Archive for the WIP Category

INQ28: Kitbashing in the time of Corona

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

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

 

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

Illustration by Tony Hough

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

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

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

Model converted by Adam Wier

or by Larsonic Miniatures’ absolutely incredible Haemonculus.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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






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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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




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

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

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

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

Illustration by John Blanche

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pieces of Eight

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

What a time to be alive!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

So here’s the finished axeman:





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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And here’s the conversion I came up with:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

State of the Hunt, week 08/2020: Stop…Meteor Hammer Time!

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, state of the hunt, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2020 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, it’s already mid-February, and the fact that I still haven’t managed to complete the second part of my Eternal Hunt Awards writeup for 2019 has basically become a millstone around my neck that actually prevents me from posting any update at all, and we cannot have that, so here’s what we’ll do:

For today, I would just love to share some of the stuff I have been working on lately with you, seeing how I keep making progress with my little World Eaters kill team project.

As for my various favourite blogs and recommendations, I will commit to turning those into a rather more forward-looking post of its own in the near future — scout’s honour! For those of you who are looking for an excellent look back at the projects of 2019 and want their fix *right now*, feel free to peruse the following, excellent articles courtesy of the Brothers Wier and Wudugast, respectively.

To those of you who had been looking forward to my post, I can only apologise — and promise you that something not quite unlike it will be along sooner rather than later. For now, however, in the interest of keeping this blog going, I’ll just have to go with sharing some stuff I am actually motivated to work on right now. I hope you guys understand!

 

So, anyway, with that out of the way, where were we? Oh, right, I remember: In my last World Eaters related update, I already showed you this guy who is part of my “Hateful Eight” World Eaters project:




I could really kick myself for forgetting, once again, to take step-by-step pictures while I painted him — I guess the model would have made for a pretty cool tutorial. Oh well, next time, I guess…

Anyway, this is what the model looked like with most of the paintjob already in place:


As you can see, I decided to add some glossy blood to the meteor hammer — because it just seemed really, really appropriate in this particular case. In fact, I tried to take this even further with my idea for the rest of the base:

It was always clear that I would want to add some kind of “special effect” to the base. A trail of blood, as the World Eater drags his bloodied weapon behind him, seemed like an obvious idea. But I wanted something even more gruesome:



The idea was to make it look as though the World Eater had just crushed some unfortunate opponent’s skull, so I went the extra mile and included some bone shards πŸ˜‰

Here’s the finished model:








While the pose remains ever so slightly hokey, on account of the base model I used for the conversion, I am still pretty happy with this chap. The two things I wanted to achieve with him — having a model wearing a massive, ancient suit of armour that also has a bit of a gladiatorial flair, have definitely worked out: In spite of all the quasi-medieval stylings of the armour, you could still imagine a suit of ancient Mk. III Iron Armour as the starting point underneath it all.

And here’s a closer look at the base again, now with the meteor hammer in place, obviously:


And once again, in order to round out my progress report, here’s an updated group picture of the new World Eaters models I have managed to finish so far:

Regarding the general progress of this progress, I’ll admit that these models seem like a bit of an evolutionary step for me in that, after all these years of building and painting World Eaters, I have now arrived at the point where the models actually end up looking very close to the way I’ve always wanted them to be: massive, baroque, highly individual and very sinister. Are they perfect? No, certainly not — there’s still a lot of room for improvement. But it’s not hyperbole to say that these are the closest I have yet come to realising my personal vision of what the warriors of the 4th assault company should look like.

At the same time, however, it’s becoming painfully obvious that I’ll be ending up with more than eight models, mostly because I just cannot stop building stuff. Case in point, here are the next guys in line for the painting desk:

Granted, some (okay, alright: two) of these are older conversions. But I just keep adding to them. For today, I would like to point out two models in particular.

The first model was born from the desire to do something, anything, with that very weird, two-handed Bat’leth-style weapon that comes with the AoS Blood Warriors:

So I shaved off the secondary blade, and used some Blood Warrior, CSM and Mk. III Marine parts to make this:



As you can see, it’s yet another conversion that combines most of the parts from a stock Blood Warrior with Mk. III greaves, although I would argue that the graft is a much smoother one this time around. I also think the somewhat more medieval Blood Warriors armour, when used in moderation, creates a cool, somewhat gladiatorial look that really suits 40k World Eaters and moves the models beyond simply looking like vanilla CSM with bunny eared helmets. It was also cool to be able to re-use the backpack I had originally spliced together for the guy with the meteor hammer! πŸ™‚

I am really stupidly happy with the guy, to be honest — he definitely has some presence, wouldn’t you agree?

