Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Rogue Trader: Capn' Clownie Clown Clown and His Urban Degenerates

Memo:         The Clown Will Die
From:           Master of the Chapter
To:              Company Commanders
Type:           High Value Target Profile

Subject:         Captain Clownie Clown Clown
Name:           Unknown
Aliases:         Captain Clownie Clown Clown, or simply The Captain or The Clown
Whereabouts: Geminion Secundus
Professions:   Slave trader, smuggler, illicit arms dealer, pimp, gangster, thug, sexual anarchist,                              heretic, seditious pirate television show host.

Badly unwashed human male, about forty years of age, well over 6 feet tall, 250 pounds.  Typically intoxicated. In all sightings, wears a grotesque sexualized parody of a harlequin's costume.  Generally well armed and accompanied by strong bodyguard of fanatical followers

Appearances to the contrary, Captain CCC possesses an astonishing charisma and a deft manipulativeness and a profound grasp of human motivations.  Add to this an extraordinary ruthlessness and cunning, and a natural-born talent for extreme violence.  At a tender age embarked on a criminal career more successful than any in the last few centuries of the history of Geminion Secundus.  Eluded all attempts at capture by the Voldraddi  authorities for over twenty years.  Eventually established a lucrative and pervasive criminal empire which came to be quietly tolerated and even frequently patronized by influential members of the administration. Controls an army of thugs, enforcers and criminal militia numbering in the tens of thousands.

In recent sightings has carried a stub pistol and a power sword of exquisite workmanship with no obvious external power source.  Is rumored to have an Eldar Harlequin flip belt cunningly integrated into his leather harness.  Certainly there is no other likely explanation for his superhuman agility.  Known to sometimes wear Jokaero digital weapons.  Has a fondness for grenades, especially exotic types.

Heretofore The Chapter has maintained a neutral stance vis a vis The Clown and his activities, as it was believed that the existence of The Clown's Criminal Empire exercised a destabilizing influence on the Rebel regime's control of the planet of Geminion Secundus and would indirectly contribute to our ongoing campaign to topple the Rebels there. As is now well known, however, in a recent raid on enemy facilities in the slum city of Golgatha X, three squads of the third company came under direct attack from a horde of well armed gutter trash led by The Clown himself, and in the ensuing   firefight, two battle brothers of the Third Comapny were killed and others wounded. It is now known that The Clown and his servants believed our expedition to be an exercise in violation of their territory.
The very notion that the The Clown believes he owns territory should itself be offensive to all our Marines.  The Clown does not get territory.  Only the Emperor has territory, and  we are the sentinels of that Emperor.  The Clown has struck the sons of the Emperor.  The Clown will die.  Let him be beheaded with a dull chainsword.
                                                                                   -Ripp Von Venkle, Master of the Chapter
                                                                                    Dead Men Space Marines
The Clown.  The figure is, of course, Comfy Chair's Mr. Jingles, from their Spinespur range, I switched out his baseball bat and bottle of Jack Daniels for the weapons.  Don't get me wrong, I like the bat and bottle, but they aren't very 40k.

The clown and a favored companion.
I'm pretty pleased with how Clownie's girl came out...
I wish Clownie himself had come out as good.
Mutation is as sad and ever-present a problem in the Geminions as it is anywhere in the Imperium, as these poor, afflicted souls can attest.  Such outcasts number amoung The Clown's must ardent and ferocious followers.
Although most gangers are eventually well armed and equipped by their masters, all new recruits to Clownie's gang have to go through a probationary period where they are expected to supply their own weapons.  These two initiates have tried to exaggerate their barbaric appearance to look less like new meat, but their crude, home-made arms betray their junior status within the gang.  Nice Mark Copplestone Future Warriors.
A highly developed intellect is not a requirement for success as a ganger.  It could actually be an obstacle to success.  If so, this junior ganger may go far.
The equipment of these two figures hints that they may have come to Clownie's army from other careers.  The melta gunner wears some kind of pilot's cap, suggesting he may be or may have been one of the space pirates who frequently do business with The Clown.  The lasgun, uniform and equipment of the ganger on the right identify him as a deserter from the planetary militia, despite his modification of his regimental badge to show allegiance to his new master.
Typical group of gangers.  Note the barbaric appearance and rat skull on the belt of the ganger on the left, which suggest he is of the caste of the Rat Catchers.  Rat Catchers trap rats which they breed and sell as pets, fighting animals and livestock to other inhabitants of Geminion Secundus' many crumbling, post-urban hells.

