Archive for December, 2019

State of the Hunt, week 52/2019: Cleaning house…

Posted in 40k, Blood Bowl, Chaos, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, state of the hunt, Terrain, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2019 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, it’s the last day of the year (at least on my side of the planet), and I sincerely hope you’ve all had a wonderful Christmas! While I will have to postpone my annual Eternal Hunt Awards for a couple of days, I still want to share an update with you, as I actually managed to get some painting done during the holiday!

Before we get to that, however, there’s one more thing I want to share with you: This wonderful Christmas card from the Brothers Wier over at Between the Bolter And Me that actually landed on my doorstep right in time for the festivities:

What a wonderful surprise indeed! Cheers guys, and another year of blogging and successful hobbying to you as well! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Now, as for the actual painting, it was of course really hard for me to break through my usual holiday lethargy, but I did want to do something creative and hobby related before the end of the year, so I looked for things that might be quick and fun to get me back into painting. The first thing I came up with was this small cogitator terminal, an objective that comes with the Necromunda starter set:

It looked like it might make for some quick painting fun, and indeed it did: I had a blast spongin on the rust and base colours, then spent a bit more time painting the displays and buttons. Just a delightful little appetizer to get me back into the swing of things!

Next up, I came upon this little guy whom I had wanted to get painted for ages:


This is a captured slayer that was originally part of the “Battle for Skull Pass” WFB starter set. It’s a weird little sculpt, something that almost looks like an afterthought to be added to the plastic sprues that came in the box. It’s a single piece with fairly few (and soft) details, but I still liked the quirky nature of the model and thought it would make for a cool little optional marker to add to my Orkheim Ultraz Blood Bowl team, so I quickly painted the little guy.

The main point here was to get a nice and bright orange colour for his impressive slayer hairdo, but I also tried to make it look like da boyz had given him a black eye during the brawl that must have led to his capture:




He makes for a nice addition to the smaller bitz and bobs I have painted as hangers-on for the Orkheim Ultraz over the year:

When the time came to decide which final model to paint this year, I was drawn back to Khorne’s Eternal Hunt, of course — no surprise there ๐Ÿ˜‰ To be fair, though, I already had a partially finished World Eater that needed completing, so that definitely helped. One of these gentlemen built (or, in some cases, refurbished) for my “Hateful Eight” World Eaters kill team project:

All of the models were built quite a while ago, and I have endeavoured to finally get some of them painted! The two guys on the right were finished back in October, so I next chose the second model from the left: an older conversion based on one of the Dark Vengeance Chosen models that was loosely based on this illustration by Diego Gisbert Llorens:

illustration by Diego Gisbert Llorens

I had already started the paintjob during one of my painting sessions at my friend Annie’s place, so it was mostly a matter of picking up where I had left off. So I made pretty good progress…

…before finally putting the finishing touches on the model yesterday. So here’s my final model for 2019. Blood for the Blood God!

Seeing how this guy has been part of my pile of shame for ages, it feels good to finally see him painted! And I think the finished model works rather well, too, if I do say so myself.




So that’s four World Eaters down for my “Hateful Eight” project (although somehow I doubt I’ll be able to stop at eight…):

But in any case, this was the final spurt of hobby productivity I have managed to wring from 2019. I hope you have all been able to get some hobbying done over the holiday season! I would love to hear any thoughts you may have (or learn about any hasty last minute painting you may have performed before year’s end), of course! And I wish you all a Happy New Year! See you on the other side, when I finally begin this year’s Eternal Hunt Awards series in a couple of days!

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

#HeroQuest2019: A Christmas Carol…of Undead Sorcery

Posted in Conversions, heroquest, old stuff, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, Totally worth it with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2019 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, so here is my Christmas post for this year, and right in time for the festivities, no less. And I have prepared something for you that is at least a little heartwarming, as is only right and proper for this season.

Furthermore, one of my first hobby activities this year has been to return to the very beginnings of my life as a hobbyist and paint some old HeroQuest models, so it seems only fitting that one of the year’s last posts should also deal with the very same game — so what is this about?

