Friday, 22 February 2019

Middlehammer Legacy Project 2019 - Warhamer 40,000 Super Villains!

I'm very proud to announce the Middlehammer Legacy Project 2019: WH40K Super Villains!

The idea of a Legacy Project is that each person paints and contributes one miniature to a themed/colour schemed group of miniatures, and then there is a lottery to decide who wins the group as a legacy of the project.
All are welcome to get involved and all you have to do is contribute one of the models for the project, painted, and if desired converted, complete with a short back story and Warhammer 40,000 stat line.

If you want to see what we have done in previous years you check out the 40k Mercenary Strikeforce from 2017, and the Warbands of the Weird and Wonderful from 2018, but as this is shamelessly stolen from inspired by the Oldhammer Legacy Warband competition that Axiom, from the most excellent Magpie and Old Lead, ran a few years back, even down to me nicking the format for the rules below (thanks again to Axiom for his advice on putting it together), I strongly recommend you check out their previous projects too.

So here are the key facts for this year's challenge:

1) Theme for the project - Warhammer 40,000 Super Villains

Hell yeah! The bad guys of WH40K rule! This year's theme picks up on a suggestion from previous years to focus on the bad guys. More specifically the them would be 40K super villains, or as a fellow admin put it - a WH40K Suicide Squad!

Any race from the Warhammer 40K universe can be included, provided the overall finished mini ties into the WH40k Super Villains theme and fits the colour scheme.

2) A main colour and a secondary colour that will tie each model together in the finished group.

This is still to be decided in discussion with participants, although I do have a suggestion that I think is in keeping with the Middlehammer period ;)

Here are some key questions and answers about how the project will run:

How does this Legacy War Band thing work anyway?
All participants agree to paint and contribute one model to the pre-agreed theme (decided via the Middlehammer facebook page) of Warhammer 40,000 Super Villains. You paint the model and post it to your friendly neighbourhood organiser (me - Paul/StuntCat). All contributors are entered into a draw, and the winner out of the hat wins the whole squad for their collection!

NB: I am going to contribute a mini, but I won't be putting my name in the draw.

If we are really lucky and get loads of entries then we may split the minis into two squads and have two different winners like we did last year :)

What's the time frame involved?

The project starts as of Sunday 10th February and painting/modelling time lasts two and half months so you should have your model completed by end of April 2019. Models to be with me (in Bristol, UK) by Friday 10th May 2019, with the draw taking place as soon as possible once I have all the entries in.

What models can I contribute?

Anything that you think fits with the theme of Warhammer 40,000 Super Villains/Suicide Squad. All Warhammer 40,000 races are permissible, as are Demons and Mutants. The basic idea is that it is inspired by the Middlehammer period of 40,000 (whatever that means to you!)

It doesn't even have to be Games Workshop really, if you have something from another range or manufacturer then all good as long as you can make it fit the theme. Metal, plastic, or resin minis are all acceptable. Conversions are definitely welcome, but again, not essential. If people want to branch out into small vehicle or animal mounts, or some random chaos spawn, then that is all good too!

How will this squad of space faring psycopaths look coherent?

Firstly, the colour scheme will be decided via the Middlehammer Facebook group by the people participating. Secondly, and again taking our lead from those who have gone before us, the winner does the basing for the squad. This will ensure that a) the Strikeforce is coherently based and b) the squad fits into their own collection.

Primary colour =  BLACK

Colours/finishes of armour, weapons, skin colour, straps, gear and so on are all up to the individual painter to select.

What about Basing?Please use a plain black round base of the appropriate size for your model. The winner can then finish the basing to their liking once they get there lucky hand on them!

How do I take part?

You can register by responding to the post in the Middlehammer facebook group, or in the comments below this blog post
How will the project work?

1.Participants need to register what model they will be contributing via the Middlehammer page as above. This blog will be updated with details as we go along.
2. Completed models, with a plain black round base of appropriate size, need to be sent to me (Bristol, UK) at the participants expense, and received by Friday by Friday 31st May 2019 (postal address to be supplied privately to participants).
3. Each model to be accompanied by a name, short back story (200 words max), and a Warhammer 40,000 stat line (via email or facebook message).
4. The draw will take hopefully take place before the end of May.
5. The winner will be announced here and on the Middlehammer facebook group as soon as the draw has taken place. I will send the completed Squad to the winner via recorded delivery (at my expense), hopefully to arrive by end of May 2019.
6. The winner posts a picture of them enjoying their new minis on the Middlehammer facebook page with a massive cheesy grin and a big thank you to everyone who took part! 
7. It would be great if the winner would also be up for writing a short post to go with said pictures and cheesy grin, saying how they are going to use and enjoy the minis, but not if they really don't want to.

If you have any other questions please feel free to ask in the comments below, or on the Middlehammer face book group - Cheers!

Friday, 8 February 2019

2018 Yearly review... Yes, I know, I know it's late!

I feel like I can't get the blogging monkey off my back until I do this, so here goes, even though it is now February.

1. Add at least 2000 points spread across both my High Elf and Orc and Goblin armies by the end of the year. No, but I don't mind because I played more games of WFB in 2018 than I ever have before with the painted Orc and Goblins and High Elves that I do have. This included 4 games of WFB5 in 2 days at the excellently enjoyable Middlehammer meet up at BIG in Bristol back in September 2018.

I did get some minis painted towards this goal but nowhere near the 2000 pt total.

Eltharion on 'Storm Wing' drew the ire of Chris from Macrocosm by wiping out his Chaos Dwarf artillery :)

Finish the main Rogue Quest Project and any associated side projects currently planned.Yes! This goal was achieved back in XXX although it took me until XXX to write the blog post. I do now have more Rogue Quest side projects, some already completed some pending, but that is all good and a sign of a happily expanding project.

More to come from Inquisitor Halleck and his crew of dangerous misfits in the year ahead

3. Complete an all metal (or primarily metal) conversion. 

"This should involve actually cutting into lead! Drilling and pinning, and filling with green stuff. All things which any hobbyist worth their salt should be proficient in, and which I've never had a huge amount of success with, prior to a half a decent fix on a broken Trolls leg earlier this year. I'm reasonably confident, though not very skilled with converting plastic, but working with metal will be pushing my modelling skills."

Although I'm not sure I completed an 'all metal' conversion (plastic will have been involved) I'm very proud to say metal work including cutting, drilling, pinning and filling is now becoming a standard part of my hobby practice, and one I enjoy far more than I ever thought I would. The salvaged War-bot I put together for my Star Bastards project is probably my favourite example of drilling and pinning style conversions. What has become clear however is my green stuff/sculpting skills need A LOT of work.

A teaser for a future post about my Star Bastards project, completed last spring so you should see it around 2021 at this rate

4. Run the Middlehammer Legacy Project for a second year.

Yes! The Warband of the Weird and Wonderful was a great success and as I sit here now writing this in February it reminds me that we should do another one... soon!

Two warbands worth of chaotic craziness from the Middlehammer community - let's do it again!

5. Sell or trade more minis, games, and rule books....Listen, I'm just going to let this pledge quietly die in the corner after four straight years of being unfulfilled. Hush now... It will be better for everyone if it just goes quietly.

So what did I get done?

Well, loads of gaming for one thing, and a fair bit of painting not already shown here, but not much blogging. Here's a list of blog posts either in draft or yet to be started:

Crisis in Caledor parts 3 and 4
Star Bastards
Orktober 2018
Kit-bash Challenge
Rogue Quest - level 7

Hopefully sorting this post out will help me kick start the blogging action again and some of those posts will actually get published!

And what are the plans for 2019?

Well first and foremost, more gaming! Fellow Middlehammerer Ben and I have just launched the St Valentine's World Massacre WH40K campaign and we will be playing our first game next week in Bristol. I'm also signed up for a game of WH40K 2nd ED at BOYL this year so that ambition finally looks like becoming a reality. Then there is the meet up planned in Exeter in September with some of the same crowd from the WFB5 event in Bristol last year, so that should be a good craic too!

Phlegm Greyhorn and his raiding party with two 'Beasts of  Nurgle' (from the Grenadier 1983 Call of Cthulu line)
Apart from carrying on with the monthly painting challenges on the Middlehammer group I'm also taking part in the very excellent Old World Army Challenge with my Nurgle Beastman Warband. It's going to be quite a challenge but I'm already really enjoying it and thee is some absolutely fantastic looking work from the other challengers. I heartily encourage you to check it out!

Well, that's the plan anyway. Now let's see how the hobby muses distract me this year :)

Monday, 28 January 2019

The St. Valentine’s World Massacre

Howdy folks - my mate Ben and I are planning a WH40K 2nd Edition narrative style campaign. It's focussed on Imperials vs Eldar in the first instance, although we have built in scope to widen the field of combatants so nothing is out of scope.

The basic plan is to have a few meet ups over the year to get some games in, and hopefully follow up with some decent battle reports, but we are also going to invite other members of the Middlehammer community to join in the fun and fight their own battles as part of the campaign and Ben even has a 'Cunning Plan'™ to calculate results no matter what system people use so the only thing to worry about is getting some minis on the table, rolling some dice, and coming up with a kick ass story to feed into the campaign!

Here's the background from the Imperial point of view to whet your appetite:

The St. Valentine’s World Massacre

St Valentine’s World, an M Class Imperial Shrine world, is home to the reliquary of St. Valentine the Ever Ready, leader of the ecclesiarchal crusade which recaptured the sub sector from the vile xenos greenskins more than a millennia ago. Some 30+ years before the present day the Orks returned, invading in a great Waaarrrggghhhh that almost swallowed the system whole. Various forces across the sub sector were redirected to the relief effort and St Valentine’s world was held against the odds. A crusader force of space marines from a number of chapters now garrisons the shrine world along with a patchwork of PDF and Imperial Auxillia forces, slowly pushing back against the Ork menace, but never quite purging them fully from the planet. The ongoing turmoil has allowed various heretical and xenos cults to flourish, and rebellious factions to foment…

The Inquisition’s eye was beginning to turn towards St. Valentine’s World even before the sign of even greater calamity to come. The entire astropathic choir of St. Valentine’s World simultaneously broadcast at full power, likely burning out and killing every single one of them, a message of impending doom for the planet and indeed the whole system. That it was spoken by human voices but in the ancient and eldritch tongue of the alien Eldar, made the event even more alarming. Ordo Xenos archeolinguistic technicians poured over possible translations for many hours before presenting the following transcription to their Ordo masters:


“As the echoes of the scream of it’s birth carry across on the tides of the great sea of souls so the Gate of Krynn shall shake. Where once there were three but now are two, there shall be three again, the keys will align and the Gate of Krynn shall open.” 

The enigmatic meaning of the message, and whether such obvious xenos heresy should just be purged from the record and ignored, was still being debated years later when dawn broke over the primary shrine fortress of St Valentine’s World and the pale red light of the local star illuminated a third moon hanging in the sky when previously there were two, fixed in their orbits so that one was always bathing in the light of the star, the other lying forever in darkness in the planet’s shadow. This new moon, a dusky rose red in the early morning light was immediately seen as a harbinger of doom by the local population. They were not wrong… 

The third, alien moon began to have a catastrophic effect on the other two moons and the planet below. Shifted from the previously stable positions the moons accelerated into increasingly erratic orbits and satellites, defence platforms and docking stations were smashed to pieces or thrown adrift into the void. Worse still was happening on, and to, the planet below. Tides changed, the ground shook and buildings crumbled as tectonic plates shifted apart and crunched together under the unexpected gravitational pressures. St Valentine’s World was tearing itself apart!

The planet in turmoil, the remaining Orks rising up in new offensives, Imperial command falters and fragments. It was almost inevitable that the various sects and cults would choose this moment to rise up and add to the growing chaos. Most mysteriously of all, reports of the Eldar started filtering back from outposts and patrols of sightings of great caravans of Eldar and their strange, too tall walkers and floating vehicles traversing the rad-wastes and passing through destroyed and deserted settlements at what seemed like funerary pace, only pausing in their journey to defend against any human or Ork obstruction. 

Enter the Inquisition then, to this strange theatre of war, bringing with them their agents and allies of choice to deal with such a pronounced moral threat. Their retribution for such a monstrous act by the hated xenos Eldar as the destruction of Imperial shrine world would be terrible to behold. 

The stage was set for the St Valentine's World Massacre!

Friday, 23 November 2018

Rogue Quest Level 6: Human Paladin

Yikes! This post is ridiculously overdue - I've had him painted for 6 months but just haven't found the time or energy to write the post. Maybe it is because I've had so much fun with this project that I just don't want it to end? Even so, bearing in mind the project started for me in March 2016, this is definitely a lot later than I had planned!

Rogue Quest centers around building an adventuring party in the style of D&D or Warhammer Quest, but for the Rogue Trader Universer. It has definitely been one of my favourite projects since getting into the Oldhammer scene, and I highly recommend you check out these fantastic blogs where the idea originated!

Magpie and Old Lead

For Level Six of my Rogue Quest project I had always planned to paint the RT era Inquisitor with Power Weapon model as my leader, and I knew I wanted him to be a Paladin.

Rogue Trader: Forces of the Imperium from WD118 (October 1989) - Credit Stuff of Legends for the pic/info

Not only does this conform to classic D&D tropes around which characters end up 'leading' adventuring groups, but it continues with my policy of having as many of my characters as possible also having some spell casting ability (he will be joining a Squat Bard, a Wyrd Beastmaster Druid, an Eldar Ranger, a Xenos Rogue/Psionic, and a Cybork Barbarian, the only one of the group without some form of casting ability in D&D terms)

The rest of The Unit waits for their boss at the rendezvous point, he's typically late...

However, once I finally got hold of him (and as JB from Leadplague noted, this guy is so Rogue Trader he has it written on his tab!) I was actually a little baffled by how to paint him up to both keep him in sync with the rest of the party, but also give him his own sense of character.

He got a grey base coat for his armour and then very nearly went in the stripper for me to start again. I just couldn't find my mojo to paint him, and the mould line in his head that I had tried and failed to do much about (I was too worried about smushing his already pretty smushed features) was really beginning to bug me.

It was only after I decided to paint the mould line like it was a metal plate in his head (he does after all have a bionic leg, so has obviously been in the wars a few times) and finally got some paint on his face that it clicked for me. He looked a bit like Patrick Stewart! The film and TV references suddenly fired across my neurons and I was painting him with renewed gusto! A character was at last forming in my mind. Bonus nerd points if you get all the quotes/references:

The exact circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Inquisitor Leondegrance Locutus Halleck and his young protege remain a mystery, but the report the data adept had complied included a number of interesting pict captures and audio recordings that had caught the readers attention.


34.268.M41. Segmentum Obscura. Planetoid Borg2366 ****

The man in dark grey power armour approached the boy in the alley. The youth had fought viciously, and well, but he was done letting him play rough with his agents. This one had been marked for recruitment, and he could certainly see why.

Inquisitor Leondegrance Locutus Halleck extended his mind at the same time as he extended his hand. His quarry resisted the mental pressure, another sure sign of his potential.

Finally the boy slumped down against the wall.

"Resistance is futile." Halleck intoned. "Your life as it has been is over. From this time forward, you will service the Inquisition."

**** 164.272.M41.
Segmentum Obscura. Ordo Xenos training facility, Planet Arrakis ****

Two figures in black body gloves duel with powered blades and blocky, shifting energy fields. The two clash repeatedly before the larger figure seems to lock arms with his smaller, quicker opponent.

As their fields fizz and spark against each other the blade of the larger, older man patiently breaks through the younger man's defences.

Halleck: "The slow blade penetrates the shield."

Aspirant Arturos: "Would you really have drawn my blood?"

Halleck: "If you'd fought one whit below your abilities, I'd have given you a good scar to remind you."

Aspirant Arturos [laughing]: "I don't believe you!"

Halleck [smiling wryly]: "You may test that assumption at your convenience."

**** 201. 272. M41. Ordo Xenos Fortress Monastery 'Excalibur' ****

Leondegrance: "I saw what I saw! The boy drew the sword. If a boy has been chosen, a boy shall be the new Master!"

Inquisitor Uryenes: "NO, I challenge that!"

Sir Ector, Vet. Sgt. Eagle Warriors, on secondment to the Deathwatch: "The sword has been drawn!"

Uryenes: [to Leondegrance] "Are you with us, or against us?"

Leondegrance: "Against you!"

L to R: inquisitor Leondegrance Locutus Halleck, Inquisitor Uryenes, Death Watch Vet Sgt. Sir Ector of the Eagle Warriors. This pict was captured just before the argument turned to what was the best colour to paint your bases, when things really got ugly!

**** 201. 272. M41. Ordo Xenos Stealth Cutter 'Enterprise' ****

The footage shows a handful of frames of grainy internal security footage before the pict cuts out, presumably as the ships stealth field was engaged.

Inquisitor Leondegrance Locutus Halleck [in command of the ship]: "Tea. Earl Grey. Hot. Make it so. Engage!"

**** END FEED ****

"And there have been no confirmed sightings of either ex-Inquisitor Halleck or the ex-Aspirant Arturos Pendragon in the intervening years?" The man in the command throne intoned in a voice much softer than his hulking terminator armoured frame would suggest, but no less menacing.

"No my lord, only rumours of rumours. The most promising seem to indicate that he has gathered a team of operatives and works to his own purposes in the outer rim and beyond. Of the youth there are not even those scant tidings." The Adept bowed so low in apology its cowl brushed the floor.

"No matter. Now that I am Master of the Ordo in this sector we will soon hunt down our renegade brethren. The old Master was mistaken in not pursuing the matter as soon as I brought it to his attention immediately after the incident. I will not make his mistake."

Turning his attention back to the adept in front of him Master Inquisitor Uryenes smiled a smile that did not reach his eyes.

"You have done well adept. You may go back to your duties knowing you have served the Emperor's purpose."

He waited long moments for the adept to bow and retreat across the expanse of polished marble flagstones between the throne and the great arched doors to the audience chamber. As the booming echo of their closure subsided Uryenes activated his comm link.

"Lieutenant. Have your men escort the adept to the Apothecarion for mind wipe, and then send my Interrogator to me. You will be going on a little hunting expedition I think."

Rogue Inquisitor Halleck leads his team off on their next adventure across the stars!

So! Now we have a full party, a plot, and an ever expanding list of dramatis personae - some from my existing collection and others still to be cast (i.e. others which present an excuse to buy more minis!), and the Rogue Quest project turns out not to be finished after all! Huzzah!

Plans are afoot for more NPCs and bad guys, and a narrative game of some sort for these epic space faring adventurers is looming large in my mind.

Thanks for reading this far! Stay tuned for Space Skeletons and Zombie-Cyborg Ogryns in the next exciting installment of Rogue Quest! :D

Thursday, 18 October 2018

My Summer Painting Challenge - Formula Waaaarggghhh!

I need to get the blogging monkey off my back!

It's been way too long since I posted and the half finished articles are mounting up - this is actually sort of a good thing as it means that although I haven't been blogging I have been doing loads of painting, and even better, loads of playing!

It's been an action packed summer and early autumn so far and I've got lots I want to share, so without further ado let's take a look at my project for the Middlehammer Summer Painting Challenge - a GorkaMorka era Kult of Speed for my/my son's 2nd Edition WH40k Ork Horde.

The Summer painting comp ran from June-August, with the simplest of themes - pledge whatever you were going to be working on, post progress at the end of each month, and pledge what you would do for the next month. My son had been enjoying playing Orks vs Space Marines against my mate Shaun for a laugh but was complaining he didn't have any tanks (although he did have his Blood Axe Kommandos steal a broken down Rhino APC in the first game to make up for this deficiency) so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to work on a Kult of Speed.

I'd inherited my younger brothers copy of Gorkamorka about 3 months after he bought it. I got as far as sticking the models together and using them in my largely unpainted 2nd Ork force, although I apparently got as far as spray painting them white. This was fine for the Orks themselves but very annoying for the vehicles. Note to self: all vehicles in future to be undercoated black. I started off with the two Wartraks and the Warbike that came with the box set.

I wanted to stay true to the Kult of Speed being Evil Sunz, so a nice strong red was chosen as the base colour as it would also work with various corroded and rusty, oily metal colours.

These were never going to be painted to anything more than basic tabletop standard, partly because I knew they were going to be played with heavily by my 5 year old son, but also because we were on a time limit - more games needed to be played! I was constantly being monitored by my aspiring Ork Warboss offspring and was getting proper side eye if he caught me working on anything other than Ork vehicles!

Luckily I got them finished just in time for the next Ork vs Space Marine clash where they had a whale of a time driving at full speed off the battlefield only to reappear having missed a turn, but miraculously picking up reinforcements along the way to replace any vehicles that had been destroyed. You can see them above enjoying a spot of pre-battle Formula Waaarggghhh!

I'm not always a huge fan of the GorkaMorka ork sculpts, they are very hit and miss imho, but the metal body for the warbike rider is one of the better ones.

With the success of the June project, and the sheer chaotic joy of the second Ork vs Space Marine battle, the bar was raised for July and I pledged the remaining two Ork Trukks (count as War Buggies in 2nd Ed) from the GM box set, plus two more Middlehammer Era plastic Warbikes.

Still not sure why one box was made landscape and one was portrait, but I do know it caused me cognitive dissonance while working on them.

The Trukks/Buggies got a black undercoat (as did the bikes) and this made the whole process a lot quicker. Not that it was a long and complicated paint job to begin with of course, as demonstrated by the resolute lack of highlighting! However, the choice of a new can of untried gloss varnish did nothing to help the situation and these ended up a *tad* shinier than I had hoped for. In the future that can of varnish is being saved for anything that needs to be safe for marine travel...

The two warbikes were pristine kits so still had their banner stickers, which will do for now although I have to admit I'm not overly fond of them and would prefer some more individual banners eventually.

I upgraded one of the Trukk/Buggies Heavy Bolters to a Heavy Plasma Gun using the weapon from an old Space Crusade Dreadnought that had been knocking around my bits box for years, as the clip on fixing was similar in style to the GM kit. I did actually find the missing Heavy Bolter when looking for the Heavy Plasma, but definitely wanted some variation and some badly needed firepower for the Orks.

I stripped back many of the early customisations and extra bits and bobs when refurbing these, but to keep true to their Gorkamorka origins I kept the shotgun on the back panel - completely impractical though it is - and I'm glad I did as it is my son's favourite bit of the whole set I think :)

August arrived and the grand finale of the project was a Scorcher in need of some serious TLC. There were more early 'upgrades' to remove, and another white undercoat to deal with, but more worryingly was the snotling pump man was missing!

I salvaged the oversized tools from the old Battle Wagon set as deserving of a much more noble purpose at some unforeseen point in the future, and instead sourced some suitable Evil Sunz looking symbols from a fantasy Orc kit, and added some armour panels to the front.

I kept the turret mounted nutter with his double bolt guns, as intended by my teenaged brother many moons ago, deciding that this was too Orky to remove, especially as the turret top is long lost to time. The Gorkamorka bits box came to the rescue again with a Snotling toting an Ork icon who had sadly lost his legs to an earlier attempt at Ork conversion/surgery to a gyrostabilised monowheel. He got some green stuff booties and a new lease of life riding the back of the Scorcher on top of a giant fuel tank.... Look, I didn't say it would be a LONG new lease of life, OK!

I hate painting Chevrons. That is all.

