It Takes A Village – Part 2

The problem with the Underhive is some people seem to think it’s a place to go for a nice day out. You’ve got gangs running around shooting the place up, Inquisitors strutting about like they own the place, xenos lurking in the shadows and don’t get me started on the Chaos cults! And what none of them seem to get is that some people are here to do a day’s work. They seem to think the corroded pipes, pools of toxic gunk and ominous piles of skulls just happen by magic…

You may recall that long, long ago (back in July of last year) I started working on a project to assemble some hard-done-by civilians to populate the grim depths of the Necromundan underhive – not to mention any Inq28 goings on. Necromunda is now blessed with several scenarios that feature hapless hive inhabitants and yet my population of civilians still remained rather paltry, I’ve had plenty of ideas but none of them have made it to completion. However with the lockdown ongoing I found myself looking for things to paint and my eye fell on these three workmen who’ve been waiting for attention for quite some time. Once again I’ll be counting these towards the “Paint The Crap You Already Own!” challenge being run by Ann’s Immaterium, as all three have been knocking around for quite some time and getting them finished makes it feel as though this project has finally started to achieve something.

The other reason I decided to tackle them was to explore what I hoped would be a new and easier way to paint orange. I really like the look of my genestealer cultists in their orange overalls but there’s no avoiding the fact that it’s been a lot of hard work to paint and that keeps putting me off from tackling any more. These however came together in no time flat using the recipe of an undercoat of Jokaero Orange, a coat of Gryph-Hound Orange Contrast Paint, a quick highlight with Jokaero Orange and a final highlight with Fire Dragon Bright.

Workmen Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)Workmen Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)Workmen Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast ConvertOrDie (4)Workmen Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast ConvertOrDie (5)Workmen Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast ConvertOrDie (6)Workmen Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast ConvertOrDie (7)

The models originate from the mechanics in the CP Miniatures range, a real goldmine for a project like this, with the addition of heads from Anvil Industry and various Games Workshop gubbins. Here’s a picture of the unconverted models courtesy of the CP Miniatures website.

CP Mechanics

Whilst I was working on them I spotted this little servo-drone which has been waiting for attention for even longer – I assembled him back in 2017 when I was working on the Chapel project and he’s sat unloved ever since. I’ve never been entirely sure what to do with him, he’s kitbashed entirely out of odds and ends and he never felt quite finished to me, as though something was missing that, if I could only identify it, would make the model complete. Whatever it might be I still can’t quite put my finger on it and I was about to dump him back into the box of shame when it occurred to me that he might work well as a robotic assistant to my underhive work crew.

Robot Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Robot Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)Robot Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)

Here’s the whole crew ready for an honest day’s toil (no working from home for them unfortunately!). Hopefully they’ll make it through their shift without being shot by accident in a turf war or the ongoing battle for the Emperor’s soul…

Workmen Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)

27 responses to “It Takes A Village – Part 2

  • theimperfectmodeller

    For me personally and not being familiar with the figures seeing the before and after conversions images just makes so much difference. Try as I might whilst I can imagine scenery and landscaping (which is why I like my base work and dioramas) I cannot see how to get from the original design of the figure to somethiny else completely. It might only be a seemless head converstion but it is way different to the original. I think working only with metal figures doesn’t help in that regard but it is something I need to look at more because I love the personal touch and the uniqueness of each figure. Great stuff. 😊

    • Ann

      I agree, it is very interesting to see the figure that was converted from. The original figures don’t look like they’d be out of place in a Grapes of Wrath sort of situation and and as for the conversions, well, “In the far future, there are only grapes, and sour ones at that.”

      Very nice job and I like how the orange-red clothing turned out too.

      • Ann

        Oh yeah, like the candle too. Did you sculpt that yourself or is it a bit?

      • Wudugast

        That’s out of my league for sculpting yet, I got it from the Cawdor kit (which is chock full of candles). The Nighthaunt also have a few if you ever find yourself in need of any.

      • Wudugast

        Thank you! Yes, they’re relatively modern but not overly so (and certainly not futuristic) which I think works well for 40k. I once read a GW designer talking about the Imperial Guard tanks as being essentially WW2 tanks with sci-fi weapons riveted on, or as Jes Goodwin said of the Ad Mech “Archaic guns firing futuristic ammunition”. I try to take a similar approach with models like these. As I understand it the average guy in the 41st Millennium will live with a level of technology similar to what our grandparents or great-grandparents would recognise – he wouldn’t know a smart-phone, a modem or a toaster but he might work shovelling fuel (with a shovel!) into a plasma reactor of the kind we might not see invented for a thousand years yet. Trying to get the balance right without the two disparate elements seeming jarring is a big part of the fun for me 🙂

