Archive for warpsmith

State of the Hunt, week 41/2019: Meanwhile, Blood for the Blood God!

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, state of the hunt, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2019 by krautscientist

In between all of the shadowy, Inquisitorial dealings, I had an appetite for something a little more blunt and straightforward, just as a little snack, so to speak. And what could be more straightforward than a follower of Khorne? “Chainaxe to the head”-types, all of them. So for this week’s update, I have some World Eaters to share with you!

A while ago, I talked about the models for a possible World Eaters killteam – codenamed “The Hateful Eight” for now – and showed you some of the possible models for it, some of them brand new, and some refurbished earlier conversions of mine. And it’s from this last category that I chose my two models for today:

To get things started, I chose a model that I built years ago. This gentleman here:

It’s one of my unpainted conversions that I feel still hold up next to the new CSM models, so it seemed like a good moment to finally put some paint on the guy. Oh, and to be fair, the model did get a new axe while I was at it. Anyway, I quickly made good progress with the paintjob:

One of the things I really want to push with my new batch of World Eaters is a certain variety of skin tones, at least where unhelmeted heads and bare arms are concerned: The World Eaters are, canonically, an ethnically diverse legion that recruited from many different homeworlds during the Great Crusade (and probably still does, given the scavenger nature of most traitor legions in the 40k timescale). Only my World Eaters never bore out that diversity because I would always use the same, greyish skin tone for all of my older models — pretty effective as far as paint schemes go, but seeing how I am trying to evolve my painting for these new models, it seemed like the perfect excuse to experiment with a wider set of skin tones as well. So I went with black skin on this model, and I am very happy with the result — even moreso because the recipe was almost laughably simple: Just basecoat with GW Doombull Brown, wash with a Fleshtone and mix the base colour with a bit of white for the highlights — done! I also used the highlight colour to add some nicks and scratches to the face to suggest old scars.

One thing that was really surprising to me was how adding the backpack really made this model: It should be such a trivial thing, really, but in this case, it’s what really makes the model read as an Astartes: With the backpack in place, it has the silhouette and bulk it needs:

After this, it was mostly a matter of cleaning up some minor areas, add a bit of Tamiya Clear Red here and there and finish the base. So here’s the finished World Eater, finally painted at long last:

The next model I decided to tackle is also a neglected conversion, although a more recent one: The model was created using a Blood Warrior from the Age of Sigmar 1st edition starter box, the legs from the CSM Vrash Tattersoul model and a couple of additional chaos bitz (chief among them a Raptor chainsword arm):

It’s a conversion I am really fond of, if I do say so myself, maybe because it’s almost a bit of a shout out to the classic early 90s metal berzerker champions that would always have some kind of running pose going on 😉

Anyway, with the success of the first model still fresh on my mind, I quickly got to work. Here’s the second World Eater, with the base colours already mostly blocked in:

And here’s the finished model:

I am maybe a bit too in love with the model right now, but it’s honestly really close to what I think a 40k World Eater should look like: a massive, baroque monster in serrated crimson warplate.

So here are the next two members of “The Hateful Eight” — it really feels great to have crossed two more items off my list of long neglected models, and I am also really happy with the result:

Incidentally, both models definitely count for Azazel’s current “Neglected October” challenge — and by virtue of the Ork skull on his base (and because berzerkers will slay anything that moves), the second guy also very much counts for his “Orcslayer” theme as well — teehee 😉

So here are the three new Khorne Berzerkers/World Eaters legionaries I have painted so far using this new approach:

Now if you add my counts-as Huron Blackheart (now officially named “Euron Hearteater”, by the way — cheers to fellow hobbyist AHorriblePerson for the suggestion!), the batch of “new” World Eaters is slowly starting to look a bit more substantial:

So what’s next for the Hateful Eight? I think I’ll be working on these two models next:

Interestingly enough, both conversions were inspired by pieces of artwork: I created the model on the left after seeing this illustration by Diego Gisbert Llorens,…

illustration by Diego Gisbert Llorens

…whereas the guy on the right is obviously a recreation of Mark Gibbons’ seminal piece of artwork (as previously discussed).


But those guys are a story for a different time (and my subject matter for a coming painting session, I guess). For now, I would love to hear your thoughts on the new models, so please leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

State of the Hunt, Week 37/2019: Murders & Acquisitions

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Fluff, Inq28, Inquisitor, state of the hunt, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2019 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, I have been slow to update the blog — September arrived and saw both my parents in the hospital (and for different reasons, at that), so this has been a really tiring couple of weeks. The situation is also still ongoing, unfortunately enough — so please keep your fingers crossed for me!

It should be no surprise, then, that the overall situation has had a bit of a negative impact on my hobby mojo and productivity. So I only have a smaller update for you this week, and one mainly dealing with WIP models again. Anyway, what is this about?