I did have fund painting the Ork Glyphs though, although most of them are hidden behind the driver's head. More of those in the future I think :)

Here they all are, engines revving and raring to go! These are among the most basic paint jobs I've put out this year but this was still, for me, the most successful painting challenge of the year so far as it stemmed from/led to so much great gaming with my son and one of my best mates!

In fact it led directly to my Orctober 2018 project to paint up the old 2nd Ed Bloodbowl monopose Orcs as Formula Waaarrrrggghhhh! Pit crew for the game we had for my son's birthday, which was without doubt one of the most delightfully bonkers games I've ever played - but more on that in another post :)

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Middlehammer Legacy Project 2018 - Project Completed!

Well, there we have it. The Middlehammer Legacy Project 2018 comes to an end after three and a bit months of hobbying and 16 entries from 15 different people from across the UK, and on to Belgium, Sweden, Finland, and the good old US of States!

This years theme was a Chaos Warband of the Weird and Wonderful and the entries certainly fulfilled the brief! With everything from Classic Middlehammer Beastmen and Chaos Warriors, to Alien like mutants, Circus Strongmen, Snakewomen, Minotaur Daemon Princes and bloated Chaos Lords sculpted specially for the project, it certainly is an eclectic mix!

I have to say I'm relieved we didn't get the 40+ entries that initial interested threatened, although it was great to see how much enthusiasm the idea continues to generate, and I'm thrilled that translated into double the number of participants and entries from last year. Many of last year's participants returned for another crack but it was also great to say plenty of new faces taking part.

As with last year one of the best things about the project has been the camaraderie, be it the offers of shipping shields from Scandinavia free of charge to participants in need, or offers to chip in on extortionate international shipping to potentially help people take part, or the consistent levels of support for the other participants shown by all involved. This project is definitely a showcase for much that is good about the hobby, and without question my favourite project of the hobby calendar, so thank you to everyone involved for their part in that!

There was a suggestion early on that if we got enough entries then we might end up splitting them into two Warbands of the Weird and Wonderful. The Purple and Off White colour scheme really has served to tie them all together so they could work as a single war band, but I think there is possibly a natural (or unnatural?) split in the minis that would make this work as two smaller bands (which the two winners may then choose to add to over time if they wish).

The first group are a band of Chaos Warriors bonded to the service of a hideously beautiful Daemon Prince and his/her alien like mutant servants, summoned by a mysterious skull faced sorcerer, all having fallen to the temptations of Slaanesh!

The second group are a foetid bunch of bestial mutants who have embraced the corruption of the eightfold path (several of the minis in this group bear the eight pointed chaos star), following the daemonic guidance of 'The Lady' they have imbued their Lord with the power of Nurgle!

But as you can see below, both bands have been infiltrated by agents of Tzeentch! What plans does the Changer of the Ways have for these roving bands in the long term?

Apologies for the terrible photos that certainly don't do the fantastic paintjobs justice, and further apologies for the poetic license taken with some of the back stories to help make the narrative flow and the war bands come together.

Slaanesh(?) Warband


Hyr'ppppp, Messenger of Slaanesh, Daemon Prince (Gary Lewis)

Heinrich was a state messenger based in Hochland who first came to Slaanesh's notice when he managed to avoid and then kill two champions of Khorne without drawing blood, (a drowning and a suffocation in a landslide). Then he outwitted a snakebodied female champion of Tzeentch in the mirror forest, and finally escaped the clutches of the Nurgle Lord Swole, while his steed died of disease under him. All three times the message got through.

Chaos Gifts: Daemon Prince; Face of a Keeper; Claw of Daemonette; Legs of Steed; Musk of a Fiend; Mark of Slaanesh

The Message: Not trusting the written word Slaanesh's message is a dying champion of Khorne. He will whisper the message in the recipients ear. If not the correct person then his bite is deadly!

Notes: Fear; Mark of Slaanesh (Immune to Psychology); Aura of Slaanesh (4+ Save, require Ld test to strike in combat); Musk (Affects any living creature within 6", victims get -1 to ALL hit rolls); Claw (wounds caused with extra -3 save modifier); Tongue Attack (as per Steed of Slaanesh p53 of Warhammer Armies Chaos 4th Ed.)

Equipment/Magical Items: Spiked Mace, Cursed Book (+25pts); Crimson Armour of Dargon (+25pts); Blade of Sea Gold (+30pts)

Erasmus Schwarzdorn, He Who Serves. (Chester Mike)

The towering Chaos Champion Erasmus Schwarzdorn was once a Captain of the Imperial Navy. During an ill-omened voyage escorting traders to the far kingdom of Ind Schwarzdorn's vessel was sunk by the gargantuan Temple of Spite, Black Ark of Duriath Helbane, and the captain himself taken captive.

For months Schwarzdorn and his surviving crew suffered at the hands of their cruel captors, praying to Sigmar with every waking breath until at last only the Captain himself remained. The great god of the Empire never answered.

In the end, his faith broken and his body spent, the Dark Elves cast him overboard, a tasty morsel for whichever foul creature of the deep got to him first. As he plunged towards the ocean he let out one last cry for help, calling to any god listening to spare him, then vast inky darkness swallowed him. His lungs filling with sea water, the blazing sun growing ever dimmer, he was suddenly bathed in a golden light.

“Serve me and live” a sibilant voice spoke. “Your false god has failed you. Serve me and know the true power of a god”.

With his last strength Schwarzdorn nodded his assent before the darkness engulfed him.

He woke on a strange shore, a white castle with a long curved roof standing prominently on a forested hill not far off. Where he was and how he had got there he did not know but he knew he had a power beyond his comprehension to thank for saving him. 

“Conquer,” the voice hissed once more. “This is my command to you. Conquer this land they call Nippon. Serve well in the name of Tzeentch and rewards beyond your imagination will be yours”.
“I serve.” was Schwarzdorn's reply.

