Archive for Urash’s Marauders

ETL V: Go out with a bang!

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, Traitor Guard, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2016 by krautscientist

Alright, one more post about the ETL, and then we’re off to…well, whatever’s next, really 😉

With three finished vows under my belt, I was basically prepared to call it a day, but I couldn’t help noticing that the amount of points I had pledged was still below the 1,000 points mark — by 70 points, to be exact.

Now I didn’t harbour any ambitions to contribute a huge amount of points to the ETL, as there are some other people who have that particular corner covered much better than I ever could. But somehow I did want to read the 1,000 points mark — and as it happens, I realised that I had one last model on my unpainted pile that perfectly fit the bill:

Some of you may remember my first “Thamier-pattern” Obliterator, based on some excellent, custom parts provided courtesy of my fellow hobbyist Thamier (hence the name). Those parts allowed me to finally come up with an excellent Obliterator design that fit my army as well as the outline of what an Obliterator should look like:

Hadrak Firebringer (8)
Back when Thamier sent me those bitz, he was awesome enough to include enough parts for two Obliterators. But I only ever managed to finish one of them and just couldn’t seem to settle on a final configuration for the second one.

For some reason, however, this changed after finishing my Bloodthirster recently — something must have been shaken loose in the back of my head, and suddenly I knew exactly how to build this guy, easy as that. A short while later, I had the finished conversion in my hands:

2nd Thamier pattern Obliterator WIP (5)
2nd Thamier pattern Obliterator WIP (4)
2nd Thamier pattern Obliterator WIP (6)
And as luck would have it, a single Obliterator can count as a squad and is worth exactly 70 points — just the amount I was still missing! So I decided to finish my contribution in this event by making a fourth and (final) vow. I was really looking forward to finally owning two finished Obliterators of this size and design!

2nd Thamier pattern Obliterator WIP (3)
Besides, it was just a single model, right? So what could possibly go wrong?

Unfortunately, the last couple of days have been the hottest days of the year so far in northwestern Germany, with temperatures of more than 30 degrees Celsius outside. Hardly the perfect weather to be painting miniatures — quite the opposite, actually!

However, I realised that losing momentum was the biggest danger for me, so I soldiered through the paintjob. And I managed to finish the Obliterator yesterday. Take a look:

2nd Thamier pattern Obliterator (5)
2nd Thamier pattern Obliterator (6)
2nd Thamier pattern Obliterator (11)
2nd Thamier pattern Obliterator (9)
2nd Thamier pattern Obliterator (7)
And here’s a closer look at the weapon arms, spliced together from many, many different bits and kits:

2nd Thamier pattern Obliterator (8)

2nd Thamier pattern Obliterator (10)
Now it has been pointed out to me by Thousand Eyes and Augustus b’Raass that the armour trim needs some cleanup work here and there — particularly on the leg greaves! And I happily agree — painting this guy in the sweltering heat – and in a slightly darkened room, no less – certainly didn’t do the exactness of my paintjob any favours. But I think those problems should be easy enough to solve with some minor touchups when it’s a bit colder, and I am still reasonably happy with this guy: Now I have two massive juggernauts that can lay down quite a bit of fire between them. YAY! 😉

Thamier pattern Obliterators (1)
And with the points of all the models I have managed to finish not at exactly 1,000 points, I think this is also the perfect moment to consider my contribution to this year’s ETL concluded: I’ve already done three vows more than I had originally planned, and while it has been a blast, I think it’s important to end things on a high note. I also don’t want to fail again, like last year! 😉

But even so, I couldn’t be any happier with my performance: Granted, 1,000 points isn’t all that much when compared to the amounts of stuff some of the crazier contributors have come up with, but then I think I have really managed to complete some rather cool models — some of this stuff is arguably my finest work to date:

ETL V All Vows (3)
Another thing that pleases me immensely is that each model is one I have wanted to get painted for quite a while.

