Archive for chaos

Suddenly…Berzerkers!

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2019 by krautscientist

Stop the press, everyone! While it’s only February, I already know that one of my favourite 2019 hobby moments has already happened. So what is this about?

We are probably all familiar with very spontaneous events that just come completely out of the blue, right?

Nah, not quite like that…

Well, just the other day, I returned home to find a suspicious package from the Netherlands waiting for me. It was from my buddy Augustus b’Raass, who had vaguely mentioned planning to send over what he dubbed a “care-package”, so that had to be it — “Cool, a bitz drop!”, I thought. Those are always a nice surprise!

But then I was instantly blown away when I opened the package and out came an entire squad of expertly converted, beautifully painted World Eaters Khorne Berzerkers:

Now these used to belong to Augustus’ World Eaters army, a brilliant collection of models that I was lucky to see from up close during my visit to Amsterdam in 2017:

In fact, they were the first proof of concept squad of World Eaters he built when starting his Khornate army. Going back through his posts from that time over at The Bolter & Chainsword made me realise that I posted lots of feedback and advice on this very squad — and loved every second of it. And now they were standing on the tabletop before me — NUTS!

I didn’t find an invoice either, so I guess Augustus really wants me to just have these — what an incredible gift! And almost in time for this blog’s seventh birthday, no less! Come to think of it, it’s actually not the first time for stunning World Eaters models to arrive just in time for Eternal Hunt’s anniversary…

Fortunately enough, most of the models had survived their voyage unscathed: I had to re-attach some lost heads and backpacks, but most of the models didn’t look any worse for wear.

Unfortunately, one of the guys had lost his two-handed chainsword…


I guess it must have been confiscated at the border πŸ˜‰

As a true follower of Khorne, however, I always have a well stocked collection of vicious, spiky weapons, so the damage was easily repaired:

The dynamism of the models is actually one of their strongest parts: Augustus has done a fantastic job of making them look like raging monsters running full tilt at their enemy — and he has actually turned a fault into a virtue, as I remember him complaining that he only had running Mk. III legs to work with…

Indeed, the models are mostly made from Mk. III armour parts, World Eaters conversion bits and chainaxes (all from Forgeworld), as well as some Skullcrusher and diverse chaos bitz thrown into the mix — in fact, there are so many little tweaks and conversions that just the process of (re)discovering them all made for a pretty enjoyable afternoon! All of this makes for a truly stunning squad:


Or rather, even more, if you want to be exact about it: At ten models, with two icons and two suitable berzerker champions, there are two squads of five berzerkers to be had here:


Each squad also features its own, custom icon bearer:


The guy on the right is just stunning, isn’t he?

And while it’s hard to call favourites, with models this good, I have an especially soft spot for Arekh Haar (left) and the other probable berzerker champion — in fact, the latter may even be my absolute favourite, because his pose is just brilliant (and serves as a fantastic counterpoint for the rest of the running madmen in the squad):

So what can I say? I was blown away by this turn of events, and I am just really, really grateful! Augustus, buddy, thank you so much! Those guys will be getting a place of honour in my collection and, should it ever come to it, the 4th assault company’s battle line!

So that’s it for this week! As I’ve mentioned, next week will mark the blog’s seventh anniversary, so make sure to tune in — I have something pretty cool to share with you!

Until then, I would love to hear your thoughts on these new members of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt! You should also make sure to check out Augustus’ brilliant, ongoing hobby thread here! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! πŸ™‚

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The 2018 Eternal Hunt Awards, pt. 2: A look back at my hobby year

Posted in 30k, 40k, Blood Bowl, Chaos, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, Orcs & Goblins, Pointless ramblings, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2019 by krautscientist

Awards

First of all, happy new year again, and welcome to the second installment of the 2018 Eternal Hunt Awards, in which I will be taking a look back at my personal hobby year — as everybody else on the internet seems to be doing this week πŸ˜‰

Still, I hope you will indulge me — if nothing else, 2018 was a pretty successful hobby year for me, and I am rather proud of my output. There were also some hobby moments of note that I would like to share with you. And no recap would be complete without a couple of ideas – and, indeed, resolutions, for the new year, so there’s that, too.

So let’s get started:

I. My hobby projects

Twelve months ago, I looked at the stuff I had managed to paint in 2017, and while I was pretty happy with the quality with my output, the quantity left a lot to be desired, with only twelve completed models:


So one of my goals for 2018 was definitely to get more stuff painted, with an added sub-goal of trying to make a dent in my back catalogue of neglected, woefully unpainted models. And looking at my 2018 hobby results today, I can say that the mission has been accomplished. Here are all the models I have managed to paint in 2018:

That’s 52 models, all in all, one for each week of the year — although, to be perfectly honest, my output was heavily front-loaded πŸ˜‰

Now I do of course realise that this is not an award winning number by any stretch of the imagination — so many hobbyists I follow have managed to paint upwards of 200 models last year, while fellow hobbyist Azazel, almost insultingly, manages to finish my yearly amount of painted models every other month (!), but I am still very pleased with the above tableau of finished pieces.

What’s more, about half of those models are indeed pieces that had been sitting unpainted (if not unloved!) in my cupboard of shame — for years, in many cases!

By the same token, 2018’s big hobby lesson was that to keep painting on a constant basis leads to it actually feeling much less like a chore: Before, I would often find myself looking forward to having the actual finished models, while dreading the way towards that goal. These days, however, I realise that I am looking forward to the actual painting process, to be able to try new stuff, more and more often — not nearly often enough, mind you, but it’s a start! πŸ™‚

Thanks for this development must go to Azazel, again, for his wonderfully inclusive monthly hobby challenges that have truly become a pillar of the community — the fact that they get mentioned as a positive influence on dozens of blogs should be more than enough proof of that fact, and funnily enough, the January challenge has me looking forward to crossing another unfinished item off my inventory list. So cheers for that, mate!

The other big incentive to keep painting were my regular painting sessions with my good friend Annie: It’s so much easier to keep beavering away at frustrating detail work while sitting across from someone who is doing the same, being able to share friendly quips, hobby advice or ideas — and then eating huge piles of Greek takeaway food. So many thanks to Annie as well! πŸ™‚

So, let’s take a closer look at my biggest 2018 hobby projects in turn:

1. Khorne’s Eternal Hunt

Here’s the one possible piece of bad news: I have definitely given my longest running hobby endeavour short shrift this past year, at least from a numbers perspective: only three new models for Khorne’s Eternal Hunt, my World Eaters, in their various incarnations. If nothing else, however, I am still really happy with those three models, though:

In fact, the very first model I painted in January 2018 was a – pretty cool – additon to my (30k) World Eaters, Raud the Hunter, a Legion Contemptor with a chip on his shoulder:

I am still really happy with the model, which is already the second World Eaters Contemptor I have converted from the somewhat bland Betrayal at Calth plastic Contemptor. Raud was supposed to serve as a bridgehead for many painted 30k World Eaters in 2018 — which somehow never came to pass. But we’ll just have to postpone the invasion to 2019 then, eh? πŸ˜‰

In any case, you can read more about Raud in this post.

The next model for my World Eaters was also basically my crowning achievement of 2018: The Hound, a renegade Armiger Warglaive, complete with converted cockpit and pilot, completed during the summer as a contribution for the annual ETL event over at The Bolter & Chainsword:

I have loved the Armiger models at first sight, and corrupting one to the service of the ruinous powers was a lot of fun — as was the somewhat fiddly process of wedging a cockpit and pilot into that deceptively small torso πŸ˜‰ In the end, however, it was all worth it, as I am really proud of the finished model, and it also won me the “Badge of the Artificer”, a B&C forum achievement I had been coveting for years:

In case you are interested, you can read up on the Hound in this post and its follow-ups.

And while we are on the matter of (Not-so) Imperial Knights, I also used the release of the Adeptus Titanicus-scaled Questoris Knights to build yet another “Chibi-Knight”, a smaller version of my Traitor Knight, Gilgamesh, the Warrior King:


And if you’ve been paying attention so far, it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that I felt the absolute urge to somehow build a cockpit and pilot for this model as well:

To discover more (occasionally tiny) details about this projects, check out my posts on Chibi-Gilgamesh 2.0 here, here and here.

 

2. The world of INQ28

While the World Eaters did not get all that much attention from me last year, I had all the more time to devote to INQ28 characters and retinues, managing to complete no fewer than five warbands, three of which were painted from start to finish. This makes the “INQ28 class of 2018” look rather impressive, if I do say so myself:

Moreover, here’s where my plan to finish long neglected models truly came to fruition. For instance, I finally managed to paint a model that I had been putting off for years for fear of ruining it: Mamzel Elisha Gorgo, an Imperial dΓ©butante and psyker in the employ of Inquisitor Gotthardt of the Ordo Hereticus:


And indeed, finally painting the model also served as a capstone to Inquisitor Gotthardt’s entire retinue, which is now finally finished, after years of procrastination:


This is actually one of my oldest INQ28 projects, with many of the models originating in a time where both my bitz box and conversion prowess were much smaller than they are today, yet I still remain enormously fond of the somewhat swashbuckling, picaresque charm of the warband (and of my resourcefulness at channeling so many of the archetypes from the old Inquisitor rulebook with the bitz available at that time).

Another long-neglected project was the retinue of Inquisitor Nabreus Arslan of the Ordo Hereticus Velsen:


The warband started off as a bit of a reception camp for various older models, some of them still from GW’s metal days, and yet everything came together rather nicely as a pretty unified-looking Hereticus warband: I blazed through all of these models back in February and March, and going full fire and brimstone on them was a lot of fun!

Take a closer look at the warband here.

Hot on the heels of Arslan and his operatives came yet another Inquisitorial retinue, namely that of Redactor Orlant of the Ordo Scriptorum:


Orlant started out as a tribute both to fellow hobbyist PDH’s ideas for the Ordo Scriptorum as well as to a particular piece of art by the late, great Wayne England — in fact, the (almost) finished retinue features no less than three distinct shout outs to art by Mr. England. It was also heavily driven by inspiration taken from fellow hobbyists PDH’s and Johannus’ work and from Chris Wraight’s fantastic exploration of Terra, “Vaults of Terra – the Carrion Throne”. Anyway, it’s a warband I am stupidly happy with, and even though it’s still technically missing one final member, the fact remains that I was able to mainly finish the project this year.

Meet Redactor Orlant and his shadowy operatives here.

Moving from the agents of the Ordos to the somewhat more unsavory corners of the 40k galaxy: I managed to paint a few more models for my gang of underhive malcontents, the Road Crew.

First up, Worker #9, ancient automaton and walking engine of death extraordinaire:


Now this guy had been neglected for a long time, so finally turning him into a wonderfully ramshackle killer robot from the past – and in beautiful scuffed yellow, no less – did feel so very rewarding! More info on Worker #9 can be found here, by the way.

With the big guy serving as a bit of a trailblazer, I also completed some slightly less massive members for the Road Crew. Meet Sawtooth, Cirque and Sarge:

Together, those four models basically round out the crew for now. They do make for a rather distinguished little group, if you don’t mind me saying so:

At the same time, the project is open-ended enough that new models can (and will) always be added to the Road Crew as needed — and as inspiration strikes me. I still have an unpainted ride for them, for one, and both the crazy new Ork vehicles as well as those new Genestealer bikes seem like such a natural eventual addition to a Mad Max style Road Warrior warband. Just sayin’… πŸ˜‰

And finally, I also explored fairly new territory in painting an entire warband/kill team of loyalist Space Marines. This is Kill Team Ulrach of the Deathwatch:

As I have said before, this project was very much inspired by PDH’s and Jeff Vader’s respective Deathwatch kill teams, and it was a lot of fun to be able to explore various Space Marine chapters and their individual visual identities while also to trying to keep it all nice and straightforward under the Deathwatch’s unifying colour scheme. Now loyalist Space Marines may seem like the least original thing to be painting in this hobby of ours, but the truth is that the project made me truly leave my comfort zone, experimenting with line highlighting, different skin tones and freehanding — plus it also gave me a rather big appreciation of the Primaris models (I still abhor the fluff, though…).

Meet Kill Team Ulrach in more detail here.

 

3. On the Blood Bowl pitch

Ever since Annie succeeded at roping me into creating a Blood Bowl team, working on some new Blood Bowl models has always served as a nice way of exploring a somewhat silly and whimsical side of our hobby — plus it’s always a fun thing to be working on during our joint hobby sessions.

Which is why I finally gave my Orkheim Ultraz some much needed attention in 2018, adding a dozen new models to the team:

Not all of these are players, however: As you can see in the photo, there’s a nice collection of Blood Bowl markers and tokens, a Goblin Nurse plus some of Maxime Pastourel’s brilliant Orc balls and a pair of Goblin players — actually the last two models I painted in 2018!

4. Having a bit of fun

And while we are on the topic of just having some fun every now and then, there are a couple of projects that I tacked just for the heck of it. Everything started back in February, when I painted Trooper Gibbson Rikkert of the 5th Arcadian Rifles:

A veritable old chest nut, this one, given to me quite a while ago by fellow hobbyist Drone21c. The time had come to paint him, retro base and all.

And if you thought it couldn’t get any more retro, I can prove you wrong with the next exhibit, an entertaining project that consisted of repainting a 1979 Boba Fett action figure:

Staying with pop culture icons for a second, I also made an attempt to bring my favourite infiltrations expert into the 41st millennium:

Those three projects were completed on a whim, and I had a blast doing each of them, simple as that πŸ˜‰

 

So that’s my output for 2018. I cannot help but feel a little proud of myself when I look at the colourful gang below. They are only 52 models, but I am happy with each and every one of them.

 

II. Hobby moments of note

2018 was, again, not completely about painting models, of course. And while it was a somewhat more hermetic year, defined by painting sessions rather than visits abroad or crazy international shenanigans, there were still some moments that I would like to share with you:

1. Learning new techniques

Learning new techniques is always great in our hobby — and should probably come with the territory, come to think of it. Even so, I feel I really pushed myself this year, experimenting with freehanding, exploring different skin tones, mixing my own snow or using a Staedtler micropen to create “quasi-freehand” designs and symbols (an idea courtesy of Jeff Vader, by the way): Those are all small technical tricks and tweaks, but it felt good to be able to add them to my toolbox!

2. Kickstarter

So far, I have been fairly conservative when it came to joining hobby-related Kickstarters, but in 2018, there were two projects that made me take the plunge:

First came Dave Taylor’s Kickstarter for his book “Armies & Legions & Hordes”:

Most of you will probably recognise Dave’s name – and if you don’t, you should definitely check out his blog right away! Dave’s various army projects have been an invaluable fountain of inspiration over the years, so when I found out he was crowdfunding a book about realising army projects, chipping in was basically a no-brainer. My only regret is that the book didn’t arrive in time for Christmas. But it should be here soon, and I am waiting with bated breath — expect a detailed review as soon as I get my hands on my copy of the book!

My second Kickstarter contribution was to the campaign for a boardgame version of Horizon Zero Dawn, basically my favourite video game of 2017:


To be perfectly honest, I really mostly wanted the (Kickstarter-exclusive) model for Aloy, the game’s heroine:

But the campaign basically went through the roof, which will provide me with a whopping hundred or so models — I’ll probably believe it when I see it — but keep your fingers crossed for me, okay? πŸ˜‰

Also, if you are into gaming at all, make sure to check out Horizon Zero Dawn — seriouly!

3. A Tribute to Wayne England

Now this certainly wasn’t the result of a meticulous plan or anything, but it does make me feel pleased that a part of my hobby output functions as a direct tribute to one of my favourite GW artists of the yesteryear, Mr. Wayne England:


As I’ve said above, three models in Inquisitor Orlant’s retinue are basically direct reproductions of Wayne England’s art (the good Inquisitor among them). It only occured to me later on that the artwork I had based my paintjob of Trooper Gibbson Rikkert was also originally done by Wayne England. And the flying Ordo Hereticus servo-skull carries more than a hint of the angular, hyper-stylised and grimdark Wayne England illustrations from the 90s, such as his crest for the Redemptionist Cult.

For me, John Blanche and Wayne England are basically the alpha and the omega of 40k art (with Jes Goodwin placed right between them as the genius who would always turn their art into beautiful miniature concepts and, more often than not, actual miniatures), so to have them both immortalised now in my collection really pleases me a great deal!

