Archive for May, 2014

Inquisitor 28: Kitbashing spree pt. 3 – The Gothic and the Eldritch

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2014 by krautscientist

Welcome, dear readers, to the third part of my INQ28-related kitbashing showcase! I have yet more Inquisitorial agents and ne’er-do-wells to show you today, but where the first and second installment of this mini-series dealt with more ostentatious, “in your face” style servants of the God Emperor, today sees a return to the somewhat more shadowy and quirky parts of the 40k universe. Let’s take a look:

1. Xenobiology

First up something rather simple: Some time ago, I picked up one of the servitors accompanying FW’s Hector Rex model from a fellow hobbyist for a really great price. Rather than using it as a servitor, however, I believe I’ll make this guy into a Magos Xenobiologis:

Magos Xenobiologis WIP
I really like the look of the model, both because it’s rake thin, which makes for a rather unique visual footprint, and because it’s really close to my archetypal idea of a Magos of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Like I said, I believe this guy will become a Magos Xenobiologis, maybe to join Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue. The one thing I have done so far (apart from scrubbing the mold release agent off the model, mind you) was to cut off the tangle of cables serving as the model’s left hand. It will be replaced by a fairly regular hand — or maybe by that DV cultist champ hand with the blade tipped fingers? Anyway, this guy is not very far along yet, but I really love the base model!

 

II. Familiar faces

As evidenced by the retainers I recently built for Brother-Sergeant Auriga, I have developed a bit of a soft spot for servants, retainers and familiars — the kind of characters you always see loitering around in the background of the GW artwork, but that usually aren’t all that well represented in model form. Well, what better setting than INQ28 to do these unsung characters any justice?

First up, a small conversion that is really close to my heart: A while ago, fellow hobbyist and all around great guy PDH let me have a wonderful little powder monkey from one of the WFB Empire kits. The monkey is pretty much perfect in and of itself, and so the minuscule changes I made to the model were only intended to bring it more in line with the 40k setting.

I added some very subtle touches to turn the little guy into an augmeticised familiar, either for my Rogue Trader, Iskander Gagarin, or for a particularly eccentric AdMech priest (maybe even the WIP Magos pictured above)? In any case, here’s the model:

PeeDee the Monkey WIP (1)
Since the model’s so tiny, the conversion had to be rather subtle: I gave the monkey a tiny bionic eye and replaced the tail with a cable from a servo-skull, in order to make it look like it could be used to interface with machines. I would have replaced the barrel held by the monkey with a servo-skull for an even more grimdark look, but the very real danger of losing that perfectly sculpted little paw was enough to scare me off 😉

I also needed to make the monkey familiar a little taller, and I used this opportunity to add even more of a 40k-feel to him by putting him on top of a techy bit (actually pilfered from an old model truck kit):

I really love this guy, to tell you the truth. Oh, and since Peter was awesome enough to give this wonderful model to me in the first place, what better way to thank him than to name the character after him, right? So, henceforth, this little guy will be called “PeeDee” by way of thanks 😉

PeeDee the Monkey WIP (2)
The other familiar I built was a really fast and dirty kitbash that I completed one evening after work when I needed to do something creative in order to relax: I decided to build a servo-skull heavily inspired by the type of extra-grimdark skulls that appear in the Witch Hunter artwork. Take a look:

Grimdark Servo Skull WIP (1)
Again, a really easy conversion: I just added the top of a Empire flagellant’s head to a resin skull and blended in the seams with a bit of GS. Then a parchment was added, making it look like the skull was carrying around Imperial liturgies. And finally, some cables were used to provide a suitably tech-y look (and a certain sense of movement) to the whole affair. The whole thing didn’t take longer than rougly half an hour, but it was a fun little exercise to take my mind off things.

Grimdark Servo Skull WIP (2)

III. A charioteer to the stars

Last but definitely not least, a combination of different circumstances led me to build yet another, slightly more involved model: Maybe everything started when I first laid eyes on weirdingway’s absolutely spectacular Navigators and their household guard. I then read up on the Navigators’ background over at the Warhammer 40k Wiki, where I was also confronted with a particularly evocative piece of artwork done by none other than John Blanche himself:

artwork by John Blanche, Copyright: Games Workshop

artwork by John Blanche, Copyright: Games Workshop

I really love this piece because it perfectly combines some of the most interesting characteristics of the Navigators: The fact that they are shadowy and secretive, but with a certain flair and ostentatiousness. The subtle mutations and deformity created by millennia of incestuous intermarrying between the same cluster of houses. And the strange combination of hi-tech and mysticism that is so typical of the 40k setting. Anyway, all of these circumstances together really made me want to build a Navigator of my own!

There was also the fact that FW’s new event only model is a Navigator, providing a further motivation to come up with my own version in glorious plastic. So I merrily kitbashed away. Here’s the result:

Navigator (1)

Navigator (5)

Navigator (3)
Navigator (4)
As you can see, a WFB Empire Battle Wizard formed the base for the conversion, and the same kit did indeed provide most of the bitz I needed. The two things I wanted to push the most, from a visual perspective, were the Navigator’s ostentatiousness and his possible physical deformity (the exact degree of which is rather hard to ascertain, due to his billowing robes).

For the former effect, I took a page out of Forgeworld’s book for the model, giving the Navigator a rather flamboyant feather collar instead of one made of fox tails. The staff from the wizard kit is also the perfect sign of office for a powerful representative of an ancient Navigator house.

