Archive for July, 2013

Assorted Chaos

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2013 by krautscientist

While I am itching to paint some of the models I have recently converted, the high temperatures all around have rendered painting all but impossible for the last week or so. Fortunately enough, the temperature has dropped a bit, and it looks like I can finally get to work at the weekend. Huzza!

Until then, let me show you some odds and ends, as well as some ongoing conversion projects for my World Eaters. While I have had to content myself mainly with some kitbashing for the last few days, I still have some new models to show for it 😉

 

1. A new toy for the Undying

First up, a small project I somehow forgot to show you earlier. You may remember one of my Chaos Dreadnoughts/Helbrutes, Khoron the Undying, with all his various toys. Alas, the poor chap was still missing a Multimelta to round out his equipment choices. So I finally sat down to solve that problem and cobbled together a suitable weapon from a Venerable Dreadnought’s arm, a Sisters of Battle Multimelta and a Khorne icon:

Khoron Multimelta (2)
Since I didn’t have any more armour plates to cover up the loyalist engravings on the arm, the icon was cut to size and blended in with a little GS to make the arm look suitably chaotic. The Multimelta may just be a tad too small, but I still rather like the overall result:

Khoron Multimelta (4)
This means I am only short a rocket launcher arm before I’ll own a full set of equipment options for my Helbrutes, and I already have an idea…

 

2. The Sons of Cron

The second thing I want to show you today are some more models for my Chosen, the Sons of Cron. I already posted my attempt at converting some of the Dark Vengeance Chosen for my World Eaters some time ago, and the fact that these models are so amazingly detailed meant that I had to touch up some of the Chosen I had already built from “regular” CSM and berzerker parts:

Sons of Cron (3)
The guy on the right is a good example for that. Some Raptor parts and additional trophies were added to him to bring his look more in line with that of the ultra-detailed Dark Vengeance model on the left.

Sons of Cron (2)
These two guys were also touched up, with the Chosen on the left receiving a new right arm, shield and some trophies, while a highly detailed set of Khornate “bunny ears” (from the WFB Skullcrushers) and a severed head were added to the gentlemen on the right. A recurring visual motif for my Chosen is that they are channelling both the legion’s gladiatorial origins as well as the 4th assault company’s role as a hunting party, so there are several visual cues to both ideas (the bare arms, the slightly gladiatorial equipment and the amount of trophies, for one). I am really pretty happy with these guys, because they now hold up quite a bit better when seen next to the Dark Vengeance Chosen.

And finally, a possible champion (or even Chaos Lord), converted from on of the bolter wielding Chosen from Dark Vengeance. You already know this guy:

Sons of Cron (4)
When Dark Vengeance was originally released, I feared that it would bepretty much impossible to make my Chosen fit the look of the highly detailed pieces from the box. And while they may not be a perfect approximation of the Dark Vengeance models’ level of detail, I am stil rather happy with how the squad has turned out so far. They look rather nice together, I think:

Sons of Cron (1)
As a matter of fact, there are even more where these came from. So I guess I will have to do a more detailed post on the Sons of Cron at some point…

 

3. The Teeth of Khorne

Another ongoing project of mine is the construction of a squad of Khornate Havocs. There used to be a time where not every member of the World Eaters was described as a raving lunatic completely addicted to combat at close quarters. There were also the “Teeth of Khorne”, the legion’s dedicated long range support troops. And since the 4th assault company tries its best to function as an at least slightly varied force, it was clear to me that building a dedicated squad of World Eaters wielding big guns could be a fun conversion project.

I took quite a bit of inspiration from the legendary Wayde Pryce’s Khorne Havocs when conceptualising these models. And since these are a fun experiment for now, first and foremost, I am trying to build them mainly from leftovers. Here’s my first test model with a kitbashed Autocannon:

World Eaters Havocs WIP (3)
I originally wanted to go for the usual, double-barrelled look for the weapon, but I liked the gatling look slightly better in the end, and I love the idea of these guys relentlessly advancing, their weapons spewing a relentless hail of fire. The model is nowhere near finished, of course, but I think I may be on to something here…

Here’s the Havoc with a buddy, using the (rather clunky) metal Autocannon arms from the Havoc conversion set:

World Eaters Havocs WIP (7)
Like I said, I am mainly building these guys for fun right now, so let’s see where this is going. One thing became clear to me, though: Introducing the “Teeth of Khorne” as yet another arm of the 4th assault company also offers me the chance to build yet another Huntmaster as Master of the Teeth. Yay! 😉

 

4. The Wall of Brass

I picked up a used Aegis Defense Line from cousin Andy quite a while ago, and seeing how these fortifications can become rather useful in the game, I began to convert the parts to make them fit the overall look of my army. So far, I have been mostly experimenting with a couple of bitz and have built some “proof of concept” pieces, yet I believe I may be on the right track:

WE_Aegis (3)
Some of the armour plates from the chaos vehicle kits are a perfect fit for the Aegis Defense Line. All the aquilas will have to be shaved off (which is quite a bit of work) or covered with bitz, though. The Hydra Flak Cannon was in a pretty sorry state when I got the kit, so I mainly contented myself with cleaning it up and adding a spiky bit here and there (as well as a brass icon of Khorne at the base of the weapon).

