Archive for paintjob

#HeroQuest2019: A Christmas Carol…of Undead Sorcery

Posted in Conversions, heroquest, old stuff, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, Totally worth it with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2019 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, so here is my Christmas post for this year, and right in time for the festivities, no less. And I have prepared something for you that is at least a little heartwarming, as is only right and proper for this season.

Furthermore, one of my first hobby activities this year has been to return to the very beginnings of my life as a hobbyist and paint some old HeroQuest models, so it seems only fitting that one of the year’s last posts should also deal with the very same game — so what is this about?

Speaking of HeroQuest, you may have seen how my biggest ongoing hobby project this year was to paint an entire HeroQuest set, and for once I actually managed to go through with it. Ye Olde Inn, a forum dedicated to all things HeroQuest, became an indispensable part of this project, so when the forum ran its annual “Ye Olde Inn Christmas Exchange”, it was clear to me that I really wanted to participate, both as a small way of giving something back to the community, but also because I like events like this, where everyone builds a model and sends it off to somebody else.

So I really wanted to do something cool for the exchange! And this ambition doubled when I learned that my model would go to fellow hobbyist Weltenlaeufer whom I was happy to advise on painting his own HeroQuest models throughout the year. Now he had told me multiple times that he really liked my models, and flattery will, of course, get you anywhere with me 😉

But on a more serious note, this meant that there was a fairly good chance that he would like having a model built and painted by me in his collection — but I really wanted to give it my all and not just paint any old standard model (although “standard models” can be rather lovely when painted really well, as we will see later in this post).

Anyway, I reflected for a bit on what kind of model would be cool enough for this endeavour, and I settled on the closest thing the basic HeroQuest game system has to an arch-villain: The Witch Lord, as seen here painted by the great Les Edwards.

Illustration by Les Edwards

As I have already outlined before, I instantly fell in love with that illustration when I first saw it — enough so, in fact, that I used it as an inspiration when I finally built my own version of the Witch Lord earlier this year:

“So yeah, how about sending Weltenlaeufer a Witch Lord? That would certainly be cool!” But how would I go about building another one?

Fortunately enough, as outlined in my original Witch Lord post, I had come up with a plan for a plastic Witch Lord conversion as my original approach before later using an old Citadel metal model for the actual conversion. But I still felt that this recipe could work really well for the task I was facing now. The approach would look similar in nature to this renegade psyker I built a few years ago:

The basic combination of bitz at the heart of this approach – combining the legs of an Empire flagellant with a Skaven Stormvermin torso – makes for a slightly stooped and subtly sinister body that works for all kinds of villainous sorcerer types, Witch Lords included. But even though the basic idea was sound, it still took me a rather long while before I finally came up with a basic setup that worked:

Taking Les Edward’s illustration as my main point of reference once again, I tried to go for a model that would hit enough of the artwork’s visual cues to read as the Witch Lord, even if it didn’t reproduce every element from the artwork. I still tried to make it a rather close fit, though, and bitz from about ten different kits went into making the model look right, including a Skeleton warrior head, a ghoul hand, some Empire Knight feet and a Bloodletter mandible. By lucky chance, I tried the horns I got as a leftover piece from when I shaved horns off the new vanilla CSM helmets to replace them with Khornate helmet crests a while back , and they really made the helmet work so much better.

Here’s the model just a bit later, glued together and with the necessary tweaks in place:





Up to this point, however, I still wasn’t entirely sure whether or not I was on to something. That changed after undercoating, though, when all the disparate parts really turned into something that looked reasonably closely like a HeroQuest model:




When painting my new Witch Lord conversion, I tried to basically recreate my earlier paintjob, with just a few minor tweaks here and there, and went for the classic triad of basecoats,…



…washes,…



…and higlights.

I spent quite a bit of time on that last part, obviously, to make sure the model would really work as a centre piece character.

So here’s my finished plastic Witch Lord:







I was really very happy with the outcome, as this felt like a worthy contribution to the Christmas exchange. And I do think the model holds up when placed next to my original Witch Lord model. Take a look:


I would be hard-pressed to decide which of these I like better. True, my original model is quite a bit flashier, on account of using a different base model, but the new version is actually much closer to the kind of model you would actually find in a HeroQuest set from back in the day (it is also, it has to be said, much easier to recreate for someone who wants to build their own Witch Lord, which is useful).

At the same time, I did my best to create a subtle connection between both models: They both use an identical palette and the weird avian skull on their respective staffs is also just the same. And they both – hopefully – match the piece of artwork that inspired them to begin with:

The new Witch Lord also looks pretty convincing next to some actual HeroQuest models, if you ask me:

So that was my model for Weltenlaeufer’s HeroQuest conversion done and dusted, right? Not quite, because I wasn’t finished yet:

I also wanted to make sure the packaging matched the style of the model, and seeing how the Witch Lord emerges his tomb, as represented by the little sarcophagus that comes in the HeroQuest set,…

I thought it would be really cool to incorporate this element in my package as well, so I used “Keramin”, a plaster like material that dries really fast and hard, in order to make a quick copy of the lid:


Talk about happy accidents: The casting process was actually not quite perfect, leading to some bubbles that marred the face of the reclining figure. But they actually ended up making the face look even more gaunt and undead, which was of course ideal in this case:


