Looking Uphive – Necromunda Plans For 2019

As we stride purposefully into 2019 I wanted to take a look at just where I stand with all of my Necromunda projects (which otherwise run the risk of degenerating into my usual disorganised chaos). For me Necromunda is the game and setting I’m most excited about of all GW’s canon. The game had a great year in 2018, growing from just two gangs at the start of the year to nine by the end. With all of the Clan Houses now represented it’ll be very interesting indeed to see how things progress over the coming months and years. As for myself I’ve started working away at all kinds of projects with my usual unsystematic enthusiasm. The aim of this post therefore is to serve as a round up, keeping me on track with where I stand with all of my gangs. It’s not all models you’ve seen before though, a few new ones have snuck in as well. Let’s take a look.


The Irondogs (House Goliath)

The former lords of Ironhouse have had a fine time of things lately, at least when it comes to getting painted. The backstory I’ve written for them may see them as a shadow of their former glory, struggling to reclaim the turf they once held so securely, but at least they don’t have to worry about unpainted models. As it stands the gang is pretty much done for now, I’m aiming to finish off the bolter wielding ganger Sylus shortly, but I ended up picking up the weapon upgrade for them, and will undoubtedly add the new heads to that, so expect to see further reinforcements arriving in the future as Korak attempts to expand his realm and reclaim the lost power of his house.

Goliath Necromunda Convert Or Die Wudugast

I’ve mentioned previously that I see the Goliaths as having a lot in common with the dwarves of old-Warhammer (brawny craftsmen who rely on sturdy durability over fancy do-whats – just swap the pre-battle start-me-up for combat stims instead of Bugman’s XXXXXX and you’re good to go). However it wasn’t until I was writing this that I realised how deeply this had worked its way into my thinking – as my once mighty Goliaths now struggle to reclaim a corner of their Underhive empire from the invaders squatting amid the ruins. Speaking of which…


The Ladykillers (House Escher)

For hundreds of shift-cycles the House Escher presence in Hive Araneus has been minimal, making it the perfect for “Gallows” Grace and her girls to set up shop. Having betrayed her way across the wastes Grace needs somewhere off the radar to build their strength, and the under-defended Ironhouse looks like the perfect place.

Escher Convert Or Die Wudugast

The Eschers haven’t grown as quickly as I first expected but I intend to do something about that shortly. Generally I feel this lack of progress can be attributed to three key factors. Firstly, these ladies are challenging to paint, with all those crazy patterns and colours. Secondly, I’ve been working on this gang for my partner and as she’s also an avowed acolyte of the Void-Emperor and His strange xenos ways my focus has been switched to the genestealer cults over the last month or so. Thirdly, I want every Escher to look unique. After all in a house where peacocking is  more than just a way of life having the same hair-style as one of your gang sisters sounds downright intolerable. Thus my progress has been slowed as I’ve tried to create unique ‘do’s for each of the girls, something I’ve managed to pull off so far, but which the new head upgrade kit should mean becomes much more straightforward.


The Radwolves (House Orlock)

I must admit when I first saw the Orlocks I wasn’t that inspired by them. On the other hand the longer I’ve looked at them the more excited I’ve become. I’m still no fan of the running poses, and I’ve steered firmly away from the more “well groomed” gentlemen but I’ve still already kitbashed a little army of them and I’m constantly tempted to do some more. I’ll try to get them painted soon, although I’m aware I’ve promised myself that about a lot of things…

orlocks wudugast convert or die (1)orlocks wudugast convert or die (2)

Tech-hunter Cadre Scorpion Null (Van Saar)

Even more than the Orlocks, I really wasn’t that enamoured of the Van Saar models when they first appeared. They’re just so different to the aesthetic of the wider 40k setting that it took a little getting used to, plus the fact that they’re the harder to build, let alone kitbash, by a country mile makes them possibly my least favourite gang in Necromunda (although it goes without saying I’m still a big fan – what a fan boy eh!). Although I’ve not found myself as captivated by them as I have some of the other houses I’m still working on an elite team, dispatched into the Underhive by the house masters on a secretive mission. Over the last few weeks I’ve been trying out my planned colour-scheme on a test model and I’m rather pleased with how he’s turned out.

van saar convert or die wudugast (1)van saar convert or die wudugast (2)

Of course now I just need to get the rest of them done. Hopefully the fact that I’m not planning many of them should mean I could wrap up the project fairly quickly, but with so many things I’d like to be working on getting the chance to focus on them exclusively might not happen straight away.


