Archive for gladiator

Lord of the XII Legion – A Triptych, pt. 5

Posted in Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2016 by krautscientist

And so, after a short interlude, we are actually back to Angron: Today I actually intend to deliver on the “Triptych” part of this mini-series, as I show you my completed conversion of Angron in full-on gladiator mode, based on one of the plastic Slaughterpriest models. I already showed you the conversion in the very fist post of this series:

Angron WIP (23)

Interestingly enough, the other version of the Slaughterpriest – the one that was recently included as a pretty awesome giveaway with the first issue of the new White Dwarf – seems to be more more popular at the moment, and it would make for a pretty cool base model for an Angron conversion as well — but the original Slaughterpriest has that wonderfully angry face which made me think of Angron in the first place 😉

As a matter of fact, when I fist discussed this conversion, I completely forgot to mention another model that had been a huge inspiration for this project: PDH’s brilliantly disturbing “Pursser-Sin”, a true scale Emperor’s Children Marine he built for his excellent Slaneeshi INQ28 warband:

Pursser-Sin by PDH

Pursser-Sin by PDH

Peter just has an excellent eye for original conversions, and this one really made me consider using the Slaughterpriest as a Primarch model for the first time — of course there’s also the fact that his turning a Khornate model into a Slaneeshi dog is the biggest possible heresy, so I hope my Angron conversion balances this out a bit… 😉

But anyway, I was really itching to get my plastic Angron painted, so I jumped right in: The first step was to block out all the different basecoat colours:

I decided to use the same recipe for bronze armour between this model and my Daemon-Primarch version of Angron, to create a bit of visual continuity between both models, so I used the exact same steps to paint the various parts of the armour.

The skin recipe is based on Rakarth Flesh as a basecoat — as are all my recipes for human skin. Since the model represents Angron in fairly healthy shape, however, I decided to make his skin look a bit healthier than the tone I usually use on my chaotic models. So I tweaked the recipe a bit, using the following steps:

  • GW Rakarth Flesh was used for the basecoat.
  • the entire skin area was then washed liberally with GW Ogryn Flesh (I loaded up on that wash while it was still available, although I imagine GW Reikland Fleshshade would have worked just as well).
  • the skin was then given a thin coat of GW Cadian Fleshtone for a slightly healthier look

At this point I already had a reasonably convincing flesh tone. However, I went one step further and used a mix of GW Carroburg Crimson and GW Druchii Violet to create shadows and distressed looking skin in select areas, especially around Angron’s cranial implants, around the metallic spine and on his “Triumph Rope” chest scar, giving these areas some extra pop.

Here’s the model with most of the paintjob already in place:

I was definitely getting somewhere, but I wasn’t perfectly happy yet. So I decided to set the model aside for a moment and work on the base instead for a change of pace.

Since the model is supposed to represent Angron either uring his days as a gladiator on his “homeworld” Nuceria or during a sparring match in the Conqueror’s fighting pits, I really wanted the base to have the texture of a sany arena floor. In order to get the texture just right, I decided to try something new and picked up a pot of Vallejo’s Sandy Paste:

Going for a completely unfamiliar tool like this was a bit of a gamble, of course, but fortunately enough, the paste was extremely easy to work with: After getting an idea of what I was up against from this helpful YouTube tutorial, I was able to add it to the base and create the right texture using an old hobby knife. I also decided to add two discarded pieces of gladiatorial equipment half-buried in the sand. A shield from the WFB Vampire Counts Skeletons and a gladiator helmet from MaxMini that Augustus b’Raass had sent me a while ago provided the perfect pieces for the look I wanted. A part of the helmet was carefully shaved off to create a half-buried look. Both bitz were pressed into the still soft paste. Here’s what the base looked like after this step:

I also carefully pressed the model into the paste while everything was still drying, in order to create believable indentations in the sand around his left foot and the pile of skulls his right foot is resting on. Then the base was painted and the mostly finished model was glued to it before I tackled the finishing touches.

To be perfectly honest, there was a stretch during the painting where I wasn’t quite sure whether or not everything was really coming together. In the end, however, a couple of factors really pulled the various parts of the paintjob together:

  • I added some rather subtle blood spatter to Angron’s axes, his armour and to his chest and legs, making it look as though he had just messily vanquished a foe (or ten…). This really added that extra bit of realism to the model that I needed.
  • Once Angron had been glued to the base, his feet and the bottom of his loincloth were carefully drybrushed with the same sandy colour I had used for the base, and once again, this added some realism to the model and made it look more grounded.
  • And finally, the model really started looking like Angron once the trademark facial tattoos were in place: I even painted the markings around his eyes, even though I had been slightly nervous about that area beforehand.

So without further ado, here’s the second part of my Triptych about the Lord of the XII Legion:


Angron Thal’Kr, Lord of the Red Sands

“Come and die, dogs of Desh’ea! I am Angron of the pits, born in blood, raised in the dark, and I will die free!
Come, watch me fight one last time! Is that not what you want? Is that not what you always wanted?
Come closer, you dog-blooded cowards!”

Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Betrayer

Like I said on my previous post on the matter, the metallic spine doesn’t appear in the official fluff, of course, but is rather a feature of the Slaughterpriest model. But I really liked the disturbingly crude nature of it and thought it would perfectly match the brutally invasive style of the cranial implants Angron had received on Nuceria, so I decided to keep it. The same element also appears on my Daemon-Primarch version of Angron. Oh, and I made sure to make the skin on either side look suitably bruised and inflamed…

All in all, I am really vey happy with the finished model, and I do think the guy really reads as Angron now! To wit, here’s another look at that cover artwork of “Butcher’s Nails” that served as an important piece for reference during the painting process:

Butcher's Nails cover artwork
And here’s a closer look at the model’s face, an area that I am pretty happy with:

To allow you to accurately gauge the model’s bulk and size, here are some comparison pictures showing Angron next to…

…one of his power-armoured sons:

Forgeworld’s official Angron model, the still-to-be-painted third and final part of my Triptych 😉


…and finally, the three 30k World Eaters I have managed to paint so far:

So yeah, I am pretty happy with how the second part of this project has turned out! Two down, one to go — well, one and a half, really, because there’s also the rest of Daemon-Primarch Angron’s base left to finish, of course…

Before I wind up this post, allow me to point you in the direction of two related projects from fellow hobbyists. In both cases, I only discovered these models while I was already working on my own, but they are still fantastic alternate interpretations of the same character and archetype — and both happen to be based on the same Slaughterpriest model as well!

First up, there’s Calle’s Angron, a version that is pretty similar in approach to my own, but even more visceral:

Angron conversion by Calle

Angron conversion by Calle

Calle shared his model in the comments to one of my previous posts, but since I really love his take on Angron, I felt it definitely deserved a proper shout out!

And then there’s Reg, whose Daemon-Primarch Angron was instrumental for my own version. Now wouldn’t you know it, he seems to be at least one step ahead of me yet again, building not only another fantastic rendition of the big man himself, but also an entire gang of Angron’s Nucerian gladiator buddies as well. Nuts!

Angron and his gladiators by Reg

Angron and his gladiators by Reg

These are just incredible — I can’t even…
Now if Reg would pnly answer to the PM I wrote to him on Dakka…
Anyway, I am a huge, huge fan of these!

And so another post on the Lord of the XII Legion comes to a close. In closing, I have one final image to share with you, an impression of how Angron might have looked in the arena of Desh’ea. It goes without saying that I would love to hear any feedback you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!



Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, Pointless ramblings, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2014 by krautscientist

Work abounds this week, so in place of a larger, well-considered update, let me just hit you with a jumbled mess of disparate things, if it’s all the same to you 😉 Most of them are related to my World Eaters, though, if that is any consolation…


1. In search of a past…

Helbrute (4)

“No. No! Not the sarcophagus… Khorne damn you, you disloyal curs, just kill me! JUST KILL ME!”
– Khalos the Ravager, last words prior to Helbrute internment

I added some final touches to the Helbrute model you saw in my last update, but the changes are nearly invisible at this point, which is always a sure sign of the model being finished. And while I am pretty happy with how this big guy has turned out, there’s the problem of tieing him into my army’s background:

You see, I try to come up with a background for any squad or bigger model I use, and a Helbrute/Dreadnought is certainly big and impressive enough to warrant his own name and story, right? Well, therein lies the problem:
One of the defining factors of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt is that its members cling to their martial honour, in spite of suffering from the bite of the Butcher’s Nails and the steady degradation of their sanity over time. For them, apart from periods when they are “lost to the nails” during battle, the thought of permanently devolving into mindless beasts is the ultimate horror. And in order to slow down the inevitable decline of the company, those physically or psychologically corrupted beyond redemption are organised into separate suicide squads, to die in a last blaze of glory before their corruption spreads to their brethren.