For today’s – brief – update, I want to revisit one of my INQ28 projects that fits squarely into my recent attempt to explore some of the political figures populating the Velsen Sector, such as my recently painted conversion for Lord Sebastianus Danver Balzepho Vlachen, heir-apparent to the ailing sector governor:

Anyway, characters like this are a part of what Dan Abnett refers to as “domestic Warhammer 40,000” — the world one degree removed from the endless battlefields of the 41st millennium — or maybe not…

But anyway, one of these “domestic Warhammer 40,000” projects of mine is a retinue representing the “Mandelholtz House of Imperial Finance”, one of the Velsen Sector’s mahor political players. To quote myself from last year:

The inspiration for this came from Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series (and from his other books set in the same universe), where the banking house of Valint & Balk has a finger in each and every pie, and happens to be one of the most insidious influences present in the entire setting, always playing both sides, so the bank always wins. Which strikes me as both very grimdark and also, unfortunately enough, rather realistic.

So I came up with House Mandelholtz, or “The Mandelholtz House of Imperial Finance”, to quote its full title, Velsen’s own banking house. I see them as one of the sector’s big movers and shakers, and like any good evil banking house from history’s great dark hall of fame, they get to throw around their weight a lot. If you’ve seen the series Taboo and remember the way the East India Company gets protrayed in that series, THAT’S what I want House Mandelholtz to feel like.

Anyway, the Mandelholtz board of directors is a shadowy assembly, and very few people in the sector actually know who holds a stake in the house’s businesses. Which lends itself rather beautifully to all kinds of Inquisitorial dabblings and should work great as a storytelling device.

I have quite a few ideas to flesh out my concept for House Mandelholtz — and of course that includes having the faction represented on the tabletop by some kind of retinue or warband. I actually finished the most important conversion for the project some time last year: The model to represent the Countess Mandelholtz herself:

The Countess was only one of the characters I envisioned for the project, however: Another was one Azaleas Vile, one of the house’s most high-ranking operatives.

He is a banker, to be sure, but the countess also entrusts him with some of the most delicate tasks as well as some of the most hideous acts to be committed under the house’s orders, with the ultimate goal of furthering House Mandelholtz’s aims. So I needed a model that would look as though the character were quite at home in the boardrooms AND the ballrooms of Velsen, yet would also be able to hold his own in the underhive as well. I also didn’t want Azaleas Vile to look like just any other grimdark fighting type — quite a challenge I had set for myself…

The actual conversion began when Kill Team: Rogue Trader was first released, or rather, when I first saw the model for Voidmaster Nitsch:

I really liked the erect pose and poise of the character, but more than anything, I was intrigued by one particular detail: Unlike just about every other model in the 40k catalogue, Nitsch is wearing some rather “civilian” pants: no boots and combat trousers, no robes, but rather something you would see in a rather more domestic setting — I knew that he would be perfect as a starting point for my Azaleas Vile conversion.

So when I was recently able to pick up the Voidmaster Nitsch model for a good price, I knew the time had come to finally get to work:

I really wanted to swap in a different head, obviously. I had envisioned Azaleas as at least reasonably handsome, and I picked up a couple of Empire Greatswords bits, mostly in order to get my hands on the particular head I wanted to use for the conversion — pictured next to the base model in the photo above.

After a bit of messing around, I realised I would have to get rid of the arms and replace them: They seemed just a tad too combat-oriented, and I wanted a model that seemed a bit more subdued and not as openly aggressive.

So here’s what I came up with. Meet Azaleas Vile, everyone:

While I re-used Voidmaster Nitsch’s right shoulder pad – for a dash of grimdark couture – I also made sure to make the other shoulder look suitably sharp, like something you might see on a tailored suit.

The briefcase (originally a from a Tempestus Scion medic) was a spur-of-the-moment idea that I am so proud of in hindsight — he is a banker, after all!

If anything, the model is actually still slightly too military-looking for my taste, but I still think the conversion is a fair compromise between how you would see Azaleas Vile in a boardroom and the getup he would choose for a nasty wetwork operation downhive…


After finishing the conversion for Azaleas, the dear countess herself didn’t escape my scrutiny either, so I made another tweak to her model as well: When I originally built the countess, I gave her a lumpy, hideos crypt ghoul back to hint at the fact that rejuvenat treatments had taken her as far as possible:

But while I liked the element in principle, that lumpy back with its bristles still seemed a bit too on-the-nose on the finished model.
Now among a couple of WFB Empire Greatsword bitz I had picked up was a ridiculously huge feather that seemed like the perfect bit to glitz up the countess a bit:

The feather covers up at least some of the mess (while also leaving just enough visible to keep the overall effect suitably disturbing). It also makes her outfit even more outlandish, which I love — I believe 40k court outfits should be completely over the top!

