MOTB: Hive Noon – Second Wave WIP

Finished(ish) product first!

Last time we looked at the finished lot of Hive Noon as it started the campaign, and as the weeks rolled round it became apparent very quickly that there was definitely some room for improvements.

Genestealer Cults are currently one of the most exciting and janky gangs to play with – they have huge variety in their house weapons list, access to psykers, heavy hitters and the ever-hilarious familiars, but their champions really struggle with the killer combination of low movement, Toughness 3 and only 1 Wound.

The expensive poncho-wearing fellas I made for the first wave simply weren’t cutting it in straight-up firefights – they would get singled out and blown away very quickly. I needed more bodies…

Calamity Gene

Frankly, if you aren’t packing at least three hand flamers in a GSC gang, you’re barmy. They’re ludicrously cheap, give you a template Strength 3 Blaze weapon and best of all, you can shoot through your own guys with no fear of setting them on fire thanks to your Hazard Suits. Of course you still have to roll to hurt your own guy – I said their tricks would be dirty, not friendly.

I had a lot of fun making the hammer-fanning Acolyte from the previous wave and wanted something similar, this time going for the draw while firing another weapon. I was running out of regular human arms by this point, so the slightly oversized Acolyte arms would be fine. I’m also absolutely not a fan of Fighting Knives in Necromunda – they’re way overpriced for what they do, but I couldn’t resist the aesthetic…

I was also getting pretty good at sculpting hats at this point – I have a tutorial on how to do it in the first Hive Noon post.

The Lone Render

I’m sorry, Acolytes can get cheap Demolition Charges and Infiltrate? Absolutely 100% yes. Give him the coach shotgun and saw down the barrels to count as a sawn-off if i so choose and we have a perfect weapon of terror. I could resist the opportunity to built a guy RAD SHADES and a big-ass bomb.

In-game this guy didn’t always cause a lot of damage, but the panic he could cause by threatening to pop down a massive Strength 5, Damage 2 large blast template was worth the entry cost alone. I found enemy gangs would commit extraordinary resources to seeing this guy off the table, leaving the rest of their gang unable to stop or slow down my own gang’s advance.

Note to self: run this guy with a regular shotgun next time rather than a sawn-off. Although the aesthetic is delicious, he was so rarely in range to use it.

Stubber Ocelot

The origin story for the gang! The Kelermorph was finally released halfway through the campaign and I snatched him up. I thought I would need to do some complicated shenanigans with buying stub pistols, but apparently even in Killteam those weird revolver-looking things are actually autopistols and therefore easy to purchase from the gang weapon list. Definitely going in the starter gang next time I play with these chaps.

By the time I bought him with in-game creds I had been purchasing some Master-Crafted Autopistols and keeping them in the stash for just such an occasion. Holy heck – easily the best 15 credits you can ever spend. I gave him 3 of them, practically guaranteeing he’ll never run out of bullets (who’s got time to reload?) for a meagre 45 credits, turning him into a short range bullet-bastard who can push out up to six hits on a target per turn. With a BS of 3+ and Master-Crafted allowing him to re-roll misses, he would put people on the ground for his familiar to run over and curb stomp them.

Jonah Fex

Another body, this time to take advantage of the cool sabre chainswords I picked up from Anvil Industry and hadn’t got round to putting on a model yet. Chainswords are great for scrubs, the +1 to hit, Parry and Rending gives regular mooks the edge in combat for a very respectable 25 credits.

Escher arms were used on this guy, as they looked lean and lanky enough to work with the GSC aesthetic, plus I really liked the long-handled las pistol and thought it suited the gang’s theme.

Green Stuff moustache was, of course, a necessity.

Strong Wayne

Genuinely can’t believe it took me this long to pick up an Aberrant! I picked him up late to the party, not particularly impressed by the two-handed hammer or power pick combo that the stock models give you.

I equipped him with a cheap axe and flail, 30 credits total. +1 Strength with both weapons, one has +1 to hit and Flexible, the other has Disarm, and taking both pumps his Attacks up to 4 when he charges. Turns him into a machine that turns gangers into paté. He played 4 games and racked up 8 kills – he’s definitely coming on the roster earlier on next time!

