Archive for renegade militia

My first tank ever, pt. 1

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Traitor Guard, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2012 by krautscientist

To tell you the truth, I have been pretty afraid of tanks for a long time. Of building and painting them, that is.
With all the added size and detail compared to infantry models, and with the myriad of fantastically detailed and expertly weathered IG tanks out there, I always felt rather apprehensive about the prospect of having to get a tank finished one of these days — which may just be the reason for the fact that neither of my Chaos Space Marine Rhinos has seen a speck of colour so far…

But then, my eye was repeatedly drawn to a half-built Imperial Basilisk in my dear cousin Andy’s collection. He had bought the tank quite a while ago for some project or other and then probably lost patience with the thing. And now it sat there, half-finished, in a box. And I couldn’t stop thinking about what an interesting modelling project it would be for my Traitor Guard.

Fortunately, cousin Andy let me have the remains of the Basilisk — probably to stop my constant whining. And so, one sunny afternoon, I sat down to cut my teeth on my first tank ever. So this post (and its sequels) will detail my first experiences in the wonderful world of mechanised firepower 😉

Here’s the Basilisk, pretty much the way it came to me:


As you can see, cousin Andy had fortunately already constructed the tank’s main chassis, so that work was already taken care of.



The downside to this was the fact that some parts of the model were in a rather rough condition. The tracks were also only half-finished, with some parts missing and others already glued in. With the instruction sheet lost a long time ago, I had to painstakingly “reconstruct” the threads — luckily, I had enough spare parts, but the results (as seen above) were not as flawless as I would have liked. But all in all, it was pretty smooth sailing nonetheless.

After the tank’s main body had been completed, it was time to think about the additions I wanted to make to the model. After all, I wanted this to be a traitor tank, a part of the ruinous powers’ forces. So I dove headfirst into my bitzbox and collected all kinds of possible parts:

Here’s a cookie tin filled with the bitz I thought could come in handy for this project:

And here’s an early mockup of my tank commander. It’s basically a regular Imperial tank commander with a special head. I’ll tell you more about it once we are dealing with the different painting stages…


It would have been easy to go totally overboard with the spiky bitz, so I tried not to make that mistake. I did have to use some chaos bitz to replace some original parts that were missing, though (the handrail in the back, for example). Anyway, a relatively short while later, the basic build of the Basilisk was completed:




I also did a first mockup of my loading crew, although I realied that these guys would only realistically be tackled much later:



So after dryfitting everything and cleaning up the conversion, I disassembled the model again. Here are all the sub-assemblies ready for undercoating:


I spraypainted everything using GW Chaos Black, and so half an hour later, the tank was ready for painting:




At this point, I was actually giddy and afraid in equal parts. Would I be able to do this model justice with my paintjob? We’ll find out, in the next installment of “My first tank ever”

Until then, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

The fifth Ogryn

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, Traitor Guard with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2012 by krautscientist

With lots of new hobby projects underway and a new Chaos Codex on the horizon, let’s take a little time to wrap up one of my ongoing projects: My Traitor Ogryns.

With four models already finished, I had enough parts left for one more member of the squad. I was also slowly running out of ideas, as I had tried pretty much everything I had set out to do with the squad. But there’s always room for one more model, right? So I sat down and converted the fifth – and final – Ogryn.

Here’s what I ended up with:




The basic idea with this guy is that his body is heavily armoured on the one side, and all but unprotected on the other. I used quite a few crude armour plates (cut from the rubber tyres of an old toy car, by the way). These are a recurring visual element across my Traitor Guard, and it was quite easy to cut them to fit the Ogryn’s bulk. I also used some of these to build a gorget of sorts for the lower half of the Ogryn’s face. Apart from that, this guy is more or less an out-of-the-box WFB Ogre. I did however add some wicked chains on the model’s back, looking like they had been punched through the flesh on the unprotected side.

