Archive for fluff

INQ28: Kitbashing in the time of Corona, pt. 2

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2020 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, it’s time for another update — and yet, I’ve had virtually no hobby time, for reasons that shall become obvious further down in this post.

It’s a good thing, then, that I still have enough bits and bobs from my desktop to share with you, even if I’ve been sitting on some of this stuff for a while now — what better way to clean house, as it were, eh? So let’s take a look:

I’ll start with a small update on one of the projects from my previous post: Remember the beginnings of my Bloodbriar Cartel?

Looking at the models, I realised that I wanted another bodyguard for the retinue. Now building another sentinel would have been quite tempting, especially on the account of this awesome idea of fellow hobbyist euansmith:

The entire gaggle are looking sumptuous. Looking at the Guard with the shield, I was struck by the idea that, if you make a second one that was Left Handed, they could stand behind important people, with their two shields forming a pair of wings to make their VIP look even more important. The mask on the guard is really cool.

But then I quickly realised that my heavy case of hobby butterfly syndrome probably wouldn’t allow me to build – much less paint – another identical model. Plus I also felt that the bulky Sentinel should be balanced out by a very different, slim and lithe bodyguard. So I came up with this kitbash:




Maddeningly enough, the differently coloured plastic on the upper half of the head makes the whole thing look like a bad Photoshop job in those pictures — you’ll have to take my word that the whole head assembly works better in real life. But I didn’t want to “cheat” by showing a grayscale picture, electing to rather show you the initial kitbash, warts and all.

I also have to admit that I am not quite happy with the second bodyguard yet, and there are definitely quite a few kinks to deal with: To name just one issue, maybe that Bonereaper sword is too massive, but then again, I think I’ll be keeping it because I like the idea of an “exotic” weapon like that without any clear chaos or xenos influences — it looks like the kind of weapon you would see in a powerful crime syndicate (plus all the other swords in my collection are just as big).

One thing I think already works pretty well is the pose: I wanted the bodyguard to look self-assured and at rest, so I really had to go to town on those jumpy Wych legs. The slowly advancing stance looks like that of a ballet dancer, though, which is just what I wanted.

 

Next, more or less à propos of nowhere, came a conversion that felt like I simply had to get it out of my system. A bounty hunter, possibly with a bit of a Xenos influence:




The were several design influences at play here: The image of Japanese Ronin (very obviously), Princess Leia’s bounty hunter disguise in Return of the Jedi, as well as character designs you would see in Franco-Belgian graphic novels, such as “Valérien”. Plus the original idea was also lifted from a model I saw on Reddit 😉

The conversion itself was a pretty straightforward one, mostly based on a Necromunda Delaque:

  • indeed, the body, right arm and gun on the back are all from the new Necromunda Delaques
  • the left arm is from the Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors (or Wyches)
  • the sword came from the AdMech Sicarian Ruststalkers
  • the head, hat and shoulder pad are all leftover Tau…erm “T’au” bitz from my bitzbox: The hat is either from the gun drones or from the Krisis suits – I’d say Krisis suits, though, as the discs that made up the drone bodies are even bigger in diameter. The shoulder pad is from the XV25 Stealth Suits, if I am not mistaken. And the head is just some small sensor array bit (probably from the Krisis suits as well, but I really don’t know) with a couple of extra gubbinz (including a new eye lens) added on to bulk it out just a little and make it look more tech-y. I just wanted a head that seemed very un-imperial and also not at all like a classic facemask.

Here’s another look at the model now with an extra grenade on the model’s belt (for improved visual balance):

Possibly my favourite part of this conversion is that it seems to turn the somewhat awkward pose of this particular Delaque body into an actual strenght: If you ask me, the model really does look like some kind of itinerant Dark SciFi Samurai leisurely strolling through the underhive 😉

In fact, this latest model seems like the perfect opportunity to also share another Delaque-based conversion that I have been sitting on for a while: A mysterious figure, inspired by a yet another conversion I saw online (on Pinterest, I think?!)




This conversion is even more straightforward, simply swapping in a blank Dark Eldar helmet and relying on Delaque bitz otherwise. When I saw this idea, I instantly loved it! It creates such a mysterious, sinister look! Just what I needed for a character codenamed “The Architect”, a mysterious agent of the Neo-Thorian radical splinter-faction known as “The Fragmentarians”, a recurring shadowy power within the Velsen sector…

I wanted the character to look like a secretive player from behind the curtain, so to speak, preferring to be subtle about their influence. Even so, the Architect is not above stepping in and doing some red work, hence the inclusion of the stiletto…

As an added bonus, this model was also the perfect excuse for finally realising a long-standing plan of mine and build a conversion resembling “The Alchemist”, the super-creepy villain of the 2001 film “Vidocq”:

In case you are not familiar with the film, it’s a bit zany and scatterbrained in that special way only French (fantasy) films are, but the production design is really awesome, and the villain is just incredibly creepy — fun fact, back in the day, scenes from the film were used in the music video for a song that appeared on the film’s OST, and I was mesmerised by the Alchemist’s appearance in the video, but didn’t have any idea that those scenes came from an actual film. Years later, I walked by a DVD bargain bin and saw the cover artwork (just the Alchemist’s “face”, as shown above), and basically bought the DVD based on that alone.

