This time last year I put together a post summing up where I stood with all of my Necromunda projects and laying out everything I had planned for the future. I found it to be quite a useful exercise so I decided to do it again this year – although whether it turns into an annual feature we’ll just have to wait and see.
Of all GW’s games and settings Necromunda remains the one with which I’m most engaged. 2019 was a fairly good year for the game, with lots of world building spread across a number of books. The first half of the year was relatively quiet for miniatures releases however, with the just the ambot and Kal Jerico (and Scabs) putting in an appearance. Things picked up in the second half of the year however with the arrival of two kinds of Enforcers, a ravenous cannibal cult and the three-dimensional zone-mortalis terrain that people had been complaining bitterly hadn’t been included in the original boxset (of course, they immediately started complaining about the price instead. Those of us who suggested, back in 2017, that a boxset stuffed to the gills with high-quality plastic terrain would be desperately expensive quietly congratulated ourselves on our Nostradamus-like powers of prediction…).
Based on what I understand (and I’m no industry insider) this deceleration in the release schedule in early 2019, followed by a subsequent acceleration later in the year, was very much to be expected. Based on what I understand, as with Blood Bowl a series of teams or gangs were commissioned at launch and their popularity would decide how much future support the game received. As both games seem to have gone down a storm it’s hopeful that Necromunda will follow Blood Bowl and receive regular updates throughout the coming year (and indeed years). Time for me to crack on and clear my backlog of unpainted stuff then so that I’m ready for whatever new things might emerge from the Underhive gloom next.
The Irondogs (House Goliath)
My Goliath collection really found its feet in 2018 but 2019 wasn’t entirely without recruits, as four newcomersjoined the crew. At the moment I’m not rushing to add any more but I do have plenty of ideas, not to mention one or two models built but as yet unpainted, so I’d imagine they’ll continue to grow in dribs and drabs over the coming months.
The Ladykillers (House Escher)
After a relatively quiet 2018 the girls really arrived on the scene in style in 2019. From a mere handful at the start of the year we now have a veritable army of them. As with the Goliaths I’m not planning to add many more in the immediate future but I still have plans and I’d very much like to return to them when the opportunity arises.
The Tech-Hunters (House Van Saar)
This time last year I showed off the test model for this gang and I’m pleased to say I managed to rattle through the rest of the gang as well. It took me a while to get around to them but once I got started I fairly powered through them, even adding in an old Space Wolf model by accident. For now I’m fairly happy with how the gang stands so again I’m not planning to add anything new in the immediate future, but who knows what might happen later in the year.
The Cult of Ruin (Helot Cult)
The final gang to get a lot of attention last year was my Chaos cult. These helots were originally intended to be put together quite quickly out of models I already had in my collection, plus a few odds and ends that I was going to paint anyway such as the Rogue Psyker from Blackstone Fortress. Of course it didn’t quite work out like that but I got there in the end and I’m pleased with the results.
I’m not planning on expanding the gang this year per se but there are a few old cultist models in my collection which could use a repaint, and I’ll be working on the cultists from Blackstone Fortress: Escalation, any or all of which could easily find a second home in the gang.
The Radwolves (House Orlock)
Enough about gangs I’m not planning to paint much of in the coming year and on to those I will be. I’ve had a lot of Orlocks sitting around for quite some time now but until recently I just couldn’t find a colour scheme I was terribly happy with. At last however I think I’m onto something.
Having tried out a number of other colour schemes I think I’ve settled on this dusty, dirty look – perfect for a battered road-warrior. All the tweaks and adjustments to his paint scheme mean he’s far from perfect but hopefully those which are painted following a consistent plan from start to finish will be better. Now I just need to crack on with the rest of the gang.
The Children of Whispers (House Delaque)
Next up it’s Billy Corgan (or possibly a Delaque ganger).
As with the Orlock it took me a while to get the colours just right here, although I’m finally happy with what I came up with. From the get go I planned to paint my gang in a very stark, mono-chrome style, akin to this piece of artwork. Like a lot of others I was also very much inspired by the look of The Strangers from the film Dark City, with just a touch of the Observers from Fringe.
However painting something in black and white is easier said than done and a great deal of fiddling around went on before I ended up with something I was happy with. Now I’m settled on something I’d like to crack on with the rest of the gang soon. Once again it probably won’t happen immediately (I think most of my Necromunda projects will be pushed back a bit whilst I get my teeth into Warcry) but I’d like to look at them properly in the near(-ish) future. In the meantime I’ve been quietly building more gangers in the background.
I’m pleased with this one, although the gap at his shoulder is bloody annoying. The blame probably lies with me more than the kit, but I’ll need to tidy it up before he’s ready for paint.
Having started off with some fairly standard builds I tried experimenting with the Forge World head upgrade pack. Hooded Delaque are something of a new phenomenon in the Underhive but I rather like the way they look, somehow they’re even more sinister than usual.
