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Skellingtons!


Will Vale
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Hi folks,

 

After finishing off another project after Christmas, I built a box of skeletons as light relief. I've got 5 skeletal horse and 10 with spear, plus a big monster (Mortarch) which isn't quite cleaned up yet as it's so complicated.

 

I finally got some primer on the foot troops at the start of the week and have been busily painting them:

 

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I'm being good and working in a batch of ten, but I only took pictures of half of them as I hadn't blacked out the metals on the rest.

 

39947468292_9e581c2d87_b.jpg

 

They're relatively old models and I got them as part of the Start Collecting: Deathrattle box at a bargain price. The main problems are cleaning them up (you can see I missed a few mould lines) and the small gluing cups for the shoulders. The other joints are fine. I guess they also suffer from being pre-Age of Sigmar so are designed to rank up on 25mm square bases, which means all the legs are marching in step. I've tried to get some variety with the spear positions and such, and obviously GW give you a lot of choice of heads, arms, shields etc. which helps too.

 

The bone is Tamiya Olive Green sprayed from below and Deck Tan from above, over black primer. I dryrbrushed them fairly heavily with Ushabti Bone and a little Flayed One Flesh on the high points, then cleaned up the dust with a soft brush. Once that was all done I misted on Tamiya Clear Orange from above to warm up the top surfaces and complete the hue shift from green.

 

I also added a few edge/face highlights on the skull, shoulderblades and spine with Pallid Wych Flesh and touched in the teeth (too clean still!) with White Scar. I also used a bit of Agrax Earthshade to outline the spine and warm up some spaces like between the ribs and in the backs of the knees.

 

39947466152_4c78f64b28_b.jpg

 

All the other stuff is still in progress, the red is Khorne Red with Agrax Earthshade, and the spear shafts are a weird combo of Celestra Grey, thinned Baneblade Brown to warm it up, and a heavy Nuln Oil wash. IIRC the leather bits are Steel Legion Drab shaded with Agrax again. I got about half-way through highlighting the red last night but my hand was cramping so had to stop. I'll get some more pics of that in a bit as it looks a lot more exciting than the above.

 

Cheers,

 

Will

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3 hours ago, bhouse said:

I hope you've called one of them "Wellington" :call:

Heheh. That might offend Boney...

 

I did the red bits last night/this morning:

 

39096170965_69927aa376_b.jpg

 

They're Khorne Red with a heavy Agrax Earthshade Wash. Then I highlighted with glazes of Evil Sunz Scarlet thinned with a water/flow improver mix. This looks really patchy and bright when it's wet but much better when dry. To smooth the edges I went back and glazed the mid-tones with a Khorne Red/flow improver mix, covering the edges of the scarlet and quite a lot of the shaded areas as well.

 

Lastly I added some edge highlights with Wild Rider Red and blended with the scarlet. I think I might add a few more bright edge highlights with a light orange though?

 

28215035239_8f06b59dc4_b.jpg

 

I went to block in the bases so I could see what they looked like and picked a lighter brown. I quite like the contrast between the warm sandy base and the green bone, so I'm currently doubting my plan to put them in a green environment. Maybe mossy tundra would still be a good idea, or desert with succulents?

 

Cheers,

 

Will

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After a bit of soul searching I remembered that what I really want is Padley Gorge skeletons in a mossy forest because I miss being near it. I think the desert would be easier but I want to give it a go. I also tried holding a skeleton up in front of Old Father Elm's base, which has some autumnal features and I thought it looked OK :)

 

To start with I've darkened the bases with a heavy wash of Agrax Earthshade, with Athonian Camoshade in the low areas. The rocks and a few small stones were picked out with Mechanicus Standard Grey and then I drybrushed everything with Zandri Dust and a little Flayed One Flesh. The rocks had another layer of drybrushing with Celestra Grey and Abaddon Black to knock them back a bit, and I added lichen with sponged Iyanden Darksun + Dorn Yellow, and Ogryn Camo + Death World Forest for the greeny patches. I thought the lichen was a bit srong so I sponged over with Mechanicus Standard Grey to make it more patchy.

 

The base edges are Steel Legion Drab which helps bring out the cool greens in the bone.

 

40016951991_3928dfba2b_b.jpg

 

I've also given the reds another, finer highlight with Lugganath Orange, trimmed back with the Evil Sunz Scarlet. In theory this should make the reds less intense, but I think maybe the bright highlight helps the rest recede and look richer? Plus it's terribly fashionable...

 

40016953531_d2a2d3311f_b.jpg

 

I need to finish that stage on the "command group" skeletons, and then do something about the leather which is now pretty dull by comparison. Also wondering about adding a yellow-green glow to the eyes, which would tie them into the ghosts I painted before, but it might be naff.

 

Cheers,

 

Will

 

 

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Thanks Clive!

 

I've finished the red across all ten now, and done a bit of work on the leather to try and make it a bit more contrasty and interesting:

 

39336394074_c45283e8fe_b.jpg

 

I'm not sure what to put on the banner - a skull would be traditional but maybe overkill. Spooky castle? Moon? Hot vampire lady? Remember these have to be filtered through my limited freehand skillz...

 

39336387214_dcd14809b3_b.jpg

 

Cheers,

 

Will

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Advancing in step is a good thing here, suggesting that they're under someone/thing's supernatural control.  Much spookier.  I think I would have put them in a diorama, advancing relentlessly on their way to slaughter the (orthodoxly)* living, perhaps with a wicked shaman or wizard behind in some sort of chariot.  Or else go full Chinese Ghost Story with a heretic Daoist priest/Tibetan Buddhist monk cloud riding above.

 

The banner?  Runes!  Or 'death' in Chinese characters?  Or plain red looks good to me...

 

*for the benefit of (other?) undead snowflakes reading this.  Well, you never know...

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21 minutes ago, Chillidragon said:

Or 'death' in Chinese characters?

Nope; bad idea.  I can't find an online dictionary for older forms of the script, and modern Full Form Mandarin looks too...  Modern.  I should have bought a dictionary when one was available.

 

Go with red!  Or black?  Or red edged with charred black!

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Thanks for the suggestions, I ended up doing something a bit different with a sort of burning eye sigil. I wanted something symmetrical so it was clear how the design fitted on the banner before it was damaged.

 

25196977657_c3236a9093_b.jpg

 

Painted in thinned black and white and then blocked in. I used pure white for the flame and then glazed it with the GW yellow and green glaze paints (and a little Thraka Green wash) to provide the colours. That way it should match the look of my Spirit Hosts.

 

Varnish time next.

 

Cheers,

 

Will

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  • 4 weeks later...

I had rather a fallow month for various reasons, but I've finally managed to do some more on these. The bases have had some scatter, moss, tufts, Kamizukuri leaves etc. and everything's been matt-varnished. I then added a couple of layers of glaze medium in the flat spots, tinted with Agrax Earthshade:

 

40547721441_76706283f9_b.jpg

 

I've also started blocking in the metallics but there's quite a lot of work left there:

 

39652250755_11d7cc15e2_b.jpg

 

Still, modelling happened!

 

Will

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Thanks folks!

And now they're done - see the RFI thread here:


www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235034796-skeleton-spearmen/

 

The last bits were the metals - I used Citadel metallics with their washes to dull them down, and some small bright highlights from Vallejo Liquid Metal paints. These last are a bit tricky to use on account of the fast dry time and the alcohol base, but they're amazingly shiny so worth a try.

 

40585746852_ac5eceac00_b.jpg

 

Cheers,

 

Will

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