Today we’re going to tackle an experiment in amateur psychology. The premise is very simple; for the last couple of years I’ve been working away slowly at painting up a horde of poxwalkers with the aim being to complete 40 of them. At the most recent count I’ve finished 28 – and 28 sounds like its a long way from 40. Whereas 30 on the other hand is a much more pleasing result. Once I’ve painted 30 I’ll be three-quarters of the way there, I’ll be on the last leg (much like some of these zombies!), I’ll be counting down the last 10 with the finish line in sight.
Azazel also reminded me that it’s Zomtober, which would certainly make for a fine opportunity to paint some of my remaining zombies. That said, with a number of other projects also demanding my attention I’m going to be sensible and, unlike a zombie, not bite off more than I can chew (for the moment). Still, the end is at least on the horizon for my zombie horde so I’ll keep bashing on – only ten more to go now!
As promised, with the Negavolt Cultists now in the bag I’ve returned to working on Blackstone Fortress with renewed vigour and, all being well, I should have a herd of angry beastmen ready to show you within the next few days. However they’re a long way from being the only thing on the painting desk and today it’s the turn of some hideous plague ridden zombies.
I will admit that I’ve not been feeling a great deal of enthusiasm for my poxwalker horde lately. Nonetheless they’ve not been entirely left to grow dusty with those at the front of the heap enjoying the odd five minutes of attention here and there until, as though by some organic process, I discovered that these three were pretty much painted. Thus in between the beastmen I took the chance to add some finishing touches and get them out of the way.
One of my goals with this project has been to make every zombie unique. Regular readers will be aware that I’m no fan of clone armies and so ensuring that every duplicate poxwalker was converted in some way was an absolute must.
This next is one of my favourites so far. I wouldn’t want to make a habit of it but it was fun to really let my hair down and indulge in some ghastly gory horror.
I wonder what this fat lad has been eating to end up looking like this? Maybe it’s best not to ask…
For comparison here he is next to his unconverted brother. The model on the right is the original model, the one on the left is the converted version.
As I said these didn’t take the greatest amount of effort to complete just the occasional few minutes whenever the mood took me over a period of months. As a result they’re probably not my best work but I think they come into their own when viewed as part of a horde. I’ve always insisted that I didn’t just want “some zombies” but a full-on zombie horde and on that front at least I think I can proudly say I’m getting there.
Whether or not this leads to a burst of Nurgly energy remains to be seen although I suspect it won’t, too many other project are vying for my attention at the moment. Indeed this has really been nothing more than a distraction from Blackstone Fortress so I’ll sign off by putting my honour on the line, nailing my colours to the metaphorical mast and promising to get those beastmen painted by the end of the week.
Did I not promise you more poxwalkers just a week ago? Am I not a corpse master of my word? Here’s the latest two shamblers to come lurching off the painting desk.
I experimented quite a lot with this one, mixing some of the agrellan earth texture paint in with flesh tones to cover some of the rougher joins. I actually finished him off about a week ago but I found myself really unhappy with the results. Although he was technically pretty much perfect the results were much too “clean” for my liking (by which I mean painted with precision, he still looked like a filthy rotten git). In the end I took him back to the painting desk and worked over him, he’s muckier now but I’m much happier with the end result.
His new pal here is converted from the poxwalker in the lab coat.
Unlike the previous lab coat wearing poxwalker I painted I didn’t use lots of blood splatter here, but instead tried to make the coat look stained and befouled by decomposition. By way of comparison here he is next to his gore covered colleague.
Of course without getting too graphic it’s clear that his guts have exploded quite violently at some point, which presumably means he wasn’t wearing the lab coat at the time. It builds a somewhat macabre image, in my mind at least, of him, already long dead, taking his coat from its hook and, in a reverse of his habits in life, putting it on before he shambled out of the lab for the final time.
One of my goals for 2019 is to get all of my poxwalkers painted up. Having been included in the Dark Imperium box set and as a easy to build set, Games Workshop have been practically giving these away and as a side effect of this profusion, coupled with my tenancy towards bargain hunting, I’ve ended up with 40 of the shambling corpses, enough for a proper zombie apocalypse. I wasn’t entirely idle on this front in 2018 so with these latest two models finished we are now up to the halfway mark (and a full unit for 40k for those who like to keep up with these things).
Of course such a moment calls for a group shot.
My intention is to keep working on these over the next few weeks. I know I’ve claimed on several previous occasions that more poxwalkers would sooner be forthcoming only to get sidetracked by other projects but this time I mean it (honest!).
Time for a couple more plague infested zombies to put in an appearance. As I’ve probably mentioned before I’m aiming to make every model in the horde unique, which means converting duplicate sculpts. These two however have turned out exactly as nature intended. The first one wears a lab coat, marking him out as either the doctor who failed to find a cure or the mad scientist who infected everyone in the first place.
In a process that will be familiar to players of pre-heresy World Eaters I spent ages getting the highlights “just so” on his white coat and then covered it up by splattering him liberally with Blood for the Blood God.
His pal here is one of my favourites from the snap-fit set. The green gunk emerging from his mask is a little hammy but otherwise his pose and expression are just spot on.
Whilst I was about it I also painted up these horrible grubs from the Rogue Trader box. Frankly I think it’s disgusting (and downright impossible to photograph well, you’ll have to trust me that it does look better than this in real life). I tried to “steer into the skid” as it were, and play up the grossest elements. How good an idea that actually was is probably debatable. Suffice to say it’s been my least favourite thing to have painted recently.
I think I assumed before I started that painting poxwalkers would be a fairly quick and simple process but I’ve found them to be trickier and slower going than I ever imagined. Still I’m feeling a wave of enthusiasm for the Death Guard at the moment, partly as a result of reading Chris Wraight’s excellent novel Lords of Silence, so I’ll try to channel that into productivity and get a few more finished sooner rather than later.
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.