State of the Hunt, Week 03/2019: Everything but the kitchen sink…

So here we are, with the old year firmly behind us. I have to admit that I am currently still at the stage, fairly early in the year, where I keep throwing around ideas and messing with different projects until something sticks and I find just the thing to re-start my proper creative process. So for now, I have decided to mess around with some neglected models, seeing how getting long neglected stuff painted was such a successful part of 2018. So let’s take a look at my laboratory:

I. Crash and burn

Here’s the first thing I am currently working on, a contribution for the monthly hobby challenge over at Azazel’s blog, Terrain is the name of the game this time around, which provided me with the perfect reason to tackle something I have wanted to do for ages: Finally getting some paint on the crashed aquila lander from the old Battle for Maccrage boxed set:

I’ve had those pieces for ages, courtesy of my cousin Andy, and as you can see, some of them have been subjected to a prior, mostly unsuccessful attempt at painting them — seriously, what was I thinking?

Now for the second attempt, I’ve made some small tweaks to the piece with the cockpit:

Something that has always bothered me about this otherwise cool terrain piece is its complete hollowness, so I knew I needed to add in a pilot as well as the suggestion of a cockpit, so I whipped something up with a couple of leftover bitz:

It’s not that easy to make sense of what the pilot looks like right now, but I took a lot of inspiration from the pilot morbรคck built for his fantastic “Scarabรฉe Intrรฉpide” conversion a couple of years back — I didn’t sweat the details, though, knowing that only a part of the pilot would really be visible inside the finished cockpit. Oh, and while I was at it, I also glued in some bitz to suggest cockpit controls — I’ll show off the whole assembly once the model has been painted!

Anyway, the lander’s complete “hollowness” also leads to the rear of the piece ending in a massive hole. Of course I had to close that off as well, both to make it look less awkward overall and to camouflage the fact that there’s no fully realised interior, nor a full cockpit, as I merely built the parts that you can see from the outside. So I added in a hatch (from an old model truck kit) and tied it into the rest of the design with a few bitz:

While the whole ensemble looks pretty improvised when you look behind the curtain, so to speak,…

…the rear hatch has the added benefit of covering it all up, so when the terrain piece sits on a flat surface, you only really see the elements you are supposed to see.

Everything has already been undercoated, which ties it all together rather nicely:

Now to get it all painted in time for the challenge! I’ll be taking quite a few cues from Ian Wilson’s absolutely fantastic “re-assembled” Aquila lander here, among other sources. Wish me luck! ๐Ÿ™‚


II. Big time!

And while I was already hard at work breathing some life into ancient projects, I came across another straggler from my cupboard of shame: A couple of years ago, I dug this out of a box of odds and ends over at my FLGS:

In case anyone’s wondering, this is half of one of the old 54mm Inquisitor models that GW released alongside the original game back in the late 90s. The character in question was Delphan Gruss, a Magos explorator of the Adeptus Mechanicus, basically the only AdMech model readily available back then, long before the AdMech became a playable 40k faction. Here’s the complete stock model:

As you can see, the parts I had were in a pretty sorry state (caked in the thick remains of a prior paintjob, and glued together with hell’s own superglue), and the model was also missing its legs. The problem with 54mm models is, obviously, that in order to replace missing parts, you either need a supply of 54mm bitz, or you need to get creative. In my case, I chose a solution in-between those two options, but the model still didn’t go anywhere for years. But after seeing PowerHungryMonkey’s recent Tech-Marine conversion, I somehow felt drawn back to the old model, and have managed to give him legs (and a pretty impressive gun to boot). Take a look:

Did anyone recognise those “new” legs? They actually came from the somewhat infamous vintage Nagash model, often seen as one of GW’s worst models of all time:

I have to admit, however, that I have a bit of a soft spot for the model: Nagash was actually the first big multipart metal model I ever bought from GW, and also the first model at that scale I have ever painted — and for a while there, I thought both the sculpt as well as my paintjob were absolutely rad! I blame my love for Masters of the Universe as a kid — those who grew up oving Skeletor as a villain had no choice but to like a character with a skull face.

