Archive for October, 2013

Pointy is the new evil – the Dark Elves’ second wave

Posted in Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , on October 31, 2013 by krautscientist

Here we are, one month later, with something we haven’t seen in a while: a second release wave for an army! Seems like GW weren’t messing around when they announced they wanted to reinvent the entire Dark Elves’ line of models.

This month’s release brings another slew of combi-kits and a new plastic character. So let’s take it all in stride and, most of all, let’s take a closer look! Here goes:


Dark Riders/Doomfire Warlocks

Dark Elves release (23)
This – quite moderately priced – kit is truly brimming with options, starting with the fact that you get two unit types out of it. The first of these are the Dark Riders, outriders quickly zooming ahead of the army and causing all kinds of mischief for the enemy. GW’s designers actually underlined their function as a fast and highly mobile selection by having them posed astride their mounts like jockeys at a horse race, which is a pretty nice touch if you ask me.

Overall, I really like the design of these riders as cloaked, shadowy soldiers. And the different bitz you get with the kit let you build fairly different versions of the same models:

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My favourite detail has to be that you get three different sets of heads and are free to either have each of your riders follow the same style or happily mix and match. While the helmetless heads suffer from some rather eclectic hairstyles, I really like the heads with helmets and cowls:

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The helmets are, once again, a callback to classic Dark Elf design sensibilities, while the cowls may be my favourite option. Great job!

All in all, this is a rock solid representation of the Dark Riders, and it’s quite nice to finally have them available in plastic. I do have one small gripe about the kit, but we’ll be getting to that in a minute.

The other option is to assemble the kit as Doomfire Warlocks

Dark Elves release (26)…and, in all honesty, they should have gone the whole hog here and called these guys Doomfire Warlocks of DOOOM! Just kidding 😉

These guys are male sorcerers damned to a horrible fate by the Witch King: Their souls are forfeit to Slaanesh, should they not find suitable sacrifices to keep the Dark Prince at bay. And once again, the very different nature of the models compared to the Dark Riders clearly comes across, even though they are using the same base models.

Where the latter are shadowy, cowled and cloaked figures, the Doomfire Warlocks very much look like the damned souls that they are: With bare upper bodies and their hair streaming behind them, these have an eerie, spectral quality.

For some reason, the faces on these models are highly reminiscent of Chris Fitzpatrick’s work on the older Dark Elf models, which seems like a bit of an odd choice when most of the release is obviously hell-bent on doing away with this look altogether…

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I do like the slightly twisted faces, though, since they make the models look unlike everything else in the army. My one problem with these is that the hair does look a little hokey — and really not all that much like hair to begin with. But this may have been intentional in the first place.

The horses are now far more twisted and demonic looking than before, ostensibly to make them look like the sinister influence of both the Dark Elves’ black magic and Naggaroth itself have influenced their bloodline:

Dark Elves release (29)

The twisted, lipless heads are quite scary! And while the new look might fit the darker nature of the Dark Elves when compared to their goodie two shoes brethren, herein lies my main gripe with the kit:

Dark Elves release (28)
Take a look at the horse in the picture above. Now I might be wrong about this, but doesn’t it seem like those legs are far too spindly and sticklike to actually look realistic? And slightly too long as well? Now it is important to notice that we here at Eternal Hunt are certainly not sticklers when it comes to realism, but in this case, the model seems to lack anatomical plausibility, which is a very different problem.

This actually goes for both variants of the kit, since they are using the same horses. Granted, this will probably not be too much of an issue when the regiment is properly lined up, but it is my main point of contention with the kit.


Scourgerunner Chariot / Cold-One Chariot

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In an interesting subversion of expectations, the Dark Elf chariot design is quite different from that of the High Elves: With a mono-wheel and the general design supposed to resemble nothing so much as the prow of a ship, the chariot carves out a very distinct design for itself.

