Archive for fluff

INQ28: The Office – grimdark edition

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2018 by krautscientist

So there I was, carefully warning you all that I might have to dial back my output a bit, and yet I have two new models to share with you today — strange, isn’t it? 😉

The truth is that finishing my Ordo Scriptorum Inquisitor really led to yet another surge of inspiration, as I kept trawling the internet for more Wayne England illustrations from around the same time period. Unfortunately, his work seems to be much less well documented than, say, John Blanche’s, and many images were only available via that abominable hellpit called Pinterest.

But then several readers helpfully pointed me towards the original Dark Heresy rulebook as a possible source of Wayne England art from what I am beginning to think of as the “teal period”, which provided me with more reference material. I kept going back to his image in particular:


It seems to portray an underhive ganger of some sort, and I really liked the style of the character. So much so, in fact, that I spontaneously started to create yet another conversion based on a Wayne England illustration:


When all is said and done, it’s a pretty straightforward kitbash, mainly using parts from the Dark Vengeance chaos cultists: In fact, the entire conversion really took off to begin with once I realised the creepy cultist head with its mouth stapled shut resembled the head of the ganger in the artwork.

Beyond that, it was mostly about trying to get the subtle things right: the way the cultist is holding the gun in two hands was the key part, and I was lucky enough to still have an ancient Gorkamorka shoota that almost perfectly matched the design of the stub gun in the artwork. I also wanted to include the weirdly-glamrock fur collar, so I used the upper half of a Chaos Marauder cape as a starting point and sculpted some rough GS fur around it to suitably blend it in.

I also decide to depart from the artwork in one specific way: Much as I love the piece, the angle of the head makes it clear that the ganger is aiming (and firing) downwards, which is something I did not neccessarily want to reproduce on my model, mostly because it would look kind of silly when the model’s standing on the floor and not in an elevated position. So I tweaked the angle of the head a bit to make it look more as though the ganger were standing wit the gun at rest. I actually think the angle I have chosen makes the guy seem slightly more sinister, but that’s a matter of personal preference, of course.

Anyway, here’s what the finished conversion looked like:



Since my recent work on Redactor Orlant was what had originally inspired this model, I decided that I wanted to turn the ganger into a member of the Inquisitor’s retinue, so I needed to find an angle for him to work within the framework of the Ordo Scriptorum — which is when I remembered the archetype of the “Bureaucultist”:

Bureacultists are former members of the Administratum whose archive or bibliocathedra has been sealed off or forgotten. They keep doing their job of accumulating and organising data, yet without the rest of the Imperium taking any notice, they grow more and more isolated and feral as years, decades or even centuries pass.

Now just to give credit where credit is due, the Bureaucultist idea wasn’t really mine, originally, but rather came from the excellent fan-made Dark Magenta article on Holy Terra as an adventurescape.

To quote Robey Jenkins, from issue #1 of Dark Magenta:

The bureaucultist is a strange evolution of humanity. Having entered the condition of civilization and passed
through it into a new barbarism, the bureaucult is devoted only to policies, procedures and the unthinking guardianship
of information. (…)

Bureaucultists crop up in the massive, sprawling administrations of the Imperium all across the galaxy. Although
their approach to information is fundamentally primitive, their attention to detail is legendary and they will fight
obsessively to protect what is theirs, so many an Inquisitor makes use of such creatures within his staff to help
manage an extensive library or private archive.

When PDH originally came up with the concept for his Ordo Scriptorum warband, he adapted the concept and made “Indentured Bureaucultists” into a part of the Ordo. Wrote PDH:

Bureaucultist slave labour of the Ordo Scriptorum. These workers are indentured by the threat of redaction and the deletion of generations worth of bilbliocatherdra, data vaults and knowledge. While these repositories are often worthless to the Imperium, the threat binds the cultists to the Ordo Scriptorum, making for the most loyal of slaves.

There’s something incredibly grimdark about the thought of clerks and librarians going feral after their archives and bibliocathedra have been sealed off or forgotten, isn’t there? Just think about the former librarians and scribes devolving into a tribal society, forming gangs and fighting for their respective “section” of the archive, maybe for resources like electricity, memory units, clean paper or dry shelf space, with their former calling slowly turning into half-forgotten memories and office rules permutating into quasi-religion. Plus such a bureaucultist could be a useful follower for an Ordo Scriptorum Inquisitor, serving as a guide for forgotten and abandoned archives, remembering the ancient file sytems and cogitator protocols…

So while the ganger in Wayne England’s illustration above probably wasn’t planned with the bureaucultist angle in mind, I still thought it might be a cool idea to use the converted character as a bureaucultist. There are even some touches that might point to the idea of a librarian gone feral (such as the servo-skull banner pole — a trophy or a legitimate way of storing data, even after all this time…?).

Here’s a picture with Redactor Orlant for comparison. It also shows you the bureaucultist conversion in all its different colours, warts and all:


The model was painted to match Orlant’s colour palette. However, I went for a slightly grubbier, dirtier version of the colour scheme this time around, making the bureaucultist look like a bit of a slightly twisted mirror version of the Inquisitor:





Here’s another side by side with both models:


And of course I couldn’t help myself and had to mock up a comparison with the model, the artwork that inspired it, and some tweaked colour settings:


So that’s yet another model based on the work of Wayne England — and it probably won’t surprise you at this point to learn that I could easily see myself taking even more inspiration from his body of work. For instance, PDH pointed out to me that Orlant’s retinue could really use an astropath, and I realised that the illustrations for the Pyromancy and Telekinetics psyker disciplines, respectively, would provide the perfect template for an Ordo Scriptorum Astropath:

 

Speaking of PDH, though, Peter is actually responsible for yet another addition to Redactor Orlant’s warband: Seeing how I’ve been taking so much inspiration from his own Ordo Scriptorum warband, and given the fact that we agreed ages ago that Peter’s Inquisitor, Klien Inson, had been Redactor Orlant’s interrogator at one point, I really couldn’t resist trying to build a younger version of Inson. Thanks to direct feedback from PDH, I think I’ve come up with a pretty cool younger version of his original model. Take a look:


On the left is Peter’s original model for Inquisitor Inson, on the right is my take on Inson as an interrogator. Here’s a closer look at the conversion:





I wanted to create a really strong resemblance while also clearly communicating the fact that my version actually shows Inson as a (slightly) younger man. At the same time, I also tried to add some cues that pointed back at Orlant (such as the collar, that is actually virtually identical to the one used on Orlant, while also looking like a less exalted version of older Inson’s “jaws collar”, or the Inquisitorial symbol added to the model’s breastplate).