It also seems like I am getting quite a bit of mileage out of that Delaque kit, although I have yet to build an actual Delaque… 😉

 

Next up, a bit of a terrain – or basing – experiment: When my friend Annie recently placed a large order at Greenstuffworld, I took the opportunity to order one of Greenstuffworld’s textured rolling pins (the temple one) that can be used to create rather intricate designs on bases. So I decided to finally give that a try as well.

The tool is actually rolled through fresh GS, as though you were trying to make cookies. It took a couple of tries to get it reasonably right, but here’s the blank base with the freshly created design on top:


Here’s what it looked like with the undercoat in place:

And here’s the finished base:



Regarding the paintjob, it would have been easy enough to pick up some of the details in a different colour (gold, for example), but for my initial attempt, I didn’t want to draw too much attention away from the model that was to be placed on top of that base.Anyway, while there’s still quite a bit of room for improvement, I’d say it’s a solid first attempt.

My main reason for going with this design in the first place was that I was looking for a less underhive-y look — instead I wanted something to suggest the courts and halls of power, so to speak, of the Velsen sector. Which is why the first finished base in this style was given to my conversion for Lord Sebastianus Danver Balzepho Vlachen, nephew to the Lord Sector:


Funnily enough, the “temple” design might just as well be called the “INQ28” design — there’s a smattering of quasi-40k-esque symbols present in the design, including a small “28” plaque, for crying out loud 😉

 

And that’s about it for today’s collection of odds and ends — oh, wait! I have one more thing to share with you all:

You see, the reason why I haven’t managed to get any hobbying done lately is that I have been sinking virtually all of my free time into MediaMolecule’s “Dreams”, basically a game/machinima/3D sculpting/… toolkit for the Playstation 4. I don’t want to gush, especially since I am helplessly in love with the game/program right now, but it’s definitely one of the most remarkable pieces of software I have seen in a long time (fun fact, I bought this and the Final Fantasy VII Remake for the Easter holiday. I have yet to touch the Final Fantasy game…). Plus it’s a blast to play around in!

And I do actually have something hobby related to show for myself, because – in an attempt to get more familiar with Dreams’ 3D sculpting tools – I set out to create a model of Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn’s head:



This project is still very much work in progress, but it’s also only my second attempt at digitally sculpting a head in 3D — and without a lick of prior modeling experience, to boot. Anyway, if you’ll excuse me: I think I may have to add a few more tubes and augmetic gubbinz to dear old Gregor’s mug 😉

In any case, I would love to hear any thoughts you might have on my current projects! Please leave a comment!

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more — and please stay safe and healthy during these challenging times!

INQ28: Kitbashing in the time of Corona

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, Pointless ramblings, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2020 by krautscientist

For all the sad and awful things that are currently going on in the world, I have found the Corona-mandated downtime as strangely conductive to my creativity when it comes to kitbashing and converting, in spite of everything. So today, I have a monster of a post to share with you, with quite a few new INQ28 conversions that I am pretty proud of. I you would step this way, please…;)

 

Let’s begin with the model that seems to have kicked things off: Earlier this year, the Brothers Wier (of “Between the Bolter And Me” fame kicked a challenge with the subject of using the new AoS Ossiarch Bonereaper models to create some creepy, rather more skeletal Eldar to channel the somewhat gigeresque origins of the Eldar race during the Rogue Trader days of yore:

Illustration by Tony Hough

What’s more, the brothers were also awesome enough to send me one of the models from the Mortek Guard kit to use for the challenge.

But in spite of that generosity, it still took me quite a while to get started on my contribution…

One reason for this, on top of my usual laziness, was that the bar was immediately set incredibly high, for instance by this this very cool and creepy Eldar model built by Adam Wier himself…

Model converted by Adam Wier

or by Larsonic Miniatures’ absolutely incredible Haemonculus.

But seeing how the Coronavirus-downtime had at least provided me with some extra hobby time, I felt that I might just as well finally try to get this show on the road. I still had some leftover Yvraine parts, back from when I first converted the Countess Mandelholtz, and definitely wanted to put them to good use, along with some Dark Eldar knick knacks I still had in my bitzbox.

Even so, the first half of the conversion process was an exercise in frustration, with things just refusing to come together — except for my own fingers, that is, because I certainly managed to glue them together more than once. The model itself didn’t really seem to work, though: For instance, I all but ruined Yvraine’s head in an attempt to go for a really creepy, biomechanical look (think the Alien from the first Species film, minus the gratuitous nudity).

But I soldiered through, and it was actually late at night when I finally felt that I might be on to something:

I think getting the legs and torso to line up properly was what ultimately sealed the deal — after that, it was mostly a question of going with what felt right. And before long, I had this model:

And believe it or not, most of what you see is actually the Mortek Guard model the Wier Brothers originally sent me. I merely spliced in a few Eldar parts from various sources:

  • Yvraine’s feet and hairpiece
  • a Dark Eldar helmet (chosen for its stylised, statuesque features) and one-and-a-half Dark Eldar arms
  • an old (late-90s) Dark Eldar Kabalite warrior’s abdomen (yes, really 😉 )
  • a severed elven/Aeldarii head (I think it originally came from a Wood Elf, although I am not sure)

I even ended up with a couple of spare Bonereaper bitz to squirrel away for future projects — YAY! 😉

Anyway, the conversion was still rather messy at this point, and needed a few tweaks and some cleanup. Here’s what the finished conversion looks like:






I am actually really happy with this guy (?) at the moment, but that’s probably because the project seemed like such a trainwreck before it finally all started to come together.

There’s zero background in place for the model, but I do like how ambiguous it seems: Is it some new kind of Exarch? A wraithbone construct? Some sinister kind of Drukhari warrior? Or a pre-fall revenant? Fellow hobbyist BeardGoblin even pointed out that the model resembles an Avatar of Khaine — in fact, it could even work as an Epic-/Adeptus Titanicus-scaled Avatar, minus the severed head.

In any case, I think I’ve come up with a working contribution for the challenge — speaking of which, though, you should definitely check out all of the other excellent contributions: Go read up on them over here, at “Between the Bolter and Me” — and many thanks again to the Wier Brothers for sending over that model and for allowing me to be a part of this event!

 

Getting this particular conversion to work also felt like the floodgates had been opened, in a sense, and I emerged from this project quite motivated and with an appetite for something a little more …adventurous. So what happened next?

A couple of years ago, I was lucky enough to be able to snap up the female vampires from the WFB/AoS Coven Throne. If you ask me, those are some of GW’s coolest models (and still some of their best female sculpts), and I have cannibalised them for several projects over the years (to build, just to name the most important examples, Mistress Elisha Gorgo, Countess Mandelholtz, Redactor Orlant’s masked bodyguard and the pilot for my second Knight Armiger). This all left me with – most – of the body of the main vampiress (only missing her head and parts of her arms) as well as the cushions that normally go behind her on the Coven Throne. And whenever I came upon those parts while burrowing through my bitzbox, I would always have this vague idea to one day turn her into a cool, very Blanchesque figure in a floating comfy chair.

Well, desperate times call for desperate measure, so I decided that it was finally time to go for it:

When I started this conversion, I did not yet know whether I wanted her to be an eccentric noble or a crime lord (or both) or some kind of conspirator — for starters, it was just fun to delve into the Blanchitsu look to create her. The model was missing its head, and I decided to actually turn that into a virtue, using a creepy resin skull (sent to me by my buddy Biohazard a couple of years ago) and some GS cables to give her a suitably grimdark mask. An eyelens from a set of Cadian binoculars was used to add an augmetic eye piece to the mask.

The cushion bit was far to nice to discard, and I loved the idea of having her float on some kind of antigrav chair. So I created a suitably impressive throne for her:

As you can see, I added another cushion (made from GS) to elevate her to the right height and make for a smooth fit. I then used what I believe are mostly Sentinel bitz to tech-up her chair a bit (with some Chimera flamers repurposed as antigrav suspensors).

Here’s the grimdark mamzel, with her chair suitably built up:

This only really left me with one area to deal with: Her feet. Ideally, there would have been some kind of footrest for her, but when I tried to cobble something together, I realised that an element like that would obscure most of the lower front of the chair, defeating the exercise of having a floating chair to begin with.

