Tag Archives: WIP

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.

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The Emperor’s Angels – Part 1

Starting work on a little foray into throne-loyal power-armour. Although historically my preference for astartes has always leaned heavily towards the servants of chaos the chance to start a small collection of truescale marines was too good to pass up. Probably won’t do much more for a little while as so many other projects are jostling for attention but wanted to do a little kitbashing to test the waters, starting with this assault marine. As ever feedback is more than welcome.

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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!


Our Rage Won’t Die – Part 3

Another Khorne berserker comes roaring out of the warp!

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Last week I also showed you the squad’s standard bearer, and called for feedback and advice. The conclusion seemed to be a general cry of “Moah Skullz!” which given that this is a Khorne worshipper was probably to be expected. Specifically the backpack, and the back in general, were seen as being too clean, as though the warping influence of Chaos had concentrated on his front. Here’s the back of the model as it looked a week ago:

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And here it is now. Hopefully you’ll feel, as I do, that this is an improvement, if not it’s never too late to explain to me the error of my ways.

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Thomas of High Times on the Eastern Fringe also suggested that the space around the neck was too empty and flat and suggested some kind of collar. In the end I greenstuffed part of a chaos star erupting from inside his armour which hopefully does the business of breaking up the flat panel without overtaxing my sculpting skills.

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I also added a World Eater’s sigil to his knee, which seemed like a good fit.

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Here’s the squad so far ready to reap skulls and spread chaos. As ever if you have any feedback or advice you want to give you know what to do.

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Our Rage Won’t Die – Part 1

Few kits currently available in the chaos range can conjure such disgust and disappointment from fans  as the Khorne Berserkers. First released over a century ago, the fact that the Berserkers remain on sale today makes a mockery of the company’s proud boast to make the finest toy soldiers in the world. Only the most perversely deranged of the pantheon’s followers find even the slightest glimmer of pleasure in these lumpen, ill-proportioned horrors, and even they wholeheartedly agree that even unconverted Blood Warriors from Age of Sigmar make infinitely superior Berserkers. Indeed some suspicious souls would go so far as to suggest that GW has held back on releasing new Berserkers in order to boost sales of the AoS range (do remember however that although a suspicious mind is a healthy mind to question the wisdom of They-Who-Art-In-Nottingham is to invite the scrutiny of the Inquisition…).

Now on a more sensible note it’s safe to say that, in the wake of the Thousand Sons and the Death Guard, a full release for the World Eaters is probably no more than a year or so away. A reasonable man would crack on with painting the dozen or so projects already demanding his attention and wait for Angron’s legion to get their moment in the sun. Patience however is anathema to the followers of Khorne who prefer to rush in (chainswords revving) where the (Emperor’s) angels fear to tread, and I’ll confess I’m no different. With modern space marines reaching the proportions they’ve always deserved I’m not about to let Khorne’s followers miss out for a second!

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The Death Guard may have new models to enjoy but at least the warriors of Khorne can still look them in the eye!

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Although my old berserker conversions are looking a little on the short side now…

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As a first shot I’m pretty happy with this chap, although there are a few things I’d change next time round. For one thing the smooth, clean lines of the loyalist armour doesn’t exactly match up with the jagged styling’s of the Blood Warrior, although hopefully that will become less obvious after he’s painted. The model also has a sense of the weight concentrating in the upper part of the body so next time I might try using the slightly more heavily armoured legs from the Hellblasters rather than the slimmer Intercessors. I’m planning on making a few more soon though so any feedback at this stage is especially welcome.


Slowly We Rot – Part 1

When I first saw the Malignant Plaguecaster I felt a profound sense of disappointment. Here was a model raised from the same series of models, the same Nurgly aesthetic as such masterpieces as the Plaguebearers, the Glotkin and Maggoth lords, the gleefully tumbling Nurglings and the excellent new Plague Marines, yet which owed next to nothing to any of them. Where we could have had a powerful plague-wielding wizard in crumbling power armour, or a mutant monstrosity bursting from his corroding exo-skeletal suit as the warp boils him into something daemonic, instead we have a cartoony pile-up of over-the-top ideas, each brazenly competing with the last into a muddled, messy let down. Here’s a reminder of how cluttered he looks when assembled as intended.

