Archive for diorama

Lord of the XII Legion – A Triptych, pt. 4

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, Terrain, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2016 by krautscientist

Another look at Angron this week, as we finally put the big red daemon-monster on its own base. Don’t worry, it won’t be nearly as boring as you might think 😉

“But wait! Wasn’t this supposed to be a triptych? Then why are we already on part four of this series?”, I hear you asking. Now I know how to count to three, of course — it’s just that the whole triptych idea refers to the three different forms of Angron I will be working on, while there can (and will) be many more posts than three. There, glad to have that out of the way 😉

So anyway, here’s where we left off last time:

Daemon-Primarch Angron (1)
So far, so good, but Angron needed a proper base, indeed. And this is where things got a bit out of hand. Allow me to explain:

Possibly the biggest challenge was that I had already basically given it my all with the base for my Bloodthirster model, pulling out all the stops and ending up with something pretty ostentatious:

Bloodthirster Ghor'Lash'Kharganath (9)
At the same time, it was perfectly clear that I would need to come up with something even better for Angron, because…well, it’s ANGRON we are talking about here, right?

So I spent a lot of time thinking about this, and then it suddenly hit me: What if I were to base Angron on the big aquila terrain piece from the Honoured Imperium boxed set?

Honoured Imperium
I bought the kit a while ago – mostly for the Space Marine statue – so I still had the aquila piece. I also really liked the allegoric nature of the idea: What better way to base a Daemon-Primarch than on the shattered remains of the Imperium’s most iconic symbol?

The problem was the size of the aquila, because it was considerably larger than the oval base that came with the Bloodthirster kit. This would make gaming a whole lot more complicated, but that wasn’t really that much of a concern to me, mostly because I don’t exactly consider my Daemon-Primarch conversion a playing piece. However, the whole ensemble ended up looking and feeling a bit too clunky, so I wasn’t perfectly happy yet.

When I posted my idea on The Bolter & Chainsword, people were quick to suggest a modular display base resembling the ensembles released as part of Forgeworld’s Horus Heresy Character Series, such as the display base showing the duel between Garviel Loken and First Captain Abaddon:

Abaddon & LokenHaving the bigger part of the aquila as an optional addition that the actual gaming base could be slotted into? That actually sounded absolutely awesome! However, after taking a closer look at the aquila piece and trying to decide where to possibly make the cuts, I was just about prepared to discount the idea as unfeasible…

…and then my buddy Biohazard posted a few ideas about how to make it work after all, and down the rabbit hole I went, eagerly sawing through the thick plastic with my cheap-o hobby knife from the DIY superstore — at the cost of several blisters on my right hand, I might add. But here’s what I ended up with:

Angron's base WIP (1)
Angron's base WIP (2)
That’s the complete aquila, and yet you can already make out the line where I cut a smaller part from the ensemble. Now let’s take the two apart:

Angron's base WIP (4)
And as you can see, the entire left wing and the left head make up a piece that fits fairly neatly onto the stock oval base. Which gave me this basic shape for Angron’s base:

Angron's base WIP (5)
Angron's base WIP (6)
Not bad, not bad at all! Especially since the part still clearly read as a symbol of the Imperium of Man, even though the biggest part of the aquila was actually missing. The part I had cut out also seemed to fit the base almost perfectly, right?

But let’s take a look at another perspective:

Angron's base WIP (7)
Here you can see the huge hole left underneath the (hollow) aquila piece that I needed to fill up with something — and whatever that something would be, it was clear that I would need to pay attention to make sure both parts of the aquila would still line up correctly afterwards.

Even so, I was still energised by this small success. I also made a quick and dirty Photoshop mockup to get an idea about how Angron would fit on the finished base:

Angron's base WIP (8)
The basic idea was to have him charging towards the centre of the aquila — and, by extension, whatever would be added to the other side of the base.

But first, I needed to fill in those huge holes! Thankfully, my good friend Annie provided me with some Milliput for the task, and so when we met for a little hobby session recently, she kept painting away at her crazy-awesome pirate-themed Blood Bowl team (to be featured here on the blog in a future post, scout’s honour!), while I plugged all the holes in the base using Milliput, and added some structure by pressing some cork into the putty after it had begun to dry, stamping a rocky texture onto the surface.

