Hey everyone, surprise: I am not dead! 😉 I’ve gone through a bit of a rocky patch – from a purely hobby-related perspective – however, with a combination of work and other personal interests taking up most of my time, and very little hobby mojo left to speak of. So I haven’t really done much hobby related stuff since before Christmas, and that involves participating in forum discussions, writing blog posts or even personal, hobby-related correspondence.
Anyway, I decided that it was high time I broke this personal hobby-dreadlock, so here we are with a fresh post. Now some of you may be wondering where that third and final part of my Eternal Hunt Awards went: I remain committed to doing a writeup of my favourite 2016 projects from other hobbyists – if you still want to read it, that is – but for now, it felt like the best way to actually get back into the swing of things was to just sit down and finish a model.
So let’s talk about my first 2017 model — fortunately enough, it’s a piece that I have wanted to finish for a long time now: All the way back at the tail end of 2015, when Betrayal at Calth had just been released, I immediately started to cut up the somewhat generic Contemptor that came with the box, turning it first into this:
And then into this:
My plan for the model was to make it a bit more interesting by taking cues from Forgeworld’s World Eaters Dreadnought while also putting my own spin on things. For those interested in the subject, more conversion notes can be found in my original post here. And since I was really happy with the finished conversion, I really wanted to do this guy justice with a suitably good paintjob.
So when The Bolter & Chainsword started yet another forum-wide hobby event earlier this year, I knew it was time to get off my arse and finish this bad boy. So he became a part of my vow for the “Loyalty & Treachery III” event, along with two other models that I hope to paint soon-ish:
But the Contemptor was definitely first in line. I usually really enjoy painting Dreadnoughts, you see, so I hoped this guy would be fun to paint as well!
The first task was to carefully think about which undercoats to use. In the end, I used two different colours to undercoat the model (white for the legs and breastplate, silver for the arms and torso). This made for a good start, because I ended up with parts of the model in colours that were already closed to the finished effect. So I carefully picked out all the details in the correct colours and also added the characteristic blue on the shoulder pads, knee pads and the reactor section. Here’s what the model looked like after this step:
Then I washed and highlighted some of the detail, such as the chain dangling from the Contemptor’s breastplate, the bronze parts etc. A look at the finished World Eater next to the Contemptor perfectly shows the difference between the squeaky clean white of the PIP Contemptor and the finished, grimy and dirty white on the legionary — but before tackling the white areas, there was something to take care of first:
I had decided to make use of quite a few Forgeworld World Eaters decals, and in order for the whole ensemble to look suitably believable, the decals had to be applied at this early stage, to be weathered and dirtied up later, along with the rest of the white armour. Here’s the Contemptor with nearly all decals in place:
Better, but still far too clean, wouldn’t you agree? As an aside, I was really happy to be able to pull off that huge crossed chain decal on the leg armour.
In order to get the right, battle worn look, I used the same approach I had come up with for the rest of my 30k World Eaters so far: All of the white armour plates were washed with Army Painter Dark Tone, heavily diluted with GW Lahmian Medium. This shades the white parts and adds a grimy, dusty look to the armour. Afterwards, I used a small piece of blister foam and some GW Charadon Granite to add small patches of sponge weathering, adding to the dirty and unkempt look. By adding all of this on top of the decals, they ended up looking like a believable part of the model and not like an afterthought. Here’s the Contemptor after this step:
And while the model was already looking quite alright by this point, I decided to add some further tweaks: GW Leadbelcher was carefully sponged onto the blue armour plates, for instance, to create a scratched look. I also added suitable amounts of grime and soot around the Contemptor’s reactor section:
You might also have noticed the inclusion of a big “IV” decal on the model’s chest plate: The original plan was to have one of the red XII decals from the World Eaters decal sheet there, but that didn’t work out at all, as the red decal didn’t really read against the brass background. So I decided on a white numeral that stands for the Contemptor’s affiliation with the 4th assault company — I suppose there are enough XII decals scattered across the model to make it obvious which legion this guy belongs to 😉
In the meantime, I also created a base to match the model. For this project, I used some granite slabs from the 40k basing kit for big models. But while the parts worked well enough, they also soffered from very, very soft detailing — my pet peeve with the kit, as you’ll probably remember. I brushed on some Liquid GS to create additional texture:
The paintjob was meant to evoke a dusty battlefield, like the crumbling avenues and plazas of Armatura, the Ultramarines’ war-world. So of course I had to add a fallen member of the XIII legion as well 😉
Now just for the record: I don’t harbour any particular hate for the Ultramarines, but my 30k World Eaters are based on the legion circa during the Shadow Crusade (so from Isstvan to Nuceria) with a possible focus on the battles of Armatura and Nuceria. And the XIII Legion were the World Eaters’ main opponent during that campaign. Plus there’s an excellent showdown between Guilliman and Angron at Nuceria that shows how they are basically polar opposites in many ways, so it seems like a nice fit.
