Scum’s Thoughts – Part 4

Well ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to put on your favourite mask, set fire to your hat and say a prayer to the God Emperor – the Redemptionists are back in town and if you don’t look suitably devout they’re going to want to know why! I’ve been using this blog as a platform to bump my gums about the Redemptionists for a while so now we’ve had a good look at them, via Games Workshop’s latest round of previews – the appropriately titled “Faith and Damnation“, I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to talk about them some more!

Klovis the Redeemer Purge

I’ve previously discussed some of the controversy around the Redemptionists and frankly it’s something I’ve hashed out more than enough. Anyone who wants to can look back at the previous posts, today let’s concentrate on some models! 

Redemptionist 1

Now let’s not beat about the bush here, I think these are fantastic. Necromunda, not to put too fine a point on it, has always been a bit silly. Nowhere in the entirety of 40k, indeed in any of Games Workshop’s universes, do we see such depth devoted to a single setting. The “House of…” books have only built on this, adding layer upon layer of nuance and complexity, showing us in unrivalled detail the history of the world, it’s industries, societies, economy, even languages. If you want to take something in the Games Workshop stable seriously then this is it. However that shouldn’t distract us from the fact that it’s also unbelievably daft and OTT.

It would be easy to see the Redemptionists simply as grim, even scary; the worst excesses of religious fanaticism – already a scourge that has made a hell on earth out of countless real world societies – running amok in the overcrowded nightmare cities of the distant future. If I imagine myself living on Necromunda there’s no faction I think I’d like to meet less, with the possible exception of the Corpse Grinder Cults (and if you don’t know what kind of people they are – well, the clue is in the name…). The sinister, eyeless Delaque, the brutally authoritarian Enforcers, even the daemon worshipping Helot Cults, seem to me less frightening than the thought of the Redemptionists and their heretic pyres.

This is balanced out however by characters like Klovis the Redeemer (who appeared in the cartoon that opened this article). It’s easy to paint the Redemptionists as the worst of all men, but that is to overlook the bombastic, tragicomic, and – most importantly – satirical aspect of them. It’s hard to see a man who arms himself with a chainsaw almost as big as he is and then straps a flamethrower to it because it still isn’t deadly enough, then sets his hat on fire and goes out looking for a fight as anything other than a figure of ridicule. These models play that up with aplomb. The tall hoods and unsubtle nods to the KKK are out but who cares because these are still Redemptionists through and through.

Redemptionist 4

I think regular readers will already be well aware that I’m no fan of sculpted flame on models. It’s not a hard and fast rule, sometimes it’s appropriate and works well – although GW in my opinion have a tendency to overuse it. All too often however it just ends up looking static and lumpy. I did worry that they were going to apply the fire effects liberally here but it seems that common sense has prevailed, and the fiery effects have remained most concentrated around the flammable headgear department.

Redemptionist 3

Looking at these models it’s easy to get excited about them as Redemptionists and forget that they are also intended as an expansion to House Cawdor. Following the relaunch of Necromunda in 2017 (hard to believe it’s coming up for four years already!) each of the six major houses got a box of models with which to make up a gang. Starting in early 2020 each then received a second box of models, with which to add various house specific specialists. These new Redemptionists can either be added to a House Cawdor gang or used to form a standalone gang of their own. As a result the sculptors have had to walk a fine line – make them too different to Cawdor and they won’t fit in to an existing gang, make them too similar and they won’t stand out as something different if you decide to go it alone. As Redemptionists these are pretty much spot on, but as Cawdor they miss the mark in a number of crucial ways. Take the weapons for instance. The weapons wielded by House Cawdor all appear to have been cobbled together from scrap. The same men who think strapping bombs to rats is a wise idea use bones, candles and scavenged machinery to make flamethrowers. These chaps on the other hand wield weapons which might be utterly ridiculous but at least appear to have been professionally manufactured.

Redemptionist 6

Compare these newcomers to the Redemptionists of yesteryear and you’ll see that, despite the odd tweak here and there, these are much the same as the ever were. Indeed they have a lot more in common than their predecessors than some of the other gangs.

