Wednesday, 21 June 2017

CXXX. Abhorrant Ghoul Queen's Court: Ghouls

"Hidden among the ruins of the Mortal Realms thrive the Flesh-eater Courts. Trapped within a horrific delusion, convinced that their cannibalistic feasts are splendid and grandiose visions of nobility, these courts of madness are each presided over by a malevolent and predatory Abhorrant Ghoul King. Beneath him, Mordants pick at decaying meat, snarling and spitting in guttural growls. Crypt Horrors and Haunters skulk in the shadows as deathless guardians, ready to claim entire corpses as their own."

 Inspiration struck, compelling me to start another AoS28 warband. This time it's my take on Flesh-eater Courts.

One thing that I like about the official Flesh-eater models is that they have a strong visual theme kept across the entire range. However, they sadly feel bland and underwhelming. When I look at them I don't get inspired to pick one up and paint it. They could have had the background showing on the models more, because the back story has tons of potential. But that would mean they could not simply repack the kits from old Vampire Counts, so I understand why... Anyways, I was struck with an urge to try my hand at redesigning the faction. I shall do that. And as it happens, I shall do it without using any models from the Flesh-eater Courts range of miniatures.

Warbands of a dozen or so models are my favourite format. Large enough so I can get my idea across, and small enough that I don't get bored with repetition. Converting and painting 60 Ghouls is not an appealing idea. In fact, it's an appalling one. Due to the limited number of units available for this faction I will probably end up making at least one example of each (except probably the Terrorgheist and Zombie Dragon). If nothing else, they will serve as monsters for Frostgrave, and some of them might even wind up crossing over into the Gardens setting some day. 

I already have ideas and bits for most of the models. I will reveal them as I go along, just to keep things interesting.

First up, the lowly foot soldiers of the ghoul kingdoms: the Crypt Ghouls.


I. BACKGROUND

"Ghoul is a word known in almost every corner of the Mortal Realms. These are the vile creatures who make up the majority of an Abhorrant Ghoul King’s seething armies, and they have an appetite for flesh that is both repulsive and insatiable. (...) They believe themselves to be stout foot soldiers of the king’s court or keen-eyed scouts ranging ahead of his armies. In truth, they are a cannibal horde of naked and hungry monsters."
W:AoS Death Battletome: Flesh-eater Courts

Basically, ragged, depraved cannibal humans that reject reality and substitute it with their own. The Ghouls believe they are their king's loyal soldiers and servants. They make the lowest stratum of their society.

II. OFFICIAL MODELS

 

Cypt Ghouls kit from GW. I'm really not a fan; I don't like the bent pose of their bodies and absolutely hate the heads. That's pretty much all they are composed of, so it made more sense to use a completely unrelated kit than to try and fix these. That doesn't mean I think they are useless in general; I've seen people do lovely INQ28 creatures with the bits, and I myself have a pile of Ghoul hands in my bits box.

The Ghouls are the cheapest unit type in the faction. They are human-sized and typically come in large numbers (there are twenty in the box).
Source: games-workshop.com

III. WHAT I DID, HOW, AND WHY


Goblins from The Hobbit game can pass for ghouls even without converting. These: LINK, by Old Fogey, are a fine example of that. What I wanted to do is add pieces of scavenged armour and rusting weapons, to reflect their inner delusion on the outside. They needed to be a grotesque parody of their glorious self-image. I gave one of them a ragged banner (yes, I'm aware they do not have a standard bearer option in the game). First draft had them wearing helmets, but I dropped  the idea. I might still make a helmeted one in the next batch to try it out, though.

I combined Goblins with bits from various Warhammer kits. Some were quite simple, others involved more elaborate puttywork. I think I achieved the rag-tag look, while still having a dose of uniformity.

*   *   *
And these are the Ghouls with Janos the Cannibal. He was made before I conceived the idea for this warband, but is a perfect example of where I'll be going with my Crypt Horrors, and even his backstory fits. So I simply joined him to the crew (he'll just need a new shield). More about Crypt Horrors when Janos gets a friend or two.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

CXXIX. Tor Megiddo

I've been in contact with the INQ28 community from this blog's beginning. Much of my audience comes from that sphere. Even though I chose to create my own setting for the minis I convert and paint, we were brought together by a shared approach to the hobby. I've never before ventured into making my own INQ28 minis, but now time for that has come.

Tor Megiddo is a collaborational project that gathers a dozen INQ28 enthusiasts, each building their own gang of techno barbarians who will fight across desert landscapes. It will end with a gaming meet-up in Finland later this year. The hosts are Alexander W and Helge (Wilhelminiatures) , and the rest of the crew includes: Erik "Nordic", Tommy "Red Skullz" (Bigbossredskullz), Saul (Warbosskurgan), Jake "Bruticus" (Ex Profundis), Mikkel "Mike", Kristian (Secrets of the Void), Rebecca, Johan "Jeff Vader" (The Convertorum), Alexander L "Hrossvalur", and yours truly.

So here's my take on the techno-barbarian concept. To see what the others are up to check the Tor Megiddo thread on Ammobunker and their respective blogs.
My warband. A warrior's initiation includes having a limb replaced with [sometimes arguably] superior prosthetics.

A WIP photo. These guys were put together with parts from many different GW kits. Many thanks to Helge for sending me a box of 40K bits.
Balvan the Warlord. Largest man in the warband. His body is a combination of Blightking and Stormcast Liberator.
The back banners are paper. Made them removable to avoid damage in transport.
Hobotnik and Folf, berserker types. These guys are purely melee fighters, relying on their chainswords to brutally disembowel their enemies. Their masks feed them toxic vapours that enhance their ferocity.
These are based on plastic Gors, with Chaos Cultist lower legs replacing their hoofs. I sculpted the fur hats with green stuff.
Theg and Smet, the shooty types. These were the simplest conversions of the bunch. Cultist bodies, Skitarii arms and Space Wolf heads. Theg, the bearded one, was the first model I built for the warband.

This was a fun little foray into 40K modelling. Now that the warband is finished I can return to working on my Monstrous Births campaign. Stay tuned.