Monday, April 24, 2017

Sorry boys, you've been replaced

"Your services are no longer required."  No one wants to hear that phrase, however it happens.  We replace cars when they get old and require too many repairs.  We replace appliances when they break down.  So much in today's society has become disposable - but that isn't really where I want to go.

I just finished up painting the new units for my Kingdoms of Men demo army as well as some earth elementals (for my nature demo army), so I figured it would be an interesting way to show them off by showing both the new models, and the ones they have replaced.

Four years ago, when I was getting prepared to do my first Learn to Play sessions for Kings of War at Origins 2013, I was trying to come up with appropriate armies for this.  My original thought had been to just use my old warhammer armies, but they didn't work that well because of theme.

I had my abyssal dwarfs, which were (and still are) my 'tournament' army, and the first demo I made two separate (but nearly identical) lists out of them..  I had dwarfs and undead based on the units I had won at Adepticon and then picking up the undead/dwarf starter set at the time.  I was using goblins and orcs from my UGPS, and I had my Ogres as well.  That was seven armies.  I needed one more quickly, and spotted an old copy of Lionheart and remembered it was basically miniatures. Going through the box, I was able to come up with well over half an army - add in a couple of heroes and a unit of Ogres and I could make a thousand points.  I did some minor conversions (musicians and standards mainly), painted everything and had my eighth army.

The plastic for these miniatures was very brittle, and the sculpts were quite 'soft' (i.e. not a lot of detail) but they worked.  Spears and lances were constantly breaking off however, and since I had completely painted the models and then finished the bases before gluing them to the bases the models were also constantly coming off (the PVA gluing the sand to the base was not nearly as strong as the super glue attaching the model to the sand (which didn't reach down to the actual base.  I have since learned that if you are using sand for texture on a base, it has to go on AFTER the model, so the model is glued to the base, not the sand.

As I continued to do demos, I updated the army.  I got some foot knights from Eccentric Miniatures (as well as a couple of their great crossbows) that I used for a horde of Foot Guard - though they were a bit smaller than the other units.  I happened to get a free Knight Baneret for Ex Illis when I bought my son a couple of boxes of their angels (for an army he never finished).  I put together the mounted version and painted him up for a friend to borrow at Adepticon.  I then figured I didn't want to waste him, so repainted him and put him in KoM army, replacing the converted foot knight I had been using.

Original Army Standard Bearer
'new' mounted General
Well, I really liked that figure, and as my knights started getting much worse for wear, I ordered a couple of boxes of them - each box had four knights and four mounted seargents.  So I painted them up and replaced my knights.  One of the things I did learn though was to NOT point the lances up, as they would not easily fit in my transport bins and eventually break.

Old knights - I had to glue two of them back on the base just for the picture
New knights

The mounted seargents had spears, but I swapped those out for bow arms from the GW Empire Free Company kit.  The horses are also all turning at an angle - not a big deal for a skirmish game where each model is on it's own separate round base, but it would look really awkward to have them facing forward in a normal rank.  Multi-basing to the rescue.  By angling the horses I can make it look like these nimble troops are turning and shooting around a common target.  One set had hands with arrow, the other did not have arrows, having just shot them.  These actually aren't directly replacing anything, but the horde of foot guard are now gone.
About to shoot
arrows away
One interesting model on the sprues with the knights was a wizard - so this easily replaced the old GW Dark Emissary I had been using (and had never actually finished painting since way back with the 6th edition Albion campaign).
an older picture, as I'm not quite sure where this model is at the moment (oops)

wizard, that fits all the mounted units
So a major part of the army was replaced.  I like to use models from the same place in a given army when possible, so they are all consistent (especially since scale can vary widely between manufacturers.  I did some looking, and found that the old Ex Illis starter sets had bowmen, crossbowmen and bilmen (i.e. polearm troops).  I found a couple of cheap ones on eBay and bought them - only to find that one of them that SAID it was a starter was actually a combination of two - so double the cavalry models and NONE of the infantry ones - meaning I had to get a third starter to actually have enough infantry (even with only 8 per troop).

So I put them together, and just finished painting them up.  The militia mob are poorly armed peasants forced into battle.  I replace the one troop with two.

