Archive for October, 2015

The more things change… — a look at the Khorne Bloodbound release

Posted in Chaos, Conversions, Uncategorized, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2015 by krautscientist

It has been a while since I last posted a review focusing on a new GW release, and I intend to change that today. Considering current RL circumstances, I hope you’ll bear with me when I choose something fairly close to my heart to get back into the swing of things. So let’s talk about the new Khorne Bloodbound kits today:

Khorne Bloodbound release (1)
Followers of the blood god really can’t complain: With every WFB or AoS chaos release, we have received a substantial addition to our toy box. I am quite aware that many non-Khornate chaos fans are rolling their eyes by now, seeing how Khorne seems to be getting all the love. And indeed, Khorne seems to be GW’s preferred fallback position whenever a new chaos release rolls around. For Age of Sigmar, this means that the Bloodbound have not only been elevated to a proper sub-faction, but they have also been the focus of the first wave of new chaos kits released for the revamped system. And while the Stormcast Eternals seem like GW’s attempt at radically re-envisioning the Empire by way of the Space Marines, the new Khorne kits hew far closer to the “traditional” chaos look. So, what do we get? Let’s take a look at each of the new kits in turn and also consider some of the possible conversion options. So sharpen your axe and step this way, please ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Skarbrand

Khorne Bloodbound release (4)
Well, this was certainly a pleasant surprise, seeing how Skarbrand has been on hobbyists’ short list to finally receive a proper model for quite a while now. So here he is — can the model live up to all the expectations?

It’s quite obvious that the Skarbrand kit allows GW to get some more mileage out of those Bloodthirster designs they must have done prior to the release of the new plastic kit, as there is an overall similarity in design between Skarbrand and the stock Bloodthirsters (both share the spiky butt cheeks, for one ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). On the other hand, the new model deviates from the prior kit in several ways: There’s the very different pose, of course, making Skarbrand look like he’s taking a moment to bellow in rage at the enemy. In fact, the pose is really rather excellent and one of my favourite parts about the model: While it does maintain some forward momentum, it really adds some presence to the character. And it also works rather beautifully with the twin axes wielded by Skarbrand.

Khorne Bloodbound release (5)

The other very noticeable thing about the model, and one of the aspects that define the character, is the pair of tattered, torn wings. And I think GW’s designers have done a rather nice job on this particular part of the model:

Khorne Bloodbound release (7)
Keeping most of the bones intact and limiting the damage to the wing membranes was a pretty good move, if you ask me: The design avoids the lopsided look you see on many Skarbrand conversions. Andwhile the wings still have a vestigial, damaged look to them, they do add some presence to the model. I also like the idea of having spiked chains between the bones: Is that some kind of additional torture, one has to wonder, or Skarbrand’s own attempt at making his damaged wings more presentable…?

The model also has some rather heavy scarring on the right side of the face. Let’s not get into the metaphysics of this too much (do daemons have bones in the first place? Aren’t they just warp energies given form…?), and rather focus on the actual design: While I like the broken horns, the flayed face may just be a bit much. Then again, I love how the ‘Eavy Metal team chose to paint the right eye as white and – possibly – blind:

Khorne Bloodbound release (9)
And there’s the beard, of course. I’ll be honest with you: I am not a fan. But it should be easy enough to just leave it off or use it as a braid of hair on virtually any big model, so I’ll let it slide.

Khorne Bloodbound release (11)
The twin axes are very nice and daemonic in design — the organic aspect really fits for a Greater Daemon, and I also like how they are far shorter and more hatchet-like than the axes the stock Bloodthirster gets. And while they are pretty ornate, they still seem workmanlike enough to work, from a visual standpoint. They also rather beautifully complement Skarbrand’s pose, as mentioned above.

And one more thing that differentiates Skarbrand from the stock Bloodthirster: a (mostly) custom set of armour plates, giving us yet another set of options for our Bloodthirsters’ wardrobes ๐Ÿ˜‰

Khorne Bloodbound release (10)The armour looks great, too — I’ll even forgive that one skull playfully wedged into the eye socket of a skull ornament, there ๐Ÿ˜‰ Anyway, the slightly more ornate look seems fitting for a daemon that used to be one of Khorne’s most exalted champions.

Seen on its own, the model is really cool and makes for a fitting centre piece for every Khornate army — the fact that it doubles as both an AoS and a 40k release is a nice bonus, of course.

Things really get interesting, however, when taking a closer look at the Skarbrand sprue: In additon to the actual parts needed to build Skarbrand, you also get a fair bit of stock Bloodthirster parts in the box:

Khorne Bloodbound release (14)
Khorne Bloodbound release (13)
For the record, you get the alternate pair of legs, two alternate heads and most of the weapons of the stock ‘Thirster. The undamaged wings, alternate armour pieces, third head and two-handed axe seem to be unaccounted for, though.

