Saturday, February 10, 2007

1. Tale of a Deal

The story of this Necromunda gang begins back at the turn of the century when GW's now-defunct "Troll" direct-order magazine offered an army deal. A complete Ash Waste Nomad army in a box, consisting of Ash Nomad infantry from Necromunda, some Tallarn rough rider bodies with old IG jetbikes, and some tanks with double-wide tread parts. I immediately fell in love with the look of the army and spent a bunch of money that I probably shouldn't have, but I was really happy with what I got. About a hundred Ash Waste gangers, 2 russes, 2 chimeras, a ton of track & wheel sprues, plus rough riders and some weapon sprues.
I started planning my 40K IG army, but for years I was stymied by the problem of how to make the models WYSIWYG. These are old school GW models with their arms extended directly outward from their torsos, not at all suitable for holding lasguns at high carry. The only IG models available at the time were metals and plastic Catachans, so arm swaps were not feasible. This was way before the current IG codex, so Warrior Weapons doctrine was not an option (and it still isn't a particularly good one). So I boxed up my Ash Waste Guard models in the closet and worked on other armies for the next several years.

Then, in 2006, I went back to the Ash Nomad army and started experimenting with paint schemes. The problem with an ash waste army is that the wastes are predominantly gray. If you want a camo-schemed army as I do, there has to be a lot of gray. Most IG armies are also gray, and it's hard to make a gray army look not-drab on the tabletop. So I painted up a bunch of test models, of which these tallarns are two:

The nice thing about these guys is that the warm brown tones offset the coolness of the grey tones and create a contrast that makes them pop a little more than an all-grey army, but still breaks up the visual pattern enough to hopefully be a convincing camoflage.

Eventually I went with a variation on version B, using an ash waste toned revision of a camo scheme called "Mars Plasma Blast" pattern, that used to be in the Black Gobbo archives on the GW site (but is now apparently gone, or I'd link to it). It essentially is a base color, with big contrasting patches of stippled color that are worked up from dark tones to brighter tones at the center. I found it was easier to work up the scheme on a tank first, as on this chimera hull part:

Then, once I had worked out how to do it on a tank, the next job would be to try to reproduce it on an infantry figure:
You can also see from this figure that I started experimenting with giving some nomads plastic Cadian parts. This actually worked pretty well in limited cases particular figures, like this Nomad heavy who was easily equipped with a cadian flamer bit without having to make any kind of permanent alteration to the original model.

Eventually, I decided that what I had been thinking about--cutting the arms off all the models and giving them Cadian arms--would mar them too much. This turned out to be a really good decision, since I found out that the classic Ash Nomad molds were burned out, so the models were officially OOP.

In the end I was already deciding to take some liberties with the WYSIWYG requirements for the eventual IG army and just outfit the majority of the models with two hand weapons when the chance for a Necromunda campaign cropped up at the club.

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