So yeah, House Mandelholtz is slowly taking shape! Here’s an early mockup of what an eventual House Mandelholtz warband, including Azaleas Vile, the Countess Mandelholtz herself, and some of the house’s scribes, might look like:

In fact, I have already started experimenting with a possible recipe for some kind of household guard for House Mandelholtz, but haven’t managed to find the right angle yet: Would such operatives be extremely effective special ops soldiers? In that case, something based on the Van Saar gangers from Necromunda might be the right approach. At the same time, I also like the idea of a household guard that is a bit more ceremonial and ostentatious — think the Swiss Guard, only in the 41st millennium. So I have begun playing around with some of the Empire Greatswords bodies and some Skitarii parts for some kind of “Neo-Prussian” palace guard look:

But that’s not quite it, either — not least of all because the model does look a bit runtish, doesn’t it? Anyway, if anybody has an idea for a fitting and cool looking recipe for House Mandelholtz’ household guard, I would be happy to hear i!

And it goes without saying that, in any case, I would love to hear your thoughts on these models! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

State of the Hunt, Week 32/2019: Chaotic exploration

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, state of the hunt, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 10, 2019 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, Real Life (TM) has been a veritable rollercoaster lately, so I haven’t been as productive on the hobby front as I would have liked. If anything, however, that’s actually a plus because it frees up some space to share a couple of chaotic kitbashes I have been creating by putting the “new” (granted, they have been around for a while at this point) Chaos Space Marine kits through their paces. Take a look:


I. The Blightwood grows…

The first model I would like to share with you today isn’t even such a huge project, but rather an example of using some óf the new bitz to spruce up existing conversions. Enter exhibit A, a kitbashed Foul Blightspawn I created earlier this year.

My original idea for the model was to a) make the most of a leftover extra Malignant Plaguecaster model that I had cannibalised for bitz and use the remains to build yet another Death Guard character and b) get rid of some of the parts of the stock Foul Blightspawn that I really didn’t like, such as the massive pump sutured into the model’s flesh and the weird garden hose-style weapon.

So the original model was already working pretty well for the most part, but it was also still lacking something — and to make things worse, before the new CSM models were released, I didn’t have any correctly scaled CSM parts to tweak it a bit more.

But a headswap, courtesy of the new vanilla CSM kit gave me this:

I didn’t really like the CSM head with the one “googly” eye (normally intended for the squad’s heavy weapons expert), but it works really well for a follower of Nurgle. I spliced together a breathing apparatus as well, while I was at it, and opened up the pose a bit.

I am still rather fond of the core idea of the conversion – using an Escher chem thrower to make a slightly more conventional version of the Blightspawn’s stock weapon – although I think I also did a reasonably good job splicing together one of those WW I-style Blight grenades from a couple of bitz:

I also saw an extremely clever idea over at ssspectre’s blog that I had to steal right away: He used a turbine from a Raptor jump pack to create this kind of weird, bulky engine/pump on the back of a Nurglite model, and I did the same on my Blightspawn conversion, adding a bit of bulk and weirdness to the backpack.

In fact, I even made one more tweak after taking the photos above, adding some semi-organic cabling to the backpack that I carefully clipped off one of the new Havoc rocket launchers and backpacks.

And, just for fun, a comparison shot with my (slightly converted) Plaguecaster and the new Blightspawn — both use the same base model:

After using some smaller bitz and bobs from the new CSM kits like that, I felt the need to get a little more creative. So that’s what I did:


II. Iron Within…

This next model is a slightly bolder project, and also makes even more use of the new CSM kits: I had an idea for a Warpsmith-like Iron Warriors character, eventually to be used in my Iron Warriors Killteam I suppose. So I made this guy:

The body intended for the heavy bolter wielding marine from the vanilla CSM kit made for a nice start, providing a suitably bulky, archaically armoured body with a stoic pose. The arms and shoulder pads also came from the vanilla CSM — for the most part. I did feel the need to include a somewhat more impressive weapon for a Warpsmith of the IV Legion, so I spliced together the left arm using an (Age of Sigmar) Varanguard hammer and a forearm and haft from the Chaos Lord on Manticore (since I needed a left hand holding a weapon for this conversion). The backpack started out as a backpack from the new Havoc kit: I really liked the reactor look it had going on! I simply shaved away some of the cabling, added a loader arm (from a Havoc missile launcher backpack) that should work just as well, if not better, as a proper servo-arm, and also added some tech-y bitz – including the heavily augmetic head – from the Adeptus Mechanicus Kataphron kit.

I think the model proves how even the vanilla CSM kit,with just a few bitz from other kits sprinkled on top, can be used to produce rather imposing characters and commanders!


