Archive for plague marines

The Amsterdam Files

Posted in 30k, 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, Traitor Guard, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2017 by krautscientist

Hey everyone,

it’s my birthday today, and what better way to celebrate than to share with you the tale of what may be my favourite birthday present his year, even though it wasn’t even planned as one. Let me give fair warning in advance, though: This is going to be one hell of a wordy, rambling post, even though there should be lots of shiny things to look at. So anyway, what is this about?

Ever since I got back into this hobby and started blogging about my little plastic men, crazy awesome things have started to happen: People started sending me stuff ranging from bitz to entire models. I’ve been a part of some seriously awesome joint hobby projects with fellow hobbyists. And I’ve had lots and lots of contact with people from many corners of Holy Terra. Even against this background, however, my recent trip to Amsterdam, to meet up with fellow hobbyist Augustus b’Raass, turned out to be an absolute high point!

Now Augustus and me originally “met” over at The Bolter & Chainsword where we both belong to the regulars. The first longer conversation we actually had occured when Augustus had put a dismembered female corpse on one of his  Night Lords Contemptors, and I was the person to argue that this was actually pretty poor taste. Doesn’t exactly sound like the most promising setup for an inter-personal relationship, right? And yet, it did kick off a fairly continuous stream of mutual comments, posts and PMs that ended with us both realising that we actually had a lot of things in common, even beyond the shared infatuation with little plastic people. Which is actually kind of a big deal, if you think about is: Hobby forums are excellent places, and I love them dearly for the communication opportunities they provide, but you only really get to see a very thin slice of every fellow hobbyist, as it were: There’s no telling whether the guy you keep sharing conversion advice with is actually someone you’d get along with in everyday life.

And it’s actually great that way, because it allows a shared space where people can just come together and talk about a topic they feel passionate about, without having to defend their cultural or political views or their dubious choices in clothing. Even so, to find somebody who seemed like they would be legitimately interesting beyond the hobby was an excellent turn of events, and so when Augustus was kind enough to purchase a copy of Index Apocrypha: Chaos for me when the book had gone OOP, I joked that I would pay him back by coming to Amsterdam and buying him a couple of beers. So yeah, I did go to Amsterdam, and I did indeed buy him a couple of beers, but that’s not nearly all that happened last weekend. So, allow me to share a recap of an amazing trip:

I. Talking Shop

Now as some of you may already know, Augustus is an incredibly talented painter and converter in his own right, so it was always clear we would be talking about lots of hobby related stuff. We actually spend about two hours alone in front of his shelves and shelves of gorgeous miniatures, with me picking up model after model and feeling like a kid at the candy store. What’s more, I even slept in the same room for the weekend, so whenever I woke up, my gaze would fall on those fantastic models — I actually tried to figure out a way to sneak at least some of those gorgeous World Eaters into my overnight bag…

Models built and painted by Augustus b’Raass

…but that would obviously have been extremely rude. In addition to those models looking absolutely lovely, however, they are also magnetised, pinned, drilled and what have you to the umpteenth degree — and those are all things I never really do with my models, as I am just happy to get them finished and be done with it 😉 But seeing the craftsmanship that had gone into assembling the models made me realise that Augustus was the perfect person to talk to about a couple of projects and concerns.

For instance, you probably remember this guy from the previous post, right?


Now Augustus and I talked about him and about how the pose was not yet quite there, and so I made some additional tweaks to the pose based on that conversation. This also provided the perfect opportunity for Augustus to teach me how to use a proper hobby saw instead of just wedging a cheap-o knife in there and wiggling it around. Anyway, here’s what the model looks like now:



I actually think the pose is quite a bit more natural now in how his legs and arms interact — as an added bonus, he even seems to be dragging his right leg, which is definitely fitting for a Plague Marine. The one small setback is that sawing through the torso to get the arms and shoulder pads off damaged some detail, so I might have to do a bit of cleanup there, but oh well.

Secondly, Augustus was kind enough to magnetise my World Eaters Contemptor’s right arm for me, as you can see in the picture below:


So now, in addition to looking like this,…



…he can also rock a sweet multimelta. Like this:



I am not a big fan of the 30k multimelta design, but having the whole thing as a magnetised alternative now really provided me with the incentive of making it look a bit more vicious and spiky, and I think I have suceeded with that.

And finally, while I basically managed to get most of the models I had brought over there without a hitch, my Forgeworld Angron was snapped off his base. Augustus suggested pinning him, and I asked him whether he could slightly tweak the angle of the model on the base, because I felt that Angron was facing downwards a bit too much. So here’s the tweaked angle, and I am much happier with the model now — and he’s far easier to take pictures of now as well:





I’ll have to build up some debris around the right foot, where the pin is visible right now, but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

And it goes without saying that we also sat down and traded a lot of bitz: I had brought a bunch of stuff I thought Augustus might like, and in return, I came home with this crazy pile of awesomness:


The star of the show is obviously the Forgeworld World Eaters Dreadnought, as that is one of those models I have always wanted to own, but I didn’t pick him up before he went OOP — and now I have one! Woohoo! 🙂

All it all, it was brilliant to talk shop with someone who not only has such a fantastic collection (in order to erm…borrow ideas by the boatload), but whose techniques and approaches also differ in certain areas: Augustus is super-structured and super-efficient, whereas I can be a huge fan of sloppy, messy Leeroy Jenkins-style tactics when it comes to painting and converting. Seeing someone else’s process was really quite eye-opening in many ways!

