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Monday, 28 November 2016

The Reign of the Lichemaster has commenced!

It's been a while since I last posted but I have not been idle, oh no! On the contrary I have been allocating myself a nice lot of hobby time and am working on getting all my skelly army to a basic tabletop level so that I can make good use of my time off over Christmas adding nice little details.

I've got four units to that point now, so time to do a bit of a round-up and look at how some of the miniatures choices turned out. Bear in mind these guys are not finished, but they're not too far away.

First up, the monks and masters of La Maisontaal. Resurrected by Kemler to do his bidding, the inhabitants of this large abbey still wear the robes of their order. The unit distribution above represents kinds what I'm thinking in terms of split between the masters and the monks. WFRP Lichemaster says there are 14 stone sarcophagi of previous masters of La Maisontaal under the abbey, and Dintrans himself joins them after his failed attempt to kill Kemler. In the original Revenge of the Lichemaster scenario it is Bagrian who assumes control of the defences of the abbey and is himself slain. This unit therefore consists of 16 masters including Bagrian. The rest of the robed figures are the monks and novices. I haven't settled yet on just which are which, I keep finding new models I like to add to the masters unit, so some of the previous masters are now lowly initiates! When I eventually settle the masters will have more ornate robes like in Blanche's ROTL painting, the other monks will have a few ornaments but generally more plain robes. The idea is that as they progress on the journey with Taal they add more symbols to their habits to denote their standing. The monks are joined by a small group of retainers, those employed to do odd jobs around the abbey, tend to the animals etc. Many of them now wear the skulls and other bones of creatures they once looked after.

The retainers will be familiar as largely C17 series skeletons. There are some nice models in amongst the monks and masters though, many of which are currently in production and very reasonable value:

These are Alternative Armies Wraiths (most of the units are wraiths, robes and all that!). They're pretty fun, I've not picked out all the armoured bits yet but the robe details are nice. Very soft metal though, their weapons bend really easily and the axe guy is going to need some weighting in his base to keep his balance.

Zealot Miniatures had this skeleton in their Twisting Catacombs Kickstarter, I'm sure he'll be available in their shop soon. He is resin... but we'll forgive him because the details are really nice, the pose is great and the skull is very finely sculpted.

These Wraiths are from Ral Partha Europe, and they're a bit disappointing. After all the other great undead I picked up from RPE these guys are quite primitive, very small and not wonderfully posed. The middle guy isn't actually from these units, he's from the Blue-Blooded Bandits (see below) and is the better of the three with all his scale armour. Still on the small side though.

From my least to my most favourite. These are Black Tree (formerly Harlequin) and are wonderful sculpts. The skulls are well-defined and the robes hang convincingly off the skeletal frames. They are pretty chunky, but that means they match the Citadel skeletons very nicely. I love the poses of the Wraiths especially. Suitably Grim Reapers!

Lastly, three that are very definitely masters. On the left is a RAFM undead bishop from the Death Command blister. In the middle is RPE's Bishop of Doom and on the right a Chronopia Necromancer. The RAFM model is a little smaller than the others, but that makes him seem suitably frail. He's doing a fun Pope wave as well. I'm looking forward to doing glowing eyes, censers etc. on them. You might also spot some of the LOTR Ringwraiths hiding amongst the Wraiths which work pretty nicely. The only figures I don't recognise are these which I got in a bulk lot. If anyone knows what they are let me know:

The next unit are former Men At Arms from the Duc de Quenelles' doomed legion which attempted to halt the Lichemaster's ransacking of La Maisontaal. Tancred's knights are still to come (they may be my main Deadcember project) but I thought I'd try a few things out on this unit of spearmen. Principally I wanted to see whether a few blue rags were enough to give a sense of previous uniform whist still keeping the aesthetic of the army and to try out the effect of painting all the metal with a rust effect paint. The rust effect I am very happy with, although it dries very opaque and the semi-translucency of when it is about half dry would be optimal. I may try a couple of glazes (orange or sepia) to 'wet' it down a bit. It also dries fast, so it's essential to shake the pot and rinse the brush every three or four miniatures. Also pleased with the blue. The more 'fully clothed' Mantic skeletons help with the idea of uniform, whilst the more 'naked' skeletons display the bone technique which is holding the look of the army together. I don't think it would be so effective with all Mantic or no Mantic skeletons, but this balance seems fine to me. There are also shields to come.

