Monthly Archives: May 2015

Atrocities Absurdities

Alright Internet, let’s you and me get interactive. I’ve spoken before about my love of truly chaotic Chaos, well this is your chance to encourage and contribute to that madness.

Some of you, especially old crusties like myself, may remember the Personal Chaos Attributes tables from the book Slaves to Darkness*. If you, like me, love massive random attribute tables then this has to be one of the seminal greats. Selecting an attribute from the table requires the use of a D1000 (that is to say a theoretical thousand faceted die – the result found by rolling other dice in combination to achieve a cumulative or multiplied score).

*who am I kidding? That book’s only four years younger than I am – I got a second hand copy as a present from my girlfriend and I’ve treasured it. I still dig through its weird and wonderful pages finding new ideas and inspiration.

Anyway, I’ve decided to dispense with complicated mathematics and thousand sided dice and get you lot involved instead. Your job is to pick a number between 1 and 1000 and post it in the comments box below. Whatever you come up with I’ll have a look at the table and then try to model your suggestion into my army. Exactly what I do with your suggestion is up to me although of course you’re very welcome to chip in with your own ideas. If you have a copy of the book yourself (good on ya!) and want to pick something devilishly difficult then that’s fine too.

I’ll add that there’s a few options on the table I won’t be doing. Chaos Lord (231-240) and Chaos Spawn (241-250) are units that I’ll come to in my own time. A friend of mine suffers from fits so, although it’s an option on the table (411-415), it’s not something I want to model. Oh and we also have GM’s choice (426-440) which is a bit pointless as it just puts the ball back in my court, and that’s not the aim of this exercise at all.

Other than that the floor, ladies and gentlemen, is all yours.

To get the ball rolling here’s a couple of examples.

First of all I picked a number myself (613) which gave me Mankin. Here’s what Slaves to Darkness has to say about it:

“Most of the mutant’s facial features atrophy and disappear, until only the mouth is functional. Meanwhile, a miniature body sprouts from the mutant’s forehead or crown. This manikin torso is perfect in every detail, with its own arms, head and face.
This miniature torso and head do all the talking for the mutant, and the lower mouth is used only for eating”.

Based on this description here’s what I came up with.
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As you can see I deviated from the original description on several points; the manikin sprouting not from the marine’s head but from his backpack, and instead of a normal human shape it’s a shrunken, limbless horror, clinging parasitically to the back of its strong (but now presumably mindless) host. A Master-Blaster for the 41st Millenium if you will.
By way of creating a second example I asked Janice Duke (creator of the banner you see at the top of the page) to come up with a number. She picked 342 which gives us Enormous Noise. Again let’s look at what Slaves to Darkness has to say:

“The mutant periodically produces a deafening sound: a wild, magic laugh, a mighty (and disgusting) breaking of wind, a crazed scream or wail, or any other noise that you may care to devise”.

Obviously this is slightly more challenging, you can’t exactly model an enormous noise after all. Instead I started to think about what kind of Chaos Marine would produce an enormous noise. I could have gone for some Nurgly belching but we’ve already been there. Instead I thought a return to Slaanesh might be in order. You may remember I’d decided to replace this guy in my (still very much WIP) Noise Marine squad.
Noise ChampionHere we had a perfect opportunity to come up with something new, and noisy of course.
NoiseMarineNoise ChampNoise ChampNoiseChampHe’s not perfect yet but I’m pretty pleased with him, especially the huge mouth in his belly (pushing my greenstuff skills a little there). Of course I’ve already got some ideas for a few tweaks before he’s ready for paint but this should give you some idea of the direction I’m going in.
Anyway, there we have it – now it’s over to you. Pick a number between 1 and 1000 and let’s see where we end up! Oh and as usual any comments, criticisms or suggestions – especially about Mr Enormous Noise, are welcome in the box below.

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Chaos Arise

Nothing too dramatic this time, just another chaos worshipping marine with a bolter in his hands, horns on his head and hatred in his heart!
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Truth be told I really enjoyed making this guy. This was model making as sketching – I refused to let myself get bogged down in any fiddly conversions, or complex effects. In the end he can’t have taken more than a couple of hours from initial idea to finished miniature. So whilst he isn’t going to win prizes for originality I learned a lot from him. Enjoy!


Dreams of Blood And Iron

‘‘All of the souls you will reap.

All of your spoils of war.

To be a keeper of the Forge.

But a trifle price for the boon

that is bestowed upon you.’’

– Extract from the Iron Pact

Maulerfiend

There were a lot of divisive models released alongside Codex: Chaos Space Marines back in autumn 2012 but people got really stirred up over the Maulerfiend. A lot of commenters have hated it – but never mind them eh, I loved it!

