Archive for my favourite blogs

The 2014 Eternal Hunt Awards, pt. 1: The Hobbyists

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , on December 31, 2014 by krautscientist

Awards

Alright, everyone, it is that time of year again! So on the last day of 2014, let us commence a look back at the year and talk about this year’s Eternal Hunt Awards! And what better way to start than to talk about 2014’s outstanding archievements by fellow hobbyists, right?

 

Hobby blog of the year

Interestingly enough, choosing winners for this category really becomes harder and harder as we go along, mostly because most of last year’s winners just keep on producing outstanding content (yes, Jeff Vader, I am looking at you — among others 😉 ). That said, in the interest of keeping things fresh. I’ve limited my choice to blogs that have not yet been among the winners. So, with that out of the way, whose blog was the most awesome this year? Let’s find out!

 

1st place: Le blog dé Kouzes

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Confession time: My French has become horribly rusty over the last few years, which is really a shame. But every once in a while, something makes me want to brush up on the language, and this year’s winner is very much a reason to learn French:

The four Kouzes provide a relentless stream of quality content, ranging from extremely helpful tutorials to absolutely breathtaking army projects. And every once in a while, they’ll run competitions that invariably draw the most talented hobbyists from the French speaking hobby community (and well beyond).

Meanwhile, their own projects really remain the star of the show here: Be it Morbäck’s absolutely stunning Plaguebones (or his equally wonderful Gretchin Army), Théo’agonie’s unbelievably creepy Dark Eldar or what have you: These guys are so insanely talented that I always feel the need to read through their every post — albeit at a glacially slow pace, more often than not 😉

So whether or not you know any French, make sure to head over to this fantastic blog as soon as possible — if all else fails, there’s always Google Translate, you know 😉

 

2nd place: thenickeninja’s blog

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There are many things to love about the blog of swedish hobbyist thenickeninja, but let me just point out two of them: His absolutely amazing work for Blood Bowl – just check out his gorgeous Voodorcs – and his stunning underhive terrain — the latter one may just be the best tabletop terrain in existence, period.

Looking at these terrain projects always leaves me equal parts inspired and dejected at the fact that I’ll never be able to come up with something nearly as ingenious as this.

So definitely check out thenickeninja’s blog at your earliest convenience — I promise you’ll hunger for Necromunda and INQ28 afterwards, and that’s always a good thing!

 

3rd place: Between the Bolter and Me

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Another confession: I am as guilty as anyone at regularly falling victim to the “pretty picture syndrome”, scrolling past carefully written paragraphs of excellent text in order to get at the delicious pictures of models. This is a terrible habit, to be sure, and it is therefore all the more astounding that this year’s third place has managed to capture me with a combination of things to look at and things to read through. time and time again:

The Brothers Wier maintain an excellent balance between showcasing cool conversions and kitbashes, providing helpful tutorials and taking detailed and insightful looks at new releases as well as certain developments in this hobby of ours. Their articles never disappoint and manage to be rewarding — with or without any pictures. A very well put together blog, and another hearty recommendation — make sure to check out Between the Bolter And Me!

 

Best models of the year

The level of quality when it comes to hobbyists’ creations is really quite off the charts by now — it’s almost unbelievable how many quality projects, logs, blogs and galleries can be found online! But even in this Golden Age of creativity, there are some that rise above the crowd. So let me present you some of the best pieces of 2014:

 

Red Corsairs by Kari Hernesniemi

Red Corsairs by Kari Hernesniemi

Red Corsairs by Kari Hernesniemi

Kari and Okki, the Spiky Rat Pack, are common household names whenever I talk about my favourite blogs and hobbyists — and for a good reason, because their creations just tend to blow me away. This year, Kari does it yet again with some wonderful, true scale Red Corsairs that are a perfect embodiment of what Chaos Space Marines should be.

Truth be told, the Red Corsairs have often felt a little gimmicky to me – a strange mésalliance of traitors lacking the flair of the “true” Traitor Legions. Well, no longer, because Kari’s wonderful models are Blanchian and pirate-y and utterly badass at the same time, showing a chapter that has managed to become as corrupted in a mere century when others needed ten millennia for the same feat. Those models are just perfect — amazing job!

Check out Kari’s post about his Red Corsairs here.

Red Corsair by Kari Hernesniemi

Red Corsair by Kari Hernesniemi

 

Inquisitor De Lorme by Steifer

Inquisitor De Lorme by Steifer

Inquisitor De Lorme by Steifer

A simply wonderful piece, marrying Blanchian design sensibilities with a dash of the Venetian Carnival: De Lorme is just pitch perfect in execution, a character that is equal parts majestic and ostentatious on the one hand, and sinister and more than a little deranged on the other. The whole achievement becomes even more stunning when you consider that Steifer sculpted huge parts of the model from scratch — all in all, this may just be my favourite Inquisitor this year!

Read more about Inquisitor De Lorme on Steifer’s blog here: The model is further enriched by seeing all the thought and care that went into its creation!

