Thursday, 31 July 2014

Phalanx For The Memories

Eagle-eyes readers of our last battle report may have noticed a discrepancy in my army list: the big block of Spearmen that bravely withstood the Chaos hordes (mostly by getting killed in a slow fashion) was numbered at 40, whereas I only had 30 Spearmen in my collection.

The Alcatani Fellowship
I know they were all proxied in Sweden, but it still matters.

Fear not - your sleepless nights are over. I was, in fact, able to field a unit of 40 Spears, thanks to a timely acquisition and a bit of quick brushwork.

The Alcatani Fellowship
They only had three colours on them at the time of the battle.
(but that's still tournament-legal, right?)

I hadn't really expected to return to my Empire army (at all! ever!), but the problem was that I actually had 31 models in the unit (the original 30, which was nice and neat, then I added a converted Lorenzo Lupo as champion) - which mean one poor spearman was gathering dust in the bitz box.

As you may recall, that kind of thing drives me crazy, and tends to lead to impetuous purchases to even things out. I had to get enough models to get this lonesome chap back into the front line.

The Alcatani Fellowship
Billy-no-mates is pictured on the left.

I was also keen on the idea of a proper 8th edition-scale unit of 40-50 models (although spears are reputed to be the worst of the infantry weapons). So when I saw a dozen Alcatani Fellowship for a decent price, I snapped them up.

Dogs of War miniatures tend to sell for exorbitant rates on eBay (far too much for a unit of cannon-fodder - no matter how lovely the models are), but these particular ones were devalued by their lousy paint job (nonetheless advertised as 'pro-painted' - I love eBay) and I got them for less than a quid apiece.

The Alcatani Fellowship
They have since been Dettol-stripped and give a *different* lousy paint job.

Painting these up reminded me how much I enjoy doing so: the miniatures are beautifully-sculpted (which means the ink wash is doing most of the work) and, unlike Savage Orcs, there is no lengthy process of furs, bones and tattoos to wade through.

Except for the eyes. I hate doing eyes at the best of times. Trying to paint eyes through a Corinthian helmet is hell. Trying to do so with a ruddy great pike in the middle of where your brush should go is hell with a side order of purgatory.

The dozen came with a full command, but that wasn't a problem as I had to jettison one of them to keep the numbers even. Out went the Roderigo Delmonte model (who I still don't think fits into the look of the unit, but may have a promising future in Mordheim) and the surplus standard bearer got a weapon swap for a humble pike.

The Alcatani Fellowship
Stop complaining. You got to keep the sword.

Which just left the musician. I was a bit rude about puffy shirts when I originally painted this unit, but having a 40+ strong unit without a musician was starting to feel incongruous, and at least his helmet matched the others.

The Alcatani Fellowship
In all his puffy glory.

I painted his shirt off-white, to match the champion's cloak, and gave it the logo of the regiment, since he's their cheerleader. I think his right shoulder pad is meant to be cloth, not metal, but the poor guy needed some armour.

Another challenge was trying to replicate the painting techniques from a decade ago, so these reinforcements would fit seamlessly into the unit (luckily we have this blog here, for me to record all the painting recipes). I think I managed okay - although I humbly submit that these latest models are actually a little bit better than their predecessors.

What I did add was a thinned-Black Ink wash on the Shadow Grey trousers, so the colour didn't look so flat; another wash of Devlan Mud (my last precious drops) to bronze-up the armour, and steel spearheads (Ironbreaker base and highlight, Black Ink wash) to replace the bronze ones.

Which meant I then had to go back and repaint the details on the original 30. Of course I did.

So there you have it: 42 Alcatani Fellowship, all lined up like the Gates of Thermopylae.

The Alcatani Fellowship
I.O.U. 258 Spartans


  1. I hope that's a firm commitment to paint the rest of them. If you do, I'll do the entire Persian army in a week.

    1. I'll proxy the remaining hoplites using Zack Snyder's 300 as my inspiration.

      I think a very large ham would be a suitable unit filler.