Archive for May, 2012

Inquisitor 28: Chrono-gladiator Klytus

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 30, 2012 by krautscientist

The Chrono-gladiator is yet another archetype oozing the kind of gothic science fiction horror that defines the setting of 40k and Inquisitor. There’s just something inherently wrong and sickening about a creature only able to prolong its life by fighting and killing. So it was clear that I would have to build one of those guys as a part of my INQ28 exploits.

Fortunately, the Chrono-gladiator was once again a nice fit for Inquisitor Antrecht’s retinue, because even someone like Antrecht, who prefers working from the shadows, will sometimes have to employ a more direct approach or face one of his many pursuers in combat. It makes a lot of sense that he would choose to use servants that are not too bothered about his methods. And his alliance with Magos Zeiss should make it easy enough to keep all kinds of biomechanic abominations in working order. So with the consideration of plausibility safely out of the way,  I once again started cutting and glueing:


All things considered, this guy was one of the easiest conversions in the retinue. I used the body of an old Ork boy I had built ages ago, replacing the hands with two crude chainblades from the same kit. There’s just something about those primitive Ork weapons. Hmmm…
The left arm had some bandages at the wrist which were a perfect fit for the crude implant, while I masked the left wrist with a very old shield that came from Advanced HeroQuest. It does manage to add a little bit of “Blanchian” madness to the piece, I think.


The head is from the ever useful Crypt Ghoul kit. The fact that it’s much too small for the muscular body makes the model look misshapen and malproportioned, like he turned the steroid use up to eleven, which, come to think about it, is probably exactly what happened.

I added a shaved down CSM backpack and a small tube running into the model’s neck to represent the mechanisms injecting drugs into the gladiator’s system during fights.

All that was left were some bits and bobs. I added a purity seal as well as a Mechanicus seal to the model. And of course an hourglass that he uses to keep track of the time he managed to “save up”. And with that, the model was ready for painting:


Looking back on it now, I was kind of ambitious with the paintjob, trying all kinds of new things. First of all, this was the first model where I managed to figure out a working recipe for pale, somewhat sickly skin: Paint it GW Dheneb Stone, the wash liberally with GW Ogryn Flesh. Done! Fortunately for me, I managed to load up on Ogryn Flesh before the new paints were released. Phew!

I also tried to paint some blue veins on the model’s skin, trying to make it look like the skin was slightly translucent (like real human skin). It worked out rather nicely, I think. You can see the effect on his arms and neck.


His clothes were mainly painted in muted browns and greens, so they would offer a nice contrast to the skin but not draw too much attention away from the more interesting points of the model. I used the shield on the right arm and the purity seal to add some accents in red.





And finally, I tried adding lots of scratches to the model’s chainblades, making it look like he has been using them to parry lots of attacks. By washing with Badab Black between applying the different “layers” of scratches, I tried to make it look like some of them were more recent than others.

All in all, I’m rather pleased with the model. He’s certainly not a main player in the warband, but I used him to try all kinds of things that were fairly new — at least to me. I also wrote up a small piece of background just now in order to get a feeling for how he and Antrecht could have crossed ways for the first time.


Chrono-gladiator Klytus

The main tenet of the Istvaanian creed is that it is unending conflict alone that allows the Imperium to prosper. What better embodiment for this philosophy, then, than a creature that can only prolong its existence by fighting?

Inquisitor Antrecht first saw the being called Klytus in the slave pits of St. Sabasto’s Reach, fighting for his life in more ways than one: The Chrono-gladiator’s internal clock was just about to run out, leaving him with only seconds to live, and so he tore through his opponents with wild abandon, desperate to prolong his existence. Then, as a cruel kind of recurring spectacle, the ringmaster would reset his clock after each fight, keeping him suspended in a stasis field until the next time, repeating a cycle of desperation and slaughter over and over again. Antrecht was disgusted and fascinated in equal measures.

When Antrecht’s investigations revealed the planet’s Circus Imperialis to be a front for a cult of daemon-worshippers, the ringmaster sicced Klytus on the Inquisitor, promising him to end the vicious cycle if he managed to take Antrecht down. It turned out however, that he had misjudged the gladiator’s will to live after all, for it was him that Klytus turned on instead. He had been a plaything far too long, and if he had to die, he would at least take a dangerous heretic with him.

