Archive for April, 2016

Lorimar – the post-Isstvan years

Posted in Conversions, Fluff, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2016 by krautscientist

For todays’s post, let us return to plastic models wearing Cataphractii Terminator armour for a bit. Because, even with the squad of five Cataphractii finished, there was still the matter of the Praetor model that came with the Betrayal at Calth box to take care of:

Betrayal at Calth release (17)
In many ways, it’s a rather strange model: On the one hand, it’s well designed and fairly elegantly engineered. Like most of GW’s newer plastic characters, it’s made up of a number of parts that lock together in a very clever way, creating a character model that definitely has the right amount of bulk, detail and depth. The armour is also a nice step up from the standard Cataphractii design and, along with the flowing cape and the more detailed pteryges leather straps, instantly communicates the fact that this guy is an officer. So far, so good, right?

But then there’s the pose: I cannot even begin to guess what made GW’s designers decide on such a rigidly posed model. Maybe they merely wanted to provide the model with some agency, instead of going for the classic “posing with outstretched weapon arms” look of the yesteryear? Or maybe the Praetor was designed as an opposite to Forgeworld’s own Praetor in Cataphractii armour?

Whatever the reason, the pose is definitely one of the model’s weaker parts for me, and it seemed like the one factor that would make any conversion rather challenging. Even with quite a number of fairly clever conversions appearing over at The Bolter & Chainsword, few versions of the Praetor managed to get rid of the somewhat pidgeon-toed stance of the base model — which really seemed at once central to the conversion and fairly challenging to me.

And maybe it wasย  that challenge that drew me towards attempting a conversion in the first place. I had originally planned to leave this guy for last, but when I recently started hitting a bit of a roll with my Catapphractii, I felt motivated enough to start working on the Praetor as well. There was just one problem, however:

You may remember that my 30k models are supposed to represent an earlier incarnation of my 40k army of choice: The World Eaters’ 4th assault company. And the 4th has one commander, and one commander alone: Lord Captain Lorimar. And I even already had a 30k model for him:

Lorimar then and now
The model shown above was originally mostly built and painted by AgnostosTheos, and I bought it from him when he sold off his collection of World Eaters about two years ago. It took very little work to turn the model into an earlier incarnation of Lorimar, and I am still reasonably happy with the way both versions of the character look next to each other — incidentally, you can read more about the models and the character that informed them here.

So was there actually any room for yet another version of Lorimar? Or for a different character serving as Praetor? Of course this whole discourse only really makes a lick of sense if you take the whole background part of the hobby seriously, but I am just funny that way in that I tend to build and paint characters, not just playing pieces. At least that is what it feels like to me.

In the end, however, the urge to create a badass Cataphractii Praetor got the better of me, and I decided to play this one by ear: If the resulting model ended up as another version of Lorimar, then I would find a place for him in my collection somehow.

So I started making some adjustments to the base model, and here’s what I ended up with after putting in the first bit of work:

WE Cataphractii Praetor WIP
Like I said, the base model is pretty cool in principle, but it’s also severly hampered by the somewhat rigid (and slightly uncomfortable looking) pose, so that was the part I really needed to change. I also knew that it wouldn’t do for a World Eater to focus so much on a shooting weapon, so I changed the model’s entire orientation.

The most important part was to cut off the right leg above the knee and slightly rotate it inwards. Such a small thing, really, but it was really key for making the pose far less awkward — in fact, it’s a neat little trick that I would recommend to anyone trying to change the model’s pose around a bit:
You cut right between the kneecap armour and the armour plate covering the hip (directly under that one line of decorative trim on the leg). There’s really only an area of about 0.5 mm width where you can make the cut without damaging either armour plate, so the sweet spot should be easy enough to find. Then you rotate the leg inwards, stopping once you’re happy with the pose. There’s going to be some damage, especially if you are trying to have both feet meet the ground at the same angle, but it’s really easy to repair with some plastic glue and some plastic shavings, plus the damage will be nearly invisible from the front. And if you are using the stock model’s cape, the damage will be neatly camouflaged by the Praetor’s cape.

