More chaotic kitbashes…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2014 by krautscientist

I almost feel bad for making you look at yet more unpainted plastic, but what can I say: Kitbashing’s just my favourite hobby activity, and certainly the most productive one right now! So let me share my latest chaotic projects, some of them further iterations of conversions you’ve seen before, some entirely new models. Step this way to my lab:

I. An Angel revisited

Some time ago, I showed you a couple of Fallen Angels I had kitbashed to accompany my Cypher conversion. The last of these was a champion in Terminator armour, and I have added some finishing touches to the model since you last saw it:

Fallen Angels Terminator WIP (7)
Fallen Angels Terminator WIP (6)
As you can see, I added a couple of bitz in order to make the armour look even more ostentatious, among them a heraldic shield and something resembling an Iron Halo (but also strangely close to a chaos star…). The main change to the model, however, was the head: While the helmet still sports a sword, I swapped in a far smaller blade that better fits the facemask, in my opinion:

Fallen Angels Terminator WIP (8)
All in all, I wanted this model to look like a brooding black knight figure, and I think I can consider that mission accomplished, don’t you think?

II. An Avatar of the Blood God

From the abiguously fallen to the downright chaotic: I also put the finishing conversion touches on my gladiatorial daemon prince. Take a look:

World Eaters Daemon Prince (24)
World Eaters Daemon Prince (18)
World Eaters Daemon Prince (19)
World Eaters Daemon Prince (22)
World Eaters Daemon Prince (21)
World Eaters Daemon Prince (23)
Most of the work left to do was gap filling and cleaning up the conversion. I did spend quite some time on the daemon’s belt, though, because I wanted to add some armour plates and skulls in order to camouflage the somewhat wonky connection between the torso and legs as well as, well, the daemon’s bare butt cheeks…

I am really very happy with this model, especially since I wasn’t really sold on the stock Daemon Prince kit as all — but now, I think that the kit can really be reworked into something rather cool with a  bit of thought and an influx of suitable bitz!. I’ll also likely keep the wings, because I like the added bulk and presence they create — plus I already have a wingless daemon prince, so having both options in my collection seems like the sensible approach here.

III. An Apothecary…and how to deal with collateral damage

Those of you who have been following this blog for any measure of time will know that I love building new characters for Khorne’s Eternal Hunt. And I like coming up with models that work both as a character as well as a special unit type — even in those cases where it doesn’t even make that much of a difference from a rules perspective.

Case in point, my recent project to convert the 4th assault company’s Apothecary: Sure, Apothecaries cannot be used in CSM armies, but I’ve had a couple of ideas regarding this character’s background for a long time, and I think an Apothecary would be instrumental to the 4th assault company’s attempt at keeping corruption and madness at bay.

Those tasks fall to Brother Dumah, Keeper of the Seed and Chooser of the Slain. And now I have finally converted a character to represent Dumah:

World Eaters Apothecary (8)
World Eaters Apothecary (7)
World Eaters Apothecary (9)
World Eaters Apothecary (10)
Dumah was created by combining the upper half of a Ravenwing biker sergeant from Dark Vengeance with the legs from a CSM Chosen from the same kit. I wanted Dumah to wear a robe, both as a sign of office as well as an element resembling a slightly sinister, Grim Reaper like figure, and this particular combination of parts allowed me to create the intended effect. The left arm with the Narthecium gauntlet came from the same Chosen, with the tools from a GK Terminator Apothecary added to the powerfist (a surprisingly good fit!). The left arm came from a different Chosen model (I really went all out on this guy), with a spear from the WFB plastic Chaos Lord. I’ll admit the spear was a bit of an experiment: The first idea was to give Dumah a scythe (for an even more Grim Reaper like look), but that didn’t really work all that well. I did want a weapon with a longer handle, and his epithet “Chooser of the Slain” made me think of the mythologic character that goes by the same name: Valkyries. Hence the spear.

The various vials and doodads were carefully cut off a Space Marine Apothecary’s torso and added to the model, and two icons of Khorne were used as additional decoration. The backpack came from the Chosen yet again, with the incense burners from the limited edition Interrogator Chaplain Seraphicus added on top — it just seemed right to me ;)

All in all, while Dumah turned out quite different from what I had originally imagined, and while it was a rather fiddly conversion at first, I am still immensely happy with the outcome: Dumah can certainly hold his own against his fellow Huntmasters from a coolness perspective, and I think he has a focused, slightly sinister look that perfectly fits my idea of his character. Come to think of it, he could probably be used as my own version of Fabius Bile, don’t you think?

In an awesome turn of events, the conversion inspired fellow hobbyist Hruotland over on Dakka to post a small piece of background about World Eaters Apothecaries. Check it out:

The battle tide was ebbing for a while. In the distance the mortars were still thundering, their rythmic bass accentuated by the staccato of rapid-fire. Like lost souls, the high-pitched artillery artillery grenades screamed. The rustle of the brazen forest, the fiery rain on the scarlet fields. One of his more introverted squadmates had once written a sonnet about it in the long silent hours of the Between, while the battle barge plunged the void from one hunting ground to the next.

On this side of the battle fields there was another such a moment between. Maybe that was the reason his thoughts went this direction, Zighurt mused. The fury in his veins had ebbed now, like the battle around him. Soon it would rise again, and he would be on the hunt once more, drowning the world in a tide of crimson and fire.

In the clearing before him there was a small spring. Somehow it had evaded the flood of body liquids and intestines turning the ashen soil into black mud everywhere else. After a short lookaround Zighurd knelt down and took off the horned helmet, Carefully he laid his trusted chainsword beside him, then he formed a cup out of his gloved hands and ladled some of the water. Even the enhanced and blessed body of a khornate marine had it’s needs, had to fuel up in order to burn in rage. Zhigurd took another sip -

The tip of a spear,thrown from behind, protruded from his chest. Zhigurd looked down in wonder. Then came the pain.

Slowly the now liveless carcass tilted forward, his tribute to his god spiraling into the depths of the pond, Already the water had turned to pink. From the shady glen another marine emerged, also bearing the mark of the World Eaters. His boot came down on Zighurds back, then with a decisive pull he retrieved his spear.

