Archive for gladiator

More Dakka!

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2013 by krautscientist

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:

World Eaters Gladiator 03 (4)
World Eaters Gladiator 03 (5)
World Eaters Gladiator 03 (6)
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:

Forgefiend WIP (2)
Forgefiend WIP (3)
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:

Forgefiend WIP (1)
Forgefiend WIP (4)
Oh, and I also added a juggernaut’s collar to the Forgefiend’s neck, representing the archetypal Collar of Khorne:

Forgefiend WIP (5)
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:

Centurions_first_look (1)
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:

Centurions_first_look (2)
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:

Centurions_first_look (4)
So it obviously wasn’t some kind of production slip up after all…

Centurions_first_look (3)
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:

Centurions_first_look (5)
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:

Centurions_first_look (6)
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:

Centurions_first_look (7)
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:

Centurions_first_look (8)
Centurions_first_look (9)
Centurions_first_look (10)

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:

Centurions_first_look (12)
Centurions_first_look (13)
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:

Centurions_first_look (14)
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:

Centurions_first_look (15)
Centurions_first_look (16)
Centurions_first_look (17)
Centurions_first_look (18)Centurions_first_look (19)
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!

News from the hot dust

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2013 by krautscientist

I usually keep a small pile of bitz at the ready on my desktop at all times, in case of sudden spells of inspiration. One of the models that resulted from such a moment is the gladiatorial World Eater I posted quite a while ago:

Gladiator (4)
Without a doubt, Angron’s gladiatorial origins and the legion’s attempt at channelling its Primarch’s traditions are among the more interesting bits of World Eaters lore. So after building the first model, I realised it would only be a matter of time before I would revisit this particular concept. So when inspiration struck again recently, I decided to build and paint a new playfellow for the lonely gladiator.

The catalyst for this decision were some of the Beastman weapons I had aqcuired with an old box of Gors and Ungors. I realised that not only do some of those weapons make for brilliant gladiatorial wargear, but the Gors’ muscular arms also nicely fit CSM and Chaos Marauder proportions alike.

So, a short while later, this WIP model was standing before me:

Gladiator (14)
Gladiator (12)
Gladiator (13)
The basic construction was very similar to the older model: A pair of CSM legs was combined with a Marauder torso. the left arm came from a regular CSM, while the right one came from the aforementioned Beastman Gors. Both swords are also Beastman weapons.

The head was angled downwards, to make it look as though the gladiator were staring down his next opponent. I do realise that the old berserker head is a case of love it or hate it for some, although I can be firmly placed within the former camp: While the fangs may be a little corny, the face really looks like that of a veteran of the Long War. Plus the cabling on the back of the head is still one of the best possible representations of Butcher’s Nails across GW’s entire catalogue, if you ask me.

All that remained was to add some bitz and bobs: The loincloth is a slightly cut down part from the Chaos Lord in Terminator armour. I added some Space Marine grenades at the model’s hips to make it look more 40k and to slightly bulk out the silhouette. The skull shoulderpads came from the Chaos Marauders. And a shaved down orcish armour plate was added to the model’s back to make it look like it was intended to protect the gladiator’s neck.

Granted, the pose is fairly static, and also quite similar to the other model. However, not only am I a true fan of the “present your weapons” sort of pose, but I also think it works really well with the swords. It’s also a great fit for a gladiator, if you ask me.

So I quickly painted this guy. You simply won’t believe how much more fun Chaos Space Marines are to paint when you have a pretext for ditching those cumbersome backpacks 😉

Anyway, here’s the painted model:

Gladiator (15)
Gladiator (16)
Gladiator (17)
Gladiator (18)
As you can see, I stuck to my regular recipe fairly closely, save for one important difference: A red, warpaint-like tattoo was added to the gladiator’s forehead, harking back to Angron’s own facial markings:

Gladiator (20)
A brilliant idea that was “borrowed” from fellow World Eater Szczur22’s thread over on ToS. I think I’ll add variations of this to all the coming models in the squad.

