“In the Emperor’s Name” Genestealer Cult minis – crafted by my son, Thomas

September 3, 2011
Greetings all!

A little “show-and-tell” this time: pictures of the miniatures modified by my son Thomas to serve as his Genestealer Cult retinue for the game “In the Emperor’s Name”.

Briefly, “In the Emperor’s Name”, or “ItEN” is a skirmish-level game (free download) created by the guys at “Forge of War”.  It is based in Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 universe, placed, well, 40,000 years in the future.   A good link to get the rules for “ItEN”  is here:


Anyway, the basic units of the game are individual figures who are part of “retinues”.  The classic “good guy” retinue in the game is the “Inquisitorial Retinue”, containing an Imperial Inquisitor and his various followers and henchmen.  The game is fun to play and encourages a lot of creativity with the individual miniatures, since each one is a unique character, not part of a faceless horde.

If you’re gonna have good guys then you need to have bad guys for them to fight.  In playing the game “Warhammer 40,000” my son Thomas really likes his Tyranid army.  The Tyranids are an insatiable, pitiless alien species that travels through space in huge “hive fleets” made of living ships and devours the life of entire planets, leaving them dead husks.

Individual Tyranids are highly differentiated by genetic engineering, some are small and nasty and others are HUGE and nasty. One type of Tyranid is called the “Genestealer”.  In their natural form they are 4-armed, two-legged close-combat killing machines, with claws that can shred steel.  They are known to act as advanced scouts for hive fleets, stowing away on old ships and making their way to crowded planets.  There they capture humans and “implant” them with biological pods that enslave the person and start to genetically alter them.  When they capture enough people they form secretive cults.  These cults can last for generations, with successive cultists becoming more mutated until purestrain genestealers are being bred.  All while this is happening a psychic signal is being generated.  As the cult grows the signal gets stronger.  Eventually the signal gets strong enough to attract a Tyranid Hive Fleet.  When the Hive Fleet attacks the planet the Genestealer cult comes out of hiding and tries to cause chaos and mayhem to hinder the planetary defenses.  Obviously, it is to the interests of the Empire to prevent this from happening.

Games Workshop stopped producing “Genestealer Cult” miniatures over a decade ago.  Thomas used some leftover Tyranid bits from his Tyranid army and some “Necromunda” and “Space Marine” parts that I gave him to create his “Genestealer Cult Retinue”.

The Core Retinue of the Genestealer Cult

The Retinue of the Genestealer Cult show here has two Leader figures, some heavy combat figures and some normal combat figures.  These would be supplemented by normal-looking human figures representing “Cultists” of various sorts and “Purestrain Genestealers” taken from Tom’s Warhammer 40,000 Tyranid Army.

The Genestealer Patriarch, huge, bloated with evil and deadly

The main leader of the cult and the retinue is the Genestealer Patriarch.  He is huge, ugly, highly intelligent and deadly in combat.  Tom created this one by attaching an old, Warhammer 40,000 2nd edition Tyranid warrior head onto the body of Warhammer 40,000 “Space Ork”.  He cut the body off and turned it backwards to create a more “hunched-over” effect.  He used “green-stuff” epoxy to make the ragged cloak that the Genestealer Patriarch uses to disguise his appearance.

The Genestealer Magus, a high-powered Psyker/Leader who is good in combat

The Genestealer Magus is the high-level Psyker (using psychic powers) of the cult.  He is a leader unit and is second to the Patriarch in rank.  Tom made this one by attaching a modern Tyranid Warrior head to a Space Marine torso, with legs and arms that came out of a bits pile from who knows where.  It uses its Psyker powers to hover off the ground (The miniature being supported by its “green stuff” cloak).  A neat visual feature, if you ask me.

The next few pictures are of the “Mutated Cultists”.  They are made from a variety of Tyranid, Necromunda, Space Marine and “whatever” bits.  Some have extra arms growing out of them and most have some kind of ranged weapon.

Mutated Cultist Number 1 - Armed with an energy pistol and a bone dagger growing out of its right arm

Mutated Cultist Number 2 - Armed with an energy pistol and wearing hard body armor

Mutated Cultist Number 3 - Armed with an energy pistol and a hugely mutated right arm

Mutated Cultist Number 4 - Armed with a Bolter, a dagger and an extra right arm with claws

Mutated Cultist Number 5 - Armed with an energy weapon, a Chainsword and an extra left arm with claws

Mutated Cultist Number 6 - Armed with a big knife and a weird, mutated biological ranged weapon

The various mutated cultists have ranged weapons that are generic enough in appearance to fill a variety of weapons slots, depending on the points value and makeup of the retinue.  They make very good “Bad” guys.

The Genestealer Patriarch and Magos together

The Genestealer Cult makes for a fun range of enemies to pit your forces against.  Even an evil retinue based around the “Forces of Chaos” would go against them.  After all, you can’t conquer a world for the Gods of Chaos if the Tyranids *eat* it.