Sunday, 24 May 2015

Undead Vikings Painted

I managed to get the first batch of shambling Nordic revenants painted up fairly quickly. Most of these are simply mantic zombies and ghouls, with just a few viking bits to add flavour. Future batches will contain more historical bits, so in the end they will look more viking like than this lot.

There's 13 figures here, enough for a unit in either Lion Rampant or Saga. I see them as lowly fighters, the equivalent of bondi or even levy troops. I am hoping to double their number, and also add some more elite troops.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

How to paint zombie flesh

When it came to painting the viking undead, I had a search around for a palette. I wanted something greenish, to contrast with the red tones of the clothing and shields. I used this image as a starting point.

The zombies were primed white and then I glazed with a grey and red, to give an undercolour of shade. The rest of the steps I have shown below. Each colour is thinned and matt medium added to add transluceny.

Step 1 : Glaze grey and chestnut

Step 2 : Glaze dead flesh 

Step 3 : Glaze camouflage green

Step 4 : Shade darker green, round eyes, mouth, lining

Step 5 : Purple line under eyes, in mouth, stippled on feet and some hands

Step 6 : Dark red for blood on gums, sores, hands

In the last picture I have also picked out the eyeballs and teeth with a very light grey (white is far too bright for eyes and teeth). Once the rags and weapons are painted I added more shading to feet and hands and splashed on some gore.  

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Warg Riders

Lion Rampant formation
I finally finished painting the warg riders. There's eight in total, though as they are mostly metal only six are unique. That's fine for Lion Rampant, when playing Saga there will be a couple of duplicates. I must dig out (or invent) a battle board and get some games with them.

When it came to the palette, I was struck by how much the beasts looked like hyenas rather than wolves. A quick google and I was sold on the pale brown fur. The muzzles are grey for a little contrast. The riders are pretty drab, to match in with my Mordor and Isengard collection. Another unit crossed off my painting list, a satisfying feeling. I have quite a large force of orcs now, so I need to switch my efforts to the good guys for a while - either paint more Rohan or Dwarfs.

Saga formation

Thursday, 14 May 2015

V&V Viking Berserkers

Another glimpse of a set of lovely sculpts by V&V Miniatures, courtesy of the Beasts of War news site. Again, these are described as resin casts, available only from Russian supplier Hobby Bunker. This makes them quite hard to acquire, but if they continue to release sculpts like this I may well take the plunge. One more set and it may be worth paying the postage supplement.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Tweaking Lion Rampant

Bold deployment by Clifford, a ragged approach by rookie di Pollo
More games of Lion Rampant. After last week's outing in the dungeon, this week it was a return to the more compact dining room table. Eagle eyed viewers will note the newly constructed pathways and village area on my wargaming blanket. Lord Clifford and his men, buoyed by their victory against the Normans, marched on to Italy to try their luck against the condottiere Stephano di Pollo. I'm not sure if that was his actual name, but that's what Clifford's men called him.

For these games we decided to add a simple house rule. Each general received the Commanding trait, allowing them one reroll per turn on a failed activation. Hopefully this would remove the sometimes wildly random failures that can frustrate, annoy or even ruin an evening's entertainment. The generals also gained one other trait. Clifford was strong (of course, though he forgot about it in the heat of battle). Stephano was insipid, his men would not receive +1 courage for his presence. After seeing his performance on the battlefield, it was easy to see why!

In long grass, even lowly bidowers are a match for men at arms
In the first scenario the two forces vied for control of a strategically important village, nominally fighting over the stone cross on the outskirts. After a promising early start in which Stephano's men boldly siezed the objective, they came under withering arrow fire and were forced to retire. From their advantageous central point, Clifford's archers were able to pour arrows into any advancing force. Stephano pleaded with his men to hold fast, but his insipid cries were lost in the din of battle, as his troops clanked past him to the rear. The extra 1 on the courage roll could have saved at least one of these units, and rolling a double 1 never helps either. Stephano and his remaining men retreated to the nearest trattoria.

For the second scenario we chose another simple game, bloodfeud, which is basically a kill the enemy general scenario. Stephano declined to hunt down his tormentor Clifford, so it was up to me to hunt down the enemy. This turned out to be easier than anticipated. The enemy general mounted on cavalry suffers from wild charge, so it was relatively straight forward to march my expert billmen towards him, shout insults, receive the charge and dispatch the dog (or should that be chicken).

Two games in two hours, a couple of beers, a few laughs (and for the loser, a cup of lukewarm tea). What more could you ask for on a Friday night?

Friday, 8 May 2015

V&V Vikings

I spotted this on one of the news sites. These are resin figures by an unknown (to me) company, V&V Miniatures. What an absolutely lovely set of sculpts. These are described as resin figures, what kind of resin is unclear, but they certainly look to be good quality castings. If only they were available in the UK. Perhaps one of the distributors will pick them up. That would help to boost sales I would imagine, maybe allowing the company to expand and produce even more sculpts. I reckon these would fit in very nicely with my Drabant vikings, just have to hope that, like their ancestors, they make it across to English soil.