Archive for December, 2012

The Eternal Hunt Awards, pt. 3 – Little Ol’ Me

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Pointless ramblings with tags , , on December 31, 2012 by krautscientist

Awards

Of course this wouldn’t be a complete personal look back at 2012 without talking about my hobby achievments. So yeah, let’s talk about myself for a change 😉

Looking back now, the amount of hobby stuff I managed to do in 2012 seems rather baffling, at least concerning my lack of discipline and short attention span:

1.) I painted about 90 miniatures this year. While this may seem rather average to many of you and is definitely not going to win me any laurels, it is still a feat I am quite proud of, seeing what a glacially slow painter I can be…

2.) I’ve managed to publish 99 blog posts since I started up this blog in late February. Blogging with any degree of continuity has been a lot of work, but it has also helped me getting my act together. More on that later.

3.) Oh, and while we are on the subject of blogging: I’ve had about 45,000 views on the blog so far. Again, not an astronomical result, but it’s still good to see that at least some people seem to find my rather pointless rambling interesting from time to time 😉

 

I. Armies and warbands

So which armies have I been working on during the last 12 months? And what is their current status? Let’s take a look:

 

1.) The World Eaters’ 4th assault company – Khorne’s Eternal Hunt

With the World Eaters being my main 40k army, I invested lots of work in order to bring the painted part of my force up to about 2,000 points this year:

WE_Army05
And there’s more (unpainted) stuff where that came from, of course… A detailed army showcase can be found here.

 

2.) Urash’s Marauders

I was also pretty productive when it came to building and painting a Traitor Guard detachment, either to be used on its own or as allies for my World Eaters:

Urash's Marauders (1)
Again, there’s a showcase here.

 

3.) Legio Custodes – the Lionsguard

I also worked on my just-for-fun Legio Custodes force. Two standards and one HQ have been painted so far:

Custodes army Teaser Shot
Expect to see more of these guys pretty soon…

And finally, last but definitely not least:

 

4.) Inquisitor Lazarus Antrecht and retinue

Inquisitor Antrecht & Retinue
Hmm, I really need to take a better family portrait of these guys… Anyway, head on over to my INQ28 Dramatis Personae if you’d like to find out more!

 

II. Miniatures I am most proud of:

With some models, I really managed to step outside my comfort zone this year, so that’s why I am especially proud of them. Behold my best creations (according to me…):

 

1.) The Brothers Galth

36
Definitely my most involved conversion for INQ28 (and maybe my most complex conversion altogether): Transforming a WFB plastic Nurgle Lord into the “masterblaster-esque” Brothers Galth was a lot of work and a ton of fun. I am really pleased with how these guys turned out, from the conversion to the paintjob. This model also marked the first time I attempted to capture a mix of the macabre and the decidedly whacky. I’ll leave it to you whether I succeeded with this…

Anyway, more on the Brothers Galth can be found here.

 

2.) Traitor Basilisk

Basilisk (83)
I tackled my first tank ever in 2012, building and painting the Traitor Basilisk you see above. Surprisingly enough, this turned out to be far less of a hassle than I had anticipated. And I was actually really happy with the result. So my first tank ever also managed to earn itself a place on this list.

Here’s a number of posts chronicling my work on this particular model, btw.

 

3.) Huntmaster Isgarad

Huntmaster Isgarad (10)
Originally, this model started out as an attempt to build Lord Captain Lorimar, the master of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt. But even though the result somehow didn’t feel right for that particular character, I am still enormously pleased with this Chaos Lord and Terminator armour. I think he’s maintaining a delicate balance between massive and dynamic, and I rather like the paintjob as well. So though he may be a “Lorimar-reject”, Huntmaster Isgarad is still one of my favourite models this year.

And while we are on the subject of Lord Captain Lorimar: I am also really pleased with my converted miniature for him, even though I have yet to paint it. So an honourable mention must go to Lorimar as well (Click here for the full story).

 

III. My favourite hobby moments of 2012

2012 was definitely full of cool hobby moments, but here are my favourites:

 

1.) Blogging

The whole act of blogging was a great hobby moment for me: Not only did it give me the opportunity to step outside my laboratory and show you all my hobby exploits, it also acted as an incentive to actually get stuff finished (so that it could then be posted here). And most of all, it got me into contact with lots and lots of talented artists and people I actually consider to be hobby legends in their own right: Ron Saikowski, Dave Taylor, Commissar Molotov, Migsula, the guys from Spikiy Rat Pack…and that’s not even half of them! One of the best blogging moments was when OST actually ask me to write for Dark Future Games, a blog I’ve been reading ever since getting back into the hobby in 2010. What a tremendous honour!

So yes, even though it was a lot of work, blogging in general and being a part of the hobby community was my favourite hobby moment this year, and I have all of your to thank for that! So thanks a lot to the great hobbyists out there for the creative exchange and feedback. And thanks to all of you for reading this stuff!

2.) lots and lots of cool releases

A new 40k edition, a major 40k Chaos release, a new Chaos wave for WFB and all the cool stuff that keeps getting made thanks to Kickstarter: I sometimes felt like a child in a candy store this year due to the string of great releases. So I do hope that 2013 will have lots of new stuff as well!

3.) “The Cobb Incident”

An occurence I will just cryptically refer to as “The Cobb Incident” for now was easily one of my favourite hobby moments this year. Fear not, I will tell you more about this particular event soon. And I can assure you it’s quite a great yarn 😉

 

IV. New year’s resolutions

So what better way to wind up this post than to take a look at my new year’s resolutions:

1.) Painting more stuff

I’ll be honest with you: I’ve been unbelievably lazy during my Christmas vacation. Nevertheless, I hope that 2013 brings a return to form for me, so that I’ll be able to paint lots and lots of new stuff (yeah right, who am I trying to fool?). I already have quite a few painting projects cooking for the new year: Lorimar needs a paintjob, as does my Daemon engine for the Eleventh ToS Painting/Converting Contest. And there’ll always be room for more World Eaters, Marauders and Custodians. Wish me luck (and a steady hand)!

