Archive for The Jewel of July ’20

The Hateful Eight

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2020 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, today marks a bit of a special occasion in a – so far – otherwise thoroughly unproductive hobby year, because I can actually announce the completion of a project — at least in a way, that is… So what is this about?

Back in May of 2019, I finally caved and bought some of the – then brand new – updated Chaos Space Marine models. I didn’t want to update my entire World Eaters army, but the new kits were just too cool to resist, so I came up with the idea to limit myself to a Kill Team sized project, tentatively named “The Hateful Eight”, a squad of new World Eaters, where every model would be heavily converted and customised to match, as closely as possible, my ideal version of what a World Eater should look like in the year 2020 . I also wanted to paint them to the best of my ability — or at least, using a heavily tweaked recipe.

It has taken me over a year, but I have finally managed to complete eight World Eaters for this project. So please meet “The Hateful Eight”:

It’s a bit pathetic, really, to have taken more than twelve months to come up with this squad, considering other people have used the Covid19-induced downtime to chew through dozens or even hundreds of models. But if nothing else, this squad comes closer than any of my previous attempts to encapsulating what I think World Eaters should look like — or rather, what my World Eaters should look like. And in that respect, at least, this definitely feels like a triumph!

At the same time, I have also used this project to come up with some models that serve as shout outs and tributes to particular pieces of artwork or to classic World Eaters models, which also turns this project into a bit of a historic showcase. So let’s take a look at the members of the Hateful Eight in turn, before we finish with the latest member and some more group shots, alright? Step this way:


This was the model that started it all, and it wasn’t really inspired by any classic source. The model was rather a test for how the new CSM kits could be used to build convincing World Eaters, plus it also served as a proper opportunity to try out my new and tweaked colour scheme. I am still pretty happy with the finished model — that tusked helmet, in particular, is really cool, and the added bunny ears actually make it look even more badass, wouldn’t you agree?

Another model that wasn’t really inspired by a piece of artwork or an existing archetype. Then again, this guy was actually “salvaged”, so to speak, both from the pile of shame and the earlier incarnation of my World Eaters — in fact, the model was originally converted allll the way back in 2013 (!), back when Dark Vengeance was released and blew us all away with its (then) revolutionary CSM models!

Which makes me all the happier that this guy’s story has at least come to a happy conclusion! Plus the model has also provided me with the perfect opportunity to finally experiment with some variety in skin tones for the members of the 4th assault company, something I’ll definitely be repeating on some of the future models!

The third model uses one of the excellent Blood Warriors from the First Edition Age of Sigmar starter box. The model is actually one of my favourite models in the squad and comes very close to my idea of a quintessential 40k World Eater: massive, clad in vicious, baroque armour, and full of the wrath of Khorne. Oh, and the model also very much serves as a shout out to some of the rather excellent, mid-90s Khorne Berzerker champions, like this one:

Those were actually some of my very first World Eaters models (after getting into this whole mess with a box of plastic berzerkers that had just been released back then — can you imagine that?). Those metal berzerkers and champions were pretty tough to get hold of back then, at least if you didn’t live close to a GW store, and I actually bought the gentleman you see above during a trip to Cologne back in 1999 or 2000 or so. Ah…good times… 😉

This next model was very much intended as a shout out, too, as it was an attempt to channel one of the most iconic pieces of World Eaters art, courtesy of Mark Gibbons:

Artwork by Mark Gibbons

A shout out must also go to my fellow hobbyist ElDuderino, who supplied the excellent, spliced-together helmet that seemed just perfect for this conversion. In his honour, this particular World Eater will henceforth be known as “Brother Orsca of Skandia” 😉

The next member of the Hateful Eight is another holdover from my “old” World Eaters (and another conversion based on one of the Dark Vengeance Chosen). At the same time, however, this model was actually inspired by a very cool piece of artwork courtesy of Diego Gisbert Llorens:

illustration by Diego Gisbert Llorens

Next up, a model that wasn’t really inspired by any source, but rather served as an attempt to explore one of the main archetypes defining the World Eaters as a legion: its gladiatorial traditions.

