Archive for February, 2013

Eternal Hunt: Year One

Posted in 40k, old stuff, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , on February 27, 2013 by krautscientist

yearone
Well, it pleases me to announce that “Eternal Hunt” is one year old! And what a ride it has been:  When I started this blog in late February of 2012, it was mainly to have a place for posting about my various hobby activities and to establish contacts with other hobbyists. Now, one year later, I guess we can call both missions accomplished:

During one year of blogging, I managed to crank out 115 posts on this blog, with a pretty regular ratio of two updates per week. The blog racked up an overall 61,000 views, which I am immensely proud of, considering I am by no means a celebrity or hobby legend. The overall views even eclipsed the 10,000 mark once, with 10,219 views for the month of January, 2013 — but that is a feat I probably won’t be able to repeat for quite some time…

What’s even more important, though: More and more people are commenting on my stuff and providing me with food for thought and additional ideas. And of course, this serves as a constant encouragement to step up my game. So here’s a very heartfelt thank you to all the readers, followers and commenters, both here and on my various threads on the forums!

Getting feedback from you guys or just seeing that anybody reads this stuff at all has helped me pull through more than one motivational slump! And getting to talk to talented hobbyists like Biohazard, PDH, Ron Saikowski, Commissar Molotov, the Spiky Rat Pack, HOTPanda, DexterKong, Mordian7th and many more by way of this blog and my forum activities has been a real blast and maybe the best blogging experience of all, so thanks to you guys as well!

Oh, and while updating this blog and trawling the other blogs and forums is sometimes quite a bit of work, I still managed to paint about 90 models since starting the blog – among them some bigger projects like my first tank ever or my converted Heldrake – and kitbashed and converted quite a few more, so I guess the blogging didn’t actually completely prevent me from doing actual hobby work, after all.

Now, before I get all sappy, what better way to celebrate this occasion than to descend into the deepest, darkest dungeons of my personal hobby history and show you something reeeally old? That’s right, my first 40k models ever!

Before we do that, though, you have to understand that those were very different times: The Internet, back then, was still mainly the domain of “The Haxorz” and those patient enough to be rooted through to a network of what ultimately amounted to crude excel spreadsheets by way of their actual telephone. So what I am trying to say here is that there was no way of getting inspiration and help from the forums, and even actual hobby materials were scarce to come by.

When my buddy Phil picked up 40k around the 8th or 9th grade, though, us proto-nerds knew he had something special on his hands. And I immediately recognised the resemblance of his 2nd edition starter box minis to those that had come with my treasured box of Space Crusade (which, until then, I had mostly regarded as a dolled-up version of HeroQuest…IN SPACE!).

Anyway, I remember the school breaks spent poring over the few precious colour pages in the middle of the 2nd edition rulebook, admiring the fantastic models and great paintjobs (pro tip: Some of them didn’t manage to hold up all that well…). And so, one day, after school, I sat down with the desire to paint my own Space Marines just as well.

I didn’t have much to work with, though, apart from the Space Crusade models as well as fleeting glimpses at the aforementioned colour pages and the painting guides that came with the 2nd edition starter box:

Yep, still have 'em...

Yep, still have ’em…

So here’s what I came up with:

First_40k_models (2)
Yeah, I know, not even close 😉 In any cases, this guy was probably my very first Space Marine ever. Of course I didn’t know anything about the 40k background (which went pretty much completely out of the window in the horribly bowdlerised German translation of Space Crusade anyway, but that’s a story for another time), so I just went with what I thought looked cool. That is why this guy is all over the place from a heraldic perspective and should also explain why, in addition to several crude freehands and effects that were clearly beyond my abilities (the checkerboard effect comes to mind), I also gave the model a crude version of the Dark Angels chapter badge:

First_40k_models (3)
For my next project, I wanted to try something different, and even then, we loved the Legion of the Damned. We knew next to nothing about those guys (because there was even less background for them than today, and even then, we really only had that one painted model in the painting guide to go by), but we still loved that black armour with the painted on bones and flames — which nerdy teenager wouldn’t? So here was my attempt at emulating those effects:

First_40k_models (5)
Note the bones painted onto the model’s right hand and forearm. And how cute, I even managed to paint a small skull on the left shinguard 😉
On the other hand, I couldn’t even begin to explain to you why I added that Ultramarines emblem on the right shinguard. Hmmm…

I even tried my hand at an officer,using a sergeant model from the Space Crusade box:

First_40k_models (1)
I still think the painted on goatee and scar through the right eye are nice touches. Oh, and there is yet another unexplained Ultamarines symbol. Oh well…

Of course I also tried my hand at the other side of the spectrum! Here’s my very first Space Ork for you:

First_40k_models (4)
Not much to say for this guy, apart from the fact that I am still childishly fond of the primitive camo pattern I painted on his pants…

 

Now what does this nostalgic and slightly embarrassing tangent tell us? Well, this is where it all started! Fast forward roughly twenty years (God, I feel old…) from those first models  to me starting my very first wargaming blog, which, in turn, is already one year old today. Huzzah!

