Archive for dark vengeance

There will be blood — a hands on with the Bloodthirster and Skullreaper kits

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Pointless ramblings, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2015 by krautscientist

In my last post, I promised you an account of my first practical experiences with the new Bloodthirster and Skullreaper/Wrathmonger kits, and today’s post will deal with just this subject. So you may look forward to quite a bit of kitbashing. Huzzah! 😉

But all in good order: Before we do anything else, there’s something that I absolutely need to share with you guys. It would probably be far more modest and professional not to talk about it at all, but I am just too much of a blabbermouth — sorry! 😉

So yeah, here’s what happened over at Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s blog a while ago:

YES!

I was chuffed to bits, as you can probably imagine! Unbelievable! I just couldn’t stop grinning afterwards!

But enough about my ego: I promised you Khornate WIPs, and you shall have them. So allow me to show you what’s been happily bubbling away in the depths of my kitbashing laboratory for the last days and weeks. One last warning, though: Beware ye, who enter here: There be lots of unpainted grey plastic ahead!

 

I. Bloodthirster

I bought my own Bloodthirster on the day of the release, although I hadn’t even planned to: I just couldn’t resist when seeing the box at my FLGS, and seeing how there was still one of the kits available for purchase, I jumped right in. So far, building this model has been a lot of fun, since it continues the trend of well-planned huge kits begun with the Imperial Knight. But let’s take a look at some pictures, shall we?

Bloodthirster Impressions (1)
This is my Bloodthirster after an hour or so. Now I did take it fairly slow, even though it may not look like it: Like I said, it’s a wonderfully engineered kit, and it went together extremely well, for the most part.

For those of of wondering about the size of the model, here he is, next to a standard Space Marine:

Bloodthirster Impressions (2)
The Bloodthirster could always have been bigger, of course, but I am rather happy with the model’s size and bulk. There’s also a very handy scale conversion pic here, for those of you who want to know how the model measures up next to the other Bloodthirster models released so far.

One interesting thing is that nobody forces you to build your Bloodthirster all armoured up: Here’s what he looks like with all the armour plates removed:

Bloodthirster Impressions (4)
In fact, Noctus Cornix’ Bloodthirster conversion (which I already recommended you check out in my last post) goes for a mostly unarmoured look, and it works like a charm!

The only armour you will positively need is that belly plate, since he’ll have a pretty big hole in his torso, otherwise.

Oh, and I know you all want to know about the size of that axe, so here’s another scale comparison for you:

Bloodthirster Impressions (6)
Pretty big, huh? I added some measurements, for those of you who are planning a conversion involving the axe:

axe_measurements
So, what’s in the kit beyond that? First and foremost, you’ll get the option to build either of the three advertised variants, of course. You also get to mix and match between them to a certain degree. I suppose it should even be possible to create new weapons setups (twin axes, for example) with a bit of cutting and gluing. Now when it comes to extra bitz, here’s a a quick overwiev of my observations so far:

  • You get an additional set of arms (for the two handed axe) plus an additional left arm, depending on whether you go with the whip or that – very ridiculous – meteor hammer.
  • There’s an alternate breastplate, loincloth and belly plate. You can mix and match between different setups with these.
  • You get three complete heads (except for a tongue bit that is shared between two of the designs). The leftover heads are slightly larger than those in the plastic Daemon Prince kit, so they might even be usable on your DP conversions.
  • There’s a bunch of chains and talismans of Khorne that you can use on the wings or be used on different models
  • you get two axe heads for the one-handed axe.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the bitz:

Bloodthirster Impressions (5)
I. The optional skull shoulder pad is interesting in that it would possibly work as a facemask on a daemon engine or *gasp* even an Imperial Knight conversion (it works fairly well on an Imperial Knight head — I checked 😉 ).

II. If – like me – you think that flame pillar is a stupid way to elevate the model on the base, you’ll get it as a leftover bit that might make a cool objective marker or something similar…

III. Here’s the alternate armour set you get: Those belly plates work pretty well as bespoke pauldrons for Chaos Terminators. And the breastplate could be used for an Imperial Knight, with a tiny bit of bending.

IV. The chains and talismans for the wings — I think I’ll rather be using these on a couple of different models, as the Bloodthirster seems cluttered enough for my taste 😉

In closing, let me point out two more interesting bitz:

First up, the chaos icon used on the Bloodthirster’s whip:

Bloodthirster Impressions (3)
I think this would make for an excellent squad standard or a back-banner. I also decided not to use it on my Bloodthirster, because I preferred a whip without a bulky object on its end, but the part is still very cool on its own. More on this in a minute!

There’s also the Rogue Trader-era styled bone crown:

Bloodthirster Impressions (7)
As you can see, it comes as a separate bit, so you could also use it on your DPs, juggernauts or even on a Terminator lord (it almost looks like the top of a Terminator torso front anway…).

So, what about my own Bloodthirster, then?

The model is still in its building stage, and I have settled on the axe/whip combo now, because it’s just so brilliantly iconic that I couldn’t resist it. Here’s what the model currently looks like:

Bloodthirster Impressions (10)
Bloodthirster Impressions (8)
I’ve glued the model to the fantasy base for now, so I can have it upright. A couple of observations:

  • As you can see, this guy is fairly massive, even without his wings. I really like that!
  • After much deliberation, I chose the asymmetrical axe head: While the other axe is beautifully designed, it just looks slightly wrong to me, held at that particular angle — more like the ‘Thirster is presenting it to the audience. The asymmetrical version doesn’t have that problem, at least not to the same degree, and looks like he is actually preparing for a swing, so it was definitely the way to go for me.
  • You wouldn’t believe how much messing around it took to sort out that whip arm — the instructions are slightly ambiguous, with pictures that aren’t all that helpful, so getting the whip into a position where it both cleared the floor and didn’t interfere with the head did take some doing. In all fairness, however, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem if you use something to elevate the model a bit on its base. As you can see, I also left off the chaos star, shaving down the whip so it tapers down into a pointy end instead — this seems more natural and plausible to me, plus I got to keep that burning chaos star for something else 😉

Most of the assembly work has been completed at this point: Only the wings remain, and they seem like a fairly straightforward affair. All in all, the model really went together very well for such a huge piece, with well-planned seams making the model look organic and natural — well, as natural as a daemonic killing machine the size of a house could ever realistically look, at least…

That’s not all though: At the same time, I have also been using some leftover bitz on some other projects:

Since I knew I wasn’t going to use the meteor hammer weapon, no matter what, I used the chain from it to add a final, gladiatorial dash to one of my Daemon Princes:

World Eaters Daemon Prince (34)
World Eaters Daemon Prince (32)
World Eaters Daemon Prince (33)
Some leftover icons of Khorne (and two runes from the vambrace of a leftover Bloodthirster arm) were used to add some extra oomph to his armour and make him look more Khornate. The main attraction is his weapon, though: Both hookswords are now joined by a length of daemonic chain, courtesy of the Bloodthirster’s meteor hammer:

World Eaters Daemon Prince (30)
World Eaters Daemon Prince (29)
I think this pushes the gladiatorial look even further, which I really like! And while we are at it, here’s a scale comparison picture with the WIP Bloodthirster and the Daemon Prince:

Bloodthirster Impressions (9)
I also promised you that I would be using that flaming chaos star for a conversion, right? Well, I did:

Dark Apostle Belzas Azalon (3)
As you can see, it makes for a teriffic Crozius Maul for my Word Bearers Dark Apostle, Belzas Azalon (I also touched up the right shoulder pad, while I was at it).

