Archive for Terminator

Cutting up some Cataphractii

Posted in Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2016 by krautscientist

This week, let’s head back to the Heresy for a bit, as I show you my latest conversions based on models from the Betrayal at Calth box. So you’ll be seeing a lot of unpainted plastic, unfortunately, but also – hopefully – a conversion idea or two that might inspire you 😉

One thing that I have always loved about the Horus Heresy in the pre-Forgeworld days is how sketchy and adventurous it all seemed: Back when the original Visions of Heresy artbooks were released, you could get the feeling that the artists really had a lot of leeway when it came to interpreting the various armour marks and war machines of the Heresy era Astartes legions. So you would see all kinds of crazy armour designs (Wayne England’s Heresy artwork is a prime example of this), and then people would go and convert models based on that, and it was all pretty great.

Forgeworld created a more streamlined and and standardised look for the Legiones Astartes, and there’s a lot to be said for that: The various armour marks, for instance, are excellent and suitably different now, and they really allow for lots of customisation to achieve the exact look you want for your army. However, at the same time, I cannot help feeling every once in a while that some of the craziness of the pre-FW Heresy days has been lost along the way, with the new models sometimes seeming a bit less interesting than the old artwork.

Nowhere is this more obvious than with the Cataphractii design. To wit, here’s an early Cataphractii illustration (probably the first one, at that) courtesy of John Blanche:

Cataphractii illustration by John Blanche

Cataphractii illustration by John Blanche

 

Even beyond the hallmarks of John’s personal style, there’s something cool and barbaric about this individual: He looks far more than a tank than the 40k Terminators, yes, but there are also elements like the pteryges and the massive topknot that give the Cataphractii the look of a Roman legionary turned up to eleven — and that’s really just what Space Marines are, in a nutshell, right?

Forgeworld’s Cataphractii design ditches some of the zanier parts of the old art, particularly the topknots, which I think is a shame. And the plastic Cataphractii included with the Betrayal of Calth box are probably, at the same time, the best and the worst part of the entire release. The best part because a fully customisable multi part squad was definitely more than we could have expected. And the worst because the models are painfully generic and vailla, even moreso than the rest of the models from the set!

But vanilla wasn’t what I wanted for my own Cataphractii: I wanted to turn them into World Eaters, so they needed to become slightly more interesting, slightly more gladiatorial and slightly more feral, while their possible allegiance to Khorne during the latter stages of the Heresy needed to be kept at least somewhat abiguous without straying too far into 40k levels of Khornate decoration: To go all spiky and baroque on them would ultimately have lead to a 40k chaos look, and I still wanted these guys to be recognisable as 30k models. So a bit of character was needed, but not too much of it. Oh, and I also wanted to incorporate some of the small touches from the older artwork that have since fallen by the wayside. That’s quite a lot on one plate, right? 😉

I started by experimenting with a couple of bitz, and while this lies beyond the scope of this post, one thing that I have found out is that it’s relatively easy to make Cataphractii that resemble various legions’ dedicated Terminators simply by virtue of using different heads: Just discard the stock “half heads” you get with the kit (or better yet, keep them in the bitzbox for the future), and shave away that one small piece of plastic from the inside of the torso’s cowling to allow the torso to accept different heads. You will also need to shave down the heads and helmets you use a bit, so they fit snugly into the recess, but it’s really not that complicated. Just check out my quick study for Sons of Horus Justaerin and Deathshroud-like Deathguard helmets here:

Justaerin WIP
Deathshroud WIP
It took me only a couple of minutes and some different helmets to make these, and I wasn’t really serious about the endeavour, either. On a related note, check out thamier’s excellent Justaerin based on the plastic Cataphractii to see where you can take these humble base models with a bit of work.

 

Regarding my own Cataphractii, however, it took another puzzle piece for things to finally fall into place: Fellow hobbyist weirdingway (yes, the guy with the amazing Navigators) sent me some leftovers from the AoS starter box Bloodreavers. And while I own a full set of – mostly – mint Bloodreavers myself, it was while playing around with those leftover heads, daggers and doodads that I realised that the Bloodreaver parts where perfect for adding some oomph to my Cataphractii!

And once I had that idea, I just started building. So let me show you the different models in the squad, one by one:

WE Cataphractii WIP (14)
WE Cataphractii WIP (13)
WE Cataphractii WIP (12)
This is actually the second Cataphractii Terminator I built, but the first model I want to show you, because the plan here was to incorporate several elements of that JB drawing shown above: The horsehair topknot was an auto-include, since it’s such an iconic piece of the Cataphractii design for me. After experimenting with various topknots and hair pieces, I ultimately decided to use the old horse tails from the WFB Empire Knights, both because I still had some of those lying around, but also because I rather like the volume and slightly stylised look of the hair. I realise that this part may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I really think the topknots do a pretty good job of recreating that vintage look.

I also wanted the pointy fingers on the power fist, at least on this one model, so I carefully spliced together the original Cataphractii arm with a CSM power first for that slightly more vicious look. As for the head, I experimented with a shaved down Grey Knights head for a while, and it ended up resembling the illustration rather closely. But then I found the option pictured above, which I liked even better, even though it doesn’t resemble the artwork: There’s just something brutal and menacing about that Bloodreaver head that really sells the character, if you ask me.

Speaking of Bloodreavers, another part of those models was added to the model, and it’s a part that would turn into a recurring element with the squad: A Bloodreaver dagger was added to the every model in the squad, and I think it really creates a nice bit of continuity. My idea for the 4th assault company’s background is that, even during the latter days of the Crusade, their identity as hunters had already begun to assert itself, so it only seems right that each of their Cataphractii veterans should bear an ornate flensing knife, right? At the same time, the daggers also subtly hint at the World Eaters growing allegiance to a new master, as their decorations feature touches of Khornate inconography here and there.

I am really happy with this guy, as he just has the lumbering, menacing look that I think is  just right for a World Eater in Cataphractii armour.

Now you already know this guy, as he was my first Cataphractii test model from a while ago. However, I have changed the pose back to its earlier version, as the “screaming at the heavens in rage” just never gets old, especially for a World Eater 😉

WE Cataphractii WIP (10)
WE Cataphractii WIP (9)
WE Cataphractii WIP (11)
Since we last saw him, though, I’ve added a Bloodreaver dagger and a stylised daemon face belt buckle to him, and I think those elements provide just the right amount of flavour to seel him as a World Eater — the heavily scarred Bloodsecrator head helps as well, of course.

Knowing myself as well as I do, I was aware of the danger of just giving each of the Cataphractii some crazy combination of viciously barbed CC weapons (as I’ve done on my 40k Terminators). I forced myself not to indulge that urge, however, as I wanted to keep at least a bit of that more regimented, orderly 30k look. So I needed to stick to a more subdued weapons loadouts while also finding a way to make them look slightly more interesting. This next guy was an attempt at getting this right:

WE Cataphractii WIP (16)
WE Cataphractii WIP (15)
While he does use a fairly pedestrian bolter/chainfist combo, I made the chainfist look quite a bit more vicious by splicing in the blade of a CSM chainsword:

WE Cataphractii WIP (17)
Moreover, the scarred head, while originally just a placeholder, has really grown on me, as it adds another subtly feral element to the model.

Next in line was the Sergeant. I thought it would be cool if one model of the squad were to sport the classic “bunny ears” as a sign of a growing devotion to the war god. What’s more, the classic Khornate helmet crests have received some official 40k background: They are called the “Caedere Remissum” now and form a gladiatorial tradition from Angron’s “homeworld” Nuceria.

The sergeant was the obvious candidate for this element. I also gave him a slightly daemonic looking (Blood Warrior) pauldron as a test, although I think it works fairly well. Oh, and I recycled the leftover combi-bolter/melta from the Praetor for this model (we’ll be getting to the Praetor in another post, although let’s just say that he won’t be needing that combi-weapon anymore…):

WE Cataphractii WIP (19)

WE Cataphractii WIP (20)
My original plan was to exchange the sword for a chainaxe, but I really rather liked the elegant look of the weapon, mostly because it seems so very at odds with the lumbering brute wielding it. 😉

Here’s a closer look at the headcrest and the right pauldron:

WE Cataphractii WIP (21)
The one thing I am not quite happy with yet is the position of the head: I realise that it should be turned towards the combi-weapon even more, but I have already shaved quite a bit of plastic from that Bloodreaver helmet in order to make it fit, and I am actually slightly afraid of ruining it for good…

All in all, I am pretty pleased with the sergeant, though.

And finally, the heavy weapons guy. This was arguably the hardest model to get right, mostly on account of the somewhat dopey looking leg pose. I also considered arming this guy with a Reaper autocannon for a while, but eventually went for the heavy flamer included with the kit due to, you know, that whole “Kill! Maim! Burn!” thing…

So here’s the model:

WE Cataphractii WIP (24)
WE Cataphractii WIP (23)
WE Cataphractii WIP (25)
The legs remain slightly awkward, but I tweaked the pose until I could live with it. Beyond that, it was mainly a question of adding some gladiatorial touches, such as the marauder shield on the flamer. I also chose a – pretty old – rebreather head, both because a flamer guy needs a rebreather and because I really like the head’s scarred look — it doesn’t photograph to well, unfortunately, due to the older plastic.

When I posted my first Cataphractii conversions on Dakka, fellow hobbyist Anvildude suggested – only half-jokingly, I suspect – adding an “axefist” to one of the models. Much fun was had by everyone involved, trying to figure out how such a weapon would even work, but in the end, I am always up for a little fun, and I also didn’t want to repeat myself too much with this squad. So here it is, an axefist:

WE Cataphractii WIP (26)

 

My overarching impression of the plastic Cataphractii kit is that it has a lot of potential, but it also needs quite a bit of work to produce models that are a bit more characterful than the stock versions. The kit also has some slightly strange idiosyncracies — some of the arms just seem decidedly too short for me. And some of the power fists are pretty terrible, to be honest. And there’s always the fact that we don’t get any arms that allow for easy modification into CC arms, that one measly power sword arm notwithstanding. In my opinion, they should have made the chainfist an optional power first upgrade and rather included some CC arms.

At the same time, there are things that the kit does incredibly well. Chief of all among these is the fact that the finished Cataphractii really end up looking like walking tanks to a much greater degree than any 40k Terminator: They seem like massive, lumbering brutes, which I think is a great match with their depiction in the background.

Ultimately, putting in some serious work to transform the squad into something a bit more original was really worth it. I am very happy with these guys, if I do say so myself:

World Eaters Cataphractii squad WIP
They are still recognisable as Cataphractii and Legiones Astartes warriors. They are brutal and vicious enough to read as World Eaters. Some subtle, Khornate influences are already in evidence, although they do not overpower the models. These guys are hopefully going to look great in white and blue! And they have the classic topknots — what’s not to like? 😉

So yeah, so much for converting the Cataphractii from Betrayal at Calth into proper World Eaters. It goes without saying that I would love to hear any feedback you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

The Master of the Hunt

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2015 by krautscientist

“Your Emperor is no god. He is a lost soul, forever trapped within an oubliette of his own decaying flesh. If there is any justice in this world or the next, he must be howling for release somewhere in there. When one of us comes for his shriveled skull, on that last day, it will be a mercy.”

Lord Captain Lorimar of the World Eaters’ 4th assault company

 

Welcome to this week’s update and to the conclusion of what we may certainly call a long-time project. To make a long story short, today’s post will deal with the finished model for Lord Captain Lorimar, the supreme commander of my World Eaters force, Khorne’s Eternal Hunt. I have literaly spent years on perfecting a model for this character, and I am really happy to finally be able to present the finished piece to you! But all in good order…

I have written – at length – about how hard it was to create a model that was a fitting representation for Lorimar, but in the end, I came up with a suitable conversion. This one:

Lord Captain Lorimar WIP (2)
Lord Captain Lorimar WIP (3)
I am not going to regurgitate the whole story of the model’s inception here (just check out the post linked above to learn the whole story), so suffice it to say that the model was mainly the consequence of three main pieces of inspiration:

image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

image appears courtesy of Games Workshop

This first piece shouldn’t surprise you: After all, the finished model on its base clearly resembles the art. This particular illustration came from Fantasy Flight Games’ Dark Heresy, and pretty much perfectly embodies what a Chaos Lord should look like, if you ask me.

