Thursday, 29 December 2016

The Progress of 2016 - a summary of my army collecting and painting efforts

For 2016 I had set out to collect, assemble, and paint one of every unit entry listing for the Undead list in the Kings of War rulebook. Once that was done, I felt I was free to move on to refreshing my ancient Orc and Goblin collection for use in Kings of War, too.

So how did I do with the Undead? Read on, dear friend, read on.....

Skeleton Warriors - check
Original GW Skeleton Army/Skeleton Horde plastic boxed sets. Painted originally in the 1980s/1990s using a green/yellow/brown ink mix over white base coat, highlighted with Bleached Bone. Pretty sure I got the ink mix wrong as they look a bit too yellowy-greeny for my tastes. But in the interests of playing with painted minis, I chose not to revisit them and instead focus on painting up new units. I'd also put aside a set of shields for these guys, but never got around to painting and adding them.

Skeleton Spearmen - check
More original GW plastics, with some modern Wargames Factory plastics added in. My old skeletons I sprayed over with Army Painter Skeleton Bone at the same time as I basecoated the Wargames Factory ones. Then they all got a dip. Standard bearer is a 1980s GW lead figure. The leader is the spearman from the 1980s GW Skeleton War Machines boxed set, meant as a rider in that chariot.

Skeleton Archers - check
More original GW plastics, with some Black Tree Designs lead archers added in. As per the spearmen, they all got sprayed with Army Painted Skeleton Bone and dipped.

Ghouls - check
I really liked the Paul Muller 90s lead ghouls from GW, although I never had any at the time. So I bought a few up this year off the Oldhammer Trading Company Facebook group. Then also grabbed the GW Night Horror ghoul from the 1980s while buying a job lot of old GW lead zombies. Which also included some even older GW lead ghouls from the 1980s. So they all got a fresh spray of white, a purple ink wash, a mauve purple drybrush and a white drybrush. I've since bought the metal ghouls from Heresy Miniatures, also sculpted by Paul Muller, to add to the tribe at a later date.

Soul Reaver Infantry - fail
Bought this year (or maybe even last year?), assembled in the last week or so. But not painted, and likely won't be before 2016 finishes. They're Privateer Press Skorne Karax that were on clearance when the metal kits were replaced with plastic versions.

Revenants - partial
Got my old 1980s GW Nightmare Legion all painted up. They'd been primed for about 20 years. I'd previously painted up the leader back in the 1980s, so he looks a little out of place. But again, I've been prioritising painting new things over repainting old things.

I also bought a bunch more of the Nightmare Legion troopers with the idea of converting them into shieldless two-handed weapon wielders for the alternate Revenant configuration option from the list. Plus I bought a bunch of ancient Skaven swords from the 1980s Warhammer Fantasy Regiments boxed set to use as the halberd heads. So collected, but not assembled or painted.

Soul Reaver Cavalry - check
Bare minimum for a troop (well technically three is the absolute minimum, but that looks way too empty). The leader is a lead Mithril Miniatures Witch King of Angmar from the 1980s (with a plastic Wargames Factory skeleton sword to replace the mace I'd lost). He had a very ordinary paint job that I did back then, which I had always hated. So I broke my rule and stripped and repainted him. The other three are more modern plastic GW Morgul Knights. I have four more Morgul Knights assembled but unpainted that I can add to the unit at a later date; two metal and two plastic.

Revenant Cavalry - fail
More plastics I had from the GW Skeleton Army boxed set of the 1980s, with a few extras from when they released just the cavalry as a set of three in the 1990s. Pretty sure they've been using these horses all the way through the decades into the Tomb Kings models of recent years. Assembled, undearcoated, but not painted. These might just squeak through getting painted this year if I put them at the front of the queue.

Wraiths - check
I started with one 1980s GW Night Horror wraith that I've had for decades. Added a few modern Black Tree Designs metal wraiths and spectres to make a troop. Then have been buying more Night Horror wraiths, spectres etc over the year and adding them in, too. I now have enough for a regiment. I went with a very monotone black/grey scheme for them to fit with my idea of how otherworldly spirits might appear as they bleed through into the real world. I ended up regretting that on a few of the old ones I collected this tear as they had so much detail it was a shame to basically wash it out.

Mummies - check
Started with one old GW Night Horror again. Added a few more from some Oldhammer Trading Company purchases. Picked up the metal mummies from Reaper new that fit the aesthetic, plus a metal from Ral Partha Europe. Then kept stumbling on more Night Horror mummies in the Oldhammer Trading Company until I ended up with a regiment's worth.

Zombies - check
I started with a few of Kev Adam's famous C18 zombies (GW 1980s again) from when I was a kid. Sometime in the 1990s I had added a GW plastic boxed set to the collection, and somewhere between I'd grabbed some metal Alternate Armies and Harlequin zombies. A few paint jobs are from my 1980s days (like the lone Essex on the right, second row. Messy Bob Olley sculpt that I'd just sort of splattered paint onto as a kid. Fun fact: two Essex zombies were some of the first miniatures I ever bought, from Napoleon's Military Bookshop on a trip to Sydney in the 1980s). I started with a Regiment worth, but then upped it to a Horde fairly quickly. I have bought some Kickstarter non-human zombies, plus some more C18s over this year, with the aim of getting it to a full Legion. The leader is a not-Evil-Ash from Army of Darkness from a small Oldhammer project around the end of 2015 that I only just recently painted up. Banner is 100% hand drawn and painted this year. Zombie dogs are from the board game Zombicide.

Zombie Trolls - check
Speaking of Zombicide, these are Abominations from the first three seasons of the board game. I mounted them on some 40mm bases and off they go. Another quick and dirty paint job: base colours and a dip.

