I’ve recently been looking to increase the quota of female warriors in my fantasy and mythological collection, so when Lucid Eye announced their Spring sale in March, I was straight over to their site. I think that their Amazons are the nicest on the market and had been also eyeing up some of the other minis in the fabulous Ziggurat range of fantasy ancients.
Rather like a visit to Ikea, I’d gone in with a list (maybe a couple of units of Amazon infantry and one or two heroes) but ended up leaving with rather more. The Amazon Battle Clan deal was too good to pass up – I mean, I like chariots, yeah, and there were a few new Red Book of the Elf King minis, and a rather cool centaur…
The order took a while to arrive (one month including having to email LE to check on progress), but last week a hefty box rolled up and I was able to unwrap the contents and sort the pieces. For me, Steve Saleh is one of the best sculptors out there – superb animation and detail – and I wasn’t disappointed with the sculpts.
Some of the Amazon characters, in particular, are stunning. However, a few of the castings – specifically the horses – had more flash than I was expecting. This is, of course, nothing that can’t be solved with a scalpel and file, and is pretty routine when you’ve been collecting metal models as long as I have. That said, LE minis have quite a high price point (normally £12 for 3 infantry or 2 cavalry in the Amazon range) and I guess I’d say that I felt that the overall quality control didn’t quite match the standards of the sculpting.
Anyway, I was left with a very exciting project in front of me. Unfortunately, I had some other minis higher up the priority list, but I couldn’t resist painting up a few trial Amazons. Selecting an archer, swordswoman and spear-armed warrior, I set to work assembling and undercoating.
The first two figures were simple to clean up and prepare; the spear-armed warrior was slightly more fiddly. Like some of the Red Book of the Elf King companions, the Amazons have been designed with a separate cast spear with the hand already moulded on. This fixes onto the (very slim) wrist, the idea being that you have a second point of contact where the spear rests on the shield. As others have mentioned in reviews of these minis, I would have preferred a solid fist that could be drilled out for a wire spear (as seen on Footsore Miniatures, among others). As it is, the separate hand is virtually impossible to drill out, so I settled for using the spear as is, accepting that every so often it may require bending back into shape. Once glued in position, however, the spear absolutely looks the part.
Assembly gripes over, it was on to painting, which was a complete joy. After a quick undercoat of Halfords white spray primer, I went in with what is becoming my standard technique at the moment: base layers of GW Contrast Paints followed by some selected highlights with various acrylics. As usual, it’s important to give Contrast Paints sufficient drying time to avoid neighbouring colours from bleeding into each other, so I alternated Amazons with a Frost Giant and cleaning up the new Footsore Welsh. I don’t try to painting to a competition-winning standard – I try to develop techniques that allow me to get a good-looking force onto the table – though occasionally I spend longer than I should on some little detail or other!
If you’re interested, colours used were:
Skin: GW Contrast Guilliman Flesh/ Gore Grunta Fur mix + a highlight of Flames of War Flat Flesh
Clothes & Helmet Crests:.
GW Contrast Skeleton Horde, Ultramarines Blue, Talassar Blue, thinned-down Wyldwood. These were highlighted in various acrylics.
Spear, Bow, Quiver, Shield Backs: Wyldwood
Hair: Wyldwood or Black Templar
Shield Fronts: Acrylic black + highlights of Miniature Paints 84 Umber and 83 Chocolate Brown; Vallejo Iraqi Sand + highlights of Vallejo Off-White
Metallic areas were base coated in black.
Following all these, I gave the models two light coats of matt spray varnish, and then set to on the metallics (I have taken to painting the metallics after varnishing to avoid killing the shine).
Bronze areas: Vallejo Brass with a wash of Winsor & Newton Nut Brown ink + a highlight of Vallejo Gold.
Iron areas: Army Painter Gun Metal with a wash of thinned down GW Contrast Black Templar + a highlight of Army Painter Shining Silver.
The sandy basing has set off the blue and white colour scheme a treat. I was contemplating trying some of these in red, but I think I like this one so much I’ll run with it.
When the current Dark Ages project is done, I’ll be delighted to return to these and get the whole force finished!