Archive for 30k

The State of the Hunt, Week 15/2018: Coming up for air

Posted in 30k, 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Pointless ramblings, state of the hunt, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2018 by krautscientist

From a hobby perspective, it has been quite a few weeks for me — with two finished INQ28 retinues and a couple of models on top of that. However, as I’ve said earlier, things might get a bit more hectic in the immediate future, so I cannot be sure whether or not I’ll be able to keep up this rather frantic pace. So what better time to take a step back, take a deep breath, and take a look at the things I have achieved so far? This also has the added benefit of providing me with the perfect chance to also share some current news with you. So here goes:

I. Head count

I’ve really had a blast this last couple of weeks, working through one neglected model after another and finally finishing some long running projects! One of my hobby resolutions for 2018 was to try and put some serious work into the INQ28 part of my collection, especially when it comes to finally adding paint to all those conversions that have accumulated in my cupboard of shame, and I do think I have rather managed to make good on that promise.

So here’s a round-up of the models I have painted so far this year:

That’s fifteen models less in the unpainted pile. Not a particularly impressive number in and of itself, certainly, and even less so when compared with the impressive output of, say, people like Azazel. But it still feels like quite an achievemen, nevertheless. Two more inquisitorial retinues – Inquisitor Arslan’s and Inquisitor Gotthardt’s – have been finished. I’ve painted a second 30k World Eaters Contemptor that I am still really happy with. My very first Primaris Marine has been painted. And I have finally managed to paint a RT era Imperial Guard trooper that had made its way all across the globe to reach me. Plus I have already been able to eclipse my 2017 painting output (twelve models), and we still have quite a bit of 2018 ahead of us, haven’t we? 😉

So yeah, I am pretty pleased with myself, to be honest. And still motivated to keep going, which is probably even more important. Oh, and for those of you with sharp eyes: Don’t worry, we’ll be talking about the big yellow gentleman in the back row in more detail before long… 😉

II. New supply lines

Long time readers may remember how dejected I was when my favourite FLGS had to close its doors back in 2016 (still a little sore *sniff*).For quite a while, the only way to replenish my hobby supplies – online purchases notwithstanding – was to carefully plan work-related trips to larger cities around the option to visit local GW or independent stores.

Great news, then, that I now find myself with access to new supply lines:

For one, I discovered a new local independent store (called “Chaosgames”) a while ago that not only has great service and provides easy access to Army Painter washes (a godsend!), but also happens to include occasional happy finds like this guy here:


Expect him to join my 30k World Eaters before long… 😉

What’s more, in an entirely unexpected move, a new GW store recently opened its doors in the neighboring city. I wasn’t even aware of that until my good friend Annie told me — what an awesome surprise!

My first scouting mission to the new store already took place a fortnight ago and included some friendly banter with the local store manager. I also discovered his absolutely fantastic Imperial Guard army in one of the display cases and took some photos right away:


The whole army has a “mining world” theme, with lots and lots of cool kitbashes and conversions that make every individual in the force look like the member of a grimdark mining corporation. A fantastic concept, and beautifully executed!

In another pleasant surprise, my own models, in turn, made it straight to the store’s Facebook page:

Now I’ll still be visiting local stores whenever I am on the road, of course — for instance, I make it a point to try and visit the fantastic “Fantasy-In” whenever I am in Hanover. But having access to some hobby-related stores in the immediate vincinity is such a relief — brilliant! 🙂

III. Meanwhile, across the tabletop:

While I keep referring to the frequent painting sessions with my friend Annie (that have become a key point in my painting process, it must be said!), I realise I haven’t really shared many of Annie’s projects with you — which is quite a shame, as she routinely manages to come up with some truly stunning stuff. Case in point, the “Flying Dwarfsmen”, her brand new dwarven team for Blood Bowl, planned, built and painted in an impressively short amount of time (and, as it happens, just in time for the recent “Dungeonbowl”):

Where GW’s stock dwarven team seems a bit too cartoony for its own good, Annie’s team actually uses the brilliant Kharadron Overlords models as alternative Blood Bowl players: The entire team has been carefully built around the Kharadron’s distinct steampunk look and feel, from the players to the incredible, scratchbuilt/kitbashed Deathroller (or the turn counters, or the bases, or…). Anyway, you can expect a much more detailed feature dealing with these guys as soon as I can get a closer look (and get the chance to take some quality photos of them)!

IV. To Arms!


I am pretty sure I am not the first person to tell you this, but the ever inspirational Dave Taylor is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for a book project called “Armies & Legions & Hordes”, focused on painting the kind of high class army projects Dave has become well known for. In addition to talking techniques, the book will also be featuring expansive looks at some of Dave’s own, seminal army projects, and with his AdMech army, his Blood Pact and his Genswick Rifles all up for a feature, the book’s already basically a no-brainer for me.

The Kickstarter has already attained its mark many times over, but there are still a couple of days on the clock, so you can (and probably should) check out the Kickstarter and chip in here.

 

So yeah, so much for this week’s mixed views — and for the brief amount of respite: While I am writing this, I am already hard at work on two more Ordo Scriptorum characters, and there’s also Azazel’s current community challenge – “Assembly April” – with building, converting and kitbashing as its subject — I am pretty sure I won’t be able to resist that one…

So while things may have to slow down for a bit, I think you can expect another update very soon. Until then, please let me hear any feedback you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! 🙂

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Raud the Hunter

Posted in 30k, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2018 by krautscientist

Whoa, seems like the numbers of views went through the roof after my last post — which is a slightly bittersweet experience for me: I love the fact that so many people seem to take an interest in my pick of fantastic hobby projects from last year, and all those artists certainly deserve the attention! At the same time, there’s no way I can replicate that kinf of interest with my own meagre work — oh well… 😉

Even so, in-between parts two and three of the Eternal Hunt Awards, allow me to sneak in one of my own models, if only because I am so very happy with the first model I have managed to complete this year — and also the first model I have painted in quite a while! So what is this about?

In 2017, I had such a blast painting a converted World Eaters Contemptor as my first model of the year, so I thought I’d just try to catch that spark again with…more of the same. So I decided to paint this guy, whom some of you may remember from back in August, I believe:




So yeah, I had to convert yet another Betrayal at Calth plastic Contemptor: In fact, the model actually started in several places:

  • When Augustus b’Raass was nice enough to magnetise my first Contemptor’s gun arm, I realised it would actually be cool to have another model for that extra weapon as well.
  • Then I got a good deal for just the body of the BaC plastic Contemptor, and I really rather like that model as conversion fodder: True enough, the stock model is so awkward — and painfully vanilla. But the fact that it’s so underwhelming is what makes it so fascinating to me: I just want to bring out the cooler model hidden within, so to speak 😉

It helps that it’s really easy to improve the model, by the way: Even if you want to keep things really simple, like me, without using any GS, splicing in Sentinel upper legs or what have you, the plastic Contemptor is easy to improve via just two or three small cuts:

 

1. Carefully cutting the body apart at the waist allows for a more interesting pose (plus you could even magnetise that joint to allow the torso to swivel permanently.