Hagen looked down on his prey. “The hunt never ends, Zighurd. Khorne WILL have your offering, He will not allow you to diminish it by dwindling away!” This was the way of the hunt. The predator would rise in it’s terrible glory, gathering strength and cunningness, until it was on the zenith. Then inevitably would come the moment of weakness. The former king would fall, would turn prey to it’s rivals, maybe end on the antlers of a not-so-easy kill or just find out there was always a mightier raptor. A good hunter would spare the glorious ones the humilation of the decline.

Hagens glovesaw screamed, as he took the legion’s toll, then what belonged to his grim God. “Blood for the Blood God” the Apothecarius intoned, dipping his index into the hole he had driven into Zhigurds power armor. “Skulls for the Skull Throne!” he completed the invocation, while he drove his spear into the detached head of his former comrade. Without looking back he walked away, his macabre trophy staring into the skies from broken eyes.

 

Now while my own ideas for Dumah are somewhat different, I still thought this a great read and wanted to share this with you. Thanks a lot, Hruotland!
One problem about the model was that it made me end up with two badly cut up Chosen models as “collateral damage”. Never one to pass up an opportunity for kitbashing, however, I started working on those two fallen soldiers, breathing new life into them:

The first one received some new arms and a new head and will probably become a Chosen of Khorne, a Skull Champion or something similar:

Chosen Kitbash WIP (6)
Chosen Kitbash WIP (5)
I am not quite sure regarding the head yet, so I also tried a helmeted version:

Chosen Kitbash WIP (8)
Chosen Kitbash WIP (7)
As you should know, I am a huge fan of shoutly bald guys in my army, but I also like the “faceless killer” look created by the second helmet — which version do you prefer?

For the other damaged Chosen, I was feeling a little more adventurous, plus some desparate measures were in order, seeing how the model was missing its lower half. So I combined the Chosen upper body with a pair of legs from the WFB warshrine priest and added some bitz in order to create a Nurglite sorcerer. Take a look:

Nurgle Sorcerer WIP (1)
Nurgle Sorcerer WIP (3)
As you can see, the right hand was replaced in order to make it look like the sorcerer was just channeling his psionic powers. I also gave him a staff — and then couldn’t resist turning it into a hideous, semi-organic scythe — after all, this is Nurgle we are talking about ;)

This model is a personal favourite of mine at the moment, because it really started out as a happy accident: Combining the body and legs was just me messing around, but I am really happy with the result.

Nurgle Sorcerer WIP (2)
This guy will probably be painted to fit in with my squad of Plague Marines:

Plague Marines (31)
I think he’ll make a great leader for them!

 

IV. A Lone Wolf

And finally, one last kitbash that just came together rather organically one evening after work: A champion for my traitorous Space Wolves, making rather heavy use of bitz from the WFB chaos catalogue:

Lone Wolf (1)

I have told you time and time again that kitbashing is my favourite part of the hobby, and I suppose this is because it’s such a versatile activity: Whether I keep coming back to a conversion I have been working on for a long time, tweaking it until everything is just so, just create something totally without planning in half an hour, or keep messing around with bitz until something just clicks, kitbashing is just perfectly relaxing to me — hence my rather huge output, I suppose…especially when compared to the models I actually manage to get painted…

Anyway, I hope you like my new chaotic kitbashes! Please let me know any suggestions or feedback you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Inquisitor 28: Long time no see…

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 3, 2014 by krautscientist

Right, let me start by apologising for missing an update last week. Truth be told, I am just a bit burned out on blogging at the moment, sometimes struggling to come up with a post I consider up to my quality standards — whatever those may be ;) While I could probably merrily kitbash new models all day, it’s sometimes a challenge to actually sit down and write about them as well, but at the same time, I feel I want the posts on this blog to at least have a certain substance to them. Maybe I just need my own Remembrancer to chronicle my hobby work?

Anyway, to make a long story short: Don’t fret if the updating schedule gets a little scattershot for a while — I don’t want this to feel like work, but rather like a fun activity, and if missing a weekly update or two is what it takes to prevent this blog from turning into yet another deadline I have to meet, then that’s the way it’s got to be.

So, with that out of the way, let’s move on to more interesting topics, because I do in fact have something new to show you:

It’s been quite a while since I last posted anything related to the world of INQ28, so I think it’s high time I changed that. So let me share the progress on some of my INQ28 projects with you today.

 

I. Finally — paint!

Let’s start with something we haven’t seen in a while: Some actually painted models — yay! ;)

First up, a model I already posted on this blog a while ago: A servitor/savant model that will be used as a painter in my planned mini-diorama of an Imperial Lord Militant having his portrait painted. See the original story here.

Savant01
Savant02
Savant03
Savant04
As you can see, the base model in this case was an older GW Savant model — which is easily one of my favourite Inquisitorial models. Unfortunately, the model’s face suffered from a rather serious miscast that I had to repair by adding a bionic eye. However, since the model came pre-undercoated, I only learned precisely how damaged the face was during painting. I did my best to return some of the lost detail through the deft appliance of washes and highlights, but there was only so much I could do.

One thing I am really happy with is the writing on the parchment: This was achieved by carefully applying a decal from the (very nice) Sisters of Battle decal sheet.

Oh, and the model’s base was left completely bare for now, seeing how the model will ultimately become a part of the aforementioned mini-diorama, so before I do anything with the base, I will first need to work out a recipe for the diorama’s “floor”.

The other model I managed to paint is a Sanctioned Psyker that I started working on a rather long time ago. For some reason, the model took me ages to paint, but it’s finally finished now:

Sanctioned Psyker (2)
Sanctioned Psyker (3)
Sanctioned Psyker (6)
Not award winning material, certainly, but I am rather fond of this guy, to be honest: I wanted him to look like a professional soldier, and I think it worked. No transhuman demi-god in baroque armour for once, just a guy doing his job — while the entire rest of his regiment hates him for being an abomination, no less ;)

While I don’t yet have a perfectly worked out background for this character, the rusty and dilapidated stuff on his base shows that he will most likely end up in Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue: My current idea is that the Sanctioned Psyker assisted Alvar during a mission to investigate a Xenos artifact, and seeing a) how much the man was subjected to the disgust and fear of his fellow Guardsmen and b) how much of an asset he could be, Alvar decided to requisition him for his retinue.