II. The Pretty Pictures

It wasn’t all theoretical, though, as I had also brought a pile of my miniatures for a joint photo opportunity, so we took my models, Augustus’ wonderful Imperial Fists and his equally lovely terrain and tried to achieve a look as close as possible to something you might see in an official GW publication, pitching the warriors of the World Eaters’ 4th assault company against the defenders of Terra during the siege of the Throneworld:



Hmm, with the Eighth Captain in the picture like that, I doubt that Librarian has too much of a career ahead of him… 😉





One of the coolest setups we did was to pitch Augustus’ Imperial Fists commander, Franz Landa, against one of the 4th assault company’s Praetors: Secutor Hamund, the Mournful, very much a deathseeker, and seen here during what may have been his final battle:





Creating setups like that was really a ton of fun, and I love how the pictures have turned out! My World Eaters, on the other hand, had to take a bit of a rest after the demanding photo shoot (next to one of Augustus’ wonderful Contemptors):


While we still had that sweet setup out, however, I snatched the opportunity to take some pictures that showcased my models, selfish git that I am 😉

Here are my 30k World Eaters, led by their Primarch:



Next up, my squad of Traitor Elites from my Traitor Guard force, “Urash’s Marauders”:


And, since I had also brought some models from the wonderful world of INQ28, Inquisitor Erasmus Gotthardt, of the Ordo Hereticus Velsen and his retinue…


…and the “Road Crew”, my current project of creating a merry band of Pitslaves, mutants and ne’er do-wells from the Hiveworld of St. Sabasto’s Reach:



And here’s one really sweet shot to top off this part of the post: My true scale Astartes, Praetor Janus Auriga of the Golden Legion, going toe to toe with Augustus’ absolutely lovely retro Bloodthirster — seriously, pictures don’t do that guy justice!

III. The All-important Rest

As fun as the whole hobby part of my trip was – and believe me, it was TONS of fun – what really turned the whole event into such a fantastic experience was being fed, pampered and taken around town by Augustus, who was just about the best host you could probably imagine: He had bought a wonderful collection of local and Belgian beers (And we drank. Them. All) and just made sure all around that I was as comfortable as I could be. We also ended up talking about a thousand different subjects – including, but certainly not limited to, the hobby – and I had a blast. Augustus also took me on a trip around town, and we invariably ended up the the local GW store. A huge shout out to the extremely friendly crowd over at GW Amsterdam South, by the way, from Dennis (the store manager who surprised my by being perfectly fluent in German and was an all around nice guy) to Rowdy (who actually came up to me to tell me he was following my work and was a bit of a fan — you made me feel like a freaking rock star, mate!): The hours just seemed to fly, and I loved every second of it.

While at the GW store, I was also able to take a couple of pictures of Augustus‘ spectacular rendition of Aaron Demsbki-Bowden’s First Claw:

First Claw by Augustus b’Raass (1)

Seriously, those guys are something else: It’s perfectly justified that they still draw lots of comments from the crowd at the store: You wouldn’t believe how amazing those guys are when seen firsthand. Let me just throw in additional pictures of my favourite three…

models built and converted by Augustus b’Raass

From left to right, Uzas (easily my favourite character from the Night Lords Trilogy), Talos and Mercutian (the model is just perfect in every way, wouldn’t you agree?).

And their three brethren that are just as awesome — I just happen to be in love with the three up top even more 😉

models built and converted by Augustus b’Raass

From left to right, Xarl (I’ve never seen a more intimidating glare in my life!), Variel the Flayer and Cyrion.

While at the GW store, I also met a super-nice fellow named Tom who may just be the best painter I have ever spoken to. While he was all shy about it and kept insisting that he had basically tried to merely follow the work of David Soper, his Orruk Warlord was really a bit of a relevation to me:

Orruk Warlord by Tom

You see, high level painting has never done much for me, because it just seemed so abstract and far removed from where I was standing. Seeing a model painted at that standard from up close, however, made me realise that there were layers and layers of detail there that I couldn’t even take in all at once. Like, I’ve never even liked that Orruk warlord all that much, especially that idiotic skull on his shoulder pad, right? And then Tom goes and does something like this:

Orruk Warlord by Tom

I mean, just look at that bone! JUST LOOK AT IT!

Tom was also nice enough to send me some really good pictures of the model for you to enjoy, so here you go:

Orruk Warlord by Tom

 

Orruk Warlord by Tom

So yeah, lots and lots of super-friendly people — but then, that’s the Netherlands for you. It’s a fascinating country for me, as a German, because in so many ways, it’s like Germany, only not: There are tons of things that are so incredibly familiar, but are just slightly “off” — and I mean off in an entirely good way: You feel at home enough to be at ease, but it’s also different enough to be utterly refreshing. Which is basically the ideal mix for someone who is as much of a scaredy cat as me 😉 Almost being able to get what people are saying is also quite a thing, I can tell you 😉

So Augustus also took me around town, including the famous Red Light District, so I could take a look at Amsterdam’s seedy underbelly, except it’s really not all that seedy, and it certainly has the added benefit of having a rather lovely canal running through the middle of it:


We ended up at a super cool retro-arcade bar where we kept drinking yet more local beer – Zatte, which actually translates to “drunk” I believe — there’s actually a lot to be said for a country that names its beers for the intended effect – and playing a bazillion games of Jenga, friendly banter with the folks from the adjoining table and crazy, made-up rules included. Let me tell you, it seems like people who know how to convert tiny plastic soldiers can be real Jenga fiends:


And then it was back home, with the crazy guy on the ferry playing songs like “Last Christmas” or “My Heart Will Go On” at full volume on his phone actually being a fellow countryman of mine — leave it to a German to set the mood, eh?

Anyway, if all of this may sound kind of over-enthused, that’s simply because I had such a blast! And I would like to imagine that Augustus felt the same way, in spite of having a compulsively talkative German to take care of. Just look at us eggheads:


I mean he does seem a bit…ambiguous about the whole situation 😉

Disclaimer: Which reminds me: Let me just state in no unclear terms that, in contrast to what you may or may not hear from other sources, I was, like, super-handy with the lock on the rented bike, and Augustus didn’t need to help me with it at all. Not even once. And that, as far as I am concerned, is the end of the matter.

Erm, anyways, here’s the big man himself again, albeit in model form: Meet Augustus b’Raass, warlord of Augustus’ World Eaters army:



So, Auggs, buddy: Ja, wie sage ich das jetzt, I really cannot thank you enough! For being an awesome host and a brilliant tour guide! For going through the risk of just having some guy from the internet over for an entire weekend. For the conversations and the laughs and, of course, the beer! And for starting out as a cool hobby buddy that has now become an actual friend! Cheers, mate!

And to all of the beautiful readers of this blog, if you have managed to hang on until now, thanks for reading! And, as always, stay tuned for more!

In hindsight, we should have set them up as though they were shaking hands — that would have been such a sweet capstone for the post…

The State of the Hunt, Week 25/2017: The Grandfather’s Embrace

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, state of the hunt, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2017 by krautscientist

Guys, guys, have you heard? There’s a new edition of Warhammer 40k, apparently 😉

Seriously, though: A detailed look at the new starter box, Dark Imperium, will be forthcoming shortly (at least that’s what I hope). It has been a while since my last detailed writeup about a new release, but I suppose the gravity of the situation definitely warrants a sizeable post. For now, let me just share one small teaser with you, namely a project that was inspired by the new release. So, what is this about?

While I may have some conflicted thoughts about some parts of Dark Imperium (*cough* Primaris fluff *cough*), one definite high-point for me are the new Plague Marines, sculpted by none other than Maxime Pastourel – aka Morbäck, of Le Blog dé Kouzes fame:


Possibly my favourite part about the models is how they manage to combine elements from the very first classic Death Guard concepts (courtesy of Jes Goodwin) with recognisable, albeit corrupted, Mk. III plate as well as some wonderfully sublime touches from Morbäck’s own Plaguebones — quite possibly the greatest Nurglite army currently in existence.

To make a long story short, after seeing the models, I wanted to get my hands on them ASAP — but then that tiny bit of rationality left in my head kicked in, and a small voice reminded me that, with several boxed sets still languishing unpainted in my cupboard of shame, I really could not quite justify getting yet another boxed set right now. And yet, I knew I had to do something to scratch that Nurgle itch, so to speak.

By lucky chance, I happened upon and TURBULENCE’s really excellent Nurgle kitbashes, using older parts to almost perfectly match the new look. So I had a look through the old bitzbox in order to find a remedy to cure me of the Nurgle bug.

When I found some leftover bitz from the Putrid Blightkings kit and a small pile of horribly battered Dark Vengeance Chosen bits and pieces (left from when I converted a couple of Iron Warriors), a plan started to form in the back of my head. And a short while later, I had this guy:




To be perfectly honest, this is, at its core, actually one messy and loose conversion, if ever there was one: I shaved down the upper part of a Dark Vengeance Chosen torso to make room for the belly, then shaved down the torso front from a Putrid Blightking to create said belly, then mashed it all together with a huge blob of GS and attached it to a set of plastic Mk. III legs. Then a modeling tool was used to loosely define rolls of fat and flabby flesh. In the end, it’s really a happy accident that the model itself calls for the kind of gooey mutations that the GS seemed to provide automatically 😉

At the same, the added height and bulk should also make the model look suitably tall and bloated when placed to one of Morbäck’s “official” Plague Marines. Speaking of which, a pair of Mk. III legs was used to make the model resemble Morbäck’s Plague Marines even more. In order to make the leg armour look suitably distressed and rotten, I carefully cut in some wedge shaped holes and scratches with a hobby knife here and there to make some of the armour plates look slightly dented and uneven. And I used the bog standard GW hand drill (the one I usually use for drilling out bolter barrels) to create small clusters of holes on the armour plates.

With this successful first proof of concept out of the way, I felt a little more adventurous when building a second model:





The basic recipe is the same: A beat-up Chosen torso (and shoulder pads) combined with a set of Mk. III legs, a couple of Blightking bitz and a copious amount of greenstuff. That being said, I really think the various components have come together rather beautifully on this model, lending it quite a bit of presence. Of particular note are the warped Gal Vorbak claw and the helmet (repurposed from an Age of Sigmar Bloodstoker model, with a Skitarii rebreather conveniently spliced in), especially the fact that the jaw motif gets repeated on both parts (this was actually more of a happy accident, though 😉 ).

With the second model completed, I had just enough battered DV Chosen and Blightking parts left to make one last model. This time, I decided to go for a very classic 2nd edition inspired look:




The model is arguably slightly more awkward than its predecessors, but then you should have seen the shape some of those leftover parts were in — the torso seemed just about useless, so I am pretty happy I managed to make a model out of it all in the end. The guy could still use some last tweaks and touch ups, but he’s definitely getting there! What’s more, this is the one model in my collection where that icky, tentacled Chosen backpack really works perfectly, wouldn’t you agree?

So here are my three “Morbäck-pattern” Plague Marines:


Coming up with these guys has really been a blast — and except for the legs, they were all made from nothing but leftovers, so they didn’t cost a penny to make. I am actually pretty pleased with myself for resisting the urge to buy new shiny stuff — for once 😉

There’s also one last model that fits in really well with the new guys: This Nurglite Sorcerer that I converted a while ago. He happens to follow a fairly similar recipe, however, so he should work well enough with the rest of the group:


As for painting these new models, it’ll be interesting to figure out a slightly tweaked recipe for them! I definitely want them to look slightly different from my squad of (mostly) retro Plague Marines here:


Pleased as I still am with those guys, however, they didn’t end up in quite the paint scheme I had in mind. With the new models, So I think I’ll be going with something closer to GW’s “official” paint scheme that was used for the Dark Millennium Plague Marines. Maybe a mix of that colour scheme with the one used by Morbäck for one of the models he sculpted.

On second thought, I am almost happy now to have left the Blightking-based Plague Marines I converted quite a while ago unpainted for all this time, as I’ll now be getting another chance (and an added incentive) to complete them as a Killteam, and with a new paintjob, no less!


Any thoughts of painting will have to wait, however: For one, the sweltering heat has returned this week and keeps holding the blasted plains of Jhermani in an iron grip. I’ll also be travelling to Amsterdam this weekend to visit fellow hobbyist Augustus b’Raass for a weekend of hobby goodness and sightseeing, which should be awesome!

So that’s it for this week. I would love to hear any thoughts and feedback you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Totally rotten – a hands on with the Putrid Blightkings

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2014 by krautscientist

There I was last week, talking about my ambitious goals for this year’s Call of Chaos — and already, I have been distracted. But worry not: I am still reasonably optimistic about my ability to go through with my vow, and there’s also the fact that the new Putrid Blightkings are the kind of kit you just have to start working on right away — and I would like to show you the results of that work today:

The basic idea with these guys seems to have been to collect all the best elements and details from every cool Nurgle model and piece of artwork so far and mash them into one box of plastic crack, thereby creating a bit of a “Best Of” collection. It works surprisingly well, though, finally giving us a way to emulate the hulking, pustulent characters that have only ever appeared in the artwork so far.

When it comes to actually reviewing the kit itself, Eric Wier of Between the Bolter And Me has put together a very concise and informative piece that I can only recommend. So with the hard work of reviewing the kit already out of the way, I am free to get my hands dirty and dive right in! Before we do that, though, I’d like to add a few observations of my own (in some cases reiterating what I said in my last post):

First up, I already commented on the size of these guys, and if anything, this aspect seems to have become even more relevant since my last post: It looks like many people were planning to use the Blightkings either as Plague Ogres and/or chaos spawn, yet the scale comparison below shows that they are not all that well suited to either function:

Blightkings WIP (2)
Many people seem to be disappointed about this. And, indeed, if you are looking for a way of converting Plague Ogryns, I’d suggest looking elsewhere: It would be far easier to just get a box of Ogres or Ogryns, the mutants from the WFB Warshrine of Chaos or a couple of Blood Island Rat Ogres and convert them accordingly. Some of the weapons and armour plates from the Blightking kit might come in handy for that kind of conversion, but I don’t really see a readily apparent way of making the heads, bodies and most of the arms fit Ogryn scale — unless you’re going for vestigial and/or atrophied limbs, that is…

But in my opinion, the glass is really half full rather than half empty: We really have enough possible conversion fodder of Ogryn/chaos spawn size readily available, as it stands! The Blightkings, however, are interesting in that they provide models that would work well as alternate Plague Terminators or, and this may just be the most interesting option, true scale Plague Marines — and without much need for making them bigger or bulkier. In fact, that’s the route I’ll be taking for my own Blightkings for now.

As people are beginning to work with the new kits, the first conversions are beginning to roll in: The spectacularly talented Jeff Vader has been working on some truly excellent Blightking conversions of his own that have been a huge inspiration for me. PDH has built some equally awesome Blightkings as an addition to his Realms of Chaos Nurgle warband (which, by the way, gets a feature in this month’s Blanchitsu, if the teaser on the GW website is to be believed) — I hope Peter will be showing his models to the general public soon. And I imagine other talented artists, such as JRN, migsula and the Spiky Rats, won’t be too far behind — I think we can look forward to a world of rot 😉

So, allow me to add my own pound of (maggotty) flesh: Let me walk you through my first couple of (mostly) finished Blightking conversions.

It shouldn’t surprise you that my basic approach was to bring the models into the 40k universe. I am not 100% sure what the function of these will be (or whether or not they’ll ever see the gaming table), but for now, simply exploring the kit and trying to bring it into my favourite grimdark universe is very much its own reward. So, without further ado, some pictures:

Here’s my first Blightking model. You already know an earlier incarnation of this guy:

Blightkings WIP (24)
This may still be my favourite of the bunch, although that doesn’t have anything to do with my conversion, but rather with the fact that the champion model is pretty much pitch perfect right out of the box. I chose a helmeted head (easily the coolest head in the kit) over the Plaguebearer face, because I liked the ominous look created by the helmet. Apart from that, the model was mostly assembled according to the instructions that came with the kit. To be honest, I did struggle a bit when it came to making this guy look more like a 40k model, but in the end, I think I came up with a pretty good idea: I added a cracked CSM breastplate to the model, making it look like the armour had burst under some hideous internal pressure. I am really happy with the result, because it adds a 40k element, leaves the hideously wonderful belly completely visible and, if anything, makes the model even more gross!