So in addition to the Bloodthirster itself, the kit has already provided me with a way to make two models considerably cooler — very nice! 😉

II: Skullreapers/Wrathmongers

I have also started experimenting with the Wrathmonger/Skullreaper kit.

First up, take a look at this scale comparison between a (slightly modified) Chosen model and a Wrathmonger:

Wrathmongers_first_impressions (1)
While the Wrathmonger may be slightly taller, the scale is still pretty similar — so similar, in fact, that parts from the Chosen will fit the new models without much of a hitch. It’s also important to stress that the guy on the right doesn’t even qualify as an early WIP — I just tacked together some bitz, in order to show you the scale.

I also find it interesting that some of the – almost comically brutish – Skullreaper heads work much better when used on “regular” CSM models. Take a look:

Wrathmongers_first_impressions (2)
Much better, don’t you think? I’ve merely shaved off those stupid “cheek horns”, but now the head makes for a very fitting World Eaters berzerker!

Oh, and one thing that really excites me is that you basically get twice as many torso pieces as you need: One set for the Skullreapers and one for the Wrathmongers. And each of those pieces has its own breastplate, which can be used as intended or cut apart to use on your other WoC/CSM models — all in all, this kit provides an enormous pile of leftover bitz for conversions, which makes it a pretty good purchase, if you are not totally disgusted by the look of these guys.

I also decided to follow my idea above, playing around with a combination of Skullreaper/Wrathmonger parts and Dark Vengeance Chosen. Let’s start with something boring: The same Wrathmonger pictured above, now with a tacked on Chosen arm:

Wrathmongers_first_impressions (3)
Everything’s just tacked together for now, in order to show you how well those Chosen arms work with the models.

And here’s something more involved: A mix of Wrathmonger/Skullreaper and Chosen parts:

Wrathmongers_first_impressions (4)
Wrathmongers_first_impressions (5)
Once again, all the parts have only been tacked together with modeling putty for now, but there’s something suitably gladiatorial and feral about this guy that I like. I also think the model serves as proof that those leftover Wrathmonger chests can really be put to good use!

One important thing, though: Once again, the stock Wrathmongers/Skullreapers are a bit taller than the DV Chosen:

Wrathmongers_first_impressions (6)

So the best approach would probably be to save the Wrathmongers/Skullreapers for unit champs, Chaos Lords etc. Or you could choose an approach similar to that of Wonkobaggins and use the Skullreapers as counts as chaos spawn and/or Red Butchers. Check out his first experiments with the kit here.

One last thing I did was to play around with the reverse-jointed set of legs for a while: I think it would make for an excellent start for building a plastic Herald of Khorne — or even a counts as Skulltaker! After a bit of messing around, here’s what I ended up with:

Plastic Skulltaker counts as WIP (1)
Plastic Skulltaker counts as WIP (2)
Plastic Skulltaker counts as WIP (3)
Plastic Skulltaker counts as WIP (4)

All in all, this has been a surprisingly easy conversion: Most of the model is simply a stock Skullreaper, with the arms and head replaced with Bloodletter (and Bloodcrusher) bits. The body already has the characteristic, pocked skin, so it looks like it belongs to a Bloodletter anyway. And the armour is jagged and organic enough to pass for daemonic, don’t you think? One thing I did was to graft on a Bloodletter neck, so I would have a more natural way of attaching the head.

I am still thinking about adding a cape like the one the original Skulltaker has: On the one hand, it seems like a fun challenge (and I do have an idea that might work), but on the other hand, I am really happy with the dynamic posing and striking silhouette the model has right now, and I fear an added cape would just overclutter the model…

And finally, in an act of nearly unprecedented heresy, at least for my own standards, I used some of the hip plates from the Skullreapers’ armour in order to make the armour of a true scaled Slaaneshi Marine I built at an earlier point look more, well, Slaaneshi:

Emperor's Child (3)
Emperor's Child (4)

So far for my first round of experiments with the Skullreaper/Wrathmonger kit. In any case, I’d like to point out that I am really going to take my time with these guys, so it will probably be a good long while before I complete all five models. Even so, I’ll be using some of the additional bitz from the kit for all kinds of projects, so you’ll be seeing a lot of stuff from this kit making an appearance in Khorne’s Eternal Hunt! 😉

III. Generosity

In a move of nearly unbelievable generosity, Commissar Molotov recently sent me a huge pile of stuff, including a lot of leftover Dark Vengeance Chosen and Chosen parts. It’s his generosity that has made my experiments above possible, for which I am very thankful. But that’s not even all: Mol provided an amazing bitz drop with lots and lots of fantastic contents. For instance, he sent me this wonderful Kharn conversion: Malthus Dire, a champion of Khorne:

Model converted by Commissar Molotov

Model converted by Commissar Molotov

Mol informed me that this conversion is actually about ten years old! Which goes to show that good, clean conversion work never goes out of style. It also goes without saying that I’ll make sure to paint him up to the best of my abilities, in Mol’s honour!

I have also used yet another Chosen from the batch he sent me for a different conversion: Taking inspiration from DexterKong’s brilliant World Eaters counts as Huron Blackheart, I have created my own version of the character for Khorne’s Eternal Hunt. Now my version is certainly somewhat less impressive than Dexter’s, and it’s not a true scale model either, seeing how it needs to be scaled correctly to fit the rest of my army, but I am nevertheless very happy with it. Take a look:

Counts as Huron WIP (7)
Counts as Huron WIP (8)
Counts as Huron WIP (9)
As you can see, most of stock Huron’s characteristic elements are there — I even got a bit of a kick out of having the model in a pose similar to that of the stock model, albeit more dynamic. Oh, and let me just add that the axe was inspired by a similar (albeit much more elegant) weapon conversion done by Biohazard!