The other considerable change I made to the base model was to cut off the hand holding the combi-bolter and replace it with that massive chainsword from the Space Wolves Upgrade Pack — incidentally, that sword was one of the two reasons that made me pick up that sprue in the first place, and its mass and length seemed ideal for a World Eaters Praetor.

And finally, I cut away the model’s original head, mostly to allow for a head facing in a different direction. As it happened, however, I had an extra head from the chaos warshrine priest still knocking about – the exact head I also used on 40k Lorimar – so I decided to use it in my early mockup.

With the basic pose out of the way, the next part was to add some detail that would make the model read as an actual World Eater. Seeing how the stock model’s armour was already very detailed, I had to try not to go overboard, lest the model end up looking too busy. In the end, I think I managed to come up with a fairly good solution, though:

WE Cataphractii Praetor WIP (2)

WE Cataphractii Praetor WIP (1)

The bandolier of skulls is a classic for World Eaters, especially since the more recent fluff has given it a deliciously ambiguous nature: Are those the skulls of enemies, displayed as trophies? Or are they the remains of honoured battle brothers, allowed to see the field of battle once more? Or a little from column A and a little from column B, perhaps?

I also added another shackle bit from the AoS Bloodreavers — as DexterKong astutely pointed out when commenting on my Cataphractii, shackles are such a tragically fitting accessory for 30k World Eaters, are they not?

And finally, I tried to give the a slightly more ornate version of the topknot the other Cataphractii have, spliced together from a topknot that came with the chaos chariot and the tail of a Marauder horse. I like how the front of the piece could be seen as a stylised Iron Halo or as the iconic arrows of chaos…

The one thing that didn’t sit right with me was the chainfist. Granted, it works pretty well with the tweaked pose — arguably better than on the stock model, really. But I just couldn’t help it, I had to mock up an alternate arm holding an axe.

I used the upper arm from a plastic 40k Terminator (which had to be shaved down quite a bit) and the forearm from an Age of Sigmar Stormcast Eternal, as the curves of the armour fit the overall Cataphractii look pretty well. As for the axe, I chose the same blade I already used on 40k Lorimar. And here’s the model with an alternate arm:

WE Cataphractii Praetor WIP (11)
And seeing the axe arm in place actually decided things for me: I would be turning this guy into a representation of Lorimar, after all.
Incidentally, when putting all three models in a row, I realised that there was a really nice sense of visual progression between the three. Take a look:

Lorimar comparison

The version on the left represents Lorimar as a younger officer, say a Secutor-Sergeant, during the latter stages of the Great Crusade, or even as a young Captain, having just taken command of the 4th after winning his captaincy in the fighting pits. The new version in the middle is him during the Heresy: The more ostentatious armour shows his newfound confidence in his command. And he has started to discard the trappings of a loyalist Astartes: Where his younger version is armed with weapons bearing a strong aquila motif, his new weapons are more vicious and cruel-looking, and there’s not an aquila to be seen — I really like how his weapons get less Imperial as he goes! Finally, the model on the rightis him in the 40k setting, now in fully Khornate regalia.

So basically all that was left for the conversion at this point was some cleanup work. One interesting part is that I have not yet glued the different parts of the model together — I think this will make painting quite a bit easier in this case, because the seams between the parts are cleverly hidden. Anyway, here’s the model as it looks right now:

WE Cataphractii Praetor WIP (15)
WE Cataphractii Praetor WIP (16)
One thing I still want to do is to make his axe look slightly less chaotic. I am going to fill in the chips and nicks in the blade with GS, provided I manage to pull it off in a clean enough way. As for the chaotic eye, a fellow forumite on a big German forum came up with the idea to keep the eye, but to fill in the chaotic arrows around it, making it look like some kind of decorative jewel. I think I rather like that idea, as just removing everything would just create a huge flat area on the axe blade.

One small detail I am really happy with is how I have used some leather straps from another Cataphractii Praetor model to close the gaps between the straps that were already there:

WE Cataphractii Praetor WIP (18)
Shaving these off from the source model’s shoulders was slightly fiddly, but the extra effort was definitely worth it!

And here’s a look at the model’s back. Careful observers will spot the stylised Khornate rune adorning the crossguard of Lorimar’s sword (I put it there to replace a wolf skull):

WE Cataphractii Praetor WIP (17)
All in all, I am very happy with the model, both because it makes for a pretty cool “missing link” between the two versions of Lorimar I already have, and because I have managed to tweak just about everything that I didn’t like about the stock Cataphractii Praetor. In fact, having discovered how easy it is to carefully turn the base model into something quite different, I would basically recommend this guy to every hobbyist looking for a characterful base model to turn into a commander for their own Space Marines! What’s more, as has already been postulated by Commissar Molotov, the Praetor is also a pretty ideal base morel for a true scale conversion — as it happens, I am working on a true scale Chapter Master based on this model right now, but that is a story for another time ๐Ÿ˜‰

Before I wind up this post, here’s a look of Captain Lorimar with his Cataphractii bodyguard:

Lorimar's Fist 30k WIP (4)
As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Imperial Knights: Renegade — Gilgamesh Triumphant!

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2016 by krautscientist

A short interlude today, before I return with a more sizeable new post soon: With the release of Imperial Knights: Renegade, Chaos Knights are now very much a thing, even for those who shun the rules by Forgeworld (that have already been available for some time now). Due to the strange ways of the webway, I am pretty certain that the new rules will find their way to each and every Chaos player in pretty short order, and there is much rejoicing about this turn of events.

What makes this even better though, at least for me, is that my very own Chaos Knight, Gilgamesh, has actually made it into GW’s daily blog as one of the examples for converted Renegade Knights. Yay!

Gilgamesh on GW blog 01
Now I should probably be far more nonchalant and humble about this whole thing, but I simply cannot pull it off: Gilgamesh remains my biggest and most involved hobby project to date, and one that I am incredibly proud of, so to see him being featured on the GW site like this just makes me incredibly happy! Thanks so much to all the fellow hobbyists who brought this to my attention. And to the content managers at GW, obviously ๐Ÿ˜‰

But this post should have some kind of use beyond allowing me to talk about how great I think I am, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰
So, to all those of you who are now looking at the option of adding a Knight or two to their Chaos armiesย with renewed interest, on account of the new rules, maybe my collected posts about converting and painting my own Chaos Knight may prove helpful, so feel free to check them out here:

PRELUDE

– THE BUILDING –

PART I
PART II
PART III

– THE PAINTING –

PART I
PART II
PART III
PART IV
PART V

Also make sure to take a peek at 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, because I am really standing on the shoulders of giants here!

The only cloud on the horizon here is how the ‘Eavy Metal Team seemingly didn’t convert and paint a dedicated posterboy Renegade Knight for the new game but rsther decided to paint over the heraldry of an already completed, pretty sweet loyalist model:

ImperialKnightRenegadeSeriously, guys: You have already painted a score of these beasts. Would one more really have killed you…?

But all in all, this has been an amazing surprise, both from a general hobby perspective, but also for my personal hobby life!

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! ๐Ÿ™‚

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (12)

Cutting up some Cataphractii

Posted in Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2016 by krautscientist

This week, let’s head back to the Heresy for a bit, as I show you my latest conversions based on models from the Betrayal at Calth box. So you’ll be seeing a lot of unpainted plastic, unfortunately, but also – hopefully – a conversion idea or two that might inspire you ๐Ÿ˜‰

One thing that I have always loved about the Horus Heresy in the pre-Forgeworld days is how sketchy and adventurous it all seemed: Back when the original Visions of Heresy artbooks were released, you could get the feeling that the artists really had a lot of leeway when it came to interpreting the various armour marks and war machines of the Heresy era Astartes legions. So you would see all kinds of crazy armour designs (Wayne England’s Heresy artwork is a prime example of this), and then people would go and convert models based on that, and it was all pretty great.

Forgeworld created a more streamlined and and standardised look for the Legiones Astartes, and there’s a lot to be said for that: The various armour marks, for instance, are excellent and suitably different now, and they really allow for lots of customisation to achieve the exact look you want for your army. However, at the same time, I cannot help feeling every once in a while that some of the craziness of the pre-FW Heresy days has been lost along the way, with the new models sometimes seeming a bit less interesting than the old artwork.

