Blackstone Fortress: Traitor Commissar

Usually at this time of year I’m outside so long as there’s light in the sky (and often more than that) but with plague running rampant the world over, staying in and painting miniatures is the only meaningful thing I can do to fight back, so I’ve joined the ranks of those raising a middle finger to Grandfather Nurgle and locked myself indoors. With the world in lockdown I’ve been looking for things to keep me occupied and my eye fell once again on Blackstone Fortress. A while back I painted the renegade ogryn so I decided that my next target should be the traitor commissar, as between the two of them they open up the opportunity for us to tackle the Traitor Command expansion.

The first traitor guard model, perhaps even the first Blackstone fortress model, that I didn’t really like at first glance was the traitor commissar. His head looked a bit too large and that combined with his bolt pistol (always distinctly chunky on a human scale model) and power fist (again almost by definition outsized in comparison with the model wearing it) and his proportions start to look like they’re all over the place. For those readers unfamiliar with the stock model here’s a quick look at the studio version.

Studio Commissar

A very careful head swap later however, involving a very fiddly cut across the miniatures neck, and I was considerably happier. Rather than fight the odd proportions I tried to play up to them, creating the impression of a creature warped by chaos. Perhaps he’s no longer truly human, or perhaps he never was to begin with, looting the commissar’s coat he wears from a battlefield or casting off the glamour he wore to infiltrate the highest echelons of imperial command, and leading his regiment on a capering daemon dance into damnation. Alternatively perhaps he was simply lured into the embrace of the dark gods by the same strengths and weaknesses that corrupt all people. Commissars may be fiercely loyal, with absolute dedication to the Imperium stamped into the meat of their brains from a young age, but they are not entirely incorruptible. Even Primarchs fell.

Traitor Commissar Blackstone Fortress Wudugast (1)Traitor Commissar Blackstone Fortress Wudugast (2)Traitor Commissar Blackstone Fortress Wudugast (3)

Finding myself with more time than usual on my hands I took the opportunity to dig out his big buddy to accompany him.

Traitor Commissar Blackstone Fortress Wudugast (4)

And here we have him, leading his troops into battle against the lackeys of the Corpse-Emperor.

Traitor Commissar Blackstone Fortress Wudugast (5)

In the 41st Millennium there are few baseline humans as “mighty” as a commissar so naturally I’ll be counting him towards the March Might and Magic challenge being run by Ann’s Immaterium. What’s more, whilst the lockdown continues we might even find the time to get some games in and see him unleashed against the unfortunate explorers delving into the depths of the Fortress. Speaking of games I’m more keen than even to try out Warcry (especially after seeing the Scions of the Flame revealed at the weekend – those do look rather nice!) so I’ll be focusing on getting the Iron Golems wrapped up ASAP.


24 responses to “Blackstone Fortress: Traitor Commissar

  • davekay

    He looks good, and fits in great with the other traitor models. I like the head swap, makes him look chaos-y rather than just very annoyed.

  • Alex

    Lovely paint job mate, and the headswap is a huge improvement – nicely done sir!

    • Wudugast

      Cheers! I’ve saved the massive bonce, I’ll find a use for it somewhere but it just didn’t look right on the commissar. My heart was in my mouth with every cut to get the neck just right but it paid off in the end 🙂

  • imperialrebelork

    Oh he’s great mate. I was worried you’d changed the head because I liked the original but then I saw what you did and fell in love even more. Such a great model with a very nice paint job. Look forward to lots more while you’re in lockdown buddy.

    • Wudugast

      Aye, the original head isn’t bad in and of itself, I just didn’t like the way it looked in combination with the rest of the model. I’ve saved it fear not, I’ll find a use for it somewhere, maybe on a chaos warrior – or perhaps even a space marine (it’s about big enough). I’ll try to get some good use out of this lockdown, normally I’d not get much hobby done at this time of year but I’m managing plenty now! Going to bash on with the Iron Golem next I reckon, after that who knows?

