Archive for traitors

Khorne’s Eternal Hunt — the 2016 Parade

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, Pointless ramblings, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2016 by krautscientist

In between all of the unpainted plastic, let’s look at something a little more colourful this week, because it is that time of year again: I’ve made the most of the good weather and assembled the World Eaters’ entire 4th assault company – or at least the part of it that has actually been painted so far – for a new round of army pictures.

Now I’ll have to admit that there haven’t been that many additions to the force since last year’s showcase article (except for one pretty big addition, but we’ll be getting to that), but all in all, the army still remains my biggest hobby achievement.

Just to remind you, this is what Khorne’s Eternal Hunt looked like back in 2012, the year I started this blog:

WE_Army05
And this is the army earlier today:

Khorne's Eternal Hunt 2016 (1) big
Quite a development, if I do say so myself! At least for a glacially slow and immensely lazy painter like yours truly… 😉

The most noticeable addition to the army is the towering form of Gilgamesh, my converted Chaos Knight, now finally marching to war alongside the 4th assault company’s coterie of Daemon Engines:

Khorne's Eternal Hunt 2016 (7)
Another part of the army that I am still tremendously happy with is the Master of the Hunt, Lord Captain Lorimar, surrounded by his Terminator bodyguard, Lorimar’s Fist. Take a look:

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And there are many other parts of the army that make me happy whenever I look at them. For instance, this was just a happy accident, but I really love the way my true scale Khârn seems to get psyched-up for battle in the following picture:

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And I didn’t even stop with the World Eaters either, but took photos of my entire 40k Chaos collection while I was at it! Next in line was my small detachment of Traitor Guard, known as “Urash’s Marauders”:

Urash's Marauders 2016 (2) big
Now this certainly isn’t a big army by any stretch of the imagination. But then again, it’s a rather sizeable collection when you consider the fact that these guys were mainly built on a whim, back when there weren’t even any proper rules for using Traitor Guard (beyond the Vraksian Renegade rules put out by Forgeworld, that is). Anyway, the Marauders can provide some support to the 4th assault company when needed, plus most of the models can do double duty as cultists in a CSM army.

I’ll really have to return to these guys at some point: Looking at them again makes me realise how happy I am with my chaotic Tempestus Scions:

Urash's Marauders 2016 (4)
I still have an unpainted icon bearer for this squad — maybe I should paint him next?

Anyway, it’s a fun little army project that can complement my World Eaters but can also work on its own — at least from a visual perspective 😉

But there’s more: Over the years, I have dipped my toes into several smaller chaotic warbands and sub-factions, and each of them could be expanded into a stand-alone warband or detachment at some point. For instance, remember the four models I built back when the then-brand-new 6th edition Codex Chaos Space Marines was released? One Astartes for each of the Cult Legions:

Followers of the Pantheon
I tried to capture the visual quintessence of each of the four legions aligned with a major chaos power, and I am still pretty pleased with the outcome. From left to right: Malchius Blight of the Death Guard, Gades Elphenor of the Emperor’s Children, Suresh Asp of the Thousand Sons and Targon Kel of the World Eaters.

Read more about his project here, in case you are interested.

Then there are my Blood Wolves, of course, created to fill the role of Chaos Space Marines with the Mark of Khorne in my World Eaters army:

Blood Wolves (2)
Joras Turnpelt and his damned brethren surely warrant some more attention — in fact, I have quite a few models already built for a whole squad of Blood Wolves. Ahh, so much unpainted plastic, and so little time (and, let’s face it, even less discipline).

There’s a squad of Plague Marines big enough to actually use in games, if the 4th assault company should ever require their scrofulous assistance:

Nurglite Detachment
Let’s not forget Warsmith Greimolt Sturm of the Iron Warriors and his first two soldiers, either. Iron Within, Iron Without!

