Archive for May, 2016

FRABuSEL, In Memoriam

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , on May 29, 2016 by krautscientist

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Hey everyone, it’s been a while since the last update, for which I apologise. Unfortunately, there’s a pretty sad reason for today’s post, as my favourite hobby store, FRABuSEL, will be closing its doors come the end of the month. So I’d like the opportunity to talk about the store a bit and share some memories of the last couple of years. Let this serve as a heartfelt eulogy to my favourite FLGS:

FRABuSEL's storefront: Taking a look at the various armies presented there always made me come away with a new conversion idea or two.

FRABuSEL’s storefront: Taking a look at the various armies presented there always made me come away with a new conversion idea or two.

I only really found out about FRABuSEL’s fate last week, when I swung by the store to pick up a pot of paint or two: I was faced with half-empty shelves and a jumble of moving boxes. And sure enough, Carsten – the owner – confirmed my suspicions: Due to the recent lack of sales, and especially due to the lack of new customers, running the store had turned out to no longer be economically viable. Now you can probably imagine that this came as a bit of a shock to me: I had been purchasing virtually all of my hobby products (with the exception of some specific bitz purchases) at the store for the last couple of years (and at FRABuSEL’s predecessor store Spieltraum for more than a decade beforehand), and most of my armies and warbands consist of models purchased at the store:

Khorne's Eternal Hunt 2016 (1) big

And for a good reason, because FRABuSEL wasn’t merely the closest and most convenient location to pick up new plastic crack, but also a teriffic store in its own right: Carsten ran a great business and was always quick with good advice or a fair discount. What’s more, as is a sign of all the best hobby stores, FRABuSEL was also a venue for all kinds of events and friendly games, and while I am not a huge gamer myself, Khorne’s Eternal Hunt did see quite a few outings against its enemies on the tables provided by the store, and some of those games remain among my favourite tabletop moments (such as that one time I wiped the table with my cousin’s Dark Eldar and then let victory elude my grasp because I actually played too much like a World Eater).

Khorne's Eternal Hunt facing off against a coalition of Craftworld Eldar and their dark kin at FRABuSEL

Khorne’s Eternal Hunt facing off against a coalition of Craftworld Eldar and their dark kin at FRABuSEL

It helped that the business side of things was excellent as well, of course: Carsten stocked a lot of products that would otherwise have been a bit of a hassle to get hold of (ranging from a wide range of Vallejo colours to all kinds of OOP GW metal models). And whenever the internet erupted in cries of misery due to a newly released model or boxed set selling out about 3.5 minutes after first becoming available, I could rest easy in the knowledge that a copy of it would be waiting at FRABuSEL for me the coming week, should I wish to pick it up. And whenever I read about more and more hobby stores around the world closing their doors, I was happy to know that my own FLGS was still around — and hopefully would remain so for a long time to come!

Discovering excellent models, such as this Looted Knight, courtesy of the store's other regulars, was always an additional treat!

Discovering excellent models, such as this Looted Knight, courtesy of the store’s other regulars, was always an additional treat!

Only now it won’t be around any longer, and that really sucks! It makes picking up new hobby supplies more complicated (and much less personal), but that’s only the smallest part of the problem , obviously. It also means one less place for getting in touch with other hobbyists, sharing friendly banter and advice, and for immersing myself in this particular part of hobby culture.

Granted, this is certainly only a part of much bigger developments, with more and more specialist and special interest stores going out of business, while people primarily buy online. But while the internet has done lots of good for our hobby, providing forums, blogs and communities that foster communication and the exchange of ideas and hobby projects, it has also been doing a hell of a number on the brick and mortar stores that have been real hearthfires, so to speak, for hobbyists for years and years. The same is obviously true for all kinds of smaller, owner-managed stores, as more and more of them drop out of the race at. And maybe that’s just the way of the world. But its’s a bad way, and it leaves all our cities looking exactly the same, with just the same five big store chains endlessly arranging and re-arranging their respective stores in slightly different configurations.

One of Carsten's own models, a Soulgrinder well-known to regular customers.

One of Carsten’s own models, a Soulgrinder well-known to regular customers.

 

But back to this particular story: I dropped by the store one last time last Friday, and dug through the packing crates with models in order to score some final deals. It did feel like helping to pick clean the bones of a former pet, to be honest, even after Carsten repeatedly assured me that every sale helped. But yeah, it wasn’t a particularly happy day, for obvious reasons.

One of the crates containing heaps of miniature blisters. Digging through these for the last time did leave a bittersweet feeling...

