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!

 

Brigade Models – Celtos: Fir Bolg Skeletons with Spears (6-Month Tale of Gamers Challenge)

Last June I ordered a bunch of “Fir Bolg” Skeletons from Brigade Models, originally produced and still sold for the “Celtos” skirmish miniatures wargame. By August, I’d managed to paint up a unit of them armed with “Warscythes” to use in Kings of War before my focus in 2015 shifted to finishing off models that had been started months and years before.

With the Tale of Gamers challenge I’ve been running over on Dakka this year, I decided to paint up some more skeletons. After all, they’re quite work-friendly, and it’s always rewarding to finish stuff off. I’ve got a nice bunch of Skeletons done for KoW, role-playing or any kind of skirmish from Age of Sigmar to Dragon Rampant to, you know – Celtos!

Click to embiggen any of the images.

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spearmen

A scary number of Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spearmen

Once again, the colour scheme is pretty simple 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 have either been quartered or feature a par chevron to tie them in with one another or allow a distinction when both units are run side by side. Of course, they can be combined into a “Horde” formation as well.

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spearmen

Musician and Commander #1

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spearmen

Quartered Heraldry

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spearmen

Musician and Commander #2

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spearmen

Par Chevron Heraldry

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spearmen

The original pair with an unmodified “spike” skeleton. Chest painted as bone and not banded mail this time.

There’s quite a lot of these guys. By my standards, anyway. The initial two models from eBay that led me to Brigade’s website have been incorporated into the units, so that just left me with 22 others to paint up to complete the units. As I’ve mostly worked on them during lunch breaks, they took quite awhile to get done. And yes, I need to touch up the bottom of the base rims.

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spearmen

A “unique” pair of Skeleton Spearmen

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spearmen

Skeleton Spearmen

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spearmen

Jaw-less Skeleton Spearmen

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spearmen

Jabby, armoured Skeleton Spearmen

Yes, I need to get more brown Renedra unit trays. Unfortunately the last time I ordered them from Firestorm they sent me sets of green ones, which clash with my model bases. Spray paint time, probably.

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spearmen

Awkward shield placement. Crescent shields to the rescue!

I found their shields to be a little problematic. They came with damaged Celt-ish shields, but these three guys were having none of it. I figured out a workaround, which was to use these really old Citadel shields, and then I followed up with the rest of the models by using selected WHFB4 Starter Goblin shields with skeletal iconography – for what is very much an unrealistic but old-school Warhammer-esque Undead look… (Why are “traditional” RPG and gaming undead covered in skeletal iconography? Who is smithing and painting their gear? – At least the sadly-Squatted Tomb Kings had some rationale behind theirs.) The original shields have gone into my bits boxes, and might come back out when working on Historicals down the line.

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spearmen

Charging Skeletons with repurposed Goblin shields.

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spearmen

“At Guard” Skeletons with repurposed Goblin shields

I used white for the embossed shield devices shaded with Vallejo’s Pale Grey wash so that the shield iconography would be distinct from the “real” bone of the actual undead.

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spearmen

“Quartered” Skeleton Spear Regiment

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spearmen

“Quartered” Skeleton Spear Regiment

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spearmen

“Quartered” Skeleton Spear Regiment

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spearmen

“Chevron” Skeleton Spear Regiment

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spearmen

“Chevron” Skeleton Spear Regiment

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spearmen

“Chevron” Skeleton Spear Regiment

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spearmen

Both regiments combined into a Kings of War “Horde”-style unit. …Skeleton Horde.

I know there’s a ton of photos here, but these guys took a lot of effort and a lot of time – pretty much a full month. As much as I enjoy painting bone, I’m pretty sick of it at this stage. I’m still cleaning up the next unit batch of skeletons (only 12, thankfully), but I’ll get the basics done (clean, prime, base coat spray, basing, first wash of brown) and then leave them for a week or two before getting back to them. I think in April I might try to do more character models for the painting challenge rather than masses of troops.

