State of the Hunt, week 08/2020: Stop…Meteor Hammer Time!

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, state of the hunt, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2020 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, it’s already mid-February, and the fact that I still haven’t managed to complete the second part of my Eternal Hunt Awards writeup for 2019 has basically become a millstone around my neck that actually prevents me from posting any update at all, and we cannot have that, so here’s what we’ll do:

For today, I would just love to share some of the stuff I have been working on lately with you, seeing how I keep making progress with my little World Eaters kill team project.

As for my various favourite blogs and recommendations, I will commit to turning those into a rather more forward-looking post of its own in the near future — scout’s honour! For those of you who are looking for an excellent look back at the projects of 2019 and want their fix *right now*, feel free to peruse the following, excellent articles courtesy of the Brothers Wier and Wudugast, respectively.

To those of you who had been looking forward to my post, I can only apologise — and promise you that something not quite unlike it will be along sooner rather than later. For now, however, in the interest of keeping this blog going, I’ll just have to go with sharing some stuff I am actually motivated to work on right now. I hope you guys understand!

 

So, anyway, with that out of the way, where were we? Oh, right, I remember: In my last World Eaters related update, I already showed you this guy who is part of my “Hateful Eight” World Eaters project:




I could really kick myself for forgetting, once again, to take step-by-step pictures while I painted him — I guess the model would have made for a pretty cool tutorial. Oh well, next time, I guess…

Anyway, this is what the model looked like with most of the paintjob already in place:


As you can see, I decided to add some glossy blood to the meteor hammer — because it just seemed really, really appropriate in this particular case. In fact, I tried to take this even further with my idea for the rest of the base:

It was always clear that I would want to add some kind of “special effect” to the base. A trail of blood, as the World Eater drags his bloodied weapon behind him, seemed like an obvious idea. But I wanted something even more gruesome:



The idea was to make it look as though the World Eater had just crushed some unfortunate opponent’s skull, so I went the extra mile and included some bone shards πŸ˜‰

Here’s the finished model:








While the pose remains ever so slightly hokey, on account of the base model I used for the conversion, I am still pretty happy with this chap. The two things I wanted to achieve with him — having a model wearing a massive, ancient suit of armour that also has a bit of a gladiatorial flair, have definitely worked out: In spite of all the quasi-medieval stylings of the armour, you could still imagine a suit of ancient Mk. III Iron Armour as the starting point underneath it all.

And here’s a closer look at the base again, now with the meteor hammer in place, obviously:


And once again, in order to round out my progress report, here’s an updated group picture of the new World Eaters models I have managed to finish so far:

Regarding the general progress of this progress, I’ll admit that these models seem like a bit of an evolutionary step for me in that, after all these years of building and painting World Eaters, I have now arrived at the point where the models actually end up looking very close to the way I’ve always wanted them to be: massive, baroque, highly individual and very sinister. Are they perfect? No, certainly not — there’s still a lot of room for improvement. But it’s not hyperbole to say that these are the closest I have yet come to realising my personal vision of what the warriors of the 4th assault company should look like.

At the same time, however, it’s becoming painfully obvious that I’ll be ending up with more than eight models, mostly because I just cannot stop building stuff. Case in point, here are the next guys in line for the painting desk:

Granted, some (okay, alright: two) of these are older conversions. But I just keep adding to them. For today, I would like to point out two models in particular.

The first model was born from the desire to do something, anything, with that very weird, two-handed Bat’leth-style weapon that comes with the AoS Blood Warriors:

So I shaved off the secondary blade, and used some Blood Warrior, CSM and Mk. III Marine parts to make this:



As you can see, it’s yet another conversion that combines most of the parts from a stock Blood Warrior with Mk. III greaves, although I would argue that the graft is a much smoother one this time around. I also think the somewhat more medieval Blood Warriors armour, when used in moderation, creates a cool, somewhat gladiatorial look that really suits 40k World Eaters and moves the models beyond simply looking like vanilla CSM with bunny eared helmets. It was also cool to be able to re-use the backpack I had originally spliced together for the guy with the meteor hammer! πŸ™‚

I am really stupidly happy with the guy, to be honest — he definitely has some presence, wouldn’t you agree?

Seeing how I have a prospective painting session at Annie’s place scheduled for later this week, and maybe I should just allow this guy to jump the queue πŸ˜‰

The second model I want to focus on was converted just the other day when I realised the squad/kill team still needed some kind of icon bearer — I am a bit of a traditionalist in that respect: Every squad of traitor Astartes needs an icon bearer, and those new-fangled, backpack-mounted icons just don’t cut it for me.

On the other hand, the idea of a World Eater lugging around a massive standard always seems a bit iffy. However, there was one model I have always loved for just striking the right balance in this respect: the metal World Eaters icon bearer from the mid-90s.

And seeing how one side objective of this particular project has been to give shout outs to classic models or artwork, I couldn’t resist the temptation to just rebuild that particular model for the new millennium. Take a look:




I’ve had to flip the model horizontally for logistical reasons, but apart from that, the new guy is a fairly involved attempt at a proper re-interpretation of the classic sculpt. I didn’t have one of those old banner tops, unfortunately, so I used what felt like the next-best thing: a Wrathmonger/Skullreaper standard that seems like it could be used as a weapon in its own right with its many vicious barbs and bladed edges.

Here’s a comparison with the classic model and my new interpretation of the sculpt, side by side:

So as you can see, in spite of everything, I am at least reasonably successful at coming up with new members of the 4th assault company. And I would, of course, like to hear your thoughts on my progress, so please leave a comment!

