Archive for November, 2013

A fluffy interlude…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Fluff, Pointless ramblings, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2013 by krautscientist

PSA
Nothing new to look at this week, since my weekend was spent meeting old friends and visiting my godchild (six months old now). Both activities were really awesome, but neither had anything to do with tabletop wargaming, obviously, so I didn’t get any new content out of the experience 😉

The good news is that you can probably look forward to a more substantial update next week! And just so you don’t feel completely neglected, let me share a piece of fluff I wrote to add some additional texture to my World Eaters army, Khorne’s Eternal Hunt. Enjoy:

World Eaters Symbol colour

Rites of Passage

The cavernous chamber rang with the sound of a thousand hammers striking an anvil. Flames blazed in the furnace at the end of the hall, casting their haphazard light across the countless trophies and weapons arrayed on the monumental walls, creating an ever changing play of jagged shadows.
One by one, the hammers fell silent and the assembled hunters waited.

With the sound of grinding metal, Khoron the Undying, Keeper of Trophies, strode from the shadows to where a bier had been placed. On it lay the dead body of Huntmaster Ferax, his armour torn and broken in a hundred places, his pale flesh still smeared with both his blood and that of his enemies. Ferax had finally collapsed amidst a circle of corpses, with all of his assailants dead around him, before he had allowed himself to die. Now he was cold and dead, his scarred features strangely peaceful.

The ancient Dreadnought addressed the assembled members of the company, his voice impossibly deep and metallic, the flames casting their flickering light on his brazen skull mask:

“We have assembled here to perform the rites of passage for this servant of Khorne. He took the lives of his enemies, and now his life has been taken in turn. He died a warrior in this long war, and I call him worthy of the eternal battles that await him in our lord’s realm. Let he who would say otherwise speak now or forever hold his peace.”

Nothing but silence greeted Khoron’s challenge: Ferax had been a champion of the company, and nobody would have dared to doubt his prowess.

After a moment of silence, Khoron turned away from the hunters “It is time”, he rasped.

From the shadows emerged Huntmaster Torus, the Taker of Skulls. His face was gaunt and entirely without expression, his eyes hooded in deep shadow. With the soft scraping of armour, Torus hefted his enormous axe, and with one swing, ritually severed the corpse`s head. Then the bier holding the now headless body slowly glided towards the furnace.

“This hunter’s passage is paid for”, Khoron intoned, “Lord of battles, take his skull as you have taken the ones that he has offered you before. Lord of hunger, feast him at your table. Lord of thirst, give him drink, that he may endure in your realm. Great Khorne, welcome your servant and know his worth.”

“He broke his chains and knew freedom”, Khoron boomed.

“He died a free man”, came the answer of the hunters.

“His hunt is now over.”

“But he still has his honour.”

As the final words were spoken, the body had been completely engulfed in the flames of the furnace. The flames played in the eyes of the assembled Astartes, and all was silent once more.

 

***

“Step forward and be counted.”

Lord Lorimar’s abyssal growl matched that of the ancient dreadnought. Five hunters moved into the light, each of them stripped to the waist, their triumph ropes plain for all to see amidst their corded muscle and scarred flesh. They were Ferax’s lieutenants, each of them now a contender for the position of Huntmaster. In the dim firelight, their faces were masklike and unreadable.

“Ferax’s hunting party is in need of a new leader. As was taught to us by our primarch and lord father, his successor will be chosen by a trial of blood and fire. I shall name he who is the last to stand on the Hot Dust Huntmaster, as it has always been.”

“And evermore shall be so” , came the murmured reply of the assembled hunters.

Lorimar nodded solemnly.

“Let the games begin.”

 

 

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

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Loving the alien

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2013 by krautscientist

Those of you who have been following this blog for a while may already have asked themselves: What about all that INQ28 jazz? Any news? And indeed, it was with a bit of a shock that I realised how long it has been since I last showed you some servants of the Ordos.

Well, fear not, because I’ve recently begun to get some more work in on my various INQ28 retinues. Some of the following models may already be known to those who also frequent my forum threads, but that’s really all the more reason to post them here as well. Plus I could really use the relaxing effects of painting an INQ28 character or two at the moment, so there may be a couple of updates soon (I hope!).

