Sunday, 12 January 2014

Summoned from the depths

For centuries they have lain in the dark, forgotten, overlooked. They have rested, undisturbed, while savage, bearded warriors have rampaged in the northern realms, while orcs have gathered, grown in number, raiding and pillaging unchecked. But now they have arisen from their slumber, their number is great, their purpose unknown. 

It may sound a bit like your average pulp fantasy nonsense, but it is, in fact, the story of my skeletons. They have lain in a box on the top of the cupboard for a good few years (I think I assembled them in 2010). I had always intended them to be the core of my Vampire Counts army, but when I finally got that started I had a block on how to paint them and painted a regiment of zombies, then ghouls, then grave guard. In the past year I have painted Chaos marauders, Saga vikings and Orcs for Lord of the Rings. The skeletons have been on my to do list for a long time.

Over the xmas holidays I have had a break from painting, a good two or three weeks in which I have tinkered with a few bits here and there, but never really felt like taking on a major job like this. On the gaming front I have enjoyed a few games of Saga, a game of Warhammer Waterloo and a couple of dry runs of Mayhem. I have also been looking online at various blogs and forums, finding myself more and more intrigued by Chain of Command and World War 2 in general. So my mind has been flitting from one thing to another, like many a wargamer I suspect.

It was when I was writing my review of the year that I realised how much I enjoyed painting fantasy figures, even though I rarely game with them at the moment. The grave guard regiment and varghulf were the highlights of 2013, so I took down the box of unpainted undead and rummaged through, made a few shield swaps and then pondered. And pondered some more. And then put them back again. I couldn't face a large regiment, so I had a think about a single character. I decided I would drag myself out of the doldrums by entering the Warhammer Forum painting challenge. This month the theme is black and white, and I had always intended to paint up three female vampires - one red, one white and one black. A white skinned vampire in black armour would fit the bill perfectly, and easily achievable in the next few weeks. So I assembled the second of my "brides" - if you are wondering about the first bride, she can be found, started then neglected, in this post. As I was filing and glueing, I thought about where on the battlefield she would be positioned. I often think of characters in tandem with units, and decided that the black bride would have her very own bodyguard of black armoured warriors. Not very good warriors it has to be said, but that's the way it is with brainless corpses! And so the box was dragged down from the top of the cupboard once more, only this time with purpose and conviction.

The skeletons have been primed white, the bones glazed with a brown-grey mix (made from horse dun, dark grey and horse brown). A second glaze with raw umber has been used to pick out the shadows and details. The next step is tedious indeed, painting all the metal and robe areas. I will alternate this boredom with work on the vampire bride, an hour on the skeletons earning an hour's reward on the vampire, that kind of thing. I am pretty confident she will be striding forth into the light by month's end, with her bodyguard hopefully not too far behind. What I will do with them once they are finished is another matter, but for the time being I am just pleased to have my painting mojo back.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...