Roughly the same goes for the company’s Ancients, of course: So the last two Dreadnoughts I built for my army exemplify opposite ends of this spectrum, with Khoron the Undying remaining mostly sane, in spite of his millennia of internment in an ironform (with the danger of finally succumbing still always present), while Marax the Fallen was already forever lost to the nails prior to being transformed, so for him the internment was an eternal punishment, and his function is to act as a reminder to his brothers what their fate will be if they permanently give in to madness and anger.

So far, so good, right? But now I have this third Dreadnought/Helbrute that is visibly mutated and corrupted and seems just as angry as Marax, if not moreso. So where does he come in? How do I explain him as a character? And what will be his name?

I agree that this is not really a huge problem, and I will certainly present the model proudly alongside all the others, even without any background or justification. But as someone for whom the background of an army is an inseparable part of the whole project, this does bug me — so in case you have any suggestions, I’d be happy to hear them!


2. Reborn in Blood

The most terrible fate (at least from a hobby perspective) recently befell fellow hobbyist Legatho: A fallen tree crashed into his garden shed during a hailstorm, where most of his various hobby materials were stored, and almost all of his models were lost in the deluge (check out his Ammobunker thread for the whole story, complete with cringe-inducing photos). Seeing the results of that catastrophe made me realise that I wanted to help, and so, a couple of other guys and me each sent Legatho some bitz in order to help him rebuild his bitzbox, Here’s the box of assorted stuff I sent on its way to France :

And then the most awesome thing happened: I had also included a converted World Eater in the package, a model that, for one reason or another, I had never bothered to paint: I just thought it might be a nice personal touch to send along something World Eater-ly, along with the other stuff.
Well, it turned out that this was the first model Legatho chose to paint following his personal hobby Armageddon. Take a look:

He also made some fitting additions to the model, like the Ogre gut plate and some additional skulls and chains. And I particularly like the spears on the base, since they closely echo the basing motif I used for my own model for Lord Captain Lorimar.

The best thing, though, is that Legatho included a small plaque on the base as a further shout out:

That one really made me smile! All in all, I really couldn’t be any happier with the outcome: I think Legatho really managed to do the model justice with his paintjob, plus it was great to be able to help out a fellow hobbyist! And I really love the thought that a “goodwill ambassador” from Khorne’s Eternal Hunt  now resides in France. Way to go, brother-slaughterer 😉

The best thing, however, is that Legatho seems very motivated to keep building and painting models, and I think that’s really admirable! I am not sure my own hobby mojo would have recovered from a hit like that, but there you have it! Anyway, helping out felt good anyway, but as you can see, I also got an awesome hobby moment out of it as well!

Oh, and while we’re at it, be sure to take a look at Legatho’s thread and blog and leave a comment or two. Somebody who rebounds from such a hobby catastrophe so easily certainly deserves some recognition, plus there are some really cool kitbashes on show — all the more precious for the knowledge that they have been permanently lost…


3. Some new recruits

It goes without saying that I haven’t been completely idle, either: After the tour de force of painting the Helbrute model in a rather short amount of time, however, I needed to take it slow and engaged in some kitbashing in order to relax. So let me show you some of my latest smaller conversion projects:

First up, there’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while: I’ve repeatedly been tossing around ideas for a squad of World Eaters Havocs (to represent the classic “Teeth of Khorne” and add some versatile firepower to my army). I found myself thinking about the squad members just armed with a regular bolter (and used as ablative wounds): I wanted to make them slightly more interesting, and when I sifted through my bitzbox in search of inspiration, I found myself looking at some WFB chaos warrior shields: What if I built the ablative wounds guys to resemble breacher marines, only post-heresy?

Anyway, I messed around a bit, and here’s what I came up with:

World Eaters Breacher (1)
World Eaters Breacher (2)
World Eaters Breacher (3)
Just a very early WIP, nothing’s glued together yet, but for some reason, I really like this guy — maybe this approach warrants some further exploration? In any case, I’ll hold off on this until it’s clear whether we are getting the rumoured new Havoc kit anytime soon or not. But it’s an interesting experiment nevertheless, don’t you think?

