Saturday, November 26, 2011

Warriors of Morr -- Starting the planning process

I've been doing quite a bit of thinking about my Warriors of Morr over the past few weeks, and my plans are starting to coalesce. I've decided that my "list" will be something like this:

• 12 Knights of Morr (refurbishing models I built and painted ten years ago)
• 30 Flagellants (I've had the plastics for a long time but haven't painted any up as flagellants, I'll focus on the bell-ringing and hourglass accessories)
• 30 Spearmen (the rest of this post talks about my thoughts for these soldiers)
• 2 Cannons (I can't get away from them)
• 1 Mortar (you saw the beginnings of it in my last post)
• plus a few very characterful commanders, a massive rolling altar, and a few more hangers-on/onlookers.

For my Spearmen, I want to have them marching in column, on their way to war. As soldiers of Morr, they'll be in black uniforms, so I want to have a few things that can really push the look and iconography of Morr. To that end I hope to sculpt up a few pieces and have them cast up (for my own personal use only) that will help with that goal. Above are two ideas for heads for the Spearmen. Both are half-masks, the first is obviously a skull, while the second is more of a Venetian-inspired, beaked-nose mask that could echo the hoods worn by the Corpse Handlers (who will be my artillery crewmen).

Which do you think I should go with? I'd sculpt two variants of the design I eventually choose, and then cast the rest.

The arms of the Empire Spearmen are arranged in an "advancing phalanx" fashion, none of them are at ease or on the march, so I'm going to have to sculpt some new arms. At the moment I'm thinking I'll work on arms that'll provide me with the four poses above. If I do them right I can use sturdy brass rod and the spear shafts that will slide into the waiting hands. I can also then create a few different spear tips, halberd blades, and perhaps even a few scythe blades.

And the final step will be to create four or five different shield designs. At the moment I'm leaning towards a "coffin-lid" look, but could be swayed. The sculpted icons would focus on the symbols of Morr: the hourglass, the black rose, and the scythe, with a smattering of bells and skulls too.

If you have any other suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.


PS. I think my posting might be a bit spotty over the coming weeks as my second daughter is due to arrive any day now. There'll be a lot of rushing around, a lot of adjusting, and very little time for hobbying or blogging.


  1. perhaps hourglass shields would work better than the coffins? Might look a bit too VC otherwise. Liking the sound of this though! The venetian half masks are a genius move and will really change the feel of the unit.

  2. Hey Dave - Secret Weapon do some Oni Mask heads that might work with the spearmen mate, plus I wonder if its worth looking at the new Foundry Plague Doctors as a twist on Priests of Morr?

  3. Thank you for a particularly inspirational post! I love reading how ideas develop to actual ideas, especially from such accomplished hobbyists! I'm excited to see this develop!

  4. Dave there are some older plasic spearmen that are in a few variations of that pose. (like the ones I used for the rear ranks in Shake's Spears)

    also it would be easy to cast just the masks or even cut down other skull or masked heads into masks and fit them to heads, still have some hair/hat variety that way.

    Looks like a very cool project.

    also congrats and good luck on the new little one!


  5. First of all I hope all goes well with your new daughter. It was awesome for me when my girl met her little brother.

    As far as your new project goes, I'd go with the long nose mask over the skull. Its more unique and will stand out alot better.

    I'm enjoying the process you are showing of how idea, becomes concept, then reality. This is helping me with my new Necron force.

  6. I like the idea of the masks for the infantry but think you need more variety. The suggestion of casting just the mask so you have variation in the hats is a good idea. You could use both mask ideas, the beak for the front rank and skull for the others. Unique masks for the command figures as well.

  7. I look forward to this project - will you be doing step by step photos of sculpting the arms?

  8. Just off the top of my head...

    The Venetian Carnivale mask seems a bit odd, a bit Tilean, the medieval Plague Doctor seems more appropriate, surely due to another outbreak of the Red Pox? I need to dig my copy out, but I am pretty sure there was an illustration of one in either Blood on the Reik or in Loathsome Vermin.

    Also, going with the plague doctor theme, if you did the Spears as pallbearers, mounted on 40mm regimental bases in a 2x2 configuration, could be neat. I wonder if Jake still has any of those wrapped corpses Chad liked to use?

    No Greatswords? That seems to be more appropriate for some kind of scythe-armed infantry, though making them look Imperial rather than Vampire might be a neat trick.

    I am trying to think, but I am having a hard time thinking of a way Morr devotees would have access to artillery. About the only conclusion I can think of is for military funerals, but I am not sure if the Empire has 21-gun salutes... I was also thinking of the Heldenhammer's hammer attack and thinking it might be neat having some sort of giant statue of Morr that has a giant scythe attack, perhaps as some sort of Steam Tank or War Altar.

  9. Those Knights of Morr were great, can't wait to see their new incarnation.

  10. Hi guys

    Thanks for all you comments and suggestions.

    @PirateViking - yeah, I think I'll be ditching the coffin shapes, probably going a more standard rectangular look.
    @Andy - They look very cool. That's the kind of look I'll be giving to my Corpse Handlers (based on the Blood On The Reik pictures)
    @John - yeah, I have some of those old spearmen, but their look is a bit "softer" than the newer models, and more generic. I'd rather put myself through a bit of hassle for a crisper look.
    @Lane - yeah, more variety will be important. Ideas for creating those variations are percolating now.
    @Evernevermore - I'll try to do that, if I'm not too focused on getting them done one night.
    @Fiend - I think I'll be working on something between the venetian mask and the plague doctor look. Check my last post about the army and I think you'll see the image you're talking about. This army will be on it's way to war, so no corpses just yet. I think you'll like the way I'll integrate the the artillery, or at least I hope you will.


  11. Dave, I saw your post and looked up the old GW article about knightly orders..

    That's yours, isn't it? :P

  12. I follow your blog frequently, and I'm always amazed at the cool ideas you come up with. How do you keep your interest and creativity fresh for minis & the games?

  13. First,
    I hope the best for you and your wife on the up-coming birth of your daughter.
    I've been a HUGE fan of yours since the good old days in White Dwarf.
    Every blog post is chock full of creativity and inspiration so I thank you immensely for sharing your outstanding skills with the rest of us.
    Eagerly anticipating more from you, after you handle things with your family of course.

  14. Hi Dave,

    I really like what your doing here. It sounds great. I like the rose pattern shield design. I am looking forward to seeing the development of this project.

  15. Hi Dave

    have you seen a model by Pegaso Miniatures called Kuvar Reaper 54mm. Could be just the inspiration you are looking for?



  16. You have also got this figure from Jim Bowen's Disturbia range which may be worth checking out.


  17. This is awesome! Can't wait to see how it comes together!

  18. may i suggest for spearmen/halberdiers a War Scythe?