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Hobby Progress Murdax's New Butchers
Cheex posted a blog entry in The Aksha'i Cruentes - A World Eaters Crusade BlogTerminators have to be some of my favourite models in the game. Personal tank armour? Hell yeah! I've been sitting on a couple of boxes of the newer Chaos Terminators for some time, but have been hesitant to build them with Codex: World Eaters around the corner, especially since some earlier rumours suggested that there wouldn't be any Terminators at all. Now that we've seen all the releases and have multiple leaks indicating that Terminators are still in, I feel a lot more comfortable working on some replacements for Murdax's Butchers. Here are the first five members of the new Butchers: The heads and crests are 3D printed to resemble the old Forgeworld upgrade kit. The heads are a simple STL file, but the crests came from a Berzerker head kit that I modified to fit the Terminator armour body. I also added some weapons and bits from the new AoS Chaos Chosen kit for a little variety, and added some chains to the weapons to resemble the upcoming Berzerker kit. Murdax himself is already made from the new Terminator kit, so once these guys are done it'll just be a matter of making four more Terminators to round out the squad.
Took a month, but Arkrath is finally done! Painting red Daemonic flesh when the model is also wearing red armour is always tricky, so I went with the option of painting the flesh like a redder version of his moral skin tone. Of course, had to slather on the blood for the oversized chainfist! I expanded on the rock that the Daemon Prince model comes with, making it feel more like the type of rocks the rest of the army uses. I also added some more similar rocks made it feel less like a random "hero rock". I'm also particularly pleased with how the bionic leg turned out - I've been wanting to do a biomechanical Daemon for years! That Venomcrawler leg just happened to be the perfect bit and I couldn't be happier. Overall, I'm very happy with how it turned out. The Daemon Prince model is such a great kit, I honestly can't get over just how neatly everything fits together and how many options it has. It did take a long time to paint, though - there are just so many details. I noticed several details that I missed just while taking these photos, but honestly, it gets to a point where you have to call good enough "done". Enjoy!
Hobby Progress Berzerker Champions Revisited
Cheex posted a blog entry in The Aksha'i Cruentes - A World Eaters Crusade BlogNo battles this week, but lots of hobby progress! I've mentioned before that some of the models in this force are very, very old. Remaking these classic models has been on my To Do list for a long time, and the release of the Chaos Space Marine Chosen box as a standalone kit gave me the impetus to finally dive into it. Validon Validon's original model was based on the metal Khârn the Betrayer - I had received multiples of the model in a trade about 16+ years ago, so just had to convert one into a unit champion (of course). As the years went on, he received numerous additions and updates, including numerous coats of paint to "fix" his old paintjob, and a chainsword in 8th edition when dual-wielding became a thing. Last year, I received another plastic Khârn in a trade. I already had a plastic Khârn painted, so I immediately knew how I wanted to use the second one: as an update to Validon's classic model. One of my goals with these model updates was to make sure I retained enough details to keep the individual recognisable, as if the updated model was a plausible evolution of the character itself. For Validon, other than retaining Khârn's basic design features, I added a three-pronged spike from the Chosen box (with pennants rotated around to match his movement) to his backpack and a head from one of the AoS Slaughterpriest models to approximate his old helmet's design. Dreior Dreior's original model was an attempt by my to make a "modern" Chaos Marine out of spare parts before the updated CSM kit was released, using an AoS Blood Warrior head, Raptor power fist and DV Chosen backpack. Honestly, the less said about the old model, the better! For his new incarnation, I wanted to retain that right-handed power fist - which, unfortunately, is a bit of a rare configuration. Thankfully, the new Chaos Terminator kit has a right-handed power fist, and (with a suitable arm) it's pretty perfectly scaled to put on a power-armoured body. I decided to give him a plasma pistol instead of his old FW combi-plasma, though I ran into a similar problem: not very many left-handed pistols in the Chaos range. Thankfully, I had a (rather beaten up) Kranon the Relentless model kicking about that was perfect. I also decided against giving him a bare head (which was the original plan) and gave him a 3D printed helmet instead. Gorm Another ancient model from early on in my collection, maybe even one of my first conversions. Gorm was originally built from a Berzerker with a CSM power fist (with the pointing finger repositioned) and a chainglaive built with an old Chaos Marauder arm and Berzerker chainsword. I knew the new model needed to have a similar running pose, and a power fist loosely gripping a chainglaive. This was accomplished using the new two-handed chainaxe arms from the CSM Legionary kit, with the chainaxe head replaced with a chainsword, and a power fist from the Chosen kit. The power fist was very tricky to do: I had to remove the daemonic face from its palm, just the power fist from the elbow, and even repositioned the thumb, before sticking it onto a different arm. The only thing I'm a little annoyed about was that I didn't pay attention to Gorm's original skin tone, but let's just chalk that up him running out of tanning lotion since the Heresy. Overall, I'm extremely pleased with how these three guys turned out. The old models were bothering me but the characters had quite a lot of history in my lore, so when I saw the Chosen kit I knew I had an opportunity to give them the update they deserved. That kit is an absolute goldmine of some extremely cool bits (as well as some...rather derpy bits), and I thoroughly recommend it for conversion fodder!