Seeing how I have a prospective painting session at Annie’s place scheduled for later this week, and maybe I should just allow this guy to jump the queue πŸ˜‰

The second model I want to focus on was converted just the other day when I realised the squad/kill team still needed some kind of icon bearer — I am a bit of a traditionalist in that respect: Every squad of traitor Astartes needs an icon bearer, and those new-fangled, backpack-mounted icons just don’t cut it for me.

On the other hand, the idea of a World Eater lugging around a massive standard always seems a bit iffy. However, there was one model I have always loved for just striking the right balance in this respect: the metal World Eaters icon bearer from the mid-90s.

And seeing how one side objective of this particular project has been to give shout outs to classic models or artwork, I couldn’t resist the temptation to just rebuild that particular model for the new millennium. Take a look:




I’ve had to flip the model horizontally for logistical reasons, but apart from that, the new guy is a fairly involved attempt at a proper re-interpretation of the classic sculpt. I didn’t have one of those old banner tops, unfortunately, so I used what felt like the next-best thing: a Wrathmonger/Skullreaper standard that seems like it could be used as a weapon in its own right with its many vicious barbs and bladed edges.

Here’s a comparison with the classic model and my new interpretation of the sculpt, side by side:

So as you can see, in spite of everything, I am at least reasonably successful at coming up with new members of the 4th assault company. And I would, of course, like to hear your thoughts on my progress, so please leave a comment!

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

State of the Hunt, week 04/2020: Taking skulls and spitting blood…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, state of the hunt, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2020 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, I am currently suffering from a bit of Writer’s Block when it comes to completing the second part of my Eternal Hunt Awards, so in order to try and break through that – or, if nothing else, at least finally post some new content over here – I would like to show you what I am currently working on:

As some of you will still remember, the last model I painted in 2019 was…a World Eater:

And it didn’t take long for me to return to the XII legion in the new year (wile I have also been on fire regarding a few INQ28 characters, that’s a story for another time…). So, what do I have to show for myself?

First up, I have been messing around with some of the conversions for my “Hateful Eight” World Eaters Killteam project, making some additional tweaks to the models and giving them that extra bit of quality control.

Take, for instance, this World Eaters Havoc I built last fall:

While taking a closer look at the model, I realised that the missile launcher arm came with an Eye of Horus design on the pauldron, and while that certainly isn’t a big deal, it did bother me a bit — it felt slightly too “Black Legion” for a member of the World Eaters. But I had an idea: why not turn it into a World Eaters legion badge? Thanks to the GW plastic skull kit, it was easy enough to carefully shave off some jaws and use them to transform the emblem on the pauldron into a World Eaters symbol:


I’ll admit it’s not easy to make out, but it should look suitably different to the original design once painted. It’s also a very easy recipe to create World Eaters symbols that I wish I had thought of earlier…

On the same model, I am also currently experimenting with adding a chaos knight pauldron as some kind of armoured cowl, and I do like the way it looks:


I am still messing around with different variants of doing this, but I do think the addition of some kind of cowl actually makes the model resemble the artwork it was based on even more closely:

There was also thus guy here, built at the same time as the Havoc:


I still think this is a rather intriguing conversion: I wanted a model looking massive and archaic, its armour looking like an ancient, heavily customised set of Mk. III armour — hence the legs and helmet. A few things kept bothering me about the model, however — it always looked ever so slightly dodgy from up close. So I tweaked the model a bit:




Now this one is a tough case because people on the forums keep telling me the older version actually seems more balanced to them, but I am simply much happier with the new version: In my opinion, the bladed crest on the Marine’s left pauldron was so massive as to unbalance the model’s silhouette a bit, so it was replaced with smaller spikes (I did keep the part for later use, though). The backpack also didn’t result in the silhouette I wanted, so I went back to a classic CSM backpack. The biggest change, however, is that the axe was replaced with a meteor hammer, one of the World Eaters’ more gladiatorial weapon choices. I have been looking for a way to include one of these in the project for a while, and here it is.

It wasn’t all kitbashing, though, I also managed to get something painted: My first painted model of 2020, and also a World Eater. This gentleman here:

Yet another alumnus of the same kitbashing session as the other two, this model was originally built to resemble a clasic piece of artwork courtesy of Mark Gibbons:

The illustration was originally featured in the second edition Codex Imperialis and accompanied by a quote of one Kargos Bloodspitter (of Horus Heresy fame). Anyway, I didn’t want my model to actually represent Kargos as a character, but I did want to channel the artwork as much as possible (incidentally, fellow hobbyist Mr. Poom actually created a brilliant 30k version of Kargos Bloodspitter, based on the very same piece of artwork, a couple of years ago).