One of the crates containing heaps of miniature blisters. Digging through these for the last time did leave a bittersweet feeling…

 

So here’s to FRABuSEL, my favourite FLGS, and the store that launched a thousand armies (three or four in my case alone, actually)! And here’s to Carsten, who was always a pillar of the community, and to whom I wish all the best from the bottom of my heart!

So if you have any brick and mortar stores in your vincinity that you like, please make sure to spend some money there as soon as possible, lest they share the same fate — that 20% discount online may seem tempting now, but those guys at the big online sellers are not going to provide any tables for you to play on, and neither will they remember you when someone brings in a huge box of odds and ends and allow you to dig through it at your leisure — just sayin’…

In spite of everything, I would like to wrap up this somewhat sad post on a slightly uplifting note, and maybe I have just the thing for that: In addition to the stuff I purchased during my last two visits, Carsten also gave me a Space Wolves model he had assembled himself as a small gift. And the least I could do was to give this poor straggler a new home. So I just made a few small tweaks…

Kharrsten Bloodhowl WIP (1)
Kharrsten Bloodhowl WIP (2)
Kharrsten Bloodhowl WIP (3)
…and now Kharrsten Bloodhowl, the Death-Dealer, stands ready to join my next batch of traitorous Space Wolves and ultimately become a part of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt:

New Blood Wolves WIP
It’s a very small gesture, to be sure, but one that at least seems like a neat little tribute to me 😉

So thanks again to Carsten for running an amazing store over these last years! And, as always, thanks to your for looking! Stay tuned for more!

Carsten's Imperial Guard, now heading for another battlefield. The Emperor protect you, soldiers!

Carsten’s Imperial Guard, now heading for a different battlefield. The Emperor protect you, soldiers!

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Inquisitor 28: From Cataphractii to Chapter Master

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2016 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, after speaking – at length – 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 version of Lord Captain Lorimar, let’s return to the wonderful world of Cataphractii once more and discuss another conversion. The base for today’s project was, once again, the Betrayal at Calth Cataphractii Praetor:

Betrayal at Calth release (17)
Messing around with the model had already taught me that it didn’t take much to really transform the stock version of the Praetor into something else — but I wasn’t quite finished with the model yet, because I had to remember Commissar Molotov’s very interesting proof of concept for a true scale Astartes based on the Cataphractii Praetor. And after learning for myself how relatively easy it was to get rid of the model’s pidgeon-toed stance, I couldn’t get this idea out of my head. And when I recently had the chance of picking up another Praetor for cheap from fellow hobbyist Mineralwasser, that basically settled the deal. And what better way to convert this model again than to make it into the Chapter Master of my DIY Chapter, the Golden Legion?

I started by creating a very simple first mockup:

Second Golden Legionnaire early WIP (1)
The main objective here was to get a basic feel for what I wanted the model to look like. As you can see, I made the exact same adjustment to the legs I used on my Lorimar conversion earlier. Beyond that, a couple of things were pretty easy to decide, even at this early point: I really, really wanted to use that fantastic, bearded head from the Sternguard kit (possibly one of the best Space Marine heads ever), and some ostentatious shoulder pads from the same kit would be used for the Chapter Master’s pauldrons.

Regarding the overall look of the armour, I think the Cataphractii Praetor is a really promising base model for a true scale conversion, as the armour could easily pass for an older mark of regular power armour or some kind of artifcer armour. Possibly the best part is that the layered armour on the arms and legs believably looks like enforced standard power armour — unlike plastic 40k Terminator parts that will always look like Terminator armour, unless you are prepared to invest quite a bit of work.

Anyway, here’s a comparison picture with the early mockup version and my previous Golden Legion Astartes, Praetor Janus Auriga:

Second Golden Legionnaire early WIP (2)

The next step was to nail down the pose I wanted as well as the overall feel of the model, in order to decide on the additional bits I would need . For instance, the Praetor’s stock arm with the combi-bolter worked reasonably well, but it wasn’t what I had in mind for the Golden Legion. In my background notes, swordplay is a huge part of the Legion’s culture and mythology, so it goes without saying that the Chapter Master would need an especially ostentatious sword. However, as the following picture shows, using the stock arm and weapon would work really well for an Astartes with a slightly more standard set of equipment!

Second Golden Legionnaire early WIP (3)
For the left forearm, I decided to use an arm from the Stormcast Eternals models from the Age of Sigmar starter box: I already knew at this point that I wouldn’t be keeping the hammer, but the vambrace has a very nice lion design on one side, plus it really worked well scale-wise for a true scale Astartes.