 

2.) Finally learning the 6th ed. rules

Learning new rules usually is a chore for me. Even so, I finally need to take to time to learn all those 6th edition rules: Cousin Andy is already bugging me about it on a regular basis. So I guess I’ll finally have to buckle up.

 

3.) Having at least one (preferably really great) game of INQ28

Considering all my INQ28 conversions and characters, I think it’s finally time to get in an actual game of INQ28, preferably a really fantastic one, with awesome terrain and great models. I am working on this, though, so expect me to keep you posted on the latest developments!

 

So, all in all, it was a great year for the hobby in general and my personal hobby life in particular. I hope you enjoyed the Eternal Hunt Awards and my look at 2012! Here’s to 2013, then: May it be as productive as 2012! I wish you all a happy new year!

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

The Eternal Hunt Awards, pt. 2 – The Industry

Posted in 40k, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , on December 29, 2012 by krautscientist

Awards
Here we are back, with the second installment of the Eternal Hunt Awards. Last time, we took a look at the greatest hobbyists of 2012 and at their proud achievements. But what about those who provide us with our regular fix of plastic crack? Let’s take a look at the industry!

But first, a disclaimer of sorts: All of this is strictly my own opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary on any of this. Oh, and if my perspective seems slightly GW-centric, let me assure you that this is not due to some philosophical bias on my part, but more to the fact that I am mainly interested in 40k and a couple of GW specialist systems. I am quite aware that many other companies produced equally awesome stuff in 2012. Anyway, moving on:

 

I. Best release of 2012

 

1st place: Dark Vengeance starter box

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

 

From the stellar quality of the models to the choice of armies, Dark Vengeance was my favourite tabletop release of 2012, period. While far from cheap, the box gives you quite a bit of bang for the buck, and it even introduced highly anticipated models like the Chaos Cultists and the Helbrute. Personally speaking, I am still happily cutting and gluing my way through the contents of the box, and I am having quite a swell time so far. You can check out my progress so far here, here and here, in case you’re interested.

Anyway, Dark Vengeance is not only the best 40k starter box to date, but also an example of what GW can achieve if they manage to get their act together. Definitely my favourite release of the year!

 

2nd place: Warhammer 40k 6th edition rulebook

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

 

Take note that the award doesn’t go to 6th edition itself: I have far too little experience with the system yet to make that call. But the big rulebook is certainly a thing of beauty: full-coloured, lavishly illustrated and brimming with great production values. I also like the fact that GW chose to stress the narrative side of 40k as a game! And last but not least, there are lots and lots of tasty background bits and callbacks to the RT and 2nd edition eras, respectively (Squats, anyone?). So while I am usually not especially fond of rulebooks, this one is a tome I simply enjoy looking at.

 

3rd place: WFB plastic characters

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

I have been an outspoken supporter of plastic kits for a long time, and the single sprue characters released by GW for WFB (and 40k, of late) are an example of many things that are great about plastic kits: The staggering amount of detail achievable with a bit of planning. The ease of converting the material. And the rather stable quality when compared to Finecast. Granted, these models may sometimes seem a little limited in their poses. But they are easily transformed into something completely different. I have bought and converted several of these, and perhaps the best thing about them is the fact that, in a way, they are the best Inquisitor models GW has released in years (just take a look at all the INQ28 forums, and you’ll see what I mean). Anyway, I hope many more of these will be released for both WFB and 40k!

 

II. Worst release/biggest disappointment of 2012

 

1st place: Chaos Mutilators/Obliterators

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

 

Boy did those Obliterators need a facelift! And boy did GW drop the ball with them: Instead of a nice and flexible plastic kit, we get a FC rehash of the existing models. And to add insult to injury, they even threw in a new Obliterator variant that is based on the exact same sculpt. This could have been a combi-kit, you know? Anyway, those guys are really, really ugly, and even I have not yet come up with a way of converting those to look cool. Granted, GuitaRasmus came up with some pretty sweet Obliterators, but that is beside the point. Anyway, definitely the most disappointing (re-)release for me.

 

2nd place: The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

 

I have to be honest with you: I felt a little underwhelmed by the new Hobbit starter kit even before I watched the film. Now, having watched it just yesterday, I feel even more apathetic: The models may be nicee nough, but why cough up more money for this than you would have to pay for the (far superior) Dark Vengeance? Granted, in the end it comes down to personal preference, but it seems absurd that the Hobbit license alone should warrant such a price hike. And while the good guys look great (and bear a striking resemblance to the respective actors in most cases), I feel the evil guys are a bit of a letdown: Neither the goblins, nor the trolls and orks are as cool-looking as they are in the film. And why release a model for Bolg – who has a screen time of about 30 seconds, don’t blink or you could miss him altogether – and not one for the uber-cool Azog? The film may have had some padding, but it was still a fun ride. I’ll happily pass on the game, though…

UPDATE: I have found out that Bolg doesn’t actually appear in the film at all! He is the son of Azog and will probably feature in one of the sequels. This makes this particular choice even more baffling. Then again, it seems like the studio pulled all kinds of shenanigans to keep Azog’s actual appearance a secret prior to the release of the film, so maybe it wasn’t even GW’s decision to begin with. I guess we have the Internet with its packs of rumour hounds to thank for this… 😉

 