The Oathbones (House Cawdor)

Whilst I only plan an elite strike force of Van Saar my Cawdor will stand at the opposite end of the spectrum; a full blown army of the faithful. I make no secret of the fact that I absolutely love these models, and all the various forgeworld upgrades for them have only served to make them better. The temptation is to paint hundreds of them, although as ever time and money have tended to reign me in so far. That said one of the joys of Necromunda is that it’s relatively cheap so a mighty horde of fanatics could well be within my grasp.

Cawdor Convert Or Die

Plus the stigshambler I made a couple of months ago was one of the most popular models I produced in 2018, and remains one of the conversions I’m most proud of, so I need to get them (and their gangmates) painted soon.

Stigshambler Necromunda Convert Or Die Wudugast (7)

However, rather than start somewhere sensible like painting up a few gangers, I instead chose to paint a sheen bird as my first model for the gang. I had planned to use the model as part of a converted Tzeentchian cultist but when I realised that wasn’t going to work it ended up in the bits box looking for a home. Now I just need to complete the ash prophet who’ll be its owner.

cawdor sheen bird (2)cawdor sheen bird (1)

I’m not entirely without common sense though, so once the sheen bird was finished I painted the test model for the gangers. My idea, which I know isn’t all that original, is that some members of the house have seen the mighty warriors of the Imperial Fists who base themselves on Necromunda and, wishing to emulate these noble souls who must surely have stood at the side of the Emperor Himself, have taken to dressing in yellow robes. Plus I’ve got into the swing of painting filthy yellow clothing from working on my Skaven and knew I could repeat the look on lots of gangers. Overall I’m pretty happy with him so this is probably the look I’ll be using for all of them (unless some clever person comes along and suggests something so mind-blowing I end up doing that instead!)

cawdor convert or die wudugast (1)cawdor convert or die wudugast (2)cawdor convert or die wudugast (3)

The Children of Whispers (House Delaque)

As it stands I’ve only built one of these sneaky characters but I have to say this kit is absolutely outstanding. Expect to see me working on these a lot more in the future.


The Cult of the Abyssal Gaze (Genestealer Cults)

Like the Goliaths this gang is painted up and ready to take on the Underhive. Rising from the ash-mining clans of Delving Alpha-12 and led by the ambitious Vyrion the Elder this insidious cult prepare to invade Ironhouse and from there spread their influence into the hive itself.

Genestealer Cultists Convert Or Die Wudugast (2)

Most of the work on this gang happened in December, and really served to demonstrate that I can get these projects painted up quite quickly if I just put my mind to it (and can find the time of course). That said they’re not finished by any means. I’ve always planned to build up a genestealer cults army for 40k and the newest images we’ve seen of forthcoming models have only added to that. For those who’ve missed them (and where have you been?) take a look at this lady for example;

genestealer magus (2)

Of course much as I enjoy building 40k armies it’s not a game I actually play. Thus part of me is drawn to the idea of expanding my genestealer cults into more than one gang, representing different factions setting out from the Delvings to spread the cult. Whilst Vyrion leads the invasion of Ironhouse his young acolyte could take a gang of her own to undermine the Orlock wayforts that dot the ash wastes, or drive out the Cawdor ragpickers that currently control Sumpside. One way or another expect to see plenty more of these in the coming months.


