Category Archives: Necromunda

Scum’s Thoughts – Part 5

Over the last few years I’ve built up quite a library of Necromunda books. Indeed they’ve now completely overrun the part of the shelf that I’d dedicated to them so all my gaming and hobby books will have to be rearranged at some point to accommodate them. Here’s a reminder of how the book stack looked back at the end of 2020, with House of Faith and House of Shadows soon to join them.

Necromunda Books

As well as stacks of background and general inspiration – which is mostly what I buy them for – and further stacks of gaming rules, these books also contain loads and loads of shady individuals with which to populate the underhive. By my count we now have rules for 58 special characters – and assuming they follow the pattern laid down by the preceding books House of Faith and House of Shadows will add 3 more each. Then there are the hangers on, pets, brutes, criminal or guilder allies and noble houses all of which have representatives that you can add to your gang. The thing is, not all of them have models. In fact a huge number do not. My estimate puts the number of concepts without models somewhere around 120, and there are likely to be more in the future. The Specialist Games studio have always maintained that they intend to make models for all these characters and creatures “someday”. However honesty has to compel us to admit that this might be a long time coming. If Necromunda ceases to be popular Forge World will undoubtedly put their resources elsewhere, rather than spending it on creating these models. If it does remain popular I’d expect to see plenty of new books in the future, each containing plenty of new concepts, and the number of “concepts without models” will only increase rather than decrease.

I have what I’ll admit is a bit of a silly idea, that is to own models for all of these things. Of course, even if miniatures were available I’d have to lean pretty heavily on kitbashing to achieve it – I simply couldn’t afford to buy them all – and I suspect the end goal will always be out of sight. This one, however, is definitely a project that’s more about the journey than the destination. Before this turns into any more of a wall of text, and before I start assault my reader’s sensibilities with an outpouring of mathematics, here’s another look at my kitbashed version Freikstorn Strix, the winged Van Saar mercenary.

Freikstorn Strix Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Freikstorn Strix Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)

Let us imagine, just for fun, that Forge World start churning out Necromunda models with gusto. At least one per month sounds achievable, but let’s say they really commit and start releasing two new Necromunda models every single month of the year. It would still take them almost five years to work their way through the backlog as it stands now. Alternatively they make an announcement tomorrow; with nothing else to fill their time during lockdown their sculptors have worked around the clock and there are now models made, cast and ready to put on sale for every single one of these ideas. In fact, they’re all going on sale right now! Then we’re faced with the Forge World prices I alluded to earlier. Forge World’s pricing is notoriously erratic but generally expensive – most individual characters come in somewhere around the £20 mark. That would make this little lot cost somewhere in the region of £2400 cumulatively – which is certainly well outside the bounds of my hobby budget!

Now I don’t mind this, I’ve always been a convertor and kitbasher at heart, and even if some of these models were available I’d probably choose to make my own – as I’ve already done with Freikstorn Strix (above) Gor Half-Horn, Tess Arc-Up and Grendl Grendlsen for instance. Personally I’ve taken to treating the characters and hangers on that appear in these books as a list of cool concepts – if we get models for them someday then I’m happy, if we don’t I’ll be equally happy to use them as a source of inspiration and make my own. However everyone likes a “Top 5” so today, after all that preamble, let’s take a look at five things from the existing books (in no particular order) that I’d very much like to see models for.

Jorth Slither

Being at heart a filthy heretic I’ve liked the look of the mutie Jorth Slither since I first set eyes on him. In the backstory of Necromunda, outlandish, comic-book style events are as common place as more seriously framed discussions of the planet’s history and industry. The story of Jorth Slither falls firmly into the former category. Turned out of his guilder clan for his somewhat unorthodox approach to making money (i.e. he was a crook) he stumbled upon a corpse lying in a pool of goo. Naturally he did what every right thinking entrepreneurial individual would do and started going through the dead person’s pockets for anything worth nicking… only to be overcome by whatever had killed the poor hiver and wake up sometime later with his body transformed into that of a hideous mutant. Not that this has put a stop to his money-making schemes, and amongst those criminal elements willing to throw in their lot with a mutie he’s gaining a reputation as the kind of man who can get things done…

