I am a hopeless model skeleton addict. I have hundreds of the things and keep on buying them despite already having a huge collection. I blame it all on Ray Harryhausen whose stop-motion animation in the 1963 film Jason and the Argonauts had a profound effect on me when I was a lad. My favourite bit of the film is the iconic fight scene where Jason and a couple of Argonauts, Phalerus and Castor, square off against the children of the Hydra’s teeth, a group of skeletons summoned by the evil King Aeëtes. You can see this stop-motion classic below.
In May 2019 Wargames Atlantic came out with a very Greek looking set of Skeleton Warriors to start off their Classic Fantasy range. I had to have them. Around the same time I bought a box of the Warlord Games Skeleton Host that comes with a figure that is a dead ringer for Aeëtes.
It’s taken a while but now they’re painted and ready to fight. I’m planning on using them in various fantasy skirmish games, notably a Fistful of Lead, Warcry, and Mortal Gods Mythic.
These ones are all modelled with the smallest shields, which come two to a sprue and look very much like the shields used by the skeletons in the film. The ones rising from the ground are made from the single figure on a sprue that comes with separate legs. I used the left-over legs to make armoured skeletons by mixing bodies from Victrix Greeks with limbs and heads from Wargames Atlantic.
The box comes with parts to make skeleton archers (one per sprue, eight per box) and some larger shields which I have used for the troops I wrote about in a blog post back in February this year and, more recently, for a Lochos for the Mortal Gods Mythic game.
If you’re interested in finding out more about Ray Harryhausens work I’ve found a couple of rather good videos on the Dark Corners Reviews channel YouTube. Great stuff in both of them.
Another YouTube Harryhausen documentary, this time from Stop Motion Works, featuring the man himself talking about his work.
And I’m really looking forward to seeing the Ray Harryhausen|Titan of Cinema exhibition coming to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh.
Film special effects superstar Ray Harryhausen elevated stop motion animation to an art. His innovative and inspiring films, from the 1950s onwards, changed the face of modern movie making forever. For the first time, highlights chosen from the whole of Ray’s collection will be showcased, which will be the largest and widest-ranging exhibition of his work ever seen, with newly restored and previously unseen material from his incredible archive.
The exhibition will include several of Harryhausens original models, including two of my favourite skeletons, and runs from October 24th until early September 2021.