Archive for knight armiger

A Child for the Warrior King, pt.6 — and a small interlude

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2018 by krautscientist

My hobby work has not been all that exciting recently: The combination of a decided lack of feedback here on the blog and a prolongued downtime over at The Bolter & Chainsword has worked as a bit of a dampener to my hobby motivation. But I have a new update to share with you all, dealing with my second converted Armiger once again. And as a special treat, I’ll also sneak in a small bonus-review somewhere along the way, so keep your eyes peeled πŸ˜‰

But first things first: My second Renegade Armiger was already mostly finished in my previous post, but it still needed that final bit of attention, especially when it came to finishing the chaotic decoration: The most important part was to add spikes and skull trophies to the top carapace. At the same time, I also grafted some small teeth, carefully shaved off the little vanes that come with the CSM Raptors, to the pauldrons and leg armour, for that certain chaotic je ne sais quoi.

So here’s the result:


Those added elements really do a pretty great job of pulling all of the parts of the model together from a visual standpoint, plus they also serve as a parallel to my other Armiger Warglaive.

So the model is basically ready for paint now. Take a look:


Oh, and after adding the final layer of detailing, I also straightened out the cockpit and pilot, making a few final tweaks and additons here and there. So here’s the completed build for the Huntress inside her cockpit:


As you can see, the way the Huntress controls the machine actually matches the setup I used for the first Armiger. This time around, however, I actually made sure to make the alignment of the machine’s head match that of the pilot (it’s only a small thing, but since I used the standard Armiger head this time around, at least beneath the extra bitz, it was easy enough to keep the head poseable):


I am actually really happy with the conversion, plus I think the two Armiger really work rather well together. Several people on the forum pointed out how the machines seemes like two pack mates, ready to bring an opposing Knight (or even Titan?!) down, and how the new Armiger actually seemed a touch more feral than the first model. Since that’s the impression I was really going for, I am rather happy to have achieved that dynamic with the two models:

Incidentally, I also made a small tweak to the Hound, adding some Blood Warrior decorations to his pauldrons. See if you can spot them in the picture above πŸ˜‰

 

Bonus review: Canis Rex

So, while we are on the subject of (Imperial) Knights, allow me to sneak in some thoughts on one of GW’s fairly recent releases thtat I have wanted to share for a while: I am talking about Canis Rex here:

The release of Canis Rex was interesting for a number of reasons: It marks the third revision of the Imperial Knight kit in almost as many years, for one: Each subsequent release has added new parts and options, and this latest kit is no exception, providing us with all the weapon options released so far, along with a new weapon, the las-impulsor, that can be used to assemble the model as a Knight-Preceptor. So far, so good. At the same time, Canis Rex is also a veritable named character, so the model comes with original parts to turn a generic Knight into Canis Rex with its unique heraldry. Last but not least, there’s also the fact that the kit provides us with the bitz for a fully designed cockpit – something that the GW-Knights have lacked so far – and for the pilot, Sir Hekhtur the Chainbreaker.

Now my love for the Imperial Knight per se is well documented, and I still consider the model a landmark release and one of GW’s finest modern kits. All the original kit’s strenghts remain, obviously, and we actually get some new toys to play around with. So let us take a closer look:

Let’s start with the new weapon: Where most of the Knight weapons we have seen so far have a rather more brutal, archaic look, this new gun hews closer to a more experimental, “Martian Deathray” look, which is nice. On a related note, looking at the silhouette of the weapon, I cannot help but realise how you could probably kitbash a similar weapon using the side panels from a 40k life pod (from either the 40k objectives kit or the new Kill Team: Rogue Trader boxed set), if you need the weapon but don’t want to buy the new kit.
Whether or not you like the las-impulsor, though: The kit also seems to contain every other Knight weapon released so far, so the world is really your oyster here.

When it comes to Canis Rex’s unique armour plates (and heraldic elements), those bitz are nice, if a bit vanilla: The facemask strikes me as ever so slightly too generically medieval, but that’s purely a matter of personal choice. On the other hand, the combination of a wolf/dog head and a chain on the tilt plate and banner make me wonder whether those bitz might be useful in a 30k World Eaters/War Hounds project…

What I really like about the inclusion of those bitz is how GW actually embraces the idea of having those Knights be true individuals — something that has always played a big role in the background, but it’s still nice to actually see that philosophy now realised in model form. If anything, coming up with your own background, heraldry and backstory for your noble is something to be encouraged.

So far, the additions to the kit are nice but not exactly massively exciting.This all changes with the third big addition to the kit, however, and easily the biggest draw of the model, if you ask me: The inclusion of both a fully detailed cockpit and a pilot:


Seeing how the nobles piloting the Knights were already being played up as important and powerful individuals in the background, I actually find it baffling that it has taken GW so long to represent them in model form. If anything, I feel Imperial Knights should have been themed around their pilots from the get-go. But anyway, now we finally get our pilot model, and both in a walking and a sitting form, which is nice:


I like how the model’s armour/pilot suit neatly straddles the line between baroque(medieval and functional — it arguably works better with the general 40k aesthetics than Forgeworld’s almost too sleek and futuristic looking Knight pilot. At the same time, it’s also nice how some design elements (see the arrows on the armour plates, for instance) are shared between the Knight and its pilot.

Now while the pilot is supposed to be Sir Hekhtur the Chainbreaker, it’s easy to see how a simple headswap would be enough to turn him into an original (male) knight pilot. Creating a female noble from those bitz would still be possible, albeit with a bit more conversion work — and maybe the inclusion of some of the slightly narrower Genestealer Hybrid body parts.