Here are the two gladiators together:

Gladiator (21)
And here they are, together with the Forsaken I completed earlier. I took this photo for no other reason than the fact that those guys look great together 😉

Gladiator (22)
It’s fun little projects like these that will keep you interested in an army, even if you haven’t got the time (or motivation) to finish a tank or a whole squad. Sure, this guy didn’t bring me much closer to finishing the next 500 (or even 50) points for my army, but he offered me the opportunity to add some character to the force and to explore the background lore of my chosen legion — and as far as worthy hobby endeavours go, that has always been good enough for me! I also think there may be more models where those two came from — maybe each of them wielding a different set of gladiatorial weapons? And some of those models will also have to be quite dynamic, come to think of it…

Anyway, let me know what you think! And look forward to seeing more World Eaters-related stuff. Just sayin’…

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

The Forsaken

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 14, 2012 by krautscientist

Since the first WIP shots of my converted Chaos Spawn drew some rather positive comments, today I would like to show you the next steps in the model’s (d)evolution.

So where did we leave off last time? Like I previously told you, the Vargheist/Crypt Horror kit has looked very interesting to me for quite some time now. I only lacked a true idea of what to convert from it. But then, the new codex re-established Chaos Spawn as a viable unit choice once again — just what I had been waiting for!

While I think the Chaos Spawn kit has quite a lot of potential, all the over the top mutations didn’t really gel with my army background. So I went for something different. As you may know, my army’s fluff states that the remnants of the World Eaters’ 4th assault company are trying hard to keep the madness that has taken the rest of the legion at bay (which is, of course, a losing battle). Towards that end, those legionaries showing signs of severe physical or mental corruption are singled out by the commanding officers and form the conpany’s vanguard. Called “the Lost Brethren”, these lost souls get one final chance to die in a blaze of glory at the forefront of the battle, before their corruption can overwhelm them (and become a danger for the rest of the company). They have to die, so that the company may endure. But what about those battle brothers who survive, even through all the corruption and slaughter? What would such a creature end up looking like?

Using parts from the Vargheist kit, some WFB Minotaur arms and a couple of additional bitz, I tried to find out.


You already know this picture: This is where I ended up after some fooling around with the parts and some yellow tac. While the Minotaur arms initially seemed rather malproportioned in contrast with the lean Vargheist body, I couldn’t help but feel that this was still the right direction. After all, one of the Lost Brethren would probably devolve even further as time went by, and the qualities that made him strong in the first place would become even more pronounced. I was somehow reminded of the Vampires’ evolution in the Legacy of Kain Series (Dumah, anyone?) while building this guy, to tell you the truth…

Anyway, I liked the basic build of the model well enough, so I added some additional detail:




First of all, the joints between the Minotaur arms and Vargheist torso were built up and blended in with GS. I also added leftover chains and various skulls from different kits to the model. The back of the head was covered in cabling to show the “Butcher’s Nails” the legionnaire had been outfitted with during his days as a battle brother. Again, the cabling was blended in using more GS.


As you can see above, I also added a “Triumph Rope” to the model’s torso, enforcing the impression that this hulking monstrosity was once a honoured member of the 12th Astartes legion and had a string of triumphs to show for it.


All in all, I am very pleased with the conversion: While the proportions may be a little cartoony, I think the model really looks like a devolved Astartes.

When painting the model, I went for the same, pale skin tones I used from the rest of my World Eaters. In addition to that, the model’s shoulderpads were painted in red and bronze to further tie it in with the rest of the force. And while I am usually hesitant to paint blood on the weapons of my models, I made an exception here, since I felt that the Forsaken are very unlikely to clean their weapons between battles. The blood was painted using Tamiya Clear Red.

Here’s the finished test model:







I have to admit that I am not yet 100% happy with the paintjob: I have never used this particular skin tone on such a large scale before, so the result may need some tweaks (as well as some getting used-to). But all in all, I think the model makes for a rather convincing (and pretty original) chaos spawn. The one problem I can see with this conversion is that the other two Vargheist bodies have poses that are quite a bit less interesting and pretty static. So it remains to be seen whether the next two models will end up looking cool enough.