2. The really invaluable step, however, is to cleanly separate either of the legs (or both) from the pelvis area with a clean cut, then reattach them at a different angle to either make the pose more open and less pidgeon toed (as I’ve done on my first Contemptor) or approximate a walking/running position (as I’ve done on the second model).

3. And that’s not even getting into the extra posability (and customisability) you get by carefully cutting off the weapons immediately beneath the shoulder.

  • The third major factor in the creation of the model was that I still had a kitbashed Dreadnought arm in my bitzbox:


Now originally this arm was built allll the way back in 2014, originally to be used on one of my 40k Dreadnoughts. I wanted a miniature version of the “Ursus Claws”, the harpoon systems the World Eaters use on their warships, and my version was inspired both by a very similar conversion courtesy of fellow hobbyist sheep and Forgeworld’s Blood Slaughterer Impaler.

Now for one reason or another, I never got around to painting this arm — which was really all for the best, since it arguably works much better on the taller Contemptor than on the boxy Castraferrum Dreadnought.

So the model really came together rather quickly back in August — but then, as is often the case with my projects, it took me some time to actually sit down and paint it. But I really wanted to see this guy finished, so when my good friend Annie invited me over for one of our semi-regular hobby sessions, I made it a point to actually get a good start on the Contemptor.

So here’s what he looked like after getting all the base colours and decals in place:


And this was the model at the end of the painting session, shortly before I packed up for the night:



At this point, there was still quite a bit of detail work left to be done, but I was well underway to actually finishing a model again, and that motivational surge really povided me with the incentive to actually see the project through to its conclusion 😉

In addition to the model, I also needed a suitably impressive base, of course. And there was one effect I definitely wanted to incorporate: A fallen Astartes, trying his best to reach a melta charge — an effect I’ve seen on many Heresy armies, especially on one of Mr. Poom’s fantastic World Eaters Contemptors.

This idea came with its own set of challenges, however: It quickly became clear to me that while it’s super cool for the base to contain a fallen Astartes like that, I really needed to keep the guy’s visual footprint small enough so as not to overshadow the main attraction — when all is said and done, the poor fella’s base decoration, after all, and nothing more.

So I used one of the resin Marines I had left from the base of Forgeworld’s Angron model, cut the poor guy in half and pushed him down really low onto the base: In fact, I imagine him as having been buried under rubble from an explosion or something similar, not directly as a victim of the Contemptor:




One thing that doesn’t really come across in the pictures is that there’s a bigger piece of rubble where his legs should be, pushing him down and/or pinning him in place. I hoped this would work much better once the base had been painted.

The rest of the base was built up using plastic parts from one of GW’s 40k basing sets, Vallejo’s Sandy Paste and some varied rubble and cork chaff from my collection. Since the plastic parts were woefully smooth, I once again stippled on some Liquid GS to create some much-needed surface texture:

The paintjob was once again intended to make the entire base look suitably dusty and grimy — like a perfect little slice of a Horus Heresy warzone. It’s funny, but I think the one area where I’ve improved most through my work on Horus Heresy models is the basing of models 😉

 

So before the model was completed, all that I needed to do was to come up with a small background piece for this latest Contemptor. Now it has become a bit of a tradition for me to immortalise fellow hobbyists who have contributed to my hobby life in a meaningful ways by naming models after them (such as “PeeDee” the Monkey, for instance. And come to think of it, Augustus b’Raass alone gets about three shout outs in my 40k World Eaters army), and I decided to do the same this time, using a part of the Contemptor’s name and a tiny bit of his background as a bit of a shout out to fellow hobbyist BubblesMcBub, who really did me a good turn last year by letting me have most of the Death Guard modes from the Dark Imperium boxed set — cheers, mate: This one’s for you! 🙂

 

So here, without further ado, is the finished Contemptor:

Kelok Raud

“The Hunter”
Contemptor, XII Legion Astartes

Long before his interment into a hallowed Ironform, or even before his transformation into an Astartes, Kelok Raud was already a consummate hunter, slaying the monstrous rad-beasts that stalked the West-Yropan flatlands. After his induction into the XII Legion, this predilection for hunting fearsome game saw Raud gravitate towards the role of a heavy assault specialist, and many were the beasts and tech-horrors he brought down during the Great Crusade, before finally falling under the claws of a towering xenos beast.

Before the last spark of life left his shattered body, however, the Techmarines of the 4th assault company interred him into a Contemptor ironform, as his prowess in battle had long made him eligible for a service beyond death.

Bestriding the battlefield clad in layered Adamantium of ancient Mechanicus ingenuity, Kelok Raud has now returned to the hunt once more, this time as a true avatar of war. His breastplate proudly proclaims his motto „Venatio Supra Omnia – The Hunt Above All Else“ in High Gothic lettering, and where he used to hunt mutant beasts with spear and lance, he is now armed with a Dreadnought-sized version of that most vicious of World Eaters weapon systems, the monstrous Ursus Claw harpoon.

 






Here’s a closer look at the base:



The last picture shows off the piece of rubble pinning the Ultramarine down a bit better. I really rather like the “mini-narrative” created by the base: The fallen Ultramarine gives it one last shot at destroying the enemy – as Ultramarines are wont to do, because “only in death does duty end” and all that – while the Contemptor has bigger fish to fry and is already looking for his next prey — he’s kitted out for tank hunting, after all.

I even like the idea that the little scene could actually play out either way: Could the Ultramarine prove to be Raud’s undoing because of his unbroken will to fight? Maybe, but then it rather fits his character. Plus I think there’s still a pretty fair chance the Contemptor’s next step will squish the Marine’s head like a ripe melon…

Now like I said, the guns were actually magnetised by Augustus b’Raass, so while I am totally ignorant when it comes to magnetising stuff, it was easy enough to add something readily magnetic to the Contemptor’s right shoulder. So now I get to do fun stuff like swapping in a new gun…

…or changing the angle of the gun:

One thing I am really, really proud of, even if it’s not perfect, is the freehand lettering adorning the scrollwork on Raud’s breastplate: I went with the aforementioned “Venatio Supra Omnia” which I think is fairly okay-ish Latin — hey, who cares, it’s High Gothic anyway, isn’t it? 😉

In any case, this feels like the first freehand of that kind I have tried in virtually forever, so I think you guys can cut me some slack 😉

So yeah, that’s the finished model! And here are “the twins”:

To be honest, I am enormously pleased with these two, especially since they use the exact same base model and still look suitably different.