 

II. A man and his bird

Next up, an idea I copied from a fellow hobbyist’s thread: I used a leftover eagle from Inquisitor Coteaz to build a familiar/objective marker. A simple but rather effective idea:

Aquila familiar
Following hot on the eagle’s heels is just the guy who would be using an ostentatious familar like this: An Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor I’ve already posted on this thread several times. Even though the model was basically finished last time, I just kept coming back to it for another round of detailing:

Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (15)
Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (14)
It has taken several touchups to get to this point, but with the last bitz in place, the model now finally has the presence and ostentatiousness I was going for. You may call me silly, but I think the flowing purity seals (mostly taken from the Imperial Knight kit) and new belt buckle (from the Space Marine Centurions) really make a world of difference.

Oh, and since Michael LeBaron requested a parts breakdown for this particular conversion, here it is:

  • head: Dark Angels Ravenwing sprue (old)
  • torso: Space Marines command squad torso with an Inquisitorial symbol shaved off Inquisitor Coteaz’ codpiece (no, really!) added on top
  • left arm: Sanguinary Guard arm with an IG flamer muzzle. The shoulder pad came from the WFB Chaos Knights
  • right arm: a regular CSM arm with the Grey Knight Terminator Justicar’s sword. The pauldron is a radar dish from the Space Marine vehicle sprue, IIRC
  • legs: WFB Warriors of Chaos, with lots and lots of purity seals added on top. Like I said, most came from the Imperial Knight kit, while the belt buckle came from the Centurions
  • odds and ends: part of a tabard from the WFB Chaos Lord on Manticore was used as a half cape across the model’s back. The shield came from the GK Nemesis Dreadknight.

Hope this helps! :)

 

III. Femmes militantes

I am sure many INQ28 aficionados will agree with me that coming up with female members for Inquisitorial retinues can be a bit of a challenge, partly due to GW’s somewhat spotty record when it comes to female models. That said, making sure that there is a certain gender diversity in my warbands has become a fun little challenge, and I am happy to be able to present you WIPs for two more Femmes Militantes, if I may just borrow the name of  a particularly great and eclectic series of designs by John Blanche ;)

First up, here’s someone who would fight right into the retinue of such an imposing servant of the Ordo Hereticus: A female operative that could be used as a Crusader type or even an Interrogator:

Ordo Hereticus Operative WIP (3)
Ordo Hereticus Operative WIP (1)
Ordo Hereticus Operative WIP (2)
The model is based on a – severely damaged – Sister of Battle PDH let me have as part of a rather impressive bitz drop (come to think of it, this is already the second time Peter gave me a model missing its lower legs — maybe there’s a story behind that… ;) ). I provided the lady with some new feet (courtesy of a Dark Eldar model) and a new head (from the Wood Elves Glade Guard). I think she would really work as an associate of the Hereticus Inquisitor above. And I have a feeling that she would look really dashing in crimson armour — we will see…

And, last but definitely not least, a little project made possible by a donation: A while ago, fellow hobbyist Steifer let me have two of his very nice female sculpts for experimentation purposes (that did sound pretty weird, come to think of it…):

magda_legion

So far, this is what I have come up with for the first of them:

Female Operative WIP (5)
Female Operative WIP (1)
Female Operative WIP (2)
Female Operative WIP (3)
Female Operative WIP (4)
As you can see, I have given the – very nice – base model some arms and a head of hair. I actually took a stab at sculpting the hair myself, thanks to some gentle nudging from DexterKong. While it’s far from a spectacular effort, I am reasonably happy with the result:

Female Operative WIP (6)

As for the model’s background, I see her as a professional assassin specialised on working from within Imperial high society — like a grimdark Femme Nikita, if you will ;) The model is still WIP at the moment, of course, but I think I may be on to something here!

 

So, as you can see, I am not dead — and neither are my INQ28 projects! As always, I’d be happy to hear any feedback and suggestions you might have! Thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Cry Wolf! A look at the latest Space Wolves release

Posted in 40k, Conversions with tags , , , , , , on August 20, 2014 by krautscientist

With GW’s release schedule growing ever more crazy of late, it has become quite a task to hang on and try to chronicle all the new toys! That said, with the Grey Knights already having received their new Codex and the first pictures of a massive WFB Undead release already making the rounds, I think it’s safe to consider the small pocket of new Space Wolves kits completed, so let’s just discuss these for today, right?

Space Wolves Release 2014 (1)
When I first got into the hobby, my attitude towards the Space Wolves was a rather apathetic one: They basically looked like Space Marine Vikings to me, which I didn’t find all that appealing back then. The fact that the – rather small – models in those days seemed more or less buried in viking-esque decoration didn’t help either.

Since then, I have grown more and more fond of the Space Wolves over the years. Maybe my personal tastes have evolved, maybe it’s the fact that GW’s designers have done a rather good job of making the faction more interesting (both by including some additional visual influences beyond the viking look and by coming up with some wonderfully versatile and beautifully detailed plastic kits). In any case, the picture of hulking, fur clad warriors with elongated canines seems more attractive to me nowadaways than it did back then. So what about this new Space Wolves release, then? Let’s take a closer look at the new kits and, as always, discuss their conversion and kitbashing potential as well.

At first glance, this release seems far less substantial than the last ones — at least looking at the numbers. Upon closer inspection, however, it becomes obvious that this is a release with all the fat trimmed off – but quite a bit of substance underneath. Let’s take a closer look:

 

Stormwolf Assault Vehicle / Stormfang Gunship:

Space Wolves Release 2014 (5)
Well, here it is at last: A dedicated flyer for the Space Wolves. GW could have made it easy for themselves on this one, just slightly revamping one of the vanilla flyers like the Storm Talon or Storm Raven, and no one would have been the wiser. But in a fairly surprising move, we get a model that is equal parts reminiscent of the longships of Fenris (yeah right!) and of Forgeworld’s Cestus Assault Ram. Say what you want, but that seems like going above and beyond the requirements to me ;)

While the resemblance to the Cestus is indeed uncanny, the model also features some visual callbacks to the last few Space Marine flyers (just check out the cockpit section).