I also built yet another gladiator: I wanted to have at least one model in the squad wield a meteor hammer, a weapon appearing  in the recent World Eaters fluff and featured as an equipment option in Forgeworld’s World Eaters Rampager squad. Oh, and Imagine my surprise when I found out that it is also an actual chinese weapon!

Anyway, I wanted to kitbash a gladiator wielding a meteor hammer, so I tried to achieve a fairly close representation of both the FW look and the actual historical source. Here’s what I came up with:

World Eaters Gladiators (80)
Once again, the feedback on the forums proved invaluable, with fellow hobbyists El Diablo and MasterBuilder offering some extremely useful feedback on the model’s head and making me think about a way of making the meteor hammer even more accurate.

After a bit of additional cleanup work, here’s the finished build for the gladiator:

World Eaters Gladiators (94)
World Eaters Gladiators (92)
World Eaters Gladiators (93)
I am quite pleased with this guy, plus I think I managed to build a pretty close approximation of FW’s “official” meteor hammer! I did cave in, though, and used a FW resin head — it just looked too good.

Expect the remaining three gladiators to see some colours sooner rather than later 😉


So yeah, that’s pretty much it for today: Just some smaller projects for now, although I can assure you that bigger things are on the way! It goes without saying that I’d love to hear any feedback you might have!

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

More gladiators entering the arena…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2014 by krautscientist

I have been making some serious progress on my squad of gladiatorial World Eaters which means more World Eaters for you to look at. This squad comes together really fast, both because these guys are a lot of fun to convert and paint and there’s an ongoing stream of really helpful feedback from fellow hobbyists. So let’s take a look at the latest additions to the squad, shall we?

First of all, I revisited one of the gladiators I showed you in my last post: Leave it to fellow World Eaters players to sort out your conversion problems for you: Biohazard suggested some simple changes to my Carnifex gladiator that instantly made the pose 100% better and improved the model quite a bit:


World Eaters Gladiators (22)

World Eaters Gladiators (33)
World Eaters Gladiators (32)
World Eaters Gladiators (34)
Just by tweaking it ever so slightly, I managed to make the model’s pose look quite a bit more plausible, don’t you think? Thanks for the amazing tip, buddy!

I also finally painted the Retiarius. Here’s the finished model:

World Eaters Gladiators (59)
World Eaters Gladiators (57)
World Eaters Gladiators (60)
Seeing the photos up close now, there may be one or two areas that could do with a slight touch up, but I am generally happy with the model: There’s a very nice sense of movement, which, I think, really fits this particular gladiator’s fighting style.

Here he is together with his “opposite”, the Secutor:

World Eaters Gladiators (68)
The next thing I did was to build another gladiator from the ground up: One of the classic gladiator types I found pretty interesting was the Bestiarius, used to fight against wild beasts. Now for my own gladiator squad, I wanted to adapt this concept as some kind of beastmaster, taming all kinds of feral creatures and siccing them on his opponents. As a matter of fact, this gladiator also provided an excellent chance to revisit an older idea of mine:

Quite a while ago, I built a modular base for two chaos hounds and a beast handler. The base itself was a fairly simple affair:

Hounds (4)
Now the idea was that the models could be slotted into the larger base to form kind of a mini-diorama, while also staying useable as single models. I did finish the base and hounds, but the beast handler didn’t happen, for one reason or another:

Hounds (2)
So what better way to finally make use of these already completed assets than to incorporate them into my plans for the Bestiarius, right? So I threw together a quick WIP model of the gladiator:

World Eaters Gladiators (36)
My original idea was for him to hold the two hounds by chain leashes, so I used a suitable gauntlet and planned on converting it to be holding two chains:

World Eaters Gladiators (37)
But in addition to being a rather fiddly conversion to get right, I realised that this would mean that the gladiator himself would only ever look good when slotted into the larger base. On his own, he would be holding two chains strangely suspended in thin air, ending in nothing. That didn’t work!

Fortunately, my bitzbox didn’t leave me stranded, and some fellow hobbyists provided a couple of awesome suggestions via the forums. In the end, I decided to replace the leashes with a whip: This element would communicate the beastmaster concept just as well, plus it would make the model more flexible. And so, little by little, the Bestiarius took shape. Here’s the finished model before painting:

World Eaters Gladiators (39)
World Eaters Gladiators (38)
World Eaters Gladiators (40)
As you can see, I added a couple of additional bitz to make the model a bit more interesting. Most of these parts were also chosen in order to make the model look slightly feral, in keeping with its profession, so to speak.