In any case, this should allow you to build either Skarbrand or your own, custom Bloodthirster, with additional parts from the stock kit multiplying the options even further, right? Well, yes and no: While you can make some changes to Skarbrand and use some of Skarbrand’s parts on your stock Bloodthirster, the kits are unfortunately not 100% compatible. Fellow hobbyist Khorga informs me that the running legs, for instance, are not really compatible with Skarbrand’s custom armour, while the amour plates from the stock kit, in turn, don’t fit together too well with Skarbrand’s standing legs. At the same time, depending on which pair of arms you use, the shape of the wing sockets on the model’s back will change accordingly, so not every set of arms will work with both sets of wings. While this shouldn’t present accomplished converters with any unsolvable problems, it would still have been nice to have all the parts compatible with one another — or even to have a kit that will make Skarbrand and all of the three stock ‘Thirster variants? Granted, that may have been to much wishlisting. But with today’s kits being so meticulously planned, it seems like having all the parts fit together wouldn’t have been that much more complicated for the designers.

Another piece of criticism frequently leveled at Skarbrand (as well as the stock Bloodthirsters, for that matter) is the models’ size: Quite a few hobbyists feel that these beasts should be quite a bit bigger. I am honestly not as bothered by the size issue, though: I think GW’s designers have managed to imbue both Skarbrand and his brethren with a sense of presence and brutality that makes them look as though they could go toe to toe with an Imperial Knight and still come out on top. If there is one size issue that bothers me, it’s that Skarbrand used to be the most powerful of Khorne’s Bloodthirsters, yet he’s about half the size of this guy…? Talk about a pint-sized powerhouse, right there! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Khorne Bloodbound release (12)But that’s not really a major concern, and in spite of such minor quibbles, what we have here is a rather stunning model, and possibly the star of this release. Would I have enjoyed a huge multi-optional kit for Skarbrand and each of the ‘Thirster variants? You bet! But this is what we get, and it’s still pretty great, if you ask me.

 

Exalted Deathbringer

Khorne Bloodbound release (15)
Whoa, that’s a pretty big guy, isn’t he? One of the new Khornate characters is quite interesting in how the model seems to blur the line between mortal and immortal servant of Khorne: He’s not quite a daemon yet, but also no longer purely mortal either. At the same time, the overall look of the model did remind me of a souped-up version of the priest from the warshrine kit.

Anyway, I like the model well enough, mostly for the excellent detail work adorning both the armour and the bare skin of the piece. I also really like that bestial face!

Khorne Bloodbound release (21)
If I have one gripe, the weapons seem a tad too gimmicky for my taste: That axe is just a bit too cumbersome, maybe, and definitely an acquired taste, for one. And it really wouldn’t make any sense to have skull trophies dangling from there, would it…?

Beyond that, the only thing that really doesn’t sit well with me is that topknot — in fact, the quickest way to make the model look much cooler would be to either significantly shorten the topknot…

Khorne Bloodbound release (17)
…or lose it altogether:

Khorne Bloodbound release (18)
In fact, without a topknot, the model looks like an even more grimdark version of Darkness from the seminal fantasy flick Legend. I wonder if that was intentional…?

A look at the sprue reveals that the model is versatile enough to allow for at least some customisation:

Khorne Bloodbound release (22)
Want to make your Deathbringer look less daemonic and more human? Just drop the stock head and swap in something more marauder-y. Need the claw or the axe for a different model? The world’s your oyster! And by the same token, it should also be possible to swap in an alternate set of weapons for use on the Deathbringer. The fairly open pose of the model should make converting it very easy.

All in all, I rather like this guy. He may not be super-original, but he does explore GW’s usual chaos look from a slightly new angle by blending mortal and daemonic characteristics. Plus the model’s versatility is really nice. Probably my favourite of the new Khornate plastic characters!

 

Slaughterpriest

Khorne Bloodbound release (23)Hmm, now this is an interesting case… Let’s not get into the fact that this guy doesn’t really all that much like a priest to begin with —
because you might argue that Khorne is not a deity to be worshipped at a temple or church, but rather through the act of war itself. What instantly struck me about the model is that it does look fairly different from what we are used to — in fact, it doesn’t even really look like a GW model, does it? My immediate reaction was that it seemed like a piece from a different manufacturer (Rackham comes to mind, or the designs you would see in Dark Age.

Sure, it does have enough Khorne symbols and skulls on it to convince us that it does indeed belong. But there are parts of it that really recall several other manufacturers: a certain lankiness when it comes to the model’s proportions, the design of the face…

Khorne Bloodbound release (24)
In fact, I really rather like the face, to be honest. And the fact that the model doesn’t immediately read as standard GW fare doesn’t have to be a problem in and of itself, of course! I just cannot shake the feeling that this guy doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the family…

Beyond that, it’s certainly a cool looking model! Once again, the detailing is amazing all around:

Khorne Bloodbound release (25)
There’s a dubious design decision or two, though: Why have those horns emerge from the model’s spine? Why have them at all, if you don’t want them on the head? Wouldn’t that be really impractical (and rather uncomfortable as well)?