At the same time, I also wanted Lorimar to look somewhat more noble and composed than the guy above. The inspiration for that aspect of his character came from this piece of art:

Chaos_Lord_Terminator_Armour
Still very much a Chaos Lord, but one who is somewhat more regal and brooding, a look I really tried to achieve on my own model as well.

And finally, there was also an inspiration in actual model form: Wade Pryce’s absolutely gorgeous Lord Lucid Furien Kain:

Model built and painted by Wade Pryce

Model built and painted by Wade Pryce

Wade’s World Eaters army may just be the best World Eaters army in existence, and his Chaos Lord is possibly the greatest piece of all — what better role model to emulate, I ask you?

So my own model for Lord Captain Lorimar clearly tried to incorporate elements from all three sources and combine them into something I was tremendously happy with — however, the next complicated part was to actually work up the courage to paint the model!

All in all, it took me no less than three years, and it was a hobby event over at The Bolter and Chainsword that finally provided the incentive I needed: Fellow hobbyist and all around great guy Augustus b’Raass kicked off his very own event – Augustus’ Arena – and my Brother-Slaughterer Biohazard and I took this occasion to challenge each other to finally complete our respective Chaos Lords.

A short while later, Biohazard had already completed his gorgeous model for Lork Malek Deimos, master of the World Eaters’ 18th company:

model built and painted by Biohazard

model built and painted by Biohazard

Brilliant, don’t you think? There’s a reason Biohazard’s army is yet another one of my favourite World Eaters forces, after all (make sure to check out his army at your earliest possible convenience! Seriously!) 😉 But this also meant there was no weaseling out of this challenge: I was bound by honour to finally paint Lorimar, come what may.

So I cleaned the model and prepared it for undercoating — and, as it happens, I also made a fairly substantial last minute change, because I found out that the model looked even more imposing with a different cape: the massive wolf pelt that comes with the Space Wolves Terminators:

Lord Captain Lorimar WIP (4)
Lord Captain Lorimar WIP (5)
Lord Captain Lorimar WIP (6)
I had really only tried the cape for the heck of it, but I really liked the outcome! So I removed the ill-fitting wolf head, made a few small changes to the cape to make sure it fit the model’s body and also found out by sheer coincidence that the whole piece worked much better when turned around by 180 degrees on its base. So here was the finished model, right before undercoating:

Lord Captain Lorimar WIP (11)
Lord Captain Lorimar WIP (10)
Lord Captain Lorimar WIP (12)
Lord Captain Lorimar WIP (13)
Oh, and don’t worry: The original cape will still be used on the eventual, inevitable mounted version of Lorimar — scout’s honour! 😉

By this time, the deadline I had set for myself was already fast approaching, so I broke out the paints and gave it my all. And after a couple of days, the model I hadn’t dared to paint for three years finally stood before me in full colour. So without further ado, I give you Lord Captain Baltus Lorimar, commander of the World Eaters’ 4th assault company and Master of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt:

Lord Captain Lorimar (9)

Lord Captain Lorimar (1)
Lord Captain Lorimar (2)
Lord Captain Lorimar (3)
Lord Captain Lorimar (4)
Lord Captain Lorimar (5)
Lord Captain Lorimar (6)
Lord Captain Lorimar (7)
It feels strange to finally have finished Lorimar: On the one hand, I could probably name a thousand things that I could have done better. But on the other hand, I am extremely happy with the model — and really proud of finally having finished this particular project. I also think that Lorimar is a very worthy commander for Khorne’s Eternal Hunt, and a definite centre piece for my army. He remains intimidating, even when placed into the midst of his personal retinue, Lorimar’s Fist:

Lord Captain Lorimar and retinue (2)

I think I have mentioned before how I wanted each of these models to be unique, and I think I have suceeded with that, wouldn’t you agree?

A very heartfelt thank you to Biohazard, without whom Lorimar would probably have remained unpainted for another couple of years. In fact, seeing how this project has basically been a collaboration between the two of us, I even whipped up a small image to commemorate the occasion:

Brothers02

But wait, there’s more! Because with today’s update, you actually get two models for the price of one, so to speak!

In addition to my 40k version of Lorimar, I have also been sitting on a 30k version of the same character for a good long while: Some of you may remember when I picked up some models from my fellow German hobbyist AgnostosTheos a while ago. The two of us had been engaging in a little project where AT was going to build 30k versions for some of my World Eaters. But then he sold off his army, unfortunately, and left me with no other choice than to pick up some of the pieces. Among those pieces was a converted Terminator model that I thought would be a rather nice fit for a 30k version of Lorimar:

Model built and painted by AgnostosTheos

Model built and painted by AgnostosTheos

As you can see, the model was already basically finished, save for the hands and weapons — so it was really easy to choose fitting weapons to make the character resemble his 40k incarnation. I also built a base for the model (and, again, made it subtly similiar to the 40k version). And here’s the result: Captain Baltus Lorimar circa M32:

Captain Lorimar M32 (2)
Captain Lorimar M32 (1)
Captain Lorimar M32 (7)
Captain Lorimar M32 (5)
Captain Lorimar M32 (4)
Captain Lorimar M32 (3)
Again, just to be perfectly clear: I can merely claim responsibility for the hands, weapons and base. The rest of the model was beautifully painted by AgnostosTheos! Oh, and I did add a chain decal to Lorimar’s right vambrace:

Captain Lorimar M32 (9)
This is a sign of him having won his captaincy in the fighting pits by slaying his commanding officer — a rather important part of his backstory!