And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

State of the Hunt, week 04/2020: Taking skulls and spitting blood…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, state of the hunt, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2020 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, I am currently suffering from a bit of Writer’s Block when it comes to completing the second part of my Eternal Hunt Awards, so in order to try and break through that – or, if nothing else, at least finally post some new content over here – I would like to show you what I am currently working on:

As some of you will still remember, the last model I painted in 2019 was…a World Eater:

And it didn’t take long for me to return to the XII legion in the new year (wile I have also been on fire regarding a few INQ28 characters, that’s a story for another time…). So, what do I have to show for myself?

First up, I have been messing around with some of the conversions for my “Hateful Eight” World Eaters Killteam project, making some additional tweaks to the models and giving them that extra bit of quality control.

Take, for instance, this World Eaters Havoc I built last fall:

While taking a closer look at the model, I realised that the missile launcher arm came with an Eye of Horus design on the pauldron, and while that certainly isn’t a big deal, it did bother me a bit — it felt slightly too “Black Legion” for a member of the World Eaters. But I had an idea: why not turn it into a World Eaters legion badge? Thanks to the GW plastic skull kit, it was easy enough to carefully shave off some jaws and use them to transform the emblem on the pauldron into a World Eaters symbol:


I’ll admit it’s not easy to make out, but it should look suitably different to the original design once painted. It’s also a very easy recipe to create World Eaters symbols that I wish I had thought of earlier…

On the same model, I am also currently experimenting with adding a chaos knight pauldron as some kind of armoured cowl, and I do like the way it looks:


I am still messing around with different variants of doing this, but I do think the addition of some kind of cowl actually makes the model resemble the artwork it was based on even more closely:

There was also thus guy here, built at the same time as the Havoc:


I still think this is a rather intriguing conversion: I wanted a model looking massive and archaic, its armour looking like an ancient, heavily customised set of Mk. III armour — hence the legs and helmet. A few things kept bothering me about the model, however — it always looked ever so slightly dodgy from up close. So I tweaked the model a bit:




Now this one is a tough case because people on the forums keep telling me the older version actually seems more balanced to them, but I am simply much happier with the new version: In my opinion, the bladed crest on the Marine’s left pauldron was so massive as to unbalance the model’s silhouette a bit, so it was replaced with smaller spikes (I did keep the part for later use, though). The backpack also didn’t result in the silhouette I wanted, so I went back to a classic CSM backpack. The biggest change, however, is that the axe was replaced with a meteor hammer, one of the World Eaters’ more gladiatorial weapon choices. I have been looking for a way to include one of these in the project for a while, and here it is.

It wasn’t all kitbashing, though, I also managed to get something painted: My first painted model of 2020, and also a World Eater. This gentleman here:

Yet another alumnus of the same kitbashing session as the other two, this model was originally built to resemble a clasic piece of artwork courtesy of Mark Gibbons:

The illustration was originally featured in the second edition Codex Imperialis and accompanied by a quote of one Kargos Bloodspitter (of Horus Heresy fame). Anyway, I didn’t want my model to actually represent Kargos as a character, but I did want to channel the artwork as much as possible (incidentally, fellow hobbyist Mr. Poom actually created a brilliant 30k version of Kargos Bloodspitter, based on the very same piece of artwork, a couple of years ago).

Anyway, seeing how the conversion was already in my case, all that remained was to get some paint on the model:

I unfortunately painted the model before Mark Butcher asked for a tutorial in a recent comment, so that will have to wait until a future post. For now, suffice it to say that I employed my updated World Eaters recipe again.

The model’s base provided an interesting challenge, because, while I did not want to perfectly replicate the “standing on a field of skulls” look from the artwork (as that seems a bit too 1995, even for my tastes, plus it wouldn’t match the basing on the rest of the group), I did want to give it a bit of a shout out, so I came up with a bit of a compromise:


A veritable pile of skulls, but still “fenced in” by some rocky parts.

And here’s the base, mostly painted:

And with that, the model was finished:


“Though the gates that stand between the mortal world and the immortal Realm of Chaos are now closed to me, still I would rather die having glimpsed eternity than never to have stirred from the cold furrow of mortal life. I embrace death without regret as I have embraced life without fear.”

 

Once again, here’s the artwork that inspired it all:

Moody glamour shots aside, here’s a proper look at the finished model in more detail:








I am actually really happy with the finished model, both because I think it has come out fairly well, but also because this has been a great occasion to include another tribute to a classic piece of Warhammer 40k art in my collection!

Oh, and before I forget: Thanks must also go to my fellow hobbyist ElDuderino: The converted Blood Warrior helmet he sent me as part of a pretty sweet bitz drop last year is what really sells the conversion, if you ask me. I shall be naming the model “Brother Orska” in his honour! πŸ™‚

And here, just to round things out, are all the little rascals I have so far:


So that’s it for today — seems like a pretty good hobby start into the new year, though, if I do say so myself! It goes without saying that I would of course love to hear your thoughts on the model, so please feel free to leave me a comment!

And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

The 2019 Eternal Hunt Awards, pt. 1: A look back at my hobby year

Posted in 40k, Blood Bowl, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, heroquest, Inq28, Inquisitor, old stuff, Orcs & Goblins, Pointless ramblings, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2020 by krautscientist

Awards

Welcome to the first installment of the 2019 Eternal Hunt Awards! It’s that time of year again, eh? So let’s lean back and, just to switch things up again for this year, start by taking a look at my personal hobby year — I hope I won’t bore you to tears… πŸ˜‰

2019 turned out to be a bit of a grind, from a RL perspective: With multiple bouts of heavy illness striking in my closest family, I was left reeling more than once. Now things are slowly on the mend again, thankfully enough, but I still realise that the year has tired me out pretty badly. At the same time, paradoxically enough, it has also been a fairly successful hobby year — but then, I tend to lean into the hobby during stressful times as a way to keep me sane, so there’s that, too.

