Archive for October, 2018

A Short Knight, pt. 1

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2018 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, still no painted models this week, alas, but rather a small project that had me sidetracked. Small in every sense of the word, actually. So what is this about?

The recently released 2018 version of Adeptus Titanicus has left me weirdly indifferent so far — surprising, really, as I always thought I would be right at the front of the queue if it ever made a return. But the focus on the biggest Titans somehow makes it less interesting to me (even though I’ll readily acknowledge that being able to own multiple Warlords without having to sell a kidney is probably one of the main draws of the game).

That being said, when the AT-scaled Questoris Knights were released, I knew I had to pick up some of them. And at 25 Euros for three, they seemed reasonably priced, so I made the plunge:

What really surprised me was how the detail on these is truly off the charts: It’s almost uncanny how GW has managed to make them resemble the bigger version down to some of the smallest detail. And I found myself regularly having déjà-vu moments while building the first model — it’s that close to it’s bigger kin. And seeing how I was already having those déjà-vues, I started feeling the urge to build a smaller version of my Renegade Knight, Gilgamesh — in fact, some of you might still remember my previous attempt at building a “Chibi-Knight”, roughly at the Adeptus Titanicus scale – from all kinds of odds and ends:

 

 


Building that smaller version – dubbed “Chibi-Knight” by me – was a fun project back then, and I think the model still holds up fairly well, all things considered, even if it’s maybe a bit too clunky. But having a base model that was already a fairly perfect representation of an Imperial Knight from the get-go this time around really made me want to one-up my previous effort.

So I got to work, trying to make one of those small Adeptus Titanicus Knights resemble this guy as closely as possible:

And after a bit of messing around, my first WIP looked like this:

Pretty good already, wouldn’t you agree? Here’s a comparison of my first WIP next to the previous, kitbashed Chibi-Knight:

I actually like how the previous versions’s slightly weird proportions make it resemble the visual clunkiness and retro charm of the old Epic 40k models. By the same token – and due to the more delicate sculpt of the AT Knight – coming up with a way to mirror those chaotic decorations was slightly tricky, and had to drop some of the detail that was simply too small to reproduce – or would look weirdly clunky (such as using a Bloodletter face on the gun barrel, for instance). I also got the impression that most 28mm GW bitz are just a tad too big to use on those delicate AT Questoris Knights, so this did take some doing.

In the end, I went for the visual essence of the model, trying to hit enough design cues to make it work, dropping some that were just too much trouble to get right, and figuring out which bitz to use for either.

So here’s the basically finished build for Chibi-Gilgamesh version 2.0 that I have come up with:






All things considered, I think I have managed to come up with a pretty good reproduction of my 28mm Gilgamesh at the smaller scale. But that wasn’t even the end of the project, because during the conversion process, I found myself staring at the Knight’s hollow interior again and again…


…and wondering if maybe….just maybe…

…it would be possible to add a fully realised interior as well — just as I had done on 28mm Gilgamesh.

Sure, the mere concept is a bit ridiculous, but once I had gotten the idea into my head, I realised that there would be no way to weasel out of this challenge: Chibi-Gilgamesh 2.0 needed a cockpit!

Coming up with a pilot was the most challenging part of that, obviously: I thought I was already out of the woods when I remembered some 40+ years-ish old plastic Army Men style soldiers my uncle used to play with as a child, and wanted to use one of those, but they turned out to still be a tad too big. As was a pilot from one of my uncle’s old model planes:


My next idea was to use a Z-scale model train figure — and indeed, those come in all shapes and sizes, even in a sitting position. And they are also readily available online. In batches of one hundred, no less!

In the end, that would have included purchasing them in China, however, and it just didn’t seem sustainable to pick up something so cheap and minuscule from halfway across the planet. So I was already planning a visit to the local model train shop when another idea struck me: I remembered one of the old plastic Bretonnian Knights from an old WFB starter box having a stylised little person as their heraldic helmet crest — maybe at just the right scale?

When I dug out the bit from my cupboard of shame, I realised the figure was pretty much the right scale indeed — but alas, it was a Lady of the Lake style sculpt:

Space Marine helmet included for scale.

Very fitting for Bretonnians, no doubt, but not a particularly good match to recreate my Baron Harrowthorne model at a smaller scale. But maybe there was still something there that I could use? So I shaved off most of the detail from the helmet crest, until I was left with only the bare outline of the model, then tried to carve it into a rough incarnation of Gilgamesh’s pilot:

If nothing else, I was able to leave the suggestion of facial features in place. And I realised I had the beginnings of a pilot.

