Archive for kastelan

The State of the Hunt — Week 50

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

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

 

I. Return of the Chibi-Knight!

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

Chibi-Knight Gilgamesh (1)

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

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

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

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

chibi-knight-mk-ii-1
chibi-knight-mk-ii-3
Instead of last time’s Raptor pauldrons, I ended up using some Chaos Marauder shoulder guards, and they arguably worked even better, making the torso look really familiar to that of GW’s stock Imperial Knight. I also found out that one of the ancient plastic chaos warriors’ helmets looks almost exactly like one of the face masks that come with the Knight kit.

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

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

28mm-imperial-knight-warden-1
And after a lot of messing around with various bitz, this is what I came up with:

chibi-knight-mk-ii-8
chibi-knight-mk-ii-10
chibi-knight-mk-ii-13
chibi-knight-mk-ii-14
chibi-knight-mk-ii-17
Here’s a side by side comparison showing the weapon arms of the big version and my “chibi-versions” of the same weapons:

Power Fist:

28mm-imperial-knight-warden-1
chibi-knight-mk-ii-9
Gatling Cannon:

28mm-imperial-knight-warden-2
chibi-knight-mk-ii-11
Not a 100% perfect match, maybe, but certainly reasonable enough, given the difference in scale! 😉

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

chibi-knight-mk-ii-7
As you can see, I have left the part in several sub-assemblies. This should make for easier painting, plus it’ll also allow Helega to tweak the pose according to his wishes. I have also included an alternate head and a bit that could serve as the carapace-mounted missile launcher.

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

chibi-knight-mk-ii-18
The new version is arguably even slightly more elegant a conversion than my first attempt in several respects 😉

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

chibi-knight-mk-ii-15

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

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

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

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

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

finished-call-2016-10
Rest assured that we’ll be taking a closer look at these guys pretty soon. And starting next week, it’s also time for the annual Eternal Hunt Awards, I believe… 😉

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

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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!

ETL V: Ex-ter-min-ate!

Posted in 40k, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2016 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, after last week’s rather unpleasant events, let us return to this blog’s main subject, as I show you the next finished model for Khorne’s Eternal Hunt.

Having spent most of last Thursday and Friday watching the news of Brexit hollow-eyed and with a constant sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, I decided I might as well try to transform my sadness into something more productive and started working on my converted Kastelan:

Khornate Kastelan WIP (4)
Now this model was originally built shortly after the release of the Kastelan Robots, in an attempt to transform into one of them into a particularly Khornate battle engine — and I believe I have definitely succeeded in that regard. And after sitting on a shelf for quite some time, the model was now ready for some paint, in time for the ETL event over at The Bolter & Chainsword.

The model is basically as tall and wide as a Contemptor, as you can see in this picture:

World Eaters Contemptor 30k scale comparison

So I included it in my ETL vow as a Counts-As-Contemptor — and indeed, that is also the role the model will likely be filling if it should ever see the tabletop.

But before that, I had to get the thing painted. I took off all of the chaotic armour plates for this, in order to give me access to the model’s body, and interestingly enough, this made the model look almost like a standard Kastelan for most of the painting process:

Khornate Kastelan PIP (1)
But fortunately, as the armour plates came back on one by one,…

Khornate Kastelan PIP(2)
Khornate Kastelan PIP(3)
…the model started looking increasingly chaotic again 😉

From a technical perspective, I decided to work over a coat of Leadbelcher spray paint, and as it turned out, not only did this make for a really good base for the red I added on later, but it also made sure that all the internal workings of the machine could simply be left metallic, which makes for a pretty convincing look. It would have been really difficult to get back into all those little nooks and crannies with a brush, so the silver undercoat turned out to be a very good call!

This strategy, combined with a motivation fueled by a particularly mixture of sadness and madness saw me complete the model in record time. Take a look at the finished Khornate Kastelan conversion:

Khornate Kastelan conversion (1)
Khornate Kastelan conversion (2)
Khornate Kastelan conversion (3)
Khornate Kastelan conversion (4)
Khornate Kastelan conversion (5)

Thanks to a bitz drop from fellow hobbyist Helega, I was able to add a cool wrist-mounted gun to the Kastelan’s right forearm, courtesy of one of Pertuarbo’s guns: I will admit that the thought of using it on the model felt frivolous for maybe half a minute, but it did solve two problems at once (adding some bulk to that hand and wrist and finding a way to feature an integrated weapon in spite of the hammer), so I decided to go for it.

