Archive for kitbash

State of the Hunt, Week 21/2023: Banners & Brutes

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, state of the hunt, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2023 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, sorry for the short break, but I do have some new Khornate odds and ends to share with you, as my work on the World Eaters’ 4th assault company in its latest incarnation continues apace:

For starters, I have made an adjustment that I am pretty happy with to an older model of mine: “Argus the Brazen”, one of the now out-of-print World Eaters Castraferrum Dreadnoughts that were produced by Forgeworld at one point. I received the model from my buddy Augustus b’Raass a couple of years ago, and it was actually one of the first models – if not THE first – to be painted in my updated World Eaters colour scheme:

While I’ve always loved the design of the model, the one thing I was never quite happy with was how squat the top of the model looked in silhouette. It’s especially noticeable at a slightly lower camera angle:

So my plan was always to add some kind of trophy rack/banner on top of the Dreadnought chassis, only I never found a bit that felt just right. Well, I think I have now:

It’s the back banner from the Khorgos Khul model that came with the 1st edition starter box of “Age of Sigmar”, and it seems like a pretty ideal choice, if you ask me — although, as one Reddit commenter jokingly remarked, poor Argus will no longer be able to participate in boarding actions, as it seems. Alas, such is the price of being absolutely fabulous… 😉

In other news, I have recently managed to get my hands on what seemed like the last box of Eightbound in Europe (found it at my local Warhammer Store), and I picked it up mostly because I was curious and wanted to explore some conversion and kitbashing options.

It’s a …strange kit: There are such awesome parts to it (the general idea of massive World Eaters legionaries, swollen with chaotic power, the crazy amount of unneeded detail, such as the fully realised bare torso pieces, even if they are missing the obligatory “Triumph Rope” scars, for some reason.)… And then there’s the dodgy stuff, where it feels like the sculptors took things just a hair’s breadth too far, such as the somewhat overwrought designs for some of the weapons.

It’s also truly baffling how the kit seems very limited when it’s really not — I am probably the last person to realise this, but are you guys aware that basically all of the arms are interchangeable between models? You can basically use each left and right arm that comes in the box on each of the models. By the same token, all of the armour pieces are at least roughly compatible, so if you want to use a certain combination of breastplates on your models, you will be able to make it work with just a bit of tweaking and cutting.

You certainly wouldn’t know any of that by looking at the instruction sheet, the box art or the photos in the Codex, though: GW’s official photos of the models are doing a very poor job of advertising that fact, as they always go for the exact same combination of parts, even on duplicate models…

Anyway, my mission with the models was to choose my favourite combination of parts, add a few tweaks here and there and straighten out some of the parts of the stock models that I don’t like.

In that spirit, here’s my first test model:

This isn’t even a massive conversion: I just chose some bitz I liked, tweaked the arms a bit, shaved a superfluous pointy bit off one of the chainswords (and lengthened one of those short, stubby ones, by splicing in parts of an old Khorne Berzerker sword and adding that spike I had just cut off). The shoulder pads are still a first test fit, but I actually like the way they complement the armour that is already present — and there’s still enough of the bare arms on show so as not to interfere with the general, gladiatorial look of the models.

The second model presented a slightly more involved conversion: I tried to open up the pose a bit more by tweaking the model’s right arm:

The stock model is holding that axe at a weird, low angle — and partially across its front, no less. However, seeing how these guys look so much like massive, chaotic gladiators, I really wanted the pose to look as openly challenging as possible — as though the model were facing down a prospective opponent. This was easily achieved by cutting the axe arm at the wrist and re-attaching the hand at a slightly different angle.

Messing around with the axe arm also had the added benefit of allowing me to have the axe chained to the model’s wrist, via one of those chain manacles that I spliced in while I was tweaking the arm. I do think it looks pretty good, to be honest, and not all all like a conversion.

When it came to the model’s face, I once again chose one of the more daemonic visages. And I swapped in an extra shoulder pad — mostly as a placeholder for now, but I really like the way it complements the model’s silhouette: The head with its crest of Butcher’s Nails seems to emerge as though from within a shell in a reptilian, almost saurian way. And, again, the heavily muscled, bare arms are still visible enough to sell the gladiatorial look.

