Studies in Mk. III — my first experiments with the models from “The Burning of Prospero”

Posted in Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2016 by krautscientist

Before we begin, let me give you fair warning — there are lots of unpainted plastic ahead!
But with the contents of The Burning of Prospero box now at my disposal, I liked the idea of sharing my initial experiments on the new kits with you — and it somehow turned into a sprawling kitbashing post somewhere along the way. What’s more, it occurs to me that I haven’t actually shown you some of my recent 30k World Eaters conversions yet, so let’s start with those (don’t worry, we’ll be getting to the new Mk. III models before long😉 ).

First up is a conversion I am actually really happy with, and it began as another attempt of building a Heresy era version of one of my 40k Chaos Lords. This time, it was Huntmaster Bardolf’s turn:

Huntmaster Bardolf new
He was one of the first more involved conversions I did after getting back into the hobby a couple of years back, and while the conversion does show its age a bit, I am still enormously fond of this guy, mostly because he was my go-to Chaos Lord in all those smallish 500 and 750 points games when I re-learned 40k. As a consequence, his various victories and losses really turned him into a character rather than a mere playing piece, and helped me to figure out what I wanted Khorne’s Eternal Hunt to feel like. So I thought it would be fun to build a younger, uncorrupted version of Bardolf, from his time as a fresh-faced veteran sergeant during the Heresy.

The idea here was to take several elements from the 40k model (the pose, the weapons, and a couple of bitz) and incorporate them into the 30k version as well, while still making him seem like a more restrained 30k character (and also a sergeant and not yet a powerful commander type). So here’s what I came up with:

Sergeant Bardolf WIP (1)

Sergeant Bardolf WIP (2)
And since even the World Eaters still occasionally used slightly more conservative Astartes warfare tactics back then, I also made sure to add a standard bolter in addition to the axes

Sergeant Bardolf WIP (3)
There’s also a peculiar pleasure in adding enough gear to the individual Astartes to make them look believable — something that doesn’t seem to be as much of a concern in 40k (at least not for Khorne Berzerkers), but lends itself really well to the more regimented feel of the Heresy era legions.

Anyway, I am pretty happy with the finished model, and here’s a comparison shot showing Bardolf now and then:

Bardolf then and now WIP

I think this pair really gives a rather nice idea of what ten millennia of service to the Ruinous Powers will do to you😉 At the same time, it’s recongnisably the same guy, wouldn’t you agree?

While I really like the conversion, however, it also left me with the upper half of the BaC Kurtha Sedd model — and to be honest, the stock model didn’t do much for me. I did want to build a chaplain for my 30k World Eaters, however, mostly because I remembered  Poom’s amazing chaplain model and wanted to steal some cues from it.  My first attempt involved using the Kurtha Sedd torso swapping in a pair of plastic Mk. IV legs and using the same helmet (from the limited edition Interrogator Chaplain from Dark Vengeance) and Rampager weapon (as an alternate crozius) as Poom. So here’s my first take on the chaplain:

30k World Eaters Chaplain WIP (3)
I also tried to add a few touches of my own here and there. For instance, I really liked Fabricator General’s take on the World Eaters’ chaplains serving as “Chain Dogs”, the grim overseers of the fighting pits, and I tried to make my chaplain reflect that concept.

So I was already really happy with my Chaplain conversion, but I still had to make two small tweaks: Something about his very clean left wrist and forearm kept bothering me, so I ever-so-carefully cut off the hand, shaved off a slice of the forearm and spliced in one of the shackles from the AoS Bloodreavers that I have been using as decoration on many of my 30k World Eaters.

I also exchanged the legs for a pair of legs from the new plastic Mk. III Marines, and while I liked the previous setup well enough, I’d argue the new legs give him even more of a grim presence.

Meet Chaplain Karrim Krieger, Chain Dog of the 4th assault company, overseeing the fighting pits and ensuring the bonds of brotherhood between the brethren of the legion remain strong:

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So this is where we finally get to the actual Mk. III related shenanigans: I had already used one pair of legs so far, but I wanted to build my first proper Mk. III Marine. Iron armour has always been one of my favourite armour marks, if not the favourite, both for its bulk and medieval look and for how decidedly different it looks from standard 40k power armour.

So I started messing around with the new bitz and thought they might be appropiate for building a guy wielding a big gun:

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30k-world-eaters-heavy-early-wip-1
At this point, the model was still almost completely stock Mk. III. My one tweak was to add an Ork shoota’s barrel to the heavy bolter, making the weapon look far more brutal and massive.

The next step was to try and give the Marine that certain World Eater-ly je ne sais quoi. Now the temptation is rather big with these models to just go completely chaotic on them, adding spikes and trophies to every surface, but I am trying to deliberately keep them away from full-on 40k baroqueness, in order to show that the worship of chaos is only just beginning to creep in here and there, but the 30k World Eaters are still pretty different from their 40k incarnation at this point. With that in mind, I just made some small tweaks to the model:

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I think the Anvilus backpack has a nice way of making the model look even more archaic, plus it also provides an element of improvisation to the armour, which I think is a great fit for World Eaters: Given their style of warfare, I think the legion should really be full of mix’n’match armour that has been patched together from everything that could be scavenged off the battlefield.

The next model I built further explored this angle, mainly staying with Mk. III parts, but swapping in a CSM torso piece:

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The one serious shortcoming of the new models is that, once again, we have to make do without dedicated CC weapon arms (the few that come with the squad’s sergeant notwithstanding), so I texperimented with getting around that limitation. My impression is that the Mk. III Marines are both harder and easier to turn into models armed with CC weapons than their Mk. IV brethren. Harder because it’s not as easy to just swap in alternate plastic arms — due to the bulk of the armour, you’ll lose the iconic Mk. III look. On the other hand, the segmented armour plates make it quite a bit easier to carefully cut the arms apart and repose them (like I did with a pair of bolter arms on the guy above).

And finally, I went a little more adventurous and built this guy:

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As you can see, he is wearing far more hybridised armour than his predecessors, which once again ties back to the kind of mongrel armour I’d imagine most of the World Eaters to be wearing partway through the heresy. Now I realise that many World Eaters players feel that those old berzerker arms are the bane of our existence, but the clunky look just really suits the whole Heresy-era World Eaters look and feel for me. It’s not an effect I’ll be using on every other model, but I do think this guy really reads as a World Eater.

All in all, I am pretty happy with my Mk. III experiments so far, yet I also think that there is still much fun to be had with the new parts!

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As a nice added bonus, these new models round out what will be my first tactical veteran squad, squad Bardolf. Here’s a look at the squad so far:

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So that means one model left to go for the squad, and the vexillarius, no less — I am still debating with myself over whether to go with the fairly low key, backpack-mounted vexilla that comes with the kit or go for a slightly more involved banner. The latter seems like a better fit for the World Eaters, but I am also planning a dedicated company standard bearer for the future, and I don’t want the squad vexillarii to overshadow that guy. Then again, I grew up with 2nd edition 40k where the guy with the banner mounted on his backpack was always the sergeant. Argh, choices…😉

 

 

And as a lucky coincidence, I also managed to finish yet another model that had been in construction for quite a while: The leftover Mk. III backpack from the heavy weapons guy was used on this World Eaters Praetor:

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The model is based on an Ivanus Enkomi body Augustus b’Raass sent me a while ago. I realise I must have shown the model to you before, but now I am finally happy with the setup: The new backpack provides precisely the dash of Heresy-era tech the model was still missing.

