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Shadow War Armageddon

It has been quite the gap in updates.  Sadly work has been quite hectic and I just wrapped up a course to boot.  However, I think I will be getting a bit of hobby time in the near future.  Much like the rest of the miniature wargames community, I too jumped on the SW band-wagon.  In my defense, I was planning to start a Necromunda type game in my club.  I have obviously not been following the GW news or I would have been aware it was coming.

So far, I have enjoyed the game.  It is a bit more stream-lined than Necromunda, but it gives more variety of opponents and lets people play with stock models without going crazy on conversions.  Naturally you should be well aware I will go crazy on conversions.  If you are on the fence about this game and liked Necromunda, I recommend it.  If you despised all 2nd Edition 40k iterations, stay clear.  If you have never played these ancient games, then it is a fun game to play that emphasizes a small unit so it is good for converting and building good terrain.

Inquisitor Kill-team. Mostly Games Workshop models, one Warzone figure.

Chaos Kill-team.

I have two painted and complete warbands right now.  These were formed from existing models with a bit of details on a few to make them seem more kill-team like and less generic trooper #7.  If you look closely, some of my Necromunda project has made it into the Inquisitor kill-team while the Chaos kill-team is using Necromunda models.

As the league starts with the local club my terrain will be heavily used, but I will also be trying to get a terrain workshop running to get the members learning how to build terrain.  As an added bonus the new gamestore will have a huge influx of terrain afterwards.

If people are interested, I may go back and do detailed pics of each model.  And naturally as I convert more they will be showcased.  The Chaos one requires the least work surprisingly.  I modeled my entire Iron Warriors army quite extensively to have the feel of troops late in a campaign and scrounging for what they can.  As a result they all are very dynamic and characterful.

Ork in ‘eavy armour conversion.

Ork in ‘eavy armour conversion.

Ork in ‘eavy armour conversion.

Ork in ‘eavy armour conversion.

Ork in ‘eavy armour conversion.

I have also done a converted Tau kill-team, something that will be the topic of a later update.  Why?  Well, there is a guilty pleasure I have entertained.  In my youth I found Orks rather silly and out of place in the 40k setting.  As I got older I saw they were more a parody of modern society than anything else.  They models and conversion opportunities were what always made me jealous.  Sure, I custom built each vehicle used in my Iron Warriors.  Yes, I have scratch-built other vehicles (two of which have been showcased here).  In fact, I have also sculpted models.

So why would Orks be something I am jealous of?  Well they are just so characterful.

The first custom-built model is showcased here today.  I built my own heavy armour by adding on plates and ridiculously over-sized rivets.  I am not sure if I am happy with the rust wash formula I used this time and I see it went on a bit heavy in some places and too light in others.  I will probably leave him as is, he looks good enough.

Will he be useful in the game?  I have no idea, but he was fun to build.  That is the mantra I have had with the Orks I have built and they will be my next major project.  Every ork is carefully planned and put together.  So this will be a fun project with lots of conversions and character.

Hopefully something inspired you today, if nothing else to feed that little voice in your head.  You know the one, that silly kid who tells you what to do but as an adult we have to hush up.  Until next time.

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West Side Story 3

I promised in my last post, there was a long pause between posts.  Not only was the busy work activity very busy, I ended up working fairly long hours right up until my Christmas break.  Thankfully I wasn’t foolish enough to think I could get gifts painted prior to Christmas.  I did try sculpting a couple gifts, but one was a bit rushed and I forgot to take pictures of the ones that did turn out ok.

As the name implies, I do have an update on my Necromunda gang.  These are not newly painted figures, rather ones I finished since my last post but wasn’t able to take pictures of.

Necromunda ganger with autogun and pistol converted.

Necromunda ganger with autogun and pistol converted.

Necromunda ganger with autogun and pistol converted.

Necromunda ganger with autogun and pistol converted.

Up first we have my Jersey Shore guy.  I say this as the flesh wash went on too heavy.  The end result was close to a bad spray tan, both in colour and patchiness.  So I decided since he had badly dyed hair, it worked.  I did heavily convert the rifle he is holding.  It has a new plastic rod barrel, a boltgun magazine, and a lot of trimming.  I am happy with how it looks and I even did an EO-Tech sight.

Necromunda ganger with laspistol and knife.

Necromunda ganger with laspistol and knife.

Necromunda ganger with laspistol and knife.

Necromunda ganger with laspistol and knife.

In contrast to the first guy, the next ganger has too pale skin.  As I was hoping to get these guys assembly line painted and ready for the table this weekend, I wasn’t too worried about it then.  Now, well I may go back and give him a flesh wash.  But I am not 100% sold on that.  At the end of the day he is painted well enough and I find the primer very frustrating on these guys.

