Archive for chaos knight

A Child for the Warrior King, pt.4

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2018 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, I hope I won’t bore you to death when I stay on the topic of converted Armiger Warglaives for yet another post — bear with me, as there are some news to be shared πŸ˜‰

First of all, my finished Renegade Armiger, discussed in detail last week, not only served as an entry for Azazel’s Jewel of July challenge and as my vow for this year’s ETL VI event over at The Bolter & Chainsword — he also actually managed to win me win me a Badge of the Artificer during the latter, making the Hound one of this ETL’s standout models, which I am actually very happy with!

You see, given the incredible output by some fellow forum members – and also my own lazy pace of painting – it was always clear that I had no hope of ever winning any kind of award based on the amount of painted models. But the Badge of the Artificer is based on the ‘Wow-effect’ of individual models or vows, independent of their points worth, and I will admit that I’ve been gunning for that badge for a while now, and achieving it with a model that I am still pretty darn happy with definitely feels great!

In celebration, have a look at the snazzy photo montage I have created for the “Master Artificer” poll that will go up over at The B&C in the near future (EDIT: It’s right here, in case you want to check out the fantastic models created by the other entrants):

That’s not the only Armiger-related news, however:Β  Since the heat in this part of the world has been almost unbearable for the last couple of weeks, and since I was still feeling a bit drained from the last paintjob, I limited myself to some light kitbashing, trying to come up with a cool angle for the second Renegade Armiger I still need to build: I decided to start with the parts of the model that would define its personality more than any other. Exhibit one, the face:

This time around, I didn’t want the head to look like a daemon face or another “classic” skull face, because that approach has already been sufficiently explored with the skull-like face on the first Armiger. I rather wanted to experiment with something that looks like a more robotic, mask like design that has had some elements grafted on to look intimidating and sinister, When building the mockup for the facemask, my inspirations were Biohazard’s attempt to channel Darth Nihilus’ facemask on his own Armigers, a couple of the creepier bug creatures I’ve encountered during my recent playthrough of Hollow Knight — oh, and if there was one direct visual influence, it’s Volund, a creepy automaton from ADB’s and David Sondered’s very cool webcomic series “The Road to Jove”:

Artwork by David Sondered

 

Artwork by David Sondered

 

So with those sources of inspiration in mind, here’s what I have come up with:


As you can see, it’s a more robotic – almost insectile – look. The one thing I am not sure about is whether or not to use the lower jaw: On the one hand, the head arguably looks even more like a creepy insect face without it. On the other hand, I rather like the way the jaw rounds of the design of the head (and ties back into a more classic chaos look).

Maybe it’s a decision I have to make once the head has been painted…

Here’s a – very early – mockup of the second Armiger:

The interesting thing about this model will be how much it resembles – or doesn’t resemble – the Hound: On the one hand, I do want the personality of the respective pilot show in the setup, pose and decoration of their Armiger to some degree, plus there also has to be a certain amount of individuality for the models to be suitably interesting. On the other hand, both Armigers are actually men-at-arms to Baron Harrowthorne and Gilgamesh, so I do want to have certain elements of uniformity as well. I imagine this whould be a fun balance to toy around with! With that said, this also means that the model can only really take shape once I’ve managed to get my hands on another set of Bloodthirster vambraces – or, failing that, vambraces from Skarbrand.

If anyone has those bitz and would be willing to trade, please let me know!!!

Oh, and I have also started with the assembly of the cockpit and the pilot — meet “The Huntress”:


I have wanted to add some kind of female character to my World Eaters ever since Lotara Sarrin turned out to be Betrayer’s best human character, and if I even needed any more persuasion, seeing Cheex’ fantastic female corsair captain, gave me the last little shove I needed.

I still had the face from one of the Coven Throne vampires – after cutting of her hairdo for my recent conversion of Countess Mandelholtz – and I combined it with a pilot hat from the Astra Militarum Sentinel — I think?! Anyway, the original face was carefully shaved off to make way for the female face. I think I may have to get rid of that small aerial over the right ear, though, as it probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense…

As for the body, my original plan was to build the model around another sentinel pilot, but then I realised that the Genestealer Hybrid bodies make for rather perfect pilot suits — and the models are also slight enough in build to work as a female character wearing a somewhat bulky suit.

Of course having a mockup was all well and good, but I still needed to fit the model into the actual cockpit. This was easier work than last time around, however, as I already had a basic recipe in mind.

So here’s my mockup of the Armiger’s cockpit and pilot:



This is still early days, of course, and I mostly focused on trying to at least get all the elements that need to be present in there. On the finished build, the pilot’s left hand will be turned around, obviously, and the right hand will be gripping a control stick (to hint at the same kind of interface also visible on my first Armiger pilot).

But anyway, I think I may be on to something here — I would love to hear your feedback, of course, so feel free to leave me a comment!

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

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A Child for the Warrior King, pt.3: The Hound

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2018 by krautscientist

With the ETL VI deadline fast approaching, this last week was mostly given over to the task of completing my Renegade Armiger Warglaive, and I would very much like to share my progress on this project with you today! It wasn’t all smooth sailing, either, because Germany has been in the iron grip of a heat wave for quite a while now, with temperatures solidly in the mid-30s Celsius degrees for most of last week — certainly not unheard of in other parts of the world, but not something we are all that used to in my particular neck of the woods…

But I soldiered on regardless, so let’s take a look at what I have to show for my perseverance:

Here’s where we left off last time:

The biggest task at this point was to paint the bigger amour plates for the legs as well as the top carapace. In order to save myself some time, I decided to use GW’s Mephiston Red spray as an undercoat for the armour plates. But while it did end up laying down a nice, even coat of red, the red was also fairly flat and chalky — so I did end up re-painting all the red areas anyway…

In the end, it probably did save me some time, after all, but it was certainly not a game changer on par with, say, the Leadbelcher spray.

Anyway, I tackled the armour plates one after another, picking out the various details and blocking in the different colours. The biggest piece of work was the top carapace, of course, so that’s where I started. Here it is, with most of the detail already blocked in:

As you can see, I also added some decals during this stage: These days, I never save the decals until everything else has been painted, because that will invariable make them look tacked on, almost like an afterthought. By applying them sooner, they can be weathered and damaged along with the rest of the model, as needed, in order to actually make them look more realistic. Now in this case, this only really involved a subtle pass of sepia wash to make them look just a bit more natural, but it’s a habit I have picked up. Besides, none of them were in the way of the eventual highlighting, so that helped, too πŸ˜‰


Some of the decals were actually chosen to tie the model into the lore of my World Eaters army: The paw print hints at Gilgamesh’s honorary membership in the Legio Audax, the “Ember Wolves” (while the Titan Legio is an actual part of the background, as of “Betrayer”, I did make up Gilgamesh’s membership in it as part of my own head canon).

