Archive for the old stuff Category

Interlude: State of the Hunt

Posted in 40k, Chaos, old stuff, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, state of the hunt, Totally worth it, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2016 by krautscientist

After a couple of weeks of frantic, ETL-related activity, this last week has been a bit of a cooldown period for me, which leaves me with the opportunity to share some World Eaters-related miscellany with you. So what’s on the menu today?

 

I. A really good read

A while ago, I was approached by Adam Jones aka Ratboy. Adam runs a monthly hobby fanzine called “The Golden D6”, pulling together a digest of hobby related content from various blogs and websites and turning it all into a rather bespoke online magazine featuring the kind of quality hobby content that we all remember from the WD issues of the yesteryear.

To my shame, however, I didn’t know anything of this at first, so when Adam asked me whether I would be okay with The Golden D6 doing a feature of my World Eaters, there was a bit of back and forth between the two of us, and with Adam trying his utmost to cater to my various whims and fancies, we arrived at a rather expansive (and pretty nifty, if I do say so myself) photo feature of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt that now makes up the tail section of The Golden D6’s issue 5:

D6 Screenshot

Beyond this army feature, the issue is full of reviews, battle reports and tutorials and makes for a very pleasant read indeed! Adam’s passion for this project shows both in his personal dealings with me and in the mag’s quality, and I am happy to have been a part of this issue! I also urge you to head over to The Golden D6 website and check out an issue or two: The asking price of $ 5,95 per issue certainly seems fair for the quality content that is on show, and a passionate hobbyist like Adam surely deserves a buck or two for engaging in this kind of endeavour!

D6 Screenshot 02
Full disclosure: As a contributor to the mag, I was given free access to issue 5. I still consider it a good deal, however, especially if you are interested in the varied style of hobby content that made old skool White Dwarf such a success!

You can purchase the various issues of the mag here.

II. An old skool daemon…and a taste of things to come…?!

And while we are on the matter of old skool White Dwarf, back when I first got into Warhammer, it was the time of the Realm of Chaos army box and a slew of related models, especially a new generation of greater and lesser Daemons. I’ve already talked at lenght about my love for the – then brand new – metal Bloodthirster here, but there were also the Bloodletters of course. And so when I needed a model to test yet another iteration of my recipe for red daemon skin earlier this week, I came across this guy here, languishing in my bitz box:

Old Skool Bloodletter WIP (2)
Old Skool Bloodletter WIP (1)
An old, mid-90s metal Bloodletter (one of the pre-predecessors of the modern plastics). I received this guy as part of a bitz drop a while ago, courtesy of fellow hobbyist Sagal (cheers, buddy! πŸ˜‰ ).

Granted, these guys have a couple of glaring issues that are pretty hard to ignore by today’s standards, among them a certain anatomical wonkiness and that general clunkiness that is a hallmark of many vintage GW modelsfrom the 90s. I remember them looking truly excellent as a ranked regiment (for WFB), though: like a wall of red muscle and spiky swords. And they were a hell of an improvement over the goofy first Bloodletter incarnation, with the comically serpentine body and the lanky arms *shudder*. In fact, one could say that the current plastics are a successful attempt at taking the idea of the first Bloodletters and actually making it work.

Anyway, in spite of all their shortcomings, the slightly clunky mid-90s metal Bloodletters will always have a place in my heart, and painting one for fun should be a nice little throwback to those inncoent times! I did allow myself one small tweak to the model, however, and replaced the Bloodletter’s sword with a modern plastic Hellblade: The original sword had been snipped off when I received the model, and while I still have the bit, I still decided to replace it, as the old swords are arguably the models’ weakest point (well, that and the anatomically dubious bare asses…).

When it came to painting the model, I once again used the recipe from GW’s Bloodthirster video tutorial as a basic template. However, I made one small change to the recipe, replacing Khorne Red with Mephiston Red. The model was a blast to paint — it almost painted itself, so to speak, so here’s the finished Bloodletter:

Old Skool Bloodletter (1)
Old Skool Bloodletter (2)
Old Skool Bloodletter (3)
Old Skool Bloodletter (4)
Old Skool Bloodletter (5)
I am really happy with the result — and also rather surprised at the impact the the use Mephiston Red has had on the skin tone: The red is quite deep and luxurious, but also a bit brighter and it has more pop than the red I have used on my Bloodthirster and Skulltaker. Here’s a comparison picture that shows the difference really well:

Old Skool Bloodletter (6)
With the exception of a single colour, these models share the exact same palette. And look how much of a difference that one colour makes regarding their respective skin tones!

Anyway, this tweaked red skin recipe will be used on a pretty big upcoming project of mine — but that is a story for another day πŸ˜‰

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

400,000 views — and the evolution of a Zombie…

Posted in old stuff, paintjob, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , on April 28, 2015 by krautscientist

400000views
Hey everyone, just a quick post to let you know that Eternal Hunt has actually managed to hit the 400,000 total views mark earlier this week, which I think is pretty cool! So, once again, thanks to all of you who keep reading, following, sharing and commenting! It really means a lot to me!

In order to provide you with something appropriate to the occasion, I burrowed down deep and actually managed to dig out what may be the absolute first model I’ve ever painted. Check it out:

Zombie (1)
A trusty HeroQuest Zombie, as you can see, and I think it’s fair to say that I didn’t really know what I was doing. I distinctly remember wanting to approximate the look of the painted example on the game box, with its dead, blueish skin and faded red jacket. But I went for neon blue and bright red which didn’t help. Plus there’s also the fact that I had very obvious difficulties in the field of brush control, as you can plainly see…

Zombie (2)
I must have realised that even back then, which is probably why the poor blighter never got finished. All of this happened circa 1992, when actually painting the miniatures that came with a boxed game seemed like a strange and novel concept, and my first experiences in this field certainly scared me away for a couple of years.

