Archive for June, 2013

My Descent into Chaos, pt. II: A Cult Following…

Posted in Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, old stuff, paintjob, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2013 by krautscientist

RoC_Logo02
Well, we are not done yet with the nostalgia trip, in case you were wondering! After covering my very first chaos army in my last post, today I would like to talk about yet another chaos project from the halcyon days of my youth that should nicely complement the old models I already showed you. So, once again in honour of Slaves to Darkness’ 25th anniversary, here we go:

My chaos army was already quite a ways into its development when GW started publishing the early rules for Mordheim in WD, starting in (German) WD 31. Necromunda had been released about six months earlier, and so adding a more skirmish based variety of WFB to GW’s catalogue seemed like the next logical step. I’m usually not a big fan of the “everything used to be better”-kind of debates, but having an actual ruleset for a game in development published in WD was definitely one of the really great things about those times!

Anyway, the Mordheim rules did not only bring a skirmish system set in the WFB universe, but also one of the most interesting – and, if you ask me, most underused – settings yet developed by GW: The damned city of Mordheim, a medieval nightmare where demented warbands of treasure hunters, daemon worshippers (and worse) fight over the ruins of a once bustling city, trying to amass more and more warpstone in the process. Visually, it was really a Bosch painting come alive, if you will. How could I not have been thrilled by it all?

One of the next issues of WD brought lists and rules for a selection of different warbands, featuring lots and lots of conversions from GW’s own team (since there were no “official” models yet. And, of course, I was immediately hooked! So I set out to build a cult of the Possessed, chaos worshippers brought into the open during Mordheim’s fall.

I wanted my warband to represent a cult of Khorne, trawling the city streets for worthy sacrifices to the blood god. Granted, I did not really think this through all that well: Followers of Khorne are definitely not fans of skulking around in robes and performing hidden rituals to undermine society. They are too on the nose for that. But even back then, Khorne was my favourite, and so Khorne it was πŸ˜‰

The first thing I needed were some suitable models to represent my cultists, and with much of today’s useful plastic boxes nowhere in sight, I had to fall back on some of GW’s metal models from the time. Fortunately enough, I found what I was looking for in German WD 32, in the form of Paul Muller’s metal chaos cultists:

old_cultists
While these are very different in concept from the more recent Dark Vengeance cultists – the former look much more like members of an organised cult of fanatics, while the latter seem like disgruntled workers and adepts driven to heresy – I still love these models very much: In fact, they are really underappreciated classics for me, and it’s a shame that they only seem to have been on offer for a pretty short window of opportunity.

Anyway, my FLGS carried some of them at least, so I got one blister (with three models — those were the days! πŸ˜‰ ) and used them for my cult magister and his closest servants:

My first chaos army (34)

Of course, looking back today, I could kick myself for cutting off all those beautiful autopistols, since these guys would be great for 40k or INQ28. Back then, though, I had only just begun to find my feet as a converter, so transforming 40k models into characters for a WFB spinoff game seemed like a wild and edgy thing to do πŸ˜‰

First up, the cult magister, Albrecht von Nuln:

My first chaos army (35)
As befits a follower of Khorne, his sidearm was replaced with a huge axe (from an Orc acessory sprue, if I recall correctly). My bitzbox was much smaller in those days, and I pretty much had to make ends meet.

This was also the first test model I painted, so he set the standard for the rest of the warband: Sickly, greenish skin (Oh Rotting Flesh, how I loved thee…), dark red robes spattered with the blood of the cult’s victims, plus different shades of metal, bronze and bone.

Next up, Brother Grimoriah, one of his henchmen, again with an Orc axe:

My first chaos army (36)

Looking back now, I shudder at how crudely the weapon was attached to the model’s hand, but those were different times — at least for me. As you can see, I also added some chaotic tattoes to the cultist’s skin: Certainly nothing to write home about, but I was mightily proud about that particular detail back then! I also added nicks and scratches to the models’ weapons, seeing how these guys were really into fighting and killing, so I wanted their weapons to have a worn, much-used look.

