Thursday, November 9, 2017

Vengeance of the Lichemaster: Mo' Monks of Maisontaal

Here's my completed unit of Oldhammer monks. The impetus for them, of course, is my ongoing project: assembling all the miniatures for Vengeance of the Lichemaster from 1986. However, my ambitions for this unit stretch beyond this one scenario. As I painted all these twelve brothers, I was scheming about all the other ways I could use them. For me, this is one of the great pleasures of wargaming: doubling (or tripling) up on your ways to play with the miniatures that you paint. It makes me feel rich.

For instance, these monks could munch a little ergot fungus and turn into flagellants for my 3rd edition Empire army. This is an army chiefly composed of odds and sods like the militia that I painted for Terror of the Lichemaster or some men-at-arms from Advanced Heroquest. A unit of "Fleglers" will fill out this force nicely. 

I'd also like to put these monks to use in Saga. In fact, I've already used some of these monks in my Saga scenario, The Battle of Wretched Heathen Peoples. But, in that scenario, the monks were only food to be eaten by a horde of zombies. They were quite good at that modest task. But now that I've painted an large force, I could use them as a unit in and of themselves... perhaps a unit of 12 Norman levies or some equivalent force of shoddy fighters.

And then, of course, there's Mordheim or Frostgrave, where a tonsured warband would fit right in, perhaps with some help from my wizard monks. So many possibilities! 

Anyway, last week I profiled the first half of my monks - let's look at the other six now...

Above we have Citadel's accurately named "Cleric" from the C03 Cleric range. With his stately gait and imposing belly, I see him as the leader of the monks of La Maisontaal.

Behold "Brother Coth" from the C03 Cleric range (1986). I love this miniature. Never has anyone brandished a toilet plunger with more grit and determination. He'll pump the devil's filth back into the cesspits of Hell.

Or perhaps that's a bell. In which case, Brother Coth becomes the musician of my monk unit.

Above is the standard bearer of the monks of La Maisontaal. He (or she?) was sculpted in 1985 by Bob Naismith and listed in the Citadel catalogues as the C03 "Ancient Word Female". I don't get an overwhelming vibe of femininity from this miniature, do you? But it's hard to tell under that unisex chainmail sarong.

In any case, I converted the miniature's staff into a flagpole, and then used the waterslide Breton Banner from Little Big Men Studios. Normally, I like to paint my own banners, but I got into the habit of using LBMS for my Saga warbands, and since I want to insert these monks in that game, it seemed smart to once again use one of LBMS's fabulous flags. I picked the Breton banner carefully: I figured that the central cross can stand for Christ or the "t" in Taal. Cunning!

Here we have the C03 "Wizened Priest" from 1985. I love this miniature because his bare shoulder and wizened chest create such a distinct impression of naked-old-man-flesh: the texture like folds of raw chicken skin, the colour brown and molted, the ever-so-slight pear shape in the hips. This sculpture (which must be by Bob Naismith) reminds me of one of Lucian Freud's self portraits:

Lucian Freud, “Painter Working, Reflection," 1993

Boy, I can't wait to age.

For something a little more youthful, here is the C03 Cleric "St. Ogg" from 1986.

And finally, above is "the Monk" sculpted in 1985 by Aly Morrison. He migrates into this unit from my collection of Talisman miniatures. Aly is a master. Just look at that benign expression and that big, bloody mace that he's dragging behind him.

Well, thanks for stopping by! Next week, we'll turn to the bane of these intrepid monastics: the Skaven army from Vengeance of the Lichemaster...


  1. Wonderful work on the brown shades, impressive details...

  2. Gawds damn mate, these are bloody lovely! I really like those layers of brown on the robes especially.

  3. Another great post. I love your work!

  4. These robes are absolutely stunning.
    They all look great.

  5. Love the models and I second your sentiment on Aly Morrison. Here's easily my favorite sculptor ever.

  6. Absolutely beautiful. Your decision on the banner is the right one IMHO and you've done a cracking job on it too.

  7. This is most impressive. The work on the robes is particularly good, they all stand out for themselves. Beautiful work.

  8. Every time I find my way back to this blog two things strike me. First is the uniqueness of your paint style; it's vastly different from what the kids are up to. The second is the rich history that you mask over your posts which elevates the reader's experience to something more than just browsing. Can't wait to see the Skaven.

  9. This is an absolutely cracking unit. I love the breadth of ranges that you're drawing from. The lushness of the banner really fits with my mental image of a monastic community with a wealth of time for embroidery on their hands.

  10. And you dont sell these things!?