Nowhere is this more obvious than with the Cataphractii design. To wit, here’s an early Cataphractii illustration (probably the first one, at that) courtesy of John Blanche:

Cataphractii illustration by John Blanche

Cataphractii illustration by John Blanche

 

Even beyond the hallmarks of John’s personal style, there’s something cool and barbaric about this individual: He looks far more than a tank than the 40k Terminators, yes, but there are also elements like the pteryges and the massive topknot that give the Cataphractii the look of a Roman legionary turned up to eleven — and that’s really just what Space Marines are, in a nutshell, right?

Forgeworld’s Cataphractii design ditches some of the zanier parts of the old art, particularly the topknots, which I think is a shame. And the plastic Cataphractii included with the Betrayal of Calth box are probably, at the same time, the best and the worst part of the entire release. The best part because a fully customisable multi part squad was definitely more than we could have expected. And the worst because the models are painfully generic and vailla, even moreso than the rest of the models from the set!

But vanilla wasn’t what I wanted for my own Cataphractii: I wanted to turn them into World Eaters, so they needed to become slightly more interesting, slightly more gladiatorial and slightly more feral, while their possible allegiance to Khorne during the latter stages of the Heresy needed to be kept at least somewhat abiguous without straying too far into 40k levels of Khornate decoration: To go all spiky and baroque on them would ultimately have lead to a 40k chaos look, and I still wanted these guys to be recognisable as 30k models. So a bit of character was needed, but not too much of it. Oh, and I also wanted to incorporate some of the small touches from the older artwork that have since fallen by the wayside. That’s quite a lot on one plate, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

I started by experimenting with a couple of bitz, and while this lies beyond the scope of this post, one thing that I have found out is that it’s relatively easy to make Cataphractii that resemble various legions’ dedicated Terminators simply by virtue of using different heads: Just discard the stock “half heads” you get with the kit (or better yet, keep them in the bitzbox for the future), and shave away that one small piece of plastic from the inside of the torso’s cowling to allow the torso to accept different heads. You will also need to shave down the heads and helmets you use a bit, so they fit snugly into the recess, but it’s really not that complicated. Just check out my quick study for Sons of Horus Justaerin and Deathshroud-like Deathguard helmets here:

Justaerin WIP
Deathshroud WIP
It took me only a couple of minutes and some different helmets to make these, and I wasn’t really serious about the endeavour, either. On a related note, check out thamier’s excellent Justaerin based on the plastic Cataphractii to see where you can take these humble base models with a bit of work.

 

Regarding my own Cataphractii, however, it took another puzzle piece for things to finally fall into place: Fellow hobbyist weirdingway (yes, the guy with the amazing Navigators) sent me some leftovers from the AoS starter box Bloodreavers. And while I own a full set of – mostly – mint Bloodreavers myself, it was while playing around with those leftover heads, daggers and doodads that I realised that the Bloodreaver parts where perfect for adding some oomph to my Cataphractii!

And once I had that idea, I just started building. So let me show you the different models in the squad, one by one:

WE Cataphractii WIP (14)
WE Cataphractii WIP (13)
WE Cataphractii WIP (12)
This is actually the second Cataphractii Terminator I built, but the first model I want to show you, because the plan here was to incorporate several elements of that JB drawing shown above: The horsehair topknot was an auto-include,ย since it’s such an iconic piece of the Cataphractii design for me. After experimenting with various topknots and hair pieces, I ultimately decided to use the old horse tails from the WFB Empire Knights, both because I still had some of those lying around, but also because I rather like the volume and slightly stylised look of the hair. I realise that this part may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I really think the topknots do a pretty good job of recreating that vintage look.

I also wanted the pointy fingers on the power fist, at least on this one model, so I carefully spliced together the original Cataphractii arm with a CSM power first for that slightly more vicious look. As for the head, I experimented with a shaved down Grey Knights head for a while, and it ended up resembling the illustration rather closely. But then I found the option pictured above, which I liked even better, even though it doesn’t resemble the artwork: There’s just something brutal and menacing about that Bloodreaver head that really sells the character, if you ask me.

