Archive for john blanche

Lord of the XII Legion – A Triptych, pt. 6

Posted in 30k, Conversions, Fluff, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2017 by krautscientist

Wait, what? We’re back to this guy again?

Indeed, another post focused on the XIIth Primarch, Angron Thal’Kr, The Conqueror, The Red Angel. So what’s up today?

You all know that building different versions of Angron was a pretty big part of my 2016 hobby life: I built and painted a version of Angron in his daemonic form, something I wouldn’t even have thought myself capable of a few years ago:

But I also went back to Angron’s past, converting a version of him inspired by this piece of artwork, probably showing the Primarch during his pitfighting days on Nuceria:

Butcher's Nails cover artwork
It turned out that one of the AoS Slaughterpriests of Khorne makes for a pretty convincing Angron, with a couple of tweaks:

angron-thalkr-lord-of-the-red-sands-11
So there was only one last planned model: The “official” Forgeworld Angron very kindly sent to me by Adam Wier. So just get that one painted and we’re done, eh?


Yes, well. It all ended up being a bit more complicated than that…

Here’s what happened: When White Dwarf was relaunched as a monthly magazine, the first issue came with a free Slaughterpriest — incidentally, the design I hadn’t used for my Angron conversion. And at the same time, I had also picked up the same version a bit earlier, when my beloved FLGS went under (still sore, you know).

So I ended up with a spare Slaughterpriest. And I started thinking. What if I were to build…just one more…?!

So yeah 😉

In order to come up with a model that wouldn’t just be a retread of the versions I already had, I thought it would be fun to base this next Angron on the pre-Forgeworld era artwork, such as the iconic illustration of Angron created by the late, great Wayne England for the Horus Heres Trading Card Game:

Angron by Wayne England

And, of course, on the similarly iconic illustration by John Blanche:

Angron by John Blanche

In the era before Angron actually had a dedicated Forgeworld model, there were a couple of elements that appeared in almost every piece of artwork. Most of these were later incorporated into Simon Egan’s model, but some fell by the wayside. Such as the two-handed axe with the ornamental wing and the three spikes crowing Angron’s collar. And of course there’s a certain, stylised and angular charm to Wayne England’s piece of artwork above that would be fun to reproduce.

So I started messing around with a couple of bitz, and I’ve actually already shown you the first attempt at this new model a while ago:


But while this guy already looked pretty cool, he didn’t actually read as Angron all that much — at least not in a way that moved beyond what was already present on the other versions in my possession. And since the model just didn’t come together for one reason or another, I just set him aside for a while.

Until I found myself playing around with some of the new plastic Custodian bitz last week, and suddenly it seemed like I might have the solution on my hands! So after some rigurous cutting, here’s what I ended up with:


Whoa, much better, wouldn’t you agree? Replacing the entire torso with that of a Custodian might seem like a rather radical approach, but it instantly moved the model a lot closer to the artwork that inspired it! And I was able to keep the versions of the previous version that already worked well enough — such as the arms and legs. And, of course, that brilliantly sculpted Slaughterpriest face (that just happens to instantly turn into Angron as soon as you add some cabling).

However, I wasn’t quite there yet: The Khorne icon on Angron’s belt buckle needed to be replaced, for fairly obvious reasons, and I also made some minor tweaks to the pose. Which led to this:




A Custodian tasset served as a pretty good replacement for the Khorne symbol and also recalled the aquila symbol appearing in the aertwork.

Almost there! I did feel the model needed a bit more presence at this point to really read as a Primarch, though. And the collar around Angron’s head wasn’t quite as prominent as in the artwork — it just turned out that fitting all that cabling in there made the entire ensemble a bit less striking than I had hoped:


Good thing, then, that the next addition was really a bit of a happy accident: I always knew that he’d be getting some kind of cape, so I fooled around with a couple of different options. And the solution arrived from the unlikeliest of places, i.e. the cape that comes with the Chaos Terminator Lord kit. With a bit of cutting and fitting, it ended up working very well, plus the cape also gave me the chance of incorporating those three spikes that are another staple of Angron in the classic artwork:





The cape also adds the right sense of bulk: I already liked the model well enough before, but it now has the massive, overmuscled look that sells it as a Primarch, if you ask me. Granted, some fine tuning may yet be in order, but I think I’m on the right track!

Time for a comparison with the other versions of (pre-ascension) Angron in my collection:



Regarding the size of the model, it must be noted that FW’s Angron is still quite a bit taller — he only doesn’t look like it because he’s posed at a very low crouch. But even so, I think the three of them look fairly good together.

So I only made one last addition to the model. Here’s what the latest version of Angron looks like right now:



I’ve added two leather straps to either side of Angron’s chest, in order to add an element resembling the straps appearing in Wayne England’s illustration. They also happen to camouflage the slightly hokey joints where the arms meet the torso. And, once again, they add some more oomph to the model and its stature.

The model is pretty much finished at this point, except for a finishing touch or two: I want Angron to be holding the same tangle of viscera he has in the artwork in his open left hand. And there needs to be something underneath the Primarch’s right foot. Incidentally, this also ties into the question of where my newest version of the XIIth Primarch fits into the timeline:

I see this version of Angron as a depiction of him about halfway through the Great Crusade, shortly before or during the event known as The Night of the Wolf (an event where the XII and VI Legions actually came to blows over Angron’s order of outfitting his legion with the Butcher’s Nails, thereby turning the legionaries into bloodthirsty madmen): There’s a throwaway line in Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s Betrayer about the first and greatest of Angron’s two-handed axes, Widowmaker, being broken and discarded at the end of that battle, so it would be fun to imagine my new version of Angron in that context.

Which is why there’ll probably be a suitably mangled Space Wolf underneath his foot — at least the XIII Legion is off the hook, for once… 😉

One last interesting detail about the model is how the shoulder pads (from MaxMini, I believe) were originally used as a mere stopgap solution, but I really rather like the way they look: They have a certain gladiatorial flair, plus the pteryges on the sides basically perfectly match the ones in the Wayne England illustration. And what’s more: Through sheeer coincidence (or maybe through intervention from the powers of the warp, who knows…) all three converted version of Angron I have built so far have ended up with shoulder pads that were originally sent to me by Augustus b’Raass as part of a bitz drop — that in itself would be enough reason to stick with those shoulder pads, wouldn’t you agree?

 

Anyway, I am pretty happy that the model has finally come together like that! And just when I thought I finally had all the Angrons I needed, I stumble upon this little gem the other day and almost find myself reaching for my AoS starter box sprues…damn!

Anyway, I would love to hear your feedback! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

The State of the Hunt — Week 44

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, state of the hunt, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2016 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, I’ll be at a conferece for most of the week, so this week’s post is basically a recap of things I am currently working on. Hopefully you’ll still appreciate the glimpse at my chaotic workshop 😉

I. Iron and mud

So first up, a small update regarding my ongoing work on my Call of Chaos vow: I already showed you a mostly completed Iron Warriors Apothecary directly after my recent vacation, but back then the model still needed a suitable base. And while I realise I have been taking my sweet time with this, I really wanted to make the base suitably interesting — I’ll let you be the judges as to whether or not I have suceeded with this.

So, without further ado, I give you Apothecary Phastos of the Iron Warriors:

apothecary-phastos-of-the-iron-warriors-1
apothecary-phastos-of-the-iron-warriors-2
apothecary-phastos-of-the-iron-warriors-4
apothecary-phastos-of-the-iron-warriors-3
Like I said, I wanted to include a little “special effect” on the base, both to support the model’s narrative and because I had pledged this guy as a “trophied” model for The Iron Without, a small Iron Warriors centered sub-event over at The Bolter & Chainsword’s Chaos forum.  So I placed a fallen Imperial Fist at Phastos’s feet, trampled into the mud underfoot:

apothecary-phastos-of-the-iron-warriors-6
What’s more, if you look really closely, you can see a telltale hole punched into the flex fitting covering the Astartes’ throat:

apothecary-phastos-of-the-iron-warriors-7
It’s where Phastos has just used his Narthecium gauntlet to extract his fallen loyalist cousin’s geneseed. After all, the Iron Warriors have been known to use other legions’ geneseed to create new legionaries — in fact, this little nugget of lore is the reason for having an apothecary as one of the character archetypes feature in my Killteam in the first place!