So where do we go from here? Thanks again to anyone showing interest in this blog! I’ll keep the content coming (although I cannot promise you whether I’ll be able to keep my posting schedule locked at two updates per week forever), and I would love for you all to keep bombarding me with feedback, ideas and criticism!

Here’s to Eternal Hunt! And to you people! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

INQ28 Desktop roundup II: The good, the bad and the ugly

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2013 by krautscientist

It is very clearly a great time for being an INQ28 aficionado: More and more people are trying their hand at converting their own Inquisitorial retinues, and with John Blanche’s column in WD regularly dedicated to INQ28 models, and with the work of exceptionally talented artists like PDH and migsula indeed being published in WD proper, it seems like a second spring for a game that was pretty much abandoned by GW years ago.

Looking at so many great models has given me a new hunger for building more INQ28 models and tweaking some of the existing ones. So I would like to show you a small gallery of my latest WIPs. Some of these are models I already posted some time ago I chose to revisit and touch up. Some are recent additions to my collection. I usually enjoy working on several of these at the same time, different as they may turn out in the end. But all of them have one thing in common: They are either good, bad or ugly* — or a combination of the above. Let’s take a look:

 

1.) Inquisitor Gotthardt’s Retinue:

The first few models will end up as retainers to Inquisitor Erasmus Gotthardt, of the Ordo Hereticus. All of these were previously posted in the first INQ28 desktop roundup, yet I have worked on them some more since then, hammering out the last kinks and rough edges, dealing with unfinished stuff and taking to heart the feedback I received on forums.

Former Guard Captain Esteban Revas

Cpt. Esteban Revas WIP (4)
Cpt. Esteban Revas WIP (5)
Since I designed Revas to decidedly look like a fencer, I thought it would be interesting if his fencing style incorporated a longer and shorter blade at the same time, so I added a Sanguinary Guard dagger at his hip. It’s only a very minor detail, to be sure, but one I am very pleased with nonetheless, because it serves to further define the character. All in all, I am very pleased with this model, and will paint it up as soon as I have managed to stop obsessing over the colour combination…

Drill Abbot

Drill Abbot WIP (3)
I followed the advice of my fellow forumites and slightly shortened this fellow’s neck, to make him look like a bulldog of a man. And I added a couple of additional items to his belt to bulk him out even more and to show that he carries some additional equipment (and quite a few items of worship, like the small reliquary and a cask of holy water at his side):

Drill Abbot WIP (4)
Painting wise, I imagine a combination of rich reds and browns would be the best way to go for this character, along with a healthy complexion and a grey beard. We’ll see…

Retired Arbites Judge/Security Agent

Arbites Judge WIP (2)
I wanted this guy to look like a tough-as-nails ex-hive-cop who knows every trick in the book and is quite used to walking the beat on the wrong side of the monorail tracks, and the pilot model from the “Battle for Maccrage” boxed set nicely fit the bill. Since we last saw this guy, I replaced the clunky DA power maul with a more fitting stun baton, spliced together from the grip of the aforementioned maul and a WFB Marauder weapon. Again, it’s a small but important change.

 

2.) Inquisitor Fiegmund’s retinue

As an addition to Inquisitor Antrecht’s collection of carnival freaks and Inquisitor Gotthardt’s more middle-of-the-road approach, Inquisitor Fiegmund’s retinue will be as gothic and scary as they come. You see, Holm Fiegmund is a puritan member of the Ordo Hereticus whose hunt for Antrecht has driven him over the edge (and horribly scarred him for life, causing others to refer to him behind his back as the “Maimed Man”). In short, I want Fiegmund’s retinue to be a pretty dark and uncompromising looking bunch. Here are the first models:

Preacher/Redemptionist Priest

Redemptionist Priest (2)
Well, you cannot have a puritan Hereticus warband without one of these. The model is a pretty straightforward kitbash, using parts of the Empire flagellants, a Guard laspistol and a Khorne Berzerker chainsword to make a suitably imposing eviscerator.

The Dancer

The Dancer WIP (2)
The Dancer WIP (3)
The Dancer WIP (1)
This bonny lass, codenamed “The Dancer” is a (death cult) assassin in the employ of Inquisitor Fiegmund. I have this idea about several members of Fiegmund’s retinue being female, which should be an interesting way of setting off the dark, gothic look.
In this case, the model was built using mainly Wych parts from the Dark Eldar Venom kit. I then added a couple of more Imperial looking bitz, including a servo skull for a head. I want to leave the Dancer’s actual nature deliciously ambiguous: Is she a cultist, a servitor or something altogether different? Only Inquisitor Fiegmund would know, and he certainly isn’t telling…

Expect more pretty fethed up models for this particular retinue in the future…

 

3.) Yet another retinue — Xenos this time?

I’ll be honest with you: Building Inquisitorial retinues is a pasttime I simply cannot get enough of. I can get quite a kick creating new Inquisitors pondering their relations to their retainers and all the stories behind that, even withhout ever actually having to use the characters in a game. And I recently realised that I had not yet managed to come up with an Inquisitor belonging to the Ordo Xenos…

Oh, and by the way: Some of the following conversions were only made possible because my buddy Biohazard was awesome enough to let me have his batch of Dark Vengeance cultists, so I am free to use them for all kinds of INQ28 goodness (and for several other projects as well).