Redemptionists 3

However part of me does feel that we who follow House Cawdor might have been a little bit short-changed here. The Redemptionists may have had a long and close relationship with Cawdor but they are not the same thing – as the issue with the weapons described above serves to demonstrate. By keeping these models fairly close aesthetically to the Redemptionists of old they’ve had to make some sacrifices on the side of tying them into Cawdor. I always knew it was wishful thinking but wouldn’t it have been nice if Cawdor had enjoyed a new set of Champions/Prospects just like the other houses AND we’d got new Redemptionists at a later date as well. Is that greed? Ratskin fans would say we should be bloody grateful to have new models at all. 40k enthusiasts would argue that a faction without at least a dozen kits to its name is woefully underrepresented. At the end of the day we didn’t get a bolt-on to Cawdor like the other houses, we got (admittedly kickass) Redemptionists instead.

Anyway, this is a minor issue in the grand scheme of things. Hopefully the resources freed up by turning this release slot over to the Redemptionists will be reinvested in the setting and we’ll see another new faction added once the House of… series is concluded (something I intend to talk about in a future post). If that happens I’ll forgive them.

Redemptionist 2

Something that does have me curious however is the number of models we’ve been shown. Each Necromunda kit (and this is true of Blood Bowl also) follows the same format – two identical sprues are packaged together and each model can be built in one of two standard patterns (with the possibility of kitbashing available to the more adventurous hobbyist). Observe for example the Death Maidens and Wyld Runners kit for House Escher.

Escher Death-maidens and Wyld Runners

In this kit we see two Death Maidens, two crouching Wyld Runners, two Wyld Runners standing tall, two leaping Phelynx and two prowling Phelynx. The core of each model appears twice but by adding different arms, heads, weapons, and so on you end up with very different models – or at least models which are different enough to fool the eye. Sure enough the same trick is carried out with the Redemptionists as this handy image shows.

Redemptionist Group

You’ll notice that the two models to the right of the screen are based on a single core, as are the two in the centre and the two on the left. You’ll also notice that there are six of them. The Eschers I showed above also have six human models, plus four alien cats. Likewise the Orlocks have six human models… and two dogs. The Van Saar have six human models – four of whom are flying around on great big hoverboards. The Goliaths just have six models in their gang expansion – but two of those are the enormous Stimmers who tower over almost every other human in the game. The Enforcers also have just six human models in their gang-expansion, the Subjugators, but again these have above average bulk and are lugging around riot shields which eat up a lot of space on the sprue. My point is this – the basic gang box for each house manages to fit ten miniatures onto each pair of sprues. The gang expansions have only six human models per pair of sprues, plus various extras that fill out the remaining space. With the Redemptionists we’ve only seen six models, and none of them nearly as big and bulky as the Goliath Stimmers or Enforcer Subjugators. What’s taking up the missing sprue space?

My initial assumption was that with this reveal they’d shown us everything that’s coming in this kit, but part of me can’t help but look at these models and wonder if something has been obfuscated. After all there doesn’t seem to be sufficiently more weapons, heads and other gubbins on these models in comparison to the Orlocks or Van Saar to be using up the same amount of space as a dog or a couple of hoverboards. Maybe it’s wishful thinking but we’ve come this far and damn it, I’m going to think wishfully!

If you doubt that there’s more to come here I can’t blame you but – before you leave a comment to tell me I’m talking mince take a look at this, the very first teaser image which Games Workshop showed for this release just over a month ago.

Redemptionist Preview 1

Now look back at the group shot of the six Redemptionists previewed today. The book you’ll recognise as the one being clutched by the gang’s leader – but where, oh where is that skull from?

If you want to start a Redemptionist gang, rather than adding these to a Cawdor gang, then you’re starting off with only six miniatures – four less than any other gang gets in their core box (apart from Slave Ogryns and Subjegators but don’t split hairs – I’m probably boring people as it is!). Maybe the missing space – if it really exists out with my fevered speculation – is given over to more alternative heads and weapons so that, even if it means buying two sets of these models, you still have loads of options for outfitting a purely Redemptionist gang. Yeah, that sounds like reeeally wishful thinking to me too… More likely is an upgrade set from Forgeworld with alternative heads and weapons – and much as I would mutter about having to part with my hard-earned cash I’d be happy enough with that.

