Archive for traitor guard

Aren’t you a little tall for a stormtrooper? A first hands on with the Tempestus Scions and more…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, Pointless ramblings, Traitor Guard, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2014 by krautscientist

Stormtrooper kitbashing (1)
Don’t worry, a detailed look at the whole Astra Militarum release is still forthcoming in the near future, but seeing how everyone (myself included) seems to be all over the new Tempestus Scions at the moment, let us put the cart before the horse for once, so to speak, and allow me to share my first hands on experiences with the kit. We’ll also take a look at options for building Stormtroopers for your IG (or Traitor Guard) force in general, and I dear it’ll be a rather wordy post, all things considered. I am also fairly confident you’ll get a few ideas out of the deal, though, so bear with me here!

Let me start by saying that the Tempestus Scions are an amazing kit, regarding both the quality of the sculpt and the amount of bitz and options you get. I have been asking myself for a long time why so few of the actual IG models (the fantastically eclectic Vostroyans notwithstanding) actually channel the anachronistic design elements that permeate the rest of the 40k universe, but with the Tempestus Scions, the combination of high tech and baroque, sometimes even medieval, elements is finally available in model form. I won’t get into this part any further, since it will probably play a pretty big role in my upcoming review of the Astra Militarum release. Suffice it to say for now  that I am all for more ostentatiousness and baroqueness in the IG catalogue!

Beyond the exciting design, though, the kit also provides an extremely versatile and extensive toolbox for building five excellent models. And the kit is full of opportunities right though the gate, enabling you to build elite soldiers for your Guard regiment as well as Inquisitorial Stormtroopers of any stripe and even Traitor Guard — because the decorative armour trim adorning all the Scions’ armour plates make it really easy to turn these guys to chaos.

Indeed, my current plan is to turn at least four of the models into the beginnings of a squad of elite soldiers for my detachment of Traitor Guard,  although I will probably use one model and some of the amazing Tempestor Prime bitz to buy an Inquisitor/Imperial Noble/senior IG officer/whatever…

That’s a plan for the near future, however. For now, let’s do some experiments in order to explore the kit in more detail!


I. Initial kitbashing

Taking inspiration from Jeff Vader’s recent experimentation with different head swaps on the Tempestus Scions, I did something similar, collecting various heads from my bitzbox and trying them on my first Scion test model, in order to see how they would change the overall look and feel of the model. Now don’t get me wrong, the whopping seventeen heads that come with the kit are just as amazing as the rest of the parts. But I still wanted to see how a mere head swap might turn one of the models into very different characters.

I filed my findings into several different categories. Just click for bigger pictures, by the way:

Experiment I: Inquisitorial types

Stormtrooper kitbashing (2)

I wanted to explore several options for creating shadowy and/or hi-tech-y Stormtroopers. My first experiment was to use a leftover head from Inquisitor Coteaz I still had lying around, and not only was it a great fit, but the resulting model is quite similar to the Sergeant of the Kasrkin models, don’t you think? I am seriously considering using that head for my Scion-based Inquisitor.

I also tried two robed DA heads, and while Marine heads tend to be a bit clunky when used on non-marine bodies, these might actually work (although it would be necessary to shave down the neck portion, which I didn’t do for my experiments). The sergeant from Jeff Vader’s wonderful squad of Tempestus Scions uses one of these heads as well, by the way, so you don’t need to rely on my word alone!
Oh, and I also like the faceless SpecOps look of the fourth head (a Valkyrie pilot head, I guess? Just bought it via ebay some time ago).

Experiment II: Medieval types

Stormtrooper kitbashing (3)
There’s quite a bit of overlap with the Inquisitorial types on these, although I wanted to see how to make the Scions look even more archaic and medieval. I mostly used Bretonnian heads during this attempt.

I actually really like the Brodie-helmet like look of models on the left! These might look great for a fire-and-brimstone Hereticus retinue (or in a particularly medieval IG regiment). The helmets do interfere with the antenna and sensor array on the shoulders, however, so some cutting might be in oder if you want to take this route. The knight helmet was mainly a joke, as was the shaved down berzerker helmet on the right (just the thing if you’re going for the old “Boba Fett” look, though).

Experiment III: IG veterans

Stormtrooper kitbashing (4)
I think that using various heads from the IG, WFB Empire or even Space Marine catalogues could be a great options of making the Scions look less like freshly-pressed parade ground soldiers and more like hard-boiled veterans from some of the more colourful regiments of the Astra Militarum.

I particularly like the one with the wolf scout head on the far right 😉

Experiments IV and V: Traitors and Renegades

Ahhh, now we’re talking: I tried various chaotic heads in order to make the Scion model look like a Traitor Guard soldier: Like I said, the trim on their body armour makes them equally viable for chaos, if you ask me. I did already shave off some of the beautiful IG iconography, too. Anyway, here’s my first set of traitor experiments:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (5)
As you can see, slightly shaved down WFB chaos warrior helmets will work, as will heads from the plastic cultists.

