More gladiators entering the arena…

I have been making some serious progress on my squad of gladiatorial World Eaters which means more World Eaters for you to look at. This squad comes together really fast, both because these guys are a lot of fun to convert and paint and there’s an ongoing stream of really helpful feedback from fellow hobbyists. So let’s take a look at the latest additions to the squad, shall we?

First of all, I revisited one of the gladiators I showed you in my last post: Leave it to fellow World Eaters players to sort out your conversion problems for you: Biohazard suggested some simple changes to my Carnifex gladiator that instantly made the pose 100% better and improved the model quite a bit:

Before:

World Eaters Gladiators (22)
After:

World Eaters Gladiators (33)
World Eaters Gladiators (32)
World Eaters Gladiators (34)
Just by tweaking it ever so slightly, I managed to make the model’s pose look quite a bit more plausible, don’t you think? Thanks for the amazing tip, buddy!

I also finally painted the Retiarius. Here’s the finished model:

World Eaters Gladiators (59)
World Eaters Gladiators (57)
World Eaters Gladiators (60)
Seeing the photos up close now, there may be one or two areas that could do with a slight touch up, but I am generally happy with the model: There’s a very nice sense of movement, which, I think, really fits this particular gladiator’s fighting style.

Here he is together with his “opposite”, the Secutor:

World Eaters Gladiators (68)
The next thing I did was to build another gladiator from the ground up: One of the classic gladiator types I found pretty interesting was the Bestiarius, used to fight against wild beasts. Now for my own gladiator squad, I wanted to adapt this concept as some kind of beastmaster, taming all kinds of feral creatures and siccing them on his opponents. As a matter of fact, this gladiator also provided an excellent chance to revisit an older idea of mine:

Quite a while ago, I built a modular base for two chaos hounds and a beast handler. The base itself was a fairly simple affair:

Hounds (4)
Now the idea was that the models could be slotted into the larger base to form kind of a mini-diorama, while also staying useable as single models. I did finish the base and hounds, but the beast handler didn’t happen, for one reason or another:

Hounds (2)
So what better way to finally make use of these already completed assets than to incorporate them into my plans for the Bestiarius, right? So I threw together a quick WIP model of the gladiator:

World Eaters Gladiators (36)
My original idea was for him to hold the two hounds by chain leashes, so I used a suitable gauntlet and planned on converting it to be holding two chains:

World Eaters Gladiators (37)
But in addition to being a rather fiddly conversion to get right, I realised that this would mean that the gladiator himself would only ever look good when slotted into the larger base. On his own, he would be holding two chains strangely suspended in thin air, ending in nothing. That didn’t work!

Fortunately, my bitzbox didn’t leave me stranded, and some fellow hobbyists provided a couple of awesome suggestions via the forums. In the end, I decided to replace the leashes with a whip: This element would communicate the beastmaster concept just as well, plus it would make the model more flexible. And so, little by little, the Bestiarius took shape. Here’s the finished model before painting:

World Eaters Gladiators (39)
World Eaters Gladiators (38)
World Eaters Gladiators (40)
As you can see, I added a couple of additional bitz to make the model a bit more interesting. Most of these parts were also chosen in order to make the model look slightly feral, in keeping with its profession, so to speak.

Here’s the Bestiarius, preliminarily slotted into the bigger base:

World Eaters Gladiators (41)
The fact that the bigger base and hounds were already finished provided just the right motivation to get the gladiator painted as soon as possible. So a short while later, the Bestiarius was mostly finished as well:

World Eaters Gladiators (43)
World Eaters Gladiators (44)
World Eaters Gladiators (45)
World Eaters Gladiators (46)
Again, I might go back and add some last highlights, but I think you already get a pretty good impression from these pictures. Here he is, complete with his hounds:

World Eaters Gladiators (51)
World Eaters Gladiators (49)
World Eaters Gladiators (50)
I am pretty happy with both the new model and the ensemble. And choosing the whip instead of the chains means the gladiator is far more flexible (and could be used for different beasts as well…).

I do of course realise that he doesn’t have any rules per se, but this was mainly a fun project, and I am quite pleased with the result!

World Eaters Gladiators (47)
Here are the two newly painted  models together:

World Eaters Gladiators (63)
I actually managed to paint both of these in one day, with is almost spectacularly productive when compared to my usual standard… 😉

And finally, since coming up with new gladiators was such a blast, I went and built another one: This time, I wanted to adapt the concept of the Cestus for my squad, a gladiator fighting with his fists (pretty much a precursor to modern boxers).