Speaking of HeroQuest, you may have seen how my biggest ongoing hobby project this year was to paint an entire HeroQuest set, and for once I actually managed to go through with it. Ye Olde Inn, a forum dedicated to all things HeroQuest, became an indispensable part of this project, so when the forum ran its annual “Ye Olde Inn Christmas Exchange”, it was clear to me that I really wanted to participate, both as a small way of giving something back to the community, but also because I like events like this, where everyone builds a model and sends it off to somebody else.

So I really wanted to do something cool for the exchange! And this ambition doubled when I learned that my model would go to fellow hobbyist Weltenlaeufer whom I was happy to advise on painting his own HeroQuest models throughout the year. Now he had told me multiple times that he really liked my models, and flattery will, of course, get you anywhere with me ๐Ÿ˜‰

But on a more serious note, this meant that there was a fairly good chance that he would like having a model built and painted by me in his collection — but I really wanted to give it my all and not just paint any old standard model (although “standard models” can be rather lovely when painted really well, as we will see later in this post).

Anyway, I reflected for a bit on what kind of model would be cool enough for this endeavour, and I settled on the closest thing the basic HeroQuest game system has to an arch-villain: The Witch Lord, as seen here painted by the great Les Edwards.

Illustration by Les Edwards

As I have already outlined before, I instantly fell in love with that illustration when I first saw it — enough so, in fact, that I used it as an inspiration when I finally built my own version of the Witch Lord earlier this year:

“So yeah, how about sending Weltenlaeufer a Witch Lord? That would certainly be cool!” But how would I go about building another one?

Fortunately enough, as outlined in my original Witch Lord post, I had come up with a plan for a plastic Witch Lord conversion as my original approach before later using an old Citadel metal model for the actual conversion. But I still felt that this recipe could work really well for the task I was facing now. The approach would look similar in nature to this renegade psyker I built a few years ago:

The basic combination of bitz at the heart of this approach – combining the legs of an Empire flagellant with a Skaven Stormvermin torso – makes for a slightly stooped and subtly sinister body that works for all kinds of villainous sorcerer types, Witch Lords included. But even though the basic idea was sound, it still took me a rather long while before I finally came up with a basic setup that worked:

Taking Les Edward’s illustration as my main point of reference once again, I tried to go for a model that would hit enough of the artwork’s visual cues to read as the Witch Lord, even if it didn’t reproduce every element from the artwork. I still tried to make it a rather close fit, though, and bitz from about ten different kits went into making the model look right, including a Skeleton warrior head, a ghoul hand, some Empire Knight feet and a Bloodletter mandible. By lucky chance, I tried the horns I got as a leftover piece from when I shaved horns off the new vanilla CSM helmets to replace them with Khornate helmet crests a while backย , and they really made the helmet work so much better.

Here’s the model just a bit later, glued together and with the necessary tweaks in place:





Up to this point, however, I still wasn’t entirely sure whether or not I was on to something. That changed after undercoating, though, when all the disparate parts really turned into something that looked reasonably closely like a HeroQuest model:




When painting my new Witch Lord conversion, I tried to basically recreate my earlier paintjob, with just a few minor tweaks here and there, and went for the classic triad of basecoats,…



…washes,…



…and higlights.

I spent quite a bit of time on that last part, obviously, to make sure the model would really work as a centre piece character.

So here’s my finished plastic Witch Lord:







I was really very happy with the outcome, as this felt like a worthy contribution to the Christmas exchange. And I do think the model holds up when placed next to my original Witch Lord model. Take a look:


I would be hard-pressed to decide which of these I like better. True, my original model is quite a bit flashier, on account of using a different base model, but the new version is actually much closer to the kind of model you would actually find in a HeroQuest set from back in the day (it is also, it has to be said, much easier to recreate for someone who wants to build their own Witch Lord, which is useful).