Angron's base WIP (13)
Angron's base WIP (14)
As you can see in the above pictures, some additional detail work also took place during this step. My usual mix of cork, slate and sand was added to the empty parts of the base and sealed with PVA glue and plastic glue. The effect was also used to blend the seams between the different areas and materials together. I also added some skulls to the front of the base, both to make the area look more interesting and also because, well, Khorne! (DUH!). Two spiky poles were used to add even more of a chaos feel to the base.

Angron's base WIP (15)
Possibly the longest time was spent on the missing half of that poor Ultramarine officer clutched by Angron: I used a pair of plastic Mk IV legs and made quite a few tweaks to them to ensure that their position on the base seemed suitably natural and organic:

Angron's base WIP (17)
And with that, the basic setup of the base was more or less complete:

Angron's base WIP (18)
So all that was left before I could break out the paints was a final round of touchups and additional texture. Augustus b’Raass very helpfully suggested applying some Liquid GS to the stony parts of the aquila, in order to create a slightly more believably texture and make the whole thig look less like smooth plastic, so that’s what I did:

Angron's base WIP (19)
And I used some regular GS to tidy up all the rough parts of the Marine legs, filling gaps in the legs, adding flex fitting and a profile to the sole of the right foot and scultping all the gribbly bitz pouring out of the body…ewww!

Angron's base WIP (20)
Angron's base WIP (21)
Angron's base WIP (22)
Angron's base WIP (23)
And with those final details out of the way, Angron’s base was finally ready for painting!

Angron's base WIP (24)
So everything was covered with a nice and even Coat of Chaos Black spray,  which once again did wonders for pulling all of the different elements together:

Angron's base WIP (26)

Now at this point I spent a fair bit of time detailing the other, bigger side of the eventual display base, but I’ll be focusing on that part in a dedicated post. From a purely logical standpoint, it would surely have made much more sense to paint both parts of the base at the same time before adding Angron to the smaller part of the base, but seeing how this whole project had already expanded into something far more involved than I had usually planned, I knew I needed a milestone achievement somewhere in there and decided to focus on finishing Angron his “gaming base” first.

So for now, you’ll have to content yourselves with a teaser picture of the two parts of the aquila in all its basecoated glory:

Angron's base WIP (40)
I added a slightly more controlled spray of Army Painter Uniform Grey on top of the Chaos Black. Now at first glance it might seem as though we were back to square one (the unpainted plastic), but upon closer examination, the grey works really well with the Liquid GS-based texture to create a slightly sandy, stony look on the aquila parts. There’s also a slight shading effect on the areas that aren’t part of the shattered aquila, as a consequence of focusing the grey spray on the actual stone.

Angron's base WIP (43)
So from here on out, I basically used my usual recipe of painting the earth dark grey, then washing and drybrushing the entire thing to bring out lots of texture. I also painted the extra bits, such as the skulls, spiky poles and the legs of the fallen Ultramarine, of course. Here’s what it looked like after this step:

Angron's base WIP (46)
The legs also received some serious weathering to tie them together with the Astartes’ upper half: Charadon Granite was carefully sponged on with a bit of blister sponge, and metal scratches were created with a detail brush and some Leadbelcher. The best part about this kind of weathering is that you can keep repeating the various steps to achieve a more and more battered look, until you’re happy.

Angron's base WIP (44)
And then, finally, the blood came out 😉

I will say that I am probably really, really careful with adding blood effects, especially for a World Eaters player: There’s almost no other effect that is so easy to overdo and that can ruin a model so thoroughly: With too much blood, every model ends up looking cartoony and overly-edgy in a “bad 90s’ video game” kind of way. Only very few models warrant massive amounts of blood, so when in doubt, less is more.

With that in mind, I thought about where the blood on the base would probably come from (hint: the Ultramarine’s maimed remains) and how the blood would behave, given the slightly angled surface. I also remembered that, according to the lore, Astartes blood starts to clot super-fast, so that was yet another reason to go easy on the gore. Then again, there was no getting around the fact that the guy had been torn in half. So with all these factors in mind, here’s the solution that I came up with:

Angron's base WIP (48)
Angron's base WIP (49)
Angron's base WIP (51)
Ultimately, I tried to use as much blood as was necessary and as little as I could get away with. I also mixed a tiny drop of black into the Tamiya Clear Red to create the centre of the various pools of blood, than added pure Clear Red on top and around the darker areas in order to add some depth and tonal variety to the puddles.

