Tag Archives: Warhammer

Blackstone Fortress: Spindle Drones

Despite having an inordinate number of miniatures in the house, all our games of Blackstone Fortress have so far featured a mix of unpainted models (the heroes) and various proxies (the villains). Traitor guardsmen and chaos marines are easy to come by on my shelves, and fantasy ghouls were pressed into service as ur-ghuls, but for the rest a more esoteric approach has been required. Rather than spindle drones drifting serenely through the corridors the first adversaries the explorers encountered were a small band of grots, presumably sent on a scavenging mission by their ork bosses.

Fun though the little blighters are however, and despite the space-gobbos have more in common with traditional dungeon dwelling baddies, I really wanted to get the real spindle drones painted up. To me they add a great deal to the atmosphere of the game, calling to mind the fact that this is a strange and incredibly ancient structure, constructed by enigmatic beings in a long lost and now unknowable age (although it’s probably a safe bet that in the grim darkness of the far past it was mostly war as well). They’re also quite beautiful models, often overlooked alongside fan-favourites like the long-awaited traitor guard or the showstopping cast of heroes, but wonderfully evocative nonetheless.

They’re also gloriously alien. There’s really nothing quite like them in the 41st Millennium (perhaps they’d fit in with the Eldar but even then it would be a stretch) – and indeed it was because of this lack of suitable proxies that I ended up using the aforementioned grots.

Anyway, for all of these reasons, I decided to tackle them first so that next time we play we’ll be able to do so with a bit more style.

Blackstone Fortress Spindle Drones Wudugast (1)Blackstone Fortress Spindle Drones Wudugast (3)Blackstone Fortress Spindle Drones Wudugast (2)

Normally I’d tend to steer away from having duplicate models in a collection (indeed regular readers will know this borders on being an obsession) but in this case I think the uniformity actually adds to the impression of anonymous worker drones (plus to tinker with them too much risked destroying the very qualities which drew them to me in the first place). I will however be trying to individualise the Ur-ghuls and traitor guardsmen when I get around to them.

Blackstone Fortress Spindle Drones Wudugast (4)

As I was working on them I realised that these would actually qualify neatly for both halves of Azazel’s latest hobby challenge. This month it’s a two-part challenge – on the one hand we have “Squad: March!” (nothing complicated – just a case of finishing a squad in March), on the other it’s a gender-ambiguous model painting challenge. The idea apparently spun off from Fembruary (edit; not strictly true, as I’ve since been corrected – see Azazel’s comprehensive and interesting comment below or, better yet, click on the link above to see the original challenge in his own words), the annual event organised by Alex of Leadballoony which encourages hobbyists to add female miniatures to our male dominated collections. If you’ve not already seen it the gallery of this year’s contributors is well worth a look (not least because he gives a particular shout-out to this hairy heretic).

Essentially the gender-ambiguous half of this challenge therefore makes for a reappraising of the idea that miniature’s are automatically “male” unless proven otherwise (honestly I don’t think I ever made that assumption but it’s fun to play with nonetheless). That space marine? Definitely a bloke. Those Escher gangers? Women without a doubt. But what about those squigs or fleshhounds? Does a lady night goblin really look different to a male one under all those robes? Who knows what those ranks of skeletons looked like when they were fully fleshed?

Naturally these are just perfect for this, being as they are bio-mechanical alien robots. How they go about making new spindle-drones we can only guess – and sadly, this being the internet, someone probably has… (assuming they do and these creatures haven’t been drifting around the Blackstone Fortress for however many hundreds of thousands of years it’s been floating in space without replenishing their numbers). Of course this could be the perfect moment for me to sidetrack onto a long ramble about human-esque aliens in science fiction and how much it exasperates me (narrow budgets and limited costume department’s notwithstanding) when science fiction writers assume that species developing along an entirely separate evolutionary pathway, on a planet with very different environmental pressures, would naturally end up looking just like human’s with unusual foreheads. I’ve grown more relaxed about this over the years (at least in part because if you let it bother you then the range of sci-fi available to you narrows alarmingly) but it used to hack me off righteously I can tell you. Warhammer 40,000, of course, get’s away with it by giving science fiction a body-swerve and instead pitching itself as old fashioned fantasy in space (and anyone caught with a funny looking forehead is purged before they infest the entire planet with their deviant xenos creed!). However, rather than plunge any further down this particular rabbit hole, I’m off to rummage around for more aliens to paint (gender notwithstanding!).

