Archive for blanchitsu

The 2014 Eternal Hunt Awards, pt. 4: A look back at my hobby year

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2015 by krautscientist

Awards

One last look backwards, at 2014, and then we’re off to a productive new year — at least that’s what I hope! But as our last installment in 2014’s Eternal Hunt Awards, allow me to walk you through my personal hobby year and present both the models as well as the events that were especially noteworthy for me:

 

I. My hobby projects

2014 was a pretty busy year, but I still tried to stay as productive as I could. I managed to paint about 40 models (which is only very slightly less than my 2013 result). Not a breathtaking amount of work, certainly, but then I am still happy enough with the stuff I actually did manage to paint. What gives me pause, however, is the fact that I doubtlessly kitbashed and converted many, many more models than I actually painted — I’ll have to keep working on that ratio, I guess…

But what do those 40 models mean if seen in the context of my various bigger and smaller projects? Allow me to elaborate:

1. Khorne’s Eternal Hunt

My World Eaters army certainly remains my most important project, and 2014 was very much a World Eaters year for me! The absolute majority of my newly completed models ended up in the 4th assault company.

All these new additions certainly call for some new army pictures in the near future! However, I suppose it’ll be quite some time before the weather allows me to set it all up outside and take some dapper new photos. Until then, I have this picture (taken this last December for the “We Are Legion!” contest over at Le blog dé Kouzes) showing a pretty big part of the army to tide you over:

Khorne's Eternal Hunt 2014 02
It’s not the entire army (it’s missing the twenty odd “old” berzerkers from before my hobby hiatus during the 2000s, for instance, and a couple of other models), but it’s a fairly accurate depiction of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt in its current incarnation.

And here are some 2014 additions to my World Eaters that I am especially happy with:

 

World Eaters Gladiators (67)
World Eaters Gladiatorii squad

This project started as a spontaneous kitbash and then grew into something bigger when I decided to convert a gladiatorial Khornate champion along with his coterie of grimdark gladiators. Though these would probably be counted as bog standard Khorne Berzerkers when used in a game, building a squad of distinctly gladiatorial World Eaters has been a great way to explore that particular part of the legion’s background — plus it was lots of fun to come up with different types of gladiators that call back to actual historical sources while also seeming believable in the 41st millennium.

If you’re interested, check out the full story of the gladiatorii here, here and here.

 

Valkar the Scarred (1)
Lord Valkar, the Scarred One

This was a model that I had wanted to complete for a long time, and as has been the case so often, the ongoing Painting and Converting Contest over at Throne of Skulls provided the perfect excuse to finally get my act together! I am really happy with both the resulting model and the fact that I now own one of the truly effective Khornate unit choices: A Chaos Lord on juggernaut — what could be more Khornate than that, right?

Check out Lord Valkar in more detail here.

 

Hadrak Firebringer (8)
Thamier-pattern Obliterator

This is a model I am especially happy with for several reasons: It marks the first Obliterator in my army, for one, because it took me so freaking long to finally settle on an interpretation of this unit type I was happy with. I was insanely fortunate enough to procure some wonderful, custom sculpted parts from fellow hobbyist thamier (whose “Balefire Legion” you should definitely check out ASAP) for this project, and the result is a model I am really proud of. And maybe the best thing is that I still have enough parts for a second Obliterator. Yay!

Find out what went into building this guy here.

 

Helbrute (2)
Brother Khorlen the Lost

Finishing this model was one of the rare instances where I actually managed to surprise myself: I had just seen the newly released multipart Helbrute (which I really liked a lot), but instead of buying it right away (my usual reflex), I rather painted the Dark Vengeance Helbrute I still had lying around ever since the boxed set was released. And boy am I happy about that decision in hindsight! The model was pretty challenging to paint, make no mistake, but finally managing to finish what may be my favourite Dark Vengeance model really felt good — and I am actually rather happy with the result, too!

Find out more about this one instance where I actually showed some discipline here.

Kharn the Betrayer redux (12)
And, of course, my re-imagined Kharn the Betrayer: This model was, once again, built for a contest over at Throne of Skulls, but at the same time, it also kicked off a sizeable painting project of mine that saw me paint more than 500 points for my World Eaters over the Christmas holiday — we’ll be talking about those models in more detail really soon, I promise you.

Learn more about Kharn the Betrayer and my interpretation of him here.

