Archive for imperial knight

A Short Knight, pt. 3: The Grand Finale

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2018 by krautscientist

Welcome everyone to the third and final part of my recent Chibi-Knight project! This has been such a fun little endeavour, and today you finally get to take a look at the finished model, so here goes:

The paintjob for the actual Knight was actually just about finished last time. So here’s where we left off:

This only really left the basing, but since the objective with this entire model was to match the bigger version as closely as possible, I wanted this ethos to extend to the base as well. So for starters, check out the base of the bigger version of Gilgamesh:

As you can see, I used some pieces from the Space Marine statue from the Honoured Imperium terrain kit to represent fallen Imperial monuments, and I really wanted to recreate that look — and it seemed that fate was very much on my side…

I actually realised a long time ago that the aforementioned statue seems to have been created mostly by upscaling existing Space Marine bitz: If you take a closer look, many of the parts of the statue seem to consist of bigger versions of plastic bitz from the company champion that comes as part of the old Space Marine command squad box (incidentally, I am pretty sure the statue’s cape is an upscaled chaos warrior cape, but that’s beside the point). And I actually discovered a while ago that GW used a face very similar – if not identical – to the statue’s face for different kits as well. So it didn’t take much work to collect the pieces that would allow for a very close recreation of my original design for the base. Take a look:

The shield on the left is pretty much the exact same shield also worn by the Honoured Imperium statue. It came from the aforementioned Space Marine command squad kit. The sword is from a plastic Terminator — I’ll admit the company champion’s sword would have been a better fit from a visual standpoint, but the Terminator sword worked better due to its size and proportions. And the head on the right is a piece of a broken Imperial monument from the WFB/AoS giant.

So I used these parts (or rather, copies of these parts) to create a setup that was fairly similar to the original base:

Now I had to improvise a bit, due to the bigger Knight’s base having an oval shape (and hence more room), but I think the setup worked out pretty well. I also chose to have the head in an upright pose this time around — something I should have done on the bigger base as well.

So here’s the base after undercoating…

…and with the Knight provisionally placed on top:

And here’s the finished base, painted to fit the bigger version:

So all that was left was to affix the new Chibi-Gilgamesh to his new home, and then the model was done. So here, once again, the big version for the sake of comparison:

And without further ado, I give you

Chibi-Gilgamesh version 2.0

I am actually really happy with the way the model has turned out. I may have had to compromise a bit here and there because a couple of visual touches from the bigger model just couldn’t be reproduced at the smaller scale (at least not without ending up looking extremely goofy, that is), but you can still tell at a glance that this is supposed to be Gilgamesh at a smaller scale, wouldn’t you agree?

And there’s also my favourite part about this project, the somewhat harebrained, yet ultimately successful, scheme of adding a fully sculpted interior and pilot to a Knight at the Adeptus Titanicus scale. Check out the bigger version of Baron Harrowthorne again:

And here’s the chibi-version:

And now that the new model has been finished, here’s another comparison shot with its predecessor:

As I’ve said before, I really like how the older Chibi-Knight seems to represent the somewhat clunkier vintage Epic 40k design, while the new model fits the sleeker, more faithful designs from the new Adeptus Titanicus.

That’s not quite all, though. Because with the model finished, it was of course time to trot out the actual 28mm Gilgamesh in order to find out how well the new Chibi-Knight stands up to the big guy.


I think there’s definitely quite a bit of family resemblance, wouldn’t you agree?

Having managed to closely recreate the base also makes me stupidly happy, to be honest πŸ˜‰

So yeah, a fun project all around! And you know what? I am also going to pledge this little guy as part of Azazel’s Mechanical November ’18 community challenge — fits well enough, I’d say πŸ˜‰

In any case, 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! πŸ™‚


A Short Knight, pt. 2

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2018 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, here’s the next look at my current project, the recreation of my 28mm Renegade Knight Questoris, Gilgamesh, the Warrior King, at the Adeptus Titanicus scale. I haven’t had much hobby time since my update, but I’ve tried to make it count. So let’s take a look, shall we?

First of all, this is where we left off last time:

While the similarity between the Adeptus Titanicus Knight Questoris and its bigger 28mm version already astonished me during the building stages, the parallels even extended to the actual painting process: Due to the way the model comes together, it’s actually possible to keep most of the armour plates, especially the big top carapace and shoulder pads, separate from the Knight’s “skeleton” during painting, so it was once again a matter of undercoating the skeleton in silver and the armour plates in red, then work from there.

And since this was my biggest alteration to the stock model, I did of course have to start with the pilot, trying the best I could to have the paintjob make up for the lack of sculpted detail:

Even at this stage, I was already reasonably happy with the way the chibi-version of Baron Harrowthorne looked, so after that, it was mostly a matter of carefully blocking in all of the base colours. Due to the delicate sculpt of the Knight, this was a bit more fiddly than on, say, a bog standard Space Marine model, but it was still fairly quick work. Here’s Chibi Gilgamesh 2.0 with all the base colours and washes in place:

And now came the delightful part: I carefully tried to match as many visual cues from the bigger version as possible — including the decals used on the original Gilgamesh. In some cases, I was able to use smaller decals that were a close – or even perfect – fit, in other cases (on the kneepads, for instance), I had to use a fine liner instead.