What’s really funny is that my very first version of Inson actually did even more with this particular concept: On the one hand, it featured a less ornate version of the bolt pistol older Inson has, as yet another shout out to Peter’s model. On the other hand, I thought that adding an organic left leg would be a great way of showing how quite a bit of time had passed between both versions of the model:


But then PDH informed me that his background character featured pretty specific information about where and when Inson had lost his leg, and was already rocking an augmetic replacement by the time he became an Interrogator in the Ordo Scriptorum. By the same token, his bolt pistol was confiscated by the Arbites when he first set foot on Terra, and was only given back to him after he obtained his full Inquisitorial rosette.

I wanted to honour Peter’s background for his character, so I grit my teeth and replaced the leg and pistol. Peter suggested using a Skitarii leg — as for why it’s sleeker and more sophisticated than the version on older Inson, I’ll leave PDH to work that one out 😉 My take is that it maybe needed to be replaced by a more comprehensive prosthesis after further injury or that the original augmetic ultimately didn’t take. According to Peter’s background for the character, Inson also seems to have a bit of a thing for self-flagellation, so maybe that might have something to do with it as well…

Ultimately, I am very thankful to Peter for the feedback, however, even if it meant more work: The finished conversion has a more polished look due to his feedback, and I really wanted to paint it right away. So here’s a look at the – mostly – finished younger Klien Inson:




While the aim was not to perfectly match PDH’s paintjob for the older version of Inson, I did take care to take some cues from his model (such as the general dark look and the metallic scales on the cape) and go for a similar overall look and feel. Here’s a side by side comparison with both PDH’s and my treatment of the character:


While my version of Inson is a bit younger, Peter’s background for Inson characterises him as a pretty conflicted individual even at this earlier point in his career, plus there’s also the physical trauma he incurred during his work as an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor, so I went for a somewhat drawn, unhealthy look for the face, which I think has worked out pretty well.

At the same time, it was also clear that the younger Inson had to match the colour palette of his master, Inquisitor Orlant, to some degree, so I tried to stay within the parameters I had set for myself and use a similar palette once again:


He still needs a base, of course — and I have a pretty cool idea for another small nod to Peter’s model…

For now, however, this means two more additions to Redactor Orlant’s warband — with neither of them originally a part of the picture, but that’s how these things go sometimes…

Here’s a look at the warband so far:


Oh, and I am also counting these two conversions as entries for Azazel’s “Assembly April” challenge, even though they weren’t planned at all 😉

So that’s it for today’s update. I would really love to hear your feedback on the new characters and the warband so far, though, so feel free to drop me a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! 🙂

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INQ28: In principio erat verbum, et verbum erat scriptum.

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2018 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, I hope you’re all having a relaxed Easter holiday, before it’s back into the grind of everyday life tomorrow 😉

As for me, after the frantic activity of recent weeks – at least compared to my usual standard – my original plan was to take a small break before things get hectic in the coming weeks and months for RL related reasons. But almost before I knew what I was doing, I was already back at the painting table and had started to paint yet another model. So let’s take a look, shall we?

Now today’s project basically begun in two places: A couple of years ago, I discovered this piece of artwork by Wayne England online:

illustration by Wayne England

Now I’ve already mentioned before that Wayne England is (was 😦 ) one of my favoutite GW artists, and this piece in particular seemed like a great source of inspiration. It’s all there: the bold lines. The mysterious, shadowy character, the stylised lettering,…

Shortly afterwards, fellow hobbyist PDH’s shared his ruminations on the mysterious Ordo Scriptorum, an Ordo given to collecting and scrutinising the vast amounts of recordings and data collected (and often forgotten) by the Imperium of Man. Now it doesn’t take much imagination to realise that there are lots of cool Inquisitorial narrative hooks to be had here, from the creepy Orwellesque “Ministry of Truth” angle to the “The Name of the Rose IN SPACE!” style exploration of ancient data vaults that lie hidden deep in the core of the Throneworld (beautifully hinted at, for instance, by Chris Wraight in his highly recommended novel “The Carrion Throne”).

Anyway, when first posting his ideas about the Ordo Scriptorum, PDH mentioned that the aforementioned piece of art seemed like a perfect depiction of an Ordo Scriptorum Inquisitor to him. Which was when the little levers started to move in my head, and they didn’t stop until I had an early build for a model inspired by that very piece of artwork:


I was lucky enough to have some bitz lying around that really came in handy during this process: The robed legs from the WFB/AoS Chaos Sorcerer were a bit of a no-brainer. Then I discovered that the bitz best-suited to producing the pose and overall look I wanted came from the Dreamforge Games Eisenkern Stormtroopers. And the part that really made the conversion promising, even at this early stage, was a servitor head from the Space Marines Stormraven kit — easily one of the best overlooked bitz from GW’s entire catalogue, if you ask me, and kindly sent to me by fellow hobbyist Biohazard a couple of years back.

Going forward, the most important part was to match the character’s silhouette from the artwork — the way he grips his cane, the general lines of the composition, stuff like that. I also really like how the character in the illustration seems to be wearing a pair of books at his hip as though they were weapons — quite an apt metaphor, given the responsibilities of the Ordo Scriptorum…

Anyway, after much tweaking, I ended up with this conversion:



Now here’s the thing: As has become a bit of a recurring motif here on Eternal Hunt, I actually built this model years ago and hadn’t gotten around to painting it yet. In my defense, however, I spent at least some of the time doing some serious research into what I wanted the Ordo Scriptorum Inquisitor to look and feel like. This also included building some retainers for him:


The overarching motifs I wanted to explore became even more clearly defined by looking at the members of the retinue I had come up with: I wanted there to be a bookish, shadowy feel to the warband. After all, it stands to reason that much of the Inquisitor’s life would be spent exploring ancient archives. However, at the same time, there was also a hint of elegance in the artwork that inspired the model, and I felt that this would offer an interesting counterpoint, both for the retinue and for the Inquisitor.

Keeping this in mind while trying for figure out a suitable colour scheme for the Inquisitor, I also drew from several other sources: One huge influence came in the form of Wayne England’s illustrations from the same time (or at least in the same style) as the piece of art that inspired the model in the first place:

The picture above really captures one of the things I was after: You can just imagine this being an impression of an Ordo Scriptorum team going about its business in the world-city of the Holy Terra.

Of course I also looked to the work of fellow hobbyists for inspiration: Jeff Vader’s work provided heaps of material for reference once more, particularly his rogue Inquisitor Carax and his sinister Blackship Captain-Inquisitor Lazaros . Then there was PDH’s own Ordo Scriptorum warband that served as a perpetual undercurrent of inspiration for this project — in fact, his Inquisitor Klien Inson actually used to be my Inquisitor Orlant’s interrogator!