I tried even more heads, though:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (6)
I really liked one of Jeff Vader’s experiments, where he used a head from the WFB Marauder Horsemen, and indeed, those heads work brilliantly on the Scion bodies: They are instantly recognisable as chaotic, but they still seem orderly enough so as not to damage the elite soldier look. My absolute favourite has to be the head from the Dark Vengeance cultist champ, though: While it may look slightly goofy on virtually any other model, here it instantly transforms a Scion into a warrior of the Blood Pact – BAM!

I didn’t limit myself to trying different heads, however, I also did a couple of smaller experiments involving different body parts:

For those of you who might be thinking of using the scions as a base for (Dark) AdMech Skitarii conversions, the following pictures might be helpful as well:

You can combine the scion torsos with flagellant legs:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (7)
Stormtrooper kitbashing (8)
For the real Skitarii look, you would probably need to replace the bare feet with something suitably tech-y and bulky (Necron feet, perhaps?). And you’d need to either add a cowl sculpted from GS or use the AdMech-styled cultist head.

As an alternative for making Skitarii (or, indeed, trenchcoat scions), you could use the legs from that very cultist:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (9)
Stormtrooper kitbashing (10)
While the legs may seem to be a bit on the thin side, the trenchcoat idea is nevertheless pretty interesting, because you end up with something only one step away from one of my favourite pieces of IG artwork by none other than the great Jes Goodwin.

One last early kitbashing idea: I just had to try and combine one of the masked Scion heads with the helmet of a Bretonnian Man-at-arms, again creating something resembling a futuristic Brodie helmet/gas mask combo:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (11)
The resulting model basically looks like a more detailed, more baroque GW version of one of my beloved Warzone 2nd edition starter minis:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (12)

Might be a useful idea for IG as well as Inquisitorial Stormtroopers or Traitor Guard, though…

2. Playing around with Tempestus Scion bitz

Interestingly enough, the first mostly finished model to come out of my purchase of the Tempestus Scions wasn’t even a Tempestus Scion: I used the voxcaster bitz from the new kit to salvage a FW Vraksian Militia torso I had seriously damaged during another conversion, and thanks to the new bitz, I was able to build a traitor soldier with voxcaster:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (13)
Stormtrooper kitbashing (14)
Even though he uses Chaos Marauder legs and a FW torso, he should still work well enough as a squad member for my chaos elites. He looks good enough next to my test model, at least:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (15)
On a semi-related note, the idea of this guy making prank calls during battle really cracks me up: I imagine nothing will mess with your battle logistics like someone calling in the middle of an offensive demanding to speak to Commissar I.P. Freely…  🙂

Anyway, back to the traitors: As it happens, I have some Vraksian torsos lying around (courtesy of fellow hobbyist PDH) and I think I will use more Marauder legs and a couple of bitz from the Scion kit to transform them into further models for the elite squad:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (17)
Again, they should work well enough from a scale perspective:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (16)
So, not only are the Tempestus Scions themselves great for different conversions, but the amount of extra bitz will also be really useful in converting even more models, both for my Traitor Guard and, I imagine, the odd INQ28 model. On a related note, make sure to check out little brother’s scion conversions over at his Ammobunker thread: His models are a great proof of concept for how easy it is to make the Tempestus Scions into traitors with just a minor influx of bitz! And Adam Wier has some very interesting ideas about slightly modifying the stock models as well.

I imagine that the coming weeks will bring a cornucopia of inspiring Scion conversions, so you actually might want to leave your sprues untouched for now… 😉


3. Alternatives

So, once again, I am really happy with the Tempestus Scions and the conversion and kitbashing options they provide. But my love for the kit notwithstanding, let me discuss yet another source for possible Stormtroopers. As you will see, this is clearly not a case of favouring one kit (or manufacturer) over the other, but rather an attempt at outlining several, partly interlocking approaches for building just the Stormtroopers and elite soldiers you need:

Quite some time ago, I participated in a Kickstarter to make some of Mark Mondragon’s designs available in glorious plastic. The kits coming out of this Kickstarter, namely the different plastic Titans and the Eisenkern Stormtroopers, were one of my favourite hobby releases in 2013, as some may recall. And it’s the latter of the two I would like to talk about:

Eternal Hunts Awards 2013 (3)
The Eisenkern Stromtroopers provide an alternate set of models for your Imperial Guard. Granted, these are not GW models, so you won’t be able to use them in any GW events or GW stores, but the models are still definitely nice enough to showcase them here! As a matter of fact, I was already feeling bad for not making the time to talk about them in more detail earlier, but now it turns out that the opportunity to discuss them back to back with the new Tempestus Scions is just the perfect way of taking a closer look at the kit. So let’s look at both kits, shall we:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (18)

On their own, the Eisenkern Stormtroopers provide a kit for making very cool looking elite soldiers with a very distinct WWII vibe. Incidentally, the background of the Eisenkern faction basically has them as “Germans IN SPACE!” (and the name certainly is a dead giveaway…). My personal reason for supporting their creation in plastic was that they really reminded me of the Wolf Brigade in Jin-Roh, but those designs were of course based on historical German uniforms again, so it’s a bit of a circular argument.