    • Wudugast

      Cheers! I’ll do my best to keep showing my workings! 🙂

      Practice helps a lot with conversions (like all things in life really). My early work was pretty awful to be honest (even now I make the odd thing which, with retrospect, I decide is pretty ropey – that’s just life though). The more you do the more the skills develop. Essentially there’s two directions that can lead to a conversion – either there’s a model that I want but for whatever reason (normally that it doesn’t actually exist) I can’t have so I have to find a way to make it myself, or I see a component and start thinking about how I could use it differently and what I could make with it. Often the two will run in tandem and when they meet a new conversion is born. So for these models, for example, I knew I wanted to make some workmen for my Necromunda collection, I’d read in the background for the setting that there are guys out there making sure everything runs as it should just the same as we have in the real world, but because GW focuses on making playing pieces for their games models for those workmen don’t exist. Then I stumbled upon the workmen from CP miniatures and suddenly I had some workmen but which I didn’t think suited the aesthetic of the setting. After that it was just a case of looking at what parts I could change practically and what bits I had to hand to effect that (so headswaps are easy and can completely change the character of a model, backpacks add a sci-fi element and so on). I also think it’s a bit like cooking, you keep adding things until its right and then you stop. The original models looked like workmen and the finished pieces needed to look like workmen so I couldn’t add anything which took away from that (so nothing that would suggest a different job or activity – no guns for example which might start to make them look like soldiers or criminals. Likewise nothing too high-tech, these are workmen in the future but they’re still ordinary guys – they don’t have access to futuristic gizmos, no Star Trek scanners for them, just ordinary hardwearing tools). The basing you’ll be familiar with from your own work but again it’s all about telling the story of who they are and where they’re working (obviously nowhere nice, one has a rat on his base, another some poor sod’s skull).

      Metal miniatures are definitely more challenging to convert than plastics (although the base models for these were metal). When I started out I used metals a lot because they made up a bigger proportion of the available models then than they do now. To begin with it was purely a case of not being able to get the models I wanted that drove me to learn to convert. Back then GW put lots of rules and background into their books for units that didn’t exist yet but which they planned to do someday. Some of them they made in the end, others they never did (these days, because other companies got in on the act by selling their own versions of these models, GW generally avoid this, no point putting in the work and having someone else reap the profits). If you thought something sounded cool but they didn’t make a model for it then you had to find a way to make it for yourself. I was also a skint student (and then an unemployed graduate) and so I generally had to make do with what I could get my hands on, rather than being able to afford whatever I felt like. So if there was something I wanted but couldn’t afford, and something else I could afford but which wasn’t what I wanted (often things mates ended up with as leftovers from their own projects) then the simple solution was to take what you could afford and convert it into the thing you wanted. Like I say, back then a lot of what I made was pretty rough, but I thought it was amazing at the time and I learned from it. Nowadays its more about putting my own stamp on a model, I’ll never paint a stock miniature as well as someone from ‘eavy Metal or a Golden Daemon winner but I’ll paint my model my way and, like we said the other day, the end result will be uniquely mine.

      • theimperfectmodeller

        Nice bit of background. Some of it I can relate to directly in my diorama work. Sometimes I have a great idea but cannot find the bits I need and another time I have the bits I need but cannot see how to achieve the idea that is in my head. Necessity being the mother of all invention means whatver the situation I find myself in if I leave it long enough a solution usually comes to mind (like making my own trees for example). Like you too some of my earlier work leaves a lot to be desired when I look back at it but it was key, and still is, to future development so they remain to this day how they were finished at the time. Over the years I feel I have learnt a lot but when I look forward there is still so much to learn from other aspects of the hobby which just goes to highlight how wonderful it all is. 🤗

  • Mikko

    Wow! Those are some spot on conversions, I thought they were original GW pieces, so it’s safe to say you’ve nailed the aesthetic. Really like the painting too, might be time to give Contrasts a go…

    • Wudugast

      Thank you – that is the ultimate compliment for a convertor 😀

      Contrast paints are interesting, I’ve not found that the “Contrast style” really suits me (that is to say, using them the way GW suggests and that they were designed for – it produces some great looking results but it’s just not how I paint and the habits of decades are hard to shake). On the other hand I think they’re a useful tool all the same, there’s lots of different techniques which they may not have been designed for but where they work perfectly (a bit like converting models now I think about it).

      • Mikko

        Any tips on how to use them? I’m thinking of buying some just to expand my range of techniques, and all tips are much appreciated. As someone who mostly paints over a black undercoat, that’s probably what I’ll need to change first 😀

      • Wudugast

        I’ve got the same trouble, I only work over a black undercoat (I’ve tried working over white many times and it just doesn’t suit me) so standard use of Contrast is out unless I can overcome that hurdle. However I’ve still found them to be really handy for other things.

        Something else to keep in mind with Contrast, which is counter-intuitive to those of us who’re used to painting in the old fashioned way, is that darker colours go on last, not first. Normally I would paint the darkest colour then highlight up but because Contrast is slightly transparent once you have the dark colour down the colours above will be muted by it, or drowned out entirely. So with Contrast start light and shade down.

