Thursday, 29 December 2016

Deadcember 2016: Skele-guns!

Hi all! Here's my entry for Deadcember 2016: The Quick and the Dead.

As mentioned in a previous post, a lot of people have interpreted the additional theme this year to refer to something fast, yet still undead, bringing promise of Zombie Dragons and Undead Cavalry and chariots etc. Brilliant! That's not the way I've gone however, as the phrase "The Quick and the Dead" always says Wild West gun slinging to me, and that fit in beautifully with a sub project for my ongoing Rogue Quest project, so I grabbed my chance to spend some time on some minis I've really been looking forward to working on.

Here they are, shambling around a small manufactorum...

...and shambling back off again, to do their master's bidding no doubt. What? You don't think undead soldiers from worlds with primitive tech go around raising themselves do you?

They are of course two classic Citadel C17 Skeletons from the March and July 1987 Flyers - the puntastic 'Rambones', and the slightly less imaginative 'Gunner'.

'Gunner' is shown far left, bottom row

Rambones is second from the right on the top row in this colour ad from WD91 (Jul '87)

As suggested by the sculpts themselves, I've based the colour schemes on Vietnam War and English Civil War era equipment. The bone colour on the skeletons was done in exactly the same way as for my Deadcember 2015 fantasy skeletons, except I left out the additional green ink in the last wash, as these boys have been raised from the same dry brown dirt of their bases (to fit in with the other Sci-Fi models they'll be used with).

As usual, I used a mix of Citadel and Valejo paints and inks. A couple of things to mention here I suppose, firstly I used the new(ish) Citadel Dry 'Golden Griffon' to add highlights to the brass shell casings on the two Rambones. I've used it a couple of times before and I do like the effect it gives as a highlight to darker gold base colours, but I find the powdery nature of the paint can be a little imprecise. This is almost certainly down to user error, and I found it worked a little better this time so perhaps practice is the key. A final wash with green ink toned it back down but picked out the individual casings nicely.

Also on display, the scenery my lovely wife made for me for Christmas from a pdf scan on to card stock. Thanks love!

Secondly, on the Civil War era Roundskulls (sorry/not sorry), I used Valejo Model Color Verdigris Glaze. This doesn't show up well in the photos, but I'm really happy I went with this (it felt like a bit of a risk at the time as I was pretty happy with the finish at that point) as it has both toned down the shine of the metal (I used bolt gun metal over black, but even so...) and added some interest as you rotate the model to look at it. This warrants further experimentation!

I do love these minis. Now I want a horde of them!

I do slightly regret painting both sets identically, although this does keep with the theme that they are animated corps's (pun intended) of line troops in uniform, which is what I wanted, they don't have a huge impact as identical pairs. However without major remodelling there was not much to be done about them being identical. I did add plastic grenades from a 3rd edition era Cadian/Catachan bitz bag to both of the Rambones, as the raised arm was crying out for it, and it made no sense to have them both as Skeleton NCOs giving commands by hand signal - that wouldn't fit with how I see them being used anyway - but this just emphasises there sameness in the end.

The only slight variation comes from the fact that one of the Roundskulls is a recast. This became glaringly obvious once I had two next to each other, as both the weight and softness of sculpt were off, combined with the fact the very odd angle of his base tab and feet meant he needed some additional basing material to make him stand at a reasonable angle. Looking at the scale of all four models I'm thinking one of the Rambones might be a recast too, which would make sense as I bought them as a set of two from the same seller on ebay. However, it is not a bad job and other than the additional stone on the base you can't really tell much difference now they are painted up.

The two suspected recasts are far left and far right, which are just a tad larger all over than the other two..

Now, I'm definitely expecting to come in the lower percentile of entries, not least as the standard is obviously going to be very high given the quality of work among the Oldhammer Community, but that is not the point. This is a pretty big deal for me as it is the first time I've ever been happy enough with my efforts to even consider entering a painting competition, friendly, online, or otherwise. I've thought about my entry and it's Oldhammer credentials (not that such things should ever be a primary concern), tied it into an ongoing project, and produced paint jobs I'm happy with, so I'm dead (groan) chuffed with myself.

Thanks for stopping by this cold bleak Deadcember 2016. I hope you come back in the new year when you will hopefully be able to see these gun toting bags of bones in action in a future instalment of Rogue Quest.

Now, go and take a look at the other, far more impressive, entries for Deadcember 2016 over at Rab's Geekly Digest! :)

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