On the road to Heresy…?

Posted in Conversions, Pointless ramblings, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2015 by krautscientist

After taking an in depth look at the Betrayal at Calth boxed set in my last post, allow me to share more of my current 30k experiments with you today — be warned, though, there’ll be quite a bit of unpainted plastic ahead ;)

One thing before we begin, though: While I am currently having lots of fun working with the Betrayal at Calth models, don’t expect a playable Horus Heresy army anytime soon, alright? If anything, I think it’s more realistic for now to consider something more at the Killteam level, or maybe even below that. Because the most interesting part of this release for me is how it offers a practical (and all plastic) way for me to explore an earlier incarnation of the World Eaters’ 4th assault company.

This isn’t even the first glimpse in that particular direction, either. Last year, I purchased some Heresy-era models AgnostosTheos had built to depict 30k versions of some of my 40k characters:

Pre Heresy (4)

So far, we have Brother Marax, turned into a Dreadnought after being mortally wounded by Captain Lorimar’s own hand during the Battle of Skalathrax:

Pre Heresy (7)

And Brother Khoron, a long standing confidant to the Lord Captain, also interred into a new ironform after succumbing to his wounds after the Heresy:

Pre Heresy (8)
And, of course, the Lord Captain himself:

Lorimar then and now
In this particular case, the model hadn’t even been built and painted to represent Lorimar, but suitably in-character, so adding some suitable weapons and the right kind of base really made the resemblance rather obvious.

So these characters already exist, and while it remains to be seen whether or not they can be made into a part of whatever it is I am doing with the Betrayal at Calth models, the fact remains that re-imagining some defining characters as their younger (MUCH younger) selves should be quite a bit of fun. The catch is that I’ll have to resisit the temptation of building a 30k version for each and every character, as that just wouldn’t be plausible: Many of the current officers of the 4th were possibly some rank and file Astartes during the Heresy at best. If they were even around at all! So the challenge will be to carefully choose who was around ten millennia ago and work from there.

It also made sense to think about building some specialists to complement the standard tactical Marines that come with Betrayal at Calth. So the first character I started playing around with was Brother Dumah, Apothecary and Primus Medicae to the 4th assault company:

World Eaters Apothecary (7)
The conversion above is the 40k version of the character. I based Dumah on two models from the Dark Vengeance box (a CSM Chosen and a Ravenwing bike sergeant, respectively) and tried to go for a suitably mysterious look while also making it clear that this guy was an Apothecary. Incidentally, he is also my counts as version of Fabius Bile, if I should ever feel like including that character in my army list.

I have a bit of backstory for Dumah in the back of my head: He worked under First Apothecary Fabrikus, yet grew distant from his mentor when Fabrikus’ tastes developed more towards brutal psycho-surgery and torture. Instead, Dumah experimented on the possibilities of mitigating the dibilitating effects of the Butcher’s Nails on the World Eaters while trying to retain their advantages. Alas, a series of unfortunate events (of which more at a later point) during the outbreak of the Horus Heresy rendered his task considerably more complicated.

Anyway, I knew that Dumah had already been around at the time of the Heresy, and I liked the idea of building an Apothecary for my 30k Killteam/collection/whatever. So here’s what I came up with, the 30k version of Apothecary Dumah:

World Eaters Apothecary Dumah 30k WIP (1)
World Eaters Apothecary Dumah 30k WIP (2)
It’s a model I am pretty happy with because it manages to read as both an Apothecary as well as a warrior. I think the resemblance to the 40k version of the character is also fairly reasonable, as I’ve made some very conscious design choices to achieve that effect: A very similar head was used, along with a Black Templar tabard. The weapon was designed to look like a less daemonic version of Dumah’s 40k weapon. And there was also a happy little accident: Both versions of the character are wearing an amulet ;)

At the same time, some minor compromises were unavoidable: I would have preferred a left-handed Narthecium gauntlet, for one, yet the one I found in my bitzbox (from the fairly new Sanguinary Priest) was just too nice to ignore. It was also too delicate to be thoroughly cut apart, which is why Dumah’s Narthecium must have switched hands over the last ten millennia — it’s also why his Apothecary pauldron is, strictly speaking, on the wrong side.

All in all, however, I was pretty happy with this first experiment! So why not go for something legitimately challenging next, eh? ;)

Huntmaster Deracin (11)
Huntmaster Deracin remains one of my favourite conversions (and also one of my favourite characters in Khorne’s Eternal Hunt). He is also a rather extensive kitbash and easily the tallest infantry model in the army — so how to come up with a reasonable 30k version of this guy…?

The backstory for Deracin is that he suffered massive combat injuries during the Nove Shendak campaign and had to be extensively reconstructed with augmetics. This is easily visible on the 40k version, as the model is rather massive. It was clear that the 30k version couldn’t be quite as imposing yet, but I did I want to show that he’s already started on his way to becoming the hulking Warpsmith he will be one day. So I tried to build a less “escalated” version of both his armour and his equipment, with the added challenge of having the resulting model also look like a Techmarine:

Techmarine Deracin 30k WIP (1)
Using the same head worked as an anchor for the character, making sure he would at least be somewhat recognisable. The Techmarine pauldrons and Mk. 5 torso made for a suitably tech-y look. And the legs from the WFB Chaos Chariot I found in my bitubox were a godsend, serving as both a way to increase the model’s stature as well as a fairly recognisable precursor of the nonstandard power armour Deracin has taken to wearing during the 41st millennium.

I also used the same kind of backpack that appears on the 40k version, adding a small servo-arm (a very clever trick that I stole from Peculiar Quest):

Techmarine Deracin 30k WIP (2)
With the basic construction out of the way, all that remained was to come up with earlier, slightly less imposing versions of Deracin’s two-handed weapon and servo-harness. So here’s the mostly finished conversion:

Techmarine Deracin 30k WIP (4)

Techmarine Deracin 30k WIP (6)

The weapon became a combined axe/hammer affair, slightly resembling Deracin’s later “staff of office”:

Techmarine Deracin 30k WIP (5)
All in all, I am really happy with this model, because I feel it manages to accomplish three things: It looks like a Techmarine, albeit an unconventionally warlike one. It looks like an earlier version of 40k Deracin. And in spite of its departures from standard Space Marine design, it also resembles an Astartes enough to fit into a Killteam/army, don’t you think?

In any case, here’s a picture with both versions of the character, for comparison purposes:

Deracin comparison

So these two are my first attempts at building 30k versions of my 40k characters. But this project will also be about some new models and characters, of course. You’ve already seen my WIP Contemptor:

World Eaters Contemptor 30k WIP (5)
More details on how I’ve tweaked the pose can be found in my last post. I’ll…

I also built a first test model from the tactical Marine sprues that come in the box. The tactical models are very focused on Bolters, and they also have a very clean, regimented look — which is very nice and all, make no mistake! But since I wanted my models to represent World Eaters during the time of the Heresy (circa Shadow Crusade), I tried to break up the standard armour with some elements befitting a true World Eater. So here’s my test model:

Secutor Sergeant WIP (1)
Secutor Sergeant WIP (2)
The bare head and spiked collar are from the Bloodreavers that came with the Age of Sigmar starter box. In fact, that’s a cross-pollination that might warrant another look: Fellow hobbyist kizzdougs has suggested using Bloodreaver parts to build some plastic Rampagers, and it’s a concept that intrigues me.

I also spliced in a bare arm from an old Chaos Marauder and a suitably gladiatorial sword from a Beastman Ungor. And the suitably spiked and brutal bolt pistol came from the bog standard Chaos Space Marines. Oh, and let’s not forget the skull trophy, courtesy of the Empire flagellants ;)

I imagine not every tactical Marine I built will turn out looking as feral as this, but it’ll be interesting to choose the right balance of bitz to show that these guys still function as Astartes while slowly being turned into something more (or less, depending on your point of view) by their Butcher’s Nails implants.

The same also goes for the Cataphractii Terminators. Here’s my first, very early Cataphractii test:

WE Cataphractii WIP (1)
I really think the Age of Sigmar Bloodsecrator head is perfect for a World Eater! On a related note, it’s really easy to convert the Cataphractii gorgets so they will accept different heads: Just shave away some plastic, and you are no longer limited to the “half-heads” that come with the stock kit.

I am still very much figuring out the most effective way to build my Cataphractii — while very cool, the stock models are even more vanilla than the Mk IV tactical Marines, in a way, and also quite a bit more restrictive in their posing than 40k Terminators, so the main challenge will be to have them look suitably aggressive and World Eater-ly without being over the top. So here’s another attempt:

WE Cataphractii WIP (5)
WE Cataphractii WIP (6)
The good ol’ “bellowing at the sky in rage” pose is a true classic, of course, but maybe the “I’m coming at you bro” approach works even better? ;)

One element I am also experimenting with is the use of topknots on the Cataphractii, as they were a huge part of the original Cataphractii artwork of yore — in fact, one of the first Cataphractii to be drawn by John Blanche, no less, was even a World Eater:

Cataphractii illustration by John Blanche

Cataphractii illustration by John Blanche

I rather regret that particular element being mostly lost somewhere along the way. For me, those topknots were cool precisely because they seemed so at odds with the tank-like look of the armour, adding some much needed barbarism to it.

So, anyway, here’s a comparison shot of my Cataphractii and a (converted) Chaos Lord with twin LC:

WE Cataphractii WIP (7)
And maybe, just maybe, some leftover parts from the Cataphractii sprue will provide me with the weapon to finally finish that one Red Butcher turned 40k Chaos Lord?

Red Butcher WIP (10)
We’ll see… ;)

Anyway, so far for my first experiments with the new plastic Horus Heresy kits. As always, I would love to hear your feedback! Expect to see more of this particular project as it develops!

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

30k World Eaters kitbashes WIP

Betrayal at Calth or: How to engineer the perfect gateway drug

Posted in Conversions, Pointless ramblings, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2015 by krautscientist

It was only a question of time.

Seriously, it’s always easier to say such things in hindsight, but ever since the Horus Heresy has become a massively successful commercial juggernaut, it was pretty obvious that GW proper would get in on the business eventually. And now they have. With a starter box that basically seems like a license to print money. Well played, GW!

Betrayal at Calth release (2)
So let’s take a closer look at Betrayal at Calth today and discuss the models contained in the box, first and foremost. And I’ll also be sharing my first hands on experiences with one of the models — but I am getting ahead of myself ;)


It’s clear that the box is, above all else, a gateway into Forgeworld’s Horus Heresy setting: The timeframe and design of the models make this plain enough, but there’s also a number of smaller telltale signs: The layout of the rulebook accompanying the game mirrors that of FW’s publications. The box artwork is closer in design and colour choice to Black Library’s HH novel covers. The box itself is noticeably sturdier and more luxurious than even GW’s other boxed games — all of this seems to be saying: “We are entering big boy territory now.” ;)

The set provides us with two small Space Marine forces to play the actual game with or, possibly the more interesting and also more realistic option, one combined, decently-sized (if less than ideal) Horus Heresy starter force. By the same token, the one thing that goes for all models contained in the box is the complete absence of legion insignia or more individual design cues: All of these guys are generic to the point of blandness. But, of course, that is their greatest strength as well as their greatest failure. While the lack of legion specific details and multipart nature of the models make the box contents seem a little bland, this choice is also what makes the models so very tempting for each and every Space Marine player out there: These are not exciting display pieces, but rather an amazing toolkit to start a new army or add to your existing collection, even if it comes at the price of a thoroughly vanilla look ;) In fact, one could say that this box follows the exact opposite approach when compared with Age of Sigmar: Where the latter provides very individual and rather exciting (yet also rather limited) snapfit models, Betrayal at Calth’s models may be less exciting in and of themselves, yet are far more versatile.

