Archive for true scale

The State of the Hunt, Week 33/2017: Idle hands…

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, state of the hunt, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2017 by krautscientist

So I find myself in a bit of a motivational slump at the moment, trying to work up the motivation to actually paint some of my recently completed Death Guard models, especially my biker lord, since he’s my pledge for the August Arena event over at The Bolter & Chainsword. But while I remain committed to that plan, I just couldn’t seem to get started, and the fact that I’ve been distracted by other stuff – including other hobbies – recently, didn’t really help.

At the same time, cutting up little plastic men is never really all that far from my mind, so when I received a rather nice bitz drop from fellow hobbyist Aasfresser, my interest was piqued:


Among the bitz were some early 90s plastic berzerkers (say what you will about them, as far as monpopose models from the early 90s go, I think they’re pretty great!) and a plastic CSM from around the same time — I’ve never even owned one of the latter before, and while the model hasn’t aged all that gracefully, I do think those were pretty much ahead for the curve for their time, especially when compared to the pretty atrocious 2nd edition plastic Space Marines.

There were also all kinds of chaotic bitz and bobs — but it might surprise you to learn that something altogether different caught my eye and gave me an idea…

 

I. A thing in a jar

As I discovered to my delight, Aasfresser had also included one of those creepy embryonic rats that come with the Skaven Stormfiends kit. Having one of those things in my hands made me remember my half-buried thoughts about a possible conversion project, and then things just started falling into place: I recalled a certain John Blanche sketch from the 4th edition 40k rulebook, Aasfresser told me about his own plans for those via PM and ‘doesn’t that new 40k objectives kit contain a pretty cool incubation tank…?’

Anyway, here’s what I had when I came to 😉


As you can see, I basically added that incubation tank from the Sector Imperialis Objectives to the undercarriage of a Kataphron Destroyer, and I think it works pretty well. A word of warning to those of you who are considering a purchase of the objectives kit, however: While it contains many excellent parts, the cast seems to be plagued with the same gooey texture and loss of detail we have already seen on some of the basing kits. The components are still serviceable, but they are not as sharp and crisp as the stuff you get when you purchase a 40k squad (or AoS unit).

Those problems notwithstanding, the combined parts made a rather convincing new home for that creepy little embryo: I love the idea of the Adeptus Mechanicus keeping strange and creepy experiments inside incubation tanks and vats and maybe taking them along for expeditions and battles to field-test them. Or maybe this is a particularly degenerate member of the Adeptus itself?

In any case, I did my best to make the small creature inside the tank as creepy as I could: All signs of its ratty progeny (the face and tail) were carefully shaved away, and a new face was spliced in. I also added some more cabling and some injectors and vials for that extra bit of AdMech madness. Here’s a closer look:



Given the enlarged brain, I thought it would be cool to go for a face with the eyes and mouth sewn shut, so I used one of the trophy heads from the Plaguebearer kit. Yeah, pretty unhinged — I know 😉

Now the back of the tank is fully detailed as well, with a pretty nifty array of cogitator banks, so I wanted to have some kind of Magos or tech thrall on there, monitoring the vital signs, collecting readings and stuff like that. Now my original plan was to have the operator as an actual, separate individual, but comments from fellow hobbyists over at the B&C made me reconsider — and realise that there’s actually nothing more AdMech than having a hardwired servitor on there for just that one purpose, is there?

So here’s a mockup for the operator/servitor:



And here’s a view from the front, without the tank in the way 😉



The servitor itself looks pretty faceless, but that’s arguably the point of such a creature, right? 😉

All in all, I think the model is really starting to come together — and the cradle for the servitor also goes some way towards making the whole ensemble look more believable as an actual AdMech machine.

So the model should be a pretty cool addition to the small AdMech freakshow I have already built and painted for my INQ28 collection:

II. Primaris premiere

Sawing through all of those Kataphron Destroyer bitz also led to another conversion: I recently purchased a box of three snapfit Primaris Marines, so I could experiment on the new Space Marine models at some point. Say what you will about the way the bigger Marines have been shoehorned into the setting (personally, I hate it!), but the models are pretty cool and provide the perfect go-to template for building true scale Astartes for use in INQ28, among other things. So I returned to yet another conversion I had been planning for a while — although having the Primaris Marines to work from certainly made this project quite a bit easier!




As you can probably tell from looking at the model, this is supposed to be an Iron Hands (Tech-) Marine. I carefully sawed away most of the Primaris torso front and replaced it with a Kataphron Destroyer breastplate. The bionic left arm also came from the Kataphron Destroyers. The backpack and head are from the Deathwatch:Overkill Iron Hands character, and the bionic left hand and axe are from a Master of the Forge.

For the right arm, I tried just tacking on the stock arm, but this highlighted the fact that the new, elongated bolters don’t really work all that well when held in one hand — the arm just seemed ever so slightly unbalanced to me. So I carefully reposed the arm from aforementioned Deathwatch:Overkill model, and I think it works far better:




Funnnily enough, the new gun isn’t really that much shorter, but it still looks quite a bit more balanced, wouldn’t you agree? It probably has something to do with the front of the weapon having a stockier build and looking less “elongated”, for lack of a better word. Plus the cabling also adds a bit of extra visual “counterweight”, as it were.

So that’s it for this week: Nothing groundbreaking, but a couple of – hopefully interesting – kitbashes. As usual, I would love to hear your feedback! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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Inquisitor 28: From Cataphractii to Chapter Master

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2016 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, after speaking – at length – about my conversions using the Cataphractii Terminators from Betrayal at Calth and about my experiences converting that Cataphractii Praetor from the same boxed set into yet another 30k version of Lord Captain Lorimar, let’s return to the wonderful world of Cataphractii once more and discuss another conversion. The base for today’s project was, once again, the Betrayal at Calth Cataphractii Praetor:

Betrayal at Calth release (17)
Messing around with the model had already taught me that it didn’t take much to really transform the stock version of the Praetor into something else — but I wasn’t quite finished with the model yet, because I had to remember Commissar Molotov’s very interesting proof of concept for a true scale Astartes based on the Cataphractii Praetor. And after learning for myself how relatively easy it was to get rid of the model’s pidgeon-toed stance, I couldn’t get this idea out of my head. And when I recently had the chance of picking up another Praetor for cheap from fellow hobbyist Mineralwasser, that basically settled the deal. And what better way to convert this model again than to make it into the Chapter Master of my DIY Chapter, the Golden Legion?

I started by creating a very simple first mockup:

Second Golden Legionnaire early WIP (1)
The main objective here was to get a basic feel for what I wanted the model to look like. As you can see, I made the exact same adjustment to the legs I used on my Lorimar conversion earlier. Beyond that, a couple of things were pretty easy to decide, even at this early point: I really, really wanted to use that fantastic, bearded head from the Sternguard kit (possibly one of the best Space Marine heads ever), and some ostentatious shoulder pads from the same kit would be used for the Chapter Master’s pauldrons.

Regarding the overall look of the armour, I think the Cataphractii Praetor is a really promising base model for a true scale conversion, as the armour could easily pass for an older mark of regular power armour or some kind of artifcer armour. Possibly the best part is that the layered armour on the arms and legs believably looks like enforced standard power armour — unlike plastic 40k Terminator parts that will always look like Terminator armour, unless you are prepared to invest quite a bit of work.

Anyway, here’s a comparison picture with the early mockup version and my previous Golden Legion Astartes, Praetor Janus Auriga:

Second Golden Legionnaire early WIP (2)

The next step was to nail down the pose I wanted as well as the overall feel of the model, in order to decide on the additional bits I would need . For instance, the Praetor’s stock arm with the combi-bolter worked reasonably well, but it wasn’t what I had in mind for the Golden Legion. In my background notes, swordplay is a huge part of the Legion’s culture and mythology, so it goes without saying that the Chapter Master would need an especially ostentatious sword. However, as the following picture shows, using the stock arm and weapon would work really well for an Astartes with a slightly more standard set of equipment!