For the rest of the pieces, I have begun to add some details and trophies:

WE_Aegis (7)
Well, I think we can all agree that this thing “NEEDS MOAR SKULLZ!” 😉

WE_Aegis (6)
I also experimented with adding a Space Marine torso, impaled on the front of the wall.

Getting the fortification completely sorted out will be quite a bit more work, but it’s a fun little kitbashing project that can keep me occupied when other activities are not an option.

 

So, while the weather has prevented me from tackling some of the bigger painting projects, I have been far from idle, as you can see. And with the temperatures returning to normal now, expect to see some rather interesting pieces soon-ish.

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

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Legio Custodes – long time no see!

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Custodes, WIP with tags , , , , , , , on July 24, 2013 by krautscientist

So, with Khorne’s Eternal Hunt getting all kinds of love lately, some of you may be wondering whatever happened to my Legio Custodes army. And I am, in fact, painfully aware that I have been quite neglectful when it comes to those guys. However, the project’s far from abandoned! As a matter of fact, not only am I still working on the army, but I also have something new to show you today:

First up, you may remember the first two painted models for a squad of jump infantry I posted quite a while ago:

Jump Infantry (7)

Well, the squad obviously has more members, so these are probably the next Custodes models to be painted for the army:

Jump Infantry (10)
I couldn’t bear throwing away the beautiful GK flamer, so I used him on this member of the squad: A little flamer action never hurt anyone, after all. On second thought, hurting someone is very much the whole point in this case 😉

Then there’s the standard bearer for the squad:

Jump Infantry (14)

I used a leftover part from the WFB Empire Knights, which makes an excellent standard for the squad. You’ll notice that the rest of the model also looks fairly ostentatious, as befits a member of the Legio Custodes:

Jump Infantry (15)
And finally, the squad leader:

Jump Infantry (12)
Using mostly Sanguinary Guard parts, this grizzled veteran looks like the hero he is. I added a CSM Plasma pistol as well as a company champion’s power sword to make the model’s equipment look especially ancient and well-crafted.

A Venerable Dreadnought’s shinguard was used as the squad leader’s left pauldron:

Jump Infantry (13)
The engravings are unfortunately the wrong way around, but there was really no easy way to fix this. I still like the overall effect, though.

While these models had been built for quite a while already, I have now cleaned and assembled their jump packs, so they are very much next in line for painting.

Jump Infantry (17)

I also built some more models for Squad Asklepian, a unit of Custodians wearing older marks of Astartes power armour. My goal was to have every armour pattern from Mk 1 to Mk 6 on display in the squad, while some additional models with suitably old and/or ostentatious looking armour were also drafted into the unit.

So here’s the model in Mk I “Thunder amour” I already showed you a while back:

Squad Asklepian 19
I am still really pleased with the model, if I do say so myself.

Then there’s the Dark Angels Plasma gunner from the Dark Vengeance boxed set: Since his helmet looked deliciously vintage, I gave him some new arms a while back and added him to Squad Asklepian. Since you last saw the model, I added some additional detail to it:

Squad Asklepian 20
A small lion figurine was added to the custodian’s chest, thereby creating a winged lion ornament. I also added the bottom of a purity seal, used almost like a loincloth in this case. As you can see, the model will end up as the squad’s standard bearer.

While some of the older armour variants were reasonably easy to approximate, the Mk II “Crusade” pattern had me stumped for quite a while: I’ll be honest with you, I even considered just getting a couple of Mk II bitz off ebay and be done with it. But then, I really wanted to kitbash these out of GW plastic parts. In the end, I did manage to build a model that at least looks reasonably close, though. Take a look:

Squad Asklepian 23
First of all, I just used the clunkiest bitz I could find for a more heavily armoured and less mobile look. The weapons (taken from the Khorne Berzerker sprue) also look suitably clunky and pre-heresy. The most important part of the conversion is the head, though: It originally came from the WFB Skullcrushers: I had shaved off the Khornate bunny ears to use them on another model, and coincidentally realised that the helmet could work as a Mk. II with a little bit of work. So the eyeslits were carefully converted to a single, cyclopean slit, and the “ears” from a regular Marine helmet were added to the sides.

Squad Asklepian 22
It may not be a totally accurate representation of the armour design, but I am still pretty happy with it. At least it manages to look pretty archaic, and this whole project was really never about perfect accuracy anyway, but rather about the joy of converting and kitbashing.

Lastly, I still had a Marine wielding a rocket launcher from the “Assault on Black Reach” boxed set knocking around, and seeing how his helmet had a nice, archaic look, I wanted to use him for squad Asklepian. However, turning his 40k rocket launcher into a 30k one proved to be quite a headscratcher. So the model mouldered in my bitzbox for a long time. I was almost tempted to just get one of FW’s rocket launcher arms, but once again, only using plastic GW parts was part of the self-imposed restrictions for this project, so I had to find another way.

