People always seem a bit confused when I make fun of the Knights of Montesa, but this is because most people have not read the Military Orders fluff section of the original Human Sphere book from N2. Behold the storied history of this noble order (emphasis is mine):
- Nobody wanted them to exist.
- They’re only operating on a temporary pass.
- They’re slightly worse than other knights.
- They struggle to prove their value.
- There have been repeated attempts to shut the order down.
Or in even shorter, BAHAHAHAHA THE OFFICIAL FLUFF SAYS THEY SUCK. XD
In N2, and in the early days of N3, the Montesas’ stats pretty much backed up their shining reputation– they had crappier armor and were worse shots than every other order, and their only functional niche was an ability to deploy halfway up the table without any defensive abilities to stop them from being immediately killed in that forward position. Needless to say, they were not popular army choices. 🙂
However, halfway through N3’s run, the Montesas got some merciful reacharound from Corvus Belli in the form of a full overhaul. Their stats were bumped up to standard Knight levels, and they were given a profile with one of my favourite weapons in the game– a Light Rocket Launcher. After that overhaul finally gave them a reason to exist, I went ahead and painted up a random Montesa knight I’d picked up somewhere along the line:
Over the next two years, I popped that useful rocket-throwing profile into a list every few months, and he more or less did his job each time. However, Spain was evidently not satisfied with the state of the Order; about a year ago, the Space Catholics army as a whole received a major update, and during that shake-up, the Order of Montesa was completely rebuilt from the ground up. The Order’s focus on mobility had traditionally manifested as “drop us off at the fight in a helicopter”; however, they were now completely re-concepted as a unit of heavy cavalry mounted on Space Motorcycles.
This new profile injected fresh purpose into the beleaguered Order of Montesa, finally giving them something substantial to differentiate them from a sea of very similar Space Knights. I’ve been excited to try them out since the new profile was published, but thus far, Spain has not yet announced a release date for the Space Vroomies. However, I’ve never let minor obstacles like “the model literally doesn’t exist” stand in my way, so when I needed a distraction from another project a few months ago, I sat down and started bashing out my very own Space Jouster.
Of course, I didn’t really want to sculpt a motorcycle from scratch, so I knew I would need to scrounge that part. None of the ones in the Infinity range had the PanOceanian feeling I felt the Montesa needed, so it actually took me quite a while digging through other companies’ model ranges to find exactly the right base model. I eventually stumbled on exactly what I was looking for in Wizkids’ “Deep Cuts” line of D&D and Pathfinder minis, and also found a base Knight model that seemed perfectly posed to ride it:
Yep, those will do nicely. 🙂
Coming from a different company as it was, I was initially concerned that the motorcycle was going to be too big for my knight. However, some riding enthusiasts in my local community compared them for me and declared that this was pretty much exactly how big a motorcycle would need to be to carry a load as heavy as a knight in full power armour.
With that settled, I got to work. I only needed select parts of the rider, so I made the first of several major excisions by chopping him in half at the waist.
Montesa Knights have a different chest armour design than the Father Knight model I was using as my base, based more on the concept of a bulletproof vest than heavy armour plating.
This meant that I would need to completely resculpt the chest. To make space for this later work, I used a pair of hobby clippers to remove about 1/4″ of chest plating.
For reasons that I can’t really justify in retrospect, I decided that it would be a good idea to attach the rider to the bike at the very start. To do this, I ran a length of wire into the bottom of the chest piece, and then added a kink into it at around the distance where the model’s butt would fall in a seated position. Holding the wire up against the legs helped to find the correct spacing for this.
The other end of the wire went into the body of the motorcycle.
Weird observation about the Father Knight model I used for the rider– the pose is super awkward on foot, but the extended arm is absolutely PERFECT for a mounted model. So freaking dramatic. 🙂
Before I got to work on detailing the bike, I needed a solid concept sketch to sort out the design. I’m a pretty competent artist when it comes to people and buildings, but I’m pretty mediocre at drawing vehicles. So, rather than struggle through trying to freehand a convincing-looking motorcycle, I just downloaded some line art from the Internet and drew my armour plating over top of it.
Because of my inexperience at drawing vehicles of any sort, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to come up with a really subtle and cool design that “feels right” for PanOceania; instead, I contented myself to directly copying shapes, angles, and even entire panels from the Montesa’s armor. After a few hours of drawing and erasing, I had something I could live with.
In the end there’s nothing subtle about this: it’s literally just Montesa armour stretched over a bike.
Enough colouring– on to the next page for the start of construction!