In the end, the solution was rather simple: As I still had the flowing skirts from the other two vampires, I simply shaved down one of them to fit the mamzel. So here’s the finished conversion:


I also have a slightly firmer idea about her background now: I’ll be calling her “Lady Bloodbriar”, and she’s the head of a crime/underworld syndicate of the same name that has become very powerful indeed behind the scenes of the Velsen Sector. Her real identity remains a secret, and she prefers to keep it that way — although, I actually do have a pretty good idea who she really is, underneath the mask. That’ll be a story for a different time, though…

Still feeling very happy with the conversion, I took a long hard look at it and decided that what Lady Bloodbriar really needed was…a pudgy little cherub whose funtion was basically that of an ambulatory fan:




Now the idea of using Nurglings to create cherubim wasn’t mine — it’s a clever approach I first saw on Jeff Vader’s Convertorum. It did serve me really well here, though! The little skull face was actually designed to match Lady Bloodbriar’s mask. Oh, and I added some tiny augmetic plugs to the Nurgling’s body here and there, to hint at the fact that this is an automaton of some sophistication!

And yes, I am quite aware of the fact that actual cherubim models are now freely available as part of the new Sisters of Battle kits — but the plan here was to focus on only using parts from the old bitzbox. And that was even before GW stopped taking any orders, too!

Anyway, my original plan was to actually have him on the chair as well (on one of the cushions behind her), but I am pretty sure that this would have overcluttered the model — plus I do rather like the idea of the little guy hurrying behind the floating throne, trying his best to keep up..

And seeing how I had basically lost my marbles at this point, I couldn’t help thinking about yet another cherub for her, loosely inspired by a detail appearing in a piece of John Blanche artwork from the second edition 40k rulebook:

Illustration by John Blanche

In it, a cherub is wearing the cutest little pseudo-napoleonic uniform:

And seeing how I still had a head wearing a bicorn (sent to me by fellow hobbyist Drone21c, if I remember correctly), I knew I just had to try and channel that effect:

He is carrying a little hourglass, as if to say: “This is all the time you get to plead your case with the mistress…”

The little guy with the hat will be named “Nullsum” (thanks to a brilliant suggestion from fellow hobbyist A_Tempest_Sinister), and his buddy will be called “Aerial” (in an attempt at a similar pun 😉 ).

Also, I think I’ll be giving Nullsum a little sword:

It just makes for an even more “heraldic” look, for lack of a better word…

So I had the Lady Bloodbriar herself, and her two cherubim — but that wasn’t nearly enough, and I was basically neck-deep into this project at this point, when I came upon an incredible blog post at Meandering Shade that made me realise that there’s something really interesting you can also do with a cable maker — quite an eye opener! So I simply had to build a majordomo for Lady Bloodbriar. Meet Master Corvinus Icter:

As you can see, he is currently occupied with contemplating the contents of a dataslate while his mistress talks to a supplicant, and probably interjecting pointed questions and remarks (“What were your credentials again?” “These numbers don’t seem to add up…”)

The conversion itself mostly consists of bitz from the WFB Empire Greatswords /AoS Freeguild Greatswords, with just a shaved-down Skitarii coat as well as a Delaque head and dataslate spliced in for flavour — and there’s that glorious hairdo, of course, basically created by cutting apart a GS cable and carefully applying its parts to a substructure also made from GS. It’s unbelievable how easy this was — although it might still need a bit of cleanup here and there.

I have one more conversion for you for today’s update — because a powerful mover and schemer like Lady Bloodbriar obviously also needs some muscle to serve as a personal bodyguard. After giving it a bit of thought, I dismissed the idea of including some kind of heavily muscled ganger, but rather went for a bit of a “palace guard”-style character, and with a highly stylised and idealised look, to match the amount of ostentation evident in the rest of the models. Now the Custodes and Stormcast Eternals basically have the market for statuesque, hulking warriors cornered between them, so I had to get a bit creative to come up with something that didn’t look too similar to them, while also invoking some visual cues from either — after all, it seems obvious that, in-universe, both the Custodes and Astartes would be revered as some kind of godlike ideal by citizens of the Imperium, and that the most influential among them would pattern their own household guards after those legendary warriors to some degree.

Anyway, here’s WIP for “the Sentinel”:


This conversion was all about creating a massive, statuesque and idealised warrior that wasn’t to look like a Space Marine. I tried to achieve this by using some slightly unconventional bitz — the base model was a Blood Warrior of Khorne, for instance. I am also rather happy with the spliced-together facemask and with the use of a Kharadron Overlords spear as a pretty exotic looking weapon.

Of course the Sentinel didn’t escape a round of tweaks, either 😉

I added a shield because I wanted to support the statuesque look even more — plus it also seemed like a fitting choice for a guard. The grisly skull trophy was exchanged for something a little more fitting (I use the winged sword device as a symbol for St. Sabasto, the “Sword Saint”, even though it’s originally a DA symbol, obviously 😉

So here’s the group, pretty much as it stands right now:

I am really having a blast with this project — in fact, to be quite honest with you, I had feared that I might have “lost my touch”, so to speak, since the level of quality all around seems to have soared, while some of the stuff I have been working on just felt trite and derivative. But with these latest models (and some of my latest World Eaters), I think I am in a pretty good place once again. I am not saying that none of this has been done before – and, indeed, I have been taking inspiration from fellow hobbyists like Jeff Vader, EdT and others left and right – but these latest models do feel like a – much-needed – breath of fresh air to me!

