Dark Angels Space Marine Scouts – 1998 Metals

These figures are part of the fourth wave of Space Marine Scouts, released in 1998. The first were the initial two models, followed a year or two later by the second wave – an expanded range in the same style. With Advanced Space Crusade came the Scouts who dressed like a weird combination of Landsknechts and the previous designs (with clown colours to top things off). Then these guys were released, with the first Space Wolf Wolf Scouts being released shortly before, and acting in many ways as the prototype/sketch book pages for these.

If you browse the Stuff of Legends page for these figures, you’ll notice that no actual bolter-armed model exists in the line. This is why I’ve got a squad armed with shotguns. With no bolter-armed models available, these guys could be (and were) alternately armed with Bolters or Shotguns, as appropriate to the game being played. The “Sergeant” model came later. I think he was released alongside the bolter-armed model a few years later from the initial models. I believe I acquired him later on, but painted the whole gang at once anyway.

Metal Dark Angel Space Marine Scouts with Shotguns

Dark Angels Scouts – Kicking it 1998 style.

Eagle-eyed viewers might notice that these guys aren’t actually painted much like the typical Space Marine or Dark Angels Scouts. Space Marine Scouts’ of whichever chapter tend to have their armoured bits painted like their Chapter’s armour, and the soft “cloth” bits painted in a beige/off-white. All the better to scout with, obviously.

Dark Angel Scouts – Traditional Scheme

Ultramarine Scouts – Traditional Scheme

I made two choices about scouts and my 40k armies, long long ago. One is that Scouts should be dressed to scout. While it’s fine for the fully-armoured Marine brothers to charge forward in their bright, heraldic powered armour, I thought the guys with the job of doing actual reconnaissance, ambushes, infiltration, and general sneaking around should be dressed a bit more appropriately. I chose the 1991 Desert Storm 6-colour “choc chip” camouflage pattern for the Dark Angels because it was fun to paint, still pretty much in common memory, and because I didn’t want to paint them in a predominantly green camouflage. With this in mind (and reference pictures from Iraq in my folder), I painted both the “hard” armour and fatigue clothing in the camo pattern and their webbing and pouches with a nice “webbing” green. Boots were brown/black, and the weapons were given a dull green (plastic/plasteel/etc) for the furniture.

Metal Dark Angel Space Marine Scouts with Shotguns

Dark Angels Scouts – Rear and Side Views.

I used white Dark Angels transfers for the shoulders as low-visibility army identification. The white doesn’t particularly stand out on their camouflaged armour, just like real armies. The Sergeant has a slightly different transfer to make him stand out to me and other players (aside from the model’s pose), but not so much as is usual for Marine NCOs.

Metal Dark Angel Space Marine Scouts with Shotguns

Dark Angels Scouts – Army Identification

The other painting variation from the traditional theme? Several of the scouts aren’t painted with Caucasian skin tones. It comes up from time to time when people question why pretty much all Warhammer/40k models are painted as though they come from Coventry, and without getting into a whole discussion on the origins of GW, Warammer and 40k, it always bothered me a bit that there was never any growth or movement in that aspect (and still isn’t). It’s nothing to do with Political Correctness and everything to do with realism in modern armies – particularly in large armies and forces that recruit from entire worlds or a wide variety of locales.

Warriors of Minas Tirith – Spearmen Unit 1

Just a simple one today. Some of these models were finished last year, but I’ve finally finished off the last few of these last weekend, so now the unit is finished (for now). I’ve got them stuck to a Renedra 100x80mm movement tray for Kings of War, but since I use these guys for the Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game I keep them based on 25mm rounds (also for aesthetics, and for consistency with most of my other models). These figures, as reasonably simple and uniform as they are have become a real bane to my painting queue. Originally, I only had the 24 models that came with the RotK starter box, and so with 8 of each type (Archers/Spear/Blade) I afforded them each a reasonable paint job, which involved blending their skirts, leggings and the edges of their shields with wolf grey over black rather than doing something simpler and faster like a black wash over dark grey. Because of this, and the fact that they’re just not that interesting to paint – particularly en masse, they tend to take me forever to get done. The tree device on the shields, as many people will know is reeeeeeeally shallow as well, making it way trickier than it should be to give a quick once-over, which is a bit annoying.

Spearmen of Minas Tirith

When finished – and especially in a unit either on a tray or in a bunch – they look pretty good. They’re effective at looking like what they’re supposed to be. On the other hand, individually, they’re really not very exciting at all. This is why despite painting quite a few of these guys last year and haven’t shown any of them off to date aside from a single character model – Beregond. These guys are only on show today since I’m wanting to photograph everything I finish this year, and because people on Dakka’s LotR forum have shown some interest.

 

Spearmen of Minas Tirith – Rear View

In the rear view here you can see the blending on their skirts. It’s come out a little more stark in the photos than in real life, but that’s ok. The 75mm of the three ranks of figures also doesn’t quite fill the 80mm of the movement tray, but again that’s ok – especially as Kings of War is an element based game, and people often use fewer models and/or unit fillers – this unit “should” be 20 men strong, rather than 12 – but that’s okay since it means I actually get a lot more units completed by using models and their bases in this way.