Meanwhile, the numerals on the right pauldron stand for the XII Legion’s IVth company — mirroring a similar marking on Gilgamesh’s right shoulder guard:


So here’s what the carapace looked like at this stage:


And here it is, a short while later, with all of the missing detail painted and a pretty serious (at least for my standard) amount of highlighting in place:

The rest of the armour plates were given the same treatment, and while none of this is any award winning stuff, the subtly higlighted red ended up looking quite a bit deeper than the armour on Gilgamesh, while still fitting the overall look: While the Armiger should still look like it belongs, it also shows off how I have grown as a painter over the last couple of years, and I like that, to be honest πŸ˜‰

So anyway, here’s the Armiger in its almost finished state:

At this point, I made a To Do list for myself listing all the small cleanup work and small tweaks I still needed to do before the model would be finished. I also made an eleventh hour decision to diverge from the original conversion, as the original plan had been to add some marauder shields on top of the Armiger’s pauldrons, for an even more baroque, chaotic look. Like so:

But when I added them to the pauldrons, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that the model actually worked better without them, so after hemming and hawing and asking for feedback over at the forums, I eventually decided to leave them off — something about them just didn’t quite click with me, while the model did seem complete enough without them.

So at this point it was mainly a matter of checking all of the boxes on my To Do list, one after another.

One area of notice was the detailing of the cockpit and reactor section, and I am pretty happy with how that area came out. Take a look:


For the cockpit displays, I chose an approach I had seen on a Knight by fellow hobbyist Noigrim — I really liked the idea of approaching enemies being visible as red dots on the radar πŸ˜‰

And here’s a closer look at the reactor section:

This is how the whole assembly looks when seen from the side, by the way:

From a conversion perspective, this is probably the most involved customisation on the entire model, but I do think it has been worth it.

The other big thing to take care of was the base. Here’s the completed build I came up with:


Gilgamesh’s base uses several pieces of broken imperial statuary (courtesy of GW’s “Honoured Imperium” terrain kit), and I thought it would be cool to match that look, albeit on a slightly smaller scale. So the base was built around a shattered statue’s broken sword (once again, a very apt metaphor for the failing Imperium of Man, and all that), and I used different kinds of slate, sand and cork to build up a suitable amount of rubble and texture around it all. The main floor texture was, once again, created using Vallejo’s Sandy Paste.

I also did a preliminary dry fitting to find out wether the model would fit neatly onto the base:

And after that, it was off to the painting desk for one last time. Here’s the finished base, completed a short while later:

As you can see, some skulls and broken Ultramarines armour pieces were also added to the base, if only to tie the model into the 28mm scale a bit better (and make for smaller areas of visual interest).

And with that, my Renegade Armiger was finished. So let’s take a look at the model, shall we?

 

The Hound

Enkidu Lance
attached to the XII Legion’s 4th assault company

 








And a couple of detail shots, of course:

First up, the Armiger with its carapace removed and a closer look at the pilot:

The plan was to make the pilot look similar to Gilgamesh’s pilot, the Baron Harrowthorne:

At the same time, I wanted it to be fairly obvious that the Hound is below the Baron in rank, so his uniform is just a bit plainer. I think the finished look works pretty well:

The top carapace will – obviously – stay removable, if only because it allows me to show off the custom cockpit and pilot every once in a while πŸ˜‰ In fact, the entire model retains a certain amount of modularity:


This should provide a nice extra bit of flexibility once the second Armiger (codenamed “The Huntress”) has been completed! Incidentally, the harpoon arm I shared with you in my previous post will actually serve as the Huntress’ stock armament…

Here’s a side view that gives you a better idea of the detail work on the undercarriage:

The amount of detail on the Armiger’s skeleton owes a lot to the “JeffTibbetts school of Knight painting”, as it were πŸ˜‰

Another area of the model I want to showcase is the banner between the Armiger’s legs:


While loyalist Armigers appear a lot less draped in personal heraldry than their Imperial Knight masters, I wanted to invoke the impression that Armiger pilots may serve their lords for far longer in the Great Eye, so it seemed appropriate to include a banner showing the pilot’s battle honours: It shows both the World Eaters’ legion badge as well as the War Hounds’ old symbol — probably a shout out to the Hound’s epithet.

At the same time, I also wanted to make the banner look more rugged than the banner on the bigger Knight, so I painted it as some kind of roughly tanned hide. I used the approach outlined in Brandon’s tutorial here, with a couple of minor tweaks, and am pretty happy with the finished effect.

Oh, and I also finally managed to take a picture of the face that shows of the Armiger’s glowing eye:

The missing optical sensor on the right side was originally a consequence of a slight miscast of the face, but I think it gives the model an even more sinister and chaotic look, so it actually works in its favour, wouldn’t you agree? πŸ˜‰

Oh, and here’s a picture of the Armiger and my Renegade Knight Titan, Gilgamesh, “The Warrior King” — “Father and Son”, so to speak:

In fact, I discovered that my older Wargrinder conversion could actually work as an Armiger fairly well, at least from a scale perspective:

And with that, I have managed to finish both my entry for this year’s ETL event as well as my contribution to Azazel’s “Jewel of July” challenge. Pretty nifty, eh? πŸ˜‰ To be honest, I am immensely pleased with the finished model — I actually put this off as long as I could, and I really had to force myself to start painting, but I couldn’t be any happier with the result. That being said, this has been a pretty involved project, so I think I’ll allow myself a bit of rest and mostly focus on small fry for a bit πŸ˜‰

But anyway, so far for my first Renegade Armiger Warglaive. It goes without saying that I would love to hear your feedback on the model, so leave me a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

A Child for the Warrior King, pt.2

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2018 by krautscientist

It has been a couple of months since the Forgebane boxed set provided us not only with a very cool – and entirely Space Marine-free – 40k starter set, but also with the Armiger Warglaive, a very interesting smaller pattern of Imperial Knight:

In the interim, we have seen a full release of the Imperial Knights as a faction, with new smaller and bigger Knight models to boot. And some of you may still remember my conversion of a Renegade Armiger from a while back:

Of course I just had to build some chaotic Armigers to accompany my Chaos Knight Titan, Gilgameshthe Warrior King – and the guy you see above was my first proof of concept — and one that I am still very happy with, it must be said!

However, with my recent focus on painting INQ28 characters, the poor Armiger has remained unpainted all through the recent Imperial Knights release — high time, then, to return to the model and finally give it some much needed attention!

 

I. “Fire the Ursus Claws!”

First up, something I have wanted to share with you for quite a while now, but the chance never presented itself:

After building my first Armiger, I realised that I wanted to get a bit more creative with the CC weapon on the second model — and there was also something about the way Armigers are portrayed in the fluff as support to bigger Knights in the fluff, helping their masters to bring down their prey and soften up bigger opponents, that drew me back to the World Eaters’ background and the armament of their warmachines in the lore — and then fellow hobbyist Augustus b’Raass put words to the vague idea I had been thinking about all along:

OOOH OOOOH this gave me an idea: how about the World Eaters Harpoon thingy whatsitcalled -you know, that traditional thing. Dammit, the name eludes me, but youΒ must know what I mean!

And Augustus was perfectly right, of course: I really needed to build an Armiger-sized Ursus Claw harpoon!

