ORC1 Oldhammer Warrior Orc “Slyss” (1987?)

This time I have a very “Oldhammer” Warhammer Orc Warrior, known as “Slyss” from the 2nd-3rd Edition era, sculpted by Kev Adams. I bought this guy and started to paint him long, long ago and only recently found him in a Chessex case and made myself complete him.

As can be seen, he’s one of those models with the huge, spiky shield boss. A big part of getting this guy finished was simply deciding what to do with it. The easier option would have been to make it a big, nasty spike. The other obvious option, though a little more involved was to follow Oldhammer tradition and turn it into a 3-D shield, and use the boss as the basis for a nose. Obviously, I went with the latter. I built up very slight brow ridges, bridge of the nose, cheekbones, lower lip, teeth and nostrils with liquid greenstuff. Mostly so the shield wouldn’t look like a completely flat piece with a big spike sticking out of it. The Bridge of the nose and nostrils then, were the most important aspects.

The earliest reference I can find of this guy is in the 1987 Citadel Journal, which pretty safely dates the model to 1986-87. He’s an evil-looking bastard, alright – and a good example of the whole “older models have character” thing that people like to bandy around – and overuse at times. With such squinty eyes and a weird-as-hell mouth – he fits in here. He’d work okay these days as some sort of Chaos Mutant, painted in more human skin tones.

Rear view shows the slightly crude, but still detailed sculpting of Kev Adams’ early Warhammer Orcs. Along with the crocodillian mouth and face that is oddly reminiscent of some renditions of trollface. Also, my awesome handpainted woodgrain shieldback. :p

This pic is the money shot – my show-off pic for the freehanded Ogre-Face shield design. No radiating black sun lines or chequerboard on this one. Just the nasty face, scowling at the world in front.

“…and My Axe!” Battle for Skull Pass Dwarf Warriors

Battle for Skull Pass - AKA the Warhammer Fantasy Battle 7th Edition.

Battle for Skull Pass – AKA the Warhammer Fantasy Battle 7th Edition Starter Box.

In November last year, for some reason I got it into my head to delve into one of my figure boxes and paint up a bunch of Dwarves. Specifically, to go through and paint a bunch of the Battle for Skull pass plastics that I’d picked up from eBay, WargamerAU and my mate, Damo. I think the idea popped into my brain since I’d been painting and finishing a few Slayers around the time and getting stuck into other random dwarves (which I’ve been sharing recently).

Citadel Games Workshop Battle for Skull Pass Dwarf Warriors

Skull Pass Dwarves in Horde Mode.

By mid-November, I’d actually gathered them up, and selected the figures I was going to paint, and then got into them properly over December. Batch painted, they’re no works of art, but since there were 40 of them and work cranks itself up around November into December, I didn’t get them finished before work broke up for Christmas, as was the plan. All because of their overly-complex sculpted shields. After a few days of rest, I got stuck back into them again, but Marouda bought me Watch Dogs 2 which then proceeded to eat all of my time after I installed it and started playing it. I seriously played for near-17 hours the day I properly started it. From 8am until 1am. Sure, that’s with breaks, but still… I’m almost done with the game now, and I don’t even play it every day to get it done. A couple more hours and it should be done.

Citadel Games Workshop Battle for Skull Pass Dwarf Warriors

Skull Pass Dwarves ranked on movement trays. With a few spares for later…

These were a pretty quick and simple job for me, though every element is still highlighted and shaded, I did so with an intent of making a solid tabletop standard, rather than my usual care. At one point, I decided that I wanted them to look more work and war-weary than some of the others. Like they’ve been on campaign rather than having just left the keep in freshly washed uniforms. This was because I’d been looking at my unassembled boxes of Warlord’s Napoleonic French Line Lancers while washing my brushes (which I’d bought to turn into some sort of not-Brettonian army).

Napoleonics with helmets instead of big hats? Colour me slightly interested...

Napoleonics with helmets instead of big hats? Colour me slightly interested…

I got to thinking about how Napoleonic uniforms in miniature form always seem so bright, perfect and pristine when the actuality would have been much more filthy and worn. Like in that Napoleon show with Boromir Stark in it. With that percolating in my mind, I decided to hit them all with a brown wash, but then brighten up their axes, helms and paint the shields last – as I felt that Dwarves would always look after their wargear above all else.

Alec Trevelyan and friends, showing off the pristine uniforms of the period.

Alec Trevelyan and friends, showing off the always-pristine uniforms of the period.

I mentioned the shields earlier. They were a hassle, and basically the reason these figures weren’t finished in December 2016, which would have broken my 2015 record/target and not caused me to fail to submit in the final month of the Tale of Gamers challenge I ran on Dakka. Of course there were other reasons. Watch Dogs 2 and burnout/exhaustion from working every day of the week for a period at the end of the year, but the shields were the final hurdle.

The Old and the New, united by a colour scheme and shield design.

The Old and the New, united by a colour scheme and shield design.

