Warlord/Immortal Spartans, Part Two.

And so today I finally finished the second two dozen of these. The first batch had all but two wearing the bronze bell curiass – the other couple wearing a linothorax. I realised that with the limitations of the Warlord/Immortal kit there was no avoiding having a whole lot of the models simply wearing robes and a helmet. So this lot are in essence the “secondary” group of Spartans to the first. Like the first batch, these are a little anachronistic in terms of their gear, but nomoreso than most media depictions and they look decent, so I’m fine with it.

Warlord Games Immortal Miniatures Spartans

24 Spartans lined up in a Phalanx for Skirmish-style gaming

As such, I went for a shield scheme that would be distinctive from the previous set, to mark them out as a separate unit. Black Lambdas on a bronze field, rimmed with red was a simple scheme to apply that also looks striking and effective.

Warlord Games Immortal Miniatures Spartans

Details of the linothorax and robes.

Being a mass of historical figures that will be far in excess of my “proper” Fantasy armies – and also made of figures on the low end of the detail scale, being both “historical truescale 28mm” and frankly not that detailed anyway (their feet are just undetailed hams with a hint of toes at best) I gave them as simple a tabletop job as I can stand to. I still couldn’t help going and lining the clothing of every one of them with a bit of white pattern, though. You can really only see some it from the side or behind, though.

Warlord Games Immortal Miniatures Spartans

One Horde or Two Regiments.

They’ll be predominantly used for Kings of War at this point, and so the 24 models make up either two regiments – or more likely a horde – of Spear Phalanx. Marouda helped sporadically, but didn’t enjoy the experience, so I ended up doing much more on them than I’d planned to.

Warlord Games Immortal Miniatures Spartans

Onwards! And so forth.

I did a simple conversion to mark out the leader. Not that it matters for KoW, but I like to take the opportunity to add a little bit of character in this way. I gave him his spear to hold in his shield hand so that he could wave his sword in the air, no doubt while delivering a stirring speech or battle cry to his men. If many years of warhams have taught me anything, it’s that leaders must be shouting, not wearing a helmet, pointing, or waving something around in the air. It’s simply the rules.

Warlord Games Immortal Miniatures Spartans

And alongside his little mate from the first unit.

 

 

Warlord/Immortal Spartans – The First Dozen

These twelve models are the first of 36 Spartans that Marouda and I started painting the other day after watching a doco about (who else?) Leonidas and Thermopylae. She seemed enthusiastic enough, and off we went. It took three days to clean and assemble the 36 models, and with a bit of daily painting, we’ve (well, almost entirely myself) have gotten the first dozen done. I swapped in a lot of the bronze bell curiasses into this group. Initial paint as noted the other day was a dark Tamiya red spray with a Zenithal highlight of Army Painter Red. Maybe I have a crappy can, but that AP spray really leaves a horrid grainy finish. I don’t think I’ll buy their stuff again. I’d rather pay a slight premium and buy GW or Tamiya’s coloured primers.

Warlord Games Immortal Miniatures Spartans

Anachnonistic Spartans showing their shields. Ready for SAGA Ancients! When it becomes a thing.

The Warlord (formerly Immortal) figures are decent enough, and have both positives and negatives. The sprues that make up the majority of the kits are identical between the Spartans, Ancient Greeks and Classical Greeks, with only the command sprues offering any differentiation or extra pieces. The Spartans come with a sheet that has 90 Lambdas, though that’s broken up into 30 White, 30 Black and 30 Red – so if you want uniformity from your box of 40 figures, you need to buy more. Except – here’s the kicker – Warlord don’t actually sell them!

I got lucky with Warlord’s quality customer service when I called them the other day and asked to order several sheets. I paid for the EIR sheets and they’re going to manually swap them out for the Spartan sheets, which will give me enough to have some freedom on my boxes of Victrix Spartans that don’t come with any decals at all.

Warlord Games Immortal Miniatures Spartans

Of course when they’re front on, you can’t see their armour decorations.

I did my research before putting together or painting these guys. The Warlord models don’t come with cloaks at all, which is a shame. There’s differing opinion on whether Spartan linothorax armour (the linen armour) was dyed red or not, so I went with “yes”. Similarly with the horsehair crests, there appears to be differing opinions on red or black and white, or some combination. Since the Spartans were around for quite some time, I’d guess both are probably correct. Similarly, I chose a “Hollywood” style anachronistic combination of the Corinthian Helmet (worn in earlier times) over the Pilos, along with the Lambda (used in later times – and not yet at the time of Thermopylae). Let’s face it – if anyone were to decide that they don’t want to play with us because the Spartans aren’t historically accurate (and knowingly so! GASP!) then I probably didn’t want to play someone like that anyway.

