Arise!

As a part-time Necromancer, I have always been of the opinion that one can never have too many Skeletons. For aeons the bulk of my legions have remained buried though, slumbering in their cardboard caskets as a jumble of bones.

Alas, the ritual of summoning has finally begun, and two score of new skeletal warriors are being assembled. When I say ‘new’, that might be misleading actually, since they are the first generation Citadel plastic Skeletons, originally released last century.

Skeleton Champion

The Skeleton Champion gathers trophies from the living

I added some slightly newer parts to the command models – the unit standard is from the Chaos Marauders kit, while the drum and mallet of the musician are early metal add-on parts from the second edition Skeleton Warriors plastic box set. I don’t remember where the Champion’s trophy heads stem from, but they were definitely a great fit.

Skeleton banner

Undead warriors marching under the black banner

Skeleton drummer

Skeleton musician beating the drum

19 thoughts on “Arise!

  1. You sometimes see people (with no sense of context, usually) unfairly criticise these models as oversized and over-proportioned compared to modern models.

    I still have a few (but not nearly enough) of them and their later-arriving horses, but they’re still very easily my favourites of the early plastic kits (along with RTB01, the Land Raider and the Rhino). So useful – I’ve been clipping them apart for Ogre-base decorations – but so nice to see a whole painted regiment of them.

    Also, kudos on the photography – they look so much cooler up close and at eye level, and your background makes them look even better. The champion is a great job, and the choice of the Maruder banner (with it’s additional skulls) is inspired.
    Top job!

    • Clipping them apart for decorations – shame on you! That’s what the second generation versions are for.

      These models are not oversized at all, they are actually rather small and fragile. I think people who make such comments are getting confused with the second generation of plastic skeletons which are larger and wield oversized weapons.

      Thanks for the compliment re. the photography. In the background is a graveyard terrain piece by Ziterdes (I think) that I have started to give an improved paint job.

    • Well, the ones that get clipped apart are the ones that I find broken at the bottom of boxes of figures, along with the spare arms that find their way to bits boxes and a couple that I painted very badly 20+ years ago. I’d love to get hold of a bunch of these on sprues. The only thing is if I did so, I might be too scared to actually build them.. I’ve got some RTB01s that are a bit like that (though one day they shall become Crimson Fists. One day…)

      But yeah, that photography you’ve use here with scenery behind it gives a bit of a feel of what Warhammer felt like to me in my youth. I’ve seen some battle reports of KoW recently that give me the same old-school feel, which is what’s gotten me building forces for that game, since I’m way past caring about modern WFB.

      Hopefully I can put together some inspiring photos myself when summer (or even spring) eventually arrives here… :)
      (it’s late!)

    • If I have any old stuff in mint condition it would usually be because I still haven’t found the time to turn it into a project.

      I believe every game is what you make it. I’m having fun with my retro projects but I am equally enjoying additions for my current edition WFB/W40k armies.

      Looking forward to your inspirational photos! Since it is turning winter here the conditions should be great for many dark and gloomy shots of my mostly evil and/or underground dwelling forces.

  2. Man this are greta, the pose o fthe champion is especially good.
    I really like the irony in the fact that the severed heads (especially the right one) look nearly alive like freshly cut when you look at them next to the skeleton’s head.
    Excellent bone colour.

    • Thanks, they pretty much built and painted themselves. The heads fit snugly into the open hand, as if they were made for it. Luckily I had one of those hands left, most of them went to the Skeleton Archers in my Tomb Kings army.

      Every time I paint Skeletons I end up having a different colour scheme for the bones but I am happy with this season’s look. Mixing different styles together in a unit gives it more variety, which is not a bad thing with the poses and weapon options being limited.

  3. Very nice work. The old photo of the “Skeleton Horde” is the first image of any games workshop product which made a great impression on me – I could not get my head around how they were painting all those lines between those bones, they must be using a pin surely I thought what with my ignorance of painting techniques. Your models made that memory come flooding back when I saw them.

    I was working on an old unit of skeleton horsemen a couple of years back and I found that the shields from the Chaos Marauders looked really good on these models also….but you probably know that already.

    I quite like the black banner/shields motif it’s a simple and elegant way to do the unit colours.

    I am not sure I could resist some kind of historical pirate style banner myself similar to Warhammer Armies if memory serves me :)

    Very well chosen components for the command section and the painting on the heads is sweet – one of the heads almost reminds me of a protesting Bruce Campbell.

    • These guys are just washes and drybrushing, got to love the Undead for their paintability.

      I love the John Blanche illustration on the Skeleton Horde box, I need to build and paint that banner as my army standard one day.

      I can see the Marauder shields going very well with them, but I have already used up most of my stash on metal Beastmen and actual Marauders. Instead I decided to use the original shield bosses, with the added advantage of not having to paint any emblems!

    • Cheers! These will go with my Vampire Counts, all my metal Skeletons have been transferred to my 3rd Edition Undead horde. I’m sticking to my ‘separate games’ concept!

    • I was planning on putting up some photos of a few new units that I have just finished off and then do a full army shot once I manage to learn how to take some decent photos

    • Thanks! The paint job was really easy on these guys. I caught a good evening for the lighting and the graveyard wall in the background set a nice scene. Very happy how it all came together.

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