Archive for betrayal at calth

Ancient Vaako of the World Eaters

Posted in 30k, Conversions, Fluff, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2017 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, surprise: I am not dead! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ve gone through a bit of a rocky patch – from a purely hobby-related perspective – however, with a combination of work and other personal interests taking up most of my time, and very little hobby mojo left to speak of. So I haven’t really done much hobby related stuff since before Christmas, and that involves participating in forum discussions, writing blog posts or even personal, hobby-related correspondence.

Anyway, I decided that it was high time I broke this personal hobby-dreadlock, so here we are with a fresh post. Now some of you may be wondering where that third and final part of my Eternal Hunt Awards went: I remain committed to doing a writeup of my favourite 2016 projects from other hobbyistsย  – if you still want to read it, that is – but for now, it felt like the best way to actually get back into the swing of things was to just sit down and finish a model.

So let’s talk about my first 2017 model — fortunately enough, it’s a piece that I have wanted to finish for a long time now: All the way back at the tail end of 2015, when Betrayal at Calth had just been released, I immediately started to cut up the somewhat generic Contemptor that came with the box, turning it first into this:

World Eaters Contemptor 30k early WIP (1)

And then into this:

World Eaters Contemptor 30k WIP (9)
My plan for the model was to make it a bit more interesting by taking cues from Forgeworld’s World Eaters Dreadnought while also putting my own spin on things. For those interested in the subject, more conversion notes can be found in my original post here. And since I was really happy with the finished conversion, I really wanted to do this guy justice with a suitably good paintjob.

So when The Bolter & Chainsword started yet another forum-wide hobby event earlier this year, I knew it was time to get off my arse and finish this bad boy. So he became a part of my vow for the “Loyalty & Treachery III” event, along with two other models that I hope to paint soon-ish:

But the Contemptor was definitely first in line. I usually really enjoy painting Dreadnoughts, you see, so I hoped this guy would be fun to paint as well!

The first task was to carefully think about which undercoats to use. In the end, I used two different colours to undercoat the model (white for the legs and breastplate, silver for the arms and torso). This made for a good start, because I ended up with parts of the model in colours that were already closed to the finished effect. So I carefully picked out all the details in the correct colours and also added the characteristic blue on the shoulder pads, knee pads and the reactor section. Here’s what the model looked like after this step:


Then I washed and highlighted some of the detail, such as the chain dangling from the Contemptor’s breastplate, the bronze parts etc. A look at the finished World Eater next to the Contemptor perfectly shows the difference between the squeaky clean white of the PIP Contemptor and the finished, grimy and dirty white on the legionary — but before tackling the white areas, there was something to take care of first:

I had decided to make use of quite a few Forgeworld World Eaters decals, and in order for the whole ensemble to look suitably believable, the decals had to be applied at this early stage, to be weathered and dirtied up later, along with the rest of the white armour. Here’s the Contemptor with nearly all decals in place:

Better, but still far too clean, wouldn’t you agree? As an aside, I was really happy to be able to pull off that huge crossed chain decal on the leg armour.

In order to get the right, battle worn look, I used the same approach I had come up with for the rest of my 30k World Eaters so far: All of the white armour plates were washed with Army Painter Dark Tone, heavily diluted with GW Lahmian Medium. This shades the white parts and adds a grimy, dusty look to the armour. Afterwards, I used a small piece of blister foam and some GW Charadon Granite to add small patches of sponge weathering, adding to the dirty and unkempt look. By adding all of this on top of the decals, they ended up looking like a believable part of the model and not like an afterthought. Here’s the Contemptor after this step:

And while the model was already looking quite alright by this point, I decided to add some further tweaks: GW Leadbelcher was carefully sponged onto the blue armour plates, for instance, to create a scratched look. I also added suitable amounts of grime and soot around the Contemptor’s reactor section:

You might also have noticed the inclusion of a big “IV” decal on the model’s chest plate: The original plan was to have one of the red XII decals from the World Eaters decal sheet there, but that didn’t work out at all, as the red decal didn’t really read against the brass background. So I decided on a white numeral that stands for the Contemptor’s affiliation with the 4th assault company — I suppose there are enough XII decals scattered across the model to make it obvious which legion this guy belongs to ๐Ÿ˜‰

In the meantime, I also created a base to match the model. For this project, I used some granite slabs from the 40k basing kit for big models. But while the parts worked well enough, they also soffered from very, very soft detailing — my pet peeve with the kit, as you’ll probably remember. I brushed on some Liquid GS to create additional texture:

The paintjob was meant to evoke a dusty battlefield, like the crumbling avenues and plazas of Armatura, the Ultramarines’ war-world. So of course I had to add a fallen member of the XIII legion as well ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now just for the record: I don’t harbour any particular hate for the Ultramarines, but my 30k World Eaters are based on the legion circa during the Shadow Crusade (so from Isstvan to Nuceria) with a possible focus on the battles of Armatura and Nuceria. And the XIII Legion were the World Eaters’ main opponent during that campaign. Plus there’s an excellent showdown between Guilliman and Angron at Nuceria that shows how they are basically polar opposites in many ways, so it seems like a nice fit.

At this point, only some minor touchups were neccessary to finish the model. So let’s take a look at the finished Contemptor, alright?


Ancient Vaako

the Immortal, the Cerberite, honoured veteran of the XII Legion Astartes

In his dreams, he is still at Cerberus Station, its steel corridors and rock catacombs bathed in amber warning lights, the ropes of blood and viscera on every surface like the studies of a mad artist. The renegades have taken a terrible toll in blood, and he can see the corpses of station personnel, fallen inmates and the remains of servitors, strewn like ragdolls across the floors and makeshift barricades. And between them, in far smaller numbers, yet still shockingly common, the bodies of his brothers, the grey blue ceramite shards of their armour like cracked eggshells. All is quiet, strangely enough, yet the air is heavy with the scent of bad deaths.

When he rounds the next corner, he finds himself face to face with one of the monsters, squatting atop a pile of broken bodies. It is dying from a thousand cuts already, but just too stubborn to realise it yet. Its armour is cracked and scarred, but he still recognises it as an earlier, cruder version of his own warplate. Even then, he senses in his bones that their kinship goes farther still.

Up close, its animal stink and the sharp tang of its chemical secretions are almost overwhelming: the cancerous odour of a biological experiment slowly breaking down into its composite parts.

They quietly observe each other for a moment then, and in its rheumy eyes, he sees the ending of an age — but there is more there: infinite sadness. A sense of betrayal. The broken spirit of a once proud warrior, now merely a tool discarded by its own creator.


He awakens underwater, his lungs filled with icy liquid. As usual, it takes a moment for him to remember where he is. And what he has become. While jagged Nagrakali runes dance before his eyes, his gaze turns downward to the men a merciless conqueror king has crudely reshaped into his brothers. He wonders why they have come. Why they will not let him sleep and dream of betrayal the colour of blood and amber light. And then they begin to speak, and speak for a long time, and while their words weave a tapestry depicting a world gone mad, he remembers the spiteful, sad gaze of a discarded, broken toy and realises, with grim certainty, that it is all happening again.

A Terran veteran from the days when the XII legion was still named the War Hounds, Brahim Vaako is one of the oldest members of the 4th assault company. His status as a honoured ancient of the company made his support crucial when Captain Lorimar succeeded the companyโ€™s former commander, Lord Valna, whom he had slain in the fighting pits.

Unlike many Terran-born veterans of the World Eaters, he has never felt any resentment towards the Primarch Angron and the changes the latter had wrought upon the legion: During the quelling of the Cerberus Insurrection, the campaign in which Vaako would first distinguish himself, he sawย  the last Thunder Warriors die, and their fate and the World Eatersโ€˜ role in their demise planted the seed for a growing disillusionment with the Emperor and the Imperial Truth in him, long before the Horus Heresy ever broke out.

