Archive for manticore

ETL V: Avatar of the Hunt

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2016 by krautscientist

With my first vow for the current ETL V event on The Bolter & Chainsword finished, I found myself in a mostly unprecedented situationof still feeling very motivated to keep painting stuff — certainly not something that happens to me a lot, I can tell you! So I actually found myself considering a second vow, and my glance fell on a long running backburner project of mine. This guy:

Daemon Prince WIP (15)
A bestial Daemon Prince built all the way back in 2013. Many of the thoughts that went into the model as well as the actual building process have been documented here and here, but just to give a short recap, the model basically started when I found myself in the possession of both a WFB Manticore and some leftover Maulerfiend limbs. My idea for this somewhat haphazard collection of parts was to create a grotesque, feral creature that would serve as a very different kind of Daemon Prince, in keeping with the background of my World Eaters: I was inspired by a throwaway line in Codex: Chaos Space Marines about the elevation to daemonhood basically signifiying and unending life of servitude. And I also thought of Angron’s ascension at the tail end of Betrayer, an event that leaves the tortured Primarch even more bestial and doesn’t exactly transform him into a darkly angelic creature…

So I came up with the concept of a Daemon Prince that embodied both the 4th assault company’s strong theme of the Hunt and their fear of letting go, of losing control and of completely turning into mindless beasts, and that’s where this model came from.

Alas, it had been sitting at the bottom of a box since an unsuccessful painting attempt last year. This is what the model looked like when I dug it out of its shameful temporary abode:

Bestial Daemon Prince PIP (1)
The dark brown you see on the body is proof of the fact that I didn’t really know what I was doing last time around — but at the same time, getting the skin right would be instrumental for this particular paintjob. But something was different this time: Not only was I motivated, but I already had a daemonic skin recipe that had already worked its magic once:

Calvarax the Exalted, counts as Skulltaker (3)
That’s right: I would be using the skin recipe from Duncan Rhodes’ voideo tutorial for painting the Bloodthirster again, this time on a far bigger model.

And in fact, the recipe worked just as wonderfully this time around, leaving me with this promising result after only a very short amount of time:

Bestial Daemon Prince PIP (3)
Bestial Daemon Prince PIP (4)
The skin was an absolute blast to paint. The oily metal emerging from the arms and legs, though? Not so much — Due to the way the machine parts are woven in among the muscle, this was both a finicky and exhausting part of the model to paint, and I was really glad once I was finished with it!

Even at this early point, I gave some extra attention to the creature’s mouth area, as that part would become really hard to reach with the ears and horns attached to the sides of the head. So I made sure now that the mouth cavity was suitably wet and glistening 😉

Bestial Daemon Prince PIP (5)
By far the trickiest question was to figure out what to do with the armour plates: The bronze trim was a no-brainer, but I didn’t want to go for predominantly black armour in order to avoid the Black Legion look. I also tried to paint them red (my old red recipe, even), but the result just lacked contrast when compared to the skin. And then I realised that all bronze armour plates might end up looking very Khornate: Now I have this image in the back of my head of the red parts of the armour turning into blood and running off during the Daemon Prince’s ascension, or boiling away as the daemonic brass underneath becomes visible. And in any case, since this guy was basically a just for fun project, I might as well try some new stuff, right? So with that decision out of the way, I was able to finish the model:

Bestial Daemon Prince PIP (13)
Bestial Daemon Prince PIP (11)
As you can see, I painted the patterns etched into the shoulder pads with Tamiya Clear Red — I didn’t want to risk a silly looking OSL effect here, and the blood seemed like a nice fit.

Speaking of the shoulder pads, one thing I want to point out is how I’ve included several visual elements that hint at the Daemon Prince’s Astartes roots, in spite of his animalistic look: The shoulder pads, the fused remains of the Astartes backpack on the shoulders and the sockets appearing on the Daemon Prince’s body where he used to be connected to his power armour all hint at the fact that this creature was once a proud Space Marine:

Bestial Daemon Prince PIP (19)
And what’s more, the chains emerging from the creature’s mane (actually the transformed Butcher’s Nails implants) and the jagged Triumph Rope scar crisscrossing its torso are both remnants of its previous life as a World Eater:

Bestial Daemon Prince PIP (16)
I think that all of these elements make for some rather neat visual storytelling, really. But even so, I do of course realise that the model is a bit of an acquired taste, as there is a misshapen, overmuscled look to the creature. Let me just clarify though that his was very much an intended effect: Like I said, the idea for this model was to show how a World Eater, at the height of his madness and bloodlust, maybe wouldn’t be transformed into a darkly angelic figure, but into a feral daemonic beast.

