Monday, February 22, 2016
Xtreme Kitbash: Greater Brass Scorpion of Khorne
The Grey Knights had called, and been answered: by the brooding Raven Guard, who massed their scouts in shadowed black; by the maddened Blood Angels, whose Death Company whispered their final oaths as they embarked upon the vessels of the steel rain; by the mysterious Dark Angels, hooded and purified; all ready to bring war. Their fleets coalesced into real-space and took orbit around the fallen Forgeworld of Delnor Prime. The guns of the mighty cathedral-ships barked until they ran empty, striking down the bastions and defences upon the surface. They had not come to inflict Exterminatus, but to reclaim this world, where the artifice of war was made. It must be purified with blade and bolter, but it would again arm the sons of the Emperor again. Innumerable attack craft and drop pods spilled from the orbital ships, hurtling towards the heretic below.
Brother-Adept Mercutio, pilot of the Storm Talon Final Witness, felt the unmistakable slip of warp-translation before the first flames of atmospheric entry limned his ship. Through the canopy, the curving grey-brown of the planet was suddenly replaced by the battle-lines of the enemy, terribly close. Flak exploded around the silver ship, and soon both engines were flaming, the ship a flaming coffin hurtling at a sharp angle downwards.
"Spend out lives dearly, Brother," came Justicar Elin's voice over the comm, his tone weighty with the knowledge of his Paladin squad's inevitable death.
Mercutio complied. He loosed the full complement of missiles the ship carried into a horde of screaming cultists below, and set the many bolters on the ship to full auto, trusting the machine-spirit to prosecute their wroth. Close ahead hundreds of cultists gibbered around a daemonic blood-throne, a horned beast ensconced within exhorting the flesh-chattels to unleash their auto-guns upon the lone enemy in the sky. As the small-arms pattered the viewscreen like a hailstorm, Mercutio made a final push upon the control yoke, sending the Storm Raven smashing to the ground, skidding through the cultists, smashing the self-destruct toggle just as the Raven careened into the blood throne.
The throne was old and had tasted blood upon thousands of worlds. It was a curse upon reality, brought forth from the warp wherever the slaughter would be thickest. The occupant's death meant little. Chains of molten brass twirled from it's base and through the wreckage of the Storm Raven, swinging the limp form of Brother-Adept Mercutio into it's seat. Baleful energies sucked the shattered flesh of the dead and the barely living strewn around the wreckage like water spiraling into a drain. The flesh ran like wax, reforming into tendrils of daemon flesh, filling the shell of the storm raven, the hands of the dead clutching the still-living Paladins within. Unconscious, shocked by the warp-translation and the sundering of their ship, the rage contained within the throne infected their minds. They cried out, desperate to bring destruction upon their foes.
"My Faith is a litany," Justicar Elin rasped, trying to bring the image of the God-Emperor to his mind. All that came was a laughing skull, horned, forged in brass, weeping blood. "For-for-"
"BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!" Mercutio screamed from within his throne-prison.
"SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE!" The Paladins replied, the daemon flesh around them becoming pliant, responsive to their rage.
Incorruptible spirits falling, their networked psychic minds screaming together to the God of Murder, finally rent the already-thinned barrier between the warp and reality. As the first flaming contrails of the Astartes lined the sky, rainbow tears opened around them, the daemons behind the veil gibbering, ready to join the fray.
My collection has become almost an exercise in machoism. At this point, I'm as much looking for things that will finish out my range of models as things I want to play with. To wit, the Greater Brass Scorpion of Khorne(BS) needed to join the collection. But if there's one thing I know about myself, it's that I was both unwilling to buy the ludicrously expensive model, and completely unable to do it justice with a decent paint job. So I decided to make something that was at least unique, if not beautiful; and have probably hit the pinnacle of my art. Because really, I don't have another super-heavy to make, and I think I hit about sixty hours with this monstrosity. In doing some research, I was happy to find out that the ubiquitous defiler-scorpion was actually an official GW kitbash before there was an official model! If you want a sub-100 dollar model this is till a great way to go.
It's a rule around the garage that if it sits too long, I'm going to corrupt it. Well, if the orks don't get to it first. I already have corrupted Ultramarines, Blood Angels, Raven Guard, and Black Templars. All the main factions that are played around here. Devon's Grey Knights Storm Raven had been sitting unused for at least a year. It was second-hand, with a terrible paint job and giant seams where the man-child who assembled it had probably just waved a tube of glue like a fetish over it. So I asked permission like a sucker, then promptly broke the wings off. The engines and guns were snapped up by the orcs as soon as they fell off. Hilariously, it's almost impossible to find size descriptions on the interwebs, so the whole project is based off this picture, which I at least have the models for reference.
Well, shit, where do I go from here? A standard of Xtreme Kitbash is use what you have, and let the emergent bits inspire the design rather than have a vision going in. I had a giant hulk action figure that had been bumming around for years, possibly to become a shitty-looking titan, but we've moved away from counts-as since a wave of Gundam started clogging the tables. So I hacksawed his green ass apart, because his giant smashy fists would make great stand-ins for the pinchers of the scorpion. I decided these would come out of the disembarkation ports, and the model itself would stand on action figure arms that I looted from He-Men, Wrestlers, and some bizarre western gun-cyborg. A healthy application of grey stuff tentacles would cover up the all the seams and make the daemon-flesh.