I realised that the model wouldn’t be the visually most exciting in the squad from a conversion standpoint (and, in any case, there’s no upstaging the guy with the tongue), so I tried to distinguish this model through its paintjob: I added quite a bit of chaos iconography to the model, making it look like many crude symbols had been painted onto parts of the armour. I rather like the effect on the gut plate and the helmet, if I do say so myself.



And with that, my squad of Traitor Ogryns was truly finished. Here’s a shot of the whole squad for you:

I think I ended up with a very distinctive, mean looking squad of hulking brutes. The Ogre kit seems like a very restrictive choice, and it’s true that you will have to work around a couple of pitfalls if you want to make the most of your models. But it’s definitely possible to produce some pretty nice models this way. And they are a blast to paint — the slightly larger scale really lends itself well to all kinds of painting shenanigans that would be considerably harder to pull off on a smaller model!

Rules-wise, these guys could conceivably be played as Traitor Ogryns (in a straight IG list), Ogryn Berserkers (using the FW list for the Vraksian Renegade Militia), Big Mutants (according to the old “Eye of Terror” list for the Lost and the Damned)… or perhaps even as Chaos Spawn swelling the ranks of Chaos Cultists in a CSM army — the base size fits, at least…

Anyway, rules considerations aside, I am rather pleased with the overall look of the completed squad, but I’d love to hear what you think as well! Let me know in the comments section!

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

Dark Vengeance – Gauging the possibilities…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Custodes, paintjob, Traitor Guard, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2012 by krautscientist

By now, many people have spent their first few days with the brand new Dark Vengeance box. The internet is abuzz with the discussions concerning the models and possible projects. There have been some very informative and helpful reviews, the usual, somewhat hamfisted propaganda on the part of GW and, of course, a magnitude of the seemingly inevitable “unboxings”. Some hobbyists (*cough*) have even begun showcasing their first painted or converted models.

After having spent a very enjoyable weekend sifting through the contents of the box (and painting the first batch of models) I would like to use this post to talk about some of my plans for all those lovely little plastic men. I already outlined some of the ideas in my first post on the subject, but in the light of my first hand on experiences with the box, some of those plans have changed, some may have been abandoned altogether, while still others only formed after seeing the models first hand. So let’s talk about the bigger picture, shall we?

First of all, let me say that my plan is to basically use up all that this box has to offer: Some of the models will be integrated into my different army projects, some may end up decorating my bases as corpses or broken statues. Still others will be cut into many different pieces and wait for better days at the bottom of my bitzbox. But all of it will be put to good use in one way or another. That much I promise you.

So let’s cut to the chase: Here’s a rather large post with my updated thoughts and plans for the different contents of the Dark Vengeance box, illustrated by lots of pretty pictures:

 

Chaos

It shouldn’t surprise you that the chaos models are very likely to find a new home in my World Eaters and/or Traitor Guard forces. In fact, I think that the chaos models alone are pretty much worth the purchase of the box. But what do I have in mind for those beauties?

Cultists

I already showed you the first three cultists I painted, and I decided that they needed some friends. So I set out to paint the next three. Instead of painting the same designs over again, I chose three different cultist — the duplicates will have to come later…

Again, my objective was to have these fit in with my other Traitor Guard models, so I stuck to the established colour scheme. I like to imagine that I was a tiny bit more succesful in painting these guys to fit my traitors this time:


I really love the gasmask on this guy! I even thought about a “Psycho Mantis” conversion while painting him. I also like the crude weapons some of these guys are wielding – like they had to improvise weapons from their regular tools or bits of machinery.

This next guy may have a different head and different weapons, but apart from that, he is actually identical to the guy above – albeit “flipped horizontally”. The only difference aside from the head and weapons is the added knife on the guy with the gas mask — I don’t think it’s too noticeable, though. After all, these are starter miniatures!



