Category Archives: Necromunda

Looking Uphive – Necromunda Plans For 2020

This time last year I put together a post summing up where I stood with all of my Necromunda projects and laying out everything I had planned for the future. I found it to be quite a useful exercise so I decided to do it again this year – although whether it turns into an annual feature we’ll just have to wait and see.

Of all GW’s games and settings Necromunda remains the one with which I’m most engaged. 2019 was a fairly good year for the game, with lots of world building spread across a number of books. The first half of the year was relatively quiet for miniatures releases however, with the just the ambot and Kal Jerico (and Scabs) putting in an appearance. Things picked up in the second half of the year however with the arrival of two kinds of Enforcers, a ravenous cannibal cult and the three-dimensional zone-mortalis terrain that people had been complaining bitterly hadn’t been included in the original boxset (of course, they immediately started complaining about the price instead. Those of us who suggested, back in 2017, that a boxset stuffed to the gills with high-quality plastic terrain would be desperately expensive quietly congratulated ourselves on our Nostradamus-like powers of prediction…).

Based on what I understand (and I’m no industry insider) this deceleration in the release schedule in early 2019, followed by a subsequent acceleration later in the year, was very much to be expected. Based on what I understand, as with Blood Bowl a series of teams or gangs were commissioned at launch and their popularity would decide how much future support the game received. As both games seem to have gone down a storm it’s hopeful that Necromunda will follow Blood Bowl and receive regular updates throughout the coming year (and indeed years). Time for me to crack on and clear my backlog of unpainted stuff then so that I’m ready for whatever new things might emerge from  the Underhive gloom next.

The Irondogs (House Goliath)

My Goliath collection really found its feet in 2018 but 2019 wasn’t entirely without recruits, as four newcomersjoined the crew. At the moment I’m not rushing to add any more but I do have plenty of ideas, not to mention one or two models built but as yet unpainted, so I’d imagine they’ll continue to grow in dribs and drabs over the coming months.

The Ladykillers (House Escher)

After a relatively quiet 2018 the girls really arrived on the scene in style in 2019. From a mere handful at the start of the year we now have a veritable army of them. As with the Goliaths I’m not planning to add many more in the immediate future but I still have plans and I’d very much like to return to them when the opportunity arises.

The Tech-Hunters (House Van Saar)

This time last year I showed off the test model for this gang and I’m pleased to say I managed to rattle through the rest of the gang as well. It took me a while to get around to them but once I got started I fairly powered through them, even adding in an old Space Wolf model by accident. For now I’m fairly happy with how the gang stands so again I’m not planning to add anything new in the immediate future, but who knows what might happen later in the year.

The Cult of Ruin (Helot Cult)

The final gang to get a lot of attention last year was my Chaos cult. These helots were originally intended to be put together quite quickly out of models I already had in my collection, plus a few odds and ends that I was going to paint anyway such as the Rogue Psyker from Blackstone Fortress. Of course it didn’t quite work out like that but I got there in the end and I’m pleased with the results.

I’m not planning on expanding the gang this year per se but there are a few old cultist models in my collection which could use a repaint, and I’ll be working on the cultists from Blackstone Fortress: Escalation, any or all of which could easily find a second home in the gang.

Chaos Cultists

The Radwolves (House Orlock)

Enough about gangs I’m not planning to paint much of in the coming year and on to those I will be. I’ve had a lot of Orlocks sitting around for quite some time now but until recently I just couldn’t find a colour scheme I was terribly happy with. At last however I think I’m onto something.

Orlock Wudugast ConvertOrDie Necromunda (1)Orlock Wudugast ConvertOrDie Necromunda (2)Orlock Wudugast ConvertOrDie Necromunda (3)

Having tried out a number of other colour schemes I think I’ve settled on this dusty, dirty look – perfect for a battered road-warrior. All the tweaks and adjustments to his paint scheme mean he’s far from perfect but hopefully those which are painted following a consistent plan from start to finish will be better. Now I just need to crack on with the rest of the gang.

The Children of Whispers (House Delaque)

Next up it’s Billy Corgan (or possibly a Delaque ganger).

Delaque Necromunda Wudugast (1)Delaque Necromunda Wudugast (2)

As with the Orlock it took me a while to get the colours just right here, although I’m finally happy with what I came up with. From the get go I planned to paint my gang in a very stark, mono-chrome style, akin to this piece of artwork. Like a lot of others I was also very much inspired by the look of The Strangers from the film Dark City, with just a touch of the Observers from Fringe.

