Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Modeling: Skeleton Archers

Last week I mentioned how I've been planning some gothic-themed Tomb Kings units to accompany my Legion of the Infernal Skull in a unified Undead Legions army. Years back, I had converted a Skeleton archer from an old Bretonnian (remember them?) bowman and some even older skeleton parts. I forget why I made this guy and never finished him. It couldn't have been for the Storm of Chaos because those skeletons would have been equipped with crossbows. Maybe this guy was just going to be a random zombie...?


Anyway, it served as a nice proof of concept for the skeleton archers I'm building now.

For this unit, I'm using the classic metal skeletons with halberds. All the archery equipment is from the Tomb Kings skeleton archers regiment, and the left arms are from the plastic Grave Guard kit.



To begin, I cleaned up the parts and removed the strap from the quiver. I also cut off the skeleton's arms and smoothed over his breast plate. I wouldn't have bothered removing the left arm, but it had a molded "shield peg" that had to go.


All the halberds go in the parts bin for use on another project further down the line. (And by "further down the line" I mean 10 years from now.)


To better attach thin plastic skeleton arms to the metal torso, I drilled a hole with a 1.90mm drill bit into the bottom of the sleeve.


The arm was shortened and shaved down a little so it could plug into the hole. This provides a much more secure bond than just gluing the two flat parts together.


The top left arm is also trimmed, and it's glued in place. (No drilling on this one since it's glued at the sleeve and where the hand contacts the chest.


The quiver simply gets glued on the back, and that's one skeleton finished!


All ten get the same treatment. The 12-man regiment is arranged in two ranks, with a 4-man regimental strip, two 2-man strips, and four loose models.


The regiment ranks up nicely and is ready for painting.

'Til next time!


  1. Well done!

    I remember back days I had small unit of these but i'd never thought about turning them into shooters. When can we se them painted? :D

  2. Thanks everyone! They'll be painted soon. (Hopefully.)

  3. Rob, I love all of your step by step posts. I've learned so much from seeing a master at work. I'm hoping you'll compile these into a book some day :).

    1. Agreed 100%, John. I have done the same thing with my skeleton conversions, that joint at the elbow works so much better when the bone goes "into" the socket. Great tutorial.

      I'll admit though, as great as the end product is, I can't help but feel some slight misgivings about hacking up old minis they'll never make again. You're a brave man, Rob.

      Also, I really like the way you've broken up the regimental bases. I may "borrow" that idea.

    2. At this point EVERY model is potentially a model they'll never make again... ;)


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