Archive for the 40k Category

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 😉 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! 😉 And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

State of the Hunt, week 48/2019: Something stirs…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, heroquest, Inq28, Inquisitor, state of the hunt, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2019 by krautscientist

Hello everyone, and *phew*: It has been quite a while since the last update, hasn’t it? To be honest with you, the last weeks have gone by in a blur, due to all kinds of RL related shenanigans, and it is only this week that I once again find myself with some hobby time to spare. So consider this just a small heads up to show you that I am still alive and kicking — and while we’re at it, let me also share a few small things I am currently working on:

I. Eating worlds, one spoonful at a time…

I don’t have that much progress on my new World Eaters models to share, to be honest, but have been able to sneak in a bit of kitbashing here and there. Like working on a couple of World Eaters helmets, just to build up a reserve of possible heads:

The two helmets on the right are vanilla (new) CSM helmets with added “bunny ears” from the AoS Blood Warriors, whereas the helmet on the left is an attempt at grafting a (old) CSM mouthpiece to a Blood Warrior head, approximating an approach I have seen fellow hobbyist ElDuderino use recently. This exercise has only added to my appreciation of his conversions in this vein, as the process of making it all fit together is a rather tricky one…

With the head finished, however, I couldn’t help myself and tried to come up with a model to fit the converted helmet:


Another marriage of CSM and Blood Warrior bitz, this one — it took me a while until the model finally came together:


I do hope that I’ll be able to get him and one or two of his buddies painted before the end of the year — wish me luck 😉

 

II. Meanwhile, back at the Inquisitorial fortress…

Another project I have been chipping away at for most of the year is the retinue of Inquisitor Alvar, of the Ordo Xenos. While this is definitely one of my older warband projects, I was happy to make pretty good progress on the good Inquisitor’s operatives earlier this year, leaving me with a growing collection of characterful – and, more importantly, PAINTED – individuals:


At the moment, there are just two more models left to paint before I can call this long-running project finished. Here’s a picture of the last unpainted models from back in October:


Now the Magos Xenobiologis and Research assistant are already done and dusted. Which leaves me with the squat engineer/explorer and the female hive ganger:

I have wanted some kind of squat character ever since I first laid eyes on the Kharadron Overlords for AoS — even as stock models, they are basically the perfect 40k squats, if you ask me, with more of a steam/clock-punk-ish angle and less fantasy dwarf goofiness.

While the model you can see above already worked pretty well as a proof of concept, I did subject the little guy to a bit of fine-tuning. And here’s what I came up with:

Meet Skuldi Kulvar, the penultimate member of Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue:



Granted, for the most part, it’s still a stock Arkanaut model. But I have added some visual clutter and some techy bitz to bring the model more firmly into the 40k universe. I am seeing Skuldi as some kind of explorator/collector who has fallen in with Alvar. I have some ideas in the back of my head for a squat enclave somewhere within the Velsen sector, a rather reclusive group that is focused a lot around heavy industry and organised as some kind of industrial combine. There’s also some technology transfer between them and the local Adeptus Mechanicus, although it’s mostly strictly below the counter (I’ve tried to subtly hint at this fact by using an AdMech barrel on the pistol, though).

Many of the ideas I have for the little squat enclave owe a debt of inspiration to Thomas Plischke’s novel “Die Zwerge von Amboss” (“The Dwarves of Anvil”, unfortunately not available in English, as far as I am aware):

While the series does get less interesting as it goes, the first book provides a really fascinating look at a dwarven empire with a definite late 19th/early 20th century feel, completely build around the ideas of building something of lasting value and performing your work to the best of your abilities, all rolled together with more than a hint of early capitalism. It’s a cool angle of bringing the classic dwarven tropes into a more modern, quasi-industrialist setting, and the book was very much in my mind when I tried to come up with an angle for the squats that would interest me (and move beyond the “fantasy dwarves IN SPACE!” approach). Anyway, you may get to hear more of the squar combine before long, as this model actually doubles as a test model for a squat warband project that may or may not happen at some point in the future — don’t hold your breath, though…

The last member for Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue is this charming lady here: Shiv Korlund, former hive ganger:

This model has been attached to the project for quite a while, and she’s basically just an unconverted OOP metal Necromunda Escher ganger from back in the late 90s. Painting her should be fun, though…