Speaking of Bloodreavers, another part of those models was added to the model, and it’s a part that would turn into a recurring element with the squad: A Bloodreaver dagger was added to the every model in the squad, and I think it really creates a nice bit of continuity.ย My idea for the 4th assault company’s background is that, even during the latter days of the Crusade, their identity as hunters had already begun to assert itself, so it only seems right that each of their Cataphractii veterans should bear an ornate flensing knife, right? At the same time, the daggers also subtly hint at the World Eaters growing allegiance to a new master, as their decorations feature touches of Khornate inconography here and there.

I am really happy with this guy, as he just has the lumbering, menacing look that I think isย  just right for a World Eater in Cataphractii armour.

Now 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 “screaming at the heavens in rage” just never gets old, especially for a World Eater ๐Ÿ˜‰

WE Cataphractii WIP (10)
WE Cataphractii WIP (9)
WE Cataphractii WIP (11)
Since we last saw him, though, I’ve added a Bloodreaver dagger and a stylised daemon face belt buckle to him, and I think those elements provide just the right amount of flavour to seel him as a World Eater — the heavily scarred Bloodsecrator head helps as well, of course.

Knowing myself as well as I do, I was aware of the danger of just giving each of the Cataphractii some crazy combination of viciously barbed CC weapons (as I’ve done on my 40k Terminators). I forced myself not to indulge that urge, however, as I wanted to keep at least a bit of that more regimented, orderly 30k look. So I needed to stick to a more subdued weapons loadouts while also finding a way to make them look slightly more interesting. This next guy was an attempt at getting this right:

WE Cataphractii WIP (16)
WE Cataphractii WIP (15)
While he does use a fairly pedestrian bolter/chainfist combo, I made the chainfist look quite a bit more vicious by splicing in the blade of a CSM chainsword:

WE Cataphractii WIP (17)
Moreover, the scarred head, while originally just a placeholder, has really grown on me, as it adds another subtly feral element to the model.

Next in line was the Sergeant. I thought it would be cool if one model of the squad were to sport the classic “bunny ears” as a sign of a growing devotion to the war god. What’s more, the classic Khornate helmet crests have received some official 40k background: They are called the “Caedere Remissum” now and form a gladiatorial tradition from Angron’s “homeworld” Nuceria.

The sergeant was the obvious candidate for this element. I also gave him a slightly daemonic looking (Blood Warrior) pauldron as a test, although I think it works fairly well. Oh, and I recycled the leftover combi-bolter/melta from the Praetor for this model (we’ll be getting to the Praetor in another post, although let’s just say that he won’t be needing that combi-weapon anymore…):

WE Cataphractii WIP (19)

WE Cataphractii WIP (20)
My original plan was to exchange the sword for a chainaxe, but I really rather liked the elegant look of the weapon, mostly because it seems so very at odds with the lumbering brute wielding it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here’s a closer look at the headcrest and the right pauldron:

WE Cataphractii WIP (21)
The one thing I am not quite happy with yet is the position of the head: I realise that it should be turned towards the combi-weapon even more, but I have already shaved quite a bit of plastic from that Bloodreaver helmet in order to make it fit, and I am actually slightly afraid of ruining it for good…

All in all, I am pretty pleased with the sergeant, though.

And finally, the heavy weapons guy. This was arguably the hardest model to get right, mostly on account of the somewhat dopey looking leg pose. I also considered arming this guy with a Reaper autocannon for a while, but eventually went for the heavy flamer included with the kit due to, you know, that whole “Kill! Maim! Burn!” thing…

So here’s the model:

WE Cataphractii WIP (24)
WE Cataphractii WIP (23)
WE Cataphractii WIP (25)
The legs remain slightly awkward, but I tweaked the pose until I could live with it. Beyond that, it was mainly a question of adding some gladiatorial touches, such as the marauder shield on the flamer. I also chose a – pretty old – rebreather head, both because a flamer guy needs a rebreather and because I really like the head’s scarred look — it doesn’t photograph to well, unfortunately, due to the older plastic.