        It also works best on gnarly surfaces (it was absolutely made for Nurgle). The flatter and smoother the surface the less well Contrast works (think of it like a wash in that regard – if a wash would work on a surface Contrast probably will too – and vice versa). They struggle on things like tanks but work like a dream on highly textured areas.

        The key thing with Contrast is that it’s slightly transparent, hence why it works over pale colours and not over dark. That doesn’t have to mean working over white though, you can get some amazing looking coloured metallics by putting contrast over metal. Similarly I used orange Contrast over Jokaero Orange for the overalls above. I’ve also found that Snakebite Leather over metal makes instant dirty gold (surely a gift to Black Legion fans everywhere!). Gold has always been a bit of a struggle for me so this is a real joy to discover 😀 Likewise Aethermatic Blue and Plaguebearer Flesh make for quite nice oxidation effects, I prefer them to Nihilakh Oxide which I tend to find too stark (on my own stuff – other people seem to use it perfectly well but it just doesn’t look right when I do it).

        I’ve also found Contrast makes for really nice stripy fur. Paint the fur area with Wraithbone and give it a wash with Agrax Earthshade (because if I’ve gone 10 minutes without using that stuff I start to get twitchy!). Then paint in stripes using Contrast, it’s just the right consistency straight out of the pot and because it highlights itself you’re pretty much done – give it a quick drybrush and you’re sorted.

        Worth taking a look at Azazel’s Bits Box as well, he did a lot of Contrast experiments, some very useful ideas and information there.

        Like I say, I’m not likely to become a convert to the “Contrast method” of painting but they’re still a really useful tool to have available, so I’d certainly recommend getting a few and playing with them. 🙂

      • Mikko

        Thanks for the detailed write-up, this’ll help me to no end! Once I actually get something painted, I’ll be sure to post the results.

      • Wudugast

        Looking forward to seeing how you get on, if you discover anything useful I’m all ears 🙂

  • Alex

    Brilliant mate – absolutely nailed it!

  • imperialrebelork

    Haha LOVE this. It’s so quirky but genius. I’ll have to check CP Minis out. Very nice work and good job on the orange. Ahh The Chapel was so much fun to be involved in. We need another joint “thing” like that I reckon. Even if it’s just world building from opposite sides of the world. Hehe.

    • Wudugast

      Thanks man! CP miniatures are generally good, I’ve had the odd piece from them that was a bit wonky but mostly I’ve been happy (and their prices are low enough that I’ve got no complaints!). Yeah, I’ve had a bit of Chapel nostalgia lately myself, I’m sure I could be talked into another long-distance collaboration (not that I need any more projects on my desk – or you need to be distracted from painting those Zulus!). Life kind of knocked the stuffing out of my Chapel warband and I never got it finished, with retrospect I think I pushed my skills a lot and although I learned a hell of a lot by working on it some of the results weren’t quite what they could be. Still I must dig out old Inquisitor Morix (and his skellie-bird – and the tree) and get them finished, I owe it to myself. Another project for lockdown perhaps…

  • heresyofus

    These dudes are great and I’m glad the servo drone found a place. It’s really cool seeing the original models before you add your own spice to them. Good work!

    • Wudugast

      Cheers dude! Yeah I’m glad the servo-drone found a home at last, it’s a funny little piece but I reckon it fits in nicely bobbing around the underhive with these lads. 🙂

  • Pete S/ SP

    Those are great- the headswaps really transport the minis into the 40k setting from a historical one. I feel a sudden need for similar figures too now.



    • Wudugast

      Thank you! Go for it, I’m becoming convinced that making civilians is one of the great undiscovered joys of this hobby. They’re loads of fun to do and really help sell the idea of hive cities as crowded places in which the gangs and other fighters are just a small part.

      • Pete S/ SP

        I can really agree with that. I was planning to use the old space lords range myself and possibly some Colony 87 too if I’m feeling flush. Although your conversions show another way.



  • Argentbadger

    Fantastic! They all really look the part and I doubt that I would have been able to tell which parts were ‘original’ without your saying so. The last one with the candles looks a bit top heavy but maybe that’s more due to the lean body type.

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! Aye, he’s a little bit impractical (no low doorways or flammable ceilings for him!) but impractical is the 41st Millennium’s watchword. I did worry about the heads being a little bit too big for the bodies (although without the hoods and gasmasks they wouldn’t be – doesn’t stop the eye interpreting it that way though) but in the end I reckoned they’re just about ok.

  • Azazel

    Great work on these models. I had no idea that the trio of workmen were conversions until you pointed it out, though the first one looks like me dressed for a trip to the supermarket these days. The servitor drone is pretty sweet as well – the metallics on it manage to look very realistic, especially on the rear dome.

    • Wudugast

      Aye, same round here – they’re probably just three blokes who’ve popped out for the groceries. Not doing too well with the social distancing in the final group shot there though are they! :-p
      Glad you like them, not recognising them as conversions is surely the greatest compliment a convertor can receive 🙂

Speak, damn you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: