Monday, 30 September 2019

Off-World Contraband - A Necromunda Cold Trader

The Book of Judgement is the most recent supplement for Necromunda, covering law and disorder in the hives. One of the most fun elements is the coverage given to criminal alliances, allowing you to ally your gang with a criminal enterprise. In return for setting foot on the wrong side of the law, you gain the occasional help of your allies on the tabletop.

Cold Traders caught my eye the most - smugglers of off-world goods and exotic xenos artefacts. They are represented in-game by a smuggler shore-party, comprising a Cold Trader and his bodyguard.


I built my shore party from a pretty wide variey of figures. As a Cold Trader is equipped with a sling gun and a suit of armourweave (shuriken catapult and Eldar psycho-reactive armour?), I based mine on an old Rogue Trader Eldar figure. He got new boots (from a Heroquest henchman!) and head from a Warhammer Empire wizard.



Second in command is the Bosun - a junior crew member armed with a shotgun. I settled on using an old Necromunda Van Saar ganger to give him a void suit look. His head is from the North Star cultist sci-fi accessory pack, while the alien pet is a sprite from a Warhammer wood elf kit.

The two Void-Born Scum are high-strength, high-toughness bodyguards armed with pistols and knives. I bought a pair of Blood Bowl Nurgle bloaters and carved and filed away all the wounds and corruption, before oversculpting to give them one-piece flight suits. The strapping was very deliberately copied from the old Citadel Klegg models in the vein of my Grigor Klegane conversion from a few years back.


After some indecision on the heads I settled on a second head from the North Star pack, and one cut from a Forgeworld Tech Thrall. The knives and pouches are from the RTB01 plastic space marine kit, whilst the holstered pistol is from (I think) a space marine Primaris Reiver. The pistol arm on the upright guy is from the Necromunda Goliath sprue.



Cold Trader Johannes Krail, purveyor of the exotic and the unknowable

Krail was actually the last figure I painted, as I was uncertain how to paint him. I knew I wanted him to stand out, but not necessarily to be eye-catchingly bright and gaudy - a Cold Trader does not want to draw attention to themselves!

After seeking advice, I went for the striking blue set of armour, and a worn but unusual white sling gun - I figured that obtaining a shuriken catapult in pristine condition might be tricky!



Bosun Jeong



Where Krail has his natty blue armour, Jeong got a functional khaki void suit with some blue flashes. I had a lot of fun researching brightly coloured insects for his little pet, before stumbling on this great concept of a fox-sized moth by Dina Norlund from a project entitled New-Earth.

Concept by Dina Norlund.

I pared back some of the colour intensity, but otherwise tried to mimic the design pretty closely.


Void-Born Scum

This pair of big lads got the same colour scheme as their bosun in the main - khaki flight suits and blue details.


I went for white gloves, boots and straps as they seem to suggest a sci-fi setting. I might get round to making some void troopers in a similar scheme at some point.


All in all, I'm pretty happy with how they look as a group - they're certainly sufficiently exotic for the part!



44 comments:

  1. Absolutely F&*%%*g brilliant!!!!

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  2. Love it, it's a small project in itself with everything to make it suitably cohesive with plenty of nice ideas.

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    1. Thanks! It's really nice to make a focussed small group like this to a specific brief, and completely separate to anything else. Gets the juices flowing :)

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  3. Great work your use of a limited palette but achieving a distinctive look is as usual impressive.

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    1. Thank very much! I enjoy trying to tie models together visually with colours. It does mean that interchangeability between factions is a bit limited though ;)

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  4. Phenomenal converting and painting! Particularly love the mix of old an new bits, and the colours on Bosun's little flying critter.

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    1. Thanks so much Ana, really glad you like these. I love playing with old metal, but it's nice when new elements can change the look. I know I copied the colours on the critter, but I think it was a needed splash of colour!

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  5. Goodness but I like these, especially the big buggers. Always a fan of the "non-Imperium" human ideas in 40K and realy don't think GW offers enough to illustrate that. Colour scheme is perfect, are you planning to add some more?

