Archive for Throne of Skulls

Raising Hell, pt. 3

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2013 by krautscientist

In today’s final installment of this mini series, let’s take a look at how my Hellrazor fared in the Eleventh Throne of Skulls Painting/Converting Contest:

So the deadline for the contest came, and, as you know, my entry looked like this:

Hellrazor (3)
But what was I up against?
The other contestants were Biohazard and swamp, and I was thrilled to see their entries:

Biohazard submitted his fantastic, kitbashed Bloodstalker:


Image appears courtesy of Biohazard

I couldn’t begin to tell you how much I love this model! Biohazard is a true master of kitbashing huge chaos war machines, and his Bloodstalker is a testament to that: Kitbashed from many disparate parts into something that looks almost like a regular GW kit, this beast ranks among the best Defiler conversions I have ever seen and would also certainly be a fierce opponent.

And here’s swamp’s entry:


Image appears courtesy of swamp

A masterfully painted Forgeworld Decimator. The model itself is lovely, and the smooth blending technique on this piece managed to blow both my and Biohazard’s paintjobs clean out of the water. Fantastic work!

What I especially liked about the three entries was how different they were from one another. And still, each of them represented an imposing daemonic contraption, bound to the will of Khorne.

So how did it all end? Well, I didn’t win this time. But I didn’t mind, since losing to either of these models certainly was no shameful affair. In fact, I was actually really happy when Biohazard’s Bloodstalker won the competition! A well deserved victory! Great job, buddy!

All in all, what a great result: The contest produced three great entries. My favourite managed to win. And I even ended up with a converted and fully painted chaos flyer for my army. Plus I am really thrilled to see what kind of motto Biohazard will come up with for the next contest!

Head on over to ToS, in case you’re interested in seeing more pictures of the other guys’ entries as well as their fluff. And let me wind up this post with a little image I crudely slapped together for Biohazard in Photoshop:


Oh, one more thing: If you want to own your very own Bloodstalker pattern defiler, you are in luck! Biohazard has you covered: He was actually nice enough to write up a tutorial on how to build this beauty. It also explains which bitz you are going to need. Check it out here.

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

Raising Hell, pt. 2

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2013 by krautscientist

Welcome to the second of three posts dealing with my Heldrake conversion! Today on Raising Hell: the finished model. But before we reach that particular goal, here’s where we left off last time:

Hellrazor PIP (1)
With all the base colours in place, the next step was to apply the washes: Most of the model was generously washed with GW Agrax Earthshade to add some shadows to the red and bronze parts. The silver areas received the same treatment, only with GW Nuln Oil. After everything was well and dry, I drybrushed the Bronze with GW Dwarf Bronze, added a thin layer of GW Blood Red for the red parts and finally did some accents on the silver areas with GW Mithril Silver.

I also wanted to add an additional spot colour to show the power burning through the daemon engines innards. For that, I chose a simple OSL effect in light blue that was added to the head, mouth, engine and the underbelly of the model:

Hellrazor PIP
Another thing I wanted to do was to give the model a suitably detailed base. I knew I wanted some kind of ruined building, but all I had was a leftover Necromunda bulkhead. So I cut that apart, constructing a small ruin and added a couple of bitz as well as some of my trademark cork. Here’s what the painted base looks like:

Hellrazor (1)
As you can see, while I painted the ruined structure to look like rusty metal, the base itself was painted to fit in with the rest of my World Eaters. I also added numerous small details like the half-buried, dead (or is that dying?) Space Marine, two soldier’s graves and the unfortunate gravedigger himself — obviously, when they finally got him, there was nobody left to do the honours…

Hellrazor (2)
An opening was cut into the cork to leave a space for the flight stand to be inserted.

With both the model and base painted, I did a couple of final adjustments: The final set of wings could finally be added, changing the model’s silhouette quite a bit. But see for yourself. I give you: The Hellrazor.

Hellrazor (4)

Hellrazor (6)
Hellrazor (5)
Hellrazor (7)
Hellrazor (8)
As you can see, the OSL added to the model’s “mouth” makes it look like the baleflamer is just heating up:

Hellrazor (9)
Hellrazor (10)
And as a huge videogame nerd, I cannot help but feel immensely pleased by the fact that the Hellrazor’s shape recalls nothing so much as an endboss from a mid-90s 16bit shoot ’em up like R-Type or Thunder Force:

Hellrazor (11)
All in all, I am prepared to call this project a success: Granted, this beast was a chore to paint, but I think that I’ve managed to convert a flyer that looks decidedly different from the original Heldrake will still maintaining a visual balance between jetfighter and strangely organic daemon engine. And the model also looks pretty similar in silhouette to the Forgeworld flyers — hence the name “Hellrazor”, to show a certain kinship to the Hell Blade and Hell Talon, in case you’re still wondering (there’s also another, even more obvious pun hidden in there, but I’m confident you’ll figure it out on your own 😉 ).