So I painted the copied lid up in suitably stony colours…


…and used it to add that certain je-ne-sais-quoi to Weltenlaeufer’s package, so upon opening it, he would find this:


A recreation of the Witch Lord’s tomb, to be opened by an intrepid (or foolish) adventurer to unleash an ancient horror upon the Old World…


Mission accomplished, at long last! So I packed it all up and sent it off to Poland towards the end of November, then spent a frantic week or so wondering whether the postal service would somehow manage to mess this up. They didn’t, however, so not only did my little Witch Lord arrive in time, but Weltenlaeufer also ended up really liking the model, by the looks of it:

Yay! 🙂

Even better, actually: As if on cue, Weltenlaeufer had recently picked up a brand new set of brilliant tabletop catacombs from Dwarven Forge.

Here’s my, pardon his plastic Witch Lord surveying his new domain:




By the way, you can check out more of Weltenlaeufer’s very cool ongoing HeroQuest related work on his thread here.

So all’s well that ends well, right? Hah, we’re still not at the end! Because not only did I send off a model, I also received one in return: Last week, I received a package from fellow forumite Anderas, and out came this gnarly little gentleman here:


A wonderfully painted Orc — far neater than anything I have ever painted myself! This goes to show how my aversion to “standard models” was entirely misguided. The delightful little git has also managed to get his hands on a chaos warrior sword, it seems, and seems to be handling it very delicately, given that one protective glove 😉

What’s probably the nicest bit here, however, is that the model also features some rather lovely painted on cobblestones:

Anyway, thanks a lot Anderas, and indeed all the fellow forumites from Ye Olde Inn, who have made this little event such a heartwarming affair! I urge you to check out the rest of the contributions — some very creative riffs on HeroQuest models can be found in the event thread.

And, of course, thank you to my readers and commenters! I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and hope you’ll be having a great holiday season!

I’ll be back later this month – if all goes well – with this year’s installment of the Eternal Hunt Awards, whatever that may look like. Until then, I would, of course, love to hear any thoughts you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

INQ28: Unfinished business, pt. 4

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2019 by krautscientist

Alright, time to show you something that’s actually painted again, even if it’s just a …something small, so to speak. So what is this about?

As you know, I have been slowly working my way through Inquisitor Alvar’s Ordo Xenos warband as one of my recurring hobby projects of 2019, finally painting one of my long-neglected warband projects:

With the end of the year coming up, I found myself with just two members of the warband left to paint:

As it turned out, I was missing a crucial paint for the hive ganger on the right (GW’s Doombull Brown, as I want to give her a dark skin tone), which left me with the gentleman on the left as my next project: Skuldi Kulva, member of an enclave of squats hidden away somewhere in the Velsen Sector and now a member of Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue. Just to remind you, here’s a look at the unpainted conversion again:



Now I went into this paintjob with lots of ideas, but lacking a fully formed strategy. My original plan was to just go with the official “Barak Zilfin” colour scheme and call it a day:


There are several elements of this colour scheme I really like: The contrast created by the blue overalls and bronze armour plates. And, possibly most of all, the off white parts of the helmet, looking almost like some kind of ceramic material. At the same time, however, just adopting an official AoS colour scheme for a 40k character did seem a bit lame, so I tried to incorporate a couple of ideas from the Barak Zilfin scheme while also moving away from it in other respects.

My idea for the Velsen Sector’s resident squats is that they are focused on heavy industry, so I wanted a workmanlike look and feel to them — which is why the highly utilitarian look of Adam Wier’s Kharadron conversion for his character Freyvid Hafnar became another chief inspiration for me:

I would also like to think that LarsonicMiniatures’ work was yet another big influence, both because Lars is incredibly good at using drab, earthen tones to fantastic effect on his models, but also because his blog has been one of my main inspirations this past year.

Anyway, throwing all of this into the blender gave me this model. Meet Skuldi Kulva, everyone:


I chose to go with a rather drab colour for the overalls, while still using the bronze armour (and white elements) of the Barak Zilfin colour scheme. The bright blue glowy parts have become a bit of a recurring element with many of my models, yet they seem to fit really well here, hinting at the fact that, in spite of its medieval/early-modern trappings, Kulva’s suit is actually quite high-tech — maybe even moreso than standard Imperial tech.

The “K” on his shoulderpad stands for “Kombinat”, the German (and, to my knowledge, also the Russian) word for “combine”. It seemed blunter and more 40k-ish than the English word 😉 I also tried to suggest the Adeptus Mechanicus cogwheel design — or rather an evocation of it, to show how these guys are different from the AdMech, yet there may be some shared heritage.


One thing that I have used to strengthen the 40k feel of the model was the combination of white armour parts with orange markings and a suitable decal. I think this is another small step towards bringing the model more firmly into the 41st millennium:

All in all, I am pretty happy with the finished model, even moreso because I went into the painting process with some disparate ideas and have somehow managed to bind it all together into a coherent look — or at least that’s what I think. I would be happy to hear your opinions as well!

So that’s one more member for Inquisitor Alvar’s warband:

Just one more to go. Wish me luck! 😉 And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

State of the Hunt, week 41/2019: Meanwhile, Blood for the Blood God!