But anyway, enough talk, let’s take a look at the mostly finished model:

Just to remind you, here’s the big version:

And here’s what I have right now:

Pretty close, wouldn’t you agree?

As for Baron Harrowthorne and the cockpit, I had to give the area another small round of tweaks, of course:

So, once again, let’s start with the bigger version:

And here’s the Chibi-Baron:

As I’ve said before, since there is so very little actual detail on the pilot, I’ve had to use the paintjob to suggest detail were none extists, and to create an evocation, for lack of a better word, of the much bigger, more detailed 28mm pilot. I am pretty happy with the outcome, though — if you take a closer look you can even see the glowing buttons on the control panel:

And here’s another comparison picture with my earlier Chibi-Knight kitbash:

So a few very minor tweaks notwithstanding, the new Chibi Knight is basically finished at this point — except for the basing, that is, and I do have a rather nifty plan for that. Let’s hope it works out!

Until then, however, I would love to hear what you think! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

A Short Knight, pt. 1

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2018 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, still no painted models this week, alas, but rather a small project that had me sidetracked. Small in every sense of the word, actually. So what is this about?

The recently released 2018 version of Adeptus Titanicus has left me weirdly indifferent so far — surprising, really, as I always thought I would be right at the front of the queue if it ever made a return. But the focus on the biggest Titans somehow makes it less interesting to me (even though I’ll readily acknowledge that being able to own multiple Warlords without having to sell a kidney is probably one of the main draws of the game).

That being said, when the AT-scaled Questoris Knights were released, I knew I had to pick up some of them. And at 25 Euros for three, they seemed reasonably priced, so I made the plunge:

What really surprised me was how the detail on these is truly off the charts: It’s almost uncanny how GW has managed to make them resemble the bigger version down to some of the smallest detail. And I found myself regularly having dΓ©jΓ -vu moments while building the first model — it’s that close to it’s bigger kin. And seeing how I was already having those dΓ©jΓ -vues, I started feeling the urge to build a smaller version of my Renegade Knight, Gilgamesh — in fact, some of you might still remember my previous attempt at building a “Chibi-Knight”, roughly at the Adeptus Titanicus scale – from all kinds of odds and ends:



Building that smaller version – dubbed “Chibi-Knight” by me – was a fun project back then, and I think the model still holds up fairly well, all things considered, even if it’s maybe a bit too clunky. But having a base model that was already a fairly perfect representation of an Imperial Knight from the get-go this time around really made me want to one-up my previous effort.

So I got to work, trying to make one of those small Adeptus Titanicus Knights resemble this guy as closely as possible:

And after a bit of messing around, my first WIP looked like this:

Pretty good already, wouldn’t you agree? Here’s a comparison of my first WIP next to the previous, kitbashed Chibi-Knight:

I actually like how the previous versions’s slightly weird proportions make it resemble the visual clunkiness and retro charm of the old Epic 40k models. By the same token – and due to the more delicate sculpt of the AT Knight – coming up with a way to mirror those chaotic decorations was slightly tricky, and had to drop some of the detail that was simply too small to reproduce – or would look weirdly clunky (such as using a Bloodletter face on the gun barrel, for instance). I also got the impression that most 28mm GW bitz are just a tad too big to use on those delicate AT Questoris Knights, so this did take some doing.

In the end, I went for the visual essence of the model, trying to hit enough design cues to make it work, dropping some that were just too much trouble to get right, and figuring out which bitz to use for either.

So here’s the basically finished build for Chibi-Gilgamesh version 2.0 that I have come up with:

All things considered, I think I have managed to come up with a pretty good reproduction of my 28mm Gilgamesh at the smaller scale. But that wasn’t even the end of the project, because during the conversion process, I found myself staring at the Knight’s hollow interior again and again…

…and wondering if maybe….just maybe…

…it would be possible to add a fully realised interior as well — just as I had done on 28mm Gilgamesh.

Sure, the mere concept is a bit ridiculous, but once I had gotten the idea into my head, I realised that there would be no way to weasel out of this challenge: Chibi-Gilgamesh 2.0 needed a cockpit!

Coming up with a pilot was the most challenging part of that, obviously: I thought I was already out of the woods when I remembered some 40+ years-ish old plastic Army Men style soldiers my uncle used to play with as a child, and wanted to use one of those, but they turned out to still be a tad too big. As was a pilot from one of my uncle’s old model planes:

My next idea was to use a Z-scale model train figure — and indeed, those come in all shapes and sizes, even in a sitting position. And they are also readily available online. In batches of one hundred, no less!

In the end, that would have included purchasing them in China, however, and it just didn’t seem sustainable to pick up something so cheap and minuscule from halfway across the planet. So I was already planning a visit to the local model train shop when another idea struck me: I remembered one of the old plastic Bretonnian Knights from an old WFB starter box having a stylised little person as their heraldic helmet crest — maybe at just the right scale?

