Tuesday 30 July 2019

Two more Victrix vikings

Two more vikings from the plastic set painted up, just 55 left to do!

I painted these up quite quickly, I didn't want to labour over every detail like I  do with the V&V miniatures. Although I did add a simple trim design to the tunic/shirt of the bald headed figure. The shields are transfers.

I feel that unarmoured vikings are sorely lacking in the vast numbers of viking minis available, so it's good to finally find some that are both cheap to buy and that look good when you put them together.

Thursday 25 July 2019

Return to Grimdal's Tomb part 2

A horn blast startled the rangers into readiness. They took up positions on the edge of the Oakenwood, peering across the dark glade. Slowly, their enemy hobbled into view. Zombies fell to the ground as crossbow bolts thudded into them. More zombies trailed alongside them, a wall of rotting flesh. Skeletons creaked forward, and wights seemingly floated across the ground, heading straight for the tomb. Behind them, the dark robed necromancer urged them on.

A cheer went up on the dwarf left flank, as slayers charged down from the foothills and made straight for the tomb. The dwarfs cheered even louder as a gyrocopter swept over the treetops. It flew straight over the zombie wall then a brief flash and an explosion rocked the night. Bones shattered and the necromancer stumbled to his knees, the whole Undead army faltered.

The dark robed figure gripped his staff and pulled himself up. Despite his wound, he was able to conjure a chill wind, the blast directed up into the sky at the hovering dwarf contraption. There was an audible crackling noise as the whole machine was covered in freezing ice crystals. The rotor stuttered, the pilot cried out and it careered to the ground. The foul undead creatures shambled forward once more.

Zombies were continually pierced by bolts and fell to the ground, but then rose again under the influence of foul magic. The slayers found their route to the tomb blocked by shambling corpse soldiers. Skeletons swarmed over the downed gyrocopter. Wights silently floated toward the tomb, just as the door creaked open. From that ancient portal, a hulking figure lumbered out, wading into the spectral warriors. The ogre hacked and slashed at the eerie robed figures, one dissipated to nothing as his cleaver struck, but their chill weapons pierced his flabby bulk. The ogre retreated back into the tomb, bellowing in rage. The wights hovered by the tomb door, awaiting a command.

The downed gyrocopter pilot furiously tapped on dials and hammered on levers with one hand, swinging his axe at the skeletons with his other. Somehow he had survived the short descent of his machine to the ground. Even more miraculously, with a juddering wheeze, it suddenly started back into life, the rotor spinning once more. The dwarf gyrocopter swayed back into the air again, skeletons scattered beneath it. With steely determination, the pilot aimed once more at the dark robed figure and tossed a bomb straight at him. The bomb rolled right up to the feet of the figure, then lay there. There was no flash, no explosion this time. The icy blast must have rendered the bomb useless!

Dwarf rangers finally threw down their crossbows and hefted their huge axes. They charged toward the zombies, determined to sweep them away and carve a route through to the dark robed necromancer. Slayers joined them. At the tomb door, there was a frightful noise, as a pack of gibbering, howling gobghouls emerged from the darkness and threw themselves at the wights. This attack was surprisingly vicious, the wights fell back under the onslaught of rusty blades and scabrous claws.

As the zombie lines thinned, the dwarfs crept ever closer to the necromancer and his depleted bodyguard. For the first time, he stepped back, hesitating. A glance over to the tomb told him that his wight servants had failed. A faint glow in the east heralded the new dawn. The darkness would soon be gone. The grating sound of a huge rock door closing signalled the end of the battle.

The robed figure took one last, wistful look at Grimdal's Tomb, then melted away once more. The foul undead plodded after him. As the pink tinge of dawn intensified, dazed dwarfs stumbled over corpses, discovering fallen comrades among the rotted dead. Many had given their lives to protect the ancient tomb, and yet had it all been for nothing? The sacred site had long ago been defiled and infested by other dark creatures. The survivors solemnly began the grim task of gathering their dead for the long trek back home.

Monday 22 July 2019

Return to Grimdal's Tomb part 1

Long ago, there was a great battle at Grimdal's Tomb, between the dwarfs and a race of men, now long forgotten. The men came seeking dwarf treasure that was rumoured to lie in an ancient burial mound; the dwarfs came to protect their ancestor's resting place.

Grimdal's Tomb lies beyond the eastern fringes of the Oakenwood, roughly half way between Oakenheim and the abandoned hold of Helheim. As a sacred dwarf monument, it is not usually marked on maps, lest any treasure hunters or other undesirables should attempt to visit. Dwarfs far away from home, notably rangers and wandering slayers, often visit the site to pay their respects. It was during one such visit that they first discovered another at the site, a dark robed figure poking around under cover of the night sky, who melted away into the shadows when challenged. Alarmed at this intrusion, the dwarfs doubled their patrol of the area, and sure enough, a few nights later, the dark robed stranger was back, but this time he was not alone.

I first discovered Grimdal's Tomb back in 1992, in White Dwarf issue number 153. I had bought the magazine to further investigate the "new" Warhammer Fantasy Battle game - in reality it was the fourth edition, but it was all new to me as an occasional player of Heroquest.

Grimdal's Tomb was the setting for a battle report between Dwarfs and Bretonnians, with a slight twist. Both sides were trying to get into the tomb, thought neither knew that they would also have to contend with the tomb guardians - a troll and a handful of skeletons.

I adapted completely stole this idea for a battle, though I would be using the Erehwon rules. Dwarf rangers and slayers would join forces to face the intruders, with support from the newly painted gyrocopter. It was also a chance for me to play a first battle with the Undead in this system. A necromancer, leading two units of zombies, skeletons and wights, would be attempting to break into the tomb. And the tomb guardians? A hulking ogre and a pack of ghouls would randomly turn up to attack whichever unit was nearest to the tomb entrance.

As the gloom of night descended on the trees, the rangers settled in for a long wait. Accustomed to the darkness of their underground homes, they could easily see across the clearing to the stone monument of the sacred tomb. Hours ticked by, and it seemed that it would be another fruitless vigil, when a chill descended on the glade. Snorri drew his cloak around him, and lighting his pipe was surprised to see his breath in the night air. It was mid summer, yet suddenly as cold as a mountain peak. Furtive movement across the clearing caught his eye. He nudged his companion to be ready to give the signal. The dark robed intruder had returned to Grimdal's Tomb.

Wednesday 10 July 2019


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.
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