I had already used the idea on my second World Eaters Contemptor, Raud the Hunter, a while ago, albeit at a smaller scale:

So for the sake of visual consistency, one objective would be to make the weapon resemble the Ursus Claw on my Contemptor, so they would at least seem to be variations of the same weapons system.

Now when it came to actually building an Armiger-sized Ursus Claw, Talarion’s approach to building a lance weapon for an Armiger served as invaluable reference material. So between his version and my own-Dreadnought sized proof of concept, here’s what I came up with:

This was just the basic setup, mind you, with very little chaotic decoration in place, and the weapon also still lacked the drum-fed chain attached to the harpoon (the drum bit is already visible in the picture, though). That being said, it was also a pretty simple conversion, really, spliced together from the Armiger’s stock chainblade arm and a couple of additional bitz.

In case you want to reproduce the design – or build something similar – here’s a mini-tutorial for you:

Tutorial: Building a Knight Armiger harpoon arm:

First of all, here are the bitz you will need (keep the red parts for the conversion, while the grey parts go back into the bitzbox):Β 

  • I. the stock Armiger Warglaive chainweapon arm — just carefully get rid of the blade (and of that one small, greyed-out area towards the back!).
  • II. a lamp post, either from the 40k basing set for big models or from the old City of Death terrain. I used two parts from this piece, although the foot is by far the more important one, as it makes up most of the actual harpoon.
  • III. The spiked tip from another small terrain piece, that is – again – available both in the aforementioned basing kit or the City of Death terran kits.
  • IV. a small piece from the Adeptus Mechanicus Kataphron kit — I only really chose this for visual balance and because it makes the harpoon look as though it might actually be a bit more sophisticated (and able to carry an electrical current, for instance).
  • V. The shaft from the Blood Angels Librarian Dreadnoughts psi-weapon — although there are probably many bitz that would work just as well. You could even use a piece of plasticard to fill the same role.

All you have to do is to carefully line up these bitz and glue them together (of course you can always pin the entire thing, if you want to make sure it’s ultra-straight and stable): I’ve made you a diagram about what goes where:

As an aside, I actually love the fact how part IV. – coincidentally – mirrors a very similar part on the Knight Valiant’s Thundercoil Harpoon, even though my design predates the release of the new model by a couple of months πŸ˜‰

I also chose to include a chain drum, made mainly from a leftover Imperial Knight weapon part (if I recall correctly). You can basically use any round, hollow shape for this, though — even any kind of (half-)barrel might do. I added a piece from a WFB plastic spear to the centre of the drum, then carefully wound some Gale Force Nine model chain around it and attached the end to the harpoon, in an attempt to actually suggest a mechanism.

Here’s a look at the finished arm, with a bit of chaotic decoration in place.

Two additional remarks about the conversion:

One, I do realise a more ornate, spiky tip would probably have made for a more Khornate look, but I kinda wanted to retain a certain sense of internal consistence across my collection. Well, that and I also like the idea that the weapon itself is so blunt and brutal that it’s mostly designed for efficiency, and less for show. If you decide to build your own harpoon/lance weapon, however, swapping in a tip of your liking should be the easiest thing in the world.

Two, elsewhere on the blogosphere, it has been pointed out how the chain mechanism could never work from a mechanical perspective. That is probably correct. I went with a setup that seemed at least a bit logical to me, while also looking visually balanced. But I definitely did not get into the actual engineering of a working mechanism, so feel free to make any necessary adjustments on your own version, especially if you have a better grip on mechanics than I have! πŸ˜‰

If nothing else, I do think the finished arm looks pretty cool when mounted on an Armiger:



Here’s a closer look at the chain and mechanism:


Since my first converted Armiger will be going with the chainsword arm shown at the beginning of this post, the harpoon arm serves as a bit of a teaser for the second Armiger I am going to convert. That being said, I’ll definitely leave the arms interchangeable, so they can be swapped between models as needed.

 

II. Gearing Up!

The building optional Ursus Claws notwithstanding, there was still the matter of the unpainted Armiger to deal with — even moreso since I have vowed the model as an entry for this year’s ETL event over at The Bolter & Chainsword. So it was time to finally get this bad boy painted. Just to remind you, here’s what the conversion looked like:



Unlike the last time I had to undercoat a Knight, there were no spraying mishaps this time around, fortunately enough, so here’s what I started with:

Now the first painting session was mostly spent on the – rather thankless – task of darkening down the body with black wash:

In order to make things a bit more challenging – and rewarding – for myself, however, I did sneak in some painting on the Armiger’s head (which I finished in one go)…

And on the pilot, laying down the base colours and the first pass of washes:

Since then, the paintjob has mostly consisted of chipping away at the model one area at a time so far. Starting with the Armiger’s metallic base structure and leaving the armour plates for later seemed, once again, like the obvious way to go.

So here’s the Armiger’s “skeleton” with most of the base colours blocked in:

While this may not seem like riveting stuff, the extra depth provided by the bronze detail should make quite a bit of difference on the finished model, I hope. Plus this also allowed an early idea of how the bone faceplate would eventually contrast with the red armour:

I’ve learned from JeffTibbetts’ absolutely amazing “Queen Bee” project that it pays to take some extra time on a Knight’s metallic skeleton, adding areas of grime, scratches and all kinds of wear and tear for that extra bit of realism (or rather, plausibility) and texture — true, most of it will be covered up by the various armour plates later on, but being able to glimpse something that resembles an actual, working machine underneath it all makes the whole war machine, preposterous as it may be, more grounded in realism.

With this preamble out of the way, here’s a side view at the mostly finished “skeleton”, showing off some of the carefully applied dirt, grime and lubricant πŸ˜‰

The same process was then repeated on the arms, finally making the model look as though it were actually going somewhere:

And the pilot has also been finished (after another round of highlights and the application of a decal to his shoulder pad):

So here’s the current status of the model:



As you can see, the arms are basically done at this point — including the plasma “special effect” on the right arm, obviously. This also means that, with the exception of a bit of cleanup and some minor finishing touches, the Armiger’s “skeleton” is now finished, and I’ll be focusing on the armour plates next.

In fact, here’s a sneak peak of the model with the undercoated top carapace provisionally mounted in place:

The ETL event ends on August 1st, so that leaves me with about a week to paint the rest of the armour, perform all the necessary cleanup and add the finishing touches, then maybe add a base — while I am definitely going to base the model with all bells and whistles, it is not something that’s required for finished models that are part of the ETL, so if I have to cut some corners, it’ll be there. All in all, in spite of my general laziness, it seems like a realistic task. However, my neck of the woods is also currently in the midst of a heat wave that renders painting more complicated than it needs to be — so wish me luck! πŸ˜‰

Oh, and in addition to being my first (and probably only vow) for this year’s ETL, this guy also counts as an entry for Azazel’s “Jewel of July” challenge.

So keep your fingers crossed for me, as I brave the hot weather in an attempt to get this guy finished in time! It goes without saying that I would love to hear any feedback you may have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

A Child for the Warrior King, pt.1

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2018 by krautscientist

Most of my recent hobby time has been spent working on characters for my INQ28 collection — and rightly so, because I have been having a blast powering through all of those neglected models that have sat in the cupboard of shame for ages.