One part where I tried to achieve a fairly realistic look was the blood running along the crevices in the stone, with the aquila statue’s features basically acting like small drain channels:

Angron's base WIP (52)

I also think I’ve done a fairly good job of blending in my Milliput additions with the rest of the base:

Angron's base WIP (50)
Granted, the finish could probably have been even smoother, but let’s not forget that it all needed to line up with the other half of the base!

And finally, Auggie’s suggestion about creating extra stone texture with a thin layer of Liquid GS turned out to be golden, as the aquila really looks like it’s made of stone, rather than plastic, now 😉

So all in all, I was really happy with the finished gaming base:

Angron's base WIP (53)
No more excuses, it was time for the Lord of the XII Legion to put his foot on the ground!

Now actually gluing Angron to the base was actually an exercise in frustration, seeing how the point of attachment between the model and its base was so small. And it definitely took a lot of super glue and swearing. But I persevered. And I triumphed. And thus I give you…

 

Angron, The Red Angel, Daemon-Primarch of the World Eaters and the Blod God’s Favoured Son

Daemon-Primarch Angron (16)
Daemon-Primarch Angron (22)
Daemon-Primarch Angron (29)
Daemon-Primarch Angron (26)
Daemon-Primarch Angron (21)
Daemon-Primarch Angron (30)
Daemon-Primarch Angron (31)
Now here’s a closer look at the base:

Daemon-Primarch Angron (32)
As you can see, I have added two more “special effects”: One is an additional spot of blood directly below the Ultramarine’s torso (for obvious reasons). The other effect is something I had never tried before, and I am rather happy with the outcome: I wanted the stone in the direct vincinity of Angron’s right foot (and the flames below it) to look as though it were heating up due to the Primarch’s daemonic presence. The effect was achieved by carefully building up several layers of Bloodletter glaze:

Daemon-Primarch Angron (25)
Daemon-Primarch Angron (27)
And with the model and base now combined, our brave little smurf finally gets reunited with his lower half. Well, after a fashion, at least…

Daemon-Primarch Angron (33)

Daemon-Primarch Angron (24)
I know I am probably boring you to tears by saying this, but I am still so incredibly happy with Angron’s head and face…

Daemon-Primarch Angron (18)
Daemon-Primarch Angron (20)
Here’s a comparison shot showing Angron next to my “regular” Bloodthirster model:

Daemon-Primarch Angron (17)
Both models’ skin tones actually differ far more in real life than is obvious from looking at the picture. However, I do think I’ve done a pretty good job of surpassing the base on the Bloodthirster and of making both models look pretty different, in spite of being built from the same stock model.

And here’s a hint of things to come…

Daemon-Primarch Angron (19)
For now, this has been an incredible ride! I think Angron is easily one of my best models – if not the best model – so far, and while this has project has certainly veered outside of my comfort zone more than once, it has been a blast! Thank you so much to everyone who provided ideas, suggestions and critical feedback! Thanks to those who provided bitz and materials for this project! And thanks to thosw responsible for my main inspirations, Reg’s fabulous, Bloodthirster-based Angron conversion, Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s hugely evocative descriptions of Daemon-Primarch Angron — and, of course, Alex Boyd’s illustration that probably served as the most important reference piece!

Speaking of which, here’s a little something that I made using Photoshop and Pixlr, to celebrate the occasion:

The Red Angel

“It turned its eyes to us. The skeletal landscape of its face turned with a slowness I could only describe as bestial, but it most definitely saw us. The coal pits of its eyes steamed as blood bubbled and boiled in the thing’s swollen tear ducts. Slowly – still so very slowly – its jaws opened to reveal a quivering tongue the colour of spoiled meat, with pinkish saliva roping and stretching between rows of sharkish teeth.“

 

Aaron Dembski-Bowden, The Emperor’s Gift

 

And here’s Alex Boyd’s illustration again:

illustration by Alex Boyd

illustration by Alex Boyd

While my Angron is far from a perfect match (Reg and Rumplemaster score far higher marks on that account!), I do believe he looks like a plausible interpretation of the same character, wouldn’t you agree?

Anyway, I am super-proud of this guy! One down, two versions to go 😉 Until then, however, I would love to hear any feedback you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Daemon-Primarch Angron (23)

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Inquisitor 28: Kitbashing spree pt. 2 – The Hammer of the Emperor

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, Pointless ramblings, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2014 by krautscientist

Right, sorry for the late update, and for getting ages to get back to any comments — work is crazy at the moment. Please bear with me, while I try not to lose my mind 😉

Anyway, let me show you another batch of (fairly) recently kitbashed models from the wonderful world of INQ28: Maybe due to the recent release of the new Astra Militarum Codex, this update will mainly be featuring characters with a bit of an IG background.