Those who would borrow money from or trade favors with The Clown would be well advised to repay their patron punctually.  Clownie witnessed first hand the effectiveness of the Voldraddi army's use of human bombs, and was impressed by their spreading large numbers of his gutter soldiers like jam over wall and sidewalk.  He created a human bomb squad of his own out of dead beat debtors like the unhappy individual above.
"Awright, you dogs!  Time ta kick them Space Marines offa our turf!!!"

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Oogie Spazzjabber's Gobbo Gang

Behold the Goblin War Chief Oogie Spazzjabber and the odiferous gaggle of gobbos who call him Boss.  Oogie is not by any means one of the most powerful Goblin Clan leaders in the Black River country, but that is something he intends to change very soon.
Oogie was the smallest of a litter of forty-seven, and had to learn to fend for himself almost from birth.  He is still a bit small for a Goblin and is obsessed with making himself seem bigger and more important than he really is; hence his predilection for big, ostentatious head gear, and for standing on things like the little knot of earth and turf you can see him perched on in the picture above.
 He earned the name Spazzjabber for his obnoxious habit of loudly and wildly hijacking any conversation he should happen across, regardless of what it may have been about or whether he was invited to it, just to make sure that everyone's attention is focused exclusively on him, rather than on whatever stupid, unimportant, non-Oogie thing they might have been wasting time discussing.  Oogie's obsession with himself is not to be underestimated.  The clan battle standard is really just a crude painting of Oogie's own face leering down on his enemies from above.
His obsession with size carries over even to the weapons his followers are armed with.  Oogie himself carries the largest sword he can wield, and insists that all his boys fight with two-handed weapons because he believes the long-handled cleavers and bashers make his troops look bigger and scarier.
Its hard to say if there is any merit to this theory, but Oogie believes it, and what Oogie says goes.
Oogie works more or less constantly to increase the size of his following, so, while still a minor chieftain, he may not remain small fry for long.
Here for your viewing displeasure, are some of Oogie's warriors preparing to march out to join the horde of the Black Orc Warlord known as Big Blackie.
This is September's addition to Big Blackie's horde.  Back in May I set myself the goal of painting at least one unit or group of characters each month.  I actually managed to keep this pact with myself and am now in a good position to try to blitz-paint my way to 3,000 points during the month of Orctober.  All other painting projects will be put aside next month in the interests of getting Big Blackie's horrid horde finished; nothing but Orcs and Gobbos next month!  November will be spent painting baggage trains.  I need one more Orc baggage section and two for Chaos.  I already have all the bits and figs assembled for the Chaos wagons and the hideously mutated baggage tramps.  It's a pretty sweet project...I hope you'll like it!  Then...sometime around Christmas or New Year's...Big Blackie's horde will clash with Aulech Henschblutt's Chaos raiders in a great big 3k pt battle report!  This project has stayed on schedule so's to hoping it'll reach the finish line more or less on time!
Marching Out!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Rogue Trader: Dead Men Space Marines Chaplains and Dreadnought

From a manuscript discovered in the depths of the Scriptorum, the Emperor's Palace, Terra.

To:  His Excellency The High Inquisitor Josephes T'Rasque.
From: Yacobe Scrivenius


I have uncovered a little more information on that chapter of the Astartes known as the Dead Men, which I hope will be of interest to you.  Please find enclosed a selection of photo cells depicting Brother High Chaplain Willym Pil Grimm, another, un-named Chaplain and a Contemptor class dreadnought of that order operating in support of Marines of the Fourth Company against Voldraddi heretics on Geminion Prime.  
My recent researches into the Dead Men Space Marines have uncovered a number of curious, possibly heretical customs practiced in the Chapter.  One is the fact that the High Chaplain is always named Willym Pil Grimm after the first Chaplain to be appointed as spiritual leader of the chapter, and of whom hundreds of legends and tales are told amoung the Dead Men.  Chaplains are also present  in greater numbers than amoung most chapters, are more prominent in battle, and suffer higher csualties than is common elsewhere.
 My analysis of the Chapter's combat strength revealed the presence of an astonishing number of Dreadnoughts, of which the Contemptor Class suit shown here is a good example.  Dead Men often paint their Dreadnoughts in the likenesses of the fallen battle-brothers they house.  The prevalence of Dreadnoughts amoung the Dead Men might be attributed to some of their strange beliefs regarding the nature of time. 

 For even the most devout Marine, the idea of being entombed for centuries in a suit of Dreadnought armor may well give pause.  For the Dead Men, who seem to believe themselves already dead and buried, the claustrophobic prison of the suit holds few terrors.  Indeed, most references in Dead Men literature seem to exult in the idea of revenant Marines returning to rend and crush the enemies of his living brethren from his iron coffin.