Anyway, I am pretty pleased with 2019 as a hobby year, if nothing else. So let’s take a closer look at the stuff I have worked on – and managed to complete, for the most part – over the past twelve months, shall we?

I. My hobby projects

Twelve months ago, my output for 2018 looked like quite the bit improvement over the previous year. A “whopping” 52 models — not bad, not bad at all! At least for my glacially slow pace when it comes to painting:

However, it is with no small amount of pride that I can tell you that I have managed to paint 100 models in 2019. Still not a huge achievement for some of you painting animals out there, but certainly an unheard-of feat over here, in my little corner of the noosphere.

 

My project of painting an entire HeroQuest set accounts for most of those numbers, with a total of 67 models for everything that came in the box as well as a few extra pieces:

But there’s also the final third of my 2018 output, made up from a combination of my usual main projects, that is my World Eaters, some new INQ28 characters and some new signings for my Orcish Blood Bowl team.

Add some odds and ends and you end up with exactly one hundred models. Yay! πŸ™‚

 

One thing I am really proud of is that 99 of those 100 models were pieces that were already in my posession before — for years, in many cases (and literally for decades in the case of those HeroQuest models). So while I still did buy a few new kits in 2019 (and while many, if not most of those new models, remain unpainted), I did at least manage to make a substantial dent in my backlog.

Once again, thanks must go to all the people who kept me painting: Azazel and his monthly challenges, for one (one a related note, Azazel, dude, where are you?). My friend Annie and our regular painting sessions. And, of course, all the readers and fellow forum users who still hold out and keep commenting on my stuff during these dark days of dying blogs and forums. Anyway, a heartfelt thank you to you all!

 

With that out of the way, here’s a closer look at my 2019 hobby projects in turn:

1. #HeroQuest2019

Definitely my biggest hobby endeavour of 2019, which is why it also deserves prime billing here: Last year, I went back to the very beginning of my life as a hobbyist and made a commitment to finally paint an entire set of HeroQuest, the game I had instantly fallen in love with 30 years ago, due in no small part to an iconic TV ad and, of course, to Les Edward’s bombshell of a cover illustration:

Illustration by Les Edwards

And after several false starts and stops, I finally made this plan a reality during the first half of 2019, painting all of the models from the standard boxed set (furniture included), as well as a few extras here and there, to round things out:

Painting those classic models was, of course, a delightful exercise in nostalgia. At the same time, it was also a breath of fresh air, as going for that bright and iconic retro look was a really enjoyable experience. I also learned a lot, I’d say. And seeing how I knew I was only really going to get one shot at painting those classic models (given the hugely inflated aftermarket prices), I tried to give it my all. And I think it shows!

Thanks to Ye Olde Inn, a forum of dedicated fans of the game. The place made me realise that HeroQuest isn’t simply one more tabletop game, but rather a small hobby unto itself. All the inspiration on the forum and the encouragement from my fellow forumites really did wonders for my productivity! In fact, my browsing through the vast forum was what gave me the idea to actually go and convert some extra models that would serve as some of the special characters that appear in the HeroQuest campaign…

Even better, though, not only did I manage to paint the whole shebang, I also got a game in.

So thirty years after its release, I finally got to play HeroQuest to play the way it was originally intended — and that was quite something.

And even beyond the models required for the set, I did end up painting and converting even more stuff, so I guess we’ll be seeing a bit more HeroQuest here and there in 2020…

For now, head over here to get a better look at my painted HeroQuest set.

 

2. Khorne’s Eternal Hunt

I didn’t originally have anything much planned for my World Eaters at the start of 2019 — well, I did finally manage to finish the display base for my Daemon-Primarch Angron conversion, at least:

Now the Lord of the XII Legion finally has the right killing ground below him — and all before an inevitable official GW model blows my own attempt out of the water!

A closer look at Angron and his finished presentation base can be found here, in case you are interested.

But beyond that, I wasn’t really planning any big additions to my collection, originally: My World Eaters paint scheme seemed rather outdated to me, as did the officially available CSM models, so I really wanted to wait for a bit before working on any more members of the XII legion.

Fate, however, had other plans.

Thanks to a supply drop from my buddy Augustus b’Rass (which we’ll be getting to further down this post) back in February, I felt the itch to finally paint that World Eaters Dreadnought he kindly gave to me when I visited him in Amsterdam. So I finally completed Argus the Brazen:

One model, right? Where’s the hurt in that? It felt good to finally have given the model its due. But then, a bit later, the new CSM models hit, and I have to admit that they managed to light a bit of a fire under me. Before I knew it, I found myself messing around with the new models, turning them into proper World Eaters…

…and then one thing led to another, and I ended up with a test model for a new breed of “KrautScientist World Eaters” on my desktop:

The new painting recipe might still not win any awards, but it’s quite a bit more elaborate than my old approach (which, it must be said, also relied on many paints that are OOP nowadays). It’s also closer to my current painting standard. And it’s actually more fun to paint than my old recipe, if you can believe it.