When it comes to the actual cockpit, I really love how GW’s sculptors have managed to squeeze lots and lots of detail into a pretty tight area (believe me, I know): The design looks great and channels visual cues from both Forgeworld’s Knights and various Titans:

If I have one criticism, it’s that I think the controls are almost a bit too modern and “Space Marine-y” and should maybe have looked a bit more archaic – like the kind of tech you see in Forgeworld’s Titan cockpits – but the design still works very well, and the option to build it so it can even be looked at with the top carapace closed and the hatch open is an awesome little touch:

 

For me, and other hobbyists as weird as me, coming up with a way of building the interior of a Knight has been one of the most interesting parts of working with the model. So seeing an “official”, readymade version now is a slightly bittersweet moment: On the one hand, it’s great that GW has finally stepped up and provided us with the building blocks for a Knight interior. At the same time, however, this also takes away some of the adventure, for lack of a better word, and challenge of scratchbuilding and kitbashing an area like this — oh well, at least we still have the Armiger interiors to think about πŸ˜‰

On a related note, and if you’ll excuse a bit of boasting, I have to say that I am really rather happy with the way I managed to come up with something pretty similar to GW’s “official” look for the pilot and cockpit years ago, back when I built my own Knight:



So for those who do not own any Imperial Knights yet, you guys are in luck: You are now able to pick up the definitive version of an already fantastic kit and end up with lots and lots of beautiful options to play around with. If, like me, you were among the early adopters of the Imperial Knight, you might be forgiven for feeling a bit left out (and for being expected to buy yet another 100+ Euros kit). The third revision of the kit in as many years. Because much as I like this newest revision to the kit (and much as I liked the previous revision), I cannot help asking myself whether those weapon options and cockpit bitz could have been part of the model from the beginning — the pilot and cockpit, in particular, seem like parts of the sculpt that must have been considered from the beginning…

 

Call of Chaos 2018:

Before I wind up this post, let me quickly address the current Call of Chaos event over at The Bolter & Chainsword: With the forum back up and running, fortunately enough, I think I’ll just have a go at joining in the event again this year. Here are the models I think I’ll be pledging as my Call of Chaos vow:


Including the second Armiger is a bit of a no-brainer, obviously, as I really want to have the happy family finished before the year is out πŸ˜‰ In addition, I want to get some paint on two Nurglite characters that have been sitting on my desk for ages:

First up, a Nurglite Lord on bike that was built over a year ago (originally for another forum painting event last year):

Still pretty happy with this guy — you certainly wouldn’t think he started out as a Ravenwing biker from Dark Vengeance, would you? πŸ˜‰

And there’s this conversion of Maxime Pastourel’s Lord of Contagion model from the Dark Imperium boxed set:

his guy should be fun to paint, with all the gribbly areas of distressed skin and gooey intestines πŸ˜‰

 

So anyway, that’s it for today’s update. It goes without saying that I would love to hear any feedback you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! πŸ™‚

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A Child for the Warrior King, pt.5

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2018 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, with the annual Call of Chaos event (over at The Bolter & Chainsword) upon us, I thought it was time for a rather more chaotic update this week. Because I have had a bit of a breakthrough with my second Armiger Warglaive – and the second member of Enkidu Lance, Baron Harrowthorne’s retinue – this past weekend.

Just to remind you, here’s my previous Armiger from earlier this year:


You can read up on the model in more detail here.

So of course I still wanted to complete the second child of the warrior king. Unfortunately, not much really happened with the model for a rather long while since the last WIP pictures I shared with you.

The main reason for this was that I lacked some parts I thought were crucial for the conversion: Having discovered how well Bloodthirster vambraces work as leg armour for Renegade Armigers, I definitely wanted to feature this element on my second Armiger as well, but I just couldn’t get my hands on another set of the bitz, which also pretty much blocked any further work on the model.

But last week, thanks to theΒ  awesome generosity of fellow hobbyist ElDuderino, I received a bitz drop that contained some of those ever important vambraces, and this provided me with the motivation (and the bitz!) I needed to hammer out most of the conversion over the weekend. So allow me to share my progress with you:

Here’s where we left off last time:

Promising, but nothing to write home about yet. So the first order of business was to nail down a pose for the Armiger. And after a bit of hemming and hawing, here’s what I came up with:

It’s really just a subtle tweak of the standard Armiger leg pose, which is very narrow and makes the model look as though it were marching straight forward. By attaching the legs at a slightly different angle (and cutting off the nubs that look the feet in place, allowing for a bit more flexibility), I have widened the stance just a bit, making it look slightly more aggressive while also creating a pose that could be interpreted as the Armiger bracing for firing its harpoon.

I’ve set myself a bit of an overarching visual framework for both Armigers in that I want both models have their own personality while also featuring a fair number of recurring visual elements between them, in order to show how both machines (and their pilots) are still retainers – and, ultimately, subordinates – to the same renegade noble.

So when it came to featuring some recurring models, I basically copied most of the armour from my previous model, especially the shin armour and Khornate icons (the trophies and spikes I add to the carapace will also follow a similar design, while still allowing for some individuality).

Anyway, here’s what the second Armiger currently looks like:

On the model’s left arm, you can see the Ursus Claw harpoon I converted (some detailed conversion notes can be found here):


As for the gun arm, I felt tempted to go with an original, kitbashed weapon for a while, but then ultimately decided to use yet another of the Forgefiend’s ectoplasma cannons: They work really well on an Armiger, for one, and provide some instant “chaotification”. And it also makes sense for both models to be armed with the same gun, seeing how there’s really only one wargear template for Armiger Warglaives so far, especially when it comes to their guns. Oh, and the ectoplasma cannon bit will also allow me to paint some plasma coils again, which is always a plus πŸ˜‰

One small complication was that I had to replace some of the cabling on the gun, because I had cut it off earlier (for a different conversion), but I think I have managed to come up with a look that works.