I wanted to go for a hangman/executioner vibe with a big axe and noose, but I couldn’t get the noose to look convincingly like a flail. A bit of rooting through my bits box found some old Warhammer Fantasy tombstones that would work great as makeshift armour just lashed to his side, and little bits of the stone left over would be great attached to a length of chain! It gave him a great sense of motion, even if it did make him look a little busy before he got undercoated.

The Maw With No Name

Acolytes have terrible defense stats, so shouldn’t be treated like normal Champions (ie front line fighters and weapons platforms) and instead, in my humble and evil opinion, be deployed liberally, cheaply and sneakily. Give your opponent a lot of low-value but utterly frustrating targets to play against – the key here is the Cunning skill tree that all Acolytes get access to. I used Infiltrate for the Lone Render further up, and for this guy I opted for Overwatch.

Given a cheap long-range weapon (I picked Hunting Rifle from the rare trader for the extra strength and knockback, but a store-bought Long Las will work too), a pistol or two for backup, and sit him somewhere out the way ready to cause headaches .

GSC excel at area denial – a combination of Infiltrate, Overwatch and cheap hand flamers mean you can push and pull enemy gangs to where you want them to be – forcing them out into the open to pick them off, or bunching them up so you can charge them with your combat characters. The fear of getting shot with something is often more powerful than actually getting shot by something!

I broke ranks and gave this guy a hat too – he was wearing a poncho on his legs instead of his top half and I felt his top half was missing anything westerny.

The weapon is from a 3d printed batch of 54mm scale weapons I picked up a while ago, that weirdly fit this guys hands just perfectly.

One of my favourite things about Necromunda is building models to fit the gang as it grows – usually in response to purchasing new toys for the gang, the effectiveness of certain combinations or the need for extra bodies. It’s incredibly time consuming, often rushed and means many of my other projects have to go on hold, but it’s extremely rewarding to watch the gang grow in this way.

Stay tuned next time for the painted pictures!

MOTB: Hive Noon – First Wave

Hive Noon First Wave banner
Finished product first!

Last time we looked at the WIP of Hive Noon, my latest Necromunda gang, and the tribulations involved in hand-crafting tiny cowboy hats. Wowee, I sure hope I won’t be painstakingly assembling any more tiny hats in the immediate future, thought I. Welp, let’s wait and see what’s on next week’s MOTB agenda eh?

For now, let’s enjoy the original gang in all their glory, ready to get stuck in to their first game.

Baron Clint Von Beastwood

With the colour scheme strongly in mind, the Baron was one of the easier models to pick colours for. The tricky part was tying it in with the rest of the gang, many of whom did not have large amounts of cloth.

I needn’t have worried – the skin tones, washes and base tied him in very nicely with the rest of the crew. A heavy application of gloss varnish on his tentacles moustache finished the look off nicely.

Billy the Nid

Inspired by the cowboy himself, I had decided to freehand all the designs onto the Acolyte’s ponchos. What I originally thought was going to be the world’s biggest ball-ache turned out to be actually rather pleasant. The South American flavour of design meant lots of straight lines and square spirals – something that lends itself quite nicely to freehanding onto complicated fabric shapes.

Deathspitter dan

The Neophyte flesh tones were a very pale flesh tone washed with Druchii Violet ink, then highlighted again with the same pale flesh colour. Some areas needed a little wet blending to avoid them looking too high contrast, but overall I’m pleased with the effect.

Biovore Bill

They were undercoated in Army Painter leather brown, which aside from going on extremely thicccc is a very pleasant shade of brown to work from, easily taking washes or highlights and allowing you to cover a lot of the model very quickly. The dusters were done by applying two washes – black and brown – one after the other and giving it a light drybrush to give it a beaten leather effect. Other sections of the model were given lighter touch with a sepia wash and generally left at that!

