In case you were wondering, some of the parts to make my groovy Rough Riders were sculpted by Rob at Curious Constructs.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Reforming my Imperial Guard (part 2) (and the truth about my dark addiction)

The second part of reforming my Guard are my Praetorian miniatures. I have been conflicted with my blue coated Praetorians for a long while. I really like the fleet regiment aspect that I reverted back to in April- that’s not the issue. There is still a little bit of me that wants to paint some red coats. Not so much for the historical aspect but from the point that I love the original look of them. I realised I felt this way when people would say 'sham you didn’t paint them red'. In truth if I didn't care then that comment would mean nothing, but there was always a little part of me that would say 'yeah, kinda wish I had'. 
So why didn’t I paint up some read coats? I collected lots of praetorians and I wanted to paint them all the same, cos you know - 'that’s what you have to do'. But in reality (and here is my dark secret) I have way too many praetorians for one army. I’m not saying this to brag at all, in fact I’m a little ashamed that I got so addicted to buying them that I have this many. How many I hear you ask? I'm not sure, but more than 500. I haven't counted them any time recently. It was my dark secret, my 'crack' praetorian addiction.
Here is a photo from a year or two ago when I stopped buying them. I tried to pull them ALL out but I ran out of time and room on the table : / 

Yeah, it’s a lot I know. It’s almost unbelievable, especially considering what they sell for now on eBay.
The point is I do have enough to paint up more than one army. This allows me to keep my blue coated fleet regiment- for nostalgic reasons, and do other things too. What I would like to do is a few different small armies. These are at various stages of painting but here is what I have in mind:

Still needs some more green stuff!
Starboard Watch shore party, of the Grand Cruiser Praetoriae Vindictam , Imperial Navy.

     - Just 1 or 2 squads with a few characters and officers

1st Expeditionary Regiment of foot (Praetorian Navy)  "the fleet regiment"
     -15 squads + some special and heavy weapon squads 

40th Praetorian Line regiment "excellers" 
     -  Probably 15 to 20 squads. 

Very WIP
63rd Praetorian Rifles "Jagers" 
     - Around a platoon worth, so maybe 3 squads

105th Praetorian Dragoons (mechanised) "Dragons breath"
     - Around 5 or 6 squads with chimeras 

-Only a slight bit of paint on this chap, but you get the rough idea.

122nd Praetorian Artillery regiment 
- Many heavy weapons squads, 2 Earth Shaker platforms and several heavy mortars.

Also I have about 50 of the old ratlings. I have 10 painted in blue to match the fleet regiment, but what I wanted to do was paint a few for each of the other regiments. Basically, I wanted ratlings attached to every regiment to cook, mend uniforms, make tea etc and I envisioned them making uniforms for themselves to suit the regiment that they were assigned to. Then of course when the fighting gets think they pick-up their little sniper rifles and join the battle too.

I also have around 18 or 20 of the old sentinels, but for these I thought I might put them with my cavalry division.

Then two other groups that I have been working on:

Not 100% sold on the helmet. 
Praetorian Grenadier Guard 
    -3 squads. I may make these guys 'air mobile' and mount them in valkyries - but not sure yet. 

 723 Praetorian PDF Auxiliary Rifles "corpsicals"
    -4 rifle squads and 8 conscript squads (spit into 2 platoons)

Even making all of this should still leave me a few squads to sell off at some point. And when I get to selling stuff off I also have a heap of the old metal Cadians and maybe 200 of the old metal Necrons as well as other mid 90's metal armies. 

If you have collected way to much stuff as well let me know so I don’t feel so bad about it!

On the bright side, this last year I haven’t brought too much only... umm, oh dear, 45 rough riders from Col gravis, 12 miniatures form Victoria lamb, and a few other individual things. Still, it is a more reasonable quota.  

Getting back to what I am planning to paint up- I understand that with all this the risk is that it will look a jumbled mess on the board. But that is only if I use one of everything in an army. If one day I only take the dragoons for example that will look ok, and if another day I take the line regiment and a few artillery guys that will look ok too (Col. Gravis fields his army with more than one colour and it looks great!) 