Inquisitor De Lorme by Steifer

Inquisitor De Lorme by Steifer

 

Death Cult Assassin by MonkeyBallistic

Death Cult Assassin by MomkeyBallistic

Death Cult Assassin by MomkeyBallistic

The sheer elegance and perfection of this model leaves me almost speechless — suffice to say that this may just be the definite Death Cultist model, period. Based on a Witch Elf, this model is a perfectly realised interpretation of the archetype created by such characters as Severina and Sevora Devout (of INQ54 fame) — yet it even manages to improve upon those models: absolutely marvelous work!

Check out MonkeyBallistic’s blog here.
Mounted Champion of Nurgle by PDH

Nurglite Campion by PDH

Nurglite Campion by PDH

Hugely talented hobbyist and all around great guy PDH absolutely delivers once again with a Champion of Nurgle on his daemonic steed, perfectly nailing down the diseased, festering look we would expect of a chosen of the grandfather — while totally blowing the official Magghot Lords out of the water at the same time! Seriously, GW should just have cast this model and be done with it, if you ask me!

Peter’s paintjob on this piece is also truly something to behold — especially the way he managed to capture the look and texture of a slug on the daemonic steed’s body. Is it any wonder this bad boy made it into a recent issue of Warhammer:Visions?

What finally elevates this amazing piece to legendary status is that the template for it was created by employing the highly arcane and eclectic random tables in the old Realm of Chaos books. Thumbs up, Peter: job’s a good ‘un 😉

Check out PDH’s excellent RoC log here.

Nurglite Campion by PDH

Nurglite Campion by PDH

 

Nurglite Maulerfiend by Morbäck

Nurglite Maulerfiend by Morbäck

Nurglite Maulerfiend by Morbäck

Ah, there I was just mouthing off about not being all too fond of the new magghot models, and along comes Morbäck and shuts me right up with his absolutely stellar magghot-based Maulerfiend conversion: an excellent creation that is being copied in Nurglite armies around the globe as we speak 😉

I have already stated my love for Morbäck’s Plaguebones earlier in this article, and I am all too happy to reiterate this point: This army is definitely and unmistakably Nurglite at first glance, yet quite unlike every other Nurgle army out there. And it really has it all: The brilliant kitbashes as well as the flawless (and especially disgusting) paintjobs. Morbäck’s Maulerfiend really serves as an avatar of the whole army project in a nutshell, and so it definitely belongs on this list!

Check out Morbäck’s excellent Plaguebones here.

 

Honorary mention: skrundle87 and John Stiening

This list just wouldn’t be complete without a shoutout to skrundle87’s and John Stiening’s excellent Imperial Knight models. While both models couldn’t be any more different from one another, they were truly invaluable to me when I converted my own Imperial Knight earlier this year:

Skrundle’s Daemon Knight provided me with so many excellent ideas to …erm borrow, and it stands as one of the best chaotic Knight conversions I have seen so far.

Daemon Knight by skrundle87

Daemon Knight by skrundle87

And John’s absolutely stunning Knight interiors provided the kick in the behind I needed to step up my game and create a cockpit for my own Knight instead of just glueing that carapace shut. The rest of the model is absolutely fabulous as well, of course!

Imperial Knight by John Stiening

Imperial Knight by John Stiening

So a huge thank you to both of you guys! I can only recommend visiting skrundle’s and John’s respective blogs and be amazed!

 

But wait, there’s more!

There’s so much more to tell you, but precious little time left tonight. So let’s take some time off, celebrating the advent of the new year, and I’ll be seeing you soon with the next installment of the 2014 Eternal Hunt Awards, talking about my favourite armies and hobbyists of 2014. Until then, party on!

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

The 2013 Eternal Hunts Awards, pt. 2: The Hobbyists

Posted in 40k, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , on December 31, 2013 by krautscientist

Awards

Here we are back again with the second part of the 2013 Eternal Hunt Awards. This time, let’s take a look at the hobbyists.

 

Hobby blog of the year

 

1st place: Officio Convertorum

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Though a fairly recent addition to the blogosphere, Jeff Vader’s Officio Convertorum has nevertheless managed to shoot straight to the top. There’s more than enough reason for that, though, since during his first year of blogging, Jeff has barraged us with a relentless stream of excellent kitbashing, fantastic painting and very interesting background: The guy even managed to create a plausible and interesting fifth Chaos God, for crying out loud!

So a clear winner this year. Check out Jeff’s fantastic blog and prepare to be amazed!

 

2nd place: Gardens of Hecate

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Every once in a while, even in a hobby as multifaceted as ours, we may have the chance of stumbling upon something truly different and original. And the most original blog of 2013, at least in my book, has to be Gardens of Hecate. Strictly speaking, it deals with Malifaux, chronicling Ana Polanscak’s work on a fully customised warband, complete with accompanying scenery, markers, tokens and what have you. While that may seem like a daunting enough job, however, putting things so simply would entirely miss the point of why the blog is so great: Ana not only shows highly inspired kitbashes and conversions, ending up with models that may use GW bitz for ingredients, but end up looking very distinct and original; Gardens of Hecate is also an exploration of medieval imagery with a slightly apocalyptic bend. It’s hard to put into words, although the closest possible description would be that those models look like what Hieronymus Bosch would be up to today, if he were alive and into tabletop gaming.

Trying to describe it doesn’t do it justice, though: You’ll have to take a look for yourself. Like me, you’ll probably come away from it with the impression that this is an extraordinary source of inspiration, and that there’s really nothing quite like it.