Oh, and I have even sketched out some inconography for Lady Bloodbriar’s crime syndicate (“The Bloodbriar Syndicate”? or “Cabal”? Or “Cartel?” Does anybody know any more cool, 40k-like words for a crime ring?):

I like the idea that most members of the organisation wear this kind of symbol — or a variation thereof: It could appear as tiny, inconspicuous tattoos or brands on the upper echelons of the organisation, whereas low level brutes would be covered in briar tattoos.

Anyway, if anyone’s still reading: That’s it for today’s update. I would, of course, love to hear any thoughts and suggestions you might have!

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more — and please stay safe and healthy during these challenging times!

Pieces of Eight

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2020 by krautscientist

What a time to be alive!

What is it with the world lately? Racism and right-wing populism on the rise again, factionalism and nationalism at an all-time high, and now Nurgle’s Rot as an actual real-world-thing…? The mind boggles…

Against this background, spending time on this hobby of ours can seem almost frivolous — and yet, amongst its many rather more frigthening features, the novel Coronavirus weirdly enough provides many of us with ample extra hobby time. What a weird feeling of disonnance…

Then again, I have often found that turning to the hobby as a release can actually keep you sane, and I hope it will do that this time as well. With one marked difference: In years before, it seemed that our lives – at least in the first world – were so rich and peaceful that we could afford to turn to a fictional universe full of hardship and murder as a hobby — and surely, that’s ultimately a good thing, right? These days, however, what does it say about the world that turning to the very same, grimdark galaxy for distraction seems like entering a happy place?

Meanwhile, this blog’s eighth anniversary has quietly passed me by back in late February — yeah, Eternal Hunt is actually eight years old now:

And I don’t even have anything special prepared for the occasion — not a surprise, really, all things considered. All I can offer you are some new World Eaters — but then that seems all to fitting, when this blog was originally started, allll the way back in 2012, to showcase my World Eaters army – Khorne’s Eternal Hunt – taking shape. And here we are, back where we started. If nothing else, there’s a nice sense of symmetry about it all…

So let’s actually turn our minds from the dark thoughts of everyday life to the – grimdark – thoughts of the 41st millennium where, in spite of all the murder and bloodshed, at least things still make sense 😉

For starters, we have this gentleman from my previous post:

Feeling enormously fond of the conversion, it was clear to me that I would want to paint him next. As an aside, I even remembered to take pictures of the different painting steps this time around, which I’ll be using for a step-by-step in a future post (I just don’t want to overclutter today’s update, what with the anniversary and all).

Anyway, I was able to get the model to an almost finished state relatively quickly:




After this, it was, once again, mostly a question of adding some finishing touches (and, of course, some blood…) and creating a base.

So here’s the finished axeman:





In a definite case of subverted expectations, this is probably the one model in the squad whose base actually *doesn’t* feature a skull. You can still see his last opponent’s breastplate, though (that head probably flew quite a ways when it was lopped off…):


Oh, and in case anyone was wondering, here’s a scale comparison shot for the model:

The closest thing to a standard Cadian I had was my older conversion for Inquisitor Antrecht, but he’s mostly based on Cadian parts, so it should work. I think the model’s size – while not really true scale – works well enough in setting it apart from a regular human. In addition to its size, the proportions are also pretty sound — for instance. the model features an actual abdomen, something that is often missing on standard-scaled Space Marines 😉

It has been pointed out to me that, with its two handed axe, the model would actually work as a Master of Executions. And while it wasn’t originally planned as such, I agree that it could definitely fulfill that role! [As an aside, I’ll have you know that my World Eaters actually had a headsman-type character before that was even a thing, so yeah…]

Anyway, I am actually really happy with the way this model has turned out! Here’s the squad so far:


And if I count my counts-as Huron, those are actually eight finished models, perfectly in keeping with the festivities! Yay! 😉

The forced downtime has also given me the opportunity to mess around with some additional models, so let’s take a look at those as well:

There’s my converted icon bearer (also from my previous post), for one. The one that was supposed to channel the look and feel of an older metal icon bearer:

One of my favourite parts about the old model were always the cables and tubes visible underneath the shoulder pad: I loved how those hinted at the inner workings of the armour. While messing around with Greenstuffworld’s excellent tentacle/cable maker (borrowed from my friend Annie), I took a moment to recreate that element on my modern interpretation of the character:

I have also decided to turn the pistol arm downwards, because the composition seems to work a bit better that way. This, in turn, also lead to my replacing the bolt pistol for a different version, because the ammo feed on the previous weapon no longer behaved in tune with gravity 😉

Oh, and there is one more WIP I would like to share with you today: Any ideas what this is supposed to be…?