In order to achieve the latter effect, I had to be rather crafty, since the model’s robed body left me precious few options to hint at mutations, but a careful selection of bitz helped in giving the impression that the Navigator was somewhat …twisted. Chief among these bitz was the head from the Dark Vengeance Chosen champ — actually the bit that inspired the whole conversion in the first place! The model’s nose had already been slightly damaged and flattened during transport when I opened the box for the first time, and so I ultimately decided to replace the head. The third eye wasn’t all that fitting for a servant of Khorne anyway, but just the right thing to build a Navigator! And the slightly misshaped nose could be explained away as yet another manifestation of the poor chap`s rather limited gene pool. Beyond that, I added several additional subtle hints at physical deformity to the model — can you spot them all? 😉

Navigator (2)
This guy will be used as a high-ranking representative of House DeVries, the Velsen sector’s pre-eminent navigator house. I also cannot help seeing this character as a bit of an evil guy: Not a clear-cut villain or a follower of chaos, mind you, but a schemer and slightly depraved individual. Here’s a short quote that came to my head – unbidden – while I was working on the model:

“I am aware, my lord, that my kind disgust you. I need not look into your soul to see your revulsion, for it is written all over your face. You shiver at our nature, and at our perceived unwholesomness. But oh, my lord, if you could only see us how we really look, in the realms behind the veil…” (insert malicious chuckling here)

Another thing I would like to do is to add a couple of retainers to him, representing members of his personal household guards. These will be ruthlessly inspired by weirdingway’s amazing rag tag Navigatorial retainers, so take a look at his thread (wait, you should do that anyway!) and you’ll know what to expect.

 

So yeah, so much for my recent fit of kitbashing inspiration. I hope this mini-series has been interesting enough for you to follow — now I’ll have to work up the motivation to break out the paints, lest all of these models end up in my cupboard of shame. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, shall we? 😉

In any case, I’d be happy to hear any feedback or criticism you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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Inquisitor 28: Kitbashing spree pt. 2 – The Hammer of the Emperor

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, Pointless ramblings, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2014 by krautscientist

Right, sorry for the late update, and for getting ages to get back to any comments — work is crazy at the moment. Please bear with me, while I try not to lose my mind 😉

Anyway, let me show you another batch of (fairly) recently kitbashed models from the wonderful world of INQ28: Maybe due to the recent release of the new Astra Militarum Codex, this update will mainly be featuring characters with a bit of an IG background.

With one notable exception, however: In a bit of an addendum to my last post, I have come up with two possible retainers to Brother-Sergeant Auriga, my true scale Marine:

 

1. An Astartes’s Servants

First up, I’ve had this little guy in my bitzbox for ages now:

Bolter_Cherub
But while I love cherubim – they’re such an ironic part of what makes 40k interesting – I never got around to finding an actual use for the model: That bolter the little guy is lugging around didn’t seem like such a good match for any of my Inquisitors, and I didn’t want to chop it off for fear of permanently ruining the model.

Brother Sergeant Auriga, however, is a Space Marine. And by virtue of being a Space Marine, he would own and wield a bolter, right? Well, so much the better, because now he has a servant to carry the weapon for him, at least when it’s not actually required on the battlefield, but rather as a “sign of office”, as it were. And it really fits my idea of the Golden Legion that they would not be above a bit of ostentatiousness like this.

Once I had seen the Marine and cherub together, there was no stopping me, and so I started working on yet another retainer for Brother Auriga: My original plan had been to have options for both a bare head and a helmeted one, but then I really liked the idea of having a chapter serf carry the Brother-Sergeant’s helmet. Here’s an early mockup:

Chapter Serf
These three really look great together, if you ask me:

Brother Sergeant Auriga and Retainers WIP
At the same time, this growing retinue illustrates a bit of a challenge I am facing at the moment: My problem, if you can call it a problem at all, seems to be that some of the models I have recently built seem to warrant further retainers and familiars, just because it’s such a great way of further exploring them as characters. You’ll be seeing another example of this in a minute, and while building some additional models (for additional narrative texture) is a blast, I wonder whether I’ll ever be able to finish all of these… Then again, as long as it’s fun, it certainly can’t be all bad, can it?

Anyway, moving on to the Astra Militarum guys:

 

II. The Rank And File

I suppose some of you will still be remembering my kitbashed Trencher, right? Well, messing around with a Dark Vengeance chaos cultist and an Eisenkern Stormtrooper head lead to a model that might be a playfellow for him (or maybe a soldier of the opposing army?). Take a look:

Trenchers WIP
Then there’s a special ops trooper I built, heavily inspired by one of Commissar Molotov’s conversions:

Trooper WIP (6)
This guy was built by combining two sets of Cadian legs (you’ll quickly see the area where the conversion still needs some evening out) and adding some bitz from the Tempestus Scions (nothing says “elite soldier” quite like a beret worn in combat, right? 😉 I also added some bitz to the lasgun, in order to make it look like a custom model:

Trooper WIP (5)

III. Ordo Militum?!

I have also begun to mess around with the Tempestor Prime bitz, creating a model that could become a high-ranking Guard officer, or maybe even an Inquisitor with strong ties to the Ordo Militum? Take a look:
Tempestor kitbash WIP (4)
This model is not yet finished, of course. For now, the most involved change to the base model was to add the saber of the plastic Ordo Prefectus Commissar — which I think fits this model rather better than the model it originally came from. I’m also not yet sure whether I like it better held vertically or horizontally:

Tempestor kitbash WIP (5)Thoughts?

Speaking of the Ordo Prefectus Commissar, I have begun to turn him into an agent of the Ordos:

I quickly realised that the model had a bit of a “gunslinger” vibe going on, so I experimented with different weapons setups (and added a head with a bionic eye that seems to support the character’s targeting prowess:

Gunslinger Inq WIP (2)
Gunslinger Inq WIP (1)
As for the actual weapons, the plasma pistol seemed a little too clunky for me, and while I liked the Dark Eldar pistol well enough for its sleek silhouette, it just seemed too xenos for a military man like this — it would probably be ideal if one were to build a Rogue Trader from this base model, however. Just sayin’…

In the end, I opted for a custom weapon, kitbashed from a Dark Eldar fusion pistol and a strut from a GK backpack:

Gunslinger Inq WIP (11)
I am reasonably pleased with the outcome, because it looks clunky enough to qualify as Imperial, but could also conceivably have xenos origins. In any case, it has a bit of the classic, retro-futuristic “SCIENCE!” look, don’t you think?

Another fun experiment was to use some different legs on the model:

Gunslinger Inq WIP (9)
In this case, I tried some legs from the Eisenkern Stormtroopers, and while the result might look a little off, I think it might be an avenue of conversion that definitely warrants further exploration.

