The Oathbones – Part 5

If I’m going to work on my Cawdor gang then one model deserves attention more than any other; my stigshambler. It was November 2018 when I first put this lumbering mutant duo together (and please don’t say “mutant” in front of the rest of the gang, they’re quite touchy about these things!) and they quickly proved to be one of my most popular conversions, not to mention one of the ones I was most proud of. Here’s a reminder of how it looked the last time we saw it, back when it was still bare plastic.

The stig-shambler is the house brute for Cawdor (each House on Necromunda having access to a unique brute – the Goliath Zerker or Escher Kymerix for example). To quote my original post;

For those unfamiliar with the background, House Cawdor take a dim view of all mutants, knowing that any aberration from the human norm is proof positive of a corrupt and evil soul. As with so many Imperial institutions however their tolerance increases markedly if the individual can demonstrate their usefulness. Those on the borderline are “Stigs”, marked by the stigma of mutation but not true mutants and thus spared the pyres so long as they can work towards the greater glory of Him On Terra.

A Stigshambler combined two such Stigs; one physically frail but intelligent, the other bulky and strong but lacking in the wits needed to survive long in the Underhive. Indoctrinate Master-Blaster into a life of religious fanaticism and you’re most of the way there.

When I first started this blog I thought – somewhat naively – that any readers would be primarily interested in the same models or ranges that I was. However in recent years I’ve discovered that quite a few come from a much broader range of backgrounds – whilst generally still interested in miniatures – and that saying “look what I kitbashed” might not be enough when the reader in question is unfamiliar with the stock models. As a result I’ve been trying to include pictures of the unconverted versions of converted models, demonstrating my workings as it were. In this case however it’s hard to know where to begin. The main body of the big guy comes from the Ironjaws Brutes and as I painted a couple of them recently they can stand in to demonstrate.

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After that however it all gets a bit busy, the head and axe are from the putrid blightkings, the arm with the shaken fist from the ork nobs, the gantry (and the little guy) from the ogre gluttons (the little guy being essentially a gnoblar with a headswap for a Cawdor head), the gun is from the Orlocks, the loudhailer from an Imperial guardsman and various other odds and ends from wherever I could scavenge them.

Anyway, let’s get to the meat of the post and take a look at the finished model at last.

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I think I got the scale for him about right, he doesn’t look too weedy next to a Goliath ‘zerker (which reminds me – I really need to paint that guy!).

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And he certainly towers over the rest of the gang.

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If this crusade is going to show the underhive they mean business however a stigshambler won’t hurt but a few more gangers will be invaluable, and as I have quite a few of those on the desk I’ll aim to tackle them next.


The Oathbones – Part 4

For what feels like several centuries I’ve been using this blog to  promise that I was going to tackle my Cawdor gang for Necromunda “soon”. “Soon” it turns out is a relative term. The new Cawdor first emerged from the Underhive in 2018 and I was instantly captivated and determined to start a gang of my own. Of course now we’re well into 2020 and as yet the gang remains in its infancy.

That’s not to say there’s been nothing painted at all, I have managed to put brush to model a few times, enough to finish off these five fine fellows (and their bird).

However I still have quite a lot of these ragged crusaders waiting in the wings and I’m sure a lot of regular readers were starting to doubt that the day would ever come when I finally gave them the attention they deserve (I know I was). At last however that moment has come, I’ve cleared everything else to the edges of the painting desk (already a very crowded place!) and focused my attention on the God-Emperor’s filthiest servants. First things first, every crusade needs a leader so I pushed Marrowkin the Saint of Ashes to the front of the queue.

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Once just an ordinary ganger, fighting the God-Emperor’s wars in the badzones and rad-shanties shellward of the Halcyon Gate, Marrowkin’s story took a dramatic turn when his crew discovered a previously undiscovered passage leading beneath the rubble and into a claustrophobic maze of unexplored passages. The air was stagnant, the light of their candles struggled to push back the curtains of heavy shadow and their prayers to Him Upon Terra were devoured by the darkness – and what echoes did come back to them were twisted, mocking things, sounding as though they were spoken by fell, inhuman tongues. Undeterred the gang headed downwards. Clearly this was a place of muties and other degenerates, a place to which the God-Emperor’s light must be brought until fear and fire drove back all the unclean things which dared to dwell in His realm.

