Archive for jump infantry

Legio Custodes – long time no see!

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Custodes, WIP with tags , , , , , , , on July 24, 2013 by krautscientist

So, with Khorne’s Eternal Hunt getting all kinds of love lately, some of you may be wondering whatever happened to my Legio Custodes army. And I am, in fact, painfully aware that I have been quite neglectful when it comes to those guys. However, the project’s far from abandoned! As a matter of fact, not only am I still working on the army, but I also have something new to show you today:

First up, you may remember the first two painted models for a squad of jump infantry I posted quite a while ago:

Jump Infantry (7)

Well, the squad obviously has more members, so these are probably the next Custodes models to be painted for the army:

Jump Infantry (10)
I couldn’t bear throwing away the beautiful GK flamer, so I used him on this member of the squad: A little flamer action never hurt anyone, after all. On second thought, hurting someone is very much the whole point in this case 😉

Then there’s the standard bearer for the squad:

Jump Infantry (14)

I used a leftover part from the WFB Empire Knights, which makes an excellent standard for the squad. You’ll notice that the rest of the model also looks fairly ostentatious, as befits a member of the Legio Custodes:

Jump Infantry (15)
And finally, the squad leader:

Jump Infantry (12)
Using mostly Sanguinary Guard parts, this grizzled veteran looks like the hero he is. I added a CSM Plasma pistol as well as a company champion’s power sword to make the model’s equipment look especially ancient and well-crafted.

A Venerable Dreadnought’s shinguard was used as the squad leader’s left pauldron:

Jump Infantry (13)
The engravings are unfortunately the wrong way around, but there was really no easy way to fix this. I still like the overall effect, though.

While these models had been built for quite a while already, I have now cleaned and assembled their jump packs, so they are very much next in line for painting.

Jump Infantry (17)

I also built some more models for Squad Asklepian, a unit of Custodians wearing older marks of Astartes power armour. My goal was to have every armour pattern from Mk 1 to Mk 6 on display in the squad, while some additional models with suitably old and/or ostentatious looking armour were also drafted into the unit.

So here’s the model in Mk I “Thunder amour” I already showed you a while back:

Squad Asklepian 19
I am still really pleased with the model, if I do say so myself.

Then there’s the Dark Angels Plasma gunner from the Dark Vengeance boxed set: Since his helmet looked deliciously vintage, I gave him some new arms a while back and added him to Squad Asklepian. Since you last saw the model, I added some additional detail to it:

Squad Asklepian 20
A small lion figurine was added to the custodian’s chest, thereby creating a winged lion ornament. I also added the bottom of a purity seal, used almost like a loincloth in this case. As you can see, the model will end up as the squad’s standard bearer.

While some of the older armour variants were reasonably easy to approximate, the Mk II “Crusade” pattern had me stumped for quite a while: I’ll be honest with you, I even considered just getting a couple of Mk II bitz off ebay and be done with it. But then, I really wanted to kitbash these out of GW plastic parts. In the end, I did manage to build a model that at least looks reasonably close, though. Take a look:

Squad Asklepian 23
First of all, I just used the clunkiest bitz I could find for a more heavily armoured and less mobile look. The weapons (taken from the Khorne Berzerker sprue) also look suitably clunky and pre-heresy. The most important part of the conversion is the head, though: It originally came from the WFB Skullcrushers: I had shaved off the Khornate bunny ears to use them on another model, and coincidentally realised that the helmet could work as a Mk. II with a little bit of work. So the eyeslits were carefully converted to a single, cyclopean slit, and the “ears” from a regular Marine helmet were added to the sides.

Squad Asklepian 22
It may not be a totally accurate representation of the armour design, but I am still pretty happy with it. At least it manages to look pretty archaic, and this whole project was really never about perfect accuracy anyway, but rather about the joy of converting and kitbashing.