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, state of the hunt, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2019 by krautscientist

In between all of the shadowy, Inquisitorial dealings, I had an appetite for something a little more blunt and straightforward, just as a little snack, so to speak. And what could be more straightforward than a follower of Khorne? “Chainaxe to the head”-types, all of them. So for this week’s update, I have some World Eaters to share with you!

A while ago, I talked about the models for a possible World Eaters killteam – codenamed “The Hateful Eight” for now – and showed you some of the possible models for it, some of them brand new, and some refurbished earlier conversions of mine. And it’s from this last category that I chose my two models for today:

To get things started, I chose a model that I built years ago. This gentleman here:

It’s one of my unpainted conversions that I feel still hold up next to the new CSM models, so it seemed like a good moment to finally put some paint on the guy. Oh, and to be fair, the model did get a new axe while I was at it. Anyway, I quickly made good progress with the paintjob:

One of the things I really want to push with my new batch of World Eaters is a certain variety of skin tones, at least where unhelmeted heads and bare arms are concerned: The World Eaters are, canonically, an ethnically diverse legion that recruited from many different homeworlds during the Great Crusade (and probably still does, given the scavenger nature of most traitor legions in the 40k timescale). Only my World Eaters never bore out that diversity because I would always use the same, greyish skin tone for all of my older models — pretty effective as far as paint schemes go, but seeing how I am trying to evolve my painting for these new models, it seemed like the perfect excuse to experiment with a wider set of skin tones as well. So I went with black skin on this model, and I am very happy with the result — even moreso because the recipe was almost laughably simple: Just basecoat with GW Doombull Brown, wash with a Fleshtone and mix the base colour with a bit of white for the highlights — done! I also used the highlight colour to add some nicks and scratches to the face to suggest old scars.

One thing that was really surprising to me was how adding the backpack really made this model: It should be such a trivial thing, really, but in this case, it’s what really makes the model read as an Astartes: With the backpack in place, it has the silhouette and bulk it needs:


After this, it was mostly a matter of cleaning up some minor areas, add a bit of Tamiya Clear Red here and there and finish the base. So here’s the finished World Eater, finally painted at long last:






The next model I decided to tackle is also a neglected conversion, although a more recent one: The model was created using a Blood Warrior from the Age of Sigmar 1st edition starter box, the legs from the CSM Vrash Tattersoul model and a couple of additional chaos bitz (chief among them a Raptor chainsword arm):


It’s a conversion I am really fond of, if I do say so myself, maybe because it’s almost a bit of a shout out to the classic early 90s metal berzerker champions that would always have some kind of running pose going on 😉

Anyway, with the success of the first model still fresh on my mind, I quickly got to work. Here’s the second World Eater, with the base colours already mostly blocked in:


And here’s the finished model:







I am maybe a bit too in love with the model right now, but it’s honestly really close to what I think a 40k World Eater should look like: a massive, baroque monster in serrated crimson warplate.

So here are the next two members of “The Hateful Eight” — it really feels great to have crossed two more items off my list of long neglected models, and I am also really happy with the result:


Incidentally, both models definitely count for Azazel’s current “Neglected October” challenge — and by virtue of the Ork skull on his base (and because berzerkers will slay anything that moves), the second guy also very much counts for his “Orcslayer” theme as well — teehee 😉

So here are the three new Khorne Berzerkers/World Eaters legionaries I have painted so far using this new approach:


Now if you add my counts-as Huron Blackheart (now officially named “Euron Hearteater”, by the way — cheers to fellow hobbyist AHorriblePerson for the suggestion!), the batch of “new” World Eaters is slowly starting to look a bit more substantial:

So what’s next for the Hateful Eight? I think I’ll be working on these two models next:


Interestingly enough, both conversions were inspired by pieces of artwork: I created the model on the left after seeing this illustration by Diego Gisbert Llorens,…

illustration by Diego Gisbert Llorens

…whereas the guy on the right is obviously a recreation of Mark Gibbons’ seminal piece of artwork (as previously discussed).

 

But those guys are a story for a different time (and my subject matter for a coming painting session, I guess). For now, I would love to hear your thoughts on the new models, so please leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

INQ28: Unfinished business, pt. 3

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2019 by krautscientist

At the risk of boring you all to tears – those of you who still bother reading this, anyway – I am still hard at work on my Ordo Xenos warband, and it feels like I am on a bit of a roll with these guys. Don’t worry, though: There’s an end in sight. To wit, here’s where we left off last time: The remaining unpainted members of Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue:

Given the fun I recently had painting Professor Abelard Marbray, I thought his planned research assistant would be a good next model to take on:


This entire model basically began with the realisation that Marbray would totally be the type for bringing along some kind of assistant, and I wanted to create a model that both looked like a researcher while also seeming at least reasonably able to look after itself. The conversion is pretty simple, actually, mostly combining WFB Empire bitz and parts from different Cadian sprues.

During the painting process, the research assistant turned out to be one of the models that end up looking awfully bland once the main colours have been blocked in:


Fortunately enough, things started to look up pretty quickly after the washing stage. So I now have another finished model. Meet Researcher Tancred, everyone:



The objective here was to have him match the Professor himself, as they are (or were) both members of the Bastold Imperial Akademy, so I used a similar palette: At the same time, I also wanted to subtly hint at a bit of a possible military past, hence the subtle IG elements.


