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.

Escher Gang Convert Or Die Necromunda (4)Escher Gang Convert Or Die Necromunda (5)Escher Gang Convert Or Die Necromunda (6)

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.

Escher Gang Convert Or Die Necromunda (7)Escher Gang Convert Or Die Necromunda (8)Escher Gang Convert Or Die Necromunda (11)

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.

Escher Gang Convert Or Die Necromunda (9)Escher Gang Convert Or Die Necromunda (10)

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.

Escher Gang Convert Or Die Necromunda (1)

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.

Escher Gang Convert Or Die Necromunda (2)Escher Gang Convert Or Die Necromunda (3)

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!

25 responses to “The Ladykillers – Part 2

  • Alexis West

    Those are looking great! That’s going to be an amazing looking gang by the time y’all are done with it.

    I’m thinking of trying some Sakaar-style facial tattoos on my Eschers, but those are much simpler than Cassidy’s ink there.

    Amusingly, those skill sets don’t always transfer over. One of my best friends was an art major in college, and, tho she works primarily as a graphic designer, still does a significant amount of illustration work and oil painting. She got into D&D a bit over a decade ago, and has been painting minis since then, and my work is still way better than hers, even tho on a flat surface, I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler. I wouldn’t normally make a comparison like that with someone else’s skill, but because the difference is so striking here, and because it’s even more so the other way around, I kinda can’t help myself.

    That tiger looks like it’ll make a good Khimerix. Honestly, something like that, I think I’d want to convert or use another mini for anyhow, unless the official one was absolutely amazing. Like you said, I’d think they would all be unique, tho there are probably fashions and trends that come and go.

    • Faust

      Yea, I’d agree on converting something for the Khimerix (Chimera, anyone?!). Not sure of the scale of the mini that Wudugast picked up, but I think that would be a really good base. Add some random legs, spikes, fur, maybe a second tail…? Though, he might not want to mess with it, and save it for another game too.

      • Wudugast

        I did wonder about the Chaos Chimera as a base for the Khimerix before I found the Tiger. It’d be bloody massive though, maybe a bit too big for Necromunda. Adding some spikes and other bits might be interesting but I’m going to keep the model as it is, partly because it’s now relatively rare and I don’t want to mess with it and partly because I want to keep everything about its physiology looking planned rather than too Chaotic. Good suggestion re a size comparison, I’ve added one above. 🙂

      • Faust

        Ah, I just meant that they were likely taking the name “Khimerix” from the word “Chimera”. I didn’t recognize it at first, until you mentioned that it was a spliced up beast. I’m not sure how big the Khimerix is supposed to be…like larger bear size? I think it would be pretty fun to tackle conversion wise. Though I really need to finish those Van Saar, before I do anything else.

      • Wudugast

        Ah, I see now – yes, I imagine that’s exactly where they got the name from, as far as I know it’s just a made up word otherwise. Google, however, tells me that Chimerix is a biotech company, which seems like a very unfortunate and slightly sinister name for them to have chosen. Surely they could have gone for something a bit more innocuous and friendly, but maybe they just wanted to take the Frankenstein vibe and own it 😎

        Size wise it’s hard to tell but I would estimate that you’re right, and the beast would be roughly equivalent to a large bear. I’m assuming all of the brutes will be of similar size and whilst we’ve not had a proper look at any official models yet one of them is a ogryn and we know how big those are so I’m using that as a rough benchmark.

        For me painting and converting are different hobbys, albeit linked, so sometimes if I’m struggling for inspiration with one the other can help to kickstart me. Don’t make a chore of those Van Saars, maybe a little kitbashing is what you need? 🙂

      • Faust

        Actually I just need to get in the habit of painting again. This month is about gone, so I’m hoping for more “normality” in schedule next month.

        I’m not sure how big an Ogryn is, haha. I’m guessing it’s probably like an Ogre from Blood Bowl. I figure as long as it’s big, they will look the part either way.

      • Alexis West

        Ogryn go on 40mm round bases, and fill them out pretty well. Think a bit taller and bulkier than a Space Marine Terminator if that helps. Pretty sure the Blood Bowl Ogre is smaller, because it needs to fit in the squares on the pitch.

      • Azazel

        An Ogryn is a Space Ogre. How big is that? As big as that particular one that you’re looking at happened to be sculpted at whatever point in the 30+ year timeline of 40k. 😉

    • Wudugast

      Cheers 😀 Yeah, tattoos are not my strong suit (maybe something I should have tried to paint for Azazel’s challenge this month actually, I really am rubbish at them. Might be too late this time though). Janice, on the other hand, has designed actual tattoos – I must now make the effort to learn for myself and not just go to her for all my miniature tattooing needs from now on!