My one problem with this decision is that, even though I acknowledge the intended effect, the chariot doesn’t look like it could actually go all that fast:

Dark Elves release (33)The chariot itself comes in two possible flavours: The Scourgerunner Chariot is being piloted by a Beastmaster crew, and the design of the models really makes them look the part, with the Beastmasters wearing the hides of wild beasts and resembling the handlers that come with the Hydra kit:

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The High Beastmaster is easily identifiable by his ostentatious cloak and and the facial scars that probably come with the territory in his line of work:

Dark Elves release (32)
This guy is probably my favourite part about the kit, and I could easily imagine him being used as a special character or even a Dark Eldar Archon with an adventurous streak…

The other option is to use the kit to build a Cold-One Chariot:

Dark Elves release (34)
Now Cold Ones win absolute best everything all the time in my book, simply by virtue of being a more badass version of the already awesome, real-life Velociraptor or Deinonychus. I have always loved the Cold Ones, and their latest incarnation is simply brilliant, so it stands to reason that this chariot would be pretty cool as well, right? Unfortunately, though, beyond the awesome reptilian members of the crew, the warriors steering the chariot are pretty standard fare. And even more of those topknots. Yeesh…

All in all, it’s really a nice enough kit though. I have to admit that I am not perfectly sold on the mono-wheel look, but that’s just me. As with any chariot (combi-)kit, the fact that it comes with many cool bitz should make it useful even beyond its original function.


Executioners/Black Guard

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Now here’s a high point about this release! Some of the Dark Elves’ most elite units are finally available as a plastic kit. Even better, you can build both unit types using this combi-kit!

Looking at the Black Guard first, it’s plain to see that these are, once again, a very nice callback to the 4th edition models, although some design cues of the last edition clearly remain. The design actually takes cues from the best elements of both versions, with the Black Guard looking heavily armoured and suitably pointy and spiky. Like more badass versions of last month’s Dark Elf warriors, these have all the discipline and elegance that you would expect from an elven regiment, yet also clearly come agross as evil and sinister — mission accomplished, I guess!

I really love the sinister look created by the helmets, although the champion head is certainly a matter of personal preference:

Dark Elves release (38)
What is it with all of those topknots? Is there something innately evil about that kind of hairstyle?

Anyway, the Black Guard are looking excellent, period!

Since this is also a combi-kit, it’s possible to build a regiment of Black Guard or Executioners:

Dark Elves release (35)
While using the same bodies, the Executioners get different weapons, different heads and, in a nice touch of variety, are holding their swords in both hands. The skull masks show a nice, elven take on the recurring WFB motif of skulls (and also double as a stylised symbol of Khaine).

It goes without saying that the kit also comes with some brilliantly morbid details, such as a severed High-Elf head:

Dark Elves release (36)

My favourite part about the kit has got to be how nothing more than a change of heads and weapons is needed to thoroughly change the silhouette of the same base model:

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Definitely one of my favourite kits from the new Dark Elf catalogue!


Black Ark Fleetmaster

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And here’s my other favourite: Yet another plastic character (which is always great), and one that truly embodies some archetypal qualities of the Dark Elves: The Fleetmaster looks vicious and arrogant. The trophies of bone and skin and his spiky leg prosthesis give him a slightly feral quality, yet there’s also a sinister kind of elegance. Granted, the hair may be a bit over the top, but there’s nothing stopping you from changing it according to your preferences.

I also love the fact that the naval commanders of the Dark Elves haven’t been explored too thoroughly so far – one special character notwithstanding – so the Fleetmaster gives us an interesting glimpse at this side of Dark Elf culture.

Converting the model will need some thought, as with all the single pose plastic characters, yet I am confident that this model would make a great base for all kinds of Dark Elf, Dark Eldar or even Eldar commanders.


Conversion options

Possibly the most interesting part for me about this whole release: What can the enterprising hobbyist use all these new toys for? And what could be done to transform them into something else?

As with last month’s release, these kits will probably be most useful from a conversion perspective to Eldar and Dark Eldar players: The Black Guard and Executioners could be transformed into very menacing looking Trueborn for a Dark Eldar force (or pretty sinister Guardians for an allied Eldar detachment). The Executioners‘ skull masks would doubtlessly look great on Harlequins and/or Wyches. And if you can find a way of kitbashing Reaper Launchers, those Executioners themselve could become brilliant Dark Reapers, in my opinion.