Necromunda gangers converted.  Even with similar equipment, slight posing differences can give unique feeling to each.

Necromunda gangers converted.  Slight posing differences matter when using the same kit.

If you didn’t notice it before, I will point it out now.  The limits of the Catachan kit means some models will start looking very similar.  So to show that a bit of attention to bits and positioning can give variety we can compare this guy to his twin.  Both have the same head and essentially the same equipment: a pistol with a melee weapon.  The legs are different, the posture is slightly changed, and the use of different left arms breaks the similarity.  The differently sculpted hair (including goatee) adds to the differences.

After I painted these guys I came up with a name for the gang, the Dogs of Ward 6.  Silly and pointless, but I thought it would be an easy enough piece of graffiti to work into my terrain if I want, and a few tattoos will now start appearing.  The flamer ganger (still a work in progress) will have a more obvious 6 motif on his metal shoulder pads.

But not everything was Necromunda.  I had an order arrive from Reaper (to get one of their Christmas themed minis) and I also picked up a couple of aliens I have wanted to do my own little alien crew with.  The first one painted very quickly.

Rach Soldier by Reaper Miniatures.

Rach Soldier by Reaper Miniatures.

Rach Soldier by Reaper Miniatures.

Rach Soldier by Reaper Miniatures.

Rach Soldier by Reaper Miniatures.

Rach Soldier by Reaper Miniatures.

Rach Soldier by Reaper Miniatures.

Rach Soldier by Reaper Miniatures.

I went with a bright and vibrant colour-scheme reminiscent of the aliens from 80s sci fi, video games and comics.  I went with my darker and subtle highlights to make it still seem fairly drab.  Overall I think it works.  The model is a Rach Trooper by Reaper.  An older figure, some of the details I soft and it shows its age, in particular the left hand.  But since the attention is easily drawn away from those areas I am still happy with it.  If you are looking for a unique looking alien, I recommend this guy.  Although the ears scream elf, the bone ridges on the forehead give a distinct alien vibe.  By going with a non-traditional skin colour this guy really screams alien.

Rach Soldier by Reaper Miniatures.  Nomad by Hassle Free Miniatures.

Rach Soldier by Reaper Miniatures. Nomad by Hassle Free Miniatures.

The scale is slightly taller than most modern “true scale” 28mm figs as displayed by Nomad, but overall since it is alien it will fit into nearly any collection you might have.

Rach Solider and Malvernis Soldier by Reaper Miniatures.

Rach Solider and Malvernis Soldier by Reaper Miniatures.

Rach Soldier and Incredible Woman (converted to Ms Marvel) by Reaper Miniatures.

Rach Soldier and Incredible Woman (converted to Ms Marvel) by Reaper Miniatures.

As I am doing a crew, I figured these would be the sort that would be like Guardians of the Galaxy, but maybe a bit more straight-edge.  As shown with Ms Marvel, and his partner in crime, the bright contrast in colour actually serves to unify them.  The only tough question I have is how to paint their plucky technician.  She will be even more garish…but I don’t know how I can achieve that.

A fairly short update today, but hopefully no less inspirational for you.  If nothing else I think I have shown you that garish contrast of colours still can look good together.

West Side Story 2

As most of my assembly was done yesterday, today was free to do some painting.  I had a scary moment as I ran out of black spray, but then I remembered I still had white from when I made my daughter a Pokémon piñata.  So a few sprays later I had my models primed.  Unfortunately I have realized I was solidly in the black primer camp.  That and this spray was a bit hydrophobic.  Between the bright white and hydro-phobia, it was a frustrating afternoon painting the first three gangers.

Necromunda Leader with slugga converted.

Necromunda Leader with slugga converted.

Necromunda Leader with slugga converted.

Necromunda Leader with slugga converted.

As the ganger leader, this guy naturally had to be one of the first to get painted.  I went with a slightly darker Caucasian/Asian skin tone, but my light has washed that tone out a bit.

In the large picture I see a few touch-ups that are needed.  The astute reader will also notice a few mold lines…and that I didn’t blend the arms into the body with putty.  As these are tabletop minis, and also a bit of a tutorial I wanted to avoid going all out.

In the end I am very happy with how he turned out.  Menacing and still distinct.  He makes a good gang leader for Necromunda I think.  And yes, that is a bright blue belt and bandana.  I have gone with a blue set of colours.  So the gang members will all have blue headbands and a few will have blue belts or straps.

Necromunda ganger with bolt pistol and club converted.

Necromunda ganger with bolt pistol and club converted.

Necromunda ganger with bolt pistol and club converted.

Necromunda ganger with bolt pistol and club converted.

Necromunda ganger with bolt pistol and club converted.