Beyond the aspect of adding to the model’s narrative, the base was also a chance of trying my hand at a new technique for the first time, because the Imperial Fist was created using a mold and some GS. Now I certainly don’t want to go crazy about copying huge amounts of stuff, but I thought it might be an interesting tool to make certain effects easier to achieve, and having a “standard” fallen Astartes template would have been pretty useful, plus I wanted the profile of the fallen Marine to be pretty flat without having to shave down 5mm of plastic. So here’s a quick comparison shot showing the “master” for the fallen Marine, the mold I made and the finished base:

iron-warriors-apothecary-base-wip-3
Unfortunately, the experiment was only partially a success, because the GS Marine ended up slightly warped and with softer details than I would have liked. Granted, my pathologic lack of patience might have had something to do with it as well. Anyway, I thought the poor guy was still good enough for a base — I had to pull off all kinds of tricks, however, to suggest depth where none existed.

All in all, I really like the finished model, though: It immediately reads as an Iron Warrior, and the cold and implacable feel of the model is arguably underlined even further by the tiny amount of bare skin visible on Phastos’ face. Plus I like the sinister implications of an Iron Warriors’ Apothecary harvesting the geneseed of the legion’s fallen enemies…

apothecary-phastos-of-the-iron-warriors-5
So regarding my Call of Chaos vow, this means two down, three to go 😉
I didn’t stop there, however, but made some time to rebase the other two power armoured Iron Warriors I had built and painted last year:

rebased-iron-warriors
I briefly considered leaving the guy on the left on his original base, seeing how he was just an early tester and will never be anything more, but in the end, it was only one more base, and I did go through the trouble of touching up the hazard stripes and decals on him when I painted the first “new” Iron Warriors last year, so it would have felt kinda wishy-washy to stop there 😉

The champ really profits from the added breathing space, though:

iron-warriors-champion-1
iron-warriors-champion-4
iron-warriors-champion-2
iron-warriors-champion-3
The whole business of rebasing these guys also led to the discovery of a very effective and quick recipe for duing muddy bases: Just cover the base in Vallejo’s Sandy Paste for a cery convincing surface texture, spraypaint with Chaos Black (once the paste has dried), cover with an even coat of Vallejo Charred Brown (or any suitably brackish colour you like, really) and finish the base by coating it in gloss varnish — done!

While I was at it, I also snapped some new pictures of Warsmith Greimolt Sturm:

warsmith-greimolt-sturm-of-the-iron-warriors-1
warsmith-greimolt-sturm-of-the-iron-warriors-2
warsmith-greimolt-sturm-of-the-iron-warriors-3

So yeah, that’s the whole (albeit small) IV Legion collection I own so far:

iron-warriors-killteam-wip-5

II. What’s in a name…?

Some of you probably still remember the models I painted for the ETL V event earlier this year: Among those models was a converted Kastelan Robot turned into an engine of destruction by the 4th assault company’s Master of the Forge, Lord Deracin.

However, back when I painted the model, I did not yet have a detailed idea about its possible background, and the poor guy didn’t even have a name. Thanks to the suggestions of my readers, however, this sad state of affairs is now at an end: Thanks to the suggestion of Llamahead, the converted Kastelan henceforth belongs to the “Confractura-pattern”. Now my Latin has grown a bit rusty, but I understand Confractura means “Breach” — which seems like a rather apt designation, given the fact that the robot is wielding a massive hammer 😉

But wait, there’s more: Thanks to an exchange of ideas, the machine also has an excellent little background vignette telling its story, courtesy of fellow hobbyist Inquisitor Mikhailovich (cheers, buddy!). Enjoy:

Khornate Kastelan conversion (11)
Brazenskull, “The Crimson Destroyer”, Confractura-pattern battle Automaton

Monger had been proud of the weapon.

The fact that the task of restoring such an ancient and powerful relic had been entrusted to him was, in his mind, a higher honour than even his elevation to the Deathwatch had been. If anything exceeded his elation at receiving the task, it had been his pride at his success.

Monger knew that becoming an Astartes, for all the honour it represented, was to be denied many of the emotions experienced by mortal humans, and yet when the machine finally woke from its eons long slumber for the first time, when it took its first halting steps after millennia of inaction, his joy was not entirely unlike what a proud parent might feel. And when its updated combat protocols first outclassed those of the combat servitors he tested it against, his was not only the pride of a tutor, but also the terrifying satisfaction that only an engineer of death could feel.

When it took to the battlefield for the first time, he felt a mix of all those emotions, as the child of his mind shredded Tyranic opponents for the first time on the plains of Ter’notha. On Veldictus it proved its worth when it routed the Cleansers of Ladon renegade Astartes in less than three days, tirelessly and furiously forcing them into retreat. When it finally fell against the monstrous World Eaters and could not be recovered, it had been mourned as a brother.

Now, however, the Tech-Marine felt an odd mixture of pride and, utter disgust. His machine had survived, exactly as he had planned it to. He recognised its reactions, its movements and attacks, even if its outer form had been terribly warped: Something had corrupted its noble adamantine shell. Like the Prodigal Son of legend, it had turned against its father.

The Marine braced himself as the machine charged him, sheathing his weapons and slaving his Servo-Arms to his mostly biological ones for enhanced speed. He barked curt orders to the Marines behind him – Wrecker, Pyro, Bookworm, and Archangel – his usual fiery voice replaced with the cold, hard steel one would expect from an agent of the Omnissiah. They obediently fanned out, retreating ever so slightly.

Monger met his creation head on, clamping his mag-boot and bionic foot to the Necrontyr living metal beneath him. With flawless timing he clamped the rampaging machine’s powerfist in one Servo-Arm, its new and unrecognisable hammer arm in the other.

Like a giant contesting a god, he forced it to slow its charge.

He adjusted his grip so as to crush the smaller and more vulnerable wrist of its right hand, forcing it to drop the hammer.

“I would know how to bring you down better than anyone. Next time, don’t be so foolish as to attack me,” he spat, angrily, before calling into the Vox, “Wrecker! I need you and Archangel to coordinate a volley on the head, explosive shells, plasma discharge oh-point-six seconds ahead of frag cannon fire, three rounds, fourth with armour penetrating rounds. Pyro, disable the powerfist with your melta, Bookworm, try and knock out the leg servos. Fire!”

The squad’s weaponry was in motion before he’d even finished delivering the command.

The automaton’s head jerked to one side and Monger’s optics flared, trying desperately to make visual sense of the fireworks display happening less than two metres away. His right arm and slaved Servo-Arm slipped forward as the weapon they had clutched was expertly disintegrated from between its servo driven claws, and the machine fell to one knee, then both, held up by the one Servo-Arm that still gripped it.

Monger deactivated his direct control over the right Servo-Arm, returning it to a storage position, and drew his relic combi-melta. Without a word, he placed the barrel against the shattered remains of the machine’s featureless faceplate, and pulled the trigger, obliterating its entire head. Then he relinquished his grip entirely, letting the broken automaton fall to the ground.

He turned to his squad and silently gestured for them to move out before returning to the machine. He rolled it over onto its back and, pressing one hand to its chest, uttered a prayer, commending its machine spirits to the Omnissiah.

Then, without another backwards glance, he followed his squad. There were wars to be fought, and this was no longer one of them.

 

***

Huntmaster Deracin dropped to one knee with a snarl of servo-joints and the clinking sound of chains, taking in the mechanical corpse of the Crimson Destroyer before him, as the robed Forge Adepts scurried around him, beginning to search the scrap metal for salvageable components.
This was the work of a Tech-Marine. The damage to the right arm showed marks that could only have been left by a Servo-Arm, so that much was obvious. The head and left arm had been shorn off cleanly, obviously by a melta weapon, and the small craters at the knees were evidence of precision bolter fire, no doubt.

What little remained of Deracin’s organic features drew into a smile, even as his augmetic eye surveyed the destruction, a cold and detached part of his mind already taking stock of the damage and plotting out the necessary repairs. The Loyalists were always so hasty to pronounce a machine dead. But no, this one’s hunt was far from over.

One of Deracin’s clawed servo-arms brought the automaton’s cracked faceplate in front of his face, and his smile turned into a wolfish grin. This is where he would start. The test runs so far had been promising, but the conversion process would only be truly completed once the machine was granted a new face, in honour of its new master. He would craft a new visage for it, one that would remind the Loyalists that he was not so easily bested.

A face in the image of death itself.

