Category Archives: Necromunda

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!

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.


Tech-Hunters – Part 1

With the ladies of House Escher and those despicable Chaos Cultists both finally up and running we now have four Necromunda gangs available to choose from whenever we decide to indulge in some underhive violence.  Time to paint something different then and after some deliberation I decided to plump for the Van Saar on the grounds that they would provide a very different tactical and painting experience, with their smooth, clean armour and high-tech gadgets and gizmos. Plus, based on my experience with the test model I worked on previously, they should also be fairly quick and easy to get painted. By way of a reminder let’s take another look at said test model – now named Agent Kleiss.

And here we have two new gang mates to keep him company in the dark of the underhive. First up there’s Agent Ivanek armed with a Hystrar energy shield and plasma pistol. I  must admit that I wasn’t sure about how the clear plastic shield would look on a painted model but now she’s finished I think it works rather well.

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Alongside her we have Agent Larz, toting a lasgun and ready to make trouble on behalf of his house.

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With these three done it looks as if I’m off to a good start already, especially given that the Van Saar tend to be a little more elite than many of their rivals. The eagle-eyed will notice that once again I’d forgotten to finish off the barrel on Ivanek’s plasma pistol, fear not – it’s been sorted now!

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However as it turns out there are even more, already painted and ready for action. This chap was intended as an old school space wolf but when I realised I’d painted him in the same colour scheme as my Van Saar I decided, following encouragement from several readers on this blog, to rebase him and recruit him into the gang instead.  My thinking is that he’s an agent or tech-scout sent down into the underhive by the house, who’s been living off the land for some time before joining up with my gang.

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Each house in Necromunda has access to a pet and, in the case of the Van Saar, that’s the cyber-arachnids. I received these a while ago from Mark at Heresy of Us and had already painted them as pieces of imperial tech, but incorporating them into the gang now seemed like an obvious move.

Add them all together and it starts to look like the gang is well on its way to completion already.

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However I still have several other murder-tech wielding nerds to add and I’m feeling confident that the paint scheme I’ve chosen is quick and easy to replicate. Thus despite having taken an inordinately long time to produce my previous Necromunda gangs I’m aiming to get them painted up in short order. Watch this space!


The Cult of Ruin – Part 8

I’ve been bumping my gums about my Necromunda chaos gang for absolutely ages and yet progress, when it has happened at all, has been bumpy to say the least. However with the ladies of House Escher wrapped up (for the moment) I decided it was time to get this bunch of crazy reprobates finished off as well. Once again Azazel’s monthly painting challenges proved their worth here. This month it’s “Squaddie September” with the aim of completing squads of at least three models, something which I used as a spur towards getting the gang finished up.

My affiliation with 41st millennium beastmen is hardly a secret and so I wasn’t going to miss the chance to sneak another one into the gang. As well as arming him with a gun I tried to make him a bit more “40k” by replacing his hooves with mechanical prosthetics, whilst his tentacle arm leaves him little hope of finding acceptance amongst upstanding Necromundan citizens and forces him to throw in his lot with the dark gods.

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That said he’s not the only beastman in the gang, even the leader is one, so he should be in good company!

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Alongside him I also completed this Tzeentchian cultist. I still have a plan to make a fully Tzeentchian gang at some point and although that may be a while off this chap brings us one step closer to seeing it realised.

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As with several previous cultists he’s a conversion, continuing my determination to have as few duplicate models in my collection as possible. Here he is alongside the original. As you can see he’s not a radical conversion but the tweaks I made do, I feel, offer him a rather different (and distinctly more Tzeentchian) character.

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What’s more the gang is starting to develop a little contingent of models dedicated to the Changer of Ways (although I have no doubt that they are completely ignorant regarding what exactly it is that they are worshipping). I blame the subtle influence of that sneaky fish myself…

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Alongside these new recruits I also gave some attention to a couple of older miniatures that I thought deserved a second chance. First of all we have this despicable renegade, rescued from my old traitor guard collection and well overdue for some attention.

