Archive for huntmaster

The Master of the Hunt — Reborn! (pt. 1)

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2019 by krautscientist

Another chaotic WIP post of sorts this week, although this is actually my way of sharing something that I have already teased in my previous post — so what is this about?

As some long-time readers of this blog may or may not remember, a  couple of years ago, I made this guy:

Lord Captain Lorimar, the Master of the Hunt, commander of “Khorne’s Eternal Hunt”, the remnants of the World Eaters’ 4th assault company. Easily one of my my most involved conversion projects, if only it took me so long to get the model right:

I have talked – at length – about what went into creating this guy and about what a huge project it was for me to nail down the exact look I wanted for a character of whom I had a pretty good idea in the back of my head. And while I don’t want to reiterate the entire journey of creating the model (just follow the link above and read up on the whole story, in case you’re interested), building Lorimar was a very iterative process with many starts and stops. The process also resulted in what I thought back then would be a definitive version of the Master of the Hunt.

But then this guy happened:

And I just couldn’t stop wondering — what if…?

It was always clear that the update Abaddon would be a monster of a model — and he is! But I am a converter and kitbasher by nature, so I wanted to have a go at doing something with the building blocks provided by the new model –the sheer challenge appealed to me: Would it be possible to create a model that didn’t immediately read as Abaddon? There was also the fact that I still had some spares of the most important bitz I had used to create the original Lorimar model, namely the head (from the priest riding atop the WFB/AoS warshrine of chaos), sword (from the WFB/AoS Chaos Lord on Manticore) and axe (from one of the Dark Vengeance CSM Chosen). These bitz were originally intended for building a version of Lorimar riding a juggernaut of Khorne. But I just couldn’t stop thinking about a conversion involving them and the new Abaddon model…

For a while, I was able to dissuade myself from taking on this project because I figured the new Abaddon model was simply too big — that it wouldn’t really be compatible with the particular bitz I would need to actually sell it as Lorimar. However, a trip to the local Warhammer store disabused me of that notion, as I was able to see firsthand that the new Abaddon, while indeed much taller than your average CSM model, is actually perfectly compatible with just about any existing chaotic weapon, head or what have you. So what was I to do? I left the store with a brand new Abaddon model and got to work…

Now, to make my task even more complicated, whatever model I would come up with would have to match both my 40k version as well as my (yet unpainted) mid-to-late Horus Heresy version of Lorimar:

So I started with a few early mockup steps, and it was surprisingly easy to come up with something already resembling the “Lorimar pose”:

The main objective here was to make the model read as Lorimar, obviously. But, like I said, with a model as iconic as Abaddon, the obvious pitfall would be for the conversion to end up reading as “Sure, that’s Abaddon with a slightly different head”. My approach was therefore to keep as many of the cool parts as I could while also changing around some major stuff, in order to sell the model as its own thing.

The biggest stylistic choice I made towards this end was to “turn the model around”, as it were, that is to have it face into a different direction, thereby matching the pose on my earlier Lorimar models — ironically enough, I have had to do the exact same thing with the 30k version of Lorimar 😉

After that, it was mostly a matter of getting some of the visual cues from the earlier versions in place — here’s a couple of pictures from when my mockup was quite a bit further along:



Some of the elements from my earlier Lorimar models were easy to recreate, such as the face, weapons, general pose — and those Bloodletter faces on the shin armour 😉

At the same time, it quickly became obvious that I would need to switch around a few things: The Khornate helmet crest I had used on my older Lorimar version, for instance, wouldn’t work, because there was simply less space to work with, so I had to swap in a different crest (shaved off a Wrathmonger/Skullreaper helmet). The (Skullcrusher) shoulder pads wouldn’t work either this time around: Since I knew I wanted to use the brilliant, tattered cape that came with the Abaddon model, I was pretty much stuck with the “official” left shoulder pad, seeing how the cape was sculpted to perfectly conform to the shape of the pauldron underneath. So I had to go with something different on the right shoulder as well and ended up using a shoulder pad from Forgeworld’s Lord Zhufor model — which had the added advantage of sporting some rather lovely World Eaters iconography!

During the conversion process, I kept comparing the new model to the other versions, to make sure it would seem like a natural progression of those designs and still end up similar to both Lorimar’s 30k and previous 40k incarnations:

The breastplate turned into one of the model’s most involved parts: My previous versions of Lorimar are wearing a bandolier of skulls across their breastplates, and that was an element I very much wanted to keep, both because it ties perfectly into the World Eaters’ background lore — but also because skulls strapped to the breastplate are awesome, period. So I made a quick mockup of what this might look like:



And even though this was a really early mockup, it didn’t quite click — in fact, someone over at The Bolter & Chainsword even called the design the “skull tits” — Tsk, tsk 😉

In the end, I decided on something quite a bit more complicated and spliced together an entire original, incorporating elements from Abaddon’s stock breastplate (which is brilliant) as well as a couple of skulls from the Citadel skulls kit as well as one particular skull with a Khornate rune from an AoS Slaugherpriest. Take a look:

I started by gluing on the centre skull (without the mandible, by the way. That was added later.). Then I carefully cut the lower two cables away from the stock bit that normally goes on top of Abaddon’s breastplate and carefully glued them on in the right way (making sure they were positioned correctly by making sure they lined up with the cables on the back of his torso). Then I added the right skull (and shortened/shaved away the cable underneath as needed), and then the upper right cable (again, I made sure to line it up with the cable bit on the back piece of the torso). Then I repeated the previous step with the skull and upper cable on the left side.

All of this required lots of dry-fitting and waiting for things to dry. Finicky though this part of the conversion may have been, however, I am really happy to have gone with something a little more complicated in the end: The finished design is one of my favourite parts of the model now.

