12/16/16

On the workbench: Introducing "Triumph of Death" 28mm Skeleton Landsknechts!

 "The Triumph of Death" by Pieter Bruegel the Elder is not for the squeamish. Commonly dated circa 1562, it ranks among the most terrifying paintings of the age, and the centuries since have only boosted its fearful currency." 
                                                 ~Richard B. Woodward
A first peek at some of my new "Triumph of Death" 28mm Renaissance skeleton greens.

Triumph of Death halberdiers greens

  What- you are doing Metal minis?

The first war game I played with miniatures was an undead skeleton army vs Romans using heavily tweaked WRG rules, and GM'd by the famous Alan Lucien.  The miniatures were old minifigs models from the late 70's or early 80's, with stylized Romans and a skeleton army (possibly the first skeleton minis ever made) modeled after Hans Holbien's "dance of the dead, or "Totentanz" woodcuts. They weren't the best sculpts, but man, they really did catch the essence of the period. That skeleton horde  and the "Totentanz" style of them has stuck with me like a first crush.  Older than old hammer, my bell had been rung!
Ranking up with traditional old school bases
A great piece showing the stylized skeletons of the 16th century
For years I've been drawing and making art around these Renaissance period stylized skeletons, usually half covered with their tight leather like skin, creating vignettes with skeletal halberdiers or Sweihanders. Looking back at my sketchbooks over the last decade and seeing how many times this idea has cropped up Renaissance skeletons, it really got me to thinking. Time to make some more toys. 
Concept drawing of a "attack mid" halberdier model


 I think in the back of my mine I've always wanted to recreate an updated line of minis in this style, but never had the sculpting chops to pull it off in metal. Last year became  friends with an amazing sculptor Drew Williams, who shared my passion of the idea and agreed to work with me to create a range of minis. This is how the "Triumph of Death" (or ToD for short) range of miniatures came about.  The goal of ToD is to create a  Renaissance period skeletal army in the flavor of period woodcuts and paintings. In a word, Skeleton Landsknechts!
The amazing Drew in his atelier

 Wait-  You are you going to share these, right?

You know, that is a fair question. This being the season of giving and all, I'd be a Scrooge to say no. 
The plan is to roll these out as a KS with a couple of unit designs available with  some command choices, in mid  February. They will also come with Kings of War sized unit bases.  As the greens come on line I'll be showing them off here. 
 In the mean time, I'd love feedback and ideas on what you think would make for a good Triumph of Death unit type- and what you would use them for.  I'm planning to use mine for Kings of War.

Cheers! 
Ths

20 comments:

  1. Looking good! At the very least I'll use some for my historical-fantasy Mordheim campaigning, and if I feel like splurging I might grab enough for Warlord's Pike & Shotte rules...

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    Replies
    1. Thaddeus- thanks for the feedback. Yes indeed for Mordheim and Frostgrave. I have yet to look at the Warlord rules, so will check them out. Thanks for the tip!
      Cheers
      Ths

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  2. These are brilliant.... I love the old Minifigs sculpts, and it would be great to get some new poses with more detail. I'd be up for a couple of units at least, and can you do a Skellie playing the Hurdy-gurdy like the one riding the cart in The Triumph of Death?

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    Replies
    1. Springinsfeld- My love for those models is what is inspiring an "updating" with more poses, just like you said. As to the Hurdy Gurdy- it's like you are peeking into my sketch book! Already being worked on.

      Cheers
      Ths

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    2. Great, I'll back a couple of units I should think, wallet allowing! Looking forward to seeing them.

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  3. Dragon Rampant also springs to mind.

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  4. Joe- Yes, that is the perfect venue for Landsknechts vs, erm... late Landsknechts. Great idea!
    cheers
    Ths

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  5. These are looking very promising indeed, they're a recurring theme in woodcuts of the period. Some in tattered doublet and hose would be good and one with an hour glass could be quite fun too. I'd come up with a few Lion Rampant based scenarios.

    Can't wait to see more of these chaps

    Stuart

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  6. Stuart- thanks for the feedback. I have a command model already in the works holding out the ever present hourglass. Thinking about what to do with clothing, as in most of the woodcuts and paintings the skellies are either wearing nothing, a shroud, or some armor. Thinking of doing a sprue of hats that you can add to the models. Stay tuned for more- I'll be posting new greens next week.

    Cheers!

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  7. Notwithstanding the woodcut references, like Stuart I would prefer them to be wearing some tatters of Landsknecht clothing to tie them in with your chosen period. Hats alone won't cut it, although a few mouldy berets here and there would be welcome. Either way they're a great idea! I'll certainly support a couple of units.

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    Replies
    1. Stefan- Well noted. First two units are sculpted, but maybe some variations. Currently one of the officers is wearing armor. (pics to follow in the next few weeks)
      Cheers
      Ths

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  8. These are great! Looks like they would be excellent opponents for my 6th edition Warhammer Empire army.

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    Replies
    1. Lasgun- It's like you are reading my mind! Going to do the same with my models. Would love to see pics of your army.
      Cheers
      Ths

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  9. Ha, well grey plastic and bare metal is not very exciting... actually I have a new regiment nearly finished, so should appear on the blog sometime "soon." (soon being relative, since I started painting it in ~2007?)

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    Replies
    1. Lasgun- sounds like you have a fun project ahead!
      Cheers
      Ths

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  10. Will there be any two figure sets, like those in the Minifigs Valley of the Four Winds range?

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    Replies
    1. Joe- I am not sure I understand your question. Any two figure sets? Do you mean will I be branching out to different unit types? I currently have designed two unit types, one melee and one ranged, with choices of two command sets (officer, musician, standard). I'll be showing these off over the coming weeks.
      Please to clarify and I'll be happy to answer your question.
      Cheers
      Ths

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    2. In the Valley of the Four Winds there was a set called "Four Civilian Victims" There were poses of Skeletons that could interact with these victims. I thought something like this could be done with Landsknechts posses interacting with some skeleton posses.

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  11. Joe- I don't believe I ever saw that set. Sounds Awesome! My sculptor has already been making noises about doing vignettes with Landsknects and skellies (ala the woodcuts)so this may become a thing. Maybe Stretch goals stuff?
    Cheers, and thanks for the clarification.

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