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 😉

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! 😉 ) 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 😉

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 😉

 

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 😉

 

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 😉

 

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 😉

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? 😉

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 😉

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! 😉

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 😉

 

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 😉 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 😉 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 😉

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 😉

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.  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! 😉

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)
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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.  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 😉

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)

Totally worth it: 40k 2nd edition Codex Chaos

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Fluff, Pointless ramblings, Totally worth it, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2013 by krautscientist

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As you may have realised by now, Totally Worth It as a series is as much about forgotten or unjustly maligned gems of tabletop wargaming as it is about the formative moments in my personal hobby life. So today I would like to address what may have been the defining purchase of my younger hobby years. Today on Totally Worth It: The 40k second edition Codex Chaos.

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Phew, where to start?

I already told you about my first contact with Warhammer 40k, and how it was completely unlike every other Sci-Fi setting I had ever heard about. Much of that would possibly still hold true for somebody getting into the hobby today, but there may be a number of differences, chief among them the way to get hold of the 40k background:

Back in the mid to late 90s, the Internet didn’t exist — or rather,  it didn’t exist for me. Neither did repositories of 40k background like Lexicanum, or hobbyists discussing in detail the background of their particular army on boards like Throne of Skulls or Dakka. So if you wanted to learn the background of the 40k universe, GW’s own publications were pretty much the only way to go. And since each of those books came at a sizeable price, even back then, you can probably imagine that getting access to all of it at once was pretty much out of the question. So while it didn’t take me all that long to discover that Chaos Space Marines were one of the factions that most fascinated me, my first approach to them happened via a number of small individual glimpses:

I remember seeing a picture of the model for Kharn the Betrayer and thinking: “I wonder what that guy’s story is!” I remember reading my buddy Phil’s 2nd edition Codex Ultramarines (in english, no less) and stumbling upon that scene where Marneus Calgar’s prowess in battle earns him a salute from a World Eaters champion and being fascinated by that idea, even then. I remember discovering that there were such things as Plague Marines, the Thousand Sons, or Abaddon the Despoiler, but I knew the models long before I discovered their background or their significance in the lore. As a matter of fact, I would sometimes ask some of my buddies who had bought the models what those guys’ background was, and they’d shrug because they didn’t know.

So it was clear to me that I would need to find out the hard way: I needed to read up on these guys. So when the 3rd edition of Warhammer 40k was released, the Codex Chaos Space Marines was the second 40k book I ever purchased (soon after Codex Dark Eldar). And actually, the best way to start describing how momentous the sedond edition Codex Chaos was for my hobby life is to first talk about the 3rd edition Codex:

Codex_CSM_3rd_ed (1)

Back then, GW was following a policy of stripping down their Codices as much as they could for a while, making them as short and bare bones as they could be. That way, their reasoning went, they would be able to produce more of them in a shorter amount of time. They where right in this, but unfortunately, the books were worse for it.

To wit: I had hoped the CSM Codex to be a great introduction to an army I was fascinated with, but it barely gave me a taste: Sure, it contained basic informations about the Great Crusade, the Horus Heresy and the fall of the traitor Legions, and I lapped it all up eagerly. But it didn’t even begin to tap into the respective traitor legions’ rich lore. Even then, before all the HH novels, you just knew there had to be lots and lots of (potential) backstory to these guys: On a very basic level, they were just evil Space Marines, sure. But it went beyond that: They had rebelled. They had lost. They were 10,000 years old. What tragedy! What narrative potential!

Unfortunately, the 3rd edition Codex barely gave one short column of text for each of the original traitor legions. And – I kid you not – they even forgot the Word Beareres altogether! And what artwork there was was so small as to be pretty much insignificant.

Now a minimalist approach like that might have worked for the Dark Eldar (at least at first), seeing how they were a brand new faction with very little backstory in the setting. But for the Chaos Space Marines, it was a horrible idea: All the depth and tragedy fell by the wayside in favour of a very stripped down rulebook. The one thing about the Codex that has really managed to age rather gracefully (apart from the impressive cover artwork by Wayne England) is the ‘Eavy Metal section, featuring lots and lots of creative and interesting conversions:

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As a matter of fact, this may also be the only section of the book that actually hints at what a compelling faction chaos can really be, showcasing one of the greatest aspects of the army: its versatility and the potential for customisation and conversion. The rest of the book seems more like an Excel spreadsheet, though. And a general fondness for old wargaming publications notwithstanding, I feel that it’s probably the weakest CSM Codex ever.