Imperialrebelork requested a tutorial on painting skeletons/bone in my style recently, so I took some photos as I painted these guys up. In the coming days, I’ll sort them out and do a write-up. It’s actually pretty simple.

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

A couple of months ago I ordered a bunch of “Fir Bolg” Skeletons from Brigade Models, originally produced and still sold for the “Celtos” skirmish miniatures wargame. Roughly two weeks later, which translates to two months ago now, they arrived and I reviewed them. As I’ve said in the past, I’ve got a real soft spot for one-piece metal skeletons. There are some other lovely models out there, but many of them are very fragile – and I prefer more sturdy models for wargaming.

Now, I’ve finished painting the first unit of them – or the first 12 out of the 59 models I purchased, at least.

Brigade Games Celtos Fir Bolg Skeletons with Warscythes Scythes

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeletons with Warscythes – Front

The colour scheme is pretty simple 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 have simply been quartered with the cloth colours to keep it simple.

Brigade Games Celtos Fir Bolg Skeletons with Warscythes Scythes

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeletons with Warscythes – Back

One each of the three sculpts for your perusal. I purchased four of each in order to set up 12 on a 100mm x 80mm base which will represent a Regiment in Kings of War.

Brigade Games Celtos Fir Bolg Skeletons with Warscythes Scythes

The Horde of War Scythe-Wielding Skeletons – Ready for some Reaping!

The group shot showing all of the 12 I bought. Since we’re just talking about duplicate models, I thought it more interesting to skip showcasing each individual duplicated sculpt. With a recent game of KoW against Marouda’s Undead showing how effective Horde-sized units are, I’m tempted to buy another set of these guys for her – and some of the other Regiment-sized groups as well!

Brigade Games Celtos Fir Bolg Skeletons with Warscythes Scythes

Brigade Games’ Skeletons based as a Regiment of Skeletons with 2-handed weapons for Kings of War.

Based like this, the models work very nicely as a KoW regiment – Tournament-approved as well as I’ve checked with a key member of the Rules Committee. Beyond that they’re very easily popped off the regiment base for use in Role-playing or any other tabletop or board game. Maybe even Celtos!

Brigade Games Celtos Fir Bolg Skeletons with Warscythes Scythes

Angle Shot!

Brigade Games Celtos Fir Bolg Skeletons with Warscythes Scythes

And the other side!

More poses would be ideal, but these will still work nicely enough on the table. Overall, I think these are great models – very much fit for purpose, and I’m very happy with them.

Miniatures Review: Brigade Models – Celtos: Fir Bolg Skeletons

As I posted a couple of weeks ago, I ordered a bunch of toys from both old and new suppliers. All four orders have arrived safely – I did a mail pickup and got them all in hand last night and opened them all up. I’ll post about my RPE/Ral Partha Europe order next, but this time it’s Brigade Models.

As I mentioned before I recently picked up a couple of nice undead models via eBay and quickly got them painted up. I liked them enough to decide that I’d like to get more of them, so I tracked them down via “I-Kore” that was on their tabs, and some google-fu led me to Brigade Models who purchased Celtos (and possibly more) from I-Kore Games serveral years ago.

I’ve also been in contact with Tony from Brigade who seems a very nice bloke, and he clarified that 2 weeks to ship is their usual worst-case scenario. In Tony’s words:

“And as far as delivery times go, the ordering page says that 95% of orders are sent out within two weeks – most of them go out within 3-4 days (yours took three working days, and that’s only because I finished at the workshop long after the post office closed, otherwise it would have been two). The longer times stated on that page are worst-case times, simply to cover ourselves for those rare occasions when orders are held up for some reason – perhaps I should update the page to make that clear.”

The page hasn’t yet been updated, but I’m sure it will be soon. Naturally a part-time business needs to prioritise processing customer orders, and they clearly do so.