WIP Inquisitor

Well, this guy is turning out to be a bit of a toughie: When I got my hands on Biohazard’s cultist, I planned to transform one of the champions (the chap looking like a Commissar) into an Inquisitor. My original plan was to simply make a more ostentatious looking version of Inquisitor Antrecht, but that really didn’t work all that well. So I was left trying different combinations of parts. Here’s what I ended up with after a while:

Cultists2INQ28 (9)
You’ll probably agree that this guy will need quite a bit more work: I love the pistol and overall pose, but the head is clearly too big. And while I like the thought of giving him a tie or cravat of some kind, it was pointed out to me by fellow forumites over at the Ammobunker that the one in the picture above makes him look like a Western character — and we certainly can’t have that!

So I tried a new tie, as well as a couple of different heads. Here’s a composite for you:

INQ_faces
As you’ll probably agree, some of these would lead to wildly different outcomes. While I am personally rather fond of options A and B for some reason, I haven’t decided yet, so you are very welcome to put in your own two cents on the matter!

Kroot Shaper/Pathfinder

INQ28_Kroot (1)
INQ28_Kroot (2)
INQ28_Kroot (3)
INQ28_Kroot (4)

While getting the Inquisitor in fighting shape may yet take some doing, I am fortunately quite a bit further along when it comes to some of his tentative servants. First in line is this Kroot shaper/pathfinder inspired by a fantastic Mike Anderson GD model which also appears in the 40k rulebook. I posted an early mockup of him quite some time ago, but it has taken quite a while for the model to reach a point where I am actually really happy with it. The model received a hunting bow (spliced together from a Kroot rifle and High Elf bow) and a machete (a shaved down Ork choppa), and I added a couple of details to make this guy look like a “noble savage”. I actually have quite an interesting/tragic backstory for the character, floating around half-formed at the back of my head, and painting him should be a nice change of pace. I also think he might have an interesting, if grudgingly amicable, relationship with the next character…

Imperial Guard Veteran/former Hive Ganger

Guard Veteran WIP (1)
Guard Veteran WIP (2)
Guard Veteran WIP (3)
I had always suspected that the heavy weapon cultists would make great base models for IG veterans, and indeed, all it took was a couple of bitz! The Space Wolves scout head gives the model some punk attitude, so this guy could conceivably have been a ganger before being drafted into the guard.

In any case, the Xenos retinue will need a bit more work, but I am definitely getting there…

 

4.) Servants of the Dark Gods

Well, you know what they say: Evil never sleeps. So it was clear I also needed to build some more villains.
Some of these will end up doing double duty for both INQ28 and my Traitor Guard, but they’ll probably feel right at home in either…

Eyeless Crawler

Quite a long time ago, I built some crawler troglodytes to serve as the genetically enhanced brood of one rogue Genetor Amnon Helix, a recurring nemesis to Inquisitor Antrecht. The models were posted ages ago on Molotov’s blog. Now I didn’t do a whole lot with these for some time, but when the new model for chaos champion Vilitch the Curseling was released, I started wondering whether those crawlers wouldn’t be even more disturbing with a near featureless face, not unlike Vilitch’s.

Eyeless Crawler (1)
Eyeless Crawler (2)
Eyeless Crawler (3)

The original model used a regular WFB Crypt Ghoul head, and now I shaved off the model’s eyes and nose and smoothed out the whole are with Liquid GS, opting for a horrible, mostly featureless face. This makes the creature look quite a bit more revolting (and far less like Gollum, which is also a plus).

Chainsaw maniac

Chainsaw Maniac WIP
This guy was a conversion I had been wanting to do for ages! It was really simple too: Just clip off the barrels of the flamer, add the blade from an Ork choppa and presto: Industrial saw! I also added a disturbing, patched together hood from one of the other cultist models for that certain “Leatherface” look. This guy will definitely be used in my Traitor Guard, but I can easily see him putting in the odd cameo in INQ28 or Necromunda, as a “miniboss” or some kind of “environmental hazard”  😉

Father Pain

Having already built champions of Khorne, Nurgle and Tzeentch for my Traitor Guard, “Urash’s Marauders”, I needed a model to represent a mighty follower od Slaanesh. The solution to this particular problem arrived when Biohazard sent me the chaos priest from the WFB Warshrine of Chaos. Since the guy was quite the beefcake, I thought his immaculate physique would make him a nice fit for a follower of the dark prince:

Father Pain WIP (1)
Father Pain WIP (2)
Two new hands, a new head and some GS later, Father Pain was born. I realise the greenstuffed area will need quite a bit more work, but I think you can see where this is going. The glaive came from the new WFB plastic Chaos Lord, by the way:

Father Pain WIP (3)
All in all, I think the model makes for a quite convincing champion of Slaanesh, and he would also work as a cult leader in games of INQ28.

