Tag Archives: Helbrute

The Unforgotten – Part 2

The flail-wielding Helbrute is done, making it the first victory in this month’s campaign to rid the shelf of shame of at least some of its denizens. Inspired by fellow blogger Azazel, who declared May to be Neglected Model Month, I’ve decided to work my way through this little lot, all of whom have been in need of paint for quite some time. To recap, this Helbrute was first built in 2014, painted in Dreadtober 2015 and was due to be repaired in Dreadtober 2017. Now, in May 2018, he’s done at last.

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I also made some quick improvements to his face, the wash and highlight he got back in 2015 may have impressed me then but wasn’t doing him any favours now.

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Here he is hanging out with his buddies. Seeing them all together makes me wonder once again about building a Tzeentchian dread to complete the set.

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Before that though it’s time to turn my attention to the rest of the Neglected Models, probably starting with a flesh hound or two…


The Unforgotten – Part 1

Azazel and his monthly challenges strike again! For those not in the know fellow blogger and hobbyist Azazel has been setting himself, and anyone else who fancies joining in, a different challenge every month of 2018. Some I’ve taken a shot at, some I’ve let pass by, but this one has me very interested indeed. Azazel has called for May to be Neglected Model Month – a chance to clear our desks of that miniature that’s been sitting half-finished and gathering dust for far too long (Azazel suggests six months as a minimum – sadly I’m sure I’m not alone in having a few contenders that are much, much more neglected than that!)

Something I’ve been wondering about since I decided to take on this challenge is why some models end up becoming neglected. I’m not thinking about spur of the moment purchases that end up looking less appealing after a day or two but well loved models that grab your enthusiasm and then, as the paint goes down, your interest wanes. It’s hard to put my finger on exactly why this happens, and perhaps that’s because the specifics will differ from model to model, but ultimately you end up putting the model down and never picking it up again.

Once this has happened the problem becomes self perpetuating. Life beyond the hobby is often busy and stressful and we turn to our collections of models for pleasure, not for more work. A neglected model however hardly conjures up good feelings, we feel ashamed of them, guilty that we’ve not been more diligent in painting them, irritated to see them still sitting on the painting desk. No wonder we don’t rush to pick them up at the end of a long and difficult day, who wants more bad feelings in their lives? So we grab the new thing that we’re excited by and crack on with painting it instead and the neglected model continues to gather dust. Now in spite of our tendency as hobbyists to ascribe personality and spirit to our models, and to treat them as little household gods, a more materialistic outlook would insist that these are just little lumps of plastic or metal which, although artfully sculpted, don’t feel particularly bothered one way or another if they have an outer layer of brightly coloured plastic applied to them in semi-liquid form. My models don’t care if they’re painted or not but I do, it matters to me, and it upsets me slightly to see them unfinished. In this regard Azazel has done me a great favour by setting this challenge and encouraging me to get to work painting up some of those incomplete models once and for all.

Thus instead of taking on just one neglected model I’ve dug out a whole pile. Here’s what I’m hoping to have finished by the end of May.

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Let’s take a look at them individually.

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I tackled this Bloat Drone as part of DreadTober last year. By the later part of the month it was almost done, I was happy with it, and I didn’t want to rush it to meet someone else’s deadline. Why not just take my time and enjoy it, I thought. Yet here we are, in May and it hasn’t see a brush stroke since.

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Another DreadTober victim, this Helbrute with flails was first built in 2014 – then took a whole year to get painted. By the time Dreadtober 2017 rolled around however he was looking distinctly worse for wear and in need of some repairs. Did he get them? Did he hell!

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These fleshhounds are so neglected that one of them has gone into hiding. In theory I own a squad of five but when it came to setting up this group shot I could only lay my hands on four. Never mind, as soon as I find the fifth he’ll join his pack. I got them a few years ago now as a gift from a colleague for looking after his dog whilst he was on holiday (see what he did there?). We weren’t terribly close mates even then (although I always got on well with the dog) but since then he started acting more and more like a recalcitrant ass at work and generally went out of his way to make everyone’s lives tough. The result; I never did sit down and finish painting his hounds. It’s not their fault they were purchased by a tool though – they just want to devour souls for their master Khorne.