 

3rd place: Opus Maius

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Now you see it, now you don’t: As of this writing, Opus Maius is not accessible. This is due to the fact that Neil101 likes to take the blog offline every now and then, presumably to force himself to do more actual hobby work instead of just blogging about it. Whenever Opus Maius does return, though, fading in and out of realspace like a  Space Hulk, the blog manages to find a very distinct voice and never ceases to inspire: You see, Neil is the genius behind hobby projects like the fabled Arrke game board, and while showcases of his work are certainly one great part of the blog, his writeups of the games taking place in this strange and demented world are just as impressive and inspiring. So keep your eyes peeled for whenever Opus Maius returns from the Empyrean, because you can be sure we’ll be in for a treat!

 

Hobbyist of the year

Like last year, this is a tough call to make. But then, there are those hobbyists who manage to make the hobby into something special not only for themselves, but for others as well. And the three people on my personal awards list this year certainly managed that admirably. Here they are:

 

1st place: PDH
Those who have had any form of contact with Peter know that he’s not only a highly talented converter and painter in his own right, but also a tremendously nice guy. Both should be enough to win him any price, certainly, but he landed at the top of this list for another reason:

in 2013, Peter was the guy to make wonderful things happen: He came up with the utterly brilliant “Secret Yggdrassillium Pilgrimage”, involving hobbyists from several different countries and making the day truly special for his fellow players, among them John Blanche. He helped Commissar Molotov with this year’s Inqvitational and took a big stake in the INQ28 community. He sent me bitz, got me involved in fantastic hobby projects and offered supremely helpful criticism and feeback whenever I asked him. Here’s to you, Peter! A first place well earned!

 

2nd place: Jeff Vader (of Officio Convertorum)
Jeff is certainly winning big in this year’s Eternal Hunts Awards, but to be fair, his contribution to the hobby was simply amazing: His Inquisitorial models sent the INQ28 boards abuzz, his blogs is a daily must-read for me, he invented a new chaos god. And he produced pieces that make me want to push the envelope on my own hobby projects. So thanks, Jeff, for the boundless inspiration you provided in 2013! And I really hate you for being such a fantastic painter, you know?

 

3rd place: Natfka (of Faeit 212)
I suppose you all know Faeit 212 as the go-to site when it comes to tabletop rumours. I also suppose you all go there for your daily hit of rumours and leaks — and if you don’t, well, you definitely should: It’s an enormously helpful and interesting site, but this last year has made me realise it might actually be run by one of the nicest guys imaginable: Even while Blogger took Faeit 212 down due to a copyrights claim on GW’s part, even while having to deal with the fallout from that and trying his best to keep the project alive, Natfka never got angry but always stayed productive, positive and eminently likeable. That mindset also clearly comes across in his posts: Natfka doesn’t like to bicker, he likes to see the positives, the potential. Does that make him a fanboy? No, certainly not. It makes him someone whose site  always like to visit and whose tireless service to the community I find admirable. My hat’s off to you, sir!

 

Best models of the year:

There were so many amazing models this year that pointing out favourites at all seems pretty unfair. Still, some pieces were so astounding and inspiring that I want to share them with you — in no particular order, mind you, because I really couldn’t be expected to choose any one of these over another. So here are my favourite models of 2013:

 

Decimator conversion by Chris Harman

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While many models I see online make me want to borrow ideas and replicate effects I like, it is not often that a conversion has me run out to grab the models to attempt the same thing near instantly. Chris Harman’s excellent Decimator, kitbashed mainly from a GK Nemesis Dreadknight, was the exception to the rule, though, and possibly the single most inspirational piece I saw this year.

People had attempted making the Dreadknight into a chaos walker before, but Chris’ model was really the first one that really worked for me — which is why I shamelessly pilfered the idea and built my own Wargrinder in a fairly similar pattern: It turns out imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all…

My only gripe with this model is that, unfortunately, so far there are only tantalising glimpses at a partly painted model:

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But what we can see so far gives rise to the hope that the finished piece will be just as amazing as the conversion. Fantastic job, Chris!

 

Bull God by TJ Atwell

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TJ Atwell, of Dark Future Games, is certainly no stranger to amazing conversions. And it seems like he’s on a roll with a recent army project of his, the “Army of the Apocalypse”, a combined force of Necrons and Daemons. Sound whacky? Well, trust TJ to prove that the ally rules can be used to come up with fantastic and original army concepts: He’s been cranking out brilliantly disturbing daemon engines like crazy for these last months, one of them cooler than the next!

The one to rule them all, though, is TJ’s fantastic Bull God, to be used as a Daemon Prince, Maulerfiend or Greater Daemon. The whole conversion is so flawless that I wish I had come up with something like that. And the paintjob is equally impressive, combining TJ’s highly effective recipe for distressed flesh with bright yellows and blues (recurring spot colours in this particular army). Simply a marvelous piece!

 

Questing Knight by Jeff Vader

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It seems like all INQ28 aficionados are drawn towards building true scale marines at one point, and Jeff Vader is no exception. While many of those models don’t end up all that impressive, though, Jeff’s Questing Knight is an astonishing model: Like all of Jeff’s models, this is a delicious kitbash (making exceptionally great use of what may just be the coolest Space Marine head ever), and the lush paintjob shows off some of the hallmarks of Jeff’s work: the gritty realism evident in the paintjob itself, the amazing freehand symbols and patterns and the highly expressive face. Job’s a good ‘un, Jeff!

