Mantic Ogre Shooters – Units 3 and 4: 2013-2015 (a year on)

Despite the difference in dates, it’s “only” 14 months since I last updated on these figures. As I’ve noted before, while Mantic’s Ogre models do turn out nice enough, I do not enjoy painting them. My cunning plan was to cockblock myself and not allow myself to paint the “fun” Ogre models until after I finished the second batch of shooters. Since I hadn’t worked on them in 13 months, I think we can safely state that particular plan wasn’t the best. It was one of those 3am epiphany-type things that actually got me to finish these. Getting back into painting again after almost 3 months, wanting to paint Greeks and Romans, and thinking about the mess on the desk resulted in the thought of “just finish the fricking things – they’ll probably only take a couple of hours to finish” replacing the usual “shove them out of the way”. It’s the same thought process that helped get those Skeletons out of the way as well as a several of the other odd figures that I’ve recently shown and will continue to show shortly, and will also have some Elites for my Gondor army finished and off my desk in a couple of days. Or within a week. Or two. Hopefully.

Mantic KoW Ogre Crossbows. Leader with Citadel head.

Mantic Crossbow Ogres – Rear View

I went with red tabards for these guys, so they’re distinct from the blue of the original two units, though sometimes they’ll potentially be combined into regiments of 6 rather than troops of 3. I’ve kept the tabards a dull red. I feel there’s no need for them to be overly highlighted. I’d been looking at the shields for months thinking about adding some red to them, and I think it’s worked well to add a little more colour and interest to them. As I mentioned a long time ago, I used Citadel Ogre Kingdom heads on the leaders of both units since Mantic has an incredibly limiting six total heads for their ogres – most of which are average or below quality.  (Along with only three body types!) The Crossbows are equipped with the “Jar of the Four Winds”, which I’ve represented by cracked amphorae filled with lemon-lime soft drink-coloured …liquid.

Mantic Kings of War Ogre Blunderbuss Troops. Again, the leader has a Citadel Ogre head.

Mantic Kings of War Ogre Blunderbuss Troops. (rear)

The blunderbuss unit had a bit more reposing, in an attempt to make them a little more interesting (or less uninteresting?) I also gave them bucklers and a shield on the boss to aid in this. It wasn’t until the end of painting them that I finally decided on painting the shields red.

I’d hoped to finish all six of these in a week from getting “motivated”, but in the end it took closer to two weeks to finish the Crossbows and a further month to finish the Blunderbusses, but that’s largely due to the fact that I still found it quite hard to make myself sit down and finish them. I found breaking them up into their sub-units just made it easier again. The trouble being, obviously, that I didn’t really enjoy working on them. Now they’re done, I’m happy enough with them to use them or look at them, but I’m in no rush to work on more of them. I’m planning on getting back into painting more interesting and fun Ogres – not Mantic ones for awhile! I’ve actually got two more units almost done – each both lacking a single Ogre to finish them.

Here’s some shots of the Ogre Army in progress:

The Ogre Battle Line …so far.

Ogre Battle Line – Left Angle

Ogre Battle Line – Right Angle

Ogre Index:

Jes Goodwin’s Classic Citadel Ogres #1. (Nov 2013)

Bob Olley’s Classic Citadel Ogres. (Nov 2013)

Golfag’s Ogre Mercenaries. (April 2014)

Mantic Ogre Shooters: Units 1 & 2.  And Based. (Nov 2013) WIP (Oct 2013)

Mantic Ogre Shooters: Units 3 & 4 (Feb 2015) WIP (Dec 2013)

Mantic Ogre WIP 1 (army concepts/other ogres pre-touchup/rebasing)

Mantic Ogre Shooters in WIP-form. Batch two.

I had a form of “painter’s block” for awhile – partly because work has been incredibly full-on for the past …3? months and just increasing, and partly because painting the Mantic Ogre Shooters was such an un-fun experience that I really haven’t been incredibly keen on revisiting it.

Same colour scheme and steps as last time, with the slight difference of going with muted red tabards this time. If I do a third set, I’ll either go green, blue-and-white, red-and-white, or most likely, blue-and-red. 

Here’s the second unit of Crossbowmen, WIP:

Hot water assembly and bending of parts (straightened up the central guy’s stance a little with widened feet), some GW 40mm bases and a shot of Army Painter grey. The amphora-style jugs came from some dollhouse accessory seller on eBay for a couple of dollars – they’re here to represent the magic item “Jar of the Four Winds” which in the context of Ogres is clearly going to mean some kind of magically-imbued alcoholic beverage.