So, here’s how the stuff arrived:

My Package from Brigade Models

I wasn’t expecting miniatures to be sent in a padded bag, and I was a bit concerned initially. Both for the figures, and for the book inside. I’ve received enough badly-packed books in the post before – all too often just shoved in a bag or box right against metal models or plastic sprues, which does a nasty number on the book cover. So I took this as a bit of an ominous start.

Minis safely packed in a separate padded bag.

With this in mind, I was pleased to find the minis had not shredded the rulebook cover. The corners of the book were slightly bumped, but I was able to straighten them back up with my thumb, which was pleasing. I’ve gotten hardcover rulebooks that have had the corners and spines seriously smashed up in the past. Though the condition one’s book arrives in will have a lot to do with how nice or hateful RM and the international post are feeling at the time.

Celtos rulebook, plus 12D10. All you need to get started!

I picked up the Celtos Rules with my skeletons because the cost of an intro pack was very reasonable, Brigade’s webpage kindly allowed me to add 2 Fir Bolg (skeleton) starter packs, and so why not try out/read a reasonably priced new ruleset? The book is larger than A4, 128 pages and a decent weight. I haven’t had a chance to do more than flip through and look at some of the B&W artwork inside, but it’s a substantial enough object in itself.

And the models. The Milkshake that brings all of us to the Yard.

Since the rest of this post is pretty much a photo review of (a limited chunk of) the Celtos Fir Bolg range that would be of wider interest to people building Undead Armies for games like Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Kings of War and others, I’ve not cleaned up the models and I’ve also photographed each and every pack of the models I purchased – including duplicates.

Click the photos for a bigger picture.

So now: The models.

Brigade Models Celtos Fir Bolg Sampler Starter set.

Brigade Models Celtos Fir Bolg Sampler Starter set.

I got two of these, because Skeletons. I really like the Skeleton Leader with Axe model. The rest of them are basically a pack each of Skeleton Archers and Skeletons with Sickles with an additional trooper model included.

Brigade Models Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Archers

Brigade Models Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Archers

I also got 2 packs of the Skeleton Archers. Giving me 14 of them. Which will make a nice, neat KoW unit of 12 with 2 leftovers, which I’ll use to bump up Marouda’s existing Skeleton archer unit to 12 as well, also using the leftover Bones model and probably a cool leader model.

Brigade Models Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton with Sickles

And also a pack of additional Skeletons with Sickles. 8 from the starter sets, plus three more here makes 11. Add a cool leader model (the Leader with Axe converted to a Sickle would look pretty sweet) or perhaps a drummer, and we’re golden. These come with damaged, vaguely Roman-esque shields.

Brigade Models Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Drummer

And here’s that drummer. And that’s also why I purchased him. I think.

Brigade Models Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Warscythes

Brigade Models Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Warscythes

Brigade Models Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Warscythes

Brigade Models Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Warscythes

I got 4 packs of Skeleton Warscythes. As with most of the range, there are only three unique sculpts. Still, just look at them! 1-piece metal skeletons with gigantic scythes. How could I resist? These guys will make a really nice, nasty looking unit once they’re painted up.

Brigade Models Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spearmen Warband – One of each sculpt.

Brigade Models Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spearmen Warband – All of the models

I purchased one of the Skeleton Spearmen Warband sets. This is one of the sets that has the “sorry no picture” picture on the Brigade Models site, which I find frustrating. They do have links to each individual model, but I prefer to see what I’m buying on the same page. In any case, this pack is a good one, and I’m happy with the contents.

Brigade Models Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spears Pack #1

Brigade Models Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spears Pack #1

And now the guys that brought me to Brigade in the first place – it took me a little while to find them on their page. I got two of Skeleton Spears Pack #1 and one of Skeleton Spears Pack #2.

Brigade Models Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spears Pack #2, kinda.

Brigade Models Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Spears Pack #2, fixed?

Yes, that’s right. Out of the 59 metal skeletons I purchased, the one mispack that was made just happened to be one of the two models that brought me here in the first place. D’oh! Still, I’m sure that the lads at Brigade will sort it out without a hassle.

