Ugly, brutal and mean, my Ork meganob squad is comprised of a handful of the old metal figures from circa 2000, alongside the then-Ghazghkull-Thraka-model. They were most likely designed by Brian Nelson as part of his original revamp of the Ork range. At the time, I vaguely remember thinking these juggernorks were some of the chunkiest metal infantry miniatures I had ever handled. In fact, seeing as their slightly larger, contemporary replacements are now cast in plastic, they still might be.
Monday, 5 September 2022
Tuesday, 2 August 2022
"Why float around da sky on poxy rotors when we can tear it in half wiv jets and frusters and stuff?"
This, or at least a question a bit like it, was what I imagine the warboss in my Ork armoured brigade asked his meks at some point after tasking them to come up "wiv a way of 'urting fings from abbuv".
I also imagine it preceded a point where several brave* Ork test pilots were accidentally retired or sent to the doks for snazzy, but much-needed Cybork "upgrades".
Plus the mek-bashing of a bunch of flying 'splodey things, before I could even start
Monday, 11 July 2022
The noise is deafening. Engines revving way past their limits. Ignited fuel spitting sparks from armoured exhausts. Vehicles straining and shaking like caged animals. Twin-linked big shootas firing test volleys at anything not quick enough to take cover. Throaty guffaws and maniacal chittering every time a hapless critter is vaporised by a stream of high caliber slugs. Mud thrown up in great geysers, mixing with thick fumes from dirty oil, tinged with the smell of cordite and sweat. A heavy musk, hanging in the air like a starting flag, ready to wave.
These three vehicles have been mentioned on this blog before, when I last talked about Ork buggies, a few years back. I've just taken a look at that article and seen exactly how much (or more accurately, how little) I've managed to achieve in all that time. And it's not even over yet. I've actually still got plans to add one or two final buggies to the squad, to round the whole thing out.
Thursday, 3 March 2022
In anticipation of the release of the new Necromunda Ash Wastes vehicular combat game, I've dug out a handful of unfinished models and given them a coat of paint.
At the time of writing there's some speculation about the forthcoming game, but not many hard facts. As far as I can tell it looks set to introduce something like the Road Warrior aesthetic of the Mad Max films into the Warhammer 40,000 universe. And not for the first time either. Games Workshop has gone down this route before. Previous instances of the company riffing on George Miller's post-apocalyptic Australian action film series have produced the games Dark Future, Gorkamorka and Speed Freeks.
These three games all have various crossover points with what I imagine the new Necromunda expansion to be, but Dark Future, released in the late 80s, was the only one that focussed on human gangs – even if the models were in a slightly different scale to everything else. Coming in at roughly 20mm tall, the miniatures were way bigger than 6mm Epic scale, yet smaller than the 28-32mm of most of GW's other games.* But that didn't stop them being brilliant. Here are a few pages from White Dwarf around the time.
The game bonded a kind of sports car, go-faster aesthetic with the darker Mad Max look and feel, and the results ended up being occasionally grimdark, and occasionally colourful, and occasionally somehow both.
This started me thinking about what I call the Star Wars paint-job. It's the colour schemes we find throughout the Star Wars franchise, where vehicles are painted in predominantly flat, neutral colour tones: greys, creams etc, with a single, brighter, accent colour injected for detailing. And then the whole thing is beaten up, battered, and generally made to look as if it's seen better days. Luke's X-Wing in the original movie is a classic example, and it felt like an interesting direction in which to take a couple of ground vehicles.
The car below is a Marrua Gaucho from Antenociti's Workshop. It's a solid chunk of resin, and I've talked about the pre-paint clean-up here. I've decided this is going to be an escort runner; a fast set of wheels used to accompany a slower moving vehicle, providing extra tactical options, and additional manpower.
Tuesday, 18 January 2022
Let me begin.
I'm currently facing an issue with the amount of stuff my family owns, versus the limited space in which we have to keep it all. There's a slowly rising tide of belongings that never quite fits anywhere and ends up leaving our home looking cluttered and untidy. I expect this might sound familiar to a fair few others out there.