So to wind things up, here’s a snapshot of my entire 30k World Eaters collection so far:


Certainly not an army yet — but we may be getting there, one model at a time 😉

I would love to hear any feedback you might have on the new Contemptor. And, as always, tanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

The State of the Hunt, Week 51/2017: Gosh, is it that time of year already?

Posted in 30k, 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, Pointless ramblings, state of the hunt, Totally worth it, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2017 by krautscientist

Well would you believe it: Christmas has managed to sneak up on me again! With so much to do and so little time left this year, the one thing I definitely want to achieve is to publish another round of my annual Eternal Hunt Awards, and I am currently gathering material for that and preparing the posts — wish me luck 😉

Until then, allow me to address some assorted news straight from my messy hobby lab:

 

I. More grimdark games…

I would like to start with an addendum to my recent post about grimdark video games, mostly because I forgot to include two particularly striking examples on my list

The first is an incredibly 40k-ish moment in a game that is otherwise just about the least grimdark game you could possibly imagine:

Final Fantasy IX is, for the uninitiated among you, a callback to the series’ earlier, more innocent days, with lots of cutesy characters, talking animals, super-deformed character design and an all around cuteness that has held up remarkably well over the years. However, the game also features the regency of Lindblum, an industrious and advanced city state that basically looks like a hive:


Lindblum is a multi level city scape that seems like the love child of Victorian era London and Fritz Lang’s Metropolis…appearing in a Disney film — but then that’s Japanese JRPG eclecticism for you 😉

Seriously, though: Given Final Fantasy IX’s endearing overall design, it should be no surprise that we are dealing with a rather cutesy version of a hive here — no gang wars or underhive mutants to be found. There’s a pretty spiffy theatre district, though:

Back when the game was first released, Lindblum was one of the most stunning locales ever to be featured in a roleplaying game. And its design is still lovely many years later — with the added bonus of actually giving us a decent impression of what a bustling hive city might actually look like…minus the Moogles and talking animal people, that is:

The other addition to my list of grimdark games is a baffling oversight, in retrospect, because it has to be the most  incredibly 40k/INQ28 game ever to not bear the actual license:

A postapocalyptic adventure game, Dark Earth is set centuries after a big cataclysm has managed to wipe out modern civilisation. The dust and grime from the earth-shattering cataclysm have managed to permanently clog the atmosphere, casting the whole planet into darkness. The sole remains of civilisation cluster around so-called “Stallites”, city states construced around areas where light is still available by scientific or natural means. It probably won’t surprise you at this point that those stallites share more than a passing resemblance with 40k’s hive cities, even though they are slightly more medieval than your average 40k hive.


The society presented by the game is fascinating, though — and oh so INQ28 in style: With everything within the city geared towards maintaining the life-preserving light, society has adapted and stratified accordingly, with a solar priest class and a warrior caste – the Flame Guardians – at the top of society. Dark Earth puts you in the shoes of Arkhan, member of the Flame Guardians, who gets infected with a creeping corruption while fending off an attempt on the high pristess’ life. With his body slowly beginning to mutate and reshape into a creature of darkness, Arkhan embarks on a frantic quest to uncover a treacherous plot that might threaten the entire stallite before his time is up. Cast from his upper class surroundings, he must discover the seedier parts of the city — a veritable underhive full of malcontents, paupers and cultists.


Sounds like an Inquisitor campaign, doesn’t it? Indeed, the game’s scenario seems incredibly 40k in hindsight, if on a slightly more feudalistic level. There’s also a very distinctive look and feel to the game world: If you are into French graphic novels, you’ll find a lot to like here, as the game’s developer, Kalisto, is a French studio and certainly knows how to imbue their setting with the right style. The idea of Arkhan slowly transforming into a deformed monster also adds an intriguing, if slightly stressful, element to the game. All in all, I remember being quite taken with the game when I played it during the late 90s!

Dark Earth was originally planned as a series, and it’s readily obvious how much world building the folks at Kalisto did for the game and the planned sequels. Alas, it was not to be: A sequel for the Playstation 2 was cancelled without much fanfare. In an interesting twist of fate, however, it seems the world of Dark Earth did actually spawn a pretty successful (tabletop) roleplaying setting in its native France — and deservedly so, because the setting and general ideas behind Dark Earth were pretty fantastic!

Unfortunately, the game is not currently available on Steam or GoG (there’s a petition, though). You can – and should –  read up on the game in more detail over at Hardcoregaming101 (a highly recommended resource, by the way!), and there’s also a trailer giving you an impression of the overall style (and the badly aged CGI) here:

 

 

II. Digging in for Christmas

One of the best hobby moments of 2017 was when BubblesMcBub, whom I met during my visit to Amsterdam, sent me almost the entire Death Guard part of the Dark Imperium boxed set. In return, I promised him a couple of conversions, and I have been terribly neglectful about honouring that particular promise, due to a combination of laziness and RL reasons.

It goes without saying, however, that I remain committed to honouring our agreement, so the first model I have built for Bubbles shall make its way to the Netherlands, along with some odds and ends, later this week — and hopefully even in time for Christmas. But what kind of model are we talking about?

For starters, Bubbles wanted an officer for his Iron Warriors, and he told me he would like to see a Khornate Iron warrior to boot. No sweat, right? The one complication was that Bubbles’ Iron Warriors have a much cleaner, 30k-inspired look than the very baroque CSM I usually build, so I tried to dial back my usual style a bit.

So my task was to…

  • come up with a suitably imposing officer/champion
  • incorporating some classically Khornate attributes
  • at the same time, I still wanted him to clearly read as an Iron Warrior, so he needed to look suitably no-nonsense and slightly techy as well.
  • keeping the model clean enough to work with the rest of Bubbles’ army.

So without much further ado, here’s the model I built:





Personally speaking, I think I’ve hit a pretty good middle ground between “obviously Khornate” and “still fairly professionally Iron Warrior-sy”. And more importantly, BubblesMcBub seems to be happy with the model as well, which is what matters! So hang in there for a few days longer, mate! I’ll be swinging by the post office ASAP 😉

 

III. What else is new?

In other news, I am also gearing up for some long-overdue hobby time over the holidays: I’ve picked up the wonderful new Necromunda boxed set and am currently salivating over those lovely gang sprues. Nothing has been built yet — although some Goliath bitz have already made their way into my 30k World Eaters collection. Anyway, expect to hear from my firsthand experiments with the new sprues soon-ish.

And even though my painting output hasn’t been all that incredible this year – at least where mere numbers are concerned – I think I might have one more model in me for 2017. This guy:



I am still rather happy with the conversion, and the model should also make for an excellent capstone for 2017 — seeing how the very first model I painted this year was another converted plastic Contemptor, Vaako the Immortal, a model I am still enormously proud of:

So yeah, let’s hope this all works out! If all goes according to plan, the first post of this year’s Eternal Hunt Awards should go live later this week — keep your fingers crossed for me 😉 And I’ll make sure to put in some painting, in between all the sleeping and the eating. What about you guys, though? Any last minute chores or hobby commitments? As always, I’d be happy to hear from you in the comments!