So yeah. That is what I’m thinking.  
If you think the colour schemes need tweaking let me know. Feel free to rip into me if you think all of this is ridiculous as well. 


  1. Holy cow! If I ever wonder where I can find some Praetorians, now I know. You have them all! :)

    Love the idea of the varied color schemes, best of all possible worlds.

    Keep up the great work!

  2. Holy Moley! The only thing that's ridiculous is the sheer number of minis, I think the idea of having a couple of differently styled smaller armies is pretty cool... Plus that way it's a little bit of what you fancy, rather than having to paint 500 miniatures the same...

  3. Think back to Napoleonics and the great armies arrayed on the battlefield - almost every regiment had a different coloured and styled uniform and seeing tabletop versions, it looks great. I love how you've collected so much and can only imagine how they'd look if they were all painted and lined up on a game table.

    Impressive collection sir, I look forward to seeing all these schemes take shape amongst them.

  4. Honestly, I liked it that you had painted them blue rather than red - quite the opposite!

    As Dai said, the amries of continental Europe in particular had highly varied uniforms throughout the 18th and much of the 19th centuries - so there is no reason you can't do the same with different colour schemes representing areas of recruitment, branch of service or both and anything inbetween - seniority even.

  5. I didn't think anyone could make Admiral Drax's IG army look small, but you sir have done it. I have too many Eldar, but not enough to match yours. It is an impressive collection and you should be proud. I would be careful wehn you sell, them, as since it appears you might control the market for praetorians if you were to offer more than one or two squads on ebay you might cause the market price to crash...

  6. Wow, and I thought I had a crazy amount.

  7. Praetorians..Erasing your spare time since 1998. I've just put a
    £120 order into Victoria Lamb's store for some more dress uniform madness.

  8. Oh my god, don't let anyone know where you live! There has to be thousands of pounds of Praetorians there! Its fantastic! I have no idea how you could possibly get so many painted up, but when you do, what a sight they will make! BTW really like your take on the traditional colours for your line regiment, very striking. I also love what you have done for the auxiliary rifles, they're Valhallans yes? I tried digging the head out of one a while back and it was just a massive pain in the arse, seeing what you have managed though I think I will give it another go as they look great!

  9. amazing. Simply amazing. I don't think anyone else in the world has quite such a collection.

    Don't worry about painting them different colours. Be sure to base them all the same and have some unifying elements -helmet colour, epaulettes, pouches, belts, rifles. Then they will look just fine.

    I'm right there with you on the red, I'd really like to paint some too...

  10. Thanks everyone for your positive comments!

    @ Ady, Mordian7th,& myincubliss
    Now I realise why I was so poor from 1997 to 2010! Stopped buying models and 'hey presto' have enough money for a house deposit (well wasn't quite like that but you get the idea).

    @ Dai & Headologist, yeah I was thinking about the Napoleonic and 19th century wars (I have illustrated encyclopaedias covering them both) and OMG the options are endless. The real tricky bit is translating it to Praetorian/Mordian style uniforms and having it look believable for 40k.

    @ Spyrle, after going through what I have I will probably hold on to them all (well, for at least another 10 years anyway). They were so hard to get hold of in the first place!

    @ Buffer, I think they are safe here, most Praetorian gamers would need to jump on a long flight from the UK or US to get to me, and that would cost more than steeling these guys anyway LOL.
    Yes they were Valhallans. Back in the day I use to cut the heads off with a small hacksaw, but now I use a Dremel. It makes it soo easy!

    @schoolcormorant, YES, just quietly I think I have enough now.

    @Colonel Winterborne. Thanks heaps! I felt a bit relieved when you said that. I was really hoping the bases, helmets and guns etc would be enough to tie them together. I started one of the 'Red' squads and I AM enjoying it! Still, if feels really odd after painting those models blue off-and-on for the last 15 years!

  11. I just saw this on my first blog post:

    "Between 2005 and 2010 pretty much all I did was study,
    hang out with my girlfriend and search eBay for more models. I grew a massive massive collection."

    Now you know I wasn't kidding about the the massive massive collection!