Ross grows his slavering beastman brood
With a solid core of shock infantry, skirmishers, a spell caster and a spell, I was in a good position for March. It’s an obvious point, but one of the keys with a horde army is to make sure you’re constantly adding body count. Focusing on fun single models now, only to have unceasing waves of infantry to slog through at the end would be self-defeating.
In that spirit I went with 20 more Ungor Raiders, for a total of 160 points, as that would close out half of my total predicted Ungor count in the final army. Fortunately, that left exactly 90 points for my beastlord. As I mentioned in my first article, he’s the model that sold me on the army. He also happens to be an absolute murder missile when given the Gavespawn artefact, bumping his 6 attacks (3+/3+/-1 with lots of re-roll access) to a scary 3 damage each. That’s 250 sorted then!
My chosen Greatfray was Gavespawn. I’ll happily admit this was largely due to game rule reasons, they seemed the strongest in a weak field with a good artefact, a functional command trait (+1 dispel), and a good command ability (increased attacks for a unit wholly within 12” of a spawn). They also have the ‘Gift of Morghur’, which means that my heroes ascend to spawnhood on a 2+ when the die. The entire sub-faction is themed around mutation and corruption. I didn’t really want to try heavily converting the 100+ models in my army, but some mutations would help tie into the theme and help break up the mass of infantry.
Between a few chaos daemon bits knocking around, a spawn kit I need for obvious reasons and some amateur green-stuff tentacles, I dotted mutations throughout the unit of 20. Not enough to dominate the look, but enough to get variety and give the impression of a horde slowly starting to devolve.
Some of the additions / techniques used include:
- Simple arm swaps: The small claw of a daemonette is about the same size as an ungor’s arm. Similarly, a plague bearer has roughly the same shoulder size too. I tried to position the heads to be examining their new ‘gifts’ with a mixture of puzzlement and wonder.
- Other additions: With a bit of cutting down, the tongue of a bloodletter slotted into the open mouth of one of the head options. I thought it amusingly cruel to have a giant snake-like tongue erupt from the mouth of the unit’s hornblower (should have stuck to the fiddle). Claws from the spawn kit were also used to replace an arm and a very goofy head swap that I’m quite attached to.
- Amateur tentacles: I’m certainly no sculptor but with a twisted bit of paper clip, some greenstuff and enough gore to cover the worst bits, I was able to add a few simple and effective tentacles. I certainly want to refine that technique (and look up how to do it) next time, but happy with the results on 8pt ungors.
- Gore: A combination of lumpy gore (PVA and torn tissue paper) and stringy/shiny gore (UHU glue) was used to add some extra texture to mutations. I wanted them to look ‘fresh’.
From a fluff perspective, I find it hard to believe most beastmen have an abstract concept of allegiance beyond hanging out with their herd mates. I had it in my head from an early stage that my herd would reject the worship of anyone including the chaos gods. These ‘gifts’ of mutations would seem a lot like unwanted bribes to my beastlord. Anyone found to be ‘blessed’ is definitely going on the Herdstone once the enemy are dealt with.
Games Workshop just knocks it out of the park sometimes. Due to a combination of sculpt and pose, certain models stand out over the decades. For me, one of these is the twin-axe beastlord. The jutting chest, the dual wield axes, the no nonsense armour and broken horn perfectly captures that primordial predator vibe.
I knew my Beastlord would be called Lir. I wrote a Black Library submission (unsuccessfully – boo) about a gor chased out of his herd that had sworn allegiance to Nurgle. Lir, being a true chaotic despoiler, consider organised worship of any god, even a chaos one, as an outrage. To Lir, all temples should be torn down, regardless of who they pray too.
A hero (well, technically speaking) needs a hero base. Digging through my various kits, the Cygor/Ghorgon comes with a range of statues to throw at people. As a destroyer of temples and cities, it made sense for Lir to be standing on a toppled statue. There was a lot of Cygor hand around the statue, so I had to be aggressive cutting it back and covering the gaps with skulls. Getting the position right atop the statue required a lot of time to get just right – at some angles he looked like he was skateboarding.
I also had to prepare a pin for the model to attach him to the base (which for some reason I didn’t take a picture of). One small annoyance with beastmen is that their hooves have a small surface area for attaching them to bases. With an irregular surface like the statue, I needed to give it more support. One larger annoyance was that the model was finecast, and I must have spent over an hour carefully trimming weird bits of resin off him.
I didn’t do anything with the Beastlord that I didn’t do with the other models, but I did take more time. Making sure to get the highlights strong wherever I could and not going too heavy on the rust effects.
After I’d attached him to the statue, I felt like there needy to be more to tie him to the base, so added some stringy gore from one axe down to the statue. I must say, I’m rather proud of this chap.
Lir mac Gol, Despoiler of the Eternal Vigil, Profane Predator, and ultimate alpha beast!
So that’s 250 extra for March, leaving me with a very balanced 750:
- Bray-shaman and Beastlord
- 2 x 10 Bestigors
- 10 and 20 Ungor Raiders
- Wildfire Taurus
Next month: More bestigors and some spawn! Get a sneak preview at vexed_to on Instagram.
See more on my Instagram: @vexed_to