Iron Warriors
Once again, these are merely the first models for a small kill team of Iron Warriors that will definitely be finished one of these days! Scout’s honour! 😉

Oh, and last -but very definitely not least – is PDH’s wonderful version of Lord Zhufor the Impaler, given to me as a fantastic gift a while ago:

Lord Zhufor by PDH (1)

Lord Zhufor by PDH (2)
So yeah, that’s the painted part of my 40k chaos collection. I just love chaos in all of its colours (especially in red, though), and I actually see the many projects I have already started – or partially finished – as great little or small hobby endeavours to get back to whenever I feel like it.

Anyway, so much for my collection. I hope you’ve enjoyed these latest pictures and I would love to hear any feedback you might have! As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! 🙂

Khorne's Eternal Hunt 2016 (2) big

Elite Traitors

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, Traitor Guard with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2014 by krautscientist

Due to all the Nurgly fun, I totally forgot that I actually have some new painted models to share with you — can you believe that? These have been finished for a while now, and if you are frequenting one of my various threads on the forums, you may already have seen them. But still, let’s take a closer look:

The models in question are the elite soldiers for my Traitor Guard detachment, Urash’s Marauders, that I started working on alll the way back in April, when the Tempestus Scions were released. I used a combination of bitz from that kit, the Vraksian Renegade Militia and a couple of other sources…

Traitor Elite (15)

I am actually really happy with the way these guys have turned out! So allow me to walk you through the different members of the squad and take a closer look.

Here’s the first painted model:

Traitor Elite (05)
Traitor Elite (17)
As you can see, this is basically a Tempestus Scion with some tastefully applied spiky bitz 😉 This was my first actual test model for an elite traitor Stormtrooper, and I think it works: The horned helmet may not be to everyone’s taste, but I think the guy really looks like a tough as nails elite trooper in the archenemy forces.

As for the colour scheme, I knew I wanted to use the same general colours as in the rest of my Traitor Guard detachment: Mainly dark grey, crimson and brass (with silver and brown for the medals and leather parts, respectively). All of my traitors are wearing dark grey fatigues in one form or another, so I repeated that here. In order to show that these guys are the cream of the crop, however, and far more heavily armoured than the rank and file troops, I chose to expand the use of red, painting all the armour plates with it. The result is a colour scheme that still looks like it belongs to my Traitor Guard but provides some contrast for these guys.

Next up, a Plasma Gunner:

Traitor Elite (10)
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The model only uses a right arm from the Tempestus Scion kit. The rest of the bitz came from the Vraksian Renegade militia, the Chaos Marauders and Space Marine Scouts, respectively. Oh, and I used a Skaven speartip in order to create a suitably nasty looking sword. My plan is for the models in the squad to use different combinations of bitz from the same four or five kits, with certain elements (such as the paintjob, the use of scion shoulder pads etc.) creating a feeeling of cohesion, even if the models themselves are looking slightly different.

So, not much to say about the guy with the plasma gun, except for the fact that I LOVE painting blue plasma coils and will go out of my way to give as many of those as possible to my models, even if I am not even a huge fan of plasma weapons in games. Oh well…

Now here’s where it gets more interesting: The next model is the squad’s voxcaster guy:

Traitor Elite (06)
Traitor Elite (07)
Traitor Elite (08)
The model basically started out as an attempt to salvage a Vraksian torso (minus the head) that I had left from a different conversion. When messing around with a couple of bitz, I realised that the model would make a reasonably cool radio operator, so that became his role. What I really love about the model is the way it seems to clutch the speaker unit close to its cowled head: You can easily imagine this guy screaming into that mouthpiece at the top of his lungs — or whispering menacingly:

“Can you hear the voices too?”