At the end of the day though as a fan of the Redemptionists I’m very happy with this kit. As a fan of House Cawdor I’m a little disappointed – I’d have liked to see more options coming our way, just as the other Houses have enjoyed. Then again Cawdor are the poorest House, and making do with the scrap others leave behind is in our nature. I’ve already kitbashed more Cawdor gangers than I have members of any other gang and I’m showing no signs of stopping – indeed once I’ve got them all painted up I won’t have a gang but a small army. Perhaps I don’t actually need another kit when I’ve managed to get so much mileage out of the one we already have?

Cawdor Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)

Anyway, it probably goes without saying that I’ll be painting my new Redemptionists in traditional red and starting a gang of them separate to my Cawdor. After all if the Cawdor were doing their job properly and purging all the heretics like they’re supposed to I wouldn’t need a Redemptionist crusade to come storming in and set everything on fire now would I?

All that will have to wait until we get our hands on the new models, and that won’t happen for a month or two yet I’d estimate. In the meantime maybe I ought to paint some more of my unfinished Cawdor…

I’ve tried to keep this post themed to Necromunda and focused on the forthcoming Redemptionists but before I go it’s worth giving a nod to some of the other things that were revealed in this preview. Needless to say it’s not just the thought of setting fire to the underhive that has me excited!  As a long time fan of the Orks the thought of seeing fresh recruits for da boyz has me very keen to get back to my greenskin army in earnest.

New Orc

In addition the new undead range, the Soulblight Gravelords, are absolutely gorgeous (for a given value of gorgeousness of course!) and as a fan of the Vampire Counts range of old I won’t deny I’m very interested in some of these. The old zombies kit was probably the worst thing in GW’s catalogue so seeing those replaced can’t come a moment too soon. The new version are a huge improvement and avoid the slightly gimmicky look of the  batch which come with Cursed City, every one of which is carrying the top of their grave around on their back.

Zombies

The new Blood (Dragon) Knights are also stunning models – although I suspect that when I see the price I’ll suddenly find myself feeling a lot less enthusiastic!

Blood Dragon

 It also gives me hope that some of the other old ranges – and here regular readers will know I’m thinking of the Skaven most prominently – will be given a similar treatment to the Vampire Counts and Night Goblins (or Soulblight Gravelords and Gloomspite Gits if you prefer) rather than being heavily reinvented for the Mortal Realms like the Dwarves or High Elves. Anyway, I’m going to sign off now before I get completely distracted from Necromunda and turn this into a broader discussion of the forthcoming releases in general. Suffice to say that, from my point of view, this is the most exciting preview we’ve had lately. As a fan of the Cawdor I’m a little disappointed but as a fan of the Redemptionists, the Orks and the Vampire Counts I’m a very happy chap indeed! Did anything in this preview take your fancy? Will you be joining me in purging the underhive of heretic filth or will you be taking a stand for law and order (even if only by Necromundan standards!)? Do you have any ideas where that mysterious skull might belong? As ever the comments box is all yours!


30 responses to “Scum’s Thoughts – Part 4

  • Alex

    Some cracking stuff in the new releases for sure – the blood knights are superb! I’m still digesting it all, but is that servo skull not from the new AdMech hq?

    • Wudugast

      I know right – I need those Blood Knights in my life (although apparently I also need money for other things too so I’ll be awaiting the price with some fear and trepidation!).

      Good suggestion about the skull but for one thing it doesn’t match the skull that’s on the new Skitarii Marshal (I love my Ad Mech almost as much as I love my Necromundan gangers so I’ve peered at both images more than is healthy!). The Ad Mech skull has a bionic eye, aerials and a very different looking cable, this other unknown skull has an almost organic looking eye, a crest of spikes, very little inbuilt augmetics and what appears to be a voxcaster hanging underneath. Plus it was shown in a Necromunda article alongside a preview that was otherwise exclusively about the Redemptionists. I’m trying not to get my hopes up but there’s definitely more to this than meets the eye!

