Tag Archives: Necromunda

2020 – For Anyone Who Didn’t Feel Like Showing Up

Well, that was 2020 was it? The year which shall henceforth be referred to with the tagline “If you like dramatic global upheavals you’ll love this!”. Honestly I wonder how the script writers for 2021 can ever hope to top it. Well done on making it to the end by the way, assuming of course that there’s anyone else out there and this message from my lonely bunker isn’t going out to a world stripped bare, echoing across weed-choked streets, rusted vehicles and piles of corpses with startlingly clean bums. 

I started the year with a picture of a Noise Marine and the bombastic declaration “Alright 2020, let’s get this party started!”. With retrospect I should probably have said something more like “Is it safe to come out?” to which the answer would of course have been a firm “no”. 

Noise Marine Slaansh Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Noise Marine Slaansh Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)

Still, it was a good year for fans of painting miniatures, with many of us achieving a guru-like status as we taught our friends and communities how it’s actually very easy to remain indoors for weeks at a time. With huge piles of plastic, lead and resin stashed around our homes we were ready to do the right thing, socially isolating with the vigour and aplomb of true heroes. Frankly I’m disappointed that my efforts in the public good have not been recognised by inclusion in the New Year’s Honours list, although of course if the Queen is reading this it’s never too late to pick up the phone. Alternatively erecting a statue of me would be entirely appropriate, especially as there are a lot of empty plinths around these days. 

The pandemic which raged throughout the year played merry hell with miniatures’ releases but we still saw some very cool new stuff all the same, starting with the long awaited return of the Sisters of Battle. For as long as I’ve been a hobbyist (and we’re talking a loooong time now) people have been saying “But when will the Sisters of Battle get new models” to which Games Workshop have replied “Meh… I dunno – someday maybe?” Finally however sense was seen, and the armies of the Adepta Sororitas marched. After such a long wait, and a considerable build up, GW managed to sneak them out of their warehouses and into the hands of hobbyists with the apocalypse already close at hand. Were they worth the wait? Damn right they were!

Triumph of Saint Katherine

I’ll admit that the Sisters aren’t one of my favourite armies, and that I watched this release with detached interest rather than avid fanaticism, but there’s no denying these are gorgeous models. Could there be a small army of them in my future? I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted.

Junith Eruita

We also saw the launch of Warhammer 40k’s Ninth edition in July, bringing with it a wave of new releases for both Space Marines (as ever!) and Necrons. These latter have been inveigling themselves into my heart for pretty much the entirety of my hobby career so it was probably inevitable that this was the moment when I took the plunge and fell under the spell of our new mechanical overlords. Plus, with centrepiece models like the C’tan Shard of the Void Dragon how could I resist?

Shard of the Void Dragon

Rumour has it that I found one of these underneath the Christmas tree this year…

The new edition was spearheaded by the launch of the Indomitus boxset. On the whole Indomitus lead to a lot of mixed feelings – on the one hand the models were fantastic, on the other it sold out in less than 15 minutes and many fans (yours truly included) weren’t able to secure a copy before they were all snapped up by scalpers to be resold on ebay. Note to self; spend 2021 convincing Games Workshop that I count as some kind of “influencer” and should be sent plenty of free models… Obviously such rapid sales of the set must have caused delight amongst GW shareholders but it left something of a bad taste amongst fans. Luckily those shadowy overlords in Nottingham aren’t entirely daft and what looked set to be a spectacularly public own-goal was transformed at the last moment, rebounding off the bar at the final moment to the delight of the crowd. The set was rereleased via the “Made to Order” service, leaving those cheeky chappies on ebay with egg on their faces. In the end even I was able to get my grubby paws on a copy. Of course I’ve not actually painted very much of it yet but to be fair it took until a few weeks ago for it to actually reach me so I’ve not had a great deal of time. Expect to see my Space Marines reinforced, and perhaps even growing into a proper army at last sometime in the coming months. To begin with however I’m going to opening up the stasis tombs and ordering the machine legions of my dynasty to march forth and reconquer the stars. I’ve already spent a lot of time tinkering around trying to come up with a suitable colour scheme (probably to the frustration of my readers, as I bounced excitedly from one idea to the next). I think I’ve made up my mind though so hopefully real progress will be made soon.

Necron Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (4)

Over in Age of Sigmar two new armies emerged, sneaking their way to release between one lockdown and another. As a fan of both Chaos and Destruction (the AoS Grand Alliances not the global events!) I must confess I was drawn to the mighty Mega Gargants and even wrote a piece on the subject. However somewhat surprisingly it was the Lumineth Realmlords, successors to the High Elves of Ulthuan from the WHFB era that ended up on my painting desk. So far I’ve only finished one of them but I’m highly tempted to put together a Warcry warband of these snooty gits in the near future.  Indeed despite my long standing affiliation with the grubbier and more evil side of fantasy I painted two high elves this year, one from the days of WHFB and one of the new Lumineth. Don’t worry, I don’t think it’ll become a habit!

Elves Wudugast ConvertOrDie

And just to keep things balanced I countered these supercilious swines with a couple of old-fashioned, down-to-earth dwarves. I keep promising that someday I’ll paint a whole army of them…

Dwarves Wudugast ConvertOrDie

Necromunda started the year with a bit of a bang, launching the House of Chains – a book dedicated to exploring House Goliath as never before. After that things became a little messy, with Covid shaking up the release schedule, but by the end House of Blades (Escher), House of Iron (Orlock) and House of Artifice (Van Saar) arrived – with the postman dropping off this little lot just before Christmas.

House of Artifice

 Indeed with four more books in hand I’m starting to build up a nice little Necromundan library.

Necromunda Books

When I wasn’t reading about the gangs of Hive City I found time to paint them instead, with a Cawdor crusade joining the Goliaths, Eschers, Van Saar, Genestealer Cults and Chaos Helots already active in the underhive.

Cawdor Necromunda Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)

That said my other gangs aren’t as far forward as I would have liked – something to work on in 2021.

Necromunda Gangs Wudugast ConvertOrDie

On the other hand I did manage to assemble a small mob of civilians with which to populate Hive City’s roughest districts…

Inq28 Necromunda Civilians Underhive Wudugast ConvertOrDie

…And a clan of muties to come crawling up out of the badzones during the downshifts to gobble up unwary workers.

Muties ConvertOrDie Wudugast Necromunda Inq28

After a quiet start 2020 also proved to be a big year for Blood Bowl. Not only was there a new edition launched, and a nice new boxset to go with it, plus four new teams (including the two in the box) but, in even bigger news, I finally got around to painting my Orc team.

Blood Bowl Orc Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)

Did I stop there? Did I hell! After claiming that a human team would be following along (and they will – you just have to be patient) I instead started working on a couple of elves for an Elven Union team. Expect to see more of them at some point in 2021.

Blood Bowl Wudugast ConvertOrDie Elves

Oh and I painted a very old undead player who after years lost in someone’s garage has now risen to shamble forth once more.

Blood Bowl Undead Wudugast (2)

Best of all though, just before the end of the year I painted that hero of the sporting arena, Akhorne the squirrel.

Blood Bowl Wudugast ConvertOrDie Elves (3)

However when it comes to skirmish games the biggest news round my house this year was far and away Warcry. Over the course of the year I put together warbands of the Iron Golem…

Iron Golem Wudugast Warcry ConvertOrDie (1)

… the savage Untamed Beasts…

Untamed Beasts Warcry Wudugast ConvertOrDie

… the spooky ghosts of the Nighthaunt…

Nighthaunt ConvertOrDie Wudugast (1)

… the ghoulish Flesh-Eater Courts…

Ghouls ConvertOrDie Wudugast (1)

… the rascally Gloomspite Gits…

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… barbaric Orcs…

Orcs AoS Warhammer Wudugast ConvertOrDie

…and some big fat ogres.

Ogres Wudugast ConvertOrDie

Continuing the fantasy theme but pushing into even stranger territory I painted up a set of the weird and wonderful forest dwellers created by Ana from Gardens of Hecate.

Gardens of Hecate ConvertOrDie Wudugast (13)

And I even dipped a toe into Lord of the Rings and painted up a few orcs to serve the dark lord of Mordor.

LotR Orcs Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)

Although fantasy rather than sci-fi seems to have dominated my output this year I certainly haven’t forgotten about the 41st Millennium (as the aforementioned Necrons go to prove). Indeed the biggest project I tackled all year belongs firmly to the Dark Millennium and the twisted warlords who rampage out of the Eye of Terror. That’s right, I finally finished my Chaos Knight!

Chaos Knight Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (2)Chaos Knight Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (6)Chaos Knight Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (14)Chaos Knight Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (15)

Nor was that the only thing I tackled for the forces of the Chaos space marines and their various allies. The global pandemic may have put me off painting very much from the forces of Nurgle but it didn’t stop me from completing my 40-strong mob of poxwalkers. Each of these plague zombies is unique – and if you’re curious to see how I converted them to achieve that there’s a showcase you can pour over here.

Poxwalker Nurgle ConvertOrDie Wudugast (9)

Against such threats the defence of the Imperium remains a little thin on the ground, although I did get around to painting up a few soldiers of the Adeptus Mechanicus at long last. There will be more in 2021 (I promise!).

Ad Mech ConvertOrDie Wudugast 40k

In terms of getting miniatures painted then I didn’t have a bad year all told. By my tally I painted 161 models (although I’m writing this with a few days to go so I might manage to add a couple more to that before the bells, in fact I might even have done it before this is published). In terms of output that’s a bit of a step down compared to the last couple of years (2019 ended with 250 miniatures finished, and 2018 with 277. Mind you a lot of those were Skaven and Night Goblins, and exactly none of them were Chaos Knights…). This year however was the first year in which, as well as keeping a monthly tally of models painted I also started keeping a record of how many I bought (the penny finally dropping that if I’m going to collect data I ought to make it meaningful). I think I’ll keep the latter number to myself as it’s embarrassingly high. Let’s just say it’s a little higher than the number I painted and leave it at that – despite my love of Slaanesh, boasting about excess isn’t really my style. In 2021 I’m going to try to rein this in a little, to buy a lot less and to concentrate on painting the models I already own. I make no promises that temptation won’t get the better of me sometimes but at the end of the day I don’t have the cash to squander on models that never get assembled let alone painted so a bit more restraint is going to be in order.

Beyond that however I’m not going to set myself any hobby goals for 2021, I tried that in 2019 and the results were pretty hit and miss! I do however have lots of schemes I’d like to tackle (more Warcry warbands of course, more Necromunda, a second Blood Bowl team and a whole dynasty of Necrons for starters). Before any of that happens however I just need to wish all my readers a very Happy New Year, and all the best for 2021. Oh and if Grandfather Nurgle comes anywhere near you tell the poxy git to get lost – we’ve seen quite enough of his sort this year!


It Takes A Village – Part 4

Now don’t get over-excited, I’ve not managed to convert and paint up even more 40k civilians over the last few days (although I do have a few WIPs waiting for paint, and more ideas than I can shake a servo-skull at knocking around inside my brain and demanding attention). However when I went to pack away the latest additions, the butcher and the lady of purchasable affections, I realised that I’ve managed to complete a fair number of them now. Maybe not enough for a village quite yet, and certainly not the entire population of Hive City, but perhaps enough for an underhive holestead and certainly enough to justify a group shot (I know it looks tiny but give it a click and you’ll get a proper view).