But then, maybe he’s just making prank calls to the enemy headquarters, demanding to one Commissar I.P.Freely?! 😉

One last detail I really like about the model is how its entire head has basically been painted in the same base colour. The contrast between his mask and skin was created by careful application of different washes:

Traitor Elite (09)

And finally, the model I am the most happy with (and easily one of the best models I have painted in quite a while): The squad leader:

Traitor Elite (03)
As I’ve said before, the conversion itself was an attempt at channeling the excellence of PDH’s traitor soldiers (because those are just about the best Traitor Guard conversions in existence, along with Dave Taylor’s Blood Pact). I think I was reasonably successful in my endeavour, and I am really happy with the conversion! Those who remember the model’s unpainted incarnation, however, may notice that I’ve made some last minute changes to the model:

The chaos warrior sword the model wielded in its earlier incarnation was replaced with a nasty, curved Goblin sword for example: I think a vicious, slightly primitive weapon is just a far better fit for a traitor officer. I also added a bundle of Imperial dog tags on the officer’s belt, which makes for a nice bit of visual storytelling, if you ask me.

Traitor Elite (02)
Oh, and I also added a slightly shaved down chaos warrior helmet to the belt. A beautiful little touch I picked up from one of PDH’s wonderful models — the idea was just too good, so I had to nab it:

Traitor Elite (17)
This model was actually the first member of the squad I painted. And I really only started on the rest of the models because I was so happy with him: In a way, he perfectly embodies what I think Traitor Guard should look like, and if I were to completely re-do Urash’s Marauders today, I suppose he would become my template for the entire project.

At four models, the squad isn’t all that big at the moment, but I am confident that will change soon: Another “Chaos Scion” has already been built and is ready for painting. And I will definitely have to add a suitably imposing icon bearer to the squad. For now, though, I’ll happily consider these first four guys a successful forage into the world of elite traitors 😉

I’d love to hear any feedback you might have in the comments section! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Traitor Elite (16)

Of trenchers and traitors…

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2014 by krautscientist

I am trying my best not to overdo it, but I still find myself playing around with those Tempestus Scions. And after doing all those experiments about different heads and whatnot, I think it’s time I finally show you some (mostly) finished models, right? So let’s take a look. But before we look at the stuff that’s actually close to finished,…

 

1. By request

…several people suggested I show them a couple of additional headswaps, and how could I refuse? I’ll be keeping this short and to the point, though 😉

First up, in case you wondered what the scion heads looked like on bog standard Cadians:

new head swaps (1)
new head swaps (3)
They are actually a perfect fit: You need to shave down the neck portion, though — which I failed to do for the above pictures, hence the slightly hokey proportions. But from a scale perspective, I think you’ll agree that it should work. And while I was at it, I also tried an Eisenkern Stormtrooper head on a Cadian body…

new head swaps (2)
…and it instantly created that wonderful Jin-Roh look. Even more cutting involved in this case, though, because the neck portion on those Eisenkern heads is huge.

Oh, and while we’re at it, here’s the Eisenkern head on a regular Tempestus Scion, for the sake of completeness:

new head swaps (4)
This may actually be one of my favourite combinations so far! Unfortunately, the fact that the Eisenkern heads only come as part of the larger kit and that you only get just enough heads, this kind of conversion is hardly economical. But if you should find yourself in the possession of some leftover Eisenkern heads, it’s definitely a very interesting option!

2. Straight from the trenches…

After my last round of experiments, I pulled together several of my earlier ideas in order to create a new model: The running cultist legs, Tempestus Scion bitz and Bretonnian head-kitbash were combined to create a soldier with a very distinct WWI trencher vibe. Take a look:

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Additional bitz are a backpack with an entrenching tool (a bit of a no brainer, really) and a trench knife (one of the daggers from the Tempestus Scions). My experiments in creating a bayonet for the rifle fell flat: While it was easy enough to attach a blade to the rifle, the barrel ended up looking way too long, thereby throwing off the model’s whole composition. However, I believe that the dagger, worn to be quickly available during combat, works well enough as a replacement.

To tell you the truth, I am stupidly happy with this guy, since he is both suitably grimdark and reminiscent of actual trenchers as well as those Warzone minis I keep going on about. I hope to be able to paint him sooner rather than later — a suitable base, complete with duckboards and a muddy surface, has already been built.

