“Conan. What is Best in Life?”

“To complete your figures”.

“To see them drying before you”

“And to hear the lamentations of your woman” (because you haven’t done the washing up!).

OK so these aren’t the proper words, but Conan did sort of steal them from “Genghis Kahn” himself, so deal with it Conan! As you have probably guessed from this introduction, I have now finished my “Cimmerian” based Barbarian “Hott” army, this means I’ve also completed my entry for Dave Stone’s “Unity Challenge”, though I can’t really “blow my own trumpet” too much as it has taken me two whole months to paint up ten bases of infantry and cavalry (or to put it another way thirty 15mm figures). Not I have to say my proudest achievement! I think the problem was unlike my previous “Hott” armies which consisted of mainly units of identical “rank and file” figures this is essentially and army (albeit a small one!) of individuals, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it anyway!

The final two “Warbands” were completed in the same manner as all the previous ones (as were the riders for the cavalry), with lots of different flesh tones used along with copious amounts of chocolate brown highlighted with either butternut or leather brown, dependent on what they were representing, along with some dark/mid grey used on other areas of fur to add a little variation.

When it came to painting the horses I was originally just going to go with my usual brown/white/black colours but thought that as there is so much “brown” on these figures I’d try and ”spruce” them up a bit, so went with an “American Painted Horse” style like the Native Indians are famous for, whether this really works for Cimmerians I don’t know but I sort of like the end result. I began the painting with a coat of coffee, followed by a heavy dry-brush of cream, then mixing a little black into the chocolate brown, I added the “splodges” to one of the horses, in this dark brown, and highlighted this in just chocolate while I did the “under” splodges on the other two in chocolate brown also, these then were highlighted with chestnut. The harnesses were more chocolate with leather highlights. Black eyes and nostrils and hooves in khaki highlighted with butternut finished them off.

Once everything was glued to its relevant base, they were given a coat of Quickshade, and this really brought out all the wonderful detail sculpted into these great little figures. Then their bases were liberally painted with PVA wood-glue and a few layers of modelling sand was applied along with the odd piece of “kitty litter”. Once dry the bases were painted chocolate brown, before being dry brushed firstly in Khaki and then again in coffee. As I only wanted the odd sparse tuff of grass here and there I decided to forgo my usual areas of scenic green and just added the odd dot of PVA and sprinkled some hairy flock over this, a final “blow over” with some matt varnish and they were done thank god! (Or should that be “thank Crom!). A final thank you to Dave for coming up with this challenge, I don’t think I would have ever got these chap’s “over the line” without it.

I also added the final bits to my “Elvira” sculpt, these were the sleeves on her dress, that were just small balls of putty run around her wrists and blended into the “spikes” I’d already added. Lastly the rest of her hair was added over the “support sausage” (yay got it in!) I’d put on the top of her head and down her back, the detail was then tapped in with the blade on a small knife, I ran a couple of lengths down the sides of her face and out over the tops of her breasts, for interest, and again tapped in the hair detail. Once dry she was pulled from the “bottle top” (I should point out that instead of the corks most people use to sculpt on I use old juice bottle lids filled with “Blutack (Poster tack), The remainder of the florists wire was cut off and she was pushed onto a disk of putty to form her base. I’m not sure when she will get painted as I have been concentrating on my Conan stuff, so it might be this year. Or it might be next, who knows?  

As regular readers will be aware I generally take December off from painting as I prepare and then indulge in the festive season so for the rest of the year I will be posting some requested but slightly different posts….

So till next time, stay safe.

Cheers Roger.

This entry was posted in 15mm fantasy, fantasy, Hoards Of The Things, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to “Conan. What is Best in Life?”

  1. Cimmerians look great, Roger! 🙂 I think the horses look really good! And it would appear we share something in common, since I blu-tak all my figures to juice bottle tops to paint them!

    • Thanks John, glad you like the horses I wasn’t sure about then in the context of Conan, but I think it works. I used bottle tops the first time because i didn’t have any corks, but found I preferred them, plus it is of course re-cycling, so I’m also saving the planet (yay me!!)

      Cheers Roger.

  2. Dave Stone says:

    Great little army Roger, this has to be the best one you’ve done so far in 15 mm as they all look individual within they’re ranks.
    Great work on Elvira, my only critique would be to do her buffon a bit taller, but the rest is excellent.
    Look forward to seeing what other posts you come up with during December

    • Thanks Dave, the Cimmerians came out OK in the end, though they were a lot of work the one other army I’d like to do is an Amazon one, but I haven’t seen any for sale that I really like the look of yet, but there’s no rush for this anyway.

      I know what you mean about building her hair up, I was just a little worried about her getting too tall, as now she sits quite nicely amongst my “Heroic” 28mm figures. I think the angle of the photo doesn’t help either as it is more built up than it appears but the slope on it isn’t obvious in the pic.

      Cheers Roger.

  3. Oh those Cimmerians have turned out so much better than my Elemental Army, Roger. I was painting all-brown blobs for my Mudmen, and you’ve churned out a unit of archers with striped trousers, LOL!!! Marvellous stuff, and I love your choice of Conan mini (along with Red Sonja and Valeria(?)).

