Saturday, January 9, 2016

Between the Bolter and Me: 2015, a year in review

2015, our most productive year yet!

Somehow, it is January again. Another year has passed us by, and I find it hard to believe that Between the Bolter and Me is now three years old! I am happy to say that the third year was our most productive year yet. We converted all sorts of models, but most impressively, Adam even started to paint again (after an absence of more than five years)! But as 2016 begins, we wanted to take a little time to review our accomplishments last year.

Deathwing thunder hammer terminators:

Two Deathwing Terminators

The year started off quickly with the conversions of two Deathwing thunderhammer terminators. We had been talking for several years about making some terminators with modified thunder hammers. While we all liked the look of the plastic thunder hammers provided with the assault squads, we were always a little bothered by their size, particularly in relation to the head of the hammers. Our main goal was to convert a convincing thunder hammer that was immediately recognizable but also markedly smaller. After a good deal of searching and considering, we found that the Corvus hammers from the Dark Angel Black Knights provided a perfect foundation for converting thunder hammers!

Iron Sleet Invitational:

Our most ambitious and successful project of the year was our Iron Sleet Invitational entry. To kick off the start of the fantastic new blog Iron Sleet, the members of the blog invited hobbyists to take part in a modelling challenge where participants were tasked with creating and painting three themed models, each of which used a different sized base. For my entry, I decided to explore the complex and clandestine Inquisition of the Imperium and their battle for the Emperor’s Soul.

To do this I created designed the three models to be part of a small battle scene, a confrontation between two rival Inquisitors.  The bombastic Lucanus Molnár, fixated on gene-crafting and eldritch technologies, is about to come to blows with the more reserved and cautious Anton Soljic and his right-hand man Naval Officer Fernow.

Inquisitor Lucanus Molnár

Inquisitor Anton Soljic

Naval Officer Nils Fernow

Eversor conversion:

Eversor Assassin

Of the four new plastic assassins released in 2015, I was really only pleased with the Eversor. The model sticks very closely to Jes Goodwin’s concepts and sculpts, but it manages to subtly rework each of the assassin’s most characteristic features, even managing to get a menacing skull mask (something GW has struggled with recently; i.e. Blood Angels Chaplain). But to make the model even more to my liking, I modified the assassin’s pose and converted a new Executioner Pistol. Similar to many of my other weapon conversions, I reduced the size of the pistol and added some extra details such that it more closely resembles modern firearms.

Beltran Destrieux:

Beltran Destrieux of the Stygies VIII Explorator Fleets

With the release of the Skitarii Rangers (and the rest of the Adeptus Mechanicus) I wasted no time exploring what the kit had to offer and converting my first model using them. I opted to create Beltran Destrieux, a disenchanted noble turned soldier in one of Stygies VIII Explorator Fleets. Without too much trouble I was able to replace the model’s bionic feet and ankles with flesh, blood, and combat boots! Additionally, I discovered that the Skitarri models are scaled very well to accept heads from nearly the entire Empire range from Warhammer fantasy, opening up a huge range of additional heads for conversion purposes. Beltran joins Inquisitor Lucanus Molnár in their quest to repair the Emperor’s Golden Throne!

Black Knights:

Ravenwing Black Knights

In addition to the thunder hammer Deathwing terminators, Eric and I also bolstered our Dark Angels force with a small unit of Black Knights. Like the terminators, the conversion work was pretty simple and largely revolved around creating smaller more manageable weapons. In the case of the Black Knights it was converting their Corvus hammers, changing the pick-axe look of the official hammers to something more traditional.

Kastelan Robots:

Kastelan Robot and some Skitarii brethren

The Kastelan Robots were one of the most controversial releases in the Adeptus Mechanicus miniature released in 2015. Some people took issue with the vast departure the models had from standard Imperial aesthetics. The robots almost look like they stepped right out of a 50s pulp magazine or sci-fi film! While they are a little at odds with some of the other Imperial models, I love them. When assembling the robots I decided to integrate the twin-linked Phosphor blasters into the powerfist, similar to what is seen with the Space Marine Contemptor dreadnoughts.

