I haven’t tackled any of the larger Warcry buildings in quite some time and I’d really like to get the full set completed so it’s time for another big old ramshackle ruin. As usual with these there’s not a whole lot more needs to be said, the size of these things always makes them a bit intimidating but otherwise it’s a fine chance to just let my hair down and go mad making a mess with washes and drybrushing.
With that done I’ve got one more big ruin and a bunch of rubble and barricades to finish the starter set, then I’ll have a think about what other things I can add to the chaotic landscape of the Eightpoints.
I reckon my mutie tribe could really use a bit of muscle, after all swarms of little gribbly dudes are all very well but mutants come in all shapes and sizes. Time for a big ugly to join up with the little uglies!
This chap comes from Mad Puppet Miniatures, who’s line of post-apocalyptic models would generally fit in well in Necromunda. Being mostly lumpen flesh his face tends to get a little lost against the background of the hump and although I did try to highlight the face up a little it hasn’t entirely worked enough to make it stand out in photographs. However as I write this it occurs to me that adding a red or purple wash to the hump might be a fine solution so I may well return to him at a later stage and try that out. Alternative suggestions are more than welcome however. For now though I’m calling him done. Oh and for those eagle-eyed readers currently peering at the pictures, he is indeed carrying a teddy bear.
He’s not ridiculously massive in comparison to the other mutants, just big enough to add a variety of sizes to the group.
As I mentioned a couple of days ago I’ve got a few more mutants knocking around which I’ll be adding to the gang at some point, as usual “watch this space”.
Time to return to the very dankest depths of the Underhive today as we go in search of those most downtrodden of all Imperial residents – the foul and degenerate and/or unjustly maligned muties. As with the previous sets these were all based on the goblins from Games Workshop’s Lord of the Rings range, with the addition of various odds and ends from the bits box and a little bit of greenstuff. I didn’t go into any of these with a set plan, I just dug around in the leftover bits I had available and saw what I could come up with. Before we begin here’s a reminder, for anyone unfamiliar with the stock LotR goblins kit, what it was that I was working with.
And here’s the latest additions.
And here’s the three new recruits together.
With these three complete the mutie tribe is finally starting to look the way I want it to, a disparate clan of mismatched little monsters, individually weak but swarming from the shadows to prey upon the unwary (as usual just click on the picture to see a bigger version).
Needless to say this won’t be the last time we see these, I’ve still got a few more Goblin Town residents waiting for me to decide what to turn them into – and then there are a few more beasties that might well tie into this project nicely. Watch this space!
For a while I’ve been kicking around the idea of making some chaos chosen for Age of Sigmar/WHFB/Warcry (the latter winning out when it came to deciding what shape of base to use!). I like the idea of chosen but the current miniatures are a funny-looking bunch, not bad all-in-all, but not half as good as I remember them being from my youth either, and certainly not worth the hefty price-tag that comes with them. I’ve tried out a few ideas over the last few months and finally found something I’m fairly happy with.
He’s not a direct attempt to copy the official chosen champion but I do rather like that model so there’s a few references in there, particularly the mutated hand and arm (swiped from a very, very old, ill-conceived and horribly painted conversions, which even when I first made it – well over a decade ago, I knew was probably only fit for the bin). Here’s the official chosen champion from Games Workshop for reference.
Without any official chosen to hand it’s hard to be sure but if I recall correctly, they don’t look all that big these days. Not something that this guy can be accused of, he looks suitably imposing next to a normal chaos warrior (one who’s yet to catch the eye of the gods).
For reference his legs are from a stormcast eternals liberator, his head and axe are from the chaos knights, his torso the Khorne bloodwarriors, his shoulderpads from the bloodcrushers and his mutated arm from the chaos space marines possessed. The hideous mould-line down his arm, which I’m sure you all spotted and were repelled and disgusted by, will be dealt with ASAP (now that I’ve stopped being blind to it and it’s become glaringly and horribly obvious).
It’s been ages since I last painted a chaos marine (in fact, looking back at the archives proves it to be almost exactly a year) – high time I cracked on and painted another one. This time it’s the turn of a chap so enthusiastic about burning his enemies with his flamer he’s been warped by Tzeentchian flame himself. These are the perils of life within the Eye of Terror!
I’ve got a couple more sitting on the painting desk and finishing them would round out a squad of ten, hopefully it won’t be another year before I get around to them!