But the ruinous powers demand observance every once in a while, so to prove that my allegiance still lies firmly with the pantheon, let me show you something related to my other big ongoing hobby project – Khorne’s Eternal Hunt – again. So what is this about?

Long time readers of this blog might remember this guy: Gilgamesh, the Warrior King:

Building and painting an allied Renegade Knight for my World Eaters easily remains one of my most complex and involved hobby projects so far — and one that, incidentally, even got me mentioned on the GW page.

In fact, if you want to read up on Gilgamesh, a comprehensive collection of posts on the project can be found if you follow the link above this picture.

But why bring Gilgamesh up yet again? Don’t I have anything new to show you? The reason is that I immediately had to think of the Warrior King when the Forgebane boxed set was released fairly recently:

Arguably the star of the set are the two smaller knights – Armiger Warglaives – that come with it. They are intended as smaller men-at-arms to escort and protect the bigger Imperial Knights, and in that function, they make for a rather exciting addition to the severely limited options of an Imperial Knight player (Forgeworld variants notwithstanding). The models are also rather lovely, which made me feel that I would need at least one of those Armigers in my collection at some point…

But I decided to hold off on yet another boxed set purchase — until a recent visit to Berlin not only provided me with the opportunity to visit the massive temple of hobby goodness that is Battlefield Berlin, but also presented the chance of getting the AdMech half of the Forgebane set for a pretty good price — and I caved in, of course, taking all of those lovely sprues home and poring over them. The fact that the other AdMech models from the set are also rather lovely did, of course, help πŸ˜‰

But back to the Armigers, because it was clear to me that I would have to turn them to the service of the ruinous powers: They would become servants of the Warrior King, accompanying him in battle, scouting ahead and softening up his enemies.

Meanwhile, with fellow hobbyists extraordinaire Biohazard and Jeff Tibbetts (of Queen Bee fame) already on the game as well, I knew I needed to give it my best shot to come up with something suitably cool πŸ˜‰

 

So where to start? In a slightly weird parallel to my approach when originally building Gilgamesh, I actually focused on a slightly unexpected question that nevertheless fascinated me: How to add a pilot to the Armiger Warglaive interior?

Then again, I am in love with the thoughts of these machines actually being defined, to some degree, by the pilots that ride them to battle, and seeing how adding a pilot and a cockpit to the model remains one of my favourite parts of my Imperial Knight project, it probably shouldn’t surprise you to learn that I was feeling just the same way this time around.

That being said, the Armiger is a fair bit smaller than the Imperial Knight, making for an even bigger exercise in managing real estate inside that torso. The good news was that fellow hobbyist Biohazard had already come up with a supremely clean and elegant solution for building a cockpit for the Armiger, using Sentinel and Storm Talon cockpit bitz. The bad news was that I didn’t have access to any of the bitz he used, so I had to cobble something together with the bitz I had.

So here’s what I have to show for my efforts:


As I had already expected, lack of space was even more of a problem this time around. I managed to get it all weged in there somehow, but it was a close thing. From a structural perspective, the Armiger cockpit basically mirrors my build for the bigger Knight’s cockpit, albeit in a slightly stripped down fashion. Here’s a side view, showing you the basic setup, warts and all:

Admittedly, it all looks pretty messy, but once both side walls are in place, all the rough bits of the conversion actually get covered up rather nicely. And while I initially regretted not even building an actual seat underneath the pilot, it turned out the entire area’s not even visible anyway, after everything has been assembled — in fact, it’s such a tight fit that I even had to file the side of the pilot’s right arm flat in order for him to fit flushly into the cockpit.

As for the bitz I used, the part used to represent the engine was a bit of a surprise discovery: It’s a part from the vox relay that comes with the Sector Imperialis Objectives kit. All it needed was a bit of shaving down, and it fit like a charm, and even provided a bit of a headrest. The pilot was mainly assembled around a sentinel pilot body — the torso seemed too pedestrian for me, so I cut it off and replaced it with a Vraksian Renegade Militia torso that had the added benefit of looking a bit like a flight jacket, which seemed like an excellent fit for a pilot πŸ˜‰ I used some Cadian arms and spliced together a head from a Skitarii Vanguard helmet and an Empire flagellant head (for that slightly unhinged look I thought matched a follower of chaos). My overall aim was to come up with a pilot that resembles Barron Harrowthorne, Gilgamesh’s pilot, to a certain degree, while also looking like his subordinate:

I think the finished pilot works rather well in that respect — I regretted not actually having built a seat underneath him at first, but it turned out you don’t really see anything except for the actual pilot once the whole cockpit is assembled:

In fact, I even had to file the side of the pilot’s right arm flat in order for him to fit into the cockpit πŸ˜‰ Oh, before I forget, the controls for the Armiger are actually a shaved down console from a Space Marine Rhino interior panel:

So with the pilot out of the way, I only had the entire rest of the model left to build, right? πŸ˜‰

I started by simply working on the Armiger’s basic assembly. It’s astonishing how much the Armiger works like a smaller Imperial Knight, from a structural perspective, with the whole assembly process eerily familiar, yet slightly simplified. So in addition to actually getting the model’s basic structure built, I was also able to start throwing bitz at the model to see what would stick:

I quickly discovered that some vambraces from the plastic Bloodthirster made for almost perfect leg armour, both because they were a perfect fit and because they provided some instant Khornification πŸ˜‰ In fact, decorating the Armiger is quite a bit easier than working with the Imperial Knight, as far more Dreadnought (or even infantry) bitz are rendered viable for the conversion by the slightly smaller scale.

As a fun surprise, the head from the FW World Eaters Dreadnought Augustus b’Raass gave me last year (and that is rapidly turning into one of my favourite 40k bitz, see here and here) worked rather nicely here as well, although there were several alternatives I also wanted to look at (the simplest option seems to be to just use Defiler face masks on top of the stock Armiger head).

I also decided to add a “mini-banner” between the legs as an opportunity to include some personal heraldry and battle honours. Granted, Armigers are only men-at-arms, but I still think it’s a nice touch for a machine that has probably been serving the ruinours powers for a couple of centuries, at the very least.

During further experimentation, I actually found an even better head for my first renegade Armiger — the one from Forgeworld’s Blood-Slaughterer Impaler:


I think the head adds an istant “Khornate Daemon Engine” feel to the model, plus it’s also a really cool bit in its own right.

The next thing was to figure out what to do with the weapon arms. After giving it a bit of thought, I decided that I would choose a fairly conservative approach for the first round of weapon arms, then try some more adventurous options (like another Ursus Claw, maybe?!) for the second Armiger — just as Talarion has done with his truly stunning Armiger Warglaives.

That being said, I realised that the extosplasma cannons from the Forgefiend kit were a pretty good match for the thermic lance from a scale perspective, so I wanted to try and use one of those for the gun arm.

