Calling the Flock

Today’s post is a little different to my usual style; with it being Halloween I’ve decided to showcase some of the more disturbing models in my collection, alongside an extract from Dark Apostle – a particularly good Word Bearers novel – involving the grisly results of a summoning ritual. Enjoy!

“…With a final barked stream of daemonic words, Marduk pushed Karalos away from him. The man stood for a moment twitching, blood streaming from his eyes, before he fell to the ground, writhing and convulsing. A flickering blur seemed to overlap the thrashing figure, flashing between the body of a mortal man and the insubstantial form of something distinctly other. His tongue bulged from his mouth and he arched his back unnaturally, before breaking into severe muscle contractions that threw his body across the floor. Bones broke under his exertions and his spine twisted horribly, tendons and sinews tearing and ripping.”

“…The man’s flickering flesh bulged unnaturally, as if things held within were trying to burst free, and he scratched frantically at the skin of his face, ripping bloody rents. The bones of his fingers lengthened and pushed through the skin of his fingertips, curving out into sharp talons, and he ripped at his skin and clothes, tearing them off in bloody strips. He rolled over and over on the ground, ripping and tearing at his flesh frenziedly, every muscle of his body straining. Blood vessels bulged on his neck and at his temples, and he lacerated his skin with his long talons as he continued to spasm and convulse soundlessly.”

“…His teeth lengthened into fine points and he bit into his own shoulder, ripping off chunks of meat. Marduk smiled and crossed his arms over his chest. The thing that had been Karalos entered even more frantic convulsions, ripping and tearing at its flesh, until it finally went still. It lay for a moment, bloody and broken, before it picked itself up from the ground and crouched, its skinless face turned towards the First Acolyte, staring at him with eyeless, bloody sockets. Almost its entire bloodied musculature was displayed, and only patches of raw, red skin clung to its frame.”

“…The hazy flickering still overlapped the creature, blurring its image slightly and hurting the eye. An extra, backwards bending joint had formed in the lower leg of the daemon creature, in the manner of a bird, and long talons emerged from its toes. With a sickening, wet cracking sound, a pair of long skeletal wings unfolded from the monster’s back, sheets of bloody skin hanging limply between the bloody bones. Opening its sharp-toothed, lipless maw wide, the daemon creature hissed hollowly at Marduk, like some newly hatched chick crying to its mother for food. He smiled broadly, the flickering candlelight glinting in his eyes.”

Kathartes (1 of 4)

That’s all I think I need to share. I hope you enjoyed reading, and seeing the miniatures I’ve made to represent these terrifying creatures! Until next time…

Happy Halloween!

Skulls for the Skull Throne!

Hi!

I’m back after two whole weeks of no posts – first of all sorry for the short hiatus, but I can’t work quick enough to upload something new every other day like when I started this blog. Hopefully a post every other week should set a good pace, so I can cope when life takes priority over games!

Anyway, what have I been working on? The answer, in case it wasn’t given away by the unoriginal title, is Khornate in nature – specifically Bloodletters.

Bloodletters (1 of 6)
There’s only 8 here as the other two aren’t built yet (but it is Khorne’s sacred number).

There they are; and as you might have noticed they’re sporting some new poses! The poses were done via pinning, and I might post up a more detailed tutorial on how I did that when I get round to building the final two members of the unit. There aren’t many other ways to customise units like this and I think it adds a lot of character to them. The Bloodreaper also got some extra details, a chain bracelet and a human skull to carry to be exact, which helps him stand out from the crowd – and it will be a crowd, as I plan to (eventually) get another box for a 20 strong daemon squad.

The models themselves are a little gappy however, which isn’t helped by my reposing, so I’ll need to use green stuff to fill them before painting. They also aren’t glued to their bases yet (which came from Secret Weapon Miniatures by the way) because despite looking really cool and full of skulls, they’re not particularly flat. My solution is to selectively fill the recessed areas with one of the Citadel basing paints, which should make them level enough.