They found fire and fear true enough, but it was not them which brought it.

Rumours have long circulated that beneath Hive Volatos lie the Black Manufactoria, entire levels given over to the manufacture of goods and weapons crafted through the foul rituals of Chaos and governed by terrible queens born of the hive’s long lost Escher tribes. Can it really be true that such places exist, right beneath the feet of the Goliaths and Orlocks who dominate the city above? Marrowkin at least believes that it is. He alone was discovered afterwards, washed through an outflow pipe into the chem-lakes that bubble to the south of the hive. His body was burned and mutilated, his memories fragmented, his mind scoured by madness, but his faith and hatred was stronger than ever. Only by the God-Emperor’s mercy had he survived, and now the time had come for him to replay His gift. Hive Volatos was corrupted, its heart dark with the canker of Chaos, and Marrowkin would purify it. He would make the hive itself into a pyre; dome by dome, floor by floor, heretic by heretic if necessary.

The Cawdor of the chem-lakes were themselves a shattered band. Ash-crust miners from the sacrilegious, mutie-harbouring Cult of the Abyssal Gaze had pushed into their territory and the Cawdor were fighting a war for survival. Their leaders and champions were already gone and the last survivors were being hunted down like rats. Yet in the broken form of Marrowkin they found an unlikely saviour, one who would yet see them claw their way back from the edge of extinction. Mad he may be but he recognised that the chem-lakes was not a turf they could or should attempt to hold. Instead he ceded control of the lakes to the xenos and took his new gang back into the hive proper. His crew feared the fate that they knew would befall them as soon as Korg and his Goliaths found them trespassing on his turf but to their surprise they found the way cleared and sudden opportunity laid before them. Whilst they had been battling for survival out in the lakes Korg had been slain, his followers massacred and the survivors scattered. Had Marrowkin’s zealotry and fiery sermons not already convinced them this would have been enough to convince them that truly they walked in the company of a downhive saint. Two miracles could now be attributed to him; first his rebirth from the horrors of the deep-hive, and now the sweeping aside of the once unassailable Korg. Truly the Emperor had turned His gaze upon them, now it was up to them to prove themselves worthy of His regard. Settling in the Sumpside district that runs along the partly-flooded levels west of Ironhouse they have put out the call for those of faith to join their crusade. Already many Cawdor have come, drawn by the words of the Saint and tales of the powers attributed to him. After all, who would not wish to fight beneath the banner of the man who called down the God-Emperor’s wrath on the mighty Korg himself? Truly it is time for the faithless to know fear…


Dat Der Iz Da Dokk!

Remember the Bonesplitters WardokkI built just a couple of weeks or so ago? In startling turn of speed (bolstered by my enthusiasm for all things greenskinned and a surge of Waaagh! energy racing through my paintbrush) I’ve only gone and painted him up.

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I’ve been promising myself that I’m going to tackle my Cawdor gang for Necromunda for a loooong time so I’m going to take a stab at them next but I’ve really enjoyed this little excursion into fantasy greenskins so expect to see some more in the near-ish future.


Getting Squiggy With It – Part 2

It’s been absolutely ages since I painted any squigs and it’s high time I did something about that. Here’s three more bouncing, mayhem-fuelling fungi ready to munch their way through anything that takes their fancy.

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And here they are in the company of the rest of their nest.

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The eagle-eyed will have spotted that I’ve based them on round bases rather than square. Currently I must admit I’m very tempted to rebase my Night Goblin collection and make myself a Gloomspite Gits army for AoS. Whether this proves to be a flight of fancy or a serious plan only time will tell, although fans of the Old World need not fear, I’ve also got a plan to paint up a dwarf army for WHFB. Surely having more plans than there’s time in a normal lifespan to deal with is standard practice for every hobbyist! Whether any of these ideas ever sees the light of day is something that only the future can reveal.

Whilst I was working on the squigs I also spotted the poorly little goblin who comes as part of the new fanatics kit. I didn’t buy the new fanatics and I probably won’t, as I’ve already got five of these mad dervishes and I wasn’t feeling a particular draw to get any more, at least not straight away.

However I did end up acquiring the sick goblin alongside some bits somewhere along the line, so I whisked him onto the painting desk alongside the squigs and got him painted up as well.