Advertisements

War Eternal – Part 3

We are the sons and daughters of Khorne, the shieldbearers of the one true god of Chaos, the sword brothers to His daemonic legions. How weak the cults of the other powers are, how pathetic the foolish schemes in which they ensnare themselves, the plots and counter-plots they use as crutches in place of honest strength. We do not need to beseech our God, or cower behind mewling spell-casters. We are strong, chosen by our God because of it, and respected accordingly. We do not beg him for gifts, or grovel before him like invertebrate creatures, bent backed and frail, whining out an addict’s need for just a little more power.

Ours is a honest bargain. Khorne offers us a portion of his strength because it is our right and we in turn spread slaughter in His name. Let the slothful and needy slaves of lesser gods decry us as crude if they will, we care not. We are closer to the heart of Chaos than they will ever be, and the butcher does not concern himself with the screaming of the sheep. 

– from the philosophies of Skaros the Desolator, Slaughterpriest of the Bloodlords

Khorne Slaughterpriest Khornevert Or Die Wudugast (2)

Well here he is, Skaros the Desolator himself, ready to lead my little warband of Khornate savages into the Mortal Realms.

All too often the followers of Khorne are portrayed as ignorant, thuggish and crude. They care only for bloodshed and become so enamoured with their own rage that they lose all sense and coherence and flail and froth in a killing fury of self-destructive mania.  Personally I prefer them a little more nuanced. Thus I envision my slaughterpriest as a ruthless and methodical killer, powerful and predatory, rather than a maniacal berserker, a thoughtful killer – if no less brutal for all that.

Khorne Slaughterpriest Khornevert Or Die Wudugast (1)Khorne Slaughterpriest Khornevert Or Die Wudugast (3)Khorne Slaughterpriest Khornevert Or Die Wudugast (4)Khorne Slaughterpriest Khornevert Or Die Wudugast (5)Khorne Slaughterpriest Khornevert Or Die Wudugast (6)

With him painted I have the beginnings of my Khornate warband. I’ll be adding more models to it later in March, although as yet I haven’t decided exactly what. Right now I’m leaning towards getting the bloodreavers done in order to bulk up the warband a little, after all one model doesn’t make an army by itself (unless it’s Nagash of course!), but there’s always the chance I might end up distracted by one of the other possible contenders. As ever, watch this space!


The Ladykillers – Part 9

Well, that didn’t go as planned! We all have commitments outside the hobby and sometimes they leap up and grab our attention and everything else, space wars and awesome miniatures especially, get flung to the winds. I tend to avoid talking about “real life” as much as possible on here, especially when it comes to my parent’s health. Ultimately they’re very private people, and this is intended as a hobby blog rather than a look at my daily life (who’d want to read that?!), so I’ve done my best to steer around it unless it has a big impact on the content I’m producing. Suffice to say that back in 2017 they were the victims of a serious road accident (a polite way of saying a careless arsehole drove his car into them) which has left both of them seriously disabled. Last week my father’s health took a turn for the worse and so I dropped everything and jumped onto a plane, leaving half-painted miniatures scattered in my wake. The good news is he’s now on the mend again, a huge relief for my mum and I, and I can take a moment to appraise my painting and kick the engines of this blog back into some semblance of life.