  • Pete S/ SP

    Great breaakdown- I doubt I’ll be getting any of the Redemptionists but I’m sure I’ll be meeting then in the underhive when gaming restarts at the club.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

    • Wudugast

      Cheers! I know I’m a bit hooked on Necromunda, I’m yet to see a gang for it I’ve ended up buying. At least they’re cheap enough that you can do that – I’d need a few lottery wins under my belt before I imagined doing anything similar with 40k or AoS! Well, if you bump into these pyromaniacs in the underhive before I do you’ll have to let me know what they’re like to face, I have a feeling they might be a bit scary actually but maybe that’s just their reputation preceding them!

  • Kuribo

    Excellent write-up as always and while I would like to be excited about the Redemptionists, I think I like plain old Cawdor better. I’m not sure why but nothing about this new gang excites me in the way I expected. Those new knights do look fantastic and would be a great model to really slow down and focus on painting as well as I can… GW really doesn’t make it easy to keep up with all of their products, do they? There’s just too much great stuff 🙂

    • Wudugast

      Cheers! I kind of feel the same way about the Redemptionists, I’ll definitely paint up a set of them, and possibly a few extra models if they prove to be good for kitbashing, but I’ve already put together three sets of normal Cawdor and I’m tempted to get another… The Redemptionists are lovely but the Cawdor are just so versatile and full of character.

      I’m trying to be strict with myself at the moment when it comes to buying miniatures. I allow myself a free hand when it comes to Necromunda and I know I’ll be getting Cursed City but the backlog is big enough without piling more onto it otherwise. On the other hand all these vampires are speaking to me in a big way and recalling my love for the Vampire Counts of WHFB, and then there’s new Orks and they were my first 40k love… It’s going to be tough to resist…

      • Kuribo

        GW’s paint scheme on the Redemptionists is kind of bland and maybe that is why we’re not that impressed by them. That Warcry warband that’s based on fire also outclasses them in sculpt quality so I could see that leading to some ambivalence too. Three sets of Cawdors is really something, mate but I totally get why at the same time!

        I know the temptation you’re describing! I am resisting a similar urge. I’d love to see you get some vampire minis though 🙂 The Coven Throne is definitely a purchase I will be making soon myself!

  • theimperfectmodeller

    Although I’m no expert on GW I do like the idea that they seem to make a big deal out of promoting their new releases well in adavance. I guess this has its pros and cons but as a kid at heart I like the idea of getting excited for when they are actually released and saving my pocket money! Some cool looking figures for sure and I can see you getting your teeth into these beauties in the fullness of time. 🙂

    • Wudugast

      Yeah, I really like that they do this – it appeals to the kid in me too, there’s a bit of a build up because you know there’s a big reveal coming up, and they drop little hints about what they’re going to show, it’s like being a kid at Christmas. 🙂 Plus, from a more sensible and adult point of view, it lets me plan out my purchases and budget a bit. There’s pretty much nothing else that I’d buy on a whim, and especially given how much these kits cost and the time required to work on them it’s better to plan in advance (even if I don’t always manage to stick to it!). They used to be very tight lipped about what was coming up and then spring it on us as a surprise, often with only a few days to go before they went up for sale. The trouble with that is that a lot of the retailers that carry GW products sell them at a big discount when they first go on sale (usually in the week that they are available for pre-orders) and this discount get’s less afterwards – so if you know you’re going to want something someday then you’re saving money by buying it now. Then you end up buying things that look really exciting, only to discover there was something even better coming the following week and so you get that as well, and then there’s something else that you didn’t know was coming up and so on, until you end up with a heap of models and no time to paint them all. I can see the logic in it from a sale’s point of view but the way they do things now is more exciting for the fans and kinder on the wallet – and I suspect may lead to them retaining more fans in the long term rather than people building up stacks of unpainted models, getting burned out and going off to pursue other hobbies. If I cool off on a model between seeing it in a preview and being able to buy it I probably wasn’t going to paint it anytime soon anyway.

