Archive for chaos spawn

Beasts of War

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2013 by krautscientist

Today it’s time to check up on the progress of one of my conversion projects from earlier this year: It has been about six months since I posted my first test model for a squad of chaos spawn for my World Eaters. You may remember that I didn’t want my chaos spawn to look like the usual, creepy crawly monsters, but rather recongnisably like former Astartes. That was the birth of “The Forsaken”, those brothers of the World Eaters 4th assault company whose madness and physical corruption have led to their devolution into little more than raging beasts. The models were built using Vargheist/Crypt Horror bodies and Minotaur arms, with lots and lots of GS in between to add the necessary muscle mass to the models’ torsos.

Back when I first talked about the squad, I had already painted a first test model:

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Since these guys are former World Eaters legionaries, it makes a lot of sense that they should share the same colour recipe as my regular World Eaters, so the same colours were used while painting them. However, when compared to the rest of the army, they almost  use an “inverted” colour scheme in that most of the model is defined by the greyish, pale skin, with small pieces of red and bronze armour for contrast.

Anyway, I had two more models left to go, and I decided it was finally time to finish up this squad. Let’s take a look:

Building these was initally a bit of a challenge, since I tried to play it too safe after the first model: The other two bodies that come with the Crypt Horror/Vargheist kit are far more static than the first, and I didn’t really have an idea how to deal with that. So the squad wasn’t really going anywhere until I received feedback from several fellow hobbyists over on Dakka. Maybe the best suggestion came from my buddy Biohazard, who suggested that one of the models should look as if it were taking a moment in the heat of battle to bellow in rage at its next opponent. So that’s the look I tried to achieve with the second model in the squad:

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As you can see, quite a bit of GS was added to build up a set of suitably well-muscled shoulders for the model. While I was at it, I also added some Butcher’s Nails implants to the model’s head and a Triumph Rope scar to its chest and abdomen, to make it clear that this creature was once a noble member of the XIIth Astartes Legion.

So here’s the painted model, recently finished:

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The horrible, open back of the model (where I imagine the combined effects of the physiological changes necessary for becoming an Astartes and the raw forces of chaos have literally begun to tear the wretched creature’s body apart) was painted using Tamiya Clear Red to make it look like a sickening, glistening mess of raw meat. I seriously considered painting the spine in metal for a while, but in the end, decided against it.

Here’s a detail shot of that particular area:

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All in all, I couldn’t possibly be any more pleased with the model’s pose: This guy is looking really angry, and he perfectly embodies what the Forsaken are all about:

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I can almost picture the scene and hear the roar in the back of my head 😉

The third model in the squad has a more crouched position, almost like a huge ape. Here’s the conversion before undercoating:

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Once again, new shoulder muscles, a Triumph Rope and some Butcher’s Nails were added. Since I was running out of suitable Crypt Horror parts at this point, the model received a Vargheist’s hirsute back, giving it an even more beastly, feral look. I also added a crude weapon fist from the WFB Ogre bulls, since I thought the weapon was a nice callback to the World Eaters’ gladiatorial traditions.

Seeing how the model had such an apelike, crouched position, I thought it would be interesting to pose it above the remains of its latest opponent/meal, so I built and painted a fitting base:

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The basic construction uses the usual mix of cork, modelling sand and small pieces of slate. Between the rock outcrops where I eventually wanted to place the model, I added some bones to represent the remains of whatever unlucky creature(s) last had a run in with the Forsaken. A generous helping of Tamiya Clear Red was added to communicate the fact that this meeting had not taken place on amicable terms…

And here’s the finished model that went on top of the base:

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This guy’s pose took ages to get right, and even then, it remained the least exciting among the members of the squad. But seeing the model now, I feel rather pleased with the result: The Forsaken looks like it’s crouched atop a rock after its latest fight/meal, turning around to face its next foe.

Even though I am usually rather hesitant when it comes to adding blood effects – since it’s very easy to go over the top with the blood – in this case, I even smeared some Clear Red on the lower half of the Forsaken’s face: Maybe this guy has indeed recently eaten (*shudder*)…

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And with that, my initial squad of three chaos spawn was finished! I am really happy that I managed to come up with a couple of conversions that fit the overall look and feel of my army. Plus these guys are far less “creepy crawly” than the usual chaos spawn models. Instead of ending up as quivering mountains of flesh, the Forsaken have evolved into the perfect hunters, as befits their master Khorne…

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I also like the fact that I have managed to come up with some fairly unique models. While the Vargheist kit is not all that flexible (and the Crypt Horrors look fairly bare bones out of the box), it offers a fantastic base for conversions, if you’re willing to experiment. It’s strange that we don’t see more conversions involving these guys…

So, what do you think about the models? I’d be happy to hear from you in the comments section! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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The Forsaken

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 14, 2012 by krautscientist

Since the first WIP shots of my converted Chaos Spawn drew some rather positive comments, today I would like to show you the next steps in the model’s (d)evolution.