 

Chaos Knight WIP (79)
Chaos Knight Titan

Last and very definitely not least: My Chaos Knight conversion. Though this model yet remains unpainted, it is probably the one 2014 hobby project I am most happy with: Working at such a scale was a first for me, and I was really intimidated by the project, to be honest — so much so, in fact, that it took me several months to actually get started on the model.

In the end, however, I am more than happy with the result so far: The Imperial Knight is a wonderful kit in its own right, and I think that I have managed to make sure this conversion will be a suitable centre point for Khorne’s Eternal Hunt! I even built a full interior for the model — something I wouldn’t really have considered beforehand.

Chaos Knight WIP (80)

I hope that finally getting this big guy painted will turn into a successful hobby project of mine in 2015 — I am still working up the courage for it, to be honest…

Until then, why not check out my posts on the creation of my Chaos Knight Titan here and here?

 

2. The world of INQ28

The wonderful world of Inquisitor and the battle for the Emperor’s soul continues to be a fascinating subject and an endless source of inspiration to me. Even so, I am painfully aware that I have only managed to paint a measly four models for INQ28 in 2014:

INQ28 class of 2014
And while I am really rather happy with each of them – and do in fact think that they make for a wonderfully eclectic little group in the above picture – I really want to make sure to produce more finished pieces for INQ28 this year!

In fact, I have kitbashed lots and lots of characters I am really happy with so far, such as my first real true scale Marine, Brother Janus Auriga…

Brother Sergeant Auriga (1)

…among many others, so it looks like I have my work cut out for me — let’s see if I can manage to get this show on the road again!

 

3. Legio Custodes

Alas, my beloved Custodians received even less attention from me than my INQ28 models. However, I did at least manage to build some models that I am really happy with for this project: A rather convincing (if I do say so myself) version of Chief Custodian Constantin Valdor and a really badass looking Custodian in Pre-Heresy style Astartes battle plate:

Valdor and Custodian WIP
As with my INQ28 collection, I will endeavour to get more of these guys finished in 2015. After all, it’s only a matter of time until Forgeworld’s own Custodes are released, making my kitbashes entirely obsolete — at least in the eye of the public 😉

Find out more about my kitbashed Custodes here.

 

4. Urash’s Marauders

Traitor Elite (16)
And finally, my Traitor Guard. To be honest, it took me a while to get back to this project, but I did so with an addition that has thoroughly revitalised my interest in this army: After long deliberation and multiple test builds, I have finally come up with the beginnings of a squad of elite traitors, shown above, mostly based on GW’s excellent Tempestus Scions. And though it has taken me quite a while to get these guys finished, I am now really happy with them, especially with the unit champion:

Traitor Elite (03)
I think I’ve mentioned this before, but it really does bear repeating: This guy takes much inspiration from PDH’s excellent renegade troopers, and is also the first time that I have come (reasonably) close to reproducing the excellence of those models. In fact, the guy above may just be the Traitor Guard model I am most happy with to date, so expect to see more additions to Urash’s Marauders sooner rather than later.

Until then, read more about the squad here.

II. My favourite hobby moments

So much for my own hobby projects, but what else was cool? Once again, there were several moments in 2014 that really served as “milestones of awesome”, so to speak,  making my hobby year truly special:

First among those moments – and by a long shot – was being featured in Warhammer:Visions — in Blanchitsu, no less!

Blanchitsu
Seriously, this really took the cake! It also had me running around with a huge grin for at least a couple of days. And it is an achievement that I am pretty sure I won’t be able to reproduce anytime soon, which really makes it even more awesome. Being featured in this column along with extremely talented guys like PDH and Mikko Luoma was the icing on the cake, of course.

I have talked at length about Legion, the model that finally made the pages of Warhammer:Visions, and I promise I won’t put you through it all again — unless you want to, of course, in which case you can find the whole story here.

The various interactions with other hobbyists online were almost as good as my stint in Visions: The friendly and constructive way people in our hobby can interact via the power of the interwebz is one thing that never ceases to astound me, the other is the unending generosity of so many of my fellow hobbyists. Therefore, it’s really hard to pick that one favourite moment from among all the pleasant interactions I have had in 2014. Rather, it’s a collection of warm and fuzzy memories: being sent amazing bitz drops and unique models by PDH, Drone21c and Steifer, sharing friendly banter and thoughts about the hobby with Flint13, Augustus b’Raass and others over at The Bolter & Chainsword, trying my best to produce cool models for the contests at Throne of Skulls and getting my ass kicked time and time again by DexterKong, hammering out the backstory for a whole Imperial sector in cooperation with that same DexterKong, having hobbyists build models that share my name as a shout out (and trying to repay that particular kindness),…the list goes on and on.

