Tag Archives: WIP

Chaos Knight – Time To Show A Leg

Cast your mind back to 2015. Suffice to say wherever you were and whatever you were doing there’s a good chance that a lot of things have changed a lot since then, simply through the ups and downs of life rumbling onwards – even without the social and political (not to mention virological!) upheavals that have echoed around the globe. I’ve changed jobs (more than once), moved house three times, dealt with various dramas and tragedies and had some really good times to boot. The one thing that hasn’t changed has been the status of my Chaos Knight – the damn thing still isn’t painted. Last time we saw it, when I was full of big ideas and ambitious chatter, was this time last year. The new Codex: Chaos Knights had been unleashed, along with a rather tasty new kit, and I was full of enthusiasm. Here’s a reminder of how it looked back then.

Enthusiasm however doesn’t get things painted, it helps but you still need to put one end of the brush in the paint and actually get on with it. Simply daydreaming about an army of Knights isn’t enough – we need action! How long the model might have continued to linger in the doldrums is anyone’s guess, but along came Azazel’s Bitz Box with another monthly challenge – the Jewel of July. Azazel’s monthly challenges used to be a major staple of the hobby calendar for a lot of hobbyists but even a painting and blogging machine like him must suffer from mortal fatigue at some point, and until now he’s not been running them this year (although he continues to produce fantastically painted models faster than most of us breath so do take a look at his blog if you’re not already familiar with it). Anyway, this month he’s running a challenge again and I decided I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to give myself a push and get something painted. The rules of the challenge are wonderfully open ended, as usual it’s all about getting things finished, with as little as possible by way of extra rules to hamper that. To quote Azazel himself:

The Jewel of July is about painting (almost) anything you want that you think will be cool, or impressive, or just nice.

It’s for Heroes. Big or small. named or otherwise. A Lieutenant or a Medic or a Warlord Riding a Dragon. An Inquisitor’s aide or a Star Player or a Bounty Hunter.

It’s for Vehicles. A Motorcycle or a Maus. A Starship or a Gaslands Car. A Panzer IV to a Kettenkrad. A Rhino APC or a Konigstiger or a War Rig or a M’ak I. (or M’ak II?)

It’s for the more impressive scenery pieces. A desert oasis or a (ruined?) temple or a bunker complex or a single bunker or a skyscraper or a Ferratonic Incinerator or a Kwik-E-Mart. A forest worth of trees or a jungle worth of plants.

It’s for Monsters. Ogres or Ogors. Dragons, Giants, decent-sized Daemons. Bronze Bulls and Dinosaurs and Great Wight Sharks and Goremaw and Cthulhu.

It’s for Dieties and Demi-gods. Primarchs and Titans. Atlas and Aeres and Abaddon. Horus and Hercules. Venus and Vulkan. Saturn and Sanguinius.

It’s for Mechs and the Mechanicum. Steampunk walkers, Dreadnoughts, Imperial Knights, Warjacks, Tripods, Titans.

It’s for Dioramas and Vignettes. Historical, Fantasy, Sci-Fi. It’s all good. Even better if they also feature something from the above!

So yes. Anything from a USMC Corpsman to a 28mm scale Warlord Titan counts for this coming month’s challenge.

To whit I foolishly opened my big mouth and said something to the effect of “Well in that case I’ll finally paint the Knight”. Now truth be told I might have been a bit of a fool to say that because this is a big model that’s been defeating me for a hell of a long time and July looks set to be the busiest month of the year so far for me workwise. Enthusiasm, determination and kind words from people here will help but won’t change the fact that I’m going to be flat out for the next few weeks with long hours, early mornings and late nights hauling around on mountaintops as we try to catch up on projects that were held back by the Covid-19 lockdown.

Anyway, before we embrace my inevitable failure, let’s take a look at what exactly I have managed to achieve so far. First of all, the legs. These are pretty much done actually, I might add a bit here and there as I go on with the rest of the model but basically the entire lower half of the knight is finished. In some ways this means I’m off to a great start, in other ways however there’s a lot less complexity here as opposed to the torso, arms and head, and yet it still took me half a decade.

Knight Legs

Speaking of the torso I have managed to get some work done on it too. It’s not done by a long way but some ground has been broken at least.

Knight Torso

Finally we have the model’s left arm. Last time I wrote about this I said:

The biggest job of all is the left arm, which looks as though it will need to be sculpted in part, probably my most ambitious use of green stuff yet and potentially almost a project in its own right.

As it turns out it wasn’t as difficult as I’d thought, although a lot of fiddling around and dry-fitting happened first. In order to end up with something I could actually achieve, rather than simply imagine, I simplified the original concept and as a result the greenstuff work ended up being mainly about filling in the gaps on the inside of the arm. Again there may well be more tweaks ahead but this should at least give you an idea of where things are heading.