In the months that followed Schwarzdorn began the journey that was to make him the scourge of the mysterious island of Nippon. He gathered an army from amongst the wandering warriors known as Ronin; masterless men despised by their countrymen and eager to follow anyone who gave them a purpose. He supplemented these with the strength of the vast hordes of mutated beasts that stalked the forests, with whom dark pacts were made under Morrslieb's light in rituals best left unspoken. Villages and towns burned, fortresses razed and entire armies of men destroyed as Schwarzdorn's forces ravaged the island. In the Temple of Kamigawa he found the huge flaming axe he now wields whilst his armour was liberated from the vaults of the warlord Mifune.

His forces grow in strength and one after another the lords of Nippon shall fall before his inexorable advance until at last he stands at the gates of the Emperor's palace itself. Maybe after the ruler falls he will return to the Old World but he knows that he is subject wholly to the whims of his inscrutable master, whose plans are too detailed for any mortal mind to comprehend.

Two stat lines for Erasmus as warranted by Mike's brilliant back story. First as a Chaos Lord of Tzeentch as Mike intended:

And for when he is going undercover in the warband as a Chaos Warrior of Slaanesh, no doubt seeking to subvert the whole band to the service of Tzeentch in the ultimate tribute to the Changer of the Ways!:

Equipment: Two-handed Axe (+2 Strength); Heavy Armour (5+ Save); Mark of Tzeentch (Dispel Magic cast against him on a 4+)

Sir Grevous Grant, Fallen Knight, or Aspiring Warrior of Slaanesh? (Tom Young)

The visions started when they died.

I am alone.

Only the Lady gives me solace.

The visions of her have gotten stronger. Blood seems to intensify them. I've seen her, asking for me to be strong - side with the darkness until she comes to save me. But the price is high. Whisperings of pain, loneliness, and guilt rack me, but she says this is but a test.

Side with the darkness.

Show her a way to the Daemon.

Then she will save us.

Equipment: Sword, Heavy Armour, Shield (4+ Save)

Gladius 'the Hacker', Hedonistic Hero of the Arena (AVP Shaun)

GLADIUS! The blood soaked hero of the arena!

GLADIUS! The toxically intoxicated glutton of the pleasure pits!

GLADIUS! The perfume drenched reaver of the harems!

GLADIUS! Worshipper of pleasure and pain in equal measure!

GLADIUS! A man so obsessed with his appearance that he must relentlessly travel the lands seeking more noble ladies to seduce so he can steal their mirkins to add to his giant purple crest!

Equipment: Sword, Light Armour, Shield (5+ Save), Mark of Slaanesh (Immune to Psychology)

The Scrivener, Chaos Sorcerer  (Alex Scriven)

"My word there were a lot of skulls about these days. Far more than seemed to be warranted by the number of actual dead bodies on the battlefield it would seem. And why did the rest of the warband insist on pluralising them with a 'Z'!? As if you needed to spell it 'Skullz' to make them sound cooler?"

As he continued to muse upon the apparent mismatch between ratios of partially intact craniums to other forms of bony battlefield remains, and the peculiarities of linguistic trans-loquation between alternative subcultures, the young Chaos Sorcerer (Undivided, or as he like to put it when asked by fellow zealots of the eightfold path "Undecided") decided that it would be best to put all these skulls to some form of use.

Soon he was decked out in a brand new skull faced mask with added rams horns, and was inviting everyone he knew around to drink from the skulls of his enemies, and listen to his experimental jazz on his Ogre Skull bongos.

When one of the skulls started talking back to him as he sat polishing it he decided he had better listen. Realising it was whispering the incantations to spells even more powerful than those he already knew he sat the talking skull atop his staff and grabbed a nearby engraving tool and began inscribing the words of the spell onto the next skull in the pile.

Soon he had an entire library of spells inscribed on skulls of various creatures large and small, and he had earned himself the title of The Scrivener! But the whispering of the skull never stops and slowly but surely the whisperings will surely drive him madder than the worst gibbering spawn. Is it a price worth paying? Only time will tell...

Equipment/Magic Items: Sword, Heavy Armour (5+ Save), Skull of Katam (From the Warhammer Armies Chaos Box set for WFB4; Allows Lvl 2 or 3 spells to be cast for one power card less, but user risks being driven mad by the whispered secrets of  the skull each time he uses it); Level 2 Magic User.

Askerith, Servant of Slaanesh (Koen Geerearts)

Askerith was a Druchii dancer dedicated to Slaanesh, making her a prime target on Death Night for the devotees of Khaine. She managed to escaped by having her body possessed by a daemonette from the Masque’s troupe who had taken an interest in her, allowing her to weave and slice through her attackers with preternatural skill. To this day, the daemonette still inhabits her, slowly corrupting her physical form; her only chance to weaken its grip is rendering it ecstatic by dancing and killing, thereby loosening its vice-like grip on her body. To this end, she has struck a deal with the Masque, desperately attempting to escape having her soul devoured by dancing and killing her way through whatever enemy has the misfortune to stand before her.

Equipment and rules: Bastard Sword (+1S), Daemonic Aura (5+ Save), Fear, Mark of Slaanesh (Immune to Psychology)

Glaur, Servant of Slaanesh (Stewart Young) 

Glaur had spent a lifetime fighting for the dark gods, a lifetime of battle and war cleaving at bodies to impress them, waiting for the gods to bestow their gifts on him. When they finally did it repulsed Glaur, all that pain and bloodshed for this. Unable return to a semi normal society Glaur now stalks the northern wastes fighting for whichever warband will take him.

Equipment and rules: Spear, Claw (Wounds with extra -3 save modifier) Daemonic Aura (5+ Save ), Fear, Mark of Slaanesh (Immune to Psychology)

'Mad' Marik Trollbiter, Chaos Dwarf Pervert (Me!) 

No Dwarf asked 'Mad' Marik why he joined their band of outcasts and misfits, Trollslayers being a bit like the Brettonian Foreign Legion about stuff like that. Similarly his bright blue hair caused no qualms, and even his chained nipple piercings only raised a few eyebrows, although it might have been that they were the ones with piercings in. No, it was only once the band tracked down their first troll pack since Marik joined them that he started to seem, errr, a touch outre?