For this particular model, though, I am going to keep the standard legs:

Gunslinger Inq WIP (12)
So who is this guy? I think he’s looking a bit too ostentatious to be a “regular” gunslinger. He might be an actual Inquisitor, but there’s a cockiness in his pose and expression that makes me think he might make a better Interrogator — maybe a servant of the Ordo Militum Inquisitor above?

 

IV. An Officer And A Gentleman…

There’s one last set of models I would like to show you, and these are another example of my recent fancy when it comes to going off on a tangent in order to kitbash some “spin off” miniatures, so to speak. But let’s start at the beginning:

A rather long while ago, fellow hobbyist and all around great guy PDH let me have a tank commander commissar from the FW DKOK Commissar set — on the condition that I would use it for a conversion.

Well, it took me ages to finally come up with a conversion opportunity for the model – mostly because the tank commander is lacking the legs below the knee, for obvious reasons – but when the Tempestus Scions appeared upon the scene, I finally had my solution (and a way to give this guy new legs). Take a look:

Krieg_conversion (3)
As you can see, I just added in the lower legs of a Tempestus Scion — which worked like a charm, with only minimal cutting and GS’ing involved! In order to make the model look more like a noble and austere character, I also replaced the DKOK gas mask with a bare head (from the Empire Knights’ White Wolves sprue, of all places…). On a related note, I did keep the commissar head perfectly intact, in order to be able to use it in a future conversion:

Krieg_conversion (4)
Anyway, when I posted the DKOK conversion on my Ammobunker thread, fellow hobbyist Logan pointed out that the model reminded him of a painting of Karl Franz of Austria. And then it hit me: This guy actually looks like he is posing for a portrait, isn’t he?

I actually embraced this effect, and in order to further emphasise it, I added a servo-skull and a small plinth on his base, making the “portrait look” even stronger:

Krieg_conversion (6)
Krieg_conversion (5)
And then I finally lost my mind when DexterKong suggested I built a small diorama showing the officer’s portrait being painted by an Imperial artist. And I really loved that idea! So I began to plan accordingly (wanting to build the diorama, but also endeavouring to keep the models useable individually).

Anyway, for the painter, I chose an Imperial acolyte I had picked up during a bitz swap some time ago:

Painting Servitor (1)
This seems to be everybody’s favourite model from back when Codex: Daemonhunters was released, but on my copy, the eye section of the face was unfortunately rather miscast/damaged, leaving him without eyes and giving him an ugly splotch of metal over the upper half of his face. So, as you can see above, I added a new bionic eye to him, in order to repair the model.

Painting Servitor (2)
It works rather well, I think, and the strange “welt” running over his right eye now looks more like a cable feeding into his bionic eye — how very 40k, to replace and eye and thereby fething up the other one, right? Especially on a painter!

Because this guy will be serving as a “painting servitor”, or as an augmeticised master painter, for that matter. I think he will be commanding a coterie of servo-skulls, that are taking care of the actual painting, while he is making preparatory sketches and adjusting the skulls’ work.

The servo skulls will be darting around a suitably grimdark easel. I have already started building it:

Easel WIP (5)
Easel WIP (4)
Ironically enough, one of the servo skull diceholders that were released alongside 6th edition served as the main recource for building the easel. I added some parts from an old model truck kit, as well as some cabling and an Imperial aquila. And, like I said, a couple of servo-skulls will be floating around the completed easel:

Easel WIP (6)
I am currently using a CD as a makeshift base for the diorama, figuring out the basic composition before starting on the actual build:

Diorama early WIP (3)
Diorama early WIP (2)
So this will be a scene depicting a powerful Lord Militant of the Astra Militarum having his portrait taken by an augmeticised master painter of the 41st millennium and his coterie of servo-skull assistents — is this utterly brilliant or completely idiotic? Or a little bit of both? I’ll let you be the judges of that…

Anyway, so much for the Astra Militarum side of things for now! See you all next week, when I am going to show you the third batch of my current INQ28 kitbashing results. Until then, feel free to let me know any suggestions and feedback you might have!

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

Inquisitor 28: Kitbashing spree pt. 1 – With Fire and Sword

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2014 by krautscientist

Ever since I’ve managed to complete my World Eaters Lord on juggernaut, I have been in the clutches of a veritable, INQ28 related kitbashing spree, building model after model — let’s just hope I’ll manage to get some of these painted at some point! 😉

Anyway, over the next couple of posts, I would like to show you the models I have come up with during this pleasant burst of inspiration. As usual, many of these have been hammered into completion through the very helpful feedback of fellow hobbyists on the forums I frequent, so a heartfelt thank you to anyone who helped me sorting out the smaller kinks on these pieces.

Anyway, for today, let’s forego the shadowy side of the Inquisitor universe in favour of some more ostentatious servants of the Emperor:

 

I. A pair of colleagues

Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (15)
One thing I did was to touch up a pair of Inquisitors that I had already built a rather long time ago. Upon closer inspection, it seems I have never shared them here on the blog, so that alone should be enough reason to talk about them 😉 So let’s take a closer look:

The first of the two was built to be instantly recognisable as a psyker: By choosing bitz of psionic equipment like a warding staff and psychic hood and by trying to look him tall and gaunt, I believe succeeded at communicating that idea. Take a look:

Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (5)
Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (6)
Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (7)
As you can see, the kitbash itself is fairly straightforward, with an upper body mostly made from GK plastic parts combined with the robed legs of the WFB Chaos Sorcerer. But while I had originally used GK shoulder pads on this guy, PDH rightly pointed out that those made him look a tad too much like an Astartes, so I replaced them with some Chaos Marauder shoulder pads for a less “Marine-y” look. This also had the coincidental side effect of making the model look quite a bit like a piece of artwork in the Inquisitor rulebook, but this wasn’t planned.

