Updated: Aug 3, 2021
So I've been toying with the idea of a new Space Marine army since the release of the Primaris Marines, and last year even painted a unit up as Blood Ravens.
However it wasn't until the pictures of the new Primaris Outrides that I finally decided to give it a go. As for the conversions, I had seen a couple of images on Instagram of Brettonian head swaps, something I had tried as kid but never felt it worked on traditional Space Marines. However the head swaps looked more suitable with the larger "true scale" size of the Primaris.
I had also been waiting to try my painting hand at a non-gloss/shiny armour technique I had seen and coupled with the fact I never collected a WFB Brettonian army, a concept formed in my head.
In the blog I want to start of with a bit of fluff setting the scene for this new Chapter, as well as covering the conversion work and painting done to get these mini's table top ready.
Please note that all of this is a work in progress, suggestions are most welcome.
Located at the very edge of the Segmentum Ultima, Brettoncourt IV is a fertile farming planet designated by the Imperium as a Feudal World. The land is mostly covered by dense forest, lush grassland and rolling foothills with the populace and culture somewhat reminiscent of 1400 AD Terra. The planet was first rediscovered and bought back to the Emperors light by the Black Templars sometime around the 38th millennium.
Prior to being exposed to the Imperium, the many Lords and landowners of the planet had waged countless battles and skirmishes with their neighbours. Forever seeking to expand their kingdoms boarders, unaware the wars they fought were but a rehearsal to what was to be expected of them.
It was this near constant sacking and rebuilding of villages that had kept the technology of the planet stagnant. By the time of the first Black Templar planetfall, the armies of Brettoncourt IV were equipped with plate, mail, longbow or sword.
Due to the similar aesthetic between the Black Templars and the warriors of Brettoncourt, most of the ruling monotheistic Lords accepted the Imperial decree and the Emperors divine rule. The notion of burning the witch, heretic or mutant also struck a chord. However, there were some who resisted, notably those who believed in multiple Gods. The natives of Brettoncourt witnessed first hand how utterly outclassed they were and what little was left of the rebellion was soon quelled.
Early on, Brettoncourt IV supplied the Black Templars of the Arkron Crusade with new recruits, as the planets isolation had guarded its inhabitants against outside corruption. Purity, was of course something the Black Templars held in high regard.
It was this absence of Xenos taint that made Brettoncourt IV an ideal candidate for the home-world of a new Chapter of Primaris Space Marines.
Upon hearing the news of their planet being selected to raise a new bulwark against the enemies of Mankind, the noble families of Brettoncourt were quick to volunteer their sons. Something they considered to be a great honour for their household.
It was this family pride and planetary culture which first saw raise to the unique colour scheme of the Chapter. So long as the left shoulder guard sported the Chapter colours which had already been selected (half red, half blue with a gold Fleur de lis), the warriors were permitted to display their families heraldry on the rest of their wargear. While those initiates from lowborn families often wore the intended red and blue battle plate, until which time they earned a crest in the traditional way a coat of arms was awarded.
"By bolter and chainsword, it matters not the colour of your plate. Only that you purge the enemies of Mankind!"
As for the Chapter's culture, it is as one could expect from a people propelled into the 41st millennium. The warriors are new and eager to wage war against the countless threats amongst the stars. Often clinging on to their old ways of riding into battle, albeit upon motorised bikes rather than valiant steeds. The presence of the Black Templars on the planet for many years is also notable, manifesting chiefly as a strong distrust of those who can command the powers of the Warp.
Although the Chapter has a full compliment of weapons and armoury, they largely prefer to avoid the use of tanks, especially transport vehicles. This trait is expected to subside as the chapter ages, but for now being enclosed within the loud confines of an armoured vehicle does not come naturally to the Chapter.
The most obvious conversion work will be the helmets, specifically the addition of the Brettonian head crests. For the first 3 models I cut away the back and bottom of a Bretonnian Knight helmet and removed the front and top of a Space Marine helmet. A little bit of green stuff was then used to join the two parts together.
