Archive for conversions

The Master of the Hunt — Reborn! (pt. 1)

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2019 by krautscientist

Another chaotic WIP post of sorts this week, although this is actually my way of sharing something that I have already teased in my previous post — so what is this about?

As some long-time readers of this blog may or may not remember, aΒ  couple of years ago, I made this guy:

Lord Captain Lorimar, the Master of the Hunt, commander of “Khorne’s Eternal Hunt”, the remnants of the World Eaters’ 4th assault company. Easily one of my my most involved conversion projects, if only it took me so long to get the model right:

I have talked – at length – about what went into creating this guy and about what a huge project it was for me to nail down the exact look I wanted for a character of whom I had a pretty good idea in the back of my head. And while I don’t want to reiterate the entire journey of creating the model (just follow the link above and read up on the whole story, in case you’re interested), building Lorimar was a very iterative process with many starts and stops. The process also resulted in what I thought back then would be a definitive version of the Master of the Hunt.

But then this guy happened:

And I just couldn’t stop wondering — what if…?

It was always clear that the update Abaddon would be a monster of a model — and he is! But I am a converter and kitbasher by nature, so I wanted to have a go at doing something with the building blocks provided by the new model –the sheer challenge appealed to me: Would it be possible to create a model that didn’t immediately read as Abaddon? There was also the fact that I still had some spares of the most important bitz I had used to create the original Lorimar model, namely the head (from the priest riding atop the WFB/AoS warshrine of chaos), sword (from the WFB/AoS Chaos Lord on Manticore) and axe (from one of the Dark Vengeance CSM Chosen). These bitz were originally intended for building a version of Lorimar riding a juggernaut of Khorne. But I just couldn’t stop thinking about a conversion involving them and the new Abaddon model…

For a while, I was able to dissuade myself from taking on this project because I figured the new Abaddon model was simply too big — that it wouldn’t really be compatible with the particular bitz I would need to actually sell it as Lorimar. However, a trip to the local Warhammer store disabused me of that notion, as I was able to see firsthand that the new Abaddon, while indeed much taller than your average CSM model, is actually perfectly compatible with just about any existing chaotic weapon, head or what have you. So what was I to do? I left the store with a brand new Abaddon model and got to work…

Now, to make my task even more complicated, whatever model I would come up with would have to match both my 40k version as well as my (yet unpainted) mid-to-late Horus Heresy version of Lorimar:

So I started with a few early mockup steps, and it was surprisingly easy to come up with something already resembling the “Lorimar pose”:

The main objective here was to make the model read as Lorimar, obviously. But, like I said, with a model as iconic as Abaddon, the obvious pitfall would be for the conversion to end up reading as “Sure, that’s Abaddon with a slightly different head”. My approach was therefore to keep as many of the cool parts as I could while also changing around some major stuff, in order to sell the model as its own thing.

The biggest stylistic choice I made towards this end was to “turn the model around”, as it were, that is to have it face into a different direction, thereby matching the pose on my earlier Lorimar models — ironically enough, I have had to do the exact same thing with the 30k version of Lorimar πŸ˜‰

After that, it was mostly a matter of getting some of the visual cues from the earlier versions in place — here’s a couple of pictures from when my mockup was quite a bit further along:



Some of the elements from my earlier Lorimar models were easy to recreate, such as the face, weapons, general pose — and those Bloodletter faces on the shin armour πŸ˜‰

At the same time, it quickly became obvious that I would need to switch around a few things: The Khornate helmet crest I had used on my older Lorimar version, for instance, wouldn’t work, because there was simply less space to work with, so I had to swap in a different crest (shaved off a Wrathmonger/Skullreaper helmet). The (Skullcrusher) shoulder pads wouldn’t work either this time around: Since I knew I wanted to use the brilliant, tattered cape that came with the Abaddon model, I was pretty much stuck with the “official” left shoulder pad, seeing how the cape was sculpted to perfectly conform to the shape of the pauldron underneath. So I had to go with something different on the right shoulder as well and ended up using a shoulder pad from Forgeworld’s Lord Zhufor model — which had the added advantage of sporting some rather lovely World Eaters iconography!

