Tag Archives: Dreadnaught

Dreadtober – Part 2

It’s been a week since my bold assertion that I would paint a bloat-drone in the month of October and the question on everyone’s lips is; how much have I managed? For the uninitiated October has come to mean Dreadtober as hobbyists attempt to get their unloved Dreadnaughts finished before the start of November. Anything of roughly dreadnaught-sized proportions is welcome, with carnifexs, dreadknights, helbrutes and – in my case at least – bloat-drones all welcome. If you have a dreadnaught shoved to one corner of your painting desk it’s not too late – this could be its moment.

I’ll confess that much as I enjoy Dreadtober I actually hate posting WIP images of part-painted models, especially when they’re frozen in the moment when the first basecoats have been applied but the washes are still waiting in the wings and the whole model is a shoddy mess of flat panels and ugly colours. Nonetheless regular progress updates are very much in the Dreadtober spirit so I shall grit my teeth and reveal the current state of the bloat-drone to the world.

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As you can see it’s not looking its best yet but you can’t pretend I didn’t forewarn you of that!

The khornate helbrute, originally painted for the 2015 Dreadtober, is also at a less than prepossessing stage, its flaying arms repaired and – hopefully – upgraded with garish lumps of greenstuff (hence the black and white image).

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Still lots to be done before the end of the month then but progress is underway at least.


DreadTober 2017 – Part 1

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It’s October, which means of course that it’s also Dreadtober – a phenomenon which I’ve become rather fond of in recent years. For those wanting to keep up with all the action, or who feel that this blog just isn’t enough for them (how dare you!?), should head over to the official Dreadtober website for all the latest shenanigans. Essentially however the idea of Dreadtober is simple, to paint up a dreadnaught (or similarly sized vehicle) by the end of the October. The fact that lots of other people are doing the same thing, and that one has publicly stated one’s intention to paint said model, acts as a great motivator – for me at least – and has helped me finish off two Helbrutes which would otherwise undoubtedly be lingering in dusty shame on the shelf where unpainted models go to die. Back in 2015 I produced this angry Khornate fellow…

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Whilst in 2016 it was the turn of this Slaaneshi sonic-ironform.

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This year however I don’t really have a suitable Dreadnaught or Helbrute to work on. I do however have the foetid bloat-drone from the Dark Imperium boxset which will hopefully fit the bill. To me models like the bloat-drone are perfect fodder for Dreadtober. It was one of the stand out models from the boxset, one of the reasons I bought it in the first place in fact, and yet one that I always suspected I would end up putting off whilst I lived in the moment, flitting like a butterfly from one project to the next. With a deadline to meet however I’m not going to allow it to slip to the corner of the painting desk in favour of whatever else takes my fancy. Now I know that this isn’t really a dreadnaught, however Dreadtober is a broad church and equally welcoming to carnifexs, dreadknights and dunecrawlers as it is of dead space marines in stomping up-gunned coffins, so hopefully this buzzing disease infested daemon engine will be equally acceptable.

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However just in case the lack of stamping legs is just too much heresy for you I’ll also be returning to a project from the first Dreadtober, the flail-waving, Khorne-loving helbrute berserker. The trouble with all those flails is their tendency to snag on things and snap off every time he’s moved and by this point they’ve been reattached more times than I care to admit, leaving him slightly spiky and lopsided.

He’s also not as well painted as he deserves to be so a bit of a touch up seems in order – and what better time of year to tackle him than this?

Of course I couldn’t sign off without wishing all the other Dreadtober participants the best of luck in our joint endeavour – and for those of you who’re still on the fence I recommend you go for it. Grab that unpainted and under-loved ‘dread from whatever corner you’ve shoved it into and get to work – by this time next month a shiny new creation will be ready to impress your friends and terrorise your enemies!


Slaanesh Built My Dreadnaught

You crept into my bones that night in La Fenice, crept in and changed me forever. All these millennia you have slept whilst I have paced, restless and hungry – first in flesh and then in iron. Others wept and raged as their broken bodies were carried from the battlefields and beaten into unfeeling ironframes. I felt nothing. Since the day I fell free of your possession, since the tide of your control rolled back and left me, a puppet without a master, alone on the cold shore of freedom I have felt nothing! No acts of debauchery, no mutilation of flesh, not the braying of the great horns of battle or the slaughter of brothers and slaves alike has stirred in me the ecstasy you brought before you abandoned me at Terra’s walls. When the First Primarch fell and we fled from the golden walls of the False One’s palace you discarded me and left a hollow in my heart, a cold stone that has never healed or warmed since. What did it matter if I walked the stars as a man, or an ironform, or if I no longer walked at all; when all passion was denied me?

Only now do you creep back in, now that Terra is once more in our sight. What is ten thousand years, after all, to one such as you? Have you even felt the ages of my suffering? You exulted in our master’s glory whilst I was cast aside, spent and forgotten, one of Fulgrim’s chosen yet treated no better than a flesh thrall!