The bulk of this unit are Celtos Fir Bolg skeletons, still available from Brigade Models. Their spear unit is very good value and I just added the axe champion as the champion from the set isn't very distinctive from the rank and file. These are good, solid sculpts. Nicely posed and flexible enough to be bent slightly to create the impression of more poses than there are. The bones are well-defined and the bits of armour nicely conceived.

These are more Black Tree miniatures. Just look at their happy, grinning faces. They're obviously rank and file and were a little over a pound each. They scale well with the Celtos and Citadel miniatures.

Then there's Mantic. Now I will admit to not being a fan of Mantic generally. The skeletons do ok to add a splash of colour (not much fabric on the others) and indicate their previous life as soldiers of Bretonnia. Their skulls are nice and granny but they're much smaller than the others and don't have that Jason and the Argonauts look that I want in a skeleton warrior. I've dotted some of the bits from the box about (at least they're cheap and flexible) for variation but I wouldn't want a whole unit of them.

There are also a few skeleton spearmen from Northstar's skeleton horde. I took a gamble on these because they're cheap. You get 10 randomly assorted models, and honestly I was hoping for some more scythes. Never mind, good to bulk out the spears anyhow. They're hit and miss, the sculpting isn't very sharp and the skulls are all a bit deformed, but as rank and file on the tabletop you can't fault the price.

And then there are the Blue-Blooded Bandits, Zwemmer's cronies from the bad old days on the Frugelhorn. I imagine them as disenfranchised nobles booted from the family seat for unsavoury practices. Zwemmer was also a champion of Nurgle (although secretly) so I wanted a heavily and finely armoured look with a nod to decay, hence the small patches of rust and the green tinge to their weapons. Although they died long before the unfortunate Men at Arms in the previous unit their equipment began as significantly higher quality and perhaps their ice-burial has helped preserve the shine of their blades. The red cloaks, plumes and accents help to tie them in with the monk units. See if you can spot the interloper into their ranks...


The majority of this unit are from Ral Partha Europe, collected together from across their various ranges. I'm sure RPE need no introduction so I will just say that their skeletons are excellent.

There are also a couple of Chronopia miniatures in this unit which I mentioned in a previous blog post. They aren't strictly undead miniatures but I had them in my first undead army (long gone now) so I was excited to buy them again for this one. I think my second attempt at painting them is better.

The Lich Lord from Grenadier was my reason for placing an order with them in the first place. Shipping was too expensive for just one miniature, so I had a look round and just about gathered enough I liked to pick up this chap. He's a nice model, shame the rest of the Grenadier range is a bit inconsistent. There are a few nice ones (I think ex-Ral Partha actually) but I'm not a big fan of most of their undead. Did you spot the interloper? Here he is, on the left. He's actually a Goblin Knight, but I thought his armour and concealed face would allow him to blend in just fine.

Ok, that's it for now. Another three units got primed at the weekend so I'll try and get at least another one done this week then it'll be into deadcember!



  1. Hi ho, beautiful army you have here. I sculpted the wraith for zealot and have shared your paintjob on my facebook page-hope that is OK. Is there any way I may credit you?
    Thank you in advance :)

    1. Thanks! It's a lovely sculpt. Is it digital? I haven't finished painting him yet, that's just base colours and a wash, I'll update you when he's done. In the meantime yes, please do feel free to share. I'm on Facebook as Geoff Solomon-Sims.

    2. Thank you Geoff, that is kind of you. It was sculpted by hand. I look forward to seeing the finished piece, though it is already great!


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