I wonder if this problem still persists in the 41st millennium: Space Marines with more marks of armour than fit in their cupboard, Aeldari Rangers with helmets that are too tall for the shelf, Catachan Jungle Fighters with nowhere to keep their spare headbands.
If only there was somewhere to tuck all this surplus gear away.
Fortunately, if there's one thing that almost always improves a good sci-fi setting, it's crates. Crates in all shapes and sizes. Crates in a variety of exciting paint schemes, left lying around in any empty space that's in need of some extra detail.
You see them in all sorts of science fiction media: movies, shows, comics and especially video games. Sometimes they are there for good reason, and sometimes they are merely set dressing. And Warhammer 40,000 is no different. Adding crates, containers, boxes and cylinders to the game's terrain can look so good I often have to consciously stop myself from randomly gluing them down all over the place. Little clusters of storage material, firmly fixed to some narrow gantry, completely blocking any access for actual miniatures, rendering the piece fairly useless in game terms, but really making it look the part.
Really making it look the part, provided, of course, you can suspend disbelief for a moment and not question why something was neatly packed away, only to be left lying around in a completely inappropriate location.
Anyway, here are a couple of pieces I've just finished painting, ranging from big (completing the set I started back here) to small (using parts from a variety of sources, including Mantic Games, Citadel, and even some glued together bits from a broken one of these.)
They'll be joining the other pieces of scatter terrain, already in my collection, some of which can be seen below.
Sunday, 9 January 2022
Friday, 17 December 2021
ABC War Robots. Atomic. Bacterial. Chemical. Mass-produced, automated troops, designed to withstand the most hostile warfare environments. I may have said this before, but it's definitely worth saying again: everyone needs one of these in their life. So here's mine, Hammerstein, leader of the ABC Warriors, and now my stand-in model for any dangerous, humanoid robot in any science fiction miniatures game you care to mention.
I decided I wanted a model of this implacable metal soldier after completing my squad of Adeptus Arbites Enforcers inspired by the Judges from the 2012 Karl Urban Dredd movie.
As a continuing homage, I thought it would be cool to revisit the earlier 1995 Stallone movie, Judge Dredd, and try to build one of the Judges' main foes.
However there was one downside. I liked what Martin had done so much, it became kind of pointless to simply try to make an exact copy. He had already created what I considered the definitive WH40K version of the Judge Dredd movie robot, so what was the point in me doing the same?
Instead I figured I'd do what I did with my Judges' bikes and go back to the original comics and take some additional inspiration from there. So a quick flick through several hundred pages of collected stories and I'd found the following images:
|A panel from the original ABC Warriors strip in the late 1970s, with art by Mike McMahon|
The above image showed I could have Hammerstein's iconic ROVER badge on the back of his waist, instead of the front where it's usually found. In my design for the model I wanted V-shaped pistons below his stomach region, rather than a wide, flat space for text.
|Hammerstein in classic 80s story The Black Hole, with art by Simon Bisley|
In the Bisley picture above we are seeing the character's rank markings on his arm, with a single arch-like sweeping shoulder pad to frame them. This felt like a good look for my version.
|Hammerstein in Khronicles of Khaos, with art by Kev Walker|
As the comics went on, Hammerstein took more and more knocks, with his armour starting to look heavily pockmarked and battle-scarred. I suspect images like the one above (circa 1992) had quite an influence on the movie version, which hit the cinemas just a few years later.
|A page from The Volgon War, with art by Clint Langley|
Skip forward another decade or so, and the square-jawed war droid appears to have rebuilt and repaired himself and given his bodywork a new coat of paint. I figured using that blue-grey colour for my model would be a very obvious way to differentiate it from Martin's and would give an instant clue that mine wasn't wholly based on the robot from the film. Although I am still partial to a bit of rust and weathering, so my version isn't exactly what you'd call factory fresh.
For anyone interested in the construction side of kit-bashing and scratch-building, you can see the, er, 'nude' version of my model below.
And finally, if, like me, you find this monstrous metal infantryman strangely fascinating, and want to know more about the character's appearances in various media, you might be interested in this earlier post detailing some of his history.