The Lodge of the Flayed King – Part 1

Very much in the spirit of the Goliath WIPsI posted last week here’s a look at some more unpainted Necromundan plastic, this time in the form of my favourite underhive cannibals the Corpse Grinder Cultists.

First up I turned my attention to the cult’s initiates (that’s Juves in any other gang). I’ve already built a couple of these, pretty much exactly by the book, so now I wanted to go off-piste a little and see what I could come up with. Particularly I wanted to explore some of the weapon options available to the gang which aren’t available on the “stock” models – that is to say weapons which are described in the rules but aren’t available as part of the standard plastic kit. Unlike the majority of the gang, which can only be equipped with close-combat weapons the initiates have not fallen so far into Khorne’s favour that they’re reduced to running screaming across the battlefield with no heed for the niceties of tactics. Indeed these newcomers to the gang, still digesting their first few meals of still-warm person, can chose from a selection of ranged weapons – and even remember that they can be fired from a distance rather than just used to bludgeon the nearest foe. As well as the likes of stub guns and autopistols a particularly attractive sounding option is the harpoon launcher. For one thing it makes me think of the Ursus Claws, the massive harpoons used by those ultimate Khornate warriors the World Eaters. For those not in the know the Ursus Claws are basically huge harpoons that were mounted on the titans of the World Eater’s allies – the Legio Audax – and, if even that isn’t big and over-the-top enough for you, on their flagship The Conqueror. If titans impaling other titans and dragging helpless tanks around wasn’t cool enough imagine if you will a massive spaceship harpooning other spaceships so that they can be rammed and boarded by thousands of Khorne berserkers. The World Eaters do nothing by halves (and really ought to have a range of miniatures – just saying, GW, just saying…). Anyway, I reckoned a smaller version might be just the thing for the Corpse Grinders to have in their armoury, partly for the nod to their larger Khornate cousins and partly because I like the idea of the initiates retaining the common sense and forward planning to impale some poor sod and take them home for supper whilst the more corrupted members of the gang are busy hacking people up today with no thought for tomorrow.

Making the harpoon launcher was pretty straightforward, it’s lifted straight from the Orlocks kit, with a trophy skull popped on top to add that Khornate vibe. It fitted pretty well although there was a slight gap left (which would normally be covered by the Orlock shoulderpad) but a suitably spiky jawbone soon covered that up. The other shoulder needs a little greenstuff to tidy it up but otherwise he’s good to go.

Corpse Grinder Cult Wudugast Necromunda (1)Corpse Grinder Cult Wudugast Necromunda (2)

The other trick up the sleeve of the initiates, as well as their ability to use ranged weapons, is being a lot sneakier than the rest of the gang. Whilst their lodge brothers let everyone within a hundred miles know that they’re on their way by revving chainblades and running screaming at their nearest victim, the initiates tiptoe through the underhive ready to spring on some hapless meal that just happens to be walking by. In game terms this means they have the Infiltrate skill which allows them to pop up uncomfortably close to the enemy and start making mayhem. The Corpse Grinders have a reputation for being quite a nasty, over-powered gang to face and although I’m quite sure this isn’t something that will last forever as new models are released and new tricks discovered, I’d also like to emphasise that I’m not trying to create a gang with which to smash all comers and win at all costs; that isn’t something that appeals to me at all and it certainly doesn’t fit with the spirit of Necromunda. Mainly I’m interesting in modelling opportunities but I also like the idea of interesting tactical tricks for as and when I do get the occasional game in, and having a juvenile delinquent with a rocksaw pop up practically on the toes of the enemy gang sounded like a chance for the kind of mayhem that Khorne would undoubtedly approve of. Again he’s mostly based around the standard initiate model, this time with the arms and weapon from the new Goliath prospects.

Corpse Grinder Cult Wudugast Necromunda (3)Corpse Grinder Cult Wudugast Necromunda (4)Corpse Grinder Cult Wudugast Necromunda (5)

Lastly the gang needed a leader and as ever I wanted someone who looked uniquely mine (so heavily kitbashed and converted from the studio version) and suitably imposing, someone who could look across the table at any of my other converted leader models and have them know that they meant business. Much as I love the studio versions of the Corpse Grinder Cult there’s nothing to really make the leader stand out from his barbaric followers. I began by building the model as per the studio instructions but added on every extra spiky, skull-covered extra I could find, rather than diluting the effect by spreading them around the whole gang. Then it was just a case of finding a suitable head and this mask, borrowed from the trophy rack of an AoS Orc (sorry – Orruk!) fit the bill nicely.

Corpse Grinder Cult Wudugast Necromunda (6)Corpse Grinder Cult Wudugast Necromunda (8)Corpse Grinder Cult Wudugast Necromunda (9)Corpse Grinder Cult Wudugast Necromunda (7)

With these three done, plus the other cultists I’d put together previously, I’m well on the way to getting a starting gang built. Now I just need to pick a colour scheme – something that shows the blood will do nicely!


