Dark Disciples

Time for two downhive lowlifes turned religious fanatics in the service of the Chaos Gods. Amongst the ranks of the Chaos Space Marines the Dark Apostles serve as a priest class, conducting the bloody rituals, preaching the savage creed and interpreting the will of the Gods on behalf of their battle brothers. Of course this is a lot of work for one man and so a Dark Apostle worth his salt soon recruits a few Dark Disciples to assist him. The Disciples are then on hand to waft cursed incense, stab hapless victims at appropriate moments, tidy up afterwards and even be fed to a summoned daemon themselves if no-one else is available. 

Dark Disciples Chaos Cultists Warhammer 40k Wudugast (5)Dark Disciples Chaos Cultists Warhammer 40k Wudugast (6)Dark Disciples Chaos Cultists Warhammer 40k Wudugast (7)Dark Disciples Chaos Cultists Warhammer 40k Wudugast (8)Dark Disciples Chaos Cultists Warhammer 40k Wudugast (1)Dark Disciples Chaos Cultists Warhammer 40k Wudugast (2)Dark Disciples Chaos Cultists Warhammer 40k Wudugast (3)Dark Disciples Chaos Cultists Warhammer 40k Wudugast (4)

Again these are “neglected models” which have been sitting around three quarters painted for at least a year. Together they make a pair of characterful additions to both my Chaos Marines and Necromunda collections. At some point I’ll need to get the Dark Apostle himself painted but he’s not a priority for now. 


The Mountain’s Men – Part 2

A handful of Ser Gregor’s men emerged from the towers to watch him dismount; hard-eyed, hard-mouthed men, the lot of them. They would have to be, to ride beside the Mountain”
Jamie Lannister – A Feast For Crows

Four more House Clegane thugs join the two I painted last week.

Mountains Men ASOIAF Game of Thrones Lannister Wudugast ConvertOrDie (5)Mountains Men ASOIAF Game of Thrones Lannister Wudugast ConvertOrDie (6)Mountains Men ASOIAF Game of Thrones Lannister Wudugast ConvertOrDie (7)Mountains Men ASOIAF Game of Thrones Lannister Wudugast ConvertOrDie (8)

I’m quite enjoying painting these guys, they’re nice and straightforward. I reckon I should be able to bash through the squad fairly easily, but before I do that I turned my attention to “the Mountain” himself, the infamous Ser Gregor Clegane. 

Gregor Clegane Lannister Mountain GameOfThrones Wudugast ASOIAF (1)Gregor Clegane Lannister Mountain GameOfThrones Wudugast ASOIAF (2)Gregor Clegane Lannister Mountain GameOfThrones Wudugast ASOIAF (3)Gregor Clegane Lannister Mountain GameOfThrones Wudugast ASOIAF (4)

In many ways this model is a bit of a missed opportunity. He’s a big lad – the character is always described as being an absolute giant of a man – but there are a lot of blank spaces on the model and the size of it only emphasises this. I’m not suggesting he should have been bedecked with skulls like a champion of Khorne, but adding something in all those spaces, particularly something characterful that reminds us of his barbarity, would have been worthwhile. Likewise obscuring his head behind a full helm seems like a mistake, it’s very accurate to descriptions of the character from the novels but this is surely a miniature who is crying out for a bare head on which to display an expression of furious and bloodthirsty rage. Instead we have a knight in House Clegane livery modelled at a larger scale than the rest of the range, and if it wasn’t for his sheer size there would be nothing at all to tell us that this is the feared Mountain himself. Overall the model is chunky and crude, which admittedly also described the character. There are a couple of new versions of the character which have been made since this one but without seeing them in person it’s hard to say how much this issue has been resolved. Still, stand him next to his troops and there’s no doubt why he’s been nicknamed “The Mountain”.

Gregor Clegane Lannister Mountain GameOfThrones Wudugast ASOIAF (5)

Brutal bastard that he is, he’ll be taking charge of my Lannister army – at least until I get around to painting Jamie Lannister.


