In a world gone mad, February’s Warmachine and Hordes releases have been announced, there’s a Menite unit (Junior paladins!), and they’re not the immediate focus of a blog post! No, instead there’s an enormous clockwork lizard-chicken and my mind is boggling. It’s the Clockatrice!

If the clockatrice is born of nightmares, it comes from a dreamscape of fiendish engineering, the metallic grinding of countless gears, and a malevolence arising from an intricate mechanism that mimics a living beast. As in the fables it inspired, the clockatrice can freeze and kill with but a glance of its glowing eyes. Time flows differently around this creature, warped by the haphazard spinning of the arms of its giant clock, always to the detriment of any mortals facing its razor-sharp claws and beak.

I have no idea exactly how that’s going to translate to in-game effects, but this glorious amalgam of mechanisms and myth really tickles my fancy. It’s a monstrosity that looks like it just fell out of Labyrinth, Return To Oz or some other  fantastically absurd realm.

In other words, it’s perfect for the Grymkin. Half the faction is the creepy stuff of nightmares, half bleeds into nonsensical tomfoolery. This is one of those models that is going to polarize opinions, and will either look amazing on the field, or look completely out of place. Some people went gaga, others have already decried it as silliness incarnate.

On the one hand I get the folks who question whether a faction like the Grymkin really fits in with the quasi-steampunk setting of the Iron Kingdoms, but at the same time we’ve already got the sleek tech of Ios and the cult of Cyriss, and on the other end we’ve got the primitive elemental nature of the Circle Orboros and the Trollkin. The setting has plenty of room for something like the Clockatrice. I can see this model being painted up as a whimsically comical construct, and I can see it as a nightmare in brass and tarnished leather.

How we choose to paint our models can greatly colour our experience on the tabletop. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with going dark and gritty, nor is there anything wrong with going fabulous. You do you, enjoy your hobby, and for cryin’ out loud somebody paint this damn thing up like a Poule de Marans, cos those roosters are damn pretty.