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    1. I'm very much with you - I find the Rogue Trader setting which has room for the Wild West of space as well as the Imperium, a much more interesting one. Honestly, I have no more immediate plans, but never say never!

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  6. Wow those are great! The usual great job tying everything together, and the fatties are nicely used here as well.

    Like Dai I wonder if you have more planned... the mind is awhirl with various retinue figures, since this guy is basically an "evil" Rogue Trader (possibly just neutral)... pseudo-eldar mercenaries, more ship crew (metal Van Saar being readily available), a few heavy lifting servators carrying crates of goods.

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    1. Don't tempt me with crew ideas, I don't need it!! I couldn't possibly need an armsman or a translator, or a navigator!!

      Cheers :)

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    2. Lapsed astropath, non-sanctioned robo-butler, big game hunter, tech-hunter... like I said, awhirl!

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    1. Thanks Tom! Glad these press your buttons :)

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  8. Straight onto Ebay looking for bloaters!

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  9. So good! A very interesting retinue, brought to life so well.

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    1. Thanks! I think having different body shapes and characters really helps add the variety.

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  10. Top drawer Jon, so many good ideas rolled into one project.

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    1. Thanks cheetor! A lot of it was off the cuff, rather than long-term gestation, but that seems to work equally as well!

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  11. Those are absolutely fantastic - Beautifully done!

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    1. Thanks, happy with how the crew came together :)

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  12. That's simply beautiful. Inspired, as usual, but this time these have, I don't know how to put it into words, some 'touch' that makes them special. Lovely work.

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    1. Thanks so much Suber! I don't know what makes these different - perhaps it's the variance across the group, or the tilt towards a broader scifi aesthetic?

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  13. Great fat dudes there Jon! They look like they can move when they want to and pack a wallop to boot. That insect turned out really well too. Copying from nature and/or artwork is the way to go isn't it.

    Excellente :)

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    1. Thanks Shane! You definitely wouldn't want the fat lads shoulder barging you I think!

      Much as I like to think I could invent an insect wing, it's much easier to look at a pre-existing reference.

      Cheers!

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  14. Sweet! What a great paint job and selection!

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    1. Thanks Bluey! They get their first run out on the table tonight :)

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  15. Inspired! I love what you did with those blood bowl fatties. I could see a whole crew put together with this lot.

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    1. Thanks! It's incredible how popular those fat guys have turned out.

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  16. This is really great stuff. Those void-born scum have got to be one of the more inspired pieces you've come up with. What a great use of some new plastics to make them fit into the Rogue Trader era.

    I was really struck by the colors and highlighting you achieved on these. Have you ever done a step-by-step photo log of how you paint minis? I'd love to read about some of your main techniques.

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    1. Thanks Tom. I try to keep a finger on the pulse of new releases with a view to cherry picking the right stuff.

      I've never really thought about a step by step painting guide as there are so many better painters out there. My standard approach really is simple:
      1) black undercoat
      2) basecoat with desired colour
      3) wash with a suitable wash, usually 3:1 water:wash. As examples I use brown for khaki, blue for blue, sepia for orange.
      4) highlight with basecoat colour
      5) 2-3 more highlights usually adding an off-white to the basecoat, gradually focussing on the highlight points.

      That's it. Nothing complicated, rarely any blending. Just washed and edge highlights!

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    2. Thanks for the breakdown. It is very helpful. It's so easy to get bogged down in gobs of techniques and spend time buying tons and tons of paint. I'm going to try this on my next minis.

      Double thanks for writing about this new kind of Necromunda gameplay. I haven't been keeping up and had no idea how much the packed into the new book.

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    3. No problem! Hope all the info helps :)

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  17. Another amazing squad. All the elements look great together. I also really like how the straps on the bodyguards really look like a Sumo loin cloth.

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    1. Thanks Sean! It's a fun little nod to Sumo with the loincloths - I'd like to say it was planned, but it's a happy accident really!

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  18. Great paint job axiom ... it just works!

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    1. Thanks! Going a bit functional with the dull blue suits these guys I think.

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