Anyway, a closer look at the sprue shows that the model might be slightly less flexible when it comes to conversions, but much of that has to do with the specific pose and the two-handed weapon, of course:

Khorne Bloodbound release (26)All in all, I have to admit that I haven’t yet made up my mind regarding this guy: He does stick out a bit, yet there’s also something interesting about the model’s different style that I find rather intriguing. Hmm…

 

 

Skullgrinder

Khorne Bloodbound release (27)
Ah, here we are, back in far safer territory. As a matter of fact, it’s actually rather surprising that it took GW as long as this to make the connection between Khorne and some blacksmith, forge god archetypes. But here we are at last: The Blood God’s very own sinister blacksmith. Huzzah! ๐Ÿ™‚

Where the Slaughterpriest almost seemed like a non-GW model, the Skullgrinder looks oddly familiar. But then, it has so many hallmarks of GW’s Khornate design: the bunny eared helmet (with a lovely, somewhat perplexed, expression, if you asked me). The heavy armour. The dangling skulls and icons.

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And of course, the weapon on a chain, something that seems to be becoming a defining characteristic of many Khornate models for AoS:

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I certainly hope he’s not using that thing for any actual smithing, though — not only should it make for a rather uneven performance, but it also seems like it would wreak havoc on any matters of occupational safety… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Yet once again, there’s something bothering me, although I cannot quite put my finger on it. Maybe the model just seems like a slightly formulaic treatment of the subject matter — like they mostly wanted to tick off a box here. “Murderous Blacksmith archetype? Yep, got that one. Moving on.”

Once again, the rather complicated pose means that you’ll have to plan ahead a bit when converting the Skullgrinder. At the same time, some of the bitz (the weapon and head, in particular) are interesting enough, so I think we should expect to see them on other models before long.

Khorne Bloodbound release (31)
This guy is a Khornate model alright, but he also seems like the least interesting out of the three. Is it just me? Or would it indeed have been possible to do more with the blacksmith archetype — speaking of which: While not call this guy Warsmith or Wrathsmith or something that doesn’t involve the word “skull” for once? Oh well… ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

Bloodreavers

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Now these are the Marauders we have wanted for at least a couple of years, wouldn’t you agree? I think it’s consensus that the vintage plastic Marauder kit has adged pretty badly by now (although some of the bitz are still rather useful, make no mistake!), while the more recent kits like the Marauder Horsemen hinted at much more pleasing chaotic barbarians. And now we get the Bloodreavers, and I really have to say I like them a lot!

Khorne Bloodbound release (33)
These guys are bullish and warlike and just seem very fittingly brutal and tribal for the job! They also look dangerous enough to hld their own against the more heavily armoured followers of chaos, visually.

Bloodreavers were one of the unit types that came in the Age of Sigmar boxed set, so it’s interesting to see inhowfar these multipart models move beyond the snapfit pieces from that box. And I think the Bloodreavers do a rather good job in this respect, staying true to the overall design while adding some interesting new touches, such as the two-handed weapons and the bigger amount of bare heads:

Khorne Bloodbound release (34)

In fact, some of those heads are especially nice and flavourful (and would work brilliantly on World Eaters, if you ask me). At the same time, I also like the very stripped-down, brutal looking helmets.

Khorne Bloodbound release (36)
At their best, these guys are just as menacing as you would want your mad, bloodthirsty barbarians to be. And without any of the Barbie doll anatomy (especially where the shoulders are concerned) that plagued the old Marauder kit. Some of the models are just brilliant:

Khorne Bloodbound release (38)
Khorne Bloodbound release (37)
The kit is not without its awkward parts, though. Some of the poses do seem a bit static and unnatural. Like the guy in the bottom left here:

Khorne Bloodbound release (35)Or that strange, double-sided dagger wielded by the champion. Whoever thought that looked cool?

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All in all, however, I really like these guys! They manage to move beyond the starter box Bloodreavers, presenting some interesting new options and some pretty wicked sculpts. And you get twenty of them in the kit, so what’s not to like?

 

Blood Warriors

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Here’s the other unit type featured in the AoS starter box, also rendered as a multipart plastic kit. And while I don’t want to get ahead of myself, I would argue that these models don’t fare quite as well as the Bloodreavers. Let’s take a closer look:

Khorne Bloodbound release (43)

Okay, first things first: Like the models that came with the AoS starter books, the multipart Blood Warriors make for some heavily armoured, quite sinister and very Khornate infantry — so far so good! The detail work is, once again, excellent, with every armour beautifully detailed and adorned with suitably Khornate elements. The amount of different heads is truly staggering, with a pretty big collection of Khornate helmets, as well as some bare variants:

Khorne Bloodbound release (45)

I especially like the bitz used to make up both the unit champion and standard bearer: The champ is such a characterful model, don’t you think?

Khorne Bloodbound release (50)I would never have expected to ever get fed up with axes — but I would have appreciated a sword or two in the kit, if only for some visual variety. Sure, all of the models have the option of equipping the new gorefists or a pair of axes, but a sword or two would have been nice. Speaking of which, the special weapons option here seems to be the, strangely Klingon-like, “Goreglaive” — which tries a bit too hard to be awesome for my taste…

Khorne Bloodbound release (51)That is a particularly lovely helmet, though!