Here’s my first mockup for the weapon arms:

A chain weapon is a no-brainer for a Khornate Knight, so I decided to keep it. At the same time, I did want to make the weapon look quite a bit more vicious, so I added a spiky bit that also has the added benefit of making the sword look less stubby πŸ˜‰ Since the chainblade completely lacks a cover, I had to come up with a solution that seems at least slightly plausible from a mechanical standpoint. And while the entire element was added purely based on its visual impact, fellow hobbyist TURBULENCE actually came up with a really cool explanation for its presence: Maybe the spike hammers down into an armored vehicle and keeps it in place as the chainblade keeps grinding into the hull?

For the gun arm, it turned out the Forgefiend plasma cannon was really easy to graft to the Armiger’s upper arm by simply cutting a matching hole into the upper side of the gun — it even retains the full mobility and poseability of a stock Armiger arm!

While the weapon is surprisingly close in proportion to the Armiger’s stock thermic lance, it is just a little bit clunkier — I do think the pose helps mitigate the added mass, though.

So with both the basic assembly as well as the weapons taken care of, all that was really left was the final round of cleanup and detailing. It was tempting to go overboard with decoration, but when all is said and done, this is just a man-at-arms for Gilgamesh and his pilot, the Baron Harrowthorne, so it was important to both make the machine look suitably chaotic, but to also know when to stop adding detail before the model ended up looking more ostentatious than the bigger Knight. Keeping that in mind, here’s the finished look I settled on, some minor cleanup work notwithstanding:



It’s not that easy to make out in the pictures, but I’ve added teeth to all the armour plates, mirroring a design element you see often on the more recent chaos plastic kits. I also tried to replicate the battle damage you see on the Bloodthirster vambraces on the upper leg armour, to tie both elements together.

Oh, and while I was at it, I changed the one element that I really don’t like about the stock Armiger: Those weird twin coils/stabilisers/whatever on the back of the legs. I think it works much better like this:


What’s really great about the kit is that, as has been the case with the bigger Imperial Knight, it’s possible to keep the top carapace plate detachable, so we can still get a good look at the pilot and cockpit:

In fact, such a setup is actually preferrable, because it also allows access to the arms. So whatever crazy weapons options I come up with for the second Armiger could theoretically also be swapped in on the first model — I really like added flexibility like that!

So that’s it — my first Renegade Armiger Warglaive.Β To be honest, it took me quite some time to find the right approach for the model, and I am all the happier for it with the finished conversion! This model was originally planned as yet another entry for Azazel’s Assembly April challenge, but then I ran a bit too late to make it, and I am actually glad to have taken some extra time to get it just right — maybe I’m at least in time for this year’s ETL event over at The Bolter & Chainsword…?!

Until then, however, I would love to hear your thoughts on the model! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

ETL V: Daemon Days

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2016 by krautscientist

So in spite of rather sad recent events, I did manage to get some hobby time in — but then I did have an incentive, too! Once again, The Bolter & Chainsword is running its annual “E Tenebrae Lux” event, and once again, I have decided to join in on the fun — once more on the side of chaos, of course. Unlike last year, however, I fully intend to complete my vow this time around, and I can already happily announce that I have managed to make some headway! But we’ll be getting there in an minute.

One reason for failing to complete the models I had pledged last year was because I was simply too ambitious, including my Chaos Knight in the deal and then failing miserably to deliver. Granted, Gilgamesh did see completion eventually, so it all ended well enough, but I wanted to take it a bit more slowly this time around. So I went through my collection of unpainted chaos models and chose an ensemble of miniatures that would present a realistic challenge — but equally important was to choose some models that I really, really wanted to finally see finished! So here’s what I came up with for my first vow:

EL 2016 1st vow (1)
From left ro right, a counts-as Skulltaker that was converted when the Skullreapers/Wrathmongers were released, a converted Kastelan Robot now pledged to Khorne’s Eternal Hunt, and finally: Lord Dumah, the 4th assault company’s Apothecary. This last model had already been a part of my failed 2015 vow, and I have already made several attempts at painting it — so many, in fact, that I was just about prepared to consider the model jinxed for a while there. So he would definitely have to be a part of this year’s vow, if only in order to finally break the spell πŸ˜‰

Before I started in earnest, however, I needed something fun and easy to get me in the mood: It has been quite some time since I painted my last World Eaters, so something to ease me back into the flow of things.

Fortunately enough, an idle half-hour’s work provided just the thing: I came acorr the huge icon of Khorne that originally belonged to the Bloodsecrator model from the Age of Sigmar starter box. But while the piece was brilliantly designed, it was also freakishly huge and certainly too big to be lugged around by a mere footlslogger… but then I started thinking about turning it into an optional banner to be mounted on my Chaos Knight, Gilgamesh, and then things just started falling into place. And I ended up with this:

Gilgamesh with banner (5)
Gilgamesh with banner (1)
Gilgamesh with banner (4)
Gilgamesh with banner (2)

As you can see, the icon’s size is indeed pretty much ideal for a Chaos Knight! And I was lucky enough to find a leftover piece from an old model truck kit (I am really getting quite some mileage out of those old leftovers, come to think of it!) that neatly fit into the hole at the center of the Knight’s carapace. Painting the icon itself was a quick and fun affair, because I could really make the most of the brilliantly executed bone texture:
Gilgamesh with banner (3)
It was mostly a matter of basecoating, then washing with brown wash, and then appyling two quick sets of selective drybrushing. That first coat of paint was a bit of a slog though, as it was pretty hard to get the paint into all those nooks and crannies.

Anyway, I am pretty happy with the result, especially since this was mostly just a fun little gaiden project πŸ˜‰ Possibly my favourite part is how the icon neatly slots neatly into that hole in the middle of the top carapace without any need for glue or magnets. So I can add the banner or take it off again at will — maybe it could even work as some kind of extra equipment?! Whatever, I imagine Baron Harrowthorne just has the Sacristans mount it in place whenever he is feeling especially Khornate… πŸ˜‰

So with this small appetiser out of the way, I turned my attention to the first proper ETL model. I chose the Skulltaker conversion as the first model to work on:

Counts as Skulltaker WIP (1)
There was a reason for this, too: Ever since I first watched Duncan Rhodes’ very interesting two-part video series about painting the plastic Bloodthirster, I have wanted to try that recipe on a model of my own. And the Skulltaker conversion seemed like the perfect occasion to give it a try, both because I wanted the model’s skin to resemble that of Duncan’s Bloodthirster, and because I needed a model to serve as a “test run” to see if the recipe might work on my own Bloodthirster as well at some point in the indeterminate future.

So I faithfully reproduced almost the entire first video on my own model (albeit using far smaller brushes, for obvious reasons πŸ˜‰ ), and after a short while, I had this:

Skulltaker PIP (1)
The skin was mostly painted with several passes of drybrushing using different shades of red, rounding things off with a coat of the Bloodletter glaze and the application of some final highlights on the most prominent parts. I really loved the result and felt like I was definitely on to something here!