 

III. Ooops, I did it again…

Before I wind up this post, allow me to share one last sneak peek at the latest conversion I am working on: This last weekend, I felt the need to build something, and I still had that free Slaughterpriest from WD knocking about, so this happened:

wayne-england-version-angron-early-wip-1
wayne-england-version-angron-early-wip-2
wayne-england-version-angron-early-wip-3
As some of you may already suspect, this will become yet another homemade version of Angron — whatever obsession with the Lord of the XII legion fellow hobbyist Reg is suffering from, I seem to have been infected with it as well!

Anyway, I am going for a model inspired by this piece of artwork from the late, great Wayne England:

Angron by Wayne England

Angron by Wayne England

Since I already have the stock Forgeworld model wielding Gorefather and Gorechild, it made sense to go for a version with the two-handed axe that appears so often in the classic artwork, such as the one shown above, but also in what is probably the oldes sketch showing Angron by none other than the legendary John Blanche:

Angron by John Blanche

Angron by John Blanche

The “winged” axe is also a part of my Daemon-Primarch version of Angron, as you will probably remember, so this should make for a nice visual shout out.

The model is still a very, very early WIP at this point, however, so it’ll be a while before we can consider this chap finished. But in any case, it seems like my series on building various incarnations of Angron will have to turn into a “quadtych”, after all — is that even a word…?

 

So yeah, I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s look at my desk! I would of course love to hear any feedback you may have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Inquisitor 28: Back in business!

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2015 by krautscientist

You are probably aware of the fact that this will turn out to be a rather Khornate month, all things considered 😉 But all in good time: Before the realm of blood and brass inevitably engulfs us all, let me take the chance to address the wonderful world of INQ28 once more:

As you probably remember, one of my most important hobby-related new year’s resolutions was to be more productive when it comes to creating shadowy and/or eclectic INQ28 characters. And so far, I am happy to say that I have managed to keep this promise. So I’ll be showing you some new INQ28 characters and conversions in the very near future! Yay!

For starters, let’s focus on some of the things that have managed to renew my passion for actually finishing INQ28 models. While some of the work has been my own, I was also happy enough to receive some wonderful motivational help from fellow hobbyists. So let’s take a look:

 

I. A Traveler From the Warp…

One event that made me particularly happy last year was when Ron Saikowski got in touch with me late last autumn. For those of you who don’t know Ron (and shame on you, if you don’t!): He used to run an absolutely excellent hobby site called From the Warp, a very prolific resource for excellent hobby advice, and a site that was very important for me when I got back into the hobby in 2010, after a longer hiatus.

Ron unfortunately no longer updates the site — but it’s still there! And you should definitely check it out, if you haven’t already — it’s every bit as excellent as it was a couple of years ago! Anyway, I was still very happy to hear from him — even moreso because he had discovered my love letter to his hobby work. Anyway, to make a long story short, Ron is still in the hobby, and I think that alone is an excellent thing!

Things became really awesome, however, when we talked about an old model of Ron’s that I really love: An Imperial mystic he converted and painted. The model has a very grimdark, Blanchian look, which was probably the main reason why I liked it so much. Now imagine my surprise when Ron simply suggested sending it to me as a gift! And he did! Take a look:

Model converted and painted by Ron Saikowski

Model converted and painted by Ron Saikowski

 

Model converted and painted by Ron Saikowski

Model converted and painted by Ron Saikowski

 

Model converted and painted by Ron Saikowski

Model converted and painted by Ron Saikowski

A wonderfully evocative piece or work! And it’s now mine! MUHAHAHA…erm, sorry –got a bit carried away there. Anyway, I am really happy to have come into the possession of a great model like this, created by one of my favourite hobbyists, no less! What makes this even better, though, is that the model’s Blanchian feel is no coincidence: The character was actually based on a piece of artwork depicting an Astropath by none other than John Blanche. Take a look:

Insignium p1-10:-

Artwork by John Blanche

I think this actually further enriches an already great model! I also think that Ron has really managed to capture the mood of the original illustration. Oh, and for those of you who want to learn more about the model’s creation, I recommend you check out Ron’s original post on the matter here on From the Warp.

It goes without saying that I am really, really grateful to Ron for this amazing gift! The Astropath, named Skorin Saikov in Ron’s honour, will be a treasured part of my collection, and certainly an interesting character for all INQ28 related adventures in the Velsen Sector…

 

 

II. Presents from Down Under(hive)

Believe it or not: Ron wasn’t the only person to be so very generous, either: Fellow hobbyist Drone 21c, owner of one of the most beautiful and Blanchian Inquisitor warbands I have seen so far (make sure to check it out here), was also awesome enough to send me some wonderful stuff last autumn — all the way from Australia, no less!

Everything started with this handsome gentleman:

RT era IG soldier (1)
Yes, that’s right: A Rogue Trader era plastic Imperial Guardsmen. I discovered this model when Drone21c posted a wonderfully painted version of it on his blog, and I was shameless enough to ask whether he would send one over to me.

He actually sent two of them, if you can believe it! And I have to admit that I actually spread the love and gave one of the models to the owner of my FLGS: He’s a great guy and provides excellent service, and he is also a huge IG nut, so it felt like the right thing to do. That said, I made him promise he would paint the model, to be presented here on this blog, so we may look forward to seeing it at some point in the future.

But as if that wasn’t enough enough, Drone 21c also included some more amazing stuff: Some wonderfully converted and individualised heads for my conversion projects, some of which you can see here:

Heads converted by Drone 21c

Heads converted by Drone 21c

With the exception of the head on the right (which, I believe, is a Perry Miniatures bit), each of these heads has been expertly converted and customised with sculpted elements — if anything, I am actually scared of using them up for “standard” conversions (that said, I do have a cunning plan regarding the flagellant head with the dapper hairdo — watch this space).

And even that was not enough: No, Drone 21c also included a copy of a model he had sculpted himself, — possibly the star of the show:

model sculpted by Dorne 21c

model sculpted by Drone 21c

You can see better pictures of the original model over on his blog, but the amazing thing is that the model was very obviously based on an iconic John Blanche sketch from the 40k 2nd edition Codex Imperialis:

illustration by John Blanche

illustrazion by John Blanche

I finally started painting the model this past Sunday. Take a look:

Model sculpted by Drone 21c

Model sculpted by Drone 21c

 

Model sculpted by Drone 21c

Model sculpted by Drone 21c

 

Model sculpted by Drone 21c

Model sculpted by Drone 21c

 

Model sculpted by Drone 21c

Model sculpted by Drone 21c

The model was originally envisioned as some kind of Imperial dignitary (or even governor), but I think he’ll also make for an excellent High-officiant, Arch-Deacon or even Cardinal of the Velsen Ecclesiarchy, once he’s done.

Only now that I have painted the model can I appreciate all the fine detail that Drone 21c has managed to create, like the small aquila clasp on the model’s shoulder, the cabling on the back of the head or the lined face — the latter one is a particular achievement, if you ask me. Excellent stuff!

You will probably have noticed that the model doesn’t have a finished base yet. I think this could conceivably become a little project of its own, because I feel the model would look great with a lectern, a pulpit, or even riding atop some kind of walking servitor-shrine or hideous, vat grown monstrosity — we shall see…;)

In any case, thanks again to Drone21c for letting me have this amazing model! In fact, the most humbling thing about this entire affair is that I have yet to send something back over the great pond! But I have been collecting suitable bitz for the last months, and it won’t be long now until I can finally repay this kindness — if it can be repaid at all, that is!

 

III: An officer and a gentleman

And finally, yet another thing I want to share with you, but one that doesn’t owe anything to other people’s generosity (for once…). Still, this project really made me get my arse in gear on the INQ28 front. So, what is this about?

You may remember this Inquisitor/Interrogator I converted from the plastic commissar. I posted him quite a while ago…

Gunslinger Inq WIP (11)
But you know what? I actually wasn’t really happy with the guy before, there was just something off about him for some reason. He seemed kinda pompous and ineffectual, for lack of a better word: More like an NPC than an actual character. A foppish military type without much character to speak of.

Back when I built him, I tried a different pair of legs (from the Eisenkern Stormtroopers), which seemed promising…

Gunslinger Inq WIP (10)
…but wasn’t quite there, either. But a while ago, due to a spontaneous moment of inspiration, I tried replacing his original legs with a pair of legs from the Tempestus Scions, and I think this changes the overall look of the model rather drastically. Take a look:

Brynn Yulner WIP (1)
Brynn Yulner WIP (2)
I think he looks quite a bit more formidable and dynamic this way, wouldn’t you agree? Less like an arrogant officer type, and more like a desperado who knows his way around the underhive, even though he’s wearing such a dapper uniform.