Anyway, the kit comes with so many options for customisation that it’s almost ridiculous, and these options are further multiplied if you decide to purchase an additional set of conversion and equipment bitz, giving you lots and lots of different weapons, heads, hands and various gear. Therefore, the humble test model pictured above is really just the tip of the iceberg.

Here’s a scale comparison with the Tempestus Scions:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (19)
Stormtrooper kitbashing (20)
Stormtrooper kitbashing (21)
As you can see, both models are more or less of the same height: The Eisenkern Stormtrooper is ever so slightly taller, yet less bulky than the Tempestus Scion. From a structural perspective, there are quite a few parallels, though, ranging from the body armour and rebreather helmets to the power plant-like section on the model’s back.

The overall look is still ever so slightly different, though: Where the Tempestus Scions are full-out baroque and grimdark, the Eisenkern models are more hi-tech, albeit with a clear retro element.

But let’s look at some more scale pictures, this time with a “regular” IG model, a cultist and an Astartes as additional parts of the comparison:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (22)
Stormtrooper kitbashing (23)
As you can see, both Stormtrooper models nicely fit into the gap between “regular” humans and Astartes: While both are basically just as tall as a regular Marine, the added bulkiness still nicely separates the Astartes from the unaugmented models.

One obvious problem with the Eisenkern models lies in the slightly more realistic (and less “heroic”) proportions when compared to GW kits. While this certainly isn’t a shortcoming per se, it can become a bit of a problem when trying to combine the Eisenkern models with GW bitz.

For instance, where the Tempestus Scion bodies will happily accept even Marine heads with a bit of cutting, even fairly slender heads like the wolf scout head pictured below will look slightly too clunky on an Eisenkern Trooper:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (24)
That said, some heads work better than others: I have collected some cases where the GW heads worked reasonably well below:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (25)

Stormtrooper kitbashing (26)

Stormtrooper kitbashing (27)
In any case, the important thing to keep in mind here is that these parts certainly weren’t designed to be mixed, so the fact that it still works out in some cases should be treated more like a bonus — but more on that in a minute.

The main problem from a design perspective is that the Eisenkern Stormtroopers are far less useful for “classic” chaos than the Tempestus Scions, because the smooth lines are not nearly baroque and archaic enough for your average traitor guard, whereas the extra decoration on the Scions makes them very chaos-y right out of the box. The common Eisenkern Stormtrooper fares less well when combined with chaos bitz.

Stormtrooper kitbashing (28)
But, again, this is obviously not really a fault of the kit itself: It wasn’t even designed to allow for shenanigans like that.

The big surprise, then, is that the Eisenkern Stormtroopers work amazingly well with the Tempestus Scion heads:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (29)
The beret heads from the Scions are perfect for Eisenkern officers — and actually much better than the somewhat generic bare heads that come with the Eisenkern kit (one of the few failings of an otherwise brilliant kit, I might add).

The same goes for the helmeted Scion heads:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (30)
And finally, the beret head with gas mask, one of the coolest heads in the kit anyway, is pretty much the perfect officer head for an Eisenkern Stormtrooper. Take a look:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (31)
Stormtrooper kitbashing (32)
Quite a nice reward for the adventurous kitbasher, don’t you think? Plus this information might be interesting both for those who are contemplating a purchase of the Eisenkern Stormtroopers as well as those who already own the kit and want to tie it in with their IG army: Just get some Tempestus Scion heads, and you’re golden 😉

Another interesting fact: Female Eisenkern models will eventually be available, filling a  gap GW’s catalogue has mostly refused to address so far: Here’s a regular Eisenkern trooper next to Kickstarter exclusive model Ada:

Stormtrooper kitbashing (33)
So which one should you choose?

I’ll be honest with you, I couldn’t even tell you which kit is the better one, because a) both are awesome and b) which is better for you depends on what you are looking for: Both kits are great and, in their respective ways, provide great value for the money. The best possible approach would be to ask yourself what kind of Stormtrooper you are looking for and make your decision from there (or, of course, to just buy a box of each):

Do you want your Stormtroopers visually in line with the eclectic, sometimes outlandish and anachronistic 40k universe? Do you love the little medieval and renaissance touches and are looking for colourful models that channel this particular part of the setting? Then the Tempestus Scions are your thing.

