Archive for kitbash

Orkheim Ultraz: Pitch-perfect

Posted in Blood Bowl, Conversions, Orcs & Goblins, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 6, 2019 by krautscientist

It’s time for another showcase post this week, as I have managed to finish another long running project of mine: As some of you may remember, I recently completed the last two Black Orc blockers for my Orc Blood Bowl team, the Orkheim Ultraz.

With the last two player models completed, all that was left to do was to give the entire team one last round of fine tuning. And that’s exactly what I did earlier this week, during one of my customary joint painting sessions at my friend Annie’s place:

I spent most of the session cleaning up the paintwork on some of the models, adding a few details here and there – especially painting the eyes on all of the models – and, maybe most importantly of all, painting a player number on each model. This turned out to be a slightly finnicky job, seeing how most of the models hadn’t been assembled with this step in mind, but in the end, I was able to wedge the numbers in there somewhere, even if I had to get creative in some cases πŸ˜‰

So it is with great joy that I can finally show you the finished team in all of its “pitch-perfect” glory. Meet the finished Orkheim Ultraz, everyone:

The Orkheim Ultraz
“Ultra ‘ard! Ultra-violent! Go Ultraz!”


I am really happy with the way the finished team looks. It’s also pretty cool how most of this team was basically assembled from leftover models, bits and pieces from my cupboard of shame, and cheap second-hand pick ups. I am not usually an extremely thrifty hobbyist, but this project was very much a case of producing a lot of bang for the least possible amount of buck πŸ˜‰

So, let’s take a closer look at the various models, shall we? I think we’ll just take it from the top:


Star Playa Gitgrim Sharptoof

The official line is that this guy was intended as my version of the “official” star player Varag Ghoulchewer. To be perfectly honest with you, however, I mostly just wanted to build a Blood Bowl model using the highly dynamic feral Orc boss back when I started my team, so that’s what I did. I am still pretty happy with this guy, even though I would probably do some minor things differently if I were to build him today (I think I would be a bit more corageous with the arms).

Anyway, with his eyes painted in and a few tweaks here and there, he is still a very nice focal point for the team, from a visual perspective.


For the rest of the team, my plan was to build the models in such a way that each model’s position and gameplay role would be fairly obvious just by looking at them.


Gugmar and Rikkit are the Orkheim Ultraz’ Throwers, proud to perform the team’s first move during kick-off — although they are usually happy enough to have seen the last of the ball for that turn…

When it came to actually making these look like throwers, I decided to use pretty light armour and suitably athletic poses. The sports glasses were a spur-of-the-moment idea when building the first thrower, and I was lucky enough to find another head with glasses for the second model.

I also didn’t want to just mimic Rikkit’s pose for the second thrower, so I came up with a model that was preparing to throw a squig — because there are days when you just have to haul an ill-tempered mass of teeth into a gaggle of players, simple as that.

I am still rather happy with the way the squig turned out, by the way:

I just love painting those little guys…


Black Orc Blockers

Certainly the ‘ardest hitters in the team, Morglum Bruis’Arm, Grimgork Bucket’Ead, Borzag Ironskull and Azhag Ironjaw (from left to right) are as massive as they are resistant to fun.

The first two Black Orcs I assembled were mainly built right out of the box, with the removal of the weapons the only major change to the stock models. I got a little more adventurous with the other two, both because I wanted to make sure they looked suitably different from their buddies, but I was also influenced by the rather impressive new plastic models that had been released by then.

Anyway, these are definitely one of my favourite parts of the team: They look like a massive wall of muscle, scuffed armour and ill temper, which is exactly the look I wanted for them. The scratches on the armour also make for a rather effective look, if I do say so myself.


Gabnaz, Gorgrim, Gulgrit & Urrzag (from left to right) are the Orkheim Ultraz’ Blitzers and always the first ones into the fray. What they lack in tactical acumen, they make up for in sheer enthusiasm!

The Blitzers were built fairly early into the project — in fact, Gorgrim up there was actually the very first test model for the entire team. This is why they mostly use standard Orc boy parts. At the same time, I used three visual cues to try and differentiate them from the Linemen: The aggressive, dynamic poses on at least two of them. The armoured gauntlets on all models, save for Urrzag. And the American football-esque shoulder armour (simply repurposed vanilla Space Marine pauldrons) on all of them. In hindsight, they may seem just a bit too conservative, especially when compared to the “official” new plastic models, but I am pretty happy with them, nevertheless.



At the lower end of the team hierarchy, Bolg, Urrg, Hergh and Garg are the team’s Linemen, referred to not so much by actual names, but rather by the amusing noises they make when going down during the game (Young Bolg there seems like he could be Blitzer material, though…).

Blood Bowl provides a great opportunity to inject some humour into the models, and the Linemen were my attempt at doing just that: I loved the idea that Orc Linemen should look like they were fairly incompetent when it came to handling the ball, so I made most of the models look like they were doing their darnedest to catch the blasted thing πŸ˜‰

Even better was the fact that most of this was mostly achieved by exchanging some hands and carefully posing the models on their bases — it turned out the monopose archers and boyz from the sixth edition WFB starter set were just perfect material for this particular project.

Bolg was built a good while later and maybe just looks a bit too competent for a lineman? I still like the fairly iconic, Blood Bowl-like pose he has, though. And whenever I look at those guys, I just have to smile, so I think I can call this mission accomplished πŸ˜‰


Don’t tell it to the boyz, but these sly little devils probably have more cunning than the rest of the team combined. Zatnig and Nogbli (on the left) are from the old neighbourhood and fit right in with the rest of the team. Snikrit and Skaskul come from one of the shifty underground tribes, and have yet to earn their own player numbers, as some of the boyz just won’t trust them…

…I knew right from the start that I wanted some goblins as part of my team, yet when I started out, I only had the old Night Goblin plastics to work with — which wasn’t really a huge problem, because I still like the looks of them a lot, and their poses worked pretty well for Blood Bowl. Even so, I was happy when I later managed to get my hands on some parts from the vanilla Goblin kit from the same era, as the models already look like they are wearing old-timey sports gear.

