This is a War Dog, the second miniature (though I use that word quite loosely here) for my Warhammer 40,000 Chaos Knights force. This is the smallest unit available in the codex and I think that it wants to act as a sort of forward element to keep melee threats off my big Knights. This particular one is armed with a reaper chain-cleaver and a thermal spear along with my choice of carapace weapons, and so I believe the ideal role for it would be to hunt fairly light vehicles. The chain-cleaver does allow it some game against infantry as it can make sweep attacks if I just need volume of attacks to thin out a horde. Unlike the big Knights, War Dogs can’t just saunter out of melee without penalty so it feels quite nice to be able to discourage tarpitting by having an actual weapon to fight back with.
Like the Despoiler, the War Dog is just a Chaos version of an Imperial Knight; in this case the Armiger Warglaive. I bought a few bit of Chaos bits to make it obvious that this one is not an Imperial lackey, but tragically forgot to attach any of them when I was assembling it. Oh well, I guess I have more for the other one since they come in boxes of two. Instead, I painted the whole War Dog and then set about decorating the carapace with a giant Chaos symbol as though it had been captured and evil cultists were defiling it with their graffiti. Since the hull colouring was a light cream colour that I thought looked quite nice I decided to do this in a bright red colour. I have seen one on the internet somewhere with a similar marking but where the owner used Blood For The Blood God paint for an even cooler effect, but sadly I don’t have any.
There is a choice of two carapace weapons, a melta gun and a heavy stubber. Since they have a neat little push-in plug, I didn’t bother to magnetise these but I can still swap between them as needed. I think that in general I want to use the cheaper option of the stubber so that I can spend more points on the bigger Knights. I also haven’t glued the War Dog torso to its waist yet as this could make it easier to transport. The balance feels a bit precarious so this might get changed after a couple of games on the tabletop.
Next on the painting table: Charm Warders.
Here is Anastasia Di Bray, part of the Mercenaries faction in Warmachine. I normally write a little about how she plays on the tabletop but I think that the entire ruleset has changed since the last time I actually used Anastasia in a game. She’s basically a spy in the stories and her game rules involve ambush deployment and a highly amusing (if hard to pull off) special rule if you can get her very close to the other Warcaster that allows you to move nearby units again (i.e. into range to punch them to death). I’ve never actually heard of anyone getting this to work outside of demonstration games though.
As befits her job as a spy, I chose to stick with dark, naturalistic colours for Anastasia. I quite like the result and it was an interesting change from the primary colours I usually like to use to make my miniatures look bright on the table. She was also delightfully quick to deal with, taking just a couple of short sessions at the painting table while I was working on some other stuff. The sculpt is fairly old and I like the understated pose; I feel like if Anastasia were a new miniature it would be balanced precariously on a rock throwing knives around like confetti.
I dedicate this post to Ann’s ‘Paint The Crap You Already Own!’ challenge for April. I bought Anastasia in the first week of a job that required me to work away from home in late 2016 when I wandered into the gaming store of the town I was staying in that week. The owner was just closing up but kindly let me in for a browse and I felt like I should repay him by picking up something. I was actually looking for Wyrd (of Malifaux fame) miniatures and I remember that we had a chat where I had to explain to him that I didn’t need ‘weird’ miniatures instead. In the process of digging Anastasia out of her box I also found some other Mercenaries from around the same time so I’ll add them to the painting queue in due course. Many thanks to Ann, not only for running the hobby challenge but for this little trip down memory lane.
Next on the painting table: Chaos Knight War Dog.
This is a Despoiler, a Lord of War choice for my newly-started Chaos Knight force in Warhammer 40,000. It’s a truly huge machine, standing about 6 inches tall and towering over the standard infantry in the game. When Gareth, Gary and I started playing 40K again after a fairly long break I wasn’t even aware that Knights were an actual proper force; I was vaguely aware of them being available from Forge World, the branch of GW notorious for expensive-but-gorgeous resin and highly variable rules quality. I tried Chaos Daemons but realised that painting swarms of nearly identical infantry wasn’t for me any more. Then I had some games with Tyranids, but found that the units I liked (i.e. the big gribbly ones) aren’t very good and 40K balance isn’t really tight enough to play bad units against good ones; indeed after a particularly memorable thrashing at the hands of Gareth’s Imperial Fists, I was very despondent about the game in general. Luckily one night in the pub they told me that Knights are indeed a full army now in 40K with their own codices and plastic models. One test game and I took the plunge… here is the first one.
The Despoiler was very enjoyable to paint, perhaps benefiting from its sheer size. I suspect that the paintwork won’t hold up to close scrutiny but I’m perfectly satisfied that it is ready for the tabletop. I’ve painted the shoulder pads and weapons with white livery and will keep them the same for any other Knights this size so that I can mix and match weapons as needed. The rest of it was a deep blue that just felt right when I tried it out on one of the shin guards.
