Tag Archives: Necromunda

The Oathbones – Part 6

Giants (which definitely aren’t muties!) and fanatical demagogues are all very well but if my Cawdor gang wants to make a name for itself in the scrap-slums around Ironhouse then they’re going to need a few more bodies in the rank and file. Enter the newest recruits, Wolfram…

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Eldrik…

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… and Merek.

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And here they are, posing together for their inaugural group shot.

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Next up, the first of the gang’s champions, who should be ready to lay waste to heretics with his heavy flamer after the weekend.


The Oathbones – Part 5

If I’m going to work on my Cawdor gang then one model deserves attention more than any other; my stigshambler. It was November 2018 when I first put this lumbering mutant duo together (and please don’t say “mutant” in front of the rest of the gang, they’re quite touchy about these things!) and they quickly proved to be one of my most popular conversions, not to mention one of the ones I was most proud of. Here’s a reminder of how it looked the last time we saw it, back when it was still bare plastic.

The stig-shambler is the house brute for Cawdor (each House on Necromunda having access to a unique brute – the Goliath Zerker or Escher Kymerix for example). To quote my original post;

For those unfamiliar with the background, House Cawdor take a dim view of all mutants, knowing that any aberration from the human norm is proof positive of a corrupt and evil soul. As with so many Imperial institutions however their tolerance increases markedly if the individual can demonstrate their usefulness. Those on the borderline are “Stigs”, marked by the stigma of mutation but not true mutants and thus spared the pyres so long as they can work towards the greater glory of Him On Terra.

A Stigshambler combined two such Stigs; one physically frail but intelligent, the other bulky and strong but lacking in the wits needed to survive long in the Underhive. Indoctrinate Master-Blaster into a life of religious fanaticism and you’re most of the way there.

When I first started this blog I thought – somewhat naively – that any readers would be primarily interested in the same models or ranges that I was. However in recent years I’ve discovered that quite a few come from a much broader range of backgrounds – whilst generally still interested in miniatures – and that saying “look what I kitbashed” might not be enough when the reader in question is unfamiliar with the stock models. As a result I’ve been trying to include pictures of the unconverted versions of converted models, demonstrating my workings as it were. In this case however it’s hard to know where to begin. The main body of the big guy comes from the Ironjaws Brutes and as I painted a couple of them recently they can stand in to demonstrate.

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After that however it all gets a bit busy, the head and axe are from the putrid blightkings, the arm with the shaken fist from the ork nobs, the gantry (and the little guy) from the ogre gluttons (the little guy being essentially a gnoblar with a headswap for a Cawdor head), the gun is from the Orlocks, the loudhailer from an Imperial guardsman and various other odds and ends from wherever I could scavenge them.

Anyway, let’s get to the meat of the post and take a look at the finished model at last.

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I think I got the scale for him about right, he doesn’t look too weedy next to a Goliath ‘zerker (which reminds me – I really need to paint that guy!).

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And he certainly towers over the rest of the gang.

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If this crusade is going to show the underhive they mean business however a stigshambler won’t hurt but a few more gangers will be invaluable, and as I have quite a few of those on the desk I’ll aim to tackle them next.


The Oathbones – Part 4

For what feels like several centuries I’ve been using this blog to  promise that I was going to tackle my Cawdor gang for Necromunda “soon”. “Soon” it turns out is a relative term. The new Cawdor first emerged from the Underhive in 2018 and I was instantly captivated and determined to start a gang of my own. Of course now we’re well into 2020 and as yet the gang remains in its infancy.

That’s not to say there’s been nothing painted at all, I have managed to put brush to model a few times, enough to finish off these five fine fellows (and their bird).

However I still have quite a lot of these ragged crusaders waiting in the wings and I’m sure a lot of regular readers were starting to doubt that the day would ever come when I finally gave them the attention they deserve (I know I was). At last however that moment has come, I’ve cleared everything else to the edges of the painting desk (already a very crowded place!) and focused my attention on the God-Emperor’s filthiest servants. First things first, every crusade needs a leader so I pushed Marrowkin the Saint of Ashes to the front of the queue.