Here’s the Bestiarius, preliminarily slotted into the bigger base:

World Eaters Gladiators (41)
The fact that the bigger base and hounds were already finished provided just the right motivation to get the gladiator painted as soon as possible. So a short while later, the Bestiarius was mostly finished as well:

World Eaters Gladiators (43)
World Eaters Gladiators (44)
World Eaters Gladiators (45)
World Eaters Gladiators (46)
Again, I might go back and add some last highlights, but I think you already get a pretty good impression from these pictures. Here he is, complete with his hounds:

World Eaters Gladiators (51)
World Eaters Gladiators (49)
World Eaters Gladiators (50)
I am pretty happy with both the new model and the ensemble. And choosing the whip instead of the chains means the gladiator is far more flexible (and could be used for different beasts as well…).

I do of course realise that he doesn’t have any rules per se, but this was mainly a fun project, and I am quite pleased with the result!

World Eaters Gladiators (47)
Here are the two newly painted  models together:

World Eaters Gladiators (63)
I actually managed to paint both of these in one day, with is almost spectacularly productive when compared to my usual standard… 😉

And finally, since coming up with new gladiators was such a blast, I went and built another one: This time, I wanted to adapt the concept of the Cestus for my squad, a gladiator fighting with his fists (pretty much a precursor to modern boxers).

Getting this right once again took some doing, because while the whole gladiator squad may not be all that plausible to begin with, a warrior merely using his fists as a weapon on the battlefields of the 41st millennium just seems completely out there. My initial idea was to produce something like this…

…but that just looked far too stupid. Fortunately enough, some of the clawed gauntlets from the Raptor/Warp Talon kit had just the gladiatorial look I was going for:

World Eaters Gladiators (54)
World Eaters Gladiators (53)
It’s still not exactly a prudent weapons choice, but it works better than just the twin power fists, don’t you think? And who doesn’t love a little Wolverine every now and then (Snikt, anyone?)? The one thing I am not perfectly sure about, however, is whether to use the head as is or add a crest to it:

World Eaters Gladiators (56)
There’s arguments for both options, really: The bare helmet looks brutal and no-nonsense like, which is a nice fit for the character. The helmet with crest seems more arrogant and flamboyant, which seems rather fitting for a warrior thinking he can cut it on the field of battle using nothing but some clawed gauntlets.

I think I’ll just have to think about it for a while. It’s only a minor detail, to be sure, but it’s a pretty tough aesthetic decision — I know, I know: first world problems, and all that…

In any case, as you can see, the gladiator squad is coming along rather nicely. As of today, there are seven painted models in the squad. Here they are, assembled for a family portrait:

World Eaters Gladiators (66)
That leaves me with the Carnifex and Cestus to paint. And after that? I’m not sure, actually: My original plan was to stop at eight, but these guys are serious fun to come up with, so don’t be surprised if I decide to add yet another model or two…

For now, though, I am pretty happy with how the squad is coming along. And all mostly thanks some really kick ass suggestions by fellow hobbyists. Thanks a lot, people!

It goes without saying that I’d be interested to hear any comments you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Blood and Sand

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2014 by krautscientist

“The Emperor, for all his supposed faults, understood war had come full circle. In his Imperial wisdom, he’d bred soldiers to win those ancient wars that would be fought again in the future”

Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Betrayer


Today I would like to talk about a project that has managed to more or less take on a life of its own lately, and has become a rather interesting facet of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt. So what is this about, and why that quote?

Those of you following this blog for some time may remember that, every now and then, I will build models channelling the gladiatorial origins of the World Eaters: Everything started in 2012 with a first test model, then a second gladiator, resembling a particular, very angry video game character, followed about a year later. Then a third one last autumn. And then I recently unveiled my model for Vorl Dustwalker, the champion to lead this gladiator squad:

Vorl Dustwalker (6)
That last model, along with the growing squad, received some pretty positive comments on the various boards and forums I frequent, along with some pretty nifty suggestions and ideas for future gladiators: I had always seen ancient Roman gladiator types as a vague inspiration, of course. But I hadn’t delved too deeply into historical sources, fearing that the results would be too Roman and not World Eater-ly enough. But with the various suggestions by fellow hobbyists came a renewed interest in the classical side of things, so I checked out various Roman gladiator types and reflected on how to best adapt them to the world of 40k.