Inq28 Necromunda Civilians Underhive Wudugast ConvertOrDie

As we hurtled wildly towards the end of 2020 life beyond our hobby is keeping me busy enough that I suspect I won’t manage many more posts before the New Year. That said I do have some Blood Bowl players near to completion so all being well you should at least see those pop up in the next few days.


It Takes A Village – Part 3

Today it’s time for two more civilians to join the populace of the underhive. First up, a butcher. If you fancy a rat on a stick for dinner and can’t afford to buy from the local Corpse Grinders (or they’ve degenerated into a cannibal cult) then this is the chap to visit.

Underhive Civilians Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast (3)Underhive Civilians Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast (4)

I cannot for the life of me work out what the base miniature I used here is so please, anyone who recognises it pop a comment in the box below and I’ll credit whoever sells it (assuming it’s still on sale these days). To begin with he just looked like an ordinary butcher but a headswap for one from Anvil Industries and a backpack from one of GW’s Kharadron Overlords soon sorted him out.

EDIT: Thanks to caseyrog I now know I got this guy from Syr Hobbs Wargames and before I started chopping him up he looked like this:

Butcher

Secondly, where hardship and deprivation is endemic the world’s oldest profession is bound to appear. Some people try to glamorise prostitution – and certainly this lady looks a bit more glamorous than most of my other underhive residents (in a grubby, Inq28 kind of way of course!). Suffice to say that my intention was not to play to that kind of disingenuous nonsense which likes to pretend that, despite the fact that the vast majority of women who find themselves in prostitution are extremely poor and the subjects of extortion, violence and abuse, that somehow it’s all terribly jolly, liberated and sophisticated. It isn’t, they’re tossers, moving on!

On the other hand Necromunda is a game and the real world is quite grim and serious enough without making the things we do for enjoyment into exercises in handwringing bleakness. The aim is to have a little fun and not take everything too seriously so glamorous prostitute it is!

Underhive Civilians Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast (1)Underhive Civilians Necromunda Inq28 Wudugast (2)

This time I did manage to find a picture of the unconverted model (alongside a couple of blokes who I don’t own but have the potential to be underhive citizens themselves perhaps).

Reaper 1

She’s from Reaper’s range of plastic miniatures and, having heard a lot of people complain about those plastics I went into this project knowing it might turn into a fight. Well they weren’t wrong – Reaper plastics may be cheap but it seems you get what you pay for! I’d been considering getting a few more of their townspeople and the range of options (and yes, the wonderful “it’s like the last couple of decades of inflation never happened” prices) were a big part of the appeal. I might yet, but if I do I’ll be a lot more choosy and only from the metal range – which again is a shame because plastic is normally easier to convert than metal, and converting these is central to tying them into the underhive setting. The plastic  though was just too unpleasant to work with, paint didn’t stick to it easily and gluing on additional components or adding greenstuff took every scrap of hobby cunning I could muster to stop them just falling straight back off again. And yes, I tried things like cleaning it (don’t knock it – it works for resin), lighting incense, chanting ominously, all the usual tricks basically. I do have a couple of other Reaper plastic models I got at the same time (and for the same project) – I may or may not ever do anything with them now. Ho hum – at least they were cheap!

Anyway, I didn’t mean to end up moaning there, I’m still damn pleased with the end result on both of these. Again I’ve got lots more ideas for underhive dwellers and other citizens of the Imperium that I’d like to get around to so as soon as I do, I will!


The Oathbones – Part 10

I seem to have developed an obsession with kitbashing Cawdor gangers lately…

Cawdor Necromunda ConvertOrDie Wudugast (1)Cawdor Necromunda ConvertOrDie Wudugast (2)Cawdor Necromunda ConvertOrDie Wudugast (3)Cawdor Necromunda ConvertOrDie Wudugast (4)Cawdor Necromunda ConvertOrDie Wudugast (5)

…of course now I just need to redirect this energy into getting some of them painted…


Scum’s Thoughts – Part 2

There’s been a lot going on in with Necromunda lately and needless to say, although my brushes have been busy with Blood Bowl, at least part of my brain has remained focussed on life in the Underhive. Various new models have been previewed over the last little while, with the most attention grabbing additions being the new recruits for house Van Saar. The House of Artifice will be getting a box with six additional fighters, including the Archeoteks, champions who have mastered the most powerful technologies available to them.

Van Saar 1

When I first saw the Van Saar models a couple of years ago I didn’t really see the appeal. My attention back then was captured by the brutish tech-barbarians of House Goliath and the amazing punk-amazons of House Escher, and the Van Saar looked a little clean and sleek for my taste. Needless to say they grew on me a great deal, and I now have a band of these high-tech killers stalking the dirty streets of the underhive at my beck and call. Will I be adding the newcomers to their ranks? Of course I will!

In my opinion the Archeoteks are some of the coolest looking champions we’ve seen for the game, standing alongside the Orlock Armsmasters. However much of the attention given to these reveals has focussed instead on the hot-headed young Neoteks who speed through the air on what can only be described as hoverboards.

Van Saar 2

They’re utterly ludicrous of course, but then Necromunda in general is fairly silly. After all this is the place where a demonically possessed lunatic can be seen fighting to the death against an angry cat (or an exploding rat) so why not throw in a flying skateboard or four? If they’re too silly for your taste, don’t use them – but there’s no hiding from the fact that Necromunda is silly (in fact the whole 40k setting is silly), and that’s a big part of why we love it.

Speaking of angry cats we’ve also seen a preview of the new Phyrr Cats which will be joining Escher gangs early in the new year.

Phyrr Cats New

Rules for these beasts have existed since way back in the early days of the new edition but, as with a lot of things in the underhive, models haven’t been forthcoming until now. To be fair we did see a pair of models previewed for them a long while back, and everyone tended to agree they were pretty much duff. Luckily GW agreed with us and retired them unreleased.

