Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Freshly painted Fir Bolg skeletons

Last year I painted the Nightmare Legion. This classic skeleton 'regiment of renown' has seen quite a number of (very modern AoS) battles since. Aside from bringing me waves of happy nostalgia, it also brought an advantage of metal skeletons to light: they don't fall apart when subjected to my rather cavalier approach to transport. With that in mind I tried hunting down more members for the Nightmare Legion. Unfortunately people tend to seriously overprice old miniatures, especially when they know you're searching for them Maybe I'll get lucky and find affordable extra Nightmare Legion troopers, or one of these two units someday. As that day may never come, I decided to find different suppliers for metal skeletons. My fist interesting find was this unit produced by Brigade Models for their Celtos Fir Bolg line.

A group of 22 Fir Bolg skeletons reporting for duty to Nagash.

I have to admit I'm not familiar with the Celtos system, but the art reminds me of the old 2000AD Slaine comics I have in a bookcase somewhere. I had to resist purchasing a few other interesting models as the lead pile is high enough in my house and my focus was on their skeleton warriors. I first mailed them to ask what their scale was compared to the Nightmare Legion. Brigade Models responded quickly, although they could not tell me that as they where not familiar with the Nightmare Legion. Time to take a chance. I ordered their Skeleton Spearman Warband and added enough models to make a unit of twenty (twenty-two to be precise). I added the Skeleton Leader with Axe because his model just looked awesome as a unit champion/leader.

I can't help myself, I just love adding banners to my units. 
The models arrived quickly and came with their own metal shields. My order contained more shields than models that needed them. A nice bonus. These metal shields will serve as excellent bits to add to other projects in the future. I like the detail on the skeletons and they will fit right in with the rest of my army. I did cut off something that looked like a candle stuck to some helmets (model to the right, didn't like it) and I have to get used to the plucks of hair on the heads of some of the models. My preference is bald skulls. But it's a minor thing in an otherwise awesome unit.

The skeleton with the missing lower jaw is a nice touch in the lineup. 
On to painting them. I decided to try some contrast paint again. I based the models in white and painted the bones with thinned down Skeleton Horde. Instant basic skeleton color done. I applied a purple contrast paint to the cloth but it came out ugly and stained. So I switched back to a solid paint and layered some highlights on. The armor was painted VMC Gun Metal and drybrushed lightly with Ironbreaker. The shields where airbrushed VMC Hull Red followed up by a zenithal spray of VGC Bloody Red. I finished the models with a shiny coat of Alcad II followed by a pin wash with an Umber colored paint (this helps add a bit more of a gritty look to the rather clean and yellowish Skeleton Horde). After this dried I applied a matt coat by AK and then rusted the metal bits with my trusty pot labeled 'rust'. I printed a picture from an old Vampire Counts army book for the banner and painted the freehand banner over it by tracing the skull shape and letters. I covered the paper with PVA to give it a bit of strength and body (and to protect the paint). I've run out of tufts and my order for new ones hasn't come in yet. That's why the bases look a bit bare. I will add those as soon as they come in.

Wondering about the scale of different skeleton miniatures? Here's an overview of New Games Workshop, Oldhammer Games Workshop, Brigade Models Fir Bolg and a Reaper model (I think).
To finish up I will answer my own question with a picture. In the front rank from left to right you see: a (current) plastic GW skeleton warrior, a Brigade Models Fir Bolg skeleton, a Nightmare Legion skeleton, a Fir Bolg Skeleton, A Fir Bolg Skeleton musician, a Nightmare Legion commander, a Reaper skeleton*, a Nightmare Legion skeleton, a current GW plastic skeleton and a Fir Bolg Skeleton. All in all I'm quite happy with my purchase of the Brigade Model skeletons. My biggest regret is not ordering enough to make a unit of 40 (I should order another 18 some day soon). In the meantime I've just ordered a rather fancy unit of metal skeleton warriors from another company. More on those as soon as they've arrived. For now Its back to the Townscape and my Bretonnians for me.

* I'm not 100% sure this is Reaper, but I seem to recall it is.


  1. Nicely old school. If I didn't already have nigh on 100 skeletons, then I'd be tempted to get some of these.

    1. Thanks :) I'll be hitting 100 skeletons when my next order comes in. Can't wait to paint more undead.