So here’s the finished model, and let’s not mince words: I am incredibly happy with how the model has come out! So let’s take a closer look at him:

As you can see, I also added some blood – par for the course for a World Eater, really – and it was once again pretty much the hardest part of the project, because it’s just so easy to overdo an effect like that. The fist was a no-brainer, of course. Regarding the legs, my rationale was that any fallen enemy at the Contemptor’s feet could only ever hope to reach as high as the Dread’s shins — and would likely make a terrible mess down there while expiring ๐Ÿ˜‰

Also, there may or may not be suggestions of bloody handprints in that bloody mess. At the same time, the effect also provided me with a good way to add some detail to those barren inner sides of the legs.

One thing I really spent a lot of time on was the use of matching decals to create both a feeling of belonging to the XII legion and a kind of personal heraldry for the character. For instance, the numeral “IV” stenciled onto his chest plate proudly proclaims his allegiance to the 4th assault company:

Meanwhile, the row of three hound heads appearing on his torso is a reminder of his participation in the quelling of the Cerberus Insurrection, a campaign that also earned him the epithet “Cerberite”:

Speaking of personal heraldry, the one thing that fell by the wayside during the painting stage, surprisingly enough, was the heraldic shield on Vaako’s left shoulder: I originally really liked the idea of having it there as a way of showing personal heraldry, but when I tacked it own, it turned out the shield really upset the model’s colour balance — so it had to go.

The base came together in a pretty experimental way — which makes me all the happier that it looks pretty much like I imagined it:

And here’s Vaako together with his “squishier” little brothers:

I think this little group serves as a pretty neat proof of concept of what I want my 30k World Eaters to look like! I think you can expect some more of these at some point in the not-too-distant future ๐Ÿ˜‰

For now, though, I am really happy to have finally finished this model — and about possibly having my hobby mojo back for now. YAY! ๐Ÿ™‚

Of course I would love to hear your feedback, so let me know what you think in the comments! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!


Inquisitor 28: From Cataphractii to Chapter Master

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2016 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, after speaking – at length – about my conversions using the Cataphractii Terminators from Betrayal at Calth and about my experiences converting that Cataphractii Praetor from the same boxed set into yet another 30k version of Lord Captain Lorimar, let’s return to the wonderful world of Cataphractii once more and discuss another conversion. The base for today’s project was, once again, the Betrayal at Calth Cataphractii Praetor:

Betrayal at Calth release (17)
Messing around with the model had already taught me that it didn’t take much to really transform the stock version of the Praetor into something else — but I wasn’t quite finished with the model yet, because I had to remember Commissar Molotov’s very interesting proof of concept for a true scale Astartes based on the Cataphractii Praetor. And after learning for myself how relatively easy it was to get rid of the model’s pidgeon-toed stance, I couldn’t get this idea out of my head. And when I recently had the chance of picking up another Praetor for cheap from fellow hobbyist Mineralwasser, that basically settled the deal. And what better way to convert this model again than to make it into the Chapter Master of my DIY Chapter, the Golden Legion?

I started by creating a very simple first mockup:

Second Golden Legionnaire early WIP (1)
The main objective here was to get a basic feel for what I wanted the model to look like. As you can see, I made the exact same adjustment to the legs I used on my Lorimar conversion earlier. Beyond that, a couple of things were pretty easy to decide, even at this early point: I really, really wanted to use that fantastic, bearded head from the Sternguard kit (possibly one of the best Space Marine heads ever), and some ostentatious shoulder pads from the same kit would be used for the Chapter Master’s pauldrons.

Regarding the overall look of the armour, I think the Cataphractii Praetor is a really promising base model for a true scale conversion, as the armour could easily pass for an older mark of regular power armour or some kind of artifcer armour. Possibly the best part is that the layered armour on the arms and legs believably looks like enforced standard power armour — unlike plastic 40k Terminator parts that will always look like Terminator armour, unless you are prepared to invest quite a bit of work.

Anyway, here’s a comparison picture with the early mockup version and my previous Golden Legion Astartes, Praetor Janus Auriga:

Second Golden Legionnaire early WIP (2)

The next step was to nail down the pose I wanted as well as the overall feel of the model, in order to decide on the additional bits I would need . For instance, the Praetor’s stock arm with the combi-bolter worked reasonably well, but it wasn’t what I had in mind for the Golden Legion. In my background notes, swordplay is a huge part of the Legion’s culture and mythology, so it goes without saying that the Chapter Master would need an especially ostentatious sword. However, as the following picture shows, using the stock arm and weapon would work really well for an Astartes with a slightly more standard set of equipment!

Second Golden Legionnaire early WIP (3)
For the left forearm, I decided to use an arm from the Stormcast Eternals models from the Age of Sigmar starter box: I already knew at this point that I wouldn’t be keeping the hammer, but the vambrace has a very nice lion design on one side, plus it really worked well scale-wise for a true scale Astartes.

But yeah, I wanted a sword, so I browsed through GW’s entire catalogue until I came upon a bit that I thought might do the trick — I even made a crude Photoshop mockup of the whole shebang at this point ๐Ÿ˜‰

Second Golden Legionnaire early WIP (5)
So I ordered that sword from the Deathwing command squad, along with a small collection of additional bitz — we’ll get to the result in a second. Before that, however, here’s a look at the model’s back, warts and all, to show you the construction I used:

Second Golden Legionnaire WIP (5)
The model’s back is basically a shaved down GK Terminator torso back, which fit surprisingly well with a bit of shaving here and there. What’s more, the shaved-down back vents really make for an excellent point of attachment for a standard Space Marine backpack without any further work — I used the same approach on my first true scale Marine, incidentally.

One thing you will also have noticed in the picture above is that I did try to add a stylised deathmask to the model’s right pauldron. The idea was that this is the Deathmask of St. Sabasto, the Velsen Sector’s patron saint, so to speak, and that the Golden Legion is using it almost like a chapter badge. I felt mighty smart when I press-molded a Sanguinary Guard mask with GS, because I thought a GS duplicate would ultimately conform to the shoulder pad’s curvature far better — but unfortunately it ended up looking pretty hokey! I did find a very simple solution for this problem, though.

So here’s a look at a far more complete version of the Chapter Master:

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (1)
As you can see, the Deathwing sword works really well with the stock arm, even though it turned out to be even longer than I had anticipated. I also added a cape from the same Deathwing kit, because, let’s face it, Chapter Masters just need to look suitably ostentatious ๐Ÿ˜‰

As for the mask on the shoulder pad, the solution turned out to be almost disappointingly simple: I simply grafted an original plastic Sanguinary Guard faceplate to the shoulder pad, and it worked much better than the GS copy I had on there earlier (even though it made me feel a bit stupid for even trying the long way around, so to speak):

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (3)
Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (2)
As I have mentioned earlier, the idea behind the deathmask is that it’s the stylised face of the Imperial Martyr Sabasto, patron saint of the Velsen Sector. The Golden Legion were his personal guard of honour when he defendedย  the sector against an incursion by the forces of the Arch-Enemy about 1,500 years ago, and his ultimate demise at the very forefront of the Crusade remains a mark of shame to the chapter, and a reason for their fanatical need to protect the Velsen Sector against any enemies from without.

At this point, most of the conversion was basically finished:

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (4)
All that was left to figure out was what to do with the left hand: I considered – and ultimately discared – many different weapon and equipment options, because they all ended up feeling a bit too pedestrian to me. But then again, leaving the hand completely empty also seemed like a bit of a missed opportunity.

Fortunately, JaggedToothGrin came up with the excellent idea of having the model hold some kind of rosary or amulet, and EdT suggested using the left hand of this Age of Sigmar Paladin Retributor:

Paladin Retributor Champion

I instantly liked this idea, but I didn’t know how easy it would be to source the required bit — but it soon became obvious that I wouldn’t even have to find that particular hand, because I discovered yet another suitable part on the Sternguard sprue.

