If you've been living under a rock or other similar heavy object, then you've been missing out on one of my favorite, most super awesome, blogs Santa Cruz Warhammer. Being a quasi-impulsive, undisciplined hobbyists when comes to sticking to and finishing projects, I've become side tracked away from my Lizardmen in order to join the illustrious ranks of the Knights of Bal Timorea! Basically, this is a collaborative project whereby participants paint up a knight and then a winner is drawn from amongst the participants who gets to keep all the knights - click the link for details.
As you may or may not know, I have an old 5th edition Brettonian army dutifully lurking about in the infamous storage cabinet in the garage, waiting for a day when their glory will be revived and they will be repainted. This will not be happening anytime soon and I decided that I want to hold on to all my OOP models, so I bought a single Knight of the Realm off eBay* to join in the Bal Timorea project. Also, being inspired by Mike's Dutch knight, I though I could put the four shields sculpted onto the Bretonnian warhorse's barding to good use.
Mike over at Santa Cruz Warhammer based his Knight on his Dutch heritage. Mike is from Friesland, the same Dutch providence to which I can trace my ancestry to on my father's side of the family. My Dutch ancestors, being the frugal dairymen that they were, came to America and settled in Iowa. My grandparents and my dad are both from Iowa and later moved out to Southern California. My dad eventually came to live in Long Beach, my hometown. Around the turn of the century Long Beach had the nick-name "Iowa by the Sea" due to the large contingent of Iowans who moved out there. In fact, the church I attend has an old, gigantic Bible printed in Dutch. The four shields on the barding will be used to trace my family's journey from the Netherlands to So-Cal. Here's the quick mock-up I created for these:
From left to right, we have shields adapted from the flag of Friesland, my family crest (which might not be 100% accurate, one of my ancestors changed the spelling of his last name at some point) the Iowa state flag (with the vertical red and blue bars changed to horizontal to accommodate the shape of the shield) and the flag of the City of Long Beach, CA (with the City's seal swapped for a trident, which will be easier to paint). The family crest will be the basis for the rest of the Knight's color scheme and will be represented on the shield the knight carries.
Alternatively, I might replace the family crest on the barding with something to represent a) one of my Iowa ancestor's temporary stint in California during the California Gold Rush, b) my alma mater, Cal State Long Beach or c) a combination of both as CSULB's mascot is the 49rs.
The project has already begun and deadline is December 1st, so I have about a month to paint one Knight, which will encourage me to work on increasing the speed at which I finish my painting projects.
*Seriously, eBay rocks for buying bits and single plastic figures. Very handy for when your dogs eats half a Dire Avenger.