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

The State of the Hunt, Week 35/2017: Do the robot!

Posted in 30k, 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, state of the hunt, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2017 by krautscientist

I know I should really be painting some stuff for a change, but relatively little hobby time I have at the moment somehow invariably ends up going towards indulging flights of fancy — hey, at the very least, you get to look at some new kitbashes, alright? 😉

Ever since I built my first Dreadnought, back in 2010 or thereabouts, I have always loved the slightly bigger scale and particular clunkiness afforded by this particular unit type, so I find myself going back to building Dreadnoughts and killer robots on a fairly regular scale — go figure! Today, I have no less than three walking deathmobile projects to share with you, so strap yourselves in:

I. The Blight That Walks…

First up is yet another addition to my alarmingly growing (or should that be mushrooming…?!) Death Guard project. In all fairness, though: It was always clear that a Dreadnought would have to enter the equation at some point, wasn’t it? 😉

The thriftiest option seemed to be to go for the Dark Vengeance Helbrute as a base model — well, that and I really like that particular model: Painting my original DV Helbrute for my World Eaters was great fun, in spite of its mutated look not gelling all that well with the overall look and feel of my army. But that same fleshy hideousness of course perfectly matches the general Death Guard vibe, if you ask me 😉

So here’s what I have so far:




I erm…borrowed a couple of ideas from the recent work of fellow hobbyists, like GuitaRasmus and Marius Perdo, among others, yet I also tried to put my own spin on things. It’s still a fairly economical conversion, however, because I think the Dark Vengeance Helbrute doesn’t really need too much work to read as a Nurglite model.

Now the belly obviously needs some cleanup and smoothing over, but the general look is there. Incidentally, the above pictures are in greyscale because I actually used a mix of GS and Milliput that ended up making for a vile, pistachio-ice cream colour Oh, I also my tried and true tin-foil trick again, putting a piece of the stuff between the plastic and GS while sculpting, so both parts are easy enough to separate when everything has dried, while still remaining form fitting. So the belly remains a separate piece, which should be super handy for assembly reasons:


Still a bit of detail work left to do as well, although I suspect I’ll be playing it fairly safe with this guy. Going all out on the pantjob should be fun, though 😉

II. Underhive Heavy Metal

Back when the first plastic AdMech kits were released, the Kastelan Robots were one of my first purchases. One of them was turned into a counts-as Contemptor for my 40k World Eaters:


The other one was was saved for future use, although my idea of what to do with the model actually went through several revisions: The original plan was to turn him into a Colossus-pattern robot for my small Iron Warriors project, but that plan never really quite got off the ground, and it finally went under for good when Forgeworld ended up producing actual models to represent the Iron Circle.

Later I realised it would be cool to turn the model into some kind of patched up, ancient servitor/former war machine as another colourful addition to my Pit Slave/Underhive project, The Road Crew:

But while I really liked that idea, it never really materialised either, apart from some early kitbashing. But then two things happened. One, I got my hands on one of the old Forgeworld World Eaters Dreadnoughts, courtesy of my buddy Augustus b’Raass, and the head of the machine just turned out to be perfect for this project. Two, I saw what fellow hobbyist WarbossKurgan did with his rather beat-up Kastelans, and that provided the inspiration I needed to wade back into the fray. So here’s what I have now:



As you can see, I have gone for a really ragtag appearance so far, with many tacked on armour plates and strange bits and bobs that suggest all kinds of field repairs — only fitting for the underhive, really. The rounded, 50s retro-futuristic SciFi look is still there, but it’s covered by layers and layers of later additions or replacements: In fact, I really love the idea of making the machine’s origins even more ambiguous: Is it a refurbished heavy duty servitor? An AdMech construct or an ancient warmachine? Or could it be even older…?

There were also several pieces of inspiration for the model: There’s quite a bit of Mad Max and Fallout going on there, but probably the biggest influence was the ABC Warrior Robot, possibly the best thing about the old Judge Dredd film:


And while we are on the subject of influences, using part of a barrel as one of the model’s shoulder pads is actually a bit of a shout out to The Road to Jove, Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s and David Sondered’s graphic novel project:

This also ties into something else I was actually pushing for: A general look of asymmetry: the pauldrons are one example of this, but there are also the arms: The gun arm is massive and beefy, the other one is strangely skeletal, probably due to having been replaced or repaired at some point.

Anyway, after getting nowhere with this model for ages, I am actually pretty happy with the progress I have made. The next step will be to add more details, like cabling and a bit more battle damage. And then, painting the model should be rather enjoyable. I think I’ll be going for a mix of darkened, oily metal and the Road Crew’s trademark, heavily weathered yellow armour I also want to pick a collection of decals that may or may not hint at the machine’s past — in any case, it should make the model even more interesting! And it’ll make for a cool addition to the project:

III. Immortal Hunter

And finally, yet another model: This one was actually built earlier than the other two, but I don’t think I’ve shared it with you yet.

One of my favourite 30k models I have done so far is my plastic World Eaters Contemptor, Vaako the Immortal:


Now when I visited Augustus b’Raass in Amsterdam, he was awesome enough to magnetise Vaako’s weapon options for me. But that left me with two useable weapon arms, and when I recently managed to get a pretty good deal on the plastic Contemptor body, I thought about putting those weapons to good use — and then I just love cutting up that terrible, clunky monopose kit. I’m just weird like that. 😉

I also wanted to find out whether the aforementioned head from the OOP Forgeworld World Eaters Dread  would work on a Contemptor. So I made another 30k Contemptor for my World Eaters. Again, this guy is still missing some detail, but I am already pretty happy with the general setup.




The left arm is a smaller version of the Ursus Claw harpoons the World Eaters would mount onto their void ships and the Titans of the Legio Audax:


It was originally built quite a while ago (drawing some inspiration from a similar conversion by fellow hobbyist sheep) as an additional CC option for my 40k Dreadnoughts/Helbrutes, but it arguably works even better on the taller Contemptor. Together with the multimelta, it suggests that this Contemptor’s specialty is actually hunting for heavier prey, such as enemy warmachines or Dreadnoughts…

Here’s the recipe for the Ursus Claw arm, in case anyone’s interested: The basic arm is the CC arm from the Blood Angels Librarian Dreadnought, I mostly merely replaced the actual weapon
Now the harpoon itself was made from an old axle bit from an ancient model truck kit — although it would be really easy to find a suitable replacement for that bit
the spike is an element that appears on many of GW’s terrain kits and was cut off from a small wall section
the light grey part right underneath the tip was a piece of a Chaos vehicle bulldozer bit shaved down to make a connection bit between the tip and the haft of the weapon
the barrel for the chain consists of two Chaos Marauder Horsemen shields, a roll of chain from an Ogre Kingdoms kit and a piece of chain, once again from an Ogre Kingdoms kit, I believe — sorry for not being more precise, but I got those bitz from an Ogre Kingdoms joblot I bought via ebay.