And back when I got those Delphan Gruss bitz, I rediscovered the different parts of poor old Nagash in my bitzbox and thought the legs might work — as an added bonus, a conversion using Nagash as a base did indeed appear in the original rulebook…

Another fun fact: I’ve been keeping off this particular project for so long that I have actually managed to obtain a complete, boxed as new Delphan Gruss in the interim — all the more reason, however, to make sure this model looks suitably different from the stock model, eh?

I rather like the more subdued pose, to be honest. Oh, and the backpack is just the strangest amalgamation of bitz, to create something that looks suitably tech-y and AdMech, and at the right scale, no less: Underneath it all is actually a Space Marine plasma gun backpack (from the plasma gunner that came with Dark Vengeance), while the weapon system was simply made by combining half a Heldrake foot and one of the smaller gun arms from the Kataphron kit. And I added some suitable bits and bobs, such as an omnispex array from the Centurions, some cabling, stuff like that.

Even if thi should stay a one-off 54mm project, painting the Magos should still be a rather interesting experience — plus I am pretty sure I’ll get quite some mileage out of that modern AdMech decal sheet ๐Ÿ˜‰

III. Daemonic desktop infestation imminent!

Waiiit, you didn’t think we’d bypass the ruinous powers, did you? No way! Because while I was wildly fluttering around in “crazy hobby butterfly mode”, something unwholesome from the warp has started to “manifest” on my desktop…

Still very early days, admittedly, but this should be interesting as well…


So as you can see, I am just trying different things before committing to the next bigger project. So keep watching this place to see those three projects – plus half a dozen others, I’d imagine – take shape. Or not. Anyway, I would love to hear your thoughts on these current “sketches”, so feel free to leave a comment!

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


43 Responses to “State of the Hunt, Week 03/2019: Everything but the kitchen sink…”

  1. Some good looking stuff there mate – the Magos should be very interesting! Nice use of those legs ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. castigatoruk Says:

    Oh I do like some nice terrain. I often feel like terrain is the ‘forgotten man’ when it comes to the hobby so I’m excited to see how it turns out for you.
    Thanks for pointing out Azazel’s blog. Somehow I’ve never come across it before and in an age of declining bloggers it’s good to see another entertaining blog.

    • Cheers, man! And yeah, you are completely right about terrain so often playing second fiddle to the regular models — I, for one, have been slacking off on the terrain front…

      As I’ve said before, Azazel’s place is both a bit of a community hub these days, but also an excellent blog in its own right — glad I was able to direct you to it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Very cool! Liking the cyber-demon. Are you going to do a part 3 of the awards? I really like your industry review bit, and it would be a shame if there isn’t one. I don’t mind waiting- I can imagine how much work it must take!

    • Cheers, Jamessy — Cyber-Demon, indeed — gives off a bit of a Doom-vibe, doesn’t it?

      As for a third part of the awards, I am afraid it won’t be happening: GW’s frantic pace of releases makes such an endeavour even more taxing that it used to be, and given the fact that it usually takes me several hours to put together a post like that, I feel it’s just not worth it — or rather, I would rather use the energy to talk about stuff I am actually working on. Sorry!

      That being said, you are also in luck, because the Wier Brothers have actually put together just about the exact list I would have posted over here:

  4. blimey that really is everything and the kitchen sink! All great stuff

  5. ssspectre Says:

    Great rescue job on the big techpriest! Very resourceful. Super conversion work on his packpack as well.

  6. Awesomeness! Love the updated Aquilla Lander wreckage, that adds a ton of personality to it. The updated Delphan Gruss is inspired as well – Great work, man!

  7. Pandora's Bitz Box Says:

    I think if I have time working on my Ad Mech Terrain I will try to do my Aquilla lander as well, it’s half painted so I don’t think it will take much.

    That’s quite a cool idea with those soulgrinder parts but i can tell it needs refining… hmm do really like it though, I think the claw hand needs to be differentiated from the feet somehow, they look to similar and it looks like they were only chosen in a “that’ll do” style choice based on an absence of better parts… But I quite like the feet… They look like talons like that. Maybe pop some wings on it, lose the arms on it and make it like a counts as heldrake? Or upright as it is, pop some wings on and make a daemon prince? I feel like there is so much potential for this, it looked like a really fun project. Any thoughts on what kind of unit you might like it to be?

