These Seem Familiar…

After last week’s modern genestealers, I’m back to familiar territory (see what I did there?) this week with two old genestealer cult magi and their tiny psychic shadows. I painted all of these over Christmas 2022 and January 2023, choosing them partly for speed – the familiars especially were quite quick to paint, taking less than a day each – and partly for their quirky, old-school charm. So without further ado, on to the miniatures:

Magus with Scanner

Another present from my wife, this time from our wedding anniversary (our copper anniversary to be exact, so this came with a couple of pots of copper paint, which I confess I did not use extensively for this model). I tried a little object sourced lighting from the scanner (and it’s hard to see, but there’s also a faint, freehand genestealer icon on the screen). I don’t think either of these was entirely successful. I’m also not totally convinced by the blue lining of the collar or the almost entirely white-grey back of the miniature.

I’m not aware of any in-production miniatures that take any cues from this sculpt, which makes it something of an oddity – most of the other magi have modern counterparts.

Despite not quite doing the model justice, this was a lot of fun to paint, and I’m overall happy enough with the result to move on to…

Magus with Staff 2

Surely one of the all-time most iconic genestealer sculpts, featuring in various ‘Eavy Metal articles (bottom right) and (along with his brother, Magus with Staff 1) serving as an obvious inspiration for the current magus. I absolutely loved this model back in the ’90s, and it made guest appearances in my ill-fated, red-era tyranid collection, well after Games Workshop stopped production.

I think I’ve done a decent job of this; the colour palette is rather more satisfying than the first (I’m much happier with the turquoise collar than the blue), the deep purple of the robe – which I’m using sparingly in this cult – works as well here as it did with the locus, and I am particularly pleased with the full-colour genestealer on the staff and the amber jewel on his chest.

And yet… I’m also somehow underwhelmed. I think that because he’s been imitated a few times, I find this design slightly ordinary now. Speaking of being underwhelmed, let’s move along to the last two miniatures in this post…


What can I possibly say about these? They’re tiny genestealers. They’re simple and fun. They have nothing specific that I want to call attention to. I have a third one to paint after I’ve moved house and I’ll need to source another magus to keep it company. What a shame.

What’s coming next week? Maybe another mounted genestealer hybrid, or something from an independent company. Because half the fun in building a cult of gnawing, subversive aliens is in supporting third party designers and sellers, or heavily kit-bashing official Games Workshop products.

4 Comments on “These Seem Familiar…

  1. I really enjoyed this post. I think all of these are painted much better than you appraise them! The object-sourced lighting on the scanner is a stroke of genius and the iconic classic Magus with the staff is easily the most nicely painted example I have seen of this figure. I bought it when it first came out too! Lol Very well done!


    • High praise indeed! I’m happy enough with both of them (and I’m already a slow painter, so “finish up and move along” is a mantra I need to commit to… especially as you’ve just sculpted a hybrid ogre which I need to make space for, buy, and paint ASAP!


    • Thanks Faust! It’s rare for me to stick with a colour scheme for this long, and I’ve tried to keep some variety in the clothes and flesh tones. I’m starting to feel an itch to paint one of them with darker armour instead of the uniform pale grey though…

      Liked by 1 person

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