Necromunda ganger with bolt pistol and club converted.

This guy came out very striking I feel.  The out of scale arm is a bit obvious in most angles, but he looks fairly good.  He is also the first model I am showing with sculpting.  I have given him swept back hair and of course the goatee.  My light is still washing out colour as this guy is fairly pale compared to the leader.  Oh well, back to fiddling with the camera settings again.

With the two weapons he has, he will hit fairly hard.  The hammer will count as a club, which gives +1 to his strength in the latest version of Necromunda.  The pistol of course will likely go click the second or third time he fires it, so the Chaos pistol with a belt of ammo is appropriate, I think.  As all models are assumed to have knives in the game, I felt it was appropriate to model it on him as he likely will not be fighting in melee with it once his pistol runs out.

Necromunda ganger with two swords conversion.

Necromunda ganger with two swords conversion.

The last ganger to be painted today is the two sword melee guy.  Again a stock model with no conversions (other than the hand swaps).  I cut three different arms up to get the right arm I wanted, and I am happy with how he turned out.  Menacing with a good melee pose.  Swords are a good weapon in the game, and a model with two is even better at melee.  I could have given him a pistol too, but I decided to not to.  Why?  Well I think he looks more bad-ass and scary if he is carrying swords to a gun fight.

Yet to be named gang showing leader, and two gangers.

Yet to be named gang showing leader, and two gangers.

A short little post with just an update to show the models painted today.  Depending on how tomorrow looks, there might be a bit of break between updates.

Anyhow, hopefully this was inspirational, if nothing else to show you how to use a varied palette while still tying models together.

West Side Story 1

If you are unfamiliar with West Side Story, it was the modernization of Romeo and Juliette done in the 50s.  To make it more accessible it featured street gangs, musical numbers and dance ensembles.  Needless to say, this resulted in the greatest mockery of gangs until the 80s rolled around and numerous movies took it even further.  I think Mad Max has given the weirdest version of a dark future and the most laughable villains.  This was so much a factor, that it heavily influenced Games Workshop in designing their “grim-dark” future.  I have given this brief history lesson as I believe I have surpassed that level of ridiculous with my Necromunda gang.

I have done this project to show the local club how easily a gang can be converted and get some interest.  So although my guys are a bit comical, it is to keep in character with the theme of the game…and make them blend in with my other gang models.

Necromunda ganger from Cadian flamethrower, Catachan torso and legs, and Chaos pistol holster.

Necromunda ganger from Cadian flamethrower, Catachan torso and legs, and Chaos pistol holster.

To start off with, I had to know where I wanted to go.  So I quickly built a gang using the latest version of the game – the Necromunda Community Edition rules.  I wanted a mix of melee and shooting as I know going one-sided is a good way to lose.  I also knew I wanted to use a flame thrower.  First I had the bits from another kit and second they are just a silly weapon in the game.  From there I also wanted a good firebase to do shooting so I found the shooty-est gun my leader could have and gave it to him.  I also combed my bits box and found lots of heavy bolter bit…another really good shooty gun.  This gave my gang two guys with a lot of firepower.  I fiddled with numbers and came up with a 9 person gang, including a juve (pledge, not a fully indoctrinated member), and 5 gangers.  I intended to use the Catachan Jungle Fighters box set as they all have headbands (in character for the Orlock gang) and no body armour.

Necromunda Heavy with Flamer converted.

Necromunda Heavy with Flamer converted.

Necromunda Heavy with Flamer converted.

Necromunda Heavy with Flamer converted.

The first model I built was the flamer.  I didn’t think it was lining up properly, so I cut the fuel line intending to sculpt it back later.  After glue was curing and I fiddled with the back pack more, I realized it would have lined up.

Oh well.  I chose a torso with a vest as the arms have sleeves and shoulder pads.  Once painted, this will give the roadwarrior look of a leather jacket with metal shoulder pads.  The head has been repositioned since this picture was taken.

Necromunda Leader with slugga converted.

Necromunda Leader with slugga converted.

Necromunda Leader with slugga converted.

Necromunda Leader with slugga converted.

Necromunda Leader with slugga converted.

Necromunda Leader with slugga converted.

The next model I chose was the leader.  I had traded bits to get a giant Ork pistol (yes that is a pistol for another model) and converted him to hold it.  All in all, I think he looks pretty badass.  Why his arm is on top?  Well I mis-measured and the hand couldn’t hold underneath.  So I chopped the wrist and had him caressing his gun.  Or maybe he is fighting the recoil pulling it up.  Or he is just trying to look intimidating…I’m not sure.  This pic was taken before I repositioned his hand as the wrist was slightly out of alignment.  And yes, that is medieval leg armour.  The bits and bobs make the character for these guys.  Plus, I knew I was already going to have metal armour with the shoulder pads.