One thing I really like is how carefully shaving off the original head allowed me to keep some of the cabling from the stock head and make it look like they are feeding into the bionic side of the head:

Counts as Huron WIP (6)
The model’s pretty much finished at this point — although I am still considering whether or not to add some longer claws to the left fist…

 

So, as you can see, the great forges of the Blood God are running hot right now! I’d be happy to hear any feedback you might have about these models! Just drop me a comment and feel free to share suggestions or ideas of your own! And expect more Khornate madness soon 😉

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

More chaotic kitbashes…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2014 by krautscientist

I almost feel bad for making you look at yet more unpainted plastic, but what can I say: Kitbashing’s just my favourite hobby activity, and certainly the most productive one right now! So let me share my latest chaotic projects, some of them further iterations of conversions you’ve seen before, some entirely new models. Step this way to my lab:

I. An Angel revisited

Some time ago, I showed you a couple of Fallen Angels I had kitbashed to accompany my Cypher conversion. The last of these was a champion in Terminator armour, and I have added some finishing touches to the model since you last saw it:

Fallen Angels Terminator WIP (7)
Fallen Angels Terminator WIP (6)
As you can see, I added a couple of bitz in order to make the armour look even more ostentatious, among them a heraldic shield and something resembling an Iron Halo (but also strangely close to a chaos star…). The main change to the model, however, was the head: While the helmet still sports a sword, I swapped in a far smaller blade that better fits the facemask, in my opinion:

Fallen Angels Terminator WIP (8)
All in all, I wanted this model to look like a brooding black knight figure, and I think I can consider that mission accomplished, don’t you think?

II. An Avatar of the Blood God

From the abiguously fallen to the downright chaotic: I also put the finishing conversion touches on my gladiatorial daemon prince. Take a look:

World Eaters Daemon Prince (24)
World Eaters Daemon Prince (18)
World Eaters Daemon Prince (19)
World Eaters Daemon Prince (22)
World Eaters Daemon Prince (21)
World Eaters Daemon Prince (23)
Most of the work left to do was gap filling and cleaning up the conversion. I did spend quite some time on the daemon’s belt, though, because I wanted to add some armour plates and skulls in order to camouflage the somewhat wonky connection between the torso and legs as well as, well, the daemon’s bare butt cheeks…

I am really very happy with this model, especially since I wasn’t really sold on the stock Daemon Prince kit as all — but now, I think that the kit can really be reworked into something rather cool with a  bit of thought and an influx of suitable bitz!. I’ll also likely keep the wings, because I like the added bulk and presence they create — plus I already have a wingless daemon prince, so having both options in my collection seems like the sensible approach here.

III. An Apothecary…and how to deal with collateral damage

Those of you who have been following this blog for any measure of time will know that I love building new characters for Khorne’s Eternal Hunt. And I like coming up with models that work both as a character as well as a special unit type — even in those cases where it doesn’t even make that much of a difference from a rules perspective.

Case in point, my recent project to convert the 4th assault company’s Apothecary: Sure, Apothecaries cannot be used in CSM armies, but I’ve had a couple of ideas regarding this character’s background for a long time, and I think an Apothecary would be instrumental to the 4th assault company’s attempt at keeping corruption and madness at bay.

Those tasks fall to Brother Dumah, Keeper of the Seed and Chooser of the Slain. And now I have finally converted a character to represent Dumah:

World Eaters Apothecary (8)
World Eaters Apothecary (7)
World Eaters Apothecary (9)
World Eaters Apothecary (10)
Dumah was created by combining the upper half of a Ravenwing biker sergeant from Dark Vengeance with the legs from a CSM Chosen from the same kit. I wanted Dumah to wear a robe, both as a sign of office as well as an element resembling a slightly sinister, Grim Reaper like figure, and this particular combination of parts allowed me to create the intended effect. The left arm with the Narthecium gauntlet came from the same Chosen, with the tools from a GK Terminator Apothecary added to the powerfist (a surprisingly good fit!). The left arm came from a different Chosen model (I really went all out on this guy), with a spear from the WFB plastic Chaos Lord. I’ll admit the spear was a bit of an experiment: The first idea was to give Dumah a scythe (for an even more Grim Reaper like look), but that didn’t really work all that well. I did want a weapon with a longer handle, and his epithet “Chooser of the Slain” made me think of the mythologic character that goes by the same name: Valkyries. Hence the spear.

The various vials and doodads were carefully cut off a Space Marine Apothecary’s torso and added to the model, and two icons of Khorne were used as additional decoration. The backpack came from the Chosen yet again, with the incense burners from the limited edition Interrogator Chaplain Seraphicus added on top — it just seemed right to me 😉

All in all, while Dumah turned out quite different from what I had originally imagined, and while it was a rather fiddly conversion at first, I am still immensely happy with the outcome: Dumah can certainly hold his own against his fellow Huntmasters from a coolness perspective, and I think he has a focused, slightly sinister look that perfectly fits my idea of his character. Come to think of it, he could probably be used as my own version of Fabius Bile, don’t you think?

In an awesome turn of events, the conversion inspired fellow hobbyist Hruotland over on Dakka to post a small piece of background about World Eaters Apothecaries. Check it out:

The battle tide was ebbing for a while. In the distance the mortars were still thundering, their rythmic bass accentuated by the staccato of rapid-fire. Like lost souls, the high-pitched artillery artillery grenades screamed. The rustle of the brazen forest, the fiery rain on the scarlet fields. One of his more introverted squadmates had once written a sonnet about it in the long silent hours of the Between, while the battle barge plunged the void from one hunting ground to the next.

On this side of the battle fields there was another such a moment between. Maybe that was the reason his thoughts went this direction, Zighurt mused. The fury in his veins had ebbed now, like the battle around him. Soon it would rise again, and he would be on the hunt once more, drowning the world in a tide of crimson and fire.

In the clearing before him there was a small spring. Somehow it had evaded the flood of body liquids and intestines turning the ashen soil into black mud everywhere else. After a short lookaround Zighurd knelt down and took off the horned helmet, Carefully he laid his trusted chainsword beside him, then he formed a cup out of his gloved hands and ladled some of the water. Even the enhanced and blessed body of a khornate marine had it’s needs, had to fuel up in order to burn in rage. Zhigurd took another sip –

The tip of a spear,thrown from behind, protruded from his chest. Zhigurd looked down in wonder. Then came the pain.

Slowly the now liveless carcass tilted forward, his tribute to his god spiraling into the depths of the pond, Already the water had turned to pink. From the shady glen another marine emerged, also bearing the mark of the World Eaters. His boot came down on Zighurds back, then with a decisive pull he retrieved his spear.

Hagen looked down on his prey. “The hunt never ends, Zighurd. Khorne WILL have your offering, He will not allow you to diminish it by dwindling away!” This was the way of the hunt. The predator would rise in it’s terrible glory, gathering strength and cunningness, until it was on the zenith. Then inevitably would come the moment of weakness. The former king would fall, would turn prey to it’s rivals, maybe end on the antlers of a not-so-easy kill or just find out there was always a mightier raptor. A good hunter would spare the glorious ones the humilation of the decline.

Hagens glovesaw screamed, as he took the legion’s toll, then what belonged to his grim God. “Blood for the Blood God” the Apothecarius intoned, dipping his index into the hole he had driven into Zhigurds power armor. “Skulls for the Skull Throne!” he completed the invocation, while he drove his spear into the detached head of his former comrade. Without looking back he walked away, his macabre trophy staring into the skies from broken eyes.

 

Now while my own ideas for Dumah are somewhat different, I still thought this a great read and wanted to share this with you. Thanks a lot, Hruotland!
One problem about the model was that it made me end up with two badly cut up Chosen models as “collateral damage”. Never one to pass up an opportunity for kitbashing, however, I started working on those two fallen soldiers, breathing new life into them:

The first one received some new arms and a new head and will probably become a Chosen of Khorne, a Skull Champion or something similar:

Chosen Kitbash WIP (6)
Chosen Kitbash WIP (5)
I am not quite sure regarding the head yet, so I also tried a helmeted version:

Chosen Kitbash WIP (8)
Chosen Kitbash WIP (7)
As you should know, I am a huge fan of shoutly bald guys in my army, but I also like the “faceless killer” look created by the second helmet — which version do you prefer?

For the other damaged Chosen, I was feeling a little more adventurous, plus some desparate measures were in order, seeing how the model was missing its lower half. So I combined the Chosen upper body with a pair of legs from the WFB warshrine priest and added some bitz in order to create a Nurglite sorcerer. Take a look:

Nurgle Sorcerer WIP (1)
Nurgle Sorcerer WIP (3)
As you can see, the right hand was replaced in order to make it look like the sorcerer was just channeling his psionic powers. I also gave him a staff — and then couldn’t resist turning it into a hideous, semi-organic scythe — after all, this is Nurgle we are talking about 😉

This model is a personal favourite of mine at the moment, because it really started out as a happy accident: Combining the body and legs was just me messing around, but I am really happy with the result.

Nurgle Sorcerer WIP (2)
This guy will probably be painted to fit in with my squad of Plague Marines:

Plague Marines (31)
I think he’ll make a great leader for them!

 

IV. A Lone Wolf

And finally, one last kitbash that just came together rather organically one evening after work: A champion for my traitorous Space Wolves, making rather heavy use of bitz from the WFB chaos catalogue:

Lone Wolf (1)

I have told you time and time again that kitbashing is my favourite part of the hobby, and I suppose this is because it’s such a versatile activity: Whether I keep coming back to a conversion I have been working on for a long time, tweaking it until everything is just so, just create something totally without planning in half an hour, or keep messing around with bitz until something just clicks, kitbashing is just perfectly relaxing to me — hence my rather huge output, I suppose…especially when compared to the models I actually manage to get painted…

Anyway, I hope you like my new chaotic kitbashes! Please let me know any suggestions or feedback you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Kitbashes from opposite ends of 40k, pt. 2

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Custodes, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2014 by krautscientist

You might feel inclined to call my scheduling slightly scattershot – and you’d be right – but I already have an update to my last post, further eloborating on each of the respective conversion projects, and I simply want to share the results with you, so let’s take a look: 😉

 

1. Custodes

Certainly the smallest of the updates, but even after showing you this Custodian in archaic power armour…

Squad Asklepian 31
…I just couldn’t stop myself from tweaking the kitbash even further. The photo above made me realise that the model’s waist seemed rather waspish, for one, so I tried bulking it out a little:

Squad Asklepian (34)
I used some leftover Terminator armour plates for this task, and I have to say I rather like the added bulk! And while I was added, I could not resist replacing the left shoulder pad with a studded one from the Sternguard kit, mirroring the studded leg armour on that side — in fact, I should probably have done this from the get go!

Squad Asklepian (35)
Just some small changes, admittedly, but they help me homing in on what I want the finished model to look like!

2. More Fallen Angels

I should have known before that converting my own version of Cypher wouldn’t be the actual end of this particular project. As a matter of fact, it only took a small remark from fellow hobbyist ghosty over on Dakka to provide me with the urge to kitbash some additional Fallen Angels — stupid hobby ADD!

Fortunately enough, I still did have quite a few DA bitz as well as some leftover Dark Angels from the Dark Vengeance boxed set lying around, so indulging my fancy was really easy enough 😉

So I built two test models for a small squad (or Kill Team) of Fallen Angels. Take a look:

Fallen Angels (1)
This first model was built from the DA Sergeant that came with Dark Vengeance. I simply replaced his weapons and head and added some additional bitz and bobs.

The second model was mainly a kitbash from different Space Marine bitz with a chaos bit or two thrown into the mix:

Fallen Angels (3)
Fallen Angels (2)
One thing that was important to me was that these guys’ allegiance was supposed to be somewhat ambiguous. Yes, they are more ragged and more sinister than your average Dark Angel, but even if they are followers of chaos at this point, it’s out of necessity rather than conviction. That’s why I restrained myself when it came to adding chaotic and spiky bitz. They’ll also fit together nicely with my Cypher conversion, I believe.

I also started working on a Fallen in Terminator armour to accompany these guys. Once again, instead of going for straight out chaotic spikyness, I tried to achieve the brooding, sinister look you see in some of GW’s own artwork for Fallen Angels, with only some slightly heretical touches here and there…

Fallen Angels Terminator WIP (2)
Fallen Angels Terminator WIP (1)
Fallen Angels Terminator WIP (3)
Granted, the huge daemon sword is a bit of a giveaway, but again, I like the idea that this is a weapon that the Fallen picked up by necessity rather than inclination. I also have to admit that the helmet remains a bit of an experiment at this point — feel free to let me know what you think!

Here are all of my Fallen together:

Fallen Angels (5)

 

3.  World Eaters Daemon Prince

Some more work went into my World Eaters Daemon Prince, in order to tidy up the conversion a bit.

World Eaters Daemon Prince (6)
The main addition is a tangle of Butcher’s Nails implants on the model’s back:

World Eaters Daemon Prince (7)
I am pretty happy with how that turned out!

my original plan for the huge collar the Daemon Prince wore in the previous post was to place it around the model’s neck and have it rest atop the crest of cables — but that didn’t end up looking quite as cool as I had hoped. So I tried a slightly different approach, halving the collar and using it almost like a heretical version of the Space Marines’ Iron Halo:

World Eaters Daemon Prince (13)
World Eaters Daemon Prince (14)
One last thing I did was to try adding the wings from the Daemon Prince kit. I wasn’t even sure whether I wanted to add any wings to this guy, to be honest, but I at least wanted to find out how the model would look with them:

World Eaters Daemon Prince (16)

World Eaters Daemon Prince (17)
And to be perfectly honest with you, I really rather like the bulk and presence they add to the model — what do you think?

