Archive for August, 2015

When life gives you lemons,…

Posted in Pointless ramblings on August 26, 2015 by krautscientist

Lemons
Hey everyone,

just a quick explanation for those of you who might be wondering why there’s no new content: There’s a half-written review of the new Stormcast Eternal models sitting in my WordPress backend, but unfortunately I don’t see it going anywhere for now.

The truth is that I am currently going through a bit of a rough patch: The non-profit organisation I have been working for over the last couple of years is currently in dire straits and lacks sufficient funding to keep me on as an employee. So I guess I’ll be without a job in the near future — awesome!

What this means is…well, you can probably imagine what it means. What it means for you, at any rate, is that the posting schedule here on the blog might be a bit haphazard for a while, with the odd bout of radio silence thrown in. Sorry for that, but please bear with me while I am finding my feet. I am pretty confident there’ll always be more little plastic men in my future, and also more blog posts about them!

Anyway, you have been warned. Take care now, and godspeed!

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

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#ilovequeenbees

Posted in 40k, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , on August 14, 2015 by krautscientist

Freeblade_Logo

Hey everyone,

just a quick update for today, and a plea for your support: In time for the weekend, let us all give a fellow hobbyist a bit of a leg up! So what is this about?

If you have been reading the posts about my recent Knight-related work, you have probably picked up on the fact that I consider JeffTibbetts’ Imperial Knight conversion – dubbed “The Queen Bee” – one of the best, if not the best, Knight model around:

QueenBee WIP converted and painted by JeffTibbetts

QueenBee WIP converted and painted by JeffTibbetts

Although not quite finished yet, the model is a gorgeous piece of work, and one I have been borrowing a massive bunch of ideas from when painting my own converted Imperial Knight.

Now mobile game developer Pixel Toys has announced a game called “Freeblade”, that will allow you to play customisable Imperial Knights, and Jeff seems to be dead-set on making his Queen Bee appear in that game as an unlockable skin. So he has launched a bit of a campaign for that, and I would encourage you all to support him in his endeavour! Jeff’s a great guy and a superb hobbyist, and I owe him a great debt of honour for stealing so many ideas from him, so head over to his blog, read his post on the matter and support his little campaign, please! Thanks in advance!

So, anyway, that is all for today. I’ll be returning to my own WIP Knight now. Have a great weekend, everyone!

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

Getting dressed… Painting my Chaos Knight, pt. 3

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 12, 2015 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, another Knight-related update today. The original plan was to post a review of the recent Stormcast Eternals release today, but I spent yesterday in Frankfurt, visiting a pretty cool exhibition about the intertwined histories of film and videogames at the Deutsches Filmmuseum — the museum also had some pretty cool stuff apart from that particular exhibition. Such as this:

Xenomorph (2)
Xenomorph (1)
Aaanyway, this left me with very little time for expansive writeups on the old blog, so you will have to content yourselves with some more incremental progress on my Chaos Knight — I realise that this style of updates may not be all that spectacular, but bear with me here: For one, this is easily the biggest and most complex single project of my hobby life so far, so I may be forgiven for taking it slowly (and also for documenting my progress rather meticulously). This also allows me to showcase some details that I am especially proud of, as it happens — so I hope you’re not yet bored of the model yet 😉

When we last saw the Chaos Knight, I was hard at work on its daemon-faced breastplate. And indeed, here’s the model with a more complete version of that breastplate already mounted in place:

Chaos Knight PIP (84)
I wasn’t sure at first about whether or not to paint the eyes, but in the end I think the effect works rather nicely without being to cartoony. The teeth will need some additional highlighting, though.

