Little Boxes …from Mantic’s Mars Attacks

These boxes are not on the hillside, nor are they made of ticky-tacky, but they are (almost) all the same.

Ok, this is a scenery post, and a simple one at that, as it deals with a few pieces of minor scatter terrain. A long time ago, I backed Mantic’s Mars Attacks Kickstarter, and amongst all of the stuff that I received (and still haven’t used.. shhh!) was a few sets of the scenery accessories.

Mars Attacks Scenery Pic from Children of the Kraken Blog - go visit!

Mars Attacks Accessory Pic from Iron Saint’s Children of the Kraken Blog – go visit!

 

Naturally, I forgot to take a photo of the Accessory pieces before I started on any of this stuff, and Mantic’s photos don’t show them very well. It is in fact a very good gaming set. It turns out that I had four of them. Unless I find another 1 or 2 in boxes someday. I actually started painting the post boxes and rubbish bins back in summer, about 9 months ago, but managed to mess up the salt weathering. So the whole project went into limbo. A few days ago I spotted the box-barricades sitting on my painting desk and so decided to clean them up in a vaguely useful way – by painting them!

All 4 sides of Mantic's Mars Attacks box stacks.

All 4 sides of Mantic’s Mars Attacks box stacks.

So here they are. Exciting, no? I kept them as generic as possible so they can work in as many settings as possible, from historicals through moderns, zombipocalypses and to sci-fi in about 28 to 38,000 years’ time. (When most things are still oddly recognisable when compared to nowadays.)

Crates. Probably from Grendel.

Crates. Probably from Grendel.

I also found a couple of resin crates that had been bought in the 90’s and sitting around part-painted for years, and spent the whole of 10 minutes that it took to finish them as well. I have the attention span of a flea, sometimes… I think they’re probably originally from some set by Grendel/Scotia Grendel, since that’s where most of my really old resin junk originates from.

Mantic Mars Attacks Boxes

Size and thematic comparisons.

Finally, some Zombipocalypse survivors, Space Marines and Dwarves help out with showing the scale and how they fit in decently well with all three disparate types of model. They’re a little on the small side, and while they’ll work well as meeples for barricades in games of Zombicide, they feel a little like those annoying foot-high “walls” that videogames use to keep our otherwise athletic heroes from straying outside of the designated play area… They might work better stacks on top of other items to create useful cover, but even as is they make for decent ground clutter.

 

Reaper Bones II Skeletons

Reaper Bones 77237 Skeleton Guardian Archer, 77238 Skeleton Guardian 2H Sword, 77239 Skeleton Guardian Spearman, 77240 Skeleton Guardian Sword, 77241 Skeleton Guardian Axeman, 77242 Skeleton Warrior Sword, 77243 Skeleton Warrior Axeman, 77244 Skeleton Warrior Spearman, 77245 Skeleton Warrior Archer

I’ve finished some more of my many Reaper Bones figures that fit under the rather broad undead umbrella that I use. No stretch this time, though, as they’re a bunch of skeletons. Originally sculpted by Bob Ridolfi, the Bones versions – somewhat predictably – suffer from mould lines, wobbly weapons and soft details. Still, they’re not the most terrible models and they’re good enough for RPGs or even standard troops on the table.

Reaper Bones 77240 Skeleton Guardian Sword, 77242 Skeleton Warrior Sword, 77243 Skeleton Warrior Axeman

Reaper Bones 77240 Skeleton Guardian Sword, 77242 Skeleton Warrior Sword, 77243 Skeleton Warrior Axeman

As usual, these guys were painted piecemeal over a period of time, mostly at work. They were a bit of an experiment – primed with the spray can and done in the normal manner, they were as sticky as all hell for awhile, but the acrylic paint over the top and the polyurethane spray seems to have settled it down. I skipped the decals on these guys because I didn’t want to “waste” 20-year-old decals on Bones models and instead did the shield designs freehand… and of course they came out far better than decals would have.

Reaper Bones 77239 Skeleton Guardian Spearman, 77240 Skeleton Guardian Sword, 77241 Skeleton Guardian Axeman

Reaper Bones 77239 Skeleton Guardian Spearman, 77240 Skeleton Guardian Sword, 77241 Skeleton Guardian Axeman

They’re a pretty odd number to make a unit out of, with nine models. Bones II backers got one of each, while they’re now being sold in sets of three of each sculpts. I usually make a regiment from a dozen models, since they work out about right when based on 25mm rounds for the correct footprint of a KoW regiment.

