Celtos: Fir Bolg Skeleton Archers (June-It ’18)

Three years ago I ordered a big bunch of “Fir Bolg” Skeletons from Brigade Models that were originally produced and still sold for the “Celtos” skirmish miniatures wargame. They arrived a couple of weeks later, in Mid-June – and have only gotten around to painting the last of them this year. So three years from order arrival to completion. That’s actually pretty good for me! These models are actually the third “set” that I got from them. The first once I painted were done in August 2015,  a unit of “Warscythes” to use in Kings of War followed in March 2016 with a whole lot of Spears (one large unit, or two small units) and then finally is September another dozen of them armed with sickles and shields.

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Archers

By the time I got to the end of 2016, I was well and truly over painting undead, as I’d churned out at least one unit per month for Marouda’s Undead Army and also my own Gondor Army. (You can see all the half-painted Nazgûl in that pic as well as some of the half-painted named Nazgûl filling out the numbers!)

But… we haven’t played KoW for ages now. Not for a couple of years after a period of pretty regular play. Got to get back to that, of course. But need to clean up the War Room a bit more first since there’s so much shit in there that I can’t even fully lay a mat down on the table right now. So these guys sat idle until I had a few days away from home for work at the start of this year, so I took them with me along with a few paints and started work on them. Before putting them away to one side when I got back. Until now. June. June-It.

Celtos Fir Bolg Skeleton Archers

And now they’re done. 16 models. 2 units of 8 models to count-as two “troop” formations in KoW, or just 16 skeleton archers for AoS or whatever other game. I’ll have to find my cut MDF bases at some stage and blu-tac them down, but for now, they’re good enough. The two troop leaders are the standard hero models that have both had a hand removed and replaced with a bow-hand from the old Citadel Skeleton Army box. A last-minute modification but one that I think works with them being archer units.

I’ve retaken the blurry mess that was the original header photo, and replaced it so I could finally post these models up – chalk up another two units for June-It! And there’s still one more to come… (yes, there was a spray varnish backlog caused by our cold weather).

Citadel Grave Guard – As Kings of War Wights (Neglected Model May ’18)

Citadel Grave Guard 6th Edition Vampire Counts

A (little) bit of a break from WarZone models today, however briefly (I have another two close to finished, so hopefully can get them done and posted over the next two days.)

A couple of years ago, around about September 2014 – I bought a whole bunch of Undead off Nerdfest over on Dakka. Amongst those were a bunch of Spirit Hosts which I rebased individually got got up and done within a day of receiving them. These models… not so much.

Blister photo via eBay.

Part of the Vampire Counts range from the early 2000’s, 2004-05 being the earliest reference I can easily find, they seem to have come in very specific blisters, since I keep finding the same trio when I was looking to find out more details about these models. That makes them models from the 6th Edition, so they could easily date back from as far as 2001, which was when the 6th Edition Warhammer Armies: Vampire Counts book was released.

Citadel Grave Guard 6th Edition Vampire Counts

Anyway, when I got them I thought they were decent models that could be pretty simply painted up. I suggested to Marouda that they’d be good models for her to paint up. She never showed much interest, so I got started on them myself. Of course, I didn’t exactly get them done quickly. I felt that as a trio of models that are quite different to everything else I have in sculpt style, and a re a bit bigger than the norm, I thought they could work well enough as a unit of three Wights in Kings of War. With that in mind, I mounted them on 32mm bases as opposed to the 25mm bases they came with. Wights are (now) on 40mm bases, but I’ll just build them a unit tray-base for KoW with the correct 40x120mm footprint.

Later.

Lord of the Rings Barrow-Wights. Yeah, that “OSL” is incredibly rough, but it was my first ever attempt.

Similarly, their paint scheme was informed by the scheme I used on the other unit of Wights, which is made up of two Lord of the Rings Barrow-Wights and a single Army of the Dead plastic model in the same paint scheme. Spectral blue-green robes (yes, these are more blue-blue-green than the previous set), metal weaponry and armour, and the creature inside looking roughly how they might look that far into their death.

Citadel Grave Guard 6th Edition Vampire Counts

So here, I’ve followed that with the robes, but the leather coifs and cuirass straps looked a bit silly in spectral blue-green, so instead I went with dark grey instead, over other choices like leather browns. Being in that awkward space between the metal armour and the spectral cloth, dark grey-black was good enough to fit in without drawing too much attention to it.

Citadel Grave Guard 6th Edition Vampire Counts

Shields came from a mid-point range of GW’s Chaos Warriors. Following the old-school, Realm of Chaos models with their open-hole shields but before the range went all-plastic. Given the skull-tastic designs on all three, I nicked them out of my shields tub for these undead fellows instead.

Monster March Painting Challenge!

Another of the community’s painting challenges out there is something called Monster March. It, rather unsurprisingly deals with the painting of Monsters during – get this – the month of March!

I asked Swordmaster, who is running the challenge if it would be okay if instead of starting from scratch I could try to finish off a pair of models I’ve already started. He kindly said that it would be fine, and so I selected two (Neglected!) models that have been sitting around here, part-painted for literally years. Quite a few in one case!