IV. The Hateful Eight cont’d

All roads lead before Khorne’s throne, however, so those earlier kitbashes were merely an appetiser before the inevitable main course. Which is a roundabout way of telling you that I have been slowly tweaking away on what may (should) eventually become that World Eaters kill team I have already told you about — “The Hateful Eight” (or ten or sixteen or whatever…). Here’s a look at my short list of future kill team members, so to speak:

Now you’ve seen many of these before in some shape or form, for which I apologise. Also, half of them are repurposed older models, but I think they are still cool enough to warrant a modern paintjob:

I’ve been making tweaks to them, exchanging a weapon here or adding some grenades and Khornate doodads there. I am particularly fond of this guy, made by combining a Blood Warrior from the Age of Sigmar 1st edition starter box and the lower half of the CSM Vrash Tattersoul champion model:

There’s also a couple of “new guys”, however: Fresh conversions that rely on the new kit in some shape or form:

On the far right you can see my “test berzerker” from earlier this year. Then there’s this gentleman, converted from yet another AoS starter box Blood Warrior:

I always knew I would want a model wearing a clunky Heresy-era helmet to accompany its baroque armour, and this is that model 😉

Fot the next two models, I thought it might be fun to try and channel some of the most iconic (or interesting) pieces of World Eaters artwork and build models inspired by the art. First up I chose this very cool concept for the “Teeth of Khorne”, the World Eaters’ dedicated heavy weapons specialists, created by Jes Goodwin during the early 90s, I would imagine:

Artwork by Jes Goodwin

I realised that many elements of the new havocs strongly resembled this piece of art to begin with, so I tried to come up with something similar.

For the most part, this is really just a stock havoc. I replaced the head with a shaved-down Blood Warrior helmet and tweaked the backpack a bit. Also, since I didn’t have a plasma cannon, I was unable to perfectly replicate the art and had to choose a replacement — a missile launcher seemed suitably brutal and straightforward for a World Eater, though… 😉

And then there’s this guy:

Any ideas about the inspiration for this one…?

That’s right, it’s a model built to resemble this iconic piece of art by Mark Gibbons (supposedly showing Khargos Bloodspitter, of all people):

My idea for this conversion was born when I realised that both the straighter legs and the power fist included in the CSM kit would allow me to build something pretty similar to the artwork — but while the above mockup worked as a proof of concept, the conversion needed a lot more work! So here’s what the finished conversion looks like:

Some parts of the conversion are actually a departure from the artwork, albeit a conscious one: The first helmet I used is arguably closer to the artwork, for instance, but the one on the finished conversion (provided as part of a bitz drop by fellow hobbyist ElDuderino, by the way), exudes just the kind of brooding menace that the model needed.

Funnily enough, the model also serves as a pretty neat shout out to some really old World Eaters models, thanks to the static pose:

And here’s the new guy, next to my test World Eater from earlier this year:

So, as you can see, I am actually back to converting World Eaters again — at least for a bit. And I am not even finished, either. Here’s a small teaser of things to come…

V. Burning Man

For now, however, let us wind up this post with a bit of background: I prepared a little background vignette for the counts-as Huron Blackheart model I shared with you a while ago. Take a look:

„The burning never stops.“

This is the sentence he remembers above all else, because it has come to encapsulate his entire existence. While the memory of an Astartes is eidetic in nature, his long life has become a number of disjointed, fragmented moments, with entire decades mostly unaccounted for. But one thing remains. One thing binds everything together and defines him. One sentence neatly summarises it all.

“The burning never stops.”

He remembers how the sentence from weapons instruction returned to him, at the very moment that he saw the phosphex charge go off. The bridge was a pandemonium of blood and death, but everything was frozen into place for just one instant. He saw everything in incredible detail. The battered VII Legion Breacher team that, against all odds, had made it to the bridge in an attempt to bring down a leviathan from within. The mangled face of the Fist throwing the phosphex grenade at him. The eyes already staring into infinity, waiting for a death that would come in mere seconds. The explosions of the weaponry discharged by the other surviving breachers. The chainblades of his brothers falling in slow motion, trying to bring down the enemy. But slow, far too slow. And the green white fire of the phosphex charge, enveloping him at last, and flooding his every fibre with liquid agony, just seconds before the main viewport burst into a million armourglass shards, opening the bridge to the void.

He remembers Terra. The Throneworld twisting below him, above him, behind a curtain of voidships on fire, as he tumbled into blackness. The cold void that was the only thing that could have extinguished the flames that were swallowing him. But even when the fires went out…

…the burning never stopped.

He remembers coming to in a red haze. The sounds of the Apothecarion. The klaxons and warning beeps. The mirrors above the surgical slab showing him a lump of molten, misshapen flesh that he did not recognise. And Deracin’s half-augmetic face floating above him, like a hint of things to come. The Forgemaster locked eyes with him and smiled. And he knew that he would not be allowed to die.