Necromunda Heavy with Heavy Bolter converted.

Necromunda Heavy with Heavy Bolter converted.

Necromunda Heavy with Heavy Bolter converted.

Necromunda Heavy with Heavy Bolter converted.

For the heavy bolter, I had to do the most work.  I had to chop off hands to match the grip and build a swivel handle our out a knife handle and plastic rod.  The final version does have a metal gauntlet sculpted to cover the giant hand and the ammo belt was shortened by one round: the last bullet actually raised the model up.

I chose the shouting face as this giant gun will definitely be a rush to fire.  He also has a pistol as with how ammunition works in the game, he will only fire the thing once most games.

Necromunda ganger with bolt pistol and club converted.

Necromunda ganger with bolt pistol and club converted.

Necromunda ganger with bolt pistol and club converted.

Necromunda ganger with bolt pistol and club converted.

For the other gangers I chose a mix of shooting a melee.  The weapons have come from a variety of sources including fantasy models and very old school guns kicking around.  The sword was a more involved conversion as I chopped hands from arms to match up the grip I needed to give him a pair of swords.  I am not sure if he is more or less scary than the guys with the over-sized guns, but I am happy with the pose and facial expression.

Necromunda ganger with two swords conversion.

Necromunda ganger with two swords conversion.

Necromunda ganger with autogun conversion.

Necromunda ganger with autogun conversion.

Necromunda juve with autopistol conversion.

Necromunda juve with autopistol conversion.

The game itself starts with a pre-determined number of “Credits” to build your gang.  As the gang progresses you can earn more credits to recruit more gang members or give them better equipment.  The gang consists of 9 models right now, but I will grab a few more to build some options for gang progression.  This gang is very diverse in capabilities with a lot of firepower at range and some ability to fight in close quarters.  This is not the final stage of the gang.  In fact all the green-stuff work I have done gives them the 80s style hair and silliness plus the fixing of a few gaps and details.  I am sure I will convert more as time progresses as these guys make good fodder for two of my 40k armies (either Chaos Cultists or Guardsmen) and are just fun to build.  The only frustrating thing with this build is that I couldn’t find my old Necromunda bits.  I have a couple of sprues of various pistols and rifles that would have saved a bit of time.  On the other hand, my autogun conversion will have an EO-Tech sight (red dot) and will look pretty cool (even if a bit plain unpainted).

Hopefully this post inspired you today, if nothing else it gives you an idea of how you can mash together various kits to make your own piece of 80s nostalgia.

I did something

I know I haven’t been updating often.  To be honest, I doubt I can really say I have regular readers.  But I have been doing stuff.  Sort of.

The 40k league in town just wrapped up and somebody made a comment that got me remembering Necromunda so I dug up the latest version of the online rules and shared them with the club.  My cunning plan is to do a bit of terrain off and on and do a event day to build interest and try to do a league in December-January.

Cooling tower for Necromunda made from a not-Pringles can.

Cooling tower for Necromunda made from a not-Pringles can.

If you are not familiar with Necromunda it is Judge Dredd in the 40k universe with more focus on the gangs in the lowest, darkest corners of a megacity.  It has a lot of silliness and very rarely is it worth playing a league for more than 7-8 games as one player gets so ridiculously good it isn’t fun to play against them.

The first piece of terrain I built last weekend is the tower pictured.  As the game is set in a futuristic slum built on the ruins of an even older slum (with the habitable bits towering high above) towers are a hallmark.

Cooling tower for Necromunda made from a not-Pringles can.

Cooling tower for Necromunda made from a not-Pringles can.

More of a proof of concept, I may keep this piece fairly plain and just add doo-dads and graffiti as I paint it.  I built this from a not-Pringles can, did some nylon screen over foamcore and I actually built the ladders.  That took the most time but they are solidly anchored.  I was looking for chickenwire but it is not in the hardware stores right now, I will have to wait until spring.

The blog will showcase a bit of a how-to on building a gang as the official models are out of production and sell for a king’s ransom online.  Instead, I will do a tutorial for the benefit of the local club on how to convert and build a gang.  Watch this space if that interests you.

Cooling tower for Necromunda made from a not-Pringles can.

Cooling tower for Necromunda made from a not-Pringles can.

The blog will go through a bit of slow down again fairly soon as we have one of the busy periods at work coming up.  However, my role this year will be drastically changed.  This means the blog might get the odd update before December.  I won’t make promises but I do have a much lighter workload this year since most of my work for this period was lead-end work (I’ve been killing myself before anybody else gets busy).

A short post with few pics, but hopefully inspirational.  If nothing else, it shows you that the dusty old books on your shelf may get a new lease on life in the right circumstances.