Warlord Games Immortal Miniatures Spartans

A small unit of Spartans, three deep. Ready for Kings of War!

It wasn’t until taking these photographs that I realised I forgot to flock the figures. I’ll have to do that tomorrow. I might go over the shields again with a satin varnish. The matt is a little washed out.

Warlord Games Immortal Miniatures Spartans

Low angle shot to see the rows of shields.

These models aren’t going to win any painting competitions, but it’s been a nice thing to finish a dozen models – a unit – from sealed box to ready for the table (after flocking!) in only 1 week. They’re at a tabletop standard that I’m quite happy with for historical models that I literally have hundreds of (roughly 900-1000 plastic infantry between the various types of Greeks and Macedonians – ouch!) It’s also been a good learning experience on what to do and what not to do. Now to get the other two dozen of this batch finished!

https://i1.wp.com/i247.photobucket.com/albums/gg143/azazel_f13/Miniatures/Greeks/IMG_4726_zpsurkhhxtz.jpg

The unit leader.

It also means that my painting total for 2016 is 12 models after 3 days!

A Painting December Interlude: Warlord Games Spartans.

I haven’t posted anything new from the project in awhile. It’s because I’m honestly not enjoying painting Be’lakor or the giant at this point. Bel’s flesh-and-black look is tedious to paint, and the Giant’s clothing issues are once again completely off-putting. (They’re why he didn’t get painted 20-odd years ago). So I’ve mostly been playing videogames instead, and after watching a documentary with Marouda about Spartans, decided to harness her brief moment of enthusiasm and see if she wanted to work with me to assemble and paint up some Spartans together.

We cracked open the Warlord box, and found that their rebadged Immortal Miniatures sprues are completely the same across all three of their Greek ranges – the only difference being a unique command sprue for each. Bell (bronze muscle) curiasses are rare in each box (one per sprue of 8), with the majority wearing Linothorax (linen armour) and two out of every 8 wearing only robes. The command sprues add one more Bell curiass and another robe-wearer. So – no units uniformly all wearing bell curiasses unless we wanted to loot all of them from the other Greek boxes with the result that they would then have none in their units.The Spartan box’s main distinguishing feature is a bunch of heads wearing the Pilos helm on the command sprue. So we had some decisions to make.

36 WIP Spartans. Not much to look at so far.

In the end we went for a “idealised fantastic” selection for the Spartans. We both felt that while the pilos helm might be accurate for (late) Sparta, it’s ugly. So we went for a majority of corinthian-style helmets (worn earlier) which we’ll be pairing with shields bearing the lambda (worn later). We’re going with the Lambda to easily distinguish the Spartans from other Greeks and also the Macedonians that will be painted and assembled later. I know (from the research that I did while working out our options for these models) there are people over on TMP who’d happily tell me that I’m doing it wrong, a heathen and more besides, we’re going for models that look aesthetically pleasing (to us) that can also be distinguished easily as Spartans by ourselves and out friends. Rivet-counters be damned!

The models took 3 days to assemble, and were sprayed last night with a Tamiya dark red. This morning I gave them a zenithal highlight of a brighter Army Painter red. Now I’m troweling acrylic putty onto the round Renedra bases to make their integral bases stand out a little less. In my researching, I found that the colour of the Linothorax worn by Spartans is debated, and may have possibly been red rather than buff/white so I think we’ll go with the red, along with their robes and skirts in red.

These being historical figures of troopers rather than anything special, they’ll be getting “fast, tabletop” paintjobs – with the same mentality of “get them done” as my Moria Goblins or the plastic Gondor Rangers. Base coat, simple highlight and wash, then a matte spray basically. The aim is to look good as a unit on the table from a foot or two away rather than look good as individual models.

Hopefully Marouda will keep her interest so we can get them finished inside a week – and then I can get back to this giant and daemon that have sapped my enthusiasm with a refreshed attitude.

 

Painting December: Talos Completed!

Probably should have waited and called  post “Day of the Talos”. Ah well. Done now.