When I posted my first Cataphractii conversions on Dakka, fellow hobbyist Anvildude suggested – only half-jokingly, I suspect – adding an “axefist” to one of the models. Much fun was had by everyone involved, trying to figure out how such a weapon would even work, but in the end, I am always up for a little fun, and I also didn’t want to repeat myself too much with this squad. So here it is, an axefist:

WE Cataphractii WIP (26)

 

My overarching impression of the plastic Cataphractii kit is that it has a lot of potential, but it also needs quite a bit of work to produce models that are a bit more characterful than the stock versions. The kit also has some slightly strange idiosyncracies — some of the arms just seem decidedly too short for me. And some of the power fists are pretty terrible, to be honest. And there’s always the fact that we don’t get any arms that allow for easy modification into CC arms, that one measly power sword arm notwithstanding. In my opinion, they should have made the chainfist an optional power first upgrade and rather included some CC arms.

At the same time, there are things that the kit does incredibly well. Chief of all among these is the fact that the finished Cataphractii really end up looking like walking tanks to a much greater degree than any 40k Terminator: They seem like massive, lumbering brutes, which I think is a great match with their depiction in the background.

Ultimately, putting in some serious work to transform the squad into something a bit more original was really worth it. I am very happy with these guys, if I do say so myself:

World Eaters Cataphractii squad WIP
They are still recognisable as Cataphractii and Legiones Astartes warriors. They are brutal and vicious enough to read as World Eaters. Some subtle, Khornate influences are already in evidence, although they do not overpower the models. These guys are hopefully going to look great in white and blue! And they have the classic topknots — what’s not to like? ๐Ÿ˜‰

So yeah, so much for converting the Cataphractii from Betrayal at Calth into proper World Eaters. It goes without saying that I would love to hear any feedback you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Inquisitor 28: The Road Crew slowly takes shape…

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2016 by krautscientist

Today I would like to share some new models from one of my recent projects with you. You probably still remember the kitbashed pit slaves I created fairly recently, along with the first ideas for a small gang of escaped former slaves and mutants from the world of St- Sabasto’s Reach (and if not, you can always go back and read up on it all here ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). Anyway, here are the two gladiators I had when we last heard of this particular project:

Pitslaves (2)
I have begun to refer to this growing warband as “The Road Crew” in the back of my head for some reason. Maybe it’s because they do take a bit of an inspirations from settings like the one in Mad Max: Fury Road (as well as tangentially related settings from videogames like Fallout, Borderlands, or what have you). Maybe it’s the yellow reminding me of heavy duty construction engines? Or maybe I just like the sound of the name?

Now the next model in line for painting was this mutant brute based on the Bloodstoker from the Age of Sigmar starter box:

Mutant Overlord WIP (4)
I think you’ll agree with me that there’s a pretty obvious Mad Max vibe going on here, especially with regards to the facemask and trophy pole, right? Anyway, I painted the model, applying the recipe that had already proved fairly successful on the pit slaves.

Here’s the finished model, Tiny the Brute:

Mutant Overlord (2)
Mutant Overlord (3)
Mutant Overlord (4)

Mutant Overlord (6)
Now if you look at Tiny next to my recently completed pit slaves, you’ll see that there’s a common look and feel to the models, in spite of the new model being fairly different in nature:

Pitslaves (3)
I think the paintjob does play a fairly big part in drawing these models together into a cohesive whole, but there’s also a certain feeling of coherence beyond that. And that is really something I want to explore with this warband: a collection of models of different shapes, sizes and archetypes that still read as a fairly cohesive gang. I think I’ll be drawing lots of inspirations from classic Necromunda gangs, such as Goliaths, Pit slaves and Scavvies, but I would also like to blur the lines between those factions a bit: The hard divisions between the various gangs make lots of sense for a game like Necromunda, where you simply need several different factions. But there’s also enough overlap between the various gangs that a warband taking inspirations from several different sources should work out really well — and in any case, INQ28 is all about the grey areas and thus has little need for clearly defined borders, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

So since I really wanted to take the idea of exploring different shapes and sizes for the various gang members further, I chose something even more extreme – in a way – for my next model:

Chopper WIP (1)
Chopper WIP (4)
A diminutive mutant wielding a huge evsicerator. The model was originally one of those “bonus gnoblars” you get with several of the Ogre Kingdoms kits. I love those guys, both because they are very characterful and because it’s fairly easy to convert them into something that seems right at home in the 40k universe: In this case, all it took was a hooded head from the AdMech Skitarii Rangers, a Khorne berzerker chainsword and some odd bitz and bobs.