Apart from that, I tried a mix of models that look truly, almost comically, determined (Zatning and Skaskul) and two models that channel the rather mischievous nature of Goblins (Nogbli and Snikrit). I really like these guys, and it’s not even that noticeable that the four of them only share two facial sculpts between them πŸ˜‰

Big Guy

There aren’t many things, on or off the pitch, that Spleenrot has not yet confused with a ball. He is, after all, a troll…

This guy was a bit of a lucky discovery: While searching for suitable big guy models online, I found the old plastic troll from the 7th edition WFB starter set and thought he would be brilliant for the job — only the model was long OOP by that point. So it was a delightful surprise to discover him in a bag with second-hand models at my old FLGS — and for a song, no less.

The model may be a little small by modern standards, but I still think he’s the perfect big guy for the Ultraz. Converting and painting him was also a blast!


So much for the actual players — but wait, there’s more!


Da Medikal Krew

Doc Nipptakk & Medikal Assistant Whakkit

A gnarled veteran of the infirmary, Doc Nipptakk is an expert when it comes to getting players back on their feet. Whether his success is actually based on his famed injections of “Vitaminz” or players are simply afraid of the monstrous syringes he uses to administer them, and would rather stay healthy in the first place, the results speak for themselves. Whakkit is Nipptakk’s trusty assistant, and a practitioner of the fabled art of “‘Nasty-Easy-o-logy” — whenever he isn’t relaxing during a round of “Whack-a-Squig”, that is…


The Goblin medic is a wonderfully characterful Kromlech model and was given to me by my friend Annie. Painting this guy was a lot of fun, even if the many nooks and crannies of the sculpt lead to some swearing on my part πŸ˜‰

Whakkit, the little grot with the massive hammer, is a very recent completion, even if the model has been in my collection for years: It came from a mostly complete metal Doomdiver Catapult that I picked up as part of a larger job lot, and the model was so characterful that I simply had to rescue it from its somewhat drab older paintjob.


And here’s the freshly painted model again:


Da Ballz

These are actually my only concession to “modern” Blood Bowl models, although this was an easy exception to make: The balls were another gift, for one, plus there’s also the fact that Maxime Pastourel’s wonderful squig ball has to be one of my favourite models from the last couple of years! So including it in my collection was a bit of a no-brainer πŸ˜‰


Re-rolls, tokens and turn counter

The new Blood Bowl teams come with themed re-roll tokens and turn markers, so it was obvious to me that I had to come up with my own versions as well. Building these using all kinds of orcish bric-a-brac was a fun project, indeed!


Squig-themed dice/tokens

These, along with the next model, were another gift from Annie. I really love suigs, so those delightful two critters above were a much appreciated additon to my collection, even though they cannot really be used as dice. Oh, Annie basically painted about 70% of them, too, to give credit where credit is due!

Da Fan

Sourbelch is a huge fan of the Ultraz, even though many – if not all – of the game’s finer points escape him. But as long as he can wave his flag, get drunk on mushroom beer and watch some skulls getting caved in, he considers the game a great one.

This massive guy was a birthday present Annie converted and painted for me a couple of years ago. The troll isn’t a GW model, yet it perfectly fits the vintage GW look. The beer barrel and straw setup was the result of an idle conversation about maybe converting a fan model wearing a beer hat. And now Sourbelch is here, proudly waving his flag and waiting to be joined by some additional fanz — hopefully you won’t have to wait for too long, buddy! πŸ˜‰


So that’s it — my entire Blood Bowl collection, at least for now. This project has been running for quite a while, but now I have a finished team. Incidentally, since I have recently started to re-familiarise myself with the rules by way of the Blood Bowl II video game, here are the Orkheim Ultraz in their digital form:

And here they are, once again, on the tabletop:

Of course, as Doctor Manhattan tells us, nothing ever ends. And while I am happy to call the actual team finished at this point, I will just as happily keep adding models to this collection: I still have plans (and WIP models) for some more hangers-on (a “kit-git”, as it were, plus some more fanz), a display base for the team or some smaller or bigger pieces of terrain. Plus there’s also that mystery teaser model I shared with you in my previous post…

And who knows, maybe I will even actually get to play the game again? We shall see… πŸ˜‰


For now, I am very happy with the finished team, however. And I would of course love to hear any feedback you may have! So please leave a comment!

Before I tune out for today, thanks must go to my friend Annie for keeping me motivated during this project and for providing neat little additions to my collection every now and then — one of these days, I’ll know the rules well enough be able to steamroll over that gorgeous Dwarf team of yours, by way of thanks (Ha-Ha, fat chance…) πŸ˜‰

Oh, and lest I forget: The fact that these guys had been waiting for their finishing touches for years at this point probably qualifies the finished team for Azazel’s “Neglected Models June” challenge as well πŸ˜‰

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


State of the Hunt, Week 21/2019: Meanwhile, back in the Dugout…

Posted in Blood Bowl, Conversions, Orcs & Goblins, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2019 by krautscientist

Back to Blood Bowl for a bit this week — if it seems like I am frantically jumping from project to project in full hobby butterfly mode at the moment, the truth is that I am rather making the most of my current hobby motivation and productivity in order to complete some long-running projects. Case in point, my Blood Bowl Team, the Orkheim Ultraz: I started these back in 2013 and have kept adding a few models here and there ever since. After my latest bit of working on the team, I was basically down to two last missing players: These Black Orc blockers here:

While the models are based on the standard WFB plastic Black Orcs, they were still built with the new, rather more massive Blood Bowl models firmly in mind — hence the added bulk and extra-vicious look. And when it came to painting them, I hoped that my recent success with painting hulking monsters in jagged red armour would pay off here as well πŸ˜‰

So I took them along to one of Annie’s and my frequent hobby sessions and got to work.