4. Hugs for the Hug Throne!

Another very pleasing project, and also one of my last projects of 2018, to boot: When fellow hobbyist PDH became a father last fall, it was clear to me that I wanted to send him a little surprise for his son, and while it took me until shortly before Christmas to follow through with it, I would like to imagine that I managed to pull it off in style.

You see, I chose to send over a teddy bear. Not exactly winning high marks for originality here, I know. But I wanted to send something typically German, and Steiff is Germany’s oldest toy manufactory (ranging back into the 19th century), and their teddy bears are about as traditionally German as they come. That being said, and given PDH’s and my shared hobby, I felt the bear needed a little…accessory:

And thus was born Beriax the Comforter, who shall deliver HUGS FOR THE HUG THRONE!

The best part, however, was that the package actually managed to make it there in time for Christmas. Peter informed me he had to confiscate the chainaxe, however — it’s probably for the best… πŸ˜‰

 

III. Blogging

First of all, the most obvious fact, Eternal Hunt turned six early last year (and will be seven soon), and it’s always astonishing to see how this little blog I started once upon a day is still around — and maybe even thrieving…?

This is at least true from a content perspective: After a less active year of blogging in 2017 – with a mere 25 posts – I tried my best to return to a more regular schedule and more content in 2018, and it worked: Of course more painted models also meant more content to post, and so I ended the year with 40 posts all in all, which was a bit of a return to form.

At the same time, it has become more and more difficult to generate interest in my content, unfortunately: In spite of more content, 2018 was actually the blog’s weakest year since 2014, at least where views are concerned. If you take a look at the statistics, you can clearly see that, allowing for some ups and downs here and there, the views for Eternal Hunt have been in steady decline:

I don’t really want to keep beating a dead horse here, but I am also not going to lie to you: This is pretty frustrating. Like every blogger, I derive much of my motivation to continue blogging from people actually taking an interest, from engaging with my work. And it just gets more and more difficult to achieve just that. On the one hand, it’s clear that this is just part of an overarching trend, with hobby related communication seemingly shifting more and more to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter while forums and blogs suffer a steady decline: If I look at some of my favourite forums online, it’s really rather shocking how slow and quiet things have become, with even some of the hobbyists that used to be mainstays of the community seemingly having departed for good, towards the supposedly greener pastures of Instagram. Fortunately enough, at least the Bolter & Chainsword remains a pretty lively online community, but I definitely fear for some of my other long time haunts…

And while I wasn’t going to join Instagram back in 2017, witnessing Facebook’s actions as a company throughout the year 2018 has only made me more reluctant to give their platforms and services any presence in my private life: I really do not want to support them, even if this very obviously means to be left behind as a part of the hobby scene — at least that’s how it can seem from time to time.

On the other hand, this also means that I am all the more thankful to those of you who still drop by here, who still comment and who still care! Please continue doing that, as it is the very thing that’s keeping this blog – and other places like it – alive. By the same token, I will also endeavour to comment more on other people’s work online. It’s something that sometimes requires a bit of an effort, and it’s all too easy to grow complacent. I know all this from my own experience, which is why I appreciate your comments all the more!

IV. Plans

So what’s in store for 2019, then? While I don’t want to tie myself down or back myself into a corner with too ambitious or detailed plans and schedules, there are of course a couple of things I would like to achieve in the new year:

I’ll definitely need to get some more World Eaters painted, lest the Blood God grow impatient with me. I think I’ll be focusing on my 30k World Eaters for now, though, both because there’s enough unpainted stuff there for me to tackle, but also because I think the small collection of 30k models I have managed to complete so far actually looks pretty cool:

And even though he’s not a World Eater, this plan also extends to my models for Argel Tal that I wanted to paint in 2018 but didn’t: You’ll be painted in the shadow of great wings, buddy πŸ˜‰


There’s also this duel diorama that I originally build for a challenge at the local Warhammer store, then abandonded, feeling somewhat dejected and disillusioned when the – absolutely awesome – store manager was abruptly let go by GW seemingly without any kind of reason: I really didn’t have an appetite for working on the piece for a good long while, but it’s still a pretty cool diorama, in spite of everything, so onto the 2019 pile it goes:

As for the 40k incarnation of my World Eaters, I think I’ll be waiting for GW to make a move with the legion in the 40k setting: Right now, the World Eaters are in a bit of a limbo, with one of the oldest available plastic kits for their main troop type, and while there have been rumours about all of the cult legions eventually getting the Death Guard treatment, there’s nothing solid to work with as of yet. I want to see what GW is planning for the legion before jumping back in, to be honest.

There’s one certain addition for Khorne’s Eternal Hunt, though: My second converted Armiger Warglaive, and its pilot, the Huntress:


Take a closer look at the model here.

As you’ve maybe seen in my previous post, I have also started working on some Nurglite models recently, so expect to see some more Keepers of the Eternal Garden as well in 2019:

And there’ll be more INQ28 models, obviously — maybe once again with a focus on getting some neglected models and warbands. Believe it or not, there must be about half a dozen unfinished warband projects in my cupboard of shame, so it would be really nice to be able to cross some more off my list of unpainted stuff. Plus there are some pretty cool and creepy characters I would just love to see painted, such as Countess Mandelholtz here:

And thanks to the wonderful marvel of blogging, chances are you’ll be able to check out how it all develops. If you keep reading this stuff. If you keep commenting. I would very much like to invite you to accompany me on this crazy hobby voyage for another year!

Until then, I would love to hear your thoughts on my recap of 2018 and on my plans for 2019, of course!

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

The 2018 Eternal Hunt Awards, pt. 1: The Hobbyists

Posted in 30k, 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, Pointless ramblings, Traitor Guard with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2018 by krautscientist

Awards

So here we are again, at year’s end, right before Christmas, and in tune with the overal festive mood, I think we should look at some fantastic hobby projects as part of this year’s first instalment of the Eternal Hunt Awards. Yay!

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that the overall level of painting and converting in this hobby of ours just keeps going through the roof: Some of the stuff appearing online these days is really quite unbelievable, which turns choosing a selection of the year’s best hobby content into both a herculean effort and a task that may be ultimately doomed to failure: After all, I am very aware that for every great project I have managed to witness, I have probably overlooked half a dozen equally inspiring endeavours. So this selection is, more than ever, just my little slice of the hobby universe. That being said, the following projects really blew me away this year, so please give them all a big hand, and let’s get started:

One small disclaimer, before we begin:
It goes without saying that all the photos you’ll be seeing in this post show other people’s work, and I cannot claim credit for any of the stuff depicted — apart from the small but delightful task of collecting it all together here and giving those fantastic hobbyists a much deserved shout out πŸ˜‰

 

I. Projects of note:

So, first of all, here are the hobby projects that blew me away in 2018, regardless of whether they were about single models, squads or armies. In hindsight, it occurs to me that converted Imperial Knights make up a rather big part of this year’s selection, but then my love for the artform of converting Questoris Knights is well documented πŸ˜‰ So without further ado, and in no particular order, here are my favourite hobby projects from 2018:

 

Apologist’s Blood Angels / Nova Terra Interregnum project

Models built and painted by Apologist

Apologist is no stranger to my best of lists, as I am a big fan of his particular blend of really well conceived background material and top-notch modeling and painting, visible in every single blog post over at Death of a Rubricist. His “Alien Wars/Nova Terra Interregnum” project, however, really tugged at my heartstrings, because it is, at the same time, a look at a little explored part of the 40k lore (namely the aforementioned Nova Terra Interregnum, when the Imperium of Man was split in twain for the second time after the Heresy), but it’s also a tribute to a bygone era of hobbying, namely the times of 2nd edition 40k: Apologist has based the project around recreating a Blood Angels army based on this vintage collection here:

And, unbelievably enough, he is going through that army pretty much squad by squad, using modern bitz (and Primaris Marines) to create a modern day (true scale) recreation of those vintage models, while closely keeping the old aesthetics in place. To wit, just look at the old tactical squads from the 2nd edition days:

And here are Apologist’s interpretations of those same squads, built with all the parts and technical prowess at his disposal in 2018:

Models built and painted by Apologist

 

Models built and painted by Apologist

This approach doesn’t simply make for some stunning models, it also leads to a certain kind of vintage look and feel, something that is no longer Horus Heresy styled and not yet modern 40k: Something so very close to the general look of Space Marine armies from back when I got into the hobby — nostalgia plays a very big part in this project, obviously πŸ˜‰

But any fond personal feelings for a bygone era of 40k notwithstanding, there’s also the fact that Apologist’s conversions and paintjobs are simply wonderful. Possibly my favourite part of his Blood Angels project is a company Captain based on this old piece of art from the yesteryear:

And by combining various parts, Apologist has come up with a rather wonderful “modern” version of the character…

Model built by Apologist

…that looks even better when painted. I can even forgive the need to paint him in non-metallic metal πŸ˜‰

Models built and painted by Apologist

 

I would be remiss not to mention that the Alien Wars project has also turned into something of a community project, with other hobbyists chipping in with their own exploration of the galaxy during the Nova Terra Interregnum. At the heart of it all, however, lies Apologist’s hobby ethos and his dedication to detail – factors that make each of his hobby projects into something truly special.