During the conversion process, I kept comparing the new model to the other versions, to make sure it would seem like a natural progression of those designs and still end up similar to both Lorimar’s 30k and previous 40k incarnations:

The breastplate turned into one of the model’s most involved parts: My previous versions of Lorimar are wearing a bandolier of skulls across their breastplates, and that was an element I very much wanted to keep, both because it ties perfectly into the World Eaters’ background lore — but also because skulls strapped to the breastplate are awesome, period. So I made a quick mockup of what this might look like:



And even though this was a really early mockup, it didn’t quite click — in fact, someone over at The Bolter & Chainsword even called the design the “skull tits” — Tsk, tsk πŸ˜‰

In the end, I decided on something quite a bit more complicated and spliced together an entire original, incorporating elements from Abaddon’s stock breastplate (which is brilliant) as well as a couple of skulls from the Citadel skulls kit as well as one particular skull with a Khornate rune from an AoS Slaugherpriest. Take a look:

I started by gluing on the centre skull (without the mandible, by the way. That was added later.). Then I carefully cut the lower two cables away from the stock bit that normally goes on top of Abaddon’s breastplate and carefully glued them on in the right way (making sure they were positioned correctly by making sure they lined up with the cables on the back of his torso). Then I added the right skull (and shortened/shaved away the cable underneath as needed), and then the upper right cable (again, I made sure to line it up with the cable bit on the back piece of the torso). Then I repeated the previous step with the skull and upper cable on the left side.

All of this required lots of dry-fitting and waiting for things to dry. Finicky though this part of the conversion may have been, however, I am really happy to have gone with something a little more complicated in the end: The finished design is one of my favourite parts of the model now.

So here’s the model, with most of the “heavy lifting” already done and dusted:




The next step was to try and attach Abaddon’s cape:




Surprisingly enough, everything fit together rather nicely, with just a few required tweaks on the right shoulder (because I had used a different shoulder pad there).

One thing I am almost perversely proud of is that the model is still ridiculously modular at this point, which I hope should make the painting process somewhat easier:


The tweaks and changes to the model kept getting more and more minuscule at this point, which is always a pretty clear sign that the conversion is basically finished at this point. I still used the opportunity to feature some of the visual cues from the older 40k Lorimar, though, such as the small tilting plates on his shoulders:



So here’s a comparison with the new conversion and my previous 40k Lorimar which I think shows how both really read as the same character — even though the new guy is monstrously tall πŸ˜‰


And here’s the new 40k Lorimar next to his younger, slightly more idealistic Horus Heresy era counterpart: I think there’s quite a resemblance here as well!


Ironically enough, the conversion is also really close to one of my main inspirations back when I originally built Lorimar:

image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

All that is left now, before I can call the conversion finished, is to figure out the final setup of some minor bitz and bobs, such as the collection of bitz used on Lorimar’s tabard:


All in all, however, I couldn’t have been more pleased with the way this conversion has developed so far: I will admit that I was a little afraid that I might have lost my touch, because converting the new CSM didn’t come to me quite as easily as it used to. But working on this conversion has been an absolute joy so far — in all fairness, I actually think the new Abaddon should be the new go-to model for building massive chaos lords. It’ll be interesting to see how much mileage (and variety) we’ll all manage to wring from the sculpt! If anything, I am slightly surprised by how few people seem to have used the model for conversion projects so far. At the very least, I love the fact that fellow hobbyist Gederas has used some of my ideas on his own Abaddon-based Chaos Lord, Khadon Drachstur, but has managed to come up with a very original looking World Eaters lord!

 

So yeah, that’s it for today’s update. It goes without saying that I would love to hear your thoughst on my new Lorimar version, so feel free to leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

#HeroQuest2019: A small relapse…

Posted in Conversions, heroquest, old stuff, Orcs & Goblins, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2019 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, I am currently working on lots of neat projects that I hope I’ll be able to share with you soon. But for today, let us return to my #HeroQuest2019 project, as I find myself drawn back to the world of adventures in a world of high fantasy fairly frequently.

The reason for this is twofold: One the one hand, this has been such an enjoyable project that I just want to keep adding things to it. On the other hand, finishing a HeroQuest model rarely takes longer than an hour or so, so it’s always a fun romp that usually ends in success. And, with the main game system taken care of, I am now free to fill out some blank areas on the map and go above and beyond what’s required for the base game. Plus I may actually have a proper game of HeroQuest coming up later this month, so I had best get my stuff in order until then πŸ˜‰

One very enjoyable option for HeroQuest aficionados is to come up with custom models for characters or monsters that appear in the quests but don’t have dedicated models. I’ve already created several custom models like that, and it has been a lot of fun:

But once you take your first step down this road, there’s a real temptation not to stop before every character has their own dedicated model, and so I keep looking at the HeroQuest quest book for new inspiration. Case in point, “The Trial” from the second edition quest book has a more powerful mummy in it that is described as the corpse of a legendary warrior. And I knew I had an old Tomb Kings skeleton head in my bitzbox that might work rather well for glitzing up a standard mummy…

I started with an (already horribly painted) stock mummy model that was in pretty rough shape — hence I had no qualms about cutting it up πŸ˜‰

And I used some plastic bits to turn it into a mummy champion, so to speak:


Now the bitz I used for this conversion are all a bit more modern than the actual HQ models, but I still think the vintage look is retained. It’s also a really simple conversion, mostly based on swapping in a skeleton head and hand from the old Tomb Kings skeleton warriors, as well as an ancient skeleton hand with sword.

