Half the man he used to be…

Back to the 41st millennium and the adventures of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt this week, as I get to cross another long neglected model off my list. I am referring to this gentleman here:

If you should think the model looks familiar, there are two reasons for that: On the one hand, like so many models from my collection, this guy was actually built a couple of years ago, so if you are a regular reader, chances are, you’ve run into him before.

On the other hand, he was built to actually resemble a well-known character: The model began its life as an entry for one of the frequent competitions on the – now-sadly-defunct, *sigh* – Throneofskulls forum, if I recall correctly. The objective back then was to re-imagine a non-Khornate named character as a Khornate version, and I chose Huron Blackheart, inspired by a very impressive conversion by my buddy DexterKong.

Just to remind you, here’s what stock-Huron looks like:

And here’s a closer look at my version:

It’s a fairly straightforward conversion, based on one of the Chosen models from the Dark Vengeance starter box that used to be all the rage back in the day: The Chosen body already resembled the stock Huron model a fair deal, and I liked the idea that a Khornate version of the character would be in a running pose for that extra bit of aggression.

The conversion mainly became a matter of trying to cram in most (or all) of Huron’s classic visual elements: The monstrous power-fist/-claw/flamer hybrid, the promethium tank on his back and, of course, the mangled half-augmetic face (courtesy of that one half-augmetic plastic Space Marine head everyone knows and loves). And I had to add a suitable amount of Khornate touches, hence the small icons and Khornate back banner (itself a take on the iron halo/chaos icon that adorns stock-Huron’s backpack).

I was really happy with the conversion back when I originally created it, and I still rather like it now (in fact, I was delighted to discover recently that my counts-as conversion actually managed to inspire fellow hobbyist TheChirurgeon’s own Huron kitbash). So when this year’s E Tenebrae Lux event came around over at The Bolter & Chainsword, it seemed like the perfect occasion to finally get the model painted and use it as my first vow for the event.

Since the conversion was already finished, I didn’t really have much to do before I could start painting. I only added a little pressure gauge on the back of his tank, to make the whole assembly look a bit more interesting and break up the large, plain area that is the promethium tank:

And then I vowed the model as my first contribution for the ETL event. Only it was quickly pointed out to me by fellow hobbyists Captain Semper and Atia that, technically speaking, the model was still missing a little something to represent Huron’s “Hamadrya”, his pet familiar (the ungainly thing squatting on its own base up there in the photo of the stock model, in case you were wondering).

My proper plan of action would have been to use a model from the AoS Spirit Hosts, maybe with a Bloodletter head, but I didn’t want to have to pick up a box of them, so I had to get creative. But I was not without inspiration, so I quickly tacked something together using nothing but leftover bitz:

The head is still a fairly standard Bloodletter head, whereas the spine came from the vivisected Genestealer that’s part of the 40k battlefield objective markers. My idea was for the “Almost-Hamadrya” to look like a daemonic spirit, some kind of Khornate familiar or even a half-formed Khornate Daemon, and I think the basic setup already worked pretty well. It did require a bit of additional cleanup, of course:

Now I did experiment with some shaved-down Bloodletter shoulders and arms, because I thought it might look cool to suggest the daemon only being half-formed, but it ended up looking like not much of anything at all. And just the head and spine makes it look malevolent and somewhat creepy — like a grimdark version Kaa the snake πŸ˜‰

Ironically enough, it was this model that I actually ended up painting first.

To support the impression that this is not just a standard Bloodletter (or rather, half of a standard Bloodletter), but rather something unwholesome and half-formed, I went for an even more limited palette than the one I normally use on Khornate daemons: a mix of glossly blood and glowing ectoplasmic flesh, as the daemonic spirit is glowing with an inner malevolence…

Not bad for something that I had to come up with on the quick, if I do say so myself.

So with this complication taken care of, finally getting the counts-as Huron model painted should have been quick work, right?

Unfortunately, something happened that almost knocked all motivation to ever finish the model right out of me:

I took it along to a painting session at my friend Annie’s house, and when I arrived there, I realised his backpack was missing. Now I was transporting my models in an open crate (which I admit may be a less than optimal approach), so I figured the backpack must have fallen to the bottom of that, or been left behind in my car trunk. But it wasn’t: I searched everywhere at least for times, but no dice — the backpack didn’t turn up again. I also didn’t find it at home. So there was just one last option that gave me a sinking feeling in my stomach: I must have lost it somewhere at the side of the road when I parked my car and carried my stuff to Annie’s house, but since it was dark when we packed up for the night, there was no way to look right away, and she didn’t find anything either when she looked the next day.