3rd place: random charge distances in sixth edition

Again, my experiences with 6th edition aren’t that extensive. That being said, it’s really hard for someone playing an army focused on CC to feel excited about the prospect of random charge distances. Some say that this promotes tactical thinking. But I think there would have been a couple of more interesting options for achieving that. If anything, this game needs less, not more, randomness. Oh well, let’s see how this works out…

 

Oh, and a special mention must go to the WFB Chaos Warshrine kit:

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

All the parts are excellent: The big mutants, the priest, the god specific icons and doodads. But somehow the resulting model looks rather unwholesome — and not in a good way! How can a collection of such fantastic elements end up as something so much less than the sum of its part? The mind boggles…

 

III. Still on the fence about…

  • …GW’s Chaos Space Marines release: I like the book, some of the models are great, and I suppose that I am actually quite pleased with the release after all. But somehow I cannot help but feel it could have been even better: a release on par with the redesign of the Dark Eldar in 2010: new sculpts for the cult troops, new special characters, a new basic CSM kit, better Obliterators. And a *much* better flyer model. But then, I wonder if I am actually part of the unpleasable fanbase here? Oh well…
  • The FW Horus Heresy releases: Don’t get me wrong, that stuff is rather cool! But some of it is a) prohibitively expensive (par for the course with FW, really) and b) takes all the challenge out of kitbashing your own Pre-Heresy stuff. I’ll have you know I’ll carry on with my kitbashed Custodes army regardless, thank you very much!

 

IV. Also pretty cool:

  • Kickstarter! I love what Kickstarter as a platform has done for the tabletop and videogame communities respectively: Granted, these days it sometimes seems like everybody and their cousin is firing up a Kickstarter, but some of those projects are just so good that I simply cannot worry too much about the chaff. For instance, I chipped in on Mark Mondragon’s fantastic Kickstarter and can hardly wait for my brand new Eisenkern Stormtroopers to arrive…
  • Bold decisions: It seems like GW is finally prepared to make a couple of rather bold decisions: A thorougly revamped 6th edition of 40k, a redesigned WD and a couple of rather interesting design choices seem to be proof of that. Did I like all of it? Heck, no. But there’s a lot to like about taking more creative risks, so I applaud GW for the will to change things up a bit.
  • Plastic rules! I might have mentioned that I love plastic kits. So maybe the most momentuous development this year was the increase of fantastic and flexible plastic kits across the board (GW, Wyrd, Mantic, and various Kickstarter projects). I also love the fact that some of the competitors’ plastic models are starting to give GW a run for their money. If this continues, I imagine there might be a bright plastic future ahead of us 😉

 

All in all, I feel it has been a rather good year for us hobbyists! There were many different releases and developments to enjoy, and I spent more money than I should have, but then, what else is new? But what where my own favourite hobby achievements? What did I do with my hobby time? And which models am I most proud of? That’s what I’ll be looking at in the third installment of the Eternal Hunts Awards. We’ll be right back…

In any case, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

The Eternal Hunt Awards, pt. 1 – The Hobbyists

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , on December 23, 2012 by krautscientist

Awards

Well, it’s been an exciting year for wargamers in general and for my personal hobby life in particular. So with Christmas fast approaching, let me seize this opportunity to take a look at the ups and downs of 2012 from my personal hobby perspective. And what better way to keep tabs on 2012 than by having our own little (slightly improvised) awards show? So here they are, the first annual Eternal Hunts Awards for special hobby moments.

In this first installment, I would like to focus on the people that actually make the hobby what it is: The hobbyists. I was lucky enough to get in contact with lots and lots of talented artists this year, and some of their creations and endeavours really blew me away. So let’s take a look:

 

Best hobby blog 2012

Wargaming hobbyists are very lucky to have such an energetic and creative blogging scene. The internet is chock full of fantastic modelling ideas, great painting advice and creative energy. It’s really rather hard to name my favourites here, seeing how there are so many fantastic blogs and websites. Even so, some blogs were even cooler than the rest. Here’s my top three:

 

1st place: From the Warp

FTWbanner

To tell you the truth, this one at least was really a bit of a no-brainer: Ron is running a fantastic blog over at FTW, and provides awesome hobby content with lots of great tutorials and ideas. I would be hard pressed to nominate any one post of his as my favourite, since all of the content is usually top notch. I discovered FTW fairly soon after getting back into the hobby, and the blog never ceases to inspire and amaze me.

Even though Ron has recently decided to take things a bit slower for a while, FTW still has tons and tons of fantastic backlog content for hobbyists to discover, and I, for one, simply cannot wait for him to post again. Nuff’ said.

 

2nd place: Spiky Rat Pack

spikyratpack_banner

These two guys from way up north are among the most talented artists I had the joy of discovering this year: izeColt and OkkiW are the “Spiky Rat Pack” and provide conversions and paintjobs too awesome to believe on their eponymous blog. They have recently begun what they are referring to as “Punk Moth”, their very own foray into the world of INQ28, and the results so far are amazing. Just look at the venerable Inquisitors Cassar and Pherion and their respective retinues here:

These models were not created by me. Image appears courtesy of izeColt

These models were not created by me. Image appears courtesy of izeColt

These models were not created by me. Image appears courtesy of okkiW

These models were not created by me. Image appears courtesy of okkiW

What I find especially striking about their work is that it has a very Blanchian quality to it, but with a decidedly individual twist. Great stuff! And there’s more where that came from, so check out their fantastic blog!

 

3rd place:-Dark Future Games

DFG_banner

Another staple on my blog diet, and a fantastic blog for wargamers all around: Modelling tips, painting, tactics, or just collections of awesome material from the forums — Dark Future Games has it all. It’s one of those blogs I tend to visit on a daily basis, and I was more than honoured to be asked to contribute the odd piece of guest content by Old School Terminator. What I especially like about DFG is how it’s suitable for all kinds of wargamers without favouring one hobby approach to the exclusion of all the others. So whatever you want from a wargaming blog, there’s a good chance that DFG can provide it. Go check it out!