I had several things planned for the end of Feb which have fallen by the wayside but I’ll aim to pick up where I left off and get them done soon. The Khorne Slaughterpriest is tantalisingly close to being finished (don’t tell him though – the word “tantalising” must sound disgustingly Slaaneshi to his ears!) so I’ll get him wrapped up first. I also had various models planned for Fembruary, especially the addition of more Escher gangers, all of which will get their moment soon.

Most striking of all this marks the first time since January 2017 that I haven’t managed to add something to my Skaven army. Perhaps I should be cursing the fates that my 25 month streak has come to an end but honestly I’m pretty damn pleased that I managed a 25 month streak in the first place. All being well, normal ratty-service will resume this month.

The one thing I did manage to get finished before I went hurtling out the door was my long promised Escher champion armed with a chem-thrower.

Escher Necromunda Convert Or Die Wudugast (1)

When I first started working on my Escher gang I found myself thinking a lot about the chem thrower. Here we have an iconic Escher weapon combining their love of cruel and remorseless destruction with a showy and flamboyant style. Fill a narrow corridor full of your enemies with flesh-eating gas and no one will forget that the house is not to be trifled with. Moreover it struck me that anyone who actually wielded such a weapon would need to be a particularly cold and vicious example of her kind, distant and ruthless amid the camaraderie of the wider sisterhood. Thus Isadora was born.

Escher Necromunda Convert Or Die Wudugast (2)Escher Necromunda Convert Or Die Wudugast (3)

I didn’t want to go too crazy with bright colours, to emphasise her otherness and grim nature, but she’s still an Escher so a few spots of that are a little more garish helped to tie her in with the rest of the gang.

With her joining their ranks the Escher gang is now starting to show the strength of numbers and versatility they’d previously lacked, although there are a few more models I’d still like to add – most notably gang leader Gallows Grace.

Escher Necromunda Convert Or Die Wudugast

Of course, all of these Eschers also count towards Fembruary, a community challenge event aimed at encouraging hobbyists to diversify the range of heroes and villains in our collections beyond the predominance of our collective comfort zone amid the massed ranks of muscular men. Originally, in a classic case of my ambitions outweighing the practicalities, I intended to get a lot more ladies painted here – everyone from Elucia Vhane and Sanistasia Minst to the Infernal Enrapturess and Kria the Huntress were originally pencilled into the list. Alas there are still only so many hours in the day and, despite my devotion to the genestealer cults, I only have one pair of hands, so my ambitious list was cut down somewhat by reality. Nonetheless I’m pleased to have finished this little lot, especially under the circumstances.

Fembruary Wudugast

What’s more I’ve been continuing to follow the great motivator and hobby institution that is Azazel’s monthly challenges. February was a combination of terrain (somewhere I could use with getting more done but alas, on this occasion, did not) and neglected models (those miniatures which were purchased some time ago – more than six months is generally regarded as the minimum ballpark – but which have stubbornly remained unpainted). Again I had all kinds of plans here, incorporating both the aforementioned Skaven and Slaughterpriest, alongside the Sloppity Bilepiper who has been dancing unashamedly in nothing but a basecoat for over a year and the Tiger of Dirz from Confrontation, which has been kicking around for over a decade and which I plan to use as a Khimerix for the Eschers. None of those actually made it of course but at least these four Eschers definitely count.

Escher Necromunda Convert Or Die Wudugast (4)

Having been away from home and work for a week I’ve got all kinds of things to catch up on, and once again miniatures are forced to take a backseat whilst I catch up with everything else. Nonetheless I have, as ever, got lots of things planned, so their time will come – just as soon as I get the rest of my life under control!


War Eternal – Part 2

Just a quick post today, but I just assembled this angry young man and couldn’t resist taking the chance to show him off.