I am also rather happy with the arid ground on the model’s base, created by a generous helping of Agrellan Earth:

Captain Lorimar M32 (10)
And here’s a comparison shot with both the Pre- and Post Heresy versions of the character:

Lorimar then and now
I am really happy with those two guys, to be honest 😉

And finally, after having met so many of Lorimar’s subordinates and after having seen the man himself, all that remains is to take a closer look at his personal background:

Master of the Hunt
Lord Captain Baltus Lorimar, commander of the World Eaters’ 4th assault company and Master of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt:

Baltus Lorimar has been the 4th assault company’s commander ever since the days of the Great Crusade. A divisive figure among the officers of his sundered legion due to his actions at the battle of Skalathrax, Lorimar has nevertheless managed to stay in command of one of the biggest World Eaters warbands, and one of the few still managing to maintain some kind of discipline and order.

Born on the blasted plains of Europa in the aftermath of the Unification Wars, Lorimar was indentured into the growing Legiones Astartes as part of the tithe the Terran clans had to pay to the Emperor who had defeated them. He became a legionary of the XII Legion, quickly rising to the position of a line officer during the Great Crusade. When the legion was reunited with its Primarch, Lorimar had been stripped of his command and incarcerated by Valna, Captain of the War Hounds’ 4th assault company, because he had refused an Imperial noble’s order to execute a squad of abhuman auxiliarii after a battle. Once the Primarch came across Lorimar during his inspection of the legion flagship, he freed him and offered him another chance to prove himself. This act made Lorimar fiercely loyal to Angron, and he would continue to follow the Primarch unquestioningly, even as his fellow legionaries grew more and more wary of the Red Angel. Lorimar later won his captaincy in the fighting pits, killing his former captain Valna and taking command of the 4th.

During the latter days of the Great Crusade, the 4th fought in the Eastern Fringe at the side of the Word Bearer’s Piercing Gaze Chapter. Lest the 4th evade the corrupting influence of the ruinous powers, First Chaplain Erebus of the XVIIth tasked the Chaplain of the Piercing Gaze Chapter, Belzas Azalon, with introducing warrior lodges and the covert worship of the Primordial Truth to the 4th assault company. Azalon brought Lorimar into contact with the Cult of Cron, a warrior cult the young captain eagerly adopted in order to provide his company with an identity and a code of martial honour.

Once the 4th was reunited with the rest of the legion, Lorimar was very pleased to see that a similar warrior culture had begun to form all across the legion, with the legionaries accepting their Primarch’s gladiatorial origins and cobbling together a mongrel culture from it.

Captain Lorimar at Istvaan

Captain Lorimar at Istvaan

The Heresy itself went by in a red haze, with Lorimar, like many of his battle brothers, growing more and more into a frenzied madman. He and his company were on their way to madness and damnation until the Skalathrax campaign. During the Long Night of Skalathrax, Lorimar suddenly came to and realised, in a terrible moment of lucidity, that the actions of 8th Captain Khârn were about to shatter the legion and wipe out the company he had sacrificed everything for.

In a move nearly unprecedented for a World Eaters officer, Lorimar and the remains of his company withdrew from Skalathrax before the battle was over. While Lorimar’s actions saved a substantial part of the company and made sure it would continue to function as a fairly coherent fighting force, they also earned him the disdain, if not enmity, of many of his fellow officers, who still refer to him as “Lorimar the Craven”.

Ever since, the 4th has been just as threatened by the corrupting influence of chaos and the madness of the Butcher’s Nails as every other World Eaters warband. To combat the effects of this decline and in order to keep the madness at bay, Lorimar used the ancient warrior codes of his company to formulate an ethos strictly based on honour and martial pride: His company embarked upon an Eternal Hunt, endeavouring to kill the strongest warriors and run down the worthiest prey.

Even though the 4th has remained a fairly large and coherent force, the legionaries always have to fight against the encroaching madness, with infighting and rampant frenzy all too common within the company. So far, Lorimar has managed to quell these uprisings with an iron fist.

When not on the battlefield, the Lord Captain is given to bouts of dark brooding, filled with resentment at the ruination of his legion, with disgust at the depths to which many of his former brothers have sunk, and with burning hatred at Khârn, whom he considers the destroyer of the XII Legion.

 

Let me know what you think! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

3rd birthday and some tributes to the Hunt

Posted in Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2015 by krautscientist

yearthree

Oh my, Eternal Hunt has turned three! I think we can actually call this blog settled now, can’t we? 😉

Seriously, though: I am very happy to have managed three years of constant blogging about my various hobby projects, and I am also quite proud of the numbers: There have been 256 posts overall (62 of those in during my third year of blogging). What’s more, this blog has managed to attract about 360,000 views in total — and more than 175,000 of those views during my third year of blogging — just to put things into perspective: That’s only slightly less than the overall number of views on this blog in its first and second years together! All of this is really pretty amazing, given the fact that it’s just little ol’ me and my shoddily painted little plastic men here 😉

I am also really proud of having managed to attract 177 followers and receive visitors from as many as 138 counties! You guys rock, and I want to assure you that every single comment is really important for keeping me on track and for bolstering my (often fleeting) hobby motivation! So please keep reading and please keep participating! You guys are the only proof that I am not just talking to myself here, in my little bubble within the warp!

But I don’t just want to bombard you with numbers today, I would also like to promise you that I will keep updating this blog with my latest conversions, paintjobs and my thoughts about new model releases. There will be quite a bit of red and bronze, seeing how my World Eaters continue to be my most important hobby project:

Khorne's Eternal Hunt 2014 02
But there will also be more shadowy figures from the underhive. And blinged-out guys in golden armour (hopefully). And grennskins n football gear, I suppose?!