The new legs really add some dynamism and agency to the model. And even though he may seem a bit squat now (mostly because he’s leaning into the shot), I think it’s far preferable to the previous version!

However, the new legs prompted some additional changes to the model: I may have spent a long time splicing together that Xenos pistol, but it really no longer suited the character all that well, as PDH rightly pointed out — funny how that will happen sometimes, isn’t it?

So I went for twin autopistols instead:

Brynn Yulner WIP (4)
Much better! But there was one last thing that bothered me, and Bruticus really nailed it: What’s the deal with that chain running from the model’s lapel to the pistol grip?

The longer I kept looking at it, the more nonsensical it seemed. So it had to go! I carefully cut it off and replaced it with an oath paper, affixed to the model’s lapel:

Brynn Yulner WIP (6)
Excellent! And with that, the model was basically ready for painting — at long last! 😉

I really didn’t want to mess this up, and I wanted to go for a mix of a military, regimented look, with a dash of ostentatiousness. Here’s what I came up with, after a while:

Interrogator Brynn Yulner (2)
Interrogator Brynn Yulner (1)
Interrogator Brynn Yulner (3)
It may not look like it, but this paintjob was actually quite a ways outside of my comfort zone: The colour of his coat, for instance was a bit of an experiment for me. That said, I am truly happy with how the model has turned out, and my success with this character has inspired me to go and paint some additional INQ28 models — just you wait and see!

Fairly atypically for me, however, I have not yet completely worked out the background for this model: The change in the conversion and subsequent painting happened so quickly that I basically let myself be carried along by the tide. However, the first ideas are slowly congealing into something resembling a character background:

I think the character should have a pronounced Imperial Guard background: Maybe he was a member of the prestigious Bastold Oathblades, until a momentous event cost him his arm and left eye? Maybe the same event also lead to him being requisitioned as a retainer (and ultimately, Interrogator) by one Inquisitor Marius Solland (we’ll be hearing from him in a future post). I think having an Inquisitor of the Ordo Militum, concerning itself with supervising the Imperium’s military, would be a nice change, after all the Malleus and Hereticus nutjobs 😉

And there are also the small touches on the model itself that could possibly tell small stories: Somebody over at the Ammobunker pointed out the very clunky bionics on the Interrogator’s face: But maybe there’s a story there? If you look closely, you can see that some cabling feeds from the bulky, optical implants into the power pack on the model’s back and into the bionic arm from there — maybe he consciously chose the somewhat clunky implant to gain a battlefield advantage?

Anyway, I am still very open to suggestions and ideas as to the character’s background, so feel free to share any ideas you might have! Only one thing is already set in stone: the character’s name. After some lenghty conversations with fellow hobbyist DexterKong, we came up with the name Brynn Yulner for this Interrogator — a cookie to anyone who gets the joke 😉

 

So yeah, as you can see, I am back in business when it comes to INQ28! I would love to hear any feedback you might have — rest assured that we will be seeing more shady characters around here very soon!

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

A day in the limelight…

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2014 by krautscientist

Whoa, what a day: Imagine my utter amazement as I browsed through the latest issue of Warhammer:Visions today, only to turn the page and see this:

Blanchitsu
Seems like my dear Legion is really going places, eh? Anyway, it probably won’t come as a surprise to you that being featured in an official GW publication – and in Blanchitsu, no less – is really a hobby dream come true for me! And the whole story of Legion has been one chain of awesome moments, ever since PDH was nice enough to get me involved! Read all about our favourite AdMech monstrosity here, in case you’re not yet in the know.

Anyway, a huge, huge thank you to John Blanche for featuring my model in his wonderful column! And to Peter, of course, without whom none of this would have happened! This is so amazing! I might as well quit the hobby now, because I’m not sure how exactly I will ever surpass this…NUTS!

liebster_logo

In other news, two people nominated me for a Liebster Award on the same day: Thanks a lot to Henry South and Jimmy Grill!

In case you’re not familiar with the Liebster Award, it’s basically a friendly kind of Ponzi Scheme, with the single goal of giving readers the opportunity to discover new and interesting blogs. So not only am I happy to receive this nomination, but I’ll also happily help to spread the word:

As per the rules of the award, I am required to…

  • tell you eleven truths about me
  • answer eleven questions posed by the person who nominated my blog
  • nominate eleven blogs for a Liebster Award
  • pose eleven questions of my own, to be answered by my eleven nominees

So, without further ado, here we go:

Eleven Truths:

1. I am supremely lazy, which often proves to be a challenge in this hobby, especially while painting, and also unbelievably impatient when working on models, which has ruined more than one pretty cool paintjob or conversion, because I just couldn’t wait until everything was dry.

2. The GW kit I have purchased the most often is the plastic Chaos Lord in Terminator armour: I could always build another one of these.

3. My “grownup” reasons for picking up blogging were to teach myself stuff about blogging software and to keep practicing my English: Both missions accomplished, I suppose 😉

4. Fairly surprisingly for a devout follower of Khorne, I am not into Heavy Metal.

5. I still believe that the Police are the greatest band on the planet!

6. I love everything written by Neil Gaiman

7. If you try to interest me in a new tabletop game, make sure I am excited by the actual models: I am terrible with rules and forget them as quickly as I learn them, so the models have to be awesome enough to capture my interest.

8. I am a huge videogame nerd and have a pretty big collection of game systems.

9. Believe it or not, I have never been to an English speaking country – although I plan on remedying that sooner rather than later.

10. I love being complimented on my models (who doesn’t?), and I will sometimes feel awful when a model I am extremely proud of doesn’t get a lot of feedback online.

11. I am not actually a scientist 😉

 

Eleven blogs:

Since I know that several of my favourite blogs have already received a Liebster Award, they will be missing from the following list. That said, these eleven blogs are amazing and definitely deserve more traffic. So, in no particular order…:

1. Le blog dè Kouzes:  some of the most stunning kitbashes and paintjobs you will ever see. Definitely worth learning French for 😉

2. Die Würfelwiese: the blog of an extremely talented, fellow German hobbyist. Just check out his magnificent Tallarns!

3. K.M.B. Some of the best World Eaters kitbashes and conversions on the net. I just wish AMaximus would update more often…

4. Beneath the Mire: Great content from a group of bloggers, especially noteworthy for Drone21c’s wonderful INQ28 models.

5. CerxiS World: Another fellow German’s blog, and some of the best Alpha Legion models and miniature photography you’ll ever see!

6. Thenickeninja’s blog: Amazing Blood Bowl conversions and the best underhive terrain in existence, period.

7. Miniature Tim: A very talented and friendly artist, and a pleasantly levelheaded and costructive take on our favourite hobby.

8. Tarvick the Artisan: wonderful conversions and inspiring paintjobs — what’s not to like?

9. Ex Profundis: Wonderfully creepy stuff by Bruticus and meade, masters of the bizarre. Dark Mechanicus craziness galore!

10. Eldritch Epistles: A wonderful look at models from the olden days. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

11. Mordian 7th: One of the most productive hobbyists you’ll ever see: The pace at which Mordian7th finishes great armies has to be seen to be believed!

Eleven answers…

…although, seeing how two people nominated me on the same day, I think it’s only fair to answer both sets of questions. Plus I love interview-ish stuff like this, since it makes me feel like a true rock star 😉 So here goes:

Eleven Answers (questions by Henry South):

1) Your most satisfying moment while painting.

Quite a while ago, I started following an approach for quickly achiving great results while painting as laid down by Steve Buddle : Paint the base colours, then generously apply washes, then go away and let them dry, then come back to the model and apply any highlights and details you want. This seems common sense now, but back then, it looked like witchcraft to me. Anyway, after applying all the base colours, the model looked so terrible that I could have screamed. Then I slapped on the washes, already considering the model a lost cause. When I returned to it after a few hours, I found the model completely transformed by the washes, which gave me a huge kick and really changed my approach to painting: I’ve been using that technique ever since (although I still feel terrible right before the washes come out 😉 ).

2) Your worst painting disaster.

Saving up a lot of allowance money during my youth in order to be able to buy a Dark Eldar Raider, then finding out I hated painting it and ending up with a paintjob that was less than exciting – scared me away from painting vehicles for more than a decade, I suppose.
3) Can you “cheat” while painting. And is it wrong if you can?