Let me maybe show you one small thing to illustrate my point: Here’s a map showing you all the people I’ve done bitz swaps with so far. Without any money involved, I might add — just for the sake of helping each other out:

bitzbuddies

I think this is ample proof of the amount of generosity present in our hobby! Thank you all, guys and girls! You rock!

 

I was also really blown away when I received a very special gift for my birthday last year:

Fan Troll (13)
my colleague Annie converted and painted a wonderful fan troll for my Blood Bowl team, the “Orkheim Ultraz”, which really left me speechless. I know you are not supposed to feed the troll, but I really want to 😉 Thanks again, Annie — you’re awesome! 🙂

Read the whole story here.

And one last thing that I am really happy with: As I’ve mentioned above, I really managed to get my act together over the holidays, painting a pretty chunk of new World Eaters models for Khorne’s Eternal Hunt. This all happened as part of The Bolter & Chainsword’s 2014 Call of Chaos event, which not only gave me a deadline to meet, but also provided lots and lots of motivation via the friendly competition among board members. I’ll be showing off the completed models in more detail very soon — I hope you like red and bronze! 😉

 

III. Blogging

Providing a constant stream of content for this blog remained a fun – albeit challenging – endeavour during 2014: I managed 63 posts and attracted 170,000 views from 138 countries — numbers that may not be all that spectacular in the larger order of things but still feel pretty unreal to me, seeing how this is just my small, uninteresting corner of the internet 😉 I also managed to reach the mark of 300,000 views overall, which I think is pretty cool!

For those of you interested in this kind of stuff, here’s a link to the annual report WordPress has kindly provided.

 

All in all, it has been a busy year. A productive year. A fun year. Yet also a year full of unpainted plastic — but what else is new? Thank you all for joining me on this ride. This concludes our little retrospective, and we’ll be strictly focusing on new stuff from now on: Here’s to 2015!

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

A day in the limelight…

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2014 by krautscientist

Whoa, what a day: Imagine my utter amazement as I browsed through the latest issue of Warhammer:Visions today, only to turn the page and see this:

Blanchitsu
Seems like my dear Legion is really going places, eh? Anyway, it probably won’t come as a surprise to you that being featured in an official GW publication – and in Blanchitsu, no less – is really a hobby dream come true for me! And the whole story of Legion has been one chain of awesome moments, ever since PDH was nice enough to get me involved! Read all about our favourite AdMech monstrosity here, in case you’re not yet in the know.

Anyway, a huge, huge thank you to John Blanche for featuring my model in his wonderful column! And to Peter, of course, without whom none of this would have happened! This is so amazing! I might as well quit the hobby now, because I’m not sure how exactly I will ever surpass this…NUTS!

liebster_logo

In other news, two people nominated me for a Liebster Award on the same day: Thanks a lot to Henry South and Jimmy Grill!

In case you’re not familiar with the Liebster Award, it’s basically a friendly kind of Ponzi Scheme, with the single goal of giving readers the opportunity to discover new and interesting blogs. So not only am I happy to receive this nomination, but I’ll also happily help to spread the word:

As per the rules of the award, I am required to…

  • tell you eleven truths about me
  • answer eleven questions posed by the person who nominated my blog
  • nominate eleven blogs for a Liebster Award
  • pose eleven questions of my own, to be answered by my eleven nominees

So, without further ado, here we go:

Eleven Truths:

1. I am supremely lazy, which often proves to be a challenge in this hobby, especially while painting, and also unbelievably impatient when working on models, which has ruined more than one pretty cool paintjob or conversion, because I just couldn’t wait until everything was dry.

2. The GW kit I have purchased the most often is the plastic Chaos Lord in Terminator armour: I could always build another one of these.

3. My “grownup” reasons for picking up blogging were to teach myself stuff about blogging software and to keep practicing my English: Both missions accomplished, I suppose 😉

4. Fairly surprisingly for a devout follower of Khorne, I am not into Heavy Metal.

5. I still believe that the Police are the greatest band on the planet!

6. I love everything written by Neil Gaiman

7. If you try to interest me in a new tabletop game, make sure I am excited by the actual models: I am terrible with rules and forget them as quickly as I learn them, so the models have to be awesome enough to capture my interest.