The Dracoliche comes from the Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Boardgame, though I’ve also puttied up a wargaming base for it to slot into. It’s been part-painted for quite a few years. The second model is Reaper’s Colossal Skeleton from the Bones line of models, specifically their first Kickstarter. I’m hopeful that Monster March can Motivate Me to get both of these damned things done and out of my way. I’ve also got another Monster who I started Months ago that I’d like to get completed as well, but we’ll see…

Fog on the Barrow-Downs

Another old post I felt was worth reblogging (as I continue to repair the blog) – This one shows off GW’s rather lovely LotR Barrow-Wights. If you like the look of the top two photos be sure and click through for the latter two photos taken by Marouda where the lighting just works perfectly for them!

Azazel's Bitz Box.

I’ve had a blister of two GW Barrow-Wights in one of my figure boxes for the better part of a decade, and no real priority to get them painted, until the recent painting challenge over at www.one-ring.co.uk gave me a prod to get them started and finished. I was originally going to paint them in a dull, slightly bluish-grey, quite similar to the GW examples when I came upon TheBucklandBrewer’s excellent renditions, I decided to draw direct inspiration from his luminous deep blue scheme and od something similar, though my figures have a more turquise shade to them, as well as a “drier” or “dustier” look, which I thought would look good, and make mine look at least a little different (though I did also steal his light-sourced base idea as well – but didn’t pull it off nearly as well!)

Citadel Miniatures Lord of the Rings SBG Barrow-Wights

The Barrow-Wight figures. After taking these pictures I realised…

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Wight King with Baleful Tomb Blade

After a week of not being able to find my camera, and therefore given the option of using my newish phone for photos (sorry, Samsung, you’re not quite there yet) instead, and also not quite sure what I had taken in the last batch, I’ve found it last night!

This fine fellow is Citadel’s Wight King with Baleful Tomb Blade, originally released a few years ago as part of the Vampire Counts line, he survived the transition to Age of Sigmar pretty much intact, now being a part of the Deathrattle sub-faction faction of the Death Grand Alliance. Or to those of us who don’t much care about all of that, he’s a cool looking Wight model. Like, I’m not a guy who hates AoS. The system is fine, and the models are as great as ever (generally!) but the background doesn’t do much for me, so I mostly ignore it.

This lord has an impressive cloak. I don’t usually highlight strong colours to white or near-white, especially when using colours as opposed to shades of grey, but this cloak seemed to warrant it as a rare example.

He’s based on a 40mm resin base from Back-to-Base-ix. In retrospect, I think he’d “fit” much better on a 32mm, but he’s been mounted and part-painted since before 32mm based were a thing, and I wanted the resin base to elevate him to more of a hero status. I’ve also used round bases on my fantasy models for aesthetic reasons since long before AoS was a thing, and since heroes in KoW don’t have a facing, I saw no reason to consider changing. The crimson flowers and grass tie him in with the other heroes in the Undead army.

The only strong colour on this model is really the red, with the sword having a blueish tint that marks it as a magical blade, rather than simply an old, corroded one. Perhaps it glows blue when Orc-kind are nearby?

The Black Rider – Citadel Miniatures Mounted Witch King of Angmar

Citadel Miniatures Mounted Witch King of Angmar, Nazgul, Nazgûl

The Black Rider flung back his hood, and behold! he had a kingly crown; and yet upon no head visible was it set. The red fires shone between it and the mantled shoulders vast and dark. From a mouth unseen there came a deadly laughter.
Old fool!” he said. “Old fool! This is my hour. Do you not know Death when you see it? Die now and curse in vain!” And with that he lifted high his sword and flames ran down the blade.
– Gandalf’s encounter with The Witch-King of Angmar in The Return of the King, The Siege of Gondor
Citadel Miniatures Mounted Witch King of Angmar, Nazgul, Nazgûl
This model of The Witch King was one of the many that sat around half-painted for a measure of years before finally seeing completion at the end of one of my occasional bouts of focused “Just finish that effing thing!” a couple of months ago. With the chaos that has been happening lately, it took sometime to be photographed, and time again before being cropped, and now, finally posted. These were actually the photos I was working on when I noticed the hard drive beginning to fail a couple of weeks ago, as they weren’t saving first time and easily.
Citadel Miniatures Mounted Witch King of Angmar, Nazgul, Nazgûl
 As with the others that I’ve painted previously, I’ve taken some liberties – the Witch-King’s steed here is dark brown rather than black, and I’ve also added the beaten copper to the horse’s icon, both in an attempt to add some visual interest to what could have been a more accurate, but far more boring paint job. Similarly, I’ve used weathering powders mixed with matte varnish to add a dirty effect to the bottom hem of his robes.
Citadel Miniatures Mounted Witch King of Angmar, Nazgul, Nazgûl
This leaves me with 5 more “basic” mounted Nazgûl to paint in order to represent The Nine in games of SBG and whatnot, though naturally, I have a couple of mounted extras – because that happens when you buy large collections on eBay, plus the foot versions, and a fell beast or two, and also most (all?) of the “Named Character” versions of the Nazgûl that Games Workshop came out with late in the SBG’s pre-Hobbit life, because BUY THESE MODELS. To be fair, though, they’re overall a nice batch of models and as any regular reader of this blog knows by now, owning unnecessary models is kinda my thing.
Citadel Miniatures Mounted Witch King of Angmar, Nazgul, Nazgûl
 Obviously, this rather proud king has uses in any official LotR games, particularly the Strategy Battle Game, but he’ll also serve in the Undead Army for Kings of War (as a Vampire Lord) until such a time as my Mordor Army has sufficient figures painted to be up and running independently of the rather generic Undead force. (His not-quite-finished self can be seen in those pics, too!)
Citadel Miniatures Mounted Witch King of Angmar, Nazgul, Nazgûl