With some base colours and washes added, they start to take shape. You might notice that the head on the middle guy isn’t a Mantic head and is in fact an Ogre Kingdoms head – it’s one of the very smallest of those, and while slightly larger than the Mantic ones, not excessively so – especially since the Mantic Ogres are a bit disproportionate across their various body parts anyway in a Johnny Bravo kinda way.

As they are now. The brass/gold trim on their weapons obviously needs to be toned down, their armour needs a slight highlight, and the skin is barely and very roughly basecoated. I’m trying a bit of an experiment on the Jars, which I’ll show in more detail once it either fails miserably or works decently.

…and the second unit of Blunderbusses, WIP:

Because these sculpts rapidly become – let’s face it – boring when you need to paint a bunch of them (6 of each is already too many for my sanity) I tried to make this unit a bit distinctive and different from the first Blunderbuss troop. I did this by changing the pose of the leader, and adding a shield in his off-hand. I originally had pictured him to be holding one of the Jars of the four winds with his other hand (which is doable with some kitbashing) but then it turned out that the crossbow unit were the ones getting boozed up. So he got a shield instead.

So after I’d assembled the leader, I needed to work out which head to give him. Since the GW Ogre Kingdoms head had worked okay on the crossbowman, I found another couple of heads that might work, and gave the less impressive of the two helmeted heads to this guy, saving the better one for another model down the line. It still works, and makes him a bit more imposing than his peers.

After all that, and just before undercoating them, I had the idea of adding a couple of small shields to the grunts. I pictured the perfect small metal buckler that I remembered was in my bits box. It took me about 30 minutes to dig around and find it, and I wasn’t even sure if I still had it. I have no idea where it came from, but it worked just fine for the leftmost Ogre’s forearm. I then poked about until I found something suitable for the last guy, and ironically, it came from some OK bits I’d picked up off eBay almost randomly a year or two ago. Now all three had shields, and their boss, a helmet with a slightly more interesting (less boring?) pose.

Obviously the brass on their weapons looks hideous right now, but as stated, it’s not finished. But let’s face it, while I want these guys to look good, they’re not going to be competition pieces – they’re going to be tabletop wargame models. And being some of many, many pretty-much identical Mantic restic Ogre models that I have, they’re not going to get the same love, care and affection that my old individual Jes Goodwin metals do. Still, I’m basically happy with the way they’re coming along. And once they’re finished, I can start working on the fun stuff. You see, I’m holding the real cool and fun stuff hostage to finishing off these guys.

Mantic Ogre Shooters – Blunderbuss and Crossbows – Based!

Just a small update this time, but we finally had two days without rain in a row! Two! Sure, they directly followed the coldest November day in the last 25 years (it’s spring here, supposedly) but anyway – the day allowed me to finally finish the bases on these guys after finally getting a day warm enough to spray them. Paint-on Vallejo varnish kept leaving some non-matt areas. Hurrah for Testors Dullcote!

Mantic Ogre Shooters with Crossbows.

Mantic Ogre Shooters with Blunderbusses.

Here’s their previous post. With more photos, but no tufts.

Mantic Ogre Shooters – Blunderbuss and Crossbows – Finished!

Well, after putting a whole lot of time into them this weekend, and now some finishing off time today, I’ve finally finished the first 6 Ogres. Yes, they took me the better part of a month to do. I’m not fast, but in my defence, despite being pretty happy with the way they turned out, I found them an absolute bear to paint, My problems with them are twofold. Actually, threefold:

1) Too much fine detail. I really like Remy’s sculpts in general, and these guys look quite good if you can get past the Johnny Bravo proportions and knocked knees. The thing is he overdoes the tiny details, which are then shrunk down even more by the restic that Mantic use. There are WAY too damn many buckles and studs on the leather straps and such. If there were just a couple of figures, as in individuals, or commander-types then I’d have no problem here, but as rank & file, it’s just maddening to have to paint.

2) Arms across their bodies – Since these are missile troops, they have their arms across their bodies as they hold their blunderbusses and crossbows. it exacerbates the issues above and makes them far, far more painful to paint than open-armed ones like the melee models would be.

