Wishlisting Projects: Speedy Cults, Iron Within and Papa’s Garden

At the time of writing, I have two projects on the go. Namely, these are an expansion to my Necrons and a Gloomspite Gitz army. Now, I’ll be honest and share with you that by now I’d rather hoped to be further on with some of these force, but this lockdown is proving to be far busier, work-wise, than the last one. Finding the time and energy to paint has been tricky, though I’ve enjoyed the time that I have managed to spend making some progress.

Something I am trying to do with these projects is to maintain some sense of discipline. Years ago, I had a habit of taking on too many projects which I would then fail to see through to the end. As a result, I have a ridiculous number of miniatures that, realistically, I’m never going to finish. I recently cleared out one such folly, keeping the bits I will use and getting rid of the rest. I need to do the same with others.

That said, we all get tempted from time to time, and there are a number of armies that I do covet, a number of projects that I would love to pursue. Today, let’s take a look at three of them.

Genestealer Cults

As a range, I think the Genestealer Cults are just gorgeous. I think they benefits from having been a new army, done mostly at the same time, and recently. You don’t have the problem of older miniatures with a slightly different aesthetic, level of quality, or sculpting method, for example. They also seem more cohesive as a force than, say, the Ad Mech, which can appear to be a bit of a hodgepodge of styles in places.

The range is also interesting because, in the case of the less corrupted and/or mutated member of the cult, it’s also the only real look you get at civilians of Imperium. Yeah, you have regular humans in the Imperial Guard (Astra Militarum these days, or so I’m told), but that’s not the same as having essentially the members of a construction union taking to the field. This appeals to me.

Again, the whole range is great, but what I really love is the idea of a fast-moving force of cultists on bikes and in vehicles. It does help that the Genestealer Cult bikers, the Jackals, are some of the nicest miniatures in the range. For context, here are the bikers themselves and the Jackal Alphus character:

These are probably my favourite mounted miniatures in the 40K range. I’d love for the Imperial Guard to get an update to their Rough Riders, sending their old horses to the glue factory in favour of some nice, new bikes. The Emperor needs fighting men, but the Emperor also needs cheap, high-quality adhesives.

I just really like the idea of a wave of bikes cresting a hill and racing forward to encircle the enemy.

In addition to the bikes, there are a number of other vehicles accessible to the cults. These are the Ridgerunner, Goliath and Rockgrinder:

The Ridgerunners seen to get used quite heavily in a lot of lists. It’s your general light vehicle, nippy and shooty. The Goliath is a transport, carrying your troops across the battlefield in relative (for the 41st millennium) safety. The Rockgrinders are heavier combat vehicles that don’t seem to get used as much. I do really like like the idea of them though, so would be likely to grab a couple if given the chance. I feel that going heavily on mechanisation would lead me to double down on these vehicles and purchase Goliaths to transport any troops that I took into battle.

Beyond the actual Genestealer Cults line, there’s also the fact that you can take Tyranids or corrupted Imperial Guard as allied detachments. That opens up some cool options which include, in the case of the Imperial Guard, yet more cool vehicles. The Tyranids may be just as interesting, bringing some big monsters to the party, but I’d want to keep my focus on speed as a theme.

Of the three projects in this article, this is probably the least likely for me to pursue. As I’ve said, I love the miniatures and the idea of this army, but there are a few factors working against me. One major one is that the cost of this army would be significant, with the range being very expensive on a pounds-to-points basis.

Iron Warriors

It’s funny, the Iron Warriors are not a legion that I’d have thought about a few years ago. I’d read and enjoyed some of the older books, but not being a fan of vehicles in 40K and not being a big fan of painting metallics, it did not seem to be the army for me. This is despite the fact that I’ve long been a CSM fanboy and previously painted up Night Lords, Word Bearers, Death Guard, World Eaters and some custom Slaaneshi marines. Seemingly, Iron Warriors were where I drew the line.

More recently, I’ve found myself s lot more interested in the Daemon Engines available to the Chaos Space Marines, as well as some other recent miniatures. I’m also feeling a bit better about metallics. I also really like some of the character options that are available, both specifically to the Iron Warriors, and those that are more widely available, but are thematically appropriate:

The Warsmith miniature that’s currently available is wonderful. He’s so full of character, looking heavy and dense, but also having these snaking mechadendrites writhing around him. The Lord Discordant is one of the best miniatures in the CSM line, and also seems pretty solid ruleswise. My first draft of an Iron Warriors list featured two of them. He also has that cool aesthetic of the Dark Mechanicus, which I’ll come back to in a bit.

In terms of getting started with such an army, the Start Collecting box is actually pretty perfect for me. I mean, I get that the competitive Chaos Space Marines lists do not actually have all that many marines in them, preferring instead to fill out compulsory troops slots with cheap cultists, but we’re all about the rule of cool here! We want marines, and this box gives us 10 to get started with. It also gives a Venomcrawler Daemon Engine and a couple of Obliterators:

The Obliterators are such a fitting set of minis for the Iron Warriors. Is it frustrating that there are only two available sculpts for a unit of 3? Yes, of course, but at least they look good this time. The last few versions of these minis have been decidedly underwhelming. I’m sure I still have some of my blocky, little Obliterators from third edition. The Venomcrawler is the best miniature in this box, and he’s also the nicest of the Daemon Engine miniatures. I’d love a little brood of them, which I would actually very likely end up with as I could see myself picking up a couple of these boxes, were I to commit to this army.