And finally, probably my favourite model of the bunch, Brother Maleachi

My first chaos army (37)
I really love this guy’s composition! An old WoC plastic shield was added to his left arm, and to tell you the truth, I still rather like the way I painted the blood-stained shield:

My first chaos army (38)
You really immediately get what this guy is about πŸ˜‰

 

In addition to the cult brethren, I also built two bowmen, based on Chaos Archers from Battle Masters. Alas, only one those remains; the other one was demolished when I needed the head for something different. Anyway, here’s Initiate Vaxillus:

My first chaos army (39)
A very easy conversion, to tell you the truth: The head of a plastic warrior of chaos was added, and the right arm was replaced with that of a Gorkamorka Orc. The right hand originally gripped a wicked looking dagger (actually the tip of a chaos knight’s lance), but that particular detail was lost somewhere along the way. I also added an Orc shield to the model’s back:

My first chaos army (40)
This model may not look like much nowadays, but back then, I considered this a fairly involved conversion. Silly me πŸ˜‰

 

Anyway, I also built two Possessed, Ezeekiel and Duriel. Both of them are once again based on Battle Masters Chaos Archers, with varying degrees of mutation added on top. Take a look:

My first chaos army (45)
My first chaos army (46)
The first guy simply received a pair of reeeally old Tyranid Warrior arms, sponsored by my buddy Phil. I wanted him to look like the additional pair of arms were erupting from his torso and served as his main weapon.

The second Possessed was a far more involved conversion, using the same base model and yet more old Tyranid bitz (among them a leftover head from an old metal Hive Tyrant):

My first chaos army (42)
My first chaos army (41)
My first chaos army (43)
My first chaos army (44)
I wanted the model to look like the daemonic possession had really started to manifest in earnest, the warped, daemonic part of the body almost erupting out of the poor Possessed’s torso. Modelling putty was used to build up the transition between regular body and twisted, daemonic flesh.

And finally, both of them together:

My first chaos army (47)
Granted, the models may be a trainwrecks by today’s standards, but back then, they seemed so sinister and twisted to me, since I had never attempted anything like this before.

 

So here are all of the cult members together:

My first chaos army (33)
Where my WoC army basically consisted of me trying to approximate the official GW studio pieces as closely as I could, this warband shows I was getting more ambitious and adventurous. So since these guys may actually have aged less gracefully than my regular chaos army, they nevertheless mark an important, maybe even crucial, step in my personal hobby “career”: I was actually trying to explore what chaos meant to me, beyond any tabletop rules and army lists.

As for the rest of my Mordheim-related activities, I also had an Empire Witchhunter warband, based on a Necromunda Redemptionist gang, for these guys to face off against — although I’ll be damned if I know where I put most of the models…

Both warbands didn’t actually see that much action: I only remember a single test game – against my dad, if I remember correctly – using the preliminary Mordheim rules from WD. But that’s beside the point: The Mordheim stuff published in WD got my creative juices flowing in a new and exciting ways, and was partly responsible for me becoming the avid kitbasher and fluffbunny I am today.

One last conundrum for you to figure out: If this game was set in a town, why on earth did I base these guys using green flock? Because that’s the way it was done back then, that’s why πŸ˜‰

 

And with that, our little trip down memory lane is concluded. I hope it’s been enjoyable for you to witness the humble beginnings of my descent into chaos. Rest assured that the next models I’ll post on this blog will be more …recent ones.

Oh, and happy birthday, Chaos! It has been brilliant so far!

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

My Descent into Chaos…

Posted in Chaos, Conversions, old stuff, paintjob, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2013 by krautscientist

RoC_Logo02

This summer marks the 25th anniversary of the first Realm of Chaos book, Slaves to Darkness. A truly seminal publication, outlining in detail the concept of chaos in the worlds of WFB and 40k (or, back then, Rogue Trader) in general and describing the followers of Khorne and Slaanesh in particular. Many hobbyists have fond memories of this momentous tome, and rightly so: Slaves to Darkness and its companion piece, The Lost and the Damned, put down the groundwork for the concept of chaos in Games Workshop’s intellectual properties and certainly launched a thousand chaos warbands.

Now, let’s start with a confession: I have never owned the genuine article. Not yet, at least. Shameful, I know, but by the time I got into the hobby in earnest, the rules set on which Realm of Chaos was based was already well on its way out, and the books were never even released in Germany in the first place.

Still, I will endeavour to do my small part in the celebration of this particular anniversary, both because I acknowledge the importance of the book in question and I have been drawn to chaos for all of my hobby life — more about that in a minute.