Anyway, today I would mainly like to focus on the retinue of Inquisitor Titus Alvar, a member of the Ordo Xenos.

Inquisitor Titus Alvar (1)
Alvar himself is a rather dapper fellow, and also an Imperial noble, so I thought he would merit a rather colourful collection of retainers. I picture Alvar as a bit of an adventurer, always taking expeditions to uncharted regions of Space in search of some Xenos artifact or other, so his warband should incorporate some muscle as well as some brains, with a dash of the exotic for flavour. Let’s take a look:

The first member of Alvar’s retinue is this veteran of the Imperial Guard I built quite a while ago:

Guard Veteran WIP (1)
I like the big gun and the “tough as nails” look and imagine this is the kind of guy Alvar makes use of when negotiations turn sour and diplomacy is no longer an option.

The second member of his retinue was also completed a while ago:

INQ28_Kroot (1)
Kroot Pathfinder T’l’kess lost his entire kindred in an atrocity committed by a Tau officer (it’s a long story). He realised that his last chance to keep his bloodline alive might be to travel the stars in order to find members of the brood who left the planet prior to the genocide. During his travels, he met Inquisitor Alvar whom he now serves as a scout and pathfinder.

I imagine this character as a very dignified and honourable individual, a bit of a “noble savage”, if you will. It is also very much in character for a socialite like Alvar to have an “exotic” retainer like this in his warband, even though it might make the more puritan members of the Ordo Xenos foam at the mouth…

It also stands to reason that an Inquisitor exploring Xenos ruins would have need of a specialist in the field of archaeology. And indeed, while painting the model for Inquisitor Alvar, inspiration struck and made me want to convert one of the most underappreciated WFB plastic characters, the Empire Master Engineer — at least, it’s the only model that’s ALWAYS available at the FLGS and never sells out. And to be honest, it used to be the one model I couldn’t see myself using for anything. But it just seemed perfect for this:

The Professor WIP (9)

The Professor WIP (10)
The Professor WIP (11)
Professor Abelard Marbray, of the Bastold Imperial Akademy, formerly one of the sector’s pre-eminent specialists on Xeno-archaelogy. That was before his scientific theories on the warp affinities of certain Xenos were shot down by Inquisitor Alvar at a social function, which rendered him the laughingstock of his colleagues. Alvar visited him afterwards, revealing that all of this had been a conscious move to discredit the Professor, since his theories had been too close to the truth for the Ordo Xenos’ comfort. The Professor was outraged at this, yet when Alvar offered him to join him – not to attain academic merits, but to learn the actual scientific truth – he eventually accepted.

As you can see, the model is a fairly straightforward conversion, with a couple of techy bitz and doodads added. Oh, and of course I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have the the professor holding and contemplating a Necron skull:

The Professor WIP (8)
After posting my model for Professor Marbray on the forums, fellow forumite (and actual archaeologist) Llamehead rightly pointed out that the model didn’t really carry all that much gear for excavations, considering his profession. So my options were to either clutter the model with yet more bitz, or construct an assistant for him to do the heavy lifting (or rather, digging). And even though I wanted to resist the urge to build yet another retainer for one of my Inquisitor’s retainers, I couldn’t help it. So I dived into my bitzbox and made an early mockup of a xeno-archaeologist in training:

Marbray's lil' helper WIP (4)
Marbray's lil' helper WIP (2)
Marbray's lil' helper WIP (5)
In my imagination, this guy is a devout student of Professor Marbray and is thrilled by the chance to do the dirty work for his idol. I wanted him to look like he was checking something on a map in his left hand, while his right is holding a trusty old Laspistol. Oh, and I also added a guard backpack to him, as you can see, so he at least has a shovel 😉

The rather frightened looking head from the Celestial Hurricanum kit seemed to be a perfect fit for him, plus it also creates a visual connection with Inquisitor Alvar, which I like. The model still needs some additional detail work, of course, but I think it already works reasonably well.