Reaper Bones 77244 Skeleton Warrior Spearman, 77237 Skeleton Guardian Archer, 77245 Skeleton Warrior Archer

Reaper Bones 77244 Skeleton Warrior Spearman, 77237 Skeleton Guardian Archer, 77245 Skeleton Warrior Archer

With nine models here, I’ll just shove the archers out of the front rank, and add a couple of random skeletons to make up the numbers. Turned out I could only find two, but good enough. I’m calling it a done regiment, but if (when) I end up with more random skeletons down the line, I can split or remake these guys into 2-hander, sword and board or archer regiments. For the time being, it gives me a second Undead unit for September’s monthly Tale of Gamers challenge that I’m running on Dakka.

 

The unit is filled out with a couple of spare skeletons. One (the archer) is from Bones 1, and the other is from Dark World, which I’ve mentioned previously. It only gives me 11 so I’ll have to sort out a 12th, but I’m still calling the unit functional for now.

Reaper Bones 77237 Skeleton Guardian Archer, 77238 Skeleton Guardian 2H Sword, 77239 Skeleton Guardian Spearman, 77240 Skeleton Guardian Sword, 77241 Skeleton Guardian Axeman, 77242 Skeleton Warrior Sword, 77243 Skeleton Warrior Axeman, 77244 Skeleton Warrior Spearman, 77245 Skeleton Warrior Archer

Reaper Bones 77237 Skeleton Guardian Archer, 77238 Skeleton Guardian 2H Sword, 77239 Skeleton Guardian Spearman, 77240 Skeleton Guardian Sword, 77241 Skeleton Guardian Axeman, 77242 Skeleton Warrior Sword, 77243 Skeleton Warrior Axeman, 77244 Skeleton Warrior Spearman, 77245 Skeleton Warrior Archer

Reaper Bones 77237 Skeleton Guardian Archer, 77238 Skeleton Guardian 2H Sword, 77239 Skeleton Guardian Spearman, 77240 Skeleton Guardian Sword, 77241 Skeleton Guardian Axeman, 77242 Skeleton Warrior Sword, 77243 Skeleton Warrior Axeman, 77244 Skeleton Warrior Spearman, 77245 Skeleton Warrior Archer

And finally, as is the norm – the completed unit shots.

I wrote the following thoughts along with one of the first batches of Bones Skeletons I posted, and they’re just as relevant now, so hey.

As models go, like many Bones, these do what they say on the tin, in a very basic manner. I’d really only recommend them for roleplayers. If you’re playing D&D and want some cheap and cheerful skellys for your adventures, then these are a perfectly serviceable way to go. They even work okay if you’re the kind of roleplayer who never paints their models, or just gives them a wash to bring out the detail. For wargamers, there are many better options out there, especially for $2 each/$6 for three. Still, I already owned these, they pass the three-foot test, and they’ve now gone from Unpainted to Painted, and we know that every time a miniature gets painted, a Kitten gets their Wings, so it’s all good.

 

 

 

Citadel WHFB Dwarven Troll Slayers (mid-2000’s?)

Citadel Troll Slayers

While working on the Giant Slayers a few months ago, I ended up with quite a few metal slayers on my desk. With many models, especially those that I don’t plan to paint in large batches of cloned models like skeletons or bunches of plastic rank & file. These guys – the Troll slayers were the second batch to be finished. I’ve got another half-dozen partly-done/barely started slayers on the bench to work through, so I’m sure they’ll get back into the queue. Probably after I finish the dozen Vikings I’m working on – I’ll have the first few of those to show off shortly.

Citadel Troll Slayers

These guys were a lot of fun to paint, but they also managed to cockblock me for a good month or more. Probably closer to two months. The issue was working out the tattoos. Yeah, I know. The thing is that I really wanted them to look “legit”, so it took me ages to come up with designs that I was happy with. The runes in the back tattoo read in Dwarvish, while the ᛟ (Othal) rune on the shoulder is a rune that denotes “Odin”.

