Monthly Archives: August 2018

Rodents Of Unusual Size – August

Another month has been and gone so it’s time to take a look at the latest progress on my Skaven army. First up a hulking brute sewn together in the labs of Clan Moulder; it’s another rat ogre. Having already got two ugly old rat ogres painted previously this time I tackled one of the far better looking beasts from the Island of Blood boxset.

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The two ugly old rats are joined by their rather more handsome new brother.

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Alongside the big bruiser I also started work on the third squad of clanrats, adding a second squad of spearmen to the army. Here’s the first of the newcomers.

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I might even have got a few more painted but I took a little more time instead to work on the unit’s banner. Having painted it as a sub-assembly I realised at the last moment that I didn’t have a rat to go with it and galloped through painting this scabrous rodent in time to include the finished article in this post.

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Inspired by the banners in Andy Chamber’s famous Skaven army (you know the one, White Dwarf 137 if you don’t) I thought about writing “Gaze Into The Eye Of The Warp And Despair” on the banner but bottled out in the end and stuck with just the rune of the Grey Seers, plus various Skaven squiggles.

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Finally, in spite of all my grousing about plague monks and swearing that I would never paint another I’ve done exactly that. That said these are a little nicer than their brothers in the rank and file. I know I’m becoming something of a stuck record on the subject but we can only dream that someday GW get around to releasing a kit for the normal monks of similar quality.

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Naturally these monks are not intended to stand alone but will be part of something much bigger. That, however, will have to wait but I’ll see what I can manage by this time next month.

The Emperor’s Angels – Part 11

As well as getting two more space marines painted for my nascent force I’ve also been kitbashing away, getting some more of the Emperor’s finest built. First up here’s the Captain who’ll be leading the army (at least until I get around to making a suitably imposing Chapter Master). At the moment I’m still working on a name and suitably pugnacious background for him, and indeed for the chapter as a whole. I’ve got a few ideas sloshing around in my head however and I’m planning to write them out soon as they’ll feed into the development of the army as it grows.

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I’ve also tried to add a bit of gothic flair to the company ancient. The warrior given the honour of carrying the battle standard should be dressed to impress both the brave warriors of the Imperium and the craven scum they face and the base model is just a little bit plain for my taste.

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Even though I doubt I’ll have many war engines in the army (beyond a Dreadnought or two of course because as every sane person knows Dreadnought are amazing) I knew from the get-go that I’d have to include a tech-marine. To me this is one of the most iconic units in 40k and the chance to include one was one of the things that attracted me to the space marines in the first place.

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As it stands these are all still WIPs so as ever I’m all ears for feedback if there’s any improvements you think are called for before they go under the brush.

The Emperor’s Angels – Part 10

My space marines haven’t been entirely abandoned since their first appearance back in June. Admittedly they haven’t been my first priority recently either but now a couple more battle brothers have managed to sneak across the painting desk to completion.

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This one was almost finished alongside the others in June but didn’t make it whilst I swithered to a complete stall over the, fairly minor in the grand scheme of things, question of what colour to paint his hair. In the end however is unfinished state annoyed me enough to make me get on with it and so he’s able to join his brothers at last.

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His squad mate on the other hand I kitbashed just a few days ago and was sufficiently pleased with that I got him painted up in no time flat.

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It’ll take more than these two to hold vack the enemies of the Imperium however so I’ve also been busy kitbashing some more champions and heroes for the nascent chapter. They’re not quite ready to show off yet but I’ll try to get something done this week.

The Ladykillers – Part 2

Well, I promised I’d finish a couple more Eschers before the end of the week and what do you know – I’ve actually managed it!

Leaping to the fore with laspistols in hand we have “Lethal” Grace.

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I think of her as being a fairly new recruit to the gang, and indeed she may even serve as a Juve once we get some proper campaigns rolling, hence her relatively plain hair-do. Indeed I almost bottled-out myself and left her as a blond without the blue highlights, until my partner got involved and added the final touches (why yes, it is nerve wracking to paint a professional artist’s models for her – thanks for asking!)

The Escher gang will be very much under the command of my partner, Janice, and indeed, in fairness to me, at least part of the delay in getting these finished was waiting for her to have the time to join in. Janice works as an illustrator so brings a wealth of talent far in excess of my own. However, by the same token, having spent her working day producing works of art she doesn’t necessarily want to sit down on her day off and start painting again. Thus these were very much a collaborative effort with me doing most of the leg work and then Janice adding a stamp of quality on top.

Anyway, next up we have Cassidy, the fourth Escher to join the gang. Again, if you see a neatly applied basecoat, or a skilfully deployed wash, that would be my doing, whereas if you see a clever detail that makes your jaw drop Janice is the one responsible.

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I mean, I reckon I’m not too shabby as painters go but she’s put scalp-tattoos on an Escher! That’s way above my skill level.

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I also found this chap working in a box of old miniatures. He’s a Tiger of Dirz belonging to the Alchemists of Dirz, originating from the game Confrontation produced by Rackham.

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The greater part of the background fiction for Confrontation was only available in French and as my grasp of that language is embarrassingly poor I have only the sketchiest understanding of the factions and their motivations. As far as I understand the Alchemists lived in the desert where they used some arcane science to create genetic abominations and clone armies for evil purposes (nobody ever makes a genetic abomination because they’re a fundamentally decent human do they?)

