Miniature Ordnance Review looks at the world of historical and fantasy miniatures wargaming and model building. From 15mm Flames of War, to Warhammer 40K, to 1/35th scale tanks, with some potential surprises on the horizon - you'll find them here!

Monday, June 22, 2020

Atalan Jackals - Mad Max for the Genestealer Cult

One of the newer units available for Genestealer Cult armies in Warhammer 40K is the Atalan Jackals. They provide the cult with a much needed fast attack/scout force, though their primary use in 8th edition has been as a fast drive by demolition charge delivery service using a couple of key stratagems. Of all of the units I've assembled and painted recently, these Jackals are easily some of the most complex. Not only can they be equipped with a fairly dizzying array of weapon and stowage combinations, but to paint them effectively the entire miniature has to essentially be disassembled. This first unit of five represents half of the Jackals I need to eventually finish, though I'm waiting a few weeks to start the other half and the Jackal Alphus HQ figure.

I wanted to keep the military / industrial look of the rest of my army with this group of figures, so I kept the Soviet protective green for the leader's bike and the Wolfquad, but I decided to use a primer red, desert yellow, and french blue for the other 3 bikes, just to give the unit a little more visual interest. As with all of my vehicles, these received liberal doses of chipping, though I went with a Nuln Oil wash rather than my oil washes I use on larger vehicles.

I was at least able to build the legs and torsos of each rider and the frame, bars, and front fork of each of the bikes before I had to do most of the painting. The riders are painted using a mix of contrast and regular paints. The gray body armor is Basilicanum Grey contrast while the blue coveralls are Leviodon Blue contrast with a Vallejo Azure (70.902) highlight. Flesh tones are once again from the Ammo of Mig flesh tones set.

I've generally put all of my Genestealer Cult army on either Sector Imperialis, Necromunda, or Sector Mechanicus bases. Unfortunately none of those sets include the 60mm oval base needed for the Jackal bikes. I therefore took the kit bases and added a concrete and metal texture using a textured rolling pin from Green Stuff World. I painted the metal with a mixture of rust tones as before, while the concrete started with Ammo of Mig concrete and received a variety of washes and highlights.

After the group was varnished, I added the amber headlights and mining lights as well as the red goggle lenses on all of the miniatures. I'm still having a bit of trouble with the Amber wanting to pick up the metallic flakes from the under layer - even after varnishing. I'm going to have to do some experimentation to keep that from happening in the future, but the end effect still looks good even if it wasn't 100% what I was going for.

As I mentioned in the opening, these are some of the tickiest miniatures I've painted in a long time. The stowage is incredibly detailed - down to the perfectly molded bungee cord and D-rings holding down a blasting charge cache on one of the bikes. I'll do one more box to get a full unit of ten, but then I'm just going to happily run these little buggers and get back to my neophytes, acolytes and brood brothers! They're just too much work for the niche they fill in my army to focus on them.


  1. They're looking good! I've been putting mine off, and will be sure to do the riders separately.

    1. Thanks! I'm still working up the courage to start the second box of five! :D

  2. Nicely done sir. I really like these models and plan to get some in a far future.
    I currently have the Alphus prepped for primer and as you’ve described with this lot am not looking forward to painting the massive amount of detail on her! Lol

    1. I need to open up my Alphus and see if I can get it going...