30 October 2020

Challenge of the Living Dead


So, once again Cheetor came up with an idea for a group challenge for all of us to work on. We were given a brief of painting something to fit with a spooky trope to fit the season and if possible fit into our Mordheim or Frostgrave warbands.

But like the best horror movies, things didn't go according to plan and Cheetor was too busy to compile this post for us. So, like the nerd picking up the chainsaw after the jock is hung up on the meat hook, I took over the reins of this project.

Grab your lover tight and be prepared for true horror.

Salem's Kemler

Greetings spooky creatures of the night! Salem here from http://thevampireswardiaries.blogspot.com/

So a while back a bunch of generous degenerates gifted me (gifted!!!) a Heinrich Kemler. Not the classic Morley sculpt, which I'd had for some time, but the one "m" Kemler, the OG, the holy grail of any citadel undead fan/collector. Probably the people all around this section of the post were part of that degenerate bunch. Plus others! I'm still stunned by the gesture, but enough of me babbling. A while back there was a Frostgrave challenge. Do a wizard and an apprentice. Easy! Perfect chance to do Kemmler and Kemler, necromancers at large and all round feisty lads. But.... All wishing and no painting meant I missed that one. 

Flash forward to October, and I was flipping through PDFs of old Warhammer scenarios and hit Terror of the Lichemaster. 

I got a surge of enthusiasm, and the Halloween challenge was upon us so it all just fell in to place. I've painted him up as best I can to match that description above, while still fitting in to my existing Vanguard warband. So here he is, the original Heinrich Kemler! Flanked by a bodyguard of some Lord of the Rings Barrow Wights that were already a part of aforesaid Vanguard warband. 

Asslessman's Vampire

Hey guys, so the idea in the group was to post pics of creepy stuff for Halloween, I love seasonal posts.

After making sure pictures of our genitals were not allowed for the post, I went for the second most creepy kind of miniature I know of, a vampire. This guy was actually just standing on my desk like in a paused video from the Village People and I knew I wouldn't find a better candidate even if I did bother looking for one.

I also used a little pause between two projects and a group painting/chat session to actually take him from his white undercoated state to a varnished and ready for the shelf one.
Painting with washes and glazes exclusively (with the exception of the teeth and eyes who got a highlight) over the course of the conversation was the perfect mojo booster and definitely a better way to use that hour than anything I would have done then !

I don't really know what use I'll make of him but he's generic enough to serve in both fantasy and sci-fi games so I'm sure I'll eventually find something !

Airbornegrove's Skeleton

What better miniature to do for the Halloween Challenge then a good old Heroquest Skeleton.  Now if you noticed I've spiced this one up a bit to be like a Diablo 2 Horror. 

Diablo 2 had these boss skeletons that could be red and black as well as special abilities.  So I've decided to paint this one like a Horror with the black scheme since it matches the scythe graphic.

"Horrors bear the final rictus of pure terror that killed them. They are grim manifestations of the worst in the world."
— Monster summary

Horrors also have a chance to deal Lightning damage in Diablo 2, so using them as a Skeleton Champion in Heroquest you can give them a chaos spell, or a buff of some kind.

Mr Saturday's Skeletal Colossus

My contribution to the challenge is the undead construct, Momentous Mori. I’ve fancied painting up a skeletal giant for ages, and when this popped through the letterbox I set it aside for Halloween spookytimes.

He’s a pleasantly gangly fellow. I added some extra armour plates and a few other bits and pieces to jazz him up some and give him a bit more heft. The vulture, arrows and the dead knight were added on later, to give him a some sense of scale. 

Painting was pretty much my standard undead recipes, with a little more contrast paint to knock back highlights here and there.

So there you go, a big scary dead guy for cleaving foolish mortals in twain with every swing. Mwahahahaaaa!

Weazil's Mummy Onna Manticore

So. Mummies. We are forced to imagine lots of shambling, and perhaps some moaning. From time to time, movies (like 'The Mummy') give us visions of high-speed, urgent mummies - but broadly speaking, we don't often get to associate 'dynamic' with 'mummy'.