Talking about painting, having built the two models’ bases, I’ll actually be taking these along to my next scheduled painting session at Annie’s place later this week:


Maybe I’ll be able to show you the finished models before long. I’ll be giving it my best shot…

 

III. Surprise supply drop!

Oh, and one more thing before I tune out for today, as this was such a lovely surprise:

I backed MOMiniaturas’ “Mercenaries” Kickstarter earlier this year, mostly because his wonderful, retro-Warhammer-styled mercenaries really scratched my HeroQuest itch when I looked at them:

In addition to the twenty-ish mercenary models that were part of the actual Kickstarter, however, I also used the opportunity to pick up a bunch of additional fantasy models at a discount from MOMiniaturas, then forgot all about it, and was pleasantly surprised when a massive pile of miniatures arrived on my doorstep last month:


I expect we’ll be taking a closer look at these in a future post — it’s anyone’s guess when I’ll actually have the time to paint any of these, but they have such a lovely retro appeal that I’ll try my darnedest to sneak in one or two of them before the year ends…

 

So yeah, that’s it from me for today. TLDR; I am still here, chipping away at my various projects. Is anybody alive in here? If so, I would, of course, love to hear your thoughts!

And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

State of the Hunt, week 41/2019: Meanwhile, Blood for the Blood God!

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, state of the hunt, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2019 by krautscientist

In between all of the shadowy, Inquisitorial dealings, I had an appetite for something a little more blunt and straightforward, just as a little snack, so to speak. And what could be more straightforward than a follower of Khorne? “Chainaxe to the head”-types, all of them. So for this week’s update, I have some World Eaters to share with you!

A while ago, I talked about the models for a possible World Eaters killteam – codenamed “The Hateful Eight” for now – and showed you some of the possible models for it, some of them brand new, and some refurbished earlier conversions of mine. And it’s from this last category that I chose my two models for today:

To get things started, I chose a model that I built years ago. This gentleman here:

It’s one of my unpainted conversions that I feel still hold up next to the new CSM models, so it seemed like a good moment to finally put some paint on the guy. Oh, and to be fair, the model did get a new axe while I was at it. Anyway, I quickly made good progress with the paintjob:

One of the things I really want to push with my new batch of World Eaters is a certain variety of skin tones, at least where unhelmeted heads and bare arms are concerned: The World Eaters are, canonically, an ethnically diverse legion that recruited from many different homeworlds during the Great Crusade (and probably still does, given the scavenger nature of most traitor legions in the 40k timescale). Only my World Eaters never bore out that diversity because I would always use the same, greyish skin tone for all of my older models — pretty effective as far as paint schemes go, but seeing how I am trying to evolve my painting for these new models, it seemed like the perfect excuse to experiment with a wider set of skin tones as well. So I went with black skin on this model, and I am very happy with the result — even moreso because the recipe was almost laughably simple: Just basecoat with GW Doombull Brown, wash with a Fleshtone and mix the base colour with a bit of white for the highlights — done! I also used the highlight colour to add some nicks and scratches to the face to suggest old scars.

One thing that was really surprising to me was how adding the backpack really made this model: It should be such a trivial thing, really, but in this case, it’s what really makes the model read as an Astartes: With the backpack in place, it has the silhouette and bulk it needs:


After this, it was mostly a matter of cleaning up some minor areas, add a bit of Tamiya Clear Red here and there and finish the base. So here’s the finished World Eater, finally painted at long last:






The next model I decided to tackle is also a neglected conversion, although a more recent one: The model was created using a Blood Warrior from the Age of Sigmar 1st edition starter box, the legs from the CSM Vrash Tattersoul model and a couple of additional chaos bitz (chief among them a Raptor chainsword arm):


It’s a conversion I am really fond of, if I do say so myself, maybe because it’s almost a bit of a shout out to the classic early 90s metal berzerker champions that would always have some kind of running pose going on 😉

Anyway, with the success of the first model still fresh on my mind, I quickly got to work. Here’s the second World Eater, with the base colours already mostly blocked in:


And here’s the finished model:







I am maybe a bit too in love with the model right now, but it’s honestly really close to what I think a 40k World Eater should look like: a massive, baroque monster in serrated crimson warplate.