Lastly, I still had a Marine wielding a rocket launcher from the “Assault on Black Reach” boxed set knocking around, and seeing how his helmet had a nice, archaic look, I wanted to use him for squad Asklepian. However, turning his 40k rocket launcher into a 30k one proved to be quite a headscratcher. So the model mouldered in my bitzbox for a long time. I was almost tempted to just get one of FW’s rocket launcher arms, but once again, only using plastic GW parts was part of the self-imposed restrictions for this project, so I had to find another way.

And then, only recently, it hit me: I knew which GW plastic parts to use to make that weapon look like an older design. Here’s the finished model:

Squad Asklepian 25
Squad Asklepian 24
One of the good old Space Crusade weapons really helped me out here! Granted, it’s far from perfect, but I think it’s a pretty reasonable approximation of the “official” FW stuff, given the rules I had set for myself. As a matter of fact, I am very much in love with this clever (at least for my standard) little conversion at the moment!

Of course I also added a topknot and an additional wing ornament to tie the model in with the rest of the squad.

Squad Asklepian 26
So here are all four models together, ready to be painted:

Squad Asklepian 30
This brings the number of models in Squad Asklepian up to nine and means I only need to do a model in Mk IV “Maximus Armour” to complete the collection — fortunately, I already have all the plastic bitz I need for that last Custodian in the squad.

So, as you can see, the work on my Legio Custodes project continues! And I still want to get at least most of the army painted before Forgeworld release their own take on the Emperor’s bodyguard. Because once the “official” models are available, I am pretty sure no one will cast another glance at my own meagre efforts 😉

Squad Asklepian 27
Anyway, any and all C&C are always welcome! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Guards, Guards!

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Custodes, paintjob, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2013 by krautscientist

While the Custodes army I started some time last year was originally just a small side project with a very limited scope and a “Why the hell not?” approach, several factors have led to the army expanding far beyond what was originally planned: One reason for this was the fact that kitbashing Custodes out of all kinds of Space Marine parts is just a whole lot of fun. And there were all the Dark Angels models from the Dark Vengeance starter box too. I had to use them for something, didn’t I? Anyway, even after completing the first two squads for the army, I still couldn’t stop building and building. Today, let’s take a look at the most recent additions to my Custodes:

 

1.) Kitbashed Cataphractii

I already featured all of the individual models, but here’s another look at my finished Custodes Cataphractii squad, basically ready for painting:

Completed Cataphractii Squad WIP
Originally, I had planned to build only one model as a proof of concept, but the Terminators that came with the Dark Vengeance box allowed me to bump the squad size up to five. While these may look a little different from FW’s “official” Cataphractii model, they were kitbashed with base models and bitz I already owned anyway, and I think they read as Heresy-era Terminators well enough. Still, five models should be enough for now, so the next step would be to actually get some colour on these guys.

 

2.) Sisters of Silence

Another spur of the moment idea was to add a small squad of Sisters of Silence to the army. This was made pretty easy by the fact that some of the Dark Eldar models make for pretty convincing Sisters when combined with a couple of more imperial looking bitz.

I recently added another model to the squad. This time, the model was converted from a Dark Eldar Kabalite Warrior instead of a Wych:

SoS (10)
SoS (11)
SoS (13)
I thought it would be a cool idea have a model wielding a flamer in the squad, so I used a bit from the plastic Empire wizard kit and combined it with the body of a Dark Eldar shredder to create a flamer that looked suitably archaic and ornate (and was, once again, pretty close to the official HH artwork).

Here’s the squad so far:

SoS (15)
SoS (14)
I think I’ll be adding one more model to make sure the squad is actually legally playable. They could probably be used as Scouts, although that’s really not all that important to me. In any case, a squad of five will look nice enough, even if it’s just on a display board 😉 The one decision I still have to make is whether to paint these in gold (like the regular Custodes) or rather in a combination of red and silver (as they are seen in several pieces of HH artwork).

