Thursday, January 22, 2015

Between the Bolter and Me: 2014, a year in review

2014, a fine year for conversions.
It is hard to believe that Between the Bolter and Me has now been around for over two years. The blog has served as a tremendous way to encourage all of us to continue pushing our abilities as hobbyists. This past year has been particularly successful, with us completing more conversions than ever! Furthermore, we have tried our hands at increasingly complex conversions. With 2015 just beginning, we wanted to review the most notable projects from the past year. This will serve as a means to help highlight those projects that still need to be finished and also provide inspiration for new projects.

Deathwing Command Squad Banner Bearer:
2014 started off strongly with the addition of another member to Eric’s Deathwing command squad. Just like the first two squad members, this third member borrowed heavily from some of the imagery seen in the Dark Angels codex (namely the oppressive hoods and wooden shrines). For a long time, we struggled to come up with something that would be suitable for a banner, because we did not want a traditional cloth one. Of all the unlikely places, we ended up using a caged skeleton from the Warhammer giant for the banner (you never know when something will be useful)! I think it really fit with the macabre/death theme that is running though the squad.  With three finished and a few on the drawing board, maybe 2015 will see the completion of the squad!

Deathwing Terminators: Only in Death does Duty End.

Militarum Tempestus Scion Conversions:
Despite it being a fantastic year for Inq28, with seminal pieces being produced all around the world, we were pretty quiet on that front, with only a single project exploring the Battle for the Emperor’s Soul. I am happy to say that although it was only a single project, I was able to finish 3 models. This was all made possible by the release of the Militarum Tempestus Scion box. An intriguing combination of modern tactical gear and baroque armor, the models were an excellent starting point to build Inquisitorial Storm Troopers. Like many of my other projects, I focused a lot of effort into modifying their weapons to look more practical and functional. This included adding stocks to their helrifles, modifying their scopes to holographic sights, and removing the cumbersome power cables. I was also extremely satisfied with the holstered pistol that I added to the one, complete with little leather straps fastening it to his armor. The scions also ended up being the perfect place to use one of the Elysian Drop Troops sniper rifles that I had been itching to use for quite some time. The bullpup design is awesome for giving the rifle a compact look, although it required a bit of work to get it to shoulder correctly on the model.

Inquisitorial Storm Troopers: Life'll kill ya. Then you'll be dead.

In 2015, I am planning to focus a little heavier on Inq28. I would like to finish another member or two of the Inquisitorial Storm Troopers, possibly giving them a modified plasma rifle or meltagun.   Chief of my attention, however, will be to finish the Inquisitor conversion that I started way back in 2013. There has also been some talk of other Inquisitorial henchmen, maybe a chainsaw warrior of sorts...

Ork Burna Boy Conversion:
Similar to last year with my Grey Knightz ork conversion, this year I managed to find time to convert a single ork model. This time I made a custom ork burna boy complete with a Zippo lighter. In an effort to move away from the comically massive burnas seen on the official plastic models, I converted my own burna from an ork shoota and a Chaos rhino combi-bolter.

Ork Burna Boy: Need a light?

Duke Sliscus:
Just in time for the new Dark Eldar codex, I finished my long-standing conversion of Duke Traevelliath Sliscus. Unfortunately, the release of the new codex saw the removal of rules for him and nearly all other special characters (although not really surprising from the recent trends from Games Workshop). The Duke was not even mentioned in the background material in the  Dark Eldar codex (He did get a small reference in the Haemonculus Covens codex, ha ha). Despite him dropping out of the new book, I am extremely happy with how the model ultimately turned out, putting a lot of emphasis on fluid motion and grace. This fluidity of motion is then accentuated with smaller, more graceful weapons. His blast pistol was aggressively downsized, making it look much more natural and believable.

Duke Sliscus: Maybe he will return in the next codex?

Dark Eldar Haemonculus: 
While losing the Duke Sliscus with the new Dark Eldar codex, we did get a whole host of great new models, including a fantastic plastic haemonculus! In celebration, I safely packed away my two horribly miscast Finecast haemonculi models and used the new plastic one to convert my own. The biggest modification that I made to the model was replacing his syringe with one of the Hexrifles from the new plastic Wrack models (complete with an added optics system in the form of a scope!). With a Hexrifle in tow, I found the original model’s Stinger pistol redundant so it was switched for an open and outstretched hand (also from the plastic Wracks). Although relatively simple additions, I think they went a long way towards making him unique and interesting looking.

Dark Eldar Haemonculus: Fear the massive 36" range of the hexrifle!

There is still a lot of work that needs to be done on my Dark Eldar army, from adding more vehicles to filling out the troop slots. This coming year I hope to slowly continue on both fronts. Additionally, I want to get out a few more conversions for the force, potentially continuing to add more converted Trueborn. If there is any truth to the recent rumors about a new Harlequin Codex and accompanying plastic models, you can rest assured that I will be trying to do something with them too!

Alpha Legion Headhunters: 
With all of the fantastic books and models being released from Forge World pertaining to the Horus Heresy, it was really only a matter of time before we joined the fray.  We decided to select the enigmatic Alpha Legion to be our focus, partially because of their awesome legion history (the book Legion is an excellent example of this!), and because it would allow us to explore slightly different qualities than what are normally seen in Space Marine.  Instead of regal, flashy, bombastic warriors, the Alpha Legion have clandestine and scheming ones.  It also gave us the opportunity to expand upon their tactical gear and weapons, making each an extension of their cold logic and pragmatism.  Although our first venture into the project was building a squad of Destroyers, it was not until we got to working on some of the Legions renowned Headhunters, that things really started to fall into place.  Our major concern was trying to build a more sensible boltgun, and one that would be usable in covert operations.  Our primary additions were a folding stock from the old 2nd edition bolters, a reflex sight, and a silencer.  Although the Legion is still a fledgling force, we are excited where it will lead us this year. We will certainly be adding more Legionaries to fill out the existing squads and those in progress.  And Alpharius may just show his face (one of them) this year too…

Alpha Legion Headhunters: We need shoulder pads!

Death Guard terminators:
Arguably the most exciting release of last year, the Putrid Blightkings took the internet by storm, and were the focal point of innumerable conversions. We were not about to let such an imaginative kit pass us by. In what may be our most ambitious project yet, we are well on our way to transforming three of the Blightking models into grim Death Guard Terminators. The models are pretty locked into single poses, making simple parts swaps ineffective for most conversions, so we have been trying to use the kit as a way to push ourselves into trying to expand our techniques and improve our abilities to use green stuff.  Although the models still need quite a bit of work to completely transform them into terminators, I am excited with their progress and hope to finish the unit this year!

Death Guard terminators: Grandfather Nurgle would be proud!

It is looking to be an exciting year, hopefully completing most of these projects and starting some new ones! And for the first time in years, we hope to begin painting again, experimenting with an airbrush, as well as traditional brush-work.

- Between the Bolter and Me

1 comment:

  1. So many fun things to paint! Everything looks great Adam! Love that duke's pose.