Two things before we begin: One, in the interest of full disclosure: I picked up one of the boxes at launch. It seemed a bit frivolous, given my current situation, but I’ve been disciplined enough in my spending recently that I felt I deserved a treat ;) This is even more significant, however, in how GW makes me eat my earlier words: I’ve gone on record stating that I wasn’t interested in starting a 30k project, and here I am getting Betrayal at Calth on day one — mission accomplished, GW ;)

Two, in addition to my following review, let me also recommend Wudugast’s very interesting look at Betrayal at Calth, which raises some excellent points and makes for a very good companion piece to my post, I think. Anyway, here goes:


Legion Veteran Squad

Betrayal at Calth release (7)
One of the multipart kits to come out of this box provides us with a whopping thirty (!) tactical Marines wearing Mk 4 armour, which is quite something! Now while I would have loved some variety when it comes to armour marks, it’s pretty clear that GW wanted to test the waters with these, so the fact that all the tactical Marines share the same basic design doesn’t come as a surprise and seems like a sound business decision. Mk 4 seems like a pretty good call, too, because it’s probably the most popular (and, arguably, one of the most iconic) Heresy era armour types. It’s a cool design overall, although one that has been somewhat hampered by dodgy proportions: Forgeworld’s Mk 4 models were pretty cool alright, but the models seemed a little off sometimes, with a lankiness and unevenness that was clearly noticeable. The plastic Mk 4 Marines share none of this dodginess: These models are perfectly and evenly proportioned and perfectly scaled against the already available 40k Marines — in fact, the Legion Veteran squad could (and, in many cases, probably will) serve as a perfect alternate tactical squad for 40k.

Betrayal at Calth release (8)

The level of detail on the sprues is absolutely excellent — as was to be expected, given GW’s recent level of quality when it comes to sharpness and detail. The amount of bitz and weapon options is also rather stunning, as the kit not only provides us with all the weapon options for a tactical squad, but also adds swords, pouches and holsters for each of the Marines, as well as bitz for the sergeant, vexillarius and what have you. So far, so good!

I also really like that GW’s designers have gone for the FW approach to Mk 4 armour, with a helmet design that is cooler than the “doglike” plastic Mk 4 helmets seen so far. In fact, my favourite part is that we even get Mk 4 helmets with vertical slits on the facemask, probably my favourite variant. And yes, we are firmly in Space Marine nerd territory here, thank you very much ;)

Unfortunately, while we lose the somewhat dodgy proportions, we also gain the classic, slightly crouched 40k Marine pose so emblematic of GW’s plastic Astartes: While FW’s Mk 4 Astartes sometimes seemed a little strangely proportioned, their poses were a bit more varied and they didn’t look like they urgently needed to go to the bathroom.

My other gripe with the sprues is that, while these will work for every legion, the fact that only standard bolter arms are included makes it a bit complicated to turn them into members of the less uniform legions like the World Eaters or Space Wolves: If you want your tac Marines to have a very regimented, orderly look, you’ll be in heaven. If you favour a more feral, individualistic approach, you’ll need to engage in some serious kitbashing.

Betrayal at Calth release (9)
All in all, these sprues are pretty great, although yet another Space Marine tactical kit might not feel like something to get super-excited about. Then again, these form a very decent backbone for any plastic-based HH army, or they give you the bitz to sprinkle some Heresy era goodness across your entire 40k army, and as such these should become very popular with 30k and 40k players alike.


Legion Cataphractii

Betrayal at Calth release (11)
Okay, these guys were a bit of a surprise: A tactical kit seemed like a bit of a no-brainer for plastic 30k, but I certainly wouldn’t have expected Cataphractii Terminators right out the gate. But here we are: An entire squad of heresy era Terminators. And what’s more, they even get the complete multipart treatment — that was unexpected!

The Cataphractii are probably more interesting from a visual standpoint in how much they differ from the 40k Terminators: They sport a very distinct Heresy era look that isn’t all that easy to emulate with plastic bitz either (not that I didn’t try, of course). So again, these are very interesting as an alternative for both the resin Cataphractii as well as the standard 40k Terminators.

Betrayal at Calth release (12)

Once again, the amount of detail and weapon options is quite excellent: We even get enough lightning claws for the entire squad, for instance, or to squirrel away for later use. In fact, it’s particularly cool to have the iconic Heresy era LC design available in plastic.

One thing I think I’ll need to get used to is that the torso pieces are designed in such a way that only “half-heads” are used, although it might be possible to change this with some minor conversion work. – excellent: amount of weapon options, extra weapons.

My one legitimate concern about the kit is that, for all the weapon options, we don’t get any options for CC weapons like power swords, chainaxes or power mauls. While GW’s designers probably had to stop somewhere, I guess I would have preferred those instead of both power fists and chainfists, if only because World Eaters Cataphractii look so sexy with their chainaxes ;) As it stands, however, we only get one measly power sword for the sergeant. Boo hiss! ;)

Betrayal at Calth release (13)
But again, having access to plastic Cataphractii is a rather unexpected turn of events, and the fact that these are a multipart kit with lots and lots of options is a rather nice surprise. While the tac Marines might be more universally useful, these guys are one of my favourite parts of the box!



Legion Contemptor Dreadnought

Betrayal at Calth release (15)
Okay, I am not going to lie to you: The prospect of actually having access to a plastic Contemptor was basically one of the main reasons I purchased a copy of Betrayal at Calth. Yet in an interesting turn of events, the plastic Contemptor is the best part and the worst part of the release at the same time. Confused yet? Allow me to elaborate:

The amount of detail is very nice, and it’s great that we actually get the relict variant. All of this is even nicer given the fact that this is almost a snapfit model, at least when it comes to the simplicity of construction:  The Contemptor is very easy to put together (only slightly more complicated than the AOBR Dread, actually). And it seems to be just as tall as an actual FW Contemptor. And we even get a choice of ranged weapons — all of this is quite excellent!

On the other hand, the model is generic to the point of blandness (which, I’ll admit, was probably the point: You are supposed to be able to use this for every legion, after all). This is easily remedied by adding some bitz. But they did choose the least interesting pose on the planet for some reason — I especially dislike the slightly inwards turned legs that make the Contemptor look like Paris Hilton  posing on a red carpet. Seriously, I get why they went for a neutral pose, but it surely could have been slightly more interesting…?

So what to make of the model? It’s one of the most exciting parts of the boxed game in that it’s fantastic to have access to a plastic Contemptor. Yet it will take a bit of work to truly make it shine and to get rid of some of the blandness — but we’ll be getting there in a minute ;)


Captain Streloc Aetheon / Legion Praetor wearing Cataphractii armour

Betrayal at Calth release (17)
The actual army commanders are often my favourite part of every starter box, and Captain Aetheon (who, of course can also be used as a generic Astartes Praetor wearing Cataphractii armour) is certainly a rather imposing model: Both the bulk and the ostentatiousness of his armour make him a rather nice centre piece. I also like the inclusion of a cape!

The model is not entirely without its problems, however: First of all, while the pose is alright, the Captain seems to be giving it his all in order to look along the barrel of his combi-bolter. He seems to be mirroring one of Forgeworld’s Legion Praetors to some degree, but the pose does seem a bit forced to me, and less natural than that of the resin model. I also prefer the cc weapon on the Forgeworld Praetor, as a chainfist seems like a rather unheroic weapon for such a centre piece character — in a box geared towards universal usefulness, this seems like the strangest possible place to go for individual characteristics… It seems like a relic blade of some sort would have been a cooler option. Maybe it’s the fact that the confined nature of the Underground Wars at Calth would make a chainfist the more sound option…?

Betrayal at Calth release (16)
All in all, however, I rather like the captain. He’s quite a beast, and more interesting to look at than GW’s plastic Terminator Captain for 40k. I think the model will not only make for an excellent Praetor, but also for a great Chaptermaster in 40k. Nice job!


Kurtha Sedd / Legion Chaplain

Betrayal at Calth release (19)
We also get a praetor variant in regular power armour — a chaplain to be exact (although it would certainly be easy enough to turn him into something else). First things first, this model doesn’t really look like a Word Bearers chaplain to me: This is probably the one model hurt most by the decision to have the contents of the box look as generic as they do, because while this guy may make for a decent Chaplain for just about every legion, he just seems too clean and uncluttered for a Word Bearer

I also really hate the top of that crozius, because it’s too clunky by far and looks like the designer ran out of ideas at the last possible moment.

Apart from that, the model also has some elements that I really like: The decoration of the armour is very nice, especially given the fact that all the other suits of Mk 4 armour in the set remain woefully unadorned. I also like the advancing pose and the cape. And it’s nice that the model should be flexible enough to allow for head and weapon swaps without a hitch, in spite of being a snapfit assembly.

Betrayal at Calth release (18)All in all, it’s a pretty nice character model, although I think Captain Aetheon comes out slightly on top. But that’s just a matter of personal taste.


So, those are the models we get in the box — quite a boatload, I must say! And judging by these pictures from the Games Workshop website, they make for a rather impressive combined starter army:

Betrayal at Calth release (20)
Interestingly enough, the pictures also show that Kurtha Sedd works far better as an Ultramarine, while Aetheon looks great in Word Bearers colours, as pointed out in Wudugast’s aforementioned review of the models.

Betrayal at Calth release (21)
Another very interesting factor is how buying Forgeworld’s resin versions of the box contents would be much, much more expensive, making Betrayal at Calth terrific value for the money, in any case. And that’s before you consider that there’s also an actual game to be had here (although you will forgive me for not dwelling on this fact — other people do rules far better than me ;) ).

One last thing I’d like to mention is that I really like the dedicated decal sheet that comes in the box. Sure, it’s pretty tiny, but I like how it seems to have been made with the actual contents of the box in mind, instead of just providing a very stripped down version of a bigger decal sheet. And all those “XIIIs” will be really easy to turn into “XIIs” with a sharp knife ;)


Conversion ideas:

Well, to address the elephant in the room, first and foremost: This is, of course, a box for those hobbyists who already enjoy Space Marines. If you don’t find Astartes all that compelling to begin with, chances are this box is not going to change your mind. For those who do have a modicum of love for GW’s posterboy transhuman killing machines, though, it’s clear that the box provides an enormously versatile toolkit: While the models themselves may not be as exciting and individual as, say, some of the stuff in the Age of Sigmar starter box, the fact that most of the kits are multipart makes this a very interesting purchase, both for 30k and 40k Space Marine aficionados. In fact, the true beauty of this box is that it’ll make both 30k and 40k players happy, allowing you to either start a Horus Heresy force or add some Heresy bling to your 40k Astartes. The lack of unique decoration on the models also makes them equally attractive for all legions and/or successor chapters (with a few possible exceptions, as I’ve said before).

