Rain howls on a dark and stormy night. Chain link fences rattle in the stiff breeze. Guard dogs bark, jumping up at the fence as men in military uniforms make their way towards a gate. They enter, a searchlight momentarily blinding as it sweeps across a small compound. The men move towards a steel cage. Inside, a person, cross legged, head bowed. One of the military men is talking, they toss a communication device into the cage.
The figure in the cage picks it up and turns away.
“How does it feel to play the traitor?” asks the soldier.
The prisoner looks up despondently for a moment before turning their attention back to the device in their hands.
The military men leave. Poignant music quietly fills the air as they climb into an off-road vehicle. After a short drive they arrive at a helipad, transport is waiting for them.
One of the men scrubs an identifying mark off the tail of a helicopter before boarding. They lift off into the inclement gloom, tossing fake insignia patches out of the open door as the compound fades from view. Below, on a cliff, a figure in a tight-fitting bodysuit is carefully scaling the rocks.
They tuck themselves tight to the uneven surface as the helicopters pass overhead. They crest the clifftop and slither through the mud towards the compound. The dark clad figure rises to one knee, ocular magnifiers scanning the area before them.
They reach up, and peel the goggles away to reveal grizzled features, one eye and it’s – its only bloody well me, Roujin! Kept you waiting, huh?
Famous Last Words
Back in February of last year I may have been a bit too hasty when I proclaimed “…plans for completing the unit are already in progress…” and “With the finish line in sight…” in my first article talking about my now beloved cultists (which you can read here).
Like many in the hobbyverse, I am cruelly afflicted with “Magpie Eye”, a debilitating, chronic condition. When I said I would soon finish the remaining models for my unit of cultists, I said it with my whole chest. Alas, that was before I knew that what I really wanted to do was paint up a Helbrute kitbashed together with some 3D printed parts from TPP’s very own Rich Nutter, then that Warpsmith I got off a friend at Christmas because he’s a big cool tentacle robot man and he was a secret santa gift, then a Master of Execution because I had a cool idea to give him a horrible dirty axe blade and tattered bits of banner instead of other people’s skin for his little skirt, etc.
So, the remaining cultists sat, scattered and unloved across hobby corner, just as they were at the end of the last article. Forsaken in lieu of their genetically superior heretic counterparts. Sad. That is until the greatest motivator of all reared it’s ugly head – a hard deadline for completion.
The Roll Models Community had organised a meetup in November, and there was no way this author was going to be caught dead with anything less than an obnoxiously full-sized squad of chaff ready to absorb some bullets.
I woke up, open palm slammed a fresh pot of water onto my desk and, right then and there, started painting those cultists. I did every brushstroke and I did them hard. Making whooshing noises when I slammed down a thin coat or even when I messed up the highlighting. Not many can say they painted one of the galaxy’s weakest troops choices. I can, I say it and I say it out loud every day to people in my office and all they do is prove people can still be immature jerks. And I’ve learned their rules and stratagems and I’ve learned how to make my apartment less lonely by shouting them all. Two hours, including wind down, every morning. Then I lift.
Big Boy Men it’s the Big Boy Men
Way back in the first article I said I wanted to get some of the other abhuman races from 40k into the cult if possible. I wanted to get a beastman in, which turned out to be really easy thanks to Blackstone Fortress being a thing that came out somewhat recently. So I went online and ordered a single Beastman Cultist from your favourite online auction site. Easy-peasy.
I also wanted to get an Ogryn, but this seemed like it was going to be more of a challenge. To start with, I needed it to fit on a 25mm base, and Ogryn are quite large lads. It also seemed like there would be a reasonable amount of conversion work required to take an Astra Militarum Ogryn or Bullgryn, strip off the insignia and carry out a weapon swap to something a bit less shooty.