Do you want slightly more futuristic, tactical looking troopers without too many baroque design elements but a noticeable retro feel and tons and tons of options (you can actually use the accessory sprue to build models conversing in SWAT-like sign language, for crying out loud!)? Great, the Eisenkern Stormtroopers are the kit for you.

But even if you come down on either side of this argument, the other kit would still be an awesome purchase. And, owning both kits, I am perfecly sure that I am going to have lots of fun with both types of models.

In the end, it’s really all about being aware of all the options, and that’s what this post is about too: Describing more options for you. In any case, you way want to check out the Dreamforge Games website — chances are, you’ll find something to like there. At the same time, I cannot recomment the Tempestus Scions enough: They are an amazing kit and quite reasonably priced for GW’s standards.


Ultimately, the choice is yours. And I really hope that this post has given you food for though and ideas for possible conversions or kitbashes instead of confusing you. If you have any thoughts or questions about either of the kits (or about my first rough conversion attempts), I’d be happy to hear them in the comments section.

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

INQ28 Desktop roundup II: The good, the bad and the ugly

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2013 by krautscientist

It is very clearly a great time for being an INQ28 aficionado: More and more people are trying their hand at converting their own Inquisitorial retinues, and with John Blanche’s column in WD regularly dedicated to INQ28 models, and with the work of exceptionally talented artists like PDH and migsula indeed being published in WD proper, it seems like a second spring for a game that was pretty much abandoned by GW years ago.

Looking at so many great models has given me a new hunger for building more INQ28 models and tweaking some of the existing ones. So I would like to show you a small gallery of my latest WIPs. Some of these are models I already posted some time ago I chose to revisit and touch up. Some are recent additions to my collection. I usually enjoy working on several of these at the same time, different as they may turn out in the end. But all of them have one thing in common: They are either good, bad or ugly* — or a combination of the above. Let’s take a look:


1.) Inquisitor Gotthardt’s Retinue:

The first few models will end up as retainers to Inquisitor Erasmus Gotthardt, of the Ordo Hereticus. All of these were previously posted in the first INQ28 desktop roundup, yet I have worked on them some more since then, hammering out the last kinks and rough edges, dealing with unfinished stuff and taking to heart the feedback I received on forums.

Former Guard Captain Esteban Revas

Cpt. Esteban Revas WIP (4)
Cpt. Esteban Revas WIP (5)
Since I designed Revas to decidedly look like a fencer, I thought it would be interesting if his fencing style incorporated a longer and shorter blade at the same time, so I added a Sanguinary Guard dagger at his hip. It’s only a very minor detail, to be sure, but one I am very pleased with nonetheless, because it serves to further define the character. All in all, I am very pleased with this model, and will paint it up as soon as I have managed to stop obsessing over the colour combination…

Drill Abbot

Drill Abbot WIP (3)
I followed the advice of my fellow forumites and slightly shortened this fellow’s neck, to make him look like a bulldog of a man. And I added a couple of additional items to his belt to bulk him out even more and to show that he carries some additional equipment (and quite a few items of worship, like the small reliquary and a cask of holy water at his side):

Drill Abbot WIP (4)
Painting wise, I imagine a combination of rich reds and browns would be the best way to go for this character, along with a healthy complexion and a grey beard. We’ll see…

Retired Arbites Judge/Security Agent

Arbites Judge WIP (2)
I wanted this guy to look like a tough-as-nails ex-hive-cop who knows every trick in the book and is quite used to walking the beat on the wrong side of the monorail tracks, and the pilot model from the “Battle for Maccrage” boxed set nicely fit the bill. Since we last saw this guy, I replaced the clunky DA power maul with a more fitting stun baton, spliced together from the grip of the aforementioned maul and a WFB Marauder weapon. Again, it’s a small but important change.


2.) Inquisitor Fiegmund’s retinue

As an addition to Inquisitor Antrecht’s collection of carnival freaks and Inquisitor Gotthardt’s more middle-of-the-road approach, Inquisitor Fiegmund’s retinue will be as gothic and scary as they come. You see, Holm Fiegmund is a puritan member of the Ordo Hereticus whose hunt for Antrecht has driven him over the edge (and horribly scarred him for life, causing others to refer to him behind his back as the “Maimed Man”). In short, I want Fiegmund’s retinue to be a pretty dark and uncompromising looking bunch. Here are the first models:

Preacher/Redemptionist Priest

Redemptionist Priest (2)
Well, you cannot have a puritan Hereticus warband without one of these. The model is a pretty straightforward kitbash, using parts of the Empire flagellants, a Guard laspistol and a Khorne Berzerker chainsword to make a suitably imposing eviscerator.

