Thursday, July 19, 2012

I can't bear it anymore...

I've been keeping this little project a bit of a secret, but I was actually quite excited about it that when I have finished painting the mounted men-at-arms, I painted it up in just two evenings and am showing it off even as the glue on the flock is drying.


The idea was partly inspired by the regimental mascot unit from GW; but I've always wanted a bear in one of my armies, so when I found one that I liked, I decided to create a vignette.

The bear is (was) an unpainted plastic figure from the D&D Wrath of Ashardalon boardgame. The two figures are Perry plastics, and the chain a link of chain from a cheap necklace. The vignette is on a 60mm x 40mm base, which is the area covered by six 20mm square bases, so it can function as a unit filler too. The flag is something I made and printed myself - it isn't really "legit" since there is no reason why this unit should have a different flag from the rest of the army, or why it needs one to begin with... But I've got a colour laser printer, and one needs to run it once in a while to keep the moving parts moving...

I love bears. My Chinese name is homophonic with the Chinese word for "bear", and I consider it my totem beast (my totem bird is the white-throated kingfisher, in case you are wondering...). In my home there is an articulated wooden bear toy, a leather bear toy, coasters in the shape of bearskin rugs, and I have a few teddy bears on my bedside tables. My first soft toy was a teddy bear called Ben which I had in my bed until I was twenty-something. In my travels and soldiering I have eaten many unusual foods, but I refused to eat a bear's paw once offered to me. You get the idea.

Bear-baiting distresses me (and unfortunately that practice still exists in some countries today), so when I had the idea of this vignette I wanted to make it look like the bear was a member of the unit rather than a victim - I'm not sure I achieved that. In any case, using animals for war is a form of cruelty. While a war-bear unit is fantasy, bear-baiting was popular in medieval England, so it is also somewhat historical.

Enough moralising - here are a few more pics of the unit from different angles.






9 comments:

Sean said...

Great stand! Nothing bad to say about it. I'll assume your Chinese name is 雄 (hopefully the character will show up) which coincidentally is my Chinese name. Mine was given to me by my first Mandarin instructor.

captain arjun said...

Absolutely right, Sean. :)

Brummie said...

That is a very nice bear figure I can see why you chose it. Its painted lovely and would be centre piece as a filler in my army if I gamed this type

Ubique said...

Great addition to your army. There has always been a long traditiona of having animals associated with fighting units, mascots etc.

I think it's nice to have a personal connection with your models, adds that extra dimension.

regards,
Matt

Anonymous said...

Nice work !

Adrian THK said...

Very very cool!! Makes any army stand out! You rock Arjun. Hey post it on "Coolminiornot" website ��

captain arjun said...

Heh. I'll say that it's a nice combo, but I never thought my painting is good enough for CMON. :p

Anonymous said...

the bear really looks great! esp the face, really nice expression, good job with the painting!

The chain worked out well in the end!

fg

captain arjun said...

I white-glued it so it doesn't swing. :)