It’s been a while since I added anything to my Goliath gang but it’ll come as no surprise to anyone that, since I got my grubby paws on House of Chains I’ve been busy expanding the ranks of my angry musclemen. I read the new book (twice) over the last few weeks and I think it’s fantastic, another outstanding volume from the team behind Necromunda and one that’s taken pride of place on the shelf. I won’t delve too far into reviewing it as that’s been done far better elsewhere, but the degree to which this single book has enriched the Necromundan landscape is quite outstanding and I’m champing at the bit to see the rest of the series.
Having been fired with enthusiasm I turned my attention to the range of new models that were released alongside it – and naturally decided that this was a fine time for the Irondogs to indulge in a recruiting drive! First of all I put together one of the new Stimmers. Rather than mess around too much with a fiddly kit that I’m not all that familiar with I built it straight out of the box, just swapping in a head from the Forge World upgrade set (which suits him nicely I reckon).
I also put together a couple of the forge-born. For those unfamiliar with the ever expanding range of options available to a Necromunda gang these are the first of the “prospects” which will apparently be available to all but one of the House gangs – a prospect being essentially a juve who’s willing to put themselves in harm’s way in exchange for a fast-track into the gang proper. Again I didn’t try anything too radical here as really I was just exploring and familiarising myself with the kit.
The forge-born are also perfect for making juves. I think like most people I was expecting that sooner or later we’d see miniatures for juvs, although I also assumed that GW would be cautious of putting them front and centre. I played around with making Goliath juves by combining the legs of genestealer neophytes with the torsos of kairic acolytes, something I’ve seen done with great success by others, but never really produced anything I was terribly happy with so I fell back on waiting to see what official miniatures would appear, or for further inspiration to strike. However the arrival of House of Chains firmly states that the former is off the cards.
In other words alternative models for juves (that’s Bullies in House Goliath) are out, if you want juves in your gang you should use the same models as ordinary gangers. Now I can see why Games Workshop have chosen to go down this route, child soldiers and juvenile delinquents are never exactly a good look (especially when they’re being carved up by angry cannibal berserkers). Then again I’ve always seen juves as just that, youngsters who’ve just joined the gang rather than simply new recruits. Now I will acknowledge that the book describes the majority of Goliaths being born from vats, emerging fully adult and ready to get to work on the production lines, rather than enjoying the kind of childhood and teenage rebellion that we might have enjoyed ourselves. However I still want my juves to look younger than my standard gangers. Plus if the prospects are youngsters why not the juves? Readers may recall that I’ve already made two Escher juves that I’m quite pleased with and I wanted something similar for the Goliaths.
With that in mind I started kitbashing using one of the forge born and came up with an early proof-of-concept that I’m pretty happy with (very much inspired by the dozens of other people I’ve seen in various groups online doing exactly the same thing).
My only real issue with him is what to do with his back. The forge-born have backpacks and webbing, which suits the weapons they carry, and I wanted to steer away from that in order to further differentiate the juves from the forge-born. I’ve not yet decided whether to greenstuff over it or try to cover it with something (probably the former as Goliaths tend to have all their armour to the front and juves should be no different) but if anyone has any suggestions I’m all ears.
Next to join the crew is the hulking great ‘zerker. I wasn’t entirely sure about him when I first saw the studio model, and my plan was to make quite a range of tweaks and adjustments. However I have to say that once I got my hands on it I discovered what an excellent miniature this really is. Everything went together perfectly, there were hardly any mould-lines and the level of detail is quite outstanding. Thus much like Ortruum 8-8I think this is another rather nice model let down by a less than stellar studio paint job. Here’s a quick reminder of the studio model.
And here’s my model, assembled and ready for paint. The one thing I didn’t include was the breathing mask that hangs around his neck, a rather fragile looking bit of resin that I decided wasn’t worth the effort of trying to attach.
There are loads of cool little details on the model and I predict he’s going to be a lot of fun to paint. For instance check out these bone spikes bursting out of his mutated flesh – something I’d quite overlooked on the studio model.
I did plan to swap out his head but again once I saw it in person I realised that I rather like it. This isn’t me panning the Forgeworld studio painter – they’re clearly very talented, I just don’t think that the style they’ve used has entirely shown the ‘zerker at its best.
However I do wish they’d included an alternative head that matched the one shown in the original artwork. It’s also worth noting that the head of the ‘zerker is a little larger than those of the standard gangers so unlike the stimmers it’s not so easy to just swap in a head from the Forge World upgrade set, all the more reason why an alternative on the sprue would have been a nice touch.
He’s a big lad, the real monster of the crew, as this line-up shows.
He even looks imposing next to this (shamefully part-painted) Ambot. I must admit I thought the burrowing robot would be the bigger of the two by quite some margin so it was a surprise to see them side by side and realise just how large the ‘zerker is.
All of this gives me plenty to paint and I’m keen to get my teeth into them as soon as possible, although I’ve also got my eye on a few other projects which may take precedence (including my often delayed but never forgotten Cawdor gang). I’ve also been kitbashing Corpse-Grinder Cultists so I’ll try to get something uploaded to showcase them soon too.