8. I am a huge videogame nerd and have a pretty big collection of game systems.

9. Believe it or not, I have never been to an English speaking country – although I plan on remedying that sooner rather than later.

10. I love being complimented on my models (who doesn’t?), and I will sometimes feel awful when a model I am extremely proud of doesn’t get a lot of feedback online.

11. I am not actually a scientist 😉

 

Eleven blogs:

Since I know that several of my favourite blogs have already received a Liebster Award, they will be missing from the following list. That said, these eleven blogs are amazing and definitely deserve more traffic. So, in no particular order…:

1. Le blog dè Kouzes:  some of the most stunning kitbashes and paintjobs you will ever see. Definitely worth learning French for 😉

2. Die Würfelwiese: the blog of an extremely talented, fellow German hobbyist. Just check out his magnificent Tallarns!

3. K.M.B. Some of the best World Eaters kitbashes and conversions on the net. I just wish AMaximus would update more often…

4. Beneath the Mire: Great content from a group of bloggers, especially noteworthy for Drone21c’s wonderful INQ28 models.

5. CerxiS World: Another fellow German’s blog, and some of the best Alpha Legion models and miniature photography you’ll ever see!

6. Thenickeninja’s blog: Amazing Blood Bowl conversions and the best underhive terrain in existence, period.

7. Miniature Tim: A very talented and friendly artist, and a pleasantly levelheaded and costructive take on our favourite hobby.

8. Tarvick the Artisan: wonderful conversions and inspiring paintjobs — what’s not to like?

9. Ex Profundis: Wonderfully creepy stuff by Bruticus and meade, masters of the bizarre. Dark Mechanicus craziness galore!

10. Eldritch Epistles: A wonderful look at models from the olden days. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

11. Mordian 7th: One of the most productive hobbyists you’ll ever see: The pace at which Mordian7th finishes great armies has to be seen to be believed!

Eleven answers…

…although, seeing how two people nominated me on the same day, I think it’s only fair to answer both sets of questions. Plus I love interview-ish stuff like this, since it makes me feel like a true rock star 😉 So here goes:

Eleven Answers (questions by Henry South):

1) Your most satisfying moment while painting.

Quite a while ago, I started following an approach for quickly achiving great results while painting as laid down by Steve Buddle : Paint the base colours, then generously apply washes, then go away and let them dry, then come back to the model and apply any highlights and details you want. This seems common sense now, but back then, it looked like witchcraft to me. Anyway, after applying all the base colours, the model looked so terrible that I could have screamed. Then I slapped on the washes, already considering the model a lost cause. When I returned to it after a few hours, I found the model completely transformed by the washes, which gave me a huge kick and really changed my approach to painting: I’ve been using that technique ever since (although I still feel terrible right before the washes come out 😉 ).

2) Your worst painting disaster.

Saving up a lot of allowance money during my youth in order to be able to buy a Dark Eldar Raider, then finding out I hated painting it and ending up with a paintjob that was less than exciting – scared me away from painting vehicles for more than a decade, I suppose.
3) Can you “cheat” while painting. And is it wrong if you can?

Hmm, I guess you can cheat by only painting areas that will be clearly visible on the finished model and leave the hard to see parts mostly untouched, by that doesn’t work for me because I will always know that when I look at the model 😉 The other possible kind of “cheating” is to use shortcuts and easy recipes for creating reasonably good versions of effects that would need many, many working steps otherwise, but that’s not really cheating and I’m doing it all the time 😉
Oh, and you can of course try to make your models look even better by taking really good photos of them, but again, that’s what you should be doing anyway, so can this really be considered cheating in the first place.

4) The one tip you would tell yourself when you started painting

Don’t try to slavishly follow the ‘Eavy Metal approach to painting: You’ll never be able to paint like that anyway – at least not at first. Find a technique that you’re comfortable with and go for a nice, clean paintjob. All else must follow. Don’t try to force it!

5) How do you get over your painting block?

– by stepping away from the model I am working on for a while, returning with a fresh perspective later
– by painting something completely different from what I am currently working on
– by painting something that I know will be fun (followers of Nurgle usually work like a charm)
– by looking at other people’s inspiring stuff until I get that itch for painting again

6) Pub garden or trendy winebar?

Pub Garden all the way. But then, I am not a great wine aficionado anyway, so yeah…

7) Which Chaos god would you sell your soul to?

