Here is a Void Archon, both a Mercenary and a Minion for Warmachine and Hordes respectively. Since Archons came into the game they’ve been a bit of a by-word for being hilariously over-powered and, while I think that a recent rules update has reigned them in a bit, they’ve contributed a little to our reduced desire to play much of WarmaHordes lately. Notwithstanding any recent changes, the Void Archon hits hard (and can reduce nearby enemy armour for its friends too) turns off healing abilities such as Tough in a wide area and is exceptionally mobile. Needless to say, I played the maximum Field Allowance in my games where they fit the army!
Notwithstanding the rules of the Void Archon, I do really like the sculpt of a clockwork angel swirling out of nothingness. I wanted to have a contrast between the metallics of the actual Archon and the chromatic swirly bit which informed my colour choices. Then, for the Archon body I used a nice contrast between silver and bronze colours on the armour and I’m very happy with the results.
Here is Stannis Brocker, a solo for my Mercenaries army for Warmachine. Stannis is thematically a leader of the Steelhead corps and this is represented in game as he has Tactician (Steelhead), allowing models with the Steelhead tag to freely move through each other. Needless to say, this is extremely handy in a theme force that utilises swarms of Steelhead Halberdiers to body block the other force. To be honest, he’s otherwise not particularly inspiring in the modern game and if he wasn’t a free option in the Soldiers of Fortune theme force I’d be hard pressed to consider him at his current cost.
Painting Stannis was a remarkably quick and easy process; now that I’ve painted a lot of Steelheads I feel like I have the process down quite nicely. Assembling him, on the other hand, was a long and tedious experience! It became apparent very early that he was going to have a huge gap at his waist where the legs and torso attach and he languished for quite a long time until I got round to dealing with the necessary gap-filling. By the time that was done I’d rather lost interest in playing Warmachine in general and Mercenaries in particular so Stannis was not really a priority. In the end I got sick of his puppy-dog eyes looking longingly at me from my Pile of Shame and decided to get some paint on him just in the interests of ticking him off the ‘to do’ list. I’m glad that I did as I really enjoyed painting Stannis and I’m happy with the end result.
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.