At the moment I'm listening to Ulf Schiewes excellent Montalban Trilogy (unfortunately there seems to be no English edition) while painting. The novels are set in 12th century southern France and Outremer (modern day Israel and Palestine) with a definite focal point on the Crusades and tell the story of a fictitious Montalban family vassals to the masters of Tolosa. Thus inspired it should be little surprise I wanted to pick up the cross and fight the infidels for this submission.
The figure is by Gripping Beast and meant to represent William the Bastard, conqueror of England but for me it's Monieur Jaufré de Montalba, the main protagonist in the first novel "Der Bastard von Tolosa". It's a nice sulpt unlike many others from Gripping Beast, but maybe a little on the larger side of 28mm. The casting was crisp with little in regard of mould lines. Especially it's horse is a great little figure and highly animated.
The figure was fun to paint and even the horse was a joy, well... almost(!). The only thing that brought me headaches was the paint not sticking to the darn figure. Before painting I've washed it in hot, soapy water and even put it in my ultrasonic cleaner. Then I've airbrushed it with Vallejos Black surface primer and left it to dry for two days and still the paint came off even when looking at the model. In the end I gave it to coats of gloss varnish and it seems like this finally worked.
Normally the Montalban family has a red boar on a green field as its heraldry but I decided to go with a more christian motive and went for a red cross on a white field which I found pretty striking at the time I painted it. It was my first handpainted shield in years as I normally put my trust in the excellent Little Big Men line of Decal sheets, but there was simply no time for getting hold of a set before the deadline. Afterwards the shield reminds me a bit too much of the Templars but now he's done and also some of his hangers on were given these colours, so no turning back I guess.
So there's nothing more left to say than thank you for your continued support for this blog over the last twelve months and a Happy New Year to all of you and your loved ones!
Depending on my hang over tomorrow we'll see us in the next year for a round up on 2014 and a prospect for 2015...