But back then, it was all I had to work with, so it had to be enough. I was immediately drawn to the World Eaters, since I have been a worshipper of Khorne ever since my WFB days, and there was a new plastic kit just coming out for the Khorne Berzerkers back then — how time flies: Almost twenty years later, and that same plastic kit is still available — in fact, I bought my last one some time last year…

Anyway, I kept plugging away on my own for a couple of years, and then, one day, discovered a copy of the second edition Codex Chaos at a comic book store. A quick glance made it clear that this was the book I had been pining for: Just skimming across the background for the traitor legions gave me more ideas and inspiration than the whole 3rd edition Codex. So I picked up the book in a heartbeat (and for a pretty penny, at that), hurried home and spent the next few days tugging into the background for my favourite 40k army. And with that, we finally arrive at our main subject, after a rather wordy introduction.

After the meagre 3rd edition Codex, nothing could have prepared me for the 2nd edition book. In fact, it still remains my favourite chaos army book ever. And even for somebody getting into the hobby today, it would still be an ideal place to get information on the traitor legions.

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The book’s background section is simply fantastic: Each traitor legion gets about half a page of background, but the fluff is concise, well written and cuts straight to the heart of each legion. And even though the following years have seen the HH series flesh out more and more of the backstory, changing around some things while completely dropping others, very little of the background presented in the 2nd edition Codex has been completely invalidated by the newer material. It’s all there: The Word Bearers as the original traitor legion. The sundering of the World Eaters at Skalathrax. The Thousand Sons’ descent into mutation and madness, as well astheir subsequent death and rebirth at the hands or Ahriman. The duplicity of the Alpha Legion. It just goes on and on…

Sure, subsequent iterations of the fluff have added layers of complexity: The Word Bearers are a far bigger (and even more sinister) influence in the more recent material. The Alpha Legion’s allegiance has become far more ambiguous. But reading through the material in the codex still gives you a compelling and completely viable rundown of the traitor legions. And all the backstory and narrative potential isn’t merely being obliquely hinted at.

Of course it helps that the book is lavishly illustrated, featuring brilliant artwork by such luminaries as Mark Gibbons, Wayne England and, of course, John Blanche himself. Did you know JB actually did some World Eaters artwork at one point?

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From haunting, Blanchian daemonworlds and Mark Gibbon’s quintessential Khorne berzerker art to Wayne England’s brilliantly evocative legion badges, the book is overflowing with cool artwork. Some of it may seem slightly goofy today, but it’s a great collection, with influences from the RT era still clearly evident, while the newer pieces would work flawlessly in a modern codex. In fact, one of John Blanche’s most iconic spreads was subsequently republished both in WD and the fourth edition codex:

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Two pages full of crazy conversion and customisation ideas. And even though none of the bitz mentioned may be available any longer, this spread instantly tells you what building and painting a CSM army is about: It’s about giving it your all to make sure your legionaries actually look like the 10,000 year veterans they are! It’s about tweaking each model and going the extra mile, to end up with an army that is truly special and unique!

The ‘Eavy Metal section of the book shows all the available CSM models from the time and has a nice showcase for most of the traitor legions. As a matter of fact, the two page spread showing the World Eaters models available back then has more background for the legion than the 3rd edition book’s entire background section:

Codex_CSM_4th_ed (5)

And, of course, there’s also advice on how to customise and convert your chaos models. This nicely complements John Blanche’s ideas, and I am still rather fond of some of the conversions shown in the 2nd edition Codex, even though miniature design has come quite a long way since then.

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It’s also worth mentioning that there are no more conversions in today’s codices, which I think is a crying shame!

The book continues with an in-depth look at the most notorious champions of chaos, introducing characters like Abaddon the Despoiler, Kharn the Betrayer, Ahriman of the Thousand Sons and Fabius Bile. And it has to be said that some of the artwork featured in that section not only managed to blow me away back then, but is just as impressive today. Check out this piece of artwork depicting Fabius Bile.

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Best version of the character ever, if you ask me!

And there’s more: A huge wargear section, not only featuring the rules for the different items but also containing interesting tidbits about the state of technology at the time of the Great Crusade (sadly, this – along with the rules section – is one of the parts of the book that have been invalidated by the newer fluff and material). A section about traitor chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, featuring the notorious Red Corsairs and – for the first time – their Lord, Huron Blackheart. There’s also a chunk of background about the Fallen Angels and Cypher. The book just goes on and on and lets you discover a thousand different and cool details about the servants of chaos.

