Khârn of the Eighth

“The first warrior’s ceramite armour plating was cast in the same white as clean marble, from churches that should never have been built. The suit’s reinforced edges were the same blue as a winter sky back in the impious age of Old Terra, before humanity burned the world’s surface and drank the natural oceans dry. His skin was as pale as any consumptive, a legacy of the pain machine inside his skull. It pulsed even now, teasingly erratic, sending fire tick-tocking through the meat of his mind.

The helm he carried under his arm was a slant-eyed, snarling thing of red eye lenses and a Sarum-pattern mouth grille. An officer’s crest of white horsehair rose, sharkfin-like, to mark him out from his men in the heat of battle. The etching on his shoulder guard, written in the mongrel tongue called Nagrakali, named him as Khârn of the Eighth.”

Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Betrayer

Welcome to another World Eaters-related update — I almost feel like I should apologise for the somewhat monothematic nature of recent posts, but then I am simply on a bit of a roll with this latest project of mine, and I know better than to second-guess inspiration when it strikes… 😉

So you probably remember my conversion of Khârn here, created fairly recently:

Now earlier this week, fellow hobbyist Aasfresser talked me into joining a small painting event at one large German hobby forum and suggested I enter my interpretation of 30k Khârn. I let myself get roped into it — which was all for the best, ultimately, but we’ll be getting there in a minute.

Before I could start painting the model, however, there was one last additional touch I wanted to include: Seeing how Forgeworld’s official model comes with options for both a helmeted and bare head, I just wanted to include the same variants on my own conversion as well. Now the bare head was already taken care of, which left me with having to come up with a suitable helmet.

ADB’s description of Khârn’s helmet (as quoted above) calls it “a slant-eyed, snarling thing of red eye lenses and a Sarum-pattern mouth grille.” And the accompanying piece of BL artwork came up with a version that is fairly close to the model’s actual design:

I knew I wanted something very slightly different, however, because I couldn’t shake the feeling that the one helmet design perfectly matching the description above…were the helmets that come with Forgeworld’s 40k World Eaters conversion set.

And it makes a lot of sense, too — wouldn’t those 40k World Eaters still be wearing the corrupted versions of their original Sarum-pattern helmets? Plus there was also the fact that I had seen Mr. Poom put the same approach to excellent use on his own, spectacular World Eaters.

So I very carefully shaved the Khornate crest off a World Eaters helmet and used it as a template for my first Sarum-pattern helmet:

And I was reasonably happy with the result — I would definitely be able to create a suitable helmet for Khârn this way, of course with an added officer’s crest!

The other thing to take care of was the model’s base. Now I quickly realised that a character of Khârn’s stature warranted a bigger base, so I upgraded him to a Terminator-sized base right away. When it came to the base’s actual design, I wanted it to contain visual shout outs to Angron’s base, creating an even closer link between the two models, which only seemed fitting. So I tried to repeat several elements that appear on Forgeworld’s base for Angron: torn metal beams, diamon patterned metal plates and rocks, stuff like that. At the same time, I also tried to make it fit the design of my other World Eaters, using the same general texture:

With those preparations out of the way, the time for painting had come. And in spite of the tight deadline – or maybe because of it – the model almost came together by itself, surprisingly enough. Seriously, I had a blast with this guy!

So here’s everyone’s favourite, bloodthirsty madman in his younger years:


“The Bloody”, Eighth Captain,
Equerry to the Primarch Angron,
XII Legion Astartes


It was absolutely clear, of course, that I would have to include some kind of blood effect, but I also didn’t want to overdo it — which is why I chose to focus the blood on the left leg, where it would probably end up when gore keeps flying from the teeth of Khârn’s axe.

I also have to admit that I actually really love the helmeted version — which is a strange development, seeing how the bare head was what inspired the whole conversion in the first place, but then that’s creativity for you… In all fairness, however, it also feels quite appropriate to have a helmeted version when the original, classic 40k Khârn is defined so much by his helmet.

Regarding the model’s base, like I said, it now serves as a “missing link” between Angron’s base and the bases of my remaining World Eaters:

In an interesting twist, fellow hobbyist Soric pointed out over at The Bolter & Chainsword that there’s a matching piece of broken aquila in the same basing set that would just be idea to base an Argel Tal conversion — a rather interesting and tempting thought, really… 😉

Oh, and here’s a closer look at the bareheaded version of the character:

It’s mentioned several times in Betrayer how the pain of the Butcher’s Nails is a constant companion to Khârn, yet in contrast to many of his brothers, he actually tries to fight their influence and stay levelheaded more often than not, so I thought it would be nice to give his face a drawn, haunted quality. And I do think both head options really have merit, which is why I’ll leave the head interchangeable.

