The Mean Green Geezers – Part 6

Back when I painted up my Orc Blood Bowl team the advice I received from experienced coaches was “add a couple more Big ‘uns and two more Blitzers”. To which I have nodded heartily, thanked them for their sage advice, and painted up a couple of goblins instead.

Now perhaps I should justify myself here a little. For one thing I actually own a load of goblins – which means I can contribute them to the “Paint The Crap You Already Own” challenge being run by Ann’s Immaterium – whereas I’ve yet to find a deal I liked to acquire myself the Big ‘uns or Blitzers. Thus painting gobbos is a way of clearing my backlog, whereas adding more models to the unpainted pile would have quite the opposite effect! Plus I intend, at some point in time, to be able to field an all Goblin team, and these bring me one step closer to achieving that. Thirdly, and most importantly, I just fancied painting a couple of little gobbos!

Blood Bowl Goblins Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)Blood Bowl Goblins Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)Blood Bowl Goblins Wudugast ConvertOrDie (4)Blood Bowl Goblins Wudugast ConvertOrDie (5)

There is a certain irony that the carefully (and to my eye rather well-) painted “15” on the back on the top model doesn’t really show up in the pictures, whereas the slightly smudged and lumpy “16” on the second model has photographed quite clearly. Ah well never mind – everyone knows goblins have terrible handwriting! Here they are next to the other two runts on the team.

Blood Bowl Goblins Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)

Of course now they’re done this does mean I really ought to get on with it and paint that troll. He’s assembled properly now at last so someday, someday…


Scum’s Thoughts – Part 5

Over the last few years I’ve built up quite a library of Necromunda books. Indeed they’ve now completely overrun the part of the shelf that I’d dedicated to them so all my gaming and hobby books will have to be rearranged at some point to accommodate them. Here’s a reminder of how the book stack looked back at the end of 2020, with House of Faith and House of Shadows soon to join them.

Necromunda Books

As well as stacks of background and general inspiration – which is mostly what I buy them for – and further stacks of gaming rules, these books also contain loads and loads of shady individuals with which to populate the underhive. By my count we now have rules for 58 special characters – and assuming they follow the pattern laid down by the preceding books House of Faith and House of Shadows will add 3 more each. Then there are the hangers on, pets, brutes, criminal or guilder allies and noble houses all of which have representatives that you can add to your gang. The thing is, not all of them have models. In fact a huge number do not. My estimate puts the number of concepts without models somewhere around 120, and there are likely to be more in the future. The Specialist Games studio have always maintained that they intend to make models for all these characters and creatures “someday”. However honesty has to compel us to admit that this might be a long time coming. If Necromunda ceases to be popular Forge World will undoubtedly put their resources elsewhere, rather than spending it on creating these models. If it does remain popular I’d expect to see plenty of new books in the future, each containing plenty of new concepts, and the number of “concepts without models” will only increase rather than decrease.

I have what I’ll admit is a bit of a silly idea, that is to own models for all of these things. Of course, even if miniatures were available I’d have to lean pretty heavily on kitbashing to achieve it – I simply couldn’t afford to buy them all – and I suspect the end goal will always be out of sight. This one, however, is definitely a project that’s more about the journey than the destination. Before this turns into any more of a wall of text, and before I start assault my reader’s sensibilities with an outpouring of mathematics, here’s another look at my kitbashed version Freikstorn Strix, the winged Van Saar mercenary.

Freikstorn Strix Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Freikstorn Strix Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)

Let us imagine, just for fun, that Forge World start churning out Necromunda models with gusto. At least one per month sounds achievable, but let’s say they really commit and start releasing two new Necromunda models every single month of the year. It would still take them almost five years to work their way through the backlog as it stands now. Alternatively they make an announcement tomorrow; with nothing else to fill their time during lockdown their sculptors have worked around the clock and there are now models made, cast and ready to put on sale for every single one of these ideas. In fact, they’re all going on sale right now! Then we’re faced with the Forge World prices I alluded to earlier. Forge World’s pricing is notoriously erratic but generally expensive – most individual characters come in somewhere around the £20 mark. That would make this little lot cost somewhere in the region of £2400 cumulatively – which is certainly well outside the bounds of my hobby budget!