So here are the next two members of “The Hateful Eight” — it really feels great to have crossed two more items off my list of long neglected models, and I am also really happy with the result:


Incidentally, both models definitely count for Azazel’s current “Neglected October” challenge — and by virtue of the Ork skull on his base (and because berzerkers will slay anything that moves), the second guy also very much counts for his “Orcslayer” theme as well — teehee 😉

So here are the three new Khorne Berzerkers/World Eaters legionaries I have painted so far using this new approach:


Now if you add my counts-as Huron Blackheart (now officially named “Euron Hearteater”, by the way — cheers to fellow hobbyist AHorriblePerson for the suggestion!), the batch of “new” World Eaters is slowly starting to look a bit more substantial:

So what’s next for the Hateful Eight? I think I’ll be working on these two models next:


Interestingly enough, both conversions were inspired by pieces of artwork: I created the model on the left after seeing this illustration by Diego Gisbert Llorens,…

illustration by Diego Gisbert Llorens

…whereas the guy on the right is obviously a recreation of Mark Gibbons’ seminal piece of artwork (as previously discussed).

 

But those guys are a story for a different time (and my subject matter for a coming painting session, I guess). For now, I would love to hear your thoughts on the new models, so please leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

INQ28: Unfinished business, pt. 3

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2019 by krautscientist

At the risk of boring you all to tears – those of you who still bother reading this, anyway – I am still hard at work on my Ordo Xenos warband, and it feels like I am on a bit of a roll with these guys. Don’t worry, though: There’s an end in sight. To wit, here’s where we left off last time: The remaining unpainted members of Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue:

Given the fun I recently had painting Professor Abelard Marbray, I thought his planned research assistant would be a good next model to take on:


This entire model basically began with the realisation that Marbray would totally be the type for bringing along some kind of assistant, and I wanted to create a model that both looked like a researcher while also seeming at least reasonably able to look after itself. The conversion is pretty simple, actually, mostly combining WFB Empire bitz and parts from different Cadian sprues.

During the painting process, the research assistant turned out to be one of the models that end up looking awfully bland once the main colours have been blocked in:


Fortunately enough, things started to look up pretty quickly after the washing stage. So I now have another finished model. Meet Researcher Tancred, everyone:



The objective here was to have him match the Professor himself, as they are (or were) both members of the Bastold Imperial Akademy, so I used a similar palette: At the same time, I also wanted to subtly hint at a bit of a possible military past, hence the subtle IG elements.


All in all, I think I have managed to create a pretty workmanlike, slightly downtrodden look that I think really works for the character: He’s definitely the guy for the odd jobs, not yet having climbed to quite the same lofty academic heights as the professor himself, but Tancred’s still nobody’s fool, and he knows how to pull his weight.


I also wanted to include a couple of characterful little touches. For instance, Tancred is busy looking at some kind of map, so I decided to carefully draw on some kind of floor plan (possibly of an ancient ruin or something):


I think Researcher Tancred and Professor Marbray work pretty well together. Take a look:


At this point, I felt I had earned myself a little fun, and there are few things as entertaining as working on a creepy Adeptus Mechanicus character, so I chose the Magos Xenobiologis as the next model to work on.

This character began in two different places: He seemed like an interesting counterpoint to Professor Marbray, for one, looking at the same subject matter (Xenos) from a different angle. The idea also provided me with the perfect excuse to work on a brilliantly creepy model I have had in my collection for quite a while now:

The Magos Xenobiologis is a subtly converted Forgeworld model (originally a Tech-Servitor that comes with Inquisitor Solomon Lok). I only really made one change to the stock model, replacing the tangle of cables and dataspikes emerging from his left sleeve with a pretty creepy metallic claw — this guy just loves to take apart Xenos and find out what makes ’em tick 😉 The fact that his robes recall both a lab coat as well as a butcher’s apron really support that impression…

Another, fairly recent, addition was a servo-skull that started as a fairly spontaneous little converting exercise, yet seemed like a pretty fitting addition to this model:


When it came to painting the model, I stuck to the classic approach and went for red robes, silver and bronze metallics and pallid skin. That said, I tried to achieve a somewhat grungy look to support the already pretty creepy sculpt — the Magos is often at work in the field, and I wanted the paintjob to reflect that.

