Monthly Archives: October 2019

Tech-Hunters – Part 3

With a number of projects competing for my attention I’m enjoying how quick and straightforward to paint my Van Saar gang is proving to be. The irony that this is a small and elite force is not lost on me, especially compared to some of the veritable hordes that I find myself collecting with far trickier colour schemes. For now this gang is entering its final stages with my intention being to complete it in the near future. After that I’ll turn my attention to one of the more populous gangs, probably Cawdor, although I’ll probably turn my attention to some other projects first. First of all though let’s take a look at the latest two recruits.

The final rank-and-file ganger is Agent Bask. I do find the awkward crouched pose of some of the Van Saar a little hard to get used to, although it helps if you imagine them taking cover behind the ramshackle rusty terrain of the underhive. The Van Saar also appear more organised and military than many of the other gangs, something I’ve tried to emphasise with the pose as he takes cover and gestures to one of his squad mates for backup. A Goliath would probably just wade in shouting!

Van Saar Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Van Saar Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)Van Saar Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)

Alongside him we have the first gang champion, Agent Weyland, who brings a missile launcher to an underhive knife fight. The instructions which come with the models suggest equipping one of the running figures with the missile launcher but to my eye it looks too heavy, and the gangers of Van Saar are said to be too frail and weak, for such dynamic action. Instead I went for a power pose as he prepares to launch radioactive death into the upper gantries.

Van Saar Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (4)Van Saar Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (5)Van Saar Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (6)

Lastly let’s take a quick look at how the whole group is progressing.

Van Saar Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (7)

With them done I now only need to finish off the gang leader and the remaining champion and the project will be complete for the moment. On top of that I also need to write the background story which explains who they are and what has brought them out of their labs and tech-refineries and down into the grim depths of Ironhouse. With the end in sight I’ll aim to tackle that soon.

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Whither Now Destruction?

What with it being Orctober I find myself thinking about greenskins even more than usual, from hulking boyz to stabby little gobbos, and even their big – and distinctly pink skinned – friends the ogres. In combination these form the Destruction Grand Alliance, the warlike hordes who smash their way through the Mortal Realms in a riot of brute strength and low cunning.

Orcs Brutes Ironjaws Wudugast

Over the past year or so Games Workshop have given Age of Sigmar some much-needed housekeeping. The myriad factions of yesteryear have been pared down into something much more manageable and less intimidating to a newcomer. In the early days of AoS each Grand Alliance (for the uninitiated that’s Order, Chaos, Death and Destruction – the overall groupings of factions by which the setting is defined) contained dozens of mini-factions, some of which contained only a single model (the Shadowblades or Firebellys for example). For a veteran of the Warhammer era that had gone before it was totally baffling and formed an almost impenetrable barrier between people like me and the brave new world that GW were developing.

Naturally they wanted to look to the future and to get to work on the new and creative ideas they had been cooking up. However before they could really get on with it they needed to put their house in order. If you want your pudding you have to eat your greens and if they wanted to concentrate on the next Idoneth Deepkin or Stormcast Eternals it was getting harder and harder to do with the survivors of the Old World hanging around and embarrassing GW in front of their fancy new friends.

In order to resolve this many of the small factions, with only a handful of models to their name, were rolled together and, unlike the higglety pigglety, anything-goes approach of the early days, found themselves combined like with like. The humans, elves and dwarves who survived the destruction of the Old World have been clumped into the Cities of Sigmar for example, whilst the disparate clans of the Skaven have been reunited into a single faction. At the same time various models were removed from the range, some not a moment too soon, some well before their time, and some were kept on which surely should have been replaced decades ago. At times the logic behind which models were cut and which were kept was hard to fathom for a fan without insider knowledge of the company. The orc boar boys for instance got the chop as part of the dissolution of the greenskins faction. At the time it made a degree of sense to me, despite being relatively modern – not to mention rather nice looking in comparison to many of the other greenskins kits – they didn’t really fit in with either the Ironjaws or the Bonesplitters, both of which had their own version of boar boys anyway. With the arrival of the Orruk Warclans army book however one wonders if more could have been done to save their bacon. With the orc factions rolled back together again surely the boar boys could have found a home amongst them? Most likely the answer comes down to shelf space, combined with the aforementioned alternative boar boys but I’m still sorry to see them go.

Boared Already

I’m just a boar boy, nobody loves me
He’s just a boar boy from a boar family

However whilst I can suggest a logic behind the removal of the boar boys I’m left confused as to why this goblin shaman was shown the door…

Goblin Shaman 2

… whilst these two weren’t.