  • theimperfectmodeller

    I always appreciate your work but having a stock image to go with your conversion really does enable me to see the changes you have made and the creativity that goes into your bespoke figures. Splendid stuff. You should go into figure design with IRO! 🤗

    • Wudugast

      Now that would be utter madness! I’m not sure the world is ready 😀

      Glad you like the commissar, I’m trying to make a point of including a stock photo alongside any conversions from now on – it’s always useful if you’re not familiar with the original model (and actually even if you are it’s helpful to have a direct comparison). Not saying I’ll never be an airhead and forget of course…

  • Pete S/ SP

    That is great- the head swop really adds to the mini.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

  • mcmattila

    While I don’t have any issue with the stock model, I really like your headswap. A good choice, it adds a whole lot of character. And of course, you’ve done a great job painting him as always. I have one suggestion though: I think the hazard cables would look better if the black and yellow/red parts were equally wide. Now the black gets a bit lost.. This is nitpicking of course.

    Finally, I just love the group shot! Very atmospheric! There’s a certain cinematic flair to your color scheme I think, the vibrant red is very dramatic against the otherwise drab colors.

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! I’m really liking that little splash of red as a spot colour, on an individual model it looks alright I think but it really comes into its own on a group, and the more of them I paint the more I like it 🙂

      You’re not wrong about the stripes on the cables, if you look closely (please don’t! 😉 ) there’s some that I’ve really screwed up. It used to be my party piece, one of those tricky to paint things that I was actually quite good at, back when I was painting a lot of orks, but I’ve become rusty with it. I might go back and try to improve it on him but not straight away, for now I’m calling him done.

  • Azazel

    Great work on this one, and that head swap has given me a bit of an idea for when (if) I ever get around to doing my one.

    ..and also remember the idea..

    • Wudugast

      Cheers! Yeah, story of my life, I’m forever seeing things that give me good ideas, starting to gather together the bits I need, then getting distracted by something else and finding them years later and wondering what the hell I was about. At least I got this one over the finish line though 🙂

      • Azazel

        Indeed – this is a pretty unique figure though, so I’d hope I can remember my idea down the line…

      • Faust

        So funny…I ran into that scenario just recently. Saw something or got a recommendation (I think from Az or you), bought the bits I needed off of Ebay. Started a different kit-bash on the models, intending to go back and use that idea. Took my break from painting. Then returned to those models and while painting them, saw someone had implemented the original idea on Reddit. Loved it (thinking this was the first time I had seen it). Promptly bought the bits I needed from Ebay (again!). Then chopped them up, repainted, and somewhere along the line of looking for some bits one day….discovered the original bits I had bought several months ago! #$%^@! If I had recalled that earlier, I could have saved myself sooooo much time. Now I try to put all the minis for a Blood Bowl team into their own storage container, along with any chopped off bits and possible kit-bash bits that I might want to use.

      • Wudugast

        Oof, yup – been there! I blame the hobby butterfly effect, if I could just concentrate on one project at a time rather than being lead astray by every good idea that wafts past in front of my eyes then I wouldn’t find myself six months later looking at a little bag of space marine heads and a plaguebearer arm and wondering what the hell I was planning that made me file them away together so carefully…

      • Faust

        LOL…you should put the most random collection in a bag sometime and stick it away just to screw with your head sometime!

      • Wudugast

        Ha! I screw with my head quite enough by accident without doing it deliberately I can assure you 🙂

  • March 2020 Might & Magic Painting Challenge Round-up! | Ann's Immaterium

    […] the end of the month, Wudugast also completed a Blackstone Fortress Traitor Commissar.  As it common practice at Convert or Die!, our good Commissar was graced with a somewhat painful, […]

  • Faust

    So at first I was like “Why?!”. Looks to be a decent model and I like that head. But after seeing what you chose and realizing this guy is all about CHAOS (yes, the Chaos tattoo, banner, t-shirt, and medallion didn’t click in my brain! need more coffee…), the head swap makes much more sense. He really looks the part along with his Chaos brethren now.

    Aside from the head swap (which was good, mind you), I really like the paints you chose. Naturally it fits in with your chosen color schemes, but I think it just looks better than the GW model in general.

    • Wudugast

      Why? Well to quote George Mallory “Because it’s there!” And frankly, without wishing to make light of a man’s death, there were times during that headswap when I think I knew how he felt on Everest! As for the paintwork – thank you very much – that’s high praise indeed 🙂

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