Archive for the Conversions Category

State of the Hunt, Week 14/2019: Another chaotic interlude…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, state of the hunt, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2019 by krautscientist

So, something unrelated to my #HeroQuest2019 project for today’s update — don’t worry, though, work on my HeroQuest models continues apace! However, with all of those incredible new Chaos Space Marine models hitting the shelves, I felt the need for just a wee little bit of chaotic kitbashing — indeed the irony of all of those models finally arriving just when I happen to have taken a bit of a hiatus from 40k has not escaped me…

For now I have mostly resisted the lure of the new kits — or of the Shadowspear boxed set, for that matter: While I basically love everything I have seen so far, I can simply not justify dropping over a hundred Euros on yet another box that would remain unpainted for the foreseeable future. But I do have my ways, and so a recent bitz delivery has provided me with the raw material for some smaller experiments. So let us take a look, shall we…?

 

I. The Host

Let’s start with what’s probably the least impressive offering for today, albeit one that I am nevertheless pretty happy with: Ever since first laying eyes on those rogue psykers that came with Blackstone Fortress, I have felt the need to use one of them to create a Daemonhost (most likely for use in INQ28): There’s just something about the chains and weighing down the psyker’s floating body that really recalls the Daemonhost aesthetics originally introduced by the 54mm version of Inquisitor — plus I have been saving that perfect Daemonhost head (originally from the Hellstriders of Slaanesh) for such a conversion. So anyway, here’s what I have made:

As you can see, it’s a pretty straightforward conversion: I have mostly just replaced one of the arms and the head, and have also shaved off most of the openly chaotic decoration. I still think the changes have nicely tweaked the general look and feel of the model — just a few purity seals and imperial doodads, and this poor wretched soul is ready for grueling servitude in an inquisitorial retinue (probably of the Ordo Malleus flavour, come to think of it).

This was, however, merely the warmup:

 

II. Don’t look a gift Dread in the mouth…

The second model I would like to share with you has been a long time coming: Back when I visited fellow hobbyist Augustus b’Raass in Amsterdam in 2017, he was generous enough to present me not only with a pile of conversion bitz, but also with one of the old Forgeworld World Eaters Dreadnoughts:


Now I have a fond personal history with those FW Dreadnoughts, because they were my first proper contact with Forgeworld to begin with: Back when I saw those, I remember being utterly blown away with the sheer quality of the sculpts — and there was one for each Traitor Legion, mind you! And all of this at a time where the Traitor Legions didn’t exactly get all that much love from GW proper.

Alas, I never purchased one of the Dreads, and when they went OOP a while ago, I was quietly furious at myself at passing the opportunity to have the World Eaters one in my collection — an oversight that Augustus remedied by way of his wonderful gift.

But I am nothing if not a hobby butterfly, so it took me ages to finally start working on the Dreadnought — I was also missing some proper arms for him, in my defense. But when Augustus recently sent me a wonderful squad of World Eaters, he also included a chaos Dread CC arm in the package, and I definitely got the message: I would have to get the hell off my arse and build that Dreadnought, at long last!

So only one bitz delivery later, I had everything I needed for the model:

So here’s a look at the initial mockup of the Dreadnought:

Most work went into turning that squeaky clean Venerable Dreadnought lascannon arm into a suitably chaotic version that matches the general look of the model. Here’s a closer look at the – mostly finished – gun arm:


I chose the Lascannon, mostly for the visual balance created by those longer barrels. When it came to making it look suitably chaotic, I worked from Forgeworld’s “official” design, trying to match several of the visual cues present in the sculpt, while also putting a small personal spin on things here and there. So here’s a look at Forgeworld’s version:

And here’s the – mostly finished – Lascannon arm I came up with:

There’s also an additional cool little special effect in place here: I decided to base his gun arm on one of the weapons from the Venerable Dreadnought kit in order to be able to keep the arm modular, so that it will accept alternate guns and can make use of the additional weapons I already built back when I converted my first Venerable Dreadnought.