Sick Gobbo

Poor little fellow – that’s what happens when you get tanked up on fungus brew and start throwing yourself around like that!


Gonna Smash ’em – Part 1

Ever since I painted up Ironskull’s Boyz last month I’ve had an itch to paint some more greenskins. I’ve also been thinking about doing more with Warcry. I’m already chipping away at the terrain required for more varied games but it occurred to me that, with the addition of a few new recruits, Ironskull’s Boyz could themselves be the basis for another little warband.

With that in mind I had a look around for some more orcs with which to bolster the ranks. First to come to hand was this Black Orc, nowadays known as an Ardboy. Incidentally I still find Ardboyz a bit confusing because when I were a lad Ardboyz were in 40k and now they no longer appear in the Ork codex and instead the same name has been used for the heavily armoured rank and file of the Ironjaws. As for the models themselves the old Black Orcs kit was one of my favourites in the WHFB Orcs and Goblins range so I’m glad that they survived into the Age of Sigmar, even though there’s very little aesthetically to link them to the bulkier, cruder looking Brutes (more on them below). A unit that shared aesthetic elements with both Ardboys and Brutes would be a fine addition to the Ironjaws range I feel. That said I’m always amused that the Black Orcs, which used to be the biggest and ‘ardest boyz around, now look so little and desperate to please next to the lumbering Brutes.

Anyway here he is, massive axe in hand and ready to join his clanmates as they enter the Bloodwind Spoil in search of a propa scrap.

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He’s something of a rescue job, I’ve had him for a long time and he’s been battered around a lot over the years, part painted on several occasions, used – briefly – in the conversion of a 40k Ardboy, and now returned to his fantasy roots. All this means that getting him to look good took a fair amount of effort, and the results are not what I like to think they would have been if I’d just started with a freshly assembled and completely unpainted model, but I’m happy enough with the way he’s turned out in the end and he holds up fairly well next to his buddy from Ironskull’s Boyz.

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As if this wasn’t enough muscle I decided to throw in even more in the form of two Brutes. Back when the Brutes were released I gave them a fairly lukewarm review but time has softened my heart and nowadays they rank amongst my favourite AoS models, so including a couple of them in the warband was an opportunity not to be missed. For sheer brutality you can’t beat the imaginatively titled jagged gore-hacka so that was my first port of call.

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Next allow me to swiftly retract my previous statement, it turns out there is something even more vicious and over-the-top looking than even the gore-hacka, the gore-choppa. This weapon alone would have been enough to sell me on the brutes kit and there was never the slightest possibility that I would fail to include one.

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With both models I left off some of the chest armour and used greenstuff to cover over the resultant gaps. That allowed me to replace their heads with suitably mean looking alternatives, the one on the left comes from the (now sadly out of production) Boarboyz, the one on the right from the Flash Gitz.

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Combine these three newcomers with the orcs from Ironskulls Boyz  and the warband is complete and ready to spread mayhem and destruction wherever they go. Chaos warriors beware!

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Scattered around the painting desk are a few more brutes which I’m yet to build, plus some Ardboys and other Orc-y characters (hence the “Part 1” in the title) so I’ll aim to tackle some more green lads soon.


Amid The Ruins – Part 4

The ramshackle streets of Carngrad continue to grow. I’m still working my way through my Warcry terrain, a little bit at a time. This belltower proved to be a right nightmare to paint if I’m honest but I’m happy enough with the results (in that I didn’t give up altogether and take myself off in a sulk!).

It’s one of those pieces that I might well have pushed to the side of the painting desk and studiously ignored for a few months, but the Sixty Day Miniatures Of Magnitude challenge from Ann’s Immaterium came along at just the right moment.  Calling on participants to tackle the bigger items in our backlogs it gave me the push I needed to get my head down and finish the damn thing, despite the temptation to cry off, so thanks are owed to Ann there. Anyone else in a similar situation should give the challenge a look, it’s open to anything bigger than an ogre and you’ve got until the 3rd of July to tackle it.

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By my eye, and I may be jinxing myself of course, I think that was the hardest of the ruins to paint so it should get easier again from here. Then again I can’t quite put my finger on why I found it so tricky – apart from that the skeletons were a little fiddly. Either way I’m planning to get torn in about the rest of the ruins soon and finish off the set, then turn my attention to making some chaos-warped terrain of my own.