All in all, making this model resemble both a Forgeworld flyer as well as the rest of the “Vanilla Marine” flyers is a pretty sound strategy, and I have to say I really like the overall look of the model. In fact, after the Dark Talon, this is the second time that the non-Codex Astartes chapters actually get a cooler flyer model than vanilla Marines, in my opinion.

Oh, and a flyer transporting an angry pack of Space Wolves into battle by way of a storm ramp also seems like a rather good fit for the chapter from a background perspective!

The other option for the kit is to be assembled as the Stormfang Gunship, with an enormous Helfrost Destructor cannon replacing the transport compartment:

Space Wolves Release 2014 (4)

There’s really not much to say about this variant from a visual standpoint, seeing how it’s pretty much exactly the same model, except for the gun. The extra versatility is nice, of course. However, let me also take this opportunity to say that I’ll just be ignoring some of the new fluff shenanigans concerning “Glimmerfrost Crytals”, “alien ice that never melts” and the whole deal with Space Wolves now obviously being themed around ice magic: The wolves riding on wolves I could get behind, but this just seems like GW borrowed some World of Warcraft lore right there. Luckily, we’ll only discuss the models here, so that stuff can go happily ignored.

So yeah, back on topic:  I really like this model! It’s an interesting and fairly creative addition to the growing catalogue of Space Marine flyers. Good job, GW!

 

Space Wolves Venerable Dread / Bjorn the Fell-Handed / Murderfang

Space Wolves Release 2014 (7)
Alright, this is it: The Dreadnought combi-kit to end all Dreadnought combi-kits! While the Blood Angels Dreadnought can also be assembled as three different variants, this big guy comes with pretty much all the weapon options available to a Dreadnought (plus another, stupidly winter-themed, Space Wolves-exclusive gun) and even provides us with the bitz to build one of the oldest characters in 40k (both in the game and in-universe): Bjorn the Fell-Handed.

Let’s take a look at the proverbial Wolf in the Room first:

Space Wolves Release 2014 (10)The original model for Bjorn comes from a time when all Dreadnoughts were basically looking like ambulatory refridgerators. The new version keeps that design and features all the telltale clues of the original model: the weapons (ridiculously large power claw included), the various wolf pelts and a sarcophagus very similar to that of the original metal version. All of this makes it easy to build a perfect representation of Bjorn in glorious plastic. Huzzah!

My favourite part about the model has to be the wonderul idea to turn the images from Bjorn’s original back banner into engravings for his actual Dreadnought body — a brilliant touch that makes the model instantly recognisable! The fact that those small bitz are a near perfect representation of the older artwork is a testament to the improvements in plastic model design. Just take a closer look:

Space Wolves Release 2014 (12)
That said, I would have hoped for a body design closer to the plastic Venerable Dread or the various Forgeworld Dreads, complete with a separate head — it would just have seemed more fitting for an ancient hero like Bjorn. But maybe changing the classic design just seemed like too big a sacrilege to GW’s designers? In any case, the kit comes with enough additional bitz to build just such a sarcophagus, if you are that way inclined, so all’s well with the world!

If I have one gripe with the model, it’s the claw:

Space Wolves Release 2014 (11)
Bjorn’s original claw was curved, vicious looking and pretty much perfectly proportioned. The new version just seems too long and overly ornamental: It looks like the designer was trying to hard. Again, this is just a minor problem, though, and easy enough to change with one of the different bitz from the kit. Apart from that, the model is a great modern representation of an ancient hero!

But that’s not nearly all there is: The kit can also be assembled to represent a Space Wolves Venerable Dreadnought:

Space Wolves Release 2014 (9)
This version of the kit seems to get the least coverage so far — and entirely undeservedly so, at least from a modeling standpoint: A look at the sprue reveals a veritable cornucopia of weapon options for this guy, and all of them seem to be just as easy to exchange as the weapons from the regular Venerable Dreadnought. You may just as well discard all of those weapon options, though, because you also get what may just be the most awesome set of Dreadnought weapons ever: the huge axe and shield.

Those are really the icing on the cake, allowing hobbyists to build a Dread that really looks like an ancient Fenrisian warrior! In fact, my initial reaction to this version of the model, rules notwithstanding, was: Why would you want to build your Ven Dread any other way?

[I also have it on good authority that these perfectly fit the 54mm scale, so if anyone were to, say, convert a 54mm Space Wolf based on the old model for Brother Artemis, this is definitely the way to go.]

The kit also provides lots and lots of decorative trinkets (among them a very nice, wolf-shaped grenade launcher) to make your Dread as impressive as it needs to be. Again, I do have one minor gripe: The wolf skull head, while awesome in concept, looks like the Dread is wondering whether or not he left the stove on at home. But since an alternate head is provided (and basically any Space Marine head can be swapped in), this is not a major problem.

The third and final option would be to use this kit to build Murderfang:

Space Wolves Release 2014 (13)
This guy represents a Dreadnought forever enslaved to the curse of the Wulfen, which makes him one angry guy (this is basically a differently-coloured World Eaters Dread, you know ;) ). The slightly tweaked pose and clawed hands definitely give off a feeling of aggression and brutality, which is a perfect fit.

The claws are also quite awesome in and of themselves:

Space Wolves Release 2014 (15)
Again, let’s just ignore the nonsense of them being made from the aforementioned alien ice that never melts — let’s rather imagine how cool they would look painted like volcanic glass (not on a SW Dread of course, but still…).

One thing that should be awesome but doesn’t quite work for me is the head:

Space Wolves Release 2014 (14)
It’s easy enough to see what the designer was going to do here: Show us the face of a veteran savaged by the Space Wolves’ blood curse. And while it’s definitely nice to get a bit of a shout out to the Wulfen – in plastic, no less – it doesn’t quite work, if you ask me: Not only does the face look like an angry hair metal bandleader, but bare heads on Dreads should really be limited to Helbrutes in my opinion: They are so mutated that the pilot’s corpse has basically bonded with the Dread. On a loyalist Dreadnought, even on an angry one, having an uncovered head peeking from out of the amniotic tank somehow seems pretty implausible…

I also feel that a stylised, snarling wolf’s head would have been a cooler option, but that’s just me. In any case, the flexibility of the kit really lets you add in whatever head you want here.