The models generally try to approximate the design outline set down by the snapfit models from the starter kit, with the different helmet designs and optional bare arms the only visual elements to distinguish them. They do seem slightly less …sophisticated, for lack of a better word, than the starter box models, though. Granted, a pre-posed model will have a pretty good chance of looking more dramatic and impressive than a model built from a multipart kit, but it’s fairly noticeable here. There are also some strangely awkward elements about the kit: The aforementioned “Klingon axe”, some of the bare arms or the strange way the chains on the icon bearer’s standard interact with gravity…

In spite of these concerns, the kit remains very versatile and interesting — especially from a kitbasher’s perspective. This seems like the new, comprehensive toolkit for building heavily armoured Khorne dudes, and it should also provide you with many, many bitz to accessorise your World Eaters, Khorne berzerkers, Khornate Chaos Space Marines, Chaos Knights, regular WoC or what have you.

And still, while the kit is pretty cool, it somehow seems less interesting to me than the Bloodreavers — and it certainly brings fewer new elements to the table when compared with the Blood Warriors contained in the starter box. Still, I suppose this will turn into a more or less compulsory purchase for each Khorne player at some point.

 

Conversion ideas

So much for the different kits — but what about the conversion potential? I think it’s pretty obvious that these new kits will mostly come in handy for chaos players, particularly for those running any kind of Khornate army and/or warband. So what are my first ideas after taking a closer look at the new kits?

Skarbrand

  • The most othe obvious conversion use for the kit would be to make a more interesting, customised Bloodthirster — while keeping in mind the aforementioned difficulties when combining Skarbrand and stock Bloodthirster bitz. Even so, with a sharp knife, some GS and a slightly adventurous spirit, the two available Bloodthirster kits should provide converters with quite a few options to make a really unique greater daemon of Khorne.
  • Speaking of which: I think Skarbrand would also make a very nice base model for a conversion of Angron in his incarnation as a Daemon Primarch: The pose is really fitting for the character, and I think the more ornate armour should also work like a charm. In fact, I really don’t understand why we haven’t yet seen any Angron conversions based on the new Bloodthirster kits — maybe it’s time to change that…?!
  • Whichever option you choose, the kit will also provide some nice additional bitz for your Daemon Prince or Chaos Lord. Since you get quite a few of the stock Bloodthirster bitz as part of the deal, there’s nothing stopping you from, say, making your Daemon Prince look more Khornate. And some of the weapons might look good on a daemon engine or even on a Chaos Knight — in fact, most of the ideas I’ve outlined in my review of the stock Bloodthirster kit also apply to Skarbrand!

Exalted Deathbringer

  • I think the model would make for a rather nice alternate Herald of Khorne — especially in a 40k daemon army, where the danger of confusing the model for something else wouldn’t be as big. But the rather daemonic look of this guy, in addition to his bulk, would really make him look the part!
  • Or he could become a mutant overlord — either for your LatD force with a Khornate twist or for an INQ28 chaos warband. Speaking of the latter options, he would also make for a great chaotic high priest with a few touchups.
  • Or, basically the most straightforward option: Make the model a bit less daemonic and use it as a World Eaters arena champion — not unlike my own conversion for Vorl Dustwalker.

Slaughterpriest

  • I somehow get the feeling that this guy might end up as one of the chief suspects when it comes to converting a kit from the new release. I don’t even have all that many ideas about him yet, seeing how I yet need to make up my mind about him, but I think there will be quite a few conversions of the Slaughterpriest in the future, mark my words. Here, let me share my very first idea from just a second ago: What about thinking of that hideous spine painted in metal? That would give him a distinct “Mean Machine” vibe. Now just slap on a monstrous power claw, and you are already half way towards a very sinister looking pitslave champion. Just a though…

Bloodreavers

These guys should be very versatile conversion fodder. Just off the top of my head…

  • …they could be used as some very beefy and intimidating chaos cultists, obviously. Just slap on some autopistols, and you’re golden ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • these would be brilliant as pitslaves! Just shave off the Khorne icons and add some heavy duty power tools and augmetics to them — done. They have the bulk. They have the scars. The rest shouldn’t be much work.
  • And while we are leaning towards the more loyalist (or at least, slightly less chaotic) side of things: Don’t you think these guys would make for some pretty convincing gland war veterans? I mean they certainly look like they have been beefed up via unsavory means. I mean, they could possibly be used to build any kind of barbarian IG troopers hailing from a feudal world, but I think they would be excellent as gland war veterans ร  la Inquisitor’s Sergeant Stone.
  • With a bit of conversion work, especially where the legs are concerned, these could be used to build some excellent, bare-chested, gladiatorial World Eaters — in fact, had these guys been available at the time, they would probably have been the perfect base models for my own Gladiatorii.
  • And finally, the bitz from the kit would work wonderfully on both Pre and post-Heresy World Eaters: I think the faces really have the kind of personality you want on your blood-crazed madmen. Some of the brutal looking helmets might also be pretty cool on World Eaters officers. And a bare arm here and there would also make for a cool eyecatcher. If I ever get a box of these (and I will, eventually), expect to see the leftover bitz used in this way ๐Ÿ˜‰

Blood Warriors

As I’ve said before, I think these guys will become one of the new go-to kits when it comes to building Khornate models.

