Lorimar – the post-Isstvan years

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!


30 Responses to “Lorimar – the post-Isstvan years”

  1. That came together quite nicely, bravo KS. Looking forward to seeing some paint on him when he appears on B&C. What so of colours are you going to use for the progression?

    • Cheers, mate! I think I’ll be sticking to the classic 30k World Eaters colours (white and blue, with a bit of grime and blood added on top), as FW’s attempts at progressing the colour scheme by merely exchanging red for blue have left me pretty unimpressed: I think the blue is arguably one of the best parts of the Pre-Heresy WE heraldry. Plus I have already learned how to pull off that recipe in style, so there’s that too ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Wow, you converted this model TWICE? I was fully expecting that halfway through this article, you would say “but then I changed my mind and decided to make him into a Golden Legion Chapter Master instead”. He looks amazing! I don’t think you could have done a better job creating a transition between the Loyalist and Traitor versions. My favorite details are the double-layered pauldrons, and how that’s repeated in each version of him, and how this version is a perfect middle-ground between the other two. Also, I look at his sword, and the narrative that forms in my mind is that he ditched his power sword at some point, picked up a chainsword, which after millennia in the Warp, changed into the wickedly-barbed sword he carries in 40k. Now, I know mutation isn’t a theme that gels well with the Eternal Hunt, but hey, if it’s allowed for weapons, could be an interesting angle. Speaking of his chainsword, are you planning on filling in that Fenrisian rune? Also, what did you use for his left forearm? I know it’s from the Stromcast Eternals, but I can’t tell if it’s a plain, unadorned vambrace, or one of the more ornate ones like you used with the Golden Legion Chapter Master.

    • Cheers, Dexter! As it happens, the success I had with straightening out those legs was what prompted me to tackle the true scale conversion in the first place — that and the fact that I had the chance to pick up another Cataphractii Praetor for cheap. But yeah, definitely two different models we are talking about here.

      What makes me really happy is how some parts that now seem to have been meticulously planned (like those double-layered pauldrons you mention) were really just a happy accidents, but now the models relly seem to have been planned that way in advance, and I rather like that. The idea behind the sword is that he ditched the original power sword for a more vicious weapon (the chainsword) which was then, in turn, replaced with the Sword of the Hunt, the chaos artifact Lorimar is still wields today. So the daemon sword is no mutation of the chainsword, but rather its own thing.

      The vambrace is unadorned, since that seemed more plausible for a World Eater. But it does a pretty good job of approximating the look of the Cataphractii vambrace on the other side.

    • Oh, I almost forgot: My original plan was to fill in that small rune on the sword, but then Thamier pointed out that it looked like a small, stylised Eye of Horus, and I rather like that ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Mark DCCCXIII "Voyager" (Time/Dimensional Travelling Armour) Says:

    An impressive conversion, but I’m not quite sold for a couple reasons –
    1. The way the model is posed right now (arms spread, bent backward at the waist, head tilted up) lends him the air of falling backwards and flailing his arms to keep his balance. That may be just me, but once I saw it, it drove me crazy for the rest of the post.
    2. It doesn’t really make sense to me that Lorimar would have swapped his power sword for a chainsword and then gone back to a powersword, unless there’s a story behind it (I would say that the final sword is a daemonblade made from the chainsword on the second model if I were to keep it). However, I think it would make more sense to give him an equally bulky power sword on the Praetor model. This particular Sanguinary Guard Glaive Encarmine (my personal favorite 40k bit of all time – http://www.ebay.com/itm/40K-Blood-Angels-Sanguinary-Guard-Glaive-Encarmine-Sword-w-Winged-Hilt-Bits-/201501601129?hash=item2eea6e6d69:g:AsIAAOSw5dNWlCIe ) could work particularly well if you were to shave off the wing motif, seeing as then you’d be left with a blood drop on the handle. A little Khornate symbol and viola! The beginnings of a legendary daemonblade are born.
    3. Admittedly, this is nitpicky, but the horsehair plume and the cape are flowing slightly different directions.

    Basically 1 and 3 come down to the fact that there isn’t a real flow to the model. Most models have a distinct direction of movement or an obviously static pose, such as this Dark Angel ().

    Still, a very good conversion. I am impressed. And, if you have no use for the Chain Fist, I actually love that design. Just saying…

    • Hey mate, no problem: You like what you like. However, I disagree with you on a number of points here and would like to point out why that is:

      The falling backwards pose: I think it should be easy enough to remedy that during the basing stages, but the effect is really not as pronounced when you see the model firsthand. The horsehair and the cape, though? They really move in just about exactly the same direction — sorry, but I’m just not seeing what you’re seeing.

      I also don’t get why the chainsword should seem like a step back: It’s a massive weapon with every sawtooth expertly crafted to look like a real fang. It’s as tall as an Astartes — if anything it seems like an upgrade to the plain old power sword he had before. And Wudugast is exactly right, too: World Eaters, Angron included, go through new sets of weapons all the time: Kharn ends nearly every battle in Betrayer fighting with a weapon that wasn’t even his to begin with. And lastly, like I said above, the daemonsword wieleded by 40k Lorimar isn’t an evolved version of the chainsword, but rather a different weapon.

