Thursday 19 September 2019

The Rogue Trader Bestiary Part 8: Ambulls!

Well, after all of the nice comments on the last post, and general interest in my bestiary project, I thought I'd push on and get the next instalment done asap!

This time it's one of the most popular of the animals in the original RT bestiary, the Ambull! It's also the only animal in the bestiary that has both an original RT model and a current, recently released one.

In honour of this, I've got not one, not two, but three whole painted Ambulls for you!

More pics and background after the cut...

Anyway, here's what the book has to say about these guys:

And the original illustration, showing the classic stance and the long, gangly, viciously  clawed arms:

I've always had a soft spot for the Ambull, I've used them so many times over the years to add a bit of random fun and danger to a GM'd 40k game.

Now, on to the models. First up is the original 1988 RT602 model, from back when they were still vaguely attempting to issue catalogue numbers to everything in the 40k range, something that didn't last very long!

It's got a bit of a goofy look to it that I like, the paint job is fairly straightforward and basic on this guy as he was a bit of a rush job for a game a long time ago, and I've never bothered to repaint him.

Next up is the modern Ambull, released this year as an expansion to GW's recent 'Blackstone Fortress' game. I've been a big fan of their sculpts for this game, I keep meaning to pick up some of the individual models at some point. To be honest, as much as I like later 80s/early 90s 'classic' period, GW's sculptors have really been on top form over the last few years, particularly since they managed to get rid of Tom Kirby's stranglehold on the company and started diversifying and letting people's imaginations go wild again.

This particular model is how it came from the company, just built as it was designed to be built.

It's a great model with loads of details, I particularly like the little bug infestation it's got going on.

And finally, an Ambull variant I've had in my head for a long time, but never got round to making until now. I've always wanted to cross the standard Ambull with the Yeti legend, and create one that lives under the surface on Ice Worlds.

To that end I'd like to introduce you all to the Valhallan Ambull:

Frequently used as a bogeyman to terrify young Valhallan conscripts into obedience lest they be forced into perimeter duty during a blizzard, the Valhallan Ambull, known to the troops as the Abominable Snowbull, spends it's time burrowing through the snow and ice, before leaping out from under their intended victim, dragging them down and devouring them at their leisure in their maze of snow caves.

The model itself is another of the new Ambull models, but this time I've chopped it in half to make it look like it's emerging from the ground, and with green stuff fur sculpted over it's carapace. The rest of the work is on the base, with cork to imitate the surface ice breaking, and a liberal coating of 'Valhallan Blizzard' technical paint. He was actually a really fun model to make and paint.

Speaking of painting, both of the new Ambull models are mainly done in the new contrast paints, which I've been enjoying experimenting with. They can give an interesting range of effects, and I can see them being really useful in my ongoing Slann army project, as some of the colours are really bright and vibrant, and I reckon will be particularly useful for Slann skintones.

Anyway, thanks for reading this far, hope you enjoyed it!

Links to the Bestiary So Far: 


  1. "In honour of this, I've got not one, not two, but three whole painted Ambulls for you!"

    Well, more like two and a half, really ;)

    They do all look really nice, tho, and I love that idea for the Valhallan Ambull. I'd been thinking of using cork for cracked sheets of ice on my new Nid Kill Team, so it's cool to see someone else did the testing for me and it works great! Thanks!

    1. I've still got the other half! ;) Cork tiles work well for ice, but I like using it for all sorts of stuff, The Slann pyramid is entirely made of it.

    2. I use it for rock outcroppings and such all the time. Just wasn't sure about ice, but that's cleared up now!

  2. Wow, I don't know where to start. The three of them have their own appeal in a different way, really nice job. I wasn't expecting the Valhallan Ambull! I think there was en episode with ice ambulls in one of the Ciaphas Cain novels; your work made me remember those. Really good job!

  3. Fantastic! Really been digging this series, keep up the great work man!

  4. Posted too soon!

    Two bestiaries in less than a week! You're spoiling us.

    Really nice work on all three Ambulls, and the Abominable Snowbull is a really clever idea and a well executed conversion.

    I keep hearing good things bout the new contrast paints. I'll have to give them a tryout soon.

    And as an aside, if anyone knows of a production model of a fleeing terrified guardsman, let me know. I love the way you use yours to show scale.

    1. Thanks! As far as the feeling Guardmen goes, he's really just a very light conversion on the fleeing peasant from the old Warhammer Giant kit. I would think you'd be able to make a good, similar model by picking up a selection of Guardsmen bits from Victoria Miniatures.

    2. I'll give it a try, but most of my conversions wind up looking like Chaos Spawns.

  5. This looks like an awesome herd of ambulls. Also oneif my favourite ‘generic’ creatures from the background!!

  6. An excellent trio! Lovely to see the original tiny (juvenile?) ambull against its larger cousins. The Valhallan sub-species really is a triumph though - perfectly modelled and with clear evolutionary adaptations for the environment. Any plans for the legs?!

    1. Thanks! I did manage to save the legs, no idea what I can do with them yet though!

  7. Three ambulls! (well, 2.5) Great work on that Vahallan Ambull, but what an expensive conversion!

    1. Thanks! I've never been precious about cutting up expensive toys!