Second Golden Legionnaire early WIP (3)
For the left forearm, I decided to use an arm from the Stormcast Eternals models from the Age of Sigmar starter box: I already knew at this point that I wouldn’t be keeping the hammer, but the vambrace has a very nice lion design on one side, plus it really worked well scale-wise for a true scale Astartes.

But yeah, I wanted a sword, so I browsed through GW’s entire catalogue until I came upon a bit that I thought might do the trick — I even made a crude Photoshop mockup of the whole shebang at this point 😉

Second Golden Legionnaire early WIP (5)
So I ordered that sword from the Deathwing command squad, along with a small collection of additional bitz — we’ll get to the result in a second. Before that, however, here’s a look at the model’s back, warts and all, to show you the construction I used:

Second Golden Legionnaire WIP (5)
The model’s back is basically a shaved down GK Terminator torso back, which fit surprisingly well with a bit of shaving here and there. What’s more, the shaved-down back vents really make for an excellent point of attachment for a standard Space Marine backpack without any further work — I used the same approach on my first true scale Marine, incidentally.

One thing you will also have noticed in the picture above is that I did try to add a stylised deathmask to the model’s right pauldron. The idea was that this is the Deathmask of St. Sabasto, the Velsen Sector’s patron saint, so to speak, and that the Golden Legion is using it almost like a chapter badge. I felt mighty smart when I press-molded a Sanguinary Guard mask with GS, because I thought a GS duplicate would ultimately conform to the shoulder pad’s curvature far better — but unfortunately it ended up looking pretty hokey! I did find a very simple solution for this problem, though.

So here’s a look at a far more complete version of the Chapter Master:

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (1)
As you can see, the Deathwing sword works really well with the stock arm, even though it turned out to be even longer than I had anticipated. I also added a cape from the same Deathwing kit, because, let’s face it, Chapter Masters just need to look suitably ostentatious 😉

As for the mask on the shoulder pad, the solution turned out to be almost disappointingly simple: I simply grafted an original plastic Sanguinary Guard faceplate to the shoulder pad, and it worked much better than the GS copy I had on there earlier (even though it made me feel a bit stupid for even trying the long way around, so to speak):

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (3)
Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (2)
As I have mentioned earlier, the idea behind the deathmask is that it’s the stylised face of the Imperial Martyr Sabasto, patron saint of the Velsen Sector. The Golden Legion were his personal guard of honour when he defended  the sector against an incursion by the forces of the Arch-Enemy about 1,500 years ago, and his ultimate demise at the very forefront of the Crusade remains a mark of shame to the chapter, and a reason for their fanatical need to protect the Velsen Sector against any enemies from without.

At this point, most of the conversion was basically finished:

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (4)
All that was left to figure out was what to do with the left hand: I considered – and ultimately discared – many different weapon and equipment options, because they all ended up feeling a bit too pedestrian to me. But then again, leaving the hand completely empty also seemed like a bit of a missed opportunity.

Fortunately, JaggedToothGrin came up with the excellent idea of having the model hold some kind of rosary or amulet, and EdT suggested using the left hand of this Age of Sigmar Paladin Retributor:

Paladin Retributor Champion

I instantly liked this idea, but I didn’t know how easy it would be to source the required bit — but it soon became obvious that I wouldn’t even have to find that particular hand, because I discovered yet another suitable part on the Sternguard sprue.

So here’s Orestes Prabian, Lord Commander of the Golden Legion, finished except for maybe a bit or two 😉

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (10)
The small chain with a Crux Terminatus dangling from it was originally part of a Sternguard torso, but it seemed like a natural fit, so I carefully snipped it off and grafted it to an empty fist from the same source, and I am really happy with the result:

 

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (12)

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (14)

The area where the backpack meets the cape will require some minor cleanup, but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. After that, it’ll mostly be a case of carefully adding a bit more bling to the model here and there 😉

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (13)

I think the finished conversion is suitably iconic to work as a Chapter Master — and, maybe even more importantly, it also believably works as a true scale Astartes! Here’s another comparison picture with Janus Auriga:

Prabian & Auriga comparison picture
Granted, upon closer examination, Janus may be ever so slightly taller than his Chapter Master — a result of my cobbling together a recipe while I was going on the first model, whereas the second Astartes was mostly based on a rock solid base model. In the end, I didn’t want to mess up the Chapter Master’s proportions by awkwardly splicing in any spacers, though — and who knows, maybe Janus is just a big guy, even for an Astartes?

Here’s another picture, showing both the Chapter Master and my 30k Lorimar version — both of them are obviously based on the same plastic Cataphractii Praetor:

Prabian & Lorimar comparison picture
While I wasn’t completely sold on the stock model for a while, it has really grown on me, due to its surprising versatility. And it does make for a pretty much perfect base for a true scale conversion, if you ask me!

And with that, we can mostly consider the Cataphractii case closed — expect to see more of these guys once I get some paint on them 😉

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

Golden Legion Chapter Master WIP (11)

Inquisitor 28: Can’t stop!

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2016 by krautscientist

More INQ28-related work this week, which may or may not be good news for you, depending on what it is you want from this blog 😉 But I really can’t help it, I seem to be on a bit of a roll when it comes to INQ28 lately, in spite of everything, so I guess you’ll just have to indulge me.

There are two projects I would like to share with you today, and the first is basically a further exploration of the things I talked about in my previous post, that is the idea of exploring INQ28 characters by building retainers and familiars to further their background. Hot off my recent work on Inquisitor Gotthardt’s retinue, I focused my attention on this gentleman here, Praetor Janus Auriga of the Golden Legion, my first true scale Marine:

Praetor Janus Auriga (13)
I am still tremedously pleased with the model, but there were still a couple of loose ends for me to tie up: Shortly after completing the original conversion, I came up with two retainers for Janus Auriga, creating something like a “mini-warband” of sorts.

The first of those was a converted chapter serf carrying Praetor Auriga’s helmet:

Chapter Serf
This model was originally created for a fairly mundane reason: I had a nice helmet for my true scale Marine, but I also definitely wanted the model to be bare headed. Of course I could have just glued the helmet to the model’s belt, but building a chapter serf for the task of carrying the helmet just seemed like such a great way of channelling the medieval nature of the Space Marines, so I just went for it. You also don’t usually see too many chapter serfs in model for, so there was that, too.

Afterwards, ing simply fell into place: I still had a cherub carrying a bolter back from when Codex: Witchhunters was originally released. My cousin Andy gave the model to me a while ago:

Bolter_Cherub
And while the sculpt is not without its problems, this little guy just seemed like the perfect addition to Brother Auriga’s small retinue: One servant to carry the helmet, one to carry the bolter — ideal, really! So I merely rebased the cherub, and he was ready for painting.

Bolter Cherub WIP (1)

What I ended up with was a rather characterful little group, if I do say so myself:

Brother Sergeant Auriga and Retainers WIP
And in addition to giving up a very strong 40k vibe, the two retainers also contextualise the Astartes, making him seem even more massive and monstrous.

So with my recent success while working on some older models for Inquisitor Gotthardt’s retinue, I felt it was finally time to return to Brother Auriga’s servants and finally complete them.

First up, the chapter serf. Here’s a PIP shot:

Golden Legion Chapter Serf PIP (1)
It was clear from the start that the helmet would be painted to match the Praetor’s armour. So in order to really make the helmet stand out as the priceless chapter relic it probably is, I had to paint the chapter serf in mostly drab, earthen tones, so as not to make him to overwhelming from a visual perspective. This proved to be an interesting challenge, because while I did want the model to clearly read as a servant and chapter menial, I also didn’t want the character to come across as (too) filthy and downtrodden, because while that would certainly have highlighted the whole medieval angle about him, it would also have felt somewhat unsuitable for a Space Marine chapter, even a rather archaic one. What’s more, while this guy may be a mere menial for the chapter, his task is still an important one, and he takes pride in it (I am actually feeling reminded of the Bright Carvers from Gormenghast, if that makes any sense).

I also realised that I would need something beyond the helmet to suggest the model’s affiliation with the Golden Legion chapter, and golden armour was out of the question, for fairly obvious reasons. Hence the inclusion of a small heraldic plate featuring the Golden Legion’s trademark black and white checkerboard pattern (that also appears on Praetor Janus Auriga’s left pauldron).