      Regarding the chainfist,since I acually have two of those, I’d be happy to send one over, in spite of all your nitpicking ๐Ÿ˜‰ Seriously, though: Drop me an e-mail and we’ll work something out.

      • Mark DCCCXIII "Voyager" (Time/Dimensional Travelling Armour) Says:

        The more I look at the model the more I like it, I’m just jealous of your ability so I get a little nitpicky when you make a particularly great model. Your Lorimar(s) really are fantastic.

        As for the Chainfist, I appreciate your generosity, but it probably would be unfair in terms of shipping costs to send a single bit from Germany to Utah. Thank you, though!

      • Yeah, but we could always turn it into a bigger bitz swap or something. Anyway, no need to hurry, the fist isn’t going anywhere, for the time being.

      • Mark DCCCXIII "Voyager" (Time/Dimensional Travelling Armour) Says:

        I would be pleased to do a bitz swap, except that my bitz box is back in Texas with the rest of my family, and isn’t really that big regardless.

        That said, if I can ever convince my family to ship it up here, I’ll let you know.

  4. I much prefer the conversion as opposed to the original. Much more character. Well done.

  5. Itโ€™s a mark of your ability as a storyteller that I often forget that Lorimar is not an official character in the 40k cannon. Each of the models builds up his story nicely and I really like the progression from loyalist space marine through to fully developed Chaos Lord. Of course now we need to see him at his darkest hour โ€“ a Skalathrax era version if you will โ€“ and of course a scout version to complete the picture ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Regarding the model itself thereโ€™s a rather nice sense of movement to him as he turns into that swing and all the narrative elements that make him Lorimar are in place to link the three models together.

    I do agree that the chaos star around the โ€˜eyeโ€™ on the axe should be smoothed over with greenstuff. As this is a Heresy era model how about turning the eye into the Eye of Horus as a mark of alliance to the Warmaster? Countering that however it might make him look too much like a Son of Horus or it might appear like a living eye, turning the axe into a daemon weapon (still too early in his story to be messing around with such things!) I just wonder why there would be a jewel on a World Eater axe otherwise? If it was me Iโ€™d tend to get rid of the eye entirely. Leave that unnecessary bling to Fulgrimโ€™s posers and stick to something thatโ€™s good at killing I say!

    As for the weapons changing from one incarnation to the next โ€“ of course they do, heโ€™s a World Eater. They use up, break and cast aside swords more often than the rest of us change our underwear. The main thing is that he keeps to his preferred sword/axe layout.

    Now then, when you paint him will his armour be white, red or too gory to tell? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks, Wudugast! I actually have a huge Word document with small fluff sketches from Lorimar’s backstory that I will just have to whip into shape on of these days to share it with you. Regarding the axe, I think getting rid of the entire decoration would leave the axe blade looking very boring and flat. And the jewel could always be some kind of energy generator or something.

      Like I said before, the paintjob will be white and blue, albeit with sufficient weathering.

  6. Hi,
    on the group shot i finally realized what looks wrong on the bodygruard termiยดs for me. I felt that there was something, but i could not point my finger on it.
    But now its clear to me.

    I like the warhammer horse tail topknot.
    But they just look glued straight onto the armour.
    I miss kind of metalring that hold them together and attach them to the armour. There might be some bits (maybe of ogre weapons) that you could use for that task.

    Or some leatherstrapy thingy.

    Otherwise, great stuff and cool coverage of your projects.


    • Yeah, the same thing has already been pointed out by Augustus b’Raass as well — I am just waiting for the right idea to hit me, and then I’ll be adding some suitable decoration to the horsehair crests to tweak this particular element.

  7. Cracking job Krauty – the saga of Lorimar continues to develop ๐Ÿ™‚ Are you going to start introducing some more red with this incarnation? That would really cement the progression (regression?) from a visual perspective…

  8. Dave Taylor Says:

    He looks great! A perfect fit.

  9. The progression of Lorimar is fantastically done with the tree pieces now. But it’s amazing how radically different the model looks with basically just hand swaps and some detail changes.

    But it’s the little things you changed, like swapping the direction of motions combined with the turning in the leg that really make a huge difference.

    Great work on him KS, and I am interested in where you take the paint step, is he still in the World Eaters white, or Khorne red?

    • Thanks a lot, mate! The fact that it’s ultimately such an easy conversion, all things considered, is enormously pleasing, to be honest. RE: the colours, just check out the other three replies on this matter ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Fantastic build! I agree with your assessment of the model, it’s a bit static and a little challenging to convert, but you’ve done a spectacular job of it – good stuff, man!

  11. You’ve done an amazing job of creating a dynamic model full of character from one that was lacking in both.

    I really love seeing the development of your character models. Really inspiring stuff. Keep up the great work mate!

  12. […] – about my conversions using the Cataphractii Terminators from Betrayal at Calth and about my experiences converting that Cataphractii Praetor from the same boxed set into yet another 30k ver… let’s return to the wonderful world of Cataphractii once more and discuss another conversion. […]

  13. Cylde Ar Says:

    Simply great. love that conversion

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