I do of course realise that the whole concept is a bit silly: Partially unarmoured warriors fighting with rather primitive weapons are probably not all the rage on the battlefields of the 41st millennium. But still, exploring this particular side of the World Eaters’ cobbled-together warrior culture was far too interesting and rewarding an option to ignore: It’s fun to imagine a band of World Eaters that endeavours to mimic the Primarch Angron even more closely than the rest of the legion, fighting like the gladiators of ancient times. And when I discovered the quote prefacing this article while reading Betrayer, everything started falling into place.

So, through the input of my fellow hobbyists and a strange chain of coincidences, the gladiator squad became a very interesting hobby project rather than an idle distraction. For the last days and weeks, I have tried to come up with new members for the squad, with each of them fighting in his own way, with a unique set of weapons. Some of the models I will show you today (and those that are yet to come) will be patterned after classical gladiators, while others will be less historically recognisable, but just as gladiatorial, I hope. Anyway, let’s take a look at where the squad is headed at the moment:

These two were the next two models in line to be painted:

World Eaters Gladiators (3)
On the left, you see a guy I already built some time ago. Like all of the gladiators so far, he was kitbashed from a mix of Khorne berzerker, (Chaos) Space Marine, Beastman and Chaos Marauder parts. Those bitz allowed me to achieve the partially armoured and slightly feral look I wanted. In this case, the model received a chain glaive, a fitting weapon for a follower of Khorne (even though the more recent fluff seems to have transformed it into a traditional weapon of the VIII legion).

While painting this guy, I stuck to my usual recipe. Here’s what I ended up with:

World Eaters Gladiators (14)
World Eaters Gladiators (15)
World Eaters Gladiators (16)
World Eaters Gladiators (17)
World Eaters Gladiators (18)
World Eaters Gladiators (19)
Once again, the model is wearing a tatoo reminiscent of Angron’s own warpaint:

World Eaters Gladiators (20)
I am calling this kind of gladiator a “Glaivex” for the chain glaive he wields. There wasn’t any similar gladiator in ancient Rome because glaives and halberds were apparently invented much later, but since it’s a weapon I definitely wanted to incorporate, I had to improvise. I still think he rather looks the part though:

World Eaters Gladiators (21)
The next member of the squad was patterned after the classical Secutor, a gladiator fighting with sword and shield and usually paired with a Retiarius. The Roman Secutor was armoured on one of his arms and had a special helmet, designed to repel the trident wielded by the Retiarius.

Transforming the historical design into something fitting the overall look and feel of my World Eaters did take some doing, but here’s the model I came up with:

World Eaters Gladiator 04 (2)
As you can see, the weapons and equipment were somewhat “de-romanised”, with a suitably chaotic sword and shield in place of the Roman Gladius and Scutum.

The helmet was a bit of a lucky find: It’s from the WFB Chaos Chariot, and while wasn’t all that fond of it to begin with, I really think it works in this case.

So here’s the painted model:

World Eaters Gladiators (6)
World Eaters Gladiators (6b)
World Eaters Gladiators (7)
World Eaters Gladiators (9)
World Eaters Gladiators (11)
World Eaters Gladiators (12)
World Eaters Gladiators (13)
I think this guy has a rather brooding, sinister presence, due to his pose as well  his “faceless” helmet. So while the model was made from a hodgepodge of bitz, it has really become a favourite of mine, to tell you the truth.

Here are both models, completely painted:

World Eaters Gladiators (31)
With these two new recruits, the squad is now playable (and already looks fairly nice as well):

World Eaters Gladiators (5)
So what do we have so far? From left to right: A Secutor, Dimachaerus (wielding two swords), Vorl Dustwalker with his huge war axe, another Dimachaerus (sword and axe, this time) and the Glaivex.

I am really happy with these, and yet I am already hard at work on the next additions for the squad. Some are even halfway presentable, no less:

First up, a Retiarius, to serve as a playfellow for the Secutor:

World Eaters Gladiators (28)
World Eaters Gladiators (25)
The Roman Retiarius is certainly one of the most iconic gladiators, wielding a net and trident. In my case, I used a leftover net from the Dark Eldar Wyches and one of the weapons from the WFB plastic Chaos Lord: It may not be a trident, but it looks suitably imposing and chaotic!