One was my painting water, the other my drink. The colour match is obviously far too close for comfort…

The main challenge with the models was to make sure the paintjobs matched the colours of my first two Black Orc blockers. Since my Orkheim Ultraz have been such a long running project, maintaining the same look across the entire collection can be a bit tricky from time to time — but the fact that my recipe for these models is a rather fast and loose affair really helps: At the centre of it all is still the recipe for green skin I nicked from A Gentleman’s Ones many moons ago, and still make frequent use of. The skin is also just about the most sophisticated part of my recipe.

Apart from that, it’s mostly a case of blocking in the main colours (various browns for the leather and cloth, rusty silver for chainmail or similar metallic parts, and Mephiston Red as a basecoat for the armour), then adding a heavy wash of Army Painter Strong Tone over everything that isn’t skin and letting it do most of the work. After that, I only need to add lots of metallic scratches with a bit of Leadbelcher. And that’s about it, really.

Fortunately enough, the first Black Orc blocker I painted seemed to fit right in:

I also really liked the brutal look of the model, even more effective now in full colour πŸ˜‰

Here’s a picture with all of the Black Orcs in a neat row — neat for Orcs, at least. The model on the right was still about a third through the painting process at this point, as you can see.

Like I said, the main ingredient for my Orkheim Ultraz painting recipe is a liberal use of Strong Tone wash. To wit, here’s what the armour plates on my Blood Bowl Orcs look before and after washing:

Anyway, the two Black Orcs turned out to be a blast to paint, so I just needed to finish their bases (using the contents of the exact same bag of static grass I bought at the Cologne GW store about 20 years ago), and the two last player models were finished:

All in all, I am really very happy with these. They fit right in, as you can see from this picture of all four Black Orc blockers:

What a delightfully brutal looking bunch! Now these are certainly the least humorous of my Blood Bowl models — but that’s really as it should be with Black Orcs, right?

And, like I said, the completion of these last two models means that all of the player models for the Orkheim Ultraz have been painted. So meet the finished team:

I really rather love the finished collection, if I do say so myself! And with the exception of the balls (including Maxime Pastourel’s brilliant squig ball, one of my favourite Blood Bowl models of all time), each model in this army has been customised and kitbashed from non-Blood Bowl models, which almost feels like a matter of perverse pride to me πŸ˜‰

Of course this doesn’t mean that I am done with creating Blood Bowl models now — far from it! I have all kinds of ideas for cool hangers-on, fans and sideshow pieces. But it will be nice to be able to build them around the solid core provided by a finished team!

In fact, I have one last teaser picture for an upcoming, Blood Bowl related project to share with you:

Also, while all of the Ultraz’ players have now been painted to a reasonably high standard, there are still some tweaks that I want to perform on the team (such as making sure all of the eyes are painted, adding player numbers — stuff like that). And when I am done refreshing my knowledge of the Blood Bowl rules (my current experimentation with the Blood Bowl II video game I picked up during a recent sale has been …encouraging so far), I might just get in another game or two…

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

Berzerker (R)evolution

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2019 by krautscientist

After last week saw me complete a World Eaters Dreadnought, today another member of the XII legion muscles his way to the front of the queue — so what is this about?

The recent Chaos Space Marines release has been a bit of a bittersweet affair for me. Sweet, of course, because the models are obviously brilliant, and such a long overdue reworking of some rather ancient kits. At the same time, however, the added size of the new CSM makes a rather big part of my World Eaters look pretty runtish. There’s also the fact that I don’t see myself revamping the entire army anytime soon — or, in fact, ever: I’m not sure I still have it in me to build and paint huge 40k armies, as I am much more interested in smaller, bite-sized challenges like INQ28 retinues or single pieces that appeal to me. And yet I did of course want to get in on some sweet chaotic action — so what was I to do?

The best possible approach was to start by purchasing some new plastic crack, of course, so I hot myself a box of vanilla Chaos Space Marines and Havocs each (I just couldn’t resist the massive, brutal look of the Havocs, even if rules don’t even interest me all that much at this point). And I began some preliminary experimentation.

Now as many of you will already know from firsthand experience, the new CSM are noticeably taller than the older models, and that makes quite a few of my chaos models look rather weird next to the new guys. Unfortunately, this includes a fair bit of my still unpainted stuff. So the first order of the day was to find out which of my more recent (unpainted) chaos models were still salvageable. In order to find out, I quickly poster-tacked together one of the new models to serve as a point of reference:

Keep this guy in mind — we’ll be seeing more of him shortly…

This guy was mostly built straight out of the box — although, as you can see, I couldn’t help adding a Caedere Remissum helmet crest, even at this early hour — more on that particular design decision later…

Using the new guy as a point of reference, I was lucky enough to find some models that might still work.

There’s my WIP Iron Warriors kill team, for starters:

Now this project was started before Kill Team was even a thing (again), so I mostly played it by ear back then, and built models that appealed to me from a visual standpoint. At the same time, I did try to go beyond the look of vanilla CSM with this project, so most of the models (except for the one tester lurking in the back whom you may safely ignore) were mostly based on Chose models from the Dark Vengeance boxed set. And while the models are still a bit shorter than the new CSM, they don’t look too out of place. Two Iron Warriors remain unpainted, but have already been built, as you can see, and after that, I think I’ll be adding a heavy weapons specialist (built from one of the new kits), add a few suitably IW-themed cultists and call it a day. The finished team should hopefully still work well enough. And KiIl Team, with its smaller model count and potential larger focus on individual characters (and models) appeals more to me than standard 40k at this point.

But where does that leave my World Eaters?