He was rebuilt. Into a strange amalgamation of oh so little flesh and bone, iron and pain. Oh so much pain. He became a construct. Like the gholam of old Terra. And through it all, the pain of an unquenchable fire kept coursing through him, racing along nerve clusters that should have been cauterised beyond any function. Along iron bones that shouldn’t have been able to feel, but did. It has been thus ever since: His every waking moment is pure agony. Inhale. Pain. Exhale. Pain. The nails are but pinpricks to him. He is, eternally, on fire.

His wrath and pain almost seem like a separate entity. When he does battle, and his every cell is burning agony, he can almost see something take shape from the corner of his eyes. Something rough and bloody that is glowing in its own inner malevolence. It is growing all the time. There will come a time when he will finally meet it face to face, this thing he keeps feeding with his pain and with the pain of others.

He keeps losing time. Battles often turn into disjointed shards of perception for him. When he sees glimpses of that strange spectre that seems to shadow him, inexplicable things happen, and he is merely a spectator in his own body: His flesh turns into liquid flame, and he becomes capable of feats that should be beyond his patchwork body. He awakens to arcs of warp fire cascading from his axe and augmetic fist. He comes to in a world of cinders and flaking ash, with his enemies’ lifeblood running down his chin in rivulets. He sees the wariness in his brothers’ eyes, and to see such emotion play across their ravaged features would make him smile, if that expression were not lost to him.

And through it all,
The burning never stops.


It goes without saying that I would love to hear your thoughts on these models! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Keeper of the Forge, pt. 2

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 13, 2013 by krautscientist

I’ll be on the road for most of the day tomorrow, so this week’s update goes up a little early: Last time, we took a look at my attempts at converting a suitable model for Huntmaster Deracin, the 4th assault company’s Warpsmith. With the rather complex conversion sorted out, it was now time to paint the model. I’ll happily admit that the task seemed rather daunting: It is a rather huge model, for one. And there was also the fact that I really don’t enjoy painting the backpack on regular Chaos Space Marines — so what was I to do with Deracin’s extremely complex servo-harness?

At the very least, keeping the model in several sub-assemblies turned out to be a very good decision. That way, I could work on one part of the model after another, assembling the model piece by piece, whenever a sub-assembly was completed. Naturally, I started with the head and body.

During all of this, I stuck with my tried and true recipe for painting World Eaters. Here’s the body with the base colours and the first pass of washes in place:

Huntmaster Deracin PIP (2)
Huntmaster Deracin PIP (1)
As you can see, the armour still looked rather raspberry-ish, but a thin coat of Blood Red quickly changed that. Here’s the body pretty much finished and already stuck to the completed base:

Huntmaster Deracin PIP (4)
Huntmaster Deracin PIP (3)
The arms were next, and I tackled each of them in turn. Due to the fact that I had not yet permanently attached them to the rest of the model, it was easy enough to pick out even the fine detail (like the display of the auspex in Deracin’s right hand). The shoulder pads were also painted separately to ensure that everything would fit together before adding any glue. When both the arms and shoulder pads were done, everything was assembled and the (unpainted) backpack was dryfitted to the rest of the model to make sure it all worked out. When that was taken care of, the arms and shoulder pads could finally be glued to the body:

Huntmaster Deracin PIP (8)
Huntmaster Deracin PIP (7)
Huntmaster Deracin PIP (11)
Huntmaster Deracin PIP (10)
Fortunately enough, everything fit together rather well, so the assembly only took some minimal tweaking.

And then came the servo-harness…

Due to the complexity of this element, it was practically a model of its own. It was painted in one, frantic session, and I used quite a lot of black wash to make the metal parts look suitably used and well-oiled. Here’s the mostly finished backpack:

Huntmaster Deracin PIP (14)
As you can see, I basically stuck to using red, silver and bronze as the three main colours here as well. The one departure from the usual recipe was that I added some light blue effects to the reactor on the back of the harness, and on the energy conduits leading to the different arms. As a matter of fact, that little detail was one of the reasons I had chosen the GK backpack in the first place.

With both the model and servo-harness almost completely painted, I took a deep breath and finally attached the harness to the model’s back. This took some doing, and the funny thing is that the backpack is attached to the model’s shoulderpads rather than to its actual back. It took some fumbling and frantic repositioning for everything to not only work out but stay in place.

In the end, everything worked out, though! Some final detail work was added at this stage: A fine accent of Mithril Silver was added to the metal parts. The flamer’s and meltagun’s muzzles were painted with a mix of Army Painter Strong Tone Ink and Vallejo Smoke Ink, to make them look dark and soot-stained.  And I tidied up the last rough edges.

And with that, Huntmaster Deracin was complete. Take a look:

Huntmaster Deracin (1)
Huntmaster Deracin (2)
Huntmaster Deracin (3)
As you can see, I chose a spot of turquoise for the axe’s casing. That colour appears as a spot colour across my whole army, so I used it here for some visual continuity.