Now I don’t mind this, I’ve always been a convertor and kitbasher at heart, and even if some of these models were available I’d probably choose to make my own – as I’ve already done with Freikstorn Strix (above) Gor Half-Horn, Tess Arc-Up and Grendl Grendlsen for instance. Personally I’ve taken to treating the characters and hangers on that appear in these books as a list of cool concepts – if we get models for them someday then I’m happy, if we don’t I’ll be equally happy to use them as a source of inspiration and make my own. However everyone likes a “Top 5” so today, after all that preamble, let’s take a look at five things from the existing books (in no particular order) that I’d very much like to see models for.

Jorth Slither

Being at heart a filthy heretic I’ve liked the look of the mutie Jorth Slither since I first set eyes on him. In the backstory of Necromunda, outlandish, comic-book style events are as common place as more seriously framed discussions of the planet’s history and industry. The story of Jorth Slither falls firmly into the former category. Turned out of his guilder clan for his somewhat unorthodox approach to making money (i.e. he was a crook) he stumbled upon a corpse lying in a pool of goo. Naturally he did what every right thinking entrepreneurial individual would do and started going through the dead person’s pockets for anything worth nicking… only to be overcome by whatever had killed the poor hiver and wake up sometime later with his body transformed into that of a hideous mutant. Not that this has put a stop to his money-making schemes, and amongst those criminal elements willing to throw in their lot with a mutie he’s gaining a reputation as the kind of man who can get things done…

Jorth Slither

Honestly I just think he looks really cool, if somewhat disgusting and gribbly. In fact the more I look at him the more it strikes me that an official Mutie gang would be a cool thing to see someday. In the meantime I have plenty of muties of my own that would gladly through in their lot with Jorth if only he had a model…

The Shadows of Catallus

A cheeky two-for-one here, these twins were once part of the noble house of Catallus, living high up in the Spire and enjoying the decadent lifestyle that only the very rich can afford. However when the house when through one of their intermittent civil wars the twins found themselves wanted by both sides and escaped downhive where the murderous tendencies they had honed amongst the wealthiest of Necromundan citizens proved just as useful down amongst the gangs of the Badzones. I really like the look of the various noble houses but of all the ones we’ve seen so far Catallus, with their harlequin costumes, are the most striking. House Catallus also have a close relationship with House Van Saar, with the assassins of the Catallus Carnivals putting in an appearance in the House of Artifice book. I have pondered using parts from the Eldar Harlequins combined with the more ostentatious models from the Empire range to kitbash some agents of this most mysterious of Houses, but for a skilled miniature’s designer there’s a lot of scope in these characters and I’d love to see what a professional could do with them.

Catallus 2Catallus 1

Toll Collectors

We’ve seen two of the major Necromundan Guilds appear in model form so far. First there was the relatively normal looking  but still very cool Slavers Guild…

Slavers Guild

…followed by the (soon to be released and deliciously weird looking) Water Guild – or Nautican Syphoning Delegation to give them their proper name.

Water Guild

 However the one I’d really like to see is are the Toll Collectors of the Guild of Coin. This image of them hard at work steps straight from the kind of artwork that I’ll always associate with 40k and which, for me at least, sparks so much imagination and creative energy – yet which we rarely see given full expression in model form. In the grim darkness of the far future, this is your bank manager…

Guild of Coin

Grapple Hawk

Swooping out of the darkness to latch onto a hapless ganger using the metal hooks it has in place of feet (not to mention the other metal hooks it has in place of a face!) there are few 40k creatures more bizarre than the Grapple Hawk. Kept as pets by the more inventively vicious gang champions these winged horrors make a fine addition to any gang, but I can’t come up with a way to make one of my own that matches the terrifyingly demented looking creature in the artwork so if Forge World wanted to save me the job I wouldn’t say no.

Grapple Hawk

Cephalopod Spekter

The Delaque are a creepy bunch, forever skulking around in the shadows, listening in to what the good people of the hive are saying and surrounding themselves with layer upon layer of lies. Pale skinned and unnaturally tall and thin, these hairless gangers, shrouded in long coats and with their eyes replaced by blank lenses, seem just a little less human than anyone else in the underhive – with the possible exception of the xenos hybridising genestealer cults of course. So whilst other gangers choose relatively normal creatures as pets – the Escher’s cats, the Orlocks dogs and the hulking Goliaths equally muscular crocodiles – the Delaque prefer something a little stranger. Pop down your local pet shop and ask to have a look at the floating biomechanical octopuses and the owner will know straight away that you’re an agent of the House of Shadows. Of course not any old Cephalopod Spekter will do, the truly discerning Delaque prefers one which they can really trust. In the world of falsehoods and obfuscation that surrounds them the only way to be sure of that is to implant your own cloned brain into the creature.