Khornate Kastelan conversion (6)
Khornate Kastelan conversion (7)
As you can see, I also added some decals to the model, in order to underline its nature as a machine even more. In fact, I couldn’t help myself and had to add a really ancient decal from the early 90s’ plastic Khorne Berzerkers:

Khornate Kastelan conversion (9)
Let me tell you, that decal sheet still holds some of the best Khornate decal designs, even today!

And here’s a closeup of the model’s entirely humourless face:

Khornate Kastelan conversion (10)

All in all, I am really rather happy with the finished model. And not only does this mean one less unpainted model, but it also marks the completion of my first ETL vow:

ETL V First Completed Vow
Together with my Skulltaker conversion and Lord Dumah, the 4th assault company’s Apothecary, that’s a cool additional 500 points for Khorne’s Eternal Hunt!

But wait, there’s one last thing: I am still looking for a snappy name for this new combat automaton! And although I have already received quite a few cool suggestions on various forums, I would really love to hear your ideas as well!
I’ll be needing both the pattern designation for the machine as well as the name of this particular model, so I’d love to hear your suggestions! Please refrain from going Age of Sigmar levels of cheesy on me, though 😉

Khornate Kastelan conversion (11)

And of course it goes without saying that I would also love to hear any feedback you may have! As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Toll the great bell thrice — my first experiments with the new AdMech kits

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inquisitor, paintjob, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2015 by krautscientist

In ancient times, men built wonders, laid claim to the stars and sought to better themselves for the good of all. But we are much wiser now.
“Speculations On Pre-Imperial History”

Given my gushing and rather wordy reviews of the Skitarii and Cult Mechanicus releases, you may have wondered why I haven’t actually boarded the AdMech train yet, at least when it comes to conversion and painting projects. The reasons for this are simple: I only wanted to start showing my own AdMech models once I had managed to come up with something that doesn’t feel like a cheap knock-off of Jeff Vader’s fantastic recent projects, for one. The other reason is that working with some of these kits requires quite a bit of planning beforehand: The Skitarii Vanguard/Rangers, for instance, are wonderfully sculpted models, yet their construction means that any and all conversion projects involving the kit require some thought. The same goes for the Kastelan robots: While the models themselves are spectacularly versatile, it behooves the converter to know where he’s going with these models before getting out the modeling knife 😉

Anyway, to make a long story short, I have finally arrived at the point where I am comfortable with showing you some of my AdMech conversions. So allow me to share some of the things I am currently working on:

 

1. “Wir sind die Roboter”

I have gone on record stating that the Kastelan robots are possibly one of the most promising parts of the recent Cult Mechanicus release — and indeed, they were the first kit from that release I actually picked up. I started messing around with the kit with the vague plan of building one or two walkers for my World Eaters and/or Iron Warriors Killteam — to give credit where credit is due, TJ Atwell’s idea to use the kit in order to build a plastic Contemptor was what originally led me down this road.

After giving the matter a bit of thought, I decided that I didn’t want to build a straight-up Contemptor: Doing so would have required a fair bit of sculpting and/or plasticard work, for starters, and there was also the fact that the more humanoid look of the robots appealed to me. So my plan was to embrace the basic look of the models and see whether I could make them seem more baroque and chaotic.

The first step towards this end was to find out how to replace the heads. While I don’t hate the blank 50s SciFi robot heads, it didn’t seem like the right choice for a Chaos walker. Nehekare’s very helpful thread over at The Bolter & Chainsword really helped me out, though, because it showed me that the options for alternate heads I had been considering would work really well. And so a short while later, I had these early mockups:

The Twins
As you can see, it’s really easy to replace the stock heads. The “head” and faceplates from the Defiler kit work really well, as does the head from the Tomb Kings Necrosphinx (seen on the right). In both cases, a plate from a CSM Rhino turret hatch was glued inside the Kastelan’s chest cavity, with the head added on top.

