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Miniature painting Miniatures Warhammer 40k

Musings on magnetizing minis and drilling barrels

Back when I got into minis in earnest this past February, I considered magnetization and boring out gun barrels, both of which share the same tool: a pin vise or hand drill. Given the outlay of cash and time to get an army rolling, and my long history of false starts and aborted attempts at getting into this hobby, adding another step (time) that required more tools (money) seemed like a bad idea — and one that might kill my momentum.

I’ve carefully guarded and maintained that momentum for eight months now, and occasionally considered magnetization and barrel-drilling but decided that the time wasn’t right. I also reasoned that if I encountered a need for a different bit of wargear on a unit in the future, since I’m building an army for the pleasure of it, buying that unit again and assembling it a new way wouldn’t be a bad thing.

Enter Moonkrumpa

But as I got my Deathskulls Ork army, Moonkrumpa’s Megalootas, off the ground, I stumbled across the rules for Moonkrumpa’s two special pieces of wargear, the Tellyport Blasta and the Kustom Force Field. With no clear date when I’ll actually be able to play 40k, I’ve held off on reading the rules; they’ll just fade away before I get a chance to play. And I make my choices almost entirely based on the Rule of Cool, so that’s worked out fine so far.

Somehow, though (probably by browsing DakkaDakka), I’ve picked up enough to understand that the KFF is probably a much better choice, mechanically, than the Blasta — despite the Blasta looking cooler. And these two parts both have a flat bottom and sit atop a single flat surface, making them perfect candidates for magnetization.

Further, this isn’t just a random unit in my Ork army — this is my first 40k character with a backstory, and he’s the leader of my entire Waaagh!. I’m invested in playing with Moonkrumpa in a way that I’m not invested in playing with Blood Angel X or Ork Y.

I’d also previously set aside my Contemptor Dread, whose weapon arm uses a ball joint that must be glued into place (rather than a peg, like the refrigerator Dreads, which allows for easy arm-swapping), to consider whether it’s worth delving into drilling and magnets for him. I have no plans to buy a second Contemptor (it’s kind of a bland kit), and in any case they can be expensive and difficult to track down.

So that gives me two units that both have what looks to be a single fairly simple spot on each that could benefit from magnetization — one of which is My Guy, to boot.

I’ve got a pin vise, some bits, and a mix of 2mm x 1mm and 3mm x 1mm magnets in the mail, and I’ve been doing some homework. There’s an awesome article on DakkaDakka, Magnetising: a Report, Tips and Tricks from a Newbie, that’s going to be my guide. I’ve also found some excellent tips on Reddit, notably about marking magnets and using bits of sprue to simplify the process and drill pressure, marking magnets, and pilot holes.

I’ll probably bore out a spare Bolter to see how that looks, and if it looks good I’ll have a minor existential crisis and then break down and drill every mini I’ve already painted…or maybe I’ll skip that, and just drill going forwards. We shall see!

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Deathskulls Orks Miniatures Warhammer 40k WIP it good

I built my first Ork, Moonkrumpa

There’s an element of ritual and ceremony to The Building of the First Miniature in a 40k Army. When I started my Blood Angels army, I built Sergeant Karios first (on March 10, 2020). I deliberately didn’t hedge my bets with a vanilla Marine I could mess up — but I also didn’t go straight for a big, fancy figure. It was a perfect starting point for me.

But with Moonkrumpa’s Megalootas, my Deathskulls Ork army, I had to start with the Warboss himself, “Moonkrumpa” Grutnik. Last night, after a rather long day, I assembled him:

Warboss “Moonkrumpa” Grutnik and his Grot Oiler

No surprise, really, that I’ve essentially picked the Ork equivalent of a Terminator as my starting point! But it makes sense: The rest of this Waaagh! will flow from Moonkrumpa, since it’s his Waaagh!. He sets the tone.

The Waaagh! begins here

The Meganobz kit is an excellent and involved one, with plenty of customization options. From sprue to fully assembled, it took me about two hours to put Moonkrumpa together. (The other two models, both Meganobz, will stay unassembled until I buy a second one of these kits, as their minimum unit size is three and I’ve just peeled one off as a Big Mek.)