 

So there are definitely enough shared elements between the two models to tie them together from a visual standpoint. But at the same time, I also wanted each model to have its own personality and, by the same token, have the Armigers reflect the personality of their respective pilots:

With the Hound, I imagine its pilot as a former member of a loyalist Knight household who was forced into rebellion when the Forgeworld protected by his house seceded from the Imperium. He eventually found his way into Baron Harrowthorne’s lance, as part of the World Eaters’ 4th assault company, but when all is said and done, he still subscribes to the traditions and trappings of knightly houses, which also shows on his Armiger (the fairly standard armament, the banner listing the pilot’s accomplishments,…).

This second Armiger’s pilot (codenamed “The Huntress” for now), on the other hand comes from a more techno-barbarian-styled background, as a member of a slightly more feral warclan. Now her homeworld may be a Dark Mechanicum Forgeworld or a former Knight world, but it has been in the clutches of the ruinous powers for far longer, and this shows in her warlike disposition as well as the somewhat more feral look of her machine. For this reason, I chose a slightly more brutal looking armour plate (from the vintage Bloodthirster) for the space between the legs in place of the – more traditional – banner. I also added a huge spike to the right pauldron (for a slightly more gladiatorial look). At the same time, I think the more open, threatening pose also does a nice job of hinting at a less restrained, more openly aggressive personality for the pilot.

So when you place the two Armigers next to one another, there’s a lot to tie them together, but also a slight difference in look, which is exactly the effect I was going for:

And while we are already speaking of the pilots, I also made some tweaks to my model for “The Huntress”, of course:



While the basic kitbash already worked fairly well last time around, I now had to clean it up and make sure the model actually fit into the interior even when the carapace was placed on top and locked in place. I also tried to make her pose look similar to that of the first pilot, mostly in order to hint at the underlying way in which an Armiger is piloted.

I also added some bitz and bobs that few people will ever notice once the model is glued in place: There’s a small chaos icon dangling from the model’s belt, and also a skull shoulder pad that nobody is ever going to see πŸ˜‰ I also added a jagged tooth worn as a necklace to hint at the Huntress’ more tribal/techno-barbarian background.

And once again, getting it all to fit together really took some doing πŸ˜‰

So with most of the heavy lifting out of the way, the rest of the conversion will be mostly about two areas: There’s some gap-filling and a bit of extra detailing to be done in the cockpit area. The biggest part still left will be the detailing of the carapace and armour plates, including the placement of trophies and spikes, grafting some teeth to the armour trim here and there, and adding some battle damage to match the look of the Bloodthirster vambraces.

For now, however, I am fairly happy with the look of the model — and with finally having managed to get this project under steam again, mostly thanks to ElDuderino. Cheers, mate! πŸ™‚

It goes without saying that I would love to hear any feedback you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! πŸ™‚

A Child for the Warrior King, pt.4

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2018 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, I hope I won’t bore you to death when I stay on the topic of converted Armiger Warglaives for yet another post — bear with me, as there are some news to be shared πŸ˜‰

First of all, my finished Renegade Armiger, discussed in detail last week, not only served as an entry for Azazel’s Jewel of July challenge and as my vow for this year’s ETL VI event over at The Bolter & Chainsword — he also actually managed to win me win me a Badge of the Artificer during the latter, making the Hound one of this ETL’s standout models, which I am actually very happy with!

You see, given the incredible output by some fellow forum members – and also my own lazy pace of painting – it was always clear that I had no hope of ever winning any kind of award based on the amount of painted models. But the Badge of the Artificer is based on the ‘Wow-effect’ of individual models or vows, independent of their points worth, and I will admit that I’ve been gunning for that badge for a while now, and achieving it with a model that I am still pretty darn happy with definitely feels great!

In celebration, have a look at the snazzy photo montage I have created for the “Master Artificer” poll that will go up over at The B&C in the near future (EDIT: It’s right here, in case you want to check out the fantastic models created by the other entrants):

That’s not the only Armiger-related news, however:Β  Since the heat in this part of the world has been almost unbearable for the last couple of weeks, and since I was still feeling a bit drained from the last paintjob, I limited myself to some light kitbashing, trying to come up with a cool angle for the second Renegade Armiger I still need to build: I decided to start with the parts of the model that would define its personality more than any other. Exhibit one, the face:

This time around, I didn’t want the head to look like a daemon face or another “classic” skull face, because that approach has already been sufficiently explored with the skull-like face on the first Armiger. I rather wanted to experiment with something that looks like a more robotic, mask like design that has had some elements grafted on to look intimidating and sinister, When building the mockup for the facemask, my inspirations were Biohazard’s attempt to channel Darth Nihilus’ facemask on his own Armigers, a couple of the creepier bug creatures I’ve encountered during my recent playthrough of Hollow Knight — oh, and if there was one direct visual influence, it’s Volund, a creepy automaton from ADB’s and David Sondered’s very cool webcomic series “The Road to Jove”:

Artwork by David Sondered

 

Artwork by David Sondered

 

So with those sources of inspiration in mind, here’s what I have come up with:


As you can see, it’s a more robotic – almost insectile – look. The one thing I am not sure about is whether or not to use the lower jaw: On the one hand, the head arguably looks even more like a creepy insect face without it. On the other hand, I rather like the way the jaw rounds of the design of the head (and ties back into a more classic chaos look).