Again, getting this guy’s pose right took a bit of work, but I really couldn’t be any happier with the result! The model is basically finished at this point, and definitely next on the paint station!

But there’s more: Here’s a (slightly more WIP) model not patterned after a classical gladiator. I am calling this guy a “Carnifex”, after the latin word for executioner — rather than a huge alien-dinosaur, people 😉

World Eaters Gladiators (24)
World Eaters Gladiators (22)
World Eaters Gladiators (23)
Please ignore the blue grenades: a rather dubious colour choice taken by the previous owner…
Anyway, even though this guy will need some more sorting out, I think he already reads as a gladiator.

Here are the two next squad members together:

World Eaters Gladiators (29)

And even beyond those, there are some more gladiator types that might warrant further exploration: What about a Cestus, wielding dual power fists (or suitably spiky gauntlets)? Or a Bestiarius, complete with his trusty chaos hound? Or an Andabatae, with a completely closed helmet, blindly charging at the enemy like a wild bull? We’ll see…

Another important thing to note is that the gladiator theme is something that gets repeated throughout the army, even beyond this particular squad. The two visual leitmotifs for my World Eaters are that they are hunters (adorning themselves with trophies and pelts of their prey as well as acessories like war horns, skinning knives etc.) and that they are gladiators, wielding weapons and equipment that sometimes seem slightly gladiatorial. Brother Hokar would be an example of that:

Hokar WIP (2)
Or, indeed, Lord Captain Lorimar himself:

Lorimar WIP (10)
Or consider, if you will, the Veredus pattern Assault trike, a vehicle straight from the arena, if ever there was one:

Veredus pattern attack trike WIP (2)
For now, though, thinking about new models to add to my gladiator squad and getting them built and painted serves two objectives: It allows me to finish models that I am really happy with, and it gets me in the mood for building (and painting!) more World Eaters, and that’s always a good thing, right?

World Eaters Gladiators (4)

In closing, let me say that this project wouldn’t have become so much fun without the constant feedback from fellow hobbyists. So thanks to all those who have helped shape these models, and please keep those comments coming!

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


Lord of the Pit

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2014 by krautscientist

Some of you may already have wondered whether my recent focus on Plague Marines, apart from earning me Nurgle’s blessing by way of the flu, had made me forget about the 4th assault company altogether. Far from it! In fact, thoughts of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt have been slowly coagulating at the back of my head, and the recent rumours of possible new plastic kits to be released for Chaos Space Marines have only added to that pile of half-formed ideas. What’s more, I could never abandon this army, especially not in favour of followers of weak and inferior gods. Anyway, it’s time for another servant of Khorne to grace this blog! So, for now, let me show you a project that actually started quite a long while ago, but that only finally came to fruition in the last weeks:

Back in late 2012, I watched The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey – as, no doubt, many of you did. And one of the most interesting things about the film, at least in my opinion, was Azog. His character design had been kept a closely-guarded secret just up to the release of the model, and so he became one of the visually more surpising elements of the film, and one that really inspired me: There was something about that pale, overmuscled creature and the sheer audacity of going into battle stripped to the waist that really made me think of the World Eaters’ gladiatorial leanings — and as a matter of fact, I had already begun exploring that angle with my first gladiator models:

Gladiator (21)

But what if I were to take that idea even further? What about a model straddling the line between those gladiatorial World Eaters and Azog? The idea fascinated me, to be honest! And the model resulting from such a project would be the perfect character to lead a squad of gladiators in battle.

The next step towards transforming these half-baked ideas into an actual model was coming across kevinholcomb’s Angron conversion on CMoN. He had used the upper body of Hasslefree Miniatures’ “Wolf” barbarian model to great effect in order to come up with a model very similar to the look I was trying to achieve. So while ordering stuff via a big German hobby retailer some time ago, I picked up one of these as well, just in case:

Gladiator Lord WIP (3)
I really love this sculpt, because while the model has the ‘roided-out look expected of an Astartes, there is also a certain nobility, even dignity, in both the pose and the face (on a mostly unrelated note, I found out by sheer coincidence that the model looks amazingly similar to this particular picture of Nathan Jones).