 

As you can, see, I have got lots and lots on my plate regarding INQ28 models. Lord knows when I am actually going to get around painting these, but I just can’t stop kitbashing them — it’s just too much fun… 😉

In any case, C&C are always welcome! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

 

* I do of course realise that the idea of arranging INQ28 models by their respective goodness, badness or ugliness was very much migsula’s idea to begin with. So let’s just say I was inspired by his work (which is totally true) and didn’t just steal this particular idea 😉

Raising Hell, pt. 3

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2013 by krautscientist

In today’s final installment of this mini series, let’s take a look at how my Hellrazor fared in the Eleventh Throne of Skulls Painting/Converting Contest:

So the deadline for the contest came, and, as you know, my entry looked like this:

Hellrazor (3)
But what was I up against?
The other contestants were Biohazard and swamp, and I was thrilled to see their entries:

Biohazard submitted his fantastic, kitbashed Bloodstalker:

Biohazard_Bloodstalker

Image appears courtesy of Biohazard

I couldn’t begin to tell you how much I love this model! Biohazard is a true master of kitbashing huge chaos war machines, and his Bloodstalker is a testament to that: Kitbashed from many disparate parts into something that looks almost like a regular GW kit, this beast ranks among the best Defiler conversions I have ever seen and would also certainly be a fierce opponent.

And here’s swamp’s entry:

swamp_Decimator

Image appears courtesy of swamp

A masterfully painted Forgeworld Decimator. The model itself is lovely, and the smooth blending technique on this piece managed to blow both my and Biohazard’s paintjobs clean out of the water. Fantastic work!

What I especially liked about the three entries was how different they were from one another. And still, each of them represented an imposing daemonic contraption, bound to the will of Khorne.

So how did it all end? Well, I didn’t win this time. But I didn’t mind, since losing to either of these models certainly was no shameful affair. In fact, I was actually really happy when Biohazard’s Bloodstalker won the competition! A well deserved victory! Great job, buddy!

All in all, what a great result: The contest produced three great entries. My favourite managed to win. And I even ended up with a converted and fully painted chaos flyer for my army. Plus I am really thrilled to see what kind of motto Biohazard will come up with for the next contest!

Head on over to ToS, in case you’re interested in seeing more pictures of the other guys’ entries as well as their fluff. And let me wind up this post with a little image I crudely slapped together for Biohazard in Photoshop:

bloodstalker01
BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!

Oh, one more thing: If you want to own your very own Bloodstalker pattern defiler, you are in luck! Biohazard has you covered: He was actually nice enough to write up a tutorial on how to build this beauty. It also explains which bitz you are going to need. Check it out here.

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

Raising Hell, pt. 2

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2013 by krautscientist

Welcome to the second of three posts dealing with my Heldrake conversion! Today on Raising Hell: the finished model. But before we reach that particular goal, here’s where we left off last time:

Hellrazor PIP (1)
With all the base colours in place, the next step was to apply the washes: Most of the model was generously washed with GW Agrax Earthshade to add some shadows to the red and bronze parts. The silver areas received the same treatment, only with GW Nuln Oil. After everything was well and dry, I drybrushed the Bronze with GW Dwarf Bronze, added a thin layer of GW Blood Red for the red parts and finally did some accents on the silver areas with GW Mithril Silver.

I also wanted to add an additional spot colour to show the power burning through the daemon engines innards. For that, I chose a simple OSL effect in light blue that was added to the head, mouth, engine and the underbelly of the model:

Hellrazor PIP
Another thing I wanted to do was to give the model a suitably detailed base. I knew I wanted some kind of ruined building, but all I had was a leftover Necromunda bulkhead. So I cut that apart, constructing a small ruin and added a couple of bitz as well as some of my trademark cork. Here’s what the painted base looks like:

Hellrazor (1)
As you can see, while I painted the ruined structure to look like rusty metal, the base itself was painted to fit in with the rest of my World Eaters. I also added numerous small details like the half-buried, dead (or is that dying?) Space Marine, two soldier’s graves and the unfortunate gravedigger himself — obviously, when they finally got him, there was nobody left to do the honours…

Hellrazor (2)
An opening was cut into the cork to leave a space for the flight stand to be inserted.

With both the model and base painted, I did a couple of final adjustments: The final set of wings could finally be added, changing the model’s silhouette quite a bit. But see for yourself. I give you: The Hellrazor.

Hellrazor (4)

Hellrazor (6)
Hellrazor (5)
Hellrazor (7)
Hellrazor (8)
As you can see, the OSL added to the model’s “mouth” makes it look like the baleflamer is just heating up:

Hellrazor (9)
Hellrazor (10)
And as a huge videogame nerd, I cannot help but feel immensely pleased by the fact that the Hellrazor’s shape recalls nothing so much as an endboss from a mid-90s 16bit shoot ’em up like R-Type or Thunder Force:

Hellrazor (11)
All in all, I am prepared to call this project a success: Granted, this beast was a chore to paint, but I think that I’ve managed to convert a flyer that looks decidedly different from the original Heldrake will still maintaining a visual balance between jetfighter and strangely organic daemon engine. And the model also looks pretty similar in silhouette to the Forgeworld flyers — hence the name “Hellrazor”, to show a certain kinship to the Hell Blade and Hell Talon, in case you’re still wondering (there’s also another, even more obvious pun hidden in there, but I’m confident you’ll figure it out on your own 😉 ).