Jorth Slither

Honestly I just think he looks really cool, if somewhat disgusting and gribbly. In fact the more I look at him the more it strikes me that an official Mutie gang would be a cool thing to see someday. In the meantime I have plenty of muties of my own that would gladly through in their lot with Jorth if only he had a model…

The Shadows of Catallus

A cheeky two-for-one here, these twins were once part of the noble house of Catallus, living high up in the Spire and enjoying the decadent lifestyle that only the very rich can afford. However when the house when through one of their intermittent civil wars the twins found themselves wanted by both sides and escaped downhive where the murderous tendencies they had honed amongst the wealthiest of Necromundan citizens proved just as useful down amongst the gangs of the Badzones. I really like the look of the various noble houses but of all the ones we’ve seen so far Catallus, with their harlequin costumes, are the most striking. House Catallus also have a close relationship with House Van Saar, with the assassins of the Catallus Carnivals putting in an appearance in the House of Artifice book. I have pondered using parts from the Eldar Harlequins combined with the more ostentatious models from the Empire range to kitbash some agents of this most mysterious of Houses, but for a skilled miniature’s designer there’s a lot of scope in these characters and I’d love to see what a professional could do with them.

Catallus 2Catallus 1

Toll Collectors

We’ve seen two of the major Necromundan Guilds appear in model form so far. First there was the relatively normal looking  but still very cool Slavers Guild…

Slavers Guild

…followed by the (soon to be released and deliciously weird looking) Water Guild – or Nautican Syphoning Delegation to give them their proper name.

Water Guild

 However the one I’d really like to see is are the Toll Collectors of the Guild of Coin. This image of them hard at work steps straight from the kind of artwork that I’ll always associate with 40k and which, for me at least, sparks so much imagination and creative energy – yet which we rarely see given full expression in model form. In the grim darkness of the far future, this is your bank manager…

Guild of Coin

Grapple Hawk

Swooping out of the darkness to latch onto a hapless ganger using the metal hooks it has in place of feet (not to mention the other metal hooks it has in place of a face!) there are few 40k creatures more bizarre than the Grapple Hawk. Kept as pets by the more inventively vicious gang champions these winged horrors make a fine addition to any gang, but I can’t come up with a way to make one of my own that matches the terrifyingly demented looking creature in the artwork so if Forge World wanted to save me the job I wouldn’t say no.

Grapple Hawk

Cephalopod Spekter

The Delaque are a creepy bunch, forever skulking around in the shadows, listening in to what the good people of the hive are saying and surrounding themselves with layer upon layer of lies. Pale skinned and unnaturally tall and thin, these hairless gangers, shrouded in long coats and with their eyes replaced by blank lenses, seem just a little less human than anyone else in the underhive – with the possible exception of the xenos hybridising genestealer cults of course. So whilst other gangers choose relatively normal creatures as pets – the Escher’s cats, the Orlocks dogs and the hulking Goliaths equally muscular crocodiles – the Delaque prefer something a little stranger. Pop down your local pet shop and ask to have a look at the floating biomechanical octopuses and the owner will know straight away that you’re an agent of the House of Shadows. Of course not any old Cephalopod Spekter will do, the truly discerning Delaque prefers one which they can really trust. In the world of falsehoods and obfuscation that surrounds them the only way to be sure of that is to implant your own cloned brain into the creature.

With House of Shadows and an accompanying expansion to House Delaque scheduled for later this year this is one we might just see in the coming months – or perhaps that too will prove to be just another lie…

Spektor

So, what do you think? Are there any of these creatures and characters you’d particularly like to see as miniatures – or is there someone or something else in these books that should have made the list? As ever the comments section is all yours.


Data-Scrivener

I’ve had this model for a long time, at least five or six years but possibly longer. I’ve been meaning to get him painted up as part of my underhive civilians collection (not to mention the fact that any Inq28 collection that doesn’t include him is really missing a trick) but what finally pushed me into action was spotting the Data-Scrivener in the House of Artifice book. Each gang in Necromunda can now take a range of hangers-on; these being the servants/assistants/allies of the gang who live in their hideout and enjoy the protection of the gang, but don’t generally get their hands dirty with any actual fighting.