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Once just an ordinary ganger, fighting the God-Emperor’s wars in the badzones and rad-shanties shellward of the Halcyon Gate, Marrowkin’s story took a dramatic turn when his crew discovered a previously undiscovered passage leading beneath the rubble and into a claustrophobic maze of unexplored passages. The air was stagnant, the light of their candles struggled to push back the curtains of heavy shadow and their prayers to Him Upon Terra were devoured by the darkness – and what echoes did come back to them were twisted, mocking things, sounding as though they were spoken by fell, inhuman tongues. Undeterred the gang headed downwards. Clearly this was a place of muties and other degenerates, a place to which the God-Emperor’s light must be brought until fear and fire drove back all the unclean things which dared to dwell in His realm.

They found fire and fear true enough, but it was not them which brought it.

Rumours have long circulated that beneath Hive Volatos lie the Black Manufactoria, entire levels given over to the manufacture of goods and weapons crafted through the foul rituals of Chaos and governed by terrible queens born of the hive’s long lost Escher tribes. Can it really be true that such places exist, right beneath the feet of the Goliaths and Orlocks who dominate the city above? Marrowkin at least believes that it is. He alone was discovered afterwards, washed through an outflow pipe into the chem-lakes that bubble to the south of the hive. His body was burned and mutilated, his memories fragmented, his mind scoured by madness, but his faith and hatred was stronger than ever. Only by the God-Emperor’s mercy had he survived, and now the time had come for him to replay His gift. Hive Volatos was corrupted, its heart dark with the canker of Chaos, and Marrowkin would purify it. He would make the hive itself into a pyre; dome by dome, floor by floor, heretic by heretic if necessary.

The Cawdor of the chem-lakes were themselves a shattered band. Ash-crust miners from the sacrilegious, mutie-harbouring Cult of the Abyssal Gaze had pushed into their territory and the Cawdor were fighting a war for survival. Their leaders and champions were already gone and the last survivors were being hunted down like rats. Yet in the broken form of Marrowkin they found an unlikely saviour, one who would yet see them claw their way back from the edge of extinction. Mad he may be but he recognised that the chem-lakes was not a turf they could or should attempt to hold. Instead he ceded control of the lakes to the xenos and took his new gang back into the hive proper. His crew feared the fate that they knew would befall them as soon as Korg and his Goliaths found them trespassing on his turf but to their surprise they found the way cleared and sudden opportunity laid before them. Whilst they had been battling for survival out in the lakes Korg had been slain, his followers massacred and the survivors scattered. Had Marrowkin’s zealotry and fiery sermons not already convinced them this would have been enough to convince them that truly they walked in the company of a downhive saint. Two miracles could now be attributed to him; first his rebirth from the horrors of the deep-hive, and now the sweeping aside of the once unassailable Korg. Truly the Emperor had turned His gaze upon them, now it was up to them to prove themselves worthy of His regard. Settling in the Sumpside district that runs along the partly-flooded levels west of Ironhouse they have put out the call for those of faith to join their crusade. Already many Cawdor have come, drawn by the words of the Saint and tales of the powers attributed to him. After all, who would not wish to fight beneath the banner of the man who called down the God-Emperor’s wrath on the mighty Korg himself? Truly it is time for the faithless to know fear…


The Lodge of the Flayed King – Part 2

I’ve been trying to work out a colour scheme for my Corpse Grinder Cultists and at last I think I’ve got something I’m happy with. Here’s initiate He Who Cuts modelling his new work wear. Before we look at the final piece here he is prior to being liberally splattered with gore. As you can see the paint job isn’t perfect but I didn’t see the point in breaking my neck over it if I was just going to cover it up with Blood For The Blood God technical paint!

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And here he is suitably blood splattered after a hard day of unrelenting violence.

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Overall I’m pleased with the way this colour scheme works on the initiates but I’m curious about how it’ll look on the more heavily armoured butchers, cutters and skinners so I’ll test it out on one of them next before rolling it out to the rest of the gang.


The Irondogs – Part 15

A couple of weeks ago I showed a group of work-in-progress Goliath gangers and, eschewing my usual habit of sitting on them like Smaug for months, I then battered on and got one of the forge-born painted up in short order. Here’s Varski, the first of the Irondog’s next generation.