I tried adding some crude chaos heraldry on his scarf. A recurring element in my Traitor Guard. I went even further with this on this next guy:





Again, I love the mask. Reminds me of Kroenen in the first Hellboy film 😉

And here’s all three of them together:


Seeing these side by side makes it even more obvious that the cultists on the left and right are basically the same design, but again: Let’s not forget that these are starter miniatures. I already mentioned that I am actually pretty happy with the look GW chose for the cultists!

And here’s all of my painted cultists so far:


These are pretty quick to paint, so it probably won’t be too long before I’ll have ten or even twenty of them finished. I’ll mainly be these for 40k, so all of them will be painted in the colours of my Traitor Guard. That said, they’ll make useful cameos in games of INQ28 (or even Necromunda).
I will be doing a number of smaller adjustments to some of the “duplicates” (weapon swaps and the like) for some more variety. I’ll also add an icon or two, following my belief that every chaos squad needs an icon. Apart from that, though, I’ll be using these pretty much out of the box.

Chaos Lord and Chosen

Hmmm, these guys are a tougher nut to crack: My gut instinct tells me to just leave them for later. Granted, some of them could be easily inducted into my World Eaters, but maybe I’ll just hang on to them for a later project: a small Chaos Killteam for Special Operations Killzone, or some “counts as”-Characters for my Traitor Guard (I recently saw a World Eater used as Colonel Straken — what a cool idea!). The guy with the twin Lightning claws may be an exception, since I am simply too much in love with the sculpt, but apart from that, I guess these guys will keep for a while.

Hellbrute

Definitely the star of the show for me, I am pretty psyched to start working on this bad boy. As a matter of fact, I already managed to paint what’s probably my favourite part of the model:



This was actually pretty hard to take a decent photo of, and that should tell you something about the size: So much fine detail, and very easy to obscure… I didn’t do a job worthy of the ‘Eavy Metal team, but I am still rather pleased with myself.

I also really love the anguished and tortured face peering from out of the Hellbrute’s bulk, so I had to start with it. Apart from that, I am currently dryfitting the parts and looking long and hard at the stuff in my bitzbox to decide which changes to make to the original model.

I’m a little torn, since I really love the Hellbrute as it is, and I don’t want to do conversions on this guys just for conversions’ sake. Yet I feel compelled to make some minor changes… Let me talk you through some of my early ideas — any feedback on this would be much appreciated!

First of all, this idea came up while I was messing around with some stuff from my bitzbox:




I actually have very little inclination to use the Minotaur head, but I still wanted to show you this mockup, because I think if somebody wanted to change the look of their Hellbrute or didn’t like the existing head, this could be an avenue worth exploring…

This one’s based on a similar idea. I just couldn’t help it…






I’ll have to be honest with you: I just love adding Juggernaut heads to Dreadnoughts!
I also think that this could really work. Hmmm, I’ll have to think about it…

Let’s talk about a couple of other changes I am considering:



I am actually pretty sure that I’ll be adding an Ogre Kingdoms gut plate to the model’s fist, as an approximation of the World Eaters’ legion badge. The part is a pretty nice fit and covers the more generic “Eye of Horus” symbol beneath. I also really liked the effect of the legion badge on my first Dread.

Then there’s the Multimelta:


I quite like the fact that they gave the model a Multimelta, seeing how this is one of the last weapons missing from my little Dreadnought Menagerie. But I am not completely sold on those stubby barrels. I could replace them with daemon heads from the chaos vehicle sprue (like TemplarCrusade01 did to great effect in this interesting video) or replace them with a Lasgun’s longer barrels…I’m not sure. Any thoughts?

And finally, those horn-tentacle things may have to go:


I appreciate what they were trying to do with this, but as it stands, they only serve to obscure the model’s silhouette. I haven’t decided on this, though. I’ll need to consider it for a while…

Even after playing around with a couple of different options, I couldn’t forget that Juggernaut head. If I were to attach it at a more interesting angle. like so…



…and add a neck made from cables and a spine, I think it would look really cool. Then again, I love the Hellbrute’s original face and wouldn’t want to permanently obscure it by a conversion… This really is a problem! Maybe I can do the Juggernaut head as an optional, removable addition to the model? Let me know what you think!