As an aside, I also want to give a shout out to his Officio Monstrosa, a brilliant Horus Heresy-themed Iron Warriors force Apologist also managed to finish this year:

Models built and painted by Apologist

So anyway, if Space Marines are of any interest to you, you should definitely check out those projects. If not, rest assured that Apologist’s INQ28 are also rather fantastic — plus I’ve heard there are some retro-styled Eldar on the way… πŸ˜‰

Check out Apologist’s retro-styled Blood Angels here.

 

Ana Polanscaks’s first exploits in the 40k setting

Ana Polanscak, of The Gardens of Hecate, is another household name in my yearly writeups — and for good reason, because her models are stunningly original, beautiful creations. What’s more, Ana uses bits and parts from GW and other manufacturers to basically come up with her own universe of stories and models — and following that approach over several years has been fascinating, indeed!

At the same time, I was elated to see Ana making her first steps into 40k lore this year, and the results were – unsurprisingly – stunning. So let me point you towards two of Ana’s 2018 projects:

Models built and painted by Ana Polanscak

First up are the “Nekroderma”, Ana’s approach to creating some Necrons that are truly creepy. Everything started with these two guys:

Models built and painted by Ana Polanscak

I think those models actually look like relics of a past war, and actually remind me more of the rumoured “Men of Iron” than of alien robots. The use of an AdMech mask on the left model is a brilliant touch, and yet I also love the inclusion of a human skull. A really fantastic approach to what can feel like a pretty bland 40k race.

That was only the start, however, as Ana’s version of a Necron Immortal explored yet another angle, making the machine seem disturbingly diseased and malformed:

Model built and painted by Ana Polanscak

I felt reminded of the highly disturbing creatures from the – supremely scary – video game SOMA when seeing this guy. He also serves as proof that you can actually return some classic, body horror undead tropes to alien robots, and the result simply works.

Models built and painted by Ana Polanscak

I really hope Ana makes some time to further explore the Nekroderma, because hers may just be the best Necron models I have seen so far. The models are also a showcase of Ana’s particular aesthetic approach to the hobby applied to 40k — something I would love to see more of next year!

Models built and painted by Ana Polanscak

That’s not nearly all, however, because – to my absolute delight – Ana has also started to assemble an INQ28 warband based on the Blanchitsu-style. Her Inquisitor, for instance, is a wonderful recreation of this particular piece of artwork by John Blanche:

Artwork by John Blanche

Here’s the stunning model:

Model built and painted by Ana Polanscak

The Inquisitrix’s first retainer is, likewise, based on a piece of JB art, namely one of his concept sketches for the Astra Militarum Vostroyans. And here’s Ana’s mode based on that sketch:

Model built and painted by Ana Polanscak

The third and – so far – final member of the retinue is a wonderfully medieval looking, converted Grey Knight, not directly based on any artwork, as far as I can tell, but still perfectly at home in the “Blanchitsu-verse”:

Model built and painted by Ana Polanscak

Just three models so far, but they already make for a rather stunning retinue, wouldn’t you agree?

Models built and painted by Ana Polanscak

So yeah, I think you can see where I am coming from when I say that we absolutely need more 40k models from Gardens of Hecate in 2019! πŸ™‚

Check out Ana’s blog, The Gardens of Hecate,here.

 

Pandora’s BitzBox’s Khornate Knight:

Model built and painted by Pandora’s BitzBox

A relative newcomer both to blogging and to the community over at The Bolter & Chainsword, Pandora’s BitzBox has nevertheless managed to hit it out of the park with an utterly brilliant conversion of a renegade Khornate Knight — now renegade Knight and Khorne already ticks all the requisite boxes for me, obviously, but seriously: Just look at the thing:

Model built and painted by Pandora’s BitzBox

Model built and painted by Pandora’s BitzBox

The running pose is so well realised and would already be something to behold on an otherwise unconverted model. PBB didn’t stop there, however, and created all kinds of chaotic trappings and decorations encrusting every part of the Knight’s carapace. Plus some rather disturbing chaotic alterations, such as a daemonic face and neck basically…erupting from the Knight’s mechanic shell:

…and, talking about erupting, the Knight’s pilot also seems to be rather looking forward to a good battle:

The model is absolutely incredible and easily one of the best hobby projects I have seen this year! It shouldn’t surprise you that the model garnered a fair amount of attention over at The B&C, with many hobbyists offering ideas. PBB did a magnificent job bringing it all together into a fantastic model that, believe it or not, will be given away as a Christmas present. Seriously, I would never ever give away a model like that!

But anyway, I was really happy to be along for the ride when PBB built this bad boy! One of the greatest models of 2018, folks!

There’s a long and wonderfully detailed writeup about the whole project over here.

 

lindsay40k’s Traitor Legion drop pod

Model built and painted by lindsay40k

When some new Tyranid models were released back in 2014, I remember seeing the Sporocyst/Tyrannocite and feeling reminded of a more organic looking Space Marine drop pod. And maybe, just maybe I entertained the idea of using that thing as some kind of chaotic Dreadclaw for a split-second. But it just didn’t seem doable…

So imagine my surprise when lindsay40k proved it could be done – and done really well – earlier this year:

Model built and painted by lindsay40k

I’ll also admit that seeing her mutated drop pod was a bit of a gut punch, because the model is so very disturbing and disgusting: The paintwork on the fleshy parts is really quite something, and the entire thing just looks utterly vile and daemonic — in a good way, of course. But seriously, just imagine that thing hurtling towards your planet. It’s horrifying, even before it has managed to disgorge its freight.

And maybe the most disturbing part: Look at that little CSM face right at the centre of that horrible lamprey mouth:

Model built and painted by lindsay40k

Every once in a while, you see a model that is just so out-there and audacious that you have to applaud its creator. And this year, lindsay40k’s drop pod definitely takes the cake! Outstandingly, weirdly, chaotic! Fantastic work!

Coverage of the drop pod begins here, but the rest of lindsay’s threat is also quite something, so make sure to check it out as well!

 

Talarion’s Armiger Warglaives

Models built and painted by Talarion

Talarion’s blog, “WΓΌrfelwiese”, is one of those blogs that don’t get nearlythe amount of attention they deserve, in spite of featuring unfailingly wonderful content. Case in point, his wonderful converted Armiger Warglaives from earlier this year. Now the Armiger is definitely one of my favourite 2018 GW models, and I had a lot of fun coming up with my own conversion ideas, but while I was still hard at work, Talarion already had this guy to share with the world:

Model built and painted by Talarion

Model built and painted by Talarion

The first model is mostly stock, but Talarion used the helmet of a LEGO toy (of all things) to replace the standard facemask — and to great effect, I might add! The scuffed, turquoise armour plates and rusty metals are also rather lovely! Truly a standout piece!

So Talarion just went and built another one — and got far more creative with the weapons this time around, creating a custom gun arm that works really well,…

Model built and painted by Talarion

…as well as a lance weapon that served as incedibly useful reference material when I converted an Ursus Claw arm for my second Contemptor:

Model built and painted by Talarion

Everyone and their cousin worked on some Armiger Warglaives this year, but Talarion’s models were easily some of the best. And they are only the tip of the iceberg, as his blog has lots of gorgeous models like that, so make sure to check it out!