Anyway, models that had long lain dormant where swept up in the process as well, so I finally got to paint my counts-as World Eaters version of Huron Blackheart, for instance:

And I started to combine some of my “refurbished” conversions and some new models into a project tentatively called “The Hateful Eight”, a possible World Eaters kill team for 40k:

And while I have only really painted four models for the kill team so far, some of the new guys are simply among the favourite World Eaters models I have come up to this day:

So it may be slow work, but I really like the way these guys look together:

And there’s finally some red and brass in my recap post again! Yay! πŸ™‚

 

3. The world of INQ28

The other half of my 40k-related output went into creating yet more 40k characters, and while I didn’t manage to bang out several complete retinues (like I did in 2018), I am pretty pleased nonetheless with the “INQ28 Class of 2019”:

The reason for this is that I have finally managed to complete one of my oldest warband projects, running alllll the way back to 2013, by completing the retinue of Inquisitor Titus Alvar of the Ordo Xenos:

Another model I had wanted to complete for ages was Lord Sebastianus Danver Balzepho Vlachen, one of the Velsen Sector’s big political movers and shakers:

This is just one guy, but it feels as though finishing the model has really helped me nail down a piece of the background lore that informs these models, and that’s great! In fact, I have been reading up on lots of Inquisition related background lately (via many of the old Inquisitor publications, as well as the very cool Dark Heresy RPG sourcebooks), which has given me all kinds of ideas for the immediate future, so expect to see more INQ28 sooner rather than later!

4. On the Blood Bowl pitch

Ever since Annie succeeded at roping me into creating a Blood Bowl team, working on some new Blood Bowl models has always served as a nice way of exploring a somewhat silly and whimsical side of our hobby — plus it’s always a fun thing to be working on during our joint hobby sessions.

Not only did those final models round out my team roster, I also used their completion as the perfect occasion to give the entire time a once-over, cleaning up the paintjobs here and there, painting on player numbers — that kind of stuff.

And with that the Orkheim Ultraz are now finished. There may be a couple of hangers-on and sideshow models left to add, but the core team (with all the players and tokens I could ever possibly need) is now complete:

Head over here to meet the complete Orkheim Ultraz team.

 

5. Dipping my toe into the new Contrast Paints

Well, figuratively speaking, of course: Actually getting enough of the stuff to be able to really dip my toes into it would, of course, be prohibively expensive…

Err…anyway: The Contrast Paints were the talk of the town for a fair part of 2019, and I was lucky enough to get to test them when they were still brand new at my local Warhammer store. I painted two models using the new paints and found the experience delightfully refreshing:

Exploring those paints a little more will certainly be part of my hobby life this year. And I think I already have a pretty good test model in mind…

 

So that’s my output for 2019. Quite a successful year, I’d say. And lots of formerly unfinished business now neatly tied up. Yay! πŸ™‚

 

II. Other hobby moments of note

I already mentioned this in my last post, but getting a Christmas card from the Wier Brothers – and right in time for Christmas, no less – was such a wonderful surprise!

Speaking of surprises, though, a particularly awesome one was when my buddy Augustus b’Raas suddenly sent me an awesome squad of Khorne Berzerkers right out of the blue last February:

That was so cool! I am also pretty sure it had a major part in getting me back into painting World Eaters this year (so I guess our Auggs is going “Just as planned!” somewhere right now) — if nothing else, it led to my painting the World Eaters Dreadnough he had given me, and that in turn kickstarted everything else, as I have already explained above. Anyway, thanks again, buddy! πŸ™‚

Receiving models from fellow hobbyists also nicely bookended my entire hobby year, as fellow Ye Olde Inn forumite Anderas was nice enough to send me this rather lovely looking Orc as part of the 2019 Ye Olde Inn Christmas Exchange:

Speaking of which, preparing a model of my own for the exchange was a very cool moment for me as well — the fact that Weltenlauefer, whom I sent the model to, was over the moon with it did, of course, sweeten the deal. My little Witch Lord now gets to lord it over Weltenlauefer’s brilliant catacomb terrain:

Kickstarter

After joining Dave Taylor’s campaign for his excellent book “Armies & Legions & Hordes” last year, I am back to checking for cool projects on Kickstarter at least semi-regularly, and I found two really cool things that I wanted to help fund in 2019:

The first one was MOMiniaturas’Β  Mercenary Kickstarter that I fell in love with right at the height of my HeroQuest infatuation:

The Mercenaries themselves have a wonderful “Retro Warhammer Fantasy Empire” look about them, which really sold me on them right away. And I was also able to pick up some really cool extras from MOMiniaturas’ back catalogue along with them for a good price. The whole huge package of about 30 models arrived in late autumn, and while I have yet to paint any of those models, it should be a treat!

I also backed the Tabletop Fantasy Miniatures Kickstarter featuring sculpts by Ana Polanscak:

Ana has long been one of the most original voices in this hobby of ours, participating in a crowdfunding campaign to get my hands on some of her sculpts was really a bit of a no-brainer! The models are a wonderfully quirky and sinister little bunch, and painting them should be quite a lot of fun!

4. Hugs for the Hug Throne!

 

III. Blogging

*Sigh* It would all be peaches and cream, if not for this part of the post. But seriously, let’s get the good stuff out of the way first:

Eternal Hunt turned seven in 2019, which was really cool. I have also managed to keep the posts flowing, more or less, ending up with about 400 posts again.

At the same time, interest in this blog (and, I should add, in blogs in general) seems to be dwindling, with the numbers going down all the time. To wit, this were my stats at the end of 2018:

And this is what things looked like at the end of 2019:

You know what? In my hubris, I always expected that this blog would come to an end when I’d run out of things to say — not when people would stop giving a feth.

This really frustrates me, and I could probably go on about it all day. I’ll force myself not to do that, though. Maybe it’s inevitable that Instagram should supplant all of the old blogs and forums. Maybe that’s what people want. It’s not what I want, however, so I’ll keep fighting the good fight over here — or what I think the good fight is, at least. If you are still with me after all these years, then I thank you from the bottom of my heart! Please keep reading and commenting! It’s what keeps this blog going, simple as that.

That said, if anyone does want to listen to me ranting about Instagram a little more, why, just look at last year’s post — everything that I said then is still perfectly accurate, even moreso today, in some cases.