Seeing how my latest World Eaters project is also about creating models that are inspired by seminal artwork or classic sculpts, I have been thinking about a model to represent Lheorvine Ukris, from Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s Black Legion novel series, for a while — another model, that is, seeing how I already built a first version a while ago:

“Guest stars” like this are always a bit of an iffy affair, because they don’t really fit into the narrative for a homegrown warband. But I couldn’t help myself, I had to use the excellent new kits to build another version of Lheorvine. So here’s the artwork I used as my main reference, once again:

And here’s the conversion I came up with:

With the exception of the Primaris breastplate (used for the “Imperialis” symbol) and a head from the AoS first edition starter box Blood Warriors (I simply *love* those helmets!), the conversion is mostly based on parts from the new vanilla CSM (with maybe a Havoc bit added in here and there). With the basic conversion out of the way, I then tried to cram in as many elements from the artwork as I could while also not wanting to make the model seem overly busy. Anyway, here’s the finished conversion:

The latest additions include that additional skull above the gun barrel as well as the various pieces of chain dangling from Lheor’s armour. I did consider adding some more spikes to the helmet crest, but ultimately decided against it: That helmet seems ostentatious enough as is.

So yeah, if nothing else, I have been keeping myself busy, as you can see — in fact, you should see some of the stuff I have been building for INQ28. Alas, that is a story for a future update! 😉

For now, while this hasn’t been your standard anniversary post, I do hope you’ve still enjoyed the look at some of my current projects, in spite of everything awful going on in the world.

To any and all readers, commenters and my friends throughout the blogosphere: Thank you for reading, commenting, sending bitz or models and for being a vital part of my Eternal Hunt! Please stick around, and please feel free to share any thoughts you might have!

And please, please stay safe and healthy, and look out for those close to you! Khorne demands it — I’m sure of it 😉

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

State of the Hunt, week 48/2019: Something stirs…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, heroquest, Inq28, Inquisitor, state of the hunt, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2019 by krautscientist

Hello everyone, and *phew*: It has been quite a while since the last update, hasn’t it? To be honest with you, the last weeks have gone by in a blur, due to all kinds of RL related shenanigans, and it is only this week that I once again find myself with some hobby time to spare. So consider this just a small heads up to show you that I am still alive and kicking — and while we’re at it, let me also share a few small things I am currently working on:

I. Eating worlds, one spoonful at a time…

I don’t have that much progress on my new World Eaters models to share, to be honest, but have been able to sneak in a bit of kitbashing here and there. Like working on a couple of World Eaters helmets, just to build up a reserve of possible heads:

The two helmets on the right are vanilla (new) CSM helmets with added “bunny ears” from the AoS Blood Warriors, whereas the helmet on the left is an attempt at grafting a (old) CSM mouthpiece to a Blood Warrior head, approximating an approach I have seen fellow hobbyist ElDuderino use recently. This exercise has only added to my appreciation of his conversions in this vein, as the process of making it all fit together is a rather tricky one…

With the head finished, however, I couldn’t help myself and tried to come up with a model to fit the converted helmet:


Another marriage of CSM and Blood Warrior bitz, this one — it took me a while until the model finally came together:


I do hope that I’ll be able to get him and one or two of his buddies painted before the end of the year — wish me luck 😉

 

II. Meanwhile, back at the Inquisitorial fortress…

Another project I have been chipping away at for most of the year is the retinue of Inquisitor Alvar, of the Ordo Xenos. While this is definitely one of my older warband projects, I was happy to make pretty good progress on the good Inquisitor’s operatives earlier this year, leaving me with a growing collection of characterful – and, more importantly, PAINTED – individuals:


At the moment, there are just two more models left to paint before I can call this long-running project finished. Here’s a picture of the last unpainted models from back in October:


Now the Magos Xenobiologis and Research assistant are already done and dusted. Which leaves me with the squat engineer/explorer and the female hive ganger:

I have wanted some kind of squat character ever since I first laid eyes on the Kharadron Overlords for AoS — even as stock models, they are basically the perfect 40k squats, if you ask me, with more of a steam/clock-punk-ish angle and less fantasy dwarf goofiness.