  • They could be used as Khornate Chaos Space Marines and/or World Eaters with a bit of work (or barely any conversion work, depending on how adventurous you’re feeling). Face it, slaughter-brothers and -sisters: This is the closest we will ever come to a new plastic Khorne berzerker kit ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • And basically all of the bitz will certainly be in high demand for (Khornate) chaos armies all over the place: Expect to see all the extra heads and weapons on AoS Chaos Warriors and Chaos Knights, 40k Chaos Space Marines, Chaos Lords or Khorne Berzerkers.

 

So, what about this release on the whole? I have to say that I basically have two reactions to this release:

As a World Eaters fan (and a hobbyist still hopelessly in love with the Khornate design, even after all these years), I consider this a rock-solid release that provides lots and lots of new toys and several very interesting new toolkits. I now have more options than ever, and it won’t surprise you to hear that my hands are already itching when I look at some of those delicious bitz.

As a hobbyist in general, I cannot help but be a bit less impressed. Sure, all of this is high-quality work, but it also hardly treads any new ground. Which is why I can perfectly understand why some people are growing fed up with the seeming deluge of Khornate kits.

So, what to make of it all?

It seems very obvious that the Bloodbound are GW’s attempt at creating a faction that “plays it safe”, relatively speaking: These models could be used just as well in vintage WFB, and the design of the new kits is close enough to the older Khornate kits released over the last couple of years — and maye this was really a conscious decision, taken not so much from laziness, but rather from the attempt at providing something people are familiar with? Think about it: Yes the Stormcast Eternals are very similar to Space Marines in some respect, but they are also a fairly radical change of direction for GW’s fantasy setting. Maybe they did want to be the other faction included in the starter (and expanded upon in the following release) to be closer to something fans of vintage WFB could relate to?

In any case, if you are a fan of Khorne, you’re in luck: You have so many new toys now, and most of them are pretty cool. Some are even rather awesome! If, however, you find Khorne uninteresting and boring, these kits will do little to change your mind.

 

What’s your take on the Khorne Bloodbound? Do you love ’em or hate ’em? Is there anything you would like to share, or a conversion idea I didn’t think of? I’d be happy to hear from you in the comments section!

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

The Warrior King

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

Baron Harrowthorne try04b

“Pray to your false Emperor with all your heart. Perhaps he might yet protect you, after all.”
Baron Augustus Melchiah Harrowthorne

 

So, a rather early update this week, but I just cannot sit on this any longer. So here goes:
More than a year later, here we are: Today’s post will finally showcase one of my most ambitious hobby projects to date, and certainly the biggest model I have ever painted — my very own converted Chaos Knight that will accompany the warriors of the World Eaters’ 4th assault company into battle. Regular readers of this blog will already be rather familiar with the model’s various stages of completion, but since I want this to be a fairly comprehensive showcase post, those of you who haven’t seen the Knight take shape yet will find all the various posts on the subject linked below:

PRELUDE

– THE BUILDING –

PART I
PART II
PART III

– THE PAINTING –

PART I
PART II
PART III
PART IV

Oh, and you might also be interested in this companion post over at Dark Future Gaming, where I discuss some of the excellent conversions that have inspired my own take on the Chaos Knight.

But let’s get to the actual showcase, right? So when we last saw the Knight, there was still some work left to do. One very important thing that I definitely wanted to incorporate was an effect suggested by dantay_xv a while ago:

The other idea I had, but again might not work would be bloody hand prints on the lower limbs and small totems or skulls at the feet of the knight like offerings or devotions.

As the 4th company go to war, they walk by Harrowthornes Knight & touch a bloody hand to its armour in the hope of receiving Khorneโ€™s blessing for a good hunt etc before going to battle.

I really loved this idea, so I had to make it work somehow. And I basically left this effect for last during painting (because I was really rather anxious about messing up, to be honest). Anyway, my approach was to make a press mold of a hand bit from a WFB trophy. I used GS for this. Then the mold was filled with latex milk, in order to create a suitably floppy and flexible copy of the hand that could then be used as a “stamp”, so to speak:

Handprints (1)
The stamp was then coated with Tamiya Clear Red, the colour I used to create the actual handprints. However, I quickly learned a couple of things: One, in spite of the flexibility of the stamp, actually creating some believable handprints on the shin armour’s curved surface turned out to be quite a bit of an ordeal. Two, there was actually even less room than I had anticipated. Three, while I had planned to add many, many handprints, I realised that the limited space resulted in a very real danger of all the handprints just mushing together into a solid wall of glossy red. So In the end, it was rather about suggesting the intended effect without going overboard — and I actually ended up painting most of the handprints by brush. Oh well…

Here’s the armour after the application of the handprints:

Handprints (3)
Handprints (4)
I am pretty pleased with the effect as it stands. It’s a rather subtle effect, to be sure, and one that does not come across all that well in photographs, but if you have the model in front of you and turn it, it’s really a rather cool effect when you suddenly glimpse the silhouette of handprints, created by the Clear Red’s glossy finish (the effect can be seen pretty well in the pictures above).