Phyrr Cats Old

In search of an alternative I grabbed myself a set of Hoar Cats from Wyrd Miniatures which have been running around with my gang ever since.

Lately I have been thinking that they look a little plain I might be tempted to repaint them with some stripes or something similar, especially now that Contrast paint has made adding patterns to animal fur so much easier. Of course I could be tempted by a pair of the new cats, price and other projects depending.

Outlaw Brutes

The latest issue of White Dwarf brings us rules for four more brutes, exclusively available to Outlaw gangs (that being those gangs who’s operations are even more shady, criminal and liable to earn the ire of the Enforcers than all the others). As if the more civilised parts of the hive cities weren’t grim enough there are all kinds of twisted horrors lurking in the badzones, just waiting to be “tamed” by a gang low on options and full of deranged opportunism. Let’s take a look at our four new options…

Scrapcode-Corrupted Ambot

As if taking a huge, predatory burrowing alien and wiring its brain into a big mining robot wasn’t enough of a health-and-safely violation, it’s not unknown for an Ambot to become corrupted with a tech-virus – either by accident or as a result of the tampering of a downhive heretek. I already have a pair of ambots but I’ll admit I’ve had a longstanding temptation to pick up a second pair and turn one of them into a spiky, Chaos infused abomination with which to horrify right-thinking tech-adepts everywhere. For the other I plan a slightly more involved conversion to create a “dreadnaught” with a wounded purestrain genestealer inside. Will I ever get around to either project? Who can say – although I’ll admit these new rules do make it more likely. Of course first of all I probably ought to finish painting my normal Ambots…

Mutated Ogryn

Just because an idea is obvious doesn’t mean it isn’t good. My Blackstone Fortress Chaos Ogryn has been rocking out with my Chaos Cultists for ages, now GW have come along and made it official.

Warp Horror

Whilst the previous two concepts are cool, it’s the second two which really allow one to get creative and start cooking up crazy conversions.

For those who want to be really Chaotic and devote themselves even further to the will of the Dark Gods there’s the Warp Horror. Even criminal scumbos won’t generally go near these but Chaos Helots and Corpse-Grinder Cultists aren’t nearly so fussy. These are not so much the rampantly mutated monstrosities that are Chaos Spawn but rather a creature infused by the power of the Warp, perhaps even born directly from it. The article suggests using the various Nightmare Hulks from the Kill Team Rogue Trader box. I think this chap will fit in nicely alongside my hungry Corpse-Grinders, and it gives me a bit of encouragement to paint up the rest of them as well. Later on I’ll probably come up with the odd part-daemonic converted monstrosity as well…

Sump Beast

Last but not least, the Sump Beast. This is a real convertors goldmine, with all the shackles off. This is a chance to make anything from a many-limbed monstrosity with a prehensile tongue to a shambling giant with a lashing tail. In this instance I don’t actually have any set ideas in mind, but I know there’s going to be something lurking in the dark beneath Ironhouse that one of my gangs will tame. I just need to have a rummage around in the bits box and see what I can find… 

The House of Iron

I had hoped to be able to talk a bit about the latest in the “House of…” series, House of Iron, which covers the Orlock gang and their affiliates. Unlike some of the other houses it took me a while to really get excited about the Orlocks, it’s very easy to just see them as the ordinary Joes of the setting, and a little bit dull in comparison to some of the more obviously outlandish or showy gangs. In time I’ve grown to really like them however and I was hopeful that House of Iron would give me the push to start working on my own gang. Unfortunately I made the error of pre-ordering my copy of the book, and the new miniatures, alongside a few other odds and ends, from Element Games, and – over a month later – they’re still sitting on it like Smaug in his cave rather than sending it out. Apparently one of the other items I ordered alongside it has gone out of stock and had to be backordered and this is taking longer than expected. These things happen, and when this has happened in the past they’ve just sent out a part-order and waited for the rest to arrive, but not this time. It’s a shame, Element used to be one of the best places to buy miniatures in the UK, with excellent prices, fast turn-arounds and impeccable service. Sadly I’ve noticed a real decline from them over the last few months of which this is just the latest. Hopefully it’s just a phase they’re going through, probably suffering with the pandemic and the economic turndown like the rest of us, and they’ll get their shit together in time. In the meantime though its left me very much disinclined to order anything else from them.

Anyway, enough grousing, I’m sure eventually they’ll give up my book and miniatures and let me get a proper look at the Orlocks, at which point I’ll undoubtedly have a bunch of ideas to share here. Who knows, this guy and his pals might even get painted at last.

Look To The Future Now

Finally we got a nice little preview of the release schedule planned for 2021. There’s nothing here that’ll come as wildly out of the blue to the dedicated fan, the Van Saar (not shown) had previously been announced as coming early in the new year, and it made sense to assume that Cawdor and Delaque would follow.

Roadmap

Naturally I’m curious to see what additions these latter two gangs receive, especially given the high quality of the new models for the other four. As I recall it was announced early on that five of the gangs would receive new champions and prospects and the other would receive “something different”. (Don’t quote me too closely on that of course, my interest in Necromunda may be a little obsessive but my memory is far from perfect, as my fiancée often reminds me…). Anyway, my money is on Delaque being the ones to get “something different”, in keeping with their general air of mystery and strangeness. I’m also curious to know how GW will handle a book which reveals everything about the house in wonderful detail and depth – as the previous “House of…” books have – whilst still maintaining the inscrutable ambiguity that forms a big part of why we love the lanky goths. I’m guessing it’ll be written entirely in cipher.

