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Kroot mercenary warband


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#1
airinhere

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I have to admit that the Kroot have always appealed to me.  Sadly, their role in the Tau codex has been rather lackluster since forever.   However there is hope!  Rumors drift through the forums of a possible codex Kroot and online (unofficial) codex have existed for years.  Kroot are a unique race for 40K and really do deserve more support.  So I decided that since I prefer the modeling aspect anyways, I would create my own (unofficial) Kroot mercenary warband.

 

So first things first, the model range for Kroot is a bit limited.  But it lends itself to kitbashing and with a little imagination, they are able to be turned into some very unique models.  I have imagined my warband as largely a mounted force with some light infantry elements.  Kroot trackers are a light mounted force riding small Knarlocs.  No model exists for these particular models, so I had to do some serious searching for something I could convert to make convincing mounts that would stand out against the larger Knarloc and greater knarloc models.

 

I have seen some people use various cold one models.  The original design came from the GW workshop and used a Krootox head with a (now OOP) old style cold one body.  More modern designs use similar fomulas, but finding any large number of those models proved a challenge as I live in a tropical island without any sort of gaming stores.  Ebay is my best source of models.  Piecing these out was turning into a challenge until I randomly found an image of a Imperial rough rider on a velociraptor.  With a bit more Google-Fu, I discovered that Tamiya has a range of small velociraptors that come in a box of six models.  Slender bodies that would look good as lightweight mounts.  Except they had very distinctive velociraptor heads.

 

I did also randomly find a range of oversized Kroot Hound models offered online that I chose to purchase so I could field a good number of Kroot Hounds along with my Carnivore squads.  The heads from these oversized Hounds were just the right size for the Tamiya Velociraptors.  So with a little greenstuff and a pressmould, I forged enough heads for all my new mini Knarlocs.

 

But Kroot have those distinctive spines on their heads and I needed to add those to the models to complete the conversion.  I tried rolling greenstuff and realized that I am a clumsy, clumsy person and the rolled spines looked silly and uneven.  Then I tried toothpicks.  Waaay too big.  A round hairbrush proved to be my saviour.  I could pluck out the individual bristles, cut them to size and then laboriously glue each spine in place.  It was tedious, but it worked.  And looked right.

 

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A simple saddle for each model was made from greenstuff and pressed into shape with a plastic tool I found at a thrift store.  The legs of each Kroot rider required a bit of cutting and greenstuffing to fit properly on the mount, but was surprisingly simple to convert.

 

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Being scavengers, Kroot would have a mismatch of gear strapped to their mounts.  This warband would need to carry whatever items they would use to make camp and to fight on their mounts, so I scoured my bits boxes for potential stuff to glue to each mini Knarloc.  

 

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The Kroot sprue from the Carnivore kit has a ton of neat bits to add to each model.  Mixed with the imperial and other bits I had accumulated over the years, the mounts look properly savage and futuristic.

 

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The Kroot are led by a Shaper who is both the military and social leader of the group.  I gave him a falcon (likely related to the other Kroot by some distant ancestor)

 

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Their communications officer has a cybernetic eye and carries the standard Kroot rifle.

 

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A mounted warrior carrying a missle launcher and another with a flamer are among some of my first models to near completion.  I bought four boxes of these velociraptors and have all 24 in various states of conversion.  Here are the first six.  

 

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I did forget to order proper bases for these guys.  Anyone know any good sources online for cheap bases?

 

 


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#2
Pearson73

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What a brilliant idea and how well executed they are! The use of the velociraptors and hairbrush is most clever and has worked really well, as has the mismatch jumble of gear, which really helps turn them into individuals. I'm looking forward to seeing more of these fellows.



#3
mithrilforge

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Agreed, an awesome undertaking indeed but it's coming along well, hopefully we do get some new kroot in the future?

Cheers, Mithril

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#4
walter h

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Impressive, I like what you've done here. I did the cold ones myself,and am hoping to see a ,Kroot codex and some love given to the range. Keep it going.

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#5
Skaorn

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Other people looking to do something similar might look into terror bird models for a head, at least, too.
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#6
airinhere

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Kroot Mercenary warband 

 

Heavy weapon Knarloc cavalry.  These Kroot were present during a fierce orc raid on the Tau starcraft Montau-ka.  They had responded to a distress call, but arrived too late to save the Tau crew.  Boarding the crippled cruiser, the Kroot systematically slaughtered all Ork resistance and found a massive stockpile of advanced weaponry aboard.  Abandoning the wrecked Tau spacecraft, the Kroot Warband managed to rig together mounts for many of the weapon systems found aboard the derelict spacecraft.  Knarlock riders were trained in the use of Pulse weapon systems, plasma discharge weapons and fusion blasters.  Target-lock systems were modified and added to allow firing while moving and power supplies were adapted to primitive mounting brackets that could be carried by the powerful beasts.

