Tag Archives: Converting

The Virtues of the Beast

In the last post I talked about my scheme to make some Chaos Marines based on the Personal Attributes table in Slaves to Darkness, and how it all fell apart a little. Never mind, those marines who were chosen have survived and clawed their way off the painting desk. Last time I showed a two-faced marine, now it’s the turn of this beast-faced individual.

This time credit for selecting the number goes to Alex at Leadballoony who, as well as being as a thoroughly interesting person to chat to via this blog, also has a regularly inspiring blog of his own – go and check it out. He selected number 151 which apparently is a favourite number of his youngest son. Please, Alex, in the interest of good parenting, if your child has an ounce of artistic taste, never show him this miniature!

Consulting the attribute table I discovered that 151 equates to a ‘bestial face’ which this guy certainly has. I’ll admit it isn’t the best model I’ve made, not by a long shot. Anyone of a sensitive disposition should look away now.

Damn he’s ugly. Really it’s no wonder – I started out without a clear plan, and still managed to drift from it. Even the nature of the beast changed (my original plan was a pig believe it or not). I decided that I wanted to avoid anything too traditionally beastman-ish (i.e. no goats) or space-wolfish (no dogs allowed!). Mostly, then, I made things difficult for myself and ended up with something that looks a little bit like a racoon having a bad day.

What makes him special then, and what stopped me from throwing him at the wall in a temper tantrum and starting over, is just how much I learned from working on him, particularly when it comes to working with greenstuff and the freehand eye on his chest. In fact there are many elements to him that I really fought with but afterwards I felt I’d developed my skills and that means that, alongside a guilty relief that he’s done at last, I’m also feeling rather proud.

Anyway, you may be thinking ‘who cares about this feel good, I’m proud, shit! He looks like an evil pug with bad teeth! Stop this hugging and learning and show us something decent!” Alright then – calm down, no need to shout! I’ll try to get another Nurgly chap ready to show you over the weekend, ok?

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Warrior Herd

A while ago I showed a few beastmen I’d converted to bolster the ranks of my Khorne worshipping horde. Some of you may have assumed that I’d forgotten about my beastmen but I can assure you I had not. Perhaps I didn’t throw captives into the feeding pens quite as often as I should have, but they were always on my mind.

Let’s take a look at the latest additions.

When I first built this next model I armed him with a gun, planning to bring a little firepower to the squad (although I’m not convinced that marksmanship comes naturally to a beastman). To be honest though he looked a little awkward – even more so in fact than a goat with a gun normally does. Here’s an early WIP shot to show you what I mean.

Beastman

Realising I wasn’t happy with the look of the model I removed the gun, intending to replace it with something else. However as soon as I saw him without it I realised how much he looked like a martial artist or boxer of some kind. As an aside – and I may be quite wrong here – but wasn’t there a computer game at one time that featured beastmen or satyrs that were marital artists? Anyone else remember it?

This also drew my attention to the fact that martial arts in general just isn’t represented in 40k (or in wherever the hell Warhammer is set now). Admittedly storming out into a world of daemons, eight-foot tall power-armoured psychopaths and titanic god-machines armed only with your fists represents a distinct lack of practicality (although fair play to you if you give it a shot) but practicality has never been big news in the 41st Millennium anyway. I’m also open to admitting that if one wished to bring more martial arts into 40k then beastmen probably wouldn’t be the best place to start  – although anyone who’s seen an ibex climbing a near-sheer wall will agree their pretty nifty on their hooves. Anyway, this is me digressing.

I also went back to this model which I built almost a year ago now.
Truth be told I’ve never been all that happy with the gun he carried (why didn’t any of you tell me it was awful!) so I’ve removed it as well, which I feel has improved the model considerably. Take a look:
And here’s the whole pack so far.
Sadly beastmen are no longer to be found in the Lost and the Damned forcelist (presumably the idea is that any beastmen squads that fans have converted can be fielded as mutant rabbles) but I think this is a great shame and have stuck resolutely to the old ways (so stubborn am I that a job as a dwarf may be mine for the asking). It seems a small thing but I’d have loved to see beastmen not only incorporated into the new list but actually expanded upon in the same style as the Ogren Brutes. The old rules allowed for Khorne worshipping Bloodgors, but what about bringing back Pestigors, Tzaangors and whatever the ones who worshipped Slaanesh were called). Of course in this age of Harlequins and Skitarii anything is theoretically possible but sadly the revival of beastmen in 40k remains in particular doubt.
Anyway, as well as getting those two painted up I also kitbashed a couple more.