The Mountain’s Men – Part 1

Like many people, I suspect, I have a difficult relationship with George RR Martin’s series, A Song of Ice and Fire. For one thing the name transcends the usual pretentiousness of the fantasy genre to reach for something that sounds downright silly. That aside though old George has a knack for writing the most deeply flawed characters and making them engaging. You find yourself caring deeply about people that, if they were in a lesser series, you wouldn’t give a damn about or would gladly see bumped off as soon as possible. He nails the hard fact, that in real life – and especially in times of war – there are no straightforward “goodies vs baddies” (despite what the news media might like to tell us).

As the characters so the books themselves; Martin’s writing may be compelling but it’s far from perfect. The first novel, A Game of Thrones, still stands for me as amongst the very best the fantasy genre has to offer, but the sequels – despite some really powerful moments – sometimes fail to reach it’s giddy heights. Whole chapters drag by in which next to nothing happens. Pivotal characters appear to be abandoned whilst the misadventures of every peasant in Westeros are paraded before the reader’s glazing eyes. And then of course there are all the high points, the compelling storyline, engaging characters and powerful writing that keeps you hooked whilst George retreats to whatever distant citadel he lurks in whilst he twiddles his thumbs for another decade or so, counting his cash and leaving the rest of us to wonder if he’s ever going to actually finish writing the damn thing.

Then there was the TV show and, in keeping with the theme, it had its up and downs. To begin with at least it was great; they changed things from the books (generally for the worse unfortunately but it was all forgivable in the early days) but the acting top-notch, and on the whole they did wonderful job of drawing the viewer into the world. Those who’ve seen it will recall the wedding held at Kings Landing which was so beautiful even Joffrey got a little choked up. After a while of course it all veered wildly away from the plot of the books and the flaws in the last couple of series are so extensive, and have been described in detail so many times, that they really aren’t worth going over again now. In the end it all came crashing down as the surviving characters smashed their way through the fourth wall to lecture us, the audience, wagging their fingers self-righteously in our faces because we had cheered for the wrong people all along and everything that had happened was somehow our fault.

So yeah, A Song of Ice and Fire is a series which – and I know this is quite a common phenomenon – I will say that I love and then complain about for the next couple of hours.

When it comes to the ASOIAF miniatures game I sat on the fence for quite a while. I loved the Lord of the Rings (both the books and the films) – although admittedly without the uncritical passion of some of my friends – but I never really got into the miniatures games. I’ve painted the odd model here and there but nothing substantial. ASOIAF however captured my interest. In general the miniatures themselves are much better, and that alone should be enough, but I feel – without wanting to indulge in self-psychoanalysis – that there’s more to it than that, I just can’t put my finger on exactly what. The intricate world-building and vast cast of characters of the novels, which at times makes them so dense for the casual reader to approach, is perfect when it comes to creating background for a miniatures game. However as soon as I realised the game was made by CMON I backed off, and stubbornly refused to buy anything for the first few years. Burned once too many by their shenanigans in years gone by I sulked, until a deal too good to resist came along and my resolve crumbled – which brings me to where we are now. I’ve got a bunch of Starks and Lannisters from the original starter set, plus a few extras, so I’m going to start by putting together a couple of little armies, alongside my efforts to work through my other neglected projects. First on the table we have a couple of ruthless rascals from The Mountain’s Men.

There are some pretty damn dastardly scumbags in Westeros but few are quite as unpleasant as Ser Gregor Clegane, often called The Mountain That Rides, or sometimes Tywin Lannister’s Mad Dog. The men that serve under him are known collectively, and unimaginatively, as The Mountain’s Men and are, not to put too fine a point on it, a right bunch of utter bastards. Needless to say my Lannisters won’t be getting their hands dirty when they can call in their bannermen instead so my first step towards raising an army is to bring in a few of these thugs, starting with this unpleasant pair. Butcher’s boys beware! 

