Butcher’s Boy

A warning in advance: I realise that today’s update quickly degenerates into rambling. Bear with me, though, there’ll be new stuff to look at partway down the page 😉 So what is this about?

While I virtually lack any sort of impulse control when it comes to buying new plastic crack, the one area where I have thus far exhibited an almost shocking amount of restraint is buying from Forgeworld: Sure, I’ll purchase some heads, shoulder pads and smaller doodads every now and then, but with the exception of Lord Zhufor, still possibly the best World Eaters model ever released, I haven’t bought any complete Forgeworld kits yet.

There’s a number of reasons for this, but lack of sculpting quality certainly isn’t a part of it: I love many of FW’s models as much as the next guy — if anything, the amount of detail alone is usually intimidating enough to prevent me from purchasing any models, for fear of being unable to do them justice with my painting.

Then there’s the fact that it sometimes seems to me like Forgeworld models are the easy, albeit expensive, way out of pretty much any modeling conundrum: Want a super awesome model? Just use a stock piece from Forgeworld! Want to own Marines in Pre Heresy armour — gee, Forgeworld is releasing an entire line of models for you!

Where Forgeworld models used to be a supremely rare sight, being used to add the most sublime amount of awesome to an army, it has all become a bit of a battle of materiel  nowadays, where some people just add  Forgeworld stuff to their armies until they suddenly become awesome by sheer resin saturation. And, by a strange twist of faith, armies making heavy use of FW models actually often end up looking more samey than the “standard” GW armies of old. Does that sound bitter?

Maybe, but here’s the thing: I think that having to work around the shortcomings of kits and the gaps in GW’s catalogue can sometimes be the best catalysts for creativity. And, for instance, before Forgeworld released more Horus Heresy Space Marines than you could ever shake a stick at, coming up with kitbashes and conversions to approximate your own version of Pre Heresy armour marks was huge fun.


Anyway, all of this is my rather roundabout way of explaining why my various projects use fairly little Forgeworld stuff. That said, there has to be an exception to the rule, of course, and when I first saw early pictures of Forgeworld’s World Eaters Red Butchers, it was instantly clear to me that some of these might find their way into my collection at some point:

I really love the way their Cataphractii armour is encrusted with stylised depictions of the World Eaters’ legion badge, for one.  At the same time, the brutal, spiky design of their armour is a nice fit for post heresy World Eaters as well. So when I recently had the chance of picking up some of the models as part of a bitz order, I jumped at the opportunity and purchased two Red Butcher bodies for experimentation purposes.

From my hands on experience as well as a bit of research, I have to say that these models are a bit of a mixed bag, their really cool overall design notwithstanding: The Red Butchers’  bodies are  single piece, with only the arms coming as separate parts. While this obviously makes them fairly easy to put together, it also severely limits their flexibility. Plus some of the poses seem a bit wonky — just check out the guy on the right, for instance.

What’s more, when prototypes for the Red Butchers were first shown at UK Games Day 2013, the models sported a set of individual, bare heads. While some of these may have seemed a little hokey, they perfectly communicated the sheer rage of these guys and worked really well with some of the poses. Alas, the finished models ditched most of these individual head sculpts, instead opting to use the same helmet for all the models in the squad except the champion, who retains one of the bare heads from the earlier versions. Now while I like the helmeted head well enough, this decision is rather hard to understand, because it really makes the finished models less cool than the prototypes. And while getting rid of the helmeted heads should still be possible with a bit of work – as the supremely talented poom has done on some of his Red Butchers , but the operation seems needlessly complicated, with a very real risk of ruining a rather expensive models in the process.

But even in their hobbled state, I still think the models still have lots of promise, and are a great addition to the World Eaters catalogue. And since I have honestly never seen them painted in the World Eaters’ post heresy colours yet (and FW’s own paintjob is, well, atrocious), it was clear to me that these guys would be drafted into my 40k World Eaters force.

Since I had only purchased the bodies, I needed to add some bitz in order to finish the models, and my first test model turned into a bit of a lucky coincidence right off the bat: I had picked up a two-handed weapon from the Deathwing Terminator kit as part of the same bitz order, and I realised that it worked pretty well with one of the Red Butchers. Here’s my test model:

Raas the Butcher WIP (2)
Raas the Butcher WIP (1)
Raas the Butcher WIP (3)
As you can see, I took some additional steps to make the additions to the model seem suitably chaotic: I added some Daemon Prince armour plates as shoulder pads, slightly converted the two handed weapon and added some Warp Talon “toenails” to the model’s gauntlets . To give credit where credit is due,exchanging the halberd’s blade happened courtesy of a pretty sweet model by AMaximus, while the clever use of  the toenails was originally an equally awesome idea of my fellow German hobbyist Lucutus.

