Even after my seaside vacation, my current enthusiasm for working on my World Eaters remains. While that may be bad news for all those of you who frequent my blog for one of my other projects, don’t fret: I am very likely to resume work on the INQ28 and Custodes stuff before long! I just want to make the most of the motivation for working on my main army while it lasts. So let me show you the things I am currently working on, most of them squarely falling into the category of heavy fire support…
1. Just for fun…
The first thing I did after finishing my – rather involved – Wargrinder conversion was to kitbash another humble gladiator for my growing squad of gladiatorial World Eaters. Working on a humble 28mm footsoldier was a great way to relax, and so I was quickly able to get this guy built. Take a look:
I believe I have mentioned before how I wanted to try and feature different kinds of gladiatorial weapons across the squad, so the newest recruit is wielding the ever-stylish chain glaive. Not a big project, to be sure, but a nice way to unwind after a more involved piece…
2. The Forge never sleeps….
Next up is a Forgefiend. I picked up the kit way back when I started working on my Heldrake conversion and never really managed to move beyond the basic construction. So I sat down to assemble and undercoat the model right after returning from my holiday — must have had something to do with renewed energies and all that…
While I realise that many people don’t like the Forgefiend design, dubbing the model “Dinobot” (or even worse), I have to admit that I am really rather fond of the kit: It adds a visual flourish to the CSM army that other forces don’t have. And for a World Eaters force, the fact that the fiend looks a lot like a larger Juggernaut of Khorne (the model was even inspired by the juggernaut, according to Jes Goodwin) helps, of course.
So I almost feel a little guilty admitting that I left the stock model virtually unaltered — I know, a shocking turn of events 😉
Here’s a look at the model so far:
Due to the fact that almost every model in my army has been converted in some way, leaving the Forgefiend as it was almost felt a little lazy. However, I didn’t really want to convert for the sake of conversion, and I didn’t feel I had any huge changes to make to the model. Using the Maulerfiend arms and the Forgefiend cannons at the same time (with the cannons mounted on the model’s back, as has been done my multiple hobbyists) would have been a pretty cool idea, but in the end I decided against it. That way, I had more leftover bitz to play around with — one of the Forgefiend cannons was already used on my Wargrinder, as you might recall, and you can expect to see those Maulerfiend arms pretty soon, as well.
Anyway, my main addition to the model, apart from some decorative skulls on the shoulder armour, was the tail of an Ogre Kingdoms Stonehorn: I really love the horrible, bony growth at the tip of the tail, and I also thought having a longer tail really improved the model’s overall silhouette:
Oh, and I also added a juggernaut’s collar to the Forgefiend’s neck, representing the archetypal Collar of Khorne:
All in all, I am rather happy with the model, a slight lingering guilt over not doing a super-involved conversion notwithstanding… I guess that this will be the next bigger model to be painted, once I manage to summon up the motivation for it.
3. The Behemoths
And finally, what is probably my most ambitious project at the moment: The Behemoths. So what is this about?
It’s no secret that Obliterators are a rather valuable part of the Chaos Space Marine army list. At the same time, I also have this strange urge to own an appropriate version of all (or at least most) of the unit selections in the Codex for my army. So far, this has made me convert a custom Dark Apostle and Warpsmith for the HQ slot, come up with some renegade Space Wolves to serve as “regular” CSM, and so on.
The one selection I could not find a suitable approach for were the Obliterators: I really dislike the current models for these guys, for one. And the mutated, fleshy look really didn’t fit the concept of my army (where mutation is kept to a minimum, due both to my aesthetic preferences and background reasons). I also didn’t want to go the easy route of simply getting some stock Obliterators, painting them in the colours of a different legion or warband, and using them as “allies”, because that seemed like a rather cheap cop out to me.
So I waited and collected pictures of Obliterator conversions I liked and quietly prayed for inspiration to hit. And I swore to myself that I wouldn’t use Obliterators until I had found a way of representing them on the table in a way that felt true to both my taste and the overarching concept of my army. I didn’t find such an option for the best part of two years.