In honour of this anniversary, many hobbyists are posting great content about old and new hobby endeavours: Orrlyg (of RealmofChaos80s) and a gang of likeminded “Oldhammer” aficionados are planning a re-enactment of those glorious 3rd edition WFB battles of yore, keeping it truly oldskool with retro models, paintjobs and scenery. PDH, Neil101, Tears of Envy, Fulgrim and John Blanche are also marshalling their retro chaos forces, yet they are employing all the new and beautiful plastic parts at their disposal (their project is chronicled over at this Dakka thread: Go check it out!). Both groups are united in their attempt at celebrating both the release of a fantastic sourcebook and the glory of chaos in general πŸ˜‰

As for myself, I would like to take the middle road here, taking you on a trip down memory lane. And it WILL be a suitably retro trip, have no fear!

You see, I have always been a fan of chaos, as long as I’ve been in this hobby. From the chaos models that came with HeroQuest – some Warriors of Chaos, the Gargoyle (actually a stone effigy of a Bloodthirster of Khorne, though I didn’t know that at the time) and the Chaos Sorceror (arguably the coolest model in the box, and, invariably, the first to be lost…) – to the old WFB metal models, I was a fan.

So one day, during the mid-90s, I came across this box in a toy store in my hometown, of all places:

Don't ask me why I held on to those cardboard sleeves - I'm just a pack rat like that...

Don’t ask me why I held on to those cardboard sleeves – I’m just a pack rat like that…

Today, a whole regiment being released in one box does not seem like such a big deal, but back then, this was actually the first of the new plastic regiment boxes ever to be released by GW: Where older plastic kits would use the same sculpt over and over (except for a metal command group that had to be purchased seperately), this one allowed for limitless customisation. So without having any use for these (beyond a fuzzy prospect of being able to use them in [Advanced] HeroQuest) and without even knowing a single WFB rule, I purchased the kit in a heartbeat, hurried home and started working. To my young mind, the prospect of owning a complete regiment of badass guys in spiky armour was very much its own reward!

Without going into too much detail, the rest of that year was very busy with hobby activity: It saw me receiving a copy of the WFB boxed set (Bretonnia vs. Lizardmen, not what you’d call an ideal pairing…) and frantically working on my very first tabletop army ever. Here’s a look at the results of that work:

My first chaos army (1)
My very first chaos army,or actually: my first tabletop army, period. I still have a huge fondness for these guys, even though the sculpts are dated and most of the paintjobs are of a rather dubious quality at best. So in honour of Slaves to the Darkness‘ 25th anniversary, let me walk you through my first foray into the chaos wastes step by step. Some of it won’t be pretty, I fear, but I guess that this is only to be suspected when dealing with the dark gods…

 

Warriors of Chaos

Like I said, a regiment of regular warriors of chaos was the first thing to be finished. Here it is:

My first chaos army (10)
For some reason I never even got around to basing these guys. Oh well…
Apart from that, what can I say? I certainly went crazy with the different metal paints. And what is really interesting, for this regiment as well as for the rest of the army, is that both in assembling and painting the models, I tried to emulate the official photos on the box as closely as I could. Let me give you an example: Here’s the champion, musician and standard bearer from the back of the box:

My first chaos army (53)
My first chaos army (54)
And here’s the front rank of my own regiment:

My first chaos army (12)
Looking back now, I am amazed at how much I seem to have been afraid to break away from the colour schemes and assembly instructions set by GW back then. What’s more, I didn’t actually paint all the models in the unit in the same colour scheme, oh no: I happily experimented. Here’s the second rank of models from the same regiment:

My first chaos army (14)
Again, some of these are pretty close duplicates of models that appeared on the box. Compare the guy on the left with this:

My first chaos army (52)
Funny and sad at the same time, isn’t it? πŸ˜‰

Another thing I really struggled with in those days was painting “chaotic” faces. The bareheaded musician originally had a very pink face, until I touched it up later on:

My first chaos army (13)
Still not great, but that was really quite a challenge for me in those days!

All in all, these guys certainly aren’t fantastic by any stretch of the imagination. But they were my first regiment ever, and I feel very nostalgic about them. I have repeatedly considered cannibalising this regiment for bitz (especially the standard), but I always held back due to my fondness for them. And I am still rather happy with that small hand painted banner I added to the standard bearer (on a related note, I stopped counting how many times I had to reattach his metal arm because it had broken off — as a matter of fact, it even broke off once during this recent photo session…):

My first chaos army (11)

 

Retro Warriors of Chaos

Now these are probably the oldest plastic models in my first WoC army: A box of old plastic WoC given to me as a present by my buddy Phil. Though these come from a time where getting a plastic regiment meant getting the same model over and over again, with only a metal command group added to break up the monotony, I still love them for the simple fact that they look like bigger, meaner versions of the chaos warriors that came with HeroQuest. In any case, it made a lot of sense to draft them into my growing chaos army. So that’s what I did:

My first chaos army (16)
Since I didn’t have any command models for this squad, I had to get creative for the first time: The unit’s champion was created by painting him golden and adding a spike to his helmet — a rather lame conversion, admittedly, but these guys don’t exactly lend themselves to easy conversion. The one thing I am still quite proud of after all these years is the converted standard bearer: I drilled a hole into the model’s left hand, using toothpicks, a length of string and and some skulls to construct the banner pole. The banner itself was a freehand done by me in Citadel Paints on paper. Check it out:

My first chaos army (17)
Not true art, to be sure. And maybe it looks a tad too much like an undead banner, with the skull blotting out the Khorne rune, but I still rather like the design — and it was completely my own.

Once again, the models were painted to emulate the paintjobs on the official box, although I don’t have a photo to prove it πŸ˜‰

My first chaos army (18)

 

Chaos Knights

Shortly after releasing the plastic WoC regiment, GW also offered a box of chaos knights based on the same basic sculpt: These use the same bodies, helmets and arms, but come with additional metal legs, weapon arms and bitz to make a unit of five knights. The knights themselves ended up looking like this:

My first chaos army (6)
The horses are standard GW fare from those days. However, the kit came with dedicated metal heads to make the horses look more chaotic. As you can see, I was getting a little more ambitious with my basing, adding moss and small rocks in addition to the horrible green flock of those days.

And here’s the whole regiment:

My first chaos army (4)
The paintjob is, once again, an attempt at faithfully recreating the “official” version. The banner, however, is just lazy, even for my standard back then…

My first chaos army (49)

My first chaos army (5)
The unit featured another bareheaded musician, so I got to take another shot at painting a face warped an discoloured by chaos:

My first chaos army (7)
A bit heavy on the eyeliner, perhaps…

Back when I painted these, it felt like I was actually managing to make them look 100% like the box art. In hindsight, I was deceiving myself a bit there, but these guys taught me the challenges of painting and assembling cavalry (twice as much stuff to paint before the model’s done, plus they are even more difficult to line up in a regiment).

 

Warriors of Chaos with Halberds

And yet another kit based on the same sculpt. Like the Chaos Knights, this box came as a plastic/metal hybrid kit, with a set of metal halberd arms included to allow for a different equipment loadout. Later revisions would roll the regular hand weapons and halberds into one kit, with everything made of plastic, but that time was still a ways off (funnily enough, today’s WoC have actually returned to the optional weapons done in a separate medium – Finecast, in this instance — talk about retro…). Anyway, of course I had to buy this one as well! πŸ˜‰

My first chaos army (8)
Anyway, this regiment is the fourth and final unit in the army, The red and bronze paintjob seems like a taste of the World Eaters that were to come later in my hobby life. Alas, it’s once again nothing more than a retread of the ‘Eavy Metal paintjob:

My first chaos army (55)
Again, I even duplicated the model’s poses and combinations of bitz. It’s hard to believe how scared I must have been to break away from the pretty pictures on the front of the box back then…

All of that notwithstanding, this regiment is probably the one that has best managed to hold up. Red and bronze never goes out of fashion for a servant of the dark gods, after all. And by this time, I was actually beginning to find my feet regarding assembly, painting and basing.

My first chaos army (9)
Since most of the models were based on the same basic sculpt, the regiments in the army still seem pretty homogenous, even though each one’s a different colour. Back then, though, that was actually an intended effect as often as not. You see, Chaos armies back then were based on the concept of champions and their respective retinues. If you wanted to build an army, you created a warlord and were then allowed to spend the same amount of points on his followers. Then you moved on to the next warlord, and so on. So each Chaos army was centered around two or three champions leading their very own retinue into battle, with one of them the supreme general of the force.