Knight Arm

I’ve been making a lot of false promises about this model for a long time and I don’t want this to be another case of me saying “It’ll be done soon, promise!” only for 6, 12 or 24 months to pass without any progress at all. I’m really determined to get him done, and I’m well aware that those words probably sound a little bit hollow by this point, but I’ll give it my best  and even if I don’t see him completed in July I’d like to see him wrapped up not long after. I’ll see what I can do though, so watch this space, cross your fingers and prepare your bitingly sarcastic comment for when I post that “one of the arms is almost done” in 2028…


Cursed In Eternity – Part 3

Time for painting has been thin on the ground lately but over the last few days I have at least managed to squeeze in a bit of kitbashing and assembling models. Back when I reviewed the latest Chaos Space Marine releases I theorised that both the Master of Executions and the Dark Apostle would be greatly improved by a few judicious tweaks and adjustments. Time to put my money (or my foot) where my mouth was.

First off let’s take a look at the Master of Executions. For anyone who needs a reminder here’s the official studio model in all his gristly glory.

Master of Executions

My hypothesis was that this model would be a lot more inspiring, for me at least, if he was wearing an imposing Khornate helm, as opposed to either of the standard heads included in the kit. Did it work? Well I’m happy with it, although of course you’re welcome to draw your own conclusions…

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The only other major change I made was snipping away the helm of the Primaris marine impaled on the top of his backpack – it was making that part of the model rather busy and its impact was lost behind the Khornate crest. I’ll find a use for it somewhere else though – you can always use more spiked loyalists in a Chaos army!

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The Dark Apostle was a little more complex, whilst the Master of Executions just needed a little added visual interest this one had some elements I thought were genuinely bad, which – combined with a general overabundance of details – made for a model in dire need of improvement. Again, let’s remind ourselves of how the studio model looks.

Dark Apostle 1

…And that was the last time he was allowed in the library…

Given my often-expressed dislike of sculpted flame that was the first thing that had to go, followed by a lot of careful scraping and cleaning to hide the resultant damage. Some slight greenstuff touch-ups will undoubtedly follow before he’s completely ready for paint. The flames on the backpack also went although I kept the hideous drool emerging from the book. I also swapped out the head for something more reminiscent of a Space Marine chaplain – of which the Dark Apostles are very much the dark reflection. I’ve always thought the reaver heads would work nicely on Chaos models but so far I’ve only been using them for loyalists so this should be a fine chance to do something a little more grim and twisted with this particular component when it comes time for painting.

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Again any thoughts or suggestions are more than welcome, I feel he still needs a little extra before he’s ready to paint.

Whilst I was about it I also took the chance to explore more of what can be done with the new Chaos Marine kit, including making the champion for my first new squad.

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In turn this led to knocking together a few new plague marines. My love of Nurgle has drifted a bit lately but I felt pulled back to the plague god’s side whilst I worked on these so who knows, sooner or later I’ll give the Grandfather’s Legion the love they deserve.

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There’s certainly a lot of fun to be had by mixing parts from the plague marines and chaos marines kits together, something I’ll definitely explore more as I go on.

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Rather pleased with the choice of head on this one – anyone want to hazard a guess as to where it’s from? It’s not too obscure but I’ve not seen anyone else use it yet and I’m smugly proud of the fact (indeed the same goes for the head on the Plague Champion above).

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Anyway, that’s all for now but the weekend is almost upon us – who knows, I might even find an hour or two for painting!


The Oathbones – Part 1

Apart from finishing off the Khorne Slaughterpriest the other day (not the biggest of jobs as he was mostly done already) I’ve been trying to get back into the swing of painting. Usually this comes pretty easily to me but, perhaps because work is quite busy at the moment, I’ve been unusually slow to pick up a brush. Rather than make a chore of it I’ve been relaxing by kitbashing a few Cawdor gangers instead. I’m not planning to paint these straight away, I’d like to add a last few models to the Eschers first and then I’ll probably work on the Van Saar and (perhaps) Chaos gangs – on the grounds that those should be fairly quick and easy to achieve. I have however been having a lot of fun “sketching” out ideas for the gang and exploring what I’ll do when I get around to them.

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As with all of the gangs the Forgeworld head and weapon sets really add to the degree of character within a gang. They’re not the cheapest but they look excellent so I’m happy to justify treating myself to them.