But I still needed to find a suitable lower body for the model, and experimenting with various Terminator legs didn’t amount to much. So the project seemd to be on indefinite hold…

…until it picked up steam again when I purchased a rather beat-up, incomplete metal Abaddon as part of a bigger ebay auction:

Gladiator Lord WIP (1)
As you can see, even after I had stripped the paint off it, the model remained pretty rough in places, and there was also the fact that the Abaddon model looks rather puny when placed next to more recent Terminators. So the model was basically surplus to requirements — until I put it next to the Hasslefree barbarian:

Gladiator Lord WIP (2)
Dear old Abby might no longer cut it as a model in tactical dreadnought armour, but what if I were to use the legs as part of my Azog-inspired conversion to represent power armoured legs for a giant of an Astartes instead? Things just fell into place at this point…

One thing bothered me, though: Both models were made from metal, and I am certainly not a fan of conversions involving all-metal models. But this time, there seemed to be no easy way around that, so I started sawing. The first part was to slowly disassemble poor Abaddon piece by piece, so as not to damage any of the parts I wanted too heavily:

The so-called Warmaster of Chaos -- armless once more...

The so-called Warmaster of Chaos — armless once more…

Then I cut off the barbarian’s legs model, unfortunately taking off part of his lower stomach as well. Both halves were then pinned together using a piece of paperclip:

Gladiator Lord WIP (5)
As you can see, both parts of the model had been slightly damaged during the sawing, so a touchup with liquid GS would be in order. Before that, though, I greenstuffed a stomach section to fill the gap between upper and lower body. Then I used some more GS to sculpt a Triumph Rope scar for the torso.  And this obviously wouldn’t be one of my conversions without some additional plastic bitz stuck on. Here’s the finished conversion before painting:

Gladiator Lord WIP (6)
I added a double-headed battle axe to the model — the bit, originally from the Marauder Horsemen kit, had been lounging in my bitzbox for quite a while, and this seemed to be the perfect opportunity to finally make good use of it! I also added a CSM shoulder pad and a Marauder shield to the left arm, both because I liked the asymmetrical look and because it was a nice way of making the guy look at least slightly more plausible. Most of the damage to the model was also repaired using Liquid GS.

When it came to painting the model, I really stuck to my usual formula, content in the knowledge that the contrast between the bare torso and armoured legs would make for an interesting effect. This being the first World Eaters model I painted in quite a while, the paintjob turned out slightly rough around the edges, but I didn’t mind too much.

So here he is, ladies and gentlemen:

Vorl Dustwalker (5)
Vorl Dustwalker (1)
Vorl Dustwalker (3)
Vorl Dustwalker (4)
Being my first (and quite likely my last) conversion involving metal models like this, I do of course realise that the model could look smoother. I am not to bothered with that, however, because I think that the overall effect still comes across rather nicely.

But who is this half-dressed giant of a man? As usual, figuring out a background for the model was the last stage of the project:

Vorl Dustwalker (2)
Vorl Dustwalker, Lord of the Pit

Some members of the War Hounds Astartes Legion may have loathed the brutal, gladiatorial style of warfare introduced by the Primarch Angron, but Vorl Dustwalker was not one of them. Even before the legion’s reunion with its Primarch, he had already established himself as a master of the fighting style that would become a trademark of the legion in later years. On the War Hounds’ vassal world of Bodt, Vorl was one of the Astartes tasked with training the legionaries in combat at close quarters. And many mighty champions of the World Eaters still hold in their hearts a feeling of shame at being brought low by him during sparring matches, the acrid taste of Bodt’s volcanic soil still etched into their memory as a reminder of their failure.

After gladiatorial fighting had become one of the mainstays of the World Eaters’ cobbled-together warrior culture, Vorl became known as the Dustwalker, a legend in the fighting pits, almost on par with mighty Delvarus, the legion’s uncontested champion on the Hot Dust.

How the Dustwalker came to be a member of Lorimar’s 4th assault company after the madness at Skalathrax is difficult to ascertain. But ever since, he has been serving as a combat instructor and an insurmountable contestant in the fighting pits nestled in the bowels of the company’s capital ship.

Vorl Dustwalker is not often seen outside the pits, for ordinary fights tend to be beneath his notice. Once the Dustwalker’s interest is piqued by a battle or an adversary, however, he may take to the field, accompanied by a coterie of his most talented gladiators. Their only partly armoured bodies and comparatively primitive weapons are both a mockery of their opponents and a testament to their skill, and Vorl is the first among these capricious warriors.

Vorl Dustwalker (6)
As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!