I also gave this guy a slightly modified backpack from the Dark Vengeance Chosen. I think the slightly twisted look is a great match for the overall Blightking aesthetic, plus the champ now has a bolter:

Blightkings WIP (25)
Several people have suggested using more futuristic weapons — but in the end, I just couldn’t go through with it. There’s just something about the sword and axe combo that I really like, and I just couldn’t bring myself to cut them apart…

The second model started out similar to one of Jeff Vader’s conversions, although I tried to take it into a slightly different direction. Take a look:

Blightkings WIP (27)
The base for this conversion was one of the (almost) fully armoured Blightkings, which made it much easier to turn this guy into a 40k model: The right arm was replaced with a Chaos Terminator arm (which also provided the gun). The left arm is from the Blightkings kit (although I used a bone from the WFB Crypt Ghouls to add a crossguard to the sword).

After quite a bit of deliberation, I chose a WFB chaos warrior head for the model: Not only is this one of my favourite heads, but it also fits Nurgle rather nicely, I think. Several people pointed out that the head was a bit of a missed opportunity, because a more Marine-like head would have helped making the model more futuristic. While I did want to keep the head, I also agreed with their point to some degree, so I added an array of tubes and pipes to the helmet, with some of them feeding into a custom backpack that I spliced together for the model:

Blightkings WIP (28)
It goes without saying that the backpack does have an ominous tank on top — par for the course with Death Guard models, really 😉

I also added some more detail to root the model more firmly in the 40k universe: some grenades and gear as well as a washer screw (painstakingly shaved off an Ork boy weapon). All in all, while the model still retains quite a medieval look and feel, I think it’s definitely futuristic enough to work in the context of 40k!

And finally, my third model so far, and possibly the most involved conversion of the three:

Once again, Jeff Vader provided the inspiration here (I shudder at my derivativeness… 😉 ): I wanted to build a Blightking conversion wielding a heavy weapon — but I did want it to look markedly different from Jeff’s approach, rather going for the classic pose of a heavy bolter being held in front of the body. Now let me tell you: The Blightking kit does not exactly lend itself spectacularly well to shenanigans like that, and getting the arms and pose to work out turned out to be a bit of a nightmare. I persevered, however, and after much cutting and gluing, I ended up with this:

Blightkings WIP (29)
The model ist still missing quite a few details, but I think it already gives you a good idea of what the finished model will look like. The arms holding the heavy bolter were painstakingly spliced together, using bitz from no less than four different sources (a WFB Chaos Knights right arm, Space Marine Sternguard heavy bolter, Space Marine Terminator left upper arm and, finally, the actual Blightking’s shield arm. All in all, I am really extremely happy that I went through with this idea, even though it was a lot of work! And even though I only realised it after the fact, the model could even be seen as a small tribute to this illustration by Adrian Smith.

I also think that the clunky heavy bolter backpack does a nice job of bulking out the model. I have begun converting it into a more Nurglite form, with yet more tanks welded on beneath the main body of the pack:

Blightkings WIP (31)
This is certainly the most WIP of the three models at this point, so there’ll be more details to come. But, again, I am really happy with this guy.

All in all, I’d like to quote an excellent point made by Eric in his review of the Blightking kit:

Games Workshop’s new approach  with the Blightkings provides some freedom to the consumer, while also letting the sculptors truly explore and convey their own creative vision.  And while some may argue that it makes conversions more difficult because you cannot simply swap an arm or body, I think it just encourages people to step out of their comfort zone and attempt more elaborate conversions, ones that are more than simply kitbashes.

This is so true! It took me quite a while to get started with these models, because the specific way the models were constructed seemed a bit intimidating. I was also forced to come up with at least a rough idea beforehand, instead of just seeing where the conversion took me. But in the end, this more involved and conscious way of working was a lot of fun, and I am really happy with the models I have managed to produce so far:

Blightkings WIP (32)
You can probably guess my verdict: These guys are excellent, and quite a lot of fun to work with. That said, they demand more work and more planning ahead if you want to make the most of them than, say, a Space Marine kit. They are a very interesting resource for true scale (Chaos) Space Marines. And they’ll give you a huge pile of Nurgle-y bitz (and then some) that you can use on your Death Guard or Chaos Daemons. Oh, and just a word of warning, perhaps: Once you’ve hit your stride, working with them gets quite addictive 😉

As for my own models, so far I’ve managed to come up with three characters that I am thoroughly pleased with. I am not sure whether these will be used as counts as Terminators in a small Death Guard detachment, as villains for INQ28, a Killteam or if I am just going to build an paint them for the heck of it, but when has that ever stopped me from kitbashing and converting, right?

It goes without saying that I would love to hear any feedback you might have in the comments section! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Blightkings WIP (33)

Heeding the call…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2014 by krautscientist

Alright, everyone: There’s quite a bit going on at the moment, so let me give you a rundown of my current projects. Most of these are chaotic in nature — in more than one sense, I suppose 😉 Anyway, here goes:

1. The Call of Chaos

In a rather uncharacteristic move, I have decided to join the VIIth Call of Chaos over at The Bolter & Chainsword, vowing to paint four new units for my World Eaters before January 15th. I am using this occasion to force myself to finally get a couple of things that I really want to see finished painted, but make no mistake: I am such a huge hobby butterfly that participating in a vow like this is quite a challenge for me. There’s a very real danger of failing this thing, so if you have any fingers left, keep them crossed for me, okay?