Khorne. Definitely Khorne. My soul belongs to him ever since I painted my first chaos warrior, so it would have to be him. I am probably the least aggressive and brutal person you will ever meet, and I would likely suck in a fight, but there’s always the reassuring knowledge that Khorne cares not from whence the blood flows, only that it flows.

8) Who do you blame for getting you into miniture painting?

Hmm, I suppose it was a combination of my fascination with the painted models on the back of the HeroQuest mission booklet and the gentle urgings of a childhood friend who had already started to paint his own HeroQuest models (using terrible enamel colours and markers, no less).

9) What hobby would you be doing if you didn’t do this?

Hmm, I think I am somehow juggling all the nerd hobbies that interest me (videogames, RPGs, tabletop wargaming) at the same time, so I suppose this hobby doesn’t prevent me from any other hobby. Maybe if I wasn’t spending so much time cutting up little plastic men, I’d be free to do something grownup like learning another language or finding a cure for cancer, though. We might never find out 😉

10) Chocolate or jellybeans?

Tough call. Though I really like jellybeans, I’ll have to say chocolate, though, because it forms the base for so many awesome things. Why does it have to be one or the other again?

11) What do you listen to while painting?

I usually have my ITunes on shuffle while painting, since I have a fairly extensive musical collection. That said, chances are there’ll be something indy rock-ish in the playlist, with the odd, tacky 80s pop number thrown in for variety 😉

 

Eleven Answers (questions by Jimmy Grill)

1) If you could wish for one thing except more wishes, what would that be?

Robust health for me and those close to me, I suppose, because health is so very important for our lives, but something we all tend to take for granted until it’s no longer there.

2) What was the first miniature you painted?

A HeroQuest Zombie: I gave him bright blue skin and bright yellow eyes…and then stopped painting because it looked utterly ridiculous. Still have that model lying around somewhere, come to think of it…

3) What was the best miniature released last year?

Hmm, I’ll have to say the Lord of Skulls: I realise many people hate it, but it really blew me away and I think it really pushed the envelope and paved the way for a number of really impressive releases (the Imperial Knight, for example).

 4) What was the latest movie you watched in the cinema?

Huh, the second Hobbit film, I believe. It has been ages since I went to the cinema – and I didn’t even think it was that good a film either – too much CGI and silly acrobatics, even for my taste.

5) Would you rather die now or live forever?

Both seem like pretty bleak prospects, when you think about it. Can’t choose one, they are both horrible 😉

6) Whom do you consider the worse geek, yourself or the hobbyists around you?

Aha, that’s a bit of a Catch 22 there, isn’t it? Of course I could easily name people who are worse geeks than me, but then, is there anything geekier than taking comfort in the fact that others are worse geeks? 😉

7) The discontinued GW game you wish GW would bring back the most?

Hmm, this would be a neck and neck between Necromunda, Mordheim and Inquisitor. Each of these would be brilliant, especially with new models. All things considered, I’d have to say Inquisitor, though: at the 28mm scale, please 😉

8) How many DVDs would the internet take up if you removed all the porn?

Loads. Don’t forget all the Lolcat videos and borderline retarded selfies, though! It’s not all porn, you know 😉

9) In how many years will tabletop miniatures be 3d holograms?

Hopefully never:  Where’s the fun and artistry in using 3d holograms? I like obsessing over little plastic figures far too much to find such a prospect interesting.

10) If John Blanche and H.R. Giger had a child together, what would it look like?

Like something not even a mother could love. I am guessing lots of nipples, augmetic implants and a dashing renaissance costume.

11) I accidently the box. Is this bad?

I don’t understand the question, so I guess it might be…

 

And finally, eleven questions for my nominees:

1) Warhammer 40k or Warhammer Fantasy Battles? And why?

2) Who’s your favourite miniature sculptor?

3) What’s your best hint for painting (“Thin your paints!” doesn’t count!)

4) Who’s your favourite author?

5) What’s your favourite Traitor Legion?

6) Which Ordo of the Inquisition would you belong to?

7) Which army would you never start and why?

8) Which is the most important part of the hobby for you?

9) Your favourite band or musician?

10) Which is the most spectacular conversion/kitbash you would like to do, provided you had the bitz?

11) What was the best moment in your hobby life?

 

So yeah, what a day! Make sure to check out the blogs I nominated! Have a great weekend! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!