    Top green stuff work too. Instantly recognisable as Elvira, and I’m certain that your usual tip-top paintjob will really bring her to life.

    Right, I suppose I better get to work on your Top Ten… Plenty to see and choose from this year 🙂

    • Thanks Simon, I think you are being far to hard on your “Elemental Army” , I really liked what you did with them, and to be honest I did have far better sculpts to work with.

      Yes it is supposed to be Sonja and Valeria, with Conan, extra points for you!

      Elvira probably wont be eligible for the Top Ten as I doubt I’ll get her finished before the end of year deadline to be honest, I too will have to sort through your posts to make my choices, I did notice that you have the option on your site to look at “completed mini’s” that I hope will make life a lot easier for me (it’s hard enough just picking ten!), I have actually been back through my posts to make sure I have painted ten figures this year (I have just!).

      Cheers Roger.

      • Splendid spot, Roger, as I had you in mind when I created the “Finished Figure” category on my website. Hopefully, it will indeed help you make your choices and there’s no pesky “Scenery” stuff either, as that’s got a category of its own too, LOL!!!

        Personally, I think your work on those Dan Dare miniatures alone are close to filling up half the slots in a Top Ten, so I’ve certainly got my work cut out for me again this year 🙂

      • Ha ha! I was thinking about what I thought you might put into the top ten this year and I have what I think is a good idea of what your some choices might be…Of course I’m probably way off, as indeed will my choices of your output (at least there are no white skinks this year 😉).

        Can’t wait to find out now! roll on the new year!

        Cheers Roger.

  4. I have no idea if the horse colouring is accurate but I do know that from a painting perspective some poetic licence for contrast is always justified in my book, accordingly they look splendid as do the figures and the sculpt too. 🙂

    • Thanks Tim, I do rather like the horses, I have painted “Painted Horses” before back when I did some “Plains Indians” long before this blog, so I hoped they would add a splash of colour to an otherwise rather “brown” army. Poetic licence is part of the reason I like fantasy and Sci/Fi so much!

      Cheers Roger.

  5. Pete S/ SP says:

    Great work on the barbarian army.

    Am very impressed with your sculpting prowess too.



  6. borderguy190 says:

    Finished!! Woohoo!! I would go all 15s if i had to do it again. I’d paint way more minis, and actually get armies finished!

    Minis look great. Very cool sculpts. Elvira looks fantastic. You’ve got some skillz!

    • Thank Harry, woohoo indeed, I’m glad to have these guys off the painting table, they just looked so disapproving, sitting there staring at me!

      If I have “skillz” they sadly don’t pay the bills!

      Cheers Roger.

  7. andrewbruce1967 says:

    Very nice indeed I have shared your post here https://wargames-directory.com/forums/topic/conan-what-is-best-in-life/

    Feel free to join and share your work

    Take care


  8. angrypiper says:

    Awesome work, Roger. I’m fairly daunted to try anything smaller than 25mm. Elvira looks great and I can’t wait to see you paint her up. Looking forward to seeing your requested but slightly different posts (since I know what they are)!

    • Thanks Keith, I know what you mean about 15mm figures, they can look a bit daunting but I find this is because I like to have so many on the go at once, whereas I can happily paint one 28mm figure, I can’t do that with 15mm because it’s “lazy” they are only 15mm after all (stupid I know but that’s what I think), same applies with 20mm, 10mm and especially 6mm, which I have to do all at once when I have painted them.

      Thanks for the compliment about Elvira too, I did quite enjoy making her (though her face could have been better, women’s faces are hard!), I can see I’ll be making some more “chibi’s at some point, though probably not women. 😏

      Hope you enjoy the next few posts, they were partly your idea after all. 😉

      Cheers Roger.

  9. Roger, the Cimmerians rule! I like the war bands and I really am impressed that these are just 15mm. But the best are the horses – the paint scheme really adds to them. And I can’t wait to see Elvira painted, she’s so well sculpted. And, congrats on pushing yourself to achieve your unity goal. So, it’s 15mm for you going forward army wise with HOTT?

    • Thanks Mark, The Cimmerians was one of the three armies I REALLY wanted for Hott, (John Carter and Amazon, being the other two), So once I source and paint an Amazon army I like, I will be done with Hott for now at least (though I can see I’ll end up doing a Dwarf army at some point, I always end up doing Dwarves for some reason) and possibly an Undead one too. Oh and I might do a Christmas themed one as well, so perhaps not that “done” with Hott then 😉.

      Yep good to get them finished and Dave “Unity Challenge” was the push I needed there, so hats off to Dave for that. I think the majority of my stuff with still be 28mm tbh, as i do prefer painting 28’s, but I might have a look at some more 15mm Sci/Fi at some point too.

      I think Elvira will probably be the first thing I’ll paint in the new year, I’ll use my new (Christmas gift) Vallejo flesh painting set on her 😁.

      Cheers Roger.

  10. Pingback: “Blax the Kleric’s, top ten of 2020” | Rantings from under the Wargames table

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