So the model was finished — all’s well that ends well, right? But wait, there was still the ToS contest to consider! Since I wanted to submit my flyer for the contest, I still needed to write a short piece of fluff to go with the model. Being a bit of an overachiever in this respect, I actually wrote two:


The cavernous hall was illuminated by the flickering half light of the grand furnace. Lorimar’s eyes needed a moment to adjust. Then he could see Deracin standing in front of the huge daemon engine, gazing up at its form. Lorimar approached the Keeper of the Forge. “I salute you, hunter. You requested my presence?” Deracin turned to face him and inclined his head. “Yes, lord.” But he did not say anything more.

“Is this about the daemon engine, then?” Lorimar growled. Deracin nodded ponderously. “Aye. As you can see, the vessel itself has been completed.” He gestured towards the shape of the war machine. Lorimar could see the pointed wings and jagged armour plates, he could see where fleshmetal had grown to fuse with the machine’s structure. Suspended above them was the daemon engine’s head, a grinning brass skull. The rest remained half hidden by the shadows, although Lorimar got a sense of the strangely organic shape of the thing. “And the incantations?” he growled.

Deracin kept his gaze locked on the machine, only the mostly bionic side of his face visible to Lorimar. “The bindings are in place. We have also completed the rituals. Yet something is amiss. I can feel it.”

Lorimar turned to face Deracin: “And what of …the pilot?”
Deracin seemed to grow uneasy. “My lord, it would be best not to refer to him as that any longer. We cannot be sure of what remains after the rituals. And truth be told, there was not much left even before that…” His voice trailed off.

“No, Deracin. He was our brother, an honoured member of the company. I refuse to refer to him as anything but.” Lorimar could feel the Keeper of the Forge’s gaze on him: “Even so, my lord, the binding seems incomplete. There is naught we can do.”

“Let me handle this, then!” Lorimar turned to face the huge brazen skull, seemingly suspended in nothingness. Then he addressed it:

“Old friend, forgive me for disturbing your slumber. But the company has need of you. There is still prey to run down. Your hunt is not yet over.”

They could both feel it. A strange feeling of otherness. And then a sound, low and guttural at first, but still unmistakeable: the sound of a huge animal drawing breath.

Whatever the daemon engine suspended in darkness above them may have housed. It lived.



With the pounding of heavy artillery vibrating through his body, Lord Commissar Sondheim of the 45th Palthian Grenadiers urged his troops forward: „Advance, men of Palthia!”, he boomed. “Advance and deliver the Emperor’s Wrath to the enemy, lest it fall upon you instead!”
Sondheim used his field glasses to look towards the front lines, where the chaos forces were advancing towards the Imperial position. He could make out the red armoured shapes of their enemies, and he couldn’t suppress a sinking feeling. The traitor legionaries of the World Eaters were deadly in combat, and to let them reach their lines would mean disaster. However, the Guard’s superior firepower had so far proven successful in stalling the enemies’ advance, pinning the abhorrent traitor Astartes and preventing them from rushing the Imperial positions.

