Archive for April, 2012

Just for fun

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , on April 13, 2012 by krautscientist

Yesterday evening, I sat down to paint something just for fun for a change. I know, I know, If I am not already having fun painting my models, I am perhaps doing it wrong. But if you’re – like me – a painter by necessity rather than by trade, working on your army is sometimes more of a chore than a pleasure.

So I knew better than to ignore my fancy: When I felt my motivation growing, I was quick to humour it. Here’s what I got:

First up is a Dark Eldar Kabalite warrior. The Dark Eldar were my first 40k army, and the new models where my original reason for getting back into the hobby in 2010 in the first place. You don’t need me to tell you that the new sculpts are fantastic, so I got a box of Warriors and Wyches respectively to add to my older models. But while putting them together, I realised that converting Chaos Space Marines just felt more enjoyable to me. In addition, Dark Eldar are also not an army I would enjoy playing (far too many bells and whistles), so I was ultimately drawn back to my World Eaters.

But still, every time I take a look at my cousin Andy’s growing Dark Eldar army with its ton of cool conversions, I always feel that I would like to build and convert a force of my own. So I just wanted to paint up one of my Dark Eldar models in order to scratch that constant itch.

I decided on a quick and dirty approach and completed the model in about an hour. While it certainly doesn’t look brilliant, working on the Kabalite warrior was still a nice change of pace and it gave me the opportunity to use my favourite colour in the World, Vallejo’s Milenario Halcon Turquoise, again.

Pleased with my initial success, I then decided to give it another shot and paint a second model. This time, I chose a Chaos Space Marine I built ages ago to serve as a Word Bearer.

As you can see, he had a change of empoyer somewhere along the way and now boasts the colours of the Iron Warriors. While the World Eaters remain my favourite traitor legion, the Iron Warriors and Word Bearers easily tie for second place. And for some time now, I’ve been collecting suitable bits in order to convert some Iron Warriors legionnaires. I have no intention of starting an Iron Warriors force, but I might try something smaller, a Kill Team for Special Operations Killzone, for example.

When painting the model, I chose a very quick approach once again. The resulting paintjob is a little more sloppy than I would have liked, but it turned out alright, I guess. My hand wasn’t steady enough to manage some truly convincing hazard stripes, and there’s a couple of rough spots on the model, but I think it’s not too bad for a test piece. At least I managed to get the Decal on the legionnaire’s right shoulder pad to look halfway decent.

All in all, not a bad turnout. At least for me 😉

So, what do we learn from this? I guess one thing would be this: If you feel the need to paint something, go for it, even if it has nothing to do with the army you are working on at the moment. The change of pace will break up the monotony, and you might learn some new trick or technique along the way.

Oh, and never underestimate a colour scheme, only because it’s 80% Boltgun Metal 😉

Have a nice weekend, everyone! As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Reasons why you should build your own terrain, pt.1

Posted in 40k, DIY, Pointless ramblings, Terrain with tags , , on April 11, 2012 by krautscientist

What you see above is the first piece of terrain I ever built for Warhammer 40k. Well, no, that’s not true actually. The first piece I ever built was a burned out barracks that I made from some GW styrofoam packaging in the mid 90s. But that one got lost somewhere along the way and never saw the tabletop anyway, so let’s stick with the one above as my first. By now, you have probably realised that this is going to be a post about the joys of DIY terrain.

To be honest, for a long time I was a bit intimidated by the prospect of building my own terrain. And with the slew of awesome plastic terrain kits released by GW, why should you have to build your own in the first place? Just buy an Imperial sector, put it together, slap some paint on and be done with it. And yet. And still…

Don’t get me wrong: Those kits are fantastic! And I’ll probably be getting some of that stuff sooner rather than later. But when I first got into the hobby during the 90s, what really fascinated me was the DIY terrain used by GW in their official publications. I always felt that to own terrain only half as awesome as that was one of the wargamer’s ultimate goals in life. Sure, you could play with books and soda cans for placeholders, but to build my own jungle, my own destroyed imperial city, was a dream for me. Alas, my meagre abilities never amounted to much in this field, so I stuck to using the readymade cardboard buildings that came with the starter box of Warhammer Fantasy and some large pieces of cork.

It was only when I got back into the hobby that I really felt the need to build some terrain. I was putting all this effort into converting and painting my models, after all. So the thought of plunking them down on a barren kitchen table just didn’t cut it for me any longer. Hence the generator shed you can see above as my humble first step.

It was fairly easy as well: Just glue some cardboard packaging that came with a wine bottle around a styrofoam block, add an old Necromunda bulkhead and an engine block from an old truck model kit. Spray the entire thing with cheap spray paint. Add a poster for some 40k flavour (and notice the typo when it’s already to late *sigh*). Granted, it’s not the most awesome piece of terrain in the world by a long stretch. But it left me with a hunger for more. Since then, I’ve built quite a collection of cityfight terrain, and I frankly cannot wait til it’s warm enough outside to work on the terrace again and get the next project underway.

But the question remains: Why should you build your own terrain instead of buying the awesome GW stuff? In this ongoing series of arguments for the awesomness of DIY terrain, let me give you five reasons for building your own:

1.)    It’s fun
2.)    It’s cheap
3.)    It’s truly your own
4.)    It makes for a nice change of pace
5.)    It’s a great outlet for creativity

Allow me to elaborate:

1. Building your own terrain is fun

This may be a matter of opinion, of course, but for me, building terrain is really something that pulls you in quickly. And I say that as somebody who is really not much of a craftsperson to begin with. Still, building terrain has the potential of being just as satisfying as working on your army. In some cases, especially when I’m on a roll, I even have to stop myself lest I build so much that I run out of storage space.