So, it won’t surprise you to learn that I also built and painted some warlords for my army:

 

Lord Algeroth the Black

Yes, I realise the name for this guy was actually nicked from Warzone’s very own Khorne-expy. Apart from that, though, this model was my first army general ever, so I really gave it my all. And since GW kits weren’t as easy to obtain back then as they are now, I had to plan this one out in theory. Then, one summer day, I braved the sweltering heat, travelled an hour to the next bigger city by train to reach the only available FLGS in my vincinity and was lucky enough to find the two kits I needed: a Juggernaut of Khorne (complete with a World Eaters rider I gave away, in my idiocy…) and a champion of chaos on a chaos steed. The rider received a new mount, I painted the resulting model, and that was the birth of Algeroth the Black, Exalted Champion of Khorne:

My first chaos army (23)
Granted, building this model was as easy as taking a rider from one kit and plunking him down on a different steed. But back then, I didn’t realise that I could ever possible achieve anything more ingenious than this…

My first chaos army (20)
My first chaos army (22)
My first chaos army (21)
My first chaos army (19)
Once again, the paintjob may seem a little slapdash in hindsight, but back then, this was pretty much the pinnacle of my abilities. To be honest, I still like the blending on the horns. I remember writing into the character’s background that he had managed to defeat a Bloodletter champion, wearing the daemon’s skull for a helmet as proof of his power.

Anyway, you possibly won’t believe how proud I was of this model…
He is also a huge chunk of metal and actually quite heavy: I bet you could cause serious injury to someone by throwing this model in their face…

 

Baal, the Red Duke

Based on the concept of army composition outlined above, Algeroth really needed a right hand man. And I still had that chaos steed lying around. And I had always really liked the Red Duke, an Vampire Counts model from an old campaign setting. So when I had the chance of snatching it up one day at the FLGS, I did and used it to build my chaos army’s second in command:

My first chaos army (24)
Once again, building the model was basically achieved by combining the rider with a different steed (I still have the original skeleton horse in my bitzbox to this day!). I also added a plastic shield from the WoC sprue, and that was it. I even kept fairly closely to the “official” paintjob for the character (AGAIN!), but in all fairness, I believe the Duke makes for a fairly convincing chaos lord: Granted, he does not fit the “huge, burly northmen” look established in later years, but back then, the official fluff had many disinfranchised nobles, criminals and glory hounds from the Empire and Bretonnia escape to the northern wastes, so it was rather plausible that this character had originated in one of the more civilised regions of the Warhammer world.

Anyway, I still like the sculpt of the Duke a lot, especially that wickedly shaped sword of his!

My first chaos army (25)
I actually remember painting that horse before going to school, at six in the morning. Yes, I was that hooked on getting this army finished!

Again, the bare face was giving me a bit of trouble:

My first chaos army (26)
Back then, I was really happy with how this had turned out. Today, though: not so much πŸ˜‰

 

Chaos Sorcerer

As an adamant worshipper of Khorne, I have never had much use for magic users and psykers in most of my armies. Still, one of my buddies gave me a set of two old metal chaos sorcerers as a birthday gift, back in the day, and I liked one of them so much that painted it the same day I received it:

My first chaos army (29)
Neither the paintjob nor the sculpt have aged all that gracefully, to be honest. And what’s more, due to my army being singularly devoted to Khorne, this poor fellow never even got a name. Neither did he see any action on the battlefield. Oh well…

The two models also came with a pair of classic familiars (quite a bit of bang for the buck, actually). Here’s one of them:

My first chaos army (32)
This little guy always reminded me of the Gargoyle race in the Ultima series of computer games, so he was painted accordingly.

Here he is, together with his master:

My first chaos army (30)

 

Khardaos Lorimar

And finally, the last WFB chaos general I ever built and painted — or rather, started to build and paint. Some of you may recognise his last name πŸ˜‰ The first name was put together from the dark language table at the back of the sixth edition WoC army book. It’s supposed to mean “Daemon of Wrath”, which, in all fairness, is probably a pretty good name for a champion of the blood god!

Anyway, the model was heavily based on a chaos champion named Haargroth who appeared as a custom champion of Khorne in the sixth edition WoC army book. He uses the body of an old Bloodletter champion, Orc arms and an axe spliced together from two WoC plastic halberds. The head came from an old Slaanesh sorcerer, of all things. I also added some Space Marine shoulder pads and some spikes. The red was actually achieved by using the old GW Red Ink, which was pretty great for achieving a glistening, bloody look. I was pretty saddened when my last pot dried up…

My first chaos army (28)
My first chaos army (27)

This model, along with an accompanying regiment, should have marked the next expansion for my Chaos army for the sixth edition of WFB. Alas, it was not to be: The army was last used for a friendly game during the mid 2000s (My buddy Frankie pounded me into the ground with his Dark Elves, and I deserved losing for being far too hesitant and cowardly in the way I used my army), and after that, the whole hobby just fell by the wayside for a couple of years. As a matter of fact, even before then, I had begun to feel more interested in 40k, but even that was suspended until I got back into the hobby in late 2010.

