Weekend ExtravaGONEza

That’s it! It’s done! I’m up because I’m not quite tired enough to pass out, but with my wife back in the place and class starting in a handful of hours I think it’s accurate to declare my What-to-Do-With-Myself weekend officially complete!

So how’d I do? Well, I’m pretty happy with where I am. Painting largely took a back seat to assembly, which seems very much in line with how my mind processes model projects; I’m either building or painting, and the right inspiration can switch gears.

Bloodletters
After I completed the list enumerating everything I needed to tackle, I set to work throwing my bloodletters together. I’ve tossed/am tossing around the idea of tweaking these ‘letters, maybe using some shoulder pads from the kroot or little greenstuffed loincloths. It’s a tough call, because on the one hand I dislike how homogeneous the models come out, but I also recognize that’s kind of Khorne’s “thing.” I wrote up an analysis of the four Chaos Gods and the stories I think you can tell with each one, which I’ll get around to posting soon, and while I think Khorne has the second-greatest versatility it really hinges on his mortal servants. His daemons seem to work as a bunch of skull-faced, naked, screamy men. At the very least I’ll paint them using the scheme I already tested on my previous 10, so that instead of being red daemons they look like statues melting from the inside out.

With the first ten, I played with a few different schemes…most were gray and orange, but some were white, black, or in one case white-gold. I really liked that last one, so I may run more heavily in that direction. I also chopped up the hatch of a Rhino for basing material for the standard/iconbearer, because otherwise he had a tendency to faceplant hard. So that’s a bit of uniquery, at the very least.

Seekers
I also completed 5 Seekers from the Daemon battleforce, bringing me up to 15 total Seeker models (3 of which I typically use as my aforementioned Graeae). I’m thrilled to have more Seekers, as I continue to believe they can be the lynchpin of my army in sufficient numbers. Being a mounted unit with one wound and a Toughness of 3 means that any sort of accurate shooting brutalizes them, so I’m hoping to get a more effective pinning/anti-overwatch engine running for my forces. I did all five of the Seekers without any special items, though there’s some greenstuffed cloth and shoulderpads where i felt joins needed reinforcing. My Batman Beyonding has really put me in a mind to do them in a rich emerald green with sun-yellow diamonds (perhaps another dip into Averland Sunset, which is just an incredible pot of paint) patterning their backs. I’ll probably go with something in a dark blue, hardcoated for gloss, on the claws and other hard bits.

Screamers
Screamers are not hard to assemble. Putting three of them together takes maybe 10 minutes, and that includes sprue-shaving. I actually used the twin tail for one of them, and as always tried to pick the most distinctive back spikes so it’s easier to tell them apart in-game and remember which ones have wounds and which don’t. They’re the unit I’ve had the most chance to practice wound-shenaniganery with due to their massive mobile range and impetus to always be moving. I think these three will get some sort of red coating, to stand apart from my brilliant yellow and deep blue “tropical” Screamers and my green with a slimy mucous wash “Greenland Shark” Screamers. Screamers continue to be incredible performers in my army (more on that in a mo) in that they usually hurt some stuff and then distract some stuff so my other things can do other stuff. I’m sure I could be using them more efficiently, probably by passing up the chance to slash over infantry in favor of their actual stated purpose of wrecking vehicles.

The DinoSaucerbots

For me, though, the big gets from the weekend were the completion of my Heldrake and Forgefiend. I know that they–especially the latter–get associated with Dinobots, but when I was putting them together it was the excellent Dinosaucers opening that I found stuck in my head, narration and all. So intensely that now I’m watching Dino Riders (I shouldn’t need to explain the path one travels to get there) while I type this.

Seriously, Dino stuff was great when I was a kid. I missed Barney, I missed the happy helpful dinos I see in the toy section now (because, you know, toys). Shit used to be doooooope.

Anyway! I started this weekend really intimidated about my ability to profitably execute either of the big dino models, which are as big as the previous largest model I’d put together–my soul grinder Ephialtes–while offering considerably more options out of the box, as well as what I felt was a greater impetus to customize (it was at this point in the typing that the diplodocus picked Questar up on its head, so I had emotions) in order to distinguish them on the table.

Forgefiend

I like how the posture and curl of the neck looks like he's tucking in to gore/flip a tank or dread.
I like how the posture and curl of the neck looks like he’s tucking in to gore/flip a tank or dread.