Data-Scriveners are the futuristic hackers who specialise in stealing data from the hive’s ancient cogitators and manipulating them to suit their purposes. There are pretty strict rules about misusing technology in the Imperium but down in the underhive rules are there to be broken. The Van Saar, being tech-wizards to put the finest modern nerds to shame, have a habit of “liberating” whatever they feel like from the cogitator cores which regulate all the systems required to support life in the hive, and then using it against their enemies.

Servitor 40k Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast (2)Servitor 40k Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast (3)Servitor 40k Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast (4)Servitor 40k Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast (5)

Because I want to include him as a hanger on to my Van Saar I went for a colour scheme that tied in fairly closely with the rest of the gang.

Servitor 40k Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast (6)

That said I didn’t to make him look so much like a Van Saar that I couldn’t use him in other roles, he’d still make a fine addition to an Inquisitor’s retinue, an Imperial Guard command post or the citizens going about their business in the hive depths. Hopefully he could even join another gang as their Data-Scrivener without looking too out of place.

Servitor 40k Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast (1)

Of course, having been in my possession for ages without seeing a lick of paint, he’ll be another contribution to the Neglected But Not Forgotten challenge being run by Ann’s Immaterium.


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!


The Ladykillers – Part 17

A bit of a rescue job this one and there were times when I wasn’t sure if it was ever going to work out, but I got there in the end (and just in time to be another contribution to Fembruary as well!). Something I’ve been enjoying about the “House of…” series of books for Necromunda has been the introduction of new hangers on for each of the gangs, each of which adds to the unique flavour associated with each House. House Escher for instance produce all the chems relied upon by other Houses and the drugs (legal and otherwise) consumed by residents of Hive City. Do your Goliaths need steroids to help those muscles grow and combat stimulants to turn them into berserkers at the touch of a needle? Do your Van Saar need radiation therapies to stop their own weapons from poisoning them? Does your Enforcer captain need a pick-me-up before he hits the streets for another long beat, and something to help him sleep when he returns to his bunk after the horrors he’s seen? Then you need to buy them from House Escher!

Of course as well as the senior Chymists who run the labs of Hive City there are plenty of underlings, not yet inducted in the deeper mysteries of the Chymist Cults or ready to become Matrons of their own labs, who end up going downhive to pick up some practical experience by running with the gangs. These Apprentice Clan Chymists lend their skill at mixing chems to the girls in the gang, whilst getting to explore new areas of the underhive, discover exotic fungi from which new concoctions can be brewed, and try out experimental “cures” on gangmates too desperate or too badly injured to resist.

Apprentice Chymist Escher Wudugast ConvertOrDie Necromunda (1)Apprentice Chymist Escher Wudugast ConvertOrDie Necromunda (2)

I based my conversion on Sanistasia Minst from the Kill Team Rogue Trader box, with a head swapped in from an Escher ganger. I started to paint poor old Sanistasia some time ago, made a bit of an arse of it, tried to fix her, failed, shoved her in a box in disgust and then retrieved her and tried to fix her several more times before we got to this stage. As a result she’s acquired quite a catalogue of flaws which I had to attempt – not always successfully – to work around, cover over and generally deal with. Thus the end result is not quite as good as I’d have liked, but she’s good enough and she’s finished so I’m happy enough to call her a win.


The Ladykillers – Part 16

It wouldn’t be Fembruary without some Eschers, especially as my Necromunda gangs have been a little neglected of late. Since they were released last summer I’ve not got around to painting any of the new Escher models and this month was the perfect excuse to give one of them a try. 

I did toy with the idea of painting a Death Maiden for my gang but I’ve not managed to get around to her yet. Maybe I’ll find a moment before the end of the month. I did however tackle one of the Wyld Runners, the rebellious youth of the house who grow up roaming far into the underhive and outland wastes. I wanted to strike a balance between the bright outlandish colours of the Eschers and a darker scheme suitable for a ranger, hunting alone in the darkness of the ruined cities. Honestly I’m not entirely sure I got the balance quite right but I certainly gave myself some food for thought for when I get around to painting her sisters.

