Here is a unit of Acolytes for my Genestealer Cult force in Warhammer 40,000. I think that this is a unit that can be built in a lot of different ways, from focusing on big bricks carting around the cool heavy melee weapons to agile hand flamer bombs. This particular set are built with a mix of autopistols, hand flamers and demolition charges, though in practice I’ve only played them using the autopistols as the rest are a bit too expensive for such a fragile unit. I use them to pop out of ambush in the late game onto an objective, then do whatever Action is needed for the current secondary missions. In theory, I sometimes get to do it again another turn but in practice it’s pitifully easy to kill these chaps and so they’ve always been mown down before I get to decide where else they might want to go.
The Acolytes are probably meant to be second or third-generation hybrids if (like me) you’re an oldster who remembers the stories about Genestealer Cults from their appearance in Space Hulk. I really like the way that they bridge the visual gap between the mostly human Neophytes and the full alien-ness of the Genestealers themselves. I kept their clothes painted in the same colours as the Neophytes but tried to emphasise the blue of the Acolytes’ skin a bit more. I enjoyed painting these sculpts, especially the leader (who I assume is the one wearing a skirt) and the one waving around packs of space-dynamite.
Next on the painting table: Ursa Major.
This mighty monster is a (or perhaps ‘the’) Patriarch, head and founder of my Genestealer Cults army for Warhammer 40,000. The Patriarch is, as you might expect from a beastie who is basically the Alien Queen from the Aliens film, a terrifying murder machine in game… at least if he can get close enough to engage in melee. He does have the options for some psychic powers to give him something to do when he’s not eating fools, but basically his happy place is engaged in close combat. Despite Cults being a somewhat new army in 40K, the Patriarch has long been in the lore thanks to one of the expansions to Space Hulk from the early 90s and even had a lead miniature sitting iconically on a throne from back in the day. I like that this sculpt still embodies that ‘patient predator’ look rather than an all-action pose.
I really enjoyed painting the Patriarch. I took cues from the other members of his cult in terms of the overall colour scheme but his sheer size let me play around a bit more with the specifics of which colours went where. In retrospect I think that I made the tongue a bit too blue and would have been better off going for a redder shade as it blends in too much with the carapace. The Space Marine helmets could be no other colour than yellow since that is the colour of my best friend’s Space Marine army, but I think that they would have looked a bit more satisfying if they weren’t the same colour as the cult icons littered around the base.
Next on the painting table: Crimson Dynamo.
Here are another set of ten Neophyte Hybrids for my Warhammer 40,000 Genestealer cult army. This set has the Icon Bearer in it, which allows the unit to recur their casualties, representing more oppressed citizens and/or terrifying aliens joining the unit as the game proceeds. This brings me up to twenty, which is enough for a full-sized unit. Apparently, some tournament lists run over 100 of these little chaps, but that is definitely not for me despite how cool they look.
Next on the painting table: Heimdall, the All-Seeing.
This is an Acolyte Iconward, one of the HQ options for Genestealer Cults in Warhammer 40,000. Since we’ve generally only played very small games of 40K lately the Iconward has been my Warlord and got a special gun for his troubles – the Oppressor’s Bane which really turns on everyone else’s shooting by effectively guaranteeing a Crossfire marker on my target of choice. The main trick for the Iconward has been that he allows recursion for nearby Core units so if I can avoid losing the entire Neophyte unit in one round then I can bring back all of the interesting weapon teams and have another round of attacking. Interestingly, this rule also allows recursion for units that don’t have it natively so I’ve been able to bring back dead bikers from time to time too.
The Iconward got the same treatment as the Neophytes in terms of colour scheme but I did spend a bit longer tidying up the more noticeable imperfections in the paintjob. I wondered about whether to branch out from blue and yellow for his flag (icon, I suppose) but eventually decided that introducing a wider palette wouldn’t really be any improvement. The blueish skin works rather better here as Acolytes are more obviously alien than the otherwise generally rather human-looking Neophytes.
Next on the painting table: Drax The Destroyer.
This is an Achilles Ridgerunner, a fast attack choice for my Genestealer Cult army in Warhammer 40,000. It helpfully works just like it looks like it ought to – very fast with one big death cannon strapped on the back. So far we’ve only being playing very small games with this force so it’s proven quite annoying for my friends to bring down; however I think that this will not last when we move up to bigger points values and I’m facing some competent anti-tank weapons. Nonetheless it has been fun kiting away from things and zapping away with the attached mining laser.
I wanted to keep the overall blue and yellow scheme for this force and I’m not sure that it works so well with such a big object. I like it thematically that the Ridgerunner is high visibility since it’s meant to be a utilitarian industrial vehicle rather than a purpose built war machine, but I don’t like the way that it looks like a big yellow brick. I think if I paint another one of these I’ll try to break up the yellow with more blue markings. Otherwise I’m really satisfied with the results here, especially considering that I’ve been deliberately trying to keep to quick and dirty paint jobs on the GSC forces.