Sondheim turned to his aide-de-camp, Junior Commissar Kelso: “Armin, send word to the Lord General that we have matters under control here. As long as our ammunitions supply lasts, we should be able to hold them back indefinitely. The Emperor’s justice will be meted out to these vile abominations.” Telzo nodded and opened his mouth to reply, when both men suddenly heard something above the din of battle: A rolling thunder that was steadily growing louder and louder. “Air support. They have air support!”, Kelso said, his eyes frantically searching the horizon. “Don’t worry, lad!” Sondheim answered. “Just one of those light jetfighters. Our anti-aircraft guns will swat it down like a bothersome fly.” He took a look through his field glasses, and sure enough, there was the shape of a chaos flyer approaching, its shape like a jagged blade. There was something slightly warped about its silhouette, though. Sondheim grinned to himself: It was no use trying to keep track of all the different kinds of corruption that chaos wrought upon both its followers and their wargear. But Throne, that thing was fast! Sondheim could hardly keep it in focus. And the closer it came, the more he felt a certain apprehension. He could see the thing now, shaped like a two-pronged dagger, yet strangely sinuous and organic at the same time, weaving between the bursts of AA-fire that were supposed to take it out. The noise was also getting louder: a strange animal roar, and above it, something else, like the sound of a thousand voices screaming in unison. “What in the name of Terra…?”, he murmured. “My lord,” Kelso’s voice sounded worried, “shouldn’t we abandon this position? It’s coming straight at us!” Sondheim heard his words, but he found himself strangely transfixed, staring at the approaching horror, listening to the rumble of its engines. He could make out details now: The wickedly sharp wings, something that looked like a head, wrought in the shape of a stylised skull, its mouth seemingly weeping blue flame. “Retreat!” he heard Kelso scream above the horrible noise, “Abandon this position!” And it was at this exact moment that Lord Commissar Sondheim knew fear.
And then his world turned into fire.

Hellrazor (3)
And with that, my Hellrazor was completed. Any comments or questions about the model? I’s be happy to hear from you in the comments section!
Next time, we’ll take a look at the other entries my model was up against.

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

Raising Hell, pt. 1

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2013 by krautscientist

It’s plain to see that the various new Daemon Engines played a rather huge part in the last Chaos Space Marine release: While not everyone is especially fond of the Heldrake and fiend models, there’s no doubt that they add a new perspective to the army, both from a visual and a gameplay standpoint. The most eagerly disputed of these daemon engines has to be the Heldrake: Not only does it add the first real flyer to the traitor legions’ lineup, but the model itself is also a very clear case of “love it or hate it.”

I have to be honest with you: In this particular question, I feel rather drawn towards the haters’ camp: While I love the idea of a chaos flyer slowly mutating and changing to a quasi-living being, with its erstwhile pilot having atrophied to a husk serving as the beast’s black heart, and while the latest FAQ pretty much transformed the Heldrake from a very viable option into an “auto-include”, I am still not sold on the kit itself. Make no mistake, the beast has grown on me a little, and I don’t hate it as much as I did last October, but it was immediately clear to me that any Heldrake included in my World Eaters army would have to look pretty different. This mini-series, then, will deal with my own Heldrake conversion slowly taking shape.

As luck would have it, I had won a Painting/Converting Contest over at Throne of Skulls some time ago, and so I was allowed to choose the motto for the next contest — what better occasion than this to force myself to actually convert and paint a chaos flyer of my own? So I decreed that the contest would deal with Khornate Daemon Engines, in order to both let myself be inspired by other peoples’ awesome creations and to put myself under a bit of pressure regarding my own entry.

The first step was choose a general approach to the matter. I did pick up the Heldrake kit, because I felt it was at least a good starting point, and did a little research to find out what other people had done with the kit. After some time spent looking at a number of very cool chaos flyers, I knew what to do:

My inspiration for this conversion came from Marshalfaust’s thread on Warseer. Honourable mentions must also go to Morf’s exquisite “Hellbat” and Old School Terminator’s scratchbuilt Nurglite Heldrake (or his “Hellworm”: that …thing is truly something else) — those would be my conversions of choice if I wanted to build Night Lords or Death Guard flyers, respectively.

With my World Eaters in mind, though, the conversion ended up very close to Marshalfaust’s, in order to make the Heldrake look less like a dragon and more like a sinuous, strangely organic jetfighter. Take a look:

Hellrazor WIP (1)
Hellrazor WIP (2)
Hellrazor WIP (3)
Hellrazor WIP (5)
As you can see, only the longest set of front wings was used. I attached it directly to the main body, leading to a look slightly reminiscent of the different FW chaos flyers.  One smaller set of wings was added in the regular position. While I wanted to add yet another set of wings towards the back in order to give further definition to the model’s shape, that would obviously have to wait until everything was painted (looking back now, that turned out to be a very smart decision…).
The neck was also left out, and the head replaced with an optional leftover head from the Forgefiend kit.

Hellrazor WIP (4)
Due to a spontaneous moment of inspiration, I forced the remains of a WFB Necrosphinx skull head into the mouth cavity. Bydoing this, I wanted to give the model an actual “face” as a focal point. I also liked the notion that the skull’s mouth would be the place where the flames from the baleflamer emerged…

I also used some lasher tendrils from the Maulerfiend kit to “plug” some of the jet nozzles on the model’s back and make the body look even more disturbing:

Hellrazor WIP (6)
With the lost arms and claws on my Heldrake, I also like to think that these tentacles are used as a CC weapon of sorts, slashing and whipping at other flyers and enemies on the ground.