So the model was finished — all’s well that ends well, right? But wait, there was still the ToS contest to consider! Since I wanted to submit my flyer for the contest, I still needed to write a short piece of fluff to go with the model. Being a bit of an overachiever in this respect, I actually wrote two:

 

The cavernous hall was illuminated by the flickering half light of the grand furnace. Lorimar’s eyes needed a moment to adjust. Then he could see Deracin standing in front of the huge daemon engine, gazing up at its form. Lorimar approached the Keeper of the Forge. “I salute you, hunter. You requested my presence?” Deracin turned to face him and inclined his head. “Yes, lord.” But he did not say anything more.

“Is this about the daemon engine, then?” Lorimar growled. Deracin nodded ponderously. “Aye. As you can see, the vessel itself has been completed.” He gestured towards the shape of the war machine. Lorimar could see the pointed wings and jagged armour plates, he could see where fleshmetal had grown to fuse with the machine’s structure. Suspended above them was the daemon engine’s head, a grinning brass skull. The rest remained half hidden by the shadows, although Lorimar got a sense of the strangely organic shape of the thing. “And the incantations?” he growled.

Deracin kept his gaze locked on the machine, only the mostly bionic side of his face visible to Lorimar. “The bindings are in place. We have also completed the rituals. Yet something is amiss. I can feel it.”

Lorimar turned to face Deracin: “And what of …the pilot?”
Deracin seemed to grow uneasy. “My lord, it would be best not to refer to him as that any longer. We cannot be sure of what remains after the rituals. And truth be told, there was not much left even before that…” His voice trailed off.

“No, Deracin. He was our brother, an honoured member of the company. I refuse to refer to him as anything but.” Lorimar could feel the Keeper of the Forge’s gaze on him: “Even so, my lord, the binding seems incomplete. There is naught we can do.”

“Let me handle this, then!” Lorimar turned to face the huge brazen skull, seemingly suspended in nothingness. Then he addressed it:

“Old friend, forgive me for disturbing your slumber. But the company has need of you. There is still prey to run down. Your hunt is not yet over.”

They could both feel it. A strange feeling of otherness. And then a sound, low and guttural at first, but still unmistakeable: the sound of a huge animal drawing breath.

Whatever the daemon engine suspended in darkness above them may have housed. It lived.

 

***

With the pounding of heavy artillery vibrating through his body, Lord Commissar Sondheim of the 45th Palthian Grenadiers urged his troops forward: „Advance, men of Palthia!”, he boomed. “Advance and deliver the Emperor’s Wrath to the enemy, lest it fall upon you instead!”
Sondheim used his field glasses to look towards the front lines, where the chaos forces were advancing towards the Imperial position. He could make out the red armoured shapes of their enemies, and he couldn’t suppress a sinking feeling. The traitor legionaries of the World Eaters were deadly in combat, and to let them reach their lines would mean disaster. However, the Guard’s superior firepower had so far proven successful in stalling the enemies’ advance, pinning the abhorrent traitor Astartes and preventing them from rushing the Imperial positions.

Sondheim turned to his aide-de-camp, Junior Commissar Kelso: “Armin, send word to the Lord General that we have matters under control here. As long as our ammunitions supply lasts, we should be able to hold them back indefinitely. The Emperor’s justice will be meted out to these vile abominations.” Telzo nodded and opened his mouth to reply, when both men suddenly heard something above the din of battle: A rolling thunder that was steadily growing louder and louder. “Air support. They have air support!”, Kelso said, his eyes frantically searching the horizon. “Don’t worry, lad!” Sondheim answered. “Just one of those light jetfighters. Our anti-aircraft guns will swat it down like a bothersome fly.” He took a look through his field glasses, and sure enough, there was the shape of a chaos flyer approaching, its shape like a jagged blade. There was something slightly warped about its silhouette, though. Sondheim grinned to himself: It was no use trying to keep track of all the different kinds of corruption that chaos wrought upon both its followers and their wargear. But Throne, that thing was fast! Sondheim could hardly keep it in focus. And the closer it came, the more he felt a certain apprehension. He could see the thing now, shaped like a two-pronged dagger, yet strangely sinuous and organic at the same time, weaving between the bursts of AA-fire that were supposed to take it out. The noise was also getting louder: a strange animal roar, and above it, something else, like the sound of a thousand voices screaming in unison. “What in the name of Terra…?”, he murmured. “My lord,” Kelso’s voice sounded worried, “shouldn’t we abandon this position? It’s coming straight at us!” Sondheim heard his words, but he found himself strangely transfixed, staring at the approaching horror, listening to the rumble of its engines. He could make out details now: The wickedly sharp wings, something that looked like a head, wrought in the shape of a stylised skull, its mouth seemingly weeping blue flame. “Retreat!” he heard Kelso scream above the horrible noise, “Abandon this position!” And it was at this exact moment that Lord Commissar Sondheim knew fear.
And then his world turned into fire.