Since chains seem to be a recurring visual motif for the Red Butchers, I also added some chainy bitz to the arms holding the halberd as well. I also glued a brass etched Khorne rune to the model’s Cataphractii armour.

The pose was also slightly inspired by this screenshot I found online:


While painting this guy, I subjected myself to the challenge of trying to finish the model in 3 hours, as part of a small, friendly challenge between several like-minded hobbyists. So I tried to be fast.

Here’s the model at shortly before the two hour mark…

Raas the Butcher PIP (1)
…and, a while later, after precisely three hours:

Raas the Butcher PIP (2)
Not bad, but clearly not finished either. Just to give you an idea, Jeff Vader managed to completely paint an absolutely amazing Plague Bearer in the same amount of time. Nuts!

But while I had sort of failed the three hours challenge, the work I had managed to accomplish during those hours went a long way towards getting the model painted, so it was all good. I ended up putting in another hour or two, and here is the finished model. I give you Raas the Butcher:

Raas the Butcher (1)
Raas the Butcher (5)
Raas the Butcher (6)
Raas the Butcher (7)
Raas the Butcher (8)
Raas the Butcher (9)
Raas the Butcher (10)
Raas the Butcher (11)
Raas the Butcher (12)
Raas the Butcher (13)
As you can see, some of the additional touches really sell the model, at least in my opinion: The planet at the centre of the stylised legion badge on the model’s helmet was picked up in turquoise for that additional bit of pop. And I even added some blood to the halberd’s blade, because the Butcher really seems like that kinda guy:

Raas the Butcher (17)
A similarly bloodspattered Space Marine helmet and a skull were added as decoration to the model’s base:

Raas the Butcher (16)
Painting a whole Forgeworld model for the first time certainly has certainly been an interesting experience as well, although it made me realise that not only do I dislike converting resin models, but I am also not all that fond of painting them: The Forgeworld resin provides all those tiny nooks and crannies on the model that I remember (with dread!) from my past experiences with metal models, and all that scrubbing and soaking beforehand, in order to get rid of the mold release agent covering the model head to toe, also isn’t that much fun. So while I can see myself painting the odd FW model every now and then, assembling an entire army of models made from this material seems like a bit of a nightmare to me, to be honest…

Oh, and one more thing: While I am rather pleased with the finished model, it does look slightly puny when stood next to one of my plastic models in Terminator armour. Justs sayin’…

Raas the Butcher (15)
I’m happy enough with the result, though: One down, one to go! I suppose the second Red Butcher I purchased will end up looking more or less like this:

Second Red Butcher WIP (3)
Second Red Butcher WIP (2)
Second Red Butcher WIP (1)
I might just replace the right arm with an arm holding an axe or sword, though. Hmmm….

On a semi-related note, I realised that some of the Red Butchers’ design elements, especially the torso and helmet, are quite reminiscent of that old metal Terminator Lord I picked up used a while ago:

Metal Terminator Lord (1)
The resemblance is really quite uncanny, don’t you think? So maybe these guys will end up hanging out together in the end? In any case, it’s especially delicious to find visual consistency where you hadn’t even expected it, so yeah…
Oh, one more thing, by the way: My finished test model, Raas the Butcher, was named for fellow hobbyist Augustus B’Raass. This is a small thank you to him, both for providing lots of inspiration with his kick-ass Night Lords army (seriously, what is it whith all the amazing NL armies lately?) and for indulging me when I instigated a rather egg-headed (but nevertheless pretty fascinating, at least to me) discussion on his thread lately.

Thanks for taking it all in stride, mate! 😉

Anyway, here’s the model’s background:

Raas the Butcher (2)
Raas the Butcher

The warrior known as Raas the Butcher is one of the 4th assault company’s oldest veterans and serves in Lord Captain Lorimar’s personal guard, known as Lorimar’s Fist. Even among this band of ruthless killers, his thirst for blood excels, and his penchant for tearing his opponents limb from limb is well known and feared by those who have to stand against him: Watching Raas charging the enemy with surprising speed, a blood curdling howl on his lips, is terrifying to behold, and usually the last sight his victims are afforded before his mighty war halberd effortlessly shears through their armour and flesh. His bloodlust is so great that he spends most battles completely lost to the nails, as much of a danger to his friends as to his enemies. Chains decorate his ancient suit of modified Cataphractii armour as if to bind him, but it is clear that the Lord Captain’s abyssal growl is the only thing that will bring this wild hound to heel…

I’d love to hear any feedback you might have in the comments section! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

18 Responses to “Butcher’s Boy”

  1. 40kterminatus Says:

    That touch of blue on the head really works well.

