Tuesday, 14 May 2013

The Road to Nottingham

Lord Narya Silverthorn
 Wood Elf Highborne w/ Spite carrying Arcane Bodkins

For a few months now, this blog has remained silent. I've not been writing due to a number of factors, but, in fairness, the largest of which was likely just a kind of "I'm not sure what I want to write about" feeling when I had a hobby-slip, which then gave way to being out of practice, and so not doing it simply because not doing it had become the norm. If you get me. Well, the blog may have been silent, but my hobby hasn't been.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter will have seen my #MiniatureMonday entries each week, and the running trend for a while has been my Winter Wood Elves. Today, I wanted to talk about them.

Wood Elf Glade Riders on scenic movement tray

This weekend just passed was the Warhammer Battle Brothers Event at Warhammer World in Nottingham. It was a doubles tournament, 1000 points per player, with a decent angle on creativity and theme. David Browning (the same David that I was playing the 'The Lord of the Rings' Journeybook campaign with) and I decided to team up for it, and after much MUCH deliberation (and the drawing of several elaborate charts and matrixes) we settled upon him continuing his Brettonian army, and me starting up a totally new one. Wood Elves.

Admittedly, this meant I got to decide the colours and theme.

Cercei Branchweaver
Wood Elf Spellsinger

Anyone who knows me knows that I paint a lot of red. A lot. My Skaven are red. My Tyranids are red. My Chaos Space Marines are Word Bearers - red. I didn't want to paint the usual green Wood Elves that everybody does, and I didn't want this to be yet-another-red-army, ruling out Autumnal Wood Elves. Hence, Winter. I looked at some pictures of forests in winter and settled on a blue-grey colour scheme that I actually really enjoyed painting. It's very fresh and crisp.

Thus, for a couple of months I have toiled away painting lots and lots of elves. The list itself contains no trees, no dryads or Tree Spirits. It's winter and the forest is sleeping. I also got to do some seriously fun conversions. 

Wood Elf Glade Guard

The list we wrote contained Warhawk Riders, and I like the standard models, but something just didn't quite gel. I looked around the range, and settled on mounting some metal Waywatchers onto the Great Eagles from 'The Hobbit', and then mounting those on trees. All in all, I'm impressed with how they came out - they're huge, and they look awesome. I did, however, find it mildly annoying that the week before the tournament, the new High Elf Skycutter was released, and the Rocs that pull that would have been perfect. They're a little smaller and rounder, if that makes sense. Ah well, my Eagle Riders are now some of my favourite conversions.

Wood Elf 'Warhawk' Riders.

I finished painting the army about a week before the actual event itself, which worked out nicely as, as I stated, it's not all about just the army. Because the theme is such a big part of it, there's an award for the best army list, and neither myself nor David were happy handing in a piece of paper with our names and the points written on it. No, we wanted much more elaborate.

David, being Brettonians, wrote out a wonderful dispatch full of flavourful text on a growing evil, and listed the resources he was sending, including 'costs to equip and maintain' in gold coins (the points). This was written on a scroll, rolled up, and then sealed with wax and a fleur-de-lys seal. We handed one of these to the events team, and then each team we played was given one too that they could crack open and read. They truly were wonderful.

This was mine. It's a book, meant to be a journal, made of handmade paper, bound with twine, wrapped in handmade cardboard outer and a twine wrapping seal. We found it in an art shop and the idea hit me.

Each page inside is handwritten with a dip pen and ink pot. I took a lot of time writing it out and perfecting my elven runes! There are several leaves, twigs and feathers stuck into the book too - each annotated as to their purpose, such as beech leaves from his home, or a tail feather of a war-eagle hatchling given to him for luck.

Each unit or character has a page detailing their equipment, and their points, separately, though there is also a brief rundown of the complete host further in. I really enjoyed making it, and it's really inspired me for further army lists. To me, it was an unusual way of expressing the hobby in a completely different direction - getting to explore the background and create something a little bit unique.

The full White Host arrayed for battle

I'm not going to go into the event itself in this post. I just wanted to describe the run-up and the details involved. I'll be following this with posts about the actual days, the games we played etc, along with cool pictures of some of the games and armies we saw. As usual, feel free to leave any comments or ask any questions, either directly here, or on Twitter.

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