When I dug out the bit from my cupboard of shame, I realised the figure was pretty much the right scale indeed — but alas, it was a Lady of the Lake style sculpt:

Space Marine helmet included for scale.

Very fitting for Bretonnians, no doubt, but not a particularly good match to recreate my Baron Harrowthorne model at a smaller scale. But maybe there was still something there that I could use? So I shaved off most of the detail from the helmet crest, until I was left with only the bare outline of the model, then tried to carve it into a rough incarnation of Gilgamesh’s pilot:

If nothing else, I was able to leave the suggestion of facial features in place. And I realised I had the beginnings of a pilot.

The cockpit, on the other hand, was almost trivially easy to build: I used some tech-y leftover bitz (from a Heldrake foot, IIRC) for the reactor section…

…and if you take a closer look, you’ll see that I even included a small control panel for the pilot:

So here’s another comparison shot for you: The 28mm version of the cockpit and pilot:

And my WIP version at the Adeptus Titanicus scale:

Of course I realised that the pilot was still looking slightly too primitive, so I added some tweaks to him, greenstuffing in the tiniest shoulder pads and placing some teeny tiny plastic nubs on the model to suggest both the medals on the bigger version’s chest as well as the cranial augmetic implants:

The rest of the detail will be suggested by the paintjob — at least that’s what I hope! Now in all fairness, the pilot is probably still a tad too big, but there’s just no way I can come up with an even smaller version, so I’ll call this conversion a success!

This has been such a fun little project — and given the size of the model, I hope it’ll be easy enough to paint up as well. Maybe this could even be the model to get me out of my recent painting slump? Keep your fingers crossed for me! πŸ™‚

In any case, that’s it for today’s update. It should go without saying that I am looking forward to any feedback you might have. And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! πŸ™‚

A Child for the Warrior King, pt.6 — and a small interlude

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2018 by krautscientist

My hobby work has not been all that exciting recently: The combination of a decided lack of feedback here on the blog and a prolongued downtime over at The Bolter & Chainsword has worked as a bit of a dampener to my hobby motivation. But I have a new update to share with you all, dealing with my second converted Armiger once again. And as a special treat, I’ll also sneak in a small bonus-review somewhere along the way, so keep your eyes peeled πŸ˜‰

But first things first: My second Renegade Armiger was already mostly finished in my previous post, but it still needed that final bit of attention, especially when it came to finishing the chaotic decoration: The most important part was to add spikes and skull trophies to the top carapace. At the same time, I also grafted some small teeth, carefully shaved off the little vanes that come with the CSM Raptors, to the pauldrons and leg armour, for that certain chaotic je ne sais quoi.

So here’s the result:

Those added elements really do a pretty great job of pulling all of the parts of the model together from a visual standpoint, plus they also serve as a parallel to my other Armiger Warglaive.

So the model is basically ready for paint now. Take a look:

Oh, and after adding the final layer of detailing, I also straightened out the cockpit and pilot, making a few final tweaks and additons here and there. So here’s the completed build for the Huntress inside her cockpit:

As you can see, the way the Huntress controls the machine actually matches the setup I used for the first Armiger. This time around, however, I actually made sure to make the alignment of the machine’s head match that of the pilot (it’s only a small thing, but since I used the standard Armiger head this time around, at least beneath the extra bitz, it was easy enough to keep the head poseable):

I am actually really happy with the conversion, plus I think the two Armiger really work rather well together. Several people on the forum pointed out how the machines seemes like two pack mates, ready to bring an opposing Knight (or even Titan?!) down, and how the new Armiger actually seemed a touch more feral than the first model. Since that’s the impression I was really going for, I am rather happy to have achieved that dynamic with the two models:

Incidentally, I also made a small tweak to the Hound, adding some Blood Warrior decorations to his pauldrons. See if you can spot them in the picture above πŸ˜‰


Bonus review: Canis Rex

So, while we are on the subject of (Imperial) Knights, allow me to sneak in some thoughts on one of GW’s fairly recent releases thtat I have wanted to share for a while: I am talking about Canis Rex here:

The release of Canis Rex was interesting for a number of reasons: It marks the third revision of the Imperial Knight kit in almost as many years, for one: Each subsequent release has added new parts and options, and this latest kit is no exception, providing us with all the weapon options released so far, along with a new weapon, the las-impulsor, that can be used to assemble the model as a Knight-Preceptor. So far, so good. At the same time, Canis Rex is also a veritable named character, so the model comes with original parts to turn a generic Knight into Canis Rex with its unique heraldry. Last but not least, there’s also the fact that the kit provides us with the bitz for a fully designed cockpit – something that the GW-Knights have lacked so far – and for the pilot, Sir Hekhtur the Chainbreaker.

Now my love for the Imperial Knight per se is well documented, and I still consider the model a landmark release and one of GW’s finest modern kits. All the original kit’s strenghts remain, obviously, and we actually get some new toys to play around with. So let us take a closer look:

Let’s start with the new weapon: Where most of the Knight weapons we have seen so far have a rather more brutal, archaic look, this new gun hews closer to a more experimental, “Martian Deathray” look, which is nice. On a related note, looking at the silhouette of the weapon, I cannot help but realise how you could probably kitbash a similar weapon using the side panels from a 40k life pod (from either the 40k objectives kit or the new Kill Team: Rogue Trader boxed set), if you need the weapon but don’t want to buy the new kit.
Whether or not you like the las-impulsor, though: The kit also seems to contain every other Knight weapon released so far, so the world is really your oyster here.