Inspired by my recent forays into the realm of Khorne I found myself idly perusing the range of followers available to the Blood God’s devotees and stumbled upon the Exalted Deathbringer. The followers of Khorne are blessed with a number of heroes and champions, all themed around the concept of chopping people up – whether that’s praying whilst chopping people up, masterfully chopping people up, being exulted for chopping people up or merely aspiring to chop people up. We even have the Skullgrinder, who isn’t the subject of today’s post, but still merits a mention for having one of the silliest weapon choices outside of a gobbo. Back in the early days of Age Of Sigmar GW’s designers must have realised that the restrictions placed upon them by the Old World were lifted and they could do whatever they liked. Unfortunately this went to their heads somewhat and the result was a man who hits people with an anvil.

Anyway, today we’ll be looking at an Exalted Deathbringer. For those who still struggle to navigate the soup-like naming conventions of the Khornate range, a gory morass of death, blood and skulls in various arrangements like a teenage Thrash Metal band, the Exalted Deathbringer is essentially an old-fashioned champion of Khorne who does pretty much exactly what it says on the tin; he brings death to people and the god of bloodshed has exalted him for it.

It’s worth noting as well that the Exalted Deathbringer has quite the assortment of models to represent them, from the slightly odd looking Impaling Spear version to the impressively imposing Ruinous Axe version. This time, however, we’re looking at the Bloodbite Axe version. Here’s the studio model that first inspired me.

exalted deathbringer

As I looked at him I found myself thinking, somewhat arrogantly, “I could make that” – or at the very least I could make a decent facsimile – out of plastic bits. Truth be told the end result turned out looking rather different to the official piece, but I think it still does a nice job of capturing the look of a hardened, and heavily armoured, barbarian on the lookout for, to quote the official blurb, “worthy foes to butcher”.

exalted deathbringer wudugast (1)exalted deathbringer wudugast (2)exalted deathbringer wudugast (3)

Not sure when I’ll find the time to paint him but I’m feeling very inspired about all things Khornate at the moment so I’m sure he’ll find his moment sooner or later.


War Eternal – Part 1

I’ve been toying with the idea of making some Age of Sigmar warbands for a while now but until recently I’ve not really done anything about it. That changes now however. The push came when Alex of Leadballoony published his plans for working on AoS Skirmish and the idea took root in my brain. Alex, accompanied by fellow blogger Ross of Classic Chaos Daemons, set out a series of guidelines for the project and invited anyone else who fancied it to join in. Naturally this seemed like the perfect opportunity to get one of my own warbands up and running so I nailed my colours to the metaphorical mast and sallied forth.

Let’s start by taking a look at those guidelines:

Build & paint 100ish ‘renown’ points in Feb (to include our Generals), and 25ish renown per month thereafter, up to 250 pts.

This seems a sensible and manageable way to do things so I’ll be trying to stick to it to. Conveniently my general also comes to exactly 100 renown so getting him painted this month will tick this box nicely.

The warband must be from a faction we don’t currently collect. Ross and I chose the faction for each other…

As I don’t really have anything for AoS, beyond some unpainted Nighthaunt and perhaps the odd squig, the world is my oyster here. I did consider inviting suggestions from my readers or starting a poll but in the end my deep and abiding rage combined with my need to harvest people’s heads to manufacture an uncomfortable seating solution won out and I pledged my soul to Khorne.

Set in a common realm, (realm tbd), based & modelled accordingly

Naturally this sounds like a fine idea for a group project but as I’m not part of the core team on this I can follow my own path. Of course I may yet end up being inspired by them.

Push the modelling & painting – AoS28 style, crazy conversions, grim-dark, etc.

Well naturally. Is there any other way?

Lowest cost possible – beg/borrow/steal, freebees, scratch build, re-use, etc.

I really like this idea it adds an extra layer of creative challenge to the project and saves money into the bargain. When I first got into this hobby I couldn’t afford to buy many miniatures so finding ways to make models cheaply was the name of the game. Actual miniatures may have been out with my budget but other people’s left over bits were much more affordable, bulked out by donations from friends. It was this as much as anything else that lead me to take up converting and kitbashing so by following this rule I feel like I’ll be going back to my roots, albeit with a far more extensive bits box to draw upon. My goal is to use only models I already own for this warband and, as much as possible, use bits that I gathered for other projects which then failed to reach fruition. My general meanwhile will be based on a model given away free on the cover of White Dwarf. We’ll take a look at him shortly.