Well, the good news is that I found some guys that should still work rather well in this new, upscaled world. Take a look:

Once again, most of these conversions were heavily based on the Dark Vengeance Chosen, so they still work fairly well (even though they are just a tad shorter than the new models):

I also think that coming up with a really cool World Eaters Kill Team (code name “The Hateful Eight”) should be a very rewarding project in and of itself. If that prompts me to keep building and painting World Eaters for 40k proper afterwards, so much the better. But for now, I want to explore the new kits and use them to build some of the best World Eaters I can come up with — at least that’s the plan.

That being said, the new kits turn this into an interesting challenge, because many well established conversion recipes may not work anymore due to the slightly changed scale (many stock arms, for instance, just seem too short on the new models. As do the chaos marauder arms I have used many times to create the classic “bare arm” World Eaters look). So my first little project was to find out how to make the new vanilla CSM look more like World Eaters, so I started to mess around with a couple of bitz:

The good news is that most older helmets and shoulder pads should still work fairly well — this includes some of the older FW shoulder pads (as seen here with the pauldrons from the berzerker conversion kits. They torso pieces from the same kit, however, are right out).

But I also wanted to do something slightly more involved for my first test model, and after looking for a while at a Blood Warrior chest piece, I got a bit more creative:

Some of the new breastplates are still a bit bland, to be honest, so I decided to splice in some Khornate goodness: I carefully cut through the torso front just above the abdomen as seen in the picture above.

The Blood Warrior breastplate (seen on the left) fit with just the slightest fraction of shaving. However, there was a huge gap underneath it that, while not directly visible when looking at the model from the front, still made it obvious that the torso was hollow. So I used a bit of GS to create a small lip, like this:

Then the Blood Warriors breastplate was simply glued on. The GS plugged the gap, and the new torso works really well, what with the cabling on the abdominal section and everything:

Granted, the whole assembly seemed a little less convincing when seen from the side:

But most of this should end up being covered by the arms anyhow — I merely added some GS to create a straight surface for the arms to attach to.

Here’s a mockup of the entire body:

Now I was really pleased with myself at this point about how clever a conversion I had created. However, I only realised after completing this particular conversion that to replace the breastplate like that would have been even easier on some of the other bodies from the kit, because those already have the breastplates and abdominal section separated from the get-go. Oh well, we live and learn… πŸ˜‰

Anyway, a short while later, I had my first World Eaters test model made with the new CSM kit:

I think there’s something so malevolent about this guy’s pose — like a predator stalking its prey…

Of course I decided that I would need to get this chap painted right away, so I adapted the colour scheme I had used for my recent Chaos Dreadnought for use on the smaller model and used quite a bit of time to make sure to get the paintjob just right…

Once again, brighter reds and oranges were used both for edge higlights, but also to create scratches and scuff marks, in order to make the armour look pitted and ancient, and to suggest a texture to the whole warplate.

Oh, I also included a shout-out to Wade Pryce’s World Eaters, one of my biggest inspirations when I got back into the hobby: The stylised legion badge was very much inspired by the way Wade used to paint the World Eaters symbol.

Anyway, to make a long story short, allow me to share my first finished World Eaters test model created using the new CSM kit, fully painted and based:

I did decide to include a bit of blood on the chainsword, using Tamiya Clear Red to create the effect:

And here’s another peak at that legion badge inspired by Wade Pryce’s old models:

And here’s a pretty nice shot (if I do say so myself) of the new World Eater next to Argus the Brazen:

Now as for the evolution of my berzerker painting scheme and, indeed, my Khorne berzerkers, I have prepared a little comparison shot to show you the evolution, as it were:

On the left is one of the first Khorne Berzerkers I painted back in 1998 or so, back when the plastic kit was released. These guys still saw use in my modern army, mostly because I was too lazy to replace them. Next in line is the first World Eater I painted when getting back into the hobby after a longer hiatus, in 2010, but using a slightly tweaked recipe. The third guy was an experiment on replacing the – by then OOP – Blood Red with Mephiston Red, but back then I wasn’t quite happy with the effect. And there’s my brand new little guy — maybe this time I have finally managed to nail the recipe? What do you guys think?

I also took a couple of scale comparison pictures, just to illustrate my earlier point about the new kit making most of the classic catalogue look rather tiny.Β  The difference is not equally pronounced between all CSM: For instance, the DV Chosen are just a tad shorter than the new CSM, but it’s not too obvious. Old CSM models, however, just look really awkward next to the new guys, at least if untweaked. Take a look:

Almost a little painful to look at, isn’t it? πŸ˜‰ The new Marine just seems much taller — and indeed he is. Now here’s a comparison with an old model that was nevertheless aΒ  slightly more involved kitbash:

This comparison is interesting because it shows off both the evolution of my painting recipe, as well as the fact that the legs from the new kit are quite a bit longer, the torso is broader, and the backpack no longer dominated the entire model as much. It’s especially obvious when looking at the back of the models:

Next up, another round of comparisons with some taller models:

For starters, here’s my new World Eater next to Brother Arcturus Diomedes, based on a Primaris marine:

As you can see, the new CSM are not quite as tall as Primaris Marines, but they are closed (and could be used as true scale models opposite Primaris in a pinch).

And here’s a comparison with one of the wonderful converted World Eaters my buddy Augustus b’Raass sent me earlier this year:

Augustus’ model was created using older part, but it’s heavily converted and built to be taller than a standard CSM, so you barely notice the difference in height. So that’s the good news for those hobbyists with highly customised and converted chaos armies, I suppose — your guys still look good, in spite of the scale creep πŸ˜‰

Also, don’t get me wrong: Ultimately I would say the new scale is for the best — it finally gives the Chaos Space Marines the stature they deserve, because unlike their loyalist counterparts, they have skipped one or two rounds of scale creep. By the same token, however, the change is so significant that it presents a couple of challenges to chaos players now, but those can definitely be overcome. In fact, I would say that to figure out how best to use the new kits and how to work around the changes in scale seems like just the kind of creative challenge that should delight chaos players all over the world!