Take a closer look at the model here.

 

Arco Evisorators by Kari Hernesniemi

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Kari’s Stryderre was already my personal star of the show at the “Secret Yggdrassillium Pilgrimage”, so I was really happy to see him build yet more of these disturbing, emaciated killers. He has since spun off the concept into a whole warband of so-called Arco Evisorators, and each of the models is a treat! Case in point, it’s certainly an honour to be commissioned by no other than John Blanche himself to build a warband of these brilliantly horrible guys, but in Kari’s case, the honour is well-deserved! Discover all of the models here.

Another glimpse at the Arco Evisorators in action. The sinister lady in the background is a converted Femme Militant model by John Blanche.

Another glimpse at the Arco Evisorators in action. The sinister lady in the background is a converted Femme Militant model by John Blanche.

 

Honorary mention for best effect on a model: Ms. Binky by Rednekkboss

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One of the most disappointing moments in our hobby is when a finished model (or an effect we were really trying to get right) doesn’t work out. And one of the things that I’ve witnessed going wrong more often than not over the years was people painting huge eyeballs on some of their models. So for all those who have struggled to get it right, prepare to be amazed by Rednekkboss’s model for Ms. Binky, a daemon engine that is equal parts disgusting and adorable. The huge eyeball which makes up the main point of focus for the model could have gone so very horribly wrong. But Rednekkboss really, really nailed it:

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How can something be so cute and so disgusting at the same time, I ask you?
The astonishing step by step documentation to the effect can be found here.

 

Best armies/warbands of the year

And where there are single models, there are also armies and warbands. Again, I witnessed too many great hobby projects to count this year, but some just take the cake. Let me share my favourites with you:

1st place: Brother Heinrich’s Night Lords

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I cannot possibly say enough good things about Brother Heinrich’s Night Lords 15th company: It’s a fantastic hobby project, above all else. The fluff accompanying the models is equally impressive. But maybe my favourite thing about the army is how much thought is given to each and every model, making it seem like these guys are really veterans of the Long War. Brother Heinrich’s work has made me think about building Chaos Space Marine armies in a new way while also featuring some of the snazziest conversions around. It’s a beautiful army, and like I told you recently, I myself make an appearance as well 😉

So if you’re one of the few people reading this blog who have not yet checked out Brother Heinrich’s brilliant NL army, do yourself a favour and go take a look.

 

2nd place: migsula’s Legion army

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A true labour of love, this one: Migs has been hard at work on this army for quite a while now, and it shows: Each model has been expertly customised and converted, the narrative oozes from every pore of this hobby endeavour. Then there’s the fact that the entire army was painted to look like it was operating under a pale moon, which is an astonishing feat in itself. And lastly, you really get three armies for one here: Is it a Grey Knights army? Or an IG army (with some Inquisition sprinkled on top)? Or indeed a Chaos Space Marine army, given the fact that these guys are all Alpha Legion Operatives (and let’s not even get into the AL’s true loyalties…)? As you can see, the narrative comes creeping in, even when you simply want to decide what kind of army this is in the first place. Astounding work, migs!

Discover the army here.

 

3rd place: Dave Taylor’s Adeptus Mechanicus army

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The Adeptus Mechanicus has always been a fascinating, if disturbing, part of 40k lore for me. And rarely has it been captured so well as in Dave Taylor’s AdMech army. We all know that Dave is an expert at building characterful armies, of course, but even so, this one’s special. Words really don’t do it justice…

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…so you had best take a look at the project here.

 

Honorary mention: Inquisitor Klein and retinue by Drone 21c

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INQ28 has become really popular during this last year, and rightly so. And while the increase in interest has also lead to an increase in awesome warbands and retinues, every now and then there’s something even cooler than the rest. Drone 21c’s retinue for Inquisitor Klein is such a case: It may just be the perfect blend of modern painting techniques and retro flourishes from the good old days of Rogue Trader and 2nd edition. The retinue also works as a perfect embodiment of the eclectic styles and cultures prevalent in the 40k universe, evident in the uniforms and outfits alone. Plus those models simply look so lush in that photo that you’d like to eat them! Check them out here.

 

So, with this deluge of fantastic hobby inspiration, I think it’s the perfect moment to wish you all a happy new year! Keep your eyes peeled for the third and final installment of the 2013 Eternal Hunt Awards, where I’ll be speaking about my own hobby year. And, of course, let me hear your feedback in the comments!

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

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, Uncategorized, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2013 by krautscientist

There I was, thinking that my holiday vacation would give me more time for hobby-related stuff, but so far all the Christmas preparations have rendered this hope null and void — out of the frying pan and into the fire, so to speak.