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This guy will be one of Lorimar’s Secutorii, a cadre of officers serving as a link between the Captain and the individual squad leaders:

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To make a long story short, I imagine those 30k World Eaters will be one of my big hobby projects in 2017. However, I still refuse to refer to the project as an actual army — yet…

And finally, before I wind up this post, something that doesn’t have anything to do with my World Eaters but very much factors into my experiments with the new Prospero plastics: Some of you may remember that I kitbashed a whole squad of those girls, back when there were no models available. And I wanted to experiment a bit with the new, “official” models vis-à-vis my own attempts from a couple of years ago. Here’s an initial comparison picture:

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The model on the left is the squadleader from my kitbashed Sisters of Silence. I am still pretty happy with the model, to be honest, even in the face of the new kit. On the right is one of the new, official models — and I think they share enough visual cues to keep the older model viable.

Even so, I wanted to experiment with this a bit more, so in an attempt to blur the edges between the two approaches, I used some leftover bits from the new Sisters (a head and a shoulder pad, to be precise) on another one of my kitbashed models to create something like a “missing link”:

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I rather like the result and think this avenue of kitbashing definitely warrants some further experimentation — here’s a comparison picture showing all three models so far:

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So yeah, the TL;DR version of this would be: It’s quite a lot of fun to mess around with those kits from The Burning of Prospero right now, even if I am taking it slow for now. Feel free to let me hear any feedback you might have!

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

Orkheim Ultraz: Don’t feed the troll, pt. 2

Posted in Blood Bowl, Conversions, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2016 by krautscientist

It’s been a rather long while since I have last talked about the Orkheim Ultraz, my Orc & Goblin team for Blood Bowl. And as luck would have it, I now have a new model to show, right around the same time that GW is putting their redesigned Blood Bowl starter box up for super-secret sneak-peek pre-order😉

This is no clever strategy on my part, however, but rather a bit of a happy accident, because I have wanted  to get today’s model painted up for ages — ever since I picked it up in a secondhand deal, back when my dear FLGS was still alive and kicking (*sniff*). I am referring to this guy:

Lucky purchase (2)
Most of my Orc Blood Bowl team was assembled using leftover models and bitz from an old WFB greenskin army project that never quite materialised. But while that gave me enough parts for most of the boyz, I needed a suitable model to serve as a big guy in the team. And I was fortunate enough to find the model you see above in the deal bin at my FLGS one day. The model was originally a part of the “Battle for Skull-Pass” starter set for Warhammer Fantasy:

skullpass-boxed-set

Made of only two parts, it’s a pretty cool (if slightly dated) example of the time when GW started to do really clever things with their snap-fit starter box models. At the same time, the troll also struck me as a brilliant base model for a Blood Bowl player: The pose is already perfect, and it only took a few orc armour plates to mock up some reasonably convincing football armour for him.

So anyway, to make a long story short: I’ve had this guy for years now, and when I recently sat down with my good friend Annie for a painting session, it was actually a matter of honour to finally complete the model (keep in mind that Annie was the one who got me involved in Blood Bowl in the first place).

I did some research online to decide on a general approach for painting the troll, but when the time came to actually get started, I surprised myself by going for a pretty spontaneous, fairly loose painting recipe. This made for a very entertaining painting session with lots of impromptu experimentation. At the same time, I also tried my best to both make the troll look suitably toadish and swamp-ish while also trying to maintain some visual coherency, in order to tie the model together with the rest of the team.

So here’s what I came up with:

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I am really happy with the finished model, and it’s a great feeling to have finally completed this particular piece. And even though the troll’s a fairly old model at this point, I still think he holds up rather well, to be honest. Here’s a comparison picture showing the troll next to one of my Black Orc Blockers and one of my Orc Blitzers:

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The photo shows the progression of skin tones and model sizes between the various team members, from the standard orcs to the bigger (and ever so slightly darker-skinned) Black Orcs. And there’s the troll, of course, serving as the biggest model in the team. Granted, he could be bigger, but I think the model has loads of character and makes for a perfect addition to my Orkheim Ultraz.

While the models are quite different in size and bulk, the dented and scratched red armour still manages to pull them together into a visually coherent theme. In fact, I really like the look of the finished team. So here are the Orkheim Ultraz in their 2016 incarnation:

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Back when I first started painting the army, some of the concepts and designs from the Blood Bowl video games really helped in developing the look for my team. And I think there’s a clear resemblance between my models and the look of the greenskins from the current Blood Bowl game — even if GW’s new models are arguably even closer to this particular look:

pc-blood-bowl-orc-team

Oh, and here’s the Orkheim Ultraz with their star-player, based on one of GW’s clamshell characters for WFB/Age of Sigmar:

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It is with a certain feeling of bemusement that I realise that this team might actually be the closest thing to an actually finished hobby project I have – at least where the last decade or so is concerned. And even so, I have ideas (and bitz) for at least half a dozen additional models knocking about, from two more Black Orc Blockers to some fans and a “Kit Git”. We’ll see…

Speaking of fans, however, let’s not forget the amazing Fan-Troll Annie created for my birthday two years ago:

Fan Troll (12)

Anyway, while I didn’t really plan to return to this project right in time for the new Blood Bowl, building and painting some models for the Orkheim Ultraz always provides a nice occasion to return to the more humorous side of GW’s intellectual properties. Plus it feels good to channel the spirit of the WFB greenskin army I could never finish every now and then😉

So that’s it for today. It goes without saying that I would love to hear any feedback you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

orkheim-ultraz-2016-3

The State of the Hunt — Week 45

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, state of the hunt, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 8, 2016 by krautscientist

So, like I said, I was at a conference last week, visiting the PLAY 16 festival at Hamburg and spending a couple of days in the city. I think I have mentioned previously that, in addition to being addicted to cutting up little plastic men, I am also a huge videogame nerd, and the subject also happens to factor into my professional background of working in the field of media literacy. So allow me to begin this week’s post with some comparatively off-topic rambling:

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PLAY is a festival dedicated to the artistic, creative and educational purposes and potentials of videogames, and this year’s subject was “Let’s get physical!”, so the various events, workshops and presentations dealt with the representation of bodies in games, ranging from the design of characters, archetypes and player avatars to the interactions between the game world and the player’s actual body, be it in the form of motion contol or even virtual and augmented reality. The festival was fascinating and fun, and certainly not short on highlights: For instance, I had the opportunity to try out Triangular Pixels’ VR game “Unseen Diplomacy”, which was a truly stunning experience — I hadn’t expected VR to be so, well, immersive at this comparatively early point!