The rest of the band decided it was easier to accept his excuse that it wasn't what it looked like and that he was in fact giving the troll a savage bite to the groin before delivering the 'death blow', and to be fair he had then decapitated the thing to prove his point. The excuse started to wear thin after the first half dozen times...
...but it was the incident with that Horny Minotaur in the ruined temple that finally saw Mad Marik 'Trollbiter' expelled from even that most savage of Dwarven fraternities.

Marik headed north in search of more Trolls to err.... bite! Soon he fell to the whispers of Slaanesh on the winds of the Chaos Wastes, abandoning the last vestiges of his former self and getting all new spiky armour and weapons, more in keeping with his new identity. Now he serves in any warband that can muster enough monstrous muscle to catch his eye...

Mad Marik Trollbiter is a Chaos Dwarf (4th Edition, as it is a Middlehammer project) with an extra attack due to his tendency to bite, and a bonus to his initiative due to his experience in finishing clandestine encounters quickly!

Equipment: Spiked Mace, Heavy Armour, Shield (4+ Save), Mark of Slaanesh (Immune to Psychology)


Nurgle(?) Warband


Lord Swole, Chaos Lord of Nurgle (Christian Supiot-Perez)

Lord Swole was looking for a direction in life. Sure he had pledged himself to the glory of the Chaos Gods, but wasn't it about time he made his choice and settled down with one of them?

That first time he had smashed his mighty spiked mace through the face of his enemy he had felt sure he was one of Khorne's boys, but a chance encounter with an alluringly horny servant of Slaanesh some months past had made him think again.

Not only was he denied the secrets of the message, but the hideous bite delivered by the undying champion of Khorne carried by the Bestial Beauty had festered on Lord Swole's face. Convinced that if Khorne was truly with him this would never have happened Lord Swole began to listen to the beguiling suggestions of the one carrying the message and the perverse possibilities that the worship of Slaanesh promised...

Alas, this led to yet more disappointment as in the 10 minutes it took for him to go and get his nipples pierced through his armour to impress his new Mistress, he/she/it had made their escape and left him stood on his own with shiny new nipple rings and a massive... sense of frustration.

As is only natural in such times of romantic rejection, Lord Swole sought solace in food and in drink. He was happy to stumble into the burning remains of a Halfling village being ransacked by a rag tag bunch of cultists and beastmen, and even happier to find a team of the tiny folk outside the village tavern with a cauldron full of boiling pigswill in a makeshift catapult.

"Eat this!" cried the Halfling Chef commander as the crew fired the catapult.

"Don't mind if I do!" Cried Lord Swole as he opened his distended jaw and swallowed the hot mess of rotten garbage in one mighty gulp!

The chants of the cultists and the braying of the beast men were white noise to Lord Swole as he followed up the foul soup with a main course of three halflings still live and kicking, washed down with a tun of Scrumpy Cider, complete with a garnish of floating pigeon droppings and drowned rat bodies.

The chanting became a ritual as the unholy banquet began to roil and fester in Lord Swole's stomach. Some say the cries of the halflings could still be heard above the pained moans of Lord Swole as he led there, holding his bloated gut.

The war band knew they had found their leader. Lord Swole knew he had found his patron. If he could get him through gastric distress of that level without pledging his eternal soul to Malal, then Nurgle was alright by him!

Equipment: Spiked Mace, Heavy Armour, Shield (4+ Save), Mark of Nurgle (+1 T)

Groth the Rat-man (Matt Gee)

Groth scurried onwards. His hard sharp claws scraping against the earth and stone floor as he sped away down the tunnel. He daren’t look back for fear of slowing his advance and glimpsing sight of the Moulder Packmasters who were hounding him. He had bidden his time long enough and now was questioning the wisdom of his choices and the voices that had spoken to him in the night. They had started slowly as a feint echo as he slept, caressing the last thoughts of the day and gently suggesting that the time of the council’s end was close. Slowly they had risen to a torrent in his mind drowning his faith in the horned rat, to be replaced by the unending cacophony of discord.

He ran on. The tight confines of the snaking shaft beginning to open out and the warpstone lights beginning to dim. They were replaced by the distant beginnings of daylight. Before the escape he had committed one final act, designed to destroy ratkin he had once seen him self as equal to. He had seen the true light of chaos he had few qualms in loosening the rusted bolts holding the various hideous creations housed in the depths. Even now, driven to a frenzy through lack of food and constant torture, they would be rerunning amok amongst their erstwhile jailers and causing havoc.

He darted into the daylight leaving the world of his brethren. His keen eyes squinted and adjusted to the light searching for cover. His glare rested on a ruined outhouse and he bolted for it, found a splintered ladder and used it to access an abandoned hay loft. Heart thumping in his chest he slowly calmed and regained his breath, drifting into sleep to wait for the night.

He was awoken by the latch on the outhouse being raised, followed by nervously approaching hooded individual. He was garbed in a dirty cream and mauve cloak wrapped loosely round him and roughly tied with a simple rope belt. As Groth followed his progress he saw him join a small group of individuals who had already entered the hovel while he slept. The language was unknown but the intention of the group slowly became clear. In guttural tongues they canted awkward syllables, as they did the previously un-noticed runes and markings scattered on the floor began to glow. The voices reached their zenith, an apparition appearing bathed in violet light projecting visions of endless pleasure and slaughter. The fur on the back of his neck stood on and and an crackled with static.

In an instant it was over and the cowled figures bowed low to each other and as one turned to file out of the room. As the last cultist approached the door Groth swept down behind him and plunged his rusted stiletto between his shoulder blades, smothering his gaping mouth with a dirt smeared paw. He quickly shed his ragged garments, dressed in the stolen clothes, raised the hood to shade his identity and headed off into the night. His path to eternal greatness had commenced...