As for the third model, I mostly went with the stock options in this case:

I really liked the rebreather head, so I wanted to include it in the squad. The most important change I made was to replace the somewhat hokey original sword with something that looked a bit less like a softball racket and more like an actual chainsword (it was converted from the chainglaive that comes with the kit, with a few tweaks and changed parts) 😉

And here’s what my little squad looks like so far:

One thing many people dislike about the Eightbound is their – frankly, undercooked – fluff, but I’d say that part can happily be ignored. I am in the somewhat fortuitous situation that these guys perfectly fit my army’s existing fluff, in that I already had come up with the “Lost Brethren” (basically my army’s moniker for Possessed Chaos Space Marines), those members of the 4th assault company so swollen with the powers of chaos and/or covered in mutation and chaotic gifts that they are separated from the “saner” parts of the force, and basically expected to go out in a blaze of glory and find an honourable death on the battlefield before they collapse under the weight of their corruption.

The original interpretation of the Lost Brethren was converted by combining the old Khorne Berzerker kit with chaos mutation parts and Ork Boy arms:

And I think you’ll agree with me that the small squad of Eightbound above seems like a very fitting replacement for those old models, only they have been suitably modernised and upscaled — because the Eightbound are, in fact, massive! Check out this scale comparison picture:

From left to right: Khorne Berzerker (new kit), converted Chaos Terminator (2019 kit), Eightbound, Big Daddy Lorimar (based on Abaddon)

Incidentally, for any further Lost Brethren conversions, I think I’d throw some of the new Possessed Chaos Space Marines into the mix. I really like some of the sculpts — and the ones I don’t like would certainly be improved by splicing-in some of the leftover bitz from the Eightbound — because there’s quite a bit of stuff left from the kit!

In fact, I have already started messing around with some of the leftovers…

Right now, this is just the loosest, earliest mockup you could possibly imagine, but I think there may be something there: As you can see, I combined an AoS Slaughterpriest body with some leftover Eightbound parts, and I do think the general look so far is rather promising.

And there’s also a bigger thing I would like to do at some point, something I have been thinking about ever since I realised that one of the Eightbound chest armour pieces is conspicuously reminiscent of Angron’s own armour — maybe another version of the Lord Primarch might be in order…?!

In fact, it’s absolutely baffling to me how almost nobody seems to have considered the Eightbound kit as a source of a possible plastic Angron conversion so far — except, of course, for the true master of Angron conversions, REG, who is already hot on the case…

So, as you can see, I am still happily hacking my way through the new World Eaters kits — and also slowly, ever so slowly edging closer to actually getting something painted again. We’ll see how it goes 😉

Meanwhile, it goes without saying that I would love to hear any thoughts and suggestions you might have. And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

State of the Hunt, Week 18/2023: Baby Steps…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, state of the hunt, Uncategorized, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2023 by krautscientist

Just a small-ish update for today, as I keep taking the smallest, most absurd baby steps on my way of slooowly inching closer back to painting and something resembling actually finished models — and holy heck, I had certainly forgotten how difficult this can be!

But we’ll be getting there in a minute. Before that, let’s get into the swing of things by showing you some fiddly little things I have been doing — and not all of them have been a success. So let’s bring in Exhibit A in the the ongoing series “Conversions I hoped would work”:

I thought I had this really nifty idea for an – optional – helmeted head for one of my Chaos Lords, Bardolf, Lord of the Huntsmen:

The thought at the core of this micro-project was that it would be cool if, in an army where almost everyone is wearing a helmet with one of those bunny ears crests, there’s one commanding officer who goes against the grain. I still wanted the helmet to match the style of the army, though. Anyway, take a look:

The Unmade facemask from Warcry has this wonderful, almost primitive look: You could really imagine it as some kind of deathmask made from hammered bronze, I wanted this to work so much — but I cannot shake the feeling that the actually faceplate is just a bit too small, even after I went through the trouble of grafting it onto an actual CSM helmet:

It’s a bit heartbreaking, really. The helmet would be perfect for the model, if only the mask were a bit bigger. Oh well…

But while we are on the subject of spliced-together helmets, I ditscore a smaller success elsewhere: I painstakingly spliced together an Mk II helmet with a slightly Khornate look, just because I am sometimes completely into dumb detail stuff like this…

And while this was a bit fiddly to pull off, it’s a pretty simple conversion, really: I shaved the helmet crest off a Skullcrusher helmet, carefully scraped away the part between both eye slits, creating the iconic, cyclopic Mk. II visor look. And I grafted some “ears” from a bog standard Space Marine helmet to the sides of the head, bulking it out and creating a shape very close to an actual Astartes helmet. The horsehair crest came from the plastic Mk. III Marines sprue and seemed like a fitting addition for such an ancient armour mark. Here’s what the helmet looks like when added to an actual model (this particular guy just cannot seem to catch a break… 😉 )

And I spliced together one more helmet: I’ve always wanted to do something with one of the “Easy-to-Build” Primaris Reivers helmets I still had in my bitzbox, what with the skull faceplate and everything, so I went for a fairly obvious solution:

The stock helmet itself is maybe a bit too clean, but with the added helmet crest and dangling little skulls, I’d say it almost kinda works — in fact, I really wanted to see whether a paintjob would tie it all together, so I chose this part as my first test run on getting back into painting. Take a look:

It’s nothing special, to be sure, but it’s a start…

And in order to at least keep practicing, I next painted up one of those converted Terminator helmets I posted recently — the orky one:

Again, I think the paintjob at least manages to do a fair job at pulling the different parts of the conversion together, making it look like a unified whole.

Oh, and I also did something I had wanted to try for a while: Adding one of the new GW World Eaters decals to one of my 2019/2020 models:

I know, I know: Not exactly riveting stuff, but really just tiny bits and pieces. Bear with me, though — I am trying to get my mojo back here, as well as my hand-eye-coordination… 😉

I would, of course, love to hear any thoughts and suggestions you might have. And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Plastic for the Plastic Throne! Pt. 4

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, state of the hunt, Uncategorized, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2023 by krautscientist

The kitbashing train has no brakes! In all fairness, though: I still had that World Eaters Terminator squad to complete, so…

While the first three Terminators, along with the “salvaged” model wielding twin lightning claws, appeared in the previous post, there were still two more models left to go. So here’s what I came up with:

First of all, let’s take a look at the squad champion (although I really want them all to look equally impressive, so he doesn’t stick out quite as much as he possibly would in a less customised squad):

The most obvious addition here is the left arm from the Lord Zhufor model — I thought this would be a really cool alternative to the model’s standard bolter arm. The – slightly dodgy looking – standard sword was replaced with a weapon from the AoS Varanguard kit. I rather like its blunt, brutal and slightly daemonic look. And I added a helmet crest (from the Skullcrushers) and a World Eaters rebreather head, to round out the WE look.

And of course I couldn’t resist the temptation of turning the last model into an icon bearer:

Now this guy uses the actual Lord Zhufor helmet (although I have had to replace the tusks, due to a small accident). The banner pole and the hand holding it came from the AoS Blood Warriors — the bit was carefully grafted onto the existing Terminator arm. The Caedere Remissum crest once again came from the Skullcrushers.

Now this guy actually made for an interesting challenge, because I had to find the right banner for him: I wanted him to be carrying the IVth assault company’s battle standard, and none of the options I found in my bitzbox completely managed to win me over:

The first option was a Skullcrusher banner — a lovely piece in and of itself, make no mistake. But it’s also very monothematic, with that Khorne symbol on top AND that massive Khornate rune dead centre. What I was looking for, however, was more of an old company standard, complete with a legion symbol, and maybe some of the IVth’s battle honours, and the only way to create that from this bit would have been to to painstakingly shave off the rune, with a very high probability of ruining the piece altogether.