So here’s Magos Xenobiologis Harland Leitz, on permanent secondment to Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue:



the different angle reveals the servo-skulls pretty disturbing syringe…



I am actually really happy with this model: He’s a creepy bugger, and the paintjob really supports that impression, if you ask me:


So there we are: Two more members for Inquisitor Alvar’s little club. The Inquisition dropship must be getting a little crowded just about now 😉

That being said, I love the idea of Inquisitors having a rather large team of retainers and choosing a suitable “away team” from this talent pool whenever the need arises.

So, looking at the picture at the top of this post, that leaves only the squat engineer and female hive ganger — so let’s see when I’ll be able to get those finished…

Oh, and seeing how today’s models were actually finished this last weekend, I hope Azazel won’t mind my handing them in as yet another contribution to his Squaddie September ’19 challenge.

In addition, I would, of course, love to hear your thoughts on the models, so please leave a comment!

And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

INQ28: Unfinished business, pt. 2

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2019 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, time for another update: I still have to spent way too much time on hospital visits, but I nevertheless thank you guys for all the well-wishes! It really means a lot!

If nothing else, I have managed to be a bit more productive in hobby terms, mostly thanks to another painting session at my friend Annie’s place.

So what do I have for you today? — More finished members for my Ordo Xenos warband, as it happens.

And that’s a good thing, really, because this particular retinue is one of my oldest INQ28-related hobby projects, and it’s always a great feeling to be able to cross some long-neglected models off my list of unpainted stuff!

Inquisitor Alvar’s warband was actually originally started in 2013, with several of the models also first conceived back then.

In hindsight, the warband almost seems like a primitive precursor to the colourful group of adventurers that would end up in the Blackstone Fortress boxed se:

— overtaken by GW’s own release schedule, now that is one for the news 😉

But anyway, all the more reason to finally show this project some love! So I’ve managed to add two more finished members to the warband, and I have also taken some new photos of all the characters so far, so let’s start by going through the members of Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue:

First up, the Inquisitor himself: Titus Alvar of the Ordo Xenos Velsen — Inquisitor, socialite, adventurer:


There’s an as-of-yet unnamed sanctioned psyker who is also a member of Alvar’s warband. My vague backstory for him is that Alvar picked him up while he was under Inquisitorial audit for some psionic “friendly fire” caused by the presence of a Xenos artifact.



Next up,  Zekariah “Foreman” Lunn, Inquisitorial operative and veteran of the Eisenberg Factory Guard:



And T’L’Kess, Kroot tracker and scout, and possibly the last survivor of his kindred:


So much for the members of Alvar’s retinue so far, but what about the new blood? Well, let’s take a look!

First up is Inquisitor Alvar’s interrogator, Mamzel Millerna Acheron:

Now this is actually not a GW model, but actually Reaper Miniatures’ “Sasha Dubois, Time Chaser”, from the Chronoscope line of models. I will say, however, that it almost looks like a missing GW sculpt from the late 90s or early aughts, with maybe a dash of Chris Fitzpatrick, especially in the face. Anyway, I mostly picked up this model a couple of years ago because I liked the sculpt so much — but I quickly realised that she would go really well with the rest of Alvar’s warband, and she even mirrors some of the visual cues that appear on the Inquisitor. To wit, one of the most popular paintjobs of the model to be found online even uses a colour palette that is somewhat similar to my recipe for Alvar:

In any case, this was defnitely one of the paintjobs I kept putting off for years for fear of messing up. At the same time, I didn’t want the model to perfectly match Alvar’s look, but rather to complement it. Here’s what I came up with:

Seeing how several details appear on both Alvar and Millerna (such as the epaulettes, coat, the goggles on the forehead,…), turning the models of echoes of each other to a degree, I thought I could get away with a blue-ish/turquoise coat. I also see Millerna as the scion of a voidfaring family, so a slightly naval look did seem appropriate (and worked well with the golden elements on her coat as well).

I also took the liberty to not paint her with a bare-midriff, as that seemed a bit too gratuitous and risqué for a professional Inquisitorial operative. Instead, I tried to achive the look of combat fatigues or an armoured bodyglove, which I think is a far better match for a character like this. I am really very happy with the finished model, if I do say so myself!