Find Talarion’s absolutely wonderful Knights Armiger here and here.

 

Capt. Jack’s Praetor Grune Thrael

Model built and painted by Capt. Jack

Capt. Jack’s Horus Heresy Death Guard project is quite fascinating in that it explores the legion between their clean-cut (if slightly muddy) loyalist days and their utter damnation and corruption during the 40k timescale. His legionnaires still look recoginsably like Legion Space Marines, but the rot has already subtly set in, capturing a fascinating moment at the start of the Death Guard’s fall to the ruinous powers, yet long before its swollen, diseased 40k incarnation. His Praetor, Grune Thrael, forms the absolute zenith of this project so far, serving as a perfect little one-man vignette of the entire project: He’s a towering, impressive Space Marine commander, and yet the model already shows the first signs of corruption (such as the bloated breastplate, the verdigris,…). And yet, there’s still nobility there — the wonderfully chosen sword even made me recall Nathaniel Garro for a moment. Everything comes together into one of the best Space Marine models I have seen this year!

Find Capt. Jack’s ongoing Death Guard thread here.

 

Augustus b’Raass’ Death Guard Warlord and Renegade Knights

Model built and painted by Augustus b’Raass

And while we are on the subject of Death Guard Praetors, there’s a far more bloated and corrupted specimen I would like to bring t your attention: The gentleman above was converted by my buddy Augustus b’Raass for his rather impressive 2018 Death Guard project, and just as Grune Thrael above perfectly embodies the Legion during the latter stages of the Heresy, Augustus’ Death Guard warlord perfectly represents the corrupted, diseased Death Guard of the 40k universe — plus it’s a rare case of the “bellowing at the heavens” pose really done right. Oh, and did you realise this guy is actually based on the Dark Imperium Lord of Contagion, so he is massive as well. Extra kudos for the sneaky use of an old berzerker chainsword πŸ˜‰

That’s not Augustus’s only appearance on this list, however, as he has managed to knock it out of the park with his brand new Renegade Knights:

First up, the big one:

Model built and painted by Augustus b’Raass

Like all of Augustus’ projects, both the conversion and the paintjob are quite wonderful. In spite of my misgivings about his use of the (pretty phoned-in) Forgeworld renegade Knight parts, Augustus has really managed to tweak those stock materials enough for the Knight to look rather wonderful. Another thing that I love about the model is how it combines a very chaotic look with a rather heraldic colour scheme that still recalls the Knight’s loyalist origins — in fact, I think the excellent use of colour and heraldry may be what actually mitigates the gooey look of the Forgeworld armour plates.

On top of the big Knight, Augustus has already finished a coterie of two Armiger Helverins that are just as delightful:

Models built and painted by Augustus b’Raass

And more models are on the way. Even better, though, all of Augustus’ Knights feature fully realised interiors and pilots — just head over to his thread to discover those beautiful models in more detail!

You can find Augustus’ sprawling Chaos WIP thread here.

 

Jeff Vader’s and PDH’s Primaris-based true scale Deathwatch Killteams

I have given a shout out to these before, but seeing how they have been instrumental in getting my own Kill Team Ulrach off the ground, it’s only proper to include them here as well: Both Jeff Vader and PDH have been hard at work on their respective true scale Deathwatch kill teams this year, and both warbands are something to behold:

Models built and painted by Jeff Vader

Models built and painted by PDH

As a matter of fact, I love these even more when directly juxtaposed, because each artist’s personal style shines through so clearly

You can find Johan’s and Peter’s kill teams here and here, respectively.

 

DuskRaider’s Nurglite Knights,

Models built and painted by DuskRaider

DuskRaider created, among other things, an entire collection of corrupted House Makkabius Knights (shown above) for his sprawling Nurglite collection this year. And each of those Knights is not only a wonderful hobby achievement, but a detailed exploration of a particular, disgusting boddy horror trope — what’s not to love, right?

I love how each of the Knights explores a different aspects of Nurgle’s gifts, as some of the recent kits do, without ever becoming too gimmicky or caricaturesque, and you should really discover those wonderfully virulent models on your own, so let me just focus on one model in partiuclar…

… the one with a freaking tree growing out of its shoulder…

Model built and painted by DuskRaider

Models built and painted by DuskRaider

Model built and painted by DuskRaider

There was a lot of skepticism over at The Bolter & Chainsword when DuskRaider posted his original WIP of this conversion, and there was a time when even DuskRaider himself didn’t seem quite convinced any longer. But he managed to persevere, and the finished model, Irae Throni, is – literally – a towering achievement. .

What really sells the model to me, on top of the excellent conversion work, are those bright colours that appear on and around the feculent gnarlmaw that has been expertly grafted to Irae Throni’s carapace: Those bright colours recall descriptions of Nurgle’s Garden itself (and may also have given me the missing piece of creativity I needed for my own Death Guard project, namely on my basing scheme) — I only hope that when the time comes, I’ll be as courageous about the use of bright colours as DuskRaider has been!

Model built and painted by DuskRaider

See if you can spot the remains of Irae Throni’s pilot, hidden amidst all the vegetation…

Models built and painted by DuskRaider

One last point that I love about DuskRaider’s House Makkabius Knights — and this goes for all of them: In spite of all those grotesque growths and icky special effects, they still retain a – suitably distressed, but recognisable – version of the original house iconography:

Model built and painted by DuskRaider

DuskRaider’s ongoing 40k Nurgle thread can be found here.

 

Euansmith’s Enigma Engine Team

Models built and painted by euansmith

Euansmith is one of the household names of the Ammobunker’s INQ28 forum — always quick with an encouraging comment or some really helpful feedback. But euan also comes up with some of the coolest concepts for warbands and retinues from time to time, often with a popcultural influence or a unique angle. Cue exhibit A, his recently completed “Enigma Engine Team” — definitely an expertly built and painted – and delightfully eclectic – INQ28 group, even if (like me) you are too dense to immediately get where the very obvious inspiration came from… πŸ˜‰

Find euansmith’s ongoing INQ28 thread here.

 

II. Blogs of note:

There’s no denying it: The blogs and forums are in a bad way. Twelve months ago, the blogosphere already felt the encroaching power of Instagram and Facebook, but it feels like this influence has only grown in the meantime. Which, at least in my opinion, makes it all the more important when people manage to maintain a blogging presence beyond the big social networks. Plus there’s also the fact that I just enjoy what I would call the “longform style of blogging”.

Fortunately enough, there were lots of excellent blogs still around in 2018, and some were actually started up this year! So before I point you towards my new recommendations, allow me a moment for a bit of an appeal:

Whenever you read blogs or browse through threads you like and that inspire you: PLEASE COMMENT! Please engage with the stuff you see on those blogs, threads and forums. Don’t just lurk, don’t just click “Like” — please get involved!

With that out of the way, here’s my pick of the litter for 2017:

 

 

Azazel’s Bitz Box

Azazel really has to come first here: His monthly challenges have been one of my main painting incentives this year. Just by way of his monthly challenges, he has managed to start up a veritable community of hobbyists, give lots of shout outs to fellow hobbyists and bloggers and provided me with lots of new blogs and projects to discover, and that alone would be enough reason for Azazel’s Bitz Box to appear on this list!

On top of being a pillar of the community like that, Azazel is also an incredibly talented hobbyist in his own right, however. For one, his monthly completions are often a wonderful potpourri of colourful and highly different models:

Models built and painted by Azazel

He’s also almost insultingly productive. To wit, here are Azazel’s completions for about the first half of 2018:

Models built and painted by Azazel

In fact, with such an amazing output, it’s hard to actually choose a favourite. It’s probably a toss-up between his Flesh Tearers’ assault squad…

Models built and painted by Azazel

…his converted Minotaurs Captain…

Model built and painted by Azazel

…or his absolutely fabulous paintjob on a Sabretooth Tiger from the Conan Kickstarter:

Model painted by Azazel

Anyway, both for his community building efforts as well as his fantastic original content, Azazel definitely deserves prime billing on this list.

Azazel’s Bitz Box can be found here.