Werewolves - check
These are the metal zombie werewolves from Reaper. I really liked them so bought them in place of regular living werewolves. There is no such thing as zombie werewolves in Kings of War, so they just represent regular werewolves. Yet another base and dip paint job.

Wights - check
Reaper again, this time Bones though. My Friendly Local Games Store, Jolt Games, had an ever rotating display of Bones so I just picked through each time I went in and grabbed the cool looking undead. Then there was the modern GW plastic Wight King being sold off second hand on a local trade group so I added him in. These were primed black using a cheap spray from Bunnings. Bad idea for Bones. Worked beautifully on the GW plastic, but the Bones went tacky and stayed that way even though subsequent coats of regular paint. Which was mostly just a silver drybrush and green on the cloth bits. The heads were 1980s GW Bilious Green paint (still good!) with a wash and some highlights, and then a little green ink around the sockets as a poor OSL effect.

Balefire Catapult - check
Known in GW parlance as a Screaming Skull Catapult or Skullchucker. One of these I had since the 1980s from the GW Skeleton War Machines boxed set. The second was bought this year. A third was also purchased this year and sits unassembled in a drawer.

Revenant King - partial
Another bad 1980s paint job I chose to leave unaltered, he is one of the command figures from the Nightmare Legion. Only giving myself a partial on this as I have not done a mounted option.

Revenant King on Undead Wyrm - partial
My favourite GW/Ral Partha zombie dragon from the 1980s that I never owned back then, still available from Ral Partha Europe. Bought and painted this year, with a metal rider from my favourite mounted Wight figure from GW from the 2000s. Only giving myself a partial because I do not have a non-winged option.

Undead Army Standard Bearer - check
The banner on the mounted guy I sketched and hand painted circa 1990, but I went back and added some detail this year, most of which is washed out in this photo. The bearer himself I converted and assembled also circa 1990, but he only got painted this year. The foot guy is another 1980s paint job I have not bothered to update.

Cursed Pharaoh - check
I'd always wanted GW's Arkhan the Black four-horse chariot back in the 1990s, but never could afford it. But since I rediscovered the hobby, and eBay, I managed to get myself one from eBay in Germany for a pretty good price. It was painted adequately for tabletop, but nothing fancy. I added some crude grey highlights on the black of his cloak to add a little depth, and a base with a bit of lichen. But he needs stripping and starting again.

Vampire Lord - partial
This metal Reaper vampire I bought maybe 10 years ago when I thought I might try miniature painting again. But he actually just sat in a box. I have painted him now though, and he was my general for a lot of my early games of Kings of War. Partial because while I have collected a mounted vampire, he is not assembled or painted.

Vampire on Undead Pegasus - fail 
I bought Ral Partha Europe's necromancer on skeletal pegasus to use the pegasus as a mount for a vampire. I got the pegasus undercoated recently, but other things kept jumping the queue (wound markers etc). I have two of this rider, GW's Red Duke, but I need to work out which two of horse, pegasus or dragon to mount him on. I also have a bid in on eBay for another different GW mounted vampire so if that goes through successfully I just need to work out which goes where instead. The necromancer from the kit is one of the unassmbled mounted necromancer options below.

Vampire on Undead Dragon - fail
Started this Grenadier skeleton dragon in the 1980s or 1990s. I think I will just spray over with Army Painter Skeleton Bone spray and dip him. Better painted rough than not painted at all.

Liche King - check
Bought as a Heartbreaker miniature in the 1990s to use as Nagash as I hated the GW figure (not to mention would never be able to afford it, even if I could find it). The sculpt is now owned by Ral Partha Europe and is available again. For mine I ground out the orb he was holding in his left hand and replaced it with a staff I made out of the lance haft from an original GW Juggernaut of Khorne with a Skeleton Army skull glued on top. The book I made out of actual paper (pages) and thin cardboard (the cover) folded over. The chain holding it to his belt is random jewellery chain.

Necromancer - partial
I have two necromancers I use regularly. The left one with a staff was painted in the 1990s, the right more recently. Although the right one is actually a much older figure. Partial because I have not painted or assembled any mounted versions, despite my many options.

Lykanis - check
Another local second hand find, this is a Privateer Press Feral Warpwolf. Solid metal, the thing kept falling out of my hands while I tried to paint it. And most of those spines glue on and are ridiculously fiddly. Suitably vicious looking for a Lykanis once done, though, I think.

All together now!
There are drawers and shelves with much more undead, all waiting to find units to join or new units to create. Plus more necromancers, vampires, liches, and friends. But that above is the core of what I aim to game with, and I feel while I did not quite get there I had a fair crack and am not too far off.

Here's to an even more productive 2017!


  1. Impressive stuff! I'm particularly jealous of all those Night Horrors sprinkled throughout your units :)

    1. So many good models in that range. I have a few other stashed away, too...

  2. You've had a decent year alright! Nice work :D I think my favourite unit out of the painted models are the ghouls- characterful sculpts with a nice, eye-catching scheme! My favourites from the unpainted are the Soul Reaver infantry - the shields are rad. Get on that ASAP! Here's to a bigger and better 2017!

    1. Yeah I've been looking at gem painting tutorials for those shields' centrepieces. Just have to settle on a colour scheme! Ghouls I wanted something that looked like they hung out in cold dark places, but not a blue tone as I was using blue for the vampire (and thus also the skin of the soul Reaver infantry).

  3. Nice work, I'm new to KoW but an old timer for GW ... I think I owned half of those once myself, if only I had kept. Nice idea on the Lykanis using Privateer Press!

    1. Back as a kid I was never a club player, just stuck to paint Warhammer with friends in our garages. Getting back into gaming with KoW I think I've been pretty spoilt with the local club scene as they're pretty much just all nice people. I hope you find it just as much fun!