Another highlight was the fact that the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG) is currently running a huge exhibition on the history of videogames, with many, many playable classics from 30+ years of gaming culture (I was appalled at how badly I was doing when playing OutRun on an actual vintage arcade cabinet). In addition to the actual games, the exhibition also features lots of concept artwork from modern classics like Shadow of the Colossus or Ico:

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I was particularly delighted when I discovered a whole wall of brilliant concept art from DoubleFine’s Psychonauts, a personal favourite of mine:

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So if you live anywhere near Hamburg or should find yourself visiting the city in the near future (or until the end of April 2017), and if you’re even the slightest bit interested in videogame culture, you should definitely check out the Game Masters exhibition! It’s very educational, but also great fun! Plus the museum also has many more exhibitions for you to discover, of course. I was sadly unable to check out the exhibits on Art Nouveau due to time constraints, for instance, so I might have to plan another visit soon…

Let me wind up this part of the post by showing you the room that housed the last workshop I participated in before travelling back home. This room is also located at the MKG and was once the cafeteria of German news magazine Der Spiegel:

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It also provided the perfect photo opportunity for getting material that should make for suitably psychedelic desktop backgrounds:

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Anyway, before we veer completely off course, rest assured that I did of course do something hobby related as well while I was in Hamburg: It goes without saying that I took the opportunity to drop by one of the local GW stores. Now what really impressed me was the level of painting on display at the store, courtesy of the staff and some regulars, so I snapped inspirational pictures left and right:

 

DISCLAIMER: This should be fairly obvious, really, but none of the following stuff is mine, and I don’t claim any kind of credit for it! If you should recognise one of your models and would like to be mentioned, just give me a holler and I’d be glad to edit your name into the post!

Anyway, my first port of call was this very awesome Khornate Daemon army painted by one of the store’s regulars:

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Possibly my favourite conversion was the Bloodslaughterer-based Soulgrinder:

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And while it wasn’t part of the same army, I also really love this slightly converted Maulerfiend:

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My favourite parts are the Bloodletters leading it to battle by a chain and that delicious brass recipe!

The biggest surprise was to discover something that I first considered to be a cool recreation of an iconic – and rather well-known – piece from the internet, but which almost certainly turned out to be the genuine article upon closer inspection:

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And because you can never have enough Inquisitor-scaled Astartes, there was also this beautiful 54mm Librarian (cheers to Inquisitor Mikhailovich for correcting that oversight!), based on the same vintage Captain Artemis:

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So yeah, brilliant stuff all around!

Of course I couldn’t leave the store without making a sizeable purchase. So yeah, this happened:

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The good folks at the store were nice enough to reserve their last copy of The Burning of Prospero for me, so there goes my next hobby year, I suppose😉

Seriously, though, I am pretty sure I’ll be talking about the contents of the box in more detail sooner rather than later. For now, suffice it to say that I am actually awestruck by the quality of the casts: GW’s plastic models have been rather spectacular for quite a while now, but it really seems as though each boxed set sets a new benchmark for crispness of detail. Very nice! You can also find my thoughts on the models contained in the boxed set here, should you have missed them.

 

Speaking of which, I actually kitbashed one particular model as a kind of preparation for the release of The Burning of Prospero, incidentally:

As you may already have noticed, I really enjoy building 30k versions of my 40k World Eaters characters. Now back when it didn’t look like I would ever create any 30k models of my own, fellow German hobbyist AgnostosTheos created a 30k (pre-interment) version of one of my characters, Khoron the Undying:

Pre Heresy (8)

In the 41st millennium, Khoron has been a Dreadnought for several millennia, yet he has also been an invaluable adviser to Lord Captain Lorimar since before the Heresy, as he was already a veteran of the 4th company even before Lorimar won his captaincy in the fighting pits.

Khoron actually already has quite a bit of backstory – at least somewhere in the back of my head – so I do have a pretty specific idea of what I want his model to look like. With that said. there’s a lot I still love about AgnostosTheos’ version (especially the lined face he chose, making Khoron look like a grizzled veteran), but it’s obvious the model doesn’t fit my World Eaters colour scheme, so instead of painting over AT’s paintjob, I thought this would be a good occasion to build an updated 30k version of Khoron. Now I see him as a hard-as-nails veteran of the legion, so I chose an archaic suit of armour for him — plus I had already heard rumours of the new boxed set at that time, so it seemed like a cool idea to give Mk. III a try:

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The model was created by combining World Eaters’ and Iron Hands’ parts (I loved the chainmail loincloth on the IH legs, so I just had to use them). The weapons have also swapped hands when compared with AT’s version, in order for the model to mimic Khoron’s eventual Dreadnought ironform. The model has only been tacked together for now, and I think Khoron will be needing some additional gear here and there, but by and large, I am already pretty happy with the new version. So here’s Khoron next to the previous version of the character:

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So yeah, that’s it for this week. It goes without saying that I would love to hear any thoughts you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

The State of the Hunt — Week 44

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, state of the hunt, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2016 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, I’ll be at a conferece for most of the week, so this week’s post is basically a recap of things I am currently working on. Hopefully you’ll still appreciate the glimpse at my chaotic workshop😉

I. Iron and mud

So first up, a small update regarding my ongoing work on my Call of Chaos vow: I already showed you a mostly completed Iron Warriors Apothecary directly after my recent vacation, but back then the model still needed a suitable base. And while I realise I have been taking my sweet time with this, I really wanted to make the base suitably interesting — I’ll let you be the judges as to whether or not I have suceeded with this.

So, without further ado, I give you Apothecary Phastos of the Iron Warriors:

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Like I said, I wanted to include a little “special effect” on the base, both to support the model’s narrative and because I had pledged this guy as a “trophied” model for The Iron Without, a small Iron Warriors centered sub-event over at The Bolter & Chainsword’s Chaos forum.  So I placed a fallen Imperial Fist at Phastos’s feet, trampled into the mud underfoot:

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What’s more, if you look really closely, you can see a telltale hole punched into the flex fitting covering the Astartes’ throat:

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It’s where Phastos has just used his Narthecium gauntlet to extract his fallen loyalist cousin’s geneseed. After all, the Iron Warriors have been known to use other legions’ geneseed to create new legionaries — in fact, this little nugget of lore is the reason for having an apothecary as one of the character archetypes feature in my Killteam in the first place!

Beyond the aspect of adding to the model’s narrative, the base was also a chance of trying my hand at a new technique for the first time, because the Imperial Fist was created using a mold and some GS. Now I certainly don’t want to go crazy about copying huge amounts of stuff, but I thought it might be an interesting tool to make certain effects easier to achieve, and having a “standard” fallen Astartes template would have been pretty useful, plus I wanted the profile of the fallen Marine to be pretty flat without having to shave down 5mm of plastic. So here’s a quick comparison shot showing the “master” for the fallen Marine, the mold I made and the finished base:

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Unfortunately, the experiment was only partially a success, because the GS Marine ended up slightly warped and with softer details than I would have liked. Granted, my pathologic lack of patience might have had something to do with it as well. Anyway, I thought the poor guy was still good enough for a base — I had to pull off all kinds of tricks, however, to suggest depth where none existed.

All in all, I really like the finished model, though: It immediately reads as an Iron Warrior, and the cold and implacable feel of the model is arguably underlined even further by the tiny amount of bare skin visible on Phastos’ face. Plus I like the sinister implications of an Iron Warriors’ Apothecary harvesting the geneseed of the legion’s fallen enemies…

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So regarding my Call of Chaos vow, this means two down, three to go😉
I didn’t stop there, however, but made some time to rebase the other two power armoured Iron Warriors I had built and painted last year:

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I briefly considered leaving the guy on the left on his original base, seeing how he was just an early tester and will never be anything more, but in the end, it was only one more base, and I did go through the trouble of touching up the hazard stripes and decals on him when I painted the first “new” Iron Warriors last year, so it would have felt kinda wishy-washy to stop there😉

The champ really profits from the added breathing space, though:

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The whole business of rebasing these guys also led to the discovery of a very effective and quick recipe for duing muddy bases: Just cover the base in Vallejo’s Sandy Paste for a cery convincing surface texture, spraypaint with Chaos Black (once the paste has dried), cover with an even coat of Vallejo Charred Brown (or any suitably brackish colour you like, really) and finish the base by coating it in gloss varnish — done!