And then, only recently, it hit me: I knew which GW plastic parts to use to make that weapon look like an older design. Here’s the finished model:

Squad Asklepian 25
Squad Asklepian 24
One of the good old Space Crusade weapons really helped me out here! Granted, it’s far from perfect, but I think it’s a pretty reasonable approximation of the “official” FW stuff, given the rules I had set for myself. As a matter of fact, I am very much in love with this clever (at least for my standard) little conversion at the moment!

Of course I also added a topknot and an additional wing ornament to tie the model in with the rest of the squad.

Squad Asklepian 26
So here are all four models together, ready to be painted:

Squad Asklepian 30
This brings the number of models in Squad Asklepian up to nine and means I only need to do a model in Mk IV “Maximus Armour” to complete the collection — fortunately, I already have all the plastic bitz I need for that last Custodian in the squad.

So, as you can see, the work on my Legio Custodes project continues! And I still want to get at least most of the army painted before Forgeworld release their own take on the Emperor’s bodyguard. Because once the “official” models are available, I am pretty sure no one will cast another glance at my own meagre efforts 😉

Squad Asklepian 27
Anyway, any and all C&C are always welcome! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

100,000 views, and still the hunt continues…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Pointless ramblings, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2013 by krautscientist

100000views

Today marks a pretty special occasion for me, because my blog has managed to garner its first 100,000 views. Which is rather amazing, seeing how I basically kicked off this small endeavour about one and a half years ago to show you my own, meagre hobby efforts. Back then, I was of course hoping that I would be able to attract some attention to my hobby projects, but never could I have foreseen so many visitors, readers and comments. So thanks a lot to all the people who have shown an interest so far! Getting some kind of feedback is a great motivational factor, even if it’s only seeing that people click on the site, download the odd image or what have you. It’s been a great experience so far, and I promise I’ll try to keep the content coming. Who knows, some of it may even be interesting 😉

So, what better way to celebrate the occasion than to show you some new pictures of where my World Eaters army currently stands? After all, this army was one of my main reasons for starting this blog!

WE_Army07
Even though I may have been rather lazy since showing you the last family portrait some time ago, the army still fills me with pride. Take a look:

WE_Army09
I only really painted some 15 new models since the last set of photos was taken, but at least some of them were pretty huge. The army also ends up looking rather imposing lined up like that, if I do say so myself!

WE_Army10
The biggest addition to the army since we last saw it was of course the Hellrazor, my converted Heldrake:

WE_Army12
But I also managed to paint some more lords (a lasting addiction of mine) and fellows in terminator armour. These three gentlemen can already make up a small Termicide unit, if push comes to shove:

WE_Army13
And there’s an equally large collection of Chaos Lords in power armour, of course. Among them my converted Dark Apostle (shown on the left):

WE_Army15

Then there’s a small collection of champions and models I painted just for fun (among them the starts of a dedicated gladiator squad). While several of those concepts may be spun off into an own squad, all of these “stragglers” together can almost make up another berzerker squad:

WE_Army16
And finally, there’s the beginnings of Joras Turnpelt’s small detachment of traitorous Space Wolves, to be used as regular CSM, if the battle plan so requires:

WE_Army17

But let’s not just look at already finished stuff! Blogging is all about new content after all, and seeing these guys neatly lined up like that actually gave me a pretty huge appetite for adding more stuff to my World Eaters — but where to start?

 

I recently discovered Chris’ fantastic kitbashed Decimator over at A Host of Word Bearers and was simply blown away by the model! Using a Dreadknight as the base model for his conversion, Chris managed to truly transform it into an excellent daemon engine for the dark gods. And it took all my strengths to resist picking up a Dreadknight right away to emulate his conversion.

Unfortunately, my resolve lasted all of 24 hours, then I hurried to the FLGS and made my move. And I spent the last weekend in a bit of a building spree, trying to convert my own, corrupted Dreadknight/Decimator.

At the beginning, I stuck closely to Chris’ recipe, only replacing a small bit here and there. After a relatively short while, this was what I ended up with:

kitbashed Decimator WIP (1)
As you can see, the basic construction is very similar. I was lucky enough to discover that the armour plates from the Maulerfiend’s forearms were a perfect fit for the Dreadknight legs. And as Chris’ conversion amply demonstrated, the  arms from the Forgefiend and Heldrake kits, respectively, make for great improvised Decimator weapons. Luckily enough, I still had both lying around, so the body was finished rather quickly.

Here’s where the problems started, though, since I lacked virtually all the parts used by Chris to make up the head and shoulders of his model. And I didn’t consider the chances of getting my hands on a warsphinx skull head to be all that great. So I realised I would have to improvise and started kitbashing:

My first idea was to use the skull from one of the 40k dice holders. I thought it would look reasonably close to that warsphinx head:

kitbashed Decimator WIP (2)
But once I had tried it, I really wasn’t too happy with the result: It just didn’t look as cool as I had hoped.

