Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Zombie Legion

EDIT: The index for everything in the legion can be found HERE.

Finally, the Zombie Legion is finished! 8 units, each 50-wound-strong, for 400 wounds total - with more than half of them composed of multibase fillers. This project spans almost 5 years, with most of the work done during the last year - and you can find here representatives of almost all of the old WFB factions, with some bits from Age of Sigmar too. I consider it now my most impressive project, much bigger than my another excessively large project, Nagash.

The idea for this project came to me when I saw a crazy collection done by Mad 'At on Carpe Noctem forum, where he mixed all kinds of bits in his zombie horde, full of fillers - that inspired me to try something similar. I started with filling up my 65 basic zombies up to 100 - and then I thought, why not go for 200? I had my head still full of ideas! Then 300. Then 350. And finally 400. At that point, I started to run out of ideas and decided that it's a good point to stop - being able to build a 40x40cm square full of zombies. Last weeks were especially tough, as I had to finish them before April. All that intensive work took a toll on me and now it's difficult to stop thinking "I need to paint zombies!"... Also, worth noting, while I didn't have to push my painting skills to the limit on this project, I really learned to paint much more time-effectively, especially on rank-and-file troops like these.

I set them all in a good configuration, numbered them all, together with their places on the tray and now I'll have to think, how am I going to move them from Berlin to Warsaw without damaging them. After that, I think I'll take a short break (but I still have photos of zombie-batches to last me at least two months) - and then I'll go back to another project I started a long time ago - Vaclav the Red, the Dragonrider. Maybe some smaller minis will come in the meantime too.

HERE you can find an index of all entries relating to this gargantuan project, all the batches and WIPs, with some statistics too!

Von Greifen vampires gathered much power in Varsavia through the years and their armies managed to deal with all the intruders thus far - with vampires as the commanders and the common troops composed of Hautfell's skeletons, Gudvanger's monsters and wight soldiers. This alliance of vampires, necromancers, varsavian wights and the denizens of the Black Bog relied greatly on their mutual support. Still, the tensions between them just kept growing, with every faction trying to gain the upper hand by amassing larger forces or subverting the others. Constantin noticed then - that he and his vampires would be severely outnumbered if they were to face the others in open combat. While other troops had better equipment, discipline or skill, all they had were pitiful, rotting zombies, with their numbers being their only strong point. But rather than futilely seeking other options, Constantin decided to just use what he has, only much, much more - because there's a quality to quantity too. Walking corpses don't need elaborate rituals or strong magic to sustain - amassing them would be time-consuming, but not difficult. That project soon turned into a weird hunt for uncommon corpses to add them to the collection - which grew and grew into really immense size. If they can't beat their opponents in a straight fight, they will just drown them with bodies!

By the very nature of this zombie mass, it's really difficult to make sense of all of this, so there will be more photos. First, some close-ups.

And pictures of the sub-regiments themselves.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Zombie Legion - Mummified Drake

Part of the Zombie Legion

This time, a mummified drake. The miniature came originally from Fenryll Miniatures. I bought it cheaply on eBay to be used as a zombie filler - though I had to repose him quite a bit to fit neatly on a 40x80 base. Thankfully that is really easy with resin. The wings also had to go - they were rather small and awkward - and it still looks fine without them. I wanted to make its skin dark brown, kinda like real life mummies, but in the end, he turned out a bit flat and bland. If I had to paint him again, I would do some more striking colors underneath those bandages, that would create some interesting contrast. But well, for now, he'll have to do as he is.

Drakes - despite being weaker, smaller and wingless cousins of real dragons - are still the most dangerous predators in Varsavian wilderness. Similarly to giant wolves, those reptiles are deified to some extent amongst the local folk - they are believed to bring prosperity and good harvest. Because of that, every time one of them is found dead - not a common occurrence - people gather its remains, mummify them and store them in makeshift sarcophagi near their villages to keep its positive influence for ages to come. When Constantin found one of those tombs, he quickly raised the impressive beast and added it to his minions. Disliking such superstitions, the vampire left the villagers to fight for their own prosperity, rather than hope for a dead lizard to grant it to them freely. Not that it would help in such a place as Varsavia, sitting between undead, bandits, barbarian hordes and other monsters.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Zombie Legion - Brutes

Part of the Zombie Legion

The unpainted conversions can be seen HERE and HERE.