And while waiting for the opportunity to purchase some new Chaos Black spray halfway through the event, I actually made the most of the downtime and painted two “bonus models” (that had already been undercoated earlier), in order to keep my momentum going.

The first of those was a berzerker that I had already considered beyond saving earlier: I originally wanted to use the model as a test piece for the Mephiston Red spray paint, back when it was released. So I undercoated it with the – then brand new – spray paint, hoping that the paint would become a mainstay of my World Eaters recipe:

New red test model 01

Unfortunately, the stuff performed rather terribly, and I ended up with a test model that was a slog to paint. Everything still looked pretty nice until after spraying, with a nice red undercoat across the whole model. But when I began to pick out the details in different colours, I realised that the undercoat had a somewhat strange, sandpapery texture that made the colours on top behave strangely, turning the whole painting progress into an exercise in frustration:

new red test model 02

Now this is about as far as I got with the model:

new red test model 03

But when the colour actually started rubbing off in places, revealing the bright red undercoat, I basically abandoned the whole project as a failure — and the half-finished model kept sitting on a sideboard, daring me to finish it at some point.

And that moment had finally come! So I thought “What the heck?” and gave the model another try: I repainted the armour with my new red recipe and persevered, because I really rather like this particular conversion and didn’t want to abandon it completely, and here’s what I ended up with:

Salvaged Berzerker (1)
Salvaged Berzerker (2)

Now this is hardly my best work – and it couldn’t be either, given the damage done by the original undercoat – but this guy is at least presentable enough now to take his place amongst the rank and file, and I am pretty happy that I’ve managed to finish the paintjob, after all!

Dumah & Salvaged Berzerker

The other additional model I painted is one that I am really happy with: An icon bearer for my Traitor Guard that I had wanted to finish for quite a while:

Traitor Elite Icon Bearer PIP (1)
Traitor Elite Icon Bearer PIP (3)
As you can see on the – mostly painted – model shown above, the conversion was based on another Tempestus Scions model. The head from one of the Dark Vengeance cultists champions creates a very palpable Blood Pact vibe (which was quite intentional), while the use of some WFB Skaven bitz creates a pretty cool, almost asian influence.

The icon was painted to resemble flayed human skin, and it goes without saying that it needed a suitably gruesome design added on top. So I broke out the Tamiya Clear Red and ended up with this:

Traitor Elite Icon Bearer (1)
Traitor Elite Icon Bearer (2)
Traitor Elite Icon Bearer (3)
Traitor Elite Icon Bearer (4)
Nothing says Traitor Guard quite as clearly as a crude heretical symbol daubed on in blood, wouldn’t you agree? 😉

What’s really cool is how this model finally rounds out my first squad of Traitor Elites, arguably creating one of the best squads in my entire collection:

Traitor Elite full squad (4)
So when I include those two “bonus models”, that actually brings the number of models I have managed to complete during this year’s ETL up to…eight. How auspicious, indeed! I certainly hope Khorne is pleased…

ETL V All Vows (1)
So yeah, I am really happy with the outcome!

But wait, there’s more: In addition to the stuff I managed to complete myself, there’s also the fact that fellow hobbyist Augustus b’Raass chose to honour me by naming an absolutely brilliant World Eaters Contemptor for his growing Khorne Daemonkin force after me.

Meet Ancient Ka’Ruat of the World Eaters’ 59th assault echelon, ladies and gentlemen:

model converted and painted by Augustus b'Raass

model converted and painted by Augustus b’Raass

 

model converted and painted by Augustus b'Raass

model converted and painted by Augustus b’Raass

What an utterly fantastic surprise! And quite an honour, too! Make sure to check out Auggie’s ongoing WIP thread over at The Bolter & Chainsword, by the way: That guy is on fire!