Maybe it’s a decision I have to make once the head has been painted…

Here’s a – very early – mockup of the second Armiger:

The interesting thing about this model will be how much it resembles – or doesn’t resemble – the Hound: On the one hand, I do want the personality of the respective pilot show in the setup, pose and decoration of their Armiger to some degree, plus there also has to be a certain amount of individuality for the models to be suitably interesting. On the other hand, both Armigers are actually men-at-arms to Baron Harrowthorne and Gilgamesh, so I do want to have certain elements of uniformity as well. I imagine this whould be a fun balance to toy around with! With that said, this also means that the model can only really take shape once I’ve managed to get my hands on another set of Bloodthirster vambraces – or, failing that, vambraces from Skarbrand.

If anyone has those bitz and would be willing to trade, please let me know!!!

Oh, and I have also started with the assembly of the cockpit and the pilot — meet “The Huntress”:


I have wanted to add some kind of female character to my World Eaters ever since Lotara Sarrin turned out to be Betrayer’s best human character, and if I even needed any more persuasion, seeing Cheex’ fantastic female corsair captain, gave me the last little shove I needed.

I still had the face from one of the Coven Throne vampires – after cutting of her hairdo for my recent conversion of Countess Mandelholtz – and I combined it with a pilot hat from the Astra Militarum Sentinel — I think?! Anyway, the original face was carefully shaved off to make way for the female face. I think I may have to get rid of that small aerial over the right ear, though, as it probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense…

As for the body, my original plan was to build the model around another sentinel pilot, but then I realised that the Genestealer Hybrid bodies make for rather perfect pilot suits — and the models are also slight enough in build to work as a female character wearing a somewhat bulky suit.

Of course having a mockup was all well and good, but I still needed to fit the model into the actual cockpit. This was easier work than last time around, however, as I already had a basic recipe in mind.

So here’s my mockup of the Armiger’s cockpit and pilot:



This is still early days, of course, and I mostly focused on trying to at least get all the elements that need to be present in there. On the finished build, the pilot’s left hand will be turned around, obviously, and the right hand will be gripping a control stick (to hint at the same kind of interface also visible on my first Armiger pilot).

But anyway, I think I may be on to something here — I would love to hear your feedback, of course, so feel free to leave me a comment!

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

A Child for the Warrior King, pt.3: The Hound

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2018 by krautscientist

With the ETL VI deadline fast approaching, this last week was mostly given over to the task of completing my Renegade Armiger Warglaive, and I would very much like to share my progress on this project with you today! It wasn’t all smooth sailing, either, because Germany has been in the iron grip of a heat wave for quite a while now, with temperatures solidly in the mid-30s Celsius degrees for most of last week — certainly not unheard of in other parts of the world, but not something we are all that used to in my particular neck of the woods…

But I soldiered on regardless, so let’s take a look at what I have to show for my perseverance:

Here’s where we left off last time:

The biggest task at this point was to paint the bigger amour plates for the legs as well as the top carapace. In order to save myself some time, I decided to use GW’s Mephiston Red spray as an undercoat for the armour plates. But while it did end up laying down a nice, even coat of red, the red was also fairly flat and chalky — so I did end up re-painting all the red areas anyway…

In the end, it probably did save me some time, after all, but it was certainly not a game changer on par with, say, the Leadbelcher spray.

Anyway, I tackled the armour plates one after another, picking out the various details and blocking in the different colours. The biggest piece of work was the top carapace, of course, so that’s where I started. Here it is, with most of the detail already blocked in:

As you can see, I also added some decals during this stage: These days, I never save the decals until everything else has been painted, because that will invariable make them look tacked on, almost like an afterthought. By applying them sooner, they can be weathered and damaged along with the rest of the model, as needed, in order to actually make them look more realistic. Now in this case, this only really involved a subtle pass of sepia wash to make them look just a bit more natural, but it’s a habit I have picked up. Besides, none of them were in the way of the eventual highlighting, so that helped, too πŸ˜‰


Some of the decals were actually chosen to tie the model into the lore of my World Eaters army: The paw print hints at Gilgamesh’s honorary membership in the Legio Audax, the “Ember Wolves” (while the Titan Legio is an actual part of the background, as of “Betrayer”, I did make up Gilgamesh’s membership in it as part of my own head canon).

Meanwhile, the numerals on the right pauldron stand for the XII Legion’s IVth company — mirroring a similar marking on Gilgamesh’s right shoulder guard:


So here’s what the carapace looked like at this stage:


And here it is, a short while later, with all of the missing detail painted and a pretty serious (at least for my standard) amount of highlighting in place:

The rest of the armour plates were given the same treatment, and while none of this is any award winning stuff, the subtly higlighted red ended up looking quite a bit deeper than the armour on Gilgamesh, while still fitting the overall look: While the Armiger should still look like it belongs, it also shows off how I have grown as a painter over the last couple of years, and I like that, to be honest πŸ˜‰

So anyway, here’s the Armiger in its almost finished state:

At this point, I made a To Do list for myself listing all the small cleanup work and small tweaks I still needed to do before the model would be finished. I also made an eleventh hour decision to diverge from the original conversion, as the original plan had been to add some marauder shields on top of the Armiger’s pauldrons, for an even more baroque, chaotic look. Like so:

But when I added them to the pauldrons, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that the model actually worked better without them, so after hemming and hawing and asking for feedback over at the forums, I eventually decided to leave them off — something about them just didn’t quite click with me, while the model did seem complete enough without them.

So at this point it was mainly a matter of checking all of the boxes on my To Do list, one after another.