Once again, let me show you some possible, different heads for the model, in case you’re going for a different, maybe even more medieval feel:

While the head I used on the model was spliced together from a Bretonnian helmet and a Tempestus Scion head, the heads from the Bretonnian Men-at-arms can also be used on their own:

Trencher (18)
Trencher (17)
I actually think those work just as well, and would basically be ideal if you were after building, say, a Genswick IG force.

I also tried the head with mask and beret from the scion kit…

Trencher (19)
…and it looks just as awesome as it did when used on the Eisenkern Stormtrooper I posted earlier. I have a sneaking suspicion that this head will always look awesome, no matter the model you use it on.

And finally, another really cool option would be to use an Eisenkern head:

Trencher (16)

 

3. Meanwhile, back in the Archenemy camp…

During all those head swaps, though, let’s not forget the intended use for my first batch of Tempestus Scions: I want to turn them into a squad of elite soldiers for Urash’s Marauders. So, any progress on that? You bet!
Here’s my first, basically finished, traitor soldier:

Traitor Elite (8)
As you can see, I have kept the conversion fairly straightforward: The imperial iconography has been shaved off and a couple of chaos-y bitz have been added, a horned helmet from the Marauder Horsemen chief among them. While not everyone might like the horned look, that helmet instantly says elite Traitor Guard to me, plus I believe the paintjob will go a long way towards suitably blending together the different parts.

No follower of chaos would be complete without a CC weapon, of course, and I think I may just have found a great use for all those slightly tacky swords that come with the Khorne Berzerker kit:

Traitor Elite (7)
Every World Eaters player should have dozens of these lying around, but I think they actually work rather nicely, strapped to the traitor’s backpack like that: The sword is just ornate enough to suggest that it may have a ritual significance beyond its use as a backup weapon.

I have begun working on a second traitor and have also made a first mockup of the squad’s champion (or should that be Damogaur?):

Traitor Elite (12)
Traitor Elite (11)
In this case, the scion chainsword was replaced with a suitably chaotic sabre from the Dark Vengeance cultist champion. The head with the grotesk came from the same model. And while a laspistol may not be the most exciting equipment for a squadleader, I chose the arm for its pose, at least for now. One of the two small shortcomings of the Tempestus Scions, in my opinion, are the sometimes freakishly long arms, so choosing a combination that looks right takes some doing (on a semi-related note, those cables connecting the rifles and backpacks are the other element I don’t like: Getting all those parts lined up just so without gluing the model together outright is very fiddly business…).

Anyway, this guy isn’t finished yet, but I think the model will already give you a pretty good idea of where this is going. Here are the three WIP models for the squad together:

Traitor Elite (13)
That’s not all, however: Since the scion kit contains so many bitz, there are enough leftovers to use on different models as well. As I told you in my previous post, I will be using some of these bitz to build some more traitor elites, mostly based on some Vraksian Renegade Militia torsos.

You already know the voxcaster guy:

Traitor Elite (9)
I added some armour plates I shaved off the trencher model to bring him more in line with the scion-based models.

And I also found out that the rifle arms work fairly well on those Vraksian torsos:

Traitor Elite (15)
Traitor Elite (14)
By combining these bitz, the model looks a bit like a missing link between a Tempestus Scion and one of my regular traitors, which could signify the encroaching influence of chaos, I suppose?

A third model uses the plasma gunner arms from the scions for now. Here are the three traitors together:

Traitor Elite (16)
I also built another champion/squadleader model that I am really happy with. Take a look:

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The torso came from the Vraksian Enforcers, while the legs are from a WFB chaos charioteer: Both bits were leftovers of earlier conversions, so it was really nice to finally put them to good use! The arms are from the Tempestus Scions, although the weapons and hands were replaced (with a Space Marine Scout pistol and chaos warrior sword, respectively). The head came from a Dark Vengeance plastic cultist. And I also added some additional pouches and gear:

Traitor Elite (20)
This model takes quite a bit of inspiration from PDH’s traitor soldiers which range among my favourite renegade models. I am really happy with how this model has turned out, because it really fits my idea of Traitor Guard to a t!