Delaque Art

However painting something in black and white is easier said than done and a great deal of fiddling around went on before I ended up with something I was happy with. Now I’m settled on something I’d like to crack on with the rest of the gang soon. Once again it probably won’t happen immediately (I think most of my Necromunda projects will be pushed back a bit whilst I get my teeth into Warcry) but I’d like to look at them properly in the near(-ish) future. In the meantime I’ve been quietly building more gangers in the background.

I’m pleased with this one, although the gap at his shoulder is bloody annoying. The blame probably lies with me more than the kit, but I’ll need to tidy it up before he’s ready for paint.

Delaque ConvertOrDie Necromunda Wudugast (1)Delaque ConvertOrDie Necromunda Wudugast (2)

Having started off with some fairly standard builds I tried experimenting with the Forge World head upgrade pack. Hooded Delaque are something of a new phenomenon in the Underhive but I rather like the way they look, somehow they’re even more sinister than usual.

Delaque ConvertOrDie Necromunda Wudugast (3)Delaque ConvertOrDie Necromunda Wudugast (4)

Like most people I tend to associate Delaque with sneaking around in dark corridors, cutting the lights, murdering their adversaries with silenced weapons, and planting false leads to pin the blame on everyone else. The thought of one carrying something as OTT as a heavy flamer calls for something a bit out of the ordinary, the kind of laughing madman the gang unleashes when they want to make a statement and they need everyone to know about it. And yes, that’s a Cawdor head, but being bald it fits the Delaque nicely.

Delaque ConvertOrDie Necromunda Wudugast (5)Delaque ConvertOrDie Necromunda Wudugast (6)

The Oathbones (House Cawdor)

The next Necromunda project I tackle is likely to be the devout men and women of House Cawdor. These are amongst my absolute favourites from the range and I’ve already started chipping away at them.

Unfortunately I don’t have any WIPs that are at a stage to show but have faith, plenty more are on their way!

Palanite Enforcers

A big part of the appeal of Necromunda (and Warcry, Blood Bowl and so) is the low price of admission to each new faction (Dark Uprising aside of course!). A new gang will set you back somewhere between £20 and £30, not much more than a single character in 40k or AoS these days, or the back rank in a WHFB horde. Thus when the long arm of the law stretched out towards the Underhive in August 2019 it was all too easy to sign myself up for some police brutality. So far my little patrol doesn’t even have a name, let alone any background, but they do have a single officer, modelling a colour scheme I’m happy with, so we’re off.

Enforcers Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)Enforcers Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)Enforcers Wudugast ConvertOrDie (4)Enforcers Wudugast ConvertOrDie (5)Enforcers Wudugast ConvertOrDie (6)

Thanks to the wonderfully model-packed but eye-wateringly expensive Dark Uprising box I’ve already recruited him some backup in the form of this sturdy Subjugator. I love the heavily armoured, bulky aesthetic of these guys, they look ready to weather a storm of bullets and wade into whatever the Underhive throws at them, batons swinging.

Subjugator Wudugast Necromunda (2)Subjugator Wudugast Necromunda (1)

Sizewise these aren’t much bigger than the regular enforcers but their bulkier armour adds a real sense of weight and presence to them.

Enforcers Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)

Meanwhile this one is armed with an assault ram, designed to knock doors down and follow up by firing a grenade into the breach, probably whilst the wielder yells “Freeze perp, show me your hands!”

Knock Knock (1)Knock Knock (2)

I’ve seen quite a number of people complain that, should the ram become bent or otherwise damaged (for example when being used to knock a door down) then the grenade could easily get jammed and explode prematurely, which might not be the best thing that could happen to the poor bloke who’s holding it at the time. It’s a fair point but I’ve never been entirely clear at exactly which point in this scenario Lord Helmawr starts giving a shit about the safety and well-being of his subjects. This is Necromunda, where the only plentiful resource available is human lives. Furthermore this is the 41st Millennium, where doing exactly what you are told without question or hesitation is the only law. If the people who look after the machines (the same people who think praying and waving incense around is a key part of the process) say that this is how you’re meant to use it then you’ll damn well use it that way. Should the God-Emperor decide that today is your day to die in an entirely preventable workplace accident then He must have had His reasons. Perhaps you were harbouring thought of sedition, or doubting the mechanism of the blessed machine with which you have been entrusted. And if the resultant explosion kills half your squad of highly trained officers and allows a cannibal cult to escape justice? Well let it suffice that He moves in mysterious ways…

 

The Lodge of the Carnivore King

The latest gang to join the grubby underworld of Necromunda are the Corpse Grinders, foul Khorne-worshipping barbarian cannibals. Honestly if you thought that I was going to be anything other than all over this then you don’t know me at all!

