77017: Skeletal Swordsman (Reaper Bones)

Since Marouda is building an Undead army for KoW, and was interested in practicing/learning how to paint more gooder, I dug out the undead Bones figures from their first Kickstarter. I’d already knocked up the 6 archers for a missile unit, and so suggested these Swordsmen and Spearmen as easy/simple/fast figures to teach my method of doing bone. It’s much easier to paint “naked” skeletons than clothed or armoured ones, that’s for sure! They got up to about half done – the point of starting to highlight the bones after base coat and wash, when Marouda chickened out(!) because she was intimidated by picking out the bones, so they sat on my paint desk taking up space for 6 months or so.

Now that I’m starting to paint again, and starting on her Mythic Greek army, I had an idea while cleaning up the Wargames Foundry Greek Undead (think Jason and the Argonauts) and noticed that the Bones Spearmen have Dipylon-style shields. I decided then to pair these bones figures up with the Foundry Undead Swords to make a full unit of 12 (20) for her Kings of War forces. They can obviously do double duty between Mythic Greeks and Generic Undead. Unless of course the Mythic Greeks are fighting the Generic Undead. Then they’ll have to choose a side!


Bones Skeleton Swordsmen.

So anyway, there’s absolutely nothing special about the paintjobs on these. I finished them off over 2 days that were mostly spent playing Far Cry 4, and the final touch was adding some of Warlord Games’ Greek shield transfers and rimming the shields to give them more of a Hoplon look. Since these figures are pretty …shall we say basic. We chose unexciting transfers for them. They’ll be the rear and centre-mid ranks of the unit, and so will mostly be hidden by their nicer Foundry brethren once the unit is set up. They’re being shown here mostly due to wanting to document what I get done this year a bit better than I did last year, and also to share my opinion on these models. Only changes to the models has been mounting them on Proxie Models 25mm round bases so they fit in with the rest of my armies and doing the usual sand & putty combo – and slicing off the shield bosses to make them look a little more like Hoplon-style shields. Obviously helped a great deal by the transfers, and surprisingly, even more so by the simple act of rimming the shields in a simple Hoplite-style.

Bones Skeletons, in roughly the formation they’ll be used (back row and middle centre).

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. 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.

11 thoughts on “77017: Skeletal Swordsman (Reaper Bones)

  1. I’m painting one of these guys right now, as a base accessory…they leave a lot to be desired for anything but a dip paint job for the random dungeon encounter, for sure.

    You did a nice job for army grunts, though. The shield details really sell them well.


    • Thanks. That’s all they need to do – add mass to a group of skeletons while taking up the back part of that mass. Luckily the large shields also manage to draw the eye from the rest of the models. If you’re going to be using skeletons as base accessories on your nice display models (the keeper?), I’d point you towards the Wargames Factory models. Multipart plastic, cheap, and most importantly, fine, proportional details.


      • Yeah, those look better. I glued this one to the base (yes, the keeper) a long time ago, I’m just hoping the paint covers up the lack of detail and weird sculpting.


      • Also like those American Indian kits, been wanting to paint up some Iroquois hunters. Might still go with Tom Meier’s versions, though there aren’t many there.


      • Yeah, I spotted those a week(?) ago when Mathias showed them off on Dakka. Doing a small Native American force is low on my radar, but it’s now something actually on my radar. Some nice personalities, etc on Warlord’s site as well.


      • Meier’s stuff is beautiful. You could always go with his ones for the main “characters” within the war party and use the WGF for the rest.


  2. I think you made them look as good as they will ever get. The miniatures themselves are indeed very basic. I tried to convert one into a wrapped mummy, but that failed due to them being a bit on the thick side. I then just sold the lot I got through the Kickstarter. I still think for a cheap filler or base decoration they do the job and are not too expensive. I still prefer the WGF skeletons, however, which might come out a bit cheaper. Anyhow, as mentioned I really liek your paintjob and shield designs. You made them shine even though the starting conditions were less than favourable!


    • Thank you. They look okay, but they are still definitely rear-rank material! I’ll show the complete unit once I finish the Foundry skeletons – which in hand are a bit underwhelming as well. Not nearly as much Greek armour pieces as I would have liked, and many of the models are “Greek” simply by token of having a smallish Hoplon provided. The WGF ones are of course very nicely kitted out with nicer weapons and shields – I purchased a second box of them recently with a pile of other Historicals for the Greeks and Romans. I’ll likely replace some of the small Foundry Hoplons on their Skeletons with WGF Skeletons’ ones, but I’ll need to be careful and keep enough shields so I can still replace others down the line, once I get around to buying Foundry’s Argonauts.


  3. Pingback: Wargames Foundry Skeletons – The Hydra’s Teeth, Unit 1: Blade | Azazel's Bitz Box.

  4. Pingback: 77001: Skeletal Spearmen (Reaper Bones) | Azazel's Bitz Box.

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