But no, what happened was daddy Games Workshop released Jotunn Servitor Ogryns for Necromunda instead, and the kit included a walking pose that would easily fit on a 25mm base as well as an option to build a one-armed Ogryn carrying a huge pipe wrench (a Spud-Jacker in Underhive parlance, I believe) so I just got one of those instead. It’s nice when things work out like that.
Not having to do any conversion work on either of these two models was a relief, as they are larger than most other things in the unit and stand out a bit more. Not having to worry about wonky weapons, or messy green stuff work was a real bonus.
Rather than just accept my good fortune at having no conversion work to do, I decided to not quit while I was ahead and wasted loads of time giving the Ogryn purple camo pants and you can barely see them at all on the tabletop because the colours don’t have anywhere near enough contrast. I was a fool, a blasted fool!
The Perfectly Normal Cultist and Doris from Sector 438
I already heaped praise on Bad Squiddo miniatures in the last article and I’m going to do it again, and you can’t stop me!
In one instance, I was notified that one of the Ghosts of Gaia range of minis was actually a pile of guinea pigs stuffed into some robes. Let me tell you, I have never purchased anything so quickly in my entire life. It’s perfect for the gang, 11/10.
Then, a rather nice mini of Danuta Danielsson surfaced. The vision for me was clear, if I stuck a gun in her other hand, then everyone’s favourite old school antifa aunty could be repurposed as everyone’s favourite old lady cultist.
The results were incredible, I now own the baddest octogenarian in Warhammer 40,000 since Malcador the Sigilite and I’m preventing accusations of age discrimination!
Music of the Apocalypse
No self-respecting Slaaneshi cult would dream of entering the fray without musical accompaniment.
There was actually a bit of competition for which mini I was going to use to fill this role. Originally, I had planned to use the incredible Sergio the Sax Man, another Bad Squiddo banger mini. However, a discord user kindly pointed me in the direction of Ramshackle Games, specifically their Levi mini, which is a robed keytar playing cyborg complete with their own shoulder mounted loudspeaker.
Ramshackle Games are a UK based company, who produce rules and minis for their own tabletop game Mini Gangs as well as a whole load of minis, extra bits, and vehicles that you can easily accommodate in other games.
They were also kind enough to bundle in a couple of free minis that they had been planning to give out to people at conventions but couldn’t because all the conventions were cancelled because it’s hell year forever on Plague Island, what nice people!
The Long-Suffering HQ
It’s a tough job, but someone has to be in charge of this unruly mob and coral them towards the battlefield when required.
I wanted a couple of minis to round out the unit that looked like they had some actual military experience and who could direct the carnage once the fighting started. Someone to fill the role of Cultist Champion and their second in command/lacky/next most tough member of the cult.
I quite liked the idea of something a bit like traitor guard and Artel W Miniatures have a really great (and horrible) set of minis in their Crimson Legion range that lean really heavily into this look. The “Blood Gauptman” mini really fit the bill. A horrible turncoat officer straight out of the Imperial Guard, now somehow in charge of a load of aggressive albeit largely hapless hedonists.
The mini also came with a few different weapon options which have already found homes on other minis. I opted to replace his close combat weapon (after I accidentally snapped the original off during painting) with a chainsword from a Tzaangor sprue to give him something a bit nicer and set him apart from the rest of the squad.
I really must point out that the package I got from Artel W is probably the nicest packaged mini I’ve ever received. Look at how nice it was!
One thing worth bearing in mind is that Artel W are based in Russia, so you’ll be waiting a couple of weeks for your minis to arrive once they’ve been shipped.
The unit second in command is a mini that needs almost no introduction, it’s Ripper Jackson! She’s back! In heretic form! I love this mini and when she was brought back and made available to order I knew she was going straight into the cult. I had to do a tiny bit of work to get her suitable for her new life as a filthy traitor, I filed off all the aquilas on her equipment and stuck her on a 25mm base which meant I had to build up the rocks under her artificial leg as those are normally part of the scenic topper that glues onto her normal 32mm base.