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I do have a bunch of other models on the go that I’d like to keep my focus on and get finished, but I’m quite excited about all things Goliath at the moment so expect to see a few more recruits making their way into the ranks sooner or later. After all, given some of the threats currently moving in on their turf Korak and the boys are going to need all the help they can get!


It Takes A Village – Part 2

The problem with the Underhive is some people seem to think it’s a place to go for a nice day out. You’ve got gangs running around shooting the place up, Inquisitors strutting about like they own the place, xenos lurking in the shadows and don’t get me started on the Chaos cults! And what none of them seem to get is that some people are here to do a day’s work. They seem to think the corroded pipes, pools of toxic gunk and ominous piles of skulls just happen by magic…

You may recall that long, long ago (back in July of last year) I started working on a project to assemble some hard-done-by civilians to populate the grim depths of the Necromundan underhive – not to mention any Inq28 goings on. Necromunda is now blessed with several scenarios that feature hapless hive inhabitants and yet my population of civilians still remained rather paltry, I’ve had plenty of ideas but none of them have made it to completion. However with the lockdown ongoing I found myself looking for things to paint and my eye fell on these three workmen who’ve been waiting for attention for quite some time. Once again I’ll be counting these towards the “Paint The Crap You Already Own!” challenge being run by Ann’s Immaterium, as all three have been knocking around for quite some time and getting them finished makes it feel as though this project has finally started to achieve something.

The other reason I decided to tackle them was to explore what I hoped would be a new and easier way to paint orange. I really like the look of my genestealer cultists in their orange overalls but there’s no avoiding the fact that it’s been a lot of hard work to paint and that keeps putting me off from tackling any more. These however came together in no time flat using the recipe of an undercoat of Jokaero Orange, a coat of Gryph-Hound Orange Contrast Paint, a quick highlight with Jokaero Orange and a final highlight with Fire Dragon Bright.

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The models originate from the mechanics in the CP Miniatures range, a real goldmine for a project like this, with the addition of heads from Anvil Industry and various Games Workshop gubbins. Here’s a picture of the unconverted models courtesy of the CP Miniatures website.

CP Mechanics

Whilst I was working on them I spotted this little servo-drone which has been waiting for attention for even longer – I assembled him back in 2017 when I was working on the Chapel project and he’s sat unloved ever since. I’ve never been entirely sure what to do with him, he’s kitbashed entirely out of odds and ends and he never felt quite finished to me, as though something was missing that, if I could only identify it, would make the model complete. Whatever it might be I still can’t quite put my finger on it and I was about to dump him back into the box of shame when it occurred to me that he might work well as a robotic assistant to my underhive work crew.

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Here’s the whole crew ready for an honest day’s toil (no working from home for them unfortunately!). Hopefully they’ll make it through their shift without being shot by accident in a turf war or the ongoing battle for the Emperor’s soul…

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The Lodge of the Flayed King – Part 1

Very much in the spirit of the Goliath WIPsI posted last week here’s a look at some more unpainted Necromundan plastic, this time in the form of my favourite underhive cannibals the Corpse Grinder Cultists.

First up I turned my attention to the cult’s initiates (that’s Juves in any other gang). I’ve already built a couple of these, pretty much exactly by the book, so now I wanted to go off-piste a little and see what I could come up with. Particularly I wanted to explore some of the weapon options available to the gang which aren’t available on the “stock” models – that is to say weapons which are described in the rules but aren’t available as part of the standard plastic kit. Unlike the majority of the gang, which can only be equipped with close-combat weapons the initiates have not fallen so far into Khorne’s favour that they’re reduced to running screaming across the battlefield with no heed for the niceties of tactics. Indeed these newcomers to the gang, still digesting their first few meals of still-warm person, can chose from a selection of ranged weapons – and even remember that they can be fired from a distance rather than just used to bludgeon the nearest foe. As well as the likes of stub guns and autopistols a particularly attractive sounding option is the harpoon launcher. For one thing it makes me think of the Ursus Claws, the massive harpoons used by those ultimate Khornate warriors the World Eaters. For those not in the know the Ursus Claws are basically huge harpoons that were mounted on the titans of the World Eater’s allies – the Legio Audax – and, if even that isn’t big and over-the-top enough for you, on their flagship The Conqueror. If titans impaling other titans and dragging helpless tanks around wasn’t cool enough imagine if you will a massive spaceship harpooning other spaceships so that they can be rammed and boarded by thousands of Khorne berserkers. The World Eaters do nothing by halves (and really ought to have a range of miniatures – just saying, GW, just saying…). Anyway, I reckoned a smaller version might be just the thing for the Corpse Grinders to have in their armoury, partly for the nod to their larger Khornate cousins and partly because I like the idea of the initiates retaining the common sense and forward planning to impale some poor sod and take them home for supper whilst the more corrupted members of the gang are busy hacking people up today with no thought for tomorrow.