 

So yeah, those are the three kitbashing projects that have kept me occupied this weekend. I would love to hear any feedback you might have! Oh, and a warning in advance: The next update might be slightly late for work related reasons, so use this one to tide you over until then, alright? 😉

In any case, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Kitbashes from opposite ends of 40k

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Custodes, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 14, 2014 by krautscientist

Kitbashing seems to be my most productive hobby activity at the moment: While converting plastic models has been my favourite part of the hobby for a long time, I seem to have worked myself into a bit of a kitbashing frenzy right now, using my work on various conversions as a means to relax. This might be a disappointment to those of you who would like to see some painted plastic on this blog, for a change — I can merely ask you to bear with me here: I will get around to doing some painting eventually, promise 😉

In the meantime, I do have to show a number of new kitbashes to show you: Three wildly different projects from opposite ends of the Warhammer 40,000 universe, so to speak. Here we go:

 

1. Golden Boys

Granted, it has been some time since we last heard of my kitbashed Legio Custodes army — but the project is far from dead, I assure you! By way of proof, let me show you two (fairly) recent kitbashes I made for this project:

First of, a conversion I am extremely happy with: Meet Constantin Valdor, Chief-Custodian and Captain General of the Legio Custodes:

Constantin Valdor WIP (1)
Constantin Valdor WIP (2)
Constantin Valdor WIP (3)
Even though it’s only a Space Marine based kitbash, I believe most of the visual cues are there to make the model a reasonable approximation of the artwork for Valdor. While most conversions have him running forward, however, this one is clearly more static, resembling his appearance in this piece of artwork.

Constantin Valdor WIP (4)

As you can see, most of the bitz for the conversion came from the Sternguard kit, which is basically your go-to source when it comes to building ostentatious looking Marine characters. The kit has also given me the chance to touch up a couple of earlier conversions, among them one of the Marines for my squad in various marks of power armour. Here’s the old version of the model in question:

Squad Asklepian 22
I think we can all agree that the legs on this guy were a little iffy. Fortunately, one of the beautiful leg pairs from the Sternguard kit allowed me to give this guy a bit more presence. Take a look:

Squad Asklepian 32
Squad Asklepian 31
The model now looks quite a bit more massive than before, which I think is a rather nice fit for the slightly clunky, archaic looking armour on the upper body.

So here are the two models together:

Squad Asklepian 33
My small Custodes project may be far from finished, but it’s a great little sandbox I can always return to in order to tinker away on a model or two for a while. It also helps me get the urge to build blinged-out loyalists out of my system, which is a great help when I need to stay focused on my more chaotic projects 😉

2. Lord of the Fallen

Next up, a very recent kitbash: Last Sunday evening, I sat down and converted my own version of Cypher, apropos of nothing. I didn’t even need the model from a gameplay perspective, mind you: I just felt that Cypher had been a staple of the CSM background for so long that I needed to build my own version. Here it is:

Cypher WIP (1)
Cypher WIP (2)
Cypher WIP (3)
Cypher WIP (4)

As you can see, the conversion was based on the model for Interrogator Chaplain Seraphicus from the Dark Vengeance limited edition set I purchased back in 2012. It did feel kind of sacrilegious to cut apart a limited edition model like this, to be honest, but I figured it wouldn’t do any good to leave the model lying around for another two years — plus I will need those lovely smokestacks from Seraphicus’s backpack when I eventually convert the 4th assault company’s Apothecary, so that made the decision a bit easier 😉 What’s more, fellow hobbyist and Skull-Championess Flint13 pointed out that desecrating an Interrogator Chaplain by converting him into the Dark Angels’ worst enemy was strangely fitting, in a way…

Beyond those considerations, the conversion is fairly straightforward from a structural perspective, which gave me the liberty of lavishing some extra work on a couple of small details: I originally considered having him in a more static pose, with the arms held down. But when it came to building the model, I just couldn’t resist spacing his arms as far apart as I did, making it look like he’s covering a huge area with his shots — it’s just the way I imagine him in the midst of battle, guns blazing, and it works for me. I also obsessed over which pistols to use for the conversion for quite a while (and I am really happy with my eventual choice). And I spent far more work on that backpack than I would care to admit…

Cypher WIP (5)

 

3.  A daemonic gladiator

And finally, as if to prove that I haven’t forgotten my World Eaters, a very early WIP I am currently working on:
I have gone on record saying that I am not a huge fan of the fairly underwhelming plastic Daemon Prince kit. In fact, I kitbashed my first own Daemon Prince at one point, partly out of a desire to avoid having to use the “official” model. But as karma would have it, I did still have a mostly complete Daemon Prince kit lying around, and I felt the urge to challenge myself with trying to come up with a version of the model that fits the gladiatorial look and feel of the World Eaters more closely, while trying to dial back some of the cartoon villain look. Here’s the result:

World Eaters Daemon Prince (4)
World Eaters Daemon Prince (3)
The model’s nowhere near finished, of course: What you see above was only started yesterday afternoon, but I think I may be on to something here…?

 

Anyway, so far for my current kitbashes — they really serve as a great way to relax for me, funnily enough, and as the one part of the hobby that I never seem to tire of.

So, let me know whatever feedback or suggestions you might have in the comments! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

A brute with a name…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Fluff, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2014 by krautscientist

Hey everyone,

just a teeny tiny update today: You may remember how I recently lamented my inability to come up with a suitable justification for the totally twisted and mutated Dark Vengeance Helbrute joining up with the rather “pristine” (insofar as that word can be applied to followers of Khorne) warriors of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt.

Well, fortunately, many of you came to the rescue and offered ideas, suggestions and snippets of fluff. That input really provided me with lots of great ideas for the Helbrute’s background, so I had everything I needed to come up with a suitable piece of writing channelling the elements I liked the most. Many thanks to everyone who contributed one or several ideas to this process, especially to monkeytroll, Llamahead and DexterKong!

Here goes:

Helbrute (4)

Khorlen the Lost

Ever since the Skalathrax campaign, the warriors of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt have been trying to keep the inevitable descent into madness that has claimed most of their legion at bay, instead clinging to their fierce martial pride. However, Lord Captain Lorimar’s retreat from Skalathrax earned him no small number of opponents amid the ranks of his own legion. One such enemy, Karakar the Exalted, considered Lorimar and his company cravens and hypocrites, unworthy of Khorne’s blessings and ignorant of the true nature of chaos: Karakar was furious about the Eternal Hunt looking down upon daemonhood and the gifts of the Warp, and he vowed he would educate the fourth assault company about the true meaning of chaos.