I was pushing hard for my ‘finished, not perfect’ mantra for these guys – I knew I would be adding more to the gang as the campaign rolled out and I didn’t want to be stuck painfully wetblending my 14th cowboy jacket…

Jesse Genes

The same ‘Finished Not Perfect’ principle was applied to the metal. I’m really, really bad at resisting the urge to edge highlight but I’m glad I did – it would have been nightmarish on this many little fiddly bits. The metals were done with a medium metal colour and washed with Agrax Earthshade to mucky it up a bit, then Athenian Camoshade to give it an uncomfortable green hue.

Lashy Luke

Darn. You only notice that tiny bit of cotton wool fluff days after taking the photos and packing away all your minis.

The lash was a pale flesh colour, washed with Reikland Fleshshade. Once that was dry, a deeper crimson wash was added to the tip, and ‘artfully’ blended with my big sausage fingers rather than bother with any of that glazing nonsense.

Brood Cassidy

Probably one of my favourite conversions, it’s simple but dynamic, and the combination of goggles, rebreather/scarf and cowboy hat gives him a wonderful post apocalyptic vibe. He could easily stand in as an informant or crook NPC. The goggles were done with a dollop of yellow paint and a light orange wash.

Old One-Eyed Charley

Another simple conversion, but I never quite got the kink out of his gun. I wanted all of them to look like they were wearing jeans (gold star cowboy attire) so these were painted in Ultramarines Blue with a light Agrax wash and highlighted with bone colours blended into the blue to make it stand out from the genestealer flesh.

Quick Draw McClaw

Another poncho, this time a nice earthy orange but still with the same straight lines and square spirals to tie it in with the overall aesthetic. I gave both ponchos a light wash of sepia over the top to bring all the hues together.

Final thoughts

I was very, very happy with how the whole crew came out. Inspired by a single model (that hadn’t even had a release date announced at this point) and a niggling idea to give him some friends to play with, I’d built this bunch of weirdos from the ground up. I could already tell I was going to have a lot of fun roleplaying this lot and I already had a dozen new ideas for minis! Roll on Wave 2…

MOTB: Hive Noon WIP

Finished product first!

Back in the wistful days of early 2018 a particularly interesting model turned up in blurry previews of the new (at the time) Genestealer Cult – a mysterious three-armed gunslinger. Perfect conversion fodder, we all thought. I’d never really been into the purple-skinned freaks before, and any interest in the model was strongly around it’s potential as something else.

Until someone said to me “All he’s missing is a hat and he’d be a great cowboy alien”, and something stirred in me that refused to die – I needed to make a gang of cowboy aliens for this guy to hang around with. The GSC gang from Necromunda was weird and wonderful, and had access to some delightfully shonky gear and skills that would make them perfectly thematic.

But how does one go about building cowboy aliens? Cue the Kill Team box set. It had all the necessary genestealer arms, heads and legs, and a bunch of great space guns and leather dusters from the Mechanicus part of the kit. Smashing them together would be easy, right?

round peg, square hole

The first two models I put together as testers went together a dream – the heads and arms worked surprisingly well with the Mechanicus torsos, I only had to shave a little off the underarms to make them sit flush against the body.

First lad sketched together

The legs were another story though. Apparently Skitarii must all be a size zero because holy heck those hips are small. The GSC legs are almost twice the width of the aperture in the AM bodies so a LOT had to be painstakingly shaved off every set of legs to fit each body.

Fancy cowboy-looking rifles from the Mechanicus sprues

I was happy with the concept. All of them had their dusters bashed up a bit with a pin vice and craft knife to make them look a bit weathered, and I made sure to cut off any Mechanicus symbols on the chest and the rear backpack nubbin and replace them with armour plates from Anvil Industry.

In fact, much of the extra parts came from Anvil – I wanted lasguns that looked more like rifles, but I didn’t want to shell out top dollar for Krieg bits or the new Blackstone cultists. I had an issue finding proper ‘pistol’ laspistols and in many cases just ended up tacking a las muzzle onto the end of a gun to make them look sci-fi.