The eternal mystery of just who ate all the pies (the burgers and the fries) has been solved – it was these fat bastards. They also ate the pie salesman, his pie stall and the car he drove up in. Yes, it’s true – filled with enthusiasm for my ogre project I cracked on and painted up the leadbelcher, the one who brings a cannon to the knife-fights of Warcry.
I made one slight tweak to the stock model, adding a cannon wheel to the gun to make it look even more like he’s just picked the thing up (to the horror of the poor humans or dwarves who’d been crewing it and thought they were safely behind the lines). From some angles it covers up his pretty face but that’s a sacrifice I can make!
Of course the ogre army has never been just about the fat boys, someone needs to do all the work that the ogres are too big or lazy to bother with, not to mention providing a handy meal if times get tough. This role goes to the gnoblars, little greenskins related to goblins who live symbiotically with the ogres, doing the menial tasks so that the big guys can concentrate on eating and fighting, whilst being protected from danger by their bulky, aggressive masters (at least until said masters fancy a snack). Thus the final touch the warband required was a pair of the little dudes.
With these three additions the warband is complete – and turned around from start to finish in a week no less!
Here’s the whole crew, ready to get out there and pick a fight. I like to think that the gnoblar on the left is spoiling for a fight, backed up by his big pals, whilst the one on the right with his drooping ears and worried expression has a rather more pessimistic opinion of their chances!
I’ve enjoyed working on these a lot so I may well come back to them at some point, I have a few other ogres kicking around that I could use to make a full squad or two and I reckon it’d be quite fun to add a few Ironguts and see what they bring to the gang. Right now though I think I’ll turn my attention elsewhere and see what else is lurking on or around the painting desk and takes my fancy.
Every Warcry warband needs a leader and this is as true of my hungry boys as it is of anyone else. Thus the next step for my little gang of ogres was a crusher, that is to say the fat lad who bosses all the other fat lads around.
With him done the warband takes another (ground trembling) step towards completion.
With just three models to go (one of which – the leadbelcher – is already well underway, whilst the other two are just teeny-tiny gnoblars) I’m going to try to get the project wrapped up before the weekend, or by the start of next week at the latest.
After adding some more Orcs to my Ironjaws collection my attention has now turned to their hungry sidekicks the Ogres. I’ve always rather liked the Ogres, a mate of mine had an Ogre army many years ago for WHFB and I’ve always liked the look of the hulking great bruisers. However I’ve never done anything about it – until now that is.
Rather than bite off more than I can chew I decided to start my foray into all things Ogre with a manageable Warcry warband, which I intend to hammer through in short order. I’ve cooked up a list of; two gluttons, one crusher, one leadbelcher and two gnoblars. I’ve already painted up the two gluttons (or bulls as they used to be called back in the day) and I’d like if I can to knock out the rest within a week or so, rather than getting overly bogged down. Being mostly large areas of flabby muscle these aren’t too tricky to paint so without wanting to rush I reckon I can turn them around quite quickly rather than ending up with another unfinished project sitting on the desk.
Nothing too crazy in terms of conversions here, I gave one of them a head from the mournfang riders set and the other a big metal jaw (from the orks) to help him chew through the toughest bones and armour. With these two done I’ll be moving on to the Crusher – the unit champion and leader of the warband. Then I’ll be on the home stretch with the leadbelcher and his two assistants/meals.
If you’re reading this, congratulations – you’ve survived as far as September 2020! (And yes, I will be reusing that joke for the Christmas round-up – assuming we all live that long…).
Last weekend saw, at long last, the release of House of Blades, the latest Necromunda expansion which focuses on the Queens of the Underhive, House Escher. Much earlier in the year the Goliaths enjoyed the release of their own book, House of Chains, and the Escher were intended to follow soon after – except of course that then we went and spoiled it all by saying something stupid like “Oh god, there’s a global pandemic on, we’re all fucked now!” Ever since we Necromunda fans have been waiting *cough* patiently for the girls to arrive and thankfully now they’re here and we can see in the apocalypse with two house-specific expansions clutched in our paws. Who knows, we may be lucky enough to be able to buy the Orlock book, House of Iron, before the asteroid hits and stops our civilisation in its tracks. Fans of the other three houses must face the day of reckoning with bitter hearts and unfulfilled expectations, or pray for a slightly less bumpy time in 2021.
