Archive for the Fluff Category

The Hateful Eight

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2020 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, today marks a bit of a special occasion in a – so far – otherwise thoroughly unproductive hobby year, because I can actually announce the completion of a project — at least in a way, that is… So what is this about?

Back in May of 2019, I finally caved and bought some of the – then brand new – updated Chaos Space Marine models. I didn’t want to update my entire World Eaters army, but the new kits were just too cool to resist, so I came up with the idea to limit myself to a Kill Team sized project, tentatively named “The Hateful Eight”, a squad of new World Eaters, where every model would be heavily converted and customised to match, as closely as possible, my ideal version of what a World Eater should look like in the year 2020 . I also wanted to paint them to the best of my ability — or at least, using a heavily tweaked recipe.

It has taken me over a year, but I have finally managed to complete eight World Eaters for this project. So please meet “The Hateful Eight”:

It’s a bit pathetic, really, to have taken more than twelve months to come up with this squad, considering other people have used the Covid19-induced downtime to chew through dozens or even hundreds of models. But if nothing else, this squad comes closer than any of my previous attempts to encapsulating what I think World Eaters should look like — or rather, what my World Eaters should look like. And in that respect, at least, this definitely feels like a triumph!

At the same time, I have also used this project to come up with some models that serve as shout outs and tributes to particular pieces of artwork or to classic World Eaters models, which also turns this project into a bit of a historic showcase. So let’s take a look at the members of the Hateful Eight in turn, before we finish with the latest member and some more group shots, alright? Step this way:

 

This was the model that started it all, and it wasn’t really inspired by any classic source. The model was rather a test for how the new CSM kits could be used to build convincing World Eaters, plus it also served as a proper opportunity to try out my new and tweaked colour scheme. I am still pretty happy with the finished model — that tusked helmet, in particular, is really cool, and the added bunny ears actually make it look even more badass, wouldn’t you agree?

Another model that wasn’t really inspired by a piece of artwork or an existing archetype. Then again, this guy was actually “salvaged”, so to speak, both from the pile of shame and the earlier incarnation of my World Eaters — in fact, the model was originally converted allll the way back in 2013 (!), back when Dark Vengeance was released and blew us all away with its (then) revolutionary CSM models!

Which makes me all the happier that this guy’s story has at least come to a happy conclusion! Plus the model has also provided me with the perfect opportunity to finally experiment with some variety in skin tones for the members of the 4th assault company, something I’ll definitely be repeating on some of the future models!


The third model uses one of the excellent Blood Warriors from the First Edition Age of Sigmar starter box. The model is actually one of my favourite models in the squad and comes very close to my idea of a quintessential 40k World Eater: massive, clad in vicious, baroque armour, and full of the wrath of Khorne. Oh, and the model also very much serves as a shout out to some of the rather excellent, mid-90s Khorne Berzerker champions, like this one:

Those were actually some of my very first World Eaters models (after getting into this whole mess with a box of plastic berzerkers that had just been released back then — can you imagine that?). Those metal berzerkers and champions were pretty tough to get hold of back then, at least if you didn’t live close to a GW store, and I actually bought the gentleman you see above during a trip to Cologne back in 1999 or 2000 or so. Ah…good times… πŸ˜‰

This next model was very much intended as a shout out, too, as it was an attempt to channel one of the most iconic pieces of World Eaters art, courtesy of Mark Gibbons:

Artwork by Mark Gibbons

A shout out must also go to my fellow hobbyist ElDuderino, who supplied the excellent, spliced-together helmet that seemed just perfect for this conversion. In his honour, this particular World Eater will henceforth be known as “Brother Orsca of Skandia” πŸ˜‰

The next member of the Hateful Eight is another holdover from my “old” World Eaters (and another conversion based on one of the Dark Vengeance Chosen). At the same time, however, this model was actually inspired by a very cool piece of artwork courtesy of Diego Gisbert Llorens:

illustration by Diego Gisbert Llorens

Next up, a model that wasn’t really inspired by any source, but rather served as an attempt to explore one of the main archetypes defining the World Eaters as a legion: its gladiatorial traditions.

The massive, archaic armour was supposed to hint at the fact that this legionary used to belong to the “Triarii”, the World Eaters’ famous boarding troops. I also really wanted to include a squad member with an Mk. III helmet, for an even more archaic look. The ball and chain weapon was added to evoke the “meteor hammer”, another weapon choice that has its roots in the legion’s gladiatorial traditions.

Next up, the provisional squad leader, and definitely one of my favourite members of the Hateful Eight:

This model basically started out as an attempt to do something with the somewhat hokey “twin axe” bit that came with the Age of Sigmar Blood Warriors. The result is a character that embodies yet another core archetype of the World Eaters legion — that of the executioner or headsman. In fact, it has repeatedly been pointed out to me that this model could really work as a Master of Executions, and while that wasn’t the original plan, I definitely agree that the look is there.

Which leads us to the last member of the Hateful Eight, and also the last model to be completed. This icon bearer from my previous post:

It has been ridiculously hot around here for the last ten days or so, but I finally buckled up and finished that model.

What you see above is an almost finished paintjob. It was at this point that I was feeling a little adventurous, plus I also had a cool little fluff idea for that icon: You see how each and every part of that thing seems to be barbed and serrated, right? And it stands to reason that the icon itself could be wielded as a weapon in its own right. But what if that icon is actually a minor daemonic artifact and not only wants to draw the blood of enemies, but also of the warrior carrying it into battle? What if being chosen by the artifact to be its bearer is, at best, a mixed blessing, and you actually have to be careful not to become the artifact’s victim? Anyway, with those ideas in mind, I grabbed the bottle of blood effect…

Here’s the finished icon bearer:





I was a bit nervous about that icon, to be honest, but I really think it works! While I used quite a bit of blood on it, I was careful to vary the tone and glossiness a bit, to suggest that the wicked thing is covered in layers of blood, some of them older than others. I also made sure to paint some blood onto the icon bearer’s hand — like I said, the artifact, like the War God himself, does not care whence the blood flows:

Interestingly enough, this also provides a reason for the bare right hand (which was really just a coincidental choice) and the length of chain (that was included to repeat an element that appeared on the classic model that inspired this guy).