To round out Alvar’s scientific staff, I recently good a really good deal on the FW Tech Serrvitor for Inquisitor Solomon Lok who should make a pretty great Magos Xenobiologis with a bit of work…

A dandy like Alvar should also have some female members in his warband, of course. Finding suitable models across GW’s catalogue can be quite a bit of a challenge, however, so I had to improvise:

First up, I picked up Reaper’s Sasha Dubois model:

Tin for the tin god (1)
I normally stick to GW models, by and large, but in this case, I made an exception: I have loved this particular sculpt for a long time, plus I think she makes an excellent addition for an INQ28 warband. Granted, she may look slightly “stripperiffic” with that bared midriff, but it should be easy enough to paint that area as covered by a bodyglove. Here’s a link to a very nice, painted version of the model.

My plan for now is to call her Millerna Acheron and use her as an Interrogator for Inquisitor Alvar: It suits his character to have an attractive woman around as his assistant. At the same time, he’s shrewd enough to consciously give the impression that he just chose her as a pretty face to accompany him.

I also bought a box of Necromunda Esher gangers before GW sold out all their Specialist System models, and one of them will probably be added to Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue as some hired muscle:

Tin for the tin god (3)
Shiv Korlund is probably an ex-hive ganger and gunslinger and could be Alvar’s operative for whenever he has dealings in the underhive of a particular world. I also imagine she might have a rather interesting “kiss kiss slap” relationship with the guard veteran…

So those are the members of Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue so far: I think it’s a rather interesting cast of characters, and it will be fun to further flesh them out. It’s also remarkable how things just started falling into place once I had begun to work on the warband! Of course I’d like to hear any suggestions you might have!

Those were not the only INQ28 models I have been working on, though: Some of you might remember the WIP Sun Cultist I posted a while ago:

Sun cultist WIP (1)
The model is based on a Dark Eldar Wych and a couple of different bitz. Getting this character to work turned out to be quite a task! However, I have recently managed to complete the basic build of the model:

Sun Cultist (18)
Sun Cultist (19)
I now see her more as a bodyguard than a cultist, to be honest: I believe her ostentatious quasi-renaissance outfit makes her look like the trained personal guard of a powerful spirelord, with her movements like those of a dancer: elegant but deadly. The model will yet need some more work, and I’ll need to find a warband for her as well, but I am now feeling really happy with the overall look of the model for the first time.

The last model I want to show you today is still very rough around the edges. It is also merely a fun little project, inspired by a brilliant little conversion I discovered on one of the German forums. I give you the TAU SAMURAI:

Tau samurai early WIP (2)
Tau samurai early WIP (1)
Granted, I am certainly not the first person to notice the distinctly japanese look about the new Tau models. Still, building a mockup for a Tau samurai has been a lot of fun so far, even if the model will need quite a bit more work — and I’ll admit it’s a slightly goofy idea, of course…

 

All in all, building some new INQ28 models – or combining existing models into a warband – is always a breath of fresh air. I hope I’ll be able to get some of these characters painted some time in the next weeks — let’s keep our fingers crossed! Oh, and let me know whatever feedback you might have, of course!

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

Mark of the Daemon pt. 2 — plus some odds and ends

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2013 by krautscientist

Another week, and here I am, still happily pottering away in the small amount of hobby time I have. Let’s take a look:

First up, my kitbashed Daemon Prince. While reactions over here were pretty sparse, unfortunately, the forums provided more feedback this time around: I was happy to find out that the model was far better recieved than I had anticipated, plus I did get some extremely useful criticism out of the deal as well! So I ended up spending some more time on this guy, trying to take the various suggestions on board and further improve the model.

DexterKong, among others, remarked that he felt the original, more crouched pose was a better fit for the bestial, animalistic feel of the model. Dexter said that,

(…)in my mind I keep seeing this guy bounding forward on all fours.  In most of my visions of him, his front “paws” are on the ground, and his rear legs are kicked back in the air as he savagely runs at a target, like a wolf or a wild boar.  On the off-chance the limbs are not all attached, I would experiment with lowering his chest and head toward the ground, and go for more a quadrupedal pose.