The next goal I had was to go for a slightly more involved pose than what you see on the stock Kastelans. Because the kit is really amazingly versatile when it comes to posing the legs: I don’t understand why GW doesn’t make a bigger fuss about this particular feature, but once you cut off the little nubs that lock the legs into a certain position, the world’s your oyster. As you can see, I have gone for a running pose, and it was really easy to achieve! I also added some early bitz in order to transform my Kastelan robot into a Khornate killing machine, as you can see:

WE_Kastelan WIP
Fortunately enough, there were a couple of very happy coincidences that helped me with this conversion:

  • the hammer-wielding hand from the Nemesis Dreadknight turned out to be a pretty perfect fit for the Kastelan. What’s more, the hammer head I still had left from the Bloodthirster kit provided the perfect replacement for the stock hammer head, so I ended up with a suitably Khornate weapon!
  • I realised that one of the breastplates from the Bloodthirster kit was a pretty good fit for the Kastelan torso, so I cut it to size and bent it around the torso, in order to make it fit more snugly.
  • I was able to use various armour plates from the Skullreaper/Wrathmonger kit to make the rest of the Kastelan’s body look more baroque and fittingly chaotic and to get rid of some of the rounded, clean aesthetic of the stock model.

All of this quickly led to my first finished Kastelan. Here’s the model I ended up with:

WE_Kastelan WIP (22)
WE_Kastelan WIP (19)
WE_Kastelan WIP (20)
WE_Kastelan WIP (21)
As you can see, I snuckin a few additional touches along the way: Some GS was used to fill in the various recesses on the head. and to extend the middle section a bit, in order to make the model slightly less tubby (an excellent suggestion by Bruticus, that last bit!). The arms were slightly extended as well, mostly by attaching the hands at a lower point.

As for the various details, I really wanted to keep one of the stock model’s “Contemptor-esque” fists, yet I added a weapon muzzle inside the palm, to hint at some kind of integrated flamethrower. And the empty eye sockets of the Necrosphinx skull were filled with proper optical lenses — I hope these will end up looking pretty stunning when painted in bright blue.

And finally, I’ve made a simple press mold of the Bloodthirster’s hoof print and tried to duplicate the Khornate rune on the Kastelan’s left sole:

WE_Kastelan WIP (23)
This element will require some cleanup work, but I think it should look pretty cool in the end.

All in all, I am really pretty happy with the way the model has turned out: This guy should be a pretty excellent addition to my menagerie of chaotic walkers, as he towers over a regular Dreadnought — Alpha Helbrute, anyone?

As for the other Kastelan, I am still committed to turning him into a member of my Iron Warriors Killteam, and a recent conversion by Jeff Vader, attempting to bring the Kastelan more in line with Jes Goodwin’s vintage drawings for the Colossus robot, have provided me with all the inspiration I need. Watch this space…

2. The Adeptus Mechanicus Velsen

It’s not all about the chaotic side of things, however! I have been a fan of the Adeptus Mechanicus for a rather long time, so it would be heresy to merely use the new kits for chaotic conversions. Because of that, I have also been working on a small collection of actual Mechanicus models. Here’s the first early family portrait of what may or may not become a dedicated AdMech warband for the wonderful world of INQ28:

AdMech kitbashes WIP (24)

Like I said, I am not sure yet whether this will become an actual warband. Maybe the models will end up in various INQ28 warbands. That said, I really like the idea of a warband representing a gathering of high-ranking Magi from the Velsen Sector’s resident Forgeworld of Korhold and a few of their Skitarii bodyguards. One image from the 40k lore that really speaks to me is the idea of a small team of Tech Priests where each of the Magi looks quite distinct (and rather inhuman), and the one thing where I think the AdMech releases have let us down a little is how they haven’t actually given us all that many actual Tech Priests. So that was what I wanted to rectify. Let’s take a closer look at the models I’ve come up with:

AdMech kitbashes WIP (4)
Something simple for starters: I picked up this Forgeworld servitor a while ago, because I think he makes for an excellent Tech-Priest (I want him to be a Magos Xenobiologis). I switched his original left hand with a creepy claw from the Datasmith model, and while it’s a very small detail, I really like the change: In spite of his slack face, he looks rather keen to dissect come Xenos, doesn’t he?
Maybe I should remove the Inquisitorial symbol on his breastplate, but I am also partial to the idea that he has been closely working with an Inquisitor for so long as to almost be seen as a traitor by his fellow Tech-Priests? Anyway, we will see…

Magos Explorator WIP
Next up, the Datasmith from the Kastelan kit. Now I already pointed out in my review how much this guy reminds me both of the artwork for Delphan Gruss and of a piece of artwork depicting a Magos Explorator, so that’s what he will be used as: The model’s bulk and extensive weaponry really fit the life of a Magos Explorator, dedicated to rediscover lost knowledge in long forgotten (and dangerous) places.