 

3.) Legio Champion

I have mentioned the fact that I am slightly addicted to building HQ models on several occasions. So in addition to my already completed Custodes Shield Captain (and another possible commander converted from the Dark Vengeance Company Master), I wanted to build an imposing warrior to represent a mighty champion of the Legio Custodes. I wanted him to look like he could basically bring down a fortress all by himself. Here’s the result:

Legio Champion (6)
Legio Champion (3)
Legio Champion (8)
Legio Champion (9)
I combined all kinds of Marine parts with the legs of a WFB Warrior of Chaos. I also added a slightly converted Thunder Hammer. The storm bolter looks a little too clunky, so maybe I’ll just swap it for a storm shield. And I have to be honest with you: The whole model was really heavily inspired by one of the very nice Custodes models over at The Buddy Times (I really wish Hashashin would get back to building more Custodes!).

 

4.) Jump Infantry

I already told you that my Praetorians were built using parst from the GK, Sanguinary Guard and DA Veterans kits. That means I had a lot of leftover bits from those kits, so I thought it would be cool to build some kind of jump infantry for my Custodes, using those parts. Here are my test models for a squad of five:

Jump Infantry (1)
Jump Infantry (2)
Jump Infantry (3)
And the second model:

Jump Infantry (4)
Jump Infantry (5)
Jump Infantry (6)
This one is a bit closer to the classic Custodes look, wielding yet another converted judgement spear.

All in all, like I said, these were basically built from leftovers. I considered adding the Sanguinary Guard wings for a long time, seeing how they are a really nice fit with the overall Custodes aesthetics, but I decided against it in the end: For one, the models would have looked like nothing more than Sanguinary Guard with High-Elf heads. Plus leaving the wings off means the jump packs look identical to FW’s MK IV jump packs, adding to the models’ Pre-Heresy look. And without a doubt, the leftover wings will come in handy sooner rather than later…

Jump Infantry (7)
Apart from the two painted test models, there are three more in the squad. I’ll probably paint these next, so expect them to be the next update concerning my Custodes army.

 

Anyway, these are my Custodes-related projects at the moment. All in all, the army remains a fun project to distract me from all the World Eaters stuff. Plus it offers me the way of using all the strange and obscure Marine bitz that end up in my bitzbox in new and interesting ways.

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

Raptor Review

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2012 by krautscientist

I may have mentioned before that I quite like jump infantry: For us World Eaters players, Raptors are always a great way of adding a dash of flexibility to an otherwise very predictable army. So I built and painted my first squad of World Eaters jump infantry long before the release of the new Codex. You may remember these guys:

Granted, here may be other units in the list that are more viable in the fast assault role (*cough* bikes *cough*), but I simply love the concept of World Eaters equipped with jump packs rushing into the thick of battle with wild abandon. So it is probably no surprise that a box of the new plastic Raptors/Warp Talons was one of my day one purchases, along with the new Codex. Today’s post will be all about those guys.

The kit has been out for a while now, so I will spare you the unboxing video and sprue diagrams. Both are easily found elsewhere on the net. Indeed, let me point you towards Screwed Up Dice‘s very nice, two part review of the kit for all the necessary information. Still, late as my own “review” of sorts may be, I thought it would be nice to collect my thoughts on the models while working on my first new squad of jump infantry, pointing out the good and the bad as I go.

Pros:


“It’s plastic!

Working with GW’s excellent and highly versatile plastic kits is always a joy, and that is why the mere fact that Raptors are now available as a plastic kit counts as a huge advantage in my book: No more pinning, no more models falling over because they are precariously balanced on their bases. And lots and lots of customisability — provided you know how to use a knife, that is. I have painted quite a few metal miniatures in my time, and I like the amount of detail GW’s designers are able to cram into some of those Finecast models (QA problems notwithstanding), but plastic is where it’s at for me!

Of course this also means that the kit is fully compatible with the rest of the (Chaos) Space Marine range, although not all combinations will end up looking great. Still, with a bit of mixing and matching, you’ll be able to customise your jump infantry and make them fit the rest of your force visually (more on this point in a minute)

 

“It looks nice!”