Huntmaster Deracin (4)
Huntmaster Deracin (5)
The view from the back nicely shows the light blue reactor core, and the power conduits leading away from it.

Huntmaster Deracin (7)
Huntmaster Deracin (8)
I am really, really happy with how Deracin turned out! He may have been just about the most involved kitbashed character I have completed so far, but the paintjob really turned out as well as I had hoped. I also like that he is quite bulky, similar to the “official” Warpsmith model — I think his imposing frame rather nicely represents the 2+ armour save granted to Warpsmiths due to their “Fleshmetal”. Let me also take this opportunity to point out that the model is almost ridiculously WYSIWYG, at least when you compare it to my usual standard: The only liberties I took with the model were using a combi-melta, chosen for its cool look, and a chainaxe instead of a power axe. Apart from that, though, the model is a very faithful representation of the Warpsmith ruleset.

Deracin is also very tall. Here’s a scale shot with both a regular World Eater and a Terminator Lord:

Huntmaster Deracin (14)
And here is Deracin, next to my converted Dark Apostle:

Huntmaster Deracin (13)
Even though both models use the same legs, I still think I managed to make them look remarkably different!

All in all, Deracin really looks like a World Eater. But he is also clearly an engineer and Warpsmith to his company:

Huntmaster Deracin (11)
So, did I do this just to build a semi-useful selection from the HQ section of the codex? Of course not! While it’s nice to have the option of fielding a Warpsmith now, and while I get a bit of a kick out of already having built several custom models for selections from the book, this was really all about creating a character. So who is this Huntmaster Deracin? Let’s get to know him a bit better, shall we?


Huntmaster Deracin (10)
Huntmaster Deracin, Keeper of the Forge

During the time of the Great Crusade, when the XIIth Astartes Legion was still known as the War Hounds, brother Deracin was a brilliant and ferocious warrior who could be found at the forefront of every battle. This zeal cost him dearly when he sustained horrific injuries during the Nove Shendak campaign, requiring extensive augmentic reconstruction work to be saved. Worse still than the lost limbs was the heavy nerve damage Deracin incurred, damage that necessiated complex cranial implants to keep him combat-worthy. A lesser man might have been interred into the sarcophagus of a dreadnought due to such injuries, but Deracin trained relentlessly to overcome his injuries and push the artificial parts of his body to the limit, trying to prove to his brethren that his “reconstruction” hadn’t dulled his edge one bit.

All of this should be for naught, however, once the legion had been reunited with its Primarch and renamed the “World Eaters”: Angron ordered his Apothecaries and Techmarines to outfit the whole legion with the Butcher’s Nails, implants patterned after those he had received as a gladiator on the world of Nyceria.

The nails implanted into the Primarch’s skull were artifacts from the Dark Age of Technology, and the Techmarines’ dabbling in archaeotech was far from an exact science, producing all kinds of unforeseen incidents. As a consequence, the implants Deracin had received earlier to mend his injuries interfered with the nails, preventing him from utilising his full potential on the battlefield. For Angron, a legionnaire that couldn’t unlock the nails’ full power could only be considered a failure. So Deracin found himself relegated to the rear guard in more and more battles, sidelined and tasked with petty battle logistics and mundane assignments, and growing ever more frustrated.

It was Lord Captain Lorimar who discovered that, deprived of a chance to prove himself in battle, Deracin had begun to apply himself to the maintenance of the legions’ wargear and weaponry, demonstrating a brilliant grasp of technology and an intuitive understanding of even the most complex mechanisms. So Lorimar requested Deracin for his company and let him be trained as a Techmarine. And it was then that brother Deracin found his true calling:

He may have been a brilliant fighter, but as a Techmarine, Deracin became a marvel. His brilliant, analytical mind allowed him to construct mechanisms on par with the most advanced work of the Mechanicus. His work earned him the envy of numerous Techmarines from different companies and, indeed, other Legiones Astartes. In time, even Angron himself began to display a sort of grudging respect for the son he had despised. And through fateful irony, the implants that prevented Deracin from tapping into the Butcher’s Nails’ full potential actually kept his brilliant mind intact, even as the rest of the legion descended into frenzy and insanity.

Ever since the Horus Heresy, during the millennia of the Long War, Deracin’s knowledge has grown far beyond the petty boundaries of Imperial orthodoxy: He has learned to forge flesh and steel, and to imbue his creations with the raw powers of the warp through the incantations and pacts of daemoncraft. The towering daemon engines deployed by the 4th assault company are a chilling testament to his skill. The Great Forge aboard the company’s capital ship never sleeps, and Deracin is its undisputed master. And during his long life, he has retained two features nearly unheard of among the members of the XIIth legion: A surgically analytical mind as well as a wry sense of humour.