Let’s not forget the other side of the spectrum, though! So, what to do with the Sons of the Lion…?

 

Dark Angels:

Whenever I hit a roadblock during my musings on possible uses of the chaos models, I relax by working on some of the Dark Angel models. Some, if not most of these will be really useful for my Custodes army!

Characters

The Company Master will definitely be transformed into a Custodes officer! It should be easy enough: Just add a different head (for example, one from the High Elf White Lions kit), a couple of bitz and get rid of some of the DA symbols, and you’re there.

I’ll probably save the Librarian for later: He won’t do much good in a Custodes force, seeing how psykers were pretty much outlawed by the Edict of Nikaea. He might make a great base for an Inquisitor, though…Hmm, I’ll have to think about this.

And then there’s the limited edition Interrogator Chaplain. I am somehow feeling a little tempted to convert him into a Word Bearers Dark Apostle…but it’s definitely not a priority at the moment.

Ravenwing Bikes

These will probably end up as Custodes jetbikes sooner or later. I’ll be using this excellent tutorial by Ron Saikowski (of From The Warp fame), although the conversion will probably end up being a bit more complicated compared to normal Space Marine bikes, since the wheels of the bikes from the starter box are part of the bike’s main body. Still, nothing that a bit of judicious cutting cannot solve…

Tactical Marines

To tell you the truth, these are a bit of a problem: The sergeant will become a Custodes with some minor conversion work. As will the guy with the Plasma cannon (only sans the Plasma cannon, since they didn’t yet exist at the time of the Heresy, I believe). His arms are completely separate, and he is sporting a rather interesting, older helmet design, so he will become a member of a power armoured Custodes squad (I’ll be showcasing some models from the squad soon).

The other guys are a pretty hopeless case, though: I doubt any amount of cutting would make them look like anything but Dark Angels tac Marines. So into my bitzbox they go. Maybe I’ll use them as statues in a terrain project. Maybe I’ll start a DA army one day. Maybe I’ll think of something in time. We’ll see…

Deathwing Terminators

To tell you the truth, I am already hard at work cutting these up. They may not look like it, but the Deathwatch Terminators make for pretty convincing Custodes Terminators in Pre-Heresy Cataphract Terminator armour. You don’t believe me? Here’s proof:

First up, an early test model for my Custodes Terminators I built using a Black Reach Terminator:


I had already abandoned the hope of actually doing a whole squad of these, since I did not want to buy a whole box of Terminators for what was ultimately more of a “why the hell not?” project. But then, the Deathwing Terminators provided me with more than enough willing subjects to build some more Custodes in tactical Dreadnought armour. Behold:


This is an assembled Deathwatch Terminator from the starter box. So I took this guy and began to transform him. Quite a bit of cutting was needed for this, since I wanted to keep the Terminators powerfist — the rivets are just screaming Pre-Heresy to me. So I needed to get rid of the shoulderpad. I cut off the entire arm, replacing the upper part with a regular Terminator arm. The other arm and torso front were put away for future projects, and I used all kinds of stuff from my bitzbox to turn this guy into a Pre-Heresy Terminator. Take a look:

Same model, ladies and gentlemen 😉

While I realise that the armour may not be a hundred percent consistent with the official artwork, I still think that enough of the visual cues are there to make this guy read as a Custodes in Cataphract armour.


I think the paintjob will do the rest 😉


As you can see above, I also built the beginnings of a Guardian Spear: The weapon was spliced together from the blade of a Nemesis force halberd, the shaft of a thunderhammer and a part of a Chaos Knight lance. I may yet add a Boltgun to transform the weapon into an actual Guardian Spear.


This first success motivated to try again. So while my second batch of cultists was drying, I took another Deathwing Termie…


…and got to work again. By the way, say about GW’s decision to make the Marines in the box DA’s what you want, the poses on those Termies are excellent!