The fun with these conversions is that the aim is not only to convert something that looks cool, but, more importantly, a model that seems plausible within the framework of the vintage HeroQuest look.

Anyway, there was that wonderful moment when the undercoat pulled all of the disparate parts together:

And here’s the finished mummy champion:


The finished model does betray the fact that the mummy I used was in a pretty rough state — working from a “clean” stock model would arguably have led to an even better result. But I am still pretty happy with the model.

One thing that doesn’t photograph too well, unfortunately, but works really well when seen up close, is the glowing eyes and mouth areas:

The glow that’s only suggested in the photo is really arresting when looking at the model from up close.

And here’s a comparison shot with the champion and a standard mummy:

Yup, definitely the embalmed corpse of a powerful warrior, and not just your standard, run-of-the-mill mummy. Yessir πŸ˜‰

Come to think of it, the Return of the Witch Lord expansion has a quest with four special undead monsters called the “Spirit Riders”, and this recipe would probably work really well for them, too. Now if I can just cobble together enough old Tomb King heads… πŸ˜‰

 

The second model I want to share with you today works in a similar way: It’s also a stock HeroQuest model, slightly converted to represent a special character. In this case, it’s a model to count as Grak, the son of the Orc warlord Ulag, defeated by the heroes during an early quest:

As you can see, the conversion is based on a standard HQ Orc: I wanted him to look less like a warlord like his father. In the quest book, Grak kidnaps the heroes after they have slain (or “captured”, if you own the German edition of HeroQuest) his father. Now maybe his kidnapping of the heroes is not only an act to avenge his father, but also to prove how he can become the next Orc warlord. His one bid for power that he must not mess up. But while he may be formidable in a fight, I also wanted him to look like a bit of a doofus πŸ˜‰

The conversion itself was really simple: I merely spliced in some plastic Orc and Goblin bitz. The most important part was Grak’s silly little hood, created by shaving down an old Night Goblin head. Truth be told, the entire Idea was mostly nicked from Luegisdorf’s very nice HeroQuest collection over here, to give credit where credit is due.

Converting Grak was quick work, and so was painting him: I went from blocking in the main colours…

…to an almost finished model in just about an hour:

Again, I really love how knocking out a HeroQuest character or two serves as a nice and easy little palate cleanser every now and then! Anyway, here’s the finished model for Grak, completely painted and varnished:



And here he is next to his dear old father Ulag, both ready to be slain by an enterprising group of heroes

And one last model for today: I really wanted to figure out proper colour schemes for the Men-at-Arms that come with both HeroQuest (at least with the Advanced Quest version) and Advanced HeroQuest:

Seeing how the twelve Men-at-Arms from HeroQuest are the one thing in the box I have yet to paint, I thought it would be smart to start with one of them — and boy oh boy was that less fun than expected:

Don’t get me wrong, I am rather happy with the finished look: It’s renaissanc-y enough to match the model’s design, and also clean and bright enough for HeroQuest’s particular high fantasy flavour (even though those guys are very obviously proto-Empire State Troops).

The way to get to the finished model was less than enjoyable, mostly due to the face: Now the detailing on the face was fairly soft to begin with (with the eyes more suggested than actually sculpted), and the fact that the models have a massive mold line running down the centre of their faces didn’t exactly help. I didn’t end up with much in the way of facial features, so I basically had to paint on a face with the brush. It took quite some doing, and the guy certainly isn’t a natural beauty, but at least he has a face now:


I also realised the guy wouldn’t really qualify as a proper test model without the different weapon alternatives, so I quickly painted those as well:

The Scout:


The Halberdier:

The Swordsman:

The Crossbowman:


So yeah, one down, eleven to go πŸ˜‰ Anyway, I want to keep most of the colour scheme for all of the other Men-at-Arms, with the helmet plume as a way of distinguishing different players’ mercenaries.