The Dark Rider/Doomfire Warlock kit could also be used in interesting ways: What about transforming those Dark Riders into slightly sinister Exodites? Their cowled heads could also be really useful for basically any pointy-eared army in both 40k and WFB. And those Doomfire Warlock bodies would be pretty cool as daemonhosts. Or they could be used as a way of kitbashing plastic Mandraks — just sayin’…

The chariot mostly seems interesting for its crew members: Those beastmasters would make great beastmasters (DUH!) in a Dark Eldar army, while the High Beastmaster would be an excellent base for an Archon or special character conversion. Some of the chariot bitz could also be used to decorate Dark Eldar vehicles (or to make Eldar tanks and jetbikes look suitably sinister in an allied detachment…).

And then, there’s the Fleetmaster: With the Dark Eldar styling themselves pirate kinds and sinister freebooters, he would make for a fantastic Archon to lead a pirate force. Or a corsair-styled Eldar army. Or you could use him as a counts as Duke Sliscus — he exudes just the right blend of menace and decadence for that role…


While this month’s part of the Dark Elf release seems slightly less exciting to me than last month’s kits, it’s still an impressive release. Last month, I asked myself whether this redesign was on par with the reinvention of the Dark Eldar in 2010. With two months’ worth of beautiful models now in our hands, I have to say that the completely revamped he Dark Elves are now one of the most stunning armies in WFB from a visual standpoint. If I were to return to WFB (not likely…), they would probably be one of my preferred army choices.

But even beyond the confines of WFB, the new kits should provide converters and kitbashers with some very interesting material. And I, for one, am very much looking forward to seeing all the brilliant Dark Eldar conversions that will come out of this release! Why is it that GW always seem to reserve their best work for evil, pointy elves, I wonder?

On a mostly unrelated note, isn’t it weird how much we’ve grown accustomed to a new army coming out every month? This release gives us a bunch of awesome new toys to play with, yet I cannot help feeling an – admittedly very faint – feeling of disappointment that this is “merely” a second wave of an army that was already released. So while so many hobbyists like to criticise GW for just about everything, the breakneck speed of quality releases is really astounding, and it’s almost shocking to see how quickly we have adapted to it…


But what do you think? Are you happy with the new Dark Elves? Have you already started an army of them, just to get your hands on these beautiful kits? Or do you think that they could have been even better? I’d be happy to hear your thoughts in the comments section!

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

Third time’s the charm

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2013 by krautscientist

Another week, and I am still happily slicing and shaving my way through the Centurion kit in an attempt to build a squad of three counts as Obliterators for my World Eaters. I do of course realise that you have been seeing quite a bit of this particular endeavour, but in all fairness, it has been a rather complex conversion project to pull off.

So, today I will show you a look at both the updated models you already know as well as the third and final member of my “Behemoths”

First up, I have finally managed to find a solution for the last thing I wanted to add to my Behemoth models: the clawed feet. After having experimented with numerous options to add some claws to the Centurion feet without having the whole thing end up looking ridiculous, I tried using the claws from Warp Talon feet. And while this element was mainly an attempt to make the models look less loyalist and more brutal, seeing how those talons make the feet look better proportioned as well for some reason really was a nice surprise! So it goes without saying that I picked up that element for the rest of the squad as well.

Here are the two models you already know, complete with clawed feet and all:

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These are pretty much 100% finished at this point, and I hope I’ll get around to painting one of them soon.

But, like I already said above, I couldn’t help myself and had to start working on the third model. Here are some WIP impressions:

Behemoths WIP (48)
The body came together fairly easily: The Centurions are a rather complex kit, but after putting together two or three of them, you basically know the drill — hence the title of this post! 😉 Once again, I added some additional armour plates and some sinister detail in order to make the model look like a member of the traitor legions.