I cocked up the skin tones a bit though and she’s got the kind of ab definition not seen since Zack Snyder’s 300, but the purple tiger striping on her trousers came out alright so I’m going to accept the result as a score draw.
This Dummy Can’t Count to Thirty
Imagine sitting down in October 2021 to write this article the first time, thinking you were sitting pretty.
You take your cultists out of the little case they live in for a group photo with the freshly completed additions to the squad. You start counting them out onto the board and when you have only counted to twenty-two but there are no more cultists left in the case and you just painted the last seven models, your brain stops working and everything goes white.
Once I had stopped swearing and finished packing the cultists safely back into their little display case, I returned to hobby corner, where of course I found one last primed model, hiding in a corner behind the assault marines that came out of the Command Edition 40K 9th Edition box. Bugger.
Actually, it was quite nice, because this last cultist was an anonymous donation, someone on Discord sent it to me with no note, they simply knew I would know what to do with it. Which is very sweet, people on Discord have been very supportive of my silly quest to be the last remaining post-point increase Chaos Space Marine cultist player. It was a very generous donation as well as it’s an old metal Redemptionist from Necromunda and they aren’t exactly ten a penny on Ebay these days, so to my mysterious benefactor, I smile appreciatively at you and flutter my eyelids, whoever you are.
Since it was the last model in the unit, I used a couple of lupin tufts from Mini Natur that I save only for special occasions because they are quite pricey considering how few you get in a pack.
And here they are! A full-size rabble. Finally, I gaze upon them like a proud father.
Ready to take on any challenge, with a 4+ to hit in shooting or combat, wounding most things on a 5+ (or worse) these fearsome warriors are ready to force opponents to make unmodified saving throws 16.67% of the time. What’s that? You can’t believe they aren’t being run in every single list? Neither can I.
Sitting here, after all these months, and months…and months…I’m really happy with how the whole squad has turned out, and how silly they are both in concept as well as flailing around on the tabletop just sort of not doing anything other than being an annoying blob of bodies that your opponent doesn’t really want to waste shooting on, but sort of has to because they can hold objectives and reappear at full strength somewhere else in future turns.
If I have one criticism, it’s that I’m not super happy with the basing, I don’t think the flowery meadow effect really comes across that well when it has to be squeezed onto bases that small, but that’s a minor quibble, and a goal for me to improve on for my next project!
Heading for the Front Lines
Well dear reader, there we have it, I finally finished thirty whole cultists, and yes, I took them to a weekend of playing Warhammer with some friends, and yes, you can soon read all about how thirty cultists fare in the face of enemies like Necrons! Primaris Space Marines! Adeptus Mechanicus (even that big shooty troop unit thing they have that people hate) and Beast Snagga Orks!
So, keep your eyes peeled for that – I promise that it will be available a lot faster than this article was. In the meantime, make sure you read all the other cool stuff people on Tiny Plastic People are writing about, listen to the TPP Podcast because it whips hard and follow us on Twitter @TinyPlasticPals
A Mighty Hobby Moth with a 250 Metre Wingspan
Yo, what’s better than a big unit of cultists?
THAT’S RIGHT – TWO UNITS OF CULTISTS BAYBEE! *EXTREMELY OBNOXIOUS AIR HORN NOISES*
I’ve got cultist fever and I can’t be stopped unless the Chaos Space Marine codex comes out next year and says no more cultists, not even for you, the pleb chapters who don’t get their own special book. If the rumour mill is accurate though, this isn’t happening, and I’ll get to round out the next squad with some swanky fresh cultist minis appropriated from future kits to be released by Games Workshop.
If you thought this article and the last one and the one that’s not even written yet about cultists getting annihilated on the tabletop sounded banal, wait until two years from now when I write another pointless, meandering, nonsensical report on the second squad of these motherlickers! They’re going to be even more kitbashed, even more horrible and not remotely interested in art and poetry, this time only drugs and violence – what horrible people!