I am also considering adding the head crests to a standard Mk3 Space Marine helmet if I can find any. Might just mix it up a little.
I also sculpted the Fleur-de-lis onto the left shoulder guards. If anyone wants to give it a go, I've added a tutorial on sculpting these to my YouTube channel here.
For the sergeant, I wanted a bare head but couldn't find any Bretonnian helmet-less heads in my bitz box. Instead I opted for the traditional knightly chainmail coif, sculpted over a Primaris shouty head.
All in all, i'm pretty happy with the conversions so far. Writing this after fully assembling the easy-build Marines, i'm thinking of adding embossed right shoulder guards to match the head dress of the helmet. Reinforcing the heraldry in any future builds. Might have to start scouting ebay for bitz.
For the undercoat, I have been totally converted to the Grey Primer team. No more Black undercoat for me I think. A grey undercoat works a lot better for an army which will end up red, blue, yellow and or black and white.
The painting technique itself takes inspiration from my non metallic gold, which at the time of typing there is a video tutorial here.
I've just changed up the colour palette and technique a little, one day I might even add another video to my YouTube channel.
Although this picture (above) was taken before the last two steps, it should give a preliminary idea as to the technique i'm aiming for.
As for the stages to the red armour, let me outline them below.
Base coat with Rhinox Hide and equal part Khorne Red,
Khorne Red layer,
Wash with Nuln Oil,
Khorne Red layer,
Khorne Red with larger quantity of Evil Sun Scarlet,
Evil Sunz Scarlet layer,
Evil Sunz Scarlet with a touch of Screaming Skull,
Same again but with equal parts Screaming Skull,
Tiny additions White Scar,
Carroburg Crimson wash
Technical Ardcoat thinned with some water.
Going to try painting some blue armour next which will follow a similar pattern of layers. I'll post the colours used once I've figured it out.
07th of June, 2020
So its day two and I've got the blue and red stages done. The stages are pretty much following the same as the red armour but i'll outline the process nevertheless;
Base coat with Regal Blue (this is an old paint of mine, not sure of the modern version),
Caledor Sky layer,
Wash with Nuln Oil,
Another Caledor Sky layer,
Caledor Sky with equal parts Teclis Blue,
Teclis Blue layer,
Teclis Blue with equal parts Screaming Skull,
One part Teclis Blue with two parts Screaming Skull,
Tiny highlights with White Scar.
Wash with Gulliman Glaze,
Technical Ardcoat thinned with some water.
Up next is the yellow stage, although i'm less certain on the various colours i'll need for this...
We'll see how it goes tonight.
20th of June, 2020
I wasn't really happy with the yellow stage. Not sure it came out as well as the blue and red, however yellow is always one of the harder colours to get right.
I started off with a base coat of 3 parts Skrag Brown and 1 part Averland Sunset.
This was followed by a wash of Nuln Oil. If i'm honest i'll avoid this stage next time, as it was only added as I had done the same with the blue and red layers.
Up next was a wash of Agrax Earthshade to bring it back to a brown tint.
Then came the usual staged layers listed below;
1 part Skrag and 1 part Averland Sunset
1 part Averland and 1 part Yriel Yellow
1 part Yriel Yellow and 1 part Screaming Skull
Very edges painted with White Scar
A wash of Lamenters Yellow
'Ard coat Varnish thinned down a little.
For the rest of the techniques;
I painted the silver using mostly Greys and Whites with a bit of Rune Fang steel.
The Gold was based with Rhinox Hide mixing all the way into Gehanna's Gold, into Auric Armour and finally adding Screaming Skull. This was then washed with Lamenters Yellow and then Agrax Earthshade. I would have used my Non met gold technique but it relies to heavily on yellows and wouldn't work on with chapters paint scheme.
