Friday, 12 June 2015

The McDeath Project: Julia McEwman's Invasion Force

As regular readers here will know, I am currently embroiled in that end of year teacher thing that involves hot weather, report writing and the imminent end of term. Hobby time (or should that be Oldhammer time?) is in short supply, but I am still determined to get Stage 1 of my McDeath recreation ready for BOYL3. 

And here is that stage. Julia McEwman's clan.

In the original release, Julia's army was pretty much made up of a single miniature. The clansman with the sword raised above his head. I didn't fancy painting twenty odd of the same model so instead chose to use barbarians instead. I think they still have the rugged charm of a highland Scotsman, though. Luckily, I owned quite a fair few Citadel ones and bought up the modern Foundry castings of the ones I didn't have. 

Lets have a look at what I have got painted then. 

This first block contains a couple of female barbarians I had painted for other projects. Can you spot them? Pushed for time, I chose to paint the remaining seven models using my 'speed painting' technique. In the photograph above I don't think you can tell which minis I spent hours and hours on, and those I raced through much.

What helped, me work through the models at a fair old pace was reducing the palette to brown, flesh, yellow. gold, silver and black, with red as a spot colour. I also used the classic wargmer's 'production line' technique and concentrated on one colour across all of the models, only moving on to the next shade when every model was done. This was a little grueling to be honest, but the finished effect was well worth the extra effort. 

Having finished these characters some months ago, its pleasing to finally group them together with the rest of their forces. From left to right we have; Fergus McEwman, Julia McEwman and the fearsome Juggo.

Again, the perceptive among you may notice two barbarians that I had painted before in this unit, but the rest are made up from Foundry castings or original Citadel. Again, I opted for the same palette as with my female troops, but added a green style tartan pattern for the trousers. Not every model has this pattern present, but I think using it helps suggest a little of that 'Scottish' theme that needs to run through McDeath. Again, these were all speed painted. 

I built the banner in my usual way and set myself a single hour in which to finish it. I have access to the original McDeath boxset so it was a simple case of copying the McEwman's design from the handout onto a square of paper. 

I think it works well. 

A large number of the models have shields. I used plastic Citadel circular versions for the female unit and Foundry metal versions for the male. There was no other reason for this choice but supply. As speed is very much the key with this project, I didn't concern myself with fancy shield painting for these but concentrated on simple, colourful geometric designs. 

My two 'rear shots' here will show you how I approached this. 

Okay, I have about twelve miniatures left to paint for this part of the project, so I better get a move on. Hopefully, I can get another model complete before breakfast. 



  1. The Barbarians work really well - cracking work on the standard as always!

  2. Units, characters and banner all look great -- and as you say, the difference between speed-painted and more time-consumingly painted models in the units is invisible. Even your "hasty" paint jobs look great, anyway. Simple palette and shields let the figures speak for themselves.

  3. Wonderful! The 'batch painting' technique is usually the only realistic way to get large amounts of lead finished in a reasonable time: as you point out it isn't especially fun; but 'the ends justify the means', to quote a twentieth century tyrant. Oh, and that banner is of your usual epic proportions. A massive tankard fluttering in the wind would definitely entice me to join up (after a few sessions at the gym, of course). Looking forward to seeing the remainder.

  4. Great work, and I really like the use of the barbarians (which the purist in me initially rebelled against). Funny how mini's you spend an hour or two on can sometimes turn out as well as/better than the ones you agonise over. I'm never sure whether this makes me happy (to see a good mini for little effort) or a little bit soul destroying... ah well :). The painting gods are definitely chaotics...

  5. Wonderful. The paint jobs look spectacular!

  6. Great work, as usual! I always read your blog w/ a mixture of smiles and tears, as we are doing similar projects, but yours are so damn good!

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  9. Beautiful brushwork sir. So much character in these miniatures and you've brought it out so well.

  10. These are all really great! Is the woman warrior in white a Citadel fig? If so, does she have an official name that I can use to search for her on eBay!!! : )


  11. love love love them BUT the banner is wy too big imo ....