And that really killed all of my motivation when it came to working on the model: I realised I would have to rebuild a backpack, but I didn’t have the exact same bitz, and even if I could come up with a replacement solution, it would always seem inferior to me than the original. Then, about a week later, I had half an hour of unexpected time, and I thought: Screw it, I am going to take one last look near where my car was parked that night. And just when I was about to abandon the stupid backpack for good, I saw something shiny near the curbstone — and there was the backpack, slightly damaged and bent out of shape (I suspect a car might even have driven over it at some point), but still salvageable — still, all’s well that ends well, I suppose. But this little episode really made me fall out of love with the model for a while there, and made the painting process less enjoyable than it should have been.

But I soldiered on and finished the job. Starting with the base colours and the first round of washes,…

…then moving on to all of those lovely little touches that actually make the process of painting enjoyable:

On a related note, that Vallejo Magic Blue has yet to let me down πŸ˜‰

So without further ado, here’s the finished model:

Here’s a detail shot to show you how the promethium tank on his back actually connects to his flamer:

That felt like such a clever bit of converting to me, back when I originally converted the model (and was also one of the reasons why I hated the idea of losing the backpack so much). Oh well…

And here’s a closer look at his axe:

Although it’s virtually impossible to see in 99.9% of all frontal shots of the model, the axe head was actually exchanged with something a little more original: the jagged axe that came with the WFB/AoS Chaos Warshrine kit.

And here is “Not-Huron”, side by side with his “Not-Hamadrya”:

And here’s the stock GW model again:

Anyway, I think he should read as a Huron counts as fairly easily, even though I have horizontally flipped the character πŸ˜‰

Oh, incidentally, the character still needs a name! So far, I only have a semi-solid idea for a background story for the character being caught in a phosphex blast during the void battles above Terra during the Heresy, having to cast himself out into the void to extinguish the phosphex flames, then being retrieved and rebuilt by his brothers. Only the sensation of the phosphex burning through his flesh never stops, but lingers as some kind of perpetual phantom pain making his every living moment a crescendo of agony. Yeah, really uplifting stuff, that… πŸ˜‰

His familar, then, is really an embodiment of his pain and rage: His agony is so palpable that it almost seems like a being of its own, a spectre that can sometimes almost be glimpsed next to him, coalescing into something that is almost solid.

Fellow hobbyist AHorriblePerson smartly suggested “Euron Hearteater” as a possible name, and it’s definitely a strong contender — still, if any of you have a cool idea, I would love to hear it!

Here’s the new model next to the World Eaters Dread and new berzerker test model I painted earlier this year:

That makes for three models painted in my tweaked recipe already, and they are starting to look pretty cool together, if I do say so myself. Being based on the Chosen models from Dark Vengeance, the model still matches the modernised CSM look — even if it’s technically just a tad shorter than the new vanilla Chaos Space Marines. They still look pretty cool together, though. And maybe adding a couple of models would be fun. In fact, the unpainted guy on the right may be a taste of things to come…

Who knows, there may just be another chaos-themed post or two waiting in the wings — just sayin’…

For now, however, I am pretty happy to have finished another long-neglected model. Plus I also think the model’s enough of a centrepiece to count as a contribution in Azazel’s Jewel of July ’19 community challenge — even though it would also be a very obvious contender for one of his frequent “Neglected models” challenges, having sat unpainted in my cupboard of shame for more than three years… πŸ˜‰

I would, of course, love to hear your thoughts on the model, so please leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

34 Responses to “Half the man he used to be…”

  1. Love that, the sense of rage and menace is palpable, shows just what a few well chosen bits can do.

  2. thechirurgeon Says:

    I love this — Huron turned out great and I’m glad I could help push you to finish him. My only regret when doing my own is not being able to find one of those same plastic Devastator heads –it’s such a good fit.

    • Cheers, man! I actually rather like the head you’ve used on your Huron conversion — my only gripe would be the additional cable running from the corner of his mouth to above his head: I think I would change that so it’s slightly less conspicuous. Apart from that, you should be proud of the conversion!