As Klytus lay dying, Antrecht intervened, for he hated to let a useful asset go to waste. Magos Zeiss managed to keep the Chrono-gladiator alive and he became a member of Antrecht’s warband. From now on, the time he won in battle would be his to keep.

The long years of chemical treatment and crude surgery have all but erased the man Klytus may once have been. The real or imagined transgression that originally led to his fall  into slavery and to his transformation has been lost forever in the mists of the past. All that is certain is that his body is now disfigured and misshapen, useful only as a tool for killing. And whatever remains of his mind is impossible to guess, for he is taciturn and solitary when off the battlefield, his frenzy and brutality snuffed out. However, Lazarus Antrecht has begun to suspect that something of the man may yet be left inside the beast, and he sees Klytus as a handy tool as well as an entertaining continued experiment…

***

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

Terror from the skies

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2012 by krautscientist

In an earlier post, you already made the aquaintance of Lord Charun, Master of the Harriers. This time, it’s time to look at his subordinates, the 4th assault company’s  corps of jump infantry, known as “Harriers” in my fluff and “Raptors” in the Codex.

You know what? I really love Raptors! While some argue that they have been nerfed in the current Codex and while no one can really know what they will work like in the new book, they are one of my favourite units for several reasons.

The first reason is a tactical one: If you – like me – are playing a fairly conservative World Eaters army, a lot of your gameplan consists of getting squads of Berzerkers across the table as fast as possible without being shot to pieces first. Even if your squads are fully equipped with dedicated Rhinos (which they should be), this usually makes for a grueling advance throug enemy fire. And then there’s the whole disembarking affair once the squad has reached its destination. Raptors, on the other hand, add a lot of mobility and an element of unpredictability to your strategy: With a squad of Raptors or two, you can suddenly outflank your enemy. Or you could pick off his vehicles. Or take guerilla shots at his tarpit units. Or you could just rush into close combat faster than you could with your Berzerkers.

Raptors are also quite flexible: Take two Meltaguns in the squad to use them as tank hunters. Use two flamers to turn them into fairly competent infantry killers. If you add an icon of Khorne, they’ll even do an okay job in the following combat. I usually try to run at least one squad of Raptors at all times, just for the added mobility and tactical options. Even at their worst, they’re still a big distraction: Your enemy will often target them not  because they’re especially dangerous to him but because they might become so later on. That in turn will draw away fire from your Berzerker squads, improving their chances of reaching the enemy lines in one piece.

The other reason for liking Raptors is an aesthetic one: They fit very well with the feeling of an army focusing on assault. They make even more sense in a World Eaters army from a fluff standpoint. They also offer great conversion options, and that has always been good enough for me!

So when I built my Raptors, it was clear that I would not be using the GW ones. Why I like their design well enough, I wanted my own Raptors to look like members of the World Eaters. I also didn’t want to miss the opportunity of creating interesting models myself.

My Raptors were built by mixing parts from the Berzerker and Chaos Space Marine kits. For their jump packs, I chose Maxmini’s standard jump packs. Back when I built those models, those were hands down my favourite choice. Meanwhile, Maxmini themselves have released two more variants that are more detailed, and Forgeworld has also taken up releasing Pre-Heresy jump packs, but back then, the ones by Maxmini were really the best way to go. I still like them a lot too, even though they’re less detailed than the newer releases. I especially like the turbine look they have going on, especially since it closely mimics GW’s Pre-Heresy World Eaters art.

I also tried to make them more interesting by raising them higher on their bases, so even the models with more static poses would look different enough from regular Berzerkers. The effect was achieved by adding all kinds of leftover pieces from different vehicle sprues, especially leftover Rhino doors.

But enough talk! Here’s what I ended up with:


I wanted this guy to be very dynamic and I used his base to support that effect. The downside is that it is quite hard to take a photo of him that gives you a good idea of the model, but oh well… Here’s a couple of extra shots:




Next up, one of my special weapons guys. As you can see, this model uses a flamer. I quite like the relatively sleek silhouette of the model in contrast to his bulky jump pack. The helmet was spliced together from that of a Khorne Berzerker and a regular CSM helmet, by the way.



The next guy has a more static pose, but I still like him. The base gives him a little extra dynamism, in my opinion.




And here’s the squad’s Icon Bearer. All my squads have Icon Bearers, regardless of whether they can actually get an icon or not. It’s just something that I have kept from my Warhammer Fantasy days, as I think that it really adds flavour to the army. I also try never to use an icon design twice across my army.


By the way, here’s something I found out by pure chance: By clipping off the small chain from the chainaxe’s handle, the weapon now looks far heaviery, since the focus is on the axe head instead of the grip. It’s just a small thing, but I think it works rather nicely.


And finally, my second flamer guy. I tried to make him look a little less static than the other one: Just because you’re wielding a flamer doesn’t mean you don’t get to use a chainsword, you know.



And finally, here’s a little family portrait of the squad so far.


Take note that this is not the whole squad, though: All in all, there’s seven more models where these came from: Two regular Raptors who usually serve as ablative wounds, two champs (one with a Powerfist, one with twin Lightning claws), two guys with Meltaguns and another Icon Bearer. I will usually run these guys in one squad of eight (what else?) as either tank hunters or infantry killers or in two squads of six, with both serving one of either role respectively. Unfortunately, that means that I still have quite  a bit of painting ahead of me until I can call these guys finished…

So, what do you think?

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

Birth of a Chaos Dread Reloaded, the Aftermath

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2012 by krautscientist

In the previous installments of this ongoing series, we had a look at my two converted Chaos Dreads. With the models themselves finished, there are still a few loose ends to tie up. This time on Birth of a Chaos Dread Reloaded: the Aftermath.

Who would have thought that painting my two Chaos Dreads would turn out to be such a fun project? Not me, that’s for sure! But alas, the work is finished. Never fear, though, because those two bad boys are still good for another post on miscellaneous matters:

1.) A new friend

The first thing I want to show you is a little project that was directly influenced by my first Dread, Marax the Fallen. There’s just something in the way he’s looking straight ahead, screaming in rage, that inspired me to build a special objective marker to complement the Dread:

I wanted a loyal Space Marine defiantly firing a couple of last shots at the advancing Dread before being torn apart. I also wanted him to be battered and wounded already. The marker was built from a very old Space Marine body I got from somewhere. The legs and torso were already inseparably bonded, so there was no way of changing the pose that much, but I guess it still works. I added a couple of leftover Space Marine bits to complete him as well as some viscera (courtesy of the GW Zombie kit) to show that he’s already mortally wounded. The position of the feet is admittedly a little wonky, but I didn’t want the project to move into serious work territory, so I just kept calm and carried on.

The Marine was painted as a member of a nondescript DIY chapter. I simply chose colours on a whim, keeping the palette fairly muted. It may be interesting to note that the main colour of his armour is a darker shade of the colour I used for Marax’ lightning claws – talk about Karma 😉

To make him look suitably battered, I added tons of weathering and battle damage to the model. The legs were also lightly drybrushed in the same colour as the base to show the grime and dust of the battlefield.

And here’s a picture of the two models together, just so you can see what all the fuss is about:

Marax seems to have found a little friend. How cute!

It’s fun little nonsense projects like this that always keep me motivated. And while there’s no obvious gameplay reason for having built this, the model can always be used as a normal objective marker in games of 40k.

2.) A strange kind of Karma

When I discussed the different weapons for my shooty Dread, I took care to tell you in no uncertain terms that at least two ideas (the basic arm construction and the Heavy Bolter) were basically stolen from my fellow World Eater Doombreed. Since then, by a strange twist of fate, the very arm that inspired me so heavily has found its way into my collection. Doombreed no longer needed it and sent it to me instead, thereby rewarding instead of punishing my idea theft. I am not quite sure that Karma is supposed to work like that, but there you have it. Nevertheless, I feel very thankful as well as a little humbled. So before this post veers off into Broken Aesop territory, let me just say a huge “thank you” to Doombreed and show you the painted heavy Bolter:




As a nice bonus, this means that I can use both my Dreads equipped with Heavy Bolters at the same time if I so choose. Just look at Chip ‘n’ Dale here:

Bros 4 Life, yo!

