Archive for Dreadnought

Ancient Vaako of the World Eaters

Posted in 30k, Conversions, Fluff, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2017 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, surprise: I am not dead! 😉 I’ve gone through a bit of a rocky patch – from a purely hobby-related perspective – however, with a combination of work and other personal interests taking up most of my time, and very little hobby mojo left to speak of. So I haven’t really done much hobby related stuff since before Christmas, and that involves participating in forum discussions, writing blog posts or even personal, hobby-related correspondence.

Anyway, I decided that it was high time I broke this personal hobby-dreadlock, so here we are with a fresh post. Now some of you may be wondering where that third and final part of my Eternal Hunt Awards went: I remain committed to doing a writeup of my favourite 2016 projects from other hobbyists  – if you still want to read it, that is – but for now, it felt like the best way to actually get back into the swing of things was to just sit down and finish a model.

So let’s talk about my first 2017 model — fortunately enough, it’s a piece that I have wanted to finish for a long time now: All the way back at the tail end of 2015, when Betrayal at Calth had just been released, I immediately started to cut up the somewhat generic Contemptor that came with the box, turning it first into this:

World Eaters Contemptor 30k early WIP (1)

And then into this:

World Eaters Contemptor 30k WIP (9)
My plan for the model was to make it a bit more interesting by taking cues from Forgeworld’s World Eaters Dreadnought while also putting my own spin on things. For those interested in the subject, more conversion notes can be found in my original post here. And since I was really happy with the finished conversion, I really wanted to do this guy justice with a suitably good paintjob.

So when The Bolter & Chainsword started yet another forum-wide hobby event earlier this year, I knew it was time to get off my arse and finish this bad boy. So he became a part of my vow for the “Loyalty & Treachery III” event, along with two other models that I hope to paint soon-ish:

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But the Contemptor was definitely first in line. I usually really enjoy painting Dreadnoughts, you see, so I hoped this guy would be fun to paint as well!

The first task was to carefully think about which undercoats to use. In the end, I used two different colours to undercoat the model (white for the legs and breastplate, silver for the arms and torso). This made for a good start, because I ended up with parts of the model in colours that were already closed to the finished effect. So I carefully picked out all the details in the correct colours and also added the characteristic blue on the shoulder pads, knee pads and the reactor section. Here’s what the model looked like after this step:

world-eaters-contemptor-pip

Then I washed and highlighted some of the detail, such as the chain dangling from the Contemptor’s breastplate, the bronze parts etc. A look at the finished World Eater next to the Contemptor perfectly shows the difference between the squeaky clean white of the PIP Contemptor and the finished, grimy and dirty white on the legionary — but before tackling the white areas, there was something to take care of first:

I had decided to make use of quite a few Forgeworld World Eaters decals, and in order for the whole ensemble to look suitably believable, the decals had to be applied at this early stage, to be weathered and dirtied up later, along with the rest of the white armour. Here’s the Contemptor with nearly all decals in place:

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Better, but still far too clean, wouldn’t you agree? As an aside, I was really happy to be able to pull off that huge crossed chain decal on the leg armour.

In order to get the right, battle worn look, I used the same approach I had come up with for the rest of my 30k World Eaters so far: All of the white armour plates were washed with Army Painter Dark Tone, heavily diluted with GW Lahmian Medium. This shades the white parts and adds a grimy, dusty look to the armour. Afterwards, I used a small piece of blister foam and some GW Charadon Granite to add small patches of sponge weathering, adding to the dirty and unkempt look. By adding all of this on top of the decals, they ended up looking like a believable part of the model and not like an afterthought. Here’s the Contemptor after this step:

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And while the model was already looking quite alright by this point, I decided to add some further tweaks: GW Leadbelcher was carefully sponged onto the blue armour plates, for instance, to create a scratched look. I also added suitable amounts of grime and soot around the Contemptor’s reactor section:

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You might also have noticed the inclusion of a big “IV” decal on the model’s chest plate: The original plan was to have one of the red XII decals from the World Eaters decal sheet there, but that didn’t work out at all, as the red decal didn’t really read against the brass background. So I decided on a white numeral that stands for the Contemptor’s affiliation with the 4th assault company — I suppose there are enough XII decals scattered across the model to make it obvious which legion this guy belongs to 😉

In the meantime, I also created a base to match the model. For this project, I used some granite slabs from the 40k basing kit for big models. But while the parts worked well enough, they also soffered from very, very soft detailing — my pet peeve with the kit, as you’ll probably remember. I brushed on some Liquid GS to create additional texture:

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The paintjob was meant to evoke a dusty battlefield, like the crumbling avenues and plazas of Armatura, the Ultramarines’ war-world. So of course I had to add a fallen member of the XIII legion as well 😉

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Now just for the record: I don’t harbour any particular hate for the Ultramarines, but my 30k World Eaters are based on the legion circa during the Shadow Crusade (so from Isstvan to Nuceria) with a possible focus on the battles of Armatura and Nuceria. And the XIII Legion were the World Eaters’ main opponent during that campaign. Plus there’s an excellent showdown between Guilliman and Angron at Nuceria that shows how they are basically polar opposites in many ways, so it seems like a nice fit.

At this point, only some minor touchups were neccessary to finish the model. So let’s take a look at the finished Contemptor, alright?

 

Ancient Vaako

the Immortal, the Cerberite, honoured veteran of the XII Legion Astartes

In his dreams, he is still at Cerberus Station, its steel corridors and rock catacombs bathed in amber warning lights, the ropes of blood and viscera on every surface like the studies of a mad artist. The renegades have taken a terrible toll in blood, and he can see the corpses of station personnel, fallen inmates and the remains of servitors, strewn like ragdolls across the floors and makeshift barricades. And between them, in far smaller numbers, yet still shockingly common, the bodies of his brothers, the grey blue ceramite shards of their armour like cracked eggshells. All is quiet, strangely enough, yet the air is heavy with the scent of bad deaths.

When he rounds the next corner, he finds himself face to face with one of the monsters, squatting atop a pile of broken bodies. It is dying from a thousand cuts already, but just too stubborn to realise it yet. Its armour is cracked and scarred, but he still recognises it as an earlier, cruder version of his own warplate. Even then, he senses in his bones that their kinship goes farther still.

Up close, its animal stink and the sharp tang of its chemical secretions are almost overwhelming: the cancerous odour of a biological experiment slowly breaking down into its composite parts.

They quietly observe each other for a moment then, and in its rheumy eyes, he sees the ending of an age — but there is more there: infinite sadness. A sense of betrayal. The broken spirit of a once proud warrior, now merely a tool discarded by its own creator.

+++

He awakens underwater, his lungs filled with icy liquid. As usual, it takes a moment for him to remember where he is. And what he has become. While jagged Nagrakali runes dance before his eyes, his gaze turns downward to the men a merciless conqueror king has crudely reshaped into his brothers. He wonders why they have come. Why they will not let him sleep and dream of betrayal the colour of blood and amber light. And then they begin to speak, and speak for a long time, and while their words weave a tapestry depicting a world gone mad, he remembers the spiteful, sad gaze of a discarded, broken toy and realises, with grim certainty, that it is all happening again.

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A Terran veteran from the days when the XII legion was still named the War Hounds, Brahim Vaako is one of the oldest members of the 4th assault company. His status as a honoured ancient of the company made his support crucial when Captain Lorimar succeeded the company’s former commander, Lord Valna, whom he had slain in the fighting pits.

Unlike many Terran-born veterans of the World Eaters, he has never felt any resentment towards the Primarch Angron and the changes the latter had wrought upon the legion: During the quelling of the Cerberus Insurrection, the campaign in which Vaako would first distinguish himself, he saw  the last Thunder Warriors die, and their fate and the World Eaters‘ role in their demise planted the seed for a growing disillusionment with the Emperor and the Imperial Truth in him, long before the Horus Heresy ever broke out.

So here’s the finished model, and let’s not mince words: I am incredibly happy with how the model has come out! So let’s take a closer look at him:

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As you can see, I also added some blood – par for the course for a World Eater, really – and it was once again pretty much the hardest part of the project, because it’s just so easy to overdo an effect like that. The fist was a no-brainer, of course. Regarding the legs, my rationale was that any fallen enemy at the Contemptor’s feet could only ever hope to reach as high as the Dread’s shins — and would likely make a terrible mess down there while expiring 😉

Also, there may or may not be suggestions of bloody handprints in that bloody mess. At the same time, the effect also provided me with a good way to add some detail to those barren inner sides of the legs.