The other, larger Daemon Engines are also impressive miniatures. I’d probably avoid Defilers as, although they are still good in-game, the model is is pretty dated in comparison to the newer ones:

The dual Forgefiend/Maulerfiend kit gives a range or melee-focused Daemon Engine, respectively. I like the bestial nature of these miniatures, merged with elements that we more familiar with from the Chaos Space Marines line. Likewise, the Heldrake brings that same bestial wrath from the skies.

The idea of these bestial machines being cultivated by the 4th legion is an attractive one. I could see myself very conflicted over how best to use the heavy support slots for this army!

Something that also appeals to me is the idea of merging a fledgeling force of Iron Warriors with some sort of representation of the Dark Mechanicum. These Hereteks are former adepts of the cult of Mars who have thrown in their lot with ruinous powers. There’s not much in the way of miniatures for the Dark mechanicus, but there are a few really cool third party miniatures from independent designers, such as The Makers Cult:

The mechano-centric focus of both the Iron Warriors and the Dark Mechanicus make them natural – if slightly unsettling – bedfellows. The Adeptus Mechanicus is itself incredibly sinister in appearance, and the Dark Mechanicus just dials that right up.

At some point, I expect that I will attempt some sort of Chaos Space Marines army. I love the background, the feel, the wierdness… As to the specific legion, the Iron Warriors do encapsulate the aspects of the army that currently have my attention, so unless things change significantly with future releases, it will still likely be them. For now, though? It’s more to buy and paint at a time when I’m trying to focus, map out projects, and stick to plans.

So this, or something like it, will be on the cards in the future. One thing really want to do is to build in some conversions or alternative miniatures. I used to convert a lot, but it’s not something I’ve really done at all since getting back in to Warhammer a few years ago. The scope that Chaos gives for this sort of stuff is really what gives it the edge for me over the Genestealer Cults project above.

Garden of Nurgle

Now, speaking of the opportunity for conversions and alternative miniatures in a Chaos army, I’m finding myself very enthused over the idea of a Garden of Nurgle army. I envisage plenty of conversions, incorporating bits of Nurgle Daemons and of Dryads and other Sylvaneth miniatures. I really want it to look like Nurgle has ridden roughshod over a forest and Sylvaneth who have failed to protect it.

In terms of characters, I could see some interesting possibilities for converted heralds and Daemon Princes, but I’d also very much like to use Horticulous Slimux and a Greater Daemon, possibly even Rotigus:

As mentioned, I see my core units as a mix of Plaguebearers of Nurgle and Sylvaneth Dryads. I’m not a sculptor, but this is Nurgle, so mess is encouraged! Both kits are great. The Plaguebearers have a lot of personality and the Dryads are still solid miniatures, even if they’re actually pretty old now. Boxes of 16? Please.

I see the core of this army being a Daemonic force, but I do already have some lovely Blightkings. They may need repainted, but that’s ok. They will certainly need rebased, but more on that later!

The other troops I’d be looking to are some Chaos Warriors. Now, the existing Chaos Warrior miniatures, whether the dynamic ones from the new Start collecting box or the more static ones from the standard kit, are nice miniatures. The thing is, I’m not going to use them. Part of the reason this army appeals to me that I get to buy new stuff, but I also get to use up lots of Nurgle stuff that I’ve already accumulated. One idea was to use my stock of the older Chaos Warriors, the ones that are much more twisted, bent double, and generally uncomfortable-looking. The thing is, I actually might have something even better. I actually have about 40 (or possibly more) of the Avatars of War Pestilence (or Corruption) warriors:

These are lovely miniatures which are recognisable as Chaos Warriors, but also very plainly touched by Nurgle’s many and bountiful blessings. They are pretty gross in places! Perfection. I don’t imagine I’d do much conversion there, but I’d definitely need to find some round bases to replace their square ones. Square bases are so 2014.

One thing that I am keen on, and which I’m not that good at, is to make some nice, army-specific bases for these minis. At the moment, I am doing most of my forces on desert bases because, well, I can do that generally well. I know how. In future projects, I want to take the opportunity to branch out and try new things. I found a nice guide to making bases like these:

I’m going to go ahead and include the whole tutorial below. It’s by Xenus Minis and is actually a really good, easily followable tutorial:

The feeling of this army really appeals to me. I like the theme, combining Nurgle with some elements of twisted plants and nature. I love the idea of the spreading of corruption. I think this might be a lot of fun.

The fact that I already have a lot of stuff that I need to get started with this army is why I do think this is a pretty likely project to happen. I need to work out an initial Daemon-based list that I could then expand with some Slaves to Darkness and other mortal followers of Nurgle. Yeah, this project is one that will happen once I clear the decks of one of my other large project, be that my Necrons or my Gloomspite. Quite a bit to go on those, though!

I’ve enjoyed sharing these ideas and just talking through what makes an attractive project to me. I’ll definitely by doing this again, whether with projects that I’m considering now, or some this I considered in the past.


  1. Thanks for sharing. I too suffer from the affliction that so many projects look exciting that I could never possibly have time to complete them. Solidarity!


  2. Genestealer Cults are forever my favourite idea, but I can never seem to get very far with the force. I think the Neophyte Hybrid models are the best-looking infantry in the game, but that means I want to take my time with them and do them justice, and so I’ve never been able to paint more than ten of them 🤣

    One day, though…


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