3.) A warrior’s name

Last but not least, I need your help! You all saw my new Chaos Dread (and if you didn’t, there’ll be a chance to rectify that oversight in a minute).
Anyway, I still need a name for this guy. I am already fairly clear on his basic background and have decided that – apart from whatever name he ends up with – he will be known among the warriors of the 4th assault company by the eptithet “The Undying”. But that Dread was once a man, and a man needs a name. So please help me out here, dear readers, and let me know your ideas! I am not looking for uber-evil names in the “Darklord McEvilguy” vein, mind you: What I need is the name of a proud, if somewhat efficiently brutal warrior. Let’s have a look at the basic background. Maybe it’ll help to inspire you!

The Undying

In a way, the Undying was old already when the World Eaters legion was still young. Having been a warrior from a very early age, he was already a battle-hardened veteran when Lorimar ascended to command of the 4th assault company. The man who should become the Undying had seen battle and he had the scars to prove it. He served unter Lorimar’s command, but he was a trusted friend of the young Captain, full of experience and wisdom and gifted with a deep understanding of what it was that bound the legionnaires together as brothers. He stood with Lorimar during his search for an identity for the legion. And he stood with him when the Captain decided to follow his Primarch to Terra to depose the false Emperor. For many years, he was a tower of strength for the company and came to be called “older brother” by the legionnaires.

Shortly after the Skalathrax campaign had sundered the legion, he was mortally wounded during a hunt. The man who had survived a thousand battles was powerless in the end, as the alien powers of a Xenos weapon tore his body apart. With his dying breath, he implored Lorimar to let him continue fighting, accepting the dangers of being entombed within the sarcophagus of a Dreadnought. Lorimar was hesitant, for he had witness the effects of incarceration on the Fallen, but in the end he granted his old friend’s wish.

And thus the “older brother” became the being known as the Undying. For the last millennia, his colossal frame has continued to be a sight of inspiration to his brothers. Where Marax the Fallen is a warning of the damnation awaiting the company, the Undying symbolises a way of keeping this grisly fate at bay. It is only at the most chaotic moments of battle that he will succumb to rage and frenzy, and each time this happens, his brothers hope that he will come to eventually. And they fear the day when their older brother’s mind will finally cave in on itself…

***

Alright, with that out of the way, I am very much looking forward to your naming suggestions! The winner of this little competition can bask in the knowledge that I’ll be naming my Dread according to his suggestion. What an honour, right? 😉

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

Inquisitor 28: Officio Assassinorum Operative Sigma

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2012 by krautscientist

The idea of adding some kind of assassin to Inquisitor Antrecht’s retinue had been banging around in the back of my head for quite some time. However, I wasn’t really sure how to go about it: Perhaps add a Death Cult Assassin? But I didn’t really have an interesting modeling idea for one of those (yet). At the same time, I have always liked the different Imperial Assassin models released by GW, but I really wanted to build an Assassin from plastic rather than use a “readymade” metal figure.

Everything started to make sense when two different influences intersected. The first of those was me reading through the old “Heavenfall” Adventurescape released as part of the “Inquisitor Conspiracies” series. I came across a character called  “The Sentinel”, a rogue Vindicare Assassin turned serial killer, ostensibly driven mad by something so horrible it also turned him deaf. What a cool concept! The second thing that influenced me was when Ron Saikowski (of FTW fame) posted his fantastic plastic Eversor conversion.

And that pretty much decided it: I wanted an Assassin that was pretty recognisable as one of the Imperial Assassin types, but not quite. After all, a true Eversor Assassin wouldn’t really make a compelling character, right?

Anyway, I gathered my bits and reveled in the modeling challenge. Here’s what I ended up with:

Where Ron used an Eldar guardian as a base for his conversion, I was lucky enough to get my hands on a leftover Dark Eldar torso and legs courtesy of my ever helpful cousin Andy: The model was originally a Wych crew member from the Dark Eldar Venom kit, which explains the somewhat athletic pose – just what I wanted for my Assassin!