The second option was an actual, blank Space Marine standard — a real rarity these days 😉
What I really liked about this was how it would have allowed me to actually make the standard look like an age-old relic. But the main downside was how very, very clean it looks — and I wasn’t quite sure whether I would be able to make it look suitably distressed and brutal for a World Eaters standard.

The third option – a Bloodletter banner – had quite a few things going on in its favour: It’s suitably Khornate and chaotic. It’s also suitably tattered, while still leaving enough of a “blank canvas” for me to get creative. What wasn not really sold on, however, was the somewhat organic look of the crosspost. It also seemed like a very safe choice — and I guess that’s what I ultimately found the most off-putting about it.

And then there was this final option:

A WFB plastic Minotaur banner, if I remember correctly. I had actually wanted to use this as the IVth’s standard before: The way it seems like a mix of banner and trophy display really ties into the theme of the Eternal Hunt. But also maybe seemed a bit too big, a bit too much: I was afraid that it might overpower the model and cover up too much of it.

Ultimately, the feedback I received over at The Bolter & Chainsword supported my assumption that the minotaur standard really deserved another chance. So the next step was to turn it into something that would make for both a suitably grisly, Khornate banner for AND would still read as something that had, at one point, been an Astartes battle standard. So I carefully chose some elements to add to the banner:

I really wanted some kind of shout out to (Pre-)Heresy times, and in the end I realised that actually using a (shaved down) 30k Vexilla piece might just do the trick. It even has a little space for an obvious Heresy callback, such as a red WE symbol (or XII numeral) on white — or maybe even a War Hounds icon? Beyond that, I added some skulls and talismans. Not everything had been glued in place at this moment, and in fact I would end up making a few smaller tweaks down the road — as you’ll be seeing in a minute.

In the meantime, the entire Terminator squad also went through another round of detailing: While I like the sense of bulk and menace about the “new” Chaos Terminator kit, it is also incredibly vanilla-flavoured, so my main challenge was to really, really make these guys read as World Eaters. Good thing I found Wade Pryce’s notes on his own Terminators in the – fairly recent – issue of WD that had the preliminary World Eaters Index/Codex, and he talked about shaving off some symbols off leftover Blood Warrior parts and gluing them to the Terminators. Brilliant! So that’s what I did.
I also made some smaller tweaks to other areas, such as the headcrests on the champion and icon bearer, for example. Here’s a look at all the squad members as they are looking at the moment:

I’m not going to lie to you — I am pretty darn happy with the way this squad is shaping up! 🙂

And as for the icon bearer, here’s what he looks like with the finished (?!) banner provisionally tacked on:

I will still need to tweak it all a bit and make sure everything lines up correctly, but I am pretty happy with the model — in fact, one small touch that makes me almost stupidly happy, even though it is of small consequence, is the fact that the icon bearer is now actually wearing his gun mag-locked to his armour (and doubly secured with a little chain):

I carefully carved a concave shape into the inner half of the weapon casing, to make sure it conforms to the curvature of the armour underneath and doesn’t end up messing up the model’s entire silhouette.

So that’s it for this week! Before I started working on these Terminators, I actually feared I might not be able to put an original spin on them, given the crazy cool conversations floating around out there. But I am actually pretty happy with the squad so far:

And, of course, I would love to hear any thoughts and suggestions you might have. And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Plastic for the Plastic Throne! Pt. 3

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, state of the hunt, Uncategorized, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2023 by krautscientist

Yet more conversion and kitbashing hijinks for today’s update — I know, I know: I will eventually have to get back to painting! Bear with me, though, I have some pretty cool things lined up for today’s post.

