Work in Progress: Qin Chariot

My buying and painting cycles are about 6 months off-sync - in other words, I tend to buy something and only start painting it half a year later. Part of this is due to the backlog of things waiting to be painted: part of this is because I buy miniatures in excitement and optimism, and receive my miniatures in nervous realisation of how much work that little pile of lead implies.

I received reinforcements for my small Qin force sometime last year, but tonight (after an inspiring viewing of Hero) I started on the Emperor's chariot. What you see is still work in progress, but is mostly done except for final touches and basing. The tiger skins on the backs of the horses were a joy to paint.

The canopy is the only part not from the kit, and is based on drawings of chariots from that era that I've seen: reference this picture for example:

Although possibly out of place on a war chariot, the canopy is appropriate for an Emperor (or the King of Qin, as he is at this stage). Civilian chariots, as seen above, also featured seated drivers, which seem to be lacking in the Essex models. Presumably everyone stood in a fighting chariot.

The canopy itself I owe to my good friend LK, oddly enough: it's the top piece of foil from a bottle of Pol Roger 1996 champagne that he and I had some time back (well, he more than me, since I don't drink). At the end of it all, he suggested I keep the foil, which he found useful for things like stowage and tarps on his 1/72 tanks. It was the only thing in my "bitz box" that had the suitable shape for the shallow saucer-shaped dome, and it worked perfectly.

In all, the Essex Qin I bought last year will add another 2 chariots, 2 bases of crossbows, 2 bases of light horse, and 4 bases of spears to the army you see below, bringing it up to a proper DBA size. I've gone for a very stark colour scheme for this army - black, white, and red, shaded in greys and off-whites (greatly influenced by the look of the Qin army in the movie "Hero").

Qin Army 2



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