In any case, though, I am prepared to call this test model a success: It’s a hulking, terrifying beast, it looks like it could have (d)evolved from a regular World Eater, and it’s a pretty original take on the whole spawn concept, don’t you think?

All that remained was to think of a suitable background for this poor lost soul:


The Forsaken

There are those individuals among the 4th assault company’s Lost Brethren whose fall has taken them even further. It is the purpose of the Lost to die, so that the company may endure. Their ferocious vanguard assaults often end with all the legionaries wiped out, killed in a last blaze of glory, their last chance at an honourable death.

But there are those whose combat prowess is far too great, even burdened with mutation and insanity. Or those whose corruption is the very thing that made them more resilient. Those legionaries live through the ordeal that was meant to kill them, devolving further and further into mere beasts. They become The Forsaken.

The Forsaken are kept in the fighting pits, located in the bowels of the company’s battleships. Legionaries test their power against them on the Hot Dust, giving these feral beasts a taste of the gladiatorial lifestyle that once defined them and in turn facing the company’s daemons and their own fate, should they give in to the madness.

It is only under the most dire circumstances that the Forsaken will be allowed to participate in battle, for they cannot be controlled, and their deadliness makes them as much of a danger to their allies as to the company’s foes.

 

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

On the Hot Dust…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2012 by krautscientist

One of the things that define the background of the World Eaters is their Primarch’s background as a gladiator. Angron was raised in an arena and thus learned to respect only strength and prowess in battle: Only those who had proven themselves in the arena – “on the hot dust” – were worthy of Angron’s respect, as his captains learned to their detriment when they first met their Primarch…

All of this is explored in Mathew Farrers very nice short story “After De’shea” (which is unfortunately hidden away at the tail end of the slightly underwhelming “Tales of Heresy” collection of short stories). “After De’shea” does a great job of humanising Angron beyond his image of perpetual anger and frenzy. It is also one of the few sources of actually interesting background for the legion (as an aside, for an interesting perspective on the story, check out Matthew Farrer’s blog – preferably after having read “After De’shea”).

Anyway, having read the story, I wanted to build a model that channeled the gladiatorial traditions that Angron taught his legion. I wanted to build a true champion of the hot dust. A kitbash later, here’s what I ended up with:


The model is a fairly simple conversion: I wanted it to look suitably gladiatorial, and I had wanted to build a Marine with a “bare” torso for quite some time. All it took was the right selection of bits: The model uses the legs of a Khorne Berzerker and the torso of a WFB Chaos Marauder. The left arm is from the WFB Bestigor standard bearer. It was crucial to have one arm still armoured, so I used a regular CSM arm and a Khorne-themed shoulderpad. The sword is from the WFB Warriors of Chaos. And finally, the part that really made the model: The head is a Grey Knights head, although it looks like it was made for a World Eater. The bulky implants on the back of the head are ideal to represent the “Butcher’s Nails”, and the expression of anger mixed with disdain is a perfect fit for a true arena champion.

I also used a tabard from the Thousand Sons conversion kit with an added skull trophy. I didn’t use a backpack, since that would just have ruined the model’s silhouette, in my opinion.

The paintjob was a fairly straightforward affair as well — I just used my normal World Eaters recipe. However, the model obviously has more bare skin than my usual World Eaters which makes for an interesting colour contrast.

Here’s the finished model:






I am rather fond of him, if I do say so myself. I think he really gets the point across, looking like a true gladiator should. I didn’t build this model with an actual function in mind, although I guess he would make a rather nice Skull Champion for one of my Berzerker squads. Maybe I’ll even build some friends for him, so I have a small squad of World Eaters gladiators. Hmmm… I guess I’ll postpone that decision until the new book hits – there have been rumours of some gladiatorial unit or other for the World Eaters, after all…

To wrap up this post, here he is once again, posing in front of some killer terrain at the FLGS:


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