So here’s Orestes Prabian, Lord Commander of the Golden Legion, finished except for maybe a bit or two ๐Ÿ˜‰

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (10)
The small chain with a Crux Terminatus dangling from it was originally part of a Sternguard torso, but it seemed like a natural fit, so I carefully snipped it off and grafted it to an empty fist from the same source, and I am really happy with the result:


Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (12)

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (14)

The area where the backpack meets the cape will require some minor cleanup, but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. After that, it’ll mostly be a case of carefully adding a bit more bling to the model here and there ๐Ÿ˜‰

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (13)

I think the finished conversion is suitably iconic to work as a Chapter Master — and, maybe even more importantly, it also believably works as a true scale Astartes! Here’s another comparison picture with Janus Auriga:

Prabian & Auriga comparison picture
Granted, upon closer examination, Janus may be ever so slightly taller than his Chapter Master — a result of my cobbling together a recipe while I was going on the first model, whereas the second Astartes was mostly based on a rock solid base model. In the end, I didn’t want to mess up the Chapter Master’s proportions by awkwardly splicing in any spacers, though — and who knows, maybe Janus is just a big guy, even for an Astartes?

Here’s another picture, showing both the Chapter Master and my 30k Lorimar version — both of them are obviously based on the same plastic Cataphractii Praetor:

Prabian & Lorimar comparison picture
While I wasn’t completely sold on the stock model for a while, it has really grown on me, due to its surprising versatility. And it does make for a pretty much perfect base for a true scale conversion, if you ask me!

And with that, we can mostly consider the Cataphractii case closed — expect to see more of these guys once I get some paint on them ๐Ÿ˜‰

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

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (11)

Lorimar – the post-Isstvan years

Posted in Conversions, Fluff, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2016 by krautscientist

For todays’s post, let us return to plastic models wearing Cataphractii Terminator armour for a bit. Because, even with the squad of five Cataphractii finished, there was still the matter of the Praetor model that came with the Betrayal at Calth box to take care of:

Betrayal at Calth release (17)
In many ways, it’s a rather strange model: On the one hand, it’s well designed and fairly elegantly engineered. Like most of GW’s newer plastic characters, it’s made up of a number of parts that lock together in a very clever way, creating a character model that definitely has the right amount of bulk, detail and depth. The armour is also a nice step up from the standard Cataphractii design and, along with the flowing cape and the more detailed pteryges leather straps, instantly communicates the fact that this guy is an officer. So far, so good, right?

But then there’s the pose: I cannot even begin to guess what made GW’s designers decide on such a rigidly posed model. Maybe they merely wanted to provide the model with some agency, instead of going for the classic “posing with outstretched weapon arms” look of the yesteryear? Or maybe the Praetor was designed as an opposite to Forgeworld’s own Praetor in Cataphractii armour?

Whatever the reason, the pose is definitely one of the model’s weaker parts for me, and it seemed like the one factor that would make any conversion rather challenging. Even with quite a number of fairly clever conversions appearing over at The Bolter & Chainsword, few versions of the Praetor managed to get rid of the somewhat pidgeon-toed stance of the base model — which really seemed at once central to the conversion and fairly challenging to me.

And maybe it wasย  that challenge that drew me towards attempting a conversion in the first place. I had originally planned to leave this guy for last, but when I recently started hitting a bit of a roll with my Catapphractii, I felt motivated enough to start working on the Praetor as well. There was just one problem, however:

You may remember that my 30k models are supposed to represent an earlier incarnation of my 40k army of choice: The World Eaters’ 4th assault company. And the 4th has one commander, and one commander alone: Lord Captain Lorimar. And I even already had a 30k model for him:

Lorimar then and now
The model shown above was originally mostly built and painted by AgnostosTheos, and I bought it from him when he sold off his collection of World Eaters about two years ago. It took very little work to turn the model into an earlier incarnation of Lorimar, and I am still reasonably happy with the way both versions of the character look next to each other — incidentally, you can read more about the models and the character that informed them here.

So was there actually any room for yet another version of Lorimar? Or for a different character serving as Praetor? Of course this whole discourse only really makes a lick of sense if you take the whole background part of the hobby seriously, but I am just funny that way in that I tend to build and paint characters, not just playing pieces. At least that is what it feels like to me.

In the end, however, the urge to create a badass Cataphractii Praetor got the better of me, and I decided to play this one by ear: If the resulting model ended up as another version of Lorimar, then I would find a place for him in my collection somehow.

So I started making some adjustments to the base model, and here’s what I ended up with after putting in the first bit of work:

WE Cataphractii Praetor WIP
Like I said, the base model is pretty cool in principle, but it’s also severly hampered by the somewhat rigid (and slightly uncomfortable looking) pose, so that was the part I really needed to change. I also knew that it wouldn’t do for a World Eater to focus so much on a shooting weapon, so I changed the model’s entire orientation.

The most important part was to cut off the right leg above the knee and slightly rotate it inwards. Such a small thing, really, but it was really key for making the pose far less awkward — in fact, it’s a neat little trick that I would recommend to anyone trying to change the model’s pose around a bit:
You cut right between the kneecap armour and the armour plate covering the hip (directly under that one line of decorative trim on the leg). There’s really only an area of about 0.5 mm width where you can make the cut without damaging either armour plate, so the sweet spot should be easy enough to find. Then you rotate the leg inwards, stopping once you’re happy with the pose. There’s going to be some damage, especially if you are trying to have both feet meet the ground at the same angle, but it’s really easy to repair with some plastic glue and some plastic shavings, plus the damage will be nearly invisible from the front. And if you are using the stock model’s cape, the damage will be neatly camouflaged by the Praetor’s cape.

The other considerable change I made to the base model was to cut off the hand holding the combi-bolter and replace it with that massive chainsword from the Space Wolves Upgrade Pack — incidentally, that sword was one of the two reasons that made me pick up that sprue in the first place, and its mass and length seemed ideal for a World Eaters Praetor.

And finally, I cut away the model’s original head, mostly to allow for a head facing in a different direction. As it happened, however, I had an extra head from the chaos warshrine priest still knocking about – the exact head I also used on 40k Lorimar – so I decided to use it in my early mockup.

With the basic pose out of the way, the next part was to add some detail that would make the model read as an actual World Eater. Seeing how the stock model’s armour was already very detailed, I had to try not to go overboard, lest the model end up looking too busy. In the end, I think I managed to come up with a fairly good solution, though:

WE Cataphractii Praetor WIP (2)

WE Cataphractii Praetor WIP (1)

The bandolier of skulls is a classic for World Eaters, especially since the more recent fluff has given it a deliciously ambiguous nature: Are those the skulls of enemies, displayed as trophies? Or are they the remains of honoured battle brothers, allowed to see the field of battle once more? Or a little from column A and a little from column B, perhaps?

I also added another shackle bit from the AoS Bloodreavers — as DexterKong astutely pointed out when commenting on my Cataphractii, shackles are such a tragically fitting accessory for 30k World Eaters, are they not?

And finally, I tried to give the a slightly more ornate version of the topknot the other Cataphractii have, spliced together from a topknot that came with the chaos chariot and the tail of a Marauder horse. I like how the front of the piece could be seen as a stylised Iron Halo or as the iconic arrows of chaos…

The one thing that didn’t sit right with me was the chainfist. Granted, it works pretty well with the tweaked pose — arguably better than on the stock model, really. But I just couldn’t help it, I had to mock up an alternate arm holding an axe.

I used the upper arm from a plastic 40k Terminator (which had to be shaved down quite a bit) and the forearm from an Age of Sigmar Stormcast Eternal, as the curves of the armour fit the overall Cataphractii look pretty well. As for the axe, I chose the same blade I already used on 40k Lorimar. And here’s the model with an alternate arm:

WE Cataphractii Praetor WIP (11)
And seeing the axe arm in place actually decided things for me: I would be turning this guy into a representation of Lorimar, after all.
Incidentally, when putting all three models in a row, I realised that there was a really nice sense of visual progression between the three. Take a look:

Lorimar comparison

The version on the left represents Lorimar as a younger officer, say a Secutor-Sergeant, during the latter stages of the Great Crusade, or even as a young Captain, having just taken command of the 4th after winning his captaincy in the fighting pits. The new version in the middle is him during the Heresy: The more ostentatious armour shows his newfound confidence in his command. And he has started to discard the trappings of a loyalist Astartes: Where his younger version is armed with weapons bearing a strong aquila motif, his new weapons are more vicious and cruel-looking, and there’s not an aquila to be seen — I really like how his weapons get less Imperial as he goes! Finally, the model on the rightis him in the 40k setting, now in fully Khornate regalia.

