Archive for lost and the damned

Totally worth it: 40k 2nd edition Codex Chaos

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Fluff, Pointless ramblings, Totally worth it, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2013 by krautscientist

As you may have realised by now, Totally Worth It as a series is as much about forgotten or unjustly maligned gems of tabletop wargaming as it is about the formative moments in my personal hobby life. So today I would like to address what may have been the defining purchase of my younger hobby years. Today on Totally Worth It: The 40k second edition Codex Chaos.

Phew, where to start?

I already told you about my first contact with Warhammer 40k, and how it was completely unlike every other Sci-Fi setting I had ever heard about. Much of that would possibly still hold true for somebody getting into the hobby today, but there may be a number of differences, chief among them the way to get hold of the 40k background:

Back in the mid to late 90s, the Internet didn’t exist — or rather,  it didn’t exist for me. Neither did repositories of 40k background like Lexicanum, or hobbyists discussing in detail the background of their particular army on boards like Throne of Skulls or Dakka. So if you wanted to learn the background of the 40k universe, GW’s own publications were pretty much the only way to go. And since each of those books came at a sizeable price, even back then, you can probably imagine that getting access to all of it at once was pretty much out of the question. So while it didn’t take me all that long to discover that Chaos Space Marines were one of the factions that most fascinated me, my first approach to them happened via a number of small individual glimpses:

I remember seeing a picture of the model for Kharn the Betrayer and thinking: “I wonder what that guy’s story is!” I remember reading my buddy Phil’s 2nd edition Codex Ultramarines (in english, no less) and stumbling upon that scene where Marneus Calgar’s prowess in battle earns him a salute from a World Eaters champion and being fascinated by that idea, even then. I remember discovering that there were such things as Plague Marines, the Thousand Sons, or Abaddon the Despoiler, but I knew the models long before I discovered their background or their significance in the lore. As a matter of fact, I would sometimes ask some of my buddies who had bought the models what those guys’ background was, and they’d shrug because they didn’t know.

So it was clear to me that I would need to find out the hard way: I needed to read up on these guys. So when the 3rd edition of Warhammer 40k was released, the Codex Chaos Space Marines was the second 40k book I ever purchased (soon after Codex Dark Eldar). And actually, the best way to start describing how momentous the sedond edition Codex Chaos was for my hobby life is to first talk about the 3rd edition Codex:

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Back then, GW was following a policy of stripping down their Codices as much as they could for a while, making them as short and bare bones as they could be. That way, their reasoning went, they would be able to produce more of them in a shorter amount of time. They where right in this, but unfortunately, the books were worse for it.

To wit: I had hoped the CSM Codex to be a great introduction to an army I was fascinated with, but it barely gave me a taste: Sure, it contained basic informations about the Great Crusade, the Horus Heresy and the fall of the traitor Legions, and I lapped it all up eagerly. But it didn’t even begin to tap into the respective traitor legions’ rich lore. Even then, before all the HH novels, you just knew there had to be lots and lots of (potential) backstory to these guys: On a very basic level, they were just evil Space Marines, sure. But it went beyond that: They had rebelled. They had lost. They were 10,000 years old. What tragedy! What narrative potential!

Unfortunately, the 3rd edition Codex barely gave one short column of text for each of the original traitor legions. And – I kid you not – they even forgot the Word Beareres altogether! And what artwork there was was so small as to be pretty much insignificant.

Now a minimalist approach like that might have worked for the Dark Eldar (at least at first), seeing how they were a brand new faction with very little backstory in the setting. But for the Chaos Space Marines, it was a horrible idea: All the depth and tragedy fell by the wayside in favour of a very stripped down rulebook. The one thing about the Codex that has really managed to age rather gracefully (apart from the impressive cover artwork by Wayne England) is the ‘Eavy Metal section, featuring lots and lots of creative and interesting conversions:

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As a matter of fact, this may also be the only section of the book that actually hints at what a compelling faction chaos can really be, showcasing one of the greatest aspects of the army: its versatility and the potential for customisation and conversion. The rest of the book seems more like an Excel spreadsheet, though. And a general fondness for old wargaming publications notwithstanding, I feel that it’s probably the weakest CSM Codex ever.