Anyway, which models are part of my Call of Chaos vow, you ask? Well, let me walk you through them. The first two should already be known to you:

First up, I am finally going to complete the Forgefiend I built and undercoated what feels like ages ago:

Forgefiend WIP (3)
Since then, the poor thing has remained completely untouched, and it’s definitely time to change that!

The next model is a character I am really looking forward to seeing finished:

The Doomwall WIP (22)
“The Doomwall”, my World Eaters Terminator Lord in Mk 1-ish armour. I am still extremely happy with this conversion, and I hope I’ll be able to make the model look even cooler when painted!

But I am not limiting myself to models you already know for this challenge: I will also paint two model’s you haven’t seen yet:

First up is a Chaos Dreadnought/Helbrute that I recently converted, using the AOBR Dreadnought as a base. I wanted another Dread because I’ve built so many different interchangeable weapon arms for my existing Dreadnoughts that it only felt logical to have another model that could make use of them. Plus I really enjoy converting Dreadnoughts for some reason. Anyway, here’s the model:

Breacher Dread WIP (1)
Breacher Dread WIP (2)
Breacher Dread WIP (3)
It actually took me quite a while to wrap up this conversion, because the AOBR Dread is a rather limiting base model to use. I also couldn’t get too crazy with the pose, because the model needed to be flexible enough to be able to use all (or at least most) of the extra weapon arms I had built. I kept messing around with various parts, but the model just refused to come together — as it turned out, what I needed in order to finally make this Dread happen was an idea about him as a character: I needed to figure out what kind of guy he was.

In the end, I decided that he is a former Breacher Sergeant whose calling is still reflected in some elements of his ironform — the Mk. 3-ish helmet, the shield on his left arm recalling a stylised boarding shield and the melta, for example. And that was the spark of inspiration that made the whole thing happen.

One thing I am pretty happy with is the brutal looking siege claw on his left arm: The standard powerfist was just looking so boring, so I just tried adding some spiky bitz from the wheels of the WFB Chaos Chariot — and I think the result really works!

The final part of my Call of Chaos vow will be an old acquaintance, in a way. Take a look:

Kharn the Betrayer (3)
Kharn the Betrayer (2)
Kharn the Betrayer (1)
Kharn the Betrayer (4)
It should be pretty obvious who this is supposed to be, right? 😉 As it happens, the model was actually built for the latest Painting/Converting contest over at Throne of Skulls: The theme of the contest was to take one of the Khornate characters from among the 40k and WFB universes and build a better/updated/reimagined version of them — and what better character to choose for that than dear old Kharn the Betrayer?

Since this is going to be a piece for the contest, above all else, I took the liberty of truescaling Kharn a bit, and I think he wears it well 😉

Oh, the head was, once again, very kindly provided by my fellow hobbyist Belphoebe, by the way. Thanks a lot, mate!

So, like I said, I’ll be trying to get these painted until January 15th. I am slightly scared. Wish me luck, boys and girls! 😉

2. The art of chaos

And while we’re still on the matter of The Bolter & Chainsword, I am supremely happy to announce that I am one of the winners of a recent challenge by fellow hobbyist Greyall. If you don’t know his thread, you should check it out right away: Greyall does incredibly detailed and intricate drawings of (Chaos) Space Marine characters in black and white, and he held a little conversion challenge where all the board members could enter one of their converted models, and Greyall would draw a number of them. I entered my conversion for Lord Captain Lorimar…

Lorimar WIP (10)
…and guess what: I am one of the chosen few. I am so happy! Especially since the competition was absolutely amazing. Definitely make sure to head over there and check out those models! Anyway, I can hardly wait to see Lorimar rendered in Greyall’s trademark style — this will be SO awesome!

3. Creeping Rot

Like I said, I am a hobby butterfly of the first order, so I couldn’t resist opening yet another can of worms…literally: You’ll probably have seen GW’s recently released Putrid Blightkings. Well, one look at the models was enough to decide that I needed a box of these, and I finally picked them up late last week.

So far, I’ve only spent a bit of time with the models due to having been super buys last week, but allow me to share some initial observations:

  • the level of detail in this kit has to be seen to be believed! Seriously, those guys are every bit as spectacular as they looked in WD Weekly
  • the amount of bitz you get is equally impressive: Even after building five complete models, you should have lots and lots of leftovers for the rest of your Nurglite conversion needs: The amount of heads, rusty weapons and armour plates alone is staggering!
  • the kit is pretty flexible, and you’ll be getting quite a few very different looking models out of this one — however, the kit is not as flexible as many “classic” multi part plastic kits (most of the (Chaos) Space Marine range comes to mind), due to the way the models are put together. This is not a problem per se, but it does mean you’ll need to plan ahead in order to convert these guys…
  • …speaking of which: (Chaos) Terminator parts will work great on these, from a size perspective.

This last point is pretty important, I think, because many people planning to use these models in 40k seem to be unsure as to their actual size: I’ve seen speculations that the Blightkings are Ogre/Ogryn-sized, and I’ve snapped a quick comparison shot for you:

Blightkings WIP (1)
As you can see, these guys are definitely NOT Ogryn-sized. In fact, they are slightly smaller than Terminators. In my opinion, that makes them useful as stand-ins for Chaos Terminators (probably what I am going to do), true scale Death Guard Marines or something of the sort.