Night Goblin Shaman

Is it just the lack of Night Goblin accoutrements like a big hood? If it really bothers you a head swap isn’t hard to accomplish. Speaking as a fan of the Gloomspite Gits I’d rather have a nice looking shaman with a bare head than this duff-looking duo (although looking again the one in the foreground isn’t quite as bad as I remembered him). At least I have a couple of alternative shamen I can call upon however.

Age of Sigmar deserves to tap into its potential for creativity but it was tricky to do that until the ghosts of WHFB were laid to rest. Now that that task nears completion we can turn our attention to the future and start to ask just where that creativity might lead.

Until now GW have reserved the greater part of that creativity for the Order Grand Alliance. In part however I suspect this reflects the ideas of the past and the areas in which they felt their line was at its weakest. After all the Skaven, or the warriors of Khorne, are far more distinct to GW’s IP than elves or dwarves which can be found through fantasy fiction. Thus the company has focused on Order and Chaos, the former requiring perhaps the most work, the latter already well-formed and desperate to stretch its wings in AoS’s new universe and tap into the vast potential which previous iterations had seen stifled. The other two Grand Alliances fell behind although Death is starting to come into its own through the Nighthaunt and the forthcoming Ossiarch Bonereapers. As it stands order contains eight factions, chaos seven and death just four with the inclusion of the Bonereapers*. Destruction also has four at the moment although it’s safe to assume that two of these, the Beastclaw Raiders and Gutbusters will be rolled into a single Ogors faction soon.  Likewise the Orcs of the Ironjaws and Bonesplitters have recently become the Orruk Warclans (with any old Orcs from the greenskins faction herded to the exits). Similarly the goblins, trolls and squigs have been gathered into the ranks of the Gloomspite Gits. The result is three neatly packaged factions; orcs, goblins and ogres.

*For those who want to check my workings, I’m counting as supported those factions which have been given their own section on the GW website and a book – not anything  that’s currently discontinued or anything from Forge World. Based on that we have;

Order – Cities of Sigmar, Daughters of Khaine, Fyreslayers, Idoneth Deepkin, Kharadron Overlords, Seraphon, Stormcast Eternals and Sylvaneth.

Chaos – Beasts of Chaos, Blades of Khorne, Disciples of Tzeentch, Everchosen/Slaves to Darkness, Hedonites of Slaanesh, Maggotkin of Nurgle and Skaven (treating Everchosen and Slaves to Darkness as one faction and leaving Creatures of Chaos out because that’s not a proper faction round my house, that’s just some monsters conveniently gathered in the same place!)

Death – Flesheater Courts, Legions of Nagash, Nighthaunt, Ossiarch Bonereapers.

Destruction – Gloomspite Gits, Orruk Warclans and Mawtribes (or whatever the Ogors end up being called).

Ogre

I’m sexy and I know it

Where do they go next then? There isn’t a natural and obvious answer to this. When Khorne, Nurgle and Tzeentch were given army books of their own it was safe to assume that Slaanesh would get their turn sooner or later. The same can no longer be said. A tipping point has been reached and we find ourselves stepping off the edge of the Old World’s map and into the uncharted lands of the new Age of Sigmar.

As hobbyists we often pull at loose threads of information, trying to second guess what might be released in the months and years to come. In the past it was easy to say “this faction or that faction ought to be coming soon” simply because they haven’t had any fresh releases in a while. This was never a very reliable way of divining the future but it had its merits, and those who made a habit of such guesses where right often enough to weave themselves an illusion of foreknowledge. Nowadays you might as well try to read the tea leaves in the GW staff canteen.

By naming the Orc faction Orruk Warclans rather than Ironjaws and Bonesplitters (or some more pleasing and marketable equivalent) the implication is that these are all the Orcs we’re going to be seeing for the next little while. Beastgrave contains a rather lovely looking warband of goblin wolf riders (that’s part of the Gitmob in the modern parlance) but my gut tells me – with nothing more than an intuitive guess to go on – that these are more of a nod to the past than a hint of things to come. The goblins certainly have potential for further exploration – I’m still surprised that we didn’t see a new plastic kit for the doom-diver catapult as part of the Gloomspite Gits release for instance – but much like the Orruk Warclans I suspect that the Gloomspite Gits are a packing up of the existing gobbos, for now at least.

Snarlfang Gitbiters

Nor are there any subfactions which seem like contenders for establishing themselves as fully-fledged factions in their own right. The trolls have made themselves at home amongst the Gloomspite Gits and, thus established, have really come into their own. The giants may have enjoyed a brief stint as a one model faction in the early days of AoS but the big oafs have been reined in by their destruction colleagues and I’d be surprised to see them go it alone again.