The Dancer

The Dancer WIP (2)
The Dancer WIP (3)
The Dancer WIP (1)
This bonny lass, codenamed “The Dancer” is a (death cult) assassin in the employ of Inquisitor Fiegmund. I have this idea about several members of Fiegmund’s retinue being female, which should be an interesting way of setting off the dark, gothic look.
In this case, the model was built using mainly Wych parts from the Dark Eldar Venom kit. I then added a couple of more Imperial looking bitz, including a servo skull for a head. I want to leave the Dancer’s actual nature deliciously ambiguous: Is she a cultist, a servitor or something altogether different? Only Inquisitor Fiegmund would know, and he certainly isn’t telling…

Expect more pretty fethed up models for this particular retinue in the future…


3.) Yet another retinue — Xenos this time?

I’ll be honest with you: Building Inquisitorial retinues is a pasttime I simply cannot get enough of. I can get quite a kick creating new Inquisitors pondering their relations to their retainers and all the stories behind that, even withhout ever actually having to use the characters in a game. And I recently realised that I had not yet managed to come up with an Inquisitor belonging to the Ordo Xenos…

Oh, and by the way: Some of the following conversions were only made possible because my buddy Biohazard was awesome enough to let me have his batch of Dark Vengeance cultists, so I am free to use them for all kinds of INQ28 goodness (and for several other projects as well).

WIP Inquisitor

Well, this guy is turning out to be a bit of a toughie: When I got my hands on Biohazard’s cultist, I planned to transform one of the champions (the chap looking like a Commissar) into an Inquisitor. My original plan was to simply make a more ostentatious looking version of Inquisitor Antrecht, but that really didn’t work all that well. So I was left trying different combinations of parts. Here’s what I ended up with after a while:

Cultists2INQ28 (9)
You’ll probably agree that this guy will need quite a bit more work: I love the pistol and overall pose, but the head is clearly too big. And while I like the thought of giving him a tie or cravat of some kind, it was pointed out to me by fellow forumites over at the Ammobunker that the one in the picture above makes him look like a Western character — and we certainly can’t have that!

So I tried a new tie, as well as a couple of different heads. Here’s a composite for you:

As you’ll probably agree, some of these would lead to wildly different outcomes. While I am personally rather fond of options A and B for some reason, I haven’t decided yet, so you are very welcome to put in your own two cents on the matter!

Kroot Shaper/Pathfinder

INQ28_Kroot (1)
INQ28_Kroot (2)
INQ28_Kroot (3)
INQ28_Kroot (4)

While getting the Inquisitor in fighting shape may yet take some doing, I am fortunately quite a bit further along when it comes to some of his tentative servants. First in line is this Kroot shaper/pathfinder inspired by a fantastic Mike Anderson GD model which also appears in the 40k rulebook. I posted an early mockup of him quite some time ago, but it has taken quite a while for the model to reach a point where I am actually really happy with it. The model received a hunting bow (spliced together from a Kroot rifle and High Elf bow) and a machete (a shaved down Ork choppa), and I added a couple of details to make this guy look like a “noble savage”. I actually have quite an interesting/tragic backstory for the character, floating around half-formed at the back of my head, and painting him should be a nice change of pace. I also think he might have an interesting, if grudgingly amicable, relationship with the next character…

Imperial Guard Veteran/former Hive Ganger

Guard Veteran WIP (1)
Guard Veteran WIP (2)
Guard Veteran WIP (3)
I had always suspected that the heavy weapon cultists would make great base models for IG veterans, and indeed, all it took was a couple of bitz! The Space Wolves scout head gives the model some punk attitude, so this guy could conceivably have been a ganger before being drafted into the guard.

In any case, the Xenos retinue will need a bit more work, but I am definitely getting there…


4.) Servants of the Dark Gods

Well, you know what they say: Evil never sleeps. So it was clear I also needed to build some more villains.
Some of these will end up doing double duty for both INQ28 and my Traitor Guard, but they’ll probably feel right at home in either…

Eyeless Crawler

Quite a long time ago, I built some crawler troglodytes to serve as the genetically enhanced brood of one rogue Genetor Amnon Helix, a recurring nemesis to Inquisitor Antrecht. The models were posted ages ago on Molotov’s blog. Now I didn’t do a whole lot with these for some time, but when the new model for chaos champion Vilitch the Curseling was released, I started wondering whether those crawlers wouldn’t be even more disturbing with a near featureless face, not unlike Vilitch’s.

Eyeless Crawler (1)
Eyeless Crawler (2)
Eyeless Crawler (3)

The original model used a regular WFB Crypt Ghoul head, and now I shaved off the model’s eyes and nose and smoothed out the whole are with Liquid GS, opting for a horrible, mostly featureless face. This makes the creature look quite a bit more revolting (and far less like Gollum, which is also a plus).