But back then, it was all I had to work with, so it had to be enough. I was immediately drawn to the World Eaters, since I have been a worshipper of Khorne ever since my WFB days, and there was a new plastic kit just coming out for the Khorne Berzerkers back then — how time flies: Almost twenty years later, and that same plastic kit is still available — in fact, I bought my last one some time last year…

Anyway, I kept plugging away on my own for a couple of years, and then, one day, discovered a copy of the second edition Codex Chaos at a comic book store. A quick glance made it clear that this was the book I had been pining for: Just skimming across the background for the traitor legions gave me more ideas and inspiration than the whole 3rd edition Codex. So I picked up the book in a heartbeat (and for a pretty penny, at that), hurried home and spent the next few days tugging into the background for my favourite 40k army. And with that, we finally arrive at our main subject, after a rather wordy introduction.

After the meagre 3rd edition Codex, nothing could have prepared me for the 2nd edition book. In fact, it still remains my favourite chaos army book ever. And even for somebody getting into the hobby today, it would still be an ideal place to get information on the traitor legions.

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The book’s background section is simply fantastic: Each traitor legion gets about half a page of background, but the fluff is concise, well written and cuts straight to the heart of each legion. And even though the following years have seen the HH series flesh out more and more of the backstory, changing around some things while completely dropping others, very little of the background presented in the 2nd edition Codex has been completely invalidated by the newer material. It’s all there: The Word Bearers as the original traitor legion. The sundering of the World Eaters at Skalathrax. The Thousand Sons’ descent into mutation and madness, as well astheir subsequent death and rebirth at the hands or Ahriman. The duplicity of the Alpha Legion. It just goes on and on…

Sure, subsequent iterations of the fluff have added layers of complexity: The Word Bearers are a far bigger (and even more sinister) influence in the more recent material. The Alpha Legion’s allegiance has become far more ambiguous. But reading through the material in the codex still gives you a compelling and completely viable rundown of the traitor legions. And all the backstory and narrative potential isn’t merely being obliquely hinted at.

Of course it helps that the book is lavishly illustrated, featuring brilliant artwork by such luminaries as Mark Gibbons, Wayne England and, of course, John Blanche himself. Did you know JB actually did some World Eaters artwork at one point?

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From haunting, Blanchian daemonworlds and Mark Gibbon’s quintessential Khorne berzerker art to Wayne England’s brilliantly evocative legion badges, the book is overflowing with cool artwork. Some of it may seem slightly goofy today, but it’s a great collection, with influences from the RT era still clearly evident, while the newer pieces would work flawlessly in a modern codex. In fact, one of John Blanche’s most iconic spreads was subsequently republished both in WD and the fourth edition codex:

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Two pages full of crazy conversion and customisation ideas. And even though none of the bitz mentioned may be available any longer, this spread instantly tells you what building and painting a CSM army is about: It’s about giving it your all to make sure your legionaries actually look like the 10,000 year veterans they are! It’s about tweaking each model and going the extra mile, to end up with an army that is truly special and unique!

The ‘Eavy Metal section of the book shows all the available CSM models from the time and has a nice showcase for most of the traitor legions. As a matter of fact, the two page spread showing the World Eaters models available back then has more background for the legion than the 3rd edition book’s entire background section:

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And, of course, there’s also advice on how to customise and convert your chaos models. This nicely complements John Blanche’s ideas, and I am still rather fond of some of the conversions shown in the 2nd edition Codex, even though miniature design has come quite a long way since then.

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It’s also worth mentioning that there are no more conversions in today’s codices, which I think is a crying shame!