Anyway, having spent the last few days pouring over House of Blades my head is suddenly full of thoughts and I’m damned if I’m missing out on the opportunity to share them!
The format and content of the “House of…” series becomes a little clearer with this release. We, the fans, already knew that each of the six major houses of Necromunda (Goliath, Escher, Orlock, Van Saar, Cawdor and Delaque) would be getting a book dedicated to them but until now we could only categorically say that we knew what House of Chains looked like, because it was the only book to have been released. Now that we’ve got House of Blades as well we can start making some assumptions about just what will be included in the future books; a ton of new background, an expanded gang roster, new gang specific hangers on, tactics, scenarios, timeline, house agents and allies.
Every Necromunda book released since the game’s relaunch has contained a number of new special characters and House of Blades is no different. Yet whilst House of Chains contained six, House of Blades has only three. Now it’s worth noting that one of the House of Chains personalities, “Sparky” is an ogryn so the Goliaths only get five new heroes (and one of those is a gigantic crocodile). What’s more the Escher already have a bounty hunter available exclusively to their house, the Death Maiden Kria the Huntress.
In addition to her we have Belladonna, an ex-Escher turned (briefly) noble-bride turned underhive assassin on a quest for vengeance (think Kill Bill but with bigger hair and no bright yellow jumpsuit), and Yolanda Skorn (another ex-Escher turned gun for hire) whilst the Goliaths have only Krotos Hark, treated as an outsider to his house after being born intelligent. On the other hand all of these latter characters will work for any house, which leaves the Goliaths with five characters unique to them, and the Eschers with four.
Now many of you may be thinking “so what” and I don’t really disagree. The situation regarding the dramatis personae of Necromunda seems a little odd to me at the moment. For one thing there are a hell of a lot of them. We now have rules for 49 different special characters, although only models for 21. Games Workshop have noted that they intend to create models for all of them “at some point” although so far they seem more enthusiastic about coming up with even more of them. Two more special character models were announced back in March – the Cawdor Rattus Tatterskin and the Enforcer Scrutinator-Primus Servalen. Neither of these are on my list of 49 given above, and if each of the “House of…” books contains only a further three dramatis personae we could easily be looking at more than 60 special characters. I don’t think this is a bad thing, far from it, although given the price Forge World tend to charge it could be quite an expensive thing. However unless they up the rate at which they release special characters a lot the supply of new models will never catch up with the rate at which they’re coming up with new ideas. On the one hand I don’t want them to stop turning out new characters because they’ve got a lot of interesting ideas but on the other hand there are a lot of cool concepts already out there in books which I’d love to see models for. Yes, I could convert my own and I already have made models for some of them (it’s a lot of fun and a hell of a lot cheaper than paying Forge World prices) but there are some that I’d love to see given official miniatures – Jorth Slither and the Catallus twins for instance (which would also be a fine name for a band). Plus there are a lot of other things I’d like to see models for – nobles, criminals and guilders for instance.
Something I’d like to see more of is dramatis personae being used to demonstrate the range of possibilities within each house. In House of Chains for instance we have Old Three-eyes (the mother of all sumcrocs), Ajex Gorgoth (one of the most powerful Goliath alphas on the planet), Attilus the Axe (a champion pit fighter), Tess Arc-Up (a particularly wild prospect) and Djangar Gunfists (the former head of the house now roaming the wastes with no memories and a knack for spectacular violence). Now there’s none of the above that I particularly dislike, that I wouldn’t try to convert a model for and wouldn’t take an interest in an official miniature were one to be released and not outwith my budget. Every one of them brings something to the house and tells us something about the planet of Necromunda and its mightiest sons.
I could be harsh and say that Tess (see my kitbash above) is basically just a rambunctious juve and Attilus is an angry dude with a saw for an arm but they do expand the character of the range all the same. I’ve already converted my own Tess and I’ve got plans to make Attilus and Djangar as well. However, in some ways I can’t help but feel that they could be doing more with these characters and using them to expand the idea of what it means to be a Goliath even further.
For example, so far the only female Goliaths we’ve seen have been prospects, that is to say youngsters. We’ve also seen models for male prospects. Both sexes have been smaller and lighter than the muscular giants that make up the rest of the gang. A fully grown Goliath lady would have been interesting to see, perhaps strutting her stuff in a massive suit of handmade armour much like Ajex Gorgoth.