 

Hobbyist of the year

Really a tough call to make, but some hobbyists stood especially tall in 2012. Here are my favourites:

 

1st place: Ron Saikowski (of From The Warp)

I could just repeat my gushing praise of FTW, but you already read that earlier. Suffice to say that Ron is not only a very talented artist, but also a great guy who will go to great lenghts to explain things in detail, answer questions and make sure everyone is on the same page. What’s more, even though Ron is insanely talented and quite well known among hobbyists, I have yet to “meet” someone who is as humble about it all. Keep it up, Ron!

 

2nd place: Commissar Molotov (of INQ28)

Molotov is a relentless advocate of INQ28 and has been for some time now. Stumbling upon his blog was really an eye-opener for me, but that’s not the best thing. The best thing is that Commissar Molotov, along with a number of highly enthusiastic and talented individuals, was really instrumental for the “INQ28 scene” to come into its own. Oh, and those guys are doing narrative games in Warhammer World that make me wish I was actually living in GB so hard. Oh well…

Anyway, Molotov’s tireless work for INQ28 was immortalised by yours truly in a model:

Molotov XVIII, Arco-Flagellant

Molotov XVIII, Arco-Flagellant

 

3rd place: Biohazard/Doombreed

3rd place goes to my fellow World Eater Biohazard/Doombreed who not only has one of the most inspiring World Eaters threads over on Dakka and Throne of Skulls, but who is also always full of ideas and constructive criticism whenever one of my World Eaters related projects just isn’t happening. Oh, and did I mention his continued generositiy in donating bitz to my cause? In any case, thanks for all the help buddy! 😉

 

Best models 2012

Ah well, what can I say? Blogging is all fine and dandy, but in the end, it always comes down to the models, doesn’t it? In a year full of fantastic models, here are the ones that really blew my mind:

 

1st place: PDH’s Inquisitrix Callydia Benadice

This model was not created by me. Image appears courtesy of PDH

PDH has been one of the usual suspects in INQ28 circles for quite some time, with lots and lots of awesome conversions under his belt. But his converted Inquisitrix Callydia Benadice is a step beyond anything he had produced up to that point, and she is also my favourite model of 2012. This bonny lass is everything I expect and Inquisitrix to be: Regal, gothic, very imposing and slightly over the top in all the right places. The model reflects all these qualities and is simply so gorgeous I’d like to eat it. While 2012 has been a year full of fantastic conversion and models, Inquisitrix Benadice is a step above and beyond them all, and that’s why she is my favourite model this year.

Also be sure to check out PDH’s fantastic Dakka thread! for more pictures of the Inquisitrix and her retinue.

 

2nd place: GuitaRasmus’ Nurgle Fly

This model is - unfortunately - not my creation. Image appears courtesy of GuitaRasmus

This model was not created by me. Image appears courtesy of GuitaRasmus

GuitaRasmus is one of those hobbyists who keep on cranking out stuff us mere mortals can only dream of. Every model he does would probably end up winning pretty much any contest it was entered in, and his talent for building and painting world class stuff is more than a little scary. My faourite for this year would have to be his Nurgle-themed chaos flyer, converted from a WFB Arachnok kit. And while the execution is flawless, it’s the little touches that really make the model shine (or, in case of a Nuglite model, glisten 😉 ): GuitaRasmus actually converted the eyes to look more fly-like, and – at my humble suggestion, if I do say so myself – decided to paint the fly’s carapace in a slightly metallic hue for that extra disgusting bluebottle effect. We are really lucky that a hobbyist this talented turned to chaos in the first place 😉

Be sure to check out GuitaRasmus’ fantastic Dakka thread. Be warned, though: Your own hobby endeavours will invariably look pretty meagre in comparison…

 

3rd place: Biohazard’s Gorehound

This model was not created by me. Image appears courtesy of Biohazard

Again, it is really hard to pick a favourite from among Biohazard’s/Doombreed’s fantastic Khornate conversions and kitbashes. But even though I have a very soft spot in my heart for his scratchbuild Defiler variant (fittingly called the “Bloodstalker”), the Gorehound Titan you see above has got to be my favourite this year, simply due to the flabbergasting scope of the project: That huge beast was kitbashed from nothing but GW plastic parts, and it frankly looks like it could be sold as a regular kit. So while the Gorehound may not be 100% finished at this point, it is definitely worthy of an Eternal Hunt Award!

Many more great conversions and kitbashes can be found in Biohazard’s great Dakka thread.

 

Best armies 2012:

 

1st place: Mayajid’s Metal Beast Mercenaries

Mayajid_Metal_beast

These models were not created by me. Image appears courtesy of Mayajid

The premise does not sound all that captivating: an army of Beastman/Space Marine hybrids. It has been done before, right? Well, I thought so too. But then Mayajid’s Metal Beast Mercenaries simply blew me away: Here’s an army where every single model has been expertly customised to within an inch of its life. And not only are there conversions for every staple in a Marine army, Mayajid also managed to incorporate “40k-ified” versions of all the special characters in the WFB Beastman army book. Combined with the sheer scope of the project and the fact that its creator didn’t cut ANY corners during the completion of this army, that’s more than enough to make Mayajid’s Metal Beast Mercenaries the best army of 2012 in my book!

A single picture does not do these guys justice, so I recommend you head right over to Dakka and feast your eyes on Mayajid’s fantastic army!