Again I’ve just started dipping my toe in here but it goes without saying that I’m excited by what I’ve seen so far. On the one hand these are great models in and of themselves, and a day which isn’t spent recruiting blood maddened cannibals into a cult of violence and depravity is a day wasted. More than that however it’s great to see some new ideas being introduced to Necromunda, without straying from the core of what makes the setting great. These feel instantly at home here, whilst at the same time introducing something fresh. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of all the concepts introduced in past editions – roll on the reinvention of Ratskins and Redemptionists – but this setting has so much more potential than simply aping the ’90s and waxing nostalgic over a past era.

Corpse Grinders Necromunda Wudugast (1)

Until I started putting them together I hadn’t realised quite how large these lads are. All that healthy eating is certainly helping them to grow big and strong!

Corpse Grinders Necromunda Wudugast (2)

Indeed there’s not much in it when the Skinners stand shoulder to shoulder with a Chaos Marine, handy for anyone thinking of kitbashing them, or using the heads and weapons to add alternative flourishes to World Eaters. The smaller Initiates meanwhile would make for fine cultists in a Khornate Chaos Marine army (after all, that’s essentially what they are).

Corpse Grinders Necromunda Wudugast CSM

Usually I love converting my gangers to make as many as possible unique to me. That said there are normally one or two in every gang that I just have to keep “as is” – they’re just too cool not to. Enter, this angry man…

Corpse Grinders Necromunda Wudugast (1)Corpse Grinders Necromunda Wudugast (2)

However, despite how nice the standard models are, one of the biggest draws for me is converting, kitbashing and personalising them. Looking through the equipment list in the Book of Ruin I spotted the Icon of the Corpse Grinders and knew that if my revolution was going to look like it meant business I was going to need one of those for starters!

Corpse Grinders Necromunda Wudugast (3)Corpse Grinders Necromunda Wudugast (4)

Knowing myself as I do I’m certain I’ll be chipping away at all of these over the coming months. My plan is to try to focus on Warcry for the next little while but the call of the Underhive has always been strong for me and I don’t imagine I’ll be able to resist any of these projects for long.


The Oathbones – Part 2

I’m still cracking on with the last of the Blackstone Fortress traitor guard and the final few Skaven for my WHFB army and my plan was to get those finished before tackling any more Necromunda. However Azazel of Azazel’s Bitz Box has declared his latest monthly challenge – it’s Destino December!

What does that mean exactly? Well, to quote the man himself;

Now December brings us Christmas, and so with both of these things in mind, I’ve decided to do something slightly different. It’s time to find a miniature (or a few) that you’ve really wanted to paint – or get finished. Now they could be a model you’ve had for decades and still not gotten around to painting. It could be a brand new release. It could be a model that’s been out for four years that you just finally picked up….

To paraphrase Marie Kondo, we’re looking for a model (or models) that “Spark Joy” when you see it/them.

When it comes to Necromunda models that “speak to me” the Cawdor gangers have to be at the top of the list. As soon as I saw them I knew I wanted to start a gang of them (unlike, say, the Van Saar or Orlocks, each of which took me a while to really “get”). They’re great straight out of the box, the various Forge World upgrades are fabulous and they’re a real joy to kitbash and convert – yet it’s been over a year and I’ve still only painted one of them. Here’s a reminder of how he looks (accompanied by the gang’s sheen bird).

Because I’ve been itching to get to work on them, because I thought I deserved a reward after completing my one hundred Ork boyz, because there were a few on the painting desk that were almost finished anyway, and because it’s Destino December, I decided to recruit a few brothers for him, ready to kick start a holy crusade to purge the Underhive of muties, heretics and sinners in the new year.

I quite like the way this one forms a triangular shape with his pointed hood and ramshackle hammer.

Cawdor ConvertOrDie Necromunda Wudugast (2)Cawdor ConvertOrDie Necromunda Wudugast (3)

This one was built straight out of the box (because they really are great without needing any kind of converting or kitbashing at all).