So here’s the finished chapter serf:

Golden Legion Chapter Serf (2)
Golden Legion Chapter Serf (1)
Golden Legion Chapter Serf (3)
As you can see, I added a backpack to the model. I really wanted to invoke the impression that, in addition to carrying that helmet in a suitably dramatic fashion, the chapter serf also serves Janus Auriga as a personal artificer:

Golden Legion Chapter Serf (4)
Golden Legion Chapter Serf (5).JPG
Golden Legion Chapter Serf (6)
Something I really like about the finished model is the combination of fairly mundane equipment (like the hammer and wrench) with the more esoteric gear underneath (small caskets of what I imagine to be holy oils and unguents, and a small book containing the correct rites of maintenance for the Astartes warplate): In spite of all the mysticism surrounding technology in the 41st millennium, what are you going to use, at the end of the day, to get a dent out of an armour plate but a hammer? Of course you’ll be singing the required hymyms of repair at the top of your lungs during the act, but my point still stands 😉

So here are Janus Auriga and his chapter serf. I really like the dynamic between the two models:

Janus Auriga of the Golden Legion and Chapter Serf
After the challenge of painting the serf model, getting some paint on the cherub was a pretty straightforward affair — the main challenge here was to work around some of the kinks inherent in the model itself. I’ll be honest with you: I am really just about through with metal models at this point. But the little guy made such a beautiful retainer for Janus Auriga that I gritted my teeth together and persevered:

Bolter Cherub (1)
Bolter Cherub (2)
Bolter Cherub (3)
So here are all three models together:

Praetor Janus Auriga and retainers (3)
I really think the combination of Janus Auriga’s somewhat archaic artificer warplate and his two servants underlines the quasi-medieval and archaic nature of the Astartes as monastic warrior knights, for lack of a better word.

Interestingly enough, the whole project wasn’t really about rules or gaming concerns — …appearing, so to speak, and they felt like a great way of fleshing out the nature of the Golden Legion. That said, the helmet bearer and cherub really have the feeling of a fancy wound counters, don’t they? Maybe one mini-mission could even be to reunite the Astartes with his helmet and bolter, with the two pieces of equipment being carried by those familiars…?

Anyway, I am pretty happy with this “mini-warband”, and it feels good to be able to cross two more formerly unpainted models off from my list 😉

 

The other project I would like to share with you today is one that really makes me profoundly happy, even if it began with a very sad event: As you’ll remember, Wayne England passed away recently, and we have seen all kinds of tributes to him across the blogosphere and the forums. One particularly beautiful  tribute came in the form of a very elegant conversion inspired by one of Mr. England’s illustrations courtesy of the very talented Brothers Wier.

Now when I saw their model, I actually felt a pang of envy, both because the conversion was excellent, but also because I really didn’t feel able to come up with a similar tribute in model form, and that irked me a bit.

But then the strangest thing happened: PDH posted some thoughts about a new Inquisitorial Ordo, the Ordo Scriptorum, over at the Ammobunker. To quote Peter on the matter:

Ordo Scriptorum
The main task of the Ordo Scriptorum is to find errors and failures within Adeptus Administratum and Adeptus Astra Telepathica. The Ordo examines and investigates the communications and record keeping of the Imperium. Since its inception it has branched out and subsumed the roles and responsibilities of Ordo Scriptus, preserving the official historical records of the Imperium too. The Ordo Scriptorum maintains and scrutinises the record keeping of the entire Imperium from the present and going back to its inception, prior to the Horus Heresy and the Great Crusade. For millennia the Ordo Scriptorum has been based solely on Terra but factions within it have begun moving resources off the Throne World; they feel a presence in Sectors throughout the wider Imperium would reduce the error rate and the time it takes to discover and rectify mistakes. Plus being able to proportionate blame in person is seen as a good deterrent to scribes of the Adeptus Administatum.

Some find is surprising how well armed and militant Ordo Scriptorum Inquisitors can be. But the Ordo Scriptorum often finds itself acting within the remit of the Ordo Hereticus upon bureaucults and the fallen within the Adeptus Administratum. Plus the philosophical wars with the Ordo Scriptorum mean that its members are often required to bear arms for protection (…)

And while this already reads like a rather promising outline, Peter also added a piece of artwork by none other than the late and great Wayne England to illustrate what he thought an Inquisitor of the Ordo Scriptorum might look like. Incidentally, I have featured the very same illustration as part of my recent tribute post to Wayne England, and it’s easily one of my favourite pieces of art done by him:

illustration by Wayne England

illustration by Wayne England

And seeing these ideas and concepts being brought together by Peter just resonated with me, for some reason: Things just started to fall into place, and suddenly I found myself starting to convert a model, and I didn’t really come to until I was halfway through the project.

At first I merely started trying out some bitz and shapes. One thing I really wanted to get right was the stunning silhouette and pose from the original artwork. So this is what I ended up with after a bit of messing around:

Redactor early WIP (2)
Redactor early WIP (3)
Redactor early WIP (1)
I was lucky enough to have some bitz lying around that really came in handy during this process: The robed legs from the WFB/AoS Chaos Sorcerer were a bit of a no-brainer. Then I discovered that the bitz best-suited to producing the pose and overall look I wanted came from the Dreamforge Games Eisenkern Stormtroopers. And the part that really made the conversion promising, even at this early stage, was a servitor head from the Space Marines Stormraven kit — easily one of the best overlooked bitz from GW’s entire catalogue, if you ask me.

So I was off to a fairly promising start, but the model wasn’t quite there yet, obviously. So I didn’t stop until I had this:

Redactor WIP (1)
Redactor WIP (2)
Redactor WIP (3)
Yes, definitely getting there!

And thanks to an abundance of helpful feedback on the Ammobunker and Dakka, I was able to make the final push and complete the conversion:

Redactor WIP (15)
I decided to add another book to the model’s hip, in spite of my misgivings about it possibly messing with the silhouette: What really won me over was the parallel between those books and twin pistol holsters: It seems as though this Inquisitor were wielding his knowledge as a weapon…

I also added a scroll (from the 54mm Eisenhorn model, no less) to the left hand. And a key from the WFB Empire flagellants, an element hinting at hidden knowledge and a certain mysticism.

Redactor WIP (14)
I also couldn’t help myself and added a small Inquisitorial symbol to one of the books 😉

Redactor WIP (13)
The model’s back is where I deviated from the original sketch: I didn’t recreate that big, augmetic sack of scrolls appearing in the artwork, but rather went for something a little more subdued, mostly because I think it better fits the character: An Inquisitor of some standing should have a menial to carry around all of those scrolls, after all (which also gives me a handy excuse for building yet another model):

Redactor WIP (12)
All in all, I am really very, very happy with the model! Here’s another comparison between the orignal illustration and my interpretation of it:

illustration by Wayne England

illustration by Wayne England

Redactor WIP (15)
As for a possible retinue, I think it would have to have a very special feel, like the Inquisitor himself. Right now, I am considering at least one menial carrying books and scrolls (similar to a couple of models PDH is building at the moment). And maybe a hulking member of the Guild of Parchment Scroteners, doubling as a bodyguard? This model would probably be based on the Brian Nelson Nurgle Lord (or a Putrid Blightking) and use an approach similar to conversions done by PDH and Jeff Vader. Maybe I’ll also have to source those scribes/assistants from the Celestial Hurricaum kit…? Anyway, I am open to suggestions for possible characters, of course!

 

So yeah, so much from the wonderful world of INQ28 for today! It goes without saying that I would love to hear any feedback you might have!

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

Inquisitor 28: Praetor Janus Auriga of the Golden Legion

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2015 by krautscientist

“Our shield wall marks the borders of the Imperium. Behind us lies the Velsen Sector, forever protected by the brethren of the Golden Legion. For the martyr! For the Sword Saint! The Emperor Protects!”