Hmm, I guess you can cheat by only painting areas that will be clearly visible on the finished model and leave the hard to see parts mostly untouched, by that doesn’t work for me because I will always know that when I look at the model 😉 The other possible kind of “cheating” is to use shortcuts and easy recipes for creating reasonably good versions of effects that would need many, many working steps otherwise, but that’s not really cheating and I’m doing it all the time 😉
Oh, and you can of course try to make your models look even better by taking really good photos of them, but again, that’s what you should be doing anyway, so can this really be considered cheating in the first place.

4) The one tip you would tell yourself when you started painting

Don’t try to slavishly follow the ‘Eavy Metal approach to painting: You’ll never be able to paint like that anyway – at least not at first. Find a technique that you’re comfortable with and go for a nice, clean paintjob. All else must follow. Don’t try to force it!

5) How do you get over your painting block?

– by stepping away from the model I am working on for a while, returning with a fresh perspective later
– by painting something completely different from what I am currently working on
– by painting something that I know will be fun (followers of Nurgle usually work like a charm)
– by looking at other people’s inspiring stuff until I get that itch for painting again

6) Pub garden or trendy winebar?

Pub Garden all the way. But then, I am not a great wine aficionado anyway, so yeah…

7) Which Chaos god would you sell your soul to?

Khorne. Definitely Khorne. My soul belongs to him ever since I painted my first chaos warrior, so it would have to be him. I am probably the least aggressive and brutal person you will ever meet, and I would likely suck in a fight, but there’s always the reassuring knowledge that Khorne cares not from whence the blood flows, only that it flows.

8) Who do you blame for getting you into miniture painting?

Hmm, I suppose it was a combination of my fascination with the painted models on the back of the HeroQuest mission booklet and the gentle urgings of a childhood friend who had already started to paint his own HeroQuest models (using terrible enamel colours and markers, no less).

9) What hobby would you be doing if you didn’t do this?

Hmm, I think I am somehow juggling all the nerd hobbies that interest me (videogames, RPGs, tabletop wargaming) at the same time, so I suppose this hobby doesn’t prevent me from any other hobby. Maybe if I wasn’t spending so much time cutting up little plastic men, I’d be free to do something grownup like learning another language or finding a cure for cancer, though. We might never find out 😉

10) Chocolate or jellybeans?

Tough call. Though I really like jellybeans, I’ll have to say chocolate, though, because it forms the base for so many awesome things. Why does it have to be one or the other again?

11) What do you listen to while painting?

I usually have my ITunes on shuffle while painting, since I have a fairly extensive musical collection. That said, chances are there’ll be something indy rock-ish in the playlist, with the odd, tacky 80s pop number thrown in for variety 😉

 

Eleven Answers (questions by Jimmy Grill)

1) If you could wish for one thing except more wishes, what would that be?

Robust health for me and those close to me, I suppose, because health is so very important for our lives, but something we all tend to take for granted until it’s no longer there.

2) What was the first miniature you painted?

A HeroQuest Zombie: I gave him bright blue skin and bright yellow eyes…and then stopped painting because it looked utterly ridiculous. Still have that model lying around somewhere, come to think of it…

3) What was the best miniature released last year?

Hmm, I’ll have to say the Lord of Skulls: I realise many people hate it, but it really blew me away and I think it really pushed the envelope and paved the way for a number of really impressive releases (the Imperial Knight, for example).

 4) What was the latest movie you watched in the cinema?

Huh, the second Hobbit film, I believe. It has been ages since I went to the cinema – and I didn’t even think it was that good a film either – too much CGI and silly acrobatics, even for my taste.

5) Would you rather die now or live forever?

Both seem like pretty bleak prospects, when you think about it. Can’t choose one, they are both horrible 😉

6) Whom do you consider the worse geek, yourself or the hobbyists around you?

Aha, that’s a bit of a Catch 22 there, isn’t it? Of course I could easily name people who are worse geeks than me, but then, is there anything geekier than taking comfort in the fact that others are worse geeks? 😉

7) The discontinued GW game you wish GW would bring back the most?

Hmm, this would be a neck and neck between Necromunda, Mordheim and Inquisitor. Each of these would be brilliant, especially with new models. All things considered, I’d have to say Inquisitor, though: at the 28mm scale, please 😉

8) How many DVDs would the internet take up if you removed all the porn?

Loads. Don’t forget all the Lolcat videos and borderline retarded selfies, though! It’s not all porn, you know 😉

9) In how many years will tabletop miniatures be 3d holograms?

Hopefully never:  Where’s the fun and artistry in using 3d holograms? I like obsessing over little plastic figures far too much to find such a prospect interesting.

10) If John Blanche and H.R. Giger had a child together, what would it look like?

Like something not even a mother could love. I am guessing lots of nipples, augmetic implants and a dashing renaissance costume.

11) I accidently the box. Is this bad?

I don’t understand the question, so I guess it might be…

 

And finally, eleven questions for my nominees:

1) Warhammer 40k or Warhammer Fantasy Battles? And why?

2) Who’s your favourite miniature sculptor?

3) What’s your best hint for painting (“Thin your paints!” doesn’t count!)

4) Who’s your favourite author?

5) What’s your favourite Traitor Legion?

6) Which Ordo of the Inquisition would you belong to?

7) Which army would you never start and why?

8) Which is the most important part of the hobby for you?

9) Your favourite band or musician?

10) Which is the most spectacular conversion/kitbash you would like to do, provided you had the bitz?

11) What was the best moment in your hobby life?

 

So yeah, what a day! Make sure to check out the blogs I nominated! Have a great weekend! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

 

Meanwhile, aboard the Arrke… pt.2

Posted in 40k, Battle report, Conversions, Inq28, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2013 by krautscientist

It’s been almost a week since the last game set aboard the Arrke, and a huge cache of delicious information about the event has since turned up on the net. So like I promised, let’s take another look at this strange and demented world, and let me finally show you my dear Legion in action:

I’ll be honest with you: After having sent the model to England, I was of course dying to know how it would all play out: Would Legion fit the overall aesthetics of the game? Would he blend in well with Neil’s fantastic board? Would John Blanche and all those other talented guys like the model?

And then I checked my e-mail account on Saturday, to discover that none other than John Blanche himself had sent me a snapshot of Legion in action:

Legion at home (1)

Look at you, Hacker! …no, wait, wrong game!

I really couldn’t have been any happier! And I am only a little ashamed to admit that I spent quite a while during that afternoon repeatedly pressing F5, in order to see whether there were any news from the Arrke. And, indeed, John was good enough to send me multiple pictures during the game. Thanks so much, JB!

By all accounts, it must have been a fantastic event! And now that lots and lots of pictures from the event have started turning up, everybody can see the glory of it all: The amount of crazy modelling and painting talent on display was stupenduous. And what’s more, PDH somehow managed to weave it all into one game and one narrative, even though it must have been a pretty busy afternoon aboard the Arrke.

Anyway, let’s take a look at some more photos of our favourite insane AdMech monstrosity, shall we? All of the following pictures were very kindly provided by Neil101, by the way.

Legion at home (2)

Legion emerging from the Arrke’s dark nooks and crannies. Check out that fantastic, flaking paint on the wall in the background!

Legion at home (8)

Some time later, Legion is gazing across the derelict and rusty halls of the Myth Shippe from a lofty vantage point.

Legion at home (5)

And finally, having arrived at the banks of the vile Sump, Legion casts a contemplative glance across the frothing waters — awfully introspective for a biomechanic monstrosity, isn’t he?

Legion at home (6)

I really love how the Cult of the True Journey’s sniper seems to be drawing a bead on Legion in this picture

And finally, what has to be my favourite picture of Legion to date, taken by Fulgrim:

Legion at home (7)
As you can see, Legion does indeed look like he’s emerging from the very underbelly of the Arrke itself. I am very pleased that I managed to achieve that!

So what about all the other amazing models? Though I would like dearly to post them, I won’t do that. Not in order to keep all the glory for myself, mind you: I think you should really head over to the other guys’ respective blogs to check out what they have to say about their marvelous creations! And don’t fret, I’ll provide a handy list of links for your perusal. You ABSOLUTELY need to check out this stuff! Seriously!

To begin, Fulgrim has started a brilliant writeup of the event, introducing all the different gangs and walking us through the narrative (with lots of pretty pictures):

Arrke retour

Part I
Part II
Part III

I imagine the series will be running for the rest of the week. And I, for one, can’t wait to read more of this stuff!

 

Then there’s JRN’s Sump Huntress Hanin. A class act, as usual!

 

The Spiky Rat Pack don’t disappoint either, with Kari posting his brilliant Stryderre, complete with sinister poetry, and Mikko’s Living Coffin following hot on his heels.