So basically all that was left for the conversion at this point was some cleanup work. One interesting part is that I have not yet glued the different parts of the model together — I think this will make painting quite a bit easier in this case, because the seams between the parts are cleverly hidden. Anyway, here’s the model as it looks right now:

WE Cataphractii Praetor WIP (15)
WE Cataphractii Praetor WIP (16)
One thing I still want to do is to make his axe look slightly less chaotic. I am going to fill in the chips and nicks in the blade with GS, provided I manage to pull it off in a clean enough way. As for the chaotic eye, a fellow forumite on a big German forum came up with the idea to keep the eye, but to fill in the chaotic arrows around it, making it look like some kind of decorative jewel. I think I rather like that idea, as just removing everything would just create a huge flat area on the axe blade.

One small detail I am really happy with is how I have used some leather straps from another Cataphractii Praetor model to close the gaps between the straps that were already there:

WE Cataphractii Praetor WIP (18)
Shaving these off from the source model’s shoulders was slightly fiddly, but the extra effort was definitely worth it!

And here’s a look at the model’s back. Careful observers will spot the stylised Khornate rune adorning the crossguard of Lorimar’s sword (I put it there to replace a wolf skull):

WE Cataphractii Praetor WIP (17)
All in all, I am very happy with the model, both because it makes for a pretty cool “missing link” between the two versions of Lorimar I already have, and because I have managed to tweak just about everything that I didn’t like about the stock Cataphractii Praetor. In fact, having discovered how easy it is to carefully turn the base model into something quite different, I would basically recommend this guy to every hobbyist looking for a characterful base model to turn into a commander for their own Space Marines! What’s more, as has already been postulated by Commissar Molotov, the Praetor is also a pretty ideal base morel for a true scale conversion — as it happens, I am working on a true scale Chapter Master based on this model right now, but that is a story for another time ๐Ÿ˜‰

Before I wind up this post, here’s a look of Captain Lorimar with his Cataphractii bodyguard:

Lorimar's Fist 30k WIP (4)
As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Cutting up some Cataphractii

Posted in Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2016 by krautscientist

This week, let’s head back to the Heresy for a bit, as I show you my latest conversions based on models from the Betrayal at Calth box. So you’ll be seeing a lot of unpainted plastic, unfortunately, but also – hopefully – a conversion idea or two that might inspire you ๐Ÿ˜‰

One thing that I have always loved about the Horus Heresy in the pre-Forgeworld days is how sketchy and adventurous it all seemed: Back when the original Visions of Heresy artbooks were released, you could get the feeling that the artists really had a lot of leeway when it came to interpreting the various armour marks and war machines of the Heresy era Astartes legions. So you would see all kinds of crazy armour designs (Wayne England’s Heresy artwork is a prime example of this), and then people would go and convert models based on that, and it was all pretty great.

Forgeworld created a more streamlined and and standardised look for the Legiones Astartes, and there’s a lot to be said for that: The various armour marks, for instance, are excellent and suitably different now, and they really allow for lots of customisation to achieve the exact look you want for your army. However, at the same time, I cannot help feeling every once in a while that some of the craziness of the pre-FW Heresy days has been lost along the way, with the new models sometimes seeming a bit less interesting than the old artwork.

Nowhere is this more obvious than with the Cataphractii design. To wit, here’s an early Cataphractii illustration (probably the first one, at that) courtesy of John Blanche:

Cataphractii illustration by John Blanche

Cataphractii illustration by John Blanche


Even beyond the hallmarks of John’s personal style, there’s something cool and barbaric about this individual: He looks far more than a tank than the 40k Terminators, yes, but there are also elements like the pteryges and the massive topknot that give the Cataphractii the look of a Roman legionary turned up to eleven — and that’s really just what Space Marines are, in a nutshell, right?

Forgeworld’s Cataphractii design ditches some of the zanier parts of the old art, particularly the topknots, which I think is a shame. And the plastic Cataphractii included with the Betrayal of Calth box are probably, at the same time, the best and the worst part of the entire release. The best part because a fully customisable multi part squad was definitely more than we could have expected. And the worst because the models are painfully generic and vailla, even moreso than the rest of the models from the set!

But vanilla wasn’t what I wanted for my own Cataphractii: I wanted to turn them into World Eaters, so they needed to become slightly more interesting, slightly more gladiatorial and slightly more feral, while their possible allegiance to Khorne during the latter stages of the Heresy needed to be kept at least somewhat abiguous without straying too far into 40k levels of Khornate decoration: To go all spiky and baroque on them would ultimately have lead to a 40k chaos look, and I still wanted these guys to be recognisable as 30k models. So a bit of character was needed, but not too much of it. Oh, and I also wanted to incorporate some of the small touches from the older artwork that have since fallen by the wayside. That’s quite a lot on one plate, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

I started by experimenting with a couple of bitz, and while this lies beyond the scope of this post, one thing that I have found out is that it’s relatively easy to make Cataphractii that resemble various legions’ dedicated Terminators simply by virtue of using different heads: Just discard the stock “half heads” you get with the kit (or better yet, keep them in the bitzbox for the future), and shave away that one small piece of plastic from the inside of the torso’s cowling to allow the torso to accept different heads. You will also need to shave down the heads and helmets you use a bit, so they fit snugly into the recess, but it’s really not that complicated. Just check out my quick study for Sons of Horus Justaerin and Deathshroud-like Deathguard helmets here:

Justaerin WIP
Deathshroud WIP
It took me only a couple of minutes and some different helmets to make these, and I wasn’t really serious about the endeavour, either. On a related note, check out thamier’s excellent Justaerin based on the plastic Cataphractii to see where you can take these humble base models with a bit of work.


Regarding my own Cataphractii, however, it took another puzzle piece for things to finally fall into place: Fellow hobbyist weirdingway (yes, the guy with the amazing Navigators) sent me some leftovers from the AoS starter box Bloodreavers. And while I own a full set of – mostly – mint Bloodreavers myself, it was while playing around with those leftover heads, daggers and doodads that I realised that the Bloodreaver parts where perfect for adding some oomph to my Cataphractii!

And once I had that idea, I just started building. So let me show you the different models in the squad, one by one:

WE Cataphractii WIP (14)
WE Cataphractii WIP (13)
WE Cataphractii WIP (12)
This is actually the second Cataphractii Terminator I built, but the first model I want to show you, because the plan here was to incorporate several elements of that JB drawing shown above: The horsehair topknot was an auto-include,ย since it’s such an iconic piece of the Cataphractii design for me. After experimenting with various topknots and hair pieces, I ultimately decided to use the old horse tails from the WFB Empire Knights, both because I still had some of those lying around, but also because I rather like the volume and slightly stylised look of the hair. I realise that this part may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I really think the topknots do a pretty good job of recreating that vintage look.

I also wanted the pointy fingers on the power fist, at least on this one model, so I carefully spliced together the original Cataphractii arm with a CSM power first for that slightly more vicious look. As for the head, I experimented with a shaved down Grey Knights head for a while, and it ended up resembling the illustration rather closely. But then I found the option pictured above, which I liked even better, even though it doesn’t resemble the artwork: There’s just something brutal and menacing about that Bloodreaver head that really sells the character, if you ask me.

Speaking of Bloodreavers, another part of those models was added to the model, and it’s a part that would turn into a recurring element with the squad: A Bloodreaver dagger was added to the every model in the squad, and I think it really creates a nice bit of continuity.ย My idea for the 4th assault company’s background is that, even during the latter days of the Crusade, their identity as hunters had already begun to assert itself, so it only seems right that each of their Cataphractii veterans should bear an ornate flensing knife, right? At the same time, the daggers also subtly hint at the World Eaters growing allegiance to a new master, as their decorations feature touches of Khornate inconography here and there.

I am really happy with this guy, as he just has the lumbering, menacing look that I think isย  just right for a World Eater in Cataphractii armour.

