40k Ur-Ghul = Stargrave Gaunch

Ghouls… in… spaaaaace!

“My Ur-Ghul has no eyes”
“How does he look?”

Like the Medusae and the Sslyth, Ur-Ghuls were introduced as part of the Dark Eldar/Drukhari when the entire army was rebooted in 2010 or so.

“Messrs Flynt and Beef-Wellington: Scavengers-at-Arms” divide the spoils, unaware that two of the approaching Ur-Ghuls are apoplectic due to the lack of drumsticks at the feast…

Paradoxically (and similarly to Lord Humungus), the Kabals of Commorragh are equal opportunity employers, with a large amount of diversity in the Courts of the Archons, to the point of hiring these… things. The interesting spread of oddball “alien” models available to those units were something that had not been seen in 40k for a while at that point, and as a result I have always been rather keen on them all. The Ur-Ghul is described as follows:

Many dangerous creatures dwell in the depths of Commorragh – some are stealthy, viperous creatures, others are brutal killing machines. The Ur-Ghul fits into the latter category. While it may be entirely sightless, this wiry beast can sniff out its prey with uncanny accuracy and for this reason they make excellent hunters. Drukhari Archons use these brutal creatures to stalk their prey, before they unleash the Ur-Ghul upon their unsuspecting victims. The violence they can cause is far less sophisticated than that of their Drukhari masters, but that is of little concern to the Archon – death and destruction is always welcome, whatever form it takes.

So in other words, Ur-Ghul are angry, blind C.H.U.D.

Plastic Ur-Ghul models subsequently appeared in the Blackstone Fortress series, which is where these models came from.

Veer-myn slavers “recruit” while avoiding Unshackled AI patrols in the ruins of Hamilton IV, unaware that they are being observed by the ever hungry nostrils of…

Like Frostgrave, part of the fun for me with Stargrave is looking at the various scenarios and encounter tables and finding what I think would be fun ways to represent those things on the table. As soon as I read the “Gaunch” entry, I mustered the Ur-Ghuls:

The Gaunch are a race of human-sized scavengers, with giant bulging eyes, that hide in the shadows seeking out the remains from the carnage of the Last War. They generally wear little-to-no clothing, as the pigments in their silky skin are constantly changing to match their environment, making them nearly impossible to spot at any kind of distance. While they prefer to scavenge the remains of those fallen in battle, they will come out of hiding
for fresh meat when the opportunity presents itself.

So Gaunch have huge eyes, and Ur-Ghuls have no eyes at all, but can “see” in the dark with some sort of nasar, like Ben Affleck.

This is undoubtedly a visual difference, but with the application of pulp-sci-fi logic, it amounts to pretty much exactly the same thing in story/game. As for chameleonic elements, I wasn’t going to attempt to paint anything like that anyway.

“The pay-per-view slobberknocker that NOBODY asked for… in the blue corner it’ssss

As I had already painted a number of C.H.U.D. types recently, andI have plans to use as aggressive, alien natives in Stargrave (in addition to the manufacturers approved gaming roles), I decided to change the colour scheme on the Ur-Ghuls. This was to make them visually distinct from the other troglodytes and also to avoid ripping off Asslessman, wholesale.

The models in this post come from the following sources: Citadel Miniatures, Mantic Games, Ramshackle Games, Copplestone Castings, EM4 Miniatures


16 Responses

  1. These are most tasty. The skin looks great. Like yourself, I do enjoy the odd monsters and aliens that come galloping/running/slithering into games. A batch of Ur-ghul is a handy thing to have in the bestiary.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As a kid, the Star Wars figures that I craved were robots and aliens. It is odd to think that has been a constant in my life.

      The Ur-Ghul models are 100% win I reckon: assembly is a plug in head plus sticking to a base. The painting approach was low effort and relaxing. Six C.H.U.D. will surely be a recurring motif in future games. Nothing but net 🙂

      Thanks for the feedback mrsaturdays!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Brill – nicely done mate, that toxic green is mucho coolio! They wouldn’t look to out of place in a certain spooky archipelago either 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I *could* use them in fantasy games, and I might some day. I do try to resist that though.
      When various media uses existing fantasy/western/historical resources to save cash, it gets my hackles up.
      When Flash Gordon fights a chimera, I vomit a little bit into my mouth. Warhammer Siege, with space marines defending a fantasy castle against regiments of orcs sabotages the suspension cables on my bridge of disbelief.

      It is a complex subject, too full of exceptions and obtuse reasoning for this comments section I think, but in short, I could use ur-ghuls in Ghost Archipelago games, but I hope not to have to.

      Thanks for the feedback Alex!

      Liked by 1 person

      • 😂 You crack me up mate but fair enough & I get it. I suppose I’m a bit more whimsical, (i.e. a screaming genre slut), but hey, let’s face it, we’re gonna have plenty enough beasties to wade through!! 😁👍

        (having said that, I reckon lost world/jungle themed Daleks could be fun… 🤔)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ooh these look great, that unsavory cave fish white is, well, unsavory. I like the photos so much! It’s so unfair that your staggering collection of painted figures allows you to take pics like these 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well, the collection of painted figures didn’t just happen either, it is the product of a lifetime obsessed with this stuff really, for better or worse 🙂

      You must have a vast collection of painted figs too though Allison, surely. You have posted hundreds on your blog after all, and you are at least, if not more familiar with the effort involved in trying to set the little guys up in contextual shots. Your photos also tend to be technically superior to my very amateur efforts.

      I hadn’t thought abut the greasy fish-meat look, but the Ur-Ghul do look a bit that way. I find that I am almost always trying to paint things that look creep and/or unhealthy… I’m uncertain about what that “says” about me, but I have my suspicions ;D

      Thanks for the feedback!


  4. Hmm, I had never thought of those colours, and I have to say they work really nice. Interesting take on these!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Suber! The green was a reaction to already having used the blue/purple/red side of the colour wheel really, so it pushes towards ork/orc/orruk territory a bit.

      I’m glad that you like them Suber, thanks for the feedback!


  5. I really like how these came out. The green helps to differentiate it from others. I really like how it looks, traditional, yet alien. Nice work!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Hobbs, they do fit into the “little green men” mould a bit, which suits the project just fine.

      Thanks for leaving a comment Hobbs!


  6. Awwww man, I hope assless rips off your Ur-Ghul scheme for his Goblintownians and completes the circle.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Heh, it could happen I suppose. “Green” goblins?! Who ever heard of such an absurdity.

      I do think that pretty much everyone should paint a set of those Goblintowners though, they are extremely contextually versatile little guys.

      Thanks Curis!


  7. […] 40k Ur-Ghul = Stargrave Gaunchy @ Sho3box – This blogger takes consistently great pictures. It helps that they have such great terrain to act as a backdrop to their beautifuly-painted miniatures. For this post though, I like the colour scheme chosen for the Ur-Ghuls. It makes me think of sea creatures. I agree with the author that a big part of the appeal of Stargrave is finding cool miniatures for scenarios and other odds and ends. So many great pics in this article! […]

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Another great addition to the bestiary! Always fun to see (and read) what context you set your creations up in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nice of you to say Subedai, thanks!

      Ur-ghuls come from an era of 40k when it was expanding its view of the universe, implying a lot more out there that doesn’t fit perfectly into the Codex = miniatures bought model. At the time I was very pleased to see them and the sslyth etc appear, so it was nice to get a few painted, revisit that feeling.

      Liked by 1 person

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