Monday, 20 March 2023

Tomb Kings Necropolis Knights.

Another regiment to join the ranks of Settra's army, this a Special Unit choice, Necropolis Knights.

When I first saw the Necropolis Knights in the 2011 releases I didn't like them I thought that they were silly, with skeletons seeming to surf on big snakes. My focus from the kit was the Sepulchral Stalkers which in my eyes looked a lot sinister. It took me a long time to like the Necropolis Knights, in no small part to looking at how other people had painted theirs.

Anyway, I picked up three without riders a little while ago, and then last year received a second three, still unmade, for my birthday just over a year ago. Having the unmade kit allowed me to revisit the kit and appreciate how to assemble them, and so I set to work.

Assembling wasn't as troublesome as I thought it would be. I found that the snakes looked a little flat on the base, and they didn't lay well on there, so to counteract this I added some Milliput to the bases to suggest undulating ground (with the occasion skull added for that Warhammer effect!). As I didn't have three spare Necropolis Knight bodies left over from my Sepulchral Stalkers kit from years ago, (I had two, having used one in a Tomb King Regiment), I converted an armoured skeleton warrior.

Painting was the standard dusty scheme. They were fun to paint. I found I had to paint a little more turquoise on the details of the snakes, and to be careful not to do too strong a gold on them. I think they turned out quite nicely, and it has changed my mind on the concept and the kit. It will be interesting to see if they re-appear in the new incarnation of the Tomb Kings when they are released for 'Warhammer: The Old World.

Enjoy :)

Necropolis Knights.
Regiment Leader.
I stuck with the suggest combination of parts for the leader as I liked the look of the death mask, especially when combined with the face head for the snake. I like the axe as well.
Side view showing some of the Milliput on the base, as well as how I painted the snakes body.
Close-up the leader.
Standard Bearer.
The first of the ordinary Necropolis Knights.
I do love the detailing and design of the shield. I decided to use a different one of each of the Knights to amplify their individuality in the regiment. This was further helped by the different poses and spears.
The second Necropolis Knight.
The third of the Necropolis Knights.
This Knight is the one where I used the armoured skeleton warrior body, which I think works surprisingly nicely.

More Tomb Kings next update. I have been making very good progress with them, with an eye to having the whole project finished by the end of April at the latest. Indeed, I do have a queue of photographs of completed Tomb Kings ready for uploading.At this rate I might just have them completed in time for them to become totally obsolete by the new Tomb Kings!

Monday, 6 March 2023

Tomb Kings Bone Giant with Bow of the Desert.

 In the second of the Tomb Kings army books, the Bone Giant, recategorised under the umbrella term 'Necrolith Colossus', is able to be equipped with a 'Bow of the Desert'. What this was was essentially a large bow with the same effect as a bolt thrower in the game, although terrifyingly the Bone Giant could move and shoot with it in the same turn if desired, and no armour saves were permitted against any wounds cause by the bow. . In addition to this, the Bone Giant benefited from the Tomb Kings rule of 'Arrows of Asaph' (as all Tomb Kings archers do) meaning that:

"Units with arrows of Asaph special rule never count any bonuses or penalties to hit when shooting, regardless of the source of the modifier' (p28, Tomb Kings army book, 2011).

Games Workshop never released a miniature for a bow wielding Bone Giant. The Bone Giant itself was the same miniature which was released in 2002, and as far as I recall was never converted over to Finecast before the range, and Warhammer, were retired (but not for much longer it seems!). So I, as others have done, decided to convert an existing Bone Giant.

There are several good examples on the internet of bow wielding Bone Giants, and the computer game Total War:Warhammer II has one with a very fancy looking bow, akin to the Ushabti bows and the High Elf Repeater Bolt Thrower. Rather than buy either of those just for parts I decided to convert a much simpler version of my own.

I first removed the Bone Giant's khopesh swords, and drilling a hole through his right hand. I chose to make the Bone Giant left-handed, as all the other archers in the Tomb Kings army are! Through the hole in the hand I inserted a brass rod, which I then bent into shape, and glued in place. Next, I glued a much smaller piece of brass rod parallel to the back to act as a bow string. Finally I added some green stuff around the hand to look like a hand grip, and more green stuff at the top of the bow to suggest bindings, as well as give extra strength to, and hide, the join between the two pieces of brass rod.

For the quiver I simply used a javelin case from the Tomb Kings chariot set. I removed the javelin tips and replaced them with green stuff sculpted to look like arrow fletchings. The quiver was glued onto a green stuff sculpted strap across the body, also adding a skull scarab to the front to look like clasp.

