Masters of the Doom-iverse

Kitbashed wargame miniatures for Doomed

Here’s a look at some miniature kitbashing I’ve been doing to make a warband for The Doomed: Apocalyptic Horror Hunting by Osprey Games.

(I intended to make this a video, but when I sat down yesterday I discovered my $400 video camera inexplicably no longer functioned. I posted a video about Halloween the day before and had no problems with it. Oh well. No more videos for a good long while, I suppose.)

What shall I say about The Doomed? It’s been out for several months now and has already gotten a lot of press. Most of it is favorable, but it’s safe to say the reaction is starkly divided. You either love it because of its artsy creativity and ‘innovation’ or you hate it because it’s so rules-light that it ‘lacks depth’ and was a waste of $35. I haven’t played it yet, but my reaction to the game is generally positive. The weird thing about it is that the rules would appeal to more casual gamers, but casual gamers probably cannot play the game to good effect because it requires a significant investment of creativity and effort to make suitable miniatures and terrain, especially for the monstrous and eponymous Horrors.

While the eerie, grimdark setting (such as it is – it’s very sketchy, only laid out in scraps and colors to inspire maximum creative freedom, I suppose) certainly stirred my imagination, the blend of magic and technology, monster and machine, post-apocalyptic horror and old-fashioned heroic warriors it showcases reminded me of something else, namely He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. I refer here to the ‘gestalt’ of wild pulp fantasy and sword and sorcery that gave birth to the toyline, and especially the early minicomics that came packaged with the toys, rather than the considerably more vanilla and kid-friendly cartoon (which I also like).

I came up with a warband that is mostly Inheritor Court, with some additional non-faction selections that are possible in the scope of a campaign. Here’s some more about them:

Man-O-War and Sidera, the Iron-Abbess

Man-O-War, the Master of the Void Knight Arsenal at Migra and last known member of his order, is a doughty holy warrior steeped in the ancient lore of warfare. He is one of the few on the benighted world who still comprehends and can safely use the fabulous baroque weaponry of a bygone age. He is obviously inspired by Man-at-Arms. In Doomed terms, he is the leader of the warband and a Sheriff.

Sidera is the Abbess and sole remaining defender of the Iron Sun skete, protector of the secrets of the Tomb of Civilizations. She is inspired by the Sorceress and Teela. In game terms, she is a Chronicle.

Recipe: Sidera is an Atlantic Digital Valkyrie, with a baroque-looking lever-action space blaster from Anvil Digital. The open book is from a North Star Military Figures Frostgrave wizard sprue.

Man-O-War is a Wargames Atlantic Conquistador body, GW Adeptus Mechanicus Skitarii arms and gun, and a Skitarii Vanguard head. A set of Bolt Action German pouches and canteen finishes off his gear.

Manhandler and orbo

Manhandler (my favorite mini in this group) is obviously inspired by Fisto and Ram-Man. He is so-named because each of his gigantic power fists can seize, crush, or throw a fully grown and armored man. In game terms, he is a Paragon.

Orbo is an enigmatic mystic from parts unknown. He has proved to be a wildcard for the group and become their mascot, despite the annoying effects his presence often provokes and Man-o-War’s suspicions that his true nature is sinister, and that his humourous hijinx are only the the accidental product of his inability to truly comprehend human feelings and objectives rather than harmlessness. He is inspired by Orko. In game terms, he is a Prophet from the Exile Bands faction.

Recipes: Manhandler is another Wargames Atlantic Conquistador, with a North Star Frostgrave knight head, and various Space Marine accouterments, including twin power fists. Orbo is a Frostgrave wizard with a GW Cadian officer arm and a Skitarii Ranger head.

Ferox and Crossfire

Ferox, last of the Bur-Zerkin, is a relentless warrior with an incongruously cheerful disposition for his many scars and missing limbs. He has the mystical ability to imbue himself with the strength, speed, and resilience of wild beasts by wearing their pelts. He eschews ranged combat in favor of close-in fights where he can use his bionic claws and vibro-billhook to devastating effect. In game terms, he is a Zealot.

Crossfire is a grizzled and taciturn warrior, sole survivor of one of the crusader bands who had tried to reclaim the world for civilization. He fights only at range, using a crossbow that silently lobs deadly grenades. In game terms, he is a Legionnaire.

Neither of these guys are inspired by anyone specific in MOTU, but they fit the zeitgeist well.

Recipes: Ferox is a Wargames Atlantic Late Roman Legionary, with a GW Skitarii arm with attached lightning claws (and no hand), and a Wargames Atlantic Conquistador sword arm, modified by attaching a truncated chainsword for his vibro-billhook. Crossfire is mostly Conquistador, with a Warlord Games’ Bolt Action Italian arm for the grenade, Bolt Action German pouches, and a North Star Frostgrave knight head.


The sinister Scorpitar is part fiend, part beast, and part machine, and none are sure which is worse. A long time foe of the champions, he has become their reluctant ally after his headquarters in Vault of Sin was destroyed by the World Echinus. Now hero and villain alike must unite against this world-ending threat. In game terms, he is an Offspring recruited from the Reborn Covens list.

Scorpitar was very fun to make. He is not based on anyone in particular, but I think captures the crazy MOTU vibe quite well. He is evil. How can you tell? Because he’s half-Eldar.

Recipe: Wargames Atlantic horse body, GW Terminator armor half for lower torso armor, terminator shoulder pad for back armor, WHFB dwarf shoulder pad for upper back armor, Eldar torso, head and arms, and greenstuff. The scorpion parts are from a rubbery giant scorpion of the sort I’ve used in some of my Konflikt ’47 games.

I’m also thinking of using this ridiculous Halloween decoration as a troop transport. I love MOTU’s penchant for creating vehicles that you’re not sure if are machines or mystical animals, and in fact are probably both. I can see them riding in this thing’s skeletal thorax before it opens up and they charge onto the battlefield, kind of like Tolkien’s original conception of dragons as half-machine armored personnel carriers in his first draft of the Fall of Gondolin.

Large Halloween spider skeleton facing off against toy soldiers

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and reactions to this idea. And if you have any more suggestions for models or better names, let me know.

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