With House of Shadows and an accompanying expansion to House Delaque scheduled for later this year this is one we might just see in the coming months – or perhaps that too will prove to be just another lie…

Spektor

So, what do you think? Are there any of these creatures and characters you’d particularly like to see as miniatures – or is there someone or something else in these books that should have made the list? As ever the comments section is all yours.


Two (Mad) March Challenges

It’s the end of March and, although I don’t have any new models to show you, I decided that a post was in order to give a nod to a couple of excellent blogs and the hobby challenges they’ve been running over the past month.

First of all there’s the Neglected But Not Forgotten challenge courtesy of Ann’s Immaterium. Despite the fact that I didn’t expect to get very much done at all this month I actually managed four models for this, all of which have been lingering on or under the painting desk for far longer than they ought to. A big “thank you” is owed to Ann for giving me the push to get on and paint these.

Neglected Model Challenge Wudugast ConvertOrDie

Now usually what we see on this blog is just miniatures and I try to keep myself out of the picture, as far as I can. However this was also the month of the T-shirt challenge being run by the Imperial Rebel Orc – or IRO as he’s widely known. IRO is fast becoming a household name (in his own house at least), an enthusiastic hobby powerhouse, friend of this blog (and this blogger) and all round top bloke. He’s also barking mad and so for his T-shirt challenge he wants to see his fellow hobbyists posting pictures of their torsos (preferably whilst clad in their favourite T-shirts). Anyway, so long as this doesn’t escalate into an underpants challenge next month I’m game so, having clarified that this isn’t a wet T-shirt contest (and then dried out both myself and my T-shirts) here’s a few pictures of my chest for IRO’s enjoyment – and hopefully yours as well.

I don’t actually own as many decent T-shirts as I thought I did, I seem to have worn a few of the to rags and not replaced them, but here’s a handful of the more entertaining ones.

T-Shirt (1)

This one was a gift from my fiancée. It’s a bit faded now, probably as a result of me wearing it whilst working in the hot sun, but it’s still clear enough and it makes me chuckle every time I see it.

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And because this is a miniature’s blog and not, as anyone stumbling on it for the first time my assume, a fashion blog here’s a couple of T-shirts with a Warhammer theme.

T-Shirt (2)T-Shirt (3)

Anyway, that’s my brief foray into one type of modelling completed – from now on I’ll be sticking firmly to the other type! I’m not sure what I’ll tackle next in terms of painting miniatures but I do have a couple of diminutive Blood Bowl players who are within stretching distance of the finish line so it might well be them.


Data-Scrivener

I’ve had this model for a long time, at least five or six years but possibly longer. I’ve been meaning to get him painted up as part of my underhive civilians collection (not to mention the fact that any Inq28 collection that doesn’t include him is really missing a trick) but what finally pushed me into action was spotting the Data-Scrivener in the House of Artifice book. Each gang in Necromunda can now take a range of hangers-on; these being the servants/assistants/allies of the gang who live in their hideout and enjoy the protection of the gang, but don’t generally get their hands dirty with any actual fighting.

Data-Scriveners are the futuristic hackers who specialise in stealing data from the hive’s ancient cogitators and manipulating them to suit their purposes. There are pretty strict rules about misusing technology in the Imperium but down in the underhive rules are there to be broken. The Van Saar, being tech-wizards to put the finest modern nerds to shame, have a habit of “liberating” whatever they feel like from the cogitator cores which regulate all the systems required to support life in the hive, and then using it against their enemies.

Servitor 40k Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast (2)Servitor 40k Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast (3)Servitor 40k Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast (4)Servitor 40k Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast (5)

Because I want to include him as a hanger on to my Van Saar I went for a colour scheme that tied in fairly closely with the rest of the gang.

Servitor 40k Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast (6)

That said I didn’t to make him look so much like a Van Saar that I couldn’t use him in other roles, he’d still make a fine addition to an Inquisitor’s retinue, an Imperial Guard command post or the citizens going about their business in the hive depths. Hopefully he could even join another gang as their Data-Scrivener without looking too out of place.

