On the road to Heresy…?

After taking an in depth look at the Betrayal at Calth boxed set in my last post, allow me to share more of my current 30k experiments with you today — be warned, though, there’ll be quite a bit of unpainted plastic ahead πŸ˜‰

One thing before we begin, though: While I am currently having lots of fun working with the Betrayal at Calth models, don’t expect a playable Horus Heresy army anytime soon, alright? If anything, I think it’s more realistic for now to consider something more at the Killteam level, or maybe even below that. Because the most interesting part of this release for me is how it offers a practical (and all plastic) way for me to explore an earlier incarnation of the World Eaters’ 4th assault company.

This isn’t even the first glimpse in that particular direction, either. Last year, I purchased some Heresy-era models AgnostosTheos had built to depict 30k versions of some of my 40k characters:

Pre Heresy (4)

So far, we have Brother Marax, turned into a Dreadnought after being mortally wounded by Captain Lorimar’s own hand during the Battle of Skalathrax:

Pre Heresy (7)

And Brother Khoron, a long standing confidant to the Lord Captain, also interred into a new ironform after succumbing to his wounds after the Heresy:

Pre Heresy (8)
And, of course, the Lord Captain himself:

Lorimar then and now
In this particular case, the model hadn’t even been built and painted to represent Lorimar, but suitably in-character, so adding some suitable weapons and the right kind of base really made the resemblance rather obvious.

So these characters already exist, and while it remains to be seen whether or not they can be made into a part of whatever it is I am doing with the Betrayal at Calth models, the fact remains that re-imagining some defining characters as their younger (MUCH younger) selves should be quite a bit of fun. The catch is that I’ll have to resisit the temptation of building a 30k version for each and every character, as that just wouldn’t be plausible: Many of the current officers of the 4th were possibly some rank and file Astartes during the Heresy at best. If they were even around at all! So the challenge will be to carefully choose who was around ten millennia ago and work from there.

It also made sense to think about building some specialists to complement the standard tactical Marines that come with Betrayal at Calth. So the first character I started playing around with was Brother Dumah, Apothecary and Primus Medicae to the 4th assault company:

World Eaters Apothecary (7)
The conversion above is the 40k version of the character. I based Dumah on two models from the Dark Vengeance box (a CSM Chosen and a Ravenwing bike sergeant, respectively) and tried to go for a suitably mysterious look while also making it clear that this guy was an Apothecary. Incidentally, he is also my counts as version of Fabius Bile, if I should ever feel like including that character in my army list.

I have a bit of backstory for Dumah in the back of my head: He worked under First Apothecary Fabrikus, yet grew distant from his mentor when Fabrikus’ tastes developed more towards brutal psycho-surgery and torture. Instead, Dumah experimented on the possibilities of mitigating the dibilitating effects of the Butcher’s Nails on the World Eaters while trying to retain their advantages. Alas, a series of unfortunate events (of which more at a later point) during the outbreak of the Horus Heresy rendered his task considerably more complicated.

Anyway, I knew that Dumah had already been around at the time of the Heresy, and I liked the idea of building an Apothecary for my 30k Killteam/collection/whatever. So here’s what I came up with, the 30k version of Apothecary Dumah:

World Eaters Apothecary Dumah 30k WIP (1)
World Eaters Apothecary Dumah 30k WIP (2)
It’s a model I am pretty happy with because it manages to read as both an Apothecary as well as a warrior. I think the resemblance to the 40k version of the character is also fairly reasonable, as I’ve made some very conscious design choices to achieve that effect: A very similar head was used, along with a Black Templar tabard. The weapon was designed to look like a less daemonic version of Dumah’s 40k weapon. And there was also a happy little accident: Both versions of the character are wearing an amulet πŸ˜‰

At the same time, some minor compromises were unavoidable: I would have preferred a left-handed Narthecium gauntlet, for one, yet the one I found in my bitzbox (from the fairly new Sanguinary Priest) was just too nice to ignore. It was also too delicate to be thoroughly cut apart, which is why Dumah’s Narthecium must have switched hands over the last ten millennia — it’s also why his Apothecary pauldron is, strictly speaking, on the wrong side.