Traitor Elite (22)
And here are all the “Vraksian bases” traitors so far: Keep in mind that these were all basically made from leftovers from my bitzbox:

Traitor Elite (21)
What I especially like about these models is that they could arguably be used alongside the scion-based traitors in one large squad – granted, there’s a bit of variation, but that’s chaos for you – but they could also be the beginnings of a second squad of traitor elites.

So yeah, after all the headswapping businesss, I hope I’ve managed to convince you that some actual models will be coming out of this in the end! I would love to hear your feedback on any of these!

Have a happy Easter, everyone! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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:

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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:

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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:

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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)
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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:

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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:

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Again, they should work well enough from a scale perspective:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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!

The Hour of the Wolf

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2013 by krautscientist

In order tp produce something every once in a while that I can use in my “regular” 40k army, I got some more work in on my squad of traitorous Space Wolves: My first test model came out well enough, but I realised that I would maybe have to pay more attention to make these models look suitably chaotic and not just like members of the 13th company who had been forced to use pieces of CSM armour to repair their gear. So my next batch of Blood Wolves maintained a better balance between SW and CSM parts, and I even reworked some of my first test models. Now it was time to actually paint them!

I decided to finish the initial three test models I had built first, which will give you a nice “before/after” comparison later in this post 😉

So here are the new painted models:

Khorne Wolves Test Models (1)
Khorne Wolves Test Models (3)
Khorne Wolves Test Models (9)
This guy is actually my favourite so far, since that Raptor helmet just looks quite menacing for some reason, but not so overtly chaotic that you can put your finger on what it is right away. The model was painted in the same colours as the first test model, and the fur areas gave me a nice chance to introduce an additional colour to the model. I also added one of my simple OSL effects to the model’s plasma pistol.

And the last remaining test model:

Khorne Wolves Test Models (4)
Khorne Wolves Test Models (6)
Khorne Wolves Test Models (7)
Khorne Wolves Test Models (8)
This guy actually shows some skin, so I used the same recipe for pale skin that had already worked rather nicely on both my Traitor Guard and the Joras Turnpelt model. This model was in a pretty rough condition due to the bitz I used in its construction being in a verry sorry state to begin with, so I had to be careful during painting, paying attention not to slather yet another thick coat of paint on top. That said, I think I managed to salvage the model well enough!

So here’s a comparison shot for you:

This is what the models looked like before painting:

Khorne Wolves Test Models (6)
Still not easy to look at, am I right?

And here they are as they are looking now:

Khorne Wolves Test Models (10)
Quite a transformation, don’t you think? Especially if you consider the rather sorry state some of those bitz were in! As you can see, I did some slight changes to the models, adding a trophy here or swapping a head or shoulder pad there, but all in all, they still look reasonably similar to the initial builds. The new colours are much nicer, though…

So, just for fun, I also took another picture of the models alongside some chaos hounds I painted quite a while ago:

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These are a great fit for both my World Eaters and their Blood Wolves allies, and if I ever add daemonic allies to the force, I believe these hounds will be used as “counts as” Bloodletters. The image of a huge pack of hounds being used by Khorne’s Eternal Hunt to run down their prey really appeals to me!

And, of course, a picture of all the Blood Wolves I have managed to paint so far:

Khorne Wolves Test Models (12)
Both the models and paint recipe took some time to come together, but I am reasonably pleased now. While these are looking quite distinct from my World Eaters, that had been the plan all along. And I think they are doing a good job of channelling the sinister, feral side of the Space Wolves.

So, what do you think? Am I onto something here? Let me know in the comments! And, ss always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Khorne Wolves Test Models (11)

On my desk: Lone wolf and cubs

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, Pointless ramblings, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2013 by krautscientist

To be honest with you, I’ve been in a bit of a motivational slump lately. Maybe it’s just the remains of my holiday laziness rearing its ugly head again, maybe it’s the murky weather outside, but I find myself with very little inclination to paint anything at the moment. However, this is not a case of complete hobby burnout: I love trawling the forums and looking at stuff. It’s only when it comes to the projects sitting unfinished on my desktop that I fall short.