Chaos Knights basically get built from four discrete kits, three of which are shared with the Imperial options. This one, a Despoiler, is one of the ones that is also an Imperial kit and it doesn’t come with Chaos accoutrements. So my first port of call was to hit bits sellers and get some Chaos bling to attach, most notably the shoulder pads and face plate. I also raided my own bits box for a few odds and ends left over from Slaanesh and Nurgle Daemon projects. Finally, I figured that such a big project deserved a resin base.
Since this is such a large kit I also decided to try magnetising it. I followed an online guide with only very minor variations and have magnets at the waist (only for storage purposes) and on all the weapons: arms, shoulder and carapace. It turned out to be surprisingly easy to do and I’m quite pleased with the results.
Next on the painting table: Anastasia Di Bray
This is Iron Lich Asphyxious, a Warcaster for my Warmachine Cryx army; also known as Asphyxious1 to differentiate him from later incarnations. He’s a classic moustache-twirling villain, or at least he would be if he had a moustache. I haven’t had much of a chance to play with the Iron Lich but so far have enjoyed using him with units of Satyxis. This is for the very simple reason that Satyxis can land hits fairly reliably but that these hits are like wet spaghetti. Asphyxious has a host of spells that reduce the armour of his targets so they’re a match made in heaven hell. Time will tell if this turns out to be an effective combination.
Asphyxious is a very simple, understated sculpt and it made him very simple and enjoyable to paint. I only used three colours for almost the whole miniature and I like the elegance of the result. The miniature is generic enough that it could actually be used in a variety of other games; certainly there are plenty of times when a metal Lich would be a fitting end boss for a RPG campaign.
Next on the painting table: Chaos Knight Despoiler
These are Bloodgorgers, a unit of Blighted Trollkin which form part of my gradually-expanding Cryx army for Warmachine. Needless to say, they’re a high-output melee unit with little to recommend them in terms of defence. The main draw of Bloodgorgers is that they get Berserk when General Slaughterborn is on the table which allows them to threaten entire units of light infantry each, at least assuming that their would-be victims aren’t spread out too much. In practice, I never seem to actually get this to work but the additional pressure on the other player not to give me that opportunity is probably worth it in terms of giving them an opportunity to make mistakes.
Painting the Bloodgorgers was a lot of fun. They’re pretty aged sculpts and, while that does show a little in the rather linear poses, it also made them very easy to paint. As with General Slaughterborn I tried to make the skin tones tie in with other Trollkin I’ve painted in the past. Since there are only five different sculpts I was careful to mix up the combinations of skin and armour colouring so that each Bloodgorger is a unique individual. Upon painting them, I noticed that the robes have a sort of face sculpted into it. Being baddies, it’s possible that the stories have them doing something like wearing the skin of their victims or something equally grim; anyway I preferred a nice clean green so maybe if that is the case then they clearly only visit Warhammer Orks for their leather needs.
This one is the leader; he’s a bit larger than the others and has a unique sculpt. I also quite like how his armour is made to go round all the spiky bits on his back.
With two weapons, Bloodgorgers are slightly less prone to missing all their attacks and therefore failing to set up Berserk chains through the other army than other units I’ve tried in the past. It still happens all the time though.
Needless to say, with a name like ‘Bloodgorgers’ these are definitely the baddies of the story. It always makes me think of this perfect sketch.
I’m fairly sure that bronze weapons are strictly worse than iron ones. On the other hand, mixing up the colours looks nicer on the tabletop. Plus, magic exists in the setting so I can always pretend that the bronze weapons are actually made of unobtainium or whatever. To be honest, I don’t generally stress about the silly stuff in these games; the stories always break down if you look into them too deeply.
Next on the painting table: Iron Lich Asphyxious
Here is a War Hog for my Hordes Minions force. I really enjoy using this piece in game as it just has all the tools (at least when used with Dr Arkadius) to make for a hilarious game. Firstly, it’s not paying for any cute tech – the War Hog is 100% face-punching action. Secondly, the War Hog can improve its own strength without any outside help allowing it to wreck whatever targets are in front of it. Finally, in the Will Work For Food theme force all Warbeasts gain Overtake, allowing them to move a little after a kill. While this is less hilarious with a War Hog than a Swamp Horror, it means that the big chap can be used to clear out some jamming infantry when needed.
The War Hog was really nice to paint. The lines are clean, especially when compared to other PP miniatures, and every piece was clear as to what it was supposed to actually be. The story for these chaps is that they’re assembled from fallen Warjacks and various large Farrow in a Frankenstein’s Monster style, so I mixed up the colours a little on the metal sections and painted the grafted right arm in a different skin tone. Overall I’m very happy with the result.
Next on the painting table: Bloodgorgers.