One area of notice was the detailing of the cockpit and reactor section, and I am pretty happy with how that area came out. Take a look:


For the cockpit displays, I chose an approach I had seen on a Knight by fellow hobbyist Noigrim — I really liked the idea of approaching enemies being visible as red dots on the radar πŸ˜‰

And here’s a closer look at the reactor section:

This is how the whole assembly looks when seen from the side, by the way:

From a conversion perspective, this is probably the most involved customisation on the entire model, but I do think it has been worth it.

The other big thing to take care of was the base. Here’s the completed build I came up with:


Gilgamesh’s base uses several pieces of broken imperial statuary (courtesy of GW’s “Honoured Imperium” terrain kit), and I thought it would be cool to match that look, albeit on a slightly smaller scale. So the base was built around a shattered statue’s broken sword (once again, a very apt metaphor for the failing Imperium of Man, and all that), and I used different kinds of slate, sand and cork to build up a suitable amount of rubble and texture around it all. The main floor texture was, once again, created using Vallejo’s Sandy Paste.

I also did a preliminary dry fitting to find out wether the model would fit neatly onto the base:

And after that, it was off to the painting desk for one last time. Here’s the finished base, completed a short while later:

As you can see, some skulls and broken Ultramarines armour pieces were also added to the base, if only to tie the model into the 28mm scale a bit better (and make for smaller areas of visual interest).

And with that, my Renegade Armiger was finished. So let’s take a look at the model, shall we?

 

The Hound

Enkidu Lance
attached to the XII Legion’s 4th assault company

 








And a couple of detail shots, of course:

First up, the Armiger with its carapace removed and a closer look at the pilot:

The plan was to make the pilot look similar to Gilgamesh’s pilot, the Baron Harrowthorne:

At the same time, I wanted it to be fairly obvious that the Hound is below the Baron in rank, so his uniform is just a bit plainer. I think the finished look works pretty well:

The top carapace will – obviously – stay removable, if only because it allows me to show off the custom cockpit and pilot every once in a while πŸ˜‰ In fact, the entire model retains a certain amount of modularity:


This should provide a nice extra bit of flexibility once the second Armiger (codenamed “The Huntress”) has been completed! Incidentally, the harpoon arm I shared with you in my previous post will actually serve as the Huntress’ stock armament…

Here’s a side view that gives you a better idea of the detail work on the undercarriage:

The amount of detail on the Armiger’s skeleton owes a lot to the “JeffTibbetts school of Knight painting”, as it were πŸ˜‰

Another area of the model I want to showcase is the banner between the Armiger’s legs:


While loyalist Armigers appear a lot less draped in personal heraldry than their Imperial Knight masters, I wanted to invoke the impression that Armiger pilots may serve their lords for far longer in the Great Eye, so it seemed appropriate to include a banner showing the pilot’s battle honours: It shows both the World Eaters’ legion badge as well as the War Hounds’ old symbol — probably a shout out to the Hound’s epithet.

At the same time, I also wanted to make the banner look more rugged than the banner on the bigger Knight, so I painted it as some kind of roughly tanned hide. I used the approach outlined in Brandon’s tutorial here, with a couple of minor tweaks, and am pretty happy with the finished effect.

Oh, and I also finally managed to take a picture of the face that shows of the Armiger’s glowing eye:

The missing optical sensor on the right side was originally a consequence of a slight miscast of the face, but I think it gives the model an even more sinister and chaotic look, so it actually works in its favour, wouldn’t you agree? πŸ˜‰

Oh, and here’s a picture of the Armiger and my Renegade Knight Titan, Gilgamesh, “The Warrior King” — “Father and Son”, so to speak:

In fact, I discovered that my older Wargrinder conversion could actually work as an Armiger fairly well, at least from a scale perspective:

And with that, I have managed to finish both my entry for this year’s ETL event as well as my contribution to Azazel’s “Jewel of July” challenge. Pretty nifty, eh? πŸ˜‰ To be honest, I am immensely pleased with the finished model — I actually put this off as long as I could, and I really had to force myself to start painting, but I couldn’t be any happier with the result. That being said, this has been a pretty involved project, so I think I’ll allow myself a bit of rest and mostly focus on small fry for a bit πŸ˜‰

But anyway, so far for my first Renegade Armiger Warglaive. It goes without saying that I would love to hear your feedback on the model, so leave me a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

A Child for the Warrior King, pt.2

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2018 by krautscientist

It has been a couple of months since the Forgebane boxed set provided us not only with a very cool – and entirely Space Marine-free – 40k starter set, but also with the Armiger Warglaive, a very interesting smaller pattern of Imperial Knight:

In the interim, we have seen a full release of the Imperial Knights as a faction, with new smaller and bigger Knight models to boot. And some of you may still remember my conversion of a Renegade Armiger from a while back:

Of course I just had to build some chaotic Armigers to accompany my Chaos Knight Titan, Gilgameshthe Warrior King – and the guy you see above was my first proof of concept — and one that I am still very happy with, it must be said!

However, with my recent focus on painting INQ28 characters, the poor Armiger has remained unpainted all through the recent Imperial Knights release — high time, then, to return to the model and finally give it some much needed attention!

 

I. “Fire the Ursus Claws!”

First up, something I have wanted to share with you for quite a while now, but the chance never presented itself:

After building my first Armiger, I realised that I wanted to get a bit more creative with the CC weapon on the second model — and there was also something about the way Armigers are portrayed in the fluff as support to bigger Knights in the fluff, helping their masters to bring down their prey and soften up bigger opponents, that drew me back to the World Eaters’ background and the armament of their warmachines in the lore — and then fellow hobbyist Augustus b’Raass put words to the vague idea I had been thinking about all along:

OOOH OOOOH this gave me an idea: how about the World Eaters Harpoon thingy whatsitcalled -you know, that traditional thing. Dammit, the name eludes me, but youΒ must know what I mean!

