One of the things I have learned from playing Mantic Games’ Kings of War is that I need more mounted dwarfs. I’ve got a good supply of Brock Riders, with more waiting to be painted, but only one mounted Berserker Lord. I had been thinking about getting another of the Mantic models and swapping out the top half of the rider. The alternative was to find another manufacturer’s figure to substitute. So my excitement was understandable when the Bones 2 Kickstarter campaign added mounted adventurers, one of them is a female dwarf on a bear, to the stretch goals.
Now Reaper has tried to make the Bones bases more than plastic ovals by sculpting details onto them but I wanted her to fit into my Kings of War dwarf army so would need to build an entirely new base and had to remove hers. Bones plastic cuts very easily and like shaving the mold lines one should use a sharp blade and cut away from one’s own body parts. I have more than a few scars in my left hand reminding me of that core principle. I started my building with a Mantic 50mm base as that is what comes with their Berserker Lord on Brock model then added a couple of 25mm Scibor Ruins bases that match the rest of the army to see how it would all fit together.
Two blank 20mm bases in opposite corners evened out the surface before I glued down the rocks and tree stumps finally coating the “ground” with lightweight spackle. Since she was riding a bear I felt there needed to be some indication of being in the woods. Secret Weapon Tree Stumps really do the trick and for some reason look more real than real twigs though the rocks are genuine. No really, right out of my back yard.
The bear and rider, which come as one piece, were washed in watered down dish soap, rinsed thoroughly, and left to dry while I sprayed the base with white primer.
I’ve painted enough of the Scibor Arcane Ruins for this army so far that it doesn’t take me long to match the color scheme.
Having never seen the original figure in person before Reaper cast her in Bones plastic, there were details I only discovered as I was prepping the her (She has an eye patch?) and even more seemed to emerge as I started the base coats (There’s a patch riveted over one eye of the helmet and she’s wearing a scaled cloak?). The Bones plastic is so very white that some details just don’t stand out until another color changes the texture and shadows. That and my eyes, like the rest of me, are showing signs of age. I decided to make Paddington a black bear rather than a grizzly because they are smaller, like dwarfs, do well in rocky mountainous terrain, like dwarfs, and I had never painted one. Really, that’s a relevant reason in my mental math.
I kept my base coats clean mostly because it’s easier than cleanup later and that appeals to my inner laziness. This also makes it easier when applying washes. Once these are dry I built up two levels of highlights using the base color followed by a lighter version. The bear is highlighted with dark brownish grays, black can be a pain to highlight. Once both the base and figure were done I sprayed them with sealant before gluing them together with super glue gel.
I left the glue to dry overnight before adding clumps of static grass and brush. I try to avoid using one single color as that tends to look like a golf course so I mix up the shades of grass I use. This is another of those jobs made so much easier with the gel version of superglue and a pair of tweezers. I wanted it to look overgrown and long abandoned without obscuring either the figure or the details on the base. Much the same thinking as my Bugman’s Brewers base without the statues.
In the end I am really pleased with how this project came out. Lady Ursula and Paddington will join my Kings of War force as a Berserker Lord (Lady) on Brock (Bear) equipped with Ensorcelled Armor. The figure has armor, it makes her different than the other Lord on Brock (he carries a Blade of Slashing), and who wouldn’t want a DEF of 6? I’m looking forward to getting her on the field though I really think I need at least five more Brock Riders painted to give her some back up and benefit from her Inspiring Rule. Okay, maybe fifteen more in the long run but that will require a few more conversion decisions before starting the last unit.