Anyway, seeing how the conversion was already in my case, all that remained was to get some paint on the model:

I unfortunately painted the model before Mark Butcher asked for a tutorial in a recent comment, so that will have to wait until a future post. For now, suffice it to say that I employed my updated World Eaters recipe again.

The model’s base provided an interesting challenge, because, while I did not want to perfectly replicate the “standing on a field of skulls” look from the artwork (as that seems a bit too 1995, even for my tastes, plus it wouldn’t match the basing on the rest of the group), I did want to give it a bit of a shout out, so I came up with a bit of a compromise:


A veritable pile of skulls, but still “fenced in” by some rocky parts.

And here’s the base, mostly painted:

And with that, the model was finished:


“Though the gates that stand between the mortal world and the immortal Realm of Chaos are now closed to me, still I would rather die having glimpsed eternity than never to have stirred from the cold furrow of mortal life. I embrace death without regret as I have embraced life without fear.”

 

Once again, here’s the artwork that inspired it all:

Moody glamour shots aside, here’s a proper look at the finished model in more detail:








I am actually really happy with the finished model, both because I think it has come out fairly well, but also because this has been a great occasion to include another tribute to a classic piece of Warhammer 40k art in my collection!

Oh, and before I forget: Thanks must also go to my fellow hobbyist ElDuderino: The converted Blood Warrior helmet he sent me as part of a pretty sweet bitz drop last year is what really sells the conversion, if you ask me. I shall be naming the model “Brother Orska” in his honour! πŸ™‚

And here, just to round things out, are all the little rascals I have so far:


So that’s it for today — seems like a pretty good hobby start into the new year, though, if I do say so myself! It goes without saying that I would of course love to hear your thoughts on the model, so please feel free to leave me a comment!

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

State of the Hunt, week 51/2019: Bald heads and shady dealings

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, Pointless ramblings, state of the hunt, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 20, 2019 by krautscientist

With Christmas fast approaching, I at least want to make time for another update in between all of the daily chaos, even if there’s nothing spectacular to show you right now. Which means you’ll have to content yourselves with some rough sketches and conversion shenanigans. And with some bald heads — and no, I am not referring to myself with that last point. Anyway, what is this about?

I. Delaque Deliberations

A while ago, I picked up a box of the new Necromunda Delaque gangers, to be primarily used as conversion fodder for INQ28 related projects.

I would argue that the Delaque are probably the best re-design in modern Necromunda, mostly because with their older incarnation, there was such a vast gulf between the rather cool concept for the gang and the very lacklustre miniatures. But even beyond Necromunda proper, these guys really seemed like an invaluable source for conversion material from the get go:

You see, the world of shadowy inquisitorial dealings has great need for suitably shadowy, robed figures, yet outside of the trusty Empire flagellants, proper robed figures have been in short supply across GW’s catalogue — and there’s also the fact that the flagellants have such a ragged and frayed-around-the-edges look that they just don’t work for every project. The new Delaques seem like the perfect fix for that issue. So I already had a couple of plans going into this latest kitbashing session, and I would love to share some of my results with you:

The first thing I had wanted to do for a while was to use one of the Delaque gangers to convert a Tech-Priest. In fact, I even took the time to quickly sketch out one of my ideas during an idle half hour at the doctor’s office:

Granted, the proportions are completely dodgy — good thing, then, that the resulting model ended up looking much cooler:


Official GW Tech-Priests are all twisted and insectile these days — which I love, make no mistake! But I like a little variety in my collection, so I thought a tall, upright tech-priest with an air of haughty arrogance might work well. Plus I think Tech-Priests should really be all shapes and sizes, so they look even more crazy when assembled as a collection — it takes all sortss to make a (Forge-)world, so to speak πŸ˜‰


As you can see, it’s a fairly simple kitbash that mostly consists of adding some AdMech bitz to one of the Delaque gangers — I think the pose really sells the model, though, while the tech-y gubbinz give him just the right silhouette (and amount of clutter) for a Tech-Priest.

One thing that gave me pause for a bit was the model’s left hand: I did have several Sicaran Ruststalker/Infiltrator hands holding guns that would have worked, but that just seemed like the wrong way to go with the character. I used some kind of auspex/scanner in my character sketch above, directly inspired by the auspex array that comes with the Skitarii Vanguard/Rangers — but when the time came to put the model together, that just seemed a bit too pedestrian, too.