Necromunda Wyld Runner Escher ConvertOrDie Wudugast (1)Necromunda Wyld Runner Escher ConvertOrDie Wudugast (2)Necromunda Wyld Runner Escher ConvertOrDie Wudugast (3)Necromunda Wyld Runner Escher ConvertOrDie Wudugast (4)

With so many different models from all kinds of projects crossing my painting desk at the moment you might be forgiven for thinking that I’ve forgotten all about the acolytes of Tzeentch that I was working on back in January (and indeed I’ve put that project almost entirely on the backburner until Fembruary is over). However almost entirely is not the same as entirely so tomorrow we’ll take a look at a lady who’s dedicated herself to the god of change…


Scum’s Thoughts – Part 3

On Friday Games Workshop, in one of their regular updates regarding Necromunda, announced that we’ll soon be seeing new models for the Cult of the Redemption. Admittedly what they wrote was more of a teaser, and the word Redemptionists was never actually used, but so little subtlety was employed that, to anyone familiar with the game or it’s setting, they might as well have announced “Redemptionists are coming soon” in twenty-foot tall letters of fire, fuelled by burning heretics.

Obviously I’m excited about this, the world of Necromunda is probably my absolute favourite aspect of Games Workshop’s various universes and the models that have been released so far have been uniformly excellent. The thought of seeing pyromaniac religious extremists thrown into the mix can only be a good thing in my book. We’ve yet to see any sign of actual models, beyond these two little snippets, but – without wanting to sound blindly fanboyish – I’m optimistic that they’ll maintain the high standard we’ve seen for the game so far.

Redemptionist Preview 1

For those readers who’re unfamiliar with the backstory of Necromunda the Cult of Redemption is a splinter of the Imperial Creed (the state religion of the 41st Millennium which holds that the Emperor of Mankind is the one true God, that heretics, mutants and aliens must be abhorred and that the orders of one’s superiors must be obeyed unquestioningly). The Cult of Redemption takes this a bit far, as they do with everything, adding that the End Times are upon us, that mankind is unworthy and that all are sinful and must be purged – but for a tiny minority of the righteous of course. Nowadays you can find the exact same people preaching their creed of hatred on Twitter, but by the 41st Millennium they’ll be venturing into the Underhive to bring the light of the Emperor to unbelievers. And when I say light I mean the kind that comes out the business end of a flamethrower or springs from a heretic’s pyre.

Redemptionist Preview 2

Late last year a “road map” of forthcoming releases was announced, with House of Faith, the expansion for House Cawdor, due to be released in the second quarter of this year. Given that the Redemption is the official religion of House Cawdor it’s impossible to see these things as anything other than intrinsically linked. As it stands I’ll surprised if the new models for House of Faith and the Redemptionists turn out to be anything other than one and the same.

Roadmap

I am curious however as to exactly how the appearance of these models is going to be handled. Redemptionists were one of the key factions of Necromunda in years gone by and since the relaunch of the game there have been plenty of people, myself included,  bumping our gums about exactly when they’d be making a return. Their popularity, and their intrinsic role in the setting, makes it hard for Games Workshop to push them onto the back burner forever. However the Redemptionists of old had a very distinctive aesthetic, and – to borrow a word from online activists – that look is “problematic”. If you’ve just joined the Cult of the Redemption and you want to make an impression, going out dressed in a long flowing robe and a tall pointed hood is an absolute must.

Redemptionists 3

I must confess, and here I know I’m showing my cultural bias, but I never really thought there was anything offensive about their look. Back in the early 2000’s when I first encountered them I just accepted them for what they were, mutant-hating, fire-starting bigoted bastards in big hoods. Then, a couple of years ago, Games Workshop previewed a new special character for House Cawdor – the Headsman.