At the same time, I did my best to create a subtle connection between both models: They both use an identical palette and the weird avian skull on their respective staffs is also just the same. And they both – hopefully – match the piece of artwork that inspired them to begin with:

The new Witch Lord also looks pretty convincing next to some actual HeroQuest models, if you ask me:

So that was my model for Weltenlaeufer’s HeroQuest conversion done and dusted, right? Not quite, because I wasn’t finished yet:

I also wanted to make sure the packaging matched the style of the model, and seeing how the Witch Lord emerges his tomb, as represented by the little sarcophagus that comes in the HeroQuest set,…

I thought it would be really cool to incorporate this element in my package as well, so I used “Keramin”, a plaster like material that dries really fast and hard, in order to make a quick copy of the lid:


Talk about happy accidents: The casting process was actually not quite perfect, leading to some bubbles that marred the face of the reclining figure. But they actually ended up making the face look even more gaunt and undead, which was of course ideal in this case:


So I painted the copied lid up in suitably stony colours…


…and used it to add that certain je-ne-sais-quoi to Weltenlaeufer’s package, so upon opening it, he would find this:


A recreation of the Witch Lord’s tomb, to be opened by an intrepid (or foolish) adventurer to unleash an ancient horror upon the Old World…


Mission accomplished, at long last! So I packed it all up and sent it off to Poland towards the end of November, then spent a frantic week or so wondering whether the postal service would somehow manage to mess this up. They didn’t, however, so not only did my little Witch Lord arrive in time, but Weltenlaeufer also ended up really liking the model, by the looks of it:

Yay! ๐Ÿ™‚

Even better, actually: As if on cue, Weltenlaeufer had recently picked up a brand new set of brilliant tabletop catacombs from Dwarven Forge.

Here’s my, pardon his plastic Witch Lord surveying his new domain:




By the way, you can check out more of Weltenlaeufer’s very cool ongoing HeroQuest related work on his thread here.

So all’s well that ends well, right? Hah, we’re still not at the end! Because not only did I send off a model, I also received one in return: Last week, I received a package from fellow forumite Anderas, and out came this gnarly little gentleman here:


A wonderfully painted Orc — far neater than anything I have ever painted myself! This goes to show how my aversion to “standard models” was entirely misguided. The delightful little git has also managed to get his hands on a chaos warrior sword, it seems, and seems to be handling it very delicately, given that one protective glove ๐Ÿ˜‰

What’s probably the nicest bit here, however, is that the model also features some rather lovely painted on cobblestones:

Anyway, thanks a lot Anderas, and indeed all the fellow forumites from Ye Olde Inn, who have made this little event such a heartwarming affair! I urge you to check out the rest of the contributions — some very creative riffs on HeroQuest models can be found in the event thread.

And, of course, thank you to my readers and commenters! I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and hope you’ll be having a great holiday season!

I’ll be back later this month – if all goes well – with this year’s installment of the Eternal Hunt Awards, whatever that may look like. Until then, I would, of course, love to hear any thoughts you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

State of the Hunt, week 51/2019: Bald heads and shady dealings

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, Pointless ramblings, state of the hunt, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 20, 2019 by krautscientist

With Christmas fast approaching, I at least want to make time for another update in between all of the daily chaos, even if there’s nothing spectacular to show you right now. Which means you’ll have to content yourselves with some rough sketches and conversion shenanigans. And with some bald heads — and no, I am not referring to myself with that last point. Anyway, what is this about?

I. Delaque Deliberations

A while ago, I picked up a box of the new Necromunda Delaque gangers, to be primarily used as conversion fodder for INQ28 related projects.

