Archive for the WIP Category

A Child for the Warrior King, pt.4

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2018 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, I hope I won’t bore you to death when I stay on the topic of converted Armiger Warglaives for yet another post — bear with me, as there are some news to be shared πŸ˜‰

First of all, my finished Renegade Armiger, discussed in detail last week, not only served as an entry for Azazel’s Jewel of July challenge and as my vow for this year’s ETL VI event over at The Bolter & Chainsword — he also actually managed to win me win me a Badge of the Artificer during the latter, making the Hound one of this ETL’s standout models, which I am actually very happy with!

You see, given the incredible output by some fellow forum members – and also my own lazy pace of painting – it was always clear that I had no hope of ever winning any kind of award based on the amount of painted models. But the Badge of the Artificer is based on the ‘Wow-effect’ of individual models or vows, independent of their points worth, and I will admit that I’ve been gunning for that badge for a while now, and achieving it with a model that I am still pretty darn happy with definitely feels great!

In celebration, have a look at the snazzy photo montage I have created for the “Master Artificer” poll that will go up over at The B&C in the near future (EDIT: It’s right here, in case you want to check out the fantastic models created by the other entrants):

That’s not the only Armiger-related news, however:Β  Since the heat in this part of the world has been almost unbearable for the last couple of weeks, and since I was still feeling a bit drained from the last paintjob, I limited myself to some light kitbashing, trying to come up with a cool angle for the second Renegade Armiger I still need to build: I decided to start with the parts of the model that would define its personality more than any other. Exhibit one, the face:

This time around, I didn’t want the head to look like a daemon face or another “classic” skull face, because that approach has already been sufficiently explored with the skull-like face on the first Armiger. I rather wanted to experiment with something that looks like a more robotic, mask like design that has had some elements grafted on to look intimidating and sinister, When building the mockup for the facemask, my inspirations were Biohazard’s attempt to channel Darth Nihilus’ facemask on his own Armigers, a couple of the creepier bug creatures I’ve encountered during my recent playthrough of Hollow Knight — oh, and if there was one direct visual influence, it’s Volund, a creepy automaton from ADB’s and David Sondered’s very cool webcomic series “The Road to Jove”:

Artwork by David Sondered


Artwork by David Sondered


So with those sources of inspiration in mind, here’s what I have come up with:

As you can see, it’s a more robotic – almost insectile – look. The one thing I am not sure about is whether or not to use the lower jaw: On the one hand, the head arguably looks even more like a creepy insect face without it. On the other hand, I rather like the way the jaw rounds of the design of the head (and ties back into a more classic chaos look).

Maybe it’s a decision I have to make once the head has been painted…

Here’s a – very early – mockup of the second Armiger:

The interesting thing about this model will be how much it resembles – or doesn’t resemble – the Hound: On the one hand, I do want the personality of the respective pilot show in the setup, pose and decoration of their Armiger to some degree, plus there also has to be a certain amount of individuality for the models to be suitably interesting. On the other hand, both Armigers are actually men-at-arms to Baron Harrowthorne and Gilgamesh, so I do want to have certain elements of uniformity as well. I imagine this whould be a fun balance to toy around with! With that said, this also means that the model can only really take shape once I’ve managed to get my hands on another set of Bloodthirster vambraces – or, failing that, vambraces from Skarbrand.

If anyone has those bitz and would be willing to trade, please let me know!!!

Oh, and I have also started with the assembly of the cockpit and the pilot — meet “The Huntress”:

I have wanted to add some kind of female character to my World Eaters ever since Lotara Sarrin turned out to be Betrayer’s best human character, and if I even needed any more persuasion, seeing Cheex’ fantastic female corsair captain, gave me the last little shove I needed.

I still had the face from one of the Coven Throne vampires – after cutting of her hairdo for my recent conversion of Countess Mandelholtz – and I combined it with a pilot hat from the Astra Militarum Sentinel — I think?! Anyway, the original face was carefully shaved off to make way for the female face. I think I may have to get rid of that small aerial over the right ear, though, as it probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense…

As for the body, my original plan was to build the model around another sentinel pilot, but then I realised that the Genestealer Hybrid bodies make for rather perfect pilot suits — and the models are also slight enough in build to work as a female character wearing a somewhat bulky suit.

Of course having a mockup was all well and good, but I still needed to fit the model into the actual cockpit. This was easier work than last time around, however, as I already had a basic recipe in mind.

So here’s my mockup of the Armiger’s cockpit and pilot:

This is still early days, of course, and I mostly focused on trying to at least get all the elements that need to be present in there. On the finished build, the pilot’s left hand will be turned around, obviously, and the right hand will be gripping a control stick (to hint at the same kind of interface also visible on my first Armiger pilot).

But anyway, I think I may be on to something here — I would love to hear your feedback, of course, so feel free to leave me a comment!

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


A Child for the Warrior King, pt.3: The Hound

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2018 by krautscientist

With the ETL VI deadline fast approaching, this last week was mostly given over to the task of completing my Renegade Armiger Warglaive, and I would very much like to share my progress on this project with you today! It wasn’t all smooth sailing, either, because Germany has been in the iron grip of a heat wave for quite a while now, with temperatures solidly in the mid-30s Celsius degrees for most of last week — certainly not unheard of in other parts of the world, but not something we are all that used to in my particular neck of the woods…

But I soldiered on regardless, so let’s take a look at what I have to show for my perseverance:

Here’s where we left off last time:

The biggest task at this point was to paint the bigger amour plates for the legs as well as the top carapace. In order to save myself some time, I decided to use GW’s Mephiston Red spray as an undercoat for the armour plates. But while it did end up laying down a nice, even coat of red, the red was also fairly flat and chalky — so I did end up re-painting all the red areas anyway…

In the end, it probably did save me some time, after all, but it was certainly not a game changer on par with, say, the Leadbelcher spray.

Anyway, I tackled the armour plates one after another, picking out the various details and blocking in the different colours. The biggest piece of work was the top carapace, of course, so that’s where I started. Here it is, with most of the detail already blocked in:

As you can see, I also added some decals during this stage: These days, I never save the decals until everything else has been painted, because that will invariable make them look tacked on, almost like an afterthought. By applying them sooner, they can be weathered and damaged along with the rest of the model, as needed, in order to actually make them look more realistic. Now in this case, this only really involved a subtle pass of sepia wash to make them look just a bit more natural, but it’s a habit I have picked up. Besides, none of them were in the way of the eventual highlighting, so that helped, too πŸ˜‰

Some of the decals were actually chosen to tie the model into the lore of my World Eaters army: The paw print hints at Gilgamesh’s honorary membership in the Legio Audax, the “Ember Wolves” (while the Titan Legio is an actual part of the background, as of “Betrayer”, I did make up Gilgamesh’s membership in it as part of my own head canon).

