Thursday, 28 June 2018

Balian d’Ibelin

I think that it is fair to say that the day job has been a bit distracting of late.  This led to a lost week, hobby wise, and all manner of difficulties to overcome, both professionally and personally.  That said, there is an inevitability to the academic year and it is surprising just how much nonsense one is prepared to put up with when the prospect of a long summer holiday looms into focus!
 Unfortunately, the restraints on my time have meant that ‘Forgotten Heroes’ hasn’t worked out for me this year, instead I have picked at one or two pieces just to keep things ticking over and this post is a case I point.  Regular readers of ‘28mm Victorian Warfare’ may remember mention of the Crusades as a possible avenue of interest.  Not much has happened on that front, if truth be told, but when I saw another of ‘Wargames Illustrated’ Giants in Miniature series, Balian d’Ibelin, I felt that it was a good a starting point as any other.
 As a huge Ridley Scott fan, I had high hopes for Kingdom of Heaven and, in parts, it has much to commend it, but sadly Orlando Bloom isn’t one of them.  Outstanding as the incorruptible, inflexible (dare one say wooden?) elf, Legolas, in Lord of the Rings, I just didn’t buy Mr. Bloom as the Crusader Noble, Balian d’Ibelin.

The acting aside, the liberal retelling of history made, in my humble opinion, for a slightly confused and easily forgettable piece of celluloid.  Watching it reminded me of young Master Awdry’s penchant for picking the best pieces out of an otherwise stodgy and unpalatable offering from the school refectory – a time consuming and futile process that ultimately left you wanting more.
My apologies, I digress!  As a sculpt this is another winner from ‘Wargames Illustrated’ and I was happy to give mine the Hollywood treatment when it came to painting it.  I was enjoying the simplicity of the miniature, but then came the heraldic devices on his surcoat and I was instantly reminded as to why I may have dodged this period! 

Still I persevered, not least because I hoped to use Balian as a proxy model for Benson, a special promotional character in my Zombicide: Black plague games.  Roll on the summer holidays! 

53 comments:

  1. Lovely figure and a very nice paint job.

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  2. Fantastic painting Michael, the heraldry turned out really well.

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    1. Thank you Dave, I was quite pleased with the heraldry until I saw the photographs on my monitor at work! .

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  3. Nice looking mini! Heraldry turned out very well.

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  4. Very nice indeed! Great work on the surcoat detailing.

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    1. Thank you so much Jamie, I nearly went cross eyed doing it!

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  5. Epic looking Benson, love the splendid and realistic work on the tunic...

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    1. Thank you so much Phil, a great pose and a useful character for Zombicide.

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  6. There's some excellent sculpts in the "Giants in Miniature" range, and this is definitely one of them - but oh the brushwork!!
    Awesome Michael :-)

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    1. Thank you so much and I couldn't agree more about the series. I have picked up a couple now and have thoroughly enjoyed painting each one.

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  7. I say he looks quite fearsome. Jolly good job.

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    1. Murderous intent I'd say and thank you Clint.

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  8. Fabulous looking mini and paintjob!

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  9. Another masterpiece, Michael. Great looking crosses,and that hair...perfect and not a strand out of place! :)

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    1. You are incredibly kind Dean, thank you.

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  10. I think KoH needs to be approached as a fantasy film with a historical overlay, rather than as a historical film, if you get me. Once you relax to the point of "oooh, swordfight!", it becomes much more enjoyable.

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    1. I think that is a very sensible approach, visually (as you would expect from Mr. Scott) it is a triumph.

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  11. Murder innit, painting heraldry ?
    You´ve done a good Job.
    As you say, Hollywood Version on his shield (D'or à la croix pattée de gueules)it was more likely he carried as his C.o.A ; Argent, a cross pattee Sable, Black cross on White.
    http://www.hubert-herald.nl/Lebanon.html

    As for the film...I do like ripping "historical" fims to bits but this one, not too bad. Events take place as they did, names fit. ok, their relationships to each other are bent a bit but if they went into those in Detail and without cutting out Balins actual wife and Kids for example, it would have become very stodgy.
    The history was covered and not too much in depth to make it a documetary, couple of decent Punch ups...and trebuchets!!! Well worth a couple of Points alone.