Moonkrumpa, both wargear choices, and his Grot Oiler all laid out

I’ve left his two wargear choices, the Tellyport Blasta and Kustom Force Field, off so that I can — probably — make them a magnetizing project sometime down the road. Because while I wanted to build Moonkrumpa first, to mark the official starting point for my Ork army, I’m not going to paint him first.

That first will go to Boss Skrudd, leader of Skrudd’s Krumpas, closely and some of his Boyz. I need to practice my Deathskulls color scheme, get used to drybrushing again, try out some weathering techniques, and consider whether this army will have a unifying mark that ties them together (beyond Deathskulls colors) — and then I can start tackling bigger, fancier models like Moonkrumpa.

Let the krumpin’ begin.

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Deathskulls Orks Miniatures Warhammer 40k

Moonkrumpa’s Megalootas

After a few days of turning over different ideas about my Deathskulls Ork army, the idea for my Warboss finally settled into place this morning: “Moonkrumpa” Grutnik, Warboss of Moonkrumpa’s Megalootas.

My Blood Angels army includes a bunch of named characters, and I’ve thought about their personalities and approaches to warfare (and carried those themes across their squads, where applicable), but Moonkrumpa is the first 40k character I’ve created who has a backstory.

I aimed for something brief, light, flavorful, and iconic, just like my two favorite Warboss backstories in the Codex: Grizgutz, a Warboss who accidentally travelled back in time and decided to kill his past self so he could have two of his favorite gun, which so confused his Boyz that his Waaagh! came to an end; and Tuska the Daemon-killa, who flew into the Eye of Terror, pleased Khorne, and now has his entire Waaagh! resurrected every day to fight daemons.

Grutnik “Moonkrumpa,” Deathskulls Ork Warboss

Warboss Moonkrumpa’s claim to fame is that he once krumped an entire moon.

He originally wanted to steal it, naturally, but it was too large. So he krumped it instead, blasting it into huge chunks, and then looted the largest pieces. Moonkrumpa and his Mekboyz hollowed those moon-chunks out and turned them into a fleet of Roks.

As the story of “da moon wot got krumped” spread, more and more Orks wanted to fight under Moonkrumpa’s banner — and a Waaagh! began to take shape.

Wot’s in a name?

If you know me, or have spent some time here on Yore, you know I overthink things. But this is perhaps the most important name, and decision, involved in making my Ork army! It bears a bit of overthinking.

So, “Moonkrumpa.” I wanted it to be distinctly Orky. “Krump” is an Ork word. This name is instantly recognizable as a 40k Ork name. And if you know your Orks, you can probably guess why he’s called that — like one of my favorite Ork names, Krooldakka.

Add in “Megalootas,” and you get alliteration (always fun), more Ork-ness (“loota” is an Ork word), and a pretty clear clue to the clan I’m playing, Deathskulls, as they’re known for looting and scavenging.

“Grutnik” was tossed off, literally the first Ork name I came up with — but it’s got a couple fun layers that work for my Warboss. “Nick” is another word for stealing, so “-nik” evokes that meaning. And it sounds like Sputnik, so Sputnik > space > moon is a fun little connection.

My original concept for Moonkrumpa was “Moonsteala,” famous for stealing a moon, but as soon as I thought of that idea I realized it was just the plot of Despicable Me. Nothing wrong with that, but not ideal — and “Moonsteala” doesn’t feel as Orky as I’d like.

So I thought, “What if instead of stealing the moon, he krumped it? And then stole the pieces that blew off?” That led to Moonkrumpa, which needed a modifier that made it clear he was a Deathskulls Ork, which begat Megalootas. And so Moonkrumpa’s Megalootas were born.

Now it’s official: Waaagh!

This is something I was excited about doing for my Orks, as it flavors the whole army and, when combined with typical Deathskulls traits (looted wargear, looted and converted vehicles, Lootas, lots of dakka, and more Mekboyz than most clans), gives me a solid foundation for making future choices about my army.

The model for Moonkrumpa, a Big Mek in Mega Armour, should arrive today, and while I won’t build him first (I’m likely to start with Boyz, just as I started with a tactical squad for my Blood Angels) I’m excited at the prospect of painting my first full-fledged 40k character.