Archive for traitors

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!

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!

My first tank ever, pt. 3

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, Traitor Guard with tags , , , , , , on October 10, 2012 by krautscientist

My first tank ever was pretty much completed but for a few last details. So let’s have a look at the finishing touches and then, in turn, at the finished model.

The first thing I had to do was build and paint a loading crew for the Basilisk’s rear platform. I thought about howto make these guys look suitably heretical and came up with the idea of combining a pretty standard human model with a hulking mutant carrying the shell to be loaded into the Basilisk’s main cannon.

The first guy was quite easily built. Take a look:


He was made from what I believe are mainly Catachan parts. I gave him a pair of kneeling legs, making him look like he was ready to begin loading the cannon. I also angled his head so he would look at his companion and give him orders.

And while we are on the topic, here’s the secon crew member:





As you can see, I defaulted back to my tried and true recipe of combining an Ork boy body with a totally different head – from the WFB Zombie kit in this case. The head makes the model look twisted and a bit dim-witted, which was exactly the look I was gunning for. I also added a few bitz to further obscure the model’s orky heritage.

The tank shell held by the model is an actual shell, by the way. I even added a small decal depicting a sigil of chaos, although a part of it unfortunately rubbed off when I placed the shell into the model’s hands.

Anyway, here’s the two models interacting with each other:


I also took the opportunity to add one more detail: a flag that had been collecting dust in my bitzbox for ages. Originally a standard for some old WFB Skeletons, I dug it up and added it to the tank as a small visual flourish.

Here’s a detail shot:



The flag itself was painted to look like it had been stitched together from human skin. The face came from an old plastic Chaos Warrior and was added by me. I used Tamiya Clear Red to dab on chaos insignia. I think this flag really gets across the point that these guys are in it for the evulz.

And that was pretty much it. The last thing I did was to use slightly thinned down Vermin Brown  to add patches of rust to the tank’s hull. It turned out that some of the rough spots on the chassis were really quite a boon, since they underlined the look of neglect and rust. I also used Mithril Silver to paint on a couple of paint chips and scratches here and there. Like with all weathering, it was important to know when to stop: I wanted my tank to look decidedly used, but also like it was still in reasonable working order.

And with that, my first tank ever was complete: Let’s have a big picture extravaganza to celebrate the occasion!










That’s the Basilisk from all sides. I think my Traitor Guard colour scheme worked rather nicely, if I do say so myself.

Here’s a couple of detail shots showing some of my favourite parts:

First up, the sides of the vehicle, complete with “aged” decals:



Like I’ve said before, I should definitely have added more kill marks 😉

Here’s then the front of the tank and tank commander….


…and, once again, the guys in the back:




Maybe I’ll be revisiting the back platform at some point, to add some additional ammunition.

And last but not least, let me wind up this post by showing you what may be my favourite detail: The little map I painted for the tank commander:


All in all, this project was a blast: Not only did I have lots of fun painting the tank, it may also have helped me to overcome my fear of painting tanks altogether — we’ll see once I decide to tackle the Rhinos, I guess.

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