So where did we leave off last time? Like I previously told you, the Vargheist/Crypt Horror kit has looked very interesting to me for quite some time now. I only lacked a true idea of what to convert from it. But then, the new codex re-established Chaos Spawn as a viable unit choice once again — just what I had been waiting for!

While I think the Chaos Spawn kit has quite a lot of potential, all the over the top mutations didn’t really gel with my army background. So I went for something different. As you may know, my army’s fluff states that the remnants of the World Eaters’ 4th assault company are trying hard to keep the madness that has taken the rest of the legion at bay (which is, of course, a losing battle). Towards that end, those legionaries showing signs of severe physical or mental corruption are singled out by the commanding officers and form the conpany’s vanguard. Called “the Lost Brethren”, these lost souls get one final chance to die in a blaze of glory at the forefront of the battle, before their corruption can overwhelm them (and become a danger for the rest of the company). They have to die, so that the company may endure. But what about those battle brothers who survive, even through all the corruption and slaughter? What would such a creature end up looking like?

Using parts from the Vargheist kit, some WFB Minotaur arms and a couple of additional bitz, I tried to find out.

You already know this picture: This is where I ended up after some fooling around with the parts and some yellow tac. While the Minotaur arms initially seemed rather malproportioned in contrast with the lean Vargheist body, I couldn’t help but feel that this was still the right direction. After all, one of the Lost Brethren would probably devolve even further as time went by, and the qualities that made him strong in the first place would become even more pronounced. I was somehow reminded of the Vampires’ evolution in the Legacy of Kain Series (Dumah, anyone?) while building this guy, to tell you the truth…

Anyway, I liked the basic build of the model well enough, so I added some additional detail:

First of all, the joints between the Minotaur arms and Vargheist torso were built up and blended in with GS. I also added leftover chains and various skulls from different kits to the model. The back of the head was covered in cabling to show the “Butcher’s Nails” the legionnaire had been outfitted with during his days as a battle brother. Again, the cabling was blended in using more GS.

As you can see above, I also added a “Triumph Rope” to the model’s torso, enforcing the impression that this hulking monstrosity was once a honoured member of the 12th Astartes legion and had a string of triumphs to show for it.

All in all, I am very pleased with the conversion: While the proportions may be a little cartoony, I think the model really looks like a devolved Astartes.

When painting the model, I went for the same, pale skin tones I used from the rest of my World Eaters. In addition to that, the model’s shoulderpads were painted in red and bronze to further tie it in with the rest of the force. And while I am usually hesitant to paint blood on the weapons of my models, I made an exception here, since I felt that the Forsaken are very unlikely to clean their weapons between battles. The blood was painted using Tamiya Clear Red.

Here’s the finished test model:

I have to admit that I am not yet 100% happy with the paintjob: I have never used this particular skin tone on such a large scale before, so the result may need some tweaks (as well as some getting used-to). But all in all, I think the model makes for a rather convincing (and pretty original) chaos spawn. The one problem I can see with this conversion is that the other two Vargheist bodies have poses that are quite a bit less interesting and pretty static. So it remains to be seen whether the next two models will end up looking cool enough.

In any case, though, I am prepared to call this test model a success: It’s a hulking, terrifying beast, it looks like it could have (d)evolved from a regular World Eater, and it’s a pretty original take on the whole spawn concept, don’t you think?

All that remained was to think of a suitable background for this poor lost soul:

The Forsaken

There are those individuals among the 4th assault company’s Lost Brethren whose fall has taken them even further. It is the purpose of the Lost to die, so that the company may endure. Their ferocious vanguard assaults often end with all the legionaries wiped out, killed in a last blaze of glory, their last chance at an honourable death.

But there are those whose combat prowess is far too great, even burdened with mutation and insanity. Or those whose corruption is the very thing that made them more resilient. Those legionaries live through the ordeal that was meant to kill them, devolving further and further into mere beasts. They become The Forsaken.

The Forsaken are kept in the fighting pits, located in the bowels of the company’s battleships. Legionaries test their power against them on the Hot Dust, giving these feral beasts a taste of the gladiatorial lifestyle that once defined them and in turn facing the company’s daemons and their own fate, should they give in to the madness.

It is only under the most dire circumstances that the Forsaken will be allowed to participate in battle, for they cannot be controlled, and their deadliness makes them as much of a danger to their allies as to the company’s foes.


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