If it was up to me I’d love to see the snotlings brought back and explored in full but I can’t imagine that anything other than wishful thinking. Then again at least they could double up as Orks in Adeptus Titanicus!

Of course, I can’t miss an opportunity to make my pitch for a Destruction themed version of Warcry. Just imagine the fun that could be had shifting the setting from the Chaos wastes of the Bloodwind Spoil to the rust warrens and dank caves of Skrappa Spill. Instead of Chaos warbands we could see examples of the various types of Orc, Goblin and Ogres that must be found in the Mortal Realms, fighting it out for the sheer joy of it.

Meanwhile, lurking in the corner of the Destruction Grand Alliance, overlooked and underloved, we have the Fimir. These weird cyclopean beasts have skulked on the fringes of Warhammer since the early days, never fully accepted into the game, never entirely kicked out. Every time you think they are gone for good they pop up again, shoving their snouts briefly above the parapet every decade or so before vanishing once more into the gloom. Earlier this year I even painted one, a model from Hero Quest that’s almost as old as I am.

With the launch of AoS the Fimir abandoned the overcrowded Chaos raft and found themselves a new home amongst Destruction (rather than vanishing once and for all, as I was expecting, with the purging of so many other things GW wanted rid of). Thanks to Forge World we even have a few Fimir models and as ever there is speculation that they might make a comeback. Honestly I wouldn’t hold my breath (unless I was standing downwind of a real Fimir that is).

Fimirach Noble

One thing the Fimir do however is emphasise that from here on out we no longer need to expect the Destruction forces to adhere to tradition. For these warlike races things have remained pretty much the same for a very long time. The Orcs and Goblins, and Ogres, were well established in WHFB and stamped into AoS as if nothing much had changed. Whilst a time traveller from a decade ago would barely recognise the flying dwarves and fishy elves as descendants of the game they knew the greenskins and their allies remain much as they ever were, just with a few nice new models to show for the passage of time. It’s easy to believe that nothing need ever really change. Yet a glance towards the Order Grand Alliance reveals this need not be the case. The once hide-bound, subterranean dwarves now zoom through the skies, carving out trade empires above the clouds where once they carved mines beneath the roots of the mountains. Some elves are half snake, others are eyeless and aquatic. Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Ulthuan anymore…

I’m not for a moment suggesting that we are about to see aquatic orcs or half-snake ogres, simply that the expansion of possibilities that was applied to Order could just as easily be lavished upon the other Grand Alliances. What is certain is that GW aren’t done with the brutish followers of Gorkamorka, and that, after decades of popularity they’ll be cast aside. Equally we can’t guess with even a scrap of accuracy what form those future releases might take. We could see orcs, goblins or ogres of a kind completely unknown to us, or we could see something entirely new. Good or bad the future is looking like a very different place from the past. After so many years of seeing the same old factions from one decade’s end to the next that’s something that we’re going to have to get used to. I still can’t begin to get guess what it might look like, but I for one am agog to find out!


Green Iz Best – Part 8

Waaagh! and all that! Yes, it’s Orktober and I have twenty ork boyz to paint if I’m going to meet my goal of having a hoard one hundred strong by the end of the year. Time to get a wiggle on then!

Orks Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (4)Orks Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (2)Orks Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (5)Orks Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (3)Orks Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (1)

Naturally I’m counting these towards Azazel’s Orky challenge, as well as to our shared commitment to adding 25 greenskins to our respective collections by New Year. When I agreed to this I had seven months to play with and 25 orks to paint, now I have three months to play with and 15 orks still to go so I’ll need to get painting! Hopefully therefore these five will just be the start. I’ve got a lot of angry green geezers waiting for some attention and my aim is to use this month to make some progress with getting them finished. I don’t really imagine I’ll get all of the remaining boys painted but progress is progress so let’s see how I get on.


Get Sick Or Die Trying – Part 14

Today we’re going to tackle an experiment in amateur psychology. The premise is very simple; for the last couple of years I’ve been working away slowly at painting up a horde of poxwalkers with the aim being to complete 40 of them. At the most recent count I’ve finished 28 – and 28 sounds like its a long way from 40. Whereas 30 on the other hand is a much more pleasing result. Once I’ve painted 30 I’ll be three-quarters of the way there, I’ll be on the last leg (much like some of these zombies!), I’ll be counting down the last 10 with the finish line in sight.

