Wednesday, 21 June 2017

CXXX. Abhorrant Ghoul Queen's Court: Ghouls

"Hidden among the ruins of the Mortal Realms thrive the Flesh-eater Courts. Trapped within a horrific delusion, convinced that their cannibalistic feasts are splendid and grandiose visions of nobility, these courts of madness are each presided over by a malevolent and predatory Abhorrant Ghoul King. Beneath him, Mordants pick at decaying meat, snarling and spitting in guttural growls. Crypt Horrors and Haunters skulk in the shadows as deathless guardians, ready to claim entire corpses as their own."

 Inspiration struck, compelling me to start another AoS28 warband. This time it's my take on Flesh-eater Courts.

One thing that I like about the official Flesh-eater models is that they have a strong visual theme kept across the entire range. However, they sadly feel bland and underwhelming. When I look at them I don't get inspired to pick one up and paint it. They could have had the background showing on the models more, because the back story has tons of potential. But that would mean they could not simply repack the kits from old Vampire Counts, so I understand why... Anyways, I was struck with an urge to try my hand at redesigning the faction. I shall do that. And as it happens, I shall do it without using any models from the Flesh-eater Courts range of miniatures.

Warbands of a dozen or so models are my favourite format. Large enough so I can get my idea across, and small enough that I don't get bored with repetition. Converting and painting 60 Ghouls is not an appealing idea. In fact, it's an appalling one. Due to the limited number of units available for this faction I will probably end up making at least one example of each (except probably the Terrorgheist and Zombie Dragon). If nothing else, they will serve as monsters for Frostgrave, and some of them might even wind up crossing over into the Gardens setting some day. 

I already have ideas and bits for most of the models. I will reveal them as I go along, just to keep things interesting.

First up, the lowly foot soldiers of the ghoul kingdoms: the Crypt Ghouls.


I. BACKGROUND

"Ghoul is a word known in almost every corner of the Mortal Realms. These are the vile creatures who make up the majority of an Abhorrant Ghoul King’s seething armies, and they have an appetite for flesh that is both repulsive and insatiable. (...) They believe themselves to be stout foot soldiers of the king’s court or keen-eyed scouts ranging ahead of his armies. In truth, they are a cannibal horde of naked and hungry monsters."
W:AoS Death Battletome: Flesh-eater Courts

Basically, ragged, depraved cannibal humans that reject reality and substitute it with their own. The Ghouls believe they are their king's loyal soldiers and servants. They make the lowest stratum of their society.

II. OFFICIAL MODELS

 

Cypt Ghouls kit from GW. I'm really not a fan; I don't like the bent pose of their bodies and absolutely hate the heads. That's pretty much all they are composed of, so it made more sense to use a completely unrelated kit than to try and fix these. That doesn't mean I think they are useless in general; I've seen people do lovely INQ28 creatures with the bits, and I myself have a pile of Ghoul hands in my bits box.

The Ghouls are the cheapest unit type in the faction. They are human-sized and typically come in large numbers (there are twenty in the box).
Source: games-workshop.com

III. WHAT I DID, HOW, AND WHY


Goblins from The Hobbit game can pass for ghouls even without converting. These: LINK, by Old Fogey, are a fine example of that. What I wanted to do is add pieces of scavenged armour and rusting weapons, to reflect their inner delusion on the outside. They needed to be a grotesque parody of their glorious self-image. I gave one of them a ragged banner (yes, I'm aware they do not have a standard bearer option in the game). First draft had them wearing helmets, but I dropped  the idea. I might still make a helmeted one in the next batch to try it out, though.

I combined Goblins with bits from various Warhammer kits. Some were quite simple, others involved more elaborate puttywork. I think I achieved the rag-tag look, while still having a dose of uniformity.

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And these are the Ghouls with Janos the Cannibal. He was made before I conceived the idea for this warband, but is a perfect example of where I'll be going with my Crypt Horrors, and even his backstory fits. So I simply joined him to the crew (he'll just need a new shield). More about Crypt Horrors when Janos gets a friend or two.

26 comments:

  1. Splendid. Both painting and conversion work.

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  2. Love what you did with your figures. I think the stock models proceeded the court story (which is pretty cool) and were built around, "bitey inbred" imagery. Your conversions work much better because they bind the models to a life remembered. Trapping of past live real or imagined. Jesters, knights, ladies in waiting and courtiers are what I would like to see in the figures.

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    1. Thank you! :)

      That's right, those GW models were all inherited from the VC range. Since the story conveniently says it's all in their heads anyway, GW could get away with not releasing any new models. And all artwork must match the models these days, so not even that bothers to reflect the new background. I understand why they took this approach - their reasons are purely financial- but that doesn't make it any less half-assed.

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  3. These are brilliant - the lowly hobbit goblin kit is one of my favourite GW kits, and your take is one of the best. Ace.

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    1. Thanks! I agree - the goblins are great. I keep going back to that kit for all sorts of projects.

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  4. Lovely figures (in a terrifying grotesque way) and far better than the "official" figures would have been, even under your corrective ministrations. I think a few helmeted heads would not be amiss, (particularly if perched atop their grotesque heads) and horridperson's ideas about knights and courtiers and ladies are just great. (imagining a ruff collar or a tattered gown in which the goblin-ghoul body is squished)

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    1. Thanks! Ruffs, torn silks, and other finery are reserved for the courtiers- the Queen herself and the other 'highborn' monstrosities. I'm really looking forward to tackling those conversions.

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  5. Good idea to use the goblins as ghouls. As you are talking about helmets, I would recommend the "knight"-helmet from the blight kings with the vertical grid (if you haven't used this already).

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    1. Excellent idea. I have that head somewhere.

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  6. They look terrible but it is beautiful in them. Good job.

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  7. The skin tone on these ghouls are simply fantastic. Awesome work Ana. I love painting skin tones myself and I can truly say this is great work. :)

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  8. Ah still pillaging from the original Warhammer. Mortal Realm is a name for the Warhammer World. Shame, eww of sigmar is only a parasite of the original Warhammer, AoS28 it's even sillier, you'd have a darker, way better feeling with Warhammer.
    Hagen

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    1. Pillaging, silly, parasite... Thanks, mate.

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  9. Great conversions. Your Ghouls looks mich betetr then orginal ones :)

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