As for the Cawdor I’ve heard a few people speculating that the Redemptionists, who have long been closely linked to the House of Faith, will be rolled into this release. Frankly I hope not. Back when the Cawdor gang box was released Andy Hoare (reigning Necromunda big cheese) commented that many people expected Cawdor and the Redemptionists to be combined into a single faction but that he intended to separate them out into two more clearly differentiated factions (again, see note above regarding my obsessive interest vs questionable memory!). Certainly this would be my preference, why have one faction when you could have two after all? Furthermore there’s a lot more to the Cawdor than simply being Redemptionists, this is a working society, fully integrating into the wider world of Necromunda, and that gives designers plenty of room to explore. The Redemptionists on the other hand retain a laser focus on burning heretic scum and are, I suspect, less likely to put in time taming rats or sorting scrap.

Of course there’s no denying that the Redemptionists are “problematic”, to use a word popular with keyboard warriors and the rage-filled-for-a-cause these days. When the Cawdor special character known as The Headsman was previewed online wearing a tall, pointed hood, knickers suddenly found themselves in a terrible twist.

Headsman 1

Faced with a barrage of spittle-flecked fury worthy of the Redemptionists themselves, GW – understandably uncomfortable about what claims that they were in some manner supporting the KKK might do for their sales – dialled things back a little before the final model was released.

Headsman Cawdor 2

Perhaps then, they have come to think that it would be easier to just tuck the Redemptionists into a corner of House Cawdor and forget about them rather than risk committing the cardinal sin of releasing a range of miniatures which, if you look at it through the right set of cultural biases, squint really hard and wish upon a star for an excuse to get offended, might just prove to be “triggering”. Personally I hope that common sense prevails and we get a full set of new Redemptionists someday. Remember, painting a miniature does not automatically mean subscribing to vaguely similar real-world ideologies (something fans of historical miniatures managed to come to terms with some time ago). A friend of mine collects Tyranids and to the best of my knowledge he’s never eaten anyone…

Moving on we can look to this time next year, where something mysterious lurks on the horizon. What exactly we might be seeing in terms of releases that far out remains anyone’s guess but it’s always nice to be reminded that Necromunda is going from strength to strength. Whilst fans of 40k and AoS can sleep at nights knowing that very little short of the apocalypse is likely to occur which really affects the market dominance of their chosen games. Those of us who enjoy the so-called Specialist Games are always uncomfortably aware that we’re living on the fringes and, in a landscape of increasing economic and social turmoil, should GW need to protect the power-armoured golden goose it’s likely to be our heads on the block. Thus that mysterious “And More” in the final quarter of next year’s roadmap serves as a comforting reminder that there’s life after Delaque.

Finally this we also got a reminder of the art for the Water Guild, alongside the comment “we’ll be seeing some of the Necromunda characters that already have awesome artwork make their debuts as models. So we might be seeing this Master Nautican in the underhive before long…”.

Water Guild

Now whilst this is a deliberately vague statement, and the phrase “before long” could mean almost anything in the Necromundan release schedule,  this is still an exciting confirmation that the Water Guilders are on their way, and indeed that other Guilders are likely to follow. The Guilds contain some of the most interesting concepts in the entire setting, and the Slaver’s Guild were excellent miniatures, so my hopes are high. Of course the price is likely to be equally high but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Anyway, I’m feeling that I’ve probably wittered on long enough – and if I feel that way you probably do too! As ever if you have thoughts or opinions you’d like to share, the floor (or the comments box) is all yours.


The Badzone Kings – Part 1

It’s a well known fact that I’ve never met a Necromunda gang I didn’t like, and sure enough I’ve thrown in my lot with the ogryns as soon as I got my hands on them. I’ve not got around to painting anything yet but I’ve been busy kitbashing to recruit the first members of my free ogryn uprising.

In a lot of ways this is quite a basic kit, there’s only two bodies for example – one striding purposefully, one standing firm on his bionic leg – and the rest of weapons and arms are actually quite limited. It does however manage to do quite a lot with the space it’s given, and as a result it’s surprisingly versatile. Needless to say I’ve already been trying to push those boundaries even further by mixing in bits from elsewhere. A word of warning for anyone thinking of doing the same, these guys may be big by Necromundan standards but they’re not the largest ogres in Games Workshop’s catalogue by any means. Perhaps it’s the lack of decent nutrition combined with life in the cramped corridors of hive city, or perhaps it’s just to fit the bits onto the sprue. Some parts of the Imperial Guard ogryns will fit but most are a little bit too big. The Blood Bowl ogres are a better fit, although naturally lack the range of suitable weapons that might be available elsewhere. The AoS/WHFB ogres are, for the most part, disproportionately large. Dragon Ogres, Ork Nobs and Orruk Brutes all offer some interesting possibilities though, and I’m planning to explore these more in the future.

First of all, as already shown a few weeks ago, I put together this lad – built straight out of the box as I familiarised myself with the kit, with the only tweak being the inclusion of a gas-masked head from the Imperial Guard Ogryn/Bullgryn kit.

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Following on I built a second ogryn, based around the same body, but swapping in a head from the Blood Bowl ogres and a club from the Imperial Guard Ogryns. Otherwise I kept him quite spare and toned down, without adding in any of the fancy gubbins that come with the kit to capture the sense of an ogre that relies on brute simplicity to get things done. I could almost imagine him hanging out with my Palanite Enforcers (whenever I get around to them!).

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Having kept him quite pared-down and straightforward I decided that the next one needed to be a bit fancier so I gave him some ramshackle armour (borrowed from an Orruk Brute) complete with the spiky jawbones of some underhive monstrosity.

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Finally every gang needs a leader, and so I turned my attention to kitbashing an Ogryn Overboss. Unlike the others I used the Imperial Guard Ogryn as the base model and went nuts on decorating him with scavenged odds and ends. He’s not done yet, indeed he’s still got a fair way to go before he’s finished, but who can resist a sneaky peek at what I’ve come up with so far.

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Whilst his body and armour comes from the Imperial Guard kit his backpack and powerfist are from the Necromunda models, his head is from the Ogre Ironblaster (probably my all time favourite Ogre head) and his knife is from the Chaos Dragon Ogres.

