Showcase: ASOIAF Tully Sworn Shields

Tried something a little different and left the metallics glossy. Might go back and matte varnish – haven’t decided. Airbrush air valve needed replacing, so the banner (and correct banner colours) still need to be done; however, I am calling these done for the time being.

Decided to go with mono-colour shields wherever there were no metallics breaking up the colours … looked a little too much like a popsicle if I didn’t.

Hobby tip: discovered (by accident) that, with a little gentle coaxing, the shield and shield-wielding-forearm pop off of the sculpts. Made for easier painting, both brush and airbrush. A bit of trimming and they slotted back in and were adhered with superglue. Results may vary, so no promises this won’t ruin your models! Worked for me though.

Included a Stark family portrait of progress so far.

Winter is coming …


WIP: Tully Sworn Shields, ASOIAF

Started base coats on a of Tully Sworn Shields for ASOIAF.

Need to replace the o-ring in my airbrush’s air valve, so not all the base colours are down (eg. blue on shields).

Colours so far …

Stynylrez Black Primer
Vallejo Game Air Stonewall Grey (Zenithal Highlight)

Blue Armour
Vallejo Model Air Steel Blue
Vallejo Game Air Cold Grey + Vallejo Model Air Steel Blue (50/50)
Army Painter Blue Tone Shade + Vallejo Thinner Medium (50/50)

Metallic Armour
Vallejo Model Air Black (Base)

Shield Red
Vallejo Game Air Stonewall Grey (Base)
Vallejo Game Air Dead White (Base Highlight)
Vallejo Model Color Red
Vallejo Model Air Scarlet Red (Highlight)

Shield White
Vallejo Game Air Stonewall Grey (Base)
Vallejo Game Air Dead White (Base Highlight)

Citadel Bugman’s Glow



Review: ASOIAF Deluxe Hardcover Rulebook

I am hard on softcover rulebooks – really hard. When I heard CMON had released a hardcover, deluxe rulebook for the ASOIAF Miniatures Game, I jumped at the chance to pick it up. Priced at ~$25 CAD, it was affordable. My thoughts below …

Expectedly, gorgeous commissioned art and thematic lore make up large portions of the rulebook; unexpectedly, however, painted miniatures (or just about any photos of gaming models) and references to the miniatures game beyond the core rules are completely absent from it. There are a grand total of two pages with painted models on them. Eight unlabelled photos, left out of the book’s table of contents, unceremoniously make up these two final pages of the rulebook. To clarify: that is 2 out of 139 pages devoted to anything resembling painted miniatures and it will take readers 137 pages to even see a glimpse of a painted unit. Why?


CMON seems to have mismanaged consumer expectations with the release of their “deluxe rulebook.” Excessively more page space is devoted to pre-production sketches for the rulebook’s own illustrations and concept art than there are to either painted miniatures or gaming tables. If this product was marketed as an art book (akin to what CMON released for their board game Blood Rage), their lavish attention to art and artistic process would be both expected and welcomed. Yet, when I am confronted with a “deluxe” rulebook lacking anything remotely game-related beyond the core rules and two anonymous pages of painted miniatures, it is hard to fully appreciate the art.


For a game straddling board game and miniature markets, CMON’s failure to capitalize on showcasing the game’s launch product-line is nothing short of a missed opportunity. For board gamers encountering tabletop miniature gaming for the first time, any introduction to the “hobby” aspect of painting and terrain is unceremoniously swept aside in favour of flashy art. This may ease the transition into miniatures gaming, but the wholesale omission of anything hobby-related comes at the expense of these same new players. Painting guides would help these same new players. Detailed breakdowns of heraldry, etc. as they relate to painting would do the same. For miniature gamers arriving from other systems, even a cursory glance at CMON’s Kickstarter campaign page more effectively contextualizes the game’s launch product-line within its overall gaming system.


Whether or not the rulebook’s absence of painted models is a by-product of the Kickstarter funding process, I don’t know. It could very well be that the deluxe rulebook was produced and sent for printing in the midst of pre-production and prior to finalized sculpts.  Nevertheless, Games Workshop’s output of similarly hardcover codices and rulebooks mark a convenient point of comparison. Hallmarks of these texts are images of dioramic gaming tables, painted army shots, and galleries of painted models – in other words, images showcasing the product range in terms of both instruments of gaming and an aspirational aesthetic. At two or three times the price of the ASOIAF deluxe rulebook, this kind of production value is, perhaps, to be expected from GW. More so, GW has a fiscal incentive to foreground these wider aspects of the tabletop gaming hobby as each image naturally coaxes consumers towards an ancillary range of licensed hobby products (paint, brushes, etc.).

Unlike GW, CMON fails miserably in producing any such aspirational aesthetic alongside their product-line. In fact, the rulebook fails to outline any product-line at all. “House Stark,” “House Lannister,” “Neutral,” and “Night’s Watch & Free Folk” are all listed in the rulebook’s table of contents; however, each section is comprised entirely of lore and concept art. No clear link is made between this art and the game itself. Why, for instance, are unit stats not included here? Again, I am led to suspect the deluxe rulebook was sent for printing before units stats and/or miniature sculpts were finalized.


Why is there no narrative campaign established in the rulebook? Even a small mini-campaign would greatly enhance both the playing experience and reinforce the rulebook as an actual gaming supplement. The game’s thematic basis in the ASOIAF universe begs for narrative campaign play; however, beyond the rulebook’s five “game modes,” any kind of meaningful narrative campaign is left entirely absent. Released to CMON’s website in late-October, “The Battle of the Whispering Wood” remains (to my knowledge) the sole narrative scenario produced for the game. Two words: missed opportunity.

All in all, the Deluxe Rulebook for the ASOIAF Miniatures Game adequately fulfills the task of a durable rulebook for gaming purposes. The lore and concept art is effective and straightforward. Beyond the few pages devoted to rules, it is however, nothing at all distinguishes the “rulebook” as relating to a miniatures game. More attention needs to have been made to both incorporating the anticipated product-line into the rulebook and to introducing players to the game’s potential for narrative campaigns.

It takes more than a respected IP to legitimize a gaming system. What should have been an opportunity to incorporate ASOIAF’s lore into a coherent product-line and gaming system becomes the inverse: a generic overview of art and lore relating to ASOIAF but with little effect on solidifying the gaming system as a focus.


Tutorial: House Stark Winter Frost Basing

If you’re looking to do a similar basing scheme, here’s what I did:

vallejo terrain paste stuff (forget the name)
various cheap sands and rocks applied with PVA on top
50/50 pva and what applied to the sand after it dries
black primer
vallejo air anthrocite grey base coat
vallejo air stonewall grey in patches
Vallejo Air Light Sea Blue with the Stonewall Grey in more patches
vallejo air dead white in even more patches
the tufts are army painter winter (can’t remember the name) with some white drybrushed over them.
the directional arrow and slots were just a layer or two of P3 Frostbite applied with a brush after everything.
black paint around base rim
matt varnish

**I’ve painted my miniatures first here and wish I hadn’t. It is much faster and cleaner to first  get as much basing done as possible**

I paid special attention to ultimately keeping the base slots as clean of texturing elements as possible – the blunt end of tweezers were helpful for scraping off stray basing material without gouging the plastic too much. The WIP photo below is before cleaning and shows all the sand, etc. you don’t want sticking around in the base slots. I didn’t paint the individual miniature base rims black as I really wanted to try and have the smoothest possible transition between minis and tray basing.

I used an airbrush, but i’m sure a brush could produce similar results with little effort.

Another tutorial I highly suggest can be found here!