Not A Collector

One of my main objectives with featuring blogs as part of these awards, on top of pointing you towards some truly spectacular hobby content, is to give a shout out to hobbyists who I think deserve far more attention. And “Not A Collector” definitely deserves far more attention – and comments!!! – than it is currently getting.

Models built and painted by Not A Collector

The blog is mostly focused on 30k, and Fredrik does have some absolutely delightful 30k World Eaters, for starters, which is already enough to get me excited, obviously:

Model built and painted by Not A Collector

But beyond that, there are so many cool models and conversions to be found over there, such as his extremely involved Mechanicus Thanatar conversion, for instance:

Model built and painted by Not A Collector

 

So if you are at all interested in the Horus Heresy, make sure to check out Not A Collector at your earliest convenience!

The blog can be found here.

Krakendoomcool

A very young blog, still, but one that has been quite a bit of fun to follow: Everything started with Krakendoomcool’s fantastic project to build and paint models for all twelve Wolf Lords:

A project very much after my own heart, as I love building characters! So the blog had me hooked right there. Just as a small shout out, Krakendoomcool’s interpretation of Engil Krakendoom was particularly cool and clever (he’s looking up, as he is a famed slayer of towering monsters):

Model built and painted by Krakendoomcool

Model built and painted by Krakendoomcool

Spiralling outwards from this first project, the blog has just been growing more interesting and versatile. PBB’s aforementioned, wonderful Khornate Knight also makes a full appearance!

And it’s just fun to follow those guys as they keep challenging themselves to try new stuff and master new techniques, so make sure to check it out.

Krakendoomcool can be found here.

Tales from the Aaronorium

I’ll admit I mostly checked out Tales From the Aaronorium at first because it happened to chronicle the endeavours of one Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s hobby group. But I quickly discovered the other guys, TheActualColin, Ross and Thegrimdocness, were no slouches either πŸ˜‰

The blog is a very cool look into the activities of a group of passionate hobbyists, with the occasional surprise like these very cool rules ideas for RPG, INQ28-style actions in Necromunda, or stuff like Ross’s spectacular Voidnauts:

I am also a huge fan of the mostly punny post titles, guys πŸ˜‰

Tales From the Aaronorium can be found here.

 

IV. The absolute best hobby project of 2018:

Like last year, there has been another hobby project to rule them all, one that managed to stand taller than the rest, in spite of the insane general level of quality. So here’s what I consider to be 2018’s absolutely best hobby project:

Lesotho 2-12

Some of you will already have seen this project featured in the last two issues of White Dwarf with two rather expansive pictorials — and rightly so, because the entirety of the Lesotho 2-12 project is just drop-dead gorgeous, in spite of all the grime and disease.

Envisioned as a collaborative project of many hobbyists (among them such luminaries and all time favourites as Bruticus, weirdingway, WilhelMiniatures and, of course, John Blanche), the project tells the story of several warbands trying to do their thing on a space station infested by Nurglite diseases due to all kinds of biological tampering.

As is usually the case for projects like this, all the participants came up with their own warband for the game, and simply discovering those gorgeous models is already a joy in itself. Just take a look at some of the models that appeared in the game:




That’s only a part of what makes Lesotho 2-12 so great, however, because many joint hobby projects and big games like this have wonderful warbands participating in them. Even with the best projects, however, all of those various warbands and artists can seem like a whirlwind of – sometimes clashing – design approaches, leading to a bit of a sensory overload, if you will.

Not so here, because it seems as though every single warband as well as the terrain on show have been conceived for this one occasion, with a strong underlying design language, leading to a Unity of Effect rarely seen in collaborative projects like this.

All in all, certainly one of the most focused and spectacular hobby projects of 2018 – and one I will be taking lots of inspiration from on an upcoming Nurgle project of mine – but if it took any further arguments, models that serve as shout outs to Pyramid Head and Nemesis, names that should be dreadfully familiar to any video game aficionado that grew up during the 90s and early aughts:


I rest my case. Lesotho 2-12 is 2018’s best hobby project.

Check out the detailed picture spreads on the project in WD issues from November and December 2018. Some very cool posts on the project can also be found here.

 

So here we are, giddy with anticipation for the Christmas festivities, and humbled by the sheer amount of talent on display, I certainly hope I was able to help you discover some projects to check out, artists to follow and blogs to subscribe to (and comment on!!). Like every year, let’s not be discouraged by the stunning talent collected in this post, but rather take this as an inspiration for our own hobby endeavours next year.

Speaking of which, hopefully I’ll be back with the next post before the end of the year. Until then, I would love to hear your thoughts about this year’s selection — did I miss anything important?

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! And let me wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

A Short Knight, pt. 3: The Grand Finale

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2018 by krautscientist

Welcome everyone to the third and final part of my recent Chibi-Knight project! This has been such a fun little endeavour, and today you finally get to take a look at the finished model, so here goes:

The paintjob for the actual Knight was actually just about finished last time. So here’s where we left off:

This only really left the basing, but since the objective with this entire model was to match the bigger version as closely as possible, I wanted this ethos to extend to the base as well. So for starters, check out the base of the bigger version of Gilgamesh:

As you can see, I used some pieces from the Space Marine statue from the Honoured Imperium terrain kit to represent fallen Imperial monuments, and I really wanted to recreate that look — and it seemed that fate was very much on my side…

I actually realised a long time ago that the aforementioned statue seems to have been created mostly by upscaling existing Space Marine bitz: If you take a closer look, many of the parts of the statue seem to consist of bigger versions of plastic bitz from the company champion that comes as part of the old Space Marine command squad box (incidentally, I am pretty sure the statue’s cape is an upscaled chaos warrior cape, but that’s beside the point). And I actually discovered a while ago that GW used a face very similar – if not identical – to the statue’s face for different kits as well. So it didn’t take much work to collect the pieces that would allow for a very close recreation of my original design for the base. Take a look:

The shield on the left is pretty much the exact same shield also worn by the Honoured Imperium statue. It came from the aforementioned Space Marine command squad kit. The sword is from a plastic Terminator — I’ll admit the company champion’s sword would have been a better fit from a visual standpoint, but the Terminator sword worked better due to its size and proportions. And the head on the right is a piece of a broken Imperial monument from the WFB/AoS giant.

So I used these parts (or rather, copies of these parts) to create a setup that was fairly similar to the original base:

Now I had to improvise a bit, due to the bigger Knight’s base having an oval shape (and hence more room), but I think the setup worked out pretty well. I also chose to have the head in an upright pose this time around — something I should have done on the bigger base as well.

So here’s the base after undercoating…

…and with the Knight provisionally placed on top:

And here’s the finished base, painted to fit the bigger version:

So all that was left was to affix the new Chibi-Gilgamesh to his new home, and then the model was done. So here, once again, the big version for the sake of comparison:

And without further ado, I give you

Chibi-Gilgamesh version 2.0









I am actually really happy with the way the model has turned out. I may have had to compromise a bit here and there because a couple of visual touches from the bigger model just couldn’t be reproduced at the smaller scale (at least not without ending up looking extremely goofy, that is), but you can still tell at a glance that this is supposed to be Gilgamesh at a smaller scale, wouldn’t you agree?

And there’s also my favourite part about this project, the somewhat harebrained, yet ultimately successful, scheme of adding a fully sculpted interior and pilot to a Knight at the Adeptus Titanicus scale. Check out the bigger version of Baron Harrowthorne again:


And here’s the chibi-version:




And now that the new model has been finished, here’s another comparison shot with its predecessor:


As I’ve said before, I really like how the older Chibi-Knight seems to represent the somewhat clunkier vintage Epic 40k design, while the new model fits the sleeker, more faithful designs from the new Adeptus Titanicus.

That’s not quite all, though. Because with the model finished, it was of course time to trot out the actual 28mm Gilgamesh in order to find out how well the new Chibi-Knight stands up to the big guy.

well,…



I think there’s definitely quite a bit of family resemblance, wouldn’t you agree?

Having managed to closely recreate the base also makes me stupidly happy, to be honest πŸ˜‰

So yeah, a fun project all around! And you know what? I am also going to pledge this little guy as part of Azazel’s Mechanical November ’18 community challenge — fits well enough, I’d say πŸ˜‰

In any case, 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! πŸ™‚

A Short Knight, pt. 2

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2018 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, here’s the next look at my current project, the recreation of my 28mm Renegade Knight Questoris, Gilgamesh, the Warrior King, at the Adeptus Titanicus scale. I haven’t had much hobby time since my update, but I’ve tried to make it count. So let’s take a look, shall we?