He’s a big lad, not disproportionately huge in comparison to his gang-mates but big enough to make it clear who the boss is.

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As usual I’ve no idea when I’ll get around to working on more of these, whenever the hobby butterfly seizes me and drags me back into the Underhive I guess. For the moment I’m going full steam ahead with the undead but it’s safe to take it as read that I’ll be getting back to these sooner or later.


Muties – Part 4

I reckon my mutie tribe could really use a bit of muscle, after all swarms of little gribbly dudes are all very well but mutants come in all shapes and sizes. Time for a big ugly to join up with the little uglies!

This chap comes from Mad Puppet Miniatures, who’s line of post-apocalyptic models would generally fit in well in Necromunda. Being mostly lumpen flesh his face tends to get a little lost against the background of the hump and although I did try to highlight the face up a little it hasn’t entirely worked enough to make it stand out in photographs. However as I write this it occurs to me that adding a red or purple wash to the hump might be a fine solution so I may well return to him at a later stage and try that out. Alternative suggestions are more than welcome however. For now though I’m calling him done. Oh and for those eagle-eyed readers currently peering at the pictures, he is indeed carrying a teddy bear.

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He’s not ridiculously massive in comparison to the other mutants, just big enough to add a variety of sizes to the group.

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As I mentioned a couple of days ago I’ve got a few more mutants knocking around which I’ll be adding to the gang at some point, as usual “watch this space”.


Muties – Part 3

Time to return to the very dankest depths of the Underhive today as we go in search of those most downtrodden of all Imperial residents – the foul and degenerate and/or unjustly maligned muties. As with the previous sets these were all based on the goblins from Games Workshop’s Lord of the Rings range, with the addition of various odds and ends from the bits box and a little bit of greenstuff. I didn’t go into any of these with a set plan, I just dug around in the leftover bits I had available and saw what I could come up with. Before we begin here’s a reminder, for anyone unfamiliar with the stock LotR goblins kit, what it was that I was working with.

Goblin Town Goblins LotR

And here’s the latest additions.

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And here’s the three new recruits together.

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With these three complete the mutie tribe is finally starting to look the way I want it to, a disparate clan of mismatched little monsters, individually weak but swarming from the shadows to prey upon the unwary (as usual just click on the picture to see a bigger version).

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Needless to say this won’t be the last time we see these, I’ve still got a few more Goblin Town residents waiting for me to decide what to turn them into – and then there are a few more beasties that might well tie into this project nicely. Watch this space!


Scum’s Thoughts – Part 1

If you’re reading this, congratulations – you’ve survived as far as September 2020! (And yes, I will be reusing that joke for the Christmas round-up – assuming we all live that long…).

Last weekend saw, at long last, the release of House of Blades, the latest Necromunda expansion which focuses on the Queens of the Underhive, House Escher. Much earlier in the year the Goliaths enjoyed the release of their own book, House of Chains, and the Escher were intended to follow soon after – except of course  that then we went and spoiled it all by saying something stupid like “Oh god, there’s a global pandemic on, we’re all fucked now!” Ever since we Necromunda fans have been waiting *cough* patiently for the girls to arrive and thankfully now they’re here and we can see in the apocalypse with two house-specific expansions clutched in our paws. Who knows, we may be lucky enough to be able to buy the Orlock book, House of Iron, before the asteroid hits and stops our civilisation in its tracks. Fans of the other three houses must face the day of reckoning with bitter hearts and unfulfilled expectations, or pray for a slightly less bumpy time in 2021.

Anyway, having spent the last few days pouring over House of Blades my head is suddenly full of thoughts and I’m damned if I’m missing out on the opportunity to share them!

The format and content of the “House of…” series becomes a little clearer with this release. We, the fans, already knew that each of the six major houses of Necromunda (Goliath, Escher, Orlock, Van Saar, Cawdor and Delaque) would be getting a book dedicated to them but until now we could only categorically say that we knew what House of Chains looked like, because it was the only book to have been released. Now that we’ve got House of Blades as well we can start making some assumptions about just what will be included in the future books; a ton of new background, an expanded gang roster, new gang specific hangers on, tactics, scenarios, timeline, house agents and allies.

Every Necromunda book released since the game’s relaunch has contained a number of new special characters and House of Blades is no different. Yet whilst House of Chains contained six, House of Blades has only three. Now it’s worth noting that one of the House of Chains personalities, “Sparky” is an ogryn so the Goliaths only get five new heroes (and one of those is a gigantic crocodile). What’s more the Escher already have a bounty hunter available exclusively to their house, the Death Maiden Kria the Huntress.

Kria The Huntress

In addition to her we have Belladonna, an ex-Escher turned (briefly) noble-bride turned underhive assassin on a quest for vengeance (think Kill Bill but with bigger hair and no bright yellow jumpsuit), and Yolanda Skorn (another ex-Escher turned gun for hire) whilst the Goliaths have only Krotos Hark, treated as an outsider to his house after being born intelligent. On the other hand all of these latter characters will work for any house, which leaves the Goliaths with five characters unique to them, and the Eschers with four.

Now many of you may be thinking “so what” and I don’t really disagree. The situation regarding the dramatis personae of Necromunda seems a little odd to me at the moment. For one thing there are a hell of a lot of them. We now have rules for 49 different special characters, although only models for 21. Games Workshop have noted that they intend to create models for all of them “at some point” although so far they seem more enthusiastic about coming up with even more of them. Two more special character models were announced back in March – the Cawdor Rattus Tatterskin and the Enforcer Scrutinator-Primus Servalen. Neither of these are on my list of 49 given above, and if each of the “House of…” books contains only a further three dramatis personae we could easily be looking at more than 60 special characters. I don’t think this is a bad thing, far from it, although given the price Forge World tend to charge it could be quite an expensive thing. However unless they up the rate at which they release special characters a lot the supply of new models will never catch up with the rate at which they’re coming up with new ideas. On the one hand I don’t want them to stop turning out new characters because they’ve got a lot of interesting ideas but on the other hand there are a lot of cool concepts already out there in books which I’d love to see models for. Yes, I could convert my own and I already have made models for some of them (it’s a lot of fun and a hell of a lot cheaper than paying Forge World prices) but there are some that I’d love to see given official miniatures – Jorth Slither and the Catallus twins for instance (which would also be a fine name for a band). Plus there are a lot of other things I’d like to see models for – nobles, criminals and guilders for instance.