I would argue that the Delaque are probably the best re-design in modern Necromunda, mostly because with their older incarnation, there was such a vast gulf between the rather cool concept for the gang and the very lacklustre miniatures. But even beyond Necromunda proper, these guys really seemed like an invaluable source for conversion material from the get go:

You see, the world of shadowy inquisitorial dealings has great need for suitably shadowy, robed figures, yet outside of the trusty Empire flagellants, proper robed figures have been in short supply across GW’s catalogue — and there’s also the fact that the flagellants have such a ragged and frayed-around-the-edges look that they just don’t work for every project. The new Delaques seem like the perfect fix for that issue. So I already had a couple of plans going into this latest kitbashing session, and I would love to share some of my results with you:

The first thing I had wanted to do for a while was to use one of the Delaque gangers to convert a Tech-Priest. In fact, I even took the time to quickly sketch out one of my ideas during an idle half hour at the doctor’s office:

Granted, the proportions are completely dodgy — good thing, then, that the resulting model ended up looking much cooler:


Official GW Tech-Priests are all twisted and insectile these days — which I love, make no mistake! But I like a little variety in my collection, so I thought a tall, upright tech-priest with an air of haughty arrogance might work well. Plus I think Tech-Priests should really be all shapes and sizes, so they look even more crazy when assembled as a collection — it takes all sortss to make a (Forge-)world, so to speak ๐Ÿ˜‰


As you can see, it’s a fairly simple kitbash that mostly consists of adding some AdMech bitz to one of the Delaque gangers — I think the pose really sells the model, though, while the tech-y gubbinz give him just the right silhouette (and amount of clutter) for a Tech-Priest.

One thing that gave me pause for a bit was the model’s left hand: I did have several Sicaran Ruststalker/Infiltrator hands holding guns that would have worked, but that just seemed like the wrong way to go with the character. I used some kind of auspex/scanner in my character sketch above, directly inspired by the auspex array that comes with the Skitarii Vanguard/Rangers — but when the time came to put the model together, that just seemed a bit too pedestrian, too.

It felt like an open hand (preferredly with some calipered fingers) would work best for the model, so I whipped something up:



The hand was spliced together from a Sicarian Ruststalker thumb and the creepy fingers of the surgical servitor that’s part of the 40k battlefield objectives. I am really happy with the finished model and think it should make for a pretty cool addition to my collection of AdMech models!

Looking at the stooped pose of another Delaque ganger gave me the idea for putting together an Imperial Scribe /Inquisitorial Savant type character:



Now the model still needed a fair bit of work at this point, but the outline was already there: With hands unrolling a bandage (from the Cadian Command squad) repurposed as hands carrying some kind of scroll and his pose, the guy already seemed like the kind of figure you would regularly see in the back row of illustrations depicting the Inquisition, or in the corners of 40k Codex books in the olden days, so I knew I was on to something.

The most important addition here was some kind of augmetic cowl (similar to the designs you see on some of the Forgeworld AdMech models) with some cables and head implants feeding into it (as well as some cables dangling from it). This element breaks up the characteristic Delaque silhouette a bit and also hints at the kind of augmetics a scribe would need for their work in the 41st millennium.

At the same time, I also included a leather document satchel and an additional scroll – complete with skull, of course – so as not to make him look too hi-tech and bring him back into the gothic madness that is 40k. The satchel is an older WFB plastic part (from the Dwarf Miners, I believe), while the skull and scroll bit came from the Empire Flagellants — no surprise there! ๐Ÿ˜‰




This model turned into such a sweet surprise, because the idea really took ages to get off the ground, but after the basic mockup was finished, I had such fun tweaking the model! I am still thinking about adding a lantern and another bit or two of gear, and then the scribe/savant will be ready to explore some sunken Imperial archives — after getting painted, of course ๐Ÿ˜‰

II. Thorn Wishes Talon

But wait, I have yet more bald heads to share with you! Because I have treated myself to a small, premature Christmas present:

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:


It also really is a lovely sculpt, even after all these years!