 

For now, by way of celebration, allow me to share two things that may not have been intended as birthday gifts for this blog in the first place, but that nevertheless please me very much. And either of these would not have come into existence without my venturing out into the wilds of the internet in order to chronicle my hobby endeavours 😉

 

I. A portrait of an angry man

First up, I believe I may have mentioned some time ago that I managed to win a small competition run by fellow hobbyist Greyall. For those who don’t know Greyall, he is known for producing extraordinarily detailed and awesome line artwork depicting (Chaos) Space Marines, so it won’t be a big surprise to you that I’ve craved such a piece of artwork showing one of my characters for quite a while.

So imagine my joy when Greyall liked my conversion for Lord Captain Lorimar well enough to render him in his trademark style! Allow me to share the result with you. Just to remind you, here’s my converted (but yet unpainted, alas) model for Lorimar:

Lord Captain Lorimar WIP (2)

And here’s Greyall’s take on the character, showing the Master of the Hunt during a duel with a warp-spawned monstrosity in service to Slaanesh:

Lord Captain Lorimar by Greyall

Lord Captain Lorimar by Greyall

What can I say? Finally having such an awesome piece of art depicting what may be the most important character from my favourite army project makes me so happy! A huge thank you to Greyall! And definitely make sure to head over to Greyall’s thread at The Bolter & Chainsword or to his DeviantArt page and check out his amazing work! Now the only thing left to do is to find someone to professionally colour this piece for me…

 

II. A hunter’s story

The second thing I would like to show you today is a bit of a cooperative project: Some time ago, Flint13 (also one of my hobbyists of the year 2014, in case you forgot) approached me with an idea for a fun hobby challenge: Flint wanted to build and paint a character from Khorne’s Eternal Hunt as a bit of a shout out to my army, and I was to compose an accompanying bit of fluff. Knowing that Flint usually doesn’t relish the prospect of doing 40k chaos, I was pretty honoured by this idea, and a short time later, she showed me this picture of the completed model:

The Hunter by Flint13 (1)

Model converted and painted by Flint13

Certainly a worthy addition to Khorne’s Eternal Hunt, wouldn’t you say? But what about this guy’s background? Well, let me share the story I came up with. Enjoy!

 

Hunters

Flames were already billowing from the ramshackle habs as the Hunter strode into the settlement. He turned his horned helm this way and that, surveying the destruction and slaughter surrounding him. What remained of the poor wretches who had eked out a meagre living here in the freezing wastelands of a backwater world at the fringes of Imperial space spoke of violent, careless slaughter, but there was something more underneath it: A frantic need the Hunter understood but found distasteful.
He paced around the main square of the settlement, his warrior’s mind piecing together the events: the desperate but eventually futile struggle. The bloodletting. And what seemed to be the pursuit of a few settlers that had somehow managed to escape the slaughter. The Hunter examined the tracks leading through the outer parts of the settlement and into the wilderness beyond, already being covered up by the falling snow, here where the heat of the flames was not as intense.

The Hunter cocked his head, listening and sniffing. Again, his head turned this way and that, as he tried to find a trace of his prey. Suddenly, he paused. And if someone had been very close by, they might have noticed a telltale glint of bared teeth behind his helmet’s mouth slit: a feral, hungry thing of a smile. But nobody was there to see. All that remained in the settlement was death. His ancient warplate thrumming, the Hunter set off towards the east. Towards his prey.

***

The thrill of the hunt started to recede, and already Iriralar Nightclaw was feeling a flutter of disappointment. He had spent hours artfully stalking his prey, slowly separating each of the Mon’Keigh’ from the group, then taking them down one by one. If he had just wanted to kill them, it would have been a quick task, but Iriralar had wanted to wring every possible drop of pleasure from this particular hunt, and he had succeeded in that. Nevertheless, with the game so very nearly over, he couldn’t help feeling a nagging sense of regret.
He looked at the poor wretch scrambling away from him now on hands and knees, leaving crimson traces in the snow. Still so desperate to get away. Iriralar almost had to smile in recognition of his prey’s perseverance. Alas, all good things must come to an end.
Slowly, ever so slowly, Iriralar drew his blades, the curved steel only giving the faintest whisper as it slid from its twin sheaths. The Mon’Keigh stared at him in utter horror and despair, but still kept crawling away from him. Iriralar bared sharp, pearly white teeth in a predator’s smile:
“So then, shall we dance?”

When it was over – and it was over far too soon – Iriralar stepped back from what remained of his prey. It was not much, and even that would soon be lost under a blanket of snow. Iriralar slowly breathed in the sweet scent of a dying soul. He would have to return to his raiding party soon.
Going after a pack of Mon’Keigh cattle on his own was an indulgence, surely, but nobody would dare reprimand the Lord Archon’s own son for such behavior. Iriralar smiled to himself…
…and froze.

There was something close by. Iriralar could smell it. Surely, none of his prey could have eluded him? He focused and inhaled. Indeed, it was a Mon’Keigh. But there was something more: The creature’s animal stink was compounded by the acrid tang of a metabolism retuned, a body crudely reshaped into something else…and there was something underneath all of that, something even more sublime… Iriralar smiled to himself. Maybe this hunt was not over after all…

***

The hunt had been going on for hours now, and Iriralar’s earlier exhilaration at the prospect of worthy prey had begun to turn into a nagging sense of irritation. It felt like his quarry was leading him around in circles, but there seemed to be little point in it: He kept his distance, yet always stayed in sight. There was something decidedly off about this situation, and Iriralar craved some kind of resolution

He had at first thought the Mon’Keigh to belong to one of the primitive warrior orders that had pledged themselves to the carrion god. But not this one – just a few short glances at his ancient power armour were proof that the Astartes served one of the lords of the warp: the Blood God. Which made this game of cat and mouse all the more irritating and strange.
Suddenly, the towering form came to a halt, standing at the center of a clearing Iriralar was sure they had passed before.  With a hum of servo motors, the Mon’Keigh turned to face Iriralar.

The towering figure seemed like a heathen idol dreamt up by a madman: The bulky Astartes armour was jagged and baroque, with talismans and trophies dangling from its shoulder pads. Across the Mon’Keigh’s chest was a bandolier of skulls that clacked softly with every move. And though encrusted with hoarfrost, the arterial red and brass of the armour was clearly visible beneath.