Cawdor ConvertOrDie Necromunda Wudugast (4)Cawdor ConvertOrDie Necromunda Wudugast (5)

This one was inspired by fellow blogger Imperial Rebel Ork and his bell cult, as well as the way in which Nighthaunt bits fit neatly into the Cawdor aesthetic. After all, what could be more Cawdor than calling the righteous to prayer by hitting a sinner with a big old bell?

Cawdor ConvertOrDie Necromunda Wudugast (6)Cawdor ConvertOrDie Necromunda Wudugast (7)

This chap found a piece of wood, surely one of the rarest materials it’s possible to imagine coming across on a planet like Necromunda. Rather than risk someone else stealing such a holy item he’s nailed it firmly to himself. You can’t be too careful after all!

Cawdor ConvertOrDie Necromunda Wudugast (8)Cawdor ConvertOrDie Necromunda Wudugast (9)Cawdor ConvertOrDie Necromunda Wudugast (10)Cawdor ConvertOrDie Necromunda Wudugast (11)

Finally, here we have the whole gang so far, ready to spread the word of the righteous!

Cawdor ConvertOrDie Necromunda Wudugast (1)

This is a gang that I’ve got literally dozens of ideas for (far more than you’d need to make a normal Necromunda gang) so expect to see a lot more of these in the future.


Muties – Part 2

It wouldn’t be the dark corners of the 41st Millennium without a few muties scurrying around, suffering deprivation, being oppressed, demanding rights and turning dark thoughts to the darker powers that lurk beyond the veil… Some of you may recall that back in April I finally got around to painting up some of my long-planned tribe of mutants, models which I converted over several years based on the Lord of the Rings Goblin models. Here’s a reminder of how they look.

Now at last we have three more, ready to join the tribe.

Mutants ConvertOrDie Wudugast Inq28 (4)Mutants ConvertOrDie Wudugast Inq28 (5)Mutants ConvertOrDie Wudugast Inq28 (6)Mutants ConvertOrDie Wudugast Inq28 15

This one is actually the very first one I made – alongside the chap in the death mask from the previous set – but in the mixed up world of miniatures I only got around to painting him now. He has however had a few tweaks since he was first built, mostly to take advantage of new components as they came along – with the poxwalker tentacle being the most obvious addition.

Mutants ConvertOrDie Wudugast Inq28 (8)Mutants ConvertOrDie Wudugast Inq28 (9)Mutants ConvertOrDie Wudugast Inq28 (14)

This one is one of my favourites from the whole group, a very simple conversion but there’s something chilling about him that makes me think of the worst excesses of research conducted unmonitored in crumbling asylums.

Mutants ConvertOrDie Wudugast Inq28 (10)Mutants ConvertOrDie Wudugast Inq28 (11)Mutants ConvertOrDie Wudugast Inq28 (13)

A face to give you nightmares if ever there was one!

Mutants ConvertOrDie Wudugast Inq28 (12)

Here’s a cheeky groupshot of the three newcomers.

Mutants ConvertOrDie Wudugast Inq28 (7)

And here’s the whole tribe gathered together, ready to spring out upon some unsuspecting ganger or inquisitor.

Mutants ConvertOrDie Wudugast Inq28 (3)

That’s not all however. Whilst I was about it I also found myself thinking about the other scavenging creatures which might be found lurking in the gloom of the Underhive. Giant rats appear to be the most prevalent form of life on Necromunda (even more common than muties!), and are probably pretty common everywhere else in the Imperium as well, so adding one to my collection of verminous critters seemed like a wise move.

Rat Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Rat Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)

I was also looking through my Chaos Space Marines collection and my eye fell on this old familiar that I painted a couple of years ago. With retrospect I don’t think I did a great job on it so, on the grounds that there’s no time like the present, I popped it back onto the painting desk and gave it a quick freshen up.

Mutants ConvertOrDie Wudugast Inq28 (1)Mutants ConvertOrDie Wudugast Inq28 (2)

And there we have it, a few more verminous scavengers ready to sneak and plot in the deepest shadows beneath the hives. Speaking of which, the end of the month is approaching and I really need to crack on with some Skaven!