While I was at it, I also snapped some new pictures of Warsmith Greimolt Sturm:

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So yeah, that’s the whole (albeit small) IV Legion collection I own so far:

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II. What’s in a name…?

Some of you probably still remember the models I painted for the ETL V event earlier this year: Among those models was a converted Kastelan Robot turned into an engine of destruction by the 4th assault company’s Master of the Forge, Lord Deracin.

However, back when I painted the model, I did not yet have a detailed idea about its possible background, and the poor guy didn’t even have a name. Thanks to the suggestions of my readers, however, this sad state of affairs is now at an end: Thanks to the suggestion of Llamahead, the converted Kastelan henceforth belongs to the “Confractura-pattern”. Now my Latin has grown a bit rusty, but I understand Confractura means “Breach” — which seems like a rather apt designation, given the fact that the robot is wielding a massive hammer😉

But wait, there’s more: Thanks to an exchange of ideas, the machine also has an excellent little background vignette telling its story, courtesy of fellow hobbyist Inquisitor Mikhailovich (cheers, buddy!). Enjoy:

Khornate Kastelan conversion (11)
Brazenskull, “The Crimson Destroyer”, Confractura-pattern battle Automaton

Monger had been proud of the weapon.

The fact that the task of restoring such an ancient and powerful relic had been entrusted to him was, in his mind, a higher honour than even his elevation to the Deathwatch had been. If anything exceeded his elation at receiving the task, it had been his pride at his success.

Monger knew that becoming an Astartes, for all the honour it represented, was to be denied many of the emotions experienced by mortal humans, and yet when the machine finally woke from its eons long slumber for the first time, when it took its first halting steps after millennia of inaction, his joy was not entirely unlike what a proud parent might feel. And when its updated combat protocols first outclassed those of the combat servitors he tested it against, his was not only the pride of a tutor, but also the terrifying satisfaction that only an engineer of death could feel.

When it took to the battlefield for the first time, he felt a mix of all those emotions, as the child of his mind shredded Tyranic opponents for the first time on the plains of Ter’notha. On Veldictus it proved its worth when it routed the Cleansers of Ladon renegade Astartes in less than three days, tirelessly and furiously forcing them into retreat. When it finally fell against the monstrous World Eaters and could not be recovered, it had been mourned as a brother.

Now, however, the Tech-Marine felt an odd mixture of pride and, utter disgust. His machine had survived, exactly as he had planned it to. He recognised its reactions, its movements and attacks, even if its outer form had been terribly warped: Something had corrupted its noble adamantine shell. Like the Prodigal Son of legend, it had turned against its father.

The Marine braced himself as the machine charged him, sheathing his weapons and slaving his Servo-Arms to his mostly biological ones for enhanced speed. He barked curt orders to the Marines behind him – Wrecker, Pyro, Bookworm, and Archangel – his usual fiery voice replaced with the cold, hard steel one would expect from an agent of the Omnissiah. They obediently fanned out, retreating ever so slightly.

Monger met his creation head on, clamping his mag-boot and bionic foot to the Necrontyr living metal beneath him. With flawless timing he clamped the rampaging machine’s powerfist in one Servo-Arm, its new and unrecognisable hammer arm in the other.

Like a giant contesting a god, he forced it to slow its charge.

He adjusted his grip so as to crush the smaller and more vulnerable wrist of its right hand, forcing it to drop the hammer.

“I would know how to bring you down better than anyone. Next time, don’t be so foolish as to attack me,” he spat, angrily, before calling into the Vox, “Wrecker! I need you and Archangel to coordinate a volley on the head, explosive shells, plasma discharge oh-point-six seconds ahead of frag cannon fire, three rounds, fourth with armour penetrating rounds. Pyro, disable the powerfist with your melta, Bookworm, try and knock out the leg servos. Fire!”

The squad’s weaponry was in motion before he’d even finished delivering the command.

The automaton’s head jerked to one side and Monger’s optics flared, trying desperately to make visual sense of the fireworks display happening less than two metres away. His right arm and slaved Servo-Arm slipped forward as the weapon they had clutched was expertly disintegrated from between its servo driven claws, and the machine fell to one knee, then both, held up by the one Servo-Arm that still gripped it.

Monger deactivated his direct control over the right Servo-Arm, returning it to a storage position, and drew his relic combi-melta. Without a word, he placed the barrel against the shattered remains of the machine’s featureless faceplate, and pulled the trigger, obliterating its entire head. Then he relinquished his grip entirely, letting the broken automaton fall to the ground.

He turned to his squad and silently gestured for them to move out before returning to the machine. He rolled it over onto its back and, pressing one hand to its chest, uttered a prayer, commending its machine spirits to the Omnissiah.

Then, without another backwards glance, he followed his squad. There were wars to be fought, and this was no longer one of them.

 

***

Huntmaster Deracin dropped to one knee with a snarl of servo-joints and the clinking sound of chains, taking in the mechanical corpse of the Crimson Destroyer before him, as the robed Forge Adepts scurried around him, beginning to search the scrap metal for salvageable components.
This was the work of a Tech-Marine. The damage to the right arm showed marks that could only have been left by a Servo-Arm, so that much was obvious. The head and left arm had been shorn off cleanly, obviously by a melta weapon, and the small craters at the knees were evidence of precision bolter fire, no doubt.

What little remained of Deracin’s organic features drew into a smile, even as his augmetic eye surveyed the destruction, a cold and detached part of his mind already taking stock of the damage and plotting out the necessary repairs. The Loyalists were always so hasty to pronounce a machine dead. But no, this one’s hunt was far from over.

One of Deracin’s clawed servo-arms brought the automaton’s cracked faceplate in front of his face, and his smile turned into a wolfish grin. This is where he would start. The test runs so far had been promising, but the conversion process would only be truly completed once the machine was granted a new face, in honour of its new master. He would craft a new visage for it, one that would remind the Loyalists that he was not so easily bested.

A face in the image of death itself.

 

III. Ooops, I did it again…

Before I wind up this post, allow me to share one last sneak peek at the latest conversion I am working on: This last weekend, I felt the need to build something, and I still had that free Slaughterpriest from WD knocking about, so this happened:

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As some of you may already suspect, this will become yet another homemade version of Angron — whatever obsession with the Lord of the XII legion fellow hobbyist Reg is suffering from, I seem to have been infected with it as well!

Anyway, I am going for a model inspired by this piece of artwork from the late, great Wayne England:

Angron by Wayne England

Angron by Wayne England

Since I already have the stock Forgeworld model wielding Gorefather and Gorechild, it made sense to go for a version with the two-handed axe that appears so often in the classic artwork, such as the one shown above, but also in what is probably the oldes sketch showing Angron by none other than the legendary John Blanche:

Angron by John Blanche

Angron by John Blanche

The “winged” axe is also a part of my Daemon-Primarch version of Angron, as you will probably remember, so this should make for a nice visual shout out.