When it comes to Canis Rex’s unique armour plates (and heraldic elements), those bitz are nice, if a bit vanilla: The facemask strikes me as ever so slightly too generically medieval, but that’s purely a matter of personal choice. On the other hand, the combination of a wolf/dog head and a chain on the tilt plate and banner make me wonder whether those bitz might be useful in a 30k World Eaters/War Hounds project…

What I really like about the inclusion of those bitz is how GW actually embraces the idea of having those Knights be true individuals — something that has always played a big role in the background, but it’s still nice to actually see that philosophy now realised in model form. If anything, coming up with your own background, heraldry and backstory for your noble is something to be encouraged.

So far, the additions to the kit are nice but not exactly massively exciting.This all changes with the third big addition to the kit, however, and easily the biggest draw of the model, if you ask me: The inclusion of both a fully detailed cockpit and a pilot:

Seeing how the nobles piloting the Knights were already being played up as important and powerful individuals in the background, I actually find it baffling that it has taken GW so long to represent them in model form. If anything, I feel Imperial Knights should have been themed around their pilots from the get-go. But anyway, now we finally get our pilot model, and both in a walking and a sitting form, which is nice:

I like how the model’s armour/pilot suit neatly straddles the line between baroque(medieval and functional — it arguably works better with the general 40k aesthetics than Forgeworld’s almost too sleek and futuristic looking Knight pilot. At the same time, it’s also nice how some design elements (see the arrows on the armour plates, for instance) are shared between the Knight and its pilot.

Now while the pilot is supposed to be Sir Hekhtur the Chainbreaker, it’s easy to see how a simple headswap would be enough to turn him into an original (male) knight pilot. Creating a female noble from those bitz would still be possible, albeit with a bit more conversion work — and maybe the inclusion of some of the slightly narrower Genestealer Hybrid body parts.

When it comes to the actual cockpit, I really love how GW’s sculptors have managed to squeeze lots and lots of detail into a pretty tight area (believe me, I know): The design looks great and channels visual cues from both Forgeworld’s Knights and various Titans:

If I have one criticism, it’s that I think the controls are almost a bit too modern and “Space Marine-y” and should maybe have looked a bit more archaic – like the kind of tech you see in Forgeworld’s Titan cockpits – but the design still works very well, and the option to build it so it can even be looked at with the top carapace closed and the hatch open is an awesome little touch:


For me, and other hobbyists as weird as me, coming up with a way of building the interior of a Knight has been one of the most interesting parts of working with the model. So seeing an “official”, readymade version now is a slightly bittersweet moment: On the one hand, it’s great that GW has finally stepped up and provided us with the building blocks for a Knight interior. At the same time, however, this also takes away some of the adventure, for lack of a better word, and challenge of scratchbuilding and kitbashing an area like this — oh well, at least we still have the Armiger interiors to think about πŸ˜‰

On a related note, and if you’ll excuse a bit of boasting, I have to say that I am really rather happy with the way I managed to come up with something pretty similar to GW’s “official” look for the pilot and cockpit years ago, back when I built my own Knight:

So for those who do not own any Imperial Knights yet, you guys are in luck: You are now able to pick up the definitive version of an already fantastic kit and end up with lots and lots of beautiful options to play around with. If, like me, you were among the early adopters of the Imperial Knight, you might be forgiven for feeling a bit left out (and for being expected to buy yet another 100+ Euros kit). The third revision of the kit in as many years. Because much as I like this newest revision to the kit (and much as I liked the previous revision), I cannot help asking myself whether those weapon options and cockpit bitz could have been part of the model from the beginning — the pilot and cockpit, in particular, seem like parts of the sculpt that must have been considered from the beginning…


Call of Chaos 2018:

Before I wind up this post, let me quickly address the current Call of Chaos event over at The Bolter & Chainsword: With the forum back up and running, fortunately enough, I think I’ll just have a go at joining in the event again this year. Here are the models I think I’ll be pledging as my Call of Chaos vow:

Including the second Armiger is a bit of a no-brainer, obviously, as I really want to have the happy family finished before the year is out πŸ˜‰ In addition, I want to get some paint on two Nurglite characters that have been sitting on my desk for ages:

First up, a Nurglite Lord on bike that was built over a year ago (originally for another forum painting event last year):

Still pretty happy with this guy — you certainly wouldn’t think he started out as a Ravenwing biker from Dark Vengeance, would you? πŸ˜‰

And there’s this conversion of Maxime Pastourel’s Lord of Contagion model from the Dark Imperium boxed set:

his guy should be fun to paint, with all the gribbly areas of distressed skin and gooey intestines πŸ˜‰


So anyway, that’s it for today’s update. 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! πŸ™‚

A Child for the Warrior King, pt.1

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2018 by krautscientist

Most of my recent hobby time has been spent working on characters for my INQ28 collection — and rightly so, because I have been having a blast powering through all of those neglected models that have sat in the cupboard of shame for ages.