 

And finally, be sure to check out PDH’s Yggdrassillium threads at Dakka and the Ammobunker. Again, lots of pretty pictures and well deserved awe.

And while you’re there, don’t forget leaving a nice word or two for PDH himself: It only becomes clear now what a spectacular job he has managed to pull off with this: Models from several countries, lots and lots of characters, and he even had to GM the whole thing. The mind boggles!

 

So, once again, a million thank yous to everyone involved! It’s been a pleasure, and I have certainly never had so much fun with an event without even being present 😉

To wind up this post, just because I can, let me share a picture of Neil’s spectacular Arrke board:

Legion at home (4)
The only question is: How are we ever going to surpass this? 😉

In any case, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Meanwhile, aboard the Arrke…

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, paintjob, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2013 by krautscientist

I’ve stated before that interacting with other hobbyists in general and blogging in particular can offer many exciting hobby opportunities. Today, I would like to show you one particular project that only happened because of the exchange between various bloggers and hobbyists. It’s also one of the most exciting hobby opportunities I have ever had, but all in good time. Now, what is this about?

If you frequent the same, dark corners of the 40k blogosphere as me, you may have heard of the Arrke and the Yggdrasillium Pilgrimage (unnervingly, never to be spelled quite the same way twice 😉 ) — and if you haven’t, let me give you the gist of it: Some time ago, a group of players including, among others, PDH, Neil101, Fulgrim and none other than John Blanche himself, started playing a series of games set on the “Arrke”, a huge, derelict fusion of countless vessels drifting through space. This huge space hulk is home to many demented and strange people and creatures, yet it is also so ancient and so enormous that most of its denizens have forgotten that they are actually living on a spacefaring vessel in the first place: What remains of their original respective cultures and backgrounds has become as warped as their bodies and minds, and the ship itself has become a world unto itself, encompassing both a strange and unforgiving ecosystem as well as a sinister and unique society. The initial idea for this vessel came from John Blanche, and all of the events play out on the breathtaking “Yggdrasilium” table built by Neil101. I’d love to link you to Neil’s blog to give you a chance to learn more about this fantastic adventurescape, but alas, he has decided to delete it. You still can (and definitely should) check out his Dakka thread on the subject, though, along with Fulgrim’s blog and PDH’s thread, describing the gang of chaos misfits he built for the games aboard the Arrke.

Anyway, I learned of these games and the strange world they were set in through the various threads and blogs linked above, and I was fascinated by the whole project: These guys were basically using tweaked Necromunda rules for their games, yet they had come up with something entirely unique on both the narrative and modelling/painting side of things. So I gobbled up all that I could learn about the Arrke and its denizens and kept marveling at the sinister brilliance of it all.

Now, imagine my surprise when PDH contacted my with a very special proposal: He suggested that a couple of hobbyists (PDH himself, Tears of Envy, Migsula, Jakob Rune Nielsen, First Points of Aries, Kari and Mikko from Spiky Rat Pack and me) should each build and paint a character to be used in the next game set aboard the Arrke. We could come up with whatever character we wanted, provided it fit into the setting. And all of the models would be given to John Blanche as a gift after the game.

I think it’s quite obvious by now why an offer like that would have me very ecxited indeed.

Anyway, I was really honoured that PDH would include me in this, and I was quick to accept. The next days were spent pondering what kind of model I wanted to contribute. And I quickly realised that I wanted to do some kind of Adeptus Mechanicus character, or, at least, creature. And, given the background, the character would have to be really creepy and sinister. That was quite a challenge, because members of the Machine Cult can be scary enough on their best days, but I was gunning for something even more disturbing…

So I asked myself: Why would a priest of the Ommissiah board the Arrke in the first place? And what could go wrong if he did? Drawing inspiration from all kinds of sources, ranging from everything ever done by David Lynch to videogames like System Shock 2 and Bioshock and to the decidedly lowbrow, yet horribly visceral horror film Virus, I came up with the concept of a band of Adeptus Mechanicus explorators, boarding the Arrke in search of lost technology and being transformed into something …else.

And thus, Legion was born.

Here’s my initial concept for the character:

 

The creature known to the denizens of the Arrke as “Legion” is what remains of an enterprising group of Explorator Magi, sent out by the Tech Priests of Mars. The Magi were sure that the ancient vessel would house an unfathomable cache of lost technology and miracles from the Dark Age of Technology. They were right in this, yet the price for such knowledge would turn out to be far greater than they had envisioned.

A team of explorators, accompanied by their Skitarii retinue, came aboard the Arrke and began a quest to uncover the ancient ship’s technological secrets. Initially, the Magi were pleased, for there were many secrets uncovered, and much was learned. They were already considering themselves heroes of their order and imagining their triumphant return to Mars with their many discoveries in tow. Alas, it was not to be.

For the Arrke does not take kindly to strangers, and so the explorators found themselves beset on all sides by the vessel’s strange and demented denizens as well as by environmental hazards and the powers of the Warp. With their Skitarii bodyguard all but wiped out, and some of the Magi themselves succumbing to the hostile environment, the Tech Priests did the only logical thing: They pooled their resources, in order to protect the valuable technological knowledge they had acquired: Whenever one of them was critically wounded, his working remains would be integrated into another Magos’ brain and body, thus protecting the knowledge and strenghtening the survivors. The remaining Magi thus became walking treasure troves of knowledge. But something went wrong.

Maybe it was the taint of the Warp, maybe it was the desperate nature of the Tech Priests’ struggle, but their fusion turned out to be flawed and incomplete. Corruption slowly seeped into their neural engrams, and what would normally have been a standard procedure for the disciples of the Mechanicum slowly turned into a nightmare.

The resulting creature is a horrifying amalgamation of the explorators’ bodies and minds, malformed and insane, its mind fractured into countless shards, its body misshapen and terrifying, yet utterly deadly. Legion now eternally prowls the deepest reaches of the Arrke in its half-remembered quest to find a way back to the red star. But even though a wealth of technological information and scientific marvels still lies protected within the creature’s twisted shell and mind, one shudders to imagine what would happen if the erstwhile explorators would somehow manage to escape their eternal prison and be let loose upon the galaxy…

 

With this basic idea outlined, I thought about what I wanted Legion to look like. Like I said, tech priests are scary enough in any case, so I tried to come up with an even more strange and corrupted look exploring the fusion of organic and machine parts, with a generous helping of body horror ladeled on top. Here’s a – very early and horribly rough – sketch of Legion:

Legion_sketch
As you might be able to tell, I wanted to use the plastic Cairn Wraith as the base for this conversion, even at this early stage. Several people have used the model to great effect to convert disturbing AdMech characters, so I thought this was a good base. I would then add all kinds of technical bitz as well as two very creepy “tendrils”, secondary creatures serving as additional parts of Legion. All of the creature’s different components would have sinuous, serpentine bodies, the better to move and wiggle through the Arrke’s dark nooks and crannies.

Obviously, the first step was to get the plastic Cairn Wraith, so of course that was where everything started:

Legion WIP (1)
I just used the Cairn Wraith’s cloak, discarding the scythe, inner body, face and base. I used a 40k servo skull as a replacement head, and the remains of a lasher tendril from the Forgefiend kit served as the base of Legion’s serpentine body. In the picture above, you can see the first basic build, attached to a Terminator base with a lump of putty.

I then added more and more technical bitz and doodads to the main body, making it look more and more like something that had originally begun its existence as a tech priest. Here’s the finished main body:

Legion WIP (2)
Legion WIP (3)
Legion WIP (4)
Legion WIP (5)
The most obvious addition was that of a GK Psy-gun on the model’s back, both to give it some potential oomph on the table and to create a strange, malproportioned look. I also added a ghoul hand to give the model a clawlike, organic left hand, and a vestigial arm from the Dark Eldar Talos/Cronos kit for a wicked looking scalpel-like right hand. To represent the “neural network” created by several Magi being fused together within Legion’s body, I added an additional servo skull beneath the first one, as well as two more “regular” skulls. I imagine the actual body beneath the cloak to be a horrible cluster of skulls plugged into each other with cables, serving as what is, for all intents and purposes, the 40k version of a Local Area Network.

The next step was to build Legion’s secondary tendrils. Once again, I used leftover lasher tendril pieces for a serpentine lower body. The rest of the tendrils was built from different Zombie and undead parts, more vestigial Talos arms, a couple of cables and some Greenstuff.