So that’s it for today. Dealing with those vintage models is always a wonderful fresh breath of air for me, but that may just be nostalgia. But no, those models are rather lovely in their simplicity and unabashed high fantasy look and feel. Good times! πŸ™‚

It goes without saying that I would love to hear your thoughts on the latest models! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

 

 

Shorty got axe – a look at the new Dwarfs

Posted in Conversions, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , on February 21, 2014 by krautscientist

A word in advance: When GW changed their magazine publications, part of the collateral damage also extended to my regular look at the new releases: Until this month, I always wrote up a comprehensive look at the releases for the new “flavour of the month” army at the beginning of that month. With the releases now arriving in weekly spurts, that approach no longer works, obviously. But instead of doing a partial review each week, thereby cluttering up my posting schedule with additional posts, I have decided to stick with my usual approach, only that the comprehensive review will now be posted towards the end of the month. While also less stressful for me, I hope that this works for those of you actually reading my pointless ramblings on the new plastic crack πŸ˜‰

So, without further ado, let’s cut to the chase: GW’s mags may have changed, but we still get a huge update for one particular army, and this time it’s the Dwarfs’ turn (actually, I was really hesitant to write dwarfs instead of dwarves, until I learned that even Tolkien himself wasn’t all that pleased with the latter way of spelling the plural, so yeah…):

Dwarf Release (1)
The Dwarfs are one of the archetypal fantasy races, along with Elves and Orcs, so everyone interested in fantasy generally has a picture of them in his mind: heavily armoured, bearded warriors armed with heavy axes or hammers. And, indeed, GW’s own treatment of this particular fantasy race has always been patterned after this archetypal look, broadly speaking. Still, I guess we all know what we expect when we hear the word “Dwarf”. So what do we get? And does it look like we all think dwarfs (or dwarves, or dwarrow) should? Let’s take a closer look:

 

Belegar Ironhammer

Dwarf Release (2)
Isn’t this guy actually a bit tall for a dwarf? Anyway, the model has all the hallmarks of both a dwarf and an ostentatious WFB commander model: Beard, check. Hammer, check. Enormous, massively impractical back banner, check. It’s fair to say that Belegar makes for a nice enough centre piece model for any dwarf army!

I do have two minor gripes with the model, though: The first one is the Oathstone, which seems like a slightly dull manner of making the model taller: Personally, I would have preferred a rocky outcrop or something similar. But in all fairness, not only is this purely a matter of personal preference, but the Oathstone is also completely optional, making this a non-issue.

The bigger problem is the model’s face: In my opinion, the face is a point of focus on every model, but especially so for dwarfish characters: Whether you want to go for the “grizzled veteran” look or are trying to take a more humourous approach, the face is a major point in selling a dwarf as a character.
In this case, however, the helmet design actually obsures the face, especially the eyes, leading to a slightly bland look. Now this wouldn’t be all that bad for a rank and file model, but on an army commander, it seems slightly unfortunate. Again, just my personal taste, of course, but I would have liked a more expressive face…

 

Dragon Slayer

Dwarf Release (3)

…which really leads us to this guy: You actually couldn’t get much more expressive than the Dragon Slayer model: The pose is amazingly dynamic, and the stylised dragon head seems like a great way to both add to the model’s dynamism and height and make the character interact with his base in a meaningful way: The slayer really looks like he’s in the middle of throwing himself at a huge enemy, which is basically the perfect look for the character!

At first glance, the face seems a little unwholesome…

Dwarf Release (4)
…but then you remember that this guy has quite likely lost most of his marbles by now, so the pinched, not quite sane expression really works, after all. My one nitpick is that the hair seems a little hokey, because those three-piece hairstyles never ever work. That’s only a fairly minor concern, though: The model looks great and is both iconic and fun — certainly one of the high points of the release for me!

 

Grimm Burloksson

Dwarf Release (5)
Ah, yes, now we’re getting to the steampunk part: Master Engineer Grimm Burloksson surely looks tech-savvy enough, with all the crazy steampunk equipment of his! He also seems like a guy who can really hold a grudge, judging by his facial expression — another really characterful sculpt, even though there is so little actual face visible underneath that huge beard.

As for the various equipment options, the Cog Axe is far more interesting from a visual standpoint than the pointy hand:

Dwarf Release (6)
I also really love the rifle, but the great thing is that you really get to choose which option you prefer with this kit, because Grimm seems quite modular, especially for a one-pose plastic model:

Dwarf Release (7)
Of course this means that, regardless of which options you choose, you also get some bitz out of the deal, which is always a plus. And even though I think that the back mounted furnace may be a bit much, once again, there’s no one stopping you from leaving it off or converting it into something more suitable. In fact, this kind of modularity is something that also extends to the third plastic character:

 

Dwarf Runelord

Dwarf Release (10)
A generic HQ this time, but once again a pretty modular one: The kit gives you enough parts to build your Runelord with several different equipment options and one of two different heads (with the remaining bitz once again a sweet addition to your bitzbox!)

Dwarf Release (8)
The book and hammer combo has a classic quality, for some reason, while the ornate armour really makes it clear that this guy is not you average rank and file dwarf. Personally, speaking, though, I like the tongs gripping a blazing rune even more, both because it’s such a cool and iconic idea, but also because it could be a really cool element to paint!