For now, I am pretty happy with my first test model, and I am actually looking forward to painting a couple of World Eaters again — who would have expected that, eh? Anyway, I would be happy to hear your thoughts on the new model, of course, so please leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! πŸ™‚

Argus the Brazen

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2019 by krautscientist

Contrary to what I said last week, you will still have to wait for a bit longer for that lavish feature showing my fully painted HeroQuest set, bot because I simply haven’t managed to take the required photos yet — but also this cheeky gentleman here just happened to jump the queue:

Indeed, it’s the FW World Eaters Dread I already shared with you a while ago and originally given to me as a gift by fellow hobbyist Augustus b’Raass.

Originally, I only really brought the Dreadnought along to one of my recent hobby sessions at my friend Annie’s place so I would have something to keep me occupied during the drying times for my HeroQuest furniture. But then I was able to complete the feet and base really quickly:

And why stop there, right? So this is what I had when I headed home that evening — on top of the painted HeroQuest stuff, no less! πŸ˜‰

And after that, it was mostly a matter of painting piece after piece. Dreadnoughts are rather enjoyable to work on in that it’s easy to paint one part after the other and assemble the model as you go.

One thing I definitely knew I wanted to feature was a stunning contrast between the red armour and a striking, blue-turquoise colour for the planet that is part of the World Eaters iconography adorning the Dreadnought’s sarcophagus:

The colour was achieved by basecoating the planets with a mix of Vallejo’s Magic Blue and Milenario Turquoise (always great for a bit of pop, those two!) and a drop of white. Then the entire area was washed with a mix of Drakenhof Nightshade and thinned-down Milenario Turquoise. And then I carefully drybrushed the area with white to just pick out the slightest bit of surface texture. Anyway, I am pretty happy with the way the area has come out on the finished body:

While we are on the technicalities, let me also give another shout out to the Dreadnought’s head, a brilliant little piece that I think is just a wonderful sculpt — and one that is unfortunately obscured quite a bit by the rest of the body:

I think there is something wonderfully menacing and gladiatorial about the design, and the cabling evokes the World Eaters’ Butcher’s Nails implants rather beautifully. And while the head doesn’t shine quite as much as it could on the finished model, it’s a good thing, then, that I have already used the design on several models, such as one of my 30k World Eaters Contemptors and, of course, on Worker #9:

Anyway, I soldiered on and was able to finish the entire body in fairly short order:

Which left we with only the arms left to paint — I gave special care to the right arm I had converted from plastic bitz (whereas the rest of the model is all resin), trying to make it look like a stock part of the Dreadnought. Here’s a picture from midway through the painting process:

In the end, things came together fairly quickly. So here, without further ado, is the 4th assault company’s newest member:


Argus the Brazen
XII Legion, 4th assault company

Gosh, it feels like it’s been ages since I have managed to paint a proper World Eaters model. And what’s more, I surely took my sweet time getting this model painted, seeing how Augustus gave it to me back in 2017!

But in my defense, I did want to do the Dread proper justice, especially since it was a gift, and I also needed to come up with a proper, modernised recipe for painting World Eaters that wasn’t just a lazy knock-off of my older, defunct World Eaters recipe. In fact, my new approach has ultimately evolved out of my work on my Imperial Knight and, more recently, the first of my Armiger Warglaives:

And to show you how my painting has – hopefully – evolved, here’s a comparison shot with Argus next to a Dreadnought using my old recipe — incidentally the first Dreadnought I ever painted, back in 2011 or so, Marax the Fallen:

While the photo – invariably, it seems, – eats up some of the finer points of my newer paintjob, I hope you’ll agree that my recipe has become a bit more sophisticated.

So yeah, I am pretty happy with the finished model. And of course, thanks must go, once again, to Augustus b’Raass for providing me with this lovely OOP model! Cheers, buddy! πŸ™‚

Oh, and after a bit of a dry spell on that account, this model also sees me rejoin Azazel’s regular community challenges, as I feel Argus just makes for a very fitting contribution for Azazel’s Mechanismo May challenge, wouldn’t you agree?

And with a proper new World Eaters recipe now sorted out, who knows: There may be even more chaos in the cards sooner rather than later. Just sayin’… πŸ˜‰

For now, however, I am pleased with having finished something suitably Khornate again! And I would love to hear any thoughts you might have, so feel free to leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! πŸ™‚

State of the Hunt, Week 14/2019: Another chaotic interlude…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, state of the hunt, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2019 by krautscientist

So, something unrelated to my #HeroQuest2019 project for today’s update — don’t worry, though, work on my HeroQuest models continues apace! However, with all of those incredible new Chaos Space Marine models hitting the shelves, I felt the need for just a wee little bit of chaotic kitbashing — indeed the irony of all of those models finally arriving just when I happen to have taken a bit of a hiatus from 40k has not escaped me…

For now I have mostly resisted the lure of the new kits — or of the Shadowspear boxed set, for that matter: While I basically love everything I have seen so far, I can simply not justify dropping over a hundred Euros on yet another box that would remain unpainted for the foreseeable future. But I do have my ways, and so a recent bitz delivery has provided me with the raw material for some smaller experiments. So let us take a look, shall we…?


I. The Host

Let’s start with what’s probably the least impressive offering for today, albeit one that I am nevertheless pretty happy with: Ever since first laying eyes on those rogue psykers that came with Blackstone Fortress, I have felt the need to use one of them to create a Daemonhost (most likely for use in INQ28): There’s just something about the chains and weighing down the psyker’s floating body that really recalls the Daemonhost aesthetics originally introduced by the 54mm version of Inquisitor — plus I have been saving that perfect Daemonhost head (originally from the Hellstriders of Slaanesh) for such a conversion. So anyway, here’s what I have made:

As you can see, it’s a pretty straightforward conversion: I have mostly just replaced one of the arms and the head, and have also shaved off most of the openly chaotic decoration. I still think the changes have nicely tweaked the general look and feel of the model — just a few purity seals and imperial doodads, and this poor wretched soul is ready for grueling servitude in an inquisitorial retinue (probably of the Ordo Malleus flavour, come to think of it).