Hellrazor (3)
And with that, my Hellrazor was completed. Any comments or questions about the model? I’s be happy to hear from you in the comments section!
Next time, we’ll take a look at the other entries my model was up against.

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

Raising Hell, pt. 1

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2013 by krautscientist

It’s plain to see that the various new Daemon Engines played a rather huge part in the last Chaos Space Marine release: While not everyone is especially fond of the Heldrake and fiend models, there’s no doubt that they add a new perspective to the army, both from a visual and a gameplay standpoint. The most eagerly disputed of these daemon engines has to be the Heldrake: Not only does it add the first real flyer to the traitor legions’ lineup, but the model itself is also a very clear case of “love it or hate it.”

I have to be honest with you: In this particular question, I feel rather drawn towards the haters’ camp: While I love the idea of a chaos flyer slowly mutating and changing to a quasi-living being, with its erstwhile pilot having atrophied to a husk serving as the beast’s black heart, and while the latest FAQ pretty much transformed the Heldrake from a very viable option into an “auto-include”, I am still not sold on the kit itself. Make no mistake, the beast has grown on me a little, and I don’t hate it as much as I did last October, but it was immediately clear to me that any Heldrake included in my World Eaters army would have to look pretty different. This mini-series, then, will deal with my own Heldrake conversion slowly taking shape.

As luck would have it, I had won a Painting/Converting Contest over at Throne of Skulls some time ago, and so I was allowed to choose the motto for the next contest — what better occasion than this to force myself to actually convert and paint a chaos flyer of my own? So I decreed that the contest would deal with Khornate Daemon Engines, in order to both let myself be inspired by other peoples’ awesome creations and to put myself under a bit of pressure regarding my own entry.

The first step was choose a general approach to the matter. I did pick up the Heldrake kit, because I felt it was at least a good starting point, and did a little research to find out what other people had done with the kit. After some time spent looking at a number of very cool chaos flyers, I knew what to do:

My inspiration for this conversion came from Marshalfaust’s thread on Warseer. Honourable mentions must also go to Morf’s exquisite “Hellbat” and Old School Terminator’s scratchbuilt Nurglite Heldrake (or his “Hellworm”: that …thing is truly something else) — those would be my conversions of choice if I wanted to build Night Lords or Death Guard flyers, respectively.

With my World Eaters in mind, though, the conversion ended up very close to Marshalfaust’s, in order to make the Heldrake look less like a dragon and more like a sinuous, strangely organic jetfighter. Take a look:

Hellrazor WIP (1)
Hellrazor WIP (2)
Hellrazor WIP (3)
Hellrazor WIP (5)
As you can see, only the longest set of front wings was used. I attached it directly to the main body, leading to a look slightly reminiscent of the different FW chaos flyers.  One smaller set of wings was added in the regular position. While I wanted to add yet another set of wings towards the back in order to give further definition to the model’s shape, that would obviously have to wait until everything was painted (looking back now, that turned out to be a very smart decision…).
The neck was also left out, and the head replaced with an optional leftover head from the Forgefiend kit.

Hellrazor WIP (4)
Due to a spontaneous moment of inspiration, I forced the remains of a WFB Necrosphinx skull head into the mouth cavity. Bydoing this, I wanted to give the model an actual “face” as a focal point. I also liked the notion that the skull’s mouth would be the place where the flames from the baleflamer emerged…

I also used some lasher tendrils from the Maulerfiend kit to “plug” some of the jet nozzles on the model’s back and make the body look even more disturbing:

Hellrazor WIP (6)
With the lost arms and claws on my Heldrake, I also like to think that these tentacles are used as a CC weapon of sorts, slashing and whipping at other flyers and enemies on the ground.

All in all, I was reasonably pleased with the basic build of my Heldrake, which I decided to name the “Hellrazor” for a double pun – a cookie goes to you if you can figure it out 😉

The next step was to start painting this thing, and I will not lie to you: It was a nightmare!

Hellrazor PIP (1)
All those small panels on the wings took ages to paint. And there were so many of them, even though I hadn’t used all the wings that came with the kit in the first place!

Nevertheless, I persevered and used the same base colours appearing throughout all of my army: The red areas were painted using GW Mechrite Red, the Bronze trim was picked out in Vallejo Tinny Tin, and the silver areas were done with GW Boltgun Metal. I decided to paint the slightly fleshy, mutated bits of the model in a dark brown-red instead of a paler skin tone. That way, I would get a pretty organic transition to the reds on the model and would be able to avoid any expansive, pink areas.

Hellrazor PIP (2)
I’ll be honest with you: Getting all the base colours done on the model was quite a chore, and not an experience I would want to repeat anytime soon. Oh, I worked in multiple sub-assemblies, by the way, with the head and armour plates on the model’s back being painted separately to make sure every detail was easy enough to reach. It also quickly became clear that the changes I had done to the wings and rear of the model didn’t exactly make the job any easier…

Hellrazor PIP (3)

But in the end, all the base colours were done, and I was free to tackle the next, hopefully much more enjoyable, steps of the paintjob: Applying the washes, and then seeing to the details…

But that, as they say, is a story for anoter time. So stay tuned for the next installment of Raising Hell, coming this Friday!