All things considered, this has been a really enjoyable – and successful – ETL for me! Best of luck to those hobbyists who are still working on their vows and/or are planning to finish even more models for the glory of chaos! I’ll be watching your amazing work from the sidelines while offering snide comments every now and then 😉

It goes without saying that I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback, so feel free to drop me a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

ETL V All Vows (2)

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Khorne’s Eternal Hunt — the 2016 Parade

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

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

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

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

WE_Army05
And this is the army earlier today:

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

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

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

Khorne's Eternal Hunt 2016 (3)
Khorne's Eternal Hunt 2016 (4)
Khorne's Eternal Hunt 2016 (5)
Khorne's Eternal Hunt 2016 (6)
And there are many other parts of the army that make me happy whenever I look at them. For instance, this was just a happy accident, but I really love the way my true scale Khârn seems to get psyched-up for battle in the following picture:

Khorne's Eternal Hunt 2016 (9)
And I didn’t even stop with the World Eaters either, but took photos of my entire 40k Chaos collection while I was at it! Next in line was my small detachment of Traitor Guard, known as “Urash’s Marauders”:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lord Zhufor by PDH (1)

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

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

Khorne's Eternal Hunt 2016 (2) big

The 2014 Eternal Hunt Awards, pt. 4: A look back at my hobby year

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2015 by krautscientist

Awards

One last look backwards, at 2014, and then we’re off to a productive new year — at least that’s what I hope! But as our last installment in 2014’s Eternal Hunt Awards, allow me to walk you through my personal hobby year and present both the models as well as the events that were especially noteworthy for me:

 

I. My hobby projects

2014 was a pretty busy year, but I still tried to stay as productive as I could. I managed to paint about 40 models (which is only very slightly less than my 2013 result). Not a breathtaking amount of work, certainly, but then I am still happy enough with the stuff I actually did manage to paint. What gives me pause, however, is the fact that I doubtlessly kitbashed and converted many, many more models than I actually painted — I’ll have to keep working on that ratio, I guess…

But what do those 40 models mean if seen in the context of my various bigger and smaller projects? Allow me to elaborate:

1. Khorne’s Eternal Hunt

My World Eaters army certainly remains my most important project, and 2014 was very much a World Eaters year for me! The absolute majority of my newly completed models ended up in the 4th assault company.

All these new additions certainly call for some new army pictures in the near future! However, I suppose it’ll be quite some time before the weather allows me to set it all up outside and take some dapper new photos. Until then, I have this picture (taken this last December for the “We Are Legion!” contest over at Le blog dé Kouzes) showing a pretty big part of the army to tide you over:

Khorne's Eternal Hunt 2014 02
It’s not the entire army (it’s missing the twenty odd “old” berzerkers from before my hobby hiatus during the 2000s, for instance, and a couple of other models), but it’s a fairly accurate depiction of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt in its current incarnation.

And here are some 2014 additions to my World Eaters that I am especially happy with:

 

World Eaters Gladiators (67)
World Eaters Gladiatorii squad

This project started as a spontaneous kitbash and then grew into something bigger when I decided to convert a gladiatorial Khornate champion along with his coterie of grimdark gladiators. Though these would probably be counted as bog standard Khorne Berzerkers when used in a game, building a squad of distinctly gladiatorial World Eaters has been a great way to explore that particular part of the legion’s background — plus it was lots of fun to come up with different types of gladiators that call back to actual historical sources while also seeming believable in the 41st millennium.

If you’re interested, check out the full story of the gladiatorii here, here and here.

 

Valkar the Scarred (1)
Lord Valkar, the Scarred One

This was a model that I had wanted to complete for a long time, and as has been the case so often, the ongoing Painting and Converting Contest over at Throne of Skulls provided the perfect excuse to finally get my act together! I am really happy with both the resulting model and the fact that I now own one of the truly effective Khornate unit choices: A Chaos Lord on juggernaut — what could be more Khornate than that, right?

Check out Lord Valkar in more detail here.

 

Hadrak Firebringer (8)
Thamier-pattern Obliterator

This is a model I am especially happy with for several reasons: It marks the first Obliterator in my army, for one, because it took me so freaking long to finally settle on an interpretation of this unit type I was happy with. I was insanely fortunate enough to procure some wonderful, custom sculpted parts from fellow hobbyist thamier (whose “Balefire Legion” you should definitely check out ASAP) for this project, and the result is a model I am really proud of. And maybe the best thing is that I still have enough parts for a second Obliterator. Yay!