 


The Irondogs – Part 13

It’s all kicking off in the Underhive at the moment. This weekend saw the release of Dark Uprising, the eye-wateringly expensive but still rather lovely new Necromunda boxset. Despite the fact that it’s rather painful on the wallet I’m still excited about this, containing as it does a combination of really interesting and atmospheric-looking terrain, and two new gangs, both of which are of interest to me. On the one hand we have the brutal jackboot of oppression, the po-po themselves, in the form of the Palanite Enforcers. We already saw the Old Bill muscling their way onto the streets a couple of months ago and at the time it was announced that a second, more heavily armed and armoured variant, the Palanite Subjugators would be coming soon.  Like many people I assumed we’d be looking at a Forgeworld upgrade kit so seeing a plastic kit for this is fantastic, especially as I’m gearing up to start my own collection of the fuzz to unleash on the local miscreants, bams, neds, ne’er-do-well and other assorted scum of the Underhive. If you need me I’ll be watching detective dramas for “research purposes” and practicing my lingo. Attracted by the smell of bacon we have the other gang in the box – the Corpse Grinder Cultists, who are exactly as friendly and loveable as their name would suggest. These are important not just because angry cannibals are something one can never have enough of but also because it’s the first time we’ve seen something truly new in Necromunda for a very long time. We’ve seen lots of things on the sidelines of course, developing and enriching the world in which the game is set, but now we’re actually seeing a whole new gang, something the developers have been hinting at for a while and which is alleged to be the first of many. Of course it would be great to see Redemptionists, Ratskins, Pitslaves and all the rest of the old gangs making a return at some stage but personally I’m thrilled to see a breath of fresh air entering the Underhive and reminding us that reliving the ’90s is all well and good but this is a creative goldmine and we’ve only just scratched the surface.

Down in my own little corner of the planet’s surface, the industrial fortress of Ironhouse, the gang warfare is set to hot up considerably.  Since I last worked on my Goliath gang at the tail end of last year Genestealer Cultists have come sneaking in from the tunnels that lead into the ash-wastes, House Escher have established a presence in the ill-defended areas of the territory and a Chaos cult has begun spreading their influence, whipping up rebellion amongst the helot population. Lately agents of House Van Saar have come rappelling down from the hive above, carving out an outpost from which they can conduct secretive missions of their own and tramping over the hard-won territories of the locals without seeming to give them a second thought. Now there are rumblings of a Cawdor crusade taking to the streets, and of course I’m expecting Corpse Grinder Cultists and Palanite Enforcers to arrive in strength soon. The Irondogs of House Goliath were already stretched thin trying to hold onto their turf – and if you want to read the story of how it all began then I recommend you take a look here – and things have only become worse since then. If Korak and his boys want to keep their old territory it’s time for them to do a little recruiting of their own.

Anyway, enough chat – let’s take a look at the new boys. First up we have Grolg, who I like to think of as a real “Goliath’s Goliath” – that is to say an angry and imposing muscleman with a suitably un-subtle two-handed hammer.

Goliath Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)Goliath Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (4)Goliath Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (5)Goliath Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (6)

Next up there’s Dansk, wielding a brutish chainsword (although it looks more like a chainsaw than the kind of thing other gangs employ).

Goliath Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (7)Goliath Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (8)

Lastly there’s Butch, with an improvised maul and a bolt pistol which in itself looks heavier than most clubs.

Goliath Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (9)Goliath Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (10)Goliath Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (11)

And of course here they are all together.

Goliath Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)

It’s been about a year since the last time we had a groupshot of the whole gang and although they haven’t added that many new members since then with these latest three joining up I thought it was high time we had another.

Goliath Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)

With these finished I’m aiming to focus on Blackstone Fortress for the next little while (and Orks of course, I’m not forgetting that I still have ten of those to paint!) but with the new Necromunda releases soon to be winging their way to me I’m feeling the call of the Underhive again (although when am I not?) so I’m sure we’ll  be looking at more of the inhabitants of Ironhouse before we know it.


Tech-Hunters – Part 4

I’ve been trying to get these posted up for a while but time hasn’t been on my side lately and the weather hasn’t been helping, with dark and brooding skies outside most of the time the ambient light in the room where I do my photography has been awful, forcing me to rely on artificial lighting exclusively – which in turn sucks all the life out of the paintjobs. Anyway, enough moaning and excuses from me, the last two Van Saar are done and the gang is complete (for the moment).

Before we look at the models however, I wanted to write a bit of background, setting the scene and explaining how this latest gang  fits into the crowded landscape of Ironhouse and its surroundings. Feel free to skip over it of course, there are pictures of miniatures further down!