Like most people I tend to associate Delaque with sneaking around in dark corridors, cutting the lights, murdering their adversaries with silenced weapons, and planting false leads to pin the blame on everyone else. The thought of one carrying something as OTT as a heavy flamer calls for something a bit out of the ordinary, the kind of laughing madman the gang unleashes when they want to make a statement and they need everyone to know about it. And yes, that’s a Cawdor head, but being bald it fits the Delaque nicely.
The Oathbones (House Cawdor)
The next Necromunda project I tackle is likely to be the devout men and women of House Cawdor. These are amongst my absolute favourites from the range and I’ve already started chipping away at them.
Unfortunately I don’t have any WIPs that are at a stage to show but have faith, plenty more are on their way!
A big part of the appeal of Necromunda (and Warcry, Blood Bowl and so) is the low price of admission to each new faction (Dark Uprising aside of course!). A new gang will set you back somewhere between £20 and £30, not much more than a single character in 40k or AoS these days, or the back rank in a WHFB horde. Thus when the long arm of the law stretched out towards the Underhive in August 2019 it was all too easy to sign myself up for some police brutality. So far my little patrol doesn’t even have a name, let alone any background, but they do have a single officer, modelling a colour scheme I’m happy with, so we’re off.
Thanks to the wonderfully model-packed but eye-wateringly expensive Dark Uprising box I’ve already recruited him some backup in the form of this sturdy Subjugator. I love the heavily armoured, bulky aesthetic of these guys, they look ready to weather a storm of bullets and wade into whatever the Underhive throws at them, batons swinging.
Sizewise these aren’t much bigger than the regular enforcers but their bulkier armour adds a real sense of weight and presence to them.
Meanwhile this one is armed with an assault ram, designed to knock doors down and follow up by firing a grenade into the breach, probably whilst the wielder yells “Freeze perp, show me your hands!”
I’ve seen quite a number of people complain that, should the ram become bent or otherwise damaged (for example when being used to knock a door down) then the grenade could easily get jammed and explode prematurely, which might not be the best thing that could happen to the poor bloke who’s holding it at the time. It’s a fair point but I’ve never been entirely clear at exactly which point in this scenario Lord Helmawr starts giving a shit about the safety and well-being of his subjects. This is Necromunda, where the only plentiful resource available is human lives. Furthermore this is the 41st Millennium, where doing exactly what you are told without question or hesitation is the only law. If the people who look after the machines (the same people who think praying and waving incense around is a key part of the process) say that this is how you’re meant to use it then you’ll damn well use it that way. Should the God-Emperor decide that today is your day to die in an entirely preventable workplace accident then He must have had His reasons. Perhaps you were harbouring thought of sedition, or doubting the mechanism of the blessed machine with which you have been entrusted. And if the resultant explosion kills half your squad of highly trained officers and allows a cannibal cult to escape justice? Well let it suffice that He moves in mysterious ways…
The Lodge of the Carnivore King
The latest gang to join the grubby underworld of Necromunda are the Corpse Grinders, foul Khorne-worshipping barbarian cannibals. Honestly if you thought that I was going to be anything other than all over this then you don’t know me at all!
Again I’ve just started dipping my toe in here but it goes without saying that I’m excited by what I’ve seen so far. On the one hand these are great models in and of themselves, and a day which isn’t spent recruiting blood maddened cannibals into a cult of violence and depravity is a day wasted. More than that however it’s great to see some new ideas being introduced to Necromunda, without straying from the core of what makes the setting great. These feel instantly at home here, whilst at the same time introducing something fresh. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of all the concepts introduced in past editions – roll on the reinvention of Ratskins and Redemptionists – but this setting has so much more potential than simply aping the ’90s and waxing nostalgic over a past era.
Until I started putting them together I hadn’t realised quite how large these lads are. All that healthy eating is certainly helping them to grow big and strong!
Indeed there’s not much in it when the Skinners stand shoulder to shoulder with a Chaos Marine, handy for anyone thinking of kitbashing them, or using the heads and weapons to add alternative flourishes to World Eaters. The smaller Initiates meanwhile would make for fine cultists in a Khornate Chaos Marine army (after all, that’s essentially what they are).
Usually I love converting my gangers to make as many as possible unique to me. That said there are normally one or two in every gang that I just have to keep “as is” – they’re just too cool not to. Enter, this angry man…
However, despite how nice the standard models are, one of the biggest draws for me is converting, kitbashing and personalising them. Looking through the equipment list in the Book of Ruin I spotted the Icon of the Corpse Grinders and knew that if my revolution was going to look like it meant business I was going to need one of those for starters!
Knowing myself as I do I’m certain I’ll be chipping away at all of these over the coming months. My plan is to try to focus on Warcry for the next little while but the call of the Underhive has always been strong for me and I don’t imagine I’ll be able to resist any of these projects for long.