Here’s a closer look at the model’s face, an area I am especially happy with:

Bestial Daemon Prince PIP (18)
Bestial Daemon Prince PIP (17)
I actually really love the Manticore’s face, both for the amount of animalistic rage it exudes, but also because it’s such a dead ringer for the Behemoth, an iconic recurring enemy from the Final Fantasy series of video games 😉

So all that was left was a base for the beast, and I had already constructed a base that would make it look as though the Daemon Prince were barreling forward, almost on all fours, and/or reaching down to crush one of its pesky opponents with its massive paw. So here’s the finished model, base and all:

Avatar of the Hunt (8)
The Curse of Daemonhood

Not a single World Eater, no matter how deranged after millennia of warfare or driven to madness by the bite of the Butcher’s Nails, could ever forget the moment of Angron’s ascension. The image of the tortured Primarch transforming into a daemonic god beast amidst a howling vortex of balefire was permanently seared into the World Eaters’ collective memory at the climax of the Purge of Nuceria. For some, Angron’s transformation became an example to be followed during the millennia of the Long War, his new form the ultimate reward for a life of slaughter.

The members of the 4th assault company, however, regard Angron’s fate as something far different: They see no boon in the ascension to daemonhood, but rather feel a lingering fear at the possible changes wrought on a mind stripped of that last shred of humanity after a lifetime of rage and bloodlust: The muscles swollen with daemonic power and warped into something grotesque. The Butcher’s Nails transfigured by the powers of the warp into the shackles they always were in mortal life. The blood turned into hellfire, pumped through a monstrous body by the beating of an eternal daemon heart, forever bound in service to the Lord of War as a true Avatar of the Hunt.

No, Angron’s ascension has not been forgotten by the warriors of the 4th. It marks a pivotal moment in the legion’s fate. And to those willing to look, it serves as a grim reminder of a fate not far removed from the curse of spawndom.

Avatar of the Hunt (3)
Avatar of the Hunt (4)
Avatar of the Hunt (5)
Avatar of the Hunt (9)
Avatar of the Hunt (10)
Avatar of the Hunt (11)
Avatar of the Hunt (12)
Avatar of the Hunt (1)
Avatar of the Hunt (2)
I am actually really surprised at how much I actually enjoyed painting this big lump of plastic! And what’s more, I believe the colours and recipes used on the Daemon Prince and Skulltaker conversions will factor rather heavily into any additional daemons that may be in the cards for my army — for instance, after two successful test runs, you can expect the recipe for the skin to appear again on my Bloodthirster (*wink*wink*nudge*).After all, this recipe has really served me rather well so far, wouldn’t you agree?

Avatar of the Hunt (14)

For now, however, I am mostly happy about having finished an unexpected second ETL vow — and another long running project! Huzzah! 🙂

It goes without saying that I would love to heary any feedback you might have, so feel free to drop me a comment or two. And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Avatar of the Hunt (7)

Mark of the Daemon pt. 2 — plus some odds and ends

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2013 by krautscientist

Another week, and here I am, still happily pottering away in the small amount of hobby time I have. Let’s take a look:

First up, my kitbashed Daemon Prince. While reactions over here were pretty sparse, unfortunately, the forums provided more feedback this time around: I was happy to find out that the model was far better recieved than I had anticipated, plus I did get some extremely useful criticism out of the deal as well! So I ended up spending some more time on this guy, trying to take the various suggestions on board and further improve the model.

DexterKong, among others, remarked that he felt the original, more crouched pose was a better fit for the bestial, animalistic feel of the model. Dexter said that,

(…)in my mind I keep seeing this guy bounding forward on all fours.  In most of my visions of him, his front “paws” are on the ground, and his rear legs are kicked back in the air as he savagely runs at a target, like a wolf or a wild boar.  On the off-chance the limbs are not all attached, I would experiment with lowering his chest and head toward the ground, and go for more a quadrupedal pose.

