Archive for bloodbriar

INQ28: Kitbashing in the time of Corona, pt. 2

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2020 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, it’s time for another update — and yet, I’ve had virtually no hobby time, for reasons that shall become obvious further down in this post.

It’s a good thing, then, that I still have enough bits and bobs from my desktop to share with you, even if I’ve been sitting on some of this stuff for a while now — what better way to clean house, as it were, eh? So let’s take a look:

I’ll start with a small update on one of the projects from my previous post: Remember the beginnings of my Bloodbriar Cartel?

Looking at the models, I realised that I wanted another bodyguard for the retinue. Now building another sentinel would have been quite tempting, especially on the account of this awesome idea of fellow hobbyist euansmith:

The entire gaggle are looking sumptuous. Looking at the Guard with the shield, I was struck by the idea that, if you make a second one that was Left Handed, they could stand behind important people, with their two shields forming a pair of wings to make their VIP look even more important. The mask on the guard is really cool.

But then I quickly realised that my heavy case of hobby butterfly syndrome probably wouldn’t allow me to build – much less paint – another identical model. Plus I also felt that the bulky Sentinel should be balanced out by a very different, slim and lithe bodyguard. So I came up with this kitbash:




Maddeningly enough, the differently coloured plastic on the upper half of the head makes the whole thing look like a bad Photoshop job in those pictures — you’ll have to take my word that the whole head assembly works better in real life. But I didn’t want to “cheat” by showing a grayscale picture, electing to rather show you the initial kitbash, warts and all.

I also have to admit that I am not quite happy with the second bodyguard yet, and there are definitely quite a few kinks to deal with: To name just one issue, maybe that Bonereaper sword is too massive, but then again, I think I’ll be keeping it because I like the idea of an “exotic” weapon like that without any clear chaos or xenos influences — it looks like the kind of weapon you would see in a powerful crime syndicate (plus all the other swords in my collection are just as big).

One thing I think already works pretty well is the pose: I wanted the bodyguard to look self-assured and at rest, so I really had to go to town on those jumpy Wych legs. The slowly advancing stance looks like that of a ballet dancer, though, which is just what I wanted.

 

Next, more or less à propos of nowhere, came a conversion that felt like I simply had to get it out of my system. A bounty hunter, possibly with a bit of a Xenos influence:




The were several design influences at play here: The image of Japanese Ronin (very obviously), Princess Leia’s bounty hunter disguise in Return of the Jedi, as well as character designs you would see in Franco-Belgian graphic novels, such as “Valérien”. Plus the original idea was also lifted from a model I saw on Reddit 😉

The conversion itself was a pretty straightforward one, mostly based on a Necromunda Delaque:

  • indeed, the body, right arm and gun on the back are all from the new Necromunda Delaques
  • the left arm is from the Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors (or Wyches)
  • the sword came from the AdMech Sicarian Ruststalkers
  • the head, hat and shoulder pad are all leftover Tau…erm “T’au” bitz from my bitzbox: The hat is either from the gun drones or from the Krisis suits – I’d say Krisis suits, though, as the discs that made up the drone bodies are even bigger in diameter. The shoulder pad is from the XV25 Stealth Suits, if I am not mistaken. And the head is just some small sensor array bit (probably from the Krisis suits as well, but I really don’t know) with a couple of extra gubbinz (including a new eye lens) added on to bulk it out just a little and make it look more tech-y. I just wanted a head that seemed very un-imperial and also not at all like a classic facemask.

Here’s another look at the model now with an extra grenade on the model’s belt (for improved visual balance):

Possibly my favourite part of this conversion is that it seems to turn the somewhat awkward pose of this particular Delaque body into an actual strenght: If you ask me, the model really does look like some kind of itinerant Dark SciFi Samurai leisurely strolling through the underhive 😉

In fact, this latest model seems like the perfect opportunity to also share another Delaque-based conversion that I have been sitting on for a while: A mysterious figure, inspired by a yet another conversion I saw online (on Pinterest, I think?!)