All in all, this may just be the most flexible Dreadnought kit released to date. The only thing holding it back is the fact that the amount of Space Wolf decoration makes it mostly unusable for any other loyalist chapter. It would make a brilliant alternate Chaos Dreadnought kit, though, for those of use who prefer a less mutated look — and, indeed, if I ever get another Dreadnought kit, it will certainly be one of these! This guy is definitely the high point of the release for me!

 

Logan Grimnar on Stormrider

Space Wolves Release 2014 (16)
Oh boy, leave it to GW to produce at least one highly divisive kit per release: The Space Wolves’ chapter master riding an antigrav sled has definitely set the hobby scene ablaze: Comments about “Santa Grimnar” abound, people are once again convinced that GW’s designers have finally lost it, yadda yadda yadda… you know the drill ;)

In all seriousness, it may be a bit much: The idea of an antigrav sled pulled by giant wolves does need some getting used to. Then again, this is certainly not a departure from the latest visual development: We knew what we were in for once the Thunder Wolves hit. And the Space Wolves are now so imbued with viking and celtic warrior culture tropes that this thing doesn’t even seem all that shocking, if you think about it…

In any case, let’s ignore Stormrider for a second and focus on Logan himself:

Space Wolves Release 2014 (17)
I think we can all agree that he is looking absolutely excellent: Admittedly, he’s quite a bit less dynamic than Jes Goodwin’s prior version of the model, but that probably could not be helped, with the model needing to look good both with or without his sled. Beyond that, he is everything a Space Wolves warrior king should be: towering, bearded and snarling, bedecked in countless trinkets.

Probably my favourite part about this model is that it also serves as an excellent proof of concept: It’s clear now that special characters in plastic can look absolutely gorgeous and pretty much exactly as detailed and impressive as Finecast models, and I love that!

As for the sled,…you know what? I kind of like it. Granted, it may be over the top, anachronistic, slightly cheesy. But if you imagine this guy as this huge, legendary warrior king from a culture of seafaring viking-celts, it may just work. It also adds one more chariot to the world of 40k, which is, at the very least, interesting. And there are several touches about the model itself that I like: The engravings showing Logan’s acquisition of the axe Morkai as well as his fight against a – strangely tyranid-looking – Kraken, for example. And to be perfectly honest, I would just love to cut off that huge wolf head and use it on a Dreadnought, a converted juggernaut (used as a mount for a traitorous Space Wolf) or something similar…

Space Wolves Release 2014 (18)

No, my main problem with the sled isn’t that it’s over the top or unrealistic or cheesy (because neither of those should really be categories in a game where people fight using chainsaw swords and miniature rocket-launchers). I am not that fond of the wolves, though: They look a tad cartoony to me (it’s been the same with the Thunder Wolves) and the way they are attached to the sled by way of bionic implants just seems a bit iffy. There was an explanation in WD about how these wolves could not be harnessed and collared and that the augmetics were basically the only way to make them pull a sled like that — but come on. Personally speaking, I would have preferred several of the – much better designed – Fenrisian Wolves to be pulling Stormrider.

But you know what: If you really hate the sled, if you just cannot bear to look at it, if you cannot see a way to make it work for you…

…you can just use Grimnar without it, as in the old days. Jeez.

All in all, sled or no sled, this model is interesting in that it sets a very high standard for future plastic chapter masters in particular and special characters in general. I am really looking forward to seeing where we go from here!

 

Conversion options:

Where bitz from Blood Angels or Dark Angels kits are fairly easy to use for all kinds of Space Marine armies, the amount of trinkets and trophies on Space Wolves gear makes the use for these kits rather limited. Ultramarines players won’t have too much fun with this release, along with a couple of similarly “simple and clean” chapters. That said, some of this stuff will be extremely useful for chaos players, because the heavily decorated, sometimes quite feral Space Wolves parts can be a rather nice fit for the traitor legions — especially if someone were, you know, building a World Eaters army based on the concept of a hunting party, for instance. *Wink wink* ;)

In fact, I’ll admit that this release makes me consider playing my World Eaters as Space Wolves for the first time in earnest. I mean, can you imagine a chaotic version of Stormrider, pulled by juggernauts and serving as a chariot to Lord Captain Lorimar…? That would be awesome, wouldn’t it? Could those wolf heads on the Stormwolf’s hull not represent the ancient legion badge of the War Hounds, and wouldn’t a vehicle like that be perfect to transport a squad o frothing madmen clad in red and brass into battle? Wouldn’t the rules for Murderfang be the perfect representation of Brother Marax the Fallen? Ah, one can always dream…

The good thing is that I can really have my cake and eat it too in this case: Some of this stuff could really come in handy for the small detachment of traitorous Space Wolves accompanying Khorne’s Eternal Hunt. Take the Dreadnought multikit, for instance: Like I said earlier, it would make a brilliant, less mutated Chaos Dreadnought/Helbrute. Just check out my buddy Biohazard’s amazing Dreadnought kitbashes that were made using the new kit!

So, to make a long story short, I think I might yet have some fun with stuff from this release at some point… ;)

 

All in all, I’ll call this a limited but extremely focused release, adding some really awesome stuff to what is already one of the best Space Marine model lines. If I have one regret, it’s that the release didn’t give us some plastic Wulfen, because I would really have loved to see those guys again! As it stands, though, each part of the release adds something meaningful to the Space Wolves catalogue — which cannot be said for some of the new supplements and dataslates, one of which mostlyseems like a way of selling off the remaining, twenty year old SW special characters. But that’s a story for another time (or another blog, really).  From a modeling perspective, I am really rather happy with this release, even though it may not be monumental.

So what about you: Do you like the new kits? Do you feel hatred for “Santa Grimnar”? Would you like to share your own opinion or conversion ideas? I’d be happy to hear from you in the comments section!