Let’s begin with a bit of an “appetiser”, if you will: You’ll probably still remember this conversion from my previous post:

I have finally committed to the conversion for good, gluing the Blood Warrior mid-section to the Skullreaper/Wrathmonger legs (the actual torso remains only tacked-on for now, but mostly to make the painting process easier). I have also thrown together a belt buckle/belly plate with a leftover bit from an AoS Slaughterpriest and the dangling skull from Abaddon’s loincloth (the thing just snapped off, so I thought I might as well use it here):

Some cleanup remains, but I am fairly happy with this conversion! From a background perspective, I want this guy to represent Syrax, a shampion of the Harriers – the fourth assault company’s own brand of Raptors – and right-hand-man to a certain character named “Charun, Lord of the Harriers”, if anyone should still remember him from the earlier days of this blog…

As for today’s “main course”: You all should know by now that I have never learned to resist the utterly dreadful “Ohh! Shiny!” syndrome, so working on this model…

…really gave me an appetite for working on some more updated Terminators. Ultimately, I decided this with an impeccable sense of timing, buying a box of the “new” Chaos Space Marine Terminators just a week or so before the re-scaled loyalist Terminators were announced. Oh well…

But anyway, I was still looking forward to my first experiences working with the new 2019/2020 (?!) Chaos Terminators. They are a great update on the older kit (which, let’s face it, does seem slightly dodgy from a modern perspective). The updated kit is not without its quirks, but its more organic shapes and bulkier armour really do a great job when it comes to making Chaos Space Marine Terminators like lumbering, threatening behemoths (even if, as seems to be the standard with GW’s modern kits, each of the bodies only goes together in one specific way).

At the same time, the conversion standard for these models has become rather crazy while I wasn’t looking, with many hobbyists coming up with brilliant World Eaters Terminators! One source that I found particularly inspiring, if not downright intimidating, were fellow hobbyist RocPSU’s fantastic Terminator conversions — so I knew I would have to up my game for this project 😉

My objective with the new Terminators was threefold:

  • turn every one into an individual, because these are ancient veterans of the Long War and deserve to look the part
  • believably turn each of them into a World Eater
  • have them still read as Terminators: Now this sounds like it wouldn’t be a big deal, but you can really end up converting Terminators so much that you lose a huge chunk of the classic look that actually clearly makes them come across as Terminators, so I needed to keep a balance between creating cool conversions while maintaining the iconic look.

So here’s what I have so far:

You have already seen the gentleman with the twin lightning claws, of course. For my first “test model”, I tried to hammer out the general look I wanted to achieve, in some shape or form, for the whole squad:

Nothing too crazy here, just an attempt at making the model clearly read as a World Eater: The addition of a rebreather head from the new berzerker kit already did most of the work, and adding a Caedere Remissum crest to the top of the armour (courtesy of the blades from a weird Skullreaper/Wrathmonger weapon) was obviously the first oder of the day. Apart from this, I exhanged the head of the stock power maul with an axe blade from another Skullreaper/Wrathmonger weapon. And I added a small World Eaters legion symbol-like medal as well as a Khorne rune to the breastplate. Oh, and a heraldic tilting plate is a bit of an experiment for now — although I really like the idea that some squad members would be holding on to some remnants of their personal heraldry and/or squad markings from the Heresy…

Next up, the heavy weapons guy. For me, the silhouette of the massive autocannon is so very iconic of Chaos Terminators that I knew I had to use that gun. Beyond that, it was, once again, mostly a matter of adding some visual flourishes to make this guy look like a World Eater:

The (Forgeworld) World Eaters shoulder pad is the most obvious addition here. The helmet crest came from the Skullcrushers this time around, and was added on top of the armour, rather than being stuck directly to the neck seal. The shield is, once again, a bit of an experiment, but it’s an element that keeps appearing throughout my army to represent the World Eaters’ gladiatorial leanings, so I think it might be a cool little detail here. Oh, and I also did some work on the model’s breastplate:

And the final model so far: What is probably my least favourite body pose from the kit ended up turning into my favourite conversion:

Another helmet crest, this time from the Blood Warriors (arguably the best and most consistent source for this kind of bit at the moment). The small, Khornate tilting plate is another touch of personal heraldry (and came from the Skullcrushers). The power axe was spiced up a bit by swapping in the blade of a two-handed Necromunda Goliath chainweapon — to be perfectly honest, I’ve been looking forward to using that weapon ever since the new Necromunda came out 😉

Oh, and I carefully shaved off the little air intake/exhaust from the centre of the breastplate and replaced it with a legion symbol.