I also added some chest-mounted plasma pistols at the suggestion of fellow hobbyist meade over at Dakka:

Behemoths WIP (49)
“Plasma nipples”, he called them. Some people… 😉

The next step was to sort out the arms, and I once again tried to use two different weapons in order to represent the Behemoth’s versatile armament:

Behemoths WIP (52)
A stock lascannon from the Centurion kit ended up on the left arm — and might have to be decorated with some suitably chaotic bitz. The right arm wields a Plasma cannon (converted from the Dark Vengeance Plasma gunner’s weapon and a couple of bitz).

Behemoths WIP (53)
Since the weapon couldn’t be made to use the same points of attachment as the stock Centurion weapons, I had to improvise slightly. This was also the one instance where I needed to build my own cabling instead of relying on the stock parts that came with the Centurions, and it was more work than it had any right to be. This is also why the cables turn into a horrible, spiky Talos spine somewhere along the way:

Behemoths WIP (54)

All in all, though, I am really rather happy with how these conversions have turned out: At long last, I have a squad of Obliterators that actually fits the overall theme of my army. That said, I really don’t see myself getting another box of these: The kit is great and building these models has been an interesting experience, but the Centurions as a kit are just slightly too complex for wanting to build lots and lots of them.

The next step, obviously, will be to paint up a first test model for the squad. I also really want to see one of these guys painted at last, so let’s hope I’ll be able to give you an update on the progress soon. Until then, you’re always welcome share any feedback or criticism you might have!

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

Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s Betrayer – a review of sorts

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Fluff, Pointless ramblings, Totally worth it, Uncategorized, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2013 by krautscientist

And now, as they say on Monty Python’s Flying Circus, for something completely different…

Today I’d like to talk about Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s novel Betrayer, which I finally managed to read this last weekend. Seeing how I am a really big fan of the World Eaters, you could certainly say that I took my sweet time for getting around to reading the book, right? Well, there’s a reason for that — several reasons in fact. Allow me to elaborate:


For starters, I have to admit that I am not perfectly sure how to feel about the whole Horus Heresy business. And by that I don’t mean the actual (fictional) event, but the business part: It’s easy to see how the HH franchise has turned into a huge business opportunity for GW and its subsidiaries Black Library and Forgeworld: On the modelling and gaming side of the hobby, FW’s release of Horus Heresy themed models and rules has been a dream come true for countless hobbyists. And the accompanying series of tie-in fiction seems to have opened up the 40k (or rather, 30k) universe to a readership beyond the diehard fans, at least if the sales based awards heaped upon the series are to be believed.

Now everyone’s allowed to have their profit, of course, but you may agree with me when I say that the prospects of huge amounts of money to be made are never the best thing to boost narrative integrity: There are countless instances in literature, film and videogames where the monetary success of a franchise served to replace any semblance of telling a great story with what us mere mortals refer to milking the cow (well, I refer to it as that, anyway).  Therefore, I am reasonably sure that I am not going to burst your bubble when I state that a series of tie-in fiction might not be the perfect place to look for literary greatness. But even then, there’s actually decent storytelling and there is money grabbing. I also harbour the subtle fear that there might come a day when every single hour of every single day of the Horus Heresy is firmly documented within its own novel — just like each and every creature in the Mos Eisley cantina now has a rather detailed CV available in the Star Wars Expanded Universe (go ahead, do some research — I dare you!)

And, in all fairness, my first foray into the literary side of the Heresy (the short story collection “Tales of Heresy”) didn’t leave me exactly optimistic, since I found some of the stories to be pretty horrible, some merely tolerable (among them a Dan Abnett story, which was really a disappointment for me) and only two truly good: Graham McNeill’s haunting “The Last Church” and Matthew Farrer’s seminal “After Desh’ea” — the first story to ever make the World Eaters’ Primarch Angron actually read as an interesting character.

