Iron Within, Iron Without!

As you will probably have gathered from the post’s title, today will deal with the IV Legion Astartes, the Iron Warriors. Confession time: The Iron Warriors are actually one of my favourite traitor legions, and if I didn’t love the World Eaters so much, I could easily see myself starting and Iron Warriors army instead. I just love that the legion has basically remained unchanged in their outlook over the last ten millennia: They were already fairly disillusioned and fatalistic before the heresy, with very little actual conviction in the Emperor’s bigger vision, merely bound to his orders by a grim fatalism and soldierly loyalty, above all else. Nowadays, their allegiance to the Ruinous Powers is very similar to that, so the only thing that has changed for them is their employer, in a way. There’s something pretty cool about that. Plus their colour scheme of silver and gold – with the iconic yellow and black hazard stripes as a point of contrast – just rocks!

But why talk about Iron Warriors all of a sudden? Well, I have recently joined the “E Tenebrae Lux IV” event over at The Bolter & Chainsword, both because I find events like this to be very conductive to my painting morale and us Chaos players really need to show it to those loyalist dogs! 😉 The ETL provides me with the perfet incentive for finally painting my Chaos Knight conversion — at long last!

But the scope of the project means I will need a plan to streamline my work a bit, and one tool that could become very handy for that is GW’s recently released Leadbelcher spray paint: I think this could be really helpful when it comes to undercoating/basecoating the many metallic areas on my Knight. But I wanted a way to safely test the properties of the new paint without having to potentially ruin a 100+ Euros kit. Which is where the Iron Warriors come in:

Enter a converted Iron Warriors Warsmith I built quite a while ago. You may remember the model’s earliest incarnation:

Iron Warriors Warsmith early WIP
Definitely some pretty bold ideas on display: The shoulder pads were made from Chaos Marauder drums, and I wanted them to have a Pre Heresy look (back when no actual Heresy era Terminator pauldrons were available). I still think it was a pretty clever concept, given the lack of suitable material when I built the model. The hammer was converted using a weapon from the Ogre Kingdoms’ Ironbreakers: I wanted the weapon to look like it had actually been built from the remains of a razed fortress — maybe it’s even a stone from the Imperial Palace, collected during the Siege of Terra?

And finally, that massive Dark Eldar Talos claw: That was just one of those “Why the heck not?” moments. But let’s face it, the claw is awesome, but it just seems too big…

Which is why I went back to the model about a year ago and made some changes. Here’s the Warsmith’s second incarnation:

Iron Warriors Warsmith WIP (2)
As you can see, both the claw and hammer were replaced, with a lightning claw from the Warp Talons and a Dragon Ogre weapon, respectively. Both parts may lack the zaniness of the earlier version, but still make for a more balanced, plausible model, if you ask me.

This just seemed like the perfect model to test the new Leadbelcher spray while also getting a cool result out of the deal, so I made this guy a part of my ETL vow and prepared to start with him. After all, after having seen several revisions, you would expect this model to be ready for painting at this point, right?

Well, almost: The pauldrons that had seemed so clever to me before just didn’t cut it any more: They may have been a cool touch in a world before the actual heresy era armour variants were released, but they just seemed a little silly now. So I made one last change to the model and ended up with this final (I promise! 😉 incarnation:

Iron Warriors Warsmith WIP (2)
Iron Warriors Warsmith WIP (3)
I used two armour plates from a BA Dreadnought kit as the new shoulder pads, and I really like the rounded look, both because it’s decidely non-standard, but also because it recalls the design of Heresy era Terminator armour without being too “on the nose” about it. Plus it would give me a brilliant occasion for painting hazard stripes and adding some decals to the model’s shoulder pads.

So after a couple of years and several revisions, the model was finally ready for painting. Quite a big production for a mere Termie lord, eh? 😉

I undercoated the model with Chaos Black spray, as usual. After everything was dry, the Leadbelcher spray went on top of the black. And I was seriously surprised by the product: It went on like a dream and produced a near perfect coverage — I didn’t even need to clean up the silver anywhere, since the whole model had a very nice, even coat of metallic paint. Very nice!