 

2nd place: Meade’s Black Legion

 

This model was not created by me. Image appears courtesy of Meade

This model was not created by me. Image appears courtesy of Meade

 

This model was not created by me. Image appears courtesy of Meade

This model was not created by me. Image appears courtesy of Meade

Even though I am an avid follower of the ruinous powers (and have been for years), even I have to admit that chaos armies are rarely truly scary. Granted there are skulls and chains and grisly trophies and all that jazz, but only very infrequently do we find a hobbyist who succeeds in making his chaos army look as scary as it should.

Enter Meade: His Black Legion force (pictured above are a Daemon Prince and a Defiler, since I simply couldn’t decide which was cooler) looks like the lovechild of the silent Silent Hill universe and the Film Virus: With lots of gruesome cabling and body horror, Meade’s Chaos Marines look really, really scary. His prowess at painting spectacular OSL effects makes the army shine even brighter. I couldn’t replicate this stuff if I tried, and frankly, I am not even sure I want to: Those guys look like lots and lots of trouble, even if you are on their side 😉

Anyway, Meade is a hobbyist who knows how to do chaos right, and that earns him a slot in this year’s Eternal Hunt Awards. Head on over to Dakka and check out the rest of his disturbing creations.

 

3rd place: Migsula’s Inquisitor Silas and Retinue

This models were not created by me. Image appears courtesy of Migsula.

This models were not created by me. Image appears courtesy of Migsula.

Well, maybe it’s not an army per se, but bear with me: Migsula is another very talented artist, and also yet another disciple of the “Blanchian style”. He is also one of the greatest converters I have seen to date, and the amounts of thought and consideration that go into his work are simply outstanding. Likewise, my favourite piece of work of his in 2012, Inquisitor Silas and retinue, is only a small part of an even greater hobby endeavour. I think the models really speak for themselves, so let me just add that you should definitely check out Migsulas’s own blog, if you haven’t already!

 

Well, I think I’ve given you lots of awesome blogs and projects to check out. Those are my favourites, but there were lots and lots of fantastic little plastic men in 2012. What’s more, there were great releases and fantastic personal hobby moments. We’ll be looking at those in the next installments of the Eternal Hunts Awards. Expect those in a couple of days.

Until then, I wish you all a very merry Christmas and hope that you’ll be able to spend it with people important to you. And I also hope you still have time for the odd hobby project over the holidays.

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

Facing Demons…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, Pointless ramblings, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2012 by krautscientist

“You fools! Your gods have blinded you with visions of glory and power, of a golden future that awaits you in their service. But our lord has shown us more than you could ever imagine. There are no empires awaiting you. In the endless cold between the stars, there is only the hunter and his prey. And those who were once the former and are now the latter. All that remains is the hunt, for only the hunt is eternal.”

attributed to Lord Captain Lorimar of the World Eaters’ 4th assault company

 

There are some hobby projects that we keep putting off. Sometimes it’s because the project in question doesn’t seem all that interesting to us (I am looking at you, unpainted Rhinos), sometimes it’s because we consider something to be either completely out of our league or just too much work to even bother (my WFB Ork army would be a sterling example). But sometimes, we put off a certain conversion or paintjob because we fear we cannot do justice to the idea we have of the character or to a particularly brilliant sculpt. And sometimes we just have to buckle up and face those demons (not daemons, mind you). That’s what this post is about.

So what demon are we talking about here? If you are a regular reader of this blog, you may have gathered that I like my wargaming with a narrative bend: I enjoy writing background chronicling my litlle plastic men’s exploits (don’t judge me). I like thinking of them as characters instead of mere playing pieces (not as real people, though, that way madness lies…). Towards this end, I have been cooking up a relatively expansive background for my army of World Eaters and their leader, one Lord Captain Lorimar.

But for all the characters I have invented and for all the conversions and kitbashes, I never quite got around to actually building a model for Lorimar that felt up to my own expectations: He was just too important in my fluff, and I feared I couldn’t do him justice  — yet.

As a matter of fact, I haven’t even written all that much background for Lorimar yet, but I have a rather clear idea of him as a character. Here’s a short sketch I did a while ago:

The battle was over. The red haze of anger had dispersed, once again leaving nothing but a dull emptiness.
Lorimar gazed across the barren wasteland that had been the stage for the last fight. He felt that a very similar wasteland lay hidden within himself.
Andrakhas was dead. Lorimar himself had slain the warlock and bagged the prey. He could still see Andrakhas’ body in the distance, burning in a multi-coloured fire.

Lorimar and his warriors had advanced through the Thousand Sons’ hail of fire. The Rubric Marines’ firepower had been superior, but in the end, it had not been able to save them from the wrath of Khorne’s servants. Lorimar gazed at the helmet he was holding in his massive, armoured gauntlet. Whatever may have been left inside the suits of armour had escaped with a dry rustling when Andrakhas died. Lorimar stared into the empty eyesockets as if they might provide an answer. Ghostly automata, slaves, damned to an eternal cycle of war and death. Was there a reason for this? He did not know. Neither did he know who had been the winner of today’s battle after all. The prey had been run down. That was all that mattered.

One last moment, then Lorimar closed his armoured fist and ground the helmet to a fine powder, trickling through his fingers. “All is dust”, Lorimar growled, “all is dust indeed.”

Lorimar also features in this piece of background I wrote as part of our ongoing campaign.

In my mind, he is fa more complex as a character than you would expect of your typical World Eaters officer: He wanted to find a measure of identity to raise the morale of his men and steel them against the grueling battles of the Great Crusade, yet his work led to their undoing and their fall to chaos. Later, when the legion tore itself apart, it took all the strength he had to keep at least his company together as a fighting force. Ever since, Lorimar has been fighting a losing battle, trying to keep his company from falling to the madness that consumed the rest of the legion. He is utterly disillusioned by the path that lies ahead of them, but he also feels that the 4th assault company’s martial honour is the last thing that gives them purpose. So he retains a certain nobility as well as a terrible kind of dignity.
Make no mistake, though: Lorimar is definitely not a good guy! He’s a remorseless killer and, at least occasionally, a frenzied madman. But he has his doubts, his regrets and his honour, and those make him more than just an angry guy in red armour – or at least that’s what I would like to believe.