So, apart from a rather big project (my contribution for the latest Painting/Modelling contest over at Throne of Skulls,  which I’ll probably be unveiling rather soon), my work at the moment is pretty limited. In any case, I feel that the one thing I can do to restore my hobby mojo is not to force it, but to do things that take my fancy in pursuit of that elusive power: inspiration. Today’s post, then, will deal with one of those spontaneous moments of inspiration:

I’ve been thinking about converting some Space Wolves that have fallen to Khorne for a while now. Not for gameplay reasons, mind you, I just like the thought of a squad of Wolves transformed into berserkers in the heat of battle, discovering the wrath of Khorne that lies within them. It’s not even clear whether I will use these on the tabletop. And if I do, they’ll likely be played as normal CSM (or Khrone berzerkers, for that matter).

In any case, I think that these will be a great way of getting a slightly different perspective on traitors. You see, the original traitor legions have been at this game for so long that they have fully renounced their loyalist origins. And while there may be all kinds of anger, resentment and bitterness among them, they can at least feel assured in the knowledge that their entire legion joined what they considered to be the “right side” during Heresy (except, maybe for the Alpha Legion, where things are slightly more complicated…). But what about a Space Wolf who has to come to terms with the fact that his rage and subsequent betrayal have estranged him from the rest of his chapter forever? There should be all kinds of tasty, chaotic emotions and self-hatred there to explore, from a narrative standpoint. This was the beginning of the story of one Joras Turnpelt and his fellow traitorous Space Wolves…

 

Joras’ Great Company fought against Khorne’s Eternal Hunt, and given both sides’ ferocity in combat, the fight was extremely hard and unforgiving. The company’s Wolf Lord and Joras (his second in command at the time) didn’t see eye to eye regarding how to proceed: The Lord knew the Space Wolves were in acute danger of losing the battle and wanted to consolidate their forces, maybe even order a tactical retreat, while Joras would hear none of it. Seething with adrenaline and beginning frenzy, he wanted to press on and obliterate the enemy, in direct defiance of his superior’s orders. During the fighting, Joras eventually flew into a berserker rage, slaying his own Wolf Lord, who was trying to intervene. This act of betrayal shattered the great company, with the brethren falling on themselves and the World Eaters at the same time. At the end, only a small band of warriors remained, defeated and encircled by the warriors of the 4th, shaken by their own actions and ready to be killed. But Lorimar let them live, feeling that Joras, in the depths of his rage, had found something dark and powerful. The Master of the Hunt was intrigued…

 

Anyway, so much for my preliminary background sketch. As for the modelling part, I built a couple of test models using some really badly painted SW bitz and some rather rough Khorne berzerker parts that I had picked up from different auctions, rescued from the depths of several bitzboxes and the like:

Khorne Wolves Test Models (1)
The first model combines SW and CSM parts in equal measure. The torso and arms came pre-assembled as well as pre-painted, so I only added some chaos shoulderpads and a CSM head.

Khorne Wolves Test Models (4)
This guy uses an old berzerker body, combined with SW arms and a SW head. For some reason, he looks rather menacing, if you ask me.

Khorne Wolves Test Models (5)
With the third model, I wanted to explore the more barbaric side of the Space Wolves, so I used a bare head as well as an unarmoured arm from the WFB Chaos Marauders.

And here’s the whole “squad” so far:

Khorne Wolves Test Models (6)
To be honest with you, I cannot help but shudder inwardly at their partly painted horribleness right now, but rest assured that this will be changed as soon as I ‘ve managed to pick up some of Army Painter’s Uniform Grey basecoat at the FLGS. All in all, I am considering dark grey with silver trim for most of the armour, with the shoulderpads and some of the detail picked out in red (the same red I use on my World Eaters, in fact), with added brass trim. That should make them look slightly reminiscent of the original SW palette, while also nicely tying them into the rest of my World Eaters force.

