I remember the White Dwarf issues back in my formative hobby days being full of many awesome drawings and pieces of artwork, out of these though, few things captured my imagination and inspired me quite like the images of Genestealers – Huge pallid heads with a mouth full of fangs, too many arms with appallingly sharp claws, and glowing eyes full of monstrous intelligence. Their method of invasion was so insidious too, an unseen alien threat working from within. I used to imagine what it would be like in the early days of a Genestealers invasion; disappearances, impossible rumors of monsters in the sewers and dark shadowy places, and the horror of the hybrids slowly replacing parts of the population until the planet is ready to fall. I think few things could be quite so terrifying to observe as a planet falling to a Genestealer invasion. One summer holiday back in 92 or 93 a friend and I starting drawing a planetary Genestealer invasion, it all started simply enough, one A4 page lead to another and another. Near the end of the holiday we must have got up to 40 or 50 sheets, and had long run out of floor space to display it in its entirety. I sometimes wonder if I’d still be drawing it if not for the fact that one day my mum arranged for it be ‘lost’ whilst informing us that we should go outside and play in the sun!
So when the launch of the Genestealer Cult codex offered me the opportunity to collect and paint a new Cult army, I jumped at it. I genuinely think that these are some of the best models ever produced. In the Acolyte Hybrids, I cannot think of anything better than taking a terrifyingly destructive alien monster and arming it with massive mining equipment – Quite what the average Guardsman would think when meeting this is beyond me! Likewise I think the new Goliath truck and Rockgrinder variant the best vehicles in Warhammer 40,000. Even the basic Neophyte Hybrid has a great feel that reminds me heavily of my Necromunda days, I still believe that there are few weapons I like more than a good Heavy Stubber. Towering over all of these is the amazing Patriarch model, the clear winner in the ‘things you would not want to meet down a dark alley’ competition!
I’m still very much a novice painter these days, so when it came to painting my new army I leant heavily on the painting guide and the Rusted Claw colour scheme really stood out, orange and grey against the blue skin of the Genestealers is a really great look. Overall I’m fairly pleased with how these models turned out, I still rely on drybrushing rather than edge highlighting, but I think the overall effect has turned out quite well. I like my models to look more ‘grimey’ than clean, I think it comes from too many years staring at John Blanche?s drawings! I also think that an army that hides down in the sewers and mines shouldn’t be too clean and pristine.
I genuinely cannot remember ever being quite so taken with a new release as I am with the Genestealer Cult army. From the concept of the army to the models themselves they seem a perfect fit for me, and I am hugely looking forward to adding to my collection. More Acolyte Hybrids are a must, and the Aberrant models look superb, also I don’t think I could really count myself as a devotee to Xenos taint without some Purestrain Genestealers. Then there is the Imperial Guard aspect too, I think that will make for a really interesting army thematically, gangs of various hybrids and purestrains rolling forward next to Imperial Guard tanks and walkers. I really cannot wait.
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