In order to further obscure the GK origins, I improvised a nonstandard “power plant” for the model’s back, combining the lower half of a GK backpack with some tanks from a Vraksian Renegade Militia soldier:

Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (9)
The other Inquisitor was designed to be pretty much the polar opposite of the psyker: I wanted a bulky, ostentatious, very physical type, inspired by characters like Witch Hunter Tyrus or Inquisitor Coteaz:

Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (10)
Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (11)
Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (12)
Again, a couple of Marine and GK bitz are very much at the centre of this conversion. So I tried once more to prevent the model from looking too much like an Astartes by combining the Marine bitz with stuff from different sources: The legs came from the WFB chaos warriors, and I added a couple of additional armour plates (the shoulder pad based on a radar array was inspired by a similar conversion in the old Codex Witch Hunters, by the way). And I added a half cape over the model’s shoulder, making use of possibly the last part I had left over from the Chaos Lord on Manticore rider bitz 😉

Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (13)
All in all, this guy is a real beefcake, but back then, it was a lot of fun to build an Inquisitor who wasn’t a gaunt, shadowy figure for once.

While I have not yet decided which Ordo these two will belong to (I suppose it’ll be a neck and neck between Malleus and Hereticus), I definitely think they have some chemistry together: There’s certainly a bit of a “brains and brawn” thing going on, don’t you think?

Maybe, these two work together as a team, hunting down rogue Inquisitors and Heretics. It might also be  interesting to have them be far more divided than is apparent at first glance: Maybe the bombastic, monodominant Witch Hunter secretly detests his colleague for his reliance on the powers of the warp? Maybe the Psyker has discovered he has a taste for the more radical rituals and pratices? Maybe they are the estranged former pupils of a common master, now brought back into an uneasy alliance by circumstances beyond their control? In any case, there could be some delicious friction between the two…

 

II. A Sister of Battle

The next model I want to show you today came together surprisingly quickly and was a ton of fun to convert. But I am getting ahead of myself! Let me start by telling you that I have a huge soft spot for the Adepta Sororitas and think it’s a crying shame that GW have shown them so little attention over the last years. For me, the Sisters of Battle are one of the most eclectic and quirky elements of 40k, and one of the things that really sells the setting as something different and interesting. The Sisters are iconic and recognisable and – rather surprisingly, both for GW and wargaming in general – not a highly sexualised depiction of female characters (let’s just forget the Sisters Repentia for now, because they clearly aren’t all that sexy, unless you are that way inclined…). Maybe that’s why the Sisters aren’t selling enough models to warrant a substantial new release?

Anyway, long story short, I have wanted to build a Sister of Battle for my INQ28 collection for quite a while now, and after having converted a small squad of Sisters of Silence for my Custodes, I was reasonably confident that it could be done, and could be done in plastic, no less. So a short time ago, I picked up a leftover Dark Eldar Kabalite Warrior and a couple of bitz and built this model:

Sister Kitbash (5)
Sister Kitbash (7)
Sister Kitbash (8)
I am really happy with the model, to tell you the truth, even though I clearly recognise that it’s not without its faults: For the head, I had to fall back on the one plastic Sororita head available (from the Sisters of Battle vehicle conversion kit, I believe), resulting in a head that might be ever so slightly too big for the body. The backpack may be a bit too bulky as well, although I am actually rather proud of the actual build for that part.

All in all, even though it may be a slightly flawed model, I am enormously fond of it, if only because it was entirely built from plastic parts, without any actual sculpting involved. And I hope that a classic Sisters of Battle paintjob will go the rest of the way towards selling the model.

Sister Kitbash (6)

III. An Angel of Death

And, last but definitely not least, let me show you my latest conversion (and a model I am immensely proud of):

I imagine most of you will have heard about a certain trend of “truescaling” or “art scaling” Space Marines. Not to delve too deeply into this discussion, but the main argument behind this movement is that the scale of the actual Space Marine models doesn’t fit the depiction of Marines in the art and written background published by GW: While the Marines in the art and fluff come across as veritable titans, much taller and wider than any mere man, an actual Marine on the table will often literally see eye to eye with any Cadian or Chaos Cultist.

So quite a few hobbyists are going the “true scale” route, converting and/or resculpting their Marines to be closer to the depictions in the background. And while I am perfectly happy with the scale of Marine models in my regular 40k army (for practicality reasons, if for nothing else), the wonderful world of Inquisitor provided the perfect excuse for building at least one true scale Astartes.

You see, one of the things the original 54mm Inquisitor models truly excelled at was to communicate the fact that people come in all shapes and sizes: While most infantry models for 40k will usually be scaled to equal size, the 54mm Inquisitor models represented a wide range of heights and builds — and Brother Artemis, the Space Marine model released for Inquisitor, was definitely the tallest and most imposing guy in the catalogue.

And with the focus on making individual models look as good as possible in INQ28, I think we should also try to incorporate that variety in heigth and build into the smaller scale, even though it means more work. And while there’s admittedly not that much use for a Space Marine in INQ28, I still wanted to build one, both due to the challenge involved and because such a character would fit into the background for my little slice of the galaxy.

Now actually building the model turned out to be a veritable odyssey: Everything started when I saw Commissar Molotov’s Deathwatch Marine many moons ago:

Deathwatch Astartes by Commissar Molotov

Deathwatch Marine converted by Commissar Molotov and painted by ElDiablo

Molotov himself may no longer be all that fond of this model, but ut really served as a trailblazer for me in that it convinced me that building and painting a truescale Marine would be a very worth hobby endeavour! And indeed, I started kitbashing right away (back in 2011), coming up with this:

Truescale early WIP 01
But while it may have been a valiant first effort, the model didn’t convince me, even back then: The proportions were a bit off, the legs were clearly Terminator legs, and I feared I would have to get my feet wet using GS to sort out the build of the model. So this first test model was scrapped, and I put the project on the back burner, there to simmer for a while…

And simmer it did: Whenever I saw my fellow hobbyists come up with amazing truescale Marines of their own, their work would prove to be both inspiring and intimidating to me: Inspiring because it gave me the motivation to take another shot at my own model, intimidating because all those models always seemed so much cooler than what I could come up with.