Now while the original pose didn’t work for me (because it made the prince look like he was trying to hold on to the base for dear life), I certainly wanted to channel the look Dexter was talking about. So I slightly changed the pose of the left arm and made sure the model was posed closer to the ground. Here’s the result:

Daemon Prince WIP (18)
I am pretty happy with the pose and think that this is really the best of both worlds: The left arm is still held away from the body in a more open pose, but now it somehow looks less like the Daemon Prince is giving one of his underlings a paternal pat on the back and more like he’s mid-swing while tearing something apart.

Some people on the German forums pointed out that the model’s back seemed to feel a little empty, making it look too much like the monstrous mount it originated as. So I used a leftover Crypt Horror back piece to add some suitably gross vertebrae to the Daemon Prince’s back:

Daemon Prince WIP (17)
Since this picture was taken, some GS and Liquid GS have been used to blend in the new additions with the surrounding area, and the effect is pretty convincing. The picture also clearly shows the lumps of modelling putty used to fix the model in its more crouched pose — this will obviously have to be achieved by the design of the base on the finished model…

Daemon Prince WIP (16)
Speaking of which, the piece of wall on the base is really just a placeholder for now! Myfavourite approach would be to have the DP clutching the fallen window piece from the Honoured Imperium kit in its claw, although I’m not sure whether I should purchase that kit just for the one element. It’s a fantastic kit, though, so I am at least a little tempted…

All in all, I am hugely thankful for the constructive criticism I have received regarding this model,  because I think it has really managed to improve the Daemon Prince:

Daemon Prince WIP (15)
But the Daemon Prince is not the only model on my desk: Having to wait for the various coats of (Liquid) GS to dry left me with some time to kill, which I used to revisit and touch up some older models.

The first of these I tackled were some additional, kitbashed Raptors (called “Harriers” in my army). You might remember the first bunch of those I built and painted, back before the new plastic Raptor kit had even been released. Well, my Raptors were still missing some Meltagunners, so I whipped some up. I also built another champion for good measure, while I was at it 😉

Refurbished Harriers WIP (1)
All three models are based on some leftover Khorne Berzerker bodies I picked up as part of an ebay auction a while ago. Most of these were in a pretty rough condition, but I swore to myself that I would find a way to use them. So with an influx of fresh bitz, I believe I may have managed to rescue them from the rubbish heap. Let’s take a closer look:

Refurbished Harriers WIP (2)
The first model is a fairly simple kitbash, just adding some new arms, a new head and weapon as well as a dash of chainmail to the existing berzerker body. I imagine all of these will look far less rough around the edges, once they are completely undercoated. I also added a MaxMini jump pack, since my other Raptor models so far are using the same bit.

The champion originally started out as an additional icon bearer, but I was just never all that happy with the icon, so I remade him as a champion (because you can never have enough champions, right?):

Refurbished Harriers WIP (3)
A Warp Talon claw nicely complemented his pose, so I used it instead of his original arm. The helmet is also a slightly more involved kitbash — a cookie goes to you if you manage to spot where the original helmet came from…

And finally, the third Raptor with another Meltagun:

Refurbished Harriers WIP (6)
For this guy, I was feeling a little more adventurous, so I borrowed an idea I had seen on somebody else’s thread (GuitaRasmus’s, I believe) to build a more interesting looking weapon for him.

Once I manage to get those painted – whenever that will be – I will have quite a few Raptors at my disposal. And I really like those guys, because they seem so right for a World Eaters army. Also, there is a special kind of joy in revisiting existing models after a while to give them a little extra flair and further improve them.

As a matter of fact, you might remember my post about going back to older models to spice them up, going the extra mile, as it were. Biohazard’s World Eaters bikers were what originally inspired me to write that post (and work on my squad of bikers back then), and now Brother Heinrich’s fantastic Night Lords bikers made me pick up the same squad yet again in order to add even more detail 😉

Hounds squad WIP
Nothing big, though: I just added a couple of trophies and small weapons here and there, to make it look like these guys were used to living in the saddle. I also spent some time cleaning up the conversion work, drilling out all the barrels and exhaust pipes, etc. I only have the – slightly fuzzy – group picture right now, but I hope I’ll get around to showing you some better pictures (and maybe even more bikes) at some point in the future.
So yeah, as you can probably see, today’s post is not so much about breaking new developments as it is about incrementally doing small things that make your army better and better. Not as flashy as some huge centrepiece model, I’ll admit, but both approaches are important for an army, and both can be fun!

