The Walking Dead Part III

Well. The month of May came and went faster than a loosed elvish arrow winging towards the weak spot of an orc’s armor! I know you were very anxious for the next part of this series and for that, I am sorry. An awful lot happened with this project in the meantime so there will be plenty of text but I shall reward you with lots of pictures at the end. Let’s charge into this article!

If you remember from Part II of the series, I had bought some questionable shields to add to my ghost army. Those shields had very pronounced print lines and ridges, which I attempted to remediate by applying some of Games Workshop’s Liquid Green Stuff and then filing down. I am constantly disappointed by the Liquid Green Stuff so I was not overly surprised when the experiment was also disappointing. After making a big powdery mess from filing the resin/green stuff to make a smooth surface, some of the ridges and lines were still present and, not being a fan of extra work for poor results, I switched my approach and bought some shields by Deus Vult. These were much, much better and so I ordered a few more and kitted out the rest of the force with them.

Some foot models with different shapes of shields from Deus Vult.
Spear-armed foot models with various shields.

With all of my foot troops assembled, and now with shields, I got to painting with the goal of finishing them by the end of the month. I’m happy to say that I was actually able to accomplish this, which was a huge relief given the annoyance of the shield debacle. Alas I was unable to share photos of this accomplishment so here are those pics now.

The King of the Dead with his retinue, including the standard bearer.
Close-up of the King and Standard Bearer.
A larger block of foot models, armed with a mix of spears and hand weapons. The hand-weapon infantry have the dodgy shields, while the spearmen and champion (denoted by the ‘X’ on his shield) use the plastic shields supplied with the infantry sprues.
Another infantry block, armed with hand weapons and dodgy shields. The ‘standard’ is one of the Heralds from the King of the Dead set.
Believe it or not this is a DIFFERENT block of infantry, armed with hand weapons and dodgy shields, with the second herald-turned-standard.

With all of the infantry painted I dove into the cavalry portion of the army. Unfortunately Games Workshop only has two sculpts for the Riders of the Dead and if you know me, I am definitely not a fan of too many repeated sculpts in an army. To remedy this I picked up a single GW Rider of the Dead metal model, a two-pack of the GW easy-to-build Dreadblade Harrows, and a box of Hexwraith/Black Knight models to fill out the unit. As I got into the build I realized that there was a little bit of a scale issue. The Dreadblade Harrows were quite large compared to the Hexwraiths, who were themselves significantly larger than the single GW model I had. At first I thought it would be alright but over time it just grated on my nerves so I ended up ordering another box of Hexwraiths. I saved the hands from the Harrows models because I really like the look of the bloody great swords they were holding. I also had a pack of Bladegheist Revenants to use as Riders whose mounts had been slain. With the extra models from this box I saved the swords so that I could kit out the riders with big swords too. After all this work, I was really happy with the end result and even though it put me six weeks behind schedule, the look of the finished unit was really cool. You get extra points if you hear ‘Ghost Rider’ by the Rollins Band in your head here.

Tucking into box number two of the Hexwraiths.
Some work-in-process Riders.
The cavalry has arrived! Kit-bashed hands so they’re all carrying bloody great swords, they look intimidating. You can see the shrimpy metal Rider of the Dead model towards the right. At least the unit as a whole looks fierce.
Close-up of the banner bearer, added for looks since that’s not an option for this unit.

For the basing I decided to do use some of a custom ballast mix I have, painted/washed/drybrushed and then with added elements to unify the whole force. I used tufts from Huge Miniatures (highly recommended!) to add some dead-ish grass as a contrast color to the larger swathes of other colors, as well as some black flowers to represent the flowers becoming withered and dead from the passage of the Dead, and some white stones I have been using on models for over 20 years now. I like the end result here, though it’s a little more muted than I had originally intended.

There you have it. Roughly 1,000 points of Riders of the Dead for the Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game. They are light on special rules and only have three entries in the whole army list so I think they will be really good to learn the game some more. I’m sure their limitations and my poor generalship will result in many losses but they’ll look cool and I painted an entire army in roughly two months, excluding the six week delay waiting for GW to ship models. And all in less time than it took Andrew to finish his Rohirrim. Sure his models look loads better and involve more than five colors but let’s ignore that for now!

“I hold your oaths fulfilled.”

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