The leather pouches mixed Rhinox hide into magenta with a final wash of Agrax.
As for the sword, it was mostly trial and error. Using Hexwraith Flame and a Glow in the dark/day glo paint to lighten it up.
Any way, here are the finished models. I went with a Goblin Green and glassland base to pay homage to the Brettonians who have been nerfed :(
Think i'm going to be working on some spare helmets now. Get them all ready in time for the new Primaris Bikers which may or may not have lances in this army ;)
7th of July, 2020
So over the last couple of weeks I've been sculpting and converting some extra helmets and shoulder pads. Just so i'm ready when the new 9th ed mini's come out. Would have made a few more by now if it wasn't for accidentally sticking the hobby knife into my finger early on.
Here's looking at you helmet with the boar on top...
Above are a few I've done so far. I've also manged to get hold of some of the original Bretonnian plastic helmets too, just to mix it up a little. Not only that but I've sourced enough bits on ebay to keep me going for a while.
As for what's next, I've just bought some Hellblasters. I hadn't initially aimed on including any as I wanted to wait for the new outriders, but i'm getting impatient with all these converted bits laying about. I've also started work on another trio of marines;
Hopefully, once painted the little epic scale marine on the guys arm will look like a hologram.
13th of July 2020
So unfortunately we begin the week missing out on the new 40k 9th ed box set. Which is a shame as I really wanted some bikers and close combat guys for this army. Will just have to wait for them to come out separately. For my part, I was completely unaware this new Indomitus set was going to sell out so soon after pre-release. I checked the site at noon, finding out they had all gone a few minutes after 10am...
Anyway, I've got more than enough to keep me busy for the time being. Over the weekend I've finished building some Hellblasters and my Primaris Redemptor Dreadnought. I'm not convinced the Dread is done, looks too plain and can't quite figure out the best way to fill that huge base, wheat field perhaps?
As for the Dreadnought, I raided the bitz box to find something that would work for its heraldry. In the end I settled for a cow from the old plastic giant set, cutting the head off and green stuffing the rest completed the top mascot.
The crest on the right arm was also green stuffed together, matching my own family heraldry too, with the shield on the front being an old bull crest part I sculpted and cast up ages ago.
I'm planning on painting the
filigree to parts of the armour but we'll see how that goes.
I think it needs more trinkets and seals flowing from it...
Lastly I've started painting the three marines I started on the 7th, adding black and white to the range of colours the army will use.
19th of July, 2020
So I've been making significant progress with the trio of Marines i'm painting at the moment, but i'll share the photos once they're done I reckon.
This week has seen some more conversion work including some small additions to the Dreadnought, but more importantly the addition of a Chaplain. Something I picked up in the Worcester GW after a work trip.
Now before we get to the photos, I wanted to explain my idea to make the Chaplain stand out and add a little more character to the army. I was worried that the black armour of the Chaplain wouldn't stand out in an army that uses black intermittently with the various colour schemes.
Green however was a colour not used. As just like the Brettonians I was focusing on reds, blues, yellows, white and black. So thought i'd make the Chaplains of this chapter disciples of the fabled Green Knight. I think the concept works, the Green Knight is said to be blessed by the Lady of the Lake and represents the purity of the Brettonian religion (if you can use such a word in this example). And of course the Chaplains uphold faith in the Emperor across the chapter and should be the purest of all the marines.
The solitary green figure in the army would also make the Chaplain noticeable on the table top.
The first thing to convert up was the helmet. The Green Knight of course having a large feather on his helmet instead of the typical mascots other knights sport. For this I used a Knight of the Empire helmet with a suitable large feather, some green stuff to neaten the back of the helmet up was also an addition.
The top of the Crozius Arcanum was also swapped out. Luckily I still had some Blood Angel Sanguinary Guard bits kicking about. The banner topper with the little goblet was a good fit in my estimation, makes it look like he's quested for the Grail at some point in his career.
