Sunday, 1 July 2012

ABC, it's as easy as....

This week I found myself tidying up all sorts of bits and bobs hanging around on my hobby table.  They aren't all 100% finished (I've been a bit under the weather this week) but I wanted to get these guys up on my blog.
The now infamous bro fist image
I've been thinking about 40k allies a lot this week with the information leaking in from the 6th edition rules and then confirmation yesterday.  I've been toying with a Grey Knights army for a while now, but I was focusing on Inquisitors and henchmen, not space marines, in my plans.  These ally rules mean that I can get them on to the table sooner than I previously thought as I can bolster then with my Dark Angels or vice versa.

Here's the twist.  My army will mostly be made of non-GW figures.  Its going to be made of pop culture, geek culture and just generally cool figures.  Now this means I'll never set foot in GW with this force, but hey, I don't go in there to game generally anyway.  I'll hopefully revisit this army over and again in coming months as I add new figures to it, but lets start with what I did this week.
Spread the word
I've been a long time fan of 2000AD and really its no surprise that I was a big fan of the original Rogue Trader version of 40k, the settings, art work and indeed even the artists were all fairly interchangeable in the mid 80s.

The ABC warriors in particular got me started on this alternative Grey Knights force.  Foundry miniatures do a fair old range of 2000 AD figures so I've managed to collect all of the ABC warriors they've created (more on this below...).  The models I think are largely based on the characters as imagined by Kev Walker (seen above) - who also did the art for the original Dredd movie (in which Hammerstein cameos) and plenty of GW and Magic the Gathering art too.  I'm trying to paint my warriors in the same scheme he used.

Removing the metal base he was standing on was a pain
I've had Mek-Quake sitting on my desk for months barely base coated.  He's a fairly big 'bot and one of my favourite characters.  The miniature here has him in a fairly unusual shape (actually based on art in the Nemesis comic), he's more often in his 'kill dozer' body (he can swap his head onto other bodies you see).  Now a kill dozer version is a potential future project for me, especially seeing other people have done excellent versions.  Critically, the kill dozer body has the big screen on his chest where I can paint his catch phrase "Big Jobs" in an 80s digital font.

So here he is, in the blue-grey colour seen in Kev's art work.  I'm quite pleased with the result, just need to do the skull and shell cases and generally tidy the base.

I think it was worth it, the 40k round base is a nice finish
Now to keep Mek-Quake company on this post, I fetched my Hammerstein down.  He's been painted for at least 3 years, but recently re-based.  Painting this chap entirely in bronzes was not much fun, I think I would approach the project differently now but he doesn't look too bad, certainly resembles the art work and the film incarnation nicely.
Now he did he get his name then?
This figure really closely follows the art work in terms of the detail - the helmet damage is a fairly typical state to find him in for some reason, he's always getting it knocked off.

Just waiting for an opponent to start using chaos marines so I can paint this helmet
Now in terms of using these guys in game I'm leaning towards using them as dreadnoughts.  The scale shot below shows how big they are next to scale marine (poor guy).  Not quite a bulky as the walking coffin dreads, but certainly tall enough.  I quite like this idea because the ABC warriors spend a lot of time on Mars, which in 40k is the home of the Adeptus Mechanicus so they could be advanced dreads/bots perhaps?  Maybe they got a retro fit after some adepts found them in storage after 25,000 years or something.

They're right behind me aren't they?
Now the big burning hole in the Foundry range is my absolute favourite ABC warrior Mongrol.  A Frankenstein mix of different robot parts, the monstrous ape with the heart of gold is a great character and sadly missing an official figure.

The story seems to be that one was sculpted but the green was crushed during the mould making!  I've yet to find a version of this figure anyone's produced that does him justice.  It doesn't help that he's rarely drawn completely, certainly not till the recent Volgon wars series where, as awesome as he is, he both looks and acts quite differently to the classic character.
Mongrol SMUSH!
So I have decided to try and make my own version.  Now there's a more than one image showing Mongrol at a fairly epic size.  The key reference here for me was that he was able to subdue and hold Hammerstein using just his hands - that makes him huge!

Big hands, tiny legs
Now this version I have here is just a mock up to see the sort of scale I am working to and how his arms and legs could actually work.  The character in the comic often knuckles his way around a battle and the rare shots of his legs do seem to show them being really small compared to the rest of his giant physique.

Run!  He's hungry!
So can he subdue Hammerstein?   I hope from this shot you can see he most certainly can.  In terms of 40k Mongrol will be used as a Dreadknight.  This allows him to be both hard to kill and hit really hard as he's a monstrous creature rather than a vehicle, suitable representation I think.

I'm supposed to be inspired by this fallen statue?  Worked for Frodo you say?
I also quickly finished off a space marine ruined statue I had collecting dust on a shelf.  In 40k 6th edition various bits of scenery can have special rules, much like in WFB 8th.  An Imperial Statue is one of these special pieces so this was reason enough to give it a quick dry brush.  Needs some Martian grass and then its done.

Finally an update on the Spirited Away display piece I was working on for my Wife's birthday.  I've finished sculpting, painting and positioning all the characters now.  As well as No-Face, I've created some soot sprites (including one carrying a piece of coal) and also Boh (the baby) when he's been turned into mouse.  They are all mounted on a nice chunk of wood.  The wife is very pleased with the final piece.

3 little speckled frogs, sat on a speckled log... no wait!

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