This was, however, merely the warmup:


II. Don’t look a gift Dread in the mouth…

The second model I would like to share with you has been a long time coming: Back when I visited fellow hobbyist Augustus b’Raass in Amsterdam in 2017, he was generous enough to present me not only with a pile of conversion bitz, but also with one of the old Forgeworld World Eaters Dreadnoughts:

Now I have a fond personal history with those FW Dreadnoughts, because they were my first proper contact with Forgeworld to begin with: Back when I saw those, I remember being utterly blown away with the sheer quality of the sculpts — and there was one for each Traitor Legion, mind you! And all of this at a time where the Traitor Legions didn’t exactly get all that much love from GW proper.

Alas, I never purchased one of the Dreads, and when they went OOP a while ago, I was quietly furious at myself at passing the opportunity to have the World Eaters one in my collection — an oversight that Augustus remedied by way of his wonderful gift.

But I am nothing if not a hobby butterfly, so it took me ages to finally start working on the Dreadnought — I was also missing some proper arms for him, in my defense. But when Augustus recently sent me a wonderful squad of World Eaters, he also included a chaos Dread CC arm in the package, and I definitely got the message: I would have to get the hell off my arse and build that Dreadnought, at long last!

So only one bitz delivery later, I had everything I needed for the model:

So here’s a look at the initial mockup of the Dreadnought:

Most work went into turning that squeaky clean Venerable Dreadnought lascannon arm into a suitably chaotic version that matches the general look of the model. Here’s a closer look at the – mostly finished – gun arm:

I chose the Lascannon, mostly for the visual balance created by those longer barrels. When it came to making it look suitably chaotic, I worked from Forgeworld’s “official” design, trying to match several of the visual cues present in the sculpt, while also putting a small personal spin on things here and there. So here’s a look at Forgeworld’s version:

And here’s the – mostly finished – Lascannon arm I came up with:

There’s also an additional cool little special effect in place here: I decided to base his gun arm on one of the weapons from the Venerable Dreadnought kit in order to be able to keep the arm modular, so that it will accept alternate guns and can make use of the additional weapons I already built back when I converted my first Venerable Dreadnought.

Beyond the arm, I only added one or two bitz to the rest of the model, not wanting to overpower what I think is a brilliant sculpt overall. So here’s a look at the completely built model, already in the intended pose, leaning into its next shot:

Only some cleanup and the base design left, and then I hope I can finally do this guy justice. Wish me luck! πŸ™‚


III. Step into my parlour…

So is that all? Welll, when I said that I had resisted the lure of Shadowspear so far, I may not have been entirely honest with you…

So there’s also this:

As some of you may have already realised, those are the sprues for the Chaos Venom Crawler, the daemon engine included with the Shadowspear boxed set:

I simply had to get my hands on one of those, as there is just so much about the model that I love: It’s a freaking monster spider from hell, for one. I also love how it has all those shared visual cues with various daemon engines: You’ll find little touches from the juggernauts, the Heldrake or the Forgefiend/Maulerfiend all over the creature’s jagged carapace. I love how lithe and deadly it looks (where some of those older daemon engines were a bit clunky). Anyway, I needed one to play around with a bit, so there.

For all my love of the model, however, there was one area that I thoroughly disliked: The head. It was just a bit too weird for my taste (and not the good kind of weird, at that). And it definitely lacked that certain (Khornate) je-ne-sais-quoi. But I felt I had just the idea for that…

A head from the Blood-Slaughterer Impaler, carefully cut down to fit into the carapace. Of course with the first attempt, I was still trying to find my feet, getting the placement right while still keeping that spiked crest in place, just in case I didn’t want to commit to this solution.

It quickly became clear to me that this was the way to go, however, and that getting the head to look right would mostly consist of shaving down the neck portion until it fit just so. So I did just that, and the reszlts ended up looking better and better:

In case anyone was wondering about the scale of the model, by the way: Here’s a comparison picture with the Venom Crawler next to a Myphitic Blighthauler:

I can only commend whoever planned out the way this model should be assembled for an excellent job! It goes together like a dream, and the legs can be easily left off to have an easier time during the painting stage — excellent craftsmanship, this one! At the same time, the finished model looks far more delicate and complex than the relatively few parts would suggest. As for my replacement head, I kept shaving, millimetre by millimetre…

And after a few more sessions, I think I have the perfect setup:

Of course the seam between both parts still needs a bit of cleanup, some additional cabling etc. — but I think the head works really well like that. In case anybody else is considering a headswap on this beast, let me just say that a Armiger head would be a perfect fit (and the cyclopean one makes for an excellent, sinister Dark Mechanicum look) — just sayin’ πŸ˜‰



IV. A shout out in closing…

While you may actually have seen this elsewhere, just to be on the safe side: The first issue of 28 MAGAZINE, a free digital mag dealing with the wonderful world of INQ28 (and AoS28, for that matter) has been out for a while now, and you should definitely check it out and immediately download it here. It is the most extraordinary thing.

So that’s it for today’s update. If you have any thoughts about my small chaotic projects, I would of course be delighted to hear them! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! πŸ™‚

#HeroQuest2019: The Witch Lord

Posted in heroquest, old stuff, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2019 by krautscientist

More #HeroQuest2019 today, but after blazing through the entire set of undead monsters, I felt I had earned myself a little wiggle room for a bit of fun. So what is this about?

As you have already seen in a previous post of mine, I won’t simply limit myself to painting the classic models, but I am also looking at some chances here and there to add some custom models to my set of HeroQuest, in order to create representations for the special characters that appear in some of the quests, but don’t have an official model. So this time around, my plan was to create a model to represent that most dastardly of recurring HeroQuest villains: The dreadful WITCH LORD!