 

IV. Plans

Back when I laid out my hobby resolutions for 2019, I made sure to point out that I didn’t want to overpromise and paint myself into a corner, so I only named a few models I wanted to paint. Looking back now, twelve months later, I cannot help noticing that I did not manage to paint a single one of those models — so much for resolutions, I guess… πŸ˜‰

But the good thing about the new year is that you get a new shot, right? And there are a few models I would like to see some paint on. Here they are, provisionally…

 

As part of my rejuvenated interest in building and painting 40k World Eaters, I also created a new version of Lord Captain Lorimar, based on the new Abaddon model released in 2019:

This is one model that I would definitely like to try and paint this year,…

Countess Mandelholtz, of the Mandelholtz House of Imperial Finance, just keeps appearing in my new year’s resolutions — but only because I took me so long to get this particular model right that I am now scared of messing it up with a sub-par paintjob…

but there have been some additions to House Mandelholtz last year, not least of all one Mr. Azaleas Vile, the banking house’s prime factor:

So maybe we’ll be seeing more of House Mandelholtz and its agents in 2020…

I might aso finally dip my toes into some Inquisitor 54 (after all, I picked up the original Eisenhorn model a short while ago).

The 30k incarnation of my World Eaters has fallen by the wayside a bit, ironically pushed aside by my 40k World Eaters again — but in light of the rumours of GW wanting to turn the Horus Heresy into a proper mainline setting, I guess there’ll still be a chance to work on those models in the future. If nothing else, I would really like to finish my “Argel Tal duology”, if only to pre-empt a possible Argel Tal model by Forgeworld…


Oh, and I tried failed during the summer to finally paint my second Armiger Warglaive …erm, sorry, that’s “War Dog” now, for The Bolter & Chainsword’s ETL event, but that’s really a shame because I am still very fond of the model:


So you can probably expect the Huntress and her ride to be finished at some point in 2020 as well.

Oh, and lest I forget, now that the new plastic Sisters have finally been announced in multi-part form, I really need to get my hands on a squad of them…


You know, just to have a bit of fun with the kit…

 

All of these are rather loose targets, however. If there is one thing I really want to do is to contribute to/participate in LarsonicMiniaturesOndroma event:

The talent on display is truly staggering. It has to be said that, up to now, I have actually been ridiculously neglectful when it comes to the event, but I fully intend to change that! Scout’s honour! πŸ™‚

 

So yeah, that’s it for today — if anything, this post has already gone on far too long anyway. Let me finish by thanking all of my readers and by encouraging you to keep visiting this place for the next twelve months. And please do speak up every once in a while, just so, you know, I get the feeling every now and then that I am not just screaming into the void…

And please feel free to let me hear any thoughts you might have on my 2019 output or my varios hobby plans!

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

State of the Hunt, week 52/2019: Cleaning house…

Posted in 40k, Blood Bowl, Chaos, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, state of the hunt, Terrain, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2019 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, it’s the last day of the year (at least on my side of the planet), and I sincerely hope you’ve all had a wonderful Christmas! While I will have to postpone my annual Eternal Hunt Awards for a couple of days, I still want to share an update with you, as I actually managed to get some painting done during the holiday!

Before we get to that, however, there’s one more thing I want to share with you: This wonderful Christmas card from the Brothers Wier over at Between the Bolter And Me that actually landed on my doorstep right in time for the festivities:

What a wonderful surprise indeed! Cheers guys, and another year of blogging and successful hobbying to you as well! πŸ™‚

 

Now, as for the actual painting, it was of course really hard for me to break through my usual holiday lethargy, but I did want to do something creative and hobby related before the end of the year, so I looked for things that might be quick and fun to get me back into painting. The first thing I came up with was this small cogitator terminal, an objective that comes with the Necromunda starter set:

It looked like it might make for some quick painting fun, and indeed it did: I had a blast spongin on the rust and base colours, then spent a bit more time painting the displays and buttons. Just a delightful little appetizer to get me back into the swing of things!

Next up, I came upon this little guy whom I had wanted to get painted for ages:


This is a captured slayer that was originally part of the “Battle for Skull Pass” WFB starter set. It’s a weird little sculpt, something that almost looks like an afterthought to be added to the plastic sprues that came in the box. It’s a single piece with fairly few (and soft) details, but I still liked the quirky nature of the model and thought it would make for a cool little optional marker to add to my Orkheim Ultraz Blood Bowl team, so I quickly painted the little guy.

The main point here was to get a nice and bright orange colour for his impressive slayer hairdo, but I also tried to make it look like da boyz had given him a black eye during the brawl that must have led to his capture:




He makes for a nice addition to the smaller bitz and bobs I have painted as hangers-on for the Orkheim Ultraz over the year:

When the time came to decide which final model to paint this year, I was drawn back to Khorne’s Eternal Hunt, of course — no surprise there πŸ˜‰ To be fair, though, I already had a partially finished World Eater that needed completing, so that definitely helped. One of these gentlemen built (or, in some cases, refurbished) for my “Hateful Eight” World Eaters kill team project:

All of the models were built quite a while ago, and I have endeavoured to finally get some of them painted! The two guys on the right were finished back in October, so I next chose the second model from the left: an older conversion based on one of the Dark Vengeance Chosen models that was loosely based on this illustration by Diego Gisbert Llorens:

illustration by Diego Gisbert Llorens

I had already started the paintjob during one of my painting sessions at my friend Annie’s place, so it was mostly a matter of picking up where I had left off. So I made pretty good progress…

…before finally putting the finishing touches on the model yesterday. So here’s my final model for 2019. Blood for the Blood God!

Seeing how this guy has been part of my pile of shame for ages, it feels good to finally see him painted! And I think the finished model works rather well, too, if I do say so myself.




