The Dead Rises
After Shirty converted a bunch of our Skull and Crown skeletons to have those nice burial shrouds, he primed them and left them with me over the winter vacation break. They turned out to be a welcomed break after the complex Napoleonic uniforms - with just a few colours per skeleton, I could easily knock out a few skeletons every night. After less than a week I had managed to work my way through the unit that was handed to me.
Most of our skeleton infantry will be carrying these javelins, halberds or pikes. These are with converted burial shrouds.
Painting the Skeletons
Shirty primed them in two different colours, one lighter brown and one more greyish brown. I wanted to do these strictly tabletop quality, aiming at a level of detail where I could paint a dozen at a time and finish the whole bunch in about a week.
Step one was to wash the skin. I used three different washes: a skin tone wash, a brown wash, and a black wash. Together with the two different primers I was able to get a lot of variation in the skin tones this way, from fleshier browns to mummified greys. The shrouds were washed brown.
Step two was to go over the other parts, painting the javelins and shrouds in base coats. After the first bunch I decided to try to keep to using darker brown javelins on the lighter skinned skeletons, and vice versa.
Step three was to do highlights. I mixed colours and gave the skin two highlight layers, and the javelins a few stripes of lighter shades. Again, keeping with the theme of mixing skin tones, I did this part in a rather random manner, mixing a bunch of dark browns and beige colours on a wet palette, and then just playing around with them (from dark to light shades: Vallejo's German Camo Black Brown, Deck Tan, Old Wood, Cork Brown, Beige Red, Buff and finally Dead White).
Since there was basically just the skin tones to paint I could spend a little bit of time playing around with mixing colours and doing two highlight layers, yet still paint them quite quickly.
The skeletons without shrouds were even easier to paint. If you are a GW veteran you might spot that Shirty did a few other conversions as well, like head swaps!
I think these are the coolest part of the unit, a front rank carrying pavise style shields made out of coffin lids! Again, some are converted with burial shrouds.
Shirty left a few odd ones among the javelin dudes. Two javelin guys with armour will create some more variety, and there were four halberdiers as well. One of them (also a conversion) is really angry!
Unit Proof of Concept
So this is about how I imagine the unit will end up looking. The thin sculpts means that we can jam the minis very tight to each other, creating a dense formation of scary skeletons. There will also be a few command miniatures in there, which I'll tackle after these rank-and-file minis. We also have some ideas about extra unit fillers, inspired by the Triump of Death painting, which might make this unit a lot bigger in size.
First of all, I liked these sculpts a lot. They are a bit quirky and charming, and are very quick to paint. I was happily surprised that I could get through a whole unit in a week. Once they are based and the command miniatures are in there, I bet it will be a neat looking unit.
After this unit we'll tackle some halberdiers and pikes, and rumours have it that someone has ordered even more of these little guys. See you then!
Click below for larger sized pictures
The Renaissance Blog
What started as a blog about Renaissance gaming in general quickly turned into a blog about samurai miniatures.