If there is one small disadvantage to the Leadbelcher spray, it is that it’s very bright. So unless you’re going for goody two shoes loyalist Marines, you may find it a bit too bright and clean for your taste. However, that is nothing a coat or two of washes won’t solve. For a very helpful in-depth look at how the colour performs, check out this excellent post by InsanePsychopath.

My very successful experiments with the new spray paint provided me with a lot of inspiration to quickly finish the model, and the model basically painted itself. Which is why it took me only a pretty short time to get it to this stage:

Warsmith Greimolt Sturm PIP 02
Warsmith Greimolt Sturm PIP 01
The silver areas were actually washed with GW Gryphonne Sepia and then with two generous passes of black wash, which provided exactly the kind of look I wanted. And as you can see, those smooth, curved shoulder pads were excellent areas for the classic hazard stripe treatment — but more on that in a minute.

While the final details on the model were drying, I spent some time on the base. Since the model was planned as a one-off project, I took the liberty of making the base as trench-warefare-ish as I could (taking quite a few cues from EdT’s fantastic tutorial here), instead of making it resemble the bases on my World Eaters. Anyway, here’s the finished base:


As you can see, the base comes complete with a broken Imperial Fists icon, courtesy of a bitz donation by fellow hobbyist Sagal.
I also used quite a bit of gloss varnish to make the mud look suitably wet and…well, muddy:

And finally, I am rather happy with that Imperial Fists helmet:

It’s just a very minor detail, of course, but it just came out rather well, if you ask me. All in all, going for the trench warfare look seemed very fitting for the Iron Warriors, and I am really very happy with the finished base!

So all that remained was to combine model and base and finish the last remaining details, but that was quick work. So here’s the finished model, Warsmith Greimolt Sturm of the Iron Warriors:

Warsmith Greimolt Sturm 01
Warsmith Greimolt Sturm 04
Warsmith Greimolt Sturm 05
The shield slung over the model’s shoulder was mostly placed there as an excuse for painting some more hazard stripes: Yellow areas like this are a pain to finish, but they do look pretty cool in the end, don’t they?

Speaking of which, I am quite happy with the model, although you might notice that the chevron pattern seems slightly different across the two pauldrons — that’s just me being too dense to realise that I should have inverted the pattern between the different pauldrons. Oh well…

I did add a little additional flourish to the shoulder pads, though, in the shape of two decals. One of them shows the legion badge:

Warsmith Greimolt Sturm 06

I actually used on of the 90s decals for this, as I like them far better than their more modern counterpart.

The other shoulder pad received a Roman numeral “IV”, for obvious reasons 😉

Warsmith Greimolt Sturm 07
So not only did I get the experimental data I needed on that Leadbelcher spray (which I believe will work beautifully on the metallic parts of my Chaos Knight), but I also ended up with a cool new Terminator Lord — and managed to finish a long term project, so what’s not to like?

Warsmith Greimolt Sturm 03
Warsmith Greimolt Sturm 02
“Lorimar, the man who killed Voss.”
“Voss died well. That is more than can be said for most of us. What was he to you, Iron Warrior?”
“You should rather ask what I was to him, World Eater. A brother. More of a brother than you, at least. What kind of man kills his own brethren like that?”
“The kind that survived Isstvaan. The kind that survived Terra. The kind that survived Skalathrax.”

Lord Captain Lorimar and Warsmith Sturm


So, all’s well that ends well? Yes, mostly. There’s just one thing, though: Painting this model was such a blast that I immediately felt the need to create yet another Iron Warrior, even though I don’t strictly have any use for IW models and don’t want to get sidetracked yet again — What I really hate about one-off projects is how they never seem to stay one-off. At least for me 😉

But I indulged myself anyway and tried to convert the coolest, most badass IW champ I could come up with:

Iron Warriors Champion WIP (1)
Iron Warriors Champion WIP (2)
Iron Warriors Champion WIP (4)
Iron Warriors Champion WIP (3)
Iron Warriors Champion WIP (5)
As you can see, I gave him quite a bit of wargear, because that creates the workmanlike look I think is so cool about the Iron Warriors: A World Eater will stab you in the eye with a broken bone and tear you apart with his bare hands. An Iron Warrior could do that as well, but he is too well-armed and too crazy-prepared to ever let it come to that 😉 Anyway, I really wanted the model to immediately be recognisable as an Iron Warrior, which I think I succeeded with.