Chainsaw maniac

Chainsaw Maniac WIP
This guy was a conversion I had been wanting to do for ages! It was really simple too: Just clip off the barrels of the flamer, add the blade from an Ork choppa and presto: Industrial saw! I also added a disturbing, patched together hood from one of the other cultist models for that certain “Leatherface” look. This guy will definitely be used in my Traitor Guard, but I can easily see him putting in the odd cameo in INQ28 or Necromunda, as a “miniboss” or some kind of “environmental hazard”  😉

Father Pain

Having already built champions of Khorne, Nurgle and Tzeentch for my Traitor Guard, “Urash’s Marauders”, I needed a model to represent a mighty follower od Slaanesh. The solution to this particular problem arrived when Biohazard sent me the chaos priest from the WFB Warshrine of Chaos. Since the guy was quite the beefcake, I thought his immaculate physique would make him a nice fit for a follower of the dark prince:

Father Pain WIP (1)
Father Pain WIP (2)
Two new hands, a new head and some GS later, Father Pain was born. I realise the greenstuffed area will need quite a bit more work, but I think you can see where this is going. The glaive came from the new WFB plastic Chaos Lord, by the way:

Father Pain WIP (3)
All in all, I think the model makes for a quite convincing champion of Slaanesh, and he would also work as a cult leader in games of INQ28.


As you can, see, I have got lots and lots on my plate regarding INQ28 models. Lord knows when I am actually going to get around painting these, but I just can’t stop kitbashing them — it’s just too much fun… 😉

In any case, C&C are always welcome! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!


* I do of course realise that the idea of arranging INQ28 models by their respective goodness, badness or ugliness was very much migsula’s idea to begin with. So let’s just say I was inspired by his work (which is totally true) and didn’t just steal this particular idea 😉

Parade ground: Urash’s Marauders

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, Traitor Guard with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2012 by krautscientist

Some time ago, I showcased all the World Eaters I had yet managed to paint on this blog. Today, I would like to do the same with my ever-growing detachment of Traitor Guard. This will serve two purposes: It will give me an excuse to show you all some pretty pictures, while it will also provide me with a way of collecting my thoughts on this army so far and to develop a couple of ideas about what’s next. If you are a regular reader, much of this will be familiar to you, but please bear with me 😉

So let’s start off with a little family portrait. That’s my detachment of Traitor Guard so far:

Not bad for something that I only started to keep me amused from a conversion standpoint, don’t you think? Incidentally, the history of my Traitor Guard is full of strange coincidences: Back when I started them, there was basically no way to legally use them: The “Lost and the Damned” army list from Codex: Eye of Terror was, by that point, terribly outdated, and the 5th edition rules did not allow for allies. Granted, I could simply have used them as straight up Imperial Guard, but I didn’t want these guys to turn into a full scale second army, but rather into a force that could complement my World Eaters or be used in far smaller games. Still, I kept plugging away at them, and the army grew…

Everything started with this company/platoon command squad I built: One traitor for each of the combat roles. From left to right: Medic, standard bearer, commander, veteran with Plasmagun and veteran with Voxcaster. I also added a Rogue Psyker.

Next came my regular traitors, kitbashed from Cadians and WFB Chaos Marauders. Another squad of these has already been built, but I yet have to paint them.

Then, of course, my Traitor Ogryns: These guys were enormous fun to build and paint, and I think I managed to come up with quite a characterful unit there. Depending on the army list used, these could be played as regular Ogryns, Ogryn berserkers (from the Vrakisan Renegade Militia list), Big Mutants (from the old LNTD list) or possibly even as Chaos Spawn (when used in a CSM army).

I also built some characters for the army of course:

First up, Lord Urash, commander of the Marauders for now — until I come up with an even better model or he is usurped by one of his followers…

Then a champion with an obvious Nurglite bent, to be joined by a fittingly pestilent squad of traitors, one of these days…

A champion of Khorne, who makes a great traitor commander even now, but could end up leading a squad of beastmen or something similarily brutal at some point.

As you’ll recall, I also built a rogue Primaris Psyker, to add a little magical Oomph to the army. He could also do double duty as a champion of Tzeentch, to balance out the other two guys…

And finally, a renegade Lord Commissar, converted from a Dark Vengeance cultist leader — the opportunity was simply too good to pass up!

This army also marked my first foray into the wonderful (?) world of tanks: I built and painted a Basilisk that had been captured by the traitors:

Quite a challenge for me, although I am pretty happy with the result!

And so, that’s the current state of the army. All of the above assembled for a family portrait looks like this (click for a bigger picture):

Again, I am quite awestruck at the amount of models I managed to convert and paint, seeing how this was basically intended as a “just for fun” project! I also think the different parts of the army work together rather nicely, from a visual standpoint. The army is still pretty small, though: All that you can see above will add up to about 750 points tops. It’s also quite possibly a case of style over substance: I only included what I liked, so I have no idea how these guys would perform on the table.

