Many thanks to Games Workshop for providing early preview copies of the Warhammer Underworlds: Gnarlwood box. We will take a look at the core and warband rules later – for now let’s talk about the new musclebunch!
I absolutely love where Warcry has gone with individual Slaves to Darkness warband aesthetics, and the Gnarlspirit Pack keeps that rolling. This (small) musclebunch actually consolidates most of the muscle with one large dude, leaving the other three to have seriously different vibes than S2D models usually do!
Maybe I was just in a vulnerable place after building this warband’s opponents from the box… but the build felt pretty quick and enjoyable. Worth noting that the spear guy’s upper legs probably need a bit of polishing with some sandpaper, otherwise you might end up with a bit of extra geometry like I have on mine. Also, there is a hard-to-notice moldline on the front of hammer guy’s hammer. Make sure you clean it or you will have to sort it out later like I did (a couple applications of matte varnish did the trick).
These buds whip, full stop. This is the kind of vibe I would like to see for a warband in a Mordheim revival. Hammer dude sold me on this crew, but they all have pretty neat stuff going on – you have fantasy the Predator, two axe berserker, and chaos shaman dude. This crew fits into the general design language of S2D but has a unique thing going here – Marauder vibes but with beefier armor.
It may be a minor thing, but I appreciate that all of them are on 32s!
How to paint them
My aim here was to lean into the box art while sticking to some of the design elements common to my S2D dudes… which is basically the combo of Blood Angels Red, grey, and black. I started with a zenithal prime and did flesh tones first. For the hammer dude’s dark skin I used 4:1 medium:contrast Cygor Brown and washed with (new) Reikland Fleshshade. For the others, I used 1:2 medium:contrast mixes of flesh colors and washed with new Reikland after. Thinned contrast paired with a glaze of the reformulated Reikland does simple and excellent skin tones!
Flags, ties, armor, and other assorted drip got a bit of Blood Angels Red. Boots and some straps got Black Templar. Wood and some leather got Wyldwood, while the shaman dude’s cloak got Snakebite Leather. All of the Fur (and the white beard) was basecoated with Grey Seer, washed with Apothecary White, and Drybrushed (CAREFULLY) with White Scar. Bone details were washed with Skeleton Horde and drybrushed with Ushabti Bone.
Steel details were basecoated with Vallejo Metal Color Gunmetal, washed with Nuln Oil, and drybrushed with Stormhost Silver. The brass details were basecoated with Army Painter True Copper (or GW Balthasar Gold), washed with Reikland Fleshshade, and highlighted, drybrushed, or generally buffed with Canoptek Alloy.
I sealed the models with Vallejo Gloss varnish and airbrushed Ammo by Mig Streaking Grime and wasn’t too cute about cleaning it up – my S2D Warbands are pretty grody! After that I sealed with satin varnish and got down to basing. Bases start with Zandri Dust, get a drybrushing of Ushabti Bone, and a glaze of Seraphim Sepia. Bone details on the ground get a touch of Screaming Skull – you can glaze these with Sepia as well if you’d like. When I am set I do a final seal of satin varnish and we are ready to rock!
Don’t try to paint the teeth in the bracer – just drybrush whatever metallic you were using on that armor piece and call it a day!
This warband rules, and was a blast to paint up! I’m looking forward to actually getting some games of WHU in – the Rivals format appeals to me and it’s a great excuse to put these models on the table. I am also psyched to see some quality Goliath kitbashes using the hammer dude as a base. This was a great kit and I look forward to the next one! As always if you have any questions or suggestions drop us a line at Contact@Goonhammer.com.