Wednesday, 27 November 2019

CITY SPOTLIGHT (?): Lawrence's Sunz of Rust Ironjawz


City Spotlight is back... with an army you'd be very pressed to describe as civilised, but I felt was so good I couldn't not make an exception for and feature on the blog. Presenting my very dear friend Lawrence's Sunz of Rust Ironjawz, an incredible project years in the making, currently taking the internet by storm after making it up to 2,000 points and being unveiled at Warhammer Achievements earlier this month, where Law went on to win the best army trophy.


Joe: Hi Law, first off big congratulations on winning best army at Warhammer Achievements this month, and thank you for the interview. You've created such an unmistakable look for the Rust Sunz, does their backstory match?

Law: Thanks. Despite some rumours you seem like a nice sporting guy so happy to speak. The story of Urknod Ironfist (my Megaboss, seen on the Maw-krusha) begins in the world that was where he'd been battling skaven and dwarfs since I'd been knee high to a giant spider. During the End Times some fungal spores from him must have got tangled in Sigmar's beard and germinated in the realm of metal developing into the Urknod who plagues the realms today (think Urknod Urknodson or even spore-son)...


Urknod is not your typical Megaboss though. He is a devoted Morka and a particularly cunning one at that who maintains his grip over the clan with a mix of brute strength and guile (and a Maw-krusha). The clan is fairly progressive by Ironjaw standards, tolerating and even welcoming grots into their society - to some extent this seems like common sense to them, they just can't understand how Gordrakk finds the time to stitch his own trousers?!


Joe: Very exciting. What's the significance of the skull totems prevalent across your models, and the helmets at that - is taking steps to preserve the contents of your skull a Morka notion?

Law: While the official line on Ironjawz seems to envision them as more of a force of nature, I feel this can be a little one dimensional and much prefer to include banners, totems, trinkets and fetishes which point to a far richer culture. The helmets are just a nod to orcs of old. It's surprising that no Ironjaw is modelled with a helmet although it is a very limited range and why converting them is so important to me to get the most variation out if what must be the smallest AoS faction (possibly excluding Firebellies).

Joe: You sure don't run anything out of the box. It's so subtle that some people might miss it, but I love the rusted crackle effect running across the orruk's armour, was it easy to achieve and how did you do it?

Law: Thanks. I've tried various crackle paints but in the end I just settled on GW's Martian Ironearth technical paint dabbed in various places. Also for orruk armour I'm a great believer that the more texture there is the easier to find things of interest to paint so I also add typhus corrosion, knife cuts and also any globs of glue that are left from pulling bits off after changing my mind (which happens a lot more than I'd like).



Joe: Which segues nicely to the Rust Desert bases you've developed for the force. They're a really wonderful addition, helping convey where the army's from and what they're about without drawing focus away from the models in the same way a lot of unconventional bases tend to. How did you settle on them, and was pulling off the look you wanted hard?

Law: Basing, like deadlines is not something that comes naturally to me, and I tend to put off decisions until the last possible minute in the hope inspiration will kick in, or more likely I have to commit. The Weirdnob illustrates this nicely since he was more or less complete for about 18 months pending a base. I actually think they may look better on snow bases but rust was in their background and in their paint scheme so a rust desert was the only realistic choice. Annoyingly my Adeptus Mechanicus for 40k were also rust desert but not only were the old citadel paints unavailable (I actually found a six pack of each colour that I'd bought to future proof the colour scheme but these were rock solid) but also the browner tones did not quite work with the orruks. Similarly the colour of Ironearth was too red on its own. I set about making a number of test bases, with various combinations and promptly forgot which was which, ran out of time before Warhammer Achievements and improvised. Since everything in the army it is unnecessarily complex and overworked but I feel I should stick with it now.


Joe: While we're on the subject of running out of time ahead of the Achievements, I think I've probably held off asking about the part of the army that's been getting the most attention long enough: your staggering scratch built Rogue Idol. How/what/where/why?

Law: Ha. One of the downsides of working on this army for three years is that each year the points have gone down, and my optimism of painting the Megaboss on foot, and boar mounted Orruk Warboss in time soon faded as I realised I hadn't even finished the conversions with a two weeks to go (one week already set aside for basing). Accordingly I'd resigned myself to taking 1600 points to a 2000 event and losing every game but losing with a nicely painted army. Various solutions were proposed such as fielding part of my Slaanesh army as a mercenary contingent but this just felt a little artificial and would spoil the army. Closer to the time I came up with the idea of painting up the Dread Maw from a previous project that became redundant before i'd finished it (a Slaanesh Hellcannon which they later removed from match play). A great plan with only one flaw: Ironjawz cannot ally in factionless Destruction monsters. It was then that someone suggested a Rogue Idol which is 400 points on the nose and had recently got the IJ keyword. I don't have a Rogue Idol and have never been particularly keen on the FW model; I'd always planned on doing one out of styrofoam but in no way was I prepared to start that with such limited time available. Then with three nights to go I was adding pine bark to the base of Urknodd's Maw-Crusha base as stand-in stone when a thought occurred to me: I wonder if I could cobble something together that is acceptable enough to use as a counts as Idol but that I wouldn't set up as part of the best army display. It took one night to make, one to seal and one to paint (along with all the bases) but with the exception of the Stonehorn face and horns, just hot glue, pine bark, wood filler (that I fortunately had to hand from some real world DIY) and gravel. In honesty it still needs some IJ detailing and I was surprised at how popular he became but he is now a permanent fixture - styrofoam can go to hell, pine bark is the new king of animated rocks.