 

77001: Skeletal Spearmen (Reaper Bones)

Recently I showed the Bones Skeletal Swordsmen that I finished for Marouda’s Mythical Greek force. These six are the other half of the group. Originally the twelve of them were to make up a single unit of more generic undead troops, whether spear or blade worked out simply by swapping the front rank as appropriate. Since the Mythical Greeks are now becoming a thing with the addition of a big load of stuff from Wargames Foundry, they got split into the Blade regiment and these guys, who I finished last Friday and will be the back half of the Spear regiment.

Bones Skeleton Spearmen

You may well have noticed that the spears appear to be made of rubber. Well, that’s Bones PVC for you! While I could have replaced the spear shafts with wire by cutting them off, drilling out the hands, and reattaching the spearheads, just look at the sculpts! They’re hardly worth that kind of effort. I did what I think is a nice enough job on the actual bones, but that’s because I enjoy painting bone most of the time. I’ve painted the shields with a kind of pseudo-Verginia Sun to give a Greek-Macedonian vibe to go with the preudo-Dipylon style shields. I left the shield bosses bronze rather than painting them the colours of the rays, or carving them off as I did on the swordsmen.

The arse end of the Skellymans!

The unit will be completed soon, hopefully. I’ve got the four Foundry skeletons with spear completed, though I still have to do a shield for one of them and I’m unsure about shields for the other three, due to their poses. I’ve used a Wargames Factory Model for a fifth, but I’m still struggling to find an appropriate sixth to complete the unit. Any ideas? I’m looking for an unarmoured skeleton armed with a spear, sturdy one piece casting, nice enough sculpt, and preferring metal or at least sturdy HIPS. (The Wargames Factory ones seem a little fragile).

 

Lord of the Rings Return of the King: Strategy Battle Game – Scenery!

Rarely has so grand a title announced something quite so unexciting? So anyway… remember this from 2003?

LotR RotK SBG Box. FFS!

Well, only 11 and some change years later after buying them, I’ve finally painted the scenery that came with it. I started one statue and rubble pile last year, then found the second status and rubble pile, sprayed them, then let them all sit in their own (rubble) pile on the painting desk until a couple of weeks ago, when (as you’d be used to by now) I pulled out my finger and finished the former and painted the latter.

Lord of the Rings SBG Scenery

Rubble from RotK. You might remember it from that one scene in the film.

Actually, I’m pretty happy with how well they came out in the end. Some static flock, some tufts and a bit of weathering powders have given them a look I’m quite happy with over the bog-standard drybrushing.

Lord of the Rings SBG Scenery

LotR RotK SBG Statues

For the statues I ended up repainting the first one. I went for an aged, dirty and yellowed “white” stone. Just the kind of thing to make you think of fallen civilisations. I honestly wouldn’t mind getting hold of another of these sets at some stage soon. I think another of each of these pieces would go well with the ones I’ve (finally) finished here. Now I’m tempted to string some Ivy over these. Thanks, Dareios!

Lord of the Rings SBG Scenery, Rackham Confrontation Hill.

An exciting group shot of my recent completed scenery for scale. They all work pretty well together.

Confrontation Starter Set Scenery: Hill Ruins. (Temperate Scheme)

Last year I did one of these Confrontation Hill Ruins in a desert scheme to match my desert mat. Not too much later than that, I started on another of them, going for the “brown dirt and flock” temperate scheme I use on my bases, which will probably see use on my green grass mat. This time I glued sand to the surface of the “dirt” in order to give it the same texture and look as my models. When I took a months-long hiatus from painting last year, it sat unfinished for several months until a few weeks ago. There’s really nothing too exciting here, excepting the fact that I finally finished it, and I’ve decided to show off all of this year’s painted/completed items.

Rackham Confrontation Hill Ruins – Temperate – “Front” View

Rackham Confrontation Hill Ruins – Temperate – “Side” view.

The Mouth of Sauron and a Skellyman provide scale, and contrast with the pretty flowers.

A comparison between the Temperate and Desert-painted Rackham Confrontation Ruins.

I did use weathering powders again here, but much more subtly than on the Desert Hill. Obviously the Desert-painted hill looks far nicer on the Desert mat, but the brown dirt should fit in much more nicely on the Grass mat than the Desert Hill. Why didn’t I photograph them on the grass mat? Because I was taking a bunch of other photos at the same time (like last post’s Ogres) and it basically didn’t occur to me at the time. Still, it will work nicely across a large variety of games, so job’s a good’un.