Headsman 1

At the time I was a lot more connected to social media than I am now and I was struck by the response of the fanbase. In Europe the sentiment seemed to be “Oh cool, a new Redemptionist”. Here we had a modern interpretation of an established concept; a hooded executioner, which references the look of the Spanish Inquisition but transposed to the far future where he had ample time to indulge his hobbies of collecting candles and nooses and burning to death anyone he reckons is sinful. Across the pond in the United States however pearls were clutched and knickers were twisted as the fanbase reacted with horror. Some people were quite rude to me and others on Twitter for daring to think it was acceptable (mind you, everyone is rude to everyone else on Twitter all the time so there’s nothing particularly special about that). Clearly – a vocal element within the fanbase declared – Games Workshop were in league with the KKK. Games Workshop, presumably fearing what might happen to their profits if one of their largest marketplaces suddenly got it into their heads that the company had some kind of racist agenda, toned the model down a bit to create something a little more sensitive to the America customer before it was released.

Headsman Cawdor 2

Since that time of course news channels around the world have been dominated by the rise of violence, rioting and extremism in the United States, with race a key issue fanning the flames of division. Now it should go without saying, but alas I’d better say it anyway before someone writes in to tell me I’m a Nazi, that I’m staunchly opposed to racism and bigotry in all its forms and I find the actions and beliefs of the KKK and their ilk abhorrent. What’s more I’m conscious of the fact that Games Workshop are a global company and the US is the world’s largest economy so treading with care here is understandable, especially as that country undergoes what appears from the outside to be an almighty social upheaval. Add to that an increasing sensitivity to issues around race on both sides of the Atlantic (and beyond) and I pity the poor designer who must have worked on these models with representatives of the legal team hovering on one side of his desk and the PR department on the other. Meanwhile social media is rife with the kind of paranoid aggression and frothing rants that the Redemptionists themselves would approve of. Maintaining a public image in this climate is a delicate business and the Redemptionists are exactly the kind of models that could easily provoke outrage amongst those looking to be provoked. Honestly I’m worried that someone will decide they ought to “cancel” me with extreme prejudice just for acknowledging that this is an issue people are sensitive about. More and more it seems that, online at least, people are either walking on eggshells or spoiling for a fight. Calm discussion and the exchange of ideas is, like, soooo last decade.

Still, it’ll be a shame if the Redemptionists, when they do appear, stray far from the concepts of old. To me the Redemptionist models were amongst the best in the old Necromunda range and their aesthetic was particularly iconic. I would much prefer to see the old concepts reborn in the form of nice new kits rather than a redesign that strays too far from what came before. However here I find myself comparing them to the Ratskins, those tribal underhive natives who so often found themselves the victims of the Redemptionists’ purges – when they weren’t able to slip away into the darkness of course.

The Ratskins are a tribal people who, like the Redemptionists, had a range of models in old Necromunda but have yet to appear on tabletops of the new edition. Uniquely adapted to the underhive the Ratskins rely on sound and smell to track through the dark, hidden passageways and vaults deep beneath the hives. They worship the hive itself as a great spirit, care little for the world of the gangers and even less for the industry of Hive City and prefer to live peaceful lives in the dark depths. Some however get pushed that little bit too far by uphive gangers acting like dicks, or become addicted to the booze and drugs supplied by their more “civilised” neighbours and end up taking up arms and getting involved in the tabletop violence that we all know and love. After all a range of models that slips silently away through hidden passageways and avoids violence doesn’t make for the most exciting gaming opportunities.

Ratskin Art

The concept is cool and I’d love to see them brought back into the game but unlike the Redemptionists a revamp of their aesthetic really wouldn’t go amiss. Whilst the story of the Ratskins paints a picture of a unique tribal culture the models were pretty blatantly just Native Americans in space.

Ratskins

So why exactly would I like to see the Ratskins revamped and the Redemptionists brought back much as they once were? Partly it comes down to the fact that, much like the Space Wolves and their unashamed plagiarism of Viking culture, it’s hard for me to believe that a planet as toxic and industrialised as Necromunda would somehow produce carbon-copy Native Americans (especially as even on Earth Native Americans were not one homogenised culture). It breaks my sense of immersion in the setting to have to account for something so wildly out of place. The Redemptionists on the other hand feel a bit more like their own entity. Yes they borrow aesthetic elements from the Spanish Inquisition (something no-one was expecting) but they appear rooted in the 41st Millennium. The Ratskins meanwhile belong much more to the school of thought that gave us various 40k factions imported root-and-branch from modern and historical cultures; the previously mentioned Space Wolves and various Imperial Guard regiments foremost amongst them.