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I also made this packmaster to lead them to slaughter.

As you can seen he’s just torn the head from a loyalist space marine in a display of brute strength that will presumably send his herd mates into a frenzy of blood-thirsty braying. The question I have for you is; which Chapter did that space marine belong to? Give me your suggestions (and the reasons why) – whichever I judge to be the best answer is the one I’ll use. Other good answers will undoubtedly get used on other models throughout the collection – every chaos marine worth his salt knows a loyalist head looks good amongst his trophies or on his base.


Khorne With The Wind

So the Age of Sigmar rumbles on and, following on from the release of the God-Kings golden warriors – which proved a little bland to my taste after a while, we now see the opposition; the legions of the Blood God. Because I thought this merited talking about a little I decided to chap on and get a model painted so I’d have something of my own to show off as well.

Of course as my own worship of the Dark Gods is rooted firmly in the 41st Millennium this berserker wears power armour instead of leather and iron plate.

Berserker

I turned his bolt pistol into a net launcher as I reckon this would be a pretty handy weapon for a berserker to have. Khorne, after all, isn’t the type to deliberately handicap his warriors with too many rules. Perfection and precision is more Slaanesh’s department, Khorne – as we are reminded ad nauseam – cares only that the blood flows. Thus although snaring your opponent in a net is not the most honourable way to go about things if it helps you lay bigger and more impressive skulls at the foot of his throne then so be it. He also has a fairly low opinion of enemies who run away so the ability to snare some panicking troops and drag them into reach is likely to be interpreted approvingly. It also adds a little gladiatorial element which plays to one of Khorne’s key themes nicely.
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Yesterday we also saw the arrival of the Exalted Deathbringer and what a beast of a model it is. This is one of those models I loved from the moment I saw it and will undoubtedly pick up at some point (remind me of that in three years when it’s never put in an appearance here!).

Many commenters have said he’d make a fine Abaddon proxy but I have to say I don’t see it myself. The topknot and the talon are the only aspects which distinctly convey the character of the master of the Black Legion and whilst the former certainly works the latter is a little small to be the legendary Talon of Horus. That’s not to do it down – it certainly looks brutal enough as weapons go, but unless Horus tickled Sanguinius to death this isn’t what he used. Now that axe is another matter. If I was planning to use this model ‘as is’ in Warhammer or Age of Sigmar I’d be spitting bile right now. I know many miniatures companies – GW being one of several culprits – get a bit carried away when it comes to the weapons they arm their models with but this one is particularly silly. How’s he meant to lift that bad boy without putting his back out? And even a warrior of Khorne should consider that he’s hung his skulls in a particularly inconvenient place.

Exalted Deathbringer as painted by the clever dudes over at Games Workshop’s ‘eavy Metal team.

What if, however, we imagine the model as a basis for a Kharn conversion instead? Suddenly he makes more sense. The lower body is already distinctly similar to that of the Betrayer, the symbols of Khorne are already in place and the armour – or lack of it – is far more closely reminiscent of a berserker’s power armour than terminator armour. Best of all, that axe finally looks right. It may be ridiculously outsized for any normal human, or even a Space Marine, but it looks about right for a Primarch (for those not in the know Kharn’s axe Gorechild once belonged to his gene-father Angron). And let’s be honest here, Kharn would be mad enough to lug his father’s axe around even if it was that preposterously large (and tough enough to keep on reaping skulls with it).

On a more general note the toplessness of some of the new models is starting to make my life in the 41st Millennium tricky. Nurgle’s followers can bloat and burst through their armour and hardcases like Kharn can rock up to void-combat shirtless but if I want to take advantage of the Blood Reavers then soon half my army will be doing it, which may somewhat dilute the effect. Of course this may just be a sign of a Space Marine-centric world view – after all no-one’s ever bothered that the Catachans forgot to get dressed.

Anyway, as usual I’d be glad to hear your comments, both on my own Berserker and the new Deathbringer. Do you hate him? Have any crazy conversion ideas of your own? Planning to use him in old-school Warhammer – and if so as what? Speak your mind in the comments box below.