Mountains Men ASOIAF Game of Thrones Lannister Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Mountains Men ASOIAF Game of Thrones Lannister Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)Mountains Men ASOIAF Game of Thrones Lannister Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)Mountains Men ASOIAF Game of Thrones Lannister Wudugast ConvertOrDie (4)

I really enjoyed painting these two and I’ve already got a few more that I’ve started working on so expect to see more recruits appearing shortly. 


Guardians of the Grave

A project which has been on my (very long) “to do” list for a while has been to put together a Warcry warband of Vampire Counts Soulblight Gravelords. My love for this kind of undead goes back a long time so getting some shambling corpses on the table for some skirmish action was always inevitable. What’s more, by cannibalising models I’ve already painted for other projects this one was almost up and running already making it a perfect early candidate for my campaign to complete some neglected projects. 

In fact the other day I realised that I was only two models short of having it finished, and the models in question were ones I’d been wanting to tackle for quite a while anyway; my pair of converted Grave Guard. I’ve always been a fan of the Grave Guard models but sadly time has not been kind to them and they do look a bit short compared to the new skeletons (actually the skeletons are a bit tall, looming over the new zombies, which is unfortunate but also just splitting hairs). Anyway, I decided to kitbash two new Grave Guard from the new skeletons, something you can read all about here. Now it was time to get them painted so here we have them; one with a great weapon…

Grave Guard Warhammer Wudugast Soulblight Gravelords Vampire Undead Skeleton (4)Grave Guard Warhammer Wudugast Soulblight Gravelords Vampire Undead Skeleton (5)

…and one with a “sword and board”. 

Grave Guard Warhammer Wudugast Soulblight Gravelords Vampire Undead Skeleton (1)Grave Guard Warhammer Wudugast Soulblight Gravelords Vampire Undead Skeleton (2)Grave Guard Warhammer Wudugast Soulblight Gravelords Vampire Undead Skeleton (3)

Add them to a mix of models from my existing undead collection and we have this little lot ready for games of Warcry. That’s a vampire lord, a kosargi nightguard, two skeletons, three zombies, a vargheist and of course, two grave guard.

Vampire Counts Warcry Warband Wudugast

Next up I want to turn my attention to one of the bigger projects on my “to do” list, I’ll aim to have something posted about that soon. 


Scum’s Thoughts – Part 7

After years of fighting for survival in the claustrophobic depths of the Underhive it’s time at last for Necromunda to head into the great outdoors. This year’s Adepticon saw the full reveal of the new Necromunda: Ash Wastes box, in which gangers from the House of Iron do battle with Ash Waste Nomads in the toxic desert beyond the hives. To help them get around in the wide-open spaces of the wilderness the Orlocks have brought along a couple of nifty looking buggies…

Orlock Buggy

…whilst the Ash Waste Nomads, not to be outdone, will be scurrying out of the dunes on the back of giant fleas. 

Ash Waste Nomad Flea

Now it probably goes without saying that I’m very excited about this announcement. For one thing the new Ash Waste Nomad gang looks very cool, if a little challenging to paint, as does the new terrain for building desert settlements.

Ash Waste Nomad

However I’m also coming to realise how excited I am about vehicles appearing in Necromunda. I don’t think Necromunda needs vehicles per se, but I sure as hell need Necromunda vehicles in my life all the same. Plus, if we’re going outside the hives then really they become a must – the distances are too vast and the environment too dangerous to be tackled on foot. 

Having seen the beasts and buggies included in the new box my imagination immediately began to run through possibilities for the other gangs in the game. After all it’s safe to say that all the other Houses will be following the Orlocks out into the wastes and when they do they’re going to need wheels of their own. In this article I’m going to try to guess what those vehicles will look like then – in a year or so’s time – we can all come back and gasp at my Nostradamus-like powers of prediction/laugh at how wildly wrong I turned out to be. 

Goliath

Let’s be honest, the Goliath buggy will be unsubtle. I’m imagining a big spikey ram with a powerful engine and no reverse gear. 

