Thursday, December 11, 2014

Bike Gangs of the Moab Wastes

Those familiar with the setting described in Rogue Trader will know what I'm aiming at. Logan's World was a rich environment owing a debt to some of the Sci-Fi classics of the era: Mad Max, Bladerunner, Dune, Alien, Star Wars, and of course Logan's Run, to name but a few, are all clearly referenced in one way or another in Logan's World and the larger Rogue Trader universe. It's a messy and interesting place.

My own Moab III clearly riffs on this same theme. (Hey, the capital city is Logansport. How obvious can I be?) Like the world in Rogue Trader, Moab III is a distant mining colony on a half-forgotten planet on the edge of space. But to make it truly complete, you need bike gangs. These scofflaws further savaged the miners on their way to and from their soul-crushing employment in the depths of the alien geology. Their presence necessitated the use of bus convoys protected by heavily armed mercenaries not too dissimilar from Blackwater in Iraq. (I hate it when life imitates dark Sci-Fi art.) Well, Moab III needs bikers. The vast eroded plateau surrounding Loganspot, the Moab Wastes, needs to be home to just such a band of space-brigands. Of course I already have ork and squat bikes aplenty . . .

But when I ran into these guys over at Ramshackle I knew I needed some non-aligned humans for my wasteland. These guys screamed Hellsreach. (Well, Mad Max, really, but hey.)

They're technically somewhat difficult models, and the resin material from which the bikes are cast suffers some of the usual resin problems (voids, flash, brittleness), but they're such characterful folks I love them just the same. Here's a shot of a couple of unpainted models showing how the castings work. On the left is a cleaned and assembled bike next to an old Citadel miniature for size comparison. On the right is the raw casting with all its assorted pieces. You can see why careful cleaning of the flash is important, but thankfully, it's not difficult. The material cleans up nicely with a sharp hobby knife and just a little bit of filing. One VERY nice touch is the incredible number of spare limbs supplied. (Each biker comes with three arms, leaving you the option of making a gang of triskelions if you so wish.) The "spares" are generally quite nice. In addition the arms my gang also came with a sprue of post-punk, I mean post-apocalyptic shoulder pads. Some quite useful extras indeed for any 28mm sci-fi modeler.

I'm not sold on the scenic bases, but I also haven't gone to the trouble of removing them yet, though I have since covered them with sand and ground-foam. That said, these paint up as truly stunning little miniatures. A great find. (And the vehicles are wonderful too, as I've said before.)

Anyway, moving on. My most recent bike is a case of vehicle as terrain. My next adventure will be set in an abandoned human outpost where a group of ork freebooters have taken up temporary residence. One good way to know that someone is home is the presence of the family car in the driveway . . .

This little oddity is a very simple conversion using an older ork "Nob bike" and a jetpack. I never much cared for the ork style jetpacks, but I got several of them in a job lot with a bunch of older orks and assorted bits. Well, it turns out they make nice rocket boosters for an ork bike. (Maybe it'll go almost as fast as if it were red.)

The "lifta-droppa" isn't particularly anything special, but I had it from the same box of misfits, so I figured I'd do something with it. I figure it's not really artillery, but rather a mek's hoist. Might come in useful when you need to raise large components to build your latest grot-powered creation. And in the same picture is a small piece of "scatter terrain." I figure even orks need to cook, and everyone loves a good barbecue. So fire up the grill, ladies and germs. We're having squig tonight!

Anyway . . . thanks for reading. Hope there was something useful or enjoyable.

The Composer


  1. Hi!

    Loving the bikers and classic Orky gubbins. Ramshackle stuff is indeed a bit of a hassle to put together but I cant help but love them as the sculpts are just so characterful (something that many of the more refined figures available these days are sadly missing)

    I especially like the nod to classic Rogue Trader with the Marines Out graffiti!

    All the best!

  2. Thank you. I actually wrote the artist, Carl Critchlow, to try to understand the graffiti. I was trying to make it way too complicated. :"> I do love the Ramshackle stuff. I suspect Curtis Fell, the creator of the miniatures, is himself a fan of oldhammer. Your own work is equally impressive, by the way. Do you have anything in 28mm available for purchase?

  3. Thank you Warlord Paul. It's simple, but it was a fun one.

  4. I'm sold ! evrything here is building up a big setting piece by piece.
    Really the kind of work I'd like to achieve.
    Inspiring work really !

  5. Pretty ace bikers there Composer, I hope I get the chance to steam roll over them in my Hovertank one day :p

    Great stuff, nice to see Helsreach getting the attention that it deserves.


  6. Phil, Asslessman, the one,

    I am honored. Coming from the lot of you that is extremely high praise.

    The one,

    If you ever have a hovertank in Missouri I would be well pleased to try to artfully dodge getting ground to dust beneath its fans. And if Mutie the Pig Slaving Co. wants to open a branch office on Moab II I'd be quite interested in learning about the endeavor. The Lace Rock Gang might have to take an interest in stopping it, and Sqigycap's Mystic Krewe of Bashus might just volunteer . . . or offer to trade wif 'em.


  7. A bike gang is on my to-do list, but I need to tick off a few other things before I get stuck into that. When I do I suspect that Ramshackle models will feature.

    I can confirm Curtis Ramshackle is an Oldhammer enthusiast by the way :)


  8. I forgot to mention that your gang looks great, duh, sorry.

    The expansion of Moab is fun to watch too. Im looking forward to more :)

  9. Thank you cheetor. Thank you very much indeed. And pass my greetings along to Ramshackle Curtis when next you see him.