One thing I really spent a lot of time on was the use of matching decals to create both a feeling of belonging to the XII legion and a kind of personal heraldry for the character. For instance, the numeral “IV” stenciled onto his chest plate proudly proclaims his allegiance to the 4th assault company:

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Meanwhile, the row of three hound heads appearing on his torso is a reminder of his participation in the quelling of the Cerberus Insurrection, a campaign that also earned him the epithet “Cerberite”:

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Speaking of personal heraldry, the one thing that fell by the wayside during the painting stage, surprisingly enough, was the heraldic shield on Vaako’s left shoulder: I originally really liked the idea of having it there as a way of showing personal heraldry, but when I tacked it own, it turned out the shield really upset the model’s colour balance — so it had to go.

The base came together in a pretty experimental way — which makes me all the happier that it looks pretty much like I imagined it:

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And here’s Vaako together with his “squishier” little brothers:

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I think this little group serves as a pretty neat proof of concept of what I want my 30k World Eaters to look like! I think you can expect some more of these at some point in the not-too-distant future 😉

For now, though, I am really happy to have finally finished this model — and about possibly having my hobby mojo back for now. YAY! 🙂

Of course I would love to hear your feedback, so let me know what you think in the comments! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

30k-world-eaters-and-contemptor-2

The State of the Hunt — Week 50

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, state of the hunt, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2016 by krautscientist

Only a short update today, mostly because it has been one hell of a week, due to a ridiculously important deadline at work. Still, there are two news items I would like to share with you, so let’s take a look at the current State of the Hunt:

 

I. Return of the Chibi-Knight!

Some of you might remember that, back when I built and painted my Renegade Knight, Gilgamesh, I also included a roughly Epic 40k-scaled version of the same warmachine in the project as an added bit of fun. I dubbed it the “Chibi-Knight” back then:

Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (1)

Now cobbling together a – pretty faithful – smaller version of the Knight was a very entertaining, if fairly involved, endeavour. But I didn’t really consider doing it again.

Enter fellow German hobbyist Helega, who helped me out with several really spectacular bitz drops this year. For instance, he provided the chain cape I used to replace the missing cape on my Forgeworld Angron. Anyway, Helega asked me whether I could build another Chibi-Knight for him, and while I knew this would mean some fiddly work, there was really no way I could turn down the request. So I tried to reverse-engineer my original kitbashing process and make another copy.

As an added twist, Helega wanted his Knight to be the loyalist version, so I had to account for that during the building process. There was also no way I would be able to cover up dodgy areas with spikes and baroque decorations this time around 😉

I started by putting together the same basic assembly I had used last time: CSM Raptor legs (chosen due to the separate feet, and because the lightning bolt decoration works both for chaos and for Great Crusade era Imperial machines, a Space Marine Terminator torso and a Dreadnought shin guard:

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Instead of last time’s Raptor pauldrons, I ended up using some Chaos Marauder shoulder guards, and they arguably worked even better, making the torso look really familiar to that of GW’s stock Imperial Knight. I also found out that one of the ancient plastic chaos warriors’ helmets looks almost exactly like one of the face masks that come with the Knight kit.

So I knew I was on the right track, but this is where the fiddly work began: I painstakingly spliced together the Chibi-Knight’s feet using the hook bit from the CSMvehicle accessory sprue, and I once again tried to create weapon arms that were as close as possible to those of the 28mm version.

Helega told me he wanted the Knight to be armed with a gatling cannon and power fist, so I took a long hard look at the Imperial Knight Warden and worked from there:

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And after a lot of messing around with various bitz, this is what I came up with:

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Here’s a side by side comparison showing the weapon arms of the big version and my “chibi-versions” of the same weapons:

Power Fist:

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Gatling Cannon:

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Not a 100% perfect match, maybe, but certainly reasonable enough, given the difference in scale! 😉

So here’s what I packed up and sent to Helega:

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As you can see, I have left the part in several sub-assemblies. This should make for easier painting, plus it’ll also allow Helega to tweak the pose according to his wishes. I have also included an alternate head and a bit that could serve as the carapace-mounted missile launcher.

So yeah, another Chibi-Knight finished! Here he is, next to Chibi-Gilgamesh:

chibi-knight-mk-ii-18
The new version is arguably even slightly more elegant a conversion than my first attempt in several respects 😉

Anyway, I am really happy with the finished conversion, if I do say so myself, and I hope Helega will be happy as well! As far as I know, the Knight will be painted in either Death Guard or Dusk Raiders colours, and I am really looking forward to seeing the finished model!

chibi-knight-mk-ii-15

 II. Getting to the finish line — but only just barely…

In other news, I am happy to report that I did manage to finish my vow for the Call of Chaos event over at The Bolter & Chainsword — even if it didn’t look like I would be successful for the longest time.

Earlier this week, I found myself with two models yet to finish for the vow and virtually no painting time to dedicate to the task. So I was basically prepared to call the endeavour a lost cause when a last minute pep-talk from fellow hobbyist Augustus b’Raass brought me back on track.

So I basically put in every waking hour of leisure time I had this Tuesday and completed the last models for my vow — at 2.30 in the morning 😉

Anyway, here’s a look at all the completed models:

finished-call-2016-10
Rest assured that we’ll be taking a closer look at these guys pretty soon. And starting next week, it’s also time for the annual Eternal Hunt Awards, I believe… 😉

But that’ll have to wait for a couple of days. For now, let me know what you think! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

The State of the Hunt — Week 44

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, state of the hunt, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2016 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, I’ll be at a conferece for most of the week, so this week’s post is basically a recap of things I am currently working on. Hopefully you’ll still appreciate the glimpse at my chaotic workshop 😉

I. Iron and mud

So first up, a small update regarding my ongoing work on my Call of Chaos vow: I already showed you a mostly completed Iron Warriors Apothecary directly after my recent vacation, but back then the model still needed a suitable base. And while I realise I have been taking my sweet time with this, I really wanted to make the base suitably interesting — I’ll let you be the judges as to whether or not I have suceeded with this.

So, without further ado, I give you Apothecary Phastos of the Iron Warriors:

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Like I said, I wanted to include a little “special effect” on the base, both to support the model’s narrative and because I had pledged this guy as a “trophied” model for The Iron Without, a small Iron Warriors centered sub-event over at The Bolter & Chainsword’s Chaos forum.  So I placed a fallen Imperial Fist at Phastos’s feet, trampled into the mud underfoot:

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What’s more, if you look really closely, you can see a telltale hole punched into the flex fitting covering the Astartes’ throat:

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It’s where Phastos has just used his Narthecium gauntlet to extract his fallen loyalist cousin’s geneseed. After all, the Iron Warriors have been known to use other legions’ geneseed to create new legionaries — in fact, this little nugget of lore is the reason for having an apothecary as one of the character archetypes feature in my Killteam in the first place!

Beyond the aspect of adding to the model’s narrative, the base was also a chance of trying my hand at a new technique for the first time, because the Imperial Fist was created using a mold and some GS. Now I certainly don’t want to go crazy about copying huge amounts of stuff, but I thought it might be an interesting tool to make certain effects easier to achieve, and having a “standard” fallen Astartes template would have been pretty useful, plus I wanted the profile of the fallen Marine to be pretty flat without having to shave down 5mm of plastic. So here’s a quick comparison shot showing the “master” for the fallen Marine, the mold I made and the finished base:

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Unfortunately, the experiment was only partially a success, because the GS Marine ended up slightly warped and with softer details than I would have liked. Granted, my pathologic lack of patience might have had something to do with it as well. Anyway, I thought the poor guy was still good enough for a base — I had to pull off all kinds of tricks, however, to suggest depth where none existed.