Now you already know this guy, as he was my first Cataphractii test model from a while ago. However, I have changed the pose back to its earlier version, as the “screaming at the heavens in rage” just never gets old, especially for a World Eater ๐Ÿ˜‰

WE Cataphractii WIP (10)
WE Cataphractii WIP (9)
WE Cataphractii WIP (11)
Since we last saw him, though, I’ve added a Bloodreaver dagger and a stylised daemon face belt buckle to him, and I think those elements provide just the right amount of flavour to seel him as a World Eater — the heavily scarred Bloodsecrator head helps as well, of course.

Knowing myself as well as I do, I was aware of the danger of just giving each of the Cataphractii some crazy combination of viciously barbed CC weapons (as I’ve done on my 40k Terminators). I forced myself not to indulge that urge, however, as I wanted to keep at least a bit of that more regimented, orderly 30k look. So I needed to stick to a more subdued weapons loadouts while also finding a way to make them look slightly more interesting. This next guy was an attempt at getting this right:

WE Cataphractii WIP (16)
WE Cataphractii WIP (15)
While he does use a fairly pedestrian bolter/chainfist combo, I made the chainfist look quite a bit more vicious by splicing in the blade of a CSM chainsword:

WE Cataphractii WIP (17)
Moreover, the scarred head, while originally just a placeholder, has really grown on me, as it adds another subtly feral element to the model.

Next in line was the Sergeant. I thought it would be cool if one model of the squad were to sport the classic “bunny ears” as a sign of a growing devotion to the war god. What’s more, the classic Khornate helmet crests have received some official 40k background: They are called the “Caedere Remissum” now and form a gladiatorial tradition from Angron’s “homeworld” Nuceria.

The sergeant was the obvious candidate for this element. I also gave him a slightly daemonic looking (Blood Warrior) pauldron as a test, although I think it works fairly well. Oh, and I recycled the leftover combi-bolter/melta from the Praetor for this model (we’ll be getting to the Praetor in another post, although let’s just say that he won’t be needing that combi-weapon anymore…):

WE Cataphractii WIP (19)

WE Cataphractii WIP (20)
My original plan was to exchange the sword for a chainaxe, but I really rather liked the elegant look of the weapon, mostly because it seems so very at odds with the lumbering brute wielding it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here’s a closer look at the headcrest and the right pauldron:

WE Cataphractii WIP (21)
The one thing I am not quite happy with yet is the position of the head: I realise that it should be turned towards the combi-weapon even more, but I have already shaved quite a bit of plastic from that Bloodreaver helmet in order to make it fit, and I am actually slightly afraid of ruining it for good…

All in all, I am pretty pleased with the sergeant, though.

And finally, the heavy weapons guy. This was arguably the hardest model to get right, mostly on account of the somewhat dopey looking leg pose. I also considered arming this guy with a Reaper autocannon for a while, but eventually went for the heavy flamer included with the kit due to, you know, that whole “Kill! Maim! Burn!” thing…

So here’s the model:

WE Cataphractii WIP (24)
WE Cataphractii WIP (23)
WE Cataphractii WIP (25)
The legs remain slightly awkward, but I tweaked the pose until I could live with it. Beyond that, it was mainly a question of adding some gladiatorial touches, such as the marauder shield on the flamer. I also chose a – pretty old – rebreather head, both because a flamer guy needs a rebreather and because I really like the head’s scarred look — it doesn’t photograph to well, unfortunately, due to the older plastic.

When I posted my first Cataphractii conversions on Dakka, fellow hobbyist Anvildude suggested – only half-jokingly, I suspect – adding an “axefist” to one of the models. Much fun was had by everyone involved, trying to figure out how such a weapon would even work, but in the end, I am always up for a little fun, and I also didn’t want to repeat myself too much with this squad. So here it is, an axefist:

WE Cataphractii WIP (26)


My overarching impression of the plastic Cataphractii kit is that it has a lot of potential, but it also needs quite a bit of work to produce models that are a bit more characterful than the stock versions. The kit also has some slightly strange idiosyncracies — some of the arms just seem decidedly too short for me. And some of the power fists are pretty terrible, to be honest. And there’s always the fact that we don’t get any arms that allow for easy modification into CC arms, that one measly power sword arm notwithstanding. In my opinion, they should have made the chainfist an optional power first upgrade and rather included some CC arms.

At the same time, there are things that the kit does incredibly well. Chief of all among these is the fact that the finished Cataphractii really end up looking like walking tanks to a much greater degree than any 40k Terminator: They seem like massive, lumbering brutes, which I think is a great match with their depiction in the background.

Ultimately, putting in some serious work to transform the squad into something a bit more original was really worth it. I am very happy with these guys, if I do say so myself:

World Eaters Cataphractii squad WIP
They are still recognisable as Cataphractii and Legiones Astartes warriors. They are brutal and vicious enough to read as World Eaters. Some subtle, Khornate influences are already in evidence, although they do not overpower the models. These guys are hopefully going to look great in white and blue! And they have the classic topknots — what’s not to like? ๐Ÿ˜‰

So yeah, so much for converting the Cataphractii from Betrayal at Calth into proper World Eaters. It goes without saying that I would love to hear any feedback you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

More 30k World Eaters — and a recipe for bloodshed

Posted in Conversions, paintjob, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2016 by krautscientist

Having already teased some additional painted 30k World Eaters in my last post, I think it’s only proper to take a closer look at these models today. Some of you may remember that my first 30k test model ended up quite alright, but also that I didn’t find the process of painting white armour all that enjoyable.

Well, no more. Because I have actually manage to tweak my recipe for 30k World Eaters so as to be far less time consuming and nerve-wracking. Which made my second test model far more enjoyable to paint than the first one! So without further ado, here’s the model:

2nd 30k World Eater (1)
“To the prim and proper XIIIth or the bleeding heart XVIIIth, the thought of Astartes killing Astartes is anathema.
But we have been doing this for decades, night after night, in the cages and on the hot dust.
The only difference is that there is no longer any need to hold back.”

Legionary Sarn, Eigar Veteran Tactical squad, 4th assault company, XII Legion Astartes


2nd 30k World Eater (2)

2nd 30k World Eater (3)

2nd 30k World Eater (4)

2nd 30k World Eater (5)

2nd 30k World Eater (7)

Regarding the parts I chose for the model, I spliced in some CSM arms and a Khorne berzerker torso. While the finished model seems like a fairly standard marine at first glance, it retains a certain sense of brutality that works well for the World Eaters, I think. Using CSM arms on the Betrayal at Calth plastics also allows for slightly more interesting poses. And the spiked and barbed CSM weapons are an excellent fit for World Eaters weaponry, without looking too chaotic — in fact, maybe this is Sarum pattern equipment, provided by the Forgeworld of the same name that the World Eaters liberated during the latter stages of the Great Crusade…?

As for painting the model, the main change to my original recipe was to use GW Corax White spraypaint for the white undercoat instead of having to paint it all on by brush. This really cut down on the time it took me to complete the model, plus it also reduced the number of somewhat iffy areas that needed further touchups. What’s more, having an easier time with the basic paintjob gave me the liberty to experiment with some additional effects.

The first of those was the blood: It was clear of course that blood would have to enter the picture at some point, so I chose this model as a test piece for that as well, trying to create an effect that would subtly enhance the model without overpowering it. I actually used a tootbrush to flick small amounts of Tamiya Clear Red at the model, in order to create realistic patterns. Then I went back and added some more blood to select areas of the model, such as the chainblade and the knee. I think it’s fun to apply the blood in a very deliberate manner, rather than just slathering it on. That way, figuring out how the blood may actually have gotten there in the first place turns into an interesting bit of meta-narrative — did this guy knee his opponent in the face, for instance? ๐Ÿ˜‰

I also added another decal to the right shoulder pad: A “XII” numeral (actually a cut-down XIII from the Betrayal at Calth decal sheet):

2nd 30k World Eater (8)

And I included the pauldron of a fallen Armaturan Evocatus on the model’s base, trampled underfoot during the battle, maybe?

2nd 30k World Eater (6)

All in all, I am really rather happy with the World Eaters recipe I have come up with! It’s fairly effective and pretty fast to pull off, especially if, like me, you don’t like having to paint multiple thin layers of a base colour but enjoy the aspects of weathering and adding “special effects” far more.

