Tag Archives: Warhammer 40k

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.

Ogryn Necromunda ConvertOrDie Wudugast (2)Ogryn Necromunda ConvertOrDie Wudugast (1)

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!).

Wudugast ConvertOrDie Necromunda Ogryns 40k Warhammer (1)Wudugast ConvertOrDie Necromunda Ogryns 40k Warhammer (2)

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.

Wudugast ConvertOrDie Necromunda Ogryns 40k Warhammer (3)Wudugast ConvertOrDie Necromunda Ogryns 40k Warhammer (4)

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.

Wudugast ConvertOrDie Necromunda Ogryns 40k Warhammer (5)Wudugast ConvertOrDie Necromunda Ogryns 40k Warhammer (6)Wudugast ConvertOrDie Necromunda Ogryns 40k Warhammer (7)

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.

Wudugast ConvertOrDie Necromunda Ogryns 40k Warhammer

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.


Tomb It May Concern – Part 1

“...the darkness that came for the Orpheus sector cared nothing for the power and pride of Man. For in the great emptiness beyond the frontier of known space, ancient and wicked minds were stirring; minds driven insane with the tortures of eternity“.

– Imperial Armour 12; The Fall of Orpheus

Back in August I posted a picture of a Necron warrior and told the world that I’d found a colour scheme I was happy with. Guess what all -I lied! At the time I thought it looked great, and honestly I still do, but the rot has set in nonetheless. Here’s a quick reminder of how he looks.

Necron Warhammer 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)

To begin with I was keen to try out the style on some other units, to make sure it could be applied broadly across the army. I grabbed some scarabs and painted them up too and the results, to my eye, looked pretty good.

Necrons Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (4)

However when I tried to replicate this success on my warriors I started to struggle. Somehow, although it worked well on individual models, I just couldn’t see it working out on entire deathless legions. Time to try out some alternatives. For one thing I really like the look of the Szarekhan Dynasty, these being the troops sworn directly to the Silent Kind himself, and the colour scheme in which all the new Necrons that Games Workshop is releasing currently are being showcased. It might seem a bit unimaginative to stick so closely to the studio scheme but I really rather like it, and given its current popularity there are plenty of tutorials available. I grabbed the painting tutorial in the latest issue of White Dwarf, followed it religiously, and ended up with something that looks like this.

Necrons Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (1)Necrons Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (2)

However, whilst I was waiting for a pot of runelord brass to arrive (vital really as it’s the basecoat colour for pretty much the entirety of the Szarekhan model) I decided to try experimenting with another scheme, one I’d been kicking around since the beginning of the project but which I’d not properly tried out after I fell briefly in love with the tarnished brass colour scheme. Inspired by those classic black and white Vampire Counts armies, whose appearance in old issues of White Dwarf clearly had a formative impact on my young mind, I started to consider the idea of painting my Necrons in the same, starkly monochrome style. The more I thought about it the more I was captivated by the idea of a lightless tomb world, Imperial exploritors making planetfall, the torches of the scouts playing over ruins of extreme age, and the final pic-captures, taken moments before the signal was lost revealing something like this…

Necrons Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (7)Necrons Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (8)

Honestly I think this is the scheme I’m going to commit to, the more I look at it the more I like it, and I can easily see myself turning out a full army looking like this. I can also imagine it working well on some of the other units I’m thinking of adding, several of which I’m struggling to imagine in the other styles. That said I’m always open to feedback, so if you have a convincing case to make for one of the other colour schemes put it forward in the comments box, I’m all ears (and if it’s really convincing, please, please say it now, don’t wait until I’m 5000 points in!). For ease of reference here’s all three side by side.

Necrons Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (3)

Ultimately I like the Szarekhan model well enough but it lacks the personal connection of being uniquely mine. The original style works well on a single figure but I’m struggling to imagine painting a whole army that way. The black-and-white style speaks to me, and should look good both on individual miniatures, and across a whole army.

In order to test this theory a little further I decided to try painting some more scarabs, this time in the black and white style of my new dynasty. Let’s take a look.