Meanwhile, the numerals on the right pauldron stand for the XII Legion’s IVth company — mirroring a similar marking on Gilgamesh’s right shoulder guard:

So here’s what the carapace looked like at this stage:

And here it is, a short while later, with all of the missing detail painted and a pretty serious (at least for my standard) amount of highlighting in place:

The rest of the armour plates were given the same treatment, and while none of this is any award winning stuff, the subtly higlighted red ended up looking quite a bit deeper than the armour on Gilgamesh, while still fitting the overall look: While the Armiger should still look like it belongs, it also shows off how I have grown as a painter over the last couple of years, and I like that, to be honest πŸ˜‰

So anyway, here’s the Armiger in its almost finished state:

At this point, I made a To Do list for myself listing all the small cleanup work and small tweaks I still needed to do before the model would be finished. I also made an eleventh hour decision to diverge from the original conversion, as the original plan had been to add some marauder shields on top of the Armiger’s pauldrons, for an even more baroque, chaotic look. Like so:

But when I added them to the pauldrons, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that the model actually worked better without them, so after hemming and hawing and asking for feedback over at the forums, I eventually decided to leave them off — something about them just didn’t quite click with me, while the model did seem complete enough without them.

So at this point it was mainly a matter of checking all of the boxes on my To Do list, one after another.

One area of notice was the detailing of the cockpit and reactor section, and I am pretty happy with how that area came out. Take a look:

For the cockpit displays, I chose an approach I had seen on a Knight by fellow hobbyist Noigrim — I really liked the idea of approaching enemies being visible as red dots on the radar πŸ˜‰

And here’s a closer look at the reactor section:

This is how the whole assembly looks when seen from the side, by the way:

From a conversion perspective, this is probably the most involved customisation on the entire model, but I do think it has been worth it.

The other big thing to take care of was the base. Here’s the completed build I came up with:

Gilgamesh’s base uses several pieces of broken imperial statuary (courtesy of GW’s “Honoured Imperium” terrain kit), and I thought it would be cool to match that look, albeit on a slightly smaller scale. So the base was built around a shattered statue’s broken sword (once again, a very apt metaphor for the failing Imperium of Man, and all that), and I used different kinds of slate, sand and cork to build up a suitable amount of rubble and texture around it all. The main floor texture was, once again, created using Vallejo’s Sandy Paste.

I also did a preliminary dry fitting to find out wether the model would fit neatly onto the base:

And after that, it was off to the painting desk for one last time. Here’s the finished base, completed a short while later:

As you can see, some skulls and broken Ultramarines armour pieces were also added to the base, if only to tie the model into the 28mm scale a bit better (and make for smaller areas of visual interest).

And with that, my Renegade Armiger was finished. So let’s take a look at the model, shall we?


The Hound

Enkidu Lance
attached to the XII Legion’s 4th assault company


And a couple of detail shots, of course:

First up, the Armiger with its carapace removed and a closer look at the pilot:

The plan was to make the pilot look similar to Gilgamesh’s pilot, the Baron Harrowthorne:

At the same time, I wanted it to be fairly obvious that the Hound is below the Baron in rank, so his uniform is just a bit plainer. I think the finished look works pretty well:

The top carapace will – obviously – stay removable, if only because it allows me to show off the custom cockpit and pilot every once in a while πŸ˜‰ In fact, the entire model retains a certain amount of modularity:

This should provide a nice extra bit of flexibility once the second Armiger (codenamed “The Huntress”) has been completed! Incidentally, the harpoon arm I shared with you in my previous post will actually serve as the Huntress’ stock armament…

Here’s a side view that gives you a better idea of the detail work on the undercarriage:

The amount of detail on the Armiger’s skeleton owes a lot to the “JeffTibbetts school of Knight painting”, as it were πŸ˜‰

Another area of the model I want to showcase is the banner between the Armiger’s legs:

While loyalist Armigers appear a lot less draped in personal heraldry than their Imperial Knight masters, I wanted to invoke the impression that Armiger pilots may serve their lords for far longer in the Great Eye, so it seemed appropriate to include a banner showing the pilot’s battle honours: It shows both the World Eaters’ legion badge as well as the War Hounds’ old symbol — probably a shout out to the Hound’s epithet.

At the same time, I also wanted to make the banner look more rugged than the banner on the bigger Knight, so I painted it as some kind of roughly tanned hide. I used the approach outlined in Brandon’s tutorial here, with a couple of minor tweaks, and am pretty happy with the finished effect.

Oh, and I also finally managed to take a picture of the face that shows of the Armiger’s glowing eye:

The missing optical sensor on the right side was originally a consequence of a slight miscast of the face, but I think it gives the model an even more sinister and chaotic look, so it actually works in its favour, wouldn’t you agree? πŸ˜‰

Oh, and here’s a picture of the Armiger and my Renegade Knight Titan, Gilgamesh, “The Warrior King” — “Father and Son”, so to speak:

In fact, I discovered that my older Wargrinder conversion could actually work as an Armiger fairly well, at least from a scale perspective:

And with that, I have managed to finish both my entry for this year’s ETL event as well as my contribution to Azazel’s “Jewel of July” challenge. Pretty nifty, eh? πŸ˜‰ To be honest, I am immensely pleased with the finished model — I actually put this off as long as I could, and I really had to force myself to start painting, but I couldn’t be any happier with the result. That being said, this has been a pretty involved project, so I think I’ll allow myself a bit of rest and mostly focus on small fry for a bit πŸ˜‰

But anyway, so far for my first Renegade Armiger Warglaive. It goes without saying that I would love to hear your feedback on the model, so leave me a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

A Child for the Warrior King, pt.2

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2018 by krautscientist

It has been a couple of months since the Forgebane boxed set provided us not only with a very cool – and entirely Space Marine-free – 40k starter set, but also with the Armiger Warglaive, a very interesting smaller pattern of Imperial Knight:

In the interim, we have seen a full release of the Imperial Knights as a faction, with new smaller and bigger Knight models to boot. And some of you may still remember my conversion of a Renegade Armiger from a while back:

Of course I just had to build some chaotic Armigers to accompany my Chaos Knight Titan, Gilgameshthe Warrior King – and the guy you see above was my first proof of concept — and one that I am still very happy with, it must be said!

However, with my recent focus on painting INQ28 characters, the poor Armiger has remained unpainted all through the recent Imperial Knights release — high time, then, to return to the model and finally give it some much needed attention!


I. “Fire the Ursus Claws!”

First up, something I have wanted to share with you for quite a while now, but the chance never presented itself:

After building my first Armiger, I realised that I wanted to get a bit more creative with the CC weapon on the second model — and there was also something about the way Armigers are portrayed in the fluff as support to bigger Knights in the fluff, helping their masters to bring down their prey and soften up bigger opponents, that drew me back to the World Eaters’ background and the armament of their warmachines in the lore — and then fellow hobbyist Augustus b’Raass put words to the vague idea I had been thinking about all along:

OOOH OOOOH this gave me an idea: how about the World Eaters Harpoon thingy whatsitcalled -you know, that traditional thing. Dammit, the name eludes me, but youΒ must know what I mean!