Painting this guy was a fairly quick affair, yet the challenge was to make the recipe I already had in place work on a model that is very different from the hulking brutes I had painted so far. In the end, it came down to featuring enough of the yellow to serve as a visual tie-in. And I had cunningly added another armour plate to the model’s right shoulder beforehand to give myself an extra yellow area ๐Ÿ˜‰ Anyway, without further ado, heeere’s Chopper:

Chopper (2)
Chopper (1)
Chopper (3)
This has mainly been a quick and fun model, and I don’t really see him as a character with huge ramifications for any greater narrative, but I think he provides a nice extra bit of flavour to the warband and manages to move them beyond mere pit slave archetypes.

Funnily enough, Chopper has also managed to attract a bit of a fan club at various forums: DexterKong even mentioned his intent to put the small guy on a T-Shirt to wear at the gym. So if anyone wants to follow his lead, I whipped up a small T-Shirt design for your perusal:

Hereschopper02
A hires version of the image is, of course, available ๐Ÿ˜‰

So here’s a look at the models I have so far:

Pitslaves (5)
I am pretty happy with these guys, especially since they have come together so quickly and organically. I also think they look rather striking as a group — it must be the combination of deadly weapons and that bright yellow ๐Ÿ˜‰

One thing I have decided not to include on these models are hazard stripes, though, even though they might seem like a natural addition. This is something I decided right out of the gate, ecause I really wanted to suggest a slightly industrial look without overdoing it, and hazard stripes would just be that little bit too much. I also didn’t want these guy to look like Iron Warriors auxiliars ๐Ÿ˜‰

So what else is in store for the Road Crew? Well, I have already started building the next member, a former Tech-Priest, codenamed “Doc” for now, serving as medicae/mechanic/possible leader?! to the escaped slaves:

Doc WIP (4)

Doc WIP (5)

Doc WIP (3)
This was a slightly fiddly conversion, because I had to make the Ruststalker legs conform to the general shape outlined by the Skitarii Trenchcoat. It all worked our rather well in the end, however, and I rather like Doc’s tall, gaunt appearance.ย  The mostly organic face was also a very important (and conscious) choice, as it represents a certain amount of humanity, something we don’t see often in a member of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Somehow I really like the idea of a former Tech-Priest who rediscovered a part of his humanity in the slave pits of St. Sabasto’s Reach and went rogue as a consequence.

DexterKong also suggested this guy may be the Road Crew’s “bookie” as well as their mechanic, organising fights and assignments for the group to enable them to assemble the credits and tech to keep functioning as a fairly independent outfit. Anyway, it feels like this guy is definitely a keeper!

Maybe this twist witch doctor I built a while ago would also be an interesting addition to the gang:

Witch Doctor WIP
Now he may seem like a pretty odd fit at first glance, but keep in mind that I would really like to branch out into some more out there character types: I actually want to get a bit more visual variety into this warband, so that they don’t read as merely pit slaves or mutants, but as a coalition of escaped slaves, shady characters and lost men. I think a shamanistic twist witch doctor might just be the colourful touch I need for that. He could even be a follower of a particularly devolved and archaic variation of the Imperial Creed, with the Emperor as some kind of totem?! We’ll see…

One thing that I definitely want to add to the gang at some point is this:

PickUp WIP (1)

An old Gorkamorka trukk that I’ve had in my bitzbox for quite a while. The original plan was to use it for my Traitor Guard, but it seems far more appropriate in an INQ28/Necromunda setting. Plus it would be a cool asset to have for INQ28 games in general, once painted. So I tweaked the driver a bit, making him look suitably postapocalyptic:

PickUp WIP (2)
PickUp WIP (3)
The vehicle itself needs some more bitz and bobs – a bit of additional gear here and there, but nothing too drastic. I think much of the appeal will come from a suitably grimy and weathered paintjob.

I think these models would make for some rather neat additions and create just the kind of visual variety, different shapes, sizes and archeytpes I want for the Road Crew:

New members WIP

More than anything, though, these guys really are a fun diversion, and it’s pretty cool to just go with the flow and see where inspiration takes me. Of course it goes without saying that I would love to hear any ideas and feedback you might have, so just leave me a comment or a suggestion!

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

Pitslaves (4)