Golden Legion battle chant

 

Almost every INQ28 aficionado will invariably start thinking about true scale Astartes at some point in their hobby life. Maybe it’s a strange relapse to the stage of desperately wanting to incorporate Space Marines into games of Inquisitor, maybe it’s the realisation that INQ28, with its bigger focus on individuals over squads or armies, is the perfect occasion to do justice to the legendary transhuman warriors the Astartes appear as in the background. Whatever the reason, many hobbyists feel drawn to the task of building their own true scaled Marine — or ten, for that matter.

I was no exception to this rule, and you may remember that I was really happy when I had finally completed the conversion for my first truescale Marine — once again, this has been a long running project (check out my first post on the matter for the whole story). In any case, the completed model ended up looking like this:

Brother Sergeant Auriga (7)
Brother Sergeant Auriga (4)
One thing that I was particularly happy with is how the model compares when placed next to regular, 28mm Marines:

Brother Sergeant Auriga (8)
So much for the conversion job, then. But it was obvious that the model would have to be painted at some point, and I really wanted to give it my best shot. I did have an idea for a highly ostentatious, “blinged out” Imperial Fists successor chapter that patterned itself after the Legio Custodes of old, to some degree. But before I jumped in at the deep end, I set out to collect some inspiration to help me.

Thanks must go to DexterKong, above all else, as some lengthy conversations with him helped me nail down what I wanted the Golden Legion to be like. So why some of the chapter history may still be up in the air at the moment, the ideas born in these conversations really helped me to imbue the model with an underlying narrative, even if you know nothing about the actual chapter.

Regarding actual models that inspired me, Bruticus’ wonderful Brother Mythras of the Sun Titans was certainly a huge influence, seeing how he’s both a Marine in golden armour, plus Bruticus also used the Custodes connection in his fluff — speaking of which, definitely make sure to check out the chapter’s excellent background!

Then there were EdT’s amazing true scale warbands (I recommend you bookmark his thread right away), which were also a huge help in getting me started.

And finally, Jeff Vader said he felt inspired by my true scale conversion to draw this illustration of a Space Marine…

illustration by Jeff Vader

illustration by Jeff Vader

…which then went right back into influencing the paintjob for my own model (as you will see in a minute).

So with those inspirational pieces firmly on my mind (and after the usual bit of deliberation on my part), it was finally time to get painting. Here’s what I did:

Everything started with a foundation for the golden armour. This was a pretty enjoyable step, as it involved lots of drybrushing and washing, and I had made sure during the building stage that the model’s armour would have lots of raised detail. Here’s what the armour looked like after this step:

Janus Auriga PIP (1)
The recipe was easy but effective: The entire model was undercoated with black spraypaint (as usual), then generously drybrushed with GW Warplock Bronze. Then a wash of Gryphonne Sepia (although Seraphim Sepia or Army Painter Soft Tone would probably have worked just as well), then another drybrush with GW Brass Scorpion. And finally, some more controlled highlights with a mix of Brass Scorpion and Mithril Silver. Not rocket science, really, but it got the job done.

Afterwards, it was mostly a matter of blocking out the various detail, although I did try to add a special flourish or two:

Inspired by Jeff Vader’s illustration above, I wanted to paint a checkerboard pattern on one of the pauldrons, in order to make the model look more interesting (and also a bit more gothic). This turned out to be quite a challenge, as I hadn’t attempted anything similar for about twenty years, I suppose…

In the end, I managed to come up with a checkerboard pattern that certainly wasn’t perfect, but convincing enough for me:

Janus Auriga PIP (15)
Janus Auriga PIP (16)

And after that, filling out the rest of the blanks wasn’t that much of a challenge, really. So without further ado, I give you Praetor Janus Auriga of the Golden Legion:

Praetor Janus Auriga (9)
Praetor Janus Auriga (13)
Praetor Janus Auriga (14)
Praetor Janus Auriga (15)
Praetor Janus Auriga (16)
Praetor Janus Auriga (1)

Here’s a closer look at the left pauldron with its checkerboard pattern:

Praetor Janus Auriga (10)
I am actually really pleased with this part of the model, warts and all! Oh, and in a second personal premiere, this also marks the first time that I have ever managed to paint a red jewel that didn’t end up looking like some kind of cherry — I am so happy! 😉

Praetor Janus Auriga (11)
Praetor Janus Auriga (12)
Some people have remarked that he seems like a gnarly, hard-boiled Clint Eastwood type to them, which is exactly what I had in mind: The backstory for Brother Auriga is that he is no longer 100% combat worthy after an injury and has been seconded to the council advising the Sector Governor by the Chapter’s Lord Commander, in order to speak as his representative. Brother Auriga is blunt to a fault, and was deliberately selected by the Lord Commander to counteract the amount of bargaining and politicking on the council. He also sees his posting as a honourless and onerous task and would much rather return to combat.

Oh, and one more thing about the model: You may have noticed that I’ve decided to keep the Inquisitorial seal on his breastplate. This wasn’t an oversight, but a conscious decision: Brother Auriga was one of a number of battle brothers who had the honour of fighting alongside the forces of the Ordo Malleus during the quelling of the daemon-infested world of St. Berthold, which is why he still proudly wears an Inquisitorial signet as part of his personal heraldry.

And finally, a couple of scale comparisons that will show you how Brother Auriga measures up to next to my other latest INQ28 models:

Brother Auriga next to Interrogatory Brynn Yulner (a roughly Cadian sized model):

Praetor Janus Auriga scale comparison (2)
And next to Sister Euphrati Eisen:

Praetor Janus Auriga scale comparison (1)
In fact, Brother Auriga makes a rather nice centre piece for my entire INQ28 collection, as he basically towers over all the other models 😉

And of course this post wouldn’t be complete without a little background vignette to accompany the model. So here goes:

Protector of Velsen
Praetor Janus Auriga, of the Golden Legion Astartes Chapter

Seneschal Secundus Goswinus Baehrn stood at the edge of the landing platform, his robes flapping about him in the icy breeze. Baehrn prided himself on being a thoroughly unemotional person, but even so, he had been extremely nervous, ever since the news had reached him half an hour earlier: The Astartes gunship “Falco Aureus” had made planetfall and was approaching the Hive Primus with an urgent dispatch for the Lord Governor himself.

Direct dealings with the Chapter were few and far between these days, and mostly limited to the most prestigious social functions, which was why Goswinus Baehrn had never actually laid eyes on a member of the Adeptus Astartes up close during his fifteen years in his fairly prestigious position. Under normal circumstances, the task of welcoming a representative of the Legion on Bastold would have fallen under the purview of Senschal Primus Mathewelin, but the old man had retired to his chambers the prior night, with a generous supply of amasec and Obscura and, it was whispered, in the company of several women of questionable renown. In any case, Baehrn had been unable to rouse his superior, which now left him the highest-ranking official to deal with this unforeseen event — He could only suspect that the Seneschal Primus would have to say something about this breach of etiquette at some point in the near future. In fact, there would almost certainly be hell to pay later in the day, not a doubt about it, yet even this prospect was nothing against the mounting sense of dread filling Baehrn as he saw the Astartes vessel approaching: The gunship came in low against the rising sun, as if for a covert attack run. It was a blunt, brutal shape, not unlike a fist, the roar of its engines growing from clearly audible to almost unbearable, as it drew close to the landing platform.

The gunship touched down at the very centre of the platform. Baehrn could see its golden bulk, the exquisite scrollwork and lettering in High Gothic proclaiming its many glorious years of service, yet also the scars and welts that spoke of a life of constant battles. The Seneschal Secundus drew himself up to his full height as the front ramp opened with a hiss, taking a deep breath and sending a silent prayer to the God-Emperor to grant him composure.

“They have sent us a statue!” That was his first thought as he saw the massive golden figure standing at the top of the ramp: A perfect rendition of an Astartes in gold, its armour beautifully detailed, its arms clutching a boltgun across the chest in the most iconic pose imaginable. Baehrn almost laughed out loud as relief flooded through him — the Golden Legion merely wanted to provide an overwrought – and fairly narcissistic – gift to the rulers of Velsen, doubtlessly to be unveiled during a suitably extensive and garish ceremony.

This feeling was short lived, however, and quickly replaced by utter dread as the golden figure started marching down the landing ramp in precise, measured steps.