The model is still a very, very early WIP at this point, however, so it’ll be a while before we can consider this chap finished. But in any case, it seems like my series on building various incarnations of Angron will have to turn into a “quadtych”, after all — is that even a word…?

 

So yeah, I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s look at my desk! I would of course love to hear any feedback you may have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Get out of my head, dammit! A closer look at The Burning of Prospero

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Custodes, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2016 by krautscientist

First of all, forgive me for being phenomenally lazy over the last two weeks, dear readers — or rather, I wasn’t really being lazy but rather focusing my attention elsewhere (on the job, as it stands — YAY!). But it’s now time to return to the world of blogging, and what better occasion than to address the very obvious elephant in the room: GW’s second Horus Heresy boxed kit, The Burning of Prospero:

burning-of-prospero-release-1Prospero has been dangled in front of Horus Heresy aficionados’ noses for quite a while now, and now GW performs a fearsome one-two-punch, turning the occasion into its own boxed set with dedicated rules — and lots and lots of delicious new little plastic men. Interestingly enough, the box seems to be continuing some of Betrayal at Calth’s most successful parts (i.e. giving us Horus Heresy Astartes in multi-part plastic) while also shaking up the formula in other respects (making the HQ models far less generic and adding shiny stuff like the Custodian Guard and the Sisters of Silence). So anyway, it has been a while since the last review, so let’s relish this occasion and use it as an excuse to take a closer look at the models as well as the possible conversion opportunities!

Before we begin, however, allow me to point you towards Wudugast’s article regarding The Burning of Prospero as a possible companion piece to this post. I’ve only skimmed his post so far, mostly for fear of ending up stealing some of his ideas and observations, but it seems like he raises some excellent points, and I know I am already looking forward to reading the whole thing, once my own post has gone up😉

So let us start with the two HQ models that come in the box: Once again, we get one commander for each side. Now while Betrayal at Calth chose the route of actually naming the characters and giving them background while keeping the models themselves generic to the point of blandness, The Burning of Prospero goes the exact opposite way and opens up with one of the 30k and 40k universes’ big names:

 

Ahzek Ahriman, Chief-Librarian of the Thousand Sons

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Now that was quite a surprise, wasn’t it? Ahriman’s definitely the first major 30k character to be given a plastic incarnation, and I think Maxime Pastourel (aka Morbäck) has done a wonderful job with the model: The armour and detailing are very close representations of several pieces of Horus Heresy artwork, giving you the idea that, yes, this is definitely Ahriman! The blank faceplate is a bit of an acquired taste, but in all fairness, it has been part of the art for quite a while now, so it’s definitely an accurate representation. The engravings and symbols on Ahriman’s armour speaks of the Thousand Sons’ dabblings in sorcery while not overcluttering the model. And I really love how the flowing robes lend motion and dynamism to what is otherwise a rather static pose.

Of course with an important character like this, it’s also important to compare the 30k and 40k versions — and at first glance, there is very little resemblance between Maxime’s 30k Ahriman and Jes Goodwin’s classic 40k Ahriman:

40k_ahrimanHowever, upon closer examination, it’s interesting to see how several elements of the 30k model do seem like a shout out to Jes Goodwin’s model: Maxime himself explains in the current issue of WD how the curved crest behin Ahriman’s head was included to mirror the horns curving from the 40k version’s helmet — and a similar thing can be said about his Heka staff, as the curve of its blade seems to subtly echo the curvature of the horns atop 40k Ahriman’s staff.  The stole around Ahriman’s neck also mirrors a similar item on 40k Ahriman, and it’s fun how the wind seems to be blowing in the opposite direction on both models, respectively😉

Beyond those visual connections, it’s also fun to compare what is different about the models, however, as there seems to be quite a bit of visual storytelling there: 30k Ahriman is all clean lines and lofty ideals, while 40k Ahriman seems like the quintessential, crooked and corrupt Chaos Sorcerer (much as he himself would probably deny any such notions). Looking at both models beautifully illustrates how far the character has fallen! It’ll be interesting to see whether a possible new 40k version of Ahriman manages to keep the same sense of narrative…

So yeah, I think this guy is pretty great! Anything else? I think that fallen Space Wolf on the base is a rather beautiful touch. And that might just be the best casting hand we have seen so far from GW — job’s a good ‘un!

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Geigor Fell-Hand of the Space Wolves

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Ahriman’s direct opponent for the game is Geigor Fell-Hand of the Space Wolves, and while he’s a beautiful model in his own right, I don’t think he can quite keep up with his Thousand Sons counterpart. First of all, it would have seemed more plausible from a story perspective to include Othere Wyrdmake, seeing how he’s both an already established character AND Ahriman’s nemesis of sorts. But I imagine that would have messed with the game’s premise (sorcery vs. good, honest close combat), so we get a CC monster instead😉

Now there are many things I like about the model: The artificer armour is definitely a thing of beauty! The shoulder pads are particularly noteworthy, in my opinion: The left one looks deliciously customised while the right one actually shows a Rogue Trader-era style legion badge — brilliant!

In spite of the model’s strong parts, I do have two gripes about Geigor: One, I think the model is too “Space Viking” by a long shot, especially since the Horus Heresy novels (Prospero Burns, in particular) have been doing such a good job so far of selling the wolves as something more interesting than mere generic viking types. And now here comes Geigor, in full Space-Viking regalia — poor guy must not have gotten the memo…

In fairness, I think this problem could be solved in part by making a few minor tweaks and ommissions: That back banner needs to go, if you ask me, and the claw seems a bit over-designed to me.

In fact, that’s my second gripe: I get how the designers wanted this guy to read as a close combat monster, but the combination of a massive lightning claw and a combat knife just seems off to me, somehow, especially in combination with the slightly wonky poses of the arms. I think a pair of claws or a massive sword and knife would have been excellent options, respectively, but the setup we are getting here just seems like a bit of a compromise. I remember that this guy was rumoured to be Bjorn the Fell-Handed, back when the first rumours of the boxed set surfaced, and his equipment would have made lots of sense in that light. But it seems like GW chickened out and turned him into yet another super-important character that we have never heard about — and in that case, a different combination of weapons would have worked better, if you ask me.

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Don’t get me wrong, though: Geigor’s still a beautiful model that should work well both in 30k and 40k armies. He’s just not as good as Ahriman😉

 

Tartaros Terminators

burning-of-prospero-release-7Getting a full squad of plastic multi-part Cataphractii out of the deal was one of the most pleasant surprises about Betrayal at Calth — and now the new boxed set follows suit and gives us a squad of the other iconic heresy-era pattern of Terminator armour. And it seems like GW’s sculptors have once again done a good job of recreating the design in plastic, at least where the amount of detail is concerned.

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Now I have to admit I am not a big fan of the Tartaros pattern, but that’s just me. Even so, I cannot help wondering whether these are actually a bit clunkier and more angular than their resin cousins. In any case, I do think the models end up looking a bit silly if the shoulder pads are placed too low, however. Just check out this guy:

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Beyond those observations, it looks like the kit comes with just as much customisation as the Cataphractii — and we even get some choom out of the deal!😉 I also like the extra detail on the sergeant’s armour, which is something I would have loved to see on the Cataphractii as well!