Fear not, though, because I am in the priviledged position of letting other hobbyists do my work for me. For today’s update, I’d like to show you glimpses at two highly inpirational hobby projects that double as crowning hobby moments of awesome for me – but we’ll get to that in a minute…

 

1. “Mini Me”

You may already have heard of Brother Heinrich’s amazing Night Lords thread over at The Bolter and Chainsword, and I already mentioned that Heinrich was awesome enough to immortalise various hobbyists as models in his army (I chose to repay the favour by turning him into one of my Brazen Hunters). Anyway, Brother Heinrich has been hard at work for the last few weeks, and so I can now proudly present a miniature version of me serving in the Night Lords’ 15th company under the nom de guerre of Brother Berias. Check this out:

Night Lord weapon teams by Brother Heinrich (1)

Models built and painted by Brother Heinrich

I am the guy on the right, rocking that awesome custom Reaper Autocannon. On the left you can see the Night Lords avatar of fellow hobbyist Dragonkin Arenis, now my partner in bloodshed for the millennia to come.

models built and painted by Brother Heinrich

models built and painted by Brother Heinrich

Not only do I love the weapon and choice of helmet, but my favourite part may be the half-deathmask Brother Heinrich painted onto the model’s helmet. Take a look:

models built and painted by Brother Heinrich

models built and painted by Brother Heinrich

Together with three other weapon teams, these guys will be used as counts-as Obliterators in Heinrich’s army — a perfect way of representing that particular choice, if you ask me! Here’s the merry little band of rascals:

Night Lord weapon teams by Brother Heinrich (4)
And while the models are amazing enough on their own, 1000Heathens also did a killer job on the accompanying piece of background he wrote. So be sure to check it out, along with the rest of this stunning force, over at Heinrich’s B&C thread. And, of course, a huge thank you for Brother Heinrich for this fantastic opportunity!

 

2. Images from a past life

Now this second thing is just as awesome, and for slightly similar reasons. Fellow German hobbyist AgnostosTheos has been building and painting one of the most impressive Pre-Heresy World Eaters armies on the net. And while I myself have no ambition to start a pre-heresy Astartes army (or rather, yet another one next to my kitbashed Custodes), I couldn’t help but wonder what “30k” versions of the characters making up Khorne’s Eternal Hunt would look like. So I approached AgnostosTheos and asked him whether he was game for a small experiment: Would he be interested in building some 30k versions of my characters for his army? Being an all around nice guy, he agreed.

And now imagine my happiness when he just posted the first two characters just the other day. So let me show you both of these characters, with their background as well as their 30k and 40k versions, respectively. Here we go:

Brother Marax by AgnostosTheos (1)

model built and painted by AgnostosTheos

Brother Marax the Fallen

When Lorimar ascended to the rank of captain of the 4th assault company, brother Marax stood at his side. Likewise, during the years of the Great Crusade, he proved to be a loyal retainer, time and time again.

But after Marax had undergone the psychosurgical treatments introduced to the legion by its primarch Angron, he began to change. The occasions when Marax would succumb to frenzy and insatiable bloodlust on the field of battle grew ever more frequent. But the negative effects of this development were ignored, for Marax had become an insurmountable warrior. While the World Eaters grew more and more fervent in their worship of Khorne, Marax was one of those who welcomed the bloody rituals. During all this time, Lorimar kept his brother under close scrutiny, for he feared what Marax might become. Though he was a force of nature on the battlefield, his frenzy made him more and more difficult to control.

The Skalathrax campaign, during which the legion tore itself apart in a single night, marked the decisive point in the tale of Marax.  After Kharn the Betrayer had begun the senseless slaughter, Lorimar had to use all of his authority to keep at least his company together as an organised force. But amidst the chaos of blood and flame, he was opposed by Marax. The once loyal battle brother considered Lorimar’s refusal of bloody slaughter to be treason and threw himself at his captain, filled with daemonic rage.

While the World Eaters were tearing each other apart, Lorimar and Marax were locked in a fight for life and death of their own.
Marax was an unfathomably powerful warrior, and his anger transformed him into a whirlwind of destruction, but in the end, it was his rage that spelt his doom: He fell for a feint and was almost cut in two by Lorimar’s axe. The battle was decided.

Even with death drawing near, Marax still tried to reach his foe. When he breathed his last, Lorimar, towering over his shattered body, promised him this: He would receive a grave that was worthy of a true warrior. And he would be feared for eternity.

Apothecary Dumah had to employ every mystery of his art to trap the last spark of life within the shattered form of Marax. But he was successful: Marax was interred into the sarcophagus of a dreadnought and thus sentenced to an eternity of war – truly a worthy grave for a warrior.

Being trapped inside the dreadnought for millennia has irrevocably shattered Marax’s mind, and all that might have been left of the once proud warrior has been drowned in a sea of bloodlust and insanity. When the 4th assault company is not at war, his eternal grave is secured within a stasis field, which is only deactivated once the battle begins. On the battlefield, he rushes forward like a wild beast, tearing apart enemies and war machines alike with crackling lightning claws, howling with rage and hatred. And it is not easy to decide who fears Marax more: Those who have to face him in battle or the warriors of the 4th assault company themselves, to whom he has become an undying reminder of what will befall them, should they give in to the curse of blood frenzy.
Marax the Fallen

So, meet the 30k version of Brother Marax: By the look of the model, Marax is already well on his way to becoming and unstoppable madman by this point. And isn’t it heartening to see how he has stuck with his trademark weapons for over 10,000 years? Awww….