All of these changes were not my favourite part of the model, however: What is perhaps most noticeable is the helmet:

I had this weird desire to find out whether I might be able to re-create a plastic version of the vicious-looking, slightly Predator-like, mawed Terminator faceplate that can be seen on Forge World’s Lord Zhufor model:

Image source: Forge World

I used a skull from the box of plastic skulls for this, carefully shaving and gluing until I had what I would say is a pretty promising prototype:

That was not the end of it, however: Fellow Reddit user Money_Cost6121 suggested maybe using an ork skull for that grafted-on faceplate conversion, and while I originally discarded the idea as possibly ending up looking …too orky, I was still intrigued. So down the rabbit hole I went and created two more options. Here’s a comparison shot with all three versions I made:

Not going to lie: In hindsight, I feel a bit foolish for only trying the most obvious option (using a Bloodletter face) last… 😉

They all have their merits: Personally speaking, the Ork-version seems almost too monstrous, ogre-like to me. The Bloodletter probably looks like the most natural and refined option, although I have to admit that it ended up being just as finicky as the other two, and really mostly came together through sheer, dumb luck.

That being said, the conversion process is really not that complicated: For all three versions, you bascially just cut away the “face” from any given skull at a slight angle, starting at the bridge of the nose and cutting down. Then you carefully cut and shave away the lowest part of the faceplate from the Terminator helmet, trying to create a soft, concave curve. And then it’s a matter of careful test fitting, shaving and gluing — I might have to write up a mini-tutorial for this in an upcoming post… 😉

In any case, I think the results so far a pretty promising!

Oh, and because this question came up regarding the twin LC Terminator Lord in a comment to my previous post, here’s a scale comparison with one of the new Terminators:

As you can see, they work fairly well together: The older Terminator body seems a bit lankier (with a weirdly narrow torso piece), while the new Terminators are much bulkier and seem more ponderous. Even so, the models should look quite alright together, once everything has been painted, in 2034 or so 😉

And that’s another update in the bag! Once again, I would love to hear any thoughts and suggestions you might have. And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Plastic for the Plastic Throne! Pt. 2

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, state of the hunt, Uncategorized, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2023 by krautscientist

Another round of World Eaters conversions for today, although I’ll be focusing on the actual new berzerker kit a bit more. At the same time, I also have some converted characters to round out the post. We’ll be getting to that in a minute!

For the sake of completeness, let me point out that I actually treated myself to the limited edition of the World Eaters Codex, during the ridiculously short period of time when it was up for grabs:

I cannot (and will not) really say anything much about the rules, mostly because those concerns are mainly behind me these days. As for the flavour text and production values, I’d say it’s a rather nice little book: Where the army background is concerned, it offers a pleasant enough collection of texts, containing a nice, concise (and newly written!) writeup of the World Eaters entire legion history so far, plus enough little vignettes and warband descriptions to serve as inspiration and food for thought — even if Gladiator Cadre 331 basically cribs half of the backstory of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt, if you ask me… 😉

I said I wasn’t going to talk about rules, but one thing that stuck out to me is how, in its background text, the book actually goes out of its way to allow for all kinds of variety in the shape and form of World Eaters warbands, describing warbands holding on to a concept of personal honour, or those strongly based on vehicle use or on heavy weapons, when the actual rules present in the book only really allow for one type of army: One that does allows for nothing but close quarters combat. I certainly hope that a future wave of releases may yet round out the army a bit more, or at least open the way towards some of the interesting options that already appear in the fluff.

But I am honestly rather happy with the way “my” legion gets presented in the flavour text: There’s enough craziness and bloodshed, yes, but there’s also no small amount of hints at Angron’s and the legion’s tragic backstory. Oh, and I also really LOVE the cover artwork, especially since it features all kinds of interesting characters. Not something we sell too often these days, when a lot of GW’s artwork is strongly geared towards showing off only those characters and units that have actual kits, and precious few of the crazy, intricate and inspirational tableaux of yore.