Hobby Progress Blood Priest Baruda
Cheex posted a blog entry in The Aksha'i Cruentes - A World Eaters Crusade BlogIn another stunning example of hobby butterflyism, I've decided to work on something completely different to what's already on my desk. But this was just a quick update of a model I have been meaning to fix. I haven't been happy with the composition of Baruda's model for some time. The original intention was that the huge icon would represent the Banner of Rage relic, but it just really felt like it unbalanced the model - and this was exacerbated by his slightly side-heavy pose (and not helped by the Banner being an absolutely rubbish relic). The rest of his model I'm reasonably happy with - the head is from the Corpse Grinder gang from Necromunda, the Accursed Crozius was an icon found on the basing materials in the Bloodthirster kit, and the arm was simply from the Chosen box. Not being one to shy away from ripping apart models I have already painted, I popped his arm off (thank you, Past Cheex, for not pinning it!), cleaned up the join, and painted a simple bolt pistol arm to replace it: Following the destruction of the World Eaters as a Legion at Skalathrax, Baruda left Dreagher's command and struck out on his own, blackening his armour as a symbol of the ashes that the Legion had needed to become; he believed the World Eaters needed to die for it to be reborn as a new Legion under the Blood God, and when he eventually rejoined another warband of former World Eaters, he shared this philosophy with them. That warband seized this new idea with enthusiasm, later becoming known as the Cruentes. Baruda continues to serve the Cruentes as its spiritual guide, regularly communing with Daemons and offering many sacrifices to attain their favour, which he utilises frequently in battle. Baruda knows the Illusory Supplication prayer, in addition to his default Dark Zealotry and Wrathful Entreaty prayers. At time of writing, he does not have any Warlord Trait or Relic. And, just because I love Chaos Weirdos in all their forms, here are some closer looks at his buddies Voxface and Incensior: Voxface's original podium backpack wasn't really doing it for me - I don't really see World Eaters as being big into reading - so I swapped it out for this gigantic Khorne icon from AoS. Incensior, on the other hand, has to be one of the few models in my force that isn't converted in some way: Enjoy!
Hobby Progress New Berzerkers and Champions
Cheex posted a blog entry in The Aksha'i Cruentes - A World Eaters Crusade BlogI've been playing this army for quite a long time. Almost as long as the soon-to-be obsolete plastic Berzerker kit, in fact; I think it came out about a year before I picked up my first Chaos Battleforce box back in the day. Over the years, I have collected entirely too many Berzerkers made from that old kit. At last count, there were something like 80-odd painted Berzerkers, and about as many unpainted. Unfortunately, that kit is now getting a little long in the tooth (so to speak), and as my force evolves to include newer kits, they start to look more and more out of place. In this Crusade army, the only unit left that is composed of Oldzerkers is Gorm's Hunters: Gorm himself was kitbashed probably 15 or more years ago, featuring parts from the Berzerker box, 3rd edition-era CSM, Chaos Marauders, and a WE symbol that I had sculpted and inexplicably duplicated on both the power fist and pauldron (I think I had just discovered push-molding). Having already built and painted Newzerkers for Validon's and Dreior's squads, I knew it was past time to do the same for Gorm - and this week I finally worked up the motivation to finish them off: Of course, working on this project (not to mention all the other Berzerkers in this force!) really highlighted just how out of place their Champions were. I mean, Gorm's base is a good 2-3mm thicker than those of his squad, and that barely keeps him a similar height! So, I've also started working on some new iterations of the three Berzerker Champions in this force (so far...). For comparison, here are the old iterations of Validon, Dreior and Gorm: And here are their WIP new versions: In keeping with Validon's old model being based off a metal Khârn, the new one is based off a plastic one that I had rattling around in my bits box, with a head from an AoS Slaugherpriest, power fist and pistol from CSM, backpack from old CSM, and icon spikes from the new Chosen kit. I did have to modify the spikes slightly to swing the little pennants in the opposite direction, though. Separating Khârn's head from his body was