But yeah, I wanted a sword, so I browsed through GW’s entire catalogue until I came upon a bit that I thought might do the trick — I even made a crude Photoshop mockup of the whole shebang at this point 😉

Second Golden Legionnaire early WIP (5)
So I ordered that sword from the Deathwing command squad, along with a small collection of additional bitz — we’ll get to the result in a second. Before that, however, here’s a look at the model’s back, warts and all, to show you the construction I used:

Second Golden Legionnaire WIP (5)
The model’s back is basically a shaved down GK Terminator torso back, which fit surprisingly well with a bit of shaving here and there. What’s more, the shaved-down back vents really make for an excellent point of attachment for a standard Space Marine backpack without any further work — I used the same approach on my first true scale Marine, incidentally.

One thing you will also have noticed in the picture above is that I did try to add a stylised deathmask to the model’s right pauldron. The idea was that this is the Deathmask of St. Sabasto, the Velsen Sector’s patron saint, so to speak, and that the Golden Legion is using it almost like a chapter badge. I felt mighty smart when I press-molded a Sanguinary Guard mask with GS, because I thought a GS duplicate would ultimately conform to the shoulder pad’s curvature far better — but unfortunately it ended up looking pretty hokey! I did find a very simple solution for this problem, though.

So here’s a look at a far more complete version of the Chapter Master:

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (1)
As you can see, the Deathwing sword works really well with the stock arm, even though it turned out to be even longer than I had anticipated. I also added a cape from the same Deathwing kit, because, let’s face it, Chapter Masters just need to look suitably ostentatious 😉

As for the mask on the shoulder pad, the solution turned out to be almost disappointingly simple: I simply grafted an original plastic Sanguinary Guard faceplate to the shoulder pad, and it worked much better than the GS copy I had on there earlier (even though it made me feel a bit stupid for even trying the long way around, so to speak):

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (3)
Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (2)
As I have mentioned earlier, the idea behind the deathmask is that it’s the stylised face of the Imperial Martyr Sabasto, patron saint of the Velsen Sector. The Golden Legion were his personal guard of honour when he defended  the sector against an incursion by the forces of the Arch-Enemy about 1,500 years ago, and his ultimate demise at the very forefront of the Crusade remains a mark of shame to the chapter, and a reason for their fanatical need to protect the Velsen Sector against any enemies from without.

At this point, most of the conversion was basically finished:

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (4)
All that was left to figure out was what to do with the left hand: I considered – and ultimately discared – many different weapon and equipment options, because they all ended up feeling a bit too pedestrian to me. But then again, leaving the hand completely empty also seemed like a bit of a missed opportunity.

Fortunately, JaggedToothGrin came up with the excellent idea of having the model hold some kind of rosary or amulet, and EdT suggested using the left hand of this Age of Sigmar Paladin Retributor:

Paladin Retributor Champion

I instantly liked this idea, but I didn’t know how easy it would be to source the required bit — but it soon became obvious that I wouldn’t even have to find that particular hand, because I discovered yet another suitable part on the Sternguard sprue.

So here’s Orestes Prabian, Lord Commander of the Golden Legion, finished except for maybe a bit or two 😉

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (10)
The small chain with a Crux Terminatus dangling from it was originally part of a Sternguard torso, but it seemed like a natural fit, so I carefully snipped it off and grafted it to an empty fist from the same source, and I am really happy with the result:

 

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (12)

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (14)

The area where the backpack meets the cape will require some minor cleanup, but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. After that, it’ll mostly be a case of carefully adding a bit more bling to the model here and there 😉

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (13)

I think the finished conversion is suitably iconic to work as a Chapter Master — and, maybe even more importantly, it also believably works as a true scale Astartes! Here’s another comparison picture with Janus Auriga:

Prabian & Auriga comparison picture
Granted, upon closer examination, Janus may be ever so slightly taller than his Chapter Master — a result of my cobbling together a recipe while I was going on the first model, whereas the second Astartes was mostly based on a rock solid base model. In the end, I didn’t want to mess up the Chapter Master’s proportions by awkwardly splicing in any spacers, though — and who knows, maybe Janus is just a big guy, even for an Astartes?

Here’s another picture, showing both the Chapter Master and my 30k Lorimar version — both of them are obviously based on the same plastic Cataphractii Praetor:

Prabian & Lorimar comparison picture
While I wasn’t completely sold on the stock model for a while, it has really grown on me, due to its surprising versatility. And it does make for a pretty much perfect base for a true scale conversion, if you ask me!

And with that, we can mostly consider the Cataphractii case closed — expect to see more of these guys once I get some paint on them 😉

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

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (11)

Khorne’s Eternal Hunt — the 2016 Parade

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2016 by krautscientist

In between all of the unpainted plastic, let’s look at something a little more colourful this week, because it is that time of year again: I’ve made the most of the good weather and assembled the World Eaters’ entire 4th assault company – or at least the part of it that has actually been painted so far – for a new round of army pictures.