The cockpit, on the other hand, was almost trivially easy to build: I used some tech-y leftover bitz (from a Heldrake foot, IIRC) for the reactor section…


…and if you take a closer look, you’ll see that I even included a small control panel for the pilot:

So here’s another comparison shot for you: The 28mm version of the cockpit and pilot:


And my WIP version at the Adeptus Titanicus scale:

Of course I realised that the pilot was still looking slightly too primitive, so I added some tweaks to him, greenstuffing in the tiniest shoulder pads and placing some teeny tiny plastic nubs on the model to suggest both the medals on the bigger version’s chest as well as the cranial augmetic implants:

The rest of the detail will be suggested by the paintjob — at least that’s what I hope! Now in all fairness, the pilot is probably still a tad too big, but there’s just no way I can come up with an even smaller version, so I’ll call this conversion a success!

This has been such a fun little project — and given the size of the model, I hope it’ll be easy enough to paint up as well. Maybe this could even be the model to get me out of my recent painting slump? Keep your fingers crossed for me! 🙂

In any case, that’s it for today’s update. It should go without saying that I am looking forward to any feedback you might have. And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! 🙂

Advertisements

A Child for the Warrior King, pt.6 — and a small interlude

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2018 by krautscientist

My hobby work has not been all that exciting recently: The combination of a decided lack of feedback here on the blog and a prolongued downtime over at The Bolter & Chainsword has worked as a bit of a dampener to my hobby motivation. But I have a new update to share with you all, dealing with my second converted Armiger once again. And as a special treat, I’ll also sneak in a small bonus-review somewhere along the way, so keep your eyes peeled 😉

But first things first: My second Renegade Armiger was already mostly finished in my previous post, but it still needed that final bit of attention, especially when it came to finishing the chaotic decoration: The most important part was to add spikes and skull trophies to the top carapace. At the same time, I also grafted some small teeth, carefully shaved off the little vanes that come with the CSM Raptors, to the pauldrons and leg armour, for that certain chaotic je ne sais quoi.

So here’s the result:


Those added elements really do a pretty great job of pulling all of the parts of the model together from a visual standpoint, plus they also serve as a parallel to my other Armiger Warglaive.

So the model is basically ready for paint now. Take a look:


Oh, and after adding the final layer of detailing, I also straightened out the cockpit and pilot, making a few final tweaks and additons here and there. So here’s the completed build for the Huntress inside her cockpit:


As you can see, the way the Huntress controls the machine actually matches the setup I used for the first Armiger. This time around, however, I actually made sure to make the alignment of the machine’s head match that of the pilot (it’s only a small thing, but since I used the standard Armiger head this time around, at least beneath the extra bitz, it was easy enough to keep the head poseable):


I am actually really happy with the conversion, plus I think the two Armiger really work rather well together. Several people on the forum pointed out how the machines seemes like two pack mates, ready to bring an opposing Knight (or even Titan?!) down, and how the new Armiger actually seemed a touch more feral than the first model. Since that’s the impression I was really going for, I am rather happy to have achieved that dynamic with the two models:

Incidentally, I also made a small tweak to the Hound, adding some Blood Warrior decorations to his pauldrons. See if you can spot them in the picture above 😉

 

Bonus review: Canis Rex

So, while we are on the subject of (Imperial) Knights, allow me to sneak in some thoughts on one of GW’s fairly recent releases thtat I have wanted to share for a while: I am talking about Canis Rex here:

The release of Canis Rex was interesting for a number of reasons: It marks the third revision of the Imperial Knight kit in almost as many years, for one: Each subsequent release has added new parts and options, and this latest kit is no exception, providing us with all the weapon options released so far, along with a new weapon, the las-impulsor, that can be used to assemble the model as a Knight-Preceptor. So far, so good. At the same time, Canis Rex is also a veritable named character, so the model comes with original parts to turn a generic Knight into Canis Rex with its unique heraldry. Last but not least, there’s also the fact that the kit provides us with the bitz for a fully designed cockpit – something that the GW-Knights have lacked so far – and for the pilot, Sir Hekhtur the Chainbreaker.

Now my love for the Imperial Knight per se is well documented, and I still consider the model a landmark release and one of GW’s finest modern kits. All the original kit’s strenghts remain, obviously, and we actually get some new toys to play around with. So let us take a closer look:

Let’s start with the new weapon: Where most of the Knight weapons we have seen so far have a rather more brutal, archaic look, this new gun hews closer to a more experimental, “Martian Deathray” look, which is nice. On a related note, looking at the silhouette of the weapon, I cannot help but realise how you could probably kitbash a similar weapon using the side panels from a 40k life pod (from either the 40k objectives kit or the new Kill Team: Rogue Trader boxed set), if you need the weapon but don’t want to buy the new kit.
Whether or not you like the las-impulsor, though: The kit also seems to contain every other Knight weapon released so far, so the world is really your oyster here.