All in all, however, I was pretty happy with this first experiment! So why not go for something legitimately challenging next, eh? πŸ˜‰

Huntmaster Deracin (11)
Huntmaster Deracin remains one of my favourite conversions (and also one of my favourite characters in Khorne’s Eternal Hunt). He is also a rather extensive kitbash and easily the tallest infantry model in the army — so how to come up with a reasonable 30k version of this guy…?

The backstory for Deracin is that he suffered massive combat injuries during the Nove Shendak campaign and had to be extensively reconstructed with augmetics. This is easily visible on the 40k version, as the model is rather massive. It was clear that the 30k version couldn’t be quite as imposing yet, but I did I want to show that he’s already started on his way to becoming the hulking Warpsmith he will be one day. So I tried to build a less “escalated” version of both his armour and his equipment, with the added challenge of having the resulting model also look like a Techmarine:

Techmarine Deracin 30k WIP (1)
Using the same head worked as an anchor for the character, making sure he would at least be somewhat recognisable. The Techmarine pauldrons and Mk. 5 torso made for a suitably tech-y look. And the legs from the WFB Chaos Chariot I found in my bitubox were a godsend, serving as both a way to increase the model’s stature as well as a fairly recognisable precursor of the nonstandard power armour Deracin has taken to wearing during the 41st millennium.

I also used the same kind of backpack that appears on the 40k version, adding a small servo-arm (a very clever trick that I stole from Peculiar Quest):

Techmarine Deracin 30k WIP (2)
With the basic construction out of the way, all that remained was to come up with earlier, slightly less imposing versions of Deracin’s two-handed weapon and servo-harness. So here’s the mostly finished conversion:

Techmarine Deracin 30k WIP (4)

Techmarine Deracin 30k WIP (6)

The weapon became a combined axe/hammer affair, slightly resembling Deracin’s later “staff of office”:

Techmarine Deracin 30k WIP (5)
All in all, I am really happy with this model, because I feel it manages to accomplish three things: It looks like a Techmarine, albeit an unconventionally warlike one. It looks like an earlier version of 40k Deracin. And in spite of its departures from standard Space Marine design, it also resembles an Astartes enough to fit into a Killteam/army, don’t you think?

In any case, here’s a picture with both versions of the character, for comparison purposes:

Deracin comparison

So these two are my first attempts at building 30k versions of my 40k characters. But this project will also be about some new models and characters, of course. You’ve already seen my WIP Contemptor:

World Eaters Contemptor 30k WIP (5)
More details on how I’ve tweaked the pose can be found in my last post. I’ll…

I also built a first test model from the tactical Marine sprues that come in the box. The tactical models are very focused on Bolters, and they also have a very clean, regimented look — which is very nice and all, make no mistake! But since I wanted my models to represent World Eaters during the time of the Heresy (circa Shadow Crusade), I tried to break up the standard armour with some elements befitting a true World Eater. So here’s my test model:

Secutor Sergeant WIP (1)
Secutor Sergeant WIP (2)
The bare head and spiked collar are from the Bloodreavers that came with the Age of Sigmar starter box. In fact, that’s a cross-pollination that might warrant another look: Fellow hobbyist kizzdougs has suggested using Bloodreaver parts to build some plastic Rampagers, and it’s a concept that intrigues me.

I also spliced in a bare arm from an old Chaos Marauder and a suitably gladiatorial sword from a Beastman Ungor. And the suitably spiked and brutal bolt pistol came from the bog standard Chaos Space Marines. Oh, and let’s not forget the skull trophy, courtesy of the Empire flagellants πŸ˜‰

I imagine not every tactical Marine I built will turn out looking as feral as this, but it’ll be interesting to choose the right balance of bitz to show that these guys still function as Astartes while slowly being turned into something more (or less, depending on your point of view) by their Butcher’s Nails implants.

