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quantumcollider
25-08-2010, 20:50
Hello all,

I've just started with warhammer and I've chosen Bretonnia as my army, in large part because they most closely resemble a historical high or late medieval army.

However, there are a couple of details about this army I don't like. Mostly, they are too clean :rolleyes:. I mean, the Bretonnian knights are depicted as the traditional knights-in-shining-armour, honourable, just and nice to kittens.

Historical knights however, where very practical (and brutal) fighters, and often a poor and illiterate lot. As a matter of fact, it was only in the later stages of the middle ages that knighthood became synonimous with nobility and chivalry was actually developed when the role of the knight on the battlefield was already diminishing.

So, i want my army to look like they come from a poor country, where land (and thus wealth) is scarce and even knights of the realm must fight for ransom and plunder for their livelihood.

Now here's my problem. The GW Knights of the Realm models look like they are participating in a parade :eyebrows:, not in a bloody, messy war. How can I make them look more grim and gritty?

I've already made a couple of changes to my models. For starters, I removed the helmet ornaments. They seem to heavy and cumbersome to be practical.
Their armour I painted with chaos black and a boltgun metal highlight (and a chainmail extreme highlight), giving them a dark and dirty appearance. Their lances have a simple wood colour (no fancy bright colours).

Anyone else have any good ideas to improve their gritty look?

Malorian
25-08-2010, 20:52
Want gritty brets?

Take empire knights, give them peasant heads (or other infantry with no helmet), and then make sure to use a dirty dark wash (like watered down chaos black).

zak
25-08-2010, 21:00
A bit of kit bashing, and a good paint job will do the trick. You can make them as dirty looking as you want to with cuts to the cloth,shield etc and mud along the carapace of the horses armour.

Llew
25-08-2010, 21:05
Honestly, if I were wanting to get a Bretonnian army that looked gritty, I'd end up going with historical miniatures from another manufacturer instead. It'd probably be a more satisfying look. Unless you do tons of cutting, the Brets just won't look very "gritty". You can do weathering techniques on the horses caparisons (sp?) and such to help, and the other suggestions will help some too. But they're still going to have a pretty unreal feel.

yabbadabba
25-08-2010, 21:24
Honestly, if I were wanting to get a Bretonnian army that looked gritty, I'd end up going with historical miniatures from another manufacturer instead. Agreed. Unless you absolutely have to attend events where GW models are compulsory, looking around could give you some awesome looking units.

xxRavenxx
25-08-2010, 21:28
A good way to dull them down would be to pick a simple single colourscheme for them.

Maybe dirty white tabards and such, with a single colour on it, to give a proper uniform? (I'm basicly thinking of the classic image of the crusades).

spetswalshe
25-08-2010, 21:41
I'd just do it with paint - dulled and faded caprisons and tabards, oil-blacked armour - and simple helmets (I like the Errant ones, and have a similar dislike for decorative elements capable of breaking the wearer's neck). The bare wood look for lances sounds like it would work very well.

Personally, I think the grim aspects of Bretonnia are perfectly represented by serried ranks of shining knights - knights who have literally taken the food from their subject's mouths to pay for expensive cloth and fancy dyes (that're only going to get covered in blood and mud anyway). Saying that Bretonnian knights are 'honourable and nice to kittens' is like saying that Bretonnian peasants are hard-working and happy to have the protection of their social betters - it's just a fašade. A kind noble does not levy a 90% tax leaving dozens of families destitute in order to support his own lifestyle.

Commissar Vaughn
25-08-2010, 22:04
Id agree with going historical if you want "realistic" , the current bretonnians just dont cut it.

The previous version of the knights are better if you can get 'em, even usable for later medieval knights in some cases. However for Real Knights (and I am tempted to begin the Campaign for Real Knights) you may want to back to the look of the Bretonnians of 4th edition...


who looked astonishingly like these guys:
http://wargamesfoundry.com/historical_ranges/single_packs/medieval/european/mounted_knights_med216/?sector_id=5

I am reliably informed theres a very good reason for that...

Malorian
25-08-2010, 22:07
who looked astonishingly like these guys:
http://wargamesfoundry.com/historical_ranges/single_packs/medieval/european/mounted_knights_med216/?sector_id=5

Pretty pricey though eh?

$25 for 3 models? :eek:

You'd actually save money buying GW stuff :p

Commissar Vaughn
25-08-2010, 22:17
Yeah, Ive alwyas been a bit puzzled by Foundrys pricing, I mean they do a very nice range, but still....