And I also happened to take some influences from the videogame world on board, especially from two series very close to my heart. Which is why Orlant was very much inspired both by Father Karras (from the Thief series)…


… and I also tried to give him the same drawn aspect you can see in this illustration of Lord-Regent Hiram Burrows (from the first game in the Dishonored series):

And finally – and funnily enough – I also kept looking at an old model of mine, one of the classic Haemonculi from 3rd edition 40k:


While the paintjob really isn’t anything to write home about by modern standards, it did feel like a useful proof of concept for the look I wanted — now if I could only refine this by about 400%… 😉

To be perfectly honest, Orlant was another one of those models where I was actually nervous about the prospect of painting — and messing up. Yet with so many finished INQ28 characters from the last couple of weeks under my belt, and with the inspiration provided by some Inquisition-centric BL novels I recently read (Dan Abnett’s “The Magos”, obviously, and there’s also so much of Orlant in Chris Wraight’s Inquisitor Crowl that I almost couldn’t believe it), I knew it was finally time to get this show on the road.

So with all of the aforementioned influences on my mind, I began painting:



I knew from the start that I wanted the robes to be a pretty dark turquoise (in that sense, my recent paintjob for Elisha Gorgo actually did double duty as a proof of concept for this model as well). As for the skin, I went with a really pale, unhealthy look, as though the Inquisitor spends very little time aboveground, in natural light — which is probably the case. And just like when painting Inquisitor Arslan, I decided to go with glossy black armour again, since I felt it would support the model’s slightly sinister look.

All of those elements worked reasonably well right off the bat. The one thing that didn’t quite work out, however, were the books worn on Orlant’s belt: I didn’t go with red or any other strong colour because I wanted to keep the palette very limited and predominantly cold, but as a result, they ended up blending into their surroundings. Several people suggested going for purple as an alternative, and under normal circumstances, that would have been an ideal choice. Only I had set myself this pesky little limitation of mostly wanting to keep the palette focused on blue and turquoise tones…

I also realised that the books actually take up quite a bit of visual real estate, so I needed the colour to be different enough from the robes, but not so different as to overwhelm the paintjob. In the end, I repainted the books grey — not an exciting choice, certainly, but it kept the palette suitably narrow and still looked different enough from the teal robes:

Another part that I had to redo several times was the script on the parchment: It actually spells “Redactor Orlant”, although you may have to take my word for it. I even tried to make it resemble Wayne England’s lettering style a bit, but there was very little space, and it was all so small. After redoing this part several times,  I think this is as good as it’s going to get…

During the painting process, I realised that there was this odd little gap at Orlant’s belt that was slightly distracting, so I carefully added some additional keys to his belt: It’s fun to think that Orlant has keys to all kinds of forbidden bibliocathedra and data vaults…

With the paintjob mostly sorted out, the model was only missing a base really, so I try to create something that would support the warband’s look and feel. For starters, I used a piece from one of the 40k basing kits, mostly for the pretty cool relief on it:


The piece was cut down to fit a round base, the gaps were filled with GS. I also liberally stippled on Liquid GS for added texture and to counteract the very soft and artificial looking quality of the stock piece. Ironically enough, most of the relief actually ended up being covered by the model:

If nothing else, however, it still provides some texture and structure, making the base look more like a part of some long-deserted Imperial archive.

So here’s the finished model:

 

=][=

Redactor Tiberias Orlant
Ordo Scriptorum

A long serving member of the Ordo Scriptorum Terra, Inquisitor Orlant has discovered many ancient documents and hidden truths during his long years of trawling the bibliocathedra and sunken data vaults of Holy Terra. Moreover, his rank as a Redactor of the Ordo means that not only does he endeavour to find records from the Imperium’s past, but he also gets to decide which truths are revealed to the masses and which are suppressed with every tool at the Holy Ordos’ disposal.

Orlant has recently embarked upon a mission only known to himself, making his way to the Velsen Sector, situated far away from the Throneworld in the Ultima Segmentum. His colleagues consider this most recent endeavour a fool’s errand at best, yet Orlant is not known as a soul given to flights of fancy — what could he have discovered in the vaults of Terra to inspire his latest investigation?

 




I did end up making one last colour adjustment after all, repainting the wax of the purity seal in a slightly colder tone than before. It’s really a small detail, but it ties back to Orlant’s skin tone (see above) and it’s not big enough to throw the entire colour scheme out of balance, so I think it’s an improvement.

As you can see, I also decided to add two books to Orlant’s base:

Once again, I wanted to hint at the fact that he probably spends most of his work scouring ancient vaults and sunken archives for lost data and hidden secrets. It’s an idea I want to explore with the rest of the warband, albeit in slightly different ways. We’ll see…

I also found out, by sheer coincidence, that Orlant has a nice kind of “Red Oni, Blue Oni” thing going with Inquisitor Arslan. Take a look:

Fellow hobbyist youwashock suggested on Dakka that the next Inquisitor in line would need to be yellow — Sentai Inquisitors FTW! 😉

In closing, here’s a comparison shot putting Wayne England’s illustration that inspired the model and Orlant himself next to each other:

Maybe not a perfect match, but I am reasonably happy with the resemblance, to tell you the truth. In the end, trying to match the art is always a compromise between what can reasonably be achieved and what would just be impractical in model form. For instance, I only realised how scarily tall the character in the artwork is when putting both images next to one another 😉

When all is said and done, it feels good to finally have finished this model! And it’ll be interesting to see how the stylistic choices I have made for Orlant and his retinue will (or won’t translate) to the rest of the models:


Thinking of this retinue again has also kicked off all kinds of thoughts about the nature of the Ordo Scriptorum — and has already provoked two more members for the retinue that shall be revealed in time.