Sounds rather complex, doesn’t it? Well, let me assure you that building a suitable model for Lorimar was something that took me several attempts. Let me chronicle some of those attempts for your entertainment:

The first model I ever used to represent Lorimar was this old metal Chaos Lord. And while the model still holds up reasonably well compared to some of the other old chaos models, it was also fairly clear to me that I couldn’t really use his as Lorimar any more after getting back into the hobby: He simply wasn’t impressive enough.

So I had to get creative. My first attempt at building Lorimar dates back to early 2011, a relatively short while after I had gotten back into the hobby:

Termie Lord 04 (1)As you can see, I was already very fond of the Chaos Terminator Lord back then 😉
Actually, this was the first of those I ever built! But while I am still reasonably pleased with the model, it simply wasn’t Lorimar. So when I finally get around to painting this guy, he’ll end up as one of the 4th assault company’s officers, but not as its master…

My second attempt at building a model for Lorimar was a little more involved: Even though I used the same kit as a base for the conversion, I added all kinds of personal touches and did more actual conversion work. The result looked like this:

Huntmaster Isgarad (10)
Quite a nice model, if I do say so myself, in fact one of my favourites. But somehow it still wasn’t right. It didn’t feel like Lorimar, for some reason. So the model was renamed to Huntmaster Isgarad and now serves the 4th assault company in that capacity.

I then started to use the (unpainted) FW model Lord Zhufor to represent Lorimar on the table. Unpainted because I was actually too afraid to mess up all that fantastic detail with my clumsy attempts at painting. But that didn’t feel right either: Even though Zhufor is simply a fantastic model (maybe my favourite model ever, and definitely the best World Eater ever released), it didn’t sit right with me that I should use an unconverted, “stock” model in an army where virtually every model was customised. There was no way around it: A dedicated model for Lorimar would have to be converted one of these days.

And then, by a strange twist of fate, Ron (of FTW fame) held a raffle  in late July, where the prize was to have a custom model built and painted by him. This was my way out of this whole mess — I was sure of it! Incidentally, the chaos lord in the header picture Ron chose for that very post had a lot of what I considered Lorimar to look like. So I sat back and waited luck to decide in my favour — I was reasonably sure that my name would be drawn from the hat.

It wasn’t of course. Everyone who knows the first thing about probabilities could have told me. But in this (very likely) outcome, I witnessed the hand of fate: Fate didn’t want me to take the easy way out. If I wanted to have a fitting model for Lorimar, I would have to build and paint it myself (I do of course realise that fate had nothing to do with it, but bear with me for the sake of narrative thunder).

So over the coming months, I slowly gathered inspirational artwork and bits for this project and also worked on building up my courage. Until, one evening in early December, I just sat down after getting home from work and built my version of Lorimar.

image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Here’s a piece of artwork that tremendously inspired me: Although the Chaos Lord in the artwork above looks a little too twisted to fit my idea of Lorimar, the pose and overall look are fantastic. So I wanted to build a model that took all that was cool from this model, but also added some nobility and martial pride.

Here’s what I came up with: My WIP version of Lord Captain Lorimar, Master of the Hunt:

Lorimar WIP (1)
Lorimar WIP (2)

Lorimar WIP (3)
Lorimar WIP (4)

As you can see, my beloved Termie Lord kit is once again at the heart of this conversion. But I added quite a few additional bits and bobs to make Lorimar look more impressive, almost regal even: The Khornate bunny ears and pauldrons came from the brand new WFB Skullcrusher kit (which is chock full of fantastic bits for outfitting your World Eaters). The sword and cape are from the WFB Chaos Lord on Manticore, and by sheer coincidence, both have small icons of chaos that closely resemble the World Eaters’ legion badge. The vicious looking axe was painstakingly spliced together from two WFB Chaos Knight axes. And of course I added all kinds of skulls and chains — with any World Eaters model, you can never have enough of those!

Maybe the most important part of the model is the head, though: I didn’t want the face to be too monstrous, and I also wanted it to look fairly unique. The chaos priest’s head from the new Warshrine kit was a perfect fit, and thanks to Doombreed’s continued generousness in donating bitz to my cause, I was able to get the perfect head for my chaos lord. Yay!

Lorimar WIP (5)

And the unthinkable happened: When I held the completed model up to the light, I was finally happy: This was Lorimar, pretty much as I had imagined him! Mission accomplished!

The work doesn’t end there, of course: I’ll still have to build a suitably impressive base (which will probably end up looking reasonably similar to the artwork above, only minus the metric ton of dead Arbites judges). And the whole package will then have to be painted – to the best of my ability, no less!

But the fact that I have finally managed to build a character that I have been envisioning for so long proves to be a great motivational factor, so expect more on this particular model pretty soon.

In closing, I sincerely hope that my rambling hasn’t yet bored you to tears. If you have any C&C on my Lorimar model, I’d be happy to hear from you in the comments section. And if you happen to have a particular “hobby demon” you have yet to face, I’d love to hear about that too! If only because it would make me feel less like a huge nerd 😉

In any case, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Lorimar WIP (7)

“Tell the galaxy about us what you must. But tell them this also: We still have our honour!”

Lord Captain Lorimar, of the World Eaters’ 4th assault company

On my desk: a huge pile of rot

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2012 by krautscientist

Well, not an actual pile of rot, of course. It’s more a figure of speech, really. But all in good time.