 

Chains and straps were used to fix the systems in place and allow easy use for the Kroot warriors.

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Twelve Knarloc were armed with a variety of twin linked weapon systems.  Their  Kroot riders struggle with the advanced tech, but with the leadership of their Shapers, they manage to field a powerful range of weapons in support of the main Kroot infantry.

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#7
airinhere

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Every army need a bit of variety.  Kroot Mercenaries also need leadership and heroes.  One powerful leader who can be counted upon to lead a charge or adjust a battleplan midfight.  Kroot Shaper Oss-T Presh wears a modified stealth suit as carpace armor with modified parts from Marine power aromr adding greatly to his personal strength.  He proudly wears a set of Deathwatch shoulderpads he has taken from the hateful Humans who wear black armor.  Joining him is another of the armored assault squad.  Their mixed armor from various sources rarely functions as intended, but it does offer excellent protection in the heat of battle.

 

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Tracker Kindred ride scouting missions and flank before charging headfirst against the enemy.  Plasma pistols, flamers and traditional Kroot rifles are shared equally among the riders.  

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A pair of Krootox were armored with leftover plates and had a Tau Rail rifle system mounted for a powerful increase in firepower.

 

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#8
airinhere

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Centuries earlier, the warband had seized four heavily armored cruisers.  One was sent to Pech as a tribute to the Master Shaper council.  One was lost in a frustrating series of engagements with Humans.  Their torpedoes finding eventual targets and disabling its warp drive and thrusters.  The remaining two ships have been modified and up armored until their original make is indecipherable, but with massive engine systems and impenetrable armor, they are a fearsome force that will brazenly take direct hits as they disgorge their assault ships and provide support for their Kroot family.  A new, modified frigate has recently been taken and allows the Kroot to enter Human space much easier without arousing suspicion.

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Kroot carnivore Kindred and a host of Hounds are able to be deployed from orbit using the landing craft found aboard the ancient battleships taken so long ago.  The mixed race crew gave little indication to what race originally built these ancient ships, but now they are host to a powerful army of Avian warriors.  Hangar bays were found filled with these small, sub orbital landers and have been used for generations alongside larger landing craft.  

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#9
Altasmurf

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Your work is awesome. Love the original conversions. Nice job.

#10
airinhere

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Kroot lifeforms can develop into rather large beasts given enough time and food.  The agile and quick mounts used by the Tracker Kindred can grow into a massive beast that dominates a herd.  A single male can grow to massive size and jealously protects its herd.  Any juvenile males are killed or driven away and the Kroot Shapers watch cautiously for any new males and quickly move them away or neuter them.  Should the dominant male die, the Shaper council will then begin grooming a new dominant male to lead the herd.  
 
These massive beasts equal the Greater Knarloc in size and are often outfitted with heavy weapon systems that can lend a powerful attack to the otherwise lightly armed Tracker Kindred forces.  The natural aggression of the males can lead to an almost uncontrollable mount and only the most skilled riders among the Tracker Kindred ranks are entrusted to ride these great beasts.  Typically working in teams, these Tracker Kindred operate the dangerous weapon systems mounted onto the behemoth beasts and wear ceremonial armor to indicate their special position among their peers.  Trophies from the warbands mightiest enemies are displayed proudly by these hallowed warriors.  A special position of honor given that these trophies are not considered food, but instead remind the warband of their victories and act as a symbol of their fierce prownes in combat.
 
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#11
mithrilforge

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Cool Stuff as usual thumbsup.gif

Before reading your blurb i immediately thought "Hey! is that their lunch on the back of that beast?" laugh.png

 

Cheers, Mithril


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#12
walter h

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Watching this closely. One thing I noticed is the lack of bridal.