Then there’s the fact that the Redemptionists echo an uncomfortable truth – that bullies and religious extremists will always be with us. It is part of the human condition that some amongst us will allow hatred to define them, and will latch onto a creed or cause to justify the violence they crave. Whilst a world like Necromunda would be unlikely to miraculously produce Native Americans it would undoubtedly be full of those who, filled with bitterness at the hardship and oppression of their lives, would recognise in the preacher’s words a call to lash out against those unable to fight back.

Redemptionists 2

I opened this article with the idea in mind that the Redemptionists will appear as a bolt on to House Cawdor, and I stand by my theory that this is what we’re most likely to see in a few months time. There is, however, another option. The Redemption spreads far and wide on Necromunda and draws all kinds of individuals to its cause. House Cawdor may have embraced it wholeheartedly but there are plenty of others who fall under the sway of its hate-filled doctrine. Could we see the option to field a gang made up entirely of Redemptionists or would the new models, much like recent releases for the Goliaths, Eschers, Orlocks and Van Saar, only be available as champions in a gang which draws its rank and file from the Cawdor? Alternatively could we see something akin to the existing rules which allow for a gang to fall under the sway of a cult? Already we can modify a gang taken from one of the major houses so that they can devote themselves to one of the Chaos Gods, or become infested by a Genestealer Cult. Could we be so lucky as to see two new kits, one which brings new champions and prospects to House Cawdor gangs and one which builds Redemptionists which can then either be used to form purely Redemptionist gangs or to convert house gangs which have abandoned their old loyalties and devoted themselves to the fury of the Redemption? The latter seems overly optimistic but who knows, I certainly didn’t expect gangs of Slave Ogryns either.

Regardless of how things turn out I’m going to be watching this release with great interest. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to start a pyre…


Yolanda Skorn

Mad, bad and extremely dangerous to know, Yolanda Skorn first appeared as a bounty hunter for Necromunda not long after the game was relaunched in 2017. Necromunda aficionados may be wondering if she’s the same Yolanda who sometimes goes by the name Outland Annie, but she isn’t – a planet the size of Necromunda playing host to numerous people with the same first name, even if that does make things damn confusing for the rest of us. Allegedly the two Yolandas are a result of honest human error, the team behind Necromunda forgetting that there was already a character named Yolanda until after they’d released the second one – which given the complexity of these games is an understandable mistake to make sooner or later.

Anyway, having taken a crack at killing her gang leader in a failed coup this Yolanda got kicked out of the Escher gang she’d been running with and sent off to make mayhem throughout the underhive.  Now she roams from place to place, taking on contracts as a bounty hunter and psychopath for hire, but never lingering long because there’s only so much brutal insanity even the most hardened downhive gang boss is willing to put up with in the long term.

Back in Fembuary 2020 I dug Yolanda out of the box, got her assembled and basecoated and was all ready to paint her up. As in so many ways however 2020 did not go as planned, and here we are a year later and she’s no further forward.  I’m riding a wave of enthusiasm right now though so I decided to just sit down, with no distractions, and get her painted.

Yolanda Scorn Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (1)Yolanda Scorn Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (2)Yolanda Scorn Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (3)

Done! Next, some even more blood-thirsty individuals. If you thought Yolanda was a killer without a conscience these next ladies are even more vicious…


It Takes A Village – Part 4

Now don’t get over-excited, I’ve not managed to convert and paint up even more 40k civilians over the last few days (although I do have a few WIPs waiting for paint, and more ideas than I can shake a servo-skull at knocking around inside my brain and demanding attention). However when I went to pack away the latest additions, the butcher and the lady of purchasable affections, I realised that I’ve managed to complete a fair number of them now. Maybe not enough for a village quite yet, and certainly not the entire population of Hive City, but perhaps enough for an underhive holestead and certainly enough to justify a group shot (I know it looks tiny but give it a click and you’ll get a proper view).