Dwarf Release (9)
It’s a good thing we get two heads to choose from, though, because it seems like the dwarfen [sic!] faces seem to be a bit hit and miss this time around:

Dwarf Release (11)
The left one seems slightly…strange for some reason, with a fairly angular beard and piggy little eyes. Luckily, the second one is quite a bit better, and once again, it’s easy enough to choose your favourite combination:

Dwarf Release (12)
This versatility and modularity in plastic characters is certainly something I would love to see much more of! All in all, the Runelord is a pretty competently designed model. Good job!

 

Gyrobomber/Gyrocopter

Dwarf Release (13)
Ah, now we are getting to the really quirky stuff! Both the Gyrobomber and Gyrocopter are just unabashedly goofy, and really all the better for it. Of course, a flying machine that seems quite early 20th century-ish may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for me it’s just a part of what makes the WFB universe so eclectic and recognisable!

The bomber is quite a monster, and I am certainly not going to argue for or against its realism. Could it actually stay in the air? Who cares! The bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly either, after all…

Dwarf Release (15)
In all fairness, the rotor design does take a little getting used to:

Dwarf Release (14)
The design is quite effective, though, in that it instantly reads as both a bomber and a dwarfish war machine. There are also some really nice touches, such as the pilot looking like a dwarf version of an WWI biplane pilot (only missing the trailing shawl) and the impressive cluster of bombs:

Dwarf Release (16)
The kit can also be assembled as a Gyrocopter:

Dwarf Release (17)

This flying machine looks like it uses a shortened version of the bomber’s chasssis, making the whole thing look even quirkier, if you ask me: There’s just something about its bublebee-ish proportions that you simply have to love! Using the kit to build a Gyrocopter should also give you lots and lots of leftover bitz, by the look of it.

While I usually like my wargaming serious, these flying machines are just adorable: Yes, they are quirky and goofy and not at all realistic. But they are also totally awesome, and a perfect embodiment of the inherent eclecticism (and even silliness) of the WFB universe, and you’ve got to love them for that!

When it comes to the new infantry kits, the Dwarfs actually yet more combi-kits, making this whole release quite versatile. Let’s take a closer look at the foot sloggers:

 

Hammerers/Longbeards

Dwarf Release (18)
The first combi-kit gives us two varieties of heavily armoured dwards with imposing weapons: The Hammerers really look like they mean business, and I like the correspondence between their two-handed war hammers and the anvil-inspired helmet design! Their armour is also fairly ostentatious and ornate, making them look like the elites they probably are!

Dwarf Release (19)
The Longbeards manage to look even more blinged-out, probably due to their highly ornate axes and helmets and the odd stylised shield popping up. Again, the detail on these is awesome, and they look like the living legends the fluff makes them out to be.

I will be honest with you, though: While I quite like the design of both kits, I somehow cannot shake off the feeling that they look subtly different from the older dwarf kits. And I don’t just mean different as in newer, more recent: The overall design approach seems to have slightly readjusted, and my first impulse was to think that these, while awesome, don’t look like GW models — is that weird?

Granted, the feeling gradually wore off after some time, and I couldn’t really quite explain to you what gave me the impression. But the new armour design seems quite different in places — which, of course, doesn’t have to be a bad thing!

 

Ironbreakers / Irondrakes

Dwarf Release (20)
Another infantry combi-kit, and just like the Hammerers/Longbeards, these guys also seem excellently detailed, with lots and lots of neat little touches. The Ironbreakers also get quite a few equipment options, from hammers and axes to twin pistols:

Dwarf Release (21)
Yeah, that’s the ticket! The picture above serves to illustrate two things, though (apart from the blue armour looking beautiful): One, the bare head’s pinched features once again seem a bit off, underlining the impression that the designers either really nailed the faces or ended up with some pretty …original material, for lack of a better word. The other thing is that this model once again illustrates how the armour design seems quite different from the older models: Look at the legs and feet, for example.

The alternate assembly will give you a kit of Squat…erm Dwarf Irondrakes, wielding what is, for all intents and purposes, flamethrowers:

Dwarf Release (22)
These may actually be the most heavily armoured dwarfs so far, with even their beards appearing as stylised, metal parts of their protective helmets. I really like how the dragon motif is repeated across several pieces of their equipment:

Dwarf Release (24)
And man, those drake guns are awesome: If you’re going to have a steampunk flamethrower, you might as well go the whole hog and make it look like a stylised dragon. And the Trollhammer Torpedo pictured below doesn’t only look awesome, it also wins the award for the best weapon name ever!