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Meanwhile this was one of my favourite models from the Dark Vengeance boxset so I knew I had to include him somewhere. However he was also desperately in need of a repaint before he was ready to join his new crew.

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I could have stopped there of course but I’ve been hearing the call of the dark gods a lot lately and I’m still working towards getting the contents of the Blackstone Fortress box painted up. Thus I decided to broaden my options for the gang and get some work done on Blackstone Fortress into the bargain by completing another of the traitor guard. Presumably this is a deserter from the Dust Wall who turned his coat when he saw the Genestealer Cultists coming. If they think they’re going to find refuge in Ironhouse they’ll be sorely disappointed!

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So, where does this leave the cult? Well, right now it looks a bit like this…

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Much like the Escher gang I’ve got far more models here than one would really need to play a Chaos gang but it’s been a lot of fun coming up with ideas, building and painting them and that’s really all that I’m looking for.

Command of their activities falls to the bestial Skaverghast, accompanied by his champions and a powerful witch.

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Then we have a small contingent of traitor guard, partly borrowed from Blackstone Fortress.

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Not to mention the disorderly rabble of the rank and file.

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And there we have them, another gang of reprobates ready to join the seedy and anarchic backstreets of the Underhive. Of course, like an army, no gang is ever truly finished. For one thing a lot of the new Blackstone Fortress cultists deserve to find a second home amongst this ragtag crew (when they’re not terrifying explorers and hunting for ancient xenos arechotech that is!)


The Ladykillers – Part 15

After spending quite a while in the doldrums the gangers of House Escher have seen a fair bit of progress lately, with three new members – including the leader – recruited over the last couple of weeks. However that still left me with three remaining which had been built and base-coated but never finished. Time to knuckle down and get them done as well.

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Of this final set the first to be completed was Sirena who just missed out on being ready in time to be shown alongside the previous two. Should an occasion arise when nothing short of a very big gun will do, she reckons she’s the girl for the job!

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Alongside her we have Nyska who continues to demonstrate my predilection for inflicting fiery demise (as mentioned in my previous post) and backs it up with a chainsword, an excellent hair-do and a razor-sharp sense of style. Much like Meria, the lady with the flamer thrower I finished last week, she has a laid back attitude to health and safety, and has tied a ribbon to the business end of her flamer, something which I’m sure won’t result in any kind of drama or danger…

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And thirdly we have Elika, painted in part because nothing says “House Escher” like shooting someone with poisoned needles, then carving them up with a power sword, all whilst dressed to impress.

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All together these new recruits, combined with the others who’ve joined them in recent weeks, almost make a mini gang in their own right and definitely deserve their own group shot. Plus, by adding these three models to the gang I’ve actually managed to “complete” it for the time being (more on that dubious claim below) and I’ll be counting these as my first submission towards Azazel’s Squaddie September challenge (and I’m sure you’re well aware of Azazel’s blog and his monthly challenges by now – if not where have you been?!).

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However Mellix has gathered a lot more followers than just these, indeed so ambitious is she proving that her gang is starting to look like a little army. Then again she does need to prize Ironhouse from the meaty fists of the Goliaths and the claws of the Genestealer Cultists, not to mention looking into those worrying reports of Chaos Cultists moving in on what should rightfully be her turf, so arranging some extra back-up is probably a wise move.

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…And why stop at a group shot when we can have some moody action photos to send them off in style?

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Anyway, with these complete I’m going to turn my attention to some other projects for the next little while, although I still have a lot of ideas I’d like to explore – both as part of the gang and as spin-offs and side-projects. Trackers from the Crow-skull girls are making their way across the ash wastes, Vatra Nighteye clings to life whilst her surviving allies struggle to restore her and claim their vengeance, Lashoth Katilesh may well seek out her errant daughter (bringing her Escher elite guard with her) and down in the darkness of the hive roots the former Queens of Hive Volatos hiss and crawl, their gaze already turned upon the usurper who seeks to claim their lost holdings. It’s safe to say we haven’t seen the last of these girls yet!