It felt like an open hand (preferredly with some calipered fingers) would work best for the model, so I whipped something up:



The hand was spliced together from a Sicarian Ruststalker thumb and the creepy fingers of the surgical servitor that’s part of the 40k battlefield objectives. I am really happy with the finished model and think it should make for a pretty cool addition to my collection of AdMech models!

Looking at the stooped pose of another Delaque ganger gave me the idea for putting together an Imperial Scribe /Inquisitorial Savant type character:



Now the model still needed a fair bit of work at this point, but the outline was already there: With hands unrolling a bandage (from the Cadian Command squad) repurposed as hands carrying some kind of scroll and his pose, the guy already seemed like the kind of figure you would regularly see in the back row of illustrations depicting the Inquisition, or in the corners of 40k Codex books in the olden days, so I knew I was on to something.

The most important addition here was some kind of augmetic cowl (similar to the designs you see on some of the Forgeworld AdMech models) with some cables and head implants feeding into it (as well as some cables dangling from it). This element breaks up the characteristic Delaque silhouette a bit and also hints at the kind of augmetics a scribe would need for their work in the 41st millennium.

At the same time, I also included a leather document satchel and an additional scroll – complete with skull, of course – so as not to make him look too hi-tech and bring him back into the gothic madness that is 40k. The satchel is an older WFB plastic part (from the Dwarf Miners, I believe), while the skull and scroll bit came from the Empire Flagellants — no surprise there! πŸ˜‰




This model turned into such a sweet surprise, because the idea really took ages to get off the ground, but after the basic mockup was finished, I had such fun tweaking the model! I am still thinking about adding a lantern and another bit or two of gear, and then the scribe/savant will be ready to explore some sunken Imperial archives — after getting painted, of course πŸ˜‰

II. Thorn Wishes Talon

But wait, I have yet more bald heads to share with you! Because I have treated myself to a small, premature Christmas present:

The original 54mm Inquisitor Eisenhorn: I have wanted to own this model for a long time, yet was never smart enough to pick it up while it was still freely available. Now the model you see above is missing some bits and bobs, but I did get it for a pretty good price, and I am confident I’ll be able to sort most of it out with the leftover INQ54 bits I already have. In fact, Eisenhorn should make a swell companion for my salvaged Delphan Gruss/Nagash mashup from back in January:


It also really is a lovely sculpt, even after all these years!

 

III. Painting some stuff — only differently this time

And there’s one last look at some ongoing stuff for you: I’ve been slowly trying to get back into drawing of late, and finally getting the chance to pick up the classic Eisenhorn model was enough to inspire me to make a small attempt at digitally drawing ,y version of a piece of art from the Inquisitor rulebook:

It’s a pretty clunky piece with all kinds of problems, admittedly, but I am really still finding my feet here. Here’s a quick coloured sketch of my Ordo Scriptorum Inquisitor, Tiberias Orlant,Β  to round things out:

It’s like using a muscle that hasn’t been exercised for years — because that’s precisely what’s happening. I haven’t been drawing for ages. But then again, I had all but given up hope for ever returning to it, so this is actually pretty cool. This whole digital art thing is definitely something I can see myself picking up next year — also, be glad I didn’t show you the slightly tacky “Joy of Painting”-inspired landscapes I’ve been painting on the side πŸ˜‰

 

So yeah, that’s no less than four bald heads and lots of shadowy, shady stuff for you! I would, of course, love to hear any thoughts you might have! I’ll be back with a – slightly – heartwarming Christmas tale early next week, to get you all in the mood for the festivities πŸ˜‰ Until then, please let me hear your comments and, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

State of the Hunt, week 48/2019: Something stirs…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, heroquest, Inq28, Inquisitor, state of the hunt, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2019 by krautscientist

Hello everyone, and *phew*: It has been quite a while since the last update, hasn’t it? To be honest with you, the last weeks have gone by in a blur, due to all kinds of RL related shenanigans, and it is only this week that I once again find myself with some hobby time to spare. So consider this just a small heads up to show you that I am still alive and kicking — and while we’re at it, let me also share a few small things I am currently working on:

I. Eating worlds, one spoonful at a time…

I don’t have that much progress on my new World Eaters models to share, to be honest, but have been able to sneak in a bit of kitbashing here and there. Like working on a couple of World Eaters helmets, just to build up a reserve of possible heads:

The two helmets on the right are vanilla (new) CSM helmets with added “bunny ears” from the AoS Blood Warriors, whereas the helmet on the left is an attempt at grafting a (old) CSM mouthpiece to a Blood Warrior head, approximating an approach I have seen fellow hobbyist ElDuderino use recently. This exercise has only added to my appreciation of his conversions in this vein, as the process of making it all fit together is a rather tricky one…

With the head finished, however, I couldn’t help myself and tried to come up with a model to fit the converted helmet:


Another marriage of CSM and Blood Warrior bitz, this one — it took me a while until the model finally came together:


I do hope that I’ll be able to get him and one or two of his buddies painted before the end of the year — wish me luck πŸ˜‰

 

II. Meanwhile, back at the Inquisitorial fortress…

Another project I have been chipping away at for most of the year is the retinue of Inquisitor Alvar, of the Ordo Xenos. While this is definitely one of my older warband projects, I was happy to make pretty good progress on the good Inquisitor’s operatives earlier this year, leaving me with a growing collection of characterful – and, more importantly, PAINTED – individuals:


At the moment, there are just two more models left to paint before I can call this long-running project finished. Here’s a picture of the last unpainted models from back in October:


Now the Magos Xenobiologis and Research assistant are already done and dusted. Which leaves me with the squat engineer/explorer and the female hive ganger:

I have wanted some kind of squat character ever since I first laid eyes on the Kharadron Overlords for AoS — even as stock models, they are basically the perfect 40k squats, if you ask me, with more of a steam/clock-punk-ish angle and less fantasy dwarf goofiness.

While the model you can see above already worked pretty well as a proof of concept, I did subject the little guy to a bit of fine-tuning. And here’s what I came up with:

Meet Skuldi Kulvar, the penultimate member of Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue:



Granted, for the most part, it’s still a stock Arkanaut model. But I have added some visual clutter and some techy bitz to bring the model more firmly into the 40k universe. I am seeing Skuldi as some kind of explorator/collector who has fallen in with Alvar. I have some ideas in the back of my head for a squat enclave somewhere within the Velsen sector, a rather reclusive group that is focused a lot around heavy industry and organised as some kind of industrial combine. There’s also some technology transfer between them and the local Adeptus Mechanicus, although it’s mostly strictly below the counter (I’ve tried to subtly hint at this fact by using an AdMech barrel on the pistol, though).

Many of the ideas I have for the little squat enclave owe a debt of inspiration to Thomas Plischke’s novel “Die Zwerge von Amboss” (“The Dwarves of Anvil”, unfortunately not available in English, as far as I am aware):

While the series does get less interesting as it goes, the first book provides a really fascinating look at a dwarven empire with a definite late 19th/early 20th century feel, completely build around the ideas of building something of lasting value and performing your work to the best of your abilities, all rolled together with more than a hint of early capitalism. It’s a cool angle of bringing the classic dwarven tropes into a more modern, quasi-industrialist setting, and the book was very much in my mind when I tried to come up with an angle for the squats that would interest me (and move beyond the “fantasy dwarves IN SPACE!” approach). Anyway, you may get to hear more of the squar combine before long, as this model actually doubles as a test model for a squat warband project that may or may not happen at some point in the future — don’t hold your breath, though…

The last member for Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue is this charming lady here: Shiv Korlund, former hive ganger:

This model has been attached to the project for quite a while, and she’s basically just an unconverted OOP metal Necromunda Escher ganger from back in the late 90s. Painting her should be fun, though…

Talking about painting, having built the two models’ bases, I’ll actually be taking these along to my next scheduled painting session at Annie’s place later this week:


Maybe I’ll be able to show you the finished models before long. I’ll be giving it my best shot…

 

III. Surprise supply drop!

Oh, and one more thing before I tune out for today, as this was such a lovely surprise:

I backed MOMiniaturas’ “Mercenaries” Kickstarter earlier this year, mostly because his wonderful, retro-Warhammer-styled mercenaries really scratched my HeroQuest itch when I looked at them:

In addition to the twenty-ish mercenary models that were part of the actual Kickstarter, however, I also used the opportunity to pick up a bunch of additional fantasy models at a discount from MOMiniaturas, then forgot all about it, and was pleasantly surprised when a massive pile of miniatures arrived on my doorstep last month:


I expect we’ll be taking a closer look at these in a future post — it’s anyone’s guess when I’ll actually have the time to paint any of these, but they have such a lovely retro appeal that I’ll try my darnedest to sneak in one or two of them before the year ends…

 

So yeah, that’s it from me for today. TLDR; I am still here, chipping away at my various projects. Is anybody alive in here? If so, I would, of course, love to hear your thoughts!