Also: Manticores. 4th edition was a huge eye-opener for many of us emerging from dungeons and dragons into the open arms of table top wargaming. It took small, weak necromancers who would hide in graveyards and secret dungeons and put them on top of majestically murderous manticores, to lead bravely from the front, filled with absolute confidence in their own skill and that of their terrible mount. The YMCA poses of the characters went a long way to supporting the 'shoot me, I can take it' ethos that came with that confidence.

Now, the union of the two should have been fairly straightforward. We're channelling pure 4th edition red era here: Mummy with ridiculous amounts of overpowered magical items riding a manticore, because... well, 200 points and holy-fuck-have-you-seen-that-statline, really.

The only problem is, well, the manticore in the room:

It's as if all seven of the dwarves from Snow White (Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy and Dopey, for reference) had a meth fuelled chaos gangbang with a mentally defective troll abusing.. well, substances, and through the devastating and malignant power of chaos magic, ALL SEVEN managed to combine their man (dwarf?) juices into one unholy sperm bomb which savaged that poor troll's eggs like napalm, impregnating the biggest, meanest of them all with the thing that ultimately became Dieter's manticore.

AND THEN it had a massive car accident, refused reconstructive surgery, instead opting to take up the extremely elite Dominic Cumming's Five Easy Steps To Developing Your Empathy class.

It's an ugly figure.


A mummy was to ride a manticore. It had been imagined, and it was therefore to be.

All we had to do was... reconfigure the manticore. A lot.

I give you Mummy Onna Manticore:

As you can see - it's different. It's...less ugly. Still ugly, but certainly less so. I cut and filed and poked and bent and pinned, until it no longer looked like Dieter's manticore. I lifted it up and clipped most of the mane on the head off. I found a suitable mummy and re-organised it to hold a bitch-ass sword. Painted it all up in pleasing halloween-ey compatible colours. There's even a tree stump. Here, this is what it looked like before I painted it:

Ultimately, there is one thing that plagues me, and will now do so for ever (or at least, until I get another one of these manticores): the head. It is without a doubt the head that is the reason the original looks so very, very awful.

So I have a warning for those who would follow me: If you are tempted down this path, do yourself the favour I should have done myself (and pondered for a while before losing patience and just getting on with the job): get the Lammasu head. Replace Dieter's manticore's head with the Lammasu head.

That said, I'm thrilled to bits that I have a fairly unique red-era budget cheese delivery system that I can min-max like a boss. Heart of woe, anyone?

Spevna's Skeletons

I’m really not a fan of Halloween. I get why kids enjoy it, but adults using it as a excuse to put on a stupid costume and get drunk is pathetic. I don’t need an excuse to get shitfaced and make a complete tit of myself!

That said, my mate JB basically accused me of being a lazy slacker for not getting anything done for this challenge so I decided to bang these lads out in 4 hours!

They are far from my best work, but they’ll do for dungeon encounters and such.

I’d already done a handful of skeletons, so here they are as a group.

Should be enough to scare anyone foolish enough to venture too deep for treasure!

Bulldog Lopez's G-G-G-Ghosts


I had a secret weapon jackolantern base lying around and I jazzed it up with some twigs and roots. Black spray paint and some sloppy brown and green tones was my approach to the base.

The ghosts were sprayed white and then washed with Nyhlic(sp?)Oxide and a little Aethermerthateratwrtic Blue contrast paint.

Sean's Vampire


I love Vampires. As a kid, Dracula was my go to costume for Halloween. My mom made me a cape and I would use Dippity Doo to slick back my hair like Bela Lugosi. Unfortunately pictures of that time appear to have been lost in moving back and forth around the US.

I had intended to do a coven of Vampires, but you know excuses. So I painted this one.

This particular figure is Matthias the Twisted from Reaper. Sculpted by Bobby Jackson. I had wanted this figure since I saw Ryder Strickland's in person at Kublacon a few years ago. You can read about his Mordheim undead warband  here. As per usual I had moved on to the next project until he posted it up again on his Instagram. So I finally bought one and painted him.

I used a combination of Reaper paints and Citadel Contrast. One thing I tried this time was going over the cowl, lower half of the cloak and bandages with some thinned Skeleton horde as a kind of wash.

I tried something a little different with the photography. I'm not totally happy with it so I'll probably keep working on that.


So, I hope you enjoyed our little tribute to Halloween. You got my more Bud Abbott version of a blog as compared to the usual Lou Costello.