Servitor 40k Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast (1)

Of course, having been in my possession for ages without seeing a lick of paint, he’ll be another contribution to the Neglected But Not Forgotten challenge being run by Ann’s Immaterium.


Corwyn the Hunchback

I’ve had this model in my collection, unpainted, since the late 2000’s so he makes another fine contender for the Neglected But Not Forgotten challenge being run by Ann’s Immaterium. This is Corwyn the Hunchback, a twisted and evil shaman from Rackham’s Drune Kelt range. These cruel and bloodthirsty barbarians were roughly analogous to the Warriors of Chaos produced by Games Workshop, as well as borrowing heavily from the Drunes who appear as adversaries in 2000 AD’s Slaine comics. The range does show it’s age now, as miniatures have come on in leaps and bounds in recent decades, but at the time these were streets ahead of anything that another else was producing. Corwyn was one of the older models in the range as I recall but still jam packed with little details. He was well beyond my abilities when I first got him, and my attempts to paint him looked frankly terrible, but with more than a decade more experience under my belt the evil old bastard is finished at last.

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I have a few more Drune Kelts kicking around, as well as a handful of other Rackham models, and my success with Corwyn has me feeling more enthusiastic about tackling them. First however I’ve got one more neglected model I reckon I can squeeze in before the end of the month.


Larsen van der Grauss

Released as part of the Kill Team: Rogue Trader set Larsen van der Grauss is a Lectro-Maester of Adeptus Mechanicus, which means he’s a prospector charged with seeking out new sources of power for the forge worlds. There’s something wonderfully retro sci-fi about him, an aesthetic which runs through a lot of the Adeptus Mechanicus range but which really comes to the fore here. He’s also been sitting around unfinished since September of 2018 so he’ll be another submission to the Neglected But Not Forgotten challenge being run by Ann’s Immaterium.

Larsen van der Grauss Wudugast ConvertOrDie AdMech 40k (1)Larsen van der Grauss Wudugast ConvertOrDie AdMech 40k (2)

A close up reveals not only the flaws in my painting but also freehand on the screen of his high-tech handheld gizmo (which I’m secretly rather proud of).

Larsen van der Grauss Wudugast ConvertOrDie AdMech 40k (3)

I’d love to see another boxset similar to Kill Team: Rogue Trader someday. Games Workshop have done some excellent sets recently but most of them have been made up of models that were already available, spiced up with a few extras which were given an early release through the boxset. The Rogue Trader set however explored entirely new ground, without any of it needing to develop into a fully released faction (not that I’d have minded if it had). The only comparable example I can think of in recent years (outside of Specialist Games of course) has been the Warhammer Quest games. Between them Blackstone Fortress and Kill Team: Rogue Trader really expanded a lot of the otherwise unexplored corners of the 40k universe and I certainly wouldn’t be averse to seeing more sets like this in the future.


Scum’s Thoughts – Part 4

Well ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to put on your favourite mask, set fire to your hat and say a prayer to the God Emperor – the Redemptionists are back in town and if you don’t look suitably devout they’re going to want to know why! I’ve been using this blog as a platform to bump my gums about the Redemptionists for a while so now we’ve had a good look at them, via Games Workshop’s latest round of previews – the appropriately titled “Faith and Damnation“, I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to talk about them some more!

Klovis the Redeemer Purge

I’ve previously discussed some of the controversy around the Redemptionists and frankly it’s something I’ve hashed out more than enough. Anyone who wants to can look back at the previous posts, today let’s concentrate on some models! 

Redemptionist 1

Now let’s not beat about the bush here, I think these are fantastic. Necromunda, not to put too fine a point on it, has always been a bit silly. Nowhere in the entirety of 40k, indeed in any of Games Workshop’s universes, do we see such depth devoted to a single setting. The “House of…” books have only built on this, adding layer upon layer of nuance and complexity, showing us in unrivalled detail the history of the world, it’s industries, societies, economy, even languages. If you want to take something in the Games Workshop stable seriously then this is it. However that shouldn’t distract us from the fact that it’s also unbelievably daft and OTT.