Here’s a group picture of Inquisitor Alvar and his interrogator, and I’d say they work very well together:

With one tough challenge behind me, I was feeling cocky enough to start painting one of the first conversions created for the retinue, and a rather involved one at that. Professor Abelard Marbray, renowned Xeno-archeologist of the Bastold Imperial Akademy:


To quote myself from back when I originally came up with the character:

“It also stands to reason that an Inquisitor exploring Xenos ruins would have need of a specialist in the field of archaeology. And indeed, while painting the model for Inquisitor Alvar, inspiration struck and made me want to convert one of the most underappreciated WFB plastic characters, the Empire Master Engineer — at least, it’s the only model that’s ALWAYS available at the FLGS and never sells out. And to be honest, it used to be the one model I couldn’t see myself using for anything. But it just seemed perfect for this:”

Using the – now OOP, ironically enough – Empire Master Engineer did make for a somewhat quirky model, but that was really just the look I wanted, even back then: Equal parts nutty professor and mad scientist, and also the look of an old gentleman academic going on a grand adventure in what he considers his best possible gear for the great outdoors.

It’s also a rather cluttered and busy model with lots and lots of detail to paint, so to finish the professor did take a while. But here he is, ready to travel out into the sea of stars — FOR SCIENCE!


That bulky, voxcaster-based thing on his back is supposed to be some kind of portable cogitator, by the way, allowing him to file and cross-reference his findings even while working in the field. I imagine it even makes an old-fashioned “ding” sound when finishing with a calculation 😉



I built the professor to be contemplating a rusty, dirty Necron skull, as you can see, unsure whether this is an artifact of a Xenos culture or actual part of an alien. There’s even a patch of bright silver where his fingers have wiped away some of the dust and grime of the ages (although you probably have to take a close look to see it):


This was another paintjob that I had been putting off for a long time — and to finally have completed these two characters really does feel like quite an achievement — silly, I know 😉

In any case, this brings Inquisitor Alvar’s merry band of rogues and adventurers quite a bit closer to its completion. Here’s the entire retinue so far:

As for future additions, there are actually four more possible members for the warband. Take a look:

From left to right, there’s a Magos Xenobiologis of the Adeptus Mechanicus, now on permanent secondment to the Ordos, Professor Marbray’s research assistant, a Squat/Demiurg (or whatever you want to call them — I thought it would be a fun model to throw in) and Shiv Korlund, a female hive ganger, represented by one of Jes Goodwin’s vintage Escher models.

Looking at the retinue now that it’s starting to come together for good, I realise that the warband definitely owes a debt of inspiration to the Inquisitorial retinue fellow hobbyist Lamby is currently working on (and, to be exact, has been for a while). This wasn’t really a conscious decision on my part, but I cannot help feeling some of my models echo the design cues you can see in Lamby’s work, and there are subtle similarities here and there that must be due to my following his warband taking place over a similar number of years. So cheers, mate! And great to see you working on your stuff again!

I am also happy to finally be able to contribute something to one of Azazel’s community challenges again, as my attempts to finally finish Inquisitor Alvar’s warband should definitely qualify as a part of his Squaddie September ’19 challenge.

As is usually the case, I would love to hear your thoughts on the models, so please leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

State of the Hunt, Week 37/2019: Murders & Acquisitions

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, state of the hunt, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2019 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, I have been slow to update the blog — September arrived and saw both my parents in the hospital (and for different reasons, at that), so this has been a really tiring couple of weeks. The situation is also still ongoing, unfortunately enough — so please keep your fingers crossed for me!

It should be no surprise, then, that the overall situation has had a bit of a negative impact on my hobby mojo and productivity. So I only have a smaller update for you this week, and one mainly dealing with WIP models again. Anyway, what is this about?

For today’s – brief – update, I want to revisit one of my INQ28 projects that fits squarely into my recent attempt to explore some of the political figures populating the Velsen Sector, such as my recently painted conversion for Lord Sebastianus Danver Balzepho Vlachen, heir-apparent to the ailing sector governor:


Anyway, characters like this are a part of what Dan Abnett refers to as “domestic Warhammer 40,000” — the world one degree removed from the endless battlefields of the 41st millennium — or maybe not…

But anyway, one of these “domestic Warhammer 40,000” projects of mine is a retinue representing the “Mandelholtz House of Imperial Finance”, one of the Velsen Sector’s mahor political players. To quote myself from last year:

The inspiration for this came from Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series (and from his other books set in the same universe), where the banking house of Valint & Balk has a finger in each and every pie, and happens to be one of the most insidious influences present in the entire setting, always playing both sides, so the bank always wins. Which strikes me as both very grimdark and also, unfortunately enough, rather realistic.