So that’s four World Eaters down for my “Hateful Eight” project (although somehow I doubt I’ll be able to stop at eight…):

But in any case, this was the final spurt of hobby productivity I have managed to wring from 2019. I hope you have all been able to get some hobbying done over the holiday season! I would love to hear any thoughts you may have (or learn about any hasty last minute painting you may have performed before year’s end), of course! And I wish you all a Happy New Year! See you on the other side, when I finally begin this year’s Eternal Hunt Awards series in a couple of days!

Until then, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

#HeroQuest2019: A Christmas Carol…of Undead Sorcery

Posted in Conversions, heroquest, old stuff, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, Totally worth it with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2019 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, so here is my Christmas post for this year, and right in time for the festivities, no less. And I have prepared something for you that is at least a little heartwarming, as is only right and proper for this season.

Furthermore, one of my first hobby activities this year has been to return to the very beginnings of my life as a hobbyist and paint some old HeroQuest models, so it seems only fitting that one of the year’s last posts should also deal with the very same game — so what is this about?

Speaking of HeroQuest, you may have seen how my biggest ongoing hobby project this year was to paint an entire HeroQuest set, and for once I actually managed to go through with it. Ye Olde Inn, a forum dedicated to all things HeroQuest, became an indispensable part of this project, so when the forum ran its annual “Ye Olde Inn Christmas Exchange”, it was clear to me that I really wanted to participate, both as a small way of giving something back to the community, but also because I like events like this, where everyone builds a model and sends it off to somebody else.

So I really wanted to do something cool for the exchange! And this ambition doubled when I learned that my model would go to fellow hobbyist Weltenlaeufer whom I was happy to advise on painting his own HeroQuest models throughout the year. Now he had told me multiple times that he really liked my models, and flattery will, of course, get you anywhere with me πŸ˜‰

But on a more serious note, this meant that there was a fairly good chance that he would like having a model built and painted by me in his collection — but I really wanted to give it my all and not just paint any old standard model (although “standard models” can be rather lovely when painted really well, as we will see later in this post).

Anyway, I reflected for a bit on what kind of model would be cool enough for this endeavour, and I settled on the closest thing the basic HeroQuest game system has to an arch-villain: The Witch Lord, as seen here painted by the great Les Edwards.

Illustration by Les Edwards

As I have already outlined before, I instantly fell in love with that illustration when I first saw it — enough so, in fact, that I used it as an inspiration when I finally built my own version of the Witch Lord earlier this year:

“So yeah, how about sending Weltenlaeufer a Witch Lord? That would certainly be cool!” But how would I go about building another one?

Fortunately enough, as outlined in my original Witch Lord post, I had come up with a plan for a plastic Witch Lord conversion as my original approach before later using an old Citadel metal model for the actual conversion. But I still felt that this recipe could work really well for the task I was facing now. The approach would look similar in nature to this renegade psyker I built a few years ago:

The basic combination of bitz at the heart of this approach – combining the legs of an Empire flagellant with a Skaven Stormvermin torso – makes for a slightly stooped and subtly sinister body that works for all kinds of villainous sorcerer types, Witch Lords included. But even though the basic idea was sound, it still took me a rather long while before I finally came up with a basic setup that worked:

Taking Les Edward’s illustration as my main point of reference once again, I tried to go for a model that would hit enough of the artwork’s visual cues to read as the Witch Lord, even if it didn’t reproduce every element from the artwork. I still tried to make it a rather close fit, though, and bitz from about ten different kits went into making the model look right, including a Skeleton warrior head, a ghoul hand, some Empire Knight feet and a Bloodletter mandible. By lucky chance, I tried the horns I got as a leftover piece from when I shaved horns off the new vanilla CSM helmets to replace them with Khornate helmet crests a while backΒ , and they really made the helmet work so much better.

Here’s the model just a bit later, glued together and with the necessary tweaks in place:





Up to this point, however, I still wasn’t entirely sure whether or not I was on to something. That changed after undercoating, though, when all the disparate parts really turned into something that looked reasonably closely like a HeroQuest model:




When painting my new Witch Lord conversion, I tried to basically recreate my earlier paintjob, with just a few minor tweaks here and there, and went for the classic triad of basecoats,…



…washes,…



…and higlights.

I spent quite a bit of time on that last part, obviously, to make sure the model would really work as a centre piece character.

So here’s my finished plastic Witch Lord:







I was really very happy with the outcome, as this felt like a worthy contribution to the Christmas exchange. And I do think the model holds up when placed next to my original Witch Lord model. Take a look:


I would be hard-pressed to decide which of these I like better. True, my original model is quite a bit flashier, on account of using a different base model, but the new version is actually much closer to the kind of model you would actually find in a HeroQuest set from back in the day (it is also, it has to be said, much easier to recreate for someone who wants to build their own Witch Lord, which is useful).

At the same time, I did my best to create a subtle connection between both models: They both use an identical palette and the weird avian skull on their respective staffs is also just the same. And they both – hopefully – match the piece of artwork that inspired them to begin with:

The new Witch Lord also looks pretty convincing next to some actual HeroQuest models, if you ask me:

So that was my model for Weltenlaeufer’s HeroQuest conversion done and dusted, right? Not quite, because I wasn’t finished yet:

I also wanted to make sure the packaging matched the style of the model, and seeing how the Witch Lord emerges his tomb, as represented by the little sarcophagus that comes in the HeroQuest set,…

I thought it would be really cool to incorporate this element in my package as well, so I used “Keramin”, a plaster like material that dries really fast and hard, in order to make a quick copy of the lid:


Talk about happy accidents: The casting process was actually not quite perfect, leading to some bubbles that marred the face of the reclining figure. But they actually ended up making the face look even more gaunt and undead, which was of course ideal in this case:


So I painted the copied lid up in suitably stony colours…


…and used it to add that certain je-ne-sais-quoi to Weltenlaeufer’s package, so upon opening it, he would find this:


A recreation of the Witch Lord’s tomb, to be opened by an intrepid (or foolish) adventurer to unleash an ancient horror upon the Old World…


Mission accomplished, at long last! So I packed it all up and sent it off to Poland towards the end of November, then spent a frantic week or so wondering whether the postal service would somehow manage to mess this up. They didn’t, however, so not only did my little Witch Lord arrive in time, but Weltenlaeufer also ended up really liking the model, by the looks of it:

Yay! πŸ™‚

Even better, actually: As if on cue, Weltenlaeufer had recently picked up a brand new set of brilliant tabletop catacombs from Dwarven Forge.

