Flayed Ones

have to admit, the original Flayed Ones never did it for me.  They felt like a unit that was missing something, both in their rules and their backstory.  I still think their rules are a little off (they’re a bit pricey, I think, and Rage or Furious Charge would’ve given them more flavor) but I think their fluff is fantastic now.  They’re essentially mechanical zombies, mindless eating machines that get nothing from what they eat.

And zombies have a special appeal to me.

Alas, nine dollars per model is a bit too steep for my taste, especially for the points cost.  Considering you need to use at least ten Flayed Ones to make a decent unit, they’re just too expensive.  And, I have to admit, it does grate on me a bit that Games Workshop theoretically created Finecast as a money-saving move, then refused to pass those savings on to the customers.

So... cheap Flayed Ones.
Some of you may remember from a while back, I’d lucked out and found a bunch of Necron Warriors in my local gaming store’s bits bins.  A lot of them were broken or poorly assembled.  Some had thick, gloppy paint jobs.  A few were missing arms or heads.  But I realized they’d make a good base to start from.  Heck, even if I had to buy a box of brand new Warriors for this project, it’d still make them less than half the price of the same number of Flayed Ones models.

First step was to cut off the weapons (assuming they hadn’t been broken off already).  I tried to save as much of the hand as possible, but didn’t worry about it too much if the arms ended at the wrist.  This gave me a basic Necron figure.

Some of these guys needed feet, too.  I think the thin ankles are tough for some younger Overlords to work with.  Since the Flayed Ones are supposed to be a bit deformed, I just built new feet from a few pieces of card and some small bits of sprue.  I added in some plastic rod in places where the break made them too short.

Helpful Hint – The easiest thing to do was just cut a pair of triangle This gave me a foot that looked a bit like a mechanical claw, and that works great for Flayed Ones.

Next was repositioning.  By nature of holding a rifle, all the Warriors are in more or less the same stance.  I cut some arms in the center of the upper arm and rotated them a bit.  This gave them wider and more dynamic poses.  I also cut a few Warriors across the thin part of the back, filed them a bit, and then re-attached them to give the figures a bit more of a hunch.  This helped with some of the models that had been assembled looking up at the sky.

Helpful Hint – Don’t worry too much about things lining up when you reposition them.  You want it to be solid, yes, but any odd seams can either be written off as part of the Flayed Ones mutated forms or it’ll get hidden by folds of skin (as explained in a bit).

A few of them needed arms, too.  I had a few spares that I’d picked up here and there, and in one or two places I found arms from Lychguard or Immortals that fit fine (if they looked a little oversized or distorted... all the better).  Some are Fantasy skeleton arms.  I even made one set from a zombie scythe handle and another from a skeleton spear.  I know they look really crude like this, but they’re going to be fine by the end of this.

The hands were the next part.  They are kind of the defining feature of a Flayed One.  On the old models they had very Freddy Kruger-ish fingers, but these new ones are a bit more random.  It fits their twisted, mutated nature and it makes for easy scratch-builds.  

Two or three of these guys have elaborate hands made out of blades.  Some just have a scissors-like arrangement.  A few just have one big cutting blade, set up either like a sword or a scythe.  I tried to space these out between models so the different arrangements felt a bit random.

Helpful Hint – There are tons of knives and blades kicking about the GW lines.  Tons.  Space Marines of all flavors and allegiances, new and old, come with knives.  Kroot come with extra rifles that are covered with blades.  Dark Eldar have some nice ones.  Heck, if you saved any old Dark Eldar figures, there were blades on everything (even their pistols and helmets).  This doesn’t even count the number of things you can find in the Fantasy line--swords, daggers, spears--all sorts of nastiness.

I also really like the art in the new codex that shows a Flayed One with a small forest of spikes or blades growing out of its back.  I used a few more blades for those.  These helped reinforce the spine where I’d cut it, too.

Next week I’ll add some details to the base, some skin to the spikes, and some paint to the whole model.