  2. Fabulous work, as usual. I must say, your conversions are fantastic and it makes me happy to see a like-minded modeller who ensures their models are posed naturally and not just slapped together. Keep it up!

  3. Very interesting comments on Forge World models, I kinda see your point, especially concerning seemingly everybody buying Horus Heresy models of late. Case in point is the Contemptor Dreadnought, it is one of the coolest FW models ever, but it creeps up so often that it only makes me go “meh” any time I see it nowadays.

    In the end, you can’t really blame people for buying awesome models, I just would prefer it if hobbyists were a bit more original in their use of these models. But as you wrote yourself, resin is not the easiest material to convert and there is always the trepidation of messing up an expensive mini.

    I really like how your Red Butchers have turned out, I think these poses are not easy to replicate with the standard plastic termies.

    And finally:
    Exalt Poom +1!
    Exalt Old Metal Chaos Terminator Lord +1!

    • And, in case you care about such things… you have just been Liebstered: http://voyageaucentredelenfer.blogspot.de/2014/05/considering-the.html

    • You’re right, of course: Everyone is entitled to buying the models they like! I just wish people wouldn’t treat Forgeworld stuff as an automatic recipe for instant awesome: If anything, seeing slapped-together collections of Forgeworld models is even worse than seeing “regular” uninspired armies…

      Oh, and Poom’s work is truly spectacular, isn’t it? One of my three favourite Pre-Heresy WE forces!

      • I think you see the FW issue with more passion because your heart is much closer to the whole 30K/Horus Heresy topic than mine.

        And yes, Poom is really great. I just beat him in last year’s P500 with my ChainsawDaemonEngines, but he sure has an impressive army.

      • Actually, the amount of cookie cutter HH armies out there has diminished my interest in the Heresy instead of adding to it — but that’s not FW’s fault, of course! I only wish hobbyists running HH armies would be a little more creative sometimes: Amazing armies like those of poom, AgnostosTheos or the almighty 1000heatens are proof that it can be done!

  4. One ton of flesh killing steel!
    Simple, but great conversion. I think, a complete guard with halberds and shields would be looking awesome, too. A blood-covered shield guard for the warlord. Sounds nice… 🙂

    The red butcher boys bodies are very cool and I’m thinking about to create a khornated villian for Inq28 with them.

    • “One ton of flesh killing steel!” — Haha, that was the plan 😉

      The plan is that each model in Lorimar’s bodyguard will be unique, though: So only one Red Butcher for the squad, I fear. I am confident that the others will still be cool enough, though.

  5. Wow – cracking piece mate – The arm/weapon choice and those shoulder pads in particular are fantastic – the paint scheme really ties the whole together. Very cool use of the disparate parts mate.

  6. Awesome looking terminator! I am glad you did not get/use the FW arms, as I think they are by far the worst aspect of the models. Your incorporation of the that DW halberd is excellent, it really fits with the pose, emphasizing its dynamic nature. It is just a nice set of arms; I used it on one of my DW command squad members and also replaced the top of it (http://betweenthebolterandme.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-unforgiven-building-deathwing.html). The broad shoulderpads are a nice touch too, adding to the broad/stocky feel of the model (which is the best part of terminators!). I think you are being a bit hard on him saying he is puny 😉 Unlike the other terminator he is in a headlong stride, that makes him look shorter! But I admit, sometimes the FW resin models are not quite to scale with other GW models.

    I also agree about working with resin. It is a major pain. Between the mold release, the bubbles, and moldshifts, it can be extremely time-consuming. But I think it works really well for an odd model here or there. An entire army though… I do not think I would be able to do it, he he

    • Cheers, Eric! That DA model of yours looks ace!

      The problem with the Butcher’s size is not that he is less tall than a plastic Terminator – as you said, he’s not completely upright, so we can overlook that aspect – but that he’s also far less bulky. It becomes rather obvious when seeing the model up close.

      Oh, and I think I legitimately hate resin as a material to work with. Platic all the way for me 😉 Funnily enough, Finecast is actually much more fun to work with, because you can easily carve it and shave off parts of the model without a hitch.

  7. Very convincing blood effects on the weapons. Kudos!

  8. […] While I was working on a Terminator model anyway, I took the chance to also revisit another model in TDA: You may remember the two Red Butchers I purchased a while ago. One became a character named Raas the Butcher: […]

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