All in all, this is another rock solid plastic rendition of heresy armour, and I imagine many people will be really happy with these guys! My lack of appreciation for the general design of the armour means I am not perfectly sold — but I do think the plastic Tartaros Terminators provide some excellent conversion fodder. But we’ll be getting to that in a minute…

 

Tactical Marines in Mk. III “Iron” armour

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Where the regular Astartes are concerned, the inclusion of plastic Mk. III armour is actually the most exciting part of the boxed set for me! Iron armour is possibly my favourite heresy era armour mark — even moreso than Mk. IV. There’s just something about the very archaic look of the armour and the added mass that’s immensely appealing to me for some reason — maybe it’s the fact that the heavyset Mk. III armour captures the massive, archaic feeling of the classic Wayne England Horus Heresy artwork like nothing else?

Anyway, these guys look great as a squad, and it’s cool that they are getting the whole tactical squad treatment (with all the options that entails) once more. Granted, though: If you are not into Space Marines, then this is just the umpteenth tactical squad — but then I guess you wouldn’t exactly be this boxed set’s chief target demographic, either😉

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While the basic options and additional weapons are just like what we got with the Betrayal at Calth Mk. IV Marines, there are some additional tweaks that I appreciate: The models come with yet another bolter design (the Phobos pattern) that’s arguably a great fit for the archaic armour and makes for greater visual variety. And we get some chain swords for the Marines to wear at their hips, whoch is nice — and arguably a bit cooler than the somewhat bland combat knives. Maybe next time, we can get some actual chain sword arms, though? Thank you very much!😉

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The armour design itself seems to have been tweaked ever so slightly during its transition to plastic: The back of the backpack seems to have streamlined a bit, for once. There have been some tweaks to the helmet design. The shape seems ever so slightly different, especially towards the back of the helmet. And the main difference is that the eyes – formerly just eye holes, really – have been turned into actual helmet lenses that can be painted. This definitely makes sense, but the look it creates needs some getting used to.

burning-of-prospero-release-12On the other hands, GW sweetens the deal by giving us several subtly different helmet designs, which is definitely appreciated.

Much as I love the design of the armour, however, my earlier criticism from the Betrayal at Calth release applies once more: Why not include some CC weapon arms (which would have made even more sense given the “physical power vs. sorcery” vibe of the whole game) and leave those to FW upgrade kits? I would have loved to finally see some close combat arms on a wider scale, especially with a kit that is otherwise so big on options and customisability.

Apart from this one piece of criticism, however, the Mk. III Marines are one of my favourite parts of the boxed set, and I can hardly wait to get my hands on them!

 

Custodian Guard & Sisters of Silence

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Right, if you had told me one year ago that we would be seeing plastic Custodes and Sisters of Silence in an upcoming Horus Heresy boxed set, I would probably have laughed long and hard and called you a wishlister of the highest order. And yet, here they are. Of course their inclusion makes sense from a background perspective — seriously, though: I would rather have expected them to be releaed as resin models.

Of course the recently released Deathwatch Watch Captain served as a fair warning, what with wielding a Guardian Spear and all — I was actually going to suggest using him as the base for a Custodes conversion. Clever, GW, very clever😉

The Custodes in particular have long been a bit of a holy grail for many hobbyists (myself included), and the attempt to recreate them in model for has spawned many awesome armies — with Dave Taylor’s seminal Custodes army being first among them, of course. All the more reason, then, to take a close look at the models:

 

Custodian Guard

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“Oh, right, now I understand: That’s what GW kept doing all those golden Age of Sigmar dudes for: They were merely test runs for the inception of plastic Custodes…”😉

And, funnily enough, just when we thought we couldn’t stand any more huge golden dudes, GW gives us plastic Custodians — I wonder whether or not the irony behind it all was intended😉

In spite of never appearing in model form so far, the Custodes have a fairly well-documented history, with quite a few depictions in the Horus Heresy art. Many of the most iconic illustrations featuring the Emperor’s bodyguard were part of the Horus Heresy trading card game and subsequently appeared in the collected Horus Heresy artbooks. Such as this piece:

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I think it’s really astonishing how much of the visual splendour of the Custodian armour appearing in the image above has been faithfully reproduced on the actual models, from the iconic helmet design to the small details of the armour:

burning-of-prospero-release-15I also really like how the armour seems decidedly unlike standard Astartes power armour, thanks to its very different lines, integrated backpack/reactor etc.

What’s more, you may not like those massively clunky bolt-pistol swords, internet, but if nothing else, there’s a precedent for them in the classic HH artwork, and they are just as clunky there:

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The shout outs to the artwork don’t stop there, however: In his aforementioned post, Wudugast points out how much the bare head included with the kit resembles the various depictions of Constantin Valdor, Captain-General of the Legio Custodes:

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All of this makes it seem like GW’s designers have really gone above and beyond in the attempt to do these guys justice and make them resemble the classic artwork as much as possible.

Even so, I will say that – beyond the sheer surprise of these guys being featured as part of a boxed set, and in plastic, no less – I did have to warm to the Custodes models for a number of reasons:

First up, they seemed so big and clunky to me: Sure, so many of the elements from the classic artwork have been expertly reproduced in model form, including the contoured armour that separates them from regular Astartes, but they still felt so massive to me at first glance, when some of the old artwork rather suggested something more lithe and elegant:

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Of course John Blanche’s style is always rather open to interpretation, and the actual models usually end up looking fairly different, but there are also different pieces of art that have the Custodians look powerful, but in a rather elegant way. Just check out the guys on the far right in the picture below:

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The actual models seem incredibly massive, however. Especially so in certain configurations:

burning-of-prospero-release-16At the same time, I have come to like the bigger scale when compared to regular Astartes: Sure, it seems a bit strange at first, but the Custodians really should be between an Astartes and a Primarch in size — just imagine how stupid they would look surrounding the Emperor otherwise😉

Still, the added mass takes some getting used to. But even as I write this, I can feel myself liking the models more and more. So I don’t think it’s much of an issue.

The other gripe I have doesn’t seem quite as substantial, admittedly, but it just keeps bothering me: Why are the Custodes models lacking any kind of robes or capes? This feels like a pretty baffling design choice on GW’s part, because if you look at the various pieces of artwork above, the crimson robes and capes seem as emblematic of the Custodes as their Guardian spears and their iconic helmets. Yet they are completely missing on the models, not even showing up on the Shield-Captain.

Now I do realise that this probably has something to do with technical issues and/or the way the models are assembled — but come on, these models are so spectacularly detailed, and you have gone out of your way to feature elements from the artwork. So how hard could it have been to add some (optional) capes on the sprue?

To add insult to injury, the Custodian appearing on the pictures of FW’s new antigrav tank even sports an added cape:

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Looks like I’ll have to source some plastic capes, then — any suggestions?😉

Of course having Custodes available in plastic also carries a bit of a bittersweet taste for me: After all, I happily kitbashed together a small Custodes army a couple of years ago, and I think I had a pretty good recipe as well:

Custodes (2b)
Custodian Squad (2)

Custodes army Teaser Shot
And these guys have now obviously been rendered rather irrelevant by the new models — bugger!😉 I really only have myself to blame, though, as my last models for the army were painted back in 2013 — I should have been faster!

