The Blameless Gutterborn- Mörk Borg/Forbidden Psalm

The Blameless Gutterborn, yesterday (pre-apocalypse).

Forbidden Psalm is a miniatures game set in the Mörk Borg universe.


These are some toy soldiers that I prepared for Forbidden Psalm and Mörk Borg.


Whether you regard seeing these toys as the final push you needed to embrace a demonic cult, is entirely up to you.

Apocalyptic fetishes…

In the 1980’s, the satanic panic crowd was afraid that role playing games led to real life demonic summoning. ritual behaviour. Mörk Borg is the role playing game that those misguided folk thought that D&D was.

Mörk Borg is exactly as effective at turning players into satan worshippers as any other RPG.

“Storm, the Ever-Living”. A magic-using Coward with Poor Morale. Voted “Least likely to Ever-Live” 2022

Mörk Borg is full of apocalyptic cults and ritualists and untrustworthy goats and the end of every campaign is armageddon.
Just like D&D (and television, and rock and roll, and video games, and mobile phones…) Mörk Borg wont turn players into demon worshippers any more than Marilyn Manson does, because just like honest politicians, Pokémon and true love, demons do not exist.

Since “Vlan Bater, the Scared” grew unusually long, sharp canines, he can digest only blood (What We Do In the Shadows). As a result Vlan is permanently Malnourished. Like a crap vampire, but even less cool than you are thinking.

The “adventure wargame” spin off from Mörk Borg is Forbidden Psalm.
With a bleakly entertaining attitude to the setting and to the lives of the players toy soldiers, it was immediately tempting. Once I saw the tragicomic, randomly generated character system, it was easy and pretty funny to roll a few up.

Tim, the Unholy” prides himself on his no nonsense, Mind Over Matter approach to what is left of his life. Apart, that is, from being so Scared of Heights that he won’t climb stairs.

When that was done, I dug out a load of plastic kits and assembled this set of low level adventurers, ready to seek a dry bed and decent meal a few more times before the world ends.
All of the Blameless Gutterborn were generated from random tables and charts, and kitbashed into plastic by me.

Niduk, the Artist” was raised by rats in the gutters of “Grift”, becoming a Filthy Fingersmith known to other local cutpurses. With a personality more repugnant than his stereoscopic lack of personal hygiene, even the demons of the afterlife don’t want him, allowing Niduk to emerge from some profoundly unlikely scrapes by Dodging Death. Even while cutting the throat of the latest victim of his bear-trap and slingshot combo, Niduk doesnt care: he is more worried about the golem that tracks and observes him… if only he could remember why…

There are parts from kits from multiple manufacturers used to put the Gutterborn together.
The not-exhaustive list includes parts from North Star Military Figures, Fireforge, Mantic, Great Escape Games, Wargames Factory and Citadel.

Being a Realist who doesn’t believe in any of the undeniably magical occurrences that surround him, “Gride, the Thyme Master” has taken the mutation from “homely” human to horrific manbearpig surprisingly well, using it to bolster his already Intimidating Presence. He also has a pet rodent.

When it came to painting, I decided to go, by my standards at least, fairly high concept.

An obvious part of the appeal of the setting is the distinct art direction taken with the graphic design of Mörk Borg. As a fun experiment, I decided to paint the miniatures to reference the palette used in the books.

With a Vacant Mind that struggles to take on board tasks more complicated than “hit that” and/or “eat that”, the deeply disturbing “Nifehl, the Horrible” is so unpleasant to look at (Hard to See) that people subconsciously turn their gaze away, until it is too late, and he hit/eats them.

I strayed from the palette with various brown and grey tones throughout the Gutterborn. That way the figures visually fit a bit better with my existing models and terrain a more than a set of flat yellow, flat black and flat red models would have.

Being Allergic To Metal, “Pannoyed, the Last Fate” was on some level relieved when he neurotically nibbled the itchy meat off his fingertips, only to find weapons grade Clawed Nails.

I’m pleased with how the project worked out. The Gutterborn are a fun collection of oddballs, undeniably connected to each other visually.