From there on out, it was really all about the bits. Like I said, I wanted the model to look fairly similar to an Eversor Assassin. I added a skull from some skeleton kit or other as his skull mask. His sword was originally a Falchion from the Grey Knights kit. I also added a couple of smaller bits and bobs to make him look less Xenos and more Imperial. The severed head was a shout out to Ron’s model as well as to one of the older Eversor models from GW.
What I really like about the model though is the pose: It’s really full of dynamism which I think is a rather nice fit for a killing machine on the prowl…


For the paintjob, I chose a rather muted palette, with a couple of red accents as the only standout colour. I really wanted to tie him together with the rest of Antrecht’s merry little freakshow, and I guess I succeeded.


His face is the only part of him I’m not super-happy with: I would have loved to add a little more contrast, but the detailing on the skull was so soft that I didn’t dare use too many coats of paint, lest the details, especially the teeth, be totally obscured.

Like with all my INQ28 models, I wrote some background for him. I asked myself how Antrecht would come to employ an assassin. And how an assassin in turn would come to work for Antrecht…

I really stepped out of my comfort zone writing this, and I am not quite sure if my English is up to the task. I’ll let you be the judges of that. Here goes:



Officio Assassinorum Operative Sigma

Regaining consciousness. A room. Dimly lit. Walls, floor and ceiling made from heavily stained metal. The only source of light directly above. Blinding.

Bodily functions normal. No apparent damage. First attempt  at movement proves futile. Arms and legs restrained. Head also restrained. Shackles show no signs of yielding.

“It seems our guest is awake.”

A voice. Male. Mocking undertone. Humanoid individual (owner of voice?) steps into field of vision. Human male. About 6 foot tall. Dressed in plain clothes. Appears to be in his early sixties. However, subtle signs of rejuvenat treatments. Also hints of augmentic implants on the back of the head. Facial features reveal individual to be Inquisitor Lazarus Antrecht, Ordo Malleus. Primary target.

“Careful, Antrecht!”

Another voice, originating from previously unnoticed individual in the shadows. Voice heavily garbled by use of vocal synthesizer and thus not clearly identifiable as male or female .

“The shackles should restrain it yet a while longer, and the drugs are still working. But considering its accelerated metabolism, I’d prefer it if you had your conversation while we are still safe.”

Shape and posture of individual suggest extensive bionic augmentation. Red cloak suggests affiliation with Mechanicus cult. Subject identified with a probability of 76.6% as Magos Explorator Hiram Zeiss, reported M.I.A during mission on Varunth Minoris. Secondary target.
Estimated distance to primary target: two steps. Estimated time of battle until termination of vital functions: three seconds. From there, distance to secondary target: one step. Estimated time until termination of vital functions: four seconds.

“I know what you are thinking”

The primary target.

“Let me assure you, your estimations are, shall we say, a little optimistic. But you are free to try, of course.”

Another attempt at escape. Restrains prove unyielding again. No possible way of reaching primary target at this time. Conserve strength. Try again later.

“Well, there really is no talking to you, is there?” Aside to secondary target: “Hiram, would you be so kind? I suppose I should enjoy this conversation more it if our guest were somewhat less…single minded.”

Secondary target seems to be manipulating a console. Pressing buttons. Result unkn…

…To begin with, pain. Lances of white hot lightning, piercing to the core.

“What you are feeling right now is the removal of certain…substances from your bloodstream. Since your organism has been attuned to these substances for Throne knows how long, you may find the resulting sensations to be somewhat disagreeable. Naturally, our good Magos Zeiss assures me that he has taken ample preparations to steel you against the more …debilitating physical effects of your deprivation. “

And then, beyond the pain, something far worse. Something like an echo in the back of the head…

“There are some things, however, that we cannot spare you.” A pause. “ It appears that you are now suffering from the early symptoms of a most vicious disease. We call it ‘sense of self’.”

Darkness.

Awake again. Antrecht is in the room. Straining to understand his words. There is so much pain. And things far worse. Nooks and crannies where there used to be only the surface of a lake, undisturbed and pristine. But no longer.

“Let me explain to you how this matter will be resolved. I shall pose you a question. I shall give you a gift. I shall make you an offer. And then, everything else.