Escher

At first I was a bit stumped by this one as I couldn’t quite picture what kind of vehicle the Eschers would drive. Then I spotted what should have been abundantly obvious – the Ash Waste Nomads aren’t driving but riding, preferring a living steed to anything mechanical. The Eschers, great bio-manipulators that they are, will surely do likewise. What we need is a horse crossed with a tiger to make it more predatory and with feathers and crests and spots and stripes so that everyone can see how damn glamorous it is. Now give it big claws, and a poisonous sting, and make it run really fast and spit acid! Sorted – now the girls can ride in style! 

Van Saar

The obvious choice is something similar to the Grav Cutters, but a little bit bigger. 

Grav Cutter Van Saar

Frankly I’d be perfectly happy with that, although I’m equally open to creative alternatives. Whatever they make it’s bound to be high tech, sleek and fast, and I’m going to bet it flies too. 

Cawdor

Make a pulpit out of scrap from which one can preach to the heathens of the wasteland. Mount it on the back of a gigantic mutant rat. Remove anything which might remotely be classed as a health-and-safety feature and replace it with FAITH! Garnish liberally with candles and you’re ready for your next crusade. 

Delaque

As with the Van Saar the Delaque already have a model which I think could give us a lot of clues as to the shape of whatever they end up driving. 

Piscean Spektor

That aside though I’m not going to try to pin down exactly what it will look like, just that I’m confident it will be very alien and almost certainly look the least like a traditional vehicle or steed of any of the factions. And it’ll probably have the brain of some poor psyker wired in there where sane people would have put an engine.

+++

Now we could leave things there, I think it’s a fairly safe bet that we’ll just see vehicles for the gangs of the six Great Houses, plus any new gangs like the Ash Waste Nomads. That said however it’s fun to speculate so let’s have a think about the other factions as well, starting with the most likely. 

Enforcers

Heavily armed and armoured, dark, sinister and brutal – when Helmawr’s Finest head out into the wastes they won’t be messing around. A blue flashing light on the top is optional. I’m also wondering if this one will be able to fly, or at least glide along above the ground on some kind of anti-grav engine. Some people have already suggested something like the Lawmaster from Judge Dredd but, cool as Dredd is, I think Games Workshop – and especially their legal teams – will want to keep developing the Enforcers identity as their own thing rather than rehashing someone else’s ideas. Remember kids – it doesn’t have to be something you already know to be good! (Incidently I just noticed I’d typo’d “Lawmaster” as “Lawnmaster” – presumably that’s for when Dredd takes up gardening).

Genestealer Cults

I know I just said that Enforcers are the most likely of the factions outside the Great Houses to get vehicles but that overlooks the fact that the Genestealer Cultists already have the Atalan Jackle bikers, the Wolf Quads and perhaps even the Achilles Ridgerunner and Goliath truck.

Atalan Jackle GSC Bike

Seeing these added to the game, even if it’s simply via a White Dwarf article, seems inevitable. 

Corpse Grinder Cults 

Find a wrecked buggy in the wasteland. Control your hunger and rage long enough to weld bits of scrap, lots of spikes, chains and razorwire all over the outside. Stick a great big circular saw on the front so you can carve open land trains and wagons to get at the fleshy good stuff inside. Decorate with bits of your last meal/victim. Impale yourself behind the wheel and go hunting! 

Redemptionists

I very much doubt that the Redemptionists will get a vehicle of their own sadly but will instead be allowed to borrow one from House Cawdor. That said I’d love to see a mobile pyre with massive flame throwers on the front, pushed into battle by the faithful. 

Hive Scum

Maybe I’m wrong here but I’m not convinced that Hive Scum have their own vehicles. It seems a bit resource intensive for these down-and-outs so I reckon, if they do ever venture out onto the open road, they just steal something off a better equipped gang. So my prediction is that a Scum vehicle will look exactly like an Orlock vehicle, with the addition of an angry Orlock ganger running along behind, who at some point is going to have to give up and explain to the rest of his crew that he left the keys in it. 