My next approach was to default back to every Khorne player’s bread and butter choice: A juggernaut head.

kitbashed Decimator WIP (3)
But while this would have worked rather nicely, it presented a whole new problem: I had already used a juggernaut head when building Marax the Fallen, and I didn’t really want to replicate a motif I had already used once…

And then I had an idea: I suddenly remembered that head I had originally wanted to use for my second Dreadnought:

Dread02 (2)
Back then, I ultimately had to discard the head because it was simply too big for a dreadnought body. But for obvious reasons, that wouldn’t be a problem this time around! So I made a mockup:

kitbashed Decimator WIP (4)

And in a strange way, it worked. I really like the blunt, brutal look of the head! With its cyclopean eyeslit, it really looks like an inhuman killing machine. And while I am normally not a big fan of using old toy parts on 40k models, I felt I could make an exeception here. After all, isn’t this a nice callback to a youth misspent on a different kind of plastic crack? 😉

Anyway, I continued working from there, building up the shoulders with a couple of bitz and bobs. I also started experimenting with a slightly more exciting pose.

kitbashed Decimator WIP (5)
I then posted the WIP shots on a couple of forums to confirm whether I was on to something here, and the reactions were largely positive, so I persevered. One criticism, however, turned out to be valid: Some guys over at GW-Fanworld pointed out that the toy head seemed to be far less detailed than the surrounding area. So I used a couple of additional bitz to address this problem:

kitbashed Decimator WIP (7)
kitbashed Decimator WIP (6)
It might not be perfect, but I am confident I can make it work during the painting stage. In an unexpected twist, I also decided against using the usual Khornate “bunny ears”, because I really liked the head’s blunt silhouette and didn’t want to clutter it with too many different elements.

I kept adding some additional bitz here and there, and a short while later, the model’s construction was basically finished. Take a look:

kitbashed Decimator WIP (8)
kitbashed Decimator WIP (9)
kitbashed Decimator WIP (10)
kitbashed Decimator WIP (11)
A few additional chains, skull trophies and chaos icons notwithstanding, I believe the model is close to finished. I have also resisted the urge to glue everything together right off the bat, so the model is currently kept in several larger sub-assemblies (and held together with several gobs of modelling putty and a huge amount of faith). It will probably be far easier to paint that way!

kitbashed Decimator WIP (12)
All in all, I am really pleased with this big boy at the moment! Though the original inspiration is still clearly visible, the different head and shoulders keep the model from becoming a mere retread of somebody else’s conversion. And I am also really looking forward to seeing this guy painted. I suspect/hope that painting the model will be slightly similar to painting a bigger dreadnought. I hope I am right in this, because painting my two dreads has been an absolute blast!

As soon as I get my hands on a fresh can of Chaos Black, expect this guy to hit the painting table! Until then, if you have any C&C on him, I’d love to hear it!

kitbashed Decimator WIP (13)

So yeah, as you can see, Khorne’s Eternal Hunt is still going strong! A huge thank you must go to Chris for providing the totally awesome inspiration for this conversion! And, of course, thanks to your for looking and stay tuned for more!

Here’s to the next 100,000!

WE_Army08

News from the hot dust

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2013 by krautscientist

I usually keep a small pile of bitz at the ready on my desktop at all times, in case of sudden spells of inspiration. One of the models that resulted from such a moment is the gladiatorial World Eater I posted quite a while ago:

Gladiator (4)
Without a doubt, Angron’s gladiatorial origins and the legion’s attempt at channelling its Primarch’s traditions are among the more interesting bits of World Eaters lore. So after building the first model, I realised it would only be a matter of time before I would revisit this particular concept. So when inspiration struck again recently, I decided to build and paint a new playfellow for the lonely gladiator.

The catalyst for this decision were some of the Beastman weapons I had aqcuired with an old box of Gors and Ungors. I realised that not only do some of those weapons make for brilliant gladiatorial wargear, but the Gors’ muscular arms also nicely fit CSM and Chaos Marauder proportions alike.

So, a short while later, this WIP model was standing before me:

Gladiator (14)
Gladiator (12)
Gladiator (13)
The basic construction was very similar to the older model: A pair of CSM legs was combined with a Marauder torso. the left arm came from a regular CSM, while the right one came from the aforementioned Beastman Gors. Both swords are also Beastman weapons.

The head was angled downwards, to make it look as though the gladiator were staring down his next opponent. I do realise that the old berserker head is a case of love it or hate it for some, although I can be firmly placed within the former camp: While the fangs may be a little corny, the face really looks like that of a veteran of the Long War. Plus the cabling on the back of the head is still one of the best possible representations of Butcher’s Nails across GW’s entire catalogue, if you ask me.

All that remained was to add some bitz and bobs: The loincloth is a slightly cut down part from the Chaos Lord in Terminator armour. I added some Space Marine grenades at the model’s hips to make it look more 40k and to slightly bulk out the silhouette. The skull shoulderpads came from the Chaos Marauders. And a shaved down orcish armour plate was added to the model’s back to make it look like it was intended to protect the gladiator’s neck.

Granted, the pose is fairly static, and also quite similar to the other model. However, not only am I a true fan of the “present your weapons” sort of pose, but I also think it works really well with the swords. It’s also a great fit for a gladiator, if you ask me.