All in all, these guys have grown on me quite a bit — and to actually see them as what looks like a multi-part plastic kit still seems kind of unreal to me. What’s more, the amount of detail on the various parts of the kit is really rather outstanding, and I imagine playing around with the bitz should be quite a bit of fun. Sure, the swords are too big (even if they are accurate), but at least we get a full set of Guardian Spears, so that’s not much of a problem. It really is a shame about those missing capes, though…

 

Sisters of Silence

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Where the Custodes depart from the artwork in some rather surprising ways, the Sisters of Silence seem like a perfect representation of the various pieces of artwork from the Horus Heresy artbooks: The design of the armour, the iconic weapon and facemasks, and the weapons wielded by the various squads in the artwork: all accounted for.

In addition to this, it’s always a treat to see some additional female models, and the Sisters of Silence are an especially welcome breath of fresh air in between all those bulky killing machines in the boxed set!

Another thing I really like about the models is that they feature all of the weapon loadouts we have seen in the art so far, allowing for swords as well as bolters, which is a very nice option to have (and also adds even more possible conversion parts).

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Oh, and that Sister Superior ist just a stunning model — it’s going to take all of my (almost nonexistent) willpower to resist the temptation to convert her into an Inquisitrix…

Incidentally, a squad of kitbashed Sisters of Silence were part of my Custodes project as well, although I’d argue they are still close enough to the new models to actually still work once painted:

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Do I see any negative points about the Sisters? I think some of the hair looks ever so slightly unnatural — but that’s not a huge problem and should be easy enough to sort out. In closing, let me just state the obvious, though: If GW can do these, they can do plastic Sisters of Battle. Just sayin’…

 

conversion options:

So much for the models, but what about possible conversions? I think the boxed set provides us with lots and lots of promising bitz and opportunities. Let me just outline some initial ideas for you:


Ahriman

I think the model could easily be turned into your own, customised Thousand Sons Librarian or even Praetor, for that matter: Just a head and/or an arm swap, and you are there. By the same token, he would work really well as a Chaos Space Marine Sorcerer in 40k: His armour is just ornate enough to work, and adding some spikes, trophies and chaotic symbols as well as a suitably chaotic staff and head shouldn’t be a huge challenge.

Geigor Fell-Hand
Like Ahriman, it should be easy enough to turn him into a custom Praetor with a new head, new arms or what have you. It’s also important to point out that the thing I consider the model’s biggest weakness (his over-the-top Space Wolfiness) is what makes him a great fit for a 40k Space Wolves army.
Given the amount of detail on his armour, I think it would be pretty difficult to convert him into a member of another legion. However, I might eventually try to turn him into a member of my Traitor Wolves. We’ll see…

Tartaros Terminators

I am pretty sure we can look forward to all kinds of crazy kitbashing involving these guys, especially if it comes to recombining existing parts to create new (or customised) marks of Terminator armour.
Possibly the most interesting thing about the models, however, is how they provide excellent parts for true-scale conversions! My first true-scale Marine, Praetor Janus Auriga, uses Tartaros legs, and they work really well for true-scale Marines because there are few visual cues that actually make them read as Terminator legs, making for very uncomplicated conversions. By the same token, I have seen some very convincing true-scale conversions making use of Tartaros torso pieces, so I definitely think that true-scalers across the blogosphere will appreciate these new toys. For instance, I can hardly wait for Apologist to get his hands on these guys…😉

Mk III Marines

It’s easy to imagine how versatile a tool these will become for Space Marine players — after all, they should work great in both 30k and 40k, and it’s easy enough to mix and match with all of those plastic parts now available. This is great because it allows for extra flavour in your Space Marine army, regardless of which legion you are playing. It also means that you can now create a plastic Horus Heresy Astartes army without having to rely on a single armour mark for most of the models. What’s more, mixing different parts will lead to a more improvised, ragtag appearance that would be a great fit for specific legions (yes, World Eaters, I am looking at you!😉 )

I also love the fact that the Mk. III Marines would arguably work really well for Chaos Space Marines as well: The added detail and mass make them look just archaic and sinister enough, and some legions immediately come to mind —  such as the Death Guard, Iron Warriors or World Eaters.

Man, I really want to get started on those guys…

Custodian Guard

Well, these would be great fíf you wanted to build a suitably massive Inquisitor, of course, but I am pretty certain that we are going to start seeing actual Custodians appear in INQ28 and Necromunda games, especially if they happen to be set on Terra😉
Beyond that, I am already considering using leftover Custodian parts to turn some of those Sigmarines into yet more Custodians — this should be interesting! And finally, those very same leftover parts should make for excellent conversion fodder for Space Marines and Inquisitorial retinues alike — those shields alone are almost worth it! Invictarii, Breachers or Honour Guard, anyone…?

Sisters of Silence

I predict a bright future for the Sisters of Silence models, especially among converters and the INQ28 crowd: Additional female models are always a much-appreciated resource, and it looks like the new sisters could be the legitimate heirs to the female Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors and Wyches when it comes to building female assassins, death cultists and Inquisitorial operatives. Beyond that, like I said, the Sister Superior looks like she would make a teriffic base model for an Inquisitrix. And if you have already given up hope that GW will ever release plastic Sisters of Battle, then these girls might be your final way out😉

 

So what’s the final verdict? Back when Betrayal af Calth was realised, my main criticism was the generic look of the models: I realised that this choice arguably ensured that the box would have a wide appeal to more people, but the lack of character still felt like a problem, especially with regard to the HQ models. The Burning of Prospero addresses this criticism, giving us squads that are once again generic enough so as to be useful to everyone, while imbuing the HQ characters with a lot of character. And then they added some of the most eagerly awaited Horus Heresy troop types on top of it all in a move that seems to have been plucked from the big all time wish-list in the back of my head — well played, GW, well played indeed!

With regard to the Horus Heresy setting at large, I think the writing’s definitely on the wall now: GW seemingly wants to move the Astartes squads to plastic and leave the special upgrade kits and characters to Forgeworld. At the same time, we have now seen the first important character in plastic, and we have proof that the Daemon-Primarchs (or at least one of them) will be produced as plastic kits. So I think we can expect a sizeable part of the future Horus Heresy output to be produced by GW proper (and in plastic) at this point, and I applaud that choice. I realise that not everyone is quite as enthusiastic as me about this change, since many hobbyists seem to fear a sellout of the setting (to that I say: No shit, Sherlock😉 ) or a decline in quality. But if the boxed sets are anything to go by, I do not think there’s that much to fear.

If anything, it’ll be interesting to see what comes next: Additional armour marks in plastic? More named characters as clamshell versions? And let’s not forget the Custodes and Sisters of Silence: I feel myself being drawn back to that one massive piece of classic artwork time and time again:

legio-custodes-artwork-6

This hints at additional troop types, such as Terminators and jetbikes, to name just a few. And with the models we have now so clearly inspired by classic artwork, the obvious question is: What if this is just the beginning…?

