Two more Poxwalkers come shambling forth. After slowing to an appropriately zombie-esque crawl with them over the last few months I seem to be picking up the pace with them at the moment – which is good news as there are still plenty more to do!
This poor chap’s been left with his head in his hands…
I’m not really a fan of the stock model for this next Poxwalker. With a few judicious tweaks I’ve made him acceptable to my eye but the original is just too over the top for my taste. Following my adjustments I’m happy enough with him but I don’t think another based off the same model will be making its way into the horde. That said I did enjoy the chance to really go mad on the gore and slather on the Blood-for-the-Blood-God paint for once.
Zombies are at their best in hordes. A lone zombie may be pretty terrifying if it’s in your house, or even shambling around on your street, but when it comes to zombies as miniatures; more is always better. I don’t want a few poxwalkers I want a mighty swarm to terrorise the neighbourhood. Furthermore I’ve decided I want every poxwalker to be unique (regular readers will know this was inevitable). With this in mind I’ve been kitbashing and converting quietly away in the background of other projects and now it’s time for two more corpses to walk.
As usual I try to sneak in a little narrative where I can. This chap was ordered by his Imperial masters to walk through the streets with his bell warning citizens to remain indoors whilst the plague run its course. Alas there is no one left alive to hear him now but he keeps ringing his bell in honour of grandfather Nurgle’s glory.
Meanwhile his new friend plays to the joyful enthusiasm felt by Nurgle’s followers.
It’s not all about Poxwalkers though; lurking behind the rotten horde trudge their malevolent masters, the Plague Marines…
Grandfather be praised!
Last year Mark of HeresyOfUS sent out a number of these cool looking skull stacks to hobby blogs for review. Naturally I wanted to do something suitably exciting with it, and as a piece it lends itself naturally to being used as an objective marker. However despite being a strong believer in the importance of thematic objective markers the fact that I almost never actually play games meant I never quite got around to it. Enter the one game I do play from time to time; Necromunda. In the Underhive the Chaos Cults construct dark shrines at which to conduct their maddening rituals, and which can drive the unwary quite insane if they stumble upon them.
Naturally the Necromundan authorities regard this as both disturbingly heretical behaviour and a waste of perfectly good skulls which could otherwise be ground up to make corpse-starch, but hopefully you’ll be a little more forgiving.
Anyone interested in Mark’s wonderfully strange take on the grim darkness should take a look at his online store. He’s also recently created a game, in collaboration with Alex of Leadballoony, and right now they’re running a competition with a giant bio-mechanical skullspider as the prize. The game is free and, if you win the competition, so is the spider – and what more does anyone need to tempt them!
Worshipping chaos is a dangerous business. One minute you’re chanting unclean syllables not meant for human tongues whilst the claws of daemonic entities scratch at the thinning veil, the next you find yourself a mindless abomination with a tentacle for a face. You think you’re signing up to stick it to the noble houses, fat-cat guilders and corrupt overseers and the next thing you know you’re the one who’s corrupted, overrun with wild mutations and reduced to a mewling thing driven only by the basest of instincts. You might stay ahead for a while, acquiring a modicum of power by shoving lesser acolytes into the sacrificial pit ahead of you but ultimately very, very few make it to ascension and princehood. The rest either get themselves killed or end up reduced to bestial spawndom like Jibbermaw here.
Oddly, in spite of my long standing affiliation with Chaos, I’ve never actually built a spawn before so this was a great chance to really dig into the bits box and go mad. There’s still a few tweaks I want to make to him, particularly around the tentacle arm, but overall I’m pretty pleased with him.
Magic is worming its way into the world of Necromunda. First the genestealer cults, then the chaos cults, and now Gang War 4 are all bringing psykers of various descriptions into the Underhive. At first I wasn’t sure that this was a good thing. After all psykers are rare and powerful individuals, deserving of their place in mighty armies or the personal retinues of equally influential persons like Inquisitors, and shouldn’t be running around with the gangs of the Underhive. A child on Necromunda found to have such powers would be quickly sold uphive and bundled onto a black ship or sent to be trained as a sanctioned psyker. In time they would use their skills to fight for whole worlds, not to stake a claim on a short section of ill-lit corridor.
However the more I thought about it the more compelling the counter-argument became, namely; wizards are awesome. Regardless of what job you do and how much you may or may not enjoy it, you’d really rather be a wizard. Wizards make everything better.
Plus, there are a lot of people on Necromunda. At least some of them will be unsanctioned psykers so inevitably some will be sanctioned psykers sent to deal with them before they make merry mayhem and let daemons into the world. This lady falls firmly into the first category.
Thanks to their unhealthy relationship with the Warp, the chaos cults get access to low level psykers in the form of witches. These individuals have enough power to fear the black ships but not enough to have value to the Imperium and are thus easily won over by gangs of disaffected cultists. Through foul rituals and blood sacrifices they bolster their power with warp-energy borrowed from the Dark Gods, power that I’m hoping will give my band of malcontents an edge when it comes to overthrowing the houses and guilds.
The aim with the model is to emphasise the power that comes through blood sacrifices and dark magic rather than the brute authority shown by Skaverghast the demagogue. He may lead the battles but she organises the rituals and communes with the gods. Whilst he thinks in terms of territory to be seized and materials to be gathered she guides them on their spiritual path, a path that will see reality torn open and daemons walking through the ruins of habs and manufactories alike.
Given my love of all things Chaos it’s actually a little bit surprising that it’s taken me this long to get started on a band of unruly gangers to bring the worship of the Ruinous Powers to the depths of the Necromundan Underhive. Never mind eh brothers and sisters, now is the time to throw off the shackles imposed upon us by the great houses, etc, distant, uncaring Emperor, etc etc, reject the rule of Terra and so on and so forth.
Now some of you may be thinking “steady on, how many gangs is he starting?” but the nice thing about chaos, for me at least, is that I already have most of the models ready to go. Having poured over the chaos gang rules in White Dwarf I’ve pulled together this disreputable mob which makes up most, if not quite all, of the gangers I’ll need.
There’s still a couple of gaps to fill but those places will be taken by models I’ve been meaning to get around to painting anyway so this should serve to encourage me. Of course I can’t seem to let any opportunity to make new models pass me by, especially when those models are beastmen, so I ended up assembling this pair as well. The one on the left will be squeezing his way into the gang itself, whilst the one on the right will be joining the Brayhorn Boys (an all beastmen gang mentioned in White Dwarf that I haven’t been able to resist planning).
When it came to choosing a leader for the gang I was already spoilt for options, and indeed any one of these five could have done the business.
However a new gang needs a new boss, and really it wouldn’t have been right not to come up with someone unique to lead the helots into the clutches of the Dark Gods. Enter Skaverghast the Pit Dweller, hated demagogue and enemy of the Imperium.
This leaves me with just two more models to build for the gang, a witch and a spawn, both of which should hopefully emerge soonish.