In fact, I have made a few – very early – attempts at “40k-i-fying” the Blightkings:

Blightkings WIP (4)

Blightkings WIP (3)
Nothing huge so far, just messing around with a few 40k parts and seeing what works. A more involved conversion was trying to add a breastplate to the one Blightking in the set that normally HAS to be assembled with a bare belly:

Blightkings WIP (5)
That did take quite a bit of cutting (and the model still needs some serious gap-filling).

But those are just a few brief initial impressions — I guess you may expect a more in-depth writeup about the ins and outs of this kit at some point in the near future 😉

4. Pretty pictures

To wind up this post, let me share one more thing with you: Since messing around with pictures of my models and some image editing software turned out to be so much fun (see my last post), I gave it another try and tackled some more involved photomontages.

First up, a picture of the Hellrazor in action:

Hellrazor
I used both Pixlr and Photoshop to create this image, and while there may be a lot of stuff that can be improved, I am still reasonably happy with the outcome.

I also found this very interesting post over at Tyler Mengel’s blog and decided I needed to try something similar. So here’s a composite picture of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt having some fun on the plains of a conquered Hive World:

The Red Tide
Once again, both Pixlr and Photoshop were used in the creation of the image. I also found out that Pixlr is great for quickly obscuring rough areas noticeable seams between different parts of a composite picture.

Granted, I still have much to learn, but I definitely like where this is going!

 

Anyway, so much for my current chaotic projects. I’d love to hear any feedback you might have in the comments section! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Old Rot

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2014 by krautscientist

Today, let me show you something that provides a bit of colour contrast in between all the red and bronze: Parallel to working on a squad of gladiatorial World Eaters, I’ve also been painting some more followers of Nurgle. And this time around, we are talking about some models that have been in my collection for quite some time!

Since we last saw my growing squad of Plague Marines, I’ve added two more models. And even though I have precious little love left for metal models at this point, the Dave Andrews Plague Marines from the late 90s still range among my favourite chaos models for a number of reasons:

First, they are quite iconic: With their gas masks and “Pickelhauben”, they have a decided WW1 Trencher feel — quite fitting for warriors who fight surrounded by virulent gases and noxious fumes (albeit in a slightly inverted way: One could almost imagine that the Plague Marines are actually wearing their protective gear in order to keep the fresh air out). Their helmet design also nicely combines historical sources with the “mono-horn” typical of Nurgle.

Then there’s the fact that the detail on these guys is very nice: The damage to their armour seems believable and not overstated. All of them are modelled with a trusty plague knife at their side. And there are delicious visual cues, such as desiccated heads (serving as plague grenades), small Nurgle icons worn on chains, leaking (and poorly patched up) pipes or all kinds of vile pocks and fungal growth marking the armour.

All these qualities notwithstanding, I am a little ashamed to say that the metal Plague Marines I own have mostly been mouldering away, pun intended, in my bitzbox, ever since I purchased them sometime during the late 90s/early 2000s.

That turned out to be a good thing, though, because my recent foray into the wonderful world of corrosion and decay made sure that I could finally do justice to these models — in my small way, at least.

I left these completely unconverted, both because I hate cutting apart metal models, but also because I think the models are pretty much perfect as is. My only concession to modern design was to outfit them with some new arms and bolters, instead of the old plastic versions from the 90s (clown hands, anyone?).

So, without any further ado, here are the finished models:

Plague Marines (25)
Plague Marines (26)
Plague Marines (27)
Plague Marines (28)The first model seemed to be built for a very classic pose, so I just added two arms holding a bolter. I really like the model’s subtly implacable look! Painting-wise, the Plague Marine was given the same treatment as the rest of my Plague Marines, with lots of rust and corrosion (and a fair amount of Nurgle’s Rot leaking out of the armour joints and vents).

The second model seems to have been designed with a more open pose in mind, so I obliged by arming it with a chainsword/bolter combo. Here’s the finished model:

Plague Marines (24)
Plague Marines (23)
And what do you know, when I had almost given up hope, a nice and subtle crackle effect began to develop on the right shoulder pad, courtesy of all the Agrellan Earth I used in the paint for the armour:

Plague Marines (22)
Plague Marines (21)
I also really like the pocks, dappled all over the model’s left greave. Such a fun little detail:

Plague Marines (19)
All in all, these guys were a blast to paint. Plus they have really managed to age ridiculously well: They perfectly embody all that a Plague Marine should be, in my opinion, with their only shortcoming being that they are slightly on the small side when stood next to more recent models, but that could well be explained in-universe as their bodies slowly collapsing from rot. The best thing about them is how they are quite sinister without being overly twisted or mutated. In fact, part of the body horror for these guys comes from wandering what’s beneath the armour (instead of being able to see it outright). It seems like Forgeworld’s recently released Death Guard conversion kits are, in no small part, an attempt to create uncorrupted Pre-Heresy versions of these models’ design. The later metal model from the 2000s seem a little lacklustre, by comparison — I wish I had bought more of those older models while I still had the chance, because they are all great!