It would be easy to see the Redemptionists simply as grim, even scary; the worst excesses of religious fanaticism – already a scourge that has made a hell on earth out of countless real world societies – running amok in the overcrowded nightmare cities of the distant future. If I imagine myself living on Necromunda there’s no faction I think I’d like to meet less, with the possible exception of the Corpse Grinder Cults (and if you don’t know what kind of people they are – well, the clue is in the name…). The sinister, eyeless Delaque, the brutally authoritarian Enforcers, even the daemon worshipping Helot Cults, seem to me less frightening than the thought of the Redemptionists and their heretic pyres.

This is balanced out however by characters like Klovis the Redeemer (who appeared in the cartoon that opened this article). It’s easy to paint the Redemptionists as the worst of all men, but that is to overlook the bombastic, tragicomic, and – most importantly – satirical aspect of them. It’s hard to see a man who arms himself with a chainsaw almost as big as he is and then straps a flamethrower to it because it still isn’t deadly enough, then sets his hat on fire and goes out looking for a fight as anything other than a figure of ridicule. These models play that up with aplomb. The tall hoods and unsubtle nods to the KKK are out but who cares because these are still Redemptionists through and through.

Redemptionist 4

I think regular readers will already be well aware that I’m no fan of sculpted flame on models. It’s not a hard and fast rule, sometimes it’s appropriate and works well – although GW in my opinion have a tendency to overuse it. All too often however it just ends up looking static and lumpy. I did worry that they were going to apply the fire effects liberally here but it seems that common sense has prevailed, and the fiery effects have remained most concentrated around the flammable headgear department.

Redemptionist 3

Looking at these models it’s easy to get excited about them as Redemptionists and forget that they are also intended as an expansion to House Cawdor. Following the relaunch of Necromunda in 2017 (hard to believe it’s coming up for four years already!) each of the six major houses got a box of models with which to make up a gang. Starting in early 2020 each then received a second box of models, with which to add various house specific specialists. These new Redemptionists can either be added to a House Cawdor gang or used to form a standalone gang of their own. As a result the sculptors have had to walk a fine line – make them too different to Cawdor and they won’t fit in to an existing gang, make them too similar and they won’t stand out as something different if you decide to go it alone. As Redemptionists these are pretty much spot on, but as Cawdor they miss the mark in a number of crucial ways. Take the weapons for instance. The weapons wielded by House Cawdor all appear to have been cobbled together from scrap. The same men who think strapping bombs to rats is a wise idea use bones, candles and scavenged machinery to make flamethrowers. These chaps on the other hand wield weapons which might be utterly ridiculous but at least appear to have been professionally manufactured.

Redemptionist 6

Compare these newcomers to the Redemptionists of yesteryear and you’ll see that, despite the odd tweak here and there, these are much the same as the ever were. Indeed they have a lot more in common than their predecessors than some of the other gangs.

Redemptionists 3

However part of me does feel that we who follow House Cawdor might have been a little bit short-changed here. The Redemptionists may have had a long and close relationship with Cawdor but they are not the same thing – as the issue with the weapons described above serves to demonstrate. By keeping these models fairly close aesthetically to the Redemptionists of old they’ve had to make some sacrifices on the side of tying them into Cawdor. I always knew it was wishful thinking but wouldn’t it have been nice if Cawdor had enjoyed a new set of Champions/Prospects just like the other houses AND we’d got new Redemptionists at a later date as well. Is that greed? Ratskin fans would say we should be bloody grateful to have new models at all. 40k enthusiasts would argue that a faction without at least a dozen kits to its name is woefully underrepresented. At the end of the day we didn’t get a bolt-on to Cawdor like the other houses, we got (admittedly kickass) Redemptionists instead.

Anyway, this is a minor issue in the grand scheme of things. Hopefully the resources freed up by turning this release slot over to the Redemptionists will be reinvested in the setting and we’ll see another new faction added once the House of… series is concluded (something I intend to talk about in a future post). If that happens I’ll forgive them.

Redemptionist 2

Something that does have me curious however is the number of models we’ve been shown. Each Necromunda kit (and this is true of Blood Bowl also) follows the same format – two identical sprues are packaged together and each model can be built in one of two standard patterns (with the possibility of kitbashing available to the more adventurous hobbyist). Observe for example the Death Maidens and Wyld Runners kit for House Escher.