Scrutinator-Primus Servalen

Something I’d like to see more of is dramatis personae being used to demonstrate the range of possibilities within each house. In House of Chains for instance we have Old Three-eyes (the mother of all sumcrocs), Ajex Gorgoth (one of the most powerful Goliath alphas on the planet), Attilus the Axe (a champion pit fighter), Tess Arc-Up (a particularly wild prospect) and Djangar Gunfists (the former head of the house now roaming the wastes with no memories and a knack for spectacular violence). Now there’s none of the above that I particularly dislike, that I wouldn’t try to convert a model for and wouldn’t take an interest in an official miniature were one to be released and not outwith my budget. Every one of them brings something to the house and tells us something about the planet of Necromunda and its mightiest sons.

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I could be harsh and say that Tess (see my kitbash above) is basically just a rambunctious juve and Attilus is an angry dude with a saw for an arm but they do expand the character of the range all the same. I’ve already converted my own Tess and I’ve got plans to make Attilus and Djangar as well. However, in some ways I can’t help but feel that they could be doing more with these characters and using them to expand the idea of what it means to be a Goliath even further.

For example, so far the only female Goliaths we’ve seen have been prospects, that is to say youngsters. We’ve also seen models for male prospects. Both sexes have been smaller and lighter than the muscular giants that make up the rest of the gang. A fully grown Goliath lady would have been interesting to see, perhaps strutting her stuff in a massive suit of handmade armour much like Ajex Gorgoth.

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Another possibility that immediately appealed to me, was the Goliaths of Gothrul’s Needle. For those who’ve not been glued to every development in Necromunda over the last couple of years Gothrul’s Needle is home to one of the most dangerous forms of sedition known to the Imperium, having fallen under the sway of something they call “democracy” and broken away from the rest of the planet. Obviously this isn’t something which Lord Helmawr, the Imperial Governor, is terribly impressed about, and considerable effort is being brought to bear to bring the renegade hive back into line, all whilst pretending to the wider Imperium that House Helmawr retains absolute control over their domains and would never be so weak as to allow one of their holdings to slip the leash. In defence of their independence the Council of Gothrul’s Needle have recruited the local Goliaths, offering them wonderful things such as advanced weapons and armour, proper medical care and even education. Here we see the Goliaths as they could be, not brutish tech-barbarians but the superhumans they have the potential to be, yet which they are never allowed to become elsewhere on the poisoned world. A Goliath hailing from the Needle, sent abroad to carry out some mission or other, would make for an amazing miniature and a chance to look at a very different side of a house normally associated with boneheaded violence and not much else.

Likewise the three new characters in House of Blades are all interesting in and of themselves, there’s none that I dislike or would want rid of. We have Betti Banshee – a woman with a sonic scream instead of a throat, Necrana – oldest and most terrible of the Death Maidens, and Cyniss, a mistress of poisons and close confidant of the Matriarch Primus herself. Again however there was the potential to really push the boat out here.

Necrana

The story of House Escher begins even before the coming of the Imperium, when three sisters – known collectively as the Blades – carved out a legacy for themselves beneath the gaze of the ancient Iron Lords who ruled the planet. When Imperial warships filled the sky and space marines poured onto the surface the Blades sought to ensure their endurance into this new age, hiding banks of clones scattered across the world. When one sister died a clone would arrive to replace her, stepping into her life and continuing her legend – until she too died and was replaced by another. This situation would remain for the next three millennia before the sisters combined their bloodlines to form a new house, swearing allegiance to the House of Helm’ayr and destroying their old clone banks forever. Except of course nobody really believes they destroyed all of them do they? Indeed a timeline entry even refers to a lost clone vault being found and activated in M38, leading inevitably to bloody mayhem. Surely a mysterious and powerful character, who steps from the shadows to aid the cause of the Eschers in their time of need then vanishes into the shadows of the Underhive from whence she came, and might – just might – be one of the lost clones, would be a fantastic special character? Especially as there would be plenty of Eschers keen to cut her up, take a look at her DNA and find out if she contains something to keep their menfolk from dying – and others who would see her as a natural replacement for the current Matriarch Primus – for good or ill.

Or, as another possibility, how about an Eschaki chem-soldier, specifically a male one? Again, for those who’re willing to indulge me as I enthuse about the new background, before they were the Escher the house was known as House Eschaki. Given to tinkering around with their own DNA, consuming chems and pushing the boundaries of science even further than the modern Escher, the Eschaki eventually screwed up and developed the so-called Flesh Curse, which lead their entire male line to be born weak, stupid and sickly – female readers may be thinking that some things never change – on those rare occasions that male children were born at all. In the end the women of the house gave up on the male line altogether and rebuilt their clan under the new name Escher (although they have made several spirited attempts to recreate a male bloodline – most notably the so-called “Project Goliath”…). Whilst they lived however the Eschaki fielded all kinds of “combat-drug fuelled murder squads, ash-dancer assassins and genehanced berserkers”. It might be sensible to assume that the Eschaki are now safely extinct but as recently as the latter part of the 40th Millennium a colony of Eschaki chem-warriors was found, only to flee into the wastes and vanish. Whenever there’s discussion of the Escher online there’s always someone who pops up and asks why they can’t have male Escher (because everyone knows you can’t have something nice for the girls without the boys muscling in and demanding to be included too). Now I’m going to stick my head above the parapet and say that I don’t want to see male Escher any more than I want weedy Goliaths, healthy Van Saar, agnostic Cawdor or Space Marines who find this whole purging business a bit tiring and would rather stay at home and read. However wouldn’t an Eschaki chem-warrior (with appropriate mystery and hand-waving over the details of his background) make for a very interesting special character and a chance to give whoever wants boy-Escher a boy-Escher without actually changing things so radically that we now all have to have boy-Escher?