So yeah, that makes three massive killer-robot-cyborg dudes. What can I say — building those things is just so much fun 😉

Of course I would love to hear any feedback you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

The Amsterdam Files

Posted in 30k, 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, Traitor Guard, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2017 by krautscientist

Hey everyone,

it’s my birthday today, and what better way to celebrate than to share with you the tale of what may be my favourite birthday present his year, even though it wasn’t even planned as one. Let me give fair warning in advance, though: This is going to be one hell of a wordy, rambling post, even though there should be lots of shiny things to look at. So anyway, what is this about?

Ever since I got back into this hobby and started blogging about my little plastic men, crazy awesome things have started to happen: People started sending me stuff ranging from bitz to entire models. I’ve been a part of some seriously awesome joint hobby projects with fellow hobbyists. And I’ve had lots and lots of contact with people from many corners of Holy Terra. Even against this background, however, my recent trip to Amsterdam, to meet up with fellow hobbyist Augustus b’Raass, turned out to be an absolute high point!

Now Augustus and me originally “met” over at The Bolter & Chainsword where we both belong to the regulars. The first longer conversation we actually had occured when Augustus had put a dismembered female corpse on one of his  Night Lords Contemptors, and I was the person to argue that this was actually pretty poor taste. Doesn’t exactly sound like the most promising setup for an inter-personal relationship, right? And yet, it did kick off a fairly continuous stream of mutual comments, posts and PMs that ended with us both realising that we actually had a lot of things in common, even beyond the shared infatuation with little plastic people. Which is actually kind of a big deal, if you think about is: Hobby forums are excellent places, and I love them dearly for the communication opportunities they provide, but you only really get to see a very thin slice of every fellow hobbyist, as it were: There’s no telling whether the guy you keep sharing conversion advice with is actually someone you’d get along with in everyday life.

And it’s actually great that way, because it allows a shared space where people can just come together and talk about a topic they feel passionate about, without having to defend their cultural or political views or their dubious choices in clothing. Even so, to find somebody who seemed like they would be legitimately interesting beyond the hobby was an excellent turn of events, and so when Augustus was kind enough to purchase a copy of Index Apocrypha: Chaos for me when the book had gone OOP, I joked that I would pay him back by coming to Amsterdam and buying him a couple of beers. So yeah, I did go to Amsterdam, and I did indeed buy him a couple of beers, but that’s not nearly all that happened last weekend. So, allow me to share a recap of an amazing trip:

I. Talking Shop

Now as some of you may already know, Augustus is an incredibly talented painter and converter in his own right, so it was always clear we would be talking about lots of hobby related stuff. We actually spend about two hours alone in front of his shelves and shelves of gorgeous miniatures, with me picking up model after model and feeling like a kid at the candy store. What’s more, I even slept in the same room for the weekend, so whenever I woke up, my gaze would fall on those fantastic models — I actually tried to figure out a way to sneak at least some of those gorgeous World Eaters into my overnight bag…

Models built and painted by Augustus b’Raass

…but that would obviously have been extremely rude. In addition to those models looking absolutely lovely, however, they are also magnetised, pinned, drilled and what have you to the umpteenth degree — and those are all things I never really do with my models, as I am just happy to get them finished and be done with it 😉 But seeing the craftsmanship that had gone into assembling the models made me realise that Augustus was the perfect person to talk to about a couple of projects and concerns.

For instance, you probably remember this guy from the previous post, right?


Now Augustus and I talked about him and about how the pose was not yet quite there, and so I made some additional tweaks to the pose based on that conversation. This also provided the perfect opportunity for Augustus to teach me how to use a proper hobby saw instead of just wedging a cheap-o knife in there and wiggling it around. Anyway, here’s what the model looks like now:



I actually think the pose is quite a bit more natural now in how his legs and arms interact — as an added bonus, he even seems to be dragging his right leg, which is definitely fitting for a Plague Marine. The one small setback is that sawing through the torso to get the arms and shoulder pads off damaged some detail, so I might have to do a bit of cleanup there, but oh well.

Secondly, Augustus was kind enough to magnetise my World Eaters Contemptor’s right arm for me, as you can see in the picture below:


So now, in addition to looking like this,…



…he can also rock a sweet multimelta. Like this:



I am not a big fan of the 30k multimelta design, but having the whole thing as a magnetised alternative now really provided me with the incentive of making it look a bit more vicious and spiky, and I think I have suceeded with that.

And finally, while I basically managed to get most of the models I had brought over there without a hitch, my Forgeworld Angron was snapped off his base. Augustus suggested pinning him, and I asked him whether he could slightly tweak the angle of the model on the base, because I felt that Angron was facing downwards a bit too much. So here’s the tweaked angle, and I am much happier with the model now — and he’s far easier to take pictures of now as well:





I’ll have to build up some debris around the right foot, where the pin is visible right now, but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

And it goes without saying that we also sat down and traded a lot of bitz: I had brought a bunch of stuff I thought Augustus might like, and in return, I came home with this crazy pile of awesomness:


The star of the show is obviously the Forgeworld World Eaters Dreadnought, as that is one of those models I have always wanted to own, but I didn’t pick him up before he went OOP — and now I have one! Woohoo! 🙂

All it all, it was brilliant to talk shop with someone who not only has such a fantastic collection (in order to erm…borrow ideas by the boatload), but whose techniques and approaches also differ in certain areas: Augustus is super-structured and super-efficient, whereas I can be a huge fan of sloppy, messy Leeroy Jenkins-style tactics when it comes to painting and converting. Seeing someone else’s process was really quite eye-opening in many ways!

II. The Pretty Pictures

It wasn’t all theoretical, though, as I had also brought a pile of my miniatures for a joint photo opportunity, so we took my models, Augustus’ wonderful Imperial Fists and his equally lovely terrain and tried to achieve a look as close as possible to something you might see in an official GW publication, pitching the warriors of the World Eaters’ 4th assault company against the defenders of Terra during the siege of the Throneworld:



Hmm, with the Eighth Captain in the picture like that, I doubt that Librarian has too much of a career ahead of him… 😉





One of the coolest setups we did was to pitch Augustus’ Imperial Fists commander, Franz Landa, against one of the 4th assault company’s Praetors: Secutor Hamund, the Mournful, very much a deathseeker, and seen here during what may have been his final battle:





Creating setups like that was really a ton of fun, and I love how the pictures have turned out! My World Eaters, on the other hand, had to take a bit of a rest after the demanding photo shoot (next to one of Augustus’ wonderful Contemptors):


While we still had that sweet setup out, however, I snatched the opportunity to take some pictures that showcased my models, selfish git that I am 😉

Here are my 30k World Eaters, led by their Primarch:



Next up, my squad of Traitor Elites from my Traitor Guard force, “Urash’s Marauders”:


And, since I had also brought some models from the wonderful world of INQ28, Inquisitor Erasmus Gotthardt, of the Ordo Hereticus Velsen and his retinue…


…and the “Road Crew”, my current project of creating a merry band of Pitslaves, mutants and ne’er do-wells from the Hiveworld of St. Sabasto’s Reach:



And here’s one really sweet shot to top off this part of the post: My true scale Astartes, Praetor Janus Auriga of the Golden Legion, going toe to toe with Augustus’ absolutely lovely retro Bloodthirster — seriously, pictures don’t do that guy justice!