Sadly Bloodletters are a very niche unit as far as lesser daemons go, they deal with armoured infantry very well with their base Strength of 5 on the charge (6 with a nearby herald!) and AP -3 Hellblades, but their lack of extra attacks and low resiliency mean that if they fail to slaughter their way through the majority of their victims, they can get hurt pretty badly. On the bright side they don’t have to walk across the table ’cause my Word Bearers would love to summon these guys in – getting them straight into the fight!

As I mentioned I might post a method for reposing models like this soon, but for now that’s it, thanks for reading!

Walk softly, and carry a big gun!

I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty excited to show off my newest unit, and they aren’t even finished yet! Chaos Havocs – the heretic equivalent of Devastators, carrying some of the heaviest weapons in my force.

I’ve chosen to give them all Autocannons, the generalist option, which allows them to shred infantry or put a dent in vehicles depending on what I need blasting. The new wound chart has actually reduced the effectiveness of the Autocannon, as previously S7 would wound a space marine (T4) on a 2+. Now the Strength of the weapon must be double the targets toughness to enjoy the 2+ wound roll, so it’s downgraded to a 3+ wound between editions. This can be alleviated with the ‘Veterans of the Long War’ stratagem however, which for 1 command point adds 1 to a unit’s wound rolls for the turn (perfect for decisive shots).

Havocs (1 of 11)

As always, I’ve converted these guys substantially from basic chaos marines (although it’s unavoidable due to the lack of good official havoc models) and tried to make each one his own character. They’re tied together as one unit by the distinctive Autocannon barrels, and the similar loincloths that each marine wears (the latter being a common theme for my whole army).

The champion is intentionally a fairly simple model, with a mutated claw arm as a sure sign of the gods favour, and various cloths that I can cover in scripture when he’s painted. He was also the first to receive a brass etch shoulder icon, which I think looks good (if a little large). The rest of his squad will get them as the last part of assembly.

The first Havoc I built using mostly Mk IV armour, as if he had intentionally tried to assemble a correct set, and his weapon is by far the closest to a loyalist’s as you can get for Chaos (I made it using a Mk IV Heavy Bolter in case you’re wondering). There’s even a targeting display that I like to imagine flickers periodically to show daemonic faces and terrifying images as a result of the warp’s influence!

The second is what I guess I would describe as the most ‘Word Bearer-y’, the flaming brazier on his back showing a blatant disregard for the enemy’s return fire (his squad mates must love him!), and the assorted parchments filled with the words of Lorgar proclaiming his faith to anyone who dares to read them. The Autocannon box magazine was a third party bit from Anvil Industry, which was easier to use than Forge World’s ammo feeds that came with the guns.

The next is probably the closest you can get to a possessed Havoc – there’s clearly a daemonic entity bound within his weapon and he certainly isn’t lacking in mutations himself! The head comes from the possessed kit, with added horns from a regular Chaos Space Marine head. The backpack and one of the shoulder pads are also possessed bitz, and the fleshy parts on his Autocannon actually come from the Chaos Spawn set. He still needs some green stuff work I think, to smooth over the irregular joins on his head and gun, and to add more subtle mutations!

The final Havoc symbolises the defensive nature of the unit, ’cause he’s built like a tank! It’s hard to see in the photos (sorry) but his barrel is slightly shorter than the ones of his comrades, and I think this stubby look makes him look more solid and immovable. The slightly larger shoulder pad from the Raptors kit augments the sturdy image and to top it off I styled his Autocannon with a snarling maw from the vehicle upgrade sprue. You might have noticed that he also got the dreaded Forge World ammo feed, which despite looking awesome was a pain in the butt to assemble! (lots of heating and bending)

As I mentioned, some of these dudes need a little green stuff, and I still have to glue on the shoulder icons, but I thought sharing them now would be a good idea anyway.

Hope you enjoyed this post, thanks for reading!
~Elliott

Dark Lieutenants (Pt. 2)

The second of my ‘Dark Lieutenants’ is a Dark Apostle, an unholy zealot leading his brothers in worship of the ruinous powers. He has no name yet, but hopefully I can think of one before I paint him up.