The sculpt on these guys is pretty great, but that’s almost a given with GW’s more recent kits. What I really like though is the slightly readjusted overall look of the models: The last Raptor sculpt – along with the fluff – had them positioned as a bit an external force to all Traitor Legions, a cult onto themselves, which meant that the models had a very distinct look. And while more individuality is mostly a good thing, not everyone was happy with their Raptors looking so different from the rest of their force: Even when painted in the colours of a specific legion, they never quite looked like they belonged.

The new armour design seems like a bit of a return to the original 3rd edition Raptors in that it is distinct enough to differentiate them from other unit types, but should also work rather well with different colour schemes, those of the original Traitor Legions included. So for those who want it, the individuality is still there, while the rest of us are free to build jump infantry that resembles the rest of our force.

There’s also all kinds of nice detail: The Raptor helmets recall corrupted, older marks of power armour (MK IV and VI, especially), and the CC weapons are some of the greatest Chaos Space Marine weapons currently availabe (those chainswords are off the hook!). I also really like the rather economical design of the jump pack, but then, I’ve always been a fan of the Pre-Heresy jet engine design 😉

As an aside: While, as a follower of Khorne, I loathe all Slaneeshi dogs with a passion, those shoulder pads and helmets with the speaker-like design should work really well for kitbashing Noise Marines.

 

“You get some neat extra bitz…”

It’s great to see that the kit comes with a full set of weapon options for the Raptors: No more scrounging around for extra Meltaguns or having to use the same old weapon bit over and over. All of the weapons are very nicely detailed and have a distinct chaos look. The same goes for the Warp Talon claws (which could also be used as Lightning claws on regular infantry champions, Chosen etc.). And the fact that it’s a combi-kit means that you’ll get quite a few leftover bitz: Depending on which unit type you decide to build, you get a full set of Raptor weapons and heads or Warp Talon claws and heads for your bitzbox. Nice.

Cons:

 

“…but maybe not enough!”

Here’s the thing about those bitz though: I was a little disappointed at the relatively small selection of heads. While I understand that the kit has to be quite economically designed to carry enough bitz for both unit types, I am just a fan of extra heads and shoulderpads: just five heads and one set of shoulder pads per model? Come on, GW! Admittedly, this may just be nitpicking on my part, but still…

 

“A little restrictive…”

Here’s a piece of more substantial criticism then: I feel that some of the poses on these models aren’t all that well conceived. You probably won’t notice this when building Raptors, but for the Warp Talons it’s actually fairly challenging to have them look as dynamic and individual as you would like. I discovered this when I tried to go against the grain and build models that looked a little different from the ones on the box: While it’s possible, you’ll quickly discover that certain combinations just don’t work out, leaving you with a limited number of options. Granted, if you just want to get your models on the table, you probably won’t see this as much of a problem. But as someone who is very much into kitbashing and converting, I cannot help but feel that these models don’t lend themselves to conversion all that much. And while I like the fact that the models’ legs are attached in rather dynamic ways to small piles of rubble and battlefield debris, the designs can quickly become repetitive once you are building squads that are bigger than five models.

I realise that this may not even be valid criticism for some: The models look great and are easy to put together. What’s not to like, right? But I somehow feel that this kit seems to actively confound converters, and I’m not sure I like that 😉

 

“Some smaller design flaws”

Again, this is only a matter of personal taste, but I think that the design for the Warp Talon parts is slightly weaker in some respects: Most of the heads look really clunky and slightly out of scale. And while it’s nice to get a full set of sharp talons for the models’ feet, you’ll need to do some cutting on these to make sure they look natural, instead of jutting out at an improbable 90 degrees angle.

 

So what’s the bottom line?

All in all, I am prepared to call this kit a success, in spite of some nitpicks. It’s is expertly designed and lets you build some great looking models for your chaos army. The accomplished converter will be able to work around the small problems, and you’ll be able to make those Raptors and Warp Talons look like they are actually a part of your Traitor Legion or Renegade Chapter!

