Thursday, February 4, 2010

Vampire Counts: Skaven Pt. 2: Infantry

Continuing the saga of undead Skaven and the necromancers who love them, we have the backbone of every army: ranks and ranks of infantry:
Keep in mind the new book was not yet out when I was building this army, and at the time I was favoring skeletons as troops instead of everyone's favorite, zombies. Cheap the zoms may be, but I preferred the idea of troops that struck on a reasonable initiative number.  Mega Miniatures puts out blisters of 20-25 skeletons for around $20, among other things, and these were perfect starters for the army. Add in a single Clanrats box and you have all the bits you need for pretty much anything having to do with skaven and the dead in any combination.
Every 5th head or so in the Clanrats box is a bona fide Skaven skull, which is fantastic. I hewed at every other head with an X-Acto blade until they looked sufficiently skeletal. The Mega Minis skeletons are quite characterful,  being dressed in tattered armor and equipped with all kinds of weapons, from axes to greatswords. Though Skaven themselves are kind of stumpy (at least, the last edition's were) the more upright skeletons mesh well with the current designs.
When you combine the skeletons with Skaven parts and paint them appropriately necrotic, you get a whole new level of character. The fleshier ones could even be zombies, if you want.
Even given the poses and different stature, all of these actually rank up in a tray quite well. I didn't even do any pre-measuring and ranking. 

And the obligatory command, complete with a nice Skryre rune on the banner. The musician and banner parts are courtesy of the handy-dandy command sprue from the clanrats box, which inexplicably has the banners and gubbins of other races on it. Cheap to cast, I s'pose.

The Grave Guard are lovely minis from Privateer Press' Iron Kingdoms line. I got a pretty good deal on some from eBay, and being three to a blister, they were quite a steal at the price. Steam-powered Frankenstein's monsters seem like something a Skaven Necromancer would bolt together in his lab for heavy infantry, and power fists say "instant death to medieval soldiers" to me, so they're a reasonable stand-in for regular Grave Guard. 

For some reason, I was never quite sold on the idea of banners until I actually had to make them for fantasy armies, and then I found I rather enjoyed them. That chap with the bell might've been a monk or a beggar in life. Now he stomps into battle, forlornly ringing his bell. 

Since I play more 40k than WHF these days, I've been using more and more of these fellows as servitors in one way or another. My Adeptus Mechanicus army needs them for its artillery pieces as crew. If there's ever an official AdMech codex with servitors as an entry, I'll have enough to send a horde of them at an enemy (or failing that, a squad or three)

Next in the series: Cavalry.  (Yes, that means mounted Skaven.)

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