Here is a Shokkjump Dragsta, another part of the Kult of Speed I’m slowly creating for Orks in Warhammer 40K. First, a little background. In the lore (and rules, of course) of 40K, the Orks are experts at forcefields and teleportation technology. They have long had a weapon called a Shokk Attack Gun which works by teleporting critters inside of armour, tanks etc. So the Shokkjump Dragsta is basically a Formula 1 car with a built in teleporter that randomly causes it to blink across the battlefield. To say that it’s entertaining is a bit of an understatement.
I kept the general painting style of the Shokkjump Dragsta the same as the other buggies, so mainly blue on the chassis with some white sections for contrast. In that sense it’s a classic Death Skulls colour-scheme, though that’s just a coincidence; I just felt like painting these blue.
The driver and crew are a bit of different aesthetic from the hillbilly style of the previous two buggies; they look like proper racing car drivers and I deliberately gave them matching costumes to make it seem more like the uniform of a team.
Next on the painting table: Okoye.
This is Gamora, the Deadliest Woman in the Galaxy and also a hero in Marvel Crisis Protocol. Needless to say, Gamora is dedicated melee combatant in MCP; unlike her sister Nebula she can also actually do things to score points so she isn’t a completely one-trick pony. I haven’t managed to put her on the table yet so it remains to be seen whether she’s worth her fairly steep 4 point cost but I’m looking forward to trying her out. I like Gamora in the few comic book appearances I’ve read but I’ve felt that she gets a pretty raw deal in the MCU films where she’s pretty much relegated to being a sidekick in the Star-Lord show. Somewhere out there, someone must be planning a Gamora and Nebula mini-series.
Painting Gamora was somehow a very easy and pleasant task. The contrast between the black base armour and the white raised plates makes it really simple to get a good tabletop job going on here and her green hair and skin breaks up the monochrome look nicely.
Next on the painting table: Shokkjump Dragsta.
This is a Kustom Boosta-Blasta, another of the Wacky Races buggies for my Warhammer 40K Orks. It’s one of the cheapest buggies available and therefore another one that I foresee sitting on objectives and plinking away at stuff. On the other hand, it does have a D2 main gun in the unlikely event that it can hit anything with it which I imagine could be useful for knocking over a couple of Space Marines. It also has a ram to do a few wounds if it charges in, though it is otherwise so useless in melee that it seems a bit unlikely that I’d be doing that other than in an emergency.
Just like the Boomdakka Snazzwagon, the Kustom Boosta-Blasta was a joy to paint. It’s covered all over with cute little details like the cyborg (cybork?) arm on the driver which seems to be attached directly and permanently to the gearstick. I feel that something is somehow missing in the middle though, as there is a big metal/black section of engine in between the colour bits at the front and the main chassis. I think if I were to paint another one of these (and spoiler alert, there is another one in the queue) I would find a way to liven that up a bit.
This Gretchen is presumably supposed to be doing a job as a mechanic. It’s pretty hard to see inside due to the construction of the buggy (and my photography skills) but he’s working away in there with a spanner as big as he is.
I really enjoy these little Gretchin hanging on the buggies; in this case quite literally. He looks like he’s having a pretty good time back there.
The gunner has gone full cyborg, and doesn’t seem to even have any legs. Getting permanently wired into a gun turret on top of a ramshackle buggy seems about as Orky as one can be.
Next on the painting table: Gamora.
This is a Librarian, my first HQ choice for my Space Marine (Adeptus Astartes) force in Warhammer 40,000. Librarians in Warhammer 40,000 are more interested in exploding fools using the power of their minds rather than collecting late fees, though I imagine that someone out there has modified one to be doing the ‘shush’ finger pose. Now that I think of it, Space Marine wizards have been called Librarians for as long as I can recall and I don’t think I ever got to the bottom of why that is the joke. If anyone out there can illuminate me I’ll be very interested to find out what it is.