That’s what I set out to do as well: I decided to assemble the squad as Warp Talons, if only because I already have quite a few Raptors in my army. Not feeling particularly keen on the devolved, daemonic nature of the Warp Talons (it is a cool concept, but it doesn’t fit my personal fluff all that well), I wanted to build a squad of World Eaters melee specialists with jump packs. Here’s a look at my models:


This was one of the models where the basic pose of the legs combined with the Warp Talon arms seems a little goofy. It took some dryfitting and thinking to sort things out. Ultimately, I am rather pleased with the model, though. In this particular instance, the feet needed a little work (I cut off a part of the soles) to make surethat the angle at which the talons connect to the feet looks natural.


I gave this guy a FW berzerker helmet, since it added to the viciousness of the model’s look. Plus I wanted these guys to be clearly recognisable as World Eaters.


This second guy is the other model that took a while to get right: Although the legs are pretty cool this time, the arms are designed to be pretty close to the body, which makes for pretty restrictive posing. While I would have preferred a more open pose for the arms, the finished model shows the combination that, in my opinion, worked best under the circumstances.

I expect the fine detail on the model’s torso and left arm to be a challenge to paint, though, due to the fact that there is very little room between the torso and left gauntlet. But oh well…

Again, I used a Khornate helmet — this time, it’s one of from the plastic berzerker kit.

The next two models are where I just gave up and built them “as intended” 😉


In this case, the legs and arms work very well together, creating a relaxed but quite menacing pose (not unlike the Chaos Lord with jump pack, by the way). Compared to the ‘Eavy Metal model, I changed the alignment of the torso and arms a bit, though, to make the pose just a tiny bit more interesting. And I added yet another berzerker head. I realise that many are quite tired of these, but I think in this case the head works rather nicely!


Then there’s this guy, who is basically a perfect emulation of the unit champ built by the ‘Eavy Metal team:



What can I say? I just liked the pose and the head a lot! 😉

And finally, probably my favourite model in the whole squad:


It took some time to sort the pose out, but it was well worth it in my opinion. The model looks quite threatening and dynamic at the same time. Yet what really sells this guy is the addition of yet another Khornate FW head: This guy looks soooo angry…

And here’s the whole squad together:


I have not yet decided whether to use the “blade vanes” that attach to the jump packs. While those may seem a little silly at first glance, they could be rather useful in giving the models a more unique silhouette. Hmmm….

Also, it’s basically anyone’s guess when I’ll actually get around to painting these… 😉

Anything else? Oh, yes, the jump packs on these guys are quite a bit smaller than you would expect! Here’s a comparison shot with one of my kitbashed Raptors (using a MaxMini jump pack):

As you can see, the MaxMini pack looks pretty clunky by comparison, while the new model’s silhouette is far less bulky than you would have suspected.

So, one last question remains: Raptors of Warp Talons?

While the answer to that question will ultimately depend on what is the more sensible choice in the context of your army, let me look at things from a modelling perspective:

The Raptors you can build from this kit will work great out of the box, with very little extra work required. You get lots of options, and the squad can be made to look like a external cult or like your own Traitor Legion’s dedicated jump infantry. They’ll also look good alongside your older models, even though they may be a bit more detailed.

The Warp Talons suffer from their rather restrictive poses and will need more work and maybe an influx of external bitz to truly make them shine. Still, their rather distinct silhouette and overall look make them visually interesting, and those clawed gaunzlets are really great. They are also a great modelling option for Night Lords, in my opinion.

In any case, quite a nice kit that gives you a lot of options. The smaller drawbacks shouldn’t keep you from giving this kit a try!

Do you have any thoughts on the kit or my first test models? I’d be glad to hear them in the comments section!

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

Terror from the skies

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2012 by krautscientist

In an earlier post, you already made the aquaintance of Lord Charun, Master of the Harriers. This time, it’s time to look at his subordinates, the 4th assault company’s  corps of jump infantry, known as “Harriers” in my fluff and “Raptors” in the Codex.

You know what? I really love Raptors! While some argue that they have been nerfed in the current Codex and while no one can really know what they will work like in the new book, they are one of my favourite units for several reasons.