30k legion badge

In fact, allow me to share my recipe — maybe those of you thinking about a 30k World Eaters project of their own will find this helpful.
So here’s a step by step tutorial for the white armour:

What you will need:

  • GW Corax White spraypaint
  • a white of your choice (I use Vallejo Dead White, but GW Ceramite White will work just the same)
  • GW Lahmian Medium (!)
  • a black and brown wash of your choice. I use Army Painter Strong Tone and Dark Tone, respectively, but GW Agrax Earthshade and GW Nuln Oil should also do the job.
  • a suitable dark brown/dark grey/green-brown colour for the sponge weathering. I use the OOP GW Charadon Granite (which is wonderful). However, any very dark grey/black/dark brown should work similarly well.

Oh, and one more piece of advice: You’ll make your life quite a bit easier if you leave the backpack and shoulder pads off and paint them separately. In fact, I even use a different undercoat for them (Chaos Black for the pauldrons and Chaos Black followed by Leadbelcher for the backpack). You can also leave off the head in order to be able to get into all the little nooks and crannies. However, all the following steps apply to both the head and body of the model.

So here we go:

Step 1: Spraypaint the entire model using GW Corax White. You get to decide how white you want your model to be during this step. For a slightly grey-ish off white, use the spraypaint sparingly. For a cleaner white, use a thicker coat of paint (or multiple passes of spraying). Make sure not to lay the colour on too thickly, though. This is what your model will look like afterwards:

Pre Heresy World Eaters white tutorial (1)
Step 2: After everything has dried, check to see whether there are any areas that remain unpainted. If so, this is the moment to use some slightly diluted white to clean them up a bit. As soon as that is finished, you should give the entire model a drybrushing with the same white, in order to build up a bit of contrast on the raised parts of the armour. It goes without saying that this will be more effective if you went for a slightly thinner undercoat beforehand.

Step 3: Now’s the time to block in all the different colours that aren’t white, i.e. the metallics, skin, trophies, pieces of cloth, pouches etc. This recipe won’t focus on my colour choices for this part, although I might do a more detailed tutorial in the future. Anyway, this is what the model will look like after this step:

Pre Heresy World Eaters white tutorial (2)
If you think it looks pretty terrible, you’re absolutely right. Don’t fret, as that’ll change in a minute ๐Ÿ˜‰

One important thing, though: This is also the moment where you apply all the decals you want to go onto the armour, as we’ll need to weather them along with the armour to make them look realistic. So if you want to use any of those red World Eaters decals from Forgeworld, apply them now! After they are well dry, add a coat of matt varnish on top to seal them , just for hood measure.
This is also the last opportunity to clean up the white: Any errors that you don’t correct now will have to be covered up by the weathering later, so take another look at the areas that might require a bit of cleanup now!

Step 4: Here’s where it gets interesting: Mix a glaze using Lahmian Medium and your brown and black washes on your palette. No need for an exact recipe, although the Lahmian Medium should account for about 60-70% of the mixture, with the rest made up of the black and brown. You’ll also want slightly more black than brown for a World Eater, (while mixing in a lot more brown and little to no black would give you a pretty nice glaze for a Death Guard legionnaire, incidentally). Once you have mixed the colours together, quickly and generously paint them onto the white armour, and do it in one go, so as not to produce any ugly borders. The glaze will shade the armour without drying on the even surfaces in a splotchy way (as a mere wash would), while also giving the whole armour a slightly muddy and off-white quality. Here’s what the model will look like after this step:

Pre Heresy World Eaters white tutorial (3)
The picture is rather misleading in that it was taken late in the evening, in less than ideal lighting. I just wanted to keep painting instead of waiting for better light, so the photo isn’t as good as it should be. The white is just as bright as the white in the following picture, if not brighter, it just doesn’t appear that way.

Step 5: We’re almost there. Now give the model some time to dry (!) before you tackle the next step. When everything is nice and dry, you put some Charadon Granite (or your alternate dark brown/dark grey) onto your palette and use a small piece of blister sponge to dip into it. Then you should sponge off most of the colour back onto the palette or onto a piece of kitchen towel. When there’s just a bit of colour left, use the sponge to carefully add weathering to the surfaces of the armour. This is not an exact science, so you need to experiment a bit. You can also build up the effect in several layers. The sponge weathering will end up looking very organic, which is great, plus it’s really useful for covering up errors and ugly areas. Just keep in mind that you will also have to use the effect on the blue parts of the armour (i.e. the shoulder pads and backpack), so they won’t stick out later by being too clean.

Anyway, I added multiple layers of spomge weathering until I was happy. And here’s the mostly finished model:

Pre Heresy World Eaters white tutorial (4)
As you can see, the shoulder pad and backpack are already back in place. You can do this as soon as you no longer need access to every part of the armour. I also added a selective edge highlight to some raised parts of the armour, such as the helmet’s faceplate, the elbows, the armour plate covering the model’s stomach etc. Oh, and I brushed some Steel Legion Drab over the model’s feet and greaves, in order to create a visual connection with the base. Of course you’ll have to adjust this part, depending on the colour scheme you have chosen for your basing.

As for the blood, like I said above, I use Tamiya Clear Red (although I keep hearing good things about GW Blood for the Blood God as well, and it may be easier to source), flicking it at the armour with the help of a toothbrush and then adding some of the paint to select areas. When touching up the gore, you should mix in some brown and/or black wash, so you’ll get slightly different hues and saturations that will make the blood look more believable.

Oh, and let me speak about the blue parts as well: When I painted my first 30k World Eater, I didn’t have any suitable blue, so I just used Vallejo Magic Blue with a drop of black, mostly as a stopgap solution. However, I really like the colour that resulted from this, so I’ve decided to keep the recipe for the rest of my models.

Anyway, so much for the tutorial. Aftersome final touchups and a completed base, here’s what the model looks like now:

3rd 30k World Eater (1)

“You think we take our opponents’ skulls to mock them, Evocatus? Hah, quite the opposite!
Even in death, your eyes will be allowed to glimpse the battlefield once more — what greater honour could be bestowed upon a true warrior?”

Legionary Molax of the Triarii, XII Legion Astartes. Seconded to the 4th assault company following the Battle of Armatura.

3rd 30k World Eater (2)
3rd 30k World Eater (3)
3rd 30k World Eater (4)

Regarding the conversion itself, I wanted to experiment with a more gladiatorial look, which I believe turned out pretty convincing. I also spliced in some actual Khorne Berzerker parts to create the kind of “mongrel” plate that should have been a pretty regular occurence in the XII legion, considering its rather heads-on approach to warfare and the amount of losses taken during the outbreak of the Heresy and the subsequent Shadow War.

And here are all three test models I have painted so far:

30k World Eaters test models (3)
One thing you can see in the picture is how the ratio between the black and brown washes will slightly influence the colour of the armour: If you look closely, you’ll see that Molax is slightly more brownish than the other two. This is because I used slightly more brown wash when mixing the glaze for his armour. The other two models use less brown and more black, leading to a somewhat colder look.

Another thing that’s evident in the picture is how the models are quite a bit less uniform than the stock Betrayal of Calth tactical Marines. I really wanted my World Eaters to have a slightly more ragtag appearance, as this just seems appropriate for the legion. As I keep adding new models, I think some of them will look quite different, with the spectrum ranging from fairly standard Mk IV Marines to guys in far less standardised gear, yet I hope to include some visual touches that pull it all together, creating a feeling of visual coherency while also allowing for quite a bit of variation at the same time.

Speaking of which, here are the two 30k models I am currently working on:

Plasma Gunner and Triarius WIP (2)
Plasma Gunner and Triarius WIP (3)
The model on the right further explores the Triarii archetype, while the guy on the left is a pretty standard plasma gunner. Like I said, these may seem rather different when compared like this, but I do think they’ll work together rather nicely in the finished squad. And there’s always the option of spinning off the Triarii into their own squad somewhere along the way, of course.