Here’s a very early mockup of the first tendril:

Legion WIP (7)
While the look was there, I wanted the tendrils to be far more disturbing and horrible. So I tried my best to make the tendrils look even more malformed and disgusting. Here’s the same tendril, some time later:

Legion WIP (13)
Legion WIP (12)
Legion WIP (11)
I wanted Legion to look like its transformation and evolution had not been a well-planned process but had rather happened spontaneously and chaotically. So this tendril looks like the body of a Magos has been crudely grafted onto the serpentine body, with only one arm remaining. Greenstuff was used to create a crude seam between the organic and machine parts.

I wanted the other tendril to look more combative, so I added an additional arm, with two of the creature’s arms tipped in cruel claws and blades:

Legion WIP (8)
Legion WIP (9)
Legion WIP (10)
Crude bionic eyes were added to a flagellant head to make the face look inhuman and threatening. I also added a cable from a servo skull as some kind of horrible, proboscis-like tongue.

When it came to actually painting the model, I wanted to achieve a striking contrast between distressed flesh and cold, oily metal. I began with the tendrils, picking out the major areas in different colours:

Legion WIP (19)
Legion WIP (18)
Legion WIP (17)
Legion WIP (16)
Legion WIP (15)
A combination of different washes (mostly Ogryn Flesh, Leviathan Purple and Baal Red) was used to make the skin look bruised and sickly. The metal parts were heavily washed with GW Nuln Oil to give them a dark, oily look.

Legion’s main body was painted in a similar way, although I decided to paint his cloak a striking red, in order to make him more recognisable as a former member of the Mechanicum. I had originally planned to make the red look bleached out and dirty, but seeing the cloak after painting it with GW Mephiston Red, I realised that this kind of spot colour was just what I wanted:

Legion WIP (23)
Some washes were used in the recesses of the cloak, though, to at least make it look suitably dirty and grimy. As you can see, I also added a striking blue to the different bionic eyes to create a point of focus.

And in the picture below, you can see the additional skulls in Legion’s stomach region quite well:

Legion WIP (24)
I’ll be honest with you: It took ages until I was finally satisfied with the different parts of the model. But a challenge like this doesn’t happen every day, so I absolutely wanted to give it my best shot.

When all of Legion’s components were finally finished, I still had to build and paint a base and decide how the different parts of the model should be attached to it. In my initial drawing, I had planned for all tendrils to emerge from under the red cloak. But not only did that seem pretty hard to get right, but I also realised that it would potentially be far more creepy to have several tendrils emerge from the same hole in the ground, making it look like the three aspects of Legion were maybe just tendrils of a much larger creature…

One interesting option would have been to have the different parts of Legion on different bases. That would also have allowed for some pretty interesting rules options. In the end though, due to the time allotted for the project,  I chose to rather go for one really cool base instead of three okayish ones. But if there had been more time (and if I hadn’t been so damn lazy), I might have put the different tendrils on multiple bases.

When it came to the one base I did want to build, I wanted it to blend into Neil’s fantastic Yggdrasillium board as well as possible, making it look like Legion was emerging from the very surroundings, not so much a character but rather an environmental hazard. I wanted to create some kind of opening or pipe for Legion to emerge from, so I built a basic construction from a Predator turret hatch and plasticard pieces I cut from an old phone card. Then I heavily coated the construction in wood glue to close all the gaps and create a bulgy, warped surface. And I added modelling sand and small pieces of cork on top to create dirt and gravel. Then the whole thing was undercoated black. Here’s a test fit of Legion’s body parts on the undercoated base:

Legion WIP (25)
When painting the base, I let myself be inspired by PDH’s fantastic scenic bases, trying to make it as rusty and grimy as I possibly could. I painted the whole construction a dark green, with the dirt and gravel picked out in brown. The whole base was then liberally washed in GW Agrax Earthshade. Then I used thinned down GW Vermin Brown as a wash, creating a rust effect. And finally, The edges were picked out in GW Boltgun metal to show scratches and nicks in the colour, with the metal appearing beneath. Here’s the finished base:

Legion WIP (27)
I also added some Tamiya Clear Red to one side of the grate, making it look like Legion had dragged some unfortunate victim to its doom…

Legion WIP (28)
Oh, and I used a hazard stripe decal from the CSMs decal sheet, suitably aging and weathering it along the way:

Legion WIP (26)
And so it finally came to attaching all the parts of Legion to the base. Finding a configuration that worked took some doing, but in the end, I succeeded. So without further ado, I give you Legion:

Legion (16)
Legion (21)
Legion (22)

Legion (25)
Legion (27)
Legion (20)

Legion (19)

Legion (18)

Legion (24)
Legion (28)

Probably the biggest part of the adventure was actually sending Legion to England. But the postal service didn’t let me down for once, so everything went well. Now, looking back on the model after having spent so long working on it and obsessing over every detail, I am not really sure how to feel about it. I am happy with the model, without a doubt, but will it hold up when stood alongside models from enormously talented artists such as PDH, JRN and the Spiky Rats? Don’t get me wrong, I am really happy with how Legion turned out, but all the small imperfections are also driving me up the wall at the same time 😉
Maybe it’s just the fact that I will actually have to let some very talented people take a firsthand look at this piece — so no hiding behind fuzzy photos this time! And, of course, I hope John Blanche himself will like the model. Oh well, there’s no crying over spilt milk, I guess…

In any case, what really surprises me is how close the finished model is to my inital sketch. I am also amazed by how much I found myself thinking about Legion as a character…or at least, as a creature: I have a very vivid (and actually quite unpleasant) image of Legion in my mind: a creepy and sinister figure, perpetually surrounded by disturbing whispers and bursts of corrupted code language as the remains of the integrated Magi are communicating and argueing, with some of them almost perfectly sane while others are completely mad, full of rage, or just spouting untintellegible gibberish (I don’t know if any of you are into videogames, but if you are, picture the different cores of GlaDOS in Portal, or the different voices of the dark goddess Xel’ lothat in Eternal Darkness, turned up to eleven, and you’re not too far off the mark).

One of the personalities could be ceaselessly reciting the Mechanicus main tenets. Another might still be sane enough to broadcast intelligible Imperial/Mechanicus distress signals (System Shock 2, anyone?). Still another might be constantly reciting all kinds of disturbing Madness Mantras  (“We are many. We are one. We are many. We are one…” or  “Make whole that which was shattered. Make whole that which was shattered. Make whole…”). Also, PDH came up with this disturbing image of some of the denizens of the Arrke hacking into some random cable or mechanical bit during their exploration of the ship, then hearing bellowed binary screams and see the cable retracting, only to be faced with one of Legion’s “tendril creatures”.

Then there’s also that idea I briefly outlined above: Maybe those three tendrils aren’t really the whole creature, but only points of interface with the outside world, not unlike the lure of an Anglerfish. Maybe they connect back to the lair of the actual creature: a subterranean cavern filled with cogitators and technical equipment, much like a dragon’s hoard. The real Legion resides within this cavern: a vast, entropic and incomprehensible creature…

So, in any case, I think the concept of Legion is really just as disturbing and creepy as I wanted it to be. Whether the actual model lives up to it is not for me to decide, yet of one thing I am sure: Legion makes for a fitting new denizen for the mysterious Arrke…

So, to wind this up, let me give you one more picture of Legion, along with a broken little nursery rhyme that I came up with — written in true Yggdrassilliumme style 😉

Oh, and should you wish to use Legion (or something like Legion) in your games of Necromunda, number cruncher and all around great guy PDH has you covered with some rules he cooked up:

Legion (26)

In the bowels of the shippe
Dwells a being most unkynde
Knowledge wyll from metal strippe
Passage to the red starr fynde.

Legion, Legion, he is many.
Legion, Legion, they are one.

Legion

M WS BS S T W I A Ld
4 3 3 4 4 2 4 D3 10

Weapons – Laser Blaster, Mechanical Claws

Short Long Short Long Strength Damage Save Mod Ammo
0-8 8-24 +1 3 1 3+ Sustained Fire Dice


Special:
Binary Scream (Fear),  Immune to Psychology, Never Pinned 

Fractured Psyche: At the beginning of each turn, roll on the following table to determine Legion’s actions

1-2: Flesh is weak. Purge the organic! – 50/50 chance of shooting or charging.
3-4: Obtain knowledge – Will move towards the nearest mechanical object/terrain and then spend the turn examining it.
5-6: To the red starr! – Will move as quickly as possible in a random direction. If Legion comes into contact with a model, it will count as charging but will break off from combat at the end of the turn, continuing to get away.