All that was left to do at this point was a lot of minor cleanup work. I had drawn up a list of many small parts that needed some more attention during the earlier stages of painting the Knight, and now I carefully went down this list and cleaned up every part of the model in turn. While this did take a while, I really didn’t want my attention to detail to wane so close to the finishing line, so I stayed focused. I may not be able to hold a candle to, say, JeffTibbett’s kind of perfectionism, but I can be obsessed when I need to ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, without any further ado, here’s the finished model. I give you Gilgamesh, the Warrior King, the Twice-Consecrated, Son of the Ember Queen, the 4th assault company’s very own Knight Titan:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (1)
Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (3)
Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (5)
Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (6)
Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (8)
Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (9)
Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (11)
Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (2)
It probably won’t surprise you that I am just immensely happy with this model right now: It has been quite a journey, but in the end I ended up accomplishing pretty much all that I had set out to do with this model, and all without cutting any corners, which is no small feat for me ๐Ÿ˜‰ Oh, and the fact that the start to painting the model was rather bumpy and almost made me abandon the piece in frustration makes this success all the sweeter now!

Oh, and I do realise that painting all of the armour red may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it really creates the kind of look I wanted: The colour scheme and many bitz leave absolutely no doubt as to the machine’s allegiance, wouldn’t you agree?

So let’s take a closer look at some of the detail, because that’s really the fun part with a model of this size: To add stuff that may not be immediately noticeable but that hints at the machine’s backstory and long years of service. Again, some of you will already be familiar with most of these details, but please bear with me here — I am just really proud of the model right now ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, we have seen the red and brass, and so it’s no surprise that the Knight proudly displays the heraldry of the XII Legion Astartes, be it on the heraldic plate…

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (14)

…or on its right shoulder pad:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (15)
In the latter case, the legion badge is supplemented by the Legion and company number, respectively. The other shoulder pad, meanwhile, shows a massive brazen icon of the Blood God, chained into place in the gladiatorial style of the legion and decorated in many smaller totems and icons:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (16)
The World Eaters legion badge is also on display on the banner between the Knight’s legs:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (17)
Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (18)
Also take note of the bloody handprints on the warmachine’s shin armour, left there as an oath of moment by the legionaries of the 4th. And there’s also a symbol of the Legio Audax (“Ember Wolves”) on the right kneepad, symbolising the machine’s honorary membership in the mighty Titan Legio. After going back and forth on the design several times, in the end I decided to combine an AdMech cog symbol (as a symbol of a Titan Legio) and a SW paw print for the actual Ember Wolves look — I just liked the way the paw print mirrored the (bloody) handprints used by the World Eaters as a sign of accomplishment in the official fluff.

Meanwhile, the rear side of the banner displays a collection of the many battle honours won by the Knight during its long years of service among the World Eaters:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (7)
Like I said, I had quite a bit of fun with this small detail, and it’s also a callback to some of the really old Adeptus Titanicus and Rogue Trader artwork: Even then, Titans were covered in battle honours, hung with kill banners and what have you.

The Knight is stalking through the rubble of a vast battlefield, crushing the remains of a toppled Space Marine monument underfoot — a fitting metaphor for the failing Imperium of Man:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (19)

But what of the pilot? A look into the opened cockpit reveals Baron Harrowthorne himself, strapped into his Throne Mechanicum:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (21)
As I’ve said in an earlier post, this was probably the most complicated part of the whole conversion, but also the part I am most proud of now: Opening the hatch really shows you this perfect little vignette of the Baron in his fully realised cockpit — there’s even a design for the interior part of the hatch, of course:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (22)
Oh, and while this doesn’t have anything to do with the Baron, the Astartes helmet tropy to the left was actually painted in the colours of my INQ28 DIY Space Marine Chapter, the Golden Legion — I thought this was a pretty cool shout out ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, getting the pilot’s position to really match the hatch above took some doing, but the finished piece makes me feel it’s been well worth it:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (20)
And as it happens, I have left the entire top carapace detachable, so let us take a closer look, shall we?

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (23)
The carapace can be taken of with a bit of fiddling and will also reliably snap back into place, so it seemed like a no brainer not to glue it in. So we can get a better look at the cockpit. Like so:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (24)
And here’s a view from the top, showing both the cockpit and engine compartment:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (26)
And a side view, showing the construction below it all:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (25)
In this picture you can also make out the piece of sprue I have used to keep the joint at the waist flexible.

And here’s a look at the monitor banks showing vital battlefield information to the Baron:Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (27)
All of this has been kitbashed from different vehicle bitz and some plasticard, but I think I’ve managed to combine it into a rather cohesive whole. What’s more, the design even resembles Forgeworld’s “official” Knight interiors released for the Cerastus Knight variants — no small feat when you consider that those versions weren’t even available yet when I started converting my own Knight.