  • patmcf

    It must have been divine justice that I sneaked away from fu…g gardening to check the blog and listen to a few of IRO’s pod and see this one of yours ! I don’t paint flames so I never remember the order of the colours ( Why does this c..t of a machine tell me I’m spelling words incorrectly, I was the worst student at my school but even I know a few spell couple of words correctly! ) sorry ! but I think I have managed to get it right , let me know if improvements can be made,

    • Wudugast

      Man, don’t get me started on technology! I find spelling hard enough and the only reason I manage to write anything legible or intelligible at all is because of spellcheckers – so why do these machines start “remembering” my typos as if I’ve just invented new words and then throwing a fit when I correctly spell the name of a town or other place that the programmer who wrote it happened not to have heard of?! Anyway, rant over – and back to miniatures! 😀

      Yeah, I’m the same with flames, I tend to avoid painting them so when I do I always forget to start light in the middle and dark on the outside and end up having to start over. Done well they can look great but it’s so easy for a model to end up looking like its covered in lumpy orange worms because the sculptor’s ambitions were bigger than his skills.

  • Page

    As soon as I saw the Redemptionists portion of the preview I was torn between looking for additional bodies in other kits (Scions of the Flame, Cultists of the Abyss, etc.) and locating any metal Redemptionists/Cawdor models I may still have. In a sign of true hobby greatness I did a bit of each while trying to calculate hobby funds that may be available in the Q2 release window. After an hour or more I ended up with no real plans, locating no models and scribbling a few notes. Hoping for lots of excellent unpreviewed bits too I n the Redemptionists box. Maybe Forgeworld will release a trio of Cawdor female models in support of the House of Faith book? That would be a nice surprise even though a lack of previews indicates that’s unlikely.

    Exciting previews are as challenging if not more so than the disappointing ones. Don’t play AOS or fantasy but the vampire count models do carry on a great visual tradition from the old world. Looking forward to what you do with the new models you end up getting.

    • Wudugast

      Female Cawdor models would be really cool! To be honest when I first saw the Cawdor gang (in plastic) I assumed that some of them were women, they’re all so skinny and scrawny, their upper torsos are covered in those big cowls, they wear masks and shave their heads, and there’s not much else to go on at 28mm scale. They might well make them though. The Orlock women didn’t appear until well after House of Iron was released so there could well be some lady Cawdor hiding in the wings somewhere. We’ve seen the Water Guild, which I assume is the next Necromunda release from Forge World, but after that who knows?

      Yeah, disappointing previews – although they are by their very nature disappointing – are fine (after I get over the initial disappointment that is!). This one though if going to call for some significant budgeting, not to mention clearing at least some of the backlog so I don’t feel too guilty about shelling out.

      • Page

        I’m sure you’re right about female Cawdor models really kind of already being there if you can get the heads right. It would take a subtle and accurate conversion to really capture the intersection between gender and the Cawdor aesthetic. One that I’m probably not capable of.

        The one drawing in their gang war book and the brief mention of all female Cawdor gangs were very compelling concepts. Especially since they really don’t seem to run gender integrated gangs in general. Which seems really ironic to me given that visually the gang would basically be genderless. That, combined with what I suspect is less emphasis on birthing new members into the house versus recruiting them when they hit rock bottom or snatching them when young means they don’t really need female gangers. A couple of the new zombies look like they could serve as female Cawdor with a bit of conversion. Probably should go look closer at the Warcry miniatures as well…

      • Wudugast

        I’m curious to see what, if anything, they do with this actually. I can follow that the gangs themselves might be segregated but segregating the entire house seems like a tricky proposition. They’re supposed to be the most numerous house as well and although I’m sure they supplement their numbers by picking up hivers who’ve hit rock bottom and stealing kids from the orphanages, at the end of the day there’s a quicker and easier way to make lots and lots of new people! After all religious extremists on Earth have rarely baulked at sex for making babies – so long as the participants don’t admit to enjoying it too much. In my mind’s eye the majority of the house’s workers would devote themselves to prayer, poverty and obedience but not necessarily to chastity, but joining a gang would be akin to joining a religious order and at that point the sexes would be strictly segregated. We’ll have to wait and see if the GW writers agree with me though!

        Good shout on the zombies, I’d thought of using them for hive scum (and plague zombies of course) but yes, there are some which could be female Cawdor with a few tweaks. The zombies are fast becoming the kit I’m most excited about, some many possibilities!

  • Mikko

    Another great write-up, thanks! Digging the look of the Redemptionists, a nice balance between nostalgia and modernisation. And speaking of nostalgia, is it just me or is the zombie on the right a loving nod to the plastic Heroquest zombie?