All in all, I really like the finished model, though: It immediately reads as an Iron Warrior, and the cold and implacable feel of the model is arguably underlined even further by the tiny amount of bare skin visible on Phastos’ face. Plus I like the sinister implications of an Iron Warriors’ Apothecary harvesting the geneseed of the legion’s fallen enemies…

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So regarding my Call of Chaos vow, this means two down, three to go 😉
I didn’t stop there, however, but made some time to rebase the other two power armoured Iron Warriors I had built and painted last year:

rebased-iron-warriors
I briefly considered leaving the guy on the left on his original base, seeing how he was just an early tester and will never be anything more, but in the end, it was only one more base, and I did go through the trouble of touching up the hazard stripes and decals on him when I painted the first “new” Iron Warriors last year, so it would have felt kinda wishy-washy to stop there 😉

The champ really profits from the added breathing space, though:

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The whole business of rebasing these guys also led to the discovery of a very effective and quick recipe for duing muddy bases: Just cover the base in Vallejo’s Sandy Paste for a cery convincing surface texture, spraypaint with Chaos Black (once the paste has dried), cover with an even coat of Vallejo Charred Brown (or any suitably brackish colour you like, really) and finish the base by coating it in gloss varnish — done!

While I was at it, I also snapped some new pictures of Warsmith Greimolt Sturm:

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So yeah, that’s the whole (albeit small) IV Legion collection I own so far:

iron-warriors-killteam-wip-5

II. What’s in a name…?

Some of you probably still remember the models I painted for the ETL V event earlier this year: Among those models was a converted Kastelan Robot turned into an engine of destruction by the 4th assault company’s Master of the Forge, Lord Deracin.

However, back when I painted the model, I did not yet have a detailed idea about its possible background, and the poor guy didn’t even have a name. Thanks to the suggestions of my readers, however, this sad state of affairs is now at an end: Thanks to the suggestion of Llamahead, the converted Kastelan henceforth belongs to the “Confractura-pattern”. Now my Latin has grown a bit rusty, but I understand Confractura means “Breach” — which seems like a rather apt designation, given the fact that the robot is wielding a massive hammer 😉

But wait, there’s more: Thanks to an exchange of ideas, the machine also has an excellent little background vignette telling its story, courtesy of fellow hobbyist Inquisitor Mikhailovich (cheers, buddy!). Enjoy:

Khornate Kastelan conversion (11)
Brazenskull, “The Crimson Destroyer”, Confractura-pattern battle Automaton

Monger had been proud of the weapon.

The fact that the task of restoring such an ancient and powerful relic had been entrusted to him was, in his mind, a higher honour than even his elevation to the Deathwatch had been. If anything exceeded his elation at receiving the task, it had been his pride at his success.

Monger knew that becoming an Astartes, for all the honour it represented, was to be denied many of the emotions experienced by mortal humans, and yet when the machine finally woke from its eons long slumber for the first time, when it took its first halting steps after millennia of inaction, his joy was not entirely unlike what a proud parent might feel. And when its updated combat protocols first outclassed those of the combat servitors he tested it against, his was not only the pride of a tutor, but also the terrifying satisfaction that only an engineer of death could feel.

When it took to the battlefield for the first time, he felt a mix of all those emotions, as the child of his mind shredded Tyranic opponents for the first time on the plains of Ter’notha. On Veldictus it proved its worth when it routed the Cleansers of Ladon renegade Astartes in less than three days, tirelessly and furiously forcing them into retreat. When it finally fell against the monstrous World Eaters and could not be recovered, it had been mourned as a brother.

Now, however, the Tech-Marine felt an odd mixture of pride and, utter disgust. His machine had survived, exactly as he had planned it to. He recognised its reactions, its movements and attacks, even if its outer form had been terribly warped: Something had corrupted its noble adamantine shell. Like the Prodigal Son of legend, it had turned against its father.

The Marine braced himself as the machine charged him, sheathing his weapons and slaving his Servo-Arms to his mostly biological ones for enhanced speed. He barked curt orders to the Marines behind him – Wrecker, Pyro, Bookworm, and Archangel – his usual fiery voice replaced with the cold, hard steel one would expect from an agent of the Omnissiah. They obediently fanned out, retreating ever so slightly.

Monger met his creation head on, clamping his mag-boot and bionic foot to the Necrontyr living metal beneath him. With flawless timing he clamped the rampaging machine’s powerfist in one Servo-Arm, its new and unrecognisable hammer arm in the other.

Like a giant contesting a god, he forced it to slow its charge.

He adjusted his grip so as to crush the smaller and more vulnerable wrist of its right hand, forcing it to drop the hammer.

“I would know how to bring you down better than anyone. Next time, don’t be so foolish as to attack me,” he spat, angrily, before calling into the Vox, “Wrecker! I need you and Archangel to coordinate a volley on the head, explosive shells, plasma discharge oh-point-six seconds ahead of frag cannon fire, three rounds, fourth with armour penetrating rounds. Pyro, disable the powerfist with your melta, Bookworm, try and knock out the leg servos. Fire!”

The squad’s weaponry was in motion before he’d even finished delivering the command.

The automaton’s head jerked to one side and Monger’s optics flared, trying desperately to make visual sense of the fireworks display happening less than two metres away. His right arm and slaved Servo-Arm slipped forward as the weapon they had clutched was expertly disintegrated from between its servo driven claws, and the machine fell to one knee, then both, held up by the one Servo-Arm that still gripped it.

Monger deactivated his direct control over the right Servo-Arm, returning it to a storage position, and drew his relic combi-melta. Without a word, he placed the barrel against the shattered remains of the machine’s featureless faceplate, and pulled the trigger, obliterating its entire head. Then he relinquished his grip entirely, letting the broken automaton fall to the ground.

He turned to his squad and silently gestured for them to move out before returning to the machine. He rolled it over onto its back and, pressing one hand to its chest, uttered a prayer, commending its machine spirits to the Omnissiah.

Then, without another backwards glance, he followed his squad. There were wars to be fought, and this was no longer one of them.

 

***

Huntmaster Deracin dropped to one knee with a snarl of servo-joints and the clinking sound of chains, taking in the mechanical corpse of the Crimson Destroyer before him, as the robed Forge Adepts scurried around him, beginning to search the scrap metal for salvageable components.
This was the work of a Tech-Marine. The damage to the right arm showed marks that could only have been left by a Servo-Arm, so that much was obvious. The head and left arm had been shorn off cleanly, obviously by a melta weapon, and the small craters at the knees were evidence of precision bolter fire, no doubt.

What little remained of Deracin’s organic features drew into a smile, even as his augmetic eye surveyed the destruction, a cold and detached part of his mind already taking stock of the damage and plotting out the necessary repairs. The Loyalists were always so hasty to pronounce a machine dead. But no, this one’s hunt was far from over.

One of Deracin’s clawed servo-arms brought the automaton’s cracked faceplate in front of his face, and his smile turned into a wolfish grin. This is where he would start. The test runs so far had been promising, but the conversion process would only be truly completed once the machine was granted a new face, in honour of its new master. He would craft a new visage for it, one that would remind the Loyalists that he was not so easily bested.

A face in the image of death itself.

 

III. Ooops, I did it again…

Before I wind up this post, allow me to share one last sneak peek at the latest conversion I am working on: This last weekend, I felt the need to build something, and I still had that free Slaughterpriest from WD knocking about, so this happened:

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As some of you may already suspect, this will become yet another homemade version of Angron — whatever obsession with the Lord of the XII legion fellow hobbyist Reg is suffering from, I seem to have been infected with it as well!

Anyway, I am going for a model inspired by this piece of artwork from the late, great Wayne England:

Angron by Wayne England

Angron by Wayne England

Since I already have the stock Forgeworld model wielding Gorefather and Gorechild, it made sense to go for a version with the two-handed axe that appears so often in the classic artwork, such as the one shown above, but also in what is probably the oldes sketch showing Angron by none other than the legendary John Blanche:

Angron by John Blanche

Angron by John Blanche

The “winged” axe is also a part of my Daemon-Primarch version of Angron, as you will probably remember, so this should make for a nice visual shout out.

The model is still a very, very early WIP at this point, however, so it’ll be a while before we can consider this chap finished. But in any case, it seems like my series on building various incarnations of Angron will have to turn into a “quadtych”, after all — is that even a word…?

 

So yeah, I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s look at my desk! I would of course love to hear any feedback you may have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

ETL V: Ex-ter-min-ate!

Posted in 40k, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2016 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, after last week’s rather unpleasant events, let us return to this blog’s main subject, as I show you the next finished model for Khorne’s Eternal Hunt.

Having spent most of last Thursday and Friday watching the news of Brexit hollow-eyed and with a constant sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, I decided I might as well try to transform my sadness into something more productive and started working on my converted Kastelan:

Khornate Kastelan WIP (4)
Now this model was originally built shortly after the release of the Kastelan Robots, in an attempt to transform into one of them into a particularly Khornate battle engine — and I believe I have definitely succeeded in that regard. And after sitting on a shelf for quite some time, the model was now ready for some paint, in time for the ETL event over at The Bolter & Chainsword.