Citadel Troll Slayers

It actually seems quite difficult to find Troll Slayers – as opposed to Giant/Daemon/Dragon Slayers – which strikes me as a bit odd. I didn’t note the dates on the tabs of these guys before I started them. I just assumed that they were from the same era as the pile of Giant Slayers (’93-4) but looking through the catalogues on SoL it seems that GW used the Marauder sculpts for a solid decade or more. I only spotted these guys in tiny pictures inside the awful US “catalogues” from the mid-2000’s stuffed into painted units.

Citadel Troll Slayers, Giant Slayers, Daemon Slayer, Warhammer Quest Slayer

My growing gang of Dwarven Slayers

These guys will eventually make up a full unit, but I’m doing these guys very much piecemeal – so it’ll be a while before there’s a full unit of these guys done.

 

 

Brigade Models – Celtos: Fir Bolg Skeletons with Sickles – for Kings of War

I’ve painted up a couple of units of “Fir Bolg” Skeletons from Brigade Models now, and this makes the third. Or the fourth, depending on whether I count those spearmen as one or two units, as they can make for either a Horde or two Regiments. I know I’ve got another 16 archers (two troops of 8) to paint as well, so once I clean up my desk in the next week, I’ll spend some time cleaning the archers up and then hit them with the spray can. This time, we’ve got Skeletons with Sickles.

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton with Sickles

A dozen Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton with Sickles

Staying with the same colour scheme I’ve used on their predecessors and in keeping with the rest of the army – Red and Black, Iron and Brass, Rust and Verdigris, Cadmium-Red wood – and Bone. The tabards and cloth this time have been given a Par Chevron in red and black.

Celtos Fir Bolg Standard Bearer, Skeleton Leader with Axe (Sickle) & two champions

Standard Bearer, Skeleton Leader with Axe (Sickle) & two champions

Celtos Fir Bolg Standard Bearer, Skeleton Leader with Axe (Sickle) & two champions

The standard came from one of the other Fir Bolg skeleton sets, and working out how I’d create the banner took a bit of time. Eventually I settled on a cloth banner, cut from the material taken from an old pair of shorts and fixed with PVA. The Hero is actually their Skeleton Leader with Axe model, with the axe cut and trimmed into a sickle of sorts. I painted the second of the two champions with the same Par Chevron, though reversed. I’d like to move him to a different unit down the line, and perhaps replace with a drummer, but another £3.50 for a drummer feels a little steep when the champion – a mod of the same base figure plus two troopers runs £4.00 by comparison. I dunno. I’ll figure it out later. I’d originally planned on giving the two champions different shields as well, but when it came time to complete the command figures, I realised that the shield I’d initially selected would not have looked good angled at 90 degrees, and by then I had already ended up using the last “horned skull” shield on one of the troopers, and didn’t feel like tearing the superglue-and-greenstuff mod apart.

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton with Sickles

Sculpt #1 of #2

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton with Sickles

Shield view of Sculpt #1

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton with Sickles

Sculpt #2 of #2

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton with Sickles

Shield view of Sculpt #2

Only two sculpts, unfortunately. I like having one-piece metal sculpts for these models, but I do wish there was a little more variety in the number of sculpts, like there typically was in the Old(Hammer) days. The shields also reveal that rather than having given the models that lack sculpted shields freehand shields, I used some of the old-school, 20-year-old Warhammer Undead shield decals that I found recently. Once again, these guys were painted using the “Warm Bone” method, starting with a cheap cream spray can from the local hardware store – with much of the work done bit by bit during lunch breaks at work. The final work was completed last Monday, so these guys also qualify as my September Undead entry for the Tale of Painters challenge over on Dakka.

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton with Sickles

 

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton with Sickles

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton with Sickles

As per usual, the final shots show them off blu-taced down to a regiment base for KoW – which I really need to get around to playing again sometime soon. I’ve not done much tabletop gaming in the last couple of months, as it gets a bit too chilly out in the War Room, and as a result my regular gaming sessions with the group for the past few months have been digital (The Division, Destiny, Dead Island) rather than tabletop-oriented. Hopefully the weather can actually change a little now that Spring is here, and we can get some wargaming and tabletop gaming done again!