    Me, I give it a 8-9 out of ten, the Extended Version a definate 9/10

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    1. You are very kind and I hold you in even greater respect having now had a go myself. I was worried that the devices might be off, but I am willing to live with them at the moment, but thank you for the link. Trebuchets, as you say, are always a win!

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    2. Cross pattee are a swine to copy. They look easy but when it Comes to painting them...eeeeeek!!!
      I wouldn´t worry about the accuracy.
      When I started the Falkirk Project I discovered, I´m a stickler for cross referencing to prove a definate link to Name and C.o.A and ...the Falkirk roll isn´t as good a source when it Comes to creating a force of bods for the time of the battle. Afterwards ok, but for the time of the Event, not a 100% accurate source.
      To get round any probs I´ve just stuck to the C.o.A´s on the roll, if it appears there..then I´ll use it.

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  12. Great figure, dodgy film. Ridley Scotts can't think what this movie is about period

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  13. Lovely figure 😀 as for the film and whilst I read and listen to endless stoggy history I absolutely love it ...give me more films about the crusades and early medieval period please !!!

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    1. Thank you Matt and absolutely for more medieval period films. :)

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  14. Oh... I must be in a minority for liking "Kingdom of Heaven"; albeit I'd have preferred Liam Neeson's role to have been more substantial. Great mini though and super paint-job, Sir Awdry :-)

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    1. It's not so much that I didn't like it, I just seem to take against Mr. Bloom. Thank you though.

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  15. Oh, fantastic work Michael again!

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  16. Beautiful work as always Michael, I too am a bit of a fan of Mr Scott's work, but have found of late that though visually stunning as they always are the stories can be a little confused and lacking.

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Thank you Roger and I couldn't agree more. I still haven't see the latest Alien film, but just worry that it is going to be a bit of a disappointment.

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  17. Wow! Excellent work on his face and surcoat, getting the red and white parts nicely shaded and the little crosses in place. He really looks like the Benson image on the card, too. I would've thought it was designed that way if you hadn't indicated otherwise.

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    1. Thank you so much. I have to confess that I really enjoyed doing something completely new and might have to give some more thought to the period now.

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    1. Thank you Jay, I was really pleased with this one.

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  19. Great sculpt and excellent rendition of "Benson"

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  20. Yet another great piece Michael. I shudder to think what you went through just to paint in his pupils ... well maybe not you but I would've been cursing and the amount of redo's I would've had to make :)

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    1. Thank you. I still can't decide if I want to paint eyes or not anymore. Certainly with the Congo models, I tended to just leave them out. This one, I used a pen which seemed to work.

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    2. I usually don't paint eyes on human minis. I'm with Frank; my eyes aren't up to the task (or my hands! ha ha). I always thought just shading the eye area a bit looks better than my poor attempts at painted eyes. But you did a superb job on this guy's eyes. They look pretty realistic in my opinion.

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    3. Shading the eyes is definitely one workaround that gives good results especially on very small minis. Nowadays some 1/7 scale resin figures even come with eye decals which is - if the quality is good enough - very tempting to make one abandon painting eyes altogether. :)

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  21. Great bit of work Michael, the eye's turned out well, I've been using a pen for eye's a long time & still make a mess of them, I think the problem might be my eye's :(

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  22. I've looked at this figure a few times but talked myself out of it.
    You Sir, have done an amazing job.

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  23. A great figure with a cracking paint job! Might have to pick that one up.

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  24. Wonderful work, as always.

    If you're thinking about getting into this period you might want to follow the 'Gaming a Crusader Castle' project at https://crusadercastle.wordpress.com/

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  25. Beautiful brushwork Michael. I really like your idea of using the model for Benson. Good one!

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  26. The model has a lot of character and your heraldry and brushwork sure adds to that.
    Looking good!

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