And Augustus was perfectly right, of course: I really needed to build an Armiger-sized Ursus Claw harpoon!

I had already used the idea on my second World Eaters Contemptor, Raud the Hunter, a while ago, albeit at a smaller scale:

So for the sake of visual consistency, one objective would be to make the weapon resemble the Ursus Claw on my Contemptor, so they would at least seem to be variations of the same weapons system.

Now when it came to actually building an Armiger-sized Ursus Claw, Talarion’s approach to building a lance weapon for an Armiger served as invaluable reference material. So between his version and my own-Dreadnought sized proof of concept, here’s what I came up with:

This was just the basic setup, mind you, with very little chaotic decoration in place, and the weapon also still lacked the drum-fed chain attached to the harpoon (the drum bit is already visible in the picture, though). That being said, it was also a pretty simple conversion, really, spliced together from the Armiger’s stock chainblade arm and a couple of additional bitz.

In case you want to reproduce the design – or build something similar – here’s a mini-tutorial for you:

Tutorial: Building a Knight Armiger harpoon arm:

First of all, here are the bitz you will need (keep the red parts for the conversion, while the grey parts go back into the bitzbox):Β 

  • I. the stock Armiger Warglaive chainweapon arm — just carefully get rid of the blade (and of that one small, greyed-out area towards the back!).
  • II. a lamp post, either from the 40k basing set for big models or from the old City of Death terrain. I used two parts from this piece, although the foot is by far the more important one, as it makes up most of the actual harpoon.
  • III. The spiked tip from another small terrain piece, that is – again – available both in the aforementioned basing kit or the City of Death terran kits.
  • IV. a small piece from the Adeptus Mechanicus Kataphron kit — I only really chose this for visual balance and because it makes the harpoon look as though it might actually be a bit more sophisticated (and able to carry an electrical current, for instance).
  • V. The shaft from the Blood Angels Librarian Dreadnoughts psi-weapon — although there are probably many bitz that would work just as well. You could even use a piece of plasticard to fill the same role.

All you have to do is to carefully line up these bitz and glue them together (of course you can always pin the entire thing, if you want to make sure it’s ultra-straight and stable): I’ve made you a diagram about what goes where:

As an aside, I actually love the fact how part IV. – coincidentally – mirrors a very similar part on the Knight Valiant’s Thundercoil Harpoon, even though my design predates the release of the new model by a couple of months πŸ˜‰

I also chose to include a chain drum, made mainly from a leftover Imperial Knight weapon part (if I recall correctly). You can basically use any round, hollow shape for this, though — even any kind of (half-)barrel might do. I added a piece from a WFB plastic spear to the centre of the drum, then carefully wound some Gale Force Nine model chain around it and attached the end to the harpoon, in an attempt to actually suggest a mechanism.

Here’s a look at the finished arm, with a bit of chaotic decoration in place.

Two additional remarks about the conversion:

One, I do realise a more ornate, spiky tip would probably have made for a more Khornate look, but I kinda wanted to retain a certain sense of internal consistence across my collection. Well, that and I also like the idea that the weapon itself is so blunt and brutal that it’s mostly designed for efficiency, and less for show. If you decide to build your own harpoon/lance weapon, however, swapping in a tip of your liking should be the easiest thing in the world.

Two, elsewhere on the blogosphere, it has been pointed out how the chain mechanism could never work from a mechanical perspective. That is probably correct. I went with a setup that seemed at least a bit logical to me, while also looking visually balanced. But I definitely did not get into the actual engineering of a working mechanism, so feel free to make any necessary adjustments on your own version, especially if you have a better grip on mechanics than I have! πŸ˜‰

If nothing else, I do think the finished arm looks pretty cool when mounted on an Armiger:

Here’s a closer look at the chain and mechanism:

Since my first converted Armiger will be going with the chainsword arm shown at the beginning of this post, the harpoon arm serves as a bit of a teaser for the second Armiger I am going to convert. That being said, I’ll definitely leave the arms interchangeable, so they can be swapped between models as needed.


II. Gearing Up!

The building optional Ursus Claws notwithstanding, there was still the matter of the unpainted Armiger to deal with — even moreso since I have vowed the model as an entry for this year’s ETL event over at The Bolter & Chainsword. So it was time to finally get this bad boy painted. Just to remind you, here’s what the conversion looked like:

Unlike the last time I had to undercoat a Knight, there were no spraying mishaps this time around, fortunately enough, so here’s what I started with:

Now the first painting session was mostly spent on the – rather thankless – task of darkening down the body with black wash:

In order to make things a bit more challenging – and rewarding – for myself, however, I did sneak in some painting on the Armiger’s head (which I finished in one go)…

And on the pilot, laying down the base colours and the first pass of washes:

Since then, the paintjob has mostly consisted of chipping away at the model one area at a time so far. Starting with the Armiger’s metallic base structure and leaving the armour plates for later seemed, once again, like the obvious way to go.

So here’s the Armiger’s “skeleton” with most of the base colours blocked in:

While this may not seem like riveting stuff, the extra depth provided by the bronze detail should make quite a bit of difference on the finished model, I hope. Plus this also allowed an early idea of how the bone faceplate would eventually contrast with the red armour:

I’ve learned from JeffTibbetts’ absolutely amazing “Queen Bee” project that it pays to take some extra time on a Knight’s metallic skeleton, adding areas of grime, scratches and all kinds of wear and tear for that extra bit of realism (or rather, plausibility) and texture — true, most of it will be covered up by the various armour plates later on, but being able to glimpse something that resembles an actual, working machine underneath it all makes the whole war machine, preposterous as it may be, more grounded in realism.

With this preamble out of the way, here’s a side view at the mostly finished “skeleton”, showing off some of the carefully applied dirt, grime and lubricant πŸ˜‰

The same process was then repeated on the arms, finally making the model look as though it were actually going somewhere:

And the pilot has also been finished (after another round of highlights and the application of a decal to his shoulder pad):

So here’s the current status of the model:

As you can see, the arms are basically done at this point — including the plasma “special effect” on the right arm, obviously. This also means that, with the exception of a bit of cleanup and some minor finishing touches, the Armiger’s “skeleton” is now finished, and I’ll be focusing on the armour plates next.

In fact, here’s a sneak peak of the model with the undercoated top carapace provisionally mounted in place:

The ETL event ends on August 1st, so that leaves me with about a week to paint the rest of the armour, perform all the necessary cleanup and add the finishing touches, then maybe add a base — while I am definitely going to base the model with all bells and whistles, it is not something that’s required for finished models that are part of the ETL, so if I have to cut some corners, it’ll be there. All in all, in spite of my general laziness, it seems like a realistic task. However, my neck of the woods is also currently in the midst of a heat wave that renders painting more complicated than it needs to be — so wish me luck! πŸ˜‰

Oh, and in addition to being my first (and probably only vow) for this year’s ETL, this guy also counts as an entry for Azazel’s “Jewel of July” challenge.