With one notable exception, however: In a bit of an addendum to my last post, I have come up with two possible retainers to Brother-Sergeant Auriga, my true scale Marine:

 

1. An Astartes’s Servants

First up, I’ve had this little guy in my bitzbox for ages now:

Bolter_Cherub
But while I love cherubim – they’re such an ironic part of what makes 40k interesting – I never got around to finding an actual use for the model: That bolter the little guy is lugging around didn’t seem like such a good match for any of my Inquisitors, and I didn’t want to chop it off for fear of permanently ruining the model.

Brother Sergeant Auriga, however, is a Space Marine. And by virtue of being a Space Marine, he would own and wield a bolter, right? Well, so much the better, because now he has a servant to carry the weapon for him, at least when it’s not actually required on the battlefield, but rather as a “sign of office”, as it were. And it really fits my idea of the Golden Legion that they would not be above a bit of ostentatiousness like this.

Once I had seen the Marine and cherub together, there was no stopping me, and so I started working on yet another retainer for Brother Auriga: My original plan had been to have options for both a bare head and a helmeted one, but then I really liked the idea of having a chapter serf carry the Brother-Sergeant’s helmet. Here’s an early mockup:

Chapter Serf
These three really look great together, if you ask me:

Brother Sergeant Auriga and Retainers WIP
At the same time, this growing retinue illustrates a bit of a challenge I am facing at the moment: My problem, if you can call it a problem at all, seems to be that some of the models I have recently built seem to warrant further retainers and familiars, just because it’s such a great way of further exploring them as characters. You’ll be seeing another example of this in a minute, and while building some additional models (for additional narrative texture) is a blast, I wonder whether I’ll ever be able to finish all of these… Then again, as long as it’s fun, it certainly can’t be all bad, can it?

Anyway, moving on to the Astra Militarum guys:

 

II. The Rank And File

I suppose some of you will still be remembering my kitbashed Trencher, right? Well, messing around with a Dark Vengeance chaos cultist and an Eisenkern Stormtrooper head lead to a model that might be a playfellow for him (or maybe a soldier of the opposing army?). Take a look:

Trenchers WIP
Then there’s a special ops trooper I built, heavily inspired by one of Commissar Molotov’s conversions:

Trooper WIP (6)
This guy was built by combining two sets of Cadian legs (you’ll quickly see the area where the conversion still needs some evening out) and adding some bitz from the Tempestus Scions (nothing says “elite soldier” quite like a beret worn in combat, right? 😉 I also added some bitz to the lasgun, in order to make it look like a custom model:

Trooper WIP (5)

III. Ordo Militum?!

I have also begun to mess around with the Tempestor Prime bitz, creating a model that could become a high-ranking Guard officer, or maybe even an Inquisitor with strong ties to the Ordo Militum? Take a look:
Tempestor kitbash WIP (4)
This model is not yet finished, of course. For now, the most involved change to the base model was to add the saber of the plastic Ordo Prefectus Commissar — which I think fits this model rather better than the model it originally came from. I’m also not yet sure whether I like it better held vertically or horizontally:

Tempestor kitbash WIP (5)Thoughts?

Speaking of the Ordo Prefectus Commissar, I have begun to turn him into an agent of the Ordos:

I quickly realised that the model had a bit of a “gunslinger” vibe going on, so I experimented with different weapons setups (and added a head with a bionic eye that seems to support the character’s targeting prowess:

Gunslinger Inq WIP (2)
Gunslinger Inq WIP (1)
As for the actual weapons, the plasma pistol seemed a little too clunky for me, and while I liked the Dark Eldar pistol well enough for its sleek silhouette, it just seemed too xenos for a military man like this — it would probably be ideal if one were to build a Rogue Trader from this base model, however. Just sayin’…

In the end, I opted for a custom weapon, kitbashed from a Dark Eldar fusion pistol and a strut from a GK backpack:

Gunslinger Inq WIP (11)
I am reasonably pleased with the outcome, because it looks clunky enough to qualify as Imperial, but could also conceivably have xenos origins. In any case, it has a bit of the classic, retro-futuristic “SCIENCE!” look, don’t you think?