There are many, many cool truescale projects out there, so naming favourites seems a bit unfair, but let me at least mention the models that proved the most inspiring (and/or intimidating) to me: Jeff Vader came up with a wonderful series of truescale Marines, but I couldn’t get his recipe to work for me, much as I tried. The Strike Force Helmawr project proved tantalising, showing not one but many, many true scale models (and convincing me I could never pull it off). Bruticus’s amazing Sun Titan Space Marine made me salivate at the mouth and gnash my teeth at the same time, because the model and backstory were fairly close to what I had been planning for my own model (on a related note, the model is made even better by the wonderfully grimdark background provided here and here). And there was always migsula with his outstanding Alpha Legionaries, of course, but I knew right away that I myself could not hope to aspire to something as lofty as that 😉

Meanwhile, I made another attempt at building my own truescale Marine:

Truescale early WIP 02
But while the model did feel like an improvement over the first version, the look I wanted still wasn’t there. Would I be forever unable to come up with a suitable Astartes for my INQ28 collection?

What finally pushed me over the edge to try it yet again were Jeff Vader’s Deathwatch Marine (using a GK Terminator torso instead of that of a regular Marine, something I hadn’t even considered before) and Ukos’s really nice and clean truescale model (also using plastic Terminator parts). So, last weekend, I gave it yet another try, and this time I persevered:

Brother_Sergeant_Auriga
In hindsight, it’s truly baffling how quickly the model’s body came together after all that prior deliberation. The main challenge was to get the proportions to look plausible enough, but I think I have finally managed to make it work! As for the parts used, the legs came from a FW Tartaros Terminator (I’d probably always recommend these over regular Terminator legs, because their design means that they won’t need any additional greenstuffing to look accurate), while the torso and arms are from the Grey Knight piloting the Nemesis Dreadknight. I also added shoulder pads from the Sternguard kit and a particularly arrogant looking head from the Vanguard kit. Oh, and the cap of a felt pen provided the plasticard collar I needed to make the armour work — another good piece of advice for lazy people like me 😉

After the main build had been sorted out, it came to making the armour look less utilitarian and more ostentatious and baroque. I quickly found out that I couldn’t add nearly as much bitz and bobs as I would have liked, and I really had to reign myself in so as not too overclutter the model’s silhouette! Anyway, here’s the model with added gear and decoration:

Brother_Sergeant_Auriga04
In addition to providing a bit of extra bling, some pouches and grenades were used to bulk out the hips and help create the illusion of “correct” proportions.

The final step was to add weapons to the model, and I clearly knew I wanted this guy to be wielding a sword and a pistol of some sort. And while I had several options for either, in the end it turned out that many of the possible weapons weren’t useable because they would have looked like mere toys in the hands of this huge model — a very real complication with truescale models!

In the end I settled on a FW plasma pistol and a Grey Knight power sword. And with that, the conversion was completed. I give you Brother Sergeant Janus Auriga, of the Golden Legion Astartes Chapter:

Brother Sergeant Auriga (7)
Brother Sergeant Auriga (6)
Brother Sergeant Auriga (5)
Brother Sergeant Auriga (4)
Brother Sergeant Auriga (3)
Brother Sergeant Auriga (2)
And, of course, no post about a true scale Marine would be complete with a scale comparison shot showing the model next to one of its “regular” counterparts. Take a look:

Brother Sergeant Auriga (8)
Quite a beast, don’t you think? 🙂

I won’t lied to you: I am super happy with the finished model, especially since it has taken me such a long time to come up with a true scale Astartes of my own! Since I don’t plan on building any more TS Marines, I knew that I should give it my all on this guy — and I did 😉

Brother Sergeant Auriga (1)

So yeah, those are the first results of my recent INQ28 kitbashing spree. As usual, I would love to hear any feedback, suggestions or criticism you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Lord Valkar, the Scarred One

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2014 by krautscientist

Still full of energy from my recent “hobby apotheosis” (sorry, couldn’t resist), I would like to show you a new finished model today, and a rather massive one, at that.

Those of you who have been following this blog for a while may recall my ongoing work on a couple of World Eaters riding massive juggernauts of Khorne. Even though there are currently no rules for such a formation, every self-respecting follower of Khorne should have some juggernaut riders in his army, period.

Anyway, my first test model on the way to a whole squad was actually built and painted quite a long time ago:

Jugger Knight (7)
I am still reasonably happy with this guy, especially since the WFB Skullcrushers of Khorne had not yet been released back then, so building the rider actually took some doing (erm, and the “borrowing” of an idea from Sprugly’s amazing thread here).

Speaking of the Skullcrushers, the release of that kit did of course make my whole life a lot easier, and I snatched it up for the bitz alone. But the kit also gave me the opportunity to build three more juggernaut riders, my Brazen Hunters:

Brazen Hunters WIP (19)

These were actually named for fellow hobbyists who had greatly inspired me with their respective chaos projects. And I imagine the squad will be a sight to see, once I finally work up the motivation to get them painted (fingers crossed 😉 ).

But during all this time, I did not yet have a suitable Chaos Lord on juggernaut, even though such a model is the one highly viable way of currently using a Chaos Space Marine on a juggernaut to begin with! However, I am basically addicted to building Chaos Lords, and it was entirely clear for me that this guy would need to be really impressive.

It may surprise you to learn that I have been quietly pottering away on a suitable Chaos Lord for a rather long time now. In fact, a first test version was built as early as 2011:

Jugger Lord early WIP
But while I look back on that first effort with some fondness, the model really wasn’t as cool as I wanted it to be. So the rider was ditched, I kept the juggernaut and waited for a suitable rider model to go on top.

I finally found a solution to my problem when my cousin Andy gave me a Chaos Lord on Manticore as a birthday gift in 2012. I have gone on record stating that the kit is basically worth it for the rider bitz alone, and you even get two riders (and the Manticore can have its uses as well…).

Anyway, while one of the Manticore riders was turned into a rogue Primaris Psyker for my Traitor Guard, it was always clear to me that the other one would end up as the lord riding that leftover juggernaut — but the project still stalled for some reason.

