Tag Archives: Alchemists of Dirz

The Ladykillers – Part 2

Well, I promised I’d finish a couple more Eschers before the end of the week and what do you know – I’ve actually managed it!

Leaping to the fore with laspistols in hand we have “Lethal” Grace.

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I think of her as being a fairly new recruit to the gang, and indeed she may even serve as a Juve once we get some proper campaigns rolling, hence her relatively plain hair-do. Indeed I almost bottled-out myself and left her as a blond without the blue highlights, until my partner got involved and added the final touches (why yes, it is nerve wracking to paint a professional artist’s models for her – thanks for asking!)

The Escher gang will be very much under the command of my partner, Janice, and indeed, in fairness to me, at least part of the delay in getting these finished was waiting for her to have the time to join in. Janice works as an illustrator so brings a wealth of talent far in excess of my own. However, by the same token, having spent her working day producing works of art she doesn’t necessarily want to sit down on her day off and start painting again. Thus these were very much a collaborative effort with me doing most of the leg work and then Janice adding a stamp of quality on top.

Anyway, next up we have Cassidy, the fourth Escher to join the gang. Again, if you see a neatly applied basecoat, or a skilfully deployed wash, that would be my doing, whereas if you see a clever detail that makes your jaw drop Janice is the one responsible.

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I mean, I reckon I’m not too shabby as painters go but she’s put scalp-tattoos on an Escher! That’s way above my skill level.

Escher Gang Convert Or Die Necromunda (9)Escher Gang Convert Or Die Necromunda (10)

I also found this chap working in a box of old miniatures. He’s a Tiger of Dirz belonging to the Alchemists of Dirz, originating from the game Confrontation produced by Rackham.

Escher Gang Convert Or Die Necromunda (1)

The greater part of the background fiction for Confrontation was only available in French and as my grasp of that language is embarrassingly poor I have only the sketchiest understanding of the factions and their motivations. As far as I understand the Alchemists lived in the desert where they used some arcane science to create genetic abominations and clone armies for evil purposes (nobody ever makes a genetic abomination because they’re a fundamentally decent human do they?)

Sadly Rackham collapsed during the 2008 recession, a victim of both foolish business practices and attempting a radical and unpopular transformation of their core game. On the plus side there were a few short weeks in which their models, previously jaw-droppingly expensive, became unbelievably cheap and even I, then on a students’ budget and staring into a rocky financial future, could afford to amass a heap of them. I understand there have been attempts to resurrect the Rackham range since, but sadly this has primarily been under the CMON banner and thus to be avoided at all costs.

I painted the Tiger not long after I bought him but he’s been skulking around in a box for quite some time, packed away after one house move or another and never unpacked – until now… As soon as I stumbled on him I was put in mind of the Khimerix, one of the new house brutes detailed in Gang War 4. Whilst the brutes previously available could join any gang now each house also has their own unique ‘big guy’ ranging from the ‘roid raging overgrown monstrosities that are the Goliath ‘zerkers to the cargo servitors of House Orlock. Most unusual of all is the Khimerix, the chimerical gene-spliced beasts created by House Escher.

Khimerix Art

I imagine that each of these beasts is unique, and that an Escher with a trained eye would recognise the signature of her peers in the monsters they had created. Each is a mish-mash of genetic components, mixing gaudy appearance with brute strength and predatory instincts, albeit rolled together into a bizarre looking beast – like a chaos spawn only fabulous! Khimerixes end up battling gladiators in the fighting pits, as terrifying guard dogs for key Escher labs and chem-plants and of course as status symbols for powerful gang leaders.

I always thought that there’s something reminiscent of a tyranid in the Tiger’s face which helps to tie him in to the 40k setting. Indeed given House Escher’s interest in acquiring exotic xenos’ biological material for their experiments we should all be grateful that there aren’t genestealers and their hybrid cultists sneaking around in the Underhive as we speak. Oh, wait…

Anyway, judging by comments on the Warhammer TV live stream it sounds like an official model for the Khimerix won’t be released for quite some time so I reckon this chap will do the business nicely in the meantime.

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Edit: Faust of DoubleDownDice pointed out, rather sensibly, that a size comparison of the Tiger standing next to an Escher or two would be useful for those unfamiliar with the model (which given its age is probably quite a few of you). Feel free to give them a click if you want to see a bigger image (no need to peer at the screen – think of your eyesight!)

Tiger of Dirz with Eschers

Of course, it’s been the best part of a decade since I painted him so he’s in need of a bit of a touch up, not to mention moving to a base more in keeping with the Underhive, but I think there’s potential there. Plus, he was originally made for the game Confrontation, and Confrontation (albeit a different game) was the original name for Necromunda, so there’s a pleasing symmetry there that appeals to me!