In late M39, Karakar and his warband fell upon the Fourth in a series of rapid assaults. During the initial phase of the fight, Huntmaster Khorlen, then a senior officer in the company, and his retinue were captured on the daemon world of Skabrea. Lorimar himself led an attack into the heart of the enemy stronghold, in order to rescue his battle brother and put Karakar to the sword.

When they reached the innermost sanctum of the fortress, the warriors of the fourth discovered a chilling scene: Karakar had wanted to punish the Eternal Hunt for their selfish pride, and for clinging to their long-obsolete past, so he had undertaken a sinister ritual to call the forces of the warp into the vessel provided by Huntmaster Khorlen’s body. He had paid dearly, however, as Khorlen – his body twisted and wracked with the raw powers of chaos – had broken his chains and slain everyone present in the ritual chamber. There his brothers found him, crippled and bloodied, his form twisted beyond reason, but yet imbued with a sinister resilience through the powers of the warp. And against all odds, Khorlen remained completely sane, and aware of the horrible changes that had been wrought upon him.

Lorimar and his warriors were at a loss: Had Khorlen’s mind been shattered by the ritual, it would have been easy enough to put him out of his misery. But their brother was still sane, and begged them to allow him to continue fighting. So a compromise was reached: Khorlen’s twisted remains were interred into a dreanought ironform, in an attempt to keep him combat worthy.

But the ritual had been so powerful that even the internment did not protect Khorlen against the forces of the warp: His ironform began to change and mutate, turning Khorlen into a hulking beast of steel and fleshmetal. Yet at the heart of the hellish contraption, the proud spirit of Huntmaster Khorlen still remained, untainted and unbroken.

Khorlen spends most of his days hidden deep within the great forge aboard the Aeternus Venator, his condition closely monitored by Huntmaster Deracin. Only in times of battle is he released to walk among his brothers once more, seeking a worthy death in battle as long as he is still himself...

 

Have a great weekend, everyone! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Et tu, Brute? A look at the chaos mini-release and a surprise model!

Posted in Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2014 by krautscientist

So, before those rumoured Imperial Guar…erm Astra Militarum models hit in the near future, let me just take this opportunity to talk a bit about the recent the “mini-release” for chaos players: Hopes had been high for multiple new kits (among them a Chosen/Havoc combi-kit) or a supplement dealing with the original traitor legions. The bad news is: That’s not what we got. But at least we did get some love from GW in the form of the Crimson Slaughter supplement and a new kit. So let’s take a look at these new toys, shall we?

CSM_release_2014 (1)
The rules in the new supplement seem to be reasonably solid, at least that’s what I hear on the forums.  People also laud the production values of the book, and I have to say that the art does seem quite inspired and is almost motivation enough for me to go and pick it up, just for the heck of it:
CSM_release_2014 (2)
At the same time, you’ve got to wonder: There has been quite a bit of nerd rage regarding the fact that the latest chaos supplement doesn’t deal with any of the major traitor legions, but rather focuses on a fairly new warband that had only been introduced into the background with the release of Dark Vengeance. Several commenters pointed out that this was likely done in an attempt to give newcomers to the hobby a “clean slate” warband that wasn’t so heavily bogged down in all of the background lore — but while this seems like a sensible explanation at first glance, I’m not sure I buy it: Warhammer 40k has always been about the 10,000 years worth of background lore, after all. And what better way to get people into the hobby up to their noses than to motivate them to read up on all the stuff that has happened to “their” legion over the last ten millennia?

Whatever the reason, it seems obvious that GW’s reluctance to publish legion specific rules is actually not an oversight but a conscious decision, at least for now: It feels like they are just not prepared to open that can of worms just yet, which is a bit of a shame, of course. I’ll still keep my fingers crossed for the legions to get a fitting treatment in the future, and I can only hope that this is all some kind of a bigger plan (and a bigger design plan, at that, not just some business tomfoolery).

Such considerations notwithstanding, there were two really positive aspects to come out of this mini-release: One is the fact that the studio CSM army seems to have  been switched from Black Legion to Crimson Slaughter, with images of models in the latter warband’s colours now also adorning all of the new boxes. And boy is it a gorgeous colour scheme! I’ll let slide the fact that the Crimson Slaughter has successfully managed to steal what should by rights be the official World Eaters colours: Red and bronze/gold always look great together, and turquoise is just the perfect spot colour for that particular combo (*cough* not that some of us hadn’t already realised that *cough*).

The other positive thing about this release is the new, multipart Helbrute kit. Let’s take a closer look:

CSM_release_2014 (3)
For all these past years, ever since the early 2000s really, chaos players have been clamouring for a new Dreadnought kit. Then Dark Vengeance came around, introducing us to the concept of the Helbrute, an Astartes Dreadnought warped and corrupted by the ruinous powers into something halfway between a daemon and a machine. Now, with the release of the multipart Helbrute, we have come full circle: The kit we had been waiting for so long is finally available. And quite a kit it is!

Before we take a closer look, though, let’s get the main problem out of the way first: In order to enjoy this kit, you have to be comfortable with the idea of the stock chaos Dread being much more warped and mutated – more “fleshy”, as it were – than before. If you don’t like that overall approach, well, you’re out of luck — this model just won’t be for you.

Here’s the thing, though: I myself am not a huge fan of overly mutated models. There are very few mutations appearing across my World Eaters army (both for aesthetic preference and fluff reasons). Still, both the Dark Vengeance Helbrute and the new multipart model have managed to win me over, because they just look amazing! They are evil and chaotic, exuding malice and horror in equal measure, so how could I not love them? What’s more, put them to a “regular” Dreadnought, and you’ll see that, in spite of all their mutations, they closely match the proportions and design of a standard Dreadnought underneath all of that fleshmetal: You can almost imagine how these creatures (d)evolved into the monstrosities they are now, and that is just great visual storytelling, period.

And even if you hate that look and approach with a passion, there are many alternative options: All of the loyalist Dreadnoughts are quite easy to convert into suitably chaotic models (as I myself have proven. Twice.). There are also the – still amazing – Forgeworld Chaos Dreads, if you prefer a more conservative design approach. So what I am saying here is that the new kit basically only adds more options instead of taking them away: Everyone can still get the Dreadn…erm Helbrute they like.