But that’s beside the point: My Traitor Guard will probably mostly come in handy to bolster the ranks of my World Eaters and to add a little extra flavour in bigger games. And since several of the units could also conceivably be used as selections from Codex: Chaos Space Marines (traitors as cultists and Ogryns as Chaos Spawn, for example), it doesn’t matter that the army is as small as it is. After all, it’ll never become a classic IG gunline army, I can promise you that much…

You might have noticed that the Lord Commissar is conspicuously absent from the picture above: That’s because he has been busy assembling a little retinue of his own:

Of course the release of the new cultist models was really a godsend for my Traitor Guard: I chose to paint them all in matching colours. So even though they are looking like a rather ragtag bunch, they still read as a unified force and tie together with the rest of my Traitor Guard pretty well, as you can see.

So all in all, I feel that the time and money have been well spent on this little endeavour: I ended up with a force that was a blast to build and paint, plus I can use them in multiple ways, either as a part of my main 40k army, or on their own in smaller games. Some of the models could also make pretty convincing cameos in games of INQ28 or Necromunda (The Primaris Psyker and chaos cultists come to mind…).

So what’s on the horizon for Urash’s Marauders? I already told you that another squad of traitors is ready for painting. And I am currently working on the second squad of cultists from the Dark Vengeance box (expect some pictures of the conversions very soon…). That will give me about twenty more models to add to the force.

I also have a couple of leftover horses and riders from the WFB Marauder Horsemen in my bitzbox, so I may just end up building a squad of Rough Riders — to be perfectly honest, I am already dryfitting parts…

Beyond that, a squad of followers for the Nurgle champ could be interesting. Or some beastmen to be led by the Khorne guy. And what about Slaanesh? I may have to add another champion, to round things out. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll go and add a Valkyrie to the army one day. Not for the combat effectiveness, mind you: I just think that it’s a gorgeous model that would look great in my Traitor Guard colour scheme 😉

Whatever will be next, though, the great part about this army is that it gives me lots of room for experimentation. And whenever I get tired of painting power armour (as every Marine player is wont to, from time to time), it’s always there to offer a nice change of pace.

If you want to know more about how this army was assembled, the different posts on Urash’s Marauders can be found here. I’d also love to hear your opinion on the army so far, so drop me comment!

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

Touched by the Warp…

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

Some time ago, dear cousin Andy gave me the WFB Chaos Lord on Manticore for my birthday, which was quite an excellent present, since it’s one of those kits that I was always drawn to but would probably never have purchased myself. Because, no matter how you cut it, there’s not that much use for a Manticore in a 40k army in the first place. But while I am still figuring out a use for the beast in question (trust me, I have a couple of ideas…), the kit is very much worth it for the rider bits alone:

You see, the kit comes with enough parts to build two riders for the Manticore: one heavily armoured Chaos Lord and an equally imposing (and quite menacing) Chaos Sorcerer, both with several weapon and head options. While I immediately squirreled away the Chaos Lord for a conversion involving a juggernaut (which you’ll be seeing on this blog sooner rather than later, especially since lords on juggers are so very useful now), the sorcerer was somewhat less essential to me: As you may have gathered, Khorne isn’t too down with that whole psyker thing…

The obvious solution was to make the sorcerer into a member of my Traitor Guard. Already having built a Company Commander and Lord Commissar for my traitors, it was high time to add a traitorous Primaris Pskyer as well.

For this conversion, I took a page from OST’s sorcerer conversion that he did for his Iron Warriors. I was quite inspired by that model, and so I sat down to build my own chaotic Psyker. Take a look:

As you can see, the basic conversion is very similar to OST’s sorcerer, although I made a few small changes: First of all, I didn’t use the chain cloak on the model since I wanted to keep it for a World Eaters conversion (The new Horus Heresy book also tells us that chains do play quite a big role in the World Eaters’ iconography, so that decision turned out to be spot-on). I also wanted the sorcerer to look like he was just about to unleash the powers of the Warp, so I posed his left hand to reflect that. Most of the other parts are directly from the original kit, with only some bits and bobs added to “40k-ify” the model a bit.

The rock formation on the base came from the Chaos Lord in Terminator armour. I added half an old WFB skeleton for some additional flavour. I also wanted to make it look like the model was floating, so I used some deft gluing to create that illusion. Take a look:

When it came to painting the model, I made sure to have the colours fit the rest of my Traitor Guard. I also added the trademark crude chaos symbols to the model’s cloak. Overall, the paintjob is a bit cleaner and less ragtag though, in order to make the model look more dignified and regal.

I really think these bitz are some of the best GW has ever put out: Just look at that menacing facemask. Brilliant!

To show how the sorcerer is channeling the powers of the Warp, I added simple OSL effects to the runes all over his equipment as well as to the open palm of his left hand:

The hand was more of a spontaneous idea, but I think it really works.