So I quickly painted this guy. You simply won’t believe how much more fun Chaos Space Marines are to paint when you have a pretext for ditching those cumbersome backpacks 😉

Anyway, here’s the painted model:

Gladiator (15)
Gladiator (16)
Gladiator (17)
Gladiator (18)
As you can see, I stuck to my regular recipe fairly closely, save for one important difference: A red, warpaint-like tattoo was added to the gladiator’s forehead, harking back to Angron’s own facial markings:

Gladiator (20)
A brilliant idea that was “borrowed” from fellow World Eater Szczur22’s thread over on ToS. I think I’ll add variations of this to all the coming models in the squad.

Here are the two gladiators together:

Gladiator (21)
And here they are, together with the Forsaken I completed earlier. I took this photo for no other reason than the fact that those guys look great together 😉

Gladiator (22)
It’s fun little projects like these that will keep you interested in an army, even if you haven’t got the time (or motivation) to finish a tank or a whole squad. Sure, this guy didn’t bring me much closer to finishing the next 500 (or even 50) points for my army, but he offered me the opportunity to add some character to the force and to explore the background lore of my chosen legion — and as far as worthy hobby endeavours go, that has always been good enough for me! I also think there may be more models where those two came from — maybe each of them wielding a different set of gladiatorial weapons? And some of those models will also have to be quite dynamic, come to think of it…

Anyway, let me know what you think! And look forward to seeing more World Eaters-related stuff. Just sayin’…

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

Does size matter? A look at the Apocalypse release

Posted in 40k, Pointless ramblings, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , on July 10, 2013 by krautscientist

This month doesn’t bring a simple Codex or mere army book release, but rather an expansion for the whole of 40k: Apocalypse returns with a hefty tome as well as some rather imposing kits. As has become a treasured tradition here on Eternal Hunt, let’s take a look at the new release and talk about the new models and think about their possible uses for all kinds of hobby projects as well as their conversion potential.

Apoc Release (1)
While I will be focusing on the various models and kits in this post without giving any more consideration to the rulebook, let me just point out that the fact that a Khornate daemon engine prominently features on the expansion’s cover certainly warrants a double thumbs up from me 😉

Another thing that you can say about this release is that it does a nice job in breaking up the well-established and rather formulaic pattern set by the last few releases. This is a welcome change, in my opinion, although it has more to do with the different nature of Apocalypse as an expansion to the whole game. Nevertheless, a little variety never hurt anyone.

Anyway, Apocalypse is all about size, of course: The expansion is designed to allow (if not incite) players to use their whole collection of models and/or assemble enormous armies, far beyond the scope of regular 40k, throwing everything but the kitchen sink at their fellow hobbyists. It also exclusively gives players the opportunity of using all kinds of special formations and enormous models, ranging from scores of infantry models to tank squadrons or superheavies. So it should not come as a big surprise that the models released along with the expansion focus on this aspect.

 

Khorne Lord of Skulls

Apoc Release (2)
People on the forums may think the Necron model is the most spectacular thing to come out of this release, but you will hopefully excuse my fanboyism when I say that this is the real star of the show for me, for fairly obvious reasons.

I’ll be honest with you: This model initially seemed like a dream come true for me! When I saw the first leaked pictures, my lower jaw could actually be heard hitting the tabletop. Since then, lots and lots of derision have been heaped upon the “Skulldozer”, but I’ll go on record stating that I simply love the model’s design, period. Sure, it’s corny. Sure, it’s unrealistic. But come on, people: Since when do we expect realism in 40k? In fact, the cry for realism is one of the biggest non-arguments ever, in my opinion. Plausibility, sure: It’s great if models look even slightly plausible, as in: grounded in the setting. But what we have here is a daemonic fusion of flesh and bone, steel and brass, brought to quasi-life by the powers of the warp. It serves as an engine of destruction as well as a living icon of the Blood God — that’s surely plausible enough for me!

If anything, I have to applaud Dale Stringer, designer of the piece, for finding the perfect middle ground between the old and the new: The Lord of Skulls nicely picks up a lot of design cues of the older epic 40,000 Khornate daemon engines, while also looking very much at home next to the more recent 40k chaos kits.

Apoc Release (3)
Are there too many skulls? I’ll let you be the judge of that:

Apoc Release (4)
Personally, I think that you can never really have too many skulls on a Khornate model, but that’s just me. And we can certainly all agree that some of the detail on this model is simply nuts. For me, it’s a tossup between the cannon with the skull face (that has yet more skulls in it…) or the choice of two alternate heads, complete with exchangeable Khornate “bunny ears”:

Apoc Release (4b)

For me as a World Eaters player, the model not only counts as pure fan service, but is also a kit that I would love to own.

Here’s the thing, though: This model is simply too damn big! A scale shot provided by GW in the latest issue of WD shows how the Lord of Skulls is almost twice the heigth of a Defiler (itself quite a beast already, from a size perspective). And here’s where my excitement for the model turns bittersweet: The size puts it out of scale with all other kits in the chaos catalogue: It can really only ever realistically be used in Apocalypse.