Mierce Miniatures Talos, Colossus of Bronze

Mierce Miniatures Talos, Colossus of Bronze

Aside from my agonising over how to get the verdigris done, the model was quite an easy and low-stress paintjob. Certainly the painting was much more pleasant than the assembly, which destroyed 2 drill bits.

Mierce Miniatures Talos, Colossus of Bronze

In the end I went for a direct inspiration from Ray Harryhausen’s Talos from Jason and the Argonauts (1963) regarding the dead, dark eye sockets as well as (and more importantly) the weathering and verdigris, though mine is more “gold-brass” than the “copper-brass” of the film.

Greek Shield

The colourful shield adds a spot of interest to the base, as do the flowers and the reddish wood of the spear. The freehand dolphin design is based on images of Greek shields, and provided me with something fun to add to the model, since it’s the sort of thing I really enjoy doing. I considered adding some damage to the paintwork, but decided against it. Naturally, I didn’t notice the errant hair when I took these photos. Luckily, it’s not stuck to anything. I’ll have to fix the small tide mark on the bronze shield, though.

Greek Shield

The discarded helmet, shields and spear were chosen to add a sense of scale to the figure without being too specific in the same way that a crushed orc or Greek would have been. The wargear could have been left by friendlies, opponents or might even be a messy offering to the gods. This model might end up being used as scenery occasionally, what with being a gigantic bronze statue…

Mierce Miniatures Talos, Colossus of Bronze

Finally, a scale shot. This model is easily the largest miniature I’ve ever painted. I really need to get more of my impressive centrepiece models done in the coming years. When used in KoW which uses square bases, I found that the giant 100mm round base fits neatly into a movement tray, so I’ll just park it in there when I need to.

…and yes. I just ordered a bunch of Argonauts from Foundry this evening!

Painting December: Day of the Talos

I spent a bit of time today on the Talos. Touched up the black primer from last night, then went over it with Vallejo German Red Brown Primer. Next I found I was base coating it, and a bit later I was drybrushing the metallic layers, painting the slate and finally the dirt. So it’s (almost) finished.

I mean, I could call it finished. Spray varnish it, and then add some flock or tufts for colour on the base and it’d be quite a decent model.

So now I’m at the point of working out what more to do with/to/for it. And that’s where feedback is always welcome – even if I don’t use all of it.

Couldn’t resist a scale shot – he’s a BIG boy.

Now – as Cash mentioned in the comments when I was looking to work out which models I’d do for December, this figure wasn’t a stretch of my skills by any means. The assembly was a bit trying, so I could say I learned a little there on the use of my Dremel, which I was given as a birthday gift from Marouda several years ago but have barely used. But the figure… well, he’s just carefully drybrushed in layers. It’s a big, rough-cast bronze statue. Drybrushing is the perfect technique. Sure it was careful, and there are spot highlights, but drybrushing is drybrushing. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Now, though – I need to work out what to do to properly finish him.

I’m planning on giving him glowing bluish eyes, as I did with the Brass Bull. That much is easy.

The harder question is verdigris. And if so, what type and how much?

I think this is the “official” artwork for the Talos. They’ve applied the verdigris very sparingly – as almost a light spot wash.

There’s the dark (angels?) green wash that GW used to use on everything before they came out with a verdigris paint wash. Not especially realistic, but it looks good.

There’s also realistic, but that often doesn’t look so good. When it’s heavy, you end up with the Statue of Liberty’s distinct look. I’m after bright metal underneath, rather than dull.

Thoughts?

 

 

 

 

77256: Brass Bull (Reaper Bones)

The moment I saw this model in the Bones II list, I knew I wanted to buy it. Marouda likes Bulls, as she’s a Taurus (not into astrology, but likes the animal and imagery). As I’ve written before, the Brass/Bronze Bull is a thing with a strong Ancient Greek heritage. As much as I like the Foundry Model, this one is a good bit bigger, and as such, more impressive. Incidentally, this model is a Bob Olley sculpt, and a nice one at that. I started this a little over a month ago, after starting a brief survey on how to base it.

Reaper’s Brass Bull. You can sort of see the glowing eyes I gave this one.