TARDIS Objective

Another quick fill-in blog.  Pathetic, I know.  I’ve been using my time on a lot of fill-in projects that most of you wouldn’t find that interesting, like patching together some more Dark Eldar warriors from old and new parts, and building a small allied force for my Relictors.

Considering today, though, I thought I could take a moment to show off one of my favorite objective markers.  The TARDIS, in 40K scale.  I put it together years ago and I’m always making little tweaks and adjustments to it.  Orks and Space Marines have frequently fought to claim this prize.  It showed up on an Apocalypse battlefield once where the Guard were trying to hold off a Tyranid swarm.

As a disclaimer up front, building it was very easy, but it did cost a bit in plasticard.  Exact prices may vary depending on what you’ve got on hand and where

The main body is just a box 1”x 1”x 2” tall.  I used small sprue scraps inside to help it hold its shape.  Once it was solid, I set the whole thing on a slightly larger square (1 3/8”) for the base.  Then I built up the door panels and other details with 5/32” plastic strips I had.

Helpful Hint—If you buy plastic in sheets or strips, make sure to check how thick it is.   Know what you’re buying.  A difference of .015” to .01” may seem miniscule in the store, but once you start building with it it can become a huge headache.  It’s all a matter of scale...

The “roof” of the TARDIS is two stacked fantasy bases, a 20mm on top of a 25mm.  The light is one of the round extrusions that show up on the corners of sprues, although a small piece of tubing would work, too. 

When the whole thing was built I went over a few of the seams with putty to hide some odd joins.  Some blue paint, white for the windows, black for the signs, and... voila.  I really need to get an ultrafine white paint pen, though, to do some text on the signs along the top.

Alternately, there are tons of paper models of the TARDIS out there (and also here and here, for example), and it wouldn’t take too much work to adjust one down to 40K scale and use some of the various Paperhammer hints here to make it solid and even more detailed.

With some of the new rules for terrain and objectives and the narrative approach the game’s taken, I’ve always thought this little blue box could get some wonderful archeotech abilities...
Safely out of the way of rampaging beasts...


Ork Dreadnaught

Just stumbled across this cheap, cool upgrade and thought I’d share it.

I’ve had one of the old Ork Dreadnaughts sitting on my “to build” shelf for about, oh, twelve years now.  I’m not entirely sure why I’ve avoided it for so long.  Pretty sure part of the reason is that it’s a big chunk of metal, and that means lots of filing and gluing.  Plus a lot of scraping and swearing when the glue just doesn’t hold for some reason and parts drop off or never even stick. 

I just haven’t had the time for that.  Or the patience.

Plus, there’s that mild frustration because the new Deff Dreads have come out and they’re really nice.  The metal ones have always had a good, patched-together look, but the new ones had an unquestionable Orky vibe to them.  Which led to nagging regrets about not building the old metal one sooner and wondering if I’d be happy with it if I did.


I decided to finally build it and only cracked one molar grinding my teeth when the legs kept falling off.  But while I did, I tried to think of something I could add or replace on it to bring it to a slightly more “modern” esthetic.  There’s so many extra back banners and armor plates and such in the Ork sets that my girlfriend and I have piles of extras.  There had to be something I could do to make the old Dreadnaught look a little snazzier.

Inspiration came while cleaning up my previous project.  A year ago, when I got my deal with Random House, I’d bought a Stompa to celebrate.  It sat in my office for about six months before I finally built it, and I was pretty happy with how it came out.  And there were more leftovers still on the sprue to check out.

One of them was the alternate faceplate.  The Stompa comes with two, and I had the more skull-like one left.  The Deff Dread has that big skull-face option, so I checked the Stompa faceplate against the old Dreadnaught, just for the heck of it.  Much to my surprise, it fit perfectly.  It’s the right size and it even matches the curve of the hull.

Even better, there are tons of these floating around.  Anyone who has a Stompa has at least one, which means you can probably give an old Dreadnaught a facelift for a few pennies at most.

I’ll post a picture of this guy once he’s done.  Assuming his legs stay on...