Even along the upper echelons of House Van Saar the name of Koen Margen was spoken with respect, and even a little awe. Far from the clamour of the production lines and the squalor and violence of the gang wars tech-scholars pursue knowledge, constantly searching to expand the accumulated wisdom and wealth of their house. By the scraps of knowledge they claw from the rubble of the past are the wheels of Necromundan industry oiled and the coffers of House Van Saar filled. The innermost circle are permitted to study the STC itself and those who fail are rendered down at once. Not even servitors or corpse starch are made from the remains, so paranoid are the House lords that they are secrets might slip out.

A polymath genetically and surgically enhanced to attain levels on genius far beyond the human norm Margen was one of this gifted few. However during the final years of his life his focus moved from the technical to the biological as he became obsessed with the search for a cure to be poisonous illness to which all Van Saar are subject, and which dooms them to brief and painful lives even by Necromundan standards. Many suspected that for him the struggle was a personal one and the race to a cure was being run against his own mortality and failing strength. More and more he isolated himself, abandoning the core territories of his house and busying himself in a fortified laboratory bastion amongst the spires of Hive Volatos. His lab assistants were replaced with servitors and he traded data with underhive gangs, circumnavigating the traditional lines of communication. Only his assistant Espen Luthrix remained close and in time even she found herself isolated from the crux of his reasoning or dispatched to deal with tangential enquiries. Having undergone cerebral enhancement and a full spectrum of combat training she was able to act on his behalf as an assistant, a bodyguard, an archeotch hunter, even an assassin. Yet she could not truly know his mind, and she came to believe that the tasks she was set, whether ultimately valuable or otherwise, were intended to distract her and prevent her from understanding whatever secret he pursued. Often she would return to the laboratory  only to be turned away by his cybernetic guardians, made to wait for days before a perfunctory message would set out her next task. In the end it had been more than forty cycles since she last saw him when a servo-skull sought her out and, following recognition of her personal codes and ciphers, repeated a simple recording of her mentor’s voice. “Success. Come at once”. Later it would only be that skull, its four spoken words analysed over and over again by House adepts until it’s provenance was proven beyond doubt, that saved her from execution. By then the message recorded by the skull had burned through the backchannels where paranoia reigns supreme and kill-squads were sent to purge those guilty of even the most approximate association to the truth.

All that was still to come however. On reaching the laboratory Espen found only chaos and destruction. The door, designed to halt a charging ogryn, had been torn from its hinges, the servitor guardians left as nothing more than offal and scattered machine parts. Beyond lay fiery devastation. Whatever notes or data Margen may have accumulated, the fire consumed it all. Yet worse was to come. As the House agents dug through the charred wreckage they found bodies, but only those of the machine men with which Margen had populated his kingdom. Of the tech-savant himself there was no sign.

Another ripple of panic passed through the house at this news. That Margen was dead represented an acceptable loss, life – even for the brightest stars of Van Saar – being unnaturally short and cheap. The loss of his data was a greater burden, but one which could be borne. The house would go on and in time all that he had learnt would be rediscovered. The thought that he might live however, and even now be spilling his secrets – willingly or otherwise – to their enemies represented an existential threat to the entire house. Knowledge is a hard currency on Necromunda and the adversaries of Van Saar are numerous. Houses once thought untouchable have fallen before, the names of those once mighty now recorded only in fading ink in the darkest archives. Agents of the house were dispatched to all corners of the planet, every clue to his whereabouts, every hint of information and even the most far-fetched sighting, picked over by sanctioned hunters, although few of them knew exactly who they pursued.

In the end it may have been this that saved Espen’s life. She knew Margen far better than most, and if the house was to recover their lost adept she could well be their best hope. Following her instincts she has headed downhive, taking with her a small but elite crew of tech-hunters, codenamed Scorpion-Null and led by the hard-bitten veteran, Major Solaq. They are an experienced team and one with which she has worked well before. Lethal though she is she knows that where they are going she will meet their backup. Only now does she begin to see the pattern of clues in the missions she was sent on during her mentor’s final months. With little more to go on she gathers her team and follows the twisting road into the hive depths, down into the ash choked streets of that industrial carbuncle known to its inhabitants as Ironhouse.

With the background for the gang set out, let’s turn our attention to those two key characters from the gang (leaving aside the mysterious, and clearly absent, Koen Margen). First of all here’s the gang leader, Espen Luthrix.

