After some teaser pics in this post, I finally gotten around to giving some of my favorite units their due. :-)
Ever since being released along with the Warhammer campaign pack, Circle of Blood, GW's now out of production metal armored skeletons have been a mainstay in my Undead and Vampire Counts army. I bought a bunch when they first came out and have added more and more over the years until I currently have the 60 minis pictured above and below.
Always some of my favorites, these figs form the "Vanhaldenschlosse Guard" and represent part of the orderly martial core (along with Black Knights and Grave Guard) of my dark but regal von Carstein army. As you'll see in the future, my army also includes more chaotic shambling hordes of skeletons, zombies, and feral packs of ghouls.
I think there is a place for both. These armored skeletons easily double for Grave Guard, and I imagine them marching straight out of the ancient castle they garrison, eternally bound to the will of their master. Driven with a single purpose and menace.
The more typical chaotic hodge-podge units of skeletons and zombies represent the troops raised along the campaign trail by the less powerful Necromancers to bolster the army's numbers. Their banners (see zombies below) are whatever they picked out of the muck.
To me, this is one of the ways I try to differentiate an aristocratic and militaristic "von Carstein" army from that of one lead by a Necrarch or Strigoi for example. The other is a lot wolf icons and symbology throughout the army. I think the hint of uniformity help capture the dark majesty of their bloodline. At least my version of it.
You can sort of get an idea of what they used to look like in these old battle reports:
Legendary Battles: Vampires vs Vampires
Legendary Battles: Witch Hunters vs Vampire Counts
I'm not a fan of bat-winged helmets as I like my undead to look like actual ancient warriors raised from the dead, so I replaced the champion model with two of my old Wights from Marauder Miniatures. Given some new swords from the Chaos Warrior sprue these rather impressive champs can also double for "Wight King/Lords" hero level characters in the ranks. These two minis are some of my favs from my very old school Undead army I did in college in the early '90s, so it's nice to see them repainted and back in service with my army.
Although I haven't fielded my VC army in Warhammer 8th Edition, it looks like they have a new army book on the way soon. Along with getting ready for a little Halloween skirmish battle, I've decided to give my VC and little T.L.C. this month while I'm in the spooky times mood. :-)
I have around 80 old metal zombies that I've been "freshening up" lately. Basically I've been touching up or changing some of the original color choices and using the new Citadel washes (black, brown, and green) to make them a little darker. I'm also getting rid of most of the clumsy shields and larger "club" weapons, as well as adding some fresh gore with Tamiya's clear red.
So here's a sneak peak of the first 40+ zombies I've redone already. Enjoy!