While the model you can see above already worked pretty well as a proof of concept, I did subject the little guy to a bit of fine-tuning. And here’s what I came up with:

Meet Skuldi Kulvar, the penultimate member of Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue:



Granted, for the most part, it’s still a stock Arkanaut model. But I have added some visual clutter and some techy bitz to bring the model more firmly into the 40k universe. I am seeing Skuldi as some kind of explorator/collector who has fallen in with Alvar. I have some ideas in the back of my head for a squat enclave somewhere within the Velsen sector, a rather reclusive group that is focused a lot around heavy industry and organised as some kind of industrial combine. There’s also some technology transfer between them and the local Adeptus Mechanicus, although it’s mostly strictly below the counter (I’ve tried to subtly hint at this fact by using an AdMech barrel on the pistol, though).

Many of the ideas I have for the little squat enclave owe a debt of inspiration to Thomas Plischke’s novel “Die Zwerge von Amboss” (“The Dwarves of Anvil”, unfortunately not available in English, as far as I am aware):

While the series does get less interesting as it goes, the first book provides a really fascinating look at a dwarven empire with a definite late 19th/early 20th century feel, completely build around the ideas of building something of lasting value and performing your work to the best of your abilities, all rolled together with more than a hint of early capitalism. It’s a cool angle of bringing the classic dwarven tropes into a more modern, quasi-industrialist setting, and the book was very much in my mind when I tried to come up with an angle for the squats that would interest me (and move beyond the “fantasy dwarves IN SPACE!” approach). Anyway, you may get to hear more of the squar combine before long, as this model actually doubles as a test model for a squat warband project that may or may not happen at some point in the future — don’t hold your breath, though…

The last member for Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue is this charming lady here: Shiv Korlund, former hive ganger:

This model has been attached to the project for quite a while, and she’s basically just an unconverted OOP metal Necromunda Escher ganger from back in the late 90s. Painting her should be fun, though…

Talking about painting, having built the two models’ bases, I’ll actually be taking these along to my next scheduled painting session at Annie’s place later this week:


Maybe I’ll be able to show you the finished models before long. I’ll be giving it my best shot…

 

III. Surprise supply drop!

Oh, and one more thing before I tune out for today, as this was such a lovely surprise:

I backed MOMiniaturas’ “Mercenaries” Kickstarter earlier this year, mostly because his wonderful, retro-Warhammer-styled mercenaries really scratched my HeroQuest itch when I looked at them:

In addition to the twenty-ish mercenary models that were part of the actual Kickstarter, however, I also used the opportunity to pick up a bunch of additional fantasy models at a discount from MOMiniaturas, then forgot all about it, and was pleasantly surprised when a massive pile of miniatures arrived on my doorstep last month:


I expect we’ll be taking a closer look at these in a future post — it’s anyone’s guess when I’ll actually have the time to paint any of these, but they have such a lovely retro appeal that I’ll try my darnedest to sneak in one or two of them before the year ends…

 

So yeah, that’s it from me for today. TLDR; I am still here, chipping away at my various projects. Is anybody alive in here? If so, I would, of course, love to hear your thoughts!

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

State of the Hunt, Week 37/2019: Murders & Acquisitions

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, state of the hunt, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2019 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, I have been slow to update the blog — September arrived and saw both my parents in the hospital (and for different reasons, at that), so this has been a really tiring couple of weeks. The situation is also still ongoing, unfortunately enough — so please keep your fingers crossed for me!

It should be no surprise, then, that the overall situation has had a bit of a negative impact on my hobby mojo and productivity. So I only have a smaller update for you this week, and one mainly dealing with WIP models again. Anyway, what is this about?

For today’s – brief – update, I want to revisit one of my INQ28 projects that fits squarely into my recent attempt to explore some of the political figures populating the Velsen Sector, such as my recently painted conversion for Lord Sebastianus Danver Balzepho Vlachen, heir-apparent to the ailing sector governor:


Anyway, characters like this are a part of what Dan Abnett refers to as “domestic Warhammer 40,000” — the world one degree removed from the endless battlefields of the 41st millennium — or maybe not…

But anyway, one of these “domestic Warhammer 40,000” projects of mine is a retinue representing the “Mandelholtz House of Imperial Finance”, one of the Velsen Sector’s mahor political players. To quote myself from last year:

The inspiration for this came from Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series (and from his other books set in the same universe), where the banking house of Valint & Balk has a finger in each and every pie, and happens to be one of the most insidious influences present in the entire setting, always playing both sides, so the bank always wins. Which strikes me as both very grimdark and also, unfortunately enough, rather realistic.