So here’s the model, with most of the “heavy lifting” already done and dusted:




The next step was to try and attach Abaddon’s cape:




Surprisingly enough, everything fit together rather nicely, with just a few required tweaks on the right shoulder (because I had used a different shoulder pad there).

One thing I am almost perversely proud of is that the model is still ridiculously modular at this point, which I hope should make the painting process somewhat easier:


The tweaks and changes to the model kept getting more and more minuscule at this point, which is always a pretty clear sign that the conversion is basically finished at this point. I still used the opportunity to feature some of the visual cues from the older 40k Lorimar, though, such as the small tilting plates on his shoulders:



So here’s a comparison with the new conversion and my previous 40k Lorimar which I think shows how both really read as the same character — even though the new guy is monstrously tall 😉


And here’s the new 40k Lorimar next to his younger, slightly more idealistic Horus Heresy era counterpart: I think there’s quite a resemblance here as well!


Ironically enough, the conversion is also really close to one of my main inspirations back when I originally built Lorimar:

image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

All that is left now, before I can call the conversion finished, is to figure out the final setup of some minor bitz and bobs, such as the collection of bitz used on Lorimar’s tabard:


All in all, however, I couldn’t have been more pleased with the way this conversion has developed so far: I will admit that I was a little afraid that I might have lost my touch, because converting the new CSM didn’t come to me quite as easily as it used to. But working on this conversion has been an absolute joy so far — in all fairness, I actually think the new Abaddon should be the new go-to model for building massive chaos lords. It’ll be interesting to see how much mileage (and variety) we’ll all manage to wring from the sculpt! If anything, I am slightly surprised by how few people seem to have used the model for conversion projects so far. At the very least, I love the fact that fellow hobbyist Gederas has used some of my ideas on his own Abaddon-based Chaos Lord, Khadon Drachstur, but has managed to come up with a very original looking World Eaters lord!

 

So yeah, that’s it for today’s update. It goes without saying that I would love to hear your thoughst on my new Lorimar version, so feel free to leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

State of the Hunt, Week 32/2019: Chaotic exploration

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, state of the hunt, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 10, 2019 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, Real Life (TM) has been a veritable rollercoaster lately, so I haven’t been as productive on the hobby front as I would have liked. If anything, however, that’s actually a plus because it frees up some space to share a couple of chaotic kitbashes I have been creating by putting the “new” (granted, they have been around for a while at this point) Chaos Space Marine kits through their paces. Take a look:

 

I. The Blightwood grows…

The first model I would like to share with you today isn’t even such a huge project, but rather an example of using some óf the new bitz to spruce up existing conversions. Enter exhibit A, a kitbashed Foul Blightspawn I created earlier this year.

My original idea for the model was to a) make the most of a leftover extra Malignant Plaguecaster model that I had cannibalised for bitz and use the remains to build yet another Death Guard character and b) get rid of some of the parts of the stock Foul Blightspawn that I really didn’t like, such as the massive pump sutured into the model’s flesh and the weird garden hose-style weapon.

So the original model was already working pretty well for the most part, but it was also still lacking something — and to make things worse, before the new CSM models were released, I didn’t have any correctly scaled CSM parts to tweak it a bit more.

But a headswap, courtesy of the new vanilla CSM kit gave me this:







I didn’t really like the CSM head with the one “googly” eye (normally intended for the squad’s heavy weapons expert), but it works really well for a follower of Nurgle. I spliced together a breathing apparatus as well, while I was at it, and opened up the pose a bit.

I am still rather fond of the core idea of the conversion – using an Escher chem thrower to make a slightly more conventional version of the Blightspawn’s stock weapon – although I think I also did a reasonably good job splicing together one of those WW I-style Blight grenades from a couple of bitz:

I also saw an extremely clever idea over at ssspectre’s blog that I had to steal right away: He used a turbine from a Raptor jump pack to create this kind of weird, bulky engine/pump on the back of a Nurglite model, and I did the same on my Blightspawn conversion, adding a bit of bulk and weirdness to the backpack.

In fact, I even made one more tweak after taking the photos above, adding some semi-organic cabling to the backpack that I carefully clipped off one of the new Havoc rocket launchers and backpacks.

And, just for fun, a comparison shot with my (slightly converted) Plaguecaster and the new Blightspawn — both use the same base model:

After using some smaller bitz and bobs from the new CSM kits like that, I felt the need to get a little more creative. So that’s what I did:

 

II. Iron Within…

This next model is a slightly bolder project, and also makes even more use of the new CSM kits: I had an idea for a Warpsmith-like Iron Warriors character, eventually to be used in my Iron Warriors Killteam I suppose. So I made this guy:

The body intended for the heavy bolter wielding marine from the vanilla CSM kit made for a nice start, providing a suitably bulky, archaically armoured body with a stoic pose. The arms and shoulder pads also came from the vanilla CSM — for the most part. I did feel the need to include a somewhat more impressive weapon for a Warpsmith of the IV Legion, so I spliced together the left arm using an (Age of Sigmar) Varanguard hammer and a forearm and haft from the Chaos Lord on Manticore (since I needed a left hand holding a weapon for this conversion). The backpack started out as a backpack from the new Havoc kit: I really liked the reactor look it had going on! I simply shaved away some of the cabling, added a loader arm (from a Havoc missile launcher backpack) that should work just as well, if not better, as a proper servo-arm, and also added some tech-y bitz – including the heavily augmetic head – from the Adeptus Mechanicus Kataphron kit.

I think the model proves how even the vanilla CSM kit,with just a few bitz from other kits sprinkled on top, can be used to produce rather imposing characters and commanders!

