The second faction that will feature in my Castle display is what I am calling ‘The Forest Guard’, my own revised version of the classic castle Forestmen faction.
As with my take on the Black Falcons I have given the Forestmen a new slightly revised name, this is because I wanted them to have a name that refers to who they actually are – they are not just some men who hang out in the forest!
They are, like Robin Hood and his Merry Men who the faction is based on, the very definition of freedom fighters – common people outlawed by a corrupt ruling class who have joined together to fight back against oppression and tyranny – the forest is their fortress.
Given that I have revised their name I also wanted to give my forestmen a revised emblem that is more suggestive of their role as protectors and guardians.
You can see the original forestmen shield above on the left featuring their one and only emblem from 1988, and then my revised version to the right. I have kept the colour scheme and overall theme exactly the same as the original and though the original version is probably more traditional in its illustration style and the use of a stags head dexter erased (facing to the left with a ragged edge) I wanted to make their revised emblem stronger, more representative of what they stand for.
My version features a stags head, a representation of protection and the forest as in the original, but my version is pictured in an affronté couped form (facing the viewer cut cleanly at the neck). The stag has an arrow in its antlers referring both to the forestmen’s skills in archery but an arrow is also a heraldic symbol conveying a readiness to take up arms. I think that having the stag look directly at the viewer makes for a stronger representation of protection and guardianship.
So what do you think? Do you like my new version? Let me know by leaving a comment below!
In my next post I will be exploring new torso designs for this faction.