Tag Archives: Necromunda

The Irondogs – Part 13

It’s all kicking off in the Underhive at the moment. This weekend saw the release of Dark Uprising, the eye-wateringly expensive but still rather lovely new Necromunda boxset. Despite the fact that it’s rather painful on the wallet I’m still excited about this, containing as it does a combination of really interesting and atmospheric-looking terrain, and two new gangs, both of which are of interest to me. On the one hand we have the brutal jackboot of oppression, the po-po themselves, in the form of the Palanite Enforcers. We already saw the Old Bill muscling their way onto the streets a couple of months ago and at the time it was announced that a second, more heavily armed and armoured variant, the Palanite Subjugators would be coming soon.  Like many people I assumed we’d be looking at a Forgeworld upgrade kit so seeing a plastic kit for this is fantastic, especially as I’m gearing up to start my own collection of the fuzz to unleash on the local miscreants, bams, neds, ne’er-do-well and other assorted scum of the Underhive. If you need me I’ll be watching detective dramas for “research purposes” and practicing my lingo. Attracted by the smell of bacon we have the other gang in the box – the Corpse Grinder Cultists, who are exactly as friendly and loveable as their name would suggest. These are important not just because angry cannibals are something one can never have enough of but also because it’s the first time we’ve seen something truly new in Necromunda for a very long time. We’ve seen lots of things on the sidelines of course, developing and enriching the world in which the game is set, but now we’re actually seeing a whole new gang, something the developers have been hinting at for a while and which is alleged to be the first of many. Of course it would be great to see Redemptionists, Ratskins, Pitslaves and all the rest of the old gangs making a return at some stage but personally I’m thrilled to see a breath of fresh air entering the Underhive and reminding us that reliving the ’90s is all well and good but this is a creative goldmine and we’ve only just scratched the surface.

Down in my own little corner of the planet’s surface, the industrial fortress of Ironhouse, the gang warfare is set to hot up considerably.  Since I last worked on my Goliath gang at the tail end of last year Genestealer Cultists have come sneaking in from the tunnels that lead into the ash-wastes, House Escher have established a presence in the ill-defended areas of the territory and a Chaos cult has begun spreading their influence, whipping up rebellion amongst the helot population. Lately agents of House Van Saar have come rappelling down from the hive above, carving out an outpost from which they can conduct secretive missions of their own and tramping over the hard-won territories of the locals without seeming to give them a second thought. Now there are rumblings of a Cawdor crusade taking to the streets, and of course I’m expecting Corpse Grinder Cultists and Palanite Enforcers to arrive in strength soon. The Irondogs of House Goliath were already stretched thin trying to hold onto their turf – and if you want to read the story of how it all began then I recommend you take a look here – and things have only become worse since then. If Korak and his boys want to keep their old territory it’s time for them to do a little recruiting of their own.

Anyway, enough chat – let’s take a look at the new boys. First up we have Grolg, who I like to think of as a real “Goliath’s Goliath” – that is to say an angry and imposing muscleman with a suitably un-subtle two-handed hammer.

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Next up there’s Dansk, wielding a brutish chainsword (although it looks more like a chainsaw than the kind of thing other gangs employ).

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Lastly there’s Butch, with an improvised maul and a bolt pistol which in itself looks heavier than most clubs.

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And of course here they are all together.

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It’s been about a year since the last time we had a groupshot of the whole gang and although they haven’t added that many new members since then with these latest three joining up I thought it was high time we had another.

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With these finished I’m aiming to focus on Blackstone Fortress for the next little while (and Orks of course, I’m not forgetting that I still have ten of those to paint!) but with the new Necromunda releases soon to be winging their way to me I’m feeling the call of the Underhive again (although when am I not?) so I’m sure we’ll  be looking at more of the inhabitants of Ironhouse before we know it.


Tech-Hunters – Part 4

I’ve been trying to get these posted up for a while but time hasn’t been on my side lately and the weather hasn’t been helping, with dark and brooding skies outside most of the time the ambient light in the room where I do my photography has been awful, forcing me to rely on artificial lighting exclusively – which in turn sucks all the life out of the paintjobs. Anyway, enough moaning and excuses from me, the last two Van Saar are done and the gang is complete (for the moment).

Before we look at the models however, I wanted to write a bit of background, setting the scene and explaining how this latest gang  fits into the crowded landscape of Ironhouse and its surroundings. Feel free to skip over it of course, there are pictures of miniatures further down!