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Kitbashes from opposite ends of 40k, pt. 2

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Custodes, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2014 by krautscientist

You might feel inclined to call my scheduling slightly scattershot – and you’d be right – but I already have an update to my last post, further eloborating on each of the respective conversion projects, and I simply want to share the results with you, so let’s take a look: ;)

 

1. Custodes

Certainly the smallest of the updates, but even after showing you this Custodian in archaic power armour…

Squad Asklepian 31
…I just couldn’t stop myself from tweaking the kitbash even further. The photo above made me realise that the model’s waist seemed rather waspish, for one, so I tried bulking it out a little:

Squad Asklepian (34)
I used some leftover Terminator armour plates for this task, and I have to say I rather like the added bulk! And while I was added, I could not resist replacing the left shoulder pad with a studded one from the Sternguard kit, mirroring the studded leg armour on that side — in fact, I should probably have done this from the get go!

Squad Asklepian (35)
Just some small changes, admittedly, but they help me homing in on what I want the finished model to look like!

2. More Fallen Angels

I should have known before that converting my own version of Cypher wouldn’t be the actual end of this particular project. As a matter of fact, it only took a small remark from fellow hobbyist ghosty over on Dakka to provide me with the urge to kitbash some additional Fallen Angels — stupid hobby ADD!

Fortunately enough, I still did have quite a few DA bitz as well as some leftover Dark Angels from the Dark Vengeance boxed set lying around, so indulging my fancy was really easy enough ;)

So I built two test models for a small squad (or Kill Team) of Fallen Angels. Take a look:

Fallen Angels (1)
This first model was built from the DA Sergeant that came with Dark Vengeance. I simply replaced his weapons and head and added some additional bitz and bobs.

The second model was mainly a kitbash from different Space Marine bitz with a chaos bit or two thrown into the mix:

Fallen Angels (3)
Fallen Angels (2)
One thing that was important to me was that these guys’ allegiance was supposed to be somewhat ambiguous. Yes, they are more ragged and more sinister than your average Dark Angel, but even if they are followers of chaos at this point, it’s out of necessity rather than conviction. That’s why I restrained myself when it came to adding chaotic and spiky bitz. They’ll also fit together nicely with my Cypher conversion, I believe.

I also started working on a Fallen in Terminator armour to accompany these guys. Once again, instead of going for straight out chaotic spikyness, I tried to achieve the brooding, sinister look you see in some of GW’s own artwork for Fallen Angels, with only some slightly heretical touches here and there…

Fallen Angels Terminator WIP (2)
Fallen Angels Terminator WIP (1)
Fallen Angels Terminator WIP (3)
Granted, the huge daemon sword is a bit of a giveaway, but again, I like the idea that this is a weapon that the Fallen picked up by necessity rather than inclination. I also have to admit that the helmet remains a bit of an experiment at this point — feel free to let me know what you think!

Here are all of my Fallen together:

Fallen Angels (5)

 

3.  World Eaters Daemon Prince

Some more work went into my World Eaters Daemon Prince, in order to tidy up the conversion a bit.

World Eaters Daemon Prince (6)
The main addition is a tangle of Butcher’s Nails implants on the model’s back:

World Eaters Daemon Prince (7)
I am pretty happy with how that turned out!

my original plan for the huge collar the Daemon Prince wore in the previous post was to place it around the model’s neck and have it rest atop the crest of cables — but that didn’t end up looking quite as cool as I had hoped. So I tried a slightly different approach, halving the collar and using it almost like a heretical version of the Space Marines’ Iron Halo:

World Eaters Daemon Prince (13)
World Eaters Daemon Prince (14)
One last thing I did was to try adding the wings from the Daemon Prince kit. I wasn’t even sure whether I wanted to add any wings to this guy, to be honest, but I at least wanted to find out how the model would look with them:

World Eaters Daemon Prince (16)

World Eaters Daemon Prince (17)
And to be perfectly honest with you, I really rather like the bulk and presence they add to the model — what do you think?

 

So yeah, those are the three kitbashing projects that have kept me occupied this weekend. I would love to hear any feedback you might have! Oh, and a warning in advance: The next update might be slightly late for work related reasons, so use this one to tide you over until then, alright? ;)

In any case, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Kitbashes from opposite ends of 40k

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Custodes, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 14, 2014 by krautscientist

Kitbashing seems to be my most productive hobby activity at the moment: While converting plastic models has been my favourite part of the hobby for a long time, I seem to have worked myself into a bit of a kitbashing frenzy right now, using my work on various conversions as a means to relax. This might be a disappointment to those of you who would like to see some painted plastic on this blog, for a change — I can merely ask you to bear with me here: I will get around to doing some painting eventually, promise ;)

In the meantime, I do have to show a number of new kitbashes to show you: Three wildly different projects from opposite ends of the Warhammer 40,000 universe, so to speak. Here we go:

 

1. Golden Boys

Granted, it has been some time since we last heard of my kitbashed Legio Custodes army — but the project is far from dead, I assure you! By way of proof, let me show you two (fairly) recent kitbashes I made for this project:

First of, a conversion I am extremely happy with: Meet Constantin Valdor, Chief-Custodian and Captain General of the Legio Custodes:

Constantin Valdor WIP (1)
Constantin Valdor WIP (2)
Constantin Valdor WIP (3)
Even though it’s only a Space Marine based kitbash, I believe most of the visual cues are there to make the model a reasonable approximation of the artwork for Valdor. While most conversions have him running forward, however, this one is clearly more static, resembling his appearance in this piece of artwork.

Constantin Valdor WIP (4)

As you can see, most of the bitz for the conversion came from the Sternguard kit, which is basically your go-to source when it comes to building ostentatious looking Marine characters. The kit has also given me the chance to touch up a couple of earlier conversions, among them one of the Marines for my squad in various marks of power armour. Here’s the old version of the model in question:

Squad Asklepian 22
I think we can all agree that the legs on this guy were a little iffy. Fortunately, one of the beautiful leg pairs from the Sternguard kit allowed me to give this guy a bit more presence. Take a look:

Squad Asklepian 32
Squad Asklepian 31
The model now looks quite a bit more massive than before, which I think is a rather nice fit for the slightly clunky, archaic looking armour on the upper body.