In this particular case, the main challenge was to make the guy with the plasma gun look suitably massive and menacing and not like “that boring model with the gun”. I think I was fairly successful with that, though.

And there’s also another model that I am fairly excited about. This guy:

WE Praetor 30k WIP (2)
WE Praetor 30k WIP (1)
The model was originally built as an officer for my 40k World Eaters, but it seems as though he might make an even better officer for my small 30k project, even if he’s a bit more openly Khornate than the other guys so far — personally, I think that all bets were really off for the World Eaters after Armatura and Nuceria, so I imagine some Khornate elements will have begun to sneak into the legion by then — after all, they were definitely present shortly after the Heresy, according to Khรขrn: Eater of Worlds.


Anyway so much for the status of my little 30k project. Again, don’t expect this to grow into a fully-fledged Horus Heresy army any time soon! That being said, this project is a great way of exploring an earlier incarnation of my 40k World Eaters and of using ideas that I’ve always found cool but couldn’t make work on the 40k setting. So it’s definitely a win/win situation for now ๐Ÿ˜‰

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

Meanwhile, back at Isstvan…

Posted in Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2015 by krautscientist

30k legion badge02

Painting the models for my AdMech warband left me in a fairly productive mood, and before my motivation had any chance of dying down again, I took the opportunity to paint my first 30k World Eaters test model. This turned out to be quite an educational experience. But we’ll be getting to that.

Let me start by sharing my research first — I actually love doing research for projects, and it has become a sizeable part of the hobby for me. Before I tackle a particularly challenging or interesting project, I will spend quite some time digging through a mountain of material, ranging from threads I like to random Google image search results.

I also did this in order to figure out what kind of look I wanted for my Pre-Heresy World Eaters. In fact, I’ve been squirreling away inspirational images of 30k World Eaters for quite a while now – just in case ๐Ÿ˜‰ But when all was said and done, three main sources of inspiration remained:

1. Mr. Poom’s World Eaters

World Eaters by Mr. Poom
Mr. Poom’s version of the 8th assault company is very possibly the coolest 30k World Eaters army in existence right now, so it shouldn’t surprise you that I chose his models as one of my main inspirations. I really wanted to emulate the particular shade of off-white he uses for the armour. Beyond that, I think that Mr. Poom’s style is far more exact and meticulous than my own, so I would need to find a way of covering up some of my inevitable mistakes — weathering and battle damage were the obvious answers!

2. Triarii by kizzdougs

World Eater by kizzdougs
There isn’t a more beautifully weathered and battle-damaged World Eater than the one shown above, painted by kizzdougs. Now kizzdougs paints some of the most amazing 30k models around, yet what’s the most fascinating is how he can do both the ultra-exact, clean and stunningly highlighted look of his Emperor’s Children as well as the thoroughly beaten-up, weathered look of the XII or IV legions. His Triarii legionary serves as a stunning example of this and became another important inspiration. However, I wanted a slightly less weathered look for my own World Eater.

3. World Eaters by James Karch

World Eater by James Karch
James Karch is the owner of another absolutely stunning World Eaters army (also beautifully documented as Army of the Month in Warhammer:Visions #4, still one of my favourite spreads ever from that magazine). And his army served as the kind of missing link I needed: It has the off-white of Mr. Poom’s World Eaters, but also a weathered look similar to kizzdougs’ model. So this army became the third vital piece to complete the triptych.

With the elements I liked and wanted to emulate firmly in my mind, I started painting. And while the white armour turned out to be a bit of a challenge, I also discovered that battle damage and weathering is a great tool for covering up any slipups ๐Ÿ˜‰ Anyway, after a short while (and a bit of a nervous breakdown somewhere near the halfway mark), my first 30k test model was finished. Take a look:


30k World Eater (1)
“I will never forget the day the legion ships came to my world. The whispered benedictions, forbidden even then, that accompanied them.ย  And those of us who aspired to a place among their ranks: Noble Hergan. Soulful Krizti. Brave Sharlen.
How they laughed at me, the baseborn butcher’s boy.

And when those of the legion came to walk among us, clad in armour of white and blue, they were glorious and terrible, and we caught a first glimpse of the consequences our choice might have.

They passed over noble Hergan and soulful Krizti, and killed brave Sharlen when he dared to talk back to them, then laughed over his broken body in voices that were deep and cruel.

And they chose me, the baseborn butcher’s boy.

Because for all its perceived flaws, the twelfth had learned even back then what others would only find out later
(and many too late):

That the Emperor’s Crusade had little need of thinkers and poets, philosophers or noblemen.
It needed butchers.”

Legionary Shadrak, Eigar Veteran Tactical squad, 4th assault company, XII Legion Astartes


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30k World Eater (5)
30k World Eater (6)

All in all, I am really rather happy with my first effort. Not everything may have gone 100% according to plan, but the finished model clearly has the look I wanted. It was also nice to be able to use those red World Eaters decals the way originally intended by Forgeworld (although the decals’ uneven performance remains a minor concern).

Oh, here’s a closer look at the right shoulder pad, by the way:

30k World Eater (8)
In the end, the tactical markings from the Betrayal at Calth decal sheet turned out to be far easier to apply to the shoulder pad than the ones from the World Eaters decal sheet. I added a small WE legion badge on top, in order to denote veteran status.

So, all in all, here’s what I have learned while painting the model:

  • white an be just as unenjoyable to paint as red — out of the frying pan and into the fire, I guess ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • That said, I will try a different recipe for my white next time around: The model was painted over a black (and silver) basecoat, because that recipe had worked so well on my AdMech models, with different colours blocked in later. It didn’t work so well with white. And the approach was rather backwards to begin with, so I’ll consider actually using a white undercoat on my nect 30k World Eater.
  • Lahmian Medium turned into an indispensable tool when it came to shading the armour: I mixed it with a bit of black and brown wash for a shade that was just heavy enough, but not so heavy as to ruin the white.
  • I tried sponge weathering for the first time, and while there’s quite a bit of room for improvement, it’s a really fun and rather effective technique.
  • I still have to get used to the new Space Marine bases, as they seem freakishly big to me. Every model seems like a Terminator now, simply by virtue of a bigger base ๐Ÿ˜‰ I think I really like the effect for a Killteam or warband but would find it a bit distracting on an entire army…

So much for my first 30k World Eater. It’s been fun! And, of course, I’d love to hear any feedback you might have!

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

30k World Eater (7)

On the road to Heresy…?

Posted in Conversions, Pointless ramblings, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2015 by krautscientist

After taking an in depth look at the Betrayal at Calth boxed set in my last post, allow me to share more of my current 30k experiments with you today — be warned, though, there’ll be quite a bit of unpainted plastic ahead ๐Ÿ˜‰

One thing before we begin, though: While I am currently having lots of fun working with the Betrayal at Calth models, don’t expect a playable Horus Heresy army anytime soon, alright? If anything, I think it’s more realistic for now to consider something more at the Killteam level, or maybe even below that. Because the most interesting part of this release for me is how it offers a practical (and all plastic) way for me to explore an earlier incarnation of the World Eaters’ 4th assault company.

This isn’t even the first glimpse in that particular direction, either. Last year, I purchased some Heresy-era models AgnostosTheos had built to depict 30k versions of some of my 40k characters:

Pre Heresy (4)

So far, we have Brother Marax, turned into a Dreadnought after being mortally wounded by Captain Lorimar’s own hand during the Battle of Skalathrax:

Pre Heresy (7)

And Brother Khoron, a long standing confidant to the Lord Captain, also interred into a new ironform after succumbing to his wounds after the Heresy:

Pre Heresy (8)
And, of course, the Lord Captain himself:

Lorimar then and now
In this particular case, the model hadn’t even been built and painted to represent Lorimar, but suitably in-character, so adding some suitable weapons and the right kind of base really made the resemblance rather obvious.

So these characters already exist, and while it remains to be seen whether or not they can be made into a part of whatever it is I am doing with the Betrayal at Calth models, the fact remains that re-imagining some defining characters as their younger (MUCH younger) selves should be quite a bit of fun. The catch is that I’ll have to resisit the temptation of building a 30k version for each and every character, as that just wouldn’t be plausible: Many of the current officers of the 4th were possibly some rank and file Astartes during the Heresy at best. If they were even around at all! So the challenge will be to carefully choose who was around ten millennia ago and work from there.