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#13
airinhere

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The Kroot mercenary fleet calling itself the "Four Fingers"  had left their homeworld of Pech long ago.  Centuries of travel and combat had hardened them against the horrors of the galaxy.  One of their original four Warspheres had been cut to pieces by Orks shortly after leaving the edges of known space.  Pushing deep into Ork controlled territory, they soon realized that worse monsters lie in wait.  Humans beset them constantly as adversary and then ally.  Small alien empires rallied for the Kroot aid as they fought their wars against local enemies.  Pirates and Rogue Traders began to track the massive space stations and over time the Kroot fleet gained new voidships.   A besieged Tau cruiser was discovered far outside of their known range and the brutal Ork raiders that had slaughtered the crew  were easily defeated leaving the advanced technology of the Tau explorers as a glittering prize for the Warband.  Alien species of every type were encountered and added to the Kroot gene pool as they consumed the flesh of each in turn.  Each new species adding strength or intellect to the Kroot born to the warband.  Many were marked for generations with the blue or grey skin of those who had tasted Tau flesh, or the green skin of those who consumed orkish flesh.  Some even grew soft skin and delicate features as they ate human flesh learning the deep passion for war that flowed through Humanities bloodline.  Some even found the chance to consume Eldar flesh and found an increase in psychic talents.  Brutal truths were told as they experimented with the flesh of Chaos tainted Human or even worse, the vile flesh of the genetic deviants of the Tyranid races.  

 

Over the centuries, the Warband saw a slow attrition of their precious Warspheres.  Human zealots pursued one and sent it burning into oblivion.  Another was trapped forever in the warp, the screams of those aboard echoing in the last communications sent from its command bridge.  One final Warsphere still lingers slowly edging through deep space.  Unable to safely enter the warp, it serves as a home away from home for raiders and a fleet of smaller voidships.  Only through use of the alien Gellar fields can these smaller craft return to their hidden home.  

 

The three warships of the First Finger clan, Breach the Warp regularly and have traveled far abroad seeking new enemies to fight.  They are led by a powerful Kroot Master Shaper and his conclave of Shaman advisors.  Small teams of their elite forces make contact with new clients and scout alien battlefields as they guide their planetary landers filled with mounted Knarloc and Tracker cavalry.  Upon contact with an enemy, these spearhead forces guide dropships to the battlefield where they may be of the most use.  Many of these Kindred have gained honors and prestige among their peers as they fight across the stars.

 

Power armored Kroot with Stalthsuit technology perform deep strikes in support of their advance forces.  Their looted armor and weapons are used sparingly and are almost irreplaceable.

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Shaman wear the skulls of defeated enemies who wielded psychic powers.  These grim trophies showing the mental and physical strength of each shaman.

 

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Kroot warriors wear the armor and looted gear of a lifetime fighting among the stars.  Drums are used to instill fear in their foe and strengthen resolve in their Kroot kindred.  Feathers are worn as trophies by many of the Kindred indicating bravery in combat, honorable ferocity against a foe or cunning used to bring death to an enemy.

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#14
airinhere

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I have started painting my Kroot and am very happy with the results.  Here are a few images of the completed models.

 

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#15
Shovellovin

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Great set of converted Kroot you have put together. I love the amount of gear on the mounts, the poses, the backstory...well, I like everything about them. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work. Bravo!



#16
Jud Cottrell

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I just love those Kroot Knarloc riders!
It’s a massive shame that FW have discontinued them.

I really like your colour scheme, I was going to do blue Kroot but chickened (boom,boom) out.
They remind me of Scarlet Macaws or some other tropical bird, nicely done.

#17
airinhere

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Thank you for the compliments.  I am happy to hear that they remind you of Macaws since that is what I was aiming for.  Their bright white faces and shiny black beaks provide a striking contrast that fits well with my blue and orange toned army.  I am already nearly done with my second (and final) squad of Knarloc riders.  The first squad took me so long as I worked out the shading and techniques that I liked, and now the second squad is done in just a few days.  

 

And I must report on recovering a lost Kindred that was considered beyond recovery.  The very first prototype Kindred Tracker model had gone missing several weeks ago.  I feared that the feline overlords had consumed him or that he was at the mercy of my sometimes spotty memory.  Or even worse, he might have been placed in a "safe place".  and yet he was recovered amidst at great personal peril!

 

While chatting with the wife, I noticed a small visitor scuttle out from under the couch she was sitting upon.  Claws held at the ready, and tail curled upright, a scorpion of no less than six inches long appeared.  My eyes widened in horror, her feet raised as she was looking directly at me.  Thankfully, her reactions were swift as the words to alert her took far longer than the scutling scorpion would require to have arrived at her feet.  And then the little fellow stopped in plain sight.  I jumped toward my trusty Caribbean work boots and donned those rubberized flip flop sandals.  In a blur I slammed my full weight upon the beast and then gave a slight wiggle back and forth for good measure.  Injured, but alive, the beast thrashed in a small circle as I brought my foot down again.  Its tail now uncovered by the sandal I narrowly missed its final gasp of defiance as I brought my foot back to safety.  Crushed and crippled the scorpion again tried to rouse its broken body forward, but I draped it with not one but two thick napkins and plucked its wiggling form up in my now protected hands.   Large scissors were used to dismantle the seemingly unkillable monster and it was gracefully flushed down the toilet.