I still have a little food and water left, and plenty of battery power.  I hope to be able to send you  a good deal more information on the Dead Men soon, as well as a detailed history of the wailing reach.
A tech Marne shepherds his charge into battle.
Willym Pil Grimm leads a detachment of Marines against traitor regiments on Geminion Prime.  The presence of the legendary Chaplain has been known to drive nearby Marines into a terrific killing frenzies....

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Pit Master Frang's Skavenslave Levy (and a little thinking out loud about my Skaven army)

The very deepest, darkest vaults beneath the Flea Fell are known as the Slave Pits.  Most of those who enter them never see the light of day again.  The few that do are just as doomed.  Each of the great Pits is presided over by a boss, a particularly shrewd, tough and vicious Skaven who goes by the title of Pit Master.
Most slaves, be they Skaven or captured Humans, Dwarves or Goblins, will toil in the inky blackness beneath the Flea Fell until they die, but occasionally a Pit will become overpopulated or a Pit Master will be called upon to bring a levy of slaves to support the Tribe's Warlord clans in battle.
In most cases, the wretched slaves will be used as spear fodder, throw-away troops meant to die clearing a path for the advance of the Clan-Rats, Black Skaven and Storm Vermin. Very occasionally, however, some slaves fight well.  Indeed the sole slim hope any Skaven Slave has of escaping his lot lies in the remote possibility of his being elevated to Clan-Rat status, should certain of the clans be decimated in battle and require recruits to fill gaps in the ranks.  At these times a Skaven Slave who has shown outstanding savagery in combat may find himself 'freed' to serve in the ranks of a Clan Rat regiment...
I've decided I really like painting Skaven.  I've also finally managed to make a few decisions about the look I want my army to have.  I didn't exactly hate the Skaven models I'd gotten painted up 'til now, but I really wasn't super happy with them.  I thought about it a lot and did a lot of poring over photos of Andy Chambers' classic Skaven horde under high magnification.  I was searching for inspiration, and what better place to find some?
Andy Chambers' Skaven Army....Everybody's favorite Skaven army!

One thing.  I decided that the green base edges I used for my other Skaven models don't look really right.  Too bright and cheerful.  Mr. Chambers' bases have a lot of gray on them too and now I can see why he did 'em that way.   I tried using Reaper Stormy Grey on this unit, and I think it is a better with the sort of autumnal grays, browns and yellow/oranges I like to paint my Skaven troops in.
This will mean going back and re-edging all the Skaven bases I've done this far to match, but that won't take long.  My regiment of Black Skaven is another matter, alas.
Skrawchutt Blackmaw's Black Skaven Guard
It doesn't look absolutely terrible, I think.  It just looks really boring.  Much too boring for an elite regiment like the Black Skaven are supposed to be.  The regimental standard is also kind of uninteresting.  Not's just a cut-out arcane armorial, but an elite regiment should have something bigger and more threatening.  So I've decided that I'll give this standard to my second and soon-to be painted Skaven Slave unit, and put together another one for the Black Skaven.  Another thing about this unit... Looking carefully at Andy's army I noticed he'd done a lot of work with little details on clothing and weapons to individualize many of the models and add many micro-expressions of a primitive and savage culture.

Clothing can be seen to have little designs and markings around the hems, hoods are often emblazoned with menacing runes.  Fur is sometimes dyed or marked with dramatic slashes and stripes.  Swords and spear-blades are sometimes given hash-marks which we can assume are 'kill' markings, and spears and halberds sometimes have small pennons attached.  I'd like to add little bits of flavor like this to my elite and Clan Rat regiments.  
The slaves, maybe not so much - I think a drab and dreary look is appropriate for them...which is good, because that's exactly how these fellows came out.
But Pit Master Frang...I've painted him very plain, and he looks okay, but he's a champion and kind of a big deal...he should have something that makes him stand out from his unit.  Again, I find myself thinking that I should have spiced him up somehow....a rune on his loin cloth? Stripes on his fur? Hash marks on the halberd?
 Lots to brood upon...but there's also lots of time...the army's still just getting started.

Til next time, cheers!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Shamans o' Gork n' Mork!