So here are the two models together:

Squad Asklepian 33
My small Custodes project may be far from finished, but it’s a great little sandbox I can always return to in order to tinker away on a model or two for a while. It also helps me get the urge to build blinged-out loyalists out of my system, which is a great help when I need to stay focused on my more chaotic projects ;)

2. Lord of the Fallen

Next up, a very recent kitbash: Last Sunday evening, I sat down and converted my own version of Cypher, apropos of nothing. I didn’t even need the model from a gameplay perspective, mind you: I just felt that Cypher had been a staple of the CSM background for so long that I needed to build my own version. Here it is:

Cypher WIP (1)
Cypher WIP (2)
Cypher WIP (3)
Cypher WIP (4)

As you can see, the conversion was based on the model for Interrogator Chaplain Seraphicus from the Dark Vengeance limited edition set I purchased back in 2012. It did feel kind of sacrilegious to cut apart a limited edition model like this, to be honest, but I figured it wouldn’t do any good to leave the model lying around for another two years — plus I will need those lovely smokestacks from Seraphicus’s backpack when I eventually convert the 4th assault company’s Apothecary, so that made the decision a bit easier ;) What’s more, fellow hobbyist and Skull-Championess Flint13 pointed out that desecrating an Interrogator Chaplain by converting him into the Dark Angels’ worst enemy was strangely fitting, in a way…

Beyond those considerations, the conversion is fairly straightforward from a structural perspective, which gave me the liberty of lavishing some extra work on a couple of small details: I originally considered having him in a more static pose, with the arms held down. But when it came to building the model, I just couldn’t resist spacing his arms as far apart as I did, making it look like he’s covering a huge area with his shots — it’s just the way I imagine him in the midst of battle, guns blazing, and it works for me. I also obsessed over which pistols to use for the conversion for quite a while (and I am really happy with my eventual choice). And I spent far more work on that backpack than I would care to admit…

Cypher WIP (5)

 

3.  A daemonic gladiator

And finally, as if to prove that I haven’t forgotten my World Eaters, a very early WIP I am currently working on:
I have gone on record saying that I am not a huge fan of the fairly underwhelming plastic Daemon Prince kit. In fact, I kitbashed my first own Daemon Prince at one point, partly out of a desire to avoid having to use the “official” model. But as karma would have it, I did still have a mostly complete Daemon Prince kit lying around, and I felt the urge to challenge myself with trying to come up with a version of the model that fits the gladiatorial look and feel of the World Eaters more closely, while trying to dial back some of the cartoon villain look. Here’s the result:

World Eaters Daemon Prince (4)
World Eaters Daemon Prince (3)
The model’s nowhere near finished, of course: What you see above was only started yesterday afternoon, but I think I may be on to something here…?

 

Anyway, so far for my current kitbashes — they really serve as a great way to relax for me, funnily enough, and as the one part of the hobby that I never seem to tire of.

So, let me know whatever feedback or suggestions you might have in the comments! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

More chaos – some of it intentional…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2014 by krautscientist

I realise this week’s update is late again, plus it might be slightly less substantial than I would have liked. But since I’ve been suffering from a bad back for the last two days, I wasn’t really in shape for any earth-shattering content, so all I can offer you today is a small update on my various chaos projects — I hope you won’t mind ;-)

So anyway, let’s take a look at what’s on my desk right now:

I. Hey, it’s that guy again…

This will be our last look at the unpainted model for the Doomwall, promise ;) I added some chaotic decoration to his warhammer, and with that the model is finished:

The Doomwall WIP (17)
The Doomwall WIP (18)
The Doomwall WIP (19)
The Doomwall WIP (20)
The Doomwall WIP (21)
The Doomwall WIP (22)
Like I said before, I am super happy with how this model turned out, and I will hopefully start painting this big guy as soon as my back stops acting up!

II. Red Butcher

While I was working on a Terminator model anyway, I took the chance to also revisit another model in TDA: You may remember the two Red Butchers I purchased a while ago. One became a character named Raas the Butcher:

Raas the Butcher (2)
And the other one looked like this when we last saw him:

Second Red Butcher WIP (1)
However, there was a problem with this guy: I want all of the Terminators in Captain Lorimar’s retinue to be fairly unique characters. And this guy shared exactly the same face mask as Raas the Butcher above — actually one of my main gripes with the Red Butchers in the first place! What’s more, in this case the mask really seemed to work against the model’s overall pose, leading to a model that’s neither here or there composition-wise. So I carefully started cutting (and also swapped in a new arm). Here’s what the WIP looks like right now:

Second Red Butcher WIP (5)
Second Red Butcher WIP (6)
Both the face and arms may still be subject to change at this point, but I feel like getting rid of the original head was the right decision!

III. Knight Fever

And finally, a look at the current state of my very own Chaos Knight. As you may remember, the overall conversion was basically finished last time, so only a bit of detail work remained.

Chaos Knight WIP (80)
So I only made some minor changes to the prior version of the model: Thanks to a bitz drop from my buddy Biohazard, I was able to use a defiler bit as a muzzle on the Knight’s main cannon — the part is just a perfect fit for that! I also added some spikes to the gun barrel in order to make it look slightly less plain. And a chain was added to the Knight’s left greave, bringing it more in line with the pauldron on the same side.

Anyway, this is what the pretty much finished Knight looks like now:

Chaos Knight WIP (77)
Chaos Knight WIP (83)
Chaos Knight WIP (85)
Chaos Knight WIP (87)
Chaos Knight WIP (89)
Chaos Knight WIP (90)
Chaos Knight WIP (92)
The one thing still missing at this point are some dangling chains that I want to add to the weapons and arms, and after that, I suppose I don’t have any more excuses to put off painting this guy any longer?! Speaking of which, I am already making plans for one particular area of the paintjob, at least:

Those of you who have been following my work on this model so far might remember one particular idea supplied by fellow hobbyist dantay_XV. In his own words:

The other idea I had, but again might not work would be bloody hand prints on the lower limbs and small totems or skulls at the feet of the knight like offerings or devotions. As the 4th company go to war, they walk by Harrowthorne’s Knight & touch a bloody hand to its armour in the hope of receiving Khorne’s blessing for a good hunt etc before going to battle.