Even along the upper echelons of House Van Saar the name of Koen Margen was spoken with respect, and even a little awe. Far from the clamour of the production lines and the squalor and violence of the gang wars tech-scholars pursue knowledge, constantly searching to expand the accumulated wisdom and wealth of their house. By the scraps of knowledge they claw from the rubble of the past are the wheels of Necromundan industry oiled and the coffers of House Van Saar filled. The innermost circle are permitted to study the STC itself and those who fail are rendered down at once. Not even servitors or corpse starch are made from the remains, so paranoid are the House lords that they are secrets might slip out.

A polymath genetically and surgically enhanced to attain levels on genius far beyond the human norm Margen was one of this gifted few. However during the final years of his life his focus moved from the technical to the biological as he became obsessed with the search for a cure to be poisonous illness to which all Van Saar are subject, and which dooms them to brief and painful lives even by Necromundan standards. Many suspected that for him the struggle was a personal one and the race to a cure was being run against his own mortality and failing strength. More and more he isolated himself, abandoning the core territories of his house and busying himself in a fortified laboratory bastion amongst the spires of Hive Volatos. His lab assistants were replaced with servitors and he traded data with underhive gangs, circumnavigating the traditional lines of communication. Only his assistant Espen Luthrix remained close and in time even she found herself isolated from the crux of his reasoning or dispatched to deal with tangential enquiries. Having undergone cerebral enhancement and a full spectrum of combat training she was able to act on his behalf as an assistant, a bodyguard, an archeotch hunter, even an assassin. Yet she could not truly know his mind, and she came to believe that the tasks she was set, whether ultimately valuable or otherwise, were intended to distract her and prevent her from understanding whatever secret he pursued. Often she would return to the laboratory  only to be turned away by his cybernetic guardians, made to wait for days before a perfunctory message would set out her next task. In the end it had been more than forty cycles since she last saw him when a servo-skull sought her out and, following recognition of her personal codes and ciphers, repeated a simple recording of her mentor’s voice. “Success. Come at once”. Later it would only be that skull, its four spoken words analysed over and over again by House adepts until it’s provenance was proven beyond doubt, that saved her from execution. By then the message recorded by the skull had burned through the backchannels where paranoia reigns supreme and kill-squads were sent to purge those guilty of even the most approximate association to the truth.

All that was still to come however. On reaching the laboratory Espen found only chaos and destruction. The door, designed to halt a charging ogryn, had been torn from its hinges, the servitor guardians left as nothing more than offal and scattered machine parts. Beyond lay fiery devastation. Whatever notes or data Margen may have accumulated, the fire consumed it all. Yet worse was to come. As the House agents dug through the charred wreckage they found bodies, but only those of the machine men with which Margen had populated his kingdom. Of the tech-savant himself there was no sign.

Another ripple of panic passed through the house at this news. That Margen was dead represented an acceptable loss, life – even for the brightest stars of Van Saar – being unnaturally short and cheap. The loss of his data was a greater burden, but one which could be borne. The house would go on and in time all that he had learnt would be rediscovered. The thought that he might live however, and even now be spilling his secrets – willingly or otherwise – to their enemies represented an existential threat to the entire house. Knowledge is a hard currency on Necromunda and the adversaries of Van Saar are numerous. Houses once thought untouchable have fallen before, the names of those once mighty now recorded only in fading ink in the darkest archives. Agents of the house were dispatched to all corners of the planet, every clue to his whereabouts, every hint of information and even the most far-fetched sighting, picked over by sanctioned hunters, although few of them knew exactly who they pursued.

In the end it may have been this that saved Espen’s life. She knew Margen far better than most, and if the house was to recover their lost adept she could well be their best hope. Following her instincts she has headed downhive, taking with her a small but elite crew of tech-hunters, codenamed Scorpion-Null and led by the hard-bitten veteran, Major Solaq. They are an experienced team and one with which she has worked well before. Lethal though she is she knows that where they are going she will meet their backup. Only now does she begin to see the pattern of clues in the missions she was sent on during her mentor’s final months. With little more to go on she gathers her team and follows the twisting road into the hive depths, down into the ash choked streets of that industrial carbuncle known to its inhabitants as Ironhouse.

With the background for the gang set out, let’s turn our attention to those two key characters from the gang (leaving aside the mysterious, and clearly absent, Koen Margen). First of all here’s the gang leader, Espen Luthrix.

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And here we have the veteran tech-hunter Major Solaq.

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Yuk! Despite my best efforts to photograph it that mask looks horribly flat and over-exposed. Would you believe I actually put quite a lot of effort into painting it so that it looked just right? Not with lighting conditions like this you won’t eh?

