Wargames Foundry is a well-known maker of Historical Miniatures. At one stage in its history a sister company to Citadel Miniatures and Games Workshop when all three were owned/controlled by Bryan Ansell, their paths have diverged wildly over the years. While it’s generally well-known that Bryan took a lot of Citadel’s earlier very-historical-inspired ranges with him to Foundry. What’s less well known is the fact that they have some ranges like the Greek Mythology range, which features models like Harpies, Satyrs, Centaurs, Pegasi, our old friend The Bronze Bull, and our topic of the day – Skeletons!
As part of the Mythic Greek force, the (two, probably) units I’ll be making of these guys are going to be referred to as The Hydra’s Teeth. Apparently they should be more correctly referred to as Dragon’s Teeth, but to me “dragon’s teeth” mean tank traps, and I’ve got more than a soft spot for Ray Harryhausen’s seminal animation work of decades gone by. Since the 2 packs of 5 Foundry figures come to have 6 figures with blade, and 4 with spear out of the 10, I’ve split them for Kings of War purposes. I’ve combined the 6 blade figures with the 6 Bones skeleton figures that I finished off a couple of weeks ago to make a KoW Regiment of 12 (20).
The other day I saw a gallery of someone’s commissioned figures that featured some masterfully-painted figures, amongst the (hundreds?) of models were some with battle-scarred and scratched up shields. While I’ve added a small amount of verdigris to these, I mulled over trying something similar. While I have confidence that I could do a good job, I decided against it based on a couple of reasons – 1) While I like my bone technique, the shields are very much the focus points of these figures, and I wanted to keep them looking neater to draw the eye. 2) The Bones figures are really not very good at all, and I really wanted to avoid anything that would potentially dull those shields from drawing the eye away.
The linen curiass on the figure I decided should probably be a “leader” (at least as far as mindless skeletons go) was lacking a bit of detail, so with the help of the talented artists who work for Osprey and a quick Google Image Search, I worked out a way to add some more interest to the unit commander by adding some geometric patterns across his chest and under his arms.
It’s a little unfortunate that out of the 10 sculpts by Foundry, only two of them wear torso armour – the linen curiass in both cases. One blade, and one spear. Similarly, only two are helmeted, both of whom are amongst the four spear-wielding sculpts. Most of the sculpts are pretty much plain skeletons with perhaps an armband – not even bronze greaves! The only positive of all this is that it would make it relatively easy to swap in any other brand’s undead models armed with sword or spear, glue a Greek shield on, and bump up the numbers. Now all I need to do is find a source of decently-sculpted, unarmoured metal undead – preferably inexpensive and one-piece casts that are armed predominantly with swords or spears. Not as easy as you’d think as I’m finding. Otherworld’s models are beautiful sculpts, but have separate arms that look like fragile attachments, and aren’t really priced for making regiments.
The Wargames Factory (not Foundry) plastic box are very much Greek-themed – in fact it’s where I sourced the larger Hoplons and Dipylon-style shield that I mixed in to the Foundry models but I still have concerns about their potential fragility on the wargames table.
I think the combination of large, bright Greek shields and keeping the Bones models to the mid-centre and rear ranks does a good job of minimising the visibility of the multiple boring monopose figures well enough in static photos like these, and will do even moreso once they’re all on the table amongst scenery and an active battle. Now I just need to sort out two more spearmen somehow, and I can call both initial units done and dusted. Anyway, here’s the first unit of The Hydra’s Teeth, ready for action!