The main inspiration for this project was JRN’s mutant warband from back in 2003. The initial idea was to create a similar group using all of Paul Muller’s muties from Gorkamorka.
Over time this plan evolved and only one of those sculpts made it into the final group. However, I still tried to constrain the sources of my bits somewhat. For instance, almost all of them can trace parts to sculpts by Muller and Brian Nelson. I feel that this gives the group a stronger aesthetic. Also, the added challenge of constraining myself in this way spurred my creativity since it forced me to consider parts I hadn’t otherwise.
Another theme is of course the use of bits from various Nurgle miniatures, although I see their mutations and diseased state to be more due to a mix dysgenic inbreeding and infections than gifts from Chaos. By adding boils and open wounds I could also tie various bits together more strongly. Another goal was to provide some variety in size and body type, this was in part inspired by the Iron Sleet challenge from last year but also of course by JRN’s original mutant warband.
I’m considering adding a sixth member based on the three legged Chaos shrine mutant to add even more variety. The John Bauer inspired leader of the warband was the last member to be added. He came about in an almost serendipitous way. I had originally planned for another miniature when I was inspired by a shaman by Jordan Lee. I tried using the gretchin head almost as a joke at first but it quickly grew on me.
The leader is probably my favourite mutant of the group and somewhat ironically the one furthest removed from the initial idea. Getting the skin right was obviously the most important part of the painting. I used a mix of standard layering and blending and also experimented with stippling and washes. One of my favourite effects are the small spots of discoloured skin. They were done by letting small drops of ink dry up on the surface before wiping up the remainder. The boils were also important to get right, an early failed experiment ended up looking like small jewels! I hadn’t originally planned to give them the forest basing, however Bruticus managed to persuade me. The forest theme also fits the trolllike leader of the warband.