I am always interested in your feedback, so let me hear what you think in the comments section!

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

Mark of the Daemon

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

With very little time on my hands at the moment, I unfortunately lack the patience (and motivation) to crack out the paints and finally finish some of the stuff I have built, while my painting backlog is getting bigger and bigger. That is the bad news.

The good news is that, even while being completely swamped in work at the moment, my urge to create something hobby related remains as strong as ever, so what little hobby time I have at the moment is almost entirely given to converting and kitbashing, those most delicious of hobby activities — at least in my opinion 😉

But what do I have to show for it? Well, today I would like to talk abouta pretty long running project of mine that started out as merely wanting to do something productive with some leftover bitz and then quickly spiralled out of control, as will occasionally happen with my hobby endeavours. So what is this about?

Everything started over a year ago, when cousin Andy gave me a WFB Chaos Lord on Manticore for my birthday. Now it shouldn’t surprise anybody that I quickly found a use for the fantastic Chaos Lord bitz that came with the kit: Some were used to create a wretched Chaos Sorcerer (to be used as a traitorous Primaris Psyker for my Traitor Guard), some others went into the creation of a Khorne Lord on Juggernaut that I have yet to show you.

But when all was said and done, there was still a whole Manticore left, and I didn’t really have any good ideas for that guy: He was simply too fantasy to be seamlessly absorbed into one of my 40k projects. The one idea that seemed to have some merit, then, was to try and use him for building something daemonic.

You see, my Khornate army is fairly short on daemons. And there’s a reason for that, of course: The image I have of my army doesn’t gel all that well with the stock daemon models: The warriors of the 4th assault company are doing their damnedest to keep functioning as a coherent fighting force, so it’s hard to picture hordes of daemons prancing around among them. If I were to use any daemons, they would have to fit the look and feel of my World Eaters, and the most obvious way of achieving that would be to make them fit the underlying metaphor of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt. So instead of regular Bloodletters, I might use packs of (slightly) daemonic hounds, hunting ahead of the legionaries. And instead of a standard Greater Daemon or Daemon Prince, I might use a huge daemonic beast an Avatar of the Hunt, if you will — hence my original idea to use the Manticore in that capacity.

However, my plan to build a four-legged monstrosity – not unlike a titanic Flesh Hound of Khorne – didn’t quite get off the ground: I would simply have needed too much sculpting to make that work, something far beyond my abilities (and my patience). So back into the box the Manticore went.

But then I came into the possession of some leftover Maulerfiend bitz, and my creativity was rekindled: What about using those to turn the Manticore into a hulking, biomechanic monster?

Here’s my first attempt at building such a beast:

Daemon Prince, early WIP (1)
As you can see, the combination of the Manticore body and the legs and arms from a Maulerfiend led to a hulking, almost apelike silhouette. While the model seemed malproportioned and brutish, I rather liked the look, though. It also got me thinking what this model would actually represent in my army, beyond simply being a way of using some leftover bitz.

The idea I came up with was that this monster would be used whenever a champion gets transformed into a Daemon Prince by a roll on the Chaos Boon Table. Now you might say that a) that seems to be a pretty specific and limited use for a model of this size and b) this monster doesn’t really fit the established look of a DP, right? Hear me out on this:

You see, A Daemon Prince doesn’t really fit the background of my army for several reasons: Lord Captain Lorimar is the supreme commander of the 4th, for one, so there wouldn’t possibly be any DP with more authority than him, least of all serving under him. What’s more, I feel the ascension to daemonhood wouldn’t necessarily be seen as a boon by the warriors of the 4th: The legionaries have done their best so far to keep mutation and madness at bay, rather electing to remain “human”, for lack of a better word. For them, being elevated to daemonhood would not be an ultimate price to be craved, but rather a horror not so far removed from the curse of spawndom. And with its hulking body, the WIP model seemed to reflect that: Where a “normal” Daemon Prince is a sinister, darkly angelic figure, and an embodiment of chaotic power and boundless ambition, I wanted my DP to look like this huge, malproportioned monster that is part ape, part hound and part Astartes. I imagine that, upon ascending, all the rage and fever for the hunt that a member of the 4th assault company has been bottling up for so long will overflow and turn him into a huge hunting beast, mindless and terrible.

