Archive for bikes

Mark of the Daemon pt. 2 — plus some odds and ends

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2013 by krautscientist

Another week, and here I am, still happily pottering away in the small amount of hobby time I have. Let’s take a look:

First up, my kitbashed Daemon Prince. While reactions over here were pretty sparse, unfortunately, the forums provided more feedback this time around: I was happy to find out that the model was far better recieved than I had anticipated, plus I did get some extremely useful criticism out of the deal as well! So I ended up spending some more time on this guy, trying to take the various suggestions on board and further improve the model.

DexterKong, among others, remarked that he felt the original, more crouched pose was a better fit for the bestial, animalistic feel of the model. Dexter said that,

(…)in my mind I keep seeing this guy bounding forward on all fours.  In most of my visions of him, his front “paws” are on the ground, and his rear legs are kicked back in the air as he savagely runs at a target, like a wolf or a wild boar.  On the off-chance the limbs are not all attached, I would experiment with lowering his chest and head toward the ground, and go for more a quadrupedal pose.

Now while the original pose didn’t work for me (because it made the prince look like he was trying to hold on to the base for dear life), I certainly wanted to channel the look Dexter was talking about. So I slightly changed the pose of the left arm and made sure the model was posed closer to the ground. Here’s the result:

Daemon Prince WIP (18)
I am pretty happy with the pose and think that this is really the best of both worlds: The left arm is still held away from the body in a more open pose, but now it somehow looks less like the Daemon Prince is giving one of his underlings a paternal pat on the back and more like he’s mid-swing while tearing something apart.

Some people on the German forums pointed out that the model’s back seemed to feel a little empty, making it look too much like the monstrous mount it originated as. So I used a leftover Crypt Horror back piece to add some suitably gross vertebrae to the Daemon Prince’s back:

Daemon Prince WIP (17)
Since this picture was taken, some GS and Liquid GS have been used to blend in the new additions with the surrounding area, and the effect is pretty convincing. The picture also clearly shows the lumps of modelling putty used to fix the model in its more crouched pose — this will obviously have to be achieved by the design of the base on the finished model…

Daemon Prince WIP (16)
Speaking of which, the piece of wall on the base is really just a placeholder for now! Myfavourite approach would be to have the DP clutching the fallen window piece from the Honoured Imperium kit in its claw, although I’m not sure whether I should purchase that kit just for the one element. It’s a fantastic kit, though, so I am at least a little tempted…

All in all, I am hugely thankful for the constructive criticism I have received regarding this model,  because I think it has really managed to improve the Daemon Prince:

Daemon Prince WIP (15)
But the Daemon Prince is not the only model on my desk: Having to wait for the various coats of (Liquid) GS to dry left me with some time to kill, which I used to revisit and touch up some older models.

The first of these I tackled were some additional, kitbashed Raptors (called “Harriers” in my army). You might remember the first bunch of those I built and painted, back before the new plastic Raptor kit had even been released. Well, my Raptors were still missing some Meltagunners, so I whipped some up. I also built another champion for good measure, while I was at it 😉

Refurbished Harriers WIP (1)
All three models are based on some leftover Khorne Berzerker bodies I picked up as part of an ebay auction a while ago. Most of these were in a pretty rough condition, but I swore to myself that I would find a way to use them. So with an influx of fresh bitz, I believe I may have managed to rescue them from the rubbish heap. Let’s take a closer look:

Refurbished Harriers WIP (2)
The first model is a fairly simple kitbash, just adding some new arms, a new head and weapon as well as a dash of chainmail to the existing berzerker body. I imagine all of these will look far less rough around the edges, once they are completely undercoated. I also added a MaxMini jump pack, since my other Raptor models so far are using the same bit.

The champion originally started out as an additional icon bearer, but I was just never all that happy with the icon, so I remade him as a champion (because you can never have enough champions, right?):

Refurbished Harriers WIP (3)
A Warp Talon claw nicely complemented his pose, so I used it instead of his original arm. The helmet is also a slightly more involved kitbash — a cookie goes to you if you manage to spot where the original helmet came from…

And finally, the third Raptor with another Meltagun:

Refurbished Harriers WIP (6)
For this guy, I was feeling a little more adventurous, so I borrowed an idea I had seen on somebody else’s thread (GuitaRasmus’s, I believe) to build a more interesting looking weapon for him.

Once I manage to get those painted – whenever that will be – I will have quite a few Raptors at my disposal. And I really like those guys, because they seem so right for a World Eaters army. Also, there is a special kind of joy in revisiting existing models after a while to give them a little extra flair and further improve them.

As a matter of fact, you might remember my post about going back to older models to spice them up, going the extra mile, as it were. Biohazard’s World Eaters bikers were what originally inspired me to write that post (and work on my squad of bikers back then), and now Brother Heinrich’s fantastic Night Lords bikers made me pick up the same squad yet again in order to add even more detail 😉

Hounds squad WIP
Nothing big, though: I just added a couple of trophies and small weapons here and there, to make it look like these guys were used to living in the saddle. I also spent some time cleaning up the conversion work, drilling out all the barrels and exhaust pipes, etc. I only have the – slightly fuzzy – group picture right now, but I hope I’ll get around to showing you some better pictures (and maybe even more bikes) at some point in the future.
So yeah, as you can probably see, today’s post is not so much about breaking new developments as it is about incrementally doing small things that make your army better and better. Not as flashy as some huge centrepiece model, I’ll admit, but both approaches are important for an army, and both can be fun!