I actually didn’t convert the model beyond an attempt at uncluttering it a bit: I got rid of the smaller servo-arm on the chest as well as the cable connecting the chest apparatus to the head. Both elements seemed a bit too clunky for my taste, and I like the cleaner silhouette created by these alterations. A lovely model all in all — painting him should be a treat!

I also simply had to pick up the Tech-Priest Dominus, because I simply love the model. I have started assembling it, and this is what it looks like right now:

AdMech kitbashes WIP (2)
I’ve only made two very small changes so far: I clipped off the proboscis-like piece of tech dangling from the Tech-Priest’s facemask, because I like it better that way. And I am considering swapping out his right weapon arm with a kitbashed forearm with a converted Necron hand, because the gun option seems rather OTT for an INQ28 character. What do you think, should I keep the arm I have or go back to one of the guns after all?

AdMech kitbashes WIP (3)
The Tech-Priests will also be accompanied by their bodyguard, so I have started working on a couple of Skitarii models. Here’s the first test model:

AdMech kitbashes WIP (10)
To be perfectly honest, the recipe for this guy was stolen wholesale from one of Dave Taylor’s Skitarii. I am normally opposed to lifting entire conversions from fellow hobbyists like this, but what can I say? Dave’s model was just perfect, and I wanted a guy like that in my own AdMech warband…

So, nothing all that interesting yet, eh? Well, I tried to be a bit more adventurous with my first two kitbashed Tech-Priest models:

First up, I wanted to try whether I could come up with a Tech-Priest mostly based on Skitarii parts. In order to achieve the robed look I consider compulsory for Magi of the Adeptus Mechanicus, I used a slightly shaved-down Empire Wizard set of legs I still had in the old bitzbox. Here’s the result:

AdMech kitbashes WIP (21)
AdMech kitbashes WIP (22)
As you can see, the conversion is fairly straightforward, although I did want to make sure the model read as something more than just any old Skitarius. Which is why I built a custom axe from a Dark Vengeance cultist axe, the condensator unit from the arc pistol, an Empire flagellant staff and some cabling.

The pistol, on the other hand, was a weapon I had originally converted for Brynn Yulner. After shortening the barrel a bit, it ended up looking pretty cool on the Tech-Priest — like an archeotech raygun of sorts (think Marvin the Martian 😉 ), with all of the weapon’s mechanisms completely internalised and hidden beneath a curved casing. Something not often seen in the 40k setting!

Oh, and maybe my favourite part of the conversion is how I replaced the original foot with a Skitarii foot. Not very flashy, but a nice detail, don’t you think? 😉

I also made some changes to the backpack in an attempt to make it look less like standard Skitarii issue:

AdMech kitbashes WIP (23)
I added a lantern, simply because I thought it might look pretty eerie and cool when painted with subtle blue glow. Speaking of which, I decided that I wanted this model to become my first test model for a possible AdMech painting recipe, so I started painting it right away. And here’s the painted model as it looked only a short while later:

AdMech Tech-Priest (1)
AdMech Tech-Priest (3)
I would have been happy enough with the model, but Jeff Vader suggested adding some kind of decorative trim in the cog style typical of the Adeptus Mechanicus. And while I couldn’t possibly have freehanded anything convincing, the Skitarii decal sheet had just the design I needed. So I added it and it really adds something to the model, if you ask me.

Here’s the finished Tech-Priest, Magos Zoltan Phract:

Magos Zoltan Phract (2)
Magos Zoltan Phract (1)
Magos Zoltan Phract (3)
Magos Zoltan Phract (4)

Magos Zoltan Phract (5)
Zoltan Phract is a Tech-Priest of the Velsian Adeptus Mechanicus, whose recent accomplishments have made him a rising star within this secretive order, in spite of his relative youth. His rise to prominence began during his tenure as representative of the Adeptus Mechanicus in the directorate controlling the ore-rich mining world of Silon Minoris. When the mutant workers of the world raised up their arms in protest against their life of slavery, it was Magos Phract’s decisive and, some would say, chillingly efficient chain of countermeasures that ended the workers’ revolt and insured the mines didn’t suffer from a noticeable decrease in productivity.