Find out what went into building this guy here.

 

Helbrute (2)
Brother Khorlen the Lost

Finishing this model was one of the rare instances where I actually managed to surprise myself: I had just seen the newly released multipart Helbrute (which I really liked a lot), but instead of buying it right away (my usual reflex), I rather painted the Dark Vengeance Helbrute I still had lying around ever since the boxed set was released. And boy am I happy about that decision in hindsight! The model was pretty challenging to paint, make no mistake, but finally managing to finish what may be my favourite Dark Vengeance model really felt good — and I am actually rather happy with the result, too!

Find out more about this one instance where I actually showed some discipline here.

Kharn the Betrayer redux (12)
And, of course, my re-imagined Kharn the Betrayer: This model was, once again, built for a contest over at Throne of Skulls, but at the same time, it also kicked off a sizeable painting project of mine that saw me paint more than 500 points for my World Eaters over the Christmas holiday — we’ll be talking about those models in more detail really soon, I promise you.

Learn more about Kharn the Betrayer and my interpretation of him here.

 

Chaos Knight WIP (79)
Chaos Knight Titan

Last and very definitely not least: My Chaos Knight conversion. Though this model yet remains unpainted, it is probably the one 2014 hobby project I am most happy with: Working at such a scale was a first for me, and I was really intimidated by the project, to be honest — so much so, in fact, that it took me several months to actually get started on the model.

In the end, however, I am more than happy with the result so far: The Imperial Knight is a wonderful kit in its own right, and I think that I have managed to make sure this conversion will be a suitable centre point for Khorne’s Eternal Hunt! I even built a full interior for the model — something I wouldn’t really have considered beforehand.

Chaos Knight WIP (80)

I hope that finally getting this big guy painted will turn into a successful hobby project of mine in 2015 — I am still working up the courage for it, to be honest…

Until then, why not check out my posts on the creation of my Chaos Knight Titan here and here?

 

2. The world of INQ28

The wonderful world of Inquisitor and the battle for the Emperor’s soul continues to be a fascinating subject and an endless source of inspiration to me. Even so, I am painfully aware that I have only managed to paint a measly four models for INQ28 in 2014:

INQ28 class of 2014
And while I am really rather happy with each of them – and do in fact think that they make for a wonderfully eclectic little group in the above picture – I really want to make sure to produce more finished pieces for INQ28 this year!

In fact, I have kitbashed lots and lots of characters I am really happy with so far, such as my first real true scale Marine, Brother Janus Auriga…

Brother Sergeant Auriga (1)

…among many others, so it looks like I have my work cut out for me — let’s see if I can manage to get this show on the road again!

 

3. Legio Custodes

Alas, my beloved Custodians received even less attention from me than my INQ28 models. However, I did at least manage to build some models that I am really happy with for this project: A rather convincing (if I do say so myself) version of Chief Custodian Constantin Valdor and a really badass looking Custodian in Pre-Heresy style Astartes battle plate:

Valdor and Custodian WIP
As with my INQ28 collection, I will endeavour to get more of these guys finished in 2015. After all, it’s only a matter of time until Forgeworld’s own Custodes are released, making my kitbashes entirely obsolete — at least in the eye of the public 😉

Find out more about my kitbashed Custodes here.

 

4. Urash’s Marauders

Traitor Elite (16)
And finally, my Traitor Guard. To be honest, it took me a while to get back to this project, but I did so with an addition that has thoroughly revitalised my interest in this army: After long deliberation and multiple test builds, I have finally come up with the beginnings of a squad of elite traitors, shown above, mostly based on GW’s excellent Tempestus Scions. And though it has taken me quite a while to get these guys finished, I am now really happy with them, especially with the unit champion:

Traitor Elite (03)
I think I’ve mentioned this before, but it really does bear repeating: This guy takes much inspiration from PDH’s excellent renegade troopers, and is also the first time that I have come (reasonably) close to reproducing the excellence of those models. In fact, the guy above may just be the Traitor Guard model I am most happy with to date, so expect to see more additions to Urash’s Marauders sooner rather than later.