Stormcast Eternal Lord Celestant:

Stormcast Eternal Lord Celestant

Despite the huge swath of the year taken up by Age of Sigmar releases, we only managed to convert a single model from the new range (although we have the intention to work on more), the Stormcast Eternal Lord Celestant. The model does a wonderful job of showcasing just how much depth and dynamism Games Workshop can achieve in their plastic clam-shell character models. Eric labored to replace both of the Lord’s weapons with slightly smaller counterparts, trying to focus the viewer's attention on the might of the Lord himself rather than the massive weapons of the original model.

Death Guard Terminators:

Death Guard Terminators

I finally finished the three Death Guard terminator conversions based on the fantastic Putrid Blightkings, which I had started in 2014. Each of the models required an extensive amount of modelling putty work and really challenged my sculpting skills. I put a lot of effort into making each model visually distinct and to explore different aspects of the Death Guard: 1) a bloated and writhing monstrosity stripped of most of his armor, 2) a member of the mysterious Deathshroud, and 3) a terminator only beginning to show signs of rot and decay. While I was not able to find the time to paint the models in 2015, I hope to remedy that in 2016 and maybe convert a few more Death Guard!

Paige Levkau:

Paige Levkau

After taking a few months off of converting Inq28 models, I revisited Inquisitor Soljic and his group, converting him a pilot from the Jetgirl miniature from Studio McVay. True to most of my conversions, I went about modifying all of the model’s weapons to bring them in line with modern firearms, the most notable being the conversion of her raygun into a sawed off pump-action shotgun.  With all my small modifications I can’t help but think she reminds me of Medea Betancore, the Glavian pilot who flew Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn’s guncutter. :)

Kingdom Death:

Gold Smoke Knight, King's Hand, Storm Knight

After making an absurd amount of money with its Kickstarter campaign, Kingdom Death was in development for over 2 years and was finally released this year.  We had quite a few posts on various aspects of the games, including an examination of the misogyny in the line of pin-up models associated with with KD, assembling the first survivor models, looking at some of the more interesting monsters, and trying to find something to do with the multipart survivor kits.

Hopefully you have enjoyed going back and revisiting some of the successful projects of 2015 here at Between the Bolter and Me. 2016 is looking like it will be just as successful, so please join us as we forge our way forward! The Emperor protects!

-Adam Wier


  1. I discovered your blog a year ago when Krautscientist mentioned you guys on his yearly awards - and man I'm glad as you guys are definitely on my top list of must follow :)

    Great year and here's to many more :D

    1. Thanks for the kind words! I am glad you have been enjoying the blog. It was a great year for the blog, you found out about it just as finally got back to painting. A great time!

      We have many exciting things planned for the coming year!

  2. Awesome stuff, man - really enjoyed reading your blog over the last year and I look forward to the cool stuff you have planned for 2016!

    1. Thanks for the support! Your comments really help us maintain our excitement!

  3. Great stuff!

    Those death guard termies are still some of my favourite miniatures of yours. Can´t wait to see them painted!

    1. Thank you for comment and your support throughout the year!

      I too am really happy with how the Death Guard terminators have turned out. I will make every effort to try and paint them this year (and maybe make another one or two)!

  4. Solid year gent's look forward to more form you guys!

    1. Thank you! The coming year is looking like it will be filled with many exciting projects here at Between the Bolter and Me. I am hoping to paint more than 4 models, ha ha.

  5. Looks like a fairly productive year - and certainly another year of great blogging - from you guys! Inquisitor Molnár is one of my favourite models of 2015, and like Johan, I would love to see some paint on those Blightking Terminators! :)

    Keep up the excellent work, gents! :)

    1. It has been our most successful year in the hobby since start out some 15 years ago! I am glad you liked Inquisitor Molnár, he is certainly one of my favorite models that I have converted and painted. (:

      I will do my best to get around to painting the Death Guard terminators! I think they will be a great opportunity to test out some new painting techniques.