The book continues with an in-depth look at the most notorious champions of chaos, introducing characters like Abaddon the Despoiler, Kharn the Betrayer, Ahriman of the Thousand Sons and Fabius Bile. And it has to be said that some of the artwork featured in that section not only managed to blow me away back then, but is just as impressive today. Check out this piece of artwork depicting Fabius Bile.

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Best version of the character ever, if you ask me!

And there’s more: A huge wargear section, not only featuring the rules for the different items but also containing interesting tidbits about the state of technology at the time of the Great Crusade (sadly, this – along with the rules section – is one of the parts of the book that have been invalidated by the newer fluff and material). A section about traitor chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, featuring the notorious Red Corsairs and – for the first time – their Lord, Huron Blackheart. There’s also a chunk of background about the Fallen Angels and Cypher. The book just goes on and on and lets you discover a thousand different and cool details about the servants of chaos.

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Certainly one of the greatest things about the book is its sizeable appendix, though, providing you with rules for chaos cultists and traitorous planetary defense forces. And it even gives you rules for daemon world armies, eternally waging war in the Eye of Terror. This effectively allows you to use parts (or indeed the entirety) of your WFB chaos army in 40k games to represent the twisted armies of the Eye — a nice callback to the blending of WFB and RT that occured in the “Realm of Chaos” books of yore.  The section also gives you information about the great four’s original daemon princes, along with corresponding rules.

In fact, this section is a perfect representation of what’s so great about the book in the first place: You get the feeling that Jervis Johnson and Andy Chambers just decided to throw in every cool idea they had, and to make as comprehensive a book about the ruinous powers as they could. Some of the rules may be experimental and unbalanced (in fact, the authors even specifically point this out with regard to the appendix). Some ideas may seem goofy nowadays (and, in all fairness, they were probably just as goofy back then). But the book is clearly a work of love, and that fact shows through on every page. Even the very last page of the book is used by the authors to impart yet more ideas for narrative games involving the forces of chaos. You cannot help but violently fall in love with a design philosophy like that!

So, where does that leave us in regard to the versions of the CSM Codex that came afterwards? As you may have gathered, the less said about the 3rd edition Codex, the better. The fabled “3,5 Codex” still stands tall as a fan favourite, because it allowed players to play each chaos legion with its own custom rules and wargear — however, this came at the price of making chaos armies somewhat unwieldy and frankly impenetrable for non-chaos players. The oft-maligned fourth edition codex, derisively called “Gav Dex” by some, went for a far more streamlined solution, alienating quite a few players along the way. Personally speaking, I rather liked the codex for its flexibility, and I think much of the criticism leveled at its authors is actually rather unfair (you can read my thoughts on the matter here, in case you are interested).

And the sixth edition codex? I like the book: It has great production values, and the rules set seems robust enough while retaining the flexibility of the last edition’s codex. But the legion specific background is back to one short column per legion, and that’s certainly not an improvement.

In all fairness, giving chaos players a book they are actually happy with may be an unsolvable task: A Codex to make every chaos player happy would probably have to be 500 pages long, feature full rules for each and every legion (and, as a consequence, probably cost 250 Euros). So I think Phil Kelly’s effort was probably the best possible compromise. The situation today is also far different from that in the mid-90s: With places like Lexicanum and the 40kWiki and publications like the BL novels available, you have all the background you might need at your fingertips at all times. There’s also a huge online community of hobbyists to discuss the background and fluff with. So today’s codices may actually no longer be requird to be the be-all and end-all when it comes to describing the background.

Still, the 2nd edition Codex Chaos still stands as possibly my favourite chaos army book ever. It delivers a fantastic amount of bang for the buck and is still just as good an introduction to the traitor legions now as it was back then. And even though the rules are no longer viable, the book is still a great puchase, just for the background section and the crazy amount of ideas on display! So if you’re a chaos player, and should find yourself in any position to pick this up, go for it: It’s still totally worth it!