For those who don’t remember the game, seeing how it’s been thirty years and everything, the Witch Lord made his first appearance in the standard quest book: Intrepid adventurers would accidentally awaken him about two-thirds through the base game’s collection of quests, while actually searching for a magical artifact, then had to find a magic sword that could harm him in response to his awakening. The Witch Lord then served as the quest book’s end boss, so to speak. Yet that was not the end of it:

A couple of expansions for HeroQuest were released a bit after the basic game system, and one of these was titled “Return of the Witch Lord”. Here’s Les Edward’s cover artwork for that particular expansion:

Illustration by Les Edwards

When I saw it, I was instantly in love! In fact, the cover artwork alone sold me on the expansion, so when I was allowed to choose a HeroQuest expansion box as a birthday gift, I chose this. How could I not, with all those wonderfully skeletal knights on the cover, and let’s not forget Skeletor’s debonair cousin at the centre of attention!

In hindsight, especially from a collector’s perspective, it would have been so much smarter to get, say, the “Against the Ogre Horde” expansion that actually came with some original sculpts, whereas Return of the Witch Lord just featured more skeletons, mummies and Zombies. But I couldn’t help myself, that illustration just went straight for the throat — in fact, it remains one of my favourite fantasy illustrations of all time, and I feel tempted to say that I even prefer it to the actual HeroQuest cover artwork.

There was also something truly cool about having a recurring villain across several iterations, especially one so blatantly inspired by Skeletor. Fun fact, though, I didn’t even realise the villain of the piece was supposed to be the Witch Lord as the German title of the expansion was “Die RΓΌckkehr des Hexers”, and the only character referred to as a “Hexer” (Warlock) in the German version of HeroQuest was a character from an earlier quest, represented by this model from the box, yet another skull-faced evildoer:

Don’t worry, we’ll be getting to this guy in a furture post…

Anyway, be that as it may, I think you can maybe understand why remembering the Witch Lord gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. So when I sat down recently to think about whether or not I could add a couple of custom conversions to my classic HeroQuest set, it was obvious the Witch Lord would end up right at the front of the queue.

I started by collecting inspiration online and looking at other people’s work, as I usually do before a conversion project. Once again, Lestodante’s collection provided ample inspiration:

Models from Lestodante’s collection

As you can see, the model he uses for the Witch Lord is, in fact, a custom sculpt that almost perfectly replicates the artwork while also looking very much like an official HeroQuest model from back in the day — a wonderful solution, and I am still green with envy!

There was also Ampersand’s really cool Witch Lord:

Witch Lord conversion by Ampersand

As you can probably guess from looking at the model, this one uses more modern GW plastic parts, namely from the (still available) Skeleton Warriors. So I made a note and earmarked that particular kit as a possible source of useful bitz.

As an aside, there’s also the Frostgrave Lich Lord, who would have would have worked really well, too, even though I only discovered this after the fact:

In fact, given the resemblance in both the design and the very name, you’ve got to wonder…

But anyway, a proud converter like me has to come up with his own version, right? So keeping the excellent inspiration in mind, I decided that the best way to start was to work from the very artwork that had inspired me so much many years ago. So here’s a closer look at the Witch Lord as originally imagined by Les Edwards:

My initial idea included some Skaven Stormvermin and Empire flagellant parts and would have looked a bit like this 40k renegade psyker I built a couple of years ago:

And I think the general approach would have worked pretty well, too. But then fate struck, and I discovered an even better approach:

You see, one of the things I wanted to achieve with my Witch Lord model was to have the model invoke that particular, slightly clunky “retro GW” Oldhammer look: I wanted a model that looked like it could actually have been produced back when HeroQuest was originally released.

So what better way than to start with a vintage model from back in the day?

So here’s what my very first Witch Lord mockup looked like:

The model is actually mostly based on an old, early-to-mid 90s Dark Elf Warlock. This guy:

And I still had the remains of one of those in my bitzbox. It was already in a pretty sorry state, too, missing both its its head, right hand and staff by the time I got it, so it’s not like I actually had to vandalise a classic model to make my Witch Lord — if anything, this was yet another salvage job!

The head came from the – aforementioned – GW Skeleton Warriors, with horns from the plastic WFB Chaos Marauders. And I began building the Witch Lord’s staff by combining an old Skeleton standard bearer arm (for the staff) and a bird skull from the GW Skulls kit.

After I had the basic outline, it was mostly a matter of matching as many visual cues from the artwork as possible. So here’s the finished conversion:

I replaced the first version of the left hand with a Empire flagellant hand. The detailing on the staff was achieved by grafting some Bloodletter horns and teeth to the bird skull for a pretty convincing look, if I do say so myself (Fun Fact: I have since discovered that the staff wielded by the leader of the Nightvault Godsworn Hunt warband would have been an almost ideal place to start — oh well…).

And since everything was still looking rather hideous at this point, it was a good thing that the undercoat had the great effect of pulling all of the disparate parts together rather nicely.Take a look:

Even though I had to make a couple of compromises, I think I have still done a pretty good job at matching both Les Edward’s art and the somewhat clunky vintage HeroQuest look, wouldn’t you agree?

When it came to painting the model, the artwork worked as perfect inspiration, so I tried to match it as closely as possible, especially for the luxurious crimson robes, dark metal and bright golden parts. Here’s a PIP shot…

…and here’s the mostly finished model:

Of course the Witch Lord needed to be on a proper HeroQuest base, so I carefully cut a damaged skeleton from its original base and used that for my Witch Lord model. One weird but cool thing was that the undercoat produced a really pronounced crackle effect when sprayed onto the base, and for no discernible reason, at that. At first I was a little miffed, but then I realised that this was a cool little effect, seeing how this is the base of a powerful undead monstrosity, so I actually embraced it:

And I still wasn’t done with the model itself either, as I wasn’t perfectly happy with those empty eye sockets, and rather wanted to feature those evil, glowing eyes from the artwork. So I went back to the model and created the tiniest eyeballs you can probably imagine, from almost microscopic amounts of GS. So here’s how that turned out:

And with that, the model was officially complete. So without any further ado, I give you: The Witch Lord:

All in all, this was a great way of expanding the classic collection of models, give myself a fun distraction between painting all of those monopose monsters, but trying to match the retro-GW look was also a neat little challenge.