Here’s my, pardon his plastic Witch Lord surveying his new domain:




By the way, you can check out more of Weltenlaeufer’s very cool ongoing HeroQuest related work on his thread here.

So all’s well that ends well, right? Hah, we’re still not at the end! Because not only did I send off a model, I also received one in return: Last week, I received a package from fellow forumite Anderas, and out came this gnarly little gentleman here:


A wonderfully painted Orc — far neater than anything I have ever painted myself! This goes to show how my aversion to “standard models” was entirely misguided. The delightful little git has also managed to get his hands on a chaos warrior sword, it seems, and seems to be handling it very delicately, given that one protective glove πŸ˜‰

What’s probably the nicest bit here, however, is that the model also features some rather lovely painted on cobblestones:

Anyway, thanks a lot Anderas, and indeed all the fellow forumites from Ye Olde Inn, who have made this little event such a heartwarming affair! I urge you to check out the rest of the contributions — some very creative riffs on HeroQuest models can be found in the event thread.

And, of course, thank you to my readers and commenters! I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and hope you’ll be having a great holiday season!

I’ll be back later this month – if all goes well – with this year’s installment of the Eternal Hunt Awards, whatever that may look like. Until then, I would, of course, love to hear any thoughts you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

State of the Hunt, week 51/2019: Bald heads and shady dealings

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, Pointless ramblings, state of the hunt, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 20, 2019 by krautscientist

With Christmas fast approaching, I at least want to make time for another update in between all of the daily chaos, even if there’s nothing spectacular to show you right now. Which means you’ll have to content yourselves with some rough sketches and conversion shenanigans. And with some bald heads — and no, I am not referring to myself with that last point. Anyway, what is this about?

I. Delaque Deliberations

A while ago, I picked up a box of the new Necromunda Delaque gangers, to be primarily used as conversion fodder for INQ28 related projects.

I would argue that the Delaque are probably the best re-design in modern Necromunda, mostly because with their older incarnation, there was such a vast gulf between the rather cool concept for the gang and the very lacklustre miniatures. But even beyond Necromunda proper, these guys really seemed like an invaluable source for conversion material from the get go:

You see, the world of shadowy inquisitorial dealings has great need for suitably shadowy, robed figures, yet outside of the trusty Empire flagellants, proper robed figures have been in short supply across GW’s catalogue — and there’s also the fact that the flagellants have such a ragged and frayed-around-the-edges look that they just don’t work for every project. The new Delaques seem like the perfect fix for that issue. So I already had a couple of plans going into this latest kitbashing session, and I would love to share some of my results with you:

The first thing I had wanted to do for a while was to use one of the Delaque gangers to convert a Tech-Priest. In fact, I even took the time to quickly sketch out one of my ideas during an idle half hour at the doctor’s office:

Granted, the proportions are completely dodgy — good thing, then, that the resulting model ended up looking much cooler:


Official GW Tech-Priests are all twisted and insectile these days — which I love, make no mistake! But I like a little variety in my collection, so I thought a tall, upright tech-priest with an air of haughty arrogance might work well. Plus I think Tech-Priests should really be all shapes and sizes, so they look even more crazy when assembled as a collection — it takes all sortss to make a (Forge-)world, so to speak πŸ˜‰


As you can see, it’s a fairly simple kitbash that mostly consists of adding some AdMech bitz to one of the Delaque gangers — I think the pose really sells the model, though, while the tech-y gubbinz give him just the right silhouette (and amount of clutter) for a Tech-Priest.

One thing that gave me pause for a bit was the model’s left hand: I did have several Sicaran Ruststalker/Infiltrator hands holding guns that would have worked, but that just seemed like the wrong way to go with the character. I used some kind of auspex/scanner in my character sketch above, directly inspired by the auspex array that comes with the Skitarii Vanguard/Rangers — but when the time came to put the model together, that just seemed a bit too pedestrian, too.

It felt like an open hand (preferredly with some calipered fingers) would work best for the model, so I whipped something up:



The hand was spliced together from a Sicarian Ruststalker thumb and the creepy fingers of the surgical servitor that’s part of the 40k battlefield objectives. I am really happy with the finished model and think it should make for a pretty cool addition to my collection of AdMech models!

Looking at the stooped pose of another Delaque ganger gave me the idea for putting together an Imperial Scribe /Inquisitorial Savant type character:



Now the model still needed a fair bit of work at this point, but the outline was already there: With hands unrolling a bandage (from the Cadian Command squad) repurposed as hands carrying some kind of scroll and his pose, the guy already seemed like the kind of figure you would regularly see in the back row of illustrations depicting the Inquisition, or in the corners of 40k Codex books in the olden days, so I knew I was on to something.

The most important addition here was some kind of augmetic cowl (similar to the designs you see on some of the Forgeworld AdMech models) with some cables and head implants feeding into it (as well as some cables dangling from it). This element breaks up the characteristic Delaque silhouette a bit and also hints at the kind of augmetics a scribe would need for their work in the 41st millennium.