Necrons Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (5)Necrons Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (6)

Honestly I’m pretty damn pleased with them (and yes, I’m sure I said something like that last time as well) and I’m itching to paint a few more. Before that though, I’ve got a few other things to raise from the grave…


Blackstone Fortress: Daedalosus

Working on the servitor X-101 got me thinking about the sons of Holy Mars once again, and the fact that I haven’t painted anything for the glorious birthworld of the Mechanicum since back in April. Despite how much I know inside I love tech-priests and their ilk I still seem to have a bit of a mental block when it comes to actually painting them. Still, whilst I’ve got Blackstone Fortress on the brain I can always kill two (servo-)birds with one (radioactive!) stone and paint Daedalosus, the wandering tech-adept who can be taken as part of the band of adventurers venturing into the fortress.

Daedalosus Blackstone Fortress ConvertOrDie Wudugast (1)Daedalosus Blackstone Fortress ConvertOrDie Wudugast (2)

I know I’ve slowed down a bit on getting Blackstone Fortress painted since I completed the original boxset, although this last week has done a little bit towards setting that right. We’ve got out of the habit of playing it since we discovered Warcry – although I paint plenty of other things that never see a gaming table so I don’t really see why that should make any difference. Still I would like to get the finger out and get everything else painted for it (especially once the wintery weather puts me off from being outdoors more than I strictly need to!). I’m still in two minds about buying the final expansion, Ascension. On the one hand the new Guardian Drones look amazing, we’ve enjoyed the game and it makes sense to complete the collection and finish the adventure. On the other hand the price feels a little bit like they’re taking the piss – safe in the knowledge that lots of people have been hooked by previous expansions Games Workshop are charging a bit more than I, without the box open in front of me to take a proper look at its contents, feels it really deserves. I may yet save up for it but it’s not the only thing GW are trying to tempt me into buying right now. I’ll think about it…


Blackstone Fortress: Servitor X-101

As promised the explorers risking life and limb in the darkness of the Blackstone Fortress can now be joined by the servitor X-101. Of course I won’t let the occasion pass to complain that GW really ought to provide us with some more servitor models, there are few things as evocative of the 41st Millennium and the few existing miniatures for them are hellishly old. Every Imperial faction could use a few servitors and gangs of corrupted, malfunction servitors would be a wonderful addition to Necromunda.

Blackstone Fortress Servitor X-101 Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer 40k (1)Blackstone Fortress Servitor X-101 Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer 40k (2)Blackstone Fortress Servitor X-101 Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer 40k (3)Blackstone Fortress Servitor X-101 Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer 40k (4)Blackstone Fortress Servitor X-101 Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer 40k (5)

All in all he was remarkably quick and straightforward to paint and so I’m feeling enthused about tackling some more Blackstone Fortress models, perhaps finishing off the last few heroes from the original game or turning my attention to some of the expansions.


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.

Mutants ConvertOrDie Wudugast Inq28 (8)Mutants ConvertOrDie Wudugast Inq28 (9)Mutants ConvertOrDie Wudugast Inq28 (2)Mutants ConvertOrDie Wudugast Inq28 (3)Mutants ConvertOrDie Wudugast Inq28 (4)Mutants ConvertOrDie Wudugast Inq28 (6)Mutants ConvertOrDie Wudugast Inq28 (7)

And here’s the three new recruits together.

Mutants ConvertOrDie Wudugast Inq28 (5)

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).

Mutants ConvertOrDie Wudugast Inq28 (1)

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!


Cursed In Eternity – Part 6

It’s been ages since I last painted a chaos marine (in fact, looking back at the archives proves it to be almost exactly a year) – high time I cracked on and painted another one. This time it’s the turn of a chap so enthusiastic about burning his enemies with his flamer he’s been warped by Tzeentchian flame himself. These are the perils of life within the Eye of Terror!

I’ve got a couple more sitting on the painting desk and finishing them would round out a squad of ten, hopefully it won’t be another year before I get around to them!


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.

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.

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.

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.