FREE BAR!

26 Responses

  1. Wow, these are bang-tidy mate! Love the tragicomic fluff for each of them, and the kit-bashing & painting is really cool – different to your normal approach maybe, but undeniably ‘you’ 😊👍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Alex!

      I converted the lot during the summer and did a bit of painting here and there since, finishing them off over the last few days. The painting suffered a little from being completed over a long period like that, but I expect that I am the only one likely to even vaguely notice that sort of thing.

      I used to kitbash/convert everything in the 90s and early 2000s, but it got out of hand. Expense was an issue, but really it meant that I ran out of enthusiasm with the project before I had it painted, and therefore ready to game with, which is a project failure. So I reined it back.

      I decided to let that particular genie out of the bottle for this project, as it is so small. Hopefully I have the experience to keep things a little more i=under control now…maybe…

      As for style, I’m not really into painting browns. I have always had “trashier” tastes 🙂
      In addition, while I want the figures to look grim and dark, that doesn’t mean that they have to be dull, or deadly serious. I’m sure that the characters take themselves seriously in-universe, but from the perspective of the guy pushing them around the table, I find them very amusing. If the gaming doesn’t make me laugh, then what is the point?

      Thanks for the feedback Alex!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had never previously of Mörk Borg, but your description is intriguing. (Or should I say yöur dëscrip⸸ion. That upside down t was hard to find. I wonder why no one does such simple and obvious symbols?) The minis look great and the story is even better. Well played!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks SP!

      I heard about Forbidden Psalm and by extension Mörk Borg on the Guerilla Miniature Gaming YouTube channel:https://youtu.be/tyWAhGJY2Fw .
      That video in particular made it look like the sort of project that I might enjoy, so when a friend said that he was going to give it a go it was an easy decision to join in.

      I have no interest in black metal, but the visual presentation and stripped-down mechanical vibe of both Mörk Borg and Forbidden Psalm were immediately appealing too. Not something that I would have seen myself going for a year ago, but being open to a slightly different take on my hobby paid off here.

      Like

  3. Incredible work! Mörk Borg was my guilty pleasure purchase during the early months of the pandemic in 2020. I love your description of the game!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Comrade!
      I am definitely more or a toy soldier guy than a RPG guy, but Mörk Borg caught my eye as soon as I saw it. I had mild concerns that it might be a bit “edgelord”, but once I started reading through the book, it became obvious that the writers were coming from an entertainment viewpoint that fit right in with me: it is a fun read.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve seen a couple of bands for Forbidden Psalm recently, but you totally made my day with these. I love the story behind each one of them and how you turned those concepts into minis. So great.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Suber!
      Obviously, I could use whatever miniatures I wanted for a game of Forbidden Psalm, but when the character generation stage is such a good place to generate laughs, I figured that I would prep a figure specifically for each. I didn’t really have strong concepts for how the figures would look before I sat down with a load of sprues and the couple of points generated for each character along with their name.
      It was lots of fun.

      Like

  5. I love it! Were those back stories created by the game? Your impeccable humour is very much Mörk Borg-y, so I genuinely can’t tell the difference 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heh! With you being the only person on the planet who is actually *less* metal than me Mikko, I find it odd to think that my sense of humour might actually be, in fact a black metal sense of humour. A big part of what has put me off metal over the years is that it takes itself waaay too seriously 😀

      In answer to your question, when creating a FP character you generate a random Name, Title, Flaw and Feat. You then choose one of two starting stat lines and if you want, you assign one character the role of “Caster”, which is a fancy way of saying that figure will almost definitely die, soon: the dark arts are a very risky proposition in Forbidden Psalm.
      After that you spend some gold to buy figs equipment (although that can be randomised instead if you like).

      The Name, Title, Flaw and feat are what I used to put together the short paragraphs about each character above. There was nothing to it really, as the narrative kick off points generated by the Flaw and Feat fall into place together I find.

      Niduk is actually a PC generated for Mörk Borg roleplaying. He is slightly more fleshed out in concept, but again, it is largely left to the player to decide on the details.