Iriralar had learned the Mon’ Keigh language, not out of a fascination with their culture, but for a far more practical reason: He enjoyed being able to understand his prey’s last whimpered words.  He had thus become very familiar with the intricacies of the Mon’Keigh’s blunt and primitive emotions, and it was for this reason that he was able to hear a smile in the Astartes’ voice when he called out to Iriralar: “Time to end this, don’t you think?”
As if to accompany his words, he slowly drew his weapons: a huge axe and an ancient, baroque chainblade. He gunned the chainblade’s trigger, as if to check its function, and the axe’s head flared up in a blue white power field. Iriralar thought he could make out the glint of a smile underneath the warrior’s horned helmet, but before he could be sure, the massive Astartes threw himself at Iriralar with astonishing speed. Iriralar’s blades hissed from their sheats, and the dance was on.

Fast though he might have been, the Mon’Keigh was too slow for Iriralar: It was almost too easy to avoid his swings and sidestep his towering form. At the same time, however, his thick warplate deflected most of Iriralar’s probing slashes, so he would need to wait for an opening, for an exposed joint or a bared throat. But he was patient enough – his earlier irritation had been replaced with a feeling of rapture that made his blood run hot.

On and on, the dance went, the snow underneath slowly turning into a slippery trap. Iriralar noticed the first telltale signs of fatigue in his enemy, the strain of having to keep up with a much faster opponent. His lips peeled back from his white teeth in an amused smile: Time to end this.

The huge Mon’Keigh attacked. Too slow. Always too slow. Iriralar almost laughed out loud as he ghosted out of the way and saw his enemy stumble forward due to his momentum, opening up an opportunity to strike. This was it. Iriralar saw his stumbling enemy as though in slow motion as he jumped forward. He would end the Mon’Keigh beast. So close now. Just a hearbeat until the kill.
The moment his feet touched the ground, there was a sharp, metallic sound. Then pain, unbearable pain. Iriralar’s eyes snapped to the ground, seeing the ugly, serrated metal jaws that had lain hidden underneath the thick blanket of snow. That had closed with a whip crack when he had disturbed the trap, punching through his legs, tearing flesh and breaking bone. With a cry of anguish, Iriralar crumpled to the floor in a graceless slump.
He felt the rush of the combat stims that took the white hot edge off the pain, and he tried to get up, to get away. But the jagged metal teeth would not let go, pinning him to the ground. Over his own panting breath, Iriralar could hear a low chuckle, as the towering form of the Mon’Keigh approached him:

“It is an old trick, I will give you that. But one that does not produce any heat or scanner readings. All it requires is a bit of preparation.”

Iriralar frantically tried to reach his fallen blades, but it was impossible. He could not get away either. The strain made the blood pump from his legs at an alarming rate, and he could feel the spike of pain even through the haze induced by the combat drugs. The Mon’Keigh slowly circled him, seeming amused by the situation. He pointed to the scrimshawed bone trinkets adorning Iriralar’s armour:
“I see you enjoy taking trophies”, he growled, “In that, we are not so different, you and I.”
Irialar spat a gob of bloody phlegm at the Astartes and bared his teeth in a rictus grin: “Do you expect me to be afraid, filthy Mon’Keigh? There is nothing you could possibly do to me that would scare me.”

Once more, Iriralar could hear the smile in the Mon’Keigh’s words: “Ah, but that is where you are wrong. You see, a good hunter learns all there is to learn about his prey, is that not right? And I have had a very long time to learn…”

With that he pulled something from a pouch at his belt and held it out. A glint of metal was visible as the small object fell from his hand, dangling by a fine silver thread. A jewel, it seemed. Iriralar focused on the gem, in spite of the pain, in spite of the danger. It seemed important somehow. He focused and felt his blood run cold:
Dangling from the Astartes’ fist was a spirit stone.

“So, then. Shall we begin?”

***

When it was over, the Hunter stepped away from his prey. He had learned much, more than he had anticipated. It had been a successful hunt.

He opened a vox channel and said but a single word:

“Hokar”
“Acknowledged”, came the Huntmaster’s reply. His spireborn sneer of a voice managed to make a single word sound haughty, even over the temperamental vox. The arrogant high-rider bastard.
“Scouting complete. The Eldar pirates have moved on the main settlements. They do not suspect our presence and should be blind to anything but their current…entertainment.”
“Numbers?”
“Only a raiding party about a hundred strong. It seems they did not expect much resistance. In that, they were wrong.”
“And the Archon?”
“He is with them. He has led us a merry dance, but now the hunt is nearly at an end.”
“Maybe. Did you get visual confirmation?”
“Of course. What do you take me for?”
Hokar did not miss a beat: “What I take you for right now, hunter, is a soldier two hundred clicks off his mark, which I am certain you have a perfectly valid reason for. What, pray tell, have you been doing down there?”
“Tying up some loose ends. But fear not, I am on my way.” Again, anybody near enough to witness this exchange might have seen that telltale glint of teeth that gave away the Hunter’s smile as he terminated the vox link.
And maybe, just maybe, such a person would also have noticed  a small gem now dangling from the Hunter’s belt. A strange touch of beauty on the legionary’s jagged and pitted armour, the stone was now  imbued with a fire that rendered it even more beautiful. But nobody was there to witness this, so it went unnoticed.

The Hunter set out towards the west, where new prey waited.

 

Flint seemed to be happy enough with this little vignette — in fact, she even changed the model to incorporate an element of the story. Take a close look:

The Hunter by Flint13 (2)

Model converted and painted by Flint13

So thanks to Flint13 for building and painting such a worthy new recruit for the 4th assault company! And for making me get off my arse and write a suitable piece of background!

 

And, of course, thanks to you all! I am always happy to hear any feedback you might have — just drop me a comment! And stick around for year four, alright? 😉

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

Blood and Brass, pt. 2: Once more into the breach!

