Right, I promised you a more substantial update for this week, and I fully intend to keep my promise! So what is this about?
World Eaters riding juggernauts of Khorne, often referred to as “Brazen Knights”, are a bit of an ongoing dream for those of us who have pledged themselves both to the Blood God and the XIIth Astartes Legion. Even the fact that no rules for using such a squad on the table are available doesn’t stop hobbyists all over the world from building their own version of this Khornate cavalry. As a matter of fact, I myself also built and painted a test piece some time ago:
My original plan was to add a couple of models to form an entire squad, but for some reason the plan fell by the wayside for a while, and then GW went and released their spectacular Skullcrushers of Khorne for WFB.
And of course, it didn’t take me long to pick up the kit: After all, it’s chock-full of fantastic Khornate bits and bobs to squirrel away for conversion projects: If you want to add some extra flavour to your World Eaters army, that kit is the place to go! Plus you get three juggernauts and their riders on top — what’s not to love?
Well, here’s the problem: So far, I had mainly been using pieces from the kit to spice up some Chosen and Biker models as well as building special characters for my army, such as my custom Warpsmith, Huntmaster Deracin, or even the supreme commander of the fourth assault company, Lord Captain Lorimar. The actual centrepiece of the kit, the juggernauts and riders, sat mostly untouched in my bitzbox while I squandered all the beautiful little bitz on different models
But no more, because this last weekend finally gave me some time to build three Brazen Knights! Of course I do realise that this leaves me with even more unpainted stuff in my backlog, but I simply cannot help it — kitbashing World Eaters is just so much fun!
So what did I want to achieve? The Skullcrushers are fantastic models in their own right, but I did want to make them look a little more 40k: The body and legs of the Skullcrushers are very archaic and medieval looking, but they are also fantastically detailed (and, to make matters worse, a bit bigger than your standard Marine parts). So I wouldn’t cut them up in the attempt to make them look more futuristic, but would rather try to incorporate elements that are fairly representative of Chaos Space Marines, such as chainswords, power weapons, backpacks and CSM shoulderpads.
I also didn’t want to use the – admittedly really cool – lances that came with the kit, because those would make the models look a little too static and encumbered for my taste. I went for less cumbersome weapons, and since there are no official rules for these guys anyway, I was free to do as I pleased, with the Rule of Cool as my only guideline.
And, my last objective: I wanted to make each of these guys look like a true champion: Winning the gift of a daemonic steed from the Blod God is certainly no mean feat! So each of the models would have to look the part, impressive enough to serve as a Chaos Lord in any lesser force.
Now while the models were taking shape, I had yet another idea: Fellow hobbyist Brother Heinrich has been offering people to name models in his (fantastic) Night Lords army for a while now. I myself have been thus immortalised as a heavy weapons specialist in the Night Lords’ 15th company (more on that soon, I guess). And while I was working on my Brazen Knights, or Brazen Hunters, as it were, I realised that I too wanted to take the opportunity to honour some fellow hobbyists who have enormously inspired me in the past.
Now choosing three people to be honoured in this way might seem a tad unfair — after all, there are many more people who have managed to inspire me and influence my hobby life over these last years, and each of them would be worthy of their own model. So for now, in order to keep things fair, I chose the three guys whose work has provided the most inspiration for my actual World Eaters army — after all, it makes sense that they should earn a place in the army they helped to shape, right?
Anyway, before I knew it, my three Brazen Hunters had been assembled. Of course they will need some more work and attention to detail here and there, but I am already pretty pleased with them. Let me introduce you:
Since I knew that one of the juggernaut bodies would be charging forward aggressively, I wanted a rider to match that look, swinging his sword in a wide arc and aggressively snarling at the oncoming enemy. I think the finished piece captures that look fairly convincingly!
The sword came from the Bloodletters of Khorne, since I think their sinister, serrated Hellblades make for a perfect weapon for any champion of Khorne. The arm holding the blade was slightly tweaked in such a way that it looked like Hynnark was swinging his sword at his opponents while plowing through them on the back of his daemonic mount.
When it came to choosing a face for this guy, the bare head of the GK Nemesis Dreadknight pilot came in handy, since the cabling on the head made for perfect Butcher’s Nails. The rim of the psychic hood was carefully shaved down to make it look like the cables were emerging from the champion’s very head. And finally, a very cool plastic power fist from the mid-90s was used on the model’s other hand. I only ever had one of these in my bitzbox, and I thought this was a worthy occasion to use it!
Brother Hynnark was named for fellow hobbyist Brother Heinrich, whose brilliant Night Lords army is not only a constant source of inspiration, but who has also made me look at the individuals in the army in a new way. Cheers, mate!
Next up, Brother Rask:
I knew I wanted to make use of the fantastic banner that came with the Blood Crushers, so Brother Rask became a favoured banner bearer of his god. To balance out the extra archaic element, I went for a chainsword in his left hand — the essential 40k weapon, if you ask me. The model also received a rebreather head as another piece of visual shorthand for the futuristic setting. I also like this particular head a lot, since it seems grizzled and scarred without being over the top.
The model was named for none other than the ever-inspirational GuitaRasmus, who owns some of the snazziest World Eaters on the interwebz and whose mindblowing kitbashes are a constant motivation for me to push the envelope on my own conversions instead of just settling for “good enough”.
And finally, a champion among champions, I give you Brother Garic the Hound:
I really went all out on this model, making it look like Garic was issuing a challenge to an opponent. A sword from the WFB Chaos Knights made for a suitably impressive weapon, while the left arm came from the Raptor/Warp Talon kit, featuring one of my favourite lightning claws in the entire set.
Maybe you’ll remember that shouting head with the mohawk from my look at the Centurion kit. Even then, I was sure that it was the perfect face for a World Eater, and I believe this model offers pretty good proof of that!
Garic is my favourite model in the squad, and who better to choose as his alter ego than my buddy Biohazard, whose boundless generosity in exchanging bitz as well as ideas have made many of my projects possible in the first place. And his kitbashes, particularly his amazing daemon engines, are truly something to behold as well! Here’s to you, buddy!
So cheers, guys! I hope you like your new function in Khorne’s Eternal Hunt! And I hope you like the models I chose for you! As for the names, I tried to find a middle ground between the design sensibilities of my army and either your true names or forum handles. If any of you should want to come up with a better name for “his” model, though, just shoot me a message! Likewise, if you have any suggestions regarding what to add to the models, let me know as well!
In any case, these guys do need some more detail work as well as a couple of additional bitz. And there will have to be a Chaos Lord on juggernaut to lead the squad, of course…
Oh, and I actually think I may continue to name models in the honour of fellow hobbyists! And with a long list of spectacularly talented and generally awesome people to work through – PDH, TJ Atwell, DexterKong, migusla or Kari, to name just a few – I imagine this army will keep expanding for a looong time
So yeah, here are my three Brazen Hunters together, ready for a new day of hunting:
And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!