Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Hobby Update: Abyssal Gargoyles

After finishing up the Horsemen, I decided to bite the bullet and order up some Gargoyles (and, while I was at it, a Ba'su'su mini) in an attempt to try and finish up my Abyssals army. I am still missing many, many units, but given their ubiquity in list I have seen, the Gargoyles at least are the last models I feel that I absolutely must have in order to have a "proper" Abyssals experience. I ordered the models through Twilight Kin, and I would order from them again. If you are in the States and looking for a retailer for Kings of War minis consider checking them out. 

My gut instinct is that I multibase moderately-well, hitting around 80% of the model count for most of my units. I could be way off, but I think that feels about right. For these though, I had heard horror stories, and originally planned to pull back a bit, and buy two boxes, for a 7:7:6 split between three troops. In the end, I wussed out and decided to just get one box, and oh boy am I glad I stuck with one box. These are finicky models... If you are going to a tournament that demands the PMC or 50%+1.. good luck. You will have your work cut out for you I think. I am just fine with running these in 5 model troops for my casual games. If memory serves, these are very old sculpts, so some leeway is probably due. However, after hobbying these up, I can say I do not really like these models! 

They came in baggies, not on a sprue, and upon arrival I jumped right in, so I don't have a good reference shot for the model pieces. But starting at the bottom, the pillars are ... interesting. Some have hands grasping upwards, some are ornate, and some have what looks to be vegetation winding up the sides. I dislike them all. I am experimenting with some spackle for some dune-centric desert bases, and decided to branch out with some spackle here too. Each column got smeared and obscured  by spackle, so all are rockier and a little more uniform looking: roughly similar perches from where the gargoyles survey the battlefield and their prey.

The spackle obscured the pillars nicely. Then it was just a black base coat, dark grey layer, and then a light grey drybrush. Simple stuff. The wings have a diluted red wash to add a hint of coloration.

The torsos here are ridiculous. I decided to take a hobby knife to all the gargoyle bolt ons, removing them with a number of rough straight cuts to looks like the chests were roughly hewn like the rest of the model. The models have cracks and rough patches to show off their rocky forms, so I then continued on my spackle adventure, taking tiny bits and smudging them on the chest, legs and arms to try and disguise my cuts. That said, I don't really see anywhere the spackle made any difference, to be honest.

Very dynamic! These don't look bad, but the tails are quite concerning. I wish they were more "perched" than "pouncing" for their poses. Lava was orange, then a few layers of increasingly yellow paint. Good enough for a lava pool effect I think.

The wings themselves look great, and (using bat wing terminology) have wonderfully defined fingers to aid with painting up the mini. The skin bits in between are also pretty nice to paint up; allowing for nice dry brushes and easy washes. The wings are great, but the piece as a whole is also a little much. The bit has both wings, the tail, and the whole thing attached to a nub on the back of the model's torso (similar to how a Space Marine backpack is attached), but with so much going on, the wing bits are thicker than the torso itself! From the side, the model looks pretty weird. Almost like it has a spine for the torso and a second spine for the wings and tail.

The poses are also a bit ... much. All the bits seem to be more-or-less interchangable, and make for very dynamic poses. However, I am very wary of the tails... one snag and I feel like they'll torque the mini right off at the ankles. So I tried to arrange it all so that very little of any model is hanging over the side of the base. I'm not sure how many more I could possibly fit on the base. I will need to be very careful with these on the table. If I were to redesign these, I'd add the tail to the pelvis and wrapping around the pillar, to get another point of contact on the miniature and reduce the overhang. The wings could still attach like a backpack, but I think this would make the models far more stable.

On the table, the Gargoyles were regarded as some of the best chaff in the game for 2nd Edition, due to flying, great regeneration, and the their general ability to get places they had no business being. Having not followed 3rd Edition much, but knowing the general rules remained the same, I can only assume they remain desirable, so we'll definitely give them a go in the next game and see how they do!

Not a bad little hero model. In all the official pics, these stony warriors are given glowing eyes. I may embrace that at some point, but really didn't feel like messing with eyes right now to be honest. Eyes and the painting of the edge, and these all will be totally done.

Additionally, I picked up a Ba'su'su model. This one was metal, which surprised me, but probably shouldn't have; it is a pretty old sculpt I think. Overall, I like him. On the table, he looks to tank about as good as any regiment, but also costs about the same. He'll be expensive, but should appear in any game above 2000 points. I think in those larger games he'll be able to dart in a hold stuff up nicely.

...And these should bring me to over 3000 points. The Horsemen, additional Moloch Horde and now the Gargoyles should provide me with a much-better "balanced" force than I had this time last year.

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