Keen to get his hands on the new Warhammer The Old World Bretonnian Paladin that was previewed at Warhammer Fest 2023, hobbyist Andrea Meli converted his own model rather than wait for its release. Meli used parts from his deep bits-box to build the model in just ninety minutes, before spending “around six to eight hours” getting his paint job as close as possible to the studio paint scheme.
Meli describes how he built the kitbash: “I came across a helmet that had a similar antler piece from an old knight, and quickly found parts that could get me close to the new design. Most of the bits come from the Bretonnian men at arms set, but I’ve also used the left arm from an Empire knight, and the sword is made up of three spliced parts from the Empire greatsword and the Empire pistoleer kits. And the head of a 40k Ork!”
Bretonnians were the first army Meli “attempted” to collect, and the one that taught him he preferred painting miniatures “that inspire or challenge” him rather than whole armies. That unfinished army is still all in his bits box, providing fodder for conversions. He says: “Bretonnian kits are a treasure trove of characterful trinkets – from tiny coin chests, to pouches with birds and hares, to a tree stub with an axe and even tiny snails (really!)”
Working on the scratch build has given him some perspective on how Warhammer models have changed over the years: “Looking at my old kits and the new rendition of Bretonnia really highlights the improvements in sculpting and casting over the last 20 years”. He says that seeing the new Paladin model is like “seeing a video game I played in my childhood getting a really well-made HD remake”.
The Warhammer: The Old World preview at Warhammer Fest was relatively low key, only showing us new models for the Bretonnian Paladin and a Tomb King. “I was hoping to see a little more”, Meli says, but adds: “The reveal itself made me feel like Warhammer Fantasy Battle had never been gone, rather it had been on pause for a while”.
You can see more of Meli’s work on his Instagram. He paints models from any source that inspires him, across all Warhammer 40k factions and Age of Sigmar armies. He says that “I doubt I’ll be building an army any time soon”, though adds that Warhamer the Old World might tempt him to finally finish those Bretonnians he’s had in his pile of potential for so long.