Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Summer in the marshes, time to look ahead

So we've finally reached the summer holidays; the kids I teach have been counting down the doors, but so too have the staff as it seems to have been a tiring and stressful year. Now that the holidays are upon us I am publicly stating my aim to get as much of my fimir army sorted this summer as I possibly can. Since April I have bought a reasonable number of bits and pieces so that I have the majority of what I need. Once everything that I have is modelled and painted I will have:

  • 1 Meargh (Hag-queen)
  • 2 Dirachs (fimir daemon wizards)
  • 16 Fimir warriors (armed with either morning stars, shields, or additional hand weapons)
  • 24 Shearl (armed with spear and shield)
  • 10 Moor Hounds
  • 10 Fir Bolg (armed with either great weapons or hand weapon/shield)
  • 3 Marsh Reavers
  • 3 Fiana Fimm (ogre-sized fimir warriors)
  • 1 Eye Oculus of Balor (portable altar type thing)
Warriors of the Dead
I need another box of Saurus warriors in order to bulk out the fimir warrior unit, along with another box of skinks for the shearl. I would also like to bulk out the fir bolg by using the Warriors of the Dead box from GW's Lord of the Rings model range (pictured left); this would give a bit of variety in the unit, showing them as fallen warriors from a range of different battles and armies now summoned to protect the fimir.

Where do I go beyond this? I'm really sure to be honest. I need a battle standard bearer, but I'm not really sure on what model to use. I was originally thinking of using the GW Lizardmen scar veteran with battle standard (pictured right), I really like the shrunken heads and skulls on it, but I'm not sure if the rest of the model is right for the aesthetic of my army. More confusingly, I'm not really sure why it isn't right either. I could convert one, but I don't really know what to use as the base model. One idea I did have was to use the old Heroquest fimir model (see below) as I nod to some of my inspiration. Looking back on it though, my fimir design has moved on from this look and using that model might stand out too much. Equally the angle that the hand holds it axe is greater than I remembered it being, making any banner that I tried to put in that hand a bit too diagonal for my liking.

Gor-RokI really like the Gor-Rok model (pictured right) from GW's lizardmen range. I'm not sure if he would be easy to convert into a battle standard bearer. Alternatively, it might be nice to have an alternative general in my army, more combat orientated than magic. Especially as there are some really nice magic weapons in the fimir army book I'm currently using. Also, I'm looking at using the Lore of Beasts as a main source of magic for at least one of my casters, and there are some great spells to beef up characters for melee.

In terms of other units, some Boglars would be fun; they are marsh gnoblars and their rules run them as skirmishers, and they can be upgraded to toad-gnoblars giving them the waterbirth ability where they can add more models if they spend time in water. There are also armed with throwing weapons, so would give me something to actually do in the shooting phase. the GW gnoblar models (pictured left) from the Ogre Kingdoms range would work nicely for these I think.

There are a few other ideas for the daemon-esque units, but I'll leave them for now. I want my army to mainly focus on fimir units. Currently I am painting the remaining 11 fimir warriors, as well as working on a few bases. Then I need to get my green stuff out again and set about sculpting the eyes on the shearl and my dirachs, before painting them. I'm not really sure whether to do kilts on them or not - it would be a unifying element, but I want the shearl to clearly demonstrate their lower status, and the dirach models have got nice details which would get covered up. I'll have to think about what else I could do instead.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Shearl spotted

The shearl are the workers of the fimir race, containing those born to gather and care for food, construct and be responsible for the upkeep of the clan huts, alongside some skilled and valued labourers like carvers and weavers. In times of war they are often called up and have weapons thrust into their hands and pointed in the direction of the enemy; few survive such deadly encounters, many break and flee, yet their panic is of little consequence to the fimir warriors around them.

Since the beginning of my fimir project the plan has always been that lizardmen saurus warriors would make the fimir warriors and the shearl would be made from the skink models. With the other components of the army coming along quite nicely (in modeling terms, if not quite actually being painted yet), it was time to shine a spotlight on the lower levels of the fimir society, giving the shearl some attention. Having bought and unboxed the skink kit I was slightly worried as I hadn't realised quite how stuck out the tails were on the models - I think I'm going to have some troubles ranking this unit up.

The skinks come with the option of either blowpipes or javelins. I wanted my shearl to be equipped with spears and shields as the ultimate plan for the unit is to reach horde size (10 models wide) so that there will be 4 full ranks of ten attacking! The shearl are not particularly good fighters so weight of numbers should hopefully help them. The javelins work quite nicely as spears and the different ways they are held on the models means that I can have the back rows equipped and pointing their spears over the heads of those in front of them. That bit, therefore, wouldn't require any remodelling or gathering of alternative parts. However, I am keen to change the aesthetic of the models away from their lizardmen roots, so the distinctive shields need to be changed. I spent quite a while trying to work out what I could gather and use as replacements, but eventually found a nice selection on eBay.

The other annoyance about the skink box is that it doesn't come with any command figures, so it was time to raid my bits box. I remembered that the grave guard box I bought for use as for bolg had a really nice tatty standard, which I thought would make a nice contrast to the dwarven one I used for the fimir warriors, as well as give an impression of the status of the shearl in the clan. Digging that banner out I also found the horn that comes with that kit, so that took care of the musician as well. For the shearl fian (champion) I gave him a bigger spear, using one from the saurus kit - apparently size matters!

So with the spears and new shields equipped, their heads and spines carved down, ready for some green stuff work, I'm reasonably happy.