So it was with some trepidation that I approached the first real BL book to flesh out my favourite legion: I have gone on record stating that the prospect of new material for “my” legion always fills me with equal amounts of anticipation and dread: While I love to get more input on the World Eaters, the rather hamhanded current background for them leaves me wishing as often as not that GW would just leave them alone. So when I learned that Aaron Dembski-Bowden would be writing the novel, I wasn’t exactly sure how to feel about it: On the one hand, I would have perferred Mathew Farrer, the one guy so far who seemed to have understood the legion’s narrative potential, to get another shot at writing these guys. On the other hand, ADB’s credentials and the quotes he posted on his (higly recommended) blog made me cautiously optimistic. But I was still feeling a little scared — does that make sense? In all fairness, I also didn’t want to read the digital version, since I am a printed on paper kind of guy. Anyway, hence the delay.


Betrayer tells a surprisingly momentous tale (interesting for a series that often seems content to over-embroider minor plot points to the point of ridiculousness) that ends with what may truly be called a bang. Without spoiling the plot for you, let’s just say that the end of the model does have enormous ramifications for the future of the XIIth Astartes Legion. Before that, though, the World Eaters get lots and lots of opportunities of rampaging across Imperial worlds, among them the Ultramarines’ war world of Armatura and Nuceria, the Primarch Angron’s own homeworld.

For a book dealing with a legion that is mostly about frenzy and senseless butchery, the plot is also uncannily character and dialogue driven. It’s all for the best, though, because in my opinion, ADB is just very good at writing Space Marine characters: He manages to combine their supernatural powers and majesty with a believable amount of humanity and of course just the right blend of gravitas and theatrics. The interactions between the different Primarchs are just as good, with the fabled demigods truly feeling like a race apart but remaining relatable nevertheless. The Word Bearers’ primarch Lorgar stands out as a inscrutable character, sincere and utterly manipulative at the same time, impossible as that may seem.

The book’s greatest feat, however, is how it treats Angron. You should think that a guy who is “always angry all the time” and whose name is, for crying out loud, ANGRON would not exactly turn out to be a narrative goldmine, but Matthew Farrer already disproved that notion in “After Desh’ea”. I had hoped that ABD would take the look and feel of that story and run with it, and indeed he did: His Angron is a tragic, damned figure, scarred in body and soul and utterly beyond redemption. So far, nothing new.

But ABD’s characterisation truly excels at making Angron believable and, dare I say it, sympathetic in his background and his pain, while also making it clear that the Primarch is monstrous. It’s a very delicate balance to maintain, but it works: You cannot help feeling sorry for the broken Primarch, but you could also never really like him. He has the best possible reasons to be this way, but he is also irredeemable.

A similar high point, then, is the relationship between the Primarch and his gene-sons: There has been a discussion over at Throne of Skulls whether or not the World Eaters hate their Primarch, and I would argue that the truth of the matter, at least according to Betrayer, is far more ingenious and believable than that: It’s clear that the World Eaters are very aware that the Butcher’s Nails implants that they let themselves be outfitted with in order to feel true kinship with their Primarch have irrevocably damaged the legion: Kharn and several other characters show feelings of resentment and melancholia at the realisation that their legion can never be as inspirational or cultured as most of the other legions due to the bite of the nails. And who would be to blame for that other than Angron, right?

Yet at the same time, it’s obvious that the World Eaters take fierce pride in their brotherhood and martial honour. They have eagerly cobbled together their own warrior culture from the snippets of lore brought back by Angron and those traditions from their legionaries’ myriad homeworlds, and while they clearly acknowledge that it’s not a shining example of human endeavour, it’s the only kind of culture they have, so they cling to it fiercely. And this culture does of course encompasses Angron and his past at Nuceria.

Then there’s the fact that they do, in fact, feel pity for Angron — a notion that would probably send the Primarch flying into a rage, ironically enough. They share his feeling that he never had a chance to begin with, and what little glory was his to claim was taken away during the battle of Desh’ea.

And finally, even though Angron’s condition is perpetually deteriorating, there are moments of brotherhood and kinship between him an his sons: The book describes how he shares in his sons’ rituals and battles, how he drinks and laughs with them like few other Primarchs do, even though there is a gulf of conflicting emotions between them.