Now while the original pose didn’t work for me (because it made the prince look like he was trying to hold on to the base for dear life), I certainly wanted to channel the look Dexter was talking about. So I slightly changed the pose of the left arm and made sure the model was posed closer to the ground. Here’s the result:

Daemon Prince WIP (18)
I am pretty happy with the pose and think that this is really the best of both worlds: The left arm is still held away from the body in a more open pose, but now it somehow looks less like the Daemon Prince is giving one of his underlings a paternal pat on the back and more like he’s mid-swing while tearing something apart.

Some people on the German forums pointed out that the model’s back seemed to feel a little empty, making it look too much like the monstrous mount it originated as. So I used a leftover Crypt Horror back piece to add some suitably gross vertebrae to the Daemon Prince’s back:

Daemon Prince WIP (17)
Since this picture was taken, some GS and Liquid GS have been used to blend in the new additions with the surrounding area, and the effect is pretty convincing. The picture also clearly shows the lumps of modelling putty used to fix the model in its more crouched pose — this will obviously have to be achieved by the design of the base on the finished model…

Daemon Prince WIP (16)
Speaking of which, the piece of wall on the base is really just a placeholder for now! Myfavourite approach would be to have the DP clutching the fallen window piece from the Honoured Imperium kit in its claw, although I’m not sure whether I should purchase that kit just for the one element. It’s a fantastic kit, though, so I am at least a little tempted…

All in all, I am hugely thankful for the constructive criticism I have received regarding this model,  because I think it has really managed to improve the Daemon Prince:

Daemon Prince WIP (15)
But the Daemon Prince is not the only model on my desk: Having to wait for the various coats of (Liquid) GS to dry left me with some time to kill, which I used to revisit and touch up some older models.

The first of these I tackled were some additional, kitbashed Raptors (called “Harriers” in my army). You might remember the first bunch of those I built and painted, back before the new plastic Raptor kit had even been released. Well, my Raptors were still missing some Meltagunners, so I whipped some up. I also built another champion for good measure, while I was at it 😉

Refurbished Harriers WIP (1)
All three models are based on some leftover Khorne Berzerker bodies I picked up as part of an ebay auction a while ago. Most of these were in a pretty rough condition, but I swore to myself that I would find a way to use them. So with an influx of fresh bitz, I believe I may have managed to rescue them from the rubbish heap. Let’s take a closer look:

Refurbished Harriers WIP (2)
The first model is a fairly simple kitbash, just adding some new arms, a new head and weapon as well as a dash of chainmail to the existing berzerker body. I imagine all of these will look far less rough around the edges, once they are completely undercoated. I also added a MaxMini jump pack, since my other Raptor models so far are using the same bit.

The champion originally started out as an additional icon bearer, but I was just never all that happy with the icon, so I remade him as a champion (because you can never have enough champions, right?):

Refurbished Harriers WIP (3)
A Warp Talon claw nicely complemented his pose, so I used it instead of his original arm. The helmet is also a slightly more involved kitbash — a cookie goes to you if you manage to spot where the original helmet came from…

And finally, the third Raptor with another Meltagun:

Refurbished Harriers WIP (6)
For this guy, I was feeling a little more adventurous, so I borrowed an idea I had seen on somebody else’s thread (GuitaRasmus’s, I believe) to build a more interesting looking weapon for him.

Once I manage to get those painted – whenever that will be – I will have quite a few Raptors at my disposal. And I really like those guys, because they seem so right for a World Eaters army. Also, there is a special kind of joy in revisiting existing models after a while to give them a little extra flair and further improve them.