But first, the question.” Antrecht’s face is now entirely without humour. “The question is: Why?”

What does he mean? What does he want? It is growing more and more difficult to hold his gaze. If he would only say something. But he is just
sitting there…

…sitting there looking.

Looking at…

…me

Darkness

Awake again. “Back to the question at hand.” Antrecht again: “Why all of this? Why want me dead?” He comes closer, gazing at me once again, unrelenting. “Not why your masters want me dead, mind you. I know that. Why do you want me dead…Operative Sigma? What do you stand to gain from this?”

What… do I

I…?

Darkness

“I promised you a gift, Operative Sigma, and you shall have it.” A smile. “I shall give you the most valuable thing in this galaxy. I shall give you a choice.”

The sound of the shackles springing open is very loud.

After a seemingly endless moment, Antrecht smiles:

“Very well then. Shall we talk about the offer I mentioned?”

***

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

Reasons why you should build your own terrain, pt.3

Posted in 40k, DIY, Pointless ramblings, Terrain with tags , , , , on May 16, 2012 by krautscientist

In this series, I outline the five main reasons why building your own wargaming terrain is great. According to…well, me actually. I already stated that building your own terrain is 1.) fun and 2.) cheap. But there’s more. For instance…

3.) Terrain you built yourself is truly your own

I can almost hear you: Yeah, Captain Obvious, terrain I built myself is my own. DUH! Granted, this one seems like a no-brainer, but hear me out on this! There’s more:

First of all, building your own terrain will give you a profound sense of achievement: It’s something that YOU came up with, YOU built, YOU painted – you get the picture. I had been wary of trying my hand at terrain for years, since I am not a very crafty person. But when I built my first set of cityfight ruins from foamcore, using a simple template I had drawn on an A4 sheet, I felt like the king of the world! Granted, depending on your personality, it might take more than some rickety foamcore buildings to make you feel awesome about yourself, but my point still stands: It’s great if you’re building some terrain out of the box and it checks out alright. To build something completely from scratch (or even better: from things found around the house and in your waste paper bin) just feels that much more gratifying! The sense of achievement also gets stronger once your projects start scaling up. In the beginning, small buildings and structures will feel like huge projects, but before long you will try your hands at cathedrals, spaceports or large fortresses. And you’ll succeed! The feeling of creating something from nothing is one of the greatest rewards for building your own terrain, and it’s something that is truly your own!

The second reason DIY terrain is truly your own is that your creativity is really the only limit here. Let’s face it, even the most fantastic readymade terrain is restricted in some way, either because the parts only allow for so much freedom or because you’ll have to buy lots and lots of kits in order to truly build what you have envisioned. Not so with DIY terrain: It’s your project, so you’re calling the shots! Of course it helps that most of the materials are readily available, but here’s the important thing: Instead of saying “Wow, that’s a great kit! Let’s see how I can put it together!” you can say “I have a fantastic idea. Let’s see how I can make it work!”

And finally, terrain you built yourself can be perfectly adapted to your gaming needs or to that of your group. Need an awesome setpiece for your next narrative battle? You can build it! Need a huge cathedral as a stage for your campaign finale? Go for it! Just need a couple of buildings and smaller barricades to block the line of sight and make battles more interesting? You can do that too! So it’s really easy to sit down with a couple of buddies, think about what you want your table to be like and then get going. And all of it will fit your needs and conform to your ideas.

All of it will truly be yours.

Now that was an awful lot of theory, wasn’t it? So let’s apply all of it to a real project, shall we? Our case study will be a small piece of terrain cousin Andy and I recently built . There’s a bit of terrain-building frenzy going on that the FLGS right now, and one of the projects is a set of Ork terrain. So we decided to build a small Ork outpost to teach ourselves how to built suitably orky terrain as well as to have a proof of concept for what we wanted the terrain for the table to look like. The look of Ork terrain has been suitably defined by many, many people, so to mockup a couple of ideas is really no rocket science at this point.