      As a result of this comment, I have gone through the back stories above and made anything generated by the game bold, if you have an interest in seeing what I was working with.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Excellent, thanks for the explanation and the extra effort. I love this kind of narrative touch and it’s great to see more and more games incorporating it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • It’s a new sub-genre now, “adventure wargames”. I *think* that the term was coined by Modiphius, for Five Parsecs from Home, but I could be wrong.

          My kind of toy soldiers though, definitely.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this, although I’m not sure that love is quite the right word. The minis are mental enough that they could have been released in lead by Citadel as part of The Lost And The Damned in the early 90s, and the background stories could easily be part of (at least the more humorous end of) the same books.

    On the other hand, perhaps I could praise you that this kind of weirdness is exactly on brand for your excellent blog and it’s hard to know where the oddness of Mörk Borg ends and your blog begins.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Argentbadger, you say the nicest things 😀

      The vibe that I was going for is definitely a bit Realm of Chaos, a bit Jabberwocky (the 1977 Terry Gilliam movie), maybe a pinch of Evil Dead, possibly even some Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Bill the Galactic Hero. Mordheim is of course an influence too, and whether it is mentioned as a direct influence on Forbidden Psalm, I think that it is undeniably present.

      As for the project being recognisably “mine”, some of that was intentional, to give me a sense of ownership I suppose, to make the models at least a little distinct. The opposite side of that coin is that I enjoy painting a certain way, which suits certain colours and approaches, which inevitably ends up looking like I painted it I guess.

      The most important decision here was to restrict the palette to match the playfully obnoxious colour scheme used in Mörk Borg. Once I had decided to do that, then working out the specific paints and ways to apply it was almost self evident.

      Christ, that sounds so arty-farty. I’m not arty-farty, honest, but I do think a lot about my toy soldiers 😀

      Like

  7. The use of the yellow is really great to pull the team together. I noticed it immediately. I didn’t realize it was part of the Mork Borg palette….of course! I think a radioactive pink makes an appearance occasionally as well?
    What paints do you use for you skin. It’s satisfyingly gross but also table top crisp

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are definitely elements of the Mörk Borg rulebook rendered in a hot, late eighties pink MM, but it is relatively rare. I bought blue/pink tufts for the bases – quite like the yellow/red ones that I finally used – but decided that the blue in those might draw attention to the blue blacks that I used, which I didn’t want, so I kept the pink in reserve for a future MB/FP project.

      The flesh on these was primarily Citadel Grey Seer over black, drybrushed white, then Citadel Gulliman Flesh thinned with medium over it, the layered with Citadel Pallid Wych Flesh and finally highlighted a bit with Game Colour Off White.

      Hopefully that helps. Thanks for the feedback!

      Like

  8. Great work. Very fitting with the source material.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks KMoonster!

      I normally try to bear the source material for these things in mind a little bit, before going off and doing my own thing, but this particular subject just seemed like a fun way to push the connection a little further.
      I’m glad that you like it.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. These have the same energy as the playtest gangs that the studio team converted ahead of Mordheim’s release. Great work.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s a nice thought!
      On some level the Aly Morrison plastic kitbashed warband from back then is always in the back of my mind when I approach something like this.

      It is a messy, expensive and time consuming process to get kitbashing like this off the ground, but I do enjoy it when I set the time aside to do it.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. That’s a bloody awesome set of cultist builds, and the paintjobs work really effectively as well! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Azazel!
      The project was loads of fun. I expect that I will add some more to them at a later date, once I get some games in with those (soon I hope).

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Great conversions and a really nice paint scheme! I recognize most of the parts you used (–> in constant search for kitbashing parts and bits), only Nifehl, the Horrible´s Body is a part, where I have the feeling, I should know it, but can´t get right on it. This is terrible, like something stuck between your teeth^^ Maybe you could help me out here, some nice hunchback models would be great 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Marc!
      Nifehl’s body is a from a Mantic Kings of War plastic orcs set. Consider me the hobby blog equivalent of dental floss 😀

      Like

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