While my own burgeoining Heresy project will be featured in more detail at a later date, let’s focus on one particular model for today. Because I really couldn’t help myself and had to start working on the Contemptor right away:

Like I said, there are a number of problems with the stock model that I felt I needed to address: I wanted to make the pose a bit more interesting, for one. And I really didn’t like the very bland stock head. Oh, and I wanted the model to be recognisable as a World Eater, of course — I hope his doesn’t come as a huge shock to you guys ;)

So here’s my own Contemptor after a few initial changes:

World Eaters Contemptor 30k early WIP (1)
My initial idea was to tweak the pose with some careful cuts. So I cut the model apart at the waist, in order to allow for more articulation. I also added two elements for a suitably World Eater-ly look: an ogre gut plate doubling as the legion badge as well as a skull and chain ensemble from the Age of Sigmar Bloodsecrator model. And I used a shaved-down Defiler facemask as an alternate head.

But I wasn’t quite happy yet, so I also worked a bit on the Kheres arm: Cut between the pauldron and the elbow, and not only can you repose the arm, but this would also be the perfect position for inserting a magnet, I guess. And I wasn’t quite done with the legs, either: I wanted to get rid of the pidgeon-toed look, so I cut the right leg from the pelvis area and glued it back on at a slightly different angle:

World Eaters Contemptor 30k WIP (1)

It’s a fairly subtle tweak, to be sure, but I think it makes for a far less awkward pose. As for the general idea of reposing the legs, it’s easy enough to separate the legs from the pelvis, and this allows for some essential conversion options, allowing you to get rid of that pidgeon-toed stance. Everything that involves making the legs bend at the knee, however, seems very complicated and hardly worth the trouble: I suppose it might be possible, but you’ll lose either the upper legs or the kneedpads (or both). One possible way would be to carefully cut out the lower legs and use (40k) Dreadnought legs to rebuild the upper legs — they are virtually indistinguishable.

I did go back to change the head at this point, though: I had originally chosen the Defiler mask for its  slightly more brutal and original look. But while I was fairly happy with the cleverness of my conversion, the size of the head also made the model look a bit clunkier than it should, as was pointed out to me by several fellow hobbyists. So I did try a different head in the end, going for one of the Cataphractii helmets that came in the same box:

World Eaters Contemptor 30k WIP (5)
World Eaters Contemptor 30k WIP (6)
World Eaters Contemptor 30k WIP (7)
And I have to admit that I do prefer this version, after all: Granted, it’s a bit smaller than a Contemptor head, but it does make for a sleaker, more agile look, don’t you think? Plus it makes the model resemble the “official” FW World Eaters Contemptor.

World Eaters Contemptor 30k WIP (8)
I’ll still be adding some touches to the model before painting, although I’ll try not to go overboard with the detailing, as some of those smooth surfaces will provide a great occasion to use the more interesting, larger decals from the FW decal sheet. Because I really want to paint this guy in the Heresy-era World Eaters colours after all. I was torn between 30k and 40k for a while there, but decided to make the Contemptor a 30k model because I basically already own a counts-as Contemptor for 40k:

World Eaters Contemptor 30k scale comparison
Remember the guy on the right? In case anyone was wondering, the above picture shows that converted Kastelan robots will actually work rather nicely as stand-in Contemptors, at least from a scale perspective! So I guess I’ll be using the conversion made earlier this year as a Contemptor in games of 40k, while the actual Contemptor joins my eventual 30k project — of which more later, like I said ;)


So, what’s the final verdict? I think we have to hand it to GW: Betrayal at Calth will be flying off the shelves. The models in the box are extremely interesting to Space Marine players in 30 and 40k, for one. But there’s also the fact that the box seems to have been designed to whittle down the defenses of those who had yet managed to resist getting in on the Heresy business.

Case in point, I really didn’t want to start a Heresy era army (or warband), save for my Custodes (and those were born from a somewhat different desire). The cost of Forgeworld’s models seemed prohibitive, and the prospect of having to work with that much resin wasn’t very appealing to me. Betrayal at Calth entirely bypasses both concerns, and here I am, joining the fray. I’m feeling a bit like Pavlov’s dog, to be honest… ;)

It is an excellent starter box, though, in spite of its blandness (arguably because of it). It capitalises on GW’s most successful properties, which seems sensible from a business standpoint. It also contains nothing but Space Marines, which may rightfully be a bit of a turnoff for many of you. I am pretty sure the people at GW did the maths beforehand, though…

In any case, it’ll be interesting to see where we go from here: Will Betrayal at Calth merely function as some kind of gateway drug to get people into the 30k setting, while the main bulk of the models will still be sold by FW? Or will GW add to their Horus Heresy plastic kits over time? Will we be getting additional armour marks in plastic? Has that decision even been taken yet? And how does it all work together with the recent announcement of a new Specialist Games devision? Interesting times, indeed!

What is already obvious is how they have set themselves up in a very clever position: Both the Legion Veterans as well as the Cataphractii can (and probably will) be released as their own multipart kits without any further need for additional design or production capacities. And the characters would be easy to release as clamshell characters. So whatever happens, I am pretty sure that Betrayal at Calth will earn back its development cost, even if it remains a standalone piece. Speaking of which, I think the approach of making one-off games to include along with the models seems like a cool idea, and I would actually love GW/FW to do more along those lines and really bring back Adeptus Titanicus, Epic, Necromunda or even Inquisitor. But that will be a story for another day.

Let me wind up this review by mentioning one tiny thing I really liked about the box: The sides of the lower part actually feature the different painted models:

BaC box nostalgia

I got such a huge HeroQuest vibe from that, and maybe it’s the kind of detail that shows what we can expect from the new FW Specialist Games division? Or maybe it’s just wishful thinking…


So, what do you make of it all? Are you happy with Betrayal at Calth, or do you merely see this as another money grab? Or both? What do you think about the models? And will you be getting into there Heresy after all? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section!

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

The Warrior King Reloaded — one last look…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2015 by krautscientist

At the risk of boring you all to tears, today I would like to take one last look at what is probably my big hobby project of 2015: my customised Chaos Knight Titan. Don’t fret, though: There’s actually still something new left to say about the model, so you won’t merely have to look at the same pictures yet again ;)

In fact, with a project of this size, it’s probably not even a surprise that I ended up with some loose ends to tie up, even after finishing the model proper. So here’s a couple of small concerns left to address:


I. It’s getting hot in here…

The first thing I still wanted to do was to paint the alternate weapons option for the model. Even though I only purchased the original (2014) version of the Imperial Knight kit, that still provided me with two different long range weapons. And why I clearly favour one of them from a visual standpoint, I still  left the gun barrels exchangeable, so all I needed to do was to get some paint on the Thermal Cannon muzzle in order to make my Knight useable as either a Paladin or Errant. Take a look:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (39)
Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (34)
Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (33)
To be fair, though, it’s a fairly lazy version of this particular conversion, because it doesn’t extend to the tanks on the side of the weapons and is limited to the actual barrel of the gun:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (36)
While I did want to have the extra option, I far prefer the long-barrelled weapon, and it’s also very much a visual part of my Chaos Knight, so I went the easy route for once. I did some minor conversion work, however, in order to bring the look of the thermal cannon in line with the warlike, spiky look of the rest of the model — and that juggernaut armour plate makes for an instant Khornate look, wouldn’t you agree?

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (38)
Nothing’s really magnetised (yet): The long-barrelled weapon is neatly kept in place by the model’s construction while the Thermal Cannon has to be helped along with a bit of modeling putty. I’ve already put the structure for magnetisation in place, however, so all that’s left to add are some actual magnets — I suppose I’ll be getting there at some point ;)


II. Stories of the Warrior King

It should come as no surprise that a monstrous warmachine like Gilgamesh has a lot of history behind it — ten millennia of service alongside Khorne’s Eternal Hunt will do that. What did come as a surprise, though, is that I didn’t even need to come up with all of the background material myself: While the model was still very much WIP, fellow hobbyist and blogger Inqmikaelovich sent me a rather excellent little story vignette kindly starring Gilgamesh in a support role. Allow me to share it with you:


Freeze frame.

A well trimmed grey beard fills the picture. It covers scars; errata in its patterns tell stories of hundreds of years of combat. It is about an inch and a half long and is the color of a cloudy sky.

Scroll up.

Between the beard and a similar mustache lies a mouth. It is smiling, a smile devoid of tension or stress. It is the smile of a man who has seen his fate, and, despite how dark a fate it is, finds peace in knowing it. With all uncertainty removed, his path is now clear.

Scroll up.

Above the mouth is a nose. It is perfect for the man’s face; neither too long nor too short, not too wide nor too thin. It is a noble nose, betraying a sense of humanity and sophistication.

Zoom out.

The full face is in the picture now. It is completed by well groomed hair and eyebrows, the same color as the beard. The man’s eyes are devoid of any emotion save peace of mind. They are a stormy blue, and seem too kind to belong with the war scarred beard.

Zoom out. Resume play at one thousandth speed.

The man is in a chair, hands gripping controls and the eyes fixed on an archaic HUD. An intimidating, impossibly loud roar fills the small chamber, and yet he does not flinch. There is now a sense of motion, as if he were falling forward, the tip of the beard lifting from his chest.

Zoom out. Pan 90 degrees left.

The function of the controls is now obvious; the last remaining suit of Knight Titan armour of House Tetsonar fills the frame. It is coated in black camouflage and Kill Markings, and is charging. An immense power sword, underslung on a massive mechanical fist, is swinging forward, and a deafening scream matches the roar as a massive plasma cannon powers to life.

Zoom out.

The roar’s source is now visible; an opposing Knight is counter-charging. The titanic duel fills the frame. It is painted red and brass, and dozens of bloody handprints adorn its adamantine greaves. Spiked chains are dangling from its form and its right arm that ends in an enormous cannon, its muzzle wrought in the shape of a snarling daemon. The other arm bears a chainblade of impossible proportions, hefting it above the machine’s head; it is the source of half the roar. The other half issues from the machine itself. In the distance, Imperial Aircraft are exiting a massive fortress, the last lifting off as the Knights are in mid-charge. The thousands of red and brass infantry at the giants’ feet turn, knowing their quarry gone, to the last Imperial Warrior standing – the Knight.

Pan 180 degrees right.

Our hero is bringing his blade around for a killing strike, one that will skewer his opponent, but it misses its mark. The enemy’s chainsword is swinging downward, ready to smash the hallowed Knight’s armour in. The last Valkyrie clears the walls of the fortress and begins to exit the atmosphere.

Resume at full speed.

As the Loyal Knight’s sword harmlessly scrapes yet another deep groove into the baroque armour of the Chaos Knight, the latter’s chainblade crashes down with irresistible force. The curved carapace of the Tetsonar Knight caves in, metal screeching on metal. A golden aura surrounds the god machine – a teleport is imminent. The archenemy titan rears its head and roars all the louder, angry at its prey being so cruelly snatched from its grasp.

A new scene, a massive hangar bay in orbit.

The last Valkyrie is docking a hangar over. Our hero appears, but all is not well – the giant crumples to the floor. Medical personnel and Tech Adepts swarm the titan, and the pilot is recovered. His smile still perseveres, but his eyes are closed. His beard is equal parts red and grey now, the crimson flecks telling one last tale. A tale of a stand, a tale of a fall.