For the second half of the paintjob, I decided to deviate from Duncan’s tutorial: With the model’s skin looking fairly different from the red appearing in my World Eaters army, I decided I wanted to use the armour and weapon to create a bit of visual consistency, so I painted those areas using the same recipes for brass and daemon weapons that you can also see on my World Eaters. So only a short while later, the model looked like this:

Skulltaker PIP (4)

I was actually really happy with the result, and all that was left at this point was to add some finishing touches and to provide the models with a suitable base, so that’s what I did. Now under normal circumstances, IΒ  I am not a big fan of skull bases, but it did feel appropriate to use one, just this once πŸ˜‰

So here’s my first completed model for this year’s ETL, base and all: Calvarax the Exalted, my counts as Skulltaker (actually my first daemon of Khorne, strangely enough…):

Calvarax the Exalted, counts as Skulltaker (1)
Calvarax the Exalted, counts as Skulltaker (4)
Calvarax the Exalted, counts as Skulltaker (6)
Calvarax the Exalted, counts as Skulltaker (7)
Calvarax the Exalted, counts as Skulltaker (8)
Calvarax the Exalted, counts as Skulltaker (9)
Calvarax the Exalted, counts as Skulltaker (10)
Calvarax the Exalted, counts as Skulltaker (11)
Calvarax the Exalted, counts as Skulltaker (12)
Calvarax the Exalted, counts as Skulltaker (13)

And here’s a closer look at the (admittedly somewhat tacky) skull base:

Calvarax the Exalted, counts as Skulltaker (14)
Like I said, one thing that was important to me was that, although there would be a clear (and intentional) difference between the colours used on the daemon and the colours used on my World Eaters, the model would also feature enough visual touches to read as an ally to Khorne’s Eternal Hunt. And I think the sword and bronze part of the armour do a pretty good job with achieving that. Take a look:

Lorimar & Calvarax

I am really very happy with the model, to be honest! It may not look like it, but I really moved beyond my comfort zone with this piece, especially when it comes to the recipe for the skin! By the same token, I can only recommend you check out Duncan Rhodes’ video tutorials linked above, as it really provides a teriffic and very well-explained approach to painting Khornate daemons!

And with that, my first model for ETL V has been completed. Next up, that blasted Apothecary that I couldn’t seem to finish yet πŸ˜‰

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

Calvarax the Exalted, counts as Skulltaker (3)

Imperial Knights: Renegade — Gilgamesh Triumphant!

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2016 by krautscientist

A short interlude today, before I return with a more sizeable new post soon: With the release of Imperial Knights: Renegade, Chaos Knights are now very much a thing, even for those who shun the rules by Forgeworld (that have already been available for some time now). Due to the strange ways of the webway, I am pretty certain that the new rules will find their way to each and every Chaos player in pretty short order, and there is much rejoicing about this turn of events.

What makes this even better though, at least for me, is that my very own Chaos Knight, Gilgamesh, has actually made it into GW’s daily blog as one of the examples for converted Renegade Knights. Yay!

Gilgamesh on GW blog 01
Now I should probably be far more nonchalant and humble about this whole thing, but I simply cannot pull it off: Gilgamesh remains my biggest and most involved hobby project to date, and one that I am incredibly proud of, so to see him being featured on the GW site like this just makes me incredibly happy! Thanks so much to all the fellow hobbyists who brought this to my attention. And to the content managers at GW, obviously πŸ˜‰

But this post should have some kind of use beyond allowing me to talk about how great I think I am, right? πŸ˜‰
So, to all those of you who are now looking at the option of adding a Knight or two to their Chaos armiesΒ with renewed interest, on account of the new rules, maybe my collected posts about converting and painting my own Chaos Knight may prove helpful, so feel free to check them out here:

PRELUDE

– THE BUILDING –

PART I
PART II
PART III

– THE PAINTING –

PART I
PART II
PART III
PART IV
PART V

Also make sure to take a peek at this companion post over at Dark Future Gaming, where I discuss some of the excellent conversions that have inspired my own take on the Chaos Knight, because I am really standing on the shoulders of giants here!

The only cloud on the horizon here is how the ‘Eavy Metal Team seemingly didn’t convert and paint a dedicated posterboy Renegade Knight for the new game but rsther decided to paint over the heraldry of an already completed, pretty sweet loyalist model:

ImperialKnightRenegadeSeriously, guys: You have already painted a score of these beasts. Would one more really have killed you…?

But all in all, this has been an amazing surprise, both from a general hobby perspective, but also for my personal hobby life!

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! πŸ™‚

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (12)

The 2015 Eternal Hunt Awards, pt. 3: A look back at my hobby year

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2016 by krautscientist

Awards

Welcome everyone to this third and final installment of the 2015 Eternal Hunt Awards. After the last post’s lofty heights, we are back to my own measly models — I hope the contrast won’t be too jarring! πŸ˜‰

But then, it wouldn’t be the Eternal Hunt Awards without a good look at my own hobby year — and besides, I am far too vain to omit this part. So allow me to share some of the models that I am particularly proud of as well as some of my favourite hobby moments from the last year.

I. My hobby projects

Some of you may already know that, from a personal perspective, 2015 turned into a pretty awful year for me just around the halfway mark. In spite of this, strangely enough, it was also a pretty successful hobby year. Go figure!

You wouldn’t know it from the sheer numbers, though, as I only managed to complete about 25 models, all in all. That’s quite a bit less than my 2014 turnout, at first glance, and really doesn’t sound like a whole lot of new stuff, right?

Well, the good news is that among those 25 models are some pieces that I am especially proud of — indeed, some of them are models that I have wanted to paint for years. And I also tackled at least one hobby project in 2015 that really moved beyond anything I had tried up to that point. But all in good order:

 

1. Khorne’s Eternal Hunt

2015 was very much a World Eaters year for me, with Khorne’s Eternal Hunt once again being one of the most important projects over the last twelve months and seeing quite a few additions.

You may remember this picture from about the same time last year, showing a pretty big part of my army:

Khorne's Eternal Hunt 2014 02
But since 2015 saw me adding quite a few models to the force, a proper new army picture was in order. So I trooped out the entire army for a photo shoot back in spring. Here’s Khorne’s Eternal Hunt in its current incarnation:

army shot 01 big colour

The army currently stands at about 4,000 points, give or take. Not a massive Apocalypse force, by any means, but still the culmination of several years of work — and still my favourite hobby project!

So let’s take a closer look at some of the new conscripts, shall we?

The year started strong, due to my participation in the 2014 Call of Chaos over at The Bolter & Chainsword. I really gave it my all and managed to paint four pretty cool models for the event:

Call of Chaos vow 2014 (2)

The truescaled version of Kharn had already been completed in late 2014. The Maulerfiend kept fighting me every step of the way, true to form, earning the name Gorespite in the process. Converting yet another Dreadnought/Helbrute was, once again, quite a bit of fun. And then there’s this gentleman, my last model of 2014 and my first model of 2015 (completed between the years, so to speak): The Doomwall, a converted Chaos Lord wearing a suit of Mk I-ish Terminator armour:

The Doomwall (6)

I am still immensely pleased with this guy, mostly because I think I’ve really managed to bring the Mk I armour into the 21st century, visually, while also making it look suitably chaotic.Β  There’s also a sense of bulk and menace to the model that I really like.