I had a Cthulhu tail from the amazing reaper model, that was originally supposed to be a Daemon Prince and instead became an imperial knight. That was grafted where the tail-fins were to provide stability. This was originally going to be a sprue-tree, but wiser heads mentioned that tail was useless anywhere else and solid for this application. Now, I had some shitty options for tail guns, but decided that I really needed some more official bits to make the thing look better. So I assembled a Paladin Squad. These guys were painted to tabletop ready, then attached to the tail and some lengths of sprue sunk into the resin of the tail to make a four ended tail, each tail ending with a Paladin, pressed forward guns blazing. They are held in place with long ropes of grey stuff that twine out from the rear-hatch weak point, which is the blood-torso of Mosquitor, who gave his arms for the project. Throughout the flesh-tail I attached the arms from the Vampire Counts ghoul kit, for some reason you get 74, great for me.
So the Paladins were the first emergent aspect, when I saw that the rapidly-diminishing visible surface area of the Storm Raven wouldn't really tell the story of corruption as well as the occupants enslavement. Then it was time to attach the limbs. Since they need to be solid, I bought extra-long bolts, drilled some holes in the frame, and stuck them through the arms, attaching them with wing-nuts on the outside. These added some nice extra industrial/mechanical touches to the beast. But now there were too many gaps where I hadn't really lined things up that well.
The Green Stuff Tentacle Maker came to the rescue. I made lots of these things, mimicking one of the primary design cues of the BS's underside, and ran them everywhere daemon flesh joined the body of the ship. Lazy work pays off.
Now, I of course had made several bad plans for the top of the ship. I had already decided to keep the hulk-mojo going by attaching his face to the canopy, but wanted a captain of some kind for the whole thing, pushing the monstrosity forward. I ordered the Sigmar started kit khorne lord, hoping to put him in the skull throne from a, well, skull throne, but he's a three part model that was never going to sit down. Thankfully I had ordered a Chaos Terminator Lord body, thinking that he would be in the front hatch to stand in for the hull-mounted flamer weapons. I decided to go with one of the Grey Knights instead, and Joe cut up the Lord to sit in the throne kind of.
Now the whole thing is together, except for the hulk arms. I listened to our painting guru, who I finally realized knows better than me, in going for the full standard paint job for Khorne. I usually don't do the canon color for anything, but this being a kit-bash-counts-as, I agreed that it would help the recognizability of the model. And shit, Khorne Red and Brass Scorpion are some damn good looking colors together.
The daemon-flesh was primed with a mix of white jesso and brown craft paint; at this point the Storm Raven and the Paladins are already painted so I can't spray it. This made a great base for the Brass Scorpion on the tentacle tubes, and a good shadow base for the daemon flesh. I put a ??? Flesh coat over the flesh, then a drybrush of Khorne Red over that, leaving the grasping hands in flesh. These received bone highlights and a Agreran Earth wash.
Finally, I ran a brass tube, actual brass hilariously enough, through the body of the ship, which went into the holes that attached the hulk arms to the model originally. Then these were grey-stuff gap filled and glued for stability. I didn't want these embarassingly falling off at some point. The shoulder pads are made out of pieces of the wings that were hacksawed apart.
So I'm at the very end, it's time to make a giant design decision on the moment that changes the whole thing. Another standard of Xtreme Kitbash. The throne structure I'd made wasn't quite fitting because I'd done a shit job of leveling the top of the Raven. There were only a few points the glue was holding, and I'd hate for him to fall off. As well, I'd like a method of keeping track of hull points. I had a bunch of zombie vixens left over from Daemonette making. We have a throne, why not have semi-clad women clambering toward it Conan style? We had a few feet of brass-colored chain. I glued the throne assembly down, then wrapped the chain around the whole model to hold it down. This provides a base for the zombie girls with magnets glued to them to to stick to it. Nine Hull Points, eight girls. If he takes damage without a girl it's all over. I stuck some daemonette bits throughout because the idea that this freshly-formed daemon engine would immediately have what amounts to a pest infestation of an opposing god makes me crack up no end.
Still to do is cover the thing in Blood for the Blood God and then poly-seal it. But it's actually 95% done and ready for Apocalypse next week! As with all things, it pays to have a community. I got painting tips, the base for the model, the front cannon (melta cannon from an imperial knight), some of my paints, and some modeling help from my hobby mates. Makes things a lot easier.
Paladins - $45
Ghoul Arms - $15
Blood Throne - $7
Terminator Lord - $7
Three Tubes of Grey Stuff - $60
BftBG and Agreran Earth - 15
Total - $150
Official Brass Scorpion and Paints - $250
Not quite half price. I barely touched the third tube of grey stuff so I'll call it a moral victory. But I made something completely unique that I love, rather than cursing cracked resin and doing a shite job on a beautiful model.
Keep on bashing out there, Chaos!