The Ladykillers – Part 13

I’ve been banging on about getting a House Escher gang for Necromunda up and running ever since the game was relaunched in 2017 and as a result of this enthusiasm for the best dressed ladies in the Underhive I’ve now gathered a small army of them, even recruiting some pet phyrr cats and a mighty khimerix.  What I didn’t have until now however is a leader, and there’s really nothing more imperative to a gang than that!

To me the leader is the most important member of the gang, and the driving personality behind their evolving story, and so I wanted her to look a little bit special even amongst the ranks of her flamboyant, peacocking followers. Thus rather than use the standard gang leader model – cool though she is – I decided to convert up someone unique based on Theddra Skull-scryer from the Godsworn Hunt. I first showed some work-in-progress images of her way back in January but it’s taken until now for her to finally see completion.

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Of course such a personality demands a backstory so, like the good rememberancer I am, I set to work recording her deeds thus far for posterity…

Decanted as the 17th clone daughter of Lashoth Katilesh, Matriarch of the House Escher Spire Maidens of Hive Furian, Mellix Katilesh was raised to a world in which the shackles and burdens of minor house nobility hung heavy, yet which enjoyed few of its privileges or freedoms. The genetic inheritance she was gifted by her mother granted her a fearsome intelligence bonded to a lethally quick tactical mind and she took swiftly to her education, particularly in the two subjects central to an Escher girl’s tuition; chemical synthesis and the art of assassination. Only the feuding trueborn daughters however had any hope of inheriting their mother’s throne. Instead Mellix was sent to be the ward of Vatra Nighteye, the Gang Queen of the Crow-skull Girls. This band of rebellious ganger Eschers lived on the fringes of house life, yet their underhive labs produced feral strains of great wonder and potential. Ostensibly, by entrusting her daughter to her care Lashoth honoured Vatra, establishing a tie by which the gang-lab might strengthen its bonds to its parent house. Some however suspected Mellix as being little more than a spy sent to discover the secrets of the Crow-skull Girls and determine if their creations were the results of untamed genius or the influence of shadowy patrons. For her part Mellix appeared to chafe at the duty and made no attempt to hide her disgust at being used as a political pawn. Whilst her sisters fought over the scraps they might inherit she was far away in a world of gloom and filth, destined to receive only the runt’s portion. Apparently cast aside by her own family, distrusted as an outsider by the senior Crow-skulls and with less control over her own life than the most lowly juve, Mellix was left to watch, to wait and to plan. Finding herself begrudged and ostracized by the court of senior gangers who surrounded Vatra’s throne Mellix instead found common cause with the ragtag rebels of the rank and file. She led them on daring raids, bloodying the noses of local rivals, using her quicksilver cunning to spirit them out of danger or save sisters in trouble and giving up her share of the loot to cement their loyalty. 

Ultimately she knew that her mother had sent her to the Crow-skulls because she was both valuable and disposable. Should any harm befall her, honour would demand retribution but no real damage would be done to the Spire Maidens themselves. Thus, when the Crow-skulls’ mysterious benefactors revealed themselves as a fraction within the Spire Maidens, led by one of her trueborn sisters in a carefully constructed bid to seize their mother’s throne, Mellix knew she could expect no help to come from above. In the chaos of the attempted coup Escher fought Escher and Mellix led those loyal to her in cutting their way to freedom and fleeing into the ash wastes.

Before she and her new gang vanished however Mellix had one last trick to play, implanting a black market xenos parasite in Vatra’s brain. It was an act of spiteful retribution, petty revenge for the years in which she had suffered Vatra’s minor cruelties, but nothing is without cost and the time will come when the echoes of that moment must be faced. 

