Scavvy Boss Black Tobin

Black Tobin 1 Black Tobin 2









“One idea has dominated me since I was very very little, nesting in my bones and, like blood, bloating my flesh and keeping me alive. It is important to understand it as soon as possible. In fact, and that’s really all there is to the idea, one must understand it too soon. What’s the idea? The threshold. Any situation bears with it a certain threshold of violence. Some situations just aren’t tense enough, so people often hang around with guns, but they’re not really willing to use them. Men, like animals, must build themselves up to killing, you know: hunger, hate, even madness need nurturing and time, and strength. A broken man won’t stand up to murder you, and no one feels like killing a stranger on the spot without some kind of confrontation. And that’s what gets them. When you’re fighting over dice, no one’s supposed to draw a gun. Same: you fight a war, no one’s supposed to light the nukes. Well, guess who’s the one who always wins at dice? And we won the goddamn war, didn’t we? You have to burn it – the threshold, I mean – and burn it before anyone else does. Grab hold of unexpected, paroxysmal violence. That’s a human thing no animal can do. A new instinct. Spill blood while the dice are still rolling. Be ready to stab over a dollar, and shoot over a dime. And when everyone expects you to do so… well, that’s when you have to get really cruel.”

A disturbing piece of Scavvy savvy, as an introduction to the warped minds, and bodies, of the Scavvy Necromunda gang I’m currently painting, and as a reminder of the extreme-right-wing undertones of many survivalist fantasies.

Being the chief of a tribe of leprous cannibalistic outcasts, likely to be shot on sight by any “respectable” citizen and hunted down by packs of religious fanatics, while the toxic fumes from the most vicious landfill in the known universe are painfully mutating your body into a mass of fluorescent gangrene, is clearly not a breeze. Now do it on just one leg. Despite his brutal philosophy, Black is definitely having troubles staying alive, and lately he has been leaning dangerously over the edge between absolute authority and minced meat.  He lost a leg to an enforcer’s metal mastiff and his skin is rotting away from malnutrition and the exposure to chemical waste. He lost his hair long ago, but no one has yet survived a comment on his eponymous black toupee. He sports an ostentatious autogun, and an array of banned grenades and imaginative torture tools he is more often using on his few subordinates than on the many enemies of his caste. Stress can be heard in the camp like the grinding of teeth. One by one, he will have to kill all of his minions, and soon he’ll be dead or alone. Sleep does not come to him anymore, just occasional lapses of consciousness from which he comes up with a jolt and cold sweats as if he’d been hit by a bullet. For the first time in his short excruciating life, he’s been thinking of turning one of his infamous peaks of violence upon himself – beat everyone else at the game and be the one to end it.

Vintage ogres

A group of three vintage ogre man-eaters. The first two are MM41 Marauder Miniatures ogres from 1989. They appeared on White Dwarf 122 in 1990 and they were either sculpted by Ally Morrison, Trish Morrison or Colin Dixon – Hygienicporridge says. The third one will be the C23 Citadel ogre sculpted by Jes Goodwin in the late Eighties.

Vintage man eater ogres group Marauder man eater ogre flail 1 Marauder man eater ogre flail 3 Marauder man eater ogre flail 2 Marauder man eater ogre halberd 3 Marauder man eater ogre halberd 2 Citadel man eater ogre mace 1 Citadel man eater ogre mace 2

Ogre slave-warrior

I think this should be a Chronopia Blackblood ogre, but I couldn’t find an exact reference. The paint job is not excellent, also because the miniature was already half painted when I picked it up again after years in the closet. The metals are barely ok, and the skin colours are probably too thick, but I kinda like the pain-stricken look that I think I managed to give him.

Ogre slave-warrior

The Sin are an empire without emperor. After the death of their last regent four centuries ago, a period of bloody succession wars ensued, but no family ever managed to put their protégé on the throne. So, first as a temporary solution, and then as a symbol of the continuing authority of the empire and of the balance of power between the noble families, the golden throne has been left empty.

The imperial palace on the island of Hei is still maintained by hundreds of servants, all the routines and the offerings duly performed, but no noble is allowed to live there. All legislation is decided by nobles in private hearings, tacitly submitted to the approval of a council of monks, and then ratified in the name of the golden throne itself.

The Sin command a mighty navy and a huge merchant marine and their influence stops only where the Roburghian one commences. In the last fifty years, they have begun a colonisation of the icy northern coasts of the continent itself. Their land possessions on the Archipelago are huge and, throughout their history, the Sin have subjugated numerous other cultures, most notably the Nakkard and the Nigerthal of the north. These proud people have been reduced into slavery together with the whole population of semi-humans of the territories controlled by the throne, mainly comprised of narkum (human insects), ogres and a small number of gaumars (human lions).