Brother Marax by AgnostosTheos (2)

model built and painted by AgnostosTheos

And here’s the second character in his “youth”. Take a look:

Brother Khoron by Agnostos Theos (1)

model built and painted by AgnostosTheos

Brother Khoron the Undying, Keeper of Trophies

In a way, Khoron the Undying was old already when the World Eaters legion was still young. Having been a warrior from a very early age, he was already a battle-hardened veteran, forged in the fires of the Unification Wars, when Lorimar ascended to command of the 4th assault company. Brother Khoron had seen battle and he had the scars to prove it. He served unter Lorimar’s command, but he was a trusted friend of the young Captain, full of experience and wisdom and gifted with a deep understanding of what it was that bound the legionaries together as brothers. He stood with Lorimar during his search for an identity for the legion. And he stood with him when the Captain decided to follow his Primarch to Terra to depose the false Emperor. For many years, he was a tower of strength for the company and came to be respectfully called “older brother” by the legionaries.

Shortly after the Skalathrax campaign had sundered the legion, Khoron was mortally wounded during a hunt. The man who had survived a thousand battles was powerless in the end, as the alien powers of a Xenos weapon tore his body apart. With his dying breath, he implored Lorimar to let him continue fighting, accepting the dangers of being entombed within the sarcophagus of a Dreadnought. Lorimar was hesitant, for he had witnessed the effects of such incarceration on the Fallen, but in the end he granted his old friend’s wish.

And thus the “older brother” became the being known as the Undying. For the last millennia, his colossal frame has continued to be a sight of inspiration to his brothers. Where Marax the Fallen is a warning of the damnation awaiting the company, the Undying symbolises a way of keeping this grisly fate at bay. It is only at the most chaotic moments of battle that he will succumb to rage and frenzy, and each time this happens, his brothers hope that he will come to eventually. And they fear the day when their older brother’s mind will finally cave in on itself.

When not in battle, Khoron the Undying serves as a master of rites to the company, residing in the Hall of Hunters aboard the company’s capital ship, Aeternus Venator. There he guards the trophies and weapons assembled by the Warriors of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt and presides over the ceremonies held by the legionaries since the times of the Great Crusade.

Khoron Chainsaw (6)
I love how the face used by AgnostosTheos captures Khoron as an older, more grizzled veteran, even during the days of the Heresy. And the skull on his chestplate could even be seen as a shoutout to his later countenance…

model built and painted by AgnostosTheos

model built and painted by AgnostosTheos

Anyway, this is clearly a fantastic chance of getting a glimpse at the past lives of the legionaries in the 4th assault company. And AgnostosTheos‘ paintjobs and conversions are more than worthy representations for the characters — in fact, his versions are more than giving me a run for my money 😉

Will we see more glimpses at this unremembered empire, I wonder? What would Lord Captain Lorimar have looked like at that time? Hmm…

In any case, many thanks to AgnostosTheos for this lovely and unexpected Christmas present! Be sure to check out his WIP thread as well as his awesome Flickr gallery!
So yeah, two awesome examples of me somehow managing to wiggle my way into other people’s hobby endeavours 😉
So, in closing, I wish you all a very happy Christmas, and be sure to check back in the coming days, when we’ll be taking a look at this year’s installment of the annual Eternal Hunt Awards!

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

From the Warp – a blog sorely missed

Posted in 40k, Conversions, DIY, Pointless ramblings, Totally worth it with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2013 by krautscientist

Today I would like to talk about one of my favourite hobby blogs as well as one of my favourite hobby artists. So what is this about?

It has been almost exactly one year since Ron Saikowski last updated his blog, From the Warp, and told the community he was taking some time off from blogging. And even in a hobby scene as full of amazing hobby blogs as this, the absence of new content on FTW is still very keenly felt — at least by me.

FTWbanner

But why? And what was/is so great about FTW in the first place? Allow me to elaborate:

When I got back into the hobby in 2010 after a longer hiatus, I was amazed and cowed in equal parts by the quality of the hobby content that could be found online: While I had been away, it seemed like everyone and their cousin had become expert painters, wielding superior techniques and baffling creativity. The presence of such a treasure trove of hobby related content proved to be equally exciting and intimidating: How was I to get back into all this and hope to build an army that I could truly be proud of? In any case, it seemed like an even more daunting task than it had been during my teens.

And then I discovered FTW, and things started to fall into place.

You see, like many other hobby blogs on the internet, FTW is full of beautifully painted models and valuable hobby advice. But while I love many blogs and read them regularly, no other site has come close to FTW when it comes to actually helping hobbyists, to teach them new stuff and to encourage them to step outside their comfort zone. At the same time, if you are simply in it for the pretty pictures, FTW should be right up your alley: Ron’s style of gritty realism is one of the most effective and elegant approaches I have seen in our hobby. And I’ll just take the liberty to intersperse my ramblings in this post with pictures of some of my favourite models of his — it goes without saying that none of these were built and painted by me. I own none of this stuff. Credit must go to Ron Saikowski.

This Cataphractii Terminator showcases one of Ron's trademark conversion recipes, using cardboard-turned-into-plasticard to transform standard plastic terminators into Pre-Heresy individuals before FW ever released their own versions and before "Cataphractii" was even a word. Model built and painted by Ron Saikowski.