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Certainly one of the greatest things about the book is its sizeable appendix, though, providing you with rules for chaos cultists and traitorous planetary defense forces. And it even gives you rules for daemon world armies, eternally waging war in the Eye of Terror. This effectively allows you to use parts (or indeed the entirety) of your WFB chaos army in 40k games to represent the twisted armies of the Eye — a nice callback to the blending of WFB and RT that occured in the “Realm of Chaos” books of yore.  The section also gives you information about the great four’s original daemon princes, along with corresponding rules.

In fact, this section is a perfect representation of what’s so great about the book in the first place: You get the feeling that Jervis Johnson and Andy Chambers just decided to throw in every cool idea they had, and to make as comprehensive a book about the ruinous powers as they could. Some of the rules may be experimental and unbalanced (in fact, the authors even specifically point this out with regard to the appendix). Some ideas may seem goofy nowadays (and, in all fairness, they were probably just as goofy back then). But the book is clearly a work of love, and that fact shows through on every page. Even the very last page of the book is used by the authors to impart yet more ideas for narrative games involving the forces of chaos. You cannot help but violently fall in love with a design philosophy like that!

So, where does that leave us in regard to the versions of the CSM Codex that came afterwards? As you may have gathered, the less said about the 3rd edition Codex, the better. The fabled “3,5 Codex” still stands tall as a fan favourite, because it allowed players to play each chaos legion with its own custom rules and wargear — however, this came at the price of making chaos armies somewhat unwieldy and frankly impenetrable for non-chaos players. The oft-maligned fourth edition codex, derisively called “Gav Dex” by some, went for a far more streamlined solution, alienating quite a few players along the way. Personally speaking, I rather liked the codex for its flexibility, and I think much of the criticism leveled at its authors is actually rather unfair (you can read my thoughts on the matter here, in case you are interested).

And the sixth edition codex? I like the book: It has great production values, and the rules set seems robust enough while retaining the flexibility of the last edition’s codex. But the legion specific background is back to one short column per legion, and that’s certainly not an improvement.

In all fairness, giving chaos players a book they are actually happy with may be an unsolvable task: A Codex to make every chaos player happy would probably have to be 500 pages long, feature full rules for each and every legion (and, as a consequence, probably cost 250 Euros). So I think Phil Kelly’s effort was probably the best possible compromise. The situation today is also far different from that in the mid-90s: With places like Lexicanum and the 40kWiki and publications like the BL novels available, you have all the background you might need at your fingertips at all times. There’s also a huge online community of hobbyists to discuss the background and fluff with. So today’s codices may actually no longer be requird to be the be-all and end-all when it comes to describing the background.

Still, the 2nd edition Codex Chaos still stands as possibly my favourite chaos army book ever. It delivers a fantastic amount of bang for the buck and is still just as good an introduction to the traitor legions now as it was back then. And even though the rules are no longer viable, the book is still a great puchase, just for the background section and the crazy amount of ideas on display! So if you’re a chaos player, and should find yourself in any position to pick this up, go for it: It’s still totally worth it!

 

So yeah, that was my rather wordy – and probably completely inadequate – love letter to one of my favourite GW publications ever, I guess. Provided you didn’t fall asleep in the first place, should you have anything to add regarding the book, or any feedback to this review, I’d be happy to hear from you in the comments section!

And, in any case, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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Making bigger things out of foamcore, pt. 1

Posted in 40k, DIY, Terrain with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2013 by krautscientist

It’s been quite a while since I last posted about building terrain, but since the weather has picked up considerably in the meantime, it is now time once more to go outside, hit the tool shed or garage and build some wargaming terrain!

The funny thing is that I am pretty spoiled when it comes to terrain nowadays: There’s some exquisite terrain over at the FLGS, and stuff like Neil101’s stellar Arrke board, most of the stuff used during this years Inqvitational or Chelnov’s unbelievable Sisyphus Complex have taught me that my own meagre efforts at building terrain are already outdated by a pretty huge margin. I am also pretty convinced that I could do better nowadays, but some of my early recipes should still have some merit, especially to those of you who have been putting off building their own terrain for one reason or another.