In addition to the to the carapace, the shoulder pads and arms have also been left detachable, so the entire Knight can be disassembled fairly thoroughly. Take a look:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (29)
Since all of the parts lock into place fairly reliably without glue, there was really no point to attaching them permanently. Plus the weapons can be properly aligned and turned towards the enemy during games. Oh, and I am also free to maybe build an alternate pair of weapon arms for the Knight one of these days…

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (30)
Before I started working on the Knight, the biggest conversion I had ever tackled was my Wargrinder, a custom Dreadknight conversion. And while I am still very proud of this model, it does look almost puny when placed next to its bigger brother. Take a look:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (31)
Quite a difference, eh? Speaking of which, the picture also shows that the red used on my Knight noticeably differs from the red used on the rest of my World Eaters. While I would have loved the colours to be the same, I ultimately had to make this decision because my World Eaters colour scheme relies on the – now OOP – GW Blood Red, and my reserves of this colour would never have sufficed to paint a model of this size to a standard I was happy with. In the end, I chose to make the Knight the best it could possibly be — at the price of a bit of visual coherency. But when all is said and done, I think it’s a difference I can easily live with: The model still looks like it belongs with the rest of the army, and a Knight Titan is really different enough from an Astartes vehicle or daemon engine to warrant a bit of visual divergence.

Oh, and while we are on the subject of scale comparisons, here’s a picture showing a power armoured World Eater, a Terminator, a Dreadnought, the Wargrinder and the Chaos Knight, just to put the scale in perspective:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (32)

All in all, this has been an absolutely fantastic project for me, because it has really taught me so much, both about big models, but also about giving a model the time it deserves in order to really make it shine. What’s more, this Chaos Knight really turned into a bit of a community project somewhere along the way, as the feedback I received here and on forums like Dakka, The B&C or The Ammobunker really provided immensely helpful advice and helped me to stay focused whenever there was a danger of slacking off ๐Ÿ˜‰

If I have to name on source of inspirations above all others, it would have to be JeffTibbett’s brilliant Freeblade, the “Queen Bee”, though: Jeff’s work really taught me a new way of looking at a Knight and how to do justice to one of this ancient, hallowed warmachines. So thanks a lot to all those who provided valuable feedback and cheers to you, Jeff!

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (13)
So, anything else? Well, speaking of the amount of history behind Knights, we cannot possibly wind up this post without taking a look at the history of this particular machine and its pilot, can we? So here’s what I’ve come up with for the two:

 

Baron Harrowthorne try03b
Baron Augustus Melchiah Harrowthorne

Knight Baron Harrowthorne was the leader of the honourable Covenant of Paladins, an alliance of knight households formed to defend a forgeworld in the eastern fringe. While several of the other powerful houses were forever planning and plotting to engineer their own rise to power, Harrowthorne’s honour and purity cemented his position as the Covenant’s leader, and his ancestral fortress, the Harrowspyke, remained the seat of government of his knight world.

When the world came under heavy attack from an Ork invasion, an expeditionary fleet made up of elements of the XIIth and XVIIth Legion Astartes arrived in the nick of time, supporting the Covenant of Paladins and routing the xenos attack force. With the world saved, Baron Harrowthorne felt honour-bound to not only pledge allegiance to the Imperium of Man, but also to join the expeditionary fleet himself as a representative of the Covenant, in order to pay back the debt of honour he owed the Legiones Astartes.

Harrowthorne fought alongside the XIIth legion during the latter Great Crusade and was still attached to the World Eaters when the Horus Heresy broke out. The events at Isstvan made him realise that the Warmaster’s forces were now considered heretics and traitors by the rest of the Imperium. To distance himself from them would have been the most prudent course of action, and possibly the only way of preventing his own knight world from being purged by the loyalists. But Harrowthorne still felt indebted to the legion that had saved him.

Harrowthorne came up with the only compromise that would keep both his knight world and his own honour intact: He stepped down from his position as head of his household and leader of the Covenant of Paladins. He would remain with the the Astartes of the XIIth legion, to whom he still felt indebted. He also sent word to his sons to fight him and bring him to justice, should he ever return to his homeworld, for he was to be considered a traitor.

As prudent and honourable as this course of action had been, it did not work out: Word was sent by astropath that Harrowthorne’s whole household had been wiped out by the rivaling nobles. The Harrowspyke had been razed to the ground, and Harrowthorne’s two sons had been shot dead in sight of the smouldering ruins, without even a chance to prove their honour in a knightly duel.

Harrowthorne was beside himself with grief and self-hatred, when Lord Captain Lorimar of the 4th assault company approached him: Lorimar proposed to accompany the Knight Baron to his homeworld, where he would have his revenge. His debt of honour, Lorimar argued, went both ways, and the World Eaters would not forget Harrowthorne’s brave service at their side.

The Covenant of Paladins may have been a formidable force, but it was all but powerless against the wrath of an entire assault company of World Eaters: The 4th fell onto the world like a pack of wolves falls upon its prey. With Harrowthorne leading the assault, all the noble houses that had engineered his downfall were wiped out. The leader of the conspiracy was shot in the head with a mere service pistol on the plains surrounding his smouldering keep, denied the courtly respect that he himself had denied Harrowthorne’s sons.

Afterwards, Harrowthorne felt nothing but a great emptiness. But Lorimar approached the Knight Baron and offered him a chance at revenge even beyond his own homeworld: Once again, the Baron and the World Eaters would be united by a common goal: Terra must burn!