So I came up with House Mandelholtz, or “The Mandelholtz House of Imperial Finance”, to quote its full title, Velsen’s own banking house. I see them as one of the sector’s big movers and shakers, and like any good evil banking house from history’s great dark hall of fame, they get to throw around their weight a lot. If you’ve seen the series Taboo and remember the way the East India Company gets protrayed in that series, THAT’S what I want House Mandelholtz to feel like.

Anyway, the Mandelholtz board of directors is a shadowy assembly, and very few people in the sector actually know who holds a stake in the house’s businesses. Which lends itself rather beautifully to all kinds of Inquisitorial dabblings and should work great as a storytelling device.

I have quite a few ideas to flesh out my concept for House Mandelholtz — and of course that includes having the faction represented on the tabletop by some kind of retinue or warband. I actually finished the most important conversion for the project some time last year: The model to represent the Countess Mandelholtz herself:

The Countess was only one of the characters I envisioned for the project, however: Another was one Azaleas Vile, one of the house’s most high-ranking operatives.

He is a banker, to be sure, but the countess also entrusts him with some of the most delicate tasks as well as some of the most hideous acts to be committed under the house’s orders, with the ultimate goal of furthering House Mandelholtz’s aims. So I needed a model that would look as though the character were quite at home in the boardrooms AND the ballrooms of Velsen, yet would also be able to hold his own in the underhive as well. I also didn’t want Azaleas Vile to look like just any other grimdark fighting type — quite a challenge I had set for myself…

The actual conversion began when Kill Team: Rogue Trader was first released, or rather, when I first saw the model for Voidmaster Nitsch:

I really liked the erect pose and poise of the character, but more than anything, I was intrigued by one particular detail: Unlike just about every other model in the 40k catalogue, Nitsch is wearing some rather “civilian” pants: no boots and combat trousers, no robes, but rather something you would see in a rather more domestic setting — I knew that he would be perfect as a starting point for my Azaleas Vile conversion.

So when I was recently able to pick up the Voidmaster Nitsch model for a good price, I knew the time had come to finally get to work:

I really wanted to swap in a different head, obviously. I had envisioned Azaleas as at least reasonably handsome, and I picked up a couple of Empire Greatswords bits, mostly in order to get my hands on the particular head I wanted to use for the conversion — pictured next to the base model in the photo above.

After a bit of messing around, I realised I would have to get rid of the arms and replace them: They seemed just a tad too combat-oriented, and I wanted a model that seemed a bit more subdued and not as openly aggressive.

So here’s what I came up with. Meet Azaleas Vile, everyone:


While I re-used Voidmaster Nitsch’s right shoulder pad – for a dash of grimdark couture – I also made sure to make the other shoulder look suitably sharp, like something you might see on a tailored suit.


The briefcase (originally a from a Tempestus Scion medic) was a spur-of-the-moment idea that I am so proud of in hindsight — he is a banker, after all!

If anything, the model is actually still slightly too military-looking for my taste, but I still think the conversion is a fair compromise between how you would see Azaleas Vile in a boardroom and the getup he would choose for a nasty wetwork operation downhive…

 

After finishing the conversion for Azaleas, the dear countess herself didn’t escape my scrutiny either, so I made another tweak to her model as well: When I originally built the countess, I gave her a lumpy, hideos crypt ghoul back to hint at the fact that rejuvenat treatments had taken her as far as possible:

But while I liked the element in principle, that lumpy back with its bristles still seemed a bit too on-the-nose on the finished model.
Now among a couple of WFB Empire Greatsword bitz I had picked up was a ridiculously huge feather that seemed like the perfect bit to glitz up the countess a bit:





The feather covers up at least some of the mess (while also leaving just enough visible to keep the overall effect suitably disturbing). It also makes her outfit even more outlandish, which I love — I believe 40k court outfits should be completely over the top!