 

Iron Warriors Chaos Space Marines – Obliterators

I’ve been a little burnt out from blogging for awhile, though in the interim I’ve still been painting (if not playing – winter sucks!) Rather than go into the uninteresting trials and tribulations of my life, I’ll just get on with it and see how it goes. These models were finished last month, and so are part of my pledge for August’s entry of the Paint Challenge I’m involved with on Dakka.

I know these models are ugly as shit, but in my defence, I purchased them a long time ago, around when they were released, and they were at least a step up from the initial offerings. I attempted to.. well, not “fix” them (because just look at them) but make them look a little less terrible and fit in with my Iron Warriors who I had started at that time. I did so by turfing their original heads and replacing them with ones from the plastic Chaos Knights kit. I also felt that their “weapon hand” loadouts were on the wrong side of ridiculous, and so moved some stuff around, and added in a few plastic bits. They still look terrible, but hopefully less terrible than the stock models?

Iron Warriors Obliterators

Iron Warriors Obliterators

The colour scheme is the original one I came up with all those years ago. I felt that “mutated meat” looked far better than the pinky flesh that GW’s official scheme came up with, particularly against the metal and hazard-striped look of the IW scheme. In what was pretty much my first use of guitar strings, I added a couple of extra cables in places on the models, very sparingly.

 

Iron Warriors Chaos Obliterator

Iron Warriors Chaos Obliterator

Iron Warriors Chaos Obliterator

In the recent “renovation” of these two, I’ve gone over some of the metals and re-weathered them in spots, rebased them on the new GW plastic bases to go alongside my other Iron Warriors (and added a bit of guitar string there). After the new layer of varnish, I also went over all of the flesh by highlighting in spots with regular red paint and then with both Blood for the Blood God and Spirit Stone Red in different “patches” of the flesh, which gives it a glistening viscera look – but with some variation and unevenness to it. This stand out in person more than in photos, but you can see it best in the left arm and hand of the Obliterator above.

Iron Warriors Chaos Obliterator

Iron Warriors Chaos Obliterator

Iron Warriors Chaos Obliterator

I believe that I have one more of these guys in metal, but I’m damned if I can find him. I know I only painted the pair at the time since one of the initial targets for my IW was for a small “Kill Team”-style army of about 600 or 800 points, and I only planned to use two Oblits in that force. I did recently find another six (!) of them in finecast which I had picked up cheap on eBay a few years ago with a thought of being able to do more with them than the metal ones. So… that might become a thing? I’ve got some other things way before them in the queue right now, but I guess I should consider painting them before GW releases a new version that causes me to lose all interest in the ones I have…

Iron Warriors Obliterators and Chaos Space Marines

A Family Photo….

The last pic just works to show them alongside their uninfected brethren. Their armour shows a lot more corrosion, discolouration and muck than the regular Iron Warriors. I’d say that the Obliterators are much less interested or able to properly maintain their armour. Especially as it’s now fused to them.

Hm.. I wonder if Gal Vorbak models would work well as Obliterators or Mutilators? They always struck me as the most awesome Possessed models, but maybe there’s something to be had there?

 

 

Iron Warriors Army Building – Aspiring Champion, Missile, Squad.

With the completion of the Aspiring Champion and Bearer of the Missile Launcher, I’m calling the first squad of my resurrected Iron Warriors  – started over a decade ago – finally completed. The squad originally only numbered 6 in total, as it was built as part of a force for Combat Patrol games back during a time when CSM could take a Special and a Heavy weapon in sub-10 squads. Unless we were house-ruling that? I can’t remember. They keep changing things like that, so I’m not going to get bent out of shape about the minutia of how many special and heavy weapons they can have. I’ll dump the three Execution Force Iron Warriors in here for now to bring them to nine, and split the Exes off into separate squads when I have all of the current stuff that needs to be finished after a decade done and start on into totally new squads. At that point, I’ll bump these guys to 10 or more as well.

At the suggestion of Dagger & Brush, I’ve began adding some cabling made from clips of guitar wire to some of their bases in an attempt to give them a bit more “pop” and 3-d interest. I haven’t been able to find my copper wire yet, though I may go back and add a few of those when I find them – and add some more guitar wire to additional models at the same time.

My first Iron Warriors Chaos Marine squad, finished and rebased onto Sector Imperialis 32mm bases. I’m now onto working on the second, close combat oriented squad. After I finish those, I can start on some brand new builds.

