Xenos Rampant: a Weird War 1 side project

Roll call! The new Weird War additions to my WW1 French.

Having caved in and decided to give Xenos Rampant a go, I initially toyed with the idea of reconstructing my Eldar force from way back when. However, discovering that I only had six figures remaining (having sold the others several house moves ago), I realised that a Weird WW1 force might be easier to put together. Paul W at my club organised a trial game involving his rather nice WWW1 Germans and Brits, so I went home to look at my options.

In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only a Gloomstalker being prodded into battle by men with halberds and a baguette. The background is from Jon Hodgson’s set on Wargames Vault

Scrivs and I had played a whole series of games set in Verdun back in 2015-16, so I still had a platoon or more of 28mm poilus available that would do well to bulk out a few more fantastical items.

I felt that some kind of robot/ walker and possibly an alien beast would be fun – Reaper Bones was my first port of call. Although I live remarkably close to the Reaper UK warehouse, it was actually quicker to order from Mighty Lancer Games and get them delivered straight to my door. Ordered Monday morning and delivered Wednesday – these guys are good!

Archer (off the Reaper website).

The robot/ walker is an ‘Archer’, a Battletech-style mech that costs only a few pounds but provides an easy Fighting Vehicle with ‘Walker’ and ‘Mechanoid’ traits for XR. While I initially had ideas to convert it, I decided to simply paint it up with a base coat of Army Painter Wolf Grey to match the rest of my French. After multiple washes and plentiful grime added around the legs, it was ready for action.

Robot/ walker with a base coat of Army Painter Wolf Grey, the same stuff I use for my French greatcoats.
Robot/ walker with some washes; I’ve had a go at some (crude) edge highlighting here before adding lots of grime to the legs.
The finished robot/ walker – he’s had a coat of matt varnish, but gloss on the canopy.

Reaper Bones is also a fantastic source of giant, well-priced beastie miniatures, and I had great fun hunting down a Greater Xenomorph for the force. Rejecting the giant frogs, man-eating slugs and other more obvious items, I plumped for a ‘Gloom Stalker’. This chap bears more than a passing resemblance to a D&D Hook Horror, but for my purposes, he was going to be a misunderstood but highly dangerous creature that had been captured by the poilus and forced into battle.

Gloom Stalker from the Reaper website
3d jigsaw puzzle – Gloom Stalker and Archer parts after arrival and cleaning. These guys are actually incredibly easy to put together, aided by the very secure joining pegs.

Both the robot and the Gloom Stalker came as multi part kits in Reaper Bones’ slightly flexible plastic material. These needed a good wash before assembly using superglue, then I gave them my usual undercoat of Halfords Grey Plastic Primer before a quick spray of Halfords White Primer.

The Gloom Stalker was a very simple paint job; first he had a layer of thinned GW Contrast Skeleton Horde all over. When dry, I blended in more thinned Contrasts (Ultramarine Blue and Black Templar), getting lighter towards the belly and darker towards the back. (Sorry I failed to get photos of the latter stages…this was a busy week).

Gloom Stalker after undercoating.
Gloom Stalker gets his basecoat – thinned Skeleton Horde. I forgot to get a photo of the next few stages, sorry.

While single-model units in XR are fine, I wanted a group of handlers to tie the creature to my force and provide an easy way of tracking hits – Greater Xenomorphs have 5 Strength Points, so I needed to add four humans to the unit.

Adding metal Front Rank halberds from the bits box by drilling out the rifle hands.

These came in the form of some sprues of Wargames Atlantic WW1/WW2 French (thanks Guy and Wayne for generously providing me with these). I quickly kit bashed three halberdiers and a baguette handler, all with gas masks for that Weird WW1 look.

Ready for action! The baguette handler (left) has a bread product carefully crafted from green stuff!
The finished Gloom Stalker and his handlers going out into their first game of XR. (Spoiler: they didn’t make it.)

As well as the handlers, I also added a scattering of sci-fi poilus to bulk out my historical models.

L-R: Wargames Atlantic Grognard, Brigade Games metal, another Grognard, then two WA French plastics with Stargrave arms and weapons – these needed a little lrimming down but ended up matching the greatcoat torsos just fine. Last in the line is a Gripping Beast (Woodbine Designs) Frenchman.

Most were made using the WA French sprue with futuristic weapon arms from the Stargrave Mercenaries kit by Northstar/ Osprey, although I also experimented with a couple of figures from the WA Grognards box. The latter were slightly on the heroic side to match with my previous French but I think they mix in well enough after painting.

The Capitaine and his boys: all WA French with Stargrave Mercenaries arms and weapons.
A finished squad of Light Infantry for XR: new plastic models front centre (WA Grognard) and right (WA French with Stargrave arms/ weapon), backed up by an assortment of historical WW1 French (Brigade Games, Renegade, Gripping Beast/ Woodbine, Scarab and an Old Glory trench raider far left with club)

The boys in horizon blue got their first XR outing last week, more on which in a future blog post!

Slightly fuzzy shot taken down the club of another unit of Light Infantry with a few extras – manufacturers as above.

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