Until then, read more about the squad here.

II. My favourite hobby moments

So much for my own hobby projects, but what else was cool? Once again, there were several moments in 2014 that really served as “milestones of awesome”, so to speak,  making my hobby year truly special:

First among those moments – and by a long shot – was being featured in Warhammer:Visions — in Blanchitsu, no less!

Blanchitsu
Seriously, this really took the cake! It also had me running around with a huge grin for at least a couple of days. And it is an achievement that I am pretty sure I won’t be able to reproduce anytime soon, which really makes it even more awesome. Being featured in this column along with extremely talented guys like PDH and Mikko Luoma was the icing on the cake, of course.

I have talked at length about Legion, the model that finally made the pages of Warhammer:Visions, and I promise I won’t put you through it all again — unless you want to, of course, in which case you can find the whole story here.

The various interactions with other hobbyists online were almost as good as my stint in Visions: The friendly and constructive way people in our hobby can interact via the power of the interwebz is one thing that never ceases to astound me, the other is the unending generosity of so many of my fellow hobbyists. Therefore, it’s really hard to pick that one favourite moment from among all the pleasant interactions I have had in 2014. Rather, it’s a collection of warm and fuzzy memories: being sent amazing bitz drops and unique models by PDH, Drone21c and Steifer, sharing friendly banter and thoughts about the hobby with Flint13, Augustus b’Raass and others over at The Bolter & Chainsword, trying my best to produce cool models for the contests at Throne of Skulls and getting my ass kicked time and time again by DexterKong, hammering out the backstory for a whole Imperial sector in cooperation with that same DexterKong, having hobbyists build models that share my name as a shout out (and trying to repay that particular kindness),…the list goes on and on.

Let me maybe show you one small thing to illustrate my point: Here’s a map showing you all the people I’ve done bitz swaps with so far. Without any money involved, I might add — just for the sake of helping each other out:

bitzbuddies

I think this is ample proof of the amount of generosity present in our hobby! Thank you all, guys and girls! You rock!

 

I was also really blown away when I received a very special gift for my birthday last year:

Fan Troll (13)
my colleague Annie converted and painted a wonderful fan troll for my Blood Bowl team, the “Orkheim Ultraz”, which really left me speechless. I know you are not supposed to feed the troll, but I really want to 😉 Thanks again, Annie — you’re awesome! 🙂

Read the whole story here.

And one last thing that I am really happy with: As I’ve mentioned above, I really managed to get my act together over the holidays, painting a pretty chunk of new World Eaters models for Khorne’s Eternal Hunt. This all happened as part of The Bolter & Chainsword’s 2014 Call of Chaos event, which not only gave me a deadline to meet, but also provided lots and lots of motivation via the friendly competition among board members. I’ll be showing off the completed models in more detail very soon — I hope you like red and bronze! 😉

 

III. Blogging

Providing a constant stream of content for this blog remained a fun – albeit challenging – endeavour during 2014: I managed 63 posts and attracted 170,000 views from 138 countries — numbers that may not be all that spectacular in the larger order of things but still feel pretty unreal to me, seeing how this is just my small, uninteresting corner of the internet 😉 I also managed to reach the mark of 300,000 views overall, which I think is pretty cool!

For those of you interested in this kind of stuff, here’s a link to the annual report WordPress has kindly provided.

 

All in all, it has been a busy year. A productive year. A fun year. Yet also a year full of unpainted plastic — but what else is new? Thank you all for joining me on this ride. This concludes our little retrospective, and we’ll be strictly focusing on new stuff from now on: Here’s to 2015!