But all of that is a story for another time. Until then, I would truly love to hear your thoughts on Inquisitor Orlant! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

INQ28: The Lion of Velsen

Posted in 40k, Conversions, paintjob, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2018 by krautscientist

Another week of fire and brimstone Ordo Hereticus Madness — I sincerely hope you aren’t fed up yet! But I am really on a roll right now, blazing through model after model, which is more than a bit uncommon for me. I also know how fickle motivation can be, so I’ll just let myself be swept along by the tide for as long as it lasts 😉

Anyway, last week I shared more models for Inquisitor Arslan’s warband with you, and those completions left me with only two models to go before the warband would actually be finished. This seemed like an excellent goal to work towards for my participation in Azazel’s Squad:March! challenge as well, so I got to work. And, indeed, I do have some new models for you again. So let’s take a peek:

I. A blade from the Shadows

One of the last two missing models was this death cult assassin I converted a while ago:


The character was very much inspired by Severina and Sevora Devout (as well as the accompanying miniatures) from back when the original 54mm Inquisitor was released:

Granted, the concept of female assassins clad in latex bodygloves may not feel quite as fresh and risqué in 2018 as it did back in 2001 (or rather, than its inclusion in an Inquisition-themed game seemed back then). Even so, I have been working my way through basically all of the old character types from the awesome Inquisitor rulebook, trying to put my own spin on things, so I couldn’t shy away from this archetype, could I? I also still think there’s something pretty entertaining about taking a concept that is so ridiculously pulp-SciFi in many ways and finding a grimdark angle for it.

The conversion itself was fairly straightforward, especially since the model is really mostly a repurposed Dark Eldar Wych, from back when I briefly considered getting back into Dark Eldar after the beautiful new plastic models had been released. I added some small tweaks, such as the purity seal, to make the model a bit more Imperial.

The most important part for turning the wych into an inquisitorial operative, however, was the gas mask from a Dark Vengeance cultist: Plus the slightly weird look of the mask as well as the creepy layout of the eye lenses was intended to hint at the fact that she may have been augmented underneath the mask or to just suggest a certain kind of eerie wrongness that seemed fitting for the character.

When it came to painting the assassin, I basically used the same palette I had set down for the rest of the warband. Fortunately enough, it was really similar to the colours of GW’s official death cult assassins, so I could take some inspiration from those:


And of course I also tried to make the paintjob call back to John Blanche’s illustrations from the Inquisitor Sketchbook as well:

Illustration by John Blanche

So here’s the finished model: A still unnamed assassin from the Order of the Blade Unsheathed:





The only thing about the paintjob that proved a bit difficult was the mask: I knew I didn’t simply want to keep it black, so I tried red first, but that just didn’t work. So after trying numerous highlighting and tweaking stages, I just went for an off-white/cream colour that still stays within the palette I had set for the warband, while also turning the face into enough of a focus point, I hope.

Incidentally, the assassin still needs a name, so if anyone can come up with something suitably medieval and slightly sinister, let me know! 🙂

II. The Lion of Velsen

Happy as I am with the finished assassin, she is really just a prelude to today’s main course: Inquisitor Nabreus Arslan himself.

Now it must be said – again – that Inquisitor Arslan is a model that I have been coming back to again and again for several years now. He started back in 2011 or so as an attempt at creating a no-nonsense puritan Ordo Hereticus or Ordo Malleus Inquisitor. My bitz box was still far smaller in those days, but I did the best with the tools I had. The model started out looking quite different from the modern incarnation, though:


Most of the elements were already there, but the model didn’t quite click yet. Then I came across this model over on DakkaDakka, and realised that the hooded Dark Angels veterans head would be much better for an Inquisitor:

Do you know who created this guy? Please let me know!

And from then on, the model took shape, growing far closer to its current incarnation:

After even more nipping and tucking the conversion was basically finished back in 2014 — which is already a ridiculously long time for a model of this size. But even then, I kept returning to the model, adding a tweak here and changing a detail there, keeping the poor guy unpainted, while his retinue (likewise unpainted) kept growing. Until I finally committed to painting this version of the model earlier this month:


As an aside, looking at the finished conversion also made me realise that Arslan resembles the Inquisitor from the last edition of Codex: Inquisition rather closely, wouldn’t you agree?


It’s a rather cool illustration — unfortunately, the model it was obviously based is really rather awkward and hasn’t aged all that gracefully:

So maybe I would be able to improve on this basic template with my model for Arslan…?

One thing that was clear to me from the start was that I wanted the entire warband to hinge on Arslan and his interrogator, the Lady Chastity. Now the latter was already finished, and my idea was to simply inverse one key colour for Arslan’s colour scheme. So where Chastity wears red armour with black cloth over it, I wanted to paint Arslan’s armour black, with red cloth.

So with those ideas in my head, I took Arslan along for one of the frequent painting sesssions hosted by my good friend Annie. Those sessions are awesome, and I usually walk away with some kind of breakthrough on one of my current painting projects.

So here’s Inquisitor Arslan after a short while, with just the base colours in place:



And this is what he looked like when we packed up for the night:


While I was already reasonable happy at this point, one thing about the model just confounded me: The red left shoulder pad just didn’t work. This felt especially weird as it looks quite lovely in the picture above, doesn’t it? Yet for some reason, in real life, it kept drawing the view away from more important parts of the model, and I kept glancing back at it, so in the end, I decided to repaint it black. Apart from that, it was mainly smooth sailing the rest of the way.

So let’s take a look at the finished model:

=][=

Inquisitor Nabreus Arslan
Ordo Hereticus Velsen




I don’t want to sound too full of myself here, but I am incredibly happy with the finished model! Especially given Arslan’s rather troubled history 😉

However, I did end up losing some sleep over some key visual decisions:

Probably the scariest thing was to paint Arslan’s sword: Its sheer size clearly turns it into an important part of the model, and I realised during the painting process that, by limiting the entire warband to a colour palette of mostly black, white, red and gold, I had actually deprieved myself of the option to just paint the sword a stunning blue — it simply wouldn’t have gelled with the rest of the warband, but more importantly, it wouldn’t have led to the sinister look I wanted. I also realised that a simple metal sword wouldn’t cut it this time around, so I did a bit of research, taking lots of inspiration from fellow hobbyists like Alex Marsh, Jeff Vader and Midnight Runner, among others. Then I took a deep breath and tried to create my own effect for the blade, adapted from their work:



In the end, I am pretty happy with the finished effect, seeing how I managed to make the sword look both blisteringly hot and quite sinister 😉 But painting it was so far out of my comfort zone that it wasn’t even funny 😉

True to Arslan’s history as “that model that I was never really able to finish”, I did end up making one last unexpected tweak: I actually swapped in a new shield!

Now I originally had the shield with the stylised “Knight vs. Daemon” battle scene from the Nemesis Dreadknight kit on there, but my colour choices for the model meant that I had boxed myself in regarding the shield: The warrior on the shield would obviously have to represent Arslan himself, so I would have needed to paint him in black. That would have left only gold and red for the daemon, with red being the obvious choice. That, in turn, would have left me with a golden shield, which wouldn’t exactly have matched the rest of the model all that well. Anyway, to make a long story short, I decided to try a different shield and create the inconography on it from scratch (or rather, via decals):


The idea here was to go for a medieval-style seal that would fit Arslan’s very medieval overall look. I also thought that this design might be his actual Inquisitorial seal, the one he uses to sign Exterminatus orders, and other jolly missives like that 😉
The “A” stands for “Arslan”, and the “V” for “Velsen”, the name of the sector. The whole thing was also ever so slightly influenced by designs like the Chi Rho.

