Why do I always tell myself not to start new projects, when such good intentions are clearly in vain? Here’s another one fresh off the painting table: Celts! I was foolish enough to pick up the wonderful Vercingetorix model from Warlord Games at Warcon ’18 and think I could leave it at that – well fat chance, Victrix is releasing some terrific plastic Gauls these days and I had to bite. My friends brought a set of their new Gallic Warriors as well as one of Fanatics home from Salute ’18, and I’m happy to report they’re already done! Huzzah!
First up, we have the meat-and-bones of the force: a big warband of your ordinary Celts. These were pretty straightforward to assemble: a mix of the both the topless and the fully dressed bodies, and of both the helmeted and bare heads, with swords, spears and a few javelins thrown in for good measure. Painting-wise, I opted for a radically different technique: I undercoated the models AP skeleton bone, heavily drybrushed them white, then applied all colours with just washes. Usually several washes were needed across a given area to get the required result, otherwise things would look too pastel. For instance, the skin tone is two washes of reikland fleshshade and one of seraphim sepia. Obviously, the metallic were painted in the usual manner, and I took special care to make them look super shiny for contrast. Also, as Celts wouldn’t look the part without them, I added freehanded patterns to at least one item of cloth on pretty much every model, with regular paint of course.
Also built from the Gallic Warriors set are these skirmishers. I elected to use just the topless bodies and bare heads for these – to get the point across that they’re the poorer kind of warrior. For these I had to do some cutting on the left arm to equip them with spare javelins, which means they’re not equipped with shields – hence, they look a lot less spectacular than the others!
Penis! These are the fanatics, and they were stupidly easy to paint with the aforementioned technique. It’s a 24-strong block of troops but I think I’ll be getting some more to bulk out the unit, for games like WAB where they really shine when fielded as a big block. In the first rank you can see a druid model from Warlord Games, which was a leftover from my Dacian project. He’s a bit smaller (haha…) than the others, but otherwise fits in fairly well. Using watered down incubi darkness I added tattoos/warpaint to these models to spice up their appearance, which I think was much needed.
Finally, here are two other characters; the first is that wonderful Vercingetorix model from Warlord Games. I altered just one thing, which was to give him a spare plastic shield so that I could apply a LBMS transfer without too much of a hassle.
The second is a plastic command model from the Gallic Warriors set which I’ll be using as a Battle Standard Bearer in WAB, or a regular standard bearer for other games. This guy received an open left hand from a Victrix hoplite, so that I could portray him leaning on his sheathed sword. Not my most impressive conversion ever, but I think it’s an effective little distinguishing feature.
So, well, there you go! A whole set of Celts, ready to be fielded alongside or against my Carthaginians. As models always look better when put next to each other, I have a couple of group photos for you.
This first group shot is for those moments when I’ll be playing WAB. The two decently sized warbands will be intimidating to most opponents – the druid confers Hatred to the already Frenzied fanatics, and the Battle Standard Bearer and Warlord go into the big Warrior block to boost its staying power. The skirmishers will either be fielded as a single big unit or two smaller ones.
The second group shot shows the troops broken down into 12-strong units, for our games of Hail Caesar, To The Strongest, Sword & Spear and the like. It’s a pretty healthy division, with five standard units and two small units.
Project done – for now… I once purchased a box of Gallic cavalry from Warlord as well as a Gallic cavalry command blister to use with my Dacians but never got round to using them, and I think they’ll be used here. The new Gallic cavalry from Victrix are also leering at me, of course. As 24 or 25 is a bit small for a Naked Fanatic unit I’d like to bump the unit up to around 32, and I might purchase some metals from Warlord Games for variety as another pack of 24 plastics would be a little much. Finally, I’m of a mind to build a warband of nobles on foot, using the regular plastic Gallic Warriors but all helmeted, with swords, and with the capes attached (which I didn’t use much yet). Plenty of options!
Through some not-so-subtly-dropped hints I got a few superb presents for my birthday. One of these was a copy of the WAB supplement Hannibal and the Punic Wars which she managed to find cheaply on Ebay, and, well, what’s the first word that comes to mind when you think of Hannibal?
