Tag Archives: Escher

The Ladykillers – Part 4

It seems like I’m on a bit of a roll at the moment. As well as cracking on with painting I’ve also managed to get a few Escher gangers assembled. One of my big sticking points with the Eschers has been the repetition of hairdos across the gang. With each ganger having such showy set-piece locks the duplication is all the more obvious, as compared to, for example, the uniform mohawks of the Goliath or wall-to-wall baldness of the Delaque. Regular readers will know I couldn’t tolerate the idea of cloned hairstyles existing in the gang but trying to create alternatives is a herculean task. Grafting on Dark Eldar hair is a time-consuming and challenging job and other alternatives that really play to the style of the Eschers are thin on the ground. Needless to say when the new head upgrades were released from Forge World last week I really wanted to give them a go. Following a flurry of assembly over the weekend I have to say I’m really quite impressed. Here’s the latest recruits to the gang.

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Hopefully by allowing me to make the gang as I’ve always envisioned it this should be the spur I need to get some more of them painted over the next little while.

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Looking Uphive – Necromunda Plans For 2019

As we stride purposefully into 2019 I wanted to take a look at just where I stand with all of my Necromunda projects (which otherwise run the risk of degenerating into my usual disorganised chaos). For me Necromunda is the game and setting I’m most excited about of all GW’s canon. The game had a great year in 2018, growing from just two gangs at the start of the year to nine by the end. With all of the Clan Houses now represented it’ll be very interesting indeed to see how things progress over the coming months and years. As for myself I’ve started working away at all kinds of projects with my usual unsystematic enthusiasm. The aim of this post therefore is to serve as a round up, keeping me on track with where I stand with all of my gangs. It’s not all models you’ve seen before though, a few new ones have snuck in as well. Let’s take a look.

 

The Irondogs (House Goliath)

The former lords of Ironhouse have had a fine time of things lately, at least when it comes to getting painted. The backstory I’ve written for them may see them as a shadow of their former glory, struggling to reclaim the turf they once held so securely, but at least they don’t have to worry about unpainted models. As it stands the gang is pretty much done for now, I’m aiming to finish off the bolter wielding ganger Sylus shortly, but I ended up picking up the weapon upgrade for them, and will undoubtedly add the new heads to that, so expect to see further reinforcements arriving in the future as Korak attempts to expand his realm and reclaim the lost power of his house.

Goliath Necromunda Convert Or Die Wudugast

I’ve mentioned previously that I see the Goliaths as having a lot in common with the dwarves of old-Warhammer (brawny craftsmen who rely on sturdy durability over fancy do-whats – just swap the pre-battle start-me-up for combat stims instead of Bugman’s XXXXXX and you’re good to go). However it wasn’t until I was writing this that I realised how deeply this had worked its way into my thinking – as my once mighty Goliaths now struggle to reclaim a corner of their Underhive empire from the invaders squatting amid the ruins. Speaking of which…

 

The Ladykillers (House Escher)

For hundreds of shift-cycles the House Escher presence in Hive Araneus has been minimal, making it the perfect for “Gallows” Grace and her girls to set up shop. Having betrayed her way across the wastes Grace needs somewhere off the radar to build their strength, and the under-defended Ironhouse looks like the perfect place.

Escher Convert Or Die Wudugast

The Eschers haven’t grown as quickly as I first expected but I intend to do something about that shortly. Generally I feel this lack of progress can be attributed to three key factors. Firstly, these ladies are challenging to paint, with all those crazy patterns and colours. Secondly, I’ve been working on this gang for my partner and as she’s also an avowed acolyte of the Void-Emperor and His strange xenos ways my focus has been switched to the genestealer cults over the last month or so. Thirdly, I want every Escher to look unique. After all in a house where peacocking is  more than just a way of life having the same hair-style as one of your gang sisters sounds downright intolerable. Thus my progress has been slowed as I’ve tried to create unique ‘do’s for each of the girls, something I’ve managed to pull off so far, but which the new head upgrade kit should mean becomes much more straightforward.