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

Elite Traitors

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

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

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

Traitor Elite (15)

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

Here’s the first painted model:

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

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

Next up, a Plasma Gunner:

Traitor Elite (10)
Traitor Elite (14)
Traitor Elite (13)
Traitor Elite (12)
Traitor Elite (11)
The model only uses a right arm from the Tempestus Scion kit. The rest of the bitz came from the Vraksian Renegade militia, the Chaos Marauders and Space Marine Scouts, respectively. Oh, and I used a Skaven speartip in order to create a suitably nasty looking sword. My plan is for the models in the squad to use different combinations of bitz from the same four or five kits, with certain elements (such as the paintjob, the use of scion shoulder pads etc.) creating a feeeling of cohesion, even if the models themselves are looking slightly different.

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

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

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

“Can you hear the voices too?”

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

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

Traitor Elite (09)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Traitor Elite (16)

Grimdark in technicolor

Posted in 40k, Blood Bowl, Chaos, Conversions, Inq28, Orcs & Goblins, Traitor Guard, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2014 by krautscientist

One very important part of sharing your hobby projects online is learning how to take good pictures of them — and indeed, many, many articles have been published on the subject. As for my own pictures, I am usually reasonably pleased with them — they may not be perfect, but they usually show a pretty “truthful” version of my models 😉

However, there are more ways of showcasing models than just posting “regular” photos: We have all seen excellent pictures where hobbyists have tried to use various filters and effects in order to add another dimension to their work — granted, there are also those cases where Photoshop becomes a quick fix to camouflaging shoddy paintjobs. But those are usually in the minority. I, for one, am often awestruck by the quality of retouched photos online, and I think they are an interesting additional option to breathe life into your creations — unfortunately, my own attempts in this respect haven’t been all that successful so far: While I am reasonably handy with Photoshop, I have somehow never managed to end up with the kind of retouched image that actually looks awesome and brings my models to life.

This changed however, when, at the recommendation of my fellow hobbyist Talarion, I checked out Autodesk’s Pixlr last weekend: Pixlr is a very streamlined and easy to use piece of software that helps you add effects, borders and various filters to your photos. And while the amount of functions is pretty limited, the software is great fun to mess around with and, what’s even more important, it’s exceptionally great at what it does!

So, being a pretty huge Web 2.0 villain myself, I couldn’t help experimenting with some of my hobby photos. It has been great fun so far, and today I’d like to share some of the results with you:

Kill!Maim!Burn!

Kill!Maim!Burn!

Well, this one was to be expected, wasn’t it? It won’t surprise you that messing around with some army photos of my World Eaters was one of the first things I did, and I used some flames and a couple of additional effects to create a pretty archetypal, Khornate image.

And once I had started on the World Eaters, it goes without saying that I also had to give one of my favourite models another spin as well:

Engine of Destruction

Engine of Destruction

And why limit myself to Khorne? Giving some of my Nurglite models another layer of grime and neglect turned out to be great fun as well:

Nurgle's Children

Nurgle’s Children

The next stage of my experiments was to actually try and bring out a new quality in certain models and images. One of the first pictures I chose for this was a standoff between one of my Helbrutes/Dreadnoughts, Marax the Fallen, and a downed Space Marine (built as a special objective marker to accompany Marax).

Heroic Last Stand

Heroic Last Stand

The original photo of the scene was nothing to write home about, but it certainly seems rather dramatic now, don’t you think?…

The same goes for this scene of a charging Huntmaster Isgarad:

Isgarad attacks

Isgarad attacks

The original photo was pretty terrible, but with the help of some filters, it became a rather more interesting battlefield impression.

Next up, another Helbrute: Khorlen the Lost:

Lost Soul

Lost Soul

I liked the result so much that I had another go at this model, focusing on its wonderfully creepy face and thereby creating a  more portrait-like image:

And I must scream

And I must scream

This is maybe one of my favourite pictures, because it really embodies the horror about being interred into a corrupted sarcophagus. This picture also led to further explore the portrait approach, trying to explore the essence of specific characters (or creatures):

Instrument of Wrath

Instrument of Wrath

 

Scarred Hunter

Scarred Hunter

And of course, I did not only deal with my World Eaters, but also tried to create some images showing my various INQ28 characters plying their shadowy trade. First among them, of course, was Inquisitor Antrecht:

Inquisitor Anrecht in the field

Inquisitor Anrecht in the field

The picture showing him and his retinue against the background of a homemade terrain piece was nice enough before, but now it really clicks with me, for some reason.