How I hate you! How I love you! Claim my soul! Warp my flesh! Let the horns of war scream out once more!

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Well here we have it, my Dreadtober contribution finished at last (although we’re now almost a week into Cheatvember!) Lately I’ve been finding my enthusiasm for painting at a bit of a low, and I know this held me back considerably on this project, as well as draining my interest in all my other schemes as well. Particularly since visiting Warhammer World my imagination has been bursting with new ideas and crazy conversions but the desire to actually apply a paintbrush to any of them has been distinctly lacking. What’s more as the number of unpainted models continued to mount up I felt increasingly guilty about building more without painted the ones I’d already made. In some ways I hoped that Dreadtober would give me a push to actually get on with things, after all there was a deadline to be met and a lot of people who’d notice if I failed. As it turned out it did help but not until the very last moment.

The issue, I came to realise, was not dissimilar to that which felled the Emperor’s Children themselves – and so perhaps it’s fitting that it took a Slaaneshi dreadnaught to make me aware of it. By constantly trying to improve my skills, by striving to make every model better than the last, I’d drained a lot of the pleasure out of painting. Not every model needs to be a golden demon winner – indeed that’s not something I’d consciously aspire to. Art should be organic, both in its creation and its outcomes. In striving for perfection I’d made a rod for my own back. Instead I should have accepted that nothing I could create would ever be truly perfect and just had fun with it. Photography gives us crisp realism, paintings give us brushstrokes. The flaws in live music give it a quality, some might say a soul, that overproduced recordings cannot match. In an age of Hollywood blockbusters theatre has not died. Art needs to live. By setting goals which were unachievable I left myself unable to achieve anything. As a direct result of my determination to produce models which were always better than before I found myself producing things which I was less and less happy with. The more I tried to force myself to improve the more I wanted to take each model and throw it against the wall. Hardly the outcome one wants from a hobby which one intends to be relaxing. Time to change my outlook.

With this in mind I decided to let my hair down a little and just enjoy painting, and what a difference it made. Freed from my self imposed restrictions I took on my Dreadtober challenge with a new gusto. Ultimately we can’t all be Golden Demon winners and shouldn’t aspire to be. We are all craftspeople, all creating little pieces of art in our own style. Too much planning, too much fretting over details, and the process of creating becomes a chore.

For me painting miniatures should be more like sketching, taking an idea and giving it shape without worrying too much over the minutia. I’m not espousing laziness or sloppiness but I am saying that, for me, creativity is more important than perfection – which is why when I go to the Sea of Souls Tzeentch will claim me before Slaanesh does. Ironically the end result of this revelation is a model I’m particularly proud of, indeed – in my opinion – it’s one of the best things I’ve created in a while.

Anyway, enough waffle – you came here for pictures and you shall have them!

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dreadtober-convertordie-5The knee-guard is finally re-attached.dreadtober-convertordie-3All the faces that didn’t work out as I wanted them to for the Warp Amp found a home on the base.dreadtober-convertordie-6Finally here’s a group shot of all my current Slaaneshi models.dreadtober-convertordie-8Once again I’d like to offer a huge “thank you” to Joe at Broken Paintbrush for making Dreadtober 2016 a success, and of course congratulations to all the other participants – whether they have a finished model to be proud of or just one that’s still half paint/half aspirations. As usual any comments or feedback are appreciated!


Cracking the WIP – Part 5

Well the end of Dreadtober is just around the corner and, as you can see, I’ve come close but I still haven’t quite made it. However the Dreadtober event will be running for one more week so those of us who’ve failed to achieve our target can enjoy a ‘cheat week’ and still join the ranks of our brothers to receive praise and accolades. Luckily Slaanesh enjoys praise above all else and has no problem with a little light cheating, Plus, at this stage, the longer I spend on him the better he looks – and the followers of Slaanesh know that if there’s one thing better than praise it’s looking good.convertordie-dreadtober-sonic-dreadnaught-wip-1

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As usual feedback is always appreciated, and don’t forget to head over to the official dreadtober site at Broken Paintbrush where a showcase of everyone’s achievements will be appearing shortly.


Cracking the WIP – Part 4

Just a quick update on my DreadTober progress. What passes for daylight at this time of year is playing hell with the camera so I’m struggling to get any pictures that bring out the highlights properly (chalk that one up next to all the other excuses on this project!). As you can see there’s still a way to go with him (and now only a few days to go!) but he’s getting there at least. As usual comments and feedback are appreciated – and don’t forget to take a look at the official Dreadtober page to see what all the other participants are getting up to.dreadtober-4-1

dreadtober-4-2Oh – and pay no mind to that hideous looking green  and brass pipe work on the warp amp, that’ll be getting fixed ASAP!