The codex itself has also come in for a fair amount of abuse (when do they not?) but in spite of whatever flaws the hardcore gamers might see it’s hard to deny that it was a sturdy expansion on what came before, bringing in many of the elements overlooked by its predecessor. Alongside the traditional factions affiliated with each of the gods, we also saw the ragged human cults and the Dark Apostles that lead them, and the horrifying daemon-engines of the Dark Mechanicus. Obviously it goes without saying that they could have done more (and who doesn’t wish that were so?) but by the same token they could very easily have done less.

Maulerfiend

The Maulerfiend is a powerful model; stocky, brutish and dangerous. It is also remarkably free of rampant mutations and god-marks (although of course clever converters everywhere have been adding them). It is not, then, the form that a daemon would have chosen necessarily, but it serves well enough, it is fit for purpose. Mortal hands made this weapon, and bound its malevolent scrap-code soul within. Too often men are depicted only as slaves to the Gods, yet the path of Chaos is forged from a desire for personal power. We do not throw off the chains of the Emperor simply out of a desire to be shackled by the primordial forces of the Warp. Thus it becomes a game of power. Some will be possessed, or decline into wailing spawn, some will become princes and trade freedom for immortality. A few will hold to their pride, hacking off their mutated limbs and replacing them with bionic substitutes, armouring themselves in bitter stoicism and remaining free. This multifaceted struggle between the Gods and their would-be pawns is part of what makes Chaos so compelling for me (that and the chance – no, expectation – to convert absolutely everything I touch).

Incidentally the daemon trapped inside this hulking iron monster is named Cynothoglys and was bound by my Warpsmith Sheb-Teth as part of the pact that brought him into Kell’s service.

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A close up of the screaming mouths in the chimneys. Frankly they’re just too horrifying not to take the chance to play with the special effects paints. Hopefully the drooling blood helps add to the narrative of the machine, un-burnt fuel spilling from the exhausts as it’s pushed to the limit of its capacity.

Maulerfiend

Just because I really like the model doesn’t mean it was easy to paint of course. I bought it within a few weeks of its release and started work on it straightaway. Not that I’ve spent the entire intervening time working on it of course – most of the time I’ve let frustration and procrastination get in the way – but the realisation that it’s a year older than this blog helped give me the final push to get him finished.

As well as the Maulerfiend the kit can also be assembled as a Forgefiend, its sister model which brings the long-range firepower to compliment the Mauler’s close-combat brutality. As it happens I ended up buying a second Maulerfiend body in amongst some other bits and realised that, by picking up a few extra components, I could now add a Forgefiend to the collection. Here we go again then – the Long War is never over!


Architect of Destruction

‘Shackle the soul and forge the flesh. Bind the machine and butcher the rest’

(Codex: Chaos Space Marines)

 Ladies and gentlemen allow me introduce my Warpsmith, Sheb-Teth the Soul Feaster!

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I actually really like this model. Fair enough its incredibly fiddly to put together and its impressive collection of appendages has been the subject of many hentai themed double-entendres (insert your own here). However for me personally the biggest problem I had was drawing the viewer’s gaze to the head. ‘Faces and bases’ is a rule I try to stick to (i.e. the two most important elements of a miniature to get right if you want it to stand out are the face and the base, the former because that’s where people naturally look to begin with, the latter because many people don’t bother). On the warpsmith however it’s easy for the head to be overwhelmed by the halo of tentacles that surrounds it. It also makes taking half-decent photos of it almost impossible as the camera has a tendency to focus on random mechatendrils rather than the core of the model itself but I persevered.

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The model’s pose certainly adds a great deal to his character, his overweening arrogance and command coming through in his challenging stance, chin out, axe held high. I imagine him being locked in a battle of wills with my Chaos Lord Kallamoon Kell, neither confidently the master of the other but requiring an alliance… for now. It’s the exploration of these minor conflicts and divergent personalities that I find not only feeds my interest in an army but also inspires new ideas to explore and develop. How long will Sheb-Teth be willing to serve, dedicating his prodigious talents to building war machines for another? Yet what form might his rebellion take? What weapons should he craft to stage his inevitable coup? With all the attention the Mechanicum have been getting lately I’d love to put together a few dark Skitarri, mutant servitors or thrall tech-priests to aid Sheb-Teth in his work. I’d also love to build a rival Warpsmith, someone with whom Sheb-Teth would lock horns in a vicious battle of professional competitiveness, each striving to outdo the other and all the while distracted from Kell’s throne.

All that will have to wait until time allows however. In the meantime though I have just finished my Maulerfiend so expect to see him shortly (as soon as I’ve got some pictures!)