So yeah, that is my first army ever.

My first chaos army (2)
Over the years, I’ve felt the urge to nick some rare metal piece from this army now and again, destroying one of the old models in the process. In the end, though, I have always resisted the urge: It may not be pretty. It may be thoroughly unoriginal. But it is also the first tabletop army I have ever managed to complete (insofar as a tabletop army can ever be truly complete…), and I could never cannibalise it for bitz.

 

Right, I hope you found this at least somewhat interesting. And hopefully my vintage paintjobs didn’t offend you too much. There’s actually more where this came from, but that will have to wait until the next post. Until then, feel free to let me know what you think or share any chaos-related stories of your own. I’d love to hear from you in the comments section!

Here’s to chaos! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Coming up for air…

Posted in Pointless ramblings with tags , , , on June 19, 2013 by krautscientist

PSA
Just a short public service announcement today: Work has been hell on wheels for the last weeks, and although I’ve been telling myself that it would somehow get less stressful “next week” for six weeks straight now, it somehow never does πŸ˜‰ Through all of this, I have somehow managed to publish two posts per week like some relentless machine. But as is the case with machinery, there comes a time when something’s gotta give.

So bear with me folks, while I am recharging my batteries: I may be dropping the second post from the weekly schedule for while. Don’t fret, it’s probably nothing permanent. I just need some space to breathe. And I would rather lose the odd post every now and then than produce terrible content or begin spouting self-referential nonsense about how hard it is to come up with new stuff to post πŸ˜‰

So yeah, keep calm and carry on! There’ll be something new to look at soon, and I imagine we’ll get back to the regular schedule before long!

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

The fate of Inquisitor Zuul…

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2013 by krautscientist

With the Inqvitational 2013 now behind us, it’s time to check on Inquisitor Zuul: What fate may have befallen him? Did his puritan enemies manage to take him out? Or was he able to elude his pursuers? Was he murdered by Tybalt and his cronies? Or did he make the puritans rue the day they tried to apprehend him? Here’s an update, with lots of great pictures, very kindly provided by Marco Skoll:

Our stage opens to a clandestine meeting between Zuul and his fellow radical Inquisitor Haxtus amidst the buildings of a derelict industrial outpost, in the middle of a tropical swamp. The Inquisitors had come here to talk in private and to discuss their next actions, with their respective retinues fanning out around them to defend them against any possible interlopers:

Zuul_Inqvitational (1)
As an aside, I was delighted to find out that Zuul had been given an impromptu retinue made up of some of Jeff Vader’s truly stellar INQ28 models, namely his fantastic Chrono-gladiator and the female assassin known as the “Red Lady”. And Kari’s marvelous Stryderre, probably my favourite model from the recent Secret Yggdrassillium project, also returned for a stint in Zuul’s warband — I couldn’t have been any happier with the composition of his warband! The models also look really great together, coincidentally:

Zuul_Inqvitational (2)

Anyway, back to the matter at hand: While Haxtus and Zuul were discussing how best to proceed, the puritans were drawing near: Inquisitor Tybalt wanted to apprehend Zuul, and he had his colleagues Cordatus, Trask and Virasson on his side. In a rather unfortunate turn for the puritans, Trask couldn’t resist announcing their presence via his loudspeaker, pompous fool that he is πŸ˜‰

So two of the radicals’ retainers broke off from the meeting to intercept the puritans:

Zuul_Inqvitational (3)
Zuul and Haxtus realised that it was time for their getaway, so they began their escape, escorted by their remaining agents:

Zuul_Inqvitational (5)
You’ve got to love how Haxtus seems to be exchanging dark secrets with Zuul in the picture above…

Meanwhile, the pursuers were still locked in combat:

Zuul_Inqvitational (4)
Check out PDH’s beautiful (if foolish) Inquisitor Trask above!

But the hunt was far from over: Inquisitor Virasson was hot on the fugitives’ heels:

Zuul_Inqvitational (6)
Shots rang through the wilderness, and one agent after the other dropped. And suddenly, Inquisitor Cordatus’ agents tried to intercept the radicals’ escape:

Zuul_Inqvitational (7)
In the end, even Inquisitor Haxtus had to stay behind in an attempt to stall the pursuers, urging Zuul on to seek refuge under the canopy of trees and get away:

Zuul_Inqvitational (8)
Shortly afterwards, Haxtus too was felled by the puritans’ onslaught. So Zuul did indeed have no other choice but to continue his escape alone:

Zuul_Inqvitational (9)
But the hounds were closing in from all directions: It may have been a close call, but in the end, the puritans caught up with Zuul on the banks of a dark jungle morass. With Virasson drawing a bead on him and Inquisitor Cordatus as well as Tybalt’s interrogator Serren advncing through the trees, Zuul was at the end of his rope. The venerable Inquisitor surrendered to his enemies:

Zuul_Inqvitational (10)

“Very well, gentlemen, Shall we be going?”