Oh, and based on Inquisitor Mikhailovich’s comment, I also tweaked the position of the shield a bit, so it might actually be attached to Arslan’s arm in an at least slightly believable way 😉

Here’s a picture of Arslan and Chastity, showing off the aforementioned fact that they use an identical palette, and their colour scheme is very similar, save for one key colour that has been reversed between the two models:

 

III. A project finally finished

And would you believe it: With that, the warband is actually finished. After several years of hemming and hawing. I actually cannot quite believe it. But here it is. Take a look:


In fact, I have used this occasion to go back and take pictures of all the warband members once again, so meet the crew:


Inquisitor Nabreus Arslan, a powerful Witch Hunter of the Ordo Hereticus, known among the devout as “The Lion of Velsen”.


The Lady Chastity, a former Sister of Battle from the Order of the Martyred Blade, now serving as Arslan’s Interrogator.


Inquisitorial Operative Tybalt Renner, a veteran of the Saarthen Draugr, and an operative specialising in infiltration and stealth missions.


Brother Goderich the Pure, a member of the Church of Redemption, serving Arslan as a vicious, albeit utterly loyal, attack dog.


Father Ravion Ishmael, a veteran of the Astra Militarum turned intinerant priest of the Imperial Cult, currently serving as personal confessor to Inquisitor Arslan.


A mysterious, mute assassin from the Order of the Blade Unsheathed.


The Angel of Penance, a cyber-familiar cast in the shape of an avenging angel in order to strike terror into the hearts of heretics and instill fearful respect in the devout.


Horatio, a servo-skull.

 

It’s slightly weird – but also very fulfilling – to realise that I’ve had most of this retinue for years now, and now I’ve finally manage to finish the models in very short order. Oh, and this also means I’ve managed to complete my first, proper committment for the Squad:March! challenge! Yay! 🙂

Speaking of which: Many thanks must go to fellow hobbyists Azazel and Alex: I couldn’t really have done it without you, guys, as your hobby challenges finally provided me with the incentive to actually get this project on the road, at long last!

As for my next plans, I want to ride this wave of inspiration out yet a bit longer, so I think I’ll be staying in the INQ28 world for a while yet: There’s one last model for Inquisitor Gotthardt’s retinue I need to get finished (another project that has been going on for ages). Then I think I’d like to paint a truescale Deathwatch Marine conversion. And then there’s an Ordo Scriptorum retinue I am really proud of that I hope to get started on while my motivation still lasts.

Until then, I would truly love to hear your thoughts on Inquisitor Arslan and his retainers! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Raud the Hunter

Posted in 30k, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2018 by krautscientist

Whoa, seems like the numbers of views went through the roof after my last post — which is a slightly bittersweet experience for me: I love the fact that so many people seem to take an interest in my pick of fantastic hobby projects from last year, and all those artists certainly deserve the attention! At the same time, there’s no way I can replicate that kinf of interest with my own meagre work — oh well… 😉

Even so, in-between parts two and three of the Eternal Hunt Awards, allow me to sneak in one of my own models, if only because I am so very happy with the first model I have managed to complete this year — and also the first model I have painted in quite a while! So what is this about?

In 2017, I had such a blast painting a converted World Eaters Contemptor as my first model of the year, so I thought I’d just try to catch that spark again with…more of the same. So I decided to paint this guy, whom some of you may remember from back in August, I believe:




So yeah, I had to convert yet another Betrayal at Calth plastic Contemptor: In fact, the model actually started in several places:

  • When Augustus b’Raass was nice enough to magnetise my first Contemptor’s gun arm, I realised it would actually be cool to have another model for that extra weapon as well.
  • Then I got a good deal for just the body of the BaC plastic Contemptor, and I really rather like that model as conversion fodder: True enough, the stock model is so awkward — and painfully vanilla. But the fact that it’s so underwhelming is what makes it so fascinating to me: I just want to bring out the cooler model hidden within, so to speak 😉

It helps that it’s really easy to improve the model, by the way: Even if you want to keep things really simple, like me, without using any GS, splicing in Sentinel upper legs or what have you, the plastic Contemptor is easy to improve via just two or three small cuts:

 

1. Carefully cutting the body apart at the waist allows for a more interesting pose (plus you could even magnetise that joint to allow the torso to swivel permanently.

2. The really invaluable step, however, is to cleanly separate either of the legs (or both) from the pelvis area with a clean cut, then reattach them at a different angle to either make the pose more open and less pidgeon toed (as I’ve done on my first Contemptor) or approximate a walking/running position (as I’ve done on the second model).

3. And that’s not even getting into the extra posability (and customisability) you get by carefully cutting off the weapons immediately beneath the shoulder.

  • The third major factor in the creation of the model was that I still had a kitbashed Dreadnought arm in my bitzbox:


Now originally this arm was built allll the way back in 2014, originally to be used on one of my 40k Dreadnoughts. I wanted a miniature version of the “Ursus Claws”, the harpoon systems the World Eaters use on their warships, and my version was inspired both by a very similar conversion courtesy of fellow hobbyist sheep and Forgeworld’s Blood Slaughterer Impaler.

Now for one reason or another, I never got around to painting this arm — which was really all for the best, since it arguably works much better on the taller Contemptor than on the boxy Castraferrum Dreadnought.

So the model really came together rather quickly back in August — but then, as is often the case with my projects, it took me some time to actually sit down and paint it. But I really wanted to see this guy finished, so when my good friend Annie invited me over for one of our semi-regular hobby sessions, I made it a point to actually get a good start on the Contemptor.

So here’s what he looked like after getting all the base colours and decals in place:


And this was the model at the end of the painting session, shortly before I packed up for the night:



At this point, there was still quite a bit of detail work left to be done, but I was well underway to actually finishing a model again, and that motivational surge really povided me with the incentive to actually see the project through to its conclusion 😉

In addition to the model, I also needed a suitably impressive base, of course. And there was one effect I definitely wanted to incorporate: A fallen Astartes, trying his best to reach a melta charge — an effect I’ve seen on many Heresy armies, especially on one of Mr. Poom’s fantastic World Eaters Contemptors.

This idea came with its own set of challenges, however: It quickly became clear to me that while it’s super cool for the base to contain a fallen Astartes like that, I really needed to keep the guy’s visual footprint small enough so as not to overshadow the main attraction — when all is said and done, the poor fella’s base decoration, after all, and nothing more.