 

IV. The Hateful Eight cont’d

All roads lead before Khorne’s throne, however, so those earlier kitbashes were merely an appetiser before the inevitable main course. Which is a roundabout way of telling you that I have been slowly tweaking away on what may (should) eventually become that World Eaters kill team I have already told you about — “The Hateful Eight” (or ten or sixteen or whatever…). Here’s a look at my short list of future kill team members, so to speak:


Now you’ve seen many of these before in some shape or form, for which I apologise. Also, half of them are repurposed older models, but I think they are still cool enough to warrant a modern paintjob:

I’ve been making tweaks to them, exchanging a weapon here or adding some grenades and Khornate doodads there. I am particularly fond of this guy, made by combining a Blood Warrior from the Age of Sigmar 1st edition starter box and the lower half of the CSM Vrash Tattersoul champion model:

There’s also a couple of “new guys”, however: Fresh conversions that rely on the new kit in some shape or form:

On the far right you can see my “test berzerker” from earlier this year. Then there’s this gentleman, converted from yet another AoS starter box Blood Warrior:


I always knew I would want a model wearing a clunky Heresy-era helmet to accompany its baroque armour, and this is that model 😉

Fot the next two models, I thought it might be fun to try and channel some of the most iconic (or interesting) pieces of World Eaters artwork and build models inspired by the art. First up I chose this very cool concept for the “Teeth of Khorne”, the World Eaters’ dedicated heavy weapons specialists, created by Jes Goodwin during the early 90s, I would imagine:

Artwork by Jes Goodwin

I realised that many elements of the new havocs strongly resembled this piece of art to begin with, so I tried to come up with something similar.

For the most part, this is really just a stock havoc. I replaced the head with a shaved-down Blood Warrior helmet and tweaked the backpack a bit. Also, since I didn’t have a plasma cannon, I was unable to perfectly replicate the art and had to choose a replacement — a missile launcher seemed suitably brutal and straightforward for a World Eater, though… 😉

And then there’s this guy:

Any ideas about the inspiration for this one…?

That’s right, it’s a model built to resemble this iconic piece of art by Mark Gibbons (supposedly showing Khargos Bloodspitter, of all people):

My idea for this conversion was born when I realised that both the straighter legs and the power fist included in the CSM kit would allow me to build something pretty similar to the artwork — but while the above mockup worked as a proof of concept, the conversion needed a lot more work! So here’s what the finished conversion looks like:

Some parts of the conversion are actually a departure from the artwork, albeit a conscious one: The first helmet I used is arguably closer to the artwork, for instance, but the one on the finished conversion (provided as part of a bitz drop by fellow hobbyist ElDuderino, by the way), exudes just the kind of brooding menace that the model needed.

Funnily enough, the model also serves as a pretty neat shout out to some really old World Eaters models, thanks to the static pose:

And here’s the new guy, next to my test World Eater from earlier this year:

So, as you can see, I am actually back to converting World Eaters again — at least for a bit. And I am not even finished, either. Here’s a small teaser of things to come…

V. Burning Man

For now, however, let us wind up this post with a bit of background: I prepared a little background vignette for the counts-as Huron Blackheart model I shared with you a while ago. Take a look:

„The burning never stops.“

This is the sentence he remembers above all else, because it has come to encapsulate his entire existence. While the memory of an Astartes is eidetic in nature, his long life has become a number of disjointed, fragmented moments, with entire decades mostly unaccounted for. But one thing remains. One thing binds everything together and defines him. One sentence neatly summarises it all.

“The burning never stops.”

He remembers how the sentence from weapons instruction returned to him, at the very moment that he saw the phosphex charge go off. The bridge was a pandemonium of blood and death, but everything was frozen into place for just one instant. He saw everything in incredible detail. The battered VII Legion Breacher team that, against all odds, had made it to the bridge in an attempt to bring down a leviathan from within. The mangled face of the Fist throwing the phosphex grenade at him. The eyes already staring into infinity, waiting for a death that would come in mere seconds. The explosions of the weaponry discharged by the other surviving breachers. The chainblades of his brothers falling in slow motion, trying to bring down the enemy. But slow, far too slow. And the green white fire of the phosphex charge, enveloping him at last, and flooding his every fibre with liquid agony, just seconds before the main viewport burst into a million armourglass shards, opening the bridge to the void.

He remembers Terra. The Throneworld twisting below him, above him, behind a curtain of voidships on fire, as he tumbled into blackness. The cold void that was the only thing that could have extinguished the flames that were swallowing him. But even when the fires went out…

…the burning never stopped.

He remembers coming to in a red haze. The sounds of the Apothecarion. The klaxons and warning beeps. The mirrors above the surgical slab showing him a lump of molten, misshapen flesh that he did not recognise. And Deracin’s half-augmetic face floating above him, like a hint of things to come. The Forgemaster locked eyes with him and smiled. And he knew that he would not be allowed to die.

He was rebuilt. Into a strange amalgamation of oh so little flesh and bone, iron and pain. Oh so much pain. He became a construct. Like the gholam of old Terra. And through it all, the pain of an unquenchable fire kept coursing through him, racing along nerve clusters that should have been cauterised beyond any function. Along iron bones that shouldn’t have been able to feel, but did. It has been thus ever since: His every waking moment is pure agony. Inhale. Pain. Exhale. Pain. The nails are but pinpricks to him. He is, eternally, on fire.

His wrath and pain almost seem like a separate entity. When he does battle, and his every cell is burning agony, he can almost see something take shape from the corner of his eyes. Something rough and bloody that is glowing in its own inner malevolence. It is growing all the time. There will come a time when he will finally meet it face to face, this thing he keeps feeding with his pain and with the pain of others.