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That said, I wasn’t going to let a lump of plastic beat me without a fight. After all the concept of a ten-millennia old disease-infested mage-warrior remains powerful and inspiring, even if the official execution turned out to be distinctly disappointing. Given sufficient consideration and effort (or possibly blood, sweat and tears) I was determined to transform the Plaguecaster into a model I could be proud of.

The Plaguecaster however turned out to be a wily old beast and fought back against my attempts to convert him. As soon as I started to assemble him I realised that this would not be as simple as a straightforward head- and arm-swap. The long tastles which had at first annoyed me, turned out to be an intrinsic component of the kit, covering up the join between the distended guts and the outreached arms.

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Those wanting to convert this model without the tassels face a gruelling battle with the greenstuff to fill all those gaps. I won’t deny that this may have inspired my change of heart as, in spite of my initial reticence, I found myself willing to accept the tassels as part of the finished piece. Time to concentrate on the other changes that needed to be made; removing the silly staff, the fart hand, the podgy little head and the flywing cape, and adding in suitable replacements.

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The plugs where the flycape should sit still need to be greenstuffed over.

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As an aside it appears, judging by the information that I’ve seen circulated online, that the Death Guard codex will contain rules for both chaos sorcerers (with or without terminator armour) and plaguecasters. Yet surely the plaguecaster model is just that, a sorcerer with the mark of Nurgle? The fiction describes them as being one of several classes of sorcerer within the ranks of the Death Guard (alongside the Festering Poxshamans, the Faminbringers and the Maggotmancers) but surely, unless GW plans to release models and rules for some of these other classes in the relatively near future (and let’s be honest here, awesome though that would be it’s not likely) then surely the concept of the plaguecasters would have been better kept as a cool nugget of inspiration in the background, and the model released just as a good old-fashioned Nurgle sorcerer?

Some will say that the new naming conventions of the modern GW are simply a way of protecting their intellectual property but really the names are just labels, convenient handles to hang on things to facilitate communication. Is there really anyone out there who thought the Eldar were rubbish and swore never to purchase a single aspect warrior, but is gleefully overexcited by the arrival of the Aeldari? Didn’t old Shakespeare say something like “An Ork by any other name would smell like feet”? Or was that an Orruk?

Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked now, but if anyone out there has the Death Guard codex and wants to tell me if there’s a material difference between a plaguecaster and a normal chaos sorcerer with the mark of Nurgle that justifies having both of them in the same book then please speak up. Otherwise any feedback you have on this tainted son of Nurgle before he sees some paint would, as ever, be very welcome.


For Whom The Bell Tolls – Part 1

As soon as I saw the Noxious Blightbringer I knew I wanted one for my collection. Picture the scene if you will; the Death Guard advancing shrouded beneath clouds of toxic vapour, deamonic beasts wheeling half-seen in the clouds overhead. Thousands of shambling corpses lead the way, their low moans audible over the dense, buzzing static – no, not static but the wings of a million newly hatched flies. Louder still are the bells of Nurgle’s most devoted priests, their deep-voiced booming calling the Plague-God’s gaze so that his children might truly exult in his fetid blessings.

Of course it was something of a disappointment to discover that these were not Dark Apostles after all but rather the guardians of some kind of magic bell. At least whoever does the puns at GW may have been forced underground since the heady, Lizardmen era, but he’s still going strong (Blight Ringer eh!). Mind you, they probably should have been stopped before they got to the Tocsins of Misery…

Never mind I still wanted at least one. Indeed the more I thought about it the more I wanted a second, the visual impact of two being more than twice that of one after all. The question was, how easy would the model be to convert? As it turns out, not that hard at all.

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I was keen, as much as possible, to stick with components from the original model. After all this is a starter set figure and although many of those are picked up by old hands looking to expand a collection plenty more go to complete newcomers. With that in mind I wanted to explore how easy it would be to convert the model for someone with a fairly limited bits box to call upon. In the end I used two components from other kits; the head – from one of the Maggoth Lords and the backpack vent from a damaged Space Wolf backpack.

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Here’s the original model by way of comparison.

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And here’s the two side by side (as usual don’t give yourself eye-strain, click on the picture to make it bigger).

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I may make a few more tweaks but overall this was a spectacularly straightforward conversion. Now it’s off to the painting desk for both of them.