At this point, only some minor touchups were neccessary to finish the model. So let’s take a look at the finished Contemptor, alright?
the Immortal, the Cerberite, honoured veteran of the XII Legion Astartes
In his dreams, he is still at Cerberus Station, its steel corridors and rock catacombs bathed in amber warning lights, the ropes of blood and viscera on every surface like the studies of a mad artist. The renegades have taken a terrible toll in blood, and he can see the corpses of station personnel, fallen inmates and the remains of servitors, strewn like ragdolls across the floors and makeshift barricades. And between them, in far smaller numbers, yet still shockingly common, the bodies of his brothers, the grey blue ceramite shards of their armour like cracked eggshells. All is quiet, strangely enough, yet the air is heavy with the scent of bad deaths.
When he rounds the next corner, he finds himself face to face with one of the monsters, squatting atop a pile of broken bodies. It is dying from a thousand cuts already, but just too stubborn to realise it yet. Its armour is cracked and scarred, but he still recognises it as an earlier, cruder version of his own warplate. Even then, he senses in his bones that their kinship goes farther still.
Up close, its animal stink and the sharp tang of its chemical secretions are almost overwhelming: the cancerous odour of a biological experiment slowly breaking down into its composite parts.
They quietly observe each other for a moment then, and in its rheumy eyes, he sees the ending of an age — but there is more there: infinite sadness. A sense of betrayal. The broken spirit of a once proud warrior, now merely a tool discarded by its own creator.
He awakens underwater, his lungs filled with icy liquid. As usual, it takes a moment for him to remember where he is. And what he has become. While jagged Nagrakali runes dance before his eyes, his gaze turns downward to the men a merciless conqueror king has crudely reshaped into his brothers. He wonders why they have come. Why they will not let him sleep and dream of betrayal the colour of blood and amber light. And then they begin to speak, and speak for a long time, and while their words weave a tapestry depicting a world gone mad, he remembers the spiteful, sad gaze of a discarded, broken toy and realises, with grim certainty, that it is all happening again.
A Terran veteran from the days when the XII legion was still named the War Hounds, Brahim Vaako is one of the oldest members of the 4th assault company. His status as a honoured ancient of the company made his support crucial when Captain Lorimar succeeded the company’s former commander, Lord Valna, whom he had slain in the fighting pits.
Unlike many Terran-born veterans of the World Eaters, he has never felt any resentment towards the Primarch Angron and the changes the latter had wrought upon the legion: During the quelling of the Cerberus Insurrection, the campaign in which Vaako would first distinguish himself, he saw the last Thunder Warriors die, and their fate and the World Eaters‘ role in their demise planted the seed for a growing disillusionment with the Emperor and the Imperial Truth in him, long before the Horus Heresy ever broke out.
So here’s the finished model, and let’s not mince words: I am incredibly happy with how the model has come out! So let’s take a closer look at him:
As you can see, I also added some blood – par for the course for a World Eater, really – and it was once again pretty much the hardest part of the project, because it’s just so easy to overdo an effect like that. The fist was a no-brainer, of course. Regarding the legs, my rationale was that any fallen enemy at the Contemptor’s feet could only ever hope to reach as high as the Dread’s shins — and would likely make a terrible mess down there while expiring 😉
Also, there may or may not be suggestions of bloody handprints in that bloody mess. At the same time, the effect also provided me with a good way to add some detail to those barren inner sides of the legs.
One thing I really spent a lot of time on was the use of matching decals to create both a feeling of belonging to the XII legion and a kind of personal heraldry for the character. For instance, the numeral “IV” stenciled onto his chest plate proudly proclaims his allegiance to the 4th assault company:
Meanwhile, the row of three hound heads appearing on his torso is a reminder of his participation in the quelling of the Cerberus Insurrection, a campaign that also earned him the epithet “Cerberite”:
Speaking of personal heraldry, the one thing that fell by the wayside during the painting stage, surprisingly enough, was the heraldic shield on Vaako’s left shoulder: I originally really liked the idea of having it there as a way of showing personal heraldry, but when I tacked it own, it turned out the shield really upset the model’s colour balance — so it had to go.
The base came together in a pretty experimental way — which makes me all the happier that it looks pretty much like I imagined it:
And here’s Vaako together with his “squishier” little brothers:
I think this little group serves as a pretty neat proof of concept of what I want my 30k World Eaters to look like! I think you can expect some more of these at some point in the not-too-distant future 😉
For now, though, I am really happy to have finally finished this model — and about possibly having my hobby mojo back for now. YAY! 🙂
Of course I would love to hear your feedback, so let me know what you think in the comments! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!