Making the harpoon launcher was pretty straightforward, it’s lifted straight from the Orlocks kit, with a trophy skull popped on top to add that Khornate vibe. It fitted pretty well although there was a slight gap left (which would normally be covered by the Orlock shoulderpad) but a suitably spiky jawbone soon covered that up. The other shoulder needs a little greenstuff to tidy it up but otherwise he’s good to go.

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The other trick up the sleeve of the initiates, as well as their ability to use ranged weapons, is being a lot sneakier than the rest of the gang. Whilst their lodge brothers let everyone within a hundred miles know that they’re on their way by revving chainblades and running screaming at their nearest victim, the initiates tiptoe through the underhive ready to spring on some hapless meal that just happens to be walking by. In game terms this means they have the Infiltrate skill which allows them to pop up uncomfortably close to the enemy and start making mayhem. The Corpse Grinders have a reputation for being quite a nasty, over-powered gang to face and although I’m quite sure this isn’t something that will last forever as new models are released and new tricks discovered, I’d also like to emphasise that I’m not trying to create a gang with which to smash all comers and win at all costs; that isn’t something that appeals to me at all and it certainly doesn’t fit with the spirit of Necromunda. Mainly I’m interesting in modelling opportunities but I also like the idea of interesting tactical tricks for as and when I do get the occasional game in, and having a juvenile delinquent with a rocksaw pop up practically on the toes of the enemy gang sounded like a chance for the kind of mayhem that Khorne would undoubtedly approve of. Again he’s mostly based around the standard initiate model, this time with the arms and weapon from the new Goliath prospects.

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Lastly the gang needed a leader and as ever I wanted someone who looked uniquely mine (so heavily kitbashed and converted from the studio version) and suitably imposing, someone who could look across the table at any of my other converted leader models and have them know that they meant business. Much as I love the studio versions of the Corpse Grinder Cult there’s nothing to really make the leader stand out from his barbaric followers. I began by building the model as per the studio instructions but added on every extra spiky, skull-covered extra I could find, rather than diluting the effect by spreading them around the whole gang. Then it was just a case of finding a suitable head and this mask, borrowed from the trophy rack of an AoS Orc (sorry – Orruk!) fit the bill nicely.

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With these three done, plus the other cultists I’d put together previously, I’m well on the way to getting a starting gang built. Now I just need to pick a colour scheme – something that shows the blood will do nicely!


The Irondogs – Part 14

It’s been a while since I added anything to my Goliath gang but it’ll come as no surprise to anyone that, since I got my grubby paws on House of Chains I’ve been busy expanding the ranks of my angry musclemen. I read the new book (twice) over the last few weeks and I think it’s fantastic, another outstanding volume from the team behind Necromunda and one that’s taken pride of place on the shelf. I won’t delve too far into reviewing it as that’s been done far better elsewhere, but the degree to which this single book has enriched the Necromundan landscape is quite outstanding and I’m champing at the bit to see the rest of the series.

Having been fired with enthusiasm I turned my attention to the range of new models that were released alongside it – and naturally decided that this was a fine time for the Irondogs to indulge in a recruiting drive! First of all I put together one of the new Stimmers. Rather than mess around too much with a fiddly kit that I’m not all that familiar with I built it straight out of the box, just swapping in a head from the Forge World upgrade set (which suits him nicely I reckon).