Painting the Bone Giant was straight forward, and fun as I love painting the Bone Giants. I just followed the same dusty paint scheme for the rest of the army. As a footnote, I decided to pose the Bone Giant in a manner which suggests he was stalking the desert looking for a target. I did this, rather than have him shooting the bow as I liked the look of movement which the Bone Giant model has, and also it seemed a lot of hassle trying to repose the model for a look I wasn't really keen on or I thought suited the model. Finally, I selected the big skull hat as I hadn't used it on the other two Bone Giants, and it gives the model more height and importance.

Enjoy :)
Bone Giant with Bow of the Desert.
As mentioned above, I do like that it looks like he is searching for another target, and I think it suits the advancing pose of the legs and body from the original miniature.
Side view showing the bow.

Rear view of the quiver.
Head with hat.
The three Bone Giants!

More Tomb Kings for the next update. I am rattling through the painting, with several units awaiting photographing, some more awaiting varnishing and basing, and yet more on the painting table!

Friday, 24 February 2023

The Thirteen Ushabti.

More dusty painted Tomb Kings, this time the Ushabti.

From the very first release of the Tomb Kings in 2002 I always liked the Ushabti. They were introduced as a the medium monster type for the army, in line with trolls, ogres, etc, and seemed to me to add that extra supernatural Ancient Egyptian edge to the army.

The original models are great, with the intricate detailing on the Great Weapons, and the four different Egyptian god styles, I always wanted to have a regiment for each of the gods! However, coming from the 2000's the pewter based sculpting does leave them a little static.

As for the later Finecast range of Ushabti Archers, I really never liked them when they were released, but  then I purchased some from e-bay last year and was surprised to discover they are really lovely, although Finecast is still rubbish! Given Games Workshops recent announcement concerning the return of Warhammer and the Tomb Kings, I would have thought it likely to see a newly sculpted  range of plastic kits for all the of Tomb Kings, something I am quite looking forward to.

Anyway, the Ushabti were great fun to paint. Using the dusty paint scheme they were quick and easy , and the dry brushing really brought out the details on the great weapons. 

Enjoy :)

Some of these I painted late last year, but I have only finished filling in the gaps of the great weapon regiment a few weeks ago.
A regiment of 10 Ushabti with Great Weapons.
They are all metal, except for one.
Ushabti Ancient conversion.
I used the snake head body, and used the left arm from the Liche Preist on foot miniature, and a plastic bow arm with the bow snipped off from the skeleton warrior kit. I think he turned out well and looks the part of a unit leader, with a different looking great weapon, and looking as though he is bellowing out orders or issuing a challenge to an enemy.
Standard Bearer conversion.
I used the arms from the mounted Liche Priest miniature to convert this Ushabti. I used a jackal headed body to match the standard.
Crocodile Ushabti.
Falcon Ushabti.
Snake Ushabti.
The one on the left with the more ornate great weapon is the Finecast miniature.
The fourth Ushabti and the second Jackal Ushabti.
Ushabti Archers.
Ushabti Archer.
Ushabti Archer.
Ushabti Archer.

The next update will probably be on either more Skeleton Warriors, namely the swordsmen, or some characters, as both batches are finished but awaiting photographing.

Monday, 13 February 2023

Tomb Kings Skeleton Warrior Spearmen.

 I thought it was about time I focused on some of the Core Troops choices and tackled some of the of Skeleton Warrior infantry. I have 200 Skeleton Warriors, 120 unarmoured Spearmen, and 80 armoured Swordsmen. So I started with the Spearmen in late January, finishing them last week.

These are painted the same as the rest of the army, with the Khemri turquoise shields and red spear shafts. They were straight forward to paint and fun in so much as it was nice to see so many ranks of Skeletons take shape. And yes, I did paint them all in one big batch!

Enjoy :)

120 Spearmen organised into three regiments of 40 Warriors.
Battle line.
First regiment.
Second regiment.
Third regiment.
Three Masters of Arms.
As they are unit leaders I equipped them differently from the rank and file, with Khopesh swords, and slightly fancier head gear. 
Standard Bearers.

My next update will be on the Ushabti which I am currently converting and painting.

Sunday, 15 January 2023

Tomb Kings Chariots completed.

 The assembling and painting the chariots is completed. There are 22 Chariots in all, broken down into 3 squadrons of six, one of 3, and a Tomb King on his own, styled as a 'Commander of the Chariots'.

My approach was to brake down the assembly and painting the chariots into two phases, firstly tackling the chariots themselves, and then secondly the crew. I did this so I could tackle all the specific chariot details at the same time and get into a mode and mindset of painting the same model, which I find easier and quicker to do. It also meant that after painting the actual chariots themselves, I would turn to the basing, which is done in stages. So whilst I was completing each stage of the basing and letting that dry, I could move forward with making a start on painting the crew, then nip back and forth to complete the ongoing stages of the basing and painting of the crew.