Narrative rather than competitive warbands – named characters, backstories, etc.

Frankly I wouldn’t know where to begin guessing what’s competitive and what isn’t so there’s no danger of that with me (unless, of course, it happens by pure chance!). I’m interested in cool looking models and an engaging narrative, and a warband of this type is a golden opportunity really pursue that.

Anyway, that wall of text has been more than enough for anyone to endure so let’s take a look at the as yet unnamed leader of my warband, a priest of the bloodthirsty god Khorne.

slaughterpriest convert or die (3)slaughterpriest convert or die (4)slaughterpriest convert or die (5)

Until I assembled him I didn’t realise what a big lad he is, he certainly towers over this Blood Warrior (who may end up incorporated into the warband himself).

slaughterpriest convert or die (1)

Indeed, for those who’re curious, here he is next to those perennials of the size-comparison photograph; an Imperial Guardsman and a Primaris Space Marine.

slaughterpriest convert or die (2)

As you can see I stuck fairly closely to the original design of the Slaughter Priest model just swapping out the head for what may (or may not!) be a masked visage befitting such a fearsome character. I did consider tweaking the model a little more but it’s one of my favourite Khornate miniature’s in the range and I didn’t want to do anything that would take away from that. As for his missing head it ended up on this Bloodgor. The Blades of Khorne book doesn’t actually contain Bloodgor, nor are there any in GW’s current range, but I wasn’t about to compound their mistakes by failing to include at least one of my own. Indeed rather than stick religiously to one army book I’ve decided to incorporate a mixture of daemons, beasts and mortals of all kinds, united in their dedication to the blood god.

blood gors convert or die (1)blood gors convert or die (2)

Indeed, I was so excited about making Bloodgor after finishing the first one that I abandoned my original plans and immediately made a second one.

blood gors convert or die (3)blood gors convert or die (4)

Not all of the warband is built yet but I have been having a lot of fun assembling the first few recruits. These ragged blood reavers have been looking for a home since the first edition of AoS was released so it’s high time I did something with them.

blood reavers convert or die

There’s also a fairly high chance this chap will sneak into the ranks as I’ve been keen to get him painted since I got my paws on him.

warhammerdogsconvertordie28229

Obviously now I just need to bash on with getting the Slaughter Priest painted up, as well as starting to explore his backstory and discovering how he came to be leading a ragtag band out of the Chaos wastes. Watch this space, and expect to see the priest at least finished by the end of the month.

 


The Ladykillers – Part 6

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve really not given House Escher the attention they deserve over the last year or so. A few gangers have made their way off the painting desk in dribs and drabs, but as yet the house can’t command the kind of strength available to the likes of the Goliaths or Genestealer Cults. Here’s a quick reminder of how the gang looks so far.

Escher Convert Or Die Wudugast

This however is a fine time to do something about that. Kicked off last year by Alex of Leadballoony, Fembruary aims to encourage hobbyists to get a few female miniatures painted, whether that in order to add a little diversity to a male-dominated collection or to help enthuse and encourage those who are battling to paint up a primarily female force such as Sisters of Battle or who keep intending to get Alarielle ready for the table but never quite get around to it. For me I intend it to be the goad I use to get a number of unpainted ladies finished including – but not limited to – filling out the ranks of the Escher gang I’ve been working on for my partner. I’ll be spreading my attention around the gang, hopefully even finding time to work on some as yet unassembled models, but my main focus will be on a group I built way back when the Necromunda box set was first released in late 2017. These include some of my favourite models I’ve assembled for the gang and so it’s high time they enjoyed some attention.

Setting the ball rolling we have a couple more gangers starting with the ruthless “Ultra” Violet.