So I used one of the resin Marines I had left from the base of Forgeworld’s Angron model, cut the poor guy in half and pushed him down really low onto the base: In fact, I imagine him as having been buried under rubble from an explosion or something similar, not directly as a victim of the Contemptor:




One thing that doesn’t really come across in the pictures is that there’s a bigger piece of rubble where his legs should be, pushing him down and/or pinning him in place. I hoped this would work much better once the base had been painted.

The rest of the base was built up using plastic parts from one of GW’s 40k basing sets, Vallejo’s Sandy Paste and some varied rubble and cork chaff from my collection. Since the plastic parts were woefully smooth, I once again stippled on some Liquid GS to create some much-needed surface texture:

The paintjob was once again intended to make the entire base look suitably dusty and grimy — like a perfect little slice of a Horus Heresy warzone. It’s funny, but I think the one area where I’ve improved most through my work on Horus Heresy models is the basing of models 😉

 

So before the model was completed, all that I needed to do was to come up with a small background piece for this latest Contemptor. Now it has become a bit of a tradition for me to immortalise fellow hobbyists who have contributed to my hobby life in a meaningful ways by naming models after them (such as “PeeDee” the Monkey, for instance. And come to think of it, Augustus b’Raass alone gets about three shout outs in my 40k World Eaters army), and I decided to do the same this time, using a part of the Contemptor’s name and a tiny bit of his background as a bit of a shout out to fellow hobbyist BubblesMcBub, who really did me a good turn last year by letting me have most of the Death Guard modes from the Dark Imperium boxed set — cheers, mate: This one’s for you! 🙂

 

So here, without further ado, is the finished Contemptor:

Kelok Raud

“The Hunter”
Contemptor, XII Legion Astartes

Long before his interment into a hallowed Ironform, or even before his transformation into an Astartes, Kelok Raud was already a consummate hunter, slaying the monstrous rad-beasts that stalked the West-Yropan flatlands. After his induction into the XII Legion, this predilection for hunting fearsome game saw Raud gravitate towards the role of a heavy assault specialist, and many were the beasts and tech-horrors he brought down during the Great Crusade, before finally falling under the claws of a towering xenos beast.

Before the last spark of life left his shattered body, however, the Techmarines of the 4th assault company interred him into a Contemptor ironform, as his prowess in battle had long made him eligible for a service beyond death.

Bestriding the battlefield clad in layered Adamantium of ancient Mechanicus ingenuity, Kelok Raud has now returned to the hunt once more, this time as a true avatar of war. His breastplate proudly proclaims his motto „Venatio Supra Omnia – The Hunt Above All Else“ in High Gothic lettering, and where he used to hunt mutant beasts with spear and lance, he is now armed with a Dreadnought-sized version of that most vicious of World Eaters weapon systems, the monstrous Ursus Claw harpoon.

 






Here’s a closer look at the base:



The last picture shows off the piece of rubble pinning the Ultramarine down a bit better. I really rather like the “mini-narrative” created by the base: The fallen Ultramarine gives it one last shot at destroying the enemy – as Ultramarines are wont to do, because “only in death does duty end” and all that – while the Contemptor has bigger fish to fry and is already looking for his next prey — he’s kitted out for tank hunting, after all.

I even like the idea that the little scene could actually play out either way: Could the Ultramarine prove to be Raud’s undoing because of his unbroken will to fight? Maybe, but then it rather fits his character. Plus I think there’s still a pretty fair chance the Contemptor’s next step will squish the Marine’s head like a ripe melon…

Now like I said, the guns were actually magnetised by Augustus b’Raass, so while I am totally ignorant when it comes to magnetising stuff, it was easy enough to add something readily magnetic to the Contemptor’s right shoulder. So now I get to do fun stuff like swapping in a new gun…

…or changing the angle of the gun:

One thing I am really, really proud of, even if it’s not perfect, is the freehand lettering adorning the scrollwork on Raud’s breastplate: I went with the aforementioned “Venatio Supra Omnia” which I think is fairly okay-ish Latin — hey, who cares, it’s High Gothic anyway, isn’t it? 😉

In any case, this feels like the first freehand of that kind I have tried in virtually forever, so I think you guys can cut me some slack 😉

So yeah, that’s the finished model! And here are “the twins”:

To be honest, I am enormously pleased with these two, especially since they use the exact same base model and still look suitably different.

So to wind things up, here’s a snapshot of my entire 30k World Eaters collection so far:


Certainly not an army yet — but we may be getting there, one model at a time 😉

I would love to hear any feedback you might have on the new Contemptor. And, as always, tanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Deracin — the early years

Posted in 30k, Conversions, Fluff, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2017 by krautscientist

Back when the then-new Codex Chaos Space Marines was released, all the way back in 2012, it contained a couple of new HQ specialist types for the army that had previously been limited to particular legions: Both the (Word Bearers’) Dark Apostles and the (Iron Warriors’) War(p)smiths were now available to every Traitor Legion and renegade chapter.

While the choice proved unpopular among some hobbyists, who feared that this was a sign of further weakening the identity of the various legions, I quickly thought about the interesting challenge of building dedicated interpretations of those character archetypes for my World Eaters.

Possibly the most involved project in this vein was the creation of my very own Warpsmith, Huntmaster Deracin:

Huntmaster Deracin (11)
Coming up with a suitably impressive, suitably tech-y and suitably Khornate Warpsmith was a pretty interesting endeavour — you can discover the original project here and here.

Now as you know, I have been working on a small Horus Heresy project for a while now, exploring the history of the 4th assault company during the Heresy. And one of the most entertaining parts of this “gaiden project” has been to reverse-engineer younger versions of my 40k characters. Of course it’s a difficult balance to maintain: Not every character could realistically have survived ten millennia of the Long War — in fact, even the idea of single individuals surviving through the Great Crusade, the entire Heresy and even well beyond is patently ludicrous, when you look at it. But it’s 30k/40k we are talking about here, so a little lack of realism doesn’t hurt 😉 Even so, there have to be some differences between both incarnations of the company across both settings for the whole business to at least allow some suspension of disbelief.

But Deracin was always one of the prime candidates to be included in the “younger” version of the 4th assault company: He is one of the pretty well-developed characters in my army’s background, and I also thought that building a younger version of him might be fun.