But the ruinous powers demand observance every once in a while, so to prove that my allegiance still lies firmly with the pantheon, let me show you something related to my other big ongoing hobby project – Khorne’s Eternal Hunt – again. So what is this about?

Long time readers of this blog might remember this guy: Gilgamesh, the Warrior King:

Building and painting an allied Renegade Knight for my World Eaters easily remains one of my most complex and involved hobby projects so far — and one that, incidentally, even got me mentioned on the GW page.

In fact, if you want to read up on Gilgamesh, a comprehensive collection of posts on the project can be found if you follow the link above this picture.

But why bring Gilgamesh up yet again? Don’t I have anything new to show you? The reason is that I immediately had to think of the Warrior King when the Forgebane boxed set was released fairly recently:

Arguably the star of the set are the two smaller knights – Armiger Warglaives – that come with it. They are intended as smaller men-at-arms to escort and protect the bigger Imperial Knights, and in that function, they make for a rather exciting addition to the severely limited options of an Imperial Knight player (Forgeworld variants notwithstanding). The models are also rather lovely, which made me feel that I would need at least one of those Armigers in my collection at some point…

But I decided to hold off on yet another boxed set purchase — until a recent visit to Berlin not only provided me with the opportunity to visit the massive temple of hobby goodness that is Battlefield Berlin, but also presented the chance of getting the AdMech half of the Forgebane set for a pretty good price — and I caved in, of course, taking all of those lovely sprues home and poring over them. The fact that the other AdMech models from the set are also rather lovely did, of course, help πŸ˜‰

But back to the Armigers, because it was clear to me that I would have to turn them to the service of the ruinous powers: They would become servants of the Warrior King, accompanying him in battle, scouting ahead and softening up his enemies.

Meanwhile, with fellow hobbyists extraordinaire Biohazard and Jeff Tibbetts (of Queen Bee fame) already on the game as well, I knew I needed to give it my best shot to come up with something suitably cool πŸ˜‰


So where to start? In a slightly weird parallel to my approach when originally building Gilgamesh, I actually focused on a slightly unexpected question that nevertheless fascinated me: How to add a pilot to the Armiger Warglaive interior?

Then again, I am in love with the thoughts of these machines actually being defined, to some degree, by the pilots that ride them to battle, and seeing how adding a pilot and a cockpit to the model remains one of my favourite parts of my Imperial Knight project, it probably shouldn’t surprise you to learn that I was feeling just the same way this time around.

That being said, the Armiger is a fair bit smaller than the Imperial Knight, making for an even bigger exercise in managing real estate inside that torso. The good news was that fellow hobbyist Biohazard had already come up with a supremely clean and elegant solution for building a cockpit for the Armiger, using Sentinel and Storm Talon cockpit bitz. The bad news was that I didn’t have access to any of the bitz he used, so I had to cobble something together with the bitz I had.

So here’s what I have to show for my efforts:

As I had already expected, lack of space was even more of a problem this time around. I managed to get it all weged in there somehow, but it was a close thing. From a structural perspective, the Armiger cockpit basically mirrors my build for the bigger Knight’s cockpit, albeit in a slightly stripped down fashion. Here’s a side view, showing you the basic setup, warts and all:

Admittedly, it all looks pretty messy, but once both side walls are in place, all the rough bits of the conversion actually get covered up rather nicely. And while I initially regretted not even building an actual seat underneath the pilot, it turned out the entire area’s not even visible anyway, after everything has been assembled — in fact, it’s such a tight fit that I even had to file the side of the pilot’s right arm flat in order for him to fit flushly into the cockpit.

As for the bitz I used, the part used to represent the engine was a bit of a surprise discovery: It’s a part from the vox relay that comes with the Sector Imperialis Objectives kit. All it needed was a bit of shaving down, and it fit like a charm, and even provided a bit of a headrest. The pilot was mainly assembled around a sentinel pilot body — the torso seemed too pedestrian for me, so I cut it off and replaced it with a Vraksian Renegade Militia torso that had the added benefit of looking a bit like a flight jacket, which seemed like an excellent fit for a pilot πŸ˜‰ I used some Cadian arms and spliced together a head from a Skitarii Vanguard helmet and an Empire flagellant head (for that slightly unhinged look I thought matched a follower of chaos). My overall aim was to come up with a pilot that resembles Barron Harrowthorne, Gilgamesh’s pilot, to a certain degree, while also looking like his subordinate:

I think the finished pilot works rather well in that respect — I regretted not actually having built a seat underneath him at first, but it turned out you don’t really see anything except for the actual pilot once the whole cockpit is assembled:

In fact, I even had to file the side of the pilot’s right arm flat in order for him to fit into the cockpit πŸ˜‰ Oh, before I forget, the controls for the Armiger are actually a shaved down console from a Space Marine Rhino interior panel:

So with the pilot out of the way, I only had the entire rest of the model left to build, right? πŸ˜‰

I started by simply working on the Armiger’s basic assembly. It’s astonishing how much the Armiger works like a smaller Imperial Knight, from a structural perspective, with the whole assembly process eerily familiar, yet slightly simplified. So in addition to actually getting the model’s basic structure built, I was also able to start throwing bitz at the model to see what would stick:

I quickly discovered that some vambraces from the plastic Bloodthirster made for almost perfect leg armour, both because they were a perfect fit and because they provided some instant Khornification πŸ˜‰ In fact, decorating the Armiger is quite a bit easier than working with the Imperial Knight, as far more Dreadnought (or even infantry) bitz are rendered viable for the conversion by the slightly smaller scale.