The day ended with Zuul and Haxtus captured, their fate uncertain…

I love how these pictures concisely tell the story of Zuul’s capture, giving us a pretty good idea of the events during the game. The fact that both the terrain and the miniatures used in the game were simply gorgeous also helps, of course. I really love the picture of Zuul surrendering, by the way, with Virasson seemingly daring him to give him an excuse for opening fire (“Go ahead: Make my day!”). Zuul, however, may be forced to surrender, but he is obviously far from defeated.Β  He remains unbent and unbroken, at least for now. It’s in his pose…

All in all, this year’s Inqvitational seems to have provided a plethora of new narrative developments and options for the Dalthus sector, with the arrest of Zuul just one slice of the day’s broader narrative. Once again, everyone involved worked tirelessly to make the event as good as it could possibly be, while also strengthening the INQ28 scene at large. I think events like this are proof that Inquisitor played at the 28mm scale has really managed to come into its own; that it’s not about the ability to simply plunk down 28mm Space Marines of Ork Boyz on the table, but about telling stories and creating compelling characters — an objective shared by all INQ aficionados, beyond any notions of miniature scale.

So what lies in store for Zuul? An undignified end in the dungeons of an Inquisitorial stronghold? A roleplayed trial before the Dalthan Conclave, channelling all the cool trial scenes ever (if you ask me, that would be so freaking awesome)? Or will his radical colleagues devise a plan to free their figurehead?

Whatever happens next, I’ll gladly admit I am pretty pleased that the old rascal has managed to survive the day. Granted, I may not have spent years and years fleshing out the character’s background, but building the model and trying to imbue it with some measure of character has made me grow quite fond of it and, by extension, Inquisitor Zuul. Go Xanthites! πŸ˜‰

Huge thanks must go once again to Commissar Molotov and PDH, for making it all happen! And of course, to all the hobbyists attending the event and enriching it with their brilliant models and respective narratives. And of course, to Marco for letting me use his great pictures! I wish I could have been there — although Zuul was probably a pretty good replacement for me, I guess. As for his eventual fate, I’ll definitely keep you posted!

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about the events during the Inqvitational, check out the Aftermath thread over at the Ammobunker.

And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Making bigger things out of foamcore, pt. 2

Posted in 40k, DIY, Terrain with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2013 by krautscientist

So what about that monument temple made from foamcore I talked about last week? Let’s find out!

Here’s where we left off last time: The basic assembly is complete and the building has been undercoated in black:

Monument Temple (19)
While everything was drying, I decided to work a bit on the actual monument that was to go inside the temple. For ease of assembly and added flexibility, I wanted the monument to be removable. Here’s the early construction I did for the monument:

Monument Temple (3)
As you can see, it consists of a column that sits in a small basin (later to be filled with water). The basic construction was, once again, done using foamcore. A cardboard loo roll would have worked as well to make up a column, but I wanted a different look this time, so I went for a rectangular faomcore construction instead. Two square WFB base was used for the abacus atop the column. That way, I could be sure it would be easy enough to attach the actual statue to the column later.

The statue itself consists of bitz from the Cadian Command Squad. I decided that I wanted the monument to have been erected in honour of the brave Imperial Guard, so I built a guard standard bearer in parade uniform for the monument — a very straigthforward affair. The model was kept separate from the rest of the monument for now.

Afterwards, the column and basin were undercoated, using the same texture paint I had used for the rest of the building. Here’s the monument after undercoating:

Monument Temple (13)
I then used cheap grey spraypaint (picked up at the DIY superstore) to make the monument look like it was actually made of stone. Take care not to apply too much colour during this step, because some of the darker undercoat showing through in places will actually make the piece look more believable.