Getting this right once again took some doing, because while the whole gladiator squad may not be all that plausible to begin with, a warrior merely using his fists as a weapon on the battlefields of the 41st millennium just seems completely out there. My initial idea was to produce something like this…

Icastfist
…but that just looked far too stupid. Fortunately enough, some of the clawed gauntlets from the Raptor/Warp Talon kit had just the gladiatorial look I was going for:

World Eaters Gladiators (54)
World Eaters Gladiators (53)
It’s still not exactly a prudent weapons choice, but it works better than just the twin power fists, don’t you think? And who doesn’t love a little Wolverine every now and then (Snikt, anyone?)? The one thing I am not perfectly sure about, however, is whether to use the head as is or add a crest to it:

World Eaters Gladiators (56)
There’s arguments for both options, really: The bare helmet looks brutal and no-nonsense like, which is a nice fit for the character. The helmet with crest seems more arrogant and flamboyant, which seems rather fitting for a warrior thinking he can cut it on the field of battle using nothing but some clawed gauntlets.

I think I’ll just have to think about it for a while. It’s only a minor detail, to be sure, but it’s a pretty tough aesthetic decision — I know, I know: first world problems, and all that…

In any case, as you can see, the gladiator squad is coming along rather nicely. As of today, there are seven painted models in the squad. Here they are, assembled for a family portrait:

World Eaters Gladiators (66)
That leaves me with the Carnifex and Cestus to paint. And after that? I’m not sure, actually: My original plan was to stop at eight, but these guys are serious fun to come up with, so don’t be surprised if I decide to add yet another model or two…

For now, though, I am pretty happy with how the squad is coming along. And all mostly thanks some really kick ass suggestions by fellow hobbyists. Thanks a lot, people!

It goes without saying that I’d be interested to hear any comments you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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12 Responses to “More gladiators entering the arena…”

  1. I prefer him with crest…

  2. Both head options look awesome, so it depends what story you want for him. Since you already have a lot of brutal no nonsense guys then the crest might be better to have an obvious arrogance.

    The squad is looking really good, what unit will they represent? Chosen with the wargear options or possessed as they have lots of weapon stiles?

    • I think you’re exactly right! Right now, I am slightly favouring the “blunt brutality” option, though 😉

      Regarding the actual rules for these guys, the easiest way would be to just use them as visually more engaging berzerkers. But they could conceivably also work as Possessed (not in the mutated sense, but the various stat bonuses could represent them switching between fighting styles or something like that) or, indeed, counts as Bloodletters (seems like a strange idea, but bear with me here: less armour, but an invul save – to represent their agility and prowess in combat).

      Or one could even use homebrew rules inspired by the rules of the Dark Eldar Wyches? Quite a few possibilities, in any case…

      I probably won’t use them as Chosen, though, because a) I have a pretty huge squad of converted Chosen that still needs to be painted and b) I’d be losing all the potential weapon options.

  3. I like the combination of the crest and that helmet, and the way it gives the model a story, but I don’t think it fits at all with the rest of the model. I’d say go for the no-nonsense crest-free look and save the crest for a different miniature.
    Liking the beast-master as well by the way, the whole squad has a really strong theme and is coming together nicely.

  4. Disco Stu Says:

    For the Cestii, what about a punch dagger-type weapon?

    Something where rather than the gauntlet ending in an articulated glove, it has a metal hemisphere of metal that goes around the fist. Then the hemisphere has spikes/studs/punch spike/etc.

    • A punch dagger or scissor weapon? Ah, but then he wouldn’t be a Cestus any longer, but rather a Scissor?! 😉 Anyway, PDH suggested something similar — maybe that would be a concept for an additional gladiator altogether…

  5. The beast master rocks. And as for the gauntlet dude, I’d go without the crest, it looks far more evil and imposing without it. Khorne doesn’t do cocky bravado, that’s for slaanesh.

    Also if your gonna make more than 8 of these guys, you know you’re gonna have to do another full squad as khornes sacred number is 8.

    8
    8
    The burning 8
    Between Monday and Sunday
    Hangs a day so dark
    It will devastate.

    • Cheers, mate! The question’s not really whether I can actually stop at eight, but rather if I can stop at all…

      Love the song, btw! 🙂

      • Ha ha it’s a poem about the black sabbath. Basically the reckoning. Not really into poems at all but this has always stuck in my mind. I first heard it on Tank Girl, love that movie

  6. […] If you’re interested, check out the full story of the gladiatorii here, here and here. […]

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