So the next step in the conversion was bascially to make this guy look like he could actually have evolved out of an Astartes. And, of course, to add all kinds of bitz to make him look suitably imposing and monstrous:

Daemon Prince WIP (1)
Daemon Prince WIP (2)

Daemon Prince WIP (3)

Daemon Prince WIP (5)

Daemon Prince WIP (6)
As you can see in the pictures above, I added the warped remains of a CSM backpack and the shoulder pads from the regular Daemon Prince kit to hint at this guy’s Astartes origins. And the tail from the Manticore kit made the DP’s silhouette more interesting and ambiguous: The pose and proportions may seem pretty much like those of a gorilla, but the head and tail point more toward a hound or entirely daemonic creature.

I also started to use some GS to blend together the seemingly disparate parts:

Daemon Prince WIP (7)

Daemon Prince WIP (8)
You might have noticed that the model was still lacking some feet at this point. That was to become quite an issue, as fellow hobbyist Ben kindly sent me two sets of Maulerfiend hooves for this conversion, only for them to both be lost by those geniuses at the German postal service. Nuts!

Daemon Prince WIP (9)

Understandably enough, Ben didn’t have a third set of those hooves to spare, and with that setback, the conversion ground to a hold for a couple of months until another fellow German, Sagal, was kind enough to let me have some hooves from the WFB giant. That finally gave me the motivation I needed to work on the model some more. Here’s the model as it looks right now:

Daemon Prince WIP (10)

Daemon Prince WIP (11)
As you can see, I also changed the pose of the left arm to achieve a slightly different look: With both arms held in front of its body, too much of the model seemed to be obscured. The new hooves also gave the Deamon Prince a more upright pose than I had originally planned, and that particular element might need some more work.

At the same time, more GS and Liquid GS were used to make the transitions between the different parts of the body more organic and plausible. And I also emulated Dave Taylor’s really clever idea of adding metallic sockets to the creature’s body, using GS. I did this in order to represent the ports that used to connect the former Astartes’s black carapace to his power armour (For all those interested, Dave succinctly explains how to create this effect here).

Daemon Prince WIP (12)

Daemon Prince WIP (13)
The finished model will probably be gripping some crushed masonry (or maybe an equally crushed loyalist Astartes) in its right fist. And it goes without saying that I will have to design a suitably impressive base as well. Maybe I’ll use the base to make the model lean forwards a bit more, making it look like it was preparing to barrel forward on all fours, as suggested by DexterKong — as a matter of fact, the longer I keep working on this guy, the more questions arise. But even though some parts of the model still need to be sorted out, I rather like the overall effect. It is an eclectic creature, to be sure, but eclectic and malproportioned was what I was going for in the first place 😉

While this project seems to come a bit out of the left field, I have really been working on this guy on and off for about a year now, and it seems like he’s finally nearing completion. Much has happened in the meantime, and TJ Atwell’s fantastic “Bull God” , using a slightly similar premise, almost made me ashamed to show you this silly little conversion of mine. But then, I think that, with a bit more work, this could really become yet another model to define the specific look and feel of my army, and I like that a lot!

And in gaming terms, I imagine the model could even be used as a reasonably convincing GD or Maulerfiend: Maybe that spiky tail could even count as lasher tendrils…?

 

Anyway, I realise that this model might be a bit of an acquired taste. But working on it has taught me a lot, and actually using these bitz for something is certainly preferable to keeping them in my cupboard of shame forever, right?

That said, I’d be happy to hear any thoughts and ideas you might have! Let me know what you think in the comments section!

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

Daemon Prince WIP (14)