On the battlefield, Deracin is a giant even among Astartes: His augmented frame towers above even his tallest brethren. Encased in a baroque suit of artificer armour of his own design and equipped with all kinds of arcane weapons and warp-infused tools, the Keeper of the Forge is every bit the warrior he was during the days of the Great Crusade.


So, what do you think? Was I successful in my attempt to build a worthy warpsmith? I would love to hear your feedback in the comments section!

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

Huntmaster Deracin (12)

Keeper of the Forge, pt. 1

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2013 by krautscientist

“Aye, Nove Shendak cost me half of my body. But in the end, those injuries were what let me keep all of my wits, and for that I will always remember that blasted hellscape with a certain …fondness.”

Huntmaster Deracin


If you’ve been following this blog for a while (or have at least taken a peek at the Dramatis Personae tab for my World Eaters), you’ll realise that I try to come with characters rather than mere playing pieces. Hence my addiction to building Chaos Lords, I suppose: Instead of building one model with magnetisable arms for maximum flexibility, I’ll just as likely build one separate model for each equipment choice, doing my best to transform each of them into a character in his own right. After all, some of these guys have been around for about ten millennia — they deserve a little characterisation, don’t you think?

By the same token, ideas for characters will often spring from something I see online or from a piece of fluff I come up with: For instance, long before the option to use a Warpsmith was introduced by the sixth edition Codex, I had the idea of a techmarine for the 4th assault company, who would construct and maintain much of the company’s wargear and who was likely also the driving force behind most of the warmachines and daemon engines deployed by Khorne’s Eternal Hunt. And while there was no obvious way to field such a character back then (except as a regular chaos lord), I was sure that building a model to represent him would turn out to be a challenging and rewarding hobby endeavour somewhere along the way. So the character started to appear in the background I wrote for the army, mentioned in conversations between characters or actually making an appearance himself. And that was the birth of Huntmaster Deracin, Keeper of the Forge.

I kept toying around with several ideas about how best to represent Deracin on the table: I considered converting a loyal Techmarine, but while I love the model’s design, I didn’t really want to go through the trouble of cutting apart a metal model. Then I planned to base the character on the model for Huron Blackheart, since Huron’s extensive bionic implants seemed to be a nice fit for a techmarine. But none of these ideas ever quite got off the ground.

Then the new codex arrived, and with it not only an army list entry for an “evil tech,arine”, but also a dedicated Finecast Warpsmith model.

Again, I made several attempts at building a model to represent Deracin, yet in the end the results always fell short of what I had envisioned. I also considered just using the Finecast model, do a headswap and call it a day, but that didn’t feel like a true solution either: I wasn’t really sure how straight I could possibly hope to get that axe handle on a Finecast model, for one. And it also seemed like a bit of a cheap cop out, in any case.

My attempts at kitbashing didn’t really work out either, because they usually ended up looking too much like a regular Chaos Space Marine. I realised that the servo harness the model would need to wear would always look funny and overwhelming on a standard sized model. So I would need to build a rather imposing body as well as kitbash a servo-harness and then pay extra attention in order to make the overall effect work out — quite a challenge!

But all setbacks notwithstanding, I decided that I absolutely wanted to kitbash a model representing Deracin that would

  • look suitably like a World Eater,
  • look suitably like a Techmarine/Warpsmith,
  • would be all plastic.

The breakthrough came when I started messing around with some parts from my bitzbox, among them a body from the Skullcrusher kit. I realised that the torso was quite a bit bigger than that of a Chaos Space Marine, so it could probably work for my plan. I only needed a pair of legs to go with it, but they couldn’t be Terminator legs, since Warpsmiths wear “regular” power armour. Then I recalled the WFB plastic Chaos Lord I had already used on my custom Dark Apostle, and I suspected I might be able to put the legs from that kit to good use…

I also gathered all the cables and tech-y bitz I would need to kitbash a servo-harness for Deracin. Quite a daunting task, really, but after seeing that I had some Necron limbs in my bitzbox, I just went for it.

So with the basic parts for the conversion decided and acquired, I built a very early mockup of the body:

Huntmaster Deracin WIP (1)
As you can see, this particular combination of legs and torso already made sure that Deracin would be quite an imposing fellow (the WIP Terminator on the right is another one of my ongoing conversion projects, and was only included for scale). I also tried a head with extensive bionic implants from the GK Terminators, and really liked the result. And some wayward armour plate (probably from the Dark Elf dragon kit, although I am not perfectly sure) was used as some kind of codpiece, both to emulate the heavily armoured look of the Warpsmith model and to make the legs look more different from those of my Dark Apostle.