Ogre slaves.

Slaves in general, and ogre slaves in particular, are used by the Sin in warfare and for hard labour. The Sin do not have a national army, but every noble house is complied to have a number of troops, proportionate to the extension of its domains, that can be put under the command of the throne. Ogres make for cheap and effective line soldiers. Given but the basic drill of combat formations and forced to fight ogres are usually poorly equipped and used in mass, or, in smaller numbers, to add a punch to human foot formations. Some generals select the most belligerents ogres and grant them privileges over the other slaves in the attempt to turn them into élite soldiers: some companies formed in this way have earned quite a reputation in the battles against the Norran clans on the shores of the North.

The miniature shown represents one such élite ogre-warriors. He has been given a heavy splinted mail and plate armour, a helmet, an ornate round shield bearing the insignia of the blazing sun (in reference to the supposedly southern origins of the ogres, according to the Sin), and a hunky scimitar forged in a poor quality iron alloy, but which is still better than the spiked clubs with which other slaves are usually armed. When used together with Sin soldiers, ogres act as bulwarks, are sent forward in assaults or keep their ground when the Sin are assaulted. Under a good captain, a foot formation will protect the flanks of its assigned ogre, so that it doesn’t get overwhelmed by enemy soldiers before having the chance to do some damage. But still, due to the racism of Sin against semi-humans (and even against different Sin ethnicities), ogres are most of the times just left to die on their own. When deployed together with other ogres, slave-warriors are usually accompanied by a Sin official, or by a particularly well drilled and dependable ogre that act as commander.

Bergan Mercenaries

A couple of miniatures I’ve painted a few years ago. They’re both metal Confrontation Wolven from the old Rackham range.

Bergan Warrior Bergan Arquebusier

Bergans are imposing creatures with pronounced wolvish or canine features, standing two to three and a half meters tall. They dwelt the forests of the nothern Padwar even before the coming of the elves, and are one of the eldest non-demonic races on the continent. They are natural hunters and their size and swiftness make of them excellent warriors, but their society is peace oriented, and they prefer to merge with rather than to dominate their environment. They were never united as a people or nation and rather live as nomadic tribes.

After the founding of the elven cities, some Bergan joined forces with the elves, many ending up into the ranks of the Red Order during the first war of Olduras. This, for some, has been the beginning of the race’s demise. Introduced within the hierarchies of the islanders, engulfed by their powerful magic, or, later, taken in by the tricksy gadgets of men, many Bergan lost their fierce wildness for a much crueler civility. After the fall of the cities, those Bergans that had been fashinated by foreign ways scattered north and south of the infested Padwar. Some, driven away from the east by the orthodox tribes that were struggling to regain the forests from the demons, crossed the sea for the first time, and landed in Roburgh or on the Orcaan islands of the southern archipelago and began to work as mercenaries.

Bergan greatsword.

Bergan mercenaries are often armed with great swords, which they can wield much more easily than a human warrior. Usually, Bergan greatswords are lightly armoured and rely on their agility and reach to avoid blows.

Most greatswords are maintained by the Royal army or the Guild in Roburgh, while some, especially on the continent, remain more independent. Bergan greatswords are usually dedicated warriors, spending most of their time practising the art and meditating.

The best Bergan swordmasters have handed down a few ritual techniques they learned from the masters of the Red Order, so that they are able to speed up their movement, charge their muscles before releasing a blow, jump higher and run faster than normal, make some capillaries explode in the opponent’s eye or cramp its hands or legs with the use of magic.

Bergan Arquebusier.

While powder weapons are still a rarity, and are only produced in the Phoenix workshops and, in lesser number, copied in the factories of Roburgh, the Bergan, with their keen sight and innate sense of tracking and hiding, make for outstanding marksmen. So, a few wily employers started training them as arquebusiers with great results and now a significant part of Bergan mercenaries is armed with specifically designed, oversized, arquebuses. Indeed, Bergan gunners, as they are sometimes called, have made a reputation for themselves and mark among the highest fees in the trade. After the Ban that drove all elves and semi-humans out of the Empire of the Phoenix, they are mostly settled in Roburgh and some in the Orkney archipelago off the North coast.

Since orthodox Bergans loath the use of human technology, arquebusiers place themselves at the nadir of Bergan tradition. And one can say they occupy that place with some jouissance: they can often be heard praising the debasement of their ancestral culture and cracking jokes against their own race as they work on their whiskey in the poshest taverns and brothels of the colonies.