He keeps losing time. Battles often turn into disjointed shards of perception for him. When he sees glimpses of that strange spectre that seems to shadow him, inexplicable things happen, and he is merely a spectator in his own body: His flesh turns into liquid flame, and he becomes capable of feats that should be beyond his patchwork body. He awakens to arcs of warp fire cascading from his axe and augmetic fist. He comes to in a world of cinders and flaking ash, with his enemies’ lifeblood running down his chin in rivulets. He sees the wariness in his brothers’ eyes, and to see such emotion play across their ravaged features would make him smile, if that expression were not lost to him.

And through it all,
The burning never stops.

 

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

Half the man he used to be…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 15, 2019 by krautscientist

Back to the 41st millennium and the adventures of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt this week, as I get to cross another long neglected model off my list. I am referring to this gentleman here:


If you should think the model looks familiar, there are two reasons for that: On the one hand, like so many models from my collection, this guy was actually built a couple of years ago, so if you are a regular reader, chances are, you’ve run into him before.

On the other hand, he was built to actually resemble a well-known character: The model began its life as an entry for one of the frequent competitions on the – now-sadly-defunct, *sigh* – Throneofskulls forum, if I recall correctly. The objective back then was to re-imagine a non-Khornate named character as a Khornate version, and I chose Huron Blackheart, inspired by a very impressive conversion by my buddy DexterKong.

Just to remind you, here’s what stock-Huron looks like:

And here’s a closer look at my version:


It’s a fairly straightforward conversion, based on one of the Chosen models from the Dark Vengeance starter box that used to be all the rage back in the day: The Chosen body already resembled the stock Huron model a fair deal, and I liked the idea that a Khornate version of the character would be in a running pose for that extra bit of aggression.

The conversion mainly became a matter of trying to cram in most (or all) of Huron’s classic visual elements: The monstrous power-fist/-claw/flamer hybrid, the promethium tank on his back and, of course, the mangled half-augmetic face (courtesy of that one half-augmetic plastic Space Marine head everyone knows and loves). And I had to add a suitable amount of Khornate touches, hence the small icons and Khornate back banner (itself a take on the iron halo/chaos icon that adorns stock-Huron’s backpack).

I was really happy with the conversion back when I originally created it, and I still rather like it now (in fact, I was delighted to discover recently that my counts-as conversion actually managed to inspire fellow hobbyist TheChirurgeon’s own Huron kitbash). So when this year’s E Tenebrae Lux event came around over at The Bolter & Chainsword, it seemed like the perfect occasion to finally get the model painted and use it as my first vow for the event.

Since the conversion was already finished, I didn’t really have much to do before I could start painting. I only added a little pressure gauge on the back of his tank, to make the whole assembly look a bit more interesting and break up the large, plain area that is the promethium tank:

And then I vowed the model as my first contribution for the ETL event. Only it was quickly pointed out to me by fellow hobbyists Captain Semper and Atia that, technically speaking, the model was still missing a little something to represent Huron’s “Hamadrya”, his pet familiar (the ungainly thing squatting on its own base up there in the photo of the stock model, in case you were wondering).

My proper plan of action would have been to use a model from the AoS Spirit Hosts, maybe with a Bloodletter head, but I didn’t want to have to pick up a box of them, so I had to get creative. But I was not without inspiration, so I quickly tacked something together using nothing but leftover bitz:


The head is still a fairly standard Bloodletter head, whereas the spine came from the vivisected Genestealer that’s part of the 40k battlefield objective markers. My idea was for the “Almost-Hamadrya” to look like a daemonic spirit, some kind of Khornate familiar or even a half-formed Khornate Daemon, and I think the basic setup already worked pretty well. It did require a bit of additional cleanup, of course:



Now I did experiment with some shaved-down Bloodletter shoulders and arms, because I thought it might look cool to suggest the daemon only being half-formed, but it ended up looking like not much of anything at all. And just the head and spine makes it look malevolent and somewhat creepy — like a grimdark version Kaa the snake 😉

Ironically enough, it was this model that I actually ended up painting first.


To support the impression that this is not just a standard Bloodletter (or rather, half of a standard Bloodletter), but rather something unwholesome and half-formed, I went for an even more limited palette than the one I normally use on Khornate daemons: a mix of glossly blood and glowing ectoplasmic flesh, as the daemonic spirit is glowing with an inner malevolence…

Not bad for something that I had to come up with on the quick, if I do say so myself.

So with this complication taken care of, finally getting the counts-as Huron model painted should have been quick work, right?

Unfortunately, something happened that almost knocked all motivation to ever finish the model right out of me:

I took it along to a painting session at my friend Annie’s house, and when I arrived there, I realised his backpack was missing. Now I was transporting my models in an open crate (which I admit may be a less than optimal approach), so I figured the backpack must have fallen to the bottom of that, or been left behind in my car trunk. But it wasn’t: I searched everywhere at least for times, but no dice — the backpack didn’t turn up again. I also didn’t find it at home. So there was just one last option that gave me a sinking feeling in my stomach: I must have lost it somewhere at the side of the road when I parked my car and carried my stuff to Annie’s house, but since it was dark when we packed up for the night, there was no way to look right away, and she didn’t find anything either when she looked the next day.

And that really killed all of my motivation when it came to working on the model: I realised I would have to rebuild a backpack, but I didn’t have the exact same bitz, and even if I could come up with a replacement solution, it would always seem inferior to me than the original. Then, about a week later, I had half an hour of unexpected time, and I thought: Screw it, I am going to take one last look near where my car was parked that night. And just when I was about to abandon the stupid backpack for good, I saw something shiny near the curbstone — and there was the backpack, slightly damaged and bent out of shape (I suspect a car might even have driven over it at some point), but still salvageable — still, all’s well that ends well, I suppose. But this little episode really made me fall out of love with the model for a while there, and made the painting process less enjoyable than it should have been.

