Category Archives: Traitor Guard

Blackstone Fortress: Traitor Commissar

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

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

Studio Commissar

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

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

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

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


Blackstone Fortress: Traitor Guard – Part 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Blackstone Fortress: Traitor Guard – Part 2

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

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


Blackstone Fortress: Traitor Guard – Part 1

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

First up, two guardsmen armed with the ubiquitous lasgun.

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

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

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

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


Blackstone Fortress: Chaos Ogryn

Initially I didn’t plan to tackle this one for a while yet, saving the expansions to Blackstone Fortress for once the core game was fully painted. However once I had him in hand I couldn’t resist getting him assembled and then, in a surprisingly rapid turnaround, painted up.

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As with all the traitor guard models for Blackstone Fortress this is an excellent miniature and once again I’m struck by how awesome a full army of renegade guardsmen would be. Of course having just received new Chaos Marines, Slaaneshi Daemons and Chaos Knights over the past few months us followers of the ruinous powers have had an excellent first half of 2019 (not to mention Warcry and all the exciting goings-on on in Age of Sigmar) so we can afford to be patient. Nonetheless I’m hopeful that GW are using these to test the waters and a full scale invasion by the Lost and the Damned might emerge in years to come.


The Unforgotten – Part 7

Glory to Khorne – the ogryn with the banner is ready for battle!

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When the Age of Sigmar First Edition boxset was released I loved the look of the Bloodsecrator; a hulking warrior with a huge sigil with which to draw the Blood God’s gaze. At the time many people were still operating in an old Warhammer mindset and thought it would make an excellent battle-standard bearer for a Khorne themed Warriors of Chaos army – and indeed the whole Khornate side of the box could have translated onto square bases quite easily. In many ways the model proved adept at multi-tasking, as well joining armies in both the Old World and the Age of Sigmar it also made a natural step into the 41st Millennium, albeit with some suitable sci-fi tweaking here and there. As an avowed heretic and solider of the Long War I naturally wanted to put him to work in the latter setting. The trouble is, the banner is just too damn big for a human to carry – even a space marine, indeed even a terminator, is going to struggle to lug that great lump around. The original Bloodsecrator suffers not just from having a silly name but from being a model of two mismatched parts, the sum of which just doesn’t work cohesively. How is any warrior supposed to reap skulls whilst also struggling to hump this great, awkwardly shaped banner around the battlefield? The Imperium would undoubtedly employ a servitor for exactly this job but the followers of Khorne are far too practical for that, anything that hampers the spilling of blood or fails to get on with the job of slaughtering of one’s enemies has no place in their austere lives.

For a while I considered mounting the icon on a helbrute but in the end, partly because I’d already seen so many others do a better job of that than me, I decided to branch out and try giving it to an ogryn instead.

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Seeing him next to my original ogryn berserker serves as a reminder of how much my painting style has evolved and improved over the last few years. Perhaps it’s time to give the first one a repaint too – after all I can’t have the poor old chap being outshone by his younger rival. Plus he’d make a powerful-looking repurposed mining ogryn for a chaos worshipping Necromunda gang…


Smash Your Enemies

What is one to do when one finds oneself in a situation that even a berserk, Khorne-worshipping space marine cannot fix? Why throw an Ogren berserker at it instead of course! Cashing in on my current Khorne-fever I decided to extract this angry young man from the shelf of shame where he had been lingering in dusty ignominy since I first assembled him way back in March last year.Ogren Berserker ConvertOrDie (1)

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I should probably be more modest but – damn, I’m proud of that blood stained effect!

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One thing that does concern me is the aquila brand on his shoulder. On the model it’s not particularly noticeable now (or so I believed) and I’d thought a quick bit of filing had as good as obliterated it. However the photographs have shown it as being rather obvious and now I’ve seen it I can’t unsee it. I suspect in the near future he’ll have a quick trip back to the painting desk for a touch up – I think I’ll try to turn it into a faded tattoo, perhaps with a scar through it, but any alternative suggestions are very welcome.Ogren Berserker ConvertOrDie (7)The Siege of Vrax books described Ogren Berserkers as being ‘created’ from Ogren slaves through lobotomy and the installation of drug injectors which deliver a cocktail of combat stimulators immediately prior to the poor creature being unleashed in the general direction of the enemy. For my Ogren however I decided to take a rather different path. His higher brain functions (such as they are – he is an Ogren after all) remain unimpaired. Personally I think he just likes smashing things.

Ogrens are noted for their loyalty, particularly to their friends rather than to some obscure and distant concept like the Imperium. Should the humans that feed and house it turn to the worship of the ruinous powers so the Ogren will too. Indeed the small minds of these abhumans, it is often noted, are ‘easily filled with faith’ and given their disinterest in over-thinking things I have no doubt that they can be quite easily convinced to kill for Khorne rather than the Emperor, if that’s what their friends think is best.