Classic undead dragon riders [PICS]

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Post Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:01 pm

Classic undead dragon riders [PICS]

Hello again! I have recently finished painting a group of four classic (in various degrees) undead dragon riders and I'm here to show them to you. After having painted two undead dragons without riders I really felt the need for some ridden dragons. So I put together some dragon models with suitable riders to add to my army. Let's start with a group shot.

From left to right:
RAFM Necrodrake
Tom Meier zombie dragon/Ral Partha undead dragon (also sold by Citadel back in the day).
Grenadier Chaos Dragon
Oakbound Aedwyrm

I sourced four classic Citadel skeletons to ride them so they would fit in with the rest of my army. Individual pictures of the models are featured below, starting with the Grenadier Chaos Dragon from 1985.

I've had this dragon for a while and while it's sold as a Chaos Dragon there's a good bit of zombie rot going on. Despite hailing from 1985 he has a bulky and fierce look (as is common for Grenadier models). I wanted the rider to match this attitude and I found an extravagant Citadel C21 cavalry model named Skullface to do the job. I painted his armour in verdigris to contrast nicely with the redness of the dragon. His shield had some space for words so I adorned it with "SPIRITUS IGNIS" (breath/spirit of fire).

I've seen a number of painted examples of this model and most of them are in subdued greens or rot-colours. I wanted him to look like a red dragon though, to take away from the dinosaur look he has. He was painted in red and yellow with wings highlighted to white. Black would also suit this model but I wanted more colour on my dragons.

For the outside of the rotting areas I usually darken the skin with thinned down black paint, and then highlight the edges of the skin with elf flesh. On the wounds I paint the bones with white or sand colour (VMC Dark Sand, a bit more yellow than standard bone colour), whatever seems best. I paint fleshy bits with red and then add plenty of gunk with browns, blacks and reds. In this case I also added some greens and purple on the innards for a slimy and intestinal look.

After the red dragon I painted another copy of Tom Meier's Zombie Dragon (my second). I tried to match the colour scheme with the incredible John Blanche artwork this model was sold in by Citadel. Contrary to my previous effort which was based on a blueish purple I went for a black and tan base for this dragon with rather pink and fresh looking damaged parts.


I chose the old (pre-slotta) Citadel Evil Hero as the rider. He is both contemporary for the dragon (1982 and 1985, respectively). Also, the pre-slotta model is not so large that it dwarfs the dragon too much, which is intricately detailed but not very bulky. I painted the evil hero to match the knight fighting the dragon in the artwork to some extent. In a more general sense I made his colour scheme match that of the dragon with black, bone and red.

Another view of the dragon, also showing the shield of the rider with a ghostly dragon face and the words "MORS IN MOTU" (death in motion).

While not very apparent at first I converted this dragon by cutting away parts of it's integral base and bending it to exaggerate the curves it has. It also required extra putty work at the joins. It gives the dragon a more dynamic pose which can be seen from this angle.

The newest addition to my group is Oakbounds Aedwyrm from 2018, of which I was lucky to secure one of only 30 metal copies when it was released. Resin copies are occasionally made available, follow their facebook or website here:

While new it's an obvious homage to the 1984 Nick Bibby Great Spined Dragon minus the wings which has been. The Great Spined Dragon is on my want list for years, but this model definitely scratches that itch, and brings with it much of the charm and a different pose than the original.

When pressed for a colour scheme I opted for green as it suits the model and it adds colour to my army, while not being a colour I already had represented in a dragon. I shied away from more natural brown or skin tones as I think it makes the face look a bit too dog-like, so I went for all-out fresh green. Contrary to the other dragons this specimen is not dead, so there's no murkyness or rot.

As a rider I found Citadel's Witch Lord very fitting, both figuratively and literally. His legs are very wide apart but it works very well on this massive model. For his paint job I went for an all-out king's look with red (to contrast the green), gold and an ermine cloak.

To signify the rider as king of all the dead I added a grave with zombie hand (named "undead returning") from the Citadel Night Horrors line to the base. This is a rather nice little piece which fits better on a centrepiece model like this than on a small base among ranks of zombies where it would otherwise have gone. Originally I had thought of using both the rider and the grave in combination with Tom Meier's zombie dragon but I think the current set-up is much more dramatic.

Last but by no means least is the fantastic 1994 RAFM Necrodrake, last because I've shown him here before: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=24850

He was the first of the dragon riders I finished and also the model that sparked my enthusiasm to work on the others. He's still the most massive model of the lot and looks like a lumbering dinosaur among the others.

His rider is the old Citadel rider Bloodharvest with a long plastic spear instead of his scythe. The appearance of skeletal dragons is very different than that of zombie dragons but I like them both very much.

To finish off this post there is one last group shot of the riders on their mounts. In all cases I built up the area between the rider and the dragon with putty, which in most cases I sculpted simply to resemble fur. It's an easy and effective way to fill the gap and make the models match. I hope you have enjoyed this lot! They will certainly add some colour and punch to my army.
When living your life like an arrow in flight
You must always accept that the end is in sight
Be grateful at least for the fact that you knew
You came to death - he did not come for you
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Post Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:06 pm

Re: Classic undead dragon riders [PICS]

Wonderful stuff, lots of classic miniatures, well done sir
How can I ever have enough stuff, I don't need.
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Post Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:40 pm

Re: Classic undead dragon riders [PICS]

Flawless... and its not as if one would have been enough ;)
Et à ce j'ajouterai, santé!
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Post Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:11 am

Re: Classic undead dragon riders [PICS]

Great job on these fantastic miniatures.


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Post Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:33 am

Re: Classic undead dragon riders [PICS]

Wonderful quartet

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Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2014 5:06 pm

Post Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:17 pm

Re: Classic undead dragon riders [PICS]

that's what we like to see!

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Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:28 pm

Post Sun Feb 16, 2020 7:25 pm

Re: Classic undead dragon riders [PICS]

So is there an army to go with this spearhead?

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