I quickly added the lower jaw as well:

Chaos Knight PIP (87)
Once again, the area will need some more work — in fact, most of the armoured areas that are looking pretty much finished in the pictures are anything but: I’ll still need to add decals, further detail, some grime and maybe a little weathering. Anyway, this is what the Knight looked like at this point:

Chaos Knight PIP (88)
And lest we forget, a quick look at the Baron in his cockpit 😉

Chaos Knight PIP (85)
While the top carapace has only been undercoated, I think the picture shows rather nicely how the design of the cockpit and pilot works rather nicely, even when only glimpsed through the open top hatch (in any case, I’ll be leaving the carapace detachable, though).

This was also the point where I had to start working on the more complicated parts of the Knight’s armour: The pauldrons were especially daunting to me, mostly because I had planned adding a World Eaters decal to one of them. Let’s take a closer look at how that went in a minute. Before that, here’s a look at the Knight with its mostly finished faceplate in place:

Chaos Knight PIP (89)
And, once again, the entire model so far:

Chaos Knight PIP (92)
Chaos Knight PIP (91)
Chaos Knight PIP (95)
I think by now we can really see this guy coming together, wouldn’t you agree? One armour plate at a time…

As for the pauldrons, I am really happy that they are mostly finished now. Here’s the left one, complete with a big icon of Khorne and some additional totems and trophies:

Chaos Knight PIP (97)
Paintig this part was a bit fiddly because all the small trinkets had already been glued in place beforehand, but it wasn’t that much of a problem. I really like the look and feel of the design — it seems chaotic without being overly warped or mutated. The chains are also a callback to the World Eaters gladiatorial tendencies. And the pauldron actually mirrors the design of the shin armour on the same side.

The true star of the show is the right pauldron, though — complete with a World Eaters icon and numbers for the legion and company the Knight has been attached to:

Chaos Knight PIP (94)
I had been planning to use a Forgeworld decal (kindly provided by Mr. poom, no less) for a long time, although the process turned out to be just the nightmare I had anticipated: Making a decal conform to a curved surface can be tiring enough at the best of times, but I found out that it was even more of a hassle here, in spite of copious amounts of decal softener. Which makes me all the more happy to have pulled it off like this — save for a few tiny irregularities, it ended up looking fairly convincing, don’t you think? I also added some weathering on top in order to represent places where the paint had been slightly damaged and nicked.

Once again, the right pauldron shares similarities with the corresponding shin armour — especially since both use the same spikes (which, in turn, are a callback to the studded parts of Heresy-era Astartes armour).

So here’s the entire model:

Chaos Knight PIP (100)
Next stop: the carapace. And boy what a job that will be! Wish me luck! 😉

Anyway, so much for the progress on my Chaos Knight. If you have any feedback or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you!

Before I tune out for today, allow me to share something very cool with you: Fellow hobbyist Bloodygoodtime sent me a wonderful little sketch of Lord Captain Lorimar. Take a look:

illustration by Bloodygoodtime

illustration by Bloodygoodtime

I almost laughed myself off my chair when I first saw it, because it’s just perfect: badass and adorable at the same time, and it really captures the very essence of the character for me — in fact, it makes me wonder whether the Eternal Hunt wouldn’t make for an excellent Saturday morning cartoon… Anyway, a huge thank you, mate! You rock!

And, of course, to everyone else: Thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

The Devil is in the detail… Painting my Chaos Knight, pt. 2

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2015 by krautscientist

Having managed to bring my Chaos Knight back from the brink after the undercoating mishap, it was finally time to get to work on some of the detail I hoped would make the model into something truly special. So today I would like to show you some of the detail work on the model — some of these areas seemed like very daunting tasks beforehand, but have ended up really well, if I do say so myself.

Anyway, after lots and lots of weathering and trying to make the metallic areas actually look like metal, it was good tor return to something rather different. I already showed you some progress on both the pilot and the cockpit in my last post, and so I got in some more work on those two areas. So here’s the finished Baron Augustus Melchia Harrowthorne in his cockpit.

