Monday, 4 May 2015

Khorne Bloodthirster...the Rogue Trader way

Blood thirsters get a lot of attention these days and though the release of mine coincides with those of the latest edition by GW, there is absolutely no link between the 2...

Some time ago, I was having a friendly chat with Diego Serrate on the Oldhammer facebook page and he proposed me to trade some Bloodthister body from the realm of chaos era. The body was missing a left arm and right hand...

Kiss my shiny reddish ass...

After discussing with Diego the potential donors for new arms and hands, Diego kindly proposed me to sculpt a new arm to my liking !
You read that right, a professional sculptor, (and talented with that) offering to sculpt me a custom arm for a model of mine !

After some thoughts, I realised that the Bloodthirtser would most likely be going into my chaos renegades army for 40k, this meant I could try and tie this model a little more with something futuristic...

Good thing is, some talented folk had already thought about how to tie Khorne and technology before :

More about him in the associated post
Who better than Jes Goodwin as a mentor ! The mutated arm seemed like the best of plans to replace the left arm but I had to find something for the right one...
A quick look in the bits box got me to find just what I needed...

That's right, a big-ass axe and some chainswords to make a giant chain axe. The ork hand is slightly smaller than the original minotaur hand handling the axe as oversized hands can quickly lead someone into caricatural domains and I wanted to stay in Rogue trader and not in World of Warcraft.
Some precut on the axe to determine the right angle and here I was :

That's my first incarnation. The axe is huge and powerful and after many thoughts I've settled for a head :

On this picture you can notice the left arm and skull on the torso sculpted by Diego, those are awesome. Only thing was I was not entirely happy with the model as a whole so I asked around what people thought of it...
The head had been a hard decision as I had tried to use the head that came with the model at first :

This is the "alien" head that's available for the model but the sculpt is a little rough on this one and the casting made it even worse... I tried adding a couple of details to make it look like Balor by Simon Bisley but I lost all hope at some point :

Balor by Simon Bisley in Slaine
Too bad because Tony Hough had used this very head as an example for his Rogue trader Bloodthirster  :

But that was not OK so I opted for the converted head of a 2nd ed Hive tyrant to make it look like some big Bloodletter. The head sculpt though is nowhere near as good as the one on Tony's drawing.

The other concern was the size of the axe. Most people agreed on the axe being a little too big to fit the intended aesthetic. So I cut into the plastic and came up with a second version :

Weapon size reduction they said... I feel so empty...

That was much more pleasant... Time to paint then.
I knew the armour would mostly be black to fit in with my chaos renegades but I had to find a good colour for the skin. As the head was that of a bloodletter, that red fits so well with black and mainly because I'm a lazy bastard, I chose... guess what... RED.

Note the Khorne rune painted in fresh blood on the stone behind, probably the rune used for the summoning ritual...
I went for a very rich red for the skintone to emphasise the rage and inner fire meant to be in this big boy. The axe was built with a darker red with less highlights (since it was to be heavily weathered). One strange thing is that I used some reddish glazes on the top of the wing membrane and some bluish ones at the bottom to really give the impression he's massive (and break the monotony of a single colour over a large area) but the picture somehow manages to negate that completely... Same is for the skin which is treated in a pure zenithal approach to make the model a little more dramatic (and to learn a bit in the process).

One annoying part with mutipart models is that you may have to assemble them after painting most of it in order to be able to treat all the areas properly. That was the case here and I had to make new seals between the wings and body after painting most of them :

But I suppose the result is worth it :

You may have noticed I tried my hand at some OSL on the chain axe... Well I'm not really happy with it, I tried that some time ago with the other renegades and the result then was a lot better, I must have forgot how to do it right, I just don't really know how to fix it...

All in all I'm pretty satisfied with the result anyway and it was a real pleasure to paint this especially when knowing it was the combined effort with a really friendly and talented chap !

Now, my Bloodthister (I really should roll him a name...) will see how beautiful the world is and probably he will encounter some truly excellent friends like I do :

"- Hey YOU there, I saw you ! you were about to crush that guy's skull, don't you try to deny it !
- Me ? Nah never, I'd rather rip him in bits and drink his blood before, just like THAT !

"- Alright good buddy, did I ever tell you that story with the Space marines on this shitty planet full of apes ?
- Erm, like a thousand time yeah, why?
- Oh nevermind... let's find some killin'
- That's more like it.
- Last to 100 tells it to Khorne !"

While we were at it, I thought I could get all my (painted so far) renegades to have some group shot...
Now 2 things : 
1) I need a bigger photo set up...
2) Banners are still a big issue and I'm totally changing them when I have the right design.

Hope you like it people, next will be... well as often I dont truly know what will be next, probably some of the stuff that's half painted on my desk right now but who knows ?


  1. I've been waiting for this, and he's come out looking bloody excellent mate.
    I love how all of your stuff (or so it seems) is converted or out of the ordinary in some way.
    In my youth I would have seen this and wanted it to represent Angron himself.

