Category Archives: Blackstone Fortress

Blackstone Fortress: Traitor Commissar

Usually at this time of year I’m outside so long as there’s light in the sky (and often more than that) but with plague running rampant the world over, staying in and painting miniatures is the only meaningful thing I can do to fight back, so I’ve joined the ranks of those raising a middle finger to Grandfather Nurgle and locked myself indoors. With the world in lockdown I’ve been looking for things to keep me occupied and my eye fell once again on Blackstone Fortress. A while back I painted the renegade ogryn so I decided that my next target should be the traitor commissar, as between the two of them they open up the opportunity for us to tackle the Traitor Command expansion.

The first traitor guard model, perhaps even the first Blackstone fortress model, that I didn’t really like at first glance was the traitor commissar. His head looked a bit too large and that combined with his bolt pistol (always distinctly chunky on a human scale model) and power fist (again almost by definition outsized in comparison with the model wearing it) and his proportions start to look like they’re all over the place. For those readers unfamiliar with the stock model here’s a quick look at the studio version.

Studio Commissar

A very careful head swap later however, involving a very fiddly cut across the miniatures neck, and I was considerably happier. Rather than fight the odd proportions I tried to play up to them, creating the impression of a creature warped by chaos. Perhaps he’s no longer truly human, or perhaps he never was to begin with, looting the commissar’s coat he wears from a battlefield or casting off the glamour he wore to infiltrate the highest echelons of imperial command, and leading his regiment on a capering daemon dance into damnation. Alternatively perhaps he was simply lured into the embrace of the dark gods by the same strengths and weaknesses that corrupt all people. Commissars may be fiercely loyal, with absolute dedication to the Imperium stamped into the meat of their brains from a young age, but they are not entirely incorruptible. Even Primarchs fell.

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Finding myself with more time than usual on my hands I took the opportunity to dig out his big buddy to accompany him.

Traitor Commissar Blackstone Fortress Wudugast (4)

And here we have him, leading his troops into battle against the lackeys of the Corpse-Emperor.

Traitor Commissar Blackstone Fortress Wudugast (5)

In the 41st Millennium there are few baseline humans as “mighty” as a commissar so naturally I’ll be counting him towards the March Might and Magic challenge being run by Ann’s Immaterium. What’s more, whilst the lockdown continues we might even find the time to get some games in and see him unleashed against the unfortunate explorers delving into the depths of the Fortress. Speaking of games I’m more keen than even to try out Warcry (especially after seeing the Scions of the Flame revealed at the weekend – those do look rather nice!) so I’ll be focusing on getting the Iron Golems wrapped up ASAP.


Blackstone Fortress: Traitor Guard – Part 3

The march of the Blackstone Fortress traitor guard reaches its long awaited conclusion as the last of the baddies from the core box are finished. Last week I finished the first four of them, now the final three come tramping in to join them. Blackstone Fortress has been a project which has dominated 2019 for me so I was hoping to get them to this stage before the New Year. I’ve still got various models from the expansions and a number of alternative heroes to paint, but if we want to play a game we’ve now got everything we need without having to fall back on unpainted models or proxies. In the meantime however here’s the final two renegade soldiers…

Blackstone Fortress Traitor Guard Wudugast (4)Blackstone Fortress Traitor Guard Wudugast (5)Blackstone Fortress Traitor Guard Wudugast (6)Blackstone Fortress Traitor Guard Wudugast (7)

… and here’s their former sergeant, who now fancies himself as a (minor) champion of the Dark Gods!

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Here’s the whole second squad, ready to spring out of the shadows if any explorers wander their way.

Blackstone Fortress Traitor Guard Wudugast (3)

And, by way of a reminder, here’s the first squad which I completed last month.

Something I really like about these models is the ramshackle, mismatched look of them. Clearly, at one point in the past, they all wore a uniform, but as their decent into madness and treachery has proceeded they’ve found themselves scavenging more and more, patching up any gaps with whatever they can loot from the battlefield and hammering spikes to themselves in echo of their Chaos Marine masters. However, although each model in the squad is very much an individual the set contains two identical sets, without much in the way of wiggle-room to personalise them. However I really wanted to avoid ending up with both squads looking essentially the same so as far as possible I’ve tried to tweak each member of the second squad so that I ended up with one set built as per the instructions (because they are wonderful models after all) and one set converted. This wasn’t always possible, for some the paintjob alone had to do the work of differentiating them, but by tweaking enough of them I was able to create two fairly disparate looking bands of renegades. Here’s a set of comparison photos showing each pair, with the original  – built out of the box as it were – on the right and the second version on the left.