First of all, this is where we left off last time:

While the similarity between the Adeptus Titanicus Knight Questoris and its bigger 28mm version already astonished me during the building stages, the parallels even extended to the actual painting process: Due to the way the model comes together, it’s actually possible to keep most of the armour plates, especially the big top carapace and shoulder pads, separate from the Knight’s “skeleton” during painting, so it was once again a matter of undercoating the skeleton in silver and the armour plates in red, then work from there.

And since this was my biggest alteration to the stock model, I did of course have to start with the pilot, trying the best I could to have the paintjob make up for the lack of sculpted detail:


Even at this stage, I was already reasonably happy with the way the chibi-version of Baron Harrowthorne looked, so after that, it was mostly a matter of carefully blocking in all of the base colours. Due to the delicate sculpt of the Knight, this was a bit more fiddly than on, say, a bog standard Space Marine model, but it was still fairly quick work. Here’s Chibi Gilgamesh 2.0 with all the base colours and washes in place:

And now came the delightful part: I carefully tried to match as many visual cues from the bigger version as possible — including the decals used on the original Gilgamesh. In some cases, I was able to use smaller decals that were a close – or even perfect – fit, in other cases (on the kneepads, for instance), I had to use a fine liner instead.

But anyway, enough talk, let’s take a look at the mostly finished model:

Just to remind you, here’s the big version:

And here’s what I have right now:


Pretty close, wouldn’t you agree?

As for Baron Harrowthorne and the cockpit, I had to give the area another small round of tweaks, of course:

So, once again, let’s start with the bigger version:


And here’s the Chibi-Baron:

As I’ve said before, since there is so very little actual detail on the pilot, I’ve had to use the paintjob to suggest detail were none extists, and to create an evocation, for lack of a better word, of the much bigger, more detailed 28mm pilot. I am pretty happy with the outcome, though — if you take a closer look you can even see the glowing buttons on the control panel:

And here’s another comparison picture with my earlier Chibi-Knight kitbash:

So a few very minor tweaks notwithstanding, the new Chibi Knight is basically finished at this point — except for the basing, that is, and I do have a rather nifty plan for that. Let’s hope it works out!

Until then, however, I would love to hear what you think! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

A Short Knight, pt. 1

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2018 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, still no painted models this week, alas, but rather a small project that had me sidetracked. Small in every sense of the word, actually. So what is this about?

The recently released 2018 version of Adeptus Titanicus has left me weirdly indifferent so far — surprising, really, as I always thought I would be right at the front of the queue if it ever made a return. But the focus on the biggest Titans somehow makes it less interesting to me (even though I’ll readily acknowledge that being able to own multiple Warlords without having to sell a kidney is probably one of the main draws of the game).

That being said, when the AT-scaled Questoris Knights were released, I knew I had to pick up some of them. And at 25 Euros for three, they seemed reasonably priced, so I made the plunge:

What really surprised me was how the detail on these is truly off the charts: It’s almost uncanny how GW has managed to make them resemble the bigger version down to some of the smallest detail. And I found myself regularly having dΓ©jΓ -vu moments while building the first model — it’s that close to it’s bigger kin. And seeing how I was already having those dΓ©jΓ -vues, I started feeling the urge to build a smaller version of my Renegade Knight, Gilgamesh — in fact, some of you might still remember my previous attempt at building a “Chibi-Knight”, roughly at the Adeptus Titanicus scale – from all kinds of odds and ends:

 

 


Building that smaller version – dubbed “Chibi-Knight” by me – was a fun project back then, and I think the model still holds up fairly well, all things considered, even if it’s maybe a bit too clunky. But having a base model that was already a fairly perfect representation of an Imperial Knight from the get-go this time around really made me want to one-up my previous effort.

So I got to work, trying to make one of those small Adeptus Titanicus Knights resemble this guy as closely as possible:

And after a bit of messing around, my first WIP looked like this:

Pretty good already, wouldn’t you agree? Here’s a comparison of my first WIP next to the previous, kitbashed Chibi-Knight:

I actually like how the previous versions’s slightly weird proportions make it resemble the visual clunkiness and retro charm of the old Epic 40k models. By the same token – and due to the more delicate sculpt of the AT Knight – coming up with a way to mirror those chaotic decorations was slightly tricky, and had to drop some of the detail that was simply too small to reproduce – or would look weirdly clunky (such as using a Bloodletter face on the gun barrel, for instance). I also got the impression that most 28mm GW bitz are just a tad too big to use on those delicate AT Questoris Knights, so this did take some doing.

In the end, I went for the visual essence of the model, trying to hit enough design cues to make it work, dropping some that were just too much trouble to get right, and figuring out which bitz to use for either.

So here’s the basically finished build for Chibi-Gilgamesh version 2.0 that I have come up with:






All things considered, I think I have managed to come up with a pretty good reproduction of my 28mm Gilgamesh at the smaller scale. But that wasn’t even the end of the project, because during the conversion process, I found myself staring at the Knight’s hollow interior again and again…


…and wondering if maybe….just maybe…

…it would be possible to add a fully realised interior as well — just as I had done on 28mm Gilgamesh.

Sure, the mere concept is a bit ridiculous, but once I had gotten the idea into my head, I realised that there would be no way to weasel out of this challenge: Chibi-Gilgamesh 2.0 needed a cockpit!

Coming up with a pilot was the most challenging part of that, obviously: I thought I was already out of the woods when I remembered some 40+ years-ish old plastic Army Men style soldiers my uncle used to play with as a child, and wanted to use one of those, but they turned out to still be a tad too big. As was a pilot from one of my uncle’s old model planes:


My next idea was to use a Z-scale model train figure — and indeed, those come in all shapes and sizes, even in a sitting position. And they are also readily available online. In batches of one hundred, no less!

In the end, that would have included purchasing them in China, however, and it just didn’t seem sustainable to pick up something so cheap and minuscule from halfway across the planet. So I was already planning a visit to the local model train shop when another idea struck me: I remembered one of the old plastic Bretonnian Knights from an old WFB starter box having a stylised little person as their heraldic helmet crest — maybe at just the right scale?

When I dug out the bit from my cupboard of shame, I realised the figure was pretty much the right scale indeed — but alas, it was a Lady of the Lake style sculpt:

Space Marine helmet included for scale.

Very fitting for Bretonnians, no doubt, but not a particularly good match to recreate my Baron Harrowthorne model at a smaller scale. But maybe there was still something there that I could use? So I shaved off most of the detail from the helmet crest, until I was left with only the bare outline of the model, then tried to carve it into a rough incarnation of Gilgamesh’s pilot:

If nothing else, I was able to leave the suggestion of facial features in place. And I realised I had the beginnings of a pilot.

The cockpit, on the other hand, was almost trivially easy to build: I used some tech-y leftover bitz (from a Heldrake foot, IIRC) for the reactor section…


…and if you take a closer look, you’ll see that I even included a small control panel for the pilot:

So here’s another comparison shot for you: The 28mm version of the cockpit and pilot:


And my WIP version at the Adeptus Titanicus scale:

Of course I realised that the pilot was still looking slightly too primitive, so I added some tweaks to him, greenstuffing in the tiniest shoulder pads and placing some teeny tiny plastic nubs on the model to suggest both the medals on the bigger version’s chest as well as the cranial augmetic implants:

The rest of the detail will be suggested by the paintjob — at least that’s what I hope! Now in all fairness, the pilot is probably still a tad too big, but there’s just no way I can come up with an even smaller version, so I’ll call this conversion a success!