All in all, I think I have managed to create a pretty workmanlike, slightly downtrodden look that I think really works for the character: He’s definitely the guy for the odd jobs, not yet having climbed to quite the same lofty academic heights as the professor himself, but Tancred’s still nobody’s fool, and he knows how to pull his weight.


I also wanted to include a couple of characterful little touches. For instance, Tancred is busy looking at some kind of map, so I decided to carefully draw on some kind of floor plan (possibly of an ancient ruin or something):


I think Researcher Tancred and Professor Marbray work pretty well together. Take a look:


At this point, I felt I had earned myself a little fun, and there are few things as entertaining as working on a creepy Adeptus Mechanicus character, so I chose the Magos Xenobiologis as the next model to work on.

This character began in two different places: He seemed like an interesting counterpoint to Professor Marbray, for one, looking at the same subject matter (Xenos) from a different angle. The idea also provided me with the perfect excuse to work on a brilliantly creepy model I have had in my collection for quite a while now:

The Magos Xenobiologis is a subtly converted Forgeworld model (originally a Tech-Servitor that comes with Inquisitor Solomon Lok). I only really made one change to the stock model, replacing the tangle of cables and dataspikes emerging from his left sleeve with a pretty creepy metallic claw — this guy just loves to take apart Xenos and find out what makes ’em tick 😉 The fact that his robes recall both a lab coat as well as a butcher’s apron really support that impression…

Another, fairly recent, addition was a servo-skull that started as a fairly spontaneous little converting exercise, yet seemed like a pretty fitting addition to this model:


When it came to painting the model, I stuck to the classic approach and went for red robes, silver and bronze metallics and pallid skin. That said, I tried to achieve a somewhat grungy look to support the already pretty creepy sculpt — the Magos is often at work in the field, and I wanted the paintjob to reflect that.

So here’s Magos Xenobiologis Harland Leitz, on permanent secondment to Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue:



the different angle reveals the servo-skulls pretty disturbing syringe…



I am actually really happy with this model: He’s a creepy bugger, and the paintjob really supports that impression, if you ask me:


So there we are: Two more members for Inquisitor Alvar’s little club. The Inquisition dropship must be getting a little crowded just about now 😉

That being said, I love the idea of Inquisitors having a rather large team of retainers and choosing a suitable “away team” from this talent pool whenever the need arises.

So, looking at the picture at the top of this post, that leaves only the squat engineer and female hive ganger — so let’s see when I’ll be able to get those finished…

Oh, and seeing how today’s models were actually finished this last weekend, I hope Azazel won’t mind my handing them in as yet another contribution to his Squaddie September ’19 challenge.

In addition, I would, of course, love to hear your thoughts on the models, so please leave a comment!

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

INQ28: Unfinished business, pt. 2

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2019 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, time for another update: I still have to spent way too much time on hospital visits, but I nevertheless thank you guys for all the well-wishes! It really means a lot!

If nothing else, I have managed to be a bit more productive in hobby terms, mostly thanks to another painting session at my friend Annie’s place.

So what do I have for you today? — More finished members for my Ordo Xenos warband, as it happens.

And that’s a good thing, really, because this particular retinue is one of my oldest INQ28-related hobby projects, and it’s always a great feeling to be able to cross some long-neglected models off my list of unpainted stuff!

Inquisitor Alvar’s warband was actually originally started in 2013, with several of the models also first conceived back then.

In hindsight, the warband almost seems like a primitive precursor to the colourful group of adventurers that would end up in the Blackstone Fortress boxed se:

— overtaken by GW’s own release schedule, now that is one for the news 😉

But anyway, all the more reason to finally show this project some love! So I’ve managed to add two more finished members to the warband, and I have also taken some new photos of all the characters so far, so let’s start by going through the members of Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue:

First up, the Inquisitor himself: Titus Alvar of the Ordo Xenos Velsen — Inquisitor, socialite, adventurer:


There’s an as-of-yet unnamed sanctioned psyker who is also a member of Alvar’s warband. My vague backstory for him is that Alvar picked him up while he was under Inquisitorial audit for some psionic “friendly fire” caused by the presence of a Xenos artifact.



Next up,  Zekariah “Foreman” Lunn, Inquisitorial operative and veteran of the Eisenberg Factory Guard:



And T’L’Kess, Kroot tracker and scout, and possibly the last survivor of his kindred:


So much for the members of Alvar’s retinue so far, but what about the new blood? Well, let’s take a look!

First up is Inquisitor Alvar’s interrogator, Mamzel Millerna Acheron:

Now this is actually not a GW model, but actually Reaper Miniatures’ “Sasha Dubois, Time Chaser”, from the Chronoscope line of models. I will say, however, that it almost looks like a missing GW sculpt from the late 90s or early aughts, with maybe a dash of Chris Fitzpatrick, especially in the face. Anyway, I mostly picked up this model a couple of years ago because I liked the sculpt so much — but I quickly realised that she would go really well with the rest of Alvar’s warband, and she even mirrors some of the visual cues that appear on the Inquisitor. To wit, one of the most popular paintjobs of the model to be found online even uses a colour palette that is somewhat similar to my recipe for Alvar:

In any case, this was defnitely one of the paintjobs I kept putting off for years for fear of messing up. At the same time, I didn’t want the model to perfectly match Alvar’s look, but rather to complement it. Here’s what I came up with:

Seeing how several details appear on both Alvar and Millerna (such as the epaulettes, coat, the goggles on the forehead,…), turning the models of echoes of each other to a degree, I thought I could get away with a blue-ish/turquoise coat. I also see Millerna as the scion of a voidfaring family, so a slightly naval look did seem appropriate (and worked well with the golden elements on her coat as well).

I also took the liberty to not paint her with a bare-midriff, as that seemed a bit too gratuitous and risqué for a professional Inquisitorial operative. Instead, I tried to achive the look of combat fatigues or an armoured bodyglove, which I think is a far better match for a character like this. I am really very happy with the finished model, if I do say so myself!

Here’s a group picture of Inquisitor Alvar and his interrogator, and I’d say they work very well together:

With one tough challenge behind me, I was feeling cocky enough to start painting one of the first conversions created for the retinue, and a rather involved one at that. Professor Abelard Marbray, renowned Xeno-archeologist of the Bastold Imperial Akademy:


To quote myself from back when I originally came up with the character:

“It also stands to reason that an Inquisitor exploring Xenos ruins would have need of a specialist in the field of archaeology. And indeed, while painting the model for Inquisitor Alvar, inspiration struck and made me want to convert one of the most underappreciated WFB plastic characters, the Empire Master Engineer — at least, it’s the only model that’s ALWAYS available at the FLGS and never sells out. And to be honest, it used to be the one model I couldn’t see myself using for anything. But it just seemed perfect for this:”

Using the – now OOP, ironically enough – Empire Master Engineer did make for a somewhat quirky model, but that was really just the look I wanted, even back then: Equal parts nutty professor and mad scientist, and also the look of an old gentleman academic going on a grand adventure in what he considers his best possible gear for the great outdoors.

It’s also a rather cluttered and busy model with lots and lots of detail to paint, so to finish the professor did take a while. But here he is, ready to travel out into the sea of stars — FOR SCIENCE!


That bulky, voxcaster-based thing on his back is supposed to be some kind of portable cogitator, by the way, allowing him to file and cross-reference his findings even while working in the field. I imagine it even makes an old-fashioned “ding” sound when finishing with a calculation 😉



I built the professor to be contemplating a rusty, dirty Necron skull, as you can see, unsure whether this is an artifact of a Xenos culture or actual part of an alien. There’s even a patch of bright silver where his fingers have wiped away some of the dust and grime of the ages (although you probably have to take a close look to see it):


This was another paintjob that I had been putting off for a long time — and to finally have completed these two characters really does feel like quite an achievement — silly, I know 😉

In any case, this brings Inquisitor Alvar’s merry band of rogues and adventurers quite a bit closer to its completion. Here’s the entire retinue so far:

As for future additions, there are actually four more possible members for the warband. Take a look:

From left to right, there’s a Magos Xenobiologis of the Adeptus Mechanicus, now on permanent secondment to the Ordos, Professor Marbray’s research assistant, a Squat/Demiurg (or whatever you want to call them — I thought it would be a fun model to throw in) and Shiv Korlund, a female hive ganger, represented by one of Jes Goodwin’s vintage Escher models.

Looking at the retinue now that it’s starting to come together for good, I realise that the warband definitely owes a debt of inspiration to the Inquisitorial retinue fellow hobbyist Lamby is currently working on (and, to be exact, has been for a while). This wasn’t really a conscious decision on my part, but I cannot help feeling some of my models echo the design cues you can see in Lamby’s work, and there are subtle similarities here and there that must be due to my following his warband taking place over a similar number of years. So cheers, mate! And great to see you working on your stuff again!

I am also happy to finally be able to contribute something to one of Azazel’s community challenges again, as my attempts to finally finish Inquisitor Alvar’s warband should definitely qualify as a part of his Squaddie September ’19 challenge.

As is usually the case, I would love to hear your thoughts on the models, so please leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

INQ28: Unfinished business

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2019 by krautscientist

Back to the shadowy world in between the cracks for today’s update, as we make the aquaintance of more citizens of the Velsen Sector, DexterKong’s and my personal INQ28 sandbox.

2018 was very much an INQ28 year for me in that I managed to, more or less, finish five different retinues for my Inquisitor collection. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for 2019 so far, but there’s still some time left this year, eh? So let’s head back to the world of shadowy dealings in service of the Ordos for a bit:

In spite of my painting progress last year, my INQ28 backlog is still on the wrong side of hilarious, so I didn’t exactly have to search for something to paint. I chose one of my long-neglected warband projects: the retinue of one Inquisitor Titus Alvar, of the Ordo Xenos Velsen:

Inquisitor Titus Alvar, of the Ordo Xenos

House Alvar has been one of the more influential noble houses for centuries. As a scion of the house, Titus Alvar grew up in luxury and power, the intricacies of the Imperial courts with their waxing and waning support for one house or another a game he quickly mastered. Maybe the search for new and more immediate thrills was what made him enter that perilous region of space known as “The Veil of Impurity” time and time again, and tales of his exploration of ancient ruins, of treasures discovered and adventures survived, made him the talk of the courts he had left behind. As a matter of fact, one of his expeditions into the treacherous cluster of stars resulted in a standoff with Inquisitrix Cimbria Carscallen. Under normal circumstances, someone running afoul of the Ordo Xenos would have been executed without second thought, yet Carscallen must have seen something in Alvar that made her reconsider. And so, Titus Alvar, noble, adventurer, became an Interrogator in the Emperor’s Holy Ordos of the Inquisition and, in time, an Inquisitor in his own right.