So I came up with House Mandelholtz, or “The Mandelholtz House of Imperial Finance”, to quote its full title, Velsen’s own banking house. I see them as one of the sector’s big movers and shakers, and like any good evil banking house from history’s great dark hall of fame, they get to throw around their weight a lot. If you’ve seen the series Taboo and remember the way the East India Company gets protrayed in that series, THAT’S what I want House Mandelholtz to feel like.

Anyway, the Mandelholtz board of directors is a shadowy assembly, and very few people in the sector actually know who holds a stake in the house’s businesses. Which lends itself rather beautifully to all kinds of Inquisitorial dabblings and should work great as a storytelling device.

I have quite a few ideas to flesh out my concept for House Mandelholtz — and of course that includes having the faction represented on the tabletop by some kind of retinue or warband. I actually finished the most important conversion for the project some time last year: The model to represent the Countess Mandelholtz herself:

The Countess was only one of the characters I envisioned for the project, however: Another was one Azaleas Vile, one of the house’s most high-ranking operatives.

He is a banker, to be sure, but the countess also entrusts him with some of the most delicate tasks as well as some of the most hideous acts to be committed under the house’s orders, with the ultimate goal of furthering House Mandelholtz’s aims. So I needed a model that would look as though the character were quite at home in the boardrooms AND the ballrooms of Velsen, yet would also be able to hold his own in the underhive as well. I also didn’t want Azaleas Vile to look like just any other grimdark fighting type — quite a challenge I had set for myself…

The actual conversion began when Kill Team: Rogue Trader was first released, or rather, when I first saw the model for Voidmaster Nitsch:

I really liked the erect pose and poise of the character, but more than anything, I was intrigued by one particular detail: Unlike just about every other model in the 40k catalogue, Nitsch is wearing some rather “civilian” pants: no boots and combat trousers, no robes, but rather something you would see in a rather more domestic setting — I knew that he would be perfect as a starting point for my Azaleas Vile conversion.

So when I was recently able to pick up the Voidmaster Nitsch model for a good price, I knew the time had come to finally get to work:

I really wanted to swap in a different head, obviously. I had envisioned Azaleas as at least reasonably handsome, and I picked up a couple of Empire Greatswords bits, mostly in order to get my hands on the particular head I wanted to use for the conversion — pictured next to the base model in the photo above.

After a bit of messing around, I realised I would have to get rid of the arms and replace them: They seemed just a tad too combat-oriented, and I wanted a model that seemed a bit more subdued and not as openly aggressive.

So here’s what I came up with. Meet Azaleas Vile, everyone:


While I re-used Voidmaster Nitsch’s right shoulder pad – for a dash of grimdark couture – I also made sure to make the other shoulder look suitably sharp, like something you might see on a tailored suit.


The briefcase (originally a from a Tempestus Scion medic) was a spur-of-the-moment idea that I am so proud of in hindsight — he is a banker, after all!

If anything, the model is actually still slightly too military-looking for my taste, but I still think the conversion is a fair compromise between how you would see Azaleas Vile in a boardroom and the getup he would choose for a nasty wetwork operation downhive…

 

After finishing the conversion for Azaleas, the dear countess herself didn’t escape my scrutiny either, so I made another tweak to her model as well: When I originally built the countess, I gave her a lumpy, hideos crypt ghoul back to hint at the fact that rejuvenat treatments had taken her as far as possible:

But while I liked the element in principle, that lumpy back with its bristles still seemed a bit too on-the-nose on the finished model.
Now among a couple of WFB Empire Greatsword bitz I had picked up was a ridiculously huge feather that seemed like the perfect bit to glitz up the countess a bit:





The feather covers up at least some of the mess (while also leaving just enough visible to keep the overall effect suitably disturbing). It also makes her outfit even more outlandish, which I love — I believe 40k court outfits should be completely over the top!


So yeah, House Mandelholtz is slowly taking shape! Here’s an early mockup of what an eventual House Mandelholtz warband, including Azaleas Vile, the Countess Mandelholtz herself, and some of the house’s scribes, might look like:

In fact, I have already started experimenting with a possible recipe for some kind of household guard for House Mandelholtz, but haven’t managed to find the right angle yet: Would such operatives be extremely effective special ops soldiers? In that case, something based on the Van Saar gangers from Necromunda might be the right approach. At the same time, I also like the idea of a household guard that is a bit more ceremonial and ostentatious — think the Swiss Guard, only in the 41st millennium. So I have begun playing around with some of the Empire Greatswords bodies and some Skitarii parts for some kind of “Neo-Prussian” palace guard look:

But that’s not quite it, either — not least of all because the model does look a bit runtish, doesn’t it? Anyway, if anybody has an idea for a fitting and cool looking recipe for House Mandelholtz’ household guard, I would be happy to hear i!

And it goes without saying that, in any case, I would love to hear your thoughts on these models! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!