Next on the painting table: Kraven the Hunter.
This is my first batch of Neophyte Hybrids for a Genestealer Cult force in Warhammer 40,000. They’re the cheapest of the cheap infantry but have two main things going for them (apart from low cost, which I guess is an advantage all of its own) – the Seismic Cannon heavy weapons that can be embedded in the squads are really effective, and because of the ease of recursion there is a good chance to get a second round of shooting out of the unit unless the other player is willing to commit enough resource to wipe out the unit in one go. That’s not especially hard to do but since the whole squad is so cheap it can lead to an imbalance of effort put into killing the Neophytes and can sometimes let another more valuable target survive. I’ve generally used the Neophytes in units of twenty with a Cult Icon and four Seismic Cannons – there are builds out there with over one hundred of these little chaps!
Painting the Neophytes has been quite a fun experience. In retrospect, picking a yellow-based colour scheme for a horde army was quite a poor move but I’m in no special hurry to paint them all. I’ve purposefully spent a lot less time per mini here than I usually would; they’re definitely getting a basic tabletop standard paint job as I simply don’t paint quick enough to get through any meaningful force before the heat death of the universe if I do this at my normal speed. The yellow and blue combination has turned out to be quite a striking contrast and so I’ve deliberately left the other colours rather muted so that they can stand out better. I gave the Neophyte’s skin a blue wash to try to emphasise their non-human lineage and while that has worked in a sense I’m not especially happy with the way it actually looks on them. I think that I’ll have to continue to experiment with this. For my own sanity I’ve been painting the Neophytes in groups of five with something to break it up in between, so this lot actually represents two batches of them.
Next on the painting table: Scarlet Witch.
This is a squad of Blightlord Terminators for my Death Guard army in Warhammer 40,000. Like all of the Death Guard their forte is being hard to kill, and even ‘normal’ Terminators are hard to kill too so you can imagine that shifting a block of Blightlords is quite a trick. Thanks to a very recent rules change they also now have the Objective Secured ability which really helps them as they want to just sit on an objective and not die while scoring lots of points. This squad is equipped with a Blight Launcher on one of them which slightly improves their ranged output but I’ve found it fairly anaemic anyway against anything with even a modicum of armour. For melee I’ve equipped one with a Flail of Corruption, partly because it increases their melee damage but mainly because it just looks really cool. The rest are mostly armed with Bubotic Axes except one who has a Balesword; it’s not completely cut-and-dried whether one is a better option than the other but most importantly there are only three axes in the box.
The Blightlords got the same general colour scheme as the rest of my Death Guard, a rather Khornate dark red and brass scheme on their armour. Painting them was an absolute joy as each one is a unique champion of their unholy masters. I could have spent from now until forever picking out more and more details but at some point I had to call them finished and I’m really happy with the final results.
I figured that each is worthy of a photo alone and even now I couldn’t say which is my favourite.
Next on the painting table: Sabretooth.
Here is a completed family photo of my Space Marines (or Adeptus Astartes as they’re now called) for Warhammer 40,000. It’s not a particularly tightly designed force, nor is it really very effective on the tabletop, but rather a mish-mash of stuff that I liked and wanted to paint. In the end I didn’t particularly find Space Marines much fun on the tabletop so I suppose that this project is shelved for now; however I might easily be tempted back by the fun of painting.
Here is the second my Myphitic Blight Haulers for Death Guard in Warhammer 40,000. I’ve generally tended to run them as a pair so it’s nice to have some colours on this one, though I don’t have a lot more to say about using them on the tabletop than I did last time.
I’ve kept the painting of this Blight Hauler largely the same as the other one in that the armour is red and bronze, and the horrible fleshy bits are green. I’ve tried to switch up where I used certain colours in order to avoid having both Blight Haulers come out looking identical so for example the badge of Nurgle embossed on the front of the carapace is different. But fundamentally the painting experience was the same and I did find it quite enjoyable. I only have six more Death Guard minis in the Pile of Shame right now so hopefully I can ‘complete’ this project fairly soon.
When I first bought the Blight Haulers, for some reason I was expecting them to be much bigger than they actually are. I find these little Daemon Engines rather cute as the zoom around the table zapping fools with their various guns before trying to eat them in melee.
Next on the painting table: Doctor Voodoo.
Here, after much delay, is the completed army photo of my Ork Speed Freeks for Warhammer 40,000. I really enjoyed playing with this army and it was a very enjoyable project to work on and eventually finish. Of course, no project is ever truly finished and I may go back to the Orks at some point if the mood takes me. This lot is actually not even 1000 points (so less than half of a ‘normal’ army), though at the time we were playing at 1000 points so this worked for me with a few ringers to proxy for various other miniatures.
Needless to say, I couldn’t fit all of the buggies into my lightbox so I tried an outdoor photo with less-than-perfect results.