Bats and Rats

Reaper Bones 77046: Bat Swarm

Reaper’s Bat Swarms

My rather pathetic entry for the Undead army part of the painting challenge in July was a single “swarm” unit that I’ve only photographed this morning – made up of a trio of Reaper Bones’ Bat Swarms (77046: Bat Swarm). (I can’t believe they want US$2.99 for them!) Since I have four of the models from their various Bones KS campaigns, I decided to paint the fourth at the same time in the same manner. The base coat was a mix of Reaper’s Master HD Colours of Rusty Red and Ruddy Brown. I then washed it with GW’s new Nuln Oil Gloss, to hit the recesses hard while staining the upper as little as possible. Then drybrushed with Khorne Red, Mephiston Red and finally Evil Sunz Scarlet. I’m well aware that these are tabletop quality paintjobs at best and that no-one will care how I did them, but the fact is they’re pretty crap models that don’t really deserve any better, and I’m simply recording how I painted them in case I get another pair of them to make a second swarm one day – purely for gaming purposes. I added the tombstones on the unit base from the Renedra Sprue since the bats were mounted on gravestones anyway in order to tie them in a little with their surroundings, even though I usually dislike “diorama bases” on my own models, as they place the models in too specific a location for figures that will be running around various tabletops.

Reaper Bones 77046: Bat Swarm by Werner Klocke

Cheetor at Sho3box did a much nicer job on his Bat Swarms a couple of years ago, which I noticed only recently via Google Image Search, what with highlighting their heads and whatnot, but for me, going reddish so they fit broadly within the Undead Army palette was good enough. I also did their bases and unit base so they’d fit in with the Graveyard themed scenery that I’ve started putting together (very) slowly.

77129: Vermin: Rat Swarm

Anyone actually excited by these? I thought not.

The Rats follow almost the exact same ethos and purpose – though the models manage to be much less impressive. This time the models are provided by Reaper’s Rat Swarms (77129: Vermin: Rat Swarm (2)). You get a pair of them this time for your $2.49, though again I’d possibly be willing to argue their value, even for that price. Anyway, once again I had four of the sculpt, and again I mounted them on 30mm round bases from Impact Miniatures, which I’d originally bought to rebase Space Marines but have been using to base various swarm-sized vermin from Reaper Bones so far.  Paint was… various browns outside of my usual basing colours, including Model Air Khaki Brown at some point, again with the Nuln Oil Gloss, and then AP Tanned Flesh for their widdle teeny-tiny tails and feets. One day the rats will no doubt be shifted over to my Skaven Army, but I’ll need to actually have a few units of Skaven painted before that becomes a worry. I figure vermin like Rats fit in well enough with Bats and Bugs (Sol B shoutout!) to go with the Undead in the meantime. As I finished the the Rat Swarm base in early August, it will also be my weaksauce minimum mandatory Undead submission for this month’s paint challenge if I don’t manage to get something more impressive done.

77129: Vermin: Rat Swarm (2) Sandra Garrity

And yes, I’m aware that these Bones models started as metal sculpts in greater detail (and multipart for the bats) and the Bones stuff is cheap & cheerful stuff for gamers of various stripes. That’s why I painted them, though it doesn’t preclude me from pointing out that they’re both a bit rubbish, even if they end up looking passable on the tabletop.

Reaper Bones 77046: Bat Swarm

Including the fourth, warped Bat Swarm (and yes, I did the hot water, and yes, it bent back anyway).

77129: Vermin: Rat Swarm

These have a secondary, theoretical use for me in RPGs. And the Skaven army.

Swarms for Kings of War - models by Reaper Bones.

Swarms for Kings of War – models by Reaper Bones.

I decided to take an all-together shot of all my completed little Reaper Swarms. With the unit bases, they’ll do the job on the tabletop. I noticed after taking the photos that I forgot to add tufts to these new ones, so I might have to go back and do that so I can consider them finished. I know I’ve gone on and on about how crappy they are, but I’m just a bit OCD about certain things…

6 thoughts on “Bats and Rats

  1. Nice work on these all around. it is true that the Batswarm suffered in the translation to Bones. The rats look actually good and are effective for what they are. I would not buy them either for 2.99, but for Kickstarter prices those are great. Not only as base decoration, but also as an encounter for DnD. I may use my batswarm as a backdrop to a Vampire conversion, so that might actually work well enough and look cool if it is basically base decoration.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I thought of sculpting some fog tendrils or using some wool to depict fog. Shadow tendrils would work, too. The swarm would then come out of it and would be obscured. I may attempt to resculpt some of the bat faces and draw the focus to them. I have to see if that works out and fits on a base ;). I also found the Bones Vampire a tad ugly, so I might turn him into a female vampire.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think the Bat Swarm is crap. Sure, miniatures with small/thin parts lose more in the bones conversion, still I think it’s a pretty effective model, with lots of “movement” that looks quite good on the table. Way better than any GW take on the subject (that I can recall atm).

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not the worst model in the world once painted, and basically does the job, but it’s far from fun to paint, and certainly comes from the lower realms of relative quality. The metal one is obviously nicer, though I understand quite fiddly as it’s multipart. I’ve just googled the GW bat swarms, and those are downright embarrassing and make these look amazing by comparison.

      Liked by 1 person

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