Read more about the Doomwall here.

 

The true star of the show when it comes to Chaos Lords was this guy, however: Lord Captain Baltus Lorimar, supreme commander of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt:

Master of the Hunt 02
Since Lorimar is such an important character in my army’s narrative, it has literally taken me ages to finish him: The model was converted all the way back in 2012 (and after much deliberation and several attempts, no less), but it was only this last year that I finally worked up the courage to paint it — something for which I have to thank my buddy Biohazard, as we engaged in a mutual challenge to finally finish our respective army generals.

Anyway, having worked on the model over such a long time, it was really liberating to finally complete it. And I also think Lorimar makes for a worthy Master of the Hunt. Here’s the Lord Captain among his personal retinue of Chaos Terminators, Lorimar’s Fist:

Lord Captain Lorimar and retinue (2)

What’s more, since Lorimar is such an important character for the 4th assault company, I even made sure to have both a 40k and a Horus Heresy era version of him in my collection:

Lorimar then and now

The 30k version was mostly built and painted by AgnostosTheos — I did add the hands and weapons, though, transforming the model into a fairly plausible representation of a younger Captain Lorimar.

And finally, to top things off, two different hobbyists provided me with some excellent artwork of Lorimar. I love both pieces to bits, be it Greyall’s brilliant illustration of the Lord Captain tearing a Daemon Prince(ss?) of Slaanesh to pieces…

Lord Captain Lorimar by Greyall

Lord Captain Lorimar by Greyall

…or Bloodygoodtime’s wonderfully charming sketch of a slightly more cartoony, yet suitably brooding, Lorimar:

illustration by Bloodygoodtime

illustration by Bloodygoodtime

I realise, of course, that Lorimar is essentially just one slightly bigger Chaos Terminator — but he was one of the most important projects of 2015 for me, and finally having finished the model and being able to place him amidst his followers feels great!

Read more about my work on the model here and here.

 

And while we are on the matter of World Eaters characters, here’s another little guy in red I added to my army as a special guest star, if you will: My own version of Aaron Dembski Bowden’s excellent Lheorvine Ukris, easily my favourite character from The Talon of Horus:

Lheorvine Ukris (9)

Coming up with a model to fit both the description in the book and a certain piece of artwork was quite a bit of fun — and let’s face it, Lheor’s just so awesome that I needed him in my World Eaters army, if only as a cameo πŸ˜‰

Read more about the model here.

 

2. The Warrior King

While this project was also completed as part of my World Eaters army, strictly speaking, it was still monumental enough for me to deserve its own sub-section:

One of my hobby resolutions for 2015 was to paint the Chaos Knight I converted last year. And it is with quite a bit of pride that I can call this particular mission accomplished. Meet Gilgamesh, the Warrior King:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (12)
In all fairness, if you are a regular reader of this blog, there’s no way you haven’t seen this model before. But I hope you’ll forgive the repetition, because Gilgamesh is really far beyond anything I’ve ever done before, so I am really immensely pleased with having finished him.

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (13)
Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (4)

There are many parts of the model I am really proud of, but possibly the biggest achievement was the inclusion of an entirely kitbashed cockpit in order to house the Knight’s pilot, Baron Augustus Melchiah Harrowthorne:

Chaos Knight Gilgamesh, the Warrior King (22)
I think it’s an addition that really sells the model for me, because it just adds so much character. In fact, inspired by JeffTibbetts’ groundbreaking work on his Queen Bee, I also tried to hint at a deeper narrative behind this ancient warmachine wherever I could, adding things like battle honours, campaign badges or the bloody handprints adorning the Knight’s shin armour — a detail based on a very nifty idea originally supplied by fellow hobbyist dantay_xv.

Possibly my favourite part about this project has to be how it all worked out in spite of a near-catastrophic undercoating mishap right at the beginning — and there I was fearing I had managed to ruin an extensively converted model worth more than 100 Euros for a moment…

Oh, and let’s not forget that the project also increased my, already considerable, admiration for GW’s Imperial Knight kit: It’s so beautifully engineered and well-explained and goes together so woderfully that I shouldn’t really have been so afraid of the task beforehand!

In fact, this whole project was such a blast that I returned to the Warrior King later in the year and created an Epic-scaled version of the Knight, just for the heck of it:

Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (1)

Now I can hardly wait for a re-released version of Adeptus Titanicus, so my “Chibi-Knight” can reap skulls for the skull throne πŸ˜‰

Anyway, in case you’re interested, feel free to read up about the Warrior King and his smaller brother.

 

3. “Iron Within, Iron Without!”

This small project gets a special mention because it transformed from a mere test into something legitimately fun and engaging.

Everything started when I decided to use an Iron Warriors Warsmith I had converted ages ago as a test piece for trying out the Leadbelcher spraypaint I wanted to use on my Chaos Knight (short version: The spraypaint is pretty awesome, unless you use it in too hot weater and from too far away). Here’s the model that came out of that test, Warsmith Greimolt Sturm:

Warsmith Greimolt Sturm 01
While the model was merely intended as a test piece, I liked the result enough to start converting some more Iron Warriors to accompany their Warsmith. Thanks to some Dark Vengeance Chosen models kindly provided by Commissar Molotov, I came up with a small gang of Iron Warriors that explore the various archetypes present in the legion, from an Apothecary harvesting geneseed from fallen loyalists to a Breacher batting aside all opposition with his massive shield. So far, only three models have been completed, but this killteam is a fun project that I definitely want to return to at some point in 2016!

Iron Within

Check out my work on the Killteam here and here.

 

4. On the road to Heresy…?

I was never all that interested in starting my own Horus Heresy themed project, both because the thought of having to work with that much resin seemed very unappealing to me and because I found the prospect of having to paint the World Eaters’ Heresy era colour scheme fairly daunting.

However, with the release of Betrayal at Calth, the first point became moot, and I wanted to at least see for myself whether or not that blue and white heraldry would be as hard to paint as I had feared. So I did paint my first Heresy era World Eaters, after all. And I must say that I am really pleased with the result so far:

30k World Eaters test models (3)

In fact, the painting turned out to be a ton of fun, especially when it came to sponge-weathering and using a glaze to create the dirty, off-white armour — the experience was almost liberating, to tell you the truth!