Posted in Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2015 by krautscientist

Welcome to the second instalment of this mini-series about my latest additions to the ranks of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt, in which we meet yet another friendly face from the 4th assault company. And while the Doomwall was already pretty heavily armoured, we’ll be cranking up the heavy metal factor a notch for this guy — that’s right, we’re talking about another Dreadnought/Helbrute for my World Eaters!

Everything started when I bought myself a Dreadnought sprue from the Black Reach boxed set a while ago. Since working on my earlier Dreadnoughts had also resulted in a rather sizeable collection of different Dreadnought weapons, I felt that building another customisable Dread would be the best way to make the most out of all those weapon options. And since I wanted to keep things easy and cheap, using the AOBR Dread as a base model seemed to be the sensible way to go here.

When the model arrived, I found myself messing around with a couple of bitz to find out which approach I was going to take for the Dread. Here’s a very early version of the model from that time:

Chaos Dread early WIP

But while some of the characteristics of the early WIP above did indeed carry through to the final version, I just couldn’t really seem to get a grip on figuring out what kind of model I wanted. Once more, the Call of Chaos event was a nice occasion to finally force myself into action and get my act together, so I pledged a Dreadnought/Helbrute as part of my vow. With that, I had set myself a firm deadline, and even for a lazy slacker like me, there’s nothing quite as conductive to creativity as a bit of well applied pressure 😉

One of the main problems was that the AOBR Dread comes in only seven pieces, and the entire body is basically made up of two pieces — an excellent piece of economical design, to be sure, but it makes converting the model slightly more difficult. There was also the fact that I couldn’t get too adventurous with the arms, seeing how I wanted to keep them detachable.

In the end, thinking about what kind of character I wanted this Dread to be really turned out to be the breakthrough. I already have a frenzied berserker Dread (Marax the Fallen), a noble ancient of the company (Khoron the Undying) and a tragic, malformed monster (Khorlen the Lost), so I wanted this newest Dreadnought to fill yet another character archetype: the stoic line soldier.

In the end, I decided that he is a former Breacher Sergeant, and from there on out, it was pretty easy to design the Dreadnought around that concept and include some visual touches that would underline that background idea: A chaos knight shield was attached to his left shoulder as a kind of stylised boarding shield, for one. I also souped up the (really boaring) standard power fist by adding some spiky bitz from the WFB chaos chariot, in order to make it look like a miniature version of the siege claws wielded by the Chaos Decimator. And I found out that one of the Skullcrusher helmets – minus the Khornate “bunny ears” – made for a pretty convincing Mk III helmet.

And, like I said, what really made this model happen was the pressure of having to get my act together for the Call of Chaos vow 😉 Here’s the finished conversion again:

Breacher Dread WIP (1)
Breacher Dread WIP (2)
Breacher Dread WIP (3)
Painting the Dread was a relatively straightforward affair, but then it has to be said that I really like painting Dreads to begin with: There’s just something to their scale and angularity that makes them really enjoyable to paint. The one thing that was slightly more difficult on this model was that the torso and legs came in one big piece, so I had to paint it all in one go. Apart from that, however, it was smooth sailing all the way.

Before I show you the whole model, I’d like to share a small detail that I am quite happy with: I have wanted to feature a mostly destroyed Necron warrior on one of my bases for a long time — as a shout out to the iconic ending of the original Terminator movie, and now I finally went for it:

Breacher Dread base detail (1)
Breacher Dread base detail (2)

t’s certainly just a small thing, but there’s a nice irony about two dead guys who both inhabit machine bodies sharing one base like this, don’t you think?

Anyway, without further ado, here’s the finished Dread:

Damokk the Breacher (3)
Damokk the Breacher (11)
Damokk the Breacher (5)
Damokk the Breacher (6)
Damokk the Breacher (13)
Damokk the Breacher (8)

And the remains of that poor Necron again, leaking oily fluid onto the ground…

Damokk the Breacher (9)

One thing I really wanted to do this time around was to use some decals on the Dreadnought’s armour, in order to give him a slightly more businesslike, soldierly feel. I chose one of the excellent legion symbols from the Forgeworld World Eaters decal sheet for the armour panel on the Dread’s right side. For the other panel, I wanted to include his legion number — but it was actually pretty difficult to find a numeral XII in white that would fit the fairly limited space! The solution was to use a decal from the Cadian shock troops and cut it down to size. It’s a small detail, to be sure, but one that I really think adds to the model as a whole:

Damokk the Breacher (12)
In fact, I like the effect so much that I am seriously considering going back to my earlier Dreads and adding some decals to them as well..

And since I’ve kept the arms detachable, the model can now be used with all the different extra Dreadnought weapons I have built so far. Here’s an example of a more “shooty” loadout:

Damokk the Breacher (10)
It seems pretty shocking to me in hindsight, but this is indeed my fourth Dreadnought! But like I said, there’s just something about these guys that appeals to me, rules be damned! 😉
In fact, I think I may have one more Dreadnought in me at a later date. The only thing to decide is whether I want it to be a Dread for my fallen Space Wolves (who are allies to my World Eaters) or a huge, warp-infused beast. Or both?

For now, however, the only thing left to do was to come up with a bit of background for this latest ancient of the 4th assault company and then call it a day. Enjoy:

 

Brother Damokk, “The Breacher”

Damokk the Breacher (15)
Originally a member of the fabled Triarii, Brother Damokk quickly found his true calling as a Breacher Sergeant and member of the 4th assault company during the turbulent days after the purging of Nuceria. He excelled as a warrior in shipboard actions and when it came to breaching fortified positions, and his prowess was so great that, upon suffering fatal injuries during a boarding action, it was decided to grant him the honour of serving the 4th as a Dreadnought.

Damokk’s ironform still bears many cues of his former station, such as his stylised boarding shield or the visor of his primary visual interface unit, shaped like an Mk 3 helmet. And his favourite armament, a combination of Multimelta – complete with underslung chainblade –  and siege claw, serves as yet another reminder of his time in the World Eaters’ Breacher squads.