But it’s not only the act of building and creating itself: It’s how building terrain invites thinking outside the box. After a short while, you realise that almost anything can serve as ingredients for your terrain projects. It starts with simpe household articles, but soon you’ll find yourself looking for interestingly shaped packaging materials, special deals at your craftstore and seasonal decoration items. An interestingly textured wallpaper can become the sidewalk of an imperial city. A set of plastic plants originally intented as Easter decorations can turn into a deadly jungle. And your collection of empty Pringles cans can finally serve a function as the spires of a Mechanicus Forge World.

But the fun doesn’t stop there: Using your DIY terrain for your games feels truly satisfying, since you’ve managed to bring the world around your little plastic soldiers to life. And if your stuff looks reasonaly cool, it’ll invite all kinds of positive feedback, and who doesn’t like that?

To wind up this first argument for the awesomness of DIY terrain, let me show you another one of my early projects. I’ll call it “the classic”:

We’ll have a closer look at this piece and at what went into its creation in the next installment on this series. Next time: Building your own terrain is cheap.

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

Inquisitor 28: Magos Explorator Hiram Zeiss

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2012 by krautscientist

Here’s another model I built for the retinue of Inquisitor Antrecht. It’s also the first model I ever built for Inquisitor.

Magos Explorator Hiram Zeiss

Magos Hiram Zeiss has always been a treasure hunter of sorts, but in his case, the treasure in question is knowledge. Educated on Mars, Magos Zeiss quickly displayed a thirst for knowledge that even his senior Mechanicus priests found slightly disquieting. Additionally, all attempts to keep his questing mind contained within the confines of a Mechanicus Forgeworld proved futile. Magos Zeiss was thus elevated to the rank of Magos Explorator and inducted into one of the Explorator fleets  constantly scouring the galaxy for lost knowledge from the Dark Age of Technology. It was during this quest that Zeiss and his team came under attack from a Xeno-cult on the world of Varunth Minoris, and the Explorator party was nearly wiped out. It was only through the intervention of Inquisitor Antrecht that Magos Zeiss survived. He has been a member of the Inquisitor’s entourage ever since.

It would, however, be very naive to think that his association with Antrecht is based on some kind of gratitude: Aloof and emotionless beyond measure, Magos Zeiss has simply realised that the Inquisitor’s highly unconventional modus operandi is very likely to lead him to all kinds of forgotten places and, by extension, to many caches of forgotten knowledge as well.

In his pursuit of knowledge, Hiram Zeiss has gone further than most members of the Mechanicus, and it is his relentless quest for things some would say were best left forgotten that have alienated him from his fellow Magi. At best, the techpriests of Mars regard him as a wayward child. But there are also those who think that Magos Zeiss is walking a very dangerous road and that his quest had best be ended before he ever reaches the end of it…

Let me start off by saying that I think that there is a severe shortage of Mechanicus models. Sure, you’ve got the Enginseer and a FW Magos, but apart from that, the Mechanicus doesn’t get much love from GW, which, in my opinion, is pretty hard to justify: Those guys are just oozing the gothic madness that is Warhammer 40k.  So it was clear to me that one of my Inquisitor models would have to be a Magos. Once again, I was drawn to Phil Kelly’s models for inspiration. It doesn’t take a degree in rocket science to see that I was quite heavily inspired by his Magos Demitri model when I built Hiram Zeiss.

The base for the model were a WFB Empire flagellant body, head and right arm. I think that the tattered robes are a very good fit for an obsessed Magos on the run. I added a respirator and bionic arm from the Cadian Command sprue and cobbled together some kind of servo harness from a couple of bits. This piece of equipment helps him on his quest for knowledge by providing all the tools you might need in dark and abandoned places, i.e. a chainblade and some kind of plasma cutter. The upside is that the tools can also be used to tear through any competition if need be 😉

Looking back on it now, it might have been better to go for some believable Mechadendrites instead of the clunky backpack, but oh well…

All that was left were some finishing touches: The head of the chainaxe (a nod to Phil Kelly’s Magos Dimitry) came from the Khorne Berzerkers and the original (bare) feet of the model were replaced with feet I cut off an old Space Crusade android. This was supposed to show that Hiram is a bit more augmented under the hood than you might initally suspect.

When painting him, going for red robes was a no-brainer. I did however try to make them look threadbare and stained. For his skin, I went for a bloodless, dead look. The rest were various shades of metal and rust. I did also try to add a (fairly primitive) lighting effect to his plasma cutter.

All in all, I wanted him to be clearly identifiable as a Mechanicus model, but at the same time to look somewhat unkempt and frayed around the edges. Just the right appearance for a rogue Magos who is obsessed with his quest for knowledge…

So there, my second INQ28 model. Hope you enjoyed the ride 😉 C&C are always welcome!

Thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Celebrating my first 500 views

Posted in miscellaneous, Pointless ramblings on April 3, 2012 by krautscientist

Hey everyone,

while I do of course realise that a mere 500 views are really not that much in this wonderful web 2.0 we find ourselves in, I am nevertheless a bit proud, considering I have only been doing this whole blogging thing for a month and a half.

So to everyone from around the world who had a look at my little part of the interwebz: Thank you! I hope you enjoyed what you saw! I’ll keep the content coming, the next update is already on its way.

Now if I could only get people to comment more often…

Anyway, thanks everyone! Stay tuned for more!