Van Saar ConvertOrDie Wudugast (3)Van Saar ConvertOrDie Wudugast (5)Van Saar ConvertOrDie Wudugast (4)

And here we have the veteran tech-hunter Major Solaq.

Van Saar ConvertOrDie Wudugast (1)Van Saar ConvertOrDie Wudugast (7)

Yuk! Despite my best efforts to photograph it that mask looks horribly flat and over-exposed. Would you believe I actually put quite a lot of effort into painting it so that it looked just right? Not with lighting conditions like this you won’t eh?

Van Saar ConvertOrDie Wudugast (8)

You may have noticed that both Espen and Solaq have shields, as does the previously shown Agent Ivanek. No, I didn’t buy a second box just to get another shield – I just think they look cool and managed to get my paws on a spare one.

Agents With Shields

Here’s the whole gang, ready to rappel down from the spire heights and start making life difficult for the locals, as they attempt to hunt out Koen Margen, dead or alive.

Van Saar ConvertOrDie Wudugast (2)

In theory the plan is to leave Necromunda for a bit and turn my attention to some of the other projects that have been singing their siren song to me (I still need to finish Blackstone Fortress for instance, and Warcry is a harsh but alluring mistress with a lot of bare plastic that needs to be dealt with). However I’m also itching to get started on my Cawdor gang, who’ve been untouched for far too long and the Dark Uprising box has grabbed my attention too, so I don’t imagine I’ll be away from the Underhive for long.


Tech-Hunters – Part 3

With a number of projects competing for my attention I’m enjoying how quick and straightforward to paint my Van Saar gang is proving to be. The irony that this is a small and elite force is not lost on me, especially compared to some of the veritable hordes that I find myself collecting with far trickier colour schemes. For now this gang is entering its final stages with my intention being to complete it in the near future. After that I’ll turn my attention to one of the more populous gangs, probably Cawdor, although I’ll probably turn my attention to some other projects first. First of all though let’s take a look at the latest two recruits.

The final rank-and-file ganger is Agent Bask. I do find the awkward crouched pose of some of the Van Saar a little hard to get used to, although it helps if you imagine them taking cover behind the ramshackle rusty terrain of the underhive. The Van Saar also appear more organised and military than many of the other gangs, something I’ve tried to emphasise with the pose as he takes cover and gestures to one of his squad mates for backup. A Goliath would probably just wade in shouting!

Van Saar Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Van Saar Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)Van Saar Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)

Alongside him we have the first gang champion, Agent Weyland, who brings a missile launcher to an underhive knife fight. The instructions which come with the models suggest equipping one of the running figures with the missile launcher but to my eye it looks too heavy, and the gangers of Van Saar are said to be too frail and weak, for such dynamic action. Instead I went for a power pose as he prepares to launch radioactive death into the upper gantries.

Van Saar Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (4)Van Saar Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (5)Van Saar Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (6)

Lastly let’s take a quick look at how the whole group is progressing.

Van Saar Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (7)

With them done I now only need to finish off the gang leader and the remaining champion and the project will be complete for the moment. On top of that I also need to write the background story which explains who they are and what has brought them out of their labs and tech-refineries and down into the grim depths of Ironhouse. With the end in sight I’ll aim to tackle that soon.


Tech-Hunters – Part 2

As promised I put in a bit of time over the weekend working on some Van Saar and so the gang continues to grow apace. First to be completed is Agent Nyska, who I’m hoping will make the gang slightly less ineffectual in close combat with her shock baton. I decided to mix things up a little by giving her a green, rather than blue, glow to her plasma pistol, partly to bring some variety to the gang and partly as an excuse to experiment with using contrast paints for this purpose. So far I’ve found blue and green to work well for this but red definitely does not so I’ll be falling back on traditional techniques whenever I need an evil red glow on a plasma weapon.

Van Saar Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (6)Van Saar Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (7)Van Saar Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (8)

Alongside her we have the gunslinging Agent Lucien. There’s something about his eyes that aren’t quite right but it took all my concentration, sniper-style breathing and steady hands to paint them into the little sculpted marks on the mask so I’m frightened of going back and trying to improve them. Maybe I’ll get used to them, or maybe I’ll find my courage – we shall see.

Van Saar Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)Van Saar Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (5)Van Saar Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (4)Van Saar Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)

And of course what progress report would be complete without a group shot?

Van Saar Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)

With these two done I’ve almost finished with the rank and file gangers already but I still have two champions (including one with the awesome looking rad cannon) and the gang leader to go so I’ll be tackling them next.