So yeah, that was my rather wordy – and probably completely inadequate – love letter to one of my favourite GW publications ever, I guess. Provided you didn’t fall asleep in the first place, should you have anything to add regarding the book, or any feedback to this review, I’d be happy to hear from you in the comments section!

And, in any case, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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Parade ground: Urash’s Marauders

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, Traitor Guard with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2012 by krautscientist

Some time ago, I showcased all the World Eaters I had yet managed to paint on this blog. Today, I would like to do the same with my ever-growing detachment of Traitor Guard. This will serve two purposes: It will give me an excuse to show you all some pretty pictures, while it will also provide me with a way of collecting my thoughts on this army so far and to develop a couple of ideas about what’s next. If you are a regular reader, much of this will be familiar to you, but please bear with me 😉

So let’s start off with a little family portrait. That’s my detachment of Traitor Guard so far:

Not bad for something that I only started to keep me amused from a conversion standpoint, don’t you think? Incidentally, the history of my Traitor Guard is full of strange coincidences: Back when I started them, there was basically no way to legally use them: The “Lost and the Damned” army list from Codex: Eye of Terror was, by that point, terribly outdated, and the 5th edition rules did not allow for allies. Granted, I could simply have used them as straight up Imperial Guard, but I didn’t want these guys to turn into a full scale second army, but rather into a force that could complement my World Eaters or be used in far smaller games. Still, I kept plugging away at them, and the army grew…

Everything started with this company/platoon command squad I built: One traitor for each of the combat roles. From left to right: Medic, standard bearer, commander, veteran with Plasmagun and veteran with Voxcaster. I also added a Rogue Psyker.

Next came my regular traitors, kitbashed from Cadians and WFB Chaos Marauders. Another squad of these has already been built, but I yet have to paint them.

Then, of course, my Traitor Ogryns: These guys were enormous fun to build and paint, and I think I managed to come up with quite a characterful unit there. Depending on the army list used, these could be played as regular Ogryns, Ogryn berserkers (from the Vrakisan Renegade Militia list), Big Mutants (from the old LNTD list) or possibly even as Chaos Spawn (when used in a CSM army).

I also built some characters for the army of course:

First up, Lord Urash, commander of the Marauders for now — until I come up with an even better model or he is usurped by one of his followers…

Then a champion with an obvious Nurglite bent, to be joined by a fittingly pestilent squad of traitors, one of these days…

A champion of Khorne, who makes a great traitor commander even now, but could end up leading a squad of beastmen or something similarily brutal at some point.

As you’ll recall, I also built a rogue Primaris Psyker, to add a little magical Oomph to the army. He could also do double duty as a champion of Tzeentch, to balance out the other two guys…

And finally, a renegade Lord Commissar, converted from a Dark Vengeance cultist leader — the opportunity was simply too good to pass up!

This army also marked my first foray into the wonderful (?) world of tanks: I built and painted a Basilisk that had been captured by the traitors:

Quite a challenge for me, although I am pretty happy with the result!

And so, that’s the current state of the army. All of the above assembled for a family portrait looks like this (click for a bigger picture):

Again, I am quite awestruck at the amount of models I managed to convert and paint, seeing how this was basically intended as a “just for fun” project! I also think the different parts of the army work together rather nicely, from a visual standpoint. The army is still pretty small, though: All that you can see above will add up to about 750 points tops. It’s also quite possibly a case of style over substance: I only included what I liked, so I have no idea how these guys would perform on the table.

But that’s beside the point: My Traitor Guard will probably mostly come in handy to bolster the ranks of my World Eaters and to add a little extra flavour in bigger games. And since several of the units could also conceivably be used as selections from Codex: Chaos Space Marines (traitors as cultists and Ogryns as Chaos Spawn, for example), it doesn’t matter that the army is as small as it is. After all, it’ll never become a classic IG gunline army, I can promise you that much…

You might have noticed that the Lord Commissar is conspicuously absent from the picture above: That’s because he has been busy assembling a little retinue of his own:

Of course the release of the new cultist models was really a godsend for my Traitor Guard: I chose to paint them all in matching colours. So even though they are looking like a rather ragtag bunch, they still read as a unified force and tie together with the rest of my Traitor Guard pretty well, as you can see.