My Aspiring Champion, showing off a section of guitar wire added to represent power armour cabling as well as a few hazard stripes. When I started these models years ago, I’d intended to heavily chip and weather their armour and weapons as well as add rust and oil stains to their armour, but I quite like how they look now. Not quite clean, but not too grimy, either.

 

 

 

 

Bats and Rats

Reaper Bones 77046: Bat Swarm

Reaper’s Bat Swarms

My rather pathetic entry for the Undead army part of the painting challenge in July was a single “swarm” unit that I’ve only photographed this morning – made up of a trio of Reaper Bones’ Bat Swarms (77046: Bat Swarm). (I can’t believe they want US$2.99 for them!) Since I have four of the models from their various Bones KS campaigns, I decided to paint the fourth at the same time in the same manner. The base coat was a mix of Reaper’s Master HD Colours of Rusty Red and Ruddy Brown. I then washed it with GW’s new Nuln Oil Gloss, to hit the recesses hard while staining the upper as little as possible. Then drybrushed with Khorne Red, Mephiston Red and finally Evil Sunz Scarlet. I’m well aware that these are tabletop quality paintjobs at best and that no-one will care how I did them, but the fact is they’re pretty crap models that don’t really deserve any better, and I’m simply recording how I painted them in case I get another pair of them to make a second swarm one day – purely for gaming purposes. I added the tombstones on the unit base from the Renedra Sprue since the bats were mounted on gravestones anyway in order to tie them in a little with their surroundings, even though I usually dislike “diorama bases” on my own models, as they place the models in too specific a location for figures that will be running around various tabletops.

Reaper Bones 77046: Bat Swarm by Werner Klocke

Cheetor at Sho3box did a much nicer job on his Bat Swarms a couple of years ago, which I noticed only recently via Google Image Search, what with highlighting their heads and whatnot, but for me, going reddish so they fit broadly within the Undead Army palette was good enough. I also did their bases and unit base so they’d fit in with the Graveyard themed scenery that I’ve started putting together (very) slowly.

 

77129: Vermin: Rat Swarm

Anyone actually excited by these? I thought not.

The Rats follow almost the exact same ethos and purpose – though the models manage to be much less impressive. This time the models are provided by Reaper’s Rat Swarms (77129: Vermin: Rat Swarm (2)). You get a pair of them this time for your $2.49, though again I’d possibly be willing to argue their value, even for that price. Anyway, once again I had four of the sculpt, and again I mounted them on 30mm round bases from Impact Miniatures, which I’d originally bought to rebase Space Marines but have been using to base various swarm-sized vermin from Reaper Bones so far.  Paint was… various browns outside of my usual basing colours, including Model Air Khaki Brown at some point, again with the Nuln Oil Gloss, and then AP Tanned Flesh for their widdle teeny-tiny tails and feets. One day the rats will no doubt be shifted over to my Skaven Army, but I’ll need to actually have a few units of Skaven painted before that becomes a worry. I figure vermin like Rats fit in well enough with Bats and Bugs (Sol B shoutout!) to go with the Undead in the meantime. As I finished the the Rat Swarm base in early August, it will also be my weaksauce minimum mandatory Undead submission for this month’s paint challenge if I don’t manage to get something more impressive done.

77129: Vermin: Rat Swarm (2) Sandra Garrity

And yes, I’m aware that these Bones models started as metal sculpts in greater detail (and multipart for the bats) and the Bones stuff is cheap & cheerful stuff for gamers of various stripes. That’s why I painted them, though it doesn’t preclude me from pointing out that they’re both a bit rubbish, even if they end up looking passable on the tabletop.

 

Reaper Bones 77046: Bat Swarm

Including the fourth, warped Bat Swarm (and yes, I did the hot water, and yes, it bent back anyway).

77129: Vermin: Rat Swarm

These have a secondary, theoretical use for me in RPGs. And the Skaven army.

Swarms for Kings of War – models by Reaper Bones.

I decided to take an all-together shot of all my completed little Reaper Swarms. With the unit bases, they’ll do the job on the tabletop. I noticed after taking the photos that I forgot to add tufts to these new ones, so I might have to go back and do that so I can consider them finished. I know I’ve gone on and on about how crappy they are, but I’m just a bit OCD about certain things…