Monday, December 18, 2017

New Frostgrave Warband: da Bearss!

For my upcoming Frostgrave campaign, I had some warbands that had a few figures already painted. "Da Bearss" (nod to an old Saturday Night Live skit) is one of those. And yes, I am tempted to name the leader "Ditka" -- but I'll leave that up to the player who decides to use this warband! The two figures that I will be using as crew were completed previously as part of a Lead Painters League entry. The others are all new, though.
The Bear warband's Heritor and one of its warriors -- a Ral Partha Grizzly Bear
First up is the Heritor and a Ral Partha 25mm Grizzly Bear. I will use pretty much normal crew stats for the Grizzly, perhaps making him a Specialist hand-to-hand type. I love Ral Partha (or Iron Wind Metals, if you prefer) animals. They are realistic looking and are great size to mix with the Splintered Light Miniatures that will make up my warbands. The Grizzly ("Butkus"?) was easy to paint up. A dark brown base coast was followed up with a Camo Brown dry brush. Khaki highlights were then dry brushed in. I then went back and darkened the legs with black dry brushing. He looks effective and fierce, I think.
I hand-painted the Heritor's shield, though the shield itself is a modification of the figure
I chose this figure as the Heritor, though truthfully, all of the SLM Bear miniatures are impressive looking. I picked him mainly because of his heavier armor. I don't know why, but for these figures I like to do leaders with polished bronze armor -- using some gold paint for highlights. I used steel chainmail, though, to give him an interesting composite mix. The shield is actually a modification of the SLM figure. There is a peg hole in the back where a scabbarded, two-handed sword is supposed to go. I decided I would give him a shield in case the player controlling the warband wanted his Heritor to have more armor.
The Bear warband's Warden -- love the two-handed warhammer!
Next up is the Warden, a bear swinging a seriously impressive two-handed warhammer. I picked him for the warden because they are technically not supposed to wear armor. This figure has only a couple shoulder pieces and an arm brace, so "close enough," I say! I decided to go with a rust color for the bears' eyes in this warband. The original paint job on the other two had black eyes with tiny white points to be light reflecting off, but it looked too maddened and crazed to me. I always Google images of animals before I paint them, and bears' eyes seemed to be this honey brown color in the images I found.
The Warden's familiar - a Ral Partha brown bear that, ahem, barely squeezes onto his base with him
I've also begun placing an animal on the base of the wardens as a "familiar." It will make it easier for players to differentiate the various members of the crew on the tabletop. Since I'm using what Splintered Light Miniatures makes, I don't quite have the variety and choices that a human warband would have! The bear is a Ral Partha 25mm brown bear - quite a bit smaller in size than the grizzly. I painted him up similarly, though. He should probably be a bit darker to be a true brown bear, but I like how he turned out nonetheless. He did j-u-s-t fit onto the base with the Warden.
The warband's crew members -- both were previously painted up and based (though I added the tufts) the guy holding aloft he axe - you can almost hear him roar!
Here are the previously painted figures from two separate Lead Painters League entries. One is armored (once again, bronze plate armor) and the other less armored. I was tempted to cut off the axe head of the unarmored one, fashion it into a staff, and make him the warden. But honestly, it is such a freaking cool figure! I love the way he's holding aloft that two-handed can almost hear him roaring a challenge to his enemies. So, I just couldn't bear (sorry) to mutilate this pose. Both poses are great -- I also love the giant, two-handed morning star. The sculpted, bronze cuirass is pretty cool, too.

These are the tallest SLM figures I own. They measure about 29mm from the soles of the feet to the tips of their ears. They tower over some of the other animal lines -- especially the mice and squirrels. The badgers aren't too much shorter, and their wolverine figures rival them in height, but fall a bit short (as U of M Wolverines tend to do...ha, ha!).  I really like this warband, though -- it is probably my favorite of the ones I've painted.

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