Poxwalker Wudugast ConvertOrDie Nurgle (1)Poxwalker Wudugast ConvertOrDie Nurgle (5)Poxwalker Wudugast ConvertOrDie Nurgle (3)Poxwalker Wudugast ConvertOrDie Nurgle (4)

Azazel also reminded me that it’s Zomtober, which would certainly make for a fine opportunity to paint some of my remaining zombies. That said, with a number of other projects also demanding my attention I’m going to be sensible and, unlike a zombie, not bite off more than I can chew (for the moment). Still, the end is at least on the horizon for my zombie horde so I’ll keep bashing on – only ten more to go now!


Squaddie September 2019

I’m not going to lie – this one is sheer self indulgence! September turned out to be a very productive month for me and I couldn’t resist acknowledging that with a post summarising everything I managed to paint. However, just in case this seemed too gratuitous, I decided to use Azazel’s latest monthly challenge as a thinly veiled excuse for a bit of back-patting. For those not in the know (assuming there actually are any hobbyists left who haven’t heard of this phenomenon) blogger Azazel runs a painting challenge each month and encourages anyone who’s interested to join in – the aim being to clear our collective backlogs of unpainted models. After all the purpose of these miniatures is to be painted, enjoyed, perhaps even played with if you’re so inclined. It’s not to sit around in boxes getting dusty, be that base-coated, under-coated, or even still on the sprue. Usually I try to use the challenge to push myself to get something done that I otherwise wouldn’t. This month however I seem to have gone completely mad on it! Let’s take a look a look shall we? This month’s subject was Squaddie September and – to quote the man himself – set out this definition for what counted;

“Obviously a “Squad” (a term I’ve chosen this month for alliteration’s sake) is often a military term, and often means a unit of about 10 or so individuals….Though in the interests of flexibility, inclusion and achievability, the “squad” size we’ll be using is a minimum of three models. This lets many of those boardgame units also qualify…Of course, not everyone is a gamer of any kind, so Hell, the models don’t even have to be a strict “unit” or squad. Figures from different forces, ranges, manufacturers. All good, as long as they fit together thematically…”

Obviously that gave me a lot to get my teeth into, and with heaps of models half-finished and waiting for attention I set about painting with abandon. Let’s take a look.

To start with I tried to focus my attention on my Necromunda gangs, of which I have several on the go – including two that I’d been failing to complete for quite some time. First off the block were the Ladykillers of House Escher. Like all my Necromunda projects I have plenty more ideas I’d like to explore but with these three warrior women joining the ranks my initial plan for the gang is finished at least 

Wudugast Escher Necromunda ConvertOrDie (11)

My Necromunda Chaos Cult was originally planned as a quick and easy project but once started it grew in unexpected directions (much like a Chaos spawn then). Once again I decided that this month would be a fine time to tie it down into something I was happy to call complete – for now at least.

Necromunda Chaos ConvertOrDie Wudugast (2)

Not wanting to rest on my laurels I turned my attention to another of the Great Houses of Necromunda, the tech-geniuses of Van Saar. At the moment the project is still in it’s infancy but I plan to learn my lesson from the previous two and get the rest of the current crop of models finished up in the next few weeks.

Van Saar Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)

Turning my attention to the bigger picture of the 41st Millennium I added three new recruits to my Chaos Space Marine squad. My interest in this army has been reinvigorated since the release of the range of new models earlier in the year and I plan to get my teeth into them properly as soon as I’ve completed a few other outstanding projects.

Chaos Marines 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (14)

Continuing the chaos theme I also added a few newcomers to my horde of poxwalkers, bringing the total population of foul plague-zombies up to 28. My plan is to complete a swarm of 40 so I’m aiming to tackle a few more of these very, very soon…

Poxwalker ConvertOrDie Wudugast Group

Nor did my chaos focus end there. Turning my attention to the Mortal Realms I also rounded out my Blades of Khorne warband for AoS Skirmish, first adding a flesh hound and then completing the group with three bloodreavers. Its particularly auspicious, and completely co-incidental, that it took my eight posts to complete the warband – eight being the unholy number of Khorne – but I suspect that there will be plenty more attention focused on the Blood God’s hordes in time.

Bloodreavers ConvertOrDie Wudugast

Continuing my exploration of the Age of Sigmar I painted three squigs. I’ve been a fan of the Night Goblins for a long time and it took me a while to get used to seeing them in the Mortal Realms as opposed to the Old World of WHFB but, after too many nights peering out of my dank cave at the baleful light of the bad moon, I’m finding myself increasingly drawn to the reinvented Gloomspite Gits.

Squigs Convert or Die Wudugast Gobbos (3)

However in case anyone fears I’ve lost touch with the Old World I’m still chipping away at my Skaven army and finally, after a lot of mumping and moaning, got the last of my Stormvermin painted. Anyone who’s been avoiding the blog for fear of my constant carping can come out of hiding now!

