Saturday, 18 November 2017

More non-40k... What is this madness?

I really enjoyed painting the spirit host from my last post - so much so, that an idea started brewing in my head. Ideas are dangerous that way. Before I knew it, I was furiously browsing the web for inspiration, and I got inspired to start dabbling with AoS skirmish - using about 250 pts for each warband. The concept is brilliant for me, since I am a notorious hobby butterfly, so a small warbands are a manageable task, which I should (emphasis on SHOULD) be able to actually finish. Also, I've always had a thing for skirmish gaming - it often makes for better stories in my experience, and the task of setting up and playing isn't as big as it is for a 2000 pts. standard 40k game.

Anyway, here is my Vargheist conversion - I wanted him to have arms, since I thought they looked weird without them - I also shaved off a little of the top of his head, giving him a little less cone-head look:




I also got hold of the Sepulchral Guard Shadespire pack today - what a brilliant bunch of models. Best plastic skeletons I've seen, that's for sure:


The plan for the warband is a follows:

Leader:

Cairn Wraith

Units:

1 Vargheist
1 Spirit Host
1 Black Knight
2 Grave Guard
4 Skeleton Warriors.

I might exchange the black knight for another Grave Guard and a Skeleton Warrior, but we'll see.

As I told you, ideas are dangerous; I've started rummaging through my embarrassingly big bits collection, and I have A LOT of bits for Fantasy, since I've always liked using bits from that range for 40k conversions. I found a Stormfiend kit, and an idea started coming together.

Skweek was born a runt of the litter, which is the same as a death warrant in the Skaven community. Not only was he very small, he was almost hairless, hunchbacked even by skaven standards, and had stumpy deformed limps. He was abandoned, and left to die. By blind chance he managed to survive his first years in the tunnels, scurrying in the shadows and learning the skaven tongue by listening to the chatter of others, though he was still a deformed and measly excuse for a clan rat - by this time some of his teeth had grown through his palate, the way rodent's teeth tend to do when not used enough - and food was a rare luxury for Skweek. He heard the legends of Skweel Gnawtooth whispered and he realised that Skweels story was not unlike Skweeks - although Skweek sorely lacked the legendary packmasters affinity for beasts and giant rats. Still he dreamt of becoming more than just prey for a giant rat in the tunnels...
In time Skweek found the workshops of Clan Skryre, and was amazed at the wonders they produced. When the workshops were mostly abandoned in times of war, he would walk the floors, and marvel at the incredibly technology. He stole small knick-knacks, cogs and whatever else he could get his hands on - as the next few years went by, he built small mechanical devices, and discovered that he had an affinity for technology - and he kept dreaming. 
One day, an opportunity arose, as Skweek saw a slumbering sedated stormfiend awaiting maintenance and upgrades. He knew instinctively that this was his one chance. He patiently awaited till the workshop was empty and acted quickly - his theory was that the shriveled pilots on the stormfiends back depended on his bigger partners vital fluids, but the Stormfiend much less so. He acted quickly and stabbed the diminutive pilot with a shard of metal from the floor and promptly removed the husk from it's seat. Skweek was ecstatic, this was his shot-chance, this was great, nothing could stop-stop him now... Except that he had not thought his plan through. The sedation was rigged to the pilots brain, and with the pilot very much dead-dead, the giant Rat Ogre began to awaken. It rose, and blinked a few times, and Skweek, who had seen the carnage these creatures could cause when running rampage, knew he was done for. It rose above him, 8 times his height, and looked upon him, Skweek readying for the deadly blow. He closed his eyes and... 

Nothing. Nothing happened. He dared to look and saw the rat ogre studying him, sniffing, and then turned away, walking towards a tunnel. Skweek was dumbfounded, even more so when the Rat Ogre suddenly dropped to one knee, then to the floor. He slowly approached the gigantic creature, and when he came close he saw a small dart sitting in it's neck - he had seen these before, a tranquilliser dart Clan Skryre used to avoid... Unfortunate events. A shadow formed behind him, and he turned to run, but was quickly grabbed in a mechanical claw, his throat squeezed hard, he struggled for air and passed out. 

When he woke he was chained, and the Warlock Engineer from the workshop, known as Critch Cinderborn, stood before him. He demanded to know what Skweek was up to. Skweek knew that he was a good as dead now. He had the choice of telling the truth and dying quickly or lying and dying in the torture chambers, so he chose the truth. He told his story as quickly as he could, while the Warlock listened. 

The warlock had watched the entire spectacle from afar, and was intrigued - for some reason the Rat Ogre had not shown agression towards Skweek. This was interesting - could it be that his diminutive size rendered him as little more than the vermin and rats frequenting every corner of every skaven tunnel? No matter what, this was an opportunity to further evolve on the Stormfiend project - the diminutive pilots were a hassle to breed, install and had a tendency to burn out in the midst of battle. Could tiny skaven handlers be the answer? He would have to study this pathetic little excuse for a skaven, and his interaction with the Rat Ogre. 

Much to Skweeks surprise, he wasn't killed immediately after his explanation. Even more surprising to him, the Warlock made him an offer - if he would be part of a new experiment, and train with the Rat Ogre as it's handler, his life would be spared - for now. He took the offer without blinking, yes-yes, for sure, no hesitation, and spent the next months in the training pits of Clan Moulder, learning to handle and steer a Rat Ogre, using bait, simple commands and his spiky stick for getting it's attention - and learning to get out of the way when it grows tired of being bossed around. 

Critch watched the strange symbiotic relationship between the two develop during Skweeks training, and was intrigued at the development - this could surely be a breakthrough in the Stormfiend program, but he would have to make further research, and test the subject in the midst of battle to see if the bizarre partnership would be useful in the heat of battle-battle. As such, he would bring Skweek along on the next few upcoming missions, of course-course with a bodyguard of some his finest StormVermin, should the situation get out of control. 

Skweek was happier than he could have imagined. He had it all; food, a place to sleep, a 10 feet tall bodyguard to fend off any unwanted afflicters - and as he lay down beside the slumbering (though admittedly very foul smelling) Rat Ogre he had affectionately named Rat Pitt, he dreamt of ripping through the enemies of Skavenblight, riding the back of Rat and squeezing the trigger of the gigantic Ratling Cannon on it's back. 

With that wall of text overwith, I hereby present the start of another warband;

Skweek and Rat Pitt:



WIP of course, with the models concept shamelessly stolen from the Trollbloods Dire Troll Blitzer. I'm not sure what the rest of the warband is going to be yet, but I really like this guy.

All comments are welcomed as usual. :)

2 comments:

  1. Love the Vargheist conversion, I've not been fond of their oddly posed winged forearms in the past, I think yours makes for a much better looking creature and figure silhouette.

    I must admit I'm much the hobby butterfly too and end up leaning toward skirmish games for much the same reasons.

    Really enjoyed the Skaven story and accompanying conversion, can't wait to see it develop further :)

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  2. Thanks a lot - yep, skirmish games are easier for us hobby-ADD guys. ;)

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