 

The Radwolves (House Orlock)

I must admit when I first saw the Orlocks I wasn’t that inspired by them. On the other hand the longer I’ve looked at them the more excited I’ve become. I’m still no fan of the running poses, and I’ve steered firmly away from the more “well groomed” gentlemen but I’ve still already kitbashed a little army of them and I’m constantly tempted to do some more. I’ll try to get them painted soon, although I’m aware I’ve promised myself that about a lot of things…

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Tech-hunter Cadre Scorpion Null (Van Saar)

Even more than the Orlocks, I really wasn’t that enamoured of the Van Saar models when they first appeared. They’re just so different to the aesthetic of the wider 40k setting that it took a little getting used to, plus the fact that they’re the harder to build, let alone kitbash, by a country mile makes them possibly my least favourite gang in Necromunda (although it goes without saying I’m still a big fan – what a fan boy eh!). Although I’ve not found myself as captivated by them as I have some of the other houses I’m still working on an elite team, dispatched into the Underhive by the house masters on a secretive mission. Over the last few weeks I’ve been trying out my planned colour-scheme on a test model and I’m rather pleased with how he’s turned out.

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Of course now I just need to get the rest of them done. Hopefully the fact that I’m not planning many of them should mean I could wrap up the project fairly quickly, but with so many things I’d like to be working on getting the chance to focus on them exclusively might not happen straight away.

 

The Oathbones (House Cawdor)

Whilst I only plan an elite strike force of Van Saar my Cawdor will stand at the opposite end of the spectrum; a full blown army of the faithful. I make no secret of the fact that I absolutely love these models, and all the various forgeworld upgrades for them have only served to make them better. The temptation is to paint hundreds of them, although as ever time and money have tended to reign me in so far. That said one of the joys of Necromunda is that it’s relatively cheap so a mighty horde of fanatics could well be within my grasp.

Cawdor Convert Or Die

Plus the stigshambler I made a couple of months ago was one of the most popular models I produced in 2018, and remains one of the conversions I’m most proud of, so I need to get them (and their gangmates) painted soon.

Stigshambler Necromunda Convert Or Die Wudugast (7)

However, rather than start somewhere sensible like painting up a few gangers, I instead chose to paint a sheen bird as my first model for the gang. I had planned to use the model as part of a converted Tzeentchian cultist but when I realised that wasn’t going to work it ended up in the bits box looking for a home. Now I just need to complete the ash prophet who’ll be its owner.

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I’m not entirely without common sense though, so once the sheen bird was finished I painted the test model for the gangers. My idea, which I know isn’t all that original, is that some members of the house have seen the mighty warriors of the Imperial Fists who base themselves on Necromunda and, wishing to emulate these noble souls who must surely have stood at the side of the Emperor Himself, have taken to dressing in yellow robes. Plus I’ve got into the swing of painting filthy yellow clothing from working on my Skaven and knew I could repeat the look on lots of gangers. Overall I’m pretty happy with him so this is probably the look I’ll be using for all of them (unless some clever person comes along and suggests something so mind-blowing I end up doing that instead!)

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The Children of Whispers (House Delaque)

As it stands I’ve only built one of these sneaky characters but I have to say this kit is absolutely outstanding. Expect to see me working on these a lot more in the future.

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The Cult of the Abyssal Gaze (Genestealer Cults)

Like the Goliaths this gang is painted up and ready to take on the Underhive. Rising from the ash-mining clans of Delving Alpha-12 and led by the ambitious Vyrion the Elder this insidious cult prepare to invade Ironhouse and from there spread their influence into the hive itself.