In fact I still have quite a few Blood Angel bits with goblets on them, shoulder guards and the like. The veterans of this army can now be Grail Knights. However all the old Grail Knights are white metal and the heads are attached to the bodies. Aside from being expensive to collect, I hate cutting up perfectly usable bits when all I really need are the head crests, especially now Brettonians are OOP.
Instead i've tracked down some 1.24th and 1.48th scale dollshouse goblets and cups. These can be stuck to the top of the helmets and with a bit of green stuff, boom! I've got some Grail Knight helmet mascots.
Lastly, and probably the luckiest find in the bitz box was an unused Green Knight shield. This replaces the book that would be hanging on his hip and will further complete the concept once painted.
Some eagle eyed amongst you might have noticed I've still not stuck a small trinket to the front of the Chaplains tabard. I want to hold out for a tiny Fleur-de-lis or something to add there.
The model isn't completely glued together just yet, it's going to be a very intricate paint job so I want to make my life easier when I finally get round to painting this guy.
Anyway, that's it for now.
23rd of July 2020
Mainly just a photo update this time as i've finished the 2nd trio of marines. I'm also pretty happy with how the hologram turned out too!
And lastly, the squad is taking shape;
I can't say i'll drill into this much detail for every marine moving forward, but for now I hope you like the individual images.
30th of August 2020
So there's been a bit of a delay finishing my unit of Hellblasters on account of moving house, but i'm pleased to say they're done now.
If anyone is interested in how I painted the plasma coils, i've included my process below;
* Base layer of white followed by a watered down Baharroth blue.
* Then in the corners of the coils, add some Guilliman glaze.
* Once dry, add some darker Drakenhof Nightshade in the far corners and also run a small amount of this along the bottom of the coil.
* Paint some white lines on the top middle of the coil. I then followed up with another wash of Baharroth Blue towards the middle.
* I repeated this last step again to brighten it up.
The Plasma Blasts!
So many years ago I add some plasma blasts from the end of my Vostroyan Plasma Rifles, by heating and twisting the old Necron green sprue.
This time I ordered some 3.2mm clear perspex rods. The one I ended up using was blue, but only just.
Now this isn't an easy process to get a plasma blast I was happy with but i'll try and record the rough process below;
* Using some milliput, I pushed the rounded end of a paint brush into it and let it set. This will allow me to round off the end of the plasma blast in the next step.
* A tea light candle was used for a constant source of heat. I started by holding the end of the perspex just above it and then pressing it into the paint brush mould I made earlier.
* Carefully holding the rod back over the heat until bubbles started to appear, I would take it away and let these bubbles expand. Dipping it in water if I needed to. This was the difficult part, getting it hot enough before it caught fire. You can just about twist it too as soon as it comes out the water if you're fast enough.
* Drill out the barrel of the rifle and stick the cooled plasma blast in once the model is completely finished.
As I said, it's not particularly easy to get a shape you're happy with. Of the 25cm of rod I started with, only two blasts ended up like I imagined.
At any rate I was pretty happy with the out come. In the examples below I added a small wash of Baharroth blue to the end stuck into the rifle and a small amount of Guilliman glaze the other end. Gloss varnish was also used to finish the whole blast off.
Up next is my Dreadnought. This morning I started work on the custom base by cutting up some wooden lolly sticks. I'm aiming for it crashing through a field of wheat, in keeping with them fighting on a world similar to the Brettonian kingdom.
Well that's it for today but i'm looking forward to start getting paint on this guy.
11th of September 2020
With each new unit in this army so far, I've tried something new. From the style of shading, Hologram and Plasma blasts to my new Dreadnought's base. This army has been a real learning curve.
The Redemptor Dreadnought was pretty fun to finish off all things considered. The new Primaris Dreadnought bases are far bigger than the old versions, which leaves you with enough space for story telling. I'm also not a fan of such large bases remaining plain, presumably there is some battlefield debris nearby if you don't want everything heroically standing on a rock.