A year has passed.

The Knight stands tall once more, its armoured form restored, new heraldic colours proud
and flawless: resplendent and rechristened, armed with new and far more fearsome weaponry, it’s original weapons joined by a fearsome shoulder mounted titankiller array, and a new name on it’s hallowed heraldic shield – Mercy’s Revenge. Before it stands an Inquisitor, an honoured servant of the God Emperor, with a servo-skull hovering above his shoulder. There is something familiar in the curve of its features, the geometry of its brow. The skull hovers silently, devoid of flesh and life, but ready to serve evermore. A younger man stands next to the Inquisitor, silent in contemplation.The Inquisitor’s voice is hardly a whisper.

“She is your ward now, my boy.”


Very cool, eh? It goes without saying that not only was I really flattered by this but I also wanted to reply in kind. So here’s another small story for you, depicting the same event, albeit from a different point of view. For some extra fun, I tried to stay fairly true to Inqmikaelovich’s piece and mimic the narrative structure rather closely. Check it out:

Baron Harrowthorne try04bFreeze frame.

A face fills the picture, half-lit from below, its sharp features hawkish, yet noble. The face of a military man, of a warrior, born and bred. A proud face, yet the set of its features  speaks not of haughty arrogance, but of a pride well deserved. The scars of many battles can be glimpsed in the half-gloom, lending the owner of the face an aspect of martyrdom. Hints of juvenat treatments are visible, but subtly so. This rejuvenation has not been applied for vanity, but for preservation. The eyes are closed, as if in deep contemplation.

Resume at one tenth speed.

The man’s eyes open, and everything is changed. Like words gaining an entirely different meaning in a different context, the face, too, is re-contextualised, yet in the most sinister way: These are eyes that have seen too much and gone too far. There is old pain there, and old hatred. And a cold fury that is truly chilling to behold. The corners of the man’s mouth turn down into a frown that is somehow more intimidating than any grimace of rage could be.

Zoom out.

The man is seated in a throne, surrounded by controls and arcane auspex arrays. The interior of a gunmetal cockpit trimmed  in brass. The cockpit of a warmachine, a Knight Titan. The pilot’s pose is relaxed, but not without focus. His economy of motion betrays an amount of experience and unity with his machine that is uncanny.

Zoom out. Pan 90 degrees right.

The pilot’s suit of Knight armour is now visible, and it is truly terrible to behold:  armoured in arterial red and darkened bronze, its form bedecked in spikes and chains, a walking altar to the War God.

The machine is known by many names: the Crimson Noble. The Warrior King.  The Twice-Consecrated.
It is feared across the galaxy, and rightly so.

Like any Knight, it flies its honours proudly, its many marks of distinction. Yet their meaning is lost to Imperial history, with those who would understand their significance either mortal enemies of the Imperium of Man or long in the ground. They tell a tale, however, these marks and seals. As do the dozens of bloody handprints adorning the Knight’s adamantine greaves, placed there as an oath of moment by the legionaries of the Hunt.

Zoom out.

The Knight’s quarry comes into view now: A black-armoured loyalist Knight, covered in battle honours and kill markings that, likewise, speak of an eternity of war and honour. None of this matters, though, save for the icons of subservience to the Throne of Lies. They cancel out all honour. They are the reason the machine and his pilot have to be brought down
Gilgamesh’s war horn blares with the sound of a bellowing Titan of legend as he stands ready to face his foe. The loyalist Knight pulls back for a blow with its massive chain fist. A killing blow, this…

Resume at full speed.

…but sloppy, way too sloppy. The underslung chainblade merely scrapes yet another inconsequential groove into Gilgamesh’s armour, nothing but a minor concern for the Sacristans maintaining the giant warmachine. Yet the blow has unbalanced the loyalist Knight, and there’s nothing it can do to stop the massive reaper chainsword descending on its carapace with terrible force, caving in the curved armour plates and creating a torrent of sparks as metal screeches on metal. But then, a golden glow surrounds the maimed loyalist machine: A teleport device, a priceless treasure hidden within the ancient carapace. A final trump card. An escape. Man and machine roar as one, enraged at their denied kill. As the golden flash of light dies, only blackened pieces of scrap metal remain, sheared off by an imperfect teleportation. The enemy, however, is gone.

Within the half-light of his cockpit, Baron Augustus Melchiah Harrowthorne reclines, the pulse of adrenaline slowly abating, just like the machine spirit’s wrath. The anger is still there, however, like smouldering embers, ready to be fanned into a blazing flame yet anew, when the time comes. There will be other battles. The Long War is not over.

And neither is the Hunt.


III. Bwood for the Bwood God!

Another pretty major loose end regarding my Chaos Knight is the fun little gaiden project born from the model: I am talking about the “Chibi-Knight”, of course ;)

Chibi-Knight WIP (19)

This model was basically created on a whim, after I had discovered fellow hobbyist Paule’s very cool thread full of kitbashed Epic Titans. Now I don’t even have any fond memories of Epic 40k myself, as 40k proper always seemed more interesting to me. But here’s the thing: If GW ever were to release a Titan-based boxed game at the Epic scale or a redesigned Adeptus Titanicus, I guess I’d be first in line for picking it up. I love the concepts and designs behind Titans, but I cannot see myself ever putting together one of those massive resin models from Forgeworld. But a roughly Epic-scaled Titan game would be excellent for scratching that itch without having to saw through all that resin (as well as having to sell a kidney to be able to afford it all) ;)

Anyway, the Chibi-Knight turned out to be an unexpectedly enjoyable little hobby project, as I found myself digging through the old bitzbox in an attempt to match the model’s bigger cousin as closely as possible — within reason, of course.

I did have to make some compromises, as not every part of the model would have been easy enough to recreate at a smaller scale — and some elements simply wouldn’t have worked. But in the end, I used parts from about twenty different GW kits to make a model that I believe is a fairly close re-imagining of its bigger cousin. And it goes without saying that I also tried to mimic the bigger model’s paintjob as closely as possible on the Chibi-Knight.

So without further ado, let’s compare the two finished models, shall we?

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh in two scales (1)

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh in two scales (3)
Chaos Knight Gilgamesh in two scales (4)
Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (1)
So, let’s take a closer look at the Chibi-Knight all by itself (I’ve arranged the pictures just like those of the bigger version of Gilgamesh in the respective post, so if you want a real side by side comparison, feel free to check out those pictures as well):

Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (4)
Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (5)
Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (6)
Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (7)
Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (8)
Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (9)
Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (10)
All in all, I think it’s a fairly close fit. However, I did have to make some small allowances due to the differences in scale: The legs and feet are a bit different, for one, although they were still quite a bit of work: As you can see, I used a pair of Raptor legs as the base, but then I cut off the feet and tried to make something as close as possible to the original Knight’s feet. A cookie goes to whoever guesses what the toes originally started out as ;)

I also made some concessions when building the torso: The carapace doesn’t quite look like the original, but it’s still close enough to be recognisable, I believe — as I have learned from the great Ron Saikowski, the most important part of a conversion like this is to get enough parts right that the elements that aren’t quite perfect will still work in the context of the whole model. So let’s take a closer look at the parts that did up looking rather close to the bigger version of the model:

One thing I am really happy with is the smaller version of the daemonic breastplate — it was really fortunate that the warshrine of chaos kit basically contained two very similar daemonic faces at wildly different scales ;)Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (13)
Oh, and I definitely had to replicate the heraldic plate with the World Eaters legion badge on it, of course, (even if working with those FW decals almost drove me up the wall yet again=.

I also tried to closely recreate the designs on the pauldrons: The right one still has a World Eaters legion badge (albeit of a slightly different design), as well as a hint of the legion and company markings underneath:

Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (12)
While the right was done using some bitz for a pretty close recreation of the bigger version:

Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (14)
There is another World Eaters symbol on the leg banner, thanks to one of the really tiny decals from FW’s World Eaters decal sheet:

Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (16)
And I even managed to squeeze in a smaller version of the battle honours on the rear side of the banner as well:

Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (15)
One element that is slightly different from the original model is the base: It still features fallen Space Marine statuary, but instead of a crumbled statue, I decided to use the one legitimate Epic 40k model actually in my possession (kindly provided, once again, by Drone21c) and paint it up as a heavily verdigrised statue:

Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (11)
I rather like this element, and it provides a hint as to the model’s actual scale. Plus when it came to building the bigger Knight’s base, this little statue was the most important influence that actually inspired me to use the Space Marine statue from the Honoured Imperium kit in the first place!

So yeah, that’s the little guy. I am really rather stupidly happy with the model, to tell you the truth, even if there’s not even a real use for it ;)

Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (2)


IV. A bit of advice…

So, after spending so much time with my Knight(s), I thought I’d wind up this post by giving out some advice to those of you who might be contemplating an Imperial Knight project of their own — you should definitely go for it, by the way: It’s a fantastic kit, and working with it has been lots and lots of fun. Here are some small pointers to set you on your way!

Don’t be afraid!
I know I was really apprehensive about the whole idea of tackling such a big model at the start, and maybe so are you. Don’t be! Like I said, it’s a terrific kit, and it’s also perfectly explained and goes together like a dream. The model also breaks up rather beautifully into several sub-assemblies which is excellent both for the building and painting phase. And building and painting a Knight is an excellent, self-contained hobby project that will really be worth your while. So if you are at all interested in the Knights and their look and backstory, go for it!

Do some research!
At the same time, this is not a kit to be slapped together hastily for the game next week: Before you even start, you might want to do some research online to see Knights that might inspire you and to figure out what things you do and don’t like. Hobbyists online have been doing fantastic jobs with their own Knights, and the inspiration ranges from complete, brilliant models to small but essential tips for creating certain effects, assembling some fiddly parts or what have you. I myself have a folder of about 1 Gigabyte of Knight-related pictures, and that material has helped me so much with my own model. In fact, I am still collecting pictures for my inspirations folder, even though my Knight is already finished ;)

You should really add a cockpit and pilot to your model!
One of the most important things about Knights is how individual they are. But that amount of individuality doesn’t stop at the machine itself: What better way to customise your model than to add your own Cockpit and pilot as well — in fact, coming up with a pilot to match your Knight is not only fun, but also really rewarding, while just gluing that torso shut seems like a huge missed opportunity. So take my word for it: Build a cockpit and pilot! It will take some doing, but there are many cool examples out there, and few things made me feel as accomplished about my own Knight than this part!

Take your time!
This should go for all hobby projects, but it’s especially important here: You can only really mess up by being too fast and getting sloppy. But this huge, beautiful model deserves your attention, so TAKE YOUR TIME! Seriously, this is key! :)

The devil is in the details!
Again, this also applies to hobby projects in general, but there are so many details you can add to make your Knight even cooler. Take a page out of JeffTibbetts’ crazy perfectionism! It’ll teach you a whole new way of looking at the model, and suddenly adding more and more detail won’t be a chore anymore, it’ll be fun! Small things really go a long way, especially on such a big model!

Careful with the glue!
Don’t glue everything together right away, because you’ll make your life much harder. Instead, think about which portions of the Knight should be kept apart for the moment — or, indeed, altogether: For istance: Keep the armour plates and “skeleton” separate while painting, because this will make your life much easier. If you’re planning on adding a cockpit, make sure to keep one side of the torso unglued, for easier access to the Knight’s interior. Oh, and the top carapace will snap into place without any glue (and can be taken off later that way), so think before you break out the glue.