Though the years of doing the Emperor’s work may have somewhat mellowed his once flamboyant lifestyle, Titus Alvar very much remains a socialite and a political animal. His standing as a member of an influential noble house makes him a common guest at social functions all over the sector, and the tales of his exploits have led some of his peers to suspect that he is a glory hound, first and foremost.

In truth, Titus Alvar is, above all else, a pragmatist: The trappings of nobility are as much of a useful tool to him as the artifacts he has recovered on countless expeditions or the retainers, some of them quite exotic, that comprise his warband. Meanwhile, some of Alvar’s colleagues have grown suspicious of the Inquisitor’s continued expeditions to the Veil of Impurity and some of the alliances he may have forged there…

 

Back when I originally came up with the plan for Alvar and his retainers, I had this idea for an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor who was also a bit of a socialite, and an adventurer — closer in outlook to a Rogue Trader in many ways. So I wanted his retinue to be somewhat colourful and picaresque again, not unlike the charming collection of archetypes appearing in the original Inquisitor rulebook. Going back to the pages of that veritable tome, I realised that my collection was still missing the alien mercenary archetype — and it woud also also very much in character for a socialite like Alvar to have an “exotic” retainer like this in his warband, even though it might make the more puritan members of the Ordo Xenos foam at the mouth…

So that was where T’L’Kess the Kroot Pathfinder was born a couple of years ago:

T’L’kess lost his entire kindred in an atrocity committed by a T’au commander to prove a point (it’s a long story). In any case, there’s no love lost between him and his former “employers”(in fact, this is one of the angles that interest me most about the T’au empire: the contrast between their propaganda and narrative of a peaceful empire of many species and the possible cracks and ugly sides such an empire might have, such as aggressive expansionism, speciesism — you name it). T’L’Kess has realised that his last chance to keep his bloodline alive might be to travel the stars in order to find members of the kindred who left the planet prior to the genocide. During his travels, he meets Inquisitor Alvar and ends up working for him as a scout and pathfinder.

I have always been intrigued by the Kroot and have wanted to turn one of the models into a bit more of an individual for a long time — imagine my annoyance, then, when Dayhak Grekh from Blackstone Fortress turned out to be a much better realisation of a very similar character idea…

Ah well, my model was built years ago with the bitz I had back then. And in any case: All the more reason to finally get some paint on the character, right? 😉

When painting the model, my two main sources of inspiration where my buddy DexterKong’s Kroot character Ortok (basically one of the best Kroot conversions I have seen so far) and Foxtail’s paintjob for the Dayhak Grekh model from Blackstone Fortress.

Anyway, here’s the finished model for T’L’Kess






The white part on the left side of his head is actually the T’au version of a comms system. I tried to make the skin around it look scarred to hint at the fact that it was inplanted without much care for his thoughts on the matter — or for his good looks 😉 I wanted to hint at the bad blood between him and his former comrades in arms, and also at the fact that the covenant between the T’au and the other species from their empire can sometimes be less benign than what is usually suggested in the background…


Most of the characters for the warband were actually converted back in 2013, if you can believe it. With T’L’Kess finished, I actually had three finished members for Inqusitor Alvar’s retinue:

There’s the Inquisitor himself (in the middle), T’L’Kess the Kroot and an as-of-yet unnamed sanctioned psyker, formerly of the Astra Militarum, but cast out by his regiment when an encounter with a Xenos artifact led to some psionic friendly fire…

And here’s the rest of the retinue as it looked at that point:

In addition to the aforementioned characters, there’s Professor Abelard Marbray, renowned Xeno-Archaeologist from the Bastold Imperial Akademy and his personal research assistant, a member of the reclusive “Ashers”, an ethnic group facing a lot of prejudice throughout the Velsen Sector. Another Astra Militarum veteran and heavy weapons specialist for when things get ugly. Millerna Acheron, voidship captain and Alvar’s Interrogator. Not pictured: Shiv Korlund, a former hive ganger (based on one of the old Escher metal models).