So all in all, I feel that the time and money have been well spent on this little endeavour: I ended up with a force that was a blast to build and paint, plus I can use them in multiple ways, either as a part of my main 40k army, or on their own in smaller games. Some of the models could also make pretty convincing cameos in games of INQ28 or Necromunda (The Primaris Psyker and chaos cultists come to mind…).

So what’s on the horizon for Urash’s Marauders? I already told you that another squad of traitors is ready for painting. And I am currently working on the second squad of cultists from the Dark Vengeance box (expect some pictures of the conversions very soon…). That will give me about twenty more models to add to the force.

I also have a couple of leftover horses and riders from the WFB Marauder Horsemen in my bitzbox, so I may just end up building a squad of Rough Riders — to be perfectly honest, I am already dryfitting parts…

Beyond that, a squad of followers for the Nurgle champ could be interesting. Or some beastmen to be led by the Khorne guy. And what about Slaanesh? I may have to add another champion, to round things out. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll go and add a Valkyrie to the army one day. Not for the combat effectiveness, mind you: I just think that it’s a gorgeous model that would look great in my Traitor Guard colour scheme 😉

Whatever will be next, though, the great part about this army is that it gives me lots of room for experimentation. And whenever I get tired of painting power armour (as every Marine player is wont to, from time to time), it’s always there to offer a nice change of pace.

If you want to know more about how this army was assembled, the different posts on Urash’s Marauders can be found here. I’d also love to hear your opinion on the army so far, so drop me comment!

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

Touched by the Warp…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, Traitor Guard with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2012 by krautscientist

Some time ago, dear cousin Andy gave me the WFB Chaos Lord on Manticore for my birthday, which was quite an excellent present, since it’s one of those kits that I was always drawn to but would probably never have purchased myself. Because, no matter how you cut it, there’s not that much use for a Manticore in a 40k army in the first place. But while I am still figuring out a use for the beast in question (trust me, I have a couple of ideas…), the kit is very much worth it for the rider bits alone:

You see, the kit comes with enough parts to build two riders for the Manticore: one heavily armoured Chaos Lord and an equally imposing (and quite menacing) Chaos Sorcerer, both with several weapon and head options. While I immediately squirreled away the Chaos Lord for a conversion involving a juggernaut (which you’ll be seeing on this blog sooner rather than later, especially since lords on juggers are so very useful now), the sorcerer was somewhat less essential to me: As you may have gathered, Khorne isn’t too down with that whole psyker thing…

The obvious solution was to make the sorcerer into a member of my Traitor Guard. Already having built a Company Commander and Lord Commissar for my traitors, it was high time to add a traitorous Primaris Pskyer as well.

For this conversion, I took a page from OST’s sorcerer conversion that he did for his Iron Warriors. I was quite inspired by that model, and so I sat down to build my own chaotic Psyker. Take a look:

As you can see, the basic conversion is very similar to OST’s sorcerer, although I made a few small changes: First of all, I didn’t use the chain cloak on the model since I wanted to keep it for a World Eaters conversion (The new Horus Heresy book also tells us that chains do play quite a big role in the World Eaters’ iconography, so that decision turned out to be spot-on). I also wanted the sorcerer to look like he was just about to unleash the powers of the Warp, so I posed his left hand to reflect that. Most of the other parts are directly from the original kit, with only some bits and bobs added to “40k-ify” the model a bit.

The rock formation on the base came from the Chaos Lord in Terminator armour. I added half an old WFB skeleton for some additional flavour. I also wanted to make it look like the model was floating, so I used some deft gluing to create that illusion. Take a look:

When it came to painting the model, I made sure to have the colours fit the rest of my Traitor Guard. I also added the trademark crude chaos symbols to the model’s cloak. Overall, the paintjob is a bit cleaner and less ragtag though, in order to make the model look more dignified and regal.