Build a Chibi-version!
Seriously, though, this isn’t a must. But I had so much fun with my own Chibi-Knight that I can only recommend you build one yourself ;)


V. In closing…

I almost forgot mentioning a very nice observation that fellow hobbyist Freytag93 brought up over on Dakka:

Also, I like the statue on the base. To me, the face echos the face of the baron (probably cause of the shared scar), giving a contrast to his fallen honor.

While the effect is completely coincidental, I really love this! Isn’t it great when people discover something about your models that you didn’t even put there in the first place — at least not consciously?


So anyway, that’s all folks. I hope you enjoyed yet another look at this project! It goes without saying that I’d love to hear any feedback you might have!

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

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh in two scales (2)

The more things change… — a look at the Khorne Bloodbound release

Posted in Chaos, Conversions, Uncategorized, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2015 by krautscientist

It has been a while since I last posted a review focusing on a new GW release, and I intend to change that today. Considering current RL circumstances, I hope you’ll bear with me when I choose something fairly close to my heart to get back into the swing of things. So let’s talk about the new Khorne Bloodbound kits today:

Khorne Bloodbound release (1)
Followers of the blood god really can’t complain: With every WFB or AoS chaos release, we have received a substantial addition to our toy box. I am quite aware that many non-Khornate chaos fans are rolling their eyes by now, seeing how Khorne seems to be getting all the love. And indeed, Khorne seems to be GW’s preferred fallback position whenever a new chaos release rolls around. For Age of Sigmar, this means that the Bloodbound have not only been elevated to a proper sub-faction, but they have also been the focus of the first wave of new chaos kits released for the revamped system. And while the Stormcast Eternals seem like GW’s attempt at radically re-envisioning the Empire by way of the Space Marines, the new Khorne kits hew far closer to the “traditional” chaos look. So, what do we get? Let’s take a look at each of the new kits in turn and also consider some of the possible conversion options. So sharpen your axe and step this way, please ;)



Khorne Bloodbound release (4)
Well, this was certainly a pleasant surprise, seeing how Skarbrand has been on hobbyists’ short list to finally receive a proper model for quite a while now. So here he is — can the model live up to all the expectations?

It’s quite obvious that the Skarbrand kit allows GW to get some more mileage out of those Bloodthirster designs they must have done prior to the release of the new plastic kit, as there is an overall similarity in design between Skarbrand and the stock Bloodthirsters (both share the spiky butt cheeks, for one ;) ). On the other hand, the new model deviates from the prior kit in several ways: There’s the very different pose, of course, making Skarbrand look like he’s taking a moment to bellow in rage at the enemy. In fact, the pose is really rather excellent and one of my favourite parts about the model: While it does maintain some forward momentum, it really adds some presence to the character. And it also works rather beautifully with the twin axes wielded by Skarbrand.

Khorne Bloodbound release (5)

The other very noticeable thing about the model, and one of the aspects that define the character, is the pair of tattered, torn wings. And I think GW’s designers have done a rather nice job on this particular part of the model:

Khorne Bloodbound release (7)
Keeping most of the bones intact and limiting the damage to the wing membranes was a pretty good move, if you ask me: The design avoids the lopsided look you see on many Skarbrand conversions. Andwhile the wings still have a vestigial, damaged look to them, they do add some presence to the model. I also like the idea of having spiked chains between the bones: Is that some kind of additional torture, one has to wonder, or Skarbrand’s own attempt at making his damaged wings more presentable…?

The model also has some rather heavy scarring on the right side of the face. Let’s not get into the metaphysics of this too much (do daemons have bones in the first place? Aren’t they just warp energies given form…?), and rather focus on the actual design: While I like the broken horns, the flayed face may just be a bit much. Then again, I love how the ‘Eavy Metal team chose to paint the right eye as white and – possibly – blind:

Khorne Bloodbound release (9)
And there’s the beard, of course. I’ll be honest with you: I am not a fan. But it should be easy enough to just leave it off or use it as a braid of hair on virtually any big model, so I’ll let it slide.

Khorne Bloodbound release (11)
The twin axes are very nice and daemonic in design — the organic aspect really fits for a Greater Daemon, and I also like how they are far shorter and more hatchet-like than the axes the stock Bloodthirster gets. And while they are pretty ornate, they still seem workmanlike enough to work, from a visual standpoint. They also rather beautifully complement Skarbrand’s pose, as mentioned above.

And one more thing that differentiates Skarbrand from the stock Bloodthirster: a (mostly) custom set of armour plates, giving us yet another set of options for our Bloodthirsters’ wardrobes ;)

Khorne Bloodbound release (10)The armour looks great, too — I’ll even forgive that one skull playfully wedged into the eye socket of a skull ornament, there ;) Anyway, the slightly more ornate look seems fitting for a daemon that used to be one of Khorne’s most exalted champions.

Seen on its own, the model is really cool and makes for a fitting centre piece for every Khornate army — the fact that it doubles as both an AoS and a 40k release is a nice bonus, of course.

Things really get interesting, however, when taking a closer look at the Skarbrand sprue: In additon to the actual parts needed to build Skarbrand, you also get a fair bit of stock Bloodthirster parts in the box:

Khorne Bloodbound release (14)
Khorne Bloodbound release (13)
For the record, you get the alternate pair of legs, two alternate heads and most of the weapons of the stock ‘Thirster. The undamaged wings, alternate armour pieces, third head and two-handed axe seem to be unaccounted for, though.

In any case, this should allow you to build either Skarbrand or your own, custom Bloodthirster, with additional parts from the stock kit multiplying the options even further, right? Well, yes and no: While you can make some changes to Skarbrand and use some of Skarbrand’s parts on your stock Bloodthirster, the kits are unfortunately not 100% compatible. Fellow hobbyist Khorga informs me that the running legs, for instance, are not really compatible with Skarbrand’s custom armour, while the amour plates from the stock kit, in turn, don’t fit together too well with Skarbrand’s standing legs. At the same time, depending on which pair of arms you use, the shape of the wing sockets on the model’s back will change accordingly, so not every set of arms will work with both sets of wings. While this shouldn’t present accomplished converters with any unsolvable problems, it would still have been nice to have all the parts compatible with one another — or even to have a kit that will make Skarbrand and all of the three stock ‘Thirster variants? Granted, that may have been to much wishlisting. But with today’s kits being so meticulously planned, it seems like having all the parts fit together wouldn’t have been that much more complicated for the designers.

Another piece of criticism frequently leveled at Skarbrand (as well as the stock Bloodthirsters, for that matter) is the models’ size: Quite a few hobbyists feel that these beasts should be quite a bit bigger. I am honestly not as bothered by the size issue, though: I think GW’s designers have managed to imbue both Skarbrand and his brethren with a sense of presence and brutality that makes them look as though they could go toe to toe with an Imperial Knight and still come out on top. If there is one size issue that bothers me, it’s that Skarbrand used to be the most powerful of Khorne’s Bloodthirsters, yet he’s about half the size of this guy…? Talk about a pint-sized powerhouse, right there! ;)

Khorne Bloodbound release (12)But that’s not really a major concern, and in spite of such minor quibbles, what we have here is a rather stunning model, and possibly the star of this release. Would I have enjoyed a huge multi-optional kit for Skarbrand and each of the ‘Thirster variants? You bet! But this is what we get, and it’s still pretty great, if you ask me.


Exalted Deathbringer

Khorne Bloodbound release (15)
Whoa, that’s a pretty big guy, isn’t he? One of the new Khornate characters is quite interesting in how the model seems to blur the line between mortal and immortal servant of Khorne: He’s not quite a daemon yet, but also no longer purely mortal either. At the same time, the overall look of the model did remind me of a souped-up version of the priest from the warshrine kit.

Anyway, I like the model well enough, mostly for the excellent detail work adorning both the armour and the bare skin of the piece. I also really like that bestial face!

Khorne Bloodbound release (21)
If I have one gripe, the weapons seem a tad too gimmicky for my taste: That axe is just a bit too cumbersome, maybe, and definitely an acquired taste, for one. And it really wouldn’t make any sense to have skull trophies dangling from there, would it…?

Beyond that, the only thing that really doesn’t sit well with me is that topknot — in fact, the quickest way to make the model look much cooler would be to either significantly shorten the topknot…

Khorne Bloodbound release (17)
…or lose it altogether:

Khorne Bloodbound release (18)
In fact, without a topknot, the model looks like an even more grimdark version of Darkness from the seminal fantasy flick Legend. I wonder if that was intentional…?

A look at the sprue reveals that the model is versatile enough to allow for at least some customisation:

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Want to make your Deathbringer look less daemonic and more human? Just drop the stock head and swap in something more marauder-y. Need the claw or the axe for a different model? The world’s your oyster! And by the same token, it should also be possible to swap in an alternate set of weapons for use on the Deathbringer. The fairly open pose of the model should make converting it very easy.

All in all, I rather like this guy. He may not be super-original, but he does explore GW’s usual chaos look from a slightly new angle by blending mortal and daemonic characteristics. Plus the model’s versatility is really nice. Probably my favourite of the new Khornate plastic characters!



Khorne Bloodbound release (23)Hmm, now this is an interesting case… Let’s not get into the fact that this guy doesn’t really all that much like a priest to begin with —
because you might argue that Khorne is not a deity to be worshipped at a temple or church, but rather through the act of war itself. What instantly struck me about the model is that it does look fairly different from what we are used to — in fact, it doesn’t even really look like a GW model, does it? My immediate reaction was that it seemed like a piece from a different manufacturer (Rackham comes to mind, or the designs you would see in Dark Age.

Sure, it does have enough Khorne symbols and skulls on it to convince us that it does indeed belong. But there are parts of it that really recall several other manufacturers: a certain lankiness when it comes to the model’s proportions, the design of the face…

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In fact, I really rather like the face, to be honest. And the fact that the model doesn’t immediately read as standard GW fare doesn’t have to be a problem in and of itself, of course! I just cannot shake the feeling that this guy doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the family…

Beyond that, it’s certainly a cool looking model! Once again, the detailing is amazing all around:

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There’s a dubious design decision or two, though: Why have those horns emerge from the model’s spine? Why have them at all, if you don’t want them on the head? Wouldn’t that be really impractical (and rather uncomfortable as well)?

Anyway, a closer look at the sprue shows that the model might be slightly less flexible when it comes to conversions, but much of that has to do with the specific pose and the two-handed weapon, of course:

Khorne Bloodbound release (26)All in all, I have to admit that I haven’t yet made up my mind regarding this guy: He does stick out a bit, yet there’s also something interesting about the model’s different style that I find rather intriguing. Hmm…




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Ah, here we are, back in far safer territory. As a matter of fact, it’s actually rather surprising that it took GW as long as this to make the connection between Khorne and some blacksmith, forge god archetypes. But here we are at last: The Blood God’s very own sinister blacksmith. Huzzah! :)

Where the Slaughterpriest almost seemed like a non-GW model, the Skullgrinder looks oddly familiar. But then, it has so many hallmarks of GW’s Khornate design: the bunny eared helmet (with a lovely, somewhat perplexed, expression, if you asked me). The heavy armour. The dangling skulls and icons.

