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?

 

 

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…

 

Assassinorum: Execution Force. Iron Warriors Chaos Space Marines

Assassinorum: Execution Force image copyright Games Workshop PLC.

Assassinorum: Execution Force. Image copyright GW

I purchased the Assassinorum: Execution Force boardgame (interestingly, listed as No Longer Available on the GWAU site) a few months ago – it might have been around Christmas. I purchased it not only for the miniatures (new plastic Assassins) but also fully intending to play it as a boardgame, since it got decent reviews, is co-op and apparently also works as a solo game. Naturally, I haven’t done a damn thing with it to date (hello, Deathwatch: Overkill!)

Recently, GW released the “Sector Imperialis” base range. With a somewhat reasonably-priced set of HIPs bases with a close-enough-to-spaceship texture now available readily and easily in 32mm, I picked up a set with a vague idea of rebasing my nascent Iron Warriors on them, as the resin ones I’d purchased years ago are all 25mm and now verboten for Space Marines. Actually, I think Marines (and a lot of other models) look better on the 32mm bases, so after an initial WTF reaction, I’m now well sold on the idea.

After picking up the bases, I put two and two together, and decided to use the Chaos Space Marines from Execution Force as my test subjects, as while they’re reasonable sculpts, they’re simple push-fit marines, and so perfect for proof of concept work. This what happened:

Assassinorum: Execution Force Chaos Space Marines painted as Iron Warriors.

My biggest concern was that unlike, say, the Imperial Fist featured on the box art for the bases, the Iron Warriors in their, well, Iron/silver coloured armour with copper and brass accents with hazard stripes to break up the uniformity would not contrast enough with the bases, given that the bases are also painted in shades of silver iron, typically with the use of brass, copper and occasionally hazard stripes to break up the uniformity…. So, um…

Assassinorum: Execution Force Chaos Space Marines, Iron Warriors.

Warriors of the IV Legion proudly display the markings of their heritage.

I ended up giving the bases an additional watered-down black wash to try to define them more strongly from the marines. I’e used gunmetal on sections of the flooring, and the checkplate has a thin touch of blue to it that can be seen in person, if not in these photographs. I also used two of the new Gemstone paints for the first time – Soulstone Blue on the eye lenses, and Spiritstone Red on the bolter targeters. They turned out ok, I guess.

Assassinorum: Execution Force Chaos Space Marines, Iron Warriors.

And showing off the Forge World transfers. I quite like them. I’ll have to order another sheet.

Transfers are from the Forge World Iron Warriors decal sheet. Oh, and I sliced the “joined horns” off the guy on the righthand side. I don’t particularly like those (or these giant ribbed horns, truth be told) on my Chaos Space Marines. They don’t really fit my image of what I want for my Iron Warriors force. I see them much more as Renegade Marines than as Slaves to Chaos, so you probably won’t see another set of those giant horns anytime soon (smaller ones are okay, in limited use). I mostly wanted to avoid very similar chop-ups on 2 of the 3 models here, and being combination boardgaming models and proof of concept models for the proper force, just let them be.

As a bonus, these three count as my first entry for the Tale of Many Gamers Painting Challenge II that I’m once again running on Dakka. They’re not a legal 40k unit, but they are a “complete unit or group” for the Assassinorum: Execution Force boardgame.

I welcome any thoughts or feedback on the bases. Do they work for Iron Warriors despite the shared/similar palette? I’m not likely to add specific additions like blood spatter to them, and I’m not sure about weathering powders since I like the inferred “starship interior” look of them as well. I’m also considering using these for my Deathwatch: Overkill and even Space Hulk bases when I paint those sets of models, especially given the additional contrast from those models.