Shown here are several of the most notable Orc and Goblin Sorcerers, Shamans and Witch Doctors of the Black River country.  All are affiliated with the Mighty Black Orc Warlord known only as Big Blackie.  Each is a menace to the good folk of the Baron von Refn's realm, to the Dwarves ofThunder Mount and to anybody else within their reach.
This miserable old reprobate answers to the name Phlegmstrangle Snotblast.  He has terrorized the Black River country for years beyond count.  Indeed, he is uncommonly old for an Orc.  He was a major player amoung the Orc tribal chieftains in the years before the coming of Big Blackie, and fought against the Elder Baron von Refn in the days of the conquest. In recent years his power has waned noticeably but he still commands considerable respect.
Ruggubb Snakelust is undoubtedly one of the most powerful Goblin leaders of the Black River region.  He keeps a harem of Goblin females in his favorite camping spot near Black Butte, and his innumerable offspring have infiltrated every Goblin band in Big Blackie's horde.
He has a great fondness for serpents and the lewd and unspeakable rites he presides over near Black Butte are the highlight of the Goblin social year.  Ruggubb has worked hard to keep the Goblin vendetta against the Baron von Refn's people alive, and has assured them that he will someday lead them to the reconquest of the river's West Bank.
 Ruggubb can usually be found riding in the company of the Goblin warlord known as Willie da Wheela, and his terrifying magic powers greatly enhance the fighting reputation of Willie's already greatly feared squadron of Goblin Wolf Chariots.
Few Orc reputations inspire anything like the sort of morbid horror that 'Ol blind Pew Stankbone 's does.  Pew was one of that little band of Black Orc champions that followed Big Blackie out of the Dark Lands a decade ago.    It is said that along the way, Pew discovered a daemon Prince's leg-bone in a Chaos crypt sealed into a cliff-side.  Pew escaped the horrors of the crypt with his prize bone which he then transformed into his magic staff.

Unfortunately for Pew, the staff had come to contain more power than he had imagined possible, and the first time he attempted to use it in battle, the resulting tidal wave of uncontrollable magical force blew his eyeballs right out of his head..  Pew has relied on a combination of Goblin spotters and a weird sixth sense to guide him in the direction of his enemies ever since.  Another result of the magical blast was a nauseating miasma, a horrible stench which emanates from the staff, and which has come to permeate the clothing and the very flesh of Pew himself.  The figure of Pew stalks the nightmares of the Black River folk, and mothers are known to use his reputation to frighten their children into good behavior.
Shown here is the dreaded Orc Shaman Rufuss Drakk.  Rufuss has few teeth and a bad lisp, so the name may be a corruption of something else, perhaps 'Ruthless Jack' or 'Toothless Jack'  No one knows for sure.  Rufuss invariably rides into battle on his trusty three legged war boar, shouting weird incantations and prayers to his dark demonic gods in an almost incomprehensible lisping, mumbling voice.  He often rides into battle with the Orc Boar Boy Gang known as 'Da Pork Pack'. Beware Rufuss Drakk an' da Pork Pack!
This individual goes by a number of names, the most common perhaps being 'Shroomnasty Wolfmelon."  His is known to be a solitary creature who dwells hermit-like in a cave far out in the desert.  He always seems to show up when a fight is in the making, however.  As his name implies, Shroomnasty is a great enthusiast of magic mushrooms and other noxious herbs and weeds, and most Orcs and Goblins of the Black River region turn to him when they need a potion.  (or Poison).
Wuggo Wolfmaggot is just one of several lesser Goblin shamans and wizards to be found running with the Black River Tribes.  Nasty and spiteful, he tends to leave considerable misery in his wake.
 The mysterious Goblin sorcerer known as Spazzgizzard Bilegargle or something equally preposterous. Solitary and almost certainly psychotic, he is best known for his habit of dying his cap and slippers in the blood of his slaughtered enemies.  Much of his power seems to derive from his control of a weird magic talisman known as the 'Bad Sun of Johann Blench."  It is supposed that Johann Blench was a Chaos sorcerer who somehow ran afoul of Spazzgizzard and lost his magic staff to him.  Spazzgizzard has been running amok with it ever since.  Alas.
This lot is my Orc-y, Goblin-y entry for August.  Was a little slow in finishing them, so they are being posted late, unfortunately.  Plenty to choose from here for a 3k point army.  In the end I plan on having an Orc army of at least 6k points, so I figured it would be just as well to do all my Orc and Goblin magic users at once.  Some are obviously proxy models.  I think Wuggo Wolfmaggot is a Black Tree figure.  Ruggubb Snakelust is a Heartbreaker model, though the rest of the model is a kit-bash of different Citadel chariots.  Phlegmsrangle Snotblast is an Old Glory piece.  Ruffuss Drakk is Rick Priestly's fault.  Rick took the Shaman model from the Wyvern Rider boxed set, mounted him on a boar and gave him a red cloak for his Orc and Goblin army.  I liked the figure so much I plundered it shamelessly and made one of my own.