And, of course, Father and Son:

Wha…? Are they wielding the exact same axe at the same time? TIME PARADOX! 😉

What I really like is how the model really kinda looks like an “end boss” next to one of my regular World Eaters. Even the – rather vertically posed – Secutor Hamund is a bit shorter than Khârn:

When all is said and done, my objective was to create a model that draws enough visual cues from different sources to really read as Khârn. And when it comes to the 40k versions of the character, I think my model could reasonably grow into the classic Khârn over the next 10,000 years — but also into the new (plastic) version:

And I would argue he even takes enough cues from Forgeworld’s version of Khârn to clearly read as the character from that angle as well — and not just as any old World Eaters Centurion.

So I am really rather happy with the finished model — thanks must go to Aasfresser for actually convincing me to get off my arse! Oh, and this should go without saying, but I would definitely love to hear your feedback on the model, so make sure to drop me a comment!

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

22 Responses to “Khârn of the Eighth”

  1. Superb as always mate – nice job on the helmet!

  2. Dexter Says:

    I will say this to you one time, and one time only, with all the possible conviction I have in my body behind it:

    Do an Argel Tal conversion.

  3. another one bang on the money!

  4. Lordsofpreyspire Says:

    Absolutely fantastic! Do you have an Instagram?

    • Thanks! Why would I need an Instagram, though, given I have this kick-ass blog full of amazing content right here? 😉

      That being said, if you’re just interested in the pretty pictures, there’s a Flickr photostream here:

      The Hateful Eight 01
  5. Kharn is great conversion and I have to agree that the helmet is the better option it feels odd seeing Kharn’s face which is possibly one reason why I prefer it.
    I will ask one thing though why did you go with a read crest when the quote suggests that officers crests are white?
    “An officer’s crest of white horsehair rose, sharkfin-like, to mark him out from his men in the heat of battle.”

    • Cheers, Daniel! And good point about the crest. In the end, a white crest sounded great, but simply ended up looking a bit too boring, and I wanted something with a bit more contrast. It’s also in keeping with the rest of my collection so far: Many of my 30k World Eaters use that red as a spot colour on helmet crests or loincloths.

  6. Pure excellence mate. I recently painted up and posted a world eaters Warband. I’ve got to say that your work was a huge inspiration. I ended up mixing the armour up a bit to give them my own unique look. Keep up the great work man.

  7. Your reimagining of the characters remains awesome. I know the Forgeworld versions are available, but I think it’s awesome that you’ve created such unique visions of everyone’s favourite mad man of the 41st millennium.

  8. Looks excellent – still love the richness of that blue (indeed the whole paint job is just outstanding).

    • Thanks, mate! I was pretty amazed at how the whole paintjob just seemed to come together from a certain point onwards (blocking in the base colours over the white undercoat was a slog, though 😉 ).

  9. Inquisitor Mikhailovich Says:

    Ok, I love him. In all honesty, the progression of Kharne models recently (both official and yours) has ALMOST converted me over to Khornate Chaos. Almost.

    I think the helmeted version is pretty close to perfect, but I’m really not sold on the bare one. In my mind, the model feel more cold rage than hot rage, and I like the way the helmet gives a feel that is more “determined/mildly arrogant,” while the bare head looks a little more conflicted as to whether it’s supposed to be snarling or smirking.

    You cannot do Argel Tal, though. I forbid it. He is one of my all time favorite characters after reading “The First Heretic,” and if you even start such a conversion I’m going to go broke trying to match it. I can’t do that, Kraut, I can’t! (Do it. I’ll survive the lethal injury, but I imagine that you are the only hobbyist who could do him justice in my eyes…)

  10. Fantastic. I love the work you do on your World Eaters and their characters, and Kharn has (once again) come out brilliantly. Always an inspiration.

  11. […] A blog about KrautScientist's wargaming exploits « Khârn of the Eighth […]

  12. […] In closing, here’s how the more human Arge l Tal looks next to his buddy in crime: […]

  13. […] In addition to the Primarch, I also applied myself to the creation of a model representing his equerry, Eighth Captain Khârn. The official Forgeworld version of the character didn’t quite click with me, for a number of reasons, so I endeavoured to make my own version: […]

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