On the Painting Table: Estalian "Caballero" for Mordheim

What a week! Last weekend saw a fantastic game of Battlefleet 1900 with Scipio, Coldsteel and Ollie - keep your eyes peeled on the Palladian Guard blog for more. The burnout of March has well and truly gone, with productivity and sheer bloody enjoyment at a high.

I'm finally getting a Mordheim warband together to face-off against Scipio's Vampire Counts and Coldsteel's Last Watch. My original plan had been a band of Stirland deserters with A Field in England psychedelic, folk horror element - but decided this was too similar to my Mawdryn Space Marines.

Time for a rethink then. I'd already bought one of my favourite GW miniatures of all time, the Mordheim Freelancer Knight. His Don Quixote look gave me the idea to assemble a ragged band of Estalians. I thought this was reasonably original, but saw that Victoria of Victoria Miniatures had won the Australian Golden Demon with this incredible Estalian Inquisition warband in 2000 (which I must have seen in the UK WD back then). In the past this would have put me off, but I decided 'sod it', Estalians it would be. 

The Miniature
This miniature has been a bloody joy to paint, and I've finally been converted to white undercoats. What a revelation. There's a few bits overall I'm tempted to go back and fix (I won't, I'm too lazy), but decided to call this finished. I was originally going to make the armour quite rusty, but decided against it. 

I knew that I wanted largely Spanish colours, but wanted a lot of earthy tones - he should be ragged but still a bit showy perhaps. I didn't think it through specifically enough and ended up with brown boots and brown breeches, too close on the colour wheel to pop, so on the next version will have tan breeches and brown/black boots.

Although these miniatures are primarily for Mordheim, rather than basing them to represent Mordheim I decided to try something a bit more arid and almost desert-like. Something a bit more Estalian to emphasise their origins. Although this is a pretty simple base, I might try something a bit more interesting next time, but not overly complicated.

A Quick Background of El Bastardo
Diego Serrão y Velázquez of Montenãs, is the first son of Don Alfonso Serrão. He was set to inherit the family fortune, but sadly for Diego his father had a love of the Estalian card game Escobar - although his love of the game greatly surpassed his ability. Upon his father's death Diego inherited nothing but debts and a run down hacienda.

He took up arms as a mercenary in the Border Princes to clear his father's debts. He soon built a fearsome warband and an even more fearsome reputation. His viciousness and distinct lack of mercy earned him the name "El Bastardo". But now he is in Mordheim. Nobody knows what brought him here, but Myrmidia help any that get in his way...


  1. I remember seeing most of Vics stuff in my local GW as a youngster (it was her local too) - she was years ahead of the game with some of the OSL stuff she was doing.

    Your Freelancer looks the right business. I think the tan and dark browns complement each other well with the red on his sleeves.

    I have both versions of him and painted up the foot one a couple of years ago as part of a now defunct painting club. I went with stripey red and white pants by accident set off against lacquered black (black with a satin varnish over the top) armour.

    I particularly liked the fish on his shield which I notice you have left off yours.

    1. Blimey, that must have been rather nifty to see first hand, her work is bloody stunning.

      Very kind sir! That sounds like a good look, wouldn't mind seeing those. I almost went for blacked armour myself but decided to more metallic this time.

      I bloody loved the fish on the shield, that's one of my favourite parts of the sculpt, but as I made him an Estalian and the fish is a Mordheim symbol I left it off this time - the plan was to use one of the old 5th edition WHFB Saurus shields I thought I had lying around to add to the Conquistador look. I might work the fish into the fluff (I'm sure I over think things) and magnetise the shields so I can have both...

  2. As always, this is a cracking model and really well-painted. Wasn't kidding when I said it looked 'Eavy Metal - the base in particular looks very professional.

    Think the fish shield would have looked good, but equally, leaving it off makes him very distinctive. Almost looks cocky, with his hand on his hip and all.

    Can't wait for him to start chopping through some zombies.

    1. High praise indeed, much appreciated sir. His shield usually goes over his small pack but I did consider putting one over his hand/arm - you've swayed me now though, I quite like that slight arrogance.

      The base definitely made a huge difference to the overall look, it's quite surprising really. I was going to add a rusted Bretonnian helm half covered by sand, but I'd already done most of the base by then. I might do it on the next one...

      Looking forward to facing your horde of the undead, and hopefully making enough of them just plain dead

  3. Please tell me he has six fingers on his sword hand...

    1. Haha I have to admit ignorance as this one went straight over my head... I'm intrigued now

    2. Really?

      Stand by:

      No. 1) watch this:

      No. 2) Then watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GT0TBWg3C3k


      No.4) Rent and watch 'The Princess Bride'.

      No.5) Thank me.

    3. Ahhh, I've not seen the Princess Bride. I'll do just that, I don't doubt I'll be thanking you

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you very much for commenting, I appreciate it

  5. Am with Ed, the no-shield look works best I think. "El Bastardo" = (to me) arrogance, which fits in well with the mini's look. The son of a dead gambling nobleman would have to be arrogant to make up for his shortcomings in life. A large personality hides a tiny purse rather well in most circumstances and so the lack of shield could be his compensation for his lack of funds or station to purchase better?

    I like the fresh look to the paint job too. Might I say, I think this is your best work yet that you've displayed for us here. White prime jobs are great for bringing out the brightness in the colours you apply and great for skins and yellows, etc. It also helps armours look more shiny and fancy.

    As to the basing, keep it simple sir. We are here to look at the mini, not the dirt he's trodden upon. As it is, it's a perfect scheme imo.

    1. That's very kind of you indeed. This is the first thing I've painted since the Scouts / Marines, which were okay, but the white undercoat just makes painting enjoyable. The detail is visible, and it's just easier to get on with it. Since I started this I've been painting at least a bit every day, which is a first.

      I like your line of thinking with the shield, as much as I like the sculpt, I'm glad that I left it off.

      As for the base, I definitely agree there, simplicity is always my motto and I'm always wary of over complicating things (which is why I don't like most of the new GW sculpts). With the helm in the sand, the afterthought was to have the smallest corner on there, nothing too distracting. But as I say, it's not going on this one now as it'd bugger it. Thanks again for the kind words and advice sir!


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