But I soldiered on and finished the job. Starting with the base colours and the first round of washes,…


…then moving on to all of those lovely little touches that actually make the process of painting enjoyable:

On a related note, that Vallejo Magic Blue has yet to let me down 😉

So without further ado, here’s the finished model:




Here’s a detail shot to show you how the promethium tank on his back actually connects to his flamer:


That felt like such a clever bit of converting to me, back when I originally converted the model (and was also one of the reasons why I hated the idea of losing the backpack so much). Oh well…

And here’s a closer look at his axe:

Although it’s virtually impossible to see in 99.9% of all frontal shots of the model, the axe head was actually exchanged with something a little more original: the jagged axe that came with the WFB/AoS Chaos Warshrine kit.


And here is “Not-Huron”, side by side with his “Not-Hamadrya”:

And here’s the stock GW model again:

Anyway, I think he should read as a Huron counts as fairly easily, even though I have horizontally flipped the character 😉

Oh, incidentally, the character still needs a name! So far, I only have a semi-solid idea for a background story for the character being caught in a phosphex blast during the void battles above Terra during the Heresy, having to cast himself out into the void to extinguish the phosphex flames, then being retrieved and rebuilt by his brothers. Only the sensation of the phosphex burning through his flesh never stops, but lingers as some kind of perpetual phantom pain making his every living moment a crescendo of agony. Yeah, really uplifting stuff, that… 😉

His familar, then, is really an embodiment of his pain and rage: His agony is so palpable that it almost seems like a being of its own, a spectre that can sometimes almost be glimpsed next to him, coalescing into something that is almost solid.

Fellow hobbyist AHorriblePerson smartly suggested “Euron Hearteater” as a possible name, and it’s definitely a strong contender — still, if any of you have a cool idea, I would love to hear it!

Here’s the new model next to the World Eaters Dread and new berzerker test model I painted earlier this year:

That makes for three models painted in my tweaked recipe already, and they are starting to look pretty cool together, if I do say so myself. Being based on the Chosen models from Dark Vengeance, the model still matches the modernised CSM look — even if it’s technically just a tad shorter than the new vanilla Chaos Space Marines. They still look pretty cool together, though. And maybe adding a couple of models would be fun. In fact, the unpainted guy on the right may be a taste of things to come…

Who knows, there may just be another chaos-themed post or two waiting in the wings — just sayin’…

For now, however, I am pretty happy to have finished another long-neglected model. Plus I also think the model’s enough of a centrepiece to count as a contribution in Azazel’s Jewel of July ’19 community challenge — even though it would also be a very obvious contender for one of his frequent “Neglected models” challenges, having sat unpainted in my cupboard of shame for more than three years… 😉

I would, of course, love to hear your thoughts on the model, so please leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

The State of the Hunt — Week 39

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, state of the hunt, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2016 by krautscientist

And so, here’s another post dealing with ongoing projects. With the second issue of the new White Dwarf just having arrived on my doorstep earlier today and with the recent release of Genestealer Cults as a dedicated faction, it’ll sure be time to take a closer look at GW’s current shenanigans, but for now, you’ll have to deal with my own hobby activities — bugger 😉 I’ll try to make it worth your while, though!

 

I. Finally making the headlines!

 

I was rather surprised earlier this week to find out one of my models had actually made the cover of the latest issue of The Golden D6, a very cool hobby mag I talked about a while ago. Yet there he is, Lord Captain Lorimar, right in the spot of honour:

d6-issue-7-cover
As I have already told you earlier, the mag is an excellent read for people who are yearning for the kind of broad hobby reading exemplified by the back issues of White Dwarf, so the surprise was very much a welcome one! What’s more, I have a two-part series about enhancing miniature photos (based on this blog post) in issue 6 and 7, so all the more reason to finally check out the mag in more detail! Head over to The Golden D6 website in order to find out more — Adam is also offering a cool bundle deal for the early issues.

II. Heeding the call…once again

After a pretty successful recent ETL V event over at The Bolter & Chainsword, I’ve already thrown myself into the next hobby event hosted by the forum, as a part of a long-term strategy to try and make a dent in my sizeable backlog of unpainted stuff. So I’ve joined this year’s Call of Chaos IX, pledging to complete the following models before December 15th:

call-of-chaos-2016-vow-1

  • a winged Daemon Prince of Khorne with a decidedly gladiatorial look. More about him can be found here.

gladiatorial-daemon-prince-of-khorne-wip

  • an Iron Warriors Apothecary that I originally built as part of an attempt to create a small Iron Warriors kill team — a project I would like to re-invigorate, now that kill teams are actually a thing once more!iron-warriors-apothecary-wip
  • a massive Flesh Hound conversion, originally built last year:giant-flesh-hound-wip-3
  • The excellent Khornate Chaos Lord converted for as a gift from fellow hobbyist BrotherJim: 

    Model converted by BrotherJim

    Model converted by BrotherJim

  • And finally, something special, seeing how this year’s Call of Chaos is actually Tzeentch-themed. Now Tzeentch has always been the least-appealing Chaos God to me, from a visual perspective: I am just not into all the abstract and OTT mutation stuff 😉
    But I did have a pretty nifty idea for a Tzeentchian contribution to my vow: My very own version of Iskandar Khayon, viewpoint character of Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s novel “The Talon of Horus”. Now here’s how Khayon is pictured in the book’s limited edition artwork:iskandar-khayon

    Already pretty cool! But I did feel the need to make some minor tweaks to the concept to make the actual model match my mental image of the character even more closely. So here’s what I came up with:

    iskandar-khayon-wip-1
    iskandar-khayon-wip-2

Now Khayon and BrotherJim’s Chaos Lord are new models, but the bigger part of my vow consists of models that were built last year. So I hope to finally get these stragglers finished for good! Like I said, all of these models will have to be completed before December 15th, so wish me luck! As it happens, I have already made some good progress on my vow, however, because the first model has already been finished…

 

III. The Dog of War

I decided to start my Call of Chaos activities with the giant Flesh Hound conversion:

giant-flesh-hound-wip-3
Now the model does have its minor kinks, mostly because it was assembled from a collection of wildly disparate parts, but I am still very fond of it, so I was really looking forward to getting it painted!