Ogryns

Much like the Scum I don’t think there’s much chance of Ogryn vehicles; they just don’t have the wit to build, maintain, fuel or even drive them. Plus they don’t really have any need for them, other gangs need to get from safe shelter A to oasis B as quickly as possible before the wastes kill them, whereas Ogryns probably think the rad-storms and lethal wildlife reminds them off the old country on whatever death world they originated on. Maybe they’d have some kind of servitor-beasts that escaped from the factories alongside them? Maybe the nearest thing to a vehicle they have is an Ogryn hitting people over the head with a tire whilst shouting “Free da peepol!”. 

Ash Wastes

…And that’s our show! As usual if you grease monkeys think you have any better suggestions the comments box is the place to be!


Rock Bottom 

Why yes, I did paint a stone troll and name him Rock Bottom. Don’t judge me, you’d have done the same thing if you’d thought of it! 

Warhammer Troll Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Warhammer Troll Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)Warhammer Troll Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)Warhammer Troll Wudugast ConvertOrDie (4)Warhammer Troll Wudugast ConvertOrDie (5)

Once again this is a model which has lurked in the pile of shame for some time, and now comes stomping forth at long last as I continue my efforts to work my way through the backlog. Somewhere I have a couple more of these trolls, expect to see them… someday. 


Demon Dog

I’ve no idea where this model originates from, I found it in a box of old models I was sorting and thought it looked like an easy win. Any experts in old lead want to point me in the right direction? 

Ugly Demon Dog Wudugast (1)Ugly Demon Dog Wudugast (2)

To be honest it’s a bit… erm… rubbish. Maybe I just got a duff cast but the face(s) especially are pretty mushy and there’s a massive mouldline which runs unerringly through the few decent details there are. I did the best I could with it, although the latter proved impossible to completely remove. I reckon it’s passable from a distance, if you stand about 5 miles away it actually looks ok. Anyway I think I gave it more time and effort than it deserves but its done now so I’ll pack it away and think no more about it! 


Ride The Lightning – Part 5

Another day, another Stormcast Eternal. This place really has gone downhill hasn’t it! 

Stormcast Eternal Wudugast ConvertOrDie AoS Warhammer (1)Stormcast Eternal Wudugast ConvertOrDie AoS Warhammer (2)Stormcast Eternal Wudugast ConvertOrDie AoS Warhammer (3)

As previously mentioned I really like the look of the heavily-armoured Annihilators and this grim champion stands ready to give the servants of evil a damn good kicking! 


Barbarian Wrath – Part 4

Back to the dark and violent world of Hate for a couple more angry barbarians. This first chap looks particularly imposing and animalistic, as if he’s about to charge like a bull and do some unfortunate soul a lot of damage with that big axe.

Hate Barbarian Wudugast Chaos CMON (1)Hate Barbarian Wudugast Chaos CMON (2)

Meanwhile his smaller sidekick (and/or rival – I’m loosing track of who belongs to which tribe with these at the moment) still looks more than capable of causing all kinds of mayhem with that battered old sword.

Hate Barbarian Wudugast Chaos CMON (3)Hate Barbarian Wudugast Chaos CMON (4)

This isn’t a project I’m feeling the need to dedicate myself to at the moment but I am enjoying having a few of these around and picking up the odd model here and there whenever the fancy takes me. Expect to see more of them popping up here and there over the months ahead.


Avast Improvement

I’ve seen pirates popping up on some of my favourite blogs lately, with Alex from Leadballoony completing his Ghost Archipelago warband and IRO making an entire pirate island, not to mention all the amazing piratical goodness produced by Mikko at Dawn of the Lead. Needless to say I’ve been tempted away from all the things I’m meant to be painting and, abiding by the principle that one should always be oneself unless one has the opportunity to be a pirate instead, I grabbed a treasure map, spliced the mainsail, donned an eyepatch, consumed an inordinate amount of rum and then painted this chap. All things considered I probably could have done a better job of him but I was very drunk and had no depth-perception.

Pirate Wudugast (1)Pirate Wudugast (2)

This scurvy sea-dog comes from Black Scorpion’s Cutlass! range and goes by the name Solomon. I picked him up alongside some of their men-at-arms although I must admit I’m tempted to get myself some more pirates from them as well now.