Speaking of inspiration, here’s a comparison picture with the new icon bearer and the classic metal model that served as the main inspiration for the model, because this was basically an attempt to recreate the classic design (albeit horizontally flipped πŸ˜‰ ):

So yeah, it has only taken more than a year, but now, the Hateful Eight are finally ready to march to war and reap skulls for Khorne. Take a look:


Incidentally, because the project so far has been focused mostly on the converting and painting angle, most of these World Eaters still lack a name. So I would be happy for you, my readers, to suggest some names for the members of the Hateful Eight!

I must give fair warning, though: My eventual selection will be purely based on my personal taste.

That being said, I would love to hear any suggestions, so if you want to name one of these gentlemen, let’s hear your ideas!

Oh, and here’s a photo of the eight models alongside “Euron Hearteater”, who could probably be considered a honorary member of the squad by now, on account of finally seeing some paint during the same period of time πŸ˜‰

One thing I might still have to tweak is the number of skulls present on the models: Right now, there are 35 skulls across the entire squad. Plus, y’know, the eight that are still attached to their respective necks, at least for now… And I would like to bring that number up to 40, for fairly obvious reasons — then again, the composition of the squad could still change, so maybe I’ll a bit.

Because you didn’t really think this project was over, did you…? πŸ˜‰

While I may have the first eight in the bag, there’s an entire batch of possible aspirants for a second squad. Take a look:

So maybe we’ll end up with “The Hateful Sixteen”, after all?! If all goes well, these two gentlemen should be next on the painting table:

For now, though, I am really happy that I have managed to complete this first tentative squad before GW actually releases new Khorne berzerkers/World Eaters models. I’ll also be a bit cheeky here and consider this my entry for Azazel’s (extended!) “Jewel of July” event, if for no other reason than the fact that having managed to finally paint and convert this squad certainly feels like a personal hobby jewel to me — oh, and I also wanted to finally participate in one of Azazel’s community challenges again, so there’s that, too πŸ˜‰

I would also love to hear any thoughts and feedback you may have, so please leave a comment!

And that’s about it for the day. Blood for the Blood God!

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

INQ28: Kitbashing in the time of Corona, pt. 2

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2020 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, it’s time for another update — and yet, I’ve had virtually no hobby time, for reasons that shall become obvious further down in this post.

It’s a good thing, then, that I still have enough bits and bobs from my desktop to share with you, even if I’ve been sitting on some of this stuff for a while now — what better way to clean house, as it were, eh? So let’s take a look:

I’ll start with a small update on one of the projects from my previous post: Remember the beginnings of my Bloodbriar Cartel?

Looking at the models, I realised that I wanted another bodyguard for the retinue. Now building another sentinel would have been quite tempting, especially on the account of this awesome idea of fellow hobbyist euansmith:

The entire gaggle are looking sumptuous. Looking at the Guard with the shield, I was struck by the idea that, if you make a second one that was Left Handed, they could stand behind important people, with their two shields forming a pair of wings to make their VIP look even more important. The mask on the guard is really cool.

But then I quickly realised that my heavy case of hobby butterfly syndrome probably wouldn’t allow me to build – much less paint – another identical model. Plus I also felt that the bulky Sentinel should be balanced out by a very different, slim and lithe bodyguard. So I came up with this kitbash:




Maddeningly enough, the differently coloured plastic on the upper half of the head makes the whole thing look like a bad Photoshop job in those pictures — you’ll have to take my word that the whole head assembly works better in real life. But I didn’t want to “cheat” by showing a grayscale picture, electing to rather show you the initial kitbash, warts and all.

I also have to admit that I am not quite happy with the second bodyguard yet, and there are definitely quite a few kinks to deal with: To name just one issue, maybe that Bonereaper sword is too massive, but then again, I think I’ll be keeping it because I like the idea of an “exotic” weapon like that without any clear chaos or xenos influences — it looks like the kind of weapon you would see in a powerful crime syndicate (plus all the other swords in my collection are just as big).

One thing I think already works pretty well is the pose: I wanted the bodyguard to look self-assured and at rest, so I really had to go to town on those jumpy Wych legs. The slowly advancing stance looks like that of a ballet dancer, though, which is just what I wanted.

 

Next, more or less Γ  propos of nowhere, came a conversion that felt like I simply had to get it out of my system. A bounty hunter, possibly with a bit of a Xenos influence:




The were several design influences at play here: The image of Japanese Ronin (very obviously), Princess Leia’s bounty hunter disguise in Return of the Jedi, as well as character designs you would see in Franco-Belgian graphic novels, such as “ValΓ©rien”. Plus the original idea was also lifted from a model I saw on Reddit πŸ˜‰

The conversion itself was a pretty straightforward one, mostly based on a Necromunda Delaque:

  • indeed, the body, right arm and gun on the back are all from the new Necromunda Delaques
  • the left arm is from the Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors (or Wyches)
  • the sword came from the AdMech Sicarian Ruststalkers
  • the head, hat and shoulder pad are all leftover Tau…erm “T’au” bitz from my bitzbox: The hat is either from the gun drones or from the Krisis suits – I’d say Krisis suits, though, as the discs that made up the drone bodies are even bigger in diameter. The shoulder pad is from the XV25 Stealth Suits, if I am not mistaken. And the head is just some small sensor array bit (probably from the Krisis suits as well, but I really don’t know) with a couple of extra gubbinz (including a new eye lens) added on to bulk it out just a little and make it look more tech-y. I just wanted a head that seemed very un-imperial and also not at all like a classic facemask.

Here’s another look at the model now with an extra grenade on the model’s belt (for improved visual balance):

Possibly my favourite part of this conversion is that it seems to turn the somewhat awkward pose of this particular Delaque body into an actual strenght: If you ask me, the model really does look like some kind of itinerant Dark SciFi Samurai leisurely strolling through the underhive πŸ˜‰

In fact, this latest model seems like the perfect opportunity to also share another Delaque-based conversion that I have been sitting on for a while: A mysterious figure, inspired by a yet another conversion I saw online (on Pinterest, I think?!)




This conversion is even more straightforward, simply swapping in a blank Dark Eldar helmet and relying on Delaque bitz otherwise. When I saw this idea, I instantly loved it! It creates such a mysterious, sinister look! Just what I needed for a character codenamed “The Architect”, a mysterious agent of the Neo-Thorian radical splinter-faction known as “The Fragmentarians”, a recurring shadowy power within the Velsen sector…

I wanted the character to look like a secretive player from behind the curtain, so to speak, preferring to be subtle about their influence. Even so, the Architect is not above stepping in and doing some red work, hence the inclusion of the stiletto…

As an added bonus, this model was also the perfect excuse for finally realising a long-standing plan of mine and build a conversion resembling “The Alchemist”, the super-creepy villain of the 2001 film “Vidocq”:

In case you are not familiar with the film, it’s a bit zany and scatterbrained in that special way only French (fantasy) films are, but the production design is really awesome, and the villain is just incredibly creepy — fun fact, back in the day, scenes from the film were used in the music video for a song that appeared on the film’s OST, and I was mesmerised by the Alchemist’s appearance in the video, but didn’t have any idea that those scenes came from an actual film. Years later, I walked by a DVD bargain bin and saw the cover artwork (just the Alchemist’s “face”, as shown above), and basically bought the DVD based on that alone.

It also seems like I am getting quite a bit of mileage out of that Delaque kit, although I have yet to build an actual Delaque… πŸ˜‰

 

Next up, a bit of a terrain – or basing – experiment: When my friend Annie recently placed a large order at Greenstuffworld, I took the opportunity to order one of Greenstuffworld’s textured rolling pins (the temple one) that can be used to create rather intricate designs on bases. So I decided to finally give that a try as well.

The tool is actually rolled through fresh GS, as though you were trying to make cookies. It took a couple of tries to get it reasonably right, but here’s the blank base with the freshly created design on top:


Here’s what it looked like with the undercoat in place:

And here’s the finished base:



Regarding the paintjob, it would have been easy enough to pick up some of the details in a different colour (gold, for example), but for my initial attempt, I didn’t want to draw too much attention away from the model that was to be placed on top of that base.Anyway, while there’s still quite a bit of room for improvement, I’d say it’s a solid first attempt.

My main reason for going with this design in the first place was that I was looking for a less underhive-y look — instead I wanted something to suggest the courts and halls of power, so to speak, of the Velsen sector. Which is why the first finished base in this style was given to my conversion for Lord Sebastianus Danver Balzepho Vlachen, nephew to the Lord Sector:


Funnily enough, the “temple” design might just as well be called the “INQ28” design — there’s a smattering of quasi-40k-esque symbols present in the design, including a small “28” plaque, for crying out loud πŸ˜‰

 

And that’s about it for today’s collection of odds and ends — oh, wait! I have one more thing to share with you all:

You see, the reason why I haven’t managed to get any hobbying done lately is that I have been sinking virtually all of my free time into MediaMolecule’s “Dreams”, basically a game/machinima/3D sculpting/… toolkit for the Playstation 4. I don’t want to gush, especially since I am helplessly in love with the game/program right now, but it’s definitely one of the most remarkable pieces of software I have seen in a long time (fun fact, I bought this and the Final Fantasy VII Remake for the Easter holiday. I have yet to touch the Final Fantasy game…). Plus it’s a blast to play around in!

And I do actually have something hobby related to show for myself, because – in an attempt to get more familiar with Dreams’ 3D sculpting tools – I set out to create a model of Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn’s head:



This project is still very much work in progress, but it’s also only my second attempt at digitally sculpting a head in 3D — and without a lick of prior modeling experience, to boot. Anyway, if you’ll excuse me: I think I may have to add a few more tubes and augmetic gubbinz to dear old Gregor’s mug πŸ˜‰

In any case, I would love to hear any thoughts you might have on my current projects! Please leave a comment!

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more — and please stay safe and healthy during these challenging times!

INQ28: Kitbashing in the time of Corona

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, Pointless ramblings, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2020 by krautscientist

For all the sad and awful things that are currently going on in the world, I have found the Corona-mandated downtime as strangely conductive to my creativity when it comes to kitbashing and converting, in spite of everything. So today, I have a monster of a post to share with you, with quite a few new INQ28 conversions that I am pretty proud of. I you would step this way, please…;)

 

Let’s begin with the model that seems to have kicked things off: Earlier this year, the Brothers Wier (of “Between the Bolter And Me” fame kicked a challenge with the subject of using the new AoS Ossiarch Bonereaper models to create some creepy, rather more skeletal Eldar to channel the somewhat gigeresque origins of the Eldar race during the Rogue Trader days of yore:

Illustration by Tony Hough

What’s more, the brothers were also awesome enough to send me one of the models from the Mortek Guard kit to use for the challenge.

But in spite of that generosity, it still took me quite a while to get started on my contribution…

One reason for this, on top of my usual laziness, was that the bar was immediately set incredibly high, for instance by this this very cool and creepy Eldar model built by Adam Wier himself…

Model converted by Adam Wier

or by Larsonic Miniatures’ absolutely incredible Haemonculus.

But seeing how the Coronavirus-downtime had at least provided me with some extra hobby time, I felt that I might just as well finally try to get this show on the road. I still had some leftover Yvraine parts, back from when I first converted the Countess Mandelholtz, and definitely wanted to put them to good use, along with some Dark Eldar knick knacks I still had in my bitzbox.

Even so, the first half of the conversion process was an exercise in frustration, with things just refusing to come together — except for my own fingers, that is, because I certainly managed to glue them together more than once. The model itself didn’t really seem to work, though: For instance, I all but ruined Yvraine’s head in an attempt to go for a really creepy, biomechanical look (think the Alien from the first Species film, minus the gratuitous nudity).

But I soldiered through, and it was actually late at night when I finally felt that I might be on to something:

I think getting the legs and torso to line up properly was what ultimately sealed the deal — after that, it was mostly a question of going with what felt right. And before long, I had this model:

And believe it or not, most of what you see is actually the Mortek Guard model the Wier Brothers originally sent me. I merely spliced in a few Eldar parts from various sources:

  • Yvraine’s feet and hairpiece
  • a Dark Eldar helmet (chosen for its stylised, statuesque features) and one-and-a-half Dark Eldar arms
  • an old (late-90s) Dark Eldar Kabalite warrior’s abdomen (yes, really πŸ˜‰ )
  • a severed elven/Aeldarii head (I think it originally came from a Wood Elf, although I am not sure)

I even ended up with a couple of spare Bonereaper bitz to squirrel away for future projects — YAY! πŸ˜‰

Anyway, the conversion was still rather messy at this point, and needed a few tweaks and some cleanup. Here’s what the finished conversion looks like:






I am actually really happy with this guy (?) at the moment, but that’s probably because the project seemed like such a trainwreck before it finally all started to come together.

There’s zero background in place for the model, but I do like how ambiguous it seems: Is it some new kind of Exarch? A wraithbone construct? Some sinister kind of Drukhari warrior? Or a pre-fall revenant? Fellow hobbyist BeardGoblin even pointed out that the model resembles an Avatar of Khaine — in fact, it could even work as an Epic-/Adeptus Titanicus-scaled Avatar, minus the severed head.

In any case, I think I’ve come up with a working contribution for the challenge — speaking of which, though, you should definitely check out all of the other excellent contributions: Go read up on them over here, at “Between the Bolter and Me” — and many thanks again to the Wier Brothers for sending over that model and for allowing me to be a part of this event!

 

Getting this particular conversion to work also felt like the floodgates had been opened, in a sense, and I emerged from this project quite motivated and with an appetite for something a little more …adventurous. So what happened next?

A couple of years ago, I was lucky enough to be able to snap up the female vampires from the WFB/AoS Coven Throne. If you ask me, those are some of GW’s coolest models (and still some of their best female sculpts), and I have cannibalised them for several projects over the years (to build, just to name the most important examples, Mistress Elisha Gorgo, Countess Mandelholtz, Redactor Orlant’s masked bodyguard and the pilot for my second Knight Armiger). This all left me with – most – of the body of the main vampiress (only missing her head and parts of her arms) as well as the cushions that normally go behind her on the Coven Throne. And whenever I came upon those parts while burrowing through my bitzbox, I would always have this vague idea to one day turn her into a cool, very Blanchesque figure in a floating comfy chair.

Well, desperate times call for desperate measure, so I decided that it was finally time to go for it:

When I started this conversion, I did not yet know whether I wanted her to be an eccentric noble or a crime lord (or both) or some kind of conspirator — for starters, it was just fun to delve into the Blanchitsu look to create her. The model was missing its head, and I decided to actually turn that into a virtue, using a creepy resin skull (sent to me by my buddy Biohazard a couple of years ago) and some GS cables to give her a suitably grimdark mask. An eyelens from a set of Cadian binoculars was used to add an augmetic eye piece to the mask.

The cushion bit was far to nice to discard, and I loved the idea of having her float on some kind of antigrav chair. So I created a suitably impressive throne for her:

As you can see, I added another cushion (made from GS) to elevate her to the right height and make for a smooth fit. I then used what I believe are mostly Sentinel bitz to tech-up her chair a bit (with some Chimera flamers repurposed as antigrav suspensors).

Here’s the grimdark mamzel, with her chair suitably built up:

This only really left me with one area to deal with: Her feet. Ideally, there would have been some kind of footrest for her, but when I tried to cobble something together, I realised that an element like that would obscure most of the lower front of the chair, defeating the exercise of having a floating chair to begin with.

In the end, the solution was rather simple: As I still had the flowing skirts from the other two vampires, I simply shaved down one of them to fit the mamzel. So here’s the finished conversion:


I also have a slightly firmer idea about her background now: I’ll be calling her “Lady Bloodbriar”, and she’s the head of a crime/underworld syndicate of the same name that has become very powerful indeed behind the scenes of the Velsen Sector. Her real identity remains a secret, and she prefers to keep it that way — although, I actually do have a pretty good idea who she really is, underneath the mask. That’ll be a story for a different time, though…

Still feeling very happy with the conversion, I took a long hard look at it and decided that what Lady Bloodbriar really needed was…a pudgy little cherub whose funtion was basically that of an ambulatory fan:




Now the idea of using Nurglings to create cherubim wasn’t mine — it’s a clever approach I first saw on Jeff Vader’s Convertorum. It did serve me really well here, though! The little skull face was actually designed to match Lady Bloodbriar’s mask. Oh, and I added some tiny augmetic plugs to the Nurgling’s body here and there, to hint at the fact that this is an automaton of some sophistication!

And yes, I am quite aware of the fact that actual cherubim models are now freely available as part of the new Sisters of Battle kits — but the plan here was to focus on only using parts from the old bitzbox. And that was even before GW stopped taking any orders, too!

Anyway, my original plan was to actually have him on the chair as well (on one of the cushions behind her), but I am pretty sure that this would have overcluttered the model — plus I do rather like the idea of the little guy hurrying behind the floating throne, trying his best to keep up..

And seeing how I had basically lost my marbles at this point, I couldn’t help thinking about yet another cherub for her, loosely inspired by a detail appearing in a piece of John Blanche artwork from the second edition 40k rulebook:

Illustration by John Blanche

In it, a cherub is wearing the cutest little pseudo-napoleonic uniform:

And seeing how I still had a head wearing a bicorn (sent to me by fellow hobbyist Drone21c, if I remember correctly), I knew I just had to try and channel that effect:

He is carrying a little hourglass, as if to say: “This is all the time you get to plead your case with the mistress…”

The little guy with the hat will be named “Nullsum” (thanks to a brilliant suggestion from fellow hobbyist A_Tempest_Sinister), and his buddy will be called “Aerial” (in an attempt at a similar pun πŸ˜‰ ).

Also, I think I’ll be giving Nullsum a little sword:

It just makes for an even more “heraldic” look, for lack of a better word…

So I had the Lady Bloodbriar herself, and her two cherubim — but that wasn’t nearly enough, and I was basically neck-deep into this project at this point, when I came upon an incredible blog post at Meandering Shade that made me realise that there’s something really interesting you can also do with a cable maker — quite an eye opener! So I simply had to build a majordomo for Lady Bloodbriar. Meet Master Corvinus Icter:

As you can see, he is currently occupied with contemplating the contents of a dataslate while his mistress talks to a supplicant, and probably interjecting pointed questions and remarks (“What were your credentials again?” “These numbers don’t seem to add up…”)

The conversion itself mostly consists of bitz from the WFB Empire Greatswords /AoS Freeguild Greatswords, with just a shaved-down Skitarii coat as well as a Delaque head and dataslate spliced in for flavour — and there’s that glorious hairdo, of course, basically created by cutting apart a GS cable and carefully applying its parts to a substructure also made from GS. It’s unbelievable how easy this was — although it might still need a bit of cleanup here and there.

I have one more conversion for you for today’s update — because a powerful mover and schemer like Lady Bloodbriar obviously also needs some muscle to serve as a personal bodyguard. After giving it a bit of thought, I dismissed the idea of including some kind of heavily muscled ganger, but rather went for a bit of a “palace guard”-style character, and with a highly stylised and idealised look, to match the amount of ostentation evident in the rest of the models. Now the Custodes and Stormcast Eternals basically have the market for statuesque, hulking warriors cornered between them, so I had to get a bit creative to come up with something that didn’t look too similar to them, while also invoking some visual cues from either — after all, it seems obvious that, in-universe, both the Custodes and Astartes would be revered as some kind of godlike ideal by citizens of the Imperium, and that the most influential among them would pattern their own household guards after those legendary warriors to some degree.

Anyway, here’s WIP for “the Sentinel”:


This conversion was all about creating a massive, statuesque and idealised warrior that wasn’t to look like a Space Marine. I tried to achieve this by using some slightly unconventional bitz — the base model was a Blood Warrior of Khorne, for instance. I am also rather happy with the spliced-together facemask and with the use of a Kharadron Overlords spear as a pretty exotic looking weapon.

Of course the Sentinel didn’t escape a round of tweaks, either πŸ˜‰

I added a shield because I wanted to support the statuesque look even more — plus it also seemed like a fitting choice for a guard. The grisly skull trophy was exchanged for something a little more fitting (I use the winged sword device as a symbol for St. Sabasto, the “Sword Saint”, even though it’s originally a DA symbol, obviously πŸ˜‰

So here’s the group, pretty much as it stands right now:

I am really having a blast with this project — in fact, to be quite honest with you, I had feared that I might have “lost my touch”, so to speak, since the level of quality all around seems to have soared, while some of the stuff I have been working on just felt trite and derivative. But with these latest models (and some of my latest World Eaters), I think I am in a pretty good place once again. I am not saying that none of this has been done before – and, indeed, I have been taking inspiration from fellow hobbyists like Jeff Vader, EdT and others left and right – but these latest models do feel like a – much-needed – breath of fresh air to me!

Oh, and I have even sketched out some inconography for Lady Bloodbriar’s crime syndicate (“The Bloodbriar Syndicate”? or “Cabal”? Or “Cartel?” Does anybody know any more cool, 40k-like words for a crime ring?):

I like the idea that most members of the organisation wear this kind of symbol — or a variation thereof: It could appear as tiny, inconspicuous tattoos or brands on the upper echelons of the organisation, whereas low level brutes would be covered in briar tattoos.

Anyway, if anyone’s still reading: That’s it for today’s update. I would, of course, love to hear any thoughts and suggestions you might have!

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more — and please stay safe and healthy during these challenging times!

Pieces of Eight

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2020 by krautscientist

What a time to be alive!

What is it with the world lately? Racism and right-wing populism on the rise again, factionalism and nationalism at an all-time high, and now Nurgle’s Rot as an actual real-world-thing…? The mind boggles…

Against this background, spending time on this hobby of ours can seem almost frivolous — and yet, amongst its many rather more frigthening features, the novel Coronavirus weirdly enough provides many of us with ample extra hobby time. What a weird feeling of disonnance…

Then again, I have often found that turning to the hobby as a release can actually keep you sane, and I hope it will do that this time as well. With one marked difference: In years before, it seemed that our lives – at least in the first world – were so rich and peaceful that we could afford to turn to a fictional universe full of hardship and murder as a hobby — and surely, that’s ultimately a good thing, right? These days, however, what does it say about the world that turning to the very same, grimdark galaxy for distraction seems like entering a happy place?

Meanwhile, this blog’s eighth anniversary has quietly passed me by back in late February — yeah, Eternal Hunt is actually eight years old now:

And I don’t even have anything special prepared for the occasion — not a surprise, really, all things considered. All I can offer you are some new World Eaters — but then that seems all to fitting, when this blog was originally started, allll the way back in 2012, to showcase my World Eaters army – Khorne’s Eternal Hunt – taking shape. And here we are, back where we started. If nothing else, there’s a nice sense of symmetry about it all…

So let’s actually turn our minds from the dark thoughts of everyday life to the – grimdark – thoughts of the 41st millennium where, in spite of all the murder and bloodshed, at least things still make sense πŸ˜‰

For starters, we have this gentleman from my previous post:

Feeling enormously fond of the conversion, it was clear to me that I would want to paint him next. As an aside, I even remembered to take pictures of the different painting steps this time around, which I’ll be using for a step-by-step in a future post (I just don’t want to overclutter today’s update, what with the anniversary and all).

Anyway, I was able to get the model to an almost finished state relatively quickly:




After this, it was, once again, mostly a question of adding some finishing touches (and, of course, some blood…) and creating a base.

So here’s the finished axeman:





In a definite case of subverted expectations, this is probably the one model in the squad whose base actually *doesn’t* feature a skull. You can still see his last opponent’s breastplate, though (that head probably flew quite a ways when it was lopped off…):


Oh, and in case anyone was wondering, here’s a scale comparison shot for the model:

The closest thing to a standard Cadian I had was my older conversion for Inquisitor Antrecht, but he’s mostly based on Cadian parts, so it should work. I think the model’s size – while not really true scale – works well enough in setting it apart from a regular human. In addition to its size, the proportions are also pretty sound — for instance. the model features an actual abdomen, something that is often missing on standard-scaled Space Marines πŸ˜‰

It has been pointed out to me that, with its two handed axe, the model would actually work as a Master of Executions. And while it wasn’t originally planned as such, I agree that it could definitely fulfill that role! [As an aside, I’ll have you know that my World Eaters actually had a headsman-type character before that was even a thing, so yeah…]

Anyway, I am actually really happy with the way this model has turned out! Here’s the squad so far:


And if I count my counts-as Huron, those are actually eight finished models, perfectly in keeping with the festivities! Yay! πŸ˜‰

The forced downtime has also given me the opportunity to mess around with some additional models, so let’s take a look at those as well:

There’s my converted icon bearer (also from my previous post), for one. The one that was supposed to channel the look and feel of an older metal icon bearer:

One of my favourite parts about the old model were always the cables and tubes visible underneath the shoulder pad: I loved how those hinted at the inner workings of the armour. While messing around with Greenstuffworld’s excellent tentacle/cable maker (borrowed from my friend Annie), I took a moment to recreate that element on my modern interpretation of the character:

I have also decided to turn the pistol arm downwards, because the composition seems to work a bit better that way. This, in turn, also lead to my replacing the bolt pistol for a different version, because the ammo feed on the previous weapon no longer behaved in tune with gravity πŸ˜‰

Oh, and there is one more WIP I would like to share with you today: Any ideas what this is supposed to be…?

Seeing how my latest World Eaters project is also about creating models that are inspired by seminal artwork or classic sculpts, I have been thinking about a model to represent Lheorvine Ukris, from Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s Black Legion novel series, for a while — another model, that is, seeing how I already built a first version a while ago:

“Guest stars” like this are always a bit of an iffy affair, because they don’t really fit into the narrative for a homegrown warband. But I couldn’t help myself, I had to use the excellent new kits to build another version of Lheorvine. So here’s the artwork I used as my main reference, once again:

And here’s the conversion I came up with:

With the exception of the Primaris breastplate (used for the “Imperialis” symbol) and a head from the AoS first edition starter box Blood Warriors (I simply *love* those helmets!), the conversion is mostly based on parts from the new vanilla CSM (with maybe a Havoc bit added in here and there). With the basic conversion out of the way, I then tried to cram in as many elements from the artwork as I could while also not wanting to make the model seem overly busy. Anyway, here’s the finished conversion:

The latest additions include that additional skull above the gun barrel as well as the various pieces of chain dangling from Lheor’s armour. I did consider adding some more spikes to the helmet crest, but ultimately decided against it: That helmet seems ostentatious enough as is.

So yeah, if nothing else, I have been keeping myself busy, as you can see — in fact, you should see some of the stuff I have been building for INQ28. Alas, that is a story for a future update! πŸ˜‰

For now, while this hasn’t been your standard anniversary post, I do hope you’ve still enjoyed the look at some of my current projects, in spite of everything awful going on in the world.

To any and all readers, commenters and my friends throughout the blogosphere: Thank you for reading, commenting, sending bitz or models and for being a vital part of my Eternal Hunt! Please stick around, and please feel free to share any thoughts you might have!

And please, please stay safe and healthy, and look out for those close to you! Khorne demands it — I’m sure of it πŸ˜‰

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

The 2019 Eternal Hunt Awards, pt. 1: A look back at my hobby year

Posted in 40k, Blood Bowl, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, heroquest, Inq28, Inquisitor, old stuff, Orcs & Goblins, Pointless ramblings, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2020 by krautscientist

Awards

Welcome to the first installment of the 2019 Eternal Hunt Awards! It’s that time of year again, eh? So let’s lean back and, just to switch things up again for this year, start by taking a look at my personal hobby year — I hope I won’t bore you to tears… πŸ˜‰

2019 turned out to be a bit of a grind, from a RL perspective: With multiple bouts of heavy illness striking in my closest family, I was left reeling more than once. Now things are slowly on the mend again, thankfully enough, but I still realise that the year has tired me out pretty badly. At the same time, paradoxically enough, it has also been a fairly successful hobby year — but then, I tend to lean into the hobby during stressful times as a way to keep me sane, so there’s that, too.

Anyway, I am pretty pleased with 2019 as a hobby year, if nothing else. So let’s take a closer look at the stuff I have worked on – and managed to complete, for the most part – over the past twelve months, shall we?

I. My hobby projects

Twelve months ago, my output for 2018 looked like quite the bit improvement over the previous year. A “whopping” 52 models — not bad, not bad at all! At least for my glacially slow pace when it comes to painting:

However, it is with no small amount of pride that I can tell you that I have managed to paint 100 models in 2019. Still not a huge achievement for some of you painting animals out there, but certainly an unheard-of feat over here, in my little corner of the noosphere.

 

My project of painting an entire HeroQuest set accounts for most of those numbers, with a total of 67 models for everything that came in the box as well as a few extra pieces:

But there’s also the final third of my 2018 output, made up from a combination of my usual main projects, that is my World Eaters, some new INQ28 characters and some new signings for my Orcish Blood Bowl team.

Add some odds and ends and you end up with exactly one hundred models. Yay! πŸ™‚

 

One thing I am really proud of is that 99 of those 100 models were pieces that were already in my posession before — for years, in many cases (and literally for decades in the case of those HeroQuest models). So while I still did buy a few new kits in 2019 (and while many, if not most of those new models, remain unpainted), I did at least manage to make a substantial dent in my backlog.

Once again, thanks must go to all the people who kept me painting: Azazel and his monthly challenges, for one (one a related note, Azazel, dude, where are you?). My friend Annie and our regular painting sessions. And, of course, all the readers and fellow forum users who still hold out and keep commenting on my stuff during these dark days of dying blogs and forums. Anyway, a heartfelt thank you to you all!

 

With that out of the way, here’s a closer look at my 2019 hobby projects in turn:

1. #HeroQuest2019

Definitely my biggest hobby endeavour of 2019, which is why it also deserves prime billing here: Last year, I went back to the very beginning of my life as a hobbyist and made a commitment to finally paint an entire set of HeroQuest, the game I had instantly fallen in love with 30 years ago, due in no small part to an iconic TV ad and, of course, to Les Edward’s bombshell of a cover illustration:

Illustration by Les Edwards

And after several false starts and stops, I finally made this plan a reality during the first half of 2019, painting all of the models from the standard boxed set (furniture included), as well as a few extras here and there, to round things out:

Painting those classic models was, of course, a delightful exercise in nostalgia. At the same time, it was also a breath of fresh air, as going for that bright and iconic retro look was a really enjoyable experience. I also learned a lot, I’d say. And seeing how I knew I was only really going to get one shot at painting those classic models (given the hugely inflated aftermarket prices), I tried to give it my all. And I think it shows!

Thanks to Ye Olde Inn, a forum of dedicated fans of the game. The place made me realise that HeroQuest isn’t simply one more tabletop game, but rather a small hobby unto itself. All the inspiration on the forum and the encouragement from my fellow forumites really did wonders for my productivity! In fact, my browsing through the vast forum was what gave me the idea to actually go and convert some extra models that would serve as some of the special characters that appear in the HeroQuest campaign…

Even better, though, not only did I manage to paint the whole shebang, I also got a game in.

So thirty years after its release, I finally got to play HeroQuest to play the way it was originally intended — and that was quite something.

And even beyond the models required for the set, I did end up painting and converting even more stuff, so I guess we’ll be seeing a bit more HeroQuest here and there in 2020…

For now, head over here to get a better look at my painted HeroQuest set.

 

2. Khorne’s Eternal Hunt

I didn’t originally have anything much planned for my World Eaters at the start of 2019 — well, I did finally manage to finish the display base for my Daemon-Primarch Angron conversion, at least:

Now the Lord of the XII Legion finally has the right killing ground below him — and all before an inevitable official GW model blows my own attempt out of the water!

A closer look at Angron and his finished presentation base can be found here, in case you are interested.

But beyond that, I wasn’t really planning any big additions to my collection, originally: My World Eaters paint scheme seemed rather outdated to me, as did the officially available CSM models, so I really wanted to wait for a bit before working on any more members of the XII legion.

Fate, however, had other plans.

Thanks to a supply drop from my buddy Augustus b’Rass (which we’ll be getting to further down this post) back in February, I felt the itch to finally paint that World Eaters Dreadnought he kindly gave to me when I visited him in Amsterdam. So I finally completed Argus the Brazen:

One model, right? Where’s the hurt in that? It felt good to finally have given the model its due. But then, a bit later, the new CSM models hit, and I have to admit that they managed to light a bit of a fire under me. Before I knew it, I found myself messing around with the new models, turning them into proper World Eaters…

…and then one thing led to another, and I ended up with a test model for a new breed of “KrautScientist World Eaters” on my desktop:

The new painting recipe might still not win any awards, but it’s quite a bit more elaborate than my old approach (which, it must be said, also relied on many paints that are OOP nowadays). It’s also closer to my current painting standard. And it’s actually more fun to paint than my old recipe, if you can believe it.

Anyway, models that had long lain dormant where swept up in the process as well, so I finally got to paint my counts-as World Eaters version of Huron Blackheart, for instance:

And I started to combine some of my “refurbished” conversions and some new models into a project tentatively called “The Hateful Eight”, a possible World Eaters kill team for 40k:

And while I have only really painted four models for the kill team so far, some of the new guys are simply among the favourite World Eaters models I have come up to this day:

So it may be slow work, but I really like the way these guys look together:

And there’s finally some red and brass in my recap post again! Yay! πŸ™‚

 

3. The world of INQ28

The other half of my 40k-related output went into creating yet more 40k characters, and while I didn’t manage to bang out several complete retinues (like I did in 2018), I am pretty pleased nonetheless with the “INQ28 Class of 2019”:

The reason for this is that I have finally managed to complete one of my oldest warband projects, running alllll the way back to 2013, by completing the retinue of Inquisitor Titus Alvar of the Ordo Xenos:

Another model I had wanted to complete for ages was Lord Sebastianus Danver Balzepho Vlachen, one of the Velsen Sector’s big political movers and shakers:

This is just one guy, but it feels as though finishing the model has really helped me nail down a piece of the background lore that informs these models, and that’s great! In fact, I have been reading up on lots of Inquisition related background lately (via many of the old Inquisitor publications, as well as the very cool Dark Heresy RPG sourcebooks), which has given me all kinds of ideas for the immediate future, so expect to see more INQ28 sooner rather than later!

4. On the Blood Bowl pitch

Ever since Annie succeeded at roping me into creating a Blood Bowl team, working on some new Blood Bowl models has always served as a nice way of exploring a somewhat silly and whimsical side of our hobby — plus it’s always a fun thing to be working on during our joint hobby sessions.

Not only did those final models round out my team roster, I also used their completion as the perfect occasion to give the entire time a once-over, cleaning up the paintjobs here and there, painting on player numbers — that kind of stuff.

And with that the Orkheim Ultraz are now finished. There may be a couple of hangers-on and sideshow models left to add, but the core team (with all the players and tokens I could ever possibly need) is now complete:

Head over here to meet the complete Orkheim Ultraz team.

 

5. Dipping my toe into the new Contrast Paints

Well, figuratively speaking, of course: Actually getting enough of the stuff to be able to really dip my toes into it would, of course, be prohibively expensive…

Err…anyway: The Contrast Paints were the talk of the town for a fair part of 2019, and I was lucky enough to get to test them when they were still brand new at my local Warhammer store. I painted two models using the new paints and found the experience delightfully refreshing:

Exploring those paints a little more will certainly be part of my hobby life this year. And I think I already have a pretty good test model in mind…

 

So that’s my output for 2019. Quite a successful year, I’d say. And lots of formerly unfinished business now neatly tied up. Yay! πŸ™‚

 

II. Other hobby moments of note

I already mentioned this in my last post, but getting a Christmas card from the Wier Brothers – and right in time for Christmas, no less – was such a wonderful surprise!

Speaking of surprises, though, a particularly awesome one was when my buddy Augustus b’Raas suddenly sent me an awesome squad of Khorne Berzerkers right out of the blue last February:

That was so cool! I am also pretty sure it had a major part in getting me back into painting World Eaters this year (so I guess our Auggs is going “Just as planned!” somewhere right now) — if nothing else, it led to my painting the World Eaters Dreadnough he had given me, and that in turn kickstarted everything else, as I have already explained above. Anyway, thanks again, buddy! πŸ™‚

Receiving models from fellow hobbyists also nicely bookended my entire hobby year, as fellow Ye Olde Inn forumite Anderas was nice enough to send me this rather lovely looking Orc as part of the 2019 Ye Olde Inn Christmas Exchange:

Speaking of which, preparing a model of my own for the exchange was a very cool moment for me as well — the fact that Weltenlauefer, whom I sent the model to, was over the moon with it did, of course, sweeten the deal. My little Witch Lord now gets to lord it over Weltenlauefer’s brilliant catacomb terrain:

Kickstarter

After joining Dave Taylor’s campaign for his excellent book “Armies & Legions & Hordes” last year, I am back to checking for cool projects on Kickstarter at least semi-regularly, and I found two really cool things that I wanted to help fund in 2019:

The first one was MOMiniaturas’Β  Mercenary Kickstarter that I fell in love with right at the height of my HeroQuest infatuation:

The Mercenaries themselves have a wonderful “Retro Warhammer Fantasy Empire” look about them, which really sold me on them right away. And I was also able to pick up some really cool extras from MOMiniaturas’ back catalogue along with them for a good price. The whole huge package of about 30 models arrived in late autumn, and while I have yet to paint any of those models, it should be a treat!

I also backed the Tabletop Fantasy Miniatures Kickstarter featuring sculpts by Ana Polanscak:

Ana has long been one of the most original voices in this hobby of ours, participating in a crowdfunding campaign to get my hands on some of her sculpts was really a bit of a no-brainer! The models are a wonderfully quirky and sinister little bunch, and painting them should be quite a lot of fun!

4. Hugs for the Hug Throne!

 

III. Blogging

*Sigh* It would all be peaches and cream, if not for this part of the post. But seriously, let’s get the good stuff out of the way first:

Eternal Hunt turned seven in 2019, which was really cool. I have also managed to keep the posts flowing, more or less, ending up with about 400 posts again.

At the same time, interest in this blog (and, I should add, in blogs in general) seems to be dwindling, with the numbers going down all the time. To wit, this were my stats at the end of 2018:

And this is what things looked like at the end of 2019:

You know what? In my hubris, I always expected that this blog would come to an end when I’d run out of things to say — not when people would stop giving a feth.

This really frustrates me, and I could probably go on about it all day. I’ll force myself not to do that, though. Maybe it’s inevitable that Instagram should supplant all of the old blogs and forums. Maybe that’s what people want. It’s not what I want, however, so I’ll keep fighting the good fight over here — or what I think the good fight is, at least. If you are still with me after all these years, then I thank you from the bottom of my heart! Please keep reading and commenting! It’s what keeps this blog going, simple as that.

That said, if anyone does want to listen to me ranting about Instagram a little more, why, just look at last year’s post — everything that I said then is still perfectly accurate, even moreso today, in some cases.

 

IV. Plans

Back when I laid out my hobby resolutions for 2019, I made sure to point out that I didn’t want to overpromise and paint myself into a corner, so I only named a few models I wanted to paint. Looking back now, twelve months later, I cannot help noticing that I did not manage to paint a single one of those models — so much for resolutions, I guess… πŸ˜‰

But the good thing about the new year is that you get a new shot, right? And there are a few models I would like to see some paint on. Here they are, provisionally…

 

As part of my rejuvenated interest in building and painting 40k World Eaters, I also created a new version of Lord Captain Lorimar, based on the new Abaddon model released in 2019:

This is one model that I would definitely like to try and paint this year,…

Countess Mandelholtz, of the Mandelholtz House of Imperial Finance, just keeps appearing in my new year’s resolutions — but only because I took me so long to get this particular model right that I am now scared of messing it up with a sub-par paintjob…

but there have been some additions to House Mandelholtz last year, not least of all one Mr. Azaleas Vile, the banking house’s prime factor:

So maybe we’ll be seeing more of House Mandelholtz and its agents in 2020…

I might aso finally dip my toes into some Inquisitor 54 (after all, I picked up the original Eisenhorn model a short while ago).

The 30k incarnation of my World Eaters has fallen by the wayside a bit, ironically pushed aside by my 40k World Eaters again — but in light of the rumours of GW wanting to turn the Horus Heresy into a proper mainline setting, I guess there’ll still be a chance to work on those models in the future. If nothing else, I would really like to finish my “Argel Tal duology”, if only to pre-empt a possible Argel Tal model by Forgeworld…


Oh, and I tried failed during the summer to finally paint my second Armiger Warglaive …erm, sorry, that’s “War Dog” now, for The Bolter & Chainsword’s ETL event, but that’s really a shame because I am still very fond of the model:


So you can probably expect the Huntress and her ride to be finished at some point in 2020 as well.

Oh, and lest I forget, now that the new plastic Sisters have finally been announced in multi-part form, I really need to get my hands on a squad of them…


You know, just to have a bit of fun with the kit…

 

All of these are rather loose targets, however. If there is one thing I really want to do is to contribute to/participate in LarsonicMiniaturesOndroma event:

The talent on display is truly staggering. It has to be said that, up to now, I have actually been ridiculously neglectful when it comes to the event, but I fully intend to change that! Scout’s honour! πŸ™‚

 

So yeah, that’s it for today — if anything, this post has already gone on far too long anyway. Let me finish by thanking all of my readers and by encouraging you to keep visiting this place for the next twelve months. And please do speak up every once in a while, just so, you know, I get the feeling every now and then that I am not just screaming into the void…

And please feel free to let me hear any thoughts you might have on my 2019 output or my varios hobby plans!

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