tricky, since so much of it was incoporated into the torso. In the end, I had to carve away much of the cabling on the torso, as well as the vent on the front. I replaced the latter with a speaker from an Imperial Guard vox, and covered up the missing cables with some Chaos Star bits from the Chaos Knight kit. Dreior was by far the Champion with the least character in his model, which is partly what inspired his backstory as a literal clone. His new model has a little more going for him, with a body and head from the Chosen kit (though I added some Butcher's Nails with green stuff - not that you can see them in the photo), a power fist from the Chaos Terminator kit (which, by the way, is perfectly scaled for power armour now) and a plasma pistol from the old Kranon the Relentless. And finally, old mate Gorm was made from a Chosen body, head and power fist, Legionary chainaxe arm (and haft), and a chainsword that I think was from the Raptor kit. I think this model was the best homage to his old iteration, with that heavily modified power fist loosely gripping his custom chainglaive. Now that is a face only Khorne could love. I wanted to lean into his backstory of cannibalism, so just had to go with one of the heads from the Chosen kit, and I think it captures his derangement (and degeneration) well. That's all for now! All comments and criticism are welcome.
Ok, I promise this will be the last time I update this model! I haven't been happy with my choice of head for this guy, and I wanted something to represent his Serpentine Fangs. The problem is that I couldn't find any models that were doing it for me. So, back to the 3D print solution! This handsome fella's head came from a collection of Vampire Heads by WildMesh, which I digitally kitbashed with some Butcher's Nails by Hellforged Miniatures. (I, erm, paid a lot more money for access to those Butcher's Nails than I'd like to admit...) I thought it turned out pretty well for my second ever digital kitbash! Buuuut you can barely see them in the photos. Ah well. Like the interior of a Rhino, at least I know it's there and that's all that matters... You may also notice his slightly ruddy complexion around the edges of his face. That's not just the lighting, but an intentional effect to demonstrate his Warp-born gifts. As if the scorpion tail wasn't enough... Anyway, I have definitely tinkered with this model enough! Next time will be something new, I promise...
Hobby Progress Thrax Gorechosen
Cheex posted a blog entry in The Aksha'i Cruentes - A World Eaters Crusade BlogIn today's episode of "What Painted Thing Will Cheex Redo Next?", we have an older eBay rescue that I had already rescued, but wanted to rescue again: Thrax Gorechosen, the Exalted Champion of the Gorefather! This model is a kitbash of many models together. The base model is the current Exalted Champion (formerly the "Aspiring Champion" from Dark Vengeance), with a head from the AoS Skullreapers/Wrathmongers kit, arms from the AoS Blood Warriors kit, backpack from an old metal Chaos Lord, and an axe head made from the Skullreapers daemon axe and a Cataphractii Terminator chainaxe. This guy just wasn't doing it for me, though. The axe looks nothing like Gorefather, the helmet - although grand - doesn't fit my vision of this guy, and the backpack's tassles are swinging the wrong way for his momentum. The whole thing just felt off. But what to do about it? After rummaging through my bits box, I found the model's original backpack. It's a little understated, but at least it has the combi-melta that the Exalted Champion comes with as standard now, so he can start being WYSIWYG again. But I wasn't happy with the assortment of heads and chainaxes. However, after hunting around for some good STLs, I found an excellent (if a touch expensive) set of heads with the Butcher's Nails, and then also found a great rendition of Gorefather. A few hours of printing, curing and painting later, and Thrax's facelift was complete! I also took the opportunity to also improve the painting of the skin on the exposed arm, keeping the same dusky tone but with better blending on the shadows. Weirdly, the shading on the skin and on the metals seems to have been washed out a bit by the lights, but I'm pretty happy with the model. I also darkened the blood pools on his base a little to better match the rest of my army. Aside from a bit of resolution-related stepping on the axe (had I printed it at a better angle I would've avoided that!), the print turned out really well, especially for just a 2k printer. I might have another go at the axe another day, but for now it's fine.