Friday, June 8, 2012

Paint out your dead!

It’s been too long since I talked about anything from the Warhammer-front and I intend to remedy this today. It will, granted, be through a painting-update which usually speaks for itself in pictures, not words. I do believe, however, that a few words would be in order in this regard.

When it comes to Warhammer (and some other hobbies in general, it seems) I’m like a kitten with ADHD at heart. Simply settling for one side or aspect never appealed to me; I believe there are just too many options to simply exclude yourself from the majority of them.  Likely also the reason why I’m soon sitting on my fourth level 60 toon in Diablo 3 and have level 85 WoW-chars beyond counting. It’s just how I am. Starting up something new is appealing.

I recently purchased the new Vampire Counts Armybook. You know, the hardcover update for 8th edition that apparently made a lot of changes to the army, turning it into something a bit different from what it used to be. I didn’t use to play vampire counts, so I’m really just quoting here, from someone who told me that the army is no longer about massing a certain few elements (although you could certainly do so, I believe) and push them onwards. This appealed to me as it really seemed to encourage a much more involved and diverse play style, at least on paper. Beside; massing a very specific range of troops and pushing them onwards is how Chaos wins, not vampires.

For the time being I’m mostly active in regards to my Skavens, Counts and really wish to build up either my dwarves or dark elves. Thing is, I very rarely play with the dwarves unless I yearn for a round of shooter so I assume I’ll just wait it out till their new army book arrives, some time in a couple of years by GW-standards. Dark Elves; well, I do want to play them more, but I got very frustrated about the chariot-lack and the massive, massive amount of spear/x-bow men I still need in order to complete my list. And that my absolute favorite Warhammer model, the lowly executioner, is not really that viable in competitive lists, it seems. Witch elves seem debatable, if you build your army around them at least.
I’m also a sucker for painting, in case you didn’t notice, and the Vampire Minis seem downright sweet, with the exception of their core troops. I might be alone in this, but oh lawd they’re ugly. Not in the good way as you’d expect the undead to be; but the minis are just boring. I don’t get the hype with the GW-zombies at all.

I’ve had only one game with the counts so far and it involved the usual slights, flaws and things you forget. It’s just how things are. I won a marginal victory against orcs and goblins, mainly using zombie hordes, crypt horrors, a terrorgheist and a few hexwraiths. I did press in a grave guard horde in there, as well as a corpse cart but played them like a moron. Forgetting about my Banner of the Barrows certainly didn’t help either.  I likely brought way too much magic as well.
I’ve stuck to what seemed to work, so here follows my current stage of painting adventure involving the undead.

Isabella herself is not starring in my army, as we rarely use special chars. I love the miniature, though, and she and Vlad are both much closer to how I imagine a vampire should look like. The other models are just too monstrous for my taste. I always field her as my general. She was also the first VC-mini I ever painted.
Her color theme is classical but also with a focus on red to make her stand out from my otherwise white, brown and blue army.

The corpse cart. Opinions seem divided on this, but as a lover of tar pits and raising zombies it seemed like an absolute must to me. Also, it’s a downright awesome looking model. I never field anyone of importance on it, but simply let it roll around (at its very, very slow pace) behind my ranks and buff troops.
Assembling it wasn’t fun, to be honest. It seemed obvious rather quickly that I’d get more out of it by painting, then assembling. Some of the glueing took a bit of force, but in the end it made it through. The painting principles of it resemble mostly those I used on my old screaming bell. The corpses are not as pale as expected as I wanted them to give the impression of ‘fresh meat’.

The wight king is really one of the most solid heroes I’ve seen in the game. He’s relatively cheap and a sturdy fighter with killing blow to boost. And he’s a kick ass miniature, what more could I hope for? Painting him was relatively swift and he looks great in regiments. Another mini that is better painted before assembly.
Grave Guards seem to be pretty darn mandatory in most VC armies but purchasing them from GW easily turns quite expensive. Also; I really don’t find the GG-models to be that special. They’re basically just skeletons with additional equipment, which is sad when there seems to be so much potential for great miniatures in this regard. It doesn’t help that I don’t like the GW skeletons and certainly not their price either. So what was left for me to do was to explore alternatives.
I’ve been looking into Mantic Games, which has some really great undead miniatures that go well with GW-models but at a much, MUCH lower price. For this reason I bought 40 skeletons from their online store and began painting them to look rather distinguished.

They carry the blue theme of the army which also reflects on their frost swords. To be honest I’m not entirely sure whether I’ve gone too far with those. Painting frost is kind of hard but adding the icicles helped. As it stands now, I’m slowly expanding on them, rather having too little ice than too much. In case you’re curious, the method I’m using for icicles is called “C1212”, a solution from Woodland Scenics. Pretty sure you can get it on E-Bay. It can be molded into shape and after 24 hours it hardens into something that looks remarkably like water or ice. Best thing is to play around with it, really.

The huge issue with having so many armies is that you truly start hating to paint core troops, especially in those armies that like to field a lot of them. Having finished my Skaven army one would assume I’ve had more than enough of this madness. Sadly, the counts love their profane core troops and always have room for more of them. That meant loads of zombies (I know some of you swear to skellies, but I friggin LOVE zombies!).  I haven’t gotten around to them yet, as I also have a terrorgheist and three crypt horrors waiting. Not sure whether using the horrors is a good solution in the long run, but they did earn their points and more against the orcs and goblins, so I’m sticking to them.
That’s all for now. See you all around for another paint-update later!

1 comment:

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