And Augustus was perfectly right, of course: I really needed to build an Armiger-sized Ursus Claw harpoon!

I had already used the idea on my second World Eaters Contemptor, Raud the Hunter, a while ago, albeit at a smaller scale:

So for the sake of visual consistency, one objective would be to make the weapon resemble the Ursus Claw on my Contemptor, so they would at least seem to be variations of the same weapons system.

Now when it came to actually building an Armiger-sized Ursus Claw, Talarion’s approach to building a lance weapon for an Armiger served as invaluable reference material. So between his version and my own-Dreadnought sized proof of concept, here’s what I came up with:

This was just the basic setup, mind you, with very little chaotic decoration in place, and the weapon also still lacked the drum-fed chain attached to the harpoon (the drum bit is already visible in the picture, though). That being said, it was also a pretty simple conversion, really, spliced together from the Armiger’s stock chainblade arm and a couple of additional bitz.

In case you want to reproduce the design – or build something similar – here’s a mini-tutorial for you:

Tutorial: Building a Knight Armiger harpoon arm:

First of all, here are the bitz you will need (keep the red parts for the conversion, while the grey parts go back into the bitzbox):Β 

  • I. the stock Armiger Warglaive chainweapon arm — just carefully get rid of the blade (and of that one small, greyed-out area towards the back!).
  • II. a lamp post, either from the 40k basing set for big models or from the old City of Death terrain. I used two parts from this piece, although the foot is by far the more important one, as it makes up most of the actual harpoon.
  • III. The spiked tip from another small terrain piece, that is – again – available both in the aforementioned basing kit or the City of Death terran kits.
  • IV. a small piece from the Adeptus Mechanicus Kataphron kit — I only really chose this for visual balance and because it makes the harpoon look as though it might actually be a bit more sophisticated (and able to carry an electrical current, for instance).
  • V. The shaft from the Blood Angels Librarian Dreadnoughts psi-weapon — although there are probably many bitz that would work just as well. You could even use a piece of plasticard to fill the same role.

All you have to do is to carefully line up these bitz and glue them together (of course you can always pin the entire thing, if you want to make sure it’s ultra-straight and stable): I’ve made you a diagram about what goes where:

As an aside, I actually love the fact how part IV. – coincidentally – mirrors a very similar part on the Knight Valiant’s Thundercoil Harpoon, even though my design predates the release of the new model by a couple of months πŸ˜‰

I also chose to include a chain drum, made mainly from a leftover Imperial Knight weapon part (if I recall correctly). You can basically use any round, hollow shape for this, though — even any kind of (half-)barrel might do. I added a piece from a WFB plastic spear to the centre of the drum, then carefully wound some Gale Force Nine model chain around it and attached the end to the harpoon, in an attempt to actually suggest a mechanism.

Here’s a look at the finished arm, with a bit of chaotic decoration in place.

Two additional remarks about the conversion:

One, I do realise a more ornate, spiky tip would probably have made for a more Khornate look, but I kinda wanted to retain a certain sense of internal consistence across my collection. Well, that and I also like the idea that the weapon itself is so blunt and brutal that it’s mostly designed for efficiency, and less for show. If you decide to build your own harpoon/lance weapon, however, swapping in a tip of your liking should be the easiest thing in the world.

Two, elsewhere on the blogosphere, it has been pointed out how the chain mechanism could never work from a mechanical perspective. That is probably correct. I went with a setup that seemed at least a bit logical to me, while also looking visually balanced. But I definitely did not get into the actual engineering of a working mechanism, so feel free to make any necessary adjustments on your own version, especially if you have a better grip on mechanics than I have! πŸ˜‰

If nothing else, I do think the finished arm looks pretty cool when mounted on an Armiger:



Here’s a closer look at the chain and mechanism:


Since my first converted Armiger will be going with the chainsword arm shown at the beginning of this post, the harpoon arm serves as a bit of a teaser for the second Armiger I am going to convert. That being said, I’ll definitely leave the arms interchangeable, so they can be swapped between models as needed.

 

II. Gearing Up!

The building optional Ursus Claws notwithstanding, there was still the matter of the unpainted Armiger to deal with — even moreso since I have vowed the model as an entry for this year’s ETL event over at The Bolter & Chainsword. So it was time to finally get this bad boy painted. Just to remind you, here’s what the conversion looked like:



Unlike the last time I had to undercoat a Knight, there were no spraying mishaps this time around, fortunately enough, so here’s what I started with:

Now the first painting session was mostly spent on the – rather thankless – task of darkening down the body with black wash:

In order to make things a bit more challenging – and rewarding – for myself, however, I did sneak in some painting on the Armiger’s head (which I finished in one go)…

And on the pilot, laying down the base colours and the first pass of washes:

Since then, the paintjob has mostly consisted of chipping away at the model one area at a time so far. Starting with the Armiger’s metallic base structure and leaving the armour plates for later seemed, once again, like the obvious way to go.

So here’s the Armiger’s “skeleton” with most of the base colours blocked in:

While this may not seem like riveting stuff, the extra depth provided by the bronze detail should make quite a bit of difference on the finished model, I hope. Plus this also allowed an early idea of how the bone faceplate would eventually contrast with the red armour:

I’ve learned from JeffTibbetts’ absolutely amazing “Queen Bee” project that it pays to take some extra time on a Knight’s metallic skeleton, adding areas of grime, scratches and all kinds of wear and tear for that extra bit of realism (or rather, plausibility) and texture — true, most of it will be covered up by the various armour plates later on, but being able to glimpse something that resembles an actual, working machine underneath it all makes the whole war machine, preposterous as it may be, more grounded in realism.

