The Butcher

DISCLAIMER:

I hesitated before sharing this post because this project is still in its very early stages (and some other projects are upper on the backlog) but after discussing it with some of the crazy twitter-people I spend too much time chatting with, I convinced myself to share this anyway. You’ll find no pictures of minis here (well maybe some…), since they are not even WIP yet, but I guess I would value some feedback on the idea itself.


Necromunda just kickstarted one of those creativity frenzy we hobbyists are familiar with. Thousands of ideas just popped into my heads. Here is one, some of you may have heard about it before (secret side project n°1723). Feedback is always appreciated.

Like all crimes, hobby projects seem to be about motive, mean and opportunity, so here are mine.


Motive

If you already read some of my posts you know I got my inspirations from a wide range of things and you also know History as a special place among them. Back at the beginning of 2018 I was reading a book about the civil war that occurred in France during the Hundred Years War. For those of you who read French, you’ll find the book here. I highly recommend it, especially if you learn all about the HYW from the « classic » French point of view.

During the civil war, which opposed two aristocratic factions for control of the royal Government (at a time when the King was suffering from mental illness and thus was unable to reconciliate the two factions), the control of Paris was a political goal in itself. Controlling Paris meant control of the seat of Government – and the person of the King – thus giving the faction in charge of the city tremendous symbolic power. Paris has been known, throughout our history, to be a political hotspot populated with an unrully and politically active population. I personnaly think it has something to do with our long history of centralized Government, the people of Paris felt (and maybe still feel) that they owned the right to govern the country (but I am getting side tracked here).

At one point during the civil war the Duke of Burgundy, Jean Sans Peur (Fearless John), used Parisian political factions (the « Cabochiens« , led by Simon Caboche) to organise riots and take control of the city. Among them was the butchers corportation. That episode « clicked » in my crazy hobbyist mind.

The Butcher
A group of people with common interests to stand for: motive…

It is not well known, but the Parisian butchers played an active political role at different points during Paris unrully history. There are many explanations for this. First the butchers worked inside the walls of the city, in « Les Halles » (very center of Paris) during the middle ages, then in « La Villette » throughout the XIXth century. They were rich, well organized and cohesive (at one point they even had their own dialect called « Louchebem »). On top of that, they were armed (knifes, saws, hammers,…) and trained to use this crude weaponry. They also had a high tolerance for violence, hardenned as they were by their profession.

This was the first brick of my inspiration: Necromunda is set in the gothic 40K universe, it is crowded and unrully and organized in a medieval fashion (guilds, gangs, nobility,…). I started to imagine a master butcher with his aides. He would stand tall and muscular among a bunch of younger/weaker looking « apprentices », maybe flanked by a « companion », a talented aide and one day heir.

I really like to use medieval inspiration and aesthetic in 40K and I think Necromunda is the perfect setting to do this.

Still, I did not think it was enough. I think good original work should not be about just one reference. The best works are a mash up of many sources. At that point I thought the project still lacked personnality. I had to dig a little deeper to find something more to add to the character. Then it clicked again…

Do you remember the first Diablo game? God I love that game…

The first boss you face in that game is called « The Butcher« .

TheButcher
« Aaaahhh…. Fresh meat!… »

That was it, that massive cleaver and that weird looking « apron », I had my concept. I was gonna loose the horns and deamonic look, since I was going for a human-non-Chaos-related « ganger », but that guy gave me the general aesthetic I would be aiming for: fat, strong and bloody.

This was motive…

Mean

Carrying out this project as I pictured it meant I would have to achieve important conversions and lots of GreenStuff work. I am just learning the basics when it comes to GS work and as much as I enjoy to kitbash and convert minis, I still find my work to be…unsatisfying.

Working on my Goliath gang and seeing the work of others (among many great people, you should see the work of Convert or Die, some of the most original and inspiring conversions I have seen recently) helped me overcome my « fear » of heavy conversions and I kind of made my peace with the idea of taking the modelling knife to beautiful minis. I think I made progress during my Goliath project and learned a bunch of tricks.

This was « mean »…

The Butcher
Knives, axes, and the skill to use them: mean…

Opportunity

If you read about my Goliath gang you know that I replaced one of the original model with a RH JailBird to recruit Ronda in the gang (do you want to know more?). My expendables also left me with a couple of Chaos cultists that I bought to get some weapon options for my gang and a bunch of Goliath weapons.

This was opportunity…

The Butcher - La Grande Boucherie
« La grande boucherie », at the heart of the unrully and politically active Paris: opportunity…

Some pictures after all…

Well, if you went that far I guess you deserve a sneak peek, so here are some ideas I am toying with for the companion and apprentices (you’ll have to wait for the Master Butcher and his pet). They are based on a bunch of chaos cultists, I love these sculpts and they deserved to become something more than spare bits.

The objective is to make a Master, a companion and two apprentices, following the hierarchy of medieval corporations. They also should get a pet and a corporatist banner, but more on that later.

They are very early WIP, so all this may evolve quite a bit.


Well that’s all for folks. Hope you liked what you read, see you soon.

All the pictures (incl. banner picture) in this post were found on the internet, except for the picture of the minis, which are by me.

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