About this blog
AoS Moonclan Grot Army Project
Da Bloo Moon Forest Fungus Boyz
I will be documenting the progress of this army here and will post WIP pictures more regularly on Twitter via @Bishmeister1.
This army was commenced early last year but enthusiasm for it waned when Age of Sigmar was released and round bases became standard. After much deliberation I began to rebase the army and now love the round base aesthetic and its potential for more base embellishment.
Beware this is a long introduction.
Located in the Realm of Life
DBMFFB inhabit the deepest darkest depths in the fantastical forests of the Realm of Life. This band of Forest Moonclan Grots spends most of their existence in perpetual darkness due to the thickness of the tree canopy. Light rarely permeates to their dingy domain; this darkness is compounded by the eerily enveloping mists that saturate everything in the forest during the warmth and closeness of the day giving it a dank, dingy, dreary atmosphere that drips from every leaf, bough and lichen. This dark and damp atmosphere combined with the continuous cycle of rot and growth is the perfect environment for the grots main source of sustenance, fungi.
The Bloo Moon Fungus
The fungus of the forest grows everywhere and the DBMFFB are fungus connoisseurs without rival; from brewing potent blue death cap tea to stewing the popular ten plus one toadstool hotpot. DBMFFB take their name from the unusual bloo moon fungus. The mighty mushroom is a giant of the forest and is worshiped as a deity. This mushroom appears seldom, once in a blue moon in fact, but grows to gigantic proportions compared to the other fungi. It is light blue in colour and has a luminous quality to it making it appear as if it is glowing. When discovered these are treated with great reverence and shamans will carry out necessary sacrificial rituals to extend the existence of this fabulous fungi. As like all fungi its life is limited but this can be extended by feeding it rotting flesh, this is usually the flesh of victims which is placed around the mighty mushroom where it will feed the soil and sustain the fungus. The main stem of the mushroom is as thick as a large tree and the ground around it is covered with smaller bloo fungus spawning from the main plant. The appearance of these terrific toadstools seems to coincide with the appearance of the bloo moon which in rare circumstances permeates to the forest floor. This usually occurs through glimpses in the canopy within the tribe’s shamanic burial grounds where the forest vegetation thins and struggles to grow.
The shamans particularly covet the bloo moon fungus as consuming its flesh enhances their magical potential. The shamans harvest the offshoots of the main fungus to produce their hallucinogenic homebrews and thus preserving the dominant blue fungus. Consuming this fungus would be fatal for any other Moonclan grot but the shamans have built up a resistance to the toadstools toxins over many years of regular consumption. This long and often fatal path of the shaman begins with fermenting the bloo moon fungus to brew potent ale. This is same ale given to fanatics although in much larger quantities where the fanatics are encouraged to ‘skull’ a five pints. Over time the shaman will increase his consumption brewing all manner of fungus ales and eating regular helpings of the half life hot pot towards the end of his shamanic journey. This hot pot so named as shamans lives tend to be cut very short soon afterwards. The shamans begin to turn blue as they gradually succumb to the fungi's finger of death. The shamans consider this terminal transformation as a ritual self-sacrifice which guarantees them the elevation to a deity. In consuming the bloo moon fungi the shaman is able to tap into the collective knowledge, experience and sometimes powers of the previous shamans that have been assimilated by the fungus in its perpetual cycle of consumption. Shamans will often go mad before they are overcome by the fungi's finger of death due to the crazed and incessant rambling murmurs of the assimilated shamans. Only the strongest willed and most powerful shamans survive to experience deity hood. Eventually the shaman’s body will be more fungus than grot and the shaman’s body will stop responding to his commands. The shamans mind and soul become locked into the fungi and has to compete to be heard with all the other locked in shamanic souls. At this point the shaman is buried in the shamanic burial grounds where the fungus will lay dormant until it is charmed out of the ground by a future bloo moon.
DBMFFB fascination with everything fungi has led them to keep a disproportionate number of squigs in their army. From the tiny squiglings to the giant forest squigs, squigs are everywhere. Many regiments see the squiglings as good luck charms and actively encourage them to join their regiment by feeding them fungi. This can be dangerous as some squiglings can increase in size very rapidly if given too many fungi and end rampaging through the regiments' ranks causing havoc. DBMFFB will harvest all the blue squigs as they consider them to be the most ferocious and distantly related to the blue moon fungus, therefore prized and sacred.