Another possibility that immediately appealed to me, was the Goliaths of Gothrul’s Needle. For those who’ve not been glued to every development in Necromunda over the last couple of years Gothrul’s Needle is home to one of the most dangerous forms of sedition known to the Imperium, having fallen under the sway of something they call “democracy” and broken away from the rest of the planet. Obviously this isn’t something which Lord Helmawr, the Imperial Governor, is terribly impressed about, and considerable effort is being brought to bear to bring the renegade hive back into line, all whilst pretending to the wider Imperium that House Helmawr retains absolute control over their domains and would never be so weak as to allow one of their holdings to slip the leash. In defence of their independence the Council of Gothrul’s Needle have recruited the local Goliaths, offering them wonderful things such as advanced weapons and armour, proper medical care and even education. Here we see the Goliaths as they could be, not brutish tech-barbarians but the superhumans they have the potential to be, yet which they are never allowed to become elsewhere on the poisoned world. A Goliath hailing from the Needle, sent abroad to carry out some mission or other, would make for an amazing miniature and a chance to look at a very different side of a house normally associated with boneheaded violence and not much else.
Likewise the three new characters in House of Blades are all interesting in and of themselves, there’s none that I dislike or would want rid of. We have Betti Banshee – a woman with a sonic scream instead of a throat, Necrana – oldest and most terrible of the Death Maidens, and Cyniss, a mistress of poisons and close confidant of the Matriarch Primus herself. Again however there was the potential to really push the boat out here.
The story of House Escher begins even before the coming of the Imperium, when three sisters – known collectively as the Blades – carved out a legacy for themselves beneath the gaze of the ancient Iron Lords who ruled the planet. When Imperial warships filled the sky and space marines poured onto the surface the Blades sought to ensure their endurance into this new age, hiding banks of clones scattered across the world. When one sister died a clone would arrive to replace her, stepping into her life and continuing her legend – until she too died and was replaced by another. This situation would remain for the next three millennia before the sisters combined their bloodlines to form a new house, swearing allegiance to the House of Helm’ayr and destroying their old clone banks forever. Except of course nobody really believes they destroyed all of them do they? Indeed a timeline entry even refers to a lost clone vault being found and activated in M38, leading inevitably to bloody mayhem. Surely a mysterious and powerful character, who steps from the shadows to aid the cause of the Eschers in their time of need then vanishes into the shadows of the Underhive from whence she came, and might – just might – be one of the lost clones, would be a fantastic special character? Especially as there would be plenty of Eschers keen to cut her up, take a look at her DNA and find out if she contains something to keep their menfolk from dying – and others who would see her as a natural replacement for the current Matriarch Primus – for good or ill.
Or, as another possibility, how about an Eschaki chem-soldier, specifically a male one? Again, for those who’re willing to indulge me as I enthuse about the new background, before they were the Escher the house was known as House Eschaki. Given to tinkering around with their own DNA, consuming chems and pushing the boundaries of science even further than the modern Escher, the Eschaki eventually screwed up and developed the so-called Flesh Curse, which lead their entire male line to be born weak, stupid and sickly – female readers may be thinking that some things never change – on those rare occasions that male children were born at all. In the end the women of the house gave up on the male line altogether and rebuilt their clan under the new name Escher (although they have made several spirited attempts to recreate a male bloodline – most notably the so-called “Project Goliath”…). Whilst they lived however the Eschaki fielded all kinds of “combat-drug fuelled murder squads, ash-dancer assassins and genehanced berserkers”. It might be sensible to assume that the Eschaki are now safely extinct but as recently as the latter part of the 40th Millennium a colony of Eschaki chem-warriors was found, only to flee into the wastes and vanish. Whenever there’s discussion of the Escher online there’s always someone who pops up and asks why they can’t have male Escher (because everyone knows you can’t have something nice for the girls without the boys muscling in and demanding to be included too). Now I’m going to stick my head above the parapet and say that I don’t want to see male Escher any more than I want weedy Goliaths, healthy Van Saar, agnostic Cawdor or Space Marines who find this whole purging business a bit tiring and would rather stay at home and read. However wouldn’t an Eschaki chem-warrior (with appropriate mystery and hand-waving over the details of his background) make for a very interesting special character and a chance to give whoever wants boy-Escher a boy-Escher without actually changing things so radically that we now all have to have boy-Escher?