It also made sense to think about building some specialists to complement the standard tactical Marines that come with Betrayal at Calth. So the first character I started playing around with was Brother Dumah, Apothecary and Primus Medicae to the 4th assault company:

World Eaters Apothecary (7)
The conversion above is the 40k version of the character. I based Dumah on two models from the Dark Vengeance box (a CSM Chosen and a Ravenwing bike sergeant, respectively) and tried to go for a suitably mysterious look while also making it clear that this guy was an Apothecary. Incidentally, he is also my counts as version of Fabius Bile, if I should ever feel like including that character in my army list.

I have a bit of backstory for Dumah in the back of my head: He worked under First Apothecary Fabrikus, yet grew distant from his mentor when Fabrikus’ tastes developed more towards brutal psycho-surgery and torture. Instead, Dumah experimented on the possibilities of mitigating the dibilitating effects of the Butcher’s Nails on the World Eaters while trying to retain their advantages. Alas, a series of unfortunate events (of which more at a later point) during the outbreak of the Horus Heresy rendered his task considerably more complicated.

Anyway, I knew that Dumah had already been around at the time of the Heresy, and I liked the idea of building an Apothecary for my 30k Killteam/collection/whatever. So here’s what I came up with, the 30k version of Apothecary Dumah:

World Eaters Apothecary Dumah 30k WIP (1)
World Eaters Apothecary Dumah 30k WIP (2)
It’s a model I am pretty happy with because it manages to read as both an Apothecary as well as a warrior. I think the resemblance to the 40k version of the character is also fairly reasonable, as I’ve made some very conscious design choices to achieve that effect: A very similar head was used, along with a Black Templar tabard. The weapon was designed to look like a less daemonic version of Dumah’s 40k weapon. And there was also a happy little accident: Both versions of the character are wearing an amulet ๐Ÿ˜‰

At the same time, some minor compromises were unavoidable: I would have preferred a left-handed Narthecium gauntlet, for one, yet the one I found in my bitzbox (from the fairly new Sanguinary Priest) was just too nice to ignore. It was also too delicate to be thoroughly cut apart, which is why Dumah’s Narthecium must have switched hands over the last ten millennia — it’s also why his Apothecary pauldron is, strictly speaking, on the wrong side.

All in all, however, I was pretty happy with this first experiment! So why not go for something legitimately challenging next, eh? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Huntmaster Deracin (11)
Huntmaster Deracin remains one of my favourite conversions (and also one of my favourite characters in Khorne’s Eternal Hunt). He is also a rather extensive kitbash and easily the tallest infantry model in the army — so how to come up with a reasonable 30k version of this guy…?

The backstory for Deracin is that he suffered massive combat injuries during the Nove Shendak campaign and had to be extensively reconstructed with augmetics. This is easily visible on the 40k version, as the model is rather massive. It was clear that the 30k version couldn’t be quite as imposing yet, but I did I want to show that he’s already started on his way to becoming the hulking Warpsmith he will be one day. So I tried to build a less “escalated” version of both his armour and his equipment, with the added challenge of having the resulting model also look like a Techmarine:

Techmarine Deracin 30k WIP (1)
Using the same head worked as an anchor for the character, making sure he would at least be somewhat recognisable. The Techmarine pauldrons and Mk. 5 torso made for a suitably tech-y look. And the legs from the WFB Chaos Chariot I found in my bitubox were a godsend, serving as both a way to increase the model’s stature as well as a fairly recognisable precursor of the nonstandard power armour Deracin has taken to wearing during the 41st millennium.

I also used the same kind of backpack that appears on the 40k version, adding a small servo-arm (a very clever trick that I stole from Peculiar Quest):

Techmarine Deracin 30k WIP (2)
With the basic construction out of the way, all that remained was to come up with earlier, slightly less imposing versions of Deracin’s two-handed weapon and servo-harness. So here’s the mostly finished conversion:

Techmarine Deracin 30k WIP (4)

Techmarine Deracin 30k WIP (6)

The weapon became a combined axe/hammer affair, slightly resembling Deracin’s later “staff of office”:

Techmarine Deracin 30k WIP (5)
All in all, I am really happy with this model, because I feel it manages to accomplish three things: It looks like a Techmarine, albeit an unconventionally warlike one. It looks like an earlier version of 40k Deracin. And in spite of its departures from standard Space Marine design, it also resembles an Astartes enough to fit into a Killteam/army, don’t you think?

In any case, here’s a picture with both versions of the character, for comparison purposes:

Deracin comparison

So these two are my first attempts at building 30k versions of my 40k characters. But this project will also be about some new models and characters, of course. You’ve already seen my WIP Contemptor:

World Eaters Contemptor 30k WIP (5)
More details on how I’ve tweaked the pose can be found in my last post. I’ll…

I also built a first test model from the tactical Marine sprues that come in the box. The tactical models are very focused on Bolters, and they also have a very clean, regimented look — which is very nice and all, make no mistake! But since I wanted my models to represent World Eaters during the time of the Heresy (circa Shadow Crusade), I tried to break up the standard armour with some elements befitting a true World Eater. So here’s my test model:

Secutor Sergeant WIP (1)
Secutor Sergeant WIP (2)
The bare head and spiked collar are from the Bloodreavers that came with the Age of Sigmar starter box. In fact, that’s a cross-pollination that might warrant another look: Fellow hobbyist kizzdougs has suggested using Bloodreaver parts to build some plastic Rampagers, and it’s a concept that intrigues me.

I also spliced in a bare arm from an old Chaos Marauder and a suitably gladiatorial sword from a Beastman Ungor. And the suitably spiked and brutal bolt pistol came from the bog standard Chaos Space Marines. Oh, and let’s not forget the skull trophy, courtesy of the Empire flagellants ๐Ÿ˜‰

I imagine not every tactical Marine I built will turn out looking as feral as this, but it’ll be interesting to choose the right balance of bitz to show that these guys still function as Astartes while slowly being turned into something more (or less, depending on your point of view) by their Butcher’s Nails implants.

The same also goes for the Cataphractii Terminators. Here’s my first, very early Cataphractii test:

WE Cataphractii WIP (1)
I really think the Age of Sigmar Bloodsecrator head is perfect for a World Eater! On a related note, it’s really easy to convert the Cataphractii gorgets so they will accept different heads: Just shave away some plastic, and you are no longer limited to the “half-heads” that come with the stock kit.

I am still very much figuring out the most effective way to build my Cataphractii — while very cool, the stock models are even more vanilla than the Mk IV tactical Marines, in a way, and also quite a bit more restrictive in their posing than 40k Terminators, so the main challenge will be to have them look suitably aggressive and World Eater-ly without being over the top. So here’s another attempt:

WE Cataphractii WIP (5)
WE Cataphractii WIP (6)
The good ol’ “bellowing at the sky in rage” pose is a true classic, of course, but maybe the “I’m coming at you bro” approach works even better? ๐Ÿ˜‰

One element I am also experimenting with is the use of topknots on the Cataphractii, as they were a huge part of the original Cataphractii artwork of yore — in fact, one of the first Cataphractii to be drawn by John Blanche, no less, was even a World Eater:

Cataphractii illustration by John Blanche

Cataphractii illustration by John Blanche

I rather regret that particular element being mostly lost somewhere along the way. For me, those topknots were cool precisely because they seemed so at odds with the tank-like look of the armour, adding some much needed barbarism to it.

So, anyway, here’s a comparison shot of my Cataphractii and a (converted) Chaos Lord with twin LC:

WE Cataphractii WIP (7)
And maybe, just maybe, some leftover parts from the Cataphractii sprue will provide me with the weapon to finally finish that one Red Butcher turned 40k Chaos Lord?

Red Butcher WIP (10)
We’ll see… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, so far for my first experiments with the new plastic Horus Heresy kits. As always, I would love to hear your feedback! Expect to see more of this particular project as it develops!

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

30k World Eaters kitbashes WIP