Hey everyone, Real Life (TM) has been a veritable rollercoaster lately, so I haven’t been as productive on the hobby front as I would have liked. If anything, however, that’s actually a plus because it frees up some space to share a couple of chaotic kitbashes I have been creating by putting the “new” (granted, they have been around for a while at this point) Chaos Space Marine kits through their paces. Take a look:
I. The Blightwood grows…
The first model I would like to share with you today isn’t even such a huge project, but rather an example of using some Ã³f the new bitz to spruce up existing conversions. Enter exhibit A, a kitbashed Foul Blightspawn I created earlier this year.
My original idea for the model was to a) make the most of a leftover extra Malignant Plaguecaster model that I had cannibalised for bitz and use the remains to build yet another Death Guard character and b) get rid of some of the parts of the stock Foul Blightspawn that I really didn’t like, such as the massive pump sutured into the model’s flesh and the weird garden hose-style weapon.
So the original model was already working pretty well for the most part, but it was also still lacking something — and to make things worse, before the new CSM models were released, I didn’t have any correctly scaled CSM parts to tweak it a bit more.
But a headswap, courtesy of the new vanilla CSM kit gave me this:
I didn’t really like the CSM head with the one “googly” eye (normally intended for the squad’s heavy weapons expert), but it works really well for a follower of Nurgle. I spliced together a breathing apparatus as well, while I was at it, and opened up the pose a bit.
I am still rather fond of the core idea of the conversion – using an Escher chem thrower to make a slightly more conventional version of the Blightspawn’s stock weapon – although I think I also did a reasonably good job splicing together one of those WW I-style Blight grenades from a couple of bitz:
I also saw an extremely clever idea over at ssspectre’s blog that I had to steal right away: He used a turbine from a Raptor jump pack to create this kind of weird, bulky engine/pump on the back of a Nurglite model, and I did the same on my Blightspawn conversion, adding a bit of bulk and weirdness to the backpack.
In fact, I even made one more tweak after taking the photos above, adding some semi-organic cabling to the backpack that I carefully clipped off one of the new Havoc rocket launchers and backpacks.
And, just for fun, a comparison shot with my (slightly converted) Plaguecaster and the new Blightspawn — both use the same base model:
After using some smaller bitz and bobs from the new CSM kits like that, I felt the need to get a little more creative. So that’s what I did:
II. Iron Within…
This next model is a slightly bolder project, and also makes even more use of the new CSM kits: I had an idea for a Warpsmith-like Iron Warriors character, eventually to be used in my Iron Warriors Killteam I suppose. So I made this guy:
The body intended for the heavy bolter wielding marine from the vanilla CSM kit made for a nice start, providing a suitably bulky, archaically armoured body with a stoic pose. The arms and shoulder pads also came from the vanilla CSM — for the most part. I did feel the need to include a somewhat more impressive weapon for a Warpsmith of the IV Legion, so I spliced together the left arm using an (Age of Sigmar) Varanguard hammer and a forearm and haft from the Chaos Lord on Manticore (since I needed a left hand holding a weapon for this conversion). The backpack started out as a backpack from the new Havoc kit: I really liked the reactor look it had going on! I simply shaved away some of the cabling, added a loader arm (from a Havoc missile launcher backpack) that should work just as well, if not better, as a proper servo-arm, and also added some tech-y bitz – including the heavily augmetic head – from the Adeptus Mechanicus Kataphron kit.
I think the model proves how even the vanilla CSM kit,with just a few bitz from other kits sprinkled on top, can be used to produce rather imposing characters and commanders!
IV. The Hateful Eight cont’d
All roads lead before Khorne’s throne, however, so those earlier kitbashes were merely an appetiser before the inevitable main course. Which is a roundabout way of telling you that I have been slowly tweaking away on what may (should) eventually become that World Eaters kill team I have already told you about — “The Hateful Eight” (or ten or sixteen or whatever…). Here’s a look at my short list of future kill team members, so to speak:
I’ve been making tweaks to them, exchanging a weapon here or adding some grenades and Khornate doodads there. I am particularly fond of this guy, made by combining a Blood Warrior from the Age of Sigmar 1st edition starter box and the lower half of the CSM Vrash Tattersoul champion model:
There’s also a couple of “new guys”, however: Fresh conversions that rely on the new kit in some shape or form:
On the far right you can see my “test berzerker” from earlier this year. Then there’s this gentleman, converted from yet another AoS starter box Blood Warrior:
Fot the next two models, I thought it might be fun to try and channel some of the most iconic (or interesting) pieces of World Eaters artwork and build models inspired by the art. First up I chose this very cool concept for the “Teeth of Khorne”, the World Eaters’ dedicated heavy weapons specialists, created by Jes Goodwin during the early 90s, I would imagine:
I realised that many elements of the new havocs strongly resembled this piece of art to begin with, so I tried to come up with something similar.
