Archive for starter box

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:



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?


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.


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!


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!

Dark vengeance – some more thoughts & first painted models

Posted in 40k, Chaos, paintjob, Traitor Guard with tags , , , , , , , on September 1, 2012 by krautscientist

Hey, everyone, look what the cat brought in 😉 :

Even though I’ve been into 40k for over 15 years now, this is actually my first starter box ever (the remains of the 2nd edition box sold to me ages ago by my buddy Phil don’t count  😀 ). And what a first box this is! The amount of detail in most of the sculpts is really astonishing! You have to see it to believe it.

Naturally, I couldn’t keep my fingers off the models for long, so I sat down and painted my first test pieces right away. I went for the chaos cultists. These are the guys that ended up on my desk:

I tried to paint them in colours close to the colour scheme of my regular Traitor Guard, so they would blend in. While I may yet have to tweak the recipe here and there, the first models came out reasonably well. Take a look:

Admittedly, this first guy is the model I am least pleased with, since he lacks a little pop. He may need some more work.

The second one was more of a success, though:

This guy is easily one of my favourite models in the box! He’s just so twisted and disgusting — just what you’d expect from some underhive scum following the ruinous powers.

I love all the scars and crude augmentics. His back is also something to behold:

It was really fun to make him look as distressed as possible  😉

And finally, the third one:

This is the one where the application of my Traitor Guard colour scheme works best, in my opinion. I would love to add some crude chaos iconography in white to his hood, but there’s so much tiny detail on there that it’s rather hard to do without obscuring anything. Painting those eyes was quite hard!

And finally, all three of them together:

I really love the fact that GW went for a “disgruntled workers” look above all else. All the cutlists we have seen up to now were either Traitor Guard or wearing KKK style robes. I like how these new cultists have subtle signs of both, but yet sport a very own look: that of rebelling regular citizens still in their working clothes . If you’ve read the Gaunt’s Ghosts books, these guys should really click with you!

Finally, here’s a scale shot with one of my regular Traitor soldiers:

These guys were a joy to work with, although I would advise everyone working on these to paint the arms carrying the weapons separately (or at least not attach them permanently before painting). You’ll have a much easier job that way!

From a conversion standpoint, it should be reasonably simple to do a couple of weapon swaps here and there — at least on the cultists wielding CC weapons. The guys with autoguns should be a little harder to convert.

One last thing that I really hadn’t expected from the box was that they went and added a number of small “trophies” to add to the bases: spent shell casings, skulls — those were part of the AOBR box too. But this time you’re getting a traitor’s severed head and a Chaos Marine’s helmet, trampled into the ground, as well. Those should be excellent little parts for conversions!

Anyway, that’s my first look at the models. More on this as it develops  😉

6th edition starter box – first thoughts

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Custodes, Pointless ramblings, Traitor Guard, World Eaters with tags , , , , , on August 19, 2012 by krautscientist

With “leaked” pictures of the 6th edition starter box all over the interwebz this weekend, you have probably seen the models by now. After spending the last 48 hours alternating between screaming like a little girl and fainting due to the sheer awesomness of the new chaos models, let me take a few moments to collect my thoughts on the contents of the starter box.

But first a disclaimer of sorts: I took these pictures from Faeit 212, and they originated on 4chan, I believe. And all of this is of course totally owned by Games Workshop, to give credit where credit is due. I only cropped some of the pictures to illustrate my ramblings — please don’t sue me! Thanks 😉

Alright, everyone ready? Here goes:


Well, I think we can all agree that this is all that chaos worshippers the world over were hoping for and then some. When the chaos contents of the box were first leaked, I was a little unimpressed at the inclusion of five Chosen — no more!  The new models blow everything I have seen in terms of starter boxes clean out of the water. GW was even nice enough to paint them in an almost-World Eater colour-scheme for me! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but rather approach this systematically:

Chaos Lord

The good: Well, where to start? This guy looks fantastic! Just what you imagine a twisted, millennia-old warlord of the ruinous powers to look like. I love the inclusion of a Plasma pistol, since it’ll give me the opportunity to pull off one of my cheap OSL effects. Come to think of it, the sword lends itself to shenanigans like that rather beautifully as well. This guy is great!

The bad: Well, he doesn’t look like a World Eater. But wait, is that a little stylised fanged maw on his belly — maybe he can be made to look like a World Eater easier than I suspected. Yay!

The plan: Well, I’ll definitely use this guy as some kind of officer! It remains to be seen how easily he may be converted, but the model will definitely end up in my force sooner rather than later.



These are all kinds of awesome, and they really, really look the part. Let me walk you through my plans for them:

This guy screams “Dark Apostle” to me, from the maul (Dark Crozius) to the third eye on his forehead. I’ll probably end up painting him as a Word Bearer – if only for the heck of it.

The single horn on this Chosen’s forehead somehow gives me a Nurgle vibe. But then, it’s a great idea that “generic” undivided Marines should have visual cues that call to mind different chaos gods: After all, they are worshipping all of them. Anyway, really love the pose on this guy!

Where the last model reminded me of Nurgle, this guy looks decidedly Tzeentchian in my opinion. Look at the helmet, the eye on the breastplate…. and even the weapon: If you ask me, paint up this guy in blue and gold, and you’ve got and instant Thousand Sons Rubric Marine.

It also seems that there are two of these in the set: While I am not generally opposed to repeating models (least of all in a starter box), they maybe could have done five unique Chosen. But then, that’s only a very small nitpick, considering the sheer quality of these models!