On the battlefield, Damokk implacably dismantles enemy fortifications with a surgical precision not often seen in a World Eater. In fact, Huntmaster Deracin has been known to jest that, if not for the numeral “XII” emblazoned on his ironform, Damokk would probably forget the fact that he is not an Iron Warrior…

 

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!

Blood and Brass, pt. 1: Silent Behemoth

Posted in Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 4, 2015 by krautscientist

“There are rumours that Brother Garron hasn’t uttered a single word since the beginning of the Long War, and there may be some truth to that. But tell me: After being felled and left for dead by those he considered brothers on the blasted plains of Istvaan, after the shame of Terra and after the sundering of our once glorious legions during the hellish night of madness on Skalathrax, what is there left to say?”
Huntmaster Deracin

 

Alright, everyone, I promised you red and brass, and I intend to make good on that promise! So let’s kick of a mini-series focusing on my World Eaters in order to show you the models I have managed to complete over the Christmas holiday, as part of my Call of Chaos vow over at The Bolter & Chainsword! You may already have seen the first model that was part of the vow, my custom Khârn the Betrayer. Today, let’s continue with a model I am particularly proud of.

I am talking about the Doomwall, a Chaos Lord named for his massive suit of ancient Terminator armour. The armour is the most important thing here, because this project originally began as an attempt to build a (plastic) model incorporating visual elements from GW’s elusive Mk 1 Tactical Dreadnought armour, as seen in this plan view:

Mk_01_concept
Or in this concept sketch for Terminators in the original Space Hulk by Jes Goodwin:

Mk_01_concept
If you want the full story, the project originally started here and then massively improved thanks to a fantastic piece of advice by fellow hobbyist Carnosaur93 regarding the placement of the shoulder pads. More inspiration for the actual conversion was drawn from two excellent pieces of art by Greyall for his characters Pramus Kholosk (of the Imperial Fists) and Mjuron Vvharkhor (of the World Eaters). Greyall’s art was especially helpful for this project, because it moves beyond the somewhat clunky and outdated original design and explores what a modern interpretation of the Mk 1 armour might look like, were Forgeworld to explore the idea today.

So after much to and fro, I settled on this final version of the Doomwall:

The Doomwall WIP (22)

I do realise of course that this is not a perfectly accurate rendition of Mk 1 armour: There are far more faithful renditions of the original designs around — just check out Dark Rage’s excellent Mk 1 Terminators, for example. There’s also the fact that I have incorporated a number of visual cues from different armour variants on the model: The crest of hair came from the original artwork in the Horus Heresy trading card game depicting Cataphractii armour, while the reactor section was inspired by the actual Forgeworld Cataphractii models. The legs have remained unchanged, representing the chaos version of Indomitus armour, rather than the actual Mk 1 design — you could probably say that this model is my attempt at a “best of” collection of pre-heresy Terminator armour design cues, with a noticeable Mk 1 bend.

Oh, and I’ve explained it before, but just in case: The Space Wolves thunder hammer was chosen because the wolf head on it could also be interpreted as a representation of the War Hounds’ original legion badge, before they were reborn as the World Eaters.

So the conversion had been finished for a while, but I was still waiting for the right moment to paint it (which basically translates to: I was too afraid and/or lazy to actually start painting in my case). But the Call of Chaos provided the perfect incentive! And so, a short while later, the Doomwall was finished (this was actually the last model I painted in 2014, finished on December 31st):

The Doomwall (1)
The Doomwall (9)
The Doomwall (8)
The Doomwall (7)
The Doomwall (5)
The Doomwall (4)
The Doomwall (2)

The Doomwall (6)
There’s not that much to say about the paintjob, really: I basically gave the Doomwall my usual World Eaters treatment, and he really does look pretty sexy in red and bronze, don’t you think? I also added a bit of a visual flourish to the base, in the form of an unfortunate, long dead loyalist Astartes.

And here’s the Doomwall together with the other members of Lord Captain Lorimar’s retinue that have been finished so far. Behold the beginnings of Lorimar’s Fist:

Lorimar's Fist (2)
The objective I am trying to accomplish for these guys is to come up with a squad of Terminators where every model is quite unique, with their own individual set of weapons and customised armour (which is a bit ironic, really, when you consider that most of the models so far are based on the same Chaos Lord in Terminator armour…;) Anyway, I am really happy with the way these guys are coming along, because they look very much like World Eaters (at least to me), without merely aping the look of the FW World Eaters Terminators. Alright, yes, one of them actually is a FW World Eaters Terminator, but that’s besides the point 😉

All in all, I am very happy with the Doomwall: The model looks massive and intimidating, yet there is also something almost contemplative about this guy, don’t you think?

The massive armour and closed helmet also makes him seem somewhat mysterious, if you ask me, and it was this quality that I wanted to expand upon for the character’s background:

 

Brother Garron, “The Doomwall”

Silent Behemoth
In battle, the hulking figure of Brother Garron is a sight to be feared, a towering, utterly silent warrior, smashing all opposition with mighty swings of his enormous thunder hammer, his baroque suit of artificer warplate seemingly impervious to damage. This has earned him the epithet Doomwall, and it is a name spoken with a certain tenseness by the legionaries of the 4th, for so much about this silent Behemoth is shrouded in mystery: Why does his weapon still bear the heraldic device of the War Hounds? And while his heavily modified suit of prototype Tactical Dreadnought Armour stands as a testament to Huntmaster Deracin’s ingenuity, what remains of the man within?

Some whisper that Garron actually fought in the first wave at Istvaan III, as part of the loyalist remnants of the legion that were to be purged by their own brethren. Yet how he survived that ordeal and why he now serves as a silent enforcer to Lord Captain Lorimar remains an enigma. Only the Master of the Hunt himself and his most trusted lieutenants could divulge more of the Doomwall’s history, yet they seem reluctant to do so.

And in any case, the only mind holding the absolute truth of the matter would be that of Brother Garron himself — and he remains ever silent…

 

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