Dwarf Release (25)
The different heads used in the combi-kit are once again very interesting, with the Ironbreakers quite heavily armoured, but their natural beards still visible. The Irondrakes, meanwhile, seem to subscribe to the “safety first!” rule, with their protective gear incorporating stylised, metal beards:

Dwarf Release (23)
Another expertly designed kit, and the Irondrakes add yet more steampunk-quirkiness to the army, which is a plus in my book!

My main question for all of the new infantry kits is this, however: How will any of these look next to the older models? Compare the new Longbeards

Dwarf Release (19)
to this…
Dwarf Release (27)
Granted, these are different unit types, and the extra detail in the new kits is certainly a result of better technology being available today. But the difference seems more fundamental, somehow, and it’ll be interesting to see whether these will still read as one army on the tabletop — it seems like I’ll have to wait for Warhammer: Visions 80+ pages of dwarf pictures for my answer, though… πŸ˜‰

 

Conversion options

When it comes to the question of using the new stuff for non-dwarfish projects, that really seems like a bit of a toughie: The models and bitz are usually very recognisable as dwarfish in origin, from the shape of the blades to the dwarfish runes everywhere. Sure, some of the steampunk-y bitz might be useable in various 40k armies, and the dragon-themed accessories from the Irondrakes kit might be an interesting addition to a Salamanders or Black Dragons Space Marine army. But by and large, all of the new stuff seems very dwarfish and rather difficult to adapt to other armies.

The truly interesting approach, then, might be to use the kits and bitz for dwarf projects with a twist: Could it be possible to use some of the new infantry kits as a base for a Chaos Dwarf army? Sure, none of them look especially chaos-y at first glance, but the Irondrakes could become really sinister with some added spikes and horns. And experimenting with the new plastic kits might be quite a bit cheaper than going for FW Chaos Dwarfs…

The real elephant in the room lies in the options for 40k, though: If you’ve ever wanted to build a Squat army, this release should give you lots of useful toys: The Irondrakes and Ironbreakers would need nothing more than some back packs and slightly modernised weapons to fit the 40k look, and Grimm Burloksson even has what looks like a bionic eye, for crying out loud! I think the new kits would make it really easy to build an all-plastic Squat force used as a counts-as Space Marine army of your choice. Just imagine the Gyrocopter/Gyrobomber kit used in conjunction with Storm Talon parts — wouldn’t that be a kitbashing extravaganza?

Granted, the result would be a blast from the past, but if retro is your thing, and you’ve waited for the Squats to make a reappearance, this might just be your best bet!

All in all, I’m going to call this a pretty strong release for dwarf players! Granted, all the armoured dwarfs can get a bit long in the tooth, and the new design paradigm might need some getting used to, but the versatility and modularity of the new kits is really nice! And the sheer quirkiness of a kit like the Gyrocopter almost tempts me into getting one for fun…

Seriously, though: My WFB days are over, and even if I were to return, I wouldn’t choose dwarfs as my army. But the models are still beautiful and just on the right side of humourous, and the release feels comprehensive and creative enough to be interesting nevertheless. And certainly more inspired than the Tyranids’ bread and butter update last month — but that’s just my opinion.

So, what do you think of the new dwarfs? Were you as charmed by the bumblebee-copter? Did you feel the same about the different design? Do you have any crazy conversion ideas for the new kits? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

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

The Eternal Hunt Awards, pt. 1 – The Hobbyists

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , on December 23, 2012 by krautscientist

Awards

Well, it’s been an exciting year for wargamers in general and for my personal hobby life in particular. So with Christmas fast approaching, let me seize this opportunity to take a look at the ups and downs of 2012 from my personal hobby perspective. And what better way to keep tabs on 2012 than by having our own little (slightly improvised) awards show? So here they are, the first annual Eternal Hunts Awards for special hobby moments.

In this first installment, I would like to focus on the people that actually make the hobby what it is: The hobbyists. I was lucky enough to get in contact with lots and lots of talented artists this year, and some of their creations and endeavours really blew me away. So let’s take a look:

 

Best hobby blog 2012

Wargaming hobbyists are very lucky to have such an energetic and creative blogging scene. The internet is chock full of fantastic modelling ideas, great painting advice and creative energy. It’s really rather hard to name my favourites here, seeing how there are so many fantastic blogs and websites. Even so, some blogs were even cooler than the rest. Here’s my top three:

 

1st place: From the Warp

FTWbanner

To tell you the truth, this one at least was really a bit of a no-brainer: Ron is running a fantastic blog over at FTW, and provides awesome hobby content with lots of great tutorials and ideas. I would be hard pressed to nominate any one post of his as my favourite, since all of the content is usually top notch. I discovered FTW fairly soon after getting back into the hobby, and the blog never ceases to inspire and amaze me.