But then, the new Space Marines were released, and as I mentioned in my recent review, the longer I looked at the new Centurions, the more I felt that these could be my ticket to finally building the Obliterators that I wanted: not mutated and unsightly giants, but hulking and baroque combat suits, a holdover from the more civilised days of the 12th Astartes Legion. So I started throwing around some ideas, and I ended up with this small background sketch:
Even in an army as focused on combat at close quarters as the World Eaters‘ 4th assault company, there are those who hunt by different means. These brothers of the company are called the Behemoths, and they are an enigma to even their brethren.
During the Great Crusade, the armies of the Legiones Astartes were faced with an ever increasing number of deadly adversaries. Often enough, wars were only to be won by attrition, and the head-on assaults led by the death seeking Primarch Angron were threatening to bleed the 12th Astartes legion dry before long. While Angron seemed oblivious or even indifferent towards such concerns, there were those among his officers who sought a more balanced kind of warfare, at least until the bite of their Butcher’s Nails consumed the remnants of their sanity.
It is said that, during this time, First Apothecary Fabrikus himself experimented on a number of battle brothers, trying to adapt their cranial implants to a different kind of fight. These warriors were outfitted with heavy combat suits, almost on par with the fabled Dreadnoughts. Their suits were equipped with a plethora of heavy weapons, and where the regular World Eaters would throw themselves at the enemy with wild abandon, the so-called Behemoth squads would hang back and lay down a barrage of heavy fire. For Fabrikus had changed the battle brothers’ minds yet again, hardwiring their implants to their weapons systems. The members of the Behemoth squads started to find grim joy in killing, just like the rest of their legion, but the greatest joy for them was to pick out enemies from afar, tearing through flesh and steel alike with bursts of laser fire and plasma, and seeing a red marker turning green in their targeting recticles.
The Behemoths remained and experimental unit that only saw limited use during the Crusade and subsequent Heresy: The weapons systems they were outfitted with proved too difficult to maintain during the arduous campaigns, and Angron would always favour a more hands-on approach. Yet some of the Behemoths endured, most of them among the warriors of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt.
There, these frightening giants still fill the role of heavy fire support, yet the long centuries and millennia have wrought havoc upon their minds: Growing ever more divorced from their humanity, Behemoths are more machine than man, gripped by a tranquil fury where their regular brethren are openly angry. They can only perceive life through their targeting systems, and each situation becomes an equation that can only be solved by heavy fire. They tend to see living beings as either targets or inconsequential elements, even referring to their battle brothers as “fleshkin”.
When away from the battlefield, the Behemoths are normally content to spent time in deep, deathlike sleep. They dream of worlds burning and planets shattering under a barrage of heavy fire, while the other members of the company take relief in the knowledge that their troubled brethren are not at large. Even in an army of frenzied killers, the Behemoths are perhaps the most inhuman of all, since for them life and death are the only variables at any given time, and death is always the preferable outcome…
So it was decided: I would build a squad of counts as Obliterators, and I would use the Centurion kit for it. I won’t lie to you, there was also the fact that I had the somewhat silly ambition to build something cool from the kit everybody loves to hate 😉
So, ironically enough, the most-reviled kit of the release was actually a day one purchase for me.
It has to be said, though, that I am at the very early planning stages of this project, and am currently just messing around in order to discover what I could do with the kit. Nevertheless, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the kit as I go along — maybe it’ll be helpful for you too! So consider this a mini-review/early WIP kind of affair — seems like you’ll be getting quite a bit of mileage out of this one post, dear readers…
Anyway, after picking up the kit, this is what I ended up with:
Let’s not talk about the decal sheet, obviously, because it’s standard fare. The instruction booklet is a rather hefty tome, however, on account of the kit being rather complex. Each of the three sprues that come with the kit is packed with bits, containing all the possible equipment options as well as a unique pose and individual (loyalist) decoration for each of the models:
The thing to note here is that assembling a Centurion with any given kind of equipment will invariably give you lots of leftover weapon bitz: You get three sets of long range weapons (lascannons, heavy bolters and a grav cannon) and one set of CC weapons (siege drills that come with optional flamers or meltaguns) for each model, so there will be a lot of leftovers.