No matter theres a ton of other suppliers. I might get some of foundry ones myself as Ive a few 4th edition Brets who need a few friends.

Shadow_Steed
26-08-2010, 00:15
The peasants in the Bretonnia range are very true to their nature. The knights need not be all shiny, just skip the Knight of the Realm helmets and paint them very gritty, perhaps convert in some war-damage.=)

R-Love
26-08-2010, 00:16
You'd actually save money buying GW stuff :p

Seven words I never thought I'd hear :D

Kisanis
26-08-2010, 03:06
A bit of kit bashing, and a good paint job will do the trick. You can make them as dirty looking as you want to with cuts to the cloth,shield etc and mud along the carapace of the horses armour.

Quite True.
They paint the brets to be clean, but its pretty easy to make them look muddy and awful. Also, if you go heavy on the peasants than you'll def keep that feel. Use the painted artwork (sketches mainly) in the current book.

Brets can really go either way (I started them in 5th!) and can be a fun army with lots of character regardless!




The previous version of the knights are better if you can get 'em, even usable for later medieval knights in some cases. However for Real Knights (and I am tempted to begin the Campaign for Real Knights) you may want to back to the look of the Bretonnians of 4th edition...


While I disagree about the knight models (The old ones lacked detail and quality of plastic) I think the old pewter peasants had some style to them. They just had more personality than the current plastics.
Shame they aren't available anymore.

Gatsby
26-08-2010, 05:44
Hello all,

I've just started with warhammer and I've chosen Bretonnia as my army, in large part because they most closely resemble a historical high or late medieval army.

However, there are a couple of details about this army I don't like. Mostly, they are too clean :rolleyes:. I mean, the Bretonnian knights are depicted as the traditional knights-in-shining-armour, honourable, just and nice to kittens.

Historical knights however, where very practical (and brutal) fighters, and often a poor and illiterate lot. As a matter of fact, it was only in the later stages of the middle ages that knighthood became synonimous with nobility and chivalry was actually developed when the role of the knight on the battlefield was already diminishing.

So, i want my army to look like they come from a poor country, where land (and thus wealth) is scarce and even knights of the realm must fight for ransom and plunder for their livelihood.

Now here's my problem. The GW Knights of the Realm models look like they are participating in a parade :eyebrows:, not in a bloody, messy war. How can I make them look more grim and gritty?

I've already made a couple of changes to my models. For starters, I removed the helmet ornaments. They seem to heavy and cumbersome to be practical.
Their armour I painted with chaos black and a boltgun metal highlight (and a chainmail extreme highlight), giving them a dark and dirty appearance. Their lances have a simple wood colour (no fancy bright colours).

Anyone else have any good ideas to improve their gritty look?

run skellies as men-at-arms, Vamps as Lords and paladins, Black knights as knights of the realm and Blood Knights as grail knights, should be pretty grim and gritty. Bretonnian held Sylvannia. Thats what ive turned my Undead into.

Lordsaradain
26-08-2010, 07:36
Here's what I do when I want gritty and dirty:

Get a brush with reasonably "hard" hairs, a drybrush brush would be good. Then submerge the hairy part of the brush into some watered down scorched brown (or bestial r any other colour you might prefer) and then proceed to flick the colour on your model, starting with the hooves, so that the model will look dirt splattered. You could also do this with red to get a "blood-splattered" effect.I find the old inks were best for this technique as they also gave a glossy look, which is fitting as it makes the dirt look abit more fresh, but watered down normal colours or washes should work fine.

quantumcollider
26-08-2010, 09:01
Some very good ideas! I'll definitely try some out.

I have a more specific question though. My biggest problem is the barding of the knight's horses. It's covered in cloth, so the colour I give this cloth will dominate on the model. I do not like the bright and vibrant colours that you find in the army book.

So is there a way to paint this cloth to look worn, stale or even decayed?

Kampfpanzer
26-08-2010, 09:02
Like others have said, it all comes down to the colour scheme you paint your models, you can pretty much make them look like anything.

Lord of Divine Slaughter
26-08-2010, 09:40
Use dark and 'dirty' washes to dull the colours of the knights, but keep some of the bright heraldry, as they are nobility after all and have disposable income to actually dye their clothes.