The model is basically as tall and wide as a Contemptor, as you can see in this picture:

World Eaters Contemptor 30k scale comparison

So I included it in my ETL vow as a Counts-As-Contemptor — and indeed, that is also the role the model will likely be filling if it should ever see the tabletop.

But before that, I had to get the thing painted. I took off all of the chaotic armour plates for this, in order to give me access to the model’s body, and interestingly enough, this made the model look almost like a standard Kastelan for most of the painting process:

Khornate Kastelan PIP (1)
But fortunately, as the armour plates came back on one by one,…

Khornate Kastelan PIP(2)
Khornate Kastelan PIP(3)
…the model started looking increasingly chaotic again 😉

From a technical perspective, I decided to work over a coat of Leadbelcher spray paint, and as it turned out, not only did this make for a really good base for the red I added on later, but it also made sure that all the internal workings of the machine could simply be left metallic, which makes for a pretty convincing look. It would have been really difficult to get back into all those little nooks and crannies with a brush, so the silver undercoat turned out to be a very good call!

This strategy, combined with a motivation fueled by a particularly mixture of sadness and madness saw me complete the model in record time. Take a look at the finished Khornate Kastelan conversion:

Khornate Kastelan conversion (1)
Khornate Kastelan conversion (2)
Khornate Kastelan conversion (3)
Khornate Kastelan conversion (4)
Khornate Kastelan conversion (5)

Thanks to a bitz drop from fellow hobbyist Helega, I was able to add a cool wrist-mounted gun to the Kastelan’s right forearm, courtesy of one of Pertuarbo’s guns: I will admit that the thought of using it on the model felt frivolous for maybe half a minute, but it did solve two problems at once (adding some bulk to that hand and wrist and finding a way to feature an integrated weapon in spite of the hammer), so I decided to go for it.

Khornate Kastelan conversion (6)
Khornate Kastelan conversion (7)
As you can see, I also added some decals to the model, in order to underline its nature as a machine even more. In fact, I couldn’t help myself and had to add a really ancient decal from the early 90s’ plastic Khorne Berzerkers:

Khornate Kastelan conversion (9)
Let me tell you, that decal sheet still holds some of the best Khornate decal designs, even today!

And here’s a closeup of the model’s entirely humourless face:

Khornate Kastelan conversion (10)

All in all, I am really rather happy with the finished model. And not only does this mean one less unpainted model, but it also marks the completion of my first ETL vow:

ETL V First Completed Vow
Together with my Skulltaker conversion and Lord Dumah, the 4th assault company’s Apothecary, that’s a cool additional 500 points for Khorne’s Eternal Hunt!

But wait, there’s one last thing: I am still looking for a snappy name for this new combat automaton! And although I have already received quite a few cool suggestions on various forums, I would really love to hear your ideas as well!
I’ll be needing both the pattern designation for the machine as well as the name of this particular model, so I’d love to hear your suggestions! Please refrain from going Age of Sigmar levels of cheesy on me, though 😉

Khornate Kastelan conversion (11)

And of course it goes without saying that I would also love to hear any feedback you may have! As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Betrayal at Calth or: How to engineer the perfect gateway drug

Posted in Conversions, Pointless ramblings, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2015 by krautscientist

It was only a question of time.

Seriously, it’s always easier to say such things in hindsight, but ever since the Horus Heresy has become a massively successful commercial juggernaut, it was pretty obvious that GW proper would get in on the business eventually. And now they have. With a starter box that basically seems like a license to print money. Well played, GW!

Betrayal at Calth release (2)
So let’s take a closer look at Betrayal at Calth today and discuss the models contained in the box, first and foremost. And I’ll also be sharing my first hands on experiences with one of the models — but I am getting ahead of myself 😉

 

It’s clear that the box is, above all else, a gateway into Forgeworld’s Horus Heresy setting: The timeframe and design of the models make this plain enough, but there’s also a number of smaller telltale signs: The layout of the rulebook accompanying the game mirrors that of FW’s publications. The box artwork is closer in design and colour choice to Black Library’s HH novel covers. The box itself is noticeably sturdier and more luxurious than even GW’s other boxed games — all of this seems to be saying: “We are entering big boy territory now.” 😉

The set provides us with two small Space Marine forces to play the actual game with or, possibly the more interesting and also more realistic option, one combined, decently-sized (if less than ideal) Horus Heresy starter force. By the same token, the one thing that goes for all models contained in the box is the complete absence of legion insignia or more individual design cues: All of these guys are generic to the point of blandness. But, of course, that is their greatest strength as well as their greatest failure. While the lack of legion specific details and multipart nature of the models make the box contents seem a little bland, this choice is also what makes the models so very tempting for each and every Space Marine player out there: These are not exciting display pieces, but rather an amazing toolkit to start a new army or add to your existing collection, even if it comes at the price of a thoroughly vanilla look 😉 In fact, one could say that this box follows the exact opposite approach when compared with Age of Sigmar: Where the latter provides very individual and rather exciting (yet also rather limited) snapfit models, Betrayal at Calth’s models may be less exciting in and of themselves, yet are far more versatile.

Two things before we begin: One, in the interest of full disclosure: I picked up one of the boxes at launch. It seemed a bit frivolous, given my current situation, but I’ve been disciplined enough in my spending recently that I felt I deserved a treat 😉 This is even more significant, however, in how GW makes me eat my earlier words: I’ve gone on record stating that I wasn’t interested in starting a 30k project, and here I am getting Betrayal at Calth on day one — mission accomplished, GW 😉

Two, in addition to my following review, let me also recommend Wudugast’s very interesting look at Betrayal at Calth, which raises some excellent points and makes for a very good companion piece to my post, I think. Anyway, here goes:

 

Legion Veteran Squad

Betrayal at Calth release (7)
One of the multipart kits to come out of this box provides us with a whopping thirty (!) tactical Marines wearing Mk 4 armour, which is quite something! Now while I would have loved some variety when it comes to armour marks, it’s pretty clear that GW wanted to test the waters with these, so the fact that all the tactical Marines share the same basic design doesn’t come as a surprise and seems like a sound business decision. Mk 4 seems like a pretty good call, too, because it’s probably the most popular (and, arguably, one of the most iconic) Heresy era armour types. It’s a cool design overall, although one that has been somewhat hampered by dodgy proportions: Forgeworld’s Mk 4 models were pretty cool alright, but the models seemed a little off sometimes, with a lankiness and unevenness that was clearly noticeable. The plastic Mk 4 Marines share none of this dodginess: These models are perfectly and evenly proportioned and perfectly scaled against the already available 40k Marines — in fact, the Legion Veteran squad could (and, in many cases, probably will) serve as a perfect alternate tactical squad for 40k.

Betrayal at Calth release (8)

The level of detail on the sprues is absolutely excellent — as was to be expected, given GW’s recent level of quality when it comes to sharpness and detail. The amount of bitz and weapon options is also rather stunning, as the kit not only provides us with all the weapon options for a tactical squad, but also adds swords, pouches and holsters for each of the Marines, as well as bitz for the sergeant, vexillarius and what have you. So far, so good!

I also really like that GW’s designers have gone for the FW approach to Mk 4 armour, with a helmet design that is cooler than the “doglike” plastic Mk 4 helmets seen so far. In fact, my favourite part is that we even get Mk 4 helmets with vertical slits on the facemask, probably my favourite variant. And yes, we are firmly in Space Marine nerd territory here, thank you very much 😉

Unfortunately, while we lose the somewhat dodgy proportions, we also gain the classic, slightly crouched 40k Marine pose so emblematic of GW’s plastic Astartes: While FW’s Mk 4 Astartes sometimes seemed a little strangely proportioned, their poses were a bit more varied and they didn’t look like they urgently needed to go to the bathroom.

My other gripe with the sprues is that, while these will work for every legion, the fact that only standard bolter arms are included makes it a bit complicated to turn them into members of the less uniform legions like the World Eaters or Space Wolves: If you want your tac Marines to have a very regimented, orderly look, you’ll be in heaven. If you favour a more feral, individualistic approach, you’ll need to engage in some serious kitbashing.

