Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Freehand banners, my collection so far (plus a tutorial)

Here's my latest freehand banner, the first model for my Bitzbox Warband, a cowman, carrying an image borrowed directly from Fighting Fantasy's Trial of Champions (Illustrated by Brian Williams):

Here's the illustration which I copied, I found it quite appropriate for a beastman unit and this standard bearer also has a Skaven head at the top of the pole to re-emphasise the rat-theme.
So here's a short step-by-step of how I created this banner, which is pretty much the same technique I use for all my freehand banners:

The piece of cartridge paper was drawn to size (based on the size of the space on the banner pole) and two lengths kept at the banner end for attachment. This was then cut to size with a scalpel. It was painted with bleached bone on both sides and washed with a sepia mix to exaggerate the creases I had already added.

At this point you can see a very fine ink outline being applied, taking care to ensure accuracy.
Most of the outline has now been applied and some detail and tone can be added.
By adding a touch less water to the ink, it becomes more opaque and I can build up some darker tones and marks, while still leaving the lighter mars as they are.
At least three tones have been added. dark, medium and light.  The composition/placement of the image was a bit unsatisfactory as it left too much space at the top of the banner, so I decided to add some lettering. Partly inspired by the banners of Bryan Ansell's Chaos Army from Warhammer Armies and from the Beastman description in the Lost and the Damned, I decided upon "Children of Chaos".
Here you can see how I worked out the spacing for the lettering, 17 digits (including spaces) were drawn onto the paper next to the banner and then the letters were painted on within that space. I wish I had placed them a few millimeters lower..
The final stage was to add a frame around the banner to give it a bold edge and keep the image grounded and then some red to the eyes of the rat, a yellow Nurgle emblem in the space to the left of the design and finally some very pale white washes in the areas of highlight on the rat and skull. I just find this helps make it "pop".
So there you go. All that was left was to attach the banner to the pole with some superglue and when dried I then tweaked, teased, bent the banner to give it a sense of movement. Ideally the banner should have come off the pole at a greater angle, closer to horizonal, to capture the sense of movement as the beastman runs, but I had to settle for the appearance of it being caught in a breeze across the model.

Having completed this model I realised that I was quite proud of the numerous freehand banners I have created in my collection, so I thought I'd put them all into one post for you to see (and for me to do some sort of geeky cataloging):

From my small Chaos Cultist warband, based on an illustration by Bob Harvey.
From my Rensburg (wip) army 
My deamonic banner for the plaguebearers, Very similar to my cultist banner I realised as I documented these!
The banner for my mercenary ogres, the Rusty Flails. This illustration was from the Warhammer Armies book
For my small Orc Warband I used this illustration by John Blanche which I found in the 3rd Edition rulebook.

I wonder which your favourite is?

And here's the next standard bearer which I'll attempt, for my Beastman unit, but I'd like one of you to suggest an image for me to use here, ideally based upon oldschool gaming, so from one of GW's early (3rd edition or earlier) publications or from the Fighting Fantasy oeuvre:

Please post your ideas below, thanks in advance!