      It’s true though, art/illustration and miniature painting really are very different skill sets. It’s something that makes the people who can paint murals on the outside of tanks even more impressive – damn but I want to be as cool as them when I grow up!

      I think you’re probably right about the Khimerix, it really should be a model that lends itself to easy modification. A Khimerix should look outstanding and unique but unfortunately the model will undoubtedly be in Forgeworld resin so although I’m confident that it’ll look good they’ll all look the same and personally I’d not want every ganger in the Underhive to be running around with the same custom made pet. Again they should be like Chaos Spawn, it doesn’t work unless every one is unique.

  • Faust

    Quit killin it with these bad ass looking ladies!

    I don’t know what I was expecting when you said you were going to tackle the Escher, but these are kinda blowing my mind. Great work, and your tag team on the minis is just taking things to a whole new level. The highlights are nice and strong, and looking great.

    One question, Grace appears to have a shadow at her hairline. Looks like her hair was colored blond and the roots are growing out. Not sure if that was intentional, but if so “awesome!” and adds to the realism.

    You really have to do a group shot alongside the Goliaths at some point, so we can see what they look like together.

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! 😀

      Yes, the shadow at Grace’s hairline was partly accidental but once I saw it I reckoned it was worth keeping for exactly the reason’s you’ve given (glad someone spotted it really!)

      A group shot of Goliaths and Eschers you say? I’m sure that could be arranged…

      • Faust

        Oh weird, the Goliaths look brighter than I remembered them. Maybe it’s just the lights. Nice shot, and your terrain is looking really good with the minis!

  • imperialrebelork

    Great work to both you and Janice. I really like the realism in Graces face. Head tatts are ace 👍🏽

    • Wudugast

      Cheers man – yeah, I was really pleased with Grace’s face actually. She looks determined doesn’t she? I think it plays rather well to her being a younger member of the gang, she’s still taking things seriously and trying to prove herself to the rest of girls.

      Yeah, head tatts are ace, we almost called her Kerry in honour of Kerry King from Slayer. Got another one in progress who I’m planning to give head tatts to (or beg Janice to do if for me if I get frightened!) – think she’ll be the first Escher I’ve seen that’s completely bald.

      Just thinking, you said the other day that you’ve been working on models based off all the Necromunda gangs except for Van Saar but I can’t remember seeing any of your Eschers? Do I need to take a look back through the archive to remind myself or have you not shown them yet?

      • imperialrebelork

        A completely bald girl with tattoos over her whole head would look cool as Fu#%
        Used four models in my good, bad, ugly project. So now a whole gang of chicks but some cool characters. I also used one for my Tank Girl Diorama. Then I’ve used bits and bobs from the kit here and there.

      • Wudugast

        So you did, I’ll take a look back at them for some further inspiration 🙂

  • Azazel

    Lovely work here by you guys. I’m a fan of scalp tatts on models myself… and tatts on models in general. They add that little bit extra, so it’s cool to see them here. You should do some yourself as well as having Janice do them – you’ll only get better as you keep doing them, after all!
    Also points for the well-done repurposing of a Confrontation model. It certainly works, and will fit in even more once its rebased.

    • Wudugast

      Yeah, I really should push myself to get better at tattoos, likewise warpaint actually. Seeing these has been something of a reminder of how good they can look so I’ll try and work them into some forthcoming models.

  • Alex

    Excellent mate – both you and Lady J! That tattooed scalp and the bold highlights really make these girls stand above the crowd – this is going to be a cracking gang

  • vongutenboom

    Brilliantly executed reminds me of the Esher from the original gang war booklets cus , let’s face it calling those old gang wars “books” is a bit to generous ;P they looked like slightly higher end zines! From the 80’s! 😀

    • Wudugast

      Cheers! 😀 Yeah, I wanted to combine an old school classic Escher look with something a bit more grubby and modern.
      Not sure if I ever saw those old gang war booklets, although I’ve been looking at a few old White Dwarf articles for ideas. Bet they’re goldmines of inspiration!

      • vongutenboom

        Your right is a good marriage of both the old style of painted Necromunda from the old ‘eavy Metal paint team and the more modern real world gritty look! My hat is of to you for this beautiful gang! ( and yes I do wear a hat sometimes when my Mohawk is not up) 😉

  • theimperfectmodeller

    Nice work as always. I can’t help but wonder if you asked one of these girls out on a date just how much it would piss off the other. Probably better to stay single!

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