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You may have noticed that both Espen and Solaq have shields, as does the previously shown Agent Ivanek. No, I didn’t buy a second box just to get another shield – I just think they look cool and managed to get my paws on a spare one.

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Here’s the whole gang, ready to rappel down from the spire heights and start making life difficult for the locals, as they attempt to hunt out Koen Margen, dead or alive.

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In theory the plan is to leave Necromunda for a bit and turn my attention to some of the other projects that have been singing their siren song to me (I still need to finish Blackstone Fortress for instance, and Warcry is a harsh but alluring mistress with a lot of bare plastic that needs to be dealt with). However I’m also itching to get started on my Cawdor gang, who’ve been untouched for far too long and the Dark Uprising box has grabbed my attention too, so I don’t imagine I’ll be away from the Underhive for long.


Tech-Hunters – Part 3

With a number of projects competing for my attention I’m enjoying how quick and straightforward to paint my Van Saar gang is proving to be. The irony that this is a small and elite force is not lost on me, especially compared to some of the veritable hordes that I find myself collecting with far trickier colour schemes. For now this gang is entering its final stages with my intention being to complete it in the near future. After that I’ll turn my attention to one of the more populous gangs, probably Cawdor, although I’ll probably turn my attention to some other projects first. First of all though let’s take a look at the latest two recruits.

The final rank-and-file ganger is Agent Bask. I do find the awkward crouched pose of some of the Van Saar a little hard to get used to, although it helps if you imagine them taking cover behind the ramshackle rusty terrain of the underhive. The Van Saar also appear more organised and military than many of the other gangs, something I’ve tried to emphasise with the pose as he takes cover and gestures to one of his squad mates for backup. A Goliath would probably just wade in shouting!

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Alongside him we have the first gang champion, Agent Weyland, who brings a missile launcher to an underhive knife fight. The instructions which come with the models suggest equipping one of the running figures with the missile launcher but to my eye it looks too heavy, and the gangers of Van Saar are said to be too frail and weak, for such dynamic action. Instead I went for a power pose as he prepares to launch radioactive death into the upper gantries.

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Lastly let’s take a quick look at how the whole group is progressing.

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With them done I now only need to finish off the gang leader and the remaining champion and the project will be complete for the moment. On top of that I also need to write the background story which explains who they are and what has brought them out of their labs and tech-refineries and down into the grim depths of Ironhouse. With the end in sight I’ll aim to tackle that soon.


Squaddie September 2019

I’m not going to lie – this one is sheer self indulgence! September turned out to be a very productive month for me and I couldn’t resist acknowledging that with a post summarising everything I managed to paint. However, just in case this seemed too gratuitous, I decided to use Azazel’s latest monthly challenge as a thinly veiled excuse for a bit of back-patting. For those not in the know (assuming there actually are any hobbyists left who haven’t heard of this phenomenon) blogger Azazel runs a painting challenge each month and encourages anyone who’s interested to join in – the aim being to clear our collective backlogs of unpainted models. After all the purpose of these miniatures is to be painted, enjoyed, perhaps even played with if you’re so inclined. It’s not to sit around in boxes getting dusty, be that base-coated, under-coated, or even still on the sprue. Usually I try to use the challenge to push myself to get something done that I otherwise wouldn’t. This month however I seem to have gone completely mad on it! Let’s take a look a look shall we? This month’s subject was Squaddie September and – to quote the man himself – set out this definition for what counted;

“Obviously a “Squad” (a term I’ve chosen this month for alliteration’s sake) is often a military term, and often means a unit of about 10 or so individuals….Though in the interests of flexibility, inclusion and achievability, the “squad” size we’ll be using is a minimum of three models. This lets many of those boardgame units also qualify…Of course, not everyone is a gamer of any kind, so Hell, the models don’t even have to be a strict “unit” or squad. Figures from different forces, ranges, manufacturers. All good, as long as they fit together thematically…”

Obviously that gave me a lot to get my teeth into, and with heaps of models half-finished and waiting for attention I set about painting with abandon. Let’s take a look.

To start with I tried to focus my attention on my Necromunda gangs, of which I have several on the go – including two that I’d been failing to complete for quite some time. First off the block were the Ladykillers of House Escher. Like all my Necromunda projects I have plenty more ideas I’d like to explore but with these three warrior women joining the ranks my initial plan for the gang is finished at least 

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My Necromunda Chaos Cult was originally planned as a quick and easy project but once started it grew in unexpected directions (much like a Chaos spawn then). Once again I decided that this month would be a fine time to tie it down into something I was happy to call complete – for now at least.