Until 1994, that is, when I started taking an interest in the painting of miniatures again. And as it happens, I have yet another HeroQuest Zombie to show for it. So here’s exhibit B:

Zombie (3)
Not bad, not bad at all — I certainly had a much better idea of what a tabletop Zombie should look like this time, and I also went the whole hog and actually finished the model. And while the paintjob is hardly brilliant, it also isn’t massively embarrassing, either.

Zombie (4)
My one big mistake, in hindsight, was to use some pretty horrible, glossy enamel paints. But I was definitely getting there (I believe I painted my first model using GW paints pretty soon afterwards — it was the chaos warlock from the HeroQuest box). Oh, and for the record: I still think those faded blood stains on the blade of the cleaver are kind of cool πŸ˜‰

Which brings us to the present — or to 2014, to be exact: I speedpainted a couple of HeroQuest models last year, as a bit of quick fun, and the Zombie model was one of them. Take a look:

Zombie (5)
Granted, it’s not competition level painting by any stretch of the imagination, but then I hardly spent an hour on the model. And I think it’s a fairly accurate representation of my current painting standard. What’s interesting about the model is that it’s actually really close to the look I had wanted to achieve on that first Zombie: dead, mouldering flesh and faded, threadbare clothes. Anyway, I am pretty happy with this guy.

Zombie (6)
I also think those HeroQuest models have aged teriffically well, in spite of everything — they are single piece and rather limited, but their very distinc silhouettes and general design still manage to hold up. The Zombie, for one, is still one of my favourite tabletop Zombie models!

So there we have it: Twenty plus years of my personal painting career in one comparison picture:

Zombie Evolution (3)
I may not be a brilliant painter, but I still seem to have come a rather long way, after all πŸ˜‰

So, once again, thanks for reading this blog and providing me with some motivation to produce new conversions and paint a model every now and then. There’ll be a more substantial update – with an actual, finished model – later this week. Scout’s honour!

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

Striking a rich vein

Posted in 40k, Blood Bowl, Chaos, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, old stuff, Orcs & Goblins, Pointless ramblings, Totally worth it with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2014 by krautscientist

Late last week, the most wonderful thing happened to me: While browsing through the stuff at my FLGS, I found out that the owner was currently selling two huge lots of assorted miniatures and bitz: One of those lots came from a former hobbyist who wanted to get rid of the last part of his collection, while the reason for the other lot being sold was, sadly enough, its owner having passed away. Anyway, the owner of my FLGS found himself in the (temporary) possession of two huge piles of models — and it shouldn’t surprise you that I was very eager to have a look at all of that stuff.

This provided me with one huge moving box and several smaller shoeboxes of stuff to sift through, which was already brilliant fun in itself: With the internet so full of collectors, professional sellers and general information as to the worth and availability of miniatures these days, finding such a hoard of stuff has become increasingly unlikely, and so the simple act of digging through the piles of models alone was an experience to savour! Most of the models came from WFB, but there was such a mass of different models (and factions) present that it took quite a bit of discipline not to just buy the whole thing outright.

Anyway, I tried to reign myself in and only dragged away about a shoebox’s worth of stuff. And whether or not my haul was all that spectacular surely lies in the eye of the beholder. But I went home utterly content, I can tell you that much πŸ˜‰

Anyway, let’s take a look at the best parts of my haul (and also at the provisional ideas I have for this stuff), alright?

First up, tucked away in a plastic bag labeled “Vikings” was most of the dwarf army from the WFB “Battle for Skull Pass” boxed set from a few years back:

Lucky purchase (1)
While some of the regular models are missing, all the special characters, standard bearers, champions and musicians are still accounted for. Plus there are also the little additional bitz and bobs and terrain pieces. I basically picked this up as a bonus, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I might already have a new home for these guys (Michael, if you’re reading this: Make sure to bring a big enough suitcase, when you’re in the area again, okay? πŸ˜‰ ).

I also picked up two more pieces from the same boxed set:

One, the plastic troll accompanying the Night Goblin army:

Lucky purchase (2)
This was actually one of the high points of the purchase for me, because this guy will look perfect as a troll player for my orcish Blood Bowl team, the Orkheim UltrazΒ  — as a matter of fact, you can already see the first parts of his Blood Bowl gear in the picture above. Nothing’s glued together yet, but I already like where this is going!

Two, this strange shaman’s tent/tree trunk hut:

Lucky purchase (3)
This might come in handy for my Blood Bowl team or for the Mordheim Orc warband I’ve been planning for a while. Come to think of it, including terrain pieces like this in the starter boxes was a really neat touch! They should do that again!

Upon closer examination, it becomes obvious that the sculpts and level of detail for starter box minis have increased dramatically since these models were released. But I still like them well enough, and finding them all together like this without a hassle certainly was a nice surprise!

While we are on the subject of greenskins, I also bought this assortment of brilliant goblins and snotlings:

Lucky purchase (4)
These are part of the still available Doom Diver Catapult — as a matter of fact, pretty much the whole catapult was included in the deal, although the greenskins themselves are definitely the stars of the show! Again, these will probably be used for Mordheim or Blood Bowl (the winged goblin would be perfect for the latter…).

Like I said, most of the stuff available was from WFB, but I did manage to find a 40k treat or two. First up, a small pile of Tyranid nuts and bolts that, while not all that impressive in and of itself, will come in handy for a future INQ28 project of mine…

Lucky purchase (5)
And there’s this lovely OOP Eldar Warlock from the 90s, sculpted by Jes Goodwin. It’s trange: Even though I have always loved Jes’ Eldar models to bits, I have never owned any of them, so picking this guy up was an absolute no-brainer:

Lucky purchase (6)
And, last but not least, a lucky find at the bottom of a box of bitz: Exactly half a Delphan Gruss model from Inquisitor:

Lucky purchase (10)
This guy may actually become my first (and, quite possibly, only) foray into the world of Inq54 — just watch this space πŸ˜‰

And as for the WFB universe, there are some final highlights to share:

First up, this guy (from one of the old WFB mercenary regiments, if I recall correctly):

Lucky purchase (9)
I keep racking my brain for a way to make this guy into an INQ28 character — maybe a member of a particularly archaic Astra Militarum regiment? I am very open to suggestions πŸ˜‰

Then there are three of the 6th (?) edition metal chaos knights:

Lucky purchase (7)
Pictured here is their champion, but I also purchased a standard bearer and an additional knight. While I don’t have any actual plans for these, I just had to pick them up due to nostalgia:Β  I loved them so much back when they were released, but they were completely unaffordable to me. I just bought the riders, btw, because there is no more room for those terrible, generic 90s plastic horses in my life. But as you can see, the new chaos knight horses work like a treat with the older metal models.