Betrayal at Calth release (9)
All in all, these sprues are pretty great, although yet another Space Marine tactical kit might not feel like something to get super-excited about. Then again, these form a very decent backbone for any plastic-based HH army, or they give you the bitz to sprinkle some Heresy era goodness across your entire 40k army, and as such these should become very popular with 30k and 40k players alike.

 

Legion Cataphractii

Betrayal at Calth release (11)
Okay, these guys were a bit of a surprise: A tactical kit seemed like a bit of a no-brainer for plastic 30k, but I certainly wouldn’t have expected Cataphractii Terminators right out the gate. But here we are: An entire squad of heresy era Terminators. And what’s more, they even get the complete multipart treatment — that was unexpected!

The Cataphractii are probably more interesting from a visual standpoint in how much they differ from the 40k Terminators: They sport a very distinct Heresy era look that isn’t all that easy to emulate with plastic bitz either (not that I didn’t try, of course). So again, these are very interesting as an alternative for both the resin Cataphractii as well as the standard 40k Terminators.

Betrayal at Calth release (12)

Once again, the amount of detail and weapon options is quite excellent: We even get enough lightning claws for the entire squad, for instance, or to squirrel away for later use. In fact, it’s particularly cool to have the iconic Heresy era LC design available in plastic.

One thing I think I’ll need to get used to is that the torso pieces are designed in such a way that only “half-heads” are used, although it might be possible to change this with some minor conversion work. – excellent: amount of weapon options, extra weapons.

My one legitimate concern about the kit is that, for all the weapon options, we don’t get any options for CC weapons like power swords, chainaxes or power mauls. While GW’s designers probably had to stop somewhere, I guess I would have preferred those instead of both power fists and chainfists, if only because World Eaters Cataphractii look so sexy with their chainaxes 😉 As it stands, however, we only get one measly power sword for the sergeant. Boo hiss! 😉

Betrayal at Calth release (13)
But again, having access to plastic Cataphractii is a rather unexpected turn of events, and the fact that these are a multipart kit with lots and lots of options is a rather nice surprise. While the tac Marines might be more universally useful, these guys are one of my favourite parts of the box!

 

 

Legion Contemptor Dreadnought

Betrayal at Calth release (15)
Okay, I am not going to lie to you: The prospect of actually having access to a plastic Contemptor was basically one of the main reasons I purchased a copy of Betrayal at Calth. Yet in an interesting turn of events, the plastic Contemptor is the best part and the worst part of the release at the same time. Confused yet? Allow me to elaborate:

The amount of detail is very nice, and it’s great that we actually get the relict variant. All of this is even nicer given the fact that this is almost a snapfit model, at least when it comes to the simplicity of construction:  The Contemptor is very easy to put together (only slightly more complicated than the AOBR Dread, actually). And it seems to be just as tall as an actual FW Contemptor. And we even get a choice of ranged weapons — all of this is quite excellent!

On the other hand, the model is generic to the point of blandness (which, I’ll admit, was probably the point: You are supposed to be able to use this for every legion, after all). This is easily remedied by adding some bitz. But they did choose the least interesting pose on the planet for some reason — I especially dislike the slightly inwards turned legs that make the Contemptor look like Paris Hilton  posing on a red carpet. Seriously, I get why they went for a neutral pose, but it surely could have been slightly more interesting…?

So what to make of the model? It’s one of the most exciting parts of the boxed game in that it’s fantastic to have access to a plastic Contemptor. Yet it will take a bit of work to truly make it shine and to get rid of some of the blandness — but we’ll be getting there in a minute 😉

 

Captain Streloc Aetheon / Legion Praetor wearing Cataphractii armour

Betrayal at Calth release (17)
The actual army commanders are often my favourite part of every starter box, and Captain Aetheon (who, of course can also be used as a generic Astartes Praetor wearing Cataphractii armour) is certainly a rather imposing model: Both the bulk and the ostentatiousness of his armour make him a rather nice centre piece. I also like the inclusion of a cape!

The model is not entirely without its problems, however: First of all, while the pose is alright, the Captain seems to be giving it his all in order to look along the barrel of his combi-bolter. He seems to be mirroring one of Forgeworld’s Legion Praetors to some degree, but the pose does seem a bit forced to me, and less natural than that of the resin model. I also prefer the cc weapon on the Forgeworld Praetor, as a chainfist seems like a rather unheroic weapon for such a centre piece character — in a box geared towards universal usefulness, this seems like the strangest possible place to go for individual characteristics… It seems like a relic blade of some sort would have been a cooler option. Maybe it’s the fact that the confined nature of the Underground Wars at Calth would make a chainfist the more sound option…?

Betrayal at Calth release (16)
All in all, however, I rather like the captain. He’s quite a beast, and more interesting to look at than GW’s plastic Terminator Captain for 40k. I think the model will not only make for an excellent Praetor, but also for a great Chaptermaster in 40k. Nice job!

 

Kurtha Sedd / Legion Chaplain

Betrayal at Calth release (19)
We also get a praetor variant in regular power armour — a chaplain to be exact (although it would certainly be easy enough to turn him into something else). First things first, this model doesn’t really look like a Word Bearers chaplain to me: This is probably the one model hurt most by the decision to have the contents of the box look as generic as they do, because while this guy may make for a decent Chaplain for just about every legion, he just seems too clean and uncluttered for a Word Bearer

I also really hate the top of that crozius, because it’s too clunky by far and looks like the designer ran out of ideas at the last possible moment.

Apart from that, the model also has some elements that I really like: The decoration of the armour is very nice, especially given the fact that all the other suits of Mk 4 armour in the set remain woefully unadorned. I also like the advancing pose and the cape. And it’s nice that the model should be flexible enough to allow for head and weapon swaps without a hitch, in spite of being a snapfit assembly.

Betrayal at Calth release (18)All in all, it’s a pretty nice character model, although I think Captain Aetheon comes out slightly on top. But that’s just a matter of personal taste.

 

So, those are the models we get in the box — quite a boatload, I must say! And judging by these pictures from the Games Workshop website, they make for a rather impressive combined starter army:

Betrayal at Calth release (20)
Interestingly enough, the pictures also show that Kurtha Sedd works far better as an Ultramarine, while Aetheon looks great in Word Bearers colours, as pointed out in Wudugast’s aforementioned review of the models.

Betrayal at Calth release (21)
Another very interesting factor is how buying Forgeworld’s resin versions of the box contents would be much, much more expensive, making Betrayal at Calth terrific value for the money, in any case. And that’s before you consider that there’s also an actual game to be had here (although you will forgive me for not dwelling on this fact — other people do rules far better than me 😉 ).

One last thing I’d like to mention is that I really like the dedicated decal sheet that comes in the box. Sure, it’s pretty tiny, but I like how it seems to have been made with the actual contents of the box in mind, instead of just providing a very stripped down version of a bigger decal sheet. And all those “XIIIs” will be really easy to turn into “XIIs” with a sharp knife 😉

 

Conversion ideas:

Well, to address the elephant in the room, first and foremost: This is, of course, a box for those hobbyists who already enjoy Space Marines. If you don’t find Astartes all that compelling to begin with, chances are this box is not going to change your mind. For those who do have a modicum of love for GW’s posterboy transhuman killing machines, though, it’s clear that the box provides an enormously versatile toolkit: While the models themselves may not be as exciting and individual as, say, some of the stuff in the Age of Sigmar starter box, the fact that most of the kits are multipart makes this a very interesting purchase, both for 30k and 40k Space Marine aficionados. In fact, the true beauty of this box is that it’ll make both 30k and 40k players happy, allowing you to either start a Horus Heresy force or add some Heresy bling to your 40k Astartes. The lack of unique decoration on the models also makes them equally attractive for all legions and/or successor chapters (with a few possible exceptions, as I’ve said before).

While my own burgeoining Heresy project will be featured in more detail at a later date, let’s focus on one particular model for today. Because I really couldn’t help myself and had to start working on the Contemptor right away:

Like I said, there are a number of problems with the stock model that I felt I needed to address: I wanted to make the pose a bit more interesting, for one. And I really didn’t like the very bland stock head. Oh, and I wanted the model to be recognisable as a World Eater, of course — I hope his doesn’t come as a huge shock to you guys 😉

So here’s my own Contemptor after a few initial changes:

World Eaters Contemptor 30k early WIP (1)
My initial idea was to tweak the pose with some careful cuts. So I cut the model apart at the waist, in order to allow for more articulation. I also added two elements for a suitably World Eater-ly look: an ogre gut plate doubling as the legion badge as well as a skull and chain ensemble from the Age of Sigmar Bloodsecrator model. And I used a shaved-down Defiler facemask as an alternate head.

