Friday, March 24, 2023

Painting Challenge Submission #17 - Varangian Guard for 28mm Byzantines

Varangian Guards prepare to take to the field in the name of the Emperor of Byzantium!

The "catch up" process of posts covering my submissions to the recently-completed Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge continues. After a slew of Space Marines, for submission number seventeed we turn to a completely different ongoing project - my 28mm Byzantines. Here we have a unit of Varangian Guard, the elite mercenary guards of the Byzantine Emperors. These are 28mm metal figures from Gripping Beast, with flag and shield decals from LBMS.

Some fine swordsmen, present and correct!

Challenge participant Darrel H has already covered the Varangians earlier in AHPC XIII - and done a totally amazing, lights-out job on the paint work, holy cow - go check it out now if you missed it - but this particular unit is a fun one to have on hand in my collection, and I have been waiting for a couple years to paint some up, focused on other, more basic units to build and paint first.

I love the character of these sculpts. Don't the poses make you flinch, just a bit? Here comes a two-handed axe!!

And I did not even expect to be painting any Byzantines during this edition of the Challenge...but you know what they say about plans...anyway, I was planning a visit to Winnipeg, and as part of that, playing a game with the guys. Dallas and I were texting before the trip, mulling possible options for a game, and we settled on having my Byzantines finally take to the gaming table to battle his Normans. Great! And, he casually asked "if I had any Varangians painted"?

"Clear out for the wind up!"

So naturally I tore into my pile of shame, dug these figures out, and got cracking on them! In response, Dallas found some unpainted Normans in his pile, and before you know it, a mini-Challenge-within-a-Challenge was born...and here is my part of it! This unit is modest in size, but the Varangians hit hard (or, at least, they do in theory...) and this will do just fine for a game of Warhammer Ancient Battles. 

Banner bearer.

Tried to make the commander's outfit a touch fancier...

Gripping Beast metal figures are so strange...they look odd when they come out of the blister...they have strange proportions, and you think to yourself that "this is going to be odd". But when you start painting them, I find they have so much character, and I just love them. While I could do without the separate weapons for the figures, I overall really, really loved painting these...except, of course, for the shields. 

Fighting now, drinking later!

The shields have LBMS transfers on them - no way I could hope to freehand designs like that - but wow, are they ever a massive, massive pain in the @ss to work with. I wish these were available as waterslide transfers...the peel-stick-water system these things use is fiddly as f*ck, and the results can be pretty uneven, and you will still need to paint the edges - and do so carefully. Even a liberal dose of Mircosol only does so much...anyway, I got there in the end, but I continue to wish for waterslide transfers for shields...

"Charge - and leave some room for the axes!"

These 12 fellows in 28mm were good for another 60 points toward my personal painting goals during the Challenge. They were also present and correct for the first-ever deployment of my 28mm Byzantine figures on to the table for a game...but for more on that, you will have to wait for another blog post. For now, thanks for reading, and please stay tuned!

1 comment:

Dallas said...

These guys look great. Well done. A shame they got run over by Norman milites...