So keep your fingers crossed for me, as I brave the hot weather in an attempt to get this guy finished in time! It goes without saying that I would love to hear any feedback you may have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

The State of the Hunt, Week 29/2018: Hot weather and heavy armour

Posted in 40k, Blood Bowl, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, Orcs & Goblins, state of the hunt, Totally worth it, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 16, 2018 by krautscientist

A bit of a transitional post for today, as I don’t have any completed models to share with you at the moment — that’s what I get for touting my own productivity in my previous post, I suppose πŸ˜‰

But anyway, both the warm weather and various other distractions have kept me from painting anything lately. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing any hobby-related work, though: At least I have some WIP impressions to share with you! πŸ™‚

I. The Long Watch:

So far, my Primaris-based true scale Deathwatch killteam numbers four completed members, as you will probably remember:

Thanks to several bitz drops, I have been able to start work on the next two members of the team. First up, I wanted to include a Watch-Brother from the Castigators, a fourteenth founding Ultramarines successor, and Commissar Molotov’s own DIY chapter — given Mol’s role as the doyen of the INQ28 movement, I felt this would be a nice little shout out to him πŸ˜‰

So far, my Deathwatch conversions have been an attempt to convey the character of the Marines’ respective chapters through the actual conversion, and I did have a rather nifty idea for the Castigator, if I do say so myself: Seeing how the chapter icon prominently features a hand holding a whip, and given the fact that the Deathwatch seem to be all about crazy weapons nowadays, I thought it would be cool to get a little creative with the model’s equipment πŸ˜‰

Take a look:

The model is based on one of the Primaris Lieutenants from the Dark Imperium boxed set that I was able to snap up on ebay — the pose was quite perfect for what I had in mind, and it was really easy to replace the model’s power sword with the whip from the Necromunda Escher sprue — it’s a good thing we actually get two of those whips in the Necromunda boxed set πŸ˜‰

I wasn’t quite sure at first whether or not the whip look would work, but I do think the Marine wears it rather well: The bigger scale makes the weapon look a bit more plausible, and the model’s dynamic stance definitely matches the weapon.

Apart from the weapon swap, I only really added a bit of additional gear to the model’s belt and swapped in a Deathwatch backpack and shoulder pad (replacing the stock shoulder pad did take a bit of careful sawing, though, as the pauldron and arm were one bit). I also really wanted to have one member of the squad wear an Mk. VII helmet, for that classic mid-to-late 90s Space Marine look, and I still had a vintage metal Deathwatch head in my bitzbox, so that seemed like the perfect option to go with.

Commissar Molotov also kindly offered to send over a custom Castigators shoulder pad, although I am pretty much committed to freehanding the chapter icon onto the right pauldron — how much harder than an actual lion head can it possibly be, right? Plus it would save me the hassle of having to saw through another Space Marine arm πŸ˜‰ I would really like Molotov to name this fellow, though!

That’s not all, though: Thanks to a supply drop from fellow hobbyist Augustus b’Raass, I received yet another Primaris Marine, which allowed me to start yet another Watch-Brother, a Lamenter this time around. It felt like my kill team still needed someone with a massive gun, so I decided that the role would fall to the Lamenter. After doing a bit of research on the matter, I bought the model for Rodricus Grytt (from Kill Team Cassius), because it would give me both the weapon, backpack and Deathwatch shoulder pad I needed in one go.

So the biggest part of the conversion was to make Rodricus’ arms fit the Primaris body — something that actually turned out to be surprisingly easy, with just a bit of tweaking:

I did have to carefully cut off the right upper arm from both the “donor” model and the Primaris Marine, though, in order to make it all work together — I only really had to do this because I wanted to be able to replace the stock Primaris shoulder pad, however.

Regarding the details, I chose some bitz with teardrop symbols to match the Lamenters’ inconography. As for the helmet, I have a funny story to go with that one: Having tried, half a dozen times, and unsuccessfully, no less, to sell Commissar Molotov on this particular helmet for his true scale Lamenters Watch-Brother, I realised that the only way I was going to ever see this helmet used in that capacity was to build my own Lamenter — so here we are πŸ˜‰

In order to add to the bulky look created by the helmet and massive weapon, I also added some additional armour plates to the model’s hip, although they are not all that visible in the above picture — trust me, though: They are there πŸ˜‰

As for the pose, I would have preferred something a little more grounded and stable, but I only had the one Primaris Marine to work with, so I did the best I could. Given his pose, the Marine obviously isn’t in the process of firing his weapon, but rather seems to be lugging it from point a to point b. So what do you guys think: Does he work better looking straight ahead like this:

Or looking off to the side, like this:

I also tried having him look towards the barrel of his gun, but the model ended up looking very unbalanced that way, plus it would also obscure a lot of the detail on the faceplate. Anyway, would love to hear your feedback on this!

In any case, many thanks to Augustus b’Raass, of course, for sending over the model for the conversion! Cheers, buddy! πŸ™‚


II. Golden Girl

Ever since the recent release of Age of Sigmar’s 2nd edition’s starter box and the accompanying models, everyone and their mother have been going crazy over the new Nighthaunt models (and some hobbyists, like the ever-inspirational Jeff Vader, are already having a field day with the, admittedly very nice, skeleton-ghost thingies).

However, nobody’s been talking about what must be the entire release’s single coolest model: The female Stormcast Eternal coming with the Easy To Build Easy To Build Stormcast Sequitors:

Seriously, I love this model! It’s almost perfect, really: The pose, the very cool face, the clean lines. I don’t care much for the weird mace head, but that’s Stormcast Eternal weapon design for you. Anyway, I knew right off the bat that I wanted to turn this lady into an Inquisitrix — my first Inquisitrix, actually, something I have wanted to do for a long time, ever since seeing PDH’s brilliant take on Naeve Blacktalon.

So here’s what I have so far:


Like I said, I really love this model, which is why I have decided to keep the conversion fairly subtle for now: I merely replaced that weird He-Man-style weapon with something a little more 40k (a thunder hammer from the plastic Mk. III Marines with an eagle head from the Imperial Knight Questor) added a holstered pistol at the hip and an Inquisitorial rosette and replaced the design on the shield with an Ordo Malleus-style heraldic device (quite a bit of work, that last one):

I am actually a bit reluctant to add too many more gubbins to her: Much of the model’s coolness comes from its very clean lines, mostly created by juxtaposition of the static pose and the flowing robes, and I don’t want to ruin that by overcluttering her. A bit of extra gear on her belt, maybe, but don’t expect me to go crazy on the grimdark bitz. In the end, I am pretty confident she’ll look perfectly at home in the middle of an Inquisitorial warband.

If there is one problem with the model, it’s that this girl is tall — almost freakishly so, and even moreso when using the elevated base the model actually came with — a veritable plinth, that one. She is just as tall as a Primaris Marine, and that’s not counting the base.

