Sunday, 12 April 2015

McDeath: Brooben Keyler

My hastily shot snap of Brooben caught on a rather windy afternoon. Seconds after this photograph was taken, all the scenery was whipped away by a cheeky gust of wind. Perhaps it was Brooben?
All good things must come to an end. And so it is with my Easter holidays. But I cannot complain, as I am only six weeks away from another! Hurrah, and I should be able to clock up some serious painting come June. 

I just have to do quite a bit of work until then!

So to finish off the last day of my holiday, I decided to paint up a figure. As I am working through my McDeath collection at the moment, I selected the next figure from the lead pile and got to work: Brooben Keyler.

To those of you who don't know much about McDeath let me explain a little bit about him. Brooben is the leader of the Maltmen, a bunch of brewers, who have the misfortune to become involved the the conflict between McDeath and the Alliance. The model itself is one of the few pre-slotta pieces in the collection, along with Spot and Klinty, and was once part of an ancient range that predates the 'Scottish Scenario' by some years. 

Though I knew a fair bit about the background to the character and a bit of the history of the figure, I didn't really have much of an idea about what he looked like when I was tracking him down. My trips browsing eBay hadn't really thrown anything up over the years and there is (was) a dearth of information about the model online. Type in 'Brooben Keyler' into a search engine and you got very little. I certainly couldn't find any decent photographs of him, or anything painted. 

McDeath. How many have you got? 
So it was a pleasant surprise when he turned up on my door mat. Sure, he was filthy with age (as many of the lead pre-slottas are) but with a splash of Dettol I was able to clean him up nicely. I am glad I did, because the detail just jumped out at me. And detail is the word! Brooben is a marvellous sculpt - positively dripping with character and a joy to behold! Turning him over in my hands I had to really admire the sculptor's art, doubly so when you think about this model was designed and cast in the early 1980s! 

I think its something about the corpulent stature of Brooben that catches my imagination. He is rugged, ugly and slovenly and yet his meaty hand clasps the hilt of his sword like he knows how to use it. So much character in such a tiny piece really - everything you need to know about the man can be seen in the design. Classic. 

Painting him was a joy. An absolute joy and I am very, very pleased with the finished model. I would consider him to be the best model I have ever painted (and by this I mean my painting skills, rather than the sculpt) as I feel I have cracked a number of the areas I have been developing. Namely; flesh, clothing and gold metallics. 

Hopefully, some of you will agree. 

Right. Back to reality for me tonight with lesson planning and general sorting out. But my heart will remain at the painting station, with its fingers stuck together with superglue...



  1. Wow. That mini does have a lot of character. Good job with the highlights, I always have trouble with that.

    1. Best advice I can give about highlights, and believe me I have learnt the hard way, is NEVER use white to create them. Unless you are painting white or black. You end up with a really washed out look.

  2. Your right, he does have character, what an unusual sclupt he is, you wouldn't find GW putting out characters like him any more....

    Which is a shame.

    1. Pre-slotta gets a rough deal in some quarters, but its fair to say that there are some absolute gems amongst the solid based stuff. Brooben is definately one of them!

  3. That's a really nice paint job. Definitely made a good miniature into a better character.

  4. Hope I'm not stating the obvious, but Brooben was originally a Citadel Rogue that come under the C04 series. He's referred to as Gutsnort in an older compendium. I had him originally back then, and must've remembered him vividly due to his great character filled sculpt.