This a Steelhead Cannon Crew, a unit for my Mercenaries for in Warmachine – specifically the Soldiers of Fortune theme force. They’re pretty straightforward in application; there is one shot from the Cannon itself that does a decent amount of damage but most interestingly causes knock down on hit. So ironically the main use I’ve found for the Cannon hasn’t been so much about the damage but rather to knock down models either to inconvenience them or to enable the rest of my stuff to hit them more easily. As they’re a unit, they also have a secondary value in scoring circular zones but in practice in the armies I use the Cannons in have so many other units that this is rarely relevant; plus they’re so slow that it’s hard to actually get them anywhere interesting.
I painted the Cannon crew themselves in the same style as the rest of the Steelheads and I think that the green and yellow scheme works pretty nicely. I was torn over how to paint the Cannon itself; initially I considered painting the screen in green to match the crew. Eventually I decided that Steelheads would be pragmatists, not bothering with fancy painting on their kit and so left it metallic apart from the wheels. A fun little unit to paint… now I just need to assemble and paint the other one.
Next on the painting table: Dhunian Archon.
Here are another pair of Grundback Blasters for my Warmachine Mercenaries army. There isn’t much more to say about them than the last time I painted some of these except that I’ve been playing a list with three of them; hence I picked up another pack.
I kept the general colour scheme the same as the other Rhulic Warjacks I’ve painted lately but made sure to put a couple of the armour panels for each in a cream colour to give each Blaster a bit of individuality.
Next on the painting table: Steelhead Cannon Crew.
This is Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios, another solo in Warmachine for the Mercenaries faction. This particular Eiryss is Eiryss1; there are 4 versions of her in existence at the moment representing her at various stages in her story. For this reason and others, I suspect that Eiryss is a PC in a hypothetical ongoing RPG played by the developers at PP; she shows up a lot in the stories and is one of only a handful of characters to get a fourth iteration. Eiryss has lots of rules that enable her to mess with Focus allocation and she’s ridiculously accurate with her main crossbow. I just never seem to have the space to fit her into a list; in theory she would be brilliant in Soldiers of Fortune (where she can be free) but in practice she has never made the cut for me. I’ve been stung by Eiryss in Joe’s hands plenty of times though, so I have no doubt of her efficacy.
This version of Eiryss is the first and therefore the oldest sculpt, and it shows. The miniature itself is rather two dimensional and the detailing around the face in particular leaves a lot to be desired. On the other hand, I do really like the dynamic pose and I think that the sculptors did well for the time. Even though Eiryss could theoretically appear in a Soldiers of Fortune army I wanted her to be very distinct from any Steelheads as she is very much a free agent. That, combined with the cloak and hood that she wears, led me to for a Little Red Riding hood look which I think works rather nicely. She was a quick and easy paint and I’m very satisfied that she’s ready for the tabletop.
Next on the painting table: Grundback Blasters.
Here is a Steelhead Arcanist, a solo for my Mercenaries in Warmachine. Like (almost) all Steelhead models, he is at home in the Soldiers of Fortune theme force; Steelhead refers to the name of the mercenary company to which most of the nominally professional mercenaries belong in the game story. This is as opposed to loads of the other Mercenaries who occupy various statuses along the lines of outlaw, desperado, pirate etc. The Arcanist is a pure support piece, being able to give a Focus to a Warjack or remove cloud effects from the game; he also passively gives all nearby friendly Steelheads magical weapons which can be critical in some match-ups. I like him especially with Fiona the Black as in the late game once the Warjacks are all gone and I’m at the stage of desperately throwing everything I have left into the fray, she can channel spells through the Arcanist and he has enough health to survive the experience at least once.
The Steelhead Arcanist is a newer miniature so it’s a mix of very crisp resin and a few frustrating metal pieces. I went with the same general colour scheme as Sgt Verendrye (and, spoiler alert, the rest of the Steelheads will get the same treatment) as I felt that a co-ordinated colour scheme matched the flavour of a professional group of soldiers. In addition, I’m really enjoying painting yellow at the moment so it works well. The miniature itself is a really lovely pose; it would probably make quite a good option for RPGs, for example as a Cleric character.
Next on the painting table: Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios.
These are Thrall Warriors, solos in my Mercenaries for Warmachine. Thrall Warriors are quite unusual in that they can’t actually be chosen as part of your army but rather are summoned by Alexia as she gathers souls. They’re easy to kill so my main experience is to summon them, send them off to hit something (and usually miss) and then they get killed next turn. Still, being a solo that can score flags, apply Mark Target (in the Soldiers of Fortune theme force), get in the way etc, has it’s own value and I don’t hesitate to include Alexia2 in my lists.
I actually got these Thrall Warriors as part of a second hand lot and wanted a quick and easy paintjob since they’re barely more than tokens in the actual game experience. I’m not even sure if the one with no head is supposed to be that way or if it just got lost somewhere; luckily since they’re meant to be dead already it’s not so important. They must have ended up being my quickest finished miniatures in ages but I think that the simplicity has worked quite nicely here.
Next on the painting table: Steelhead Arcanist.
This is the (or perhaps ‘a’) Tharn Blood Shaman, a caster attachment for my Circle of Orboros forces in Hordes. She has various abilities to enhance the effectiveness of a Circle Warlock, most notably from my point of view being able to cast of their spells through the Spell Slave action. So far I’ve mainly used the Blood Shaman with Morvanha1 as the extra Mortality is really effective in some match-ups. The hard part for me has been doing that but then not immediately dying to retaliation as, possibly not surprisingly considering that she’s completely un-armoured, it is extremely easy to kill the Blood Shaman once she’s in range.