Like I said, there’s very little actual gameplay reason for these models. I would just like to explore the modelling and painting opportunities as well as the narrative potential. Weird, huh? The again, the fact that these are mainly built using old SW and Khorne Berzerker parts I picked up from the bottoms of different bitzboxes, makes this a fancy that is really rather easy to indulge right now.

Oh, I also did a first mockup of Joras Turnpelt, of course:

Joras Turnpelt WIP (2)
Joras Turnpelt WIP (1)
As you can see, I did manage to find an alternate use for that doubleheaded axe I originally converted for my Lorimar model after all 😉
All in all, this guy was inspired by DRommel’s excellent “Ljotolf the Kinslayer” model, so I used the same head. I wanted Joras to look like he was about to be rushing forward, swinging his axe in wide arcs, which was rather easy to achieve with the walking/running SW Terminator legs I still had. I also gave him a single Lightning Claw, just for the heck of it (I really like the asymmetrical look achieved by this). He’ll probably need a couple of additional bitz, and I am considering adding a Chaos Hound’s head to his fur cloak, but the basic build of the model is pretty much complete as this point.

So let’s see where this small project takes me. And let’s wind up this post with a closer look at Joras and his start of darkness. Enjoy!

 

When Joras came to, he was kneeling at the center of a circle of traitor legionaries, disarmed and bleeding from a dozen wounds. He looked around, seeing his surviving brothers. Now that the frenzy had left them, their eyes had the glazed-over dullness of someone who has just escaped a nightmare, only to wake up to an even more horrifying reality. Joras understood them perfectly. He was feeling the same.

In front of him, the circle of red and bronze parted, and an enormous figure emerged: A hulking traitor wearing a baroque suit of Terminator armour, the surfaces of which were encrusted with heretical symbols of the Blood God. The Chaos Lord’s gaunt features were entirely without expression, his dark eyes bored into Joras’. This had to be the monster itself: Lorimar, master of the World Eaters’ warband known as Khorne’s Eternal Hunt.

Tapping reserves he hadn’t realised he possessed, Joras threw himself at the traitor, his fists his only weapons, a blood curdling howl on his lips. He didn’t even see Lorimar move, as he backhanded him across the face with his armoured gauntlet, sending Joras sprawling to the ground again, where he had to draw a few ragged breaths before looking back at his enemy.

“Fight me!”, Joras roared.
“There does not seem too much fight left in you, loyalist dog.” The traitor’s voice was impossibly deep, a dark growl that chilled Joras to the bone.

Joras got up again with a wordless below, rushing at the Chaos Lord once more. This time, Lorimar swiftly drew a long, wickedly serrated blade, burning in an evil glow. The daemon weapon’s point came to rest against Joras’ throat, pinning him where he stod. “Fight me!”, he howled with frustration. Lorimar made a grating noise in his throat. It took Joras a moment to realise it was a chuckle.

“Fight you? Look at yourself: You are weak, broken, defeated. There would be no honour in taking your skull now. Besides…”, Lorimar’s eyes were aflame with cold fire, “it seems you took your first prey in the eyes of our Lord Khorne. It would not be right to take your life, now that your path to true glory has but begun.”

“Do not mock me, monster!” Joras growled. “This is madness!”

Lorimar chuckled again: “Oh, to be sure. When you killed your lord and gave in to your anger, it was madness that lay hidden within you. When you tore through both my warriors and your own brethren, it was madness that made your heart race. You howled with frenzy, …brother wolf, and something deep within you howled back. Indeed, madness has transformed you. The change is quite …uncanny.”

“Kill me then.” Joras whispered, suddenly feeling very tired.

Again, Lorimar chuckled. Joras wanted to make him shut up. Tear out his heart like wild beast. Rip off his smirking head and hold it aloft, howling out his victory and then… Joras felt his rage subside. And a terrible, yawning feeling of horror fill his guts with ice. Lorimar seemed to understand his thoughts, and he locked gazes with Joras once more. His next words were almost gentle:

“Oh, I might kill you yet, brother wolf. But not here, and not now. For after all, we now serve the same master.”

 

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

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!