DBMFFB also have a disproportionate number of Fellwater Troggoths which tend to avoid running water with a preference for the dark, dank, stinking bogs of the forest. These Fellwater Troggoths prey on the unfortunate creatures that fall into or stray too close to the forest bogs. They will often eat grots although they find them stringy and tasteless. Like DBMFFB the Fellwater Troggoths covet the blue moon fungus, not in a sacred way but the fungus enhances their metabolism enabling them to grow larger and regenerate quicker. Fellwater Troggoths are able to snuffle out the bloo moon fungus through their amazing sense of smell. The Fellwater Troggoths have light blue skin which is probably caused by their consumption of the bloo moon fungus and the fact that they spend most of their time in perpetual darkness. They have scales of varying shades of green and dark lank hair. DBMFFB believe the Fellwater Troggoths to be the physical manifestation of the bloo moon fungus' anger and malice and see them as a gift, albeit reluctant, from the fungus deity for their army. The Fellwater Troggoths are reluctant participants in the army of DBMFFB and have to be carolled from their bogs by the brave and the stupid; the stupid use fishing rods, hooks and nets whilst the brave use tempting treats, such a bloo fungus ale, long spears, and the stupid to temp the Fellwater Troggoths out of their bogs and into the army. The Fellwater Troggoths will often join regiments of grots as they are attracted by the smell of fungus ale. This can often have adverse effects causing the regiments to break down into a seething pit of animosity as the Fellwater Troggoths makes a beeline for any fanatics in the regiment that have consumed the bloo moon fungus ale. The shamans of the army are particularly wary of the Fellwater Troggoths and will not join any regiments containing Fellwater Troggoths for fear of being devoured.
Bog Momma is an exceedingly large female Fellwater Troggoths. It is thought that she has managed to grow so large as she is very long lived and by consuming vast quantities of bloo moon fungus and other male Fellwater Troggoths who are attracted to her because of her magnificently pungent body odour. She is a less reluctant member of the army as she has the wit to understand the feast which ensues following a battle which goes some way to sating her gargantuan appetite. She is continuously eating and is never without her net hand bag which is stuffed full of tasty titbits. Whilst being a formidable monster she is easily distracted by the opportunity of an easy meal, fungi or pretty wild flowers. These distractions along with compliments are often used by the Moonclan Grots to guide her to the enemy.
The forest has many creepy crawlies and DBMFFB make extensive use of the forest spiders within their army. These are mainly used as scouts due to their ability to travel silently though the forest canopy and their ability to use webs to ensnare enemies. DBMFFB will use spiders of all varieties and sizes within their army, the largest being the mighty Araknarok spider.
Creepy Crawlies & Beasts
Distributed throughout all of DBMFFB ranks are various creepy crawlies and beasts, including boars, wolves, spiders, sprites, squigs, bats and rats. Some of these are not really part of the army but end up getting caught up amongst the commotion.
Iconography, Equipment & ‘Ethics’
The emblem of the blue snarling moon and or forest fungus are used extensively throughout the army. DBMFB wear the traditional black garb of the Moonclan grots but decorate their hoods with bloo moon fungus patterns on the rims although these patterns are usually white as light blue cloth is extremely rare to the Moonclan grots.
The army struggles to make any metal weapons as they do not have access to the raw materials required so they have a preference for wooden spears and clubs. If a grot is lucky enough he will have scavenged a metal weapon from a dead enemy. Metal weapons are considered a status symbol within the army, although some grots, particularly the not so clever ones, take this to the extreme and believe the larger the weapon the greater the status. This doesn't always work so well in battle when the owner of the giant weapons cannot fight effectively and is easily slain by their opponent. However there are always plenty of stupid grots ready to pry these weapons from their dead comrades’ hands in the pursuit of elevated status in the form of a big choppa. The grot bosses are usually the most intelligent grots and do not fall into this 'arms race' so are usually modestly armed.
The grots are natural scavengers and are armed and equipped in a rather eclectic fashion with little uniformity. DBMFFB have no qualms in using the weapons and equipment of other races and do not favour any particular races weapons but generally end up with the weapons of the foes they come into contact with the most, these being Men, Beastmen and Duardin. DBMFFB are particularly spiteful and relish the chance to vanquish a foe with a weapon from that race, particularly if it’s a Duardin. DBMFFB will not however have anything to do with any form of Aelven equipment or weapons seeing them as dirty, tricksy baubles that stink of Aelven malediction.
The Army (eventually)
Grot Warboss (Skarnik and Gnobbla)
3 x Grot Warboss on Great Cave Squiq
2 x Grot Big Boss on Gigantic Spider
Lots of Grot Shamans
Forest Moonclan Grot hordes
4 x Grot Units (32)(128)
3 x Archer Grots (32)(96)
2 x Sqiug Herders (32)(64)
2 x Units of squig hoppers (18)(36)
2 x Cave Squig Units (32)(64)
6 x units of spider riders (10)(60)
2 x Squig Gobbers
1 x Mangler Squig
12 x Fellwater Troggoths
1 x Colossal Cave Squig
1 x Giant Fellwater Troggoth (Bog Momma)
1 x Araknarok spider
1 x Giant
This army is missing big chunks of units i.e. artillery, I have yet to decide on how to model these as I don’t want to use the current models.
