The First Unit of Mantic Skeletons

A slightly odd title, I know. But the fact is that I’ve got quite a few more of these suckers to paint at some stage, so I’m simply future-proofing this (series of) post(s) now.

I haven’t posted for awhile – a combination of being perma-fatigued from work and personal life issues, and the onset of the winter doldrums. I did bugger-all from the end of last month until about the middle of last week, when I finally got back to work. The end of the first 6-month “Tale of Gamers” challenge I’ve been running over on Dakka is coming to a close in a few days, and I need(ed) to get my skates on. I still need to get something finished for Gondor, the boring bastards!

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

These models were actually started several years ago, shortly after I purchased Mantic Games’ Dwarf King’s Hold: Dead Rising. Seeing as the game came with a dozen or so of Mantic’s Skellymans, and I had none painted or assembled at the time, I took a sprue or two from my (at the time) recent purchase of Kings of War 1st Edition: Morgoth’s Revenge (aka the one with the awful dwarves and a tiny A5 pamphlet for a rulebook) and built them up for the game.

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

I can’t remember if DKH has a skeleton hero or not – or if I just built the guy with the two swords to keep myself interested. The feather-plumed skeleton also has a unit leader feel to him, though. Perhaps when I do another dozen of these guys one of this pair will remain here as the unit leader while the other moves on to lead the second unit.

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

I only have three spears in this unit, as it was built for the boardgame. At some stage, I’ll build a spear-heavy contingent to combine with these guys (and one of those leaders up above) to make a spear unit. I’ll also do a few more with hand weapons to fill out a unit with regular weapons.

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

All of the shields on these models have freehand designs. I’ll have to think of some other designs that are both simple to paint and suitable for this sort of undead models. Any ideas? Nothing too creative or exciting for these guys, though!

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

The difficulty with these models is as nice as these have come up – honestly, to my surprise – they were a real bastard to paint. Not fun at all. The issue I have is that the details are very shallow. I don’t mind fine detail, but it’s all very shallow on these guys, and as such, not simple and easy to paint in my style. Skeletons with well-defined details and bones are usually a joy to paint, but these aren’t it.

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

While Mantic’s Undead are often cited as their best range – certainly before the latest batch of KoW plastics came onto the scene recently – and I do agree that the Zombies (and Ghouls, I guess – I’ve used a ton of Ghoul parts on my Zombies) are great models. The differences are that the Zombies are a real pleasure to paint, but are severely limited in their components and require a fair bit of work to get differentiation once you go beyond the first few models (hence using all those Ghoul parts on mine). The Skeletons on the other hand have a lot more components to choose from to make the models more varied, and like the Zombies, they look pretty good once done – but they’re the opposite of the pleasure to paint that the Zombies are.

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

Will I paint some more? Well, I feel obliged to do another dozen in order to split the spears and hand weapons, so I’m sure I’ll do those this year. After that, it’ll be a second dozen of each to bring each of them to horde-size, though that’s less likely to happen this year. I also have a few sprues of Mantic’s Skeleton Revenants, though again, no real plans to do those anytime soon. Maybe I’ll paint my Mantic Skeleton Cavalry first…

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

Still, I have to give this painting challenge credit – It motivated me to sort out these guys who had been assembled and nothing more but sat aside for around four years or more, and now we have another finished unit of models, and while they’re not going to win any Crystal Brushes, I reckon they make a very nice unit for the table.

 

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14 thoughts on “The First Unit of Mantic Skeletons

    • Ta! – I look forward to seeing what you do with them. For future units (if I get ’round to it) I’ll probably go with similar skulls on red shields. Warpaint might be an idea I’ll use when I get up to my Khornate stuff. Thanks!

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  1. Excellent work on those chaps. I never liked the faces of the Mantic dudes, but the unit looks pretty awesome nevertheless. Might be cool to combine a mantic body with a WGF head. For the freehands (the ones you painted are awesome) maybe some simple geometric designs would suffice. The undead won’t paint their shield when on leave, so they might just have their old heraldic on it, just faded and cracked.

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    • Their actual visual details and faces aren’t so bad. It’s just that it’s all so shallow and so hard to paint in my preferred style of doing skeletons. Probably looked fine in the 3-ups. Kind of like the embossed white tree on the Gondor plastics’ shields. Most of the look of GW’s undead is ridiculous with everything covered in sculpted skulls and such, skeletons wielding shields and banners covered in artfully painted skulls and iconography. Unless there’s an entire army of human artisans in thrall dedicated to making the raised dead’s outfits look lovely… I’ve just decided to embrace the silliness of it all with this particular army of models. With other undead, like the Greek-themed ones I’m happier to do a bit more “realistically”.

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  2. Very nice paint job as usual mate! I to have picked up this plastic skeleton set and I was pleasantly surprised how much I liked them! I think they have a little more personality then their GW counterparts , which I still have s bunch of finished and some on sprue, but these skeletons, I find they do work good for Frostgrave skeletons! I drafted a post then lost part of what I was writing on these skeletons in Frostgrave gaming hopefully I can have it posted today, I went a completely different way with my paint jobs! 🙂

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    • Thanks! I can see how they’d be good for Frostgrave. You could easily go “realistic” with them – I’ve chosen to go almost “cartoony” with them in terms of using an aesthetic that fits in with the older GW look.

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      • Yea I can see what you mean as I started playing fantasy back in 4th Ed and that was sort of the aesthetic, the chaos minis back then were clean lines hand painted highlights and blended of colors, none of that fancy inking, airbrushing and pigments or texture paint garbage Of today ;P ( gets down off of curmudgeon soapbox 😉 but yes your stuff is very much the stuff I aspire to paint like back in the good old 80′ of GW before they headed to that fatal iceberg! but I seam to fail half way there and just take the easy road and embarrassing slap ink on it to hid the flaws in my painting. I do wish I had patients to paint the good old non metallic paint job of a 80’s Chaos fantasy mini! Those are some cracking good minis !

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        • Yeah – I do like a lot of different styles of painting, even if I wouldn’t want to paint my own models in that way. The severely beaten-up and heavily weathered look for example I think looks great, but I just can’t bring myself to do that to my own models.

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  3. Pingback: Mantic Games Undead Balefire Catapult | Azazel's Bitz Box.

  4. Pingback: Vikings, Seks! | Azazel's Bitz Box.

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