This conversion is even more straightforward, simply swapping in a blank Dark Eldar helmet and relying on Delaque bitz otherwise. When I saw this idea, I instantly loved it! It creates such a mysterious, sinister look! Just what I needed for a character codenamed “The Architect”, a mysterious agent of the Neo-Thorian radical splinter-faction known as “The Fragmentarians”, a recurring shadowy power within the Velsen sector…

I wanted the character to look like a secretive player from behind the curtain, so to speak, preferring to be subtle about their influence. Even so, the Architect is not above stepping in and doing some red work, hence the inclusion of the stiletto…

As an added bonus, this model was also the perfect excuse for finally realising a long-standing plan of mine and build a conversion resembling “The Alchemist”, the super-creepy villain of the 2001 film “Vidocq”:

In case you are not familiar with the film, it’s a bit zany and scatterbrained in that special way only French (fantasy) films are, but the production design is really awesome, and the villain is just incredibly creepy — fun fact, back in the day, scenes from the film were used in the music video for a song that appeared on the film’s OST, and I was mesmerised by the Alchemist’s appearance in the video, but didn’t have any idea that those scenes came from an actual film. Years later, I walked by a DVD bargain bin and saw the cover artwork (just the Alchemist’s “face”, as shown above), and basically bought the DVD based on that alone.

It also seems like I am getting quite a bit of mileage out of that Delaque kit, although I have yet to build an actual Delaque… 😉

 

Next up, a bit of a terrain – or basing – experiment: When my friend Annie recently placed a large order at Greenstuffworld, I took the opportunity to order one of Greenstuffworld’s textured rolling pins (the temple one) that can be used to create rather intricate designs on bases. So I decided to finally give that a try as well.

The tool is actually rolled through fresh GS, as though you were trying to make cookies. It took a couple of tries to get it reasonably right, but here’s the blank base with the freshly created design on top:


Here’s what it looked like with the undercoat in place:

And here’s the finished base:



Regarding the paintjob, it would have been easy enough to pick up some of the details in a different colour (gold, for example), but for my initial attempt, I didn’t want to draw too much attention away from the model that was to be placed on top of that base.Anyway, while there’s still quite a bit of room for improvement, I’d say it’s a solid first attempt.

My main reason for going with this design in the first place was that I was looking for a less underhive-y look — instead I wanted something to suggest the courts and halls of power, so to speak, of the Velsen sector. Which is why the first finished base in this style was given to my conversion for Lord Sebastianus Danver Balzepho Vlachen, nephew to the Lord Sector:


Funnily enough, the “temple” design might just as well be called the “INQ28” design — there’s a smattering of quasi-40k-esque symbols present in the design, including a small “28” plaque, for crying out loud 😉

 

And that’s about it for today’s collection of odds and ends — oh, wait! I have one more thing to share with you all:

You see, the reason why I haven’t managed to get any hobbying done lately is that I have been sinking virtually all of my free time into MediaMolecule’s “Dreams”, basically a game/machinima/3D sculpting/… toolkit for the Playstation 4. I don’t want to gush, especially since I am helplessly in love with the game/program right now, but it’s definitely one of the most remarkable pieces of software I have seen in a long time (fun fact, I bought this and the Final Fantasy VII Remake for the Easter holiday. I have yet to touch the Final Fantasy game…). Plus it’s a blast to play around in!

And I do actually have something hobby related to show for myself, because – in an attempt to get more familiar with Dreams’ 3D sculpting tools – I set out to create a model of Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn’s head:



This project is still very much work in progress, but it’s also only my second attempt at digitally sculpting a head in 3D — and without a lick of prior modeling experience, to boot. Anyway, if you’ll excuse me: I think I may have to add a few more tubes and augmetic gubbinz to dear old Gregor’s mug 😉

In any case, I would love to hear any thoughts you might have on my current projects! Please leave a comment!

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

INQ28: Kitbashing in the time of Corona

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

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

 

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

Illustration by Tony Hough

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

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

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

Model converted by Adam Wier

or by Larsonic Miniatures’ absolutely incredible Haemonculus.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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






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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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




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

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

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

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

Illustration by John Blanche

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Of course the Sentinel didn’t escape a round of tweaks, either 😉

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

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

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

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

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

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

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