When it comes to Canis Rex’s unique armour plates (and heraldic elements), those bitz are nice, if a bit vanilla: The facemask strikes me as ever so slightly too generically medieval, but that’s purely a matter of personal choice. On the other hand, the combination of a wolf/dog head and a chain on the tilt plate and banner make me wonder whether those bitz might be useful in a 30k World Eaters/War Hounds project…

What I really like about the inclusion of those bitz is how GW actually embraces the idea of having those Knights be true individuals — something that has always played a big role in the background, but it’s still nice to actually see that philosophy now realised in model form. If anything, coming up with your own background, heraldry and backstory for your noble is something to be encouraged.

So far, the additions to the kit are nice but not exactly massively exciting.This all changes with the third big addition to the kit, however, and easily the biggest draw of the model, if you ask me: The inclusion of both a fully detailed cockpit and a pilot:


Seeing how the nobles piloting the Knights were already being played up as important and powerful individuals in the background, I actually find it baffling that it has taken GW so long to represent them in model form. If anything, I feel Imperial Knights should have been themed around their pilots from the get-go. But anyway, now we finally get our pilot model, and both in a walking and a sitting form, which is nice:


I like how the model’s armour/pilot suit neatly straddles the line between baroque(medieval and functional — it arguably works better with the general 40k aesthetics than Forgeworld’s almost too sleek and futuristic looking Knight pilot. At the same time, it’s also nice how some design elements (see the arrows on the armour plates, for instance) are shared between the Knight and its pilot.

Now while the pilot is supposed to be Sir Hekhtur the Chainbreaker, it’s easy to see how a simple headswap would be enough to turn him into an original (male) knight pilot. Creating a female noble from those bitz would still be possible, albeit with a bit more conversion work — and maybe the inclusion of some of the slightly narrower Genestealer Hybrid body parts.

When it comes to the actual cockpit, I really love how GW’s sculptors have managed to squeeze lots and lots of detail into a pretty tight area (believe me, I know): The design looks great and channels visual cues from both Forgeworld’s Knights and various Titans:

If I have one criticism, it’s that I think the controls are almost a bit too modern and “Space Marine-y” and should maybe have looked a bit more archaic – like the kind of tech you see in Forgeworld’s Titan cockpits – but the design still works very well, and the option to build it so it can even be looked at with the top carapace closed and the hatch open is an awesome little touch:

 

For me, and other hobbyists as weird as me, coming up with a way of building the interior of a Knight has been one of the most interesting parts of working with the model. So seeing an “official”, readymade version now is a slightly bittersweet moment: On the one hand, it’s great that GW has finally stepped up and provided us with the building blocks for a Knight interior. At the same time, however, this also takes away some of the adventure, for lack of a better word, and challenge of scratchbuilding and kitbashing an area like this — oh well, at least we still have the Armiger interiors to think about 😉

On a related note, and if you’ll excuse a bit of boasting, I have to say that I am really rather happy with the way I managed to come up with something pretty similar to GW’s “official” look for the pilot and cockpit years ago, back when I built my own Knight:



So for those who do not own any Imperial Knights yet, you guys are in luck: You are now able to pick up the definitive version of an already fantastic kit and end up with lots and lots of beautiful options to play around with. If, like me, you were among the early adopters of the Imperial Knight, you might be forgiven for feeling a bit left out (and for being expected to buy yet another 100+ Euros kit). The third revision of the kit in as many years. Because much as I like this newest revision to the kit (and much as I liked the previous revision), I cannot help asking myself whether those weapon options and cockpit bitz could have been part of the model from the beginning — the pilot and cockpit, in particular, seem like parts of the sculpt that must have been considered from the beginning…

 

Call of Chaos 2018:

Before I wind up this post, let me quickly address the current Call of Chaos event over at The Bolter & Chainsword: With the forum back up and running, fortunately enough, I think I’ll just have a go at joining in the event again this year. Here are the models I think I’ll be pledging as my Call of Chaos vow:


Including the second Armiger is a bit of a no-brainer, obviously, as I really want to have the happy family finished before the year is out 😉 In addition, I want to get some paint on two Nurglite characters that have been sitting on my desk for ages:

First up, a Nurglite Lord on bike that was built over a year ago (originally for another forum painting event last year):

Still pretty happy with this guy — you certainly wouldn’t think he started out as a Ravenwing biker from Dark Vengeance, would you? 😉

And there’s this conversion of Maxime Pastourel’s Lord of Contagion model from the Dark Imperium boxed set:

his guy should be fun to paint, with all the gribbly areas of distressed skin and gooey intestines 😉

 

So anyway, that’s it for today’s update. 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! 🙂