 

III. Painting some stuff — only differently this time

And there’s one last look at some ongoing stuff for you: I’ve been slowly trying to get back into drawing of late, and finally getting the chance to pick up the classic Eisenhorn model was enough to inspire me to make a small attempt at digitally drawing ,y version of a piece of art from the Inquisitor rulebook:

It’s a pretty clunky piece with all kinds of problems, admittedly, but I am really still finding my feet here. Here’s a quick coloured sketch of my Ordo Scriptorum Inquisitor, Tiberias Orlant,ย  to round things out:

It’s like using a muscle that hasn’t been exercised for years — because that’s precisely what’s happening. I haven’t been drawing for ages. But then again, I had all but given up hope for ever returning to it, so this is actually pretty cool. This whole digital art thing is definitely something I can see myself picking up next year — also, be glad I didn’t show you the slightly tacky “Joy of Painting”-inspired landscapes I’ve been painting on the side ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

So yeah, that’s no less than four bald heads and lots of shadowy, shady stuff for you! I would, of course, love to hear any thoughts you might have! I’ll be back with a – slightly – heartwarming Christmas tale early next week, to get you all in the mood for the festivities ๐Ÿ˜‰ Until then, please let me hear your comments and, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

INQ28: Unfinished business, pt. 4

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2019 by krautscientist

Alright, time to show you something that’s actually painted again, even if it’s just a …something small, so to speak. So what is this about?

As you know, I have been slowly working my way through Inquisitor Alvar’s Ordo Xenos warband as one of my recurring hobby projects of 2019, finally painting one of my long-neglected warband projects:

With the end of the year coming up, I found myself with just two members of the warband left to paint:

As it turned out, I was missing a crucial paint for the hive ganger on the right (GW’s Doombull Brown, as I want to give her a dark skin tone), which left me with the gentleman on the left as my next project: Skuldi Kulva, member of an enclave of squats hidden away somewhere in the Velsen Sector and now a member of Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue. Just to remind you, here’s a look at the unpainted conversion again:



Now I went into this paintjob with lots of ideas, but lacking a fully formed strategy. My original plan was to just go with the official “Barak Zilfin” colour scheme and call it a day:


There are several elements of this colour scheme I really like: The contrast created by the blue overalls and bronze armour plates. And, possibly most of all, the off white parts of the helmet, looking almost like some kind of ceramic material. At the same time, however, just adopting an official AoS colour scheme for a 40k character did seem a bit lame, so I tried to incorporate a couple of ideas from the Barak Zilfin scheme while also moving away from it in other respects.

My idea for the Velsen Sector’s resident squats is that they are focused on heavy industry, so I wanted a workmanlike look and feel to them — which is why the highly utilitarian look of Adam Wier’s Kharadron conversion for his character Freyvid Hafnar became another chief inspiration for me:

I would also like to think that LarsonicMiniatures’ work was yet another big influence, both because Lars is incredibly good at using drab, earthen tones to fantastic effect on his models, but also because his blog has been one of my main inspirations this past year.

Anyway, throwing all of this into the blender gave me this model. Meet Skuldi Kulva, everyone:


I chose to go with a rather drab colour for the overalls, while still using the bronze armour (and white elements) of the Barak Zilfin colour scheme. The bright blue glowy parts have become a bit of a recurring element with many of my models, yet they seem to fit really well here, hinting at the fact that, in spite of its medieval/early-modern trappings, Kulva’s suit is actually quite high-tech — maybe even moreso than standard Imperial tech.

The “K” on his shoulderpad stands for “Kombinat”, the German (and, to my knowledge, also the Russian) word for “combine”. It seemed blunter and more 40k-ish than the English word ๐Ÿ˜‰ I also tried to suggest the Adeptus Mechanicus cogwheel design — or rather an evocation of it, to show how these guys are different from the AdMech, yet there may be some shared heritage.


One thing that I have used to strengthen the 40k feel of the model was the combination of white armour parts with orange markings and a suitable decal. I think this is another small step towards bringing the model more firmly into the 41st millennium:

All in all, I am pretty happy with the finished model, even moreso because I went into the painting process with some disparate ideas and have somehow managed to bind it all together into a coherent look — or at least that’s what I think. I would be happy to hear your opinions as well!

So that’s one more member for Inquisitor Alvar’s warband:

Just one more to go. Wish me luck! ๐Ÿ˜‰ And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!