This guy is a little harder to make out due to the quality of the picture. So let me just say that he really reminds me of one of the older 90s’ metal Chaos Marines. And a bit of nostalgia is always a good idea!

And finally, easily my favourite of the bunch. This guy is just plain fantastic, from the design to the pose. I am so going to make him a World Eater! Although, he’d make for a rather nice Night Lord as well: Just add a jump pack, and you’re there!

So what’s my overall take on these?

The good: Fantastic design. Lots of variation. First really cool chosen ever. ‘Nuff said.

The bad: They could have done five unique models, of course. But my biggest gripe with these is actually the fact that their quality makes me want to instantly throw away the Chosen that I painstakingly converted myself…looks like my Chosen may be downgraded to be regular Berzerkers…

The plan: Some of these will make fantastic World Eaters. Some I may keep for different projects. All of them are fantastic, so I’ll be able to think of something 😉



This guy seems to be everybody’s darling at the moment. And rightly so! While I am not a big fan of over-the-top mutations, this beast is just off the hook! First we only had a pretty shitty metal model for nearly two decades, now we are rewarded with this —  that’s Karma for you!

The good: He’s stunning! This may be the single greatest model ever to be included in a starter kit! Can you remember the way we were blown away when GW included a freaking Dreadnought with the Black Reach box? Seems like the bar has been raised by several notches!

On a related note, I do hope that whoever did this guy also took a shot at the new Obliterators: They really do need a facelift!

The bad: My problem does not lie with the model itself, but rather with the suspicion that Hellbrutes will completely replace Dreads. The leaked ruleset looks alright, but just having converted two Dreads with a lot of weapon options, I hope that they won’t turn out to be useless this edition. But I am really rather confident, that it’ll all work out alright!

The plan: Paint it and play it. As soon as possible.



Highly anticipated, these guys come in two flavours: More dakka and less dakka. I really like the models, too. And it was about time CSM got cultists back!

the cultists with autoguns take all the right cues from the Vraksian Renegade Militia and a couple of other sources. The champion somehow looks like a traitorous commissar to me — must be the coat. He’s also wearing a Blood Pact-like grotesque. Awesome!

The CC Champion looks a little less impressive, but his followers are pretty great. I especially like the disfigured guy with the bare torso!

The good: The sculpt on these guys is really nice! They are also a godsend for INQ28 and Necromunda players. And I really love the fact that a cheaper, non-Astartes troop selection seems to have made the cut!

The bad: Quite a few duplicates here, which is a little more noticeable. They’re still great though!

The plan: All of these will be drafted into my Traitor Guard force, Urash’s Marauders and painted in the corresponding colours. That way, I’ll be able to play them as Traitor Guard or Cultists, depending on the situation. I also think they’ll look really cool in my Traitor Guard colour scheme.

I really think that the Chaos models alone are basically worth the price of admission here! If this is a first taste of what’s in store for us Chaos players, this will turn out to be an expensive year indeed!

But wait, what about the loyalist dogs?

Many people argue that the Dark Angels really got the short end of the stick. But that’s crazy talk: The fact that they seem a little underwhelming is not due to a lack of quality, but rather to how fantastic the chaos models are. Taken on their own merits, those DA models are rather great:

The Company Master and Librarian are excellent! Some people are miffed by the huge wings adorning the Company Master’s helmet, but come on: Those wings have been a huge part of the DA’s iconography for a very long time now! What kind of DA army have you been playing for the last decade?

I am, however, not particularly fond of the limited edition Chaplain: He simply doesn’t click with me. His head should have been far more skull-like, in my opinion. On the positive side, this means I won’t have to get the limited edition. Phew!

The tac Marines are indeed a little underwhelming compared to the Chosen. However, that’s really like comparing apples and oranges: There’s far more artistic license for creating armour warped by the ruinous powers. It’s not these guys’ fault that they have to wear the “boring” loyal power armour. The sergeant looks rather nice, though! Also note that these are really Dark Angels (sculpted heraldry and all): No space smurfs this time!

The good: Nice, if a little underwhelming sculpts. I really like that they are not Ultramarines for once, though!

The bad: The tactical Marines could have been cooler. I also think the chaplain’s a bit of a missed chance.

The plan: The Company Master and Sergeant seem likely recruits for my Custodes. All in all, it remains to be seen how easy these will be to convert…

The second batch of DA has a Terminator squad as well as a Ravenwing squad on bikes. This is some serious bang for the buck, if you ask me!

The good: The sculpts are very nice, and they really look like Dark Angels. No more decal shenanigans and painted on heraldry. I also hope that I’ll be able to induct these into my Custodes without too much of a hassle.

The bad: Once again, in contrast to the chaos models, these don’t really go too much beyond the established look for DA/loyal Marines. But again, you can’t fault these models for the fact that the chaos side of things got treated so poorly in the last years.

The plan: I’d really like to turn the Terminators into Custodes Cataphracts. Let’s just wait and see how hard that will be… The bikes should be reassonably simple to convert into Custodes (jet)bikes, provided they are assembled similarly to the “regular” Space Marine bikes.


All in all, this starter box is nothing short of stellar. You may keep bashing GW for their sometimes harebrained decisions or their inflexibility, but then something like this comes along and just shuts you up — if only for a minute or so. I AM SO GOING TO BUY THIS!

What are your thoughts about the new models and your plans for them? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section!

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