Even though Ron has recently decided to take things a bit slower for a while, FTW still has tons and tons of fantastic backlog content for hobbyists to discover, and I, for one, simply cannot wait for him to post again. Nuff’ said.

 

2nd place: Spiky Rat Pack

spikyratpack_banner

These two guys from way up north are among the most talented artists I had the joy of discovering this year: izeColt and OkkiW are the “Spiky Rat Pack” and provide conversions and paintjobs too awesome to believe on their eponymous blog. They have recently begun what they are referring to as “Punk Moth”, their very own foray into the world of INQ28, and the results so far are amazing. Just look at the venerable Inquisitors Cassar and Pherion and their respective retinues here:

These models were not created by me. Image appears courtesy of izeColt

These models were not created by me. Image appears courtesy of izeColt

These models were not created by me. Image appears courtesy of okkiW

These models were not created by me. Image appears courtesy of okkiW

What I find especially striking about their work is that it has a very Blanchian quality to it, but with a decidedly individual twist. Great stuff! And there’s more where that came from, so check out their fantastic blog!

 

3rd place:-Dark Future Games

DFG_banner

Another staple on my blog diet, and a fantastic blog for wargamers all around: Modelling tips, painting, tactics, or just collections of awesome material from the forums — Dark Future Games has it all. It’s one of those blogs I tend to visit on a daily basis, and I was more than honoured to be asked to contribute the odd piece of guest content by Old School Terminator. What I especially like about DFG is how it’s suitable for all kinds of wargamers without favouring one hobby approach to the exclusion of all the others. So whatever you want from a wargaming blog, there’s a good chance that DFG can provide it. Go check it out!

 

Hobbyist of the year

Really a tough call to make, but some hobbyists stood especially tall in 2012. Here are my favourites:

 

1st place: Ron Saikowski (of From The Warp)

I could just repeat my gushing praise of FTW, but you already read that earlier. Suffice to say that Ron is not only a very talented artist, but also a great guy who will go to great lenghts to explain things in detail, answer questions and make sure everyone is on the same page. What’s more, even though Ron is insanely talented and quite well known among hobbyists, I have yet to “meet” someone who is as humble about it all. Keep it up, Ron!

 

2nd place: Commissar Molotov (of INQ28)

Molotov is a relentless advocate of INQ28 and has been for some time now. Stumbling upon his blog was really an eye-opener for me, but that’s not the best thing. The best thing is that Commissar Molotov, along with a number of highly enthusiastic and talented individuals, was really instrumental for the “INQ28 scene” to come into its own. Oh, and those guys are doing narrative games in Warhammer World that make me wish I was actually living in GB so hard. Oh well…

Anyway, Molotov’s tireless work for INQ28 was immortalised by yours truly in a model:

Molotov XVIII, Arco-Flagellant

Molotov XVIII, Arco-Flagellant

 

3rd place: Biohazard/Doombreed

3rd place goes to my fellow World Eater Biohazard/Doombreed who not only has one of the most inspiring World Eaters threads over on Dakka and Throne of Skulls, but who is also always full of ideas and constructive criticism whenever one of my World Eaters related projects just isn’t happening. Oh, and did I mention his continued generositiy in donating bitz to my cause? In any case, thanks for all the help buddy! πŸ˜‰

 

Best models 2012

Ah well, what can I say? Blogging is all fine and dandy, but in the end, it always comes down to the models, doesn’t it? In a year full of fantastic models, here are the ones that really blew my mind:

 

1st place: PDH’s Inquisitrix Callydia Benadice

This model was not created by me. Image appears courtesy of PDH

PDH has been one of the usual suspects in INQ28 circles for quite some time, with lots and lots of awesome conversions under his belt. But his converted Inquisitrix Callydia Benadice is a step beyond anything he had produced up to that point, and she is also my favourite model of 2012. This bonny lass is everything I expect and Inquisitrix to be: Regal, gothic, very imposing and slightly over the top in all the right places. The model reflects all these qualities and is simply so gorgeous I’d like to eat it. While 2012 has been a year full of fantastic conversion and models, Inquisitrix Benadice is a step above and beyond them all, and that’s why she is my favourite model this year.

Also be sure to check out PDH’s fantastic Dakka thread! for more pictures of the Inquisitrix and her retinue.

