I’ve never been one for the hobby side of Age of Sigmar. Having gone through previous armies hobby as a means to an end, getting them table ready so I can play the game at tournaments, I finally started to enjoy the painting aspects when I decided to do a Beastclaw Raiders army, around Christmas 2019. Having realised it was big monsters that I liked painting, and the basing becoming something I was getting quite good at, I decided that the next monster army that comes out, I’m going for it!
I’ve always wanted to play with Destruction factions, because of the lore and because of the style of play (or player) that comes with it. Luckily, when the teaser trailers came out for Sons Of Behemat, towards the start of lockdown, I had the perfect army and lots of time to get it right.
I saw some pictures on twitter of multiple aleguzzler gargants, and they looked great, but they seemed to be a bit repetitive for me, so I decided to do a realm inspired theme where each gargant has come from a different realm to wreak havoc on a lovely little village somewhere in the mortal realms. The idea being that, as I didn’t know how many gargants I would need (as the book still isn’t out), I would do as many aleguzzlers (from the Gloomspite Gitz battletome) as would fit into 2000 points and then work my way back from that to fit in a hero or two. Since the Generals Handbook has come out, it has confirmed that the maximum amount of Mancrushers (aleguzzlers) that can fit with a General is nine, which fit nicely with the nine Mortal Realms.
So far, I have completed 7 of 9 Mancrushers and am waiting for the release of the Mega Gargant kits, so I can do one of each of those. I’ll run you through each of the completed ones and the inspiration behind each one:
Realm of Shyish (Death)
This Gargant is from the realm of death, and as such is cold and unfeeling. He has been without sunlight for a long time, causing him to lose all the pigment in his skin, and turn his mindset to one of despair and hopelessness. Accompanied by spirits and carrion, and adorned with macabre trinkets of lost civilisations and undying masses, he claims the odd human to prematurely take back to Shyish, when his marauding is complete.
Realm of Chamon (Metal)
Picking up anything shiny he sees and strapping it to his body, this Gargant is the most armoured up and bulky of them all. His weapons were made from the forges that created his armour, so they must be powerful! Having claimed prizes from the giant Stonehorns, sleepy Dankholds and bouncy Manglers, he is an unstoppable force once he gets swinging.
Realm of Azyr (Heavens)
The shiniest and glowing of the Gargants, this big guy has seen the valour of the Stormcast and the magical might of the Slann in full force and has ‘Eadbutted his way through all the scuffles. Strapping lightening men shields to his shoulders doesn’t ward them off, but it does make the other Sons very jealous! Carrying round his own Dinosaur pet is also a cause for great envy within the Gargant ranks!
Realm of Ghyran (Life)
It’s not all wanton destruction with the Sons of Behemat, some like to be conservationists and be one with nature. In the realm of life, you don’t really get the choice, if you don’t look after Ghyran, Ghyran won’t be pleased. The Realm of Life Gargant’s main concern is feeding his horde of accompanying scuttling, winged or feathered friends. Luckily, the trail of devastation normally turns up a feast for the critters, as well as the Sons. His giant Vulture is his favourite, letting her pick the first spoils before the rest of the pack devour what remains.
Realm of Ulgu (Shadow)
In a realm where the sun is blotted out, and the swirling winds are forever whipping around you, it’s hard to keep yourself from descending into madness. Ulgu’s Gargant is well on the way to full blown corruption, stemming from the parasite nestled at the base of his spine. With his mind, body and appearance tainting before our eyes, it’s only matter of time until he can’t maraud with the rest of his gang of giant cohorts. But, for now, he’s still here. Having spent so much time in Ulgu, he has found the taste for snakes, especially those with bows and spears, making it a bit more of a challenge to catch his prey in the churning gloom.
Realm of Aqshy (Fire)
Not all Gargants are lucky, some stumble across a tasty meal in a forever burning forest, only to discover they ate a seedpod, which propagated and is now slowly turning the unfortunate Gargant into a Treelord. Every day more painful than the last, the Aqshy Gargant still hasn’t accepted his inevitable fate, and whilst he still can, will smash up everything in his path, hoping the pain he inflicts on others will help him feel less. Armed with his ancestral pickaxe and adorned with the Golden Fleece, made of Ur-Gold, his body is constantly burning, making him the most hot-blooded and ferocious Gargant in the clan.
Realm of Ghur (Beasts)
My favourite of the builds, this Gargant has lived through many years of dodging the biggest behemoths in the mortal realms. Fighting for everything, he has honed his skills into being the most savage and clinical brawler, he takes pride in his abilities and takes prizes from the biggest of his kills. Whether it be the Gigantic Mountain Ram skull he has on his belt, or the Lord of Change head he uses to rip and tear at his foes with on his battle hardened club, he wants every enemy he encounters to know that he’s fought bigger and badder than them, and he came out victorious every time. The addition of Johan onto this base was the perfect time to show the most famous non-playable character in all the realms, at his terrified best.
My basing is designed specifically for a display board I will be doing, once the Mega-Gargants have arrived and been built. The idea is for them to be smashing up a quaint little village in a delightful part of the mortal realms, having one last plunder of the realms before Behemat comes back (whether he does or doesn’t, they are going to enjoy themselves no matter what). They are striding across a human road, where the Mega-Gargants will already be in the town, with lots of rubble at their feet.
The next two gargants will be from the realms of Hysh and Chaos. I am currently looking for the best conversions to properly highlight the two realms, and they should be incoming in the next couple of months.
I have really enjoyed this long-term hobby project because it has ticked all the boxes I needed for me to not get bored:
- Low model count.
- Lots of variation in model design.
- Lots of personality from each model.
- Lots of scope for adaptation/kitbashing to how I imagined it.
- Not a grind to paint and build.
The lockdown has been a tough time for everyone, but one silver lining is, for me anyway, I would never have put the time into this project if I was on the tournament schedule I had been on for the past two years. As soon as the Mega-Gargants are on preorder, I will be placing my order and getting the rest of this army completed.
If you have any ideas on how to complete Hysh and Chaos gargants, feedback on the builds/painting, or just want to send out a grudge for the next tournament in the UK, feel free to get in touch on Twitter at @FuneralDinosaur, I’d love to hear your thoughts.