I already discussed quite a while ago how easy it is to make some reasonably convincing ruined buildings out of foamcore. Buildings like those will also allow you to fill up quite a huge gaming table. But you probably don’t want your entire terrain collection to consist of simple, bombed out hab blocks, do you? Well, here’s the good news: Building bigger and more sophisticated structures can be almost as easy. This two-part post will take a closer look at that!

Everything started with my desire to build a larger building that was to serve as some kind of centrepiece on the table: I wanted something decidedly bigger than one of my ruined hab blocks, but maybe not quite as gigantic as a cathedral. So I decided to try my hand at a temple-like building housing a monument to some glorious achievement or other of the Imperium of Man.

The great thing about this project was that the building’s basic construction was still very much a rectangular box with four walls meeting at a 90 degrees angle. Still, the building ended up looking pretty imposing nonetheless. Take a look:

Monument Temple (2)
The most impressive part of the building is its façade, but this part was actually pretty easy to get right: I just drew a suitably impressive design on a piece of 3mm strong foamcore, then cut out all the arches and recesses with an exacto knife. Pieces of the same thin foamcore were then used to add projections to the wall and give it some depth. And I also added an inscription using alphabet noodles.

Here’s a view that shows the rest of the building:

Monument Temple (1)
The side walls are a very easy construction, with just a number of archways cut out of the foamcore I used. And a thicker kind of foamcore was used as a base for the whole building. The whole construction was very easy to put together, using PVA glue.

The dome you can see on the roof of the building was a readymade styrofoam shape I bought for a song at the DIY superstore. I placed it to be exactly above the monument inside the temple, a mockup of which you can see here:

Monument Temple (3)
In order to make the building look suitably damaged from artillery fire and the ravages of war, I cut sections out of the side walls and dome. Pieces of the dome were then glued onto the floor of the building, to make it look like they had fallen when the dome was partly destroyed.

The most fiddly part of the basic construction was the floor: I cut a lot of identical square shapes from the cardboard of a cereal box and used them as stone tiles to make up the temple’s floor. Glueing them down took a while:

Monument Temple (5)
As you can see, I drew some lines around the damaged wall sections to mark the areas where the floor had been damaged as well. On these areas, I didn’t use any of the floor tiles or at least made sure they looked damaged enough.

Monument Temple (4)
I also made sure the roof would be removable, in order to facilitate access to the building’s interior. This was achieved by adding a very simple foamcore construction underneath the roof that was stable enough to carry the roof when it was placed on top.

Here’s the interior with the floor tiles in place. The empty area in the middle marks the spot where the removable monument is supposed to go:

Monument Temple (6)

You can also see a part of the construction holding the roof in place at the bottom of the picture.

And here’s the same space with the monument’s basic construction in place:

Monument Temple (7)
So the next step was to get the whole building undercoated — definitely the hardest part of the whole exercise! I prepared a suitable undercoat by mixing black and white acrylic paint, some PVA glue and some fine bird sand (to add some texture to the paint and make the building look less like it’s made of foamcore). This kind of paint is really easy to mix and very cheap too. It also works as a sealant, making sure the foamcore’s foam interior doesn’t melt away, once you start using spray paint at a later point.

I won’t lie to you: Getting a building this size undercoated takes some doing (and a pretty large brush). And, please, don’t go using your expensive Citadel brushes for this, you hear!

Here’s the building, partly undercoated:

Monument Temple (8)

Monument Temple (9)
Oh, and another important thing: Make sure to mix enough paint, because there’s nothing worse than having to make some more just for the last corner of the model — I am speaking from experience here… 😉

Anyway, this is what the building looked like after undercoating:

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As you can see, I didn’t paint the areas with the inscription or the empty spot for the monument. This was due to a number of reasons, actually:
I was afraid to damage the inscription with the brush, for one, plus you don’t want any grains of bird sand on those letters: They will have to look like metal later on, so any residue from the texture paint would destroy the illusion. The empty space was left unpainted because the monument should be easy to place, and that wouldn’t work with the floor all roughened up and uneven from the texture paint.

So the final step was to use black spray paint to touch up the unpainted areas as well as any places where the white foamcore was still showing through. This only took a couple of minutes. Afterwards, the whole building was nice and black:

Monument Temple (18)
Monument Temple (19)
And with that, the basic construction was completed. In the next installment, we’ll look at the additional details, the construction of the monument itself and the rest of the paintjob.

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