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!
It’s been a multifarious outpouring this year on the blog, hasn’t it? A couple of new historical projects were added, sci-fi and fantasy were revisited after a long break, and despite moving house and breaking my elbow I somehow managed to paint up a good number of models. One project was curiously absent, though – Vikings! After painting rank upon rank of Napoleonics, I recently felt the urge to paint up some more Northmen, and so here we are. These are both the first Vikings of 2015 and the last painted models I’ll be posting this year, so I hope you’ll enjoy them.
In spite of having enough Vikings already I couldn’t resist picking up these models at Crisis ’14. The fat warlord especially is a new favourite of mine.
I decided to base and paint these as per my original Saga warband, which I started working on around three years ago. Nostalgia is a powerful emotion! Since then I’ve painted many Vikings but I’ve mostly used much easier techniques – I hope you’ll notice I put some extra man hours into painting these up.
I’ve always been dissatisfied with my original berserker models, which were nothing more than overly-armoured plastic hirdmen with dane axes. Thus I have chosen to replace these with the models above. I have a difficult time picking my favourite out of these four, but I think the one named Gorm does it for me – that stripped-down tunic, the rags of which have been expertly sculpted around his waist, is a fantastic feature.
It’s a bit tricky not to overdo, but I felt compelled to add some blood effects to their weapons, as they are, after all, completely bonkers. All the more to set them apart on the tabletop, although that won’t do them any good in Saga at all!
That’s it for today! It’s Christmas, so I thought, why not grace you with a blog post full of pagans, eh? I have one more update for you this year, which is my big look-back-at-2015-and-look-forward-to-2016 list. Stay tuned for hints of what is to come, and Merry Christmas or Happy Yuletide – whatever floats your longboat!
Yet more Arabs were completed recently. These form part of my friend Kurt’s growing army, which was aimed at Saga but has already been seeing action in games of Sword & Spear. That’s the beauty of historical wargaming: the words “I’ll get just enough for a skirmish game” have barely escaped your mouth and then you end up with a hundred or more models. It’s happened to everybody! Anyway, on to the models.
I must confess I really like painting camels. It’s probably to do with the simplicity of the painting process – they already look the part with a single basecoat, wash and highlight all over!
As with the other models I’ve done these up with just washes, although I have used a few more freehand motifs to spice the models up just a tad more. The sculpts themselves are very clean, so these were a joy to work on.
This warlord on camel is fantastic as well. I’d be happy yelling at my troops from the comfort of a pillowy chair atop a smelly camel as well! The blue gemstone was painted in the age-old tradition of Eldar collectors and I think it came out rather well.
This marks the temporary end of all things camel-mounted in my painting queue. For the Arabs I’ve got some light javelin cavalry coming up as well as a few more foot soldiers – more on those next month.
Updates on the blog have been sparse these last weeks, but never fear! I’ve two more updates coming up for you this weekend, one more for the Crusades and one for Napoleonics. So check back soon!
So that’s them done. The last batch was a mixed bag in terms of painting techniques so they did take me a bit longer, but here they are:
The commissionaire wanted a Hashashin theme to his warband, so of course the Warlord had to be painted black. I couldn’t resist adding some of the signature orange colour to the palette, though, so his knife scabbard was picked out for it.
Speaking of assassin’s, here they are. The commissionaire wanted them to look undercover, so I painted them up as monks or knightly order brethren. A templar, a Jerusalemite, a hospitaller and a random warrior of outremer. You will note that I used the same blue as on the crusaders I painted for Kurt recently – I guess this ties the two forces together.
Thats that for the infantry – I heard the commissionaire has a 34-strong Seljuk cavalry he’d like me to tackle next, so we’ll see how that goes. In the meantime, I’ll be slaving away at more Prussians and, hopefully, some Late Romans as well. Until next time, dear readers!
It’s been ages since I’ve painted a Viking, so I thought I’d better do one before the year is out. Not just any random northman though… Warlord Games produce exactly one Dark Age model and it’s ace.
Of course, a good model can always be improved upon, so I swapped out the shield for a plastic one from Gripping Beast and added some arrows pilfered from a GW Skeleton Warrior set. Holes were drilled into the shield to receive the arrows, and I also took a few chunks out of the shield rim with a hobby knife. I think these modifications add to the ferocity of the model.