As for the kit itself, what strikes me as the best part is the amount of customisability: You get all of the available weapon options plus a huge amount of bitz to make the Helbrute look like an individual or represent his allegiance to a specific chaos legion or warband. It goes without saying that the weapon options follow the mutated look of the main body. In some cases, they are still fairly conservative (the Autocannon or Lascannon would be good examples). Some other weapons are a bit more out there:

CSM_release_2014 (4)
They even managed to make the power scourge, possibly the most awkward looking equipment option on the old metal model, look legitimately cool:

CSM_release_2014 (8)
Personally speaking, the rocket launcher is just a bit much, though: I love the model and all, but the idea of fired rockets leaving fleshy sockets like pulled teeth is just taking the body horror angle a bit too far for my liking, thank you very much:

CSM_release_2014 (7)
A personal favourite of mine would be the option of arming the Helbrute with twin power fists, because there’s nothing saying brutal, insane killing machine than those huge fists:

CSM_release_2014 (5)Even beyond the different weapons, I really love the additional options for customisation: You get a whopping six heads and three horned crests for the sarcophagus, for instance. Sure, this guy is more expensive than the loyalist dread, but he is also quite a bit more exciting from a visual standpoint, plus you basically get all the weapons option in one place instead of them being spaced out over several kit.

Also, whether or not you like the basic look, you’ve got to admit that there’s a nice bit of visual consistency between the different daemon engine kits: There are little touches that tie them all together and make them look like parts of the same overall faction. Nice!

In comparison with the DV Helbrute, GW seem to have taken the hobbyists’ feedback onboard: The two main points of contention about that model were the somewhat uninspired back (less detailed than would have been preferrable, probably due to production conditions for a snap fit model?!) and the strangely organic feet: By comparison, the new Helbrute has some additional armour plating on his back, recalling the design of both loyalist Dreadnoughts and the FW chaos Dreads. The feet have been also been redesigned, now looking far more like standard Dreanought feet.

 

So, are there any problems with the model? For one, I think that the pose could have been a bit less static, but that’s always a problem with a multipart kit that has to balance awesomness and flexibility. Still, if you want this guy to be more dynamic, you’ll have to put in a bit of work (and when you do, the rather organic nature of the model when compared to standard Dreads means some GS sculpting may be in order).

The biggest problem seems to be that, at least for those into the background of the setting, the new Helbrute may not be a good fit for some of the traitor legions: Sure, he should work like a charm for at least four of the three “cult legions” (Emperor’s Children, Death Guard and, of course, World Eaters) as well as for two of the undivided legions (Black Legion and Word Bearers). But after that, it might get a little iffy: While I could see the Night Lords using a mutated Helbrute like this as a terror weapon (as well as an instrument of torture for one of their own), I think the model doesn’t work quite that well for, say, the Iron Warriors: I think you’d be better of converting an Ironclad Dreadnought (or go with the FW option). In the case of the Thousand Sons, the mutated look matches Tzeentch’s penchant for twisting and warping his followers, but clashes somewhat with the legion’s background. And I think the model just doesn’t work for the Alpha Legion, at least not when you keep the most recent fluff in mind. But then again, there are alternatives for those cases (see above).

A small, if insubstantial, disappointment is the fact that, unlike the heads in the Venerable Dreadnought kit, the leftover Helbrute heads will not work on regular Chaos Space Marines, as is evident from this photo, kindly provided by fellow hobbyist Daemonclaw:

CSM_release_2014 (9)

They might arguably work in Terminator armour, but only with a fair bit of cutting. Just imagine if we were to get a helmet like the one on the left for our Khorne berzerkers one day…

Then there’s the whole dataslates business: The new Helbrute dataslate supposedly adds some quite viable ways to use the new model — or, indeed multiple models. But, as has been the case for prior dataslate releases, it’s the downloadable content discussion over again. And while I do see digital publications as a viable avenue of income for GW, I still don’t see why they could not have put these rules into the same issue of WD featuring the new model: Wouldn’t that be precisely the kind of content that would make people pick up the mag, after all?

And there’s one final problem: Maybe it’s just due to a couple of crude comments over at Throne of Skulls, but don’t you agree that there’s one particular element about the new Helbrute’s design that seems a little…suggestive?

CSM_release_2014 (10)
I mean, look, maybe it’s just me, but…don’t those dangling eyes look a bit like, you know,…

…ah, never mind 😉

It’s a great model, though, fair and square: Great job, GW!

 

So, I also promised you a surprise model in the title, so let’s make good on that promise: After longingly looking at pictures of the new Helbrute kit in WD Weekly, I surprised myself by not running out to buy the kit right away, but rather grabbing that unpainted DV Helbrute I still had sitting on my desk and finally starting to paint that instead — and it’s about time, too, seeing how it’s been quite a while

While the model remains an amazing piece, I can safely say now that it’s certainly not a lot of fun to paint: It took what felt like ages, but then the model finally started to come together, and it’s mostly finished at last. Take a look:

Helbrute (1)
Helbrute (2)
As you can see, in another case of fairly atypical behaviour, I left the model mostly unconverted, but then I really like the model a lot as is. I just got rid of the stubby melta arm — the one truly bad piece of design on an otherwise amazing sculpt, if you ask me.

I also added a little “special effect” on the model’s back, using Tamiya Clear Red:

Helbrute (3)
Not an ‘Eavy Metal grade paintjob, admittedly, but considering the amount of time I spent on this guy (and how long it took to finally get to the point where I wasn’t feeling like I was messing up horribly), I am really pretty happy with the outcome so far:

Helbrute (9)
The face definitely remains my favourite part of the model:

Helbrute (6)
So horrible and so amazing at the same time!

As of this writing, I still need to do some final touchups on the model, add some final highlights etc. But I hope you’ll agree that it’s coming together.
Here’s the new Helbrute with his future “colleagues”, Marax the Fallen and Khoron the Undying:

Helbrute (11)
Of course this leaves me just one Helbrute short of that most elusive and devastating of formations: The Barbershop Helquartet of Dooom! 😉

 

In comparison with the new multipart kit, the DV Helbrute does of course lack a bit of flexibility as well as a whole lot of weapons options. Then there’s the fact of the slightly redesigned back and feet on the new model. However, at least in my opinion, the DV Helbrute isn’t necessarily the inferior model: The pose is excellent and dynamic, whereas the new model looks quite static (provided you’re not going with the two power fists). The face on the DV Helbrute is also quite excellent, and slightly better than the bare faces included with the multipart kit, at least in my opinion. And while it was designed as a single pose model, using it for rather extensive and exciting conversions is absolutely possible! For inspirations about how to truly make this model sing, look no further than the work of Daemonclaw or Biohazard — the latter’s particularly great Helbrute is a model I am truly envious of! Plus you can get the DV Helbrute for a song on ebay, which makes sure that this version remains a very viable option, especially for converters. And just imagine what one could achieve with one of the new multipart kits and a DV Helbrute: All that leftover bitz would be amazing for making two standout models at an onlslightly bigger cost.

 

So, in closing, while the lack of additional kits or any legion-specific supplement is of course a bit of a disappointment, the new Helbrute kit is amazing enough to tide me over until the true next chaos release comes rolling around. Will I get one at some point? Quite possibly so, yes. I am not exactly looking forward to painting another of these fleshy behemoths, though: The more mechanic, angular Dreadnoughts are far easier to paint and make for far more pleasant work.