 

Fearing that this beast was not alone, I snatched a flashlight from the table and began a detailed search beneath both couches and the entertainment center.  And that is when my lost Kindred weakly waved for help.  The dust and cat hair that had gathered there engulfed the wounded warrior, but using a stick he was retrieved back to safety.  Elation flooded my being as I had not only bravely faced down a fearsome beast lurking within my own home, but I had recovered a lost warrior.

 

Once a lowly scout, this brave warrior will be detailed with the finest of gear and equipment.  A true survivor and hero returning in grand fashion to his Kindred!

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#18
airinhere

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Kroot Hounds work as a living screen that protects the Knarloc riders from being assaulted or targeted by nearby troops.  They are also led by abominations.  Kroot birthed from parents who had fed on the forbidden flesh of a Tyranid.  Sterilzed at an early age, these Kroot are allowed to live, but are always considered apart from normal society.  So they are drawn to the packs of Kroot Hounds where they find their strength and speed makes them special among the Hounds.

 

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Cybernetics are often used to mend a wounded Hound.  These mechanisms are rarely maintained, but are usually robust enough to handle long periods of neglect.

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Abominations normally display their tainted heritage by sprouting massive claws or talons.  They are rarely killed outright, but are never allowed to breed and further taint the delicate genetic pool of the Kindred.

962345_md-.JPG


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#19
Captain_Krash

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Love everything about this. You have a large amount of Knarlocs!!!

 

Krash


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#20
airinhere

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Tracker Kindred are an evolutionary development of Kroot that was developed to overcome the frantic energy of alien battlefields.   These large beasts retain only an animal level of intellect, and an unfortunate mutation has caused severe calcification of their cranial mass.  The growth overtakes the eyes of the Trackers within the first year or two of its life.  Horn like appendages develop quickly covering over the ears of the predatory beasts within the second year.  This leaves the aggressive animals blind and deaf.  And immune to fear caused by loud noises or bright lights or horrific scenes.  Instead the cranial areas become laced with narrow chambers that greatly magnify the beasts sense of smell.  Kroot riders are matched with each Tracker at birth and forge a lifelong bond of trust that is reinforced with the Kroots natural pheromes.  These Tracker riders are able to navigate treacherous terrain with a loyalty and trust  Silently moving across the battlefield these agile beasts plunge deep into enemy territory allowing their Kroot riders to close in for brutal close combat. 

 

Human Plasma pistols are a favored prize for these riders.  Powerful, flashy and requiring an up close and personal attack.  Scavenged armor is also desired by many riders.  Physical wounds are often repaired with cybernetics taken from defeated foes so that riders or mount might continue service together.  The bond between both is considered to precious to waste.

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A Shaper rides at the head of the formation.  His bond runs deep with all his brethren.  A Kroothawk with flame colored wings rides with him scouting ahead and reporting on enemy movements.

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Plasma pistols, shields and scavenged armor.  Plus a light snack for between missions.

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Many riders adorn themselves with warpaint to strike fear into their prey.  

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Flamer weapons are another favorite weapon for these aggressive riders.

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Locked in a silent dark world, the Tracker mounts trust their riders fully as they charge the enemy.

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Kroot riders advance through a salty marsh.  Stale water pools between stands of tall grasses.

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  • Azekai, walter h and brother_b like this

Follow my Inquisitor Build at Valeria Mane Retenio

Soldiers serving under Inquisitor Retenio  Imperial Army

Bullgryn Brute squad (converted Fantasy Ogres)  Build / Paint thread here

Carcharodon Predation Fleet Mako deployed against Tyranid forces.  Follow here  Here and here

Kroot Mercenary Warband "The Four Fingers"   Read here and here

 

 

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#21
Azekai

Azekai

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  • Faction: Warp Locusts, Traitor Guard

A bold paintjob to go with some fantastically creative conversions. I love the falcon-parrot, er, I mean, kroot-hawk :P


Edited by Azekai, 17 September 2018 - 06:55 AM.

Corruption is our armor. Infection is our weapon. Immortality is our reward.
 

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