    • Cheers, mate! Huh, I actually rather like the fact that the leg and arm claws resemble one another: The Soulgrinder fluff describes machines from the soulforge as sometimes weird and awkward amalgamations of daemon and machine, and I think the tortured look of the Soulgrinder body really lends itself well to a somewhat rough looking creature. The design will be refined, though, so have no fear. No wings, though — that would be a bridge too far, I think.

      As for its potential use on the table, I have to admit that such questions don’t really much concern me any more, although there could be some pretty obvious uses: A Maulerfiend? A counts-as Armiger? It certainly has the size!

      • Pandora's Bitz Box Says:

        Cool, really looking forward to seeing this develope then. I only thought wings because of the “taloned” look of the feet. I like the idea of making it look ungainly and Awkward… Is it Duskraider’s Admech that had all those little watch parts? One huge Decimator arm? That looks very cool and very awkward.

  8. PickaxeJunky Says:

    An eclectic mix of projects!

    The crashed Aquilla is an interesting piece of kit. It feels like a crashed craft would have more of its contents strewn about.

    • I actually thought about that, but decided to leave the design relatively uncluttered, so as to keep it more modular: The beauty of it is that I can always put a crate or two of some sort into that torn open hold, just as mission objectives or narrative setup demand.

  9. I’ve got that lander in my queue for this month – yes, after so many years as well! Now you’ve gone and made me have to look for some bits to seal up the back, and maybe find a pilot as well.
    Damn you KS! Always raising the bar!
    I wish I had half of your talent or skill at building as well. Seems like anything with more than about 5 pieces just sits and sits for years on end…

    • Oh puh-lease — you are selling yourself short. I think you’re a pretty excellent converter if you want to be — for starters, it definitely wouldn’t kill you to just finish 50 models a month instead of 60 and use the extra time for a couple of more involved conversions? Just sayin’… ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Hahah. Once I’ve killed off the last of the Neglected Models, the hope is that I’ll have more freedom for new release models (like that AoS Starter set with Khorne vs Stormcast), conversions, and the like. Besides, a lot of that scatter is dead easy to do. Some of it is a lot more of a pain in the backside, though.
        …on that note I need to crop my pics and get a post up!

  10. I follow your blog for a couple of months now. This is such a great place for getting inspired and motivated, learning new things or just see the awesomeness of your projects and work. I love your blog!
    It’s the complete package of stuff, fluff, tutorials, information and thoughts which keeps me interested and wait eagerly for the next article!
    I quit the hobby about 13 years (or so) ago (3rd Edition 40K followed by a few years of converting and kitbashing). Some day last year I just stumbled over your and Wilhelminiatures blog and thought – yeah! This brought back my burning ambition I once had for this hobby.
    For that I just want to say thank you!
    I started my own blog a just a few days ago.
    Just want to share my stuff. If you want to take a look I would really appreciate that.

    Greetings from a small village near the realms of cologne!

    • Hey Lars, thanks a lot for the kind words! I have already glanced over your blog earlier this week, and I definitely like what I am seeing and will return for a more thorough inspection this coming weekend! Cheers for the link! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Thursday Says:

    Hey KS, following your blog for a while now… okay, actually a whole lot of time, i’m more a silent reader kind of consumer….
    Your blog is not only very inspiring and motivating (but also demotivating at the same time… we’re worlds apart when it comes to building and painting…), but it also was yout blog which led me to all the other blogs out there, where I can pirate all those great ideas…

    I really like that aquila terrain and what you did with it!
    Saving the magos and the new style is quite awesome I even like this more than the original one (never liked that drill….). For me, a single 54mm-model would be relativly useless, but I guess it was fun, and so will be the painting.
    That demon is great, that would make a perfect daemon prince of the iron warriors I think.

    Keep up the good work and the blogging!

  12. Mojo_jojo Says:

    Looking forward to that demon taking shape! Re: the tech priest. Iโ€™m always in awe of how you & other kit bashers always seem to find what looks like the perfect combination of bits. Would be great to read about your process. A more โ€œmetaโ€ topic admittedly. Thank you for sharing on such a regular basis though. Really cool.