But I wasn’t quite happy yet, so I also worked a bit on the Kheres arm: Cut between the pauldron and the elbow, and not only can you repose the arm, but this would also be the perfect position for inserting a magnet, I guess. And I wasn’t quite done with the legs, either: I wanted to get rid of the pidgeon-toed look, so I cut the right leg from the pelvis area and glued it back on at a slightly different angle:

World Eaters Contemptor 30k WIP (1)

It’s a fairly subtle tweak, to be sure, but I think it makes for a far less awkward pose. As for the general idea of reposing the legs, it’s easy enough to separate the legs from the pelvis, and this allows for some essential conversion options, allowing you to get rid of that pidgeon-toed stance. Everything that involves making the legs bend at the knee, however, seems very complicated and hardly worth the trouble: I suppose it might be possible, but you’ll lose either the upper legs or the kneedpads (or both). One possible way would be to carefully cut out the lower legs and use (40k) Dreadnought legs to rebuild the upper legs — they are virtually indistinguishable.

I did go back to change the head at this point, though: I had originally chosen the Defiler mask for its  slightly more brutal and original look. But while I was fairly happy with the cleverness of my conversion, the size of the head also made the model look a bit clunkier than it should, as was pointed out to me by several fellow hobbyists. So I did try a different head in the end, going for one of the Cataphractii helmets that came in the same box:

World Eaters Contemptor 30k WIP (5)
World Eaters Contemptor 30k WIP (6)
World Eaters Contemptor 30k WIP (7)
And I have to admit that I do prefer this version, after all: Granted, it’s a bit smaller than a Contemptor head, but it does make for a sleaker, more agile look, don’t you think? Plus it makes the model resemble the “official” FW World Eaters Contemptor.

World Eaters Contemptor 30k WIP (8)
I’ll still be adding some touches to the model before painting, although I’ll try not to go overboard with the detailing, as some of those smooth surfaces will provide a great occasion to use the more interesting, larger decals from the FW decal sheet. Because I really want to paint this guy in the Heresy-era World Eaters colours after all. I was torn between 30k and 40k for a while there, but decided to make the Contemptor a 30k model because I basically already own a counts-as Contemptor for 40k:

World Eaters Contemptor 30k scale comparison
Remember the guy on the right? In case anyone was wondering, the above picture shows that converted Kastelan robots will actually work rather nicely as stand-in Contemptors, at least from a scale perspective! So I guess I’ll be using the conversion made earlier this year as a Contemptor in games of 40k, while the actual Contemptor joins my eventual 30k project — of which more later, like I said 😉

 

So, what’s the final verdict? I think we have to hand it to GW: Betrayal at Calth will be flying off the shelves. The models in the box are extremely interesting to Space Marine players in 30 and 40k, for one. But there’s also the fact that the box seems to have been designed to whittle down the defenses of those who had yet managed to resist getting in on the Heresy business.

Case in point, I really didn’t want to start a Heresy era army (or warband), save for my Custodes (and those were born from a somewhat different desire). The cost of Forgeworld’s models seemed prohibitive, and the prospect of having to work with that much resin wasn’t very appealing to me. Betrayal at Calth entirely bypasses both concerns, and here I am, joining the fray. I’m feeling a bit like Pavlov’s dog, to be honest… 😉

It is an excellent starter box, though, in spite of its blandness (arguably because of it). It capitalises on GW’s most successful properties, which seems sensible from a business standpoint. It also contains nothing but Space Marines, which may rightfully be a bit of a turnoff for many of you. I am pretty sure the people at GW did the maths beforehand, though…

In any case, it’ll be interesting to see where we go from here: Will Betrayal at Calth merely function as some kind of gateway drug to get people into the 30k setting, while the main bulk of the models will still be sold by FW? Or will GW add to their Horus Heresy plastic kits over time? Will we be getting additional armour marks in plastic? Has that decision even been taken yet? And how does it all work together with the recent announcement of a new Specialist Games devision? Interesting times, indeed!

What is already obvious is how they have set themselves up in a very clever position: Both the Legion Veterans as well as the Cataphractii can (and probably will) be released as their own multipart kits without any further need for additional design or production capacities. And the characters would be easy to release as clamshell characters. So whatever happens, I am pretty sure that Betrayal at Calth will earn back its development cost, even if it remains a standalone piece. Speaking of which, I think the approach of making one-off games to include along with the models seems like a cool idea, and I would actually love GW/FW to do more along those lines and really bring back Adeptus Titanicus, Epic, Necromunda or even Inquisitor. But that will be a story for another day.

Let me wind up this review by mentioning one tiny thing I really liked about the box: The sides of the lower part actually feature the different painted models:

BaC box nostalgia

I got such a huge HeroQuest vibe from that, and maybe it’s the kind of detail that shows what we can expect from the new FW Specialist Games division? Or maybe it’s just wishful thinking…

 

So, what do you make of it all? Are you happy with Betrayal at Calth, or do you merely see this as another money grab? Or both? What do you think about the models? And will you be getting into there Heresy after all? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section!

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

3rd birthday and some tributes to the Hunt

Posted in Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2015 by krautscientist

yearthree

Oh my, Eternal Hunt has turned three! I think we can actually call this blog settled now, can’t we? 😉

Seriously, though: I am very happy to have managed three years of constant blogging about my various hobby projects, and I am also quite proud of the numbers: There have been 256 posts overall (62 of those in during my third year of blogging). What’s more, this blog has managed to attract about 360,000 views in total — and more than 175,000 of those views during my third year of blogging — just to put things into perspective: That’s only slightly less than the overall number of views on this blog in its first and second years together! All of this is really pretty amazing, given the fact that it’s just little ol’ me and my shoddily painted little plastic men here 😉

I am also really proud of having managed to attract 177 followers and receive visitors from as many as 138 counties! You guys rock, and I want to assure you that every single comment is really important for keeping me on track and for bolstering my (often fleeting) hobby motivation! So please keep reading and please keep participating! You guys are the only proof that I am not just talking to myself here, in my little bubble within the warp!

But I don’t just want to bombard you with numbers today, I would also like to promise you that I will keep updating this blog with my latest conversions, paintjobs and my thoughts about new model releases. There will be quite a bit of red and bronze, seeing how my World Eaters continue to be my most important hobby project:

Khorne's Eternal Hunt 2014 02
But there will also be more shadowy figures from the underhive. And blinged-out guys in golden armour (hopefully). And grennskins n football gear, I suppose?!

 

For now, by way of celebration, allow me to share two things that may not have been intended as birthday gifts for this blog in the first place, but that nevertheless please me very much. And either of these would not have come into existence without my venturing out into the wilds of the internet in order to chronicle my hobby endeavours 😉

 

I. A portrait of an angry man

First up, I believe I may have mentioned some time ago that I managed to win a small competition run by fellow hobbyist Greyall. For those who don’t know Greyall, he is known for producing extraordinarily detailed and awesome line artwork depicting (Chaos) Space Marines, so it won’t be a big surprise to you that I’ve craved such a piece of artwork showing one of my characters for quite a while.

So imagine my joy when Greyall liked my conversion for Lord Captain Lorimar well enough to render him in his trademark style! Allow me to share the result with you. Just to remind you, here’s my converted (but yet unpainted, alas) model for Lorimar:

Lord Captain Lorimar WIP (2)

And here’s Greyall’s take on the character, showing the Master of the Hunt during a duel with a warp-spawned monstrosity in service to Slaanesh:

Lord Captain Lorimar by Greyall

Lord Captain Lorimar by Greyall

What can I say? Finally having such an awesome piece of art depicting what may be the most important character from my favourite army project makes me so happy! A huge thank you to Greyall! And definitely make sure to head over to Greyall’s thread at The Bolter & Chainsword or to his DeviantArt page and check out his amazing work! Now the only thing left to do is to find someone to professionally colour this piece for me…

 

II. A hunter’s story

The second thing I would like to show you today is a bit of a cooperative project: Some time ago, Flint13 (also one of my hobbyists of the year 2014, in case you forgot) approached me with an idea for a fun hobby challenge: Flint wanted to build and paint a character from Khorne’s Eternal Hunt as a bit of a shout out to my army, and I was to compose an accompanying bit of fluff. Knowing that Flint usually doesn’t relish the prospect of doing 40k chaos, I was pretty honoured by this idea, and a short time later, she showed me this picture of the completed model:

The Hunter by Flint13 (1)

Model converted and painted by Flint13

Certainly a worthy addition to Khorne’s Eternal Hunt, wouldn’t you say? But what about this guy’s background? Well, let me share the story I came up with. Enjoy!