The same also goes for the Cataphractii Terminators. Here’s my first, very early Cataphractii test:

WE Cataphractii WIP (1)
I really think the Age of Sigmar Bloodsecrator head is perfect for a World Eater! On a related note, it’s really easy to convert the Cataphractii gorgets so they will accept different heads: Just shave away some plastic, and you are no longer limited to the “half-heads” that come with the stock kit.

I am still very much figuring out the most effective way to build my Cataphractii — while very cool, the stock models are even more vanilla than the Mk IV tactical Marines, in a way, and also quite a bit more restrictive in their posing than 40k Terminators, so the main challenge will be to have them look suitably aggressive and World Eater-ly without being over the top. So here’s another attempt:

WE Cataphractii WIP (5)
WE Cataphractii WIP (6)
The good ol’ “bellowing at the sky in rage” pose is a true classic, of course, but maybe the “I’m coming at you bro” approach works even better? πŸ˜‰

One element I am also experimenting with is the use of topknots on the Cataphractii, as they were a huge part of the original Cataphractii artwork of yore — in fact, one of the first Cataphractii to be drawn by John Blanche, no less, was even a World Eater:

Cataphractii illustration by John Blanche

Cataphractii illustration by John Blanche

I rather regret that particular element being mostly lost somewhere along the way. For me, those topknots were cool precisely because they seemed so at odds with the tank-like look of the armour, adding some much needed barbarism to it.

So, anyway, here’s a comparison shot of my Cataphractii and a (converted) Chaos Lord with twin LC:

WE Cataphractii WIP (7)
And maybe, just maybe, some leftover parts from the Cataphractii sprue will provide me with the weapon to finally finish that one Red Butcher turned 40k Chaos Lord?

Red Butcher WIP (10)
We’ll see… πŸ˜‰

Anyway, so far for my first experiments with the new plastic Horus Heresy kits. As always, I would love to hear your feedback! Expect to see more of this particular project as it develops!

Until then, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

30k World Eaters kitbashes WIP

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24 Responses to “On the road to Heresy…?”

  1. That is a good start as ever, don’t worry I am not bothered by the sight of so much bare plastic. Not in this modern age. πŸ™‚

    I do have to say bravo with how clean they look. Before I base coat my conversions they look pretty grim all in all, dried glue and gaps.

    • Cheers, mate! Don’t worry, though: I do have my share of messy conversions — it’s just that these brand new plastics lend themselves rather well to doing clean conversions πŸ˜‰

  2. … and KS has smashed it out of the park again! Oh boy, this is lookin’ good. I love the early incarnations of the apothocary and forge father… the originals are jaw dropping, so achieving suitably awesome younger versions is a real achievement. Exciting times ahead on the eternal hunt!

  3. Great looking models
    Love the blood!!!!

    • Thanks, man! Alas, those paintjobs were done by AgnostosTheos — maybe I should have been clearer about that. I’ll yet have to find my own WE paint recipe for those new 30k models…

  4. Ya know…. I was really, really trying NOT to buy that boxed set. You aren’t making it any easier to resist.

  5. Oooh. You’ve got me feeling all Khorne-y all of a sudden.

  6. This is exciting. Lots of potential for reverse-nostalgia and interesting storytelling possibilities. I’m particularly interested by the guy in the middle of your first image, the unnamed World Eaters officer. He’s interesting in that he is wearing a helmet, and so is anonymous at the moment (he could be almost anyone), and is lacking in the characteristic blood splatters. Could this be a World Eater who was not 100% committed to Lorimar’s vision, or perhaps even a loyalist in the days before Isstvan? Or an officer in the 4th company who is killed during the Siege of Terra? Or maybe even a 30k representation of a certain possessed champion? What do you think, any plans for him yet?

    • Cheers, Dexter! That model is the only piece that doesn’t represent an actual character so far — I just picked it up from AT because it was still available, and at a very good price. That said, I’ve spent some time thinking about who this guy could be — maybe it’s Valna, former Captain of the 4th who was ultimately slain by Lorimar in the fighting pits aboard the Conqueror, losing both his captaincy and his life?