Make sure to develop individual markings and heraldry to keep the knights from looking uniform. It won't hurt to have some markings repeated in some form or another to show family relations - but there are plenty of sources out there regarding the rules for heraldry, so go study those :)

Also make sure to have lots of dirty and grubby peasants.

yabbadabba
26-08-2010, 09:51
Historical knights however, where very practical (and brutal) fighters, and often a poor and illiterate lot. As a matter of fact, it was only in the later stages of the middle ages that knighthood became synonimous with nobility and chivalry was actually developed when the role of the knight on the battlefield was already diminishing.

Now here's my problem. The GW Knights of the Realm models look like they are participating in a parade :eyebrows:, not in a bloody, messy war. How can I make them look more grim and gritty?

I've already made a couple of changes to my models. For starters, I removed the helmet ornaments. They seem to heavy and cumbersome to be practical.
Their armour I painted with chaos black and a boltgun metal highlight (and a chainmail extreme highlight), giving them a dark and dirty appearance. Their lances have a simple wood colour (no fancy bright colours).

Looking at this, I would also say mix and match. Have you seen Excalibur (great film)? Both Mordred and Arthur's knights had animal helms. Lancelot after losing the plot appears in mismatched leather and plater armour. Throw in some knights with chainmail.

Model on some rents and dents in the armour. Have some plain shields, and a mix of shields (round, kite etc). Use some horse with barding, others with cloth barding and some without. For instance I have in my empire army knights on High Elf horses (they are bigger than empire ones), I have some WPs on horse with old Chaos Knight horse heads. Again try and find some 28mm knights from regular wargames ranges.

Llew
26-08-2010, 14:31
Some very good ideas! I'll definitely try some out.

I have a more specific question though. My biggest problem is the barding of the knight's horses. It's covered in cloth, so the colour I give this cloth will dominate on the model. I do not like the bright and vibrant colours that you find in the army book.

So is there a way to paint this cloth to look worn, stale or even decayed?

If you check out my Mantic Miniatures log in my sig, it'll show (and describe) how I made the cloth look decayed for my skeletons there. You'll probably need to selectively take a knife to the Bret horses too to add an occasional rent or frayed edge.

quantumcollider
26-08-2010, 15:20
If you check out my Mantic Miniatures log in my sig, it'll show (and describe) how I made the cloth look decayed for my skeletons there. You'll probably need to selectively take a knife to the Bret horses too to add an occasional rent or frayed edge.

That's exactly the look I imagined. I will certainly try your method myself.

Kaptajn_Congoboy
26-08-2010, 15:40
A kind noble does not levy a 90% tax leaving dozens of families destitute in order to support his own lifestyle.

No, a noble that cannot actually exist does that. A 90% tax would end Bretonnia in a year, as there would not be enough seedgrain left for next year's sowing ;)

poboom
26-08-2010, 17:40
Without actually having read the thread: Dip them in devlan mud.

Grey Hunter 88
26-08-2010, 20:34
No, a noble that cannot actually exist does that. A 90% tax would end Bretonnia in a year, as there would not be enough seedgrain left for next year's sowing ;)

Not too sure. I don't imagine that the Bretonnian's idea of taxing would be to walk in and take 90% of each farmer's output. That wouldn't really do more than fill his manor with useless seed that he would then have to sell back to those peasants to make any sort of profit. I imagine it more so that the lords leave enough food in the peasant's hands to basically ensure another harvest, while they take 9/10ths any profit a peasant might make selling his food in the lord's markets. He would probably want his taxes in coin, rather than in kind, which wouldnt help him much in a fantasy setting.

As for Bretonnians looking realistic and gritty, it's a bit hard to do. As many have suggested, they are not the models for the job. They are fantasy knights. They look amazing in my opinion (other than one horse whose bridle is inexcusably missing a crown piece, meaning it would simply fall off the horse's head), but they're definitely not historical.

If you wanted to, I would say, avoid using pieces from empire knights like the plague. They're about 300 years beyond Bretonnians, in terms of style. Don't use the caparisons that come with the Bretonnian knights. In fact, don't use the knight horses at all. Grab some other other horses in the same scale. There's a company that makes replicas of famous prize horses, called like Little Champions or something. Forget the exact name, but they make for great Warhammer mounts, and are far more realistically proportioned than the Warhammer steeds.

I would also suggest avoiding elven steeds, since they barely even look like real horses at all. A horse that emaciated would be hard-pressed to carry 12 year old girls at a riding school, let alone a fully armoured knight.