  3. dochalf Says:

    Quite a story about those models. I don’t quite have your knowledge regarding Khorne and his pals but I have to admit your dedication to built this army is quite impressive. Just as your painting πŸ˜‰

    Love the bloodletter head and the conversion of your “Not-Huron” is awesome, the quiet pose exsudes a menace perfectly fitting for a Khorne-lover πŸ™‚

    • Thanks a lot, dochalf! Actually trying to convey the very character of a faction or an army through the models is actually one of my favourite parts of the hobby. It makes for longer conversion periods, though πŸ˜‰

  4. Again a striking character and an awesome paintjob. Nice work mate! I really like the two-face appearance, which adds so much character! The new models are looking great together and I’m looking forward to see this force growing. And you must be incredible lucky on finding the lost backpack ;-).

    Your semi-solid background for ‘Not-Huron’ and his familiar is pretty sloid in my opinion. You achived a great impact with only a few words.

    • Thanks a lot, mate! Yeah, finding that backpack again after all was a fantastic moment — I actually wish I were that lucky when it really counts… πŸ˜‰

      I’ve actually expanded the first couple of ideas into an actual short piece of fluff in the meantime, so maybe I’ll be sharing that here on the blog shortly.

  5. Inquisitor Mikhailovich Says:

    How dare you make me feel emotional about a World Eaters model? Heretics…

    Beautiful job as always. It’s never struck me before, but I’m in love with the way you paint reds. They always end up so vibrant.

  6. Love the pair- much improved.



  7. Love them both, and a special mention goes to the way you manage to always use the right title for your posts (I swear that, as soon as i read the title, I thought of Huron!)

  8. Excellent work mate – a worthy return to the realms of 40K! Great story around that backpack too mate, well done for persevering!

  9. Good for you for sticking with it man, we’ll done! He looks ace, and it’s an achievement to have finished him at all! Keep it up. πŸ™‚

  10. Dexter Says:

    I remember this guy! He was so great, I’m glad to see you coming back to him to finish him up. Reading this article led me to the article from several years ago, which had a link to the old Throne of Skulls forum where my original model was hosted. Sadly, that forum seems to be no more, although I guess that’s not a big surprise then is it? I’ll have to dust him off (he’s seriously very dusty), and take some new pictures. My version of the Not-Hamadrya used a Spirit Host bit to make a sort of blood-spirit-daemon, but your more mechanical approach is something I never thought of and wish I had! I love the idea of a Bloodletter servo-skull. Great job on this guy, he is a perfect fit for the new Chaos aesthetic.

    • Haha, yeah, I just saw your own counts-as Huron again the other day — what a cool, true-scale-ish model. Those were the days, eh?

      Your Hamadrya conversion would actually have been my go-to solution, but I didn’t want to have to pick up an entire Spirit Host kit and needed a quick solution. And I think it works. It’s not so much intended as a “servo-skull”, though (although that approach would probably work as well), but rather as some kind of half-formed (and growing) daemon creature.

  11. Alexis West Says:

    Dude! He looks awesome. Sort of a Huron meets Kharne vibe.

    I don’t know about a name as such, but “Redheart” might be a good epithet for him.

    • Thanks a lot for the kind words, Alexis! Redheart almost sounds a bit too “lawful-good”, though, don’t you think? πŸ˜‰

      • Alexis West Says:

        Depends on the society’s context, I guess. Bloodheart is a bit mundane when you think about it, tho, and Skullheart doesn’t really feel right. Crimsonheart has bloodier implications than Redheart, but takes an extra syllable, which messes with the rhythm.

  12. One hell of a finished piece/conversion/story – and to make it even better (in hindsight, after it all) the model has survived a trial, battle damage and come out of it on the other side, even stronger (and perhaps, a little more enraged!) Great work, mate!

  13. Love the blood-familiar. I imagine he’s extra furious & belligerent for not actually being able to lop off any heads himself. “Oi, man-thing, CHOP HARDER!” etc

  14. […] let us wind up this post with a bit of background: I prepared a little background vignette for the counts-as Huron Blackheart model I shared with you a while ago. Take a […]

  15. […] if you add my counts-as Huron Blackheart (now officially named “Euron Hearteater”, by the way — cheers to fellow hobbyist […]

  16. […] models that had long lain dormant where swept up in the process as well, so I finally got to paint my counts-as World Eaters version of Huron Blackheart, for […]

  17. […] if I count my counts-as Huron, those are actually eight finished models, perfectly in keeping with the festivities! Yay! […]

  18. […] and here’s a photo of the eight models alongside “Euron Hearteater”, who could probably be considered a honorary member of the squad by now, on account of finally […]

  19. […] addition to “The Hateful Eight”, there’s Euron Hearteater, Brother Argus the Brazen (the FW World Eaters Dreadnought I got from my buddy Augustus […]

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