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Finally, here’s both squads, ready for action and starting to look like the beginning of a proper traitor guard army. At some stage I’d like to go back to my old traitor guard collection, do some tweaking and tidying up were required, and roll the whole lot into a horde of mortal scum to accompany my traitor marines.

Blackstone Fortress Traitor Guard Wudugast (1)

In the meantime however I’ve now painted all the baddies from the original Blackstone Fortress (plus the Ogryn from Traitor Command) so I’ll allow myself a quick pat on the back!

Blackstone Fortress Traitor Guard Wudugast (2)

In the New Year I’ll aim to crack on with the rest of the explorers, and of course with the various additional monsters, renegades, cultists and so-on which lurk in the corridors of the fortress. For now however I’m happy to call this a major milestone completed.


Blackstone Fortress: Traitor Guard – Part 2

The march of the traitor guard continues apace. I’ve almost completed all the baddies from the Blackstone Fortress box (not including the expansions) so my current focus is rounding out the final squad of traitor guard. The box contains two duplicate sets of guardsmen but as far as possible I’ve tried to make each one unique, rather than have too many sets of identical twins. These aren’t the easiest models to convert however so in a lot of cases the paintjob ended up taking the strain. When I’ve finished the squad I’ll try to show all the pairs so you can compare and decide for yourself how well I’ve managed. In the meantime here’s the first four members of the second squad.

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Only three more to go and the core of the Blackstone Fortress project will be done – all being well I’d like to get them finished before Christmas.


Blackstone Fortress: Traitor Guard – Part 1

Having painted up most of the baddies from the Blackstone Fortress, and enough of the heroes for a crew of adventurers, my attention has turned to the traitor guardsmen who make up a large part of the Chaos forces in the game. Until now we’ve been reliant on raiding my existing collection of traitor guard to represent these turncoats but the models from the Blackstone Fortress set really are impressive and I’ve been looking forward to getting to work on them properly. Each squad contains seven guardsmen and, with three already painted and shown previously, I decided to start by tackling four more to round out the first group.

First up, two guardsmen armed with the ubiquitous lasgun.

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Of course, when you really need to show that you mean business, and the dark gods are watching but need some light to see by, you can’t go wrong with a flamer.

Blackstone Fortress Traitor Guard Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Blackstone Fortress Traitor Guard Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)

Lastly we have the squad’s champion, this sergeant who has embraced his new creed with dark fervour.

Blackstone Fortress Traitor Guard Wudugast ConvertOrDie (7)Blackstone Fortress Traitor Guard Wudugast ConvertOrDie (8)

And there we have it, a whole squad ready for action and another step closer to getting the original Blackstone Fortress boxset completed.

Blackstone Fortress Traitor Guard Wudugast ConvertOrDie (9)

Working on these I’m struck, once again, by the degree to which they outshine the old loyalist Cadians. Looking at them, and the gorgeous new Sisters of Battle range, we can only hope that some new regiments will be emerging to fight in the Emperor’s name in the near-ish future. Of course, I’m also still hoping for a full lost-and-the-damned/traitor guard range at some stage too.


Blackstone Fortress: Gotfred de Montbard

It’s mid November, the nights are increasing cold and dark and the days aren’t much better. We’re reaching the time of year when staying indoors and playing Blackstone Fortress is very appealing. Time to get a wiggle on with painting the rest of the box then. Breaking myself in gently (on the grounds that batch painting traitor guardsmen isn’t that much of a break from batch painting orks) I decided to tackle one of the new heroes, the crusader Gotfred de Montbard.

Gotfred de Montbard Wudugast 40k (1)Gotfred de Montbard Wudugast 40k (2)Gotfred de Montbard Wudugast 40k (3)

He’s quite a strange looking character, clearly a knight but seen through the lens of the 41st Millennium, and that very oddness was one of the main things that attracted me to him. I’ll admit that I was also drawn to him in part because I thought he’d be fairly straightforward to paint, after all he’s mostly just armour and cloak right? Well, it turns out he’s not quite as simple as that, there’s enough to him to keep him interesting but not so much that I ran out of time and energy to make a start on those traitor guardsmen. Before I get back to working on them however here he is next to his new friends and colleagues who’ll be joining him in exploring the dark corridors of the fortress.