As a fun surprise, the head from the FW World Eaters Dreadnought Augustus b’Raass gave me last year (and that is rapidly turning into one of my favourite 40k bitz, see here and here) worked rather nicely here as well, although there were several alternatives I also wanted to look at (the simplest option seems to be to just use Defiler face masks on top of the stock Armiger head).

I also decided to add a “mini-banner” between the legs as an opportunity to include some personal heraldry and battle honours. Granted, Armigers are only men-at-arms, but I still think it’s a nice touch for a machine that has probably been serving the ruinours powers for a couple of centuries, at the very least.

During further experimentation, I actually found an even better head for my first renegade Armiger — the one from Forgeworld’s Blood-Slaughterer Impaler:

I think the head adds an istant “Khornate Daemon Engine” feel to the model, plus it’s also a really cool bit in its own right.

The next thing was to figure out what to do with the weapon arms. After giving it a bit of thought, I decided that I would choose a fairly conservative approach for the first round of weapon arms, then try some more adventurous options (like another Ursus Claw, maybe?!) for the second Armiger — just as Talarion has done with his truly stunning Armiger Warglaives.

That being said, I realised that the extosplasma cannons from the Forgefiend kit were a pretty good match for the thermic lance from a scale perspective, so I wanted to try and use one of those for the gun arm.

Here’s my first mockup for the weapon arms:

A chain weapon is a no-brainer for a Khornate Knight, so I decided to keep it. At the same time, I did want to make the weapon look quite a bit more vicious, so I added a spiky bit that also has the added benefit of making the sword look less stubby πŸ˜‰ Since the chainblade completely lacks a cover, I had to come up with a solution that seems at least slightly plausible from a mechanical standpoint. And while the entire element was added purely based on its visual impact, fellow hobbyist TURBULENCE actually came up with a really cool explanation for its presence: Maybe the spike hammers down into an armored vehicle and keeps it in place as the chainblade keeps grinding into the hull?

For the gun arm, it turned out the Forgefiend plasma cannon was really easy to graft to the Armiger’s upper arm by simply cutting a matching hole into the upper side of the gun — it even retains the full mobility and poseability of a stock Armiger arm!

While the weapon is surprisingly close in proportion to the Armiger’s stock thermic lance, it is just a little bit clunkier — I do think the pose helps mitigate the added mass, though.

So with both the basic assembly as well as the weapons taken care of, all that was really left was the final round of cleanup and detailing. It was tempting to go overboard with decoration, but when all is said and done, this is just a man-at-arms for Gilgamesh and his pilot, the Baron Harrowthorne, so it was important to both make the machine look suitably chaotic, but to also know when to stop adding detail before the model ended up looking more ostentatious than the bigger Knight. Keeping that in mind, here’s the finished look I settled on, some minor cleanup work notwithstanding:

It’s not that easy to make out in the pictures, but I’ve added teeth to all the armour plates, mirroring a design element you see often on the more recent chaos plastic kits. I also tried to replicate the battle damage you see on the Bloodthirster vambraces on the upper leg armour, to tie both elements together.

Oh, and while I was at it, I changed the one element that I really don’t like about the stock Armiger: Those weird twin coils/stabilisers/whatever on the back of the legs. I think it works much better like this:

What’s really great about the kit is that, as has been the case with the bigger Imperial Knight, it’s possible to keep the top carapace plate detachable, so we can still get a good look at the pilot and cockpit:

In fact, such a setup is actually preferrable, because it also allows access to the arms. So whatever crazy weapons options I come up with for the second Armiger could theoretically also be swapped in on the first model — I really like added flexibility like that!

So that’s it — my first Renegade Armiger Warglaive.Β To be honest, it took me quite some time to find the right approach for the model, and I am all the happier for it with the finished conversion! This model was originally planned as yet another entry for Azazel’s Assembly April challenge, but then I ran a bit too late to make it, and I am actually glad to have taken some extra time to get it just right — maybe I’m at least in time for this year’s ETL event over at The Bolter & Chainsword…?!

Until then, however, I would love to hear your thoughts on the model! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

The State of the Hunt — Week 50

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, state of the hunt, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2016 by krautscientist

Only a short update today, mostly because it has been one hell of a week, due to a ridiculously important deadline at work. Still, there are two news items I would like to share with you, so let’s take a look at the current State of the Hunt:


I. Return of the Chibi-Knight!

Some of you might remember that, back when I built and painted my Renegade Knight, Gilgamesh, I also included a roughly Epic 40k-scaled version of the same warmachine in the project as an added bit of fun. I dubbed it the “Chibi-Knight” back then:

Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (1)

Now cobbling together a – pretty faithful – smaller version of the Knight was a very entertaining, if fairly involved, endeavour. But I didn’t really consider doing it again.