Initial army project will be centred on the squig units with accompanying Fellwater Troggoths
The Squig Battalion
Grot Warboss (Skarnik and Gnobbla)
2 x Grot Warbosses on Great Cave Squiqs
Lots of shamans
1 x Grot Unit (32)
1 x Archer Unit (32)
1 x Unit of Squig Hoppers (18)
1 x Unit of Squig Herders (32)
1 x Unit of Cave Squigs (32)
2 x Squig Gobbers
10 x Fellwater Troggoths
1 x Colossal Cave Squig
1 x Giant Fellwater Troggoth (Bog Momma)
The Plan for the Moonclan Grots Army
To create units that appears animated with lots going on. Moonclan Grots will be at different angles and heights using landscaped bases to give the impression of a disorganised rabble.
Each model will have homemade sculpted forest bases with additional toadstools, trees and shrubbery. Each unit will be mounted on a magnetised scenic regiment base. This base will contain lots of scenic features to enhance the forest/jungle theme. This will be integrated with the models round bases to give a seamless effect and the regiment base will be recessed into the final display board.
Conversions & Kit-bashes
Fanatic models will be used with squigs, Fellwater Troggoths to give the impression of grots being dragged along and generally abused. I will kit-bash and sculpt to create different arm positions, poses and use different weapons for the grots and trolls to create an eclectic look to the army. I would like each grot model to appear to be an individual with no other model the same.
Bog Momma will be chasing a Squig Hopper carrying flowers.
The Moonclan Grots will be painted in the classic colour scheme of black cowls and green skin. All Moonclan Grot models with have freehand toadstools painted on their cowls. The moon emblem on shields and banners will be painted light blue. I have chosen blue as I want it to be different from the majority of Moonclan Grot armies out there.
The squigs and Fellwater Troggoths will be painted in light blue, this will match the blue on the banners and shields. I chose blue to tie in with the Moonclan Grots but also as I wanted to paint the squigs and trolls in a non-traditional colour scheme. The blue on both the squigs and Fellwater Troggoths will graduate from almost white to dark blue from top to bottom. The Fellwater Troggoths have scales and hair which will be painted green to match the colours of the Moonclan Grots.
I have yet to decide on the colour of the spiders and other creepy crawlies and beasts. This section will be updated in the future.
Black Cloth: (base) mechanicus standard grey, (wash) nuln oil + lhamian medium, (h1) MSG, (h2) base + dawnstone, (h3) dawnstone.
Skin: (base) Scorpion green x2 coats, (wash) Biel-tan + lhamian medium, (h1) goblin green + scorpion green + bleached bone, (h2) h1 + more bleached bone, (h3) bleached bone, thinned red ink for nose.
Leather: (base) Baneblade brown, (wash) agrax earthshade, (h1) baneblade brown, (h2) base + rakarth flesh.
Wood: (base) mournfang brown, (wash) agrax earthshade, (h1) base, (h2) baneblade brown.
Shield: (background) Necron abyss, (Moon) (base) ice blue, (wash) drakenhof nightshade, (h1) base, (h2) base + white scar 50:50, (h3) base + white scar 25:75, (h4) white scar.
Metal: (base) boltgun metal, (wash) agrax, (h1) base, (h2, edge) Mithril silver.
(base) ice blue, (wash underside) drakenhof nightshade, (h1) base, (h2) base + white scar 50:50, (h3) base + white scar 25:75, (h4) white scar.
Same as for squigs although their hair, ears, spines and scales are given a biel-tan green wash instead of drakenhof nightshade but still highlighted with blues.
I undercoat and base coat all my models with an airbrush. For highlighting I pre mix paints in spare pots to achieve consistency and to save time. I always thin paints for highlighting and tend to build up the highlights using several thin layers of the same paint wet blending where needed.
Inspiration for this army has come from many sources. Firstly I love Moonclan Grot models and have models from all eras of the Games Workshop releases. I intend to incorporate all of these models within the army although I will be mostly using the Moonclan Grot models from The Battle of Skull Pass range. I have hundreds of Moonclan grot models and have been itching to start a project with them.
There are some really amazing Moonclan Grot armies which can be easily found on the internet. Special mention must go to Ricky Fischer’s Moonclan Grots which was the army that really convinced me that I should have a go at Moonclan Grots. I love the overall look that he has achieved and the consistency in his painting style. These can be viewed here:
Mousekiller’s Moonclan Grot army is full of great conversions