts)

Those battle are made to use the various milestones up to milestone 4.
I have a few more ideas for milestones 5 and 6, but it is a secret…

For the first battle (not the encounter), I already knew what I was going to use. I had a few 3D models of small houses and noble houses. You can find those free 3D model here (this guy does amazing things).

I settled for the Noble House and the Small Cottage you can see below.

For those, it’s just matter of printing time anf filament so no big deal, my 3D printer works for me.

For the pine trees, I looked at what existed but ended up not satisfied.
I then decided to build mine. Next update will be on how I did it (simple and efficient way to get an entire battlefield in a few hours, for just a few bucks).

Finally

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finally got my OTT order today !
It took almost 30 days to the French Post to get it through the process they had put in place for Brexit.

Finally !Finally !

I just assembled the minis, and they really are incredible. The details are amazing and there were very few molding features I had to remove. I‘m going to take my time to get them painted.

They really look amazing and I can't wait to paint them.They really look amazing and I can't wait to paint them.

I also thought a bit about the way I created the Host of the Iron Wolf after watching the videos of the OTT team about milestone 4. 

This army is mostly build around Men at Arms and Mercenary Crossbowmen, and both are mercenaries. No Household Guards, and the Militia is just a pack of wolves. It only leaves the Household Knights as “locals“.

And it makes sense. The Iron Wolf is a rich lord living in a harsh environment. The locals are busy surviving or digging in the mines, and only the strongest make it to the top. But since he is rich, he can hire mercenaries almost at will. I’m thinking about changing my plans for the next milestones to stay on this path.

I could not resist

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I started painting the miniatures I finally got two days ago.

The Drillmaster is almost finished, but there are a few things I need to work on.
I spent some more time on the armor (NMM, but not drybrushed), and there are a few parts that need more attention. The face needs some more work too. I also have the base to work on, and I want to make it slightly different from the other bases

I also added blue parts to make him more visible in the regiment (Steel Legion)

It is a 3D printed miniatures (the original, then it is cast) : there are a few 3D features that are still visible (like on the right shoulder on this picture). I wish Para Bellum were selling 3D models to be printed

Starts to look great, but needs a few finishing touches.Starts to look great, but needs a few finishing touches.

Quick update

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January has been a busy month for me, and I had not much time to paint or assemble miniatures. I hope to get itmake some progress to jump into Milestone 5 in the next few weeks.

I had plans on basing my Drillmaster slightly differently, but I finally decided to make it simple and easy. By the wayit was quite amazing to see it on the Weekender. I didn’t expect it since it was an unfinished speed paint job !

I also painted my new lord : this miniature is really great and perfectly fits the lore of the Host of the Iron Wolf.

I spent some time to finish the first step of my Spires army, to start playing with my son as soon as I get my new battle mat.

Planning for Milestone 5

Tutoring 4
Skill 5
Idea 4
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I’m currently finishing Milestone 4, but there’s nothing fancy about it, since they are just already seen regiments. The wolves (militia) are painted, and the Crossbowmen and the Men at arms are in progress, but it’s a bit boring to only paint large regiments.

I thus updated my army list for milestone 5, with only 4 minis added :

  • The Iron Wolf (Cavalry Noble Lord)
  • 3 Household Knights

My previous mounted Lord will be demoted to Regiment Leader, and two of the new Houshold Knights will be converted as Standard Bearers.

Here is the link to my Army List.

And here is a glimpse at my current work on the Iron Wolf (I’ve started working on it to deal with the monotony of Milestone 4). I’ve removed some parts on the wolf to make it less “barbarian”, the body of the Iron Wolf is the body of the Noble Lord from the starter set, but his right arm comes from the steel legion.

I still have some work to do to fill the gaps, to convert the head, and he won’t have a shield but will hold a chain in his left hand (as driving reins).

I still have some hesitations for the last Milestone, and I have 3 ideas :

  • Longbow men
  • Hunter Cadre (just came out)
  • Household Guards

I dont like the longbow men that just came out but spotted others I really like. They are a light regiment, but their 30″ range and the arcing fire rule could really be useful.

The Hunter Cadre are great minis, but I already feel I have enough light regiments, so I’m not sure I should hire them.

Finally, I really like the Household Guard minis, and they are a medium regiment.

Still not sure…

Milestone 4 done !

Tutoring 2
Skill 4
Idea 3
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I just finished Milestone 4. I still have water transfer to put on the shields, but everything else is done. I’ll have to ressuply grass tufts, I used them all.

Currently also working on terrain (same color scheme as the bases of my army).