 

Hunters

Flames were already billowing from the ramshackle habs as the Hunter strode into the settlement. He turned his horned helm this way and that, surveying the destruction and slaughter surrounding him. What remained of the poor wretches who had eked out a meagre living here in the freezing wastelands of a backwater world at the fringes of Imperial space spoke of violent, careless slaughter, but there was something more underneath it: A frantic need the Hunter understood but found distasteful.
He paced around the main square of the settlement, his warrior’s mind piecing together the events: the desperate but eventually futile struggle. The bloodletting. And what seemed to be the pursuit of a few settlers that had somehow managed to escape the slaughter. The Hunter examined the tracks leading through the outer parts of the settlement and into the wilderness beyond, already being covered up by the falling snow, here where the heat of the flames was not as intense.

The Hunter cocked his head, listening and sniffing. Again, his head turned this way and that, as he tried to find a trace of his prey. Suddenly, he paused. And if someone had been very close by, they might have noticed a telltale glint of bared teeth behind his helmet’s mouth slit: a feral, hungry thing of a smile. But nobody was there to see. All that remained in the settlement was death. His ancient warplate thrumming, the Hunter set off towards the east. Towards his prey.

***

The thrill of the hunt started to recede, and already Iriralar Nightclaw was feeling a flutter of disappointment. He had spent hours artfully stalking his prey, slowly separating each of the Mon’Keigh’ from the group, then taking them down one by one. If he had just wanted to kill them, it would have been a quick task, but Iriralar had wanted to wring every possible drop of pleasure from this particular hunt, and he had succeeded in that. Nevertheless, with the game so very nearly over, he couldn’t help feeling a nagging sense of regret.
He looked at the poor wretch scrambling away from him now on hands and knees, leaving crimson traces in the snow. Still so desperate to get away. Iriralar almost had to smile in recognition of his prey’s perseverance. Alas, all good things must come to an end.
Slowly, ever so slowly, Iriralar drew his blades, the curved steel only giving the faintest whisper as it slid from its twin sheaths. The Mon’Keigh stared at him in utter horror and despair, but still kept crawling away from him. Iriralar bared sharp, pearly white teeth in a predator’s smile:
“So then, shall we dance?”

When it was over – and it was over far too soon – Iriralar stepped back from what remained of his prey. It was not much, and even that would soon be lost under a blanket of snow. Iriralar slowly breathed in the sweet scent of a dying soul. He would have to return to his raiding party soon.
Going after a pack of Mon’Keigh cattle on his own was an indulgence, surely, but nobody would dare reprimand the Lord Archon’s own son for such behavior. Iriralar smiled to himself…
…and froze.

There was something close by. Iriralar could smell it. Surely, none of his prey could have eluded him? He focused and inhaled. Indeed, it was a Mon’Keigh. But there was something more: The creature’s animal stink was compounded by the acrid tang of a metabolism retuned, a body crudely reshaped into something else…and there was something underneath all of that, something even more sublime… Iriralar smiled to himself. Maybe this hunt was not over after all…

***

The hunt had been going on for hours now, and Iriralar’s earlier exhilaration at the prospect of worthy prey had begun to turn into a nagging sense of irritation. It felt like his quarry was leading him around in circles, but there seemed to be little point in it: He kept his distance, yet always stayed in sight. There was something decidedly off about this situation, and Iriralar craved some kind of resolution

He had at first thought the Mon’Keigh to belong to one of the primitive warrior orders that had pledged themselves to the carrion god. But not this one – just a few short glances at his ancient power armour were proof that the Astartes served one of the lords of the warp: the Blood God. Which made this game of cat and mouse all the more irritating and strange.
Suddenly, the towering form came to a halt, standing at the center of a clearing Iriralar was sure they had passed before.  With a hum of servo motors, the Mon’Keigh turned to face Iriralar.

The towering figure seemed like a heathen idol dreamt up by a madman: The bulky Astartes armour was jagged and baroque, with talismans and trophies dangling from its shoulder pads. Across the Mon’Keigh’s chest was a bandolier of skulls that clacked softly with every move. And though encrusted with hoarfrost, the arterial red and brass of the armour was clearly visible beneath.

Iriralar had learned the Mon’ Keigh language, not out of a fascination with their culture, but for a far more practical reason: He enjoyed being able to understand his prey’s last whimpered words.  He had thus become very familiar with the intricacies of the Mon’Keigh’s blunt and primitive emotions, and it was for this reason that he was able to hear a smile in the Astartes’ voice when he called out to Iriralar: “Time to end this, don’t you think?”
As if to accompany his words, he slowly drew his weapons: a huge axe and an ancient, baroque chainblade. He gunned the chainblade’s trigger, as if to check its function, and the axe’s head flared up in a blue white power field. Iriralar thought he could make out the glint of a smile underneath the warrior’s horned helmet, but before he could be sure, the massive Astartes threw himself at Iriralar with astonishing speed. Iriralar’s blades hissed from their sheats, and the dance was on.

Fast though he might have been, the Mon’Keigh was too slow for Iriralar: It was almost too easy to avoid his swings and sidestep his towering form. At the same time, however, his thick warplate deflected most of Iriralar’s probing slashes, so he would need to wait for an opening, for an exposed joint or a bared throat. But he was patient enough – his earlier irritation had been replaced with a feeling of rapture that made his blood run hot.

On and on, the dance went, the snow underneath slowly turning into a slippery trap. Iriralar noticed the first telltale signs of fatigue in his enemy, the strain of having to keep up with a much faster opponent. His lips peeled back from his white teeth in an amused smile: Time to end this.

The huge Mon’Keigh attacked. Too slow. Always too slow. Iriralar almost laughed out loud as he ghosted out of the way and saw his enemy stumble forward due to his momentum, opening up an opportunity to strike. This was it. Iriralar saw his stumbling enemy as though in slow motion as he jumped forward. He would end the Mon’Keigh beast. So close now. Just a hearbeat until the kill.
The moment his feet touched the ground, there was a sharp, metallic sound. Then pain, unbearable pain. Iriralar’s eyes snapped to the ground, seeing the ugly, serrated metal jaws that had lain hidden underneath the thick blanket of snow. That had closed with a whip crack when he had disturbed the trap, punching through his legs, tearing flesh and breaking bone. With a cry of anguish, Iriralar crumpled to the floor in a graceless slump.
He felt the rush of the combat stims that took the white hot edge off the pain, and he tried to get up, to get away. But the jagged metal teeth would not let go, pinning him to the ground. Over his own panting breath, Iriralar could hear a low chuckle, as the towering form of the Mon’Keigh approached him:

“It is an old trick, I will give you that. But one that does not produce any heat or scanner readings. All it requires is a bit of preparation.”

Iriralar frantically tried to reach his fallen blades, but it was impossible. He could not get away either. The strain made the blood pump from his legs at an alarming rate, and he could feel the spike of pain even through the haze induced by the combat drugs. The Mon’Keigh slowly circled him, seeming amused by the situation. He pointed to the scrimshawed bone trinkets adorning Iriralar’s armour:
“I see you enjoy taking trophies”, he growled, “In that, we are not so different, you and I.”
Irialar spat a gob of bloody phlegm at the Astartes and bared his teeth in a rictus grin: “Do you expect me to be afraid, filthy Mon’Keigh? There is nothing you could possibly do to me that would scare me.”

Once more, Iriralar could hear the smile in the Mon’Keigh’s words: “Ah, but that is where you are wrong. You see, a good hunter learns all there is to learn about his prey, is that not right? And I have had a very long time to learn…”

With that he pulled something from a pouch at his belt and held it out. A glint of metal was visible as the small object fell from his hand, dangling by a fine silver thread. A jewel, it seemed. Iriralar focused on the gem, in spite of the pain, in spite of the danger. It seemed important somehow. He focused and felt his blood run cold:
Dangling from the Astartes’ fist was a spirit stone.