I went with a bright yellow cloth colour to contrast with the Blood Shaman’s skin and I think that this brings some needed lightness to what could otherwise be a very naturalistic miniature. I imagine that metal is not easy to get in the primitive society that Tharn apparently have so I used metals only on her spear tip and some decorations; even the little dagger was painted to suggest bone. A fun, quick paintjob of a nice characterful miniature. I think that the Blood Shaman miniature is sufficiently generic that it could easily find it’s way into an RPG somewhere; she could be a good Monk or Druid in D&D for example.
Next on the painting table: Thrall Warriors.
Here are three more Ghordson Gunners, Rhulic Warjacks in my Warmachine Mercenaries. If I’m being honest, the two of these I had is probably more than enough but I got this trio as part of a second hand lot of various other Mercenaries so they went into the queue. Probably somewhere there exists a decent list with a whole raft of gun-bunnies but I haven’t taken the time to think about it yet.
For admittedly not-very-inspiring sculpts I did really enjoy painting the little cuties. I continued with my green and bronze colour scheme but I did mix in some cream sections to break them up and individualise them a bit. With so few different colours it was nice to just get the Gunners done and off the tray in a short time.
Next on the painting table: Tharn Blood Shaman.
These are Tharn Blood Pack, a unit for Circle Orboros in Hordes. The Tharn are a traditional Tolkein-esque (or Star Trek-esque, if you prefer space rather than forests) race in the sense that they are just like regular humans, only with funny hats on and a highly specific culture. In this case, they’re meant to be primitive cannibals and worshippers of terrifying forest deities. Ironically, since they’re the first unit I’ve actually painted, I think that these are probably the least useful Tharn unit. Their ranged attacks aren’t particularly exciting and they are massively outshone in melee by the other male Tharn unit. They were first in the queue since I got them as part of a lot of other Tharn and these were the only ones which didn’t need paint stripped off them.
It took me a long time to decide on a paint-scheme for the Blood Pack. On the one hand, they live as one with nature in huge forests. But on the other hand, painting a load of giant people entirely in tones of green and brown isn’t really my cup of tea. In the end I chose to give them brightly coloured clothes and keep to more naturalistic colours for their accoutrements and weapons. I think that the white and purple combination makes a nice contrast between the layers of their skirts and choose to ignore the impracticalities of acquiring and cleaning such cloth in the middle of a primal forest.
I think that the central Tharn here is meant to be the unit leader on the basis that he’s wearing the fanciest hat. In my experience, that is usually a give away for ‘being in charge’ in wargames sculpts. Either that, or not wearing a hat at all when everyone else has them.
However, the Tharn on the left here might be the leader as he has more bling dangling off his belt. I received the unit already assembled and so it could actually be that the head from the Tharn above and the body from the one below are supposed to go together, which would make matters clearer.
Next on the painting table: Grundback Gunners (again).
This is a Wroughthammer Rockram, a heavy Warjack for the Mercenaries of Warmachine. Indeed, it’s even more limited than that since Mercenary Warjacks are locked to either human or Rhulic Warcasters and this one needs to go with Rhulics only. I have to admit that I’m not a fan of the Rockram in game; its cannon is good but too short-ranged to get much value out of, and the whole package is too expensive compared to tightly-focussed cheap heavies like the Driller and Basher.
For painting I kept broadly to the same colour-scheme as my other Rhulic Warjacks and eventually I’ll have enough to take a little family photo of them. I don’t especially like the positioning of the right leg as I tend to think of these Warjacks as inexorably stomping their way around the table rather than running headlong anywhere, but it does break up the profile a little compared to the Driller.
Next on the painting table: Tharn Blood Pack.
Here are Rorsh and Brine, a solo and Warbeast for Hordes in the Minions faction. Rorsh is the little chap and has a natty line in guns and dynamite; he is certainly more than just a handler for Brine. Indeed, I usually lead with Brine since he goes away if Rorsh is killed, then throw Rorsh into the fray in the late game. In the meantime, he supports Brine with various movement tricks and takes potshots with his amusingly named Pig Iron. Brine is a little soft-hitting on his own but has loads of attacks and therefore takes any buffs extremely well; coupled with Rorsh’s movement shenanigans he is a serious assassination threat with a long and non-linear movement. I’ve been playing the pair with Jaga-Jaga in the Will Work For Food theme force where the combination of Rage (from a Wrastler), Signs and Portent and Overtake make Brine a real danger to anyone.
Rorsh is a very busy model and I tried to keep him fairly simple so as not to be overly cluttered. After much consideration I went with a pink piggy skin tone to stand out better against the dark coat, and then picked a fairly ridiculous red for his hair. The sculpt is a bit unclear in the sense that there are parts of Rorsh’s arms that I think are meant to be hairy but could possibly be a jumper or something; anyway here he is either hairy-armed or wearing a jumper that is the same colour as his actual hair! For Brine I mirrored the colouring of Rorsh as much as possible; there is some fluff in Warmachine about the big pigs being litter-mates with the smaller ones. I’m not actually sure if that is explicitly the case for Rorsh and Brine but I liked the visual link.
Next on the painting table: Wroughthammer Rockram.