Inq28 Necromunda Civilians Underhive Wudugast ConvertOrDie

As we hurtled wildly towards the end of 2020 life beyond our hobby is keeping me busy enough that I suspect I won’t manage many more posts before the New Year. That said I do have some Blood Bowl players near to completion so all being well you should at least see those pop up in the next few days.


It Takes A Village – Part 3

Today it’s time for two more civilians to join the populace of the underhive. First up, a butcher. If you fancy a rat on a stick for dinner and can’t afford to buy from the local Corpse Grinders (or they’ve degenerated into a cannibal cult) then this is the chap to visit.

Underhive Civilians Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast (3)Underhive Civilians Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast (4)

I cannot for the life of me work out what the base miniature I used here is so please, anyone who recognises it pop a comment in the box below and I’ll credit whoever sells it (assuming it’s still on sale these days). To begin with he just looked like an ordinary butcher but a headswap for one from Anvil Industries and a backpack from one of GW’s Kharadron Overlords soon sorted him out.

EDIT: Thanks to caseyrog I now know I got this guy from Syr Hobbs Wargames and before I started chopping him up he looked like this:

Butcher

Secondly, where hardship and deprivation is endemic the world’s oldest profession is bound to appear. Some people try to glamorise prostitution – and certainly this lady looks a bit more glamorous than most of my other underhive residents (in a grubby, Inq28 kind of way of course!). Suffice to say that my intention was not to play to that kind of disingenuous nonsense which likes to pretend that, despite the fact that the vast majority of women who find themselves in prostitution are extremely poor and the subjects of extortion, violence and abuse, that somehow it’s all terribly jolly, liberated and sophisticated. It isn’t, they’re tossers, moving on!

On the other hand Necromunda is a game and the real world is quite grim and serious enough without making the things we do for enjoyment into exercises in handwringing bleakness. The aim is to have a little fun and not take everything too seriously so glamorous prostitute it is!

Underhive Civilians Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast (1)Underhive Civilians Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast (2)

This time I did manage to find a picture of the unconverted model (alongside a couple of blokes who I don’t own but have the potential to be underhive citizens themselves perhaps).

Reaper 1

She’s from Reaper’s range of plastic miniatures and, having heard a lot of people complain about those plastics I went into this project knowing it might turn into a fight. Well they weren’t wrong – Reaper plastics may be cheap but it seems you get what you pay for! I’d been considering getting a few more of their townspeople and the range of options (and yes, the wonderful “it’s like the last couple of decades of inflation never happened” prices) were a big part of the appeal. I might yet, but if I do I’ll be a lot more choosy and only from the metal range – which again is a shame because plastic is normally easier to convert than metal, and converting these is central to tying them into the underhive setting. The plastic  though was just too unpleasant to work with, paint didn’t stick to it easily and gluing on additional components or adding greenstuff took every scrap of hobby cunning I could muster to stop them just falling straight back off again. And yes, I tried things like cleaning it (don’t knock it – it works for resin), lighting incense, chanting ominously, all the usual tricks basically. I do have a couple of other Reaper plastic models I got at the same time (and for the same project) – I may or may not ever do anything with them now. Ho hum – at least they were cheap!

Anyway, I didn’t mean to end up moaning there, I’m still damn pleased with the end result on both of these. Again I’ve got lots more ideas for underhive dwellers and other citizens of the Imperium that I’d like to get around to so as soon as I do, I will!


The Oathbones – Part 10

I seem to have developed an obsession with kitbashing Cawdor gangers lately…

Cawdor Necromunda ConvertOrDie Wudugast (1)Cawdor Necromunda ConvertOrDie Wudugast (2)Cawdor Necromunda ConvertOrDie Wudugast (3)Cawdor Necromunda ConvertOrDie Wudugast (4)Cawdor Necromunda ConvertOrDie Wudugast (5)

…of course now I just need to redirect this energy into getting some of them painted…