Apostle (1 of 2)

The basis for this model was the chosen champion Draznicht, from the Dark Vengeance starter set. I knew straight away that I would be converting him in some way, and the inspiration came in the form of the chaplain from the Betrayal at Calth set – that crested helmet had never looked so evil before. The helmet I used actually came from the Mk. IV Space Marines box, and it was hard work fitting it in as the original head was sculpted into the rear torso.

The next thing to do was remove the original helmet from his hand, and I carefully sawed the hand away from it before gluing it in place. The book that he is clutching in said hand was a 3rd party resin bit from Spellcrow.com, and I also added the parchment from a vehicle sized purity seal – I think from the Ravenwing upgrade sprue. I also changed his backpack to a regular chaos space marine one, as the original had an attached boltgun. The model still needs a little green stuff work before painting, there’s the gap in his torso for starters, where the push-fit helmet hand would’ve gone, and adding some more fluttering parchments could never hurt.

Apostle (2 of 2)

I know what you’re thinking – for a leader he seems kinda plain, right? Well you would be correct, but it was intentional. You see, Word Bearers practically invented the Dark Apostle, and in the hierarchy of the host only Lorgar, or the gods themselves are above him. For that reason I can’t use this guy as the absolute commander of the host, it wouldn’t feel right and as far as conversions go there hasn’t really been much done. The advantage of having a model like this though, is that in small games he’ll do fine as a Dark Apostle, and even a warlord, but in larger battles where the real leader is in command he can take the role of one of the many champions in my army.

Dark Apostles are mean on the tabletop, giving the ‘Dark Zealotry’ and ‘Demagogue’ aura buffs to nearby warriors – which grants them re-rolls to hit in close combat, and his impressive Leadership of 9 respectively. With the Word Bearers warlord trait the range of these buffs extends to a solid 9″, easily covering multiple units. His standard power maul can’t be replaced, (why would you want to) but it can be upgraded. The Black Mace relic is the best choice for a take-all-comers list, giving an extra point of strength, -AP and damage over the regular maul, and comes with the ability to deal a mortal wound on a 6 every time you slay a model with it. The Word Bearers’ ‘Cursed Crozius’ relic is the other option, but only outperforms the Black Mace against imperial scum. I’ll be running him with cultists, possessed or other any other units that can make good use of his buffs.

Dark Lieutenants (Pt. 1)

This model represents a Chaos Sorcerer… Is exactly not what I want to say when I introduce you to Ophion Hellscream, possessed sorcerer of the Word Bearers Legion. As with most of my minis, (especially the characters) he’s heavily converted from a variety of different kits. The legs, clawed feet and right arm are all from the Chaos Raptors box, the left arm and winged backpack are from the possessed kit, the torso is from Forge World’s Word Bearers upgrade pack, the sword is of course from Dark vengeance, and the head was taken mercilessly from the Blood Angels upgrade kit (HERESY!).

Sorcerer (1 of 3)
The icon on the knee is a piece of Word Bearers etched brass from Forge World.

Overall I think it pulls together to make quite a dramatic model – fitting considering his elevated (hehe) status among the other warrior-brothers in my army. I’ll go into his own backstory at a later date but for now know that his psychic ability was only latent before his merging with an as yet unnamed warp entity, and this lack of true control puts him firmly in the ‘pawn’ status as far as the leaders of the host (and the gods) are concerned.

Sorcerer (2 of 3)
I also used a loincloth from the Terminator Lord kit, and a pair of Kroot knives.

On the tabletop Ophion is a very useful asset, a force multiplier if you will, and the choice of powers available in the Dark Hereticus discipline are pretty tasty. I run him with a force sword (obviously) and a jump pack, which keeps the cost low and the mobility high, so he can be where the dark powers need him to be at all times. His mark is a tricky topic, as I originally intended him to be Tzeentchian but with the finished model in front of me I feel as though he could also pass as Slaaneshi. Both associated powers are good – Weaver of Fates adds +1 to a unit’s invulnerable save (or bestows a 5+), and Delightful Agonies gives a 5+ FNP. There’s also Warptime for deep strike+move shenanigans, Prescience for the +1 hit rolls and the ubiquitous Smite to consider.

