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.
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.
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.
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.
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…