These are the new plastic elephants from Victrix ltd. A great product – besides obviously being plastic and thus a treat to assemble, it comes with plenty of options for Ptolemaic, Roman, Numidian and, of course, Carthaginian versions. For me, that’s great – I used the linothorax-armoured riders with Carthaginian heads, but I can also use the Roman bodies in chainmail as veterans or Latin deserters, and the Numidians as allied infantry. Great!
I used the Little Big Men Studios decals as they are simply lovely – I can freehand, but not to anywhere near the level I’d need for this kind of patterning! A word on this to those readers who are interested in doing the same: It’s much, much easier to apply the decals before you affix the tower to the elephants. I had to cut down the decals on the ‘saddle cloth’ and had a lot of trouble getting the smaller ones to stick where they had to.
Other than that, painting was straighforward. The crew were painted identically to my other Carthaginians (more news on those soon, I hope), but the elephants were, naturally, rather a different matter. I drybrushed a dark grey and then a middle grey over a black undercoat. This looked crap, so I went in with the middle grey again but applied it as a layer highlighted, in angled streaks so as to get the right skin texture. The edge of the ears received a small layered highlight of medium skin tone applied directly over the grey, before everything was washed agrax earthshade.
Overall I had a great time painting them, even though it took nearly a month of on-and-off work! Right before they were done I already played a WAB battle with them, and they were quite effective. WAB is the reason why I decided to base them on 50x50mm bases; for those games which specify a unit breadth of 12cm I’ll prepare a bare 20x50mm base to put in between the two models.
There! Hope you like these as much as I do. I’ll have more Carthaginians ready in a bit, so there might be more Ancients on the blog very soon.
Ceterum censeo Duvel esse bibendam!
Just a quick update, but a much overdue one – it’s been more than two months since my last post! I’ve been painting plenty of stuff and a new article of mine will soon be appearing in Warlord’s newsletter; these things, rather than this blog, has been taking up much of my time. It’ll only be a short update, this – the food is on the stove and I’ve just come in from a quick jog, so I’ll have to keep it brief! On to the models, then:
My mate Flor and I have recently started up a Frostgrave campaign using the Thaw of the Lich Lord scenarios and random encounter table, and as I noticed there were plenty of monsters of the ethereal kind, I’ve gone and added a box’s worth of these GW Spirit Hosts to my collection.
First off: these are an absolute nightmare to build. The different ghostly tentacles have to be glued together at specific locations where they pass eachother, at very minute contact points which are not at all clear to identify. These joins end up being very brittle, and if you don’t line them up 100% correctly you’ll then have trouble gluing the heads on – the ‘hairs’ will start interlocking means the heads won’t fit. These Spirit Hosts are quite possibly the worst plastic kit I’ve ever had to assemble in my fifteen years of hobby experience.
Still, once painting got underway, I had a lot of fun. Over a white undercoat I basecoated gauss blaster green, then sybarite green, then kabalite green, but I applied these basecoats increasingly away from the face, arms and tips of the lower ‘bodies’, effectively creating a transitional effect from white to a middle dark green. The weapons were basecoated silver, and after this I washed the models entirely in coelia greenshade. Once dry I applied white highlights to the faces, arms and ‘tails’ to bring the detail back on them, and I applied a sepia wash to the skeletons on the bases. The sand on the bases was painted dark brown and then both the bases and the skeletons were given a white drybrush. It’s so simple, which is also why I like them so much I decided to show them to you.
I’d like to do more of these, but someone else will have to assemble them for me…
With my Late Romans so close to completion I’ve given in to the allure of another ancients project… the flesh is weak! Spurred on by the release of Victrix’ Iberian infantry the Punic wars are a hot topic in our club, and I am the only one to have chosen the armies of Carthage.
I’ve picked up a box of Victrix Carthaginians, which will form the backbone of my collection, and I’ve added a number of extra command groups from Crusader Miniatures as well as cavalry from the latter. Of course I’ve also purchased the Hannibal foot and mounted model; the former will be converted into a Libyan captain of sorts. Let’s get on with this post and look at the first unit!
The middle base has a bog standard Crusader Miniatures command group, those on the left and right are Victrix plastics. As you can see the Vixtrix models are slightly taller and certainly more active looking, but otherwise they fit in fine.
I’ve painted these over a red undercoat – I was expecting to paint them with a lot more red, but eventually I used a lot more colours on these to keep them lively. As a definite first I’ve used plenty of pictorial reference material, mainly in the form of a couple of Ospreys I managed to pick up on the cheap!
