Having dragged out my old Mordheim stuff recently I was less than impressed by the standard of some of my old miniatures for it. I quickly knocked out a new Goblin warband to go with my Undead, but I also used to have a Tilean warband. Frankly, the miniatures I used and the paint job on them were pretty bad, so I decided to do a total refresh.
Perry Miniatures to the rescue
I don’t really dig having a big lead pile, but sometimes it comes up trumps. I built the whole Goblin warband for about a tenner due to salvaging most of it from some sprues in the loft, and while digging I also struck more gold (well, plastic really…)
This is the Perry “European Mercenaries” box set. I bought it a while back with an eye to making some Tilean pike blocks for Warhammer, but then Age of Sigmar happened and the arse dropped out of the local Warhammer scene so it’s sat on the shelf ever since.
But no more! The kit includes several sprues that can build troops in fairly light armour with pikes, some of which you can alternatively build up as halberds or crossbows. You also get two sprues with parts for a command group that include swords, a banner pole and a drum.
How many non-pike armed troops you can build is limited: there are two command sprues each with three swords one mace, and six pole arm heads. You snip the ends off the pikes and glue these on to make the pole arms. I’ve not tried that, but it seems like it would be pretty fiddly. You also get six pavises on each command sprue. The main sprues in the kit each have four sets of crossbow arms, so you can make a total of 12.
If you want more bits like swords it is possible to buy the mercenary command sprue separately.
Tileans in the old Warhammer lore are basically renaissance Italians, and for Mordheim I’m using the Marienburger rules and adding in a “Tilean Marksman” hired sword (from Town Cryer 6). My starting warband includes five heroes and three each of crossbowmen and swordsmen. Obviously that should increase as the warband goes on, so I made five of each. Marienburgers are a good fit for Tileans. They’re flash gits with fancy clothes, lots of cash, and they get a bonus for haggling with traders. That feels like a band of mercenaries from the city states to me.
The Perry crossbowmen are really nice, and you get a selection of arms firing and reloading, plus bundles of quarrels and windlasses to hang from their belts. Pretty much all the heads on the sprues have helmets, I’ve tended to use the ones from the command sprue that have plumes. Helmets for squaddies in Mordheim are a bit gucci and extravagant, but I’m not super strict about WYSIWYG so I’m not bothered about modelling henchmen with helmets that they probably won’t really be equipped with. I’ve added a couple of extra plumes from the old Mordheim mercenaries sprues just to make them look a bit more fancy and Tilean.
For the swordsmen I’ve gone for the sword/dagger weapon combo and have managed to just about model it WYSIWYG. There’s one left hand holding a dagger on each of the command sprues. All the bodies seem to have a dagger moulded on, and in one case I added a spare knife to a left hand. That’s close enough for me.
So that’s 10 henchmen sorted, and I’ve also built a couple of extra figures. First up is the Tilean Marksman. Essentially the same as the crossbow miniatures, I’ve differentiated him by adding a pavise to his back (purely decorative) and painting him bronze instead of iron.
The last one I built was a “youngblood”, one of the junior heroes. I wanted a figure carrying a banner, so this young lad gets the banner (it’ll count as a spear) and a buckler, or which you get several on the main sprues. The Opulent Goods list from Town Cryer 2 actually includes a banner as an option for 10gc, so if you buy one it can actually have some effect in-game too. The banner was just a design my lad picked out from a load of them that I’d downloaded from the internet.
To headline the warband roster I needed some heroes, and while the Perry plastics are nice enough they are designed to rank up easily, so they’re not the most dynamically posed sculpts. If you want characterful figures in 28mm my mind turns straight away to Foundry, and I found this set in the “seadogs and swashbucklers” range which contains some interesting-looking folk.
The lady with the sword is such a cool sculpt she’s got to be in. If you count her swishy robe in the off hand as a buckler (rerolls parries) then she can be a youngblood with sword and buckler.
I’ve painted this one a bit differently from normal too. I paint most things by including an all-over gloop wash in brown or black that just gets a single highlight on top of the lighter colours, but I didn’t think that would do a decent job of all the folds in her clothing. So I tried to paint it “properly” using several layers and blending them. I’m still learning that style of painting and the thing I struggle the most with is getting the exact shades right. I think I still tend to put too little contrast into the layers. So room for improvement there.
The guy with the chest (full of loot?) has got to make the cut for Tileans. The old Dogs of War army had a “Paymaster” so I wanted to pay a little bit of tribute to that. I added a sword and warhammer, but the question is: does he drop the chest when he has to fight or if not how does he swing a hammer and a sword while holding it? Who knows…
I quite like the guy with the eye patch that comes in this set, but the monk gives the warband a bit more character. I added a pistol and some powder flasks from some Empire sprues. If you imagine he’s got a few more tucked into his habit then you’ve got a champion with a brace of pistols. He was also carrying a rosary with a cross on it, but that ain’t very fantasy. I filed it off and replaced it with a whacking great bell from the old plastic zombie sprues, for that “bring out yer dead” look. I’m thinking him cranking the bad guys over the head with a big brass bell probably counts as a morning star, so brace of pistols and morning star it is!
Every warband needs a captain. So I went for this sculpt from the ever-awesome Hasslefree Miniatures:
Rocking the puffed-and-slashed look with an absurdly large hat to match her absurdly large sword, she looks like she’s the boss. I’m not a big fan of shoehorning female miniatures into historical games where they wouldn’t have realistically been present, but you get a bit more leeway with a fantasy setting, and I can see the Tilean mercenary society as being somewhat more meritocratic than the more feudal Old World nations. If she can swing that sword and drink as hard as the boys then she’d be able to make her way as a dog of war.
She’s quite a slight miniature, so I cheated by giving her a taller base to make her look important.
So there you have it, a half-decent human warband for Mordheim to go with my existing undead and goblins. Now all I need are opponents! There’s one guy down at the club who’s keen to play and I know a bloke over the river who’s looking for opponents, but I may need to beat the undergrowth and see if I can find a couple more. It would be great to get a campaign running, as that’s what Mordheim is all about.