Chaos Knight PIP (54)
This guy is basically at the heart of this whole project, as thinking of a backstory for a traitorous Knight pilot was what provoked my building a Chaos Knight in the first place. Which is why it feels really good to finally see him in his place of honour like that! 🙂

I actually spent quite a bit of time coming up with just the right look for the Baron, as I tried to figure out just what kind of pilot I wanted (and how I wanted him to interact with his machine). There are many different kinds of Imperial Knight cockpits out there, and I am very willing to accept any kind of pilot interface as long as the artist in question really, really nails it. For instance, my understanding is that control of a Knight is heavily based on some kind of neural interfacing, where you actually control the machine with your thoughts, right? But I also love the idea of some kind of mechanic control, and when it’s well realised, I think it really adds something to the model. Take Jeromgb’s absolutely fantastic cockpit here: It’s very retro, almost WWI in a way, and the pilot is much more “hands on” than my own take on the matter, yet it’s perfectly executed and absolutely believable, and it really sells the concept of a pilot doing his darnedest to stay one step ahead of his opponent.

By the same token, if you look at Forgeworld’s Titan Princeps models, they all seem to have some physical controls as well as neural interfaces — and I think it really makes sense for a setting as eclectic and retro-futuristic as 40k to fall back on a mix of both ways. What’s more, given the fact that the Knight Households are such a very ancient remnant of pre-Imperial times, with each machine a millennia-old artifact, I think it’s totally conceivable that there are as many types of interface as there are Knight worlds.

As for my own model, I wanted Harrowthorne to have some kind of physical control, but I also wanted him to look very dignified and noble, which is why I heavily based him on the Princeps from FW’s Warhound Titan. As for the actual points of interface on my model, Harrowthorne is rather extensively augmented, as you can see: In addition to that, there’s some cabling on the back of his head, and his throne has several parts that look like ports for a possible interface, so I imagine him to be plugged into those. All in all, I really think he looks like quite the character, and I am very happy with him:

Baron Harrowthorne PIP (6)
Fun fact: Harrowthorne’s paintjob was actually heavily inspired by the Dark Jedi Jerec, villain of the first Jedi Knight videogame…

Baron Harrowthorne PIP (8)

Here’s another picture of the Knight’s interior: You can see both the cockpit and the engine compartment in their basically finished forms. Since all of this was basically scratchbuilt and kitbashed, it remains among my favourite parts of the model — and it’s pretty cool that the solution I came up with ended up fairly similar to the “official” Knight interiors produced by Forgeworld (even moreso because I actually came up with mine before Forgeworld’s version was even available!):

Chaos Knight PIP (62)

The above picture also shows how I have gone for a little “special effect” with the flames emerging from the additional baroque outlets on the Knight’s back: My idea was that these would function as some kind of extra vent, allowing the machine to vent excessive warp power or what have you (don’t overthink this bit, I only wanted it to look cool 😉 ). Anyway, my original plan was to paint the flames in a slightly more supernatural blue, but I was afraid the effect would end up looking too unnatural and toylike. So I went with a slightly more naturalistic approach — and I was fortunate enough to find an absolutely excellent tutorial for painting flames over at Tale of Painters, which allowed me to finish the whole area in very short order, even though I’d never attempted painting natural looking flames before! The tutorial also provided a sweet tip for using a glaze made from Mephiston Red and Lahmian Medium to create an effect resembling glowing coals around the flames — just what I needed, as it makes the area surrounding the flames look interesting without diverting too much attention towards it.

Still inspired by the success of my first-time flame painting, I then tackled the one area I was really rather afraid of: The monitors and displays inside the cockpit. Since the cockpit had already been permanently assembled at this point, I had set myself up for a rather fiddly task. But while the challenge turned out to be just as fiddly as I had expected, I am really rather happy with the result:

Chaos Knight PIP (67)
I’m certainly not great with freehanding, but I am still pretty happy with the suggested data streams on those tiny monitors. I also used the aforementioned Mephiston Red glaze to give some of the buttons a glowing look:

Chaos Knight PIP (66)
And, once again, here’s the Baron inside the now finished cockpit:

Chaos Knight PIP (68)

Chaos Knight PIP (69)
Fellow hobbyist The Hydra pointed out that it would have been really funny to have one of the monitors display a game of Pong! Dang, what a missed opportunity! 😉

But seriously, I am really, really happy with the finished cockpit!