The next step was to add the arms. I already knew I wanted to have Deracin hold a huge axe or wrench in one hand, both as his primary CC weapon as well as a sign of office. Instead of cocking a puny bolt pistol in the other hand, though, I though Deracin should be holding something that cemented his function as a mechanic of war. By lucky coincidence, I still had a right hand holding a rather impressive looking auspex. Deracin’s arms were built by using arms from the Chaos Knight and Skullcrusher kits:

Huntmaster Deracin WIP (4)
Huntmaster Deracin WIP (6)

I realised that the main challenge on this project would be to make sure that the different parts of the body and the additional appendages from the servo-harness wouldn’t get into each other’s way, so I started to experiment with the servo harness at this point. Looking at the bitz available to me, it became clear that the servo-arms would end up looking more like those of a loyal techmarine and less like the Warpsmith’s mechadendrites. I chose Necron limbs for the basic construction, and a GK Interceptor backpack was picked both for the nicely sculpted reactor on its back, but also for the rods emerging from it: These would be used as points of attachment for the different servo-arms. Here’s a look at a very early mockup of the harness:

Huntmaster Deracin WIP (8)
The weapon was spliced together from the Chaos Terminator Lord’s staff, an old, OOP plastic chaos halberd and some additional bitz. Some teeth from a chainsword were carefully shaved off and glued to the axe, making the weapon look like an especially ostentatious chainaxe — this guy is a World Eater, after all! I also added a gargoyle head from the chaos vehicle sprue to make it look like the weapon could perhaps also be used as a tool. Here’s a mockup of the finished weapon:

Huntmaster Deracin WIP (9)
As you can see, this first incarnation of the staff still had a rather huge mace head added on top. I rather liked the effect, but an artist I respect very much told me that this feature actually drew attention away from the model’s face. This was a problem, of course, so it was with a heavy heart that I got rid of this visual element.

It took quite a while to get the model’s pose right, by the way, especially since nothing was permanently attached at this point: For most of the construction phase, the model was basically held together with lots of modelling putty and goodwill…

The best moment was when I had finally worked out a solution for all the different elements, so I could start to carefully glue certain parts together. The torso and lower body were already glued together at this point, while the servo-harness was painstakingly assembled arm by arm and piece by piece.

i knew that I would need a flamer and meltagun, since they are part of the warpsmith’s profile. For the other two servo-arms, I chose some suitably brutal looking implements. After many, many revisions, the servo-harness was finished. Take a look:

Huntmaster Deracin WIP (10)
The flamer (bottom right) came from the new Raptor kit, while the meltagun (top left) is actually a combi-melta from the command tank sprue. I simply liked the chaos decorations and dangling ammunition so much that I chose to use the piece, even if it wasn’t strictly WYSIWYG. For the remaining arms, I went with a sentinel chainsaw and a vicious looking claw (constructed from one of the Heldrake’s “chicken feet”). The arms themselves were constructed from Necron arms and legs, combined with additional cabling and a few bitz from different sources. This might actually have been the most fiddly conversion job ever, and it was made even more nerve-wracking due to my enormous lack of patience 😉

The one part of my original plan I had to abandon was to add some “smokestacks”, like the ones on the stock Warpsmith model, to the back of the harness. This would have been a cool detail, but the backpack was already busy enough as it was, and to tell you the truth, there actually wasn’t any space I could have comfortably put them.

So I called the servo-harness completed at this point and dryfitted the model with it:

Huntmaster Deracin WIP (11)
I was already reasonably pleased with the outcome. But then fellow hobbyist Igandris over at Dakka pointed out that Deracin’s chainmail-armoured backside was a little distracting, and he was right with that 😉
So I used an earlier idea in order to fix that particular problem and added some dandgling chains to the backpack as some kind of cape. This was also a nice way to put a World Eaters spin on the cables ususally dangling from a Techmarine’s/Warpsmith’s backpack, due to the importance of chains in the XIIth legion’s inconography.

So after lots and lots of fiddling with small plastic parts, the model was finally completed. Here’s a look at the finished conversion:

Huntmaster Deracin WIP (13)
Huntmaster Deracin WIP (12)
Huntmaster Deracin WIP (14)

I was really happy with the model so far, although the prospect of having to paint Deracin at some point made me just a little afraid. I decided the best course of action was to face my fears and get him painted as soon as possible (because the alternative would probably have been to never work up the courage to begin painting in the first place). So the model was carefully taken apart, and the different sub-assemblies were carefully cleaned to get rid of all the modelling putty and any grime that may have built up. Here’s a picture of the different parts of the model, laid out to dry and awaiting undercoating:

Huntmaster Deracin WIP (15)I also built a base for Deracin at this point. And I finally undercoated all the parts of the model with GW Chaos Black spraypaint. There was no stopping now…

So, in the next update, look forward to getting a look at the finished model! Until then, let me know what you think in the comments section. And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!