I really think these bitz are some of the best GW has ever put out: Just look at that menacing facemask. Brilliant!

To show how the sorcerer is channeling the powers of the Warp, I added simple OSL effects to the runes all over his equipment as well as to the open palm of his left hand:

The hand was more of a spontaneous idea, but I think it really works.

As for the potential uses of this model, the most obvious role it could play would be that of a Primaris Psyker. However, given the model’s imposing frame, I think it could work reasonably well as a CSM Sorcerer as well. And finally, it may even serve double-duty as a cult leader in games of INQ28 as well: As a matter of fact, this guy looks so cool together with the Dark Vengeance cultists that I am considering adding on of the small, cog-like chaos icons worn by them to this model to tie them together even more.

As with the rest of my Traitor Guard, there’s very little background in place at this point. However, the myterious and menacing nature of the model makes me think that this sorcerer may have been instrumental in the original regiment’s fall to the Ruinous Powers. Hmm….

Anyway, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

More fun with Dark Vengeance

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Custodes, Traitor Guard, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2012 by krautscientist

With the new Codex Chaos Space Marines and FW’s first Horus Heresy book doubtlessly paramount on people’s minds, let’s not forget all the great models left in the Dark Vengeance box! I am still happily cutting and painting my way through these, as you’ll see for yourself in a minute:

First up, some more cultists:

Quite a straightforward paintjob on the guy with the big gun. As you can see, I added some chaos iconography to the model’s apron. I also think the backpack with the tools dangling from it is a very nice touch! I painted these to look rusty and used:

Next up, a model whose design quite closely resembles the FW Vraksian Renegade Militia models, if you ask me:

I went for the dark grey fatigues typical of my Traitor Guard. The skin portions gave me the opportunity to add some contrast, and the rebreather unit on the model’s back offered a nice chance of adding some rust and grime.

And finally, the third cultist I painted:

While this guy would make a convincing Cawdor ganger for Necromunda, I somehow like him quite a bit less than the other cultists. Maybe it has got something to do with his rather unimpressive “potatoe on a lenght of string” weapon? I’m not sure… The dog tags around his neck are definitely a nice touch, though! I also added some blood to make the weapon look at least halfway presentable 😉

Anyway, with that, I had painted one model of each of the different designs from the starter box. I decided to round things off with a character to lead them:

I turned my attention to one of their leaders: the guy with the commissar’s coat. While I like both the coat and the Bloodpact-inspired grotesk, combining both of these elements on one model seemed like too much of a good thing to me. I also wasn’t all that keen on the arm holding the shotgun: In my opinion, it messes up the composition of the model. So I got to work, and here’s what I ended up with:

A rather simple conversion, as you can see. I wanted to further emphasise the look of a traitorous commissar, so I replaced the head with a fittingly sinister head from an old Warzone mini (an Imperial squad leader. The plastic models are still sold in bags of 80 and can be had for a song over at Prince August, in case anyone’s interested). I also replaced the left arm, opting for a Plasma pistol for no other reason than the fact that I like to paint small OSL effects on plasma coils.

The cool thing is that I can use this model as both a cultist leader (in a regular CSM army) or as a traitorous Lord Commissar (in a Traitor Guard list).

And here they are as a whole squad (click for bigger pictures):

I quite like the overall impression: They still look like a ragtag bunch, but the limited colour palette and unified basing nicely tie them together as a squad (and, hopefully, with the rest of my Traitor Guard as well).