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 There’s a wonderful madness to the Cawdor that really taps into the insanity at the heart of the Imperium, and I wanted to play it up with the gangers I’ve been working on. This one for example believes that rather than trust his sinful, fallible, human eyes to help him aim his gun he must cover them over and thus, with all distraction removed, the Emperor will be able to act through him and guide his fire. Whether this works or not remains to be seen…

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This grim figure will probably become the gang’s ash-prophet leader although I have a few possible tweaks in mind before I call him finished.

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These aren’t the only models on the painting desk however and working on these has been a fine palate cleanser (or should that be palette cleanser?) so hopefully I’ll have something else to show you soon.


Ambots Assemble

This weekend saw the long-awaited release of the new Ambot kit and naturally I bought a brace of these glorious beasts and set aside a couple of hours to get them built. As I was doing so it struck me – alas slightly too late to take WIP shots – that this might be of interest to fellow Necromunda fans so here’s a few early thoughts on the models from someone enthusiastic enough to grab them straight away.

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Like most people I was expecting this model to be a big, expensive, lump of Forgeworld resin so getting a plastic kit instead was a really nice surprise. Rather than sticking religiously to the same set-up as the studio models for fear of ruining a ludicrously pricey model one can relax a little and adjust things as you see fit. To begin with I wanted to stick fairly close to the design of the originals as they’re cracking models in and of themselves, but I must admit I’m tempted to buy a second pair and go to town on kitbashing them (not something I’d ever do with a Forgeworld model).

Building the kit according to the instructions (an absolute must with Necromunda models where kits are often so complex that even the neck is separate to the head – hence Neck-romunda) one ends up with four natural subassembles; the legs, torso and each arm. Rather than build the first model to completion then start over with the second I recommend building each one up to the point that the subassembles are complete and then mixing them around to create a pair of unique models. Again, I’ve been fairly conservative with mine so far but I’ve got a lot of ideas brewing so now I’ve built two I’m increasing tempted by another pair with which to go a bit more crazy. Let’s take a look at what I’ve built so far.

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I’ve already come to think of this one as “Aggressive Ambot” with his lunging pose and powerful grav-fists.

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His colleague meanwhile is “Surprised Ambot” – he’s either been startled by an enemy ganger sneaking up on him or the fail-safes have just stopped working and he’s suddenly released some bastard has stuck his brain in a robot…

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There are only two styles of head in the kit, the mandibles of A being moulded to the face whilst those of B are separate. However it certainly wouldn’t be difficult to snip off A’s mandibles and exchange them with those intended for B to create two more unique faces.

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Ambot A – “Stabby!”

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Ambot B – “Bitey!”

Perhaps not the most exiting shot in the world but I’ve been curious to know what the back of the models looks like, as none of GW’s previews have shown it.

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Another thing that hasn’t been entirely clear from official previews is exactly how big they are. When faced with a kit like this the first thing that springs to mind is generally a dreadnaught and although I assumed these would be smaller it was still tricky to picture exactly how big they were going to be until they were finished. Thus, for your assistance and edification, here are a few handy size comparisons.

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Right now, on the mean streets of the Underhive, these are definitely the biggest dudes around, looming over humble gangers in exactly the way one would expect from a monstrous alien which has been crammed into a deadly robot without the slightest consideration for health and safety.

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For those whose mindset is associated with the more traditional side of 40k here we see one posing next to those staples of the size-comparison shot; a space marine Intercessor and a humble, if probably terrified, guardsman.

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And, just in case I’ve caused any confusion with my earlier comment about dreadnaughts, here one is dwarfed by a dead space marine in a walking coffin.

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And of course if any of you were wondering how big he was before he was a brain in a jar, now you know that too…

Anyway, hopefully you’ve found this useful and/or entertaining, particularly if you’ve been thinking of getting yourself an Ambot. These won’t get painted for a little while as I need to think up a suitable generic colour scheme to use with them but all being well I should have something painted to show off by later on in the week.


The Ladykillers – Part 5

At the weekend the Godsworn Hunt were released for Shadespire and, despite the fact that I’m supposed to be finishing painting a hellpit abomination before the end of the month, I ended up assembling them instead. Why would I do such a thing? Why because I’ve been eagerly awaiting the chance to add them to the Eschers of course!

First of all we have gang leader “Gallows” Grace. I do like the official gang leader model for the Eschers, and I’ll undoubtedly add one to the gang at some point, but I really wanted to make my leader unique and, as a by-product of being such a nice model, the studio version has become rather ubiquitous.

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Somehow, over the last year or so, I’ve managed to break both the whips that come in the box so the one she’s wielding is cobbled together from parts of the original two. Luckily I still had enough parts handy to assemble one complete whip, whilst the remaining bits have been carefully stored somewhere (although exactly where I now have no idea).

