Rodrigo "The Battler" Diazo and his Estalian Army
By: Neldoreth

This army is one that I put together quickly so I could actually play same games of Hordes of the Things (HotT). My plan was to build new armies from scratch for my HotT-Hammer projects. HotT-Hammer is basically HotT using armies and background from the Warhammer universe. So, I had a look at the figures that I already had painted and decided to do some re-basing! After some consideration, I decided to go with a Warhammer army from Estalia, which is the Warhammer equivalent of the Iberian peninsula during the early Medieval period, which became Spain in the later medieval period.

As such odrigo"The Battler" Diazo and his Estalian Army was born! Estalia has been in the grips of internal warfare between the two dominant city-state kingdoms of Bilbali in the north and Magritta in the south (likely analogous to Castile & Leon and Aragon in Spain). Rodrigo the Battler hails from the coastal city of Muros, which lies on the ever-shifting border between the two warring states. As such Rodrigo Diazo grew up as a warrior, and has fought for both sides as a vassal and as a mercenary. In his 28th year he lead a successful rebellion against the king of Bilbali, taking the throne and the title for himself. His army is made up of Caballeros Knights from the ruling class of Estallian society who ride under the Swan banner, which is the symbol of BilBali under Diazo. Along with his knights, Diazo's army is mostly mercenaries from both Araby and Norsca (the parts of Norsca as of yet untainted by the powers of Chaos of course!).

Miniature Figure painted by Neldoreth - An Hour of Wolves & Shattered Shields

Posted: August 6th, 2009  -  Manufacturer: Gripping Beast
Rodrigo 'The Battler' Diazo and his bodyguard of Caballeros Knights riding hard into battle! In my telling of Estallians history, the heraldry of Bilbali is the white swan on a background of blue, accompanied by ship imagery; Bilbali is afterall a coastal city and gains much of its power through controlling trade between the rich markets of Araby and the realms of Bretonnia and the Empire. Of course, these figures were first painted as Swan Knights of Dol Amroth. Since I used early medieval Spanish miniatures for that project though, I figured it would work out well! To see more pics of the Swan Knights, see the Gondor army gallery.


Miniature Figure painted by Neldoreth - An Hour of Wolves & Shattered Shields

Posted: August 6th, 2009  -  Manufacturer: Gripping Beast
Another element of Caballero Knights riding under the Swan banner of Bilbali. Again, these figures were first painted as Swan Knights of Dol Amroth. The other thing about these is that they were the first figures that I actually tried to paint well. I took special care doing gradual highlights, blending, and with the detail. They turned out pretty well overall, but I can really see how far I have come since then... The most obvious example are the shield designs. Plain white, shakey lined swans... gah!


Miniature Figure painted by Neldoreth - An Hour of Wolves & Shattered Shields

Posted: August 6th, 2009  -  Manufacturer: Gripping Beast Miniatures
These figures are actually Andalusian spearmen. However, they fit the Warhammer world extremely well because the Estallian history closely follows that of Andalusian Spain. As such, these are mercenary spearmen from Araby fighting for Rodrigo's army. Typically only the poor Arabyans fight on foot with spear, but these guys who were raised in Estallia before the Arabyans were driven out learned the skills of elite spearmen, and so they sell their services for very respectable prices! How else could they afford the fancy silks? Originally these were going to be used for my (now dead) Warhammer Ancients Andalusian army, and they very well still might be in the future! Check out more pics of these guys in the Al-Andalus gallery.


Miniature Figure painted by Neldoreth - An Hour of Wolves & Shattered Shields

Posted: August 6th, 2009  -  Manufacturer: Old Glory Miniatures
These guys were originally painted for Warhammer Ancients (WAB) as part of my 1500 point Norwegian Viking army. They were saving me time painting figs as they take up a 6x2cm base with only four figs on it. They were also to double as a 28mm Viking DBA army as well. Turns out nobody played 28mm DBA and everyone stopped playing WAB, so they were put away and forgotten about for three years until I needed a HotT army! It is worth noting that these figs were painted in 2005/2006 during my 'I only paint to play' painting phase. That's why they suck! E-gads, I can't believe I am showing these at all!


Miniature Figure painted by Neldoreth - An Hour of Wolves & Shattered Shields

Posted: August 6th, 2009  -  Manufacturer: Old Glory Miniatures
These warriors from Norsca are noted for their ferocity and their tenacity. It has been said that during battle they go into such a rage that even when losing limbs and taking terrible wounds, they continue to fight on! As such, the warriors from Norsca are often said to be those 'that steal does not bite'. Certainly these warriors have played a major role in the wars between Bilbali and Magritta. The figs are more 28mm vikings with the same story as the previous element. Note the dying guy in the back right there? He was supposed to have an arrow in his chest but I couldn't even be bothered to put one in! I was a slacker in those days, make no mistake!


Miniature Figure painted by Neldoreth - An Hour of Wolves & Shattered Shields

Posted: August 6th, 2009  -  Manufacturer: Gripping Beast and Old Glory Miniatures
These warriors are in actuallity the ancestors of the Norsca warriors that traveled to Bretonnia, Estallia, Araby, and Tilea from Norsca when the tain of Chaos first reared its ugly head. Unlike most of the Norscan refugees, these tribes that settled in the Estallian peninsula maintained their original Norscan culture and style of fighting, while other Norscans adopted the ways of the lands they fled to. More vikings, these are a mix of Old Glory and Gripping Beast miniatures. I understand that Gripping Beast has released a number of vikings since these days that are much more viking-like, as opposed to the fairly uninspired, un-vikinglike figs :)


Miniature Figure painted by Neldoreth - An Hour of Wolves & Shattered Shields

Posted: August 6th, 2009  -  Manufacturer: Old Glory Miniatures
More Old Glory vikings. Old Glory has some strange poses for sure... These guys are all running at full tilt, but all but one is not even looking where they are going! It's funny in a cool way! Some poor paintwork here for sure, especially the flesh.


Miniature Figure painted by Neldoreth - An Hour of Wolves & Shattered Shields

Posted: August 6th, 2009  -  Manufacturer: Gripping Beast and Old Glory Miniatures
Old glory figs in the front, Gripping beast in the back. Again the Old Glory fig there isn't looking where he is running, and the Gripping Beast figs look more like aged members of Three Dog Night!


Miniature Figure painted by Neldoreth - An Hour of Wolves & Shattered Shields

Posted: August 6th, 2009  -  Manufacturer: Gripping Beast and Old Glory Miniatures
Another element mixing Old Glory and Gripping beast figs. Can you pick out the single Gripping Beast fig in the group? Note that the shield there with the red and yellow stripes bears the heraldry of the Spanish kingdom of Aragon! Coincidence? Definitely!


Miniature Figure painted by Neldoreth - An Hour of Wolves & Shattered Shields

Posted: August 6th, 2009  -  Manufacturer: Old Glory Miniatures
This element sports the only figure in the entire line of Old Glory and Gripping Beast Vikings from 2006 that had braided hair! These are all Old Glory figs.


Miniature Figure painted by Neldoreth - An Hour of Wolves & Shattered Shields

Posted: August 6th, 2009  -  Manufacturer: Gripping Beast
Finally, I had to add a fantasy element to the army, so I added this Norse-ish giant that I originally painted for D&D. Bjornwulf the Mountain Giant was fled Norsca with the ancestors of the warriors when Chaos reared its ugly head and has since lived in the Irana Mountains of central Estallia for many, many years. He is always willing to venture to the plains for a good bloodbath along with the money it will make him!.