Traditionally I’ve always gone for freehanded shield designs, but I think I’d go mad if I tried to replicate the shield designs you see above! So these are my first Little Big Men transfers, and I’m fairly happy with how they turned out. Things were a bit dicey when I applied black wash to the shield boss, as some of the wash decided to run underneath some imperceptible bubbles in the transfer, so I did have to go in with some paint to tidy up afterwards. Other than that, these transfers do make an average paintjob look smashing!
That’s it for now. Sorry for the long hiatus (more than a month, ouch), I don’t have as much free time as I used to and I prefer to spend it on painting instead of writing about painting. So I don’t know when the next update will follow, but rest assured – I haven’t forgotten this blog!
It’s quite a mouthful, that title, but there you have it. I’ve rekindled my interest in these models, God alone knows how I did it, and I’ve finally painted up another model for this project.
Even though I initially opted for a Skitarii army I’ve been looking at the Cult Mechanicus models as well. I’ve always found that an army needs a commander model, and as Skitarii have nothing of the sort I’ve gone for this chap here.
I’ve painted him up with the same processes as on the previous models, starting out with a silver undercoat spray from Army Painter.
The red robes and the terracotta armour plates were washed with purple before being layer highlighted – it was painstaking to paint some of the areas because of the buildup of the model. And I hate subassemblies.
One area I have never been good in is painting translucent objects, such as the fluid tanks on the back of this model. I’m only partly satisfied with this, not just with the technique but also with the choice of colour. I’ll leave it this way, though; can’t be arsed to start over again.
That’s that! I still have a long way to go before I can play any sort of representative game with these guys, so I’m slowly continuing on. Next up are a few more Skitarii Vanguard to round that unit out. Not sure when they’ll be finished though – I have lots of other things I want to get off the desk first. Thanks for reading!
I’m slowly but steadily filling up the random encounters table for Frostgrave, and it’s one I’m approaching rather piecemeal. There was a wraith in the main book, but now it seems there’s a further few ghostly types in the Lich King supplement – so I guess I’ll be using the model below fairly frequently!
I find these GW clampack character models to be fairly good – expensive but well detailed. This one was a bit tricky to put together, owing to the strange way in which it’s been cut up during development.
I worked from a white undercoat, of course, with the light colours I was aiming at. I then basecoated everything: gauss blaster green and baharroth blue for the robes, sybarite green for the bodice, flayed one flesh for the skin, celestra grey for the hair and silver for the metal.
Then, of course, a coelia greenshade wash over everything, followed by a drakenhof nightshade wash over the metal bits. Once dry I just reapplied all the base colours as a layer highlight.
Finally, I painted in the eyes and teeth with white. Super easy! I really like the way the palette came out, especially the cold flesh tone. Hope you like it too.
I have a few more updates coming soon, I just need to wrap my head around WordPress’s new publishing layout. I liked the old one much better, but then again I’m becoming an old grognard.
Busy holidays mean a few updates get postponed, you know how it goes. Still, here’s a few Frostgrave bits and pieces that were finished some weeks back. More to come soon!
When I wrote up my starter warband roster for Frostgrave I always came up with 10 points to spend, and warhounds are the only option in such a case. What’s more, they’re fast and not much less fighty than your average thug or thief. These official models for Frostgrave are definitely on the expensive side, but in this case I couldn’t resist.
I painted the model more or less identically to the ‘official’ paintjob; being a cat person, I have but the vaguest idea of how a dog’s supposed to look. All in all I’m rather satisfied with how he came out, and he’s already gobbled up some thugs in my most recent games. Good boy!
Then there’s this chap – I found him back in my rearmost bits boxes. I’d provided him with a paintjob that had over the years become somewhat dated, to put it very mildly, and I’ve updated him with new lick of paint. It’s become a fairly thick layer with all the different coats I’ve applied to him, but I like how he came out.
I’ve added a few things of my own, such as to provide a bit of woodgrain effect to the otherwise completely flat back of the shield. It’s a simple but effective model and generic enough to go with plenty of different warband styles I have planned out.
That’s it for now. I probably won’t be covering Frostgrave this year anymore, but it’s one of the games I foresee to be playing a lot in 2016, so stay tuned!