Archive for grotesques

Power from pain

Posted in 40k, Conversions, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , on June 15, 2012 by krautscientist

I already showcased the Grotesques cousin Andy converted for his Dark Eldar army some time ago, although the photos were rather more grainy than I would have liked. So it was a nice coincidence that Andy recently took them along to the FLGS in order to paint the squad’s last model (instead of using them to utterly annihilate me for a change). I told you already that I love those models, so I jumped at the opportunity of taking a couple of new pictures to put on this blog. Let’s start off by taking a look at the newest member of Andy’s happy familiy of twisted monstrosities:

This one’s a pretty straight kitbash, basically taking nearly all of its parts from the WFB Minotaur kit. However, the addition of a Talos/Cronos faceplate instantly transforms the model into quite a convincing Grotesque, in my opinion. I also like the pose a lot.

Next up, the squad’s champion:

This guy is always the star of the show for me, using more parts from the Talos/Chronos kit to create a really disturbing monster. I think this model is a great example of why the Minotaurs make great Grotesques right along with the the Blood Island Rat Ogres and Crypt Fiends.

And finally, the squad’s third member.

I can’t keep from shivering when I look at those horrible, spiny tentacle things. Brrr…

I learned during our last game that these guys can be very bad news for armies focused on close quarters combat. So I think it’s great that now they also really look the part…

So, while we are on the topic of twisted abominations, let’s also take a look at one of my newest creations! Cousin Andy has been looking for a good recipe for building the Wracks to go along with his Grotesques and Haemonculi for quite some time now. Of course, he could just buy the official GW models, which are quite nice, but he doesn’t like Finecast all that much and would rather convert the models from something else. He’s funny like that, but then I like to imagine it’s me who got him infected with the whole conversion business, so I won’t judge him.

We spent some time bashing around a couple of ideas, and I tried to talk him into using my beloved WFB Crypt Ghoul kit in his conversion. He was not that easily convinced, however. Well, I couldn’t let it go, so I built him a Wrack model as a proof-of-concept:

This conversion is, once again, basically a simple kitbash. The legs are from the WFB Empire Flagellants (the upper body was clipped off at the waist). The torso and arms are from the Crypt Ghouls. The left hand and forearm are from the Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors — although you could ostensibly use any Dark Eldar arm and weapon you like. I added a couple of vicious looking Kroot knives. Again, there are many grisly trophies and suitably sharp and wicked implements across the whole GW range to use here.
And finally, the head came from an old Dark Eldar jetbike pilot — a part that almost every Dark Eldar player in the world will probably consider all but completely useless. I shaved off the eyes to make it look more like some kind of alien gimp mask. I took this idea from a blog somewhere, though I cannot recall where (if you are reading this and it was originally your idea, just drop me a comment and I’ll be glad to add a link to your blog!).

The conversion took some cutting to make sure everything was a nice fit. I shortened the Ghoul neck to make it look less like a vulture’s and added a bit of GS to smooth out the gap between legs and torso, but apart from that, it was a fairly easy affair.

When painting the Wrack, I tried to adhere to cousin Andy’s colour scheme as closely as possible, using a mixture of bronze and red that is the trademark of his Dark Eldar army. The skin was the only departure from this, as I defaulted back to my tried and tested recipe for pale skin. I think it’s more plausible for Wracks to look less like suntanned bodybuilders and more like pale, sickly creatures of the dark.

Painting the model was a quick job: Using a fair amount of washing, it took me about 30-45 minutes, and I imagine it would be quite easy to further streamline the process and work on several models at once. Here’s the result:

I am rather pleased with how the model turned out. Now I am definitely not saying that this guy looks as good as the official models released by GW – those are fantastic! But if you don’t like to use Finecast models or are looking for a bit more variety in your squad (or are a conversion nut like me), this is a nice and easy alternative recipe. It’s also pretty cost-effective: Buying a box of flagellants and ghouls each costs less than buying two boxes of Finecast Wracks (42,75 € versus 52 €) and will give you the same number of models with lots and lots of leftover bits that may be squirrelled away for other projects. Granted, you’ll need some additional Dark Eldar bits, but most DE players should have those lying around anyway. The one setback is that you’ll end up with ten clipped-off flagellant torsos and ten pairs of ghoul legs, respectively. If only there was a way of combining those for yet another conversion. Hmmm…definitely some food for thought!