My tweaked skin recipe for Khornate daemons turned out to be super-effective once again, although this time around, although I chose to supplement it with some further tweaks taken from another one of Duncan Rhodes’ excellent video tutorials. So after a short time, the biggest part of the model was finished:

giant-flesh-hound-pip-4
From here on out, all that was left to do was some detail work and the paintjob for the base. Regarding the base, I didn’t want to go completely overboard this time, but I thought the daemon doggie deserved something a bit more elaborate than your rank and file daemon, so I built a base with yet another fallen Astartes:

Giant Flesh Hound's base WIP
Now the special effect this time around was the inclusion of the Astartes’ broken ribs sticking out from his shattered torso. I realise that Space Marine ribs are supposed to be fused together into something like a ossified armour plate, but I chose to have the Rule of Cool trump background lore this time around 😉

When it came to painting the base, I chose Ultramarine colours once again, mostly to get even more routine painting the XII legion for when I tackle the rest of Daemon-Angron’s display base 😉

So here’s the finished base, blood and all:

giant-flesh-hounds-base
And, without further ado, here’s Fido:

giant-flesh-hound-2
giant-flesh-hound-3
giant-flesh-hound-4
giant-flesh-hound-5
giant-flesh-hound-6
giant-flesh-hound-7
giant-flesh-hound-8
I also took a picture of the giant Flesh Hound with one of my recently painted Bloodletters, allowing you to compare both the scale of the model as well as the skin tones:

giant-flesh-hound-1
I am happy to see this guy finished at long last — and now I really can’t wait for GW to release some decent plastic Flesh Hounds, following the same design as the hound accompanying their Khorgos Khul model. I really want a squad of flesh hounds, and they would be super-fluffy for my army — but there’s just no way I am going to purchase those terribly clunky Finecast models…

Anyway: One down, four to go!

giant-flesh-hound-9

 

IV. In closing…

Here’s one last thing I would like to share with you today: A picture I took a while ago, showing all the models I have managed to paint so far this year:

class-of-2016-1

It’s missing my gladiatorial Angron conversion as well as the Flesh Hound, but it’s still a cool little picture, wouldn’t you agree? Only 24 models, all in all, but I am still pretty happy with my output so far — and the year’s not over either!

 

So let me hear any feedback you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

The State of the Hunt — Week 37

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, state of the hunt, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2016 by krautscientist

Hey everyone,

I think I’ll be turning “State of the Hunt” into a semi-regular feature to show you smaller stuff I am currently working on and to discuss various subjects that maybe wouldn’t warrant a post of their own but are still important to me. So today let’s look at a collection of Khornate Miscellany:

 

I. A Champion Reborn…

What else could be the first item of interest for today, if not the release of the new plastic version of Khârn the Betrayer? There have been rumours about new versions of the iconic Chaos characters for a rather long time now, and now here’s Khârn, hopefully ushering in a slew of releases (one can always dream…):

plastic-kharn-the-betrayer-release-1Now before we take a look at the new model, allow me to mention that I have written at lenght about Khârn and his various incarnations in the art, the lore and in model form, so you may consider the following thoughts a late addendum to the respective post from 2014.

So as I’ve said in the aforementioned post, I really consider the original Khârn the Betrayer a model for the ages (but then that’s Jes Goodwin for you). I would also argue that the old model has managed to age far more gracefully than most special characters from 2nd edition. For instance, while Abaddon just looks rather puny next to the much bigger modern models in Terminator armour, Khârn still seems imposing, even twenty+ years later. He’s also a thoroughly iconic piece, debuting (or at least refining) so many of the visual elements that define the look of the World Eaters and the Khorne Berzerkers in particular to this day: the chains, the skull motifs, the bare arm. And, of course, the iconic crested helmet.

Now updating such an iconic model is not without its dangers, and when a new plastic version of Eldrad Ulthran was recently released, I felt it lacked the original model’s iconic quality. So what about Khârn then?

plastic-kharn-the-betrayer-release-5
When we look at both versions side by side, I think the one thing we can all agree on is that the new version still definitely reads as Khârn — and that alone is no small feat! In my opinion, the best decision of the new model was to basically stick to the classic design of the helmet and only make very minor tweaks to it. Back when I converted my own true scale version of Khârn, I quickly found out that no model will look like Khârn unless that particular helmet design enters the equation, and by the same token, Khârn’s helmet is the one helmet that isn’t easy to kitbash by using available bits. So basically leaving the helmet alone was a fantastic – and ultimately crucial – design decision, in my opinion!

All of the other classic elements are there as well: The bare right arm (after Forgeworld’s Khârn version switched the axe to the other arm, it’s interesting to see how GW chose to stick with the layout of the 90s version), the chains wrapped around it, the various skull motifs adorning the armour, and countless other little touches. All of this sells the model as Khârn without a doubt!