I am always interested in your feedback, so let me hear what you think in the comments section!

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

Going the extra mile

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Pointless ramblings, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 1, 2013 by krautscientist

For most of us hobbyists, the hobby consists of an eternal string of compromises, with the first of those usually being: “I’ll never be able to paint like the folks in the ‘Eavy Metal Team …at least not right off the bat”. Another common compromise is to balance  what you want your models to look like against what you can realistically achieve with your abilities, money and bitzbox. And, of course, you have to compromise when it comes to actually getting stuff finished and on the table versus obsessing over each minute detail for ages. Like it or not, we all have to make those decisions in our hobby life.

Compromising also does not necessarily have to be a bad thing: As long as I considered the ‘Eavy Metal painting standard to be some absolute ideal to be strieved for, I put myself under quite a bit of pressure when it came to my own meagre painting efforts. It took many years and lots of hobbyists on the internet to show me that it’s not about trying to emulate somebody else, but about finding a style you are comfortable with. In any case, when it comes to actually getting an army finished and on the table, a bit of compromising never hurt anyone.

On the other hand, it is all too easy to grow complacent. Case in point:

Shortly after getting back into 40k big time, I purchased an old Chaos Megaforce online. It was a great deal, giving me lots and lots of models to bolster the ranks of my World Eaters (as well as a Rhino and a Defiler). Three bikes were also part of the deal, but in those days, bikes weren’t all that hot from a rules perspective, so while I wanted to build them, I did not obsess over how well the models would turn out. Big mistake on my part, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Anyway, I built a Chaos Lord on bike to represent Huntmaster Gerrax, Master of the Hounds. I am still reasonably pleased with the model:

Lord on Bike
This guy was pretty much an amalgamation of all the great ideas I could find online. I also gave him a spear and slightly more ornate armour to make him look more like the hunter he was. And I think he really looks the part.

But there were two more bikes, and I put them together and used some berzerker parts to make the riders look like they were World Eaters. I also did a number of minuscule conversions to add cc weapons (and a Meltagun), but then I called them finished. Here’s what they looked like:

Old bikes
In hindsight, I would call these serviceable at best. What they are certainly not is the least bit visually exciting. And that’s why I didn’t feel the pull to actually paint them (or add any more bikers) for quite a long time. Even when the new codex made bikers very interesting again (especially for World Eaters armies), I just couldn’t be bothered to think about more bikes. The ones I already had didn’t seem to warrant any more attention to the subject.

But then, last week, I saw the bikes Biohazard had built on his Dakka thread. And I realised that this was what I actually wanted my bikes to look like: aggressive, dynamically posed and quite a bit more imposing than my own. So I immediately sat down, taking apart the bikers and adding a couple of bitz. I also started to think about how to use the bases as a means of making the models more interesting: Granted, I hadn’t done that with my old bikes at all, but I really should have, since it’s a crucial element!

In short, I finally did what I should have all along and went the extra mile.

For the first biker, I didn’t even change any of the original parts! I just tilted the bike to the side a bit and changed the rider’s position. Like so:

Bikers of the Hounds (1)
Bikers of the Hounds (3)
Bikers of the Hounds (2)
Bikers of the Hounds (5)
Quite a change, don’t you think? And all it took was a couple of minutes!

For the second biker, I was feeling a little more adventurous, so in addition to changing the model’s pose, I also added a couple of new parts. Here’s the result:

Bikers of the Hounds (6)
Bikers of the Hounds (9)

Bikers of the Hounds (10)
Bikers of the Hounds (11)

The model received a new axe and some new pauldrons (courtesy of the WFB Skullcrushers kit) as well as a bare head from a loyal Marine kit. I think he really looks like he means business now!

Concerning the Huntmaster, I didn’t change too much, since the model was busy enough as it was. I did however tilt the bike a little…

Bikers of the Hounds (12)
Bikers of the Hounds (14)
Bikers of the Hounds (16)
…and I also changed the position of the head to make it look like the Huntmaster was focusing on an enemy:

Bikers of the Hounds (17)

So, are these models completely fantastic and earth-shatteringly cool now? Nah, probably not. But they are much better than before, and that is what matters 😉
Maybe I’ll have to add some additional skulls and chains to the bikes, but all in all, I already think they are much improved. What’s more, I actually feel motivated again to think about adding further bikes to my army. I am even considering building a bike with a sidecar, with a World Eater using it as some kind of “chariot” — wouldn’t that be a really cool idea, fitting nicely with the World Eaters’ gladiatorial traditions?

Anyway, what what did I learn from this?

  • First and foremost, you should’t settle for “quite alright” when building models! Go the extra mile, and you’ll probably end up with a model that is much cooler — and sometimes it can be as easy as just tilting this part or that a few degrees to the side! This doesn’t mean that you have to obsess over stuff for ages, just that you take some time to come up with something special!
  • Don’t be afraid to revisit older models! Chances are, you’ll be able to bring a new and interesting perspective to them! Plus going through your collection and tweaking a model here and there can be great fun, and just as interesting as building something completely new!
  • Finally, it’s always a great idea to look to other hobbyists for inspiration: If I hadn’t seen Biohazard’s bikes when I did, I might never have gone back to my own bikes to make them better. There are tons of inspiration out there, and tons of talented people!

Thanks for (hopefully )staying awake through my rambling! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!