    • Wudugast

      I knew there was something familiar about that zombie! Yes, there’s definitely something of a heroquest vibe there!

      I’m in full agreement on the Redemptionists, the more I look at them the more I like them (and I’ve come to much prefer them to something as straightforward as a plastic version of the old ones).

  • patmcf

    I think I managed ok on the torches, oh that’s interesting in regards to your spelling 🤔glad I’m not alone 😅😅😅

  • Faust

    Wow, that Blood Knight is striking! But I’m sure my allowance wouldn’t cover the down payment! 😉

    Hopefully the Vamps Blood Bowl team will use a similar look. Though it’s a sucky team to play, so unless they change the rules, it might be one I skip.

    • Wudugast

      Oh, a vampire team with that aesthetic would look awesome. Very possible too – these new models hark back to the old vampire counts of WHFB so I would expect the Blood Bowl vampires to be similar. Very curious to see what the next team to get a kit will be actually, Specialist Games seems to be on the back-burner at the moment as they try to stay on top of things with AoS and 40k. I can accept that and I’ve got plenty else to be painting but I hope they don’t forget about us for too long…

      • Faust

        Yea, it feels like it’s been a good while since we got a new team. I really hope they do one of the classic teams. It was okay to get a break with Snotlings, Black Orcs, and Imperials…but they need to finish up the popular classic teams first.

      • Wudugast

        I agree, I think there’s a lot of potential for new teams in the future and I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with, but really they ought to get new models out for those old teams first. I’m trying to think what all they still need to bring back from the old days? Vampires, Chaos Dwarfs, Amazons, High Elves, Norse, Tomb Kings, anything else? Would be cool to see them do unique models for the Underworld Denizens someday, I always think those guys must look different to the more wholesome, surface dwelling goblins and skaven. I imagine that won’t happen for a long while yet though, if it ever does. I wonder if they’ll hang fire on Vampires for a while too to encourage people to buy some of the new AoS vampires to kitbash into players.

      • Faust

        I think if they were going to retool Underworld, they would have done it by now. They had the perfect opp with the new roster and the release of the new box. Missed opp there for sure.

        I think that’s it for the teams that are left. Slann, but I’ve heard a big “nope” on that one, which is too bad.

      • Wudugast

        Yeah, I don’t think a redo of the Underworld’s team will happen any time soon but maybe in a few years, once they’ve cleared the backlog a bit. I’m curious to see how things play out for Blood Bowl for the rest of this year actually. I think I expected to see Black Orcs and Imperial Nobles released separately in the first quarter of the year and then new teams start appearing one per quarter after that, but as the release schedule has been thrown out so much by Covid/Brexit/apocalypse I guess we won’t see any new teams until late summer at the earliest.

        A Slaan team would be fun to see but I don’t envision it happening somehow. In the WHFB lore they’re very powerful so that would, I’d assume, have to translate somehow onto the Blood Bowl pitch. Maybe a Slaan star-player or something?

      • Faust

        It’s hard to say when they will throw out the boxed sets for Imperials and Black Orcs. There’s an upcoming Spike! With them, so that would be an ideal time. Then hopefully it’s Khemri or Norse! 😉

      • Wudugast

        Well what do you know, they’re up for pre-order next week! I dub thee Nostradamus!

        Aye, Khemri and/or Norse would be cool. I’d love to see what they’d do with the Norse nowadays and Khemri would be a good excuse to scratch that itch to paint some Tomb Kings that I get from time to time (but never act on because the models from WHFB are mostly both naff and – thanks to being discontinued – also expensive).

      • Faust

        I definitely don’t work for Games Workshop and deny any knowledge of leaked documents. Haha!

        It’s a bit of a weird update, almost like they are aiming for people who didn’t buy the boxed set, but want to get basically everything other than the board. Which I’m guessing is not an economical way to buy all that. GW and their marketing, will never understand that! Anyways, I am excited about the 7s and other rules. Not sure that I will pick up the board though, as I think I have 1 or 2 of them. The other stuff is probably a pass for me. The new dice tend to be hard to read, and though I like the colors of the Orc one, it looks like they would be even harder to read than most!

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