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And of course, the weapon on a chain, something that seems to be becoming a defining characteristic of many Khornate models for AoS:

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I certainly hope he’s not using that thing for any actual smithing, though — not only should it make for a rather uneven performance, but it also seems like it would wreak havoc on any matters of occupational safety… ;)

Yet once again, there’s something bothering me, although I cannot quite put my finger on it. Maybe the model just seems like a slightly formulaic treatment of the subject matter — like they mostly wanted to tick off a box here. “Murderous Blacksmith archetype? Yep, got that one. Moving on.”

Once again, the rather complicated pose means that you’ll have to plan ahead a bit when converting the Skullgrinder. At the same time, some of the bitz (the weapon and head, in particular) are interesting enough, so I think we should expect to see them on other models before long.

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This guy is a Khornate model alright, but he also seems like the least interesting out of the three. Is it just me? Or would it indeed have been possible to do more with the blacksmith archetype — speaking of which: While not call this guy Warsmith or Wrathsmith or something that doesn’t involve the word “skull” for once? Oh well… ;)




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Now these are the Marauders we have wanted for at least a couple of years, wouldn’t you agree? I think it’s consensus that the vintage plastic Marauder kit has adged pretty badly by now (although some of the bitz are still rather useful, make no mistake!), while the more recent kits like the Marauder Horsemen hinted at much more pleasing chaotic barbarians. And now we get the Bloodreavers, and I really have to say I like them a lot!

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These guys are bullish and warlike and just seem very fittingly brutal and tribal for the job! They also look dangerous enough to hld their own against the more heavily armoured followers of chaos, visually.

Bloodreavers were one of the unit types that came in the Age of Sigmar boxed set, so it’s interesting to see inhowfar these multipart models move beyond the snapfit pieces from that box. And I think the Bloodreavers do a rather good job in this respect, staying true to the overall design while adding some interesting new touches, such as the two-handed weapons and the bigger amount of bare heads:

Khorne Bloodbound release (34)

In fact, some of those heads are especially nice and flavourful (and would work brilliantly on World Eaters, if you ask me). At the same time, I also like the very stripped-down, brutal looking helmets.

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At their best, these guys are just as menacing as you would want your mad, bloodthirsty barbarians to be. And without any of the Barbie doll anatomy (especially where the shoulders are concerned) that plagued the old Marauder kit. Some of the models are just brilliant:

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The kit is not without its awkward parts, though. Some of the poses do seem a bit static and unnatural. Like the guy in the bottom left here:

Khorne Bloodbound release (35)Or that strange, double-sided dagger wielded by the champion. Whoever thought that looked cool?

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All in all, however, I really like these guys! They manage to move beyond the starter box Bloodreavers, presenting some interesting new options and some pretty wicked sculpts. And you get twenty of them in the kit, so what’s not to like?


Blood Warriors

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Here’s the other unit type featured in the AoS starter box, also rendered as a multipart plastic kit. And while I don’t want to get ahead of myself, I would argue that these models don’t fare quite as well as the Bloodreavers. Let’s take a closer look:

Khorne Bloodbound release (43)

Okay, first things first: Like the models that came with the AoS starter books, the multipart Blood Warriors make for some heavily armoured, quite sinister and very Khornate infantry — so far so good! The detail work is, once again, excellent, with every armour beautifully detailed and adorned with suitably Khornate elements. The amount of different heads is truly staggering, with a pretty big collection of Khornate helmets, as well as some bare variants:

Khorne Bloodbound release (45)

I especially like the bitz used to make up both the unit champion and standard bearer: The champ is such a characterful model, don’t you think?

Khorne Bloodbound release (50)I would never have expected to ever get fed up with axes — but I would have appreciated a sword or two in the kit, if only for some visual variety. Sure, all of the models have the option of equipping the new gorefists or a pair of axes, but a sword or two would have been nice. Speaking of which, the special weapons option here seems to be the, strangely Klingon-like, “Goreglaive” — which tries a bit too hard to be awesome for my taste…

Khorne Bloodbound release (51)That is a particularly lovely helmet, though!

The models generally try to approximate the design outline set down by the snapfit models from the starter kit, with the different helmet designs and optional bare arms the only visual elements to distinguish them. They do seem slightly less …sophisticated, for lack of a better word, than the starter box models, though. Granted, a pre-posed model will have a pretty good chance of looking more dramatic and impressive than a model built from a multipart kit, but it’s fairly noticeable here. There are also some strangely awkward elements about the kit: The aforementioned “Klingon axe”, some of the bare arms or the strange way the chains on the icon bearer’s standard interact with gravity…

In spite of these concerns, the kit remains very versatile and interesting — especially from a kitbasher’s perspective. This seems like the new, comprehensive toolkit for building heavily armoured Khorne dudes, and it should also provide you with many, many bitz to accessorise your World Eaters, Khorne berzerkers, Khornate Chaos Space Marines, Chaos Knights, regular WoC or what have you.

And still, while the kit is pretty cool, it somehow seems less interesting to me than the Bloodreavers — and it certainly brings fewer new elements to the table when compared with the Blood Warriors contained in the starter box. Still, I suppose this will turn into a more or less compulsory purchase for each Khorne player at some point.


Conversion ideas

So much for the different kits — but what about the conversion potential? I think it’s pretty obvious that these new kits will mostly come in handy for chaos players, particularly for those running any kind of Khornate army and/or warband. So what are my first ideas after taking a closer look at the new kits?


  • The most othe obvious conversion use for the kit would be to make a more interesting, customised Bloodthirster — while keeping in mind the aforementioned difficulties when combining Skarbrand and stock Bloodthirster bitz. Even so, with a sharp knife, some GS and a slightly adventurous spirit, the two available Bloodthirster kits should provide converters with quite a few options to make a really unique greater daemon of Khorne.
  • Speaking of which: I think Skarbrand would also make a very nice base model for a conversion of Angron in his incarnation as a Daemon Primarch: The pose is really fitting for the character, and I think the more ornate armour should also work like a charm. In fact, I really don’t understand why we haven’t yet seen any Angron conversions based on the new Bloodthirster kits — maybe it’s time to change that…?!
  • Whichever option you choose, the kit will also provide some nice additional bitz for your Daemon Prince or Chaos Lord. Since you get quite a few of the stock Bloodthirster bitz as part of the deal, there’s nothing stopping you from, say, making your Daemon Prince look more Khornate. And some of the weapons might look good on a daemon engine or even on a Chaos Knight — in fact, most of the ideas I’ve outlined in my review of the stock Bloodthirster kit also apply to Skarbrand!

Exalted Deathbringer

  • I think the model would make for a rather nice alternate Herald of Khorne — especially in a 40k daemon army, where the danger of confusing the model for something else wouldn’t be as big. But the rather daemonic look of this guy, in addition to his bulk, would really make him look the part!
  • Or he could become a mutant overlord — either for your LatD force with a Khornate twist or for an INQ28 chaos warband. Speaking of the latter options, he would also make for a great chaotic high priest with a few touchups.
  • Or, basically the most straightforward option: Make the model a bit less daemonic and use it as a World Eaters arena champion — not unlike my own conversion for Vorl Dustwalker.


  • I somehow get the feeling that this guy might end up as one of the chief suspects when it comes to converting a kit from the new release. I don’t even have all that many ideas about him yet, seeing how I yet need to make up my mind about him, but I think there will be quite a few conversions of the Slaughterpriest in the future, mark my words. Here, let me share my very first idea from just a second ago: What about thinking of that hideous spine painted in metal? That would give him a distinct “Mean Machine” vibe. Now just slap on a monstrous power claw, and you are already half way towards a very sinister looking pitslave champion. Just a though…


These guys should be very versatile conversion fodder. Just off the top of my head…

  • …they could be used as some very beefy and intimidating chaos cultists, obviously. Just slap on some autopistols, and you’re golden ;)
  • these would be brilliant as pitslaves! Just shave off the Khorne icons and add some heavy duty power tools and augmetics to them — done. They have the bulk. They have the scars. The rest shouldn’t be much work.
  • And while we are leaning towards the more loyalist (or at least, slightly less chaotic) side of things: Don’t you think these guys would make for some pretty convincing gland war veterans? I mean they certainly look like they have been beefed up via unsavory means. I mean, they could possibly be used to build any kind of barbarian IG troopers hailing from a feudal world, but I think they would be excellent as gland war veterans à la Inquisitor’s Sergeant Stone.
  • With a bit of conversion work, especially where the legs are concerned, these could be used to build some excellent, bare-chested, gladiatorial World Eaters — in fact, had these guys been available at the time, they would probably have been the perfect base models for my own Gladiatorii.
  • And finally, the bitz from the kit would work wonderfully on both Pre and post-Heresy World Eaters: I think the faces really have the kind of personality you want on your blood-crazed madmen. Some of the brutal looking helmets might also be pretty cool on World Eaters officers. And a bare arm here and there would also make for a cool eyecatcher. If I ever get a box of these (and I will, eventually), expect to see the leftover bitz used in this way ;)

Blood Warriors

As I’ve said before, I think these guys will become one of the new go-to kits when it comes to building Khornate models.

  • They could be used as Khornate Chaos Space Marines and/or World Eaters with a bit of work (or barely any conversion work, depending on how adventurous you’re feeling). Face it, slaughter-brothers and -sisters: This is the closest we will ever come to a new plastic Khorne berzerker kit ;)
  • And basically all of the bitz will certainly be in high demand for (Khornate) chaos armies all over the place: Expect to see all the extra heads and weapons on AoS Chaos Warriors and Chaos Knights, 40k Chaos Space Marines, Chaos Lords or Khorne Berzerkers.


So, what about this release on the whole? I have to say that I basically have two reactions to this release:

As a World Eaters fan (and a hobbyist still hopelessly in love with the Khornate design, even after all these years), I consider this a rock-solid release that provides lots and lots of new toys and several very interesting new toolkits. I now have more options than ever, and it won’t surprise you to hear that my hands are already itching when I look at some of those delicious bitz.

As a hobbyist in general, I cannot help but be a bit less impressed. Sure, all of this is high-quality work, but it also hardly treads any new ground. Which is why I can perfectly understand why some people are growing fed up with the seeming deluge of Khornate kits.

So, what to make of it all?

It seems very obvious that the Bloodbound are GW’s attempt at creating a faction that “plays it safe”, relatively speaking: These models could be used just as well in vintage WFB, and the design of the new kits is close enough to the older Khornate kits released over the last couple of years — and maye this was really a conscious decision, taken not so much from laziness, but rather from the attempt at providing something people are familiar with? Think about it: Yes the Stormcast Eternals are very similar to Space Marines in some respect, but they are also a fairly radical change of direction for GW’s fantasy setting. Maybe they did want to be the other faction included in the starter (and expanded upon in the following release) to be closer to something fans of vintage WFB could relate to?

In any case, if you are a fan of Khorne, you’re in luck: You have so many new toys now, and most of them are pretty cool. Some are even rather awesome! If, however, you find Khorne uninteresting and boring, these kits will do little to change your mind.


What’s your take on the Khorne Bloodbound? Do you love ’em or hate ’em? Is there anything you would like to share, or a conversion idea I didn’t think of? I’d be happy to hear from you in the comments section!