For the most part, this is really just a stock havoc. I replaced the head with a shaved-down Blood Warrior helmet and tweaked the backpack a bit. Also, since I didn’t have a plasma cannon, I was unable to perfectly replicate the art and had to choose a replacement — a missile launcher seemed suitably brutal and straightforward for a World Eater, though…
Any ideas about the inspiration for this one…?
That’s right, it’s a model built to resemble this iconic piece of art by Mark Gibbons (supposedly showing Khargos Bloodspitter, of all people):
My idea for this conversion was born when I realised that both the straighter legs and the power fist included in the CSM kit would allow me to build something pretty similar to the artwork — but while the above mockup worked as a proof of concept, the conversion needed a lot more work! So here’s what the finished conversion looks like:
Some parts of the conversion are actually a departure from the artwork, albeit a conscious one: The first helmet I used is arguably closer to the artwork, for instance, but the one on the finished conversion (provided as part of a bitz drop by fellow hobbyist ElDuderino, by the way), exudes just the kind of brooding menace that the model needed.
Funnily enough, the model also serves as a pretty neat shout out to some really old World Eaters models, thanks to the static pose:
And here’s the new guy, next to my test World Eater from earlier this year:
So, as you can see, I am actually back to converting World Eaters again — at least for a bit. And I am not even finished, either. Here’s a small teaser of things to come…
V. Burning Man
For now, however, let us wind up this post with a bit of background: I prepared a little background vignette for the counts-as Huron Blackheart model I shared with you a while ago. Take a look:
â€žThe burning never stops.â€œ
This is the sentence he remembers above all else, because it has come to encapsulate his entire existence. While memory of an Astartes is eidetic in nature, his long life has become a number of disjointed, fragmented moments, with entire decades mostly unaccounted for. But one thing remains. One thing binds everything together and defines him. One sentence neatly summarises it all.
â€œThe burning never stops.â€�
He remembers how the sentence from weapons instruction returned to him, at the very moment that he saw the phosphex charge go off. The bridge was a pandemonium of blood and death, but everything was frozen into place for just one instant. He saw everything in incredible detail. The battered VII Legion Breacher team that, against all odds, had made it to the bridge in an attempt to bring down a leviathan from within. The mangled face of the Fist throwing the phosphex grenade at him. The eyes already staring into infinity, waiting for a death that would come in mere seconds. The explosions of the weaponry discharged by the other surviving breachers. The chainblades of his brothers falling in slow motion, trying to bring down the enemy. But slow, far too slow. And the green white fire of the phosphex charge, enveloping him at last, and flooding his every fibre with liquid agony, just seconds before the main viewport burst into a million armourglass shards, opening the bridge to the void.
He remembers Terra. The Throneworld twisting below him, above him, behind a curtain of voidships on fire, as he tumbled into blackness. The cold void that was the only thing that could have extinguished the flames that were swallowing him. But even when the fires went outâ€¦
â€¦the burning never stopped.
He remembers coming to in a red haze. The sounds of the Apothecarion. The klaxons and warning beeps. The mirrors above the surgical slab showing him a lump of molten, misshapen flesh that he did not recognise. And Deracinâ€™s half-augmetic face floating above him, like a hint of things to come. The Forgemaster locked eyes with him and smiled. And he knew that he would not be allowed to die.
He was rebuilt. Into a strange amalgamation of oh so little flesh and bone, iron and pain. Oh so much pain. He became a construct. Like the gholam of old Terra. And through it all, the pain of an unquenchable fire kept coursing through him, racing along nerve clusters that should have been cauterised beyond any function. Along iron bones that shouldnâ€™t have been able to feel but did. It has been thus ever since: His every waking moment is pure agony. Inhale. Pain. Exhale. Pain. The nails are but pinpricks to him. He is eternally on fire.
His wrath and pain almost seem like a separate entity. When he does battle, and his every cell is burning agony, he can almost see something taking shape from the corner of his eyes. Something rough and bloody that is glowing in its own inner malevolence. It is growing all the time. There will come a time when he will finally meet it face to face, this thing he keeps feeding with his pain and with the pain of others.
He keeps losing time. Battles often turn into disjointed shards of perception for him. When he sees glimpses of that strange spectre that seems to shadow him, inexplicable things happen, and he is merely a spectator in his own body: His flesh turns into liquid flame, and he becomes capable of feats that should be beyond his patchwork body. He awakens to arcs of warp fire cascading from his axe and augmetic fist. He comes to in a world of cinders and flaking ash, with his enemiesâ€™ lifeblood running down his chin in rivulets. He sees the wariness in his brothersâ€™ eyes, and to see such emotion play across their ravaged features would make him smile, if that expression were not lost to him.
And through it all,
The burning never stops.
It goes without saying that I would love to hear your thoughts on these models! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!