19 responses to “The Lodge of the Flayed King – Part 1

  • theimperfectmodeller

    Lovely jubbly, even more paint jobs to look forward to in the quarantined weeks which lay ahead! 🤗

  • Ann

    As usual, I like your conversions/swaps. 🙂

    That is interesting how the faction is melee oriented, but they have some scope for infiltrating. I’ve noticed something similar with the Nurgle faction. It seems to me that this would on the face of it be a good way to make a melee faction more fun in a game with a lot of shooting. I’ve noticed, when I play 40K, that in the past I haven’t found games fun where I can’t get to grips with my opponent in a meaningful way until the middle of the game and by that time, despite reasonable play on my part, I’m crippled by their shooting. Might be fun for the shooting army player to “shoot fish (or orks/whatever) in a barrel,” but not so much fun for the melee player, I’d imagine. So never having played Necromunda, I don’t know how this is or will work out, but it seems like a good attempt.

    The harpoon thing is interesting and, yes, definitely needs a skull. What do you think of them taking a page from the bloodletters’ book and making a Skull Mortar with the Skull Cannon as their inspiration? Heat up some skulls (real ones or metal ones or whatever) and let fly! You could also do the harpoon and fashion an underslung tube and do a sort of M203-style burning skull grenade launcher? After all, if you are creeping through cover towards enemies also in cover, why not burn them out of said cover (even if it doesn’t actually work in the rules but maybe it does in their minds?) with flaming skulls?

    • Wudugast

      Cheers! Yeah, I’ve always been more about the Khornate “run-across-the-board-and-hit-them-in-the-face” style of play rather than the “sit-back-and-shoot” style (adding my usual caveat that I’ve never been much of a gamer and less and less so over the last decade or so). In Necromunda every time a model is hit by a ranged weapon they (quite sensibly) hit the floor, regardless of whether they were wounded (unless you spend XP on a skill to stop that). Gangs that work well at range (like Van Saar who couldn’t punch their way out of a wet paper bag but could shoot the whiskers off a sump rat from three streets away) can really slow down close combat gangs who have to spend one of their actions just standing up (each model gets two actions per turn). Thus dense terrain with lots of cover really favours close combat gangs, whereas open terrain helps shooty gangs. By being able to infiltrate the corpse grinders can get around this problem and lay down a wall of smoke grenades to block the vision of the shooty gang whilst the larger and bloodthirstier khornate berserkers hot-foot it across the board and start chopping people up. Whether or not this means they’re “too powerful” or not I’ll leave for the history books – usually I’ve found that “unbeatable” units turn out to be quite manageable six months down the road, and Necromunda is much more about the story, the progress of gangs over a campaign, the development of individual characters and the scenarios, territories and shifting alliances than it is about just playing to win anyway.

      I like your weapon suggestions, definitely food for thought there! There will be at least one flamer in the gang at some point (you can build a gang which is almost entirely made up of infiltrating initiates with heavy flamers – which would be… interesting… once…). You can also go to the Black Market and buy some off-the-books chaos marine weapons. The words ” burning skull grenade launcher ” definitely appeal to something in my dark, Khornate heart… 😀

  • imperialrebelork

    Even the way you describe your conversions is like reading a Dan Abnett book. 🤘🏼The leader looks mean as the proverbial and I like the little add ons like the trophy skull on the first chap. Well executed mate.

    • Wudugast

      Thank you – that’s a powerful compliment! (Not sure how Dan Abnett would feel about it but I don’t think he’s a regular reader of this blog anyway…) Yeah, I’m well pleased with the leader, he looks like a real beast – just the way I wanted him 😀

  • Pete S/ SP

    Lovely conversion. They will look great when painted up. Not faced the gang yet. Everyone at the club is friendly but we all play to win if that makes sense… as long as they aren’t as overpowered as the old Spyrers I’m good with them….



    • Wudugast

      Thank you! Yeah I know what you mean, when gaming was a bigger part of my hobby that was very much my aim – I wanted an enjoyable social experience and you don’t get that from crushing your opponent into the table, seeing them driven before you, and hearing the lamentations of their women! Equally I wanted to challenge my opponent and make them think a bit – the best games, the ones that stick in my mind a decade or more on, are the ones that came down to the final dice roll or that changed radically on a single clever move.

      I can see how the Corpse Grinders could be quite hard to play against, a combination of the infiltrating initiates creating a screen of smoke grenades right in front of the other gang and then keeping them pinned down with small arms fire whilst the elite troops (which can be made extremely fast moving with the right skills) hurtle across the battlefield and start carving everyone up in close combat. A sensible person will probably get tired to playing that way pretty quickly though and look to get a bit more nuance out of the gang, whilst there’s skills and equipment that can be used to neutralise them (plus picking scenarios that don’t favour the “kill everything” approach – and of course the use of arbitrator tools to add some extra challenges for the Corpse Grinders if they start to get ahead of everyone else in a campaign). I could be wrong but I think there’s been a bit of an over-reaction to the power of the Corpse Grinders in some quarters and sensible gaming groups will be just fine – but as I say I’m not a serious gamer these days by any means.

  • Janice Duke

    Those are some scary looking guys – the leader in particular looks very fierce!

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