As an interesting aside, I also discovered that the Centurions’ bases (slightly bigger than a Terminator base in diameter) are a perfect fit for those resin parts that come with the 40k basing kit:
So it obviously wasn’t some kind of production slip up after all…
Why GW would make these resin parts fit a type of base that virtually never gets used across the whole catalogue instead of the much more prolific terminator base is clearly beyond me. Still, mystery solved!
Deciding how my Obliterators will be armed will take some time, I believe: I will probably go for mixed weapons, representing their ability to use different weapons each turn. The lascannons can be used out of the box. Beyond that, I guess I’ll convert the heavy bolters to look like autocannons / assault cannons. Plus I’ll swap in a flamer or plasma cannon here and there. For now, let’s focus on some of the bitz that come with the kit, because these could come in handy even if you’re not trying to build Centurions in the first place!
The kit comes with seven heads: four of them with helmets, three bare. The helmet crest that you can see on the sergeant in the official photos is a seperate, optional part (which is pretty cool). I played around with the heads a bit and took some photos to show you how they look on regular Marine models:
First up, the helmeted head variant on a regular (Chaos) Space Marine body: Although it seems a little clunky, it clearly works. With its look halfway between a terminator and regular power armour helmet, this could be an interesting option for Iron Warriors or Iron Hands. Or a suitable headdress for a Techmarine/Warpsmith? Unfortunately, the heads don’t fit into a terminator body’s head cavity, so you won’t be able to use them on your terminators without some serious cutting.
Even more interesting are the bare heads, since those are scaled to perfectly fit the existing Marine models. Take a look:
I chose the one with the open mouth and mohawk, since I thought it was a pretty good fit for a World Eater. These have pretty nice facial expressions, and while I think they do look rather silly when combined with the hulking Centurion bodies, they should be really useful for your other infantry models.
They also look really good on Terminators:
Another thing you can see in the picture above is that the Centurions’ shoulder pads are great if you want to add that special Pre-Heresy/artificer armour look to your Terminators, since they make for rather convincing terminator pauldrons as well:
So there’s really nothing stopping you from replacing those shoulder pads with something different on the Centurions and using the originals on your army commander or something similar.
And finally, the flamers and meltaguns that come with the kit are just about the right size to be used on regular infantry, if you want to be thrifty:
Granted, the meltagun might need some work to fit perfectly. But if you ask me, the slightly shorter muzzle on the flamer makes it look more special ops like, if that makes any sense.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg, really. So whether or not you like the Centurions, the kit will give you lots of extra stuff. Even if you use it to build a squad of three Centurions, there will be quite a few leftovers, which is always a plus in my book.
As for my own “Behemoth” squad, like I said, I am in the very early planning stages. It quickly became obvious that the Centurions are a rather complex kit, and I will need to take some sound decisions about what to glue together before painting, so I will take my time with this project. For now, I have tacked together one Centurion body and begun experimenting with a couple of bitz. This is all really WIP, and nothing is finalised. So if you think the model looks rather silly, rest assured that I’ll be doing my best to change that 😉
Anyway, here goes:
So far, I have only shaved some loyalist engravings off the right leg armour and replaced them with an icon of Khorne. Apart from that, the body’s still as stock as can be (as evidenced by the sprawling Aquila on the chest plate). As for the conversion, I am considering replacing the armour plates on the upper legs with ogre gutplates or Chaos Marauder shields for a more chaotic look (and a visual connection to the rest of my army).
Apart from that, my one main experiment for now was to use several chaotic heads on the body:
As I said, nothing spectacular so far — although it’s nice to know that some of the heads look quite alright (I really like the WoC skull helmet). All in all, I’ll probably be using the regular Centurion heads with added bunny ears, though.
Anyway, I am still in the very early stages of this particular project, although I can promise you I’ll give it my all to make these guys look as cool as I have envisioned them.
So yeah, those are the next World Eaters projects I am working on! I’ll keep you updated about their progress, of course! And I would love to hear your opinion, so you’re very welcome to share any thoughts you might have in the comments section!
And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!