Genestealer Cultists Convert Or Die Wudugast (2)

Most of the work on this gang happened in December, and really served to demonstrate that I can get these projects painted up quite quickly if I just put my mind to it (and can find the time of course). That said they’re not finished by any means. I’ve always planned to build up a genestealer cults army for 40k and the newest images we’ve seen of forthcoming models have only added to that. For those who’ve missed them (and where have you been?) take a look at this lady for example;

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Of course much as I enjoy building 40k armies it’s not a game I actually play. Thus part of me is drawn to the idea of expanding my genestealer cults into more than one gang, representing different factions setting out from the Delvings to spread the cult. Whilst Vyrion leads the invasion of Ironhouse his young acolyte could take a gang of her own to undermine the Orlock wayforts that dot the ash wastes, or drive out the Cawdor ragpickers that currently control Sumpside. One way or another expect to see plenty more of these in the coming months.

 

The Cult of Ruin (Chaos Cults)

Ah, my cult of mislead, Chaos worshipping helots! Such plans I had for them last year! Sadly not a lot of actual progress has been forthcoming. Part of the trouble is that most of the models I planned to include don’t have the best paintjobs, my skill having increased considerably over the five years or so since I first worked on them. This seems like a fine excuse to fix them up but as a result the project has become a lot more involved than I originally envisioned. That said things may have stalled but they haven’t been forgotten, so I’m aiming to get back to them sooner or later.

Chaos Core Gang

Venators

Not much to see here yet but I’ve got all kinds of ideas planned, starting with a gang of beastmen bounty hunters. Don’t expect them to appear straight away though, as you can see from the list above there’s plenty of other things to tackle first.

 

So there we have it, a solid set of projects to tackle over the next few months (alongside all of the other things I’d like to be painting). Naturally I won’t get around to all of them straight away but perhaps by nailing my colours to the mast and setting out my plans I’ll be encouraged to keep at it. Oh, and I have a heap of terrain to do as well. The Underhive never sleeps…


The Ladykillers – Part 3

Before I get completely bogged down in gobbos (what a fate for anyone to suffer!) I’ve got a couple more Eschers I wanted to get finished and shown off. There isn’t a lot to say here that hasn’t already been covered so I’ll let the pictures do the talking. Once again these aren’t exclusively my work, my partner Janice added her considerable creative skills to both.

First up here’s Jinx. The Harley Quinn influence wasn’t intentional to begin with but once we were aware of it we just had to play it up a little. It’s not really something I wanted to define the model with really, more a case of steering into the skid.

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And here’s Blaze who – much like Amilita – demonstrated herself to be more than capable of making life unpleasant for the Irondogs during our first proper game. I already see her as a tough and willy veteran, not a champion of course (those are still on their way) but an experienced ganger who knows how to look out for herself.

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The whole crew so far, ready to stake a claim on the Underhive.

Escher Necromunda Convert Or Die (3)

I’ll probably take a bit of a break from Necromunda for the rest of the month whilst I work on goblins but I would like to get all three current gangs (Escher, Goliath and Chaos) built up fairly soon after that, starting with a couple more Goliaths. Watch this space!


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.

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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!


The Ladykillers – Part 1

We’ve seen plenty of stupid, sweaty Goliath boys recently, not to mention an outbreak of foul heretics, now it’s time to give the Eschers the limelight they deserve. Given my self-imposed exile from the brighter end of the colour spectrum and my preference for grubby darkness these were a great change of pace and I really enjoyed the challenge of combining the guady peacocking of the Eschers with the filth of the Underhive.

First of the ladies to be finished is Amilita, who went on to acquit herself admirably in our practice game, hiding out of sight behind a barricade and letting her unpainted sisters get shot at before popping up to snipe at least one unsuspecting Goliath.

Escher Gangers Convert Or Die (5)

To be honest she isn’t quite as nice as I’d hoped, I accidentally decapitated her when I dropped her on the floor and I’ve never managed to get her looking right since. Never mind, on the tabletop she looks fine but the close-ups I’ve taken here are a little unflattering.

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Her gang-sister “Electric” Zoya I think came together rather nicely even if I did have my heart in my mouth throughout the leopard-print.

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All being well I’d like to get a couple more finished by the end of the week, who knows – I may even be able to rope in my partner to assist.