Today we’re handing over the blog to our North American Distribution, Joe Neet. A long-time Kings of War fan, Joe has been using the isolation time to get in some extra hobby opportunities – including interviewing people for the blog. Over to you Joe…

Sharp highlights, smooth blends and vibrant colors, Daniel Reed is a man who needs little introduction! During these dark times of quarantine, Dan has been a light that we have all been able to stand in awe of through the wonderful pictures of his growing Basilean army. Let us talk to the man himself to see what drives him through his hobby journey!

Dan, tell us about yourself and how you found this great hobby.

I’m a 43-year-old father of one and I live in Derby, United Kingdom. I came to the hobby as many others did, via the wonderful game Heroquest (the best thing about Heroquest is….) from MB games and GW. I saw the TV advert and was desperate to use my Brawdsawd, so pester power got me the game for Xmas and that was it. I was fortunate to be the right age at the start of a lot of hobby stuff – Games Workshop was beginning to create its own IP, Fighting Fantasy books were selling like hotcakes and we had games like Space Crusade, Advanced Heroquest and TV shows like Knightmare (Goblins in the levels!) to fuel our imaginations. I had a group of likeminded friends and we were into EVERYTHING.

How long have you been involved in Kings of War and Mantic miniatures?

I was a GW devotee obviously, and I had looked at Mantics minis when I found myself priced out of GW’s stuff. But I had no idea there was an alternative to Warhammer until ‘The Sundering’ occurred in 2015 and I, like many, made the transfer to Kings of War in order to be able to use our fantasy armies. Mantic made a real push to entice us over, with Uncharted Empires and Destiny of Kings etc. and there were exciting choices to be made. I had considered Frostgrave as my transfer game but ultimately Mantic won me over with affordable miniatures and a great set of rules.

What was the first Mantic miniature that you painted and what drew you to that model?

It’s hard to recall but I think it was either Sveri Egilax or the box of Brock Riders that were my first Mantic purchase. I was excited to be able to use monsters and cavalry with my dwarf army and it was the imagery of hairy dwarves riding hairy badgers that really drew me in. I didn’t multibase to start with – my brocks are still individually based but I might change that going forward. The ability to do more with basing was another element that excited me about Kings of War.

Tell us about your process of beginning to start a new project or model. Do you have a set plan, or do you develop it on the fly?

I used to paint very much on the fly – as a legacy of Warhammer I would hardly ever get projects finished and by the time I got halfway through an army I’d get bored of my colour scheme and paint things differently. As a result, my armies were somewhat patchwork and I never really developed any sense of colour harmonies or painting coherence, I would usually copy the colours that GW had used in their media.

Nowadays, however, and not needing to paint as many models for a Kings of War army, I am able to plan my projects from scratch. I don’t paint to an army list, I think of the models I want to paint and over the course of a few sessions at the swimming pool, I plan and think about what colour scheme I will use, how things will be based, and how to achieve these things!

For your Basilean army, how did you determine the army choices and paint scheme?

My brief to myself for the Basileans was to try and make those Mantic models the best they could look. I had been critical of the official colour schemes (which look way better in the flesh) and thought I could do better. I was determined to get to grips with the less admired models as well as the popular ones, and prove that detailed and careful painting would bring out the fun and fantasy of the Mantic IP.

I didn’t want to paint blue and white, as that was the studio army colour scheme and I’d already done my Elves like that. So, I started thinking about the Byzantines and the Roman Empire that was governed from Constantinople and connected that to Basilea’s Imperial pretensions, as well as the religious aspect and. That led to the idea of doing a sort of sandy coloured rock for the basing, and I had the idea that my Basileans were retaking a city or town that had been recently overrun by barbarians, a vain attempt to keep their failing empire going like the Romans did before the Dark Ages overtook them.

This then gave me the idea of Imperial purple, and the complimentary colour to purple is yellow. I didn’t want it to look horribly garish so then hit upon the idea for gold and ivory for the armour. Ivory and purple suggest the height of luxury and I could use yellow for cloth here and there.

Do you have a schedule for how often you paint?

Nope I just try and paint as much as I can, when I can. I get withdrawal symptoms if I go more than one day without doing it!

What has been your favorite Mantic model to paint?

The Basilean models from the Vanguard sets are great to paint, I think my favourite is probably the Dictator, followed by the Palace Guard. Notable mentions would be the Dwarf Steel Behemoth and the Steel Juggernaut (work in progress). All of the Mantic resin models are a joy to paint, I can’t get enough of ‘em!

What are your top three hobby tools?

  • One Great brush for everything (currently Raphael 8404s)
  • A scrapy type tool (for scraping)
  • Brush soap

If you could offer one piece of painting advice to the readers what would it be?

Be as neat as you can. A neat basecoat on a model is better than trying multiple techniques messily. And try and create contrasts as much as possible (oops that’s two).

Basilea’s wealth means that its footsoldiers march to war clad in the finest plate and bearing the very best weapons that money can buy. Vast armies of them march to protect its borders. Bolstered by the elite religious warriors of the paladins on foot and atop mighty warhorses, and the fanatical sisterhood

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The phoenix is the symbol of Basilea: an emblem of rebirth, holy fire, and blazing fury. These semi-magical birds are summoned by the mages of Basilea to fight with the armies of the Hegemon. Phoenixes are vast birds of prey, part fire, and part feather, they are the favoured creature of the Shining One Fulgria, the goddess of fire, and legend states how they were created from her own sacred flames.

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These innovative fighting vehicles are powered by ingenious internal combustion engines fuelled by the black blood of the earth. Protected by thick metal plates and equipped with flame-spitting weaponry, they are a nightmare made manifest for the Dwarfs’ enemies.

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