So here’s a look at the Witch Lord commanding his army of the undead:

So that’s it for today. I am pretty happy with my little undead horde, but I still have a lot of work before I can call my set of HeroQuest completed, so it’s back to the painting table for me πŸ˜‰

It goes without saying that I would love to hear your thoughts on my version of the Witch Lord, so drop me a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! πŸ™‚

#HeroQuest2019: Into the breach…

Posted in Conversions, heroquest, Orcs & Goblins, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2019 by krautscientist

Work on my current endeavour to paint a complete HeroQuest set continues, and while today’s update may not be the most exciting one, it was always clear that this project wasn’t going to be all shiny hero models — no, a true dungeon master also needs enough monstrous henchmen, so I continued the project by painting some of the HeroQuest monsters:

During my previous attempt at painting HeroQuest models (back in 2014), I had already finished a couple of test models for some of the monster races included in the game, so I already had a basic idea of what I was going for:

While I knew I would have to slightly tweak some of the recipes, this was still a solid base to start from, if nothing else.

For starters, I chose to work on the Orcs, the most numerous monsters to appear in the HeroQuest box. The base game comes with eight of them, I already had the one test model (that would only need a few minor touch ups), and I decided to throw in an extra Orc to bring the overall number up to ten. Ultimately, my goal is to have the sixteen Orcs that are required to also be able to run the “Kellar’s Keep” expansion, but for now, nine Orcs to paint seemed just tedious enough for me πŸ˜‰

Like I said, my test model seemed like a good place to start, with a tweak or two. I definitely wanted to keep the recipe for the skin — it’s an approach I discovered a couple of years ago over at A Gentleman’s Ones, and it has served me really well over the years, making for a convincing looking green skin that also has a certain warmth and organic look to it. So that was definitely a keeper. I also wanted to keep the overall, slightly grimy and dirty look, mostly because it just seemed like a good match for Orcs.

Now the basic sculpt of the HeroQuest Orc is pretty cool, but the models are also all virtually identical, except for their weapons: There are four different weapons and I had nine models left to paint, so I decided to go with differently coloured smocks for every three models or so, just to add a bit of variety. Apart from this variation, however, I basically stuck to batch painting the models:

While this worked fairly well, I discovered once again that batch painting simply isn’t for me. There’s also the fact that the HeroQuest Orcs are just complex enough to be slightly irritating when you batch paint them, but I gritted my teeth and soldiered on. And here are my finished Orcs:

Now these guys certainly aren’t award winning material, but they work well as a group, and I’d say there’s just enough colour variation to keep things interesting. I also changed my recipe for painting the weapons a bit when compared to my test model, and I think the dark metal look, with added scratches, works better than the initial approach.

Two quests in the standard HeroQuest questbook call for an Orc warlord, who uses the model with the curved, notched Scimitar, so I gave that particular model a red jacket, to set him apart from the rank and file. While I may end up creating a dedicated warlord model at some point, this guy should work well enough whenever I want to stay within the framework provided by the classic models.

So here’s a closer look at the different weapons and fabric colours:

Oh, and I guess it’s pretty obvious how, like my previous HeroQuest models, these ten should also definitely count as contributions towards Azazel’s “Neglected models” community challenge for February πŸ˜‰


Anyway, with ten models completed, I felt I had earned a little fun for myself, so I ended up creating a custom model for a HeroQuest NPC: The second quest in the classic quest book is about rescuing an Empire Knight captured by the Orcs, one Sir Ragnar (or Sir Manfred, in the original UK version. He’s Ragnar in the German version, though, probably because Manfred is a pretty common German first name — a name suited to your dad or uncle, however, not to a mighty Knight from a fantastic realm. Just saying…).

Now the actual game doesn’t feature a dedicated model for Sir Ragnar, as he is intended to be represented by the Chaos Warlock model — but, come on, I couldn’t let that stand, right?

While doing a bit of research, I stumbled upon this custom model for Sir Ragnar/Manfred, commissioned by fellow hobbyist Lestodante:

And while this basically seemed like the ideal solution – the model actually looks like an actual, official HeroQuest model, the chances to get my hands on one of those seemed slim to nonexistent, so I had to get creative myself.

Taking quite a bit of inspiration from Lestodante’s model, I kitbashed my own Sir Ragnar. Seeing how the character is an Empire Knight from the (almost-) Warhammer world of HeroQuest, I mostly used plastic Empire bitz, some of them rather vintage, which was key for achieving that slightly clunky, vintage HeroQuest look. So here’s my version of Sir Ragnar:

The conversion is actually really simple, combining a set of legs from the old Empire state troops with a torso and arms from the – still available – flagellants and an old plastic Knights of the White Wolf head. I wanted Sir Ragnar to look like he had spent quite some time in captivity, hence the shaggy beard and tattered shirt. Both his hands and neck are also manacled, which I think is a good way to represent both this captivity and his less than stellar stat-line in the game.

I also did my best to make sure he matched the rest of the HeroQuest models in scale. Oh, and I gave him a proper HeroQuest base, of course, salvaged from a heavily damaged Skeleton model.

All in all, I am pretty happy with the finished model — and building a character to match the classic miniature style was a neat little creative challenge!

So yeah, if nothing else, you can see how I am taking this project rather seriously πŸ˜‰ I would love to hear your thoughts about my progress so far! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!