Back in my teens, I used to finance many of my Warhammer purchases by commission painting for other people. I got to paint some cool stuff, and bought a hell of a lot of Space Marines (most of which are still unpainted to this day(!) One of the kits I painted for other people was the stuff from the MD8 Skeleton War Machines box set, which was the eighth in the Machineries of Destruction range. As with my old Dwarves, I only ever had a couple dozen of the old Undead models, and sold off most of them back in the day, excepting a few (exactly as with the Dwarves). Since Marouda’s “building” an Undead Army for KoW (as fast as I can paint it for her) and I’ve been following Subedai’s blog for a couple of years, I’ve gotten inspiration for various bits and pieces. Recently, he showed off his Plague Cart, which triggered something in my pea brain and sent me to eBay looking for some of the cool old Undead kits I painted back in the day. While I haven’t been completely successful so far, I’ve managed to get a few pieces at least. Here’s the first of them: The Skull Chucker (also alternately known as the Screaming Skull Catapult before that new Tomb Kings kit took the name).
Yep, there are some “mistakes” and missing bits there. First and most obviously, the crew are “wrong”, and it’s missing the Skull Ammo Pile. It was sold on eBay with two loaders and a spotter, but not the bonehead who fires the catapult. Still, the price was ok, and shipping from the UK was decent rather than exploitative (both real concerns when you’re here in Australia) so I figured “good enough” and got it anyway. There was a ton of old superglue encrusted on the launcher arm and frame, and the arm was glued slightly up at an odd angle. Also a fair bit of old, old flash and extruded bits of lead to clean up. No big deal though. I used a bit of greenstuff to get a good bond when reassembling, and then noticed that both braces were missing from the kit. D’oh!
Now luckily I’d just bought some undead Tomb Kings stuff off a guy locally, and I’d literally just received the bag of bits that he’d “forgotten” (cough) to send out with the other stuff a week earlier. I thought it would be worth checking through to see if there was something appropriate in it that I could use to fix up the Skull Chucker. Now the bits bag was actually filled with cool bits (it was a big reason why I bought his stuff). and it included several of these …banner poles(?) After cutting them down, they turned out to be a great fit, and the socket cutouts with little embossed skulls on the joins worked perfectly as replacement pieces. I should make up a replacement Skull Ammo Pile. It was one of the first things I thought of, but I completely forgot about it until now. Shouldn’t be too difficult, at least.
For the paint, I stuck to Marouda’s chosen Undead palette. Bone/Black/Brass/Iron with deep Red and some Aqua (verdigris) as the spot colours. My style of painting bone might be a bit bright to be properly realistic but it pops nicely on the table.
The crew provided me with some stuff to work on at work last week. I’ll have to prepare some new models to work on for this week’s lunch breaks now. It’s like an extra deadline each weekend. Eurgh.
Undead and Orcs. Back together for the first time in a long time. Back in 3rd Edition WHFB, I used to regularly summon Skeletons as allies for my Orc and Goblin army. They often just stood in lines breaking up the line of sight between my Orc units so they wouldn’t kick the crap out of each other via failed animosity rolls. Now that’s something I don’t miss in KoW!
It’s great to see an incomplete kit brought back to life. The struts are a nice fit. This is how a restorer in the Egyptian section of the British Museum must feel like!
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Glad you like it, but you’re more than a little too kind with that comparison. Still, it’s appreciated. And your fault! 😉
Glad to shoulder that guilt. I’ll absolve myself by finishing my Orc spear chukka in return.
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It’s a deal!
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Love how you “repaired” the catapult, I have the same model that I use as a skull catapult in my Tomb King Army (started back when it was still the unified undead army).
About the poles that you used, those are banner poles for the chariots, they are supposed to be glued to the rear of the chariot structure, see http://www.games-workshop.com/resources/catalog/product/600×620/99120217004_SkletonChariotsEW01.jpg for an exemple of chariot with banner.
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Thanks! After some more eBaying, I’ve gotten another of these catapults that also needs the same repairs. The painting is easy, but for some reason the assembly/repair is off-putting. As for the braces, yep, that’s the right piece. Lucky the guy I got the undead bits off had quite a few of them in there!
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