All in all, I was reasonably pleased with the basic build of my Heldrake, which I decided to name the “Hellrazor” for a double pun – a cookie goes to you if you can figure it out 😉

The next step was to start painting this thing, and I will not lie to you: It was a nightmare!

Hellrazor PIP (1)
All those small panels on the wings took ages to paint. And there were so many of them, even though I hadn’t used all the wings that came with the kit in the first place!

Nevertheless, I persevered and used the same base colours appearing throughout all of my army: The red areas were painted using GW Mechrite Red, the Bronze trim was picked out in Vallejo Tinny Tin, and the silver areas were done with GW Boltgun Metal. I decided to paint the slightly fleshy, mutated bits of the model in a dark brown-red instead of a paler skin tone. That way, I would get a pretty organic transition to the reds on the model and would be able to avoid any expansive, pink areas.

Hellrazor PIP (2)
I’ll be honest with you: Getting all the base colours done on the model was quite a chore, and not an experience I would want to repeat anytime soon. Oh, I worked in multiple sub-assemblies, by the way, with the head and armour plates on the model’s back being painted separately to make sure every detail was easy enough to reach. It also quickly became clear that the changes I had done to the wings and rear of the model didn’t exactly make the job any easier…

Hellrazor PIP (3)

But in the end, all the base colours were done, and I was free to tackle the next, hopefully much more enjoyable, steps of the paintjob: Applying the washes, and then seeing to the details…

But that, as they say, is a story for anoter time. So stay tuned for the next installment of Raising Hell, coming this Friday!

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


Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2012 by krautscientist

Don’t worry, the title may be somewhat misleading: I am not actually going to begin yet another army and start playing Space Wolves.

I did however paint a single Space Wolf. I even went and entered him into a competition — can you believe that? I am quite aware that my painting is not going to win me any Golden Demons any time soon, but I still went ahead with it. So what happened?

Everything started with the Tenth ToS Painting/Converting Contest over at Throne of Skulls, the friendly community for the discerning bloodthirsty madman. My fellow slaughterers in the service of Khorne had gotten it into their head to do a competition about loyal Marines that had fallen to the Blood God. In the words of the original call for participants:

The competition will be for a single model, in the 40k setting. The theme for this model is a Loyalist Space Marine that has been corrupted by Khorne, and is in the middle of his transition to a full-fledged Chaos Marine of Khorne.

I should make it clear that the point of this contest is NOT to paint up a World Eater. The point is for you to use your imagination to depict how a Space Marine of a Loyalist Chapter would be seduced by Khorne, and what his specific transformation would look like. You should take into account the themes and customs of the Chapter you choose. After all, an Ultramarine would not go down the path to Khorne the same way a Space Wolf would.

(The original thread’s here, in case you are interested.)

To tell you the truth, I wasn’t all that thrilled initially. Why convert a loyal Marine who has started worshipping Khorne if you can have a World Eater in the first place? But then, I couldn’t quite get the competition out of my head, so I took a few bits and did an initial mockup of my – tentative – submission. This is what I came up with:

As you can see, I chose a Space Wolf. Certainly not the most creative idea, to be sure, but I liked the idea of one of the sons of Russ falling to his wild and bloodthirsty side – and, by extension, to Khorne – during battle. I also wanted him to wield a daemonweapon that he had wrestled from the hands of a World Eater and used to slay his opponent , thereby sealing his own fate as well.

You can already see most of that in my rough mockup above: the fallen World Eater, the Space Wolf towering above his fallen foe. But it’s obvious that I still had a long way to go if I wanted to make this look good. I also had very few actual Space Wolves bits when I built this, so I had to improvise.

So the next step was to tidy up the conversion: I replaced the puny Chaos Marauder sword with a true daemonsword of Khorne, of course. I also added some Space Wolves heraldry to the model (actually Middenheim wolf medallions, but oh well…). And I completed the base, using lots of leftover berzerker bits and my beloved cork.

Here’s the finished build on my desktop of doom:

And the finished WIP pics I subdmitted to Throne of Skulls:

Here’s some detail shots of the base. As you can see, a couple of those parts are in a pretty rough condition. I was fairly certain that I would be able to salvage them through my paintjob, though.

