Mantic Games Undead Balefire Catapult

This update is slightly odd for me. Alongside the unit of skeleton infantry I shared with the previous update, I also managed to finally complete the two crew of Mantic’s Balefire Catapult. The odd part is that I painted the actual Catapult last year, and was sure I’d posted it here, but can’t for the life of me find it posted. This has of course been the final month of the first 6-month “Tale of Gamers” painting challenge that I’ve run over on Dakka.

Mantic Games Undead Balefire Catapult

As they were painted separately and at different times, the iconography of the Catapult is more than a little different to the plain freehand skulls and bones I’ve been giving the skellymans. I actually went for a stylised red eye. (hmm….) in order to allow the actual war machine (sans crew) to fit into several armies aside from solely belonging to the undeads.

Mantic Games Undead Balefire Catapult Crew

The crew on the other hand, were started (well, assembled) at the same time as the Balefire, but only painted recently, more or less in concert with the infantry, so their livery is the more current, developed one that the army has taken on. Painting the crew does of course combine with the catapult to create another completed, finished unit – entirely the point of the ToG challenge!

Mantic Games Undead Balefire Catapult

Mantic Games Undead Balefire Catapult

That’s pretty much it. It has made for a good, strong finish to the final month of the painting challenge for the undead. Especially so, considering I had the painting doldrums and didn’t finish anything at all until almost three weeks in.

Mantic Games Undead Balefire Catapult

June’s “Tale of Gamers” Undead painting contingent.

I’ll get some “6-months worth of Undead” and “6 months worth of Gondor” posts up soon, and then follow them with a few “Army Showcase so far.” posts for my various army projects. Should be a bit of fun, or at least keep me interested for a little while…

The First Unit of Mantic Skeletons

A slightly odd title, I know. But the fact is that I’ve got quite a few more of these suckers to paint at some stage, so I’m simply future-proofing this (series of) post(s) now.

I haven’t posted for awhile – a combination of being perma-fatigued from work and personal life issues, and the onset of the winter doldrums. I did bugger-all from the end of last month until about the middle of last week, when I finally got back to work. The end of the first 6-month “Tale of Gamers” challenge I’ve been running over on Dakka is coming to a close in a few days, and I need(ed) to get my skates on. I still need to get something finished for Gondor, the boring bastards!

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

These models were actually started several years ago, shortly after I purchased Mantic Games’ Dwarf King’s Hold: Dead Rising. Seeing as the game came with a dozen or so of Mantic’s Skellymans, and I had none painted or assembled at the time, I took a sprue or two from my (at the time) recent purchase of Kings of War 1st Edition: Morgoth’s Revenge (aka the one with the awful dwarves and a tiny A5 pamphlet for a rulebook) and built them up for the game.

I can’t remember if DKH has a skeleton hero or not – or if I just built the guy with the two swords to keep myself interested. The feather-plumed skeleton also has a unit leader feel to him, though. Perhaps when I do another dozen of these guys one of this pair will remain here as the unit leader while the other moves on to lead the second unit.

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

I only have three spears in this unit, as it was built for the boardgame. At some stage, I’ll build a spear-heavy contingent to combine with these guys (and one of those leaders up above) to make a spear unit. I’ll also do a few more with hand weapons to fill out a unit with regular weapons.

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

All of the shields on these models have freehand designs. I’ll have to think of some other designs that are both simple to paint and suitable for this sort of undead models. Any ideas? Nothing too creative or exciting for these guys, though!

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

The difficulty with these models is as nice as these have come up – honestly, to my surprise – they were a real bastard to paint. Not fun at all. The issue I have is that the details are very shallow. I don’t mind fine detail, but it’s all very shallow on these guys, and as such, not simple and easy to paint in my style. Skeletons with well-defined details and bones are usually a joy to paint, but these aren’t it.

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

While Mantic’s Undead are often cited as their best range – certainly before the latest batch of KoW plastics came onto the scene recently – and I do agree that the Zombies (and Ghouls, I guess – I’ve used a ton of Ghoul parts on my Zombies) are great models. The differences are that the Zombies are a real pleasure to paint, but are severely limited in their components and require a fair bit of work to get differentiation once you go beyond the first few models (hence using all those Ghoul parts on mine). The Skeletons on the other hand have a lot more components to choose from to make the models more varied, and like the Zombies, they look pretty good once done – but they’re the opposite of the pleasure to paint that the Zombies are.

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

Will I paint some more? Well, I feel obliged to do another dozen in order to split the spears and hand weapons, so I’m sure I’ll do those this year. After that, it’ll be a second dozen of each to bring each of them to horde-size, though that’s less likely to happen this year. I also have a few sprues of Mantic’s Skeleton Revenants, though again, no real plans to do those anytime soon. Maybe I’ll paint my Mantic Skeleton Cavalry first…

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

Still, I have to give this painting challenge credit – It motivated me to sort out these guys who had been assembled and nothing more but sat aside for around four years or more, and now we have another finished unit of models, and while they’re not going to win any Crystal Brushes, I reckon they make a very nice unit for the table.