Again, my objective was to transform this guy into a Legio Custodes Terminator. Here’s the result of that plan:


The conversion was pretty easy too! I cut off the left arm (with the chainfist), which can still be used on another conversion and removed the Terminator’s head (that was a part of the torso). I replaced the arms with parts from my bitzbox and built the foundation of another Guardian Spear. Then I added some bitz. Done!


You’ll notice that my Custodes Terminators don’t look exactly alike. The reason for that is that I am using different base models and have to make do with what’s in my bitzbox. Then again, I think it fits that those warriors should wear individualised armour: Each of them is a mighty champion of the Imperium, so I think it’s quite alright if their armour deviates from the standard design here and there.


In closing, let me just say that I am pleasantly surprised how relatively easy those Deathwing Terminators can be converted into something quite different! As long as you’re not afraid of making some bold cuts… And definitely don’t try this at home if your bitzbox isn’t well equipped! You’ll need all kinds of stuff to make these guys look the part!

And there you have it: You’ve seen all that I’ve done with my Dark Vengeance models so far! If you’ve got any questions, criticism or words of encouragement, drop me a line in the comments section!

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

Gang of four

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, Traitor Guard with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 10, 2012 by krautscientist

My recently discovered love for converting and painting Traitor Ogryns would not let me rest until the fourth member of the squad was completed, so this post will be about him.

After the last Ogryn (you know, the one with the tongue…) had been such a joy to build, I found myseld really psyched for the next model. Unfortunately, it was a bit harder to come up with yet another Ogryn without the whole thing ending up boring. The reason for this was that there is unfortunately very little diversity in the plastic Ogres: While there are lots and lots of cool bits, the kit just offers two bodies, and the positioning of the arms is very restricted.

So it took me a while to build the last squad member, but in the end I prevailed. Here’s what I came up with:



Once again, the head was quite difficult to get right: I used a helmeted Ogryn head and added some augmetic goggles. But that alone made the Ogryn look like some really flustered fat guy with glasses, so I added an Ork armour plate to give him a closed helmet once again.


I tried to combine various visual elements from the other squad members without duplicating them outright. So the Ogryn got the helmet and goggles and some armoured arms from the Ironguts kit while also sporting the armour plates and a strange tank grafted to his back. He ended up looking like a “missing” link between the first two models I built which is just what I had intended.


I really wanted to use the huge club from the Ironguts kit, since it looks like a truly improvised weapon. It took some time to get the pose right, but in the end, everything worked out rather nicely. I also added some bags to the model’s waist to make the area look less plain.

By this time, the recipe for the paintjob had been well established, so all I had to do was to follow it. This also allowed me to finish this guy in a little over two hours which is quite a feat for me. Here he is:






The Ogryn’a giant club was painted as if it was made from stone studded with rusty metal. I wanted to give it a really used look, which I think worked pretty well.

Looking back on it now, the gut plate looks a little too busy. Mabe I should have gone with something simpler there. I also managed to overlook a very noticeable moldline along the right hand. Sigh.

Apart from that, though, I quite like the result. And the best thing is that I now have a fourth member for my merry barbershop quartet. Take a look (click for a bigger picture):


These guys really look like they mean business, right?

I will probably add yet another Ogryn to bring the number of models in the squad up to five, but that will have to wait for a bit. Although I am already finding myself thinking of the next conversion in line…

Until then, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Ringleaders of the tormentors

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, Traitor Guard with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2012 by krautscientist

Now, the semi-cryptic Morrissey reference would have made much more sense if my small band of Traitor Guard were actually called “The Tormentors”, but oh well…

Anyway, I would like to show you yet more traitors today, and that’s where the ringleader part comes in: The old LNTD list allows you to field up to three Chaos Space Marine champions as a part of your traitor force. They are supposed to represent Chaos Space Marines that left their legions behind (or fallen loyal Space Marines for that matter), trying to build up their own forces. But when I started converting my traitors, I felt that I would prefer my Chaos champions to look more like they had once belonged to the same Imperial regiment as the rest of the force. Another advantage to this strategy would be that the models would be equally usable in different army lists (Chaos Champions in LNTD, officers in IG and Vraksian Renegade Militia). And I also figured that it might be a cool idea to build some champions that could be perceived to be aligned with a special Chaos God. In an overall undivided force, these would be leading squads pledged to a single god in battle. The overall theme of a rogue regiment of the Imperial Guard would remain intact, however. So with that in mind, I started converting my “ringleaders”. Here’s what I did.