Anyway, moving on before I wear the patience of my audience any thinner than I probably have already, another thing I wanted to talk about was the models that Forge World have released, or will release, in conjunction with these books. When House of Chains was released Forge World accompanied it by bringing out the Goliath ‘Zerker (a brute unique to House Goliath) and the Slavers Guild – the merchant’s guild with the closest ties to the house of musclemen.
With the arrival of House of Blades I must admit my fingers were tightly crossed that we’d see the Khimerix (the Escher’s unique brute – think of a Chaos Spawn which has somehow become fabulous) and their favoured guild allies, the Water Guild. Instead there’s been no sign, and instead we’re looking at new Escher champions (see below) – which are nice enough but nothing to write home about and could easily have been accommodated with an upgrade set or two of new heads and weapons. This is frankly slightly galling when you consider all of the aforementioned bounty hunters that we’re yet to see, plus guilder allies, criminals, hangers on, etc etc.
Anyway, I suspect I’ve probably worn this topic thin so let’s move on, because there are a few other developments I’d like to give a little more attention to. For one thing we have another new gang in town in the form of the slave ogryns (or as they should be called the Free Ogryns – because these boys aren’t going to be anyone’s slaves anymore!). First revealed alongside House of Chains back at the start of the year they’ve only lumbered into our homes now, their mighty muscles proving no defence against the global havoc caused by C-19. So far I’ve only had the time to build one of them, kitbashing him slightly with a head from the Imperial Guard ogryn kit.
Of course this is a fine chance for some size comparison photos, so here he is next to some more normally-proportioned underhive residents.
Not all the Goliaths look weedy next to him however, this Stimmer for instance actually comes across as pretty imposing.
And he doesn’t look quite as big as this partly painted Ambot.
Interestingly there are six ogryns in a set, and all six houses can take an ogryn as part of their gang. Part of me is already tempted to pick up another kit (not a cheap investment mind you) and make a themed ogryn for each of my gangs. The Escher one would be especially interesting, resplendent in brightly coloured armour and leopard-skin pants, but picture the possibilities – the masked and scrap-armoured Cawdor version like a shambling candelabra, the high-tech Van Saar version, the terribly un-stealthy Delaque version (with bionic eyes of course!). Of course then I’d need to cook up a Corpse-Grinder and Genestealer Cult version. At least I already have a Chaos Helots version already made…
Anyway, there’s one final thing to discuss before I realise that I’ve entirely outstayed my welcome and that’s the new Orlocks. Frankly I don’t have a lot to say about them apart from how downright amazing they are! Take a look at these very good dogs for instance (but keep in mind that if they bring you your slippers they might still have someone else’s foot inside)…
And I’m also very fond of the chap with the servo-arms and the big hammer, and seeing female miniatures for the House of Iron is long overdue. I reckon this gentleman, the only Orlock I’ve painted so far, won’t be on his own for long!
I often find myself thinking about writing Necromunda themed editorials so I’ll probably make this into an occasional series (hence the “part 1” in the title). In the meantime I’m off to think about all the new Eschers I want to build. If you have any thoughts you can confidently say you’re not an Ogryn, and if you want to share them the comment’s box is all yours.
Roight! How about some more of dem orcs eh! After painting my first dwarf in years I naturally had to balance the scales by with a couple of the big green lads. First of all here’s a brute boss with a suitably wicked looking jagged claw.
These orcs will be joining my Warcry warband which already has a perfectly suitable leader in the form of “not Gurzag Ironskull”, my personalised version of the Orc boss from Warhammer Underworlds (and if you need a reminder of how he looks here he is!)
That said I’m all in favour of having plenty of options so an alternative boss seemed like a good move. Inevitably I’ll now have to paint an even bigger and badder orc to keep the two of them in line, otherwise they’ll be sure to turn on one another in a brutal battle for dominance. In the meantime however, here’s all the brutes I’ve painted so far.
Speaking of options I also thought that an ‘ardboy with a shield would make for a nice addition to the crew. I used to really like these models but they’re definitely showing their age now, especially in comparison to the far more detailed and textured Brutes. I still have a soft-spot for them though so I may well do a few more at some point.
That’s all the orcs for today but I’ve still got a hunger for the forces of destruction, I won’t eat up any more of your time by making a meal of things just now but expect to see another brutish warband lumbering over the horizon in the not-too-distant future…