I wanted the World Eater to look like the Wolf had really torn through his armour, so I hollowed out a Space Marine torso front and used a disemboweled torso that came with the WFB Crypt Ghoul kit to represent the traitor legionnaire’s innards.

Then I sat down and started painting the model. This was quite interesting, not only since I was doing this piece for a contest, but also due to the fact that I had never painted a Space Wolf in my life. Here’s a step by step:

First came the base colours:

Not all that impressing, huh?

Then the washes:

Better already!

I did the details and highlights next:

I really played loose with the pack markings and overall Space Wolves’ heraldry, since I am not really into their background. I only tried to make it look reasonably convincing.

I also tried to paint some veins on the model’s bare arm, making it look like the corruption was slowly spreading out from the hand holding the sword. Unfortunately, the effect isn’t all that notable on the finished model, but it’s the thought that counts…

Here’s a closeup:

Almost there, but still much too clean for a fallen wolf! And still lacking a base. Both was quite easily remedied, however:

The fact that I actually broke out a different background for those pictures should tell you that the model was pretty much done at this stage. I added some blood to the models face and torso and – equally important – to the fallen World Eater on the base. While it looked alright, I wanted to add some Tamiya Clear Red to make the blood look even more believable, so that’s what I did.

Here’s the finished model (and the pictures I submitted to ToS):

A detail shot of the daemonsword (painted according to my usual daemon weapon recipe)…

…and of its unfortunate former “master”:

And that was my contribution to the contest. I guess I managed to capture the subject reasonably well, although this model really showed me that I hate painting loyal Marines: All that line highlighting on their armour drives me crazy (and, cosequently, the highlights on the model’s armour aren’t that well executed…). Chaos Marines are far more forgiving to paint with all that additional trim for extra definition.

I also should have done more with the concept of dark veins spreading out from the hand holding the sword – the idea was pretty cool! But then, maybe I had bitten off more than I could chew with that concept.

Nevertheless, I was quite pleased with my entry and felt that I didn’t need to be ashamed. So I submitted my pictures and waited for the results.

Unfortunately, the contest ended up with only two entries. That problem was alleviated, however, by the fact that my opponent was the very talented DexterKong who entered an excellent model of a fallen Dark Angel. Take a look (it goes without saying that the following pictures appear courtesy of DexterKong):

I love how foreboding and mysterious this guy looks! I really want to know what his story is! I also love the fact that, even though we used a virtually identical Bloodletter sword, the models came out looking completely different.

Anyway, having only two contestants may have given me a pretty good chance statistically, but having seen Dexter’s model, I was pretty sure that this was the end of the line for me. I didn’t really feel like I was very likely to win this…

…but I did. No, really! Imagine my surprise when I saw the results on ToS! I can only imagine that it was a really close vote. But there you have it: I won my very first contest. Yay!

This whole thing was a lot of fun too! Building a model to a certain set of external requirements, trying to nail a certain look, and of course the thrill of the outcome. Another reason why it was so much fun was the fact that the whole contest was conducted in a rather laidback and friendly fashion: Throne of Skulls may be a forum for Khorne players, but in this case, annihilating your opponent at any cost definitely wasn’t the objective.

My only regret is that there were so few entries. I would have loved to see other peoples’ vision of how a loyal Marine can fall to Khorne, even if more entries would have meant a much slimmer chance for me to win 😉

So, does this success spur me onwards into a career as a competitive painter? No way! While this was great fun, I don’t really see myself in a competitive environment anytime soon (or rather: ever). But this type of friendly contest was really to my liking, and you can rest assured that I will be first into the fray on the next ToS converting/painting contest — all the more so since it looks like I get to choose the subject for the next contest. Huzzah!

Two more things before I wind up this post: First a big thank you! To the guys over at ToS for being such an agreeable crowd; to those who voted for my entry; and to DexterKong for providing such an outstanding piece for the competition (and for allowing me to feature it here on my blog)!

And finally, if you haven’t already guessed it, my entry was really inspired by an old piece of fluff from the 3.5 Chaos Codex. So here’s the model once more, accompanied by the fluff that inspired it:

“Willingly you picked me up. Your first mistake. Willingly you drew me. Your second mistake. I do not allow my servants to make three mistakes, foolish mortal…”

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more: There’s a huge crowd of World Eaters approaching…