Under the Brush: My first painted warband

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This is a post long overdue, the story of my first-ever completely painted warband of miniatures. I can count on one hand (technically two) the number of minis I’d painted before undertaking this endeavor: Two D&D miniatures when I was about 11 years old, and one of the plastic space marines from the 40k 2nd edition starter set. The other hand for the “technically two hands” are four of the OOP plastic Warhammer Fantasy militia I had built for Mordheim to get a feel for my painting technique.

Too Long Didn’t Read: Painted pics are at the bottom 🙂

The purpose of this warband was to be played as a Redemptionist gang in Necromunda at Jeff White’s PitCon he hosted in Austin, TX, this past summer. Necromunda has long been a dear game to me, having first played it when it came out with a couple of my friends during high school. I played a Cawdor gang and mostly got my butt handed to me every game. In the fluff, House Cawdor was strongly linked to the Redemptionist cult, a ultra zealous cult of the Imperium faith that believe redemption can only be found in the flamer’s flames or by joining the crusade. I bought the Redemptionist starter gang, but we stopped playing Necromunda before they could hit the table.

For our PitCon game, I decided to roll with the Redemptionists and fulfill my unfulfilled dreams. I toyed with the idea of buying the original models, but figured I could convert my own gang for less money, and get involved in some plastic kitbashing as they call it, I dove in. WSTZ James sent me five chaos cultists and a flagellant model from Forge World that had a broken flail. I scored the excellent genestealer cultist minis from ebay when they had one of those coupon deals. I sourced bits from ebay and forums and the gang started coming together.

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I tend to gravitate toward religious fanatic warbands (witch hunters in Mordheim, Cawdor/Redemptionists in Necromunda, etc.) but due to the current political climate, I found the idea of being ultra conservative xenophobic intolerant hatemongers to not be so appealing. So I’ve retconned my gang to be a cult of the Star Child.

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If you’re not familiar with the Star Child, the idea was introduced in the Realms of Chaos book The Lost & The Damned during the 40k Rogue Trade and Warhammer Fantasy Battles 3rd edition days. Basically the idea was the Star Child was the bulk of the essence of the Emperor of Mankind’s soul/spirit/pskyerness floating around in the warp, waiting to be reborn but unable to due to the tenuous grip the preserved corpse of the Emperor had on it. My cult then seek to share these illuminations of the Star Child and the Emperor with other members of Necromunda’s Underhive, but doing so is dangerous business and can create a lot of enemies both within the Imperium and with their common enemy, the forces of Chaos.

My inspiration partially came from the new Age of Sigmar fluff, the idea of Sigmar floating through the void, clinging to the shards of the Old World before the rebirth of the universe really reminded me of this Star Child idea. I thought then the Stormcast heads would make great cultists masks on the bodies of the excellent Genestealer Cult Neophyte models and the Dark Vengeance Chaos Cultists. I’ve seen others do so with success such as Thomasacoila on the Ammobunker forums who used masked Blood Angels heads and Migs on Iron Sleet.

I started off with the brether, your basic cultist gangers. Nothing fancy here, just Sigmarite head swaps, brethern can take autoguns or shotguns but no lasguns. Autoguns work for me, even if shotguns can make things a little interesting just to switch things up, I wanted to keep my first conversions nice and simple.

Next are the initiates, the cult’s juves. Just head swaps and they got some weaponry more fitting for a redemptionist crusade and poor ballistic skill. Hand flamers!

Here are the deacons, the more famous members who are allowed access to more expensive weaponry. They are the heavies of the cult, but they don’t have access to heavy weapons, just special weapons. I gave one a flamer and the other a plasma gun, because I thought both sounded like fun ways to maim enemies in a purge. These guys use bodies from the genestealer cultists kit to show they have more high tech gear than their more lowly brethren.

Now here is the real reason you should want to play Redemptionists. Zealots! These nutters can equip themselves with massive chainsaws that also have one-time use flamers on them. They also have frenzy so they basically run around the board trying to shred as many non-believers as possible. The guy on the left is the is based on the Forge World zealot WSTZ James sent me. On the right is a similar conversion I had seen on the internets before, but I’m not sure who originally did it. It is NOT my work.

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As soon as I saw the massive circular saw in the genestealer cultist acolyte hybrid set, I knew it would be awesome for a zealot. What I did not foresee was how much of a pain it would be to fit it on to a Warhammer Fantasy flagellant body (also from WSTZ James, he’s seriously the best). At first I cut the saw off at the hands to attach to some flagellant arms, but then there was giant gaps in the shoulders, so I ended up just cutting the third arm off the hybrid arms and glueing them back to the hands they were cut from. Kind of sloppy and results in some weird looking arms, but I figured he’s has a slight mutation, but his zealotry is enough (and the Star Child is more forgiving remember) that his brethren accept him for it anyway.

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And the last mini before we get to the paint job is the priest. As the leader I gave him a chainsword and a meltagun. Meltaguns are probably a little overkill in the early game, but without heavy weapons I wanted to use a variety of special weapons. Also, melting faces is fun! I gave him a little hourglass to represent the tracking of time until the rebirth of the Star Child.

I did a lot of researching into painting techniques before I got started, because I’m a nerd like that. I landed on some techniques that registered with me and I felt I could understand how to apply. Not that I’m an expert artist, but I did enjoy doing watercolors when I was in high school. When painting watercolors you start with light colors and can build up to dark. In contrast with oil painting, which I did a little of in college, you start dark and paint to light. I found oil painting to be very frustrating. Traditional miniature painting techniques are base coat, shade, highlight or drybrush, but I was worried about having to try and build up lighter layers. Then I read about zenithal priming and then painting with washes. That’s how I ended up painting my miniatures. I sprayed them with a black primer and then a shot of white primer from above and painted with washes and metallics, nothing else. The results are something I’m quite proud of for my first time painting a full warband.

Juve #1 with club and hand flamer.

Juve #2 with flail and hand flamer.

Brother #1 with autogun.

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Brothers #2 and #3 also with autoguns.

Deacon with flamer.

Deacon with plasma gun.

Zealot #1

Zealot #2

Priest

Thanks for reading guys. Unfortunately, we didn’t get around to playing Necromunda at our summer gathering, but with the new Necromunda coming soon, I already have a painted gang! Hopefully they’ll still be in the gang and the rules won’t be too different …

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