And seeing how I had already gone all-in on the Codex, I also made sure to pick up the World Eaters collector’s coin during a recent visit to my local Warhammer store:

An indulgence, certainly, just like the limited edition codex. But on the other hand, I have been playing, building and painting World Eaters for almost thirty years at this point, so it would have felt even more stupid NOT to add these items to my collection… 😉

So, anyway, on to the actual models: Here’s a look at the Khorne Berzerkers I have been building using the new berzerker kit:

I might have to write up my thoughts on the new kit(s) in a more detailed shape and form at some point, because there’s really a lot to talk about. For now, suffice it to say that I like the new Khorne Berzerkers kit a great deal, especially the many shout outs to the earlier plastic kits AND the metal miniatures that came before. At the same time, the look of these models has been thoroughly modernised and nicely refined.

I do have some minor quibbles with the kit: For one, while it is more versatile than many of GW’s recent kits, it is maybe not quite as versatile as it seems at first: The bodies only ever really go together in one specific way, for instance, although that is not such a big deal, given the fact that you actually get ten unique bodies in the kit. A more immediate problem is the fact that you get two different types of gloves on the hands – standard CSM gauntlet and a modernised version of the classic berzerker leather gloves (looking far less clownish this time around) – and while I love the inclusion of the latter, this also means that you cannot simply combine any two arms from the kit without the result ending up looking a bit dodgy.

But anyway, I am still feeling my way around the kit, which is why the first couple of models have been mostly built “by the book”, so to speak:

Sure, I have subtly tweaked a pose here and there, but so far, the models are still fairly cookie cutter, which is really the biggest problem right now, as I still want them to feel like unique characters. So I will yet have to make a few tweaks and adjustment, find the perfect heads and helmets for these,… all in an effort to make them more unique. But I think I’ll be getting there in the end.

Then there’s this guy that I keep coming back to:

The original plan was to build a model stepping forward in a challenging way and bellowing out a challenge. I really wanted to use one of the shouting, bare heads for this, but as it turns out, they are not entirely unproblematic: Due to the way they are built, they can end up looking a bit strange when used on actual models (the open mouths resulting in a bit of an elongated neck). So I’ve fallen back on using a rebreather head for now, but of course this means you lose some of the intended viciousness.

One smaller breakthrough was to actually ditch the stock Berzerker backpack and swap in an Mk. III backpack: I think its more concentrated bulk works a lot better with the outline and mass of the model. But in any case, expect the pose & bitz on this chap to still change quite a bit before we are done 😉

The one case where I have already committed to a slightly more involved conversion is the squad’s vexilla/icon bearer:

Look, I am old skool to the bone: Backpack mounted banners and trophies are strictly for champions in my book. The icon bearer needs to be lugging around an actual icon: I love the idea that even the World Eaters will take it upon themselves to carry banners and icons into battle, all in an attempt to bring more glory to Khorne — they absolutely need to look suitably vicious, of course, so they could believably be used as weapons in their own right, should push come to shove.

I also like it when every squad has their own, original icon, so I am working towards that goal as well.

The icon bit itself came from the 1st edition Age of Sigmar Blood Reavers. I really liked its vicious, barbed look, and it has a lot of skulls, which is always a plus. I had to shave off the – slightly too reedy – Blood Reaver arm holding it. That area was covered up with yet more skulls, and a Wrathmonger arm was swapped in for its added mass:

So that’s how far I have come with the new berzerker kit so far. On a more general note, this should not come as a surprise, but the kit, and the models resulting from it, work very well alongside the more recent chaos kits, like the vanilla Chaos Space Marines. Here’s a quick side-by-side comparison with two berzerkers, one made completely from the new kit, while the other one almost exclusively uses Vanilla CSM and Blood Warrior parts:

Granted, the new berzerkers may be slightly taller (and wider!), but not too noticeably so. By the same token, all of the bitz can also be safely mixed into other conversions: Here’s a guy I just quickly tacked together from leftovers, using bitz from the berzerkers, vanilla CSM and Blood Warriors:

Works pretty well, doesn’t it? Alas, the poor chap has already been torn apart again, in an attempt to create an extra World Eater wielding a two-handed eviscerator for one of the old squads. Another kitbash made purely from leftovers, so to speak. Take a look:

The body is one of my usual mixes of vanilla CSM legs and a Blood Warrior torso. The arms are those of an AoS Slaughterpriest of Khorne (actually the very same model I used to build my gladiatorial version of Angron). I think the leftover weapon works fairly well as an eviscerator. The arms are maybe a bit too long, but I think we can just chalk that up to mutations 😉

Beyond that, there’s a backpack from the Dark Vengeance Chosen, a head from the vanilla CSM kit, a Blood Warrior shoulder pad on the left arm and an old FW World Eaters shoulder pad on the right.

My original idea for the axeman was to use a set of legs from the – supremely ungainly – Wrathmongers/Skullcrushers kit, but while the pose worked really well, the proportions were completely off, making the model look almost twice as tall as its intended squadmates. But I wasn’t quite done with those Wrathmonger legs yet, so I tried using them to build some kind of Raptor champion:

(Yes, I realise that Raptors are no longer an official part of the army — but frankly, who cares?)

The legs arguably work much better here. The scale problem is still there, but you can explain it away with the model just landing, so it almost, kinda works…

Before I tune out for today, I promised you some converted characters, right? So here goes: Two old acquaintances:

First up, some long time readers may remember the Terminator Lord wielding twin lightning claws that I built a long time ago, then kept tweaking for years:

I always wanted the model to be in something resembling a very classic “Wolverine” pose (you can almost hear those claws going “SNIKT!”, am I right?), and I was still pretty happy with that part of the model. so I really wanted to salvage this guy for the latest incarnation of my World Eaters. However, the slightly dodgy old Termie Lord legs no longer worked all that well, in my opinion. Well, some problems call for drastic measures. So here’s the reborn version of this particular model:

Yes, I tore apart two models to make a tweaked, new one — completely normal, nothing to see here. In my defense, the new legs (originally from Forge World’s Lord Zhufor model) work much better, wouldn’t you agree? And while this change may seem supremely wasteful, I would argue that both models had just been sitting there unused and unpainted for years, so some bold action was needed!

Yet another rebreather head from the Khorne Berzerkers is also doing a great job here — those heads are, in fact, one of the high points of the kit for me.

Funnily enough, while comparing the model to one of the new Khorne Berzerkers, I realised that the new berzerker torso pieces are actually wider than the older Terminator chest pieces! So I added those small pieces of swinging chain links, not only to support the model’s sense of dynamism, but also in order to visually stretch the torso — it’s a cheap trick, admittedly, but I think it works well enough.

And here’s one last WIP model for today: A long time ago I painstakingly created this model here. Huntmasker Alrik Skarn, Captain Lorimar’s second-in-command:

Back in the day, the model was inspired by a fantastic conversion on a – now defunct?1 – hobby blog called “Prophet Miniatures”. Come to think of it, the model must actually have been built about ten years ago, give or take, and it seemed like such a towering achievement back then. But I didn’t get around to painting Skarn, as is so often the case for me, and then the model’s time kinda came and went: I did make a couple of attempts to tweak him and bring him back in line with the rest of the army, adding different helmets and swapping in new chainswords, but for some reason, the magic spark had just gone out of the model. I still kept thinking of a way way to re-create or update the character, though.

This character was also on my mind when I started to work with the new CSM kits, back in 2019/2020, but I have held off on building a new version of Skarn until now. Well, no longer! Here’s what I have so far:

To be fair, this is still a fairly early build, but having danced around this particular project for years at this point, I finally had this “Eureka!” moment, and I already like him quite a bit! What do you guys think?

And with that, today’s kitbashing extravaganza concludes. Once again, I would love to hear any thoughts and suggestions you might have. And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!