Thursday, 16 June 2016

Miniature giants, part one: Khador warjack

I try not to be distracted by new, shiny things, but when it comes to certain miniatures, I have about as much willpower as a three year old in a sweet shop. Except in my case there are no responsible adults dragging me away, and there might even be a paycheque in my pocket, begging to be misappropriated.

So it should come as no surprise that over the last 30 years my miniature collection has come to resemble a Games Workshop store. A Games Workshop store without the display cabinets full of finished models. Just boxes and boxes of unpainted toy soldiers, sitting sadly on shelves, hopelessly sighing 'pick me' every time I choose to randomly abandon whatever I was doing and flit to a new project that probably won't see any real progress for at least two more years.

In my collection of unpainted miniatures there are a whole bunch that aren't affiliated with any of my armies. And among these, one of my especially strong weaknesses* is particularly evident. It's an interest which has manifested itself in at least one other project visible on this blog.

Giant robots.

When I say giant I mean bigger than a man. So the category ends up being quite broad, including anything from a man-sized war droid (as they tend to be slightly larger than their human counterparts, take this guy for example), to the gargantuan walking forts of Battletech, Manga and the Adeptus Mechanicus.

I've just finished painting the first of this arbitrary collection of unaffiliated bots, so I'd like to share it here.

It's one of the original metal Khador Warjacks from the game Warmachine by Privateer Press. I don't own any other miniatures from that game system, but I decided on a little backstory all the same.

He and his Warcaster were cut off from their lines during a scrap in which batterings were liberally handed out by both sides. The Warjack's left pauldron was struck a crushing blow which thrust torn metal down into the shoulder joint, rendering the entire arm useless. Forced to make a tactical withdrawal the two Khadorans holed up in a barn for the night where the Warcaster was able to remove the ragged remains of the pauldron, free up the arm, and effect repairs using the meagre resources at hand.

Or, if you don't like that, try this: Originally I bought the model thinking I could somehow integrate it into my fantasy Chaos terrain project. It was after reading China MiĆ©ville's excellent Bas-Lag trilogy, set (at least partly) in the vivid and enchanting steam punk city of New CrobuzonWithout going into too much detail, the series introduces two ideas relevant to the above character. The first is of rogue sentience forming among broken machines in a scrap heap, and the second involves a specialist thaumaturge (wizard) who is able to pull together random inanimate materials to create short-lived ambulant creatures known as golems. My twisted take on this results in the above robot, anachronistically given life by a freak accident (no doubt involving Chaos), haphazardly drawn together from discarded junk, stalking the streets of the cowed and ruined city.

At some point I'll probably also have him turn up in my Warhammer 40,000 city, Kruenta Karoliina Arx Rotunda. I reckon he'd make for an interesting encounter in a game of Necromunda or 28mm Inquisitor. I can almost feel a backstory forming as I write this. But it's probably best to save that, and use it for one of the other robots in my collection. After all, when it comes to them, I clearly need all the encouragement I can get.

*You're probably not supposed to describe a weakness as strong. 

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