Old mob
New militia with pitch forks
new militia with spears
The spearmen were replaced with a regiment of bilmen - which I used as Pole-Arms Block (pretty crappy name actually).  I could have trimmed off the blades on the pole-arms to make them spears, but the way they were holding them I figures I'd go ahead and keep the CS(1)
Half my old spearmen
Pole-Arms Block regiment
I had archers in my old KoM list, and was just going to replace them.  Well since I had all those extra knights, it eventually hit me that they could make a brotherhood list - and they ended up getting the archers, while I kept the crossbows for this list.  The two troops became a regiment because loosing the two hordes I suddenly was in desperate need for hero / war engine slots.

One of the two old archer troops
crossbow regiment
archers for brotherhood - in the queue to eventually be painted
In second edition, cannons took a major nerf - so I decided to replace the hobbled together one I had made with a great crossbow (balista) - using two of the milita mob models for crew.


old cannon
new balista
And with that, my new Kingdoms of Men demo army is complete (well maybe - if I change the mounted general back to an Army Standard Bearer, drop Bane Chant(2) and Lightning Bolt (3) (instead swapping out Fireball(6) for Lightning Bolt(3) for free) I have exactly enough points to add in a troop of Mounted Sergeants (I don't have more bow arms, so these would have the spears they came with).  I have a bunch of these models left (11 I think), so I might still do that.  But for now it is done.

However the Kingdoms of Men aren't the only army getting some replacements.  With the second Kings of War kickstarter, Mantic finally released a model for the Greater Obsidian Golem - so I got two!  This, of course, replaced the old Reaper earth elemental I had been using.
Reaper Bones Earth Elemental
Mantic Greater Obsidian Golem
Pictures can be deceiving, so here is one of the two models side by side, and I think you can see why I went with the Mantic one.

Don't believe them when they say size doesn't matter
When the initial Forces of Nature list first appeared in the Basilean Legacy, Mantic did not yet make any of the models.  Second edition saw new models (and dropped several I had been using in my old army).  I've been slowly replacing my old models with the newer Mantic ones as they have become available.

First up were the Forest Shamblers.  A friend a mine had done some really nice conversions using Woodland Scenics tree kits.  I thought I could do that, and while I used mine for a while, they were never as good as Keith's, so I was glad to replace them with the new Mantic Forest Shamblers.

Keith Ambrose's Forest Shamblers
My feeble attempt at them
The Mantic ones now in the army
I originally had fire, air and earth elementals in my nature list (along with sylphs and gnomes), but with the second edition revisions, only the earth elementals are currently left.  I had originally used these old Confrontation models as Obsidian Golems for my Abyssal Dwarfs, then as earth elementals, and now they are back in the 'not used' bin as I just finished up Mantic earth elementals.
Rackham Confrontation Earth Elementals
Mantic Earth Elementals
There are some units that ended up getting replaced before they ever made it to the table.  The centaurs for the Nature list were one of these.  I was going to use Reaper centaurs (I had to reposition the male bodies, and had just primed them with a brown primer when I FINALLY got in the new ones from Mantic, who took their place.


Unfinished Reaper Centaurs
Mantic Centaurs
Unfortunately these metal models are some of the fiddliest I've seen from Mantic.  I am very worried because the legs are so thin (and several of these only have one leg attaching the model to the base) and bend so easily that they may not survive a convention (one has already had to be repaired on the fly).

The final unit being replaced are my Naiad Wyrm Riders.  I saw a kickstarter from Iron Wind Metals to bring back some of their old Ral Partha sculpts, and picked up three Kraken riders from it.  I then used extra plastic Naiads to ride them (kind of surfing on their backs, as then ended up being quite a bit thinner and longer than I expected.  Well if you are a follower, you know I just put together the new Mantic Naiad Wyrm Riders.  I haven't had time to do more than prime them black, but they are waiting to go.  However with the new release of the entire Trident Realms of Neritica army, I may put the wyrm riders in that army, and replace them with the new Water Elementals.


Ironwind metals Kraken for Wyrm Riders
Mantic Naiad Wyrm Riders - primed and waiting for paint.
So you can see how armies, even demo armies, canc change over time.

Because it is all fun and games . . .

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