Until the recent 14th Painting/Converting Contest over at Throne of Skulls provided the perfect occasion for me to finally clean up my act and finish the model. So I sat down and combined rider and jugger. Here’s a look at the WIP version of the model:

Valkar the Scarred WIP (1)
Valkar the Scarred WIP (2)
Valkar the Scarred WIP (3)
Valkar the Scarred WIP (4)
Valkar the Scarred WIP (5)
Valkar the Scarred WIP (6)
Granted, this conversion might have been quite a bit more exciting before the release of the WFB Skullcrushers, but I think it still holds up. The Manticore kit comes with some absolutely brilliant bitz, among them the heavily scarred head I used for the rider. The chain cloak is another personal favourite of mine, since not only does it look badass on any Chaos Lord, but chains feature rather prominently in the World Eaters’ legion aesthetics, so what better place to use this wonderful bit.

In order to suitably “40k-i-fy” the fantasy model, I added a plasma pistol (if only to give me an excuse for paining some light blue plasma coils every once in a while 😉 ), some grenades on the model’s belt and a backpack from the Dark Vengeance Chosen. The juggernaut was also subtly converted in order to make it look a little more impressive: The main additions were two Marauder shields on the hind legs and two tusks (made from a set of horns from the Chaos Knight horses). The latter idea was borrowed from an excellent diorama created by Keith Robertson and Kornel Kozak and published in an issue of WD:

Jugger_diorama (1)

Picture from WD. Copyright: Games Workshop

When it actually came to painting the model, I had to be really disciplined for once, since I had let the deadline for the ToS contest approach without lifting a finger, lazy bum that I am — maybe this was a subconscious attempt at forcing myself to perform well under pressure?

Anyway, I actually painted rider and jugger back to back over a matter of three days, which was quite a drag, but also didn’t give me any time to dawdle or lose interest. I started with the rider, because I instinctively realised that he would be far more fun to paint. Here’s the finished rider (looking like the victim or a particularly nasty groin hernia without his steed):

Valkar the Scarred PIP (1)

Valkar the Scarred PIP (3)

Valkar the Scarred PIP (4)
The funny leg pose notwithstanding, painting this guy really was a blast! I basically used my usual recipe for World Eaters, but this model gave me the opportunity to combine two of my favourite effects on the same model: glowing plasma coils and a turquoise daemon weapon. As a matter of fact, I added another light blue area to the model’s backpack, making it look like some kind of reactor core:

Valkar the Scarred PIP (5)
Painting the juggernaut was mainly an exercise in patience and perseverance, because the model is pretty big and has quite a few nooks and crannies (and I had, of course, been idiotic enough to glue together all the different parts, save the head, before painting). I went for the same, dark turquoise I used on my last juggernaut, both because it makes for a nice contrast against the red of the rider’s armour, but also because it provides an added bit of visual consistency for my army: my daemon weapons or daemonic steeds all use variants of the same turquoise.

Painting this guy in such a relatively short timespan was quite a bit of work. Fortunately, when I was already on my last leg, my copy of Warhammer:Vision arrived and seeing my model for Legion in Blanchitsu helped me release some hidden reserve of power 😉

So, without further ado, here’s the finished model. I give you Lord Valkar, the Scarred One:

Valkar the Scarred (12)
Valkar the Scarred (2)
Valkar the Scarred (3)
Valkar the Scarred (4)
Valkar the Scarred (5)
Valkar the Scarred (6)
Valkar the Scarred (7)
Valkar the Scarred (8)
Valkar the Scarred (9)
The one problem with the model, from a construction perspective, is that the chains of Valkar’s cloak seem curiously gravity-defying.  Unfortunately, there was nothing I could have done to change that, short of cutting apart the entire cloak — and I was too much of a chicken for that 😉
Let us just presume that Valkar’s a) gallopping so fast that even the heavy chains are streaming in the wind or b) some kind of sorcerous power is keeping them afloat?! Yeah, sorcerous power, that makes sense! Let’s totally go with that!

Anyway, let me share a couple of detail shots with you:

Valkar the Scarred PIP (2)
I am actually really happy with the model’s face, even though I just used my usual, minimalistic approach. The scars actually play into this guy’s background — but more about that in a minute.

Valkar the Scarred (10)
Valkar the Scarred (11)
So yeah, that’s my finished Chaos Lord on juggernaut of Khorne, at long last. Only what, three years from inception to finished model? That’s really slow, even for my sloppy standards. But well worth it, of course 😉

Seriously, though: I really am pretty pleased, both with the model and with the fact that I finally managed to complete this particular task. Whatever his chances might be in the ToS contest, I am already super happy at having added another bigger model like this to my collection.

And, of course, a tried and true tradition here on Eternal Hunt, let’s get to know the latest model better: Who is this guy? What are his dreams and ambitions? Allow me to share the background I came up with for the model:

Valkar the Scarred (1)
Huntmaster Valkar, the Scarred One, Lord of Chains and Master of the Brazen Hunters

In the latter days of the Great Crusade, Brother Valkar was fighting as a line officer in the 12th legion’s assault formations, and it was during the pacification of a cluster of feudal worlds in the eastern fringe that he incurred a wound that would change his life forever: A maddened cultist attacked him with a weapon wreathed in sorcerous flame, taking Valkar’s right eye and leaving him with a hideous, eight-pronged scar over the right side of his face. To make matters worse, the damaged eye socket wouldn’t take any augmetic replacement for some reason unfathomable even to the Legion’s Apothecaries, leaving Valkar permanently one-eyed. In any other Astartes Legion, that would have surely relegated him to the place of an Auxiliarii or a diplomat – a bleak prospect for one who had been bred for war. But Angron’s legion had little use for diplomats, and even crippled officers could hold a command as long as they knew how to hold their own in the fighting pits. So Valkar learned to balance the consequences of his disability and returned to battle, seemingly as effective as before.

However, it seemed his scars ran deeper still, as Valkar started hearing voices: Harsh whispers now spurred him onward in battle, inciting him to ever growing acts of bloodshed, bellowing excitedly at every kill, and howling in frustration at each denied killing stroke. Valkar feared he might be growing insane, but in a legion wracked with the influence of the Butcher’s Nails, sanity was not exactly a priority.

