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The Need For Speed. Genestealer Cult #8 - Atalan Ridgerunners and Jackal Alphus

We have seen many aspects of the Genestealer Cult. The willing acolytes, the hideous xenomorphs, the cunning leaders. But one aspect has been left a little isolated 'till now, the Atalan Jackals were kinda on their own. Mercifully, no longer:

The Atalan Ridgerunners are high-speed (seriously, 14" a turn, they keep up with the scrambler bikes) exploration vehicles. They're built to take the worst that the badlands of the 41st millennium has to offer and dish it back too. From a pair of bandit-dissuading heavy stubbers to a nasty mining laser (you can have flamer or mortar but, well, lasers...) they have teeth enough to discourage most idle threats. In game they are a great option for hooning around the table getting those mining lasers into range of the enemy's armour.

Following the colour palette established in the sentinels I did most of the painting in the Ortag red I've used on all the other equipment. It's a quick process, basecoat in Vallejo primer red, add some black to the mix, thin it and run it into the recesses to give a shading. Then drybrush with a couple of goes of Primer Red mixed with Deck Tan. Yellow areas denote safety considerations - railings, towing eyes, ladders, hand-trapping laser mountings. Safety matters folks and House Ortag and it's Mineral Exploitation division care about you.

I then added a bunch of decals from some random sheets I had lying around. Scale model kits are goldmines for little sections of text or warning labels. Then started in with the heavy chipping and weathering. An armoured dune buggy moving as fast as a scrambler bike over rough terrain is going to take some serious knocks. Sponge chipping, kept to the areas that would impact the ground on rough landings, gave me the wear. Then a ton of drybrushing and washing with Baneblade Brown gave the kicked-up dust that a vehicle like this would be covered with.

Not wanting to limit myself in options, I made the spotter/surveyor arrays as drop-in choices so I can go for whatever works best for that battle. I'm not totally sold on the flare launcher so I didn't bother with that option. These were a ton of fun to paint. Coming up with little details like the square Ortag Imperial Mineral Exploitation logo and all the warning labels was a blast. Really looking forward to the Goliaths now.

If that wasn't enough support, the Jackals also now have a leader. The Jackal Alphus is an odd HQ choice, a fast-moving; bike-mounted sniper. In real life that makes some sense as getting to position fast is nice, but in game it's problematic. So why do I have one other than because she's freakin' cool? Because in addition to being a sniper, she helps her Jackal brethren by adding 1 to hit rolls when they stay within 12" of her. So those mining lasers on the quads now hit on 3's...

Painting-wise, there's not a lot to talk about. She is painted the same as the basic Jackals but with some more highlighting. Really loves all the little details on this model. The bolt action rifle is gorgeous. The weight distribution where she's holding the bike while she aims is cracking. Lots of fun.

Speaking as I was of random decals. A dial for a WW2 kit came in really handy on this kit as it was exactly the right size for the controls on her bike. What are the odds right?

That's all for today folks, there's Patriach's and purestrains on my painting table and then we're really on the home stretch. Two characters and three vehicles and this project is finished. I'm well excited 😀



  1. Great additions, I love the Ridgerunner models, must get a few more, but with the Atalan Sniper they will only hit on 4s if they move, but that’s 50% probability so I’ll take it, three Ridgerunners starting 9in away from enemy with 3x D3 Lascannon shots, that should worry the hardiest Iron Hand! Lol

    1. Damn straight :D the alphus makes them viable as a mobile firebase zipping around the battlefield.


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