Of course things only really get interesting when one considers the parts that have been changed when compared to the original model: First of all, Khârn seems to have bulked up quite a bit, to account for about two decades of scale creep. And he wears it really well, as a look at some additional angles reveals:

plastic-kharn-the-betrayer-release-1
plastic-kharn-the-betrayer-release-2
Another really cool part is how GW has managed to bring the armour in line with the very baroque look of the Dark Vengeance Chosen or the plastic Raptors/Warp Talons without resorting to adding any wanton mutations: I think this basically works as the perfect template for new chaos models: Give us more jagged and baroque looking armour that clearly differs from the smooth contours of loyalist Astartes armour, but focus the gribbly stuff on optional bits and upgrades. That way, everyone would be happy, right? 😉

Anyway, the redesign achieves the trick of making the new Khârn look right at home next to both vintage and modern chaos models, which is great, and arguably my favourite part about the model!

Then there’s the pose, of course: Where Khârn’s pose used to be very static (and powerful), he is now running forward like mad — which, admittedly, is a pretty great fit for the character. Now to be perfectly honest with you, I wouldn’t have minded a static pose on the new Khârn, but then most people seem to have taken issue with it, and the new running pose also creates a nice resemblance with Forgeworld’s Khârn model, albeit mirrored:

plastic-kharn-the-betrayer-release-6
Of course the problem with highly dynamic running poses is that the model in question might end up looking as though it were tripping over its own feet, and the new Khârn is getting a bit of flak over possibly tripping over those dangling skulls — but seriously, I am not really seeing it. In my opinion, the running pose is more believable than the slightly awkward pose of Forgeworld’s version. And if you take a look at the 360 degrees view of the new model over at the GW website, there’s a depth and three-dimensionality to the model now that is hard not to admire.

So do I love everything about the model? No, I do have my gripes, of course. So let’s take a look at the bad parts:

plastic-kharn-the-betrayer-release-1
Those weighed down chains dangling from Khârn’s left wrist are easily my least favourite part of the model: They just seem too clunky and kill the flow of the model. I think I would have gone with something a bit more subtle, and my first tweak to the model would be to take off those chains or pare them back a bit.

It also seems to me that the ripped muscles on Khârn’s bare arm look slightly too angular and sculptural, although that could always come down to the paintjob. I will say, however, that the pose is maybe slightly too stylised for its own good, with Khârn looking more like the statue of a running guy that an actual running guy, if that makes any sense.

And my third gripe with the model is the design of Gorechild, Khârn’s axe:

plastic-kharn-the-betrayer-release-2
Considered on its own, it’s a very cool and vicious looking Khornate axe — and look, they’ve even redesigned the teeth to more closely resemble the Mica-Dragon teeth from the lore. So the design is pretty cool, but by changing it, the entire sense of visual continuity goes out of the window. Because one thing I have always loved is that, regardless of whether you were looking at Forgeworld’s Angron, Forgeworld’s 30k Khârn or the 40k Khârn model, they were all definitely wielding the same axe, and that sense of continuity is now lost. Now you could argue that the axe had probably undergone some warping and mutation over the 10,000 years of the Long War, but after so much work on the sculptor’s part has gone into ensuring that the axe looks exactly the same on all three models, this change almost seems like an oversight now, and while the axe itself looks cool enough, that really, really bothers me (because I’m an obsessive weirdo like that 😉 ).

I have one very minor gripe: The backpack seems strangely narrow to me, but I’ll reserve judgement until I have seen the model firsthand.

Interestingly enough, a closer look at the sprue reveals that the model might actually be pretty conversion-friendly:

plastic-kharn-the-betrayer-release-3
For one, it should be pretty easy to return the new model to a more static standing pose, should you want to: Just some careful cutting and maybe a set of DV Chosen legs, and Bob’s your uncle! Those bothersome chains should be easy enough to leave off or tweak as well, seeing how they come as a separate part. And I guess one could even replace Gorechild’s blade, if one were that way inclined.
The fact that the plasma pistol arm, axe and backpack could easily be used as conversion bits is a definite plus as well!

So, what’s the final verdict?

All in all, I am pretty happy with the new Khârn! Where the plastic version of Eldrad failed to capture the coolness and iconic nature of the original model, it feels like Khârn is definitely a step into the right direction! While I do have a couple of minor complaints about the model, the new version also brings enough to the table to be a strong model in its own right. Maybe it’s not quite as timeless a classic as the original Khârn, but that also seems impossible to ascertain right now, especially given the fact that I’ve grown up with the original 2nd edition model. Anyway, I like this guy! Where Eldrad was a bit of a disappointment, Khârn is – at the very least – a modest success.

At the same time,  I still think my custom, true scale Khârn from 2014 manages to hold up:

true-scale-kharn-the-betrayer-conversion
At the same time, I can pretty much guarantee that I’ll also be purchasing the new version: I think it’s a pretty awesome new interpretation of an iconic character, and the parts I don’t like about the model should be easy enough to tweak. I’ll keep you posted 😉

plastic-kharn-the-betrayer-release-4

 

II. Travelers from afar…

My hobby life has been massively improved by other people’s generosity for a rather long time now, and I’ve been fortunate enough to receive two more incredible additions for my collection from fellow hobbyists recently.

First came BrotherJim, who recently completed a rather stunning Nurglite CSM force as part of the ETL V event: I provided some feedback to him, and he actually built me a model and sent it over to me by way of thanks — how awesome is that? Now the really cool thing about BrotherJim’s conversions is how much they are inspired by Adrian Smith’s rather iconic art from the 3.5 Codex Chaos Space Marines, and how BrotherJim is pretty much the first person to have managed to give his models the same, massive, lumbering look. This leads to a very distinctive style, and I was really happy the day one of his creations arrived allll the way from Australia to bolster the forces of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt:

Conversion by BrotherJim

Conversion by BrotherJim

Note the amount of gear and the imposing backpack, both trademarks of BrotherJim’s style. Now I was really happy with the model, but wanted to make one small alteration – a different head – mostly because that particular berzerker head already appears on more than one model in my army, and I felt this guy deserved something more original. So I spliced together a suitably ornate helmet, and here’s the new Huntmaster soon to be part of the 4th assault company:

Model converted by BrotherJim

Model converted by BrotherJim

 

Model converted by BrotherJim

Model converted by BrotherJim

 

Model converted by BrotherJim

Model converted by BrotherJim

 

Model converted by BrotherJim

Model converted by BrotherJim

 

Model converted by BrotherJim

Model converted by BrotherJim

Just get a load of the amount of weapons on this guy! 🙂

Anyway, thanks again to BrotherJim for this amazing gift! And make sure to check out his excellent work on a growing chaos collection here.