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I also put together a couple of the forge-born. For those unfamiliar with the ever expanding range of options available to a Necromunda gang these are the first of the “prospects” which will apparently be available to all but one of the House gangs – a prospect being essentially a juve who’s willing to put themselves in harm’s way in exchange for a fast-track into the gang proper. Again I didn’t try anything too radical here as really I was just exploring and familiarising myself with the kit.

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The forge-born are also perfect for making juves. I think like most people I was expecting that sooner or later we’d see miniatures for juvs, although I also assumed that GW would be cautious of putting them front and centre. I played around with making Goliath juves by combining the legs of genestealer neophytes with the torsos of kairic acolytes, something I’ve seen done with great success by others, but never really produced anything I was terribly happy with so I fell back on waiting to see what official miniatures would appear, or for further inspiration to strike. However the arrival of House of Chains firmly states that the former is off the cards.

Juves

In other words alternative models for juves (that’s Bullies in House Goliath) are out, if you want juves in your gang you should use the same models as ordinary gangers. Now I can see why Games Workshop have chosen to go down this route, child soldiers and juvenile delinquents  are never exactly a good look (especially when they’re being carved up by angry cannibal berserkers). Then again I’ve always seen juves as just that, youngsters who’ve just joined the gang rather than simply new recruits. Now I will acknowledge that the book describes the majority of Goliaths being born from vats, emerging fully adult and ready to get to work on the production lines, rather than enjoying the kind of childhood and teenage rebellion that we might have enjoyed ourselves. However I still want my juves to look younger than my standard gangers. Plus if the prospects are youngsters why not the juves? Readers may recall that I’ve already made two Escher juves that I’m quite pleased with and I wanted something similar for the Goliaths.

With that in mind I started kitbashing using one of the forge born and came up with an early proof-of-concept that I’m pretty happy with (very much inspired by the dozens of other people I’ve seen in various groups online doing exactly the same thing).

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My only real issue with him is what to do with his back. The forge-born have backpacks and webbing, which suits the weapons they carry, and I wanted to steer away from that in order to further differentiate the juves from the forge-born. I’ve not yet decided whether to greenstuff over it or try to cover it with something (probably the former as Goliaths tend to have all their armour to the front and juves should be no different) but if anyone has any suggestions I’m all ears.

Next to join the crew is the hulking great ‘zerker. I wasn’t entirely sure about him when I first saw the studio model, and my plan was to make quite a range of tweaks and adjustments. However I have to say that once I got my hands on it I discovered what an excellent miniature this really is. Everything went together perfectly, there were hardly any mould-lines and the level of detail is quite outstanding. Thus much like Ortruum 8-8I think this is another rather nice model let down by a less than stellar studio paint job. Here’s a quick reminder of the studio model.

Zerker Studio

And here’s my model, assembled and ready for paint. The one thing I didn’t include was the breathing mask that hangs around his neck, a rather fragile looking bit of resin that I decided wasn’t worth the effort of trying to attach.

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There are loads of cool little details on the model and I predict he’s going to be a lot of fun to paint. For instance check out these bone spikes bursting out of his mutated flesh – something I’d quite overlooked on the studio model.

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I did plan to swap out his head but again once I saw it in person I realised that I rather like it. This isn’t me panning the Forgeworld studio painter – they’re clearly very talented, I just don’t think that the style they’ve used has entirely shown the ‘zerker at its best.

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However I do wish they’d included an alternative head that matched the one shown in the original artwork. It’s also worth noting that the head of the ‘zerker is a little larger than those of the standard gangers so unlike the stimmers it’s not so easy to just swap in a head from the Forge World upgrade set, all the more reason why an alternative on the sprue would have been a nice touch.

Zerker Head

He’s a big lad, the real monster of the crew, as this line-up shows.

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He even looks imposing next to this (shamefully part-painted) Ambot. I must admit I thought the burrowing robot would be the bigger of the two by quite some margin so it was a surprise to see them side by side and realise just how large the ‘zerker is.

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All of this gives me plenty to paint and I’m keen to get my teeth into them as soon as possible, although I’ve also got my eye on a few other projects which may take precedence (including my often delayed but never forgotten Cawdor gang). I’ve also been kitbashing Corpse-Grinder Cultists so I’ll try to get something uploaded to showcase them soon too.