III. The All-important Rest

As fun as the whole hobby part of my trip was – and believe me, it was TONS of fun – what really turned the whole event into such a fantastic experience was being fed, pampered and taken around town by Augustus, who was just about the best host you could probably imagine: He had bought a wonderful collection of local and Belgian beers (And we drank. Them. All) and just made sure all around that I was as comfortable as I could be. We also ended up talking about a thousand different subjects – including, but certainly not limited to, the hobby – and I had a blast. Augustus also took me on a trip around town, and we invariably ended up the the local GW store. A huge shout out to the extremely friendly crowd over at GW Amsterdam South, by the way, from Dennis (the store manager who surprised my by being perfectly fluent in German and was an all around nice guy) to Rowdy (who actually came up to me to tell me he was following my work and was a bit of a fan — you made me feel like a freaking rock star, mate!): The hours just seemed to fly, and I loved every second of it.

While at the GW store, I was also able to take a couple of pictures of Augustus‘ spectacular rendition of Aaron Demsbki-Bowden’s First Claw:

First Claw by Augustus b’Raass (1)

Seriously, those guys are something else: It’s perfectly justified that they still draw lots of comments from the crowd at the store: You wouldn’t believe how amazing those guys are when seen firsthand. Let me just throw in additional pictures of my favourite three…

models built and converted by Augustus b’Raass

From left to right, Uzas (easily my favourite character from the Night Lords Trilogy), Talos and Mercutian (the model is just perfect in every way, wouldn’t you agree?).

And their three brethren that are just as awesome — I just happen to be in love with the three up top even more 😉

models built and converted by Augustus b’Raass

From left to right, Xarl (I’ve never seen a more intimidating glare in my life!), Variel the Flayer and Cyrion.

While at the GW store, I also met a super-nice fellow named Tom who may just be the best painter I have ever spoken to. While he was all shy about it and kept insisting that he had basically tried to merely follow the work of David Soper, his Orruk Warlord was really a bit of a relevation to me:

Orruk Warlord by Tom

You see, high level painting has never done much for me, because it just seemed so abstract and far removed from where I was standing. Seeing a model painted at that standard from up close, however, made me realise that there were layers and layers of detail there that I couldn’t even take in all at once. Like, I’ve never even liked that Orruk warlord all that much, especially that idiotic skull on his shoulder pad, right? And then Tom goes and does something like this:

Orruk Warlord by Tom

I mean, just look at that bone! JUST LOOK AT IT!

Tom was also nice enough to send me some really good pictures of the model for you to enjoy, so here you go:

Orruk Warlord by Tom

 

Orruk Warlord by Tom

So yeah, lots and lots of super-friendly people — but then, that’s the Netherlands for you. It’s a fascinating country for me, as a German, because in so many ways, it’s like Germany, only not: There are tons of things that are so incredibly familiar, but are just slightly “off” — and I mean off in an entirely good way: You feel at home enough to be at ease, but it’s also different enough to be utterly refreshing. Which is basically the ideal mix for someone who is as much of a scaredy cat as me 😉 Almost being able to get what people are saying is also quite a thing, I can tell you 😉

So Augustus also took me around town, including the famous Red Light District, so I could take a look at Amsterdam’s seedy underbelly, except it’s really not all that seedy, and it certainly has the added benefit of having a rather lovely canal running through the middle of it:


We ended up at a super cool retro-arcade bar where we kept drinking yet more local beer – Zatte, which actually translates to “drunk” I believe — there’s actually a lot to be said for a country that names its beers for the intended effect – and playing a bazillion games of Jenga, friendly banter with the folks from the adjoining table and crazy, made-up rules included. Let me tell you, it seems like people who know how to convert tiny plastic soldiers can be real Jenga fiends:


And then it was back home, with the crazy guy on the ferry playing songs like “Last Christmas” or “My Heart Will Go On” at full volume on his phone actually being a fellow countryman of mine — leave it to a German to set the mood, eh?

Anyway, if all of this may sound kind of over-enthused, that’s simply because I had such a blast! And I would like to imagine that Augustus felt the same way, in spite of having a compulsively talkative German to take care of. Just look at us eggheads:


I mean he does seem a bit…ambiguous about the whole situation 😉

Disclaimer: Which reminds me: Let me just state in no unclear terms that, in contrast to what you may or may not hear from other sources, I was, like, super-handy with the lock on the rented bike, and Augustus didn’t need to help me with it at all. Not even once. And that, as far as I am concerned, is the end of the matter.

Erm, anyways, here’s the big man himself again, albeit in model form: Meet Augustus b’Raass, warlord of Augustus’ World Eaters army:



So, Auggs, buddy: Ja, wie sage ich das jetzt, I really cannot thank you enough! For being an awesome host and a brilliant tour guide! For going through the risk of just having some guy from the internet over for an entire weekend. For the conversations and the laughs and, of course, the beer! And for starting out as a cool hobby buddy that has now become an actual friend! Cheers, mate!

And to all of the beautiful readers of this blog, if you have managed to hang on until now, thanks for reading! And, as always, stay tuned for more!

In hindsight, we should have set them up as though they were shaking hands — that would have been such a sweet capstone for the post…

The State of the Hunt, Week 25/2017: The Grandfather’s Embrace

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, state of the hunt, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2017 by krautscientist

Guys, guys, have you heard? There’s a new edition of Warhammer 40k, apparently 😉

Seriously, though: A detailed look at the new starter box, Dark Imperium, will be forthcoming shortly (at least that’s what I hope). It has been a while since my last detailed writeup about a new release, but I suppose the gravity of the situation definitely warrants a sizeable post. For now, let me just share one small teaser with you, namely a project that was inspired by the new release. So, what is this about?

While I may have some conflicted thoughts about some parts of Dark Imperium (*cough* Primaris fluff *cough*), one definite high-point for me are the new Plague Marines, sculpted by none other than Maxime Pastourel – aka Morbäck, of Le Blog dé Kouzes fame:


Possibly my favourite part about the models is how they manage to combine elements from the very first classic Death Guard concepts (courtesy of Jes Goodwin) with recognisable, albeit corrupted, Mk. III plate as well as some wonderfully sublime touches from Morbäck’s own Plaguebones — quite possibly the greatest Nurglite army currently in existence.

