Saturday, 3 August 2013

Game of Thrones project ... one house at a time

It has been a while since I found myself fully engrossed in a fantasy novel or for that matter find books to break the hold that the Horus Heresy series has got on my precious reading time. George R.R. Martin's books make for a nice change of pace from my usual W40K fare and also serves as an inspiration to start what is turning out to be a huge a medieval/fantasy-themed painting project.    

Major houses in the Game of Throne novels

From the start, the obvious choice for a Game of Thrones project was the Warhammer Bretonnian Knights. This box set allows me to build up to eight knights on horseback, each of which will be painted to represent a different house found in the novels. 

Warhammer - Bretonnian Knights of the Realm / Knights Errant

Just as I was attracted to Chaos or "the perceived bad guys" in the W40K universe, there could only be one house to kick start my Game of Thrones project ... House Lannister. Rightfully hated or just plain misunderstood? Judging from the many online haters and fans of House Lannister the answer is not as clear cut as one would assume. But the Lannisters and their supporters e.g. House Clegane do make very good subjects for a miniature painter so that's where I will begin my journey.

A potential knight on horseback for House Lannister

Actual paint work on the miniatures have not yet begun but I have done some concept work in trying to paint the heraldry of House Lannister. After tracing out the shape of the shield according to scale, I tried to practise painting the heraldry of House Lannister - a golden lion against a red background - the results of which you can see below. I found the online tutorial by Bailey to be most useful for this purpose. This test run gives me more confidence to tackle freehand painting, which I expect a lot of in my Game of Thrones project when trying to accurately depict the heraldry of the many houses.   

Test run on painting the House Lannister heraldry

With the wealth of fantastic miniatures to choose from, I will not be limiting my Game of Thrones project to just Warhammer miniatures. For House Lannister, I will also be using the Crusader XIII C as a proxy for Ser Gregor Clegane aka The Mountain, of House Clegane as well as Dark Sword Miniatures for the Lannister twins of Ser Jaime the Kingslayer and his sister Cersei. It is possible that miniatures from many other companies will eventually be used for this project - Deus Vult miniatures as introduced by a fellow blogger comes to mind - but these minis will do for now.

Front view of Nocturna Models Crusader XIII C.
Back view of Nocturna Models Crusader XIII C.
I found the Nocturna Models miniature to have a face that is eerily similar to that of actor Conan Stevens who plays Ser Gregor Clegane in the HBO series. Well that excuse is good as any to use it as proxy for The Mountain. Overall, the build of the Crusader XIII C isn't that far off from the physique of Ser Gregor Clegane. The shield also provides an opportunity for some freehand painting of House Clegane's heraldry which comprises three black dogs on a yellow background. Most importantly, the Nocturna Model is highly detailed and will be both a pleasure and a challenge to paint.

Ser Gregor Clegane as played by Conan Stevens
Eerily similar profile between the miniature and actor

While there are many Lannister characters that I want to paint, the obvious ones to start with are Jaime and Cersei. For these two I will be using Dark Sword miniatures whose Jaime and Cersei miniatures have superb facial expressions sculpted by Tom Meier.

Despicable or just good at the game of thrones?
Dark Sword had two fantastic miniatures to represent the Lannister twins

Looks like I have my work cut out for me. This project will run concurrently with many others on my painting workstation. Well, life is short so I had better get started!


  1. This is a great idea! Just finished reading a Clash of Kings myself and could not stop thinking the whole way through how awesome it would be to have some knights painted up as the different houses. Good luck!

    1. I am currently reading 'A Storm of Swords' so we aren't that far apart from each other with regards to the books. George RR Martin has a tendency of making you care for a character before ... well you know what I mean. ;)


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