So the first thing I did was to drop the base and go with something a bit less vertical — the very cool readymade base that came with the Primaris Marine Augustus send me seems like an excellent standin for now. As for her actual height, I guess I’ll be able to get away with it because she’s an Inquisitrix: The Inquisition definitely has the kind of crazy tech at its disposal that could allow for all kinds of body augmentation. It would arguably be more of a problem if I wanted to turn her into, say, a Sister of Battle, for instance.


III. This is going to sting a little…

There’s also another addition to my Blood Bowl team, as my friend Annie gave me a very cool model for my birthday. This delightful little Kromlech goblin nurse, who will be the Orkheim Ultraz’ medic from now on:

Expect to see this little guy painted sooner rather than later! And a heartfelt thank you to Annie for – another – lovely contribution to my team! πŸ™‚


IV. In closing…

Before I wind up this post, I want to elaborate about one of the aforementioned distractions that have kept me from painting. Some long time readers may remember that I am a bit of a video game fiend, so it’s probably not too surprising to learn that one thing keeping me from painting at the moment is…a video game:

I have been slightly addicted to playing Hollow Knight for the last couple of days, and I only really bring this up because I am fairly confident that quite a few readers of this blog might enjoy the game just as much as I do: It’s a 2017 indie action adventure that has been receiving quite a bit of hype recently, after being released for the Nintendo Switch. I bought the PC version last weekend and have been unable to tear myself away from it ever since. For those of you a bit familiar with videogames, it’s as though Dark Souls had been reimagined as a sidescrolling Metroidvania…with bugs (the animals, mind you, not the technical gaffes). It’s highly addictive, incredibly atmospheric, and also very cute and very creepy at the same time. If that sounds like it might be your thing, check out the game here.


So yeah, that’s it for today! Let’s hope I’ll be able to get something finished again before long — I’ll definitely keep you guys posted! πŸ˜‰

Until then, please feel free to let me know what you think about these WIPs! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

INQ28: Hear Me Roar!

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2018 by krautscientist

More Deathwatch for today, as I have been plugging away at my Primaris based true scale killteam for another week. Allow me to share the results with you:

First up, there’s the Celestial Lions Astartes I have already shared with you in WIP form. Like I said, my main influence for choosing the chapter was the African influence (although the fact that the Lions are a chapter from a later founding also helped a bit). However, I also discovered that the chapter and the Inquisition have a bit of a troubled history, as outlined in my previous post — to the point where Inquisitorial operatives seem to be actively hunting for the chapter. Ouch! So would a Celestial Lion actually be part of an – Inquisition-sponsored – Deathwatch killteam?

Fortunately enough, I realised that I am in the clear on that front: The chapter’s trouble with the Inquisition only really starts in 948 M41, whereas my INQ28 narratives are set some 200 years before that, so everyone can still be BFFs in my headcanon πŸ˜‰ That being said, I did decide to include a shout out to the chapter’s eventual fate, as per Aramis K’s excellent suggestion of featuring the notorious “Ork Snipers” that wipe out a part of the Celestial Lions during the 3rd War for Armageddon, in some way.

But back to the actual model: This was the Celestial Lion in his first draft version:

As you can see, it’s a very straightforward conversion, mostly based on a Primaris Reiver. I liked the idea of including a stealthier Astartes wearing sleeker armour, and the “Easy To Build” Reiver bodies were really perfect for that. The most involved parts were to add a lion bit (from an old WFB Empire cannon) as a belt buckle and to kitbash another Deathwatch sensor array for the backpack (using a shoulder-mounted lamp from a Genestealer Hybrid and – once again – some auspex aerials).

Then fellow hobbyist euansmith helpfully suggested to maybe turn the model’s head a bit, in order to make it look more sneaky and agile. I complied with his idea, and – sure enough – it made a world of difference!

When it came to painting the model, I actually broke with my usual routine and decided to start with the one part I thought would make or break the model — the right shoulder pad. Because I realised with some nervousness that I would actually have to freehand the Celestial Lions chapter badge, as there are no readily available decals for it (and my idea of maybe using a similar decal as a base went nowhere either). Azrael’s quite excellent Primaris Celestial Lions here (that were also completed for a very personal reason, it must be said) use some very cool shapeways chapter badges, but I didn’t really go through the hassle of ordering bitz like that — so I decided this was the time to buckle up and force myself to do something I had shied away from in the past. Freehand designs.

So here’s the design I chose as my main reference material (inverted, of course, because it would go on the right pauldron):

And here’s what I came up with, using my smallest brush, a drop of Vallejo Airbrush Flow Improver, and reserves of patience I really didn’t know I had:

Of course I didn’t see the huge splodge of wash towards the lower rim of the pauldron until I was looking at it blown up by several hundred percent on a screen — the area has been cleaned up since. Oh, and ‘Aren’ is the name of the battle-brother in question, by the way.

Anyway, I was incredibly happy with the finished freehand — and I can safely say that this has to be one of the most extravagant pieces of detail work I have painted in the last couple of years. I realise that this must be fairly basic bread and butter stuff for talented painters, but to me, it certainly felt like a rather big adventure πŸ˜‰

Anyway, after getting the freehand right, the rest of the paintjob almost seemed trivial. That being said, I also discovered a fairly nice and simple recipe for black skin: GW Doombull Brown makes for a very good base colour, and already looks very natural after a wash of Ogryn Flesh (or Reikland Fleshshade). I only followed it up with some very subtle highlights, and ended up with a skin tone I really liked, as you can see yourself on the finished model:



Rudisha Aren
Brother of the Deathwatch
Celestial Lions Astartes Chapter

Here’s a closer look at the left shoulder pad, now finally in its intended place:

Seriously, though, did I mention how happy I am with that freehand…? πŸ˜‰

As for the base, if you look closely, you can make out the barrel of a – suspiciously Imperial – sniper rifle, but there’s also part of an Ork jaw — Ork snipers, anyone? πŸ˜‰

Granted, this is a bit of a tongue in cheek joke about the chapter’s eventual fate, but it still matches the overall basing theme without lookig too out of place. So that’s the next finished member of Killteam Ulrach for you:


Speaking of Ulrach, while I was working on Brother Aren, I decided to give the Iron Hand that last round of tweaks as well — and the full photo treatment, of course, playing cards, keys and all πŸ˜‰


Vorlik Ulrach
Brother of the Deathwatch
Iron Hands Astartes Chapter

You already know this guy from last week, of course, and most of the finishing touches are pretty subtle. But it’s nice to have all the models finished and photographed in the same style like that πŸ˜‰

Oh, and since someone over at the Ammobunker asked how I had achieved the glowing blue effect on some of the members of the killteam, I thought it would make sense to feature my recipe over here as well — if, indeed, you can even call it a recipe, as it’s almost trivially easy. The one thing I would really recommend, however, is to get some Vallejo Magic Blue: While there may be a similar GW colour, I have yet to see another blue that pops quite as nicely as Magic Blue. So for this recipe, you’ll need the blue and any kind of white. And some water. Here’s what you do:

  1. Paint the center of the area you want to glow (the lens, the gem, the button — whatever it is) with pure Magic Blue
  2. Thin down your Magic Blue with water so it becomes semi-translucent. Then glaze the area around the part you have just painted with it, building up the actual glow — you can do this in several steps to get it right. With larger areas, the effect should grow more solid towards the center, obviously.
  3. Go back to the (undiluted) Magic Blue and keep adding more white to it, and create smaller and smaller highlights at the center of the effect. The last stage should basically be almost pure white. DONE!