For the second half of the cultists, I’ll be doing a number of smaller conversions to add a little additional variety: Exchange some heads, add a banner pole, use a couple of additional bitz,…

Here’s an initial impression:

The Helbrute’s also still standing on my desk, daring me to start painting it: I guess it won’t be too long now…

But what about the other half of the starter box’s contents?
Well, for one, I finally buckled up and converted the Deathwing sergeant into yet another Custodes Terminator wearing Cataphract armour. Here you go:

Again, a fairly easy conversion: I replaced the Terminator’s torso front with a piece from the Venerable Dreadnought kit. The right arm is a regular Terminator’s upper arm combined with a Chaos Lord’s Lightning claw. The result resembles the clawed gauntlets present in the HH artwork. The pauldrons are shinguards from loyal Dreadnoughts. I also added all kinds of purity seals, a topknot and a couple of other bitz.

Here’s a look at the whole “Cataphractii Squad” so far:

While these may not look as “official” as the new FW models, I am still reasonably pleased with the squad. I think they’ll end up looking rather nice once painted. And those Deathwing Terminators were in the box anyway, so the squad came at basically no extra cost!

Let’s wind up this post with two rather simple conversions, also for my Custodes:

The first model is a standard bearer for my squad of Custodes wearing Astartes pattern power armour. I converted this guy from the Dark Angel wielding a Plasma Gun (the gun itself was squirreled away for some future project, of course).

And then there’s the DA Company Master. With a simple head swap, he now looks like this:

Quite an imposing Legio Custodes Shield Captain, don’t you think? While these two models aren’t finished yet, I guess you can see where they are headed.

I am still far from fed-up with the Dark Vengeance models, quite the contrary: Thanks to the models I will be able to considerably bolster the ranks of both my Traitor Guard and Custodes. As as you can see, the models lend themselves rather nicely to conversions with a bit of thought (and decisive cutting…).

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

The fifth Ogryn

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, Traitor Guard with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2012 by krautscientist

With lots of new hobby projects underway and a new Chaos Codex on the horizon, let’s take a little time to wrap up one of my ongoing projects: My Traitor Ogryns.

With four models already finished, I had enough parts left for one more member of the squad. I was also slowly running out of ideas, as I had tried pretty much everything I had set out to do with the squad. But there’s always room for one more model, right? So I sat down and converted the fifth – and final – Ogryn.

Here’s what I ended up with:

The basic idea with this guy is that his body is heavily armoured on the one side, and all but unprotected on the other. I used quite a few crude armour plates (cut from the rubber tyres of an old toy car, by the way). These are a recurring visual element across my Traitor Guard, and it was quite easy to cut them to fit the Ogryn’s bulk. I also used some of these to build a gorget of sorts for the lower half of the Ogryn’s face. Apart from that, this guy is more or less an out-of-the-box WFB Ogre. I did however add some wicked chains on the model’s back, looking like they had been punched through the flesh on the unprotected side.

I realised that the model wouldn’t be the visually most exciting in the squad from a conversion standpoint (and, in any case, there’s no upstaging the guy with the tongue), so I tried to distinguish this model through its paintjob: I added quite a bit of chaos iconography to the model, making it look like many crude symbols had been painted onto parts of the armour. I rather like the effect on the gut plate and the helmet, if I do say so myself.

And with that, my squad of Traitor Ogryns was truly finished. Here’s a shot of the whole squad for you:

I think I ended up with a very distinctive, mean looking squad of hulking brutes. The Ogre kit seems like a very restrictive choice, and it’s true that you will have to work around a couple of pitfalls if you want to make the most of your models. But it’s definitely possible to produce some pretty nice models this way. And they are a blast to paint — the slightly larger scale really lends itself well to all kinds of painting shenanigans that would be considerably harder to pull off on a smaller model!

Rules-wise, these guys could conceivably be played as Traitor Ogryns (in a straight IG list), Ogryn Berserkers (using the FW list for the Vraksian Renegade Militia), Big Mutants (according to the old “Eye of Terror” list for the Lost and the Damned)… or perhaps even as Chaos Spawn swelling the ranks of Chaos Cultists in a CSM army — the base size fits, at least…

Anyway, rules considerations aside, I am rather pleased with the overall look of the completed squad, but I’d love to hear what you think as well! Let me know in the comments section!

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