Not only did this seem like a beautifully fluffy addition to the Baron’s background, but I also began asking myself whether it would be possible to incorporate the bloody handprints on the actual model. So here’s what I did: I used a GW plastic hand trophy (from the old Night Goblin kit, if memory serves) and made a simple press mold from it, using GS. The two hands were made, using more GS. And these were then coated with Tamiya Clear Red to be used as some kind of “stamp”, so to speak:

Handprints (1)
So far, my attempts at creating the “bloody handprint” effect have been limited to paper, though. Here are the first results:

Handprints (2)
As you can see, while some of the handprints do look pretty convincing, I am not yet able to make sure that this effect works 100% of the time. So I’ll need to work on the process a bit, in order to make sure it’s more or less foolproof, lest I ruin a very expensive model. But the results so far definitely merit some further exploration, don’t you think?

Chaos Knight WIP (79)

IV. A new home for the XIIth

And finally, a shout out to a thread you might find interesting: All those of you who either contemplate starting their own World Eaters force or who already are commanders of the Eaters of Worlds (both in their Heresy and post-Heresy incarnations), let me just point you towards a little community topic recently started over at The Bolter and Chainsword by renowned Skull Championess Flint13, with a little support from some other blood crazy maniacs, including yours truly:

The World Eaters players over there are having a little roll call to assemble all the various companies and warbands of our glorious legion, and we are hoping this topic can become a new home for the forumites at B&C for discussing topics relevant for our great legion, as well as a way of assembling the full might of the XIIth. So whether you want to join the ranks of the World Eaters, already own a warband or are just looking for some inspiration, it’s all in good fun, so head over there and go take a look:

WE_banner_02

And with that, our little emergency update is complete. Wish me a speedy recovery, people ;-) And feel free to let me hear any feedback you might have.

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Another brick in the wall…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2014 by krautscientist

Just a short – and belated – post for today, but one that is still very close to my heart: Thanks to the feedback of my fellow converters and kitbashers, I have been able to improve my recent model for the Doomwall. So here’s where we left off last time:

The Doomwall WIP (2)
First up, fellow hobbyist Moltar suggested adding an ammo feed to the “Not-Talon of Horus”, and he was totally right, of course. Good thing I still had an ammo feed from an old CSM heavy bolter lying around, which made this addition a very easy one! Here’s the result:

The Doomwall WIP (6)
The Doomwall WIP (5)
I also realised that an earlier, tacked-together incarnation of the model had sported a shaved down chaos knight pauldron above its head as an additional cowl:

Hammertime (9)
The original idea behind this was to make the head look more recessed, creating an even closer resemblance to the actual Mk 1 Terminator artwork:

Mk_01_concept
When I tidied up the conversion last week, this element just fell by the wayside at first, because it seemed like there was no space for the cowl. But after a bit of deliberation, I tried to incorporate it once more. Which ended up looking like this:

The Doomwall WIP (8)
I was already pretty pleased with the even more bulky, hulking look created by the cowl. But there was also a problem: The added element slightly changed the alignment of the shoulder pads, so it became more obvious that they were basically hollow if one looked at the model from straight above:

The Doomwall WIP (10)
Not the biggest problem in the world, certainly, but as Moltar very succinctly pointed out:

I like the idea, but hate the hollow holes. They would eat away at my soul every time I notice them.

And while this may sound slightly overdramatic, he was totally right of course: It’s little things like these that distinguish a fairly cool model from a great one, so I realised I had to address this problem — or feel utterly defeated every time I looked at the model from the wrong angle…

Fortunately enough, help arrived from the online community once again, with Obsidian Raven making an excellent point:

To fix the issue of his pauldrons appearing hollow from the top,why not use some well-sized plasticard Rod to add visible Struts to the interior of the pauldron, so that it seems like its deliberately raised off the shoulder as part of the armour design?

With this idea in mind, I dug around the old tool shed in order to find something that would help me. And lo and behold, I came across this:

The Doomwall WIP (11)
And, for some reason that probably hits at something severely wrong with my neuro-chemistry, I was immediately reminded of the support struts appearing in various pieces of Mk 1 artwork. So maybe plugging those holes in the shoulder pads would actually lead to a chance at making the armour look even more accurate?

So I cut off some short sections from the whole and glued them to the underside of the pauldrons. My hope is that, when painted silver, they will actually suggest the support structure underneath the pauldrons. Here’s what the result looks like:

The Doomwall WIP (15)

As you can see, the red parts do a pretty good job of filling the empty space. Plus they could reasonably pass for some hydraulic struts hidden underneath the armour.

Now in a perfect world, I would have had this idea before the topknot had been glued in place, so I would have had the chance to build something approximating the “spine” you can see running along the back of the armour in the piece of artwork above. But maybe it’s for the best I didn’t: I really like the topknot, and it’s an element I definitely wanted to include, yet it would probably have interfered with the armour spine.

Anyway, here’s the model as it looks like now:

The Doomwall WIP (13)
The Doomwall WIP (12)
The Doomwall WIP (14)
Of course it does look a little strange now, with those bright red parts visible on top. So here’s a greyscale image for you, to better appreciate the conversion:

The Doomwall WIP (16)
Granted, fussing over minuscule details like this might seem a bit overly obsessed. But then, precisely because the model doesn’t wear perfectly accurate Mk 1 armour, it’s all the more important to get enough of the key visual cues right to make it suitably believable. And, once again, I am indebted to the great feedback I’ve received from fellow hobbyists online!

The last thing left to sort out is the hammer: Several people have pointed out that the SW runes are slightly distracting on a Khornate model, and I already have a couple of small brass Khorne runes set aside to be glued to the sides of the weapon. And after that, it’s off to the painting table for the Doomwall, I suppose.

Until then, though, feel free to share any feedback, suggestions or questions you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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