The Cult of Ruin (Chaos Cults)

Ah, my cult of mislead, Chaos worshipping helots! Such plans I had for them last year! Sadly not a lot of actual progress has been forthcoming. Part of the trouble is that most of the models I planned to include don’t have the best paintjobs, my skill having increased considerably over the five years or so since I first worked on them. This seems like a fine excuse to fix them up but as a result the project has become a lot more involved than I originally envisioned. That said things may have stalled but they haven’t been forgotten, so I’m aiming to get back to them sooner or later.

Chaos Core Gang


Not much to see here yet but I’ve got all kinds of ideas planned, starting with a gang of beastmen bounty hunters. Don’t expect them to appear straight away though, as you can see from the list above there’s plenty of other things to tackle first.


So there we have it, a solid set of projects to tackle over the next few months (alongside all of the other things I’d like to be painting). Naturally I won’t get around to all of them straight away but perhaps by nailing my colours to the mast and setting out my plans I’ll be encouraged to keep at it. Oh, and I have a heap of terrain to do as well. The Underhive never sleeps…

49 responses to “Looking Uphive – Necromunda Plans For 2019

  • theimperfectmodeller

    It’s always good to have a starting plan I think but unlike work it’s nice to be in control and have the flexibility to change it whenever you want to. Good luck. 😊

    • Wudugast

      Oh absolutely. It’ll be interesting to see when I look back at this in six month’s time whether I’m proud of all I managed to achieve or amused/horrified at how badly it went wrong…

  • Maurice Micklewhite

    Interesting plans afoot! I have to say I’ve not actually played the new necromunda, still being one for the older stuff were I to go for it. My redemptionists may get an outing if they get rules though 🙂

    • Wudugast

      Ah, I’m the opposite, I’ve never played the old version. It was on its way out when I first discovered it and to my snobbish young eyes the models didn’t impress me so it was a non-starter. As far as I understand the rules are fairly similar though. The biggest change which I’m aware is the alternating activation which is one of those intrinsic mechanisms for me, I really struggle to get my brain around games that don’t use it. Would be great to see the Redemptionists get new models and rules (surprised that they don’t have rules up as a legacy gang actually). I think they’re planning to do them eventually – I hope so because they’re another one I’m looking forward to. You can’t have too many angry fanatics after all!

      • Maurice Micklewhite

        That recent chainsaw fellow in one of the boxed games – Rogue Trader, I think – made me think “ah, that’s a zealot with an executioner! Just needs a canister of flamer fuel sellotaped to it” 🙂

      • Wudugast

        What about Pious Vorne (my favourite character from Blackstone Fortress – apparently I can’t get enough to burning heretics!)? She’s basically born to used in Necromunda, even her background has her as a hive ganger that took up religion as a way of getting to torch more people, and she’s armed with a good old chainsaw-flamer (surely the ultimate 40k weapon).

      • Maurice Micklewhite

        Thinking about it, do Ratskins currently have rules as well? I can put my hands on a full set of them too 🙂

      • Wudugast

        Oddly they don’t. They have free rules for “legacy” gangs on the Necromunda website but the only ones that are there are Cawdor, Van Saar and Delaque who’ve all been replaced by full updated rulesets now. You’d think that Redemptionists, Ratskins et al would also be covered whilst they wait for new rules but if they’re there I’m not finding them.

      • Faust

        Ah, you might want to check out Blitz Bowl instead of Blood Bowl then. Blitz uses alternating activations. Blood has you waiting (and sometimes waaaaaaaaiting) until your opponent fails an action. 😉

      • Wudugast

        Good suggestion. However funnily enough Blood Bowl is one of the few games where a lack of alternating activation doesn’t really bother me. In part I think it’s because rules, turns, phases and so on are anathema to a battlefield so should be something which fades into the background as much as possible. Sports on the other hand are defined by structure and rules so the mechanics of the game become less intrusive and more just an expected part of the environment.

        Plus by having a singular target (the ball) and objective (the other team’s goal) sports become much more about reacting to the opposite team so it follows that a coordinated action by one team will then result in a coordinated action by their opponents. In a battle on the other hand one expects each unit (a character or squad) will be mostly concerned with their own individual struggles and that the tactical decisions of the leadership that shape the battle overall will be handled through command abilities.