This has been such a fun little project — and given the size of the model, I hope it’ll be easy enough to paint up as well. Maybe this could even be the model to get me out of my recent painting slump? Keep your fingers crossed for me! πŸ™‚

In any case, that’s it for today’s update. It should go without saying that I am looking forward to any feedback you might have. And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! πŸ™‚

A Child for the Warrior King, pt.6 — and a small interlude

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2018 by krautscientist

My hobby work has not been all that exciting recently: The combination of a decided lack of feedback here on the blog and a prolongued downtime over at The Bolter & Chainsword has worked as a bit of a dampener to my hobby motivation. But I have a new update to share with you all, dealing with my second converted Armiger once again. And as a special treat, I’ll also sneak in a small bonus-review somewhere along the way, so keep your eyes peeled πŸ˜‰

But first things first: My second Renegade Armiger was already mostly finished in my previous post, but it still needed that final bit of attention, especially when it came to finishing the chaotic decoration: The most important part was to add spikes and skull trophies to the top carapace. At the same time, I also grafted some small teeth, carefully shaved off the little vanes that come with the CSM Raptors, to the pauldrons and leg armour, for that certain chaotic je ne sais quoi.

So here’s the result:


Those added elements really do a pretty great job of pulling all of the parts of the model together from a visual standpoint, plus they also serve as a parallel to my other Armiger Warglaive.

So the model is basically ready for paint now. Take a look:


Oh, and after adding the final layer of detailing, I also straightened out the cockpit and pilot, making a few final tweaks and additons here and there. So here’s the completed build for the Huntress inside her cockpit:


As you can see, the way the Huntress controls the machine actually matches the setup I used for the first Armiger. This time around, however, I actually made sure to make the alignment of the machine’s head match that of the pilot (it’s only a small thing, but since I used the standard Armiger head this time around, at least beneath the extra bitz, it was easy enough to keep the head poseable):


I am actually really happy with the conversion, plus I think the two Armiger really work rather well together. Several people on the forum pointed out how the machines seemes like two pack mates, ready to bring an opposing Knight (or even Titan?!) down, and how the new Armiger actually seemed a touch more feral than the first model. Since that’s the impression I was really going for, I am rather happy to have achieved that dynamic with the two models:

Incidentally, I also made a small tweak to the Hound, adding some Blood Warrior decorations to his pauldrons. See if you can spot them in the picture above πŸ˜‰

 

Bonus review: Canis Rex

So, while we are on the subject of (Imperial) Knights, allow me to sneak in some thoughts on one of GW’s fairly recent releases thtat I have wanted to share for a while: I am talking about Canis Rex here:

The release of Canis Rex was interesting for a number of reasons: It marks the third revision of the Imperial Knight kit in almost as many years, for one: Each subsequent release has added new parts and options, and this latest kit is no exception, providing us with all the weapon options released so far, along with a new weapon, the las-impulsor, that can be used to assemble the model as a Knight-Preceptor. So far, so good. At the same time, Canis Rex is also a veritable named character, so the model comes with original parts to turn a generic Knight into Canis Rex with its unique heraldry. Last but not least, there’s also the fact that the kit provides us with the bitz for a fully designed cockpit – something that the GW-Knights have lacked so far – and for the pilot, Sir Hekhtur the Chainbreaker.

Now my love for the Imperial Knight per se is well documented, and I still consider the model a landmark release and one of GW’s finest modern kits. All the original kit’s strenghts remain, obviously, and we actually get some new toys to play around with. So let us take a closer look:

Let’s start with the new weapon: Where most of the Knight weapons we have seen so far have a rather more brutal, archaic look, this new gun hews closer to a more experimental, “Martian Deathray” look, which is nice. On a related note, looking at the silhouette of the weapon, I cannot help but realise how you could probably kitbash a similar weapon using the side panels from a 40k life pod (from either the 40k objectives kit or the new Kill Team: Rogue Trader boxed set), if you need the weapon but don’t want to buy the new kit.
Whether or not you like the las-impulsor, though: The kit also seems to contain every other Knight weapon released so far, so the world is really your oyster here.

When it comes to Canis Rex’s unique armour plates (and heraldic elements), those bitz are nice, if a bit vanilla: The facemask strikes me as ever so slightly too generically medieval, but that’s purely a matter of personal choice. On the other hand, the combination of a wolf/dog head and a chain on the tilt plate and banner make me wonder whether those bitz might be useful in a 30k World Eaters/War Hounds project…

What I really like about the inclusion of those bitz is how GW actually embraces the idea of having those Knights be true individuals — something that has always played a big role in the background, but it’s still nice to actually see that philosophy now realised in model form. If anything, coming up with your own background, heraldry and backstory for your noble is something to be encouraged.

So far, the additions to the kit are nice but not exactly massively exciting.This all changes with the third big addition to the kit, however, and easily the biggest draw of the model, if you ask me: The inclusion of both a fully detailed cockpit and a pilot:


Seeing how the nobles piloting the Knights were already being played up as important and powerful individuals in the background, I actually find it baffling that it has taken GW so long to represent them in model form. If anything, I feel Imperial Knights should have been themed around their pilots from the get-go. But anyway, now we finally get our pilot model, and both in a walking and a sitting form, which is nice:


I like how the model’s armour/pilot suit neatly straddles the line between baroque(medieval and functional — it arguably works better with the general 40k aesthetics than Forgeworld’s almost too sleek and futuristic looking Knight pilot. At the same time, it’s also nice how some design elements (see the arrows on the armour plates, for instance) are shared between the Knight and its pilot.

Now while the pilot is supposed to be Sir Hekhtur the Chainbreaker, it’s easy to see how a simple headswap would be enough to turn him into an original (male) knight pilot. Creating a female noble from those bitz would still be possible, albeit with a bit more conversion work — and maybe the inclusion of some of the slightly narrower Genestealer Hybrid body parts.

When it comes to the actual cockpit, I really love how GW’s sculptors have managed to squeeze lots and lots of detail into a pretty tight area (believe me, I know): The design looks great and channels visual cues from both Forgeworld’s Knights and various Titans:

If I have one criticism, it’s that I think the controls are almost a bit too modern and “Space Marine-y” and should maybe have looked a bit more archaic – like the kind of tech you see in Forgeworld’s Titan cockpits – but the design still works very well, and the option to build it so it can even be looked at with the top carapace closed and the hatch open is an awesome little touch:

 

For me, and other hobbyists as weird as me, coming up with a way of building the interior of a Knight has been one of the most interesting parts of working with the model. So seeing an “official”, readymade version now is a slightly bittersweet moment: On the one hand, it’s great that GW has finally stepped up and provided us with the building blocks for a Knight interior. At the same time, however, this also takes away some of the adventure, for lack of a better word, and challenge of scratchbuilding and kitbashing an area like this — oh well, at least we still have the Armiger interiors to think about πŸ˜‰

On a related note, and if you’ll excuse a bit of boasting, I have to say that I am really rather happy with the way I managed to come up with something pretty similar to GW’s “official” look for the pilot and cockpit years ago, back when I built my own Knight:



So for those who do not own any Imperial Knights yet, you guys are in luck: You are now able to pick up the definitive version of an already fantastic kit and end up with lots and lots of beautiful options to play around with. If, like me, you were among the early adopters of the Imperial Knight, you might be forgiven for feeling a bit left out (and for being expected to buy yet another 100+ Euros kit). The third revision of the kit in as many years. Because much as I like this newest revision to the kit (and much as I liked the previous revision), I cannot help asking myself whether those weapon options and cockpit bitz could have been part of the model from the beginning — the pilot and cockpit, in particular, seem like parts of the sculpt that must have been considered from the beginning…

 

Call of Chaos 2018:

Before I wind up this post, let me quickly address the current Call of Chaos event over at The Bolter & Chainsword: With the forum back up and running, fortunately enough, I think I’ll just have a go at joining in the event again this year. Here are the models I think I’ll be pledging as my Call of Chaos vow:


Including the second Armiger is a bit of a no-brainer, obviously, as I really want to have the happy family finished before the year is out πŸ˜‰ In addition, I want to get some paint on two Nurglite characters that have been sitting on my desk for ages:

First up, a Nurglite Lord on bike that was built over a year ago (originally for another forum painting event last year):

Still pretty happy with this guy — you certainly wouldn’t think he started out as a Ravenwing biker from Dark Vengeance, would you? πŸ˜‰

And there’s this conversion of Maxime Pastourel’s Lord of Contagion model from the Dark Imperium boxed set:

his guy should be fun to paint, with all the gribbly areas of distressed skin and gooey intestines πŸ˜‰

 

So anyway, that’s it for today’s update. 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! πŸ™‚