So the Knight’s skeleton is bascially finished at this point: I tidied up the last few rough spots and added some leftover Heldrake armour plates on the arms. Here’s what I ended up with:

Chaos Knight PIP (71)

Chaos Knight PIP (70)
Chaos Knight PIP (72)

Chaos Knight PIP (73)
Chaos Knight PIP (74)
Chaos Knight PIP (75)
Chaos Knight PIP (76)

Chaos Knight PIP (77)

Chaos Knight PIP (78)

On a related note, let me take a moment to address Forgeworld’s “official” Chaos Knight kit: It was actually interesting to see this being released recently, after it had already made a sneaky appearance in the new Warhammer: World displays… 😉

Forgeworld Chaos Knight (1)
Forgeworld Chaos Knight (2)
But to be perfectly honest, I am almost a little underwhelmed by the model. Sure, it clearly reads as a Chaos Knight. But doesn’t the design seem like they phoned it in a bit, at least compared with Forgeworld’s regular output? It seems very generically chaotic to me, especially with the warped armour and teeth around the head. And some touches are pretty close to my own version, as it happens: Just take a look at the chaos star on the back of the cannon, the spikes on the chainsword and the reactor section…

Forgeworld Chaos Knight (3)

I think when all is said and done, this should work as a pretty serviceable basic template for a Chaos Knight, although it might need some additional conversion and kitbashing to really bring it to the next level. However, if I need to further convert the model anyway, I might as well make it an all plastic conversion in the first place and circumvent the issue of potentiall having to deal with ill-fitting resin parts, right? Or one could go for the Kytan Daemon Engine of Khorne, which seems like the more interesting project, at least for a follower of Khorne like yours truly… 😉

It’s a nice enough kit, surely, but I am actually rather relieved that it’s not that much more awesome than my own conversion — at least that’s how I feel about it. This means I can happily finish my own model without feeling like I missed out on an even cooler version. And one advantage of the release is that we know have semi-official Chaos Knight rules! Yay!

 

All the more incentive to keep plugging away on my own Chaos Knight. And I have already made pretty good headway regarding the armour plates. Let me show you a final sneak peek or two of what is to come:

The Knight with its leg armour in varying stages of completion:

Chaos Knight PIP (79)
And here’s a first look at the PIP belly plate:

Chaos Knight PIP (80)
Oh, and there’s one thing you guys can help me with: I want to add a decal to the Knight that represents the Machine’s honorary membership in the Legio Audax (The “Ember Wolves”), the Titan Legion that fought alongside the World Eaters during the Heresy. So I was looking at a suitably wolf-y decal in order to represent that affiliation: At first I wanted to use one of the War Hounds decals, but those definitely show a dog, not a wolf. So which of the following do you think would work best for the intended effect (As for placement, I’m thinking one of the kneecaps)?

Possible Audax decals
As it happens, some hobbyists have suggested some very cool – and slightly less common – SW decals to represent the Legio: The flame wolf (playing on the whole “Ember Wolves” thing):

Flame WolfOr these very cool, slightly more feral looking symbols that I hadn’t even seen before:

Possible Audax decals (2)
Are these even available as decals? And if so, if anyone has some of these left, (especially the more hirsute looking wolf heads dead centre and in the bottom row), feel free to send them my way! 😉

 

So yeah, I think you could really say I am having a blast with this big boy right now, even though painting the model is turning out to be a ton of work. So stay tuned, there should be more shortly 😉

If you have any feedback or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you, of course. And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!