It was all Goswinus Baehrn could do not to cringe in fear at the approaching giant, and he bowed his head in supplication instead, making the sign of the aquila. When the low purr of active power armour finally emanated from directly in front of him, setting his teeth on edge, there was only a very slight quaver in his voice as he intoned the formal greeting in High Gothic:

“We welcome thee, protector of Velsen, in this hallowed fulcrum of our realm. It is our honour to lay eyes upon thee, and thine every wish shalt be our command, honoured battle brother of the Legio Aurea. The Emperor Protects.”

“Who are you?” The armour’s speaker systems lent the voice a slightly metallic quality, but it was powerful and deep underneath. A voice that demanded instant obeissance.

“Seneschal Secundus Goswinus Baehrn, my lord, member of the household of House Vlachen and most obedient servant of the Lord High-Protector, the Emperor bless his name.”

The giant in golden armour kept staring at Baehrn through glowing blue eye lenses for what seemed like an eternity, but could only have been a few heartbeats, then he lowered the massive bolter, securing it to his thigh with a soft metallic clank. He reached up towards his laurel crested helmet, disengaging the seals with a hiss. When he lifted the helmet free of his head, Baehrn could see a grizzled face, stern and lined, yet with broad features that instantly marked its owner as something more than human, and crowned by a crest of hair so bright that it appeared white. The Astartes’ eyes were of a piercing blue, and as Baehrn did his best to hold their gaze, he felt as though he were being evaluated, no, …targeted. Then The giant spoke:

“I am Praetor Janus Auriga  of the Golden Legion, envoy to Lord Commander Prabian. I am here on the Lord Commander’s orders, to speak with Lord Governor Vlachen, that I might advise him in the the governing of Velsen.”

“Advise…the Lord Governor?” Baehrn almost spluttered: “My lord, that…”

Auriga interrupted him briskly: “The Lord Commander feels that, in the light of current events, the Chapter should take a more active role in guiding the sector. I have therefore been commanded to take the legion’s customary seat on the council.”

Baehrn could barely keep his emotions in check, reeling as he was from the implications of the Praetor’s words: The Golden Legion’s seat on the council had been vacant for a very long time – so long as to make the office seem more than a symbolic gesture than anything – and he doubted even the older members of the noble houses could remember when a member of the Chapter had actually traveled to Bastold to speak on behalf of his Lord Commander on the council. The mere revelation of this latest development would throw the council in an uproar. All of this went through Baehrn’s head, as his mind raced to find an appropriate reply.

A non-committal “…my lord” was all he could safely come up with.

“I will need accommodations for myself and my retainers.” The Praetor indicated a small group of robed figures exiting the gunship.

“It will be done, my lord!” Baehrn was glad the conversation seemed to be on terra firma. “It shall be attended to at once. And I will send notice to your quarters, once the council is back in session, so that you may speak to the representatives…”

“Negative!”, Auriga interrupted: “I will address the council now!”

Baehrn almost reeled back, as the terror came flooding back in full force. “NOW? But, my lord,…the council is in recess right now. The council members will…”

“Are the council chambers still located in sector C-34 of the central spire?”

“Y…yes, my lord.”

“Good. Then I will meet the council members there.”

With these words, the giant in golden armour started to march towards the Hive’s interior, with a very agitated Senschal Secundus doing his best to keep up.

Things on Bastold were about to change.

 

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

Totally rotten – a hands on with the Putrid Blightkings

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2014 by krautscientist

There I was last week, talking about my ambitious goals for this year’s Call of Chaos — and already, I have been distracted. But worry not: I am still reasonably optimistic about my ability to go through with my vow, and there’s also the fact that the new Putrid Blightkings are the kind of kit you just have to start working on right away — and I would like to show you the results of that work today:

The basic idea with these guys seems to have been to collect all the best elements and details from every cool Nurgle model and piece of artwork so far and mash them into one box of plastic crack, thereby creating a bit of a “Best Of” collection. It works surprisingly well, though, finally giving us a way to emulate the hulking, pustulent characters that have only ever appeared in the artwork so far.

When it comes to actually reviewing the kit itself, Eric Wier of Between the Bolter And Me has put together a very concise and informative piece that I can only recommend. So with the hard work of reviewing the kit already out of the way, I am free to get my hands dirty and dive right in! Before we do that, though, I’d like to add a few observations of my own (in some cases reiterating what I said in my last post):

First up, I already commented on the size of these guys, and if anything, this aspect seems to have become even more relevant since my last post: It looks like many people were planning to use the Blightkings either as Plague Ogres and/or chaos spawn, yet the scale comparison below shows that they are not all that well suited to either function:

Blightkings WIP (2)
Many people seem to be disappointed about this. And, indeed, if you are looking for a way of converting Plague Ogryns, I’d suggest looking elsewhere: It would be far easier to just get a box of Ogres or Ogryns, the mutants from the WFB Warshrine of Chaos or a couple of Blood Island Rat Ogres and convert them accordingly. Some of the weapons and armour plates from the Blightking kit might come in handy for that kind of conversion, but I don’t really see a readily apparent way of making the heads, bodies and most of the arms fit Ogryn scale — unless you’re going for vestigial and/or atrophied limbs, that is…

But in my opinion, the glass is really half full rather than half empty: We really have enough possible conversion fodder of Ogryn/chaos spawn size readily available, as it stands! The Blightkings, however, are interesting in that they provide models that would work well as alternate Plague Terminators or, and this may just be the most interesting option, true scale Plague Marines — and without much need for making them bigger or bulkier. In fact, that’s the route I’ll be taking for my own Blightkings for now.

As people are beginning to work with the new kits, the first conversions are beginning to roll in: The spectacularly talented Jeff Vader has been working on some truly excellent Blightking conversions of his own that have been a huge inspiration for me. PDH has built some equally awesome Blightkings as an addition to his Realms of Chaos Nurgle warband (which, by the way, gets a feature in this month’s Blanchitsu, if the teaser on the GW website is to be believed) — I hope Peter will be showing his models to the general public soon. And I imagine other talented artists, such as JRN, migsula and the Spiky Rats, won’t be too far behind — I think we can look forward to a world of rot 😉

So, allow me to add my own pound of (maggotty) flesh: Let me walk you through my first couple of (mostly) finished Blightking conversions.

It shouldn’t surprise you that my basic approach was to bring the models into the 40k universe. I am not 100% sure what the function of these will be (or whether or not they’ll ever see the gaming table), but for now, simply exploring the kit and trying to bring it into my favourite grimdark universe is very much its own reward. So, without further ado, some pictures:

Here’s my first Blightking model. You already know an earlier incarnation of this guy:

Blightkings WIP (24)
This may still be my favourite of the bunch, although that doesn’t have anything to do with my conversion, but rather with the fact that the champion model is pretty much pitch perfect right out of the box. I chose a helmeted head (easily the coolest head in the kit) over the Plaguebearer face, because I liked the ominous look created by the helmet. Apart from that, the model was mostly assembled according to the instructions that came with the kit. To be honest, I did struggle a bit when it came to making this guy look more like a 40k model, but in the end, I think I came up with a pretty good idea: I added a cracked CSM breastplate to the model, making it look like the armour had burst under some hideous internal pressure. I am really happy with the result, because it adds a 40k element, leaves the hideously wonderful belly completely visible and, if anything, makes the model even more gross!

I also gave this guy a slightly modified backpack from the Dark Vengeance Chosen. I think the slightly twisted look is a great match for the overall Blightking aesthetic, plus the champ now has a bolter:

Blightkings WIP (25)
Several people have suggested using more futuristic weapons — but in the end, I just couldn’t go through with it. There’s just something about the sword and axe combo that I really like, and I just couldn’t bring myself to cut them apart…

The second model started out similar to one of Jeff Vader’s conversions, although I tried to take it into a slightly different direction. Take a look:

Blightkings WIP (27)
The base for this conversion was one of the (almost) fully armoured Blightkings, which made it much easier to turn this guy into a 40k model: The right arm was replaced with a Chaos Terminator arm (which also provided the gun). The left arm is from the Blightkings kit (although I used a bone from the WFB Crypt Ghouls to add a crossguard to the sword).