So what we have here is this hugely complex (and beautifully written) mix of resentment, love, hatred, disappointment and what have you. I think this is as true to life as fiction dealing with transhuman supersoldiers can possibly be, precisely because it echoes real life: You might feel resentment or embarrassment or even hatred for one of your close relatives, but they will always remain your family, and there’s no escaping that fact.

Below this main storyline, I also loved how ADB managed to partly flesh out the fleet and Titan legions — actually my least favourite parts of the whole background so far: By creating interesting and noble characters (like the Conqueror’s flag-captain Serrin or the Legio Audax personnel) and by injecting both organisations with a healthy dose of WWI air warfare chivalry (with officers complimenting their opponents on shrewd maneuvres and elegant tactics), he succeeds at actually giving the non-Astartes characters a voice of their own, without their parts of the novel ever feeling boring or unnecessary.

And for all those who are understandably sceptical of GW’s focus on Space Marines, feeling they are all just reskins of the same basic design template, it should be interesting to see how the author manages to give a different feel to the Legiones Astartes: From the fierce brotherhood (and battlefield frenzy) of the World Eaters to the priestly nobility (and insane zeal) of the Word Bearers, you get the impression that the Legiones Astartes are very different from each other indeed, if only written well. Even the Ultramarines, serving mainly to be beaten up very badly, get a few moments in the spotlight, and we are afforded glimpses at their warrior culture that make them look more interesting than they have any right to be (their battlefield commanders issuing orders in High Gothic is a great little touch).

In fact, ADB’s writing of characters always seems to be at its best where it deals with duality: Lorgar’s inscrutable motives, Angron’s position between a tragic hero and a monster, the legions’ duality or even the surprising depth of minor characters.

And, beyond all that, the book is of course a goldmine for little bitz and pieces of lore, from the World Eaters’ battle traditions and gladiatorial bouts to their affected bastard language of Nagrakali: These guys may fall to frenzy and bloodlust when on the battlefield, but for what may the first time ever, you can actually imagine them off the battlefield as well — no mean feat!


So, are there any negatives?

For one, this is, after all, only one book in a series. This means that most of the plot will only make sense to you if you do at least have an idea of the overarching narrative: If you’ve never heard about the Word Bearers’ machinations, about what happened on Calth or about the Thousand Sons’ being torn apart by the Space Wolves, you’ll be left scratching your head more than once. And even if you have a relatively good grasp of the bigger events, some references and allusions might still go over your head. That’s not really the author’s fault, though — if anything, I feel dread at the prospect of now having to read other HH novels written by less talented people…

Nevertheless, if you are simply looking for a great SciFi novel to pass the time, this might not be it: Too much stuff will be lost on you, and there are probably enough self-contained storylines of similar quality that are easier to get into. And it goes without saying that the book will prove utterly impenetrable to those without any knowledge of the attached GW universe.
If, however, you have a general idea of the overarching HH storyline – not necessarily from reading other HH novels, but from a mix of reading the different (Chaos) Space Marine codizes over the years and doing a bit of scrounging around for background at places like the Lexicanum or the Warhammer 40k Wiki – you’re good to go: That was my preparation going into this novel, and I belive it was enough.

For every World Eaters player, Betrayer is, of course, a must buy, for the amount of background lore alone. But there’s a great story beyond all that, and the book is truly great as tie-in fiction, and still very good on its own terms: I, for one, will probably pick up more of ABD’s novels (I am told his Night Lords stuff is the shitz) and look forward to his Black Legion series — or maybe some more World Eaters stuff?


But what does it all mean for Khorne’s Eternal Hunt? I’ll be honest with you: I did of course fear that parts (or most) of my own fluff would be ivalidated by this novel. But not only does ABD himself address the fact that several versions of events exist in the background (in a surprisingly clever throwaway scene), but he also succeeds at creating a canvas for your own fluff rather than enforcing his own view of things (as some authors have been known to do…). So while small readjustments to my own background may be in order, I relish the chance to make the 4th assault company even more interesting and colourful. In fact, there might be a separate post in that somewhere 😉


What about you, though: Have you read the book? How do you feel about it? And was this review helpful to you? Please feel free to share whatever thoughts you might have in the comments section!

