New Perry Bros, Plastic Mounted Men at Arms, coming soon in numerous boxes to my house as quickly as possible.. There isn't a release date yet, but when there is- I am all over it.
On the subject of Knights in Warhammer or just general Fantasy armies. One of my complaints in my last post was criticism of the new Demi Gryph knights...outside the rules issues brought up in comments and my major beef that every army now exact has same structure of pre determined roles for all its models.. Lets put all that aside and talk about something much more fundamental; Aesthetics, and how they changed in the Knight department.
Here we have one of my favorite Empire units, my "Knights of the Blazing Sun" I modeled and painted these guys up in 2008 and the height of my 7th edition fervor. While this kit in 2012 is tired as all hell, as it was released I *think* in early 6th edition. (maybe earlier??) They are a prime example of the roots of the 15th Century Swiss and German armies that GW based its Empire IP on. While the iconography is its own, its a good mix of historical reality and fantasy. Just the way I like it. The Bretonnian kits from the same era a cut from the same cloth. These kits obviously have serious staying power, as they are originally modeled in the very roots of core imagery of the game.
The next evolution of Knights comes with Vampire Counts Bloods and Chaos Knights at the tail end of 7th edition. I found both kits appealing still because the retained a certain aesthetic , while it was clearly drifting in the over embellishment category (I like the Blood Knights more than the Chaos) I felt they still paid homage to what the Warhammer world defined as the themes of it core setting.
There reason I keep coming back to the Perrys, Is this is what Fantasy Knights (dead or alive, barbarian or civilized) should be based on. Fireforges Teutonic Knights (below) from 100 or so years earlier are another current great example. Or any of Musketeer Miniatures great Arab or Anglo Saxon Cavalries of various periods. These guys were the real deal, they rode into battle not against Dragons or Undead but against Men- flesh and steel vs flesh and steel, and for the most part their lives were short. They're the reason all this fantasy stuff even exists, They're part the reason we even play wargames, as for many people out there, its not just a hobby its also how we connect with our past.
IF there is single figure in human history that is quintessential symbol of the human condition its has to be the Knight ( more directly the Questing Knight or Knight Errant via Arthurian legend) So shall we not pay the man the proper respect?
(These Fire Forge models finally come out this month I believe)
( No respect here, just six new Cadillacs. some epic headgear, and sign that says "Fat Bankroll")
Finally with these GW's new Demi Gryph Knights, we've stepped thru the gateway. We now have not only the continuing escalated over embellishments in the fantastical detail department, but as dictated by a forced rule structure we're now riding Monsters who are kitted out like a steam tank. Now, I know its a Fantasy game..before anyone comments on the obvious, and Yes. I understand its allowed to evolve. Lets just not overlook that where you take your intellectual property over time is going to dictate your fan base. and sometimes people just aren't going to like it anymore, especially when the Aesthetics are a founding principle in why your attracted to it. (ummm George Lucas anyone???)
The best of classic fantasy literature mixes the REAL with the SURREAL, where its still fantastical but "it could be possible". Where pockets of our normal existence or our past exist only to be threatened by the abnormal or Supernatural. Crossing the boundaries to where everything is fantastical and nothing is grounded in reality is another mans game, that is not the imagery I put in my own head that attracted me to WFB in the first place. It calls up a completely different set of rules, that are in opposition to other and really boils it down to a black and white choice. Some people can just take it for what it is and have fun with it, I suppose I am burdened with the need for some sort of intellectual rationalization with my miniatures. Sounds like total bullshit I know, but its true.
(Mad props to the Perry's, Percival would be proud)
Needless to say, I will be decking out a good dozen or so of these Perry Men at Arms when they finally see the light of day. "Cheeearggge"!!!
Have good weekend folks.