Sunday, 14 August 2022

15mm Dungeon: Bring out Yer Dead !


No self-respecting dungeon is complete without its garrison of the undead - whether liches or zombies or skeletons……lots of skeletons…… and my small scale effort will be no exception - I’m looking to include lots of re-animated skeletal warriors, alongside, as plot points, some freshly dead, who could go either way…..

First up is the absolutely superlative resin piece DFE01 ‘Mummified Wizard on Throne’ from Alternative Armies:

This really is the most characterful piece, and puts me in mind of one of the early sequences in Schwarzenegger’s Conan the Barbarian, when he finds the Atlantean sword in the tomb:

To my eye, it’s a spot-on match, just lacking the sword ! - so, I felt I had to have a go at one, and produce a nice focal point for the dungeon….. I just wished I knew how to produce cobwebs in 15mm !

The piece is mounted into a block of blue foam, suitably weathered in the usual way, topped by a Crom’s Anvil fire bowl, with some rubble at its feet and a few of those XPS foam bricks at the border, all mounted on scrap plasticard. ….. some outlines of geometric shapes hint at long faded decoration…..

I went ahead and added a sword, provided by Donnington Minatures’ EQ52 straight sword accessory pack: 

I initially tried for the same dry-as-dust brown appearance in the Conan movie, but this proved to be very bland looking in such a small piece, so carried on and added colour to both mummy and his throne, very much in the vein of the pictures on the Alternative Armies website, which are very atmospherically done.

If there was one small criticism of the piece, it is that the mummy himself is a bit on the small side - of course, he is seated, (and decomposedly dehydrated !), but appears slight next to most 15mm standing minis - hopefully, however, the grandeur of his setting makes up for this. 

No Undead King worth his salt would be without a set of eternal guardians, so I went ahead and continued with the Skeleton Guard set, again from Alternative Armies:

This a great group of Skellies in costumes of assorted historical periods, in some nice poses - I used a needle file to add some battle damage to the shields and nicks in the sword blades before painting:

I must admit, I think I went a bit overboard with a triad of paints to represent ageing and rust - it’s a difficult balance to get right on minis as small as these - so in close up, more brownish and  splodgey than I’d like, but at normal viewing distances, not too bad:

Now onto another tranche of figures, including some of the slightly less dead, to be used as plot points - will they re-animate as adversaries? - or just serve as something to plunder by our party of thieves and rogues (whilst the Lawful Good look on in disgust….) ?

A mixture of minis here - a trio of the supine skeletons from Alternative Armies ‘Dem Bones’ set, with added swords and shields from Donnington as above, as well as the various fallen warriors from their ‘Original’ range, a shield pile, and an unfortunate chap locked into a pillory:

I roughly free-handed some designs onto the spare shields, also trying to represent some marks and cuts to their faces, as well as splurging plenty of rusting effect overall - the fallen warriors had a final dry-brush of grey to try and bring out their unhealthy state - but this has rather dulled the finish, although perhaps appropriately - they are not in the bloom of their youth anymore !

I imagine that the pillory victim might still be alive when found by an adventure party - is he an innocent victim with useful information, or will he turn out to be something more untrustworthy….. ?

Finally, and rounding off this catalogue of the departed, a view of the finessed tunnel collapse victim from an earlier post - I’ve added a few scenic tufts to the base, which I think makes it a bit more interesting, and  the all-important treasure / object of interest - a magic sword - we know it must be magic, ‘coz it hasn’t rusted !  :-)

Next post : Traps and Treasures !

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