I started cautiously, assembling the majority of the kit exactly to instructions. I didn’t fully understand how the limb sockets were going to play with the actual limbs, so he sort of sits back on his heels and is prone to tipping forward if you move him off those points of contact. When I base him I’ll add a little elevation under the back feet so that he’s coming down on his hands, which should only increase the gore effect of the head.

His head is a combination of the Stegadon head I didn’t use for my actual Stegadon, Kroq’gar’s crest from the Carnosaur kit, and the split tail from the Troglodon. I originally experimented with just using the actual Stegadon crest, but it actually made the head seem smaller when added. The ornate saurus crest I ultimately did use is tiny indeed on the head, but it gives me an opportunity to add some really brilliant, gaudy colors to the front of the beast. The tailhorns have great texture that I really hope will take some good metallic colors and perhaps gore splatter. (Almost done with ep 1 of Dino Riders; holy SHIT this show would have been incredible with an R rating and the capacity to, you know, let dinosaurs get hurt. I remember that the glowing energy charge missiles utterly blew my mind as a kid, along with the banks of multiple lasers.)

Forgefiend Sideview
Sideview. Went with the Hades because I want the range and the pinning, and with a little visual effects I think the mouth will serve fine as an Ectoplasma when my list calls for one.

As I mentioned, the rest of the model is pretty standard. I clipped all of the small tendrils off of the Heldrake and stuck them in a tiny greenstuff plug that, ideally, hoists them at an angle where they won’t risk snapping off. Probably paint them with an orange-red glow to show latent energy trailing the beast. There’s also a patch of empty space on the top of the Forgefiend’s “hump” that I’d like to find something to adorn, but nothing’s come to mind yet. I also recognize that I should probably try painting what’s here before I add more fiddly bits to crawl around.

Heldrake

Again, heavily influenced by Marshalfaust's incredible design.
Again, heavily influenced by Marshalfaust’s incredible design.

For my Heldrake, I took the conversion that made sense and added some tweaks. Following the conversion was much more challenging than I thought it would be, especially positioning the two big wings. It didn’t help that the bottom of the Heldrake is SPIKEY (surprise, surprise) and a previous glue-related incident meant that the pad of my workin’ thumb was missing a considerably amount of epidermis directly underneath both the weight of the model and several pointy bits. Still, compared to the couple ounces of blood that worked their way into my kroot/space marines I consider the pain a marginal sacrifice.

I wanted to create a fin-like effect with the wings, so I arrange the smaller ones to give the impression that the drake could quickly switch direction with minor adjustments, while the two primary wings looked more fixed and–as Marshalfaust’s original design aimed to do–more like actual Chaos aircraft. Obviously the head is also a significant alteration, as I used my Carnosaur kit to make the combat monster and thus had the Troglodon bits lying round. I love that this means my Heldrake is blind, which further gives it an ominous Warp-swimming appeal. A lot of my army plays on my idea of the Warp as a huge, horrible ocean full of predators; my Chaos Furies, for instance, are all done up to resemble snatches of starry sky with crustacean-like “wings” jutting from their backs, the coloration of which I based on a few varieties of crab chitin.

The underside, once the greenstuff had cured enough to moor the lure in place.
The underside, once the greenstuff had cured enough to moor the lure in place.

I originally shaved the fin on the top of the head down with the aim of affixing the lure there, so it’d hang over the monster’s mouth like an actual Angler. I couldn’t get the shapes to really line up, though, even using the longest-curling Maulterfiend magma cutter I could find. Ultimately I like it coming off the belly of the beast, though, especially since my prior goal of dangling a dessicated Marine from the body didn’t really fly with the angular nature of the actual frame. I plan to give the spike at the tip a good brilliant glow as well, and love the image of this thing detaching from the bottom of a ship in high orbit, turning lazily in the air as it falls out of the night above a battle, and bursting into brilliant light as its lure uncoils.

That’s it for the weekend, then! I started clipping and posing my Nurglings, but for what I have planned they will make considerably more sense as a paint-then-glue project. Five of the bases will follow the same general scheme, while the last one will be altered so it can pinch-hit as a Palanquin of Nurgle when the need arises. I’m at the awesome stage in a project where I’d rather be playing than sleeping, but I know that 8am will seem both incredibly soon and ridiculously early, so with this post in the can I’m hitting the sack!

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