I’m not sure if I’m so much back after another long absence, or if this is just another in an emerging pattern of long, image-heavy posts with months between them. Let’s get straight into it. about a year ago my friend Owen asked if I wanted to play Necromunda. “No”, I replied, “it fills me with fear to think about handling my miniatures after I’ve painted them”.
But whether it’s because I’m quite keen on the ‘new’ Games Workshop genestealer models, or because I’ve rather liked them since the early ’90s, or just because if I’m not going to play a game I’d rather it be by choice than necessity, I started to collect a small gang. And to make that more complicated, I decided that, in keeping with the model-agnostic ethos of the old genestealer army, they’d be a mix of third-party, old, and modern models: Tertii Imperatoris Cultus, the Cult of the Third-Party Emperor.
There’s around 140 images in this post so I probably won’t spend long writing about any of them. Anyone who knows anything about genestealers knows that they’re headed up by a patriarch. Today, the patriarch is a sleek, sinuous apex predator with razor sharp claws and a visible brain. But back in the early ’90s he was a corpulent gangster sculpted by the inimitable Bob Olley, with rings on his fingers and his arse on a throne. I made the obvious choice.
Unpainted, complete, or in a blister pack these sell for silly money on eBay, but I managed to snag a painted one for not too much, stripped the paint with multiple baths in Dettol, acetone, and an ultrasonic bath. I decided to keep the paintwork simple and let the excellent sculpt speak for itself, then mounted the whole thing on a 50mm base (that I’d had to shave some detail off to make it fit).
Genestealer purestrains have stayed fairly consistent in their design since the early ’90s. Here’s a comparison of different eras: the original lead model (with lead arms and a ‘ribbed’ head), a ’90s Space Hulk plastic ‘monopose’ model, a contemporary plastic model (a gift from my friend Owen), and a fan sculpt ‘space slug’ based on the artwork in Rogue Trader.
Genestealers cross-breed with humans to make hybrids, because they’re virtual xenomorph rip-offs. Here’s a selection from various sources and eras. The stand-out, for me, is the Bob Olley hybrid riding a cyboar. It’s not a great fit, but the cyboar was almost the first miniature I ever bought (that honour instead going to an ambull) so I was excited to paint one at last. Obviously almost as soon as I finished painting it, I dropped it, the weight of the lead snapping his plastic arm in two places. Oh well.
The rest are a mix of old Games Workshop / Space Hulk plastic, Uscarl miniatures from their ‘Sci-Fi Mutant Brotherhood’ range (sculpted by Bob Olley and Kev Adams) and a fan sculpts that I found on eBay or Facebook and liked the look of.
This probably didn’t need a section of its own. Inspired by an (as far as I know) unreleased miniature, and there’s a recent plastic version from Games Workshop. I love the use of the plastic flyer base as a dome over the map table, and I’m very happy with my freehand painting on the robe.
What cult leader wouldn’t have a couple of dangerous creatures as pets? Here’s a ‘gene-ripper’ alien bear from CP Models, a small freebie goblin that they sent with it, and a Forge World ‘sumpkrok’. All excellent fun to paint, and I’m particularly happy with the ‘krok.
Edited: I uploaded a photo of the gene-ripper to a Facebook group, and the sculptor – James Barnes – liked it! Enough that he’s asked if it can be used on the sales page at CP Models. So, I hadn’t written much about this, what with it being a very picture-heavy post, but I’ll add this: I’m not sure if I bought this primarily because I wanted an alien bear, or all the available third-party alien hybrids. Either way, I liked the size of the thing and the hand-sculpted quality; digital sculpting certainly produces some fine detail, but there’s a quality to traditional artwork that I love.
It’s a slightly harder metal than I’m used to (or that might just be the thickness of it) and it’s a heavy piece. So I found it a little tricky to prep for painting, but it was well worth the effort. There’s some lovely big textured areas; obviously the fur, but also the armoured carapace and smooth claws. I fell properly in love with it as soon as I painted the face, which is just so expressive. And has a shallow mouth, which I’ve come to realise is a real gift.
Coming to the end now, some Kev Adams goblin hybrids from Uscarl Miniatures, and a hybrid ork from Knightmare Games…
… and various work-in-progress shots of a small diorama that I built to display them, thinking at the time that this would be a short project. I used a mix of bought terrain, wood, model railway supplies, plumbing and electrical supplies, silver spray paint and weathering powder.
I’ll close with a couple of group shots and no further comment.
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Fantastic work! I made a post about this project on my FB page! Tremendous job, Joseph!