There comes a time in every young scriveners life when he finds himself at a loss of what to do on a sunday afternoon in the mid-1980s. If you are one of these young fellows, then this article will hopefully guide you towards a fulfilling and constructive exercise that can easily be carried out with just a few simple items.
Firstly, travel on the Local Authority-sanctioned public transport of your choice to the nearest Video Rental Outlet.
You will need to put your copy of Ralph Bakshi’s Lord of the Rings on your Betamax video cassette recorder. You will no doubt have to rewind it, because other people are ignorant.
Now, having arranged your home entertainment thusly:
The intrepid pioneer should immediately raid the nearest ‘craft box’ (because there is no recycling yet) and construct a series of elaborate temples , dungeons, oubliettes and fortresses out of toilet rolls and cereal boxes and whatever else one can scavenge. This will be your battlefield. Press play on your modern and efficient video cassette recorder, and adjust the tracking until you can make out some sort of image. Don’t worry too much if you can’t in fact see anything at all, because you will be listening to the soundtrack only.*
Now, with the stirring and epic musical stylings of Leonard Roseman ringing in your ears, reach for your enigmatically and impenetrably coded Citadel Miniatures Box set: PBS1** – Skeleton Horde and fetch the polystyrene cement…
Now wile away the rest of the afternoon in good wholesome play with your animated corpses. Rinse and repeat well into the 90s, or even into the Noughties (stupid, stupid term) and right up to the current day.
The current predilection amongst undead is for a more ghostly spectral appearance, and let us be clear, there is nothing wrong with that.
It is inevitable that some of the new NightHaunt models will drift on the ethereal breeze into the Lead Mountain, completely unnoticed by the Widow due to their phantasmic abilities (one hopes).
As an alternative, one could always reach for the larger, boxier, ‘Skeleton Army’ instead.
Sorting through the piles and mounds of the Mountain uncovered these fleshless (and surprisingly paintless) beauties, already assembled, and probably the last survivors of the countless boxes of Army and Horde purchased by this inconsistent necromancer.
For all that they are decades old, these are still remarkably good representations of skeletons, rare for being plastic and naked. (One other naked plastic set exists, from Wargames Factory, but they are increasingly rare themselves.) They do tend towards being a touch flashy, requiring some detailed clean-up, and being ancient, can often be a little fragile in places. They are however equally easy to fix with a dab of poly.
Ten men is a couple short for a Dragon Rampant unit, so this particular group will be serving in the bogs and swamps of their Fimir overlords, most likely led by this necromantic fellow, from Krakon Games. If more turn up, they will be added to the unit to make it suitable for something like Oathmark. Rumour has it that there may be some old metal models lurking in the deeper workings….
*Or you could just buy it on CD, or find it on youtube, IF YOU REALLY MUST.
**PBS1 – What could it mean? What arcane combination of letters did the ancients choose to hide behind this acronym? Who could know?