Let’s not think of any further Helbrutes just yet: For now, I am really happy that I finally managed to paint one of my favourite pieces from the Dark Vengeance boxed set!

As always, I’d love to hear any feedback you might have. And, of course, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Helbrute (8)

Getting started again…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Pointless ramblings, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2014 by krautscientist

Having been unbelievably lazy for a couple of weeks, I have recently undertaken a couple of steps to get back into hobby mode. As is so often the case with restarting an engine that has lain dormant for a while, the first moments aren’t pretty, with lots of sputtering and grinding. But it finally feels like I am slowly getting back into the swing of things, so today I would like to show you a number of smaller projects I am currently working on:

 

1. The Brazen Wall – revisited

First up is an Aegis Defense line for my World Eaters. I started working on this some time last summer, but then it more or less fell by the wayside. So, time to get some more work in! Here’s the aegis as it looks right now:

WE_Aegis (9)
While I wanted the defense line to look like it clearly belonged to my army, I didn’t want to go overboard with the spiky bitz. I basically used some spikes an armour plates from the chaos vehicle sprue to spruce up the different segments. Nothing amazing, certainly. But the true achievement was to get rid of all those pesky Imperial aquilas.

WE_Aegis (12)
To be fair, though, after I had found the right approach for doing this, it turned into an almost relaxing task. I was able to shave off all the loyal iconography in a single evening.

WE_Aegis (8)
And while the defense line will still need some additional bitz, mostly trophies, skulls and impaled Astartes, it’s definitely getting there! Again, not the most creative and groundbreaking endeavour in the world, but just the right project to slowly ease me back into hobby mode!

 

2. Death from Above

Let’s continue with something slightly more involved: I also finally found a way to make what may be my favourite model from the Dark Vengeance boxed set into a member of my World Eaters:

Harrier Lord (2)
Harrier Lord (1)
Harrier Lord (3)
Harrier Lord (4)
I always thought that the Chosen wielding lightning claws would make for an excellent jump infantry officer or lord, so I added a raptor jump pack and some clawed toes from the warp talons. It’s a rather simple conversion, of course, but one I am nevertheless rather pleased with. It also resembles GW’s own Chaos lord with jump pack (as a matter of fact, I had originally intended of using that model’s jump pack for this conversion, but abandoned the idea when it turned out to be far too unwieldy).

Oh, and I do of course realise that using a flowing cape like that directly underneath what ultimately amounts to a jet engine may not be the smartest idea in the world, but there’s always the Rule of Cool, isn’t there? Let’s just pretend it’s made from flame-retardant fabric, okay?

 

3. Hammer Time!

Building chaos lords is one of my favourite hobby activities, of course, and with the Raptor Lord out of the way, another traitor officer was quick to follow. I was beginning to feel more adventurous, too! But we’ll get to that in a minute.

First things first: Does anyone remember these guys?

Mk_01_concept
Long before FW redesigned the whole Pre-Heresy stuff, there were a number of highly interesting older models put out by GW proper. One of them was the Mk I Tactical Dreadnought Armour, indeed going back to one of Jes Goodwin’s concept sketches for the later Terminators, I believe:

Mk_01_concept

Image owned by Games Workshop

There was actually a model for this particular armour design as well! And as luck would have it, I even have a picture of a chaos conversion of an Mk I Termie. Take a look:

Chaos_Red_Right_Hand
This must be one of the first wargaming related pictures I ever downloaded from the internet, back in the early 2000s, when the blogosphere was far less developed than it is today. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you who originally built and painted the model, since the blog seems to have disappeared. If anyone knows the creator, please let me know!

Anyway, these scraps of half-forgotten lore were lying around in my various inspiration folders. And then I came across an illustration by the ever-inspirational Greyall, depicting an Imperial Fists marine wearing an updated form of Mk I TDA.

Seeing that image made me realise that it might be interesting to build a model that took design cues from that rather ancient design, and another piece of the puzzle fell into place.

Things really got underway when I started messing around with a couple of leftover armour plates from the Heldrake kit, because they almost look like those Mk I shoulder plates, if you only look at them long enough

So I formulated a plan for yet another chaos lord conversion: I would build a chaos lord wearing custom armour that would take inspiration from both the Mk I and Cataphractii designs. Not a straight recreation of either, but something that incorporated elements from both in order to create an armour that looked archaic and massive. And of course, my beloved plastic Terminator Lord would be at the heart of the conversion once more.

Anyway, after messing around with a pile of bitz for a while, here’s an early mockup of the model:

Hammertime (5)
Hammertime (3)
Hammertime (4)
As you can see, it’s a fairly simple kitbash, any by no means an involved recreation of either armour pattern. But some of the elements are inspired by those seen on the Pre-Heresy armour: The shoulder pads and slightly recessed, helmeted head recall a more ornate Mk I design, while the topknot and pteruges skirt are a clear reference to the Cataphractii armour. And the decorative trim and heretical symbols clearly communicate the fact that we are dealing with a member of a traitor legion, after all.

I wanted to create a hulking character in highy archaic armour, and that much seems to have worked. And while the thunder hammer was only intended as a placeholder, I think that it really nicely complements the overall look of the model — even though it’s not really a weapon associated with followers of Khorne…

Another possibility would be to use one of the mauls from the Deathwing Knights that I have conveniently lying around:

Hammertime (7)
As you can see, the model’s only tacked together for now, held together by lots of modelling putty and my prayers. But I am already rather fond of this guy, even though he’s only a rather simple kitbash and nowhere near as involved as, say, Dark Rage’s faithful – and incredibly cool – recreation of actual Mk I armour.   I can imagine this guy as one of Lorimar’s bodyguards, encased in ancient armour and ruthlessly efficient: a silent and deadly warrior crushing everything in the Lord Captain’s way…

Update: In a rather interesting development, Fellow hobbyist carnosaur93 over on B&C suggested I turn around the shoulder pads in order to make them look even more similar to the Mk 1 design. And while I didn’t believe him at first, I tried it and was amazed:

Hammertime (7)

Consider my mind blown! The model actually looks 100% more like the old Mk I Termies now! It even has that slightly “alien” look to the shoulders, I don’t know how to describe it any better: The curvature of the shoulders is quite unlike anything seen on modern (traitor) Astartes models.

I have yet to decide which version I actually like better, but the changed one really looks more like the older armour pattern. And it also has a certain “je ne sais quoi”…food for thought, definitely!

 

Anyway, these are my first small hobby projects for this year! And of course, I am always happy to hear any feedback you might have! In any case, it’s  good to be back in the game, especially considering all the crazy rumours about new CSM kits to be released soon-ish.

Now if I can only find my misplaced painting modjo, everything will turn out fine…

Anyway, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!