So there will be more Heresy era World Eaters, that much is already decided. Don’t expect a full-blown army anytime soon – or at all – though: While this should be a great way to explore an earlier iteration of my favourite 40k army, it will be a rather deliberate process, favouring characters over massed ranks. A killteam seems like a sensible place to start, there will obviously be some of the characters I have already built. And that tweaked Contemptor I have already shared here on the blog. Beyond that, it’s all up in the air. If it all spins off into an army project at some point, that’s great. I wouldn’tcount on it, though, so please don’t hold your breath! πŸ˜‰

For now, I am pleasantly surprised that painting the WE Heresy scheme has turned out to be such a cakewalk: I knew that if I were to do any Heresy models, it would have to be World Eaters after all, but the fear of pulling off that white scheme really scared me off. And now I have stumbled upon a recipe that makes it all so easy and pleasant — and I’ll be sharing it with you shortly. Scout’s honour! πŸ˜‰

Oh, and as if I needed any more justification to further pursue this particular project, the post showcasing my first test model actually attracted exactly 888 views:

BftBG

It seems that Khorne approves…

 

So yeah, so much for the Traitor Legions. Expect to see more of these guys in 2016 πŸ™‚

Traitor Legions Class of 2015 (3)

 

 

5. The world of INQ28

Another of my resolutions for 2015 was to complete more models for INQ28, having finished a measly four characters in 2014:

INQ28 class of 2014
And while I still didn’t complete a deluge of characters by any stretch of the imagination, I think we can still call this endeavour a success as well. Take a look at the “Class of 2015”, so to speak:

Inquisitor Class of 2015 (3)

12 new models for my INQ28 collection, all in all. Although I have to admit that I didn’t build and paint all of the models in the picture: The Astropath model was kindly donated to me by the legendary Ron Saikowski — and subsequently named “Skorin Saikov” in his honour:

Model converted and painted by Ron Saikowski

Model converted and painted by Ron Saikowski

What I especially love about the model is how it’s a rather cunning recreation of one of John Blanche’s illustrations:

Insignium p1-10:-

Interestingly enough, there was actually another model similarly based on a piece of JB art and very kindly given to me by Drone21c. Meet the Arch-Deaconne:

The Arch Deaconne
This time around, at least the paintjob is mine πŸ˜‰ In any case, I think it’s utterly stunning that people not only create those wonderfully Blanchian models, but also send them to me. Nuts!

Anyway, so I did manage to put out more models. But I’ll also consider the project a success because I actually completed some of my best INQ28 work so far, if I do say so myself, such as my very first true scale Astartes, Praetor Janus Auriga of the Golden Legion:

Praetor Janus Auriga (13)

Or Sister Euphrati Eisen of the Order of the Martyred Sword:

Sister Euphrati Eisen (10)
There’s Interrogator Brynn Yulner, who started out as an okay conversion, but only really came into his own once I swapped his legs for a set of Tempestus Scion legs at the eleventh hour:

Interrogator Brynn Yulner (2)
I am also rather happy with the paintjob, to be honest.

I also began building and painting an AdMech-centred warband that has been a lot of fun to work on so far:

Adeptus Mechanicus Magi and Chimeric Servitor (2).

I painted one of Jes Goodwin’s classic Eldar Warlocks which was quite a bit of fun and a very nice change of pace:

Eldar Warlock (1)
Eldar Warlock (4)
Seeing how the model features some lovely retro touches (such as the fur collar), I also endeavoured to paint it in a slightly Oldhammer-ly way (I am especially pleased with the leopard/ermine pattern on the fur, if I do say so myself).

And finally, one model I am particularly fond of is my tough-as-nails Hive Cop Remus Ingram, finally finished this last year:

Remus Ingram (1)
This is actually one of my oldest INQ28 conversions, which makes me even happier that I have finally managed to paint him — I still like that base model enormously, by the way, and I also think the conversion is pretty clever, albeit not all that complex πŸ˜‰

Tell you what, here’s actually a bit of a call-forward to 2016: I’ve wanted to give Remus a Cyber-Mastiff for quite a while now, although I never had a suitable model. Yet when I won the Malifaux Relic Hunters box in Miniature Tim’s raffle last year, the dog included in that kit provided an excellent base model for that plan. And so my first INQ28 model this year – and indeed my first model for 2016 – turns out to be…a dog. Huh.

Cyber-Mastiff (1)
Cyber-Mastiff (2)
I didn’t convert the model too heavily, both because I rather like the stoic nature of the base model and because I wanted it to still be relatable to as a dog, and not as a vat-grown, ‘roided-out monster: I merely added some cabling running along the back, a small electrical coil and some AdMech gauges on the collar and a bionic eye to show that some augmetics had been put in place. All in all, I am really rather happy with the outcome. As several people have remarked, the bionic eye makes the pup look rather sophisticated πŸ˜‰

Cyber-Mastiff (3)
I also think the two work together rather nicely, even if the dog is quite a beast:

Remus Ingram and Cyber-Mastiff (2)

Anyway, INQ28 is really my other big passion in this hobby, and I am really happy to have been more productive at it in 2015. I think I’ll try to keep it up in 2016 as well! πŸ˜‰

Inquisitor Class of 2015 (2)

 

 

II. My favourite hobby moments

Once again, in addition to finishing some models I am really immensely proud of, the interactions with other hobbyists, bloggers and forumites were probably the best part of my 2015 hobby life: From people like Ron Saikowski and Drone21c sending me their Blanche-inspired models to Miniature Tim being awesome enough to not only give away a huge box of stuff as part of a raffle, but to also send it halfway across the world to my doorstep, it has been – once again – a year of humbling generosity and general awesomness.

In a time where everyday politics seem to be defined once again by petty nationalism and disconcerting “The boat is full!” propaganda, it’s a nice counterpoint to be in contact with people all around the globe who are being so supportive and generous. Just take my growing list of “bitz-buddies”: bitzbuddies2015

Or Augustus b’Raass sending my Khornate merch — where does he get that stuff?

Merch for the Merch God
Or the story of the Vaettir:

The Vaettir in his new home
Or any number of additional smaller and bigger moments of cameraderie that have become so central to this hobby for me. Granted, we live in complicated times, and one cannot simply equate sending little pieces of plastic around the world to very pressing political issues. But I do know that this kind of international comradeship has really made me appreciate the avenues of communication open to us today as well as the value of peace between nations — gah, I’m being all sappy and overly-grandiose. Sorry for that! πŸ˜‰

Oh, you know what was also awesome? That one time Aaron Dembski-Bowden called my work “breathtaking” on his blog. Seriously, that really happened. Look:

YES!
Yeah, that was pretty amazing…

III. Blogging

Blogging on a regular basis is hard work, as any blogger will tell you. And yet, I persevered, in spite of everything: I published 51 posts in 2015 and attracted 224,401 views from over 90,000 visitors. What’s more, I also managed to reach the mark of 500,000 views overall, which I think is pretty cool!

Oh, and I learned what happens when one of my posts – the one about the fun one can have with the freebie Liberator included with a copy of WD back in July, in this particular case – gets shared in the right Reddit-thread:

Reddit

 

So a very heartfelt thank you must also go to all you beautiful readers and commenters! Thanks for reading all of this pointless rambling! And thanks for getting in touch and participating in the discussion! I always love to hear any feedback you might have, so keep the comments coming, alright?

 

So yeah, so much for 2015. And what’s in the cards for 2016? I don’t know. A new job, hopefully! Some new blog posts, certainly. And one thing that I am pretty sure about is that there will be more little plastic men — the majority of them unpainted, I fear. But we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it πŸ˜‰

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