My original plan was to take a look at the “official” Forgeworld Legion Techmarines in Mk. III and Mk. IV armour, respectively. But those merely served as a first inspiration, and the real challenge was to build a model that didn’t just look like any old Techmarine, but actually resembled Deracin’s fairly baroque 40k form. After a bit of experimentation, here’s what I came up with:

Techmarine Deracin 30k WIP (4)

The use of some chaos warrior legs (from the chaos chariot, as it were) proved to be the crucial, if unconventional, choice here, because they really hint at Deracin’s 40k getup (mostly because both pairs of legs come from the same part of GW’s catalogue). The nonstandard shape of the legs also hints at possible augmentations underneath all of the armour, something that is very much a part of Deracin’s character: You really cannot be sure how much of his organic body is actually left underneath it all. But he’s enough of a technological prodigy to eschew the usual, bulky Astartes bionics for something more cotoured and elegant, at least for the most part.

Beyond this key decision, I tried to incorporate design elements that looked like less extreme versions of Deracin’s 40k equipment, such as the chainaxe/hammer combo, the shoulder mounted gun and the servo-harness. My original conversion notes on the model can be found in this post, if anyone’s interested.

But anyway, here’s the unpainted conversion next to the “older” version of Deracin:

Deracin comparison

In order to finally get the model painted, I included it in my recent vow for the “Loyalty & Treachery III” event over at The Bolter & Chainsword. And while I was still motivated from my recent success of having painted my 30k World Eaters Contemptor, I got to work. Here are the results:

 

Deracin

the Keeper of the Forge, 4th assault company Techmarine, XII Legio Astartes

“To think we lost a brilliant mind like that! But how should we have known? A jewel like that man’s mind, hidden amid the midden heap that was his legion. A genius fallen among the butchers. Even as we fight his daemonic creations today, we can only wonder about the marvels he could have brought to our Imperium.

There are those who look at the Istvaan Atrocity or the Siege of Terra, and who count the dead and the debt Imperium paid in flesh and blood during those dark times. But the true tally of the Heresy is measured not in bodies, but in minds forever lost to our cause, and therein lies the true tragedy.”

Archmagos Veneratus Sacharia Hyle, The Age of Scouring, M31

30k-deracin-1
30k-deracin-2

“Aye, Nove Shendak cost me half of my body. But in the end, those injuries were what let me keep all of my wits, and for that I will always remember that blasted hellscape with a certain …fondness.”

Techmarine Deracin

30k-deracin-3
30k-deracin-4
30k-deracin-5
During the time of the Great Crusade, when the XIIth Astartes Legion was still known as the War Hounds, brother Deracin was a brilliant and ferocious warrior who could be found at the forefront of every battle. This zeal cost him dearly when he sustained horrific injuries during the Nove Shendak campaign, requiring extensive augmentic reconstruction work to be saved. Worse still than the lost limbs was the heavy nerve damage Deracin incurred, damage that necessiated complex cranial implants to keep him combat-worthy. A lesser man might have been interred into the sarcophagus of a dreadnought due to such injuries, but Deracin trained relentlessly to overcome his injuries and push the artificial parts of his body to the limit, trying to prove to his brethren that his “reconstruction” hadn’t dulled his edge one bit.

All of this should be for naught, however, once the legion had been reunited with its Primarch and renamed the “World Eaters”: Angron ordered his Apothecaries and Techmarines to outfit the whole legion with the Butcher’s Nails, implants patterned after those he had received as a gladiator on the world of Nuceria.

The nails implanted into the Primarch’s skull were artifacts from the Dark Age of Technology, and the Techmarines’ dabbling in archaeotech was far from an exact science, producing all kinds of unforeseen incidents. As a consequence, the implants Deracin had received earlier to mend his injuries interfered with the nails, preventing him from utilising his full potential on the battlefield. For Angron, a legionnaire that couldn’t unlock the nails’ full power could only be considered a failure. So Deracin found himself relegated to the rear guard in more and more battles, sidelined and tasked with petty battle logistics and mundane assignments, and growing ever more frustrated.

It was Lord Captain Lorimar who discovered that, deprived of a chance to prove himself in battle, Deracin had begun to apply himself to the maintenance of the legions’ wargear and weaponry, demonstrating a brilliant grasp of technology and an intuitive understanding of even the most complex mechanisms. So Lorimar requested Deracin for his company and let him be trained as a Techmarine. And it was then that brother Deracin found his true calling:

He may have been a brilliant fighter, but as a Techmarine, Deracin became a marvel. His brilliant, analytical mind allowed him to construct mechanisms on par with the most advanced work of the Mechanicus. His work earned him the envy of numerous Techmarines from different companies and, indeed, other Legiones Astartes. In time, even Angron himself began to display a sort of grudging respect for the son he had despised. And through fateful irony, the implants that prevented Deracin from tapping into the Butcher’s Nails’ full potential actually kept his brilliant mind intact, even as the rest of the legion descended into frenzy and insanity.

30k-deracin-6
So this is my interpretation of a younger Deracin. And here’s a comparison shot showing both versions of the character:

deracin-then-and-now-2
deracin-then-and-now-3
40k Deracin is quite a beast, in his massive and baroque armour — and let’s not forget that rather monstrous servo-harness! So, like I said, the three goals here were to a) build a model that would look reasonably like it was the same guy cool.png hint at some of the design cues of the 40k version and c) still read as a 30k Techmarine. Looking at it now, I think I’ve done a reasonably good job on the model!

Deracin is the first character with a finished model for both incarnations of the 4th assault company — but he is far from the last! That being said, I am still really happy with created a first proof-of-concept model! 🙂

Let’s wind up this post with the obligatory family portrait:

30k-world-eaters-and-techmarine-2
I’d love to hear your feedback on the model! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

The State of the Hunt, Week 7/2017

Posted in 40k, Blood Bowl, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, state of the hunt, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2017 by krautscientist

As it turns out, last week’s decision to force myself to actually sit down and paint something was really for the best: Not only did it result in a model I am really, really happy with — I’ve also managed to keep the creative spark alive until now. So even though I am currently suffering from a rather nasty case of the flu, I have still finished some more hobby related stuff. So let’s take about some of the recent developments today:

 

I. A Chaotic Tome

One of the more frustrating parts of the 2016 Christmas season was my attempt to get hold of a) the Traitor Legions Codex Supplement, b) Canoness Veridyan and c) the Index Chaotica book. The Canoness, in particular, sold out about three or four times, and once the model was finally back in stock, the Index Chaotica was gone for good — or at least that’s what it looked like then.

index-chaotica-1
Enter fellow hobbyist Augustus b’Raass (whose fantastic work you might want to check out here, by the way): Auggs was nice enough to swing by the Amsterdam GW store, pick up a spare copy of the book and send it my way — that was really awesome and yet another proof that this hobby of ours is full of wonderfully generous and thoughtful people!

