Tombstones and heretics

As predicted, Cromwell is complete. The mace came out better than I’d expected – I’d originally aimed to just make something very simple, but it turned out to be a relatively straightforward process to add some extra detail, and I think it’s paid off nicely.

As usual, you can have a look at the full set of photos (and vote, if you like) over on Putty and Paint.

This, of course means that Jeremiah Crow has also progressed – he’s now done except for his base, which has been built and partially painted (just the dirt on the underside), as you can see:

My wife asked what the deal was with the floating chunk of earth, so I figured it’s probably a useful thing to explain. It’s actually a very straightforward idea:

I’ve seen a few people do it, and I’ve always thought it looked cool.

I mean, that’s really what 90% of the hobby boils down to, anyway. More seriously, it gives the scene an extra feeling of isolation, which is something I wanted to bring out, while also providing a more open canvas, if you will. By constructing my own surface that’s sort of divorced from the plinth, I’m much less bound by the usual square/rectangle/circle that plinths offer. It’s also a good way of breaking the square, simply because I don’t have to fight against it, which is what you often feel like you’re doing if you start by trying to build something to fit onto a plinth.

You may also be able to make out the word “CROW” on the monument. I’d bought a full set of metal letterpress type in Garamond a couple of years ago. I’d originally thought about using them to make the place settings for my wedding, but they were much too small (I ended up finding much larger rubber stamps – still in Garamond! This is important because Garamond is the best serif typeface). It turns out, however, they’re the perfect size for stamping things like this.

So, with Jeremiah almost complete, I set about getting my next project prepped: the French Knight, Albigensian Crusade, from FeR Miniatures. Here he is, based up and primed but sans arms:

You might be able to make out that he is awesome. It’s a seriously great sculpt and the casting was basically flawless – should be great fun to paint.

The cobbled base is meant to look like one of the streets in Carcassone, which was a major siege during the Crusade, and I made it by making some pebbles out of milliput, cutting them in half and gluing the bits that survived down. This sort of crude method was excellent for making a more natural surface: if I’d just put down a layer of milliput and sculpted the cobbles in, the whole surface would be prone to being level and even, whereas this way it has a more believably crude effect. I’ll also be adding some mosses and the like to keep it interesting.

So, on to the heretic.

The Albigensian Crusade is (perhaps?) more famously known for being the war in which the Cathars were systematically butchered. They were a sort of off-shoot of the standard Catholicism, and were the subject of something that almost certainly qualifies as a genocide. The city of Béziers, for instance, was pretty much wholly denuded of people when it was captured by the Catholics. The ruler of the city had expected the Jews in town to be slaughtered, so he’d already sent them away. He certainly did not expect the rest of the town to be put to the sword.

This battle was the source of the famous line, “Kill them all – God will know his own.”

So, for this piece – because I like the underdogs, you know – I’ll be painting him in the style of the heretics, which means he’ll be wearing red and yellow, and feature what’s called the ‘Occitan Cross‘. This is closely associated with the Cathars because it was the Occitan nobles who decided to protect their people, even if many of the rulers were not themselves Cathars. Not everyone, it seems, was a complete shit during the Crusade.

1 thought on “Tombstones and heretics”

  1. Not sure if my other post got published or disappeared. Just wanted to say thanks for sharing, I really enjoy your artistic choices and justification and love the progress on Crow. Cromwell is slightly spoiled by the big table like you said a couple of posts ago. Still looks good though. Thanks for sharing

    Cheers Richard

    Liked by 1 person

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