“So, then. Shall we begin?”

***

When it was over, the Hunter stepped away from his prey. He had learned much, more than he had anticipated. It had been a successful hunt.

He opened a vox channel and said but a single word:

“Hokar”
“Acknowledged”, came the Huntmaster’s reply. His spireborn sneer of a voice managed to make a single word sound haughty, even over the temperamental vox. The arrogant high-rider bastard.
“Scouting complete. The Eldar pirates have moved on the main settlements. They do not suspect our presence and should be blind to anything but their current…entertainment.”
“Numbers?”
“Only a raiding party about a hundred strong. It seems they did not expect much resistance. In that, they were wrong.”
“And the Archon?”
“He is with them. He has led us a merry dance, but now the hunt is nearly at an end.”
“Maybe. Did you get visual confirmation?”
“Of course. What do you take me for?”
Hokar did not miss a beat: “What I take you for right now, hunter, is a soldier two hundred clicks off his mark, which I am certain you have a perfectly valid reason for. What, pray tell, have you been doing down there?”
“Tying up some loose ends. But fear not, I am on my way.” Again, anybody near enough to witness this exchange might have seen that telltale glint of teeth that gave away the Hunter’s smile as he terminated the vox link.
And maybe, just maybe, such a person would also have noticed  a small gem now dangling from the Hunter’s belt. A strange touch of beauty on the legionary’s jagged and pitted armour, the stone was now  imbued with a fire that rendered it even more beautiful. But nobody was there to witness this, so it went unnoticed.

The Hunter set out towards the west, where new prey waited.

 

Flint seemed to be happy enough with this little vignette — in fact, she even changed the model to incorporate an element of the story. Take a close look:

The Hunter by Flint13 (2)

Model converted and painted by Flint13

So thanks to Flint13 for building and painting such a worthy new recruit for the 4th assault company! And for making me get off my arse and write a suitable piece of background!

 

And, of course, thanks to you all! I am always happy to hear any feedback you might have — just drop me a comment! And stick around for year four, alright? 😉

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

Blood and Brass, pt. 2: Once more into the breach!

Posted in Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2015 by krautscientist

Welcome to the second instalment of this mini-series about my latest additions to the ranks of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt, in which we meet yet another friendly face from the 4th assault company. And while the Doomwall was already pretty heavily armoured, we’ll be cranking up the heavy metal factor a notch for this guy — that’s right, we’re talking about another Dreadnought/Helbrute for my World Eaters!

Everything started when I bought myself a Dreadnought sprue from the Black Reach boxed set a while ago. Since working on my earlier Dreadnoughts had also resulted in a rather sizeable collection of different Dreadnought weapons, I felt that building another customisable Dread would be the best way to make the most out of all those weapon options. And since I wanted to keep things easy and cheap, using the AOBR Dread as a base model seemed to be the sensible way to go here.

When the model arrived, I found myself messing around with a couple of bitz to find out which approach I was going to take for the Dread. Here’s a very early version of the model from that time:

Chaos Dread early WIP

But while some of the characteristics of the early WIP above did indeed carry through to the final version, I just couldn’t really seem to get a grip on figuring out what kind of model I wanted. Once more, the Call of Chaos event was a nice occasion to finally force myself into action and get my act together, so I pledged a Dreadnought/Helbrute as part of my vow. With that, I had set myself a firm deadline, and even for a lazy slacker like me, there’s nothing quite as conductive to creativity as a bit of well applied pressure 😉

One of the main problems was that the AOBR Dread comes in only seven pieces, and the entire body is basically made up of two pieces — an excellent piece of economical design, to be sure, but it makes converting the model slightly more difficult. There was also the fact that I couldn’t get too adventurous with the arms, seeing how I wanted to keep them detachable.

In the end, thinking about what kind of character I wanted this Dread to be really turned out to be the breakthrough. I already have a frenzied berserker Dread (Marax the Fallen), a noble ancient of the company (Khoron the Undying) and a tragic, malformed monster (Khorlen the Lost), so I wanted this newest Dreadnought to fill yet another character archetype: the stoic line soldier.

In the end, I decided that he is a former Breacher Sergeant, and from there on out, it was pretty easy to design the Dreadnought around that concept and include some visual touches that would underline that background idea: A chaos knight shield was attached to his left shoulder as a kind of stylised boarding shield, for one. I also souped up the (really boaring) standard power fist by adding some spiky bitz from the WFB chaos chariot, in order to make it look like a miniature version of the siege claws wielded by the Chaos Decimator. And I found out that one of the Skullcrusher helmets – minus the Khornate “bunny ears” – made for a pretty convincing Mk III helmet.

And, like I said, what really made this model happen was the pressure of having to get my act together for the Call of Chaos vow 😉 Here’s the finished conversion again:

Breacher Dread WIP (1)
Breacher Dread WIP (2)
Breacher Dread WIP (3)
Painting the Dread was a relatively straightforward affair, but then it has to be said that I really like painting Dreads to begin with: There’s just something to their scale and angularity that makes them really enjoyable to paint. The one thing that was slightly more difficult on this model was that the torso and legs came in one big piece, so I had to paint it all in one go. Apart from that, however, it was smooth sailing all the way.

Before I show you the whole model, I’d like to share a small detail that I am quite happy with: I have wanted to feature a mostly destroyed Necron warrior on one of my bases for a long time — as a shout out to the iconic ending of the original Terminator movie, and now I finally went for it:

Breacher Dread base detail (1)
Breacher Dread base detail (2)

t’s certainly just a small thing, but there’s a nice irony about two dead guys who both inhabit machine bodies sharing one base like this, don’t you think?

Anyway, without further ado, here’s the finished Dread:

Damokk the Breacher (3)
Damokk the Breacher (11)
Damokk the Breacher (5)
Damokk the Breacher (6)
Damokk the Breacher (13)
Damokk the Breacher (8)

And the remains of that poor Necron again, leaking oily fluid onto the ground…

Damokk the Breacher (9)

One thing I really wanted to do this time around was to use some decals on the Dreadnought’s armour, in order to give him a slightly more businesslike, soldierly feel. I chose one of the excellent legion symbols from the Forgeworld World Eaters decal sheet for the armour panel on the Dread’s right side. For the other panel, I wanted to include his legion number — but it was actually pretty difficult to find a numeral XII in white that would fit the fairly limited space! The solution was to use a decal from the Cadian shock troops and cut it down to size. It’s a small detail, to be sure, but one that I really think adds to the model as a whole:

Damokk the Breacher (12)
In fact, I like the effect so much that I am seriously considering going back to my earlier Dreads and adding some decals to them as well..

And since I’ve kept the arms detachable, the model can now be used with all the different extra Dreadnought weapons I have built so far. Here’s an example of a more “shooty” loadout:

Damokk the Breacher (10)
It seems pretty shocking to me in hindsight, but this is indeed my fourth Dreadnought! But like I said, there’s just something about these guys that appeals to me, rules be damned! 😉
In fact, I think I may have one more Dreadnought in me at a later date. The only thing to decide is whether I want it to be a Dread for my fallen Space Wolves (who are allies to my World Eaters) or a huge, warp-infused beast. Or both?

For now, however, the only thing left to do was to come up with a bit of background for this latest ancient of the 4th assault company and then call it a day. Enjoy:

 

Brother Damokk, “The Breacher”

Damokk the Breacher (15)
Originally a member of the fabled Triarii, Brother Damokk quickly found his true calling as a Breacher Sergeant and member of the 4th assault company during the turbulent days after the purging of Nuceria. He excelled as a warrior in shipboard actions and when it came to breaching fortified positions, and his prowess was so great that, upon suffering fatal injuries during a boarding action, it was decided to grant him the honour of serving the 4th as a Dreadnought.

Damokk’s ironform still bears many cues of his former station, such as his stylised boarding shield or the visor of his primary visual interface unit, shaped like an Mk 3 helmet. And his favourite armament, a combination of Multimelta – complete with underslung chainblade –  and siege claw, serves as yet another reminder of his time in the World Eaters’ Breacher squads.

On the battlefield, Damokk implacably dismantles enemy fortifications with a surgical precision not often seen in a World Eater. In fact, Huntmaster Deracin has been known to jest that, if not for the numeral “XII” emblazoned on his ironform, Damokk would probably forget the fact that he is not an Iron Warrior…

 

I would love to hear any feedback you might have in the comments section! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!