Here’s an initial sketch I did:

Sice we really couldn’t be sure whether anyone would actually like our piece, we decided to build it with materials as readily (and cheaply) available as possible to keep the cost low. So I gathered together lots and lots of leftovers and junk I had carefully collected and we got going. Here’s what we came up with:





The part making up the center of the piece is a package that came with a stack of CDRs. It makes for a nice basic structure. It could be some kind of Imperial fuel tank taken over and modified by the Orks. We put it on a base cut from foamcore. Then we added all kinds of orky “modifications”: Armour plates shaped like teeth (cut from plasticard), sheets of corrugated metal (cut from, well, corrugated cardboard), a rickety watch tower (constructed from leftover sprue and balsa) and a couple of sharpened stakes (again made from leftover sprue). In the end, we added a generous helping of cork to the base in order to make it look like sand and rubble.

All of this stuff was readily available from my persoanl terrain-building hoard as well as from everyday household items. The only slightly exclusive part was a small brass pipe we glued to the side of the tank, and I found that one in our tool shed — like I said, building terrain is cheap!

Deciding on our gameplan, cutting out all the pieces and glueing everything together took about three hours all in all. That seems like a relatively long time for such a small project, however you should keep in mind that we basically had to start from zero. In addition to that, once we got going, we could probably have done five of those pieces at the same time with just a little more work , had we wanted to.

Then I went and basecoated everything with spray paint from the craft store. As was to be expected, the basecoat really helped to tie all the different pieces together. Here’s what it looked like after basecoating:



I think it really reads as a piece of Ork terrain alright! And with four or five people, a box of leftover junk and a couple of small modifications, you could probably churn out a whole table full of interesting pieces like this in just one afternoon.

While this certainly wasn’t a groundbreaking project, we were filled with a sense of pride at our achievement. We had managed to come up with a plan, see it through to its completion and really nail the required look in the process. Now it only remains to be seen what the people at the FLGS think. Oh, and the thing still has to be painted, of course. But we’ll put that off until a paint scheme for the Ork table has been decided upon.

For the sake of completeness, here’s a scale shot with one of my ancient Ork boyz:

And that concludes my little discourse on why terrain you built yourself is truly your own. Let me say in closing that building this little piece was so much fun that I feel slightly tempted to start an Ork army. Before I can go through with that, that let’s quickly change the subject: A new INQ28 model is coming this Friday. Yay!

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

Birth of a Chaos Dread Reloaded, pt. 4

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2012 by krautscientist

Once again, a Chaos Dread is nearing completion. To celebrate the occasion, let’s have a huuuge post with lots of pretty pictures! This time on Birth of a Chaos Dread Reloaded, we take a look at the finished model.

Having painted my first Dread a short time ago, I was positively surprised by the experience. The larger scale compared to regular 40k infantry made for much smoother sailing, while working in multiple sub-assemblies wasn’t nearly as exhausting as expected. So I had already developed some kind of routine before tackling my second Dread.

I started by laying down an undercoat of GW Chaos Black spraypaint. The lower body, upper body and weapon options were sprayed while the model was still disassembled, so I could be sure to get paint in all the little nooks and crannies. Also, as a first for me, I actually glued the different weapons to leftover pieces of sprue for easier access during spraying and painting.

With undercoating out of the way, I started on the actual paintjob. The base and lower body came first. Then I painted the upper body, the only complication being that I had elected to permanently attach the left arm before painting. But fortunately, everything worked out okay.


Here’s the completed Dread with just the weapon arm missing. Special care was giving to the pilot’s desiccated and ruined features. Yeah, I know, I probably need professional attention…

I then completed all of the weapons in two shorter sittings. Since I had resisted the temptation of glueing everything together beforehand, painting all the different parts was easy enough. Here’s what I came up with:

First up, the Lascannon:


Next, the Plasma Cannon (using the same arm, as previously mentioned):




I couldn’t resist painting a simple OSL effect on the plasma coils. It’s pretty subtle and not all that spectacular really, but I like it enough that the Plasma Cannon is now my favourite from a visual standpoint, even though I usually go for another option when I am actually using the model in games.

Next in line, the Heavy Bolter:




I’m a little ashamed to admit that the barrels have not yet been drilled out – there simply wasn’t a drill bit of the right size available. I guess I’ll have to get that fixed sooner rather than later though, since the black dots look even more silly due to the size of the weapon…

And finally, the Autocannon:





I am quite pleased with this one actually, considering it was the most involved conversion of the bunch. It looks suitably brutal and effective, doesn’t it?