Joe: Thanks for referring to me as someone. And having touched on things that didn't make it to Achievements... the Iron Gobbo, where in the Realms did he end up?

Law: Yes it was you, but you are also someone. In the Iron Gobbo's case I didn't feel like an hour's painting at 2am was enough to do him justice so he didn't make the cut, but will be making an appearance, as will more grots which live alongside the Orruks in Urknod's almost utopian vision of greenskin integration. There's already a personal totem bearer for the footboss with more grot orderlies planned.

Joe: I sure am nostalgic for Orcs and Goblins. Will the grot orderlies be base decorations/objective markers or fully fledged allies?

Law: Mainly base decoration and objectives for now but may at some point expand to grot sky pirate allies (not totally sure what they could count as mind you).


Joe: Probably actual Grotbag Scuttlers at the speed you paint... I've got some very dusty memories of you having an Orc and Goblin army when we first met, but you've consistently played Slaanesh since Warhammer Armies: Hordes of Chaos hit in 2002 - what persuaded you to hang up your kinky boots, and do you think you'll ever put them back on?

Law: I came here to answer questions about my orruks, not Slaanesh. *Throws papers in the air and storms out*

Joe: We can skip the question and go back to orcs...?

Law: Oh alright... Orcs and Goblins were my first ever army and I played consistently with them until the redesigned Hordes of Chaos hit n the early 2000s. Bearing in mind I'm not particularly quick at painting transitioning between armies took a long time. Lugging the predominantly metal chaos army around became a real bugbear so when AoS hit I became determined to do a fully plastic army. It was an easy decision since the amazing new Megaboss had been released and with the rest of the army I was sold and rediscovered the joy of converting orcs which is much more liberating than most armies. There is a certain irony of losing nearly every game ever played with a Slaanesh army for over 19 years and giving it up just as a new Battletome hits that makes Slaanesh the top army in the game (as well as releasing a slew of amazing models I could only dream of when I started) but I don't see myself revisiting then anytime soon. Too many other projects in my head.


Joe: I'll be polite... I can't see you ever painting the amount of Daemonettes and Keepers of Secrets you'd be able to summon. What's lined up next for the Sunz of Rust? The grot allies/tailors you'd mentioned, rebranded Bonesplitter units under Warclans?

Law: Currently working on finishing my Megaboss on foot with grot standard bearer and Greenskinz Warboss on boar (will likely be relegated to gore grunta unit boss soon), and a "counts as" Gordrakk Maw-krusha with Weirdnob twins frolicking on it, and a Megaboss/grot parody of Katakros, Mortarch of the Necropolis and his attendants. Beyond that we will see some Bonesplitter heroes and possibly a unit or two of savages, albeit in Ironjawz style.


Joe: Orrukatros sounds great! Are you anywhere near finishing your grot shaman on snail, or is he shelved for now?

Law: Oh yeah, I'd totally forgotten I'd started him. But doubt I'll expand into Gloomspite territory beyond him and perhaps some Troggoths.

Joe: I'd love to see some proper armoured troggoths to slot into the Ironjawz. No plans for mercenary duardin cannons...?

Law: As the late, great Morglum Necksnapper once said: "The only good stunty is a dead stunty, and the only thing better than a dead stunty is a dyin' stunty who'll tells yer where to find 'is mates"



Joe: I think that's the nicest thing you've ever said about dwarfs!

Thank you for giving such a fantastic interview, and showing off your beautiful army. Before you go... if you could add any one new unit, hero or monster to AoS what would it be?

Law: Anytime, and thank you for the GW vouchers - I'd have done it for free but they're a very kind touch. Thinking entirely selfishly it would have to be a new Ironjawz unit and I'd quite like to see a Ruglud's Armoured Orcs (orcs with crossbows for younger readers) type unit to give a bit more diversity to the army which is, let's face it, a bit lacking.



If you don't already, be sure to follow Lawrence on Twitter for regular updates on the Rust Sunz, (and possibly even a glimpse of the Necromunda gang he promised he'd finish a year ago...):
https://twitter.com/Slowpainterloz


If you've got a Cities of Sigmar or Cities of Sigmar-adjacent collection and fancy sparing me from more articles about Destruction armies, then hit me up, I'd love to feature you on City Spotlight.

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