On another note, something I realised once I had my models in hand was that they’re listed as “blister packs” on the Brigade Models website. All of the models I received were in zip-lock baggies. While I’ve got no problem with that personally – about half of the metal I’ve purchased from both Foundry and Warlord have come in baggies just like these – and actually prefer it in many ways since there’s far less packaging waste, it’d probably be worth the time for Brigade to go through their listings and remove the word “blister” from them. I could see figures ordered for a gift, or for someone who was really set on blisters causing someone to get upset. And more importantly, it’s inaccurate.

With the exception of the Skeleton Spearmen I purchased above, most other units in the Fir Bolg range don’t have linked pictures, and instead have lists. This one is particularly useless for people like me who like to choose each model, since there are (at least) 10 different Skeleton Spearmen in the Fir Bolg range. Do you get a variety? 5 of the same sculpt? Random spearmen? Specific ones?

Some of the army packs have unclear language as well: Does 5 Flesh Eaters with Leader & Champion mean 5 models total, or 5 Flesh Eaters plus a Leader & Champion model – for a total of 7 figures? It doesn’t say including, but then it doesn’t say plus either. “With” on the other hand, is more ambiguous.

I’m just hoping that they manage to update their webpage with more unit pictures to negate these issues. There are more units and warbands, and even two different army packs I’d consider purchasing if only I could see exactly which figures (and how many – as noted above re the Army packs) are included in them. Brigade is more than welcome to use any of my photographs here free of charge to illustrate their models – all I’d want is attribution and perhaps a link to this blog somewhere. Just contact me if you’re interested.

My High-Tech photography studio. Part of a plastic storage unit with baking paper laid over it, a printed background and three cheap lamps with white LED bulbs.

Overall, I’m very happy with my pile of skeletons. Most figures had very little flash. Some had a fair bit, but it’s the type that easily scrapes off. A few figures (scythes, archers) have larger chunks of metal that will really need to be clipped off, but that’s a pretty simple job. If you have any experience with metal miniatures, these will be a doddle to clean up, and I find 1-piece skeletons of this sort really easy and (dare I say?) fun to paint up. I expect that they’ll look just as good as my first two once they’re all painted up. I really like one-piece metal skeletons with extra details but without too much extra crap hanging off them. There’s a nice old-school vibe to them, and even these models aren’t actually “oldhammer”, they have a similar kind of feel to me.

Now the really important bit – Would I recommend these models and/or purchasing from Brigade? My answer is yes to both. The skeletons here are clean sculpts, overall clean crisp casts and they’re sturdy one-piece models that are perfect for gaming with. I’ve got the Wargames Factory plastic skeletons, and while they have much finer details, I’m always a bit scared that they’ll break if I look at them funny. Otherworld also have some lovely looking skeletons, but they’re also very fine and even worse – multipart. (And they’re not cheap, either!)

So there’s good reason why I’ve just bought 60 of these Celtos models for my army building. They have a 90’s kind of design feel to them, but without getting into the super-chunky look for the most part. They could easily fit into Vampire Counts-style undead forces, and also into the “levy” side of Tomb Kings forces, in that they have no pseudo-Egyptian gear on them, but are generic enough to pass for the less important rank & file (or add TK shields to instantly “TK them up”.) It goes without saying that they work very well for any kind of generic undead force, and so suit games like KoW to a tee. You could even use them for Celtos!

Ordering from Brigade was pretty seamless and as I noted up top, the long processing time I was concerned about turned out not to be the case, and my stuff went out very quickly. One small mispack out of all of the models I ordered is a pretty good ratio (and if it were a different random spearman I probably wouldn’t even care!) VAT is removed at checkout if you’re outside the UK, and shipping is worked out as well, as you go.

Pile ‘o’ Phat Lewtz

Now I’m really looking forward to getting them painted up!

Update! The first batch is painted!