As for the book itself, while I am writing this, it seems to be back in stock, so is it worth it? I’d say so, yes. The cynic in me wants to poke fun at the fact that it’s basically a – ever so slightly haphazard – collection of pre-published content, but then the stuff from Realm of Chaos, for instance, is only really available in the original books, and you’ll be paying through the nose if you want to obtain one of those. Plus the vintage chaos content is simply that good: sinister, evil, spiky and occasionally darkly humorous. And some of the classic artwork is still spectacular.

For instance, I was elated to find within the book a wonderfully vibrant reproduction of Geoff Taylor’s iconic World Eaters illustration. In spite of being decidedly old skool, it has also managed to age incredibly well, if you ask me:

index-chaotica-2
There’s also this WFB-chaos centric piece from the same artist that actually almost seems like a companion piece of the World Eaters picture:

index-chaotica-3
I still remember when this image appeared on the box of the Chaotic paints set (Tentacle Pink FTW!), and I was spellbound and tried to figure out what I was actually seeing — the lumbering war machine in the back was especially fascinating, as it subtly hinted at a WFB/40k connection. From a modern standpoint, I’d say it’s actually a depiction of a Lord of War, a Khornate daemon engine from Epic 40k that eventually grew into the modern Lord of Skulls. It also serves as living proof of how much more awesome GW artwork was when it didn’t limit itself to picturing available models — but that’s a subject for another time.

Speaking of Khorne, the Khornate content alone is basically worth the price of admission and should provide me with lots and lots of new ideas. And while the internet will provide you with lots and lots of fuzzy scans of vintage GW artwork, there are still some surprises to be had here, among them an elusive Jes Goodwin sketch for a dedicated heavy support World Eater:

index-chaotica-4
Actually, Jes Goodwin’s design sketches are yet another reason to pick up the book: I cannot help marveling at the quality of his concepts for the four cult legions and the original 2nd edition CSM special characters –incredible stuff!
Oh, and let me just state for the record that the book obviously wouldn’t have been complete without the wonderful berzerker on the right courtesy of Mark Gibbons! 🙂

So anyway, I’ve spent some very enjoyable weeks going back and forth through the book and immersing myself in the rich background for the chaos powers. I am ever so thankful to Augustus b’Raass for getting me a copy, and I suppose I’ll have to come up with something special in order to make it up to him — cheers, buddy! 🙂

 

II. A Merry Band of Misfits

I didn’t merely spend my time browsing through iconic chaos content from the yesteryear, though: Some of you might remember this little project here from last year: The Road Crew:

the-road-crew-2016
Now this little warband project was basically started as a fun diversion (and as a way to channel some of the influences from the Mad Max universe), but before I realised it, it had already started to take on a life of its own, coagulating into a little retinue.

The basic idea here was to start with some of the pit slave tropes introduced by Necromunda, but move beyond those character archetypes to include mutants, gunmen or even former Imperial adepts and shape them into a gang of malcontents that have disappeared between the cracks of the 41st millennium.

Now if you take a look at the image above, you’ll realise that there are already quite a few beefy warrior types — but this outfit still needed some brains. That’s why I built this guy last year:

Doc WIP (5)
Where the more gladiatorial types are muscular and crudely augmented, I wanted a gaunt and more delicate look for the brainy guy, and a combination of AdMech parts led to an outcome that was pretty close to my vision. The interesting task was to make a model that is so different from a structural standpoint look like it still belonged with the group. I tried to achieve that via a suitably strong paintjob, and here’s the result of that little endeavour:

solon-antonov-1
solon-antonov-2
solon-antonov-3
solon-antonov-6
solon-antonov-4
This is Solon Antonov, nicknamed “The Doktor”, formerly a low to mid-tier member of the Adeptus Mechanicus who stationed on St. Sabasto’s Reach to select suitable slaves to undergo augmetic modification and be transported off-world, to spend the rest of their sad lives toiling away in one of the mines or forges of the Velsian Adeptus Mechanicus. But, surprising enough for a man mostly made from metal by this point, Antonov discovered he still had a heart after all, and absconded with a group of slaves. Ever since, he has been the brains behind the “Road Crew”, tasked both with planning their activities and with the “maintenance” of its various members.

As you can see, I used the exact same colours on Antonov and the gladiators, with the scratched and damaged yellow armour serving as the element that really pulls the models together. I was actually happy enough with the outcome that I started to work on the next model right away. This little guy here:

Twist Witch Doctor (1)
I thought a mutant witch doctor type would nicely expand the character of the warband beyond a mere gang of pitslaves, even if this guy may initally seem a bit far out. Anyway, he’s still a little rough around the edges and needs some finishing touches, but here are some photos of the nearly finished model:

twist-witch-doctor-1
twist-witch-doctor-2
twist-witch-doctor-3
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All in all, this project is a lot of fun, because it allows for some very organic kitbashing and painting. It’s also a nice vehicle for telling a somewhat more intimate story: These guys aren’t part of the fight for the Emperor’s soul, they just want to get by. That being said, it’s kinda interesting to explore the contrast between their humanity and their somewhat distressed, grotesque outer appearances.

So here’s the entire gang so far. Meet the Road Crew:

the-road-crew-early-2017-2
From left to right: Crusher Vexx, Tiny (the Road Crew’s battle captain), Doktor Antonov, Grimspyke, Chopper and the PIP twist witch doctor (if anyone has a cool idea for a name, I’d love to hear it).

So what’s in store for the Road Crew? I think there’ll be one or two additional members, and a suitable ramshackle ride for them — I already have a plan on that account. Keep your eyes peeled! 😉

 

III. A Squig-shaped Surprise

And last but definitely not least, imagine my surprise when I visited my friend Annie last week for one of our semi-regular painting sessions, only to present me with two wonderfully characterful squig-shaped dice for my Blood Bowl team, the Orkheim Ultraz:

squig-shaped-counters
These lovely little models can be picked up at Comixininos, and they should make for excellent turn/reroll counters for my team! And I really love how Annie painted them to perfectly match the colours of the Orkheim Ultraz:

orkheim-ultraz-early-2017
Thanks so much for the amazing gift, Annie! 🙂

By the way, we’ll be taking a closer look at one of Annie’s Blood Bowl teams in the near future, if only to show you her fairly different approach as well as her balls-to-the-wall crazy and creative ideas for the team. You should definitely look forward to that!
So yeah, as you can see, I am finally back into the swing of things! And I would love to hear any feedback you might have — just drop me a comment or two! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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:

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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!

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