Cracking the WIP – Part 3

Nobody said it would be pretty! Not at this stage anyway. The first layers of paint are down. Washes have been sloshed around. Brushstrokes are everywhere. Somewhere Duncan Rhodes is screaming. 10 days to go!dreadful-dread-1-convertordie


Cracking The WIP – Dreadtober Part 1

Ah, the first Dreadtober update! I had such plans you know! Such things to show you! Alas my grand vision remains unfulfilled. Between work’s cruel yolk and the loving embrace of Grandpappy Nurgle, wrapping his arms around me, blessing me with his gifts and begging me not to leave him for Slaanesh, my progress has been slower than I might have wished.

Now that’s not to say I’ve got nothing to show you, it’s just that I planned to have the model completely assembled and ready for paint already and it’s simply not got there yet. Still, this is one of the most complex conversions I’ve ever attempted, an amalgam of plastic, plasticard, metal, resin and greenstuff so I shall be kind to myself and remind myself that getting this right is the most important thing, and that’s there’s still a lot of month to go.

Still – enough excuses! I have at least managed to get this monster to a stage where it can be tacked together enough that you can get a feel for how it’s going to look on completion, and get your feedback in. sonic-dreadnaught-convertordie-1

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As you can see there’s still a bit of work to do before he’s ready for paint but progress is being made. The claw arm needs a lot of work before it’s ready to be attached properly and will most likely be raised a little, the tack isn’t strong enough to prevent it drooping under its own weight (insert your own Slaaneshi joke here). There’s also a bit more greenstuff work to do, the base needs done and both shin-guards are coming off so it’s easier to freehand/sculpt/whatever I decide to do with them. Here’s a close up of the arm which as I say still needs a lot of greenstuff before it’s ready to roll. sonic-dreadnaught-convertordie-5

And here’s a look at the howling faces on the warp amp. sonic-dreadnaught-convertordie-4

There’s also a few ideas which I originally planned for this dread but which are proving unsuitable in practice. Slowly they coalesce at the back of my brain, drawing in scraps of other ideas and generating fresh ones. After all once I’ve made a dreadnaught for Khorne, Nurgle and Slaanesh then poor old Tzeentch is going to be feeling a little left out…


Dreadnaughts I Have Known

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I painted my first dreadnaught at some indeterminate point in the past, although exactly when is hard to tie down now. Assault on Black Reach had been released and the Orks had drawn me into 40k’s grim darkness at last but I was still unfamiliar with the universe and its protagonists. Having picked up the Black Reach boxset purely for the greenskins within I found myself with a bundle of space marines as well – and almost no interest in painting them. Only a grudging sense of duty got me through the tactical squad, although I admit I tackled the terminators with rather more enthusiasm. The only thing that really grabbed me however was the dreadnaught.

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He’s been tweaked and improved once or twice over the years but even those improvements still look rather old and somewhat lacking in comparison to my modern standard. Still I was hooked, on dreadnaughts if not on space marines. Thus when a friend of mine was clearing out his cupboards and gave me his copy of Assault on Black Reach and the Chaos Space Marines codex I knew straight away that the next dreadnaught I painted would be something much darker, angrier and spikier than before. It was also at this point that I was discovering the joy of converting models and, although there remained much for me to learn, I was well on my way to becoming the kitbashing, greenstuffing heretic I am today.

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Next up was an Ork deff dread – completed mere days before Games Workshop announced the release of the current plastic model. Sadly he was never the best of creations, leaning rather too heavily on Orky qualities of ‘cobble it together and hope for the best’ and now resides in the bottom of the bits box waiting for redemption and reconstruction.

With Dark Vengeance the chaos dreadnaught was reborn as the helbrute; the angry, spikey box of before replaced instead by the fleshy, unnaturally-organic beast of today.

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Of course painting one of them wasn’t enough for me, especially after the release of the putrid blightkings made it possible to create a bloated, Nurgly hulk.

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Nor was that the end of my dreadnaught obsession. Last October feedyournerd ran the Dreadtober event which aimed to encourage as many people as possible to paint a dreadnaught (or similar sized model) in the month of October. Seeing the brilliant work that others were producing provided the spur I needed to crack on and bring this Khornate monster into being.

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At the time I asserted (rather boldly) that if this event happened again I’d be sure to join in. One year on and it’s time to live up to that claim as DreadTober returns. This time responsibility for the event lies with Broken Paintbrush so I’d recommend getting across there to take a look at what’s planned. I’ll be taking on this unfortunate-looking former Crimson Fists dreadnaught. His loyalist masters may have abandoned him to ebay but I feel sure that, with Nurgley and Khornate dreadnaughts already in the bag, he’ll do very well indeed in the subtle embrace of Slaanesh. dreadnaught-convertordie-2

Naturally these events work best when lots of people join in so I encourage (nay – implore!) you to dig your own battered and abandoned dreadnaught projects out of the bitsbox, or take them down from the shelf of shame, and get to work on them. This is their moment!