As a matter of fact, you might remember my post about going back to older models to spice them up, going the extra mile, as it were. Biohazard’s World Eaters bikers were what originally inspired me to write that post (and work on my squad of bikers back then), and now Brother Heinrich’s fantastic Night Lords bikers made me pick up the same squad yet again in order to add even more detail 😉

Hounds squad WIP
Nothing big, though: I just added a couple of trophies and small weapons here and there, to make it look like these guys were used to living in the saddle. I also spent some time cleaning up the conversion work, drilling out all the barrels and exhaust pipes, etc. I only have the – slightly fuzzy – group picture right now, but I hope I’ll get around to showing you some better pictures (and maybe even more bikes) at some point in the future.
So yeah, as you can probably see, today’s post is not so much about breaking new developments as it is about incrementally doing small things that make your army better and better. Not as flashy as some huge centrepiece model, I’ll admit, but both approaches are important for an army, and both can be fun!

I am always interested in your feedback, so let me hear what you think in the comments section!

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

Mark of the Daemon

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2013 by krautscientist

With very little time on my hands at the moment, I unfortunately lack the patience (and motivation) to crack out the paints and finally finish some of the stuff I have built, while my painting backlog is getting bigger and bigger. That is the bad news.

The good news is that, even while being completely swamped in work at the moment, my urge to create something hobby related remains as strong as ever, so what little hobby time I have at the moment is almost entirely given to converting and kitbashing, those most delicious of hobby activities — at least in my opinion 😉

But what do I have to show for it? Well, today I would like to talk abouta pretty long running project of mine that started out as merely wanting to do something productive with some leftover bitz and then quickly spiralled out of control, as will occasionally happen with my hobby endeavours. So what is this about?

Everything started over a year ago, when cousin Andy gave me a WFB Chaos Lord on Manticore for my birthday. Now it shouldn’t surprise anybody that I quickly found a use for the fantastic Chaos Lord bitz that came with the kit: Some were used to create a wretched Chaos Sorcerer (to be used as a traitorous Primaris Psyker for my Traitor Guard), some others went into the creation of a Khorne Lord on Juggernaut that I have yet to show you.

But when all was said and done, there was still a whole Manticore left, and I didn’t really have any good ideas for that guy: He was simply too fantasy to be seamlessly absorbed into one of my 40k projects. The one idea that seemed to have some merit, then, was to try and use him for building something daemonic.

You see, my Khornate army is fairly short on daemons. And there’s a reason for that, of course: The image I have of my army doesn’t gel all that well with the stock daemon models: The warriors of the 4th assault company are doing their damnedest to keep functioning as a coherent fighting force, so it’s hard to picture hordes of daemons prancing around among them. If I were to use any daemons, they would have to fit the look and feel of my World Eaters, and the most obvious way of achieving that would be to make them fit the underlying metaphor of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt. So instead of regular Bloodletters, I might use packs of (slightly) daemonic hounds, hunting ahead of the legionaries. And instead of a standard Greater Daemon or Daemon Prince, I might use a huge daemonic beast an Avatar of the Hunt, if you will — hence my original idea to use the Manticore in that capacity.

However, my plan to build a four-legged monstrosity – not unlike a titanic Flesh Hound of Khorne – didn’t quite get off the ground: I would simply have needed too much sculpting to make that work, something far beyond my abilities (and my patience). So back into the box the Manticore went.

But then I came into the possession of some leftover Maulerfiend bitz, and my creativity was rekindled: What about using those to turn the Manticore into a hulking, biomechanic monster?

Here’s my first attempt at building such a beast:

Daemon Prince, early WIP (1)
As you can see, the combination of the Manticore body and the legs and arms from a Maulerfiend led to a hulking, almost apelike silhouette. While the model seemed malproportioned and brutish, I rather liked the look, though. It also got me thinking what this model would actually represent in my army, beyond simply being a way of using some leftover bitz.

The idea I came up with was that this monster would be used whenever a champion gets transformed into a Daemon Prince by a roll on the Chaos Boon Table. Now you might say that a) that seems to be a pretty specific and limited use for a model of this size and b) this monster doesn’t really fit the established look of a DP, right? Hear me out on this:

You see, A Daemon Prince doesn’t really fit the background of my army for several reasons: Lord Captain Lorimar is the supreme commander of the 4th, for one, so there wouldn’t possibly be any DP with more authority than him, least of all serving under him. What’s more, I feel the ascension to daemonhood wouldn’t necessarily be seen as a boon by the warriors of the 4th: The legionaries have done their best so far to keep mutation and madness at bay, rather electing to remain “human”, for lack of a better word. For them, being elevated to daemonhood would not be an ultimate price to be craved, but rather a horror not so far removed from the curse of spawndom. And with its hulking body, the WIP model seemed to reflect that: Where a “normal” Daemon Prince is a sinister, darkly angelic figure, and an embodiment of chaotic power and boundless ambition, I wanted my DP to look like this huge, malproportioned monster that is part ape, part hound and part Astartes. I imagine that, upon ascending, all the rage and fever for the hunt that a member of the 4th assault company has been bottling up for so long will overflow and turn him into a huge hunting beast, mindless and terrible.