 

Warrior King
Gilgamesh, the Warrior King, the Twice-Consecrated, Son of the Ember Queen

Harrowthorne’s ancient Knight Titan has become a sight to be feared on battlefields across the galaxy. Its baroque form towers over the ranks of World Eaters marching to war alongside it, and seems like an avatar of the Blood God given form, clad in monstrous, barbed plate of arterial red and darkened brass. No traces of House Harrowthorne’s original heraldry remain on Gilgamesh’s body, as the Knight has been repainted and re-consecrated to mirror the post-heresy heraldry of the XII Legion Astartes – proof of the Baron’s honorary membership in the legion.

Trophies and totems cover the machine’s form, and battle honours from its ten millennia of service alongside the World Eaters are still displayed proudly on banners and armour plates: the details of bloody campaigns on Jubal, Badlanding, Armatura and countless other worlds. The badge of the Legio Audax, commemorating the day when Gilgamesh was named “Son of the Ember Queen” by the Legio’s Princeps Ultima. And, of course, the bloody handprints adorning the Knight’s shin armour, placed there before every battle by the legionaries of the 4th, both as an oath of moment and a good luck charm.

Gilgamesh’s metallic form houses a particularly vicious and spiteful machine spirit, driven to anguish over the fall of House Harrowthorne just like its master. In communion, man and machine now turn their cold fury towards the enemies of the 4th assault company, and few can stand before the wrath of the Warrior King and live to tell the tale…

 

So, when all is said and done, I hope you like this detailed view at my Chaos Knight. I’ll be honest: I cannot take my eyes off the model right now, as I really consider it one of my biggest hobby achievements so far. Getting to the point where I actually have the skillset necessary to tackle a model like this and end up with a result I am happy with has been quite a journey indeed!

So anyway, I’d love to hear any feedback you might have on Gilgamesh and the Baron — and, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (12)

500,000 views — and a huge “Thank you!”

Posted in Pointless ramblings with tags , , , on October 10, 2015 by krautscientist

500k_views
Hey everyone,

Eternal Hunt has actually hit the 500,000 views mark earlier this week, and not only is this a pretty awesome achievement, but it’s also the perfect occasion to say a big thank you to all the people who have been so relentlessly supportive of this hobby endeavour of mine over the last couple of years: Back in 2012 when I started this blog, this was mainly a way of forcing myself to actually get something done and show it to those who might be interested — and as it turns out, quite a few of you seem to be. Awesome!

But there’s more: I’ve received an amount of feedback and support that I could never have expected back then. So here’s to all of my hobby buddies: To Biohazard who was the first to provide me with some bitz I needed and who continues to be an unfailing help as well as a brother-in-arms (World Eaters 4 Life, yo! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). To PDH and Commissar Molotov and Brother Ludovic and Sagal, among others, for providing brilliant bitz drops that let me do stuff like this, for instance:

Various DV Chosen conversions
To Ron Saikowski, one of my hobby heroes, for letting me have his wonderful Astropath conversion, and to Drone21C for sending me lots of cool stuff, among it his wonderful Arch Deaconne model and some excellent custom heads (a favour I have yet to repay):

INQ28 class of 2015 (2)

To Miniature Tim, who went through the trouble of sending a huge box of stuff to Germany when I won his giveaway a while back. I mean, just look at this load of stuff:

Presents

 

To Augustus b’Raass for not only sending me bitz but also offering to provide half a pot of the OOP GW Blood Red, which actually allowed me to get my model for Lord Captain Lorimar painted:

Lord Captain Lorimar (9)
And, speaking of Lorimar, thanks to Greyall and Bloodygoodtime for their excellent, respectiv illustrations showing two very different but fantastic interpretations of the Master of the Hunt:

Lord Captain Lorimar by Greyall

Lord Captain Lorimar by Greyall

 

illustration by Bloodygoodtime

illustration by Bloodygoodtime

 

And, of course, to Jeff Vader. Not only for being a constant inspiration when it comes to the painting and modeling side of the hobby, but for being so awesome as to send me a copy of his utterly fantastic book Nordiska Vรคsen (which, by the way, is totally awesome and a compulsory purchase):

Nordiska Vรคsen next to its predeccessor in spirit, the seminal "Faeries"

Nordiska Vรคsen next to its predeccessor in spirit, the seminal “Faeries”

 

I am also very grateful to DexterKong with whom I have been ceaselessly exchanging hobby ideas for quite a while now, and who keeps challenging me to become better and better at converting and painting — an invaluable service, because it’s far too easy to grow complacent.

The list really goes on and on: Thanks to all the people on the forums who have helped me grow as a hobbyist. And, of course, to all the followers and readers of this blog. For the comments, the views, the Likes and the support. And many thanks, last but definitely not least, to those of you whom I may have forgotten in this list. I am sometimes an ungrateful bastard, sorry for that ๐Ÿ˜‰

Running this blog for the last couple of years has been an extremely rewarding experience, and my hobby activities, not unlike this blog, have grown in a way that I couldn’t have foreseen. And it’s all thanks to you guys! So, again, thank you, from the bottom of my heart! You guys rock!

Before I embarrass myself any further, suffice to say that there will be a fresh update with a detailed look at a big (and now finished) model coming next week. Until then, have a great weekend, people! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!