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

Apostle of War

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2013 by krautscientist

Not only am I a great fan of building characters for my World Eaters army (as evidenced by many, many posts on this blog), I also enjoy having models to represent must – if not all – of the possible selections from the Codex. What’s more, I am constantly trying come up with conversions and kitbashes that put a spin on the ideas presented in the book and make the models fit my army’s background: My Chaos Spawn are former World Eaters and still retain some of the gladiatorial feel typical of the legion. My champions and officers are “Huntmasters”, accomplished hunters out to run down their prey. Indeed, most of my army is designed with the hunting background firmly in mind, and for each entry in the codex, I try to come up with a model that is not only clearly recognisable, but also makes sense within the context of the army’s overall look and feel.

The Dark Apostle HQ selection was one that had me stumped so far. You see, for me, the Dark Apostle will always remain a character type firmly connected to the Word Bearers legion. I also wanted to build my own model for a possible Dark Apostle instead of the Finecast one released by GW (though the model is, of course, really cool). So after a bit of thought, I figured that I had two possibilities:

  1. Make the Apostle a Word Bearer that had been assigned to the 4th assault company during the Great Crusade and had been staying with them ever since.
  2. Come up with a way to create a “Khornate” Dark Apostle that made sense within the framework of my army’s background.

While the first option may be pretty promising from a narrative standpoint, I somehow just wasn’t feeling it: While the Dark Apostle Azalon actually appears in the background of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt and definitely had a hand in their corruption, he’s a character I would maybe like to spin off into a separate army project one of these days. So I thought about making my own apostle as a member of the 4th assault company.

Several Khorne players have come up with some kind of “blood priest”, inciting his brothers to even greater rage during battle. But while that idea was also very cool, it still wasn’t what I was looking for. Instead, I thought about what the members of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt would possibly use as a means of bolstering their morale and drive them forward. And since it’s a hunting party we are talking about here, the answer was rather simple: a horn.

My Dark Apostle would be a hornblower, wielding an ancient and  treasured artifact to call the warriors of the 4th to arms and order them forward. To my mind, it makes a lot of sense that the sound of their most revered warhorn should serve as a surge of motivation to the legionaries of the 4th!

So far so good! Now when it came to actually building the model, everything boiled down to a lucky coincidence, as is so often the case: When I swung by the FLGS the other day after a particularly horrible day at work, I couldn’t help but treat myself to one of GW’s brand new plastic Chaos Lords.

While I hadn’t been 100% sold on the model before, this guy is actually pretty great once you see him firsthand! So I sat down and did a couple of really easy changes to the model to transform him into my “counts as” Dark Apostle. Take a look:

Apostle of War WIP (2)
Apostle of War WIP (1)
Apostle of War WIP (5)
Apostle of War WIP (6)
As you can see, it didn’t take much to make the model look quite different: I carefully cut off the hand holding the glaive and used a different head. Oh, and I also “converted” the base to fit on a 40k round base. Apart from that, in a move that is fairly atypical for me, the model remains very close to the original design.

While the head that comes with the model is much nicer than the pictures in WD would have you believe, and while it has a really interesting “Herne the Hunter” vibe going on, it was a little to over the top for the look I wanted to achieve. So I used a champion head from the Skullcrusher kit instead. The Khorne rune on the forehead is quite a nice touch, and while I had originally planned to shave off the small set of horns, they somehow really complement the rest of the model rather well, don’t you think?

Apostle of War WIP (3)
Apostle of War WIP (4)

Apostle of War WIP (10)

The huge horn came from the Chaos Daemon Bloodcrusher kit and is nicely decorated with different chaotic runes. I originally wanted to use the even cooler horn from the Skullcrushers, but that one was unfortunately right-handed, so I had little choice in the matter. In any case, the horn really looks like an ancient and powerful artifact of the Warp…

Apostle of War WIP (9)
Granted, this guy still looks very much like a WFB model. But even though I might have been slightly tempted to make an even more involved conversion out of this model, I was too in love with the lines and silhouette of the model to further cut it up. And while I am not one to be easily swayed by GW’s marketing speak, their gushing about how great the model’s sword and cape are designed is, for once, really true. Take a look:

Apostle of War WIP (8)
What’s really great about the new Chaos Lord is the depth of the model: He doesn’t look nearly as flat as the plastic models of old. However, this also comes at a price: The parts only fit together in a fairly specific way, so if you want to convert this guy, you should keep that in mind.