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

State of the Hunt, week 41/2019: Meanwhile, Blood for the Blood God!

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, state of the hunt, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2019 by krautscientist

In between all of the shadowy, Inquisitorial dealings, I had an appetite for something a little more blunt and straightforward, just as a little snack, so to speak. And what could be more straightforward than a follower of Khorne? “Chainaxe to the head”-types, all of them. So for this week’s update, I have some World Eaters to share with you!

A while ago, I talked about the models for a possible World Eaters killteam – codenamed “The Hateful Eight” for now – and showed you some of the possible models for it, some of them brand new, and some refurbished earlier conversions of mine. And it’s from this last category that I chose my two models for today:

To get things started, I chose a model that I built years ago. This gentleman here:

It’s one of my unpainted conversions that I feel still hold up next to the new CSM models, so it seemed like a good moment to finally put some paint on the guy. Oh, and to be fair, the model did get a new axe while I was at it. Anyway, I quickly made good progress with the paintjob:

One of the things I really want to push with my new batch of World Eaters is a certain variety of skin tones, at least where unhelmeted heads and bare arms are concerned: The World Eaters are, canonically, an ethnically diverse legion that recruited from many different homeworlds during the Great Crusade (and probably still does, given the scavenger nature of most traitor legions in the 40k timescale). Only my World Eaters never bore out that diversity because I would always use the same, greyish skin tone for all of my older models — pretty effective as far as paint schemes go, but seeing how I am trying to evolve my painting for these new models, it seemed like the perfect excuse to experiment with a wider set of skin tones as well. So I went with black skin on this model, and I am very happy with the result — even moreso because the recipe was almost laughably simple: Just basecoat with GW Doombull Brown, wash with a Fleshtone and mix the base colour with a bit of white for the highlights — done! I also used the highlight colour to add some nicks and scratches to the face to suggest old scars.

One thing that was really surprising to me was how adding the backpack really made this model: It should be such a trivial thing, really, but in this case, it’s what really makes the model read as an Astartes: With the backpack in place, it has the silhouette and bulk it needs:


After this, it was mostly a matter of cleaning up some minor areas, add a bit of Tamiya Clear Red here and there and finish the base. So here’s the finished World Eater, finally painted at long last:






The next model I decided to tackle is also a neglected conversion, although a more recent one: The model was created using a Blood Warrior from the Age of Sigmar 1st edition starter box, the legs from the CSM Vrash Tattersoul model and a couple of additional chaos bitz (chief among them a Raptor chainsword arm):


It’s a conversion I am really fond of, if I do say so myself, maybe because it’s almost a bit of a shout out to the classic early 90s metal berzerker champions that would always have some kind of running pose going on πŸ˜‰

Anyway, with the success of the first model still fresh on my mind, I quickly got to work. Here’s the second World Eater, with the base colours already mostly blocked in:


And here’s the finished model:







I am maybe a bit too in love with the model right now, but it’s honestly really close to what I think a 40k World Eater should look like: a massive, baroque monster in serrated crimson warplate.

So here are the next two members of “The Hateful Eight” — it really feels great to have crossed two more items off my list of long neglected models, and I am also really happy with the result:


Incidentally, both models definitely count for Azazel’s current “Neglected October” challenge — and by virtue of the Ork skull on his base (and because berzerkers will slay anything that moves), the second guy also very much counts for his “Orcslayer” theme as well — teehee πŸ˜‰

So here are the three new Khorne Berzerkers/World Eaters legionaries I have painted so far using this new approach:


Now if you add my counts-as Huron Blackheart (now officially named “Euron Hearteater”, by the way — cheers to fellow hobbyist AHorriblePerson for the suggestion!), the batch of “new” World Eaters is slowly starting to look a bit more substantial:

So what’s next for the Hateful Eight? I think I’ll be working on these two models next:


Interestingly enough, both conversions were inspired by pieces of artwork: I created the model on the left after seeing this illustration by Diego Gisbert Llorens,…

illustration by Diego Gisbert Llorens

…whereas the guy on the right is obviously a recreation of Mark Gibbons’ seminal piece of artwork (as previously discussed).

 

But those guys are a story for a different time (and my subject matter for a coming painting session, I guess). For now, I would love to hear your thoughts on the new models, so please leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!