The blue higlight on the axe head (as well as the soft glow around it) are a perfect example of the effect in question.


So here’s an updated look at Killteam Ulrach:

I think these guys really work rather well as a group — and you can almost guess at the different characters and combat roles just by looking at the models, wouldn’t you agree? In hindsight, maybe the models are almost a little too vibrant, in a style slightly reminiscent of 2nd edition 40k, but then it’s an almost perverse pleasure to find out how visually striking I can make a squad wearing predominantly black armour πŸ˜‰

Now any future additions to the team will have to wait for a bit, as I have depleted my supplies of Deathwatch parts and Primaris Marines, respectively. That being said, fellow hobbyist Augustus b’Raass is awesome enough to send me another Primaris, and I have just picked up the Rodricus Grytt model on ebay. Combining both will allow me to build a stoic, fatalist brother of the Lamenters wielding a massive frag cannon — it’ll take a while before I can start the conversion, so take a look at aΒ  – really primitive – mockup of my planned conversion:

Beyond what you see in the mockup, I will be going for a heavset look with some slightly archaic, Mk. III-ish touches here and there. It’ll be an interesting balance to maintain, as I don’t want the model to clash with the Deathwatch’s sleek Black Ops look, but I’, confident l’ll be able come up with something.

And as it happens, I also have a pretty cool idea for the Castigator — although I’ll need to get my hands on this particular Primaris Sergeant from Dark Imperium first, in order to make it work…

Until then, however, I am pretty happy with Killteam Ulrach as is — and as these guys are very much ready to rock, I hope Azrael will count them as another entry for this month’sΒ “June-Unit” community challenge!

So that’s it for today’s update. I would love to hear any feedback you might have, so please leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

There’s no ‘I’ in ‘Killteam’ — oh wait, there is!

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2018 by krautscientist

For this week’s update, let’s return to the wonderful world of true scale Astartes for a bit: While I am not exactly a fan of how their lore seems to have been wedged sideways into the 40k background, there’s little doubt that the release of the Primaris Space Marines has provided us with an excellent way of building decently proportioned true scale models for INQ28 without having to spend ages on getting the basic build right. For instance, I had lots of fun building and painting the most archetypal, 2nd edition-style Space Marine I could come up with a while ago, Brother Arcturus Diomedes of the Ultramarines:

Back when the Primaris Marines were released, I picked up the box with three “Easy To Build” Primaris with the plan of eventually turning them into more Deatwatch Marines and end up with small a true scale killteam for my INQ28 collection — even if an entire squad of Astartes would be complete overkill in an actual game. The project just seemed too interesting to get hung up on the practicalities — well, that and true scale Deathwatch Marines have been a bit of a hobby horse for Commissar Molotov, one of the godfathers of INQ28, so working on my own killteam would also be a nice tribute to his own work.

However, progress with the actual assembly of the killteam’s members turned out to be slower than expected for two particular reasons: One, it did take quite some time for me to choose which chapters to go with for the members of the squad. In theory, their chapter identity is only really shown on their left shoulder pad, admittedly, but I really wanted to include various callbacks to their chapter of origin on the rest of the models as well. And while it felt tempting to just go with all the classic First Founding chapters, it would also have been a bit lazy — there are 1,000 chapters in the galaxy, after all. How likely would it be, then, that any given killteam should only feature members from the original Space Marine legions/chapters?

The other difficulty came in the form of the seriously weird poses on some of the snapfit Primaris — I only have myself to blame for that, however, as I could simply have purchased the “proper” multi-part kit.

Anyway, the first additional member for the killteam was converted fairly quickly last year: A Watch-Brother hailing the Iron Hands (and possibly the Killteam’s squad leader):

We’ll be seeing this guy again in a little bit…

And then the rest of the team just somehow refused to come together for the aforementioned reasons — until I had an idea recently: How about going with a Crimson Fist as one of the next members? And how about building him as an homage to this particular piece of artwork by Karl Kopinski:

Artwork by Karl Kopinski

Building models to resemble artwork has become a bit of a sub-hobby of mine lately, and so the task quickly drew me in. And I made this guy:

Granted, I had to simplify some parts of the illustration – mostly due to the fact that, funnily enough, even the Primaris’ bigger scale does not allow for all the detail present in the art – and I also made some minor adaptations, allowing for the fact that my version is intended as a member of the Deatwatch, but I am pretty happy with the kitbash — if nothing else, it definitely does mitigate the stock model’s super weird pose.

The conversion is also a bit of a lesson in thriftiness, as the model uses leftover parts from a plastic chaplain Cassius I picked up a while ago to build a (30k) Word Bearers chaplain. That project left me with Cassius’ left arm and right (Deathwatch) shoulder pad, and ultimately both the shoulder pad and his left hand (complete with snazzy Deathwatch bolt pistol) were grafted onto my Crimson Fist.

I also didn’t have any proper Deathwatch backpacks left, so I had to kitbash one using a regular Space Marine backpack, a sensor array from a Terminator torso front and some small aerials painstakingly shaved off a Space Marines auspex.

So that left me with three members for the killteam, at least:

And I was also really in love with the Crimson Fist conversion, so I decided to paint him right away.

One thing that I decided fairly early during the painting process was that I wanted to use a different skin tone this time around, due to the fact that the Crimson Fists seem to have a distinct Latin American/Hispanic element in their background. So I decided to forego my usual recipe for baseline (caucasian) Astartes skin and go for something slightly different. And in a flight of fancy, I decided to use some very old GW Bronzed Flesh paint that must be more than 20 years old at this point:

And it still worked just fine, too! Most importantly, though, it made for a slightly different skin tone, which seemed like a good way to introduce some much needed ethnic diversity and also underline the fact that all members of the killteam hail from different chapters and, by extension, different planets as well.

As you can see, my Staedtler pigment liner really came in handy once again, and I really went to town on all the little pieces of parchment πŸ˜‰ The bottles of Microsol and Microset I picked up in Amsterdam last year, also ended up being supremely helpful when it came to making that Crimson Fists decal conform to the shoulder pad’s curved surface.

As for the armour, I followed the same approach I had developed for Brother Diomedes: Cover up any sub-par edge highlighting with sponged-on scratches and damage — fortunately enough, the resulting look really fits the Deathwatch rather nicely, if I do say so myself πŸ˜‰

So after another round of fine tuning, and after completing the base, the killteam’s next member was finished:



Vargo Diaz
Brother of the Deathwatch
Crimson Fists Astartes Chapter

As you can see, he does have one …erm crimson fist, at least.Β  I did consider painting the power fist red as well, but then the arm would have ended up being predominantly not-silver, when a silver arm is such an integral part of the Deathwatch livery, so limited the use of red to the right hand.