(Yet another unit of) Mantic Zombies! (6-Month Tale of Gamers Challenge)

This is what I’d planned for my Spooky Halloween post! Zombies! Yes, I finished these that long ago. Instead, it’s my Christmas Eve post, because… Zombies?

In any case, best wishes for Christmas to all the regular readers of this blog, and people who stumble across this post later on down the line will simply have to accept them as a snapshot in time.

Now that I have some time off work, I’ll be able to take photos more frequently, and so once the small backlog of painted stuff is gotten rid of, I’ll be much more up to date. I’ve got a couple of mat reviews I’m keen to get onto as well, but it won’t be until next week that I get a chance to go out to the War Room and start cleaning it up (which it needs, bigtime!)

So anyway, these guys were started right on the heels of the second dozen zombies I painted for KoW, back around May. While the plan originally called for a fourth set to follow these – making either 4 regiments or 2 hordes in KoW terms, my Zombienthusiasm is pretty much completely sapped now, as opposed to fired up after finishing the first dozen Zombies. The Mantic figures are nice ones, but there are so few interesting combinations, even with Mantic’s Ghoul parts thrown into the mix.

Mantic Games Zombies, WGF Warlord Zombie Vixens

As you can see, I went even further afield for kitbash parts on these guys. The additional parts beyond the Mantic Ghouls this time came from Mantic’s Sci-Fi zombie sprue, the new(ish) Citadel Ghouls, and two crawlers drawn from Wargames Factory’s Zombie Vixen set who can be seen at either extreme of the crawlers above. I wanted a little bit of gender representation, and the closest I could really find were the WGF set, which is, well, a little average. The figures are a little bit too sexualised overall, but more importantly are verrry spindly compared to even the Mantic models, so the only ones that really were able to fit in were a couple of crawlers.

Mantic Games Zombies, WGF Warlord Zombie Vixens

As you can see above, I finally found that errant model that went missing from the very first dozen, and so he got finished as well alongside these guys – next to his twin. I guess the next batch will only need to be 11 zombies, then. My favourite amongst these 5 has to be the one reaching for the sky. I rotated the “base” and added a bloodied femur out front this time to give a different “sitting down” look rather than just going with the usual crawler setup as I did with the wonder twins next to him.

Mantic Games Zombies

The second rank has what are probably two of my favourite zombies of all the ones I’ve painted. The gruesome fellow dragging along half of a well-chewed corpse, and one I call “go home zombie, you’re drunk!”. The stein comes from a plastic GW dwarf kit while the arm-with-meal comes from the current GW zombie kit, as does the ruined face which fits zombies much more than ghouls for me at least.

Mantic Games Zombies

The legs on the two leftmost models both come from Mantic’s sci-fi zombies kit, but they’re generic enough to fit in here. I’ve continued to simply use dark grey/black rags for my zombies rather than a more realistic option of mixed clothing for equal parts “night horror” and “army colours” reasons.

Mantic Games Zombies

Finally, we have the rear rank. An overly-hunched over female sci-fi zombie torso and head, another dismembered pair of legs (because I am nothing if not economical with my model parts!), another sci-fi zombie torso mounted on fantasy legs and super-dynamic zombie. Unfortunately I couldn’t get the camera low enough to really capture the details of all their heads and faces. The sci-fi model chewing on …something is an odd duck, with poorly-defined details, so you’re not quite sure if he has a gigantic mutant mouth or has a normal one and is simply pulling the sinewy muscle up from his hands. I just covered the whole mess in blood in the end and stopped worrying about it.

Mantic Games Zombies

He looks pretty decent from the back, though. Nice bit of spinal detail that once properly gored up makes him a good choice for the rear rank.

Mantic Games Zombies

And now we finish up in the usual manner. Group shot and unit shots. Once I get at least another dozen zombies done, I’ll take another big group shot of the two hordes. After doing a fourth dozen Mantic zombies, I’ll probably do some Citadel zombies and see how a couple dozen of that very different style of model turns out.

Mantic Games Zombies Kings of War Regiment

Mantic Games Zombies Kings of War Regiment

Mantic Games Zombies Kings of War Regiment