Thorns of the Briar Queen

Shadespire ticked all the right boxes for me when it came out – quick to set up and play, rock solid rules, and most importantly for a glacially slow painter like myself, an ultra-low model count – so I wasted no time getting my pre-order in for Nightvault.  And with a Nighthaunt warband in the core box, I couldn’t not get it!

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The Thorns models are great. Easy to put together, and not as fragile as they look. The Queen and the two named heroes have a bunch of character and nice little flourishes. The four generic Chainrasps are pretty… well, generic, and lack the personality of the Petitioners from the Sepulchral Guard, but each still has their own little details to discover. I thought initially they were just copies of some of the Soul Wars Chainrasps, but not-so. I guess it’s the nature of digitally designing the models, where the sculptor can copy and paste bits from others to speed up the process. The half-formed Chainrasp for instance, is a mirrored version of one of the push-fit Chainrasps. I just hope GW aren’t tempted to phone it in with some of the new warbands, like they did with Shadows Over Hammerhal, the second edition of Warhammer Quest – stuffing it full of existing models instead of the lovely unique creations for the first WHQ.

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It took me longer to finish these guys than I’d hoped. I thought I’d get them knocked out on release weekend, and while I got the bulk of the ghostie bits and fabric done, they have so many little details and doo-dads on them that it took me the rest of the week just to get them polished off. Sculpted bases are great and all, but painting all those fiddly little bits takes a good chunk of time.

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I had a lot of fun experimenting with texture and wear-and-tear on the fabrics. I still haven’t quite nailed it, but I understand it a lot better than I did when I did the Sepulchral Guard, and I’m getting a much better hang of how to choose the right highlight colours so that it doesn’t look too artificial.

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And now that I’ve finally got them finished, I can reward myself by unwrapping all the cards and having a proper look at all the other bits in the Nightvault box, and hopefully get some games in soon!

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