Escher Death-maidens and Wyld Runners

In this kit we see two Death Maidens, two crouching Wyld Runners, two Wyld Runners standing tall, two leaping Phelynx and two prowling Phelynx. The core of each model appears twice but by adding different arms, heads, weapons, and so on you end up with very different models – or at least models which are different enough to fool the eye. Sure enough the same trick is carried out with the Redemptionists as this handy image shows.

Redemptionist Group

You’ll notice that the two models to the right of the screen are based on a single core, as are the two in the centre and the two on the left. You’ll also notice that there are six of them. The Eschers I showed above also have six human models, plus four alien cats. Likewise the Orlocks have six human models… and two dogs. The Van Saar have six human models – four of whom are flying around on great big hoverboards. The Goliaths just have six models in their gang expansion – but two of those are the enormous Stimmers who tower over almost every other human in the game. The Enforcers also have just six human models in their gang-expansion, the Subjugators, but again these have above average bulk and are lugging around riot shields which eat up a lot of space on the sprue. My point is this – the basic gang box for each house manages to fit ten miniatures onto each pair of sprues. The gang expansions have only six human models per pair of sprues, plus various extras that fill out the remaining space. With the Redemptionists we’ve only seen six models, and none of them nearly as big and bulky as the Goliath Stimmers or Enforcer Subjugators. What’s taking up the missing sprue space?

My initial assumption was that with this reveal they’d shown us everything that’s coming in this kit, but part of me can’t help but look at these models and wonder if something has been obfuscated. After all there doesn’t seem to be sufficiently more weapons, heads and other gubbins on these models in comparison to the Orlocks or Van Saar to be using up the same amount of space as a dog or a couple of hoverboards. Maybe it’s wishful thinking but we’ve come this far and damn it, I’m going to think wishfully!

If you doubt that there’s more to come here I can’t blame you but – before you leave a comment to tell me I’m talking mince take a look at this, the very first teaser image which Games Workshop showed for this release just over a month ago.

Redemptionist Preview 1

Now look back at the group shot of the six Redemptionists previewed today. The book you’ll recognise as the one being clutched by the gang’s leader – but where, oh where is that skull from?

If you want to start a Redemptionist gang, rather than adding these to a Cawdor gang, then you’re starting off with only six miniatures – four less than any other gang gets in their core box (apart from Slave Ogryns and Subjegators but don’t split hairs – I’m probably boring people as it is!). Maybe the missing space – if it really exists out with my fevered speculation – is given over to more alternative heads and weapons so that, even if it means buying two sets of these models, you still have loads of options for outfitting a purely Redemptionist gang. Yeah, that sounds like reeeally wishful thinking to me too… More likely is an upgrade set from Forgeworld with alternative heads and weapons – and much as I would mutter about having to part with my hard-earned cash I’d be happy enough with that.

At the end of the day though as a fan of the Redemptionists I’m very happy with this kit. As a fan of House Cawdor I’m a little disappointed – I’d have liked to see more options coming our way, just as the other Houses have enjoyed. Then again Cawdor are the poorest House, and making do with the scrap others leave behind is in our nature. I’ve already kitbashed more Cawdor gangers than I have members of any other gang and I’m showing no signs of stopping – indeed once I’ve got them all painted up I won’t have a gang but a small army. Perhaps I don’t actually need another kit when I’ve managed to get so much mileage out of the one we already have?

Cawdor Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)

Anyway, it probably goes without saying that I’ll be painting my new Redemptionists in traditional red and starting a gang of them separate to my Cawdor. After all if the Cawdor were doing their job properly and purging all the heretics like they’re supposed to I wouldn’t need a Redemptionist crusade to come storming in and set everything on fire now would I?

All that will have to wait until we get our hands on the new models, and that won’t happen for a month or two yet I’d estimate. In the meantime maybe I ought to paint some more of my unfinished Cawdor…

I’ve tried to keep this post themed to Necromunda and focused on the forthcoming Redemptionists but before I go it’s worth giving a nod to some of the other things that were revealed in this preview. Needless to say it’s not just the thought of setting fire to the underhive that has me excited!  As a long time fan of the Orks the thought of seeing fresh recruits for da boyz has me very keen to get back to my greenskin army in earnest.