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

The Warrior King

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2015 by krautscientist

Baron Harrowthorne try04b

“Pray to your false Emperor with all your heart. Perhaps he might yet protect you, after all.”
Baron Augustus Melchiah Harrowthorne


So, a rather early update this week, but I just cannot sit on this any longer. So here goes:
More than a year later, here we are: Today’s post will finally showcase one of my most ambitious hobby projects to date, and certainly the biggest model I have ever painted — my very own converted Chaos Knight that will accompany the warriors of the World Eaters’ 4th assault company into battle. Regular readers of this blog will already be rather familiar with the model’s various stages of completion, but since I want this to be a fairly comprehensive showcase post, those of you who haven’t seen the Knight take shape yet will find all the various posts on the subject linked below:






Oh, and you might also be interested in this companion post over at Dark Future Gaming, where I discuss some of the excellent conversions that have inspired my own take on the Chaos Knight.

But let’s get to the actual showcase, right? So when we last saw the Knight, there was still some work left to do. One very important thing that I definitely wanted to incorporate was an effect suggested by dantay_xv a while ago:

The other idea I had, but again might not work would be bloody hand prints on the lower limbs and small totems or skulls at the feet of the knight like offerings or devotions.

As the 4th company go to war, they walk by Harrowthornes Knight & touch a bloody hand to its armour in the hope of receiving Khorne’s blessing for a good hunt etc before going to battle.

I really loved this idea, so I had to make it work somehow. And I basically left this effect for last during painting (because I was really rather anxious about messing up, to be honest). Anyway, my approach was to make a press mold of a hand bit from a WFB trophy. I used GS for this. Then the mold was filled with latex milk, in order to create a suitably floppy and flexible copy of the hand that could then be used as a “stamp”, so to speak:

Handprints (1)
The stamp was then coated with Tamiya Clear Red, the colour I used to create the actual handprints. However, I quickly learned a couple of things: One, in spite of the flexibility of the stamp, actually creating some believable handprints on the shin armour’s curved surface turned out to be quite a bit of an ordeal. Two, there was actually even less room than I had anticipated. Three, while I had planned to add many, many handprints, I realised that the limited space resulted in a very real danger of all the handprints just mushing together into a solid wall of glossy red. So In the end, it was rather about suggesting the intended effect without going overboard — and I actually ended up painting most of the handprints by brush. Oh well…

Here’s the armour after the application of the handprints:

Handprints (3)
Handprints (4)
I am pretty pleased with the effect as it stands. It’s a rather subtle effect, to be sure, and one that does not come across all that well in photographs, but if you have the model in front of you and turn it, it’s really a rather cool effect when you suddenly glimpse the silhouette of handprints, created by the Clear Red’s glossy finish (the effect can be seen pretty well in the pictures above).

All that was left to do at this point was a lot of minor cleanup work. I had drawn up a list of many small parts that needed some more attention during the earlier stages of painting the Knight, and now I carefully went down this list and cleaned up every part of the model in turn. While this did take a while, I really didn’t want my attention to detail to wane so close to the finishing line, so I stayed focused. I may not be able to hold a candle to, say, JeffTibbett’s kind of perfectionism, but I can be obsessed when I need to ;)

So, without any further ado, here’s the finished model. I give you Gilgamesh, the Warrior King, the Twice-Consecrated, Son of the Ember Queen, the 4th assault company’s very own Knight Titan:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (1)
Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (3)
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Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (2)
It probably won’t surprise you that I am just immensely happy with this model right now: It has been quite a journey, but in the end I ended up accomplishing pretty much all that I had set out to do with this model, and all without cutting any corners, which is no small feat for me ;) Oh, and the fact that the start to painting the model was rather bumpy and almost made me abandon the piece in frustration makes this success all the sweeter now!

Oh, and I do realise that painting all of the armour red may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it really creates the kind of look I wanted: The colour scheme and many bitz leave absolutely no doubt as to the machine’s allegiance, wouldn’t you agree?

So let’s take a closer look at some of the detail, because that’s really the fun part with a model of this size: To add stuff that may not be immediately noticeable but that hints at the machine’s backstory and long years of service. Again, some of you will already be familiar with most of these details, but please bear with me here — I am just really proud of the model right now ;)

So, we have seen the red and brass, and so it’s no surprise that the Knight proudly displays the heraldry of the XII Legion Astartes, be it on the heraldic plate…

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (14)

…or on its right shoulder pad:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (15)
In the latter case, the legion badge is supplemented by the Legion and company number, respectively. The other shoulder pad, meanwhile, shows a massive brazen icon of the Blood God, chained into place in the gladiatorial style of the legion and decorated in many smaller totems and icons:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (16)
The World Eaters legion badge is also on display on the banner between the Knight’s legs:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (17)
Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (18)
Also take note of the bloody handprints on the warmachine’s shin armour, left there as an oath of moment by the legionaries of the 4th. And there’s also a symbol of the Legio Audax (“Ember Wolves”) on the right kneepad, symbolising the machine’s honorary membership in the mighty Titan Legio. After going back and forth on the design several times, in the end I decided to combine an AdMech cog symbol (as a symbol of a Titan Legio) and a SW paw print for the actual Ember Wolves look — I just liked the way the paw print mirrored the (bloody) handprints used by the World Eaters as a sign of accomplishment in the official fluff.

Meanwhile, the rear side of the banner displays a collection of the many battle honours won by the Knight during its long years of service among the World Eaters:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (7)
Like I said, I had quite a bit of fun with this small detail, and it’s also a callback to some of the really old Adeptus Titanicus and Rogue Trader artwork: Even then, Titans were covered in battle honours, hung with kill banners and what have you.

The Knight is stalking through the rubble of a vast battlefield, crushing the remains of a toppled Space Marine monument underfoot — a fitting metaphor for the failing Imperium of Man:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (19)

But what of the pilot? A look into the opened cockpit reveals Baron Harrowthorne himself, strapped into his Throne Mechanicum:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (21)
As I’ve said in an earlier post, this was probably the most complicated part of the whole conversion, but also the part I am most proud of now: Opening the hatch really shows you this perfect little vignette of the Baron in his fully realised cockpit — there’s even a design for the interior part of the hatch, of course:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (22)
Oh, and while this doesn’t have anything to do with the Baron, the Astartes helmet tropy to the left was actually painted in the colours of my INQ28 DIY Space Marine Chapter, the Golden Legion — I thought this was a pretty cool shout out ;)

Anyway, getting the pilot’s position to really match the hatch above took some doing, but the finished piece makes me feel it’s been well worth it:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (20)
And as it happens, I have left the entire top carapace detachable, so let us take a closer look, shall we?

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (23)
The carapace can be taken of with a bit of fiddling and will also reliably snap back into place, so it seemed like a no brainer not to glue it in. So we can get a better look at the cockpit. Like so:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (24)
And here’s a view from the top, showing both the cockpit and engine compartment:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (26)
And a side view, showing the construction below it all:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (25)
In this picture you can also make out the piece of sprue I have used to keep the joint at the waist flexible.

And here’s a look at the monitor banks showing vital battlefield information to the Baron:Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (27)
All of this has been kitbashed from different vehicle bitz and some plasticard, but I think I’ve managed to combine it into a rather cohesive whole. What’s more, the design even resembles Forgeworld’s “official” Knight interiors released for the Cerastus Knight variants — no small feat when you consider that those versions weren’t even available yet when I started converting my own Knight.

In addition to the to the carapace, the shoulder pads and arms have also been left detachable, so the entire Knight can be disassembled fairly thoroughly. Take a look:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (29)
Since all of the parts lock into place fairly reliably without glue, there was really no point to attaching them permanently. Plus the weapons can be properly aligned and turned towards the enemy during games. Oh, and I am also free to maybe build an alternate pair of weapon arms for the Knight one of these days…

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (30)
Before I started working on the Knight, the biggest conversion I had ever tackled was my Wargrinder, a custom Dreadknight conversion. And while I am still very proud of this model, it does look almost puny when placed next to its bigger brother. Take a look:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (31)
Quite a difference, eh? Speaking of which, the picture also shows that the red used on my Knight noticeably differs from the red used on the rest of my World Eaters. While I would have loved the colours to be the same, I ultimately had to make this decision because my World Eaters colour scheme relies on the – now OOP – GW Blood Red, and my reserves of this colour would never have sufficed to paint a model of this size to a standard I was happy with. In the end, I chose to make the Knight the best it could possibly be — at the price of a bit of visual coherency. But when all is said and done, I think it’s a difference I can easily live with: The model still looks like it belongs with the rest of the army, and a Knight Titan is really different enough from an Astartes vehicle or daemon engine to warrant a bit of visual divergence.

Oh, and while we are on the subject of scale comparisons, here’s a picture showing a power armoured World Eater, a Terminator, a Dreadnought, the Wargrinder and the Chaos Knight, just to put the scale in perspective:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (32)

All in all, this has been an absolutely fantastic project for me, because it has really taught me so much, both about big models, but also about giving a model the time it deserves in order to really make it shine. What’s more, this Chaos Knight really turned into a bit of a community project somewhere along the way, as the feedback I received here and on forums like Dakka, The B&C or The Ammobunker really provided immensely helpful advice and helped me to stay focused whenever there was a danger of slacking off ;)

If I have to name on source of inspirations above all others, it would have to be JeffTibbett’s brilliant Freeblade, the “Queen Bee”, though: Jeff’s work really taught me a new way of looking at a Knight and how to do justice to one of this ancient, hallowed warmachines. So thanks a lot to all those who provided valuable feedback and cheers to you, Jeff!

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (13)
So, anything else? Well, speaking of the amount of history behind Knights, we cannot possibly wind up this post without taking a look at the history of this particular machine and its pilot, can we? So here’s what I’ve come up with for the two:


Baron Harrowthorne try03b
Baron Augustus Melchiah Harrowthorne

Knight Baron Harrowthorne was the leader of the honourable Covenant of Paladins, an alliance of knight households formed to defend a forgeworld in the eastern fringe. While several of the other powerful houses were forever planning and plotting to engineer their own rise to power, Harrowthorne’s honour and purity cemented his position as the Covenant’s leader, and his ancestral fortress, the Harrowspyke, remained the seat of government of his knight world.

When the world came under heavy attack from an Ork invasion, an expeditionary fleet made up of elements of the XIIth and XVIIth Legion Astartes arrived in the nick of time, supporting the Covenant of Paladins and routing the xenos attack force. With the world saved, Baron Harrowthorne felt honour-bound to not only pledge allegiance to the Imperium of Man, but also to join the expeditionary fleet himself as a representative of the Covenant, in order to pay back the debt of honour he owed the Legiones Astartes.

Harrowthorne fought alongside the XIIth legion during the latter Great Crusade and was still attached to the World Eaters when the Horus Heresy broke out. The events at Isstvan made him realise that the Warmaster’s forces were now considered heretics and traitors by the rest of the Imperium. To distance himself from them would have been the most prudent course of action, and possibly the only way of preventing his own knight world from being purged by the loyalists. But Harrowthorne still felt indebted to the legion that had saved him.