Even more zombie fillers - this time, the Brutes - big guys standing alone on 40x40mm bases. It started with a Bloodstoker miniature from the Age of Sigmar starter box - which I converted to look like a fat, zombified cossack. He was fun and for a long time he was a stand-alone part of the horde - only much later I decided to use some orc and ogre bits that were lying around to make more of those, each one with some bloody torture/execution theme. In the end, I built four of them.

Being so close to chaos wastes, children in Kislev are born with mutations more often than in the Empire. Lacking the presence of inquisition, boyars tolerate the milder examples of such corruption. Many such children, while much less smart, grow to be bigger than their peers and have a natural affinity for violence - and they work often as executioners, thugs or bodyguards. Those brutes are naturally welcome in any army too - and that includes undead armies of von Greifen vampires. Being large, stocky and intimidating, they make perfect zombies - and they can continue their grisly executioner work to reinforce the terror factor of the undead horde.

The first pair - a headhunter and a breaking wheel carrier. First one is made out of orc parts with the torso sculpted out of greenstuff - I really liked the idea of a huge guy with a really small head. It was also a good excuse to use up some of my large collection of head bits. The second one is holding a breaking wheel - I always wanted to do something like this. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a good bit to be used as this, so I sculpted the wheel myself and then placed a poor zombie on top. Both of them will add some vertical elements to the horde - I hope they'll look good when surrounded by their unit companions.

Another two are the beforementioned cossack and a guy with a cage. The second one was quite complicated to build and paint - I had to glue the captured soldier to only half of the cage, paint him, close the cage, paint the cage, glue the cage to the zombie's back and then sculpt the rope - which then had to be painted of course. Still, he turned out quite fine, especially his funny face - and the prisoner was an opportunity to paint a human with a healthy skin tone - not something I do very often! The cossack/bloodstoker was much more straightforward.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Zombie Legion - Giant Spiders

Part of the Zombie Legion

The unpainted conversions can be seen HERE.

Once I bought some cheap giant spiders from the Battle of the Skull Pass set when I was looking for some inspiration to get more diversity in my zombie legion. Unfortunately, they were all identical, static and boring - so I hacked their legs away and setting them in new positions - I saw many people doing that on the internet. The process was tedious, not easy at all with all the pins, so I build only 4 of them - out of 10 that I had overall - but I think that many of them will suffice in the horde.

All of them got at least a bit of gloss varnish on their bodies to make them look slicker and properly arthropod-like. Their blood is also green or transparent here to push that alien look a little bit further - it was a great opportunity to try out that trick with glue mixed with paint to make it look all sticky and disgusting. That and water effects mixed with green paint.

First spiders shown here were based on the most characteristic ones one can outside here in central/eastern europe - a Wasp Spider (called a Tiger Spider in Poland) and a Cross Spider (called a Teutonic Spider in Poland). The yellow one looks especially striking amongst all the other zombies in the unit - I will show that later when the whole horde will be done.

Forests of the Old World are teeming with giant spiders and Varsavia is no different - and they are also a good stock to use in undead armies. Raising them as undead proved to be slightly more difficult than it is with usual vertebrates, though - but Constantin eventually managed to do it after some experiments. Still, the process is somewhat faulty - spiders still try to hunt from time to time and their most common victims are other members of the horde. Vampires deem it an acceptable drawback, for they can crawl walls superbly and are perfect for terrifying their living opponents in battle.

And the second two spiders are just vaguely brown/yellowish - I tried imitating other spiders found here, but I didn't find more really characteristic ones so they turned out pretty generic in the end. Now I think that I should have build a long legs spider - that would really stand out!