So, where does that leave us in regard to the overall squad? Let’s take a look:

Plague Marines (30)
I am really quite pleased with these guys, even though I have little to no plan to use them in Khorne’s Eternal Hunt. There’s still the 90s metal icon bearer – now stripped of his former paintjob – left to paint. And then? Maybe I’ll just spin these guys off into a small Nurglite killteam? After all, I already have a suitably decayed Terminator Lord to lead them:

Nurgle Terminator (13)
I have half a mind to throw in a decayed Traitor Guard soldier or two. And a plague zombie. And maybe some hulking mutant creature? Shoot, there I go again…

For now, though, painting these guys has proven to be a lot of fun. And I love the fact that I have finally managed to finish some models that have been part of my collection for ages. Go me! 😉

Plague Marines (31)
Let me know what you think! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

When the rot sets in for real…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2014 by krautscientist

Hey everyone,

there I was, happily rediscovering the joy of painting while finishing one Plague Marine after the other, easy as you please. I should have known that Nurgle would visit his gifts on me sooner rather than later, but I was too enraptured by all the decay and rot.

Possibly as a consequence, I’ve been hit with a major case of the flu — that’s what I get, I suppose 😉 So, long story short, I cannot show you the post I originally wanted to show you because I didn’t manage to finish it. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that I can fill the update slot with yet another Plague Marine I painted, so you do get something new to look at, after all!

This time, the model in question was kitbashed in late 2010, so it was high time I slapped some colour on this guy. Here he is:

Crackle Plague Marine (34)
Crackle Plague Marine (30)
Crackle Plague Marine (31)
Crackle Plague Marine (32)
Crackle Plague Marine (33)
And a closeup of his lovely face 😉

Crackle Plague Marine (28)
Here are the three finished Plague Marines together:

Crackle Plague Marine (36)
Crackle or no crackle, painting these guys has really been a blast so far, so I am considering adding some more models to the squad: I have two of the 90s metal Plague Marines, plus that old icon bearer from the same time. Giving those models the updated painting treatment would bring the squad up to seven — Nurgle’s sacred number, conveniently enough 😉

But that’s a smaller project for the future! For now, let me crawl back to my bed and try to shake off the visitations of Papa Nurgle. And, of course, let me know what you think!

We’ll be returning to the regular content soon. Until then, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Crackle Plague Marine (35)

Andy’s Antics: Chaos rising…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2012 by krautscientist

I usually use this blog to brag about things I have built and painted myself, but today I want to take the opportunity to show you the work of somebody else:

I believe I have already mentioned my dear cousin Andy from time to time: Not only is he the owner of the biggest collection of bitz I know (which has proven to be quite the advantage for some of my more involved kitbashes), but also quite an accomplished converter, as I already demonstrated some time ago. His Dark Eldar army is full of great and unconventional conversions, and I imagine it will be a sight to behold one day, provided he ever manages to paint it 😉

But while he may be a backstabbing, pointy-eared  torture-freak at heart, Andy couldn’t help but feel a certain fascination with the new Codex: Chaos Space Marines. So all of a sudden, some CSM models cropped up on his desktop. And now he’s seriously looking at assembling a small chaos army. Today’s post will be about the first results of that plan.

It has to be said that building a chaos army will probably be rendered quite a bit easier for him due to the fact that he had already started collecting a small LNTD force at one point. While a full army never quite materialised, he’ll be able to use most of those models in his second attempt. He also told me he wanted to try to build this army mostly from leftover bitz, with very few new purchases involved. And since I know that Andy is usually at his best when he’s kitbashing leftovers, I am happily along for the ride 😉

Anyway, let’s take a look at what he has got so far. Most of these models are still PIP, but I think you’ll still be getting a pretty good idea of where this is going:

First up, one of the test models for his new paintjob: A Plague Marine of Nurgle.




Andy devised a very simple recipe for the basic armour colour: Overbrush a black undercoat with GW Gretchin Green, then drybrush that with GW Dheneb Stone. The resulting colour looks slightly green and instantly reads as Death Guard, if you ask me. The armour trim was blocked out in rusty metal, and some additional rust was painted into the deeper recesses, using thinned down GW Vermin Brown.

Then there’s Andy’s idea for using slightly converted WFB Knights of Chaos as CSM Bikes:




While some of the detail could still profit from a bit of additional attention, I think you’ll agree that the overall colour scheme is pretty effective already. And the very medieval look of the horses is a rather nice fit for a Nurglite army, if you ask me.

One of the first models Andy built for the new army was the Terminator below. I love this guy for the fact that he was built using nothing but leftover bitz. Take a look:




Andy used an AOBR Terminator as a base, adding all kinds of chaos and Ogre Kingdoms bitz on top. I also really like the subtle but powerful pose, one of Andy’s areas of expertise: You really get the feeling that this guy, with his crude weapons, is all kinds of bad news…

Cousin Andy is currently converting some Possessed from a heap of leftover bitz I donated to his cause. He also took a discarded Possessed model of mine and upped the “body horror factor” a couple of notches by making him eyeless:




Knowing his usual conversion work, I imagine the finished squad will end up looking rather disturbing — in a good way!

And finally, a preview of Andy’s next “Counts as” bike, after the basic colour has been laid down:


All in all, I feel cousin Andy is off to a promising start! Although I cannot help but feel like all of this will become much less enjoyable once I find myself on the wrong side of his Death Guard’s Bolters…

Anyway, building more followers of Nurgle should give him ample opportunity for spectacular and distusting conversions galore! And I suppose that the Plague Ogryns I originally converted and (in one case) painted for Andy’s LNTD army will eventually find their way into this army as well. Here’s a quick reminder for you:


I, for one, am pretty interested in seeing where this is going!  More on this as it develops.

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