With the Kroot model painted, I actually wanted to keep going, so I chose to work on the heavy weapons specialist next:

I like the big gun and the “tough as nails” look and imagine this is the kind of guy Alvar makes use of when negotiations turn sour and diplomacy is no longer an option. The original idea for him – way before then new version of Necromunda was released, mind you – was that he could maybe look like a former hive ganger (similar to the gangers from House Goliath) that had ended up joining the Astra Militarum at some point. And I still see him that way, basically: An Astra Militarum veteran and former memer of a working gang (with an extra emphasis placed on the word “gang”) from an Imperial factory world. His clothes and equipment were therefore painted to look as though he were wearing a mix a mish-mash of his former regimental colours, his working gear from the manufactoria of his homeworld and a couple of Inquisitiorial emblems here and there. I have also taken extra care to make his armour and leather apron look scuffy and well used, as you would expect from a working man like this. Take a look at the finished model:





For the icon on his shoulder, I combined two decals: An AdMech cog symbol and a small Astra Militarum emblem. This seemed like a fitting symbol for a regiment hailing from a factory world.




Oh, and adding those little symbols and markings to the grenades on his backpack was such a frivolous yet enjoyable little detail…

In my background ideas for the warband, he also has a bit of a war buddies thing going on with T’L’Kess the Kroot (whom he calls “Birdman”), in spite of everything:

So that’s two new members for Inquisitor Alvar’s retinue, and two long neglected models to cross off my list. Yay! 🙂

But wait, there’s more: Seeing how I was on a bit of a roll here, I decided to dig out another long-neglected model of mine that I think deserves some sort of closure. This gentleman here:

This is Lord Sebastianus Danver Balzepho Vlachen, one of the Velsen Sector’s big movers and shakers — and also a bit of a hero of the people. At the same time, he also has a darker side to him, and is ruthlessly ambitious. As grand-nephew and heir apparent to the ailing sector governor, he seeks to succeed his great-uncle as sector lord, and he is every bit as ruthless and ambitious as you would expect of somebody so far up in the Imperial nobility. At the same time, his connections to the Velsian Astra Militarum and supposed battlefield heroics have endeared him to both the military’s top brass and the common people. But again, there’s often a less respectable side to his character: For instance, he wears his scars with pride, having both a bit of a dueling history and a reputation as a grizzled veteran, but the truth is that the nastiest scar on his face actually came about due to a confrontation with one Cpt. Esteban Revas of the 126th Haaruthian Dragoons (read the full story here):

Anyway, Lord Sebastianus was one of those conversions I was really, really happy with. But he still ended up in a box, partially painted, and has stayed thus for years. Enough, I say! So here’s a PIP-shot of the mostly finished model:


It’s a really great feeling to be able to finally cross some of those old chestnuts off my list of unpainted stuff. And it’s fun to be back in the world of INQ28 for a spell! 🙂

Of course I would love to hear your thoughts on the models, so feel free to leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Half the man he used to be…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 15, 2019 by krautscientist

Back to the 41st millennium and the adventures of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt this week, as I get to cross another long neglected model off my list. I am referring to this gentleman here:


If you should think the model looks familiar, there are two reasons for that: On the one hand, like so many models from my collection, this guy was actually built a couple of years ago, so if you are a regular reader, chances are, you’ve run into him before.

On the other hand, he was built to actually resemble a well-known character: The model began its life as an entry for one of the frequent competitions on the – now-sadly-defunct, *sigh* – Throneofskulls forum, if I recall correctly. The objective back then was to re-imagine a non-Khornate named character as a Khornate version, and I chose Huron Blackheart, inspired by a very impressive conversion by my buddy DexterKong.

Just to remind you, here’s what stock-Huron looks like:

And here’s a closer look at my version:


It’s a fairly straightforward conversion, based on one of the Chosen models from the Dark Vengeance starter box that used to be all the rage back in the day: The Chosen body already resembled the stock Huron model a fair deal, and I liked the idea that a Khornate version of the character would be in a running pose for that extra bit of aggression.

The conversion mainly became a matter of trying to cram in most (or all) of Huron’s classic visual elements: The monstrous power-fist/-claw/flamer hybrid, the promethium tank on his back and, of course, the mangled half-augmetic face (courtesy of that one half-augmetic plastic Space Marine head everyone knows and loves). And I had to add a suitable amount of Khornate touches, hence the small icons and Khornate back banner (itself a take on the iron halo/chaos icon that adorns stock-Huron’s backpack).

I was really happy with the conversion back when I originally created it, and I still rather like it now (in fact, I was delighted to discover recently that my counts-as conversion actually managed to inspire fellow hobbyist TheChirurgeon’s own Huron kitbash). So when this year’s E Tenebrae Lux event came around over at The Bolter & Chainsword, it seemed like the perfect occasion to finally get the model painted and use it as my first vow for the event.

Since the conversion was already finished, I didn’t really have much to do before I could start painting. I only added a little pressure gauge on the back of his tank, to make the whole assembly look a bit more interesting and break up the large, plain area that is the promethium tank:

And then I vowed the model as my first contribution for the ETL event. Only it was quickly pointed out to me by fellow hobbyists Captain Semper and Atia that, technically speaking, the model was still missing a little something to represent Huron’s “Hamadrya”, his pet familiar (the ungainly thing squatting on its own base up there in the photo of the stock model, in case you were wondering).