Anyway, maybe it’s due to Wednesday’s post on Terminators, maybe it’s due to cousin Andy messing around with a small Death Guard project lately, or maybe it’s just the general decay that comes with autumn and winter, but I have recently felt inspired to build and paint a follower of Nurgle, a Terminator, no less!

Granted, I’ve felt the urge to build a Nurgle Terminator before: Nurgle is obviously a huge draw for most converters, as it’s quite satisfying to model something that is truly disgusting. Plus there is quite a margin for errors, especially with GS work: If your GS job ends up lumpy and unwholesome, well, that was totally intentional of course 😉

Seriously, though, building and painting Nurglite models can indeed be a lot of fun. I found out when I built a Plague Champion as part of my little Ruinous Powers mini series:

The Ruinous Powers - Nurgle (22)

So I sat down to kitbash a servant of Nurgle in Terminator armour. Interestingly enough, the result doesn’t quite fit the trademark, bloated Nurgle look. Still, this guy’s allegiance should still be pretty obvious. Take a look:

Nurgle Termie (2)Sorry for the pretty horrible photos, by the way. I was so eager to paint him that I couldn’t wait for daylight before photographing him in all his undercoated “glory”…

Nurgle Termie (4)
Nurgle Termie (5)As you can see, I gave the model a huge warscythe ( converted from the sorceror’s staff that comes with the Termie lord kit). This means that I’ll be able to use my Terminator as a Typhus stand-in, should I ever decide to run a couple of Death Guard legionaries. I also went for a dash of body horror, adding a twisted claw from the Possessed kit and some fleshy hooks from some Tyranid kit or other (mimicking the standard “trophy racks” on the back). And I still had a leftover facemask from the WFB plastic Nurgle lord, so even though I usually prefer my Termies with bare heads, the chance was just too good to pass over. I did use a Zombie head underneath though, to hint at something decayed and unpleasant under the mask.

I also tried something new when undercoating this guy, using brown paint instead of my usual Chaos Black (to tell you the truth, I actually used the fairly cheap brown spraypaint I usually reserve for spraying my terrain pieces. It worked out, though). While this had the side effect of making the undercoated model look like it was made from chocolate, it also saved me a ton of time when laying down the base colours.

As with my previous Death Guard model, I went for a very rusty, dilapidated look, with lots of decayed metal against a basecoat of dark, muddy green. And this is where the model stands at the moment:

Nurgle Termie (6)
Nurgle Termie (7)

Nurgle Termie (8)

Nurgle Termie (9)

Nurgle Termie (10)

The model is nowhere near finished of course, missing most of the highlights and weathering. I may also have to add a small skull to close the small gap on the left side of the model’s torso. And as you can see, I haven’t done anything on the weapon yet. But overall, I am quite pleased with the look of the model, especially how the fleshy parts contrast against the decayed armour.

Anway, expect to see more of this guy pretty soon!

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

Termicide

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2012 by krautscientist

I already mentioned some time ago that for every painted World Eater in my army, there’s probably at least one unpainted one as well. So today I’d like to show you yet more WIP stuff: Let’s have a look at my Terminators.

I have been in love with Terminators as a unit type for a very long time, and this has nothing to do with their rules. There’s just something about these colossal, armoured behemoths that really clicks with me. And from a converter’s perspective, the added size compared to regular Marines offers lots of room for customisation, dramatic posing etc. Alas, the original metal Chaos Terminators were always a tad too expensive for my teenage self, back in the 90s, and by the time the new plastic Chaos Terminators came around in 2007, I was still on my hobby hiatus.

But when I returned to wargaming in 2010, a box of Terminators was a part of the first order I ever placed with GW, and the resulting squad was actually among the first things I built. Over time, I kept adding more models to the squad, since I wanted them to be a fitting retinue for my Chaos Lords. So here are pretty much all the Terminators I’ve come up with so far:

First up, a Terminator wielding a chainfist and a Combi-Melta:



As you can see, I added Khornate bunny ears to the model’s armour – a trait shared by pretty much all of my “regular” Terminators. On a related note, I am really glad that I didn’t break off all the weapon arms when the newly released codex said these guys could get either the combi-weapon or the special CC weapon. This oversight was fortunately corrected in the FAQ. Phew!

Here’s a Terminator with a Heavy Flamer. You know, for the “Burn!” in “Kill! Maim! Burn!”:



Funnily, this is also one of the few models actually wearing a Terminator helmet… In this case, it’s the one with the Rhinoceros like horn which I quite like.

And while we are on the subject of special weapons, here’s a Terminator with a Reaper Autocannon:


this model was actually converted from an AOBR loyal Terminator! I added some WFB Marauder shoulder pads to the Terminator’s knees to mask their loyal heritage…

This next model was built to be the squad’s champion:


Again, the model is armed with a chainfist and  Combi-Melta. I used a leftover head from the FW Lord Zhufor kit to show this guy’s status as a champion.

And now, let me show you my favourite conversions in the squad:

This guy was also converted from an AOBR Termie — from the very model that came as a giveaway with WD when 5th edition was released, to be exact. When I built this guy in early 2010, I was quite proud of myself for figuring out that the chaos bitz could be combined with the loyal AOBR models. It’s surely been some time since then, and I like to imagine that my more recent conversions are quite a bit more ingenious. But this is where it started 😉


Here’s my favourite detail about the model, though: When I built it, I didn’t have enough chaos shoulder pads. So I used a really old WFB skeleton as a stand-in on the model’s right arm. Take a look:


Pretty nifty, huh? 😉

Then there’s this guy, also converted from an AOBR model, from the sergeant in fact.



I really went all out on this guy back then, adding lots of skull trophies, chains, some very nice Chaos Knight pauldrons, and all new weapons. The horns came from the “Khornate head” from the regular CSM kit. The Pteryges loincloth worn by the model fits with the gladiatorial look of the World Eaters rather nicely.

