Friday, 14 July 2017

Rogue Quest Level 5: The Cybork Barbarian

Waaggghhhh! Watch out! Its Buzz-Saw the Cybork Barbarian - the long over due fifth member of my Rogue Quest project. Follow the link for the rest of my Rogue Quest posts, which also include links to the original three projects whcih inspired me - well worth a look!

This is far from my best paint job, but even so, getting decent pictures of him has been a complete nightmare :(

It feels like I have had him finished for an age now, as I had to rescue him from the slipping ever further back in the painting queue as part of my efforts for the Mayday Mayday! 2017 painting challenge, and this post is almost as delayed as he was! Sadly the paint job is a reflection of his languishing for ages and then being a bit rushed, but it felt good to get him finished at last.

The model is of course a Blood Bowl Cyborc, and when it came up for trade in the Oldhammer group in late 2015 I offered up some RT Eldar guardians as a swap, enthusing with the vendor about my plans to convert him for 40k. The thing is when I dug the Eldar out I realised they were more than a bit dubious (too heavy, very shiny and soft detail, with some solid bits where there should have been gaps). Disaster! I was going to have to pull out of the deal. But wait! The vendor decided to send it to me anyway, no longer bothered about a trade!? I guess he really liked my plan of what to do with it? My only recourse was to offer him all three dodgy guardians, which after seeing pictures of he was very happy with anyway! So, everyone was a winner but it was also an early encounter for me with the generosity of the Oldhammer Community. Apologies for the slightly mundane anecdote, but it's another reason why when I came to start the Rogue Quest project a few months later, this mini in particular had some Oldhammer resonance for me.

Anyway! The Cyborc Barbarian needed some inspiration, but some of the obvious 'cyborgs' we might be familiar with from the big screen simply didn't fit what I was looking for here.

Has form as a Barbarian... but no.
Also no, but I like the internal glow thing...
I have to say I struggled for inspiration really, so decided to just crack on and paint him. I toyed with the idea of giving him a suitably orky, yet also period Rogue Trader, gun, but none of the options I tried seemed to work, and to be honest the appeal of the sculpt when casting him as the Barbarian was the bionic-chainsaw arm. More in keeping with the traditions of the D&D/Warhammer Quest Barbarian for him to eschew missile weapons anyway.

I decided that he was going to be red. Very, very red. Not only is this because he may double up in my 2nd Ed Ork army, in which case he will likely be an Evil Sunz Nob, but also because it is the spot colour for the Rogue Quest party, so having a big block of red in the group will hopefully tie in but also have some visual impact.

WIP shots
I have used some of the other colours seen more prominently on other members of the party again (the dark green on the shoulder/elbow/knee pads on his right side, and blue-grey on any exposed tubing or pipe work) to tie him in and break up the red a bit, but not too much! I gave him a purple lip, old school style, which I was happy with, having ummed and ahhed about it, as it gave his face a bit more character (I tend not to do it for 40k orks, but might start). The purple also picks up on a colour used elsewhere in the party so serves that purpose too. The metal work is a mix of bolt gun metal with black wash, to keep things looking oily and smoky, and tin bitz/shining gold to give it a bit of a scrap yard feel.

WIP Shots (rear)

It was only after I had him mostly painted up that I found his true oldhammer character. His half metal face and his boiler-reactor on his back powering his chop-shop bionic chainsaw arm were all very Orky, but there was something else now that reminded me of something far more cyborgy/roboty. The ABC Warriors from 2000AD!

Now we were getting somewhere! That reactor on his back is surely powered by something highly unstable!? Radioactive even!? I wasn't entirely happy with the oily look over the brass of the boiler/reactor I had originally gone for so the ABC warriors link and the chance to go atomic was too good to miss, so I went for some vibrant radioactive green Object Source Lighting (OSL). It's only my third ever attempt and I'm not amazingly happy with it to be honest as it got a bit heavy in places, but very happy with the way it ties in the paint job with the character.

The ABC Warriors link also confirmed the choice of name that had been running through my head. Buzz-Saw it was!

It's probably appropriate to have a suitable 80's soundtrack at this point:

"Waaaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhhhh! Dis is Brillliaaaaaannnnnt!" shouted Buzz-Saw the Evil Sunz Nob from the back of his brand new Nobz Bike accelerating towards the fortified line of humies. His mob of boys crammed on to two Buggies and a War Track could eat his dust now that he had his turbo charged engine to play with!