This fella’s gun was bent so needed a touch o’ the flame to correct it

Some poses worked really well – the Mechanicus torsos have so much movement in the flappy bits that I feel gets lost with all the other gubbins the models have.

Some parts didn’t fit quite as nicely together, but that’s what green stuff is for!

As a rule, I try to avoid making gangers with the same equipment. It makes every model interesting to create, and it helps me pick them out on the tabletop when I’m still learning everybody’s names. GSC got access to shock whips, which I thought was thematic for cowboys even though the rule were garbage.

Unfortunately/fortunately the rules for Versatile weapons changed when I was basically finished building the gang, making shock whips and shock staves SO much more effective. Many of my Acolytes are likely to have a slight adaption done to them before their next bout…

Pew pew pew!

I tried to equip my Acolytes cheaply as they’re pretty much glass cannons. With Toughness 3, 1 wound, Movement 4 and only a 6+ save they’re no more survivable than the regular mooks, but because of their nature they have a big “SHOOT ME” sign above their heads. Multiple arms gave me an option to try out some exciting poses for them, including this hammer-fanning guy that I’m particularly proud of.

Then there was the boss – with the Necromunda Genestealer Cult you get a choice of two – a souped-up version of the Acolyte (on paper the better option) or a psychic guy who can make enemies shoot their teammates through walls (utterly garbage statline). There was, obviously, only one option for me.

Using the Warhammer Necromancer as a base, he got a genestealer squid-face and the Serpenta pistol from the Adeptus Mechanicus Magos kit. His staff was carefully replaced with the majority of a force staff from the Grey Knights kit and topped with the GSC icon.

All that was left was the easy part (what a fool I was) – making hats.

Suits you, sir

No self-respecting alien cowboy would be complete without a proper cowboy hat, and there must be dozens of 28mm cowboy hats floating round on the internet, right?

After several weeks of fruitless searching (apart from one paltry TTcombat offering) I resigned myself to having to make all the sodding things out of green stuff. I tried a number of different ways, but this one worked the best for me in the end.

Step 7 complete!
  1. Make a little ball of green stuff and smoosh it thin onto a flat surface, lubricating the underside with a bit of water to make it easier to peel off.
  2. Let it cure for about half an hour.
  3. Cut a hole in the middle where the head will go (I used the little protector tube from the end of a brush).
  4. Gently peel it off and place it on the head of your intended victim
  5. Using all four of your arms, cajole, corral and stretch the brim to fit over the head. I used a tool in each hand and had to bluetack the model to my desk, your mileage may vary.
  6. Apply a little tab of superglue at the back and front to keep it in place.
  7. Apply the trademark bend to the brim and leave it to dry.
  8. Put a little blob of superglue on his head and apply another little ball of green stuff.
  9. Gently smoosh the green stuff into the shape of the upper part of the hat, paying attention to actual hat references to get the trademark bumpy bits correct.
This one was more Clint Eastwood than John Wayne

Luckily there are so many different types of hat people associate with cowboys, not just the traditional ten-gallon, so it was very easy to turn happy accidents into different hat styles. Doing the hats was extremely frustrating but rewarding, although I might have sent some of these guys into orbit if I was trying to make them all look uniform.

All that was left was to fill in any spaces and make the rest of the hats!

Biovore bill

One of my favourite conversions, I was pleased with how his hat came out and how well all the bits fit together. I wanted a second guy with a lasgun for ranged support but needed something to fit the left hand that wasn’t just a boring pistol. Weirdly, GSC get hand flamers super cheap, so I thought I’d take a punt.

Turns out this guy ended up being MVP more times than I could count. He maybe fired his lasgun twice during his life, but that hand flamer racked up more bodies than I could keep count of. It’s a cheap template weapon that messes up a front line, causes panic and sets people on fire and I absolutely should have more of them in the gang!

Lashy Luke

Taking no small inspiration from Stinky Pete the Prospector, Lashy Luke was my attempt to make a more aged-looking fellow.

Weirdly his shock whip ended up being most effective in defense – people would charge him to negate its effect and he’d annihilate them with a counter-attack.