New Orc

In addition the new undead range, the Soulblight Gravelords, are absolutely gorgeous (for a given value of gorgeousness of course!) and as a fan of the Vampire Counts range of old I won’t deny I’m very interested in some of these. The old zombies kit was probably the worst thing in GW’s catalogue so seeing those replaced can’t come a moment too soon. The new version are a huge improvement and avoid the slightly gimmicky look of the  batch which come with Cursed City, every one of which is carrying the top of their grave around on their back.

Zombies

The new Blood (Dragon) Knights are also stunning models – although I suspect that when I see the price I’ll suddenly find myself feeling a lot less enthusiastic!

Blood Dragon

 It also gives me hope that some of the other old ranges – and here regular readers will know I’m thinking of the Skaven most prominently – will be given a similar treatment to the Vampire Counts and Night Goblins (or Soulblight Gravelords and Gloomspite Gits if you prefer) rather than being heavily reinvented for the Mortal Realms like the Dwarves or High Elves. Anyway, I’m going to sign off now before I get completely distracted from Necromunda and turn this into a broader discussion of the forthcoming releases in general. Suffice to say that, from my point of view, this is the most exciting preview we’ve had lately. As a fan of the Cawdor I’m a little disappointed but as a fan of the Redemptionists, the Orks and the Vampire Counts I’m a very happy chap indeed! Did anything in this preview take your fancy? Will you be joining me in purging the underhive of heretic filth or will you be taking a stand for law and order (even if only by Necromundan standards!)? Do you have any ideas where that mysterious skull might belong? As ever the comments box is all yours!


Orc Champion

I’ve no idea what the origin of this old Orc is. He’s been knocking around in my collection, started but not finished, for a good decade at least, possibly longer. The aesthetic of him reminds me very much of the models produced by Rackham for the – sadly defunct and much missed – game Confrontation. However I’m pretty familiar with that range and I’m fairly certain he’s not one of them. Any readers who happen to know where he came from please shout out in the comments.

Anyway, needless to say he’s been neglected for a long, long time – but he was never forgotten, which means he’s perfect for the Neglected But Not Forgotten challenge being run by Ann’s Immaterium.

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He didn’t actually take me that long to get him from his half-finished state to completed, maybe an hour or so, which goes to show I could have done it any time in the last ten years or so. Still, he’s done now and I’m pleased with how he’s turned out. Big thanks to Ann for running the challenge, I’m fairly sure he’d still be gathering dust without it!


Raise The Dead

Since the previews of Warhammer Quest: Cursed City began I’ve had an itch to paint some zombies. Spoiling my appetite for when the game arrives or honing my skills in advance – I’ll let you be the judge! Either way it’s been a while since I painted a shambling corpse (almost a year since I finished off my Poxwalker horde) and when I spotted these two lads I couldn’t resist. Both are Blood Bowl players without a team on my desk for them to join (at the moment) although sooner or later I’ll probably do something about that.

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After the epic charge I made through the female miniatures in my collection for the Fembruary challenge it was nice to just paint something that positively demands a rough and ready, relaxed painting style. Really I should be getting back to the followers of Tzeentch that I abandoned in January but work is kicking off at the moment and time for painting is short so I won’t be pushing myself too hard over the next little while.


Fembruary 2021 Round-Up

Whew – I don’t think I’ve painted so many different things in such a short space of time in my life! There have been times when I’ve painted a lot more models (69 miniatures in October 2018 being the highest monthly output since I started keeping a record although that was mostly a case of batch-painting Night Goblins so perhaps not quite as impressive as it first appears). This month I “only” managed 21 models, but they covered as wide a range of subjects as I could find – united by a single common theme, all of them were women. Yes we’re talking once again about the Fembruary challenge run by Alex of LeadBalloony.

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For those unfamiliar with the challenge Fembruary is “a time of year for us to collectively challenge the male domination of our collections, and commit to painting some female miniatures”. The description adds “it’s a simple affair, just paint & post one or more female miniatures from your piles-of-shame, in the name of fair representation within the hobby” and notes “given that this is intended as an encouragement to think about inclusion in the hobby then it makes sense if your entries are kick-ass ladies”.