Anyway, so much for converting suitably gross abominations for your Circle army! C&C always very welcome!
As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Cousin Andy’s grotesque models

Posted in 40k, Conversions, paintjob with tags , , , , , , on April 20, 2012 by krautscientist

I believe I did repeatedly mention my cousin Andy. You may remember that he was the one dragging me back into all of this in the first place with a seemingly innocent Christmas present. I also cited his Dark Eldar army as a constant wellspring of inspiration when I posted one of my own Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors that I painted on a whim last Friday. So it seems only logical to allow you a glimpse of what my dear cousin is working on in his dark laboratory beneath Commorragh.

Let’s get one thing out of the way first, though: While the new Dark Eldar models are fantastic, I think that the one definite slipup in the line is the Grotesque (oh, and the Beastmaster. That sculpt is just lazy when you consider the pure epicness of the other models). While I cannot fault the concept of the model per se, the pose is …strange to say the least. And there is only one version. And it’s Finecast only. Need I say more?

In all fairness, it is clearly a testament to Jes Goodwin’s artistic vision that only one or two models across the whole line are a bit disappointing while the rest is uniformly excellent. But then, it’s also a bit of a shame that it had to be the Grotesques that got the short end of the stick. Oh well, you cannot win them all, I guess.

Anyway, it doesn’t really surprise me that people have begun converting their own Grotesques left and right. The most viable approach seems to be to base these conversions on either Ogres or the Blood Island Rat Ogres. While the former variant usually turns out a bit static, the latter option admittedly usually looks very nice. But nearly everybody is doing it now, so it was a no-go for my cousin who likes to make things a bit harder on himself. So he built this:

Totally going against the grain, he based his conversions on the much-maligned plastic Minotaurs for Warhammer Fantasy. These models have been slammed as horrible on multiple websites, mostly due to their overexaggerated musculature. Well, with Andy’s conversions, the steroid look really plays to the models’ advantage, seeing as how Grotesques are supposed to be these genetically engineered, spliced up abominations bulging with muscle and horrible surgical extensions. By adding leftover parts from the Talos/Cronos kit, Andy gave the models an unmistakeable Dark Eldar feel, tieing them in with all the other Coven models. It’s also fortunate that one Talos/Chronos kit will leave you with lots and lots of leftover bits – just what you need to stitch together your own horrible experiments!

Here’s one of the regular grunts — inasmuch as the word “regular” can be employed when dealing with a gigantic hulking nightmare from the depths of the Dark city:

As you can see, cousin Andy used the strange vertebrae bits as equally strange weapons, formed perhaps from the Grotesques own twisted bones. The cloven hooves of the Minotaur add to the unnatural look of the model in my opinion.

And below, once again, you can see my personal star of the show: The unit’s champion. A Talos tail and arm were used to make the model even more intimidating. The heads in his right fist were a small touch from my own bitzbox, a meagre recompensation for cousin Andy’s unending generousness in donating bits for my own projects. You really do not want to encounter this guy in close quarters combat! And who knows where that horrible syringe has been?

As you can see, there’s a reasonably simple kitbash at the heart of this project. But the choice of model to base the conversion on is sheer genius! I don’t think I have seen the Minotaur kit being used in this way before, so I guess Cousin Andy did it first 😉

When painting the models, Andy used the Bronze typical of his Kabal’s colour scheme to tie them together with the rest of his force. While personally I would have preferred a paler, sickly skin colour, I cannot argue with the effectiveness of the paintjob. On a related note, please excuse the fuzzy pictures! I am entirely to blame!

I also like how the right arm is much more muscular than the left one. Granted, this was more of a lucky coincidence, but it gives the model a somewhat lopsided, disturbing look.

So there you have it. It’s when I look at these models from my cousin’s army that I dream of my own, sinister force of Dark Eldar time and time again. And there’s much more cool stuff where this came from! Maybe we’ll have another look or two in the future.

I like to imagine that it was me who got cousin Andy infected with the conversion and kitbashing bug (in exchange for his getting me addicted to plastic crack once again). But it’s models like these that show me that he has truly come into his own as a converter. In fact, I am quite envious of these beautiful, horrible models. What do you think?

But enough with the Xenos scum already! Come next Wednesday, this blog will once again return to dealing with the glorious legion of the World Eaters. Until then, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!