The "Medieval Horse" that yeomen and damsels ride are also great choices, though their half-trot, half-canter pose is a little confusing, and might make your knights look a tad dainty.

Everything you could do with the paint-brush has already pretty much been covered, as has the suggestion to grab some nice looking historicals.

Kaptajn_Congoboy
26-08-2010, 21:05
Not too sure. I don't imagine that the Bretonnian's idea of taxing would be to walk in and take 90% of each farmer's output. That wouldn't really do more than fill his manor with useless seed that he would then have to sell back to those peasants to make any sort of profit. I imagine it more so that the lords leave enough food in the peasant's hands to basically ensure another harvest, while they take 9/10ths any profit a peasant might make selling his food in the lord's markets. He would probably want his taxes in coin, rather than in kind, which wouldnt help him much in a fantasy setting.


Lords in historical agricultural societies employing unfree labour (be it slaves or serfs) did tend to take in taxes (or their own produce, in the case of the slaves) in natura as kind, selling them in bulk to areas of denser population, where the money economy was operating fully and there was actual coin to be had. In high and late medieval France, for example, Paris was all but vacuumed of money after harvest-time when the district lords brought their produce in. It was more efficient that way - similar systems were in use all over medieval Europe: the norwegian king (or the local lords when the royal bureaucracy laxed) kept a special tax on the northern parts of the country, primarily on the nomadic Samii population, only paid in arctic furs, which his own royal merchants then sold on the continent. If Bretonnian lords decided to practice your variant of taxation, the end results would likely be that the peasants did not farm for surplus at all; after all, it would be meaningless, their energy better used for making goods for barter between themselves (as most villages in the real world had operating).

It would consequently also mean more extensive risk of famine as no reserve surplus could be accumulated - the communal grain storage served as a buffer in most agricultural societies.

Not that the 90% of produce theory makes any sense either. GW's 6th ed variant of Bretonnian society makes absolutely no sense any way you look at it: the inventor of the trebuchet was paid for his service in a pig and two copper coins, which was "more wealth than he could have hoped to see in a lifetime". Er. So peasants in Bretonnia do not keep livestock? :D

It's a joke society. That's fair enough. They have flying horses, after all.

Spoik
26-08-2010, 21:09
Two words: Devlan Mud, baby!

OK, that's three words.

Or, for a more esoteric way of suggesting their grimness, you could look to their heraldry: shun traditional real world images for the weird beasts and imagery of the warhammer world, to give just a hint of the unnerving world in which they exist.

Grey Hunter 88
26-08-2010, 21:15
Yea, we're arguing economic systems in a world where Middenheim's sacked every second Sunday, and yet still always makes a miraculous recovery!

Meanwhile, in real life, you've got Constantinople which gets sacked in the Crusades and essentially never, to this day, recovers. Not to say that it wasn't a declining, rotten has-been by the time anyways.

I read in another thread that some sourcebook claims that the Bretonnian knights only have the right to tax produced goods, not manufactured. The more I read GW's Bretonnian stuff, the more I realize even bringing up a querry to your point was futile.

If a pig was more wealth than he could have hoped to see in a lifetime... Bretonnia probably wouldn't survive as a real economy, hey?

Then again, the fact that they consistently refuse to adapt to a world that has all but mastered multi-barrelled blackpowder weaponry, and a tank for god's sake, leads me to believe that Bretonnia's heading for exctinction.

BUT, if Bretonnia has one thing over the Capetians, it's that their kings ride giant *******' bird monsters. Enough said.

"Duc D'Aquitaine, ta geulle!"

JollyGoodChap
26-08-2010, 21:19
Ah nice idea ;) I was thinking of a similar kind of thing with as you are, Bretonnians or the Empire. It'll be interesting to see how you get on and I'll certainly be expecting some lovely photos :D:D

Kaptajn_Congoboy
26-08-2010, 21:23
That was sort of my point :)


leads me to believe that Bretonnia's heading for exctinction.

Nonsense. Everybody is hanging by their fingernails over a cliff of horrible DOOM in the Warhammer World, and they'll be hanging there for eternity, no matter how many new potential world-destroying new events pop up :D

Grey Hunter 88
26-08-2010, 21:26
That was sort of my point :)



Nonsense. Everybody is hanging by their fingernails over a cliff of horrible DOOM in the Warhammer World, and they'll be hanging there for eternity, no matter how many new potential world-destroying new events pop up :D

You know, in 40k there are a lot of characters that are dead in the fluff but you can still use.