"Come on Parka!" He bellowed at the ork steering. "Hit da Big Red Button!"


It was ironic that after his boys scraped the remains of him and his bike (and his unfortunate driver, Parka) off the side of the imperial bunker after the battle, they sold the whole mess back to the same Mek Boy Buzz-Saw had bought the lethally exuberant squig fuel injection system from in the first place. It was poetic justice that Buzz-Saw's first act when he 'woke' in a murderous pain filled rage, was to eviscerate that same Mek Boy with his new chainsaw arm...

"Whoops." Buzz Saw reflected once the haze lifted. Da Big Boss was not gonna be happy. Who was going to service his pneumatic prosthetic... male prosthesis!? He thought it best to leave town sharpish.

Sadly, the Mek Boys half finished work on his cybork brain made Buzz Saw very vulnerable to hacking by unscrupulous techs. He ended up being controlled by a gambling cartel, slugging it out as the heel in the Gladiator Pits. It was there that the leader of the unit saw his potential and had his Xenos agent negotiate his purchase, and his Squat Technician do as much as he could to stabilise his cybork brain systems - while establishing more secure proprietary controls at the same time.

His rage is no less at being controlled by a bunch of high falutin' imperials and their weirdo buddies than it was in the pits, but at least now he is expected to win when he fights! That's enough. For now...

The ABC Warriors link also threw up some inspiration for another part of the my Rogue Quest project which I had languishing on the painting table. These clan Escher gangers (well juves mostly) were also painted up as part of my Mayday! Mayday! challenge, and will serve as NPC gangers. This image from the ABC warriors seems to tie everything in together perfectly in my mind. Rogue Trader/Confrontation - 2000 AD - Necromunda - Rogue Quest :)

"Kristine Kochanski and two noobs from the Cherry Bombs gang were waiting for a deal to go down in an out of town junk yard when they were surprised by the living dead!"

"No man, I swear that's the real scuzzlebutt, we've all heard the stories from the desert nomads, but Konchanski and her girls swear blind they saw walking corpses! Bullets did little or nothing to keep them down!" 

"Suddenly this giant Ork-robot thing appears and smashes through the skeletons and rescues them, coz they was all outa ammo! But he's got this radioactive green glow see, that makes him seem more dangerous than the skeletons he has just pulverised!"

"Then just as suddenly as he appeared, the murderous green glow in his robot eye dims, and other figures emerge from the gloom, including a Squat with what looked to be a control device for the previously berserk Cybork."

Sitting in the corner of the bar keeping her head down, but listening to the old soak try and barter their tale for another drink, Kristine Kochanski ran her mind back over the meeting with 'The Unit'.  They'd followed the squat tech, walking the Cybork along like some lobotomised monster, until they'd come upon a camp deeper in the junk yard. They saw the Xenos chick they'd set up the deal for the stolen codes with, and to be fair she'd paid them the credits they were due, but then they were distracted by the noise of the two maw-beasts barking at the Xenos spine-critter trapped inside the laser fencing. Konchanski remembered how much she had disliked the realisation that another Xenos, an Eldar possibly? had a bead on her with a snipers scope. The tell tale red laser sight giving him away, she swore intentionally, putting her firmly in her place. 

But it was the strange enigmatic leader of the group that caused her the most discomfort. His sudden presence like a painful blank in her mind. His image like a black silhouette. All she could remember were his incessant questions about the corpses. Had they seen such things before? Heard of them then? Where? Where do the nomads say they come from? And more than anything else, his insistence on one individual in particular, the need to find him, the absolute imperative over all else. He MUST be found!

"Has anybody seen this man!" The voice rang out in a commanding tone, bringing Konchanski out of her reverie. She was surprised to find she was on her feet and that the voice was hers, a scroll thrust out in front of her depicting the man the Unit were seeking. The man responsible for the walking dead. The Necromancer!

Thanks for reading. Hope this has got you looking forward to the sixth and final(!?) instalment of my take on the Rogue Quest project where we finally meet the mysterious leader of The Unit, and possibly even the emerging villain of the piece, The Necromancer! Insert feeble if well meant pledge 'not to take so long between instalments next time' here ;)