So the next step in the conversion was bascially to make this guy look like he could actually have evolved out of an Astartes. And, of course, to add all kinds of bitz to make him look suitably imposing and monstrous:

Daemon Prince WIP (1)
Daemon Prince WIP (2)

Daemon Prince WIP (3)

Daemon Prince WIP (5)

Daemon Prince WIP (6)
As you can see in the pictures above, I added the warped remains of a CSM backpack and the shoulder pads from the regular Daemon Prince kit to hint at this guy’s Astartes origins. And the tail from the Manticore kit made the DP’s silhouette more interesting and ambiguous: The pose and proportions may seem pretty much like those of a gorilla, but the head and tail point more toward a hound or entirely daemonic creature.

I also started to use some GS to blend together the seemingly disparate parts:

Daemon Prince WIP (7)

Daemon Prince WIP (8)
You might have noticed that the model was still lacking some feet at this point. That was to become quite an issue, as fellow hobbyist Ben kindly sent me two sets of Maulerfiend hooves for this conversion, only for them to both be lost by those geniuses at the German postal service. Nuts!

Daemon Prince WIP (9)

Understandably enough, Ben didn’t have a third set of those hooves to spare, and with that setback, the conversion ground to a hold for a couple of months until another fellow German, Sagal, was kind enough to let me have some hooves from the WFB giant. That finally gave me the motivation I needed to work on the model some more. Here’s the model as it looks right now:

Daemon Prince WIP (10)

Daemon Prince WIP (11)
As you can see, I also changed the pose of the left arm to achieve a slightly different look: With both arms held in front of its body, too much of the model seemed to be obscured. The new hooves also gave the Deamon Prince a more upright pose than I had originally planned, and that particular element might need some more work.

At the same time, more GS and Liquid GS were used to make the transitions between the different parts of the body more organic and plausible. And I also emulated Dave Taylor’s really clever idea of adding metallic sockets to the creature’s body, using GS. I did this in order to represent the ports that used to connect the former Astartes’s black carapace to his power armour (For all those interested, Dave succinctly explains how to create this effect here).

Daemon Prince WIP (12)

Daemon Prince WIP (13)
The finished model will probably be gripping some crushed masonry (or maybe an equally crushed loyalist Astartes) in its right fist. And it goes without saying that I will have to design a suitably impressive base as well. Maybe I’ll use the base to make the model lean forwards a bit more, making it look like it was preparing to barrel forward on all fours, as suggested by DexterKong — as a matter of fact, the longer I keep working on this guy, the more questions arise. But even though some parts of the model still need to be sorted out, I rather like the overall effect. It is an eclectic creature, to be sure, but eclectic and malproportioned was what I was going for in the first place 😉

While this project seems to come a bit out of the left field, I have really been working on this guy on and off for about a year now, and it seems like he’s finally nearing completion. Much has happened in the meantime, and TJ Atwell’s fantastic “Bull God” , using a slightly similar premise, almost made me ashamed to show you this silly little conversion of mine. But then, I think that, with a bit more work, this could really become yet another model to define the specific look and feel of my army, and I like that a lot!

And in gaming terms, I imagine the model could even be used as a reasonably convincing GD or Maulerfiend: Maybe that spiky tail could even count as lasher tendrils…?


Anyway, I realise that this model might be a bit of an acquired taste. But working on it has taught me a lot, and actually using these bitz for something is certainly preferable to keeping them in my cupboard of shame forever, right?

That said, I’d be happy to hear any thoughts and ideas you might have! Let me know what you think in the comments section!

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

Daemon Prince WIP (14)