As you would have seen from the last entry, this Dreadnought is "helping" protect a peasant farmers field and I like the juxtaposition between massive robot and medieval farmstead.
For the wheat, I grabbed some tall grass (with seeds) and coated them with a bit of super glue and once dry, Agrax Earthshade. For each stalk, a hole was drilled in the base (after it was painted and completed) and super glued in place. I also very carefully super glued each piece of grass to a neighbour or fence for stability. They're still super fragile but the end effect is worth it.
Lastly as a bit of a reminder if you haven't read the above, the heraldry has been based on my own family crest. Need to get some name plates for this army eventually.
As for what's next, I still need to paint "The Green Knight" and I picked up an Elite starter set so need to build the melee guys, bikers and captain.
06th of October 2020
Just a little update tonight, as I finished the Chaplain (or Green Knight) last weekend. As the model is a character piece, I spent a little more time on the free hand work and painted his cloak to match the fabled fantasy model.
This wasn't as difficult to do as I had worried. However I did paint one side of the cloak with much larger fleur-de-lis than the other, which resulted in me repainting the whole side again...
As of tonight, my first unit of Outriders have also been finished. I should have some photos of them by the weekend. Really happy how these guys have turned out...
08th of October 2020
So I've finally found a day I can take a lunch break, to photo my new outriders in the daylight. Really happy with these three and I'm looking forward to adding more.
I used weathering powders for the dirt on these bikes in case anyone was interested. If you're new to weathering powders I have a video explaining the basics here.
For the Cavalier (or sergeant) I even added a sign post to the world that was. I'm saying that as the Bretonnians didn't come back in AOS, their kingdom was transported into the 41st millennium.
For the rampant lion knight, I decorated the base in a tribute to a former version of themselves. With horse skull, broken spear and smaller shield.
Lastly the hart knight had free hand diamonds painted one side only. That's the benefit of these models, I don't have to be uniform and paint it the other side. I've also taken inspiration from a local castle ruin for the base, having the knight crash over the remains of a stone wall.
As I said, I'd love to have more bikers but finding shields that match up with head crests can be a pain. Oh that and finding the lances, this is where ebay comes in handy.
Here's a little sneak peak on what's next in the paint queue;
23rd of October 2020
Almost finished my Elite box with the completion of the close combat Primaris marines.
Although next up is the Captain, you know the one with the massive shield with a dead guy on it. This last figure is going to take a while as I really don't like the skeleton stuck to a shield. Currently I'm sculpting an alternative using (and I hate to admit) a Stormcast shield.
I'll post some green stuff images once I'm done, but for now here are the recent finished models;
1st of November 2020
A sculpting update this time and edging closer to finishing the bulk of this army.
The Primaris captain with the large Relic Shield is great and all, especially for what is effectively a starter set/easy build mini. But that shield... to me it looks ridiculous with that skeleton on the front.
I had tried thinking of ways of removing it, but too much of the skeleton is moulded to the shield. Not sure how much damage I could avoid inflicting to the shield if I tried to file it away.
Then I started scouting the internet for an alternative shield, preferably with a fleur-de-lis. I think I only found one which would have to be ordered from America. Unfortunately I wanted to keep the at-ease pose the model was in, half resting against the top of the shield.
In the end I settled for the easy option of sculpting on top of a Stormcast shield and the iron halo I didn't use from the Chaplain model.
Pretty happy with the end result;
I would say he's getting painted right away but I have a new squad of Vostroyans next up in the paint queue.
16th of November 2020
Finally the army has a leader and it's almost done. Just waiting on the Blade Guard to be released so I can finish a unit of Grail Knights.
Although I will be using the same Stormcast shields for my Blade Guard, I wont be sculpting so much detail on them. Will need to start sculpting these motifs soon I reckon, maybe some simple grails or fluer-de-lis. As much as it pains me to say it, they have a more Bretonnian shape to them than the 40k equivalent and are roughly the right size.
