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London, United Kingdom
A mythical beast - a female wargamer! I got back into wargaming in the summer of 2011 after a very, very long break. My current interests are Ancients, ACW, 30YW and SciFi gaming.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Challenge Day 25 - Skeleton Pirates

Don't forget my 2nd Blogday Prize Draw!

Back when I was planning my Pirate Buccaneer army, I found these lovely figures from Rebel Minis and couldn't resist the impulse to buy them.

Given their, errrmmm, nature I figured that their clothing should be faded and grubby. To achieve the faded look I used acrylic inks, which were sealed with a spray of matt varnish before I painted the rest of the figure. I then gave them a wash of warm grey ink to give a grubby look and fill the depths of the skulls and rib cages. Once the wash had dried I highlighted the bones.

Unfortunately I chose ivory as the highlight colour, which has left the bones looking rather white. I should have used a more yellowish white like pale sand.

These were great fun to paint and earned me 48 points. Not bad for about 2 evenings work.

Challenge WIP Update

The NSL Fleet is progressing well. The heavy carrier is finished and all the other ships have been drybrushed and the panels that will be picked out in colour have received a base coat of yellow ochre. The fighters have just been drybrushed - they are lighter so there isn't the need for the yellow ochre.

Just to give you an idea of the scale of this project, the fleet (at the moment!) consists of:
1 heavy carrier
1 light carrier
2 escort carriers
1 battle dreadnought
1 heavy battleship
1 battleship
1 battle cruiser
2 heavy cruisers
2 attack cruisers
6 escort cruisers
6 light cruisers
2 heavy destroyers
4 missile destroyers
4 destroyers
2 frigates
3 corvettes
48 light fighters
3 logistics ships (1 each tender, q-ship tender, tanker)

And here are some WIP pics:

The whole fleet

Capital ships, carriers, logistics ships and heavy and attack cruisers

Escort cruisers, light cruisers, destroyers, frigates and corvettes


As you can see, that's a whole lot of ships to paint up!


  1. those skellies are a good idea.

    Well done Tamsin

  2. Holy Christ, you've got a lot in front of you!

  3. The undead pirates look grand! I really like the fellows carrying their heads! Your fleet looks rather impressive as well. Nice thing about fleets is they do have a finish point.
    Anything extra is another task force! Like my BFG Imperials, I think I can stop buying them now( which may or may not be due to the line being OOP) as I can field three battlegroups of them!

  4. I think they look good a bit brighter. At smaller scales I always try to "overstate" colours a bit so they don't get lost on the table.

  5. Yo Ho Ahoy! That's quite a big fleet. It will look totally impressive on the tabletop.

  6. If you don't like the white, you could try a very thin glaze of watered down peat/yellow ink. If you're careful the differenve will be very slight but might get them closer to the color you're after. I think they look great though!

  7. Love the undead Pirates! and that's a really massive Fleet of ships as well!!!

  8. The pirates are excellent I think the white is a better colour gives the look of sun bleached bones and will make the skellies stand out on the table nicely.
    That is a rather large fleet in preparation

  9. @ Seb - that's what I thought when I saw them. The next unit for that army will be some pyRats :)

    @ Anne - that's hardly unusual though for me is it?

    @ David - the head-carriers are rather grand, aren't they? Fleets have finishing points? Not if Mr Tuffley has his way ;)

    @ Millsy - I know what you mean. I guess I'll wait and see how they look at gaming distance.

    @ Clint - By the time I finish adding to it, I'll probably need to reinforce the table!

    @ Spacejacker - That's pretty much what I figured on doing if I feel the bones look too white.

    @ Ray - cheers! The fleet is going to grow a bit more when I use my GZG discount voucher.

    @ Andrew - yup, I can always argue that the bones have been bleached by the Caribbean sun :)

  10. Looking good - the fleet is impressive. I'm interested to see where you go with it, I would suggest more of the smaller capital ships? Battle cruisers to lead your cruiser units and battleships to back up the biggies? NSL always seemed to be a ship of the line fleet, built for slugging it out nose to nose.

  11. Sensational, I just adored these Tamsin.

  12. For skeletons I always use bleached bone from Games Workshop. It give the right result with a sepia wash. Great painted figures!
    And that's an impressive fleet you(re working on!


  13. These are wonderful, Tamsin! I do hope you can get them on the table during a FoG match. Once you do, tell your opponent that musketfire has no effect on them. ;-)

  14. The look great, Tasmin. I try to avoid irregular-type of troops due to having to vary their clothing - so all the more impressive here. Best, Dean

  15. I used to play Pirates of the Caribbean the online game with my son. They remind me of that! Splendid stuff!

  16. @ Mad Tin Hatter - I will be adding more capital ships very soon, but they probably won't be painted up until after the Challenge finishes. The plan is to take the BCs and BBs up to squadron strength, probably the CHs and CAs as well. I'll also be adding a few smaller ships as well, just to complete flotillas.

    @ Michael - they are rather lovely, aren't they?

    @ Peter - cheers! :)

    @ Monty - they will definitely get onto the table. Not sure that my opponents will go for the idea of no death rolls or CTs for them from shooting though ;)

    @ Dean - as most of my armies so far have been irregulars, I actually find it easier to paint them. Uniform troops can get rather boring to paint.

    @ Legatus - thanks! :)