Gotfred de Montbard Wudugast 40k (4)

Not too shabby I reckon – heretics beware! Of course, now I need to bash on and actually paint said heretics…


Blackstone Fortress: Obsidius Mallex

With many of the rank-and-file Blackstone Fortress baddies now complete it’s time to turn my attention to the big boss himself; Obsidius Mallex. Lord of the Chaos forces present in the fortress and the architect behind their villainous schemes, Mallex is an imposing presence in the game. Even though we never encountered him when we played I think we were all faintly terrified that he might put in an appearance and wreak terrible havoc on our beleaguered band of explorers, who already had to contend with all of the other hostile creatures present and our often shaky grasp of the rules.

When it came to painting him I stalled for a little while trying to decide whether to go with the colour scheme of my Beasts of Ruin Chaos Marine army or paint him in the black and gold of the Black Legion. in the end, despite using the former scheme for the games’ other Chaos Space Marines, I decided that the latter option was the way to go. After all, I didn’t want him to represent just any old generic Chaos Lord (something for which the model is now also available) but Obsidius Mallex himself. To me he isn’t “just” a chaos lord in the same way that Janus Draik isn’t just a rogue trader. Plus I wanted to practice painting the Black Legion colour scheme before I tackled what remains for me the best miniature released this year, Abaddon the Despoiler. And anyway – just look at that face! There’s no denying he’s a son of Horus!

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As for why two of the Beasts would be fighting under the command of a Black Legion lord my reasoning is that my Beasts of Ruin are allied with Abaddon’s legion and some were fighting alongside Mallex when his ship was snatched from the triumph at the Cadian Gate and swallowed up by the Blackstone Fortress. I suspect that Chaos Marines often move from one warband to another in this way, and they would eventually adopt the Black Legion colours, unless of course they manage to rejoin their old warband in the meantime. At some point I’d like to paint a few more Black Legion marines to accompany Abaddon (when I finally pluck up the courage to tackle painting the true Warmaster himself!).

Chaos Lord Warhammer 40k Wudugast (1)

With Mallex done that’s the main cast of villains out of the way apart from the ranks of the traitor guard. Until now I’ve been content to leave these and draw upon the collection I’d already painted for my old Chaos army. Now however their moment has arrived so expect to see the dregs of the Great Eye putting in an appearance soon.


Blackstone Fortress: Rogue Psykers

Floating eerily over the battlefield the Rogue Psykers are another of my favourite models from the Blackstone fortress set. I was a big fan of Forge World’s Rogue Psyker, although perhaps foolishly I never saved up the money and bought one, and as a result was rather disappointed when it was removed from the range last year. For those who don’t know what I’m on about here’s a reminder.

Forgeworld Rogue Psyker

Thankfully he’s now back, although sadly without his tortured victim, joining the Necromunda range as Bounty Hunter Thaetos 23-2. My initial disappointment at the loss of the Forge World psyker however was very much ameliorated by the arrival of Blackstone Fortress and the two Rogue Psykers within, very much the spiritual successors of the aforementioned model, with the added advantages of being produced in a lighter and more flexible material.

Driven insane by the warp-spawned powers crowding their minds and at constant risk of being possessed by daemons, yet equally unwilling to be dragged away onto a Black Ship and used to keep the Emperor alive in a tortuous soul-flaying process, these two gents have instead offered their cruelty and megalomaniacal hatred of mankind to the chaos gods with predictably evil results.

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As I was painting them it struck me that one or other would make a fine witch for my nascent Necromunda chaos cult gang (the one that I’m painting at a downright glacial pace!) and, as a witch can be accompanied by a familiar, I dug around in the bits box for something suitable to accompany them into the Underhive. Given the amount of toxic industrial runoff in every body of water on the hive world a mutant fish seemed perfect – and even the most learned of the helots would struggle to recognise the sigil of the god trapping them ever further in damnation…

Something Fishy Wudugast (1)Something Fishy Wudugast (2)Blackstone Fortress Rogue Psyker Wudugast (3)

With these done it’s time to turn my attention to the biggest, baddest villain to haunt the halls of the Blackstone Fortress, Obsidius Mallex himself. Despite my long affiliation with Chaos and my deep and abiding respect for Abaddon (the true Warmaster) this is my first attempt at painting a member of the Black Legion so it’ll be interesting to see how I get on.