This year I was feeling both particularly enthusiastic about clearing my backlog and at the same time thinking a lot about the situation facing women both in my own country and abroad. Currently the government here is looking to bring in legislation which could severely limit our ability to even discuss issues affecting women, whilst taking away the sex-segregated services they need. It goes without saying that a lot of women, both in my circle of family and friends and the wider public, are frankly terrified. I don’t really want to get into the specifics of the debate, partly because this is a blog about miniatures and not really the right forum for the discussion and partly because there are activists out there who think that the appropriate response to someone saying “women are people too” is to make death threats and I don’t need that shit. 

I try to walk a fine line with this blog. On the one hand I try to make my posts thought provoking when I can, and to dig a little deeper than simply saying “here’s a thing wot I painted”. On the other hand I’m very conscious of the fact that the world can be difficult, distressing and depressing at times and our hobbies are intended to be a release from all that. Then there’s the fact that,  although the blogosphere is considerably more civilised than, for example, Facepuke or Twitter, many people fear any kind of online social or political discussion in case it erupts into an orgy of spittle-flecked outrage. At the end of the day people come here to look at pictures of miniatures, and although it’s my party and I’ll say what I want to, equally I don’t want to be a bore or start a fight.

It’s also a long and complex matter to try to dissect but we find ourselves in the odd position where, when I participate in Fembruary 2022, I may have to describe the kind of miniatures I’m painting without using the word “woman”, in case by doing so I cause someone offence – which under new laws could see me sent to prison. I know that sounds ludicrous to most readers but misogynist activists are already jeering themselves hoarse and claiming that they’ll exploit the new legislation to silence anyone who disagrees with them.

It should go without saying that, no matter what cause someone claims to be standing for, if a women says she feels unsafe and someone responds by threatening her with sexual assault and murder then the aggressor should not be hailed as brave. Such behaviour will always be abhorrent, regardless of how they try to dress it up. Regardless of what happens with this particular instance of state-sponsored misogyny watching events unfold has really emphasised to me the viciousness with which women in particular are attacked for speaking up.  

Ours is a hobby which traditionally has been primarily male. The cliché of the out-of-shape, unwashed, nerdy (and of course  single!) male gamer is a persistent one – despite the fact that my readers are to a man handsome, hygienic and erudite sexual stallions. We have worked hard to invite women into our hobby and the increased number of women – both in terms of miniatures on our tabletops and human beings painting and playing with those miniatures – is something well worth celebrating. Of course there are areas in which things could and should improve, and of course there will always be those for whom nothing is ever good enough. We just need to keep trying, keep discussing, and keep working towards something that works fairly well for everyone in the room who isn’t a total arsehole – and that’s basically the best that any society can hope for.

Anyway, in an effort to stop myself grinding my teeth right out of my head, I’ve found myself leaning heavily on my “go to” for calming my nerves and maintaining my mental health; painting miniatures. As a result what started out as simply an exercise in gathering together all the unfinished female models on my desk and trying to get a few completed turned into something of a marathon charge into the “pile of shame”. Let’s take a look at everything I managed to complete (don’t knacker your eyes peering at it, click on it for a decent sized picture!).

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Not bad eh! I’m sure there will be plenty of hobbyists out there who could paint a lot more in a month, and to a much higher standard to boot, but this isn’t a race and I’m rather proud of my output. Along the way I added models to various ongoing projects and started a few new ones. We have three daughters of House Escher…

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…three Blood Bowl playing elves…

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… two explorers delving into the Blackstone Fortress…

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…the Imperial Guard commissar Severina Raine from the Black Library novel Honourbound

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…a Stormcast Eternal…

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…two dryads…

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…two Chaos Sorceresses…

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…a Genestealer Cult Magus…

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…an agent of Tzeentch…

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… an old goblin witch…

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…one of the grand ladies of the Adeptus Mechanicus…

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…and a warband made up of the Daughters of Khaine.

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Things might be a bit quiet here for the next little while, and certainly quieter than they’ve been recently. This is the time of year when my work goes into overdrive and this year is scheduled to be particularly hectic.  I’ll still be painting miniatures when time allows though and I’ll try not to vanish from the world of blogging altogether, especially as I have a lot of projects up my sleeve that I’d like to be tackling soon.

Finally I’d like to give a shout out to Alex of LeadBalloony who organises this challenge every year. If you’re not already familiar with his work I highly recommend you go and check it out right away, and of course keep an eye out for the Fembruary round up, which he should be posting in the next few days, for a look at all the other talented people who’ve taken part.