This Cataphractii Terminator showcases one of Ron’s trademark conversion recipes, using cardboard-turned-into-plasticard to transform standard plastic terminators into Pre-Heresy individuals before FW ever released their own versions and before “Cataphractii” was even a word.
Model built and painted by Ron Saikowski.

It’s hard to pick my favourite part of FTW, as a matter of fact: The stunningly effective, yet surprisingly simple, recipes for achieving certain painting effects? The clean and seamless conversion work? The useful reviews of hobby products (and the mention of possible alternatives) or the insightful commentary about the hobby at large? All of these were reasons for why FTW still seems like such a great blog.

A fantastic converted Astartes chaplain, based on the pose of GW's Gabriel Seth Model.  Model built by Ron Saikowski

A fantastic converted Astartes chaplain, based on the pose of GW’s Gabriel Seth model.
Model built by Ron Saikowski

But at the heart of it all lies Ron’s own approach to matters: When posting on his blog, he was always, in the truest sense of the word, a scholar and a gentlemen: always helpful and willing to explain every step of his work until everyone was content and carefully addressing comments and suggestions made by the readers. And while Ron’s work taught me countless neat things, his posts never seemed like he was trying to lecture people of convert them to the “right” way of doing things in our hobby.  In fact, there has probably never been a nicer, more pleasant blogger in our particular neck of the woods..uh webz 😉

Space Marine Commander on Pre-Heresy jetbike by Ron Saikowski

Ron’s stunningly effective Pre-Heresy jetbike conversion: I have used the same approach to build jetbikes for my small Custodes force.
Model built and painted by Ron Saikowski

Another great thing is that Ron’s recipes and techniques are so great precisely because they can be used by normal people. Now we all enjoy looking at some GD level painting from time to time, but when it comes to getting our armies painted, we are happy enough to find a recipe that works and stick with it. FTW has always been a perfect resource in this respect, featuring countless wonderful painting recipes without the need for twenty extra-thin layers of paint in order to build up a certain hue. No freehanding under a microscope with a paintbrush the width of a horse hair here, but rather a way of doing things that produces awesome results with a modicum of work.

Ron's Alpha Legion recipe is an example of a fairly simple approach that still yields awesome results. Model bult and painted by Ron Saikowski

Ron’s Alpha Legion recipe is an example of a fairly simple approach that still yields awesome results.
Model bult and painted by Ron Saikowski

In fact, I’ll go out on a limb here and say that Ron remains one of my favourite painters for the reason that his pieces are perfectly realised: Poe described a thing called “Unity of effect”, arguing that all parts of a literary work should work towards the intended effect in an interlocking pattern. And this is very true of Ron’s paintjobs: While there may be painters who can pull of even more amazing stunts when it comes to blending, glazing, freehands or what have you, Ron’s models always look completely realised: All of the different colours and effects work together to create a model that looks like a perfect little slice of the 40k universe. Nothing detracts from the overall effect. The models seem like they could just step down from their bases and lay waste to your desktop. I cannot, for the life of me, think of a more successful way of painting!

The Novamarines' colour scheme always seemed pretty gimmicky to me. But given Ron's "unity of effect" approach, it is transformed into something that seems quite plausible. Model built and Painted by Ron Saikowski

The Novamarines’ colour scheme always seemed pretty gimmicky to me. But given Ron’s “unity of effect” approach, it is transformed into something that seems quite plausible.
Model built and Painted by Ron Saikowski

And while the blog is mostly about Space Marines, not only will non-Astartes players find much to like about the recipes and tutorials featured on FTW, but Ron is also sometimes at his best when he isn’t actually doing Marines. Take a look:

A fantastic DKOK model built using second party bitz. Model built and painted by Ron Saikowski

A fantastic DKOK model built using second party bitz.
Model built and painted by Ron Saikowski

A very successful attempt at kitbashing an Eversor Assassin from nothing but plastic parts: This guy inspired me to build my own "Operative Sigma". Model built and painted by Ron Saikowski

A very successful attempt at kitbashing an Eversor Assassin from nothing but plastic parts: This guy inspired me to build my own “Operative Sigma”.
Model built and painted by Ron Saikowski

A very evocative and "Blanchian" Imperial Mystic, unfortunately Ron's only foray into the wonderful world of INQ28. Model built and painted by Ron Saikowski

A very evocative and “Blanchian” Imperial Mystic, unfortunately Ron’s only foray into the wonderful world of INQ28.
Model built and painted by Ron Saikowski

If all of this reads like a gushing love letter to you, that’s because it it: To date, FTW remains one of my favourite hobby resources, and I think it’s a crying shame that it isn’t updated anymore. In fact, I still regularly check whether there are any new updates — just in case…

The good news, though, is that all of the existing amazing content is still there for you to check out and discover. Ron’s tutorials are still every bit as helpful as they were when he first posted them. And the models are still inspiring and beautiful, a testament to effective painting. In fact, I would argue that From the Warp is still one of the most important hobby resources for those active in the hobby or just getting into it, and a priceless treasure trove of hobby knowledge.