 

All in all, I was really very happy with this first test model, because it looked like I had found a good recipe for my AdMech models. But Phract ended up looking very much like the archetypal Tech-Priest: A slender, robed figure — yet still fairly human, at least with regard to his anatomy. I also wanted to explore the more deranged side of the Adeptus Mechanicus, however, so the next Tech-Priest I built was a floating Magos Genetor without a lower body, and I went for a creepier look this time around:

Magos Genetor WIP (4)
Magos Genetor WIP (5)
Magos Genetor WIP (6)
Magos Genetor WIP (3)
My favourite part about the model is that it was basically converted using nothing but leftovers: The head is the face from the plastic Commisar model with lots of added cabling from various kits. The upper body came from the Skaven Stormvermin, while the arms are from the Skitarii and Tech-Priest Dominus kits. And the cloak is a piece of cloth from the WFB Vampire Counts Coven Throne. All in all, these bitz made for a fairly creepy and original character, don’t you think?

In-universe, I imagine the lack of a lower body means that he can easily connect himself to the massive machine that makes up the centre piece of his surgical theatre via the cabling dangling from his torso. And when he decides to venture out of his lab, a set of antigrav stabilisers keep him floating,  his hanging robes working as an attempt at passing as a halfway-human figure when he has to deal with regular, unaugmented persons.

I was really happy with the conversion and started painting the model right away. Since Magos Phract had turned out so well, I basically used the exact same approach. So here’s the finished model:

Genetor Grendel (1)
Genetor Grendel (2)
A mix of Ecclesiarchy and Skitarii decals was used to add some holy AdMech scripture to the parchment dangling from the Genetor’s back:

Genetor Grendel (4)
Genetor Grendel (5)

Genetor Grendel (3)
“There are those within our order who consider my fascination with the organic a waste of time or even misguided. To those I reply: There can be no question as to the superiority of the divine machine over the frailties of the flesh. Yet it is only by considering the flawed, organic machines willed into being by this universe, that we may find the tools necessary to mend that which was created broken.”

Genetor Karras Grendel, Discourses on the Merits of the Organic

 

Grendel is a model I am really happy with, because he comes so close to the archetypal picture of a mad scientist in the back of my head: There are several more or less conscious inspirations for him (such as the villain from City of Lost Children, for instance), but when all is said and done, he seems fairly human at first and becomes pereptually less so the closer you look at him. What can I say, I really achieved the look I wanted on this model 😉

 

And finally, one last AdMech work in progress before we tune out for this week:

Did you ever have that feeling where you just want to build something cool, and you start aimlessly messing around with some bitz, but then things kinda get out of hand, and next thing you know, you’ve build a biomechanic monstrosity? Yeah, well, what can I say. This kinda happened:

Chimeric Servitor WIP (3)

So, whatever is the deal with this thing? All I can say is that the general plan was to build a huge, monstrous combat servitor of some sort. Maybe working on Genetor Grendel made me consider a more radical, disgusting approach, but there you have it. I had picked up the Blood Island rat ogred ages ago, with some half-formed ideas for converting them into Dark Eldar Grotesques or big mutants, but I never got around to using them. When the new AdMech models came out, I actually realised that they share some common ground with the rat ogres (those metallic tanks on the model’s back are fairly close to the tanks the Tech-Priest Dominus has, for example), so I thought I’d give them another look. The other thing that inspired this conversion was an illustration from the Inquisitor rulebook, where some monstrous, heavily augmented servitors can just be glimpsed through the fog.

Anyway, in spite of these ideas, the model really came together quite organically: I wanted to replace the lower legs with sharp augmetic stilts (originally Heldrake claws), and the expressionless facemask (from the Blood Angels Librarian Dreadnought) just seemed more interesting than yet another monstrous face. In fact, Neil101 pointed out that the mask gives the model a golem-like quality, which I like quite a bit!

After seeing how well the Kastelan power fist worked on the servitor, I changed the other hand to a Kastelan fist as well, only I used one of the guns this time around. I also added some cabling and cleaned up some details, and here’s what my “Chimeric Servitor” looks like right now:

Chimeric Servitor WIP (8)
Chimeric Servitor WIP (9)
Chimeric Servitor WIP (10)

As you can see, the model has had another augmetic leg grafted on — I thought this was a cool way of making the servitor look even more disturbing and less human. The kind of thing you only come up with in the middle of a kitbashing spree, eh…? 😉
Anyway, so much for my first few conversions involving the new AdMech kits! I hope you like some of these — I think I can safely say that we’ll be seeing more of this particular project in the near future. Until then, feel free to let me know any feedback you might have. And in closing, let me share another picture of Genetor Grendel and Magos Phract — in a a way, these guys are pretty much on the opposite ends on the craziness spectrum, but I just love them both.

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

Genetor Grendel and Magos Phract