The Hunter

This kit bash is pretty old. It pre-dates the Kadetheron 13th (my traitor guard) by a considerable time, it may even pre-date the Beasts of Ruin altogether. Like the ogrens I showed recently it’s been through various incarnations and like them I wanted to use the opportunity of working on my traitor guard to finally get it finished. chaos-sentinel-convert-or-die-6 I’ve always thought sentinels were really nice miniatures, full of sci-fi character. Of course they don’t actually do anything that a genehanced scout or servitor-piloted drone couldn’t do better but every Imperial commander knows that sentinels have been part of their arsenal for ten thousand years and nothing is going to make them change now. And of course every follower of the ruinous powers knows that if the servants of the Corpse God have something they should steal it and stick spikes on it. chaos-sentinel-convert-or-die-1

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The Witching Hour Approaches

rogue-psyker-convert-or-die-1Psyker. Priest. Voice of the Neverborn. Directing the debased horde. Willing sacrifice to enflesh their victory. Engineering the union of gods and men with his own blood and bone.rogue-psyker-convert-or-die-3

rogue-psyker-convert-or-die-2Quite pleased with this creepy fellow. The bits to make four more are sitting on my table. Just need to stick them together…

Rather excitingly this is also my 100th post. Who knew when it began that this little blog would go so far? Not I anyway!


Hammer of the Gods – Part 2

Just a quick update, as promised, here’s the Bone ‘ead for my renegade Ogren squad. And yes, I know there’s no Bone ‘eads in Imperial Armour 13, I just don’t like leaving my Ogrens without someone in charge!traitor-guard-convert-or-die-traitors-27

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As you can see, he’s considerably bigger than the others. Never mind eh – at least he looks like the boss!traitor-guard-convert-or-die-traitors-26


Hammer of the Gods – Part 1

Perhaps this miniature should serve as a reminder that, although I’m a big fan of the ‘paint what you want, work at your own pace’ approach, sometimes it wouldn’t hurt to get my bum in gear a little. I started work on this model a long, long time ago – back when the Beasts of Ruin consisted only of a handful of Terminators and Chaos Marines. I fancied a few Chaos ogrens to lumber alongside and started working on a test model made from a combination of ork nob and ogre parts. Over the years he’s mutated regularly until he ended up in his current incarnation. convertordie-ogren-1The thing is though, it took me so long to get him painted up that Games Workshop went and released new plastic Ogrens in the meantime (something that in itself seems a long time ago now). I did wonder about packing it in with this model and relegating him to bitzbox purgatory, but a combination of fondness and stubbornness stayed my hand and I resolved to finish him.convertordie-ogren-2

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convertordie-ogren-3He’s a little small compared to the new plastic Ogrens, and I’m already working on at least a couple of models based on that kit, so I worried that he would look a bit like the underfed brother next to the others. The best solution, I reckoned, would be to make another so they could be short together. Life’s always better with a friend, even if you’re a thuggish mutant enslaved by the ruinous powers!convertordie-ogren-5

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convertordie-ogren-8And here’s the two of them together. I’m making a Bone ‘ead to keep an eye on them and make sure they keep going in roughly the right direction, but he’s not quite finished yet. Soon, I promise!convertordie-ogren-9I started work on them long before Forge World released Imperial Armour 13 with its updated Renegades and Heretics army list so I was particularly interested to see how ogrens had been handled in the new book. Where previously we had a whole variety of units (Ogren Berserkers, Plague Ogrens, the Hounds of Xaphan) now we just have Ogren Brutes, which can then be upgraded by adding packmasters with chaos hounds (reckon I’ll do something with that soon) and/or dedicating the squad to one of the gods. This means that as well as ogrens dedicated to Khorne and Nurgle we can also see ogrens dedicated to Tzeentch or Slaanesh both of which strike me as interesting propositions from both a fiction and a modelling perspective. Khorne seems a natural choice for an ogren (Khorne approves of hitting things, ogrens like hitting things, it’s a match made in heaven really) and with their poor hygiene and resilience to disease they fit in nicely with the followers of Nurgle as well. Slaanesh is harder to conjure though – I’m struggling to imagine an ogren enjoying decadent feasts or the height of sexual perversity. Likewise an ogren that plans to master the power of the warp and become a master magi is setting himself up for a disappointment. However I reminded myself that ogrens tend to go where they’re led regardless of their affiliation and could easily find themselves bound to a Slaaneshi or Tzeentchian master (the latter enjoying the protection of some serious muscle whilst he channels the warp – the former… well, perhaps it’s best not to ask).

Anyway, I already have plans for some Khorne and Nurgle ogrens but perhaps a few more dedicated to the other gods wouldn’t go amiss… I’m thinking the Skaven Stormfiends might contain the makings of a Slaaneshi ogren, and perhaps there’s something Tzeetchian in the Morghasts? Any thoughts?