Iz Dat Da Dokk?

Let’s be honest, some miniatures are just a bit duff. Take the Bonesplitters Wardokk for instance (which used to be a Savage Orc shaman of some description). Let’s not beat about the bush, it’s past its best. In fact, it’s hard to say exactly when it’s best was…

Wardokk

For those unfamiliar the Wardokk is essentially an assistant shaman amongst the Bonesplitters. This faction of Orcs are lead by cabals of savage mystics, with a Wurrgog Prophet (the model for which, confusingly, used to be the special character Wurrzag, Da Great Green Prophet – something I still find takes a little getting used to). Each Wurrgog Prophet has a few acolytes around to assist in imposing his orders (however mad they may sound) on the recalcitrant boyz, to whip the clan up ready for battle and to perform the secret dances by which they channel the power of the greenskin god. One of these so-called Wardokks will go on to become the Wurrgog’s successor, to quote the army book, “should the Prophet fall in battle or accidentally blow himself up”.

At first I found myself wondering why GW continue to give the Wardokk miniature a place in the ranks of the Orc (or should I say Orruk) Warclans range. There’s no denying it’s letting the side down a little, when compared with some of the brilliant models that march alongside it. However after giving it some thought I came to realise that actually they made a smart move here. Keeping the Wardokk around adds another option to the range, and kitbashing your own version from the Bonesplitters set, plus a few odds and ends, is actually pretty straightforward and a lot of fun.

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The key elements to capture were the skull mask (taken from the Ironjaws Brutes), the dancing pose and the bone-fetish rattle (made from bits and bobs in the savage orcs kit, rather than wire wool as the original appears to have been). The army book describes how the Wardokk will do whatever is required to get the boys in a fighting mood (surely not that hard) including, but not limited to, a quick punch in the face – something I thought the clenched fist on his free hand conveyed rather well. I might raise him up on something to make him stand out a little amongst any future boyz but otherwise I’m pretty pleased with him (although as ever I’m open to any and all feedback). In fact he was so straightforward to build that I’m now feeling tempted to make a couple more – the book does describe multiple Wardokks in each clan after all. Not sure when I’ll get around to painting him but he was great fun to make, and he’s certainly given me the itch to tackle some more green boys soon.


The Lodge of the Flayed King – Part 2

I’ve been trying to work out a colour scheme for my Corpse Grinder Cultists and at last I think I’ve got something I’m happy with. Here’s initiate He Who Cuts modelling his new work wear. Before we look at the final piece here he is prior to being liberally splattered with gore. As you can see the paint job isn’t perfect but I didn’t see the point in breaking my neck over it if I was just going to cover it up with Blood For The Blood God technical paint!

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And here he is suitably blood splattered after a hard day of unrelenting violence.

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Overall I’m pleased with the way this colour scheme works on the initiates but I’m curious about how it’ll look on the more heavily armoured butchers, cutters and skinners so I’ll test it out on one of them next before rolling it out to the rest of the gang.


War Eternal – Part 9

You may recall that during the summer of 2019 I chipped away at an Age of Sigmar skirmish warband dedicated to the Blood God Khorne. By the time I wrapped up the project I’d painted seven bloodreavers and if I’m honest I was never very comfortable leaving them there. The holy number of Khorne is eight and so leaving the squad on just seven members seemed like foolishness and guaranteed to bring down the ire of the war god upon my luckless head. However painting one bloodreaver seemed equally daft when I could paint three and round out a squad of ten.

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Here’s the three new boys ready to start rampaging with their new mates.

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And here’s the whole squad ready to reap skulls for their god’s famously uncomfortable chair.

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Once again I’m not sure when I’m going to get back to this project but I do have more ideas, it’s really just a matter of time…


The Irondogs – Part 15

A couple of weeks ago I showed a group of work-in-progress Goliath gangers and, eschewing my usual habit of sitting on them like Smaug for months, I then battered on and got one of the forge-born painted up in short order. Here’s Varski, the first of the Irondog’s next generation.

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I do have a bunch of other models on the go that I’d like to keep my focus on and get finished, but I’m quite excited about all things Goliath at the moment so expect to see a few more recruits making their way into the ranks sooner or later. After all, given some of the threats currently moving in on their turf Korak and the boys are going to need all the help they can get!