And finally, the squad’s (and company’s) standard bearer, brother Verak:



Since the model is carrying an icon (from the WFB Warriors of Chaos) in its right hand, I had to find a way to combine the bolter and power fist, so I built a little “DIY Talon of Horus” by adding regular Bolters and an ammo feed from an old CSM heavy Bolter to the fist. I also used a shaved down berzerker head as a stylised helmet for the model, showing its special status in the squad. Although this guy was one of the first conversions I did after getting back into the hobby, he still holds up rather nicely, doesn’t he?

Unfortunately, I have only managed to paint a single regular Terminator up until now. In fact, it was the first Terminator I ever painted (even before Isgarad and Torus, my first two Chaos Lords in Terminator armour). Here he is:





This was my test model for the squad, so you may be able to spot how I was still finding my feet painting Terminators. I’ll definitely need to drill out the barrels at some point, since they look rather horrible. The base will also have to be changed to reflect the current look of my bases, but apart from that, I think this guy works out alright.

The problem remains that these guys are quite a bit less fun to paint than they are to convert. While I am writing this, I am already considering a small squad of Terminators equipped with Lightning claws. Hmmm…

Anyway, that’s it for my WIP Terminators. If you have any C&C, I’d love to hear from you in the comments section!

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

Legio Custodes – some new recruits

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Custodes, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2012 by krautscientist

I’ve been doing very little painting for a while. Maybe it’s because these last few weeks have been rather stressful, maybe it’s the weather, but somehow I just didn’t feel all that inspired to paint. On the other hand, this means I had more time for a couple of conversion projects, so I sat down to build some new recruits for my small Legio Custodes force.

Kitbashing more Custodes is always really relaxing, because even though the goal I set for myself is rather special (make it look at least reasonably close to the official artwork while only using readily available GW plastic parts), it’s really all about creativity: I love to find out how all those Marine parts can be recombined and altered to make them look like something the Legio Custodes would be equipped with. Plus the very ornate look of the Custodes means I really get to go all out on those models! So what do I have to show for my troubles?

First up, I built my fifth and probably last (at least for now) Custodes Terminator. Once again, a Terminator from the Dark Vengeance box formed the base for this model. Take a look:

Flamer Termie (1)
Flamer Termie (2)
Flamer Termie (3)
Flamer Termie (4)
The left arm of the original model was cut off and replaced with a Chaos Terminator power fist. The DA torso front went into the bitzbox, and I used some (Chaos) Space Marine parts to construct a replacement. As you can see, I decided to equip this guy with a flamer, although I wanted the weapon to look a bit more like one of the “flame lances” Custodes Terminators are equipped with in some of the artwork. So I took a heavy flamer (from the Space Wolves terminators, no less), adding all kinds of bitz for decoration and lenghtening the weapon’s barrels with some plastic pipes from an old model truck kit. The muzzle was further detailed by adding a stylised eagle’s head (from the High Elf Archers). The overall idea for this conversion was once again inspired by Kaaleb Dark’s Custodes over on B&C, btw (he’s been posting new stuff too, so I recommend you check out his thread as well!).

I also build some additional models for Squad Asklepian, my squad of Custodes armoured with Astartes pattern power armour:

Characters (3)

I already posted this guy some time ago: The model is based on the DA with Plasmagun from Dark Vengeance. I used the model to build a Custodes standard bearer in older looking power armour. I may have to add some additional “bling” for decoration, though.

Here’s the guy I am really proud of:

Mk I (3)
Mk I (2)
A Custodes wearing Mk I “Thunder” armour. I got the idea for the model from Mywargame.com‘s fantastic turtorials for converting Pre Heresy armour.

The model is basically a kitbash, using a couple of different (Chaos) Space Marine parts and a Cadian head. While this guy may not be 100% accurate, I am rather fond of him. And putting him together took me only a couple of minutes! He also looks quite a bit less goofy than I imagined he would 😉

Mk I (1)
And finally, what may be my favourite conversions at the moment:

I really wanted to build a small squad of Sisters of Silence to go with my Custodes. I have no idea what I could actually play them as (although Scouts seem a reasonably good idea). Anyway, some time ago, I started fooling around with a couple of Dark Eldar Wyches and some additional bits, and here are the results of that session:

SoS (4)
SoS (3)

The base model is a Dark Eldar Wych: The legs and most female torsi from that kit are perfect for Sisters of Silence, since they look almost exactly like the artwork in the HH artbooks. If you’re going to convert your own Sisters, you also want to look for arms with puffy sleeves — but there are enough kits with useful bits (the High Elf Archers and some WFB Empire kits are great for this!). And you can splice together almost perfect heads using really old plastic Dark Eldar heads.

I also built a standard bearer, while I was at it:

SoS (1)
The standard is yet another part from the High Elf Archers, although I modified it a bit to better fit the artwork (and added a Dark Eldar back banner and an Imperial aquila).

I also built a squadleader for the Sisters of Silence very recently:

SoS (7)
SoS (5)

SoS (6)
SoS (8)
Again, the model is basically a Dark Eldar Wych with all kinds of bits added on top: I wanted her to look a bit more imosing than her squadmates, so I added a suitably impressive sword and a cloak (which I got in a bitz trade, so I can only guess that it might be from the High Elf White Lions kit). I am really quite pleased with her, to tell you the truth.

And here’s the whole squad so far:

SoS (9)
The only downside to these is that they require a prettty diverse assortment of bits, some of them (the old Dark Eldar heads) no longer readily available. Still, I think the results are rather convincing.

The only thing that worries me is that my Custodes army has moved dar beyond the scheduled frame already. But then, it’s just so much fun kitbashing these guys and girls 😉

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