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Not wanting to rest on my laurels I turned my attention to another of the Great Houses of Necromunda, the tech-geniuses of Van Saar. At the moment the project is still in it’s infancy but I plan to learn my lesson from the previous two and get the rest of the current crop of models finished up in the next few weeks.

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Turning my attention to the bigger picture of the 41st Millennium I added three new recruits to my Chaos Space Marine squad. My interest in this army has been reinvigorated since the release of the range of new models earlier in the year and I plan to get my teeth into them properly as soon as I’ve completed a few other outstanding projects.

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Continuing the chaos theme I also added a few newcomers to my horde of poxwalkers, bringing the total population of foul plague-zombies up to 28. My plan is to complete a swarm of 40 so I’m aiming to tackle a few more of these very, very soon…

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Nor did my chaos focus end there. Turning my attention to the Mortal Realms I also rounded out my Blades of Khorne warband for AoS Skirmish, first adding a flesh hound and then completing the group with three bloodreavers. Its particularly auspicious, and completely co-incidental, that it took my eight posts to complete the warband – eight being the unholy number of Khorne – but I suspect that there will be plenty more attention focused on the Blood God’s hordes in time.

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Continuing my exploration of the Age of Sigmar I painted three squigs. I’ve been a fan of the Night Goblins for a long time and it took me a while to get used to seeing them in the Mortal Realms as opposed to the Old World of WHFB but, after too many nights peering out of my dank cave at the baleful light of the bad moon, I’m finding myself increasingly drawn to the reinvented Gloomspite Gits.

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However in case anyone fears I’ve lost touch with the Old World I’m still chipping away at my Skaven army and finally, after a lot of mumping and moaning, got the last of my Stormvermin painted. Anyone who’s been avoiding the blog for fear of my constant carping can come out of hiding now!

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And there we have it – not a bad month’s output by any means. Indeed by my count I managed to paint 35 models, more than 1 per day – something I once thought was quite beyond me. A big thanks once again to Azazel for running his challenge, I already have plenty of plans for this month (it’s all about Orks, Orcs, Orruks and anything that’s been neglected – if you’re thinking of giving it a shot yourself I strongly recommend it). Expect to see plenty of greenskins here in the coming weeks, not to mention the rest of the Van Saar and whatever else takes my fancy. Watch this space!


Take Cover! – Part 4

You may have noticed that many of my recent posts have been contributions to the community challenge “Squaddie September” run by Azazel of Azazel’s Bits Box (so much so that I think I’ll put up a self-indulgent round up post in the near future!). However, never being one to shirk from hobby productivity, Azazel also ran “Scenic September“, with the aim of motivating us all to paint some of the terrain, large or small, which might otherwise remain unpainted for another month. As my own terrain collection has been suffering in the doldrums for a while now I decided to take the opportunity throughout last month to chip away at as much as I could, and although the larger projects are still not done (I’ve only got one pair of hands dammit!) I did at least manage to get my teeth into some more of the barricades, scatter terrain and other odds and ends I’ve had waiting for attention.

First of all we’ve got a heap of rusty junk that was released as part of the Speed Freeks Ork racing game from this time last year. In part I used this as an opportunity to experiment with contrast paints for terrain and I’m fairly happy with the results, although there are definitely things I think I could improve upon. However having faffed around with it quite a lot I think I’m going to call this one done – I have several more in the same style so I’ll take what I learned here and apply it to them, and then perhaps come back to touch this one up later if I still think it’s required.

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Then there’s this fungal monstrosity which forms part of the Deathworld terrain set released by GW a few years ago. It’s a pretty ugly model, and came packaged in with a bunch of other stuff that I bought second hand on ebay. Either some bits were missing or it simply doesn’t fit together all that well, either way a bit of greenstuff was required to turn it into something usable. Frankly I didn’t lose too much sleep over it – you’ll note for instance that not all of the trunks reach the floor and whilst I could have put some extra time and effort into fixing that or covering it up I simply couldn’t be arsed. If this is the best example of xenos terrain that GW could find no wonder the Imperium keeps purging the alien! It’s a shame really, I’m all in favour of terrain pieces (and models in general) which are  bit more creative and unusual but this one just misses the mark. I think it’s improved by leaving out the fronds which normally crown the top of the model (and which to my eye look particularly naff) but it’s still nothing to write home about.

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That said it should have a fair bit of utility as part of my terrain collection, handy for the badzones of Necromunda (or even an outcrop of the drug-producing fungus ghast), or to decorate the dank caves inhabited by Night Goblins and Gloomspite Gits.