If I were painting these models with no “history”, I’d probably have simply painted the Hammer-and-Anvil motif a nice bronze, much like the Dwarf-Mask bling on the Standard bearers. The thing is, when I started to paint the models, I realised that the same design was much older, and is featured on the (Marauder Miniatures) Dwarf Shields that one of my old, Oldhammer Norse dwarves has (and I have a few of these shields left to break out). Since I wanted the new to fit in with the old, being from the same clan(s), I wanted to make sure that they matched. Which meant going from a simple paint/wash/drybrush scheme to one that needed 10 different colours/applications. While keeping it simple. When doing it to almost 40 models, that takes time. Bleugh.

Citadel Games Workshop Battle for Skull Pass Dwarf Warriors, Oldhammer Norse Dwarf

My freshly painted BFSP Dwarves, led by an Oldhammerer Dwarf.

What’s next for the Dorfs? Well, I appear to (almost) have a complete BFSP set between the various secondhand sets I’ve purchased. I’m just short the Dwarven rifles, so I’m going to see if I can get another unit or two painted before I burn out on Dwarves…

Battle For Skull Pass Dwarves.

The Battle For Skull Pass Dwarves.

(Yet another unit of) Mantic Zombies! (6-Month Tale of Gamers Challenge)

This is what I’d planned for my Spooky Halloween post! Zombies! Yes, I finished these that long ago. Instead, it’s my Christmas Eve post, because… Zombies?

In any case, best wishes for Christmas to all the regular readers of this blog, and people who stumble across this post later on down the line will simply have to accept them as a snapshot in time.

Now that I have some time off work, I’ll be able to take photos more frequently, and so once the small backlog of painted stuff is gotten rid of, I’ll be much more up to date. I’ve got a couple of mat reviews I’m keen to get onto as well, but it won’t be until next week that I get a chance to go out to the War Room and start cleaning it up (which it needs, bigtime!)

So anyway, these guys were started right on the heels of the second dozen zombies I painted for KoW, back around May. While the plan originally called for a fourth set to follow these – making either 4 regiments or 2 hordes in KoW terms, my Zombienthusiasm is pretty much completely sapped now, as opposed to fired up after finishing the first dozen Zombies. The Mantic figures are nice ones, but there are so few interesting combinations, even with Mantic’s Ghoul parts thrown into the mix.

Mantic Games Zombies, WGF Warlord Zombie Vixens

As you can see, I went even further afield for kitbash parts on these guys. The additional parts beyond the Mantic Ghouls this time came from Mantic’s Sci-Fi zombie sprue, the new(ish) Citadel Ghouls, and two crawlers drawn from Wargames Factory’s Zombie Vixen set who can be seen at either extreme of the crawlers above. I wanted a little bit of gender representation, and the closest I could really find were the WGF set, which is, well, a little average. The figures are a little bit too sexualised overall, but more importantly are verrry spindly compared to even the Mantic models, so the only ones that really were able to fit in were a couple of crawlers.

Mantic Games Zombies, WGF Warlord Zombie Vixens

As you can see above, I finally found that errant model that went missing from the very first dozen, and so he got finished as well alongside these guys – next to his twin. I guess the next batch will only need to be 11 zombies, then. My favourite amongst these 5 has to be the one reaching for the sky. I rotated the “base” and added a bloodied femur out front this time to give a different “sitting down” look rather than just going with the usual crawler setup as I did with the wonder twins next to him.

Mantic Games Zombies

The second rank has what are probably two of my favourite zombies of all the ones I’ve painted. The gruesome fellow dragging along half of a well-chewed corpse, and one I call “go home zombie, you’re drunk!”. The stein comes from a plastic GW dwarf kit while the arm-with-meal comes from the current GW zombie kit, as does the ruined face which fits zombies much more than ghouls for me at least.

Mantic Games Zombies

The legs on the two leftmost models both come from Mantic’s sci-fi zombies kit, but they’re generic enough to fit in here. I’ve continued to simply use dark grey/black rags for my zombies rather than a more realistic option of mixed clothing for equal parts “night horror” and “army colours” reasons.

Mantic Games Zombies

Finally, we have the rear rank. An overly-hunched over female sci-fi zombie torso and head, another dismembered pair of legs (because I am nothing if not economical with my model parts!), another sci-fi zombie torso mounted on fantasy legs and super-dynamic zombie. Unfortunately I couldn’t get the camera low enough to really capture the details of all their heads and faces. The sci-fi model chewing on …something is an odd duck, with poorly-defined details, so you’re not quite sure if he has a gigantic mutant mouth or has a normal one and is simply pulling the sinewy muscle up from his hands. I just covered the whole mess in blood in the end and stopped worrying about it.

Mantic Games Zombies

He looks pretty decent from the back, though. Nice bit of spinal detail that once properly gored up makes him a good choice for the rear rank.

Mantic Games Zombies

And now we finish up in the usual manner. Group shot and unit shots. Once I get at least another dozen zombies done, I’ll take another big group shot of the two hordes. After doing a fourth dozen Mantic zombies, I’ll probably do some Citadel zombies and see how a couple dozen of that very different style of model turns out.

Mantic Games Zombies Kings of War Regiment

Mantic Games Zombies Kings of War Regiment

Mantic Games Zombies Kings of War Regiment

 

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!

 

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…