Wishlisting aside, though: What we have here is another very tempting Horus Heresy starter box. And how does the new box compare to Betrayal at Calth? I think that, between the two, Betrayal at Calth is still arguably the better “starter kit”: The contents are a bit less exciting, but also slightly more useful. That being said, the new box still seems like a more refined sequel: If Betrayal of Calth was the teriffic proof of concept, The Burning of Prospero is GW’s pièce de résistance — at least for now…

 

So what’s your take on the new boxed set? What do you like or hate about the new models? And do you have any conversion ideas you would like to share? I would love to hear from you in the comments section!

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

The State of the Hunt — Week 40

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, state of the hunt, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2016 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, just a teeny tiny update for today, as I’ve just returned home from a little seaside vacation. I spent most of this week gazing out to sea and contemplating life in general and a couple of new hobby projects in particular.

seaside

Unfortunately, none of those proceedings make for particularly interesting blog content so far — bugger!

But wait, I do have something to show you, after all: Because I managed to start on the second model of my Call of Chaos vow before heading out to the Eastern-Frisian isles😉

So here’s model number two, mostly finished except for a proper base: My Iron Warriors Apothecary:

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As I’ve explained in my last post, this guy was usually built as part of a possible Iron Warriors Killteam, and I am pretty happy that the Call of Chaos event now provides me with the incentive to get back to this small gaiden project! I rather like the Iron Warriors I have converted so far, because while they are not true scale, I would refer to them as “true scope”, in that they are quite massive and very detailed, carrying lots of gear and weaponry. This makes them look like true veterans of the Long War, which I think is a pretty good fit for this particular legion!

Here are the models I have so far for the Killteam:

iron-warriors-killteam-wip-2
Judging by the actual Killteam rules, the Terminator Lord in the back will be surplus to requirements, but he really was my proof of concept model to test the waters.  Now the next step will be to finish the Apothecary’s (32mm) base and to rebase the two guys on the left on the new, bigger bases, while I am at it. And then I think I’ll ultimately return to this project and add another two or three members (two have already been built, check them out here).

So yeah, it’s not much, but that’s all I have for you today🙂

I would love to hear any feedback you might have. Regular service will resume next week. Until then, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

iron-warriors-killteam-wip-4

The State of the Hunt — Week 39

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, state of the hunt, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2016 by krautscientist

And so, here’s another post dealing with ongoing projects. With the second issue of the new White Dwarf just having arrived on my doorstep earlier today and with the recent release of Genestealer Cults as a dedicated faction, it’ll sure be time to take a closer look at GW’s current shenanigans, but for now, you’ll have to deal with my own hobby activities — bugger😉 I’ll try to make it worth your while, though!

 

I. Finally making the headlines!

 

I was rather surprised earlier this week to find out one of my models had actually made the cover of the latest issue of The Golden D6, a very cool hobby mag I talked about a while ago. Yet there he is, Lord Captain Lorimar, right in the spot of honour:

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As I have already told you earlier, the mag is an excellent read for people who are yearning for the kind of broad hobby reading exemplified by the back issues of White Dwarf, so the surprise was very much a welcome one! What’s more, I have a two-part series about enhancing miniature photos (based on this blog post) in issue 6 and 7, so all the more reason to finally check out the mag in more detail! Head over to The Golden D6 website in order to find out more — Adam is also offering a cool bundle deal for the early issues.

II. Heeding the call…once again

After a pretty successful recent ETL V event over at The Bolter & Chainsword, I’ve already thrown myself into the next hobby event hosted by the forum, as a part of a long-term strategy to try and make a dent in my sizeable backlog of unpainted stuff. So I’ve joined this year’s Call of Chaos IX, pledging to complete the following models before December 15th:

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  • a winged Daemon Prince of Khorne with a decidedly gladiatorial look. More about him can be found here.

gladiatorial-daemon-prince-of-khorne-wip

  • an Iron Warriors Apothecary that I originally built as part of an attempt to create a small Iron Warriors kill team — a project I would like to re-invigorate, now that kill teams are actually a thing once more!iron-warriors-apothecary-wip
  • a massive Flesh Hound conversion, originally built last year:giant-flesh-hound-wip-3
  • The excellent Khornate Chaos Lord converted for as a gift from fellow hobbyist BrotherJim: 

    Model converted by BrotherJim

    Model converted by BrotherJim

  • And finally, something special, seeing how this year’s Call of Chaos is actually Tzeentch-themed. Now Tzeentch has always been the least-appealing Chaos God to me, from a visual perspective: I am just not into all the abstract and OTT mutation stuff😉
    But I did have a pretty nifty idea for a Tzeentchian contribution to my vow: My very own version of Iskandar Khayon, viewpoint character of Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s novel “The Talon of Horus”. Now here’s how Khayon is pictured in the book’s limited edition artwork:iskandar-khayon

    Already pretty cool! But I did feel the need to make some minor tweaks to the concept to make the actual model match my mental image of the character even more closely. So here’s what I came up with:

    iskandar-khayon-wip-1
    iskandar-khayon-wip-2

Now Khayon and BrotherJim’s Chaos Lord are new models, but the bigger part of my vow consists of models that were built last year. So I hope to finally get these stragglers finished for good! Like I said, all of these models will have to be completed before December 15th, so wish me luck! As it happens, I have already made some good progress on my vow, however, because the first model has already been finished…

 

III. The Dog of War

I decided to start my Call of Chaos activities with the giant Flesh Hound conversion:

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Now the model does have its minor kinks, mostly because it was assembled from a collection of wildly disparate parts, but I am still very fond of it, so I was really looking forward to getting it painted!

My tweaked skin recipe for Khornate daemons turned out to be super-effective once again, although this time around, although I chose to supplement it with some further tweaks taken from another one of Duncan Rhodes’ excellent video tutorials. So after a short time, the biggest part of the model was finished:

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From here on out, all that was left to do was some detail work and the paintjob for the base. Regarding the base, I didn’t want to go completely overboard this time, but I thought the daemon doggie deserved something a bit more elaborate than your rank and file daemon, so I built a base with yet another fallen Astartes:

Giant Flesh Hound's base WIP
Now the special effect this time around was the inclusion of the Astartes’ broken ribs sticking out from his shattered torso. I realise that Space Marine ribs are supposed to be fused together into something like a ossified armour plate, but I chose to have the Rule of Cool trump background lore this time around😉

When it came to painting the base, I chose Ultramarine colours once again, mostly to get even more routine painting the XII legion for when I tackle the rest of Daemon-Angron’s display base😉

So here’s the finished base, blood and all:

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And, without further ado, here’s Fido:

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I also took a picture of the giant Flesh Hound with one of my recently painted Bloodletters, allowing you to compare both the scale of the model as well as the skin tones:

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I am happy to see this guy finished at long last — and now I really can’t wait for GW to release some decent plastic Flesh Hounds, following the same design as the hound accompanying their Khorgos Khul model. I really want a squad of flesh hounds, and they would be super-fluffy for my army — but there’s just no way I am going to purchase those terribly clunky Finecast models…

Anyway: One down, four to go!

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IV. In closing…

Here’s one last thing I would like to share with you today: A picture I took a while ago, showing all the models I have managed to paint so far this year:

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It’s missing my gladiatorial Angron conversion as well as the Flesh Hound, but it’s still a cool little picture, wouldn’t you agree? Only 24 models, all in all, but I am still pretty happy with my output so far — and the year’s not over either!

 

So let me hear any feedback you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!