Here’s the model already undercoated (this is what the silver will look like before any washes have been applied, btw):

Iron Warriors Champion WIP (8)
Iron Warriors Champion WIP (7)
Iron Warriors Champion WIP (6)
I am actually really psyched to get this guy painted next — let’s just hope I can get a grip on myself afterwards, instead of jumping right into the next hobby project. Still, a highly converted Iron Warriors killteam seems like a pretty cool hobby endeavour. Must. Resist… 😉

In any case, it’s great when a project not only serves to test a product without the risk of ruining a pricy kit but also produces a cool result like this — I suppose this is the kind of happy incident that helps keeping me motivated 😉

So, what do you think about these latest models? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!


31 Responses to “Iron Within, Iron Without!”

  1. Great stuff Krauty!

    Really dig the termie lord – especially with those swanky new pauldrons. The paint scheme is spot on!
    Gotta say that enormous hammer is quite a bit a bit over the top for my taste, though…

    The champion is certainly coming along nicely – that khornate helmet is perfect for an iron warrior once the bunny ears have been removed.

    I´d love to see yout take on a iron warrior techpriest (or whatever their evil counterpart is called)…

    • Cheers, mate! I do realise the hammer is enourmous, of course, but it felt appropriate, both as a two-handed weapon and as a sign of office, so to speak — after all, Sturm is a mighty Siegemaster of the Iron Warriors 😉

      As for a Tech Priest (or Warpsmith), I’ve really thoroughly explored that character archetype with my World Eaters Warpsmith, and I am not sure I could actually improve on that concept. I am currently working on an IW Apothecary, though, which may be the next best thing…? 😉

  2. 40kterminatus Says:

    Loving your warsmith

  3. Very Nice Kraut the Iron Warriors have long been my favorite Legion and will most likely be my first foray into True Scaling. I will definitely have to pick up tome Leadbelcher spray when the time comes!

  4. Really nice Kraut – that color scheme is probably some of the best you’ve painted imo 🙂 why not make a small kill team with the 4th?

  5. Phenomenal stuff Kraut, that terminator lord is immediately one of my favourite things you’ve ever produced.

  6. hi, great lord. paintscheme works out very good. there is everything in there what an IW needs.

    i´ve got two little tips for you to think about.

    first the decals look to clean, maybe a wash and a scratch and it would be perfect.

    and 2nd, when you look at the model from the front your eyes grt drawn to the yellow pauldrons first and then to the imperial fist helmet on the floor (which is a nice detail), but this distracts from the really really cool head, which is a pity.

    i see two ways to change that.
    tone down the helmet with some washes or dirt or pigments.
    try to paint the skin of the face brighter to make this the focus of the miniature.
    or add some red OSL, coming out of his termi suit (like in the older Abbadon artworks).

    you can even combine all three of them…

    keep the paints flowing


    • KS, hrld hit my thoughts on the decal. Needs to be dirtier, but as far as test model status goes, I think you nailed your goal. As a Warsmith first and foremost, welcome to the fourth legion. Good luck on the titan and good luck avoiding making a IW allied detachment. One thing I have always wanted to do was make the Iron Circle to serve as robot guard to my Perturabo and the new mechanicus skinny robots call to me. First though, I must attend to my own World Eaters hahaha.

      • Cheers, TJ! See my reply to hrld above for my comment on the painting issues. And, again, I realise the model could have been dirtier, but I didn’t really want to go for Forgeworld levels of gritty realism.