So yeah, House Mandelholtz is slowly taking shape! Here’s an early mockup of what an eventual House Mandelholtz warband, including Azaleas Vile, the Countess Mandelholtz herself, and some of the house’s scribes, might look like:

In fact, I have already started experimenting with a possible recipe for some kind of household guard for House Mandelholtz, but haven’t managed to find the right angle yet: Would such operatives be extremely effective special ops soldiers? In that case, something based on the Van Saar gangers from Necromunda might be the right approach. At the same time, I also like the idea of a household guard that is a bit more ceremonial and ostentatious — think the Swiss Guard, only in the 41st millennium. So I have begun playing around with some of the Empire Greatswords bodies and some Skitarii parts for some kind of “Neo-Prussian” palace guard look:

But that’s not quite it, either — not least of all because the model does look a bit runtish, doesn’t it? Anyway, if anybody has an idea for a fitting and cool looking recipe for House Mandelholtz’ household guard, I would be happy to hear i!

And it goes without saying that, in any case, I would love to hear your thoughts on these models! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

The Master of the Hunt — Reborn! (pt. 1)

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2019 by krautscientist

Another chaotic WIP post of sorts this week, although this is actually my way of sharing something that I have already teased in my previous post — so what is this about?

As some long-time readers of this blog may or may not remember, a  couple of years ago, I made this guy:

Lord Captain Lorimar, the Master of the Hunt, commander of “Khorne’s Eternal Hunt”, the remnants of the World Eaters’ 4th assault company. Easily one of my my most involved conversion projects, if only it took me so long to get the model right:

I have talked – at length – about what went into creating this guy and about what a huge project it was for me to nail down the exact look I wanted for a character of whom I had a pretty good idea in the back of my head. And while I don’t want to reiterate the entire journey of creating the model (just follow the link above and read up on the whole story, in case you’re interested), building Lorimar was a very iterative process with many starts and stops. The process also resulted in what I thought back then would be a definitive version of the Master of the Hunt.

But then this guy happened:

And I just couldn’t stop wondering — what if…?

It was always clear that the update Abaddon would be a monster of a model — and he is! But I am a converter and kitbasher by nature, so I wanted to have a go at doing something with the building blocks provided by the new model –the sheer challenge appealed to me: Would it be possible to create a model that didn’t immediately read as Abaddon? There was also the fact that I still had some spares of the most important bitz I had used to create the original Lorimar model, namely the head (from the priest riding atop the WFB/AoS warshrine of chaos), sword (from the WFB/AoS Chaos Lord on Manticore) and axe (from one of the Dark Vengeance CSM Chosen). These bitz were originally intended for building a version of Lorimar riding a juggernaut of Khorne. But I just couldn’t stop thinking about a conversion involving them and the new Abaddon model…

For a while, I was able to dissuade myself from taking on this project because I figured the new Abaddon model was simply too big — that it wouldn’t really be compatible with the particular bitz I would need to actually sell it as Lorimar. However, a trip to the local Warhammer store disabused me of that notion, as I was able to see firsthand that the new Abaddon, while indeed much taller than your average CSM model, is actually perfectly compatible with just about any existing chaotic weapon, head or what have you. So what was I to do? I left the store with a brand new Abaddon model and got to work…

Now, to make my task even more complicated, whatever model I would come up with would have to match both my 40k version as well as my (yet unpainted) mid-to-late Horus Heresy version of Lorimar:

So I started with a few early mockup steps, and it was surprisingly easy to come up with something already resembling the “Lorimar pose”:

The main objective here was to make the model read as Lorimar, obviously. But, like I said, with a model as iconic as Abaddon, the obvious pitfall would be for the conversion to end up reading as “Sure, that’s Abaddon with a slightly different head”. My approach was therefore to keep as many of the cool parts as I could while also changing around some major stuff, in order to sell the model as its own thing.

The biggest stylistic choice I made towards this end was to “turn the model around”, as it were, that is to have it face into a different direction, thereby matching the pose on my earlier Lorimar models — ironically enough, I have had to do the exact same thing with the 30k version of Lorimar 😉

After that, it was mostly a matter of getting some of the visual cues from the earlier versions in place — here’s a couple of pictures from when my mockup was quite a bit further along:



Some of the elements from my earlier Lorimar models were easy to recreate, such as the face, weapons, general pose — and those Bloodletter faces on the shin armour 😉

At the same time, it quickly became obvious that I would need to switch around a few things: The Khornate helmet crest I had used on my older Lorimar version, for instance, wouldn’t work, because there was simply less space to work with, so I had to swap in a different crest (shaved off a Wrathmonger/Skullreaper helmet). The (Skullcrusher) shoulder pads wouldn’t work either this time around: Since I knew I wanted to use the brilliant, tattered cape that came with the Abaddon model, I was pretty much stuck with the “official” left shoulder pad, seeing how the cape was sculpted to perfectly conform to the shape of the pauldron underneath. So I had to go with something different on the right shoulder as well and ended up using a shoulder pad from Forgeworld’s Lord Zhufor model — which had the added advantage of sporting some rather lovely World Eaters iconography!

