Tag Archives: WIP

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.

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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.


Any Spare Change – Part 7

How many Tzeentchian sorcerers does it take to change a lightbulb?

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Just this guy – many hands make light work!


Witch In Progress

For all that his duties bring him into regular contact with the dead, Inquisitor Morix has no more capacity to hear or understand them than the regular Imperial citizenry. Indeed it is this that has allowed him to flourish within the order, for those who hear the cries of the dead are soon driven mad by them. Only the most vocal of sprits can trouble his sleep and none but the most violent of poltergeists disturbs him as he goes about his duties. Nonetheless there is a need, from time to time, to make contact with lesser spirits, to track them as they travel the immaterial passages of their world and to interrogate those who’s knowledge is of value to the Imperium.

Within his retinue the witch Emilia fulfils this role, hunting out the lurking dead with a genehound’s tenacity and – when called upon – employing an elemental ferocity in the Inquisitor’s defence. Yet for all her apparent loyalty there are those who question Morix’s decision in bringing her into his service. Her skills are of the wild type, feral and self-taught, and she bears no official sanction. Some say she is already lost, her mind corroded by the warp, a space within her soul hollowed out just enough for some foul presence to slip in and wear her skin.

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Here we go then, the second member of my Chapel warband – the psyker. As you can see there’s still a bit of greenstuff to finish off, particularly on the back of the head and in the armpit. Once again please treat her as a work in progress but do get your feedback in, I’m keen to make this warband look as good as possible so don’t try to spare my feelings if you see room for improvement.

Of course, I also have to wonder what she’d make of encountering another necromancer in the winding halls of the Chapel…


Any Spare Change – Part 6

Some might say that I don’t really need to be building more Tzeentchian sorcerers. They might even go so far as to suggest that  I’ve got enough hanging around the place as it is and actually painting some of them would be time well spent. Naturally I reject those claims out of hand!

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In The Yellow Wood

To enter a wood is to pass into a different world in which we ourselves are transformed.

– Roger Deakin; Wildwood: A Journey through Trees

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For some of you The Chapel will need no introduction. For those new to it however The Chapel is the brainchild of Mark from Heresy Of Us and serves as the latest in what has become a growing – and extremely welcome – trend towards small-scale collaborative story-driven gaming events.

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As part of the collaborative process Mark called on the participants to design one of the Ostium Guides. For those, like me, who didn’t know Ostium refers to “an opening or entry point into a vessel or the cavity of the body”. The Ostium Guides are those who will aid the adventurers arriving on the Chapel to gain entry to the interior – for a price. They are described as capricious, boastful and bardic creatures which “fight with the skill of a dancer” and dwell within the Albino Wood on the Chapel’s outer skin. Now if that doesn’t make you think of wood elves I don’t know what will!

First off the mark of the Chapel’s participants was ImperialRebelOrk who designed a pair of unearthly, psychopomp-like figures. With the first Guides built my own creative juices clicked into action. The original brief called for a single Guide to lead your band across the surface but I found myself unable to shake off the desire to create a husband and wife team. I also wanted something more rooted in the mundane, something earthy and autumnal.

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Inspired by IRO I wanted to give my Guides long walking staffs, helping to connect them to these other, very different Guides, and to emphasis their druidic, roving nature as creatures of the xenotopic places, the byways, holloways, pilgrimage routes and hidden roads that criss-cross the skin of any world. The instrument played by the male Guide helps reflect their whimsical, musical nature and one can imagine their haunting music hanging amongst the pale trees as the walk the ghost-paths of their forest home. These are creatures attuned to the land, circulating like the air upon the planet’s surface, through the living bones of its mountains and the joyful currents of its rivers. They carry all they need upon their backs and in their hearts; a blanket to sleep under, a cloak to wrap themselves in against the rain, music and the joy of the winding road beneath their feet.

To avoid them looking too much like Wood Elves in space, with the accompanying connotations of Eldar Exodites, I used Tau heads with the slit noses carefully greenstuffed over. To me one of the key things with these characters was ensuring that they continued to look human, albeit abhuman, and that they fit into the 40k aesthetic. This latter point is harder than it first appears, 40k is defined by its towering hives and blasted wastelands and introducing creatures of the forest without them looking tacked on was challenging but I feel I got there in the end.

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As usual your feedback is welcome!