Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Skeletons

This unit popped up from nowhere, almost. I have had the skeletons assembled for a good while, but no real desire to paint them. But then I suddenly found that I had two commission jobs for Undead, so I grabbed these as a practise session, just to get the feel for a bone palette again.

It was also an opportunity to practise speed painting. I set myself the task of painting 30 minutes each day on them, the first few sessions I documented on my facebook page. In the end, it took nine sessions to paint and base them, so that's 22 minutes per model. They are not technically difficult to paint, but still I think that's a fairly good pace. You could say a rattling good pace....if you like corny puns. Which I do not, obviously.

These will be added to my Undead collection, which is starting to "flesh out" quite nicely. Alongside these skeletons, I have two units of zombies, a unit of ghouls, a necromancer, wights/elite skeletons, a few spirits and the Lord of Bleak Fell. That's just about enough for games of Saga and Erewhon.

Monday, 24 June 2019

A trio of Victrix Vikings painted

I finally managed to get some paint on to the Victrix vikings. They paint up really nicely, the details are nice and sharp. Just three armoured figures to start with as a tester. The shields are a mix of transfers and free hand. I will be moving on to some unarmoured figures, hopefully in the near future.

I have decided to try my luck with these on ebay, if you are interested then here's a link to my auctions.



Friday, 14 June 2019

Victrix Vikings as fantasy figures

Following on from the previous post, a review of the new Victrix vikings, I thought that some gamers might be interested in seeing how the new figures compare with some fantasy figures. Clearly, the scale is nearer to 28mm or 30mm than some of the bigger fantasy offerings, which makes them a good match to systems like Lord of the Rings.


From this first photo you can see that they are a very good match to plastic uruk hai, while the Gondorian looks small featured. Bear in mind the slight difference made by the different bases.


In the second photo, the Mordor orc (left) looks quite a bit smaller, while the Morannon orc (right) is a far closer match in height and head size.


In this final photo, the vikings are up against Oathmark goblins, which are plastic and scale well with Mordor orcs. The vikings are slightly taller, though the goblins do have hunched over poses - they are fairly similar in height if you look to the shoulders.

Hopefully that will be useful to some players. Perhaps they could be used as wildmen of Dunland, or the armoured figures used as Rohan or Dunlendings? And of course, they could also be used in any of the many games rules available these days, such as Frostgrave, Erewhon and others.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Victrix Vikings Review

I have been waiting for these figures to release since the day they were first announced about a year ago. I pre-ordered a set a few weeks back, and now here they are. More details on the contents are on the Victrix website, these are my thoughts.


The figures arrive in a plastic bag with a card stapled along the top. On the back of the card are some basic instructions, which bodies are compatible with which heads, that kind of thing. As you can see, I also ordered a couple of sets of transfers and received a free flag for pre-ordering.


The warrior sprue, containing eight figures, with lots of head and weapon options and other bits. There are six of these per pack, making 48 figures.


The command sprue, containing eight figures, again with lots of options to play with. There are two of these sprues per pack, another twelve figures. In total, sixty vikings per pack - enough to man a longboat!


I assembled four figures and glued them to coins, as I do with all my figures. Note that there are no bases included in the pack. The photo is filtered to better show the details. And now some comparison photos with other vikings I own. I do not have any plastics to compare with, as to date I have never seen any that I thought were good figures to collect. These comparisons are therefore the Victrix plastics against metal and resin figures - worth bearing in mind when you see them side by side.

From the command sprue, Victrix on left, V&V (resin) on right

Standard sprue, Victrix and V&V (resin)

Standard sprue, Victrix and V&V (resin)

Victrix and Drabant Miniatures (metal)

I tried to build the Victrix Miniatures to match the poses of the comparison miniature as best I could. In each case, it's a simple matter of attaching two arms and a head to a body. I also added knives and scabbards as appropriate. In one case I trimmed the neck down a little as it looked too long to my eye. I also had to remove a sword hilt from the scabbard to make it empty. Other than that, they were very easy to put together and mould lines were easy to clean.

I am impressed with the level of detail and the quality of the sculpt, the proportions are very good. In terms of plastics, there are no others around that come anywhere close to this quality. I reckon they come very close to the metal figure in the last comparison picture - once painted, it will be hard to separate the two. The resin figures have a slight edge in terms of detail and sculpt, though of course the plastics are far cheaper and have more adaptability. 

If you are in the market for vikings, you cannot really go wrong with the Victrix vikings. At £38 plus postage for sixty figures, they are a complete bargain. Even factoring in extra spending on bases and sheild transfers, they are well under a pound a figure. With all the options available on the sprue, you should easily be able to ensure there is no duplication in your collection. 

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Mierce Miniatures Troll

There are so many trolls available to the gamer, from grimdark to goofy, from man sized to gargantuan. I have quite a few in various armies, some Warhammer examples, some Reaper, some Lord of the Rings figures, even some ForgeWorld. They are all joined by this absolute beast from Mierce Miniatures, and it's probably the best troll in my collection.

Aesthetically, it's at the "realistic" end of the scale - and that's in quotes for an obvious reason. What I mean is that the proportions are real, the details are fine and lifelike, the sculpting is top notch. If you like realism in your figures, I cannot think of a better range to collect than these figures.

Figures? Well yes, there's only one at the moment, but there's another two underway and a handful prepped. And there are many, many more on the Mierce Miniatures website. I bought them years ago because I was wowed by them when they were first released. I thought I might use them in a chaos Warhammer army, but since then things have changed. I now play other games, and have started to develop my own setting for my collection, so I can use these beasts standalone, as a force by themselves. The beasts of Trollberg are born!


Wednesday, 22 May 2019

My first fantasy map

It's finally finished, my first fantasy map. Now the dwarfs of Oakenheim have a home, along with those pesky Red Hills goblins, the Lord of Bleak Fell and his Undead followers, the witches of WychenWood, and the rest.

For years I have been quite happy to play my games in pre-established universes, mostly in the Old World of Warhammer, or the villages of dark ages Europe. But recently I have been more and more interested in gathering together these fantasy and real world collections into one setting. One world in which dwarfs can fight goblins in classic fantasy style, and vikings can raid Saxons in classic historical style, but there's also scope for trolls raiding viking settlements, Saxons fighting off Undead - a world to include all my miniatures in one big happy collection. It's a map drawn with the dwarfs and vikings firmly in the centre of everything - they have been my main preoccupation over the past couple of years. The areas on the edges of the map, or indeed off the map, represent those figures in my collection that are furthest from being painted.

The basics of how I got started in this endeavour I have already covered in this post. In essence, it's been a process of drawing and refining in pencil, then going over it all using fineliner marker pens. I am quite happy with the end result. The overall layout and the features I am pleased with, the lettering was always going to be the most challenging and that proved to be the case, that is the weakest point in my eyes. But for a first attempt I am happy with how it turned out.
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