For Valkar’s seeming descent into madness only mirrored that of his legion: The World Eaters became ever more brutal and uncontrollable, finally siding with the Warmaster Horus and becoming one of his most effective terror weapons. And Brother Valkar was always there, swept along with the tide.

The last time he heard the mysterious voices was when the drop pods of the XII legion rained down on the blasted hellscape Istvaan III had become: When the doors of his Dreadclaw hissed open and Valkar began charging at his erstwhile brothers and their fellow loyalists with a blood curdling roar on his lips, the voices broke into triumphant laughter one last time – and then fell silent. The pact had been sealed.

Over the following centuries and millennia, Valkar has become a mighty champion of Khorne. He was one of the first officers in the World Eaters’ 4th assault company to be granted a daemonic steed by the powers of the warp, and riding this beast wrought from brass and hellfire, he became nigh invincible. He has gathered similarly gifted brethren around him, forming an elite cadre of mounted legionaries called the Brazen Hunters.

And once again, there are voices: Whispers in the shadows that Valkar the Scarred One could one day challenge the Lord Captain himself for the command of the company.

 

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

A day in the limelight…

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2014 by krautscientist

Whoa, what a day: Imagine my utter amazement as I browsed through the latest issue of Warhammer:Visions today, only to turn the page and see this:

Blanchitsu
Seems like my dear Legion is really going places, eh? Anyway, it probably won’t come as a surprise to you that being featured in an official GW publication – and in Blanchitsu, no less – is really a hobby dream come true for me! And the whole story of Legion has been one chain of awesome moments, ever since PDH was nice enough to get me involved! Read all about our favourite AdMech monstrosity here, in case you’re not yet in the know.

Anyway, a huge, huge thank you to John Blanche for featuring my model in his wonderful column! And to Peter, of course, without whom none of this would have happened! This is so amazing! I might as well quit the hobby now, because I’m not sure how exactly I will ever surpass this…NUTS!

liebster_logo

In other news, two people nominated me for a Liebster Award on the same day: Thanks a lot to Henry South and Jimmy Grill!

In case you’re not familiar with the Liebster Award, it’s basically a friendly kind of Ponzi Scheme, with the single goal of giving readers the opportunity to discover new and interesting blogs. So not only am I happy to receive this nomination, but I’ll also happily help to spread the word:

As per the rules of the award, I am required to…

  • tell you eleven truths about me
  • answer eleven questions posed by the person who nominated my blog
  • nominate eleven blogs for a Liebster Award
  • pose eleven questions of my own, to be answered by my eleven nominees

So, without further ado, here we go:

Eleven Truths:

1. I am supremely lazy, which often proves to be a challenge in this hobby, especially while painting, and also unbelievably impatient when working on models, which has ruined more than one pretty cool paintjob or conversion, because I just couldn’t wait until everything was dry.

2. The GW kit I have purchased the most often is the plastic Chaos Lord in Terminator armour: I could always build another one of these.

3. My “grownup” reasons for picking up blogging were to teach myself stuff about blogging software and to keep practicing my English: Both missions accomplished, I suppose 😉

4. Fairly surprisingly for a devout follower of Khorne, I am not into Heavy Metal.

5. I still believe that the Police are the greatest band on the planet!

6. I love everything written by Neil Gaiman

7. If you try to interest me in a new tabletop game, make sure I am excited by the actual models: I am terrible with rules and forget them as quickly as I learn them, so the models have to be awesome enough to capture my interest.

8. I am a huge videogame nerd and have a pretty big collection of game systems.

9. Believe it or not, I have never been to an English speaking country – although I plan on remedying that sooner rather than later.

10. I love being complimented on my models (who doesn’t?), and I will sometimes feel awful when a model I am extremely proud of doesn’t get a lot of feedback online.

11. I am not actually a scientist 😉

 

Eleven blogs:

Since I know that several of my favourite blogs have already received a Liebster Award, they will be missing from the following list. That said, these eleven blogs are amazing and definitely deserve more traffic. So, in no particular order…:

1. Le blog dè Kouzes:  some of the most stunning kitbashes and paintjobs you will ever see. Definitely worth learning French for 😉

2. Die Würfelwiese: the blog of an extremely talented, fellow German hobbyist. Just check out his magnificent Tallarns!

3. K.M.B. Some of the best World Eaters kitbashes and conversions on the net. I just wish AMaximus would update more often…

4. Beneath the Mire: Great content from a group of bloggers, especially noteworthy for Drone21c’s wonderful INQ28 models.

5. CerxiS World: Another fellow German’s blog, and some of the best Alpha Legion models and miniature photography you’ll ever see!

6. Thenickeninja’s blog: Amazing Blood Bowl conversions and the best underhive terrain in existence, period.

7. Miniature Tim: A very talented and friendly artist, and a pleasantly levelheaded and costructive take on our favourite hobby.

8. Tarvick the Artisan: wonderful conversions and inspiring paintjobs — what’s not to like?

9. Ex Profundis: Wonderfully creepy stuff by Bruticus and meade, masters of the bizarre. Dark Mechanicus craziness galore!

10. Eldritch Epistles: A wonderful look at models from the olden days. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

11. Mordian 7th: One of the most productive hobbyists you’ll ever see: The pace at which Mordian7th finishes great armies has to be seen to be believed!

Eleven answers…

…although, seeing how two people nominated me on the same day, I think it’s only fair to answer both sets of questions. Plus I love interview-ish stuff like this, since it makes me feel like a true rock star 😉 So here goes:

Eleven Answers (questions by Henry South):

1) Your most satisfying moment while painting.

Quite a while ago, I started following an approach for quickly achiving great results while painting as laid down by Steve Buddle : Paint the base colours, then generously apply washes, then go away and let them dry, then come back to the model and apply any highlights and details you want. This seems common sense now, but back then, it looked like witchcraft to me. Anyway, after applying all the base colours, the model looked so terrible that I could have screamed. Then I slapped on the washes, already considering the model a lost cause. When I returned to it after a few hours, I found the model completely transformed by the washes, which gave me a huge kick and really changed my approach to painting: I’ve been using that technique ever since (although I still feel terrible right before the washes come out 😉 ).