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

P.S. Oh yeah, before I forget; In case you didn’t gather as much from my rambling above, this book is also totally worth it.

A heretical interlude…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, old stuff, Pointless ramblings, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2013 by krautscientist

After spending so much time on my converted Centurions/counts as Obliterators, I wanted to build something smaller and less involved for a change. So today’s post will deal with a model I completed just for fun and on the side. But why is that even interesting?

Well, you see, for this small gaiden project, I returned to an abandoned army project of mine: When I returned to the hobby in late 2010 after a longer hiatus, my original plan had been to use the (then) brand new Dark Eldar models to build some kick ass additions to the Dark Eldar army I built during the 90s. But then I found out that kitbashing Chaos Space Marines was simply more fun (at least for me). So I returned to the clutches of chaos and endeavoured to build a Word Bearers army, the Piercing Gaze Chapter. I had a fairly complete background in place, and so I began the project in the same way I always begin my projects: By building lots and lots of characters.

In this case, I built several Dark Apostles, because I really loved the idea of daemonic preachers leading a force of superhumans into battle. Among the several models I built during this time was also my model for Dark Apostle Gemnon, built, in fact, on Christmas Eve 2010:

One of the first models I built after my hobby hiatus, Gemnon was created by combining some leftover bitz from my first Khorne Berzerkers with some old WFB chaos parts and stuff from the brand new box of Chaos Space Marines cousin Andy had just given me as a christmas present back then. I didn’t even have a suitable head in my bitzbox to represent a Dark Apostle, so I went with a Tzeentchian head, which doesn’t really send the right message, visually. Still, I rather liked the model.

My Word Bearers army, however, didn’t quite get off the ground: Looking back now I can see that this was both due to a lack of suitable bitz (never start a Word Bearers project without lots and lots of books and purity seals) and a lack of vision: I thought the Word Bearers were cool, but I didn’t have an overarching theme in mind for the army, which proved to be my undoing in the end. So, long story short, I ended up playing around with my old World Eaters model which instantly reawakened my love for the followers of the Blood God. And what had originally been planned as a mere sub-faction in my Word Bearers project quickly took over, becoming my main army and the entity you might know as Khorne’s Eternal Hunt. And so on, and so forth — you know the rest…

Dark Apostle Gemnon and his buddies kept mouldering away in my cupboard of shame, and at some point there was even a small accident that broke the model apart at the hip. So he ended up spending his days in a miserable little pile of bitz on my desk.

But even while I am certainly not about to start a Word Bearers army, whenever my gaze returned to that pile of bitz, I felt that I owed this little guy another chance. So when I was looking for a small project to serve as a distraction between building all those lumbering Behemoths, I felt that Gemnon would have his day in the limelight. So I gathered a handful of bitz and got to work.

The Tzeentchian head needed to go, obviously, and I also wanted to reflect the fact that some pretty cool bitz have been released since I built the original model, so I needed to update the model a bit. And finally, I decided that, instead of yet another Dark Apostle, I would rebuild Gemnon as a Coryphaeus, a military commander of the Word Bearers Legion that serves as the Dark Apostle’s right hand man.

So after a bit of work, Gemnon was reborn as Coryphaeus of the Piercing Gaze Chapter:

Coryphaeus Gemnon (1)
Coryphaeus Gemnon (3)
It only took some additional bitz, really: The bare head from the WFB Warriors of Chaos is one of my favourite sculpts anyway, and it’s certainly perfect for a Word Bearer, bellowing dark catechisms at the top of his voice during battle. I also thought the power sword from the new Raptor kit made a pretty awesome weapon for a war captain, and while I was at it, I also replaced the original left hand and weapon for a plasma pistol from the same kit.

The (Night Goblin) emblem on the chest represents the symbol of the Piercing Gaze chapter, by the way, and would have been a recurring visual motif in my Word Bearers force.