As for the potential uses of this model, the most obvious role it could play would be that of a Primaris Psyker. However, given the model’s imposing frame, I think it could work reasonably well as a CSM Sorcerer as well. And finally, it may even serve double-duty as a cult leader in games of INQ28 as well: As a matter of fact, this guy looks so cool together with the Dark Vengeance cultists that I am considering adding on of the small, cog-like chaos icons worn by them to this model to tie them together even more.

As with the rest of my Traitor Guard, there’s very little background in place at this point. However, the myterious and menacing nature of the model makes me think that this sorcerer may have been instrumental in the original regiment’s fall to the Ruinous Powers. Hmm….

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

More fun with Dark Vengeance

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Custodes, Traitor Guard, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2012 by krautscientist

With the new Codex Chaos Space Marines and FW’s first Horus Heresy book doubtlessly paramount on people’s minds, let’s not forget all the great models left in the Dark Vengeance box! I am still happily cutting and painting my way through these, as you’ll see for yourself in a minute:

First up, some more cultists:

Quite a straightforward paintjob on the guy with the big gun. As you can see, I added some chaos iconography to the model’s apron. I also think the backpack with the tools dangling from it is a very nice touch! I painted these to look rusty and used:

Next up, a model whose design quite closely resembles the FW Vraksian Renegade Militia models, if you ask me:

I went for the dark grey fatigues typical of my Traitor Guard. The skin portions gave me the opportunity to add some contrast, and the rebreather unit on the model’s back offered a nice chance of adding some rust and grime.

And finally, the third cultist I painted:

While this guy would make a convincing Cawdor ganger for Necromunda, I somehow like him quite a bit less than the other cultists. Maybe it has got something to do with his rather unimpressive “potatoe on a lenght of string” weapon? I’m not sure… The dog tags around his neck are definitely a nice touch, though! I also added some blood to make the weapon look at least halfway presentable 😉

Anyway, with that, I had painted one model of each of the different designs from the starter box. I decided to round things off with a character to lead them:

I turned my attention to one of their leaders: the guy with the commissar’s coat. While I like both the coat and the Bloodpact-inspired grotesk, combining both of these elements on one model seemed like too much of a good thing to me. I also wasn’t all that keen on the arm holding the shotgun: In my opinion, it messes up the composition of the model. So I got to work, and here’s what I ended up with:

A rather simple conversion, as you can see. I wanted to further emphasise the look of a traitorous commissar, so I replaced the head with a fittingly sinister head from an old Warzone mini (an Imperial squad leader. The plastic models are still sold in bags of 80 and can be had for a song over at Prince August, in case anyone’s interested). I also replaced the left arm, opting for a Plasma pistol for no other reason than the fact that I like to paint small OSL effects on plasma coils.

The cool thing is that I can use this model as both a cultist leader (in a regular CSM army) or as a traitorous Lord Commissar (in a Traitor Guard list).

And here they are as a whole squad (click for bigger pictures):

I quite like the overall impression: They still look like a ragtag bunch, but the limited colour palette and unified basing nicely tie them together as a squad (and, hopefully, with the rest of my Traitor Guard as well).

For the second half of the cultists, I’ll be doing a number of smaller conversions to add a little additional variety: Exchange some heads, add a banner pole, use a couple of additional bitz,…

Here’s an initial impression:

The Helbrute’s also still standing on my desk, daring me to start painting it: I guess it won’t be too long now…

But what about the other half of the starter box’s contents?
Well, for one, I finally buckled up and converted the Deathwing sergeant into yet another Custodes Terminator wearing Cataphract armour. Here you go:

Again, a fairly easy conversion: I replaced the Terminator’s torso front with a piece from the Venerable Dreadnought kit. The right arm is a regular Terminator’s upper arm combined with a Chaos Lord’s Lightning claw. The result resembles the clawed gauntlets present in the HH artwork. The pauldrons are shinguards from loyal Dreadnoughts. I also added all kinds of purity seals, a topknot and a couple of other bitz.

Here’s a look at the whole “Cataphractii Squad” so far:

While these may not look as “official” as the new FW models, I am still reasonably pleased with the squad. I think they’ll end up looking rather nice once painted. And those Deathwing Terminators were in the box anyway, so the squad came at basically no extra cost!

Let’s wind up this post with two rather simple conversions, also for my Custodes:

The first model is a standard bearer for my squad of Custodes wearing Astartes pattern power armour. I converted this guy from the Dark Angel wielding a Plasma Gun (the gun itself was squirreled away for some future project, of course).

And then there’s the DA Company Master. With a simple head swap, he now looks like this:

Quite an imposing Legio Custodes Shield Captain, don’t you think? While these two models aren’t finished yet, I guess you can see where they are headed.

I am still far from fed-up with the Dark Vengeance models, quite the contrary: Thanks to the models I will be able to considerably bolster the ranks of both my Traitor Guard and Custodes. As as you can see, the models lend themselves rather nicely to conversions with a bit of thought (and decisive cutting…).

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