Escalation is the only boxed expansion to offer more explorers, the heroes of the game. These models are a lot of fun, because they explore parts of the 40k universe the main game doesn’t really have room for.
The bulk of the new baddies in Blackstone Fortress Escalation are these Chaos Cultists.
They have a very different look from the Traitor Guard in the main box, but there’s a lot of common features. In particular, they have similar ports studded into their skin. I decided to paint them with the same tan and deep red, to accentuate the similarities.
Moving on from the Dreaded Ambull, let’s get started with Escalation. This set really unlocks a lot of the other expansion content. It seems like the later boxed expansions assume you have it. It also is required for most of the contents of the Annual.
The Firebrand is the bossman for the other cultists that come in the set. He’s got a cool psychic flamer. It was an excuse for me to play with using GW Contrast paints to blend. It’s easy to get a decent effect, though you can’t really get the inverse highlighting that many suggest for flames.