Here are a pair of Steelhead Gunners, solos for my Mercenary force in Warmachine. Apart from their scoring utility as cheap solos, their main purpose is to support the artillery pieces in the Soldiers of Fortune theme which in my case would mainly be my SteelheadCannons. But actually I have to say that I’ve not really found even having one of these little chaps is a very effective use of points; they improve the damage and accuracy of the Cannons but in general I’m looking to use the Cannons to knock down low-defence pieces anyway and I just don’t need more support bloat in my forces.
The sculpts for the Gunners are identical but helpfully the helmet is a separate piece and the unhelmeted head looks like just a bald head anyway so that helps them to look a bit different. The colour scheme was the same green and yellow coats as for my other Steelheads and I was pleased to gets the Gunners painted up nice and quickly. As an aside, it looks like they were sculpted by someone who has never seen a moustache up close (or maybe it’s just that, as Rhulfolk, their facial hair doesn’t grow like humans) since their moustaches grow up the sides of their noses rather than across their upper lips.
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.
Here is Drake MacBain, a Warcaster for Mercenaries in Warmachine. I’ve actually never played him in the game yet; I picked the miniature up as part of a second hand lot a long time ago and just finally got the inspiration to put some paint on him. I feel like his spells would allow him to fit well into the Llaelese Resistance theme force, but actually building lists there continues to be an exercise in frustration for me.
MacBain isn’t, strictly speaking, a Steelhead. But he’s always depicted as a hard-bitten professional mercenary so I decided that he’d go nicely in the green colours that I’ve been favouring for the Steelheads anyway. I’m not a fan of the ludicrously oversized sword but the posing in general feels suitable for the action hero that he so clearly is. I also have to admit that I love the cigar-chomping sculpt of his face; it just tells such a story.
This is a second Ghordson Basher for my Warmachine Mercenaries. There isn’t really much more to say than I wrote when I painted the previous Basher – it’s a cheap and cheerful Warjack that specialises in slam attacks.
I stuck with basically the same paint scheme for this Basher as the previous one as I wanted to keep them as clearly part of the same force. I’ve slightly mixed up which parts are cream vs green, and also those which are silver vs brass to keep them slightly unique but my vision for these Rhulic Warjacks is that they look to be part of the same force.
This is Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire, also known as Alexia2. She’s a solo for the Mercenaries faction in Warmachine and I use her in my Soldiers of Fortune theme force. In the storyline, Alexia is the end-boss of an old RPG (specifically, The Witchfire Trilogy) in which she is possessed by the magic sword Witchfire; this iteration of her is presumably set after those events and she is now in control of the sword rather than the other way round. In game she can collect soul tokens from living models that die nearby and use them for a variety of purposes, my favourite of which is to summon Thrall Warriors. This is a key part of the recycling engine that my army is based around: Steelhead Halberdier die, giving Alexia souls to turn into Thrall Warriors while Sergeant Verendrye brings them back as reinforcements. Being able to summon Thrall Warriors is, of course, invaluable for scenario play so I generally try to keep Alexia safe from harm in the early stages of the game and only commit her in the late game.
I loved to paint Alexia; she has a very dynamic pose that I find really evocative of a rider in full flight. I deliberately didn’t stick with the green and yellow scheme of the Steelheads, instead going for a nice bright Red Riding Hood look which I think works quite nicely. The horse is meant to be some kind of undead beastie but after a bit of experimentation I couldn’t make the skin look the way I wanted so in the end it’s more like part-normal-horse and part-skeleton-horse.
Here is a second Steelhead Cannon Crew to join my Warmachine Mercenaries army. They’re FA2 so this is as many as I can field in a normal game, though I can’t think of a reason I would take a third anyway as there are only a finite number of suitable targets that I might expect to see across the table from me. There isn’t much more to say about them in the game than I said for the other crew.
I stuck with essentially the same paint scheme as the first Cannon Crew on the basis that they’re supposed to represent a professional army. I painted the shoulder pads different to make it possible to tell them apart in game when face-to-face gaming becomes possible again.
Next on the painting table: Tharn Ravager Chieftains.
Here are Lady Aiyana and Master Holt, a unit for my Warmachine Mercenaries. They’re quite interesting mechanically as they feel to me rather more like a pair of solos who have to stay near each other rather than a unit. Lady Aiyana is a spell caster whose main ability is to increase the damage done by other friendlies to a chosen victim. Master Holt is thematically her bodyguard and has some tasty gunslinger rules. I have to admit that I have never used them on the tabletop (I got the pair as part of a secondhand lot) but Joe uses them against me to great effect quite often.
I really enjoyed painting Lady Aiyana and Master Holt. I kept a single scheme of predominantly blue and yellow to tie them together visually, but gave Lady Aiyana some brightly coloured hair to emphasise her status both as unit leader in the rules and exotic adventurer in the stories. Considering the age of these sculpts they still look the part.
I dedicate this post (or at least Lady Aiyana’s part of it) to Fembruary which is being run by Alex on the excellent LeadBalloony blog.
Next on the painting table: Steelhead Cannon Crew.
Here is the Warcaster Fiona the Black. She’s part of my Mercenaries force for Warmachine; I’ve used her mainly in the Soldiers of Fortune theme force, though she fits in plenty of others. As a Warcaster she’s the most important piece in the game for me; the vulnerabilities of a chess King but with the powers of a Queen. I’ve had a lot of fun with Fiona; she can Arc spells through friendly cultists which allows her to keep her easily-killed self far away from nasty threats and her Feat is really annoying for melee armies to deal with.
I struggled to get a paintjob that I like on Fiona. She’s depicted in the Privateer Press artwork with flaming red hair so I stuck with that approach. But her clothing tends to be shown as very dark (presumably at least in part due to her epithet) and I found it hard to bring her to life in a way that would look good at tabletop range. In the end, I kept the dark colours of her ‘normal’ clothes and went with a bright yellow on Fiona’s cloak to make her stand out well. In the end I’m not totally satisfied with the result but it’s good enough to move her out of the ‘to do’ pile.
Next on the painting table: Lady Aiyana and Master Holt.
This is a second Ghordson Driller for my Warmachine Mercenaries. I have three in my current Ossrum1 list, so hopefully I can find where I put the third kit before face-to-face gaming restarts!
I kept the paint scheme very similar to the first Driller, mixing up where I put the accent colours a little. My hope is that when they’re all on the table together it’ll look like the Warjacks have all come from the same factory but without them actually being identical. Since there are only four colours and no fiddly details, painting the Driller was a lovely simple palette-cleanser between more complex living miniatures.
Here is an Ironhead, a solo for my Mercenaries in Warmachine. She’s part of the Steelhead mercenary company and therefore is part of the Soldiers of Fortune theme force. I was slow to like Ironheads in the game but they’ve grown on me in my Fiona list for two reasons. Firstly, they have a pretty good repair ability and I often found myself with a Blockader with a crippled system so being able to fix that is very useful. Secondly, Ironheads can place models 2″, which doesn’t sound much but can be critical in a game of threat ranges like WarmaHordes. I’ve typically used it to move Dez a bit forward in turn 1 as she really loves a bit of out-of-activation movement early in the game, and then later to move a Steelhead Cannon into range of something tasty.
The miniature is a new one (I assume from the same generation as the Arcanist) and the improvements in sculpt quality from PP is noticeable compared to some of their earlier pieces. I kept the Ironhead to the same colour scheme as the rest of the Steelheads, but even without them I feel that she really suits the green and bronze look. She was pleasure to paint and I’m very pleased with the result.