That time however remains in the future. Mellix and her crew, who named themselves the Ladykillers in mocking honour of the house nobility they found themselves set against, took to the wastelands beyond the hive in a desperate search for sanctuary. The feuding of the wealthy had seen them driven into the rad-storms and mutie-haunted ruins and so the gangers proudly dug in their heels and spat in the face of power and privilege. Mellix however had more practical concerns. The toxic dune fields and ash-thick air would kill them soon enough and she had no desire to embrace martyrdom. To the north lay a desolation of poisonous run off lakes and dead hives, to the east the jagged mountains riddled with the mining cities of House Orlock. Thus she took her girls south and east, until they reached one of the huge arterial highways that criss-cross the face of the planet like a thousand scars. There she smuggled them aboard a great land-train hauling ore towards Hive Volatos. Hidden amongst mountains of unprocessed metal she listened to the acid storms lashing the pitted hide of the train and dreamed of the hive reaching out to draw her into its embrace. Volatos had long featured in her grandest and most ambitious daydreams for she knew that the Escher nobility there had long since vanished, poisoned by their own experimentation to leave only leaderless gangs and unclaimed power. There she could begin anew, rising through its thousands of floors until she became a Spire Matriarch in our own right. There at last she could stand on the battlements and spit in her mother’s eye across the hundreds of miles of poisonous wasteland. 

First however she must establish a foothold, a corner of turf she can claim as her own and nurture into an empire. Already she has begun to draw outcast Escher to her banner, and each tells the same story; that the Goliaths who once ruled the underhive of Volatos are in disarray and the battle for the city is already half won. All she has to do is drive the last of the brutes from their final stronghold, plant her flag in Ironhouse and name herself Queen. 

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Now it’s worth emphasising that the gang is a long way from being finished. With Mellix finally complete their story is ready to begin and already there are plenty of narrative hooks I’d like to explore. For one thing I’m already considering converting Mellix’s manipulative mother Matriarch Lashoth (Yvraine seems like she’d be perfect for this) and since the Corvus Cabal were revealed for Warcry I’ve found myself seeing the Crow-skulls in a new light as well. Originally intended as just a name and a few lines of background, the opportunity to bring them to life seems too good to pass up. Then there’s the question of what became of the original Escher nobility of Hive Volatos – did they truly die out, or do some endure, lurking in the dark places, waiting to reclaim their crowns? Would they be willing to allow an upstart ganger to take what they know to be rightfully theirs, or would they attempt to make her their puppet in the eternal House-war – or even attempt to destroy her outright?

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All these questions will have to wait however. One thing I do want to do though is get the remaining five partly-painted Eschers currently sitting on my painting desk finished at last. Before I move on to any other painting projects I really do want to get them completed as all of them have been sitting around for quite some time, so if all goes as planned expect to see them next.

 


The Cult of the Abyssal Gaze – Part 8

I’ve been feeling the itch to add some more genestealer cultists to my partner’s Necromunda gang lately. Ever since I painted three new recruits last month I’ve been hearing the call of the hive mind once again and watching the development of IRO’s very gribbly army has only made the siren song of the star children louder. I’ve been thinking of adding a close combat focused leader to the gang, as opposed to the Magus who specialises, as you might imagine, in unearthly psychic powers. What’s more Azazel’s Jewel of July challenge is a perfect time for painting leaders and characters so I seized the opportunity to work on the Locus.

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A new unit added to the genestealer cults range earlier this year the Locus serves primarily as a bodyguard to the cult’s Magus. That also ties in neatly to the background I’ve come up with for the gang, with their attempt to seize Ironhouse from the Goliaths being led by Vyrion the Elder it makes sense that the monstrous lords of the cult would dispatch a Locus to ensure no harm befalls the venerable magus.

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There’s a real joy in painting genestealer cultists and in my opinion these are one of the best ranges in GW’s arsenal so – despite all the other projects I’m juggling and the fact that the orange colour scheme is more than a little challenging to paint – expect to see a few more of these xenos appearing over the coming months.