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As you can see she’s a little large for a 25mm base, although that’s primarily as a result of her wide pose. Until she’s basecoated I’ll be keeping her off the base so her pose is slightly off compared to the anticipated final piece as she balances on lumps of tack. Before the postman delivered her I was a little concerned that she’d tower over the rest of the gang (she is a barbarian queen after all) but thankfully she matches up quite well in height next to the rest of her crew.

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As there’s another female barbarian in the Godsworn Hunt box I decided to make her into the gang’s first  Juve. Again, the pose is a little off and will be until she’s firmly glued to the base (each picture having to be taken as swiftly as possible before the soft tack allowed her to slump forward into an ungainly face-plant).

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Of course this leaves me with a few barbarians left over but I’m sure I’ll think of a use for them – they are really are very nice models so if nothing else I’ll have a lot of fun painting them.


Any Spare Change – Part 12

It’s been a while since I did anything with my followers of Tzeentch but they’ve not been forgotten. Part of the trouble has been my increasing dissatisfaction with the scale of the older space marines which has put me off doing much with chaos in general lately. The Thousand Sons were a great improvement over their predecessors but now look just a little too short in comparison to the Death Guard and Primaris ranges. My ambition is to recreate my old chaos army but with marines of a sensible size instead of the tiny models I found myself tolerating in the past. That won’t happen for a while though, indeed it may prove to be many years in the making. In the meantime though here’s a WIP Thousand Sons sorcerer who can hold his head up in pride next to the bulkiest of the False Emperor’s warriors.

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I’m not sure yet whether this chap will be the Machiavellian mastermind behind my Inq28 change cult or the first of a small cabal of sorcerers and a little Thousand Sons force. Watch this space I suppose.


The Emperor’s Angels – Part 11

As well as getting two more space marines painted for my nascent force I’ve also been kitbashing away, getting some more of the Emperor’s finest built. First up here’s the Captain who’ll be leading the army (at least until I get around to making a suitably imposing Chapter Master). At the moment I’m still working on a name and suitably pugnacious background for him, and indeed for the chapter as a whole. I’ve got a few ideas sloshing around in my head however and I’m planning to write them out soon as they’ll feed into the development of the army as it grows.

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I’ve also tried to add a bit of gothic flair to the company ancient. The warrior given the honour of carrying the battle standard should be dressed to impress both the brave warriors of the Imperium and the craven scum they face and the base model is just a little bit plain for my taste.

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Even though I doubt I’ll have many war engines in the army (beyond a Dreadnought or two of course because as every sane person knows Dreadnought are amazing) I knew from the get-go that I’d have to include a tech-marine. To me this is one of the most iconic units in 40k and the chance to include one was one of the things that attracted me to the space marines in the first place.

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As it stands these are all still WIPs so as ever I’m all ears for feedback if there’s any improvements you think are called for before they go under the brush.


Scum! – Part 2

Just a quick one today, another example of the down-at-heal hive scum I’m working on to serve as bullet-catchers for my gangers. This chap certainly looks fairly doleful, although I can’t imagine that working as hive scum is a lot of laughs. Still, if you need someone to engage in questionable and often violent activities in the dark of the Underhive, no questions asked, and you’re on a budget, he might just be the very man.

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He was a fairly simple and straightforward model to build (I needed the rest after tackling a Van Saar!), essentially just a spare poxwalker with a bloodreaver’s head and one of the ever useful kharadron backpacks. However as usual if you have any suggestions for tweaks or improvements do let me know.


Hanging On For Dear Life – Part 1

If my gangs want to establish their notoriety in the Underhive they’d better not go embarrassing themselves by getting lost, falling into a crevasse or blundering aimlessly into the lairs of any savage beasts. What they need is someone who can guide them through the cramped tunnels and gloomy depths in exchange for a modest share of any loot, yet who lacks the guile to successfully sell them out to their rivals. We need a dome runner and this chap looks like the very man.

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In the long run I’ll be creating a pool featuring all of the hangers on to be available to my gangs, plus some hive scum, bounty hunters, downtrodden civilians and whatever else I can come up with.


The Emperor’s Angels – Part 8

So enthused am I by all things Space Marine following the successful completion of my first tactical squad that I decided to break into the bits box and assemble the rest of the assault marines. Last time we saw them (back in – gulp – November) two of the assault squad were done and looking for paint. By way of a quick reminder here they are;

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And here we have the new additions, starting with this chap in his traditional assault marine corvus pattern helm.

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Here’s another of his battle brothers.

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Finally here’s the squads sergeant, a suitably bellicose and angry looking man ready to dish out the Emperor’s mercy with a damn big sword.

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No promises on when these chaps will see paint, as I’m juggling quite a few other projects (as per usual) but having the whole squad ready to go may help give me a push.