2) Your worst painting disaster.

Saving up a lot of allowance money during my youth in order to be able to buy a Dark Eldar Raider, then finding out I hated painting it and ending up with a paintjob that was less than exciting – scared me away from painting vehicles for more than a decade, I suppose.
3) Can you “cheat” while painting. And is it wrong if you can?

Hmm, I guess you can cheat by only painting areas that will be clearly visible on the finished model and leave the hard to see parts mostly untouched, by that doesn’t work for me because I will always know that when I look at the model 😉 The other possible kind of “cheating” is to use shortcuts and easy recipes for creating reasonably good versions of effects that would need many, many working steps otherwise, but that’s not really cheating and I’m doing it all the time 😉
Oh, and you can of course try to make your models look even better by taking really good photos of them, but again, that’s what you should be doing anyway, so can this really be considered cheating in the first place.

4) The one tip you would tell yourself when you started painting

Don’t try to slavishly follow the ‘Eavy Metal approach to painting: You’ll never be able to paint like that anyway – at least not at first. Find a technique that you’re comfortable with and go for a nice, clean paintjob. All else must follow. Don’t try to force it!

5) How do you get over your painting block?

– by stepping away from the model I am working on for a while, returning with a fresh perspective later
– by painting something completely different from what I am currently working on
– by painting something that I know will be fun (followers of Nurgle usually work like a charm)
– by looking at other people’s inspiring stuff until I get that itch for painting again

6) Pub garden or trendy winebar?

Pub Garden all the way. But then, I am not a great wine aficionado anyway, so yeah…

7) Which Chaos god would you sell your soul to?

Khorne. Definitely Khorne. My soul belongs to him ever since I painted my first chaos warrior, so it would have to be him. I am probably the least aggressive and brutal person you will ever meet, and I would likely suck in a fight, but there’s always the reassuring knowledge that Khorne cares not from whence the blood flows, only that it flows.

8) Who do you blame for getting you into miniture painting?

Hmm, I suppose it was a combination of my fascination with the painted models on the back of the HeroQuest mission booklet and the gentle urgings of a childhood friend who had already started to paint his own HeroQuest models (using terrible enamel colours and markers, no less).

9) What hobby would you be doing if you didn’t do this?

Hmm, I think I am somehow juggling all the nerd hobbies that interest me (videogames, RPGs, tabletop wargaming) at the same time, so I suppose this hobby doesn’t prevent me from any other hobby. Maybe if I wasn’t spending so much time cutting up little plastic men, I’d be free to do something grownup like learning another language or finding a cure for cancer, though. We might never find out 😉

10) Chocolate or jellybeans?

Tough call. Though I really like jellybeans, I’ll have to say chocolate, though, because it forms the base for so many awesome things. Why does it have to be one or the other again?

11) What do you listen to while painting?

I usually have my ITunes on shuffle while painting, since I have a fairly extensive musical collection. That said, chances are there’ll be something indy rock-ish in the playlist, with the odd, tacky 80s pop number thrown in for variety 😉

 

Eleven Answers (questions by Jimmy Grill)

1) If you could wish for one thing except more wishes, what would that be?

Robust health for me and those close to me, I suppose, because health is so very important for our lives, but something we all tend to take for granted until it’s no longer there.

2) What was the first miniature you painted?

A HeroQuest Zombie: I gave him bright blue skin and bright yellow eyes…and then stopped painting because it looked utterly ridiculous. Still have that model lying around somewhere, come to think of it…

3) What was the best miniature released last year?

Hmm, I’ll have to say the Lord of Skulls: I realise many people hate it, but it really blew me away and I think it really pushed the envelope and paved the way for a number of really impressive releases (the Imperial Knight, for example).

 4) What was the latest movie you watched in the cinema?

Huh, the second Hobbit film, I believe. It has been ages since I went to the cinema – and I didn’t even think it was that good a film either – too much CGI and silly acrobatics, even for my taste.

5) Would you rather die now or live forever?

Both seem like pretty bleak prospects, when you think about it. Can’t choose one, they are both horrible 😉

6) Whom do you consider the worse geek, yourself or the hobbyists around you?

Aha, that’s a bit of a Catch 22 there, isn’t it? Of course I could easily name people who are worse geeks than me, but then, is there anything geekier than taking comfort in the fact that others are worse geeks? 😉

7) The discontinued GW game you wish GW would bring back the most?

Hmm, this would be a neck and neck between Necromunda, Mordheim and Inquisitor. Each of these would be brilliant, especially with new models. All things considered, I’d have to say Inquisitor, though: at the 28mm scale, please 😉

8) How many DVDs would the internet take up if you removed all the porn?

Loads. Don’t forget all the Lolcat videos and borderline retarded selfies, though! It’s not all porn, you know 😉

9) In how many years will tabletop miniatures be 3d holograms?

Hopefully never:  Where’s the fun and artistry in using 3d holograms? I like obsessing over little plastic figures far too much to find such a prospect interesting.

10) If John Blanche and H.R. Giger had a child together, what would it look like?

Like something not even a mother could love. I am guessing lots of nipples, augmetic implants and a dashing renaissance costume.

11) I accidently the box. Is this bad?

I don’t understand the question, so I guess it might be…

 

And finally, eleven questions for my nominees:

1) Warhammer 40k or Warhammer Fantasy Battles? And why?

2) Who’s your favourite miniature sculptor?

3) What’s your best hint for painting (“Thin your paints!” doesn’t count!)

4) Who’s your favourite author?

5) What’s your favourite Traitor Legion?

6) Which Ordo of the Inquisition would you belong to?

7) Which army would you never start and why?

8) Which is the most important part of the hobby for you?

9) Your favourite band or musician?

10) Which is the most spectacular conversion/kitbash you would like to do, provided you had the bitz?

11) What was the best moment in your hobby life?

 

So yeah, what a day! Make sure to check out the blogs I nominated! Have a great weekend! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!