The Librarian has a classic pose, using the ‘reaching out to zap with magic from my fingers’ look beloved of wizard miniatures everywhere, and I absolutely loved painting her. The bulk of the armour is, of course, in the same style as my other Space Marines but I enjoyed the extra bling she’s carrying such as the locked book and associated key hanging off her belt. I went for anime-style pink hair after a bit of discussion with my son as it tied in nicely with the pink on the tubes (what are they even for?) hanging off the Librarian’s armour. For the record, he though it looked silly and felt that I should give her brown hair.
Next on the painting table: Kustom Boosta-Blasta.
Here is Nebula, another superhero (antihero, villain?) for Marvel Crisis Protocol. Perhaps not completely surprisingly, Nebula is highly focussed on stabbing people in the game. Indeed, she comes quite cheap as she has a rule preventing her from interacting with scenario elements. In some ways this is quite liberating as I never have to worry about whether she should stop stabbing and do more to score points; on the other hand, scoring points is how one goes about winning the game. Testing is definitely needed! I feel like I never really saw much of Nebula in the comics I read; she’s always been just a punching bag for other baddies (notably Thanos in one of the Infinity War runs) and doesn’t get to showcase her own powers. Presumably there is a sequence somewhere that really centres on her so please feel free to direct me to any good comics. I do really like her in the MCU films; for someone who pretty much only exists to fight people she gets a lot of good lines.
I greatly enjoyed painting Nebula. Those who read this blog regularly will know that I do love a dynamic sculpt and she certainly has that, literally attached to the ‘tactical crashed spaceship’ by only the side of her foot. Somehow in Nebula’s case painting a comic-style colour scheme felt easy and just ‘worked’, which is a bit of a contrast to some other heroes I’ve worked on, most notably Vision. I went with the card art rather than the (slightly) less crazy colours of the film version and I’m extremely pleased with the end result.
Next on the painting table: Primaris Librarian.
This is a unit of Steelhead Halberdiers for my Warmachine Mercenaries army. They’re about the most bargain-basement of all units in the game, with almost no fancy rules and a price point to match. Luckily this fits well with how I use them in game: mainly to take up space and waste incoming attacks, with a side order of giving me corpse and/or soul tokens in the process. They have stats that make them slightly irritating to kill for a few popular unit types but in general I find that there has been considerable power-creep of attack stats since the Halberdiers got their rules and I am generally not disappointed when I expect them to die in droves.
The sculpt quality for these Steelhead Halberdiers is really poor and it isn’t helped by the nasty resin/plastic hybrid that Privateer Press used for this kit. As a result, these poor folk got a ‘good enough for tabletop’ paint job as I just couldn’t face spending more time on them than necessary. In that sense the painting process for the Halberdiers was quite liberating as I just ploughed through one section at a time. I’ll also admit that it felt extremely satisfying when I got the final stages of painting them, safe in the knowledge that I wouldn’t have to do it again since my other unit of Halberdiers is the older metal kit acquired in a trade with Joe for ancient GW Tau miniatures.
Next on the painting table: Nebula.
This is a Boomdakka Snazzwagon, the first part of an Ork army for Warhammer 40,000. Orks in 40K are broadly split into two groups – football hooligans and Wacky Races. Of the two, Wacky Races is very much my preference and now that GW have released a raft of comedy buggies I decided that it would be a great time to pick a few up for painting purposes. Who knows, I might actually play some games with them at some point. The Snazzwagon’s main purpose appears to be clearing light infantry with sheer volume of fire but it also has a built-in penalty to be hit by incoming weapons and is quite cheap so I suspect that it’ll end up sitting on an objective in the backfield somewhere.
The kit is everything I dreamed of from a modern GW kit. It’s loaded with detail and characterful inclusions. For example, the passenger footwell is filled with empty beer cans and spent brass which is think is a beautiful touch considering that the roof pretty much means that this is hard to even see on the finished model. I went with blue and white as the main colours; mainly because I can’t bring myself to paint any of the vehicle green as it would clash with the crews’ skin. Thematically I think that this makes them members of the Deathskulls Klan but of course I’m a filthy try-hard so I’ll play them as whichever Klan gives the most entertaining mechanical advantage.