    1. A primarch ! Well you do not lack ambition, I'll give you that ! I will be tempted to do a demon prince at some point and I have a Great Unclean one to convert in the same vein as this one too so we'll see for future plans, right now I'd like to bulk up the ranks a bit by adding squads. this is after all the only real army in progress I have and I still have 5/6 of it still unpainted !!!

      Thanks a lot dude !

  2. Your 'Thirster is fantastic JB! He's both classic (using the RoC figure) and unique (from all the customisation).

    I really do like that grinning alien-esque head - it gives him an unhinged / insane feel. Nice to see him with his renegade buddies too ;)

    1. Glad you love the haed since after fixing the axe size issue, it was the only thing that could have looked weird to some. But after all it's based on a Jes Goodwin bit so you were already a bit biased ;)

      Many thanks Jon.

    2. Jes Goodwin bias? Never! It's just an opinion based on irrefutable evidence ;)

    3. Well, the guy is undoubtedly talentd and awesome, that's a fact I agree, it is therefore only logical to like his work !

  3. Theres no skool like the old skool.

    Love it!

    1. There's a saying in french that says "it's in the old pots you make the best soups", a granny way to say oldskool rules indeed !

      Cheers !

  4. Nice to see one not painted in brass, gold etc, JB. The head is a massive improvement from its original cast; I always found this the least favourite of the Khorne Greater demon heads personally. Looking all the more distinctive now though. I LOVE IT!

    1. Cheers Ed,
      Trying to get away from all green Nurgle and messing a bit with traditionnal Khorne is very healthy I think although I kept a usual palette on this one, only rearranged.
      I haven't totally given up on using that Bloodthister head, it will just require a lot more attention. In the end I opted for my alternative as I didn't want to postpone the painting too much to show Diego he hadn't taken some of his precious time for nothing !
      Maybe I should paint the Khorne renegades next then... there's going to be more of Khorne for this army for sure.

  5. Looks amazing Jb. Very well done.

  6. Thats great JB! A true chaos monster to join the party. The step by step proccess is a cool read, and also thanks for all the credits ;).
    Good job, now for those f**** banners!

    1. Yeah, now need to add anything on the banner shame, I really should get my head straight and find something fitting ! ^^'
      I'm getting close but I want something real good. It will come...eventually.
      I'm painting another of your models at the moment Diego, and hope to get more of them very soon ;)

  7. He turned out great JB!

    I didn't realise that the chainsaw head on the axe was an add on, fits it so well.

    I'm loathe to paint multi-part minis in two steps, I usually just struggle on with the inconvenience of trying to get my brush into impossible places :) Your dedication to doing it in stages has definitely paid off though.

    Bravo old boy, bravo!

    1. To be honest, I'll try to avoid doing it every time I can, I usually build and base my models before doing anything else but in this case It would have been a real pain in the butt PLUs it was a model converted by a friend so I had to spend the extra time to make it right !

      Thanks a lot !

  8. Sir, that's how you do things! Wonderful work indeed. Diego's skills are top notch, that's out of the question, of course, but the rest of the work you added simply takes this mini to another level. Absolutely awesome!

    1. Well, I can still see plenty of room for improvement here but I love that big boy nonetheless. Really fun thing is that I really only tasted Diego's work once the prime was one and I started building highlights on the left arm... that's when I really enjoyed it !
      I'm actually painting the fishman these days and with yours and Axiom's, I've had no choice but to find some good ideas in the left overs ;)
      Hopefully I'll be able to show it before the week end.

      Thanks a lot Suber !

  9. OUAH !!!! vraiment du bon boulot bravo !!!!

    1. Aha, merci ! C'est un travail collégial donc le mérite me revient pas entièrement, en plus j'ai du me bouger un peu pour pas trop traîner ce qui m'a fait du bien !

      Merci à toi !

  10. I love the little detail of the stone with the rune painted on into it. Touches like that really make the miniature come alive -- it sort of tells a story. (I also like the way that, when you look at the rear of the miniature, the stone draws your attention to the Thirster's very attractive chain-mail loin cloth. Who doesn't like a chain-mail loin cloth?). Fantastic work!

    1. Ah, glad someone appreciates little details at last ! I want to put some blood somewhere but didn't want to cover the whole axe in gore so I opted for a freshly summoned demon (hence the pose). I thought about adding the corpse from which teh blood was used at the feet of teh demon but I prefer simple bases (and I'm lazy).
      I unfortunately can't say anything about chanimail loinclothes for I've never worn any myslef but I do love seeing it worn by pulp female barabarians and huge demons for sure.

  11. This model is really excellent. As Axiom said, it manages to be both new and classic at the same time. The new arm, head and axe all combine very well too, like the model was always intended to look like that.

    Love it.

    1. Well I suppose that's what you get when you involve a pro sculptor in the conversion process ! I was somehow afraid the mix of pieces from different origins and periods would be weird to some but it seems fine. I will be trying to keep the same spirit to do some other demons in the future.
      Thanks a lot.


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