Brass Bull

Now, I know that most Reaper Miniatures are essentially “counts-as” models for various Dungeons and Dragons beasties. What was interesting to me was when one of my friends was over for Friday Night Zombicide, and saw the part-painted model on my paint desk, and remarked that he recognised it as a “Gorgon” and talked about it turning enemies to stone (ok) via a breath attack (huh?) Now, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a huge D&D guy, and to me “Gorgon” always meant a snake-woman of Medusa’s Ilk. Medusa being the name of a specific Gorgon, rather than the name of the snake-haired woman’s race. Because, you know, that’s what they are.

This shot shows off the freehand Hoplon shield. I’m quite proud of it.

So I did a bit of Googling the next day. I found that, yes indeedy, a Brass (or Bronze) Bull is a proper D&D Monster that petrifies its foes via a breath attack. Huh. Still, it required a bit more reading to figure out. Eventually, I found this blog post by F.Wesley Schneider (of D&D and Pathfinder fame) who explains it all in a way that makes it all make sense. It’ll still never make it a Gorgon to me, but I can absolutely understand and respect the reasoning behind it, as well as the many years of legacy to those who play and are familiar with D&D. It’s much the same kind of acceptance as my own to bright green Orcs, which was not something I’d ever considered or pictured before my introduction to and immersion into Warhammer in my early teens.

Chaaaaaarge!

Showing the discarded Kopis sword.

A couple of flank shots. When I saw the photographs of these I noticed a small amount of wear (already!) on some of the scales. I’ve gone back to retouch those bits and will be giving them a bloody decent shot of varnish tonight and tomorrow.

Sizing comparison.

Finally, a size comparison shot. We have Stabby McStab, the Chronopia model, the Reaper Bull and finally, the foundry bull. While the basing does make a difference, the Wargames Foundry bull is significantly smaller. I’ll still manage to work out a use for both in the eventual Mythical Greek Army. I’ve got some ideas, and both bulls would remain very nasty opponents. I might add some flower tufts to the base of the Reaper model, though. I like the contrasting effect that flowers have with such a terrifying monster of Brass and Steel!

Wargames Foundry Skeletons – The Hydra’s Teeth, Unit 2: Spear

The second unit for the Mythical Greek army is the one shown below – made up of Reaper Bones Skeletal Spearmen and the starts of the show – the other half of the Wargames Foundry Greek Mythology Skeletons range. “Children of the Hydra.” Unfortunately, the whole range is made up of only 10 models across two blisters – 4 with spears and 6 with swords. Within that only a few of them look distinctly Greek, so with 6 models needed to fill out the regiment, I decided to look elsewhere rather than order another pack from Foundry (I prefer fewer doubled-up figures, anyway). Their sister unit, armed with swords was finished some time ago, as was most of this unit, but some recruiting issues drew finishing this lot out for longer than I’d hoped.

Wargames Foundry Mythical Greek Skeletons with Spears

Wargames Foundry Mythical Greeks with Spear – Rear

The metals from Foundry worked out well. I just wish more of them had more explicitly Greek gear. I replaced their metal spears in the end with plastic ones from the Wargames Factory skeleton set. The shield on this guy comes from Little Big Men, and was a real bear to apply. Apparently it may have come from a faulty batch, since the plastic film would just not come off, and destroyed two other transfers in the process/attempts…

 

Wargames Factory Plastic Skeletons join the Wargames Foundry Metal Skeleton.

In the end to fill out the missing two in the ranks, I again turned to the Wargames Factory plastic skeletons. They’re already Greek-themed to an extent, which is great. My only concern was how fine they are, and as such are very susceptible to breakage as wargaming figures – especially with spears sticking up everywhere. Still, with these guys towards the middle it should be fine. Again WGF comes to the rescue of the WGF-dominated unit. In the end, I decided against adding shields to the skeletons bracing their spears – mostly because there was no easy and effective way to attach them that would still look good. A bit of a shame, but c’est la vie.

Wargames Factory and Foundry Skeletons fight side-by-side

I went with the one skeleton coming out of the ground to help invoke the whole Jason and the Argonauts thing. A classic from our youth, (even if it was made before many of us were born, it was often shown late on Saturday Mornings here, as well as when VHS arrived.

And now, The obligatory Finished Unit shots:

The Hydra’s Teeth – Spear: Finished!

The Hydra’s Teeth!

Their “good” side. Showing off their shields a little better.

And finally, an army shot of the Mythological Greeks so far. Not a whole lot yet, but it shows the two units of Skeletons along with the Bronze Bull painted earlier this year.

The Mythical Greek Army begins to take shape.