Granted, that was probably the whole point of the exercise. But for me, that’s a bit of a tragedy: If the model were half its size, I’d buy it in a heartbeat. Heck, I’d probably get two of the things, to be honest: I love the design to bits, and at half the size, it would be an essential purchase in so many ways:

I would make a fantastic replacement defiler out of the box. Or the upper and lower halves of the kit could be separated and made into both a Khornate knight titan and a more interesting World Eaters Land Raider — as a matter of fact, I’ve been waiting for ages for a possibility of making a LR more interesting and rewarding to build: Check out the undercarriage: It would be the perfect vehicle for Lord Captain Lorimar and his retinue of Terminators. Even the treads have icons of Khorne (whereas chaos players have had to use the regular LR threads, complete with Aquila, for ages). Parts of it might even be useable for other Daemon Engines, Helbrute conversions, custom pieces of terrain or what have you.

But as it stands, the model is simply unusable by virtue of its size. Sure, this is supposed to be an exclusive Apocalypse war machine with no use in regular 40k. But I am simply not interested in playing at the scale of Apocalypse, period. So what I am left with here is a kit that I would love to own, yet that I won’t be able to use for anything, by the look of it. I don’t know what to say. Something like that ha never really happened to me before…

Lastly, there’s the price of course: 125 Euros for a single mode, no matter the size, is a pretty penny. We’re no longer approaching FW territory here, we’re well within its borders. And I am not sure I’m happy about that…

 

Necron Tesseract Vault

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The other huge kit of the release gives Necron players a new toy. The Tesseract Vault even offers you the added benefit of being able to assemble it in two different configurations. You can either use the model in a closed configuration as an Obelisk, a bigger Necron monolith variant. This option has a look fitting perfectly within the established Necron aesthetic, while looking somewhere between a Borg Cube and an alien mothership from some Sci-Fi flick like Independence day:

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The other option is to use the kit to build the Tesseract Vault, with a captured and tortured C’Tan visible at the center of the consrtuct:

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I was a little disappointed at the handling of the C’Tan in the new Necron background, so it’s really nice to see a new C’Tan shard make an appearance, even if it appears to be just a fairly “generic” creature. I also like the look of the star god’s prison being torn apart by the creature’s power while also being repaired by countless little automata at the same time: GW’s designers really managed to pull this off perfectly, and the myriad of small canoptek scarabs are a really nice touch:

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What makes me really envious of Necron players is the fact that, where the Lord of Skulls is infuriatingly useless to those of us not interested in Apocalypse, the Tesseract Vault seems like a no-brainer purchase to all Necron Players: Even if you have no intention of ever playing Apocalypse, this kit simply gives you so much Necron-y stuff that you can build lots of brilliant things for your regular 40k army: There’s the vault itself that could work as a bigger monolith as well as a fantastic piece of terrain for your Necron-themed table. The insectile Canoptek-contraption above the C’Tan could easily be used as an alternate Tomb Spider or some similar horror. All those cables and tech bitz are a converter’s and terrain builder’s dream come true. And of course, there’s this guy:

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Whether you want to make him into a C’Tan shard, a daemon prince or what have you, this guy has all the makings of a centre piece model. Incidentally, in case any fellow videogame nerds are reading this: Doesn’t this model remind you of the early sketches for possible boss monsters published in the Bioshock artbook “Breaking the Mould”, down to the colour used on the model? The resemblance is rather uncanny…

Oh, and to those playing Inquisitor at the 54mm scale: I guess you’ll never get a better plastic daemonhost than this, people…

So, while this model doesn’t feel as much like a standout piece as the Lord of Skulls to me, it has the immense advantage of being rather useful for hobby activities beyond (or should that be beneath) the scope of Apocalypse.

 

Space Marine Masters of the Chapter

While the other models in this release rather fit the bill of large kit, the new Masters of the Chapter have the large ham angle perfectly covered. I really liked the first couple of company masters, and now there are even more of them. Let’s take a closer look:

 

The Lord Executioner

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Yeah, names to run away from really fast, and all that…

Seriously, though, this may be my favourite of the new models. He looks huge and imposing – and possibly almost too ostentatious. Still, if you like your Marine commanders blinged-out to the max, you’ll find a lot to like about this model and its fellows. The longer I look at the model, the more it seems to me that the shaft of the axe should be a little longer, but that’s just a small nitpick.

My favourite detail about this guy has to be his face:

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It would make for a great World Eaters officer. Or the whole model could be used as a base for a pretty effective Constantin Valdor conversion. Just sayin’…

 

Master of the Marches

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Wait, the Astartes have a guy whose sole responsibility is the deployment of the force? At only 1,000 Marines per chapter? Talk about bloated management…

Anyway, the model once again looks the part of company master! I like how GW are channelling older armour variants for their marine special characters and would love to see more of this with the plastic kits. One can always dream…

I also think that cherub should be a very interesting bit for INQ28 aficionados:

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Master of the Rites

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This one is probably the weakest of the bunch for me: While the cape draped over the model’s left arm is a nice touch, he just doesn’t look as cool as the other models. And what is it with that huge, floating loudspeaker thing, though? I can certainly appreciate the gothic touches, but if he needed something beyond the communications arrays built into every single Marine’s helmet, maybe a choir servitor would have been an even cooler (and more gothic) option? The good thing is that this guy should be rather easy to convert via a hand swap, if you want him in a more combat-centred role.