My proper plan of action would have been to use a model from the AoS Spirit Hosts, maybe with a Bloodletter head, but I didn’t want to have to pick up a box of them, so I had to get creative. But I was not without inspiration, so I quickly tacked something together using nothing but leftover bitz:


The head is still a fairly standard Bloodletter head, whereas the spine came from the vivisected Genestealer that’s part of the 40k battlefield objective markers. My idea was for the “Almost-Hamadrya” to look like a daemonic spirit, some kind of Khornate familiar or even a half-formed Khornate Daemon, and I think the basic setup already worked pretty well. It did require a bit of additional cleanup, of course:



Now I did experiment with some shaved-down Bloodletter shoulders and arms, because I thought it might look cool to suggest the daemon only being half-formed, but it ended up looking like not much of anything at all. And just the head and spine makes it look malevolent and somewhat creepy — like a grimdark version Kaa the snake 😉

Ironically enough, it was this model that I actually ended up painting first.


To support the impression that this is not just a standard Bloodletter (or rather, half of a standard Bloodletter), but rather something unwholesome and half-formed, I went for an even more limited palette than the one I normally use on Khornate daemons: a mix of glossly blood and glowing ectoplasmic flesh, as the daemonic spirit is glowing with an inner malevolence…

Not bad for something that I had to come up with on the quick, if I do say so myself.

So with this complication taken care of, finally getting the counts-as Huron model painted should have been quick work, right?

Unfortunately, something happened that almost knocked all motivation to ever finish the model right out of me:

I took it along to a painting session at my friend Annie’s house, and when I arrived there, I realised his backpack was missing. Now I was transporting my models in an open crate (which I admit may be a less than optimal approach), so I figured the backpack must have fallen to the bottom of that, or been left behind in my car trunk. But it wasn’t: I searched everywhere at least for times, but no dice — the backpack didn’t turn up again. I also didn’t find it at home. So there was just one last option that gave me a sinking feeling in my stomach: I must have lost it somewhere at the side of the road when I parked my car and carried my stuff to Annie’s house, but since it was dark when we packed up for the night, there was no way to look right away, and she didn’t find anything either when she looked the next day.

And that really killed all of my motivation when it came to working on the model: I realised I would have to rebuild a backpack, but I didn’t have the exact same bitz, and even if I could come up with a replacement solution, it would always seem inferior to me than the original. Then, about a week later, I had half an hour of unexpected time, and I thought: Screw it, I am going to take one last look near where my car was parked that night. And just when I was about to abandon the stupid backpack for good, I saw something shiny near the curbstone — and there was the backpack, slightly damaged and bent out of shape (I suspect a car might even have driven over it at some point), but still salvageable — still, all’s well that ends well, I suppose. But this little episode really made me fall out of love with the model for a while there, and made the painting process less enjoyable than it should have been.

But I soldiered on and finished the job. Starting with the base colours and the first round of washes,…


…then moving on to all of those lovely little touches that actually make the process of painting enjoyable:

On a related note, that Vallejo Magic Blue has yet to let me down 😉

So without further ado, here’s the finished model:




Here’s a detail shot to show you how the promethium tank on his back actually connects to his flamer:


That felt like such a clever bit of converting to me, back when I originally converted the model (and was also one of the reasons why I hated the idea of losing the backpack so much). Oh well…

And here’s a closer look at his axe:

Although it’s virtually impossible to see in 99.9% of all frontal shots of the model, the axe head was actually exchanged with something a little more original: the jagged axe that came with the WFB/AoS Chaos Warshrine kit.


And here is “Not-Huron”, side by side with his “Not-Hamadrya”:

And here’s the stock GW model again:

Anyway, I think he should read as a Huron counts as fairly easily, even though I have horizontally flipped the character 😉

Oh, incidentally, the character still needs a name! So far, I only have a semi-solid idea for a background story for the character being caught in a phosphex blast during the void battles above Terra during the Heresy, having to cast himself out into the void to extinguish the phosphex flames, then being retrieved and rebuilt by his brothers. Only the sensation of the phosphex burning through his flesh never stops, but lingers as some kind of perpetual phantom pain making his every living moment a crescendo of agony. Yeah, really uplifting stuff, that… 😉

His familar, then, is really an embodiment of his pain and rage: His agony is so palpable that it almost seems like a being of its own, a spectre that can sometimes almost be glimpsed next to him, coalescing into something that is almost solid.

Fellow hobbyist AHorriblePerson smartly suggested “Euron Hearteater” as a possible name, and it’s definitely a strong contender — still, if any of you have a cool idea, I would love to hear it!

Here’s the new model next to the World Eaters Dread and new berzerker test model I painted earlier this year:

That makes for three models painted in my tweaked recipe already, and they are starting to look pretty cool together, if I do say so myself. Being based on the Chosen models from Dark Vengeance, the model still matches the modernised CSM look — even if it’s technically just a tad shorter than the new vanilla Chaos Space Marines. They still look pretty cool together, though. And maybe adding a couple of models would be fun. In fact, the unpainted guy on the right may be a taste of things to come…

Who knows, there may just be another chaos-themed post or two waiting in the wings — just sayin’…

For now, however, I am pretty happy to have finished another long-neglected model. Plus I also think the model’s enough of a centrepiece to count as a contribution in Azazel’s Jewel of July ’19 community challenge — even though it would also be a very obvious contender for one of his frequent “Neglected models” challenges, having sat unpainted in my cupboard of shame for more than three years… 😉

I would, of course, love to hear your thoughts on the model, so please leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!