The massive, archaic armour was supposed to hint at the fact that this legionary used to belong to the “Triarii”, the World Eaters’ famous boarding troops. I also really wanted to include a squad member with an Mk. III helmet, for an even more archaic look. The ball and chain weapon was added to evoke the “meteor hammer”, another weapon choice that has its roots in the legion’s gladiatorial traditions.

Next up, the provisional squad leader, and definitely one of my favourite members of the Hateful Eight:

This model basically started out as an attempt to do something with the somewhat hokey “twin axe” bit that came with the Age of Sigmar Blood Warriors. The result is a character that embodies yet another core archetype of the World Eaters legion — that of the executioner or headsman. In fact, it has repeatedly been pointed out to me that this model could really work as a Master of Executions, and while that wasn’t the original plan, I definitely agree that the look is there.

Which leads us to the last member of the Hateful Eight, and also the last model to be completed. This icon bearer from my previous post:

It has been ridiculously hot around here for the last ten days or so, but I finally buckled up and finished that model.

What you see above is an almost finished paintjob. It was at this point that I was feeling a little adventurous, plus I also had a cool little fluff idea for that icon: You see how each and every part of that thing seems to be barbed and serrated, right? And it stands to reason that the icon itself could be wielded as a weapon in its own right. But what if that icon is actually a minor daemonic artifact and not only wants to draw the blood of enemies, but also of the warrior carrying it into battle? What if being chosen by the artifact to be its bearer is, at best, a mixed blessing, and you actually have to be careful not to become the artifact’s victim? Anyway, with those ideas in mind, I grabbed the bottle of blood effect…

Here’s the finished icon bearer:

I was a bit nervous about that icon, to be honest, but I really think it works! While I used quite a bit of blood on it, I was careful to vary the tone and glossiness a bit, to suggest that the wicked thing is covered in layers of blood, some of them older than others. I also made sure to paint some blood onto the icon bearer’s hand — like I said, the artifact, like the War God himself, does not care whence the blood flows:

Interestingly enough, this also provides a reason for the bare right hand (which was really just a coincidental choice) and the length of chain (that was included to repeat an element that appeared on the classic model that inspired this guy).

Speaking of inspiration, here’s a comparison picture with the new icon bearer and the classic metal model that served as the main inspiration for the model, because this was basically an attempt to recreate the classic design (albeit horizontally flipped 😉 ):

So yeah, it has only taken more than a year, but now, the Hateful Eight are finally ready to march to war and reap skulls for Khorne. Take a look:

Incidentally, because the project so far has been focused mostly on the converting and painting angle, most of these World Eaters still lack a name. So I would be happy for you, my readers, to suggest some names for the members of the Hateful Eight!

I must give fair warning, though: My eventual selection will be purely based on my personal taste.

That being said, I would love to hear any suggestions, so if you want to name one of these gentlemen, let’s hear your ideas!

Oh, and here’s a photo of the eight models alongside “Euron Hearteater”, who could probably be considered a honorary member of the squad by now, on account of finally seeing some paint during the same period of time 😉

One thing I might still have to tweak is the number of skulls present on the models: Right now, there are 35 skulls across the entire squad. Plus, y’know, the eight that are still attached to their respective necks, at least for now… And I would like to bring that number up to 40, for fairly obvious reasons — then again, the composition of the squad could still change, so maybe I’ll a bit.

Because you didn’t really think this project was over, did you…? 😉

While I may have the first eight in the bag, there’s an entire batch of possible aspirants for a second squad. Take a look:

So maybe we’ll end up with “The Hateful Sixteen”, after all?! If all goes well, these two gentlemen should be next on the painting table:

For now, though, I am really happy that I have managed to complete this first tentative squad before GW actually releases new Khorne berzerkers/World Eaters models. I’ll also be a bit cheeky here and consider this my entry for Azazel’s (extended!) “Jewel of July” event, if for no other reason than the fact that having managed to finally paint and convert this squad certainly feels like a personal hobby jewel to me — oh, and I also wanted to finally participate in one of Azazel’s community challenges again, so there’s that, too 😉

I would also love to hear any thoughts and feedback you may have, so please leave a comment!

And that’s about it for the day. Blood for the Blood God!

And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!