Thursday, August 23, 2012

True Scale Khorne Champion

Guest Post by Michiel (aka b'Raass)

My Skull Champion is part of a Khorne oriented detachment in my Word Bearers army. The Word Bearers are actually aligned to Chaos Undivided, but there are a couple of reasons I use some Khorne elements beside the obvious game play advantages of having those awesome Berzerkers. First, I believe that actually "sinning" against the edicts of the creed is inherent in all (Chaos) Space Marines, so why wouldn't the Word Bearers have their "heretics" who slowly turn to a particular God? One of them was described in the Word Bearers omnibus, but I forget his name. Second, the Khorne theme of red gore fits nicely into the dark red of the Word Bearers. Third, it gives you some nice modeling advantages. That's how I started my Word Bearer Skull Champion, named Bucephalus, after Alexander the Great's warhorse.

Early WIP shot.

I wanted this guy to be big, bigger than life, and way bigger than I could make a Chaos Marine out of the Forge World MkIII Iron Armour - the legs and some torso's of which I used for my Khorne Berzerker squad. I wanted this guy to be at least a head taller and way broader than a normal CSM. So, I started searching the interwebs for a way to make SMs bigger. I came across a tutorial by True Scale by Doghouse, of the fabled Bolter and Chainsword blog. He put up this awesome tutorial on how to make your SMs True Scale - i.e. the 7-8 ft giants that they are (in stead of the wimpy guys who can only just look over the heads of simple guardsmen), using Terminator Armour and trainloads of GS. Of course, I could have used a normal CSM terminator, but I wanted the biggest guy there is. He turned out pretty well - check out the scale:

The components I used:
Chaos Space Marine Terminator Lord (CSMTL) legs and body
CSMTL power mace left arm
SM terminator lightning claw right arm
SM left hand
Daemon skull (I forgot where it's from)
Chaos Lord on Manticore shield
Chaos Warriors skull helmet
CSM Champion backpack
Banner from the GW Banner of Rage 2 set
2x Cadian grenades
SM holstered pistol
SM scroll case
A plethora of purity seals
Skulls from the Secret Weapon Sack O' Skulls pack
The SAW-020 tentacle maker
Green Stuff (GS)
1mm plasticard
About 16 round 3x1mm magnets
He consists of five different magnetized pieces: The body, Left arm, right arm, helmet and backpack/banner.

The body uses the CSMTL legs and body and was created with the final and awesome True Scale tutorial by Doghouse. I used Rich's superb Tentacle Maker SAW-020 for the abdominal cables.

The model is slightly arched as he's supposed to stand on the Chaos Star base that's supplied with the kit. I don't like that base as everyone uses it, so I quickly came to the luminous conclusion that seeing as he's a Khorne Skull Champion, he should stand on a pile of skulls. Yay me... It's basically a pile of skulls on a small GS bauble. I then cut a 1 inch plasticard H-beam in the middle in a 45 degree angle and glued the two pieces on the base. Then I covered the base in Sandy Paste, placed a few medium slate stones here and there and then covered the base with small slate.   The left arm with mace is from the CSMTL power mace arm. All my CSM champions are supposed to be (First) Acolytes or Dark Apostles, which are basically CSM Chaplains. Hence they all have a skull helmet and if they have a close combat weapon, it is a mace, 'cause maces look like Crozius Arcanums (Arcani?). I cut the arm below the shoulder, slightly turned it outwards (away from the model's body) and then pinned and glued it back in place. I also cut the arm right above the lower arm, turned it slightly to the left, then pinned and glued it. I find that if I don't do this arm-turning and twisting, all CSM models will unnaturally hold their weapons straight in front of them, like a bunch of evil Lego dudes. I didn't use the power cable on the actual CSMTL's power mace as I think it's too high tech for CSMs. I thus again used the GS Tentacle Maker to create a new cable that looked more 30th millennium.

The right arm with shield is the Chaos Lord on Manticore shield with an eyeballed circle cut from 1mm plasticard glued behind the chaos star. The arm is a SM terminator right lightning claw cut right below the elbow. I then cut the arm below the shoulder, slightly turned it inwards (towards the model's body) and then pinned and glued it back in place. I wanted the arm to hold the shield in a 90 degree angle to how the arm supplied with the shield held it, so I drilled a hole in the elbow and a hole in a SM right hand and pinned them in place using a 1mm nail, making sure to leave a space of about three mm in between the elbow and arm. I then glued the shield in place, making sure the shoulder pad would still fit between the arm and the shield. Then, I modeled the lower arm and the shield hold in place using GS, some good old Vaseline and various sculpting tools. I once invested in the 12 piece Gale Force 9 sculpting set and never regretted it.

The shoulder pads are simple the CSMTL's turned around. So the right one is placed left shoulder and the left one is placed on the right shoulder. That leaves you with several 'holes' on the edges, which I remodeled using GS. The rivets are made from a tiny tiny roll of green stuff cut in to even tinier slices, pricked with a scalpel, dipped in super glue en then put in place until the glue is dry. The Word Bearer symbol on the left shoulder was made by sculpting flames (I'll post a tutorial of that when I will show you my Word Bearer Dreadnought) and placing a daemon skull with the base cut away in the middle.

The helmet was made using the SAW-020 again, combined with the Chaos Warrior skull head and the technique for chaplain helmets by Ron from From the Warp. I also put two super-tiny rolls of GS in the eyes for helmet lenses.

The backpack and banner were the easiest. I just cut a hole in the backpack, stuck a piece of metal 1.5 mm rod in there and glued the banner in place. Hey presto! I started with a trophy pole, but decided this model had to attract not a lot, but ALL the attention. Hence the larger than life banner.

Next, all details were glued on: the pistol, the scroll case, the grenades and the purity seals. Finally, I magnetized all the different parts. You can get 3x1 mm magnets from some Asian country on eBay. They're cheap as hell and they charge no shipping. I think I bought about a thousand of 'em for about $15.

All components were then undercoated black and then painted in a way inspired by The Prophet's color scheme. The building and painting took me about ten hours each, excluding the drying time for the GS.


Postscript from Rich

Michiel sent me a bunch of photos of his Champ along with some photos of the rest of the WIP squad.  I thought they were too good not post so I included them here at the end.

Not only is Bucephalus an amazing model but I love this squad in it's entirety!  Sooo much detail!  Plus his post is very dense with tips and tricks for improving Ye Olde Modeling Skills.


  1. That is amazing!
    Always been a HUGE fan of True-Scale and yours is superb. All this True-Scale lovin' Ive been seeing is making me want to do my True-Scale Word Bearers force even more now.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Thanks Kevin!
    The conversion from Terminator to True Scale is really not that hard using Doghouse's guide: they're really clear and easy to follow. Give it a try yourself, you'll be amazed at the results.


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