Then I thought about how to best represent muddy water in the shallow basin at the bottom of the column. Since this was only a one-off project, I didn’t want to spend money on a huge bottle of water effect, so I had to develop a plan B. In the end, feeling slightly adventurous, I mixed PVA glue with a bit of water that I had in turn couloured using a mix of brown and green hues (mainly GW Gretchin Green, GW Scorched Brown, and some GW Rakarth Flesh). The resulting mix was then poured into the basin — if you’re trying something similar, make sure the basin’s actually waterproof and the stuff doesn’t come out at the seams! The mix also has to be thick enough, so use quite a lot of glue! The water’s mainly there to add the colour and to make everything slightly more fluid.

Here’s the monument after that step: As you can see, the water ended up suitably brackish and dirty — just as planned. I also added some plastic plants that I spraypainted brown to make them look dried and withered.

Guard Monument (1)
The monument was then set aside to allow for the “water” to dry. This took about 24 hours for this relatively shallow basin, so resist poking it to see whether is has managed to set yet! I actually couldn’t wait and made a (very small) indetation into the surface that way. Trust me: You need to be patient for this!

In the end, the “water” ended up looking nicely brackish and with a glossy surface, making it look reasonably realistic. I would have loved the mix to retain some of the glue’s usual transparence, but alas, it was not to be. Still, definitely better than getting some expensive water effect for a simple one shot!

I then painted the actual statue, which was really very easy: The model was undercoated with GW Chaos Black spray, then basecoated with a 60/40 mix of GW Chaos Black and Vallejo Halcon Turquoise. Then I drybrushed the model with a 50/50 mix of GW Skull White and Halcon Turquoise. The raised detail on the regimental flag lent itself especially well to this technique.

Here’s the result:

Guard Monument (7)
Guard Monument (6)
Monument Temple (40)
As you can see, the statue’s surface looks like heavily oxidised metal, just like you might see on a real-life statues you might see in your vincinity. All in all, I was very pleased with the effect. The statue was glued to the column using superglue. And with that, the monument was finished.

Here it is, placed in its eventual spot in the yet unfinished building:

Monument Temple (21)
While I had worked on the statue, the rest of the building had had ample time to dry. So the next step was to add slightly thinned down PVA glue to the nooks and crannies of the building. Then a mix of sand and smaller stones was added on top to represent rubble:

Monument Temple (22)
You can really add lots and lots of the stuff for added realism, plus segments of fallen walls and ceilings. Personally, I tend to go for a less realistic result simply because it’s pretty hard to add multiple layers of rubble and make sure they stay in place. And too much rubble and uneven surface texture can also mean it will be hard to actually place your models in the building during games.

Anyway, a second coat of thinned-down glue was added on top to seal the rubble. Then the rubble areas were sprayed once again with black.

After everything was dry, the building was sprayed with the same grey paint I had used on the monument. Again, go for a slightly uneven approach to create plausible shades and a more realistic looking surface.

Almost done now:

Monument Temple (23)
I also painted the inscription, using one of my regular GW brushes. The letters were undercoated in chaos black, then painted with Vallejo Tinny Tin, then washed with GW Agrax Earthshade. Then I added some light accents, using GW Dwarf Bronze.Β  And finally, I added a thinned-down mix of Vallejo Halcon Turquoise and GW Skull White on top to represent verdigris:

Monument Temple (28)
And with that, the building was basically finished. Here’s a view from the side:

Monument Temple (30)
I used the grey spraypaint to add some additional accents where necessary. This only took a couple of minutes, though. Here’s the finished monument temple:

Monument Temple (33)
Monument Temple (34)
Monument Temple (35)
Monument Temple (36)
And some additional detail shots of the statue:

Monument Temple (32)
Monument Temple (31)
Looking back now, there’s quite a bit that could still be added: It might look cool to drybrush the tiled floor with white to pick out the contours. Posters and propaganda proclamations could be added to the building, as well as blood splatters, additional damage etc. I am still free to do all of this, however, as the finished build should be easy enough to modify.

Anyway, as you can see, building and painting this monument temple was almost as easy as constructing one of the easier ruined buildings. The scope of the project may be different, sure, but in the end, the techniques are the same. If anything, a larger buildings will give you far more options for adding details and little setpieces- Just make sure you don’t add so much stuff that the terrain piece no longer works during games πŸ˜‰

To wind up this post, here are some impressions of Inquisitor Antrecht’s warband moving through the ruin, to give you an idea of the scale:

Monument Temple (38)
Monument Temple (39)
In any case, I hope I was succesful in showing you how easy it can be to come up with a centre piece for your gaming table. All C&C are welcome, of course: Just let me know what you think in the comments section!

And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Monument Temple (41)