Hanging On For Dear Life – Part 2

I was hoping to have a couple more Goliaths finished by now but alas, although they’re so close to the finish line they can almost touch it they’re still not quite ready for the grand reveal. However that doesn’t mean I’ve got nothing at all to show you. Despite the shackles of “real life” hanging particularly heavy over the past week or so I’ve still managed to put in a little bit of time on the hangers on available to my Necromunda gangers.

First of all we have the Dome Runner who’s job it is to guide my crew through the dark depths of the Underhive, and who’ll be getting the blame if they wander into the lairs of any mutant tribes. Last time we saw him he was freshly cobbled together and looked like this.

Dome Runner Convert Or Die (1)Dome Runner Convert Or Die (4)

However I still wasn’t completely happy with him and, following suggestions from various sources, decided to turn the candelabra through 90 degrees so as to avoid obscuring his face and to add to the sense of narrative as the smoke trails behind him in the murky tunnels. I also gave him a backpack to emphasise the idea that here is a man who lives on the road, a wanderer who travels from zone to zone, perhaps even hive to hive. Of course this leaves me wondering how much such a nomad can be trusted and whether his wandering ways have more to do with staying ahead of all the gang bosses he’s double crossed, but that’s a risk it’s worth taking for the insight he brings to the hidden corners of the hive and the treasures to be found therein.

Convert Or Die Necromunda WIPs (1)Convert Or Die Necromunda WIPs (2)Convert Or Die Necromunda WIPs (3)Convert Or Die Necromunda WIPs (4)

Of course he’s not the only non-ganger to be found hanging around the hideout. My boys are getting heartily sick of vent scrapings, corpse-starch and protein capsules, and dream of a nicely burned rat like mama used to make. Luckily I’ve made them a slopper, a man skilled at turning Underhive wildlife into nutritious meals.

Convert Or Die Necromunda WIPs (5)Convert Or Die Necromunda WIPs (6)Convert Or Die Necromunda WIPs (7)

Furthermore, in spite of the fact that I really ought to have been painting Goliaths, I gave in to temptation and started assembling my Van Saars. Everyone has advised me that they’re best assembled as per the instructions, and that any attempts to deviate from said instructions (barring simple head or weapon swaps) ran the risk of disaster. Naturally I ignored the advice of these wise heads entirely and set about kitbashing my gang leader with gusto, not to mention a bit of muttered swearing and a growing sense of horror as the kit’s complexity revealed itself. My vision for the model was pretty clear from the outset, I wanted the leader to be posing, one foot on a case of spilled ammo, as per the leader from the studio gang, but I also wanted a woman to lead the gang as that ties in to the background I’ve been planning for them. I wasn’t willing to compromise on either point and, despite the fact that the bits really aren’t meant to go together I reckon she’s turning out fairly well. Here she is waiting to be kitted out with her hystrar energy shield (which I’ll be painting on the sprue and adding later). Obviously she’s still just tacked down at the moment, and the gun looks ridiculously huge in her hand (although in my defence that’s an issue with the kit).

Convert Or Die Necromunda WIPs (8)Convert Or Die Necromunda WIPs (10)Convert Or Die Necromunda WIPs (11)

These are all still WIP so any feedback or suggestions are welcome, although given how tricky the Van Saar was to put together if you think she needs adjusting I recommend you phrase it very diplomatically indeed!

21 responses to “Hanging On For Dear Life – Part 2

  • imperialrebelork

    I really like the lowered head of the guide. He could have been an Ostium guide too. The slopper is great. Where’s the cleaver from? Good choice of head on him too. I’d like to see some bones about him too, not so much skulls just bones. I think the Van Saar leader is great. I too look forward to NOT building them the way they are meant to be built hehe.

    • Wudugast

      Yeah, I did think of the Ostium guides when I was working on him. I wanted to make each of them a product of their environment, so the Ostium guides should look “foresty” whilst this one should have more of an underhive vibe to him.
      The slopper’s cleaver is from the Skaven clanrats. Good shout regarding the bones, I’ll see what I can dig up (hur hur).
      The Van Saars are a great source of bits and I think if you want to make conversions based on them they’ll be a joy. Kitbashing within the kit itself though (i.e. just using bits from the kit but not following the instructions) that’s where it gets tricky!