And finally, another lucky discovery:

Lucky purchase (8)
The Dark Emissary from the Albion campaign. This guy was re-released in Finecast a while back and is still available. But finding him in a pile of shoddily painted Hormagaunts was still a rather nice surprise!

I’ll spare you the piles of Catachan, Night Goblin and generic Space Marine bitz that were also part of the bundle: Much of this stuff will come in handy sooner or later, but it lacks the appeal of the highlights shown above πŸ˜‰

In addition to the models, I also picked up some older 40k related books:

Lucky purchase (11)
From left to right: The 40k 3rd and 4th edition big rulebooks (believe it or not, I have never owned those until now), one of the hallowed Chapter Approved compendiums (containing wonderful but somewhat outdated Index Astartes articles on the creation of Space Marines, Dreadnoughts, Librarians and on various chapters and legions: Dark Angels, Emperor’s Children, Iron Warriors, White Scars & Flesh Tearers) and Codex: Witch Hunters (obviously a must for any fan of the Inquisition).

All of these are in excellent condition, and I suspect the old 40k source books will merit a more detailed writeup in the not too distant future…

So yeah, quite a haul! I am immensely pleased, both with the stuff I did and didn’t buy: By sheer force of will, I resisted the urge to just grab the whole, enormous box — although my restraint made me miss a mint 2002 Games Day Chaos Champion which my colleague Annie later picked up (*sigh*). And I did find a 1998 Games Day Female Commissar, but pointed it out to the owner of my FLGS, since I knew that, as an avid IG player, he would probably be extremely interested in the model — I was right πŸ™‚

But even beyond the stuff I purchased (at a very good – albeit not unreasonable – price, by the way), digging through the various strata of the boxes served as a trip down memory lane. Before long, me and the owner of the store were exchanging old hobby tales and thinking back on innocent days long past. Good times πŸ˜‰

Anyway, so much for a very nice, hobby-related surprise! And wherever the original owners of these models may be now (in this world or in the warp), they may rest assured that their lead and plastic have found a good home with me!

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

Eternal Hunt: Year Two

Posted in old stuff, paintjob, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , on February 26, 2014 by krautscientist

yeartwo

Oh my, Eternal Hunt is actually two years old now — and has been for a week, to tell you the truth: I just missed posting this last week, although I have to say that showing you a new model just seemed more important than celebrating myself πŸ˜‰

Seriously, though: Who would have thought that this blog would actually survive for two years? That I would manage to publish 195 posts (this one included), 94 of them during this last year? That the blog would manage to attract about 183,000 views and a sizeable crowd of followers? Not me, that much is for certain!

Not to bore you with numbers, but I am really proud of the fact that the number of views has actually tripled, compared with last year, and that attracting 10,000 views a month, something that seemed like a one-off success last year, has now become an almost regular occurence — nuts!

Indeed, I could go on all day about how awesome this blog is, of course, but I would only be tooting my own whistle and reiterate huge swathes of my look back at 2013, and you can just as well read that part yourself, if you are that way inclined.

For now, let me take this opportunity to say thank you to all of you reading my pointless ramblings week for week! Being able to post my stuff here and in my various threads and getting feedback has become and integral part of my hobby experience, and one that I wouldn’t want to miss. I am especially thankful to those of you following this blog or commenting (regularly), because it’s the discussion with fellow hobbyists that has made my hobby life what it is today and has given me many cool ideas for my various ongoing projects.

Chief among these is my beloved World Eaters army for 40k, Khorne’s Eternal Hunt, which continues to be a project that gets my creative juices flowing:

WE_Army08
If you have looked at this blog before, you should already know these guys. And if you don’t, well, what are you waiting for: Go read up on them! πŸ˜‰

Beyond this army, there are many bigger and smaller projects, from various smaller armies (like my Traitor Guard or kitbashed Custodes) to my INQ28 models and all kinds of stuff in between, my productivity has certainly profited a lot from getting in contact with many talented hobbyists and from getting your feedback here and on my various threads. So this is certainly something I would like to continue!

At the same time, I also realise that making time for blogging can become a bit of a challenge from time to time: There are times when RL issues take over (and rightly so: this is a hobby, after all) and getting some new content up in time seems like a slog. At the end of last year, for instance, I really needed to take a break after a couple of pretty stressful months, and blogging wasn’t exactly my foremost interest.

But then the strangest thing happened: Through a number of smaller projects, I rediscovered my motivation (as well as parts of my painting modjo), and some recent developments in the hobby have also managed to pique my interest. So while I cannot promise you that there won’t be times when I take small breaks every now and then, cutting back on the number of posts when necessary, I can safely say that this blog is something that I want to keep working on!

So, to dispense with the self-referential stuff, do I have something for you to look at? You bet! πŸ˜‰

Last year, I celebrated my blog’s birthday by showing you a real blast from the past, namely my very first 40k (or rather, Space Crusade) models. This year, let’s do something slightly similar: To begin with, here’s what might be one of my very first models altogether. A partially painted HeroQuest barbarian. Behold it and weep:

HQ Barbarian old
Yeah, I really didn’t know what I was doing, did I? My only excuse is that I realised it even back then and stopped painting, never finishing the model. This was a stain upon my honour as a hobbyist, of course, so a while ago, I went back to finish the job: The thick coat of piggy pink was (mostly) stripped away and I gave the model a second try. Here’s the result:

HQ Barbarian
Granted, the model was too thickly covered in the dregs of that dreadful pink to be completely salvaged, but I am still reasonably happy with the result. What’s more, I still have a second, completely unpainted, Barbarian, so there is still hope.

In any case, painting that old model gave me an appetite for working on even more HeroQuest models, and so I tried to speedpaint some of them, trying to finish each model in no more than an hour. So here’s an Orc I painted sometime during the mid to late 90s:

HeroQuest Orc (2)
And here’s a similar model, painted fairly recently:

HQ Orc
You all know how it goes, though: Once you get started, it’s hard to stop, so I then painted a Goblin:

HQ Goblin
I realised that these models are actually quite a lot of fun to paint, and if you’re trying to keep each paintjob below the hour mark, it’s a short and sweet romp for each model, and the results are still pretty convincing, don’t you think?

HQ Greenskins
Before I knew it, I had moved on to the undead, painting a skeleton…

HQ Skeleton
…a zombie…

HQ Zombie
…and a mummy in relatively short order:

HQ Mummy
The mummy was especially interesting, because the model was basecoated using GW Rakarth Flesh and then merely painted by using different washes for the bandages and skin and slight drybrushing afterwards.

Revisiting those old models has really given me a new appreciation for their design: They are almost unbelievably characterful, especially given their age and single-piece nature. And there’s that hugely nostalgic feeling, of course, related with HeroQuest being my (and many hobbyists’) entry to the hobby — I am pretty sure there’s a sizeable Totally Worth It article in there somewhere….

HQ Undead
For now, painting these has mainly been a fun exercise, but the models are also a look at what may or may not become a full-blown project. Don’t hold your breath, but like many hobbyists, I would love to own a completely painted HeroQuest set, and seeing how I still have a mostly complete boxed set in my possession, it seems like an actual possibility. And even the missing parts didn’t end up being a problem — fellow hobbyist Alexander was actually awesome enough to send me the HeroQuest Chaos Sorcerer model (possibly the coolest model in the box, and, invariably, the first one to be lost) — yet another example of the amazing things that happen when you start blogging.

Which nicely leads us back to the beginning: Maintaining this blog as a part of my hobby life has become a very interesting and enriching experience, and I hope you’ll all stick around for the coming twelve months! As always, feel free to contribute feedback, criticism or any idea you might want to share! I would love to hear from you! On a semi-serious note, I am also accepting bitz donations, of course (doesn’t hurt to try, you know… πŸ˜‰ ).

Here’s to the next year! Thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

oldskool

A heretical interlude…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, old stuff, Pointless ramblings, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2013 by krautscientist

After spending so much time on my converted Centurions/counts as Obliterators, I wanted to build something smaller and less involved for a change. So today’s post will deal with a model I completed just for fun and on the side. But why is that even interesting?

Well, you see, for this small gaiden project, I returned to an abandoned army project of mine: When I returned to the hobby in late 2010 after a longer hiatus, my original plan had been to use the (then) brand new Dark Eldar models to build some kick ass additions to the Dark Eldar army I built during the 90s. But then I found out that kitbashing Chaos Space Marines was simply more fun (at least for me). So I returned to the clutches of chaos and endeavoured to build a Word Bearers army, the Piercing Gaze Chapter. I had a fairly complete background in place, and so I began the project in the same way I always begin my projects: By building lots and lots of characters.

In this case, I built several Dark Apostles, because I really loved the idea of daemonic preachers leading a force of superhumans into battle. Among the several models I built during this time was also my model for Dark Apostle Gemnon, built, in fact, on Christmas Eve 2010:

Gemnon_old
One of the first models I built after my hobby hiatus, Gemnon was created by combining some leftover bitz from my first Khorne Berzerkers with some old WFB chaos parts and stuff from the brand new box of Chaos Space Marines cousin Andy had just given me as a christmas present back then. I didn’t even have a suitable head in my bitzbox to represent a Dark Apostle, so I went with a Tzeentchian head, which doesn’t really send the right message, visually. Still, I rather liked the model.

My Word Bearers army, however, didn’t quite get off the ground: Looking back now I can see that this was both due to a lack of suitable bitz (never start a Word Bearers project without lots and lots of books and purity seals) and a lack of vision: I thought the Word Bearers were cool, but I didn’t have an overarching theme in mind for the army, which proved to be my undoing in the end. So, long story short, I ended up playing around with my old World Eaters model which instantly reawakened my love for the followers of the Blood God. And what had originally been planned as a mere sub-faction in my Word Bearers project quickly took over, becoming my main army and the entity you might know as Khorne’s Eternal Hunt. And so on, and so forth — you know the rest…

Dark Apostle Gemnon and his buddies kept mouldering away in my cupboard of shame, and at some point there was even a small accident that broke the model apart at the hip. So he ended up spending his days in a miserable little pile of bitz on my desk.

But even while I am certainly not about to start a Word Bearers army, whenever my gaze returned to that pile of bitz, I felt that I owed this little guy another chance. So when I was looking for a small project to serve as a distraction between building all those lumbering Behemoths, I felt that Gemnon would have his day in the limelight. So I gathered a handful of bitz and got to work.

The Tzeentchian head needed to go, obviously, and I also wanted to reflect the fact that some pretty cool bitz have been released since I built the original model, so I needed to update the model a bit. And finally, I decided that, instead of yet another Dark Apostle, I would rebuild Gemnon as a Coryphaeus, a military commander of the Word Bearers Legion that serves as the Dark Apostle’s right hand man.

So after a bit of work, Gemnon was reborn as Coryphaeus of the Piercing Gaze Chapter:

Coryphaeus Gemnon (1)
Coryphaeus Gemnon (3)
It only took some additional bitz, really: The bare head from the WFB Warriors of Chaos is one of my favourite sculpts anyway, and it’s certainly perfect for a Word Bearer, bellowing dark catechisms at the top of his voice during battle. I also thought the power sword from the new Raptor kit made a pretty awesome weapon for a war captain, and while I was at it, I also replaced the original left hand and weapon for a plasma pistol from the same kit.

The (Night Goblin) emblem on the chest represents the symbol of the Piercing Gaze chapter, by the way, and would have been a recurring visual motif in my Word Bearers force.

Oh, and the ridiculously over the top backpack is a very conscious callback to the brilliant Wayne England artwork of yore: He would always portray his Chaos Space Marines with extremely ornate backpacks, so I wanted to approximate that look:

Coryphaeus Gemnon (4)
All in all, building this model was a fun little project, and it also put my guilty feelings regarding this character to rest. And who knows, maybe the Piercing Gaze Chapter under his Dark Apostle Belzas Azalon will yet make a triumphant return? It’s definitely not a priority at the moment, though.

Anyway, thanks for listening to my rambling! And let me know what you think in the comments section!

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

Coryphaeus Gemnon (2)

My Descent into Chaos, pt. II: A Cult Following…

Posted in Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, old stuff, paintjob, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2013 by krautscientist

RoC_Logo02
Well, we are not done yet with the nostalgia trip, in case you were wondering! After covering my very first chaos army in my last post, today I would like to talk about yet another chaos project from the halcyon days of my youth that should nicely complement the old models I already showed you. So, once again in honour of Slaves to Darkness’ 25th anniversary, here we go:

My chaos army was already quite a ways into its development when GW started publishing the early rules for Mordheim in WD, starting in (German) WD 31. Necromunda had been released about six months earlier, and so adding a more skirmish based variety of WFB to GW’s catalogue seemed like the next logical step. I’m usually not a big fan of the “everything used to be better”-kind of debates, but having an actual ruleset for a game in development published in WD was definitely one of the really great things about those times!

Anyway, the Mordheim rules did not only bring a skirmish system set in the WFB universe, but also one of the most interesting – and, if you ask me, most underused – settings yet developed by GW: The damned city of Mordheim, a medieval nightmare where demented warbands of treasure hunters, daemon worshippers (and worse) fight over the ruins of a once bustling city, trying to amass more and more warpstone in the process. Visually, it was really a Bosch painting come alive, if you will. How could I not have been thrilled by it all?

One of the next issues of WD brought lists and rules for a selection of different warbands, featuring lots and lots of conversions from GW’s own team (since there were no “official” models yet. And, of course, I was immediately hooked! So I set out to build a cult of the Possessed, chaos worshippers brought into the open during Mordheim’s fall.

I wanted my warband to represent a cult of Khorne, trawling the city streets for worthy sacrifices to the blood god. Granted, I did not really think this through all that well: Followers of Khorne are definitely not fans of skulking around in robes and performing hidden rituals to undermine society. They are too on the nose for that. But even back then, Khorne was my favourite, and so Khorne it was πŸ˜‰

The first thing I needed were some suitable models to represent my cultists, and with much of today’s useful plastic boxes nowhere in sight, I had to fall back on some of GW’s metal models from the time. Fortunately enough, I found what I was looking for in German WD 32, in the form of Paul Muller’s metal chaos cultists:

old_cultists
While these are very different in concept from the more recent Dark Vengeance cultists – the former look much more like members of an organised cult of fanatics, while the latter seem like disgruntled workers and adepts driven to heresy – I still love these models very much: In fact, they are really underappreciated classics for me, and it’s a shame that they only seem to have been on offer for a pretty short window of opportunity.

Anyway, my FLGS carried some of them at least, so I got one blister (with three models — those were the days! πŸ˜‰ ) and used them for my cult magister and his closest servants:

My first chaos army (34)

Of course, looking back today, I could kick myself for cutting off all those beautiful autopistols, since these guys would be great for 40k or INQ28. Back then, though, I had only just begun to find my feet as a converter, so transforming 40k models into characters for a WFB spinoff game seemed like a wild and edgy thing to do πŸ˜‰

First up, the cult magister, Albrecht von Nuln:

My first chaos army (35)
As befits a follower of Khorne, his sidearm was replaced with a huge axe (from an Orc acessory sprue, if I recall correctly). My bitzbox was much smaller in those days, and I pretty much had to make ends meet.

This was also the first test model I painted, so he set the standard for the rest of the warband: Sickly, greenish skin (Oh Rotting Flesh, how I loved thee…), dark red robes spattered with the blood of the cult’s victims, plus different shades of metal, bronze and bone.

Next up, Brother Grimoriah, one of his henchmen, again with an Orc axe:

My first chaos army (36)

Looking back now, I shudder at how crudely the weapon was attached to the model’s hand, but those were different times — at least for me. As you can see, I also added some chaotic tattoes to the cultist’s skin: Certainly nothing to write home about, but I was mightily proud about that particular detail back then! I also added nicks and scratches to the models’ weapons, seeing how these guys were really into fighting and killing, so I wanted their weapons to have a worn, much-used look.

And finally, probably my favourite model of the bunch, Brother Maleachi

My first chaos army (37)
I really love this guy’s composition! An old WoC plastic shield was added to his left arm, and to tell you the truth, I still rather like the way I painted the blood-stained shield:

My first chaos army (38)
You really immediately get what this guy is about πŸ˜‰

 

In addition to the cult brethren, I also built two bowmen, based on Chaos Archers from Battle Masters. Alas, only one those remains; the other one was demolished when I needed the head for something different. Anyway, here’s Initiate Vaxillus:

My first chaos army (39)
A very easy conversion, to tell you the truth: The head of a plastic warrior of chaos was added, and the right arm was replaced with that of a Gorkamorka Orc. The right hand originally gripped a wicked looking dagger (actually the tip of a chaos knight’s lance), but that particular detail was lost somewhere along the way. I also added an Orc shield to the model’s back:

My first chaos army (40)
This model may not look like much nowadays, but back then, I considered this a fairly involved conversion. Silly me πŸ˜‰

 

Anyway, I also built two Possessed, Ezeekiel and Duriel. Both of them are once again based on Battle Masters Chaos Archers, with varying degrees of mutation added on top. Take a look:

My first chaos army (45)
My first chaos army (46)
The first guy simply received a pair of reeeally old Tyranid Warrior arms, sponsored by my buddy Phil. I wanted him to look like the additional pair of arms were erupting from his torso and served as his main weapon.

The second Possessed was a far more involved conversion, using the same base model and yet more old Tyranid bitz (among them a leftover head from an old metal Hive Tyrant):

My first chaos army (42)
My first chaos army (41)
My first chaos army (43)
My first chaos army (44)
I wanted the model to look like the daemonic possession had really started to manifest in earnest, the warped, daemonic part of the body almost erupting out of the poor Possessed’s torso. Modelling putty was used to build up the transition between regular body and twisted, daemonic flesh.

And finally, both of them together:

My first chaos army (47)
Granted, the models may be a trainwrecks by today’s standards, but back then, they seemed so sinister and twisted to me, since I had never attempted anything like this before.

 

So here are all of the cult members together:

My first chaos army (33)
Where my WoC army basically consisted of me trying to approximate the official GW studio pieces as closely as I could, this warband shows I was getting more ambitious and adventurous. So since these guys may actually have aged less gracefully than my regular chaos army, they nevertheless mark an important, maybe even crucial, step in my personal hobby “career”: I was actually trying to explore what chaos meant to me, beyond any tabletop rules and army lists.

As for the rest of my Mordheim-related activities, I also had an Empire Witchhunter warband, based on a Necromunda Redemptionist gang, for these guys to face off against — although I’ll be damned if I know where I put most of the models…

Both warbands didn’t actually see that much action: I only remember a single test game – against my dad, if I remember correctly – using the preliminary Mordheim rules from WD. But that’s beside the point: The Mordheim stuff published in WD got my creative juices flowing in a new and exciting ways, and was partly responsible for me becoming the avid kitbasher and fluffbunny I am today.

One last conundrum for you to figure out: If this game was set in a town, why on earth did I base these guys using green flock? Because that’s the way it was done back then, that’s why πŸ˜‰

 

And with that, our little trip down memory lane is concluded. I hope it’s been enjoyable for you to witness the humble beginnings of my descent into chaos. Rest assured that the next models I’ll post on this blog will be more …recent ones.

Oh, and happy birthday, Chaos! It has been brilliant so far!

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

My Descent into Chaos…

Posted in Chaos, Conversions, old stuff, paintjob, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2013 by krautscientist

RoC_Logo02

This summer marks the 25th anniversary of the first Realm of Chaos book, Slaves to Darkness. A truly seminal publication, outlining in detail the concept of chaos in the worlds of WFB and 40k (or, back then, Rogue Trader) in general and describing the followers of Khorne and Slaanesh in particular. Many hobbyists have fond memories of this momentous tome, and rightly so: Slaves to Darkness and its companion piece, The Lost and the Damned, put down the groundwork for the concept of chaos in Games Workshop’s intellectual properties and certainly launched a thousand chaos warbands.

Now, let’s start with a confession: I have never owned the genuine article. Not yet, at least. Shameful, I know, but by the time I got into the hobby in earnest, the rules set on which Realm of Chaos was based was already well on its way out, and the books were never even released in Germany in the first place.

Still, I will endeavour to do my small part in the celebration of this particular anniversary, both because I acknowledge the importance of the book in question and I have been drawn to chaos for all of my hobby life — more about that in a minute.

In honour of this anniversary, many hobbyists are posting great content about old and new hobby endeavours: Orrlyg (of RealmofChaos80s) and a gang of likeminded “Oldhammer” aficionados are planning a re-enactment of those glorious 3rd edition WFB battles of yore, keeping it truly oldskool with retro models, paintjobs and scenery. PDH, Neil101, Tears of Envy, Fulgrim and John Blanche are also marshalling their retro chaos forces, yet they are employing all the new and beautiful plastic parts at their disposal (their project is chronicled over at this Dakka thread: Go check it out!). Both groups are united in their attempt at celebrating both the release of a fantastic sourcebook and the glory of chaos in general πŸ˜‰

As for myself, I would like to take the middle road here, taking you on a trip down memory lane. And it WILL be a suitably retro trip, have no fear!

You see, I have always been a fan of chaos, as long as I’ve been in this hobby. From the chaos models that came with HeroQuest – some Warriors of Chaos, the Gargoyle (actually a stone effigy of a Bloodthirster of Khorne, though I didn’t know that at the time) and the Chaos Sorceror (arguably the coolest model in the box, and, invariably, the first to be lost…) – to the old WFB metal models, I was a fan.

So one day, during the mid-90s, I came across this box in a toy store in my hometown, of all places:

Don't ask me why I held on to those cardboard sleeves - I'm just a pack rat like that...

Don’t ask me why I held on to those cardboard sleeves – I’m just a pack rat like that…

Today, a whole regiment being released in one box does not seem like such a big deal, but back then, this was actually the first of the new plastic regiment boxes ever to be released by GW: Where older plastic kits would use the same sculpt over and over (except for a metal command group that had to be purchased seperately), this one allowed for limitless customisation. So without having any use for these (beyond a fuzzy prospect of being able to use them in [Advanced] HeroQuest) and without even knowing a single WFB rule, I purchased the kit in a heartbeat, hurried home and started working. To my young mind, the prospect of owning a complete regiment of badass guys in spiky armour was very much its own reward!

Without going into too much detail, the rest of that year was very busy with hobby activity: It saw me receiving a copy of the WFB boxed set (Bretonnia vs. Lizardmen, not what you’d call an ideal pairing…) and frantically working on my very first tabletop army ever. Here’s a look at the results of that work:

My first chaos army (1)
My very first chaos army,or actually: my first tabletop army, period. I still have a huge fondness for these guys, even though the sculpts are dated and most of the paintjobs are of a rather dubious quality at best. So in honour of Slaves to the Darkness‘ 25th anniversary, let me walk you through my first foray into the chaos wastes step by step. Some of it won’t be pretty, I fear, but I guess that this is only to be suspected when dealing with the dark gods…

 

Warriors of Chaos

Like I said, a regiment of regular warriors of chaos was the first thing to be finished. Here it is:

My first chaos army (10)
For some reason I never even got around to basing these guys. Oh well…
Apart from that, what can I say? I certainly went crazy with the different metal paints. And what is really interesting, for this regiment as well as for the rest of the army, is that both in assembling and painting the models, I tried to emulate the official photos on the box as closely as I could. Let me give you an example: Here’s the champion, musician and standard bearer from the back of the box:

My first chaos army (53)
My first chaos army (54)
And here’s the front rank of my own regiment:

My first chaos army (12)
Looking back now, I am amazed at how much I seem to have been afraid to break away from the colour schemes and assembly instructions set by GW back then. What’s more, I didn’t actually paint all the models in the unit in the same colour scheme, oh no: I happily experimented. Here’s the second rank of models from the same regiment:

My first chaos army (14)
Again, some of these are pretty close duplicates of models that appeared on the box. Compare the guy on the left with this:

My first chaos army (52)
Funny and sad at the same time, isn’t it? πŸ˜‰

Another thing I really struggled with in those days was painting “chaotic” faces. The bareheaded musician originally had a very pink face, until I touched it up later on:

My first chaos army (13)
Still not great, but that was really quite a challenge for me in those days!

All in all, these guys certainly aren’t fantastic by any stretch of the imagination. But they were my first regiment ever, and I feel very nostalgic about them. I have repeatedly considered cannibalising this regiment for bitz (especially the standard), but I always held back due to my fondness for them. And I am still rather happy with that small hand painted banner I added to the standard bearer (on a related note, I stopped counting how many times I had to reattach his metal arm because it had broken off — as a matter of fact, it even broke off once during this recent photo session…):

My first chaos army (11)

 

Retro Warriors of Chaos

Now these are probably the oldest plastic models in my first WoC army: A box of old plastic WoC given to me as a present by my buddy Phil. Though these come from a time where getting a plastic regiment meant getting the same model over and over again, with only a metal command group added to break up the monotony, I still love them for the simple fact that they look like bigger, meaner versions of the chaos warriors that came with HeroQuest. In any case, it made a lot of sense to draft them into my growing chaos army. So that’s what I did:

My first chaos army (16)
Since I didn’t have any command models for this squad, I had to get creative for the first time: The unit’s champion was created by painting him golden and adding a spike to his helmet — a rather lame conversion, admittedly, but these guys don’t exactly lend themselves to easy conversion. The one thing I am still quite proud of after all these years is the converted standard bearer: I drilled a hole into the model’s left hand, using toothpicks, a length of string and and some skulls to construct the banner pole. The banner itself was a freehand done by me in Citadel Paints on paper. Check it out:

My first chaos army (17)
Not true art, to be sure. And maybe it looks a tad too much like an undead banner, with the skull blotting out the Khorne rune, but I still rather like the design — and it was completely my own.

Once again, the models were painted to emulate the paintjobs on the official box, although I don’t have a photo to prove it πŸ˜‰

My first chaos army (18)

 

Chaos Knights

Shortly after releasing the plastic WoC regiment, GW also offered a box of chaos knights based on the same basic sculpt: These use the same bodies, helmets and arms, but come with additional metal legs, weapon arms and bitz to make a unit of five knights. The knights themselves ended up looking like this:

My first chaos army (6)
The horses are standard GW fare from those days. However, the kit came with dedicated metal heads to make the horses look more chaotic. As you can see, I was getting a little more ambitious with my basing, adding moss and small rocks in addition to the horrible green flock of those days.

And here’s the whole regiment:

My first chaos army (4)
The paintjob is, once again, an attempt at faithfully recreating the “official” version. The banner, however, is just lazy, even for my standard back then…

My first chaos army (49)

My first chaos army (5)
The unit featured another bareheaded musician, so I got to take another shot at painting a face warped an discoloured by chaos:

My first chaos army (7)
A bit heavy on the eyeliner, perhaps…

Back when I painted these, it felt like I was actually managing to make them look 100% like the box art. In hindsight, I was deceiving myself a bit there, but these guys taught me the challenges of painting and assembling cavalry (twice as much stuff to paint before the model’s done, plus they are even more difficult to line up in a regiment).

 

Warriors of Chaos with Halberds

And yet another kit based on the same sculpt. Like the Chaos Knights, this box came as a plastic/metal hybrid kit, with a set of metal halberd arms included to allow for a different equipment loadout. Later revisions would roll the regular hand weapons and halberds into one kit, with everything made of plastic, but that time was still a ways off (funnily enough, today’s WoC have actually returned to the optional weapons done in a separate medium – Finecast, in this instance — talk about retro…). Anyway, of course I had to buy this one as well! πŸ˜‰

My first chaos army (8)
Anyway, this regiment is the fourth and final unit in the army, The red and bronze paintjob seems like a taste of the World Eaters that were to come later in my hobby life. Alas, it’s once again nothing more than a retread of the ‘Eavy Metal paintjob:

My first chaos army (55)
Again, I even duplicated the model’s poses and combinations of bitz. It’s hard to believe how scared I must have been to break away from the pretty pictures on the front of the box back then…

All of that notwithstanding, this regiment is probably the one that has best managed to hold up. Red and bronze never goes out of fashion for a servant of the dark gods, after all. And by this time, I was actually beginning to find my feet regarding assembly, painting and basing.

My first chaos army (9)
Since most of the models were based on the same basic sculpt, the regiments in the army still seem pretty homogenous, even though each one’s a different colour. Back then, though, that was actually an intended effect as often as not. You see, Chaos armies back then were based on the concept of champions and their respective retinues. If you wanted to build an army, you created a warlord and were then allowed to spend the same amount of points on his followers. Then you moved on to the next warlord, and so on. So each Chaos army was centered around two or three champions leading their very own retinue into battle, with one of them the supreme general of the force.

So, it won’t surprise you to learn that I also built and painted some warlords for my army:

 

Lord Algeroth the Black

Yes, I realise the name for this guy was actually nicked from Warzone’s very own Khorne-expy. Apart from that, though, this model was my first army general ever, so I really gave it my all. And since GW kits weren’t as easy to obtain back then as they are now, I had to plan this one out in theory. Then, one summer day, I braved the sweltering heat, travelled an hour to the next bigger city by train to reach the only available FLGS in my vincinity and was lucky enough to find the two kits I needed: a Juggernaut of Khorne (complete with a World Eaters rider I gave away, in my idiocy…) and a champion of chaos on a chaos steed. The rider received a new mount, I painted the resulting model, and that was the birth of Algeroth the Black, Exalted Champion of Khorne:

My first chaos army (23)
Granted, building this model was as easy as taking a rider from one kit and plunking him down on a different steed. But back then, I didn’t realise that I could ever possible achieve anything more ingenious than this…

My first chaos army (20)
My first chaos army (22)
My first chaos army (21)
My first chaos army (19)
Once again, the paintjob may seem a little slapdash in hindsight, but back then, this was pretty much the pinnacle of my abilities. To be honest, I still like the blending on the horns. I remember writing into the character’s background that he had managed to defeat a Bloodletter champion, wearing the daemon’s skull for a helmet as proof of his power.

Anyway, you possibly won’t believe how proud I was of this model…
He is also a huge chunk of metal and actually quite heavy: I bet you could cause serious injury to someone by throwing this model in their face…

 

Baal, the Red Duke

Based on the concept of army composition outlined above, Algeroth really needed a right hand man. And I still had that chaos steed lying around. And I had always really liked the Red Duke, an Vampire Counts model from an old campaign setting. So when I had the chance of snatching it up one day at the FLGS, I did and used it to build my chaos army’s second in command:

My first chaos army (24)
Once again, building the model was basically achieved by combining the rider with a different steed (I still have the original skeleton horse in my bitzbox to this day!). I also added a plastic shield from the WoC sprue, and that was it. I even kept fairly closely to the “official” paintjob for the character (AGAIN!), but in all fairness, I believe the Duke makes for a fairly convincing chaos lord: Granted, he does not fit the “huge, burly northmen” look established in later years, but back then, the official fluff had many disinfranchised nobles, criminals and glory hounds from the Empire and Bretonnia escape to the northern wastes, so it was rather plausible that this character had originated in one of the more civilised regions of the Warhammer world.

Anyway, I still like the sculpt of the Duke a lot, especially that wickedly shaped sword of his!

My first chaos army (25)
I actually remember painting that horse before going to school, at six in the morning. Yes, I was that hooked on getting this army finished!

Again, the bare face was giving me a bit of trouble:

My first chaos army (26)
Back then, I was really happy with how this had turned out. Today, though: not so much πŸ˜‰

 

Chaos Sorcerer

As an adamant worshipper of Khorne, I have never had much use for magic users and psykers in most of my armies. Still, one of my buddies gave me a set of two old metal chaos sorcerers as a birthday gift, back in the day, and I liked one of them so much that painted it the same day I received it:

My first chaos army (29)
Neither the paintjob nor the sculpt have aged all that gracefully, to be honest. And what’s more, due to my army being singularly devoted to Khorne, this poor fellow never even got a name. Neither did he see any action on the battlefield. Oh well…

The two models also came with a pair of classic familiars (quite a bit of bang for the buck, actually). Here’s one of them:

My first chaos army (32)
This little guy always reminded me of the Gargoyle race in the Ultima series of computer games, so he was painted accordingly.

Here he is, together with his master:

My first chaos army (30)

 

Khardaos Lorimar

And finally, the last WFB chaos general I ever built and painted — or rather, started to build and paint. Some of you may recognise his last name πŸ˜‰ The first name was put together from the dark language table at the back of the sixth edition WoC army book. It’s supposed to mean “Daemon of Wrath”, which, in all fairness, is probably a pretty good name for a champion of the blood god!

Anyway, the model was heavily based on a chaos champion named Haargroth who appeared as a custom champion of Khorne in the sixth edition WoC army book. He uses the body of an old Bloodletter champion, Orc arms and an axe spliced together from two WoC plastic halberds. The head came from an old Slaanesh sorcerer, of all things. I also added some Space Marine shoulder pads and some spikes. The red was actually achieved by using the old GW Red Ink, which was pretty great for achieving a glistening, bloody look. I was pretty saddened when my last pot dried up…

My first chaos army (28)
My first chaos army (27)

This model, along with an accompanying regiment, should have marked the next expansion for my Chaos army for the sixth edition of WFB. Alas, it was not to be: The army was last used for a friendly game during the mid 2000s (My buddy Frankie pounded me into the ground with his Dark Elves, and I deserved losing for being far too hesitant and cowardly in the way I used my army), and after that, the whole hobby just fell by the wayside for a couple of years. As a matter of fact, even before then, I had begun to feel more interested in 40k, but even that was suspended until I got back into the hobby in late 2010.

So yeah, that is my first army ever.

My first chaos army (2)
Over the years, I’ve felt the urge to nick some rare metal piece from this army now and again, destroying one of the old models in the process. In the end, though, I have always resisted the urge: It may not be pretty. It may be thoroughly unoriginal. But it is also the first tabletop army I have ever managed to complete (insofar as a tabletop army can ever be truly complete…), and I could never cannibalise it for bitz.

 

Right, I hope you found this at least somewhat interesting. And hopefully my vintage paintjobs didn’t offend you too much. There’s actually more where this came from, but that will have to wait until the next post. Until then, feel free to let me know what you think or share any chaos-related stories of your own. I’d love to hear from you in the comments section!

Here’s to chaos! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!