 

Master of Relics

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While the overall model is pretty great, I am not sure I am fond of all the clutter, especially the servo-skull and backpack. Sure, this guy is important and equipped with all kinds of snazzy doodads, but I suspect the model might be much cooler with a less cluttered silhouette. In fact, maybe this guy could even make a good base for an Alpharius/Omegon conversion or a “regular” Alpha legionnaire, since he already has that special ops look about him…

Based on his facial expression, he also looks like a really fun guy to be around:

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Once again, the obvious problem with these is the price point: Each of the models comes at a whooping 21 Euros, whereas the older Masters of the Chapter can still be had in a box of four for merely 26 Euros. Sure, the new models may be even more imposing and detailed (which does in fact lead to a bit of a continuity problem, seeing how the less detailed models are now representing the first four companies of the chapter…), but considering the price and the fact that the older models are really nice, I know which one I’d choose. And let’s not even get into the fact that kitbashing some unique Masters of the Chapter from all the available bitz would be a really fascinating project for the diligent hobbyist…
The release also brings some brand new terrain that can be combined with the already available (and prohibitively expensive) Wall of Martyrs. So let’s take a closer look at the new terrain pieces:

 

Vengeance Weapons Battery

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Seeing how weapon emplacements have even begun to creep into regular 40k, I can imagine this kit to become very useful both in Apocalypse and in regular games. The design is nice and gothic, and I can’t help but feel that it even looks slightly chaotic as it is — which is great news for a chaos player like myself, of course.

 

Firestorm Redoubt

Apoc Release (20)Quite a bit larger than the weapons battery, this kit features a rather large bunker and additional huge weapons. Once again, I really like the design, but then I’m a sucker for all those gothic knick knacks and skulls of everything.

 

Aquila Strongpoint

Apoc Release (21)And finally, where would we be without a piece of terrain using a stylised Imperial aquila with a huge gun? And it seems like the bird is really excited to see us., too..

Like the other two pieces, this one continues the trend of gothic and highly ostentatious design, and all three of the pieces should gel perfectly with the Wall of Martyrs, the Fortress of Redemption or even GW’s cityfight ruins. This is indeed a far cry from the spraypainted cardboard buildings of my youth!

Now, I realise that these are fairly huge pieces of terrain. Plus all of these are certainly expertly designed and look great. They will also, without a doubt, prove rather effective both in Apocalypse and in games of regular 40k. There’s one thing , though, and again, it’s the price point: I really respect the work that must have gone into these, and they will look brilliant on gaming tables around the world. I also immensely dislike all the GW-bashing around the net. All of that notwithstanding, though, the pricing on these terrain pieces just seems out of touch: At between 40 and 90 Euros apiece, the pricing on these models is just off the charts: There’s no way I am blowing hundreds of Euros on terrain when the armies themselves are so expensive already. Sure, it’s fantastic that all this brilliant terrain is available to us. Sure, there has never been so much cool stuff to use for your own terrain conversions. And it’s certainly bad form to hate on GW for giving us more options.

But still: I’ve never been one to shy away from paying a pretty penny to sustain my addiction to cutting up little plastic men, but this is just a bit much. It’s clearly obvious that this release caters to the hardcore fans, above all else: To those who will buy Forgeworld Titans, just because. To those who can afford to spend entire weekends wrapped up in the logistics of a huge Apocalypse battle. Maybe to those who will rent convention centers to play out the battle for a whole planet on the floor of the main conference room. All of this is fascinating to see, and it’s great that the option is there, but for me personally, Apocalypse is simply moving one step too far away from what I find fascinating about wargaming in the first place: the attention to each single soldier in my army.

 

So, what to make of it all?
It’s a tough call, really. Even more so since I am obviously slightly biased against Apocalypse in the first place. From a visual standpoint, I cannot fault GW’s designers: The release contains lots of cool stuff and, based on its visual merits alone, would have to be called one of my favourite releases for some time. I can easily salivate over all the cool models for hours.

But both the size and the attached price tags render most of this release clearly beyond my reach. To wit, there’s an offer for this terrain set over on the GW-page:

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And it comes at almost 1,500 Euros a pop. That’s insane! You could buy a car for that money! A rather crappy car that doesn’t have too much life left in it, to be sure. But the point still stands: This kind of game – even more than regular 40k or WFB – seems to be for those for whom disposable income is simply not an issue. And the rest of us do not seem to be invited to the party.

It would be easy, of course, to wax poetical on the injustice of capitalism, of the sheer evil of corporate entities, among them GW. I won’t do that. I’ll just say, in closing, that looking at the huge kits from this release makes me giddy and excited, and I dream of all the crazy conversions I could make with this stuff. But then I think of the game attached to all of it, and I take a look at the price tag, and I feel that I am standing at a fork in the road. And I guess I’ll pass. For now. So, cheers, GW: See you next month, when you’ll hopefully release someting I can afford again.