Equipment: Whip (counts as Flail), Light Armour (6+ Save)

Grunt Skullcrusher, Chaos Marauder (and Purplush) (Igge Holmberg)

Grunt Skullcrusher had always thought that his village was too small for his ambitions.
He had heard that further up in the wastes there was fame and fortune of the Gods to be had.
And that was the truth.

After a couple of months of travelling he got a nice little companion that tagged along with him, and helped him find food, sure the carcasses were often rotten but the meat were still edible and Nurgle, that he thought were his favourite had granted him a purple deamon follower.

The tastes and pains in his stomach was consistent with what the elders had told him, life from decay, all followers of Nurgle found the truth. And so had he.

Now he just wanted to find some more people willing to join with him and let him lead them to glory.
And he knew were to find them… his companions had gathered and he was eager to show them what he and Purplush (as he had named him) could do, that they were going to lead them to victory for Nurgle, that he was certain of.

Equipment:  Sword, Light Armour, Shield (5+ Save)
Purplush: single Nurgling with hand weapon, Daemonic Aura (4+ Save)

Bukthac Blazingmane (J├Ârgen Karlsson)

Bukthac was howling with fury, how dare those puny humans stand before him, he was a child of chaos, born as a Gor, Gor was strong, human was weak. The gods of chaos had chosen him, he would show them, he would kill them, eat them, their weak gods would not, nay, could not save them from the Gor.

Equipment: Halberd (+1S), Bestial Table Manners

Gunter Firkenshart, The Circus Strongman (Joseph Waldron)

Gunter Firkenshart had enjoyed his time with the Circus of Corruption, but after the local Imperial authorities took an interest in finding out just what had happened at Runderskill, the Village that Vanished, the troupe had decided that it might be wise to split up for a while and go their separate ways.

Gunter wandered north, following the whisperings of his tiny Rotling companion, Clegnut. Soon he fell in with a fellow traveler named Grunt and his own daemonic little buddy Purplush. Purplush and Clegnut seemed to know where they were going, and Grunt had a nose for finding dead meat to feed on, so Gunter was happy to follow along, occasionally pausing to lift anything that looked really, really heavy.

Once the travelers stumbled across the growing Warband of Lord Swole, Gunter was glad to have a patron and an audience who appreciated his talent for entertainment once again, plus Clegnut seemed happy and had stopped jabbering about traveling north. For now at least...

Equipment: Barbell (2h weapon, +2S); Mark of Nurgle (+1T); Clegnut (Daemonic Aura, 4+ Save; +1A at S3, I4)

Alicia, Snake Woman of Tzeentch (David Musgrave)

"That's pretty" she whispered, holding the bejewelled necklace in one hand, casually licking the congealing blood of it's former owner off the other.

Slipping it round her neck Alicia glanced at her reflection in the old tarnished hand mirror the girl had carried. Lustrous dark hair falling around slim shoulders, she could still see the serving girl she'd been, back in Bechafen, all those decades before.

How things had Changed ... The count's fall from grace and exile to far, exotic Araby; his subsequent, very bloody demise at the hands of the Disciples of the Red Redemption, which left her as a slave in the household of the Caliphate of Lashiek; the feeling of the bloated toad's dying breath as she strangled him; the strangely warm, pulsating, hypnotic tourmaline ring she'd stripped from his corpse; vivid, lingering memories of blood and excess, tainted smoke and mirrors.

Smiling, she slithered round the ruined corpses of the caravan guards and went in search of the of the warband she had seen in her vision, leaving the Mirrored Forest behind her.

Chaos Gifts: Zoological mutation - snake = M7, Cause Fear, Hypnotic gaze

Equipment/Magic Items: Poisoned weapon, Chaos Shield (counts as Enchanted Shield, 5+ Save)

Squid Faced
Markus, Mutant of Tzeentch (David Musgrave)

Markus, a former Empire man at arms, after falling out with employer sought less reliable employ as a tomb raider.

"This is the last bloody thing I'm doing for the Duke, I don't care how much he's paying.

'Just a simple job' he says, collect the chest and get the contents ... I wish!

Mud, depravity, terrible conditions and I'm not even in Moussilon yet! - in hindsight should not have agreed to this after the flagon of wine!!"

"Can see why he wanted this! Despite the muck and obvious time this has been here there's barely any rust, bit of verdigris but the casket alone is worth a fortune. Not sure what the decorations are supposed to be, rather faded, but seem slightly vine like, or tentacles?"

"This sodding chest is just full of water! Can hear it sloshing around inside and its too heavy to drag any more. He wanted the chest and contents, didn't say about not opening it!"


"Rubbish lock .. what's the point if you can walk through it. Watertight chest - just empty this and get the stuff he needs.

Oh, er ... water shouldn't do that ... Sh*t, helllpppp!"


Mutant of Tzeentch: Tentacled face = +1A, Poisoned attack, Causes fear, Mutated arm +1S, Tail = no effect

Equipment: Hand Weapon, Bulky robes = Light Armour (6+ Save)

The Dark Shepherd (George Shepherd)

From the blasted valley of the Ash Ford he came, the Dark Shepherd. Though he had been mauled and broken, part of his very being lost to the winds of Chaos, he had survived. He would prevail. His journey would continue.

He came across the war band of Lord Swole in the midge blighted, leech sodden forests to the west. The stink of corruption was heavy upon them. This was good. This was as had been foretold.

He was the last to arrive, but by the unholy light of the Chaos Icon he bore he would be the one to lead them onward to slaughter and victory!

Equipment: Hand weapon, Shield (6+ Save), Plague Banner

Well, that's my take on things anyway, and I certainly had fun thinking about how they all linked together as the various entries and backstories arrived over time.

Of course it's going to be up to the winners to decide what happens next with these two warbands, and I really hope we get plenty of updates on the Middlehammer Facebook page when they do see action on the table top!

All that remains is to say one last massive thank you to everyone who took part (you are all top hobby geezers!), and also to those who weren't able to take part this time but showed great support for the project and the participants.

It's definitely enough motivation to do another one next year! Do you fancy joining us?