Harrowthorne came up with the only compromise that would keep both his knight world and his own honour intact: He stepped down from his position as head of his household and leader of the Covenant of Paladins. He would remain with the the Astartes of the XIIth legion, to whom he still felt indebted. He also sent word to his sons to fight him and bring him to justice, should he ever return to his homeworld, for he was to be considered a traitor.

As prudent and honourable as this course of action had been, it did not work out: Word was sent by astropath that Harrowthorne’s whole household had been wiped out by the rivaling nobles. The Harrowspyke had been razed to the ground, and Harrowthorne’s two sons had been shot dead in sight of the smouldering ruins, without even a chance to prove their honour in a knightly duel.

Harrowthorne was beside himself with grief and self-hatred, when Lord Captain Lorimar of the 4th assault company approached him: Lorimar proposed to accompany the Knight Baron to his homeworld, where he would have his revenge. His debt of honour, Lorimar argued, went both ways, and the World Eaters would not forget Harrowthorne’s brave service at their side.

The Covenant of Paladins may have been a formidable force, but it was all but powerless against the wrath of an entire assault company of World Eaters: The 4th fell onto the world like a pack of wolves falls upon its prey. With Harrowthorne leading the assault, all the noble houses that had engineered his downfall were wiped out. The leader of the conspiracy was shot in the head with a mere service pistol on the plains surrounding his smouldering keep, denied the courtly respect that he himself had denied Harrowthorne’s sons.

Afterwards, Harrowthorne felt nothing but a great emptiness. But Lorimar approached the Knight Baron and offered him a chance at revenge even beyond his own homeworld: Once again, the Baron and the World Eaters would be united by a common goal: Terra must burn!


Warrior King
Gilgamesh, the Warrior King, the Twice-Consecrated, Son of the Ember Queen

Harrowthorne’s ancient Knight Titan has become a sight to be feared on battlefields across the galaxy. Its baroque form towers over the ranks of World Eaters marching to war alongside it, and seems like an avatar of the Blood God given form, clad in monstrous, barbed plate of arterial red and darkened brass. No traces of House Harrowthorne’s original heraldry remain on Gilgamesh’s body, as the Knight has been repainted and re-consecrated to mirror the post-heresy heraldry of the XII Legion Astartes – proof of the Baron’s honorary membership in the legion.

Trophies and totems cover the machine’s form, and battle honours from its ten millennia of service alongside the World Eaters are still displayed proudly on banners and armour plates: the details of bloody campaigns on Jubal, Badlanding, Armatura and countless other worlds. The badge of the Legio Audax, commemorating the day when Gilgamesh was named “Son of the Ember Queen” by the Legio’s Princeps Ultima. And, of course, the bloody handprints adorning the Knight’s shin armour, placed there before every battle by the legionaries of the 4th, both as an oath of moment and a good luck charm.

Gilgamesh’s metallic form houses a particularly vicious and spiteful machine spirit, driven to anguish over the fall of House Harrowthorne just like its master. In communion, man and machine now turn their cold fury towards the enemies of the 4th assault company, and few can stand before the wrath of the Warrior King and live to tell the tale…


So, when all is said and done, I hope you like this detailed view at my Chaos Knight. I’ll be honest: I cannot take my eyes off the model right now, as I really consider it one of my biggest hobby achievements so far. Getting to the point where I actually have the skillset necessary to tackle a model like this and end up with a result I am happy with has been quite a journey indeed!

So anyway, I’d love to hear any feedback you might have on Gilgamesh and the Baron — and, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (12)

500,000 views — and a huge “Thank you!”

Posted in Pointless ramblings with tags , , , on October 10, 2015 by krautscientist

Hey everyone,

Eternal Hunt has actually hit the 500,000 views mark earlier this week, and not only is this a pretty awesome achievement, but it’s also the perfect occasion to say a big thank you to all the people who have been so relentlessly supportive of this hobby endeavour of mine over the last couple of years: Back in 2012 when I started this blog, this was mainly a way of forcing myself to actually get something done and show it to those who might be interested — and as it turns out, quite a few of you seem to be. Awesome!

But there’s more: I’ve received an amount of feedback and support that I could never have expected back then. So here’s to all of my hobby buddies: To Biohazard who was the first to provide me with some bitz I needed and who continues to be an unfailing help as well as a brother-in-arms (World Eaters 4 Life, yo! ;) ). To PDH and Commissar Molotov and Brother Ludovic and Sagal, among others, for providing brilliant bitz drops that let me do stuff like this, for instance:

Various DV Chosen conversions
To Ron Saikowski, one of my hobby heroes, for letting me have his wonderful Astropath conversion, and to Drone21C for sending me lots of cool stuff, among it his wonderful Arch Deaconne model and some excellent custom heads (a favour I have yet to repay):

INQ28 class of 2015 (2)

To Miniature Tim, who went through the trouble of sending a huge box of stuff to Germany when I won his giveaway a while back. I mean, just look at this load of stuff:



To Augustus b’Raass for not only sending me bitz but also offering to provide half a pot of the OOP GW Blood Red, which actually allowed me to get my model for Lord Captain Lorimar painted:

Lord Captain Lorimar (9)
And, speaking of Lorimar, thanks to Greyall and Bloodygoodtime for their excellent, respectiv illustrations showing two very different but fantastic interpretations of the Master of the Hunt:

Lord Captain Lorimar by Greyall

Lord Captain Lorimar by Greyall


illustration by Bloodygoodtime

illustration by Bloodygoodtime


And, of course, to Jeff Vader. Not only for being a constant inspiration when it comes to the painting and modeling side of the hobby, but for being so awesome as to send me a copy of his utterly fantastic book Nordiska Väsen (which, by the way, is totally awesome and a compulsory purchase):

Nordiska Väsen next to its predeccessor in spirit, the seminal "Faeries"

Nordiska Väsen next to its predeccessor in spirit, the seminal “Faeries”


I am also very grateful to DexterKong with whom I have been ceaselessly exchanging hobby ideas for quite a while now, and who keeps challenging me to become better and better at converting and painting — an invaluable service, because it’s far too easy to grow complacent.

The list really goes on and on: Thanks to all the people on the forums who have helped me grow as a hobbyist. And, of course, to all the followers and readers of this blog. For the comments, the views, the Likes and the support. And many thanks, last but definitely not least, to those of you whom I may have forgotten in this list. I am sometimes an ungrateful bastard, sorry for that ;)

Running this blog for the last couple of years has been an extremely rewarding experience, and my hobby activities, not unlike this blog, have grown in a way that I couldn’t have foreseen. And it’s all thanks to you guys! So, again, thank you, from the bottom of my heart! You guys rock!

Before I embarrass myself any further, suffice to say that there will be a fresh update with a detailed look at a big (and now finished) model coming next week. Until then, have a great weekend, people! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Feet on the ground! Painting my Chaos Knight, pt. 4

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2015 by krautscientist

So, what about that Chaos Knight I’ve been working on for quite a while now? While recent events have slowed down work on the model a bit, I do have a fresh update for you that should give you a pretty good idea as to what the finished model is going to look like, so strap yourselves in!

When we last encountered the Knight, the entire top carapace was still only undercoated black, so this was the next area I needed to tackle. Thankfully, I had purchased a Citadel L Base Brush from my FLGS, which made it far easier to produce an even coat of red on this huge area. Here’s what the Knight looked like with the carapace painted red and the first details picked out:

Chaos Knight PIP (111)

While I realise that not everyone will like the armour plates painted entirely in red, this was very much my plan from the beginning — and, like I said, if it had been my call, the fabled “Red Period” at GW would never have ended ;)

I’ll still need to add some further detail work, but I’ve already finished the top hatch. Here’s a closer look:

Chaos Knight PIP (113)
And while I was at it, I also had some fun with the interior:

Chaos Knight PIP (114)
Hey there, Baron Harrowthorne! ;)

Speaking of which, seeing FW’s recently released Knight Scion has made me pretty happy, seeing how I seem to have come pretty close to the “official” version of a Knight pilot with my own, kitbashed version — at least when it comes to the position and the controls for the Knight:

FW Knight ScionOh, and another detail: Those of you paying close attention may have spotted a suspicious model in that picture of the Knight above. This little guy here:

Chibi-Knight WIP (19)
This is a small “Gaiden Project” dubbed the “Chibi-Knight” — a roughly Epic-scaled version of my Chaos Knight, inspired by fellow German hobbyist Paule’s excellent thread about kitbashing Epic Titans. Coming up with a model to match the bigger version fairly closely has been a lot of fun, and I think I’ve done a reasonably good job of it, wouldn’t you agree? Anyway, expect to see more of this little guy at some point ;)

And that’s where I stopped working on the Knight for a while when, well…real life happened. But this past week, I’ve felt the need to do something creative and fun, so I’ve come up with this:

Chaos Knight base (1)
Chaos Knight base (2)
Chaos Knight base (3)

As you will probably have guessed, this will be the base for my Chaos Knight. As it happens, I’ve been going back and forth regarding what to put on the base: On the one hand, it’s really easy to make bases of this size look tacky by overcluttering them. But the Knight deserved a suitable base. And yet. And still…

In the end, I realised that there are few things more emblematic of the crumbling Imperium of Man than a toppled and destroyed Astartes statue — plus the piece from the Honoured Imperium kit was a pretty nice fit scale-wise! So I went with that, and I am pretty pleased with the general direction, if I do say so myself.

So here’s the – still unfinished (!) – Knight, provisionally placed on top of it:

Chaos Knight PIP (117)
Chaos Knight PIP (121)
Chaos Knight PIP (119)
Chaos Knight PIP (122)
And a closer look at the way the model and base interact:

Chaos Knight PIP (118)
Chaos Knight PIP (118b)
While the base is suitably impressive for a model of this size, I think it does a pretty good job of not drawing a way too much attention from the true star of the show. If anything, it may actually be a tad too monochromatic, as pointed out by my buddy Biohazard. Yet I don’t want to screw up both the painting I have so far and the fact that it matches the bases of my World Eaters — any ideas?

Oh, and there’s one last thing I did: I finished the banner dangling between the Knight’s legs, using some decals to create a suitable design. The front received a World Eaters legion badge in red:

Chaos Knight PIP (125)
Chaos Knight PIP (127)
As simple as this design looks, it was a veritable nightmare to get right! I started with a decal from the FW World Eaters decal sheet, but it needed lots of decal softener and several coats of varnish to finally conform to the banner’s surface. And even then, what had been a rich, ox-blood red on the decal sheet turned into a prety off-putting shade of pink against the dark background, so I ended up painting over the decal several times, coloring in the legion badge, so to speak, with my brush.

Fortunately enough, the rear was far less of a hassle — in fact, designing some of the battle honours won by the Knight during its long years of service was actually quite a bit of fun! Take a look:

Chaos Knight PIP (129)

So, here’s the Knight as it stands right now:

Chaos Knight PIP (124)
Chaos Knight PIP (126)
Chaos Knight PIP (130)
Chaos Knight PIP (128)

When all is said and done, I am very happy with the way this guy is turning out, even though there’s still quite a bit of detail work left to do. Roughly speaking, I’d place the entire model at about two thirds done right now, although most of the stuff left to do is fairly minor detail work. But the Knight is shaping up to be quite the centre piece, wouldn’t you agree?

Chaos Knight PIP (131)

As always, let me know what you think! And, of course, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Chaos Knight PIP (132)



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