 

So yeah, I realise that was quite a post! I understand the game in question has already taken place earlier today, so there’ll be some quite a bit more information soon, I guess. Look forward to learning more about Legion in action, as well as about the fantastic entries from all the other hobbyists involved.

Until then, I’d be happy to hear any feedback you might have on Legion, so drop me a line or two in the comments section!

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

The future is green!

Posted in Conversions, old stuff, Orcs & Goblins, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2013 by krautscientist

…well, at least in part. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me start with a small excurse (as I am wont to do). A word of warning, though: This will be a pretty wordy post, as we take another trip down memory lane…

Anyway, let us talk og Orcs, shall we? My sympathy for Orcs and Goblins even predates my knowledge of Tolkien and his books by a couple of years. Indeed, possibly my first exposure to the concept of the Orc per se were this guy and his kin:

HeroQuest Orc (2)

painted by me during the early 90s

While that approach may seem a little backwards, GW’s concept of what an Orc should look like (along with 80’s fantasy art of mostly British origin) had shaped my view of Orcs and Goblins long before I ever read the Hobbit for the first time. Consequently, when I did read the Hobbit, it was absolutely clear to me that the Orcs and Goblins appearing thoughout the story had to be very similar in appearance to the greenskinned creatures populating the labyrinths of HeroQuest.

Another huge influence in my relationship with the greenskins came when Warcraft and Warcraft II were released: Instead of going for a goofy, idiotic and mostly bumbling race of imbeciles, Blizzard’s Orcs where a proud and fierce warrior race, cunning and powerful, if a little lacking in subtlety. But still, Blizzard’s designers were obviously influenced by both Tolkien and GW, so the image of the greenskinned brute with tusk like teeth was further embellished. During all of this, my love of Orcs and Goblins made me get the 5th edition WFB army book for them, but back in those days, starting a greenskin army was prohibitively expensive, with most models only being available in metal. So I only ever got a few of the models, like these classic Brian Nelson Orcs:

Old Orcs (1)

again, one of my older paintjobs: first painted sometime during the late 90s, then slightly touched up in 2000

Old Orcs (3)

When the 6th edition of WFB came around in 2000, the starter box contained lots of brand-new plastic Orcs, and I decided that this was the perfect time to finally start my own army of Orcs & Goblins. Having just finished school back then, I can remember myself during my compulsory term of community service, walking up and down the corridors of the hospital I was working at, with potential colour schemes for my new greenskin army constantly at the back of my head. I was in love with GW’s Orcs and Goblins, and how could I not have been? From a design perspective, the greenskins have been among GW’s finest offerings for a long time now. And they are one of the only factions always managing to blend the legitimately scary with the darkly humorous.

So I started building and painting, and my first models made me hungry for more. Take a look:

Old Orcs (8)
Old Orcs (10)
Old Orcs (12)
Old Orcs (7)

These were all painted during late 2000 and early 2001, when I was hellbent on starting a greenskin army. Alas, it amounted to nothing: The model count needed for a whole army was what defeated my ambitions in the end. So the models went to my cupboard of shame, there to moulder for eternity. I have loved the new greenskin releases over the years, and they always made me feel slightly nostalgic, but I never felt tempted to actually pick up and finish the army: I couldn’t do it when WFB was still much smaller in scope, so I doubt I’d be able to do it now. So it was always with feelings of guilt that I remembered the greenskins resting in my cupboard, and I always took the time to lovingly sift through the different sprues, whenever I had to nick a couple of Orc parts for some INQ28 project or other.

So why all of this preamble? Well, a short time ago, a colleague told me that she and her husband were quite strongly into playing Blood Bowl. And through her constant gentle niggling, I began to think about actually starting a small BB Orc Team myself, just for the heck of it — after all, I probably had enough plastic Orcs to spare.
And while browsing through my collection of plastic Orc and Goblin bitz, the idea for two pretty different hobby projects was born…

 

I. The Orkheim Ultraz

Like I said, I am going to build and paint an Orcish Blood Bowl team in order to be able to give the game a spin. I have absolutely zero experience playing either football, rugby or Blood Bowl, but I am reasonably sure my colleague will at least be able to help me out with the latter. As I quickly found out, the different Orc plastic kits lend themselves very well to converting Blood Bowl models, and so, after a relatively short while, I had a couple of players tacked together:

BB_Blitzers_WIP (1)
BB_Blitzers_WIP (3)
BB_Linemen_WIP (4)
BB_Linemen_WIP (3)
BB_Linemen_WIP (2)
BB_Linemen_WIP (1)
BB_Throwers_WIP (1)

The Ultraz' star thrower, clearly recognisable by his classic pose...

The Ultraz’ star thrower, clearly recognisable by his classic pose…

A Night Goblin, taking a moment to enjoy the crowd's adoration...

A Night Goblin, taking a moment to enjoy the crowd’s adoration…

...and his rather surly colleague...

…and his rather surly colleague…

All of these were built from leftovers and parts from my bitzbox. I used my usual yellow putty to not only tack the models together but also to show how I wanted them to be placed on the finished base — crucial in most cases, as you can see. Looking at all the Orcs above, trying their darnedest to catch that stupid ball, I think you’ll agree that there’s quite a potential for humor in these models, and that’s what I am going for: I want these to be darkly humorous and slightly goofy.

I also repurposed the members of an old WFB Orc command group to serve as members of the team’s fan club:

Fans WIP (1)

Fans WIP (3)

And a Gnoblar from the Ogre kit was used to serve as the team’s kit man — or “Kit Git”, as it were 😉

Kit Git
I even caved in and finally got the box of Black Orcs I had craved for such a long time. Some of these will be used as blockers in my Blood Bowl Team, and once again, the design of the models made sure that they are looking right at home on a football…erm pardon, Blood Bowl pitch, with only very little conversion work required:

BB_Black_Orcs_WIP (1)

The rest of the Black Orcs, however, will be used in the second hobby project I was talking about. Before we take a look at that, though, here’s the whole team so far:

Orkheim Ultraz Team WIP (4)

 

II. Orcish Gang for Mordheim

Yet another specialist system, huh? Bring it on! While I hope to develop this gang of models back to back with the Blood Bowl team, the project could not be more different in nature. Where I want the BB team to be funny and goofy, these guys will be dark and brutal, imposing and very gothic: I want to channel not only the slightly demented aesthetic of Mordheim itself, but also the dark fantasy tropes present in Blanchian artwork from the late 80s and early 90s — effectively, Tolkien by way of Brueghel and Bosch. This will be quite a daunting task though, so even if I shouldn’t be able to live up to my mission statement, I will at least strive to create a really brutal looking band of Orcs (and, possibly, Goblins). They will have lots and lots of weapons, lots of kit and strange detail, and several models will be based on Black Orcs to begin with, to make them look even more formidable and ferocious. I will probably completely ignore the Mordheim equipment tables and just go with what looks awesome.

And, after all this time, this project will give me the chance of actually using some of the Orcs I built all these years ago for WFB. Rest assured, however, that only the most imposing models will make the cut:

Mordheim Orc Gang WIP (1)

And even those will probably end up looking like the runts of the litter. Anyway, I also built a first actual test model for the gang, using a mix of Orc and Black Orc parts:

Mordheim Orc Gang WIP (3)

Mordheim Orc Gang WIP (2)

This guy is still missing lots and lots of bitz and strange, gothic doodads, but I think you get the picture.

I cannot even be sure whether these guys will ever end up seeing the gaming table at all — after all, this is just a hobby project trying to express both my love for greenskins as well as my admiration for a certain flavour of dark fantasy artwork. Maybe my buddy Frankie will do me the favour of playing a game of Mordheim against me one of those days, though.

 

In any case, by choosing two hobby projects that are limited, if not in scope then at least in model count, I can finally build some great Orc and Goblin models: A goal that was somehow always lost while frantically trying to finish enough models to make up an army. I am really looking forward to this!

I don’t have a clear deadline for either of these projects: The BB team will probably be assembled and painted rather soon, seeing how I want to try my hand at the game. I can easily see the Mordheim gang taking quite a while to complete, since it’s by far the more ambitious project of the two. For now, I have a pile of bitz and Brian’s fantastic recipe for Orc skin. Let’s see where that will take me…

Oh, and for those of you visiting this blog for my World Eaters, Custodes or INQ28 models — don’t fret! A part of the future may indeed be green, but equally sizeable chunks will remain red and bronze, golden or …shadowy and secretive — yes, I realise that those last two aren’t colours 😉

Anyway, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!