Mark of the Daemon

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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, andย 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)


6 Responses to “Mark of the Daemon”

  1. Awesome idea, and a tricky kitbash by the looks of it! I turned my manticore into a Bloodthirster by adding Minotaur hands, so needless to say I’m thoroughly impressed with yours!

    My only critique would be that I much prefer the gorilla-like pose you went with initially, the new pose looks slightly awkward and (without a hint of irony) unnatural.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Cheers, Steven! You may be right about the pose, and while I certainly won’t return to the original pose – the placement of the arms was way too awkward for my taste – look forward to an update really soon… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. This is absolutely brilliant! You have captured the animal side of this daemon so well, which is perfect for khorne, for what else are Angron’s sons? The Warhounds represented martial discipline above reproach, but when the Emperor took Angron’s honorable death, he took his soul, he broke him. Angron, whether he liked it or not, broke his legion and when the last vestiges of nobility and honor are gone, you are left with an animal … Which is the tragedy, whoever this creature was, he is lost now. Only hunger remains. Great work brother. This is one of my favorites!

  3. […] the thoughts that went into the model as well as the actual building process have been documented here and here, but just to give a short recap, the model basically started when I found myself in the […]

  4. Whenever I see you write “Nuts” it makes me think of the American commander who said Nuts when offered to surrender by a German commander at the battle of the bulge in WWII

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