There’s also another little element I wanted to include: In the original Inquisitor rulebook, the 54mm model for Brother Artemis (basically the forefather to all Deathwatch Marines) had those little rectangles on his bolter designed as displays/buttons for the different kinds of ammunition stored in the weapon:

so I thought it might be fun to include this in a bit of a shout out to the classic model and its paintjob. So I put some Roman numerals on the panels: The right side side has ‘I’ and ‘II’, as shown above, the other one has ‘III’ and ‘IV’:

When it came to basing Brother Diaz, I went for the same basic look I had already used on my first Deathwatch Marine. I included an ork skull this time around, however — I think it’s an entertaining little meta touch to feature an alien skull from the respective chapter’s nemesis Xenos race, so Tyranids for Ultramarines, Orks for Crimson Fists and a Necron head for the Iron Hand. Speaking of which…

There was still this guy:

And, still feeling motivated after my quick completion of Brother Diaz, I decided to paint him as well. After all, I am still very happy with the conversion, based on combining a snapfit Primaris with quite a few parts from Ennox Sorrlock, from Deathwatch:Overkill…

…as well as a new breastplate and left arm courtesy of the Kataphron Destroyers.

Anyway, I quickly got to work and dressed the Iron Hand in the same kind of scuffed black armour as his peers:

In this case, the paintjob also had the added benefit of tying together the various parts of the slightly more eclectic conversion.

According to the underlying basing theme, I also constructed a base, featuring a half-buried Necron skull and spine this time around:

Remembering the (brilliant) alternate history Dornian Heresy and the various more or less obvious parallels and connections between the Necrons and Iron Hands, I decided to mirror the blue glow I used on the Iron Hand in the eye of the Necron skull — it seemed like a nice tongue in cheek meta joke πŸ˜‰

The model’s arms and backpack were painted separately, for the most part — although I couldn’t really help myself, as usual, and had to glue everything together, even while the last few painting steps were still happening:

Putting the finishing touches on the model turned out to be quite a bit of fun, however, so I already have the (mostly) finished model to share with you:


Vorlik Ulrach
Brother of the Deathwatch
Iron Hands Astartes Chapter

I really like the model, and I think his armoured bulk works really well now that he’s been painted — both for an Iron Hand and for the leader of a Deathwatch killteam!

And there’s more, as I have already started assembling yet another possible member for the team, provisionally from the Celestial Lions, wearing a suit of Recon armour:

Yeah, I know: Technically speaking, the model is basically a Primaris Reiver. But after seeing a particularly nice Reiver-based Deathwatch Marine converted and painted by Jeff Vader, I realised that the stripped-down, sleeker armour matches the “Special Ops” look of the Deathwatch rather nicely — I also think it makes sense for the killteam to have a recon expert.

As for his chapter, I chose the Celestial Lions mostly because they have a bit of an African influence, and I had originally picked up that particular head for its decidedly non-caucasian feature — once again, in an attempt to make my collection of models a bit more ethnically diverse than your usual gang of bald, white Astartes. That being said, I realised too late that the Lions have a bit of a history with the Inquisition — oh well, I’ll find some kind of explanation for it, I am sure — in fact, fellow hobbyist Aramis K brilliantly suggested over at The Bolter & Chainsword that this member of the Celestial Lions might be a specialist for hunting down “Ork Snipers”… πŸ˜‰

Going forward, there are a few chapters I would definitely like to feature: Right now, I have plans for three more members for the killteam: A Carcharodon, a Lamenter and one of Commissar Molotov’s own Castigators, as an additional shout out πŸ˜‰

But that’s a story for a future post. For now, here’s what Killteam Ulrach looks like right now:

And seeing how I am actually working towards the completion of a squad here, I think these guys make for a fairly cool contribution to Azazel’s current “June-Unit” community challenge as well! πŸ˜‰

Once again, I would love to hear any thoughts you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

A Child for the Warrior King, pt.1

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2018 by krautscientist

Most of my recent hobby time has been spent working on characters for my INQ28 collection — and rightly so, because I have been having a blast powering through all of those neglected models that have sat in the cupboard of shame for ages.

But the ruinous powers demand observance every once in a while, so to prove that my allegiance still lies firmly with the pantheon, let me show you something related to my other big ongoing hobby project – Khorne’s Eternal Hunt – again. So what is this about?

Long time readers of this blog might remember this guy: Gilgamesh, the Warrior King:

Building and painting an allied Renegade Knight for my World Eaters easily remains one of my most complex and involved hobby projects so far — and one that, incidentally, even got me mentioned on the GW page.

In fact, if you want to read up on Gilgamesh, a comprehensive collection of posts on the project can be found if you follow the link above this picture.

But why bring Gilgamesh up yet again? Don’t I have anything new to show you? The reason is that I immediately had to think of the Warrior King when the Forgebane boxed set was released fairly recently:

Arguably the star of the set are the two smaller knights – Armiger Warglaives – that come with it. They are intended as smaller men-at-arms to escort and protect the bigger Imperial Knights, and in that function, they make for a rather exciting addition to the severely limited options of an Imperial Knight player (Forgeworld variants notwithstanding). The models are also rather lovely, which made me feel that I would need at least one of those Armigers in my collection at some point…

But I decided to hold off on yet another boxed set purchase — until a recent visit to Berlin not only provided me with the opportunity to visit the massive temple of hobby goodness that is Battlefield Berlin, but also presented the chance of getting the AdMech half of the Forgebane set for a pretty good price — and I caved in, of course, taking all of those lovely sprues home and poring over them. The fact that the other AdMech models from the set are also rather lovely did, of course, help πŸ˜‰

But back to the Armigers, because it was clear to me that I would have to turn them to the service of the ruinous powers: They would become servants of the Warrior King, accompanying him in battle, scouting ahead and softening up his enemies.

Meanwhile, with fellow hobbyists extraordinaire Biohazard and Jeff Tibbetts (of Queen Bee fame) already on the game as well, I knew I needed to give it my best shot to come up with something suitably cool πŸ˜‰


So where to start? In a slightly weird parallel to my approach when originally building Gilgamesh, I actually focused on a slightly unexpected question that nevertheless fascinated me: How to add a pilot to the Armiger Warglaive interior?

Then again, I am in love with the thoughts of these machines actually being defined, to some degree, by the pilots that ride them to battle, and seeing how adding a pilot and a cockpit to the model remains one of my favourite parts of my Imperial Knight project, it probably shouldn’t surprise you to learn that I was feeling just the same way this time around.

