Facing Demons…

“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

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13 Responses to “Facing Demons…”

  1. that axe is fantastically ott! (in a good way)
    I much prefer the head you have chosen this time as its expression isn’t too “Raaaargh” angry killing machine and does have the look of one who may be a butcher, but they are an organised butcher.
    I hope you don’t take too long before getting him painted.

    also, I love the background! It’s something I am trying to get back into instead of just having shaman 1 and shaman 2 etc… as when I used to play, everything veteran/champion and above had a personal name and a small background to why they were a part of the force. It ,akes things feel more personal and fun.

    • Thanks a lot, Jessica!

      I completely agree about the characters: In a hobby that fetishises about the models so much, it really makes sense to have them be characters rather than exchangeable playing pieces. Plus thinking of them as characters can actually enhance your gaming experience as well!

  2. First of all, great article overall. And second, Lorimar looks amazing! It’s funny, because from the small amount of background you have on him, I looked at the early versions of the model and thought “no, that looks good, but it’s not quite right”. But the newest model looks incredible, and it just looks like the character you wrote about. I usually make the model, then try to make the story to fit. It allows me to get the story to fit the model easier, but it looks like I’m missing out on other opportunities. Even though it took a long time to get it right, you were pushing yourself to get something specific into your model which I’m sure really helped to push your converting skills. I really like all the conversions I’ve seen here, and will be looking out for the painted Lorimar. Keep it up!

    • Thanks, mate!
      Both are viable approaches of character creation, and I have also used both in the past. There are those cases, where I built the model first, and only through using it in games did the character start to form (Charun and Bardolf come to mind), although the character was usually ifluenced look to some degree by the model’s look.

      In Lorimar’s case, he had already appeared in several background pieces, so there was no other choice but to work from there. All in all, I’d say it’s easier to build the model first, since that means you’re “just” building a cool model. On the other hand, bringing a character you’ve had in the back of your head to life on the tabletop is a joy all of its own 😉

  3. Old School Says:

    This us your best kitbash yet and really represents not only your ability very well but also what you at going after. Truely impressive and your persistent drive to get your character right humbles me in the face of the number of times I’ve just said “good enough”. Excellent work.

  4. Gorgeous… I am rather envious of your Khornate miniatures…
    They have all the feel and creativity I’d love to put into a Khorne force… But… So many miniatures… So little time…

    Keep it up, I find your work very inspiring.

    • I feel your pain, mate! It’s the same for me: all those gorgeous armies we could build if we only had the time/money/sanity to spend… 😉

      Then again, I like to imagine that infusing armies with character and creativity is something universal, so you can always try to do that, regardless of the army you are playing.

  5. […] him, even though I have yet to paint it. So an honourable mention must go to Lorimar as well (Click here for the full […]

  6. […] things I managed to do over the holidays was to get some more work done on my Lorimar model. In my last post about this guy, I already described the thoughts that went into building the model. Still, there […]

  7. […] simple and straightforward conversion: If I should ever be contacted by a real-life Legion or Lord Captain Lorimar, I’ll be royally […]

  8. […] have written – at length – about how hard it was to create a model that was a fitting representation for Lorimar, but […]

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