Archive for the Custodes Category

More fun with Dark Vengeance

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Custodes, Traitor Guard, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2012 by krautscientist

With the new Codex Chaos Space Marines and FW’s first Horus Heresy book doubtlessly paramount on people’s minds, let’s not forget all the great models left in the Dark Vengeance box! I am still happily cutting and painting my way through these, as you’ll see for yourself in a minute:

First up, some more cultists:

Quite a straightforward paintjob on the guy with the big gun. As you can see, I added some chaos iconography to the model’s apron. I also think the backpack with the tools dangling from it is a very nice touch! I painted these to look rusty and used:

Next up, a model whose design quite closely resembles the FW Vraksian Renegade Militia models, if you ask me:

I went for the dark grey fatigues typical of my Traitor Guard. The skin portions gave me the opportunity to add some contrast, and the rebreather unit on the model’s back offered a nice chance of adding some rust and grime.

And finally, the third cultist I painted:

While this guy would make a convincing Cawdor ganger for Necromunda, I somehow like him quite a bit less than the other cultists. Maybe it has got something to do with his rather unimpressive “potatoe on a lenght of string” weapon? I’m not sure… The dog tags around his neck are definitely a nice touch, though! I also added some blood to make the weapon look at least halfway presentable 😉

Anyway, with that, I had painted one model of each of the different designs from the starter box. I decided to round things off with a character to lead them:

I turned my attention to one of their leaders: the guy with the commissar’s coat. While I like both the coat and the Bloodpact-inspired grotesk, combining both of these elements on one model seemed like too much of a good thing to me. I also wasn’t all that keen on the arm holding the shotgun: In my opinion, it messes up the composition of the model. So I got to work, and here’s what I ended up with:

A rather simple conversion, as you can see. I wanted to further emphasise the look of a traitorous commissar, so I replaced the head with a fittingly sinister head from an old Warzone mini (an Imperial squad leader. The plastic models are still sold in bags of 80 and can be had for a song over at Prince August, in case anyone’s interested). I also replaced the left arm, opting for a Plasma pistol for no other reason than the fact that I like to paint small OSL effects on plasma coils.

The cool thing is that I can use this model as both a cultist leader (in a regular CSM army) or as a traitorous Lord Commissar (in a Traitor Guard list).

And here they are as a whole squad (click for bigger pictures):

I quite like the overall impression: They still look like a ragtag bunch, but the limited colour palette and unified basing nicely tie them together as a squad (and, hopefully, with the rest of my Traitor Guard as well).

For the second half of the cultists, I’ll be doing a number of smaller conversions to add a little additional variety: Exchange some heads, add a banner pole, use a couple of additional bitz,…

Here’s an initial impression:

The Helbrute’s also still standing on my desk, daring me to start painting it: I guess it won’t be too long now…

But what about the other half of the starter box’s contents?
Well, for one, I finally buckled up and converted the Deathwing sergeant into yet another Custodes Terminator wearing Cataphract armour. Here you go:

Again, a fairly easy conversion: I replaced the Terminator’s torso front with a piece from the Venerable Dreadnought kit. The right arm is a regular Terminator’s upper arm combined with a Chaos Lord’s Lightning claw. The result resembles the clawed gauntlets present in the HH artwork. The pauldrons are shinguards from loyal Dreadnoughts. I also added all kinds of purity seals, a topknot and a couple of other bitz.

Here’s a look at the whole “Cataphractii Squad” so far:

While these may not look as “official” as the new FW models, I am still reasonably pleased with the squad. I think they’ll end up looking rather nice once painted. And those Deathwing Terminators were in the box anyway, so the squad came at basically no extra cost!

Let’s wind up this post with two rather simple conversions, also for my Custodes:

The first model is a standard bearer for my squad of Custodes wearing Astartes pattern power armour. I converted this guy from the Dark Angel wielding a Plasma Gun (the gun itself was squirreled away for some future project, of course).

And then there’s the DA Company Master. With a simple head swap, he now looks like this:

Quite an imposing Legio Custodes Shield Captain, don’t you think? While these two models aren’t finished yet, I guess you can see where they are headed.

I am still far from fed-up with the Dark Vengeance models, quite the contrary: Thanks to the models I will be able to considerably bolster the ranks of both my Traitor Guard and Custodes. As as you can see, the models lend themselves rather nicely to conversions with a bit of thought (and decisive cutting…).

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Legio Custodes: Squad Asklepian

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Custodes, Fluff, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , on September 7, 2012 by krautscientist

Since I just showcased my first Deathwing Terminators gone Custodes, let’s have a look at some finished new recruits for my Legio Custodes force:

I previously told you that my Custodes are heavily inspired by Dave Taylor’s amazing Custodes army. One thing that I found just as fascinating about Dave’s models as the iconic “Praetorians” was that he built a squad of Custodes in “regular” power armour. Supposedly, there is some precedent for this in the HH artwork, although I didn’t find any images on the internet to corroborate this. Still, the fact that Dave had included such a unit in his Custodes force was more than enough reason for me to do the same.

With his models, Dave converted the power armour to look like older patterns that would have been more common during the time of the Horus Heresy. I wanted to do the same, and I happened to have the distinct advantage of a couple of years’ worth of new plastic bits, which made my work quite a bit easier. Apart from that, I kept fairly close to the look established by Dave. I also didn’t worry about trying to get the armour to look 100% accurate: As long as there are enough “correct” visual cues, you can usually get away with minor inconsistencies. Again, the HH artwork itself is almost criminally inconsistent at times, so we shouldn’t really break our backs trying to reverse-engineer armour that was never set in stone in the first place.

So I got to work, and a short while later, I had managed to build a small squad of power armoured Custodes. Let’s take a look:

First up, a Custodes in armour resembling the Mk V “Heresy” Pattern. The torso and helmet are really instrumental in nailing the look, in my opinion. The helmet came from the Venerable Dread kit, by the way, which has several great head options for Pre-Heresy armour (or Iron Warriors, if you’re that way inclined…).
I also used the tip of a chainsword to add a Pre-Heresy-style “chain bayonet” to the model’s Boltgun. Overall, this guy may be missing a few rivets for true accurary, but I guess that can be excused.

Next up, a Custodes in armour resembling the Mk III “Iron” Pattern. Again, a reasonably close fit, thanks to the breastplate and helmet (another design from the Venerable Dread). This guy is also channeling one of the classic GW “early 90s” poses, for those who remember that time…

This model is wearing straight up Mk VI “Corvus” Pattern armour. This was pretty easy to build, since several Marine kits feature the riveted shoulder pad, and the “Beaky” helmet was easily obtainable from the regular tactical Marines.

There’s little precedent when it comes to this guy’s armour, although I think that the shaved down berzerker helmet makes the armour look quite classical, almost like a Hoplite’s. You’ll notice that I used GK legs for quite a few of the models, but I think the additional inscriptions are a rather nice fit with the Legio Custodes’ overall tendency towards very ornate armour. I also used topknots on all of the models — if you’re a chaos player, you’re never short on topknots, you know…

And finally, the squad leader: Centurion Kletian Varios in mastercrafted power armour:

Alright, alright, who am I trying to fool? The model is the basic Black Reach Sergeant, of course, and he is wearing plain old Mk VII “Aquila” pattern armour. However, I like the model quite a lot — in spite of the fact that the pose doesn’t make a lick of sense: Why isn’t he looking the way he is pointing? Or at least looking at his weapon or something? This guy has lots of nice detail, though, and I really like the facial expression.
I made a couple of small changes, to make him look more like a Custodian: The model’s original arm looks rather strange when attached, so I replaced it with an arm from the Sanguinary Guard, which had the nice bonus of also giving the officer an impressive sword. Then I used a Dreadnought armour plate (from the Furioso kit) as the right shoulderpad, leading to a more individualised look. And I gave the model a converted backpack with some extra bling.

With five models completed, I had the minimum requirement for a squad of tactical Marines I also tried to gloss over any visual inconsistencies with a short piece of background I worked out. Here’s a shot of the whole squad (click for bigger picture):

Squad Asklepian, “The Artisans”

The members of squad Asklepian forego the classic armament of the Legio Custodes and are instead clad in different marks of power armour. But this is no token of shame, for the squad’s honoured veterans are tasked with testing newly developed armour patterns in combat. That is why their armour is highly individual, with many different patterns across the squad. Some of its members are even wearing patterns that were never approved for mass production, yet they maintain their plate with utmost pride, sometimes even further embellishing it. For it is due to squad Asklepian’s diligent work that the legions of the Imperium may be armoured to the best possible standard, and Centurio Kletian Varios and his men take pride in that knowledge.

See what I did there? 😉

These guys were a lot of fun to build, and I can easily see myself adding some more models to the squad at some point. Right now, I have got the parts for a model in Mk IV Maximus armour as well as a Black Reach Marine with Rocket launcher that will be converted to look more Pre-Heresy. Then there’s the tactical Marine with the Plasma Gun from the new starter box: He is sporting an interesting  helmet, and his arms a completely separate, so he would be rather easy to convert. I am also collecting all kinds of “older” armour parts, in case they’ll come in handy while expanding this squad. Maybe I’ll even do one squad member for each armour pattern? Kitbashing a Mk I should be interesting…

With my second troop selection out of the way, let’s take a look at an HQ model next. Until then, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Dark Vengeance – Gauging the possibilities…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Custodes, paintjob, Traitor Guard, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2012 by krautscientist

By now, many people have spent their first few days with the brand new Dark Vengeance box. The internet is abuzz with the discussions concerning the models and possible projects. There have been some very informative and helpful reviews, the usual, somewhat hamfisted propaganda on the part of GW and, of course, a magnitude of the seemingly inevitable “unboxings”. Some hobbyists (*cough*) have even begun showcasing their first painted or converted models.

After having spent a very enjoyable weekend sifting through the contents of the box (and painting the first batch of models) I would like to use this post to talk about some of my plans for all those lovely little plastic men. I already outlined some of the ideas in my first post on the subject, but in the light of my first hand on experiences with the box, some of those plans have changed, some may have been abandoned altogether, while still others only formed after seeing the models first hand. So let’s talk about the bigger picture, shall we?

First of all, let me say that my plan is to basically use up all that this box has to offer: Some of the models will be integrated into my different army projects, some may end up decorating my bases as corpses or broken statues. Still others will be cut into many different pieces and wait for better days at the bottom of my bitzbox. But all of it will be put to good use in one way or another. That much I promise you.

So let’s cut to the chase: Here’s a rather large post with my updated thoughts and plans for the different contents of the Dark Vengeance box, illustrated by lots of pretty pictures:



It shouldn’t surprise you that the chaos models are very likely to find a new home in my World Eaters and/or Traitor Guard forces. In fact, I think that the chaos models alone are pretty much worth the purchase of the box. But what do I have in mind for those beauties?


I already showed you the first three cultists I painted, and I decided that they needed some friends. So I set out to paint the next three. Instead of painting the same designs over again, I chose three different cultist — the duplicates will have to come later…

Again, my objective was to have these fit in with my other Traitor Guard models, so I stuck to the established colour scheme. I like to imagine that I was a tiny bit more succesful in painting these guys to fit my traitors this time:

I really love the gasmask on this guy! I even thought about a “Psycho Mantis” conversion while painting him. I also like the crude weapons some of these guys are wielding – like they had to improvise weapons from their regular tools or bits of machinery.

This next guy may have a different head and different weapons, but apart from that, he is actually identical to the guy above – albeit “flipped horizontally”. The only difference aside from the head and weapons is the added knife on the guy with the gas mask — I don’t think it’s too noticeable, though. After all, these are starter miniatures!

I tried adding some crude chaos heraldry on his scarf. A recurring element in my Traitor Guard. I went even further with this on this next guy:

Again, I love the mask. Reminds me of Kroenen in the first Hellboy film 😉

And here’s all three of them together:

Seeing these side by side makes it even more obvious that the cultists on the left and right are basically the same design, but again: Let’s not forget that these are starter miniatures. I already mentioned that I am actually pretty happy with the look GW chose for the cultists!

And here’s all of my painted cultists so far:

These are pretty quick to paint, so it probably won’t be too long before I’ll have ten or even twenty of them finished. I’ll mainly be these for 40k, so all of them will be painted in the colours of my Traitor Guard. That said, they’ll make useful cameos in games of INQ28 (or even Necromunda).
I will be doing a number of smaller adjustments to some of the “duplicates” (weapon swaps and the like) for some more variety. I’ll also add an icon or two, following my belief that every chaos squad needs an icon. Apart from that, though, I’ll be using these pretty much out of the box.

Chaos Lord and Chosen

Hmmm, these guys are a tougher nut to crack: My gut instinct tells me to just leave them for later. Granted, some of them could be easily inducted into my World Eaters, but maybe I’ll just hang on to them for a later project: a small Chaos Killteam for Special Operations Killzone, or some “counts as”-Characters for my Traitor Guard (I recently saw a World Eater used as Colonel Straken — what a cool idea!). The guy with the twin Lightning claws may be an exception, since I am simply too much in love with the sculpt, but apart from that, I guess these guys will keep for a while.


Definitely the star of the show for me, I am pretty psyched to start working on this bad boy. As a matter of fact, I already managed to paint what’s probably my favourite part of the model:

This was actually pretty hard to take a decent photo of, and that should tell you something about the size: So much fine detail, and very easy to obscure… I didn’t do a job worthy of the ‘Eavy Metal team, but I am still rather pleased with myself.

I also really love the anguished and tortured face peering from out of the Hellbrute’s bulk, so I had to start with it. Apart from that, I am currently dryfitting the parts and looking long and hard at the stuff in my bitzbox to decide which changes to make to the original model.

I’m a little torn, since I really love the Hellbrute as it is, and I don’t want to do conversions on this guys just for conversions’ sake. Yet I feel compelled to make some minor changes… Let me talk you through some of my early ideas — any feedback on this would be much appreciated!

First of all, this idea came up while I was messing around with some stuff from my bitzbox:

I actually have very little inclination to use the Minotaur head, but I still wanted to show you this mockup, because I think if somebody wanted to change the look of their Hellbrute or didn’t like the existing head, this could be an avenue worth exploring…

This one’s based on a similar idea. I just couldn’t help it…

I’ll have to be honest with you: I just love adding Juggernaut heads to Dreadnoughts!
I also think that this could really work. Hmmm, I’ll have to think about it…

Let’s talk about a couple of other changes I am considering:

I am actually pretty sure that I’ll be adding an Ogre Kingdoms gut plate to the model’s fist, as an approximation of the World Eaters’ legion badge. The part is a pretty nice fit and covers the more generic “Eye of Horus” symbol beneath. I also really liked the effect of the legion badge on my first Dread.

Then there’s the Multimelta:

I quite like the fact that they gave the model a Multimelta, seeing how this is one of the last weapons missing from my little Dreadnought Menagerie. But I am not completely sold on those stubby barrels. I could replace them with daemon heads from the chaos vehicle sprue (like TemplarCrusade01 did to great effect in this interesting video) or replace them with a Lasgun’s longer barrels…I’m not sure. Any thoughts?

And finally, those horn-tentacle things may have to go:

I appreciate what they were trying to do with this, but as it stands, they only serve to obscure the model’s silhouette. I haven’t decided on this, though. I’ll need to consider it for a while…

Even after playing around with a couple of different options, I couldn’t forget that Juggernaut head. If I were to attach it at a more interesting angle. like so…

…and add a neck made from cables and a spine, I think it would look really cool. Then again, I love the Hellbrute’s original face and wouldn’t want to permanently obscure it by a conversion… This really is a problem! Maybe I can do the Juggernaut head as an optional, removable addition to the model? Let me know what you think!

Let’s not forget the other side of the spectrum, though! So, what to do with the Sons of the Lion…?


Dark Angels:

Whenever I hit a roadblock during my musings on possible uses of the chaos models, I relax by working on some of the Dark Angel models. Some, if not most of these will be really useful for my Custodes army!


The Company Master will definitely be transformed into a Custodes officer! It should be easy enough: Just add a different head (for example, one from the High Elf White Lions kit), a couple of bitz and get rid of some of the DA symbols, and you’re there.

I’ll probably save the Librarian for later: He won’t do much good in a Custodes force, seeing how psykers were pretty much outlawed by the Edict of Nikaea. He might make a great base for an Inquisitor, though…Hmm, I’ll have to think about this.

And then there’s the limited edition Interrogator Chaplain. I am somehow feeling a little tempted to convert him into a Word Bearers Dark Apostle…but it’s definitely not a priority at the moment.

Ravenwing Bikes

These will probably end up as Custodes jetbikes sooner or later. I’ll be using this excellent tutorial by Ron Saikowski (of From The Warp fame), although the conversion will probably end up being a bit more complicated compared to normal Space Marine bikes, since the wheels of the bikes from the starter box are part of the bike’s main body. Still, nothing that a bit of judicious cutting cannot solve…

Tactical Marines

To tell you the truth, these are a bit of a problem: The sergeant will become a Custodes with some minor conversion work. As will the guy with the Plasma cannon (only sans the Plasma cannon, since they didn’t yet exist at the time of the Heresy, I believe). His arms are completely separate, and he is sporting a rather interesting, older helmet design, so he will become a member of a power armoured Custodes squad (I’ll be showcasing some models from the squad soon).

The other guys are a pretty hopeless case, though: I doubt any amount of cutting would make them look like anything but Dark Angels tac Marines. So into my bitzbox they go. Maybe I’ll use them as statues in a terrain project. Maybe I’ll start a DA army one day. Maybe I’ll think of something in time. We’ll see…

Deathwing Terminators

To tell you the truth, I am already hard at work cutting these up. They may not look like it, but the Deathwatch Terminators make for pretty convincing Custodes Terminators in Pre-Heresy Cataphract Terminator armour. You don’t believe me? Here’s proof:

First up, an early test model for my Custodes Terminators I built using a Black Reach Terminator:

I had already abandoned the hope of actually doing a whole squad of these, since I did not want to buy a whole box of Terminators for what was ultimately more of a “why the hell not?” project. But then, the Deathwing Terminators provided me with more than enough willing subjects to build some more Custodes in tactical Dreadnought armour. Behold:

This is an assembled Deathwatch Terminator from the starter box. So I took this guy and began to transform him. Quite a bit of cutting was needed for this, since I wanted to keep the Terminators powerfist — the rivets are just screaming Pre-Heresy to me. So I needed to get rid of the shoulderpad. I cut off the entire arm, replacing the upper part with a regular Terminator arm. The other arm and torso front were put away for future projects, and I used all kinds of stuff from my bitzbox to turn this guy into a Pre-Heresy Terminator. Take a look:

Same model, ladies and gentlemen 😉

While I realise that the armour may not be a hundred percent consistent with the official artwork, I still think that enough of the visual cues are there to make this guy read as a Custodes in Cataphract armour.

I think the paintjob will do the rest 😉

As you can see above, I also built the beginnings of a Guardian Spear: The weapon was spliced together from the blade of a Nemesis force halberd, the shaft of a thunderhammer and a part of a Chaos Knight lance. I may yet add a Boltgun to transform the weapon into an actual Guardian Spear.

This first success motivated to try again. So while my second batch of cultists was drying, I took another Deathwing Termie…

…and got to work again. By the way, say about GW’s decision to make the Marines in the box DA’s what you want, the poses on those Termies are excellent!

Again, my objective was to transform this guy into a Legio Custodes Terminator. Here’s the result of that plan:

The conversion was pretty easy too! I cut off the left arm (with the chainfist), which can still be used on another conversion and removed the Terminator’s head (that was a part of the torso). I replaced the arms with parts from my bitzbox and built the foundation of another Guardian Spear. Then I added some bitz. Done!

You’ll notice that my Custodes Terminators don’t look exactly alike. The reason for that is that I am using different base models and have to make do with what’s in my bitzbox. Then again, I think it fits that those warriors should wear individualised armour: Each of them is a mighty champion of the Imperium, so I think it’s quite alright if their armour deviates from the standard design here and there.

In closing, let me just say that I am pleasantly surprised how relatively easy those Deathwing Terminators can be converted into something quite different! As long as you’re not afraid of making some bold cuts… And definitely don’t try this at home if your bitzbox isn’t well equipped! You’ll need all kinds of stuff to make these guys look the part!

And there you have it: You’ve seen all that I’ve done with my Dark Vengeance models so far! If you’ve got any questions, criticism or words of encouragement, drop me a line in the comments section!

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

6th edition starter box – first thoughts

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Custodes, Pointless ramblings, Traitor Guard, World Eaters with tags , , , , , on August 19, 2012 by krautscientist

With “leaked” pictures of the 6th edition starter box all over the interwebz this weekend, you have probably seen the models by now. After spending the last 48 hours alternating between screaming like a little girl and fainting due to the sheer awesomness of the new chaos models, let me take a few moments to collect my thoughts on the contents of the starter box.

But first a disclaimer of sorts: I took these pictures from Faeit 212, and they originated on 4chan, I believe. And all of this is of course totally owned by Games Workshop, to give credit where credit is due. I only cropped some of the pictures to illustrate my ramblings — please don’t sue me! Thanks 😉

Alright, everyone ready? Here goes:


Well, I think we can all agree that this is all that chaos worshippers the world over were hoping for and then some. When the chaos contents of the box were first leaked, I was a little unimpressed at the inclusion of five Chosen — no more!  The new models blow everything I have seen in terms of starter boxes clean out of the water. GW was even nice enough to paint them in an almost-World Eater colour-scheme for me! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but rather approach this systematically:

Chaos Lord

The good: Well, where to start? This guy looks fantastic! Just what you imagine a twisted, millennia-old warlord of the ruinous powers to look like. I love the inclusion of a Plasma pistol, since it’ll give me the opportunity to pull off one of my cheap OSL effects. Come to think of it, the sword lends itself to shenanigans like that rather beautifully as well. This guy is great!

The bad: Well, he doesn’t look like a World Eater. But wait, is that a little stylised fanged maw on his belly — maybe he can be made to look like a World Eater easier than I suspected. Yay!

The plan: Well, I’ll definitely use this guy as some kind of officer! It remains to be seen how easily he may be converted, but the model will definitely end up in my force sooner rather than later.



These are all kinds of awesome, and they really, really look the part. Let me walk you through my plans for them:

This guy screams “Dark Apostle” to me, from the maul (Dark Crozius) to the third eye on his forehead. I’ll probably end up painting him as a Word Bearer – if only for the heck of it.

The single horn on this Chosen’s forehead somehow gives me a Nurgle vibe. But then, it’s a great idea that “generic” undivided Marines should have visual cues that call to mind different chaos gods: After all, they are worshipping all of them. Anyway, really love the pose on this guy!

Where the last model reminded me of Nurgle, this guy looks decidedly Tzeentchian in my opinion. Look at the helmet, the eye on the breastplate…. and even the weapon: If you ask me, paint up this guy in blue and gold, and you’ve got and instant Thousand Sons Rubric Marine.

It also seems that there are two of these in the set: While I am not generally opposed to repeating models (least of all in a starter box), they maybe could have done five unique Chosen. But then, that’s only a very small nitpick, considering the sheer quality of these models!

This guy is a little harder to make out due to the quality of the picture. So let me just say that he really reminds me of one of the older 90s’ metal Chaos Marines. And a bit of nostalgia is always a good idea!

And finally, easily my favourite of the bunch. This guy is just plain fantastic, from the design to the pose. I am so going to make him a World Eater! Although, he’d make for a rather nice Night Lord as well: Just add a jump pack, and you’re there!

So what’s my overall take on these?

The good: Fantastic design. Lots of variation. First really cool chosen ever. ‘Nuff said.

The bad: They could have done five unique models, of course. But my biggest gripe with these is actually the fact that their quality makes me want to instantly throw away the Chosen that I painstakingly converted myself…looks like my Chosen may be downgraded to be regular Berzerkers…

The plan: Some of these will make fantastic World Eaters. Some I may keep for different projects. All of them are fantastic, so I’ll be able to think of something 😉



This guy seems to be everybody’s darling at the moment. And rightly so! While I am not a big fan of over-the-top mutations, this beast is just off the hook! First we only had a pretty shitty metal model for nearly two decades, now we are rewarded with this —  that’s Karma for you!

The good: He’s stunning! This may be the single greatest model ever to be included in a starter kit! Can you remember the way we were blown away when GW included a freaking Dreadnought with the Black Reach box? Seems like the bar has been raised by several notches!

On a related note, I do hope that whoever did this guy also took a shot at the new Obliterators: They really do need a facelift!

The bad: My problem does not lie with the model itself, but rather with the suspicion that Hellbrutes will completely replace Dreads. The leaked ruleset looks alright, but just having converted two Dreads with a lot of weapon options, I hope that they won’t turn out to be useless this edition. But I am really rather confident, that it’ll all work out alright!

The plan: Paint it and play it. As soon as possible.



Highly anticipated, these guys come in two flavours: More dakka and less dakka. I really like the models, too. And it was about time CSM got cultists back!

the cultists with autoguns take all the right cues from the Vraksian Renegade Militia and a couple of other sources. The champion somehow looks like a traitorous commissar to me — must be the coat. He’s also wearing a Blood Pact-like grotesque. Awesome!

The CC Champion looks a little less impressive, but his followers are pretty great. I especially like the disfigured guy with the bare torso!

The good: The sculpt on these guys is really nice! They are also a godsend for INQ28 and Necromunda players. And I really love the fact that a cheaper, non-Astartes troop selection seems to have made the cut!

The bad: Quite a few duplicates here, which is a little more noticeable. They’re still great though!

The plan: All of these will be drafted into my Traitor Guard force, Urash’s Marauders and painted in the corresponding colours. That way, I’ll be able to play them as Traitor Guard or Cultists, depending on the situation. I also think they’ll look really cool in my Traitor Guard colour scheme.

I really think that the Chaos models alone are basically worth the price of admission here! If this is a first taste of what’s in store for us Chaos players, this will turn out to be an expensive year indeed!

But wait, what about the loyalist dogs?

Many people argue that the Dark Angels really got the short end of the stick. But that’s crazy talk: The fact that they seem a little underwhelming is not due to a lack of quality, but rather to how fantastic the chaos models are. Taken on their own merits, those DA models are rather great:

The Company Master and Librarian are excellent! Some people are miffed by the huge wings adorning the Company Master’s helmet, but come on: Those wings have been a huge part of the DA’s iconography for a very long time now! What kind of DA army have you been playing for the last decade?

I am, however, not particularly fond of the limited edition Chaplain: He simply doesn’t click with me. His head should have been far more skull-like, in my opinion. On the positive side, this means I won’t have to get the limited edition. Phew!

The tac Marines are indeed a little underwhelming compared to the Chosen. However, that’s really like comparing apples and oranges: There’s far more artistic license for creating armour warped by the ruinous powers. It’s not these guys’ fault that they have to wear the “boring” loyal power armour. The sergeant looks rather nice, though! Also note that these are really Dark Angels (sculpted heraldry and all): No space smurfs this time!

The good: Nice, if a little underwhelming sculpts. I really like that they are not Ultramarines for once, though!

The bad: The tactical Marines could have been cooler. I also think the chaplain’s a bit of a missed chance.

The plan: The Company Master and Sergeant seem likely recruits for my Custodes. All in all, it remains to be seen how easy these will be to convert…

The second batch of DA has a Terminator squad as well as a Ravenwing squad on bikes. This is some serious bang for the buck, if you ask me!

The good: The sculpts are very nice, and they really look like Dark Angels. No more decal shenanigans and painted on heraldry. I also hope that I’ll be able to induct these into my Custodes without too much of a hassle.

The bad: Once again, in contrast to the chaos models, these don’t really go too much beyond the established look for DA/loyal Marines. But again, you can’t fault these models for the fact that the chaos side of things got treated so poorly in the last years.

The plan: I’d really like to turn the Terminators into Custodes Cataphracts. Let’s just wait and see how hard that will be… The bikes should be reassonably simple to convert into Custodes (jet)bikes, provided they are assembled similarly to the “regular” Space Marine bikes.


All in all, this starter box is nothing short of stellar. You may keep bashing GW for their sometimes harebrained decisions or their inflexibility, but then something like this comes along and just shuts you up — if only for a minute or so. I AM SO GOING TO BUY THIS!

What are your thoughts about the new models and your plans for them? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section!

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

Who watches the watchmen?

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Custodes, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , on August 3, 2012 by krautscientist

I recently promised you more projects, so here’s a look at a new army project of mine. I know what you’re thinking: Finish one first, already, before starting yet another one! I know, I know. However, this is a project with a much tighter scope than, say, my World Eaters. So it will serve as more of a thing I do in order to relax.

So what are we looking at here? Let me start off by saying that I’ve never been that interested in loyal Marines. Granted, I love looking at fantastic Space Marine models as much as the next guy, but apart fron a few flashes of inspiration, I never really considered building a loyal army for a number of reasons: From a conversion standpoint, there’s very little that a loyal army would provide that I cannot do with my World Eaters in one form or another. And I also really hate the line highlighting necessary to make loyal Marines look cool. Another reason why I am a Chaos player: All that nice brass trim on the armour to add instant definition to the paintjob without me having to jump through any hoops.

The same goes for most Pre-Heresy armies. While I understand the appeal of these, I’ve never felt tempted to do Pre-Heresy World Eaters — probably due to the fact that their colour scheme isn’t all that attractive to me (and would be really difficult to pull off to boot). So no Pre-Heresy for me until now.

The more attentive readers might notice that all of this sounds like there’s a colossal BUT hiding in the rafters. And they would be right, of course:

Because all of my resolutions about Marines and Pre-Heresy armies were sorely tested when I first took a look at German WD 112 (from April 2005): Not only did it feature rules for a Horus Heresy campaign, but it also marked the first time I ever saw Dave Taylor’s spectacular Legio Custodes army. I instantly fell in love with the Legio Custodes based on Dave’s army and the official artwork. There’s just something about those guys that really clicked with me. And even now, quite a few years later, Dave’s Custodes are still easily one of my favourite armies ever (the army was auctioned off for charity, btw, proving that Dave is not only an extremely talented artist but also simply a great guy).

So the seed was planted, and some time ago, I took a look at all the fantastic new Space Marine kits, and my love for the Legio Custodes was rekindled. And then, by lucky chance (or by some devious scheming of my subconscious), I found myself in the possession of three different Space Marine kits: The power armoured Grey Knights and Dark Angels Veterans (I had bought those for all the great bits and felt that I might use the DA’s as Word Bearers Chosen at some point) and the Sanguinary Guard (given to me as a gift by cousin Andy). And suddenly I realised that I had everything on my hands to create a couple of Custodes.

I wouldn’t even have to work nearly as hard as Dave Taylor, since all the cool new bits would allow me to build the models by merely sticking to kitbashing. So I did a bit of research and discovered some more great Custodes armies: Kaleb Daark’s Custodes thread on B&C, The Buddy Times and the very helpful kitbashing recipe for creating Custodians on Spiky Bitz. And so everything was in place.

Here’s what I wanted to do with the Custodes:

  • I wanted to incorporate the classic “Praetorian” Custodes with their conic helmets, golden armour and Guardian Spears.
  • in honour of Dave Taylor’s army, I wanted a squad of power armoured Custodians wearing different armour patterns. I would also definitely need a chaplain inspired by his Chaplain Animus.
  • I wanted to build the army from all plastic and all-GW parts: I realise that there are some awesome models floating around the net  – Scibor’s “SF Roman Legionaries” are Custodes in everything but name – but using readymade models for a project like this always feels like a bit of a cop out to me. So I wanted to try if I could kitbash this army by using only GW parts, preferably all of them plastic.
  • I didn’t want this to turn into srs bsns, so I would cut a few corners here and there. Don’t get me wrong: I wanted my Custodes to look awesome, but I wouldn’t get myself killed over it. There would be the odd heraldic element belonging to Grey Knights, Blood Angels or Dark Angels — I would only cut something off unless I had something better to replace it. And I would lose no sleep over the models’ armour not being 100% accurate. Let’s face it: Some of the HH artbooks feature as many as three different armour variants for the same Custodes unit type — in the same picture.
  • While I would try to have them be useable as a legal army, this would not be my chief concern while building the models.

With my gameplan decided, I started by building my first test models. I immediately went for the iconic “Praetorians”. All of these were kitbashed by mixing parts from Grey Knights, Dark Angels Veterans and the Sanguinary Guard (and the occasional Tac Marine bit). As per Spiky Bitz’ recipe, all the heads came from the WFB High Elf White Lions.

Here’s the first test model I built for the squad, equipped with the Legio’s trademark “Guardian Spear” (actually a GK halberd combined with a Sanguinary Guard Bolt pistol):

The shield is from some old WFB Empire spearmen. I realise that there is no precedent for shields like that in the Custodes background, but I liked the look of them and decided to use the lion motif as a recurring visual element. That’s why you’ll see lion heads repeated here and there on the models. Maybe I’ll even try to weave it into the army’s background: They could be called “The Lionsguard”, guarding the Lion’s Gate Spaceport (we all know how that went) or due to some honour awarded to them by the Emperor.

Anyway, here’s the squad’s standard bearer:

The design on the banner was done by using a simple decal taken from among the Space Marine vehicle decals. I am aware that there may actually  be some fluff reason why these guys technically shouldn’t be sporting the Aquila in the first place. See my comments on accuracy above on that subject.

Next up, another Custodian armed with a Guardian Spear, although this time I used a GK Storm Bolter for the conversion. Unfortunately, it ended up looking a little clunky, although I like the rest of the model:

I also built a Custodian carrying a special weapon (that was converted from a GK special weapon and the gunbarrel from a Deathwing assault cannon). I couldn’t even tell you what this is supposed to be. I just converted it to look cool…

And finally, the squad’s Centurio, Jastilus Petrarca:

I wanted the model to be the most impressive in the squad, so I used some of the most detailed parts, including the champion’s head from the White Lions. I also gave him a power sword from the AOBR Space Marine Captain and a spiffy wrist mounted Bolt pistol from the Sanguinary Guard.

Like I said, there are some departures from “official” Custodes artwork: For one, these guys are never seen using regular Marine backpacks in official sources, but I still decided to give them back packs to bulk them out a little. I went for Chaos backpacks for an older, more ornate look. I also didn’t add an extra faceplate to the High Elf heads, since they work well enough as is, in my opinion. Like I said, There’s also a bit of a hodgepodge of heraldic elements, with symbols of Blood Angels, Dark Angels and Grey Knights appearing alongside each other. However, the paintjob helps to somewhat alleviate that problem, tying everything together.

I went for a fairly straight paintjob in the trademark Custodes colours of crimson and gold. The one point where I departed from that formula were the different gems found on the models’ armour and equipment: I painted them in my beloved Vallejo Halcon Turquoise in order to add a bit of much-needed variety to the models. What’s more, jewels painted in red often end up looking like cherries, so using a different colour helped me to avoid that pitfall as well.

Here’s a picture of the whole squad assembled:

Squad Heraklion

One of the Praetorian squads in the Legio Custodes’ elite Lionsguard, squad Heraklion consists of warriors as fiercely loyal as they are accomplished. Clad in the traditional Praetorian plate and wielding an array of mastercrafted weapons, the members of the squad know no goal more important than guarding the life of their Emperor. Leading the squad is Centurio Jastilus Petrarca, a relatively young but  exceedingly talented officer. In spite of his young age, the inside of his ceremonial plate already shows an astonishing number of engraved names and titles, earned through great feats and deeds of honour.

So there you have it: This squad marked the beginning of my Legio Custodes project. With recent rumours of Horus Heresy books to be released by Forgeworld soon, I am not sure whether my timing in creating these guys was rather awesome or actually completely horrible. Any Custodes released by FW will thoroughly upstage my own meagre efforts though, that much seems certain…

Nevertheless, these guys were a blast to convert and paint and stand as an example of the fantastic versatility of GW’s new plastic kits. And while my Custodes project may be limited in scope, there’s quite a bit yet to come: I already outlined some possible ideas above, but there’s more that I would like to try: Jetbikes, Cataphracts, Sisters of Silence…just wait and see where this voyage will take us!

Until then, I would like to know what you think, so drop me a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!