That being said, the Armiger is a fair bit smaller than the Imperial Knight, making for an even bigger exercise in managing real estate inside that torso. The good news was that fellow hobbyist Biohazard had already come up with a supremely clean and elegant solution for building a cockpit for the Armiger, using Sentinel and Storm Talon cockpit bitz. The bad news was that I didn’t have access to any of the bitz he used, so I had to cobble something together with the bitz I had.

So here’s what I have to show for my efforts:

As I had already expected, lack of space was even more of a problem this time around. I managed to get it all weged in there somehow, but it was a close thing. From a structural perspective, the Armiger cockpit basically mirrors my build for the bigger Knight’s cockpit, albeit in a slightly stripped down fashion. Here’s a side view, showing you the basic setup, warts and all:

Admittedly, it all looks pretty messy, but once both side walls are in place, all the rough bits of the conversion actually get covered up rather nicely. And while I initially regretted not even building an actual seat underneath the pilot, it turned out the entire area’s not even visible anyway, after everything has been assembled — in fact, it’s such a tight fit that I even had to file the side of the pilot’s right arm flat in order for him to fit flushly into the cockpit.

As for the bitz I used, the part used to represent the engine was a bit of a surprise discovery: It’s a part from the vox relay that comes with the Sector Imperialis Objectives kit. All it needed was a bit of shaving down, and it fit like a charm, and even provided a bit of a headrest. The pilot was mainly assembled around a sentinel pilot body — the torso seemed too pedestrian for me, so I cut it off and replaced it with a Vraksian Renegade Militia torso that had the added benefit of looking a bit like a flight jacket, which seemed like an excellent fit for a pilot πŸ˜‰ I used some Cadian arms and spliced together a head from a Skitarii Vanguard helmet and an Empire flagellant head (for that slightly unhinged look I thought matched a follower of chaos). My overall aim was to come up with a pilot that resembles Barron Harrowthorne, Gilgamesh’s pilot, to a certain degree, while also looking like his subordinate:

I think the finished pilot works rather well in that respect — I regretted not actually having built a seat underneath him at first, but it turned out you don’t really see anything except for the actual pilot once the whole cockpit is assembled:

In fact, I even had to file the side of the pilot’s right arm flat in order for him to fit into the cockpit πŸ˜‰ Oh, before I forget, the controls for the Armiger are actually a shaved down console from a Space Marine Rhino interior panel:

So with the pilot out of the way, I only had the entire rest of the model left to build, right? πŸ˜‰

I started by simply working on the Armiger’s basic assembly. It’s astonishing how much the Armiger works like a smaller Imperial Knight, from a structural perspective, with the whole assembly process eerily familiar, yet slightly simplified. So in addition to actually getting the model’s basic structure built, I was also able to start throwing bitz at the model to see what would stick:

I quickly discovered that some vambraces from the plastic Bloodthirster made for almost perfect leg armour, both because they were a perfect fit and because they provided some instant Khornification πŸ˜‰ In fact, decorating the Armiger is quite a bit easier than working with the Imperial Knight, as far more Dreadnought (or even infantry) bitz are rendered viable for the conversion by the slightly smaller scale.

As a fun surprise, the head from the FW World Eaters Dreadnought Augustus b’Raass gave me last year (and that is rapidly turning into one of my favourite 40k bitz, see here and here) worked rather nicely here as well, although there were several alternatives I also wanted to look at (the simplest option seems to be to just use Defiler face masks on top of the stock Armiger head).

I also decided to add a “mini-banner” between the legs as an opportunity to include some personal heraldry and battle honours. Granted, Armigers are only men-at-arms, but I still think it’s a nice touch for a machine that has probably been serving the ruinours powers for a couple of centuries, at the very least.

During further experimentation, I actually found an even better head for my first renegade Armiger — the one from Forgeworld’s Blood-Slaughterer Impaler:

I think the head adds an istant “Khornate Daemon Engine” feel to the model, plus it’s also a really cool bit in its own right.

The next thing was to figure out what to do with the weapon arms. After giving it a bit of thought, I decided that I would choose a fairly conservative approach for the first round of weapon arms, then try some more adventurous options (like another Ursus Claw, maybe?!) for the second Armiger — just as Talarion has done with his truly stunning Armiger Warglaives.

That being said, I realised that the extosplasma cannons from the Forgefiend kit were a pretty good match for the thermic lance from a scale perspective, so I wanted to try and use one of those for the gun arm.

Here’s my first mockup for the weapon arms:

A chain weapon is a no-brainer for a Khornate Knight, so I decided to keep it. At the same time, I did want to make the weapon look quite a bit more vicious, so I added a spiky bit that also has the added benefit of making the sword look less stubby πŸ˜‰ Since the chainblade completely lacks a cover, I had to come up with a solution that seems at least slightly plausible from a mechanical standpoint. And while the entire element was added purely based on its visual impact, fellow hobbyist TURBULENCE actually came up with a really cool explanation for its presence: Maybe the spike hammers down into an armored vehicle and keeps it in place as the chainblade keeps grinding into the hull?

For the gun arm, it turned out the Forgefiend plasma cannon was really easy to graft to the Armiger’s upper arm by simply cutting a matching hole into the upper side of the gun — it even retains the full mobility and poseability of a stock Armiger arm!

While the weapon is surprisingly close in proportion to the Armiger’s stock thermic lance, it is just a little bit clunkier — I do think the pose helps mitigate the added mass, though.

So with both the basic assembly as well as the weapons taken care of, all that was really left was the final round of cleanup and detailing. It was tempting to go overboard with decoration, but when all is said and done, this is just a man-at-arms for Gilgamesh and his pilot, the Baron Harrowthorne, so it was important to both make the machine look suitably chaotic, but to also know when to stop adding detail before the model ended up looking more ostentatious than the bigger Knight. Keeping that in mind, here’s the finished look I settled on, some minor cleanup work notwithstanding:

It’s not that easy to make out in the pictures, but I’ve added teeth to all the armour plates, mirroring a design element you see often on the more recent chaos plastic kits. I also tried to replicate the battle damage you see on the Bloodthirster vambraces on the upper leg armour, to tie both elements together.

Oh, and while I was at it, I changed the one element that I really don’t like about the stock Armiger: Those weird twin coils/stabilisers/whatever on the back of the legs. I think it works much better like this:

What’s really great about the kit is that, as has been the case with the bigger Imperial Knight, it’s possible to keep the top carapace plate detachable, so we can still get a good look at the pilot and cockpit:

In fact, such a setup is actually preferrable, because it also allows access to the arms. So whatever crazy weapons options I come up with for the second Armiger could theoretically also be swapped in on the first model — I really like added flexibility like that!

So that’s it — my first Renegade Armiger Warglaive.Β To be honest, it took me quite some time to find the right approach for the model, and I am all the happier for it with the finished conversion! This model was originally planned as yet another entry for Azazel’s Assembly April challenge, but then I ran a bit too late to make it, and I am actually glad to have taken some extra time to get it just right — maybe I’m at least in time for this year’s ETL event over at The Bolter & Chainsword…?!

Until then, however, I would love to hear your thoughts on the model! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!