Enter fellow German hobbyist Helega, who helped me out with several really spectacular bitz drops this year. For instance, he provided the chain cape I used to replace the missing cape on my Forgeworld Angron. Anyway, Helega asked me whether I could build another Chibi-Knight for him, and while I knew this would mean some fiddly work, there was really no way I could turn down the request. So I tried to reverse-engineer my original kitbashing process and make another copy.

As an added twist, Helega wanted his Knight to be the loyalist version, so I had to account for that during the building process. There was also no way I would be able to cover up dodgy areas with spikes and baroque decorations this time around πŸ˜‰

I started by putting together the same basic assembly I had used last time: CSM Raptor legs (chosen due to the separate feet, and because the lightning bolt decoration works both for chaos and for Great Crusade era Imperial machines, a Space Marine Terminator torso and a Dreadnought shin guard:

Instead of last time’s Raptor pauldrons, I ended up using some Chaos Marauder shoulder guards, and they arguably worked even better, making the torso look really familiar to that of GW’s stock Imperial Knight. I also found out that one of the ancient plastic chaos warriors’ helmets looks almost exactly like one of the face masks that come with the Knight kit.

So I knew I was on the right track, but this is where the fiddly work began: I painstakingly spliced together the Chibi-Knight’s feet using the hook bit from the CSMvehicle accessory sprue, and I once again tried to create weapon arms that were as close as possible to those of the 28mm version.

Helega told me he wanted the Knight to be armed with a gatling cannon and power fist, so I took a long hard look at the Imperial Knight Warden and worked from there:

And after a lot of messing around with various bitz, this is what I came up with:

Here’s a side by side comparison showing the weapon arms of the big version and my “chibi-versions” of the same weapons:

Power Fist:

Gatling Cannon:

Not a 100% perfect match, maybe, but certainly reasonable enough, given the difference in scale! πŸ˜‰

So here’s what I packed up and sent to Helega:

As you can see, I have left the part in several sub-assemblies. This should make for easier painting, plus it’ll also allow Helega to tweak the pose according to his wishes. I have also included an alternate head and a bit that could serve as the carapace-mounted missile launcher.

So yeah, another Chibi-Knight finished! Here he is, next to Chibi-Gilgamesh:

The new version is arguably even slightly more elegant a conversion than my first attempt in several respects πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I am really happy with the finished conversion, if I do say so myself, and I hope Helega will be happy as well! As far as I know, the Knight will be painted in either Death Guard or Dusk Raiders colours, and I am really looking forward to seeing the finished model!


Β II. Getting to the finish line — but only just barely…

In other news, I am happy to report that I did manage to finish my vow for the Call of Chaos event over at The Bolter & Chainsword — even if it didn’t look like I would be successful for the longest time.

Earlier this week, I found myself with two models yet to finish for the vow and virtually no painting time to dedicate to the task. So I was basically prepared to call the endeavour a lost cause when a last minute pep-talk from fellow hobbyist Augustus b’Raass brought me back on track.

So I basically put in every waking hour of leisure time I had this Tuesday and completed the last models for my vow — at 2.30 in the morning πŸ˜‰

Anyway, here’s a look at all the completed models:

Rest assured that we’ll be taking a closer look at these guys pretty soon. And starting next week, it’s also time for the annual Eternal Hunt Awards, I believe… πŸ˜‰

But that’ll have to wait for a couple of days. For now, let me know what you think! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

ETL V: Daemon Days

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2016 by krautscientist

So in spite of rather sad recent events, I did manage to get some hobby time in — but then I did have an incentive, too! Once again, The Bolter & Chainsword is running its annual “E Tenebrae Lux” event, and once again, I have decided to join in on the fun — once more on the side of chaos, of course. Unlike last year, however, I fully intend to complete my vow this time around, and I can already happily announce that I have managed to make some headway! But we’ll be getting there in an minute.

One reason for failing to complete the models I had pledged last year was because I was simply too ambitious, including my Chaos Knight in the deal and then failing miserably to deliver. Granted, Gilgamesh did see completion eventually, so it all ended well enough, but I wanted to take it a bit more slowly this time around. So I went through my collection of unpainted chaos models and chose an ensemble of miniatures that would present a realistic challenge — but equally important was to choose some models that I really, really wanted to finally see finished! So here’s what I came up with for my first vow:

EL 2016 1st vow (1)
From left ro right, a counts-as Skulltaker that was converted when the Skullreapers/Wrathmongers were released, a converted Kastelan Robot now pledged to Khorne’s Eternal Hunt, and finally: Lord Dumah, the 4th assault company’s Apothecary. This last model had already been a part of my failed 2015 vow, and I have already made several attempts at painting it — so many, in fact, that I was just about prepared to consider the model jinxed for a while there. So he would definitely have to be a part of this year’s vow, if only in order to finally break the spell πŸ˜‰

Before I started in earnest, however, I needed something fun and easy to get me in the mood: It has been quite some time since I painted my last World Eaters, so something to ease me back into the flow of things.