The only lady Goliath we’ve seen so far, but she could grow up to be a champion of her house.

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.

A chain lord of the Slaver’s Guild, ready to make someone’s already miserable life even worse…

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.

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.

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

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

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

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)…

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

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.


You Shook Me All Knight Long

It’s been a long, long time coming… It was back in September of 2014 that my chaos knight first put in an appearance. Back then it was just a single leg. Six months later it had a second leg and everything seemed to be going swimmingly. Then progress slowed, mistakes were made, expensive and hard to replace parts were trashed in a moment of carelessness and the whole project lost momentum. Over the years I picked it up from time to time, working on it a little here and there, but it wasn’t until the summer of 2019, when the new Chaos Knight kit came storming onto the scene and reinvigorated my enthusiasm, that I really paid it proper attention again.

I began to chip away at it again, but it’s a big kit and a lot of work, and other projects kept grabbing my enthusiasm – easy wins and spur of the moment fancies that were relatively easy to power through, whilst the knight stamped along at the back of the queue, occasionally shaking off its coat of dust only to start gathering a new one.

How long it would have continued in this state is anyone’s guess but then Azazel, of Azazel’s Bitz Box, launched one of his painting challenges The Jewel of July (and also August as it turned out). The thing I really like about these challenges is there’s no pressure to “win”, or to paint something start-to-finish in a month or anything of that nature, just some good natured, friendly encouragement as hobbyists all over the world do what we can to clear the pile of grey plastic (or lead, or even resin) and replace it with the beautiful painted models we’d all far rather we had in our collections.

The Jewel of July has a very open remit, but at heart it’s looking for centrepiece models, the jewels of our collections as it were, and I thought the knight would fit the bill perfectly. Plus it would give me the motivation to actually get the damn thing finished at long last. Did I manage it? Did I hell!

July, as it turned out, was so busy with work that often, as I stumbled blearily to bed at the end of another long day, I passed myself getting up again. Time to work on the knight drained away and whilst progress was made it certainly wasn’t enough, nor did I want to rush finishing something that I was only painting for fun after all. Then, just as it seemed that the chances of getting it done in time were hopeless, Azazel extended the deadline for the challenge until the end of August. The game was still on!

Anyway, enough of this waffley back-story – which regular readers will have undoubtedly skipped anyway as they must know it off by heart – let’s take a look at some pictures, because it’s no longer true to say the knight is young – instead the knight is done!

I reckon he fits the bill nicely as a centrepiece model, towering over the rest of my Chaos forces and ready to scare the living daylights out of any filthy loyalists that might be passing.

I also managed to build him in such a way that some of the parts move. Not all of them do, doing anything that clever with the fleshy tentacle arm proved beyond me for instance. Likewise the head, which would normally be adjustable if you build the kit “as intended” proved to be locked in place once those enormous tusks were affixed. The gun arm however still tilts around freely…

…and the entire torso can be rotated.

Not only that but it can be lifted off entirely, making him easier to store and transport. A little magnet in the base of the torso, and another in the top of the legs, is enough to hold him together. It’s not the strongest bond, given the size and weight of the model it could have used something a little more powerful, but so long as he’s handled gently (and anyone who doesn’t handle their models gently is no friend of mine!) he’ll be fine.

Anyway, all that remains to be said is a big thank you to Azazel for running the Jewel of July challenge, I can only imagine how much time and effort goes into making these things happen – and also a second round of thanks to everyone’s offered feedback and encouragement along the way. Next up, something much, much smaller…


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…

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.


The First To Awaken

I’ve been trying my hand at painting the first of my Necrons and I think I’ve hit on a scheme I’m happy with. I wanted something that looked aged and damaged, as the millennia spent sleeping in their tombs took their toll, but wanted to avoid the usual rusty look that I’ve already applied widely to Chaos (especially Nurgle), Orks and Skaven.

The basing is pretty simple) – I just wanted something to get him finished and in my view a model isn’t done until the base is done. Otherwise I think I’m settled on this scheme so when time allows I’ll have a go at painting up a few more.