The first model simply sprang from the desire to convert the WFB plastic Nurgle Lord – it’s just such a cool model that I simply couldn’t resist. Cameron’s fantastic Renegade Sergeant was also a tremendous inspiration! Even though I stayed closer to the original model in my conversion, it really didn’t take a lot to “40k-ify” the model. This is a WIP shot:


Basically all I did was to change his weapons and add a couple of bits and bobs: Instead of a two-handed axe, I used a Bolt Pistol (from the Khorne Berzerkers) and a vicious looking weapon from the WFB Chaos Knights. I had to add a bit of greenstuff to the wound where the axe handle normally rests across his belly, but apart from that, it was a fairly easy kitbash. I also added a slightly converted CSM backpack, some cabling and an electrical coil to make him look less medieval.

When painting him up, I eschewed the standard Nurgle scheme of greens and browns in favour of using my “regular” traitor colour scheme, because I wanted to tie him in with the rest of the force. I then went back and added all kinds of rust and weathering effects to represent the rot and corruption that is so typical of servants of Nurgle. Here’s the finished model:



Not only is the plastic Nurgle Lord a fantastic model, it’s also a huge amount of fun to make the paintjob go as disgusting as possible! I added some nasty yellow pustules and used gloss varnish to make his open wounds and sores look all the more horrible. But while the model clearly reads as a champion of Nurgle, he still shares the same colours as my other traitors.

As for a suitable retinue, I am thinking about a “Chem-Squad” of some sort, a unit of trenchers with gas masks, sporting a look between medieval and World War I. I am still looking for the perfect recipe, although the models will probably be based on Bretonnian Men-at-arms, taking inspiration from Dave Taylor’s fantastic “Genswick Rifles”. All in due time…

For the time being, I contented myself with building a second officer for my Traitor Guard. Here he is:





As look at the severed heads might tell you, this guy is pledged to Khorne. I didn’t want him to look too similar to a World Eater though, so I went for something a bit more subdued.

The basic model consists of the torso of the new WFB plastic chaos wizard combined with the legs from an old plastic Goliath ganger from Necromunda. I added a bare arm from the Gor kit and a chainsword arm from the normal Chaos Space Marines. The scarred head came from the Cadian command squad and was a perfect fit.


Once again, the paintjob uses the same colours as the rest of the traitors. I must say it was quite a nice change to be painting a follower of Khorne with very little red.
This guy could eventually end up leading a squad of beastmen or something of the like. But he also makes a rather nice “normal” traitor officer.

That leaves only Tzeentch and Slaanesh, although I already have a couple of ideas…

In the meantime, let’s take a look at the bigger picture: All in all, I am rather pleased with the development of my small Traitor Guard force! As of this post, here’s where the army’s at (click for a bigger picture):


The command squad and one squad of traitors are complete. The Ogryns are playable (althoug I’ll add at least one more model to the squad). I also have a number of additional champions. Another squad of traitors as well as a mysterious transport vehicle have been built but have yet to be painted. Like I said, a squad of creepy, faceless WWI-esque trenchers would be nice, and maybe there’ll be a squad of beastmen or a full blown Leman Russ at some point? Or a couple of heavy weapons teams? Or cavalry? Whatever’s fun to build and paint, I guess! With the rules for allies, I can actually use these guys even without having a fully rounded out force. I also really don’t give a hoot about their power on the table. For me, it’s usually enough that they look the part.

Let me know what you think in the comments section. As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!