I have painted all of the chariots in one batch of 23, and then all of the crew in one large batch of 47. These might seem large batches to undertake, but the painting style is quite easy to do and doesn't require a lot of fiddly detailed painting. In addition I have a high boredom threshold and so don't mind painting the same things in a batch over again. In fact the batches were broken up into smaller sub-batches as two of the squadrons, and the Tomb King, had different colours to paint from the others.

They were fun to paint, but they were a pain to assemble. I am not a fan of the old two part skeletons, and I would also recommend assembling the crew in pairs which fit together, rather than just assemble them and then pair them together hoping they would fit together in the chariot (which is what I did). I found positioning the undead horses to line up to the chariot yoke a bit of a faff, but all in all these were minor issues. They look great when assembled and I think turned out nicely. I only have one more chariot to paint, but that belongs to Settra, and he will be tackled as a 'batch' on his own.

Enjoy :)

All 23 of the chariots.
As noted above, I have split the chariots down into four squadron. Two of the 6 strong squadrons are in Settra's red and turquoise, and represent the core of the chariot force. The other two represent allied, lesser subordinate kingdoms, and so I have painted them in different colours. The Tomb King is resplendent in his golden chariot (dusty, but still golden!).
Another view.
Side view.
The Tomb King in his golden chariot.
I chose this pose because I like the look of him reaching out and pointing at the enemy. The halberd looks great too, and given the extra height of he chariot gives it, I think it looks more daunting to a foot slogging enemy.
I added a spare fancy Necropolis Knight shield so he could count as shielded, and to add that little bit of extra flourish and importance.
Resplendent in his golden chariot.
I didn't glue the Tomb King onto the chariot in case he is required to disembark for any reason (or  it develops a mechanical fault such as being chopped in half or riddled with spears!). I did have to slightly cut down the side of the 20mm base in order for him to fit onto the chariot, and filled the side and underneath with millput to fill the gap and give a little extra stability weight.
I replaced (well lost really) the front blade of the chariot, and so replaced it with another snazzy Kingly addition, a blade from the plastic Tomb King/Prince model from the Warsphinx kit.
The first squadron.
I order to differentiate this squadron from the other one, I gave all of the chariot the skull decorated fascia, and a banner to match.
The Leader.
I gave him a the more crowned headdress and Tomb Guard Tomb Blade, to suggest that, whilst not a Tomb King or Prince, he was someone of importance, such as a minor son, and that is why he is commanding one of Sterra's chariot squadrons.
Standard Bearer.
Note the matching skull banner to the fascia.
The second of Setrra's squadrons.
The Leader, again as the one in the other squadron.
Standard Bearer.
I didn't use the matching standard for this squadron (but I have for one further below) as I wanted each of the squadrons to have different standards. So, being one of Setrra's chariot squadrons I chose a spare Tomb Guard standard, to lend them that aura of importance.
I only added one of the large halberds which you receive in the chariot box set as they do seem a little excessive for the chariots and look quite unwieldy. I did think it was important to have at least one  though.
The third chariot squadron.
The idea of this squadron is that they are an allied and perhaps subordinate Kingdom to Khemri. With this in mind I painted the chariots and crew details in a different colour. I also didn't add the bow and javelin cases to give the chariots a different and less affluent look. This also allowed me to convert some chariot archers below.
Like the other two leader I have added a fancy headdress and Tomb Blade, although given his lesser status, I gave him the less fancy headdress (but still more fancy than the ordinary warriors one!).
Standard bearer.
A mismatch of the standard to the fascia, but maybe something to be expected of a provisional and lesser Kingdom! 
Without the bow cases on the side of the chariots it allowed more room to convert a couple of chariot archers, and also was at least necessary to have one as they are meant to be armed with bows.
First archer.
He is just a conversion using a mix of the charioteer body and the skeleton warrior archer arms and quiver.
The second archer.
The third and final squadron.
Just as the squadron above, this is meant to represent a minor city or Kingdom. With this in mind I have also painted them in a differing colour scheme. As a smaller squadron, they would be used to provide flank support to the larger formations.
Again, he is fancy, but not too fancy.
Standard bearer.
I have matched up the standard and fascia for this squadron.
The lone charioteer, making up the third element of this smaller squadron. I didn't add a musician as I didn't want to waster the points in such a small squadron, and also it looked a bit odd just having a command group riding around on its own.

The next update will be Skeleton Warrior spearman. I am currently painting my way through 120 of them. Now that I have completed the chariots, which where a major element of the army to finish, I am moving onto the bulk of the Skeletons Warriors, which whilst numerous, are relatively straight forward to paint.