  • Faust

    Great work man. The dome runner is really nice. Love the Slopper. I know it’s later, but painted up, he could be a great Jewel of July. The Van Saar leader looks good. I really wanted to do something different with the shock staves, but alas it didn’t happen. I thought it would be pretty awesome to make a ‘javelin-throwing’ sort of pose with one of the staves. Who knows, maybe in the future.

    I also wanted to comment on that “so close” feeling, you mentioned with the Goliaths. I get that quite a bit, as I have little patience with my painting progress. I’ll constantly tell my brother, ‘Yea, I’m soooo close to getting X done’. Or ‘Oh, I think I’ll have such and such done by the end of this week!’. But often it doesn’t go the way I planned. But that ‘if I just finish this part…’ feeling of nearly being done, is so cool but also sometimes frustrating.

    • Wudugast

      Cheers 🙂 Yeah, I had such plans for Jewel of July but I don’t think it’s going to happen in most cases. I do have a Skaven model planned which I really need to get done as it’ll be both my Jewel and the only thing that I’m remotely close to finishing up for my rats this month.

      Good idea on the javelin-throwing pose with the shock stave. I’m wondering if one could fit the energy shield to the model’s left arm so they can hold a stave and a shield. Probably a terrible idea game-wise but it’d look cool, very gladiatorial. Of course no sensible Van Saar would ever end up in close combat to begin with so I’d probably be better off buying more guns with my credits and leave the close in fighting to those meathead Goliaths!

      As for the Goliaths, they’re at the point where ten minutes each will see them done. Let’s see how long it takes before I find ten minutes though, especially with my attention focused on getting that Skaven model done before the end of the month. I tend to find once they get to the home stretch though I get them done in fairly short order, it’s when they’re about half done that I tend to stall.

      • Faust

        Haha, it takes me 10 minutes just to get settled, remember which models I’m using and which paint I need. 😉

        Which reminds me, I never documented what paint I used last night. Crap.

        Yea, no Jewel here. I even daydreamed about finishing a cheesy ‘Fake Jewel’, but just don’t have the stuff and time to get that done. I’l simply have to focus on working what I have and look to the next few months of challenges.

        Well, a cool looking mini in hand is always better than a killer game monster. Rules change, or things can be house ruled. Though I think some weaknesses always need to be put in place for balance. Of course I say all that now, and I might be eating those words when my gun-heavy Goliaths enter their first turn war! ;P

        Can’t wait to see your Skaven Jewel, bet that will be a cool one!

      • Wudugast

        Oh absolutely, rules come and go and this week’s “totally broken” is next week’s “totally rubbish”, whereas a cool model is cool forever. For me it’s more to do with the background and the fact that I want my gangers to be exemplars of that background. My Van Saars are just too sickly and weak to be messing around in close combat unless they really can’t help it!
        That said a Van Saar character that specialises in close combat would be a fun bounty hunter to make. Perhaps I could even sort them out with some kind of high-tech suit, like an Underhive Ironman.
        Just heard them announce that there’s going to be house specific brutes in the future, will be very interesting to see what they all get.

      • Faust

        Yea, I agree on that. Rules are there to follow, until they is the perfect opportunity to break them! We do that a lot with Blood bowl. Going standard builds on most players, then you get some odd roll like +1 Agility on a Troll…and then think “Hmmmm….why….not….”. It adds some narrative, even if it’s not optimal.

      • Alexis West

        The Iron Man suit was originally as much a life-support system as armour. It could be totally fitting to have some exceptionally decrepit Van Saar kicking around in something like that. Rules-wise, Heavy Carapace Armour plus a Full Servo Harness and the Armoured Bodyglove should do pretty well. Maybe also count it as a Gold-plated Gun and/or Uphive Raiments as well, just to represent how imposing it is.

      • Wudugast

        Yeah, I only know Iron Man from the films (my partner is quite into comics but I also preferred a nice solid book) but I was very much thinking of it as a life support system that just happens to have been weaponised (because in 40k it’s wise to put a gun on everything!). Would make sense as well that the more senior the Van Saar is the more resources they command, the more knowledge they have (allowing them to build such a suit) and the sicker they are from prolonged contact with the STC so the more such a suit would become necessary. I’m starting to imagine this guy as a former mentor to my gang leader who has now vanished into the depth of the Underhive on some secretive mission, prompting her to abandon her research and attempt to track him down.