Stormvermin Wudugast Skaven ConvertOrDie (1)

And there we have it – not a bad month’s output by any means. Indeed by my count I managed to paint 35 models, more than 1 per day – something I once thought was quite beyond me. A big thanks once again to Azazel for running his challenge, I already have plenty of plans for this month (it’s all about Orks, Orcs, Orruks and anything that’s been neglected – if you’re thinking of giving it a shot yourself I strongly recommend it). Expect to see plenty of greenskins here in the coming weeks, not to mention the rest of the Van Saar and whatever else takes my fancy. Watch this space!


Take Cover! – Part 4

You may have noticed that many of my recent posts have been contributions to the community challenge “Squaddie September” run by Azazel of Azazel’s Bits Box (so much so that I think I’ll put up a self-indulgent round up post in the near future!). However, never being one to shirk from hobby productivity, Azazel also ran “Scenic September“, with the aim of motivating us all to paint some of the terrain, large or small, which might otherwise remain unpainted for another month. As my own terrain collection has been suffering in the doldrums for a while now I decided to take the opportunity throughout last month to chip away at as much as I could, and although the larger projects are still not done (I’ve only got one pair of hands dammit!) I did at least manage to get my teeth into some more of the barricades, scatter terrain and other odds and ends I’ve had waiting for attention.

First of all we’ve got a heap of rusty junk that was released as part of the Speed Freeks Ork racing game from this time last year. In part I used this as an opportunity to experiment with contrast paints for terrain and I’m fairly happy with the results, although there are definitely things I think I could improve upon. However having faffed around with it quite a lot I think I’m going to call this one done – I have several more in the same style so I’ll take what I learned here and apply it to them, and then perhaps come back to touch this one up later if I still think it’s required.

Rusty Ork Junk Wudugast (1)Rusty Ork Junk Wudugast (2)Rusty Ork Junk Wudugast (3)

Then there’s this fungal monstrosity which forms part of the Deathworld terrain set released by GW a few years ago. It’s a pretty ugly model, and came packaged in with a bunch of other stuff that I bought second hand on ebay. Either some bits were missing or it simply doesn’t fit together all that well, either way a bit of greenstuff was required to turn it into something usable. Frankly I didn’t lose too much sleep over it – you’ll note for instance that not all of the trunks reach the floor and whilst I could have put some extra time and effort into fixing that or covering it up I simply couldn’t be arsed. If this is the best example of xenos terrain that GW could find no wonder the Imperium keeps purging the alien! It’s a shame really, I’m all in favour of terrain pieces (and models in general) which are  bit more creative and unusual but this one just misses the mark. I think it’s improved by leaving out the fronds which normally crown the top of the model (and which to my eye look particularly naff) but it’s still nothing to write home about.

Fungus Terrain Death World Nurgle Wudugast (1)Fungus Terrain Death World Nurgle Wudugast (2)

That said it should have a fair bit of utility as part of my terrain collection, handy for the badzones of Necromunda (or even an outcrop of the drug-producing fungus ghast), or to decorate the dank caves inhabited by Night Goblins and Gloomspite Gits.

Fungus Terrain Death World Nurgle Wudugast (3)

And of course it makes for a fine corner of Nurgle’s garden, he doesn’t mind if things are a little on the ugly side!

Fungus Terrain Death World Nurgle Wudugast (4)

Next up, something I had more fun with. I really want to get started on Warcry, I keep hearing good things about the game and the models are frankly gorgeous. So far I’ve only managed to absorb the setting by obsessively reading the core book and pouring over my box of unassembled models but as soon as I’ve cleared my feet a little more I’m going to be diving straight in. In order to play the game however I’m going to need to get a whole load of terrain built and painted and so I’ve dipped my toe into the water by painting up this barricade to get a feel for what it’s like to work with. This one was a real joy to work on so hopefully I can maintain my enthusiasm and paint up a load more soon.

Warcry Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Warcry Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)

Finally we have another piece of scatter terrain for my slow-growing Necromunda collection. I know I’ve not broken as much ground on this front recently as I planned but I always expected that the project would take a while – I’m just not someone who knocks out large terrain pieces in short order. However I’ve not forgotten about it and I’m aiming to get back to it before long. In the meantime here’s a street light for what may be a little Underhive settlement (perhaps somewhere for my civilians to take up residence).

Necromunda Streetlight Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)Necromunda Streetlight Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Necromunda Streetlight Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)

And there we have it – four more disparate terrain pieces with which to decorate the far future and/or the Mortal Realms. I make no promises about when I’ll tackle any more but there’s certainly plenty waiting for attention so I’ll try to finish off some more soon(-ish…).