With this preamble out of the way, here’s a side view at the mostly finished “skeleton”, showing off some of the carefully applied dirt, grime and lubricant πŸ˜‰

The same process was then repeated on the arms, finally making the model look as though it were actually going somewhere:

And the pilot has also been finished (after another round of highlights and the application of a decal to his shoulder pad):

So here’s the current status of the model:



As you can see, the arms are basically done at this point — including the plasma “special effect” on the right arm, obviously. This also means that, with the exception of a bit of cleanup and some minor finishing touches, the Armiger’s “skeleton” is now finished, and I’ll be focusing on the armour plates next.

In fact, here’s a sneak peak of the model with the undercoated top carapace provisionally mounted in place:

The ETL event ends on August 1st, so that leaves me with about a week to paint the rest of the armour, perform all the necessary cleanup and add the finishing touches, then maybe add a base — while I am definitely going to base the model with all bells and whistles, it is not something that’s required for finished models that are part of the ETL, so if I have to cut some corners, it’ll be there. All in all, in spite of my general laziness, it seems like a realistic task. However, my neck of the woods is also currently in the midst of a heat wave that renders painting more complicated than it needs to be — so wish me luck! πŸ˜‰

Oh, and in addition to being my first (and probably only vow) for this year’s ETL, this guy also counts as an entry for Azazel’s “Jewel of July” challenge.

So keep your fingers crossed for me, as I brave the hot weather in an attempt to get this guy finished in time! It goes without saying that I would love to hear any feedback you may have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

A Child for the Warrior King, pt.1

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2018 by krautscientist

Most of my recent hobby time has been spent working on characters for my INQ28 collection — and rightly so, because I have been having a blast powering through all of those neglected models that have sat in the cupboard of shame for ages.

But the ruinous powers demand observance every once in a while, so to prove that my allegiance still lies firmly with the pantheon, let me show you something related to my other big ongoing hobby project – Khorne’s Eternal Hunt – again. So what is this about?

Long time readers of this blog might remember this guy: Gilgamesh, the Warrior King:

Building and painting an allied Renegade Knight for my World Eaters easily remains one of my most complex and involved hobby projects so far — and one that, incidentally, even got me mentioned on the GW page.

In fact, if you want to read up on Gilgamesh, a comprehensive collection of posts on the project can be found if you follow the link above this picture.

But why bring Gilgamesh up yet again? Don’t I have anything new to show you? The reason is that I immediately had to think of the Warrior King when the Forgebane boxed set was released fairly recently:

Arguably the star of the set are the two smaller knights – Armiger Warglaives – that come with it. They are intended as smaller men-at-arms to escort and protect the bigger Imperial Knights, and in that function, they make for a rather exciting addition to the severely limited options of an Imperial Knight player (Forgeworld variants notwithstanding). The models are also rather lovely, which made me feel that I would need at least one of those Armigers in my collection at some point…

But I decided to hold off on yet another boxed set purchase — until a recent visit to Berlin not only provided me with the opportunity to visit the massive temple of hobby goodness that is Battlefield Berlin, but also presented the chance of getting the AdMech half of the Forgebane set for a pretty good price — and I caved in, of course, taking all of those lovely sprues home and poring over them. The fact that the other AdMech models from the set are also rather lovely did, of course, help πŸ˜‰

But back to the Armigers, because it was clear to me that I would have to turn them to the service of the ruinous powers: They would become servants of the Warrior King, accompanying him in battle, scouting ahead and softening up his enemies.

Meanwhile, with fellow hobbyists extraordinaire Biohazard and Jeff Tibbetts (of Queen Bee fame) already on the game as well, I knew I needed to give it my best shot to come up with something suitably cool πŸ˜‰

 

So where to start? In a slightly weird parallel to my approach when originally building Gilgamesh, I actually focused on a slightly unexpected question that nevertheless fascinated me: How to add a pilot to the Armiger Warglaive interior?

Then again, I am in love with the thoughts of these machines actually being defined, to some degree, by the pilots that ride them to battle, and seeing how adding a pilot and a cockpit to the model remains one of my favourite parts of my Imperial Knight project, it probably shouldn’t surprise you to learn that I was feeling just the same way this time around.

That being said, the Armiger is a fair bit smaller than the Imperial Knight, making for an even bigger exercise in managing real estate inside that torso. The good news was that fellow hobbyist Biohazard had already come up with a supremely clean and elegant solution for building a cockpit for the Armiger, using Sentinel and Storm Talon cockpit bitz. The bad news was that I didn’t have access to any of the bitz he used, so I had to cobble something together with the bitz I had.

So here’s what I have to show for my efforts:


As I had already expected, lack of space was even more of a problem this time around. I managed to get it all weged in there somehow, but it was a close thing. From a structural perspective, the Armiger cockpit basically mirrors my build for the bigger Knight’s cockpit, albeit in a slightly stripped down fashion. Here’s a side view, showing you the basic setup, warts and all:

Admittedly, it all looks pretty messy, but once both side walls are in place, all the rough bits of the conversion actually get covered up rather nicely. And while I initially regretted not even building an actual seat underneath the pilot, it turned out the entire area’s not even visible anyway, after everything has been assembled — in fact, it’s such a tight fit that I even had to file the side of the pilot’s right arm flat in order for him to fit flushly into the cockpit.

