Thursday, 31 December 2015

Nor way to paint an army

I originally hoped to have 6 points of SAGA vikings painted by the weekend before Christmas, as my club was holding a competition. I always knew it would be a big ask, but I rather thought I'd get further than this...

For the benefit of the uninitiated that's only 4 points worth, and 3 of those points are elite quality, so that's about the smallest starter warband you can conceive of.

As always it took me ages to select the models - my starting point was always going to be Foundry's ex-Citadel Norse, and I was hoping some Gripping Beast plastics plus a couple of their berserkers would round off the force. Unfortunately although the GB plastics are 28mm they're realistic rather than heroic proportions compared to the Foundry Norse (i.e. a bit skinny, with small hands and heads), and GB's berserkers and character models look enormous next to them. Eventually I settled on one of the smaller GB berserkers and a Foundry character model who Marcus sold me on at Colours, along with a mix of plastics and Foundry Norse. There's definitely a bit of a variation in sizes, but I think once painted and based they'll look fine together.

I've since found that Crusader's vikings are a pretty good match size-wise for the Foundry ones, so I'll add a point of their hirdmen to the final warband.

I also found assembling the plastics to be a further hurdle - there's the decisions to make as to the pose to go with, then when you're obsessive like me also a question of filling some of the more obvious joins, all of which slow me down further. More of a reason to stick with metals where I can!

My painting approach may seem a bit odd, being neither a batch or single model. As can be seen from the photo I've undercoated everything then painted the metal (and flesh in case of the berserkers), I'm then adding the main colours (including shading) a model at a time, and will then do all the leather (belts, straps, scabbards, etc.), hair and finally give them shields.

There are a couple of advantages to this - firstly I can field them in the right company with only minor embarrassment from an early stage, but also the stage I'm at now has rapid results and is much more enjoyable than a standard batch process. Hopefully the whole group will slowly "come in to focus" - but time will tell...