To make a long story short, after seeing the models, I wanted to get my hands on them ASAP — but then that tiny bit of rationality left in my head kicked in, and a small voice reminded me that, with several boxed sets still languishing unpainted in my cupboard of shame, I really could not quite justify getting yet another boxed set right now. And yet, I knew I had to do something to scratch that Nurgle itch, so to speak.

By lucky chance, I happened upon and TURBULENCE’s really excellent Nurgle kitbashes, using older parts to almost perfectly match the new look. So I had a look through the old bitzbox in order to find a remedy to cure me of the Nurgle bug.

When I found some leftover bitz from the Putrid Blightkings kit and a small pile of horribly battered Dark Vengeance Chosen bits and pieces (left from when I converted a couple of Iron Warriors), a plan started to form in the back of my head. And a short while later, I had this guy:




To be perfectly honest, this is, at its core, actually one messy and loose conversion, if ever there was one: I shaved down the upper part of a Dark Vengeance Chosen torso to make room for the belly, then shaved down the torso front from a Putrid Blightking to create said belly, then mashed it all together with a huge blob of GS and attached it to a set of plastic Mk. III legs. Then a modeling tool was used to loosely define rolls of fat and flabby flesh. In the end, it’s really a happy accident that the model itself calls for the kind of gooey mutations that the GS seemed to provide automatically 😉

At the same, the added height and bulk should also make the model look suitably tall and bloated when placed to one of Morbäck’s “official” Plague Marines. Speaking of which, a pair of Mk. III legs was used to make the model resemble Morbäck’s Plague Marines even more. In order to make the leg armour look suitably distressed and rotten, I carefully cut in some wedge shaped holes and scratches with a hobby knife here and there to make some of the armour plates look slightly dented and uneven. And I used the bog standard GW hand drill (the one I usually use for drilling out bolter barrels) to create small clusters of holes on the armour plates.

With this successful first proof of concept out of the way, I felt a little more adventurous when building a second model:





The basic recipe is the same: A beat-up Chosen torso (and shoulder pads) combined with a set of Mk. III legs, a couple of Blightking bitz and a copious amount of greenstuff. That being said, I really think the various components have come together rather beautifully on this model, lending it quite a bit of presence. Of particular note are the warped Gal Vorbak claw and the helmet (repurposed from an Age of Sigmar Bloodstoker model, with a Skitarii rebreather conveniently spliced in), especially the fact that the jaw motif gets repeated on both parts (this was actually more of a happy accident, though 😉 ).

With the second model completed, I had just enough battered DV Chosen and Blightking parts left to make one last model. This time, I decided to go for a very classic 2nd edition inspired look:




The model is arguably slightly more awkward than its predecessors, but then you should have seen the shape some of those leftover parts were in — the torso seemed just about useless, so I am pretty happy I managed to make a model out of it all in the end. The guy could still use some last tweaks and touch ups, but he’s definitely getting there! What’s more, this is the one model in my collection where that icky, tentacled Chosen backpack really works perfectly, wouldn’t you agree?

So here are my three “Morbäck-pattern” Plague Marines:


Coming up with these guys has really been a blast — and except for the legs, they were all made from nothing but leftovers, so they didn’t cost a penny to make. I am actually pretty pleased with myself for resisting the urge to buy new shiny stuff — for once 😉

There’s also one last model that fits in really well with the new guys: This Nurglite Sorcerer that I converted a while ago. He happens to follow a fairly similar recipe, however, so he should work well enough with the rest of the group:


As for painting these new models, it’ll be interesting to figure out a slightly tweaked recipe for them! I definitely want them to look slightly different from my squad of (mostly) retro Plague Marines here:


Pleased as I still am with those guys, however, they didn’t end up in quite the paint scheme I had in mind. With the new models, So I think I’ll be going with something closer to GW’s “official” paint scheme that was used for the Dark Millennium Plague Marines. Maybe a mix of that colour scheme with the one used by Morbäck for one of the models he sculpted.

On second thought, I am almost happy now to have left the Blightking-based Plague Marines I converted quite a while ago unpainted for all this time, as I’ll now be getting another chance (and an added incentive) to complete them as a Killteam, and with a new paintjob, no less!


Any thoughts of painting will have to wait, however: For one, the sweltering heat has returned this week and keeps holding the blasted plains of Jhermani in an iron grip. I’ll also be travelling to Amsterdam this weekend to visit fellow hobbyist Augustus b’Raass for a weekend of hobby goodness and sightseeing, which should be awesome!

So that’s it for this week. I would love to hear any thoughts and feedback you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

The State of the Hunt, Week 22/2017: Too hot for painting…

Posted in 30k, 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, state of the hunt, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2017 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, as the title should already have told you, the last few days have been crazy hot over here, on the blasted plains of northwestern Jhermani, so getting anything painted was completely out of the question. Actually, so was just about anything else, really. But I did at least make some time for a spot of kitbashing, and have some results to share with you:

 

I. In the Shadow of Great Wings, pt. 1.5

You’ll probably still remember my recent conversion of Argel Tal’s daemonic form, a model I am still fairly pleased with, if I do say so myself:


But even while I was putting the finishing touches of Argel Tal’s daemonic version, it was already clear to me that I would eventually have to build another version of the character in his “normal” transhuman form, for whenever the daemonic essence of Raum hasn’t come out to play. It just wouldn’t have seemed like a complete project otherwise 😉

But my original plan was to actually put the alternate Argel Tal version off until some point in the indeterminate future (that’s where hobby projects go to die, in case you were wondering). Alas, it was not to be: I just had an innocent look at the descriptions of Argel Tal in The First Heretic and Betrayer, just for research purposes, you know — and before I knew it, I was halfway through the building process…

So here’s what I have so far:



Once again, a couple of conversion notes:

  • the armour was basically a no-brainer, as Argel Tal is described as wearing a suit of Mk. IV plate, so I mainly used plastic Mk. IV parts, with the notable exception of the breastplate (which is the same Raptor torso I also used for daemonic Argel Tal) and the arms (Mk. III arms, actually, chosen for looking a bit more ornate — only befitting an Astartes captain).
  • the Guardian Spear makes a return here, for obvious reasons. Once again, I chose to change the weapon’s haft, making it look more like a spear — actually, I basically had to go back and recreate the version daemonic Argel Tal is wielding, just for the sake of continuity 😉
  • the cape seemed like a nice way of giving the model some extra bulk and presence and make it read as an officer. It originally came from a half-complete Ivanus Enkomi model fellow hobbyist Augustus b’Raass sent me a while ago.
  • And finally, the head. Now I realise that this could be a divisive choice for some people, but I decided to go with the bare head from the Space Wolves character conversion sprue. Call me crazy, but I’ve somehow always imagined Argel Tal as having long-ish hair. And that particular head really came closest to the mental image of the character I’ve had in the back of my head ever since reading Betrayer. But if you find yourself hating this particular head, don’t fret: Like Kharn, Argel Tal will have an optional helmeted head as well:


Incidentally, there are actually very few conversions of non-daemonic Argel Tal conversions to be found, so I didn’t have much to work from. The one pretty cool depiction I found, however, was this piece of artwork courtesy of Noldonfinve:

artwork by Noldofinve

The piece even received ADB’s official blessing, so I thought it would be cool to take some visual cues from it when building my own version, and I think that worked out pretty well, wouldn’t you agree?