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And of course it makes for a fine corner of Nurgle’s garden, he doesn’t mind if things are a little on the ugly side!

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Next up, something I had more fun with. I really want to get started on Warcry, I keep hearing good things about the game and the models are frankly gorgeous. So far I’ve only managed to absorb the setting by obsessively reading the core book and pouring over my box of unassembled models but as soon as I’ve cleared my feet a little more I’m going to be diving straight in. In order to play the game however I’m going to need to get a whole load of terrain built and painted and so I’ve dipped my toe into the water by painting up this barricade to get a feel for what it’s like to work with. This one was a real joy to work on so hopefully I can maintain my enthusiasm and paint up a load more soon.

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Finally we have another piece of scatter terrain for my slow-growing Necromunda collection. I know I’ve not broken as much ground on this front recently as I planned but I always expected that the project would take a while – I’m just not someone who knocks out large terrain pieces in short order. However I’ve not forgotten about it and I’m aiming to get back to it before long. In the meantime here’s a street light for what may be a little Underhive settlement (perhaps somewhere for my civilians to take up residence).

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And there we have it – four more disparate terrain pieces with which to decorate the far future and/or the Mortal Realms. I make no promises about when I’ll tackle any more but there’s certainly plenty waiting for attention so I’ll try to finish off some more soon(-ish…).


Tech-Hunters – Part 2

As promised I put in a bit of time over the weekend working on some Van Saar and so the gang continues to grow apace. First to be completed is Agent Nyska, who I’m hoping will make the gang slightly less ineffectual in close combat with her shock baton. I decided to mix things up a little by giving her a green, rather than blue, glow to her plasma pistol, partly to bring some variety to the gang and partly as an excuse to experiment with using contrast paints for this purpose. So far I’ve found blue and green to work well for this but red definitely does not so I’ll be falling back on traditional techniques whenever I need an evil red glow on a plasma weapon.

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Alongside her we have the gunslinging Agent Lucien. There’s something about his eyes that aren’t quite right but it took all my concentration, sniper-style breathing and steady hands to paint them into the little sculpted marks on the mask so I’m frightened of going back and trying to improve them. Maybe I’ll get used to them, or maybe I’ll find my courage – we shall see.

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And of course what progress report would be complete without a group shot?

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With these two done I’ve almost finished with the rank and file gangers already but I still have two champions (including one with the awesome looking rad cannon) and the gang leader to go so I’ll be tackling them next.


Tech-Hunters – Part 1

With the ladies of House Escher and those despicable Chaos Cultists both finally up and running we now have four Necromunda gangs available to choose from whenever we decide to indulge in some underhive violence.  Time to paint something different then and after some deliberation I decided to plump for the Van Saar on the grounds that they would provide a very different tactical and painting experience, with their smooth, clean armour and high-tech gadgets and gizmos. Plus, based on my experience with the test model I worked on previously, they should also be fairly quick and easy to get painted. By way of a reminder let’s take another look at said test model – now named Agent Kleiss.

And here we have two new gang mates to keep him company in the dark of the underhive. First up there’s Agent Ivanek armed with a Hystrar energy shield and plasma pistol. I  must admit that I wasn’t sure about how the clear plastic shield would look on a painted model but now she’s finished I think it works rather well.

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Alongside her we have Agent Larz, toting a lasgun and ready to make trouble on behalf of his house.

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With these three done it looks as if I’m off to a good start already, especially given that the Van Saar tend to be a little more elite than many of their rivals. The eagle-eyed will notice that once again I’d forgotten to finish off the barrel on Ivanek’s plasma pistol, fear not – it’s been sorted now!

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However as it turns out there are even more, already painted and ready for action. This chap was intended as an old school space wolf but when I realised I’d painted him in the same colour scheme as my Van Saar I decided, following encouragement from several readers on this blog, to rebase him and recruit him into the gang instead.  My thinking is that he’s an agent or tech-scout sent down into the underhive by the house, who’s been living off the land for some time before joining up with my gang.

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Each house in Necromunda has access to a pet and, in the case of the Van Saar, that’s the cyber-arachnids. I received these a while ago from Mark at Heresy of Us and had already painted them as pieces of imperial tech, but incorporating them into the gang now seemed like an obvious move.

Add them all together and it starts to look like the gang is well on its way to completion already.

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However I still have several other murder-tech wielding nerds to add and I’m feeling confident that the paint scheme I’ve chosen is quick and easy to replicate. Thus despite having taken an inordinately long time to produce my previous Necromunda gangs I’m aiming to get them painted up in short order. Watch this space!