Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Few More Tips For Warlord Games Celtic Warriors



I finally managed to get my box of Celts finished off a few days ago. I posted a few tips for building Warlord Games Celtic Warriors back in December, and I have a few final thoughts for anyone attempting to tackle the same project. Check them out after the jump.

Good grief do Celts take a long time to paint! I recently finished some ancient Germans who I painted up with patterned pants and shirts as well as some shields with various unique geometric designs.  These were mostly Foundry, Black Tree Designs and Crusader and despite the attention that painting plaids and stripes required, I found I could still move through them assembly line style since many of the poses were similar.

Not so with the Warlord Games Celts. Constructing them was a lot of fun, and because they are plastic there's a lot of opportunity for customization. Because they are multi part kits, Warlord was also able to create much more dynamic poses than any ancients figure I've seen. Every Celt is either charging, ducking, attacking or skirmishing and while I was initially skeptical of some of the poses, I think you can put them all together into really nice poses.

When it came to painting though, those poses really worked against me. Painting plaid on bent legs required shifting and re-shifting my "angle of attack" to get at each part of the leg. And with so many different poses, I found it hard to get into a rhythm since there only seem to be 3 or 4 of each pose type.

Celts surge forwards.
I was also surprised at seeing them on their bases. I thought the dynamic poses would end up looking chaotic and unfocused, but seeing them in the flesh, they really do convey a sense of movement. You can nearly hear their cries seeing those tiny figures frozen in their surging poses.  Speaking of flesh, check out the bird's-eye-view of the finished base.  The defining characteristic of Celts (to me at least) is their colorful shields and plaid clothing.  Most of the figures in the Warlord Games box are either bare chested or in armor. Seen from amove, there are very few Celts with shirts that can be painted up in plaid. Between those two points I think it's a wash.

SHIELDS
Warlord packs a sheet of sticker shield designs. I was originally going to forgo the stickers and ordered a few packs of Little Big Man Studios decals instead. After waiting for a few weeks for their arrival I got impatient and decided to test the included stickers. I figured I could always use them as casualty tokens or something. The stickers actually worked out quite nicely. There is a bit of "height" to the stickers since they aren't thin films like waterslide decals, and they don't snuggle down into depressions as easily, but they are fast and cheap. I found that touching up the edges of the stickers with paint (even a non-matching color) will hide the sharp white edging of the sticker. At 12 inches away I found I couldn't tell the difference between the Warlord stickers and a waterslide style decal.

Tip 4) Paint the edge of those stickers!

See? Warlord Games sticker shield decals didn't turn out too badly.

MR. SQUATS
I do have one important warning that didn't become evident until I got to basing and ranking up these Celts. One of the poses that you'll end up constructing features a squatting Celt, ready to pounce on some unwary legionnaire, a spear in his hand.  One of the shields featured in the box includes a pair of extra spears or javelins the bearer will grip in his shield hand. I thought the shield with extra spears fit well with the squatting pose. That was a mistake.
Look out for this one. He's a troublemaker.

In his bent pose, the Celt thrusts all of his spears forward, rather than keeping any of them raised. When  I tried to include him on a multifigure base, or in the ranks of my large warbands I found he was difficult to position, and his spears tended to overhang onto other bases, already crowded with figures, making it difficult to keep all of the bases aligned. My advice is to save the squatting figure and extra spears for your status markers.

Tip 5) Keep Mr. Squats away from the extra spears or he won't play well with others.

Overall I was happy with the final outcome. Cleaning and assembly were painless, painting took longer than I had hoped, but the dynamic poses really do stand out uniquely on the tabletop. I would certainly pick up another box of Warlord Games Celtic Warriors, but I think I need a little break from plaid for a bit. Better check the Ospreys for "Unbleached Linen Warriors  200 BC - 100 AD" for my next project.

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