Sunday, November 8, 2009

Second Facelift in 15 Years

Usually, whenever I take a long break from painting I usually return to the Angels of Absolution. They are my main army and since I work on them piecemeal I can get back up to speed on a set of legs or a shoulder pad - something where I can put a lot of focus into getting things right on what is really only a small part of the whole. For some reason, I wasn't feeling coming back to the Angels, or even the Orks or Redemptors of Golinar (Imperial Guard). Instead I decided to go back my roots.

I originally cut my teeth in the Games Workshop hobby on an Undead army. This was back in 1994 when there were no Tomb Kings or Vampire Counts, there was just a book titled Warhammer Armies: Undead. I assembled and painted a full 2000 point army in no time at all. I was working at my gaming store, Adventures Unleashed, buying everything at cost, and painting through every day I worked (when I wasn't playing that is!)

One of the things that led me to choose the Undead beside the fact that skeletons and zombies are cool as hell, was that WA: Undead had a step by step on how to paint a skeleton. I knew I wasn't going to do this hobby without painting my models and this was a huge bonus. Plus, the instructions were easy as hell: 1) Prime white. 2) Cover the entire model in Brown Ink. 3) Dry brush Bubonic Brown. 4) Dry brush Bleached Bone. 5) Done.

The earliest skeletons looked something like this guy who never got a facelift:
Not only was this model's base the standard Goblin Green, but it also had that really fuzzy light green flock originally that I eventually went back and coated in Goblin Green and dry brushed with shades of yellow because the fuzzy flock would all rub off.

In the late 90's the minds at Games Workshop decided that the Undead army was way to vast and varied. My army had Skeleton Chariots and Horsemen alongside Zombies, Ghouls, Vampires, Ghosts, Wights, Wraiths, Skull Chuckers, Necromancers, and Bat Swarms - and I didn't even have everything available in the army list. So GW dropped a Tomb Kings of Khemri army list into White Dwarf magazine separating the "dry" Undead from the "wet" Undead. One of the characteristic changes that they had just started to experiment with in conjunction with the release of Gorkamorka were brown desert bases. The vast majority of my army was based around skeletons of all sorts so I decided to join the dry team and did a major facelift. Thence forward my skeletons all looked like this model:
Sick mold lines and sweet shield design eh? When I got into the hobby those types of shields were in vogue and originally I never cleaned mold lines. I was never a model guy previous and just didn't know to do it. Eventually I got clued in, but I am pretty positive the vast majority of this army still has all the mold lines and that's something I'm not going back to try and fix. My Tomb Kings have remained in this state for the next 10 years until now. I actually only have half of my Tomb Kings in my display case in the living room (should I be admitting that my models are on display in the living room?) because of unfinished or embarrassing details like the above model's shield. I'm also extremely dismissive of my Tomb Kings because they are almost entirely dry brushed and I am an admitted hobby snob. So only this small selection of models sit in the case:

In the last week I got inspired to drag out the Tomb Kings and give them some love. Part of it was announcement of Adepticon Registration and the inclusion of a Warhammer Warbands event this year, and part of it was just the desire to get a finished army into the display case for the 1st time since the mid 90's when my Undead army filled the display case at Adventures Unleashed. One of my first orders of business was to redo the shields on an entire unit of 25 skeletons with hand weapons. Those red skull insignia shields had to go and this design was based on some Egyptian design I thought I remember seeing in a Warhammer Ancients book that I always thought was kind of cool. Other upgrades are in process as well. I figure in a couple of weeks I'll have a full army in the case that I'm semi-proud of despite the dry brushing and mold lines. I'll likely have to build a few more models to get the army up to 2000 points again, but I still have tons of skeletons, horsemen, and even a few chariots from the early 90's lingering around. Bulking the army out will not be an issue.
I painted over the center of the shield with Bestial Brown. Then in consistent strokes in the same direction did a couple of layers of Bleached Bone and then Skull White to create a streaky dirty white effect. I then used a Brown Wash around the perimeter. A final succession of Skull White streaks was done over lapping some into the Brown Wash. Large Chaos Black splotches were added and these were streaked with Chaos Black mixed with a tiny bit of Skull White (Adeptus Battle Grey or Codex Grey would be fine). Finally some random Brown Wash was added to dirty things up a little more. It sounds like a lot of steps but goes remarkably quick since its really just slopping paint on. Here's one last shot of where I'm at:
Expect more updates in the coming week.


zealot said...

'I decided to join the dry team'

lol'd at this

Scott said...

Hmmm... I see a Warhammer Fantasy revival brewing.

Rick said...

1994 was a good year for me, I can assure that all good things came into view and it was the year when I had more sexual activity, I wish I was that active now that I count on my tablets of Generic Viagra.