Now I’ll have to admit that there haven’t been that many additions to the force since last year’s showcase article (except for one pretty big addition, but we’ll be getting to that), but all in all, the army still remains my biggest hobby achievement.

Just to remind you, this is what Khorne’s Eternal Hunt looked like back in 2012, the year I started this blog:

WE_Army05
And this is the army earlier today:

Khorne's Eternal Hunt 2016 (1) big
Quite a development, if I do say so myself! At least for a glacially slow and immensely lazy painter like yours truly… 😉

The most noticeable addition to the army is the towering form of Gilgamesh, my converted Chaos Knight, now finally marching to war alongside the 4th assault company’s coterie of Daemon Engines:

Khorne's Eternal Hunt 2016 (7)
Another part of the army that I am still tremendously happy with is the Master of the Hunt, Lord Captain Lorimar, surrounded by his Terminator bodyguard, Lorimar’s Fist. Take a look:

Khorne's Eternal Hunt 2016 (3)
Khorne's Eternal Hunt 2016 (4)
Khorne's Eternal Hunt 2016 (5)
Khorne's Eternal Hunt 2016 (6)
And there are many other parts of the army that make me happy whenever I look at them. For instance, this was just a happy accident, but I really love the way my true scale Khârn seems to get psyched-up for battle in the following picture:

Khorne's Eternal Hunt 2016 (9)
And I didn’t even stop with the World Eaters either, but took photos of my entire 40k Chaos collection while I was at it! Next in line was my small detachment of Traitor Guard, known as “Urash’s Marauders”:

Urash's Marauders 2016 (2) big
Now this certainly isn’t a big army by any stretch of the imagination. But then again, it’s a rather sizeable collection when you consider the fact that these guys were mainly built on a whim, back when there weren’t even any proper rules for using Traitor Guard (beyond the Vraksian Renegade rules put out by Forgeworld, that is). Anyway, the Marauders can provide some support to the 4th assault company when needed, plus most of the models can do double duty as cultists in a CSM army.

I’ll really have to return to these guys at some point: Looking at them again makes me realise how happy I am with my chaotic Tempestus Scions:

Urash's Marauders 2016 (4)
I still have an unpainted icon bearer for this squad — maybe I should paint him next?

Anyway, it’s a fun little army project that can complement my World Eaters but can also work on its own — at least from a visual perspective 😉

But there’s more: Over the years, I have dipped my toes into several smaller chaotic warbands and sub-factions, and each of them could be expanded into a stand-alone warband or detachment at some point. For instance, remember the four models I built back when the then-brand-new 6th edition Codex Chaos Space Marines was released? One Astartes for each of the Cult Legions:

Followers of the Pantheon
I tried to capture the visual quintessence of each of the four legions aligned with a major chaos power, and I am still pretty pleased with the outcome. From left to right: Malchius Blight of the Death Guard, Gades Elphenor of the Emperor’s Children, Suresh Asp of the Thousand Sons and Targon Kel of the World Eaters.

Read more about his project here, in case you are interested.

Then there are my Blood Wolves, of course, created to fill the role of Chaos Space Marines with the Mark of Khorne in my World Eaters army:

Blood Wolves (2)
Joras Turnpelt and his damned brethren surely warrant some more attention — in fact, I have quite a few models already built for a whole squad of Blood Wolves. Ahh, so much unpainted plastic, and so little time (and, let’s face it, even less discipline).

There’s a squad of Plague Marines big enough to actually use in games, if the 4th assault company should ever require their scrofulous assistance:

Nurglite Detachment
Let’s not forget Warsmith Greimolt Sturm of the Iron Warriors and his first two soldiers, either. Iron Within, Iron Without!

Iron Warriors
Once again, these are merely the first models for a small kill team of Iron Warriors that will definitely be finished one of these days! Scout’s honour! 😉

Oh, and last -but very definitely not least – is PDH’s wonderful version of Lord Zhufor the Impaler, given to me as a fantastic gift a while ago:

Lord Zhufor by PDH (1)

Lord Zhufor by PDH (2)
So yeah, that’s the painted part of my 40k chaos collection. I just love chaos in all of its colours (especially in red, though), and I actually see the many projects I have already started – or partially finished – as great little or small hobby endeavours to get back to whenever I feel like it.

Anyway, so much for my collection. I hope you’ve enjoyed these latest pictures and I would love to hear any feedback you might have! As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! 🙂

Khorne's Eternal Hunt 2016 (2) big