Wednesday 27 December 2023

"Advance the OLD Guard!"

I hope you all had a nice Christmas.

I had a fairly quiet one and so in the days around it I've been able to find some time for painting some very old miniatures indeed.

I've had most of these Men-at-Arms done the release of Advanced Heroquest in 1989, and I've been intending to add them to an army for much of that time.

At one point they were to be included in an Empire army built with the contents of two reinforcements boxes for Battle Masters, but ultimately they ended up in the pile of shame and we're given to my friends when I moved overseas for a year.

Fast forward twenty years and they've come back into my possession (along with some that belonged to a friend), and with me being caught up in the hype for Warhammer: the Old World, they presented me with the opportunity to paint a unit for 'the game of fantasy battles' for the first time in over a decade.

They are surprisingly good models despite their age, although there were a good number of mould lines to clean (I'm sure I didn't get them all) and there's a circular injection point at the base of the tunics at the rear.

A couple of the weapons had broken off and so I replaced them with sections from the twelve billion spare halberds I have from the 6th edition plastic Men-at-Arms sprues - an example is on the left.

In terms of painting it was almost exactly the same compilation of base coats and washes as I used ten years ago, although I did get all advanced and use Gulliman Flesh contrast paint for the faces.

The shield transfers are from the Reikland Reavers Bloodbowl team that came in the 3rd edition box for that game.

Obviously, monopose models lack the command team that poor quality troops like Bretonnian Men-at-Arms need. Therefore I used one of the of the models with a broken weapon to fashion a standard bearer with bits taken from my metric ton of Bretonnian spares.

Similarly, adding a horn to the belt of another turned him into a much needed musician. It's still WYSIWYG even if you can't see it from the front.

The unit champion is an even older model and is from the Talisman boardgame (actually from the Talisman Adventure expansion) and is from 1986. Clearly a veteran.

The helmet and perpetual Gallic shrug make him blend into a Bretonnian army really well.

I have a number of other Talisman miniatures which I intend to sneak into all sorts of different projects.

Even with the command group, I only had 16 Men-at-Arms, which is not really enough for a melee unit. Therefore I fell back on a tried and tested Cheaphammer practice of using a unit filler.

I had intended to put together a cart full of gear, but I stumbled on some geese I'd inherited from my dad and had an idea 

Using one of the last two archer bodies I still had, I put together a model who could conceivably be ineffectually trying to shoo away some geese that were intent on disrupting the formation.

When put with the rest of the unit it adds a element of comedy, which I think is always important, but often missing, in Warhammer Fantasy, as the unit is essentially being flanked, or, for want of a better term: goosed in the rear.

Recent marketing information has shown that the Bretonnian Men-at-Arms have had a little bit of a glow up in their rules, making them potentially more useful than they were.

Most notably is the addition of the Grail Monk, carrying a blessed tryptich, allowing the unit to hold ground in the face of any enemy for at least a round.

Again, using my last Man-at-Arms body, I cobbled together a Grail Monk to go with my larger (and more likely to get used) unit of Men-at-Arms.

Here he is with his unit, ready to stand against the Hordes of whatever is sent against them...for a short while, at least.

This represents the last of what I have available to paint my Bretonnian army, although I do have one thing that I want to work on, but I need to get my hand on a knight first.

Here's the current army in all its glory.

Yes, I'm aware that I need more knights.

Pleasingly, I now have more than the equivalent of the Bretonnian army box for the release of Warhammer: the Old World, and the rulebook is going to be available separately, meaning that I don't need to buy the box.

The only thing I would be missing out on is the new Royal Pegasus kit, but they will pop up on eBay, I've no doubt. Also, the thing I'm trying to work on might address that issue too.

So that's a sizeable chunk of miniatures painted: 21 if you count the geese as individuals (which I do) but accept that the Grail Monk was in the bits box...bits.

However, astute readers will possibly be asking themselves, "if he has the Men-at-Arms from Advanced Heroquest, does that mean...?

Yes, yes it does.

I have 31 Advanced Heroquest Skaven, along with 16 plastic Clanrats from different generations, 22 Giant Rats, 2 Rat Ogres, a Beastmaster and Grey Seer Thanquol.

On the up side, that's the beginnings of a new army and a potential project for next year.

On the other hand, that's 73 miniatures that are worth about 500 points, and most of that is Thanquol, who can't be used in small games anyway.

And I've still not finished counting all the additions to the Lead Mountain.

However, Christmas was quiet on the gaming front, and the only hobby-related gifts I got were a Horus Heresy character model, and 3 Gondoliers, a Gondola and some more cardboard terrain for Carnevale.

Which, with only a couple of days to go and yet more to count, leaves the current totals as:

Acquired: 290
Painted: 323
Lead Mountain: 589



  1. They're all really good but the geese are excellent. The positioning of the geese and bloke is great. I think the first GW skaven army had a unit made of Heroquest models, so you're in good company.

    1. Thanks. The problem I've had with those clanrats is that each time I consider doing an army, I realise that the entire unit is worth about 100 points max.

  2. Great work on all and the army is really coming together, the base filler with the geese is awesome by the way !

    1. Thanks. I've always had a soft spot for unit fillers as they give the fairly average painters amongst us the chance to show off a little of our own creativity.

  3. Nicely done, love the unit filler!