Sadly Rackham collapsed during the 2008 recession, a victim of both foolish business practices and attempting a radical and unpopular transformation of their core game. On the plus side there were a few short weeks in which their models, previously jaw-droppingly expensive, became unbelievably cheap and even I, then on a students’ budget and staring into a rocky financial future, could afford to amass a heap of them. I understand there have been attempts to resurrect the Rackham range since, but sadly this has primarily been under the CMON banner and thus to be avoided at all costs.

I painted the Tiger not long after I bought him but he’s been skulking around in a box for quite some time, packed away after one house move or another and never unpacked – until now… As soon as I stumbled on him I was put in mind of the Khimerix, one of the new house brutes detailed in Gang War 4. Whilst the brutes previously available could join any gang now each house also has their own unique ‘big guy’ ranging from the ‘roid raging overgrown monstrosities that are the Goliath ‘zerkers to the cargo servitors of House Orlock. Most unusual of all is the Khimerix, the chimerical gene-spliced beasts created by House Escher.

Khimerix Art

I imagine that each of these beasts is unique, and that an Escher with a trained eye would recognise the signature of her peers in the monsters they had created. Each is a mish-mash of genetic components, mixing gaudy appearance with brute strength and predatory instincts, albeit rolled together into a bizarre looking beast – like a chaos spawn only fabulous! Khimerixes end up battling gladiators in the fighting pits, as terrifying guard dogs for key Escher labs and chem-plants and of course as status symbols for powerful gang leaders.

I always thought that there’s something reminiscent of a tyranid in the Tiger’s face which helps to tie him in to the 40k setting. Indeed given House Escher’s interest in acquiring exotic xenos’ biological material for their experiments we should all be grateful that there aren’t genestealers and their hybrid cultists sneaking around in the Underhive as we speak. Oh, wait…

Anyway, judging by comments on the Warhammer TV live stream it sounds like an official model for the Khimerix won’t be released for quite some time so I reckon this chap will do the business nicely in the meantime.

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Edit: Faust of DoubleDownDice pointed out, rather sensibly, that a size comparison of the Tiger standing next to an Escher or two would be useful for those unfamiliar with the model (which given its age is probably quite a few of you). Feel free to give them a click if you want to see a bigger image (no need to peer at the screen – think of your eyesight!)

Tiger of Dirz with Eschers

Of course, it’s been the best part of a decade since I painted him so he’s in need of a bit of a touch up, not to mention moving to a base more in keeping with the Underhive, but I think there’s potential there. Plus, he was originally made for the game Confrontation, and Confrontation (albeit a different game) was the original name for Necromunda, so there’s a pleasing symmetry there that appeals to me!

Children of the Grave – Part 1

I am the voice of your Emperor and by His command I order you to walk among the living once more, to be my hounds and hunters and to reap the souls of those who would betray His Imperium.

– Inquisitor Morix

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Those who trespass against the glorious Imperial dead shall be hounded forever more by vengeful wraiths.

– from the Codex Phantasma, put to the torch by Inquisitorial edict.

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Forge for me a servo-construct, to house in flesh and iron these furious ghosts, these wrathful spirits. Let them serve from beyond the grave and redeem the failures that dogged them in life. Let all who witness them know that duty does not end in death!

– Inquisitor Morix of the Ordo Mors to the fleshwardens of Grixos IV

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The Ladykillers – Part 1

We’ve seen plenty of stupid, sweaty Goliath boys recently, not to mention an outbreak of foul heretics, now it’s time to give the Eschers the limelight they deserve. Given my self-imposed exile from the brighter end of the colour spectrum and my preference for grubby darkness these were a great change of pace and I really enjoyed the challenge of combining the guady peacocking of the Eschers with the filth of the Underhive.

First of the ladies to be finished is Amilita, who went on to acquit herself admirably in our practice game, hiding out of sight behind a barricade and letting her unpainted sisters get shot at before popping up to snipe at least one unsuspecting Goliath.

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To be honest she isn’t quite as nice as I’d hoped, I accidentally decapitated her when I dropped her on the floor and I’ve never managed to get her looking right since. Never mind, on the tabletop she looks fine but the close-ups I’ve taken here are a little unflattering.

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Her gang-sister “Electric” Zoya I think came together rather nicely even if I did have my heart in my mouth throughout the leopard-print.

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All being well I’d like to get a couple more finished by the end of the week, who knows – I may even be able to rope in my partner to assist.

The Cult of Ruin – Part 4

Last year Mark of HeresyOfUS sent out a number of these cool looking skull stacks to hobby blogs for review. Naturally I wanted to do something suitably exciting with it, and as a piece it lends itself naturally to being used as an objective marker. However despite being a strong believer in the importance of thematic objective markers the fact that I almost never actually play games meant I never quite got around to it. Enter the one game I do play from time to time; Necromunda. In the Underhive the Chaos Cults construct dark shrines at which to conduct their maddening rituals, and which can drive the unwary quite insane if they stumble upon them.

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Naturally the Necromundan authorities regard this as both disturbingly heretical behaviour and a waste of perfectly good skulls which could otherwise be ground up to make corpse-starch, but hopefully you’ll be a little more forgiving.

Anyone interested in Mark’s wonderfully strange take on the grim darkness should take a look at his online store. He’s also recently created a game, in collaboration with Alex of Leadballoony, and right now they’re running a competition with a giant bio-mechanical skullspider as the prize. The game is free and, if you win the competition, so is the spider – and what more does anyone need to tempt them!