Abomination Reborn

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The blade itself incites to deeds of violenceHomer (not Simpson – the Greek one).

A beast of ill-contained rage and terrible strength, the Helbrute known as the Ironghast Fury was sent to Kell as a gift from the masters of that terrible hell-foundry. The reasons behind this action however, remain unknown. Was it intended merely to secure ties and future tribute from his warband, or to encourage him to abandon other gods and devote his service to Khorne alone? Or does it serve a more subtle purpose as the weapon by which this errant chaos lord might be destroyed? After all who could contain such violence as this creature seeks? Perhaps the mere possession of such a weapon would tempt its wielder to seek war on such a scale that, in the end, he too shall be dragged down into destruction and defeat.

 

Whew! With October (and more importantly DreadTober) almost over my converted Helbrute is finished – and with only a minimum of late nights needed to work on him. Here’s how he looked earlier in the week. As you can see the metalwork was started but the whole model was still looking rather unfinished.

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And here he is now:

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I’m not quite sure what possessed me to make the spine quite so hideous – my logic was that with all those tentacles flaying around it would be putting terrible pressure on the anatomy of a creature that is, after all, not the result of natural evolution but instead produced by random growth. Don’t feel sorry for it though – it’s a monster!

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I know it’s subtle but I’m rather pleased with this little detail on the base. Take that Blood Angels – you think your Dreadnaughts are angry?!

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By the way, for those who’ve not read the Khorne Daemonkin book quite as nerdishly as I have, the Ironghast Foundry is official cannon, a whole planet given over to producing weapons for Khorne’s armies (put that in your pipe and smoke it Skullgrinder!) Sadly the description becomes rather melodramatic even by GW’s standards (boiling blood and murderous skull covered machinery everywhere), and their imaginations ran out entirely when it came to the man in charge – a ‘cruel and violent’ character (no-one expected him to be easy-going and jolly) known only as ‘The Overseer’. Leaving that aside however I rather like the idea of a massive Khornate forge (the name Ironghast just sounds mean doesn’t it?) and wanted to sneak a reference in to my own collection somewhere. Now hopefully by the time they get round to making another edition of Khorne Daemonkin the Overseer will have fallen beneath the bone pistons of his own horrific engines and been replaced by someone a little more nuanced.

Anyway, moving on I’d also like to add that DreadTober is the first event of its kind that I’ve ever taken part in and it’s been a hugely enjoyable experience. Not only has it encouraged me to get this Helbrute finished (saving it from another year sat in dusty shame on the painting desk) but it’s also been a great opportunity to see other people tackling similar subjects. Once again then I’d encourage anyone who hasn’t already favourite the main site to get over there and have a look.
Also, in disgustingly clichéd Oscar-winner style, I’d like to offer a quick thank you to Greggles and everyone else who made DreadTober happen, and to everyone who got involved. It made it a far more exciting thing to be part of than had I simply challenged myself, and the outpouring of creativity from the other participants was extremely inspiring and motivating. So cheers guys, and if anything like this happens again I’ll be sure to join in if I can.


Cursed Be Iron

A few weeks ago I said I’d been inspired by the release of the new Helbrute kit to return to my old Chaos Dreadnaught (as they were called back when he was built) and give him a touch of paint to bring him up to a standard matching the rest of the collection.
Here’s the original version, pre-restoration. If I’m honest my enthusiasm waned whilst I was working on this the first time and it was a real struggle to get him finished to a stage where I was content to put him on the shelf.

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And here he is post-restoration. Hopefully you’ll agree he’s a rustier, nastier beast, and the failed attempts at greenstuff on the knee have been swept aside.

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Something that jumps out from both the new Helbrute kit and the Dark Vengeance version is the face. As soon as you look at them you know that beneath all that hulking flesh and iron is a human being, albeit a superhuman twisted and tormented by their incarceration within the warp. Back when I made this miniature however these weren’t available. Converting a Chaos Dreadnaught from its loyalist counterpart often meant simply creating a standard Dreadnaught with spikes all over it. Inspiration came in the form of the Fantasy Chaos Knights shield which I used to make the monster’s face. Rather than a space marine, I reasoned, this Dreadnaught was piloted by a daemon which had been lured into the machine and caged there.

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Working on him again got me quite inspired about Helbrutes, so much so that I’ve finally assembled my Dark Vengeance Helbrute as well. Of course as soon as I’d done this it became spectacularly obvious that both miniatures share the same pose, my conversion crushing a fallen Imperial icon with his left foot and firing with the gun on his right arm. All I can say is “I thought of it first”.

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The image above was included to illustrate my point – my apologies to anyone else who saw Helbrute’s line-dancing; the horror and trauma was not intended.