 

So yeah, so much for my thoughts about this particular release. What’s your take on things? Are you delighted by the models? Excited at the prospect of running huge Apocalypse games? Or just as hesitant as I am? Am I maybe just bitter that I don’t get to play with the big boys? Let me know what you think in the comments section!

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

Beasts of War

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2013 by krautscientist

Today it’s time to check up on the progress of one of my conversion projects from earlier this year: It has been about six months since I posted my first test model for a squad of chaos spawn for my World Eaters. You may remember that I didn’t want my chaos spawn to look like the usual, creepy crawly monsters, but rather recongnisably like former Astartes. That was the birth of “The Forsaken”, those brothers of the World Eaters 4th assault company whose madness and physical corruption have led to their devolution into little more than raging beasts. The models were built using Vargheist/Crypt Horror bodies and Minotaur arms, with lots and lots of GS in between to add the necessary muscle mass to the models’ torsos.

Back when I first talked about the squad, I had already painted a first test model:

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Since these guys are former World Eaters legionaries, it makes a lot of sense that they should share the same colour recipe as my regular World Eaters, so the same colours were used while painting them. However, when compared to the rest of the army, they almost  use an “inverted” colour scheme in that most of the model is defined by the greyish, pale skin, with small pieces of red and bronze armour for contrast.

Anyway, I had two more models left to go, and I decided it was finally time to finish up this squad. Let’s take a look:

Building these was initally a bit of a challenge, since I tried to play it too safe after the first model: The other two bodies that come with the Crypt Horror/Vargheist kit are far more static than the first, and I didn’t really have an idea how to deal with that. So the squad wasn’t really going anywhere until I received feedback from several fellow hobbyists over on Dakka. Maybe the best suggestion came from my buddy Biohazard, who suggested that one of the models should look as if it were taking a moment in the heat of battle to bellow in rage at its next opponent. So that’s the look I tried to achieve with the second model in the squad:

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As you can see, quite a bit of GS was added to build up a set of suitably well-muscled shoulders for the model. While I was at it, I also added some Butcher’s Nails implants to the model’s head and a Triumph Rope scar to its chest and abdomen, to make it clear that this creature was once a noble member of the XIIth Astartes Legion.

So here’s the painted model, recently finished:

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The horrible, open back of the model (where I imagine the combined effects of the physiological changes necessary for becoming an Astartes and the raw forces of chaos have literally begun to tear the wretched creature’s body apart) was painted using Tamiya Clear Red to make it look like a sickening, glistening mess of raw meat. I seriously considered painting the spine in metal for a while, but in the end, decided against it.

Here’s a detail shot of that particular area:

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All in all, I couldn’t possibly be any more pleased with the model’s pose: This guy is looking really angry, and he perfectly embodies what the Forsaken are all about:

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I can almost picture the scene and hear the roar in the back of my head 😉

The third model in the squad has a more crouched position, almost like a huge ape. Here’s the conversion before undercoating:

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Once again, new shoulder muscles, a Triumph Rope and some Butcher’s Nails were added. Since I was running out of suitable Crypt Horror parts at this point, the model received a Vargheist’s hirsute back, giving it an even more beastly, feral look. I also added a crude weapon fist from the WFB Ogre bulls, since I thought the weapon was a nice callback to the World Eaters’ gladiatorial traditions.

Seeing how the model had such an apelike, crouched position, I thought it would be interesting to pose it above the remains of its latest opponent/meal, so I built and painted a fitting base:

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The basic construction uses the usual mix of cork, modelling sand and small pieces of slate. Between the rock outcrops where I eventually wanted to place the model, I added some bones to represent the remains of whatever unlucky creature(s) last had a run in with the Forsaken. A generous helping of Tamiya Clear Red was added to communicate the fact that this meeting had not taken place on amicable terms…

And here’s the finished model that went on top of the base:

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This guy’s pose took ages to get right, and even then, it remained the least exciting among the members of the squad. But seeing the model now, I feel rather pleased with the result: The Forsaken looks like it’s crouched atop a rock after its latest fight/meal, turning around to face its next foe.

Even though I am usually rather hesitant when it comes to adding blood effects – since it’s very easy to go over the top with the blood – in this case, I even smeared some Clear Red on the lower half of the Forsaken’s face: Maybe this guy has indeed recently eaten (*shudder*)…

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And with that, my initial squad of three chaos spawn was finished! I am really happy that I managed to come up with a couple of conversions that fit the overall look and feel of my army. Plus these guys are far less “creepy crawly” than the usual chaos spawn models. Instead of ending up as quivering mountains of flesh, the Forsaken have evolved into the perfect hunters, as befits their master Khorne…

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I also like the fact that I have managed to come up with some fairly unique models. While the Vargheist kit is not all that flexible (and the Crypt Horrors look fairly bare bones out of the box), it offers a fantastic base for conversions, if you’re willing to experiment. It’s strange that we don’t see more conversions involving these guys…

So, what do you think about the models? I’d be happy to hear from you in the comments section! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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