Thursday, March 3, 2016

Fireforge Medieval Knights

This post originally appeared on the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.

When I started the Analogue Painting Challenge, I had written off some Fireforge Mounted knights stashed towards the bottom of my lead pile. I vacillated on which heraldry to use and was intimidated by trying to hand paint teeny tiny crosses and birds in 28mm. I figured they'd be too tough to deal with during the speed painting of the competition. After painting up my medieval foot though, I was hooked. I took the "challenge" portion of the painting contest to heart and decided to tackle some medieval knights.

When looking for a period to run Lion Rampant I settled on the reign of Edward I. He was mixed up in internal strife with the 2nd Baron's War, a brief stint on crusade and clashes in Wales and Scotland, providing lots of variety from which to pull scenarios. I collected heraldry from knights in his service, cross referenced them against the number of conflicts they engaged in and picked half a dozen knights and earls who appeared in multiple battles so I could paint a figure once and use it in scenarios throughout the later half of the 13th century.

Then I realized nobody I play against will care, so just got started on painting and didn't sweat the details. So here are my guys!

Antony Bek, Bishop of Durham

First up is Antony Bek, the Bishop of Durham. I know it's pretty common among medieval fantasy games (hence the bludgeoning weapon I gave Tony), but I'm fascinated by the idea of a holy man going to war. Antony served Edward on crusade and in his Scottish wars. I gave Antony an attendant with simple cross heraldry (painting that curley cross with ermine pattern was enough the one time).

Thomas de Berkely and his son Maurice

Next up is Thomas de Berkeley, a grizzled veteran of numerous battles. He fought at Evesham, Falkirk, the siege of Caerlaverock, and Bannockburn. His son Maurice (indicated with the extra blue label on his shield) also served in the Scottish wars, and later served Edward II. Those teeny tiny crosses? Such a pain.

Robert de Neville and retainer

Finally it's Robert de Neville and a member of his retinue. Robert de Neville was involved in the 2nd Baron's War and also has a really simple heraldic device. I love you Robert de Neville.

Six mounted knights completed. Painting (and repainting) the heraldry took longer than expected, but I'm happy with how they turned out and I'm looking forward to finishing up the next six mounted figures from the boxed set. I'm still getting my bearing with the period, so if you have any tips or info to help correct any mistakes (either painting or history) I'd be happy for the advice!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Miles! Heraldry is pretty tricky for me, but these great sculpts forgive a lot of my mistakes :)

  2. I will say again here that I really like how these look. Excellent job on this lot. The Challenge can push ourselves to try that thing we have been putting off. You can be proud of these. cheers

  3. These are wonderful, so pleased you decided to revisit them.

    1. Thanks Michael! Pretty happy with how they turned out, even though these were bit of a learning experience for me!

  4. Lovely figures. I'm still steeling myself to painting simple checks and patterns on my Ancient Britons. Heraldic knights look fantastic on the tabletop.

    1. Thanks Lee! I found Celtic patterns the most forgiving to paint. Make a mistake? Just cover it up with a little mud or blood, or write it off as some particularly poor craftsmanship by that particular weaver. :)

  5. Nice work on these Fire Forge figs, John. The overall red composition of troops very stunning.