Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Rogue Quest Level 2 - Wyrd Beastmaster Druid

Hi everybody! Meet Doktor Boris Krackpotnik - Wyrd Beastmaster Druid, and his two pet Maw Beasts.

There is no StuntCat - only Zhuul!
Boris and his mutts are the second entry to my Rogue Quest project. What is Rogue Quest you ask? The idea is to produce a band of 6 Adventurers that match the classic D&D/Warhammer Quest character classes, but for the Rogue Trader universe!

I hasten to add this is not my brilliant idea! Check out my first post here for some more background, and be sure to follow the links to the three other blogs that inspired me to embark on this project:

Magpie and Old Lead

Although the Wyrd Beastmaster is a Necromunda model I felt the low-tech elements of the model fit well with the RT universe, and there was something that really appealed to me about the face in particular.

Strangely, in this picture (not my own) the white undercoat makes him look quite endearing, almost Santa Clause like...
This is not what the model conjured up in my mind!
As I sat looking at the model deciding on how I was going to tackle it, two characters were brought to mind. Firstly, Boris the Animal from Men in Black 3. A cracking villain for a family film, with a strong vibe of alien animal life running through him. Yes, Boris would be a good source of inspiration for my Druid, who I definitley didn't see as the benign tree huggng type.

Boris the Animal from Men in Black 3 - no spoliers in case you haven't seen it, but don't shake his hand.
The second figure the model reminded me of was Dr Robotnik from the Sonic the Hedgehog games. It's the hair and glasses again, but also the non-traditional approach to animal welfare that would bring a different slant on the Druid character class.

Dr Robotnik (aka Dr Eggman if you are Japanese, apparently)
So, with those two sources of inspiration Doktor Boris Krackpotnik was born.

One of the big attractions with choosing a Druid, along with it being quite outside the traditional character or troop types seen in RT/WH40K, was the chance to add some alien animal companions to the party. One of the things that really sets Rogue Trader apart from later versions of the game were the alien flora and fauna included in the rules for the enterprising games master to spice up his encounters. Now I could have sourced myself a Gyrinx, or found something suitable to use as a Catachan Devil, but I stumbled accross some Dungeon Saga Maw Beasts, which seemed to match what I had in mind for Boris.

Maw Beast WIP
I went for a contrasting Purple/Green colour scheme as the beasts are essentially canine I wanted to emphasise their natures by having an alien colour skin/hair tone. I've probably been too conservative with the purple higlights again though.

The plastic was more flexible than I'm used to, though not as wobbly as reaper bones, and the mini was pre attached to the base, a bit fiddly to paint because of those two issues, but once the undercoat was on the paint seemed to behave fairly well.

Cracked paving bases were part of the the model. In the end I've just chosen to keep the brown colour to tie them in to the rest of the group, but not try and flock them as that risked loosing detail around the feet.

Boris is going to have a hell of a time getting him off that roof now that he has got up there. Stupid Maw Beats...

For Boris himself I took the first prompt from the colour scheme I used on Sven Spielboard my Squat Bard, using the sea green and uniform grey on the overalls and webbing, and brown-red ink blend on the skin for that ruddy look. I also knew I was going to be using bright red as the spot colour, so wanted to make sure that would stand out on the final piece. One of the main features with this model is the patchwork animal hide coat, and again I wanted to emphasise some of the alien animals that might be included, so chose a dark red and a vibrant green to pick out those patches made of scales or lizard hide, the rest was kept fairly natural and muted, with plenty of inking to keep it looking dirty and lived in. I reckon Boris sleeps in that coat.

Doktor Boris Krackpotnik - not your average Druid

The oversized stub gun and shot gun shells provide a nice visual tie in accross the model, the shells in the webbing at the front gave a chance to use the bright red spot coour, as did the empty shells woven into his hair at the back, Edward Teach style. His hair is supposed to be black, with a few grey hairs showing through, but as we all know flat black looks terrible on most finished models, so I went with a very dark blue in the mix and worked up with blue-grey highlights. I'm really happy with the finished effect as it looks dark and oily, but not unnatural. A final flurry of bright red on the sash on his staff and he was ready.

Here you can see the ful range of animals that died so that Boris could have such an impressive jacket. If I was a Maw Beast I'd watch out.

So just who is Doktor Boris Krackpotnik? Well that remains something of a mystery. Known but also feared in the hunting and farming communities of the small frontier world where he made his home, as a man who could help as easily in the birthing or healing of a beast as he could in it's tracking and killing, he was accepted by the local population even though he was not one of them. His true place of origin remains unknown.

Perhaps he brought his two fearsome Maw Beasts with him? For they were not native to the frontier world where he was recruited by 'the Unit.' however, they cetainly proved useful in capturing the dangerous xenomorph which had escaped a secure shipment, which the Unit had been sent ot 'neutralise.'

Boris made himself invaluable to the team on that mission, proving his worth in combat as well as his extensive knowledge of xenobiology and practical survival skills. More than this, his potentially psychic link to his pet beasts, and with other animals, was not unnoticed by the Unit's tactiturn but enigmatic leader.

When the offer to join them on further missions involving the hunting and capture of dangerous alien creatures was put to him, Boris accepted, pocketing the considerable fee with a toothy smile, but keeping his true motivations to himself...

Boris and his beasts are on the hunt for some elusive alien quarry - stay tuned for Rogue Quest Level 3 to find out what they are hunting!
The next two models for this project are already based and undercoated on my painting table, but the next installment might also feature some of 'the Unit's' elusive alien quarry! I feel like these guys need something to chase after...

So, thanks for reading and look out for Rogue Quest Level Three coming soon!


  1. Excellent character ! The druid is a wonderful character to play with and Boris is just full of charm. Well done, looking forward to the next episodes. ;)

    1. Thanks! This one also seemed to develop really naturally as I was figuring out how to paint him. A Druid in the Rogue Trader universe has all sorts of interesting possibilities!

  2. I've long overlooked that beastmaster figure. Clearly I need to take a second look as your character is great!!

    1. Glad you like him! I know what you mean though, he is not exactly a classic, but the sculpt does have bags of character (as well as a few failings e.g. massive, out of proportion hands!)

  3. I've long overlooked that beastmaster figure. Clearly I need to take a second look as your character is great!!