After quite a bit of deliberation, I chose a WFB chaos warrior head for the model: Not only is this one of my favourite heads, but it also fits Nurgle rather nicely, I think. Several people pointed out that the head was a bit of a missed opportunity, because a more Marine-like head would have helped making the model more futuristic. While I did want to keep the head, I also agreed with their point to some degree, so I added an array of tubes and pipes to the helmet, with some of them feeding into a custom backpack that I spliced together for the model:

Blightkings WIP (28)
It goes without saying that the backpack does have an ominous tank on top — par for the course with Death Guard models, really 😉

I also added some more detail to root the model more firmly in the 40k universe: some grenades and gear as well as a washer screw (painstakingly shaved off an Ork boy weapon). All in all, while the model still retains quite a medieval look and feel, I think it’s definitely futuristic enough to work in the context of 40k!

And finally, my third model so far, and possibly the most involved conversion of the three:

Once again, Jeff Vader provided the inspiration here (I shudder at my derivativeness… 😉 ): I wanted to build a Blightking conversion wielding a heavy weapon — but I did want it to look markedly different from Jeff’s approach, rather going for the classic pose of a heavy bolter being held in front of the body. Now let me tell you: The Blightking kit does not exactly lend itself spectacularly well to shenanigans like that, and getting the arms and pose to work out turned out to be a bit of a nightmare. I persevered, however, and after much cutting and gluing, I ended up with this:

Blightkings WIP (29)
The model ist still missing quite a few details, but I think it already gives you a good idea of what the finished model will look like. The arms holding the heavy bolter were painstakingly spliced together, using bitz from no less than four different sources (a WFB Chaos Knights right arm, Space Marine Sternguard heavy bolter, Space Marine Terminator left upper arm and, finally, the actual Blightking’s shield arm. All in all, I am really extremely happy that I went through with this idea, even though it was a lot of work! And even though I only realised it after the fact, the model could even be seen as a small tribute to this illustration by Adrian Smith.

I also think that the clunky heavy bolter backpack does a nice job of bulking out the model. I have begun converting it into a more Nurglite form, with yet more tanks welded on beneath the main body of the pack:

Blightkings WIP (31)
This is certainly the most WIP of the three models at this point, so there’ll be more details to come. But, again, I am really happy with this guy.

All in all, I’d like to quote an excellent point made by Eric in his review of the Blightking kit:

Games Workshop’s new approach  with the Blightkings provides some freedom to the consumer, while also letting the sculptors truly explore and convey their own creative vision.  And while some may argue that it makes conversions more difficult because you cannot simply swap an arm or body, I think it just encourages people to step out of their comfort zone and attempt more elaborate conversions, ones that are more than simply kitbashes.

This is so true! It took me quite a while to get started with these models, because the specific way the models were constructed seemed a bit intimidating. I was also forced to come up with at least a rough idea beforehand, instead of just seeing where the conversion took me. But in the end, this more involved and conscious way of working was a lot of fun, and I am really happy with the models I have managed to produce so far:

Blightkings WIP (32)
You can probably guess my verdict: These guys are excellent, and quite a lot of fun to work with. That said, they demand more work and more planning ahead if you want to make the most of them than, say, a Space Marine kit. They are a very interesting resource for true scale (Chaos) Space Marines. And they’ll give you a huge pile of Nurgle-y bitz (and then some) that you can use on your Death Guard or Chaos Daemons. Oh, and just a word of warning, perhaps: Once you’ve hit your stride, working with them gets quite addictive 😉

As for my own models, so far I’ve managed to come up with three characters that I am thoroughly pleased with. I am not sure whether these will be used as counts as Terminators in a small Death Guard detachment, as villains for INQ28, a Killteam or if I am just going to build an paint them for the heck of it, but when has that ever stopped me from kitbashing and converting, right?

It goes without saying that I would love to hear any feedback you might have in the comments section! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Blightkings WIP (33)

Inquisitor 28: Kitbashing spree pt. 2 – The Hammer of the Emperor

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, Pointless ramblings, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2014 by krautscientist

Right, sorry for the late update, and for getting ages to get back to any comments — work is crazy at the moment. Please bear with me, while I try not to lose my mind 😉

Anyway, let me show you another batch of (fairly) recently kitbashed models from the wonderful world of INQ28: Maybe due to the recent release of the new Astra Militarum Codex, this update will mainly be featuring characters with a bit of an IG background.

With one notable exception, however: In a bit of an addendum to my last post, I have come up with two possible retainers to Brother-Sergeant Auriga, my true scale Marine:

 

1. An Astartes’s Servants

First up, I’ve had this little guy in my bitzbox for ages now:

Bolter_Cherub
But while I love cherubim – they’re such an ironic part of what makes 40k interesting – I never got around to finding an actual use for the model: That bolter the little guy is lugging around didn’t seem like such a good match for any of my Inquisitors, and I didn’t want to chop it off for fear of permanently ruining the model.

Brother Sergeant Auriga, however, is a Space Marine. And by virtue of being a Space Marine, he would own and wield a bolter, right? Well, so much the better, because now he has a servant to carry the weapon for him, at least when it’s not actually required on the battlefield, but rather as a “sign of office”, as it were. And it really fits my idea of the Golden Legion that they would not be above a bit of ostentatiousness like this.

Once I had seen the Marine and cherub together, there was no stopping me, and so I started working on yet another retainer for Brother Auriga: My original plan had been to have options for both a bare head and a helmeted one, but then I really liked the idea of having a chapter serf carry the Brother-Sergeant’s helmet. Here’s an early mockup:

Chapter Serf
These three really look great together, if you ask me:

Brother Sergeant Auriga and Retainers WIP
At the same time, this growing retinue illustrates a bit of a challenge I am facing at the moment: My problem, if you can call it a problem at all, seems to be that some of the models I have recently built seem to warrant further retainers and familiars, just because it’s such a great way of further exploring them as characters. You’ll be seeing another example of this in a minute, and while building some additional models (for additional narrative texture) is a blast, I wonder whether I’ll ever be able to finish all of these… Then again, as long as it’s fun, it certainly can’t be all bad, can it?

Anyway, moving on to the Astra Militarum guys:

 

II. The Rank And File

I suppose some of you will still be remembering my kitbashed Trencher, right? Well, messing around with a Dark Vengeance chaos cultist and an Eisenkern Stormtrooper head lead to a model that might be a playfellow for him (or maybe a soldier of the opposing army?). Take a look:

Trenchers WIP
Then there’s a special ops trooper I built, heavily inspired by one of Commissar Molotov’s conversions:

Trooper WIP (6)
This guy was built by combining two sets of Cadian legs (you’ll quickly see the area where the conversion still needs some evening out) and adding some bitz from the Tempestus Scions (nothing says “elite soldier” quite like a beret worn in combat, right? 😉 I also added some bitz to the lasgun, in order to make it look like a custom model:

Trooper WIP (5)

III. Ordo Militum?!

I have also begun to mess around with the Tempestor Prime bitz, creating a model that could become a high-ranking Guard officer, or maybe even an Inquisitor with strong ties to the Ordo Militum? Take a look:
Tempestor kitbash WIP (4)
This model is not yet finished, of course. For now, the most involved change to the base model was to add the saber of the plastic Ordo Prefectus Commissar — which I think fits this model rather better than the model it originally came from. I’m also not yet sure whether I like it better held vertically or horizontally:

Tempestor kitbash WIP (5)Thoughts?

Speaking of the Ordo Prefectus Commissar, I have begun to turn him into an agent of the Ordos:

I quickly realised that the model had a bit of a “gunslinger” vibe going on, so I experimented with different weapons setups (and added a head with a bionic eye that seems to support the character’s targeting prowess:

Gunslinger Inq WIP (2)
Gunslinger Inq WIP (1)
As for the actual weapons, the plasma pistol seemed a little too clunky for me, and while I liked the Dark Eldar pistol well enough for its sleek silhouette, it just seemed too xenos for a military man like this — it would probably be ideal if one were to build a Rogue Trader from this base model, however. Just sayin’…

In the end, I opted for a custom weapon, kitbashed from a Dark Eldar fusion pistol and a strut from a GK backpack:

Gunslinger Inq WIP (11)
I am reasonably pleased with the outcome, because it looks clunky enough to qualify as Imperial, but could also conceivably have xenos origins. In any case, it has a bit of the classic, retro-futuristic “SCIENCE!” look, don’t you think?