Oh, and the ridiculously over the top backpack is a very conscious callback to the brilliant Wayne England artwork of yore: He would always portray his Chaos Space Marines with extremely ornate backpacks, so I wanted to approximate that look:

Coryphaeus Gemnon (4)
All in all, building this model was a fun little project, and it also put my guilty feelings regarding this character to rest. And who knows, maybe the Piercing Gaze Chapter under his Dark Apostle Belzas Azalon will yet make a triumphant return? It’s definitely not a priority at the moment, though.

Anyway, thanks for listening to my rambling! And let me know what you think in the comments section!

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

Coryphaeus Gemnon (2)

Another day, another Behemoth

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2013 by krautscientist

I am still working on my Centurion-based Obliterators — in all fairness, I did warn you beforehand that this would likely turn out to be a rather extensive project 😉

The good news is that, after having figured out a basic recipe for turning the stock Centurions into suitable Obliterators, the second model went together quite a bit faster than the first: I already roughly knew beforehand which elements I was going to use to make the model look more chaotic, so assembling the legs and torso was reasonably easy work this time:

Behemoths WIP (33)
As you can see, I kept several of the elements that had worked on the test model, using the tried and tested bunny ears as well as the additional horn on the forehead. I also used some more armour plates cut from Ogre fists for a more archaic look, although I positioned them slightly differently this time around. The bandolier of skulls was replaced with a beastman trophy skull, and instead of a chain tabard I used a loincloth (again from the Chaos Lord in Terminator armour, though). Since this mode had a more dynamic pose, I tried to match the loincloth to the forwards movement of the legs.

I also stole Biohazard’s very cool idea for chest mounted flamers, even though it’s not all that easy to make out in the photograph above.

Here’s a photo of the model’s early build together with my first Behemoth:

Behemoths WIP (34)
Once again, the next step was to add the arms and weapons. My original plan was to arm the model with a Lascannon on the left and a heavy flamer on the right arm. A suitable lascannon came with the Centurion parts, so I was at liberty to spend more time kitbashing a custom heavy flamer from a siege drill housing and a Terminator heavy flamer:

Behemoths WIP (36)
This also made me realise that the siege drill housings can basically be turned into any weapon you desire by just adding some new barrels and some additional bits. At the very least, my flamer above (complete with added meltagun on top) turned out reasonably convincing, don’t you think?

Unfortunately, though, when added to the actual model, it ended up looking far too cumbersome, even for the impressive frame of a Centurion/Behemoth. We live and learn…

So a change of plans was in order: The Lascannon originally intended for the left arm was moved to the right instead, and the left arm received a converted assault cannon (built by combining a Centurion heavy bolter anda gun barrel from a Heldrake’s weapon, no less).

Here’s the model with both arms:

Behemoths WIP (42)
As a matter of fact, I am tempted to call the changed weapons a lucky coincidence, since the assault cannon really works rather well with the pose of the left arm. As you can see, I also added some more bitz (and the beastman skull received another horn; the mono-horn look was far too Slaaneshi for my taste). So while the model may still be a little rough around the edges, I am prepared to call the basic setup a success.

I also experimented with yet another Ogre fist from the Mournfang Cavalry kit:

Behemoths WIP (43)
I really like the result so far!

While I was at it, I also took another photo of the first test model:

Behemoths WIP (41)
With two of the conversions now mostly finished, I think these will make for rather convincing Obliterators: At the very least, they’ll be a much better match for the rest of my army than the fleshy, bloated stock models! And they do look pretty badass together!

Behemoths WIP (40)
Putting quite a bit of time into working with the Centurion kit has also had the nice side effect of discovering the great conversions done by other people! Though the Centurions don’t seem to be all that popular at the moment, people like Dave Taylor, migsula, Biohazard or candleshoes are really putting the kit through its moves! I did a more detailed writeup about the cool conversions I have discovered so far over on Dark Future Gaming, and you are very welcome to check it out, in case you are interested!

And of course, I am always interested in hearing your opinion, so let me know what you think of this newest WIP model!

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