Beyond the arm, I only added one or two bitz to the rest of the model, not wanting to overpower what I think is a brilliant sculpt overall. So here’s a look at the completely built model, already in the intended pose, leaning into its next shot:


Only some cleanup and the base design left, and then I hope I can finally do this guy justice. Wish me luck! 🙂

 

III. Step into my parlour…

So is that all? Welll, when I said that I had resisted the lure of Shadowspear so far, I may not have been entirely honest with you…

So there’s also this:


As some of you may have already realised, those are the sprues for the Chaos Venom Crawler, the daemon engine included with the Shadowspear boxed set:


I simply had to get my hands on one of those, as there is just so much about the model that I love: It’s a freaking monster spider from hell, for one. I also love how it has all those shared visual cues with various daemon engines: You’ll find little touches from the juggernauts, the Heldrake or the Forgefiend/Maulerfiend all over the creature’s jagged carapace. I love how lithe and deadly it looks (where some of those older daemon engines were a bit clunky). Anyway, I needed one to play around with a bit, so there.

For all my love of the model, however, there was one area that I thoroughly disliked: The head. It was just a bit too weird for my taste (and not the good kind of weird, at that). And it definitely lacked that certain (Khornate) je-ne-sais-quoi. But I felt I had just the idea for that…


A head from the Blood-Slaughterer Impaler, carefully cut down to fit into the carapace. Of course with the first attempt, I was still trying to find my feet, getting the placement right while still keeping that spiked crest in place, just in case I didn’t want to commit to this solution.

It quickly became clear to me that this was the way to go, however, and that getting the head to look right would mostly consist of shaving down the neck portion until it fit just so. So I did just that, and the reszlts ended up looking better and better:


In case anyone was wondering about the scale of the model, by the way: Here’s a comparison picture with the Venom Crawler next to a Myphitic Blighthauler:

I can only commend whoever planned out the way this model should be assembled for an excellent job! It goes together like a dream, and the legs can be easily left off to have an easier time during the painting stage — excellent craftsmanship, this one! At the same time, the finished model looks far more delicate and complex than the relatively few parts would suggest. As for my replacement head, I kept shaving, millimetre by millimetre…

And after a few more sessions, I think I have the perfect setup:

Of course the seam between both parts still needs a bit of cleanup, some additional cabling etc. — but I think the head works really well like that. In case anybody else is considering a headswap on this beast, let me just say that a Armiger head would be a perfect fit (and the cyclopean one makes for an excellent, sinister Dark Mechanicum look) — just sayin’ 😉

 

 

IV. A shout out in closing…

While you may actually have seen this elsewhere, just to be on the safe side: The first issue of 28 MAGAZINE, a free digital mag dealing with the wonderful world of INQ28 (and AoS28, for that matter) has been out for a while now, and you should definitely check it out and immediately download it here. It is the most extraordinary thing.

So that’s it for today’s update. If you have any thoughts about my small chaotic projects, I would of course be delighted to hear them! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! 🙂

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#HeroQuest2019: Into the breach…

Posted in Conversions, heroquest, Orcs & Goblins, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2019 by krautscientist

Work on my current endeavour to paint a complete HeroQuest set continues, and while today’s update may not be the most exciting one, it was always clear that this project wasn’t going to be all shiny hero models — no, a true dungeon master also needs enough monstrous henchmen, so I continued the project by painting some of the HeroQuest monsters:

During my previous attempt at painting HeroQuest models (back in 2014), I had already finished a couple of test models for some of the monster races included in the game, so I already had a basic idea of what I was going for:


While I knew I would have to slightly tweak some of the recipes, this was still a solid base to start from, if nothing else.

For starters, I chose to work on the Orcs, the most numerous monsters to appear in the HeroQuest box. The base game comes with eight of them, I already had the one test model (that would only need a few minor touch ups), and I decided to throw in an extra Orc to bring the overall number up to ten. Ultimately, my goal is to have the sixteen Orcs that are required to also be able to run the “Kellar’s Keep” expansion, but for now, nine Orcs to paint seemed just tedious enough for me 😉


Like I said, my test model seemed like a good place to start, with a tweak or two. I definitely wanted to keep the recipe for the skin — it’s an approach I discovered a couple of years ago over at A Gentleman’s Ones, and it has served me really well over the years, making for a convincing looking green skin that also has a certain warmth and organic look to it. So that was definitely a keeper. I also wanted to keep the overall, slightly grimy and dirty look, mostly because it just seemed like a good match for Orcs.

Now the basic sculpt of the HeroQuest Orc is pretty cool, but the models are also all virtually identical, except for their weapons: There are four different weapons and I had nine models left to paint, so I decided to go with differently coloured smocks for every three models or so, just to add a bit of variety. Apart from this variation, however, I basically stuck to batch painting the models:

While this worked fairly well, I discovered once again that batch painting simply isn’t for me. There’s also the fact that the HeroQuest Orcs are just complex enough to be slightly irritating when you batch paint them, but I gritted my teeth and soldiered on. And here are my finished Orcs:

Now these guys certainly aren’t award winning material, but they work well as a group, and I’d say there’s just enough colour variation to keep things interesting. I also changed my recipe for painting the weapons a bit when compared to my test model, and I think the dark metal look, with added scratches, works better than the initial approach.

Two quests in the standard HeroQuest questbook call for an Orc warlord, who uses the model with the curved, notched Scimitar, so I gave that particular model a red jacket, to set him apart from the rank and file. While I may end up creating a dedicated warlord model at some point, this guy should work well enough whenever I want to stay within the framework provided by the classic models.

So here’s a closer look at the different weapons and fabric colours:

Oh, and I guess it’s pretty obvious how, like my previous HeroQuest models, these ten should also definitely count as contributions towards Azazel’s “Neglected models” community challenge for February 😉

 

Anyway, with ten models completed, I felt I had earned a little fun for myself, so I ended up creating a custom model for a HeroQuest NPC: The second quest in the classic quest book is about rescuing an Empire Knight captured by the Orcs, one Sir Ragnar (or Sir Manfred, in the original UK version. He’s Ragnar in the German version, though, probably because Manfred is a pretty common German first name — a name suited to your dad or uncle, however, not to a mighty Knight from a fantastic realm. Just saying…).

Now the actual game doesn’t feature a dedicated model for Sir Ragnar, as he is intended to be represented by the Chaos Warlock model — but, come on, I couldn’t let that stand, right?

While doing a bit of research, I stumbled upon this custom model for Sir Ragnar/Manfred, commissioned by fellow hobbyist Lestodante:

And while this basically seemed like the ideal solution – the model actually looks like an actual, official HeroQuest model, the chances to get my hands on one of those seemed slim to nonexistent, so I had to get creative myself.

Taking quite a bit of inspiration from Lestodante’s model, I kitbashed my own Sir Ragnar. Seeing how the character is an Empire Knight from the (almost-) Warhammer world of HeroQuest, I mostly used plastic Empire bitz, some of them rather vintage, which was key for achieving that slightly clunky, vintage HeroQuest look. So here’s my version of Sir Ragnar:

The conversion is actually really simple, combining a set of legs from the old Empire state troops with a torso and arms from the – still available – flagellants and an old plastic Knights of the White Wolf head. I wanted Sir Ragnar to look like he had spent quite some time in captivity, hence the shaggy beard and tattered shirt. Both his hands and neck are also manacled, which I think is a good way to represent both this captivity and his less than stellar stat-line in the game.

I also did my best to make sure he matched the rest of the HeroQuest models in scale. Oh, and I gave him a proper HeroQuest base, of course, salvaged from a heavily damaged Skeleton model.

All in all, I am pretty happy with the finished model — and building a character to match the classic miniature style was a neat little creative challenge!

So yeah, if nothing else, you can see how I am taking this project rather seriously 😉 I would love to hear your thoughts about my progress so far! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Suddenly…Berzerkers!

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2019 by krautscientist

Stop the press, everyone! While it’s only February, I already know that one of my favourite 2019 hobby moments has already happened. So what is this about?

We are probably all familiar with very spontaneous events that just come completely out of the blue, right?

Nah, not quite like that…

Well, just the other day, I returned home to find a suspicious package from the Netherlands waiting for me. It was from my buddy Augustus b’Raass, who had vaguely mentioned planning to send over what he dubbed a “care-package”, so that had to be it — “Cool, a bitz drop!”, I thought. Those are always a nice surprise!

But then I was instantly blown away when I opened the package and out came an entire squad of expertly converted, beautifully painted World Eaters Khorne Berzerkers:

Now these used to belong to Augustus’ World Eaters army, a brilliant collection of models that I was lucky to see from up close during my visit to Amsterdam in 2017:

In fact, they were the first proof of concept squad of World Eaters he built when starting his Khornate army. Going back through his posts from that time over at The Bolter & Chainsword made me realise that I posted lots of feedback and advice on this very squad — and loved every second of it. And now they were standing on the tabletop before me — NUTS!

I didn’t find an invoice either, so I guess Augustus really wants me to just have these — what an incredible gift! And almost in time for this blog’s seventh birthday, no less! Come to think of it, it’s actually not the first time for stunning World Eaters models to arrive just in time for Eternal Hunt’s anniversary…

Fortunately enough, most of the models had survived their voyage unscathed: I had to re-attach some lost heads and backpacks, but most of the models didn’t look any worse for wear.

Unfortunately, one of the guys had lost his two-handed chainsword…


I guess it must have been confiscated at the border 😉

As a true follower of Khorne, however, I always have a well stocked collection of vicious, spiky weapons, so the damage was easily repaired:

The dynamism of the models is actually one of their strongest parts: Augustus has done a fantastic job of making them look like raging monsters running full tilt at their enemy — and he has actually turned a fault into a virtue, as I remember him complaining that he only had running Mk. III legs to work with…

Indeed, the models are mostly made from Mk. III armour parts, World Eaters conversion bits and chainaxes (all from Forgeworld), as well as some Skullcrusher and diverse chaos bitz thrown into the mix — in fact, there are so many little tweaks and conversions that just the process of (re)discovering them all made for a pretty enjoyable afternoon! All of this makes for a truly stunning squad:


Or rather, even more, if you want to be exact about it: At ten models, with two icons and two suitable berzerker champions, there are two squads of five berzerkers to be had here:


Each squad also features its own, custom icon bearer:


The guy on the right is just stunning, isn’t he?

And while it’s hard to call favourites, with models this good, I have an especially soft spot for Arekh Haar (left) and the other probable berzerker champion — in fact, the latter may even be my absolute favourite, because his pose is just brilliant (and serves as a fantastic counterpoint for the rest of the running madmen in the squad):

So what can I say? I was blown away by this turn of events, and I am just really, really grateful! Augustus, buddy, thank you so much! Those guys will be getting a place of honour in my collection and, should it ever come to it, the 4th assault company’s battle line!

So that’s it for this week! As I’ve mentioned, next week will mark the blog’s seventh anniversary, so make sure to tune in — I have something pretty cool to share with you!

Until then, I would love to hear your thoughts on these new members of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt! You should also make sure to check out Augustus’ brilliant, ongoing hobby thread here! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! 🙂

Orkheim Ultraz: New signings

Posted in Blood Bowl, Conversions, Orcs & Goblins, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2019 by krautscientist

Now I don’t know about you, but getting back into the swing of things in a new year always takes me a while, and this holds doubly true for the activity of painting models. So I spent quite some time in the last weeks hemming and hawing and choosing which model(s) to paint next. I am now in full swing again, I am happy to say, but it’s always a messy start. What helped me, in the end, was to have a bit of fun with the lighter, more comedic side of our hobby, as I added some models to my bumbling team of Blood Bowl players, the Orkheim Ultraz. So let’s take a look at the latest additions to the team:

The first two models have actually already made a small appearance on this blog, as part of my 2018 recap, as they were the very last models I painted last year. But I think they deserve their fifteen minutes of fame, so here they are: Two Goblins with a mean streak and a chip on their shoulder:

Both models were built after I played a round of Blood Bowl 2 on the Playstation 4: I really liked the endearingly mean look of the Goblins in the game, so I decided I needed some more of those evil little guys. The model on the left was very much inspired by the fact that the armour on some of those old WFB Goblins already perfectly looks like some kind of old-timey sports gear — I just had to swap in some Kroot shoulder pads, and the look was all there. His buddy is daring you to kick that ball, and he’s definitely not going to pull it away — grot’s honour 😉 Seriously, though, I think I owe the Charles M. Schultz estate some royalty fees for the character concept…

All in all, this brings me up to four Goblin players for my team:

The first two were built as Night Goblins, back in the day, mostly because I still had a lot of bitz for those knocking about. I rather like the added variety, though — and my troll now has more playfellows to chuck at the opposing team. Sounds like WIN-WIN to me 😉

Oh, and for the sake of completeness, let’s not forget the Goblin Medic, of course, another 2018 addition:

While the two goblins were the last models of 2018, I’ve also managed to complete some more members for the team in the new year — two Orc players originally converted back in 2017:


These are actually a part of my plan to round out the various player types in order to give me enough flexibility in every given situation. On the left is a thrower, on the right a fourth (and likelyfinal) Orc Lineman.

The thrower was basically a fun attempt at creating a model that suitably resembled my previous thrower to instantly communicate the fact that these two share the same role:

At the same time, I also wanted him to be his own man, err, Orc, so I thought it would be fun if he were in the process of lobbing a squig — either at a waiting teammate or at member of the opposing team…

In any case, the squig seems less than thrilled at the prospect…

I really like painting squigs, by the way, and think they are one of the best parts of GW’s greenskins — I may need some of those brilliant new plastic squigs, come to think of it…

My Orc Linemen all have a very dynamic, if bumbling look — as though they were desperately trying to catch the ball. By comparison, the new guy seems just a tad more focused:

I am rather pleased with the action-filled pose, to be honest.

So with four new models, that leaves me with only two Black Orc Blockers left to paint, and then my Orkheim Ultraz should be completed:


I still have a couple of ideas for accompanying models, hangers-on and small terrain pieces, however — it’s always great fun to explore the somewhat more humorous side of our hobby, and like I said, a Blood Bowl Orc team is the perfect occasion of doing just that!

So three cheers for our latest transfers! I would love to hear what you think about the models, so please leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! 🙂

Review: Dave Taylor’s “Armies & Legions & Hordes”

Posted in Conversions, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2019 by krautscientist

Those of you who have read my hobby recap for 2018 might remember the fact that I backed two hobby related Kickstarter projects last year, one of them Dave Taylor’s book “Armies & Legions & Hordes”. If you have been in this hobby for a bit, chances are you’ll be familiar with some of Dave ’s work. The former GW employee has been responsible for a stunning number of rather spectacular army projects over the years – off the top of my head, his completely kitbashed Legio Custodes army, back from the days when absolutely no Custodes models were available, are probably the project that has stayed with me for the longest time. But anyway, and you may consider this a disclaimer of sorts for the review that is to follow: I have been a fan of Dave’s work for years, so his name alone was enough to entice me to follow his Kickstarter campaign that would result in a book about the building and painting of wargaming armies, warbands or collections. The fact that I am also one of the backers of the book also means that I paid for my own review copy, so there’s that, too.

I was really happy when the book arrived about a fortnight ago, and I dug right in. Having spent quite some time with the book and having gone carefully through its contents for several times, I thought I would share my thoughts and observations:

Before we begin, let me mention that I bought the physical book, because having a showcase of Dave’s best work in print was basically the main draw here. A digital edition of “Armies & Legions & Hordes” is also available both in PDF and epub formats, as far as I am aware, but I won’t be able to talk about those.

The Kickstarter edition comes with a rather lovely (and very solid) cardboard protection sleeve

“Armies & Legions & Hordes” is a book about the collection and completion of tabletop wargaming armies and similar projects, and as such it serves as a fairly comprehensive collection of advice on every aspect that goes into the realisation of such projects, from the first spark of inspiration to the actual process of planning, building and painting the army and its models. Dave’s articles on those various steps of a project take us through each of the stages in turn, which makes for helpful and concise reading.

Granted, you will have seen some of this advice before, but it’s great how concisely and comprehensively Dave has collected it in one place here. One thing that I found especially noteworthy  – mostly because it never seems to appear in the articles on army building and painting I have read so far – are real-life factors everybody is familiar with, such as keeping an eye on the actual financial aspects of realising a new army project, taking the weather into account or making sure the people around you are onboard with your devoting a sizeable chunk of your time to The next big hobby project. All of this may seem obvious, but it’s great how Dave keeps stressing the fact that army building and painting doesn’t happen in a vacuum or in some kind of ivory tower of artistic endeavour, but has to be factored into everyday life – and everyday life, in turn, has to be factored into the process of army painting.

The book addresses every step of the army building process in turn.

Another great feature is that Dave actually illustrates the advice he gives with actual examples from the army projects he has worked on, warts and all. It’s all well and good to read GW’s tutorials, but seeing them illustrated with the same ‘Eavy Metal studio armies over and over tends to lessen the impact of the lessons a bit. Dave’s projects, on the other hand, are all beautiful and stunning armies, but they seem “achievable” in the sense that they very much result from his planning and his approach to painting great looking models in a timely fashion.

I would be remiss not to mention the fact that Dave has also enlisted the help of several guest authors (such as veritable army painting machine Mordian7th, for instance) who further explore specific parts of the army building and painting projects. All of this works together very well, and the clean, pleasant layout makes for a great read. Be aware, however, that this is NOT a book of step-by-step painting tutorials: While you’ll definitely be able to pick up a fair amount of neat tricks of the trade here and there, the focus is definitely on the planning, logistics and overall execution of the army building process rather than the step-by-step painting process on each and every model.

So the in-depth advice on how to build and paint armies is one big part of the book. The other, equally important, part – and the one that actually made me purchase the book in the first place – are several in-depth and richly illustrated features on Dave’s various armies and warbands. There’s a healthy chunk of GW models on display here (and if, like Dave, you are a fan of Dan Abnett’s Gaunt’s Ghosts series, the book is basically a must buy, simply because so many armies and characters from the books, such as the Ghosts themselves, the Blood Pact, the Volpone Bluebloods or the Genswick Rifles, make an appearance).

Dave’s Genswick Rifles are one of the armie inspired by the works of Dan Abnett

At the same time, there are also quite a few features on non-GW armies, ranging from Dark Ages to historical tabletop games such as Bolt Action or Flames of War. Of particular note is an article on assembling a warband for the postapocalyptic game system “This Is Not A Test” and scrounging around for models across several product lines and manufacturers.


The non-GW content makes for a nice bit of variety – and for a broader perspective on our hobby. Make no mistake, though, GW-related armies certainly form the biggest part of these features, so your mileage may vary as to how that influences your interest in the book.

The army features are fantastic, however, and what’s especially lovely about them is that they feature lots of juicy photos, accompanied by very insightful commentary about what went into converting and painting the respective armies. This part alone is, in my opinion, well worth the price of admission, as the army features almost serve as a collection of Dave Taylor’s best work. At the same time, it is here where my only two points of criticism come into play:

Dave’s classic Custodes army. I would have loved to see more of these guys!

The first issue is Dave’s Custodes army, the aforementioned tour de fource of kitbashing an entire army, back when no official models were available back in the early 2000s. I was really looking forward to seeing it featured in detail, and learning – during the book’s production process – that the featured Custodes army would actually be Dave’s “reprise” from last year, utilising all of the new GW and Forgeworld models, was a bit disappointing: Make no mistake, the resulting army is looking great – it just doesn’t share the same sense of wild creativity the kitbashed Custodes had. That being said, the original army still gets about one and a half pages of presence in the book, so that’s mostly alright with me – still, I actually feel the inclusion of the original army would have made the book even better, as it would also have served as a great best practice approach to building armies that are very faithful to a setting’s lore while also working around the fact that no official models exist (yet).

The second issue lies with some of the photography: Most of the pictures in the book are really excellent, but there is a bit of a problem with the two-page spreads that show off the featured armies as a whole: Now these shots are all really well staged, with great terrain and composition – however, they are a little fuzzy, making it hard to pick out single models and conversions:

This is certainly not a dealbreaker for me, but it does seem a bit unfortunate. It has to be said, however, that Dave Is very much aware of the problem and is already working on a solution – for the early adopters, this will likely mean that they receive access to Dave’s original, high res pictures in a digital format, which sounds like a sensible solution.

This also touches upon another factor that I think is important here: During the entire planning and production process of the book, Dave was always very upfront with the state of development, provided regular feedback on the state of the book, and the finished product was delivered mostly on schedule, with the exception of a small delay that it seems was basically out of Dave’s hands, though. So I would back another Dave Taylor Kickstarter anytime, because this one definitely delivered on everything that was promised.

Dave’s Blood Pact, easily one of the coolest Chaos Renegade armies in existence

Verdict:

Dave Taylor has managed to collect a rather comprehensive set of advice on army building and painting, has topped it up with lots of drop-dead gorgeous army features and has added great production values to the mix: This book will look great alongside your official GW publications as welll as hardcover army, rule or sourcebooks. It’s a wonderfully comprehensive package, and a swell addition to any hobbyist’s collection, so I am more than happy with my investment and happily consider “Armies & Legions & Hordes” totally worth it!

In short:

Pros

  • very insightful and concise articles on planning, building and painting tabletop armies make for great and helpful reading
  • excellent in-depth army features that also have quite a bit of variety
  • very nice, clean layout
  • excellent paper and printing quality, great production values
  • basically serves as a lovely “Dave Taylor – Collected works

Cons

  • slightly fuzzy army photos
  • could have used more content about Dave’s classic Custodes army

 

Buy this, if…

  • you love looking at fantastic tabletop armies
  • you are a Gaunt’s Ghosts fan
  • you are planning a bigger tabletop wargaming project and could use some help with your process
  • are a fan of Dave Taylor’s work

Don’t buy this, if…

  • You are mainly after learning new painting techniques
  • pictures of tabletop armies bore you
  • you dislike GW armies and settings

For those who have missed the Kickstarter campaign, you can get the book here, for instance.

So much for my thoughts on Dave Taylor’s “Armies & Legions & Hordes”. I hope you’ve found this review helpful! Please feel free to let me know what you think in the comments! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Lord of the XII Legion – the Killing Ground

Posted in 30k, 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2019 by krautscientist

So there I was, after last week’s post, with my aquila lander for Azazel’s terrain challenge all primed and ready to go — and then something just jumped the queue. It’s still a terrain project, however, after a fashion. And I am confident it’ll make another fitting entry for the community challenge. So what is this about?

A bit more than two years ago, I converted and painted a model that still stands as one of my proudest hobby achievements: My interpretation of Angron, Primarch of the World Eaters, in his ascended form as a Daemon-Primarch of Khorne:


I am still extremely proud of the model, which inspired several blog posts and was, itself, part of an even bigger project to build models to represent Angron at different moments in his violent life.

Anyway, you can find out more about the process of creating Daemon-Primarch Angron here. The truth of the matter, however, was that more than two years later, the model still wasn’t completely finished.

You see, back when I built the base for my Daemon-Primarch version of Angron, it was planned as a modular display base, based on the shattered Imperial aquila terrain piece from the Honoured Imperium kit.

The actual base for Angron himself was, carefully and painstakingly, sawn out of the original terrain piece:


At the same time, I added two more Ultramarines to the bigger part of the display, in order to create a small mini-diorama of the XII Legion Primarch slashing through the remains of an Ultramarines squad. Something like this:


Alas, that modular piece was never finished, as I kept telling myself I would just quickly paint it up at a later point — I should really have listened to my buddy Augustus b’Raass who told me that I should not put it off for too long, lest I end up taking years to finish it. Which is precisely what happened…

But when I took a look at the unpainted base last week, I felt the need to finally finish it and give Angron his proper display — if nothing else, I wanted to have the model completely finished before GW decides to release an official model for Angron in his 40k form…

With both the actual terrain and two Ultramarines models left to complete, this was actually a pretty substantial hobby endeavour, but I surprised myself by actually making fairly quick work of it.

First up were the actual aquila base and the kneeling Ultramarine who is lining up a last shot at the Primarch:



I went for the same scratched and scuffed armour look I had aready used on the unlucky bisected officer held in Angron’s right fist, to create the impression the scene was set during a grueling battle. Due to the slightly 30k-styled Armour of the Ultramarines, this could be set either in the 30k timeframe (at the very end of the Shadow Crusade, upon Angron’s “ascension”) or during any of the following millennia, up to “current-day” 40k.

The Ultramarine standard to the right of the Marine actually mirrors an identical piece appearing on the base of my Forgeworld Angron:


The most complicated part of the paintjob was, ironically enough, to match the colour of the right side of the aquila to that appearing on the smaller part of it that makes up Daemon-Angron’s base, something that would, of course, have been trivially easy, had I painted it all in one go…


As you can see, that left only the fallen Marine in the middle (actually one of the Marine’s from the stock base of Forgeworld’s Angron), and I quickly painted that last model over the weekend.

Of course I made sure to create a suitable bloodstain on the ground, before gluing down the model:

So without further ado, here’s the finished display base, showing a charging Lord of the XII Legion and the courageous, if ill-fated, last stand of an Ultramarines squad:



Here’s a view from the unlucky survivor’s perspective…


I really feel I am giving the Ultramarines a fair shake here, in spite of everything: That last guy looks dead set not to abandon his position and to fight to his last, which seems very much in character for the legion. I feel this also prevents the dead smurfs from just feeling like gratuitous splatter effects. And after all, it’s Angron we are talking about here — there was always going to be blood, right? 😉


And of course the whole ensemble is still modular, allowing me to use Angron on his own, smaller base:


Here are some additional detail shots showing off various parts of the finished piece:







It feels great to finally have finished the complete piece – and also the last part of my little collection, or “Massacre”, of Angrons! The modular display bases for Forgeworld’s Horus Heresy characters were an inspiration for this, and now it definitely seems like a FW base turned up to eleven.

Now for that aquila lander… 😉

Anyway, that’s it for today. I would, of course, love to hear your thoughts about the finished piece, so please leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

“And they shall know fear…”

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

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Inquisitor, Pointless ramblings, state of the hunt, Terrain, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2019 by krautscientist

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 morbäck built for his fantastic “Scarabée Intrépide” 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! 🙂

 

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 😉

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! 🙂