Oldies but goldies: Ron's own "Lustwing", an army of Emperor's Children Terminators. Just check out that awesome lord in pre heresy armour! Models built and painted by Ron Saikowski

Oldies but goldies: Ron’s own “Lustwing”, an army of Emperor’s Children Terminators. Just check out the scratchbuilt Pre-Heresy armour!
Models built and painted by Ron Saikowski

So, Ron, if you’re reading this: Thanks for all the amazing work! We owe you big time! And here’s hoping that you’ll eventually get back to updating your blog! And to you readers: FTW should really be part of your regular hobby diet, if only to check out all of the great ideas and tips. So head on over there right now and bookmark that page! And if you’ve been a regular reader of FTW before, well, you know what I am talking about anyway, right?

In closing, while most of the content on FTW is truly amazing, here are a couple of personal favourites of mine that I think you should check out:

Ron’s Pre-Heresy Jetbike conversion

Converting a skull helmet for chaplains or Dark Apostles

Ron’s very own “Lustwing”, a counts as Deathwing force consisting of Emperor’s Children Terminators.

Truly heartwarming: Ron’s Chaos Daemon based on a sketch by his daughter

How to make your Space Marine Captain stand out

His collection of advice on basing is still essential reading for every hobbyist, if you ask me.

So what’s your opinion on FTW? And has anyone been hearing from Ron, perchance? Let me know what you think in the comments!

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

A Dark Vengeance Chaplain painted by Ron: One of his most recent models, and possibly my favourite! Model painted by Ron Saikowski

A Dark Vengeance Chaplain painted by Ron: One of his most recent models, and possibly my favourite!
Model painted by Ron Saikowski

Meanwhile, aboard the Arrke… pt.2

Posted in 40k, Battle report, Conversions, Inq28, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2013 by krautscientist

It’s been almost a week since the last game set aboard the Arrke, and a huge cache of delicious information about the event has since turned up on the net. So like I promised, let’s take another look at this strange and demented world, and let me finally show you my dear Legion in action:

I’ll be honest with you: After having sent the model to England, I was of course dying to know how it would all play out: Would Legion fit the overall aesthetics of the game? Would he blend in well with Neil’s fantastic board? Would John Blanche and all those other talented guys like the model?

And then I checked my e-mail account on Saturday, to discover that none other than John Blanche himself had sent me a snapshot of Legion in action:

Legion at home (1)

Look at you, Hacker! …no, wait, wrong game!

I really couldn’t have been any happier! And I am only a little ashamed to admit that I spent quite a while during that afternoon repeatedly pressing F5, in order to see whether there were any news from the Arrke. And, indeed, John was good enough to send me multiple pictures during the game. Thanks so much, JB!

By all accounts, it must have been a fantastic event! And now that lots and lots of pictures from the event have started turning up, everybody can see the glory of it all: The amount of crazy modelling and painting talent on display was stupenduous. And what’s more, PDH somehow managed to weave it all into one game and one narrative, even though it must have been a pretty busy afternoon aboard the Arrke.

Anyway, let’s take a look at some more photos of our favourite insane AdMech monstrosity, shall we? All of the following pictures were very kindly provided by Neil101, by the way.

Legion at home (2)

Legion emerging from the Arrke’s dark nooks and crannies. Check out that fantastic, flaking paint on the wall in the background!

Legion at home (8)

Some time later, Legion is gazing across the derelict and rusty halls of the Myth Shippe from a lofty vantage point.

Legion at home (5)

And finally, having arrived at the banks of the vile Sump, Legion casts a contemplative glance across the frothing waters — awfully introspective for a biomechanic monstrosity, isn’t he?

Legion at home (6)

I really love how the Cult of the True Journey’s sniper seems to be drawing a bead on Legion in this picture

And finally, what has to be my favourite picture of Legion to date, taken by Fulgrim:

Legion at home (7)
As you can see, Legion does indeed look like he’s emerging from the very underbelly of the Arrke itself. I am very pleased that I managed to achieve that!

So what about all the other amazing models? Though I would like dearly to post them, I won’t do that. Not in order to keep all the glory for myself, mind you: I think you should really head over to the other guys’ respective blogs to check out what they have to say about their marvelous creations! And don’t fret, I’ll provide a handy list of links for your perusal. You ABSOLUTELY need to check out this stuff! Seriously!

To begin, Fulgrim has started a brilliant writeup of the event, introducing all the different gangs and walking us through the narrative (with lots of pretty pictures):

Arrke retour

Part I
Part II
Part III

I imagine the series will be running for the rest of the week. And I, for one, can’t wait to read more of this stuff!

 

Then there’s JRN’s Sump Huntress Hanin. A class act, as usual!

 

The Spiky Rat Pack don’t disappoint either, with Kari posting his brilliant Stryderre, complete with sinister poetry, and Mikko’s Living Coffin following hot on his heels.

 

And finally, be sure to check out PDH’s Yggdrassillium threads at Dakka and the Ammobunker. Again, lots of pretty pictures and well deserved awe.

And while you’re there, don’t forget leaving a nice word or two for PDH himself: It only becomes clear now what a spectacular job he has managed to pull off with this: Models from several countries, lots and lots of characters, and he even had to GM the whole thing. The mind boggles!

 

So, once again, a million thank yous to everyone involved! It’s been a pleasure, and I have certainly never had so much fun with an event without even being present 😉

To wind up this post, just because I can, let me share a picture of Neil’s spectacular Arrke board:

Legion at home (4)
The only question is: How are we ever going to surpass this? 😉

In any case, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!