At the same time, I also included a leather document satchel and an additional scroll – complete with skull, of course – so as not to make him look too hi-tech and bring him back into the gothic madness that is 40k. The satchel is an older WFB plastic part (from the Dwarf Miners, I believe), while the skull and scroll bit came from the Empire Flagellants — no surprise there! πŸ˜‰




This model turned into such a sweet surprise, because the idea really took ages to get off the ground, but after the basic mockup was finished, I had such fun tweaking the model! I am still thinking about adding a lantern and another bit or two of gear, and then the scribe/savant will be ready to explore some sunken Imperial archives — after getting painted, of course πŸ˜‰

II. Thorn Wishes Talon

But wait, I have yet more bald heads to share with you! Because I have treated myself to a small, premature Christmas present:

The original 54mm Inquisitor Eisenhorn: I have wanted to own this model for a long time, yet was never smart enough to pick it up while it was still freely available. Now the model you see above is missing some bits and bobs, but I did get it for a pretty good price, and I am confident I’ll be able to sort most of it out with the leftover INQ54 bits I already have. In fact, Eisenhorn should make a swell companion for my salvaged Delphan Gruss/Nagash mashup from back in January:


It also really is a lovely sculpt, even after all these years!

 

III. Painting some stuff — only differently this time

And there’s one last look at some ongoing stuff for you: I’ve been slowly trying to get back into drawing of late, and finally getting the chance to pick up the classic Eisenhorn model was enough to inspire me to make a small attempt at digitally drawing ,y version of a piece of art from the Inquisitor rulebook:

It’s a pretty clunky piece with all kinds of problems, admittedly, but I am really still finding my feet here. Here’s a quick coloured sketch of my Ordo Scriptorum Inquisitor, Tiberias Orlant,Β  to round things out:

It’s like using a muscle that hasn’t been exercised for years — because that’s precisely what’s happening. I haven’t been drawing for ages. But then again, I had all but given up hope for ever returning to it, so this is actually pretty cool. This whole digital art thing is definitely something I can see myself picking up next year — also, be glad I didn’t show you the slightly tacky “Joy of Painting”-inspired landscapes I’ve been painting on the side πŸ˜‰

 

So yeah, that’s no less than four bald heads and lots of shadowy, shady stuff for you! I would, of course, love to hear any thoughts you might have! I’ll be back with a – slightly – heartwarming Christmas tale early next week, to get you all in the mood for the festivities πŸ˜‰ Until then, please let me hear your comments and, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

INQ28: Unfinished business, pt. 4

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2019 by krautscientist

Alright, time to show you something that’s actually painted again, even if it’s just a …something small, so to speak. So what is this about?

As you know, I have been slowly working my way through Inquisitor Alvar’s Ordo Xenos warband as one of my recurring hobby projects of 2019, finally painting one of my long-neglected warband projects:

With the end of the year coming up, I found myself with just two members of the warband left to paint:

As it turned out, I was missing a crucial paint for the hive ganger on the right (GW’s Doombull Brown, as I want to give her a dark skin tone), which left me with the gentleman on the left as my next project: Skuldi Kulva, member of an enclave of squats hidden away somewhere in the Velsen Sector and now a member of Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue. Just to remind you, here’s a look at the unpainted conversion again:



Now I went into this paintjob with lots of ideas, but lacking a fully formed strategy. My original plan was to just go with the official “Barak Zilfin” colour scheme and call it a day:


There are several elements of this colour scheme I really like: The contrast created by the blue overalls and bronze armour plates. And, possibly most of all, the off white parts of the helmet, looking almost like some kind of ceramic material. At the same time, however, just adopting an official AoS colour scheme for a 40k character did seem a bit lame, so I tried to incorporate a couple of ideas from the Barak Zilfin scheme while also moving away from it in other respects.

My idea for the Velsen Sector’s resident squats is that they are focused on heavy industry, so I wanted a workmanlike look and feel to them — which is why the highly utilitarian look of Adam Wier’s Kharadron conversion for his character Freyvid Hafnar became another chief inspiration for me:

I would also like to think that LarsonicMiniatures’ work was yet another big influence, both because Lars is incredibly good at using drab, earthen tones to fantastic effect on his models, but also because his blog has been one of my main inspirations this past year.

Anyway, throwing all of this into the blender gave me this model. Meet Skuldi Kulva, everyone:


I chose to go with a rather drab colour for the overalls, while still using the bronze armour (and white elements) of the Barak Zilfin colour scheme. The bright blue glowy parts have become a bit of a recurring element with many of my models, yet they seem to fit really well here, hinting at the fact that, in spite of its medieval/early-modern trappings, Kulva’s suit is actually quite high-tech — maybe even moreso than standard Imperial tech.

The “K” on his shoulderpad stands for “Kombinat”, the German (and, to my knowledge, also the Russian) word for “combine”. It seemed blunter and more 40k-ish than the English word πŸ˜‰ I also tried to suggest the Adeptus Mechanicus cogwheel design — or rather an evocation of it, to show how these guys are different from the AdMech, yet there may be some shared heritage.


One thing that I have used to strengthen the 40k feel of the model was the combination of white armour parts with orange markings and a suitable decal. I think this is another small step towards bringing the model more firmly into the 41st millennium:

All in all, I am pretty happy with the finished model, even moreso because I went into the painting process with some disparate ideas and have somehow managed to bind it all together into a coherent look — or at least that’s what I think. I would be happy to hear your opinions as well!

So that’s one more member for Inquisitor Alvar’s warband:

Just one more to go. Wish me luck! πŸ˜‰ And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!