As for the bitz I used, the part used to represent the engine was a bit of a surprise discovery: It’s a part from the vox relay that comes with the Sector Imperialis Objectives kit. All it needed was a bit of shaving down, and it fit like a charm, and even provided a bit of a headrest. The pilot was mainly assembled around a sentinel pilot body — the torso seemed too pedestrian for me, so I cut it off and replaced it with a Vraksian Renegade Militia torso that had the added benefit of looking a bit like a flight jacket, which seemed like an excellent fit for a pilot πŸ˜‰ I used some Cadian arms and spliced together a head from a Skitarii Vanguard helmet and an Empire flagellant head (for that slightly unhinged look I thought matched a follower of chaos). My overall aim was to come up with a pilot that resembles Barron Harrowthorne, Gilgamesh’s pilot, to a certain degree, while also looking like his subordinate:

I think the finished pilot works rather well in that respect — I regretted not actually having built a seat underneath him at first, but it turned out you don’t really see anything except for the actual pilot once the whole cockpit is assembled:

In fact, I even had to file the side of the pilot’s right arm flat in order for him to fit into the cockpit πŸ˜‰ Oh, before I forget, the controls for the Armiger are actually a shaved down console from a Space Marine Rhino interior panel:

So with the pilot out of the way, I only had the entire rest of the model left to build, right? πŸ˜‰

I started by simply working on the Armiger’s basic assembly. It’s astonishing how much the Armiger works like a smaller Imperial Knight, from a structural perspective, with the whole assembly process eerily familiar, yet slightly simplified. So in addition to actually getting the model’s basic structure built, I was also able to start throwing bitz at the model to see what would stick:

I quickly discovered that some vambraces from the plastic Bloodthirster made for almost perfect leg armour, both because they were a perfect fit and because they provided some instant Khornification πŸ˜‰ In fact, decorating the Armiger is quite a bit easier than working with the Imperial Knight, as far more Dreadnought (or even infantry) bitz are rendered viable for the conversion by the slightly smaller scale.

As a fun surprise, the head from the FW World Eaters Dreadnought Augustus b’Raass gave me last year (and that is rapidly turning into one of my favourite 40k bitz, see here and here) worked rather nicely here as well, although there were several alternatives I also wanted to look at (the simplest option seems to be to just use Defiler face masks on top of the stock Armiger head).

I also decided to add a “mini-banner” between the legs as an opportunity to include some personal heraldry and battle honours. Granted, Armigers are only men-at-arms, but I still think it’s a nice touch for a machine that has probably been serving the ruinours powers for a couple of centuries, at the very least.

During further experimentation, I actually found an even better head for my first renegade Armiger — the one from Forgeworld’s Blood-Slaughterer Impaler:


I think the head adds an istant “Khornate Daemon Engine” feel to the model, plus it’s also a really cool bit in its own right.

The next thing was to figure out what to do with the weapon arms. After giving it a bit of thought, I decided that I would choose a fairly conservative approach for the first round of weapon arms, then try some more adventurous options (like another Ursus Claw, maybe?!) for the second Armiger — just as Talarion has done with his truly stunning Armiger Warglaives.

That being said, I realised that the extosplasma cannons from the Forgefiend kit were a pretty good match for the thermic lance from a scale perspective, so I wanted to try and use one of those for the gun arm.

Here’s my first mockup for the weapon arms:

A chain weapon is a no-brainer for a Khornate Knight, so I decided to keep it. At the same time, I did want to make the weapon look quite a bit more vicious, so I added a spiky bit that also has the added benefit of making the sword look less stubby πŸ˜‰ Since the chainblade completely lacks a cover, I had to come up with a solution that seems at least slightly plausible from a mechanical standpoint. And while the entire element was added purely based on its visual impact, fellow hobbyist TURBULENCE actually came up with a really cool explanation for its presence: Maybe the spike hammers down into an armored vehicle and keeps it in place as the chainblade keeps grinding into the hull?

For the gun arm, it turned out the Forgefiend plasma cannon was really easy to graft to the Armiger’s upper arm by simply cutting a matching hole into the upper side of the gun — it even retains the full mobility and poseability of a stock Armiger arm!

While the weapon is surprisingly close in proportion to the Armiger’s stock thermic lance, it is just a little bit clunkier — I do think the pose helps mitigate the added mass, though.

So with both the basic assembly as well as the weapons taken care of, all that was really left was the final round of cleanup and detailing. It was tempting to go overboard with decoration, but when all is said and done, this is just a man-at-arms for Gilgamesh and his pilot, the Baron Harrowthorne, so it was important to both make the machine look suitably chaotic, but to also know when to stop adding detail before the model ended up looking more ostentatious than the bigger Knight. Keeping that in mind, here’s the finished look I settled on, some minor cleanup work notwithstanding:



It’s not that easy to make out in the pictures, but I’ve added teeth to all the armour plates, mirroring a design element you see often on the more recent chaos plastic kits. I also tried to replicate the battle damage you see on the Bloodthirster vambraces on the upper leg armour, to tie both elements together.

Oh, and while I was at it, I changed the one element that I really don’t like about the stock Armiger: Those weird twin coils/stabilisers/whatever on the back of the legs. I think it works much better like this:


What’s really great about the kit is that, as has been the case with the bigger Imperial Knight, it’s possible to keep the top carapace plate detachable, so we can still get a good look at the pilot and cockpit:

In fact, such a setup is actually preferrable, because it also allows access to the arms. So whatever crazy weapons options I come up with for the second Armiger could theoretically also be swapped in on the first model — I really like added flexibility like that!

So that’s it — my first Renegade Armiger Warglaive.Β To be honest, it took me quite some time to find the right approach for the model, and I am all the happier for it with the finished conversion! This model was originally planned as yet another entry for Azazel’s Assembly April challenge, but then I ran a bit too late to make it, and I am actually glad to have taken some extra time to get it just right — maybe I’m at least in time for this year’s ETL event over at The Bolter & Chainsword…?!

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