Now that the captain/prince/king is painted, a couple of the smaller details are more evident. Like the holy hand grenade on his belt, crowned helmet or the Stormcast helmet on his base. The Stormcast head is a little nod to Age of Sigmar being responsible for the destruction of Bretonnia and that in this retelling of the Bretonnian story, they've got their own back.
"It doesn't matter how golden they are, if they use magic like a heretic, they're a heretic..."
- Chapter master musing on the shoot first, ask questions latter policy implemented during the conquering of the Azyr IX system.
The white armour was also painted differently to the others in the army. I wanted him to stand out a little more than the other white models. This was achieved by simply changing the base colour from grey to a very light blue.
Roughly the white technique was;
Grey primer followed by a base layer of 2 part White Scar and 1 part Baharroth Blue
Nuln oil wash
Same paint mix from the first step. This time not painting over any of the recessed black lines.
The several thin layers of white paint, working outwards from the areas I still wanted partly blue. I think in the end I finished about 5 white layers. I cannot stress how important it is to thin white paint, so easy for it to dry with brush marks.
Finally a layer of gloss varnish was applied.
07th of January 2021
So not an update on the 28mm army, but an update on the Chevaliers nevertheless. I've finished converting and painting the first of the 7 inch McFarlane Marine. You can read up about the entire process here!
13th of February
The paint queue just got reinforcements.
Not added an update to this blog in a while, but that's not because I wasn't doing anything with this army. No, I've been busy ordering bits a pieces to complete the last couple of ideas I've got for this collection.
First up is some new converted (or kit-bashed, which seems to be the go to phrase currently) minis for the squads already finished above. I wanted to have a marine in the army visibly carrying a holy hand grenade and I also ended up converting two old Black Templar torsos to fit the Primaris legs I had spare. If anyone would also like to convert up some old marine torsos, I've added a sculpting tutorial to my YouTube here.
The other marine with the plasma pistol will be the sergeant for my Helblasters.
Next up is the Mario-Kart-Proxy, or as it should have been known "the Primaris Attack Bike". These kits are from Dark Age Design, if you're in the UK you can order them directly from his Facebook page. For the rest of the world, Spikey Bits are acting as a distributor.
It's worth noting, nothing is really glued together at this stage. No, I learnt my lesson painting the first Outriders. Better to piece them together once each part is finished than try and get my paint brush in areas it can't reach.
The sergeant model is a simple enough conversion, what with his left hand on the throttle, the right hand lance isn't battling with the sidecar.
Unfortunately the other two Outriders are modelled with their left arm for combat. So rather than having the second model in mid charge, he's positioned to wave the bikers to a halt. The lance can also be found resting in a cradle on the side of the bike.
As for the marines in the side car, I decided to make them Knights Errant. This was mainly down to not wanting to paint the sidecars in a different heraldry to the bike. So my aim is to have the whole bike matching the rider, and the passenger painted in the standard chapter colours of half red, half blue. These Knights Errant haven't won their heraldry yet or something. Neither have a helmet mascot because of this and one even has the orle and flowing Bretonnian hair like a fantasy Errant Knight.
I didn't end up using the bodies supplied with the sidecar kits, I preferred a more official torso to help the model gel with the rest of the army. This is why I had spare Primaris legs mentioned above.
Lastly in the paint queue are the long overdue Grail Knights, or Bladeguard.
I had been saving bits and pieces to convert these guys up for months now, eagerly awaiting the release of the multipart models. One of the most difficult things about making these models, was picking only 3 positions out of the many cool poses the kit offers.
The shoulder pads come from the Sanguinary Guard set, and the helmet mascots rely on 1.48th scale dollshouse goblets.
Each shield has been made from a Sigmarmarine piece with the heretical logo sanded away. I also converted grails and other parts from the bitsbox to match the helmet mascot.