Fortunately enough, an idle half-hour’s work provided just the thing: I came acorr the huge icon of Khorne that originally belonged to the Bloodsecrator model from the Age of Sigmar starter box. But while the piece was brilliantly designed, it was also freakishly huge and certainly too big to be lugged around by a mere footlslogger… but then I started thinking about turning it into an optional banner to be mounted on my Chaos Knight, Gilgamesh, and then things just started falling into place. And I ended up with this:

Gilgamesh with banner (5)
Gilgamesh with banner (1)
Gilgamesh with banner (4)
Gilgamesh with banner (2)

As you can see, the icon’s size is indeed pretty much ideal for a Chaos Knight! And I was lucky enough to find a leftover piece from an old model truck kit (I am really getting quite some mileage out of those old leftovers, come to think of it!) that neatly fit into the hole at the center of the Knight’s carapace. Painting the icon itself was a quick and fun affair, because I could really make the most of the brilliantly executed bone texture:
Gilgamesh with banner (3)
It was mostly a matter of basecoating, then washing with brown wash, and then appyling two quick sets of selective drybrushing. That first coat of paint was a bit of a slog though, as it was pretty hard to get the paint into all those nooks and crannies.

Anyway, I am pretty happy with the result, especially since this was mostly just a fun little gaiden project πŸ˜‰ Possibly my favourite part is how the icon neatly slots neatly into that hole in the middle of the top carapace without any need for glue or magnets. So I can add the banner or take it off again at will — maybe it could even work as some kind of extra equipment?! Whatever, I imagine Baron Harrowthorne just has the Sacristans mount it in place whenever he is feeling especially Khornate… πŸ˜‰

So with this small appetiser out of the way, I turned my attention to the first proper ETL model. I chose the Skulltaker conversion as the first model to work on:

Counts as Skulltaker WIP (1)
There was a reason for this, too: Ever since I first watched Duncan Rhodes’ very interesting two-part video series about painting the plastic Bloodthirster, I have wanted to try that recipe on a model of my own. And the Skulltaker conversion seemed like the perfect occasion to give it a try, both because I wanted the model’s skin to resemble that of Duncan’s Bloodthirster, and because I needed a model to serve as a “test run” to see if the recipe might work on my own Bloodthirster as well at some point in the indeterminate future.

So I faithfully reproduced almost the entire first video on my own model (albeit using far smaller brushes, for obvious reasons πŸ˜‰ ), and after a short while, I had this:

Skulltaker PIP (1)
The skin was mostly painted with several passes of drybrushing using different shades of red, rounding things off with a coat of the Bloodletter glaze and the application of some final highlights on the most prominent parts. I really loved the result and felt like I was definitely on to something here!

For the second half of the paintjob, I decided to deviate from Duncan’s tutorial: With the model’s skin looking fairly different from the red appearing in my World Eaters army, I decided I wanted to use the armour and weapon to create a bit of visual consistency, so I painted those areas using the same recipes for brass and daemon weapons that you can also see on my World Eaters. So only a short while later, the model looked like this:

Skulltaker PIP (4)

I was actually really happy with the result, and all that was left at this point was to add some finishing touches and to provide the models with a suitable base, so that’s what I did. Now under normal circumstances, IΒ  I am not a big fan of skull bases, but it did feel appropriate to use one, just this once πŸ˜‰

So here’s my first completed model for this year’s ETL, base and all: Calvarax the Exalted, my counts as Skulltaker (actually my first daemon of Khorne, strangely enough…):

Calvarax the Exalted, counts as Skulltaker (1)
Calvarax the Exalted, counts as Skulltaker (4)
Calvarax the Exalted, counts as Skulltaker (6)
Calvarax the Exalted, counts as Skulltaker (7)
Calvarax the Exalted, counts as Skulltaker (8)
Calvarax the Exalted, counts as Skulltaker (9)
Calvarax the Exalted, counts as Skulltaker (10)
Calvarax the Exalted, counts as Skulltaker (11)
Calvarax the Exalted, counts as Skulltaker (12)
Calvarax the Exalted, counts as Skulltaker (13)

And here’s a closer look at the (admittedly somewhat tacky) skull base:

Calvarax the Exalted, counts as Skulltaker (14)
Like I said, one thing that was important to me was that, although there would be a clear (and intentional) difference between the colours used on the daemon and the colours used on my World Eaters, the model would also feature enough visual touches to read as an ally to Khorne’s Eternal Hunt. And I think the sword and bronze part of the armour do a pretty good job with achieving that. Take a look:

Lorimar & Calvarax

I am really very happy with the model, to be honest! It may not look like it, but I really moved beyond my comfort zone with this piece, especially when it comes to the recipe for the skin! By the same token, I can only recommend you check out Duncan Rhodes’ video tutorials linked above, as it really provides a teriffic and very well-explained approach to painting Khornate daemons!

And with that, my first model for ETL V has been completed. Next up, that blasted Apothecary that I couldn’t seem to finish yet πŸ˜‰

Until then, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Calvarax the Exalted, counts as Skulltaker (3)