        Good thinking on the rules, I think I’m going to have to actually build this guy now! 😀

      • Alexis West

        The MCU origin is pretty close to the original. The main difference (other than that it was in Vietnam, not Afghanistan) was that he needed the whole suit to keep the shrapnel in place, not just the mini arc reactor.

  • Thomas

    Brilliant set of models.

  • Alexis West

    Nice work! Shifting the candelabra really helps with the motion on the Dome Runner. The Slopper has some great touches, too, and I think that might be the first time I’ve seen a mini with a meat cleaver that was actually using it as a cooking tool 😉

    Your Van Saar leader looks fine to me. Ideally there would maybe be some tiny shifts of pose, but not the sort of thing that’s remotely feasible as a conversion. I think the pose will also work better once her shield is in place. As for the gun, well, ludicrously huge weapons are a long-standing 40K tradition. Again, probably way more trouble than it’s worth, but it could be cool if she had some sort of exoskeletal reinforcements on that arm to help with the weight, like the Orlock Heavy Stubber does. At least both parts are energy weapons, so she doesn’t have to worry about recoil. It could also be assumed that the Las and Melta components need to be buffered from each other to some extent, and so there’s a lot of empty space in there, making it lighter than it looks.

    • Wudugast

      You know, I think you’re right on the cleaver, not sure I’ve seen one used that way either (I did pedantically wonder about looking through the Ogres but I’m not sure that what they get up to could ever be classed as “cooking”).

      I think you’re right, the shield will balance her, and the gun does look lightweight so it shouldn’t be too big of a deal. Some kind of exoskeletal rig would be nice, but as you say probably more work than it’s worth, or than I’m willing to put in at the moment.

  • Alex

    Nice work mate, the dome runner is looking much better, and the others are shaping up nicely as well! Personally, I’m finding the whole Van Saar design ethic to be a challenge to get on board with, but there is no denying that they are superb minis… I’m just not sure if I actually like ’em! 🙂

    • Wudugast

      The Van Saar design ethic of them looking very sleek and futuristic in comparison to the run-down nature of everyone else in 40k or the design ethic of making the kit in so many bits that it’s basically a soup of component atoms and the instruction manual is just a note saying “good luck”?

      If it’s the former I started off very much in agreement. I know in theory the Imperium has everything from ultra high tech through to stone age feral worlds but the sci-fi/medieval vibe has become so much a part of the aesthetic that at first I did think they looked out of place. I think I would have preferred for them to share a few design cues with the ad mech but then I suppose they don’t really get on that well in the background. They’ve grown on me though but it took a little getting used to.

  • heresyofus

    Liking the slopper. What an excellent character and I bet he makes a mean sump rat stew.😃 So the van saar are a bit tricky? I’ll get them eventually and make one and sacrifice the rest to the ever hungry bits box.

    • Wudugast

      The main reason the Van Saar are tricky is the number of bits involved. I just did a quick count and an average Orlock comes in at about 7 components per finished model, whereas with a Van Saar its about 15. Each of those has a specific way of sitting to match the adjacent bits so the effect of any change is magnified across the model. Even the neck is a separate bit and the arms are usually split at the elbow. I think there’s potential to be really creative with them though, but its challenging because there are so many small bits to keep track of. As bits for the bits box though – goldmine!

  • Wyrhta d'Voiyd

    Love your Dome Runner. Your kitbash is great and well executed. I think you need to add a buddy to your Slopper. A great “chef” have always a kitchen aid with him. 😉

    I applause you for your gang leader. I’ve got the kit right here. You made a great job on the torso and legs. Don’t worry about the size of her one-handed combi-weapon. The Van Saar have certainly their own suspensors technology for this kind of excentricity.

    • Wudugast

      Thank you 🙂 A kitchen aid, or perhaps a server-tor… I’ll get my coat…
      Silliness aside a kitchen aid for the slopper would be fun actually, I’ll give that one some thought. As for the Van Saar I figure all their kit is packed with high tech anti-grav gubbins, suspensors, lightweight materials so it’s lighter than it looks. Of course they’re also all sickly and weak but I’m trying to overlook that 😀 Glad you like them!

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