The first reason is a tactical one: If you – like me – are playing a fairly conservative World Eaters army, a lot of your gameplan consists of getting squads of Berzerkers across the table as fast as possible without being shot to pieces first. Even if your squads are fully equipped with dedicated Rhinos (which they should be), this usually makes for a grueling advance throug enemy fire. And then there’s the whole disembarking affair once the squad has reached its destination. Raptors, on the other hand, add a lot of mobility and an element of unpredictability to your strategy: With a squad of Raptors or two, you can suddenly outflank your enemy. Or you could pick off his vehicles. Or take guerilla shots at his tarpit units. Or you could just rush into close combat faster than you could with your Berzerkers.

Raptors are also quite flexible: Take two Meltaguns in the squad to use them as tank hunters. Use two flamers to turn them into fairly competent infantry killers. If you add an icon of Khorne, they’ll even do an okay job in the following combat. I usually try to run at least one squad of Raptors at all times, just for the added mobility and tactical options. Even at their worst, they’re still a big distraction: Your enemy will often target them not  because they’re especially dangerous to him but because they might become so later on. That in turn will draw away fire from your Berzerker squads, improving their chances of reaching the enemy lines in one piece.

The other reason for liking Raptors is an aesthetic one: They fit very well with the feeling of an army focusing on assault. They make even more sense in a World Eaters army from a fluff standpoint. They also offer great conversion options, and that has always been good enough for me!

So when I built my Raptors, it was clear that I would not be using the GW ones. Why I like their design well enough, I wanted my own Raptors to look like members of the World Eaters. I also didn’t want to miss the opportunity of creating interesting models myself.

My Raptors were built by mixing parts from the Berzerker and Chaos Space Marine kits. For their jump packs, I chose Maxmini’s standard jump packs. Back when I built those models, those were hands down my favourite choice. Meanwhile, Maxmini themselves have released two more variants that are more detailed, and Forgeworld has also taken up releasing Pre-Heresy jump packs, but back then, the ones by Maxmini were really the best way to go. I still like them a lot too, even though they’re less detailed than the newer releases. I especially like the turbine look they have going on, especially since it closely mimics GW’s Pre-Heresy World Eaters art.

I also tried to make them more interesting by raising them higher on their bases, so even the models with more static poses would look different enough from regular Berzerkers. The effect was achieved by adding all kinds of leftover pieces from different vehicle sprues, especially leftover Rhino doors.

But enough talk! Here’s what I ended up with:


I wanted this guy to be very dynamic and I used his base to support that effect. The downside is that it is quite hard to take a photo of him that gives you a good idea of the model, but oh well… Here’s a couple of extra shots:




Next up, one of my special weapons guys. As you can see, this model uses a flamer. I quite like the relatively sleek silhouette of the model in contrast to his bulky jump pack. The helmet was spliced together from that of a Khorne Berzerker and a regular CSM helmet, by the way.



The next guy has a more static pose, but I still like him. The base gives him a little extra dynamism, in my opinion.




And here’s the squad’s Icon Bearer. All my squads have Icon Bearers, regardless of whether they can actually get an icon or not. It’s just something that I have kept from my Warhammer Fantasy days, as I think that it really adds flavour to the army. I also try never to use an icon design twice across my army.


By the way, here’s something I found out by pure chance: By clipping off the small chain from the chainaxe’s handle, the weapon now looks far heaviery, since the focus is on the axe head instead of the grip. It’s just a small thing, but I think it works rather nicely.


And finally, my second flamer guy. I tried to make him look a little less static than the other one: Just because you’re wielding a flamer doesn’t mean you don’t get to use a chainsword, you know.



And finally, here’s a little family portrait of the squad so far.


Take note that this is not the whole squad, though: All in all, there’s seven more models where these came from: Two regular Raptors who usually serve as ablative wounds, two champs (one with a Powerfist, one with twin Lightning claws), two guys with Meltaguns and another Icon Bearer. I will usually run these guys in one squad of eight (what else?) as either tank hunters or infantry killers or in two squads of six, with both serving one of either role respectively. Unfortunately, that means that I still have quite  a bit of painting ahead of me until I can call these guys finished…

So, what do you think?

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