I Am Disease

I’ve confessed in previous posts that, when it comes to the larger models in my collection, I tend to develop a kind of ‘painter’s anxiety’ and either not apply paint to them or do so at a spectacularly snail-like pace. As a result I’m sure most of you who saw this post about my work-in-progress Nurgle-infested Helbrute probably didn’t expect to see the finished piece within our lifetimes. However sometimes I’ll surprise you (or if not you then at least me) by accelerating and actually getting on with things. Being rather pleased with this Helbrute I decided to strike whilst the iron was hot rather than leaving him to languish like his Khornate battle-brother. Take a look:

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I took the chance to practice my freehand with the symbol of Nurgle on his shoulder (in case there was any doubt as to who he serves) and a few chaotic sigils further back.

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Here’s a couple of shots of the rear of the model. As seems to be becoming a theme I couldn’t resist adding some big, grotty tanks of toxic sludge (although for once I didn’t have them open to the air – denying me the chance to paint more lurid green slime).

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I also like to come up with a little bit of background to accompany each character or squad in my collection but often I don’t actually write it down, beyond a quick note of the name and major details. However on this occasion I actually put together something I thought was worth sharing:

Igorin Rotbringer – Infector of the Kadatheron Seventh Guard

Amongst the legions of traitor astartes interment in a dreadnaught is not an honour but a curse to be feared and shunned. It is rare indeed that one would choose it willingly yet the one known as Igorin Rotbringer is such a rarity. Cut down by the guns of the Kadatheron Seventh Guard he was dragged to safety by his battle-brothers amongst Golothess’s squad, a half-forgotten warrior-code compelling their actions. The plague acolytes prepared to sacrifice their crippled squadmate, atomising his flesh and pumping it into the atmosphere of the world they besieged so that even in death he might continue to spread his contagions. The wounded Igorin, however, begged for another path to be chosen. Such was his dedication to the God of Life and Death that he would accept the agony of dreadnaught imprisonment in exchange for continuing to spread Nurgle’s plagues beneath Ghisguth’s banner. Chilled and horrified by his declaration his battle-brothers still knew better than the question what they saw as a manifestation of the Dark Will. They did as Igorin asked and in the wake of his rebirth the Kadatheron Seventh Guard were the first to be blessed…

…And yes, this does mean I’m planning some plague zombies!


Murderers Are Getting Prettier Every Day

After all the Nurgle in the last post I reckon it’s time for a little break from the bells and bowels (but don’t worry there’s more on the way – my pact with the God of Life and Death remains strong!). In the meantime though, here’s a model that’s been sitting on my painting desk for far too long waiting for me to get around to finishing him off. Noise Marine I’ve always wanted my Black Crusade to take in the supporters of all four gods, yet up to this point I’ve ended up with a primarily Nurgly/Khornate force (plus a large undivided contingent). Mostly this is because Nurgle and Khorne have some unbelievably amazing models whilst Slaanesh and Tzeentch are a little lacking. This isn’t to repeat the rants that many people have had already about this imbalance, rather I see the treatment of Khorne and Nurgle as a positive sign and hope that someday we’ll see their brother gods fleshed out in the same way. In the meantime though I’ve found myself making several abortive attempts to add some converted Noise Marines to my collection in the stead of the lacklustre official models. This chap, however, represents the first time I’ve actually been happy with the result. Noise MarineNoise Marine When making the rest of the squad I’m not sure if I’ll continue using the Dark Eldar torsos – although I’m pleased with the result it took a lot of fiddling around with greenstuff to cover the gaps that resulted from the slimness of his torso compared to the larger space marine parts. Again as I’ve got various other projects on my desk at the moment I won’t be doing anything with them for a while so I’ve got plenty of time to think about it. Noise MarineNoise Marine Having finished the Noise Marine I thought I’d take the opportunity to show off this chap as well (although how much he deserves to be ‘shown off’ is debatable). He’s an early conversion from a time when my untamed imagination rather overreached my meagre skill and the result, although containing (in my opinion) some gems, rather fell short. I’ve picked him up a few times over the years, tweaking him here and there to make improvements but I doubt he’ll ever form a part of the finished Noise Marine squad. Take a look: Noise Marine I’m still quite pleased with the blastmaster and the head (a fairly new addition replacing the frankly awful old one), but somehow it doesn’t quite work as a cohesive whole. Never mind, I’m fond of him all the same. Noise ChampionNoise ChampionNoise Championnull Anyway, as usual any comments on how I could improve things for the rest of the squad are more than welcome in the box below (but don’t give me abuse – as a new convert of Slaanesh I’ll only enjoy it!) More Nurgly guts soon!