3) Not enough variety. Three torsos used and reused for the BB, Xbow, 1h&S, 2h and “hero” models that are also quite specific in their details and poses, paired with a total of 6 unique heads – only 2 of which I particularly like, and a couple that are awful. Then one set of arms each for the crossbows and blunderbusses. This is going to mean a hell of a lot of repetition. There;s also not a lot that can be done with them. I’ll be chopping topknots and trying to figure out how to apply helmets to these guys as I assemble more, though the GW OK models’ heads are a touch too large to use. Yes, the GW OK bodies are also very limited in posing, but they seem to make up for it with a large variety of arms, weapons, heads, gutplates and the like.

Let’s add one more point:

4) I need to paint another 6 of them – 3 more of each. D’oh!

I’ll be doing them next, so I can put painting Mantic’s Ogre Shooters behind me for awhile.

Anyway, enough of my bitching. At least the bright side is they turned out pretty well, so I’m happy with them in the end. I did enjoy assembling them and even needing to heat up each piece in very hot water was a bit of fun, as it allowed me to somewhat vary their arm poses slightly.

The light is a bit glarey in these photos, but it’s the best I could do today. It’s creating a bit more contrast than I’d like, but that’s life. The figures still need a couple of final things done to completely finish them. First they need to be varnished. I wanted to get the photos before the matt varnish flattens out my blending – something that always annoys me – and following that I’ll be adding some tufts (sorry Cash – I like ’em!) and then some weathering powder to dirty up their feet and blend them in with their bases a little.

I also found my Pin Vice this morning, as well as some larger bits, so I drilled out the barrels of the blunderbusses. I think I mentioned it before, but I ended up basing these on Citadel 40mm square bases for consistency in the force, which is largely made up otherwise of the classic GW models.

Finally, a couple of group shots. I’ll take some new ones down the line when the whole 600-pt Army is finished. And then again when it bumps to 1200 and 2000pts. As you can see, these figures could be easily proxied into Warhammer Fantasy Battle if you want a different look to the Ogre Kingdoms models. Additionally, since it’s been Kings of War Week over on Beasts of War, I thought I’d throw them a link since I’m painting these Mantic Ogres for a KoW list anyway, so whoring myself out slightly is a no-harm, no-foul kinda situation in context…

Ogre Index:

Jes Goodwin Classic Citadel Ogres #1

Bob Olley’s Classic Citadel Ogres

Golfag’s Ogre Mercenaries

Mantic’s Ogre Shooters: Units 1 and 2.  And Based.

Mantic Ogre WIP 1 (and army concepts/some of the other ogres pre-touchup and rebasing)

Mantic Ogre WIP 2


A Small Ogre Update

Not really much to show this time really. Certainly not an exciting update! It’s been a bit slow going as I’m not really enjoying painting these Ogres because of the arms and weapons going across and obscuring the chests – I’m sure I’ll like painting the regular ones with 1-handed weapons eventually. Pretty sure I said that at least once before, but hey!

Have put down a GW Ratskin Flesh base on their skin, given it a targetted wash of thinned down Coat D’Arms Red Brown paint, then blended back up (only on a couple so far) to the Ratskin Flesh. I notice that it’s not coming up especially stark or obvious in the pictures, but I prefer a more subtle/realistic highlight and shade on flesh, while I can go the other way on things like cloth when appropriate. I’ll give the flesh another layer of highlights (after I finish bringing them back up to the Ratskin tone) and see if they need a second highlight layer when I get there.

Added some VMA Bright Brass with a bit of VGC Glorious Gold to the brass elements on their weapons. I was tossing up whether to give the armour some brass elements, but I really do like the way they look with just plain, slightly tarnished steel without any brass/copper/gold filigree. I’m not going to add rust to them as GW has done with many of their OK figures. I eventually went with blue for the tabards, since I wanted to avoid more reds and browns due to the fleshtones and brown pants I’ve given some of them. I used Reaper’s MSP Denim Blue, with a wash of AP Strong Tone (aka Devlan Mud) since I want the tabards to look dirty and haggard, rather than highlighting them and shading to a bright shade of blue. I figure that military-minded Ogres (and the Mantic ones are clearly quite uniform) would maintain their weapons and armour reasonably well, while not being too fussed about keeping their denims bright and clean.

My Hoard O Bits order arrived with some banner pieces and such. So after I finish these six, I can finally (re)start on the Chariot(s) for the army.

Ogre Index:

Jes Goodwin Classic Citadel Ogres #1

Bob Olley’s Classic Citadel Ogres

Golfag’s Ogre Mercenaries

Mantic’s Ogre Shooters: Units 1 and 2.  And Based.

Mantic Ogre WIP 1 (and army concepts/some of the other ogres pre-touchup and rebasing)

Mantic Ogre WIP 2