It’s fairly easy to swap in a couple of new forearms (and weapons) and the neck cavity will accept pretty much any head you choose to put there. The model could even conceivably be left off the sculpted base. Beyond that, though, converting this guy could get pretty complicated though. Still, knowing people like GuitaRasmus, PDH or migsula, I think we can rest assured that we will be seeing a couple of rather striking re-designs sooner rather than later…

Another word of advice: If you want to make painting this model a lot easier for yourself, you should think about what to glue together and what to leave apart before painting. Personally speaking, I would advise you to work in these four sub-assemblies:

Apostle of War WIP (11)
A: You can definitely glue together the base and small rocky outcrop with a part of the model’s right foot on it. If you want to keep the glaive, this will be quite a bit more complicated, since the weapon potentially connects sub-assemblies A and B. Since I just cut it off, I made my life that much easier 😉

B: The cape and forearms can be glued together: You can still add or remove the rest of the body (C) afterwards without a hitch. Again, see above for possible difficulties if you keep the glaive in the model’s right hand.

C: The model’s main body and right lower leg can also be glued together. There’s really only one possible position here. Even so, you might want to dryfit this part with sub-assembly A to make sure everything fits together.

D: Whatever head you want to use should probably be kept separate until after painting.

Oh, and one more thing: This guy is huge! Especially if you use the sculpted base! While he is a little less bulky than a Terminator, he almost reaches up to the same height as my Lorimar conversion (base included).

All in all, I am really pleased with this guy right now: I may add a small bit or two (and possibly a Dark Vengeance Chosen backpack, to make the model look a little more 40k), but he is pretty gorgeous and quite majestic as he is. I also think he makes for a rather convincing Dark Apostle in the context of my whole army. And I can also recommend the WoC plastic Lord, even though the price is nothing to laugh at.

Anyway, let me know what you think! And as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Apostle of War WIP (7)

Dark Vengeance …again

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 6, 2013 by krautscientist

You have to hand it to GW: That Dark Vengeance boxed set is quite a lot of bang for the buck: I’ve been happily cutting away on those models ever since the box was released last summer, and I still didn’t get all the way through its contents.

Case in point: The Chosen. The box comes with six exquisitely detailed plastic Chosen. The models are so good that any chaos player should be happy enough to draft them into his forces, right?

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

So why haven’t I done any work on these? They are, without a doubt, some of the finest CSM models ever released, yet they have sat untouched in their box so far — what the heck is wrong with me?

Well, there may be a couple of reasons, actually: First of all, I already converted some Chosen for my army before Dark Vengeance came along. And while they may not look nearly as cool as these guys, they fit the look of my army. They also decidedly look like World Eaters, while the Dark Vengeance Chosen were designed to represent Chaos on a more global scale — and rightly so!

What this means, though, is that it is actually rather hard to find a place for these in my army. Plus I felt slightly reluctant to cut apart the beautiful models.
But as is so often the case, something happened that set things in motion. It all began with this guy:

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

He may actually be my least favourite Chosen model: While he is nicely detailed, the model has a slightly squat look to it when seen firsthand. He did have a very nice power axe, though, so I used this guy as a donor when the time came to re-arm Lord Captain Lorimar. After that, things didn’t look to good for the poor Chosen: Without a CC weapon left, it didn’t really look like this guy was being fast-tracked for promotion in the World Eaters’ 4th assault company.

But for some reason, I picked up the model recently and started to work on it: After all, the new challenge rules in Codex Chaos Space Marines meant I was in dire need of a skull champion or two wielding power weapons. And there was no reason why I shouldn’t use this guy for that, right?

So a short while later, this is what he looks like:

Dark Vengeance Chosen (3)
Dark Vengeance Chosen (1)
Dark Vengeance Chosen (4)
A pretty straightforward conversion, as you can see: I added some Khornate bunny ears which succeeded in making the model look decidedly more like a World Eater and also managed to balance out the somewhat squat-looking helmet. And of course, the model needed a new axe, courtesy of the WFB Chaos Knights:

Dark Vengeance Chosen (2)
Coincidentally, this is an axe blade identical to the ones I used to build the first version of the axe wielded by Lorimar (later replaced by the Chosen’s power axe) — that’s Karma for you…

Anyway, while this was a fairly simply conversion, I still think the model now makes for a rather imposing skull champion!

Motivated by my unexpected success, I then turned to this guy:

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

Again, a nice model, but he really doesn’t look like a World Eater. The fact that he’s armed with a Bolter doesn’t really help either. And due to the fact that there are actually two models of this particular design in the box, I could actually try a more involved conversion without destroying a unique model.

So I was feeling a little more adventurous this time around. Still, I got a bit carried away at some point, hacking and slashing and kitbashing away, until I finally came to and this guy was standing before me:

Dark Vengeance Chosen (6)
Quite a transformation, if I do say so myself…
As you can see, this is a far more involved conversion, only keeping the base model’s legs. I mostly added parts from the WFB Chaos Knights and the new Skullcrusher kit to build a pretty bad-ass looking Khornate champion:

Dark Vengeance Chosen (5)
Dark Vengeance Chosen (7)
Dark Vengeance Chosen (8)
What I especially like about this conversion is that it really developed quite organically without much of an overarching plan in place. It also looks quite different from the original model (and, again, much more like a servant of Khorne) now.

So it looks like I have found a place for the first two Chosen at last. I don’t doubt that their buddies will also find their calling in due time. In any case, I love the fact that the Dark Vengeance starter box is still fun to work with, even months after its release.

Any thoughts on these conversions? Just drop me a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!