For the paintjob I worked from a black undercoat which was first drybrushed necron compound to bring out all the detail and get the chainmail squared away immediately. Some basecoat colours were immediately added: elysian green, zamesi desert and waaagh flesh for the tunic, trousers and cloak respectively.
Then the washes, of course. I used some Army Painter washes for the first time, soft tone and dark tone, and I’m mildly pleased with the outcome. The former won’t replace seraphim sepia as the tone is simply not rich enough for my tastes, but the latter sits somewhere inbetween agrax earthshade and nuln oil which complements my existing brace of washes well enough.
The rest of the model was done as you’d expect me to. I chose a red shield to contrast with the greens on the model itself, and freehanded a raven and a rune to show his allegiance to both Odin and Thor – because why bet on a single horse, right?
So there, that’s one more warlord for my burgeoning Viking army. I really need to double down and get some more lads painted up, but that’s for the new year.
That’s it for now! I’ll be having another piece up tomorrow in which I’ll feature a very small new project. Other than that: more Prussians on the desk, as well as some final (I hope) crusader commission models. Until next time!
Remember those ACW I was recently gifted? It turned out the previous owner Henk had a lot of unpainted Prussians, so I’m commission painting again to repay him for his generosity. Three 36-strong battalions to be done in total, and I’ve just finished half of the first unit. Let’s take a look.
First off, something about the models themselves: I’m really not 100% sold on these. While they’re fairly cheap they’re also not poseable in any way, and you get just three different sculpts for the basic infantry. This makes for some very predictable painting which, although it speeds things up, makes for a repetitive experience. Then again, the sculpts themselves are fairly characterful with some deep detailing, which makes picking out the belts and buttons easy. Warlord Games does do some extra blister packs with alternative models, command groups etc., but it’s not up to me to collect them in this case!
I painted these with – yet again – a guilliman blue undercoat to start off with, followed by blocking in ceramite white on the trousers, runefang steel on the metal and adeptus battlegrey on black areas. The entirety of the models was then washed nuln oil. Afterwards I blocked in the other areas and washed them as per usual. A special mention goes to the musket slings, these were painted squig orange, an interesting sort of pastel rust colour with uncharacteristically decent coverage properties.
These are meant for Waterloo purposes, so I slapped on some mud as per Henk’s request. I had a pot lying around of Citadel blackfire earth, one of their texture paints, which finally came in handy. I’m considering adding mud to my own French seeing as how they’re meant mostly for the Hundred Days as well.
That’s it for today, folks. I’m currently still working on Kurt’s last crusader spearmen, and I’ve got some Hospitallers on the workbench for my own self. That, and yet more output, will be featured soon on this very blog. Until then!
As promised, here is the second blog update for today. A short while back I showed off the first eight Jomsviking mercenaries for my Viking army, and I’m happy to report that the rest are done, including their battle leader. They’ve even had a first outing in a game of Hail Caesar last Tuesday, and they more or less wiped the floor with most of their opposition. Good stuff!
Whilst painting these units was a blast, assembling them was rather the opposite. I don’t know why Musketeer/Gripping Beast still insists on having modelers drill out the models’ hands to get the weapons in. It’s 2014 and plenty of companies either cast their hands open or on the weapons – I’m not saying GB doesn’t do this on some of their models , but I’d really like it if they would do all of their future models that way as well. Despite this, these Jomsvikings are fantastic sculpts, so it’s a minor gripe.
I only managed to snatch up twelve Baltic-looking armoured vikings at Crisis 2013, so to top up the unit to sixteen (a standard unit in our Dark Age games of Hail Caesar) I’ve dragged in some loose models from my lead pile. I made good use of the rectangular shields I had lying around from last year’s Jomsviking commission to tie in these ‘ordinary’ vikings with their ‘official’ brethren. The one on the right in the picture above still needs a flag or totem on his spear, though – I just haven’t come across the right bit yet.
I’ve painted this guy before for my friend Kurt’s Jomsviking warband, and I definitely wanted to get him for my own collection. I really, really like this sculpt, you see.
So there’s the entire deal – a standard-sized Viking Mercenary unit for Hail Caesar including their own commander, or a Warlord and four points of Hearthguards for Saga purposes. Yet another part of my large Viking collection – if I’m not mistaken I’ve 217 painted models – is thus completed. Now it’s on to more Northumbrian subjects!