This chap really exemplifies the Kult of Speed for me – he’s not driving, he’s not even bothering to aim, he’s just hanging on to the back of the buggy and whooping and hollering away.
I love the sheer enjoyment on the driver’s face, but the fact that I missed the huge gap in his shoulder and then made it really obvious with the way the wash pooled is quite annoying.
This little Gretchin is probably meant to be firing the gun in the passenger side but for some reason he’s decided it’ll be more fun to hang out of the window and fire the most useless weapon into the entire game.
I’ll admit that some people might think that the main inspiration for the Kult of Speed is Mad Max and not Wacky Races. Even if they’re wrong, they can quite reasonably point to this blood bank dressed up as Tom Hardy’s character in Thunder Road.
Next on the painting table: Steelhead Halberdiers.
Here is a squad of Eliminators, or snipers as I think of them since I constantly get confused by all the different names for modern Space Marines. Needless to say, they’re going to be part of my Adeptus Astartes for Warhammer 40,000. These particular Eliminators are armed with bolt snipers (the other option is las-fusils) which seems suitable for picking off medium targets. In 8th edition the Eliminators were my bane when playing against Gareth, mercilessly mowing down anything that I put in their way. It looks like some of the silliest rules have now been tuned down in 9th edition just in time for me to start using them. They could be part of a Spectrus kill team if I play as Deathwatch; I suspect that there are probably some shenanigans possible there if only I was good enough to understand them.
The Eliminators were a lot of fun to paint. The presence of the cloaks gives a very different feel compared to the other Space Marines and moves the colour balance toward being more green than white. I’m not sure at what point I decided that their weapons would be all gunmetal colour rather than partly black but I quite like the business-like look. It was only after I finished assembling the squad that I realised that none of them are posed actually using their bolt snipers which is quite an oddity. Finally, I love that on the box art for the Eliminators there are some sample schemes including Imperial Fists with bright yellow armour under a beautifully painted camouflage-patterned coat.
Next on the painting table: Boomdakka Snazzwagon.
Here is She-Hulk for Marvel Crisis Protocol. I wasn’t much of a fan until I stumbled across the A-Force run of comics and really enjoyed them, so I’ve picked up her incarnation in Crisis Protocol to get some of that energy on the table top (though I think that Captain Marvel is the only other member with a model at the moment). She-Hulk is pretty unusual in the game in that she only has a healthy card side – when she runs out of health then she’s done. Luckily she does have a lot of health to chew through.
The miniature was a lot of fun to paint; AMG are getting very good at sculpts that show the character off as a superhero, and what could be more fitting than this show of strength? Like most of the Crisis Protocol miniatures, I’ve gone with the card art for my colour scheme. I’m still not entirely satisfied with She-Hulk’s skin tone – I feel it could be a bit lighter but it is good enough for me.
Next on the painting table: Eliminators.
The five soldiers are Infiltrators, another unit of Troops my Space Marine (Adeptus Astartes) force in Warhammer 40,000. Like the Incursors (with whom I constantly confuse them) the Infiltrators are most notable for, er, infiltrating the battlefield. Apart from some interesting deployment options they’re remarkably similar to the Intercessors in game. However, if I play as Deathwatch they do form the basis of a Spectrus kill team.
These fine women are, of course, wearing the same armour colours as my other Space Marines; i.e. white armour with black equipment and green trimmings. The use of alternative heads continues to make a big difference to how engaged I am with the painting and I find it quite remarkable how much Space Marines are a like a canvas onto which to paint my own story. I’ve been trying Martian Iron Earth paint for the basing which has been quite an interesting experience. Getting the right amount of it on the base is a bit of an art in its own right, and I’ve taken to painting a dark brown on the base as the previous step in case the crackle ends up with a gap that goes down to the plastic. I’m working on the basis that it must be a bit dusty and therefore not worrying too much when my clumsy application smears a bit of the technical paint on the shoes of a Space Marine.
Next on the painting table: She-Hulk.