        I really must finish reading your review of Blitz Bowl though, although I’m fairly certain we can’t get it in this country anyway, I think I heard it’s only licenced for sale in the US (I’ve certainly never seen it here).

      • Faust

        Yea, I’ve heard it’s not available for retail in the UK. I think there are some threads on boardgamegeek about how different people have got ahold of it. Either using a shipping company or eBay. I can’t imagine GW wouldn’t release in the UK at some time, as that seems ridiculous. But they might have to wait for a contract to expire or something. One alternative is the freely available rules for “Blood Bowl 7’s”. Also a quicker alternative, but more similar to BB.

        Heh, as far as “getting the ball” being a goal in Blood Bowl, that’s not the case for all teams. Some just want to smash their opponent, as they have no hopes of winning through scoring goals. Often those teams pretty much ignore the ball. Maybe picking it up, but just keeping it away from the other team.

    • Azazel

      On the whole Blitz Bowl thing – I ordered it (and the Marine game) from Barnes & Noble’s US website, as they ship internationally. Shipping wasn’t even unreasonable.

  • Alexis West

    An excellent bunch of projects there.

    That test model actually makes me really want to get my hands on some Van Saar. They’re interesting to me because, on the surface, they look like something from a much more traditional, optimistic SF setting, but then under the suits, behind the facade, they’ve got that grimdark core to their background. Not sure I’ll get around to it anytime soon, tho. Time, money, and energy (TME) are always in short supply for hobbying, and I’ve got more than enough projects going already.

    I think I’ve mentioned this before, but anyhow. I have no real interest in Cawdor as a Necromunda gang, but there’s so much potential for them as Chaos Culties that I’m def gonna be picking some up at some point.

    The Delaques are pretty sweet, too, but I think might be another that falls by the wayside due to TME constraints. It’ll be cool to see how yours come out, tho.

    Stealer Culties, on the other hand, I am all about. Can’t wait until all their new stuff drops. And I really look forward to seeing what you do with them.

    • Wudugast

      Ah, good old Time, Money and Energy, the Unholy trinity. I end up biased in one direction, I’ve got an unhealthy amount of hobby energy but not nearly enough time or money to do anything about it!

      Agreed on the new background for Van Saar, it was really that which drew me into them in the end.

      Cawdor would definitely make amazing chaos cultists but I also really like them as alternative Imperial cultists. They look amazing kitbashed with ad mech stuff for example to make poor but pious machine cultists. I’m thinking of mixing some of that aesthetic in with my cult as it grows, maybe even tying it into my gang’s background.

      Very excited about the new Genestealer Cultists stuff, so excited I can barely concentrate on how excited I am by the new Night Gobbos. One thing at a time GW please, my heart can’t take it!

      • Alexis West

        I’m disabled, so I’ve got plenty of time on my hands, but money and energy are in very short supply.

        There are a lot of directions you can take the Cawdor Models, yeah. One of the things that makes them so great.

      • Wudugast

        So you have time but not money or energy, whilst I have energy but not money or time. You know this means we need to find a tired, busy, rich dude and combine our powers to create the ultimate hobbyist?

        Yeah, of all of the ‘munda gangs the Cawdor have the widest reaching potential for convertors. They even work well for fantasy stuff. I was just thinking earlier that they’d make some damn fine Nurgle cultists for AoS.

      • Alexis West

        Dropped back in because I ran across another post that reminded me of this conversation about the potentials of the Cawdor kit: https://tearsofenvysblog.blogspot.com/2019/01/progress-to-mordheim-mmxix.html

        Also, there was a bit in Narbonic at one point that was sort of like your TME joke there. Something along the lines of “You know, between the three of you, you form one nearly functional normal person.”

      • Wudugast

        Ha! Sadly I don’t think any Triumvirate containing me would make a nearly functional normal person! One third would always be letting the rest down 😀

        Wow, those Cawdor are very nice (and thank you for reminding me about Tears Of Envy – I haven’t checked up on that blog for a while).

