Warhammer 40000

Painted Atalan Jackals

These are Atalan Jackals, a fast attack choice for my Genestealer Cults army in Warhammer 40,000. Strictly speaking, the little buggy is a Wolfquad and not a Jackal but it is still part of the unit and effectively acts as a heavy weapon choice in the squad. As you might expect from a team of Mad Max Warboys, the Jackals are all about living fast and dying young; I’ve had most success with them screening out parts of the board and then throwing sticks of dynamite around. My preference has been to use the stratagem which maximises the number of hits from the Demo Charge attack at the risk (a near certainty in my experience) of blowing up the wielder which seems fitting all round. The Wolfquad has a Mining Laser strapped on; I don’t think that this synergises especially well with the role of the team but I like the way it looks. Because Jackals have the Core keyword they can be brought back to life by the Iconward, which is quite a nice treat if you can manage to resurrect the four-wound Wolfquad.

Atalan Jackals are the main reason I picked up any Genestealer Cults minis in the first place, I just love the dirt bike post-apocalypse look they have going on. I tried to learn from my mistake with the Ridgerunner and have a bit less yellow on the bikes themselves which I think looks quite nice, though I’ll admit that I found painting all the yellow trim on the armour a bit painful working around the bikes. I could probably have done better by keeping the riders separate from the bikes but I prefer to play with the minis over painting them and they did me proud for many games in their grey plastic camouflage!

Initially I thought that this team represented the final minis for my Genestealer Cult but I then found a pair of Familiars for the cult wizards. They’re pretty small minis so I’ll get them dealt with shortly and then call this good.

I enjoyed these so much that I felt that they deserved their own individual pictures, so enjoy.

Next on the painting table: Viper.

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Painted Primus

This chap is a (or possibly the?) Primus for my Genestealer Cults army in Warhammer 40K. He’s sort of the budget combat leader for if you don’t want to go full xeno with the Patriarch in charge, but the Primus is more focussed on improving the rest of your army. In play this seems to mainly involve him sitting behind whichever unit you want to shoot things with and trying to avoid anyone just blowing him up randomly… which now I think about it is largely the same place as many of the other Cult hero options.

Painting the Primus was where I really noticed my folly in trying to link the blue tunics of the more human-looking cultists with the blue chitin of the less human ones. It works fine when those two parts don’t come together but, as here, it makes the sleeve and arm look a bit weird. Otherwise I quite enjoyed painting this evil alien cult leader as he got done very smoothly and without any hiccups. Of course, the colours remain broadly matching the rest of the cult. I now just have one unit to paint up and I can call this project complete.

Next on the painting table: Logan, The Wolverine.

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Painted Neophyte Hybrids

Here are the final (for now) ten Neophyte Hyrbids for my Genestealer Cults force in Warhammer 40,000. They’re been a fun project to paint up, and I think that I have only half a dozen or so minis remaining before I’ve painted all of these that I have. Lately we’ve not played a lot of 40K and since there is a new edition being released in a few months I suspect that they’ll not see a tabletop again for some time.

Thirty of these little chaps is plenty for me to paint, but I’ve seen lists out there with over one hundred of them.

Next on the painting table: S.H.I.E.L.D Agents.

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Painted Reductus Saboteur

Here is a (or possibly ‘the’) Reductus Saboteur for my Genestealer Cults army in Warhammer 40,000. As a saboteur her rules don’t really fit very nicely in the game of 40K and as a result she has some slightly odd abilities where she can shoot units a representation of her setting of a previously laid mine. The Reductus does also have a special bomb of her own, hence the little bomb marker, which she can pop out and dare the enemy to come and sit on it; however I’ve never been able to get it placed in such a way that it wasn’t also a hindrance to my own plans… which probably tells a story about how good I am at playing 40K in the first place.

The Reductus got broadly the same colour scheme as the rest of my Loyal Imperial Citizens evil alien cultists, but now that she’s done I think that I probably needed to find somewhere to splash a bit more colour on her. That big coat, while probably effective in hiding during an insurrection, darkens the overall look of the mini by too much and it covers up a lot of the bright yellow that I want to be the primary colour of this army. Now that I’ve painted it, I doubt I’ll go back to her. But I’d appreciate anyone’s thoughts on how I should have approached this mini.

Next on the painting table: Arnim Zola.

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Painted Magus

This is the Magus for my Genestealer Cults in Warhammer 40,000. Of all of the modern plastic sculpts, this is surely the one which is most obviously a tribute to the classic art from the 90s (?) with a Magus looking just like this. The Magus is quite simple in the game, really just being a Psyker (ie a space-wizard) to either enhance your own forces or cripple the enemy. For some reason none of our games seem to have featured the Psychic phase very much and the Magus has similarly never really made the cut to get onto the table.

I absolutely loved painting the Magus. For a start, this was like going back in time to my early days in the hobby and finding that I had a plastic mini of one of the coolest pieces of art released by Games Workshop. The colour scheme was kept deliberately in line with the rest of the force, so mainly blues and yellows, though I did try to emphasise the blueness of the skin to increase the otherworldly-ness of this alien hybrid.

Next on the painting table: Red Guardian.

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Painted Acolytes

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.

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Painted Patriarch

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.

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Painted Neophyte Hybrids

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.

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Painted Acolyte Iconward

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.

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Painted Achilles Ridgerunner

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.

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