And with that, my second Chaos Dread was finished. Here he is once again in all his glory:

In the photo, the model is equipped with the Plasma Cannon. The additional weapons are (from left to right): Lascannon, Heavy Bolter and Autocannon. The facemask can also be taken off.

All in all, I am very pleased with this guy. He turned out just like I had imagined, plus he makes an awesome companion piece for my other Dread. Speaking of which…

The true genius of this conversion is that Marax the Fallen can also profit from the additional weapon options. Take a look:


Since the model was planned with the dual CCW’s firmly in mind, I was a little hesitant to give him a different armament. But I have to say he looks just as pissed off with an Autocannon, don’t you think?

Anyway, those guys really add a lot of firepower and character to the 4th assault company. And it was a lot of fun to build and paint them. I could easily see myself completing an army consisting solely of Dreads…go figure.

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

Birth of a Chaos Dread Reloaded, pt.3

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , on May 9, 2012 by krautscientist

Right, with the body of my Chaos Dread complete, it’s time to take a look at the different weapon options. Join me for Birth of a Chaos Dread Reloaded, part 4: the weapons.

The Venerable Dread kit comes with three different wapon options already, so much of the work had already been done for me by GW’s designers. The options present in the kit are a Lascannon, Plasma Cannon and Assault Cannon. As a very nice bonus, those three weapons can be easily exchanged by swapping out the gun barrels even after the model is finished. It doesn’t even need any magnetising.

It was clear to me that I would keep the Las and Plasma Cannons, since they are just as viable in a CSM list as in a loyal Marine army. The only thing I had to do was to make them look slightly less loyal and a lot more chaotic.

First, the Lascannon:


This one was the easiest conversion by far: I just clipped off the ends of the gunbarrels and exchanged them with dragon heads from the Chaos vehicle sprue. The arm itself would be used for both the Las and Plasma Cannon, so I only had to convert one version. I stole the idea to use a little icon of Khorne on the arm from Doombreed’s Dread conversion and added a dangling skull on a chain as well as another skull on a spike for good measure. As a rule of thumb, you can never go wrong with skulls and chains on a World Eaters model.

Next, the Plasma Cannon.

Once again, all I needed to do was to add a couple of bits to achieve the Chaos look. Easy, right?

And it was. I added a leftover daemon head from the Defiler kit which fit perfectly with only minor cutting necessary. I also added a chain hanging from the weapon’s muzzle, and the Plama Cannon was done as well.

So far, so good! Here’s where the fun started though: The third option that came with the Venerable Dread Kit was a modern day Assault Cannon. So as a true follower of the dark gods, I would have to come up with a weapon more in line with the Chaos Space Marine armoury. I chose the trusty Autocannon which meant that I couldn’t use the Assault Cannon bit. I also wanted a Heavy Bolter as another option, so I would have to convert that too. Luckily, my deep bitzbox contained several unused Dreadnought arms (some from the Venerable Dread, some from the Furioso kit I had used to buy my CC Dread), so I gathered my bits and got going.

First up, the Heavy Bolter:

An easy enough conversion, this one. I took another page from Doombreed’s book and pretty much stole his idea of how to build a heavy Bolter using weapons from the regular CSM kit. A little cutting and fitting was all it took. I added an old Warriors of Chaos shield and yet another piece of chain and a skull to the shoulderguard. A little repetitive, I know…

And finally, the Autocannon:



This was built by combining a leftover Frag Cannon arm from the Furioso Kit with Ork gun barrels. The requiste skull and chain bits were then added to acieve the Chaos look – you should know the drill by now…

And with that, the different weapon options were finished – although I feel I’ll have to build a Multimelta and Rocket Launcher somewhere along the way, just to have a full set.

Now it was once again time to paint the Dread. And with the body as well as four different weapon options, I really had my work cut out for me. But that, as they say, is a story for another time.

Next time on Birth of a Chaos Dread Reloaded: the paintjob. Coming this Friday. Until then, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!