        Funnily enough, Perturabo’s bodyguard were basically the first thing on my mind when I saw those AdMech robots — go for it! Although I’d also like to see you building a Contemptor from one of them…;)

    • I have to agree with both of the above comments. though I would offer a different solution to the distraction from the face.
      I’d use a bright colour in the chest area to act as a frame along with the shoulder pads. Possibly brighten up the skull on the chest, or paint some yellow on the trim round it to give you three points of colour around the face.

    • Thanks for the constructive criticism, mate!

      I actually went back and forth on whether or not to make the decals any more distressed, but ultimately decided against it: I didn’t want to go the extreme weathering route on this guy (unlike most IW painters), but keep some parts of the model fairly vibrant (old skool, you might say). That said, there are some small scratches on the pauldrons, although they don’t come out all that well in the photos.

      As for the face as the model’s focal point, it actually works fairly well, when you see the model firsthand: Both the skin colour (and the purple shades on the face) and the bright blue eye make for pretty serviceable focal points, because those are the only instances where these colours are used on the model. And I really don’t want to tone down the yellow, to be honest — I am just too happy with the effect 😉

  7. Loving the look of the Warsmith, although I am not so sure on the posing of the champ. Wonderful work though either way. As folks have mentioned some weathering on the decal will really help it blend in.

    The colours are great, dark metal and bright chevrons really work on this guy. Although I do blame you for distracting me into thoughts of making a small IW group myself.

    I shall resist!

    • Haha, no you won’t. Take it from someone who has been trying the same thing for the last few days — and failed miserably 😉

      What don’t you like about the champion’s pose? I am really happy with him, to be honest, but I would still like to hear your take!

      • Nope I already have my Fallen Kill Team planned…

        Ok the champs pose, I think you were going for grim determination yes? I think the arms let him down on that. That just are rather static compared to a lot of the other wonderful conversions that you do. (IMO as a lowly blogger/modeller)

  8. Iron Commander Says:

    Amazing work, man! The champ is looking really badass too.

  9. Iron Within! As a fellow Warsmith I congratulate you on your victory. I actually like the large hammer, the second version since the first was too cartoony. Unless you are painting something big (like your titan) or a while squad (killteam!) I’m not sure how much time the spray would save time compared to painting all the gold trim. Don’t resist, give in to the iron!

  10. Nice work on Sturm, he looks suitably grubby and hardworking. Bringing the hammer and claw down to more realistic proportions was a good move I think, the end result looks functional and practical, important in any model but doubly so in an Iron Warrior. In many ways the big hammer just makes him look stronger – don’t forget all the internal servo-assisted gubbins that an Iron Warrior of his stature would undoubtedly have had installed. The idea of it coming from the rubble of the Imperial Palace is a nice touch as well.
    The new guy is looking good, looking forward to seeing him and the Knight finished (and the Iron Warriors Apothecary as well) And if painting Iron Warriors is what takes your fancy then go for it, this is for fun after all 🙂

    • Thanks a lot, mate! Really glad I seem to have achieved the intended look for my Iron Warriors — and yes, I have long stopped second-guessing my inspiration: If there’s something I’d like to paint, I am just happy that I am getting some paint on models and don’t ask any questions 😉

  11. […] I recently showed you my Iron Warriors Warsmith, I already mentioned the temptation of building and painting a small Iron Warriors Killteam and, […]

  12. […] Recently, Krautscientist has been working on a few Iron Warriors (entries for which can be found here and here). I’ve not actually worked on a chaos model since I got back into the hobby about 4 […]

  13. […] used a dedicated test model to make sure the Leadbelcher spray worked as intended (in fact, that test model then spawned an entire gaiden project of its own). So I was pretty sure everything would work out […]

  14. […] not forget Warsmith Greimolt Sturm of the Iron Warriors and his first two soldiers, either. Iron Within, Iron […]

  15. […] rules, the Terminator Lord in the back will be surplus to requirements, but he really was my proof of concept model to test the waters.  Now the next step will be to finish the Apothecary’s (32mm) base and to rebase the two guys […]

  16. […] While I was at it, I also snapped some new pictures of Warsmith Greimolt Sturm: […]

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