The Oathbones – Part 3

I’ve got quite a horde of Cawdor gangers built up now, and really I ought to be cracking on with painting them, rather than continuing to build more. However that sounds far too much like common sense and moderation to me, especially when I have a holy crusade to launch with which to purge the hive of the sinful, the faithless and the filthy muties.

The release of the Sisters of Battle Arco-flagellants has given me all kinds of ideas for new additions to the gang, not to mention the host of fanatical lunatics that I plan to unleash in their wake. So far I’ve just dipped my toe into the uses I can get from the kit, starting with a few headswaps, and although it’s desperately fiddly I think there’s a lot of potential to be explored here.

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For the next little while I’m going to keep my focus on Warcry but these have fired my enthusiasm for my little cult again so I’ll look to get back to them soon (and who knows,  perhaps I’ll even get some more of them painted!)


Fembruary 2020

Time continues to speed by with its usual unseemly haste and, even though I’m pretty sure Christmas was just last week, we’re striding into February already, which means it’s also time for Fembruary. By now the annual Fembruary challenge will be well established in a lot of hobbyists calendars but that’s no reason not to give it another mention, to remind anyone who might have been planning to take part and to alert anyone who’s not come across it in previous years.

To quote the man behind the challenge, Alex of Leadballoony, Fembruary works like this;

“…the deal is ‘Paint at least one Female miniature’ – it’s that simple! I’m not bothered what genre, game, manufacturer, painting style or material you go with. It can be a squad, a single mini, a diorama, or whatever takes your fancy… I’m just looking for awesome portrayals of the feminine in miniature form, as part of an ongoing conversation about how women are presented within our hobby.”

Originally I was just going to post something brief aimed at directing people towards the challenge and encouraging anyone who read it to take part, however I actually ended up writing quite a long post all about the representation of women in miniatures. In the end however I pushed it onto the back burner for now and went back to my original plan. At some stage however I’ll tidy it up and post it – after all it was both erudite and witty, and contained a number of well-structured and intelligent arguments without ever becoming rambling or preachy. You should try to imagine it – it was really something! In the meantime here’s a few of my favourite female models that I’ve painted in recent years.

Speaking of female miniatures, a recent release that stuck a particular chord with me is Fecula Flyblown of the Wurmspat, the Nurgle worshippers who’ve oozed their way into the latest expansion for Warhammer Underworlds. Allow me to pretentiously quote myself when I reviewed the Maggotkin of Nurgle in January of 2018.

“Disease affects all living things so here was a chance to show what happens when Nurgle’s ailments are contracted by someone other than a well-built male barbarian. We could have seen a sickly elf, twisted with bitterness as his immortality became a curse. We could have had a disease ravaged dwarf in a rust-caked suit of armour, great vats of toxin on his hunched back whilst intestinal pipes, throbbing with peristaltic action, spew jets of filth ahead of him? We could even have had a woman. Of course Nurgle isn’t all that interested in high heels and boob-armour but this is an age of equal opportunities and girls can worship an unglamorous god of disease and putrefaction just as well as boys.”

And what do you know, two years on here she is. What a joy to discover sometimes they do listen to me after all! And thank goodness they didn’t give her a chainmail bikini…

I’ve got a few ideas in mind for things to paint this year, although time is going to be very pressing this month so I suspect I may not manage very much. At the very least I’d like to tackle some more of my unpainted Warcry collection, and I know there’s a lady amongst the ranks of the Iron Legionaries, as well as the awesome Beastspeaker amongst the Untamed Beasts so if I manage nothing else I’ll at least take a shot at painting those two. Maybe, if I’m very lucky and clever with my time management I might even find the time to tackle Nayam Shai Murad from Blackstone Fortress, and Severina Raine (the lead character in my favourite Black Library novel of 2019).

In the meantime I implore you to take a look through the unpainted pile of shame and join in the challenge, as well as spreading the word on your social medias or down the local gaming club. The days in which female miniatures were thin on the ground are thankfully receding (although there’s still plenty more ground to make up – GW, if you’re reading this, female Orlocks stat!) so you should have plenty to choose from. Anyone who treated themselves to a new Sisters of Battle army last month for example now has no excuse to let them gather dust…