During the conversion process, I kept comparing the new model to the other versions, to make sure it would seem like a natural progression of those designs and still end up similar to both Lorimar’s 30k and previous 40k incarnations:

The breastplate turned into one of the model’s most involved parts: My previous versions of Lorimar are wearing a bandolier of skulls across their breastplates, and that was an element I very much wanted to keep, both because it ties perfectly into the World Eaters’ background lore — but also because skulls strapped to the breastplate are awesome, period. So I made a quick mockup of what this might look like:



And even though this was a really early mockup, it didn’t quite click — in fact, someone over at The Bolter & Chainsword even called the design the “skull tits” — Tsk, tsk 😉

In the end, I decided on something quite a bit more complicated and spliced together an entire original, incorporating elements from Abaddon’s stock breastplate (which is brilliant) as well as a couple of skulls from the Citadel skulls kit as well as one particular skull with a Khornate rune from an AoS Slaugherpriest. Take a look:

I started by gluing on the centre skull (without the mandible, by the way. That was added later.). Then I carefully cut the lower two cables away from the stock bit that normally goes on top of Abaddon’s breastplate and carefully glued them on in the right way (making sure they were positioned correctly by making sure they lined up with the cables on the back of his torso). Then I added the right skull (and shortened/shaved away the cable underneath as needed), and then the upper right cable (again, I made sure to line it up with the cable bit on the back piece of the torso). Then I repeated the previous step with the skull and upper cable on the left side.

All of this required lots of dry-fitting and waiting for things to dry. Finicky though this part of the conversion may have been, however, I am really happy to have gone with something a little more complicated in the end: The finished design is one of my favourite parts of the model now.

So here’s the model, with most of the “heavy lifting” already done and dusted:




The next step was to try and attach Abaddon’s cape:




Surprisingly enough, everything fit together rather nicely, with just a few required tweaks on the right shoulder (because I had used a different shoulder pad there).

One thing I am almost perversely proud of is that the model is still ridiculously modular at this point, which I hope should make the painting process somewhat easier:


The tweaks and changes to the model kept getting more and more minuscule at this point, which is always a pretty clear sign that the conversion is basically finished at this point. I still used the opportunity to feature some of the visual cues from the older 40k Lorimar, though, such as the small tilting plates on his shoulders:



So here’s a comparison with the new conversion and my previous 40k Lorimar which I think shows how both really read as the same character — even though the new guy is monstrously tall 😉


And here’s the new 40k Lorimar next to his younger, slightly more idealistic Horus Heresy era counterpart: I think there’s quite a resemblance here as well!


Ironically enough, the conversion is also really close to one of my main inspirations back when I originally built Lorimar:

image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

All that is left now, before I can call the conversion finished, is to figure out the final setup of some minor bitz and bobs, such as the collection of bitz used on Lorimar’s tabard:


All in all, however, I couldn’t have been more pleased with the way this conversion has developed so far: I will admit that I was a little afraid that I might have lost my touch, because converting the new CSM didn’t come to me quite as easily as it used to. But working on this conversion has been an absolute joy so far — in all fairness, I actually think the new Abaddon should be the new go-to model for building massive chaos lords. It’ll be interesting to see how much mileage (and variety) we’ll all manage to wring from the sculpt! If anything, I am slightly surprised by how few people seem to have used the model for conversion projects so far. At the very least, I love the fact that fellow hobbyist Gederas has used some of my ideas on his own Abaddon-based Chaos Lord, Khadon Drachstur, but has managed to come up with a very original looking World Eaters lord!

 

So yeah, that’s it for today’s update. It goes without saying that I would love to hear your thoughst on my new Lorimar version, so feel free to leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!