      • Alexis West

        I’m going from memory. The people in question were two Mad Scientists and a hired assassin. “Normal” may not have been part of it 😉

  • Thomas

    Great stuff as always, mate!

    All those gangs look absolutely fab. Personally I think the newest ones (the long coats) and Van Saar are my favourites. Opposites attract, eh? Van Saar for the obvious sci-fi feel. They look stunning in their tight body suits and high end las guns.

    The long coats, well they remind me of this old Buffy and the Vampires episode called Hush and the ghouls called the gentlemen. Thin, gangly and freakish.

    • Alexis West

      Dude. Doing a Delaque gang up as The Gentlemen could be awesome. They were creepy as hell.

    • Wudugast

      Cheers mate!
      I think I only ever saw one episode of Buffy although I’ve got a mate who’s still trying to get me to watch it so now I’ve grown out of being the teenage snob that I was when it was released I really ought to give it a look. Hadn’t heard of the Gentlemen until now but I just looked them up and you’re right, those are creepy as hell!

      Personally the Delaque are reminding me of the Strangers from Dark City and the Observers from Fringe, must be something to do with being bald and intense.

      • Thomas

        You just need to watch Buffy! Best show ever.

      • Wudugast

        You sound just like my mate Stuart. He’s been telling me that for about 15 years now. Dammit though, there’s just so many things that he said were awesome and I mocked them and said they’d be terrible and then he turned out to be right, and he never, ever, forgets or lets me live it down. Can’t I have this one thing? No?! Oh well, I’ll give it a watch then 🙂

      • Thomas

        My face is the face of envy. You’re in for one heck of a ride. Trust Stuart on this one.

        The first season is a bit so and so to be fair but it takes of in the second season and once you hit season four you’ll be binge watching. Episode after episode. Non-stop. That’s what I did the first time. Second and third time too.

        Damnit. I might have to te-watch it again.

      • Alexis West

        Buffy is one of my all-time faves. The icon I use on here is actually from that show. I’m also feeling kinda envious here. I wish I could watch it for the very first time again.

      • Wudugast

        Well I mentioned this to my partner and she said “But Buffy is amazing, how have you never seen it?!” so I guess this is a thing that’s happening now 🙂

      • Wudugast

        An excellent film, a real staple of my student days!

  • Alex

    Excellent work mate, and some mouth watering plans… Two thumbs up for the yellow Cawdor!

  • heresyofus

    It looks to be a busy year. Good for you! I’m all about Genestealer cults and Delaque and will be aiming to get some done soon. I’d like to have a shot at taking on your Goliaths mate. They look awesome.

  • Pete S/ SP

    Great overview of your projects so far and what is to come.

    Love what you have done with the Van Saar so far.

    I plan to raisea second gang this coming year… probably Delaque….



  • Ross

    Such an excellent showcase there, mate! I’d not noticed that two-handed axe Goliath before, he looks great. And that head on the Orlock leader is most definitely “rad” – looks like a proper Hells Angel.

    I wish I had the energy to do one of each gang. I’ve scribbled down a bunch of ideas for different conversions and paint schemes, but I’ve got so many things I want to do for the Orlocks first! And the scenery. And the hired guns…!

    Those incoming GSCs are amazing. I can’t wait to get a hold of the bikers for my Orlocks. And I’m sure there’s something I can do with that gunslinger.

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! Yeah, the Orlocks have really grown on me (partly in fact due to seeing your gang, something I may not have given you enough credit for but which now I think about it really helped wake me up to their qualities). Some of the studio Orlocks are just too well groomed for me though, they need to spend more time roughing up muties and less time trimming their beards. Some of those chaos maruader heads scattered through the gang is sorting that out nicely though 🙂

      Glad you like Kutter (the goliath with the axe) – you can see more of him here; https://convertordie.wordpress.com/2018/11/26/the-irondogs-part-8/

      I know what you mean about time and energy to tackle each of them. It’s partly why I made this post, I’m ending up with so many ideas sloshing around my brain and I need to try and focus before I head off down another rabbit hole and start yet another project that ends up sitting half-finished.

