One of the things I wanted to explore with my contributions to the Nestorian Infestation was the way the airborne tyranid spores released by the genestealer cultists would corrupt all aspects of life on an Imperial world, and what better way to do that than with some tainted servo-skulls?
Where once these skulls served the Imperial authorities now they have become slaved entirely to the will of the cult, the inflated gas-bladders growing from them swollen with more spores, ready to corrupt yet more loyal citizens.
Well I thought I’d finished making models for the Nestorian Infestation, I thought I’d be focussing purely on painting the ones I’d already made then moving on to one of the other creative projects I’ve been juggling. Apparently I thought wrong.
In my defence at least some of the blame for this particular model needs to laid at the door of that mad and creative powerhouse and fellow blogger IRO. It was him that put into my head the idea to make a genestealer child and, like tainted xenos genetics worming their way through a once loyal Imperial citizen, once implanted the idea wouldn’t leave me alone. After several fruitless hours trying to track down a model pram of just the right scale I suddenly recalled this image from the cinematic trailer released ahead of the genestealer cultists release back in 2016.
It’s a wonderfully potent image of the corrupted civilians and their family orientated outlook. Whilst their eyes see a beautiful and innocent baby ours’ see a savage monster just waiting to grow big enough to start hunting and devouring human prey. It’s a concept that lies right at the heart of what makes the genestealer cultists both so interesting and so horrifying. Whilst the Chaos cultists revel in destruction and seek only to tear down and destroy the civilisations within which they have hidden themselves, the genestealers value hard work, family and caring for the next generation. Indeed I would imagine the whole community being fiercely protective of any children, and heavily involved in their care and upbringing, especially if that baby is a purestrain genestealer.
I also realised that my plan to make a lady genestealer cultist (codenamed; Xenos Warrior Princess) for Fembruary had evolved into a genestealer hunting assassin instead. Merge the two ideas together however and I realised I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make a genestealer mother and baby.
Of course time is now fairly short to get her painted before the early April deadline, especially other corrupted civilians still demanding attention. Time to break out the brushes!
For a long time I’ve dreamed of commanding a huge Imperial Guard army, capturing my vision of what human wars in the 41st Millennium are like. Alongside an equally vast adeptus mechanicus host, a few squads of space marines (truescale obviously) and perhaps a unit or two of custodes, would march a vast horde of human soldiers. Each would be personalised, converted into a unique character. Alongside them would roll the massed armour (even though painting tanks holds no appeal to me at all) and other warmachines, towering knights, squads of ogrens and so on. However so far common sense has continued to assert itself. Rather than rush out and spend all of my meagre earnings on guardsmen when I already have a horde of other unfinished projects demanding my attention, I’ve tried to keep it small scale, building up a squad, model by model. Perhaps it’ll grow in time into a platoon, then – maybe – a second, until one day I look round and find myself with an army waiting to march on my command. A few days ago I added a couple more guardsmen and, finding that rather than satisfying the creative urge this only exacerbated it, I’ve painted up another one.
In addition I went back to the medic I showed last year and made some adjustments, improving his paintjob and tying him into the slowly growing collection.
I suspect that for now I’ll be setting the guard aside and turning my focus elsewhere again but before we move on here’s a quick look at some of the other models I’ve assembled who will, in time, make their way out of unpainted morass and into the ranks of the Hammer of the Emperor.
And of course before we depart the guard entirely however there’s always room for another group shot of progress so far.
Back at the tail end of last year I took my first steps into assembling the Imperial Guard regiment I’ve always imagined. Inspired by the Iron Sleet Invitational I put together a little band of guardsmen capturing the aesthetic I’ve long associated with the Guard, and yet which rarely comes across in the official models. I even waxed philosophical on the topic if you’re interested in reading more about my reasoning. At the time I made four guardsmen and, hitting something of an inspirational dry spell, rounded out the squad with a specialist agent sent to the Thorn Moons by the Imperial invaders. However that left several unfinished guardsmen sitting on the corner of the desk, neither fit to be included in the group nor ready to be cast back into the bitsbox, but waiting for inspiration to return and raise them up as fully finished models. Feeling the call of the guard once again I grabbed one of those unfinished miniatures and gave him the additional touches needed for him to join the Imperial war-machine.
I see him as very much a devout soul who, believing he has been called to serve in battle as part of the Emperor’s great plan for humanity, has requested dispensation to leave his allotted labours in the manufactorums and join the Guard. The fellow members of his congregation, believing that his mission is a holy one, have gifted him the small icon from their church to carry into battle, hoping that this will ensure his protection until he has completed whatever task the Emperor has set before him.
Of course this isn’t my first experiment with the Imperial Guard. A while ago I put together this chap as a “proof of concept” to test the waters and iron out some of my ideas.
Given my return to the guard I took the opportunity to give him a quick repaint to bring him into the ranks of my new squad. And yes, I know I’ve got paint on the rim of his base and, due to the selective blindness that seems to affect me whenever I do this, I overlooked it. Don’t make me go and take the photos again, just trust me that I’ll get it fixed. It’s mostly at the back, nobody will notice right?
Whether this has been enough to cure my urge to paint guardsmen and let me focus on other projects, or if this is only the beginning of a mass recruitment drive remains to be seen. In the meantime any thoughts or feedback are very welcome.
Recently Big Boss Redskullz called for hobbyists to help out with the developing Nestorian Infestation, a collaborative project between himself, Helge of WilhelMiniatures and Alexander from Echoes of Imperium. The brief; to create a population of genestealer infested civilians with which to populate their world. Naturally my first contribution was neither infested by the genestealers nor technically a civilian, because I like to imagine that I’m somehow special and can cherry-pick what rules I want to follow. Never mind, here to redress the balance we have a workman who’s quite definitely been corrupted by the xenos.
Something I’ve found interesting with both this, and the previous Nestorian Infestation model I’ve painted, has been working in what is essentially someone else’s style. This has been both literal – for example following Helge’s tutorial for the bases (painting a base green – what xeno’s witchery is this?!) and figurative, the orange overalls on this one for instance, which again ties in with Helge’s genestealer cultists, and lets me test out a scheme I’m planning to use with my own hidden dynasty.
Striking from the shadows an Imperial assassin faces off against one of Efesos VI’s new monstrous inhabitants, but who is the hunter and who is the hunted?
Thank you to all those who reassured me when I fretted that he looked too much like a goliath ganger. As you rightly told me at the time he looks a lot less like a goliath now he’s painted.
Indeed, sidetracking somewhat, this reminds me that I need to paint some more goliaths. Although progress has been slow on the gang lately I have at least found the time to build a couple more; the Irondogs aren’t dead yet!
It’s the end of February and time once again to take a look at what I’ve added to my Skaven horde this month. This time I’ve only managed to finish one miniature, but on the other paw it’s not just anyone – it’s Clan Eshin’s finest, the greatest assassin of the Old World (yeah, you heard me Shadowblade); Deathmaster Snikch.
Not many Skaven get to be imposing yet Snikch manages it. Sadly before he reached me the elegant swirl of his cape had become caked in a foul mix of uncured greenstuff, glue and fluff so I snipped it back, which also helps to make him a bit more gritty and realistic.
I actually found the little rats on his base were a lot of fun to paint. Often these smaller vermin are quite lumpen and lacking in detail (unsurprising as they’re downright minute) but these are actually quite sharply detailed and about as full of character as a base-detail a few millimetres long can manage.
…Sorry Shadowblade. I didn’t mean to slight you. Please don’t come for me in my sleep…