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Also rather a fan of Khorne is this ogren berserker. The blood god’s favour will be a long time coming however if he doesn’t get properly painted – the Taker of Skulls may not care from whence the blood flows but he takes a dim view of anyone who doesn’t take the time to finish painting his banner.

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I started working on these nurglings at the same time as the others, back in January 2015. Look at their happy faces? How can I have failed to show them love for so long?

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So there we have it, my challenge to myself for the next few weeks. My thanks once again to Azazel for coming up with this challenge and of course, best of luck to everyone else who’s taking part. Your models may not thank you for it per se but you’ll be happier once they’re done.


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!


Cracking The WIP – Dreadtober Part 2

Two weeks into Dreadtober and the conversion of my Slaaneshi sonic dreadnaught is finally complete (barring odds and ends like the shin armour which will be kept separate for painting and added back in later). slaanesh-sonic-dreadnaught-convertordie-wip-1

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The claw-arm is now looking much better with the inclusion of some cables to anchor it to the rest of the model. slaanesh-sonic-dreadnaught-convertordie-wip-7

I’ve also finished off the warp-amp with a few chains to hold it in place (providing some visual consistency with the Nurgle helbrute I built last year). slaanesh-sonic-dreadnaught-convertordie-wip-6

With two weeks to go the first layers of paint will be going on soon but in the meantime your thoughts and feedback are very welcome.


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.


Mouth for War

So, with all the attention Khorne’s been getting lately, it might seem that I’ve been stubbornly looking the other way and saving all my lovin’ for Nurgle. However that’s not quite true. My excitement about the new followers of the Blood God, some of which are simply excellent (others less so – I’m looking at you Anvil-Guy!) led me to crack on and get my Khornate Dark Apostle finished.
Here he is, ready to consecrate the skulls reaped in the War-God’s name. For those interested in finding out a little more about his origins as an unassuming lump of grey plastic the place you need to go is here.

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Continuing the Khornate theme I’ve also started work on the flailing monster that is my contribution to #DreadTober (for the full story click here or head over to the main site for a feast of creative inspiration). So far he’s just had the first few coats and washes applied to the flesh areas although since I took these pictures I’ve started on the process of tidying up ready to fill in the metal. To my eye he looks distinctly rough and ready but I’m no fan of showing my own WIP shots to begin with!

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As usual any feedback is greatly appreciated, especially on the Helbrute (and do speak now or forever hold your peace – we’ve only got until the end of the month to get this bad-boy wrapped up!)


Dread To Think

I’m coming rather late to DreadTober but I’ve been watching from the sidelines for a while. Now, with half the month already gone and a track record for taking my time with larger models, I’ve decided to jump in. Some people may think this is rather foolhardy… and they’d probably be right.

For those not in the know DreadTober is an online event the aim of which is to paint a Dreadnaught (or equivalent Deffdreads, Helbrutes, etc) by the end of October. Again, I’m aware that it’s already the 15th – you’re making me feel pressurised by bringing that up all the time you know! Stop it or you’ll make me cry!

Anyway, if you want to be inspired head over to the site itself and check out some of the extremely impressive and creative work that’s going on there. I’ve decided that my challenge will be to paint this monstrous beast who’s been glowering at me from the corner of the painting desk for altogether too long. I first showed him in this post from last November so, in spite of my slight embarrassment that this was nearly a year ago, it seems nicely circular that I should now be aiming to get him painted by the end of October. Hopefully this will serve as the inspirational spur that finally gets me started and turns him from an unattractive lump of grey plastic into a debonair inhabitant of the 41st Millennium. As if the bar wasn’t set high enough already I’ve discovered that he’s now rather worse for wear – thanks to a recent house-move several of his tentacles have broken off and some have disappeared entirely. So as well as getting him painted I’ll need to patch him up as well. Oh, and take some work-in-progress shots to document his progression (something that regular readers will know I avoid like the plague!) Here goes!


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!