    • Thanks a lot! It always seems to me my process is far too scattershot and haphazard to actually make for compelling reason — even so, since you are not the first person to suggest a topic like that, maybe I should really make the effort to put it in concise written form — hmm, food for thought…

  13. In other (good) news, your deceptively simple fix to that lander finally motivated me to do the same with the gaping hole in the back of mine. Like yourself, I was never happy with that, but I kept thinking about much more complex fixes – so much so that I never got around to doing it!
    So this is good, since I really wanted to finish this thing this month – or next month if it comes to it – Neglected Scenery counts as Neglected Models!
    Which parts did you use for the pilot?
    It looks like a Skitarii head, maybe Cadian torso, some sprue as a frame behind him..?
    I can’t make out the legs or arms, though.. Not that I need to use the exact same parts, but if I see what worked for you, that makes it easier to chase up similar parts.

    • Funnily enough, it was the same for me at first: I was held back by expecting the conversion to be fairly complicated — the most difficult part is the weird, rounded interior with nary a straight angle in sight. In the end, however, it was much easier than I had abticipated.

      As for the pilot, you are mostly right on the money: Skitarii head (with a hose feeding into the mask) and legs, the arms and torso came from the bog standard Cadians. I also added the back rest from a Landspeeder (I think…) to suggest a pilot seat. Hope this helps!

      • I’ve got the plate in there now. I’m going to steal your hose as well, and at some point very soon, when I finish two of the other scenic pieces on the go, I’ll be building a no doubt completely original pilot to go with it.
        Hopefully by tomorrow for both of them, as good old drying time is a major roadblock on both, but tomorrow will be 38-40 degrees – so I call that a “high-speed drying” day.

      • Really looking forward to seeing what you come up with! By the same token, I’ll have to make sure I finish my own model really soon, as seeing yours finished is going to be rather demotivating, I’m sure… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Oh, and on a mostly unrelated note: I don’t know how far ahead you plan out your monthly challenges, but would it be possible to have something like “Martian March” (for all kinds of mechanical models, robots, AdMech models or, indeed, Martians?)? I could really use that as a great pretext for getting my 54mm Magos painted — just sayin’…

      • Martian March is probably a bit too specific to allow a lot of people to participate, but let me check my (pencilled in) notes for the year’s challenges… uh… I had “Squad: March!” (aka completing units) again for March, though I do have “Mechanismo May” in there as well for the very type of thing you suggested not long after. Does that still work for you at all?

      • Hmm, I think May’s a bit too far off for me — sounds like it might be a good occasion for painting that second Armiger, though, as you suggested…

      • So it turns out I’ll be adding a second part to March’s challenge. A little wrinkle brought up by Alex’ Fembruary, and this Mechanicus model (and a great many others) would definitely qualify…

  14. The magos is a beauty! Haven’t seen a Inquisitor model in a long while. The legs fit perfectly! The whole nagash model with a new head and hands would make an awesomly flamboyant 54mm character. With the hat of course! Why is it called 54mm and not simply 55 – does anyone know that? Guess it’s an inch thing…

    • Like it even more after looking at it for a bit longer. I love the shoes and size of the feet! No sarcasm – don’t know why, but they give him that certain something.

      • Man, I wasn’t really happy with the feet, to tell you the truth, but replacing them just seemed like too much of a hassle, and after turning one of them a fair bit inwards, I can live with them now. If nothing else, they do look suitably metallic for a Tech-Priest ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Thanks, Florian! I believe it’s “54” because that’s precisely twice as big as the “classic” heroic 28mm standard (even if the actual models tend to be rather different in size).

  15. […] large enough to have the whole, oddly-shaped piece fit. There was still a bit of overhang. Luckily Krautscientist’s recent WIP post on the Crashed Aquila Lander and a deceptively simple solution to that piece’s gaping hole to the tabletop (apparently a […]

  16. […] if you like the Crashed Aquila scenery you should check out Krautscientist’s effort which will no doubt be fantastic, he has already gone to the effort of adding a dead pilot in the […]

  17. […] The original 54mm Inquisitor Eisenhorn: I have wanted to own this model for a long time, yet was never smart enough to pick it up while it was still freely available. Now the model you see above is missing some bits and bobs, but I did get it for a pretty good price, and I am confident I’ll be able to sort most of it out with the leftover INQ54 bits I already have. In fact, Eisenhorn should make a swell companion for my salvaged Delphan Gruss/Nagash mashup from back in January: […]

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