Mantic Ogre Shooters – Units 3 and 4: 2013-2015 (a year on)

Despite the difference in dates, it’s “only” 14 months since I last updated on these figures. As I’ve noted before, while Mantic’s Ogre models do turn out nice enough, I do not enjoy painting them. My cunning plan was to cockblock myself and not allow myself to paint the “fun” Ogre models until after I finished the second batch of shooters. Since I hadn’t worked on them in 13 months, I think we can safely state that particular plan wasn’t the best. It was one of those 3am epiphany-type things that actually got me to finish these. Getting back into painting again after almost 3 months, wanting to paint Greeks and Romans, and thinking about the mess on the desk resulted in the thought of “just finish the fricking things – they’ll probably only take a couple of hours to finish” replacing the usual “shove them out of the way”. It’s the same thought process that helped get those Skeletons out of the way as well as a several of the other odd figures that I’ve recently shown and will continue to show shortly, and will also have some Elites for my Gondor army finished and off my desk in a couple of days. Or within a week. Or two. Hopefully.

Mantic KoW Ogre Crossbows. Leader with Citadel head.

Mantic Crossbow Ogres – Rear View

I went with red tabards for these guys, so they’re distinct from the blue of the original two units, though sometimes they’ll potentially be combined into regiments of 6 rather than troops of 3. I’ve kept the tabards a dull red. I feel there’s no need for them to be overly highlighted. I’d been looking at the shields for months thinking about adding some red to them, and I think it’s worked well to add a little more colour and interest to them. As I mentioned a long time ago, I used Citadel Ogre Kingdom heads on the leaders of both units since Mantic has an incredibly limiting six total heads for their ogres – most of which are average or below quality.  (Along with only three body types!) The Crossbows are equipped with the “Jar of the Four Winds”, which I’ve represented by cracked amphorae filled with lemon-lime soft drink-coloured …liquid.

Mantic Kings of War Ogre Blunderbuss Troops. Again, the leader has a Citadel Ogre head.

Mantic Kings of War Ogre Blunderbuss Troops. (rear)

The blunderbuss unit had a bit more reposing, in an attempt to make them a little more interesting (or less uninteresting?) I also gave them bucklers and a shield on the boss to aid in this. It wasn’t until the end of painting them that I finally decided on painting the shields red.

I’d hoped to finish all six of these in a week from getting “motivated”, but in the end it took closer to two weeks to finish the Crossbows and a further month to finish the Blunderbusses, but that’s largely due to the fact that I still found it quite hard to make myself sit down and finish them. I found breaking them up into their sub-units just made it easier again. The trouble being, obviously, that I didn’t really enjoy working on them. Now they’re done, I’m happy enough with them to use them or look at them, but I’m in no rush to work on more of them. I’m planning on getting back into painting more interesting and fun Ogres – not Mantic ones for awhile! I’ve actually got two more units almost done – each both lacking a single Ogre to finish them.

Here’s some shots of the Ogre Army in progress:

The Ogre Battle Line …so far.

Ogre Battle Line – Left Angle

Ogre Battle Line – Right Angle

Ogre Index:

Jes Goodwin’s Classic Citadel Ogres #1. (Nov 2013)

Bob Olley’s Classic Citadel Ogres. (Nov 2013)

Golfag’s Ogre Mercenaries. (April 2014)

Mantic Ogre Shooters: Units 1 & 2.  And Based. (Nov 2013) WIP (Oct 2013)

Mantic Ogre Shooters: Units 3 & 4 (Feb 2015) WIP (Dec 2013)

Mantic Ogre WIP 1 (army concepts/other ogres pre-touchup/rebasing)

I want my… Mummy! Unit.

A bit of a mini-update today. A small unit of mummies. These were painted some unknown number of years ago on square green-flocked based, and rebased to my current style last year. I’m not even sure if they got touched up in terms of paint. Later last year they were drafted into my wife’s KoW Undead army, when I had to create an undead army out of existing painted figures in a day. Of course, KoW “officially” uses 20mm bases on mummies, so a Troop of five is on a 100mm frontage x 20mm depth stand. Four mummies based on 25mm round bases gives me the same frontage and +5mm depth – which is well within reasonable for a movement tray, so good enough for our games.

Mummy Unit – front view.

The “hands down” mummies are from my original copy of HeroQuest, cut off their original square bases and stuck onto citadel-style ones. The “reach out and touch someone” mummies are from a boardgame whose name I cannot remember, but it was from the same era, had a bunch of miniatures, and some temple scenery that I keep recognising in people’s collections and batreps from time to time. Dark-something? I’m sure someone will remember. (2016 Edit – Dark World) Anyway, quite decent mummies. I have a few of the official Kings of War mummies from the Kickstarter, but they don’t really appeal to me. I’ll probably look at them sometime this year and see if I can convert them more to my liking.

Mummy unit for KoW – rear view.

While these are nothing special in terms of wonderfully painted figures, they’re effective enough for what they are and do, and along with photographing everything I finish this year, I’m also planning to show off the armies as they get built up. Mostly, though – this post was inspired by seeing Tarmor and Subedai’s mummy-posts in the last few weeks with the same HeroQuest figures. So it’s also a “me too” post. 🙂