Classically Grotesque – Mutant Warband

The main inspiration for this project was JRN’s mutant warband from back in 2003. The initial idea was to create a similar group using all of Paul Muller’s muties from Gorkamorka.

Over time this plan evolved and only one of those sculpts made it into the final group. However, I still tried to constrain the sources of my bits somewhat. For instance, almost all of them can trace parts to sculpts by Muller and Brian Nelson. I feel that this gives the group a stronger aesthetic. Also, the added challenge of constraining myself in this way spurred my creativity since it forced me to consider parts I hadn’t otherwise.

Another theme is of course the use of bits from various Nurgle miniatures, although I see their mutations and diseased state to be more due to a mix dysgenic inbreeding and infections than gifts from Chaos. By adding boils and open wounds I could also tie various bits together more strongly. Another goal was to provide some variety in size and body type, this was in part inspired by the Iron Sleet challenge from last year but also of course by JRN’s original mutant warband.

I’m considering adding a sixth member based on the three legged Chaos shrine mutant to add even more variety. The John Bauer inspired leader of the warband was the last member to be added. He came about in an almost serendipitous way. I had originally planned for another miniature when I was inspired by a shaman by Jordan Lee. I tried using the gretchin head almost as a joke at first but it quickly grew on me.

The leader is probably my favourite mutant of the group and somewhat ironically the one furthest removed from the initial idea. Getting the skin right was obviously the most important part of the painting. I used a mix of standard layering and blending and also experimented with stippling and washes. One of my favourite effects are the small spots of discoloured skin. They were done by letting small drops of ink dry up on the surface before wiping up the remainder. The boils were also important to get right, an early failed experiment ended up looking like small jewels! I hadn’t originally planned to give them the forest basing, however Bruticus managed to persuade me. The forest theme also fits the troll­like leader of the warband.

15 Comments on “Classically Grotesque – Mutant Warband

  1. Wow, those are fantastic ! They remind me the good old GorkaMorka mutties…. Excellent… well… no AWESOME work !

  2. That’s a solid group. I recognize most of the parts, but they come together in a fresh way here. Awesome job.

  3. Beautiful, disgusting, amazing. Both a technical tour-de-force of skintones and varying textures and a really evocative group of characters.

    The gretchin/goblin head works wonderfully with the human skin-tones and hair; makes me want to see scraggly clumps of hair on any future mutants.

    I think the forest bases work really nicely, both formally contrasting with the pinks of the skin and putting them in a setting we’re less used to seeing. Mutant dregs are so much more commonly found in cities, factories, rad-desserts, etc. The lush foliage makes me think about them living in a rad forest choked with overgrown plant life (Stalker / Chernobyl?). It even works with their rusted metals suggesting a thick humid climate.

    • Thank you.

      I was a bit anxious about whether or not the gretchin head was going to work. I was hoping that the paint job would remove the immediate association to its origin. Glad to hear it worked in your mind.

      My biggest concern about the forest basing was that it would place them even further into some sort of fantasy/fairytale territory. The Chernobyl / Stalker association struck me as well as I was working on them.

  4. Beautiful mutants, i love the paintjobs- you do the skin very well and the boils came out great. Overall they look like they belong together, and the bases are a nice touch too! They are very old school as well, look like they could almost belong in a fantasy setting.

    • Thanks! Bruticus made the same comment about them almost being fantasy. At first I was a bit dismayed but I’ve come to like the ambivalence. Perhaps they’re indeed inhabitants of the far north of the Old World or some strangle corner of the new.

  5. Wonderful creations. The forest bases work as a really nice contrast and I’m happy to have inspired your Elder Twist. It’s an incredibly characterful model.

  6. They have an air of the Brian Froudish about them, particularly the hunched crone and the lad with the long rifle. Approved.

  7. This has been such an interesting project to follow, and the results are even better than one could ever have hoped for. Hats off to you, sir.

    • Thanks! They’ve really taken ages to finish but glad to hear you’ve enjoyed the process.

  8. That hag looks like a nightmare Jim Henson had while he was dropping acid!!! Love them all!

  9. Brilliant – I spotted the inspiration well before reading the text of your post. I really like the forest basing too.

  10. Great job! I also like that Blood Angel very much. Is there more of him to be seen?

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