      • Now THAT is a cool idea. Casting Lorimar as the ambitious underling is a really neat angle.

      • I actually have the backstory mostly written down, to be honest — just need to colour in some blank spaces here and there πŸ˜‰

        The gist of it is that Lorimar was stripped of his officer rank for refusing the order to execute some abhuman Auxiliarii, yet he was given a second chance by Angron after the legion had been united with its Primarch — an event which earned Angron Lorimar’s unquestioning loyalty, well into the Shadow Crusade. Valna wanted to teach the young officer a lesson, however, and challenged him in the fighting pits. It all went south for him when Lorimar requested Sanguis Extremis and went through with it…

  7. Very nice – 40k Dumah may well be one of my favourite of your conversions (any chance of some more angles on him by the way) and the 30k version is an excellent re-interpretation of the character.

    I also really like 30k Deracin – again he looks very much like an earlier incarnation of the 40k version and that kind of storytelling is what I think makes this so compelling (above and beyond that the models are looking great naturally). My only real issue with him in the angle of the gun on the servo-harness. I see that it reflects the same weapon on the 40k version but I think it would add to the pose of the model if it were turned to face forward. 40k Deracin appears to be at ease, consulting his augur whilst the clawed servo arm lashes protectively around him. 30k Deracin however appears to be squaring up for a challenge – the angle of his gaze and the way he’s holding the axe make it look like he’s about to do some damage to something (or someone) just down to his left. I reckon it would be nice to see the gun angling the same way as whatever malevolent machine-spirit inhabits it attempts to protect its master. Of course, I guess you’d have to be careful he doesn’t end up looking like he’s about to shoot himself in the back of his own head – I understand that his story calls for massive combat injuries but that would be rather embarrassing!

    The Red-butcher Chaos Lord at the end is rather striking as well – I think you might really be onto something there. There’s something lithe and dangerous about him that makes him a little bit unusual for a World Eater (he’s been fencing with those Emperor’s Children sissies I reckon!) but I think it really works. I’ll be watching him develop with interest!

    • Cheers, mate! You may have a point about Deracin’s gun — I chose that position both to resemble his 40k incarnation and to steer well clear of the head of his axe, but I might have to take another look at that part of the model.

      The Red Butcher-based Lord is planned for 40k, rather than 30k, btw: It’s just that I’ve gone back and forth on his possible weapons multiple times, and the plastic Cataphractii arms might finally provide the look I need for the model πŸ˜‰

  8. InqMikaelovich Says:

    A) So jealous.

    B) Sort of a random question (and, now that I think about it, ill timed, given your situation), but I was wondering if you ever intended to review any more Dreamforge products? I know you’ve done the Eisenkern Stormtroopers, but I really want to know what you think of the Valkir, particularly the support and assault special variants.

    • Hmm, I rather like the design of the Valkir, and kinda wish I had already had the option of picking up a squad back when I funded the original Kickstarter. So while it might take a while, it’s definitely possible that I’ll be taking a closer look at them in the future — sorry if I cannot be any more specific than that for now πŸ˜‰

  9. Your models are simply amazing. I can’t stop looking at them haha. Very inspirational. So you don’t use any green stuff on your conversions? I have never used it myself but I see that plenty of hobbyists do. Your thoughts?

    • I do use GS when it comes to simple stuff like gap filling or very simple sculpting. I’ve also had quite a bit of fun with it when it came to converting some Plague Ogryns for my cousin Andy’s chaos army at one point. However, my skills with it aren’t what they could (and probably should) be, and I prefer to rely on careful cutting and carving when it comes to doing conversions. Nevertheless, GS is a very useful tool, even if you cannot sculpt for toffee πŸ˜‰

  10. […] you already know this guy, as he was my first Cataphractii test model from a while ago. However, I have changed the pose back to its earlier version, as the […]

  11. […] mounted gun and the servo-harness. My original conversion notes on the model can be found in this post, if anyone’s […]

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