But wait, there’s more: When I came home yesterday, the cutest little package had arrived from the UK. Inside I found this wonderfully sinister and bloodied champion of the War God built and painted by none other than spectacularly talented Terrain-Overlord extraordinaire Neil101 of Opus Maius’ fame:

Model built and painted by Neil101

Model built and painted by Neil101

 

Model built and painted by Neil101

Model built and painted by Neil101

 

Model built and painted by Neil101

Model built and painted by Neil101

Now I was already aware that Neil had built this model for me a while ago, but the fact that he also chose to paint it in his trademark style was a wonderful surprise indeed! The result is something far more painterly and visceral than anything I could have come up with, and I am really in love with this guy right now. And that wasn’t all, because accompanying the Khornate champion came a wonderfully macabre “Bucket o’ Blood” (followers of Khorne never leave home without it!):

Model built and painted by Neil101

Model built and painted by Neil101

As is usually the case with Neil’s work, there’s a wonderfully macabre and demented nature to the whole affair, calling to mind both the infamous Yggdrassilliumme as well as the kind of characters you would see in the golden days of Realm of Chaos. And while I am already hard at work figuring out a suitable angle for this guy as a part of the Velsen Sector (he’ll be a member of the so-called “Duelists”, an insidious Khornate lodge operating in the sector), Neil was also kind enough to provide his own little vignette of background:

Models built and painted by Neil101

Models built and painted by Neil101

 

Coal black eyes kindled the embers of hate, as the headsman daubed his breastplate with the aged ichor of his enemies. His skull face plate chafed at the nape of his neck, the fitting too tight for comfort.

So much he had given, but the Blood God’s bucket had a hole. Never enough, always more.

The unsaturated hunger for power, for glory, always gnawed at his soul. Like the itch of his helm, the one he couldn’t scratch…reminding him that his work was never done. His bucket never full.

 

Anyway, thanks to Neil for the fantastic model! Job’s a good ‘un, mate! 🙂

 

III. Twenty years of bloodshed…

I myself have not been idle either, even though I felt I needed something small and fun to unwind after my recent, rather massive Daemon-Primarch-related shenanigans…

But the right opportunity did present itself, fortunately enough! Back when I showed you this OOP mid-90s Bloodletter…

Old Skool Bloodletter (2)
…fellow hobbyist AMaximus offered to send over some old metal Bloodletters of his own. Now the models he offered me were a slightly never incarnation, released around the turn of the century (teehee), between the mid-90s design you see above and the modern plastic Bloodletters. I had never been a huge fan of those particular models, feeling they didn’t really bring anything new to the table, but there’s always time for a little fun, so Andrew and I worked out a small bitz swap, and I got my hands on another Bloodletter version.

My eye was instantly drawn to one of the models that was missing his two-handed axe, and I decided to paint him right away and add a small tweak or two while I was at it. So here’s the mostly finished model (still missing its base):

bloodletters-wip-9
bloodletters-wip-8
Like I said, the standard armament for this model would have been a two-handed axe, but I decided to replace it with one of the modern plastic Hellblades (once again, I might add). And I actually think the model is improved by the change! I also had to replace the left hand, and a severed head seemed like a logical choice. It has been pointed out to me – and correctly so – that the head seems to be the victim of some wonky physics, but I think we can just consider this a match for the stock model’s inherent clunkiness and move on, eh? 😉

Seriously, though, this guy has really grown on me! This particular incarnation of the Bloodletters turned out to be a bit of an evolutionary dead end, and from a time of occasionally strange and slightly uneven releases on GW’s part, no less, but I think the model works pretty well with my established daemon recipe in place 😉

And while I was at it, I also painted one of the modern plastic Bloodletters in the exact same way:

bloodletters-wip-4
bloodletters-wip-3
And, once again, I am pretty happy with the result — take note that this model still makes used of the slightly tweaked skin recipe taken from Duncan Rhodes’ Bloodthirster tutorial!

Ultimately, the guy above will be joined by a full unit of Bloodletters. Until then, I have a nice little comparison of Bloodletter models from the last twenty years:

bloodletters-wip-6
I should probably paint one of the spindly, serpentine first edition Bloodletters to complete the set, but I really don’t like that particular version of the daemon, so this is not really a priority project at the moment. If someone wants to get rid of an old Bloodletter, though, I am always open to suggestions… 😉

On a related note, AMaximus was also awesome enough to include a pretty old vintage Bloodthirster head in his bitz drop:

vintage-bloodthirster-head-2
vintage-bloodthirster-head-1
Now what am I going to do with this lovely face…?

 

IV. Out of the woods, at last…

Now this last subject has nothing whatsoever to do with cutting up little plastic men, but I am still very happy to inform you guys that my time as an unemployed slacker is finally at an end: Starting October, I will finally have gainful employment once more! Yeehaw!

Now it’ll only be for a limited amount of time so far, but it sure feels good to be back in business! And while this could mean less hobby time in the immediate future, my sigh of relief when I learned the news could still have extinguished a raging bonfire. Work for the Work god! 😉

 

So anyway, so much for this latest news roundup. 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!