Strategy wise I can deploy him in deep strike reserve and bring him on with terminators, obliterators, raptors or warp talons depending on my army list, to give them relevant buffs or just kill stuff.

Sorcerer (3 of 3)
Chaos, is the only true answer.

Tomorrow’s post will feature the second of my Dark Lieutenants!

Tide of Traitors

Chaos cultists are the reliable meatshield of the Heretic Astartes army list, cheap and mostly ineffective troops we can march up the table to soak up shots that could be killing more valuable units (literally anything else in my army). They got even better this edition with the addition of the ‘Tide of Traitors’ stratagem, which lets you remove a beat up unit of cultists from the battle and bring on a fresh squad from the side of the table!

The models, despite being only from Dark Vengeance, are awesome but there is an issue that quickly becomes apparent for those of us who like to run HUGE units of them – there is a very limited number of poses.

Cultists (2 of 4)
The usual suspects

In fact there are 4 stabby cultists, 4 shooty cultists, two champions and two special weapons bearers, which just doesn’t cut it for me because I like each model to be unique if I can help it. And I can.

Cultists (1 of 4)

There are several easy conversions we can do to mix up the cultists enough that they all have something different about them. The first is a head swap, I used these heads from Puppetswar, that remind me of the old Mordheim cult of the possessed models. There’s plenty more third-party bitz available but these give off the religious fanatic theme I’m going for really well (they are Word Bearers after all). I also used a head from the Wrathmongers/Skullreapers AoS kit as you can see below.

The second change that is both simple and effective is a weapon swap, while this is more difficult for ranged cultists (they only get an autogun), close combat cultists are armed with a ‘brutal assault weapon’. This wording lends itself to any kind of melee implement so you can really go wild here – I’ve used flails, knives, and even a makeshift knuckle duster! The bitz can come from anywhere, but in my squad I’ve used Necromunda weapons, and a banner from the Chaos Warriors AoS kit. Extra bitz I added just for looks include Kroot shoulder pads, and a holstered pistol on the champion’s back.

Cultists (3 of 4)

As an added bonus, here’s a WIP shot of the champion for the next squad of cultists!

Cultists (4 of 4)

 

Herald of the Apocalypse

Bloodcrusher_of_Khorne
So far awaaay we wait for the daayaay… I love this picture

Any self-respecting bearer of the word should have at least some daemons in their collection; at least that’s how I justified picking up a box of Bloodletters and a single plastic Bloodcrusher Champion off eBay! Bloodcrushers have a minimum unit size of 2 however, so my aim was to convert myself a Khornate Herald to lead a daemon Patrol detatchment (for the purpose of being summoned into battle by my chaos marines).

Choosing the Herald on Juggernaut over a Herald on foot is a no-brainer in my opinion, boasting an extra 2″ movement, +1 Toughness, +1 Wound, a 4+ Save AND the 3 extra Juggernaut attacks, for only 44 more points or 2 PL! He’s a great force multiplier for fellow daemons of the red variety as well, giving those nearby +1 Strength (of course this benefits himself too being an aura), and in small point games I can see him being pretty tough to take down.

The model for a Herald on Juggernaut by GW is in Finecast, soo naturally I decided making my own would be a better idea. I took inspiration for this conversion from the above image which I first saw on White Dwarf 368 (all the way back in August 2010!) and I think I managed to pull off the pose pretty well considering the lack of bitz. I also added armour plates sawed out from the AoS Wrathmongers kit, which I bought a while back purely for the bitz, and an icon in between his horns. The final detail – which was by far the fiddliest detail I’ve ever added to a model – was several pieces of jeweller’s chain to ‘hold’ the armour in place.

Now all that’s left is to fill the gaps made for the pose with green stuff, and attach his shoulder pad before I can start painting! In the small gallery below you’ll see several stages in the conversion and a dry-fit of the (semi) finished model, held together with friction and blu-tack. Enjoy!