 

2nd place: GuitaRasmus’ Nurgle Fly

This model is - unfortunately - not my creation. Image appears courtesy of GuitaRasmus

This model was not created by me. Image appears courtesy of GuitaRasmus

GuitaRasmus is one of those hobbyists who keep on cranking out stuff us mere mortals can only dream of. Every model he does would probably end up winning pretty much any contest it was entered in, and his talent for building and painting world class stuff is more than a little scary. My faourite for this year would have to be his Nurgle-themed chaos flyer, converted from a WFB Arachnok kit. And while the execution is flawless, it’s the little touches that really make the model shine (or, in case of a Nuglite model, glisten πŸ˜‰ ): GuitaRasmus actually converted the eyes to look more fly-like, and – at my humble suggestion, if I do say so myself – decided to paint the fly’s carapace in a slightly metallic hue for that extra disgusting bluebottle effect. We are really lucky that a hobbyist this talented turned to chaos in the first place πŸ˜‰

Be sure to check out GuitaRasmus’ fantastic Dakka thread. Be warned, though: Your own hobby endeavours will invariably look pretty meagre in comparison…

 

3rd place: Biohazard’s Gorehound

This model was not created by me. Image appears courtesy of Biohazard

Again, it is really hard to pick a favourite from among Biohazard’s/Doombreed’s fantastic Khornate conversions and kitbashes. But even though I have a very soft spot in my heart for his scratchbuild Defiler variant (fittingly called the “Bloodstalker”), the Gorehound Titan you see above has got to be my favourite this year, simply due to the flabbergasting scope of the project: That huge beast was kitbashed from nothing but GW plastic parts, and it frankly looks like it could be sold as a regular kit. So while the Gorehound may not be 100% finished at this point, it is definitely worthy of an Eternal Hunt Award!

Many more great conversions and kitbashes can be found in Biohazard’s great Dakka thread.

 

Best armies 2012:

 

1st place: Mayajid’s Metal Beast Mercenaries

Mayajid_Metal_beast

These models were not created by me. Image appears courtesy of Mayajid

The premise does not sound all that captivating: an army of Beastman/Space Marine hybrids. It has been done before, right? Well, I thought so too. But then Mayajid’s Metal Beast Mercenaries simply blew me away: Here’s an army where every single model has been expertly customised to within an inch of its life. And not only are there conversions for every staple in a Marine army, Mayajid also managed to incorporate “40k-ified” versions of all the special characters in the WFB Beastman army book. Combined with the sheer scope of the project and the fact that its creator didn’t cut ANY corners during the completion of this army, that’s more than enough to make Mayajid’s Metal Beast Mercenaries the best army of 2012 in my book!

A single picture does not do these guys justice, so I recommend you head right over to Dakka and feast your eyes on Mayajid’s fantastic army!

 

2nd place: Meade’s Black Legion

 

This model was not created by me. Image appears courtesy of Meade

This model was not created by me. Image appears courtesy of Meade

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This model was not created by me. Image appears courtesy of Meade

This model was not created by me. Image appears courtesy of Meade

Even though I am an avid follower of the ruinous powers (and have been for years), even I have to admit that chaos armies are rarely truly scary. Granted there are skulls and chains and grisly trophies and all that jazz, but only very infrequently do we find a hobbyist who succeeds in making his chaos army look as scary as it should.

Enter Meade: His Black Legion force (pictured above are a Daemon Prince and a Defiler, since I simply couldn’t decide which was cooler) looks like the lovechild of the silent Silent Hill universe and the Film Virus: With lots of gruesome cabling and body horror, Meade’s Chaos Marines look really, really scary. His prowess at painting spectacular OSL effects makes the army shine even brighter. I couldn’t replicate this stuff if I tried, and frankly, I am not even sure I want to: Those guys look like lots and lots of trouble, even if you are on their side πŸ˜‰

Anyway, Meade is a hobbyist who knows how to do chaos right, and that earns him a slot in this year’s Eternal Hunt Awards. Head on over to Dakka and check out the rest of his disturbing creations.

 

3rd place: Migsula’s Inquisitor Silas and Retinue

This models were not created by me. Image appears courtesy of Migsula.

This models were not created by me. Image appears courtesy of Migsula.

Well, maybe it’s not an army per se, but bear with me: Migsula is another very talented artist, and also yet another disciple of the “Blanchian style”. He is also one of the greatest converters I have seen to date, and the amounts of thought and consideration that go into his work are simply outstanding. Likewise, my favourite piece of work of his in 2012, Inquisitor Silas and retinue, is only a small part of an even greater hobby endeavour. I think the models really speak for themselves, so let me just add that you should definitely check out Migsulas’s own blog, if you haven’t already!

 

Well, I think I’ve given you lots of awesome blogs and projects to check out. Those are my favourites, but there were lots and lots of fantastic little plastic men in 2012. What’s more, there were great releases and fantastic personal hobby moments. We’ll be looking at those in the next installments of the Eternal Hunts Awards. Expect those in a couple of days.

Until then, I wish you all a very merry Christmas and hope that you’ll be able to spend it with people important to you. And I also hope you still have time for the odd hobby project over the holidays.

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