Another fun experiment was to use some different legs on the model:

Gunslinger Inq WIP (9)
In this case, I tried some legs from the Eisenkern Stormtroopers, and while the result might look a little off, I think it might be an avenue of conversion that definitely warrants further exploration.

For this particular model, though, I am going to keep the standard legs:

Gunslinger Inq WIP (12)
So who is this guy? I think he’s looking a bit too ostentatious to be a “regular” gunslinger. He might be an actual Inquisitor, but there’s a cockiness in his pose and expression that makes me think he might make a better Interrogator — maybe a servant of the Ordo Militum Inquisitor above?

 

IV. An Officer And A Gentleman…

There’s one last set of models I would like to show you, and these are another example of my recent fancy when it comes to going off on a tangent in order to kitbash some “spin off” miniatures, so to speak. But let’s start at the beginning:

A rather long while ago, fellow hobbyist and all around great guy PDH let me have a tank commander commissar from the FW DKOK Commissar set — on the condition that I would use it for a conversion.

Well, it took me ages to finally come up with a conversion opportunity for the model – mostly because the tank commander is lacking the legs below the knee, for obvious reasons – but when the Tempestus Scions appeared upon the scene, I finally had my solution (and a way to give this guy new legs). Take a look:

Krieg_conversion (3)
As you can see, I just added in the lower legs of a Tempestus Scion — which worked like a charm, with only minimal cutting and GS’ing involved! In order to make the model look more like a noble and austere character, I also replaced the DKOK gas mask with a bare head (from the Empire Knights’ White Wolves sprue, of all places…). On a related note, I did keep the commissar head perfectly intact, in order to be able to use it in a future conversion:

Krieg_conversion (4)
Anyway, when I posted the DKOK conversion on my Ammobunker thread, fellow hobbyist Logan pointed out that the model reminded him of a painting of Karl Franz of Austria. And then it hit me: This guy actually looks like he is posing for a portrait, isn’t he?

I actually embraced this effect, and in order to further emphasise it, I added a servo-skull and a small plinth on his base, making the “portrait look” even stronger:

Krieg_conversion (6)
Krieg_conversion (5)
And then I finally lost my mind when DexterKong suggested I built a small diorama showing the officer’s portrait being painted by an Imperial artist. And I really loved that idea! So I began to plan accordingly (wanting to build the diorama, but also endeavouring to keep the models useable individually).

Anyway, for the painter, I chose an Imperial acolyte I had picked up during a bitz swap some time ago:

Painting Servitor (1)
This seems to be everybody’s favourite model from back when Codex: Daemonhunters was released, but on my copy, the eye section of the face was unfortunately rather miscast/damaged, leaving him without eyes and giving him an ugly splotch of metal over the upper half of his face. So, as you can see above, I added a new bionic eye to him, in order to repair the model.

Painting Servitor (2)
It works rather well, I think, and the strange “welt” running over his right eye now looks more like a cable feeding into his bionic eye — how very 40k, to replace and eye and thereby fething up the other one, right? Especially on a painter!

Because this guy will be serving as a “painting servitor”, or as an augmeticised master painter, for that matter. I think he will be commanding a coterie of servo-skulls, that are taking care of the actual painting, while he is making preparatory sketches and adjusting the skulls’ work.

The servo skulls will be darting around a suitably grimdark easel. I have already started building it:

Easel WIP (5)
Easel WIP (4)
Ironically enough, one of the servo skull diceholders that were released alongside 6th edition served as the main recource for building the easel. I added some parts from an old model truck kit, as well as some cabling and an Imperial aquila. And, like I said, a couple of servo-skulls will be floating around the completed easel:

Easel WIP (6)
I am currently using a CD as a makeshift base for the diorama, figuring out the basic composition before starting on the actual build:

Diorama early WIP (3)
Diorama early WIP (2)
So this will be a scene depicting a powerful Lord Militant of the Astra Militarum having his portrait taken by an augmeticised master painter of the 41st millennium and his coterie of servo-skull assistents — is this utterly brilliant or completely idiotic? Or a little bit of both? I’ll let you be the judges of that…

Anyway, so much for the Astra Militarum side of things for now! See you all next week, when I am going to show you the third batch of my current INQ28 kitbashing results. Until then, feel free to let me know any suggestions and feedback you might have!

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

Inquisitor 28: Kitbashing spree pt. 1 – With Fire and Sword

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Inq28, Inquisitor, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2014 by krautscientist

Ever since I’ve managed to complete my World Eaters Lord on juggernaut, I have been in the clutches of a veritable, INQ28 related kitbashing spree, building model after model — let’s just hope I’ll manage to get some of these painted at some point! 😉

Anyway, over the next couple of posts, I would like to show you the models I have come up with during this pleasant burst of inspiration. As usual, many of these have been hammered into completion through the very helpful feedback of fellow hobbyists on the forums I frequent, so a heartfelt thank you to anyone who helped me sorting out the smaller kinks on these pieces.

Anyway, for today, let’s forego the shadowy side of the Inquisitor universe in favour of some more ostentatious servants of the Emperor:

 

I. A pair of colleagues

Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (15)
One thing I did was to touch up a pair of Inquisitors that I had already built a rather long time ago. Upon closer inspection, it seems I have never shared them here on the blog, so that alone should be enough reason to talk about them 😉 So let’s take a closer look:

The first of the two was built to be instantly recognisable as a psyker: By choosing bitz of psionic equipment like a warding staff and psychic hood and by trying to look him tall and gaunt, I believe succeeded at communicating that idea. Take a look:

Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (5)
Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (6)
Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (7)
As you can see, the kitbash itself is fairly straightforward, with an upper body mostly made from GK plastic parts combined with the robed legs of the WFB Chaos Sorcerer. But while I had originally used GK shoulder pads on this guy, PDH rightly pointed out that those made him look a tad too much like an Astartes, so I replaced them with some Chaos Marauder shoulder pads for a less “Marine-y” look. This also had the coincidental side effect of making the model look quite a bit like a piece of artwork in the Inquisitor rulebook, but this wasn’t planned.

In order to further obscure the GK origins, I improvised a nonstandard “power plant” for the model’s back, combining the lower half of a GK backpack with some tanks from a Vraksian Renegade Militia soldier:

Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (9)
The other Inquisitor was designed to be pretty much the polar opposite of the psyker: I wanted a bulky, ostentatious, very physical type, inspired by characters like Witch Hunter Tyrus or Inquisitor Coteaz:

Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (10)
Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (11)
Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (12)
Again, a couple of Marine and GK bitz are very much at the centre of this conversion. So I tried once more to prevent the model from looking too much like an Astartes by combining the Marine bitz with stuff from different sources: The legs came from the WFB chaos warriors, and I added a couple of additional armour plates (the shoulder pad based on a radar array was inspired by a similar conversion in the old Codex Witch Hunters, by the way). And I added a half cape over the model’s shoulder, making use of possibly the last part I had left over from the Chaos Lord on Manticore rider bitz 😉

Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor WIP (13)
All in all, this guy is a real beefcake, but back then, it was a lot of fun to build an Inquisitor who wasn’t a gaunt, shadowy figure for once.

While I have not yet decided which Ordo these two will belong to (I suppose it’ll be a neck and neck between Malleus and Hereticus), I definitely think they have some chemistry together: There’s certainly a bit of a “brains and brawn” thing going on, don’t you think?