      Yeah, the bikers are amazing, as a fan of both I’m torn between turning them into Orlocks or keeping them as genestealer cultists. Oddly though I may be the only person on the planet who’s not a big fan of the gunslinger (probably a good thing – there’s more than enough cool models trying to grab my attention at the moment).

      • Ross

        Oh, thanks very much! Yeah the plastic Orlocks are sporting some magnificent grooming. The new FW heads aren’t quite so coiffed though, so I might have to pick some of them up.

        The Gunslinger is probably a bit over the top, I’d concede, but I’ve just finished Red Dead 2 so I’m in full-on western mode at the moment! I think I’d need to chop him up heavily if I do get a hold of him.

  • Faust

    Nice round up on your Necro gangs! Cool to see that you were able to manage to add a few new ones since. My fave is the head swap on the Orlocks. Your conversions are envious. I wish I had the bits you’re able to find sometimes, and the skills to make them work.

    Like your take on the Van Saar. The yellow pipes against darker material is sort of reminiscent of hazard striping too, which is kinda cool. Will be interesting to see what others you end up adding to the gang.

    The Goliaths are looking great, and looking forward to seeing more Ladykillers join the party. Heck, I just want to see them all!

    • Wudugast

      Cheers man! Conversions-wise it’s just practice combined with having loads of bits in the bitsbox, gathered over the last decade and a half(-ish) in this hobby. When I first got into converting I was really skint so I couldn’t afford new kits so I ended up kitbashing things from cheap bits off ebay or stuff I already had or that people were giving away. It’s funny because there’s been a lot of discussion lately of the whole Blanchitsu/Inq28 side of the hobby being something only rich hobbyists can afford to indulge in, whereas for me (and quite a lot of others) we only got into it because we couldn’t afford to buy the official kits.

      Glad you like the look of what I have planned and fear not, they’ll all get their moment in the sun (and under the brush) soon! 😀

  • Azazel

    That’s a damned impressive Necromunda collection! I think your ability to focus is going to come up great in 2019. I like the sneak previews of the ̶I̶m̶p̶e̶r̶i̶a̶l̶ ̶F̶i̶s̶t̶s̶ Cawdor and Van Saar as well. 🙂

    • Wudugast

      Ha – I do rather like the idea of hivers seeing my Cawdor marching past and thinking “Wow, the Imperial Fists have really let themselves go haven’t they?”. Glad you like them and yes, focussing will be key. Will I manage to do it though or will I… oooh, new trolls…

  • imperialrebelork

    I was oblivious about upgrades for Necromunda from FW until now so thanks for that 👍🏼 Loving the yellow on the Cawdor and the funny thing is that before I got to the painted chap I was thinking you should do them yellow like the Skaven and then BOOM there he was. Great minds hehe. Loving the idea of a mass army for the Cawdor too. I agree they’re great models. I’m thinking of using them for Mordheim 2019. I haven’t played around with Delaque yet but I think I told you my ideas. Now you’ve said how good they are I might drag them out of the darkness for a bit of fun this weekend. Loving all your projects man

    • Wudugast

      Cheers man – great minds indeed! It seems like everyone is in favour of the yellow for the Cawdor so now I just need to bash on with painting the rest of them. I need to have a proper play around with the Delaque too so I’ll keep an eye out for anything you do with them, there’s always room for more inspiration in my overcrowded brain!

      Honestly I think everyone was unaware of the FW head upgrades, they really snuck them up on us. Have you seen the ones for Stormcasts they revealed today? Think they came as a surprise to everyone as well, and again they’re rather nice. I’m trying not to allow myself to be tempted by them but I’m sure they could be very useful indeed if I allowed myself to think about it too much 😉

  • Bartek

    Hi, what model did you use for a sheen bird?

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