Escher Convert Or Die Wudugast Necromunda (1)Escher Convert Or Die Wudugast Necromunda (2)Escher Convert Or Die Wudugast Necromunda (3)

Alongside her we have “Hydra” Sanura who I built quite some time ago, before Forge World had released their weapon upgrades packs. In those days life was hard and a ganger who wanted a hand flamer had to kitbash their own. Juves nowadays don’t know how good they have it I tell you!

Escher Convert Or Die Wudugast Necromunda (6)Escher Convert Or Die Wudugast Necromunda (4)Escher Convert Or Die Wudugast Necromunda (5)

My plan is to crack on with as many of the other gang members as possible this month, although before I do that there’s a very angry man I need to finish building.


It’s A Dog’s Life

Remember when there didn’t seem to be any dogs in GW’s universes? Just a few months ago one struggled to summon a faithful hound to add to a collection of miniatures roaming the 41st Millennium, the shadowy Underhive or the wild expanses of the Mortal Realms. Nowadays however you’re tripping over them.

My first thought was to compare the size of the new Godsworn Hunt dog with Macula, the frankly enormous hound which accompanies Slate Merdena through the Necromundan wastelands. In the beginning my intention was purely to take a look at them side by side for my own interest, but after a conversation with Faust of Double-Down Dice it occurred to me that other people might be interested as well. I’m afraid there’s nothing new or particularly unusual on show here but if you happen to have a burning desire to know the relative sizes of some of GW’s canines then hopefully this post will help to satisfy your obscure interest!

I would add that my dog collection is by no means exhaustive, there’s nothing at from Lord of the Rings here, the mighty Fenrisian Wolves (for a long time the poster boys of man’s best friend in the dark millennium) are notably absent (because I think they’re terrible models!) and there isn’t even a hint of a goblin wolf-rider. I did however get quite carried away and rather than simply grabbing Macula from the “to paint” shelf, snapping a couple of shots and having done with it, I ended up rummaging around for every dog or dog-like beast I could think of.

Having bought the Godsworn Hunt as conversion fodder for an Escher gang I found myself wondering about incorporating the dog from the set into the setting as well. Next to Macula he looks rather weedy, although to be fair I feel that Macula really should be the biggest dog in town, a hound so steeped in machismo that he doesn’t merely chase cars he drives them as well. Pity the Necromundan postman…

warhammerdogsconvertordie28529

To quote the gangers of House Orlock “I like big mutts and I cannot lie…”. Every dog has his day however and even Macula has his limits…

warhammerdogsconvertordie28629

Next to Aximilion, the faithful sidekick of Rogue Trader Elucia Vhane, the Godsworn dog looks a little more impressive…

warhammerdogsconvertordie28329

Throw in a few mechanical odds and ends and you could be looking at a fine candidate for a converted cyber-mastiff, or even a phyrr cat (not something to say too loudly in front of all these dogs but there is something distinctly feline about him – truly the influence of Chaos will permit any heresy!)

warhammerdogsconvertordie28729

Of course chaos hounds aren’t a new thing and for many years the Warhammer universes have echoed to the laughter of thirsting dogs.

warhammerdogsconvertordie28429warhammerdogsconvertordie28929

Some of you must have wondered, as I did prior to the release of Wrath and Rapture, how the newest iteration of flesh hounds compare to the outgoing resin models.

warhammerdogsconvertordie28129

It’s a well-known fact that one should let sleeping dogs lie, but the aphorism doesn’t clarify what one should do with dead dogs which provides just the kind of wiggle room that necromancers are bound to exploit.

warhammerdogsconvertordie28829

Not all dogs are purebred. Richard here, for example, is clearly a mongrel, with a genetic heritage at even incorporates some avian ancestors.

warhammerdogsconvertordie281029

And some of the beasts masquerading as dogs around here aren’t even dogs at all!

warhammerdogsconvertordie281129

As I said at the start then, nothing terribly new or surprising here, but maybe it’ll be helpful if you’re planning to let slip the dogs of war yourself.