Anyway, moving on before I wear the patience of my audience any thinner than I probably have already, another thing I wanted to talk about was the models that Forge World have released, or will release, in conjunction with these books. When House of Chains was released Forge World accompanied it by bringing out the Goliath ‘Zerker (a brute unique to House Goliath) and the Slavers Guild – the merchant’s guild with the closest ties to the house of musclemen.

Slavers Guild

With the arrival of House of Blades I must admit my fingers were tightly crossed that we’d see the Khimerix (the Escher’s unique brute – think of a Chaos Spawn which has somehow become fabulous) and their favoured guild allies, the Water Guild. Instead there’s been no sign, and instead we’re looking at new Escher champions (see below) – which are nice enough but nothing to write home about and could easily have been accommodated with an upgrade set or two of new heads and weapons. This is frankly slightly galling when you consider all of the aforementioned bounty hunters that we’re yet to see, plus guilder allies, criminals, hangers on, etc etc.

Escher Champion

Anyway, I suspect I’ve probably worn this topic thin so let’s move on, because there are a few other developments I’d like to give a little more attention to. For one thing we have another new gang in town in the form of the slave ogryns (or as they should be called the Free Ogryns – because these boys aren’t going to be anyone’s slaves anymore!). First revealed alongside House of Chains back at the start of the year they’ve only lumbered into our homes now, their mighty muscles proving no defence against the global havoc caused by C-19. So far I’ve only had the time to build one of them, kitbashing him slightly with a head from the Imperial Guard ogryn kit.

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Of course this is a fine chance for some size comparison photos, so here he is next to some more normally-proportioned underhive residents.

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Not all the Goliaths look weedy next to him however, this Stimmer for instance actually comes across as pretty imposing.

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And he doesn’t look quite as big as this partly painted Ambot.

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Interestingly there are six ogryns in a set, and all six houses can take an ogryn as part of their gang. Part of me is already tempted to pick up another kit (not a cheap investment mind you) and make a themed ogryn for each of my gangs. The Escher one would be especially interesting, resplendent in brightly coloured armour and leopard-skin pants, but picture the possibilities – the masked and scrap-armoured Cawdor version like a shambling candelabra, the high-tech Van Saar version, the terribly un-stealthy Delaque version (with bionic eyes of course!). Of course then I’d need to cook up a Corpse-Grinder and Genestealer Cult version. At least I already have a Chaos Helots version already made…

Anyway, there’s one final thing to discuss before I realise that I’ve entirely outstayed my welcome and that’s the new Orlocks. Frankly I don’t have a lot to say about them apart from how downright amazing they are! Take a look at these very good dogs for instance (but keep in mind that if they bring you your slippers they might still have someone else’s foot inside)…

Bad Dog

And I’m also very fond of the chap with the servo-arms and the big hammer, and seeing female miniatures for the House of Iron is long overdue.

Hammer TimeOrlock Ladies

I reckon this gentleman, the only Orlock I’ve painted so far, won’t be on his own for long!

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I often find myself thinking about writing Necromunda themed editorials so I’ll probably make this into an occasional series (hence the “part 1” in the title). In the meantime I’m off to think about all the new Eschers I want to build. If you have any thoughts you can confidently say you’re not an Ogryn, and if you want to share them the comment’s box is all yours.


The Irondogs – Part 16

After a quiet few months it’s a very exciting time to be a Necromunda fan. I’m sitting here hopping from foot to foot waiting for my copy of House of Blades to come through the door (accompanied by some reinforcements for the Ladykillers gang and a bunch of Ogryns who’re intent on stamping out their plans onto the face of the underhive – just as soon as they can remember what they are). Plus we saw all those lovely new Orlocks – and their very good dogs – previewed at the weekend which has me itching to finally get to work on my contingent for the House of Iron.

However, before all that happens, I’ve been back to pouring over House of Chains and my eye fell upon Tess “Arc-Up” one of the Goliath special characters introduced in the book.

Tess is described as headstrong and reckless in the extreme, scaling the outer shell of the hive barehanded as ash storms rage around her or throwing herself into the thick of gang-fights regardless of the odds. She’s a prospect, keen to join a gang of her own, yet even the craziest of Goliaths find her too mad, bad and dangerous to know to stick around with for long. So she roams from gang to gang, gaining the respect of  many a forge boss but never allowed to stay.

You’d have to be down-and-out and desperate, even by the standards of the underhive, to hang around with someone as wild as Tess, especially in the wilds of Necromunda where there’s danger aplenty without going looking for it, and stirring it up when you find it. On the other hand the Irondogs are very much desperate, not to mention the living embodiment of down-and-out, their backs against the wall and their little kingdom crumbling as foes of all kinds close in. So when Tess rocks up in their patch of course they’ll keep her around, at least for a little while…

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I made my version of Tess from the Goliath forge-born prospect, with a modified storm-welder (kitbashed from a Necron warrior’s gun and a Sicarian Infiltrator’s taser goad). I like the idea that Ironhouse lies not far from Hive Primus, and so all kinds of special characters might pass through – whilst keeping it remote enough that I can do my own thing to my heart’s content. Thus Tess probably won’t be the only Goliath character to show up, not to mention the Escher characters whose identities and backstories are soon to be whisking their way through the post in my direction.