Another fun experiment was to use some different legs on the model:

Gunslinger Inq WIP (9)
In this case, I tried some legs from the Eisenkern Stormtroopers, and while the result might look a little off, I think it might be an avenue of conversion that definitely warrants further exploration.

For this particular model, though, I am going to keep the standard legs:

Gunslinger Inq WIP (12)
So who is this guy? I think he’s looking a bit too ostentatious to be a “regular” gunslinger. He might be an actual Inquisitor, but there’s a cockiness in his pose and expression that makes me think he might make a better Interrogator — maybe a servant of the Ordo Militum Inquisitor above?

 

IV. An Officer And A Gentleman…

There’s one last set of models I would like to show you, and these are another example of my recent fancy when it comes to going off on a tangent in order to kitbash some “spin off” miniatures, so to speak. But let’s start at the beginning:

A rather long while ago, fellow hobbyist and all around great guy PDH let me have a tank commander commissar from the FW DKOK Commissar set — on the condition that I would use it for a conversion.

Well, it took me ages to finally come up with a conversion opportunity for the model – mostly because the tank commander is lacking the legs below the knee, for obvious reasons – but when the Tempestus Scions appeared upon the scene, I finally had my solution (and a way to give this guy new legs). Take a look:

Krieg_conversion (3)
As you can see, I just added in the lower legs of a Tempestus Scion — which worked like a charm, with only minimal cutting and GS’ing involved! In order to make the model look more like a noble and austere character, I also replaced the DKOK gas mask with a bare head (from the Empire Knights’ White Wolves sprue, of all places…). On a related note, I did keep the commissar head perfectly intact, in order to be able to use it in a future conversion:

Krieg_conversion (4)
Anyway, when I posted the DKOK conversion on my Ammobunker thread, fellow hobbyist Logan pointed out that the model reminded him of a painting of Karl Franz of Austria. And then it hit me: This guy actually looks like he is posing for a portrait, isn’t he?

I actually embraced this effect, and in order to further emphasise it, I added a servo-skull and a small plinth on his base, making the “portrait look” even stronger:

Krieg_conversion (6)
Krieg_conversion (5)
And then I finally lost my mind when DexterKong suggested I built a small diorama showing the officer’s portrait being painted by an Imperial artist. And I really loved that idea! So I began to plan accordingly (wanting to build the diorama, but also endeavouring to keep the models useable individually).

Anyway, for the painter, I chose an Imperial acolyte I had picked up during a bitz swap some time ago:

Painting Servitor (1)
This seems to be everybody’s favourite model from back when Codex: Daemonhunters was released, but on my copy, the eye section of the face was unfortunately rather miscast/damaged, leaving him without eyes and giving him an ugly splotch of metal over the upper half of his face. So, as you can see above, I added a new bionic eye to him, in order to repair the model.

Painting Servitor (2)
It works rather well, I think, and the strange “welt” running over his right eye now looks more like a cable feeding into his bionic eye — how very 40k, to replace and eye and thereby fething up the other one, right? Especially on a painter!

Because this guy will be serving as a “painting servitor”, or as an augmeticised master painter, for that matter. I think he will be commanding a coterie of servo-skulls, that are taking care of the actual painting, while he is making preparatory sketches and adjusting the skulls’ work.

The servo skulls will be darting around a suitably grimdark easel. I have already started building it:

Easel WIP (5)
Easel WIP (4)
Ironically enough, one of the servo skull diceholders that were released alongside 6th edition served as the main recource for building the easel. I added some parts from an old model truck kit, as well as some cabling and an Imperial aquila. And, like I said, a couple of servo-skulls will be floating around the completed easel:

Easel WIP (6)
I am currently using a CD as a makeshift base for the diorama, figuring out the basic composition before starting on the actual build:

Diorama early WIP (3)
Diorama early WIP (2)
So this will be a scene depicting a powerful Lord Militant of the Astra Militarum having his portrait taken by an augmeticised master painter of the 41st millennium and his coterie of servo-skull assistents — is this utterly brilliant or completely idiotic? Or a little bit of both? I’ll let you be the judges of that…

Anyway, so much for the Astra Militarum side of things for now! See you all next week, when I am going to show you the third batch of my current INQ28 kitbashing results. Until then, feel free to let me know any suggestions and feedback you might have!

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