The Acolyte arms were a little long, but I don’t think it made much of a difference. If anything, it added to the slightly weird proportions of the minis and made them even odder-looking.

Brood cassidy

You can’t have a team of cowboys without a gunslinger! The original plan was to have mostly stub weapons in the gang for A E S T H E T I C reasons, but it proved to be far more complicated as they’re not in the gang list – they’d have to play their first game to get access to the Rare Trader to purchase stub guns from the common list.

Bit cheesy and meant a lot of guys would have to sit on the sidelines for the first game. Not really work the faff when you could just get revolvers and smash some las muzzles on the end.

Old One-eye Charley

You might be sensing a slightly Niddy theme with the names here…

I loved how his hat came out. Old One-Eye (Charley) ended up being a staple in most of the games, standing at the back and keeping rival gangers pinned down.

Stirland Mud was also applied around the hem of their dusters before undercoating to give them more texture – I intended on doing most of these guys with drybrushing techniques so the more texture I could give them, the better.

Deathspitter Dan

Pew pew, long las! My preference is for the hunting rifle as you get the Knockback trait too, but the long-las was a healthy (and cheap) addition to the long-ranged firepower. I had considered grenade launchers many times because they’re so darn good, but decided in the end to go strictly with the aesthetic. Handsome rough-toughs out on the prairies…

He also got a particularly fancy moustache, as nothing says “praise the regular two-armed emperor” like facial hair.

Plenty of nicks and scratches on the dusters to break up all that flat surface.

Quick Draw Mcclaw

Time for some clawbois! I think this guy was originally intended to be a duel pistol wielder, but when I acquired the arm set with the power sword and needle pistol, it was too good an aesthetic to pass up. Yes it makes him super expensive, but cool models always kill more right?

I wanted the Acolytes to stand out from the mooks, but fit in with the gunslinger when he arrived. The classic Clint Eastwood poncho demanded I make ponchos for my champions.

Making them was surprisingly simple, and way easier than the bloody hats. It followed similar steps to making hats, just with a larger amount of greenstuff. Roll it out flat but more of a rectangle than a circle, and cut a much larger hole in the middle.

Before it gets peeled off, take a blade to the edges to make them look like tassels. After leaving it to cure for 30 minutes or so, peel it off and apply it over the head of your guy. making sure to bend it just enough to give it plenty of life. Nobody likes a limp poncho.

It was fine that it looked a bit scruffy – they’re supposed to be weather-beaten after all. I had HILARIOUSLY told myself I would freehand on the Peruvian/south american design to give it more of an Eastwood feel.

Billy the nid

I hadn’t worked out how I was making the ponchos before assembling the models. Who has time for planning? It makes the improvisation stage less interesting.

Some models had to have their ponchos in more ‘dramatic’ poses to get around the fact I couldn’t stuff it down between their arms and chest…

This guy is definitely getting a shock whip in the future. The power pick is nice for killing high-toughness targets, but the 3″ Versatile range of the shock whip is invaluable for Acolytes in making use of their high WS and Strength and actually getting them into combat.

If GSC get a re-do (which they are rumoured to) I’d like to see a movement increase for these guys. I don’t mind them being glass cannons, I object to them being slow glass cannons.

Baron Clint Von Beastwood

And my favourite evil villain, the Baron.

I couldn’t resist the opportunity to make a Dastardly Whiplash-type villain that I could enjoyably ham up all my evil deeds with. I couldn’t even get made if I lost, because despite how dastardly my plans might be, he’s always destined to fail in a spectacular and hopefully amusing way. Such is Necromunda!

He has a battered top hat and a “moustache” made of tentacles, and I reasoned he gets away with being a real-life human because of all his mind-control powers. Plus, it gives him something to twirl when everything is going According To Plan.

It’s hiiiiive noon

I’m very happy with how the whole squad came out, and as the Necromunda campaign unfolded more fighters were added to the roster. I can’t wait to show them off as well!

Until then, here’s a sneaky peek: