Archive for the state of the hunt Category

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

 

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

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





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


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

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

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

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

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State of the Hunt, Week 32/2019: Chaotic exploration

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, state of the hunt, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 10, 2019 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, Real Life (TM) has been a veritable rollercoaster lately, so I haven’t been as productive on the hobby front as I would have liked. If anything, however, that’s actually a plus because it frees up some space to share a couple of chaotic kitbashes I have been creating by putting the “new” (granted, they have been around for a while at this point) Chaos Space Marine kits through their paces. Take a look:

 

I. The Blightwood grows…

The first model I would like to share with you today isn’t even such a huge project, but rather an example of using some óf the new bitz to spruce up existing conversions. Enter exhibit A, a kitbashed Foul Blightspawn I created earlier this year.

My original idea for the model was to a) make the most of a leftover extra Malignant Plaguecaster model that I had cannibalised for bitz and use the remains to build yet another Death Guard character and b) get rid of some of the parts of the stock Foul Blightspawn that I really didn’t like, such as the massive pump sutured into the model’s flesh and the weird garden hose-style weapon.

So the original model was already working pretty well for the most part, but it was also still lacking something — and to make things worse, before the new CSM models were released, I didn’t have any correctly scaled CSM parts to tweak it a bit more.

But a headswap, courtesy of the new vanilla CSM kit gave me this:







I didn’t really like the CSM head with the one “googly” eye (normally intended for the squad’s heavy weapons expert), but it works really well for a follower of Nurgle. I spliced together a breathing apparatus as well, while I was at it, and opened up the pose a bit.

I am still rather fond of the core idea of the conversion – using an Escher chem thrower to make a slightly more conventional version of the Blightspawn’s stock weapon – although I think I also did a reasonably good job splicing together one of those WW I-style Blight grenades from a couple of bitz:

I also saw an extremely clever idea over at ssspectre’s blog that I had to steal right away: He used a turbine from a Raptor jump pack to create this kind of weird, bulky engine/pump on the back of a Nurglite model, and I did the same on my Blightspawn conversion, adding a bit of bulk and weirdness to the backpack.

In fact, I even made one more tweak after taking the photos above, adding some semi-organic cabling to the backpack that I carefully clipped off one of the new Havoc rocket launchers and backpacks.

And, just for fun, a comparison shot with my (slightly converted) Plaguecaster and the new Blightspawn — both use the same base model:

After using some smaller bitz and bobs from the new CSM kits like that, I felt the need to get a little more creative. So that’s what I did:

 

II. Iron Within…

This next model is a slightly bolder project, and also makes even more use of the new CSM kits: I had an idea for a Warpsmith-like Iron Warriors character, eventually to be used in my Iron Warriors Killteam I suppose. So I made this guy:

The body intended for the heavy bolter wielding marine from the vanilla CSM kit made for a nice start, providing a suitably bulky, archaically armoured body with a stoic pose. The arms and shoulder pads also came from the vanilla CSM — for the most part. I did feel the need to include a somewhat more impressive weapon for a Warpsmith of the IV Legion, so I spliced together the left arm using an (Age of Sigmar) Varanguard hammer and a forearm and haft from the Chaos Lord on Manticore (since I needed a left hand holding a weapon for this conversion). The backpack started out as a backpack from the new Havoc kit: I really liked the reactor look it had going on! I simply shaved away some of the cabling, added a loader arm (from a Havoc missile launcher backpack) that should work just as well, if not better, as a proper servo-arm, and also added some tech-y bitz – including the heavily augmetic head – from the Adeptus Mechanicus Kataphron kit.

I think the model proves how even the vanilla CSM kit,with just a few bitz from other kits sprinkled on top, can be used to produce rather imposing characters and commanders!

 

IV. The Hateful Eight cont’d

All roads lead before Khorne’s throne, however, so those earlier kitbashes were merely an appetiser before the inevitable main course. Which is a roundabout way of telling you that I have been slowly tweaking away on what may (should) eventually become that World Eaters kill team I have already told you about — “The Hateful Eight” (or ten or sixteen or whatever…). Here’s a look at my short list of future kill team members, so to speak:


Now you’ve seen many of these before in some shape or form, for which I apologise. Also, half of them are repurposed older models, but I think they are still cool enough to warrant a modern paintjob:

I’ve been making tweaks to them, exchanging a weapon here or adding some grenades and Khornate doodads there. I am particularly fond of this guy, made by combining a Blood Warrior from the Age of Sigmar 1st edition starter box and the lower half of the CSM Vrash Tattersoul champion model:

There’s also a couple of “new guys”, however: Fresh conversions that rely on the new kit in some shape or form:

On the far right you can see my “test berzerker” from earlier this year. Then there’s this gentleman, converted from yet another AoS starter box Blood Warrior:


I always knew I would want a model wearing a clunky Heresy-era helmet to accompany its baroque armour, and this is that model 😉

Fot the next two models, I thought it might be fun to try and channel some of the most iconic (or interesting) pieces of World Eaters artwork and build models inspired by the art. First up I chose this very cool concept for the “Teeth of Khorne”, the World Eaters’ dedicated heavy weapons specialists, created by Jes Goodwin during the early 90s, I would imagine:

Artwork by Jes Goodwin

I realised that many elements of the new havocs strongly resembled this piece of art to begin with, so I tried to come up with something similar.

For the most part, this is really just a stock havoc. I replaced the head with a shaved-down Blood Warrior helmet and tweaked the backpack a bit. Also, since I didn’t have a plasma cannon, I was unable to perfectly replicate the art and had to choose a replacement — a missile launcher seemed suitably brutal and straightforward for a World Eater, though… 😉

And then there’s this guy:

Any ideas about the inspiration for this one…?

That’s right, it’s a model built to resemble this iconic piece of art by Mark Gibbons (supposedly showing Khargos Bloodspitter, of all people):

My idea for this conversion was born when I realised that both the straighter legs and the power fist included in the CSM kit would allow me to build something pretty similar to the artwork — but while the above mockup worked as a proof of concept, the conversion needed a lot more work! So here’s what the finished conversion looks like:

Some parts of the conversion are actually a departure from the artwork, albeit a conscious one: The first helmet I used is arguably closer to the artwork, for instance, but the one on the finished conversion (provided as part of a bitz drop by fellow hobbyist ElDuderino, by the way), exudes just the kind of brooding menace that the model needed.

Funnily enough, the model also serves as a pretty neat shout out to some really old World Eaters models, thanks to the static pose:

And here’s the new guy, next to my test World Eater from earlier this year:

So, as you can see, I am actually back to converting World Eaters again — at least for a bit. And I am not even finished, either. Here’s a small teaser of things to come…

V. Burning Man

For now, however, let us wind up this post with a bit of background: I prepared a little background vignette for the counts-as Huron Blackheart model I shared with you a while ago. Take a look:

„The burning never stops.“

This is the sentence he remembers above all else, because it has come to encapsulate his entire existence. While the memory of an Astartes is eidetic in nature, his long life has become a number of disjointed, fragmented moments, with entire decades mostly unaccounted for. But one thing remains. One thing binds everything together and defines him. One sentence neatly summarises it all.

“The burning never stops.”

He remembers how the sentence from weapons instruction returned to him, at the very moment that he saw the phosphex charge go off. The bridge was a pandemonium of blood and death, but everything was frozen into place for just one instant. He saw everything in incredible detail. The battered VII Legion Breacher team that, against all odds, had made it to the bridge in an attempt to bring down a leviathan from within. The mangled face of the Fist throwing the phosphex grenade at him. The eyes already staring into infinity, waiting for a death that would come in mere seconds. The explosions of the weaponry discharged by the other surviving breachers. The chainblades of his brothers falling in slow motion, trying to bring down the enemy. But slow, far too slow. And the green white fire of the phosphex charge, enveloping him at last, and flooding his every fibre with liquid agony, just seconds before the main viewport burst into a million armourglass shards, opening the bridge to the void.

He remembers Terra. The Throneworld twisting below him, above him, behind a curtain of voidships on fire, as he tumbled into blackness. The cold void that was the only thing that could have extinguished the flames that were swallowing him. But even when the fires went out…

…the burning never stopped.

He remembers coming to in a red haze. The sounds of the Apothecarion. The klaxons and warning beeps. The mirrors above the surgical slab showing him a lump of molten, misshapen flesh that he did not recognise. And Deracin’s half-augmetic face floating above him, like a hint of things to come. The Forgemaster locked eyes with him and smiled. And he knew that he would not be allowed to die.

He was rebuilt. Into a strange amalgamation of oh so little flesh and bone, iron and pain. Oh so much pain. He became a construct. Like the gholam of old Terra. And through it all, the pain of an unquenchable fire kept coursing through him, racing along nerve clusters that should have been cauterised beyond any function. Along iron bones that shouldn’t have been able to feel, but did. It has been thus ever since: His every waking moment is pure agony. Inhale. Pain. Exhale. Pain. The nails are but pinpricks to him. He is, eternally, on fire.

His wrath and pain almost seem like a separate entity. When he does battle, and his every cell is burning agony, he can almost see something take shape from the corner of his eyes. Something rough and bloody that is glowing in its own inner malevolence. It is growing all the time. There will come a time when he will finally meet it face to face, this thing he keeps feeding with his pain and with the pain of others.

He keeps losing time. Battles often turn into disjointed shards of perception for him. When he sees glimpses of that strange spectre that seems to shadow him, inexplicable things happen, and he is merely a spectator in his own body: His flesh turns into liquid flame, and he becomes capable of feats that should be beyond his patchwork body. He awakens to arcs of warp fire cascading from his axe and augmetic fist. He comes to in a world of cinders and flaking ash, with his enemies’ lifeblood running down his chin in rivulets. He sees the wariness in his brothers’ eyes, and to see such emotion play across their ravaged features would make him smile, if that expression were not lost to him.

And through it all,
The burning never stops.

 

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

State of the Hunt, Week 26/2019: First Contrast Paint impressions

Posted in paintjob, state of the hunt with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2019 by krautscientist

Something of an interlude for today, since I got the unplanned opportunity last week to get some hands-on experience with the new Contrast Paints and would like to share a couple of observations, as well as some photos of my two test models.

Be advised, however, that this post won’t be an in-depth review — if you are that way inclined, let me point you towards this excellent article over at Tale of Painters for an actual, thorough all-corners review. This is basically just me fooling around with a new toy 😉

I was, of course, interested Already seeing some intriguing stuff online and getting some encouraging pointers from fellow hobbyist-recently-turned-TeeVee-superstar Jeff Vader. So when the opportunity to test the paints arose at the local Warhammer store (now again crewed by a very decent store manager, I must add), I got straight to work.

 

Anyway, all the Space Marines were already taken, so I ended up with a female Stormcast Sequitor (one of my favourite easy to build models, though, so all was well) and a Poxwalker. Both of the models were already glued together and undercoated when I started working on them. Here’s what I came up with during my time in the store:

The Sequitor took me about 45 – 60 minutes of fairly neat painting (and of getting to grips with the new paints in the first place). Quite a bit of the time was also spent trying to wedge my brush into all the nooks and crannies behind the shield, as the model had already been glued together beforehand.

The Poxwalker, by contrast, was a crazy and fun 15-minute-romp of just letting rip with some of the pinks, purples and yellows.

Before we jump into the fray, let me just say up front that the freeflow, (water-)painterly way of painting these models was quite a wonderful change of pace! As was the freedom of simply painting something for the heck of it, with absolutely no danger of messing up whatsoever. So if nothing else, you should maybe give those paints a go at your local store, if only for the process to act as a wonderful little palate cleanser.

Anyway, let’s take a closer look at the two models and my experiences when painting them:

The Sequitor came undercoated with Grey Seer, the slightly greyer, colder undercoat from the recent release. I decided to go with a the main approach of black armour, red robes, as seen in N1SB’s Contrast Paint experiments here, because I really liked the look of the combination (plus it’s also a pretty fair approximation of a classic Sisters of Battle painting scheme, which was an added bonus).


Only a single coat of paint was applied on all parts of the model (except for the base, where I got a little more adventurous — more on that in a second). This should tell you how the new Contrast Paints really allow you to cover a lot of ground in a very short amount of time. In hindsight, I think I should have been a little more generous with the black, as the shading effect didn’t turn out quite as prominent as I would have liked. Even so, the Black Templar Black (for the armour) and Flesh Tearer Red (for the robes) were definitely the standout paints here, although the Fyreslayer Flesh skin tone came in at a close second (it’s really uncanny how the Contrast flesh tones actually allow you to paint a finished face in one painting step).

As for my initial observations:

  • I didn’t encounter any cases of splotchiness with the new paints, although I have to say the Sequitor was basically the perfect model to use these on, given the amount of surface texture, folds in the fabric etc. Everything dried fairly quickly and to a nice, matte finish.
  • not using metallic paints on the areas that are supposed to be metal was a very weird feeling, and I felt the need to break out the silver and gold on the Sequitor, in particular when it came to painting the weapon and shield.
  • Due to the fact that, as you have probably already heard elsewhere, Contrast Paints basically work like a heavy wash or a wood stain, you don’t simply get to paint over mistakes you have made, but may have to correct them by painting over any stray marks with Grey Seer or Wraithbone from the pot. Even though I only went back to correct one or two mistakes, I found this to be the least entertaining part of the whole exercise, especially since going back to the somewhat chalky undercoats after working with the free flowing Contrast Paints was such a stark, erm, contrast.
  • As I was warned by the store manager – and as I have discovered myself – models painted with Contrast Paints really, really need to be varnished, as it’s quite easy for the paint to get rubbed off. This happened to me once or twice during the painting process, although only on very small, sharp areas (such as the sharpest folds in the Sequitor’s robes).

So after spending about an hour neatly painting the Stormcast Sequitor, I simply wanted to have some quick fun and experiment a bit, and the Poxwalker model seemed like the perfect piece for that. Like I said, the painting process was just a wild 15 minute ride. The Poxwalker was undercoated with “Wraithbone”, the warmer of the two new undercoats, and it makes for a wonderfully vibrant overall look on the finished model. The “Darkoath Flesh” skin tone basically did about 70% of the work, and afterwards it was mainly a matter of painting on some pinks and purples while the skin tone was still wet:


If it’s Nurglite grossness you are going after, the Contrast Paints are just perfect, making for a very organic look. The augmetic arm was basecoated with Gryph Hound Orange, and then I slathered on one of the darker browns.

I think it would be really easy to knock out a rather massive hore of Poxwalkers in an afternoon with a recipe like this, which seems like a very interesting proposition.

 

But wait, I didn’t stop there, but rather took the models along to my painting session with my good friend Annie. I wanted to try and combine the base work done with the contrast paints with some of my usual techniques. So here are the models, once again, when I packed up at the Warhammer store:


And here’s how they look now:


For the Sequitor, I resisted to urge to break out the metal paints after all, and decided to keep her entirely “NMM”, for lack of a better word. I merely added some highlights here and there, especially where the red hadn’t “auto-shaded” quite as much as I had hoped:




Just to illustrate how easy it is to cover lots of ground with the new paints, however: The act of adding some highlights and finishing the paintjob took just as long, if not longer, than the entire stage of painting her with Contrast Paints (and getting her basically game-ready) beforehand!

One thing I only got to experiment with a bit was to use various browns and greens for a more natural, mossy look for the base. I only really tried a bit of this, but I think the use of Contrast Paints for painting really interesting looking bases definitely warrants some further experimentation!



The finished base was given a light drybrush of Screaming Skull and (of course) a tidied up black base rim 😉

In hindsight, I am not 100% sold on the look of the Iyanden Yellow: When it works, it really works, but it ended up looking slightly anaemic in several spots. But Nazdreg Yellow, seen here on a model painted by Annie, seems to be an interesting, slightly more golden-brownish alternative:

As for the Poxwalker, I ended up being a bit more adventurous, in an attempt to bring him closer to the rest of my collection. So I added just a dash of metallic paint, some thinned-down Blood for the Blood God, and repainted some small areas where the Contrast Paints looked a bit too water-colour-y to me, such as the boils, the loincloth and the leather belt and  pouches:




This guy could actually join the rest of my Nurglite models without a hitch — if anything, he only looks a bit more vibrant and infectious than my other models. Here’s a comparison picture with my “classic” Poxwalker scheme:



So yeah, this was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed the freeform, exploratory spirit of the whole session!

One thing that cannot be stressed enough – and this is relevant for my future treatment of Contrast Paints as a possible tool – is that the usefulness of the new paints really hinges on the colour of the undercoat: These really work best (or at all) when used over a very light undercoat. So if, like me, you favour black, grey or brown, you’ll find it harder to include them into your standard recipes. At the same time, it cannot be overstated how novel and original playing around with them feels, so they may just warrant a slight reshuffling of recipes and approaches. While I don’t think I’ll be abandoning “classic” paints (or dark undercoats, for that matter), the Contrast Paints are a ton of fun to play around with, and certainly a very promising new tool for painters. There are also armies that I think will be a blast to paint with these (I am looking at you, Tyranids, Eldar and Poxwalker hordes).

Two final observations before I wrap this up:

One, when seen at gaming distance, models that have been painted with nothing but Contrast Paints look completely painted — and pretty well painted, at that. If you look at them up close, especially when it’s an entire squad, Blood Bowl team or what have you, the paintjob still looks good, but maybe a bit basic. So an extra bit of highlighting here and there is where the models really go from good to great — you should keep this in mind!

Two, and this seems a slighly weird observation: If I didn’t know any better, I would say the new paints where designed to photograph well. Case in point, the picture towards the start of this post, after I had finished applying the Contrast Paints (but nothing else) actually make the models look just a wee bit cooler than they actually looked in real life at that point. Which, again, goes to show that you should probably still plan for an extra round of highlights and final tweaks.

 

Anyway, that’s all I can offer for now. I can safely say that this experience has been a blast, and that it’ll be very interesting to test the new paints further. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll find it helpful to get some firsthand observations from somebody who definitely isn’t a Golden Demon painter 😉 In any case, I would, of course, love to hear your thoughts — or learn what you think of the new paints!

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

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

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

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

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

 

I. The Host

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

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

This was, however, merely the warmup:

 

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

 

III. Step into my parlour…

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

So there’s also this:


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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

 

 

IV. A shout out in closing…

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

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

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

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

So here we are, with the old year firmly behind us. I have to admit that I am currently still at the stage, fairly early in the year, where I keep throwing around ideas and messing with different projects until something sticks and I find just the thing to re-start my proper creative process. So for now, I have decided to mess around with some neglected models, seeing how getting long neglected stuff painted was such a successful part of 2018. So let’s take a look at my laboratory:

I. Crash and burn

Here’s the first thing I am currently working on, a contribution for the monthly hobby challenge over at Azazel’s blog, Terrain is the name of the game this time around, which provided me with the perfect reason to tackle something I have wanted to do for ages: Finally getting some paint on the crashed aquila lander from the old Battle for Maccrage boxed set:

I’ve had those pieces for ages, courtesy of my cousin Andy, and as you can see, some of them have been subjected to a prior, mostly unsuccessful attempt at painting them — seriously, what was I thinking?

Now for the second attempt, I’ve made some small tweaks to the piece with the cockpit:

Something that has always bothered me about this otherwise cool terrain piece is its complete hollowness, so I knew I needed to add in a pilot as well as the suggestion of a cockpit, so I whipped something up with a couple of leftover bitz:


It’s not that easy to make sense of what the pilot looks like right now, but I took a lot of inspiration from the pilot morbäck built for his fantastic “Scarabée Intrépide” conversion a couple of years back — I didn’t sweat the details, though, knowing that only a part of the pilot would really be visible inside the finished cockpit. Oh, and while I was at it, I also glued in some bitz to suggest cockpit controls — I’ll show off the whole assembly once the model has been painted!

Anyway, the lander’s complete “hollowness” also leads to the rear of the piece ending in a massive hole. Of course I had to close that off as well, both to make it look less awkward overall and to camouflage the fact that there’s no fully realised interior, nor a full cockpit, as I merely built the parts that you can see from the outside. So I added in a hatch (from an old model truck kit) and tied it into the rest of the design with a few bitz:

While the whole ensemble looks pretty improvised when you look behind the curtain, so to speak,…

…the rear hatch has the added benefit of covering it all up, so when the terrain piece sits on a flat surface, you only really see the elements you are supposed to see.

Everything has already been undercoated, which ties it all together rather nicely:




Now to get it all painted in time for the challenge! I’ll be taking quite a few cues from Ian Wilson’s absolutely fantastic “re-assembled” Aquila lander here, among other sources. Wish me luck! 🙂

 

II. Big time!

And while I was already hard at work breathing some life into ancient projects, I came across another straggler from my cupboard of shame: A couple of years ago, I dug this out of a box of odds and ends over at my FLGS:


In case anyone’s wondering, this is half of one of the old 54mm Inquisitor models that GW released alongside the original game back in the late 90s. The character in question was Delphan Gruss, a Magos explorator of the Adeptus Mechanicus, basically the only AdMech model readily available back then, long before the AdMech became a playable 40k faction. Here’s the complete stock model:


As you can see, the parts I had were in a pretty sorry state (caked in the thick remains of a prior paintjob, and glued together with hell’s own superglue), and the model was also missing its legs. The problem with 54mm models is, obviously, that in order to replace missing parts, you either need a supply of 54mm bitz, or you need to get creative. In my case, I chose a solution in-between those two options, but the model still didn’t go anywhere for years. But after seeing PowerHungryMonkey’s recent Tech-Marine conversion, I somehow felt drawn back to the old model, and have managed to give him legs (and a pretty impressive gun to boot). Take a look:




Did anyone recognise those “new” legs? They actually came from the somewhat infamous vintage Nagash model, often seen as one of GW’s worst models of all time:


I have to admit, however, that I have a bit of a soft spot for the model: Nagash was actually the first big multipart metal model I ever bought from GW, and also the first model at that scale I have ever painted — and for a while there, I thought both the sculpt as well as my paintjob were absolutely rad! I blame my love for Masters of the Universe as a kid — those who grew up oving Skeletor as a villain had no choice but to like a character with a skull face.

And back when I got those Delphan Gruss bitz, I rediscovered the different parts of poor old Nagash in my bitzbox and thought the legs might work — as an added bonus, a conversion using Nagash as a base did indeed appear in the original rulebook…

Another fun fact: I’ve been keeping off this particular project for so long that I have actually managed to obtain a complete, boxed as new Delphan Gruss in the interim — all the more reason, however, to make sure this model looks suitably different from the stock model, eh?

I rather like the more subdued pose, to be honest. Oh, and the backpack is just the strangest amalgamation of bitz, to create something that looks suitably tech-y and AdMech, and at the right scale, no less: Underneath it all is actually a Space Marine plasma gun backpack (from the plasma gunner that came with Dark Vengeance), while the weapon system was simply made by combining half a Heldrake foot and one of the smaller gun arms from the Kataphron kit. And I added some suitable bits and bobs, such as an omnispex array from the Centurions, some cabling, stuff like that.

Even if thi should stay a one-off 54mm project, painting the Magos should still be a rather interesting experience — plus I am pretty sure I’ll get quite some mileage out of that modern AdMech decal sheet 😉

III. Daemonic desktop infestation imminent!

Waiiit, you didn’t think we’d bypass the ruinous powers, did you? No way! Because while I was wildly fluttering around in “crazy hobby butterfly mode”, something unwholesome from the warp has started to “manifest” on my desktop…



Still very early days, admittedly, but this should be interesting as well…

 

So as you can see, I am just trying different things before committing to the next bigger project. So keep watching this place to see those three projects – plus half a dozen others, I’d imagine – take shape. Or not. Anyway, I would love to hear your thoughts on these current “sketches”, so feel free to leave a comment!

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

The State of the Hunt, Week 35/2018: Back in the green — at least for a bit…

Posted in 40k, Blood Bowl, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, state of the hunt, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2018 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, my every working hour last week was given to working for an international youth and media participation project with people from all over Europe in my hometown, and while it was all an incredible blast, it left me with very little sleep and, arguably worse – literally no hobby time to speak of. On a more positive note, however, I had squirreled away a bit of new content for a rainy day, so to speak, so I do have something new to share with you all:

Remember the little Goblin Nurse my friend Annie gave me for my birthday?

Well, I actually managed to get some paint on the little guy a while ago. Take a look:



Seeing how there’s a bit of a vintage Kev Adams look to the model, I decided for a couple of slighty retro painting touches, such as the purplish lower lip and the extra gnarled look for the skin. I am actually really happy with the model, and it gave me a bit of an appetite to do a bit more Blood Bowl related stuff.

For instance, while I was at it, I also added a couple of tweaks to the Blood Bowl balls I had finished earlier, adding some patches in a different leather colour as well as an Orkish decal or two, just so the squig ball doesn’t entirely steal the show:

And I also built some markers and reroll tokens for my team. I could probably just have picked up the “modern” versions from ebay, but I wanted to get a bit create with some of my old greenskin bitz. So here’s what I came up with:

Painting these tokens should be quite a bit of fun, so I have already prepared them for for whenever Annie and I have our next shared painting session 😉

All of this was great fun to make and paint, as Blood Bowl related things tend to be. I also have one more, mostly unrelated, thing to share with you for today, though:

When Azazel unveilded his idea for a “Technical August” community challenge, that is a challenge focused around techniques that one has not yet mastered, I had such lofty ideals: I wanted to finish the next two members for my true scale Deathwatch Killteam…

…namely these two guys, a Castigator and a Lamenter:

And just to make sure things would be properly “technical”, I decided to go for an effect I really haven’t mastered AT ALL: Freehand painting. I was going to freehand both of their chapter icons — yay, go me! 😉

Alas, that was basically as far as it went: I did manage to finish those left shoulder pads, freehands and all…

…but the models still look just like that, and seeing how there’s no way I’ll be finishing them before the end of August, this will have to be my meagre contribution to Azazel’s hobby challenge this month: two shoulder pads 😦

So yeah, that’s it for today! It goes without saying that I would love to hear any feedback you might have.

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

 

The State of the Hunt, Week 33/2018: The Ordos are recruiting…

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, Pointless ramblings, state of the hunt, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2018 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, I am pretty busy at the moment, but I do have some new models for you to look at — just a couple of INQ28 kitbashes for today, however — that will have to suffice 😉 So what is this about?

The first pair of models I want to share with you has actually been around for a while, but I don’t think I have posted them over here yet: Last year, fellow hobbyist BubblesMcBub was amazingly generous enough to let me have most of the Death Guard models from the Dark Imperium boxed set, and as a way of paying him back for that great kindness, I promised to convert some models for him. I already sent him a converted Iron Warriors champ late last year…

…but Bubbles also wanted me  to build him an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor.

Now it did take me a while to do this, both because I wanted to come up with something cool, but also because I couldn’t quite decide which general approach I wanted to go with: A massive, towering monodominant Inquisitor of the “Suffer Not The Alien To Live!” school of thought? Or a rather more subtle, sneaky and shadowy Inquisitor who is not above using the odd Xenos artifact himself? Both are pretty cool angles, and I realised in the end that the only right way was to actually build both 😉

So here are the Inquisitors I converted for Bubbles:

 

First up, the hulking monodominant Inquisitor:

Now this guy is actually a refurbished model of sorts: He began his existence as a champion for my old, kitbashed Legio Custodes army, but with official Custodes models now available, he wasn’t likely to be used for his intended role anytime soon. I rather liked the kitbash, however, which is why I made some changes to him (adding a different sidearm, backpack and shoulder pad) to make him look even less Space Marine-y. And I think that, after a final round of minor cleanups, he should work as a fine puritan Inquisitor for Bubbles’ collection.

The second guy, on the other hand, was built completely from the ground up, and represents the more subdued (and maybe ever so slightly radical) side of the Ordo Xenos. Take a look:

The Inquisitor uses a Genestealer Hybrid body, because I felt the retro-futuristic spaceman vibe of the suit fits the Ordo Xenos rather nicely (it is also heavily reminiscent of the kind of industrial design you see in the Alien films, which is another great match. I gave the Inquisitor an AdMech sword, because its very sleek, modernist look seemed like a good fit. And he’s also wielding a Harlequin’s kiss, to show how he’s definitely not above making use of Xenos artifacts.

I also have to admit that I may have taken a teeny tiny bit of inspiration from DexterKong’s excellent Inquisitor Falx, one of my favourite models of his.

So these two guy will soon be a part of BubblesMcBub’s part of the 40k galaxy, and I hope he likes them — once I finally manage to send them off to him, at long last, that is. Sorry, mate! I know I’m terrible! 🙂

 

So, with those two guys finally documented over here on the blog, I also have a current kitbash to share with you. Now you may remember my kitbash for Inquisitrix Elianu, of the Ordo Malleus, from recently:

The Inquisitrix was based on the Easy To Build Stormcast Sequitors — in fact, I only really bought that kit to get my hands on this one model. But I still had those other Sequitors, so I thought it was time for another INQ28 conversion based on the kit. So I made a Crusader for Inquisitrix Elianu’s retinue:



As you can see, it’s a rather simple conversion from a structural standpoint, although it did require some detail work when it came to picking out the right bitz to take the model into the 41st millennium — and to replace some of the more overtly AoS inconography.

One bit that I really think makes the conversion is the head, a leftover head from the Datasmith that comes with the Kastelan Robots. Nothing says 40k like a face full of cables, isn’t that right? 😉

I also went through several weapon variants and surprised myself by using the Custodes sword blade in the end — I actually really don’t like those clunky swords when they are used as swords, but as some kind of weird tech-spear-glaive thing, it really works rather well with the Crusader feel, wouldn’t you agree? Prompted by fellow hobbyist Naryn, I even included a small trigger mechanism close to the model’s right hand, to show how the integrated boltgun might be fired.

One thing I did think long and hard about was whether or not to replace the model’s shoulder pads with something a bit less Stormcast Eternal-ish, but the pauldrons seemed like such an integral part of the lines that define the model that I decided to leave them like that, as everything I would have come up with wouldn’t have looked better in the end.

All things considered, I am also rather fond of him right now, to be honest — I think it has something to do with the fact that I only really purchased the box for the female Sequitor, and the other two models were basically chaff. To see one of them transformed into something useful and cool does feel pretty cool! 🙂

 

Here he is, along with his mistress, Inquisitrix Elianu:

So that’s it for today! Please feel free to let me know what you think! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! 🙂