Maybe, these two work together as a team, hunting down rogue Inquisitors and Heretics. It might also be  interesting to have them be far more divided than is apparent at first glance: Maybe the bombastic, monodominant Witch Hunter secretly detests his colleague for his reliance on the powers of the warp? Maybe the Psyker has discovered he has a taste for the more radical rituals and pratices? Maybe they are the estranged former pupils of a common master, now brought back into an uneasy alliance by circumstances beyond their control? In any case, there could be some delicious friction between the two…

 

II. A Sister of Battle

The next model I want to show you today came together surprisingly quickly and was a ton of fun to convert. But I am getting ahead of myself! Let me start by telling you that I have a huge soft spot for the Adepta Sororitas and think it’s a crying shame that GW have shown them so little attention over the last years. For me, the Sisters of Battle are one of the most eclectic and quirky elements of 40k, and one of the things that really sells the setting as something different and interesting. The Sisters are iconic and recognisable and – rather surprisingly, both for GW and wargaming in general – not a highly sexualised depiction of female characters (let’s just forget the Sisters Repentia for now, because they clearly aren’t all that sexy, unless you are that way inclined…). Maybe that’s why the Sisters aren’t selling enough models to warrant a substantial new release?

Anyway, long story short, I have wanted to build a Sister of Battle for my INQ28 collection for quite a while now, and after having converted a small squad of Sisters of Silence for my Custodes, I was reasonably confident that it could be done, and could be done in plastic, no less. So a short time ago, I picked up a leftover Dark Eldar Kabalite Warrior and a couple of bitz and built this model:

Sister Kitbash (5)
Sister Kitbash (7)
Sister Kitbash (8)
I am really happy with the model, to tell you the truth, even though I clearly recognise that it’s not without its faults: For the head, I had to fall back on the one plastic Sororita head available (from the Sisters of Battle vehicle conversion kit, I believe), resulting in a head that might be ever so slightly too big for the body. The backpack may be a bit too bulky as well, although I am actually rather proud of the actual build for that part.

All in all, even though it may be a slightly flawed model, I am enormously fond of it, if only because it was entirely built from plastic parts, without any actual sculpting involved. And I hope that a classic Sisters of Battle paintjob will go the rest of the way towards selling the model.

Sister Kitbash (6)

III. An Angel of Death

And, last but definitely not least, let me show you my latest conversion (and a model I am immensely proud of):

I imagine most of you will have heard about a certain trend of “truescaling” or “art scaling” Space Marines. Not to delve too deeply into this discussion, but the main argument behind this movement is that the scale of the actual Space Marine models doesn’t fit the depiction of Marines in the art and written background published by GW: While the Marines in the art and fluff come across as veritable titans, much taller and wider than any mere man, an actual Marine on the table will often literally see eye to eye with any Cadian or Chaos Cultist.

So quite a few hobbyists are going the “true scale” route, converting and/or resculpting their Marines to be closer to the depictions in the background. And while I am perfectly happy with the scale of Marine models in my regular 40k army (for practicality reasons, if for nothing else), the wonderful world of Inquisitor provided the perfect excuse for building at least one true scale Astartes.

You see, one of the things the original 54mm Inquisitor models truly excelled at was to communicate the fact that people come in all shapes and sizes: While most infantry models for 40k will usually be scaled to equal size, the 54mm Inquisitor models represented a wide range of heights and builds — and Brother Artemis, the Space Marine model released for Inquisitor, was definitely the tallest and most imposing guy in the catalogue.

And with the focus on making individual models look as good as possible in INQ28, I think we should also try to incorporate that variety in heigth and build into the smaller scale, even though it means more work. And while there’s admittedly not that much use for a Space Marine in INQ28, I still wanted to build one, both due to the challenge involved and because such a character would fit into the background for my little slice of the galaxy.

Now actually building the model turned out to be a veritable odyssey: Everything started when I saw Commissar Molotov’s Deathwatch Marine many moons ago:

Deathwatch Astartes by Commissar Molotov

Deathwatch Marine converted by Commissar Molotov and painted by ElDiablo

Molotov himself may no longer be all that fond of this model, but ut really served as a trailblazer for me in that it convinced me that building and painting a truescale Marine would be a very worth hobby endeavour! And indeed, I started kitbashing right away (back in 2011), coming up with this:

Truescale early WIP 01
But while it may have been a valiant first effort, the model didn’t convince me, even back then: The proportions were a bit off, the legs were clearly Terminator legs, and I feared I would have to get my feet wet using GS to sort out the build of the model. So this first test model was scrapped, and I put the project on the back burner, there to simmer for a while…

And simmer it did: Whenever I saw my fellow hobbyists come up with amazing truescale Marines of their own, their work would prove to be both inspiring and intimidating to me: Inspiring because it gave me the motivation to take another shot at my own model, intimidating because all those models always seemed so much cooler than what I could come up with.

There are many, many cool truescale projects out there, so naming favourites seems a bit unfair, but let me at least mention the models that proved the most inspiring (and/or intimidating) to me: Jeff Vader came up with a wonderful series of truescale Marines, but I couldn’t get his recipe to work for me, much as I tried. The Strike Force Helmawr project proved tantalising, showing not one but many, many true scale models (and convincing me I could never pull it off). Bruticus’s amazing Sun Titan Space Marine made me salivate at the mouth and gnash my teeth at the same time, because the model and backstory were fairly close to what I had been planning for my own model (on a related note, the model is made even better by the wonderfully grimdark background provided here and here). And there was always migsula with his outstanding Alpha Legionaries, of course, but I knew right away that I myself could not hope to aspire to something as lofty as that 😉

Meanwhile, I made another attempt at building my own truescale Marine:

Truescale early WIP 02
But while the model did feel like an improvement over the first version, the look I wanted still wasn’t there. Would I be forever unable to come up with a suitable Astartes for my INQ28 collection?

What finally pushed me over the edge to try it yet again were Jeff Vader’s Deathwatch Marine (using a GK Terminator torso instead of that of a regular Marine, something I hadn’t even considered before) and Ukos’s really nice and clean truescale model (also using plastic Terminator parts). So, last weekend, I gave it yet another try, and this time I persevered:

Brother_Sergeant_Auriga
In hindsight, it’s truly baffling how quickly the model’s body came together after all that prior deliberation. The main challenge was to get the proportions to look plausible enough, but I think I have finally managed to make it work! As for the parts used, the legs came from a FW Tartaros Terminator (I’d probably always recommend these over regular Terminator legs, because their design means that they won’t need any additional greenstuffing to look accurate), while the torso and arms are from the Grey Knight piloting the Nemesis Dreadknight. I also added shoulder pads from the Sternguard kit and a particularly arrogant looking head from the Vanguard kit. Oh, and the cap of a felt pen provided the plasticard collar I needed to make the armour work — another good piece of advice for lazy people like me 😉

After the main build had been sorted out, it came to making the armour look less utilitarian and more ostentatious and baroque. I quickly found out that I couldn’t add nearly as much bitz and bobs as I would have liked, and I really had to reign myself in so as not too overclutter the model’s silhouette! Anyway, here’s the model with added gear and decoration:

Brother_Sergeant_Auriga04
In addition to providing a bit of extra bling, some pouches and grenades were used to bulk out the hips and help create the illusion of “correct” proportions.

The final step was to add weapons to the model, and I clearly knew I wanted this guy to be wielding a sword and a pistol of some sort. And while I had several options for either, in the end it turned out that many of the possible weapons weren’t useable because they would have looked like mere toys in the hands of this huge model — a very real complication with truescale models!

In the end I settled on a FW plasma pistol and a Grey Knight power sword. And with that, the conversion was completed. I give you Brother Sergeant Janus Auriga, of the Golden Legion Astartes Chapter:

Brother Sergeant Auriga (7)
Brother Sergeant Auriga (6)
Brother Sergeant Auriga (5)
Brother Sergeant Auriga (4)
Brother Sergeant Auriga (3)
Brother Sergeant Auriga (2)
And, of course, no post about a true scale Marine would be complete with a scale comparison shot showing the model next to one of its “regular” counterparts. Take a look:

Brother Sergeant Auriga (8)
Quite a beast, don’t you think? 🙂

I won’t lied to you: I am super happy with the finished model, especially since it has taken me such a long time to come up with a true scale Astartes of my own! Since I don’t plan on building any more TS Marines, I knew that I should give it my all on this guy — and I did 😉

Brother Sergeant Auriga (1)

So yeah, those are the first results of my recent INQ28 kitbashing spree. As usual, I would love to hear any feedback, suggestions or criticism you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!