So, with most of my unpainted backlog now posted, let me move to the more recent, more involved WIP projects of mine:
First up, a squad that I realise could prove slighlty controversial, since the models are based on a kit that doesn't exactly seem to be popular around these parts. But I am getting ahead of myself. So what is this about?
As you might be able to tell from this thread, I have this strange compulsion to own an appropriate version of all (or at least most) of the unit selections in the Codex for my army. So far, this has made me convert a custom Dark Apostle and Warpsmith for the HQ slot, come up with some renegade Space Wolves to serve as “regular” CSM, and so on. The unifying idea behind all of this conversions is that I want each unit to be represented in a way that fits the overall background of my warband.
Yet the one unit type that had me stumped for the longest time were the Obliterators: It’s no secret that Obliterators are a rather valuable part of the Chaos Space Marine army list, but I really dislike the current models for these guys. And the mutated, fleshy look really didn’t fit the concept of my army (where mutation is kept to a minimum, due both to my aesthetic preferences and background reasons). I also didn’t want to go the easy route of simply getting some stock Obliterators, painting them in the colours of a different legion or warband, and using them as “allies”, because that seemed like a rather cheap cop out to me.
So I waited and collected pictures of Obliterator conversions I liked and quietly prayed for inspiration to hit. And I swore to myself that I wouldn’t use Obliterators until I had found a way of representing them on the table in a way that felt true to both my taste and the overarching concept of my army. I didn’t find such an option for the best part of two years.
But then, the new Space Marines were released, and the longer I looked at the (much-maligned) Centurions, the more I felt that these could be my ticket to finally building the Obliterators that I wanted: not mutated and unsightly giants, but hulking and baroque combat suits, a holdover from the more civilised days of the 12th Astartes Legion. So I started throwing around some ideas, and I ended up with a basic concept of what I wanted these guys to be like.
So I broke out the bitz box and endeavoured to make the stock models far more baroque (and also slightly barbarian in nature). And through a process of trial and error, I managed to build three counts as Oblitz.
Here are the first two:
As you can see, I added several weapons to each of these guys to represent the flexibility in the Obliterators' wargear in a way that was less based on mutation. I also added some bitz that are recurring visual elements in my army, among them chaos marauder shields, Ogre gut plates (used as World Eaters symbols) and, of course, bunny ears.
And the third model (and possible squad leader, even though there's no such thing in a squad of Obliterators):
I had to get a little more creative in this case, in order to convert a plasma cannon (from the Dark Vengeance kit) for use on the model. I think I was reasonably successful, though:
So why are those guys so different from "normal" Obliterators, and where did they come from? Here's the background that I came up with:
Behemoth Pattern Heavy Fire Support Suits
Even in an army as focused on combat at close quarters as the World Eaters‘ 4th assault company, there are those who hunt by different means. These brothers of the company are called the Behemoths, and they are an enigma to even their brethren.
During the Great Crusade, the armies of the Legiones Astartes were faced with an ever increasing number of deadly adversaries. Often enough, wars were only to be won by attrition, and the head-on assaults led by the death seeking Primarch Angron were threatening to bleed the 12th Astartes legion dry before long. While Angron seemed oblivious or even indifferent towards such concerns, there were those among his officers who sought a more balanced kind of warfare, at least until the bite of their Butcher’s Nails consumed the remnants of their sanity.
It is said that, during this time, First Apothecary Fabrikus himself experimented on a number of battle brothers, trying to adapt their cranial implants to a different kind of fight. These warriors were outfitted with heavy combat suits, almost on par with the fabled Dreadnoughts. Their suits were equipped with a plethora of heavy weapons, and where the regular World Eaters would throw themselves at the enemy with wild abandon, the so-called Behemoth squads would hang back and lay down a barrage of heavy fire.
For Fabrikus had changed the battle brothers’ minds yet again, hardwiring their implants to their weapons systems. The members of the Behemoth squads started to find grim joy in killing, just like the rest of their legion, but the greatest joy for them was to pick out enemies
from afar, tearing through flesh and steel alike with bursts of laser fire and plasma, and seeing a red marker turning green in their
The Behemoths remained a highly experimental unit that only saw limited use during the Crusade and subsequent Heresy: The weapons systems they were outfitted with proved too difficult to maintain during the arduous campaigns, and Angron would always favour a more hands-on approach in any case. Only few of the valuable suits have endured over the millennia, and only those warbands of the XIIth Astartes legion who still count a Warpsmith or Dark Mechanicus ally among their numbers can hope to make any kind of use of this hallowed equipment. For most members of the World Eaters, the kind of warfare exemplified by the Behemoth squads remains forever beyond their reach, replaced by frenzy and costly head-on assaults. Yet within the ranks of the 4th assault company, some of the Behemoths have endured, and in Khorne's Eternal Hunt, have become hunters in their own right.
These frightening giants still fill the role of heavy fire support, yet the long centuries and millennia have wrought havoc upon their minds: Growing ever more divorced from their humanity, Behemoths are more machine than man, gripped by a tranquil fury where their regular
brethren are frenzied. They can only perceive life through their targeting systems, and each situation becomes an equation that can only be solved by heavy fire. They tend to see living beings as either targets or inconsequential elements, even referring to their battle
brothers as “fleshkin”.
When away from the battlefield, the Behemoths are normally content to spent time in deep, deathlike sleep. They dream of worlds burning and planets shattering under a barrage of heavy fire, while the other members of the company take relief in the knowledge that their troubled brethren are not at large. Even in an army of frenzied killers, the Behemoths are perhaps the most inhuman of all, since for them life and death are the only variables at any given time, and death is always the preferable outcome…
As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! And let me know what you think, of course!