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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Faction-Themed Mercenaries

No Quarter Magazine #52 had the first in a series of articles I'm working on, about faction-themed Mercenary units. The modeling tutorials focus on ways of converting and painting Warmachine & Hordes Mercenary and Minion units to represent extended deployments with a particular faction. Essentially, it's a way of creating a visual cohesion between your Mercenary units to match your overall army.

The first article showcased a unit of Cygnar-themed Horgenhold Forge Guard with voltaic shock hammers and blue accents on their armor.



This got me thinking about the other faction-themed Mercenaries I'd done for my own armies, some of them dating back quite a few years:

Doc Killingsworth

This was from Warmachine MK I, when Killingsworth could heal any friendly model, not just Pirates. I converted him using the Temple Flameguard Standard Bearer model as the base, with the Doc's arms, head, and shoes. His stove pipe hat was replaced with the helm of Sir Ekkrion, Paladin of Menoth, from the Iron Kingdoms RPG range. A few random knife bits and a tattered, blood-splattered apron finish off the model.



More recent is the diminutive Gobber speculator I converted for my Khadoran army. His bowler hat was clipped away and a fur hat was sculpted in its place. The back of his trench coat was sculpted with riveted armor plates to resemble a Khadoran great coat. I also modeled his base with snow to further solidify him as part of my army. 


Keep your eye out for the next article (should be in No Quarter #54).

Til next time!


  1. Hi Rob, really love your work, I too have a Khador force which I have based with a snowy theme; would you be able to provide some details on the techniques you use for your snow bases and products used?

  2. Thanks, Hendie! I did a tutorial a while back for my winter-themed Khador force. It's under "Khador Man-O-War" in the sidebar labels. Here's a direct link: http://robhawkinshobby.blogspot.com/2012/02/modeling-painting-khador.html It cover the colors used and how I modeled the snow bases.

  3. Really like the articles in NQ and can't wait to see what you have in store for the motherland. Any chance PP is having you do any of these article with hordes factions?

  4. While some of your conversions makes sense as Rainholdt would be sure to scrounge a fur hat and a nice neww coat when noone is looking.
    The dwarfs shockhammers are more a "well maybe if they where attatched for an extended amount of time with long downtime theyd start hanging out with the jack mechaniks etc and fashion some voltaic shock hammers and slab on some paint"

    But when it comes to mercs my personal opinion is that they should look apart from your army and i doubt anyone hireing gorman would make him a brand new blue/red/green etc acid proof coat each time they hire him. Likewise it might take some time convincing croes cutthroats that they should ditch their green brown camouflage garb for this blue red or whatever colour uniform the army in question might have. In thoose cases i might stretch myself to adding an army colour piece of cloth tied around their right arm to prevent friendly fire etc.

    Most mercenaries in the iron kingdoms bring their own gear and jacks so having them painted in the army colour doesnt really make sense in most cases. Again painted armour is more probable then having new uniforms sewn up each time. And from a practical standpoint if you have more then one faction, If they can work for two of more factions you own why paint them in just cygnar colours because they go in your eCaine list for the moment. Repainting models for the next tournament when you need them in another factions list instead is busywork that I dont feel like giving myself.

    Sometimes i think players take the idea of army cohesion to far without reflecting over if it makes sense or not.

  5. "well maybe if they where attatched for an extended amount of time with long downtime theyd start hanging out with the jack mechaniks etc and fashion some voltaic shock hammers and slab on some paint"

    Yes, that's exactly the point. The mercs use modified equipment and adopt the army colors *because* they are working on extended deployments with the faction.

    Sure, Gorman di Wulfe wouldn't get a uniform and blue cloak with his Cygnar contract and payment. But when the deployment lasts a year, maybe he starts working with the Stormsmiths to fashion some kind of electrostatic grenades because his other chemicals are running low and replacements are difficult to come by. Or when he witnesses the sheer volume of electricity cascading over the battlefield, perhaps he adds a layer of padded insulation to his uniform (possibly from scavenged Stormguard armor). Those aren't unrealistic or out-of-character modeling choices.

    The fact that all the important characters are pre-generated is one of the most limiting aspects of Warmachine from a hobby standpoint. Since you can't engineer your own warcasters or solos, converting the ones that you use a lot is one of the best ways to bring an element of uniqueness and personalization to your army.


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