In closing, here’s how the more human Arge l Tal looks next to his buddy in crime:

 


And here’s a comparison showing both versions of the character:

Now all that remains is to actually get these two painted — this whole project has already spun off into enough of a distraction as it is… 😉

 

2. On The Road Again…

In other news, remember the Road Crew?

I realised when taking a look at a couple of my recent posts that it has been a rather long time since I’ve done anything INQ28 related, but that fantastic Sector Mechanicus terrain released recently, alongside Shadow War Armageddon has given me a taste to delve back into the depths of the underhives, and what better way to do that than to keep adding to my fun little band of misfits pictured above?

Now to remind you, the basic idea behind these guys is that they are a colourful collection of former gladiators, former pit slaves, mutants and other undesirables establishing their own little domain in the depths of the world of St. Sabasto’s Reach, a pretty sinister planet, even for 40k standards:

 

St. Sabasto’s Reach

An extremely rich hive world grown fat and depraved through slave trade and the exploitation of its mutant lower class.

The world originally earned its name when the Imperial Saint Sabasto rested here after his great victory on the fields of Belzifer, before engaging in the last stage of his holy crusade for the defense of Velsen against the forces of the Arch-enemy. While Sabasto’s crusade army was still magnificent at this point, it had also suffered heavy losses (a fact, it is argued by some contemporary Velsian historians, that contributed to Sabasto’s eventual defeat within the Veil of Impurity).

When the Saint contemplated the price in blood paid for the reclamation of Velsen, he decreed that the entire world of St. Sabasto’s Reach would be given to the orphans of the slain and that the Imperium would see to it that the children of martyrs would never need to go hungry. This spurred the planetary populace into religious fervor, and countless orphanages and scholae were opened in the saint’s name, earning the world bynames like “The Planet of Orphans” or “The Orphans’ Cradle”.

However, with a slow decline in piety and a general economic recession, many of the world’s orphanages have had to close over the centuries, while others have turned to a far darker trade, giving the world’s epithet a new, sinister meaning. It is true that Imperial organisations like the Schola Progenium, the Ecclesiarchy and even the Inquisition still maintain a presence on St. Sabasto’s Reach and recruit from the ranks of the homeless orphans, choosing the most talented or devout to serve in their respective organisations. And in the deeper levels of the world’s hives, missions and orphanages still offer a real, if meagre, chance for survival to this day. Yet that is only one face of St. Sabasto’s Reach. For at the same time, the world has also become the biggest fleshmarket in the entire Velsen Sector, providing human resources in a very literal sense, from mutant workers to household servants. Moreover, it is rumoured that there exists a slave for every kind of service in the almshouses and slave pits of St. Sabasto’s Reach, and the masters of the world have long prided themselves on being able to cater to every taste and desire, no matter how “eccentric” it may be.

Another mainstay of the world’s culture, the countless circuses and fighting arenas, are also fueled by a constant influx of “material” from the slave pits. At one point, the world’s renowned Circus Imperialis served as a front for a cult of chaos worshippers and was purged by the hand of Inquisitor Antrecht. But even after this upheaval, the remaining slavelords and ringmasters of St. Sabasto’s Reach quickly regained their step, slightly realigning themselves in the resulting power struggle and carving out a new pecking order among themselves. Because the Inquisition’s issue was never with the slave trade itself, but with the presence of heretics, and so the House of Blossoms, the Angelflesh Lodge and countless other establishments like them continue to ply their dark trade to this day…

 

One thing I have wanted to do with this project is to combine a number of established Necromunda archetypes (the Pit slaves and Scavvies in particular) and add a twist of my own. There’s also a fair bit of Mad Max-vibe going on with the project, but I could not quite work out how to emphasise that particular angle when these guys are actually based in the dark, dirty and cramped underhive.

I’ve watched quite a few Let’s Play videos of Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light, by way of YouTuber ChristopherOdd, lately. Both games are set in a postapocalyptic near future where a (nuclear) Third World War has likely wiped out most of the human population on earth. Underneath the ruins of Moscow, the survivors of the apocalypse have turned the Metro tunnels into their new habitat, creating a makeshift civilisation in the cramped confines of what used to be the metropolis’ transportation system. Now I have a bit of a thing for postapocalyptic scenarios anyway, but after immersing myself in the scenario, it hit me: The whole concept of subway tunnels becoming living spaces and an entire ecosystem, if you will, seemed like the missing puzzle piece that would allow me to push the Mad Max angle on my Road Crew project a bit more: What if the lower reaches of the Hiveworld are crisscrossed by a network of transportation tunnels originally created – and mostly still used – to move the vast amounts of goods necessary to keep the world’s overly bloated population alive? St. Sabasto’s Reach has a huge population, even for a Hiveworld, because its most important goods are people, but all of these have to be fed, even if they are only in transit. So I imagine a network of massive, highway-like tunnels far beneath the ground, with smaller maintenance tunnels, substations and similar spaces in between the cracks spiderwebbing off from the main branches of the network. And maybe the Road Crew has taken to raiding some of the transports travelling along those massive subterranean highways: That would allow me to incorporate elements that are typically Mad Max, even vehicles. So with my creativity thus reinvigorated, I assembled some new recruits for the gang:

Now I am actually cheating a bit here, because both the guy with the chainsaw on the left and the guy with the gun on the right were originally built before I had even started thinking about the Road Crew. And yet, without a few minor tweaks, they became pretty cool new parts of the project — I actually love it when a project finally provides a new home to some stray conversions from years ago 😉

The guy in the middle is new, however, and I am pretty proud of him. Meet Cirque:

I don’t think I will ever tire of the particular look that a combination of Ork parts (with their somewhat grotesque, overmuscled appearance and clunky technology) and human sized components will give you — almost the perfect recipe for mutants, if you ask me.

And there’s the Road Crew’s ride, of course, a slightly touched up Gorkamorka Trukk that has become far too small for modern Orks, yet should work really well for my merry band of postapocalyptic ne’er do wells:

Now if only the heat would let up for a couple of days, I could maybe get some of the above painted — keep your fingers crossed for me 😉

Anyway, so much for today’s update. It goes without saying that I would love to hear any thoughts you might have!

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