Some of you may remember the model for Inquisitor Zuul I converted and painted for the 2013 Inqvitational. The old boy remains one of my favourite pieces of work, and so he warranted his own, touched up picture:

Servant of the Emperor

Servant of the Emperor

And while I did not participate in the Inqvitational myself, I really love the picture of Zuul being apprehended by some of his more puritan colleagues that Marco Skoll took on the day of the game, so I messed around with that as well:

Game's up

Game’s up

Like I said, the original photo was kindly provided by Marco Skoll.

And I’ll never tire of showing off my model for Legion, of course:

We are many, we are one

We are many, we are one

The original photo, taken by Fulgrim, was already a favourite of mine, but I think this touched up version really does an even better job of capturing this unspeakable horror stalking the depths of the Arrke.
In stark contrast to Legion’s creepiness, I also made a more lighthearted piece: It was really fun to make a photo of my Blood Bowl Team, the Orkheim Ultraz, look like the boyz were actually part of a vintage TV broadcast:

Orkheim Ultraz on TV

Orkheim Ultraz on TV

And, last but definitely not least, this rather moody shot of an Imperial monument:

Know fear

Know fear

In this case, the original picture was actually pretty terrible, but I simply love the touched up version!

All in all, this was really a great way to discover new aspects about some of my models and bring out a new visual narrative in some pieces. Call me crazy, but working on these pictures and coming up with titles for them really made me think about several of my projects in slightly different ways. And, if nothing else, messing around with the software was just a lot of fun 😉

So, in case you want to try something similar, I would recommend you check out Pixlr yourself. And, of course, I would like to hear any feedback you might have!

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

Of trenchers and traitors…

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

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

 

1. By request

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Straight from the trenches…

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

Trencher (9)
Trencher (10)
Trencher (11)
Trencher (12)
Trencher (13)
Trencher (14)
Trencher (15)
Additional bitz are a backpack with an entrenching tool (a bit of a no brainer, really) and a trench knife (one of the daggers from the Tempestus Scions). My experiments in creating a bayonet for the rifle fell flat: While it was easy enough to attach a blade to the rifle, the barrel ended up looking way too long, thereby throwing off the model’s whole composition. However, I believe that the dagger, worn to be quickly available during combat, works well enough as a replacement.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trencher (16)

 

3. Meanwhile, back in the Archenemy camp…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You already know the voxcaster guy:

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

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

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

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

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

Traitor Elite (17)
Traitor Elite (18)
Traitor Elite (19)
The torso came from the Vraksian Enforcers, while the legs are from a WFB chaos charioteer: Both bits were leftovers of earlier conversions, so it was really nice to finally put them to good use! The arms are from the Tempestus Scions, although the weapons and hands were replaced (with a Space Marine Scout pistol and chaos warrior sword, respectively). The head came from a Dark Vengeance plastic cultist. And I also added some additional pouches and gear:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

I. Initial kitbashing

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

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


Experiment I: Inquisitorial types

Stormtrooper kitbashing (2)

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

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


Experiment II: Medieval types

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

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


Experiment III: IG veterans

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

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


Experiments IV and V: Traitors and Renegades

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

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

I tried even more heads, though:

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

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

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

You can combine the scion torsos with flagellant legs:

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

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

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

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

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

Stormtrooper kitbashing (12)

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

2. Playing around with Tempestus Scion bitz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

3. Alternatives

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

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

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

Stormtrooper kitbashing (18)

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

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

Here’s a scale comparison with the Tempestus Scions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The same goes for the helmeted Scion heads:

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

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

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

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So which one should you choose?

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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