I wonder how hilarious it would be if in some of the new storylines or army books, they wiped some factions off the face of the earth, and released Memories of Bretonnia: A Warhammer Fantasy Armies Book

Kaptajn_Congoboy
26-08-2010, 21:39
I sort of doubt Bretonnia will get squated anytime soon.


You know, in 40k there are a lot of characters that are dead in the fluff but you can still use.

You can do that in WHFB too! Just play Vampire Counts or Tomb Kings! :cool:


....or, for that matter, Grom...or lots of other historical Special Characters.

Wakerofgods
27-08-2010, 02:07
Hello all,

I've just started with warhammer and I've chosen Bretonnia as my army, in large part because they most closely resemble a historical high or late medieval army.

However, there are a couple of details about this army I don't like. Mostly, they are too clean :rolleyes:. I mean, the Bretonnian knights are depicted as the traditional knights-in-shining-armour, honourable, just and nice to kittens.

Historical knights however, where very practical (and brutal) fighters, and often a poor and illiterate lot. As a matter of fact, it was only in the later stages of the middle ages that knighthood became synonimous with nobility and chivalry was actually developed when the role of the knight on the battlefield was already diminishing.


Actually exactly what you want is what bret knights already are.

Bret knights think they are noble and such - but they effectively enslave the majority of their population.

Bret knights look to 'rich' to you? Guess how they god the money for that, by the massive taxes on the majority.

Role of the knight deminishing on the battlefeild? Well here are handguns about...so there is a (smallish) factor of this.

Bret knights ARE grim & gritty*. They think they are the most pure morally upstanding guys out there - but nothing except their own religion backs this up...

*although if it's purely a model factor I understand where your coming from - we want the models we want.

MindSlave
27-08-2010, 13:16
Wow, this is actually an entertaining thread to read...

Anyway, on topic.
You can try Devlan Mud washes, as well as Weathering Powders available from a few model kit manufacturers. They work out beautifully to create a grimy look (my step-father uses them to weather model cars).
Bizarrely, Pastels can do a similar job. Rub them on some paper and use the pastel dust the same way as a weathering powder.
Apply it by brushing it on with a dry brush.

As far as paint goes, steer clear of bright greens, reds and yellows. Go for brown or greyish robes. Certainly don't have "clean" armour. Drybrushing works well here, as does a wash of brown ink/Devlan Mud into the recesses of the armour.
Have a look here on Warseer for Rust tutorials, and there's the finest Verdigris I've ever seen on a Chaos army in the Fantasy Project Log section.

That should create a suitably gritty look for the Knights. The Peasants already look ok for that, plus you can combine them with Empire Flagellants for some variation.

Hope that lot helps! Be sure to post some pictures up in MPT if you go ahead with this, I'd love to see how it turns out.

Duke Georgal
27-08-2010, 15:03
NO!

Do not make them grim and gritty.

Bretonnia is glorious, and that means clean. Play another army if Bretonnian appearance is not to your liking.

quantumcollider
27-08-2010, 15:28
NO!

Do not make them grim and gritty.

Bretonnia is glorious, and that means clean. Play another army if Bretonnian appearance is not to your liking.

Too late. I already have the army and hopefully I can change those pretty boys into some mean looking wretches :evilgrin:

Urgat
27-08-2010, 15:50
....or, for that matter, Grom...
Or Gorbad, or Azagh... Yeah, we greenskin players only got two SC still alive :p

Grey Hunter 88
27-08-2010, 15:56
Or Gorbad, or Azagh... Yeah, we greenskin players only got two SC still alive :p

Alright fair enough. I had forgotten about those chaps.

I guess it gets confusing around the "Eltharion hates Grom, and wants to kill him!" mixed with Grom's already dead?

Then again it's not like units don't go back in time and come back from the dead and all that.

Also obviously Vlad Von Carstein, I had totally forgotten about him.

I'm not sure how well they work, but the Army Painter quickshade might be a neat way to just grime up an entire Bretonnian army in one dip.

defunct
27-08-2010, 17:57
How about having the army come from the fell dukedom of Moussilon, led by the mysterious, aspiring knight clad in black armour? That would certainly be a grim theme, I think. ;)

But yeah, removing the crests is a good start and people have already given some good modelling and painting advice, use of washes etc.